We were on Explorer of the Seas last week. To say that the ship is magnificent is an understatement. The decor is elegant and sophisticated, without being stuffy. It's spotlessly clean and well-kept. The cabins are very nice. We had a cabin with a balcony, and if you can go for the little extra money it's certainly worth it. We kept the curtains open day and night - during the day it was soothing to watch the ocean or convenient to view the ports, and at night we saw the most remarkable sunsets. The moon shining across the water is breathtaking at times. The beds are comfortable, and the cabins have a surprising amount of storage. Even after overpacking yet again, me, my husband and 16-year-old son had room enough for all our "stuff", with storage room left over. The ship is surprisingly easy to get around. There are direction diagrams everywhere, you'd have to be a complete idiot not to be able to follow them.The thing that we found most amazing was the service we received. From our cabin steward, Danielle, who made it a point to make sure we received all of our luggage, to our dining room staff, Mihaela and Jason, who greeted us each day with smiles, genuinely interested in whether or not we were having a good time. At no point did we feel that any of the staff were only looking out for tips. The entertainment was better than some Broadway shows I've seen. There's a show called "History Repeating Itself" that will knock your socks off. They sell the CD in the gift shop, and it's well worth the money to buy it. Make it a point to see this show, you'll be sorry if you miss it because everyone else will be raving about it the next day.My only real complaint is that there isn't enough time in each port. Nassau was great, I would have loved to have had a full day there. And, we could have spent two days at Labadee, that was wonderful. Fun and relaxing at the same time. My second complaint is scheduling on the ship. We had late seating, and the show was directly after dinner. Which happened to be the time they have the parades in the Promenade. We missed all the parades except the last night, when they have the nightclub show before dinner. RCI might consider adding an additional parade while the early diners are eating (for us late eaters), and the second at the regular time.There were plenty of activities for teenagers. Our 16-year-old son had a great time. There were plenty of other teens on board, and there were many organized activities like competitions in the arcade, miniature golf, dances, frisbee contests, basketball, ice skating, etc. It would be very difficult for them to get bored, especially with 24-hour pizza and Johnny Rockets!Embarkation and debarkation were surprisingly fast and easy. The first day we were on the ship and in our cabin a little after 11am. The last day, you have to leave your cabin by 8am but can go to breakfast or wait in a lounge or the theater until they call your color. We had breakfast, and soon after they called our color. We were in our hotel in Miami by 9:30am. It was a piece of cake to get our luggage, which comes out on a carousel just like at the airport. Going through customs took moments. It was fast and easy.Anyone who's wondering whether or not to go on the Explorer, in my opinion, you should try it at least once. Sharon
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