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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.



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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!




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

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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?



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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.



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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.



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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!



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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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