5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
Hello, we enjoyed our cruise on Anthem of the Seas. It was a nice escape from a relatively dreary winter where I am from. I am from the mid-west. I work as a tech at a auto-body shop. We drove to new York, but didn’t go into the city ... Read More
Hello, we enjoyed our cruise on Anthem of the Seas. It was a nice escape from a relatively dreary winter where I am from. I am from the mid-west. I work as a tech at a auto-body shop. We drove to new York, but didn’t go into the city before our cruise. We chose Anthem because it is so big and beautiful. It also has lots of options for food and shows and stuff. We don’t have a lot of money so we got a cabin with no windows, which was ok because we spend lots of time at the bar and near the pool anyway. The TV screen that looks like a window is pretty cool. When we got to the ship it was a site to see. We have not been on a cruise before, and it was really big. I was jelous of those people that I could see on their balcony. The ship sailed out of new York and seemed to be on the ocean forever. We went to some beautiful places on our cruise, but we mostly stayed on board to go to the buffet and pool when no one else was around. We got off the ship at Laberee, but not in Puerto Rico. We liked the food. There was lots of it. We liked the shows. The cost of drinks at the bars was a surprise. I thought there would be more included. Because the ship spent a lot of time on the ocean we spent time and money in the casino. We didn’t bring our kids so we don’t know how the kids programs are. There weren’t that many kids on our ship, many kids would be in school. Our ship came back to New York early. We got a refund back for some amount, and a discount that I don’t think we’ll ever be able to use. I’m glad we went on this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2015
I was part of a select group of people who had an opportunity to take a 2 day cruise to nowhere to preview the ship. I've never taken a cruise before but was very impressed with the experience. Here's my thoughts: 1) The ship: ... Read More
I was part of a select group of people who had an opportunity to take a 2 day cruise to nowhere to preview the ship. I've never taken a cruise before but was very impressed with the experience. Here's my thoughts: 1) The ship: it was beautifully decorated and easy to understand the layout. It's huge, so there's a lot of walking. The water was pretty choppy so we could feel a little movement below us. There was a few times we turned green. 2) Food: there's a lot of specialty restaurants and a huge buffet called the Windjammer. The windjammer was great for breakfast and offered a great variety so everyone could find something the liked. 3) Shows: we saw We Will Rock you and although the plot is cheesy, the singing was fantastic. We're talking better than Broadway. Very talented cast. We also saw Spectra's Cabaret which had great singers too. The show was interesting... Definitely more edgy and an acquired taste. 4) Activities: everything was awesome! I recommend doing the North Star sightseeing bubble while near a port. We did it in the middle of the ocean and so we just looked at clouds. Also, the bumper cars were much rougher than I expected. Plenty for kids to do though, including a room for teenagers to watch TV and lots of X-boxes, ping pong tables, roller skating, etc. 5) Rooms: the room was nice and pretty spacious as far as cruises go, I'm told. The bathroom and shower were pretty tight/claustrophobic. Plenty of storage though and great closets. We had a deck which was great too. We had a king size bed and there was also a couch which you could sleep on if necessary. 6) The Staff: Amazing. They could not have been any nicer! Every time I turned around someone asked if they could help me. They were beyond attentive! 7) Getting There: I took a car service (Carmel) to get to Port Liberty in Bayonne, NJ from Manhattan/NYC. The price was $49 + tolls and tip. Be warned: Tolls were $18! As far as timing, I got there with no traffic in 50 minutes. Once I arrived, the boarding process was very quick. Have your 'Set Sail' ready and it will go even faster. Overall, we had an awesome time and I would recommend this ship! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2015
At first, I was weary about embarkation. When we first walked through the door there was a large jumble of people in (somewhat) lines in front of Royal Caribbean representatives holding ipads for check-in. After getting in line, it ... Read More
At first, I was weary about embarkation. When we first walked through the door there was a large jumble of people in (somewhat) lines in front of Royal Caribbean representatives holding ipads for check-in. After getting in line, it exceeded my expectation and went very quickly, we gave the reps our set sail pass, they asked a few simple questions, snapped our pic and sent us on our way to Security. This was also a breeze! The lines were sorted out, some for general boarding and others for suites and high tier Crown and Anchor members. After a short walk through the metal detector we were on our way up the escalator onto the gangway, where we were greeted with a red carpet walk way and beautiful floral arrangements, when we boarded the ship we entered directly into the Royal Esplanade on Deck 5, which is of course where everyone was gathered and was a little hectic at first, but after everyone was settled in you would’ve never known how many people were on the ship. When leaving port in Cape Liberty, Bayonne, NJ, we had the best view of New York City. The first place we ate was Café two70, which had hot/cold sandwiches, salads, soup and fresh carved meat, all in different stations where you would pick out what you wanted, and get it in seconds. I had the BLTA (Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato and Avocado) Salad which was delicious and the 4 cheese melt, again, delicious! Our first dinner we had was at ‘Devinly Decadent’ which is a low calorie, heath conscious complimentary restaurant which was originally a specialty restaurant on board and was later converted to complimentary. The starters and desert was self-serve buffet style, while the menu items were separated out by 500 and 700 calorie options. I had the lemon glazed prawns and filet mignon, which was served with steamed carrots, broccoli, asparagus and a portion of mashed potatoes. Everyone at the table had the filet mignon and all had the same reaction “WOW!” It was incredible! It was cooked to perfection and full of flavor. You would never guess this was only 500 calories! At desert they had small portions of carrot and pumpkin cake, as well as flourless cakes and dark chocolate brownies. I particularly loved the pumpkin cake. We ate at Windjammers café for breakfast which had all kinds of great breakfast options including fresh fruit, fresh baked pastries and bread, hot and cold cereal, pancakes, waffles, meats, egg and omelet stations and so much more all in buffet style. Lunch we had at Johnny Rockets, which was a great little burger place, but it had a long wait time. And finally, our last dinner, we had at Wonderland. One of the specialty restaurants on board which was unbelievable! First off, the décor was incredible; it was based from Alice in Wonderland so it had a very funky and fun element to it. There were mismatched chairs at each table with formal table settings that were oddly shaped or colored to go along with the ‘wonderland’ theme. The menu was Magical! It started out as blank white paper in a large gaudy frame, they provide you with a paint brush and a “magic potion” to dip it in, and you pant away to find your menu appear! As your menu dries, the paper turns blank again. We gave the waiter free range because we just had no idea where to start. After we counted I believe he provided us with a total of 17 dishes! Almost all were placed in the center of the table and we picked away at it family style. My favorite dish was the Short Rib, which was busy cooking 36 hours before we arrived for dinner; it fell right off the bone and melted in your mouth. All the dishes had an imaginative element, such as the eggs were served with a bowl of smoke over them so they seemed to catch fire when you removed it. The appetizers were served in curved spoons or wire whisk. The halibut cooked in a clear bag which had to be cut open to reveal a powerful aroma of rosemary and the veggies served in a rye bread and truffle oil combo that looked like a bed of dirt. All around fun experience! Royal Caribbean is big on activities, so needless to say, on our 2 night cruise we didn’t get to see them all! The ones we did get to experience were great! I was able to watch as some of our party experience the Ripcord by iFly indoor skydiving which looked like a blast. I chose not to partake in the North Star due to long wait in line, we chose to check out the Seaplex instead, but the North Star sure did look cool when we saw it in action! The Seaplex is a convertible venue that could be for bumper cards, roller skating, ping-pong tournaments, sports and a number of other things. On the top level of the Seaplex is an Xbox live gaming room and ping pong tables, on the bottom is the arena and arcade. Perfect place for Tweens and Teens! On the last night we saw “We Will Rock You” a Broadway style show exclusive to Royal Caribbean which was entertaining and funny! Great acting and singing voices showed they did a great job with auditioning the cast. The special effects and well-made props made you feel immersed in the show. Afterwards, we experienced some of the night life the “Music Hall,” a two story night club, bar, and entertainment area. Great venue, live music and DJ were both crowd pleasers! Top deck had an indoor pool and outdoor pool, a few hot tubs and kids area, all of which looked like a blast, the kids pool also had a “lazy river” which was just a small circular pool that the water went around in but looked great for kids. I was able to experience the adults only solarium, which had a relaxing atmosphere, and gorgeous 3 level pool. There were 4 hot tubs in the solarium, I was able to relax in one while looking out the forward of the ship while