This was our third cruise and second on RCI We had recommended RCI to friends and family and was looking forward to a much needed vacation. The Explorer seemed a lot older than her 5 years. Our cabin 8th floor(balcony) was small and well worn and dirty. Brown water in the sink and a toilet that hardly flushed.
We found the public areas to be over crowded even though I was told that the ship wasn't full. It was difficult to find a sun lounger and the staff didn't follow the no saving rules. We know that the crew work for tips but we really don't need to be asked every 10 minutes if I need a drink. We did enjoy the mango tangos. In the evenings we like to go for a cocktail before dinner, forget it the bars were full and very smokey. I don't remember it being that way on other cruises.
The quality of the food in the Windjammer had a lot to be desired I'm not a picky eater but I found myself hunting for good food. Hardly any salad items or grilled fish or chicken, mostly processed foods. Also the tables, chairs and floors were dirty. Diner in the dining room was a little better, the service was good. The menu was basic. The waiters seemed in a real hurry to get us out.
In general we just found the standard of RCI to considerably lower than before. WHY?
On a positive note, the weather was great and the ship was very stable