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giantsfan

Just back from Western Caribe 6/20-6/27 on the Explorer - any questions?

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We went to Belize and did the best of belize by boat booked through shore excursions. Though the snorkeling was good, I would not recommend this excursion. People we were with from Carnival almost missed the last tender to the ship. The people who ran the excursion were not too concerned about time. A better bet is the cave tubing.

 

On Costa Maya we just hung out at the beach in Majuhaul. You get the flavor of a sleepy fishing village. The bars are right on the beach and the drinks are inexpensive - $1 for beer and $2 for soda.

 

On Cozumel I absolutely recommend that you go to Paradise Beach. They have a water trampoline, an Ice Berg to climb, waiter service for food and drinks, all water sports and the beach is gorgeous.

 

On Grand Cayman I highly recommend booking the Sting Ray City tour through Captain Bryans on board the catamaran Buccaneer. The stop at Stingray City is the highlight of the trip. You get to feed and hold Southern Atlantic Sting Rays.

 

If you book privately through the internet you can save a considerable amount of money rather than using the RCCL excursions. Do your homework and read the threads on the port of call section of the boards.

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Hi Donna,

 

We had a great time on the cruise meeting and laughing with new friends. I am going through withdrawal right now. Our trip home was as good as a trip home can be after having such a great time. Work today stunk, I purposely went in late because I just didn't want to be there. Please stay in touch.

 

rbove116@aol.com

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Hey Guys ! Where's Cristian? And Clo? And Adam? We should be sailing with them. Boy, I'd much rather be at sea than back at work. We need to start thinking about a "reunion" cruise. We have to make sure that next time we are christened the BEST cruise critic group they've seen on board.

 

Let's keep in touch!

 

Hope to have photos soon! Need sleep!

 

~Anne

 

Ron....I added the date to your title so people had a time reference. :-0

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Anne,

 

I think the girls have Christian withdrawal. Thanks for the helping hand. How does a reunion cruise to Bermuda sound?

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Absolutely great time! The ship is awesome, we had 3600 guests and we didn't wait on a line once. The ports of call were fun. The only drawback was at two ports (Belize and Grand Cayman) we had to tender in. The food was very good, the service was excellent, the shows were good and the drinks were great.

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I'll be sailing on the Explorer in September!!! I'm so excited!!!

 

A couple questions...was there a surcharge for Johnny Rockets?

 

Salt or fresh water pools? I've heard different things on the message boards.

 

Also, I don't want to waste any time! Are there any shows that are just okay and you could have lived without seeing? I know the ice show is a don't miss.

 

Where was your room?

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Doing Western Caribe in March. Any suggestions for Belize with 2 girls, ages 7 and 12? Thanks. Also, according to the RCL itinerary I looked at, we are supposed to be docked in Grand Cayman and Belize. The only tender is Cozumel. We are on Splendour of the Seas, though. Can smaller ships be docked?

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Hello Anne, Ron, Donna:

 

I enjoyed the cruise too. Sorry I didn't see much of you after the meet and mingle, but between excursions and family, I guess I was pretty tied up. We had a great time on the cruise - despite my mother not being there for her and my stepfather's 35th wedding anniversary celebration. We had the dining room staff in stitches with our anniversary presentations to my stepfather, the highlight was when the waiters brought a cake and sang happy anniversary to him alone. My mom missed a great cruise, and she really didn't need to.

 

So who's Cristian?

 

I'd love to do Bermuda out of NY or NJ in April, but I can't seem to find any sailings yet.

 

Anne - I ran into Amanda and Bianca at the ice rink for a teen skate, but they got turned away for being too old. Imagine that? They didn't schedule any advanced skating time (for skaters who bring their own skates), which disappointed me, but then I convinced Guest Relations that they really needed to. So, they ended up letting Lauren have a half hour of private ice time on Saturday at 6PM. That was pretty cool.

 

Did anyone ever meet up with Jen the nurse?

 

Mark

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giantsfan,

 

how was the overall weather? I'm going to be on the Rhapsody out of Galveston this up-coming week, going to Key West, Grand Cayman, and Cozumel - and I'm a little worried about the weather, t-storms, rain etc. Any info.?

thanks Doreen

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I was on the cruise with giantsfan. Explorer was great. I too was amazed at how the ship handled the 3600 guests. Never waited for a treadmill at the fitness center and never waited on line for food. The pools are salt water. No charge for Johnny Rockets at this time (except for drinks/shakes) but I understand RCCL is considering imposing fees to reduce lines. There weren't any lines when I visited. I thought all the shows were great. We saw a show called Revolution, which was a Beatlemania type show, and they were great. The Royal Caribbean singers and dancers were outstanding, especially during the first show. Majestic (an Australian balancing act) was also awesome. The only minor disappointment I had was I thought the food was okay, but not great. I felt that on my two previous Celebrity cruises, there were always several outstanding choices for dinner, whereas on this cruise I felt that wasn't so. Others may disagree. But on the whole, I'd say this was a great cruise, a great ship, and the service was impeccable.

