We needed a break after a very busy year and decided to try a cruise for the first time. Not being sure what to expect, and not being sure if we would enjoy it, we were very pleasantly surprised that there were plenty of places to escape the crowds on the ship, the Pacific Explorer. We are both 60 ish and travelled as a couple without any children. During the cruise (8 nights) we did not feel overrun by kids, or forced into small talk with other guests, there were no forced activities, and the food was great. The ship was in good condition, with attention paid to keeping everything clean and tidy. We loved the Blue Room nightclub for its moody decor and live music, and also the Bonded Store bar for its stylish elegance and quite space away from the busier parts of the ship. Our cabin (oceanview) was compact but light and airy, and made very good use of space for storage. We had plenty of hot water for showers and the bed was quite comfortable. I had read reviews that the beds were uncomfortable but our room 8041 had a good mattress and pillows. Our cabin stewards Anup and Gab kept everything spic and span and were always there with a cheery greeting. The staff throughout the whole ship were friendly and helpful and added to the overall enjoyment. We found the included food at Dragon Lady and the Waterfont was of a very good standard, and was equal to or better than the other paid restaurants. We did not eat at The Pantry, it was just too noisy and crowded for us. The Taste of Salt degustation (paid for) was exceptional, and the serving staff made that experience even more amazing. We also did the paid for dinner with the Love Riot show, but found that meal to be ok but not great. The Dragon Lady high tea was also a highlight.The live shows were all very good with a wide variety of styles so there was plenty to suit varying tastes. Our only disappointment was the very small pools in the adult only areas, and the difficulty in getting a lounge to relax near the pools. The attendants did not seem to keep an eye on those 'reserved' lounges where no-one came near them for hours. But that seems to be a common problem! We will definitely do more cruises in future now that we have gotten over our initial concerns about crowds, noise, being overrun by kids, and standard of food. I only hope future cruises can match the experience we had on Explorer.