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Explora 17 November - 6 December


uktog
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Changes also in the menu in Marble with US beef 

IMG_2434.thumb.jpeg.bace18f65625537958dfac7f73af99bb.jpeg

though DH stuck with the French Fillet as he only wanted a small amount. He was delighted with it.

 

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My veal and little lobster tail was also a perfect size. 
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I had the caviar signature starter which was divine. 
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A little touch in our room. We are all used to how we highlight if we want towels changed but what about bedding?  Explora have solved that with this cute little cushion 

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We had a lazy sea day. There were talks and activities a plenty but we just lay out reading the books we had brought. So many places to lie out. It was no problem finding a lounger in a perfect spot (and given how quiet the ship is, never anyone near! 

 

 

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Today we’ve arrived at British Virgin Islands. The weather is very showery so I’m not sure how many people have headed ashore yet. We are leaving it until the afternoon to decide. 
Unfortunately we had thought about lying poolside as the roof is closed but there’s no effective air conditioning so it was extremely steamy and unpleasant. 
Whilst there we noted the giant TV was still encouraging us to go to last nights show. We did not do that show or the karaoke which they’ve now introduced. We went to the Explorer lounge where the Ukrainian pianist did a nice short set. However it all lacked atmosphere as the bar staff outnumbered the guests! 
We still continue to enjoy our cruise, the food (which really matters to us) is excellent. It’s very much a line where you have to work things out for yourself and they are still learning. Entertainment is very much work in progress and I think has a way to go. But it’s early days!  
 

Pic is this morning’s breakfast indulgence in Fil Rouge - Poached egg, creamy spinach, yuzu hollandaise and caviar on top of a little brioche round. One I will certainly repeat!

 

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16 hours ago, uktog said:

Changes also in the menu in Marble with US beef 

IMG_2434.thumb.jpeg.bace18f65625537958dfac7f73af99bb.jpeg

though DH stuck with the French Fillet as he only wanted a small amount. He was delighted with it.

 

IMG_2437.thumb.jpeg.23df98b092a89d1518283bbd484a2f63.jpeg

My veal and little lobster tail was also a perfect size. 
IMG_2436.thumb.jpeg.424227326297c7e38fc663f33a9a83c0.jpeg

I had the caviar signature starter which was divine. 
IMG_2435.thumb.jpeg.b62a887b2aa09123a635facbc8deeddd.jpeg

A little touch in our room. We are all used to how we highlight if we want towels changed but what about bedding?  Explora have solved that with this cute little cushion 

IMG_2432.thumb.jpeg.ffb838c7be8d0bef9712a2a99a4428d5.jpeg

 

We had a lazy sea day. There were talks and activities a plenty but we just lay out reading the books we had brought. So many places to lie out. It was no problem finding a lounger in a perfect spot (and given how quiet the ship is, never anyone near! 

 

 

The veal and lobster dish looks dreadful.

The mashed potato is too runny surely and why would they smother it in bearnaise sauce and bisque jus on the same plate.

Edited by Mr Luxury
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5 minutes ago, Mr Luxury said:

The veal and lobster dish looks dreadful.

The mashed potato is too runny surely and why would they smother it in bearnaise sauce and bisque jus on the same plate.

I’m sorry but I have to disagree. 

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Just now, uktog said:

I’m sorry but I have to disagree. 

That's fine but I don't know many chefs or restaurants that would be happy with the runny mashed potato and the whole dish being smothered in two different sauces.

I'm glad that that's the dish for you.

I would have liked to have seen the sauce served on the side so that you can put as much or as little into the dish as you wish.

 

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8 minutes ago, Dr. Cocktail said:

Thanks for continuing to take the time, trouble and effort to post.

 

You're apparently much too saucy for some of the posters here!

Everyone who knows me knows i love extra sauce so i think i would be extremely happy with this dish.  Actually i would be really happy to be on the ship again to partake.  Will be on the new oceania vista in January so i will be interested  in how the two ships compare

 

All the best 

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1 minute ago, Waltershipman said:

Everyone who knows me knows i love extra sauce so i think i would be extremely happy with this dish.  Actually i would be really happy to be on the ship again to partake.  Will be on the new oceania vista in January so i will be interested  in how the two ships compare

 

All the best 

I’m counting down the days!

