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Miami to Miami - November 3-17, 2023


InsGuy3
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23 hours ago, morpheusofthesea said:

Yes, we understand. We are very simple plain eaters. Just got our 2 reservations booked for the two ,Sakura and Marble, and are resigning ourselves to eating in the Emporeum for the whole cruise. Being mostly plated and no self service we are happy with that and the choices appear to be plainer. The lack of continuous entertainment every evening is also disconcerting and combined makes us sorry we booked 2 weeks instead of just one week. We have been spoiled by MSC Yacht Club.

We enjoy dining and being served however we really enjoyed our evening dinner at Emporium it was fun and light hearted with excellent food options. We never felt we were in an inferior venue quite the contrary 

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As frequent Sebourn cruisers we also had thoughts about the comparison between the normal EJ! OT suites and the normal outside suites on Seabourn.  We do agree that the overall square footage is similar, but the layout has significant differences.  The SB suites do feel larger and we think it is primarily because of the extra square footage that EJ uses for its combination walk-in closet/make-up table,  DW actually liked the positioning of the make-up somewhat better because unlike Seabourn, the make-up table was not out in the hallway.  In the EJ suites the table is located at the rear of the walk-in closet (just outside the bathroom entrance) and out of the way.  

 

To us, the big difference is with the suite bathrooms.  Seabourn's bathrooms have a much larger "feel" even though they have duel sinks a full size tub, and an adjacent small shower.  On EJ1, the bathrooms have a single basin which some would see as a negative.  The EJ bathroom does have a very spacious shower (much larger than on Seabourn) but lacks a tub.  For folks who do not use a bathtub, the EJ shower is really nice except for one problem, the lack of a decent grab bar along the longer axis of the shower.  We had pointed out in a previous post, that the single small grab bar (on EJ1) located at the faucet end of the shower (the furthest point from the shower entry) is a potential problem for the mobility challenged.  It would also be a big issue if one were to take a shower during rough seas.  

 

Overall, we did feel that the EJ suite just felt smaller then the suites on SB, but we think this was more an issue of design, not real space.  And by the way, during the "Naming Ceremony day" we took advantage to an open house to see several larger suites (Penthouse and Deluxe Penthouse) where we were surprised to note that the bathrooms were just about identical to the OT bathrooms.  So, upgrading (and paying a lot more money) to the Penthouses will get you more suite space, but will not change any of the bathroom issues.   DW and I both walked away with the identical comment that we would not spend the extra money on Penthouses.  Since we did not see the larger "Residences" we cannot comment on those more expensive suites.

 

Hank

 

Hank

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1 hour ago, PaulMCO said:

And I don't have 12 suitcases worth of clothes..  Can I still cruise Explora??

 

My DW does have 12 suitcases worth of shoes...

Only 12 - she’s a lightweight 😂😂😂

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On 11/4/2023 at 2:20 PM, InsGuy3 said:

Well, after reading all the reviews and posts about Explora, we finally embarked yesterday full of excitement and bated breadth. The ground crew in Miami was disorganized and sorta lost control of the check-in process. After passing thru security we were asked to take a seat in a designated area. Then some people noticed that people were being called to check-in and so everyone started getting in line no matter when they arrived inside the terminal. Communication was lost and people refused to sit back down until their turn. A couple next to us, also in a Residence Suite, spoke to someone in charge and was told we were to all checkin based on when we entered the terminal. Five minutes later we being escorted to checkin. At checkin, Residence Suite guests were to be escorted to the gangplank where a butler was to take us up to our suite. Went well after that initial hiccup. Our Suite is absolutely superb. Lunch at the Emporium was delicious and included Tandoori chicken, vegetable curry and basmati rice, and grilled lobster tails. The hosts across the ship are very friendly and overachievers, wanting to do anything to please you. 

We will be on the next cruise out of Miami and would like to know what terminal you boarded the ship in Miami on 11-03-23. Also, what was the window of time boarding the ship in Miami? I believe it starts at 1:00 PM, but I don't know when it ends. Thanks!

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1 hour ago, sasejm said:

We will be on the next cruise out of Miami and would like to know what terminal you boarded the ship in Miami on 11-03-23. Also, what was the window of time boarding the ship in Miami? I believe it starts at 1:00 PM, but I don't know when it ends. Thanks!

We embarked from Terminal C. Our boarding time was 12:00 noon but we were in our Suite about 11:50 am. We left Miami at 6:00 pm. I cannot be sure but I would presume you should be safe if you on board by 3:00 pm. Sorry couldn’t help with an exact window time frame. Hope you enjoy your cruise. The ship, the crew and the food is absolutely fantastic.

