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Explorer June 23, 2011 Review


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We had over 80 registered for the Meet and Mingle.

 

About 40 showed up. They gave out a lot of good gifts. My son got a $50 internet credit, as did a couple of others. Wine packages, shore excursions, and other gifts were given out. Really nice.

 

We decided to do a cabin crawl. However, only about 10 showed up for it, but for those of that did, it was pretty good.

 

We started at the Sky Bar, and walked our way down, starting with Eric's Owner Suite on deck 10.

 

6_PR9991_suite353.jpg?t=1309819218

 

6_PR9991_suite363.jpg?t=1309819294

 

6_PR9991_suite33.jpg?t=1309819344

 

6_PR9991_suite2.jpg?t=1309819443

 

From there, down to deck 9, Jr. Suite.

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This cruise we had one waiter with one assistant. We had 9 of us at a 10 top, and 4 or 5 of us were on the 3/2/1 or 3/2/2 plan.

 

I would rate it consistently very good to excellent. The 3/2/1 plan worked incredibly well. If you cannot be happy with the MDR dining experience, you are pretty hard to please.

 

I'm sorry, I don't know what you mean by a 10 top and the 3/2/1 or 3/2/2?

 

Another question - The segway tour in PR, did you book it with the ship or on your own? How long was the tour and how much?

 

Great review. I will be on the same cruise in April and I can't wait. :D

 

Thanks,

 

Loralie

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I'm sorry, I don't know what you mean by a 10 top and the 3/2/1 or 3/2/2?

 

Another question - The segway tour in PR, did you book it with the ship or on your own? How long was the tour and how much?

 

Great review. I will be on the same cruise in April and I can't wait. :D

 

Thanks,

 

Loralie

 

Table was for 10. We had nine bodies. One empty seat.

 

The 3/2/1 was that 4 or 5 of us always ordered 3 appetizers, 2 full dinners, and one dessert.

 

On some evenings, we changed it up a bit and ordered 4 appetizers each, two dinners, and two desserts. That would be the 4/2/2 plan.

 

I booked the Segway tour direct for $75. Got an email back that for the date I booked, they were only accepting EOS customers, so I had to rebook thru the cruise line for $99.

 

The tour was a good two hours. I highly recommend it, we had a great time, and it was incredibly easy to do.

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I know that somethings can be confusing, so if anyone has questions, please ask.

 

I will be happy to share my experience and opinions with anyone that asks.

 

As for the 3/2/1 MDR plan, just to be clear, you can order anything that you want, and as much as you want. Just do so at the beginning of the order, and they are happy to bring it on.

 

If you decide later in the meal that you would like another main course or appetizer, it is kind of disruptive, so order it all at the same time.

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Table was for 10. We had nine bodies. One empty seat.

 

The 3/2/1 was that 4 or 5 of us always ordered 3 appetizers, 2 full dinners, and one dessert.

 

On some evenings, we changed it up a bit and ordered 4 appetizers each, two dinners, and two desserts. That would be the 4/2/2 plan.

 

I booked the Segway tour direct for $75. Got an email back that for the date I booked, they were only accepting EOS customers, so I had to rebook thru the cruise line for $99.

 

The tour was a good two hours. I highly recommend it, we had a great time, and it was incredibly easy to do.

 

 

Thanks for the info, can't wait to read the rest!

 

Loralie

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Thanks for the info, can't wait to read the rest!

 

Loralie

 

Not a lot more to write.

 

But, how about this. Last port was Puerto Rico. Left at noon for the long sail home. Six O'clock PM, we are at dinner, talking about pictures of the sunset. At about 6:10 PM. I look out the window, and the sun is there on the horizon.

 

We are heading North, we are on the starboard side, and the sun is setting in the East??????:eek:

 

I mention this to everyone, and tell them, HEY, WE ARE SAILING DUE SOUTH! BACK TO PUERTO RICO!

 

Nah, no way.

 

At about 6:30 the Captain comes on the intersom

 

"Ladies and Gentlemen, we have encountered a medical emergency, and we are heading back towards Puerto Rico. We estimate that we will be heading due south for 2 to 3 hours until we can have a Coast Guard Helicopter meet us to medivac the patient off and take them to Puerto Rico."

 

At about 9 PM the Coast Guard helicopter arrived. First dropped off a crew member. He then scouted out the situation, then he sent a nurse up, then the patient, then the Coast Guardsman, and off they went.

