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Alcohol, NFL running backs, & naked debauchery…my EOS review with pictures.

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Instead of just writing a review (something I’ve done a few times already) I’ve decided to do sort of a “review in pictures”. We’ll see how it goes. We had a GROUP OF 11 with ages ranging from 27 to 33. This was the Explorer’s first sailing for her new itinerary that consisted of Belize, Costa Maya, Cozumel, & Grand Cayman. This was my third sailing aboard a Voyager class vessel. FYI...I have broken it down into a few posts on this thread.



Pre Cruise---Saturday, May 8th.


We left Tampa around 9:30 and met up with everyone in our group at the MCDONALD'S just before Alligator Alley. While crossing the everglades Jeff spotted a sweet dark blue Bentley coming by to pass us. When the car pulled even to us it was none other than Edgerrin James of the Indianapolis Colts. Little did we know that we would be seeing another NFL running back everyday of our vacation.

Just like last year we booked a room THE CLEVELANDER art deco hotel in the heart of SOUTH BEACH . This hotel rocks and the POOL BAR seems to be THE spot alongOCEAN DRIVE . After spending a little time at the beach we headed back to the pool bar for some drinks and to catch the HOT BODIES contest. This place doesn’t suck! That night we ate at a cool spot called Jerry’s Famous Deli. THE MENU is the size of Moby Dick (the book you perverts) and the prices aren’t too bad considering you are in South Beach.



Sunday, May 9th – Day 1 (South Beach)



Met down in the lobby around 9:30 and made our way to the port. Stopped by Burger King for some breakfast and it was evident that the excitement (or the I don’t care I’m on vacation attitude) was getting to us as Maureen threw her tray away with her trash. I scolded her and we on our way to the terminal. Handed over our luggage to the porters along with a good tip and a look that said, “all my cool stuff that I own is in there, can you please make sure I see it again.” The ship was late clearing customs so we had to wait a little while…no bother as this gave us some time to make fun of other people in line.

There was a couple that showed no shame when the walked in with two 12 packs of soda & one 12 pack of bottled water. His black socks, dress shoes, and shorts gave me the impression that he really didn’t care what other people thought. Anyway, since we booked a Junior Suite we hung out in the preferred waiting area and were allowed to board before the masses around 12:30. Today was Mother’s day (yes I made sure to call her…twice) and they had hundreds of visitors onboard for lunch. I could never do this, as the temptation to stowaway would be too great.

Our first action onboard was to check out OUR SUITE and we were not disappointed. An inside is fine for two maybe three people, but I couldn’t have imagined us four guys rooming in one. THE BALCONY was large enough for all of us to sit comfortably and Anthony even took his rollaway out there a couple of nights TO SLEEP The walk-in closet was big enough to allow whoever came out of the shower to go in there and get dressed.

After pushing all the buttons, and playing with all the bells and whistles we continued with the tradition of going down to the CROWN & KETTLE (Pig n Whistle on Voyager) to get our first drink. Didn’t take long to then make our way to CAFE PROMENADE for some free pizza and sandwiches. Gosh this place rocks. When then spent the next few hours checking out our home for the upcoming week and comparing her to the Voyager, which we have sailed on twice.

Our clothes arrived late that afternoon which prompted me to exhibit a strange behavior only seen onboard…I unpacked with organization. Like I said in my last review I guess it really sets in that this is the place you’re gonna live for the next 7 days. That still doesn’t explain the schoolgirl grin across my face as I hang up my “outfits”. Normally at home my clothes go directly from the dryer to my bedroom floor and now here I am dictating which drawers will hold my socks and which get my boxes as well as coordinating and HANGING UP certain clothes. Weird!