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6 minutes ago, InsGuy3 said:

We embarked from Terminal C. Our boarding time was 12:00 noon but we were in our Suite about 11:50 am. We left Miami at 6:00 pm. I cannot be sure but I would presume you should be safe if you on board by 3:00 pm. Sorry couldn’t help with an exact window time frame. Hope you enjoy your cruise. The ship, the crew and the food is absolutely fantastic.

❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️👍👍👍👍

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28 minutes ago, InsGuy3 said:

We embarked from Terminal C. Our boarding time was 12:00 noon but we were in our Suite about 11:50 am. We left Miami at 6:00 pm. I cannot be sure but I would presume you should be safe if you on board by 3:00 pm. Sorry couldn’t help with an exact window time frame. Hope you enjoy your cruise. The ship, the crew and the food is absolutely fantastic.

 

I appreciate the update; thank you.

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39 minutes ago, kelleherdl said:

On one note, I am going to eat crow on a comment I made several months about General Manager Heike. I did not mean it badly, but some here felt I was unkind. I take my crow as coq au vin. She is ever-present, immensely approachable, and open to all comments/suggestions, good or not-so-good. Bravo to Heike.

So glad you have met Heike. She is indeed a consummate and approachable professional. Having sailed many times on Azamara with her we eagerly look forward to sailing again with her in January 

Vicki

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Since the topic of the MSC YC vs EJ keeps being discussed, we will give our simple take on the subject.  It is like comparing, having a nice suite on a Marriott concierge floor (MSC YC) to having a suite in the Ritz or Four Seasons.  In the past some posts talk about the concept of having the most expensive home in an average neighborhood vs having an expensive home in an expensive neighborhood.  

 

That puts into perspective the "Ship within a ship" concept vs a Luxury cruise line.  

 

As to a food comparison (between MSC and EJ) DW expresses it by saying that she would not pay for any land-based restaurant that is similar to the YCs restaurant (in terms of quality).  But when it comes to the EJ venues, we would be fine going to any land-based restaurant that equaled what we experienced onboard (although we might hesitate with the Med Yacht Club concept).  On our many MSC YC cruises we can only recall one memorable item in the YC's restaurant, and that was when our Italian Maitre'd made (in a chaffing pan) the best Cscio e Pepe we have ever had....anywhere!  But this had more to do with this particular Maitre'd than the restaurant menu (this item was not on any menu).  When it comes to our time on EJ1, we can think of many memorable dishes (in multiple venues).

 

Hank

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I absolutely hated Yacht Club and am delighted to learn that EJ might not be like that.  For us, YC was an over promise spin but under deliver substandard experience, the butlers are not well trained and the dining room were incapable of handling food intolerances with the general food offering no better than we have seen on Celebrity on Virtuoso when we sailed

I believe if you have dietary requirements, EJ can have special meals prepared by ordering in advance.  What they cannot do is spin something out without prior warning. So no issue for a plain eater if need be.

As I have absolutely no need for a reserved seating area either inside or outside, other benchmarks quoted are irrelevant.

We are used to looking after ourselves even during our holiday so prefer not to have a butler so have made a room choice based on that.

But I do suspect I am in the live to eat category so that bodes well.

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17 minutes ago, uktog said:

 

We are used to looking after ourselves even during our holiday...

 

But I do suspect I am in the live to eat category so that bodes well.

We will have to discuss this over a cocktail ... or five. But how will I recognize you?  I will be visible wearing the "t-shirt" of the day at the various outdoor venues!

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39 minutes ago, Hlitner said:

Since the topic of the MSC YC vs EJ keeps being discussed, we will give our simple take on the subject.  It is like comparing, having a nice suite on a Marriott concierge floor (MSC YC) to having a suite in the Ritz or Four Seasons.  In the past some posts talk about the concept of having the most expensive home in an average neighborhood vs having an expensive home in an expensive neighborhood.  

 

That puts into perspective the "Ship within a ship" concept vs a Luxury cruise line.  

 

As to a food comparison (between MSC and EJ) DW expresses it by saying that she would not pay for any land-based restaurant that is similar to the YCs restaurant (in terms of quality).  But when it comes to the EJ venues, we would be fine going to any land-based restaurant that equaled what we experienced onboard (although we might hesitate with the Med Yacht Club concept).  On our many MSC YC cruises we can only recall one memorable item in the YC's restaurant, and that was when our Italian Maitre'd made (in a chaffing pan) the best Cscio e Pepe we have ever had....anywhere!  But this had more to do with this particular Maitre'd than the restaurant menu (this item was not on any menu).  When it comes to our time on EJ1, we can think of many memorable dishes (in multiple venues).

