Explorer review May 9th cruise - sorry late

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#1
2 Posts
Joined May 2004
This is my first post on this website - I've been reading your site for a while and received a lot of good information.

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.
#2
Phoenix, AZ
11,936 Posts
Joined Sep 2003
Thanks for your review!!! Very informative and entertaining Glad to read you had a wonderful vacation!

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Navigator of the Seas 6/26/04


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#3
The Palmetto State
465 Posts
Joined May 2004
Sounds like a great cruise. Thanks for the review. Is there anything to do around the port area of Belize? Can't wait until Oct.


Explorer 10-24-04
Navigator 12-14-02
Sea Princess 10-9-99
#4
Louisville, KY USA
1 Posts
Joined Jun 2003
We are getting ready to go on Explorer 6/6/04. Did they have an adult talent contest? Did you go if they did?

Did you think the tubing excursion was that great?

Thanks for the review.

Debbie
#5
New York
8 Posts
Joined Jun 2003
Hey BichonBabe~
Hi,my name is Cathy,I`m also sailing on this cruise coming up on the ``Explorer``10-24-04.I see that you are set to sail on this cruise too if I`m reading this correctly?
We are 2 couples coming in from New York.Try and go to the ``Boards``and go to the Meet & Mingle`` look for our sailing date thats posted already EOS 10 -24- 04 Hope to see ya around!
Sincerely,
Cathy
#6
The Palmetto State
465 Posts
Joined May 2004
Hi Palmtreegirl,
I'm Michelle. Thanks for the tip. I'm new to the boards and will certainly go to the "meet and mingle". We have a group of six going-myself, husband, my mom (EOS is her 50th b-day gift), my aunt from Pennsylvania, and 2 aunts from SC. The latter 3 have never cruised before and are in for a real treat. Mom has done several Carnival cruises but has yet to experience the RCCL "Voyager Class". Oct. can't come soon enough. I'm READY!!!!! Hope to see ya.
#8
Atlanta Suburb
2,153 Posts
Joined Feb 2002
Ginarose,

This is going to sound like a real stupid question but ill ask anyway.

When you left Grand Caymen, which way did the ship go around Cuba? I have seen some maps indicate that it goes back around the Western side of Cuba through the Florida Straits ( rough waters most of the time ) and other maps that show it goes areound the Eastern Side of Cuba, (water much calmer) So if you know which way?




Gary


Explorer of the Seas 10/24/04
Dawn Princess 10/12/03
Voyager of the Seas 12/01/02
Adventurer of the Seas 4/21/02
Sea Breeze 06/98
Atlantis 06/70

Time to Set Sail

#9
2 Posts
Joined May 2004
You know, that is a really good question. On the RCCL board they said it goes around Cuba by passing Jamaica. When we received our travel documents it showed the ship just back tracking. To tell you the truth I don't know which way we went. The weather was just beautiful and we enjoyed our sea day so much that we didn't really remember to ask.

Sorry I can't be of too much help there.

Oh, but for all those doing the Grand Cayman route, I must tell you something that NOONE will believe. IT SNOWED!! Yep, you read that correctly. We were on desk 14 at around 8:00 am using the cell phone and two systems collided. The weather was actually a little overcast in the morning and it started to flurry. One other passenger and two crew members also saw it. The other passenger actually brought his family over to find us later in the day b/c they didn't believe him!!

Regarding the cave tubbing - it was GREAT!But the water was freezing. My teeth was shattering. I'd do it again though.

Oh, no adult talent show that I heard or read about in the Compass. Sorry.
#10
Tampa
274 Posts
Joined Mar 2002
Gary,

I was on that sailing and can tell you we went through the straits on the way down and when we returned. I completely agree that seas are rougher through the straits of Florida. On the way down there was more movement than I have ever felt on a Voyager class ship. Talked to many onboard and they all agreed. I took some bonine and was fine the rest of the trip.

Chris

Pics of my 2004 Explorer cruise----> http://community.webshots.com/user/grizzyfla
#11
Atlanta Suburb
2,153 Posts
Joined Feb 2002
Chris,

Thanks for the answer. I will have to make sure my DW takes her Bonine starting the day before. If the first day and night are rough it makes her very ill. If she can past the first day she is ok, but I'm not telling her we are going that way as she will dread it the whole trip. ALast time on Voyager, coming through the Straits, the winds were 40 knots and the seas were between 5 and 7 meters. It made for a very rough night. When we were up on deck 8 in a friends cabin the ship was rocking so badly that we would be banging against the walls int he hallways as we walked. Lower down on the ship (on Deck 3), it was a gentle rock




Gary


Explorer of the Seas 10/24/04
Dawn Princess 10/12/03
Voyager of the Seas 12/01/02
Adventurer of the Seas 4/21/02
Sea Breeze 06/98
Atlantis 06/70

Time to Set Sail