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EMED2010

Review of EXPLORER: 9 Night Bermuda/Caribbean April 18-27, 2013

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INTRODUCTION

Hi everyone! We are Doug and Linda from eastern Pennsylvania. We sailed on Explorer of the Seas for my 50th birthday the week of April 18-27. This is only our 2nd cruise, having sailed on Brilliance on a 12 night Mediterranean cruise in October 2010 for our 25th anniversary. We fell in love with cruising right away and were so glad we could finally sail again. (Also booked a next cruise certificate onboard so I guess we are truly hooked). I did not post a review for our first cruise and I regretted it because it was such a fantastic experience so I wanted to make sure to do one for this cruise. I have previously posted reviews on the DIS boards since prior to cruising we spent a lot of time at Disney. But now our kids are older so we will probably be cruising a lot more. We are already thinking of Alaska for 2015.

 

I started researching around January of 2012 for something to do for my 50th birthday. I really wanted to do another cruise and then I saw that Explorer sailed out of Bayonne so we would save on airfare. We were booked for Disney in June of last year for my son’s 17th birthday so I figured I would wait to book a cruise until Disney was paid in full. Since I normally don’t book big trips in back to back years, I wanted to keep the cost of the cruise down. We had a balcony room on Brilliance so of course, I wanted a balcony room again. In March of last year, the cost for a balcony was $1299 which was the top of wanted I wanted to spend. In June, when Disney was paid in full I checked the cost and it had rose $500 per person! So I ended up booking an ocean view room on Deck 2 for $1274 which was slightly less than my balcony room had I booked earlier. Oh well, live and learn – I will now book what I want right away. I told myself I would love an ocean view!

 

This is the itinerary:

 

DAY 1 – THUR, APR 18: DEPART BAYONNE, NJ 4:00PM

DAY 2 – FRI, APR 19: SEA DAY

DAY 3 – SAT, APR 20: BERMUDA 8:00AM – 5:00PM

DAY 4 – SUN, APR 21: SEA DAY

DAY 5 – MON, APR 22: ST. MARTIN 12:00PM – 9:00PM

DAY 6 – TUES, APR 23: ST. THOMAS 7:00AM – 6:00PM

DAY 7 – WED, APR 24: SAN JUAN 7:00AM – 1:00PM

DAY 8 – THUR, APR 25: SEA DAY

DAY 9 – FRI, APR 26: SEA DAY

DAY 10 – SAT, APR 27: ARRIVE BAYONNE 7:00AM

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Did you find your roll call? Your post would be better viewed there, that way people on the same cruise as you can help you :)

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Welcome to the land of the Hooked. Our next cruise will be our 32nd. Looking forward to your review. We are booked on a 5 night to bermuda on Explorer June 8. Haven't been on a Voyager class ship in many years. Noticed on the web site that there is a complementary venue called Jade. Is that part of the Windjammer buffet? I looked through the deck plans and couldn't find a separate venue. I'll be following your postings.

Irene

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Welcome to the land of the Hooked. Our next cruise will be our 32nd. Looking forward to your review. We are booked on a 5 night to bermuda on Explorer June 8. Haven't been on a Voyager class ship in many years. Noticed on the web site that there is a complementary venue called Jade. Is that part of the Windjammer buffet? I looked through the deck plans and couldn't find a separate venue. I'll be following your postings.

Irene

Yes, Jade is just a section of the Windjammer buffer that offers Asian items.