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28 minutes ago, Dr. Cocktail said:

Thanks for continuing to take the time, trouble and effort to post.

 

You're apparently much too saucy for some of the posters here!

Thanks. Honestly the dish wasn’t runny. The dish most certainly wasn’t smothered and the sauce to meat ratio was perfect. I fear as much the photographer is to blame as the chef 😀

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1 hour ago, uktog said:

Thanks. Honestly the dish wasn’t runny. The dish most certainly wasn’t smothered and the sauce to meat ratio was perfect. I fear as much the photographer is to blame as the chef 😀

Looked wonderful. I'll keep in mind what mother taught me on the rest.

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On 11/19/2023 at 9:49 PM, uktog said:

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!

We are just back from our trip and will pen some thoughts soon !! As regards tea, no need to pile everything on the plate together. The policy is for the waitstaff ( sorry, I refuse to use the pretentious Explora lingo...tell Heike or Tanya that this is Colin posting...will raise a wry smile ) to explain everything available when they come round. For us, we just took sarnies and the like first time. They come round, or can be easily summoned for further visit(s) for scones and trimmings, cakes, biscuits, etc. We loved the experience and thought everything was top notch. Also, free flowing champers (white or rose) also available  and don't miss the fantastic Nataliia on the piano. Enjoy !!

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We liked the high tea experience but it isn’t something we needed to do everyday. What we would have preferred, or maybe in addition to, would have been a pre dinner happy hour with savory hors d’oeuvres. We experienced this on Atlas and enjoyed the social gathering over cocktails. Explora does offer nuts and chips, but it’s pretty basic. 

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Edited by PrivateIdaho
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Viking do the beautiful three tier stands. You’re right no need to pile items on however that’s how the staff operate- if you want more you need to snag their attention which despite there are few guests can be tricky at times. 
 

I’m dreading posting these pictures today 😂. Last night I dragged DH to Sakura. He was very hesitant as he’s not a fan of Asian food especially my love -Sushi. I’m delighted to say it was a great success and he’s going back. 


Unfortunately I’ve no pictures of our appetisers but the soft shell crab was the favourite. 
 

DH played safe with the smoked NZ lamb chops which he said was the most tender lamb chops he’d ever had. He also fell in love with the vegetable rice. 
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I enjoyed the teriyaki black Angus steak and caught someone who was emboldened trying to steal some slices (ok I let him). 
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Our desserts were nice. Eton Mess for him and a sharp refreshing mango medley for me. 
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We went to the lounge show last night. Our view on the entertainment in general is the jury is still out. We get the informality but the lack of information doesn’t always help when making choices. It was so vague what the show was about but the performer Janice Martin was extremely talented and versatile. Glad we went as we would not have known what to expect and we so nearly did not.
 

Playing piano, violin and guitar to an amazing standard plus doing opera far better than the resident artists had done the  nights before. She did her second 45 minute set accompanied by the ships band. 
 

We felt she did not get sufficient thanks or recognition at the end. Her final number was ruined in our view by some entertainment staff running on stage dancing in front of her so it was all about them and one carrying a mike that then completely screamed out the performer with feedback. And then in the melee no strong suggestion we applauded the performer who had exited stage right. Such a shame as she was so good. 
 

We will keep an open mind on the entertainment but it’s currently not quite there for us. With more explanation, definition and boundaries it could be. 

 

 

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On 11/22/2023 at 6:14 AM, gymfreak said:

Hi Anne

Continued thanks for the update ms aboard Explora If you have time could you report back what brand of shampoo and conditioner is available?

I want to plan what products I need to pack

Many thanks

Here is a picture of the own brand they use. It’s far better than old Eco on Azamara. My hair is temptemental but has been ok (not perfect) with it. However the star is the Dyson hairdryer. Makes a huge difference. If you’re not familiar with one I’d suggest a google “education” before boarding 

Both DH and I love the hand and body wash lovely subtle scent that works for us. 
It’s the usual body wash, shampoo, conditioner and body lotion In decent pump bottles. I’ve found the body lotion particularly good on my dry skin. 
 

IMG_2486.thumb.jpeg.72cd47597f2bcacabdd0a9346d007490.jpeg

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21 hours ago, uktog said:

Viking do the beautiful three tier stands. You’re right no need to pile items on however that’s how the staff operate- if you want more you need to snag their attention which despite there are few guests can be tricky at times. 

