30 Royal Caribbean Explorer of the Seas Europe - All Cruise Reviews

This ship is disappointing. The room 2640 is on top of the engine room and is very noisy. The decor is tired and dated. The staff and food are excellent but it feels budget in comparison with celebrity and P & O. For example, there are ... Read More
This ship is disappointing. The room 2640 is on top of the engine room and is very noisy. The decor is tired and dated. The staff and food are excellent but it feels budget in comparison with celebrity and P & O. For example, there are no nice complimentary toiletries - just some body wash in a locked container in the shower. There are no little towel animals or chocolates on the pillow, nor is there any complimentary room service (they charge 8 dollars). Also the sheets are past their best and are bobbled. In the windjammer restaurant the plates and glasses are made of plastic. In the formal dining room there are only two waiters per three large tables meaning service is painfully slow and drinks sometimes don't arrive (no sommeliers at all). Again, no one to pull out your chair and place your napkin on your lap - those little extra touches that make all the difference. Also no coffee after your dinner. Entertainment good, but I like cruising because you are made to feel special and I WANT all those little extra special things. Sorry Royal Caribbean but I think you have gone too far in trying to penny pinch. I shall be going elsewhere for my next cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We stayed overnight in a hotel in Southampton then got a taxi to the city terminal for 11am. As D+ loyalty we got priority security and check in and were on the ship within 20 minutes. We called into the Diamond Lounge for snacks and ... Read More
We stayed overnight in a hotel in Southampton then got a taxi to the city terminal for 11am. As D+ loyalty we got priority security and check in and were on the ship within 20 minutes. We called into the Diamond Lounge for snacks and a hot drink as windjammer wasn't open. Our balcony cabin was ready by 1pm and 30 minutes later our cases turned up so we unpacked and went for lunch. We used our D+ BOGO and went to Chops Grill first night and Giovanni's the second night. The other 4 nights we went to MTD and our waiters Russel and Bradey were excellent. Pre-dinner most nights we went to the Concierge Lounge where the service was excellent. We visited 3 ports. Vigo- Spain.Nice port 10 minutes walk up a hill got us to a long pedestrian street of shops including Zara and Mango. Gijon-Spain.This was a 20 minutes free shuttle ride into town.There was a nice promenade plus a long street of shops including Zara and Mango Le-Havre-France.There was a massive queue for the €5 return shuttle with estimated 45 minutes wait. We got a taxi instead to the docks shopping centre for only €8 which took around 10 minutes. We enjoyed our cruise and the ship looked in excellent condition. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We found the staff very helpful polite and couldn’t do enough for you. The food was remarkable quality Choice was outstanding. Restaurant staff couldn’t do enough for you. We found that our cabin attendant was absolutely ... Read More
We found the staff very helpful polite and couldn’t do enough for you. The food was remarkable quality Choice was outstanding. Restaurant staff couldn’t do enough for you. We found that our cabin attendant was absolutely fabulous outstanding in all aspects of offers and help and suggestions he made.Entertainment we found enjoyable some nights were absolutely outstanding still couldn’t fault it. We were on the ship on the 2019/10/05 for 6 days. It was our first cruise and we thoroughly had a fantastic time we sailed from Southampton we had two stops in Spain one in France back to Southampton thoroughly enjoyed ourselves to the point is we have booked another cruise with Royal Caribbean on the jewel of the sea in Dubai in March next year. We just like to say well done Royal Caribbean explorer of the sea for all your hard work in making our cruise special Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Having had a brilliant cruise on Navigator last year, we booked to do the same itinerary with friends from Scotland. Our 19th cruise - and 8th with R.C. but what a huge disappointment - so much has changed. The admin staff were ... Read More
Having had a brilliant cruise on Navigator last year, we booked to do the same itinerary with friends from Scotland. Our 19th cruise - and 8th with R.C. but what a huge disappointment - so much has changed. The admin staff were 'polite' to the point of rudeness. The ship was tired and dull - downright grubby in places. Mirrors in dining room had a film of grease over them. No real sparkle to this ship. It may be going in for refit - but there was no excuse for poor cleaning. All the luxury elements were missing, no flowers on dining room table - in fact no diners!! Our complete section had empty tables around us - the food was tepid, insipid and uninspiring. Waiting staff were excellent - doing their best under the circumstances. The head chef spent more time apologising to guests than he did in the kitchen. Conclusion - they were trying to get you to spend more in the speciality dining ! Forget the windjammer - crammed to capacity due to guests not using dining room. Our jnr suite - excellent space - but we had to ask for the floor to be cleaned in the second week - no sign of a hoover and carpet getting thicker every day. Glass tables in bars were grubby. Drinks waiters friendly - but then they were getting regular tips to remember us. The changed the itinerary dropping Genoa before we even sailed - due to overcrowding - did they not book their slot over a year ago?? the replacement port was skipped due to the non-appearing Hurricane. Lisbon was skipped - and they substituted it with an overnight stay in Le Havre. Of all the ports they could have gone to why this ferry port with nothing of interest?? They did not even lay on shuttle buses to get to town. Over 3,000 people on board, many old and challenged - the queue for the port bus was over one hour long. the 25 minute walk - was more like 40 mins. They did manage however to book coaches for an overpriced trip into Paris. They even took coaches to Rouen for a trip - WHY French health official had declared the place an health issue due to huge chemical fire. Toxic soot on everything, questions over air quality and a ban on eating fruit and veg grown there and the milk had to be thrown away - yet RC thought it would be a great idea to take people to visit it. How desperate for profit was that. Very poor entertainment Cleary they are floundering in the expanding cruise market and have lost their edge. Our worst cruise out of 19 others !! Very poor value for money and disappointing to say the least -- Royal Caribbean dont even bother responding to correspondence outlining issues. Staff refused to provide a letter for insurance company stating port missed and the reason. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We sailed from Southampton and because we are Elite status on Celebrity, we are Diamond on Royal. This meant that we had priority boarding. We were soon on the ship, but had to go to the Windjammer for lunch as our room was not yet ready. ... Read More