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APRIL 18 – DAY ONE EMBARKATION

Anyway, living in eastern PA we are a short drive from port which was a consideration when looking for a cruise. We made the decision to just drive and park at the port so we slept at home Wednesday night. We were both up bright and early on Thursday and my husband decides he wants to leave an hour earlier than he told me the night before. Of course I’m not ready and the bickering starts! We manage to leave right in the middle of both times so everyone is happy. We stopped at a Wawa and picked up breakfast sandwiches and we were on our way. It should take us about an hour to get there but with traffic it ended up being an hour and half. I had read on the boards what to do at port, so he dropped me and the luggage off while he went to park. I gave our suitcases to the porters and waited for him. We met up and headed for security. Since the rule change from our last trip, I knew we could take 2 bottles of wine. He had the camera bag; I had the 2 bottles of wine plus my backpack with passports, jewelry, medicine, etc. We breezed through security – they never even glanced at my bottles. We each could have carried two on had we wanted to.

We got in the check in line and there were 3 couples in front of us. Then it was our turn. The guy at the counter took our info, then left and was gone a bit. When he came back he looked puzzled and asked us if we had changed our rooms recently. UHM that would be NO! We looked at each other and my stomach dropped – I was imaging all sorts of problems. He said your room is now on Deck 9. I am now mentally picturing the decks I had studied and I knew that the outside rooms there were all balconies and I got a little jump of excitement. He looked it over again and said that it not only had a balcony but it was a slightly larger one! So we ended up being upgraded from a Category H Ocean View Stateroom to a Category D1 Balcony Room! SCORE!!! Happy Birthday to me!!! I was so excited and happy. We finished checking in and boarded the bus and then we were at the ship. Very quick and simple.

Once we got on board, we headed straight for the Royal Promenade to check it out since our last ship did not have one. We wandered around looking at the different venues. We were hungry but not starving since we had had the breakfast sandwiches so we decided to skip Windjammer and the crowds and went to Café Promenade. They have nice little sandwiches there which are changed daily and this became our habit. We only had lunch from Windjammer twice and both times we got it to go and ate out at the pool area. We had My Time Dining on our last cruise and loved it so we booked it again. 6:00PM is too early and 8:30 is too late. We like to eat around 7:30. We down the Promenade to the My Time Dining area and made our reservation for the evening for 7:30.

We explored some more but I was getting tired of carrying the wine and we were anxious to see our room. We sat in the Crown and Kettle and got sodas because we didn’t feel like drinking that early. Finally, we could get into our rooms and we were thrilled. We had one of the hump rooms and we LOVED the balcony. I know many people think their view is blocked because of the way the opening curves but I thought it was great. It helped block the wind. I have only one complaint and please don’t flame me for it. Our neighbors who were upwind smoked. A LOT. All day long. Guess where the smoke blew? As Forrest Gump would say, “And that’s all I have to say about that!”

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ROOM 9622 BALCONY

On the desk there was a letter in an envelope to the guests who I guess were previously going to have this room. Also a little package with cookies and dried fruit and 2 Diamond booklets – we are Gold. We took the stuff down to Guest Relations and were told we could keep the cookies. Our Gold booklets would be delivered later. I had a feeling we wouldn’t be seeing our luggage any time soon!

That taken care of, we went back to the room and dropped our stuff off. I grabbed my camera and now we were ready to party. We stopped at My Time Dining and made a 7:30 reservation. We headed up to the Sky Bar where I planned to meet a fellow CC’er. We met and chatted with Anita and Len who we would see throughout the cruise. Very nice couple!! Then we had muster drill and soon it was sailaway time! It had gotten colder and was REALLY WINDY! No matter, I wanted pictures going under the Verrazano Bridge so I would have to brave it. I got the drink of the day, Bahama Mama, for courage and faced the wind. Yeah, I know, a little too dramatic. Anyway, it was an awesome sight heading under the bridge and I snapped away. As soon as we passed under the bridge, everyone vacated the deck! It was just too chilly to stay out there.

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Edited by EMED2010

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Did you find your roll call? Your post would be better viewed there, that way people on the same cruise as you can help you :)

 

Uhm, the cruise is over - this is a review. And yes, I did roll call, went to Meet & Mingle as well.

