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Onboard Explora 1 (Sept 25- Oct 13) with Hank


Hlitner
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5 hours ago, Hlitner said:

The last we heard, there was no ginger ale onboard (perhaps that changed yesterday in Boston).  One person was drinking ginger beer as a substitute.

I love ginger ale but I don’t drink beer so I don’t think the ginger beer would be a good substitute for me. Do they have anything similar to ginger ale? 

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4 hours ago, Hlitner said:

The pastas also looked inviting, but that is for another day.  We do agree with a previous poster that the salad station lacks depth.  Not enough add in options and only 3 dressings.  North Americans expect more from a salad bar….but this is an easy fix for EJ

 

It's not an easy fix.  The complaint about lack of dressings (and two of the three being vinegar based) was voiced to the HD.  Yet nothing was done the remainder of the cruise, nor apparently even now.

 

How difficult is it to pull out another crock for the dressing and another laddle?  And just put out four instead of three?  Apparently it was above the pay grade of the HD to make that change - I guess it had to be approved from HQ in Europe.

 

All of which tells me -- the systems are baked in and there's no flexibility given, even to upper shipboard management.

 

 

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1 hour ago, dolls123 said:

I love ginger ale but I don’t drink beer so I don’t think the ginger beer would be a good substitute for me. Do they have anything similar to ginger ale? 

Ginger beer is not beer but is similar to ginger ale

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We were on the Reykjavik to NYC cruise, really enjoyed the ship, the staff, and the food, including the Marketplace.  Same thoughts on what will it be like when the ship is full, not sure they can handle a full ship? 

We had a special pasta at the Yacht Club dining room, a veal sauce rather like a bolognese.  I wish I had written down the name of the sauce as I would love to find a recipe for it.  I believe they have a similar sauce in the Marketplace, which has a great pasta bar.  And pizza and bread, and desserts, and salad, I could keep going.  If anyone can snag the name of the veal sauce and post it, I would deeply appreciate it.

Another important item--there were no channels to watch US college or pro football, nor venues that showed same.  DH was very disappointed.

Embarkation and disembarkation rather discombobulated.  I would choose the first disembarkation time next time; Explora said the hour + delay was due to immigration.  If you have a same day flight, be sure you have plenty of time for delays in disembarkation.

We saw the Northern Lights--you can of course call guest services to put your name down for a phone call notification for such events that may happen while you are asleep; we missed the Statue of Liberty as the ship arrived an hour earlier than schedule . . .

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9 minutes ago, ljsanantonio said:

 

We had a special pasta at the Yacht Club dining room, a veal sauce rather like a bolognese.  I wish I had written down the name of the sauce as I would love to find a recipe for it….. If anyone can snag the name of the veal sauce and post it, I would deeply appreciate it.


Here’s the menu for the Yacht Club - it may help you work out the dish and sauce

 

I've included the full menu as I’m sure others may be interested on what’s on offer

 

We enjoyed all the dining options around the ship - and never tired of the menus and the options available

 

 

IMG_4142.thumb.jpeg.af8648f07b15810d524e4bf984c21183.jpegIMG_4143.thumb.jpeg.ce211bc56b78bb47cd8d28747d1b91a0.jpegIMG_4144.thumb.jpeg.15187a96151b13a386dd6b225e07a0bd.jpegIMG_4145.thumb.jpeg.98121193950ef4413572da6278689e64.jpeg

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45 minutes ago, Stickman1990 said:


Here’s the menu for the Yacht Club - it may help you work out the dish and sauce

 

I've included the full menu as I’m sure others may be interested on what’s on offer

 

We enjoyed all the dining options around the ship - and never tired of the menus and the options available

 

 

IMG_4142.thumb.jpeg.af8648f07b15810d524e4bf984c21183.jpegIMG_4143.thumb.jpeg.ce211bc56b78bb47cd8d28747d1b91a0.jpegIMG_4144.thumb.jpeg.15187a96151b13a386dd6b225e07a0bd.jpegIMG_4145.thumb.jpeg.98121193950ef4413572da6278689e64.jpeg

Many 😊 Thanks 

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Just a few items tonight.  We made our 2nd visit to Marble & Co and dinner was very good.  DW and I both, again, ordered their signature starter of decent caviar over some potatoes (putting this into American English) because it is a very simple starter that is excellent if one likes cariar.  DW had their filet which is simply a that!...I tried their version of surf and turf which is a very small lobster tail over a veal filet over truffled potatoes.  I loved my dish.  Many would complain that the lobster tail was tiny (more like a langostino) but the combination really worked in terms of flavors.  The small tail had a wonderful lobster taste (that you can only get from a cold water lobster) and the veal was melt in your mouth delicious.  Perhaps too small a main for some folks, but for me it was near perfection.