We sailed from Southampton and because we are Elite status on Celebrity, we are Diamond on Royal. This meant that we had priority boarding. We were soon on the ship, but had to go to the Windjammer for lunch as our room was not yet ready. I missed the welcome drink that we are given on embarkation by Celebrity. The room was ready just after 1.15. We were in 7314, which was starboard side. I was delighted to see that there was no lifeboat blocking our view. We unpacked our trolley bags and it was already obvious that storage space was going to be tight, no overhead locker as we have been used to on the Celebrity S class ships. Our main cases had not turned up by the time we went to Muster. We went in good time, so that we could get a seat. Not so on Royal, you queue up on an outside deck like school children waiting to go into class. The Captain made an announcement at the end of the proceedings and had to be prompted by someone as to which ship he was on. In fact we were led away as he was part way through his announcement. Really? As 5 pm was not far away, we went up on to deck 11 for Sail Away, which was delayed, so we enquired as to the whereabouts of the Diamond Lounge, so we could avail ourselves of the free drinks. These were constantly filled up and this remained so throughout the cruise. In fact we were one week into the cruise before we realised that we could ask for bottled water during Diamond hours. A fantastic perk for me as I use it to boil for my early morning cup of tea. We had booked Anytime dining and I had pre arranged 7 pm as our dining time. We were able to use our 3 free drinks loaded on to our card in the dining room until 20.30. A fantastic perk. We were seated at the same table every night except the first, as I am Dairy Intolerant, so this makes it easier for the waiter. Handy really looked after at table 321A. After our meal we found a seat in the Starlight Lounge, where we would spend 2 hours listening to Perry Grant. This was the one and only time that we were able to get a seat, as many passengers were still in the Theatre. We listened to him playing for 2 hours, but then I was weary of him asking guests the same questions, Do you have walk in wardrobes, do you have Formica in your kitchen, what colour is it etc.etc. We returned to our cabin to find that our cases had at last been delivered, but we left the unpacking until the next morning. I could certainly have done with the delivery being before the guaranteed 8 pm. We ate breakfasts in the Sapphire dining room on Deck 4 as it was waiter service. On the first morning we asked to be seated in the Diamond area. I was so pleased that we did this, as someone from our Roll Call group was also seated with us. We ‘hit it off’ and came across each other multiple times. We saw each other at the Meet & Mingle, where I was lucky enough to win the second raffle prize, which was a drinks container. Our new friend asked the CD why the ship was overbooked; they had been asked to give up their cabin by Royal, but as they had come over from Spain for the cruise and had an actual cabin, Royal told them they were OK to travel. Apparently there were 500 less guests than the previous week, which had still been the school holidays, where families had shared cabins. This week, most travellers were couples, and Royal had booked too many Guarantee cabins and I suspect not many guests had requested Royal Up ( we were still being sent e mails just one week before the cruise inviting us to apply). One feature of this cruise was the number of Alpha calls, ambulances met the ship at every port, even when the cruise ended someone fell down the escalators and had to be taken to hospital. We enjoyed the evening entertainment. The Barricade Boys, and Beatles Celebration were outstanding. The Starlight Lounge was overfull every night, so I was pleased that Perry Grant was invited to perform in 2 shows on stage, We also saw 2 Ice shows, one especially for Diamond members and Seasons which was performed for all guests. On the final evening the Guest Choir performed at 9 am in the Star Lounge. We just managed to get there on time, which was a good job, as my husband and our new friends had spent every Sea day rehearsing in Dizzy’s at lunch time. We were lucky with the weather, even the Bay if Biscay was calm and too soon we were back in Southampton. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We have sailed several times with the royal carribean and normally I love my cruise - however the last cruise I had in August, will sadly probably be the last cruise I choose with Royal Carribean - the staff as always were perfect and ... Read More
We have sailed several times with the royal carribean and normally I love my cruise - however the last cruise I had in August, will sadly probably be the last cruise I choose with Royal Carribean - the staff as always were perfect and could not do enough to make our holiday special - however we had an unbelievable number of teens on our cruise who congregated each evening in level 8 - my floor - particularly near the lift area - so I was constantly feeling intimidated each time I used the lift - so much so that I opted to use the stairs - I had teens running up and down corridors late at night and once it was as late as 3.30 am - I did ring security on several occasions and in all fairness they came and solved the problem ...on that night - but it would be exactly the same on every night - annoyingly even on the last night they woke me at 1am - and as I was leaving the ship just after 7am to drive hundreds of miles I wasn’t happy at all - there was no monitoring of the corridors at all - I understand the shop is due for a refurb - which had I known I would probably have booked another ship as it looked tatty and needing paintwork in several places The food as always was incredible plenty of choice and fantastic On our return I did email customer services re our noisy holiday and was told I should have rang reception - which I did - no other help whatsoever - they didn’t seem interested whatsoever that I had saved all year for a holiday to be disturbed every single night and reluctant to use the lifts I personally will prob not ever be booking with RC again - not just because it was simply too noisy (I do have four children if my own so I am not anti children) but also the attitude I had from customer services Sadly it falls far short of the holiday I saved hard for - I love cruise ships so i’ll prob try another company next year Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We have cruised 3 times with Royal Caribbean and decided we shall not ever travel again in their ships. Grubby worn and extremely lacking of any luxury fixtures or fittings. The chairs in the Stsr Lounge were extremely worn torn and shabby ... Read More
