533 Royal Caribbean Explorer of the Seas Caribbean - Eastern Cruise Reviews

I believe ljpinko said all that I was going to say. I also wrote RC a lengthy email about our experience. I am still waiting to hear from them. My family and I (about 7 people) booked this vacation and what happened on board was awful. I ... Read More
I believe ljpinko said all that I was going to say. I also wrote RC a lengthy email about our experience. I am still waiting to hear from them. My family and I (about 7 people) booked this vacation and what happened on board was awful. I would say about 95% of the passengers were drunk college students. These people were toasted, high, rude and just all around out of control. I wonder if the previous reviewer was also in the same "safety" drill where the Georgia State fighting song was sang during the captains announcement. I agree completely with the previous review of this "booze cruise". My family and I are pretty high crown and anchor members and din't get the previous level of service due us. The crew seemed way over worked and stressed. I can imagine dealing with a way over capacity boat and drunk college students would do that. The only saving Grace on this ship was our dinning waiter Carmine. She was positively nice and recommended great restaurants for Nassau and Cozumel. Thank god since the food served on board was below average. Those off board meals and the islands were great. However, once you got to the beach, you had to wade through the same crowd to try and get a spot on the beach. In Nassau we had to walk like a quarter mile to get a peaceful spot. But even that spot was over run like 2 hours later. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
My review sounds exactly like the previous one posted by ljpinko. We selected Royal Caribbean Explorer of the Seas based on the many good reviews and recommendations we received. This was the 1st cruise for 2 people in my party and we had ... Read More
My review sounds exactly like the previous one posted by ljpinko. We selected Royal Caribbean Explorer of the Seas based on the many good reviews and recommendations we received. This was the 1st cruise for 2 people in my party and we had planned on this vacation for over 9 months. From embarkation it was clear that our cruise was not going to be anything like the reviews we read. We felt that we were being discriminated against based on age because of the multitude of crazy spring breakers. The staff would never smile at us and always seemed aggravated when we would ask any question. The answers were always blunt and given with attitude. Basically the crew was unfriendly and the service was extremely disappointing. Not even during the formal dinners could we receive consistent or relaxed service. We gave up asking for our requests and eventually stopped going to the formal dining room all together. The smell of marijuana emulating in the hallways and over our balcony was disgusting. But not quite as disgusting as the condom box left in the hallway or the drunk college girl throwing up in the hallway. I understand that this was the last time the ship was being run before a month long dry dock for renovations but I don't feel that means they should have stopped cleaning midway through our cruise. The glass was becoming progressively dirtier throughout the boat and the drink spills were outweighing the clean carpet. Our room was a gorgeous room, even if I did dust it myself once I arrived. We got the junior suite with a balcony which I recommend as it came with a full shower, tub and a walk in closet. On our first day out to sea we received a notice saying that the maintenance crew wanted to close our balcony for 4 hours to paint and clean it. Why they would have chose to try and do this on a day when we were on the boat all day is beyond my understanding. If they were going to do maintenance pick a day when people are more likely off the boat. Regardless I felt there was no way I was giving up a balcony that I had to pay for during my cruise. Many of the amenities on the boat were inaccessible or not in working order. The beautiful fish tanks we saw pictures of in other reviews were emptied of water and looked dirty. The boat lotto did not work most nights, the "Build a Sea Friend" stuffed animal machine was out of order the entire cruise, access to the bars, pools, hot tubs and casino card tables was basically impossible. The 1 night I finally made it up to the pool deck I found all of the 24-hour pools and hot tubs were closed for maintenance with the exception of 1 pool and 1 hot tub. The hot tub was full of college kids so that left the pool for us to try and enjoy. While sitting on the edge of the pool soaking our legs two men came and started putting a net over the pool without saying a word to us. When confronted they just said "pool closed". Nothing else. It was extremely rude. The casino card tables were surrounded by spring breakers who had no respect for casino etiquette. The dealers were even frustrated with the antics from both the players (I use the term loosely) and the loiterers as they were drunk and rude to the dealers. The final straw that made me go to the customer service desk was the poker tournament. We signed up for the poker tournament and arrived in the appropriate area approximately 15 minutes prior to the game start. Approximately 15 minutes after it should have begun I went to the casino clerk to find out what was going on. I was told it was cancelled because only 1 person signed up. The fact that no one could have contacted us or even came over to the table was just 1 more slap in the face from the service. When I went to the customer service desk to try and talk with someone about all the less than satisfactory experiences mainly regarding the crew and staff of the ship I was met with again disappointment. The rude customer relations representative handed me a blank piece of copy paper and told me to put my concerns/ complaints into the "We Want Your Feedback" box. I asked what would happen when I put it in. He told me someone would contact me within 24 hours. The cruise ended without me hearing anything back from anyone. This review doesn't include all of the bad service, disrespectful college antics (like throwing furniture overboard) and overall complaints but it encompasses most of the problem. When you book any vacation or have any service provided you expect to be treated as though you are an important customer. This was not the case in any way on Royal Caribbean. After the cruise I voiced some of my complaints on the emailed survey and also put in a formal complaint on Royal Caribbean's website (which the website did not operate correctly to take my complaint on the first 10 tries). To date I have not heard anything back except for generic email auto-responses. My husband and I are already planning our next cruise for November but are not looking at any offered by Royal Caribbean. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
I don't even know where to begin with this review. First let me say that I have travelled with Royal Caribbean three times now with my first two times being outstanding, breath taking experiences that led to my loyalty in booking ... Read More
I don't even know where to begin with this review. First let me say that I have travelled with Royal Caribbean three times now with my first two times being outstanding, breath taking experiences that led to my loyalty in booking with you for a third time. This third time comparatively, however, was horrendous. Not only did the boat seem old and out of date, it was also un-clean and the staff was not as friendly as my cruises on Liberty of the Seas. My largest complaint is that somehow it happened that 60-70% of the passengers on this particular cruise were college students on a wild spring break adventure. From two different colleges. Was Royal Caribbean having a special deal with these colleges? This should have been revealed to customers BEFORE booking as me and many other couples and families were extremely dissatisfied, and would have chosen to pay more to book another date or ship. Completely irresponsible and inexcusable on Royal Caribbean's part. No one wants to spend an evening on one of the decks hearing college students CONTINUOUSLY shouting a sports cheer ending with the words "there ain’t nothing finer in the land than a drunk, obnoxious Georgia fan!" I've never heard this cheer before but based on the number of times I heard it on the cruise, it's sad that I now almost know it by heart. The college kids consumed and destroyed everything in their path (no joke). The lines to the bars were so insane and bartenders ran out of ingredients. I bought a drink package and feel that my money was completely wasted, as I couldn't even get to the bar enough to make it worth while. You were sometimes waiting upwards of 20 minutes for a drink. I even timed it once. On the first night of the cruise our waitstaff revealed to us that the ship was about 200 passengers OVER CAPACITY. Is that even legal?? Ethical? Safe? I'm sure Royal Caribbean doesn't care because all they see are dollar signs flashing in front of their eyes and couldn't give two shits about the actual well being of their passengers. Each passenger. Because the ship was over-stuffed, it makes sense as to why the lines to each bar was so long, ingredients were running out, and the general morale of all staff was low. I should probably mention now that I am in my mid-twenties and my boyfriend is in his late-twenties, so that to any staff member, we looked like college students. As such we were treated absolutely horribly. After the first day, the staff began being ageist. Rudely talking to or ignoring us (because we looked like the rude obnoxious college students), not serving us drinks, becoming suspicious of us. There were no delightful waitstaff walking around with fun colored drinks on their trays, because no waitstaff dared to be confronted by students. Even if this had been my first cruise, I would have been confused at the lack luster treatment by the staff. But because I know what amazing things Royal Caribbean is capable of and how wonderful and happy and attentive staff have been on my previous two cruises, the treatment on this cruise was absolutely appalling. I cannot believe I wasted my money to be treated worse than I would be just staying at home. Because I have so many other complaints, I will just list the rest of them off here and try to be brief. Previous cruises I went