DH and I are Platium members with RCl and will be diamond after this cruise. We are very happy with the RCL product and understand cutbacks during the economic times. That being said these are my observations.
Ship: Well maintained and easy to navigate. Yes our stateroom had some stains on the sofa but to expect there to be none with a ship in service 365 days a year is unrealistic. There were plenty of activities for the young and old alike and we were never bored.
Room: Our cabin was AFT cabin 1388. This cabin has been talked about on cruise critic as one of the best for the price and I have to agree. It was the size of a JS without the extra added expense. DH and i spent more time relaxing on our large balcony and in the room than normal because of the extra space.
Staff: Our room stewerd Veral was top notch. Lots of towel animals which he left arranged on our sofa so I could have my very own zoo. Ian in the casino bar was our favorite bartender and took extra good care of us as we did him. Edmond and olivia our dining room servers again a top notch team. Overall I never encountered a rude staff member or anyone who was not willing to help me if needed.
Ports: Not much to say as we have been to all of them before. We are beach people so we are easily satisfied. Labadee ws a nice surprise for us as we had not been there in 6 years. great improvements and a very enjoyable day.
Food: Ok here goes. Yes there is a obvious decline in quality but we never went hungry. Some items are better than others but we do not cruise for the food. We understand that when cooking for 3000 plus people that you are NOT going to get a 5 star meal and were prepared for it. Room service delivery was great always delivered in time frame promised. We used room service alot as I was too lazy to fight the masses in the buffet. Lunch in dining room was great, only wish I had discovered the salad bar sooner than day 11.
Entertainment: We enjoyed all of the comedy shows and the Elton Jon tribute. We do not like showtunes or the production shows so we did not attend any of those. Did not attend the ice shows this year as we have seen them on past cruises but what I remember seeing they are top notch. Passengers who did see them agreed.
Overall another enjoyable trip on the Explorer. We are booked for next years 12 day in December in a Grand suite which i am very excited about. Feel free to email me with any questions foxi0871 at yahoo dot com