Here’s my review for EXPLORER of THE SEAS April 1st to April 8th 2007
Going to San Juan, St Marrteen, St Thomas, and Nassau
This was our second cruise, our first being Carnival liberty about a year ago.
We left out of port of Miami, no problem getting because it’s was a Sunday. Some people told us that any other day could be a nightmare because shipping trucks also you this port to pick up merchandise. It was very easy getting on the ship. We got to the port around 10:30 and were in the first 10 to arrive. We sat around for about an hour until they let us on the ship. We got on the ship around 11:30- 12:00 and used that time to get familiar with the ship. We walked each level. Explorer of the Seas is a very beautiful ship and very well kept. When we cruised on the Liberty last year it was a brand new ship and I was shocked to see that the Explorer looked just as new. My first impression was that the Explorer was more elegant.
We explored the ship until around 1:30 when we headed to the dining room to change our seating. My wife and I like to eat alone and this was no problem to change this.
After this we went to the Windjammer to get a bite to eat.
My only negative about the Explorer was the non dining hall food. The windjammer it did not compare to the buffet/ café on the Liberty. The Liberty seemed to go the extra mile. The liberty had a stir fry wok, fresh made to order burgers, cheese steaks, Chinese food station, a made to order deli and a pizza place that had decent pizza and calzones. The Explorer had just a buffet with food piled high, nothing made to order. And they repeated the same food every day. The lines also seemed to be longer with a longer wait because they took there time replacing empty foods. This was the only negative. Explorer did have Johnny Rockets which was spectacular, just like home but they did charge you a fee of $3.95 per person. Then you could order as much as you wanted. Shakes were also extra $3.60 each. So I paid about $20 each time for my wife and I. We also went to Portifino one night for a fee of $20 per person. It was Very Good and worth the price. A dinner like that would cost over $100 on land. The dining hall food was equal to that of the liberty as was the service. Don’t forget to order as much as you want. I order an app, a salad, and two entrees every night with no problem. I was disappointed to see that the Explorer did not have a chocolate buffet.
We had a Promenade inside Stateroom. I liked it a lot it was large enough for the 2 of us and it was nice to have the window. I would never do an inside cabin over this room. The only mistake I made was that I got our room at the beginning of the promenade and it was hard to see. I recommend that you get one closer to the middle.
DAYS AT SEA:
Make sure you get up early 7:30- 8:30 to get a chair if you are picky about were you lay out. Chairs on the top deck seemed to be available until around 9:30 had nice bands playing and plenty of activities to keep you entertained. I did miss the Big TV Pool side
That was another plus on Carnival Liberty. It was nice to see all the shows and activities we missed as we laid by the pool.
The wife and I won bingo! $50 card won us a 7 day Caribbean cruse for 2 on any ship. Best prize of the cruise! Anyone else every win this? Please let me know. Would like to know how it worked out
BARS, LOUNGES, SHOWS:
The Explorer had much more to do at night. Carnival would be a ghost town at 11:30, but the Explorer would just be starting. Piano Bar was great! And Bands in the lounges ran late. Casino was great but could put a ban on the smoking, Way too smoky in there.
Don’t miss the late night adult comic, very funny. And don’t miss Quest of Karaoke Finals both very fun.
Available on deck eight I paid $35 for 89 mins for the week
SAN JUAN- Please get off the boat! This place was beautiful! We did the walking tour found on this site on our own, and it was fun. It took up the whole day. Then the wife did shopping at Coach, Guess and Polo We got some of our best pictures here. We went to both forts and still had plenty of time! The Forts were very cool and a must see.
ST. MARRTEEN- got off the boat and went straight to Orient Beach. St Marteen is run down and it was a very sad $20 ($10 per person) cab ride to the beach. Sad to see people living like that. The beach it self was very very nice. I had planned to go to the Pirate Bar at Orient based on reviews here on cruise critic. However, when I got there it seemed very run down. Another place caught my eye, about 50 yards past the pirate. It was called the MEXICANO BAR. I recommend this bar to everyone! We had a blast $12 per chair and you got a free beer or margarita. Beers were $3 each. The owners are French and very friendly. I was shocked to find out that they only know the Yankees because 50 Cent and Jay-Z wear the hats in their videos. The Mexicano also has the very rare Penis Cactus that you need to take a picture with. Food at the Mexicano was very good. I had Fajitas. Everyone eating got free shots of tequila and sand to the song “tequila”. Very cool time. Another $10 cab ride per person back to port. There are a lot of shops at port so leave yourself some time.
ST THOMAS: Got off the boat at about 7:15 ( First ones off) and based on review here skipped Meagan’s Bay and headed to SAPHIRE BEACH. $20 cab ride ($10 per person)
Sapphire Beach was beautiful. My wife said to me “man this beach is nicer then Wikki Beach in Hawaii” I have to agree. Very very beautiful. Bring your camera for some of the nicest picture spots you will ever see. Large Iguanas were right on the beach! A nice pool right on the property but it’s for “Hotel Guests only” Beach Chairs were $8 each to rent. One of the major complaints that I read on this board about Sapphire was that there was no place to eat. Well Sapphire now has food delivery available. There is a pizza place which delivers as well as a Grill which delivers right to your chairs. I paid $35 for lunch from the grill. It took About 30 mins to be delivered. Good food. Sapphire also has a shop where drinks and snacks are sold. Anther $10 cab ride per person back to port. Once again there are a lot of shops at port so leave yourself some time. If you want to call home this is your chance One of the shops (just ask for calling cards and they will direct you here) has calling cards and phones to rent. We paid $5 for a calling card with 500 mins and $2 to rent a phone. We called everyone we knew for $7.
The wife and I decided to skip the tourist trap known as Atlantis and go to another cruise critic find the British Colonial Hilton. It was about a 5-10 min walk from the pier. Right next to Senior Frogs. We got there around 12:30 (in port 12:00) the hotel was very nice and had private beach access for a charge of $15 per person. The hotel has a bar and grill. Drinks however were pricey $15 for can beer and mudslide. We decided to leave the beach at 2:30 and go to Senior Frogs for lunch. Very good time and good Mexican food.
We did some shopping and were back on the boat at 5:30
In this entire cruise was great. Explorer is a great ship and a lot of fun. Ask any questions Hope this helps.