on were very laid back and casual, staff chatting with you, and overall the entire mood was relaxed and happy. This cruise was rushed, staff did not bother to stop and chat or say hello, not many of the staff smiled, and even our own waiters were rushing around and never had time to get to know us (again comparing to other cruises were everything felt much more personal). Our room attendant spoke very little english which started to become a problem because we couldn't communicate to him things we needed. At one point he just shut our door on us because he seemed really busy and confused. We ordered room service 3 out of the 6 mornings of the cruise. It was NEVER what we ordered. It was late the first morning, and all 3 mornings we either were missing food or got the wrong food or drink. We didn't even bother to re-order because of how long the entire process took. Staff was inconsistent: in the Windjammer on day 1 and day 4 my boyfriend and I were able to get refills on our alcoholic drinks from servers walking by. This was a luxury we were never afforded again, and one server on day 2 even said "they don't refill drinks and it is against our policy" and told us to go to the bar. And wait in line. WHAT? Another issue: the security. In the stateroom next to us, there were 3 college guys and they always had more people over and smoked marijuana in their room and balcony. It stunk up the entire hallway and was very obvious. It would get so bad my boyfriend and I couldn't even enjoy our OWN BALCONY. That we paid extra money to have. The smell was too much and would waft into our room. We called security twice. They never did anything. The second time they were called it was because it was 3am and they were being extremely loud, shouting, and partying in their room and I was trying to sleep, plus they were smoking. The security told me because the people in the stateroom would not answer the door when they knocked to inquire, they couldn't do anything about the issue. The passengers were hiding on their deck smoking- of course they aren't going to answer the door! I could see them from my own balcony! The fact that security can't address an issue because the passenger "won't answer the door and they aren't allowed to go in" is just insane. What is the point of security then? Rules were not enforced consistently. Young people would walk around in t-shirts and swim trunks on formal night in the dining room, and would wear no shirt or shoes in the Windjammer. There was sometimes noise and people yelling/running around drunkenly through the hallways by the staterooms until 5am. Rest and relaxation was not in the vocabulary of this cruise. One thing that extremely bothered me was that I couldn't spend any time on the upper deck or pools. The 30 minute towel rule was not enforced so literally ALL of the chairs were occupied by college students or towels indicating there were people there. The entire time. I once counted a chair having towels on it for over 2 hours, with no people around, and staff did absolutely nothing. This left no spots for people who actually wanted to be on the deck. I felt especially bad for families with small children as the pools were so crowded with drinking college students that there was no way to access them unless you were ONE OF THEM. The college students even hung a Fraternity banner (I can't remember the chapter) over the pool area from some poles. And the staff didn't care. The banner was up all day as if they claimed this boat to be a fraternity boat. The surroundings were all around disgusting with drinks left everywhere (stairs, chairs, hallways, in the middle of the floor) and bathrooms unclean. One bathroom had a plate stuffed in the only toilet stall to cause overflow and there was poop and urine all over the plate and spilling onto the floor. Tables were sticky and overall you just didn't want to touch anything. There was a huge fight on the last night and all the passengers were gathered around and cheering like we were back in high school. It took a while for security to break it up. I'm sorry, but if I wanted a crazy cancun spring break vacation, I would have paid for one. Royal Caribbean was supposedly known for relaxation, fun, perfection, and class. Sadly, you do not mean that to me anymore. Lastly, while our excursion in Cozumel was beautiful and probably the only highlight of the trip (Playa Mia), our second excursion in the Bahamas was 30 minutes late and the staff was not courteous. If I'm paying an arm and a leg for this activity, I expect it to be on time, and if it isn't I expect an apology or some kind of warm welcome/greeting. Neither of these things occurred. Overall the common apology from staff and crew was "Sorry but we were not expecting this. We are unexpectedly busy" How were you not expecting this??? Does no one tell the crew that the ship is going to be over capacity and filled with tons of drunk spring breakers? How come neither the cruise staff nor passengers received any warning? This is unacceptable and made for a horrid cruise experience. I'm sure if this was my first cruise, that it would have been my last. That's how bad and un-special the entire experience was. Only because I know of what Royal Caribbean is capable of from my previous two cruises would I possibly ever entertain the idea to sail again. But most likely I'm going to seek out other cruise companies at this point. In conclusion, I felt this trip was a waste of money and I was very unsatisfied. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
We read reviews before our vacation. We doubted a lot, but we decided to try. We returned yesterday and so happy, like we were in a paradise! The crew was phenomenal, the cabin was very comfortable, the service was excellent. Food was like ... Read More
We read reviews before our vacation. We doubted a lot, but we decided to try. We returned yesterday and so happy, like we were in a paradise! The crew was phenomenal, the cabin was very comfortable, the service was excellent. Food was like from haven. It's very hard to please to everyone, when over 3000 tourists on the ship, but if you are normal honest educated, intelligent person, you have to be reasonable and objective critics. The roomservise was fantastic, the waiters work was absolutely excellent. We would like put the waiters names Vas, Presly and Lynch Del Rosario, Franklyn. Thank you for great service! I'm laughing when I am reading the reviews: "a lot of people in elevators". Do you try to use the stairs? The entertainment was very interesting: picturesque iceskating show, library, bars, cafeteria, music bands and all shows. Thank you very mutch to all personal of the cruise. We are looking for another trip. Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
To start off, my family and I have been on over 12 cruises in the past four years, mainly with Carnival and a couple with NCL. A friend said we had to try RCI, so we gave it a shot. My wife and I are in our early 50's and love to ... Read More
To start off, my family and I have been on over 12 cruises in the past four years, mainly with Carnival and a couple with NCL. A friend said we had to try RCI, so we gave it a shot. My wife and I are in our early 50's and love to cruise, and it's always fun trying out a new ship, this one was no exception. It was the first with a promenade and ice skating rink. I read the reviews on the ship (after we purchased our tickets) and to be honest, we were a little concerned, but like all cruises, it's what you make of it yourself. That being said, it was a good cruise. The food was about average, the entertainment (shows) were not very good in my opinion, the rooms were average size/shape, and the horror stories we heard about the crew was completely off. The cheerful can-do attitude of these folks was some of the best I had ever seen. Our room steward Odelin Michel) was by far the best we've been associated with during our cruising experience. He was very customer friendly and very professional. I hope we meet up with him again down the road on another cruise. The dining room staff was also really good, but the food was just so-so. The Entertainment Director was pretty good too - he was everywhere, which was a nice change from our last couple cruises. The casino was about average. The reviews stated the ship was worn/old. We didn't see that, it was very clean and we had no complaints. The Captain was from Tampa, if you can believe that. Yea, one we could understand every word (lol). The ship stopped in Cozumel Mexico and Freeport Bahamas. For the life of me, I'll never understand why ships pull into Freeport. I've been there about three times, and each time I ABSOLUTLY HATED IT! That town is a dump/industrial wasteland. There is one place to go (and it costs about $20 to get there) and that's the casino/hotel, market and beach. Trust me - stay on the ship and get a tan or a message during this "port visit," you can thank me later. Cozumel was interesting. If you're on Carnival it pulls in to what appears to be there own little piece of the island with all the Carnival shops you've come to expect. If you're on RCI, it pulls into Senior' Frogs and the downtown area, so our last two visits were different, which was a nice take on things. The crowd on RCI was a little older than we're used too. My wife and I both commented that it appeared we were the youngest cruisers on the ship there for a while. After 1 a.m. in the morning, our 26 year old son and his friend informed us that the 20-30 crowd came out of the woodwork and danced the night away. I'll have to take his word for this - I was fast asleep by then. So it was older crowd by day, younger crowd by night. That sums up RCI on this trip. I guess the grass isn't always greener on the other side - I think I've learned a thing or two about other cruise lines and - I'm headed back to Carnival. Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
I must say this is our first time traveling with Royal Caribbean,, previously we sailed 3 times on Carnival with NO problems, beautiful cruises. Upon arrival on this more expensive cruise with Royal Caribbean, there was somebody's lip ... Read More
