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This was a 60th Birthday cruise consisting of 5 women, 3 whom have known each other for 57 years! We were treated to a suite by the birthday girl (can't go wrong there) and while it was a great room and we loved our room steward Nyomon (spelling?) and the ice show was terrific...everything else was sadly mediocre at best. Boarding was okay, a little confusing... Carnival Cruises from Long Beach were much smoother whether a suite passenger or regular. Our suite was Aft which meant we took the elevator from mid-ship to aft. This in itself was not bad, but the horrible musty smell from the elevator to aft to get to our rooms was horrible and I could only feel sorry for those who were staying in those rooms! Food was mediocre for the most part. The best tasting item in at the buffet at the time we boarded was the butter chicken, which was very tasty. Sadly, I was the only one in the group that selected that dish. The "prime rib" looked good under that light but was not rare and juicy once it was put on the plate. In fact it was like leather and not eaten. We did an upsale restaurant, Chops which was very good with excellent service. Everyone had filet mignon, except for me. I chose the lamb chops and they were amazing! The one show I attended (I don't care for shows for the most part) was the Ice Skating and it was very entertaining and well done. We enjoyed our excursion to Buchert Gardens and we finished with a lovely tea at the Empress Hotel and I highly recommend both! We were fortunate to get the special pricing for Buchert Gardens and the tea at the Empress was well priced if you know the cost of going to a tea of that caliber. My biggest gripe is the drink package and the requirements that go along with them. EVERYONE must purchase if you are sharing a single cabin. For a virtual non-drinker like myself, this was a rip off. I get that they don't want you to "buy" drinks for other's using the package, but when you realize that you paid a fortune each day, and you are limited in the number of drinks per day, you really are not taking any money from their pockets. This is where the ripoff is. As it was, since we were Suite guests, we had access to the Concierge Lounge (very nice...I wish Carnival would do this) and there it appears drinks are included! I had a single drink each day at the concierge lounge when we sat in there to relax. Now my girlfriends were a bunch of lushes and they certainly got their money's worth with the drink package, some more than others, but I rather resented the fact that I too had to have one.

Fun but...

Explorer of the Seas Cruise Review by TamaraJohnston214

1 person found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: September 2018
  • Destination: Pacific Coastal
  • Cabin Type: Grand Suite - 2 Bedrooms
This was a 60th Birthday cruise consisting of 5 women, 3 whom have known each other for 57 years!

We were treated to a suite by the birthday girl (can't go wrong there) and while it was a great room and we loved our room steward Nyomon (spelling?) and the ice show was terrific...everything else was sadly mediocre at best.

Boarding was okay, a little confusing... Carnival Cruises from Long Beach were much smoother whether a suite passenger or regular.

Our suite was Aft which meant we took the elevator from mid-ship to aft. This in itself was not bad, but the horrible musty smell from the elevator to aft to get to our rooms was horrible and I could only feel sorry for those who were staying in those rooms!

Food was mediocre for the most part. The best tasting item in at the buffet at the time we boarded was the butter chicken, which was very tasty. Sadly, I was the only one in the group that selected that dish. The "prime rib" looked good under that light but was not rare and juicy once it was put on the plate. In fact it was like leather and not eaten.

We did an upsale restaurant, Chops which was very good with excellent service. Everyone had filet mignon, except for me. I chose the lamb chops and they were amazing!

The one show I attended (I don't care for shows for the most part) was the Ice Skating and it was very entertaining and well done.

We enjoyed our excursion to Buchert Gardens and we finished with a lovely tea at the Empress Hotel and I highly recommend both! We were fortunate to get the special pricing for Buchert Gardens and the tea at the Empress was well priced if you know the cost of going to a tea of that caliber.

My biggest gripe is the drink package and the requirements that go along with them. EVERYONE must purchase if you are sharing a single cabin. For a virtual non-drinker like myself, this was a rip off. I get that they don't want you to "buy" drinks for other's using the package, but when you realize that you paid a fortune each day, and you are limited in the number of drinks per day, you really are not taking any money from their pockets. This is where the ripoff is. As it was, since we were Suite guests, we had access to the Concierge Lounge (very nice...I wish Carnival would do this) and there it appears drinks are included! I had a single drink each day at the concierge lounge when we sat in there to relax. Now my girlfriends were a bunch of lushes and they certainly got their money's worth with the drink package, some more than others, but I rather resented the fact that I too had to have one.
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Cabin Review

Grand Suite - 2 Bedrooms
Cabin GT
Loved our two bedroom cabin. Very spacious and comfortable. Two bathrooms, the master bedroom bath had a soaker tub! The private balcony was lovely with chaise lounges and a table with chairs. Sadly it was cold and rainy so we didn't take two much advantage but I would if I were cruising in a warm climate.
Deck 9 Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Butchart Gardens
    We were lucky to have only a little rain while we were at Buchart Gardens. It was lovely and an easy walk, even going down to the sunken garden and back up with a knee brace on. We missed the main gift shop, even though we had plenty of time, as most of our group ended up in the gallery thinking that was the gift shop. The items were lovely and some of us made a couple of purchase.
    View All 258 Butchart Gardens Reviews
  • High Tea at the Empress Hotel
    We arrived early and couldn't be seated until our reserved time which was fine as they had a lovely bar. The Fairmont gin is a beautiful blue colour that changed with the addition of tonic. The Hot Chocolate with Chartreuse was amazing. The hot chocolate was handmade along with chantilly cream.

    Tea was a delight and we were very pleased with our tea options and choices. Sandwiches were good, though a little dry. Scones were good. Never made it to the petite fours as I was full.
    View All 19 High Tea at the Empress Hotel Reviews