We have cruised 3 times with Royal Caribbean and decided we shall not ever travel again in their ships. Grubby worn and extremely lacking of any luxury fixtures or fittings. The chairs in the Stsr Lounge were extremely worn torn and shabby and some of the rest rooms left a lot to be desired..,. Broken door handles and fixtures missing....if you miss dinner and attempt to eat in the Winjammer it closed st 9pm do we were left to eat pizza at the small cafe on the promenade which was heaving with very loud teenagers. Great trip for families but some parents are oblivious to the antics of their offspring and we witnessed a good fight between some youngsters who were throwing ice cream at each other covering walls and floors on deck 11....bar staff were excellent as were the casino staff but the lack of quality isnd detail of cabins was very disappointing. we Are planning a cruise next spring and shall definitely be joining Celebrity again....maybe a little more expensive but extremely superior quality.... regards. Lynda Guy Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Have cruised a lot on several of the big lines and this was our second cruise with RC. Having read the other reviews this is our take. We traveled with our 24 year old son (he loves a free holiday!) and had a sea view cabin 2584 with 3 ... Read More
Have cruised a lot on several of the big lines and this was our second cruise with RC. Having read the other reviews this is our take. We traveled with our 24 year old son (he loves a free holiday!) and had a sea view cabin 2584 with 3 single beds one being a bunk! We had such a laugh taking it in turns to stop on the top and getting up and down the ladder! I'm 57 wife 51 so you can imagine the fun!!! Loads of room for the three of us and whilst the room was a little dated how much time time do you spend in the room!? Shower was more than ample for a six foot bloke and was kept impeccable by our room attendant. I have read that some people think the ship was tatty but you would really have to look hard to find wear and tear and during the two weeks there was always work going to paint etc and we also got a new mattress each during the two weeks as did the whole ship. Again it had no bearing on my overall holiday I found the ship to be excellent and exactly what we wanted. We eat each morning and lunch if on board in the windjammer and found it excellent. Great choice of everything with separate stations for various things every day. With 3000 people on board it is always going to be busy but we never found it hard to get a table and the staff where always around to clear or get you a drink. I have to say I had some of the tastiest food on a ship and the burgers at lunch are 5 star! I eat my own weight in burgers in the two weeks!! Dinner was taken each night in the the main dining room, we had intended to go to specialty restaurants a couple of nights but we really didn't need to as again the food and service was excellent. We eat second sitting and had two great waiters and the manager was also great fun. Varied menu each night and if you cant find something you liked there was also a great selection of old faves to choose from. As we remembered from our first RC cruise 10 years ago overall everything was top draw. Entertainment I wont spoil other than to say really enjoyed it. Didn't go every-night but had laughs with comics sang along to the Beatles and enjoyed the dancing. Would say you have to spend a night in Schooners with the ever so camp Perry and his shiny suits! Again a great mix in a great theater. Ports Gibraltar: Been before and love it. Go see the monkeys and enjoy England in the sun! Cartagena: Great little un spoilt Spanish town with fab buildings and little shops, if you love history the Roman ruins are spectacular. Barcelona: Two days to explore, do the red route on the hop on bus but leave time to eat some amazing food. The food market on La Rambla is a must! walk round looking at all the amazing meat and sea food then jump on a seat at one of the many food stalls and watch as you food is cooked! Had some amazing giant red prawns!!! Malaga: My new fave Spanish city! Flown in many times cant believe I never stayed here! Large cosmopolitan and very Spanish! Great shops, great back streets, great little Tapas restaurants and a lovely beach right next to the ship! Nothing to not like! Parma: Again been before, had a beach day then walk around the town, very pleasant. Valencia: 10 minute shuttle brings you to the centre of the old town, lots of squares and churches to find, what I call a proper Spanish city! Cadiz: Again very Spanish see above. Lisbon: Lots to see and on a food theme! find the TimeOut food market near the main square and eat!!! get there about 11.30 by 12.15 it was packed with locals, custard tarts to die for! And what a cruise in and out down the coast under the bridge! Getting on and off was a breeze we got there 12.30 on board 1.15 off in 10 minutes, Yes it was busy getting off and getting a taxi but no drama. Overall I would give a score of 9 out of 10. I really enjoyed it and after writing this review I will be looking for the next cruise! Andrew Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We are a married couple in early 60's. We booked this because we prefer Royal Caribbean for it's informal yet not too rowdy atmosphere. The cruise ticked all the boxes. There were over 900 kids running around which noised ... Read More
We are a married couple in early 60's. We booked this because we prefer Royal Caribbean for it's informal yet not too rowdy atmosphere. The cruise ticked all the boxes. There were over 900 kids running around which noised things up a bit but what do you expect when you book a cruise during the school holidays. Big shout out to Hello Clo, the best cruise director RC have in my opinion. She was always visible about the ship and such a cheery person We did notice a few slight issues. First is the lack of bar staff and waiters, particularly in the Schooner bar. Poor guys there were run off their feet. Again I noticed that the numbers attending the main dining room seem to be getting ever lower and the Windjammer is always mobbed. Is anyone at RC seeing this ? Perhaps it is time to convert the 3 MDR floors to a buffet and put the MDR on deck 11 - only a suggestion. We are Diamond plus members and as such have access to the Diamond and Concierge lounges. If RC are going to provide these lounges for 24 hour access, can they please ensure the coffee machine is always stocked. We regularly went up for a late night coffee only to find out the kitchen was closed and told if we wanted coffee to go downstairs to the Promenade cafe. Sort of defeats the purpose of having 24 hour lounges. Also, with regard to the music guy Perry singing in the Schooner bar at night. It was always mobbed right into the corridor and you simply couldn't move or get past. While upstairs, the much larger Star lounge was empty. Again I ask, is anyone at RC paying attention to things like this ? And we know people don't do trivia for the prizes. But to give out the same prize ( yellow highlighters ) again and again got a bit boring. Surely it wouldn't cost too much to give out the odd cap, T-shirt, pen, key ring, etc Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Drinks were so expensive,small bottle of stella $7.75.glass wine $9.cheapest bottle wine $35 .small bottle water $2.Ship was to crowded,no seats at bar with entertainment unless you get there 1 1/2 hours before & same for the shows but ... Read More
