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cruiserking

Live from the Explorer - February 16, 2014

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Greetings Everyone,

 

First time RCCL cruiser, veteran cruiser with Holland America Line, Cunard and Celebrity. Have long wanted to try Royal Caribbean. In a mere 11 hours we'll be heading to Cape Liberty to board the Mighty Voyager Class ship bound for the Bahamas and as far away from the Polar Vortex as possible.

 

I plan on posting frequently and taking tons of pictures which I will include following the voyage. If you're booked aboard the Explorer in the coming weeks I'll report on all of the action aboard, the service, the ship, the food and discuss our port stops in Port Canaveral, Florida - Nassau, Bahamas and Coco Cay, plus information on excursions like our visit to Universal Studios which I am wildly excited for.

 

Somewhere out there our ship is slicing through the cold, dark Atlantic for a meeting tomorrow with a bunch of very enthusiastic and excited Cruise Critics ready to board, Mingle and break the bank at the Slot Pull.

 

Bags are packed, snow has stopped looking forward to galloping up the gangway and reporting Live from the Explorer of the Seas.

 

Jonathan

Edited by cruiserking

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SO excited for you! Explorer is phenomenal, we have sailed her twice. You will love the Royal Promenade and just love sitting there with a cup of coffee and a couple of cookies - the sugar-free peanut butter cookies are really good!! - and watching the people go by.

 

Have a great time. :)

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SO excited for you! Explorer is phenomenal, we have sailed her twice. You will love the Royal Promenade and just love sitting there with a cup of coffee and a couple of cookies - the sugar-free peanut butter cookies are really good!! - and watching the people go by.

 

Have a great time. :)

 

Thank You Karen! I am incredibly excited, I have read, studied, researched everything Explorer and can't believe we're just a few short hours from discovering her for ourselves.

 

I will make a point of trying the sugar-free peanut butter cookies, (some of my favorites) thanks for the tip. Can't wait to stroll the Royal Promenade and find out just exactly what a Pet At Sea is anyway.

 

I know I should be hitting the hay but, who can sleep the night before a cruise?

 

Jonathan

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I was on the Explorer in March, and it was a truly amazing cruise!! She's a great ship and an amazing crew.

 

We hit some rough weather leaving Bayonne, but it looks like you're heading out on a great day....

 

I'm soooo jealous right now! I can't wait to read your review. :D

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Have a great time! I am a RCL newbie too sailing on the Explorer in May. I can't wait to hear all about the ship and your cruise. :-) Can you take note to the formal nights? I am curious to know what the majority of people are wearing.

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Aww.... would you like to know, or be surprised? :D:p

 

I've waited this long, I can stand a few more hours of suspense to find out what's churning in that giant globe on the Royal Promenade. ;)

 

I was on the Explorer in March, and it was a truly amazing cruise!! She's a great ship and an amazing crew.

 

We hit some rough weather leaving Bayonne, but it looks like you're heading out on a great day....

 

I'm soooo jealous right now! I can't wait to read your review.

 

Hi Jenn,

 

Yes, this is a common theme, everyone raves about the crew aboard the Explorer. It seems like we should have smooth sailing now that the storms behind us but, it will be fairly frigid around 22 with a wind chill of 8.

 

I get a chuckle out looking at the boarding pictures with everyone decked out in down coats. It seems so alien once we reach Florida and people are swanning around in shorts and sandals.

 

Have a great time! I am a RCL newbie too sailing on the Explorer in May. I can't wait to hear all about the ship and your cruise. :-) Can you take note to the formal nights? I am curious to know what the majority of people are wearing.

 

Thanks Wezie, I appreciate it. I'll absolutely keep you informed on the finery floating around on formal night and how dolled up everyone gets.

 

Jonathan

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I'm subscribing as well... Looking forward to your trip report. Have a wonderful cruise. :)

 

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I927 using Tapatalk 2

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So jealous. I still have just over a year til my cruise. It's been way too long since I've cruised. Have an awesome time.

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Forums mobile app

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Subscribed! Two more weeks for me.

 

Thanks for subscribing Yorkvillain.

 

I'm subscribing as well... Looking forward to your trip report. Have a wonderful cruise.

 

One more week for me!! Have a great time!!

 

So jealous. I still have just over a year til my cruise. It's been way too long since I've cruised. Have an awesome time.

