Max's Mom on the Explorer ~ 10/13/13 ~ My Picture Diary

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#1
North Carolina
12,934 Posts
Joined Aug 2004
Hello CC Family and greetings from Retirement Land!!

Just reporting that retirement is wonderful, especially since we can cruise any time we want!! This is the first cruise that we have been able to take during non school vacation time.......what a pleasure!!

We are Jane and John from North Carolina.....Diamond Plus C & A members and CC members since 2004. Since we are both retired now.....we are watching the prices on some cruises and taking advantage of the price drops, and that's exactly what we did for this cruise. We can easily drive to quite a few ports, so we keep our eye on many cruises. We snagged a really nice deal on this cruise and since it was out of Bayonne, we checked to see if John's sister and her husband, who live in NJ, could go with us. And what do you know.......they said yes!!!

So we were off to visit an old friend of ours......The Explorer of the Seas. It has been a few years since we have seen her, having cruised on her several times previously. We especially enjoyed the old two week Christmas/New Year's cruises that she did. Those were the best!

We set out on Friday, October 11th to drive from North Carolina to New Jersey. It was a miserable drive with lots of rain and - as usual- horrific traffic around DC and Baltimore. But 10 hours later.....we were at our destination.....Mays Landing, NJ.....at the home of John's sister, Janet and her husband, Gene.

We had a nice visit with family on Saturday, then it was on to the cruise Sunday morning! We left South Jersey a little after 8 and arrived at the cruise port at around 10:30 or so. All the bad weather had cleared out.....it was a nice day. We parked there at the port (outrageously expensive @ $19.99/day) but we split the cost and had handicapped parking......so all was good. Here we got our first look at the Old Girl and she looked good!



Luggage drop off was very easy and quick! We dropped the luggage off first and then parked. Next we walked to the entrance and to the Priority line. Check in was very fast and efficient. In all our sailings from this port, this was by far, the easiest and most organized I've ever seen!

We had our picture made:



Then we sat in the priority area to wait for the shuttles.





We didn't have to wait too long. They began loading the shuttles at 11:30 and we were on # 3.

After we got on board.....we parked ourselves in the Champagne Bar. Cabins were not available until 1:30. The Windjammer is usually a zoo at this time, so we prefer to go later. We made ourselves comfortable and got some coffee and snacks at the Café Promenade.





Janet and I went up to Portofino and made our reservations for dinner tonight. Gotta love that 2 for 1! Then we went down to the MTD desk to make reservations for the rest of the week. They were every efficient and accommodating there and we got our preferred time of 8:15 for the rest of the week.
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Jane

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#2
Now in SE Florida from NY
7,681 Posts
Joined Sep 2004
Yea! Another Max's Mom cruise review with pics.
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#3
Rhode Island, U.S.A.
22,397 Posts
Joined Feb 2002
Looking forward to this. Explorer was our first RCI cruise so obviously our first expereince with one of those "huge" Voyager class ships. And Bermuda was our first cruise destination on Celebrity's Horizon.
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#4
North Carolina
12,934 Posts
Joined Aug 2004
Cabins were ready at 1:30, so we head up to Deck 7 at that time. We both had the very last aft balcony cabins on the port and starboard side ~ D 3's ~ 7680 and 7380. Very nice cabins, but the balconies were small. Our last three cruises were on Freedom Class ships, so we were spoiled by those balconies. But I will say the showers on this ship were practically twice the size of those Freedom class showers!!

Here is our cabin and balcony:







Lunch in the Windjammer was not crowded at all and we easily found a table. We all had a very good lunch......the food was excellent. I usually make myself a salad and add the carving of the day. Can't go wrong. The desserts, as usual for me, are lacking.....but no worries.......the frozen yogurt machines were up and running and saved the day!!





When we got back to our cabin, the luggage had been delivered, so we were able to get all unpacked and settled before Muster.....which was at 3:30.



Muster was very quick and painless and we sailed away immediately afterward. Very efficient!!

We met our cabin steward, Michael, who had just signed on board after being on the Liberty. He was quick to bring us some ice and kept us supplied all week!

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Jane

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#5
North Carolina
12,934 Posts
Joined Aug 2004
Hey Dave and OB!!!! Glad to have you along for the ride!
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Jane

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#6
North Carolina
12,934 Posts
Joined Aug 2004
Next....I ran up to the Sky Bar to see if any of our Roll Call folks were up there. I only saw a couple of folks and it was nice to meet them after chatting for a while. There was the usual deck party and dancing going on.






We had a great view from the port side of the city and the Statue of Liberty.





I went back to our cabin so we could all watch the sail away from our balcony.



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Jane

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#7
North Carolina
12,934 Posts
Joined Aug 2004
Sail away was beautiful! We were so lucky with the weather.....the sun was out, although a bit cool and breezy. We'll take that over all that rain that we had over night. Whew!!

