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Explora Journeys Review: EXPLORA I In The Caribbean

Explora Journeys Review: EXPLORA I In The Caribbean

Phil & Paula Nuttall (our business owners) experienced Explora Journeys on a 14-night Caribbean cruise, here’s their reviews:

You can quote us on this

That was the most relaxing experience we have ever had!

We are of course talking about our recent voyage with Explora Journeys on board EXPLORA I where we sailed from Miami to Barbados over a period of 15 days.

You will see photos and videos as you read on, but ultimately both Paula and myself would like to introduce you to Explora Journeys, the new luxury lifestyle brand from the MSC Group. This amazing new brand has also been experienced by our luxury cruise experts, Lesley, Gill & Alison. They can personally recommend the line, and can certainly assist you in finding the perfect itinerary.

First Impressions

Boarding is an absolute pleasure, with several concierge hosts to assist your embarkation.
Being an all suite ship, the living space is spacious and extremely comfortable, certainly no complaints here. Read all about our impressions of the accommodations in our suite review.

Explora Journeys’ strap line is An Ocean State Of Mind, and we specifically chose an itinerary where we could spend days out on the ocean. Island hopping in the Caribbean with Explora Journeys also means more overnight calls, which adds to the feeling of a luxury hotel rather than a cruise ship.

But, for us, it was (and is to be honest) all about spending time at sea. Whilst sailing the Caribbean sea you can truly immerse yourself in the luxuries afforded you by Explora Journeys and the attentive crew.

The Finer Details

EXPLORA I, whilst being a million miles from the larger resort style cruise ships, is not tiny by any stretch of the imagination. She sits perfectly between some of the smaller 6 star ships and her larger cousins and, as such, she sits well in the water if you get a slight swell occasionally.

We built great relationships with the crew and it almost felt like we were sharing their home, rather than being on a cruise holiday. It’s kind of weird, but that is how we felt! It made for very friendly ship, that was more akin to a luxury boutique hotel with spacious public rooms, lots of quiet space (if you’re seeking it), and a ridiculous amount of deck space. There’s no queuing, or signing for every drink, or thinking you must get up at 6am to have a chance of finding a sun lounger.

There are four pools on EXPLORA I (with lots of comfy luxurious loungers, and some with a bar & cabanas beside them), a pickle-ball court, a superbly equipped gymnasium and a stunning spa (which has its own pools!). It’s an extremely well thought out ship; and one that assures you no detail has been overlooked. You will find interesting shapes and angles throughout the ship, around the decks and the public rooms; all of which add to the uniqueness of this luxurious brand.

Food, Glorious Food!

There are several restaurants on board, and pre-booking is not required for three of them. That means you don’t need to worry if you suddenly decide to stay on board in the evening, or simply want to change your dining venue. Fil Rouge and the Med Yacht Club on deck 4 are both open dining (before 9pm though) and of course you can always dine at the Emporium Marketplace on deck 11. This is where most guests will take breakfast and lunch. For us, it was our “go-to” place for champagne and oysters pre-dinner, most nights on our cruise!

Phil – In Fil Rouge I experienced the best Escargot I have had for a long time! And, in the Med Yacht Club, they do a fantastic schnitzel, which, if you are hungry, will fill the plate! Both restaurants have a great choice of house wines and there is also a superb selection of wines from the sommelier.

We enjoyed the Marble & Co. Grill, although we’re not red meat eaters so, unfortunately, it was somewhat wasted on Paula & myself. The steaks, however, looked amazing and our food was simply fabulous. We enjoyed Sakura also, on deck 5. This is a fabulous Asian restaurant with a large open kitchen, which was really cool.

It’s A Culinary Journey Too

Two restaurants we didn’t try were Anthology (deck 5) and The Chef’s Kitchen (deck 11). Anthology is exquisite cuisine from the world’s most celebrated chefs. During our voyage there was a 3-Michelin Star chef curating the menu. It’s one of the onboard experiences that are chargeable to your account. However, at €190 per person, you’d be hard-pushed to recreate the culinary affair on land!
The Chef’s Kitchen offers an immersive experience for 12 guests where you go hands-on in a culinary class, lasting 2.5 hours. Cost is approx. €160pp (or at least it was on our sailing). Here the Chef will talk you through the provenance of two dishes before learning how to cook them before you get to eat your own creations paired with wine or champagne.

Winding Down

With most restaurants closing at 9pm, you can meander down to the lounges to take in the musicians and entertainers over a glass of wine in very comfy seats & sofas scattered around the venues. It is all very civilised…

In between breakfast, dinner & tea (as we say up North!), we might have enjoyed an afternoon tea or two in the Explora Lounge. And, – a real treat for me – this is accompanied by a wonderful serenade from a Steinway Grand Piano. Seriously, what is there not to love about this?

It’s The One For Us!

As I said at the start of this review… it’s the most relaxing experience we have ever had, and that’s at sea or on land! Amazing. Utterly amazing. We WILL return.

We do hope you have enjoyed reading our review about life on board an Explora Journeys “cruise”. With 5 ships due to be in service, there is going to be no shortage of destinations and oceans to discover and immerse yourself in an An Ocean State Of Mind.

Looking to experience Explora Journeys for yourself? Call our Luxury Travel Experts on 0800 810 8481, or start your search for EXPLORA I and EXPLORA II sailings here.

Onboard Explora I: Sailing Around The UK  Previous

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