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LIVE from Explorer of the Seas 12.3.12!


bradpole

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Good morning from Day 9 onboard the Explorer of the Seas!

 

Busy Busy day today! We had to sent an alarm...yuck!

 

Yesterday was interesting, to say the least, about the silly "dress code" onboard the ship. The compass was published saying the dress code was Formal and it was also 70's night. I thought it was odd, I don't recall 70's night and Formal ever being together but what does it matter to me. Well as I was typing my posting for yesterday morning, the activities manager made a quick announcement (not broadcast very many places, I was in Dizzy's and just barely heard it) that formal night was day 9 not day 8. When we went to lunch the staff at the windjammer didn't know about the change back to casual. they were telling people, "enjoy formal night" until a guest said, "No, they announced it was casual night." So even they didn't know about the change back to casual, I'm guessing a few phone calls later they realized the change was communicated to everyone yet. During lunch the windjammer staff made a couple of announcements to try to inform people it was not in fact a formal night. Also, just before 5pm the activities manager made another announcement that it was a casual night.

 

On the way to the overflow concierge lounge we kept a keen eye for people who didn't get the message, we spotted 2 tuxes and 1 suit. In the actual overflow concierge lounge there was also a couple of people all dressed to the 9's... whoopsy! Personally I could care less, but I know some people really love formal night. I understand it was a boo boo, a mistake, etc... we all make them but sadly some people just had to complain about the change in dress for the evening. Overhearing a few couples complain you would think the cruise came to a sudden end because of the mistake. (and these were casually dressed people). Bottom line someone made a mistake when they typed out the compass for day 8 and didn't check it against the overall schedule. Everyone makes mistakes!

 

Dinner was excellent last night. I ordered the Spinach Mushroom Goat Cheese Pizza and was pleasantly surprised! That is one dish when you read the description it doesn't sound too good and you think to yourself it can't possibly come out good. But it does! We even splurged on a dessert this evening and split a "Chocolate Sensation" from the available everyday section.

 

After dinner I made my way to the Promenade for the 70's party... it was packed! I didn't stay too long, I knew we had to get up early today.

 

Back to today....

Like I said before, busy day! We had our invitation for our bridge tour at 9am and a galley tour at 11:15. We arrived at the designated spot, 15 minutes early, and got checked in. After being led through the "crew only door" the security staff screened us with hand held wands to ensure we didn't have anything we shouldn't have. We were then escorted onto the bridge and the second officer took over. He took us over the the starboard bridge wing and went into incredible detail on all the "gadgets" they have onboard and explained docking procedure, how the azipods work, the thrusters, etc... We were allowed to take as many pictures as we wanted to and I took plenty! I'll try later this afternoon to post some but I'll probably wait until I get back to land and a reliable internet signal. This was the first time having a bridge tour on a voyager class ship so it was interesting (to me) to look up at the peek a boo bridge that for so many cruises I could look down through. I know some people would think, "If you've been on a ship's bridge there's no need to take one again." I disagree I'll never turn down the privilege to visit the ship's bridge even if I've been there before!. No 2 bridge tours are the same, depending on the officer giving it they concentrate on different things. Our tour lasted nearly 50 minutes, as we were leaving another tour was queueing up for their tour. Due to the number of Pinnacle/Diamond plus guests onboard this cruise they said they had back to back tours nearly all day. Considering in March on Enchantment after a passenger (foolishly) asked a "Concordia" question our bridge tour was over after just 10 minutes, I'll thoroughly enjoyed our tour today. Next we have the galley tour at 11:15, I plan to take (if allowed) lots of pictures to post!

 

I'd gladly list today's entertainment, movie, etc... but I left the compass in the cabin! Considering I've been there sever times already I keep forgetting it! (prior to the bridge tour we went back to drop our kindles off and to get my camera, after the tour it was the reverse. Each time leaving the compass behind).

 

That's all for now!

 

 

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Brad, I heard there was a medical emergency on board and the Explorer may have had to return to PR. Is this true? We are to board the ship on Thursday when you were to have returned. Just wondered if there will be a delay. Thanks, and hope you had a great time and hope the people (heard there was 2) are OK and it is not life threatening.

