First time on Explora Journeys and this voyage was at about 50% occupancy with 450 passengers and 500 crew.
Embarkation: Arrival times for check in were a bit contradictory between boarding paperwork and app. We checked out of the Intercontinental at 1030 and caught an Uber over to terminal C for embarkation. We were the only vehicle arriving, at that moment, so porters took our luggage quickly and we were directed into the terminal. We went through security and then headed upstairs. At this point we were wondering about check-in as we passed through the normal terminal check-in area and went directly upstairs. Upstairs, it was divided into two sections with a waiting area at the top of the stairs and a small check in area behind. We were shown to some seats and asked to wait until check-in started. Water and coffee were available. It was only about 10-15 mins until they started check-in first for those in the Residences. After another 5 mins the general line started moving for everyone else. Being the first time embarking in Miami, there were a couple issues with check-in pertaining to technology and new staff, but it still went quickly. After receiving our cards, we headed onboard. Champagne was handed out upon boarding, and continued to flow as we sat in the Café on deck 5 chatting with a couple we met in the terminal until the suites were ready. It was only about 15 mins or so and staff came around notifying us that the suites were ready. It’s the small touches with premium travel that count, as there were no loud announcements about the suites but rather a friendly staff member coming around.
Suite: We had an Ocean Terrace Suite on deck 7. It was very similar in size to a club balcony on NCL or mini suite on Princess but not as wide as the MSC yacht club balcony suite. It was very well appointed and even had a heated bathroom floor. The heated floor not only keep your feet warm, but it also made drying your wet swimsuits fast. Storage was good for us on this 7-day cruise. Might be a little lacking for long cruises though. Only complaint about the décor was there were too many nick nacks on the shelves.