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APRIL 18 – DAY ONE EMBARKATION – PART TWO

 

After sailaway, we headed back inside to get warm. We decided to head to Schooner’s which was our favorite bar on Brilliance. I have to say we were a bit disappointed. It didn’t have that same cozy feeling with all the rich wood and huge windows overlooking the sea. This would be our only time spent here. We ended up preferring the Crown & Kettle much more. I had one drink and then left to go unpack. Doug soon followed and by this time it was time to get ready for our MTD at 7:30.

We were seated at a table for two against the window. Our server was Gabrial from India who was excellent. We liked him so much that after dinner was over, we went to the Maitre d’ and requested the same table for 7:30 for each night except our Portofino’s night. I started out with great plans of photographing every meal. Well, even with the camera sitting on the table, I only managed to get a few pictures over the cruise. I can also give you a general idea of which menu was used each night except for two of the evenings. Tonight was MOJO.

I know there have been a lot of comments about the new menu both pro and con. I am on the Pro side. We really weren’t crazy about the food we got on Brilliance. In fact, we ended up just eating in the Specialty restaurants or Windjammer for most of the cruise. It was just the opposite on this cruise. We ate in Portofino for my birthday and Windjammer on our St. Martin night because we were just too tired.

Anyway, back to our first meal. I’m a seafood fan, so if there is seafood on the menu, that’s pretty much what I will order. I had the Smoked Fish Rillettes for my appetizer and the Seafood Spaghetti for my entrée. Both were very good – I especially liked the Seafood Spaghetti!

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SMOKED FISH RILLETTES

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SEAFOOD SPAGHETTI

Doug ordered the Seafood Spaghetti for his appetizer and the Prime Rib for his entrée. He enjoyed both, although the Prime Rib was not huge. For dessert, he ordered the Carrot Cake. I tried the BBB Crème Brulee – it was okay but a bit too sweet for me.

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CREME BRULEE WITH A BITE - SORRY:D

 

I think we wandered through the Promenade and then headed back to the room.

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Thanks Bob, that's what I thought. Last year we ate in Izumei on Oasis it was wonderful but I'm sure this isn't the same quality.

Irene

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Thanks Bob, that's what I thought. Last year we ate in Izumei on Oasis it was wonderful but I'm sure this isn't the same quality.

Irene

 

I'm not sure if they had sushi or not - we only ate dinner there once. At breakfast, they always had fried rice, miso soup, etc.

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Whoops, just realized my post was meant for another thread! How did that happen? Silly! :p

 

Fabulous pictures by the way ;)

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Whoops, just realized my post was meant for another thread! How did that happen? Silly! :p

 

Fabulous pictures by the way ;)

 

No prob!!!:D

 

Thanks! I got a new camera in the Fall and I'm just learning how to use it. Wait 'til you see the Bermuda pics!

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Thank for the review so far. We're booked on the EOS in Dec, so I'm looking forward the rest of the report.

 

Carole

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No prob!!!:D

 

Thanks! I got a new camera in the Fall and I'm just learning how to use it. Wait 'til you see the Bermuda pics!

 

What camera are you using? We got a DSLR about 3 years ago and we won't go back to a point-and-shoot. Hubby has turned into a camera snob, lol :D

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DAY 2 - FRIDAY, APRIL 19 – SEADAY (FIRST FORMAL NIGHT)

One important thing I forgot to say that happened on our first day: LUGGAGE! So, as I said before, we were upgraded, found the Diamond members letter, etc . in our room and turned them in. I had been worried about the luggage and with good reason. At one point when we headed back to our room, we saw strange luggage in front of our door in the hallway. We checked our room and our luggage was not there. I told Doug that I bet ours was outside of our old room. So, we went down to check and there were all four pieces in the hallway. Rather than wait for it to be delivered, we just hauled it back ourselves.

