Going on a cruise can’t get easier than boarding in New Jersey, at Cape Liberty, and sailing to Bermuda for a 5-days trip. And the only ship currently doing this is Royal Caribbean’s Explorer of the Seas.
OK, so I didn’t cruise to Bermuda, but I toured the boat last week, together with Jersey Shore’s best cruise agent Ted Friedli of Excel Travel. Ted is also the founder of Kick Cancer Overboard, a charity devoted to sending cancer patients on free cruises, offering them a break for a few days, where the most important question is not how to pay for the next medical bill, but whether to play bingo, get a massage or sing karaoke. The first group of cancer patients will sail to Bermuda on Explorer of the Seas on May 21st, and at least 12 of them won’t have to pay a dime, thanks to the foundation’s fundraising efforts.
Back to the ship, this is a pretty big one, with 15 decks and all the luxury amenities you’d expect from Royal Carribean, being able to host over 3,100 passengers. The rooms are quite comfortable, not cramped at all. The highlight is the Royal Suite, with a fancy bedroom, big living room, bar, and private jacuzzi on the balcony. There are a few more suites, as well as regular balcony rooms, ocean view rooms, and inside cabins. For a twist, some inside rooms are overviewing the big Promenade.
The promenade is quite spectacular, a big airy space with high ceilings, raising four floors up. There are stores here, restaurants, cafes, with the look of a busy city street in a touristic location. There are many bars on the ship, to satisfy any desire, including the cozy Schooner Bar or the Maharaj Lounge. You can find anything from piano bars to a night club. And of course, you have the casino where you can pay slots or table games.
For inside entertainment, Explorer of the Seas has a big theater with Broadway-style productions every night, as well as a nice-sized skating rink where you can skate around during the day or watch ice dancing shows at night. If you’re here for businesses, you can also use some of the conference rooms. And if you’re into healthy lifestyles, there’s a big gym with all kinds of weight machines, spin bikes, treadmills and so on. Above it it’s a full-service spa.
The decks are very spacious, with several pools and hot tubs, including a separate adults-only area. But cruising doesn’t mean just laying in the sun on one of the decks. You can also run around the track, play minigolf or basketball, climb the rock wall, or even do inline skating!
Explorer of the Seas can offer something to everyone, with its many entertainment options. It stops for almost 2 days in Bermuda where you can take your time exploring the island. And now it is part of the great Kick Cancer Overboard effort!
If you’re looking to rent a house at the shore, check out ShoreVacations.com, Jersey Shore’s biggest vacation rentals resource. It lists hundreds of rental homes and condos from Sandy Hook all the way down to Cape May (including Belmar, Point Pleasant, Seaside Heights, Ocean City, Long Beach Island, Atlantic City or the Wildwoods). It’s a one-stop website for planning your Jersey Shore vacation, featuring beach information, weather updates and more! And of course, it has a full list of all the Jersey Shore events this year.