Excellent week on the Explorer in Alaska - Aug 4 - 11, 2017

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#1
Utah
194 Posts
Joined Sep 2016
Just off a lovely week on the Explorer - was concerned about less than sterling reviews this season but we had a great time.

This was booked just 3 weeks ago as a surprise for our 39th anniversary. Only option was an interior GTY, new for us. We were assigned Deck 10, #1337 a few days before sailing - accessible interior with virtual balcony.

We flew in day of cruise, arriving in Seattle at 11am and headed to the port using UBER. Traffic was slow as expected until we turned into the port area when it came to a standstill. So we, along with many folks abandoned our ride and walked into the port - start of the adventure.
Had heard of issues with the process but we were in line to check in and on board in less than 20 minutes. Headed up to deck 11 to enjoy the warm day, view of downtown and wait for rooms to release.

We were very surprised at the size of our room and how the virtual balcony took away the feeling of being inside. Muster was in the dining room at 3:30 though many are still outside. We headed up front to enjoy sail away at the helipad, very pretty in nice weather (we were in shorts!).

Dinner - 2 nights in Chops with very nice food though surprisingly their special bread is the worst on the ship. And our other specialty was Giovanni's which was also delicious.

Used MTD the remaining nights - always a different table and waiter but very enjoyable.

Entertainment - Can't comment on welcome aboard, enjoyed the day 2 production dance show, the second on day 4 not so much. Ice show were on days 5 and 6 and a lot of fun. Hayden Smith and Brad Cummings as headliner shows were fine.

Senior staff were seen around the ship - Captain Rick Sullivan and Hotel Director Michael Landry even made it to our Meet and Mingle.

Explorer could use a bit of spiffing up - particularly cloudy windows in many areas, but she is a lovely ship and we look forward to sailing on her again.
#2
Maryland
888 Posts
Joined Dec 2007
Originally posted by SbbquilterUT
Just off a lovely week on the Explorer - was concerned about less than sterling reviews this season but we had a great time.

This was booked just 3 weeks ago as a surprise for our 39th anniversary. Only option was an interior GTY, new for us. We were assigned Deck 10, #1337 a few days before sailing - accessible interior with virtual balcony.

We flew in day of cruise, arriving in Seattle at 11am and headed to the port using UBER. Traffic was slow as expected until we turned into the port area when it came to a standstill. So we, along with many folks abandoned our ride and walked into the port - start of the adventure.
Had heard of issues with the process but we were in line to check in and on board in less than 20 minutes. Headed up to deck 11 to enjoy the warm day, view of downtown and wait for rooms to release.

We were very surprised at the size of our room and how the virtual balcony took away the feeling of being inside. Muster was in the dining room at 3:30 though many are still outside. We headed up front to enjoy sail away at the helipad, very pretty in nice weather (we were in shorts!).

Dinner - 2 nights in Chops with very nice food though surprisingly their special bread is the worst on the ship. And our other specialty was Giovanni's which was also delicious.

Used MTD the remaining nights - always a different table and waiter but very enjoyable.

Entertainment - Can't comment on welcome aboard, enjoyed the day 2 production dance show, the second on day 4 not so much. Ice show were on days 5 and 6 and a lot of fun. Hayden Smith and Brad Cummings as headliner shows were fine.

Senior staff were seen around the ship - Captain Rick Sullivan and Hotel Director Michael Landry even made it to our Meet and Mingle.

Explorer could use a bit of spiffing up - particularly cloudy windows in many areas, but she is a lovely ship and we look forward to sailing on her again.
Have sailed with Michael Landry several times. Very nice gentleman and good at what he does.
#4
114 Posts
Joined Sep 2006
I was on the June 30th sailing and I loved the cruise, as I seemed more relaxed and care-free than on past cruises.

I agree about the window cleaning though. Minor complaint, but I guess I wasn't the only one who noticed.

I thought the Activity crew (Cruise Director's Staff) was the best on any cruise I've been on. Paul and Jon are great game moderators and Silvia is an instant legend at that position. And I wish they would retire the 70s party and do a Totally 80s party instead!

