Explorer Review, 7/17/05-7/24/05 LONG!

Welcome to Cruise Critic! If you'd like to participate on our forums by joining in the conversation, please Register Now! Be sure to visit our FAMOUS Roll Call forums, where you can meet other cruisers sailing with you and share a tour or shore excursion and SAVE MONEY!

#1
Rhode Island
16 Posts
Joined Jun 2004
AMAZING!!!!!
Some quick background. Decided about a year and a half ago that our next big trip would be a cruise. Researched and debated, would like to have gone the week of 7/24 since my daughters birthdays are 7/25 (twins) and mine is 7/29. How cool would that be? Research made me think we would enjoy the Western more, so ended up booking Explorer for 7/17-7/24 the first day it opened up. Ended up with room 1688, didn't know how lucky we were until I found this site. Spent hours lurking and learning. More reading and research booked all excursions on my own including a surprise Dolphin Swin in Cozumel for the girls for their birthday. Shopping, shopping and more shopping helped pass the time as did everyone here. Finally, just 10 more days and we are headed for a record for the most hurricanes in July since they started keeping trace. Now I knew Hurricane Emily would be a problem, one if my daughters is Emily, and she can be pretty stormy when she gets riled.

We headed to Miami the day before, at this point figuring some ports would be changed or missed but really just happy to be getting on the ship. Checked into Holiday Inn Port of Miami. It was perfect for us, convenient to Bayside where we had lunch and spent a leisurely afternoon browsing and strolling. Back to the hotel for some pool time for the girls, pizza delivery for dinner and lights out for some good rest and just to make the time go by faster so we could get on that ship!!! Found out Sunday while in line for terminal security that our itinerary had been changed and we were not going anywhere we had planned. O.K., no big deal, we are still going on a cruise and just make the best of it. Our first steps into the ship, I'm not sure what was more fun seeing my daughters reaction or seeing the ship itself. Both amazing. Found our room, 1688, and it was ready and waiting for us. Dropped our carry ons and off to explore. We wanted to see everything at once! Stopped for some lunch and back to the room so the girls could change and go try out that pool.

Meet our waiter Neil and Zekai, had a wonderful first dinner and knew we were in for a week like no other. Missed the opening show, I really wanted the girls to go to the met and mingle for the 12-14 age group. Dropped them off there and my husband and I went to Dizzys for a quiet drink. I had some kind of blue martini and boy was it good! Back to pick up the girls, they had a good time and meet some nice young people. Looked around some more and then back to the cabin to enjoy some time out on the balcony. Can you believe we are here???? When we first boarded we checked out the excursions being offered for the islands we were headed to and with no research, no reading reviews, nothing other than what the tv was telling me, my husband and I picked out excursions for St. Thomas, St. Marteen and Nassau. Let's hope they are O.K.

Woke up early for my first full sea day. Husband went up and ran, runs everyday at home. Today (7/25/) when he ran on non moving surface with no wind tunnel effect he said he had the best run he has had in a long time. I offered to cruise with him every 6 to 8 weeks so that he could train. We all enjoyed this day. We sunned, ate, we read, ate, climbed rock walls, ate, swan, ate.... well you get the picture. It seemed every time my husband went missing he would appear a short time later with an ice cream cone. He told me everytime it was LOW FAT frozen yogurt! We got all dressed up for dinner and enjoyed the evening so much. The only down part was that my daughter Meaghan was feeling a bit sea sick. Started her on Bonine for the rest of the trip, and she did o.k. Watched the tribute to the Temptations, lots of fun and good music. Stopped by the casino to get rid of some of that extra cash I had been carrying around then off to bed.
Every day was great. We enjoyed all our stops and all the excursions worked out very well. Played in the casino a couple more times, never won. Enjoyed most of the shows, Planet Ice was incredible, how do they do that???? Meals were a pleasure, Neil and Zekai worked very hard to make us happy each evening. The ship was just incredible. My mom and dad had sailed her in January and I had heard lots about it. But it truly has to be seen to be appreciated. In addition to our change in islands, we also had a rescue at sea. It was something to see, how lucky was that young man! We snorkeled in St John, swan with stingrays in Nassau and did an island tour and shopping in St Marteen. We had a blast. I felt for the employees at guest relations. I unfortunately heard more than one person yelling at them about the change in itinerary or the excursions offered. I really feel that Royal Caribbean did what was safest for their customers and their employees and also did their best to offer options in each island on short notice. We did not find the food below par anywhere, breakfast and lunch was at the Windjammer each day. The cookies in Promenade Cafe were delicious and dinner was excellent food and service each night. If I could get back on that ship this Sunday I would. And since some of my luggage is still in Miami I wouldn't have to pack as much! Please check ID tags when taking your luggage!!!! My husband likes to tell people that I planned a great vacation for us, we just didn't go on the one I planned. I've told him that we have to book another cruise so that we can go on that trip! Any questions, just ask. You all helped me so much before we left.
#3
Cincinnati, Oh and Ft Worth TX
2,574 Posts
Joined Mar 2005
Glad you had a great vacation. Yes you will need to plan your next cruise so your family can visit those sites missed this time. Thanks for taking the time to write a review!
#4
33 Posts
Joined Jun 2000
Thank you for the review as I will be on the Explorer for an Eastern itinerary soon. I do have one question. Do you remember the different themes for each night in the dining room? I am trying to figure out what night would be best to eat in Portofino's. Thanks in advance.
#5
4,132 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
Thanks for the review!
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Carnival Fascination 1/02
Royal Caribbean Freedom of the Seas 7/06--Honeymoon
Royal Caribbean Majesty of the Seas 4/08
Royal Caribbean Anthem of the Seas 7/16 10 year Anniversary cruise!


