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My first big cruise review from the Explorer of the Seas!


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Great review, we are sailing on her in september from quebec to NY, do you know if she has a diamond lounge?

 

I don't think so. I did see that the 19th Hole was for diamonds only on a couple nights when we tried to go....that was kind of annoying because there would be 4 people there...and nobody else could go. I think they should have their own place!

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I have wanted to write a big review from a cruise for a long time. I did one for my cruise on the Carnival Pride (see my signature), but started it months after cruising.

 

This time around, I took notes daily to help me have a lot of useful details for everyone. I hope you enjoy this review as much as I've enjoyed so many on this forum!!

 

So first, some general information:

Who: Me (Sara, 25) and my husband (Andy, 25)

What: My 4th (husband's 3rd) cruise

When: March 31-April 7, 2013 (with a couple days prior to the cruise spent in NJ/NYC)

Where: Explorer of the Seas

Itinerary:

Sunday- Embarkation at Bayonne, NJ

Monday-Day at Sea

Tuesday-Port Canaveral

Wednesday-Nassau

Thursday-Coco Cay

Friday-Day at Sea

Saturday-Day at Sea

Sunday-Disembarkation at Bayonne, NJ

Why: I wanted to take a Spring Break cruise. I’m a teacher, so we get that week off!

How: We drove 6 hours to NJ from our home in Upstate NY (near Canada).

 

I welcome any and all questions, and I'll do my best to answer them. I will also answer questions to those who asked some in my previous thread!

 

More coming soon...though it'll take me a few days to finish with work and all. :p

 

A picture to start:

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I took this same photo when we where anchored at Coco Cay in Feb.

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Loving your review as it brings back memories of when we were on it last Feb. It is such a beautiful ship with those wide promanade decks. Definitely want to get back on her again next year.:)

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We were all set to arrive in Port Canaveral at 1PM. We went to this port last July on the Carnival Pride, and that time did the Kennedy Space Center (which I highly recommend). This time we were going to be brave and do a theme park-Universal Islands of Adventure...but first a couple of thoughts on the morning.

 

We had breakfast in the MDR. I noticed that both breakfast and lunch there were much less organized than dinner. We always asked for and were able to get a table for w. For breakfast this day I had a ham and cheese omelette, which was very good. For lunch I had chicken sliders, which I also recommend!

 

We were able to find pools right by the pool on this day, that never seemed to be a problem throughout the cruise.

 

Up next...Islands of Adventure!

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I purchased our tickets ahead of time on undercovertourist.com. I had also pre booked the bus ticket through RCI to the parks. We got our tickets in our room, which told us to meet in the Palace Theater for the excursion. I've never had to do it this way, and I didn't really get it, but it was fine.

 

It was about an hour ride to Orlando, and we both fell asleep on the way there. It was very easy getting into the park. There was barely a line since we had already bought tickets. Once we entered the park, I realized just how crazy it was on Spring Break. I had gone to Universal before during Spring Break in college, and don't remember it being that crazy!

 

We headed right for the Harry Potter section, since that was the primary reason we wanted to go.

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That picture gives you an idea of how packed it was

 

We headed to Hogwarts, and the wait said 120 minutes. That seemed about average for the rides, so we hopped in. About 3 hours later, we were on the ride. There were a few delays while we waited...The line seemed to move faster once we actually made it into the castle.

 

I'm a pretty big Harry Potter fan, so it was AWESOME to go inside of the castle. The ride was pretty cool, but I wouldn't wait in a line like that again.

 

Here I am in front of Hogwarts:

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After that, we didn't really have much time, and definitely not enough time to do another ride. We wandered around, had some pretzels and Sprites, then headed to the Hard Rock Cafe. I collect their pins, so it was cool to get another one.

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We knew our bus would be waiting for us at 9, so we headed there, and actually got on sooner and headed back to the ship.

 

Once we got back somebody greeted us and told us the Windjammer was still open...so we went and got some food, got a night cap with Kamar at the 19th Hole (Bahama Papa), then went to bed!