Still missing this cruise every single day!
#5
Charleston, SC
5,872 Posts
Joined Aug 2002
I appreciate your information! I sail in 3 weeks! How much is Uber from the airport to the port? I'm sorry there is still a bottle neck at sailing. Was it a long walk from where you abandoned Über to the terminal?
How was the new cruise director?
What did you do in each of the ports? Did you go up Tracy Arm Fjord? Was it necessary to be up and on deck at 5:30 AM?
Sorry, I'm full of questions!
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Statendam,8/80;
Scandinavia,10/82;
Disney, Big Red Boat 11/89:
Horizon,8/95;
Grandeur,8/97;
Enchantment,8/98;
Enchantment,8/99;
Paradise,8/00;
Century,8/01;
Galaxy,8/02;
Zenith,7/5/03;
Serenade,4/10/04;
Imagination, 8/24/06;
Explorer of the Seas, 7/9/09;
Freedom of the Seas, 8/23/09;
Explorer of the Seas, 2/14/10;
Jewel of the Seas, 8/24/13;
Freedom of the Seas, 2/9/14;
Caribbean Princess, 9/20/14;
Caribbean Princess, 9/25/14;
Freedom of the Seas, 3/8/15;
Grandeur of the Seas, 6/4/16;


I'm a Diamond Balcony Snob







155 days at sea and counting!!!!!!!
#6
Utah
194 Posts
Joined Sep 2016
Let me try here -
Uber was $47.68 including tip.
We had turned into the port area and so the walk was only 5" in - so many had done it that it was a hoot watching the crowd all walking in.
Dan Whitney is the new CD - we had sailed with him before on the Adventure. He is fine though CD rarely makes an impression on us.
Juneau - took the port shuttle ($5 pp for all day) to downtown. Then shuttle to Mendenhall Glacier park ($45 pp return). We walked the Photo point Trail then on out to Nugget Falls - perfect in nice weather. Then spent time just watching the salmon at the creek - even saw baby bear.
Skagway - walked to Miners Cemetery then on to Jewell Gardens - peaceful garden to enjoy while having the mountains surrounding us. Back to town to visit the National Park buildings/movie. Finally lunch and some great beer at Skagway Brewing.
We were able to approach Dawes Glacier via Endicott Arm - very close sailing through the arm with some impressive ice floating. There has been too much ice up Tracey Arm all season to sail it. The Captain did two 360 turns in front of the Glacier. We were up to watch the sail in at about 6:30 - Viking Crown lounge is great for viewing if you want to stay indoors early. We also spent time up on the helipad area when we were in front of the Glacier.
Victoria - we walked in to town, beautiful day and gave us time to fully enjoy the buildings and gardens along the way. Visited the Parliment and the BC Museum next door. We have already been to Butchert Gardens - if you have not it is fabulous.

Glad to answer any other questions and hope your weather holds up to be as nice as we experienced.
#7
Charleston, SC
5,872 Posts
Joined Aug 2002
Thank you so much for all your information!!! I am so excited about this cruise! We are so lucky to have a corner aft cabin which I hope will be a great vantage point for seeing the fjord.
I've been on the Explorer several times, but this will be my first cruise to Alaska!
Thanks again!
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Statendam,8/80;
Scandinavia,10/82;
Disney, Big Red Boat 11/89:
Horizon,8/95;
Grandeur,8/97;
Enchantment,8/98;
Enchantment,8/99;
Paradise,8/00;
Century,8/01;
Galaxy,8/02;
Zenith,7/5/03;
Serenade,4/10/04;
Imagination, 8/24/06;
Explorer of the Seas, 7/9/09;
Freedom of the Seas, 8/23/09;
Explorer of the Seas, 2/14/10;
Jewel of the Seas, 8/24/13;
Freedom of the Seas, 2/9/14;
Caribbean Princess, 9/20/14;
Caribbean Princess, 9/25/14;
Freedom of the Seas, 3/8/15;
Grandeur of the Seas, 6/4/16;


I'm a Diamond Balcony Snob







155 days at sea and counting!!!!!!!