 

I bumped into the Captain the next day, and I was able to ask him about the operation. First, if you can imagine, everyone at the dinner seating was ready to stampede to deck 11 and 12 to get good sight lines for this operation, me included. But, no one was allowed on any of the top decks, all were closed down. I asked the Captain about this, and he said safety issues would not permit anyone in the vicinity of the helicopter operation.

 

We were able to see some of it from the pool deck, but not the helipad in the front. Copter never landed, hovered, and dropped the line to pick everyone up. Captain said they would never land a copter at sea, and that the ship was always moving, as moving kept the ship in control.

 

Interesting evening.

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I remember walking up that hill and catching the bus

 

Yes, there is quite the hill to walk up to get to the main road to catch the bus.

 

But, in the parking lot, you can grab a cab. Also, if you want to get the bus, there is a guy that will drive you to the top of the hill for $2.

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Back to the cabin crawl, wound up finishing with two interior connecting rooms. You really cannot see the connecting part, but there is a door to the right with the same room on the other side. Makes a lot of sense, two rooms, two bathrooms, two TVs:

 

_DSC0406.jpg?t=1309826807

 

And last, but not least, deck 8 promenade view. Notice the Phillies shirt hanging (can barely see it, but from the promenade, you can) in the window:

 

_DSC0405.jpg?t=1309826930

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me and my family were on this cruise as well......total of 14 of us!! my cabin was me, my wife and 15 month old baby in the crib...tight fit in the room.

i thought the menu in the main dining room for dinner was just ok compared to past cruises......our waiter and ass't waiter were not the best....took forever to just get a glass of water... every night my baby drank whole milk with her dinner.....yet it took at least 20 minutes to get the milk when we arrived....the waiters were tipped as per their service for the week..enough said..

 

we did the babysitter one night for 2 hours....well worth the $ 19.....

 

glad to hear the waiter who was airlifted off the ship is recovering in san juan.

 

saw lots of philles fans on the ship....that stunk being a mets fan ...

NJTOM

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Tom, I think you got the short straw as far as wait staff. We had a wonderful waiter and ass't waiter. My husband had 2 sodas waiting for him every evening and one of the kids at our table always got his chocolate milk right away. On the first night we asked for savory bites and for the rest of the cruise we had a small basket of savory bites waiting for us every night.

 

Lori

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I was on the Explorer in October, but never had lunch in the MDR. I'm going again in September, and want to try the MDR for lunch. I know about the salad bar, but what else do they serve? Is it hamburgers and sandwiches, or hot meals like dinner?

 

Thanks

Gail

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We had a biker group on the cruise, about 20 of them, and they brought their Harleys on the ship, and took them out on each port of call.

 

MC_DSC0069.jpg?t=1309866533

 

Here is a shot of Bayonne port taken from our balcony on deck 9. Right above the parked cars is the facility where you check in.

 

lot_DSC0072.jpg?t=1309866581

 

Here is our wait staff.

 

waitstaff_DSC0037.jpg?t=1309866888

 

Michael, Cheryl our main waiter, Emrah Head Waiter, and Yovanni our assistant waiter.

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000_DSC0173.jpg?t=1309867056

 

The Royal Caribbean dancers and band were excellent. We went to all the shows at the Palace, our time was after dinner at 9.

 

In addition, they also had 3 comeddiens that were good. They had some other performers, an acapella band that the women loved, but I hated.

 

Overall, entertainment was pretty good.

 

Following is a picture of the Palace.

 

Palace_DSC0010.jpg?t=1309867386

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really enjoying the review. my group was on the same sailing and we loved it. seriously considering doing it again next year. loved leaving out of Bayonne and coming back and everything in between.

your review is right on including the trouble at dinner with drink orders. our waiter was outstanding (Godfrey), but our asst. waiter, while very nice, needed work.

ship looked great and staff was friendly and helpful.

Jimmy Rhodes definitely lacks energy (just kidding) and the helicopter rescue was pretty impressive. There was some video of it on tv the next morning. We were in Portofino at time of rescue and Captain Olaf came in immediately after it was finished with his wife to meet and greet some of the Harley group. It was his birthday and everyone sang happy birthday to him. The Harley group had a present for him. I think it was a t-shirt.

