Explorer of the Seas Cabins
Out of 1,557 staterooms, 939 of these have an ocean view (765 have balconies) and 618 are interior staterooms. Twenty-six cabins are wheelchair accessible. A hallmark on this ship's class is the Royal Promenade-facing staterooms (138 on this ship) that overlook that engaging thoroughfare -- these are a step up from the usual inside cabin. A warning however: Privacy is at a premium with these cabins because they do not have privacy glass windows. Also, due to the late-night reveling that goes on, all but night owls may find them noisy.
Standard cabins are comfortably spacious, attractively decorated in earth tones with art on the walls, quality fabrics and fine woods. Cabins feature twin beds that can convert to queen-size, phone, television with closed-circuit and satellite programming options, mini-bar, hair dryer and individually controlled air conditioning. Bathrooms are basic and only suites have tubs. The showers, however, have those wonderful, half-round sliding doors, a fabulous improvement over icky, clingy shower curtains. Soap and shampoo are provided (suites get mini-bottles of Royal Caribbean's Vitality shampoo, conditioner and lotion).
Inside cabins range from 160 to 167 square feet. Category G cabins, inside with Royal Promenade views, have blackout curtains and special glass in the windows to reduce noise. Outside cabins come in three varieties: regular (180 square feet), large (211 square feet) and family (265 square feet -- it can sleep six with a sofa bed and a small second bedroom with bunk beds). Balcony cabins range from 173 to 188 square feet with 47- to 50-square-foot private verandahs.
Moving up a notch is the Junior Suite. It's the smallest, coming in at 277 square feet with a 69-square-foot balcony. Just a bit bigger than the standard balcony, the extra perks (beyond space) that come with the Junior Suite include a tub in the bathroom, and a bigger living room area.
The remaining suites provide access to the concierge and definitely move into the higher-ticket arena. At 610 square feet, the Royal Family Suite's grand claim is two bedrooms plus a sitting room; the second bedroom has the usual twin to queen bed configuration plus two Pullmans that come down from the ceiling. Balconies are bigger, too, at 234 square feet.
The Grand Suite is just a larger "junior," but it's quite a bit larger at 381 square feet and features a 95-square-foot balcony. The Owner's Suite offers more amenities and features even beyond increased square footage; passengers booking this category of accommodations get a bathroom with whirlpool, bidet and separate shower, along with separate bedroom and living areas (with queen-sized sofa bed). Measurements are 506 square feet for the cabin and 64 square feet for the verandah. And finally? The piece d'resistance is the Royal Suite, which comes with all the Owner's Suite amenities plus a baby grand piano, a balcony that measures 170 square ft. (outfitted with better-than-standard furnishings, including a dining table); the stateroom itself is 1,188 square ft.
All suite-holders are entitled to use the Concierge Club on Deck 9. This windowless room features continental breakfast and a cocktail hour. Upon request, the concierge on duty handles special requests for reservations -- alternative restaurants, spa, etc.
Tip: Families should book as far in advance as possible -- a year ahead of time if you can -- to have the best choice of family-friendly staterooms (including connecting cabins), particularly if you are traveling during school vacation periods.
Next: Explorer of the Seas Dining
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