the sun was setting, absolutely best spot to relax. The ship’s gym was state of the art, on the very top deck with a gorgeous view all around. Any exercise equipment you could imagine was up there, and they also were doing sign up for a variety of different classes. On deck 4 and 5 were a variety of shops and restaurants and also the “Bionic Bar” which was 2 robotic arms that you ordered your drink from an ipad, and then waiting in the queue for your drink to be made. There were large screens on either side of the bar that explained what it was doing and which guest the drink was being made for. When your drink was ready the screens would let you know, and then you can simply scan your bracelet and the drink slid down the bar for pick up. Although this novelty was very interesting it was a very long wait time before your drink was ready. Even with shorter lines. The children’s area was separated out into 5 different rooms for 5 different age groups including a nursery. Bright and colorful décor and low ceilings made it a bright and inviting place for children to be in. On the day of disembarkation we packed up and rolled out! We met up and started to funnel out, we walked through representatives who scanned out bracelets and thanked us by name for sailing, we walked the red carpet again back off the ship and down the escalators to customs, where we waited in line for merely 5-10 minutes for a quick and easy entrance back into the US. We exited the building to find representatives pointing guests to the direction of shuttles, taxis and parking. We were quickly put onto our correct shuttle bus and back to the airport in no time at all. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2015
This was my first cruise adventure of my lifetime. I was so impressed with the ship overall. It was impeccably clean and tidy from the moment we embarked to the time we disembarked. Dining was always first rate and the options were ... Read More
This was my first cruise adventure of my lifetime. I was so impressed with the ship overall. It was impeccably clean and tidy from the moment we embarked to the time we disembarked. Dining was always first rate and the options were limitless. Our cabin and cabin attendant was a highlight of our wonderful experience. The only thing I would change would be our room service experience. We did not receive the coffee we pre-ordered on the door hanger. In an effort not to be without coffee first thing in the morning, I just slipped out to the nearby dining room to get to go cups as needed. Bermuda was spectacular! Everything I had hoped and wished for was a reality on this beautiful little gem of an island. Looking forward to cruising with Royal Caribbean again in the future. I wish I had discovered cruise vacations years ago. I really is the ultimate package of everything you would want and desire during a vacation. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2015
It was confusing when we needed to park. When we walked to the terminal, it was more confusing with all the lines but once we were directed to stand in line we were ok but it was chaos. Leaving the ship to me was much more organized. We ... Read More
It was confusing when we needed to park. When we walked to the terminal, it was more confusing with all the lines but once we were directed to stand in line we were ok but it was chaos. Leaving the ship to me was much more organized. We decided to carry our suitcases with us since it would be quicker to depart the ship. We left at an earlier time other than the specific time designated by our luggage number. It went very smoothly and fast. You will be given a departure newsletter and it is very self explanatory. It was our first cruise on the Royal Caribbean, Liberty of the Seas. It is true that there is not much to do around King's Wharf. There is a museum and a mall which I was not impressed with. There was six of us in our party so we took a tour of Bermuda for three hours which we thoroughly enjoyed. Our tour guide gave us a lot of history on the trip. The only draw back is that you don't get enough time (30 minutes) to shop in the city of Hamilton. The store where we shopped was not impressive. I did buy a shirt but the shirts are made very long. I wanted something to buy that had the name " Bermuda" on it. The streets were outlined with hibiscus, roses, oleander which was very pretty. They had a lot of activities for the children. Do not rent a scooter because the streets are very narrow. It was advised by our ship not to rent a scooter because of the danger especially driving on the left side of the road. Everyone definitely drives fast! If we go again, I definitely will take a ferry over to St. George's. If you have two days in Bermuda, I definitely would try to see St. George also. I wish someone had told us to also see St. George. It has its own dock. We asked our tour guide about St. George and he said it was smaller than Bermuda; so, we decided not to go. On the whole, we had two beautiful days there. The balcony was excellent. The King size bed was comfortable. The food was excellent. Room Attendant was very accommodating and he opened the two sides of each privacy wall on the balcony so the six of us can sit together on the balcony and chat like we do at home when we get together. We had three rooms adjacent to each other. On the night that we left Bermuda, a storm was surrounding us but we just received the winds from it. The last two nights the water was very choppy but as the Captain announced at least we had two beautiful days in Bermuda. At last, we arrived calmly and safely to Cape Liberty, Bayonne, NJ. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2015
This review is long overdue but I thought it was worth posting anyway, in case anyone is looking for a "June" point of view. We traveled mid June, and the weather was perfect. This was our very first cruise. We've been ... Read More
This review is long overdue but I thought it was worth posting anyway, in case anyone is looking for a "June" point of view. We traveled mid June, and the weather was perfect. This was our very first cruise. We've been to many nice tropical island resorts but I did not know what to expect being on a ship. I get motion sickness so I was definitely very worried about that. That being said I wonder if being first-time cruisers on a Celebrity ship, perhaps we were not a bit spoiled for trying other cruise lines. The experience definitely exceeded my hopes. I now understand how people can be so loyal to a cruise line, particularly Celebrity. The embarkation process was a breeze. We arrived at the port on the later side, about 1:30 in the afternoon. There was practically no one else in the port waiting to go in so we had no wait at all. We were quickly checked in and before we knew it we were on board. Immediately stopped in the martini bar grab some drinks and proceeded on to explore the ship. Since it was close to the time for the Muster drill we didn't get very far. But after that we proceeded to our rooms which were ready. Our biggest disappointment by far was definitely the cabin size. (2029 & 2033) We got 2 Oceanview State rooms- 1 for my DH, myself and our 2 children and one for my parents and my 2 brothers. My brothers were a last-minute add-on to the trip- had I known they were coming I would've booked them a larger room. This room was shockingly small. It had the two bunks that came out from the ceiling which were okay for my 9 and 11-year-old but not okay for my two adult brothers. It was very small and I felt bad for my parents and my brothers. It was okay for us and the children but I don't know if I would ever book that room again. It is entirely too tight for 4 people. Thankfully we are all a scrappy bunch with very good dispositions. After the initial shock of it, we all laughed and made lots of jokes about it. We quickly got over it and decided to not spend much time in the room anyway. It worked out fine but again I must reiterate that those state rooms with the 2 bunkbeds are entirely too small for four people and all their stuff. Also our bathroom was really shabby. Not only was it's very small but it was very worn down and somewhat Rusty in the shower area especially. The closet and storage area however was very sufficient. The rest of the ship was very well-kept. We constantly saw staff cleaning and vacuuming and picking things up and generally keeping the ship in tiptop shape. We upgraded to premium drinking package which was a good thing for my husband and my brothers. I could have done without, but no matter it worked out perfectly. The crew was very friendly and very accommodating. We did buffet for breakfast and lunch and dined every evening in the MDR. I thought the food there was exceptional. They were extremely accommodating to my children and allowed everyone to order anything they wanted off of any menu I don't understand why everyone wouldn't dine in the main dining room every night It was a very pleasant experience We didn't make reservations ahead of time but still had no problem walking up and waiting never more than 10 minutes We also did the Normandie one night which was very good, but honestly was not that much better than the main dining room in my opinion. The dining selections were just a little more special and they offered French style service which is over-the-top nice. This staff and crew overall was very friendly and nice but no one learned our names and no staff or crew were particularly friendly to the point of being engaging which is fine with me. I don't need that type of bond between myself and the crew. Only saw the cruise director once at a show and maybe the muster. But everyone was very competent and did their jobs very well. The Thalsso therapy area was my favorite. It was so nice to have that covered area since it was rainy one day at sea. The warm bubbly pool was amazing. And the snacks there in the spa area are out of this world, Beautifully crafted and very tasty. Entertainment on the ship was just fine, but nothing spectacular. It seemed you had to get to every show an hour early to get a seat. I just didn't think it was worth giving up that time for that quality of show. Funniest thing was dancing with the stripes- don't