Explorer Of The Seas. Just Back 4-17

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#1
MA USA
57 Posts
Joined Dec 2003
If you have any questions I am more then happy to answer them. We went to Belize, Cosa Maya, Cozumel and Grand Caymen. I am also a vegetarien so I can answer any questions as far as the menu goes for veggies or omnivores. We were sailing when the Dawn had their rough day at sea as well. Fortunately we barely felt anything. If anything at all, on Saturday we experianced maybe 10 foot swells. One of the blackjack dealers got a tad green about the gills. Poor girl, it was only her third cruise. Appears she may have chosen the wrong line of work.

Start those questions whenever you are ready.
#2
17 Posts
Joined Mar 2001
Hi Earthling,

We're sailling on Explorer this Sunday (4/24). This will be our 4th cruise on a Voyager class ship. How full did the ship seem to you ? Did anything really stand out that impressed you about the ship ? The crew ? How was the food in the Windjammer ? I'm not a veggie eat like one often. Did you eat at Portofinos ? How about Johnny Rockets ? Thanks for the info !
#3
MA USA
57 Posts
Joined Dec 2003
The crew said the ship was pretty full. We had to wait a few hours to get our cabin changed as the teenagers next door were tooooo loud for us in our first cabin. But as far as the ship seeming to full, no way. Even on sea days by the solarium pools we always found chairs to rest on. The size of the ship made it hard to believe it held 2500 pax.

As far as things that impressed us, our waiter Thomas from India was great. He was amazingly attentive to everyones needs. Several of the tablemates had dietary restrictions and he stayed right on top of them. His service was that I would expect in a 5 star restaurant and not on a cruise ship.

The rest of the crew was very good except the head waiter. He was quite aloof to say the least. Unfortunately also the medical response time was extremely slow. A gentleman had a heart attack 3 tables away from ours the last sea day's dinner. Fortunately there was a paramedic from a nearby table that responded to his needs for it took the ship's physician at least 10-15 minutes to arrive and then another 5+ minutes for a wheel chair to show up. We are only forced to assume that the head waiter, even after being immediately told of the gentleman's situation, did not call for help immediately.

Goose, the cruise director was a great deal of fun. Make sure to play the game "The Quest". But if you are the runner or captain wear kneepads. I was tackled from behind and still have the scabs and bruises to prove it. Of course I also had so much fun playing I would do it all over again.

The food in the windjammer was good. It wasn't always up to temperture but that is to be expected for a buffet serving about 2000 people. The low fat yogurt was always perfect and we had a cone everyday. We skipped Portifinos and Johnny's as our dinner mates were so much fun we all sat together each night including the midnight buffets. The menu for Portifinos looked good though just not appealing enough for a veggie.

Any more questions?
#4
512 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
What excursions, if any, did you do? Any suggestions? I will be on the Explorer 8/28/05 on the same itinerary.
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Beth

Explorer of the Seas W.Caribbean 8/28/05
Freedom of the Seas W. Caribbean 8/27/06
Liberty of the Seas W. Med. 9/22/2012
Oasis of the Seas E. Caribbean 6/27/15
Adventure of the Seas S. Caribbean 6/17/17
#5
MA USA
57 Posts
Joined Dec 2003
The only excursion we booked was sting ray city in the Cayman Islands. I suggest if you do no other excursion you do this one. It is amazing. We originaly were going to book it throu a different company we found online but after we enjoyed our dinnermates company so much we decided to book through the ship with them. It was the best move we made. We were among the first ones of the ship and we were the first boat out to the sand bar where the sting rays were. Our bus driver taking us to the boat for the sting rays was a gas. We tipped him heavily even though he made us laugh so hard I thought I was going to pee my pants.

Once we got on the boat to go see the sting rays the crew had water and juice for us to drink. The one guy who went in the water with us at the sand bar gave us a full explination of what to expect and he was right on target. When we got off the boat into the water the sting rays all came up to us for food. We fed them the frozen squid the crew had brought along. It was an amzing feeling to be amongst these amzing creatures in their natural habitat. We stayed in the water about 45 minutes or so.

On the way back to town my wife and I asked the bus driver to drop us off on the street corner so we could catch a taxi to hell. That saved us a good $20 in taxi fair as we were much closer to hell from sting ray city then we were had we gone all the way back to town. We bought our postcards in hell and mailed them from there and caught a taxi back to town, did some shopping and still made it back to the ship in time to catch the Windjammer for snack time.
#6
1,382 Posts
Joined Apr 2000
We leave on Saturday on the same trip thanx for the tips and review.
Granduer 1999
Victory 2001
Triumph 2003
Explorer 2005
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RCCL Granduer 1999
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RCCL Explorer On a C Cruise 2005
RCCL Freedom On a C Cruise 2007
RCCL Majesty 2007
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RCCL Radiance of the Seas 1/8/2011
RCCL Oasis of the Seas 3/12/11
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#8
Mansfield, CT
235 Posts
Joined Feb 2005
Hi! We are going on the same cruise on Sunday (4/24)!

