Explorer Nov.6 review

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#1
12 Posts
Joined Oct 2005
I have seen some not so great reviews on this ship and itenerary. I have only 2 negative things to say, the boarding was long, however with 3600 passengers and only 1 side of the pier opening I thought it did go pretty well. It took us 2 hours and we had a few problems ( line moving, confusion....) but in the end we got on the ship. lol The other negative was the ports. I was very dissapointed in them, we are wishing we would have done some of those once in a lifetime excursions. We did the snorkling and Catamaran in Belize. The weather was cloudy so the color was not vibrant. The boat trip was fun though. Costa Mia was a big tourist trap, Grand Cayman was nice and 7 mile beach is that beautiful white sand and blue blue water!
Now this ship....... WOW! It is awesome, the promanade deck is beautiful. Bravo to Royal Caribbean for this concept. I don't think I would be happy on a ship that did not have one now. We had a promanade room and it was just fine. Plenty of room, not noisy, clean,the window was neat for people watching. Our room attendent Herme's was fantastic!! Loved him, he did a great job!!!
The food........ The dining room was wonderful, the food was very good. 4 star I would say. Our waiter and asst. waiter Lucas and Fitzroy were great! Wanted to take them home. They truly made our dining an experience evey night. We wanted to go to Portfinios but wouldn't go because we did not want to miss the dining room. We sat at a large table ( 8 couples and loved it! Our table mates were wonderful.
The windjammer was your typical buffet, the grill was better. Johnny Rockets was good, I do think they ought to do away with the cover charge though!
Room service was ok, we ordered once and it was fine.
The promanade cafe was great! One of my favorite stops for a coffee and a snack.
The decks were crouded at times but we were always able to find a quite spot in the sun or the shade, Just had to walk around a bit. Have patience. The solarium is beautiful, a bit warm for my blood though so we did now spend any time there.
The entertainment........WOW!! Great job Royal Caribbean! Loved them!! The ice show is awesome, the dancers, the singers, WOW! Great shows!! Carly the cruise director was awesome!.....
I'm gonna sum it up with we had a FANTASTIC trip. There were a few minor mishaps, but no trip is ever perfect! Would we cruise again! YOU BET!! Already planning our next trip! Most likely on a Voyager Class with Royal Caribbean! LOVED IT!
#2
Ocean Pines, MD
2,873 Posts
Joined May 2000
So glad to hear you had a good time. Thanks so much for the review. We are doing this exact same itinerary on Dec. 4rth. We are flying in a day ahead and have priority boarding. Hopefully this will help somewhat. It is always nice to hear something positive!
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Stefanie
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Future Cruises:
RCCL- Oasis of Seas- April 30, 2017
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#3
Cape Coral FL
3,317 Posts
Joined Apr 2003
Thanks for a good review. As you said no trip is perfect. I'm doing this same cruise in March 06. I also have priority boarding since we booked a RFS. Beginning to look forward to it. Glad to hear the ship is a WOW!
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12 - 1991 Souvern of the Seas Caribbean, 1993 Star Princess - Caribbean, 1994 Regal Princess - Caribbean, 1995 NCL Dreamward - Caribbean, 1996 Veendam - Cruise with MOM - Caribbean, 12-31-2001 Granduer of the Seas - Caribbean, 2003 Veendam - our first girls cruise - Caribbean, 1-3-2004 Splendor of the Seas - Panama Canal, 1-1-2005 NCL Sun - Caribbean, 3-12-2006 Explorer of the Seas - Caribbean, 2007 Celebrity Galaxy - Southern Caribbean, 2-25-2008 Celebrity Galaxy - Southern Caribbean, 10-8-2008 Explorer of the Seas - Bermuda, 1-19-2009 Celebrity Galaxy - Southern Caribbean, 1-2-2010 Celebrity Summit - Southern Caribbean, 4-25-2010 Statendam - Panama Canal, 8-7-2010 Enchantment of the Seas - Bermuda, 10-18-2010 Celebrity Mercury - Caribbean, 03-04-2011 Rotterdam - Hawaii & Tahiti-Amazing, Eurodam - Caribbean Nov 2012, Veendam - Canada/NE - Aug 2013, Zuiderdam - Panama Canal Dec 2013, Jan 2015 - Caribbean on Ryndam, Panama Canal Dec 2015 - Amsterdam, Maasdam - April 2016

#4
Massachusetts
1,338 Posts
Joined Mar 2001
I am glad to hear you had a great time. My daughter and future SIL are taking this cruise in March of 06 on their honeymoon....I can't imagine that they wouldn't have a great time.
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#5
NEPA
737 Posts
Joined Aug 2005
We cruised on the Explorer in January, but did the eastern itinerary. We LOVED the ship and will probably always be fond of this one since it was our first cruise experience It's great to read a good review for a change. Like other posters, every ship/trip has their problems, but it's all in what you make of it. To me, it's still better than a cold, snowy week of weather

This January we are doing the western itinerary, but on Legend, so I appreciated your thoughts on the ports, as they are the same as ours. We did book excursions at each stop since we were told there is little to do in Costa Maya and Belize.