miss that. I also thought there would be announcements about shows and activities going on but there were none. If you did not read your activity letter every morning you would have no idea that there was anything going on anywhere. Most activities that they did have were entirely too short. The biggest point of contention during the cruise was the pool area. It was nearly impossible to get a seat. Even when I did go early to reserve two seats a couple of older ladies had no problem just taking them away from us. No idea where my towels or water went. They were completely unapologetic about it. The adult pool was always crowded so sometimes adults would go into the kids pool. A couple of elderly people had the audacity to scold my children because they were playing and splashing - In the kids pool!!!!! Overall The most unpleasant part of the trip was in encountering so many unhappy people which I don't understand. We are on vacation- how can you be so disgruntled all the time? They would complain about everything from having to wait for hamburger to accusing you of trying to cut in line to pay for some crappy cruise sale crap. We mostly did the buffet for breakfast every day but one and for lunch. I found the food to be very high-quality and just had so much to offer. One day we did breakfast in the main dining room but didn't find it worth the time it took while we were waiting for them to prepare our food it was just as good at the buffet Only thing is that Morning time was tricky as all the tables were usually taken and we had to go on a serious hunt to seat eight people even when we broke off into 2 or 3 groups. The spa was nice but very small- however the services were top notch. The extra classes you pay for such as yoga we're not really worth the price. The gym was just OK nothing state-of-the-art. It was good enough to use elliptical or treadmill if you needed to. Our first day in Bermuda we took a ferry to Hamilton and then the bus ride to the Crystal caves. It took longer than expected and then there was a wait at the caves. The caves were very cool. We then took a bus into town for some lunch before headed to horseshoe beach. Of course we got to the beach very late but still enjoyed a couple of hours there. The second day we took a bus straight to horseshoe beach so as to enjoy the entire day. It was amazing- we had a marvelous time and were able to do some very nice snorkeling without an extra cost. That beach is everything everyone says it is definitely worth spending the day there. There is a concession there with minimal selections but doable for one day. Best part is the car service you can pay for that will get you & your stuff from the top of the road right down to the beach at a minimal cost. They stop running it around five so you'll have to leave the beach before then if you want them to take you back to the top. On the third day we stayed in the dockyard we did dolphin quest for the kids which was lackluster at best. We also did wave runners later which was a lot more fun. Embarking and disembarking the ship was always fast and easy. My 9 & 11 year old did not care for the kids club activities. No one from the program ever came around to invite them so they did not feel enticed to check it out. They were happy to hang with us entertain each other. Lastly, my elderly father has limited mobility and this ship size was very manageable for him. We reserved a wheel chair for him but he really never needed it. Overall, we had a wonderful trip. The food and drinks were top notch and we never felt pressured to buy or spend more. I look forward to cruising with Celebrity again. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2015
This was my family's first cruise and we were very iffy about doing it. We heard good things about RC but we were still not sure if cruises were worth it. I must say that I was very impressed. The bathrooms on this ship were always ... Read More
This was my family's first cruise and we were very iffy about doing it. We heard good things about RC but we were still not sure if cruises were worth it. I must say that I was very impressed. The bathrooms on this ship were always spotless clean and easy to access no matter where you were. The workers were so sweet and had a wonderful personality and sense of humor. They really wanted you to enjoy your vacation and greeted you any time you walked by. The dining was probably my least favorite part about this cruise. The fancy dining room served very limited vegetarian options which got pretty annoying considering half of my family is vegetarian. The portions are also very small. Sometimes it took a while to eat dinner, but i guess its because you are getting an appetizer, main course, and dessert. The windjammer was pretty awesome because they had quite a variety of food although I wish there were a few more healthy options and perhaps a sub station. Sometimes you just wanted to grab something quick and eat it in your room or back at the pool deck and that was hard when a lot of the food required forks or knives. The main floor deck 5 could use another place to grab food when the windjammer is closed because the pizza shop and the other little coffee place got old really quick instead of ben and jerry's or that cupcake shop. I was impressed with all that was going on in terms of entertainment on the ship. The excursion we did in bermuda at a beach bonfire was disappointing though because they said there were smores which was actually just marshmallows, and they said there was a bonfire and dj, but put out the fire later at night when the dj started which meant we left after, and they also said unlimited rum swizzles which were not strong at all.. it just felt like we were being ripped off. I would rather save my money and not waste my time on that excursion. Some other random things- Their beds are so soft and comfy, i slept like a baby each night. The kids were far away and never bothered us which was awesome cause i swore the ship would be swarmed with kids. The night club catacombs was really fun for dancing. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2015
First cruise out of bayonne,and first one for DW and I.....LOVED leaving from BAYONNE so easy..Bermuda was extermely windy for 3 days so we stayed on the ship for 2 of the 3,,saw the crystal caves they were ok ( one and done)....We were ... Read More
First cruise out of bayonne,and first one for DW and I.....LOVED leaving from BAYONNE so easy..Bermuda was extermely windy for 3 days so we stayed on the ship for 2 of the 3,,saw the crystal caves they were ok ( one and done)....We were in aqua class,,BLU was great for dinner,,also ate at qsine (very good).. NORMANDY was our best meal of the week...spent alot of time in the casino and actually had some luck...Hit 2 jackpots on the penny machines for 1700 and 1600..they.also called my raffle ticket for a free cruise on the last day of the cruise...talk about a good week!!!!!!..overall loved the food and the 123 go promotion..We booked for next year already....hopefully history repeats itself...except for the wind..LOL Read Less
Sail Date: April 2015
I was getting nervous with all the negative reviews and well known SNAFUs of dining reservations on Quantum. But, I must say, we had a blast. First, to preface, we are first timers so we don't have cruises to compare the ship to, ... Read More
I was getting nervous with all the negative reviews and well known SNAFUs of dining reservations on Quantum. But, I must say, we had a blast. First, to preface, we are first timers so we don't have cruises to compare the ship to, but we know fine dining, good hotels and we know what a correct service experience should be. We also are a couple, no kids to entertain. We did not experience ANY rude staff or kids running around unsupervised. We had one odd service experience at The Grande restaurant which I attribute to poor training since the young woman was trying had but just didn't get it. The rest of our staff experience was great. Friendly, funny, helpful, prompt, courteous, no issues. The food was good, not great mostly. Dining room service can be rushed if you don't tell them you don't have show reservation, take their time. Bar staff is very good. iFly is an experience, once. Not something I would want lessons on doing but the instructor was friendly and also great with kids. NO ONE was manhandled, everything was done professionally. Our balcony cabin was very nice, plenty of storage, clean and comfortable. Again, the cabin attendant was very helpful and friendly. Shore excursions on Coco Cay probably aren't worth it. An hour + kayaking and then an hour or two left after that to snorkel was $72 per person. Fun but pricy and the two person kayaks are heavy monsters. Just rent snorkel gear on shore and go check out the fake sunken ship. Finally, the ship. After all the high tech goodies and very impressive shows are done, comfort and service are what makes a place worth hanging out in. Michael s, Boleros, Two70, the Schooner and others were well kept and friendly. The outdoor hangouts like the Northstar and pool areas are fun. The Northstar itself is a fun diversion. So we found that by keeping an open mind and by also going in person and changing reservations face-to-face with staff on Day 1 we got what we wanted and had a blast. Good bye Quantum, hello Anthem. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2015
This was our first cruise. We has an awesome time! Ate at each of the complimentary restaurants and food was great. Service was outstanding. Excursions well worth doing. The shows were top-notch and we never had trouble getting a ... Read More
This was our first cruise. We has an awesome time! Ate at each of the complimentary restaurants and food was great. Service was outstanding. Excursions well worth doing. The shows were top-notch and we never had trouble getting a aeat. Drinks were expensive so the package is worth the money. There were some technology issues and thE elevators could have worked better. All in all the minor issues they had were not enough to allow them to ruin our vacation! There Read Less
Sail Date: February 2015
