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bradpole

LIVE from Explorer of the Seas 12.3.12!

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Hello Everyone!

 

I wanted to everyone know that I plan to post “live” from the 12.3.12 sailing of Explorer of the Seas .

 

Inspired by the truly wonderful jobs that “Radio,” “Trainman-2,” and others have done I wanted once again do my own “live” thread.

 

DSC_5533_1024x679.jpg?m=1354382528

 

 

 

This will be my third attempt of posting live, and this time I hope to be able to post larger pictures than I have in the past.

 

I’ll be uploading photos to my online gallery which can be found here

http://www.polerez.com/cruisephotos/index.php/Explorer-of-the-Seas-12-3-12

 

 

Our ports are in reverse order of this graphic.

vi-Gallery%20Image.jpeg?m=1354211944

 

 

vi-Gallery%20Image-2068147327.jpeg?m=1354211957

To make things easier to view the photos I have setup an album for each day of the cruise.

 

In the past I have used tapatalk on my iPhone and iPad, although it is quick and easy to use, the photo quality that I was able to post had been less than spectacular. Hopefully by posting the photos directly to my photo gallery they will be larger and better quality! Only time will tell!

 

As long as the wifi/internet gods allow I plan to post at least once a day.

 

I’ll be joined on this cruise with my mom. We are greatly looking forward to this vacation to escape the cold and after how the last cruise ended (you can catch up on that fiasco here on page 6 http://forums.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1630936 ) we really need to escape!

 

This will be our 4th time on Explorer of the Seas. Our first time (and our first Royal Caribbean cruise) was way back in 2003 for a 7 night Western Caribbean out of Miami.

 

In 2006 we were once again onboard for Explorer’s Repo Cruise from Bayonne to Miami, and our last cruise on Explorer was back in 2007 for a 12 night Christmas and New Years Eve cruise.

 

Before the cruise officially begins I thought I’d share a story with everyone.

 

A few weeks ago I was printing out the setsail pass and other documents. While skimming over the docs I happened to notice a sentence that sent chills down my spine. “For your protection, we recommend that your passport book expiration date not occur within six (6) months following the voyage termination date.” My passport had been set to expire in March 2013!

 

By the time I noticed this it was Mid November! A rush passport by mail takes about 2-3 weeks. Looking at the calendar I probably could have renewed my passport via the mail but having both Veterans Day and Thanksgiving during those weeks I didn’t want to risk not having my passport back in time.

 

In doing some research and phone calls it was determined that my passport would “most likely” be fine. I “shouldn’t” have any issues. In my mind “most likely,” and “shouldn’t” aren’t words I like to hear. Also, I probably could have used my birth certificate and drivers license, but after cruising for 10 years with a passport why chance that my birth certificate and photo ID wasn’t good enough.

 

Luckily living in Wilmington, Delaware the State Department has a passport agency in Philadelphia. I made an appointment, I had to wait a few days until it was 2 weeks prior to departure, and drove to the passport agency to renew my passport. I have to say the people at the Philadelphia passport agency are the most enjoyable and pleasant government employees I have ever dealt with... I mean that! The process was quick and easy. After I paid the $110 for the passport and the $60 rush fee I was told to come back the Friday after Thanksgiving to pick up my new passport. I seems depending on how soon you are traveling determines how quickly you will receive your new passport. The lady at the next window was told to come back that afternoon, so it seems even same day turnaround is available if you are truly in a pinch.

 

So with a brand new passport in hand we’re ready to set sail!

 

So to everyone who cruises on a passport, check your expiration date, your passport MAY expire BEFORE you think it does!

 

I hope you follow along, and if you have any questions please let me know!

 

Just an FYI, if the new menus are on Explorer (I think I read they are) I plan to post what they are for the 10 night cruises on Explorer.

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Looking forward to your review - just finished NorbertsNiece so timing is great for another review - ENJOY!

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I am along for the ride. At least until I leave for my cruise on the Explorer on Dec. 13th. We may even cross paths while you are leaving and I am boarding.;)

 

Have a great cruise and take care of the ship for us, please.

 

Gwen :)

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We will be sailing on your cruise tomorrow. We have a very active meet and mingle roll call thread. Come and say hi.

 

Melissa

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Wahoo! Live reports are awesome!

 

You are right about Radios and Trainman2's reports. Theirs inspired me for the ones I did too.

 

Looking forward to your live report!

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk. Please excuse any typographical errors.

Edited by MrFunInTheSun

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I am really looking forward to your live review as we are on this same cruise in March. Would love to see your cruise compasses and menus. Explorer does have the new menus as we had them on our October cruise. I am also looking forward to your plans while in port. Happy sails :)

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I am really looking forward to your live review as we are on this same cruise in March. Would love to see your cruise compasses and menus. Explorer does have the new menus as we had them on our October cruise. I am also looking forward to your plans while in port. Happy sails :)

 

That shouldn't be a problem!