I must say this is our first time traveling with Royal Caribbean,, previously we sailed 3 times on Carnival with NO problems, beautiful cruises. Upon arrival on this more expensive cruise with Royal Caribbean, there was somebody's lip balm in on the shelf. and in the closet was somebody's USED anti diarrhea, upset stomach, and laxative medication. There was a broken light fixture and the rooms were WAY smaller than Carnival. The bathroom stunk of pee the whole time regardless of how much it was cleaned and had a gross looking brown stain on the toilet seat that never seemed to go away. Every time i showered, the whole bathroom flooded about 2-3 inches and i had to use all the towels to soak it up, and i didn't want to even touch the water because it didn't seem to be coming from the shower. i told the room attendant. He brought new towels. It happened again and they thought that maybe the seal wasn't right in the shower so a guy came in and used this SUPER powerful smelling caulking to seal the shower in areas. i couldn't go in the tiny bathroom for 3 days because the smell was so strong, and it would make you dizzy. I finally took another shower and it flooded again, this time i realized it was coming from the DRAIN HOLE behind the toilet. DISGUSTING, who knows what kind of germs are in that area that i could be exposed to. On our floor, walking to our cabin, was an exit sign that dripped fluid constantly for the first 3 days. I finally told somebody they stopped the dripping and tried to dry the floor with a high blast fan. There was an overpowering smell of mold on that floor. all you could smell was black mold the whole walk to and from the cabin, TERRIBLE. The food was terrible compared to Carnival, basically the same breakfast, and desserts every single day real cheap and poor. for dinner they always seemed to have cubed beef for example but with a different gravy. The ice cream was good. overall POOR FOOD. in the buffet dining room, there was food and french fries on the floor in the morning from the previous night. The staff was not overly kind and happy like Carnival staff. The ship was dirty compared to our trips on carnival, on Carnival they're always washing the decks and everything seems spotless, on this ship the decks seemed dirty and gross, and pieces of tiles had fallen off the pool exposing rust and stuff. The itinerary was nice. Labadee was nice with the buffet on land. Overall it was the poorest trip we ever took, and a waste of money. i wouldn't have paid HALF the price for that cruise. I emailed in, and just so you all know, Royal Caribbean basically said they can't do anything about it, sorry for the bad experience. no refund, no offer for credit. NOTHING at all, they basically say screw you, you're not important. Whole on board talking to others about the condition of the ship, i heard from different people that this ship was overdue for a 100 million dollar refurbish. If i knew this i would have NEVER picked this ship. i feel i was sort of scammed. They should never charge that much for a ship in this horrible condition. And terrible customer appreciation.   Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
We sailed on the 8 night New Years cruise that we booked a month before.It was great, but there were some snags along the way. THE ROOM: We stayed in the Oceanview rooms on Deck 2 (2544). They were nice, and to be expected for an ... Read More
We sailed on the 8 night New Years cruise that we booked a month before.It was great, but there were some snags along the way. THE ROOM: We stayed in the Oceanview rooms on Deck 2 (2544). They were nice, and to be expected for an oceanview room. Smaller in size, limited closet space.. the works. The room had an old CRT television in it where the buttons on the TV itself did not work. Bathroom was nice, but my family's oceanview room next door had the toilet overflow during our trip. It was close to things, but if you wanted to get to the aft gangway or the aft of deck 2 or 3, you would have to go up to deck 4 or higher and walk across. Close to elevators, which was convenient. THE FOOD: Food was what we expected. There was nothing terrible, but nothing fantastic either. Windjammer had the same food each morning for breakfast, which became extremely tiring at the end of an 8 night cruise. I have to give a shout out to the curry each day for lunch.. that was yummy. MDR was fine as well, they only had escargot one night, which my family was disappointed about. There was A TON of lamb on the menu. At least 3 nights, if not more, had lamb as the meat of choice. I was all lambed out by the end of the cruise. THE SHIP: The ship was in clear need of updating, but it was fine. Some faded carpets and rust on the railings here and there, but nothing to ruin my trip over. She is beautiful, just needs some TLC. THE SPA: We immediately booked our couples massage once we boarded. When we arrived at our appointment the next day, they attempted to split us up because they did not have a couples room available. We obviously said no, since we paid for a couples massage, we wanted to be together. We were stuck in a small room with 2 beds and you could hardly move. We were not given robes or anything. Just told to get undressed and under the sheets. The massage was great, but we would have preferred the whole "couples experience". ENTERTAINMENT: Leigh and Erky from Turkey were wonderful. They made all of the activities fun on the ship. We did not attend any shows (prime time in the casino), but we heard guests ranting and raving about The Mentalist that was on board. Quest is not to be missed. We went to the Mystery Dinner Theater in Portofino. It was great and the wine was free-flowing. It was cheesy, but all in good fun! NEW YEARS EVE: NYE was great. Champagne was plentiful and the music was booming. They had balloons drop down at midnight on the promenade. They also had obscene "pay to be there" options for NYE. This included a balcony over the promenade for 1000 per couple or 600 per couple. There was also a private party in the Solarium. Not our scene. PORTS: We went to Labadee, San Juan, St. Croix and St. Maarten. Labadee was wonderful as always. Although the lunch needs some updating. The bars were also overrun and it took 30 minutes or more to get drinks. We ended up going back to the ship to eat in the early afternoon. San Juan was different, I liked the culture. We went to a hole in the wall and had a big dish of paella for dinner. St. Croix was absolutely dead port-wise. It has a lot of potential, and it needs to be nursed by the cruising community. They had a great fort museum right off the boat, where we learned a lot about the Virgin Island's slave trade. If you want some history.. go there. St. Maarten hasn't changed a bit, and everyone in our family walked back on the boat with a piece of jewelry. A LITTLE PIECE OF MAGIC: Our waiter in the MDR was wonderful. A person in our party had SEVERE food allergies to many items, and I have never seen a waiter more accommodating. Overall, the cruise was great. My family had an amazing time, and we can't wait to sail back on the Explorer.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
As an avid family cruiser, this being number 10 our family had high expectations as this was our first Royal Caribbean cruise and New Years cruise. First let me say that the weather and the intinerary were great and as the Captain said, ... Read More
As an avid family cruiser, this being number 10 our family had high expectations as this was our first Royal Caribbean cruise and New Years cruise. First let me say that the weather and the intinerary were great and as the Captain said, "with weather like this, it makes everyone want to be a sailor". Could not have planned the weather any better. With that being said, this will be my last Royal Caribbean cruise as there are just too many out there to become a loyalest, spend the kind of money that we did and receive sub-par food & service, and down right poor management of people. Food on this ship was aweful!! The choice of food was non-existent as they served the exact menu for lunch and breakfast everyday (9 days), with very poor presentation. Dinner was fair, as I guess this helped me lose weight on this cruise (my first time for that). No midnight buffet... never heard of such a thing. Our main servers in the dining room were great and treated us well. Our room steward was awesome as well, who was wonderful on my daughters 19th birthday (decorated room). Laberdee, Haiti which was a great stop and we had an awesome time until we became hungry. I never heard of a cruise ship running out of food on the third day, as the lunch buffet shut down before 1pm. The availble areas for food choice was almost non-existing except the grill area and a small single pizza & dessert counter on the promenade deck. Refreshment As for cleaning up ship, very disappointing again. DIRTY LINENS - Towels stained, dining room table clothes stained, terrible. Champagne glasses in the elevator from the evening at noon the next day, deck 11 (pool area) food, ice cream, spilled drinks not cleaned up regularly (walking in sticky gross food). Dishes in hallways all day. Service on deck by pool non-existent. Other cruises by the end of the first day our server knew our folio number by heart. If I was asked if I needed something on deck 6 times all week it was a lot. I understand that this ship is scheduled for re-hab in March, but no excuse to send in the JV team for a premium New Years event and cruise. (that's how we felt). And New Years Eve not a formal night???? We traveled with family and we had a good time, just very disappointed because we heard so many good things about RC, and that the other lines we traveled on will seem like a low budget ferry line, unfortunately the total opposite happened. For all you Royal Carribean Loyalest's out there, you are missing out on a lot, you have been brainwashed. Try something new and refreshing, you will not be disappointed. Lastly, and I hope someone from the cruiseline reads this, absolutely safety hazard during disembarkation. A total cluster mess. They basically put three thousand people and their luggae in a non A/C warehouse with NO DIRECTION or STAFF to help. I was traveling with my elderly parents who are both handicap but mobile, and put our family in a very dangerous and unsettling situation due to the in inadequacies of management of disembarkation. Their number system is for the birds and will hurt someone if this is not re-visited. The excuse that this was a new building and we are working on this, is the poorest excuse for a manager. You put lives in danger, and some one should be held responsible. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
