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Explora Journeys – the review…

If you didn’t see our first post, go back and read this before continuing to read this update.

Explora Journeys launched their first ship in August 2023, Explora Journey 1. They are owned by the MSC group and have Explora Journey ii joining the fleet in August 2024, then four more ships over the next 4 years.

Here is an account from Chris on his experience.

“From the moment we arrived at the port, we were immediately met at our taxi to assist with luggage. The check in process was seamless, there were around 20 staff to assist and direct us onboard. We were the only two there at the time.

We were greeted with a glass of champagne as we stepped onboard, the first thing you notice is the staff, as they are genuinely friendly. That must rub off on the guests, as they all say hello in passing too. This is something I have never experienced on a cruise before.

In our Ocean Terrace Suite , was a complimentary bottle of champagne on ice ready for us. Also complimentary is one bottle of spirits and one bottle of wine per stateroom, and a stocked mini bar of your choice, including beers, soft drinks, juices etc. All standard beverages are complimentary on board anyway, but this is a lovely touch.

In fact some of them already refer to us as Mr and Mrs Hammonds as we pass, or entering one of the restaurants.

Explora Journeys include complimentary Wi-Fi on three devices per guest, and it is star link, so the reception is excellent. Great for working remotely or keeping in touch with friends and family.

The suites are serviced daily, as expected, however they do it from top to bottom, as if it was a new guest arriving. Even the windows and glass balcony is cleaned on both sides to remove the salt.

Explora Journeys designed the ship to be classy luxury, sleek and modern design.

Small touches include heated floors in the bathrooms, most doors, including toilets open automatically, or with a wave of the hand. Wireless charges on the bedside tables, and a sensor light that comes on when you step out of bed.

It turns out they did a lot of research into this product, by surveying thousands of people and travel advisors and it shows.

A lot of the staff come from a hotel background too, so have a different perspective to create unique experiences for the guests.

This ship has less passengers per size than any other at maximum of 922 passengers and 461 suites, with floor to ceiling windows that open to a terrace, and with a staff to guest ratio of 1.25 to 1.

The ship boasts 14 decks, is 248 m (813 ft) long and 32 m (105 ft) wide with a gross tonnage of 63,900 and has 6,250 sq metres of outdoor space.

There are many secluded areas onboard, including by the pools, for privacy.

They have four spa pools midship on the edge of the ship to sit and look out over the ocean, plus three pools, and three whirlpools.

Food is something they do exceptionally well.

The Emporium Market place is open for all meals, and has a huge range of options. The food is separated by glass, so the staff serve you at your request. No touching of the food is possible. This is no cruise buffet, but more an a la carte offering , from pizza and hamburgers to fresh fruits , handmade juices, seafood, carved roasts, fresh pasta, soups to name but a few.

  • Fil Rouge – French inspired menu
  • Marble and Co – Steakhouse
  • Sakura – Asian fusion
  • Med Yacht Club – more casual dining
  • Anthology by Claude Le Tohic is the only restaurant with a surcharge. This one is a 13 course degustation menu, with pairing wines.

There is a cooking class at the Chefs Kitchen, twice a day on sea days.

There are high end watch shops, including the only Rolex shop at sea. Some guest cruise purely to get a Rolex they can instantly take home, as usually they are made to order, and the wait time can be several weeks.

It also has a small casino.

Two fitness areas, the outdoor area, and a walking/running track, plus the inside fitness studio.

Entertainment is not your standard big shows, but a more curated offering, re-imagined songs, Broadway selections, etc, and they run for 45 minutes.

And don’t just take my word on this, here is one comment from another passenger onboard”

“Over the last six months I’ve had the opportunity to sail on two very different luxury ships that were launched in 2023.

MSC’s new luxury brand Explora 1 will redefine cruising as we know it in this market segment.

It has the feel of being on your own private yacht, dress code casual with style, six superb restaurants from an exclusive Michelin experience to the culinary extravaganza of the Chefs Kitchen.

The myriad of open spaces both inside and out give you a sense of space, privacy with unequalled comfort.

No ship can claim 6 star status without an engaged crew. From the experienced to the first time contracted staff this crew radiate passion and excel in customer service.

After enjoying 15 years of cruising I can’t wait to return to the Explora fleet and experience the newly defined benchmark in luxury cruising.”

Terry O’Connor

So I think it is fair to say that Mr & Mrs Hammonds along with the other guests (Thank you for your comments Terry) are having a wonderful time aboard Explora I.

If you’re contemplating your next voyage, we invite you to explore our Explora Journeys page by clicking here, here you can discover the exceptional offerings available.

For personalized assistance and guidance on selecting the perfect cruise for you, please don’t hesitate to reach out to one of our knowledgeable cruise specialists. We are committed to ensuring your journey exceeds expectations.