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3/19/10


LynnS13
"Explorer Of The Seas cruise"

TRIP INFO

Sail Date:03/19/2010
Destination:
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RATINGS

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COMPLETE REVIEW

Hi All...

We sailed on the Explorer of the Seas 3/19/10-3/28/10. We sailed out of Cape Liberty in Bayonne, NJ. This port does not have the ambiance of other terminals, however you do have the view of NYC skyline, the Statue of Liberty, and of course going under the Verazanno bridge is exciting! We had priorty embarkment, and that we did...everything went very quick,. with little wait time...matter of fact we did not even get to sit down in our private lounge to enjoy juice and snacks! LOL. We stayed in the Royal Family Suite...the room was excellent...two bedrooms, two bathrooms, living/dining and BIG deck. We were located in the back of the ship, which provided privacy and GREAT views. Being in the back of the ship, you do get a rumble, however for me it was relaxing and not bothersome, but for some it may be. Our room stewart, Aloma, was wonderful. Very attentive and anything we needed, she immediately got. What a wonderful person!! This was my first time sailing with Royal and I was VERY impressed by the friendliness of ALL the staff, no matter where you were! The hallways seemed a tad wider than Carnival. The ship was VERY clean!! We had my time dining and after the first night, we had the same table and same waiters...it was fantastic!! Our dining room experience could not have been better...we had Ozgur and Luis- very attentive, funny, and entertaining!! Very good with my sons and niece/nephew. They LOVED dinner time and could not wait to go...teens wanting to wear collared shirts and slacks and looking forward to it??? U know they had to enjoy it!! Food was great...never had a bad meal and felt the choices were more than adequate. I hear alot of bad publicity about the food, but u will not get any from me! Everyone in our party was more than satisfied! Windjammer food was typical buffet food, however had abundance of a selection...some really good and some okay....still thought it was good for buffet food. It was nice to be able to eat at Cafe Promanade too for a change of scenery. Pizza was ok...good for a snack! Room service was great! Food always arrived very timely and was hot! Loved the pool deck...plenty of pool and hot tubs...on Carnival pool was small.....I was pleasantly surprised with Royal...not only two large pools side by side, but then an adults only pool, also with more hot tubs!! Enjoyed Royal Promanade..had shops that had things that were affordable. I though Carnival had fewer shops and much more expensive, high end whiich made for limited shiopping. Enjoyed the Casino...onlyl downside is it seems crowded and not alot of room between machines. It's not really too much of an issue, but when it's busy it is!! The kids used the online services...according to thenm, it was not the best or fastest...but manageable. The entertainment is the only absolute downfall that I can really complain about. First, the ice show was FANTASTIC!!! Can't say enough about it....go go go to this!!! Two late night adult comedy acts were good and enjoyable, but olther than that...forget it. We actually suffered throuigh one show, left the next two early and did even bother to attend any after that, other than the comedy acts. This is where Royal needs to beef up!! Carnival's entertainment was FANTASTIC compared to Royal's. This did not hamper our cruise at all, because plenty of other things to do, but was disappointing. Royal had a lot of activities going on all the time...we did some trivia games, karoke, golf, rock climibing, casino, ping pong, inlline skating...all free!!! The ports of call were: San Juan- walked around and went to Senor Frogs (A MUST DO!) Very family oriented during the day and party party at night...lol. This is literally right across the street from the pier! Did no excursions here. Next port was St Thomas...beautiful! Shops galore...good prices on perfume and for those of u who smoke...$24.99 for carton of name brands like Marlboros!! We did beach excursion and gondola ride to paradise point. Both excursions were wonderful!! FYI: Drinks and soveniors are EXPENSIVE at top, so do ur drinking and shopping at the shops by the pier!! Next stop was Dominican Republic. Took private taxi to see sights and falls....FYI- to get to the falls, it is alot of climbing and steep incline get down into the falls with tricky steps built into the ground...not easy by any means! Also son did ATV excursion and said it was well worth the money and he had a GREAT time! When u get off the dock, you walk about 1/2 mile to get to vendors and shops...CAUTION- u will pass by MANY wanting to give u a taxi ride or sell u something. These people can be pushy!! Tendering went smoothly and without lines!! Last port was Labadee, Haiti- LOVED IT! 4 differnt beach areas, numerous activites to do. Did the dragon coaster and it was nice: $15 for one ride/ 25 for 2 rides and $40 for all day. Not sure I would want to do it all day, once or twice is nice...lol. Royal has pavillions at several spots on the island and has drinks and food galore ALL DAY LONG!! Burgers, hot dogs, chicken, ribs, corn, salads, fruits, desserts....If u are in a suite, ask to go to the beach for suites only. Less crowded and VERY NICE! They have a tram that will take you around the whole island, just hop on. U can ride all day if u want to...lol. My advice is to take the tram and see what is all there, then decide where u want to spend ur time. I would have liked to spend two days here!! Disembarkment went VERY smooth and quick!. We did have priorty due to being in a suite though. Our color met in a lounge with coffee, juices and continental breakfast. We needed to be there by 8AM. We arrived at 7:50AM and was called, through customs, and had all iour luggage by 8:20AM!!! NO COMPLAINTS HERE!!! Allin all I would definately sail Royal again!! It was an absolutely deliglhtful cruise vacation and am going to start planning another VERY soon...lol. Hope this was helpful and if you have any questions, just ask! :D Lynn

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