Back to today. After we woke up and showered, we headed to Windjammer because our Meet & Mingle was scheduled for 9:30AM in Maharaja’s. We didn’t get our invitation because of the room change but I had known the time from being on our board. We had a fairly decent turnout and it was headed by Chris Jordan, the activities manager and another staff member. I met some very nice people, Anita and Len (who we met at the Sky Bar the day before), Cindy, Ned, Reeve, Jane, Tom. No one seemed interested in setting up cabin crawls, etc. so we just chatted a bit and left. I really think they need to go around the room and ask everyone their screen names. That way it would be much easier to interact with everyone. They didn’t even take a group shot of us – I don’t know if they are doing away with that or if Chris just wasn’t familiar with M&M.

I decided to go to the gym to work out. The setup of the gym is nice with the tread mills facing out over the bow of the ship. They had a nice selection of weights and then a separate room for spin, stretching, etc. They also had a beautiful hot tub right in the front of the room as you walk in – which was good and bad. The problem I had with this was that it made the exercise area very humid. Later in the week it made me feel lightheaded when I was biking and I ended up never going back.

Spirit of the Season Ice Show was taking place today and then again on the 21st. Since the 21st was my birthday and I wasn’t sure what I would be doing, I really wanted to attend today’s show. You are reserved for your time according to your muster station and ours was set for the 21st at 4:00PM. I had read on the boards that if you show up right before the show and there are seats available, you may go. We wandered down to Studio B on Deck 3 where the ice show is held around 3:55. The entire top tier where the tables and chairs are were available. So we sat down, ordered a drink and watched the show. If was really beautiful and worth seeing.

Tonight was formal night so we headed back to get ready. We rented tuxes on our Med cruise since it was our 25th and I wanted nice pictures. This time we just brought a jacket, 2 shirts and 2 ties for Doug. (He was not thrilled). They were having the captains reception tonight at 7:15 and our MDR reservation was for 7:30. I really wanted to try to get a picture with the captain so we headed over there early. We were able to get a picture and then headed to the MDR. It was MOBBED! Even though we had a 7:30 we had about a 20 minute wait. No biggie! We went back to the Promenade and had a couple glasses of the free champagne.

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Tonight was the Saffron menu. I ordered the Caesar salad for my app and Doug got lobster bisque. Gabrial brought us the Bay Scallop Gratin to try. It was okay, but in too much oil for my taste.

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BAY SCALLOP

For dinner I had the Grilled Salmon Vignole salad – loved it!

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GRILLED SALMOND SALAD

Doug had the Beef Tenderloin which he said was excellent. For dessert I had the “Sky High” Lemon Meringue Pie – it was good, but more like a tart.

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SKY HIGH LEMON MERINGUE PIE

Doug had the strawberry cheesecake.

We called it an early night because tomorrow was BERMUDA!!!!

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What camera are you using? We got a DSLR about 3 years ago and we won't go back to a point-and-shoot. Hubby has turned into a camera snob, lol :D

 

It was a Nikon D5100. Just got it in the Fall to take pic's of my sons last year of high school football. I used it a little at Christmas and then hadn't touched it until about a month before the cruise. I took a 3 hour class at the camera shop just to learn what all the settings were for and then I watched the video but I still have SO much to learn.

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loving your review and the pics - cannot wait to see more. I love sailing on the explorer.

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It was a Nikon D5100. Just got it in the Fall to take pic's of my sons last year of high school football. I used it a little at Christmas and then hadn't touched it until about a month before the cruise. I took a 3 hour class at the camera shop just to learn what all the settings were for and then I watched the video but I still have SO much to learn.

 

We have the same camera, but we upgraded our lens to a 18-200mm, hubby loves it. We have a fixed 35mm that I love to use for micro shots. Good choice, keep learning, photography is a lot of fun especially when you cruise :)

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Well done you in getting the upgrade. :) I would of liked one for my birthday too.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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DAY 3 - SATURDAY, APRIL 20 – BERMUDA

Today was Bermuda day which was the port I was most excited about. I had ordered room service breakfast for me so I could shower and get ready without having to run to Windjammer. Doug ran up to Windjammer for his breakfast because he wanted more than room service had. I went out to the balcony to watch land start appearing and to take pictures.