 

I want to move on to some travel philosophy,  There is no doubt that the EJ folks want to have a Euro-centric product that appeals to younger folks with money.  Consider the salad bar issue (mentioned in earlier posts) where they only have 3 salad dressing (two of  them vinegar based plus blue cheese).  One poster has really blasted EJ for not adding more options (after he brought up the issue).  But I suspect that in EJ's mind, the 3 dressings are perfect and very European.  Americans expect things like Ranch Dressing, Thousand Island, Green Goddess, etc.  These are just not accepted in most of Europe where the use of vinegar, oil. and mustard reigns supreme.  Some europeans would call ranch dressing an abomination!  

 

When MSC first came to the USA, they had some resistance because of their Euro-centric attitude.  MSC changed some things on their USA-based ships to make them more "Americanized" and have been doing quite well.......ever since.  Will EJ also fall into this trap?  I am not sure, but suffice it so say that we are on a 930 passenger ship with only 241 passengers!  Enough said.

 

Speaking of our magical 241 passengers (which does include one young child)!  Tonight, at 9:30. we had an excellent guest entertainer singer.  Total attendance at the show was no more than 50, which dropped to about 40 by the 2nd set!  Where were the other 200 passengers?  In bed, or at least in their suites.  Kind of sad since the entertainment was truly excellent.  I guess it is unreasonable to expect folks to stay awake after 10pm, having finished a difficult sea day.  I thought about going out for a nightcap a little after 11, but realized that I would likely be alone with the bar tenders.  Truly a swinging crowd :).

 

One other comment which might be considered a negative.  Whatever happened to hors d'oeuvres?  There are no cute little buffets like in the MSC Yacht Club, no pre-dinner snacks like on Seabourn, etc.  On EJ, you can certainly find plenty of bars to get a decent drink, and you can ask for a tiny dish with a few chips and nuts, but you cannot get any hors d'oeuvres...anywhere other than going down to the Crema cafe (which closes at 7 and has a few things in their case)  IMHO, this is a faux pas for a luxury line.  I remember the days when even mass market lines had hot/cold snacks at pre-dinner happy hours.  Not on EJ?  Tapas anyone?

 

Hank

 

 

 

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7 minutes ago, Hlitner said:

Just a few items tonight.  We made our 2nd visit to Marble & Co and dinner was very good.  DW and I both, again, ordered their signature starter of decent caviar over some potatoes (putting this into American English) because it is a very simple starter that is excellent if one likes cariar.  DW had their filet which is simply a that!...I tried their version of surf and turf which is a very small lobster tail over a veal filet over truffled potatoes.  I loved my dish.  Many would complain that the lobster tail was tiny (more like a langostino) but the combination really worked in terms of flavors.  The small tail had a wonderful lobster taste (that you can only get from a cold water lobster) and the veal was melt in your mouth delicious.  Perhaps too small a main for some folks, but for me it was near perfection.

 

I want to move on to some travel philosophy,  There is no doubt that the EJ folks want to have a Euro-centric product that appeals to younger folks with money.  Consider the salad bar issue (mentioned in earlier posts) where they only have 3 salad dressing (two of  them vinegar based plus blue cheese).  One poster has really blasted EJ for not adding more options (after he brought up the issue).  But I suspect that in EJ's mind, the 3 dressings are perfect and very European.  Americans expect things like Ranch Dressing, Thousand Island, Green Goddess, etc.  These are just not accepted in most of Europe where the use of vinegar, oil. and mustard reigns supreme.  Some europeans would call ranch dressing an abomination!  

 

When MSC first came to the USA, they had some resistance because of their Euro-centric attitude.  MSC changed some things on their USA-based ships to make them more "Americanized" and have been doing quite well.......ever since.  Will EJ also fall into this trap?  I am not sure, but suffice it so say that we are on a 930 passenger ship with only 241 passengers!  Enough said.