Drinks were so expensive,small bottle of stella $7.75.glass wine $9.cheapest bottle wine $35 .small bottle water $2.Ship was to crowded,no seats at bar with entertainment unless you get there 1 1/2 hours before & same for the shows but the ships own shows were very poor ,people were walking out & the entertainment director was very unprofessional and never looked smart.The shows with guest performers were very good.{Photos taken by ships photograghers were $20.The tours are estortionate, just to go on trip too Rome was $369 Each.Meals in main resturant were ok but mainly only warm.One couple we met complained & were asked to come back the next night & it was excelant then following night cold plates again.The duty free shops were ajoke my perfume channel was $109 for 50ml yet i can buy that in uk £50.We have done 10 cruises before 1 with royal carabbean & p&o,Princess .Norwegean .thomson & never had complained before so sorry royal carabbean that will be our last with you.Service from the staff was excelant & our cabin attendant was great,we asked him about water & he told us he could bring us 6 wine glasses of water each day but if he bought it in bottles the ship would charge us $ 2 per bottle. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Reviews for Med – royal Caribbean cruise june 2019 We sailed on a 14 day med cruise on Explorer OTS, chosen primarily because of the itinerary and it being mid-June. This was our 8th cruise but only our second cruise with Royal ... Read More
Reviews for Med – royal Caribbean cruise june 2019 We sailed on a 14 day med cruise on Explorer OTS, chosen primarily because of the itinerary and it being mid-June. This was our 8th cruise but only our second cruise with Royal Caribbean and I have to admit I was somewhat concerned about how much I would enjoy the ship, especially considering the spate of very negative reviews that have been written. Well in a nutshell my husband and I had a fantastic cruise and enjoyed almost all aspects of our 14 days, however in fairness I have to say that we are not overly critical people and enjoy a laidback cruise and on occasion the solitude of our cabin. So many reviews have commented that the ship is overdue for a refurbishment and not in a good stare of repair; well apart from the odd bit of rust on our balcony we had absolutely no complaints. Our cabin (8568) was well appointed, clean, had masses of storage space and the bed was very comfortable, and the public areas were fine. Then again we do not spend our holiday looking for negatives to complain about we just get on and enjoy ourselves. Embarkation was efficient and timely. We arrived in Southampton slightly earlier than boarding and after waiting perhaps 15 minutes we were on our way up the walkway, in the lift to the upper deck and sipping our first cocktail. (our traditional Aperol Spritz ) The windjammer buffet was a very pleasant surprise. Even that first lunchtime we were easily able to find a table and the choice and standard of the food was exceptional. The design seemed far more spacious than other ships we have been on and I never felt crowded. Perhaps my biggest compliment belongs to the MDR administration. When I booked I was not able to secure any time dinning and had to book fixed dinning. Unhappy with this option I contacted the Maître D on the first day requested a change and on the following day there was a note in my cabin saying they had amended my reservation to ATD. I really didn’t expect such efficient prompt action. My second compliment goes to the tender disembarkation organisation in Ville Franche. Royal Caribbean do not allocate tender tickets but it was organised in a very timely manner and we were ashore to meet out tour guide ahead of time. We ate every evening in the Sapphire dining room and enjoyed every meal. We liked sitting with strangers and having very different conversations each night. Service was perfectly acceptable for A La Carte service which I don’t expect to resemble the in/out speed of self service. We had planned to utilise our OBC by going to the speciality restaurants but food quality was so good I spent it on an amazing but ridiculously priced spa treatment instead,. Entertainment in the theatre was good but perhaps not excellent. While the professional acts were good I did not enjoy the royal Caribbean players. In my opinion the worst feature was the overly amplified sound system, making the whole show just a noise!! Perhaps the sound system was deliberately loud to mask the poor quality of the performers. Other evening entertainment venues did tend to get very crowded and was the only times I was aware that we were sailing fully booked. As iv said this cruise was chosen for the itinerary and we enjoyed every port. I don’t use ships tours preferring to organise my own small group private tours with local companies and all were excellent. I made contact with fellow passengers via CC and Facebook and a total of 8 couples did 5 tours of 4 couples each. It was an added bonus making such lovely friends. When reading my individual port reviews, you may realise I am not too keen on ships tours, but that’s my personal opinion. Small niggles – our cabin steward never bothered to introduce himself, disembarking at Southampton was a tad confused and I wasn’t keen on the structure of our balcony which was sheltered and prevented me sunbathing. All in all an excellent cruise, a fantastic holiday, some lovely friends and I won’t hesitate to book royal Caribbean again. Ports of Call Gibraltar Caught a white minivan outside port and had 2 hour tour of rock, tunnels, caves, views and monkeys for £30 pp. - Very enjoyable. The minibus was able to climb higher up the rock than the bigger tour buses and so minimised walking. Shop prices are in sterling or Euros but beware of the offered exchange rate. Excellent duty free prices - particularly alcohol, tobacco and cigarettes. Villefranche Had organised two private tours of 4 couples each with Riviera Premium Tours. Company had excellent reviews and ours tours lived up to expectations. Our 6 hour tour included Nice ( Flower market was amazing) Monaco, Monte Carlo, drove the grand prix circuit and the mountain village of Eze. A really good tour, professional and well organised and very reasonably priced La Spezia Florence and Pisa – small private tour of 4 couples with Florence Connections. We left early and beat the crowds, it included a long drive but was well