Loved Two70 for relaxing. Never had a problem finding a deck lounge. Schooner Bar was a bust. Too much noise at he bar to listen to the piano player. Al Royal Theater shows were great. Booking for included restaurants was almost impossible ... Read More
Loved Two70 for relaxing. Never had a problem finding a deck lounge. Schooner Bar was a bust. Too much noise at he bar to listen to the piano player. Al Royal Theater shows were great. Booking for included restaurants was almost impossible and was a real downer as was the inconsistency of the food quality. The food quality ranged from the best we've had anywhere, to tough stuck to he bone ribs. As for dining reservations I eventually realized the only reservation available were 9:30 or later so I made late reservations for the restaurant I wanted and then went whenever we wanted to that restaurant. Never had a problem getting in although once the hostess fumbled around a bit. When we were seated after a couple minutes wait there was lots of room. Internet was always a major problem logging on. Sometimes it logged you on started the timer but did not allow any access. The staff were no help in what the problem was but did refund me for my lost time. The one day/24hr plan worked great once I managed to logon. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2014
I got the opportunity to take my first cruise on the EOS out of Bayonne (Cape Liberty) in March 2014. The weather at the port was chilly but that didn't stop the sun from reddening my face. I was jacked to get on the ship and take a ... Read More
I got the opportunity to take my first cruise on the EOS out of Bayonne (Cape Liberty) in March 2014. The weather at the port was chilly but that didn't stop the sun from reddening my face. I was jacked to get on the ship and take a vacation that had been 7 years in the making. I had never cruised so all I had to compare was reviews...on a side note....90% of the people in these reviews are just looking for something bad to write about and will never be happy about ANY cruise they take...with that being said.... The goods about the trip: -Staff was more than happy to work with you if you had a request. Kudos to our room steward, Julius from Guyana. That guy was always working and the highlight of his week was the NCAA Mens basketball Tourney. I love talking sports and even sharing some of my knowledge with him, when we spoke. These people don't get paid enough when you think about it....$12.00 a DAY for your wait staff and room staff? After winning in the casino and buying a watch (which I found about 1/2 the cost on Amazon.com when I got home) I slipped him an extra $50. -Portofino Restaurant: YES IT IS WORTH THE $25 extra. Mom had a seafood kabob that had prawns, lobster tail and salmon and I had the porterhouse that was at least 2 inches thick and cooked to perfection. -Buffet on Deck 11: I ate the first couple of nights in the Main Dining room and I ordered the "Manhattan Strip" the first night and it was luke warm and the shrimp cocktail was mushy and warm...so I decided to eat in the Buffet the rest of the trip and I got the same steak that was in the MDR, So, unless something changes with the main dining room food, I'll eat in the buffet every meal or at Portofino. The skating show: Standing ovation!!!!! Imagine and ice skating rink that is 1/6th the size of a hockey rink with olympic caliber skaters hitting all of the tricks....triple axle, etc. with a broadway themed show. I wished I could've gone again! Also, keep in mind, EOS is going into rehab, which it needs so maybe the Quantum of the Seas will be better. The bads: Couldn't tender to the ship's private Island, but that isn't their fault. I am all about safety The Main Dining room food The decor of the ship was outdated but so was the ship so I won't take off too much for that. I want to try other cruise lines now that I have something to compare it against. Booked an 8 nighter on Carnival and a 14 nighter on Holland America so we shall see! Overall, unless you are a very picky person, or there is bad weather, I don't think there's a way to have a bad time on a cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2013
We choose this cruise for our family with 4 generations going, aged from 2 years to 94. This was the 12th cruise for my husband and myself and most of our cruises are 2 weeks or longer. We choose Royal Caribbean, Explorer of the seas to ... Read More
We choose this cruise for our family with 4 generations going, aged from 2 years to 94. This was the 12th cruise for my husband and myself and most of our cruises are 2 weeks or longer. We choose Royal Caribbean, Explorer of the seas to Bermuda, because it left out of Bayonne which meant that my 94 year old mother did not have to fly. I though that this ship would appeal and satisfy everyone. They do offer, an ice rink, and very good ICE SHOW, inline skating, golf, wall climbing and a little play area for toddlers and kiddie pools. Sadly, most of us were very disappointed in Royal Caribbean. Although the Ice Show was excellent the rest of the entertainment was mediocre with the exception of one very good comedian. The buffet food was not very good nor was there a large variety of offerings. The dining room food was better, with Lamb Shank and Rack of Lamb being the best, the Lobster Tail was also good. I order fish several times and they were over cooked with the consistency of rubber.We had very good wait staff and all had excellent stateroom attendants. My husband and myself and two cousins had 2 of the smallest cabins we have ever had, an inside this time, I had to crawl into bed, not enough room to walk to my side of the bed. My mother had a disabled cabin, which was spacious, and my son, his wife and 2 year old were in a large ocean view which was very nice. My husband and I were awakened at 2:00am on our first night out by a constant banging on the wall. After 15 minutes of continuous banging I called guest services, they sent security, who said it was the ships motion. We said that is not sound from the ships motion we have been on many cruises. The banging did not stop and we complained again that day and after the next sleepless night. After 5 calls to guest services and 4 visits to them they finally called the engineers to take the panels off the walls and fix the problem. The engineers should have been called after our first sleepless night. We received no apology and no compensation. I wrote a note and mentioned how disappointed we were that we were not responded to immediately and not offered any compensation and BTW we are Diamond Level on R.C. We got a letter stating that we would receive a 15 percent discount on our next R. C. cruise. Do we really want to cruise with them again?   Read Less
Sail Date: August 2013
Overall we had a good trip. But beware of the deck chairs when upright the legs stick out kind of far -- My first night I hit and broke a toe, which affected my whole trip. Couldn't wear my shoes for formal night and had to hobbled ... Read More
Overall we had a good trip. But beware of the deck chairs when upright the legs stick out kind of far -- My first night I hit and broke a toe, which affected my whole trip. Couldn't wear my shoes for formal night and had to hobbled around all week. The medical staff were great - - however it felt like you were in a basement, which it basically was. Medical staff offered to arrange a doctors visit once we got in Bermuda, but I really didn't want to spend precious time in a doctors office. They performed x-rays and confirmed my toe was fractured. I thought I had requested a dining table for four, but we were sat at a large table, which my husband did not enjoy. So I requested it be changed for the rest of the trip. I was given the run around and it basically took a day to make the change, until Hugo made sure it happened for us. The dining room staff was terrific bending over backwards to please my very picky son. All my meals were excellent, an the service was terrific. I had booked the suggest exersion packet of three. We really enjoyed the glassbottom boat tour. Unfortunately our second exersion, the snorkel trip on a catameran didn't make it because of the wind and a bad storm, Our third exersion to Horseshoe Bay we opted out of when given the choice because we spoke to someone who went the day earlier and said that the wind had made sitting on the beach very unpleasant due to flying sand. So we went to Hamilton instead and had a great time. The highlight of our trip was our day pass at The Coca Reef Hotel which included a great lunch with excellent service. Do be sure to call ahead to make reservations. We spoke to a family that went to Elbow Beach next store and didn't have a very good experience. Our time on the ship was a really good time. However, the pools were a little crowded and it was difficult to find a chair. Seemed like people would get up early and put towels on the chairs to "save" them and then go off for long periods of time. Getting a chair was like winning the lottery - - which we did finally. :) The "talent" I experience was all pretty good. We really enjoyed the Martin Bar, and I enjoyed the casino. I spent the (non-refundabbl)$100 for the VIP pass for my nine year old son but after one visit he would not go back to the FUNFACTORY, he was pretty disappointed with the gameroom as well. Most of the machines were out of order and he actually ended up with $15 worth of game credits that he couldn't use because there weren't any games worth playing. However I did talk to other families and their kids were having a great time, and they rarely saw them. Would have been nice if my son enjoyed it a bit more so my husband and I could of had a romantic dinner. All-in-all we made a lot of great memories dispite the poor weather. I would cruise again with Celebrity. I'm sure a lot of the difficulties we had were due to being first timers.   Read Less
Sail Date: June 2013
With much trepidation, we booked a 7-night cruise from beautiful Bayonne, NJ to Bermuda on the beautiful Celebrity Summit (a phrase you'll hear repeatedly onboard- lol). We were hesitant because of the previous cruise troubles and my ... Read More