 

Speaking of our magical 241 passengers (which does include one young child)!  Tonight, at 9:30. we had an excellent guest entertainer singer.  Total attendance at the show was no more than 50, which dropped to about 40 by the 2nd set!  Where were the other 200 passengers?  In bed, or at least in their suites.  Kind of sad since the entertainment was truly excellent.  I guess it is unreasonable to expect folks to stay awake after 10pm, having finished a difficult sea day.  I thought about going out for a nightcap a little after 11, but realized that I would likely be alone with the bar tenders.  Truly a swinging crowd :).

 

One other comment which might be considered a negative.  Whatever happened to hors d'oeuvres?  There are no cute little buffets like in the MSC Yacht Club, no pre-dinner snacks like on Seabourn, etc.  On EJ, you can certainly find plenty of bars to get a decent drink, and you can ask for a tiny dish with a few chips and nuts, but you cannot get any hors d'oeuvres...anywhere other than going down to the Crema cafe (which closes at 7 and has a few things in their case)  IMHO, this is a faux pas for a luxury line.  I remember the days when even mass market lines had hot/cold snacks at pre-dinner happy hours.  Not on EJ?  Tapas anyone?

 

Hank

 

 

 

Tapas pre dinner are wonderful and an added plus. Thanks Hank for all of your posts they are truly invaluable and fun to read 

 

See you in Quebec

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7 minutes ago, Hlitner said:

Whatever happened to hors d'oeuvres?  There are no cute little buffets like in the MSC Yacht Club, no pre-dinner snacks like on Seabourn, etc.  On EJ, you can certainly find plenty of bars to get a decent drink, and you can ask for a tiny dish with a few chips and nuts, but you cannot get any hors d'oeuvres...anywhere other than going down to the Crema cafe (which closes at 7 and has a few things in their case)  IMHO, this is a faux pas for a luxury line.  I remember the days when even mass market lines had hot/cold snacks at pre-dinner happy hours.  Not on EJ?  Tapas anyone?


But they’re not a ship, they’re a floating hotel, and hotels don’t do hors d’oeuvres 😉 

 

As for salad dressing, I’m European and have salad daily… with ranch or thousand islands. Something else that needs to be fixed. 
 

Really appreciate your daily updates! 
 

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38 minutes ago, florisdekort said:


But they’re not a ship, they’re a floating hotel, and hotels don’t do hors d’oeuvres 😉 

 

As for salad dressing, I’m European and have salad daily… with ranch or thousand islands. Something else that needs to be fixed. 
 

Really appreciate your daily updates! 
 

Truth yes however maybe some passed hors d'oeuvres might mmake it an even better more luxurious floating hotel. Just saying

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1 hour ago, Hlitner said:

Just a few items tonight.  We made our 2nd visit to Marble & Co and dinner was very good.  DW and I both, again, ordered their signature starter of decent caviar over some potatoes (putting this into American English) because it is a very simple starter that is excellent if one likes cariar.  DW had their filet which is simply a that!...I tried their version of surf and turf which is a very small lobster tail over a veal filet over truffled potatoes.  I loved my dish.  Many would complain that the lobster tail was tiny (more like a langostino) but the combination really worked in terms of flavors.  The small tail had a wonderful lobster taste (that you can only get from a cold water lobster) and the veal was melt in your mouth delicious.  Perhaps too small a main for some folks, but for me it was near perfection.

 

I want to move on to some travel philosophy,  There is no doubt that the EJ folks want to have a Euro-centric product that appeals to younger folks with money.  Consider the salad bar issue (mentioned in earlier posts) where they only have 3 salad dressing (two of  them vinegar based plus blue cheese).  One poster has really blasted EJ for not adding more options (after he brought up the issue).  But I suspect that in EJ's mind, the 3 dressings are perfect and very European.  Americans expect things like Ranch Dressing, Thousand Island, Green Goddess, etc.  These are just not accepted in most of Europe where the use of vinegar, oil. and mustard reigns supreme.  Some europeans would call ranch dressing an abomination!  

