Having just completed a 7 day cruise to Bermuda on Royal Caribbean's Explorer of the Seas I thought I would share some of my thoughts. I really didn't set the bar too high for the condition of the ship know it was 10+ years old and due to refurbishment next year, but I must say I was pleasantly surprised. The ship was in very good condition overall, yes there are areas that need attention such as rust on the balconies, things chipped or nicked here and there. Overall not too bad.
CABIN - We had booked a junior suite, (Cabin 9318), which is dead mid ship and the center of the "bump out" which made for a very private balcony. The room was very comfortable for 2 in terms of space/storage. The bed was another story, very uncomfortable, the mattress looked old and worn. Our cabin steward, Audriene, (who was amazing), tried his best by adding a foam insert which help marginally. I couldn't have asked for a better steward, he was unobtrusive and efficient.
FOOD - It's sad to say that the quality of the food was one or two steps ahead of Perkins. It's been a while since I was on RCCL line and the overall food quality has sub-par. We actually ate our meals in the Windjammer since there was a better variety and usually less noisy atmosphere. Portofino's was good, service was excellent and the less crowded, noisy surroundings are much better for having a nice conversation with your dining mates.
ENTERTAINMENT/OVERALL: Again, big disappointment. The entertainment was OK, except for the Ice Show, which was excellent. It just saddens me to see how much Royal Caribbean has slipped off it's mark. What I used to consider to be "lesser" cruise lines such as Carnival and Norwegian really surpass Royal Caribbean in many categories.
Would I say RCCL again, sure I will, I'm an eternal optimist. RCCL has some beautiful ships out there they just really need to improve there overall passenger experience in my humble opinion.