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RC Explorer in Feb for 1st Timer: Please HELP!!

RC Explorer in Feb for 1st Timer: Please HELP!!

Jul 29th, 2002, 10:26 AM
  #1  
robyn
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RC Explorer in Feb for 1st Timer: Please HELP!!

Hi everyone! While I am new to this forum I have enjoyed the boards over in France this past year and just came back from there(france, not the boards lol)
I know absolutely nothing about cruises as I have never been on one (until now, possibly).
My friends have invited my family (husband and one of our sons who is 16) to join them during President's week (this is when we're off from work) for a trip on the Explorer. After doing a little research I do know about the Explorer and am learning about decks and cabins now. Here are my questions.
Would greatly appreciate any help you could offer!
1) I was offered deck 6 . This seems to be in the middle and a good choice. What do you think? We were offered 3 different rooms, all oceanview w balcony, which is what we requested. One of the rooms seems to have more space in the hallway between it and other rooms. Is this a good choice? (hope you understand what I'm referring to).
2) Adults cannot buy drink cards...only kids?
3) There is an arcade aboard ship. Is this only for younger children or would a 16/17 year old find something they might like in there? Would they look ridiculous in the arcade if it is mostly populated by young children?
4) Is it a bad idea to take the first flight out of JFK (near where I live) to get to the PIer on time? What time can you check in?
5) Is this boat like a zoo? No, I don't mean an ark...a zoo. Is it chaotic and loud or is it just fun?
6) Is there anyplace to go to be quiet (if one wants to)...the library, the upper pools?
7) Have read it's better to schedule your own tours. Any suggestions for the Mayan ruins in Tulum or any of the other stops on the Western Caribbean trip?
8) Any suggestions you would think are essential for a first timer to know?
Many,many thanks to anyone who responds with helpful information.
 
Jul 29th, 2002, 10:59 AM
  #2  
linda
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Robyn,
There are plenty of places to relax and have quiet time. It is not like a zoo- only the parades, maybe. You are asking many questions- I suggest you read member reviews of the ship on cruisecritic.com or cruisemates.com. After that, you may be able to post fewer questions! You'll love this cruise.
 
Jul 29th, 2002, 01:14 PM
  #3  
ginger
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I hope you are booking this cruise through your travel agent- these are questions he/she can answer.

If not, call Royal Caribbean! There is no need to ask these questions on a forum when Royal Caribbean can give you everything you need.

However, yes, adults have drinks cards. The balcony cabins are different sizes based on which category you are booked in.

Adults will find games they like in the arcade.

The rest of them... call somebody!! Who are you booking this through?!?!?! There are way too many to type answers to when you can have them answered over the phone in 3 seconds for each one.

Good luck.

 
Jul 29th, 2002, 01:24 PM
  #4  
Peter
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robyn - it appears the travel agents on this site (ginger for one) don't feel compelled to share their knowledge for free. The best advice is as linda says, go to cruisecritic.com and check out the RCCL thread where these questions get asked all the time - and get answered by some very knowledgeable people.

My experience on the Explorer was that my 16 year old had no desire to go to the arcade and chilled with others her age in the teen club or around the ship. Yes, there are a lot of passengers but its a very large ship. The were no noticeable lines or crowded areas. There are many little nooks to isolate and read a good book. The promonade is a great place to people watch - just like a mini-downtown small town America with shops, benches, even lamp posts. You will thorougly enjoy the Explorer.
 
Jul 29th, 2002, 01:25 PM
  #5  
robyn
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Thank you for your replies.
I am booking this through a travel agent but isn't part of the reason that we come to a forum such as this to hear PERSONAL recommendations? She can tell me how to book a shore excursion but she can't tell me which one she found to be the best,as she hasn't taken this trip. Only you fodorites out there can tell me the answer to some of these questions from your personal experience.
Believe me, I appreciate the time and effort to answer and I do my best in the France forums to be of help, where I can. Hopefully, I will be able to help out someone else on the cruise forum after having taken this cruis.
 
