The Muster Drill is the safety drill that is mandatory on all cruise ships. The Muster Drill was held at 4:30 pm on the sailing day. In each stateroom there are lifejackets and a sign telling you where to report for the drill. The drill is mandatory and attendance is taken. The drill takes about 10-15 minutes and isn't too bad. You never know when you might need to know some safety measures.
** One of our friends was on a cruise ship that caught fire and had to be evacuated. They were thankful they paid attention to the Muster Drill...they actually knew where they were going when they were evacuated onto life boats.**
The three main dining rooms on Explorer of the Seas were named after Da Gama, Columbus and Magellan. The dining rooms had nautical themes and accents. The coloring was very masculine as if to reflect the sheer masculinity of the explorers themselves.
Every day there is a special "Drink of the Day". It is normally served in a souvenier glass and is about $6.95 -$8.95 a drink. The drinks on board are always excellent. The bartenders really know what they are doing and presentation is always perfect.
When cruising it is important to know the dress code. The first night of sailing casual attire is permitted in the dining room (that night only!). On this particular cruise there were three formal nights. Formal nights means men in ties and suits. No jeans in the dining room please! Women should be in dresses. On non-formal nights dressy casual is acceptable. Liz and I like to get dressd up so we are normally dressed up even when it's not a formal night.
I beleieve that if you are not wiling to dress appropriately for the main dining room then you should go eat at the buffet. Nothing is worse than seeing a person in the dining room in jeans.
Royal Caribbean hands out an information sheet regarding customary gratuity amounts. Envelopes are provided in your stateroom the day before arrival back in the home port. You can put money in the envelopes for the appropriate staff or go to the customer service desk and have the gratuity added to your seapass account.
The Gratuity Guidelines are:
Dining Room Waiter: $3.50 per day per guest
Assistant Waiter: $2 per day per guest
Stateroom Attendant: $3.50 per day per guest
Head Waiter: $0.75 per day per guest
We generally overtip because we receive such excellent service.
The Cruise Compass is the daily "paper" of the cruise ship. The Cruise Compass is put in your stateroom each night for the next day's schedule. The Cruise Compass lists the ports, activities, meetings, events, drink of the day, dining schedule and other important information that passengers need.