The Ocean Explorer is a small ship that has the potential to offer a wonderful vacation, but Vantage Travel is hopeless. We sailed out of Nassau Bahamas for the Atlantic Seaboard trip - ending in Boston. Vantage required us to get a PCR test within 48 hours of boarding that cost us $350 (even though the Bahamas and every other cruise line would take the much cheaper antigen test results) and then we found out that others on the ship didn't bring negative PCR test results and they didn't even collect results from people before boarding, so what was the point? The ship was nice, but no operational pool (design flaw), no sauna (no spa director), no tv (they didn't renew their satellite contract), virtually no internet (never could get a signal), no use of kayaks as promised in itinerary (no equipment manager), no choice in eating (7 pm or go hungry), no entertainment (truly bad singer), no interesting shore excursions (just lame bus tours) except for a few ports. The promised itinerary didn't match in some ways what happened and the only way to find out what was happening the next day was to go to their nightly meeting like school children. The Vantage staff were unhelpful - they either couldn't or wouldn't find out things; many times passengers were more helpful than staff. Even though this is a relatively new itinerary, the lack of knowledge and competence in the ports was breathtaking. There were elderly passengers with mobility issues, but the chaotic embarkation included a mess at the airport in getting transportation then being dropped off at a crowded sidewalk with people forced to walk over 1/2 mile to the ship. At disembarkation, people needed to go down a steep staircase, which led to one gentleman who used a walker falling and seriously injuring his face. This despite the fact they had a ramp to offload luggage that could have been utilized for those with walkers or mobility issues. We spent more time on this trip standing in lines than we ever have on bigger ships and spent twice to three times as much money. I wrote to 3 different people at Vantage upon return and haven't heard so much as a "sorry" or "too bad for you" from anyone there. I should also say that the Ocean Explorer ship staff, from the captain down to the cabin steward are wonderful. Best dining staff we've ever experienced on all other cruises.
Nice cabin, plenty of storage, comfortable bed, good balcony. No complaints except for no tv except for movies so despite the fact we were mostly in US ports, could not get news. Also, no room service was available.