That night we made our way to TABLE 381 in the Magellan dining room where we met Rudolph our waiter and Mihail his assistant. Can’t say that I’ve had better service on any cruise that I’ve been on. They were perfect and very personable as well. One touch that I thought was a little tacky was that they don’t put bread on the tables anymore. Your assistant comes around at the beginning of dinner and asks which bread you would like. I guess a lot of it was going to waste (that wouldn’t have happened with our group). Not a big deal though. That night we spent some time in the casino where most of us came out ahead while others hit THE CHAMBER



Monday, May 10th -- Day Two (at sea)



As we did every morning we made our way to the windjammer/island grill for breakfast. Got an omelet each time and that was one of the few lines I had to wait in the whole cruise. I thought the food (regarding breakfast & lunch in the WJ) was excellent. After that we hit the pool area for a few hours and then spent a couple more in the Solarium. Gosh I love that place.

Went to the Island Grill for a snack and that’s where we all noticed how much the ship was moving. I get seasick very easily but decided not to take the bonine I brought as the last few Western Caribbean cruises I’ve been on were very calm. I paid for it that night and didn’t make it to the first formal dinner. The rest of the cruise was smooth sailing though. Luckily Jeff brought a portable DVD player so I sat in my boxers, ordered room service, and watched a great surf documentary called Step Into Liquid. As we did every morning we made our way to the windjammer/island grill for breakfast. Got an omelet each time and that was one of the few lines I had to wait in the whole cruise. I thought the food (regarding breakfast & lunch in the WJ) was excellent. After that we hit the pool area for a few hours and then spent a couple more in the Solarium. Gosh I love that place.




Continued below...

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Tuesday, May 11th – Day Three (Belize)



Anthony, being the cool guy that he is got up at 7:30 to get in line for tender tickets. He got six #2’s for us with no difficulty at all. The tenders started around 9:00 and we were allowed to board with the #1 ticket holders. In Belize you anchor pretty far out and THE RIDE takes about 10-15 min. The six of us decided to catch a WATER TAXI to Caulker Caye (pronounced Key), which took about 50 min. Upon arriving at CAULKER CAYE we were greeted by a man asking what we were looking to do. We told him we were interested in snorkeling so he piled us into his golf cart and took us to a local guy named MARIO Mario told us to go have a Belikin Beer at POPEYE'S (another of POPEYE'S) while he went to get his boat. About 20 min. later Mario PICKED US UP (MORE ) and we were on our way. Don’t expect some 30ft. cabin cruiser with A/C and a head, as this island doesn’t even have cars. Our first stop was SHARK & RAY ALLEY . You won’t confuse this place for Stingray City (Grand Cayman) but you won’t be able to swim with SHARKS as easily in the Cayman either. After that we went to the SWASH which is a cut in the reef. We then went to went to the BARRIER REEF where some decent snorkeling can be had. A word of caution, the current off Caulker Caye is pretty strong as we all bumped the coral a few times.

We then told Mario to drop us off THE SPLIT (a spot where the island was cut in half by a hurricane) where we found a cool little bar called the LAZY LIZARD . Unfortunately there aren’t any beaches per se on Caulker Caye and most of the swimming is done from DOCKS or CONCRETE SLABS since sea grass surrounds much of the island.

Anyway after a few beers my brother (Jeff) and I decided to jump off the slab and conquer the split! Getting over there was a piece of cake but swimming back against the current wasn’t! It was worth it though. The main problem with going to one of these Cayes is the time difference. We had to catch the 1:30 (3:30 ship’s time) water taxi back as the next one to come by would have made us miss the ship. If you decide to go here, to Ambergris Caye, or any other Caye just keep that in mind!



Wednesday, May 12th – Day Four (Costa Maya)



Today everyone in our group kinda did their own thing. Mayuri, Maureen, and Dakari went to the CHACCHOBEN RUINS and were very impressed. Becky, Vic, and Doug did some off road bus thing and weren’t too thrilled with it. Me, being the beach bum that I am went along with Anthony and Jeff to the fishing village of Majahaul. It took about 5-10 min by taxi to get to the NORTHERN END OF TOWN From there we headed south on foot (about 10-15 min) until we reached this cool bar called PEZ QUADRO . After having a few beers we took a SWIM SWIM and hung around for a couple hours. We then walked back north along the beach in search of a new spot.

