5 Royal Caribbean Explorer of the Seas British Columbia Cruise Reviews

This was our 4th cruise from this port with this destination but the first on Royal Caribbean from this port, second on Royal Caribbean total. The embarkation was standard, but as we boarded we went to a bar to buy a couple of beers to ... Read More
This was our 4th cruise from this port with this destination but the first on Royal Caribbean from this port, second on Royal Caribbean total. The embarkation was standard, but as we boarded we went to a bar to buy a couple of beers to send us off, and we were told it was a "Specialty Bar". no beer. Interesting. We had a cabin on the 11th deck with balcony and we highly recommend it, the balcony dividers opened up to other s if you had a friend or family next door which we did which was very cool. We bought the drink pass for $184 @ person and definitely had it pay for itself. Right on our deck was the pool area and 3-4 bars. Since we had smokers with us we hung out at the upper level pool bar and played cards, drank, and watched all that was going on. This part was awesome. The food was less than average. The buffet(Windjammer) was average at best. We never went the the Main Dining rooms so I cant comment, the Cafe(only other free eats) was always busy for snack food because it was the only other eats. Johnny Rockets($6.95 per person) once was good, second time we walked out as the service wasnt even able to meet anyones needs, just downright awful, they screwed up everything and couldnt make it right, awful. So lack of food was an issue, and room service, if you could get them to answer the phone was no better, small portions and sometimes they would just leave an item out because they were to busy, so they said. The activities were good, we played mini-golf, shuffleboard,some trivia games, basketball, all good. The theater shows were great. Overall we enjoyed ourselves very much and because of convinence we will look at going again, but I would look at other cruise lines first. A fellow passenger commented to us that they had been on numerous Royal Caribbean cruises and this was by far the most unorganized one ever. That seemed to sum it up. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
I agree with some of the other reviewers regarding this particular cruise. I felt like we were the "leftover" cruisers. This ship had come from the South Pacific/Australia, and was gearing up for the Alaska cruise season. RCI ... Read More
I agree with some of the other reviewers regarding this particular cruise. I felt like we were the "leftover" cruisers. This ship had come from the South Pacific/Australia, and was gearing up for the Alaska cruise season. RCI was trying to fill a five-day gap and so they created this special cruise. First the good stuff: dining in the dining room was great. We were fortunate enough to get a set dining time (late seating), so we didn't have to wait in the long lines that the other guests did who were unable to get assigned dining times. Our waiters were terrific - very friendly, personable, and got us everything we asked for. The odd thing was that there were five of us, but we were seated at a table for ten. We never learned whether there were five other guests assigned to that table, or if they just needed to use the larger table. The shows were good too. Good, clean entertainment - nothing we had to be concerned that our teenage kids were hearing. And the ice show was truly outstanding. On the negative side - as others have said, the Windjammer Cafe was way too crowded and the food selections were quite sparse. No fresh fish except once, and that was just a few pieces of cod. No matter what time of day we went, they were out of the good stuff. Lots of jello and not much for nice desserts. And there were way too many passengers for the size of the cafe. We always had to wait for a table. And we often had to get our own drinks because the attendants were overwhelmed trying to get the tables cleared for the guests who were waiting to sit down. Our cabins were nice and our cabin attendants were great. Very efficient and we never had to ask for anything. We had a balcony room, but we were on a lower deck where the balconies were sort of closed in. We didn't really like that too much. The beds weren't as comfortable as we would have liked - mattresses were wearing down and the pillow were flat. I think we were in a part of the ship that hadn't yet been renovated. As far as the itinerary goes - Victoria was nice and we enjoyed Butchart Gardens. Nanaimo did not have much to offer, but we hope they are able to build up their cruise guest amenities. They were very welcoming to the passengers. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
This was a girlfriend's cruise. We all live in or near Seattle and we're celebrating our friend's 70th birthday. What I liked about the cruise/cruise ship: *The public ship areas were pretty and well-maintained. ... Read More
This was a girlfriend's cruise. We all live in or near Seattle and we're celebrating our friend's 70th birthday. What I liked about the cruise/cruise ship: *The public ship areas were pretty and well-maintained. *We liked the disco dance party on the first night and watching Karaoke on the 2nd night. On the 3rd night we saw the magician--he was funny and entertaining. On the last day, we saw the ice show (well done!) and the headliner comedian/impressionist who was awesome! *My shower was awesome. Great water pressure. *I really liked the interactive ship screens that told you a) what was going on right then, and b) how to get where you were going. *Our main dining room waiter and helper were awesome. Shout out to Desmond & Ashook! *We also had a great bartender in the Viking Lounge. Sadly I didn't catch his name. *Archee the photographer was very engaging. He made us feel special and he really captured us having a fun time! Destinations were okay; we picked this cruise because it left out of SEATTLE and was only for four days. We did not pick it for the destinations or the excursions. That being said, the Canadians were lovely. Very warm and welcoming! What I didn't like about the cruise/cruise ship: **Our stateroom was at the