Just back from Explorer of the Seas..and Pics

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#1
Salem, Or USA
167 Posts
Joined Dec 2003
Hi all,

We finished a 7 day EOS last week to the Eastern Caribbean out of Miami. Check out these pics I put up for my friends. http://home.comcast.net/~vicdreyer/explorer2005.htm

The pics will be up for only a month or so.

We got to the port around 11:30AM...and was on the ship by 12:15 ! That's the fastest embarkation we've experienced so far (this was our 3rd cruise).
We were in a promenade cabin on the 8th deck (#8295)

The plus's:
The food in the buffet was always hot, plentiful and had quite a nice variety.
The tables in the Windjammer cafe were cleaned (cleared off) expiditiously, and the service quite good.
Our cabin was cleaned and serviced quite well every evening. Room service was excellent and fast.
Getting off and on the ship during port calls was very quick, and there was never a long line (which is good considering there were over 3600 passengers on board)
While waiting for elevators may be a bit slow (considering there are 14 decks), once inside, the elevators are fast.
The food in the main dining room was pretty good, and was never cold or lukewarm (unless it was suppose to be cold...like shrimp cocktail)
The staff on ship were excellent..and attentive.
There was 2 good ports of call, St Thomas and St Maarten. (San Juan and Nassau were OK, but not as good as the others) We still had a blast in all the ports.
There was plenty of activities to do on ship.
Disembarking went smooth and quick.

The negatives:
The shower water pressure is low..so the water almost 'trickled' out.
Most chairs in the Solarium ('adults only') were reserved by chair hogs early...even for hours at a time.
The spas on the pool deck were taken over by kids every evening until late at night.
It was difficult to find an open table in the Windjammer during lunch time.
The drinks are still spendy ($6 each) and the gratuity is always added automatically.
The stop in Nassau was too short (12PM-5PM) to do anything relaxing.
The formal pictures (and all the pictures you buy onboard) are still very expensive.
The promenade gets so crowded at times during the evening, that it felt like you're at a concert.

While I did list negatives, there was nothing that would keep me from enjoying the cruise. We would definitely sail the EOS again..and would rate the cruise an 8+ on a scale of 1-10.

Vic
#2
Lake Orion, Michigan
519 Posts
Joined Feb 2005
Hi

We will be sailing on Explorer in July and looking at your pictures made me even more excited

Did you have early or late seating for dinner? We have early for the 1st time ever and are wondering if we are going to feel rushed to get there on time

Thanks!
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#3
Salem, Or USA
167 Posts
Joined Dec 2003
CruisingLover,
We had early seating (6PM) This made is easier to, after dinner, go to a show, or walk around, or even sit upstairs in 'Dizzy Gilepsie's' lounge for an evening cocktail. (We really liked Dizzy's..very quiet, with live jazz/piano..and subdued lighting...

This made it easy to get to bed around 10 or so as we are not 'late people'.

The only time we felt time we felt rushed (and felt we had to look at our watches frequently) was during port calls. After spending all day in port, we felt we had to 'get back' to the ship and get dressed for dinner.... but it was not a problem really.

Vuc
#4
Philadelphia
85 Posts
Joined Mar 2005
Your pictures were some of the best that I've ever seen on these boards! It really gives a person a good feel for what it is like to experience a cruise- not just the ship but the ports of calls as well.
#5
Toronto, Canada
4,497 Posts
Joined Nov 2004
Vic,

Thanks so much for your review, we will be on the ship in December and I can't wait.

A few questions for you....What did you do in St. Thomas? Did you feel the tour of Atlantis was worth the money?

Were there any children on your Rainforest tour in San Juan?

Thanks,

Sharonna
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178 days at Sea.......so far

Freedom of the Seas - Nov/16 - 10th Annual BFF Cruise!
Adventure of the Seas - Feb/16 - BFF Family Cruise
Independence of the Seas - Nov/15 - 9th Annual BFF Cruise!!
Independence of the Seas - Nov/15 - First Solo Cruise!!
Oasis of the Seas - Mar/15 - March Break cruise with my daughters!!