 

63496_812186370307_828485306_n.jpg

 

Up next is Nassau!

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I took some pictures that morning...here's a Disney ship passing by:

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One thing I'd like to note before I forget is that there really seemed to be a lack of organized activities during the days. Last summer on the Carnival Pride and on my cruise before that on the Freedom of the Seas, there was so much to do that we didn't have time to do it all because things overlapped. That didn't seem to be the case this time.

 

Before we arrived in Nassau, they held the belly flop contest at the pool. Do yourself a favor, and GO! It was so funny.

 

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The Winner:

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Edited by narrow56
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We arrived in Nassau around 2PM. There were a lot of people complaining about the ship arriving so late (like in Port Canaveral), but I didn't really see the big deal. We pre booked the Sea and See Tour through RCI. Our tickets told us to meet in the Deck 2 Conference Room, but really it was near the elevators down there.

 

Once we got off the ship we were put in a line to wait for everyone. We were then taken on a shortish walk to our bus.

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We got on the small, but comfortable, bus. The driver was also our tour guide. He told us some history of the island, and took us to Fort Fincastle. For one dollar you can go into the fort.

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You can get a nice view of the port from up there.

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There is a straw market and a very clean bathroom right nearby.

 

We were there for 15 minutes, then went on a short tour of more of the city. I was kind of disappointed in the tour. We only made the one stop, and didn't get to see as much as I had hoped. Maybe there wasn't more to see? We did see this great sign though:

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Next up, the sea portion of the tour...

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Our bus dropped us off at a ferry that would take us to the Seaworld Explorer. The tour guide was very funny and informative. We had already seen a lot of what they showed though because we did the Blue Lagoon excursion last summer. Here are some pictures:

 

The 3 ships in port were the Carnival Fantasy, Explorer OTS, and Norwegian Jewel

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I thought this picture was pretty:

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Oprah's house:

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We boarded the Seaworld Explorer. At first it looks like a regular boat. Then you go down some stairs and you're underwater but still inside. Pretty cool! I didn't really get good pictures, but we did see quite a few fish. Nothing big though...other than some bike tires. :p

 

Note that there aren't bathrooms on either of the boats.

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I liked almost everything I ate on the cruise, but this meal really stands out to me. Everything was just so good! My husband had completely different things from me, but also agreed this was his best meal. Here are some pictures!

 

Chilled mango/pineapple soup:

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Some shrimp thing:

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Lamb chops

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The most amazing stuffed shells:

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Some chocolate dessert:

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RCI's warm chocolate cake is not as good as Carnival's, but still great!

46646_812199838317_484798979_n.jpg

Edited by narrow56
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After dinner we were going to walk to Senor Frogs, but decided not too and to just have drinks on the ship. We played some mini golf, which is a must do for us at least once on a cruise. It was cool to have a view of Atlantis all lit up!

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After the golfing I had to pee so bad from drinking 3 glasses of lemonade at dinner. I ran up to the doors to 19th Hole and saw they wouldn't open. A kid from the ping pong table came and helped me push it open. When I got in I ran through to the bathroom (a real emergency haha). When I walked back to go meet my husband at the bar I saw I had ran through a Diamond Only event. Whoops! It was very awkward. I mean come on people, I wasn't wearing a chicken suit, there's no need to stare. We just wanted to watch the Yankees game. The bartender asked if he could help us, but after getting the stink eye from the four "diamonds" we left and went to the Weekend Warrior instead.

 

As you can tell, my pet peeve of this cruise was having whole bars shut down for the 4 diamond members to sit. Is that really necessary? I'm happy for you for being diamond and someday I hope to be myself, but if there are only 4 people, why take up a whole bar? End rant.

 

The Love & Marriage show was this night, which is a must see. The bride walked up on stage still in her wedding dress. How awesome!

 

Okay folks, that's all for today. After work tomorrow I'll post about Coco Cay. I hope you're enjoying my review, and please feel free to ask questions!

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