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I am really looking forward to your live review as we are on this same cruise in March. Would love to see your cruise compasses and menus. Explorer does have the new menus as we had them on our October cruise. I am also looking forward to your plans while in port. Happy sails :)

 

As for plans in port, a whole lot of nothing!

 

Besides making sure we bring home a few boxes of the wonderful chocolate from the Belgium Chocolate lady in St Maarten for gifts we don't have very much planned.

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While skimming over the docs I happened to notice a sentence that sent chills down my spine. “For your protection, we recommend that your passport book expiration date not occur within six (6) months following the voyage termination date.”

 

Did anyone explain why the expiration date not occur within six months following the voyage termination date?

 

We will be on the Explorer in April. Without digging our passports out of the safe, I know that they are valid through our cruise, no problem. But I am pretty sure they expire less than 6 months after our cruise.

 

Just trying to keep all my ducks in a row;)

 

ETA: I see it stated on Royals website http://www.royalcaribbean.com/beforeyouboard/travelDocumentation.do?cS=NAVBAR&pnav=4&snav=5

 

ETA again!!! Just told my hubby about this, he said that we better renew them! Don't want any issues!

Edited by sharod

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I’ll be joined on this cruise with my mom. We are greatly looking forward to this vacation to escape the cold

 

Looks like the weather is going to hit 67 this week in Philly / NY area.:rolleyes:

 

Look forward to your postings, loved the EOS, great ship, great crew.

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What great news!! I will be on the computer more than ever this week. Thank you for doing this.

Sharon I

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Looks like the weather is going to hit 67 this week in Philly / NY area.:rolleyes:

 

Look forward to your postings, loved the EOS, great ship, great crew.

 

I know... Don't rub it in :). Who would think high 60's in December! October perhaps, but December?

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Cant wait to read more. Great to see more Delaware people using Bayonne!!!! there are 6 of us going to San Juan in February on the Adventure!!!

 

Say hi to Jody in the Windjammer for me!!!

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Did anyone explain why the expiration date not occur within six months following the voyage termination date?

 

We will be on the Explorer in April. Without digging our passports out of the safe, I know that they are valid through our cruise, no problem. But I am pretty sure they expire less than 6 months after our cruise.

 

Just trying to keep all my ducks in a row;)

 

ETA: I see it stated on Royals website http://www.royalcaribbean.com/beforeyouboard/travelDocumentation.do?cS=NAVBAR&pnav=4&snav=5

 

ETA again!!! Just told my hubby about this, he said that we better renew them! Don't want any issues!

 

I'm with you, better safe than sorry! For me the $60 rush fee, and a morning trip to Philadelphia, was cheap insurance I wouldn't be waving the ship tomorrow as it left me behind.

 

I could never find an explanation that much sense to me. The best I could come up with is, it is to protect you if something should happen such as an accident and you had to spend longer in a country than you anticipated.

 

Who knows if for a Caribbean cruise there would be any issues. I wasn't about to take any chances! Considering on a closed loop cruise you can still travel on a brith certificate and photo ID, one would assume a valid passport is a valid passport.

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Cant wait to read more. Great to see more Delaware people using Bayonne!!!! there are 6 of us going to San Juan in February on the Adventure!!!

 

Say hi to Jody in the Windjammer for me!!!

We are in a perfect location. 2 hours or so north to Bayonne or an hour - ish south to Baltimore

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Did anyone explain why the expiration date not occur within six months following the voyage termination date?

 

We will be on the Explorer in April. Without digging our passports out of the safe, I know that they are valid through our cruise, no problem. But I am pretty sure they expire less than 6 months after our cruise.

 

Just trying to keep all my ducks in a row;)

 

ETA: I see it stated on Royals website http://www.royalcaribbean.com/beforeyouboard/travelDocumentation.do?cS=NAVBAR&pnav=4&snav=5

 

ETA again!!! Just told my hubby about this, he said that we better renew them! Don't want any issues!

 

I'm with you, better safe than sorry! For me the $60 rush fee, and a morning trip to Philadelphia, was cheap insurance I wouldn't be waving the ship tomorrow as it left me behind.

 

I could never find an explanation that much sense to me. The best I could come up with is, it is to protect you if something should happen such as an accident and you had to spend longer in a country than you anticipated.

 

Who knows if for a Caribbean cruise there would be any issues. I wasn't about to take any chances! Considering on a closed loop cruise you can still travel on a brith certificate and photo ID, one would assume a valid passport is a valid passport.