Liberty of the Seas - Nov/14 - 8th Annual BFF Cruise
Liberty of the Seas - Nov/14 - 1st Back to Back!!
Freedom of the Seas - Mar/14 - Family cruise
Explorer of the Seas - Nov/13 - 7th Annual BFF Cruise
Freedom of the Seas - Mar/13 - Family cruise
Freedom of the Seas - Feb/12 - BFF Familes together again!
Freedom of the Seas - Oct/11 - 6th Annual BFF Cruise
Explorer of the Seas - Mar/11- Family cruise
Freedom of the Seas - Nov/10 - 5th Annual BFF Cruise
Liberty of the Seas - Aug/10 - Extended family cruise
Freedom of the Seas - Aug/09 - 4th Annual BFF Cruise
Explorer of the Seas - Mar/09 - Family cruise
Mariner of the Seas - Nov/08 - 3rd Annual BFF Cruise
Adventure of the Seas - Mar/08 - BFF Familes together!
Mariner of the Seas - Nov/07 - 2nd Annual BFF Cruise
Carnival Triumph - Aug/07 - Family cruise
Voyager of the Seas - Feb/07 - Family cruise
Radiance of the Seas - Nov/06 - BFF Cruise
Carnival Valour - Aug/06 - Mother/Daughter Cruise
Explorer of the Seas - Jan/06 - Cruise with my parents and kids!!
Radiance of the Seas - Feb/05
#6
Was Orlando, Now Poinciana, FL USA
1,041 Posts
Joined Aug 2002
Vic - Thanks for the review and photos. We were on the Explorer in 02 and will be on her again next week (May 7th) and in the same cabin. Can't wait.
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RCI Explorer 8/31/02 Western Caribbean
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#7
Salem, Or USA
167 Posts
Joined Dec 2003
Sharonna,

Since this was our 3rd visit to St Thomas, we originally was going to spend the afternoon on St Johns Trunk Bay(via taxi to the ferry, ferry to Cruz Bay, and taxi to Trunk Bay). It would have cost a lot less than to do the ship excusion. But we opted to stay in St Thomas to do some jewelry shopping in the morning, and then have a nice lunch at the Greenhouse restaurant http://www.thegreenhouserestaurant.com/greenhousestt/

This is a great place to view the ships in the Bay, and people watch...(and the foods pretty good too...as were the drinks!)

Then we headed back to the ship early before the 'rush', and picked out some decent chairs on the pool deck to relax before dinner.

In Nassau, we took the water ferry http://www.bahamasgo.com/watertaxi.htm ($6 RT) to Paradise Island. We then paid $26.50 pp for the tickets (the price went up on that too). I felt it was only worth it the first time. Although the aquarium was amazing, I would not pay again, unless I was taking friends who had never been there.

There were no 'small' children (under 12) (?I don't know if there was an age limit to ride horses). The horses are very tame, and well trained...you don't have to do anything and they will naturally walk in a 'pecking order' once the ride starts. We haven't ridden horses before, and afte the first 30 minutes, we felt comfortable.

Vic
#8
Salem, Or USA
167 Posts
Joined Dec 2003
Originally posted by Devo1994
Your pictures were some of the best that I've ever seen on these boards! It really gives a person a good feel for what it is like to experience a cruise- not just the ship but the ports of calls as well.
Devo1994,

Thanks.... I wanted to give a 'feel' of cruising with those pictures, not just pictures of the ship, land and ocean.

Vic
#9
Philly Suburbs, PA
1,759 Posts
Joined Mar 2003
Thanks for your review, your pictures are great! How was the Sheraton in Miami. We are not sure where to stay the night before our next cruise having never stayed in Miami. Thanks. Wanda
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#10
Salem, Or USA
167 Posts
Joined Dec 2003
Originally posted by spammie
Thanks for your review, your pictures are great! How was the Sheraton in Miami. We are not sure where to stay the night before our next cruise having never stayed in Miami. Thanks. Wanda
The Sheraton was pretty nice..we were on the 16th floor..with a view of the Bay (we could see the cruise ships from our window). We got this thru Priceline for $75 (whcih is good considering it would normally cost around $120 a night).

The Sheraton is conveniently located close to the cruise ship (a $6 cab ride) and is walking distance to the 'Bay Front' which has a Hard rock Cafe, shops, mall, live outdoor music, amusement rides and just a plain fun place to spend your day)

Vic
#11
Toronto, Canada
4,497 Posts
Joined Nov 2004
Vic,

Thanks for the quick reply. I have bookmarked the links. Sounds like you had a great time.

Sharonna
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178 days at Sea.......so far

Freedom of the Seas - Nov/16 - 10th Annual BFF Cruise!
Adventure of the Seas - Feb/16 - BFF Family Cruise
Independence of the Seas - Nov/15 - 9th Annual BFF Cruise!!
Independence of the Seas - Nov/15 - First Solo Cruise!!
Oasis of the Seas - Mar/15 - March Break cruise with my daughters!!

