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This was a great Royal Caribbean cruise out of Miami to the ABC islands and Labadee. Royal Caribbean staff were friendly and helpful. We enjoyed our fixed dining and had great vegan food. They brought us the menu the night before and we ordered what we wanted from there. We often ordered 1 or 2 vegan items and then supplemented the rest of our meal from the regular menu. We especially liked the vegan soup and the fresh rolls. We enjoyed all the food we had in the dining room, including breakfasts with buffet option, lunch with buffet option, and dinner in the dining room (no buffet option unless you specifically go to the buffet. The dining room was open for lunch on the first day and that was great too. We had an aft balcony 9692. It was listed as the lowest category 6D obstructed balcony, but we found it wonderful and not obstructed. It was a large balcony with 2 full recliners, 2 chairs that also reclined, and a small round table. It had white bars across it which allowed for breezes rather than being blocked with plexiglass or similar. I guess the ship considers the frame of the ship as the obstruction. At Labadee we got off early and practiced snorkeling at Nellie’s. There were some fish near the rocks on either side, and the closer we got to the swim boundary in those corners, the better. We walked there and back. At Bonaire, we rented a golf cart and went to 1000 steps. We found the surf and winds a bit challenging for snorkeling, but the steps were no problem (more like 70 steps). Then we made our way to Te Amo Beach near the airport. We found this beach perfect for our needs. We went out in from of the Kite City food truck and were on the outside of the reef, which had good fish and was calm enough. At Aruba we took a cab to signature park opposite the butterfly sanctuary and near the Palm Beach Police Visibility Team. Just in front of the police building there is a rocky area and we saw some nice fish. This was on a windy day where people in other locations had problems. This was a great spot for that kind of day. We walked over to the Riu next store and there was a bus stop in front of it to return. At Curacao we took an excursion to Blue Bay Beach resort and the snorkeling and view of coral was wonderful. Better on the left side and you can swim out and follow the drop-off but still be close to the shore there. Best snorkeling for us. One negative was that there were a lot of kids on the cruise, 600 we heard, and so there were more crying kids in places than we had anticipated. Royal Caribbean has been aiming at families but we were surprised about the number when school was still in session. Another was the jogging track. People were spread out across the track which partially blocked it at times. 9 times around was a mile, so it was a small track.

Great vegan food, outstanding 9692 aft balcony, and ABC snorkeling report

Explorer of the Seas Cruise Review by maxcat910

1 person found this helpful
Trip Details
This was a great Royal Caribbean cruise out of Miami to the ABC islands and Labadee. Royal Caribbean staff were friendly and helpful. We enjoyed our fixed dining and had great vegan food. They brought us the menu the night before and we ordered what we wanted from there. We often ordered 1 or 2 vegan items and then supplemented the rest of our meal from the regular menu. We especially liked the vegan soup and the fresh rolls. We enjoyed all the food we had in the dining room, including breakfasts with buffet option, lunch with buffet option, and dinner in the dining room (no buffet option unless you specifically go to the buffet. The dining room was open for lunch on the first day and that was great too. We had an aft balcony 9692. It was listed as the lowest category 6D obstructed balcony, but we found it wonderful and not obstructed. It was a large balcony with 2 full recliners, 2 chairs that also reclined, and a small round table. It had white bars across it which allowed for breezes rather than being blocked with plexiglass or similar. I guess the ship considers the frame of the ship as the obstruction.

At Labadee we got off early and practiced snorkeling at Nellie’s. There were some fish near the rocks on either side, and the closer we got to the swim boundary in those corners, the better. We walked there and back.

At Bonaire, we rented a golf cart and went to 1000 steps. We found the surf and winds a bit challenging for snorkeling, but the steps were no problem (more like 70 steps). Then we made our way to Te Amo Beach near the airport. We found this beach perfect for our needs. We went out in from of the Kite City food truck and were on the outside of the reef, which had good fish and was calm enough.

At Aruba we took a cab to signature park opposite the butterfly sanctuary and near the Palm Beach Police Visibility Team. Just in front of the police building there is a rocky area and we saw some nice fish. This was on a windy day where people in other locations had problems. This was a great spot for that kind of day. We walked over to the Riu next store and there was a bus stop in front of it to return.

At Curacao we took an excursion to Blue Bay Beach resort and the snorkeling and view of coral was wonderful. Better on the left side and you can swim out and follow the drop-off but still be close to the shore there. Best snorkeling for us.

One negative was that there were a lot of kids on the cruise, 600 we heard, and so there were more crying kids in places than we had anticipated. Royal Caribbean has been aiming at families but we were surprised about the number when school was still in session. Another was the jogging track. People were spread out across the track which partially blocked it at times. 9 times around was a mile, so it was a small track.
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Cabin Review

Cabin
Aft balcony. It was listed as the lowest category 6D obstructed balcony, but we found it wonderful and not obstructed. It was a large balcony with 2 full recliners, 2 chairs that also reclined, and a small round table. It had white bars across it which allowed for breezes rather than being blocked with plexiglass or similar. I guess the ship considers the frame of the ship as the obstruction.
  Explorer of the Seas Deck Plans

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Aruba
    At Aruba we took a cab to signature park opposite the butterfly sanctuary and near the Palm Beach Police Visibility Team. Just in front of the police building there is a rocky area and we saw some nice fish. This was on a windy day where people in other locations had problems. This was a great spot for that kind of day. We walked over to the Riu next store and there was a bus stop in front of it to return.
    View All 1,710 Aruba Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Aruba Cruise Port Review
  • Bonaire
    At Bonaire, we rented a golf cart and went to 1000 steps. We found the surf and winds a bit challenging for snorkeling, but the steps were no problem (more like 70 steps). Then we made our way to Te Amo Beach near the airport. We found this beach perfect for our needs. We went out in from of the Kite City food truck and were on the outside of the reef, which had good fish and was calm enough.
    View All 635 Bonaire Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Bonaire Cruise Port Review
  • Beach
    we took an excursion to Blue Bay Beach resort and the snorkeling and view of coral was wonderful. Better on the left side and you can swim out and follow the drop-off but still be close to the shore there. Best snorkeling for us.
    View All 106 Beach Reviews
  • Labadee
    At Labadee we got off early and practiced snorkeling at Nellie’s. There were some fish near the rocks on either side, and the closer we got to the swim boundary in those corners, the better. We walked there and back.
    View All 1,827 Labadee Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Labadee Cruise Port Review