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ST DAVID'S LIGHTHOUSE

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FORT ST. CATHERINES

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KING'S WHARF DOCKYARD

On our cruise we had a large group which brought their motorcycles on board. Once we were docked it was announced that they would be getting off first. When they were off, it was announced that the rest of us could now get off. We headed down and gave our Seapasses to get punched to exit and the machine made that sick sound on Doug’s card. They told him to go to Guest Services. Then mine made the same sound. Sigh. Another room change glitch. Back up we went, the girl took them and did whatever and now we could leave.

I had reserved a double scooter at Oleanders in town thanks to the recommendation from CC’er bauerdogs. It was a short walk and easy to find. After we signed papers, paid and grabbed a helmet, they told us to wait outside. An employee showed Doug how everything worked and then made him drive around the block and we were good to go.

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I know there are a lot of warnings on the boards about driving a scooter in Bermuda. It is a little scary but you just have to be careful because you are driving on the opposite side. Everyone seems to go way above the speed limit and they will pass you where it looks like there should be no room to pass. I would still do it again because it made it so easy to go where we wanted to and stop and go without having to wait for a bus to show up.

You cannot beat the scenery in Bermuda. It is absolutely incredible!

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The little white spec in the center of the above picture is Explorer.

As we were going up a slight grade I noticed we seemed to be getting slower. Doug made a comment about the bike dying. I thought he was kidding – but no! We pulled to the side. They had told us if we broke down to pull over and people would stop to help us. Yeah, right! Our cell phones were safely stored in our cabin safe since we didn’t want roaming charges. I saw a restaurant up ahead and walked to it while Doug stayed with the bike. There was an actual payphone in front of the restaurant (not the cute red kind) but it didn’t work. There was a woman sitting nearby who was very nice. She said if we turned up the street that was nearby, there was a lighthouse where we could make a call. Doug got the bike going in the meantime. He is not an idiot when it comes to engines and has rebuilt some in his day. He said that it seemed like it would seize when it would get hot so we should still probably swap it out. We turned up the road to Gibbs Lighthouse where I was planning on stopping anyway. I made the call and they said they would be there in a half hour. I wanted to climb the lighthouse to take some pictures while we waited.

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Well done you in getting the upgrade. :) I would of liked one for my birthday too.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

 

I know. I wish you could have gotten one too. I remember how you were hoping before the cruise.

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DAY 3 - SATURDAY, APRIL 20 – BERMUDA continued

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The bike guy came, swapped the bikes and with that we were back on our way. We headed to Horseshoe Bay. This is so incredibly beautiful. I just wish it would have been warm enough to swim. I know some people were in the water but I like my water to be at least 80 degrees.

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DAY 3 - SATURDAY, APRIL 20 – BERMUDA continued

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I BELIEVE THIS IS A PARROT FISH.

We continued on and stopped for lunch at the original Swizzle Inn. I had to have a rum swizzle!

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We headed to the causeway after lunch but decided not to go to St. George because of the time. The breakdown plus getting off the ship later because of the motorcycles and card trouble lost us a bit of time. Here are some pics from near the causeway. The reddish looking stuff is EXTREMELY squishy. I sunk and my poor white sneakers turned red.

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DAY 3 - SATURDAY, APRIL 20 – BERMUDA continued

After the causeway, we headed back in the direction of the Dockyard stopping along the way to take pictures. We talked with several locals and I have to say that the people of Bermuda and some of the friendliest that I have ever met in my travels.

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We turned the scooter in and walked towards the ship. We decided to have a refreshing beverage.

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Papa beer and mama beer. Guess which one is mine!