Overall our 8 night cruise to San Juan, St. Croix, St. Maarten and RCCL's private resort was a lot of fun. The weather was sunny and warm, and honestly, how can you complain with being in a tropical paradise? We most especially ... Read More
Overall our 8 night cruise to San Juan, St. Croix, St. Maarten and RCCL's private resort was a lot of fun. The weather was sunny and warm, and honestly, how can you complain with being in a tropical paradise? We most especially enjoyed the wide range of activities every day on the ship, including talented entertainers in the Place Theater and Studio who were great. I liked the Cruise Director, Leigh, who came across as a genuinely funny man with the huge job of keeping 4,000 guests entertained. His side-kick, Erkey was good too. The ship was clean and was well kept despite its age. I looked hard for the frayed carpet and blemishes in public areas and could find none mentioned in other reviews. The cabins were a bit roughed-up and did show their age with scuffs on the walls and a few areas with chipped paint. The cabins were clean and our steward attentive to our daily needs. There were only a few things on the Explorer which could have been done better. The lack of a Midnight Buffet was inexcusable. The cheap sandwiches and desserts served up at the pool one night were disgusting and not a Midnight Buffet. The food in the main dining room was fairly bland and portions smaller than expected. Our waiter was more than willing to bring us more food if we asked. There was one black mark were our original table assignment was in a back dining area reserved to handle the overflow on the busiest cruises. The Head Waiter, Albert made everything right by getting us a wonderful table in the main dining room after we complained. He could have easily blown us off saying the ship was full and nothing was available. The ship was crowded and this was most evident in finding chairs top-side on decks 11 and 12, which were highly in demand. As for nightlife, Dizzy's on Deck 14 had great live music almost every night. I found quiet spots on deck at night in the back of the ship on Deck 11 that was especially nice when we were eastbound into the strong wind. Deck 4 is really cool under the lifeboats and is a much better place to walk than deck 12. Lastly, get out to the bow of the ship via Deck 4 one night when wind conditions are favorable. There isn't anything that compares to the total darkness lit only by the moon and stars.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
I cruised on this ship in 2001. Really enjoyed it. This trip started off bad and went down hill from there.the cabin was okay. The noise from the next cabin was terrible. It was a promenade cabin with an adjoining door . As soon as the ... Read More
I cruised on this ship in 2001. Really enjoyed it. This trip started off bad and went down hill from there.the cabin was okay. The noise from the next cabin was terrible. It was a promenade cabin with an adjoining door . As soon as the next cabin C Turned on the tv we had to turn on ours they were right by the door with no sound proofing. The ship spent an extra day in port in Nassau, to have work done. The shipped was jacked up And caused flooding in my room when we showered. We had wave on the floor. Maintenance fixe it on the second day after my first complaint. I really missed our day at sea. Dining was good, choices limited. The entertainment was very good. The bands were excellent. On the seventies day and the next they played the same Tape or cd in every public place. Enough not to ever when to hear a slide again. The Jacuzzi in the spa was ice cold. The others in the adult area were lukewarm and like a Bath tub. very disappointing.this ship need dry dock, an overhaul even the trash cans in cabin wer Rusted. Public restrooms molding rusted and cracked. The ports were nice ,but the day at sea is needed. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
Last fall after visiting Universal Studios for a week my wife who is a big Harry Potter fan wanted to go back for Christmas however after checking prices and deciding that the park would be too crowded. We decided to take a cruise and ... Read More
Last fall after visiting Universal Studios for a week my wife who is a big Harry Potter fan wanted to go back for Christmas however after checking prices and deciding that the park would be too crowded. We decided to take a cruise and found that this cruise to be the most affordable available. So early on the morning of December 23rd we left our home in Maryland in a light drizzle and headed to Orlando where we arrived 15 minutes behind schedule at 11:10 AM. After retrieving our luggage we found the Royal Caribbean representive who escorted us to the ground transportation departures area for our transfer to Port Canaveral we were on board a bus on off to Port Canaveral by 12:00 Noon we arrived at the cruise ship terminal 10 at 12:45 PM and after our luggage was off loaded by the porters for transfer to the ship we got off the bus and headed in to the terminal as we entered and were on line to go through Security the fire alarm went off and we had to leave the terminal. After some confusion about where to wait for the all clear and the fact that the staff at the terminal had to yell as no megaphones were available it created some confusion. Around 1:30 PM check in resumed and after clearing security we made our way to the check in counters which was done by decks and completing the mandatory norovirus questionnaire we got our welcome photo we found ourselves on board. Since our cabin was available we went to our cabin to drop off our carry on and jackets. We arrived at our cabin and found an invite to a reception for Crown and Anchor Society Members and headed to the Windjammer for lunch. On the way into the Windjammer I bought a soda package and got a tumbler which you had to use if you wanted to get soda from the Coke “Freestyle” Machines located in the Windjammer and on promenade deck by the Café Promenade. As the Windjammer started to get full we headed to the Promenade deck where we decided to check the menu for dinner and to have a snack at Café Promenade and then headed to our cabin where we met our cabin steward and took a quick powernap. At 4:00 PM we made our way to our muster station for the mandatory guest Assembly drill. All guest had to check in with a crew member who checked off our names on their list. After the evacuation drill we headed to the Viking Crown lounge for sailaway and a drink. As we watched the ship make its way down the channel the connects Port Canaveral with the Atlantic Ocean. We had nice views of the visiting Norwegian Breakaway who was in the port on a visit on her cruse from New York to the Caribbean and the Kennedy Space Center and its launch pads. However with in half hour we found the ship at sea and after dropping off the pilot with the pilot boat we were off to Haiti. We headed to our cabin where our luggage was awaiting us we unpacked and headed to the Windjammer for dinner. After dinner we headed to the Royal Promenade to buy some souvenirs and then it was off to the Palace theater for the Welcome Aboard show hosted by our Australian cruise director Leigh who welcome everybody on board advised of the number of kids on board along with the breakdown of passengers by country. There were lager numbers of guest from the US but also China, Canada, Brazil, Australia and several European Countries. The show which is more of a variety show had some singing, a preview of a scene form one of the production shows and finally some juggling and comedy by Dan Bennette. After the show we headed to Café Promenade for a late night snack some more shopping and then we watch the Bon Voyage parade which was very entertaining. After the parade it was back to the cabin and off to sleep as tomorrow was the first of two day at sea. After a very restful night of sleep we awoke on Christmas Eve around 9:00 AM and after dressing headed to breakfast at the Windjammer. After breakfast we headed to the Palace Theatre for a Welcome Back reception for Crown & Anchor Members. The reception which included free drinks had some entertainment and then an introduction of the Captain and the Ships officers. The new top tier guests were presented with their pins and a bottle of Champaign. The presentation ended with a presentation of upcoming cruse deals with the ships loyalty specialist. While the reception was fun it was not as good as the reception we attended on Carnival a couple of year ago. After the reception we headed to a very entertaining Chili Cook-off where two teams of the ships chefs made their version of Chili while my wife had some chili I want and got my lunch form the Windjammer. After lunch we headed down to deck three to Studio B for the Skating Show “Sprits of the Seasons”. Due to limited capacity of studio Beach performance was allocated based on you muster station. The show as always was outstanding as the show is performed on a rink which was about half the size of a standard rink. I would recommend if you travel on a Royal Caribbean ship with the skating show that you take one in it is a wonderful treat. After the show we changed and headed to the pool for some swimming and a snack. After our snack it was time to head to the cabin to get changed as it was formal night. After getting some photos taking by the ships photographers we headed to dinner. Where I had a delicious shrimp cocktail and a steak which was a rather tough cut of meat and a chocolate soufflé that was ok. My wife had two appetizers one was a salad the other was a soup, Shrimp Ravioli which was quite good and crème broule that was cold. After dinner we headed to the palace for the show “Fast Forward” This was a very good review of Music form movie musicals. The shows on Royal Caribbean are also very good as they feature a live band as well along with a full complement of singers and dancers. After the show we headed to the Royal Promenade to attend the Capitan’s Reception which featured free Champaign and an opportunity to get a photo taken with the Captain. After the Captain introduced the senior officers there was a sing a long of Christmas carols. After Caroling we headed to the Place showroom where we attended midnight mass conducted by Father Enrique Camacho from San Juan, PR the mass was very nice and it was good to see that some of the ship’s crew were able to attend. After mass it was off to bed as it was Christmas and time to spend a relaxing day at the beach at Labadee, Haiti. We awoke at 8:00 AM and shortly after Leigh our cruse director announced