Explorer of the Seas has something for everyone. Along with its variety of stateroom concepts, upgraded ship-wide Wi-Fi, 3D cinemas, boutiques and bars along the Royal Promenade, ice skating, and multiple dining venues, you'll find a rock-climbing wall, full-size basketball and sports court, plus the FlowRider surf simulator for action outdoors. Here are our top Explorer of the Seas tips for making the most of your time on this buxom beauty.
Tip 1: Book a Room With a View
Royal Caribbean offers a variety of room categories on Explorer of the Seas, and keeps all rooms up to date, with regular refurbishments. Our top picks are inside staterooms with virtual views, and the quiet Panoramic Staterooms on Deck 12, which boast floor-to-ceiling wraparound windows. Best of all, they're just feet away from the Vitality Spa, so you can make the most of your spa time.
Tip 2: Mix Up Your Meals
The buffet in Windjammer is extremely popular, but if you'd prefer a la carte service and no queues, breakfast and lunch are also served with open seating in the Sapphire Dining Room. If you're after a lighter meal skip the dining rooms altogether and pop into Cafe Promenade for really good pizza -- all day and into the night. The three specialty dining concepts -- Izumi Japanese Cuisine, Chops Grille steakhouse and Giovanni's Table Italian Trattoria -- are so popular that it's advisable to make a reservation as soon as possible on the day of embarkations so you don't miss out on the signature dining experiences
Tip 3: Pamper Yourself
Make sure you spend an hour -- or several -- being pampered in Explorer's full-service Vitality spa. To get the most bang-for-your-spa buck, keep an eye out for daily spa specials that offer significant savings and bonus treatments -- especially on days when the ship is in port and demand for services is reduced.
Tip 4: Go Skating
Royal Caribbean is the only cruise line that offers ice skating at sea. Get inspired by the exceptional champion skaters as they wow guests during the incredible ice show in the 700-seat Studio B. Afterwards, show off your own moves, or lack thereof, during the public sessions. It pays to arrive at least 15 minutes before each session, as the ice rink is incredibly popular.
Tip 5: Get Your Game On
Judging by the popularity of the full-sized sports courts and constant stream of mini-golfers and rock-climbers, Explorer appeals to sporty passengers. But it is the FlowRider that is creates the biggest waves. We found the best time to get a piece of the mini-golf action was straight after breakfast, and to maximise your Flowrider fun, choose early sessions or port days when the crowds are smaller.