 

Thank You Very Much Queens Chick, Croozin Soozin and Honeymooner15. Can't believe it's finally cruise day, sometimes it seems like it'll never get here but, it has with bells on, gongs and they're ringing joyously...

 

Jonathan

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Bon Voyage Jonathan . . . have a great time. We don't sail Explorer till November so I'll be looking forward to all your live reports. Happy Sailing!!!!

 

Maryann

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Just about 100 days till we're on Explorer .. can't wait to see & read what ure gonna put here ... have a great cruise !

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Greetings Everyone,

 

First time RCCL cruiser, veteran cruiser with Holland America Line, Cunard and Celebrity. Have long wanted to try Royal Caribbean. In a mere 11 hours we'll be heading to Cape Liberty to board the Mighty Voyager Class ship bound for the Bahamas and as far away from the Polar Vortex as possible.

 

I plan on posting frequently and taking tons of pictures which I will include following the voyage. If you're booked aboard the Explorer in the coming weeks I'll report on all of the action aboard, the service, the ship, the food and discuss our port stops in Port Canaveral, Florida - Nassau, Bahamas and Coco Cay, plus information on excursions like our visit to Universal Studios which I am wildly excited for.

 

Somewhere out there our ship is slicing through the cold, dark Atlantic for a meeting tomorrow with a bunch of very enthusiastic and excited Cruise Critics ready to board, Mingle and break the bank at the Slot Pull.

 

Bags are packed, snow has stopped looking forward to galloping up the gangway and reporting Live from the Explorer of the Seas.

 

Jonathan

She's a great ship with a great crew, have sailed her several times!......K.O.:)

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Looking forward to your updates! I have to wait till September to sail on the Explorer. That will also be my first time with RC. I will be taking notes from your reports. Thank You and have a wonderful cruise! :D

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Looking forward to your updates! I have to wait till September to sail on the Explorer. That will also be my first time with RC. I will be taking notes from your reports. Thank You and have a wonderful cruise! :D

 

You won't be disappointed. The crew is the best I have ever experienced at sea.

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One more week for me!! Have a great time!!

 

See you there, Wife and I are sailing 23rd. as well. Was on the 10 day Caribbean cruise 12/02/13 and we hit a couple of storms. nothing too problematic, they postponed one of the ice shows as it was dangerous for the performers and we had white caps in the pools until they drained them. Apart from that it was all very nice.

I am taking a tux and a suit for the formal nights. on our last cruise there was a Japanese couple and she wore the kimono, which was very nice.

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Subscribed and thank you for this. We are boarding when you get off and we are going again in August. Have already been on Explorer 9 times. What does that tell you? We love her and the crew has always been amazing. Will be sad to see her leave, but looking forward to having Quantum here on the East.

You will have a wonderful time and thanks again for posting.

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Really looking forward to your review. We will be on The Explorer March 11th. Our first cruise in the 80's was with RC. Haven't been with them since, usually do celebrity or Princess so we are somewhat anxious about this cruise. But, living in Ct. We wanted to leave from NY or NJ so options were limited. So, have a wonderful time and post list of pics!

Marguerite

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have a great trip I am so sad not to have to be cruising this February and am looking forward to following your trip

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Hi, Looking forward to your review of Explorer. We have sailed on her over a dozen times and just love the ship, the crew & the captains. She is one of the best ships in the fleet in our not so humble opinion. Always appreciate others views. Hope you enjoy your cruise to the Bahamas, its a great itinerary. Can't wait until May when we board Explorer yet again :D

 

Future Cruises:

RCCL-Explorer of the Seas-Bermuda/Caribbean - 2014

RCCL-Explorer of the Seas – Bermuda - 2014

RCCL-Quantum of the Seas – 3 Night Sampler - 2014

RCCL-Quantum of the Seas – Southern Caribbean - 2015

 

RCCL-Diamond Plus

Celebrity-Elite

Norwegian-Silver

Holland-Star Mariner

 

“The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears or the sea” -

Isak Dinesen

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Greetings Everyone,

 

First time RCCL cruiser, veteran cruiser with Holland America Line, Cunard and Celebrity. Have long wanted to try Royal Caribbean. In a mere 11 hours we'll be heading to Cape Liberty to board the Mighty Voyager Class ship bound for the Bahamas and as far away from the Polar Vortex as possible.

