This was my 5th cruise on the Explorer and I've found the experience to be consistently wonderful.
Embarkation was quick and organized. Service was outstanding throughout the cruise. Disembarkation was also fast with no wait at customs.
People on the cruise were courteous and friendly, as was the staff. There was a good mix of people of all ages. Formal nights were definitely formal. Many people dressed up on all nights.
The headliner shows were the best I've seen. However, the production shows are getting old. I'm tired of seeing the same ones over and over. The ice show was fantastic, as always.
The Explorer is an older ship that spends a lot of time in the North Atlantic causing significant wear and tear. You would not know this when you are aboard. Our cabin was in good condition. Only the bathroom floor tile needed some work. During the cruise our balcony was painted and some touch up painting was done in the bathroom.
The menu was good but heavy on the seafood side. Since I'm allergic to shellfish my options were sometimes very limited .
We were disappointed that there was only a DJ instead of a live band on sail away. Also the shops had very little merchandise. Many shelves were empty. Even the big sales had very limited stock.
All in all it was a great cruise on a great ship with an outstanding staff. I would do it again in a minute.