This was a first cruise experience for my husband and I and was, what I think is ideal for this occasion. The service was impeccable, the suite was gorgeous and the food was better than many exclusive restaurants.
The only downside were the crowds during events that were of particular interest, for example the Gala buffet, but going along for a browse is well worth the struggle. However, there are plenty of quiet areas to escape and relax.
The Windjammer is a buffet dining arrangement which can be overcrowded and sometimes hectic but service was fairly good. Personally we are not buffet folk and preferred to eat all of our meals in the main dining area with waiter service which is first rate. Room service is very efficient although a limited choice, perfect for breakfast on at sea days.
The Explorer is the perfect ship for families, we do not have children but did not find the children a problem, as they are so well entertained. Having said that, we have opted for a quieter time of year and a less family orientated ship for the time of year we have chosen for our next cruise, as school vacation time is particularly crowded onboard any ship I would imagine.
The Explorer of the seas is a lovely ship and is a great first time cruise or family experience. We enjoyed it so much we have already booked our next cruise (having only got back 5 days!) we have decided to sample the sister cruise line Celebrity to Alaska onboard the Summit. If this ship is anything like the Explorer we are in for a great time.