Jump to content
Firefighterhoop

Explorer of the Seas Review (3/12 to 3/19/2006)

Recommended Posts

Hi, I just got off of the Explorer of the seas 7 night western Caribbean. Before I go into too much at first, just to let every one know i am a 24 year old male traveling with some family and some friends. Bottom line, we had a wonderful time!

 

Embarkation - WE got to the pier at about 11am, however due to norovirus on 2 previous cruises, we had to wait until 1pm to board, which was fine, except the only thing that would have been nice is if they had a way to make announcements that you could hear (I.e a loud speaker or PA System instead of an agent trying to yell over 1,000 people), we boarded at 1:15. Life boat drill was 4:30, with sailing at about 5:10.

 

Other Passengers: There were 3, 560 people on board this week! 850 of them were kids under 18. The ship didn't seem too crowded except for sea days in the afternoon around the pools.

 

The ship was in great condition for being bult in 2000, and seeing over 3000 people a week, except for the hot tubs. A lot of them wouldn't fully turn on, they were barely ever hot (Except for the solarium ones) which we spent time in because the ones by the main pool were overrun by kids on the sea days. This was the first cruise that I saw the Deck Patrol actually pulling Towels and stuff left by chair hogs! NICE WORK!

 

Food - It was good! Great service. The windjammer was wierd being served instead of serving our selves the first 5 days, but I am assuming that no one - or not a reportable amount got sick because starting friday we served ourselves!

 

We did not go to portofinos -so can't help there.

 

Ports - BElize is a waste of time - period. The ship (As well as every other ship there) is anchored about 45 minute tender ride from the shore, there is a very small shopping area where the tenders dock and that's it. I didn't talk to anyone who was too happy with it.

 

I'm not going to go into the other 3 because there are so many reports about them already!

 

Entertainment - Clo was the cruse director - AWESOME AWESOME AWESOME!!!!! Very Nice, Very Friendly. She puts a lot into her work and it shows!!!!!!! She said she will be on until april 9th and then off until August 4th when she will return to the Explorer.

Love and Marrage was Wednesday night, Quest Thursday. Formal nights Monday and Friday.

 

Debarkation - Extremely well!!! They will let you carry your own luggage off at 630 am, and they started calling general colors at 6:50! Customs and Immigration were a breeze, and then everything came to a screatching hault! We are at the Holiday inn across the bridge from the pier. No cab would take us here due to how short the fare would be (About 10 bucks) they all wanted airport fares, so we had to walk across the bridge after waiting for an hour trying to get a cab!

 

I do have to say one thing before I end this review! Hi to the Firefighters I met from Conneticut!

 

Anyway, if anyone has any specific questions about the ship, itenerary or anything, email me at hoopster3145@yahoo.com I just tried to keep this as short as I could!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great review,Do you know who is taking over for the CD? we are going on her in July? It has been a few years since we were on a RC cruise it sounds like we picked a nice ship to come bcak to RCCL...

Karen

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Our family was on this cruise also and I completely agree with the review. The ship is beautiful, the food was great (better than I had anticipated) you will not be disappointed. The only suggestion I have is if you want to skip a dinner in the dining room Caribbean Night is the one to skip. It was our least favorite and I believe it is the day we were in Costa Maya.

 

The entertainment was good and our children loved everything the ship had to offer. We didn't use the kids club but the facitlites seemed nice. I was apprehensive about going on a ship with 3500 passengers but our group agreed that it never felt crowded except for embarkation.

 

Hope everyone enjoys their cruise, Explorer is great!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great review! Thanks for posting it. We will be on the same ship in about 48 days :)

 

I am glad you had a good time, but sorry to hear the CD you had will be on vacation when we are on the EOS.

 

About the cab.... did you get a porter? They usually can work small miracles with the cab drivers. We once saved $15 off our cab fare because the porter worked out a deal with him!

 

Bobbie

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was also on this cruise and I agree with the review except for Belize. We did the zip line and cave tubing excursion through extreme and it was the BEST excursion I have ever done in all of my cruises. I would highly recommend doing this excursion.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To the OP,

 

From looking at your signature, I hope you get over your fear of cruising. It's really not all that bad. I'm glad you had a good time. Use this experience to help you book another! :D

You'll probably overcome this setback in your life and find that you really, really, really, really, really, like it! Really! :cool:

(Maybe I'm in the wrong business - maybe I should be a firefighter!).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know who is replacing Clo as cruise director, half of our family didn't even know who she was. The only time I saw her was at the love and marriage show and she is very funny. On smaller ships I believe the cruise director is more visibile, on the Explorer the ship is so big with so many activities you might miss meeting the cruise director.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was also on the EOS last week. Excellent time. It was my first cruise in 23 years (Song of Norway was the first) so I considered myself a first timer this time. My husband also was a first timer. We had an absolute blast.

