Holidays at Sea: Explorer of the Seas Cruise Review by Kruise Kapers

Explorer of the Seas 4
Kruise Kapers
Member Since 2008
10 Forum Posts

Overall Member Rating

Holidays at Sea

Sail Date: December 2011
Destination: Bahamas
Embarkation: Other
We nicknamed our cruise the "Cruise to Nowhere" given the dates and times we visited each Port (with the exception of Coco Cay, the private island of RCL). We spent most of our time on the ship and despite the cruise being sold out, we felt uncrowded most of the time. Embarkation was a breeze. We unloaded our bags, parked the car, handled all our paperwork and were lunching in Windjammer in less than 1 hour. There were many stories that the Bayonne Port gets gridlock on the roads and is tough to navigate. We experienced none of this. I hope our future cruises have it this good.

The amenities on the ship were great. We especially enjoyed the spaciousness of the Promenade. So much roomier than other ships and it made it easy to navigate from our Forward cabin to the dining rooms. The gym is sufficient though a little tired. There are signs to limit treadmill use to 20 minutes (they should be 30), but no one seemed to adhere to the limit, especially when people were More waiting. We played ping pong and shuffleboard and there was plenty of equipment. We kept forgetting to play mini golf, but the course looked great. The ice rink is a cool feature, but too small. We really enjoyed the ice show. Amazing how they get the speed up to make those jumps!

The food was excellent. I had not expected it to be so good. The steak on the menu was always good. The salmon a little less so. The Windjammer service was great too. The omelets took time and the lines were always long, but the chefs did a great job to move the lines along. We had the best table for our group of 11 in the Main Dining room. Table 539 just above the large staircase in the middle. It was perfect for our group and we had little people traffic to interrupt dinner. Our waiter (Everton) was excellent and Jose his assistant always remembered the drinks and coffee type. We even tried to find them at lunch and breakfast just because they provided top of the line service.

We spent a lot of time in the Solarium versus the main pool deck. It was much quieter and actually easier to get deck chairs together. The whirlpool was good, but we did not spend anytime in the pools. It looked refreshing.

The onboard entertainment was appreciated and enjoyed by the entire group. The shows were fun, the comedians appropriate (for the most part...we were the early dinner seating show and I understand that they were cleaner then). The performers are very talented and did great. Jimmy the cruise director and his staff do a great job. We enjoyed Bingo, dancing in the Promenade and Trivia. We spent most nights listening to Roxy in the Schooner Bar. His very talented and has a great show. He played for 3-4 hours each night.

The kids (from 12-16) did not utilize much of the kids program. A bit too structured and restrictive. They however had a blast on the ship.

Overall, the vacation was fantastic. The only things I'd change is to have more time in either Nassau or Port Canaveral and to have better weather for 2 of the sea days. Unfortunately I cannot change December weather. We'll travel from Cape Liberty again, but only in milder weather.

Coco Cay port review is below since I could not locate it in the Port listing:
Coco Cay was far and away one of the best days of the cruise. We awoke early and had breakfast in the Windjammer then headed over to the Island around 9AM. We found beach chairs with ease (there are so many and if you want a quieter spot, walk around the island a bit). We had a quieter spot on Beach 3. We were close to a bar, both buffets and the rentals for kayaks and floats. Most time was spent lounging, but the kids played volleyball and swam, the parents tanned and read books. At one point, my son and I rented a kayak. In about 30 minutes, we traveled to the nearby island and back. Our friends took a leisurely paddle after us. The hour rental was plenty of time and they did not watch the clock so we probably could have stayed out longer. For $10, the younger ones rented floats and also did a little snorkeling. The weather was great and overall, this was one of the best days of the cruise. Less

Published 01/04/12

Cabin review: FO7200 Family Oceanview Stateroom

Cabin 7200 is a forward facing Family Oceanview cabin. The area is very quiet and little foot traffic exists outside your room since there are only 4 cabins at the end of the hallway. The bed area for the kids was great. Two bunk beds with a curtain to provide darkness so they could sleep late if desired. The bed was comfortable and the cabin spacious. We had a sofa as well as two small chairs and ottomans. The two windows are large and overlook the heli-pad on the ship. Curtains must be closed at night if the lights are on in order to avoid glare up to the bridge. The location is great for access to the theater, Cafe Promenade, gym and Solarium. A little further walk to get to the restaurants and Windjammer. Two negatives - the location at the front of the ship can be rocky if the seas are rough. The furniture had some stains on it. Otherwise, the cabin was great, the bed very comfortable and the views out of the front windows were as clear as from the bridge.

Read All Family Oceanview Stateroom (FO) Reviews >>

Port and Shore Excursions

The Port location is great for access to many places on the Island. Again, unfortunately due to the late arrival in port (around 1PM), we had limited options as we did not wish to race to an excursion or be out in the evening. We strolled to the Hilton for some beach time. I would not pay to sit on this beach as it overlooks to Harbor, but since we were able to walk right through the hotel and use the chairs, it was fine and better than the public beach just down the block. they have a pool and looked to have a BBQ lunch and bar. We chose to just relax. We would have liked to arrive earlier in the day to enjoy Atlantis, but since the waterpark closed at 4PM, it was not worth the time or money to venture that direction. There are some shops in the Port building and the Straw Market. We did not do any shopping, but plenty of opportunities for gifts and t-shirts.
Read 5024 Nassau Reviews

Given that we arrived in Port Canaveral at 2PM on Christmas Day, this Port to us was a dud. Nothing was open and we chose to stay on the ship. We knew this when we booked our cruise so overall it was not a disappointment, but it would have been better to just skip it and get to Nassau for a full day.

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Kruise Kapers
Member Since 2008
10 Forum Posts
Enrichment Activities
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