#6
35 Posts
Joined Jun 2005
yep, nice review... i wish i could go on another cruise.. any pictures?

http://www.mycruisepictures.com for my review and pictures of Explorer of the Seas
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Explorer of the Seas 5/8-5/15
My Review and Pics
http://www.mycruisepictures.com
Belize, Costa Maya, Cozumel, Grand Cayman
#7
Rhode Island
16 Posts
Joined Jun 2004
I just checked and the themes for each night were
Sunday- casual
Monday- formal
Tuesday- casual
Wednesday- casual or caribbean dress, lots of bright, pretty and fun outfits
Thursday- casual or 50's, 60's or 70's
Friday- 2nd formal
Saturday- the compass lists it as casual, however, at guest relations the monitors said casual or come dressed in the colors of your country.

I took lots of pictures, will try and get them up to share.
#8
Toronto, Canada
4,512 Posts
Joined Nov 2004
Thanks for the great review. We will be on the Explorer in January for the Eastern and I can't wait.

I'm glad you had a great time despite the switch.

Sharonna
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
a.k.a. -- Sharonna








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
#9
227 Posts
Joined Mar 2005
Thanks for your review....just made my final payment for Explorer 10/2 and the excitement is building. Did the Explorer last Sept and I really love this ship and most of the Eastern intinerary. Can't wait to lull in the solarium and get back to St. Martin. Yippee!!!
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Sailing the Serenade of the Seas
to the Southern Caribbean in




~Half the fun of cruising's in the planning and anticipation~
#10
jersey
2,664 Posts
Joined Jul 2004
Thanks for the great review! Glad you had such a wonderful trip! We'll be on the explorer in November! Could you give me your girls impression of the trip and the 12-14 group. I'll have 2 in that group as well. Thanks!
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
1 tequila, 2 tequila, 3 tequila, FLOOR!



RCCL Enchantment 9/26/16 "Birthday Cruise"

The Atlantis 10/2/14
Carnival Splendor 1/4/2014 "the Cold & Gray Cruise"

RCCL Enchantment 3/18/2013

RCCL Explorer...AGAIN! 10/29/2009
RCCL Explorer 11/1/08
Norwegian DAWN 11/05/2006
RCCL Explorer 11/6/2005
#11
Chandler, Arizona
231 Posts
Joined Sep 2004
Originally posted by GCBCKat57
Thanks for your review....just made my final payment for Explorer 10/2 and the excitement is building. Did the Explorer last Sept and I really love this ship and most of the Eastern intinerary. Can't wait to lull in the solarium and get back to St. Martin. Yippee!!!
Hey there! Come join us on our Rollcall for Explorer Oct. 2nd. We've been looking for our other shipmates. We are trying to get our Mix and Mingle numbers up to 25. We'd love to have you join us if you're interested.