 

I agree with the poster about Belize. You really do need an excursion. We didn't have one booked and the town area (except for the protected shopping zone which I felt was a tourist trap) was not very nice and the people were very pushy. My husband is 6'6" and he was starting to feel uncomfortable with all the people yelling at him. We spent about1.5 hours and went back to the boat.

 

Costa Maya was ok too (we didn't have an excursion booked). We did the cheapest snorkel trip ever that was almost a joke. The snorkels leaked and the masks were terrible and they gave everyone mismatched fins. Next time I'm bringing my own stuff (I left it at home cause I didn't feel like packing it). That afternoon we went back to the ship and had an incredible afternoon at the spa. There are so many great deals if you go on port days!

 

Cozumel was a blast - bar hopped the whole day with our table mates. Ended at Carlos and Charlies which was quite a site. We aren't old but not that young (28-33 in our group) - never did the Spring Break thing and after that experience over my dead body will my children ever!

 

Grand Cayman was by far the best. Somehow ended up at the Ritz Carlton after our cab driver told us she was dropping us at the Westin. We didn't complain nor did we get kicked out. Had nice lounge chairs, free towels at the pool and they even came around with fresh pineapple on skewers! We were enjoying the beach there we actually skipped our one booked excursion to Stingray City. We actually got our money back from RC after my husband talked to the people at the Explorations desk so I have no regrets not going there. I know I'll go back there for sure one day!

 

As for the ship - loved it. The dining was definitely better than I expected and I looked forward to dinner every night in the dining room. Our waiter Reynaldo was wonderful!!! And our table mates made the evenings quite fun. I don't think it would have been the same expereience if we were sat with people we didn't like. I swear the CIA has something to do with matching us up!

 

I really need to get back to work but if anyone has any questions you can email me at jltnova@hotmail.com

 

-Jen

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the great reviews. I am boarding the Explorer on the 2nd of April and it's so nice to hear so many positive things.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We too were on this cruise and had a great time. I was a little disappointed that we had to wait until 1:00 to board but fully understood the reason behind it. We had a balcony hump cabin on deck 7 and really loved it. On Tuesday evening there was a beautiful full moon and stars all over the place - even a couple shooting stars. IMO a balcony is well worth paying the extra money for.

 

We took a tour of Belize from a fellow outside of the tourist area. $20 each and worth it. He took us through the "rich" part of town and the "poor" part of town and then took us to a place on the water for drinks and food. He gave us just what we were looking for - a behind the scenes view of Belize - not the typical tourist traps.

 

In Costa Maya we did the Mayan ruins with David and Ivan and that was interesting. We had Ivan and our guide and, while he could get a little long winded, he was very informative. When we got back to the Cat's Meow (which is where we met the tour) we stayed right around there and went to a place on the beach for some drinks and eats and the view (as well as the crystal clear water) was spectacular.

 

Cozumel was Paradise Beach day and, I hate to say it, not quite what I was expecting after reading these boards (sorry PB Tom). Maybe it was because of the hurricane aftermath but the water was not clean at all. You had to walk out to the end of the pier to get in. The metal ladder they had was slimy from either suntan lotion, algae or both and people were slipping when climbing on it. The beach was crowded and the wait staff could not keep up. If you don't get there bright and early, you have quite a hike to find a chair. I hope if I ever go there again, they have a better system. They ask you to spend $10 per person if you go there which is fine with me but it's kinda hard to do that if no one will wait on you ;) .

 

Grand Cayman we rented a car and drove away from the crowds and traffic. We had a great time just cruising the shoreline and looking around. Found a nice place for lunch and then headed back to the town to check out 7 mile beach - WRONG!! We got into the city and traffic was bumper to bumper. As time was getting short, we decided to say the heck with it and returned the car and headed back to the ship.

 

The ship was absolutely great, food was delicious, our tablemates from New Jersey were made for us (do they have a matching system when assigning tables :confused: ) and we just had a wonderful time.

