We had a marvelous time on this cruise. It was our first time on the Explorer, after having sailed on the Voyager (once) and the Navigator (World Cruise 2017 and Cape Town to Rio 2018).
Things got off to a bit of a rough start at the Copenhagen Marriott. The morning of embarkation the restaurant was swamped with a very long line for breakfast, and bus #1 delivered us to the wrong ship in the port! It was easily rectified as the Explorer was right next door.
We loved the itinerary, even though it was port intensive. Every day was a new adventure! We especially liked our 3 days in Saint Petersburg, including the Grand Imperial Evening of the Tsars, and the fact that we hired a private guide and driver for day 2.
The Senior Officers included Serena Melani, Captain; Davor Josipovic, General Manager; Food and Beverage Director Stephane Carriou, Cruise Director Andy Heath, and his wife Tammy, Social Hostess. All were excellent in their jobs. This was our first time sailing with Captain Serena. She was very personable and often seen talking and mingling with the passengers. It was also our first time sailing with Andy and Tammy. They are a great team, always positive, and very talented! Loved their shows, especially The Beatles!
We also enjoyed our class in the Culinary Kitchen, "Gone Fishing", taught by Linda Miller, a CIA in Hyde Park graduate. It was lots of fun, very informative, and delicious!
Terry Bishop, Lecturer and Performer, was also terrific. We had the pleasure of meeting Terry on the World Cruise, and he can do it all! Lecture, sing, play the guitar, tell stories; always entertaining!
The Production Cast was great, very talented! We have seen World Beat about 5 times now, and we think this was the best one yet! Other shows we saw with them performing were My Revolution and Paradis.
Destination Services did a great job in getting us off on excursions in a timely manner.
All were very helpful and pleasant.
The ship is beautiful and we really enjoyed sampling some newer (to us) restaurants. Pacific Rim was great, and we also enjoyed Chartreuse. La Veranda/Sette Mari was a disappointment esthetically. It felt more like a large cafeteria. We really prefer this space on the Navigator.
Our cabin was perfect! The amount of storage compared to the Navigator was amazing. We had drawer space that we never used! The bathroom was beautiful, and one of the best showers we've ever had in a hotel space. Lots of outlets too. We also loved the size of our deck. This was our first cruise without a butler, and our stewards did a wonderful job in our cabin.