Explorer of the Seas Cruise Review by Marcy: Explorer of the Seas - Eastern Caribbean
Overall Member Rating
Explorer of the Seas - Eastern Caribbean
Destination: Eastern Caribbean
I have travelled on Holland America many times as well as Princess. I have never tried RCL. My husband and I just turned 50, and we are "younger" 50, just to give you an idea of what things might appeal to us. We did an Eastern and Western back-to-back. 15 days in all.
Ship: beautiful, spacious - I do like the other two lines mentioned better for accessing the outside areas. You have to go right up to the top decks on RCL, whereas the HAL & Princess have a promenade deck outside in the middle of the ship. Just for comparison's sake, the deck chairs on HAL are lovely, teak with thick cushions, RCL were plastic type. Didn't hurt us though.
Check in: was excellent Staff overall was superb. The dining room food was great at dinner. They served the exact same food in the dining room for breakfast as in the Windjammer Cafe. The Windjammer was good, but we found for lunch and breakfast things could use more variety. We also found the desserts (we don't care about them More personally,...but lots of people do)..in the Windjammer were not really good, but on HAL they were outstanding. HAL also has homemade ice cream served with a full topping bar for free, and RCL charges for this. They do have a soft-serve for free. Entertainment was excellent, and the art-auctioneer was the best I've seen yet.
Great itineraries on both cruises. Belize was upsetting to a lot of passengers as the people on tours got off the ship first, and they weren't able to get to Belize until after lunch. Our tour ended up taking up the entire day. This is going to be resolved in the future as we've heard they are building a ship terminal so tendering won't be required. We took the cave-tubing tour, was excellent! I really liked the on-line (from your TV)ordering in your room, you can order room service (which they kindly call you before coming to your room, serves as a wake-up call too if you need it!, also we ordered all our tours online as well. You can check every single purchase you make via your TV as well, so there isn't any surprises.
There was no movie theatre which we enjoy on the other ships, and you had to pay for first rate movies in your room. We enjoy going to the movies, so this was a bit disappointing. Lets face it, you can't have everything! There was a fantastic ice show, don't miss it! Also there was rock-climbing, inline skating and golf which we didn't do any of. Friends that came with us did the rock-climbing. Great ship for families. The ages were varied, lots of young, middle of the road and older as well.
Overall, I would sail with RCL again, but I do like the extras you get with HAL and Princess. Also, they check your bags for alcohol, so don't carry on any in bags that come directly from the liquor store! They want you to buy all your drinks on board, which might cost you a small fortune if you like to drink!
As we sat at night in the atrium, this grand walkway with an Irish pub, a French-type bistro and all sorts of shops...we remarked on the fact that you wouldn't even think you were on a ship until you saw someone walking by in their housecoat and then someone behind them in an evening dress! They did serve Seattle's Best coffee on board which is nice. The captains reception was okay, much grander on HAL and Princess. On HAL they serve you whatever drinks you want for free, and have lovely appetizers. You get cheap champagne on RCL and it is much less formal. The one thing I noticed over-all is the washrooms were dirty many at many times. I really don't want to sound too critical, but I have never seen that on the other ships. HAL has toilet seat covers and you dry your hands with individual face cloths which was nice. Overall for having 3500 passengers, they did an excellent job over the entire ship. Less
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