 

I will say though that there were four of us in our group and we all picked up some kind of bug. Was wondering if anyone else did too? We got chills, sore throat, fever and coughing/wheezing - some people worse than others (no, it's not Norwalk - ha ha). Despite that setback, we still would cruise RCL again in a heartbeat and plan to as soon as we save up!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Clo didn't say who was replacing her on April 9th - August 4th, so I can't help out there.

 

We didn't use a porter because there were 3 of us in our party with 3 smaller suitcases so one per person, plus a carry on style bag - so didn't really think of getting one, but good point on that though.

 

About my cruises, I average about 20 hrs of overtime per week, Plus, I work a second job also as a security manager at a nightclub since I get most weekends off, it gives me something to do and pays for my cruises, lol.:D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for all the reviews in this thread. We will be sailing on Explorer in August and even though it is still 5 months away, we are begining to get excited about it. We enjoy reading the reviews leading up to our vacation, especially when they are positive and go into detail of how enjoyable everything was and how much fun everyone had. Thanks again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I hope you have a great time. Are you going on the 5 night or 9 night cruise?

 

Going on the 9 night out of NJ. Works out great, with the money we are saving on airfare we are going for our first balcony (JS). We are all looking forward to it and getting excited about it already. And, to top it off, our DS (22) has just informed us that he will be back from his 6 month cruise (US NAVY) in time to go with us. Which brings me to a question - and before I begin we 'do' follow dining room protocol, I have never witnessed anyone on formal night wearing their military dress uniform. Would my DS be out of place if he were to bring his dress whites?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi, We are going on the 9 nt. in October and your son would be quite appropriatley dressed.

On one of our cruises our son wore his Marine Uniform and looked great.

A gentleman from the next table who was not in uniform came over and straightened my sons collar, come to find out he was a Marine also.

Have a great time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you Doglady, I will inform him to keep them packed and bring them along, I know the formal picture will be fantastic with him in uniform.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bob & Carol,

 

My family and I will be joining you on the 8/25/06 sailing of the Explorer. Our friends, Bob & Carol, and their son will be joining us!!:) :) :)

 

Kathy:)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We were on this past weeks sailing and I'm still waiting for my luggage. Everyone else got their bags but mine was lost somewhere between ship and pier. They did find it and are shipping it to me UPS. Not Express!!! We did have a great cruise up to that point. Better to lose your luggage on the way home rather than the reverse!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Glad to hear things are back to "normal" on Explorer. We are looking forward to ziplining, ruins with David and Ivan, beaching it and Stingray City. Only 48 hours until we head to Miami!:D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

SuzieTrue-

We were on last weeks Explorer and some of our group did Ivan's ruin trip. Be prepared that although it is a great excursion, Ivan is long winded and can run late getting back for lunch. Definitely pack some snacks, my family was starved when they returned. You will love this cruise and you won't believe how beautiful the water is in every port. We had 83-85 degree weather everyday and not a single cloud, hope you have the same.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We were on this cruise too, and we also had a BLAST!!! I was really surprised that with all the people, it never really felt crowded. We were on the Carnival Victory 2 years ago, and you could realy tell with the crowds on that one. You had to wait in line for everything!

In Belize, we did the zip line and cave tubing, the zip line was the highlight of our trip. The kids loved it. Cave tubing was allright, but not bad, I definately wouldn't get off of the ship if I didn't have an excursion planned. Not the nicest of places. Costa Maya was nice, we went to the beach in Majahual. If you go there, go down to the end, there were alot less people down there. We did the dune buggy tour in Cozumel, that was Awesome! alot of fun. I can't believe all the damage from the hurricanes, that was sad.

The hot tubs were a joke. I froze sitting in one of them, then had to move to the one with a ton of people. They never seemed to have them all open at one time. You see 2 open, both packed with people. Overall, everything was wonderful. The rockclimbing wall was fun, the lines weren't too bad.

The food was good, the only bummer was that the Windjammer had the same thing as in the dining room. I have to agree that Caribbean night was the worst meal. Not to worry though, I filled up on those yummy sandwiches at the cafe promenade. My husband and kids say the pizza was the best there too.