worth it. Sergio our guide was excellent and our tour included a professional guide for 3 hours in Florence. Once again we were able to access the centre of Florence which the big coaches were not able to thus saving us a 20 minute walk each way. I was a little concerned about the distance we were motoring in case we were late returning to the ship but as Sergio explained all tours follow the same road back to port so any hold up would be experienced by all coaches. We were back on board at exactly our requested time and over an hour before the ships tours that only toured Florence. Both Pisa and Florence were amazing and I can highly recommend them. Rome – Civitaveccia We have actually stayed in Rome twice before so chose to stay in port. Wandered the town and found a ‘rustic’ café on the beach and ate pasta and bar b q prawns while sipping a local red wine. Life was good Naples We toured with AP Tours, a company I had used before and once again they were very professional, and gave great service. This time we toured Pompeii, a vineyard and ate a locally produced 5 course lunch while sampling the various wines. Highly suggest hiring a professional guide in Pompeii to appreciate the magnificent city. Two years ago I went on their Amalfi Coast tour which again was excellent. Can highly recommend either tour with this excellent company. Seville – Cadiz This was probably the best tour that we did. We did a 3 ½ hour food tour with Bertram from Cadiz Food Tours. We had a walking tour of the town which was so pretty and touched on the history, visited the fish market – amazing and then visited 3 different authentic tapas bars to sample both their food and wine. What an amazing tour, the food was unbelievable ( not everything was to my taste – do say if you are non-fish eater or vegetarian) but I was literally blown away by the quantity, the quality and the choice of food offered. For the price it was outstanding. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Been our first cruise our travel agent recomended it we really enjoyed it the cabin was lovely spacious and our cabin attendant came around twice a day all the staff were lovely and couldnt do enough for you we ate in the sapphire dining ... Read More
Been our first cruise our travel agent recomended it we really enjoyed it the cabin was lovely spacious and our cabin attendant came around twice a day all the staff were lovely and couldnt do enough for you we ate in the sapphire dining room on deck 3 food was very good menu had a good choice of meals we sat on same table everynight apart from the night we went to chops grille wich was nice but thought it was just as good as the restaurant we were served by the same two waiters Prastika and Jayvee who were lovely entertainment was ok managed to see two films we wanted to see overall cant really fault anything staff work very hard and nothing was ever too much for them we purchased the drinks package wich i would recomend the waiters always made sure you had a drink sun bathinv without having to keep getting up for drinks was fab very relaxing Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We picked this cruise based an assumed canary good weather Weather better in UK The ship rather tired and probably the worst quality ship we have been on out of 5 travelled Be reluctant to use RCI again unless it’s a newer ... Read More
We picked this cruise based an assumed canary good weather Weather better in UK The ship rather tired and probably the worst quality ship we have been on out of 5 travelled Be reluctant to use RCI again unless it’s a newer ship However staff as on all cruises fantastic Entertaining professional shows better than NCL apart from the ones laid on by the RCI guys which were quite awful equally as bad as NCL Food generally good and you can get some thing you like We had deluxe drinks package which as the measures were very small you would need 2 at a time so that the alcohol could be tasted but you are not allowed to do that unlike NCL The ship passengers were largely retired or nearing retirement unlike NCL Ports of call strange as went to Gran Canaria on Sunday and it was all shut Why did RCI land on Sunday!! Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
My wife and I chose this Canaries cruise with Royal Caribbean for my birthday, having cruised with them 11 times previously, but I'm sorry to say this may well be our last. Please don't take me wrong, neither of us are snobs ... Read More
My wife and I chose this Canaries cruise with Royal Caribbean for my birthday, having cruised with them 11 times previously, but I'm sorry to say this may well be our last. Please don't take me wrong, neither of us are snobs or whingers, and I've never had a bad word for R.C, but this cruise has left us both a little cold. Embarcation: Long standing queues, no usual welcoming tipple. Stateroom: No coffee, No tea, 2 tiny long life milk tubs, no spare loo roll despite asking, which ran out on day 3 and had to use the box of tissues, sticky cabin floor and stained carpets, Fridge totally inoperative, and the stateroom felt tired and abused - stayed in better 2* hotels!...... oh, and the bottle of bubbly my missus had preordered and paid for NEVER arrived, although we got a spa discount instead, which ended up costing us more money AND the 'hard sell' of 'Buy these products we've used on you for an extra hundred and something dollars' only to be subjected to the 'face like chewing a wasp' when we declined. The room Steward was a friendly guy though, trying his best through adversity, and an obviously too heavy workload. At this stage, we went down and requested the $29 dollar per day tips removed from our cruise account..... everything seems now to be geared around tipping, even though we mainly used Speciality Restaurants (and paid extra), and the Windjammer self service, (we only used the main restaurant twice) and every time we had a drink there was already a service charge added to the bill! I'll always tip for over and above service, but this was cr*p! although we did tip our Steward in cash at the end as we usually do. The poor staff are obsessed with feedback.... even the photographer who expected me to get up and pose for a paid photo HALF WAY THROUGH MY DINNER! Main Restaurant: Food OK, although only word to describe it would be 'rushed' so used only twice. Speciality Restaurants: Hey! a good word at last I hear you cry! Both Chops Grille, and Giovanni's excellent, both food and staff Johnny Rocket's : 10 minute wait in outside part with no staff show, so finally went inside and ordered...... only 4 other people present, so no rush then! Shows: Ice show a spectacular triumph, greatly talented performers. Disembarcation: Self carry-off was a farce at 6am......... no staff present, and queue where you like standing for 20 minutes, even in front of lifts, gangways and stairs.... very safe I'm sure -NOT! Saving grace..... met some lovely people. Sorry to say this may well be our last R.C Cruise, the downhill slide is now very 'In Your Face' , and with all the expected extras, Cruise Lines not paying their staff a living wage and declining staff levels, the sad fact is I bet we're not the only ones. Rant over! bet you didn't guess I'm a bit disillusioned! Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