With much trepidation, we booked a 7-night cruise from beautiful Bayonne, NJ to Bermuda on the beautiful Celebrity Summit (a phrase you'll hear repeatedly onboard- lol). We were hesitant because of the previous cruise troubles and my fear that all the kids would be seasick and therefore ruin the trip. In our party are myself, my husband, father-in-law and five kids (ages 7,9, 11, 13, and 15). We booked two cabins, a Concierge cabin with balcony for the girls and a cabin directly across the hall for the boys. Embarkation Driving up the turnpike was nuts. A huge amount of traffic for a Sunday morning. It took us a little over two hours to get from Burlington County, NJ to the terminal. Upon arriving at the terminal, we were helped with our 11(!)pieces of luggage by the vulturesque porters. Since we had a Concierge room, we were allowed to bypass the huge line to get our documents checked. The rest of the procedure took about 15 minutes. As soon as we stepped onboard, we were given a squirt of hand sanitizer and a glass of champagne (adults) or fresh-squeezed oj (kids). It was after 1 pm, so our cabins were ready. Cabins Concierge cabin 9185 was very nice. For two people. Not four. Balcony made all the difference with an extra 25% space. Everything was very clean, regardless of what other reviewers have posted. Our cabin attendant, Shubert, was ALWAYS there to handle anything we needed. I really don't think that poor man got any sleep. Ever. I saw him in the hall attending to rooms all day, and at 1:30 am, 3:30 am, 5:30 am! (I had a nit of insomnia and sleeping on the pullout sofa (metal bar across the back) with the 7-year-old - not comfortable. The boys had a tight squeeze in 9187 across the hall. Their attendant, Edwin, was also very accommodating. The room had the two beds that pulled down from the wall and two twin beds made up as a queen. That wasn't going to work, as it was harder to get in and out of the bed on the bottom without smacking your head on the bunk above you. A quick call had the bed converted back to twins under the berths before we got back from lunch. Everyone said the beds were really comfortable. Beware the toilets are vacuums. Close the lid and then press button to flush. Arthritic thumbs got a work-out! Too hard for my 7-year-old. Food Main dining room, table 209, head waiter Asencio, 2nd waiter Alexander B. - both exceptional. Food - superb. There wasn't an item all week that was not cooked to perfection. My FIL found things a bit salty. Lobster tail a bit rubbery. The kids loved everything - especially the escargot. The French bread was just like fresh baguettes in France. We didn't' try any of the specialty restaurants because we didn't feel the need to. My 15-year-old son and 13-year-old daughter went with the teen club to Qsine for the second formal night. For an upcharge of $25 each. They were very impressed with the 9-course meal, ordering on iPad's and Rubik's cubes. They didn't like that it took more than 2 hours, though. We ate lunch at the buffet - which was GREAT! We stayed away from anything raw (signs right there saying food-borne illness comes from eating raw and undercooked food ), so we stayed away. Plenty of choices for everyone. Younger kids ate a lot of pizza. And ice cream - "Enjoy!" We did not buy a beverage package, instead getting $200 onboard credit which we used towards the gratuity bill. Glad we did that. We brought four bottles of wine onboard (you're allowed two per cabin. However, the confiscated my corkscrew when we boarded. Good thing two bottles were screw off, and we got two bottles of champagne onboard (free). My FIL purchased 2 or 3 bottles with dinner, and drinks a la carte. Much more cost efficient than the alcohol beverage package. I must say that the self-serve drinks weren't great. We brought water bottles (which I refilled at the MDR, and also a case of bottled water. It made for heavy baggage, but worth it (especially at night). Entertainment Very good. Celebrity Theater had all good performers. I can't believe how many routines those dancers have to memorize! The kids came to some shows -and they enjoyed them too - especially the illusionist. A lot of the entertainment started after 10:30, which is too late for those of us that have to get the kids to bed. Gombay dancers came onboard the ship while docked - so there was no need to go into town Wednesday night. I enjoyed the Gombay dance contest (I won! Yay, me.). Activities Plenty to do. I enjoyed the twice daily Zumba (good job, Pamela!). I'm a ZUMBA instructor myself, so I know she was good. White dance party, I supplied the glow bracelets - they should next time. Trivia - very cute. Gym Hubby and I worked out a lot. A little unsettling with the rocking of the ship. Just Monday morning was crowded. The rest of the trip there were plenty of machines available. Not a lot of room to do free weights, though. We took advantage of the walking track on the 11th deck every morning except while in port. Pools Hubby and I enjoyed the thelossotherapy pool inside. Warm salt water (keep out of eyes though). Younger kids enjoyed the one pool kids are allowed in - but it was freezing!! Needed to warm up in the hot tubs. Everything was always getting cleaned and tidied. Everything looked fresh - lots of new looking cushions. Teen Club/ Fun Factory Kids LOVED teen club (X Club) - shout out to Mikola!! Made friends they'll probably have for a while. Never saw those kids except at dinner time. Then they were off until 1:30 am! Fun Factory - pretty good. My 9-year-old son did everything, the 11-year-old son not so much. Shout out to Carlo! 7-year-old wanted no part of it. Oh, well, she liked the pool. We didn't partake of the spa, casino, revelations or rendezvous lounges except for trivia. Or martini bar, Michael's lounge. We tried not to spend any extra money. Bermuda Amazing how the color of the water changes as you get closer to Bermuda. The kids fascinated by this. Pretty cool for me too. That's when the balcony comes in handy. We slept with the door open since it was beautiful, sunny, warm (but cool at night) and not humid. A great time of year to go to Bermuda. Water was warm (83 degrees) Regretfully, the ships are docked at Royal Dockyards which is either a 45-minute ferry ride to St. George or 25-minute ferry ride to Hamilton or one-hour bus ride (of terror) to Hamilton. The last departing ferries from these places is a 5:15. For the night. We bought 3-day bus/ferry passes when we got off the ship. They only take CASH!! Nothing like spending all your cash the moment you disembark. Could have gotten away with the 2-day, as no one wanted to leave the ship on Friday, and there really isn't any time to do anything except at the Dockyards. Beaches were overrun with cruise passengers - leaving behind all their trash. Disgusting. Tobacco Bay pretty from a distance, full of trash up close. Church Bay, great climbing rocks and snorkeling. Tiny beach area, and no amenities. Horseshoe Bay, lots of amenities, fine sand, lots of people, but manageable. Couldn't stay there long at all because we had so little time that day if we wanted to get to Hamilton before that last ferry left. Snorkel Beach okay, wear swim shoes. And then the trip back to Bayonne... On the way to Bermuda we experienced "moderate" seas. So moderate that me and some kids had to leave the MDR(rear of ship) during the meal because they got dizzy. We were all Bonine-d and Dramamine-d, Sea-Banded and lavender oiled, ginger gummed-up. Fine. Friday, upon leaving, Captain Leonardos(seemed nice)said we are heading into "rough" seas. Great. Friday night for the formal night was fine. That night, the wind was howling and that ship was rocking. Hubby and I did our usual morning work-out and breakfast. Getting back to the cabin, we found 7-year old vomiting and the boys dizzy. We got them to the 4th deck midship ASAP. Not pleasant. Barf bags everywhere. You could hear people getting sick around you. That 4th deck filled up fast. Gross. I ran out of children's Dramamine. The ship just stocks meclizine (which is just for ages 12 and up). The entire ship ran out of ginger ale. So bring plenty of each of these with you. So many of the crew were sick that all of the days events were canceled. Eventually Captain Leonardos slowed down the ship. That was around 3 pm. The damage had been done to everyone's appetite. So much for afternoon tea. The rest of the ride back was okay. Disembarking We waited what seems like a long time. We had to be out of the cabin by 8. Poor Shubert waiting for us to leave, to get the cabin ready for the next cruisers. We were let off around 9:40. Customs pretty quick. Crazy in the parking lot with people departing and arriving at the same time. Overall Great ship. Lots of activities for any age (probably not under 5). Food great. Clean, not super-crowded. Don't go if you get seasick. It kinda ruins stuff.   Read Less
Sail Date: July 2011
We just got back from a 5 day cruise on explorer of the SEAS!! It was myself, my husband, and 2 friends(whom are also married.) Being a first time cruiser, i had no idea what to expect, so the first day I was EXTREMELY NERVOUS!!! We sailed ... Read More