 

While there's nothing wrong with renewing your passports, you're being intimidated by the word "recommends", which is not the same as "requires". "Recommends" is used in the introduction to that section, which covers all types of cruises. If you read a few lines down where the specific requirements for cruises leaving from domestic ports are detailed, you'll see the passport only has to be "valid"...which means it has not yet expired. In fact, for closed loop cruises such as those you're taking, you'll see that you aren't required to have a passport at all...any one of a number WHTI-compliant documents are acceptable, and even a birth certificate and photo ID combination for US citizens. If you think about it, six months remaining validity on a passport doesn't make sense if you don't need a passport to begin with. The six month requirement really applies for other itineraries...Europe, Asia, South America, Australia, etc. because you may encounter some countries on those itineraries with a six month passport validity requirement.

 

Enjoy your cruises.

Edited by njhorseman

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Very Exciting... Even more exciting is that I'll be on this sailing as well. It's always nice to read recaps of my sailing from another perspective! Looking forward to meeting you.

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My wife and her sister are on the ship until Dec 23rd. I look forward to following your review during this 10 day period. My wife is usually active on Cruise Critic boards so you will probably run into her at the Meet & Mingle. Look for "Seatravelers". They are identical twins, blondes, no way will I tell you how old they are! Lol

Have a great cruise & I look forward to your posts.

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While there's nothing wrong with renewing your passports, you're being intimidated by the word "recommends", which is not the same as "requires". "Recommends" is used in the introduction to that section, which covers all types of cruises. If you read a few lines down where the specific requirements for cruises leaving from domestic ports are detailed, you'll see the passport only has to be "valid"...which means it has not yet expired. In fact, for closed loop cruises such as those you're taking, you'll see that you aren't required to have a passport at all...any one of a number WHTI-compliant documents are acceptable, and even a birth certificate and photo ID combination for US citizens. If you think about it, six months remaining validity on a passport doesn't make sense if you don't need a passport to begin with. The six month requirement really applies for other itineraries...Europe, Asia, South America, Australia, etc. because you may encounter some countries on those itineraries with a six month passport validity requirement.

 

Enjoy your cruises.

 

I agree there is a HUGE difference between "require" and "recommend"

 

Had I only noticed that recommendation a day or two ago I would have most likely just used my old passport and hoped for the best!

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Good morning everyone!

 

Now the part I hate, killing time before heading to the pier!

 

We don't want to be "too early!"

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Enjoy your cruise Brad. We were on the Explorer this time last year for our first cruise with Royal witch has not been our last. We were on the Allure in April and leave this Saturday to cruise on the Brilliance. We loved the Explorer and her crew.....Have a great time.

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In most developed countries, even countries whose passport security standards exceed those of the United States (in the European Union, apart from the chip and the machine readability, the photos are also biometric and are embedded several times into the passport, not like in the United States where the photo is just scanned in once), one goes to the neighborhood police station or special office authorized to issue passports and ID cards, pays the fee, and gets the passport the same day.

 

While the passport by mail option in the United States is very convenient (in most European countries you have to go in person -- but it is usually very close to your home or office and you get the passport the same day), I just don't understand why if someone goes in person and pays additional rush fees, it still takes a few days for the passport to be issued.

 

Hope you enjoy your cruise. We go on the Explorer quite often.

 

Kind regards,

 

Gunther and Uta

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Enjoy the cruise! We are also on the next sailing, so as a PP said, please take care of the ship for us.

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I live about 20 minutes from the port and I just have to say what a beautiful day you have for the sailaway! The skies are blue and the sun is shining and it is already 53 degrees out. Enjoy!

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Good morning everyone!

 

Now the part I hate, killing time before heading to the pier!

 

We don't want to be "too early!"

 

Have a great time! The weather is beautiful here in the NY-NJ area. Keep us posted, and let us know when you board so that we can all live vicariously!

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For those of you who have sailed out of NJ, AND Port Canaveral or Baltimore... can you tell me how the port compares...? Boarding process? Port Canaveral is my favorite place to board, and after the nightmare of Miami, new places scare me!

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For those of you who have sailed out of NJ, AND Port Canaveral or Baltimore... can you tell me how the port compares...? Boarding process? Port Canaveral is my favorite place to board, and after the nightmare of Miami, new places scare me!

 

It's not a passenger port by design...you pull up, drop off stuff, go around, park, check in...wait...take a 2 minute bus ride to the ship ( can't walk due to safety reasons..)

 

that said...in all its un-beautfulness...it actually works. I've sailed out of Crusie Maryland, and that was easy. Port Canaveral, the one time I sailed, in November, was a nightmare.....they couldn't get the sea pass machines to work, the terminal was packed.....just not easy-though I have heard that is the exception....

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Same spiel on embarkation... 1pm... but with luck you can be onboard by 11:30?

 

It's not a passenger port by design...you pull up, drop off stuff, go around, park, check in...wait...take a 2 minute bus ride to the ship ( can't walk due to safety reasons..)

 

that said...in all its un-beautfulness...it actually works. I've sailed out of Crusie Maryland, and that was easy. Port Canaveral, the one time I sailed, in November, was a nightmare.....they couldn't get the sea pass machines to work, the terminal was packed.....just not easy-though I have heard that is the exception....

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