No problem with the ship, cabin spacious and clean, food was very good. We had the premium drinks package but initially felt as though staff reluctant to serve your drinks particularly in the dining room but this was remedied over the ... Read More
No problem with the ship, cabin spacious and clean, food was very good. We had the premium drinks package but initially felt as though staff reluctant to serve your drinks particularly in the dining room but this was remedied over the cruise although shiraz was not included in a premium package but staff keen to sell you a bottle!. Dining room table allocated was poorly situated resulting in waiters squashing past and catching you with trays but after pointing this out we were moved to share a table which we didn't mind. Main dining room let down by serving tea and coffee in the evening in chunky mugs...not acceptable in a formal dining room. Windjammer buffet dated and canteen like but the food was varied and palatable Entertainment was good but not brilliant, not a patch on Norwegian cruise line the pianist was very repetitive after hearing him a couple of times. On board photos poor not proffesional standard. The main let down was the ports at Lanzarote (Arracefe) and Tennerife (Santa Cruz) as they are not attractive or interesting areas And the good places like Madeira were only half day stops docking late morning/early afternoon which left little time to take in the sights. Our cabin boy and dining room staff were good but felt overall that there was not enough staff and you were not getting that personal service as experienced on other cruises.staff didn't seem to know the basic info and contradicted each other when asking for advice. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
first the good: ship was clean , staff usually smiling and attentive, production shows very good. coffee/tea/hot cocoa available on 5th floor atrium ... Read More
first the good: ship was clean , staff usually smiling and attentive, production shows very good. coffee/tea/hot cocoa available on 5th floor atrium captain generally available around ship so...what's the beef ? the not-so-good:no commentary on decks--even thru suez canal !!! not enough lectures during day, same movies just rerun, how about more movies during day? activities starting at 10:30 pm, that's too late, how about 7-8 pm ? food quality slipping, creme broule was grainy, no lobster short hours in restaurants, buffet, even the soft-serve ice cream !! no info of any quality for ports of call, only excursion sales talk overall this cruise put RC behind Princess & HAL in quality. shame on them !! Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
One can see why RCL has a lot of loyal cruisers...lots of glitz and fun atmosphere. It appears the Diamond cruisers privilege include unlimited free alcohol from 5 pm to 8:30 pm. Many of the Diamond cruisers could be easily identified. It ... Read More
One can see why RCL has a lot of loyal cruisers...lots of glitz and fun atmosphere. It appears the Diamond cruisers privilege include unlimited free alcohol from 5 pm to 8:30 pm. Many of the Diamond cruisers could be easily identified. It appears non Diamond cruisers are paying for the alcohol for the Diamond holders. There are extra charges for many things (galley tour, sushi, arts and crafts, lobster at dinner, hamburgers) other cruise lines include as free. If the alcohol is limited to 2 drinks per Diamond person, the cost saving could be used to encourage other cruisers to sail with RCL. The promenade area made navigating the ship very easy. The promenade area was very crowded and it was difficulty to find space to sit and relax on evenings and sea days. On evenings with street parties the area is so crowded it is impossible to move around. The bay window in our cabin overlooks the promenade area was impressive. It was nice to have a window to people watch. The drawback of having a cabin facing the promenade is the music was loud and continued late at night and started early in the morning. Our ship had to miss the Israel port due to disturbances in Jerusalem. We were glad RCL was concerned for our safety. RCL gave us onboard credit for the inconvience but did non refund the port charges for the port. The cruise director gave a half hour port talk for all ports. The talk was a shallow sales talk on RCL shore excursions and nothing else. It would have been nice to learn about the area before we reached the port. Many of the cruise lines theme the movies and activities to the arrival port...not RCL. Other than announcing we were approaching Suez Canal and taking special equipment on board, there was no special presentation. The service in the dining room was outstanding. The food presentation was okay. The meat on the plate was plentiful and done well. The breads in the dining room was excellent. Desserts were ok but not special at all. Baked Alaskan was a fake...ice cream covered with egg white in a casserole dish. The food in the Windjammer was ok but the same stuff everyday. The breads and buns felt like day old and broke apart when you bite into it. The carved meats was excellent. There were no movies (except when CNN or BBC broadcast are not available) or tv channels available on the tv. Other nice touches missing are: bathrobes, chocolates, enrichment lectures, destination lectures. I can see why previous RCL cruisers organized events prior to boarding. Although the ship arrived a port later than planned, the disembarkment was a total mess. Our disembarking meeting place was the theatre which also held the passengers with RCL shore excursions. Independent passengers and shore excursions were all trying to leave at the same time. It took over an hour to leave the ship when your number was called. The Explorer is comparable to a Carnival...a party ship with lots of glitz and little substance. I would cruise RCL if... RCL sails to an iternery that is not offered by any other cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
We cruised from Barcelona to Singapore recently on Explorer. It is a really beautiful ship and we found the service on this ship to be very good. Embarkation and disembarkation went very smoothly. Although we did not get to Jerusalem ... Read More