We just got back from a 5 day cruise on explorer of the SEAS!! It was myself, my husband, and 2 friends(whom are also married.) Being a first time cruiser, i had no idea what to expect, so the first day I was EXTREMELY NERVOUS!!! We sailed out of Cape Liberty, and the PORT WAS AN EXPERIENCE. One of the porters told us they usually have 15 guys from Homeland security, but this particular day they had 5!! (I really felt safe after that). Anyway, it was complete Mayham as people were were trying to get on the boat. Once inline, the process went pretty easy, it was long, but easy. ONLINE CHECK IN IS ADVISABLE!! Anyway, we get through all off that and arrive on the boat. Security was a breeze, actually a little two easy, but i digress. Our room was small of course, but pretty nice for an interfior cabin. They look much better in person than on the website. After we went to our room, we went to the windjammer for the lunch buffet.Due to my bad nerves, i couldnt eat much, so i popped a dramamine and watched my hubby eat. The staff on this boat made my fears COMPLETELY DISAPPEAR!! By the second day we were FULL PLEDGED CRUISERS!! We docked in Bermuda for 2 days, and IT RAINED!! However, its Beautiful and verything is easily accesible. WE ate in the main dining room ONCE, the windjammer was where we spent our time, although the food could have been better. Johnny Rockets was good, b ut you pay. The Mystery dinner theater advetised, DONT EXIST. HOWEVER, THE DRINKS WERE AMAZING and so was the ENTERTAINMENT! JIMMY the CRUISE DIRECTOR IS THE BEST AND PLEASE DONT MISS A SHOW!! The marraige game show and the Quest game show was the highlight of our cruise! I think we will be known as the cruise with "VAN-MAN"...INSIDER!! lol. The Chamber is a good place to party after hours, and the boats activities is NEVER CROWDED! NOW, our stateroom attendant was NOT GOOD. Her name was Maricca and she just wasnt good. We got no discharge directions, no cruise compass, toilet wouldnt flush more than once, and THEY LOST OUR PICS!! Water is like MONEY ON THIS BOAT!! They want you to buy theirs. And this morning, MAricca who couldnt be reached through out the cruise knocked loudly yelling my husbands name @ 8:30 saying, "Time to go, hurry up gotta clan room!! Are you kidding??? We took our time, and arrived at our meting dstination @ 9:30, afterwards leaving the port, and going through customs took 20 MINUTES TOPS!!!!!!! BIG diffrence FROM ARRIVAL. All in ALL, my eyes watered as we went to our cars...reality hit. No more shows, drinks, food and good company. I really missed the fun, just watch out for CERTAIN THINGS. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2011
Background: This was my 13th cruise (10th on RCCL) while it was my boyfriend's first cruise. We're both in our late 20s. We took this cruise as a birthday/graduate school graduation present to ourselves. We have mostly traveled ... Read More
Background: This was my 13th cruise (10th on RCCL) while it was my boyfriend's first cruise. We're both in our late 20s. We took this cruise as a birthday/graduate school graduation present to ourselves. We have mostly traveled together within the US and this was my boyfriend's first time leaving the country (if this can even count!). The ports we visited were Bermuda, St. Maarten, St. Thomas and San Juan. Port/Check In: Do NOT follow your GPS directions! Ours was convinced the ship was all over the place, except where it actually was. Thankfully, we could see the ship for quite some time and finally found the parking lot. The drop off area can be congested. We arrived around 12:15 (which was later than we had originally planned) and were glad we got lost and were late. We ended up at the very last drop off spot and had to wait a few minutes for a porter to spot us to take our luggage. It did seem like there were a few stragglers still leaving from the previous week's cruise which could have added to the confusion trying to get a porter to help us. I did the unthinkable and decided I was going to try to get a case of soda onboard. I do not drink any of the soda that you can get with the package, otherwise, I would have just done that (and that is what the boyfriend did). I was fully aware that there was a chance it would not make it onboard but I figured, what's $4 anyway? I wrapped the case in clear tape ALL the way around (I didn't want it to break on someones' luggage) and just stuck two luggage tags on it and off it went with the porter. A few hours later, it was in our room. We were able to do priority check-in, as I am diamond, but it seemed like the regular line was going much quicker, as they had more staff available. The woman directing people to the correct line did not seem convinced I was diamond even though it said on my Setsail pass that I was...oh well. Once checked in, we were able walk right on board, as there was no one else in the waiting area. Ship: I have been on the Explorer 2 times prior to this one (as well as two other Voyager-class ships) and as always, I'm instantly impressed once onboard. It's hard to believe the Explorer is over 10 years old. Everything was clean. Sure, the ship could use a new coat of paint on the outside, but cruising up and down the East coast takes a toll with the ever-changing weather. There were a LOT of passengers with walkers or scooters so this would often cause the elevators to be slow or full. We ended up walking to avoid having to wait a long time. Seating in the theater wasn't an issue if you got there 10-15 minutes prior to the start of the show. Most times we just sat up in the balcony instead of trying to find two seats together on the first level. There were a lot of people who were saving multiple seats for friends or family who weren't there yet, but you get that anywhere. What can you do? They did have a section reserved for gold card holders at both the theater and on the pool deck, but it was never filled. It's too bad they don't open up the extra seats once the show starts instead of leaving all those seats empty. Finding a chair on deck was never an issue (unless you wanted to sit in the shade) as long as you went up on the top deck. We often wouldn't be up on deck until after 10:30 or 11 am and always found two chairs together. They did have staff going around and removing towels on any chairs that were empty after 20-30 minutes but I only saw this happen a few times as most people took their stuff when they went to get lunch, etc. Room: We had an interior room on Deck 6, which we booked as a guarantee at an incredibly low price! If we had the choice again, we would book another guarantee. We didn't tend to spend a lot of time in the room so this worked perfect for us. I took a peak into the promenade rooms and our set up (bed facing the door, couch between the bed and bathroom) made the room seem a lot bigger than the promenade rooms, which had the bathroom, bed facing the wall, then the couch. We only had one room next to us, with the stateroom attendants' closet on the other side but we never had any noise issues. Occasionally you could hear kids running up and down the hall on Deck 7, but nothing on our deck. We got towel animals every other night, for a total of 4 during our 9 night cruise. And yes, we did have washcloths! Staff: All the staff seemed to really love their jobs. They were very friendly, always saying hello, and asking how your day went. We had one charge on our account from our mini bar even though we never used it, and the Guest Relations staff took care of it without any questions asked. MDR: The only downfall was that our waiter and assistant waiter didn't seem to be able to coordinate with each other. Often times we'd get our meal and it would be 15-20 minutes before the assistant waiter would come over with toppings (sauce for the shrimp cocktails, cheese for the pasta, etc). I was under the impression from a few comments that this was their first time working together and/or they were both new to working on RCCL. Because of this, we often were the last ones in the dining room and dinner took closer to 2 or 2.5 hours. Thankfully, we had a good group of tablemates and enjoyed dinner. In regards to evening wear, we saw everything from jeans, hats, tshirts and flipflops on formal night, to very elegant formal wear. We tend to like to dress up and did every night, but I would guess only about 60-70% of the people did, even on formal night. It was a little disappointing when we were putting in the effort to dress nicely, as if we were at a nice restaurant and obviously some people thought they were at their local McDonalds, but such is life. We didn't let it ruin our dining experience. Food: Food is very subjective, but we sat at a table for 8 in the MDR for the first seating and collectively struggled each night to find something off the menu. Our ages ranged from late 20s to mid 60s and we were all surprised at some of the things being offered. If you are a big seafood fan, you will probably be happy to see that there is almost always a shrimp or scallop entrEe on the menu. Unfortunately, I don't eat seafood a lot and did not want to eat it every night. The chicken and steak that are offered as alternatives every night were much better than most of the daily entrees. I missed a lot of the desserts that they used to have (the sugar free swan, baked Alaska, etc). The sugar free desserts ended up being tastier than their regular counterparts. I did try most of the cold soups and I would highly recommend them (except the lettuce and I think it was cucumber). A few people at our table had the mustard-custed steak and asked for seconds and thirds they liked it so much. The Windjammer had a lot of great breakfast options, and there was never really any line to get an omelet in the morning, which my boyfriend did almost every day. Again, always smiling staff asking if they can get you anything to drink, or clean your table right away. In terms of lunch, neither of us were really impressed with anything. It seemed to be pretty much the same thing every day (with the leftovers from dinner the previous night) but we certainly didn't go hungry! We splurged one day and got the Ben & Jerry's ice cream and it was fabulous. I also enjoyed the frozen yogurt that was always available up on the pool deck outside the Windjammer (the strawberry is the best). Apple juice, orange juice, flavored water (flavors variety throughout the week) for breakfast. Iced tea (nonsweetened) and lemonade, as well as the flavored water were available in the Windjammer for lunch. Milk, iced tea and lemonade were also available in the MDR for dinner. We never had dinner in the Windjammer but a couple at our table did and they said they preferred that to the MDR (they weren't the dress up for dinner and have it take 2 hours type). Bermuda: I had only been to Bermuda once years ago on a cruise out of Boston and was really looking forward to going back. Unfortunately, once we got to Horseshoe Beach, it started to rain. We ended up only staying for about 2 hours before we gave up with the rain and wind. We took the bus there and back and had ZERO issues. We had to wait less than 5 minutes to get the bus from the dock and then had to wait about 10 minutes to get the bus from the beach. For $4 each one way, it was a LOT cheaper than us taking a cab (which would have cost probably closer to $15 per person one way!) The buses were air conditioned and clean with plenty of seats for everyone. St. Maarten: We decided to venture over to the airport and Maho Beach. For anyone who has NOT experienced this, I totally recommend going just once. If you don't know what I am talking about put "Maho Beach St. Maarten" into YouTube. After being blasted by sand for a few hours, we decided to head back into town and boy, am I glad we left when we did! It took us over an hour and a half to go what should have taken 15-20 minutes. They are doing construction on a bridge on the island, which forces everyone to go on one road and traffic is horrendous. The taxi driver said this was typical from 2 pm until 8 pm at night EVERY SINGLE DAY. He said the bridge work has been happening for a month and they expect it to take another 4-6 weeks. Thankfully our boat didn't leave until 9 pm so we made it back in plenty of time. Given that we were in port from 12 noon until 9 pm, it didn't leave a lot of time to go to the beach and go shopping. The shops closed around 6 pm so that is also something to take into consideration if your ship is docked until 9 pm. We ate at Johnny Rockets that night since we had a 2 for 1 milkshake in our diamond booklet and my boyfriend has never been to one. Given that for $4.95 it's all you can eat (with drinks costing extra) we definitely got our $4.95 worth of food. They kept on bringing over fries and o-rings without us ever asking. St. Thomas: We went to Emerald Beach, which is part of the Best Western Hotel. There is free access to the beach, you can use their bathroom facilities, rent beach chairs ($7) or umbrellas, and there is a restaurant/bar on site. The beach was absolutely beautiful, but zero snorkeling. We stayed there for a few hours before heading into town. It's nice that this beach is close by and not as popular as Magen's Bay or Sapphire Beach, but just as beautiful (in my opinion!). We did some shopping in town and almost every store had some kind of sale going on. If you are looking to shop, St. Thomas is the place to do it! San Juan: We were only in this port from 7 am until 12:30 pm. Our plan was to go to the forts which are just a few minutes walk from the dock. We got to the first fort around 8:15 to find out that nothing really opens until 9 am so we spent most of our time waiting for the fort to open. Once we left there around 11, there wasn't too much time to explore the downtown area, which, if you have been there before, you know we didn't miss out on much. Everyone we talked to (passengers, staff, etc) agree that being in San Juan for that amount of time was a huge waste since there isn't enough time to leave the city and explore the much more beautiful parts of Puerto Rico. I was shocked at how openingly the staff expressed annoyance at this port and my guess is that they are even more limited on having time off the ship. Everyone agreed that more time in St. Thomas would have been a much better option. Entertainment/Activities: RCCL definitely tried to offer something for everyone with the nightly entertainment. The evening shows included two RCCL singers and dancers show (the 2nd one was far better than the 1st), a late night "adult" comedian, a motown group, a very talent man who could play piano but was outshined by the RCCL band, a juggler who was on America's Got Talent, another comedian who played the guitar, and of course, the ice show. Do not miss the ice show. It was excellent! It's amazing what they can do on such a small rink in the middle of the ocean. This was offered 3 times throughout the week but you do need to get tickets the day they offer them - I believe it was the first sea day - and they weren't offered any other times during the week. The RCCL singers and dancers also preformed at various activities throughout the week, including during the late night BBQ/Buffet/On Deck Dance Party, which has replaced the Midnight Buffet. There were also two parades during the week. One was held the first night around 11:30 pm and we missed it, and the 2nd was held the last day at 5:45 pm. I remember that these used to last over a half hour and be very good but the one at 5:45 was less than 10 minutes long and to be honest, kind of lame. They had a few people walk up and down the promenade in their costumes, while the singers sang a few songs but that was it. Nothing like it used to be! Hopefully the first night was much better so I would recommend trying to see that one. There was also karaoke a few nights (the machine was broken at the beginning of the cruise but they got it fixed after a few days!), the normal "game" shows like Love and Marriage, Quest, Battle of the Sexes, etc. RCCL also now partners with the Make-A-Wish Foundation to do a one-mile walk on one of the sea days (ours was the last sea day) and for those of you who don't know anything about Make-A-Wish, I would recommend looking them up. My family was fortunate enough to be a "wish family" years ago, and I am sooooo happy to see RCCL partnering with them! For only $10, you can get a t-shirt and do a one-mile walk (or just watch other people walk around the deck) and all the money goes towards the organization. It costs $5000 for one wish to be granted to a sick child, and during our cruise, over $3000 was raised. The captain, cruise director and a few other members of the crew also come out and do the walk with the passengers and it was a great time. Cruise Director/Staff: The current Cruise Director is Jimmy Rhodes. He was HILARIOUS! I have never had more of an outgoing CD in all my previous cruises. His Activities Manager, Leigh, was also fantastic and the two of them working together was just amazing. If they are still working together on your cruise, you MUST watch their "Morning Show" which is played over and over on the TVs. My bf and I would watch this every day and laugh the entire time. The two of them were also EVERYWHERE on the ship...there was not an activity, or event I didn't see one of them at. Meet & Mingle event: This was my first time actually attending the M&M event and I was actually pretty impressed. The invitations were in our stateroom upon our arrival and kudos to Cruise Critic for designing such a great invitation (I'm in marketing and even I was impressed!). The timing of the event wasn't very good (10 am on our first sea day even though ahead of time on CC we were told it was at 11 am) so I understand why a lot of people probably didn't make it. If I had known there was going to be food, I probably wouldn't have JUST eaten breakfast. There were quite a few prizes given away at the M&M including wine, internet credit, in-room movies (which we won but never found the time to use), specialty restaurant certificates, and excursions. It was nice to put faces and "real" names to people we had been chatting with over the past few months. Diamond Perks: This was my first cruise being diamond, but since it was my bf's first cruise, he didn't get any of the same perks as me. We did get two of the welcome abroad gift baskets (pretty lame, we never ate anything out of them) as well as two bottles of water. I got the diamond booklet but most of it involved spending extra $$ to get a small percentage off, so I only used a few things, like the free internet minutes and free photo. I unfortunately didn't attend the "Top Tier Event" or the nightly cocktail events. The "Top Tier Event" invitation said that it was a "special" ice show, but I got the invitation AFTER I had already seen the regular ice show. Even if my bf had been allowed to go with me, I don't think I would have gone to see the same show again. They were checking my card when I was using the coupons to make sure I was actually diamond, so I didn't think it would make sense to try to get my bf into any of the diamond events. Everything clearly stated that no friends or family would be allowed and I wasn't going to make a big deal out of it. I did get my robe in my room which I really enjoy as I HATE getting dressed right after a shower and those towels are never big enough. Disembarkation: This being my first cruise out of NJ, I was shocked to find out how late they would start letting people off! When cruising out of FL, we often would book flights home around 11:30, or 12 pm, since everyone tends to be "kicked" off the ship by 8-9 am. This time, we didn't dock until after 8 am, and the self-debark passengers weren't announced to start leaving until after 8:30-845. We were in group 4 and weren't called off until close to 9:30. We had a long drive ahead of us back to Boston, so we were happy to finally be on our way. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2010
Brief background: my son turns 18 in November and for his birthday present he chose a trip. Thought we (just he and I) would try a cruise. I chose Royal Caribbean specifically because of their children's program - the other lines I ... Read More
