Oasis September 3, 2011
Adventure November 20, 2011
Mariner January 8, 2012
Radiance April 2, 2011
Mariner January 9, 2011
Oasis 9 October 2010
Majesty 20 August, 2010
Mariner January 31, 2010
Adventure September 27, 2009
Explorer March 27, 2009
Monarch January 9, 2009
Liberty September 2008
Mariner June 2007
Monarch June 2006
We are cruising on Explorer on June 25th. It's our first time leaving from NJ. I've heard the first day out and and last day back can be bit rough on the ship, did you experience this? Also, I have read the posts about Explorers problems with a prop reducing speed from 24 knots to 22 knots, did you experience changes in your itinerary, we are arriving in San Juan in the evening now and leaving at 11:30 am the next morning. Any tips, suggestions would be appreciated.
You will be sailing on the same ship five days after our return (the Explorer does a five night trip to Bermuda in between the nine nighters to the Eastern Caribbean).
From what you wrote, your itinerary has already been changed from the original but in mostly minor ways (arrival and departure times at St. Maarten and St. Thomas) and a more significant change for Puerto Rico. Upon departing from St. Thomas, instead of overnighting at sea on the voyage to San Juan (only about 75 miles), the ship will go there directly and dock at 10:00pm. After overnighting in San Juan itself, the ship will depart at 11:00 instead of the originally designated 2:00pm (therefore allowing extra time to return to New York on time as a result of the damaged prop which probably won't be fixed until the vessel drydocks later this year or early next).
I for one am glad for the change in San Juan. Having done this same basic itinerary on this same vessel in 2006 and 2008 (sans Bermuda in 2006), I am looking forward to sailing into San Juan at night. It should be absolutely beautiful. I do, however, feel badly for those with excursions that will now miss them.
As regards the sea conditions, the only thing I've noticed between our first trip (which didn't go to Bermuda) and the last (which did) was the first day out was slightly choppy because while Southeast from New York, is still more in the northern part of the North Atlantic than a much more southern route directly to the Caribbean). While sea conditions are so influenced by weather that anything could occur, I will tell you that to run into heavy seas at the time of year you're sailing would not be the norm. We were not in the least distressed and we had and will have this time as well, forward facing cabins on the ninth deck, one of the most "rocky" parts of any vessel (high up and full forward).
Additionally, you are going to be sailing an enormous vessel which in and of itself, absorbs heavier seas with little to no consequence to the passenger than were they be sailing a smaller vessel of say 70,000 tons. To give you an idea of size, the Titanic, the world's largest vessel at its time, was 43,000 tons. Also, it has four very large stabilizers (though it seldom needs to deploy them).
We are actually going on the same cruise as you in 2 weeks! This will be our first one and we are so looking forward to it. I am disappointed about not being at SanJuan during the day. We will miss out on a lot. I booked one excursion a while, but waiting to book the rest. Was hoping to do one in SanJuan but not sure if that will happen anymore.
I know you will love the Explorer of the Seas. Everything you could ever want to know about the Voyager Class Ships of which Explorer is one of five (the others being Voyager of the Seas, Adventure of the Seas, Mariner of the Seas and Navigator of the Seas -- including hundreds of photos, deck plans, behind the scenes photos of crew areas, the ships dimensions and technical info (as well as photos of the ships being constructed) and representative photos of all of the cabin classes can be found at: http://public.fotki.com/rccldesign/voyager-class/).
If this is your first cruise you will LOVE your cruise, this site and this ship. The pictures of the Royal Promenade are gorgeous but when you actually see it for the first time, it's mind boggling. When you first see Explorer as you approach Bayonne and Cape Liberty, she will, in all probability just by her sheer size, take your breath away.
I'm sure you've seen Titanic. That ship was the largest in the world at that time and was a true behemoth at almost 889 feet in length, 92.6 feet in the beam (width) and weighed 46,328 gross registered tons.
The Explorer of the Seas in contrast is 1,020 ft. long, 137 feet in the beam (157 ft. if you factor in the bridge wings), has fourteen passenger decks (and several below them), and rises approximately 200 feet from the water line to the top of the stacks and weighs in at over 138,000 tons!
I love getting up early, taking my laptop down to the Promenade Cafe (a "hotspot") around 6:15 before most anyone is up and sit in there and have my coffee and roll. It is hard not to believe you're in some upscale mall somewhere just before it opens but are rather cruising through the North Atlantic at about 20 knots.
All of us here at Cruisemates wish you a most wonderful cruise vacation. I am also confident that you will visit often and share your thoughts (on most anything) with the rest of us. If you browse the threads you will find one for just about any topic. My favorite is Chit Chat for Cruisers. I hope you will, as also do all of us, truly come to feel as if you're family.
Just wondering if you have any suggestions for an excursion in Bermuda. We would love to go to a beautiful beach. Can we just play it by ear and take a taxi to a beach or should we booked the beach excursion offered through RC.
Geesh, I can't help you a lot there as the beach is not our thing. We took a water taxi from near where the ship docked at King's Wharf over to Hamilton to saunter along the main street hitting all the shops (we're old fogeys who are pretty much past the beach stage).
I'm sure someone who frequently (last year was our first time) goes to Bermuda could give you a heck of a lot better advice than I ever could as regards the best beach outing and how and through whom to get there.
Better yet, just start another thread and up at the top headline it under subject with something along the lines "Need Beach excursion information for Bermuda, Please Help!" You should get a ton of advice.
We were on the same ship. All was great and fine. The weather/wind on the first night was interesting, but all else was good. We had an aft cabin so we hung out there and the wind was minimal. Food has gone down a little. Seems they are going for quantity more then quality in some respect. Be careful on private beach in Dom. Republic. Seems everyone leaves their beach bags on their chairs (hopefully with no valuables). Ours was stolen. Someone is enjoying ship towels, old sneakers and a BRAND NEW Land's End bag. All else was good and relaxing. I will eventually write a review as well.