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DAY 3 - SATURDAY, APRIL 20 – BERMUDA continued

 

Since it was going to take Doug a little longer to finish his, I left him there and went to the Rum Cake factory to pick up some gifts. On the way back, I stopped a Snorkel Beach to check it out. I thought it was really pretty. We are already talking about a 7 night Bermuda cruise since we loved Bermuda so I would probably do a day or half day at Snorkel Beach.

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When I got back we headed to the ship.

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Sailaway from Bermuda was a lot of fun. The upper deck was packed, drinks were flowing and the scenery going past the reefs was awesome.

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DAY 3 - SATURDAY, APRIL 20 – BERMUDA continued

 

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After sailaway, we went to the Crown and Kettle for a while and then got ready for dinner. Tonight’s menu was PIMIENTO. I had antipasti for my app and Doug had the shrimp cocktail. I got the Shrimp Insalata Mista and Doug got Garlic Tiger Shrimp and Eggplant Parmigiana. Everything was very good. For dessert I got the Tiramisu and Doug got the Royal Cheese Plate. Then Gabrial brought out the sampler!! Ugh, I could barely move. Unfortunately, I didn’t take any pictures of the food tonight.

Tomorrow is a Sea Day and my 50th birthday!

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For dessert I had the “Sky High” Lemon Meringue Pie – it was good, but more like a tart.

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SKY HIGH LEMON MERINGUE PIE

 

Yeah, that's what I said the first time I saw hit.

 

Sky High? Where, in Lilliput? If that's Sky High, I'm Yao Ming.

Edited by Merion_Mom

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Yeah, that's what I said the first time I saw hit.

 

Sky High? Where, in Lilliput? If that's Sky High, I'm Yao Ming.

 

They really should have just called it Lemon Meringue Tart. Sky High makes me think of a really tall slice of pie.

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DAY 4 - SUNDAY, APRIL 21 – SEADAY – MY BIRTHDAY

Today is my 50th birthday! We slept in and planned on hitting some of the bars and just taking it easy today. We went up to Windjammer for breakfast and then brought back some coffee and sat on the balcony. After we showered, we went down to see if we could find our pictures. We grabbed what we could find and had them held under our room number. We planned on making our decision on what to keep once all the pictures were taken. We decided to check out the casino. We played the slots for a bit and lost it all. After the casino we thought it would be a good idea to book our next cruise certificate. It was still early in the trip and I figured it would get more crowded later on. We did not have to wait too belong before we got someone to help us. We booked our next cruise and also opened up an RC Visa. Might as well get more points for our next cruise.

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By this time it was lunch time and we wanted to try the MDR for lunch. We were seated right away with 2 couples. Since we eat by ourselves at dinner time, this was a nice change and we got to chat with some very interesting people. We both ordered the fish that was on the menu and went to the salad bar to grab a few things. I know we had dessert and wine but I have no pictures so I don’t remember what is was.

After lunch we headed to the champagne art auction. We had no idea what to expect. We signed in, got some champagne and looked at the art. There was quite a few things that I liked so we grabbed a seat to see how this all worked. It was actually very interesting. We learned about two artists and then they just kept pouring more champagne. There was a very nice couple sitting near us who were also from Pennsylvania. They were with a huge group who were following a band from the Scranton area called The Poets. Cindy, who was the travel agent in charge of the group, invited us to their private band function that evening. About halfway through, Doug wanted to go down to the sports bar to see if there was anything on TV about the NFL draft. I stayed and ended up winning a print and a bottle of champagne with the raffle tickets they gave us when we signed in! Happy Birthday to me!

Here’s where things get a little fuzzy. It must have been all the champagne! I know we went to the room at some point and were hanging out on the balcony because I have a picture.

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Somehow we ended up going to the Palace Theatre for what I think was the Welcome Back reception. I know we were supposed to get an invitation but with the room switch, we never got it. I don’t know how we knew when and where to go because it is not listed in the Compass. We got free drinks, watched the entertainment, the Captain spoke. It was nice. I know that probably most of you might be bored with it but we enjoyed it since it was our first one.

