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Explora 1 #256705 10/18/23 04:53 PM
Joined: Mar 2004
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Ngaire Offline OP
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Tomorrow we leave for Quebec and are checking out the new ship Explora 1. A new luxury brand from MSC. They call it a hotel at sea, no shows, no main restaurant. Multiple restaurants and bars and only the Steak house and Asian restaurant need reservations. Rooms look very spacious and a ladies vanity table inside the closet. Bigger than the Explorer, Splendor, Grandeur by 150 - 200 guests. But larger ship and more facilities. So far the reviews have been very positive. If you like the shows and included excursions though it might not be your "cup of tea'.

THe excursions are pretty expensive but a first glance seem to be better but that remains to be seen. Clay and Brooke are getting on when I get off.

Will report back from the ship.

Re: Explora 1 [Re: Ngaire] #256707 10/22/23 01:02 PM
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Ngaire Offline OP
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There are 12 people with us. When we said we were going to check out the ship they wanted to come. Since I had not experienced the ship yet I was not comfortable doing a regular hosted trip.

Food so far has been outstanding. Multiple restaurants but the most amazing food service is in the the area that is called Emporium Market Place. Open for lunch and dinner. Similar to La Veranda on Regent with far more variety. If you combine the deck grill and La Veranda probably about 25% larger here and more options it is almost impossible to choose. All the food is behind glass and is served to you. We will take some pictures. To end the meal they have dessert crepes and waffles cooked to order. Five types of sorbet, gelato and soft serve ice cream.

We have tried the French Restaurant, the Asian restaurant and of course the massive lunch venue. All truly outstanding. Tonight we are going to the Steak restaurant.

As with all comparisons some things are better some things are not. It does feel like a hotel more than a cruise ship. It is confusing where all the staff are statioined. Sitting in litle cubicles and no signage as to who handlng what. Finally figured out where the concierge is located.

A larger ship is harder to get around. It seems a long way from one end to the other. The area of the elevators is definitely more like a hotel and you have to read signs to know which direction to take. Getting used to it now but at first it was confusing.

I am not a spa person but I did go and see the spa. It was absolutely beautiful and a lot of the facilities available to everyone at no charge.

Many people here from Regent so a lot of familar faces. Trivia is at 12.15 and that is lunch time. Very strange. So we all decided to forget trivia on this trip and enjoy lunch.

Going to get a tour of all suites. They all have a heated bathroom floor (if you turn it on) and also a night light under the night stands if you get up at night. Nice little touches.

There is a big storm on the ocean so we have been hanging out in the St. Lawrence Seaway going in circles waiting for the weather to pass and then we will carry on with our itinerary.


Re: Explora 1 [Re: Ngaire] #256708 10/23/23 02:55 PM
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Ngaire Offline OP
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I was under the impression there was no entertainment or activities. That is not correct. During the day there are speakers, games, billards, trivia, pickel ball, a lot of options for everyone. At night there are shows, music, singers but no "singers and dancers group".

Food continues to be good. Tonight we are going to the 2 star Michelin Chef's restaurant. I am such a picky eater and I met with the chef and they changed my menu. She was very nice about it. Today we have a birthday in the group and we are having a cocktail party in our suite (we were upgraded to a very nice suite)

We toured all the suites today and even the smallest suite is nice.

Re: Explora 1 [Re: Ngaire] #256712 10/24/23 11:35 AM
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Ngaire Offline OP
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The party went well we had a great time, the GM came up and wished Fred a happy birthday.

So we have been sailing iin circles inside the St. Lawrence Seaway due to a huge storm that was in the ocean. Other ships were doing the same. Had a great 3 days, played cards and games at 10.00 am and 2.00 pm. This morning we are arriving in Sydney, Nova Scotia. Looks pretty windy and we have to tender so we will see what happens. THe ship gave everyone $300 each for missing some ports due to the storm. Very nice gesture it was not the fault of the ship that caused the missed ports. We got off the ship (the tender was very nice more leg room for sure) and walked the town for about an hour and then returned back to the ship. Some went to a pub and had a lobster lunch they said was fantastic.

We had dinner last night with Fred & Darla in the 2 star Michelin restaurant a seven course meal. This is a pay restaurant and expensive but we all had SBC. It was truly outstanding. The best course of all was dessert. It was a birds nest with an egg and surrounded by twigs and red berries. The egg had a yoke and not sure what it was all made of but it was yummy The twigs and berries and what ever the leaves were made out of I have no idea but probably the most delicious dessert I have ever had. The twigs were chocolate and the berries were dried and had a fantastic flavor.

After dinner we went to the show a tribute to Billy Joel. The lounge has a large dance floor and we have not danced for a long time but got in the mood and we danced last night. It was a lot of fun and bought back memories of how much our groups used to dance.

I usually eat berries in the room for breakfast but today I went upstairs. Such a huge variety of options. From delicate crepes and waffles wtih lots of toppings, eggs benedict and eggs cooked to order with all the trimmings. Pastries that were absolutely beautiful.

