Overall Rating: Very Good
|Departed From:||Cape Liberty, New Jersey|
|# of Nights:||7 Nights|
|Overall Value:||Very Good|
|Overall Rating:||Very Good|
This was our second cruise to Bermuda, having sailed on the Summit in 2009 from the same port with the same itinerary. We chose to do it again because we love Bermuda and this is a very relaxing type of cruise. RCI had the sail date that suited us best this year, so we went with the Explorer of the Seas.
Embarkation could not have been smoother - we checked in and didn't even take a seat before the bus was there and ready to take us over to the ship. With RCI, hallways to the cabins are not opened until 1:30 so we headed up to the Windjammer. The buffet is always crowded on embarkation day, but this was the worst we have experienced. Not even a table to share in sight, we grabbed some iced teas and a couple of cookies and headed out to the pool deck. When cabins were available we found ours and checked it all out. This is an older ship, but other than a couple of worn spots in the carpeting, there was nothing amiss - everything was in good shape and the cabin was spotless! I checked out my favorite ship location - my balcony; everything in tip-top shape there as well, and being on the port side, we looked across the harbor to see the Statue of Liberty standing tall.
Life boat drill was painless and when we returned they were delivering our luggage so got that all put away before heading up top for the sailaway.
We chose Anytime Dining, with a cozy table for two each night. I had made reservations in advance online, so we were all set up and everything worked smoothly. We found the food in the dining room to generally be good. I was worried after reading some recent reviews, but except for one bad serving of prime rib, we were quite pleased with the food overall, and very pleased with the service. The Windjammer was fine - for lunch we would usually wait until it was officially over and they put out the late afternoon snack selection because we loved what they offered: tacos, nachos, fresh salads, warm waffles with toppings............oh the warm waffles........I really miss those waffles!
We do not usually do much on sea days other than find a good spot on the sun deck and read all day. This time we did try our hand at Bingo to see if we could win a free cruise (we didn’t.) It was fun, but expensive if you want to do that twice a day.
We thought the entertainment was good; they have a welcome parade through the promenade that is pretty elaborate and quite fun - high energy that makes you smile. The production shows were good and the ice show was exceptionally well done. We spent a couple of late nights in Dizzy's Lounge - the Jazz club on the 14th floor. Beautiful setting with good music; it is fun to watch the dancing!
The ship docks in Bermuda for three full days. It is so nice to be able to come and go as you would at a hotel. We did book one excursion on the first day - a coastal cruise of the Hideaways of the Rich and Famous. It actually was great fun and the guide was full of stories and historical tidbits. We also took the ship's transportation to Horseshoe Bay Beach for a nice, relaxing day. Be aware, though, that the beach chairs and umbrellas there are quite expensive to rent. We didn't think to bring that much cash with us so we didn't get the umbrella, and yes, we burned like crispy bacon! (I guess we could have sprung for an umbrella instead of the cold beers that we knew we would want later that day....nah!) The beach is gorgeous and the water is warm...sandy bottom...but a bit rough.......it is the Atlantic Ocean and can knock you around a bit.