that Santa was on the Royal Promenade and would be available for photos in Studio B. After showering and getting dressed for the beach. I went down to deck three and found two long lines of young people lining up by last name to get photos with Santa and a much shorter line to get towels for the beach so I picked up our beach towels. After breakfast at the Windjammer we took some pictures from the deck and then returned to our cabin where we gave our Christmas tip to our cabin steward and headed to explore Labadee. As we were leaving the Ship a group of local school children in uniform arrived to visit the ship for a special Christmas celebration. After getting our photo taken by the ships photographer and by my wife in front of the ship. Labadee is a private resort operated by Royal Caribbean and is a peninsula shat is on the northern coast of Haiti on the Island of Hispaniola which after Cuba is the second largest island in the Caribbean. To get around there were several trams which bought people from the pier to the various attractions. We got on one and got off at the market where we found the locals to be very friendly and eager to show and sell you their goods. My wife was able to negotiate the price for some souvenirs. We then headed to the beach on the Southside of the resort which faced the ship and after getting our beach chairs and finding with the help of the local beach attendant a nice spot to site we headed for the water which was pleasant. For lunch we headed to one of four buffet barbeques that were operated by chefs from the ship. The menu included hot dogs, burgers, ribs and bbq chicken. With salads, beans and corn on the corn on the Cobb. There were also selections of deserts available. Along with some complementary drinks (water, ice tea, lemonade, fruit punch). For those wanted alcohol or soda the Bar Staff manned the bars and the waiters were all for Haiti. After lunch we returned to the beach and around 2:30 PM we headed back to the ship along with most every one else. We showered and headed to the Promenade Deck for a snack. After our snack we headed to pool deck for sail away and then up to the Viking Crown Lounge for a drink and to watch the sunset. We then returned to our cabin where we began the process of packing. At 6:30 PM we headed to dinner in the dining room where I had one of the best turkey diners I ever had along while my wife a delicious fish platter. After dinner we headed to the palace showroom to see “Don’t Look Back” the Boston Experience” which was not all that good as me and my wife along with about 1/3 to one half of the audience left. We headed back to the Viking Crown Lounge to listen to the band there and then to bed. Friday was out final day at sea and were up at 6:30 AM and were at breakfast on the Windjammer by 7:30 AM as the Windjammer was starting to get full we headed back to our cabin to pack and to decide which suitcase will would use as our carry off. Around 9:30 AM we headed to the Royal Promenade to look around and headed to the screening room to see one of my favorite Christmas movies the Polar Express. After the movie we headed up to the Johnny Rockets on deck 12 for lunch and the restaurant was full and the service was the slowest of any Johnny Rockets I found on any of our previous cruses even though extra staff and tables were brought up from the Windjammer it was slow but the Burger fries and onion rings were very good. I actually prefer Johnny Rockets to the Guys Burgers served on Carnival. After lunch we headed to the Royal Promenade so my wife could do some final shopping while I ceheckd out the college football scores from the sports bar. After making our purchases we headed back to the cabin to finalize our packing and for a nap for my wife while I watched some College Football on the TV. Around 5:30 PM we headed to the Royal Promenade we headed for the Royalpalooza Parade featuring the entire entertainment staff. After the parade we headed to our cabin to get our bags ready to be placed outside our cabin for pick up. Since we liked none of the choices for dinner in the dining room we had our final dinner at the Windjammer. After dinner we returned to our cabin to place our bags outside for pick up and headed to the Palace for the final production show of the cruise, the production was “Invitation to Dance” with choreography by Luis Van Amsell of ABC’s dancing with the Stars which was terrific. At the end of the show the was a farewell song featuring some of the ships officers. After the show I got my phot with Leigh our Cruise Director. Then it was off to bed since Tomorrow it would be off to home. Saturday we awoke at 5:30 am and after showering, dressing and dong some final packing of our carry off we headed to the Windjammer for breakfast and to view our arrival at the pier. Our ship would be the first ship to arrive and depart later that day form Port Canaveral’s new terminal 1. As we arrived we found that there were two Carnival Ships the Liberty and Sunshine, Disney’s Fantasy along with an unidentified ship from Aida. After breakfast we returned to our cabin and completed our packing and shortly after 8 AM we headed to deck for to the dining room which was our designated waiting lounge after finding a place to wait we had some coffee and pastries but we did not have to wait very long as our tag numbers were called at 9:15 AM and we headed off the ship and into the brand new state of the art terminal 1. After we got to the arrivals hall we were able to find our luggage go through Customs and by 9:45 AM we were out of the terminal and headed to our transfer to Orlando International Airport at 10:00 AM we departed and were at our terminal by 11:00 AM. Overall we were pleased with our Cruise but felt that the food service was not as good as it was on previous cruises with Royal Caribbean bur if Royal Caribbean offered an itinery we were interested in would sail again with Royal Caribbean.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
This cruise was a disaster from day one. Shows are well below the standards set on out previous cruises on Monarch, Enchantment, or Freedom. The shows were on the level of a high school talent show...actually worse. The midnight buffet ... Read More
This cruise was a disaster from day one. Shows are well below the standards set on out previous cruises on Monarch, Enchantment, or Freedom. The shows were on the level of a high school talent show...actually worse. The midnight buffet consisted of seafood spread finger sandwiches? The dining room service and food on this ship was appalling. We sent back 5 steaks on this cruise. The cruise director was dull, vulgar and insensitive to passengers. He just wasn't funny or energizing like we had experienced on the other cruises. Royal has given us excellent vacations in the past, but now I question my loyalty to the line.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
From the very beginning this cruise had big problems. Embakation was delayed over 3 hours, people standing in the hot sun, no explanation, no water...a few passed out (rumor was that the delay was caused by the ship losing a lifeboat when ... Read More
From the very beginning this cruise had big problems. Embakation was delayed over 3 hours, people standing in the hot sun, no explanation, no water...a few passed out (rumor was that the delay was caused by the ship losing a lifeboat when hit by a rogue wave earlier). Once on board, no information was put out by the ship. The Captain did mention the delay during the lifeboat drill but because of the noise, no one really heard him. Food: the dining room food was just OK; some night the menu was, for me, unappetizing, so I went to the buffet and found a very nice selecton. BTW, you have to ask for escargot at dinner and lox at breakfast. Lobster night was good. Entertainment: just average, nothing to rave about, with the exception of the ice show, which was very well done and fun. Service: if you met your room steward, good for you. Our small group had a good time at the Schooner Lounge where AJ and Hugh provided the type of service one would expect on RCL. Crew: depending on who you asked, you could get different stories. The service desk was no help, mostly a smile and 'we"ll check into that' type of answer. The daily newlatter was full of errors, obviously not proofread. One day, for example the indicated we would be in Liberty City NJ the next day and folks heading to Newark airport should be prepard to debark early. In fact we were headed to Curaco!! Debarkation: chaos, confusion, disorganizaton, rude workers and only 1 person from RCL to try to answer questions. Bages came out in a random order and good luck finding your bag...numbers were mixed. Add this to the fact that our arrival in Port Canaveral was at a different terminal than we departed from causing a great deal of confusion and a massive traffic jam as new arrivals tried to figure out where to go. Busses were provided to and from the ship to the parking garage (yipee). There were some good things: as mentoned the service at the Scooner Lounge was what you would exprect. Also the Captain (Rick) did an excellent job with his daily noon briefing and he was visible around the ship, even at the buffet...plus he sang at the Diamond club cocktail party (decent voice, too). And the ship's doctor, along with several passengers, helped save a life. One passenger had internal pbleeding and a call went out to passengers for blood...the response was, according to the doctor, overwhelming and saved the man's life.. I would rate this cruise a C at best...I'll think hard before going on RCL. FYI: Explorer will be drydocked next year for a complete upgrade...much needed. Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
We are long time cruisers of Royal Caribbean, but the Explorer of the Seas was a new experience. The crew were all wonderful. We had the best stateroom attendant and dining room wait staff that you could have ever ask for. All of the ... Read More
