Just off Explorer 05/09 - 05/16 Any questions??

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#1
Tampa, FL
193 Posts
Joined Jan 2002
Hey everyone, just got back from a picture perfect week in the Western Caribbean. This was the first sailing of Explorer with the new itinerary (Belize, Costa Maya, Cozumel and Grand Cayman). I'll be happy to answer any questions about the ports, the ship or the Junior Suite category.

Jeff
#2
Soledad, CA
1,923 Posts
Joined Dec 2003
Hey Jeff! We just returned from the Carnival Victory on the same Western Carib. itinerary for the most part..Grand Cayman, Cozumel and Ocho Rios.

Have to admit, Carnival didn't exceed my expectations, and I have a feeling it will be my first and last Carnival cruise for a while.

How did you like your ship? I saw her from port and she was a beauty. That's one big thing I noticed about the ships. RC really has a beautiful fleet.

Any info would be great..we are considering RC next year with our 6-yr. old. Love this itinerary, but wonder if RC does a good job with the kids.

Thanks, and glad you had a great time!

Lisa

[b]Monarch of the Seas - 1994
Royal Majesty - 1996


Until VICTORY is ours 5/9/04


<MARQUEE>A day at sea is better than a day at work</MARQUEE>
#3
Central Jersey
2,588 Posts
Joined Dec 2002
Hi Jeff,
We are on the Explorer this Sunday staying in a Junior Suite also!

Did you have robes in the suite?

What nights were the Formal ones?
Did you eat in Portofino's, and was it hard to get resy's? Will hubby be ok with just a shirt and tie, and no jacket there?

What time did you board the ship?

I am sorry I have so many questions...it's just that I am getting very excited!!!

Pat


till we start celebrating our 20th Anniversary on the
The Explorer of the Seas~~~~5/04
NCL Dawn~~~6/03
Star Cruises~~~Singapore 2001



#4
589 Posts
Joined Sep 2002
Thanks for offering to answer questions. What type of motion sickness medication did they have available? On a CARNIVAL cruise my wife and I took several years ago, they had DRAMAMINE aat no charge outside the medical office on the ship.

10/20 PARADISE
#5
Atlanta Suburb
2,158 Posts
Joined Feb 2002
TT,

Since alot of us know about ;the ship, how about a review of what you did in Costa Mucho and Belize. How was the tendering in Belize?




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

#6
5 Posts
Joined Feb 2004
Hey all!!!
I can vouge for the fact that TT had a great time, we saw the shot glass grave yard when we returned from shore Bet Jeff does not remember saying hello I posted a review on the main board fopr those of you who want some info. Have a great cruise
Weclome home TT

#7
Atlanta Suburb
2,158 Posts
Joined Feb 2002
Gayle,
where did you post it? I can't find it




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

#8
Hudson, OH
214 Posts
Joined Feb 2004
We are going Explorer Western 5/23. A few questions...
1. Can you remember what menu/dinner themes were which night? What were they?
2. Did you try Portofino and was it worth the money?
3. If you had kids with you, were there any kids dining nights with the Adventure Ocean group? Whicn nights?
4. How was food & entertainment?
5. Any recommendations/tips?

All help is appreciated!
Thanks,
Kurt

Explorer 5/04
Grand Princess 5/02
Century 7/00
Sovereign 6/96
Big Red Boat 4/90
#9
105 Posts
Joined May 2001
A question for you... we have been sailing out of Baltimore on the 'Galaxy' the lasat two years. I won a 4 night cruise on the Majesty from RCCL and tacked on a 7-night Explorer cruise. We booked our own air (thru our TA) and purchased transfers. We were told that all passengers are now required to claim their bags at the airport. We were used to checking them at Philly Intl and seeing them at our cabin. Is this true?
RCCLMiami
Majesty 11/1/04
Explorer 11/7/04
#10
Tampa, FL
193 Posts
Joined Jan 2002
Hey everyone! Thanks for loading me up with the questions today...hopefully I can give some good answers.

Here we go...

imatarb - I've cruised both Carnival and RCCL. In my opinion, I would have to say RCCL is superior to Carnival in the service that is provided and the overall ammenities aboard the ship. I've cruised a Voyager class ship for the past four years and have yet to get bored with them. As far as the kids program goes, I've always heard good things about the Adventure Ocean program, it really seems the staff onboard do a good job keeping the kids busy and having fun from morning until night.

secrui - While I was standing at the pursur's desk, I noticed them handing out Bonine for motion sickness. My brother swears by this stuff! It's available at your local drug store. Just be sure to start taking it a day prior to sailing so that it gets into your system. After that, you shouldn't feel any effects of motion sickness.

