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Royal Caribbean InternationalExplorer The Seas ReviewEastern CaribbeanAudrey

Age: 27

Occupation:police officer

Number of Cruises: 1

Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean

Ship: Explorer of the Seas

Sailing Date: April 17th, 2005

Itinerary: NOT FOUND

Royal Caribbean International
Explorer Of The Seas Cruise Review
Eastern Caribbean

Audrey

Embarkation
Very smooth took less than 30 minutes and we went with two other couples. Our cabin was ready when we boarded the ship and it was great. We had a balcony and it was well worth the money. We went straight to lunch and our bags we waiting for us when we returned from lunch.

The Ship
This was our first cruise, so we didn’t know what to expect, but the ship was beautiful. The Explorer is so big that I feel like I missed some things on the ship. It was a little difficult for me to find my way, but like I said it was my first cruise. The lounges were beautiful, we especially liked the lounge with the aquariums. We met there every night before dinner for a drink. The dining room was gorgeous, I’ve never seen anything quite like it. It was three levels and just looked magnificent. I was a little disappointed with the pools on the boat. I guess I’m just used to all inclusive resorts with huge pools and swim up bars, but I found the pools to be very small. There was an adult only pool and hot tubs or at least they were supposed to be. Children were always in them, so we didn’t get much swimming done on the ship. I felt that if there were going to be adult only areas that someone should enforce the policy. The ship was very clean and impressive.

Food
We ate in the dining room every night. The food was fabulous. We had a table for just the six in our group, so that was great. We had the best wait staff. They were so polite and helpful. They brought us every appetizer and dessert on the menu for us to try. The guys in our group always got two entrees, steak and something else. On lobster night I had Three lobster tails!!!! I was so stuffed and the waiter was trying to get me to try all the desserts!!! Oh well, I guess you can splurge on vacation. The food at the windjammer was alright. It was typical of a breakfast or lunch buffet that you can get anywhere. We did have a tough time finding a table at the Windjammer everyday. We did order breakfast in the room one morning. It was good, but FYI, tip the room service guy when he brings it to you because he is not included in the gratuities.

The Cabin
Like I said our balcony cabin was great. The bed was comfortable and the view from the balcony is always spectacular. If this is your first cruise the size of the room may startle you, but you will get used to it. The bathrooms are small and the showers are defiantly one person. We did have a problem with our room steward. He took our towels and told us that we could get more on the pool deck. When we tried to get more, we were told that they were out. They did not have towels all day and we had to run back to our room soaking wet and freezing. I complained three times and finally got towels. I would recommend bringing at least one per person, so this does not happen to you.

The Entertainment
We went to a couple of the shows. The comedian was great and he posed for pictures with us. The dance show was cool and they even pulled a guy in my group up on stage. The newlywed game was hysterical. But by far the ice show was the best. The tickets are free, but in high demand and there are only two shows. The art auctions were great. We bought several things and now go to every Park West auction that comes to our town. Two guys in my group entered a dodge ball tournament and had a great time. Another friend did the wine tasting class and had fun at that too. There were lots of things to do on the boat.

The Excursions
We went on a guided bus tour in San Juan. We just found a tour guide at the port and paid him there. It was great. We went to Old and New San Juan and to the shopping district for a couple of hours. It was about half the price of the one offered by the cruise line. We did the land and Sea tour in St. Marteen. It was o.k., but we all agreed that we should have just spent the day shopping. They have great stores. I bought a tanzanite ring for about half of what it is worth. In St. Thomas, we did the Catamaran sail and snorkel and the parasailing. The Catamaran was the Castaway Girl and I can’t say enough about it. Free rum punch and shipwreck snorkel. It was the highlight of our trip. The parasailing was also great and well worth the money. In Nassau we did the stingray swim. The stingrays were cool, but they take you to another island where you spend the day. There is no way to get back to port. When they finally take you back, you have less than an hour. We were pretty disappointed with that one. Especially since I asked the lady at the excursion desk if we could come back when we wanted to and if we would have time to shop. She told me yes, so we booked it. I would not do that again.

Disembarkation
It was a breeze, we were the first people off the boat and it took less than 10 minutes.

Summary
All in All we had a great time. Cruising is defiantly different than resort vacations. I felt that I got nickel and dimed for everything, but I didn’t let it ruin my vacation. There is nothing like standing on a ship in the middle of the ocean and seeing nothing but water on all sides. My husband and I are going on another cruise in May 2006, but this time we thought we would try Carnival.

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