On the way back from our last cruise we got a phone call. It was from my grandparents, telling us that we were going on a 9 day cruise for their 50th anniversary. I knew that Explorer of the seas was one of RC's HUGE ships, so I was really excited. When I looked at the ship on the internet it seemed great, so now I just had to go on the cruise and grade it myself.
As on most cruises, when you walk into the lobby you get a first impression. Mine was bright (like most rc ships)but not tacky (like carnival). Then we went to the Royal Promenade to book reservations at the Chopps Grill (specialty steakhouse). The nice shops, and restaurants impressed me, but I still couldn't give the ship a grade.
Our room was on the 8th floor, so we had to wait a little for elevators (by the way, a cruiser barley climbs stairs because they're on vacation!!) even though it was only three floors. When we walked down the hallway, I realized it was very bright, but still not tacky. The rooms had very low ceilings, so it is not good for tall people. The beds were very soft, and the room was a little non-spacious. The bathroom was very small and so was the shower, unlike princess and Disney. The room was okay but not great.
The pool deck on board was very good. Although it was loud (and there was not a quiet place on the ship and in the sun), it was a good place to sunbathe and swim. There were many hot tubs, which was good, because they get overcrowded quickly. Poolside, there was a bar, and a soft serve ice cream bar (for no charge). Another pool was The Solarium, a adult only indoor pool, though kids would come through to talk to their parents. The only non-quiet part was, on a foggy day the fog horn was right above you, so it was really loud.
The entertainment at night was very good in the Coral Theater except for the production shows. As most, except for Disney, they are very tacky. The guest entertainers they picked were very good and they got a 9. But, the food before the shows was not very good. The service was excellent with our waiter, Nathaniel, every night after dinner he would make origami animals that we could play with. The things to do at night were very good, except the dinning was not great.
The sports deck on the ship was very good. It included a basketball court, mini golf course, roller skating, and rock climbing. On most days of the cruise it was raining so I was not able to roller skate alot. Also there was a ice skating rink, which was very fun. There was an ice skating show which was very amazing. Though,you have to get tickets early!!
The ship was very good overall, and I give it a 8.