I hate being home! I can't get back in to the swing of things. Not to mention the weather is terrible. It's rainy and cold. It's pretty funny though, my kids both keep putting on shorts and t-shirts thinking it's still warm! The next morning after we got home, they were on line checking out thee Freedom of the Seas, they're ready to go again!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the great review! Do you remember which night was in the dining room was caribbean?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thanks for the great review! Do you remember which night was in the dining room was caribbean?

 

From my experiences, it seems like it is usually around Thursday night on the 7 nighter's. No matter though, if you are looking to go to Portofino's, just go there as soon as you board to make reservations and they can tell you what night is Caribbean night in the dining room. We did that on our last cruise and booked Portofino's on the spot. Hope that helps.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Our group of 4 women were also on the cruise. The opinions varied, but all of agreed that the ship really has a "WOW" factor.

 

We stayed in the Royal Family Suite. It was a little disappointing. The room was dirty trash from the previous cruisers and just plain dirty. Also the maintance has not been kept up. Tv in livingroom broken - called maintenance they come up and announce that it will need to be replaced. Refrigerator didn't keep items cold - called maintenance and they tell me "it's not a refrigerator it's a "chiller". Well no matter what it's called please get it to keep things cold. He tells us everything is as cold as it's going to get. The air conditionig doesn't work. Miantenance comes looks around and leaves without any more info. Then we finally figured it out. The door to the balcony must be sealed with the handle in the upright position before the air will come on. Lastly after the first night of the room not being cleaned I called housekeeping. They tell me to leave Florance our stateroom attendent a note. It takes two days of notes to get her to vacumn the furniture which had sand dirt and someone's fingernails in the cushions! We all wrote on our comments cards that this suite needs through cleaning and updating of furniture.

 

The view from our balcony was to die for. Every night there was the moon. and each morning we got up early to see the sun rise. That was awsome.

 

Conseiers (sp) useless - I called him about two hours after we boarded. I needed two reservations to the spa for the next day abour ten am, ice show tickets for tuesday night. Also we need our table changed. (I had requested and was assured by RCL that we had a table for five near a window on first sitting. Went to the dinning room and guess what we are at a table for twelve in front of the main entrance.) He calls me back he can't get us spa reservations for the next day at any time. We can come to the conseirs lounge and pick up ice show tickets and he called the Matre'd about our dinner reservations. We go to the lounge and pick up the ice show tickets and also get more than one key to the lounge since there are four people in our suite. Sure we can have them. But he tells me he can't do anything about the dinner reservations his best suggestion is to go at 6pm and talk to the marti'd After several discussions with the marte'd and the customer relations desk we finally get the table we requested minus the window.

It put a damper on the first day of our cruise I finally had to ask the conseire just what did he do? If he is unable to get us the reservations we want then what does he do? Needless to say we went to the spa oursleves and made our reservations. In fact on my sister's comment card she listed the conseirs as -"Useless"

 

The dinning room staff is excellient!!!! They were always there with anything we wanted. The food was wonderful. I can't say enough nice things about them. I wish they were here now.

 

We didn't get off the ship in Belize - been there done that. We did take the tour with IVan and DAvid and we loved it. OUr only sorrow was that it ended too quickly. Ivan is an awsome tour guide and you can feel how pashionate he is about the ruins. We would like to do this itinary again just to do his tour.

 

Cuzimel we also stayed on board and relaxed that day. Grand Caymen we took the Rays reef and rum point we went with Native way sports. They were great. lunch at rum point was so wonderful with fresh maha maha. Then layed in the water until it was time to return to the boat. We were a little anxious about returning to the ship. We were running late and anxious because We had been invited to dine with the captain!

 

Don't ask me how I don't have a clue. But it's true we did dine with him and his brother who was on board visiting. I will have to tell you it was pretty awsome to be invited. The last day we tried to rest since one of my sisters had been sunburned and I had caught a terrible cold.

 

Got off the ship and checked into our hotel. We couldn't get a flight home on Sunday.

 

All in all it was a wonderful cruise. I love the ship. I would sail her again even with the problems we had.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I want to bring on a bottle and wanted to know if they were actively checking/confiscating?

 

Thanks,

 

Aleksandra

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

[i have never witnessed anyone on formal night wearing their military dress uniform. Would my DS be out of place if he were to bring his dress whites?

 

We had a Navy Captain wear his dress uniform to formal night, and he looked wonderful!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Explore the Night. Sweepstakes - Enter now for a chance to win win a free cruise for two with Azamara Club Cruises!
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Community Contests
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×