After that we went to our dinner at Portofino’s. Doug had stopped by the first day we were on the cruise to request a window table for us. We had eaten in Portofino’s on Brilliance. We had also eaten in Chops there and between the two, I preferred my meal from Portofino’s better. I got the seafood combo and Doug got the steak. Everything was delicious! The couple from England that were seated at the other table for two next to us were very nice to talk to. I had ordered the dessert sampler and then they brought me out a special dessert with a candle.

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After dinner we headed over to Maharaja’s for The Poets. The band was very good, they played mostly 50’s and 60’s music. There was a nice size crowd there and we really had a nice time. Thanks to Cindy for inviting us and making my day even more special.

Tomorrow is St. Martin!

 

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This will be my 3rd time going on the Explorer to Bermuda from Bayonne. Instead of my hubby, will be going with my gf i know since 7th grade! My hubby isnt thrilled, but i need to have some time to do what i need. He will go visit our grandson in Chicago while i am away. This is our "girls getaway" which we have wanted to do for over 20 years! Anyone else doing same? talk soon,

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DAY 5 - MONDAY, APRIL 22 – ST. MARTIN

Since we didn’t get to St. Martin until noon, we had a leisurely morning. Went to Windjammer for breakfast and I’m not sure what else we did. I know around 11:00-11:30, we thought we’d grab a little sandwich from Café Promenade so we wouldn’t have to worry about food at the beach. When we got there they still had the breakfast stuff. The lunch sandwiches weren’t coming out until noon. People that were in there were not happy. I believe I heard them say that Windjammer was closed at 11:00 and wasn’t opening for lunch until noon. Everyone wanted to get lunch before they got off. I think RC needs to rethink the hours of their quick service based on port times. I grabbed their granola bar and a banana to tide me over. Their granola bar was unbelievably good! After I got done eating , they brought out sandwiches early! Doug had some so we were good to go. We headed down to Deck 4 because we wanted to go to the helipad for docking. We hung out a little while on Deck 4. It has a really nice area to sit. I had researched it and planned to use it as my balcony when we were in the cabin on Deck 2. Since we now had a balcony, we hadn’t been there yet.

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We left Deck 4 and headed to the helipad. When we got to the dock, the Norwegian Gem had beaten us there.

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DAY 5 - MONDAY, APRIL 22 – ST. MARTIN continued

Disclaimer: the beach pictures are all taken with my little Sony point and shoot because I didn’t want to take the Nikon to the beach.

We docked and soon it was time to get off. I’ve seen pictures before on this board, but somehow there is nothing quite like walking between two huge cruise ships.

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Our plan for today was to just get a taxi to Orient Beach. We followed the signs to the taxi area and there was a group of 8 heading to Orient so the taxi driver put us in his van and we were off. We told him we wanted to be dropped at Pedro’s.

When we arrived at Pedro’s I had planned on heading further to the left because of all I read on the boards about getting 2 chairs , an umbrella and two drinks for $15. When the guy at Pedros’s said he had two seats in the front row for $15 (chairs were 3 rows deep), I said OK. Bad move. Pedro’s did NOT include the two free drinks. Live and learn. It was still a good spot.

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After we got settled, it was about 1:00PM. I went up to Pedro’s to get drinks. I wanted to try Guavaberry which I had heard so much about. They had Guavaberry Colada’s so I ordered two. Now I hadn’t brought a lot of cash. I wasn’t planning on spending much. I was expecting the free drink and then I was going to get a bucket of beer. I went to pay with my credit card but they would only let you charge if it was $20 or more. We weren’t hungry but I didn’t want to use up too much cash because we needed taxi money. I asked for another colada so it would total $21 and I could charge it.