We decided on THIS LOCATION where we ordered some more beers and some food (which was good). About 20 ft. away THIS WAS GOING ON so we decided to partake, as we didn’t want to seem rude. You can’t beat $20 (plus tip) for a 30 min. massage in paradise.

A few hours later we caught up with Mayuri, Maureen, and Dakari at THIS PLACE where they persuaded us to have some more beer with them. We decided to continue our plan of not being rude, as it had been working well for us so far. After hearing of our massage Mayuri decided to have one as well so we took her BACK HERE . Jeff and I had been eyeing the reef way out in the distance and said why have a boat take us out there when we can probably SWIM to it. We swam back to shore about 45min. later to find Mayuri drooling in the sand. It was getting late so we caught a taxi back to the PIER area where Patrick and Jeff (there were two Jeffs in our group) participated in some strange display of WATER AEROBICS . Taking the tram back to the ship we all vowed never to return to this infernal place they call Costa Maya!





Continued below...

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Thursday, May 13th – Day Five (Cozumel)



Today me, Jeff, Anthony, and Dakari decided to do something none of us had done in Cozumel before…rent a jeep and visit the other side of the island. We went downtown and cut across Cozumel making a stop at the ruins. Wasn’t too impressed with these but it wasn’t a complete waste of time either. We continued on to the eastern side of Cozumel where we found some neat ROCK FORMATIONS , LAGOONS , and BLOWHOLES . We headed south around the tip of the island and headed back north by northwest until we found Paradise Beach. This place was awesome… very clean. We had a few beers, hung out, and messed around with the WATER TOYS . After another beer we continued on to THIS PLACE ...and that’s all I have to say about that. From there everyone met up at Carlos’n Charlie’s. The group gave it their all and built the SHOT TOWER all the way to the ceiling. Remember when I said we were with an NFL running back all week? Well, our buddy Dakari was mistaken by a couple to be Ricky Williams, the RB from the Miami Dolphins!!! Soon the word spread around the bar with other people coming up and asking to take pictures. It climaxed when the manager of Carlos’ n Charlie’s took a picture with him for the bar! If you don’t believe me check out this topic on the Carlos’ n Charlie’s message board ! I guess that makes us his posse/entourage! Here is a PIC with Dakari in it from that day (we don’t know who that kid is throwing up the peace sign). Anyway, everyone had fun while MAYURI ,MAUREEN , and "SHADY" DOUG got kinky.



Friday, May 14th – Day Six (Grand Cayman)



Pulling into Georgetown we saw something from our balcony that thankfully we hadn’t seen all week…rain clouds. For the third year in a row we chartered a private tour with Nativeway Watersports. Since we were to meet our driver at 9:30 we made sure to get to the first tender only to be greeted by pouring rain. I tried to stay positive and announced that “this was the tropics,” and that, “this stuff moves in and out.”

By the time we met Nativeway at the pier things were starting to clear a little. We made our way to the BOAT where we met our two guides and Kayla, our videographer from New Zealand. I’ve been to STINGRAY CITY three times now and it just doesn’t get old. Don’t miss it if you have never been there. We spent about 45 min. there where we all HELD , KISSED , AND WORE these peaceful creatures. Don’t be afraid of getting stung, as the pain only last for a few days and the scar looks pretty cool.

From there we went over to the CORAL GARDENS where the sun was out in full effect…the tropics baby! Spent another 45 min there and then headed over to theBARRIER REEF . Just take a look at this PICTURE and tell me Grand Cayman doesn’t have the prettiest water around. Our guides took us around the reef and even got a green MORAY EEL to come out of hiding long enough for me to pet it. We then took our time heading back to the marina watching the water change colors along the way.

From there Jeff, Maureen, Mayuri, Dakari, and myself were dropped off at 7 Mile Beach while the rest went to Hell. Seven Mile Beach is the one place in the world where I could survive on bread & water. It’s just perfect. The scenery got the five of us in a hedonistic mood so we decided to swim out, GET NAKED , and put our clothes on the top of the BUOY ! If there were any divers in the area they got quite a show.