Such a beautiful sail away from this harbor!!











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Jane

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#8
St. Charles Missouri
6,902 Posts
Joined Apr 2008
great start
awesome pics
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Allure of the Seas November 2016 Navigator of the Seas Sept 7, 2014, Independence of the Seas Mar 29, 2014, Allure of the Seas Nov 17 2013, Oasis of the Seas May 25 2013, Liberty of the Seas Nov 25 2012, Liberty of the Seas Nov 29 2012, Liberty of the Seas March 2012, Carnival Freedom Sept 2011, Majesty of the Seas Jan 2011, Mariner of the Seas May 2010, Carnival Fantasy September 2009, Majesty of the Seas March 2009, Freedom of the seas May 2008, Carnival Triumph July 2007, Majesty of the seas July 2006, Explorer of the Seas May 2005, Carnival Destiny April 2002, Sovereign of the seas July 2001, Monarch of the seas January 1999, Sovereign of the seas Feb 1998, Viking Serenade April 1997, Big Red Boat June 1996, Song of America October 1995
R
#9
Long Island, NY
491 Posts
Joined Apr 2006
Going on EOS in 3 weeks. 1st time for us on RCI. So excited. And your review/pictures are great to read/see. Thanks!
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Carnival Fascination October 2005
Carnival Miracle June 2006
Carnival Splendor November 2008
Carnival Freedom October 2009
Carnival Miracle September 2011
Carnival Victory May 2012
Carnival Miracle November 2012
Carnival Splendor August 2013
RC Explorer of the Seas November 2013
Celebrity Summit August 2014
Carnival Legend Alaska Cruise May 2015
Carnival Pride July 2015
Carnival Conquest October 2016

Carnival Glory April 2017
Carnival Pride August 2017
#10
North Carolina
12,934 Posts
Joined Aug 2004
So.....on this first night....we head to the Concierge Lounge for drinks around 6:30. There we meet Denzil Fernandes, the Concierge.



He came over and introduced himself. He was very nice and spoke with us every night. We weren't very needy, so we didn't need him to do much for us during the week.

We also met Glenn and Julian, the bar servers for the week.



We could tell right away that they were going to be good and attentive. Denzil and the bar servers always greet you with the official greeting of New Jersey....."How you doin?" ! So funny......The Explorer has been in Bayonne so long.....it has taken on the persona of the area!

The CL was not crowded at all tonight. We found out that the Suite Guests were invited to go up to Cloud 9 on Deck 14 for their cocktails. So mostly only D+ folks were in the CL all week. Very interesting......and not crowded. There were only a handful of people in there tonight. We enjoyed chatting with two sisters who were cruising together. They were Suite Guests, so we got our info from them.
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Jane

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#11
Seattle, WA
11,041 Posts
Joined Apr 2009
Jane, thanks for putting this together. We will take our first cruise on Explorer in May which will also be our first cruise from Bayonne and first time to Bermuda so I love seeing anything about that area now.
Bill
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Bill

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Photo Reviews of cruises: Radiance (Hawaii)-5/17 Rhapsody (Caribbean) - 1/17 Radiance (Alaska) - 8/16
Radiance (Hawaii) - 04/16 Jewel (B2B West Coast) - Sept 26 - Oct 10, 2015 Jewel (West Coast) - 05/15

Oasis (birthday cruise)- 01/15 Rhapsody (Hawaii)-09/14 Legend (Panama Canal) - 11/13 Allure 05/13
Jewel 03/13 - 1st Caribbean Radiance 09/12 - Hawaii Splendour 05/12 - E. Mediterranean
Mariner 11/10 - Mexican Riviera Voyager 05/10 - W. Mediterranean (no pictures)
Upcoming-Ovation (Malaysia-Thailand)-April 9, 2018/Ovation (China)-April 14, 2018
Symphony (Caribbean)-January 19, 2019, Radiance (Hawaii)-May 5, 2019
#13
Now in SE Florida from NY
7,681 Posts
Joined Sep 2004
As a point of reference, the support towers on the VZ Bridge are the equivalent of a 78 story building which places them on the top 5 list of NY's tall structures, after the WTC, the ESB and The Chrysler building and ahead of the Slab (aka as the RCA building or the GE building or 30 Rock).
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#14
North Carolina
12,934 Posts
Joined Aug 2004
Originally posted by PCWalton1
Jane, thanks for putting this together. We will take our first cruise on Explorer in May which will also be our first cruise from Bayonne and first time to Bermuda so I love seeing anything about that area now.
Bill
Bill....glad to have you along. I think you will like the Explorer and especially Bermuda. Great cruise!

critcatny....glad to have you over here with RCI after sailing so many times on Carnival. I hope you will enjoy the Explorer. She's just the tip of the iceberg!

Hey Jamey!! Yes.....retirement is wonderful!