end of a hallway (no problem there) but our room smelled like dirty linens. They were skimpy on the quantity of towels and the towel quality was reminiscent of a low end motel. The towels looked like like carwash towels; they were beat up. The drawers were dirty and needed to be wiped down or cleaned up. **The food quality was poor. I really don't know how so much food could be so bland and tasteless. The free cookies, pastries, sandwiches, and wraps (available mid ship) were horrible. The free lemonade was so watered down it was un-drinkable. **Main dining room food: bland, tasteless and so lacking in imagination. I felt like I was eating at an old folks home. We had better food and service on shore in town. **We had "anytime dining". It's a misnomer. You can only dine "anytime" if there is room available. **The crew, overall, was not very friendly. From the first waiter that took our drink order, to others we encountered, they seemed to be disinterested. We learned that they had just come from Australia on a 20+ day cruise. I think they were burnt out or something. There was no energy on the ship. A lot of the staff seemed robotic. Over all our cruise time, we only had 4 memorable crew members. That's pretty sad. Having just sailed (March 2016) on another cruise line, I was expecting equal treatment from RCL and was sadly disappointed. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
My DD was turning 21 and she loves to cruise, so I decided to book a cruise to celebrate. I had only been on Royal once in 2000. I did not care for Royal then, but I kept hearing good things about Royal and I liked the Explorer’s ... Read More
My DD was turning 21 and she loves to cruise, so I decided to book a cruise to celebrate. I had only been on Royal once in 2000. I did not care for Royal then, but I kept hearing good things about Royal and I liked the Explorer’s itinerary, so I decided to book. We have only stayed in a suite once on NCL and we were spoiled. I decided to book a suite with Royal even though I knew the perks were nothing like NCL. We arrived at the Seattle port around 11 am and quickly went through security. We then found ourselves in a line for suite guest to check in. The line was not nearly as long as the other lines, but it was still long. Once it was our turn to check in and get our sea pass cards, there was a note attached to my sea pass card that stated we were invited to a “lite lunch” at Dizzy lounge to wait for our suite to become available. As soon as we got on the ship, we immediately went to Dizzy’s lounge for our “lite lunch” all to find an empty lounge. There was a staff member standing there and I asked her about it and she had no idea what I was talking about. I showed her the note and she tells me that it does not start until 1:30. We were hungry and decided to head to the Windjammer since nothing else was open. What we saw next, I never imagined would happen. The elevator arrived to deck 11 and the door open, to our surprise that is where the line ended to get into the Windjammer. We decided to go eat at the Café Promenade, but when we got there, it was closed. We went back to the Windjammer and waited in line. After waiting about 20 minutes, I sent my daughter back down to the Café to see if it were open and it was not. We waited an hour to get into the Windjammer. As if waiting an hour was not bad enough, once we finally got to the food, the only food they were serving were hamburgers, hot dogs, and French fries. There wasn’t even cheese. Dessert was JELLO! My daughter looked at me and asked if it was too late to get off the ship! It was very clear that they had run out of food. After our wonderful lunch….NOT, we went back to Dizzy lounge and inside the Diamond lounge and there still was no “lite lunch”. We then went to check out our suite. We ran into our cabin attendant Ravi and he introduced himself to us. We saw there was no fruit basket and we asked Ravi about it and he told us that yes, they had run out of food and were in the process of restocking and that our fruit should arrive later. The suite was nice and what I had expected. Lots of storage which was great. We had the 5:30 traditional dining and we enjoyed having the same wait staff nightly. We had Rosemarie and Charlston and they were wonderful. The food in the MDR was good and we felt was better than NCL. We did not try any specialty restaurants mainly because we wanted to see if we would enjoy the MDR food and for the most part we did. Being in a suite we were able to have breakfast in Chops and the food was typical cruise breakfast food. The biggest disappointment is that the only non paid food options for lunch is the buffet or Café Promenade. The buffet was not very appealing. The food choices were always the same and nothing looked good. They had pasta sitting out but it looked over cooked and soggy. Never tried it, so I don’t know if it was any good. The only day we ate lunch at Windjammer is on the first day. We always went to see if the choices got better, but never did. We ate lunch everyday at Café Promenade and the sandwiches were okay. We have cruised on NCL numerous times and have always enjoyed their shows. Every night we went to a show on Royal and only lasted 15 minutes before we would leave. I feel like the shows were for the older crowd and not our style. Other’s seemed to have enjoyed the shows, so I guess it just depends on what you like. I prepurchased voom for 1 device and it was not worth the price I paid. It rarely worked and we would lose connectivity more often than it worked. The staff on the Explorer were WONDERFUL and we never had to wait for drinks at the bar. We really wanted to love Royal, but we didn’t. I know I would never spend the money on a suite with Royal again. I may cruise on Royal again if it was a great deal, but I really doubt it. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
Explorer of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.2
Dining 4.0 4.0
Entertainment 5.0 3.9
Public Rooms 4.0 4.3
Fitness Recreation 5.0 4.1
Family 5.0 4.1
Shore Excursion 3.0 3.8
Enrichment 4.0 3.5
Service 4.0 4.3
Value For Money 5.0 3.9
Rates 4.0 4.1

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