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Patricia Ibbotson

Age: Over 60

Occupation:Author

Number of Cruises: 27

Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean

Ship: Explorer of the Seas

Sailing Date: 10-16-2008

Itinerary: Bermuda

This was my 5th cruise on Royal Caribbean, and the last time I cruised with them was in 1999. My last four cruises on large ships were on Holland America, but I wanted a change and Royal Caribbean had the right combination of a cruise on The Explorer of the Seas and Bermuda. I wanted to try one of the mega ships and the ship had good reviews. Bermuda was also a new destination for me.

Overall, the food was good. The Windjammer had a large variety of foods and food stations so even the pickiest eater should be able to find something to eat. They have a good stir fry station in the back of the Windjammer. Finding a table to eat the food at was a bigger problem at peak times. The dining room food was good, but there were areas that could be improved. For example, the shrimp cocktails were served on lettuce and the shrimp were limp. Johnny Rockets is a fun experience, though lines can be long to get in and there is an extra charge.

My inside cabin was small, but it was nicely decorated with plenty of storage space. The colors were peach and green. I liked the wraparound plastic shower door which is so much better than a shower curtain. There is a generic liquid soap dispenser in the shower, but small bars of soap are also provided. There are ample towels, including two beach size towels to use on a deck chair. There are many channels on the TV and movies are available for a charge. The only negative is that there was no room to walk on either side of the queen-sized bed, so I had to crawl in and out from the end. The mattress and bedding were very nice and comfortable. There was also a couch and a stocked refrigerator in the cabin. My cabin was on Deck 10 and was very quiet.

The entertainment was typical cruise line entertainment. The best show is the ice spectacular which was called Spirits of the Season. Tickets are required and can be picked up the first night of the cruise.

The ship docks at the Dockyard which is the old Royal Navy Dockyard built for the British Navy between 1814-1863. It is now a tourist attraction and has a shopping mall and a rum cake store and glassworks. There is a lot to do at the Dockyard if one is not inclined to visit the beaches, Hamilton or St. George. There is also a maritime museum, a craft market, and a small snorkel park and beach. For those who want to go the beaches, Hamilton or St. George, the ship docks close to where buses and ferries leave for these destinations. A day pass can be purchased on board or on the dock. The buses and ferries are a very good way to see this island chain.

The cruise itself was very good even though the weather wasn't. We had cold, rain, wind, fog and rough seas. The Explorer of the Seas is an older ship, but it is well-maintained and very beautiful with an Art Deco feel to it. The public rooms are very appealing. Most of the ship is non-smoking which is good with 3500 people onboard. This ship usually sails full so people who don't like crowds should take this under consideration. There were problems getting elevators. Most of the passengers are Americans from Eastern states like New York, New Jersey or Pennsylvania who can drive to the port. The only real negatives for me were flying into New Jersey, the delays at the airport waiting for transfers to the ship, and the check-in procedures. Royal Caribbean's transfer service going back to the airport was even worse. I liked this ship, but I would not sail out of New Jersey again.

The ship docks at the Dockyard which is the old Royal Navy Dockyard built for the British Navy between 1814-1863. It is now a tourist attraction and has a shopping mall and a rum cake store and glassworks. There is a lot to do at the Dockyard if one is not inclined to visit the beaches, Hamilton or St. George. There is also a maritime museum, a craft market, and a small snorkel park and beach. For those who want to go the the beaches, Hamilton or St. George, the ship docks close to where buses and ferries leave for these destinations. A day pass can be purchased on board or on the dock. The buses and ferries are a very good way to see this island chain.

The cruise itself was very good even though the weather wasn't. We had cold, rain, wind, fog and rough seas. The Explorer of the Seas is an older ship, but it is well-maintained and very beautiful with an Art Deco feel to it. The public rooms are very appealing. Most of the ship is non-smoking which is good with 3500 people onboard. This ship usually sails full so people who don't like crowds should take this under consideration. There were problems getting elevators. Most of the passengers are Americans from Eastern states like New York, New Jersey or Pennsylvania who can drive to the port. The only real negatives for me were flying into New Jersey, the delays at the airport waiting for transfers to the ship, and the check-in procedures. Royal Caribbean's transfer service going back to the airport was even worse. I liked this ship, but I would not sail out of New Jersey again.

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