Dave.....thanks for that info!

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Jane

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#15
Michigan
1,174 Posts
Joined Aug 2004
Jane, thank you.. Im on the edge of my seat waiting for more, we leave this Sunday on the same cruise.
thank you for this - so exciting.
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Loralu
Holland America/Eurodam, 3/4/17
RC/Navigator, 10/25/15
Holland America/Nieuw Amsterdam, 3/1/15
Carnival Splendor, 9/20/14
Carnival Glory, 2/2/14
RC/Explorer 10/27/2013 Bermuda
Holland America/Westerdam, 11/25/12
Carnival Miracle 4/4/11
RC/Majesty - 11/1/10
Carnival/Liberty - 4/17/2010 E. Caribbean
Princess/Golden - 12/6/2009 Hawaii
RC/Navigator 1/22/09,
NCL/Dawn 10/26/08 Bermuda
RC/Liberty - 4/12/08
Princess/Coral - Panama 11/07
Celebrity/Century, 2/1/07
Holland America/Noordam, 11/4/06
RC/Navigator, 12/10/05
Holland America/Zuiderdam, 10/23/04
#16
North Carolina
12,934 Posts
Joined Aug 2004
Dinner on this first night was in Portofino. We always take advantage of our two for one perk. All coupons are loaded on your sea pass card.....no muss, no fuss......I like it!!

We met Janet and Gene there at 8:00 and it was not crowded at all. We had a wonderful dinner there. We have not always cared for Portofino, but we have learned our way around it and really enjoy going there now. Most all Portofino's are being replaced with Giovanni's Table....which we really like!!!

Tonight John and I both had the Caesar salad and the T-bone steak......both excellent.







We don't eat beef at home, so we go crazy on cruises!

Janet and Gene had the seafood skewer and they really liked that. Janet has to eat gluten free and they were very accommodating for her as they were all week!





We met one of the chefs earlier in the CL....Alfredo Alberto.....and he came out to say hello:

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Jane

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#17
North Carolina
12,934 Posts
Joined Aug 2004
Originally posted by Loralu
Jane, thank you.. Im on the edge of my seat waiting for more, we leave this Sunday on the same cruise.
thank you for this - so exciting.
Oh....that's great!! I will try and hurry! You will love it. We almost took that sailing but found this one instead.
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Jane

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#18
Near Port Canaveral
14,663 Posts
Joined May 2003
Thanks sooo much for posting this great review!

We will be aboard the Explorer for the first time next August, which is
also our first time to Cape Liberty, and will be first time to see NY harbor
and the Statue of Liberty! So happy you can see it from the ship!
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Future: BRILLIANCE 12/11/2017 JEWEL 1/7/2018 RHAPSODY 2/11/2018 OASIS 12/2/2018 RHAPSODY 1/5/2019

Past: MARINER 6/5/2005 FREEDOM 2/17/2008 MONARCH 10/25/2010 MONARCH 12/10/2010 MONARCH 1/7/2011 JEWEL 1/14/2011 RADIANCE 2/28/2011 FREEDOM 12/11/2011 MONARCH 12/30/2011 JEWEL 1/21/2012 RADIANCE 8/10/2012 BRILLIANCE 12/1/2012 FREEDOM 12/16/2012 JEWEL 2/11/2013 ENCHANTMENT 5/31/2013 ENCHANTMENT 9/6/2013 OASIS 11/9/2013 FREEDOM 12/1/2013 LEGEND12/12/2013 ENCHANTMENT 1/27/2014 FREEDOM 3/2/2014 ENCHANTMENT 8/8/2014 EXPLORER 8/28/2014 EXPLORER 12/4/2014 ENCHANTMENT 12/29/2014 VISION 1/31/2015 LEGEND 2/27/2015 FREEDOM 5/31/2015 FREEDOM 12/6/201 BRILLIANCE 1/16/2016 SERENADE 2/5/2016 ENCHANTMENT 2/29/2016 RADIANCE 8/5/2016 RADIANCE 8/12/2016 RHAPSODY 12/10/2016 OASIS 1/22/2017 SERENADE 2/13/2017 MAJESTY 5/29/2017
#19
North Carolina
12,934 Posts
Joined Aug 2004
The coffee here tonight was excellent! I had the chocolate dessert which I just discovered on our last cruise. It is not to be missed. Not as good as Mud Pie, but a close second!!



John had the sampler and it was good also:



A really nice evening to start off our cruise!!



After dinner, we moseyed to the casino and promptly made a generous donation! We thought we'd better get out of there, so we walked up to the Promenade where there would be a parade soon!!

We didn't have to wait too long:



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Jane

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#20
Florida
4,009 Posts
Joined Mar 2007
Thanks Jane for your reviews! They are the best! Can't wait for 'our' cruises in Dec and then read your reviews about that!!!
Love your pics!!!
Franca


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