On Sunday, 6th March we arrived in Sydney early afternoon and headed over to Darling Harbour to board our Royal Caribbean ‘Explorer of the Seas’ vessel, bound for New Zealand.
After we had checked into our Junior Stateroom, with Balcony, we decided to explore, ‘The Explorer of the Seas.’ This vessel takes amazing to a whole new level, 15 stories high, holding 3600 passengers, plus three pools, five spas, four specialty restaurants, two main restaurants and one café, then, of course, you can’t go past the 15 bars on board!
The nightly entertainment offered onboard ranges from Broadway Acts to Magical & Comedy Shows and are not too be missed – they are just amazing! Very entertaining, and professional, we were impressed!
The ship does offer some restaurants on board, though, not all are free. I recommend you take advantage of the special meal packages the ship offers when you first board as we were able to dine in all three specialty restaurants for USD70 per person, based on 3-5 course meal, per restaurant.
Shore excursions are offered, for most destinations that the ship calls into port. They are optional, and should stay this way as they charge a lot higher than what a tour costs if you purchase it directly on arrival. Unfortunately, the disorganization of the ship and tour operators made the whole process even more frustrating as at some ports the queue to leave can be over a mile long.
It was 7 am, Tuesday, 8th March and we were welcomed into Milford Sound, New Zealand, and what a sight to see! Such beauty! Honestly, there wasn’t a sound to be heard – it was heaven! With our travel time of two days into Milford Sound, we were entertained with professional stage productions, themed party nights held in the ship’s promenade, plus our first formal evening where we dressed to impress while to enjoy our evening meal. It was amazing.
The cruise was nice, though nothing in a WOW factor, there more days at sea, then at land which unfortunately due to some unforeseen weather which did put a spanner in the works, however, the lack of activities, repetitive in-room TV (offering the good, shows in another language) and actual communication, to all guests was a complete disappointment. The focuses were always about the “selling” factors and bars and casino which for some when you’re not a real drinker or gambler, it made things a little too boring! Lastly, just a warning to those who think they will be able to ‘work’ while at sea, the onboard wifi is nothing special and comes with a price tag. At 20US per day, for 60 mins it can be extremely, frustrating running all over ship trying to get a connection, and for the site to work. In today’s world, this is something that personally I would have thought would be a lot better.
This blog was written for Josh Zuker Travel on behalf of Emma Barr, http://www.honeymoon-hangover.com/