Crystal also use those stands. As to how the staff operate, they simply are trained to describe everything available on their first visit. This makes sense, as some may wish to start with the savouries, others with scones and others still with the cakes etc. We were about half full on our cruise and got to know the system on our first time there. Absolutely no need to attract anyone's attention.The crew are so great that as soon as they see your empty plates they will take them away and ask if you want anything else.When replying in the affirmative, THEY will organise the next visit from the trolley, with new plates of course.. In our view, so much better than the pre-populated cake stand approach, giving you so much that you may not want and the trolley method also resulting in a much wider choice of goodies. Just trying to return some of the great tips you provided before our first AZ cruise !!

As for Sakura, great choices. We would also recommend the sensational duck confit starter and also the lobster pad thai, if these work for you. Yummy...

Edited by kool kruiser
typo
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18 minutes ago, kool kruiser said:

Crystal also use those stands. As to how the staff operate, they simply are trained to describe everything available on their first visit. This makes sense, as some may wish to start with the savouries, others with scones and others still with the cakes etc. We were about half full on our cruise and got to know the system on our first time there. Absolutely no need to attract anyone's attention.The crew are so great that as soon as they see your empty plates they will take them away and ask if you want anything else.When replying in the affirmative, THEY will organise the next visit from the trolley, with new plates of course.. In our view, so much better than the pre-populated cake stand approach, giving you so much that you may not want and the trolley method also resulting in a much wider choice of goodies. Just trying to return some of the great tips you provided before our first AZ cruise !!

As for Sakura, great choices. We would also recommend the sensational duck confit starter and also the lobster pad thai, if these work for you. Yummy...

We’ve obviously had a very different afternoon tea experience. No issue they describe on the first visit (albeit with a few English issues and no understanding of allergens) but it’s certainly a case of trying to attract attention thereafter just now. 

 

Conversely a frustrating aspect of the pool bar service. They remove your drink when you’ve only half finished it. Of course they bring you another if you call them but the tables are behind you so out of sight when you are lounging and you don’t discover until you put your hand over to pick up your drink

 

Rather over eager and wasteful imho

 

We plan to be back in Sakura soon we have a lot to try

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1 hour ago, uktog said:

We’ve obviously had a very different afternoon tea experience. No issue they describe on the first visit (albeit with a few English issues and no understanding of allergens) but it’s certainly a case of trying to attract attention thereafter just now. 

 

Conversely a frustrating aspect of the pool bar service. They remove your drink when you’ve only half finished it. Of course they bring you another if you call them but the tables are behind you so out of sight when you are lounging and you don’t discover until you put your hand over to pick up your drink

 

Rather over eager and wasteful imho

 

We plan to be back in Sakura soon we have a lot to try

The smoked lamb chop and wagu beef are extremely good 

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Could someone aboard, upon receiving your disembark information, share the particulars, i.e. Time must be out of stateroom, all must be off ship time, and restaurants operating for breakfast in Bridgetown Barbados?  We will be disembarking there on  the 6th and hoping for apples to apple planning notes.  TIA

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9 minutes ago, Tyler919 said:

Could someone aboard, upon receiving your disembark information, share the particulars, i.e. Time must be out of stateroom, all must be off ship time, and restaurants operating for breakfast in Bridgetown Barbados?  We will be disembarking there on  the 6th and hoping for apples to apple planning notes.  TIA

Good luck on apples to apples thats a lol joke happy Thanksgiving 

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2 hours ago, Tyler919 said:

Could someone aboard, upon receiving your disembark information, share the particulars, i.e. Time must be out of stateroom, all must be off ship time, and restaurants operating for breakfast in Bridgetown Barbados?  We will be disembarking there on  the 6th and hoping for apples to apple planning notes.  TIA

Will post for you when it’s available 

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Well Explora did a lovely Thanksgiving offering- full disclosure we’re not American but it was more impressive than we’ve seen elsewhere. 
The decorations were subtle but nice - more than the usual carved watermelon 

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Tonight there was Thanksgiving specials throughout the ship with a full special menu in Fils Rouge

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Each course was beautifully presented and very tasty. Service was very good - this was the first time we’d seen the restaurant really busy but it was all handled very efficiently 

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