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Kelly & Duane

Explorer Nov.6 review

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I have seen some not so great reviews on this ship and itenerary. I have only 2 negative things to say, the boarding was long, however with 3600 passengers and only 1 side of the pier opening I thought it did go pretty well. It took us 2 hours and we had a few problems ( line moving, confusion....) but in the end we got on the ship. lol The other negative was the ports. I was very dissapointed in them, we are wishing we would have done some of those once in a lifetime excursions. We did the snorkling and Catamaran in Belize. The weather was cloudy so the color was not vibrant. The boat trip was fun though. Costa Mia was a big tourist trap, Grand Cayman was nice and 7 mile beach is that beautiful white sand and blue blue water!

Now this ship....... WOW! It is awesome, the promanade deck is beautiful. Bravo to Royal Caribbean for this concept. I don't think I would be happy on a ship that did not have one now. We had a promanade room and it was just fine. Plenty of room, not noisy, clean,the window was neat for people watching. Our room attendent Herme's was fantastic!! Loved him, he did a great job!!!

The food........ The dining room was wonderful, the food was very good. 4 star I would say. Our waiter and asst. waiter Lucas and Fitzroy were great! Wanted to take them home. They truly made our dining an experience evey night. We wanted to go to Portfinios but wouldn't go because we did not want to miss the dining room. We sat at a large table ( 8 couples and loved it! Our table mates were wonderful.

The windjammer was your typical buffet, the grill was better. Johnny Rockets was good, I do think they ought to do away with the cover charge though!

Room service was ok, we ordered once and it was fine.

The promanade cafe was great! One of my favorite stops for a coffee and a snack.

The decks were crouded at times but we were always able to find a quite spot in the sun or the shade, Just had to walk around a bit. Have patience. The solarium is beautiful, a bit warm for my blood though so we did now spend any time there.

The entertainment........WOW!! Great job Royal Caribbean! Loved them!! The ice show is awesome, the dancers, the singers, WOW! Great shows!! Carly the cruise director was awesome!.....

I'm gonna sum it up with we had a FANTASTIC trip. There were a few minor mishaps, but no trip is ever perfect! Would we cruise again! YOU BET!! Already planning our next trip! Most likely on a Voyager Class with Royal Caribbean! LOVED IT!

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So glad to hear you had a good time. Thanks so much for the review. We are doing this exact same itinerary on Dec. 4rth. We are flying in a day ahead and have priority boarding. Hopefully this will help somewhat. It is always nice to hear something positive!

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Thanks for a good review. As you said no trip is perfect. I'm doing this same cruise in March 06. I also have priority boarding since we booked a RFS. Beginning to look forward to it. Glad to hear the ship is a WOW!

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I am glad to hear you had a great time. My daughter and future SIL are taking this cruise in March of 06 on their honeymoon....I can't imagine that they wouldn't have a great time.

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We cruised on the Explorer in January, but did the eastern itinerary. We LOVED the ship and will probably always be fond of this one since it was our first cruise experience:D It's great to read a good review for a change. Like other posters, every ship/trip has their problems, but it's all in what you make of it. To me, it's still better than a cold, snowy week of weather;)

 

This January we are doing the western itinerary, but on Legend, so I appreciated your thoughts on the ports, as they are the same as ours. We did book excursions at each stop since we were told there is little to do in Costa Maya and Belize.

 

This just makes me more excited as I count the days - glad you enjoyed your trip:)

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I forgot to mention that if you fly American when you get off the ship they are set up at the pier, we only had to carry or luggage about 100 feet. American air checked our bags gave us our boarding passes and we were off. Our luggage arrived in Seattle with us. Loved it. Would fly American again just for that convience.

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Thanks for the review! It was so nice to hear your positive spin. We took this same cruise in May & had a great time. Of course there were minor gliches, but nothing more, even less, than previous land vacations.

 

The only thing that I differ from the OP is our day in Costa Maya. This was our favorite day. I studied the Port of Call Forum prior to the cruise & learned all about the little village of Majahaul. If you go to this port take the time to read about this town. It is a quaint Mexican town with dirt roads, not a polished Caribbean resort town. The people are very friendly & very welcoming, though. The town was clean & we never felt threatened. We found a perfect spot under a couple of palm trees on the beach with plenty of beach chairs & a nice big, clean table, right across from "Tapa's Bar" as recommended on this board. We had good service & spent a relaxing beach day. Our family group of 10 swam, shopped, rented jet skis and snorkled to our heart's content. The entire town lines the beach and there are tables & chairs all along it. I felt sorry for the many people I met back on the ship who never discovered this little town & spent the day at the dock area. Without these boards I would not have known about Majahaul & would have also spent the day at the overly commercialized dock area.