Hope to see you there,

Tracey
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature







Navigator of the Seas 3/2003
Conquest 6/2003
Imagination 8/2003
Imagination 10/2003
Facination 4/2004
Imagination 8/2004
Navigator of the Seas 10/2004
Vision of the Seas 5/2005
Explorer of the Seas 10/2005
Monarch of the Seas 2/2006-CX
NCL Star- 9/2007
NCL Pearl- 9/2007
NCL Sun- 9/2007
#12
Corona
52 Posts
Joined Jun 2005
HELLO,

Thank you for the great review. My DW and I are going to be on the Explorer of the seas on 08/21/2005. We booked the room next to the one you were in, 1394 AFT and wanted to know how was it (the cabin). Was it worth the $$.

Any motion sickness from the location (being AFT top level and all) of the room?

How bad was the walk to the room from the elevators?

Was she a clean ship? Heard she is going into dry dock in a few months.

Do you remember the name of your cabin steward and how was his/her service?

What night is Lobster night, did want to go to Portofino's one night, but not that night?

Plus any PICS?

Looking forward to your reply.

Best regards,
Chris.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Norwegian Epic 12/17/2011
RCCL Explorer of the Seas 08/21/2005
Carnival Destiny 11/2004
Carnival Elation 10/2003
RCCL Navigator of the Seas 01/2003
Carnival Inspiration 06/1998
Carnival Fantasy 04/1995
#13
Phoenix
3,578 Posts
Joined Dec 2001
Thanks for taking the time to write a review. You made me even more excited for our trip in September.

What a great attitude you had concerning your change in ports!
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature




RCCL Viking Seranade 4/93
Carnival Jubilee 4/95
RCCL Majesty of the Seas 4/97
Norwegian Sun 4/00
Carnival Destiny 5/01
Carnival Destiny 4/02
Carnival Pride 3/03
Carnival Spirit 3/04
Norwegian Star 3/05
RCCL Explorer of the Seas 9/05
Carnival Spirit 5/06
RCCL Freedom of the Seas 11/06
Carnival Pride 4/07
RCCL Adventure of the Seas 10/07
Carnival Destiny 5/08
RCCL Liberty of the Seas 10/08
Carnival Pride 5/10
RCCL Allure of the Seas 11/11
Celebrity Infinity 4/13
RCCL Oasis of the Seas 11/14
RCCL Radiance of the Seas 5/15
Carnival Miracle 4/16
Regal Princess 11/16
#14
Rhode Island
16 Posts
Joined Jun 2004
Thanks everyone for reading our review. Each day this week I keep thinking back, last week at this time we were..................

4merlurker I thought that the 12-14 age group offered a lot of options. My girls are not good mixers. The few things that I pushed them to attend they did enjoy. Also, throughout the week we would pass other kids and they would say hi or ask about what they did in port. Each night with the Compass our room steward would leave a schedule for the girls as well. Activities included human bingo, scavanger hunt, pictionary, name that tune, there was a pool party one night, a "prom" on the second formal night. They also had dinner some nights at the Windjammer. There was a rock climbing competition and many other events. My girls were unsure about going on a cruise. We love Disney and have done that twice in the past. Prior to the trip I think they would have preferred returning to Disney. The last night at dinner I asked if we do another big trip in the future would you like to go to Disney and they both said no another CRUISE! I think they really liked it.

Mozisme We loved our cabin and having the balcony. Although we were not in the cabin a lot, if we were, we most likely were outside. Also, my husband is a very early riser and was up most mornings at 5:30 to go up and run and then he would return and relax out on the balcony with a book until the rest of us were up and about. We did not find the walk an issue, as for movement I will say that we all knew we were on a ship but felt it all over the ship, not just our room. We had Jeffrey and he was very good. Quiet and we did not see him often. Sticky notes were ideal if we needed anything of just to say thanks. Even though we didn't see a lot of him, we knew he was around because our room was kept very well and those towel animals brought a smile to all of each night when we returned to our room. On our cruise the lobster was served the second formal night which was on Friday. I don't know if that changes based on the itinerary.

I hope everyone sailing in the future enjoys the Explorer as much as we did. My husband called from work yesterday and said he couldn't find the ice cream machine, there was no rock wall to climb and no one had left a cute animal on his desk!!! I think I see another cruise in our future