 

Gwen :)

 

Yes there was an ALPHA page for a medical emergency but we are steaming along for our arrival in Bayonne at 7am as scheduled.

 

 

 

 

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Yes there was an ALPHA page for a medical emergency but we are steaming along for our arrival in Bayonne at 7am as scheduled.

 

 

 

 

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Thanks, maybe everything is OK. Thanks for the quick reply and have a great trip back. Not happy it is over for you, but glad to be boarding on Thursday. ;)

 

Gwen :)

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That is interesting, Brad. I am on the next cruise as a D, so I was wondering where we might be for the event. I am glad they got the bugs worked out for you fairly quickly. If they stick with the same system and waiters, perhaps even night one will be a bit less chaotic. Are hors d'oeuvres available?

 

Thank you for the info and for all the enticing photos.

 

Thankfully they quickly got the kinks worked out! I purposely didn't mention it in my post from day 2 because we wanted to give them the benefit of the doubt that they'd have things worked out by day 2 or 3. And they did! After that smooth sailing!

 

Day 2 to speed things up they set up two tables at the front of the room loaded with all the house wines available to everyone to the waiters didn't have to return back to the bar area for those. Also, by day 3 or 4 they started to learn who drank what, when they arrived, where they sat, and would have the normal drinks already waiting on their trays!

 

 

 

One other thing I didn't mention in my post from earlier this morning. The weather is spectacular today! Still plenty of people out sunning on the pool deck, and the seas are nearly flat calm! The sea days to and from Bayonne I always anticipate a bumpy ride, but are VERY happy when that is not the case!

 

 

 

Also, I saw another poster asked about the beds. I have to say the sheets and duvet are top quality, since they re did their bedding a few years back they are very soft and enjoyable. The mattresses are a bit firm, but keep in mind I'm traveling with my mom we have the beds apart. I know from experience when the beds are together in the cabin they have a nice pad they use to soften the bed and to hide the "bump/seem." I'm sure we could ask for a matters pad, but we haven't lost any sleep yet because of it!

 

 

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Hello again!

 

This has certainly been a wonderful day today, our second of 3 sea days going north and the weather has been fantastic... Barely a ripple on the ocean!

 

We did the galley tour at 11:15 and it was a pretty big group, and because it was just before lunch it wasn't as long or detailed as some has been in the past. It is still very interesting! For all you gluten free cruisers out there you'd be happy to know they have purple zones just for the gluten free products, nothing can be prepared or stored there that isn't gluten free.

 

Tonight is formal night. To shows, 7:15 and 9. Production showtime "fast forward". I know we won't go, but in the past we have enjoyed that very show in the past.

 

The highlight for tonight is the THE QUEST!

 

All for now

 

 

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Hope you and your Mom are having a great time!

 

We'll be boarding the ship on Thursday, so can you make sure the current guests keep it tidy for us? :D

 

The crew is doing an excellent job keeping her looking brand new!

 

 

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Brad-we were on the 11/4 Explorer cruise & my DH LOVED the comforter on the bed! He likes the feel of the weight on him. Trying to find something similar for our bed at home!!

 

Hope the rest of you trip home is smooth & sunny! We finally saw the sun today after 4 days of gloom & showers.

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Brad-we were on the 11/4 Explorer cruise & my DH LOVED the comforter on the bed! He likes the feel of the weight on him. Trying to find something similar for our bed at home!!

 

Hope the rest of you trip home is smooth & sunny! We finally saw the sun today after 4 days of gloom & showers.

You can buy the bedding, but it is awfully expensive. I think there is a coupon in the Ultimate Value Booklet. Or visit RoyalCaribbeanBeddingCollection.com and use promo code: Society

 

Maybe you already saw this. I love the bedding too. It would be cheaper to buy the bedding than book a cruise. But, I like booking the cruise better. :p;) We too were on that cruise.

