|Kuki's daily accounts aboard the Explorer of the Seas.|
|Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Days 4 & 5 | Days 6 & 7 | Day 8|
After a wonderful sleep in our new "home" aboard Royal Caribbean's Explorer of the Seas, we awoke in Nassau, Bahamas. I was surprised to see we were the only ship in port. Ours was also a very short stay, with the ship scheduled to depart at 2:30 p.m.
After returning to the ship, we went to the Windjammer Cafe for lunch. I've never been a big fan of RCI's Windjammer Cafes, always referring to them as "OK", or "typical buffet" offerings. But yesterday's embarkation lunch and today's lunch buffet both showed great improvement in selection and quality, compared to my previous RCI experiences. Even RCI's pizza, which I always claimed was the worst at sea, has vastly improved. I did notice that on Explorer, RCI has followed Princess' lead by offering large plates but no trays to carry them on. This is a pet peeve of mine, and I'm dismayed to see that it has spread from Carnival to Princess and now to RCI.
The Lido Deck's pool area is enormous, and there were plenty of deck-loungers using it, and the deck above. I noticed some staff wearing "Deck Patrol" T-shirts. They were actually enforcing the rule barring children from the hot tubs. This was the first time I'd seen this--a ship actually enforcing its own rules.
One problem I had with the Lido Deck pool area is the lack of any kind of machines dispensing iced tea, lemonade or such. One has to walk to the back end of the Windjammer Cafe to find an iced tea. And then they are just poured out in glasses by the staff and set out on a table. Seems like they really want to make it a chore to get a second glass of lemonade. They do have soft ice cream machines out on deck closer to the Lido pool. I can't imagine it would cost much to offer iced tea and lemonade dispensing equipment out there. I'd certainly recommend it.
Tonight was our first formal night, and the crowd was generally well-dressed. About half the men were wearing tuxedos, and another 40 percent wore suits.
Mrs. Kuki and I went to our new assigned location, a table for 10 located almost in the center of the Magellan Dining Room, the lowest level of the three-deck-high dining facility. We had an outstanding view of a lovely room, especially compared to the wall and stairwell we were looking at the previous night.
For quite some time we were the only two at the table, and thought perhaps our new table-mates had received notice we were moving in. Kinga, our new waitress, told us that according to the seating plan the table was supposed to be full. Four of our tablemates arrived a short time later. We assume the other four either changed seating times or chose to dine casually in the Windjammer cafe.
Kinga and our assistant waiter Vincente are simply delightful. I am so pleased I made the decision to seek a change of tables rather than suffer quietly. I believe this small change will have a major impact on the full enjoyment of our cruise.
Tonight's meal equaled my enthusiastic comments about our wait staff. It was a delightful experience, combining excellent food with superb presentation.
After dinner, Mrs. Kuki and I joined the throngs of people on the Promenade for the Captain's Welcome Aboard Party. Tonight's show was a song and dance review, which neither of us felt like attending, so Mrs. Kuki headed to the cabin to relax and watch a movie, while I went to spend some time in the casino, where I encountered a very friendly staff. I managed to play and socialize for a couple of hours without losing my antlers.
Tomorrow is a sea day. Oh, how I love sea days. It means I'll be sleeping in and then spending time exploring the ship and working on my tan (read, sleeping by the pool).