Review of Explorer Of The Seas deck 11 (Lido-Pools)
The fore-located “Peek-A-Boo Bridge Overlook” is an outdoor (roof-covered) bow-facing viewing area with slanted windows from where the Navigation Bridge (on deck 10 below) and its activities can be seen. This deck plan feature is available on all Voyager-class ships. There is a sign “Please do not bang or tap on the windows” – so don’t do it – it’s annoying to the bridge personnel on duty. To access the Peek-a-Boo Bridge, go through the Solarium complex, exit at its outside sliding doors (fore-end) and walk forward on the outdoor deck. It is also visible from the Gym’s front.
Vitality at Sea Spa and Fitness Center is a 2-level wellness complex. On this level is the Fitness (ShipShape Center, open between 6 am - 10 pm). It consists of a large Gymnasium (complimentary, with Technogym equipment), Aerobics Room (for classes- Yoga, Pilates, spinning, stretching), separate lockers (for men/women, each with sauna and steam room), a central-location jacuzzi. A spiral staircase leads to the upper level (ShipShape Spa). The Gym room (with floor-ceiling windows) has modern bodybuilding and training exercise equipment (free weights, weight machines, treadmills, steppers, ellipticals, stationary bikes). In the mornings/afternoons are scheduled health and wellness seminars (free of charge).
The main pool deck area has 2 swimming pools with all 4 whirlpools, stage (for live band performances), expansive sunbathing area with loungers. During the day, among the fun activities here are live music, various games and fun contests. The pool deck area is served with drinks and refreshments by the Pool Bar (outdoor poolside bar, 10 seats). Main Pool deck is also the place for the traditional night deck parties, the BBQ party event, food carving demonstrations.
Outdoor movie screen (called Jumbotron) is a poolside cinema (complimentary) located near the main pool area. It is used daily for showing funny videos and live sporting events, and for watching new movies nightly.
Solarium is the ship’s adults-only relaxation complex with a sunbathing area, its own swimming pool (outdoor) and 2 whirlpools (covered). The adult pool lounge is served with drinks by the Solarium Bar (a light-fare cafe). There is a 24-hour beverage station for complimentary drinks (coffee- regular & decaf, tea, iced tea, flavored waters).
Sea Trek Dive Shop sells professional water gear (diving and snorkeling equipment) and some souvenirs. At the Dive Shop passengers can sign up for basic scuba diving lessons and get PADI qualifications.
Chops Grille (menu, 124 seats) is a premium steakhouse-seafood restaurant open for Dinner-only (between 5:30-9:30 pm). This is a specialty restaurant (at US$39 surcharge per person) with an open kitchen allowing guests to watch the food preparation. Reservations are recommended. Included in the surcharge are bread with butter (first-served), 2 appetizers, 1 entree and desserts. At extra charge from the menu can be ordered soups, salads, prime meat (beef, veal, pork, lamb, poultry) and seafood specialties. Among those are New York strip steak (12 oz), filet mignon (6 oz, 9 oz), veal chop parmesan, short ribs, lamb chops, roasted chicken, crusted tuna, snapper Veracruz, grilled branzino, lobster, shrimp, scallops. Steaks are served with a choice of 3 sauces (bearnaise, peppercorn, bordelaise). Among the upsell dishes are dry-aged steaks (16 oz), porterhouse (20 oz), Maine Lobster. Chops Grille menu also has sides/sharables (mashed potatoes, creamed spinach, truffled creamed corn, roasted mushrooms, grilled vegetables) and desserts (chocolate pie, chocolate lava cake, red velvet cake, cheesecake, warm cookie plate, ice cream, specialty coffees).
Windjammer Cafe is the lido buffet restaurant (capacity 310 seats). Dining here is casual (as dress code), complimentary and self-service type. The operational hours are as follows: Early Breakfast (at 6:30 am), Breakfast (7-11:30 am), Lunch (11.30 am - 3:30 pm), Afternoon Tea/Snacks (4-5 pm) and Dinner (6.30-9 pm). The Windjammer restaurant has various buffet stations, including for salads, soups, entrees, grill (incl BBQ meats and cooked-to-order steaks), panini (sandwiches), chicken, fish (incl sushi), vegetarian dishes, fast-food (pizza, pasta, hot-dogs, burgers, french fries), cooked vegetables, sauces and toppings, breads, fruits, desserts (incl healthy desserts). On themed evenings are offered Mexican, Indian, Asian and other international cuisine specialties. At Breakfast there is an egg station (made-to-order omelets and eggs). At Lunch there is also a carving station. The lido buffet also has 24-hour operational beverage stations with complimentary drinks (milk, coffee, tea, instant hot chocolate, flavored waters, also juices at breakfast). Windjammer’s complimentary “sushi stations” open for dinner-only (at 6:30 pm). Designated chefs continuously prepare fresh sushi (cooked rolls variations, mostly of eel and tuna). There are no nigirizushi or sashimi (with raw meat) or made-to-order items.