I know this review is late, but hopefully it will provide a fair review of the Explorer's May 9th journey. I had a worm in my system and just got back on late -- sorry it is so late.
First, I must say that my DH and I are in our early 30's - we went with one other couple also in their early 30's. We left the kids at home. Good move BTW.
I will start at embarkation - first, I must say that there we four sets of lines. We live in Miami and got to the dock at 11:00 - we had to wait in line get up the stairs to go through the xrays - it was about a 45 minute wait. Then we got in line to show passports, then another line to get security pictures taken, then another line to wait to get on the ship. We were on the ship by 12:30. We were anoxious so it seemed longer.
Oh, we were in line behind a man and woman who were carrying two cases of coke, bottled water, and two grocery bags of cranberry juice. They looked like they just got back from the store. People in the line were mummbling how tacky it was. And, it was.
The ship is gorgeous!! Just beautiful and a little overwhelming until you can get your bearings. We went straight to the Windjammer and had lunch - good - and drinks - great! We had cabin 7367 and 7369 our steward was Overt - he was awesome!! Just ask - anything - and he will bring it. We tipped him $80.00 for the two of us. Our friends did the same. Towel animals everyday.
Sunday we ate at Portofino's - it was free for moms. Yeah! The food was okay, I was not blown away. We ordered a bottle of wine and it was $56.00.... yikes.
The first sea day was just beautiful and we got pool side chairs b/c we got up early (we have an 18 month old at home) and laid out...we saw a few seats saved, but not many. There were diaper wearing babies in the pool though - we went in the adult pool.
Belize - we did the cave tubing through Xtreme (big thanks, BTW). We felt a little rushed by Charles; however, we didn't let it bother us. We did the tarzan swing (a must do for the athleticlly inclined) and even had the lunch while the entire van waited for us. After cave tubing, we went shopping and got Henna tatoos and bought tons of stuff in the shops.
Back on board, we saw a couple that was just a riot. They were in their 50's and lived like they were 20. Every morningn their breaths stunk of alcohol. She was hysterical -skimpy outfits and ball room dancing in the Chamber. BTW, they were left back in Cozumel - missed the ship.
Costa Maya - we took a taxi ($4.00) to Mahajul and shopped. We had great food and met tons of natives - some of whom are Americans who now live there. We met the Italian that makes jewelry under a palm tree and lives in a tent without electricity.
Back on the ship, we noticed that a lot of the food served in the Windjammer is also served in the dining room.
Cozumel we did the horseback riding which was worth it's weight in free Corona's. We drank and drank and drank after the riding - I needed it. This excursion was through the ship.
The shopping is best in Costa Maya and Cozumel -do not, NOT wait for Grand Cayman. Beers were $1.00 in any shop. We bought a hammock here too.
Grand Cayman - we did our own thing. We took a taxi to the 6 mile beach and rented snorkeling equippment. Coronas were $7.00 each!!!! Needlesstosay, we were most sober in Cayman.
Last sea day was sad - we drank our sorrows away. Hee, hee and lived it up. Every night we visited the Chamber - it was great. Karoke is a riot - drunk people who can't sing, who think they can - is always entertaining.
Service in the dining room: I wasn't really impressed. It was okay. Not great. Twice they neglected to bring things we asked for - they never came. They were very generous with deserts. On the last night they ran out of the veggy egg roll - we had second seating.
Tom, the head waiter is very charming and personable.
we had a great time and ship is beautiful. A cruise is definately what you make of it. We went swimming at night. And saw a few shows. The walked out of the ice skating show, but thought the comedians were great. The Quest was funny, but definately not worth keeping a secret about. The Newlywed game was funny - at times. I thought it would have been more personal.... We did the rock climbing and every one in our group got to the top. Not that hard.
Our cruise director was James Andrews - he is great, but our cruise was his last before vacation.
If there are any questions, please ask.