 

Mark

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D.,

 

The weather was pretty hot and humid. The only place we hit rain was in Costa Maya, and it was a pretty hard rain that lasted maybe a half hour. Unfortunately, we were in the middle of a jungle at the ruins, so we got soaked. But we all laughed afterwards.

 

Don't worry, be happy, and enjoy the cruise. I'm jealous.

 

Mark

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Ron,

 

I was not able to find it. I search and searched, but we can continue this thread or email each other, or better yet go on another cruise.

 

Donna

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We're doing the western caribbean on the Explorer next week. Glad to hear that you had a great time. Who was the cruise director?

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i think it didn't transfer because it was started in jan and only posts started after april 1st made the cut. let's keep up this thread AND go on another cruise.

 

Mark

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Ron ~ what happened to the thread you started last night that Donna and I replied to? Is this a new one?

 

I have to agree with Giantsfan (Ron) and Mark O. It was one terrific week. Great crew, great cruise critic group, great passengers, great entertainers. And I don't even care for the big mega ships!

 

I thought the entertainment overall was outstanding. Every single entertainer was a top notch professional -- from the production shows to the headliners to the entertainers in the lounges. I don't think you'll be disappointed.

 

I've cruised Royal Caribbean a bit in the past ten years. I think the food has improved dramatically! The new menus offer a far wider variety than in the past and the quality of the food was greatly improved. I think food is all about expectations. Our last several cruises with Royal Caribbean didn't offer very good food so we were pleasantly surprised with the quality on this cruise! By the way, we had an AWESOME assistant waiter -- Cristian from Romania! He is what cruising and service is all about.

 

The Cruise Director is currently Clodagh O'Connor from Ireland. By far, Clo is the best CD we've ever had on a cruise (this was my 21st). She is genuine, cares about every passenger and loves what she does. She's also the first female CD on one of RCI's megaships (Voyager class). Again, she makes the cruise.

 

Anyone sailing Explorer in the near future is in for a treat. Please be sure to tell Clo her Cruise Critic friends send their best!

 

~Host Anne

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OK Guys ~ I think we have two threads going....should we pick one (I say this one) so we don't have to post to two threads? Since the boards are new and I'm in this huge learning curve (with no laptop at the moment) I'll try to figure a way to combine the two threads you started, Ron but I'm not sure I can do it.

 

YES....let's plan a reunion cruise. How about in a couple of weeks? The stress of coming back to work gets to you quickly :-)!!!!

 

Mark ~ we totally understand...I figured you were busy with all of the family you had with you. Sorry we didn't get to spend more time together but hopefully we will NEXT time (did you hear that Ron -- NEXT TIME). :-) Amanda did get to skate as she met the 17 year old age requirement. They only turned Bianca away. It was a real bummer. Had I been there, I would have tried to reason with them (they usually are reasonable). That was very nice that they gave Lauren some ice time on Saturday. I would have loved to have seen her skate -- NEXT TIME!

 

Donna ~ how are things in Tampa? I miss Florida already!

 

I'm going to send an email to everyone who completed the surveys to try and keep us all in touch but it will probably be this weekend because I will have to manually get the addresses off my old laptop. Lidia and Gareth got to dine at the Captain's Table on the second formal night. We saw them as we left the ship. I want to hear all about it.

 

Hope all is well with everyone! Miss y'all!

 

~Anne

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So good to hear such positive things... We go in APril 2005 wioth 22 of our nearest and dearest friends... Western... what shore excursions are good...

RCCL Granduer 1999

CCL Victory 2001

CCL Triumph 2003

RCCL Explorer 2005

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Anne,

 

I couldn't find our thread but hey a new thread will do.

 

As far as the cruise goes............this was the best cruise ever. The food was great, the entertainment was great, the cruise director was funny and the meet and mingle group was outstanding.

 

Donna

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I would have to agree with my fellow cruise critic friends MarkO, Anne and Donna. The cruise was absolutely great! I do not have a bad thing to say about the entire experience except for the fact that it is over.