Ollie_WA - Yes, robes were delivered to our suite the first evening. The bathroom also was stocked with large bottles of complimentary lotions, soaps and conditioners as well. The formal nights were Monday (first day at sea) and Friday (Grand Cayman). Unfortunately I did not eat at Portofino's. However, I've heard only good things about dining there...a shirt and tie should be just fine. You will notice a wide variety of dress even during the formal nights. We arrived at the pier at about 10:30 and were onboard just after noon. The sailing prior to the one I was on cleared customs late, so they were running behind boarding us, otherwise I would imagine we would have been onboard around 11:00 - 11:30.

gkrebs - Great question...I'd love to talk about those two ports, they've turned into my favorites!

Tendering into Belize wasn't as bad as I thought it might be. For this port, you do have to have a tender ticket. One of the people in my group got up early to insure we had a ticket for one of the first boats to leave. He simply went down to the 3rd floor dining room at 7am and came back with tickets for the second tender. The first tenders were called for around 9am ship time (7am Belize time). The second tender departed at appx. 9:30 and we were standing in Belize City at about 9:45. This was a tricky part for our group since the first water taxis to leave Belize City for Caulker Caye were at 10am ship time (8am Belize time), we only had 15 minutes to find the terminal and buy a ticket. We didn't have any excursions planned, our goal was to get to Caulker Caye and find a local guide to take us out to the reef, but on our time table. The water taxi schedule makes planning excursions ahead of time difficult. Needless to say, we made the first water taxi ($40 U.S. roundtrip to Caye Caulker). Oh yeah, by the way...we had researched prices ahead of time for the water taxi...turns out the price went up on May 9th, so we had quite a surprise we when went to pay. Anyway, it was well worth it. The ride over to the Caye was amazing...the barrier islands and water around Belize is awesome! After a 45 minute ride, we arrived at Caye Caulker. We came across a local on the pier who asked what we would like to do? After we explained our time table and what we were interested in, we felt confident he would find a guide that was to our liking. We all boarded his golf cart (there are no cars on this island) and he took us about 100 yds. to business called Mario's Tours. Mario agreed to take us out to three stops on the reef (Shark/Ray Alley, and two stops along the reef) for $17 US!! What a deal when you compare prices on the ship huh? We then walked down to the beach to wait for him to bring the boat around, all the while drinking some of the local beer called Belikin. We then headed out on the boat for about a 15 minute ride to the reef. We had about 45 minutes to swim at each stop with Mario providing the bait/chum to attract the rays, nurse sharks and fish. We practically had the entire reef to ourselves the whole time and I would highly recommend Mario as a guide, he is a very knowledgeable local. Once the tour was over, he dropped us off at "The Split". For those of you who aren't familiar with what that is, it is a channel that was dredged out right through the island when a hurricane hit about 40 years ago. Anyway, there is a great little shack of a beach bar at the point there called the Lazy Lizard...all kinds of beer and frozen drinks...not to mention an amazing view! You can even swim across "The Split" to the other part of the island. A word of caution though, my brother and I swam across with the current in about a minute, however swimming back against the current took a little longer, probably closer to five minutes...lol. The freestyle swimming, turned into floating on my back and kicking to save energy...it was an experience to say the least though. Our group then walked the island back to the point where we would meet out water taxi back to Belize City. Let me just say, this is one of the coolest little islands I've ever been on. It is very unspoiled or untouched...no sign off being commercialized at all. Rooms range from $12 a night with no A/C to the nicer one's going for about $65. Words really can't described this place at all, it's just a "vibe" you've got to experience. The six of us only ran into two other people from our ship the entire day! I'm sure there are plenty of people who went to Belize and don't have good things to say about it, but I'm glad I was able to find one of those places off the beaten path that was a gem...I just hope it continues to stay relatively unknown. Ok, sorry if I got a little side-tracked. We met our water taxi at 3:30 ship time (1:30 Belize time) and headed back to Belize City to catch the tender to the ship. Another word of warning. If you go to Caye Caulker, don't miss the 1:30 water taxi!! If you do, the next one won't get you back to Belize City in time to catch the last tender back to the ship. The last one is 5:15 ship time.

Costa Maya was another gem in my opinion! We docked early, and were off the boat and on the beach by 9:30. We took a taxi from the shopping area to Majahual ($5 US). We then walked to the end of the tiny little fishing village to a little beach bar called Pez Quadro. Basically we just used this as a beach day and enjoyed the water. The reef is located about 500 yds offshore and the water is so shallow, you can practically walk all the way out to it! The first time we tried, it was low tide, but eventually we got to a point where it was too rocky to walk without aqua shoes, so we waited until later in the day when the tide was coming in and just swam over that portion. My brother and I took a mask out there and were easily the only two people out there checking out the coral...all the while, the water was only a foot to two feet deep! We pretty much spent the day wandering from beach bar to beach bar sampling the local beers and stopping for lunch along the way. We also decided to stop for a massage along the way too. A 30 minute massage was only $20 US and what an experience that was...as if the beach wasn't relaxing enough, we sat underneath a palm tree just feet from the surf and let the masseuse do her thing! All in all this is a great little beach stop with plenty of shopping, food and drink and water sports to take in! Hopefully my review helped you out for the most part, if you have any other questions, please feel free to ask!

sunnyerbunns - Hey there, welcome back to you as well! Too bad it had to come to an end huh? Yes, we did manage to put quite a dent into the shot glass supply at Carlos-n-Charlies!! LOL Our shot glass tower started off slowly, but eventually it hit the ceiling! Ok, you've got me...I don't remember saying "hello" I'm sorry!! That day has some blurry spots...lol.

