Explorer - May 22 - Part 1: The facts

576 Posts
Joined Mar 2004
This is a 3 part review of our May 22 – 29 Western Caribbean cruise on Explorer of the Seas. The three parts will be: The Facts, Our Observations/Opinions, and Adventure Ocean (age groups 6-8 and 15-17).

This section is THE FACTS:

Captain: Carlos Pedercini (Argentina…youngest Captain of the fleet)

Cruise Director: Carly Boileau (Born in South Wales, currently resides in Canada)

Loyalty Ambassador: Walter Ferrari

Boarding time: 12:30pm (although guests were given Sea Pass cards beginning around 11:15am, no one actually boarded until 12:30pm). – Stateroom access was blocked until 1pm.

Muster Drill: 4:30pm


Dining Room:

Breakfast – times varied based on arrival time in port. Mostly 7:30am – 9:30am
Lunch – Noon – 2:00. Not open for lunch on days 5 & 6 (Cozumel and Grand Cayman)
Dinner -- Main Seating 6:00pm, Late Seating 8:30pm EXCEPT first night when it was 9:00pm)

Formal Nights: Days 2 (sea day) and 6 (Grand Cayman)

Windjammer: 6:30am-11:00am, 11:30am – 5:00pm, 6pm – 9pm

Johnny Rockets: $3.95pp – generally open 11:30am – midnight (1st night 5:00pm – midnight)

Portofinos: $20pp (dinner only) – generally serving from 6pm – 9:45pm; reservations required)

Café Promenade – open 24 hours – sandwiches, pizza, cookies, pastries

Ice cream – soft serve low-fat yogurt available on pool deck, in Windjammer, at Adventure Beach (kids’ pool area aft on Deck 12), and at Sprinkles on the Promenade!! (no toppings available, but the soft-serve machine was open all week – it’s been previously reported that on some Voyager-class ships Sprinkles ha been closed forever…)


Ice show: tickets distributed Day 2 from 9:30am – 10:30am and 2pm-3pm. Cruise Compass said that 1 person per group could pick-up tickets for up to 30 people. Shows were Tues 7:40pm, Wed 7:00pm, Wed 9:00pm and Fri 7:30pm.

Entertainment throughout the week included 2 comedians, a singer/impressionist, 2 musical groups, and 1 production show (“Fast Forward”). There was also 1 parade (first night) in the Promenade.

There was only 1 production show and 1 parade because this was the first week these singers and dancers have worked together.

Note: Wed. there is no headline performance in the theater…there’s 2 ice shows and the Love & Marriage game show.

Dancing Under the Stars/poolside buffet was Day 4 – Costa Maya
Quest & Rockin’ thru the Decades were Day 5 - Cozumel

Karaoke was offered at least 3 times in the Maharajas Lounge and also most nights in the Crown & Kettle Pub (there was a one-man-band performer there also, but they had a karaoke machine set-up for during his breaks). On the final night of the cruise, the Cruise Director staff selected about 6 of the karaoke performers from throughout the week to perform with the ship’s show band – this was also held in Maharajas Lounge.

CROWN & ANCHOR (invitation only events):

Repeat guest reception was Wednesday (Day 4 – Costa Maya)

Platinum & Diamond event was Saturday at 12 Noon (Day 7 – at sea)

Platinum & Diamond departure lounge was available, but not hosted. No invitation was received, but Loyalty Ambassador made announcement as to location and times at Saturday’s Platinum & Diamond event.


Even though some ports (Belize) were up to 2 hours behind ship time, we were to stay on ship time all week.

If you wished to charge gratuities to your Sea pass account it had to be arranged with Guest Relations by midnight Friday (day 6). Envelopes were still provided in cabin for those who wished to hand over cash.

There was a card in our stateroom on I believe Day 4 requesting travel information upon return to Miami (for the purpose of distributing luggage tag colors for disembarkation). This card was requested to be returned to guest relations by 11:00am on Day 5 (Cozumel).

OK – I think that covers the FACTS about our cruise. Look for more information in the other 2 parts of our review: “Our Observations/Opinions” and “Adventure Ocean: Ages 6-8 and 15-17.”

Any questions, feel free to ask!!
168 Posts
Joined Jan 2004
I'm on the 6/19 sailing and have a tight return flight. What time did you get off the ship and through Custom's and Immigration? Thanks.
576 Posts
Joined Mar 2004
We had red tags -- about the 5th or 6th group called. Our tag color was called during our estimated 30 minute window, but it took a full hour from the time our tag color was called until we were thru Customs (and we found our luggage relatively quickly)...I do not recall the exact time we got thru because we were headed to a hotel, not the airport -- but I think it was about 9:30am.

I can tell you that White (early disembark) tags were called promptly at 7am as scheduled.
Sunny AZ
24,591 Posts
Joined Mar 2004
We had a later flight, so we had pink tags. We were scheduled to be called between 10:00 - 10:30. However, we did not get caled until 11:00 and then we stood in line about 2 hours! This was our only bad experience of the cruise!
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My Bucket List Cruises:
British Isles - Ireland Booked September 2018!
Alaska with My Hubby - Booked! May 2019
Northeast/Canada Fall Colors -Booked! October 2019!
Italy & Greek Islands
European River Cruise
Hawaii - again!

Baltics with London pre-cruise

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 (Spain/Transatlantic) ~ Freedom of the Seas 10/17 (Italy/Spain/Transatlantic)

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168 Posts
Joined Jan 2004
I'm hoping that if I am in the first group and I can get close to the exit, I'll be at the start of the line and can get off. How long by cab to Miami airport?
Little Rock, Arkansas
37,402 Posts
Joined Mar 2005
If you have an early flight, let the pursers desk know early in the week. That way they'll know that you need to be in the first group off. As soon as they assign groups, check yours and if it's not early enough go and change it immediately.
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