While we were sitting there we saw a man walking up the beach in the water holding what looked to be a coconut. He was feeding fish which were swarming all around him. After a while I went in the water which was pretty warm. I had my swim goggles on and I was looking for fish or shells. I had seen a little boy and a man with a snorkel both pull up large conch shells. I did not see one. When I surfaced again, the man that was feeding the fish was there. He told me they were angelfish and took out some food and told me to go under to watch. I could not believe how many fish there were. He handed me some of the food and let me feed them. I went under and held the food in my hands. The fish swarmed all around my head. What an amazing experience!

 

I wanted a snack and also wanted to get a bucket of beer. I decided to walk down to Orange Fever since I wasn’t too happy with Pedros. They had jalapeno poppers on the menu which sounded good but the guy that waited on me, who was not very friendly, said they didn’t have any. I got a bucket of beer (Red Stripes) and they were extremely reasonable (can’t remember the exact price) and two bags of Fritos.

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Now for those who are interested, we did see some VERY interesting sights while sitting where we were. There were a few men on the Club Orient side who liked to stand on the jetty separating the nude from not nude beach. They liked to face our direction. Unfortunately, they also thought it was okay to relieve themselves against the rocks. On the non-nude side, we saw topless couples (men and women) with matching thong bottoms. We also took a walk to the other side. SO many people from our side walked over there and back. The perfect description of what we saw came from an overheard conversation back on the ship. It was something to the effect of a melting candle. I am easily amused so what I saw didn’t bother me although I know some people may not like it. That’s why I chose to tell what we saw. I wouldn’t hesitate to go back because the beach itself was very nice.

Around 5:00 the beach starting clearing out. We decided to try to find a taxi. A taxi driver was there and gave us the choice of waiting for more people to fill it at a lower rate or he would just take us for a little bit higher rate. We told him we would go now. He told us that he would give us a little extra tour. Cool! He drove us all over and even took us down the street where he lived and his sister lived. He knew everyone and was waving out the window like a celebrity. Then he took us to an area where there was a beach that was a bit rough. There was a platform you could climb to get a better view. I was really surprised to see so many cactus on this island.

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Edited by EMED2010

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DAY 5 - MONDAY, APRIL 22 – ST. MARTIN continued

After our little tour, he took us to the area where the taxis drop you off. Since we didn’t leave until 9:00PM, I was planning on doing a little shopping in the area in front of the ship. It was about 5:40PM now and shops were already closing. I saw a really cute dress hanging up but the shop didn’t take credit cards and I didn’t have enough cash. I decided to run up to the room to get some cash and they told me they would hold the dress and wait. Doug walked to the ship with me but waited outside while I got the cash. We headed back.

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I was able to get the dress but the rest of the stores I wanted to go into were now closed. I really wanted to try the chocolate shop! There was a little bar at the end and near it was a shop that sold the Guavaberry liquor. Doug went to the bar and got us two seats and I bought a bottle of the liquor to take home. We had a drink at the bar along with most of the people heading back to the ship. The Harley people were all there with their bikes.

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We stayed for a little while then headed back to the ship because we were pretty hungry. The Fritos on the beach weren’t really filling. We had our standing 7:30 reservation but I was tired from swimming, didn’t feel like getting dressed so we just went to Windjammer for dinner. This would be our only night there. We found a quiet section overlooking St. Martin and sat there for dinner. It was nice. After dinner, we didn’t really feel like doing anything so we went back to the room. I decided I wanted a night picture of the ship. It was probably around 8:00 or 8:30AM and they let me back out when I said I was just going to take a picture.

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I went back to the room and it wasn’t long before we said goodbye to St. Martin.

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I really enjoyed St. Martin but I didn’t like our times for this port. I would have liked to get there in the morning so I would have all day. We wanted to do Maho and Orient and you couldn’t do both with the times we had. And staying until 9:00PM was useless since the shops at the pier all closed at 6:00PM. I really didn’t want to have to go into the actual town and worry about getting back to the ship.

Tomorrow is St. Thomas!

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