This just makes me more excited as I count the days - glad you enjoyed your trip
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#6
12 Posts
Joined Oct 2005
I forgot to mention that if you fly American when you get off the ship they are set up at the pier, we only had to carry or luggage about 100 feet. American air checked our bags gave us our boarding passes and we were off. Our luggage arrived in Seattle with us. Loved it. Would fly American again just for that convience.
#7
Sunny AZ
22,967 Posts
Joined Mar 2004
Thanks for the review! It was so nice to hear your positive spin. We took this same cruise in May & had a great time. Of course there were minor gliches, but nothing more, even less, than previous land vacations.

The only thing that I differ from the OP is our day in Costa Maya. This was our favorite day. I studied the Port of Call Forum prior to the cruise & learned all about the little village of Majahaul. If you go to this port take the time to read about this town. It is a quaint Mexican town with dirt roads, not a polished Caribbean resort town. The people are very friendly & very welcoming, though. The town was clean & we never felt threatened. We found a perfect spot under a couple of palm trees on the beach with plenty of beach chairs & a nice big, clean table, right across from "Tapa's Bar" as recommended on this board. We had good service & spent a relaxing beach day. Our family group of 10 swam, shopped, rented jet skis and snorkled to our heart's content. The entire town lines the beach and there are tables & chairs all along it. I felt sorry for the many people I met back on the ship who never discovered this little town & spent the day at the dock area. Without these boards I would not have known about Majahaul & would have also spent the day at the overly commercialized dock area.

Toodles!
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Ginny


Brilliance of the Seas ~ September 1, 2018 ~ Trans-Atlantic Amsterdam to Tampa!


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#8
North Carolina
72 Posts
Joined Oct 2005
Originally posted by Sunny AZ Girl
I felt sorry for the many people I met back on the ship who never discovered this little town & spent the day at the dock area. Without these boards I would not have known about Majahaul & would have also spent the day at the overly commercialized dock area.
Don't feel sorry for me; I did a dolphin swim at Costa Maya. Uvero Beach, to be precise. My whole review is here:

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=256473

best,
Laura
#9
jersey
2,664 Posts
Joined Jul 2004
Originally posted by Sunny AZ Girl
Thanks for the review! It was so nice to hear your positive spin. We took this same cruise in May & had a great time. Of course there were minor gliches, but nothing more, even less, than previous land vacations.

The only thing that I differ from the OP is our day in Costa Maya. This was our favorite day. I studied the Port of Call Forum prior to the cruise & learned all about the little village of Majahaul. If you go to this port take the time to read about this town. It is a quaint Mexican town with dirt roads, not a polished Caribbean resort town. The people are very friendly & very welcoming, though. The town was clean & we never felt threatened. We found a perfect spot under a couple of palm trees on the beach with plenty of beach chairs & a nice big, clean table, right across from "Tapa's Bar" as recommended on this board. We had good service & spent a relaxing beach day. Our family group of 10 swam, shopped, rented jet skis and snorkled to our heart's content. The entire town lines the beach and there are tables & chairs all along it. I felt sorry for the many people I met back on the ship who never discovered this little town & spent the day at the dock area. Without these boards I would not have known about Majahaul & would have also spent the day at the overly commercialized dock area.

Toodles!
I totally agree with everything you just said!!! This was our favorite day too!!!
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#10
Sunny AZ
22,967 Posts
Joined Mar 2004
Originally posted by argent nc
Don't feel sorry for me; I did a dolphin swim at Costa Maya. Uvero Beach, to be precise. My whole review is here:

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=256473

best,
Laura
Nope, I don't feel sorry for you. Your Dolphin excursion sounds like a lot of fun, too! Great review, BTW. So many people we talked to once we got back on the ship though did not know there was anything else to do outside of the port area unless you booked an excursion. There was nothing mentioned on the ship about the village or even in the port, for that matter. It even took us a while to find out how to get to the taxis that take you to Majahaul & we had directions! The other thing I would add to someone who is considering going to the village for a beach day is to take cash! There are no phone lines for credit cards & while Tapas Bar did take our Traveler's checks, they don't like them and charge a service charge to use them. Like I said, it's a pretty undeveloped area, but clean & friendly with a lovely beach.
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Ginny


Brilliance of the Seas ~ September 1, 2018 ~ Trans-Atlantic Amsterdam to Tampa!


My Bucket List Cruises:
Mediterranean - Booked! 10/07/17
British Isles
Baltic
European River Cruise
Northeast/Canada Fall Colors
Alaska Cruisetour
Australia/Tahiti
Hawaii - again!