Brief background: my son turns 18 in November and for his birthday present he chose a trip. Thought we (just he and I) would try a cruise. I chose Royal Caribbean specifically because of their children's program - the other lines I looked at grouped "teens" as 12-17 yr olds, but RC split it 12-14, and 15-17. They also offered Teen Excursions at port. More on that later. I booked a 5 night on the Explorer of the Seas from Bayonne/Cape Liberty NJ to Bermuda. Boarding: incredibly simple and quick. From drop-off to being on ship was less than 30 minutes. I had all of our paperwork fully completed and had checked in online. I had my passport, my son had driver's license and birth certificate (I know there have been many threads about single parents and traveling - we had no problems). Were on board about 11:30, cabins not ready til 1:30 so it was time to explore! It was great - played a round of mini golf, got my first pina colada of the trip, went to the library for a book and basically got the lay of the land. Cabin: fantastic. No complaints. Sure - the railing could use some paint but I've read some really nit-picking reviews here and I have to say - overall - very good. We had a balcony room and loved it. Tons of storage! Very well laid out cabin. Our cabin steward - Chanel - introduced herself right away and took excellent care of us. It was also very quiet. Sail away was nice - got wonderful pictures of the skyline and the bridge. It was very chilly so didn't stay on deck too long. Food: The food in the MDR - EXCELLENT! I skipped the lobster tail the last night (living at the beach seafood isn't a biggie for me) and got the prime rib - OUTSTANDING! Just like the filet of beef earlier in the cruise it was melt-in-your-mouth tender. Have never had anything nearly as good. The scallop risotto was incredible also. Ate in the MDR 3 nights and had impeccable service from waiter Anthony and asst waiter Jean. Forgot to write down the head waiter's name - but he was excellent as was the "shooter girl." They sang "Happy Birthday" to my son and it was one of the highlights of the trip? The sushi in the Windjammer was very very good as were the desserts. One minor gripe - many of the dishes were missing signs - especially desserts. May not seem like a big deal but I cannot eat artificial sweeteners and there were many sugar-free desserts, but since there was no way of knowing what was "sugar free" and what was full of old-fashioned natural sugar I had to pass on a few. Also, some of the more "exotic" dishes just had the names and a brief description would have been helpful. Little tip: everybody stops at the first station - salad. You can grab a plate and just go to the other stations. My son loved the Cafe Promenade - the pizza and cookies especially, and the croissant sandwiches we both loved. A good place to get coffee and tea 24/7. For breakfast we used room service - loved sitting on the balcony with my Danish and coffee in the morning while my son was in the shower and dressing, then we would switch. We went to Johnny Rockets twice - the chocolate shakes were excellent (and my son works in an ice cream parlor so this is his expert opinion lol). Melvin Reyes is the BEST - when he sings "Stayin' Alive" it made our day. Childrens' program: This was the one HUGE drawback to our trip. As I mentioned earlier, this was our first cruise - we have no loyalty to any cruise line. I chose RC mainly because of the amazing children's program, particularly the fact that they advertised that shore excursions would be organized for the teens. I also needed a vacation and had visions of my son and other teens heading ashore while I enjoyed a massage or checked out some of the seminars or classes. Didn't happen. The first day my son discovered that because of the supposed lack of teens aboard there would be one big group aged 12-17. There were never any excursions mentioned and when I asked at the Guest Relations desk was met with a few blank stares. Did my 17 yr old son want to hang out with 12 yr olds? Nope. But he didn't want to chill with his Mom either.We ended up spending a lot of time at the arcade or walking around the top decks. Finally the 3rd night a few other older teens showed up -apparently they had looked in at the club early on and when they saw the younger kids decided to ditch it. The last two nights were enjoyable for my son but the lack of excursions or activities for the older teens was a sore point. I realize that many parents do not take their kids out of school for vacation in October so I expected the numbers to be low but there were 54 teens aged 12-17 on our cruise, and the following cruise - a 10 day to the Caribbean - had 150+ (according to the Teen Club employee). Even with 54 kids, if a sign up sheet was posted to gauge interest in excursions I am sure there would have been many who would go. Quest: I won't give anything away - it was great fun although there was a family on our team who had played before and it kind of spoiled the fun for us newbies as we couldn't really participate - they knew the secrets already. Shows: The Ice Show was really good, the "Fast Forward" was enjoyable, the comedian was hysterical at his earlier show, I did go back for the late night "adult" show - it was mainly crude sex jokes. I'm not a prude (at all) but thought his earlier show was much smarter and funnier. Port: There was another ship in port the same time as we were and the lines for transportation were the worst I have ever seen. Incredibly disorganized, no signs anywhere advising which line was for St Georges and which was for Hamilton. Very very frustrating.Was ready to give up and go back to the ship after an hour, as many did. Ended up in Hamilton - tourist trap shops - then made our way to St Georges - same thing. Did find the Swizzle Inn - HUGE portions, great service and strong rum swizzles? Had booked the Bermuda Triangle Glass Bottom Boat tour - highly recommend - one of the high points of the trip. Funny, knowledgeable, and really interesting. Great guys!! The second day in port we stayed close at the Royal Naval Dockyard - more touristy stuff. Misc: I did try the Line Dancing class - with 5 other women, 4 were of the retired age. It was a bit disturbing that someone (guests in their early 30's) came in and videotaped us the whole time - was surprised the instructor didn't say anything - I did turn to the camera, smile sweetly and say "I don't want to see this on YouTube!" The art auction - Peter Max - was very good, learned a lot about the artist. The photographer - got a few great pics of my son and I - well worth the $20 each. Thank God for the arcade - kept my son entertained and I beat him in Skee Ball and Guitar Hero. Purell - at the gangway and in front of all food areas. BUT - not in the casino or the arcade - two places it is needed. Elevators - SO SLOW!! Ended up taking the stairs 90% of the time. Disembarking was a breeze - we had a late number/color so stayed in the cabin until 10:30 before making our way down. Overall impressions of Royal Caribbean - to quote my son - Mom, we are both too young for this cruise. Meaning - if he was in his mid-20's and drinking and dancing - great. If I was a more sedate mother (I'm a young 39), then I would have enjoyed playing bridge. I didn't want the "party atmosphere" of Carnival and the Freestyle Cruising of NCL didn't appeal to me. Because of what RC promised in the way of the Teen Programs I chose them but unfortunately in that regard they did not deliver. It was a very enjoyable trip in all other areas but this downside negatively colored the whole experience. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2010
First time "cruiser", as they say. I traveled with experienced "cruisers" (my girlfriend and her parents). Heading into this, I was skeptical about the cruise aspect and was most excited about Bermuda. I'm very ... Read More
First time "cruiser", as they say. I traveled with experienced "cruisers" (my girlfriend and her parents). Heading into this, I was skeptical about the cruise aspect and was most excited about Bermuda. I'm very exploration minded when it comes to vacations, and I wasn't sure the time at sea was for me. As it turned out, I enjoyed the cruise just as much as Bermuda. The cruise consisted of great food, friendly staff, and no shortage of things to do. I settled into a nice little routine of: 8AM: breakfast on the back deck 9-11AM: basketball or gym 11AM-4PM: pool, lounge chair, book, rum drink (or 2) 4-5:30PM: room time, shower time, get dressed for dinner, grab some sushi as an appetizer at the waterfall cafe 5:30PM: meet the gang for pre dinner drink in the rendezvous lounge 6-8PM: dinner 8-9PM: table games in the casino and/or take in some light jazz in the rendezvous lounge 9-10PM: show of the night or else hang out in the rendezvous lounge 10PM+: rendezvous lounge and/or casino As far as Bermuda goes, it was breathtakingly beautiful. Too much cool stuff to do in just 3 days, but that's okay, I was happy with what I got to see and do. Day 1: snorkeling plus boat tour excursion booked through the ship, lunch on the ship, then rented bicycles and explored along the converted rail-to-trail path. Dinner on the ship, and then took the ferry to the harbor fest in Hamilton (stay away from this, total tourist trap!) Day 2: ferry to St. Georges. Snorkeling/swimming/lounging at Tobacco Bay (gorgeous, world class beach with a cool rock jumping spot), lunch at the White Horse, walking/shopping around town. 3pm ferry back to King's Wharf, walked around, hit the mall, and hit happy hour at the Frog & Onion. Day 3: bus to the lighthouse, climbed it, took cool panoramic pictures of the island, then walked to Horseshoe Bay. Another beautiful beach. Bus ride back for late lunch and settling back into the ship. Nit picky criticisms: Sometimes the staff was a little TOO happy and overbearing. I saw about 5 or 6 different cruise staff (including the cruise director on night 1) use the same gimmick when they're handed a microphone, variations of the old "how's everyone doing?", "wait, what kind of greeting is that? Let's try that again, I said how's everyone doing!?" On one of the karaoke nights, there was a really awkward scene where the MC clearly didn't know how to use the machine and tried to gloss over it by grinning a lot and trying to get people to sing songs they didn't pick out. The jazz quartet was pretty solid, though I can't say I'm a huge fan of adult contemporary, light jazz. Heard a lot of Van Morrison and Neil Diamond. I think the Doobie Brothers was the funkiest I heard any of the lounge acts get. I think they could have been given a little bit more of a green light to get funky within the parameters of what people typically expect from lounge entertainment. I also wish the rule about not reserving lounge chairs (especially pool side chairs) was more aggressively enforced and promulgated (possibly with signs & PA announcements). Pool side chairs were a scarce commodity, so someone's hat and book shouldn't get to use one for an hour when there are people on board who could be putting it to better use. I should mention again that I thought the food was really, really excellent. I enjoyed every meal. I should also add that I loved having our own cabin balcony. Great place to relax between adventures. I would definitely do a cruise like this again. I am not sure I could do a cruise where you only get 1 day at each port of call, but this format where you had 3 full days to explore one really cool destination was the best of all worlds for me. Read Less

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click
Compare and book excursions for your next cruise