 

Gwen :)

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Gwen-I don't even want to guess what a king sized comforter in Royal's collection cost!:eek: I talked to Fred at the Veteran's meet in the Schooner Bar, but never caught up with you. We were also on the 5/17 Enchantment Bermuda & New England cruise with you. Maybe we will meet some time in the future!!

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Gwen-I don't even want to guess what a king sized comforter in Royal's collection cost!:eek: I talked to Fred at the Veteran's meet in the Schooner Bar, but never caught up with you. We were also on the 5/17 Enchantment Bermuda & New England cruise with you. Maybe we will meet some time in the future!!

We leave Thursday on the Explorer. Come join us. ;) I will miss the Enchantment.

 

Gwen :)

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Hello everyone!

 

Just a quick posting. Tonight was the second and final formal night. I think I've said this before that the team we have in the dining room is great, tonight proved that. They had several less people show up (windjammer maybe) and had more time. They made some of the prettiest napkin creations that we have seen! The flamingo from tonight is right up there with the turkey our cabin attendant made for us last night!

 

Speaking of our evening, we both ordered the "duo of beef" I believe they call it. Although a little over done for our tastes, it was wonderful. You could tell they reply slow cooked it! We both ordered it as a a "let's try it," we were very glad we did!

 

I've updated a couple of photos in my day 9 gallery of the pretty napkin creations they made for us!

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

 

I've been having intermittent luck with photos today.

 

Off to the Quest!

 

 

 

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Brad-we were on the 11/4 Explorer cruise & my DH LOVED the comforter on the bed! He likes the feel of the weight on him. Trying to find something similar for our bed at home!!

 

Hope the rest of you trip home is smooth & sunny! We finally saw the sun today after 4 days of gloom & showers.

 

Hopefully we are bringing the sunshine back with us!

 

At the noon report we were 750ish miles off the coast of Daytona beach according to the captain. So for those boarding when we get off... We are slowly making our way back. Not slow enough, we have to pack up tomorrow.. Booo!

 

 

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Hi, we are from Monroe Twp. and traveling with two other couples.

 

Jane and Paul

 

We're practically neighbors then. Can't wait for tomorrow!

 

If you see someone walking around the ship with a pink baseball cap that says "Jersey Girl", that would be me. :D

 

Sharon & Jerry

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Good morning from day 10 onboard Explorer of the Seas... Sadly the time has come, our last sea day!

 

Today is looking like it is going to be a pretty gloomy day. Right now there is a slight motion of the ocean, and dark overcast clouds. Although it isn't currently raining, we'ev certainly passed through a few showers. As I type this I can see 3 hearty souls on the pool deck, 1 in the hot tub and the others tightly snuggled under a pile of blankets to keep warm. I have to say the temperature is still warmer than I was expecting, although it is VERY windy, the pool chairs are blowing around up on deck 12. We have been very fortunate this cruise, the weather has been wonderful! I don't believe many people expected yesterday to be as wonderful as it was.

 

For the poster who asked about advanced skating with your own skates, it is once again on the compass for 9-9:45 this morning. I even saw a person with their skates walking into the windjammer (don't worry they weren't wearing them!). So it seems that if there isn't an ice show scheduled for the day they offer advanced skating on sea days at 9.

 

Also on today's schedule. "Farewell Variety Show Time starring the comedy of Joe Yanetty" at 7:15 and 9pm.

Today's movie is the 2011 version of the Muppets

Towel folding at 12:15

A couple of general "All skate" sessions during the day.

A Backstage tour for everyone at 11am

Of course Bingo and an Art Auction.

Adult Guest Talent Show at 2pm.

Some trivia sessions including one that sounds interesting "Ultimate Name That Logo Trivia" at 2pm.