We cruised from Barcelona to Singapore recently on Explorer. It is a really beautiful ship and we found the service on this ship to be very good. Embarkation and disembarkation went very smoothly. Although we did not get to Jerusalem because of the unrest and for which we were compensated by Royal Caribbean, we enjoyed the first sector of this cruise, Barcelona to Dubai, the most interesting, especially Petra, in Jordan. We did a private tour for this excursion with a group of 12 people, and enjoyed it very much. Sailing through the Suez was very interesting, particularly now that on certain sections it now has two way traffic. Embarkation on the second sector in Kuala Lumpur was very chaotic. All tours were assembled in the theatre, and it was almost impossible for people to get in to get their allocated numbers. Staff were not helpful and a lot of people were very upset. The food was of a reasonable standard. The restaurant staff and drink waiters gave very good service. The ship itself is very attractive, and the skating rink is an added bonus. We saw a most spectacular show there, the skaters were world class. The only negative I found on the ship was the lack of books in the library. For a ship of this size, it was certainly one of the poorest libraries I have seen on any ship. All in all, a good cruise. Lyn, Brisbane. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
Was somewhat disappointed with this first cruise with RCI. However there were good points. I loved the ship and the cabin looking out onto the promenade was excellent. Staff were fabulous especially the stateroom attendant Jose. Boarding ... Read More
Was somewhat disappointed with this first cruise with RCI. However there were good points. I loved the ship and the cabin looking out onto the promenade was excellent. Staff were fabulous especially the stateroom attendant Jose. Boarding and disembarking were excellent. The itinerary was also good. However one of m my joys of previous cruises has been the food which has always been fantastic. This time it was very ordinary. Presentation was nowhere near the standards of previous experiences and of poor quality on a number of occasions. Bar prices were also on the expensive side with an 18% gratuity being added. They also add local vat when in port or up to 10 miles out. Have not noticed that with their cruise lines. I enjoyed the cruise but would have to think hard to choose RCI again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
After cruising with P&O last year we thought we would try RC. I travelled with my partner and my son. We are in our forties. We were given an ocean view stateroom and although clean it was tiny! From day one we realised the ... Read More
After cruising with P&O last year we thought we would try RC. I travelled with my partner and my son. We are in our forties. We were given an ocean view stateroom and although clean it was tiny! From day one we realised the windjammer (more like the limb jammer) was a nightmare! Food was awful, people don't wait in line, no seats, basically chaos! I got breakfast one morning and walked round for twenty minutes with my son before a place became available! It was cold by the time I sat down! I was ranting as I was walking around but no staff offered to help us find a seat!! Main dining room the food was better but still not P&O standard and we were forced to pay for speciality restaurants to get decent food! If you want a sun lounger forget it unless you get up at 7 am and put a towel on it! I swear there is not one lounger available some days and they are not occupied by humans just towels or books! 50% are unoccupied but RC do not remove the towels and let people abuse it!!! They are constantly on the sell and even the captain mentions what items are on sale on his mid day reports! Must get commission! Don't buy an invicta watch with 75% off because even with this discount they are cheaper on Amazon! Entertainment is rubbish apart from the comedians and all the entertainment staff can think of in bars is quizzes or karaoke to which u will not get a seat unless u arrive an hour before Kids everywhere but in RCs defence it is summer holidays but there is no room to breath on this ship!!! There is meant to be a adult only pool but RC do not police it and it's full of teenagers on sea days! The poor underpaid staff are great, work hard and are friendly and cruise director Tim is good. Excursions are good but expensive! Found this ship moves a lot more than Azura but it is an older ship so probably to be expected. If I cruise again I'll be going back to P&O as until I went on this cruise I didn't realise how spoilt we were! Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
We chose this cruise so our 18 year old son could join us, and yes there were children on board because it was school holidays!!! The children we saw were well behaved, and having a great time with their families. Royal Caribbeans policy ... Read More
We chose this cruise so our 18 year old son could join us, and yes there were children on board because it was school holidays!!! The children we saw were well behaved, and having a great time with their families. Royal Caribbeans policy of no children in the nightclub after 10 pm works a treat (P&O take note!!) the staff on board went out of their way to be friendly. The entertainment team were energetic in encouraging people to join in. We ate in the main dining room on 'my time' dining most evenings, and it was very well organised (P&O take note!!!) Plenty of food choices and wine was served promptly. Perhaps Royal Caribbean should enforce the sun bed policy a little more sharply, but I only really had a problem on one of the days. We danced the last bit of the night away most evenings in Dizzys with some lovely people. It had a great party atmosphere. Never a problem with any of the lifts ( P&O take note!!) And plenty of stairs to get around. Our stateroom was kept immaculate even with a teenager in the room, so ' thank you' Lewis. We were worried about disembarking the ship as we had a train to catch, but there was absolutely nothing to worry about, we followed the instructions and walked straight off the boat (P&O take note!!) We would recommended this boat and itinery to anyone who enjoys having fun, chatting to new people and an itinery where you don't have to rise until midday!! Keep up the good work Royal Caribbean. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
Took the explorer of the seas out of Southampton on our second cruise to the Norwegian Fjords . . . our third on Royal Caribbean and 60th overall. Our cabin, and expanded veranda on deck 7, was the highlight of the trip. The crew, the ... Read More
Took the explorer of the seas out of Southampton on our second cruise to the Norwegian Fjords . . . our third on Royal Caribbean and 60th overall. Our cabin, and expanded veranda on deck 7, was the highlight of the trip. The crew, the worst aspect. The food was a disappointment . . . something like eating three meals a day in an Applebees! Eight dinners and eight breakfasts served to our party of four resulted in not one meal being served in anything resembling the correct order (for example I got desert one night before my wife had her entrée), The food quality matched the service. But worst was the crew's attitude toward those of use with mobility challenges . . . no help was offered either on boarding or leaving the ship. In fact in most ports the crew watched me try to maneuver a walker on and off the ship. At debarkation the guest services desk pre-arranged for a wheelchair to help me exit for a 6:45AM departure to a ship - run bus to the airport. Only they would not provide a wheelchair until 7:30AM and the answer to my "what do I do" question was "either skip the tour or walk" with emphasis on the fact they would not refund the tour ticket price. I have been on several other cruise lines with my walker. Costa goes out of their way to assure safety and comfort . . .NCL is not far behind. RCI I am sure cares as well, but this ships crew never seems to have "gotten the memo". I even spoke with a guest services manager who told me "this is the way it is". Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