We are long time cruisers of Royal Caribbean, but the Explorer of the Seas was a new experience. The crew were all wonderful. We had the best stateroom attendant and dining room wait staff that you could have ever ask for. All of the staff were wonderful. The food was good. The room was wonderful, and very comfortable. Our only complaint which was big -- cigarette smoke was everywhere on the 4th and 5th floors and the open centrum area on the 3rd floor to the dining room. The promenade on the 5th floor is open on both ends with stair cases and below on the 4th floor is the casino. Also a staircase opens from the casino to the promenade in the middle of the promenade and the smoke just fills the promenade area in the afternoon and nighttime. We could not enjoy any of the nightclubs in that area as they were located just outside the casino doors or the staircase. It was really awful, since my husband and I are both very allergic to smoke. So, I ended the cruise very sick! To go from the back of the ship to the front, we always had to go to the 6th or 7th floor and walk the halls. We were recently on the Navigator of the Seas and I did not remember that problem at all. The ports that we stopped were great, and the cruise of wonderful except for the cigarette smoke. Hope that issue is addressed when the ship goes to drydock in March 2015. Also, we had 6 in our party and had 4 massages. That seems to be an area that has also changed. No one thought their massage was very good. Heard the same complaint from people on Celebrity. Have they changed companies? Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
Where should i start.Getting into cape liberty was a mess. I think it was because a lot of people were beinging dropped off. They presented a traffic problem. We have cruise six or seven times out of Cape Liberty and never experienced this ... Read More
Where should i start.Getting into cape liberty was a mess. I think it was because a lot of people were beinging dropped off. They presented a traffic problem. We have cruise six or seven times out of Cape Liberty and never experienced this much of a problem. The ship was hit by a rouge wave, no one was hurt and it was handled well. We lost two life boats. The captain kept us well informed The menu was suppose to be different each night. But it did not live up to RCCl quality. The shows were good.Although this crowd did not like Lead Zeplin. Now for our cruise director the TURK wonderful, wonderful. After 47 cruises on different cruise lines, he was the best. His partner was really in tune with him. Now getting off the ship took three hours, a lot of people missed their flights at 1:30. We were lucky i booked ours at 5:20, so we were alright. BIA Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
Critique of Explorer of the Seas departing Port Liberty 10/9/14 Great time until debarkation. The Captain announced that we would be an hour late as there was a maximum speed which he was not allowed to exceed. 'Tough sailing because ... Read More
Critique of Explorer of the Seas departing Port Liberty 10/9/14 Great time until debarkation. The Captain announced that we would be an hour late as there was a maximum speed which he was not allowed to exceed. 'Tough sailing because of the weather.' I do not know the reason for the speed limit. If he went 2 nautical miles faster he would have made up the time in the apx 1,000 nautical miles which we traveled. Breakfast was not extended. He did not tell us to 'sleep in'. More later in the note. Food was very good, except that we kept sending it back because it was barely warm. Our regular waiters were smart and efficient. They used the microwave to 'hot' the soup. Unfortunately we got various stations for breakfast and lunch. My omelet was hot but Marilyn's scrambled eggs were cold. Cold went back As octogenarians we could not climb the 'wall'. There was a lecturer for history who was good and one for art who was also good. The rest of the time we stayed indoors or out with books. All of the books in the library were at least 10 years old. We brought current books. The cabin lady was good, I had no complaints as she knew how to make the bed. The shows were good; even the comedian (whom I usually don't like). The ship visited the tropics but the interior was chilly; like it needed someone to turn on the heat. The weather prevented us from going to one port. We were issued credit for the landing fee of about $35. It came with strings; it had to be spent on board. Back to the tedious debarkation. We were assigned to the refrigerator; the ice rink. I understood when we were there for a while that three times the number of people in the room made for lots of body heat. Hundreds were forced to stand. I pity those who were uncomfortable. We were tied up at the dock but no excuse for not having us have a late wake-up and late breakfast. When released from the staging area we had to go to Deck 1. The corridors were packed with people not moving. Fortunately no one fainted from the closeness. When we arrived at the bus after about 1/2 hour we noted that for part of the ride it was a single lane (alternating direction) because construction material block one roadway. Great planning!! Refreshments were announced for the ice rink; only in the almost 2 hours we were there they ran out and were not replenished. Fresh water was not available and the guy in charge of the crowd did not know where there was any fresh water. Very incompetent and untrained. I was up at 7 AM, finished breakfast at 8 AM and got to load my car at apx, 12 Noon. There were hundreds behind me as we were green 12. I should have stayed for lunch except that the Customs guys would have left. I loved the small Celebrity ships, RC owns them but has learned nothing from them. To return to RC I need a big $ inducement. Most of those traveling with us will spread the word of our debarkation and the speed limit placed on the ship. Probably something wrong with the electrical motors. Norman Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
This is the 4th time my husband and I have sailed on the Explorer, and its the first time I can honestly say I was very dissapointed. We hardly saw our room attendant to ask any questions, although our room was always cleaned for us. The ... Read More
This is the 4th time my husband and I have sailed on the Explorer, and its the first time I can honestly say I was very dissapointed. We hardly saw our room attendant to ask any questions, although our room was always cleaned for us. The bartender in the casino bar (the woman) was very friendly,but we tried to ignore the tall gentlemen, as he always was grouchy. I say Rude Cruise because it was a different class of people traveling on the ship. The pushing and shoving, and sitting on trash cans by the elevator was not acceptable. I guess thats what you get now when you travel out of Bayonne. Avoid the "tee shirt" sale. You will get trampled ! Our Captain was excellant. He avoided the bad weather the best he could. Although we didn't stop at St. Maartin, he sailed West and found us sunshine. The Windjammer...is another story. The mongolan grill is nice, but the cooks don't understand..mild, or spicy. They just make it all one way...bland. People are still saving seats, and didn't get up after they were done their meals. Many times we had to take our plates outside. Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
After 13 cruises on the Explorer maybe I'm tired of the Ship and tired of the ports that it travels to .As usual the room attendant and waiters were the best .We usually get a balcony but all my favorite ones were gone.I picked a ... Read More
After 13 cruises on the Explorer maybe I'm tired of the Ship and tired of the ports that it travels to .As usual the room attendant and waiters were the best .We usually get a balcony but all my favorite ones were gone.I picked a great window room and l would strongly recommend it.It had two large windows to gaze out the front of the Ship .At dinner we had a table for 6 and our table mates were from N.Y. and they were a pleasure to be with .The only problem l had was in Labadee .I'm not a beach person so like to walk on my favorite path that takes me over to the other side where l can watch my wife swim ,watch the end of the zip line and have my favorite drink at bar . BUT NO .The path was blocked off for a private party probably for gold card guests .No walk , no drink , no happiness .I reported my displeasure at the front desk . I did not expect a call from the Captain but anyone would have OK .Enough of me already .   Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
My wife and I have cruised many times before but all on another cruise line. This was our first time on RCCL and tried not to make comparisons but it is not easy. That being said we had a good time on the Explorer. The food in the dining ... Read More
My wife and I have cruised many times before but all on another cruise line. This was our first time on RCCL and tried not to make comparisons but it is not easy. That being said we had a good time on the Explorer. The food in the dining room is very good and you can order two dinners or two desserts if you want. How-ever it was hard to find anything warm or hot at the buffet. Breakfast was the worst. I tried the scrambled eggs the first day and they were stone cold and watery. I tried the pancakes and French toast and it was just as bad. The French toast was like a rock one day. I suggest an omelet made fresh right in front of you for breakfast. The coffee is also good. You can also eat breakfast in the main dinning rooms if you like. RCCL has got to work on the hot food problem. Leaving from Bayonne is shall I say, not that much fun. The pier was in a state on destruction (construction) and the signs for where to go need help. They are building a new terminal but I have been hearing that for awhile. I wish them luck when the new whip comes with a passenger total of 4,000 plus. The ship itself is beautiful. It's clean, big, and laid out very well. They take very good care of all areas. The crew is fantastic. The stewards, waiters, and anyone you come in contact with always has a smile and is very helpful. I don't know how they do that with how hard they work and the constant changing of passengers.   Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
This was our first trip with Royal Caribbean, we have sailed with Celebrity 4 times previously. A friend dropped us off at the pier about 11:30 am because we were in a JS we went through the suite line and was on the ship in 15-20 minutes ... Read More