 

Here's something I think is strange. Back when the cruise began we had a time change,(scheduled for Labadee but they moved it to San Juan) for one hour forward. We have 3 sea days home, the ship has scheduled the opposite time change (one our back) tonight. I'm grateful for the extra hour of sleep any night, but considering the number of people who don't pay attention to whats going on around them I wonder how many will be an hour late for tomorrow morning. Just seems odd to schedule something so important on a day when there is enough chaos onboard! Speaking of tomorrow I picked up a copy of the "as you depart" flyer. Suites and Pinnacles will be tags 1 and 2 (9-9:30). Diamond Plus is slated for 1, 2, 3, and 4 (9-9:30). Early transfers 5 and 6 (9-9:30). Diamond Members, 7-10, 12, and 14 (9:30 - 10). Emerald Members Tags 15 and 16 (9:30 - 10). There's a big footnote on the bottom of the page that in summary says, Due to terminal restrictions no Platinum members will be eligible for priority departure. I'm just posting this so Platinum members who are expecting their early tag numbers there is a chance they won't receive them if there are too many guests with the higher tiers onboard.

 

Speaking of departure morning. I'm so glad they have transitioned to an all numerical system. Although the old system of a color and number (not in order) worked I always thought it was confusing for first timers that didn't realize that if they had "Gold 1" and they hear "Gold 3" that they didn't miss their number, there was a scheduled order but it wasn't an order that the ordinary person would understand unless they happened to have in front of them the matrix showing the seemingly random order.

 

 

I guess that's all for now! Sadly after lunch we need to begin the horrible process of packing. But one benefit of driving to the port we can just shove whatever we want into any case we want, no wasted time spent "balancing" the suitcases out so none are over the weight limit!

 

 

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For doing such a wonderful job posting live on your cruise. We're boarding tomorrow :). Won't have anyway to do what you did though. Will you post what time you dock tomorrow? I'm sure everyone on our roll call would appreciate that.

 

Thanks again,

 

Phyl

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Here's something I think is strange. Back when the cruise began we had a time change,(scheduled for Labadee but they moved it to San Juan) for one hour forward. We have 3 sea days home, the ship has scheduled the opposite time change (one our back) tonight. I'm grateful for the extra hour of sleep any night, but considering the number of people who don't pay attention to whats going on around them I wonder how many will be an hour late for tomorrow morning. Just seems odd to schedule something so important on a day when there is enough chaos onboard!t

 

 

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I thought the same thing last month when we were on. I don't ever remember them doing that before. If there was a time schedule change, it was usually done 2 nights before departure. I guess it keeps us on our toes. :rolleyes:

 

Thanks for doing this report. It was greatly appreciated and maybe we will run into you on another cruise sometime. Have a safe trip home.

 

Gwen :)

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I thought the same thing last month when we were on. I don't ever remember them doing that before. If there was a time schedule change, it was usually done 2 nights before departure. I guess it keeps us on our toes. :rolleyes:

 

I started a thread here a few weeks back, as we observed same thing:

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1746469

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I started a thread here a few weeks back, as we observed same thing:

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1746469

 

I am used to ship's changing to local time. Understanding that you did not know how to arrange your private excursions due to time changes, I think fewer passengers mess up when ship time matches local time. It is the Captain's decision. somebody will get confused no matter what the Captain does. the only thing that surprises me is that it appears the time change is occurring on the final night of Brad's cruise rather than one of the earlier sea days. still if somebody forgets to turn their clock back, won't they be ready earlier on disembarkation day (they think it is 8 am when it is only 7am)? That should mean nobody would miss a flight or prearranged pick up time.

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Hello again from the afternoon of day 10!

 

Sadly this cruise is coming to an end, and boy is the weather depressing today! I is so windy deck 12 is closed off, and several deck chairs have blown around up top.

 

We enjoyed our last lunch in the windjammer, and I was pleased to see the had an excellent Paneer (Indian), a good ending to 10 lunches onboard.

 

After lunch we made quick work out of packing the cabin, it is so nice when weight isn't important for a suitcase!

 

I'm sure this isn't news for some, but Explorer is now using the voucherless gratuity system. Instead of the vouchers that you hand to the staff on the last evening, they'll receive a list of who tipped them. We still did receive envelopes that you can use to distribute something extra to the staff that went above and beyond. Maybe because it has always been done the other way, I think I prefer the old way, but I'm sure this is easier for the staff and onboard crew.

 

I think that's all for now!

 

 

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