Cruise with Lack of Activities: Explorer of the Seas Cruise Review by sak1975

Explorer of the Seas 4
Member Since 2008
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Cruise with Lack of Activities

Sail Date: December 2011
Destination: Bahamas
Embarkation: Other
We took the Explorer of the Seas from Cape Liberty, Bayonne, NJ for the main reason of not having to fly during the Christmas season. Last year we took the Adventure of the Seas from San Juan, PR, and barely got out of Newark Liberty International due to the blizzard of December 26, 2010.

When booking this cruise, we knew that we'd be hitting ports we had been to (Nassau and Port Canaveral), but did it just to get away. However, flags started to go up before embarking. We knew that we'd be in port at Port Canaveral, Fl and arriving late morning or early afternoon. In looking at shore excursions for this port, it was observed that only one "excursion" was planned and that was a beach shuttle to Cocoa Beach. The other standard choices were not available such as NASA, Disney World, and Universal Studios. We began wondering what would be done this whole day in port as shops would be closed on-board while in port. Aside from very good weather, it was a very uneventful and rather More boring Christmas Day.

Nassau, Bahamas was not that much different. We left Port Canaveral late (around 22:30) and arrived Nassau around midday. This was Boxing Day and a national holiday for the Bahamas. Outside of a few shops open and the option to visit The Atlantis resort, there was very little to do here as well. That night we left around 23:30 for Royal Caribbean's private island, Cocoa Key.We arrived at Cocoa Key around 8 AM the next day. For a private island, there was a lot of space to wander through. If you kept walking the beach, you were guaranteed to find a spot of beach to call your own. The BBQ on the beach was ok. The downfalls were the serving line and places to sit. I have to say that this was the ultimate highlight of the trip.

The last two days of the cruise were spent at sea. It was these two days that became really boring aboard ship. Due to a strange weather system that we met, half of night and into the first half of the day, the ship was rolling up and down and side to side. This unforeseen weather forced the cancellations of many scheduled activities for the day leaving many to fend for themselves. One would think that an alternate set of activities would be ready for days such as these. This kind of weather is typical for cruises out of ports in the North East. By the end of the day, just about everyone was tired and bored from having relatively nothing to do that day, including the school age kids on board.

The following day, our last day, was more or less the same as the day before but without the movement of the ship. Considering that it was a "normal" day at sea, there again was very little to speak of in terms of presentations, lectures, seminars, etc. On previous cruises, I've made good use of a highlighter trying to decide what I wanted to take part in. This cruise did not see one bit of yellow ink on the daily cruise Compass.

In conclusion, usually seven day cruises go by really fast. This time I was happy to finally be home. Less

Published 01/13/12

Cabin review: E27620 Deluxe Oceanview Stateroom with Balcony

Our cabin was located mid-ship aft. The cabin was literally 20 steps from the staircase and aft elevators. The room was very clean and presentable. In fact, we had a new flat panel Samsung TV in the cabin compared to the other cabins which still had old tube-style TVs. Considering the age of the ship the room was in decent shape and the beds were very comfortable. Some of the furniture with the constant use was showing wear and hopefully at some point will be refreshed and/or fixed. Being towards the rear of the ship made it easy for getting to the food and beverage areas on the ship. However, to get to the theatre up forward required walking half the ship.

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Port and Shore Excursions

Nassau was another day with a port of call on vacation for the day. It was Boxing Day like celebrated in Britain and Canada. Shopping was minimal leaving only a few decent excursions like The Atlantis. This night we all had to be on board by 22:30 so we could set sail for the private island the next day.
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Port Canaveral usually has a large number of excursions available considering its proximity to the world class amusements in the area. However, due to the fact that we docked late and the only excursion available was to Ron Jon Surf and Cocoa Beach, I had to reduce my rating of the port. The plan was to visit Disney World for the day. But...because of the late arrival in port and the fact that it was Christmas Day, the excursion was cancelled. Any shopping areas that were in the area were also closed this day. The excitement of the port was to walk off the ship and see the Disney Cruise Line terminal which was around the corner from Royal Caribbean's terminal at which we were docked.

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