This was our first trip with Royal Caribbean, we have sailed with Celebrity 4 times previously. A friend dropped us off at the pier about 11:30 am because we were in a JS we went through the suite line and was on the ship in 15-20 minutes from the time we entered the terminal. The ship was beautiful and big, maybe a little big for our tastes. We had the early seating dinner and we were at table 407 which was a table for 2. We didn't put in a request for this but we did not mind it being just us. Our waiter Jose and his asst. Rhyan were absolutely great and we actually gave them an extra tip. For the most part we really enjoyed the food as well but we found the portions to be small sometimes, a perfect example was my wife had an entree that came with brocoli and carrots, the brocoli was 1/2 of a piece and the the carrot was thin slice of a carrot. The food in the Wind Jammer was typical cafateria food and seating up there was a pain. We ate at Johnny Rockets twice and really liked it. My wife thought the onion wings were the best she ever had and I liked the shakes. I thought the common areas in the ship were very nice if a little small for such a big ship. Every night on the Promenade the were having some kind of sale on tables that they set up in the promenade and it was like a feeding frenzy and made passing impossible. I actually suggested to two people that seemed to be a safety issue, I'm sure others did as well so that after a few nights they adjusted the size of the area. Overall we had a great time but we will be sticking with Celebrity. We missed not haveing the late night food option such as the theme nights and grand buffet. It just seemed that there was never enough help. We thoght the help they did have tried but are not being given the proper tools by management. A good example is the guest relation areas, they had seven or eight service areas at guest relations and only ever 1 or 2 attendants and one person trying to expidite the line. Amother example was the ice show, which was great by the way. Your show time was by muster station and about 5-10 minutes before the show they were going to check see pass cards and allow standby's to enter. We got there 20 minutes and walked right in luckily we found a seat but it was packed and people were sitting in the aisles but nowhere to be seen was anyone to try to help those folks or to see if they were part of the muster stations for that show. I also wanted to mention Leigh (CD) and TT (sidekick) one day on thier morning show which I found funny most days they were reading the shout outs and read one from a lady who said she could not wait for the cruise to be over and get off of the ship. After they read that they said good for her and that they couldn't wait for her to get of the ship. I felt this was in very poor taste and thought she really had to be at wits end to right that and felt that Leigh should have sought her out personally and tried to help her instead of ridiculing her. Like other reviewer the process at the port is a disaster. It took us 45 minutes or so to get to a point where our friend could drop us off. Disembakation was where the process really went down hill. They seemed to be in a hurry to get everyone off so they would call several numbers and this would lead to several hundred people being jammed in a hall way or stairway waiting for busses to the terminal. The really need a lesson in people moving because that is the last impression of the company that you get and it is not a good one. After we were off it took our friend more that an hour to make her way around to us. to get picked up.   Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
Just back from a wonderful vacation on Explorer of the Seas! For a ship getting ready for dry dock refurb, it's in great shape. There are minor areas in the cabins and the public rooms where you can see chips and worn ... Read More
Just back from a wonderful vacation on Explorer of the Seas! For a ship getting ready for dry dock refurb, it's in great shape. There are minor areas in the cabins and the public rooms where you can see chips and worn fabric/carpeting, but overall she is in great condition. We stayed in promenade rooms, which were roomy, lots of storage, and very comfortable. Never heard any of the commotion in the promenade, but always had an interesting view. Highly recommend them. The crew and staff were great. Most were very friendly and eager to make the trip a wonderful memorable experience. The Chefs made regular appearances in the dining room and were happy to chat. Most bartenders were fabulous (and drinks were great in taste and strength). Disappointed in our room attendant, who noted he was under the weather, often skipped things in the room, failed to deliver compass info, etc. And very disappointed in beverage service for soda/wine/drinks in the dining room for dessert. Food was overall quite good. The dining room food was good to very good. Certainly can get better at fine dining options on land, but lots of good choices and some excellent dishes (Greek calamari salad, Asian duck entree, and lobster were faves). Buffet was a bit disappointing in variety and quality, especially for breakfast. Indian options for lunch were stellar. And do try to check-in for a little something during dinner time - some great options! Cafe Promenade pizza is fairly good, but buffet pizza is awful. Entertainment was good. DD (11 yo) especially loved the shows and singing. Ice show is not to be missed! Wish there were more trivia and other activities better scattered through the day. 70s party at the promenade was lots of fun, but super-crowded. And watch out for the flying flashing rings - they hurt when they hit you in the face. Cruise Director Leigh and his sidekick TT were hilarious. Watch the morning show on the tv. And Captain Rick is the most personable and interesting Captain we've seen! Loved his announcements and enthusiasm! Kids enjoyed Adventure Ocean and begged to go every day and as often as possible. As a parent, I was a little dissapointed, though. They didn't check IDs, the staff seemed to always be sitting on the sidelines, and it seemed they played variations of dodgeball most days (hardly ever matched up what was advertised in kids' compass). Last year we cruised on the Breakaway, and I felt their staff, facilities, and programs were far superior. Of course, bottom line is that the kids had a blast. Enjoyed a lovely spa experience last full sea day. They had some great spa sampler packages. Definitely check them out! The ports of call were great. Had been to Bermuda before, so didn't do much. Warning to those who buy liquor from the cruise suggested stores: don't let them send directly to the ship. The Glasswork store failed to do so, and now we don't have our Bermuda Rum. Thus far, not much from RC for help, but we'll see how it works out. (Most likely will be calling credit card co to refuse the charges.) Previously spend time at the beach, and would do so again! Labadee was fun, athough even the beach they said wasn't rocky was very rocky the first few feet in the water. Consider taking water shoes. Once in the water, we enjoyed the breeze, the ocean, and the views. We spent our time at Adrenaline Beach. DH and DD enjoyed the Wave Jet tour. Lines for food were ridiculous, and by the time we decided to go check it out, they were closed. Wear lots of sun screen!! Puerto Rico was fascinating - wish we had more time and/or arrived later in the day. Did a self-guided walking tour of the old city (it was like walking through a pirate movie set!) and enjoyed mofongo in Cafe Manolin (recd on cruise critic discussions). Wandered around St. Maarten, which was very hot. Beware of lots of locals asking to braid your hair, do your portraits, take you on guided tours, give coupons for jewelry... it was constant annoyances of offers. I'll agree with those who complained about Bayonne port. Our driver there had trouble finding it, and we were stuck in about 30 - 45 mins of traffic to be dropped off. Our driver picking us up was more than an hour late, as he was stuck in the same mess coming to get us. Overall, we had a fabulous family vacation on the Explorer. The ship is a great size - big enough to have a variety of places to hang out and explore but not too big or too crowded. (I heard the sailing was sold out, but with few exceptions, it didn't feel crowded.) Would definitely recommend her! Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
We just returned from our 6th EOS cruise & were not as satisfied as before. As far as the ship, it is still in decent shape & the food was pretty good. We found the entertainment not up to par & repetitive. Our cabin (inside) ... Read More
We just returned from our 6th EOS cruise & were not as satisfied as before. As far as the ship, it is still in decent shape & the food was pretty good. We found the entertainment not up to par & repetitive. Our cabin (inside) was on deck 7 & several mornings between 5:30 & 6:00am we were awakened by loud banging. We complained & was told that it was due to the crew preparing for breakfast. First of all we were forward on the ship & the food venues are aft, so that didn't make any sense. By far the worst part of the cruise was the debarking. What a horror show!! We have been doing the self assist debarkation for years now & NEVER had we experienced this mess before. We had proceeded to our designated waiting area & at 8:10 announced we could proceed to deck one. There was a crowd already gathered there & that's when the fiasco began. To make it short it took us an hour and 40 minutes to arrive on deck 1. There was a lot of shoving & people trying to cut in line & it was very hot. There was never an announcement from any crew members as to why we weren't moving only announcements telling the next group of passengers to proceed to deck 1! All in all it took us 2 hours & 45 minutes to get out of the terminal. It had never taken us longer than an hour total on prior cruises because there was always crew members helping to move things along, but not this time! Our bus was scheduled to leave at 10:00 but didn't leave til 11:15. Needless to say there were a lot of unhappy people! Sandi Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
We just got back today from our 10 day cruise to the Eastern Carribean. Overall everyone had a great time. We traveled with our two daughters ages 21 and 25 , one of their friends, my sister in law and her son. The embarkation from Bayonne ... Read More