Anyway, thanks for the review and we loved everything too.

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BTW, the Captain announced that the EOS will be going out of Bayonne until April 2013.

 

We were on the June 9-18 cruise a couple weeks back, and during the Q&A the Captain was unequivocal that the Explorer was leaving Bayonne in April 2013. He also hinted very strongly that Bayonne would be the eventual home of the first Sunshine class ship.

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really enjoying the review. my group was on the same sailing and we loved it. seriously considering doing it again next year. loved leaving out of Bayonne and coming back and everything in between.

your review is right on including the trouble at dinner with drink orders. our waiter was outstanding (Godfrey), but our asst. waiter, while very nice, needed work.

ship looked great and staff was friendly and helpful.

Jimmy Rhodes definitely lacks energy (just kidding) and the helicopter rescue was pretty impressive. There was some video of it on tv the next morning. We were in Portofino at time of rescue and Captain Olaf came in immediately after it was finished with his wife to meet and greet some of the Harley group. It was his birthday and everyone sang happy birthday to him. The Harley group had a present for him. I think it was a t-shirt.

Anyway, thanks for the review and we loved everything too.

 

This was a great cruise. Your review is spot on Johneeo!

 

Brian, I still owe you a pint at the pub! Mabe next time.

 

Eric

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great review, lots of info there.

 

a few questions for people who have been on this cruise if thats ok?

 

we are looking at booking an inside room, apart from being small and no window, they're not all too bad are they?

 

at st maarten, is the traffic really as bad as everyone says it is? would it be best to visit the airport beach early on before the traffic gets bad, then do a tour/relax in the afternoon.

 

 

are there any alcoholic drinks packages available on the 9 night cruise, as i think saw something about the $40 unlimited sodas, but no mention of anything else.

also, how strict are the crew with you brining on alcohol from any ports you call at - i.e searching bags etc.

 

 

i had many more questions, but i've forgotten them already:D

 

thanks!

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great review, lots of info there.

 

a few questions for people who have been on this cruise if thats ok?

 

we are looking at booking an inside room, apart from being small and no window, they're not all too bad are they?

 

at st maarten, is the traffic really as bad as everyone says it is? would it be best to visit the airport beach early on before the traffic gets bad, then do a tour/relax in the afternoon.

 

 

are there any alcoholic drinks packages available on the 9 night cruise, as i think saw something about the $40 unlimited sodas, but no mention of anything else.

also, how strict are the crew with you brining on alcohol from any ports you call at - i.e searching bags etc.

 

 

i had many more questions, but i've forgotten them already:D

 

thanks!

I had an inside room for me, my wife and my 11 year old daughter. It was tight but you are basically using it to sleep so it's not a big deal. If 3 people are getting ready at the same time, it can be frustrating, but we tried not to do that.

We would send my daughter to the room late in the afternoon to take her shower and start to get ready so she was out of our way when we got back. I would shower and dress in 20 minutes and leave the room, so it all worked out. It was also way cheaper than a balcony room (approx. $1600 at the time) and not much smaller, although the balcony gives you another place to hang out.

In St. Maarten my crew of 9 took the water taxi across Great Bay to the beach and we jet ski'd and rode the banana boat, so no traffic. It also allowed the ladies to shop a little as it's within walking distance of the beach. Definitely not as nice as Orient Beach, but the jet ski's and banana boat were unbelievable fun.

I'm not sure about alcohol packages, but I do know that my very dumb 20 year old nephew attempted to sneak rum on board from San Juan and was caught. I wasn't with him, so I don't know exactly how they caught him, but as I said, he can be quite dumb!!

Don't hesitate on this cruise. It was great and 9 days blows away a 7 day trip.

Loved it!

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This was a great cruise. Your review is spot on Johneeo!

 

Brian, I still owe you a pint at the pub! Mabe next time.

 

Eric

I'm sorry we didn't meet Eric. My crew wanted to come to the meet and mingle, but there were so many things we wanted to do at the same time.

We absolutely loved everything, but I was disappointed that there was no Guinness on tap. The bartender said it was broken and all they had were the cans. I did have a few of those.

The only tap beer was in Weekend Warrior, which was good, and the bartender also had baseball scores he had downloaded, so I got a few yankee scores while I was away.

I hope you had as good a time as we had.

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great review, lots of info there.