We phoned the Captain of the Explorer of the Seas to tell him to keep the boat docked for a few more days but he kept going on about schedules and port charges and really wasn’t making any sense. Oh well. It was pretty sad leaving the beach as the fact that this was our last port began sinking in. We stopped by Blackbeard’s Rum Cakes (I like them better than Tortuga) where we grazed like cows for about 15 min. before buying some cakes. We stopped by another gift shop where Maureen & Mayuri broke a magnet and kicked it under the display so they didn’t have to pay for it. Just kidding, but they were accused of it.

We continued our ritual of hitting Johnny Rockets after each island for a late lunch. Don’t see how you can beat fries, onion rings, and bacon cheeseburgers for free! Tonight was the second formal night and the food continued to be good to great. After dinner we hit the Crown and Kettle for a few drinks and came up with the idea of going to the Solarium. Jeff, Dakari, and myself decided to throw ourROBES on and take a slight detour through the Royal Promenade (where we fit in nicely with it being a formal night) before hitting the hot tub. Mayuri joined us in the tub and we figured since were kinda still in Cayman waters (probably not since it was after midnight) to once again rid ourselves of ourBATHING SUITS . This made it tricky to sign for the drinks but we found a way. After that we took a quick ride on a HORSE and headed back to our rooms to change. Dakari was DONE for the evening – must have been thatBOTTLE OF WINE he drank at dinner -- and he decided to stay behind and order some pizza and cookies from room service.

Mayuri, Jeff, and me caught up with Maureen and Anthony down in the Casino and decided to have another drink before hitting the tables. The idea of cookies and pizza in bed was too much for Jeff and he made the costly mistake of heading back to the room. Earlier in the cruise we taught the girls how to play craps and the table had been kind to us all week. It was about 1:15 a.m. and the casino was pretty quiet with no one playing craps. We figured it would be nice for the four of us to play next to each other so we headed over there to see if we could warm up the table. Mayuri went first and proceeded to crap out quickly. I went second and didn’t fare much better; we were all about even. Maureen, who had been hot all week, had one hell of a roll. After about 7-8 min. we all had the table covered with the 5, 6, 8, and 9 pressed at least three times. I’ve never seen so many eights (I had it pressed to $24) rolled in my life and it was a lot of fun scooping up green ($25) chips instead of red ($5) ones. She continued on for another 10 min. before crapping out. Little did the four of us, or the other 6 or so that had now joined us know, that Anthony was about to do even better. He must have rolled the point 14 times (ok, maybe not 14 but it was a lot) and on the last half most of the table had $20 dollars on the line and backed up. It’s a shame you only get single odds. By now the table had reached it’s maximum of 16 players and there were another 20 or so surrounding us. Around 3:00 a.m. the pit boss stepped in to inform the table that this was the last roll with the dice being only one position away from Mayuri. I point this out to illustrate that it took about an hour and 45 min for the dice to get around the table! I started with $50 and after taking good care of the dealers and stickmen I walked with $487. Maureen and Mayuri were both just behind me around $425 each. Anthony, also known as “ press everything including all the hardways” cashed his initial $150 in for just over $900!

Most of the table hit the Chamber for some celebratory drinks but they closed it down that night at 3:30 for some reason. The four of us decided to change and hit the jacuzzi. This allowed me to stop by the room and wake up Jeff and see what a $487 cookie taste like. We stayed in the hot tub until 5:00 or so and toyed with the idea of watching the sunrise, but ended up going to sleep after some cookies from Café Promenade. What a day, what a night!



Continued below...

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Saturday, May 15th – Day Seven (at sea)



