After taking a Carnival cruise last year and being completely disappointed I was pleasantly surprised by Royal Caribbean's Explorer of The Seas. The cabins need a little updating...starting to have a "worn" look.The public ares must have been updated not too long ago, they seem very nice.
Food very good. Service excellent. Entertainment was very good also. Smoking wasn't even a big issue( it was on Carnival). We prefer smaller ships, but if we had to cruise on a mid-sized ship I would cruise with Royal Caribbean again. My biggest complaint was where we docked in Bermuda. I understand that all cruise ships that go to Bermuda now dock at the Dockyard, and I understand why. With the cruise ships getting bigger and bigger they can no longer "fit" into St. Georges or Hamilton. Yet Bermuda just isn't the same experience when you're at The Dockyard..you're so far away from everything. Don't believe for a minute when they tell you that the buses and ferries are convenient and that with a transportation pass you can go anywhere. Not true...well not exactly.
The transportation pass is wonderful during the day, but if you want to go somewhere in the evening, the buses and ferries don't run quite as frequently. We took a cab to Elbow Beach for a glass of wine one evening...and a cab back (to The Dockyard). Now Elbow Beach is a very magical place, but $108 for two glasses of wine..hmmmmmmm. That was the cost for two glasses of wine and cab fare back and forth. My complaint is not with the cruise line...but maybe it is. PLEASE MAKE SMALLER SHIPS THAT CAN VISIT PORTS THAT ARE REALLY SPECIAL!!!!