 

When MSC first came to the USA, they had some resistance because of their Euro-centric attitude.  MSC changed some things on their USA-based ships to make them more "Americanized" and have been doing quite well.......ever since.  Will EJ also fall into this trap?  I am not sure, but suffice it so say that we are on a 930 passenger ship with only 241 passengers!  Enough said.

 

Speaking of our magical 241 passengers (which does include one young child)!  Tonight, at 9:30. we had an excellent guest entertainer singer.  Total attendance at the show was no more than 50, which dropped to about 40 by the 2nd set!  Where were the other 200 passengers?  In bed, or at least in their suites.  Kind of sad since the entertainment was truly excellent.  I guess it is unreasonable to expect folks to stay awake after 10pm, having finished a difficult sea day.  I thought about going out for a nightcap a little after 11, but realized that I would likely be alone with the bar tenders.  Truly a swinging crowd :).

 

One other comment which might be considered a negative.  Whatever happened to hors d'oeuvres?  There are no cute little buffets like in the MSC Yacht Club, no pre-dinner snacks like on Seabourn, etc.  On EJ, you can certainly find plenty of bars to get a decent drink, and you can ask for a tiny dish with a few chips and nuts, but you cannot get any hors d'oeuvres...anywhere other than going down to the Crema cafe (which closes at 7 and has a few things in their case)  IMHO, this is a faux pas for a luxury line.  I remember the days when even mass market lines had hot/cold snacks at pre-dinner happy hours.  Not on EJ?  Tapas anyone?

 

Hank

 

 

 

I was only on for 7 days however, we found their Caesar salad, made to order, to be delicious and there was plenty of additional add ons you could add to your salad from the bar area if you wanted……to be honest, there is not any high end restaurant in Orange County, CA that would offer ranch or simple dressings on their menu.  It’s just not on offer, unless you are going to Red Robin or some other chain restaurant, and I don’t think EJ is trying to compete with restaurants that offer ranch and thousand island dressing.

 

In terms of appetizers, as i said before, we went to emporium for our oysters and crab and shrimp, but why do you really need appetizers to be passed around when you have emporium to gorge your self on before a dinner and every dinner venue has an amazing offering of appetizers on their menu?  Do we really need another venue for appetizers only?  I agree the 2Pm cut off for lunch dining is not acceptable, and I did have to order from room service 2 days due to late arrivals from excursions and creama snacks did not cut it, but asking for ranch or thousand island is not what I care about in a luxury line.  Their pizza, made by an amazing chef called Marco, is beyond fabulous and their pasta tastes is as if you are in Rome.  These are the culinary delights that give EJ the edge.  Salad?  who cares, you can get that at home.  Their pizza and pasta is as if you are in Italy eating under the Tuscan Sun.

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Thanks for posting the Naming schedule.  It actually sounds like an interesting, once in a lifetime day, and will feed our interest in the industry..

 

We are curious to see what it’s like, onboard, with some people 😝.   At the moment I am enjoying cappuccino in Crema where there are only 2 other passengers.  There are two waiters and a supervisor watching me texting.  Creepy.

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1 hour ago, Hlitner said:

Thanks for posting the Naming schedule.  It actually sounds like an interesting, once in a lifetime day, and will feed our interest in the industry..

 

I would attend as well.  
 

one other thing.  We got to be the first cruise to enter New York Harbor and pass the Statue of Liberty, which I really valued. One thing I had hoped to see, but did not was the fire boat salute. When you departed port, did Explora I get any sort of salute?

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20 hours ago, kelleherdl said:

I would attend as well.  
 

one other thing.  We got to be the first cruise to enter New York Harbor and pass the Statue of Liberty, which I really valued. One thing I had hoped to see, but did not was the fire boat salute. When you departed port, did Explora I get any sort of salute?

Have no clue.  We did not bother to wake up for the 6am sail away.  

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Enjoying following along with you Hank. I am happy to see positive reviews. I have been holding off booking the Hawaii cruise in April. We do enjoy shows in the evening and wonder if we would be bored with mostly sea days. We have cruised to Hawaii on other lines but there was always something to enjoy. 

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14 minutes ago, happy cruzin said:

@Hlitner - are the on-board accounts still the Euros or have they converted to USD?

We have only requested one onboard Statement (to check on our OBC) and it was printed-out in Euros.  The Television statements are not properly functioning and useless...for now.

 

Hank

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