Woke up around 8:45 giving me a nice three hours of sleep. The last sea day always sucks but the previous night’s happenings helped to ease the pain somewhat. We went to the windjammer/island grill for the sixth consecutive day for a very good breakfast. Each morning I had a bacon and extra cheese omelet, french toast, triangular hash browns (these rocked), and a scoop of corned beef hash. After that we hit the pool deck but couldn’t find a spot anywhere…the chair hogs were out in full effect. Met up with most in our group and decided to have a PUTT-PUTT TOURNAMENT which was nice as this was my third sailing on a Voyager class ship but my first time playing the 9 hole layout. I couldn’t believe the difficulty of some of holes being that the ship already moves and the wind at the back is pretty severe. Made plans to do the rock-climbing wall but for the first time all week we were able to see the NHL playoffs. We couldn’t pass up watching the Lightning play the Flyers so we had a little viewing party in our cabin. As you can see by these pictures it wasn’t much of a PARTY as the LACK OF SLEEP was catching up to us. That evening we packed our stuff (not fun) and got our tip envelopes ready. This was the first cruise where I didn’t tip the Maitre D/Head waiter as the first time I spoke with him was when he came around collecting the envelopes. Rudolph and Mihael did receive a tip as I mentioned before that they were two of the best we had ever had. After dinner we headed back to the craps table, as Jeff didn’t want to miss out on another payday. The only thing he, and the rest of us were missing after that was about $100 each. It was a good thing for Maureen and Mayuri in a way, as, up to that point they probably viewed craps as a place they give you free money…an ATM if you will. After that we partied in the Chamber for a while before heading up to our room. The next port was someplace called reality.



Sunday, May 16th – Day Eight (Miami)



It sucked. Went home.


The end.






Random Thoughts:


Make sure to pack your patience with you.


Don’t let some completely trivial thing upset your vacation. Whatever it is you won’t remember it when reliving your experience.


Stay away from Caribbean Stud Poker. There is a reason every year there seems to be more and more tables offering this game. It’s the same reason why there is only one craps table.


I really wish there was more than one Craps table. I know it might sound trivial to some but it really upset me and it’s all I can think about now that my vacation is over.


Don’t miss Sting Ray City.


Don’t diet while onboard.


Try not to say “NO” more than once every three hours.


Thought the Chamber (Explorer) was laid out much better than the Vault (Voyager).


Don’t be afraid to order more than one thing off the menu. But try not to take just one bite and then play with it for five minutes.


I don’t know how I’m ever going to go back to an inside cabin. Those who say you don’t spend much time in your room have never had a suite or balcony.


Some of the food items that stood out included the Sweet Vidalia onion tart, Mahi Mahi, any cookie from café Promenade, lobster, warm chocolate cake (with a scoop of vanilla ice cream), anything greasy from Johnny Rockets, and the triangular hash brown cakes at breakfast.


Realize how incredibly hard your room steward and wait staff work to make you feel like royalty, and be sure to compensate them accordingly even if that means giving them more than suggested. What I am trying to say is give them more than suggested.


Don’t complain more than once every three days. You’re on one of the biggest ships in the world in the middle of the Caribbean. Act like it.


Even if shows aren’t your thing don’t miss the Love and Marriage (Newlywed not so Newlywed) game.


When showing up to the pier don’t make fun of the people getting in taxis, busses, etc. That will be you before you know it!



If you have any question or comments don’t hesitate to post it or email me at cww77fla@yahoo.com.



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wow you really put a lot of effort into putting that review together. thanks! it was a lot of fun to read!


glad to hear you had a good experience with nativeway. i am going to GC for the first time in a couple of weeks and I have a tour booked with them as well!

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It did take quite a bit of time but it was fun nonetheless (is that one word).


We have used Nativeway for like four years now and always have a great time.



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I was kinda getting ready to put my flame suit on. You just never know how people are gonna react on this board sometimes.




Glad I could help. Anyone and everyone is allowed to join us!


Family of 14,


I'm pretty sure they clean the hot tubs often...at least I hope so.



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Wow...thank you so much! It's easy to write a review when you have such a good time. You're gonna have a great time in 3 weeks...I'm jealous.




You're gonna love the junior. I think it was money well spent. Try going here Voyager-class.com for some great shots of all public areas of the ship.



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Nicely done bro...reading your review was as if I was there with you!! In fact, I was...I'm the one who skipped out on the money they were apparently giving away at the craps table in favor of room service!!!

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Thanks everyone!





Sorry, we used up all of our underwater pics on those stupid stingray :D ... didn't know there would be naked women later that day :cool: !




Glad I could help.




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