Did you use the gym? I heard that the Explorer is going in to be cleaned up and wondered if any of the gym facilities looked worn out or broken.

Also, did you try the rock climbing wall? Was there a long wait?

And finally, were there a lot of kids on your sailing?

THANKS!
#9
MA USA
57 Posts
Joined Dec 2003
With all the time we had we didn't have time to use the gym, but did take a look around the first day. The equipment was up to date. I would rate the gym mid to average gym, it was clean, and the personal trainers looked very experience, and there were a wide range of classes to sign up for, average price per class $10.00.

We did not have time to try the rock climbing wall, we were saving that for the last day at sea. However, I was unable to do it because I was tackled playing "The Quest" game, and my knees were too bruise and bloodly to attempted the wall. However I would play "The Quest" again in a heart beat, and suggest that every adult go see what happens there.

We really didn't see many kids on our sailing, we saw about 4 dozen of them ranging for infants to young adults. Only two slightly efforted our cruise experience, One was at the Final Bingo game, the infant cried throughout the games, and the mother didn't have the parenting skills to do anything about it. The other time was just when a little kid was getting off the elevator he pust all the buttons. However it did make for a nice scenic tour of the ship LOL.
#10
Mansfield, CT
235 Posts
Joined Feb 2005
Thanks for the quick reply!

Since you brought it up - what was the jackpot for the final bingo? I NEVER thought I would play bingo (I'm a 27 y.o. guy), but people here say that the pots can get very high.

Thanks again!
#12
77 Posts
Joined May 2004
we were on the Explorer in January and Cloe was the cruise director, she was great, you mentioned someone else as cruise director, what happened to Cloe.
#13
159 Posts
Joined Sep 2002
I just returned too from the 10 -17 april Western trip on Explorer. I can answer a few of the questions.

Rock wall, did it several times. Never longer than a 10 minute wait. Usually less. On port days it was open about 9-11 am, then 5,6,7 pm for open climbs. Probably climbed it 10 times. Usually twice each time. Sometimes nobody waiting so just went up a different route. The center is harder if you stick to the same colour route.

The ship was full, no cabins available the morning of embarkation.
We got there at 10:30am, went straight to the front ( platinum) went in first then boarded first. They opened the ship just after 11:00 am We were on board by 11:15am, at the pool by 11:45am.
That first afternoon is always great, so few people. The ship had just over 3300 passengers. The captain annoumced the total during the muster drill.

There were 902 repeat cruisers ( gold or above) this was on the Wednesday in Maharajas lounge, they had hors d'oevres and drinks. They came around with whiskeys sours, manhattans and rum punches but you could order anything and they would go get it for you and quick. The drinks were stiff. I got rum and cokes and they were doubles at least. There were 97 Platinum or Diamond and above. The platinum party was in the Viking crown lounge on the last sea day at noon. There was food, hors d'oevres, desserts and drinks. You just ordered any drink you wanted. It lasted well over 2 hours.

The gym was excellent and in great shape. The ship too, it did not look worn at all. Was also on it last May and it looked no different from then. A great friendly helpful crew as well. Probably the best crew of the 8 RCCL trips we have done.

There were not that many kids. I know in our kids age group, Explorers ages 6-8, there were a total of 57 on board, however less than 25 registered for Adventure ocean and most times only 7 - 12 kids were there at any time. The AO staff were fantastic, the kids couldn't wait to go back every day. It was hard at times getting them to go with us.

The only ship excursion we did was Uvero beach ( jungle beach break ) in Costa Maya. It was good, well worth it. The snorkelling was good there and we saw lots of fish, starfish, sting rays, urchins etc.

I have all the cruise compass' and the adventure ocean programs and the wine and dine lists if there are any other questions.
#15
159 Posts
Joined Sep 2002
Yes, Rain performed on the trip. They were amazing. Thats the third time we've seen them, and all on RCCL ships. By far the best show and the one with the biggest audiance participation. I know many people who took in both performances that night.

The Chamber disco was good but you had to give Ryan ( the DJ) songs to play. If you left it up to him he was way to slow early on. we would go most nights at 10pm when it opened and he would still be playing slow songs for 30+ minutes until we started passing him napkins with fast songs to play.

It didn't really get packed until after midnight when all the early 20's crowd would pour in.

