Royal Caribbean InternationalExplorer the Seas ReviewEastern CaribbeanJ and L May
Age: 56 and 65
Number of Cruises: 2
Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean
Ship: Explorer of the Seas
Sailing Date: July 26th, 2006
Itinerary: NOT FOUND
Royal Caribbean International
Explorer of the Seas Cruise Review
J and L May
All in all we had a
wonderful cruise with Royal Caribbean. This is our second trip to the same
islands except for the Bahamas (a trip interruption but a good one). The
Explorer is a clean, friendly ship. Some of the women’s bathrooms were messy at
times before and after shows so the staff has to be more on top of the
Except for one incident of a couple who gave the attendants a hard time at the muster, people on the ship were nice to talk to and well mannered. There were more children than I expected to see (mainly teens) but they all seemed to be controlled and happily entertained.
The ship and Captain and staff made an effort to keep in touch with everyone about tropical storm Chris that was tailing us at every turn. (I say effort) but it would have been nice to see a map tracking our voyage. That was disappointing because we really never knew too much about where we were in terms of the mainland USA or any of the islands.
The pools were refreshing but crowded and it took some serious trying to get a lounge chair. More effort needs to be made with people hording chairs with there towels and disappearing hours at a time while some of us had to go top deck and bake in the heat. I hate the idea of policing but it needs to be done. There are never enough pools on the ships but we managed to get in them. At one time there was a “wave pool” we were in for an hour in the beginning of our cruise but then I was disappointed because it never happened again on any other day. I surmise something went wrong with that, but no announcement about it that I know of. There were enough hot tubs to go round and the Gym was fantastic.
The food was good to excellent as far as I am concerned. There was plenty to choose from. The café promenade came in handy. We did not go to Rockets or the other restaurants that had cover charges to eat there. We didn’t spend extra on ice cream that only cost more dollars. I think all food should be free once on the ship; hidden costs just take away from the ship’s experience. Spending more money is not fun. The excursions cost money and that is enough. The main dinner should not have fried chicken on it. The main dinner should be reserved for fine dining. But I have to say that most nights, I was very pleased with the dinner entrees. Our waiter was terrific and let us order whatever we wanted and went out of his way for us. He was fun and personalized our experience. Give him a raise!
Our room steward was also terrific. We had great fun with him. Our room was attended to perfectly. At one point, my safe got stuck and wouldn’t open, but someone appeared within minutes to open it for me. Room service was great, too. We loved having a balcony this time, a little extra but worth it.
At peak times, the Casino was crowded but we had fun there too. One roulette table had a number sign that was not working. Not good. We played bingo even though it was expensive at $35 and up bingo cards. But I understand it builds up to a great bingo jackpot by the end of the cruise. Perhaps those who can’t afford the big bingo can have a little bingo going on for them as well. Just a thought to please the crowd. We played only twice because of the expense.
The ship had a smooth ride most days and I felt very comfortable day and night. One of the highlights of the cruise were the shows and I was happy that most of the entertainment was devoid of objectionable material from a family standpoint. We did not go to the one exception billed as mature “adult” only late night comedy; just not interested. Again the entertainment, including the wonderful ice-show, was terrific.
My husband was very happy to just be able to wear his sports jacket and tie on special nights. I was very happy to get dressier and so I am glad the ship was able to accommodate us.
The shopping guru lady did a marvelous job selling her $20.00 book to those of us who grabbed the bait about a free charm bracelet when in fact the bracelet after listening for over an hour was only if you go to a certain store on the island, and of course you needed the book to get all the freebie offers. I was out $20.00 for that and didn’t appreciate what I considered a scam. I wouldn’t do that again. Some of the stores where we were promised something for free ran out the “free gifts”. A positive was the free on-board the ship raffles of jewelry. The $10.00 store was great and I bought loads of gifts for family and friends there.
Final, Boarding the ship at Bayonne was fast and convenient. Debarkation at Bayonne, NJ was difficult and long. More guidance needs to be given to those who were being picked up. Trying to coordinate with your ride with police chasing your pick up away because they cannot find a place to park was rough. It took three hours to disembark and my ride had to keep circling because he had to keep moving. Something has to be done about this; maybe more parking areas.
Would I cruise again. You bet. Overall, we had a terrific time! Kudos to the Captain, and his crew and all the staff including the musicians and chefs and workers. Everyone worked hard. Thank you.