Liberty of the Seas - Nov/14 - 8th Annual BFF Cruise
Liberty of the Seas - Nov/14 - 1st Back to Back!!
Freedom of the Seas - Mar/14 - Family cruise
Explorer of the Seas - Nov/13 - 7th Annual BFF Cruise
Freedom of the Seas - Mar/13 - Family cruise
Freedom of the Seas - Feb/12 - BFF Familes together again!
Freedom of the Seas - Oct/11 - 6th Annual BFF Cruise
Explorer of the Seas - Mar/11- Family cruise
Freedom of the Seas - Nov/10 - 5th Annual BFF Cruise
Liberty of the Seas - Aug/10 - Extended family cruise
Freedom of the Seas - Aug/09 - 4th Annual BFF Cruise
Explorer of the Seas - Mar/09 - Family cruise
Mariner of the Seas - Nov/08 - 3rd Annual BFF Cruise
Adventure of the Seas - Mar/08 - BFF Familes together!
Mariner of the Seas - Nov/07 - 2nd Annual BFF Cruise
Carnival Triumph - Aug/07 - Family cruise
Voyager of the Seas - Feb/07 - Family cruise
Radiance of the Seas - Nov/06 - BFF Cruise
Carnival Valour - Aug/06 - Mother/Daughter Cruise
Explorer of the Seas - Jan/06 - Cruise with my parents and kids!!
Radiance of the Seas - Feb/05
#12
New Jersey
408 Posts
Joined Jan 2005
Loved the pictures and the review... Thanks for getting me excited for our upcoming explorer cruise in july.. I've had a few breakfasts at the greenhouse in St. Thomas and also was married on that beautiful Island. Quite memorable..

Originally posted by vicdreyer
Sharonna,

Since this was our 3rd visit to St Thomas, we originally was going to spend the afternoon on St Johns Trunk Bay(via taxi to the ferry, ferry to Cruz Bay, and taxi to Trunk Bay). It would have cost a lot less than to do the ship excusion. But we opted to stay in St Thomas to do some jewelry shopping in the morning, and then have a nice lunch at the Greenhouse restaurant http://www.thegreenhouserestaurant.com/greenhousestt/

This is a great place to view the ships in the Bay, and people watch...(and the foods pretty good too...as were the drinks!)

Then we headed back to the ship early before the 'rush', and picked out some decent chairs on the pool deck to relax before dinner.

In Nassau, we took the water ferry http://www.bahamasgo.com/watertaxi.htm ($6 RT) to Paradise Island. We then paid $26.50 pp for the tickets (the price went up on that too). I felt it was only worth it the first time. Although the aquarium was amazing, I would not pay again, unless I was taking friends who had never been there.

There were no 'small' children (under 12) (?I don't know if there was an age limit to ride horses). The horses are very tame, and well trained...you don't have to do anything and they will naturally walk in a 'pecking order' once the ride starts. We haven't ridden horses before, and afte the first 30 minutes, we felt comfortable.

Vic
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Carrie P
Grand Princess May 2003
Explorer of the seas July 2005
#15
105 Posts
Joined Mar 2004
Hey Vic,

We live in Salem. Going on the Explorer May 15. Wondering if you happened to keep any of your compasses. You can email them to me [email protected] if you did I would really appreciate it. Glad to see other people in Salem getting out. So many people I talk to don't even think about taking a cruise around here. I tell them you need to atleast try it. Well anyway thanks for the REVIEW!!!!!
#16
Salem, Or USA
167 Posts
Joined Dec 2003
Originally posted by pach
I noticed in your pictures, that one of the pools didn't have water in it. Why was that? Did it eventually get filled?
The pools were emptied twice during our cruise, cleaned and refilled. I believe both pools were always filled all week.

Mel,
We did keep all our compasses. I will try and scan them soon, perhaps convert them to .pdf documents. I will try to keep you informed.

Vic
#17
Huntington Beach, CA
2,347 Posts
Joined Feb 2005
Thanks for the review and the pictures. I'm hoping to see your compass, too. We go on Explorer in November.
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Radiance of the Seas 8/10
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Freedom of the Seas 11/07
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#19
96 Posts
Joined Jun 2004
vic, thanks so much for sharing your wonderful pictures and review. We were on the Explorer last year and your post brought back wonderful memories. Glad you had a good time. You are a great photographer!!
#20
Salem, Or USA
167 Posts
Joined Dec 2003
Originally posted by herbnjod
Silly question here, but what type of safes are in the cabins on Exployer, the number kind you set yourself or the kind you have to use a card to swipe? Thanks for the reply.
Tha safes are the number type that you 'set' when you first use them.

Dreamfinders.....
re: You are a great photographer!!

You can thank Nikon Coolpix 5600 for that!

Vic