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Explora 17 November - 6 December


uktog
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On 11/15/2023 at 10:53 AM, happy cruzin 2 said:

Safe travels. It will be interesting to see how everything goes we heard there are going to be around 700 passengers next week. The two weeks we’ve had about 450

I have heard the current number is much lower, someone told me 480, will inquire further!

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Our stop in Key West took us on a wander as we’ve been here several times before.

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It was lovely to see the Little White House again 

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though I was concerned when DH said let’s go for a drink. 
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Last night was a creakfree night but not without its challenges. For future cruisers my advice would be get the host to show you how to fully switch the lights off as opposed to dimming them. Eventually we resorted to pulling the power card out but that meant no heated bathroom floor and no phones charged. Our host has got us set up for the rest of the cruise!  They are very prompt and helpful feels like he’s only looking after us!  
 

Lunch today was another trip to the emporium where I opted to have some truffle ravioli prepared. There were 8 different types of pasta and four sauces. It tasted superb. Then I made a discovery- the choux bun of the day - today was filled with a rich blackcurrant sauce. I need to check these daily. 
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I think what is stand out so far is the quality of the food especially the freshness of the ingredients 

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Thank you so much for doing a live trip report. Your picture are great. The food looks so delicious. 

Love Key West. Want to return. I have a lovely  coin I bought from the museum with the artifacts of a sunken ship.Cannot remember the name at the moment. 

 

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33 minutes ago, CJANDH said:

Are you having creaking noise problems? What suite are you in? I have heard that even the Residence Suites are having noise issues.

It was our first night onboard it was absolutely creakfree. Not heard anyone report creak issues today 

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2 hours ago, Azulann said:

Thank you so much for doing a live trip report. Your picture are great. The food looks so delicious. 

Love Key West. Want to return. I have a lovely  coin I bought from the museum with the artifacts of a sunken ship.Cannot remember the name at the moment. 

 

Mel Fisher's Museum.  The ship was likely the Atocha. Very famous Key West story

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Another very quiet, smooth and comfortable night. Maybe our very satisfied tummies helped. Med Yacht Club was an excellent experience though my husband found his suckling pig too much. Trouble is we were brought up to finish on our plates or be punished.  He should in his parents eyes be punished but that’s ok! 
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I thought the beef carpaccio was excellent 

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As was my tuna. 
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We had some croquettes to start and plan to come back for a tapas only night as that would be delicious. 
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So far DH food allergies are being handled very well. He has the menus send each previous night with his name on them and by 10 he has to mark them with his choices and hand to any restaurant supervisor- which we do at breakfast. That’s easy to do though it does remove any spontaneous choices later in the day. The Emporium at lunch has been fine although desserts have been a challenge and there was a little bit of inconsistency in answers over one mousse. However the supervisor was very quick to call the chef directly and the mousse was indeed safe!  However it was the only item that was for dessert but they’re going to look at that. 
 

The entertainment is the one thing that’s not fully firing on all cylinders for us. Partly because the show last night wasn’t our “thing” so we didn’t go only to find no one in one bar (so no entertainment as advertised). No problem we thought we’d check out the Malt Whisky bar but it’s closed for maintenance. We did finally find a venue with entertainment albeit it was finishing up. I think we need to do more homework on what each entertainer offers (we just have names on the program) and will suggest to the ship they are more proactive in sharing information about choices. 
 

Today is a sea day so going to check out all the pools! 

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Explora 1 is a very pleasant ship to spend a warm sea day. There is lots of places to sit. I know the ship is only about 1/3 full but apart from popular areas by pools most loungers are empty. 
The hosts are very quick to set your towels out for you and the bar staff are attentive but not going up and down shouting Bar Service and standing over you until you say yes or no as we found on another line. It’s much more about them looking around for signals guests want service 
I would agree that you will miss out on things to do and enjoy if you don’t make the running. Much reliance is made of QR codes for more detailed info though they do place a daily in your room the information in this is minimal 