 

Hank

We had OT1 suite and we found on board that no one cared about what cabin type we were in nor how much we paid.  We were treated extremely well by all staff. We too love Seabourn yet the dining on EJ we found significantly better and actually the best cruise food ever from over 100 plus cruises.

 

We echo Hanks view that we recall multiple exceptional meals in a variety of venues.  Sometimes our cruise experience depends in part on who we travel with which in our case is just the 2  of us and also the quality of the human contacts we make 

 

Whatever the issues with EJ we still 1 month post debarkation recall fondly so many treasured moments while on board. I feel so much gratitude for having been one of the 1st to experience this delight 

 

The food the caring  warm attentive staff combined with a gorgeous ship overcome any defiencies or lack

 

All the best

 

Cruise well and enjoy

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So the thread begs the question, would we book another EJ cruise?  And given the itineraries and latest pricing, our answer would be a very subdued "maybe."  While we enjoyed the atmosphere, the decor, the cuisine, and even much of the entertainment, we are very disappointed in the existing itineraries and latest pricing.  In terms of luxury lines we can do a lot better on the competition for similar or less as far as the price point.  When we look forward to next summer/fall, what we see are 7 day itineraries at a minimum of $700 per person day.   Like many older cruisers who have the time and means to travel, we have little interest in 7 day itineraries...especially when they are just the usual Med ports.  I think their "target" customer are younger, working folks, who only have the time for 7 day cruises.  And without the air deals (found with lines like Seabourn, Silverseas, etc) they will likely fall flat with many from North America.

 

Hank

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When the latest round of itineraries cancellations occurred we were very disappointed. We had a very nice Aegean/Adriatic on Explora 2 booked. Which had replaced a cancelled Dubai to Mumbai. We put a Rome to Barcelona to Barcelona together. That was the only cruise that would have kept us from taking the deposit back and moving.  12 months can only come soon enough. We are still happy to be on Explora and we are convinced they are a giant killer. And we are not the ‘target’ demographic. But they definitely are starting to be on board. They are moving over from Ritz Carlton and others. 

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On one of these threads, I read that the retractable glass roof was non-operational. This may have already been asked and answered. Does anyone know if the retractable glass roof has been fixed and is operational?

 

Ed

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11 minutes ago, sasejm said:

On one of these threads, I read that the retractable glass roof was non-operational. This may have already been asked and answered. Does anyone know if the retractable glass roof has been fixed and is operational?

 

Ed

It was fully operational when we debarked in NYC on Oct 13.  In fact, they had opened it a couple of times (when it was too darn chilly) to do some minor maintenance (or so we were told).

 

Hank

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2 minutes ago, Hlitner said:

It was fully operational when we debarked in NYC on Oct 13.  In fact, they had opened it a couple of times (when it was too darn chilly) to do some minor maintenance (or so we were told).

 

Hank

Thank you, Hank!

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What is described above is predominantly only relevant in the ship within a ship context and not in a smaller all suite vessel.  I would only be looking for No 2, 14 and 19  in my must list 

I hate the "gated community" special areas exclusive use concept, I am only happy with a butler if they fully understand I hardly need them and not to be over attentive (being responsive if I call is fine), No 12 I am looking for the absolute opposite, I do not want a wham bang course, next course, next course experience, I want the same kind of evening dining experience as I get at our favourite 5 star hotel, but absolutely no need to have the same wait staff, in fact I think variety is healthy

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On 11/8/2023 at 5:38 AM, morpheusofthesea said:

Anybody on board now visiting Deshaies, Basse-Terre Island Guadeloupe taking the "Death in Paradise" tour today can report ?

We sure enjoyed watching that show. But it was extremely hot on shore yesterday and we decided against it. We would have loved to see the restaurant in the show.

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20 hours ago, sasejm said:

On one of these threads, I read that the retractable glass roof was non-operational. This may have already been asked and answered. Does anyone know if the retractable glass roof has been fixed and is operational?

 

Ed


I think it’s operational but it was *never* open during our 14 night cruise from Quebec to Miami and I was told it’s unlikely to be opened a lot in the Caribbean as “it rains too often” and “we already have 3 outdoor pools”. 

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3 minutes ago, florisdekort said:


I think it’s operational but it was *never* open during our 14 night cruise from Quebec to Miami and I was told it’s unlikely to be opened a lot in the Caribbean as “it rains too often” and “we already have 3 outdoor pools”. 

Interesting, and thank you. 

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