3 Royal Caribbean Explorer of the Seas Europe - Eastern Mediterranean Cruise Reviews

We flew down from Newcastle and checked in smoothly and quickly. We found the ship to be very big and luxurious. The cabin was spacious even though it was an inside one, the bed was big and comfortable and our cabin attendant was very ... Read More
We flew down from Newcastle and checked in smoothly and quickly. We found the ship to be very big and luxurious. The cabin was spacious even though it was an inside one, the bed was big and comfortable and our cabin attendant was very good. The dining was excellent, both the free time dining and the three extra restaurants we paid for. The meals were all presented promptly and were hot and very tasty. The bars were all very good with lots of different drinks and cocktails. The evening entertainment was brilliant and the ice show was outstanding, you would never think you were on a ship to have this sort of entertainment. The shore excursion we took was very good, Lisbon for Seville. The coach journey was very good and we had plenty of time in Seville to have a look around. All in all a very good cruise which we really enjoyed. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
This was our 6th cruise, having mostly sailed with P&O and only once before on a RC Ship. It has been 7 years since our last RC cruise and possibly might be another 7 before we go again.. There are some really good points about the ... Read More
This was our 6th cruise, having mostly sailed with P&O and only once before on a RC Ship. It has been 7 years since our last RC cruise and possibly might be another 7 before we go again.. There are some really good points about the experience on Explorer of the Seas and these mostly center around the staff who are generally amazing, considering the amount of wages they seem to receive. It was apparent from speaking with a few that tips can often match their wage levels on a typical cruise. This cruise was even more of a challenge for the good people that work on the ship as it was mentioned that the number of children on board had never been higher. Everything is pretty much spotless and our cabin was always immaculate, at least for half an hour after it had been cleaned each day ... The kids clubs are also great and I would urge any parent to stick with getting your children involved from an early stage in your cruise. We got to the point where we didn't see ours for hours each day. What could be better! The shows are mostly good, and as many others have said the ice show is the best. Even though they are allocated to muster stations there always seemed to be seats if you happen to miss your show or want to see it again. The drinks might seem overpriced but the measures make up for it. In my opinion unless you are a heavy drinker the only drinks package that stacks up is the soda package that we used for our children. Here's the bad ... and it generally is related to the money making merry go round that is RC. There are so many things that are either overpriced or priced where they are free on other cruise lines. The newspapers were $5.50 each. When I say newspapers I mean printed off and stapled together newspapers from a website I imagine. I only realised after half way through that they were being charged as you don't sign for the cost as you do for everything else. If you want to do laundry I would suggest bringing a small amount of washing powder and a bowl and doing it in the shower. It is not remotely cheap otherwise ... The mini bar in the room is the contents of the fridge .... or not. If you touch the water on your dressing table its $19 dollars a pop. The cruise excursions are both overpriced and overhyped. For example we paid almost $100 per adult for a short coach ride followed by a 40 minute trip into Rome in a "private air conditioned train carriage". If you were to read that statement what picture would it conjure up in your mind? The reality is that with the temperature in Italy as it is, all the train was air-conditioned of course. All that RC do is reserve a whole section of the train and you hope you can get to sit next to the person you are travelling with. For ourselves as a larger group this didn't remotely happen. I can see however why people book excursions where they are looking for more than transport but be careful. 2 out of the 3 excursions we booked we should have organised ourself (Gibraltar cable car is another) and we would have comfortably saved several hundred dollars. And finally the ugly ... no sun loungers unless you are up with the lark. People reserve them with towels and they never get moved on despite there supposedly being a 30 minute rule. Do not attempt to eat in the Windjammer restaurant at peak times and avoid the bars for 30 minutes before each dinner sitting. If you cruise a lot buy an expensive camera ... it will pay for itself by the 2nd cruise ! Photos are $20 each. Tips ... not cheap and you can ask for them to be removed so that you can tip who you want to at the end of the cruise. For 4 people on a 2 week cruise it would have been the best part of $800 if we had not done this. Some of the port time is puzzling in that it is so short length. There were a few examples of the ship sailing at a snails pace to get to the next stop and then only spending several hours there or not enough time to explore. Gibraltar coming back was a prime example .. 