 

Toodles!:)

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I felt sorry for the many people I met back on the ship who never discovered this little town & spent the day at the dock area. Without these boards I would not have known about Majahaul & would have also spent the day at the overly commercialized dock area.

 

Don't feel sorry for me; I did a dolphin swim at Costa Maya. :) Uvero Beach, to be precise. My whole review is here:

 

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=256473

 

best,

Laura

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Thanks for the review! It was so nice to hear your positive spin. We took this same cruise in May & had a great time. Of course there were minor gliches, but nothing more, even less, than previous land vacations.

 

The only thing that I differ from the OP is our day in Costa Maya. This was our favorite day. I studied the Port of Call Forum prior to the cruise & learned all about the little village of Majahaul. If you go to this port take the time to read about this town. It is a quaint Mexican town with dirt roads, not a polished Caribbean resort town. The people are very friendly & very welcoming, though. The town was clean & we never felt threatened. We found a perfect spot under a couple of palm trees on the beach with plenty of beach chairs & a nice big, clean table, right across from "Tapa's Bar" as recommended on this board. We had good service & spent a relaxing beach day. Our family group of 10 swam, shopped, rented jet skis and snorkled to our heart's content. The entire town lines the beach and there are tables & chairs all along it. I felt sorry for the many people I met back on the ship who never discovered this little town & spent the day at the dock area. Without these boards I would not have known about Majahaul & would have also spent the day at the overly commercialized dock area.

 

Toodles!:)

 

I totally agree with everything you just said!!! This was our favorite day too!!!

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Don't feel sorry for me; I did a dolphin swim at Costa Maya. :) Uvero Beach, to be precise. My whole review is here:

 

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=256473

 

best,

Laura

Nope, I don't feel sorry for you. Your Dolphin excursion sounds like a lot of fun, too! Great review, BTW.:) So many people we talked to once we got back on the ship though did not know there was anything else to do outside of the port area unless you booked an excursion. There was nothing mentioned on the ship about the village or even in the port, for that matter. It even took us a while to find out how to get to the taxis that take you to Majahaul & we had directions! The other thing I would add to someone who is considering going to the village for a beach day is to take cash! There are no phone lines for credit cards & while Tapas Bar did take our Traveler's checks, they don't like them and charge a service charge to use them. Like I said, it's a pretty undeveloped area, but clean & friendly with a lovely beach.

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Glad to see balance in a trip report. My wife had to drag me on our first RCCL (Check the nickname if you have any questions) Cruise......... Was AOTS, and it stood tall to DCL in just about every comparison, except one. It was a boatload less Expensive !!!! Staff and Crew were great........Food was as expected........If you want gourmet, dont try a cruise. Portifinos was wonderful, dont miss the murder mystery dinner if offered.

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So many people we talked to once we got back on the ship though did not know there was anything else to do outside of the port area unless you booked an excursion. There was nothing mentioned on the ship about the village or even in the port, for that matter.

 

Yeah, overall more information about all the ports and "other stuff to do" would have been good. The dolphin swim was added at the last minute; we didn't find out about it until I saw the sign posted at the Excursions desk on the ship. Also I agree about more info needed on what places only accept cash.

 

best,

Laura

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Thank you for the nice review. We are sailing this ship on Dec 4 and wondering if there is a "Murder Mystery" night on this cruise? Thanks.

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Yeah, overall more information about all the ports and "other stuff to do" would have been good. The dolphin swim was added at the last minute; we didn't find out about it until I saw the sign posted at the Excursions desk on the ship. Also I agree about more info needed on what places only accept cash.

 

best,

Laura

 

Somehow I suspect that the reason the ships keep Mahajaul a "little secret" is because they get revenue off of sales in the port area. I'm not sure about that, but I'm of the understanding that Costa Maya is a cruise line created & run port, kind of like the lines' private islands. That's ok with me - keeps the crowds away from the Majahaul beaches!:D

 

I knew that the village does not accept credit cards from the Costa Maya forum, but the traveler's check thing was a surprise to me.

 

Toodles!:)

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Thank you for the nice review. We are sailing this ship on Dec 4 and wondering if there is a "Murder Mystery" night on this cruise? Thanks.

 

On the Explorer last week the Murder Mystery dinner was in Portofinos on Friday. $50/person - Wanted to do it but it conflicted with lobster night :rolleyes:

 

HTH

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