March 2014 - Explorer of the Seas to Caribbean - Eastern
Our cruise on the Explorer of the Sea was great. It was 10 night cruise to Dominican Republic/St. Thomas/St. Kitts/St. Maarten. Windjammer buffet food is OK. It's open all day so you would never be hungry. Two formal dining nights and rest "smart" casual. We really enjoyed our evening dinners at Columbus every night. Our waiter and his assistant provided excellent service. We did give them an extra tip at the end of our trip. Our suite attendant made our bed and cleaned our suite every day. The specialty restaurant Portofino’s was superb. Fine dining at its best.
We enjoyed the ice show the most. Overall the experience was great. Ship was always clean. The staff was great and helpful. The people in general were friendly and was definitely a friendly atmosphere overall. Bingo was fun, but expensive!!! I was $35.00 for four games or $55.00 for the electronic board for four games, but more chances to win.
As a first time cruisers we took excursions at all the ports-of-call. We enjoyed all of them. One suggestion is to be mindful of the tour operators. In the Dominican Republic the 'Tour Samana With Terry' started late. The beach activity was deleted and the tour guide insisted on more money when he dropped us at the tender pier. We managed to get on the next to last boat as it was boarding.
Embarking was easy in NJ, but when we returned it was a different story. As a suite guest we were in the second group to leave. However, one elevator was not working, and the port buses were always running late. Instead of disembarking at 9 it was closer to 10. We were escorted from the forward elevators on deck 4 to the aft ones. Then on deck 1 it was like herding cattle. Only one computer was open for checking your ship's card. Inside the terminal there were few porters so I had to stand in line for 20 minutes to get one.
With the exception of disembarking, the cruise exceeded our expectations. I would recommend this ship and cruise line.