2 sea days before and then barely 4-5 hours in port before another 2 sea days and returning to Southampton at 2am, yes 2am in the morning. At the very least there should be prior warning - we would have not taken the excursion had we known as we lost our opportunity to do the only real duty free shopping on the cruise outside of the ship. On balance we will still cruise again with RC but not for quite a while. We will go back to P&O and try a few other cruise lines before returning. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
My wife, two teenaged daughters and I took a 9 day Eastern Caribbean cruise on the Explorer of Seas in August 2007 from Cape Liberty/Bayonne. We drove to the port and found the parking and check-in quite easy. It was our first cruise in 8 ... Read More
My wife, two teenaged daughters and I took a 9 day Eastern Caribbean cruise on the Explorer of Seas in August 2007 from Cape Liberty/Bayonne. We drove to the port and found the parking and check-in quite easy. It was our first cruise in 8 years and it was a toss-up between an all-inclusive holiday and a cruise. We particularly liked the option of being able to drive to the embarkation port. We really enjoyed the food in all the restaurants. Portofino's was just outstanding. Pay the $20 per head; well worth it. It really was fine dining with top class service. A higher level of dining and service than the regular restaurants. We got a 5 bottle wine package which we really enjoyed and would recommend it as you save about 20%. The snacks in between meals for the kids from the Promenade Cafe were about average. We went to all the shows and really enjoyed them. The ice show was the best of all them. Please note that you have have to get tickets for the which is relatively easy. We had two cabins next to each other overlooking the promenade. The accommodation was pretty good. The highlights for our family were the ports of call. Bermuda: we took the bus to Horseshoe Bay Beach. Tickets available just outside as you disembark for $4 each way. 30 min ride. My girls favorite beach because of the high waves due to the after-effects of Hurricane Dean. St Maarten: My favorite part of the trip. We had an outstanding tour guide named Bernard whom I had booked with after good reviews on CruiseCritic.com. He called me and e-mailed me to confirm before our trip. He had an excellent GMC mini-bus with leather seats. He had a great sense of humor, was quite flexible about how much time we wanted at each place and was extremely well-informed. He kept us well entertained throughout our excursion which took 6 hours. We started off at the Dutch side, stopped for souvenir shopping at an inexpensive place, a bar and beach near the airport, Marigot on the French side, Orient beach for about two hours and some shopping later, which I found quite boring. Bernard charges $30 for a a daytrip and I think the cruise line would charge much more. His e-mail address is bernard1332002@yahoo.com, website is sxmtours.com. Once gain, he was outstanding and made our trip to St. Maarten very enjoyable and memorable. St Thomas: The most beautiful island on our cruise, according to my family. We had a full-day tour booked here with a nice lady named Burlie, whose details we got from Bernard. I was really impressed with Bernard because he called her from St. Maarten after our tour to make sure we were looked after. Our family really liked Burlie and her easy-going manner. She was again very flexible. Stops were at Mountain Top (best view of the cruise, you can see Magens Bay and about six other islands), high up for view of Caribbean side, Sapphire Beach and shopping. We just rented snorkel equipment and only had to swim about 5-7 minutes for excellent snorkeling on the right side of the beach. Saw about two dozen varieties of fish. No need to take a snorkel trip, just go to Sapphire Beach. Other people on our bus went to Coki Point which also had excellent snorkeling but was too busy for us. Burlie was happy for our group to go either beach and would pick us up or drop us off as we wanted. We were part of a group of two mini-buses. Burlie's associate's name was Conrad and he was a fun guy. Had Spider Man painted on his bus and we kept calling him Spider Man!! Burlie treated our whole family as special and I would like to recommend her strongly. Her website is viscenictours.com. San Juan: Took a one hour short bus tour. Nothing great. Saw Fort San Cristobal and Old San Juan. Had lunch at Senor Frogs, which is a boisterous but fun place. Kids loved it and Margaritas are excellent. Hope you got some good tips. I found CruiseCritic.com very useful in my trip planning. Read Less
Sail Date August 2007
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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