Hello This was our 20th cruise,and the second[and last] on RC explorer. We've cruised on most of the major lines ,Holland,Carnival.Princess,Norwegian,Celebrity ,so we know what to expect . we book at least a balcony room ,most times a suite or Jr suite ,and have come to expect a certain level of service when staying in a suite.
Getting on the ship was a good experience,port liberty N.J. is well run and much easier to deal with than the port In new york city. We drove our own car from Long Island ,parking is 15.00 day. We were taken to the ship almost right away,suite guests get priority boarding. Jr. Suites are adequate in size [ not spacious] with a nice walk in closet , expected a LCD tv but still had the old style ,no cd/dvd player.This is were we started to notice some issues with this ship. No bathrobes [my wife had called R.C. direct and was told that jr. suites included bathrobes] They did provide robes after we complained. Our refrigerator didn't even keep items cool ,they were warm to the touch. No mini bar in room all beer and alcohol must be purchased from pubs or bars on ship . Checked bath room ,which is nice size, noticed what looked like black mold on shower curtain and flexible shower head ,paint peeling from access panel above bath tub,lots of paint chips from repainting all over our balcony including chairs and table,which were not cleaner up,not nice. Walking around ship we noticed that most of the chrome banisters and elevator buttons were filthy,like someone gave them a quick wipe with a bucket filled with dirty water. Also there were no hand sanitizers anywhere on this ship,even in the buffet.
Now for the food quality ,the food in the dining hall was good most of the time ,some of the soups were really salty ,[anyone on high blood pressure meds should double up there meds] Service was excellent in the dining hall. Food in the buffet was not good ,the few times we tried it most was luke warm at best,or over cooked and salted to death . Omelets were good . The snacks and coffee in the cafe was far better than the buffet. Johnny Rockets [a copy of a 50s dinner] was good and should be tried at least once [extra charge].
This was the most confusing cruise we have ever been on ,Captain kept changing port stops , [3xs] this created hugh lines at tour booking counter,than one port was canceled because or bad weather,which created another sea day .I understand that this is for the safety of the passengers,but this created a lot of confusion onboard ship,which could have been handled more passenger friendly. This was definitely my last cruise with R.C. there are way to many newer,cleaner, nicer and smaller ships . I don't know who reviewed this ship for cleanliness,but they must have given them notice . We were on this same ship on 2-2005 out of Miami on a Harley cruise ,where you bring your bikes onboard the ship. Ship was much cleaner,with sanitizers everywhere. I don't understand why they would not provide hand sanitizers,when their has been so many cases of people getting sick on cruise ships. This is a really poor way for the bean counters to try and save a few bucks. I don't want to get sick on a cruise.........
Larry real gearhead. blue collar business owner ,biker, telling it like it is.