 

I plan on posting frequently and taking tons of pictures which I will include following the voyage. If you're booked aboard the Explorer in the coming weeks I'll report on all of the action aboard, the service, the ship, the food and discuss our port stops in Port Canaveral, Florida - Nassau, Bahamas and Coco Cay, plus information on excursions like our visit to Universal Studios which I am wildly excited for.

 

Somewhere out there our ship is slicing through the cold, dark Atlantic for a meeting tomorrow with a bunch of very enthusiastic and excited Cruise Critics ready to board, Mingle and break the bank at the Slot Pull.

 

Bags are packed, snow has stopped looking forward to galloping up the gangway and reporting Live from the Explorer of the Seas.

 

Jonathan

 

 

Just was at the pier with my DH. We needed a cruise fix lol. The ship looked great. We stayed and watched your muster drill from the parking lot. Bon Voyage!!!!!

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Forums

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Hello Everyone,

 

Thank You all so much for your friendly greetings and well wishes I really appreciate it.

 

We left the upper east side bright and early at 9:30 am and zipped down the FDR Drive in a flash. The city was asleep despite the popular refrain to the opposite. Out of the tunnel and in New Jersey we zipped and in forty short minutes we were entering the vast snow blanketed spaces of Cape Liberty.

 

From the highway we could just see Explorer's funnel in the distance and a chorus of cranes grazing like pre-historic beasts along the horizon. A right turn, a left, into the terminal we drove and BAM there she was gleaming like a comet bold beautiful, the Explorer of the Seas.

 

Check-in was a breeze. We arrived at about 10:00 am and a porter took our luggage and we were on our way inside. There were only about four people in the line ahead of us.

 

Our Grand Suite granted us the ability to proceed to priority check-in and within five minutes we were relaxing in the comfortable leather chairs and waiting for the shuttle bus ride to the ship.

 

Aboard by 11:40 am and whisked up to the Windjammer moments later. There was a noticeable absence of snacks or drinks in the terminal no doubt due to the well publicized incident of a few weeks back.

 

There was no Honey Stung Chicken but, instead some quite delicious fried chicken tenders, very flavorful and worthy of a second trip to the buffet line. The lemonade was tart and refreshing. A few cold cuts, salad and a mini corn cob rounded out my lunch. Dessert was a bit dull, but, we had a vast ship to explore and were eager to set off.

 

We strolled through each deck from the Aquarium Bar, the tri-leveled dining room, the cozy and colorful Maharaja's Lounge, the wonderful playful gothic confines of the Medieval Chamber night club to the birds eye-view crown atop deck fourteen at Dizzy's. We love this ship, she is every bit as beautiful as I have read. Explorer shines, booms and echoes elegance.

 

Her cabin decks afford a wide berth which is a rarity on ships today, there is plenty of room for passengers to stroll in either direction without need of hugging the walls to allow traffic to flow.

 

Our Grand Suite is a haven of comfort. A spacious cabin with soothing turquoise easy chairs and sofa, plenty of storage, a bright and roomy bathroom with double vanity. A bubbly Agos our cabin steward introduced himself. Luggage arrived around 2:15.

 

A slight glitch with our cabin cards had me visiting the Concierge Lounge a couple of times but, Denzil was enormously helpful and remedied the situation with friendly aplomb. While waiting in the Concierge Lounge I prepared a decaf cappucino and as the wonderful machine sprayed its hot frothy foam and gurgled twin jets of coffee, I felt that sublime magic feeling of Cruise Mode overtake me. It's a wondeful feeling you know it well, where the stress melts away and the magic of ship board life eases your spirit.

 

We enjoyed sail away sipping B52's at Dizzy's Lounge as the NCL Breakaway steamed ahead of us, almost saying "follow me, this is where the fun begins..."

 

It barely feels as if we are moving, just a slight rumble and gentle rocking feel as we cruise south toward Florida. The Royal Promenade was rocking, the drinks are flowing, the mirth is high and we are terribly excited to be cruising again aboard this beautiful ship.

 

Jonathan

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I am so jealous! :-)

 

What is parking like at the terminal? Did you happen to notice if the MDR was open for lunch? I am interested in hearing about the different shows and entertainment.

 

Have a great time...you are so lucky to be getting away from all this snow!! :cool:

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Subscribed. So excited to read the rest of your review. You are off to an awesome start. Love your vivid descriptions so far.

