January 2015 - Explorer of the Seas to Caribbean - Western
Long wait- over an hour at the port waiting to get off the bus and get into port terminal. The traffic was all backed up and slow. They need to fix that, very annoying when you are ready to start your vacation. Explorer looks good for an older ship, after the total remodel that is coming up it should be really amazing. I didn't see any worn out areas of ship- maybe some areas need paint. We ( my two sisters and I ) had a suite ( my first time) and loved all the extra perks that come with it. Our luggage did not arrive before dinner - another first for me. Thankfully, my sister had a carry on with 3 sundresses so we could dress nice for dinner. There were some minor items that were promised to suite guests that we did not see. Chocolates at turndown- never got them, last time I cruised with Royál, ALL guests got chocolates at turn down. Cutbacks? Slippers in the suite- none, pillow menu with four choices- nope. Seems trivial but when you so much extra for suite you expect to get your money's worth of what is promised. The coffe pots/ water heater in rooms should be removed. No one uses them, even suite attendant said it would be easier to go to windjammer or promenade to get coffee. Other than that, we were quite spoiled. The room was kept clean. We always had enough towels. The trip would have been great regardless, but the people we met on the cruise really made it fun and exciting. Met some great people that we hung out with each night, amazingly they were not Americans like ourselves but Brazilians. The food was great in dining room. We thought that originally there were to be two formal nights but learned there would only be one. When lobster was not served on formal night I assumed we would not get any so I ordered it off menu paying an up charge the next night. It was not good- actually mushy. In addition they added another gratuity on top of it. We had already paid gratuities for dining room but I order and pay an upcharge to get a meal and pay an additional gratuity on top of that? Made reservations for one night in Portofino. After paying a 25pp surcharge to eat there assumed everything but liquor would be included. When we received the bill , we were billed for sparkling water that We did not ask for and frankly I did not like it. Two of us also ordered espresso with dessert and were billed for those too. Didn't feel like the promenade cafe offered the amount and varieties of food that I have seen on other royál ships at the cafe. Bar service at 19th hole was outstanding, loved the bartender - gave him our wow card. Costa Maya was our first stop and we had booked all inclusive at YaYa beach club through shore excursioneer which set the tone for whole trip. So relaxing, layed on the beach, snorkeled, paddle boarded, drank margaritas all day and ate lunch right on the beach. Our waiter was very attentive and the owner was friendly. Great excursion ! We were told it is rare for the ship to go to Costa Maya- too bad because we would love to go to that beach club again. Booked Chankannab snorkel and tequila tasting in cozumel. The tequila was so smooth and lots of flavors I didn't know tequila came in. Our tour guide was very knowledgable and made it fun. Coco Cay was beautiful we booked a private cabana , it was nice to put our stuff down and not worry about it as you had to have a wristband to enter the area. The Quest was funny as could be. Only went to one show- it was ok. The ice show however was very entertaining, top rate, incredible stunts they did and on a moving rink no less. It's a must see! All in all , this cruise vacation was a success.