Well, let me wrap this up for now! I've got to run out really quick, but I promise to answer you KurtMo! In the meantime, please keep all the questions coming! Talk to you all again soon!

Jeff
#13
Central Jersey
2,588 Posts
Joined Dec 2002
Jeff, Thank you so much for answering all my questions, and sharing so much great info! I am copying it all and taking it wth me this weekend!!!

Pat


till we start celebrating our 20th Anniversary on the
The Explorer of the Seas~~~~5/04
NCL Dawn~~~6/03
Star Cruises~~~Singapore 2001



#14
Atlanta Suburb
2,158 Posts
Joined Feb 2002
Jeff,

Thanks for the answers. What site did you find the ferry schedules on?




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

#15
Tampa, FL
193 Posts
Joined Jan 2002
Hey everyone and good morning! Let's see if I can catch up on the questions I missed yesterday evening!

gkrebs - Here is the link we used:

http://www.gocayecaulker.com/members/ccwta.html

Ollie_WA - Glad I could be of some help...hope you have a great cruise!

Cheeseburger in paradise - The cruise director for our sailing was James...now I'm drawing a blank unfortunately...I will get you his last name. At any rate, he did a great job the entire cruise and hosted our Cruise Critic Meet and Mingle Party...very friendly guy! I must say one other thing though. He hosted the Love & Marriage game and it turned into one of the most bizarre shows I've ever seen of that kind. There was a couple that didn't speak much English who kind of had a hard time with answering some of the questions, at any rate...he did a great job with handling it all I thought. It was a hilarious evening to say the least.

rcclmiami - I'm sorry that I don't have the answer to your question. Living in Tampa, I usually just drive to the ports here.

KurtMo - The dining was as follows:

Sun - was the Welcome Aboard dinner (casual)
Mon - first formal night
Tues - Italian
Wed - Caribbean
Thurs - I can't remember??
Fri - second formal night and Gala buffet
Sat - Bon voyage dinner

I did not have a change to eat at Portofino's, but have heard excellent things about the dining there.

We had late seating, and I didn't really notice very many really. I do know the Adventure Ocean program puts on a little something with the kids one of the nights.

The food and entertainment was very good. I was please every night with my meal and if I wasn't, then I would have simply picked something else off the menu. We ate every morning in the Island Grill (Windjammer) and the food was excellent...always hot and the omelette station was awesome! Most of the time we ate lunch at Johnny Rocket's and there is definitely nothing to complain about on that menu!!

As far as the entertainment goes, I made it to a few events. The Beatles Tribute band was great, the Love & Marriage show was hilarious and the live music in the lounges and bars was very good too.

One tip for you! It's your vacation...make the most of it! Try new things and just be happy that you are away from reality for an entire week!

Keep the questions coming...

Jeff
#16
Cincinnati, Ohio
3,595 Posts
Joined Sep 2000
Hey Jeff.. did you go to the Mix&Mingle? My friend Laura won the Portofino's certificates. She said it was wonderful.

She's never posted on the boards before. She found out about M&M from our cruise on the Granduer last month (she's been on over 30 cruises - we should all be so lucky)

Maureen

Princess Sun 2/27/2005
Mariner of the Seas 10/16/2005
#17
Tampa, FL
193 Posts
Joined Jan 2002
Hi Maureen -

Yes, we did go to the CruiseCritic party and I do remember her now that you mention she was the one who received the Portofino's gift certificate. 30 is a lot of cruises...I feel pretty lucky to have just completed my 15th!!
#18
Quincy, MA USA
456 Posts
Joined Mar 2004
Thanks TTCruiser..any and all insight is great. Sounds like you had a wonderful time. I don't even know what other questions to ask. I just can't wait I;m sailing May 30th.


Explorer of the Seas
#19
Mooresville, NC 28117
26 Posts
Joined Jun 2003
Thank you for the info on the cruise director, if it was James Andrews I have heard nothing but great things about him< they can really make or break the entertainment. As for love and marriage game , my wife and I were on Voyager two years ago for our 15th. ann. and we were selected to be the 10-15 year couple wwhat a rip we ended up winning the game-we played no holes barred figured what the heck well never see these people again, I think we metEVERYONE on the ship those who saw the show and those who saw it on the TV!!!!!!!!!!!
#20
Merion, Pennsylvania
59,498 Posts
Joined Oct 2003
Ah, the curse of celebrity! LOL



Voyager of the Seas - 5-day to Canada - NO AIRFARE!!!! 8/2004


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