Gustav "Goose" Newman was the CD. He is fairly young and from Toronto.
#16
NW Burbs, Chicago
306 Posts
Joined Feb 2004
Okay you two, I have to ask this one> How was the food in the dining room? I like to use another restaurant for comparison. (So many of us read this boards and to say the food is "okay" or "not bad" really doesn't tell me anything). So... would you say the food and menu choices were similar to say a Morton's? Or maybe Olive Garden/Cheesecake Factory? Or somewhere in between... Tell me what you would compare it to.

By the way, how much swaying did you feel on this monster ship?? I can get seasick, will I feel anything?
#17
159 Posts
Joined Sep 2002
There was NO movement except for the one day and it was minor.

The food in the Dining room was very good. We were a group of 10 and we all agreed it was great. There were plenty of choices. The prime rib, rack of Lamb, Lobster were all standouts. I never onced orderd from the alternate selections.
The appetizers were fantastic, I usually had 2 per night, and a soup and salad. Many times we would say you must try this and people would be asking the waiter for an extra appetizer. On several occassions I followed his advice on what to order if I was torn between 2 items. I was always happy with his choice and he always made it clear if I wasn't impressed to say so right away and he would bring me the other.
Standouts for the appertizers were the scallops and rissoto rice, escargot, crab cakes, mushrooms in philo pastrey.
Standouts for the soups were the New England clam chowder, pepperpot soup, vidalia onion and Thai lemongrass soup.

desserts were great and we all had one with the waiter bringing 2 or 3 extra each night to try or share.

the food is certainly way better than an Olive Garden etc. The portions were enough and the service outstanding.

Even the kids menu was very varied and they always did a little mixing and matching.
#18
Bedford, TX
1,475 Posts
Joined Jan 2003
Just wondering if you had the chance to go to the pub (crown & kettle or something like that) at night? If you did, was the guitar player/singer any good? We are going on the Explorer (same itinerary) in May. Our last cruise was on Navigator and we spent every night listening to guitar player in the pub because he was so good. I'm hoping to do the same this cruise.

What did you do in Belize?

My final question - we are Crown & Anchor members, but we only have one RC cruise behind us, can we still get on the ship early or is early bording only for the upper C&A levels? Our plane arrives in Miami at 9:30am, I'm hoping we don't have to sit on the dock until 2:00 (the listed bording time).
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Century May 2001 - Eastern
Century June 2003 - Eastern
Navigator May 2004 - Western
Explorer May 2005 - Western
Elation May 2006 - Eastern
Adventure May 2007 - Southern
Adventure June 2008 - Southern
Solstice February 2009 - Eastern
Mariner May 09 - Mexican turned North Pacific
Serenade May 2010 - Southern
Oasis 2012 - Eastern
Jewel May 2013 - Repo Tampa-San Juan

Silhouette April 2014 - Eastern
Allure March 2015 - Western
Brilliance Oct 2015 - New England
Liberty April 2016 Western


#19
Springfield, VA USA
396 Posts
Joined Mar 2003
We were also on that sailing, and Balconyonly is Right On with their assessment of the food and the movement. And yes, Rain was great. I have never seen that kind of response at any show/entertainment on any of our cruises. Awesome!!!

We had a great time, as usual, and continue to look forward to our next cruise with RCCL.

Jay
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Jay & Scheila Lowery


Monarch 05/99
SS Oceanbreeze 10/00
Enchantment 04/01
Explorer 10/02, 03/03, 04/05
Voyager 10/03
Radiance 04/04, 11/07-Panama Canal
Adventure 10/04, 04/08
Grandeur 10/05, 04/06, 05/15 Bermuda
Freedom 10/06
Voyager (In the Med) 11/06
Vision 04/07
Monarch 06/08
Navigator 04/16/09- Transatlantic
Serenade 04/10
Adventure 11/28/10- Transatlantic
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#20
159 Posts
Joined Sep 2002
We did go to the pub a few times. Yes there was a guitar player Billy Glades (one man band) he was awesome. There was also adult karaoke there at times too.

Yes you can board right away too. They let everyone on as soon as the ship has cleared the last of the departing guests. The only advantage of Platinum and above is you go right to the front. Then after checking in you wait in a seperate lounge to board.

When we got their at 10:30 there were about 50 people in line. They called the platinum diamond to the front and we all went through security. When we were all through and at the checkin in lines ( you checked in by deck number) then they let in the others. Then the platinum diamomd wait in the lounge while everyone else lines up to board. When they are ready to board the platinum diamond get called and they go to the front and board, when they are all on the ramps to board then everyone else goes. There were only about 15 or so platinum diamond that early. The golds and first timers were only about a few minutes behind us. They were on by 11:20 am.

Go right to your cabin drop off your carry ons and start exploring.
The windjammer is open at 11:30am. But we went to the pool etc.