We sailed out of Bayonne, NJ on 8/16/2012 so convenient being we live on Staten Island. I was a little nervous at first after reading the previous reviews for this ship. I was nervous for nothing. Explorer of the seas was hands down a great experience. Yes, there can be some improvements but it did not but a damper on our vacation at all.
My 2 children always wanted to stay in camp. They had so many different activities for them to do and were in the parades.
The dinning room was a hit or miss at times but the windjammer always had delicious choices. In the Cafe Promenade the pizza was good but the sandwich selection could have been better compared to Carnival. We didn't smell anything as stated in the other reviews. The ships appearance was fine to me. We didn't see anything that was so bad to mention.
Ports of call were Bermuda, St. Maarten, Puerto Rico and Labadee Haiti. We had great weather at all the ports even though we had a hurricane on our tail.
I would definitely sail with RCL again.