This review is a little late, but I figured it could be helpful. My boyfriend (22 at the time) and I (19 at the time) went on the Explorer of the Seas last May. It left out of Cape Liberty which was nice since we are from New Jersey and did not have to worry about flying. However, if I could go back and not go on the cruise, I would.
A little background on us:
I had gone on 10 cruises prior to this one (5 of which were Royal Caribbean) so, I am an experienced cruiser. I had also been on this ship previously. My boyfriend had only been on one cruise (RCI as well) before this one.
Windjammer closes at nine. This is something that all RCI the ships have in common. We found this to be an issue since we had the six o'clock dinner and would be hungry around 9:30. The only thing open at that time was the Promenade Cafe which only had little sandwiches and pizza (none of which were too good or filling).
Room service never showed up. I was hungry one night at five in the morning and ordered room service through the tv and after waiting for over an hour for them to show up, no one came.
Time we went. We went the end of May but I will never do that again, especially leaving out of NJ. There were A LOT of older people (senior citizens) which was fine, but since we are so young, we were hoping to meet people around our age. Luckily, we had a GREAT table for dinner and there was a 19 year old married couple that sat with us. If it wasn't for that, we wouldn't have made any friends. We just felt very out of place.
BINGO! That got expensive. It was 32 dollars a game (once again, it is on all RCI ships) and you get 3 cards. I think that is ridiculous. Remember when it used to be a dollar a card? Those were the days.
Assistant waiter. He was great! We even left him an extra tip. Much better than the waitress we had.
Shows. I never used to go to the shows because they never interested me but this ship had great shows. Some of my personal favorites were the Love and Marriage show, the comedy show, and the headliner. Of course, the thing that made the love and marriage show was the people in it, especially the couple married for over 50 years. The comedy show was also really good. My boyfriend was laughing so hard, he was crying - and he never laughs like that! I was laughing so hard at him laughing so hard.
Cruise director. Jimmy. He definitely made the cruise. Especially the shows he hosted (Love and Marriage and Farewell). During the Farewell show, he created a list of top 10 dumbest questions he was asked and it was HILARIOUS! Just to give you an idea, number one was "If the photos in the photo gallery aren't marked, how do we know which ones are ours?"
Our table. It was us, the 19 year old married couple, and a family of four (2 younger children and 2 younger adults). We laughed every night of the cruise and looked forward to going to dinner.
If it wasn't for our dinner table and Jimmy, this cruise would have been awful. I think it was definitely the time of year we went. If you don't mind spending some more money to have some fun, it's a good cruise. However, we didn't want to spend more after paying for the cruise. Everything costs extra nowadays so expect it when you go on any cruise.