 

We will be on her in 6 weeks and can't wait to get away from this weather! Love RCI, but this will be our first time on Explorer. Have read so many good reviews on her and soooo looking forward to yours.

 

Enjoy every minute of your cruise. Thanks for taking the time to do this "Live Review."

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I will also subscribe! We are on her in December and so excited. We were on Voyager of the Seas in 2011 and loved, loved, loved this class of ship! I hope as everyone says the crew is as awesome as Voyagers was! Copies of any and all menus and schedules would be appreciated, if not no big deal!

 

We love Royal Caribbean and are excited to be sailing with our children, their spouses and our grandbabies in just 35 days, all 19 of us on another Royal ship!

 

I hope you have a wonderful time!

 

Kathy

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So glad you had a smooth start! We've been on the Explorer (or a sister ship) a few times. We'll be on her again next month doing the same itinerary. The 3 ports of call will all be new to me, so I'm very interested to see what you like/dislike.

 

I hope you have a wonderful trip!

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So excited to read along!! I'll be doing the exact same itinerary on the Explorer March 21-28... along with my dear friend, the renowned MerionMom (we're both traveling solo) plus my DD Ariel and her BF Tom... on his first cruise ever!

 

In case you didn't see it, here's my travel log from our Explorer Cruise in January of 2012, with a very different itinerary:

 

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1550586

 

(I'm working on a new review of my first cruise since that one: a week on the Oasis this past December... and this time, I'm including photos!!)

 

I'm REALLY looking forward to your report from the Explorer and especially these ports... you'll have a great time at Universal! If you go to Islands of Adventure, you'll get to do the new Harry Potter rides, too.

 

Have a WONDERFUL time... I can't wait until our upcoming Explorer cruise.

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I'm looking forward to reading as you cruise. Have a great time and enjoy the GS. They are lovely!

 

If you get a chance, can you try to find out if Explorer is relocating to Asia or Australia in 2015? :D

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Excited to read your live thread... very eloquent.. makes me feel like I am on board.

 

Sailing in April and even though it is a different itinerary, still interested in the compasses. If you could scan upon your return, it would be greatly appreciated! :D

 

Happy seas!

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Monday February 17 - At Sea - Explorer of the Seas

 

As of 7:45 am we were cruising at 21.5 knots just off of Charlotte, South Carolina. We were lulled to sleep last night with the gentle rocking of the ship as we crested the white cap dotted ocean.

 

A thin haze hung over the horizon but, the sun won the battle and blasted through the cloud cover the highlight of which several radiant shaft of light bursting from above and illuminating the water like an other worldly craft.

 

I had read numerous reports that the food on Explorer was not up to par, but, it couldn't be further from the truth. So far we are very pleased with the meals aboard. Last night for dinner I tried the raspberry and watermelon chilled soup and was luxurious and incredibly flavorful, big fan of the chilled soups this one was a winner, don't miss it. My wife Elene ordered the Asian Coconut which was also enormously flavorful and hit all the right zesty and savory notes.

 

Atlantic Salmon for me was cooked medium the way I like it, tasty and tender. The fruite cobbler was okay, though are waiter Ronel professed that he adored it and could easily eat four in a sitting, if they run out on the next sailing you'll know why.

 

The art work aboard the Explorer is really gorgeous from playful photographs of pop music figures in the forward stairwell to the leviathan metal sculpted angel suspended over the aft centrum. I particularly like the Native American artwork in the cases along the cabin corridors on deck 10, I've never see anything like this outside of New Mexico or Arizona and certainly not on a ship.

 

It's terrific that there is a movie theater aboard ship, we haven't found it yet, but, the viewing options are pretty unappealing, A Knight's Tale, that's an old movie, they could go a little more current in their film offerings.

 

Breakfast in the Windjammer this morning was delicious. Pancakes were fluffy and light sweetened with a dollop of strawberry topping and spoon or two of whipped cream. All the fixings are there, the corn beef hash was hearty and delicious, crisp bacon, baked beans and the mueslix wasn't bad either.

 

We have our Cruise Critic Meet & Mingle at the Maharaja Lounge in about twenty minutes so I am off to mingle with all the fine folks I've been chatting with on our Roll Call. Our Slot Pull is planned directly after.

 

It is smooth sailing on the Explorer as we steam for southern waters and feel the chill of winter gradually morph into the balmy tradewinds of the tropics...

 

Jonathan

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