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February 23, 2024

The Extravagant Explora Experience

explora1Explora is new to the luxury cruise industry, but the company is already making waves with its unique offerings and experiences. The company's first ship started sailing this year and new ships will be added to its fleet over the next few years. Tammy, Justin, and Dena from the VIP team went on board the EXPLORA I for a first-hand look at what the Explora experience is all about. Here is what they had to say when they came back!


What were your initial thoughts when boarding the ship?

Wow! Every detail was so well thought out while designing this ship, from the beautiful light fixtures and chairs to the bigger thing like layout and design of the pools and deck plans. It looks so expensive, yet it doesn't have that stuffy feel most other luxury ship competitors have. It was very 'country club casual-esque.'

What did you think about the rooms?

Each and every room on board has a terrace with ocean views! The Grand Suite Terrace was quite spacious. Each terrace has its own chaise lounge and breakfast area. The amenities in each room were fantastic, like a DYSON hair dryer, binoculars, changing area/closet, heated bathroom floors (we LOVED this), minibar (replenished daily), and cordless chargers built in to the nightstands. The suites have one of the most comfortable king beds at sea! Unlike many ships, there was so much space and storage in the rooms. Even someone who loves to over-pack will find a space for all of their things!


What did you enjoy most about the on-board dining experiences? 

The most enjoyable dining experience overall would probably be Sakura (Pan-Asian Restaurant & Sushi Bar). From the extensive variety of options, finest ingredients, and decadently delicious displays, it is something that will definitely have you coming back for more. Must try dishes: Lobster Pad-Thai & blue-fin tuna o-toro. It was truly an unforgettable dining experience.

Another standout dining experience was the Emporium Marketplace (their version of the main dining room). It had tons of fresh, made-to-order food stations from lobster to linguine, sandwiches to sushi, oysters to ice cream and everything in-between. One last standout was probably our favorite dish of the entire ship, the Lobster Bisque at Marble & Co, as well as every one of their sauces to go with the steak - simply sublime! They also had amazing other options. You are surely not to be disappointed by Med Yacht Club (Southern Italian/Mediterranean Restaurant) and Fil Rouge (Normandie/French Restaurant). Sakura & Med Yacht are also available for lunch on most days and are an exquisite treat if on board during the day.

On each journey, they also offer two small-group on-board cooking classes. If you want to learn how to make some incredible dishes, make sure to sign up for one of the sessions early because they will book fast.

What were your favorite aspects of the ship itself and amenities offered?

There was honestly so much to love! The layout of pools and bars throughout the ship was fantastic because they have so many places tucked away, you never felt crowded at any given moment. We never had to wait for dinner, at the bar, or even to get on and off the ship. The service was unbelievable throughout and everyone was warm and inviting!



What were your thoughts on the destination experiences offered for your trip and what was your favorite experience?

Explora does a great job at choosing destinations that aren't typical tourist spots. It really makes each journey unique and authentic.

We pre-arranged two destination experiences for our journey.The first was a luxury catamaran sailing to UNESCO-Designated Piton in St. Lucia. Unfortunately our first experience was canceled while we were on the way there - but Explora assisted in arranging an alternate catamaran option and we ended up having a great day on the water. 

In Dominica, we took a tour of waterfalls, UNESCO-Listed Titou Gorge underground cave float, Remarkable Champagne Snorkeling, and Hot Springs & Sulfur Mud Baths. The Dominica experience was something truly special from swimming through an underground gorge to viewing some of the most beautiful scenery imaginable, to washing all our woes away in the mineral mud baths.

After your experience, what kind of traveler would enjoy an Explora cruise? 

I think the individual that would appreciate the Explora Journeys the most is what we refer to as the discerning travelers, someone well-traveled who has done most of the mainstream cruises/tours in different areas of the world, but now wants to experience something new and exciting while diving a bit deeper into each destination. They don't want to experience all the commotion of a larger luxury ship, but are not willing to sacrifice an ounce of comfort. If looking for a chic, luxurious, home at sea then Explora Journeys is where you want to be.


What tips would you offer future Explora travelers?

- Explora does not repeat itineraries often, so if you have specific destinations in mind, make sure to book early. Explora is still offering introductory pricing this year, too so don't miss the ship!- Each restaurant & bar has its own specialty cocktails, so be sure to ask about them for dinner for a little something special.
- The Atoll Poll was my personal favorite as I thought it was a bit hidden so I could always find a bed by or in the pool, EVEN AT SEA DAYS.
- When in your stateroom, don't forget to read the titles of each book in the picture frame and it tells a story. This is what I mean by EACH & EVERY detail was so well thought out. This was such a unique, hidden easter egg to discover while traveling.
- Pre-plan and book your destination experiences before boarding. They will sell out quickly!
- Check which days you will be in Port - in many cases shops, markets, and restaurants will be closed on Sundays, so you will most likely want to book experience on these days if in port.

Feeling the wanderlust? As partners of Explora, VIP Travel Experience can make your trip even more exceptional with luxury perks! Are you ready for your own Explora experience?! Click here for exclusive travel content from Explora Journeys. 

The best way to enjoy the most relaxing and seamless luxury vacation to help you get the best, luxurious experience is to let us plan each step of the way. Start by CONTACTING us and let’s begin our discussions about what makes YOUR perfect luxury travel experience.


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