Hi Mark, and welcome to cruise-chat.com. I just checked our Master Roll Call list (the first thread on this page), and no members have yet indicated they'll be on your cruise. Keep checking...we'll get you in on the next update.
Would love to hear about your cruise and what you thought of the ship. We will be taking this cruise with some friends Feb 2010 and would like to hear about any tips, pros, cons, etc. about the cruise.
Hey, we just got back from our Explorer of the Seas cruise. It was great! We all had a great time.
The ship is quite large. We first cruised on the Sovereign, so there was quite a difference to us. It was like "WOW"!
We had two balcony rooms toward the back part of the ship on Deck 8. The rooms were quite nice, and I was surprised at the size of the bathrooms. Again, I am comparing this to what we experienced on the Sovereign, and it was a nice surprise to have the extra room. Our room attendant was great. If I can make one suggestion, it would be, if you are traveling with your family and you need more than one room, try to make them adjoining. Much easier to communicate. It seemed like everytime we turned around, one of the kids was knocking on the door. But they made up for it by calling every five minutes!
We were a little disappointed in the food in the main dining room. It seemed to us that the food wasn't quite as good as it was two years ago. The service that we had was good, but tended to be slow. We dined a couple three nights at the Windjammer when we didn't see anything on the main menu that appealed to us. Breakfast was great. Lunch was fine. You're not going to starve! You'll find something to eat. My wife and I just wish the coffee was stronger and was consistent from location to location and from time to time. It would be okay in the Windjammer at breakfast, and then not very strong in the evening. The dining room coffee was good every time. We had the best success just ordering a pot from room service and sitting on the balcony drinking it leisurely. Room service was quite outstanding according to our children, who I think must have set a Royal Caribbean record for most times calling Room Service on a cruise!
We really enjoyed Labadee. We just went to the beach and let the kids enjoy the water.
Samana was our least favorite, as we again went to the beach, and we just stayed for a little while. It was just okay, according to us.
St. Thomas was great! We took the Yacht Sail and Snorkel Adventure excursion. It was just the six of us, and we had no previous snorkel experience. It turned out great. Kevin, the guide was very helpful. The snorkeling was nice, and everyone had a good time. The only negative was that one of the kids got sick on the way back and fed the fishes! All in all, the kids said it was their favorite excursion. I really enjoyed it, as well.
We were really looking forward to San Juan. Unfortunately our time had to be cut short. So we only had from about 8:00-10:30 in the morning to explore San Juan. My wife and I quickly decided that that was not nearly enough time to do all that we wanted to do. So, we are making plans to take a 20 year anniversary cruise and spend some extended time in San Juan. My wife said even with the limited time, it was her favorite port.
The shows and entertainment were all very good. I went to most of them, and I would say they were all above average. The comedian on the last night of the cruise was very funny. Unfortunately, I forget what his name was!
The weather was outstanding! And I must say that on the way down, I wondered if we would see any warm weather at all! I was afraid it would be 60, cloudy and windy! But it was great. I say that in jest, because when we left Cape Liberty, it was pretty, but it was COLD! You want to take a walk on the track up on 12? Forget it! Windy and cold! I thought by day two, it would be better. Windy and cold. But day three started to turn it around for the better, and when we got to Labadee on Monday, it was great.
One of the best parts of a cruise is talking to all the nice people that you meet. We met a lot of very nice, interesting people. That is one of the great things about cruising. I can honestly say we met some really nice people on the Explorer.
Now, the worst part of the cruise was pulling back into Cape Liberty on Sunday morning! What a letdown! Post Cruise Depression sets in immediately! You think of all the great things you did and all the people you met, and all the good food that you had, and all the top notch service that you received and you say, "This was one great vacation." And it was. I know we had some things that we wished had been a little better, but all in all, it was great, and we are already dreaming about the next cruise we will be taking!
Welcome back Mark, thank you for that great review! I hate the debarkation blues, the only thing that helps me is booking another cruise so I can plan, put aside my pennies, and get overly excited way too far in advance. But heck, if I had the money, I'd be gone every week Glad you had a great time and even more happy to hear the weather cooperated with you.
Mark, sounds like you had a great cruise. I have a question about sailing out of NJ. How long after leaving did you get to warmer temps and tranquil seas because of sailing out into the Atlantic? Same on the return?
We drove to New Jersey from Ohio. It rained basically the whole way there. I was thinking that it would be raining all day on departure, as well. But we checked the weather forecast, and they were calling for sunshine and 60 degrees, which is about what it was. It was a very pretty day. Now having said that, once we were on board and checking out our cabin (we had balconies), once the ship left port, it was COLD. The wind was like 30 mph. I have pictures of myself in my winter coat and stocking cap. Up on the top decks, the wind was a killer. It was that way for a good two days. It warmed up, but really wasn't really sweet until we reached Labadee, in my opinion. But then the weather was nothing but great. It was the same way on the way back. Coming back into Cape Liberty on Sunday morning, my youngest son and I went up on Deck 12 to watch us go under the Verazanno Bridge (I hope I got that right). I just ran up from the Windjammer. I didn't have a coat on, and I just about FROZE it was so windy and cold. Other than that, it was a great trip. It was just too cold and windy for me to be out much on they way down and back. Hope that helps a little.
Mark, thanks so much for the review on your cruise and welcome back, glad you had a great time. I'm looking forward to our first cruise on the Explorer next Feb. If you don't mind I have a couple of questions.
What kind of activities was going on during the sea days. As you mention it was really cold on deck, so what did you do for these total of 4 days, 2 at the beginning and 2 at the end of your cruise.
We are in the following stateroom, it's located mid ship on deck 7, 7586 Deluxe Oceanview Stateroom. In your opinion is this a good location? I really didn't know what I was picking when I picked this location. The agent helped me pick.
Did you eat in any of the special restaurants? If so did you make the reservation before or waited till you boarded the ship. Plus, would you recommend eating in one of these restaurants.
I'll probably have more questions, if you don't mind answering them for me as my date gets closer.