Jul 29th, 2002, 01:26 PM
  #6  
robyn
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Peter,
Thank you. This is the kind of reply I was hoping for.
 
Jul 29th, 2002, 11:45 PM
  #7  
Paul Therault
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Hi Robyn,

I will answer a couple with the shortest answers.

Book a cabin as midship as possible since the hallways will not enter into the picture.

Get the earliest flight out of JFK even if you have to wait in the San Juan airport for the trip to the ship. You never know if there will be flight delays.

Enjoy.

Paul
 
Jul 30th, 2002, 11:54 AM
  #8  
robyn
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San Juan? I understood it leaves from Miami.Fla. Will look into this.
Thank you all for the information
 
Jul 30th, 2002, 03:08 PM
  #9  
paulisstupid
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Another FAUX-PAUL!!!!! LOL
 
Jul 30th, 2002, 06:12 PM
  #10  
Andy
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Robyn= BOOK the most MID-SHIP large cabin that you can afford....Midship will keep you from having a lot of sway--
Balcony rooms are wonderful!

Take the first flight out of JFK OR FLY IN THE NITE BEFORE and overnite at a hotel in Miami--Just in case the flights are screwed up....

DON"T DO YOUR OWN TOURS on your FIRST CRUISE--USE the ship's tours as they HAVE to be back in enough time to catch the cruise before it leaves for another port--IF YOU DO YOUR OWN TOUR AND ARE LATE,the CRUISE SHIP LEAVES WITHOUT YOU AND YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR GETTING TO THE NEXT PORT...


Listen to the other posts and READ the review on Cruise-Addicts.com or cruisecritic.com on the EXPLORER.

And for heaven's sake,Talk to your travel agent with these and all other questions-that is what she/he is there for----

You will have many more questions to ask and your agent will be more than happy to help you....
 
Jul 30th, 2002, 08:11 PM
  #11  
dana g
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Robyn,

Take the ships excursions to Tulum. The one we went on also had a side trip to Xel-Ha for snorkeling.

Tulum is the only Mayan ruin on the coast. I mean, on the coast, not 10 miles inland. Our son, age 13, was thoroughly fascinated with it. This is especially a treat if you're a history buff. Well worth it.

 
Jul 30th, 2002, 10:27 PM
  #12  
Paul Therault
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Sorry Robyn, reading too fast. I thought you were sailing on the Adventure.

I'll change my answer to: Leave as early as possible from JFK since you may run into flight delays.

Paul
 
Jul 31st, 2002, 09:14 AM
  #13  
ginger
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Fine! I have a headache now, so these questions won't give me one.

Midship yes, but as I have been on this ship, you want to be as near the elevators as possible- it is a LONG walk to the middle of the ship. So just be near elevators or stairs.

If you smoke and take a tonne of pictures, carry a backpack with you- it is not "oh, I will be right back" if you leave something in your room and have to go back for it. Not a large backpack, but not one of those cute little purses women carry. I had a hard time when I ran out of film or my camera battery ran dead, or I left something in the room.

Any balcony category will work- they are all nice. Depends on if you want more square footage. Being near the Windjammer is great, so you might want an upper level, but not necessarily worth the money.

Adults CAN buy drink cards for sodas. As I have a caffeine addiction that would kill most people, it is a great way to go. You can purchase it on board.

Your son will love the arcade, but there are still dozens of other places to hang out. You and your husband might like the arcade! Don't worry about being too bored- there is a lot to do.

Quite places will definitely be your cabin, some bars, areas on deck. This ship will be busy, but you won't suffer from there being so many people. My favourite room (other than Viking Crown Lounge) is the Schooner bar.

There, everyone happy? The travel agent answered questions for someone else's client!!! (Sorry, that whole headache thing.)

I do hope you have a wonderful time, 'cause this is a great ship.

Oh, and for shore excursions, you will NOT want to miss Stingray City. It is the most awesome place in the world for gorgeous water. (Ok, maybe not THE greatest, but close!)

 
Jul 31st, 2002, 10:08 AM
  #14  
robyn
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Thank you all for your valuable input.
 

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