It was a great trip. Nothing disappointed! We will talk about how much fun we had on Explorer of the Seas and the ports of call for the rest of our lives. One in our party was very nervous about cruising - after this trip she's hooked on cruising.
5 out of 5
We arrived at 11am, and the lines were already long. I was surprised that in less than 20 min we were heading to the ship to board. There were plenty of reps for check in and the process was very efficient.
Food and Dining
4 out of 5
We didn't eat at any of the specialty restaurants, but the buffet and main dining room were both good. Some nights better than others, but we never walked away hungry or thinking the food wasn't good. Second formal night the main dining room dinner was amazing and not just the lobster! My husbands favorite was the make your own omelet station. We learned head to the back of Windjammer first. We had the deluxe drink package and it worked out great for us. Not just the adult beverages, but being able to get anything we wanted anytime. I think my son lived on the pina colada mocktail and soft serve ice cream.
5 out of 5
There was always something to do - if you wanted to do something. There were times we had to choose between activities. Given it was a trip to Alaska, some of the indoor activities were really crowded, but it wasn't a problem for us.
5 out of 5
The ice skating show was our favorite! it was a rough sea day, and they jumped and twirled like the ship wasn't swaying. There were other entertainment acts as well that were enjoyable. We did all the headliners and were not disappointed. We were varied in age in our group (24-53) and all of us enjoyed the shows.
5 out of 5
Our teenage son, was part of the teen club. He went to the first night orientation, and we hardly saw him again. He had a blast hanging with the other teens he met. Sometimes then participated in the teen activities sometimes they roamed the ship together. The program gave them lots of options and fun events - my teen said the program was a blast.
Service and Staff
5 out of 5
The staff was so friendly. Our group isn't high maintenance, we just like prompt friendly service. Our room steward, Paul, was great. Given our crazy schedule he manged to figure us out and work around us. The wait staff and bartenders, while busy, managed to mostly keep up. It was no different than a crowed bar at home - except the had longer hours. Loved how they were able to be friendly while everyone was crowed around wanting something.
5 out of 5
We really liked the ship. it wasn't so big you got lost all the time. The staff did a great job of keeping it clean. Was it perfect - no, but there are a lot of people to clean up after all the time. I was amazed at well the staff did at picking up empty glasses and trash people left in odd places.
Cabin / Stateroom
5 out of 5
This was an aft corner balcony. It was a bit larger than a normal room without being a suite, it's the room with a pole in the middle. I would stay in this room again! The balcony was large enough for 6 of us to play cards. It was tight, but doable. Plus when we went though the Tracy Arm Fjord, all 7 of us were able to hang out in the room / balcony, have breakfast and enjoy the sights. The balcony is not completely open, which meant it wasn't nearly as windy or cold as other spots on deck. I was surprised by the amount of storage space available. There were 3 of us in the cabin and I never felt like we were tripping over each other or that there was an over flow of stuff without a place to put it.
We spend a couple days before the cruise exploring Seattle on our own. We did the normal tourist things like, space needle, Chihuly garden and glass, POP Culture Museum, the Aquarium, and Pikes Peak Market. We all enjoyed the sights and had a great time. I would have liked to explore the mountains outside Seattle, but not enough time.
We did a whale watching excursion through Alaska Shore Tours that dropped us off at Mendenhall Glacier afterwards for us to explore on our own time. We saw lots of whales tails and a group of Sea Lions hung out with our boat. Mendenhall Glacier was amazing, and we enjoyed the short hike to Nugget Falls. It was a beautiful spot. We spent the rest of the evening in town. We wish we had just another hour to also go up the tram, but just not enough time.
We enjoyed Skagway the most. We did a tour though Beyond Skagway, and our tour guide, Sam, was amazing. We followed the same path as the train - except we were able to stop anywhere we wanted! As part of the tour we stopped at Michelle Philips, Tagish Lake Kennel, where we were able to play with the husky puppies and take a sled ride too. Amazing experience! We also did the grizzle falls zipline later in the afternoon. We had a great time soaring though the trees and over waterfalls. This excursion was also though Alaska Shore Tours. We also enjoyed the town, although small, it has character.
Victoria was beautiful, clean, and fun to visit. We did an excursion though Fresh Tours, and our guide Mark, was very knowledge about the city. We went first to Butchart Gardens, which was beautiful, and on the way back to town, Mark brought us to a look out of the city. It was a great stop to see Victoria. The rest of the day we saw Chinatown, Beacon Park, fed the many peacocks in Beacon park, and did some shopping. We had great food, and watched some paragliders take off besides us at a local beach. We enjoyed the beauty of the city.
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