We are staying at the hotel
Country Inns & Suites by Carlson.
The free shuttle for Bayonne leaves in the morning around noon, so that is ok
and we are able to park for 14 days for $70. And the shuttle will come and get
us on our return, so we are happy about that. We saved some money on parking
plus we get a night hotel and a nice continental breakfast. We had supper at
Ruby Tuesday which was very good. The Jersey Garden, you can actually see it
from the hotel.
Our drive down started out nice, hot and sunny, we are having very nice weather in Montreal and will continue on for another few more days. We are getting our summer. But once we got past Albany the rains came and came and came. At times it was hard to see in front of us. And tomorrow looks like more rain for our sail away. But you know what, we will be on the ship and that is what matters at the moment. Cruising is our favourite past time.
Our shuttle picked us up around 11:30AM and took us to the Port of Bayonne. No traffic, ride went well, once we got to the Port, the porters were actually waiting for customers. Check-in went smoothly, took the bus to the ship and we were on the ship about 12:30PM.
We went to Portofino's to make a reservation and we chose 7PM tonight. We walked around and found our back to backer's (we are 7 from the Cruise Critic that are doing a B2B). Sat and chatted a little while then had some lunch at the Windjammer's cafe. Went back to our cabin for a bit.
At 4PM it was Muster Drill and this time we did not need to bring our lifejackets with us, which saves the hassle of bringing the lifejackets back to our cabin. After the Muster Drill we were meeting our Cruise Critic friends at the Sky Bar at 5PM for sail away. It was nice meeting them as we have been chatting for many months on the boards. I took photos of everyone that came and you will see them in my photo album (see link above). The sail away was nice, it did not rain during that time so was able to take some photos. We sailed under the Verrazano bridge you would think that the ship was going to hit the bridge, it was very close.
After the sail away, we went back to our cabin and all our suitcases had arrived. Unpacked at got ready for our supper at Portofino's.
Our supper at Portofino's was great, the meal and the service is the best, it is a must do at least once on a cruise. The charge is $20pp but well worth it. We were so full that we took our desert to go and I think it will take a few days to eat it. We took the sample which is four deserts in a smaller form.
After dinner I went to pick up tickets for the Ice Show : Spirit of the Seas.
We were so tired that we went back to our cabin and watch part of a movie before going to bed.
Today the weather has been between sunny, cloudy and some showers. We spent some time in the Solarium, my favourite place to hang out. The seas have been great, no movement to be had. We can only go max 19 knots because of the prop problem that occurred last winter. It will be fixed this coming January when the Explorer goes into dry dock.
We met our table mates for the first time tonight. Our meal was just ok, nothing out of the ordinary. After supper went out on the promenade deck for the sunset. What a beautiful sight.
The Captain had his Welcome Party serving champagne to everyone, great music. Then the Captain introduce his staff and names all the different countries on board.
The evening show was Wild, Cool & Swinging Production Show that paid homage to different cities around the USA (San Francisco, Las Vegas, Chicago, New York, Miami). Good signing and dancing.
The ship arrived at King's Wharf around 9AM. The weather was sunny, humid about 90F. We had breakfast in the dining room, then we headed out to explore Bermuda.
We were headed to St. George, bought our ferry tokens and got in line for the 11AM ferry. After waiting for almost 30min, now 10:30AM we were told that the 11AM ferry was cancelled due to mechanical failure so we boarded the ferry to Hamilton.
We got maps and info to go and see The Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute, but we did not make it. It was further than we were told and the sidewalks were a little hard to navigate at time due to construction, so I flagged a taxi and asked for a 2 hour tour. So we left Hamilton and did the South Shore. We first drove through the Botanical Gardens where we saw the only Hospital in Bermuda and the Premier's Residence. We drove down the South Road to Elbow Beach, then Horseshoe Bay, we stopped at Gibbs Hill Lighthouse, we could see a panoramic view of Hamilton and our ship, pass by Church Bay. Then he took us to the Somerset Draw Bridge (the smallest drawbridge in the world). There was this quaint little village Somerset Village. Then back to the Royal Naval yards to our ship. The tour costs $40/hr for up to 4 people.
The show tonight was Headliner Showtime - Charles Peachock - an excellent juggler and comedian. Then we went to the Love and Marriage show, what a hoot, it is always very funny as you don't know what the couples will come out with. They choose 3 couples (newlyweds, over 50 years of marriage, and on in between)
There was a pool party with buffet on the pool deck, dancing lots to eat and lots of people.
Today, we are still in Bermuda and will be going out to explore King's Wharf.
The weather is very cloudy and we did have some early showers, but once we finished breakfast, the rains has let up and we headed out to look at the shops. We walked to the Clock Tower. We took the free shuttle train that goes from the ships to the Dockyards. The shuttle train has one compartment for wheelchairs, so that is great.
When we got back we had a light lunch at the Windjammer, that is one thing you can do a lot of, is eating.
We received our letter about the B2B and what the procedure will be. We are the last to leave the ship. We will be escorted by a member of Guest Relations to the Immigration, then given our new sea pass then re-board before all the other new guests.
Our sail away was at 4:45PM, we sail passed the Norwegian Spirit who is there on a 7-day cruise.
Interesting fact about Bermuda: they collect all their rain water. There roofs are made in such a way that the water falls into a troth with a pipe leading to their basement where the water is collected. Then they have a pump to pump the water through out the house. When they run out of water, they can buy it from the government.
Tonight entertainment was: "Fast Forward" Production Showtime". This show features songs from famous movies. The signers and dancers do a fantastic performance.
Mike Hunnerum, our cruise director, gave us the tally and breakdown of all the passengers. This cruise we have a total of 3,175 passengers, 57 from Canada, over 2,900 from the USA. There is a total of 47 countries represented by the passengers on this cruise. It is amazing, that with all these passengers, you don't really feel that there are that many.
We also went to hear Night Flight band in Dizzy's and later in the Maharajas Lounge. We spent the evening with our table mate Jennie and Frank, they love to dance and we had a great time.
We also participated in the "70s Disco Street Party" on the Royal Promenade, what energy, the Royal Promenade was packed with everyone dancing and enjoying the party.
It was a beautiful day and very warm, in fact some of our friends got a pretty bad sunburn.
The seas were very calm but got a little shaky around diner time and through the night. Up until then the cruise has been very smooth.
We went to the ice show "Spirit of the Seasons", it is amazing to think that we are at sea and their is an ice show. It is spectacular, not to be missed.
The entertainment was the Farewell Variety Showtime with the Explorer Orchestra, Explorer Signers and Dancers, comedian Richie Minervini and a representative of all the Explorer departments to wave goodbye
We arrived on time and the debarkation started soon after. By 9:30AM all passengers are gone and the B2Bers are the only ones left. A member from Guest Relations met us, gave us our new Sea Pass, escorted of the ship to go through Immigration then back on the ship. The process takes about 30 min. Then we are free to roam and go to our cabins.
This was a great cruise, the weather cooperated though some did get caught in a down pour on our last day in Bermuda, but we managed to miss the rain.
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