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Ron Oakham

Age: 61

Occupation:meeting planner

Number of Cruises: 35

Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean

Ship: Explorer of the Seas

Sailing Date: 2010-09-11

Itinerary: Bermuda

This was a 5 night cruise to Bermuda from Port Liberty in Bayonne, NJ. It was somewhat erie sailing from New York Harbor on the anniversary of 9/11. At the same time, it made being able to see the memorial monument donated by Russia (which stands at the tip of the pier from which we departed) more poignant. Fortunately, it was between the two coastal hurricanes of the fall, and we had exceptionally calm seas in both directions.

I was impressed with the quality and tastiness of the food. We only ate in the main dining room and lido buffet, never in the speciality restaurant. Given comments I have heard about main dining room food when there is a specialty restaurant aboard, I was anticipating a real decline in the quality of food in the main dining room. However, this was not the case at all.

I was traveling with my 91 year old mother. Both of us have been to Bermuda before (me several times), so the ship was really our destination. Since my mother hs some mobility challgenges and uses a transporter wheelchair for longer distances, we booked a handicapped accessible cabin. Originally we wanted a cabin with a balcony, but all the handicapped accessible ones were booked. So, we had an ocean view cabin. As it turned out this provided better viewing with the floor to ceiling port hole window in comparison with the balcony suites since the outer railing is of steel and not plexiglass. It was near a bank of elevators, which was convenient, but I feared would be noisy. However, we never heard noise in the hallway nor from the adjoining cabins - even on disembarkation morning when there was a crowd gathered outside the cabin waiting to utilize the Express Disembarkation option.

These were typical of most cruises. However, with the additional items available on this size of ship, there were some creative opportunities (ice skating, rock wall climbing, miniature golf, in line skating. The entertainment in the show lounge at night, and the ice show was good and held my attention. They made good use of the indoor promenade for various fun parades and parties.

We didn't do any of the excursions. However, on one of the two days in port, I took the ferry into Hamilton (the main city) as we were docked at the old naval pier on the westside of the island and wandered around town on my own to see how the city has developed. It was looking much better than my last visit several years ago.

It was a very relaxing trip. We especially enjoyed sitting in the Viking Crown Lounge both when at sea and in port. it provided a wonderful panoramic view while we relaxed and read, talked together and/or chatted with other cruisers.

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