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My Week Onboard Explora 1 Cruise Ship by Tricia Lester

For more information on the below, please contact Tricia at our Tunbridge Wells branch on 01892 511999

I started my trip by staying at Heathrow for an early start to Bridgetown, Barbados. Travelling with Virgin Atlantic, I had a smooth and attentive 7.5 hour flight to our destination.  We stayed for our first night in Barbados at the 5 Star Award Winning O2 Beach Club and Spa hotel. With a room on the 3rd floor overlooking the ocean, what better way to start a luxury holiday.

The Day we Met Explora 1

After a short transfer from the hotel to the port at Bridgetown, I couldn’t believe it when I saw the beautiful modern and sleek looking ship, Explora 1.

 The checking in process at the port was seamless and I was welcomed onboard the ship by friendly hosts offering me my first (of many) glass of Champagne onboard! As I made my way to the lobby area, the ambience onboard was that of sophistication, glamour and that of a high end hotel. STUNNING!

We headed to our suite 9041 located on the 9th floor. Champagne on ice and canapes greeted us as we entered our Ocean Suite.

My suite host was amazing, showed me all the amenities in the cabin including a heated bathroom floor, bedside night lights and a Dyson hairdryer with diffuser!  All the mod cons a modern lady could need!

All the suites onboard have a spacious balcony, the lead in Ocean Suite has a lounger and a table and 2 chairs on the balcony, so I often enjoyed an evening drink watching the sun go down on the terrace.

I was lucky enough to be given a tour of the various suites, Penthouses & Residences that are available onboard, which were all beyond stunning.

 So much thought had gone into the design and layout of each suit category, all offer unrivalled space and privacy onboard. There is a suite to suit everybody onboard Explora 1.

There are various shopping outlets onboard showcasing luxury brands such as Rolex, Cartier, Panerai & Piaget.

Entertainment is varied, unique and relaxed, and is influenced by the destinations visited.

The ship has unlimited WiFi for up to 3 devices per suite, and in my experience Explora Journeys offer THE BEST Wi-Fi service at sea. There are numerous pools and cabanas with plenty of sun loungers and Jacuzzi’s dotted around the ship, however my favourite was the Astern pool and bar. Other areas to mention are the Crema Café, offering an all-day café culture, the Lobby Bar located centrally and Explora Lounge on Deck 11.

A must is a visit to the spa! I had THE BEST massage on Explora 1, there is a fabulous fitness area for a good workout or run, to burn a few calories from the exceptional food.

The food was incredible, I couldn’t fault the quality, variety and the service on board was second to none. It was so easy to make a reservation in the various restaurants via the phone in our suite.

There are a variety of themed restaurants onboard including Anthology which offers culinary excellence with celebrated guest chefs (3 Michelin Star) from around the world. This restaurant is at an additional cost and worth every penny! Sakura offers Asian cuisine, and I can highly recommend the wagyu beef tataki and lobster, both were sublime!

Marble & Co offers a refined European steakhouse experience. It was great watching the chefs cooking in the kitchen which adds to the ambience of dining at sea. Then I discovered the Emporium Marketplace, an effortless all-day dining with cuisines and flavours from across the globe. It offers several cooking stations where the chefs freshly prepare your meal and they will serve it to your table, so no need to wait at the cooking station. The quality and service here was perfection.

The attention to detail on the ship must be commended, with pictures, works of art and sculpture’s, I felt no expense had been spared. With free-flowing champagne and all drinks included – it felt like heaven!

My journey through the Caribbean took me from Barbados to St Lucia, St Kitts and Nevis, Antigua, Ocean Cay (Explora’s private island) and then on to Miami where we disembarked.

This 5 Star luxury journey, booked through Inspiring Travel, has left me wanting to book my next cruise holiday with Explora Journeys, as the quality of service, destinations experiences, and culinary excellence really are out of this world.

A special thanks goes to the team at Inspiring Travel who hosted the trip, made all the arrangements and specialise in luxury travel.

Explora 1  “ An elegant, cosmopolitan atmosphere in which to discover, enjoy and appreciate diverse flavours and talents from around the world”.

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Amy Sharp