 

Missme2: There are not too many excursions in Belize for families with young children. You might want to check out the one to the zoo. You DO NOT want to book the Best of Belize by Boat. Although the snorkeling was good, the excursion company left allot to be desired. Also, check out the cave tubing if you guys are adventurous.

 

BOPRN: We went to two beaches in our ports. One was the beach at Majahaul in Costa Maya. The town is small and you get a real flavor of the Mexican people. The other beach we went to was Paradise Beach in Cozumel. I highly recommend this place. The beach and facilities were great.

 

QUILTSNH: By far the shore excursion you do not want to miss is Stingray City on Grand Cayman. We used Captain Bryans and the people we very professional, the 50' catamaran was clean and stocked with water and refreshments. The snorkeling was super and the stop at Sting Ray city was the highlight of the trip.

 

Ahoy Anne, Donna and Mark. How is everyone doing. I started this thread here. The one on the roll call page was too confusing to find!

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Anne,

 

I am so glad I found this thread again.........we need to keep this thread going or like you said email each other for the reunion and to keep in touch.lol.

 

Tampa is really humid and rainy...last night I lost power for about 20 minutes.

 

Miss u guys.

 

Donna

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well, i'll leave it to Anne to put the two threads together and let us know when it is done so I won't be confused. Did any of you try the Flourless Chocolate Cake? It was so good I bought the cookbook so I can make it at home.

 

Mark

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A quick question: Is the captain the same on the Eastern itinerary for Explorer?

 

Just wondering...

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They don't change captains from voyage to voyage, so yes, it will be the same captain. why do you ask, anyway?

 

Mark

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Well, I ask because that is only the second rave review of a specific captain by name that I've read on these boards, and since I'll be on the same ship (EOS) in October, only Eastern itinerary instead of Western, I was curious to see whether I'd get the pleasure of the same captain. :D

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Giantsfan,

 

We will be on the eos on 9-26-04 doing the Western side. Just wondering did you need passports. We bought them because we heard so many different stories. We are 1st timers and are learning alot from these boards. Also in Belize how were the beaches? We are doing the Dune buggys in Costa Maya. The sting rays in Cayman Islands. Any other suggestions?

 

Thanks so much.

just linda

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Linda ~ Take your passports. They are a good thing to have along. You do NOT need them in the ports you will be visiting but they do expedite the embarkation and disembarkation procedures for U.S. citizens. If I had one complaint about this cruise, I thought the terminal upon departing the ship was chaosis. My best recommendation is that if you have a later flight, stay on the ship as late as possible. Let everyone else disembark.

 

Mark ~ this is the first "real" evening I've had to visit the boards since getting home. I've popped in here and there but I'm still in a big learning curve with the new boards. I don't think I'll be able to merge our other thread with this one any time soon. Let's just keep this one going.

 

Ron ~ I'm feeling pretty much the same as you. The only good thing is that work has been so busy this week that I haven't had much time to dwell on being back. The next cruise can't come soon enough! I am going to go through photos this weekend and get a CD off to you early next week.

 

Donna ~ how's life in Tampa. Did you get my email with Barbara's email?

 

Does anyone have a good photo from our Meet & Mingle party? Mine is OK but I remember seeing some others that were better. If you email it to me, I'll be sending it along with some info to Laura...maybe we'll get our photo posted!!!!

 

I'll be checking in this weekend. We're staying home. Hope everyone has a safe and happy 4th holiday!

 

~Anne

 

P.S. Miss you guys!!!

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Hello Fellow/Former Mates,

 

Anne-yes, I did get Barbara's email address, thanks. I do have a pretty good picture of the Meet and Mingle group but I don't have a scanner.

 

Ron- I agree with you. It is hard to get back into the swing of things and I wish I was on the ship with all of you.

 

Donna

 

P.S. I go on my Windjammer Barefoot cruise in a month!!!

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Sure Donna ~ go ahead and rub it in. You'll be sailing without us. What a bummer!

 

By the way, the easiest way I've found to find a thread that you've been posting to is to click on your own name and then click on View all posts. It brings them all up. Our other Explorer thread is out there but let's just stick with this one.

 

~Anne

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Hey....I did it! I figured out how to merge the threads. Hope I haven't confused any of you! I'm going back to check and make sure this is in the right place. Hang tight.

 

Looks like it worked. The first thread now appears at the beginning of the second thread so all the posts are now here in one location!

 

~Anne

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Anne, I'll check my camera this weekend and email you my meet and mingle shot.

 

Mark

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Thanks Mark. I was able to lighten mine so it's not too bad but please send yours as it may be better.

 

HAPPY 4th EVERYONE!!!!

 

~Anne

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