Overall we are very impressed with Explora Journeys.

Re: Explora 1 [Re: Ngaire] #256713 10/25/23 05:07 PM
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Ngaire Offline OP
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Today we had a private wine tasting. It is a beautful area with wine bottles on each side and large white marble table. Large enough to seat all of us. They also had "small bites" of food to taste with each variety of wine, The Sommelier was from South Africa. She did a great job. They also had non alcohlic wines.

We followed this a lunch in one of the restaurants with a table of 8 and a table of 6. At our table we created a family style meal with many of the offerings they had on the menu. That was a lot of fun.

Now we are about to go to a pasta making glass for our group, Been a busy day we called it KLT day!

UPDATE. The chef was terrific and we made three types of pasta. Then ate them. We had a late lunch as well now dinner is coming up. Not a diet day for sure. People took pictures but due to a last minute
Issue Ken did not have his phone.

Re: Explora 1 [Re: Ngaire] #256714 10/25/23 08:23 PM
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Ngaire Offline OP
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Some pictures more to come

The nest egg dessert

[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]

The birthday party group

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Re: Explora 1 [Re: Ngaire] #256715 10/27/23 12:35 AM
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Ngaire Offline OP
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Cooking class

[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]
Ken

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Kim and Alice.

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Dave and Joan.

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Fred and Darla

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The cooking class group.

Re: Explora 1 [Re: Ngaire] #256716 10/27/23 12:53 AM
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Ngaire Offline OP
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We had a great wine tasting with a South African Sommelier
[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]

[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]
They had food to pair with the wines.

Re: Explora 1 [Re: Ngaire] #256717 10/27/23 01:00 PM
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Ngaire Offline OP
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Yesterday we were in Saint John, Canada and we decided to hop on a bus that took us through town and to the highlight spots. It was enjoyable and just six people on the bus. Saw a lot of the town and learned a lot about the history of the town. There was a massive fire here and they have a memorial to all the firefighters who lost their lives. Any fireman that loses his life now is added to that memorial.

We had a really fun dinner last night in the steak restaurant and the person in charge was Archie (Regent) we had a perfect spot with a table for eight and a table for six. Those that ordered the Porterhouse steak were amazed at the size of the steak it barely fit on the plate. I had a lobster tail and veal medallions much smaller than those massive steaks and the dish was very good. Lot of lot laughter at both tables.

So we are now in Portland, Maine. Most of us are going on a tour to see the lighthouses. First tour I have done with Explora so we will see if it varies from the tours we have experienced on Regent and Silverseas. The tours are very expensive here so I hope that this is better than the normal tour. We may stay in town after the tour and have a lobster lunch, we will see how things develop.

Re: Explora 1 [Re: Ngaire] #256718 10/27/23 05:23 PM
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Ngaire Offline OP
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[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]

Kim Ngaire Bert and Alice in Portland, Maine. Beautiful sunny day no wind. We visited three lighthouses and ended up eating lunch in town. A lot of lobster was consumed. Pictures follow.

[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]

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Tim and Barb

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Tim enjoying his lobster

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The group lots of lobster consumed.

Re: Explora 1 [Re: Ngaire] #256719 10/30/23 09:34 PM
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Ngaire Offline OP
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In New York for two days. First day it was raining and not pleasant and we stayed on the ship. Second day we were invited to join Fred and Darla to visit the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. It was supposed to rain but not a raindrop fell made the day much more enjoyable. We were accompanied by a member of the Coast Guard Foundation. This made it a fantastic day.

We were given stickers to put on our jackets and we got ahead of all the crowds at all times. The lines were LONG it was so wonderful to not have to stand in those lines. At both the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island we had a private guide in each facility. The Statue of Liberty guide was amazing and explained the story of the concept in France of a gift to the USA to celebrate liberty, and how it finally was a reality. Plus how over time so much has been done to refurbish Liberty Island and Ellis Island, and care for these important icons of American history.

Then we went to an Irish Pub that Fred remembered and had a delightul lunch at prices that were lower than Dallas. That really surprised me.

Pictures will follow. We are about to celebrate Barbs birthday. Fun having two birthdays on the same cruise.

Re: Explora 1 [Re: Ngaire] #256721 10/31/23 01:15 PM
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Ngaire Offline OP
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Just as a note this ship is incredibly stable. Looking at huge swell and white cap waves and it is barely moving and we at the very front of the ship. Also at breakfast today deck 11 could not feel a thing. Absolutely amazing.

The Irish Pub where Fred used to eat regularly many years ago
[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]

The original torch on the Statue of Liberty.
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Sailing out of New York
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Kim and Alice visited the Lego Store
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Barbs birthday party.
[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]



Re: Explora 1 [Re: Ngaire] #256732 11/11/23 05:58 PM
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R
RachelG Offline
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Looks really nice. George would probably like the not included excursions as he likes to do his own thing


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