We agree with many of the previous comments. As a New Years Cruise and considering the 'known' weather conditions when operating from New York at this time of year, in our opinion... Jimmy the Cruise Director failed to plan suitable activities for his guests.
Check-in at Cape Liberty - Very RUDE Staff
Problems with the Cabin door locks - Many guests had the same issue on Day 1 and could not get into their cabin
Terrible service in the dining room - Worst ever experienced with RCI
Food was average for RCI
Windjammer - Constant announcements to move on as other guests have nowhere to sit. Such announcements became VERY annoying, especially the tone.
Cabin was clean and tidy - no complaints.
Sauna (Mens and Ladies) - Broken
T.V - Broken
Door Lock - Broken
Toilet - Broken
Video in Ice Rink - Broken
Basically.. many things did not work and were not addressed
Even New Years Eve was a technical flop... i.e. the balloons that failed to drop, the street party that never really got going and at midnight No Champagne ("You have to buy a bottle Sir...")
We sailed on the Voyager of the Seas from Venice last August. Mercedez was the Cruise Director, her Team planned a "Masked Ball Street Party," the party flowed with Champagne and everyone danced the night away...
So much more could have been done with a little effort for New Years Eve by Jimmy and his Team. i.e. Why not celebrate the New Year on the hour for the International Crew and Guests by displaying on the large screen in the Royal Parade the New Year as it crossed each timezone i.e. Australia, Thailand, Dubai, Paris, London etc...
We felt that nothing 'special' had been planned. The cruise basically followed the standard cruise and entertainment schedule. Even the party hats for New Years Eve were a flop. Black hats!!! They looked more suitable for a funeral wake than a New Years Eve Party!
We sailed with NCL Gem from New York for New Year and expected RCI to be bigger and better. Alas, NCL Gem is a "GEM" and the RCI Explorer turned into a FLOP!
Add to this the worst dining room service (over 2hrs to eat 6pm dinner) we have ever experienced on Royal Caribbean (and we are loyal fans of RCI) we missed the Theatre show on two nights because of the service. Complaints to the Head Waiter resulted in "the kitchen is very busy."
Late into Port on two occassions due to mixed up schedules with Carnival.
Lack of onboard activities of interest... The weather was cold (Not RCI's fault) therefore, you would expect the Cruise Director and his Team to plan more attractions inside to entertain their guests.
I have never seen so many people attend the Trivia.. on Day 4 (day at sea) NO Triva, hardly any activities. When we asked why, we were informed that this was normally the day when the ship was on the Private Island and that the crew took time off!! - WHAT??????
Our understanding is that Richard Spacey has replaced Jimmy Rhodes on the Explorer. - Good! We sailed with Richard on a Christmas Cruise some years ago. I have to say that Richard and his Team never stopped and went out of their way to ensure that a Christmas Cruise was very special and memorable.
Wrongly... we expected something similar of the New Year (especially as we had such a wonderful time on NCL)but we feel bitterly let down by RCI on this occassion.
A relaxing break but our memories are of a cruise that failed to live up to expectations.