“Fun Summer Cruise”
Cruise review of Royal Caribbean Explorer of the Seas

likecruising1 Explorer of the Seas 4 Fun Summer Cruise
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Our family of four (two teenage daughters aged 19 and 14)sailed on the ship leaving Aug. 9.

Our booking was an impulsive one, late in June. Our local Expedia agent was quite helpful, and found us discounted rates based on Canadian citizenship.

My wife and I had cruised 15 years ago, for our 10th anniversary, on NCL.

Doing some research, and knowing we needed a cruise leaving from the eastern seaboard of the U.S., we settled on the Explorer. Asking plenty of questions, working within our budget, and having a good idea of what our family would enjoy...this ship seemed to suit us.

We were not disappointed. Having two Promenade Staterooms overlooking the Promenade, it was a step up from the traditional inside stateroom. Yes, there was a slightly escalated degree of sound. But typically, we were not in our rooms until 11pm each night, which by that time had subsided substantially.

The ship was gorgeous, kept spotless, staff outstandingly friendly, food was great, ports of call were beautiful. We had no complaints about the ship or the cruise. We had issues with some of the cruisers, but considering it's summertime, families, everyone is "letting go"....not totally out of the ordinary. Plenty of food? More than we could handle. Yes, over-indulgence by many. But everyone is paying the money, you have to be prepared to live in a 'small village' on the water.

Ports of call were well organized..on and off at docks immediately with Explorer's outstanding computerized security system. No waits. You could pay for the expensive on-board organized excursions, or, as we did, arrange and do things on your own. A little planning can save $00's.

Would we cruise on this ship again? In a heartbeat. Would we recommend it to others? Yes. Our biggest piece of advice? Know your family and what you are looking for. Make sure your expectations and criteria, meet what is offered by the ship. Your knowledgable travel agent should be able to help you. We almost booked on Carnival, until warned that it was more "party-party" than we wanted. By the way....the aft pool, for adults only, a marvelous place to relax in a chair in the shade or sun. Drink, book, snooze.....it allows it all.

We did hear others comment, "you know, for a ship on the water now for 9 years, it's showing it's age". Not from our perspective. Brass spotlessly polished, carpets look like new, upholstered and leathered chairs look like they've come from the factory Our home, shows far more use.

The best ship on the water? Likely not. For a moderately-priced, family oriented cruise, we thoroughly enjoyed it. Take advantage of their Express debarking. If you can carry your bags, you are off the ship in 10 minutes. Be prepared for a little wait on the elevators though.

Explorer of the Seas Cruises to the Western Caribbean
Overall Ratings
  • Cabin
  • Dining
  • Embarkation
  • Enrichment Activities
  • Entertainment
  • Family & Children
  • Fitness & Recreation
  • Onboard Experience
  • Public Rooms
  • Rates
  • Service
  • Shore Excursions
  • Value for Money

Cabin review:

Cabins were nice. Staterooms in a ship are not big to begin with, so expectations should not be "gee, smaller than my bedroom". 170 square feet is what it is. They were always spotless, well maintained.

Port and Shore Excursions

Lovely. Take the public buses. Air conditioned, cheap, pleasant. See the entire island.
Read 156 Hamilton Reviews
Great port. Once you beat your way past the tour operators at the dock, get out and walk through the city. Plenty of history and character.
Read 2,278 San Juan Reviews
Megan's Bay is gorgeous, but quite. No wave action. Boring for some kids. Local cabs are great. Find one just off the dock, and tell them you'd "like a tour". They'll charge you less. Shopping is expensive.
Read 3,415 St. Thomas Reviews
Published 09/29/09
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Explorer of the Seas Cruises to the Western Caribbean
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