This morning we enjoyed a more relaxed breakfast in Fil Rouge where the food was piping hot and excellent. One thing we keep commenting on is the breads and this morning was no exception.  They are far too good for my waistline. 
Lunch was an example of a situation that had someone else not told me about an option I would not of known. You can get delicious Bento boxes from Sakura and we shared one on our bed over the water at the Astern pool. It was absolutely delicious and the perfect quantity for the two of us. However it’s something that’s not  advertised. 
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We were less impressed with the afternoon tea, which, compared to Viking lacks some of the refinement. It is based on a cart being brought round, and all your choice sandwich scone and cake being piled onto one plate by the server.  To be fair, the scones were excellent, and it was Clotted cream.  Unfortunately, for DH every one of the six cakes on offer contained nuts so he had a lower calorie experience!!! we are going to talk to them about the level of inclusion of nuts in the pastry section because we found the same in the lunch desserts. 
It has however been a beautiful day so enjoyable and such good service. But you need to look out for yourself and do your homework!

Edited by uktog
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11 hours ago, uktog said:

 

The entertainment is the one thing that’s not fully firing on all cylinders for us. Partly because the show last night wasn’t our “thing” so we didn’t go only to find no one in one bar (so no entertainment as advertised). No problem we thought we’d check out the Malt Whisky bar but it’s closed for maintenance. We did finally find a venue with entertainment albeit it was finishing up. I think we need to do more homework on what each entertainer offers (we just have names on the program) and will suggest to the ship they are more proactive in sharing information about choices. 

We were introduced to Drew, the EJ Entertainment Director from Geneva on the last cruise. He was very hopeful that folks will provide feedback on the Explora entertainment offerings. Personally, I am a big fan of their current model with some tweaks. One significant improvement can be more detailed descriptions in the daily plan of the program for each venue that evening, things like the scheduled Artiste and the program/genre/style, that sort of thing. I will send a lengthy review based on my preferences.

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2 hours ago, kelleherdl said:

We were introduced to Drew, the EJ Entertainment Director from Geneva on the last cruise. He was very hopeful that folks will provide feedback on the Explora entertainment offerings. Personally, I am a big fan of their current model with some tweaks. One significant improvement can be more detailed descriptions in the daily plan of the program for each venue that evening, things like the scheduled Artiste and the program/genre/style, that sort of thing. I will send a lengthy review based on my preferences.

I agree. I’m very happy with the artists around the ship concept but they need to sort out the main lounge experience. Tonight was very disappointing like most folks we left at the break. The singer is probably a very good “session player” but not a headliner 

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A slight menu refresh in Fil Rouge last night 

 

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I did not have the lobster but those around who did seemed to be enjoying it a lot 

I found the veal wellington to be excellent and for me a perfect size. 
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I very much enjoyed a plate of three lovely ripe French cheeses as dessert but forgot to photo them! 


Now for something a little different- all the public restrooms have these all in one sinks all “hands free” motion activated. Doors into restrooms are also hands free. These sinks are great - no more lining up with dripping hands for a dryer! 
 

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And another random observation unlike Azamara the bath towels are a proper wrap around style. 

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27 minutes ago, gymfreak said:

Thank you Anne for such a detailed review. I always find h you our posts honest and informative All very helpful for our upcoming voyage in January 

I think you’re going to love it if you like good food and attentive but not over the top service. We are certainly talking about some new bookings albeit recognising three Azamara cruises equals two Explora 

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3 hours ago, uktog said:

A slight menu refresh in Fil Rouge last night 

 

IMG_2428.thumb.jpeg.7be2cd65f57d6371bf0704bdc9d6087c.jpeg

 

I did not have the lobster but those around who did seemed to be enjoying it a lot 

I found the veal wellington to be excellent and for me a perfect size. 
IMG_2430.thumb.jpeg.14db081fdaf92b12cb9e4921dd64c4bc.jpeg
I very much enjoyed a plate of three lovely ripe French cheeses as dessert but forgot to photo them! 


Now for something a little different- all the public restrooms have these all in one sinks all “hands free” motion activated. Doors into restrooms are also hands free. These sinks are great - no more lining up with dripping hands for a dryer! 
 

IMG_2426.thumb.jpeg.50c2730da996db67eb7133a6c2db640f.jpeg

 

And another random observation unlike Azamara the bath towels are a proper wrap around style. 

Entry to publuc restrooms by a wave of the hand and locking in the same way is healthy innovative and GREAT

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