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Andy Rogers

Age: 43

Occupation:Public Safety

Number of Cruises: 5

Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean

Ship: Explorer of the Seas

Sailing Date: 2011-06-26

Itinerary: Bermuda

Hi, Five night cruise out of NJ to Bermuda. Explorer of the Seas in my opinion is just a slightly smaller version of the Freedom class of ships. Everything is the same minus the FlowRider. Cruise was ok with no fault to Royal Caribbean. Weather was awful the first to 2.5 days. Very windy and slight boat rocking. However, the last 2.5 days were great with sun and limited wind. The overnight stay in Bermuda was different and transportation around the island was very easy.....get the two day bus/ferry pass! We had an interior stateroom for our famliy of four. It was cramped and I did miss our typical balcony. The pullmen bed system worked great for our two young daughters. Food was typical but for some reason not as good as our other cruises...just a little bland. Staff on board were very friendly but for some reason I did not care for the cruise director....a little two tame in my book. He was very professional and it was easy to see the pride he takes in his work.

We ate in the dining room every night and I have say the food was so-so. Just not much flavor and the portions this time were a little small. Johnny Rockets was very good and reasonable for the cost. The WindJammer was very good on this cruise with a fine selection of food. The morning omelet station was very quick, not your usual waiting around. No lines in the Windjammer but on the first and last day it was tough to find a seat. Have one person scout out a table while the others get there food so you don't do circles around the seating area.

Interior stateroom with two pullman beds. Room steward was very good at setting out the room for night time, and hiding the pullman beds during the day. However, watch your head as I smack it one time. The pullman beds were directly over our king bed. Remember, no clocks in the room but the phone does display the time along with the tv. TV.....older style large square...no flatscreen. Room was clean....but I did find some makeup and clothing behind a nightstand and way up in the closet from a previous cruiser.

Explorer has plenty to do for people of all ages. The Adventure Ocean programs for the kids are fantastic. Once again our daughters 12 & 9 wanted to spend all their time there. The staff is very professional and parents do not need to worry. Entertainment shows were great but the ice show stood out as the best. I personally would never go to any type of ice show on land, just not my thing. The skaters are very talented...it is a must see. Quest game show was great - DO NOT MISS....the cruise director did do a very good job at this even though I thought he was lacking at other events.

We did self excursions for the first time. Went to Turtle Bay...it was overcast and very windy but we did make the best of it. There is a hill you have to walk down on arrival at Turtle Bay ...what I read prior to going is that there are taxi's that will drive you up and down the hill for a few bucks. Trust me if your younger than 60 and somewhat in shape the hill is no big deal. We walked it without any problems. There is a rock formation and you can climb on. Careful though...not very safe and it good be very easy to fall of if your not careful. The second day we went into Hamilton by bus....about 45 mins or so...crazy fast bus drivers that made the ride fun. However the ferry is faster and that is what we took to return...take the ferry! Hamilton is very pretty but expensive. Once back at the Royal Dock Yards we went to a little private ( $5.00 dollar entry ) beach near the fort. GO there....very fun and they have everything you need for a price, food, drinks, snorkling gear, rafts. beach chairs, etc. We also toured the Fort.

Ship was great and leaving out of NJ (NY Harbor) was very cool. We arrived at the port very early and prior to entering the terminal went and visited the free 9-11 memorial park that is right next to the ship. Very worthwhile and you can get great shots of the NY Skyline and ship. If you drive to the 9-11 park there will be a guard that stops you. Just tell him you are visiting the park and he will let you pass. There is a great YouTube video on driving into the port and getting to this park...just search port liberty and you will find it. Ok the bad stuff about our cruise...weather was aweful as mentioned already but on the first night in Bermuda my mother in law and Aunt (who were also with us in a separate cabin) received news from back home of a severe medical emergency. Mother in law and aunt had to fly out of Bermuda the next morning back to Detroit....what a bummer. So this news upset our family and our daughters so the cruise continued but it just wasn't the same. My mother in-law and aunt did have travel insurance that will cover some of their cost but it is the last thing on their mind right now. Ok...sorry about rambling....anyways...the cruise was expensive compared to a 7-night Caribbean but Bermuda is special! Go for it. Royal Caribbean really is a great cruise line...staff was excellent!

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