Happy Memories...
Big Red Boat 06/93 (Bahamas)~ Explorer of the Seas 06/05 (Western Caribbean) ~ Jewel of the Seas 04/06 (Eastern Caribbean) ~ Monarch of the Seas 12/06 (Baja Mexico) ~ Monarch of the Seas 04/07 (Baja Mexico) ~ Golden Princess 01/08 (Mexican Riviera) ~ Explorer of the Seas 04/08 (Eastern Caribbean) ~ Caribbean Princess 05/09 (Southern Caribbean) ~ Radiance of the Seas 09/09 (Cabo San Lucas) ~ Mariner of the Seas 05/10 (Mexican Riviera) ~ Carnival Spirit 07/10 (Alaska) ~ NCL Pride of America 05/11 (Hawaii)~ Allure of the Seas 04/13 (Eastern Caribbean) ~ Jewel of the Seas B2B 05/14 (Southern Caribbean) ~ Oasis of the Seas 05/15 (Western Caribbean) ~ Jewel of the Seas 10/15 (Panama Canal) ~ Harmony of the Seas 10/16 (Transatlantic)

Oasis of the Seas 2015 Pictorial Review
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Allure of the Seas 2013 Pictorial Review!

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#11
Michigan
450 Posts
Joined Feb 2005
Glad to see balance in a trip report. My wife had to drag me on our first RCCL (Check the nickname if you have any questions) Cruise......... Was AOTS, and it stood tall to DCL in just about every comparison, except one. It was a boatload less Expensive !!!! Staff and Crew were great........Food was as expected........If you want gourmet, dont try a cruise. Portifinos was wonderful, dont miss the murder mystery dinner if offered.
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#12
North Carolina
72 Posts
Joined Oct 2005
Originally posted by Sunny AZ Girl
So many people we talked to once we got back on the ship though did not know there was anything else to do outside of the port area unless you booked an excursion. There was nothing mentioned on the ship about the village or even in the port, for that matter.
Yeah, overall more information about all the ports and "other stuff to do" would have been good. The dolphin swim was added at the last minute; we didn't find out about it until I saw the sign posted at the Excursions desk on the ship. Also I agree about more info needed on what places only accept cash.

best,
Laura
#14
Sunny AZ
22,967 Posts
Joined Mar 2004
Originally posted by argent nc
Yeah, overall more information about all the ports and "other stuff to do" would have been good. The dolphin swim was added at the last minute; we didn't find out about it until I saw the sign posted at the Excursions desk on the ship. Also I agree about more info needed on what places only accept cash.

best,
Laura
Somehow I suspect that the reason the ships keep Mahajaul a "little secret" is because they get revenue off of sales in the port area. I'm not sure about that, but I'm of the understanding that Costa Maya is a cruise line created & run port, kind of like the lines' private islands. That's ok with me - keeps the crowds away from the Majahaul beaches!

I knew that the village does not accept credit cards from the Costa Maya forum, but the traveler's check thing was a surprise to me.

Toodles!
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Ginny


Brilliance of the Seas ~ September 1, 2018 ~ Trans-Atlantic Amsterdam to Tampa!


My Bucket List Cruises:
Mediterranean - Booked! 10/07/17
British Isles
Baltic
European River Cruise
Northeast/Canada Fall Colors
Alaska Cruisetour
Australia/Tahiti
Hawaii - again!


Happy Memories...
Big Red Boat 06/93 (Bahamas)~ Explorer of the Seas 06/05 (Western Caribbean) ~ Jewel of the Seas 04/06 (Eastern Caribbean) ~ Monarch of the Seas 12/06 (Baja Mexico) ~ Monarch of the Seas 04/07 (Baja Mexico) ~ Golden Princess 01/08 (Mexican Riviera) ~ Explorer of the Seas 04/08 (Eastern Caribbean) ~ Caribbean Princess 05/09 (Southern Caribbean) ~ Radiance of the Seas 09/09 (Cabo San Lucas) ~ Mariner of the Seas 05/10 (Mexican Riviera) ~ Carnival Spirit 07/10 (Alaska) ~ NCL Pride of America 05/11 (Hawaii)~ Allure of the Seas 04/13 (Eastern Caribbean) ~ Jewel of the Seas B2B 05/14 (Southern Caribbean) ~ Oasis of the Seas 05/15 (Western Caribbean) ~ Jewel of the Seas 10/15 (Panama Canal) ~ Harmony of the Seas 10/16 (Transatlantic)

Oasis of the Seas 2015 Pictorial Review
Jewel of the Seas Southern Caribbean B2B 2014 Pictorial Review

Allure of the Seas 2013 Pictorial Review!

Are you an Arizona Cruiser? Come join the fun! "Never Ending Circle of Friends"
#15
jersey
2,664 Posts
Joined Jul 2004
Originally posted by grifduck
Thank you for the nice review. We are sailing this ship on Dec 4 and wondering if there is a "Murder Mystery" night on this cruise? Thanks.
On the Explorer last week the Murder Mystery dinner was in Portofinos on Friday. $50/person - Wanted to do it but it conflicted with lobster night

HTH
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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