 

a few questions for people who have been on this cruise if thats ok?

 

we are looking at booking an inside room, apart from being small and no window, they're not all too bad are they?

 

at st maarten, is the traffic really as bad as everyone says it is? would it be best to visit the airport beach early on before the traffic gets bad, then do a tour/relax in the afternoon.

 

 

are there any alcoholic drinks packages available on the 9 night cruise, as i think saw something about the $40 unlimited sodas, but no mention of anything else.

also, how strict are the crew with you brining on alcohol from any ports you call at - i.e searching bags etc.

 

 

i had many more questions, but i've forgotten them already:D

 

thanks!

 

I have always stayed in an inside room, as I'd rather spend less on a room and be able to cruise more often :D They really aren't that bad and we got an amazing price on our 9 night in May!

 

The traffic was pretty horrible when we were on St. Martin. We went to Maho early (around 12ish) and saw plenty of planes come in. We decided to leave around 3ish and it took us well over an hour and 15 minutes to get back to the ship even though it only took us about 15 minutes to get to the beach. There's some construction going on with one of the bridges and our bus driver said it is bad EVERY SINGLE DAY from around noonish until very late at night because of this. Definitely leave yourself enough time.

 

Only European cruises have the alcoholic packages available. The soda package is good if you plan on drinking 3+ sodas a day.

 

We picked up some rum in St. Thomas and they were making everyone turn it in. This wasn't an issue for us as we bought them as gifts, but they are very aware of people trying to get booze back on board. I was able to bring a few cans of soda back on board from San Juan. Every bag gets scanned (like in an airport) before you are allowed back on board, so they can see what is in the bags.

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I had an inside room for me, my wife and my 11 year old daughter. It was tight but you are basically using it to sleep so it's not a big deal. If 3 people are getting ready at the same time, it can be frustrating, but we tried not to do that.

We would send my daughter to the room late in the afternoon to take her shower and start to get ready so she was out of our way when we got back. I would shower and dress in 20 minutes and leave the room, so it all worked out. It was also way cheaper than a balcony room (approx. $1600 at the time) and not much smaller, although the balcony gives you another place to hang out.

In St. Maarten my crew of 9 took the water taxi across Great Bay to the beach and we jet ski'd and rode the banana boat, so no traffic. It also allowed the ladies to shop a little as it's within walking distance of the beach. Definitely not as nice as Orient Beach, but the jet ski's and banana boat were unbelievable fun.

I'm not sure about alcohol packages, but I do know that my very dumb 20 year old nephew attempted to sneak rum on board from San Juan and was caught. I wasn't with him, so I don't know exactly how they caught him, but as I said, he can be quite dumb!!

Don't hesitate on this cruise. It was great and 9 days blows away a 7 day trip.

Loved it!

 

 

thanks for the quick reply!

yeah, thats pretty much our thoughts on rooms - it's a place to sleep. besides, we like to get value out of our holidays, and since we would be flying from the UK, it would allow us to spend 3-4 nights in NYC before the cruise, for the same price as a balcony upgrade.

so, the water taxi will take you from the ship around to the great bay, that sounds better than sitting in a taxi. did you visit the airport beach when you were there?

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I have always stayed in an inside room, as I'd rather spend less on a room and be able to cruise more often :D They really aren't that bad and we got an amazing price on our 9 night in May!

 

The traffic was pretty horrible when we were on St. Martin. We went to Maho early (around 12ish) and saw plenty of planes come in. We decided to leave around 3ish and it took us well over an hour and 15 minutes to get back to the ship even though it only took us about 15 minutes to get to the beach. There's some construction going on with one of the bridges and our bus driver said it is bad EVERY SINGLE DAY from around noonish until very late at night because of this. Definitely leave yourself enough time.

 

Only European cruises have the alcoholic packages available. The soda package is good if you plan on drinking 3+ sodas a day.

 

We picked up some rum in St. Thomas and they were making everyone turn it in. This wasn't an issue for us as we bought them as gifts, but they are very aware of people trying to get booze back on board. I was able to bring a few cans of soda back on board from San Juan. Every bag gets scanned (like in an airport) before you are allowed back on board, so they can see what is in the bags.

 

great, thanks!

 

inside room it is then:cool:

 

i was wondering how they could check for booze in bags, but the scanner answers that! do they even scan small bags? large handbags/purses etc? :D

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