We just got back today from our 10 day cruise to the Eastern Carribean. Overall everyone had a great time. We traveled with our two daughters ages 21 and 25 , one of their friends, my sister in law and her son. The embarkation from Bayonne was slow but not awful. The ship was very pretty and didn't show it's age unless you were looking for things to complain about. Our staterooms were small, but we also had a handicapped room which was very spacious. The boat was very clean. The dining room and housekeeping staff were top notch. There were many venues for evening entertainment including a piano bar, a pub with a guitar player, a salsa band and a dance band. The shows varied from excellent to just ok. We liked the female singer and the last comedian the best. The ice skating show was very good. The food was good but was a little too salty. There were no lines at the buffet but there were not enough tables for everyone to sit. The pools were very nice and getting lounge chairs was not too bad. We sent someone down in the morning to put items down to ensure we had seats for later. The pool band was very good and not too loud. We took a package to horseshoe bay in Bermuda. We should have just taken a cab. The beach is beautiful. We also took a beach break package to st Marteen. We didn't arrive at the port until 1:30 so we only wound up with 1 and a half hours on the beach. We were supposed to be dropped off on the way back to shop but the stores were already closed. We should have just taken a cab to Orient Beach and rented beach chairs from one of the bars on the beach. We walked off the boat to Old San Juan and did some nice shopping as we were only in the port for the morning. Labadee was wonderful. The have improved the island nicely since we were last there. We went all the way in to Colombus Cove which had bathrooms, a bar, food and a nice beach. You will need water shoes for the first beach at Labadee as the water has lots of rocks and coral. Labadee now has dock and is totally handicapped accessible. The younger people in our group went to The Chamber every night and had no difficulty finding friends. We all enjoyed the karaoke. We are already thinking about going on Royal Carribean next summer and are looking forward to the new port at Bayonne. Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
Hotel Information - We stayed on Staten Island at the Hampton Inn. Good staff and very affordable. They provided parking while we cruised, shuttle to and from the port, and breakfast in the morning. The staff was friendly and helpful. Be ... Read More
Hotel Information - We stayed on Staten Island at the Hampton Inn. Good staff and very affordable. They provided parking while we cruised, shuttle to and from the port, and breakfast in the morning. The staff was friendly and helpful. Be aware, that the pick of the shuttle for us was 45 minutes late. Other than that, we were happy with our experience. Ship Information - Ship was in good condition. We like this size of ship better than the smaller ships because of the variety of activity. Activities - Great variety of activities. There was always something to do if you wanted. Service - As always, Royal Caribbean staff always provide terrific service. The staff got to know us quickly and attended to our needs. The one time we needed assistance with changing something, they were able to accommodate us quickly. They are the reason that we will sail with them again. Port and excursions - Very happy with the choices we made except for one stop. I recommend the walking tour of Old San Juan and the visit to the butterfly farm on Saint Maarten. Both were very interesting events. Also, on Bermuda, we visited the museum on King's Warf. For $12 per person, its a great way to learn a lot about the history of Bermuda. Skip the Deviil's Isle tour. Its not worth your time. Cabin was exactly what we expected based on our previous experiences. It was clean and well kept. We had a interior cabin so we didn't spend much time in it except for sleeping. Dining - The food was outstanding. Really enjoyed the huge variety and everything we ate was well prepared. We only went to the Portofino restaurant once. It was good but with the high quality of the food available elsewhere, its not necessary to spend your money on the optional restaurant. The night we went, it was a murder dinner theater. It was fun and enjoyable. Children's club - The kids enjoyed the activities that they participated in. Our children made friends on the ship quickly. They chose to spend most of their time hanging out with the new friends. The entertainment at night was excellent. We went to all of the shows and were very happy with all of them except for one. We never had a problem getting a seat. We enjoyed the live music available throughout the ship. Disembarkation - It was pretty well done. We stood in line for about 20 - 30 minutes but it wasn't too bad. We waited in the dining room so there was plenty of room for people to sit. Summary - Overall, we were very happy with our experience. Taking a 9 night cruise is definitely a great way to spend a vacation   Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
I just returned from the 9 night Bermuda/Caribbean cruise on Explorer of the Seas, and my family and I (husband, daughters ages 9 and 6) had an amazing time. My husband and I have been on over 20 cruises (Royal, Celebrity, Carnival and ... Read More
I just returned from the 9 night Bermuda/Caribbean cruise on Explorer of the Seas, and my family and I (husband, daughters ages 9 and 6) had an amazing time. My husband and I have been on over 20 cruises (Royal, Celebrity, Carnival and Norwegian) and the kids are veterans as well, once or twice a year since they were babies. I especially felt the need to write this after reading negative reviews already (we just got back 2 days ago), and wondering how these people could be on the same cruise! Was it perfect? Of course not, but we are the type of cruisers that don't let little things "ruin our entire cruise!" A few things that we weren't crazy about: 1. The Windjammer was way too crowded at certain times, like the hour before arriving in port, which happened to us a couple of times. Also, although there was a wide variety of food, it never changed. On other cruises there might be a section that changed each day with a taco bar, pasta bar, etc. but nothing like that here. We were saying that it seems that Royal already realized that it wasn't big enough and fixed it on the Freedom class ships, but that didn't help us of course! We did eat in the dining room for breakfast a couple of times, and Johnny Rockets for lunch once, and they were really good. 2. The itinerary was great, and we enjoyed every port, but there was hardly enough time to do anything in St. Martin and San Juan, unless you did a shore excursion. We had a wonderful time in both ports though, shopping in both, although we were in San Juan so early that the only stores that were open were the ones on the shopping map. And that's about it. The rest of the cruise was amazing! I think the ship was in amazing shape, the carpets need to be replaced, they just have that permanent dirt from all of those years of use, and I guess we were lucky that our TV was a flatscreen, it was only used for the kids to watch when we were all getting ready for dinner. We had an ocean view on deck 2, with beds off the wall for the kids. Our cabin steward Anak was the best we have had as far as we can remember. He was always asking if we needed anything, and if we did, it was taken care of right away. He kept the room neat(quite a task with the four of us in there!), it was done basically as soon as we left the room. I cannot say enough good things about him! We did have a little problem at first with dinner, but it ended up working out beautifully. We had confirmed early seating up until the day we cruised. Then we get our seapass cards and it says My Time Dining. When my husband asked about it, they told him that we got bumped, they just booked too many early seating passengers. So then he said that he wanted to make a reservation for 6 that night, he was told that they couldn't do that for that night, all they had was 7:45. He made a reservation for 6 the next night, and we just decided to deal with the 7:45. There was no Adventure Ocean the first night anyway, and we wouldn't have to rush out of the sailaway party, where the kids were in the pool. It was fine, and worked out. The next day we got a card saying that they were able to put us in early seating. My husband went to ask about it and was told that we were at a table for 10. This got us really nervous, because although my kids know what they are doing on cruises and are well behaved at dinner, we all know that there are people that hate kids on cruises. It turns out that we were with a family with teenagers and a 5 year old, and they ended up being some of the best tablemates we've ever had. And we had a great spot right in the middle of the bottom deck, right next to the captains table. On the ship we were walking advertisements for Royal Caribbean and all of the activities they are known for- we played mini golf twice, ice skated twice, my kids made great use of the Adventure Beach water slide, and my older daughter did the rock wall. Both kids loved Adventure Ocean too. My husband and I got a couples massage, and while we loved it of course, we did this on Carnival last year, and both agreed that it was better there. I also did not like the pressure we got to buy products- they do at every spa, but other times, they have made their recommendations, then left and said to bring what I wanted to the receptionist. This time she stared at us and asked if we were buying. I told her I wanted to check the seapass bill first and we'd be back. My husband and I spent most of our kid-free nights at the casino, but we did see the ice show and one of the production shows. I loved the music all around the ship. My husband got the premium drink package, and since we are diamond members, I got my three free drinks each night. I had one issue on the last night, where I was at a table at the casino, and when I ordered my drink it was 8:25, and I even made a joke about just making it, but when the server came back I was charged, it seems that by the time she took the rest of the orders and got to the bar, it was after 8:30. I'm sure I could have gone to the bar and made a stink, but it was the last night and time was running out before I had to get the kids, so I let it go. It was just a beer anyway. So as I said it was an amazing cruise, and now my kids are insisting on Royal for the next one, specifically one with an ice rink. That is fine with us, because it was such a wonderful family vacation.   Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
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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