I have never thought that I would be writing a review before but after enjoying this cruise so much I thought I should do so. I met with a good friend on the ship in Southampton. He had previously done the 11 night cruise before and had a ... Read More
I have never thought that I would be writing a review before but after enjoying this cruise so much I thought I should do so. I met with a good friend on the ship in Southampton. He had previously done the 11 night cruise before and had a fantastic time with his friends he met up with new friends on this cruise also. We met a wonderful family from Chester who really made the cruise as well. The staff as always went above and beyond what was expected of them. Even a staff member remembered me from Legend of the Seas last May. Jorge Delgado our Diamond Concierge was amazing any thing that anyone required he attended to even in his own time which was amazing. I really enjoyed the main dining and loved the idea of upgrading a meal for only $10 to have a fillet steak from Chops Grill. I was on the ship last year and I have to admit that the ship was tired. I thought after coming out of dry dock that Royal Caribbean had done a really good job. The public areas and main dining room looked fantastic. I think that all the staff worked so well together and seemed to enjoy what they were doing. In my review I never did any shore excursions but I have rated them on the experience of many people that I spoke to in the lounge. They really enjoyed them I have to say it was nice to hear about them. Everything went so well to get on and off the ship in Southampton in all it was a sad feeling to leave Explorer of the Seas. I now look forward to sailing on The Allure of the seas in September, which I will be D+ after finishing that Cruise. Before I finish I have sailed with many other cruise lines but I have to say Royal Caribbean and their Loyalty programme is the best for me. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
After 20+ cruises this is my first written review, it's my opinion and everyone has one! Checkin was very smooth and fast. Was on Explorer 1 1/2 years ago and the ship looks great after refit. Staff was good and eager to help ... Read More
After 20+ cruises this is my first written review, it's my opinion and everyone has one! Checkin was very smooth and fast. Was on Explorer 1 1/2 years ago and the ship looks great after refit. Staff was good and eager to help with any request. Ships entertainment was good with the ice show being the best of the 5 I have seen. The special performers were the WORST I have seen yet! This is RC fault. They are putting big bucks into the large boats and the med. to sm. ships are paying the price. They really need to rethink their policies. Food was ok in the Windjammer, of course the crowds were there but Explorer did open the main dinning area to help with that problem. We had dinner a Chops on the 4th night. Very much a let down. 3 of 4 filets had to be sent back due to being over cooked. Service was very slow and we had to ask every time we wanted more water or ice tea. For the up charge they charge you, things like this should NEVER happen! These were not the first steaks these folks ever cooked! Our waitress should be else where on the ship if she does not want to wait tables. Bar staff in the Viking Lounge was excellent, can't say enough about those guys! Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
Just a short review of our recent 8 night cultural cruise on the beautifully renovated Explorer of the Sea with my partner and myself. Our trip started with a delayed flight to Washington DC and thanks to United Airlines we were we ... Read More
Just a short review of our recent 8 night cultural cruise on the beautifully renovated Explorer of the Sea with my partner and myself. Our trip started with a delayed flight to Washington DC and thanks to United Airlines we were we switched to a American Airlines flight and made it to London 1 hour behind schedule. Our downtown stay at the Park Plaza Westminster Hotel was great and we were able to see the heart of London (which was very wet with constant rain). I would highly recommend the use of the underground train, which we used 2 times to get to central London. We did tour the Natural History Museum, which was free, but not overwhelming. We met out transport to the ship right behind our hotel (special thanks to Nicole for organizing this van) and by noon we were both on the ship, after a seamless embarkation process. The ship was in very good condition and our D1 cabin was well renovated. The common areas all looked great and no signs of wear for a ship that is 15 years old. I only saw the new flowrider in use on day one. We met many very nice persons onboard and the crew seemed very willing to please. The Diamond Lounge turned out to be very nice (a bit crowded), but Gorge Delgado in the Diamond Lounge did an outstanding job of doing his best to make everyone happy. We did use our 3 free drink Diamond perks at various bars on the ship and were treated well. We did use the Windjammer for most meals and the food was always good, as I was never hungry. The wait staff was very pleasant and seemed eager to please. The gym was well equipped and the spa staff were very helpful with a very informative acupuncture clinic. Yes the pizza at the Café was not very quality minded, but it was Ok for a snack. The cruise director and staff were active and performed well. As a side note, RCL continues to lag behind in their 1970's disco event- specifically the cruise staff is assigned to perform as YMCA performers and it never works very well--- I cannot understand why they can't pull together a good looking, well outfitted YMCA act- there must be one person on the ship that can pull off a good looking TANNED Indian and the construction worker displayed no more that a pocket knife in his tool belt....but I digress on this. The singers and dancers were good and their performances were high energy and the band playing at the back of the stage was a nice touch. RCL is doing OK in entertainment, but keep expectations on the low side, as compared to the entertainment of many years ago. We tried room service one night and because of a room mix-up, the food took 1 1/2 hours to arrive, but the steak sandwiches were excellent! Apologies were made for the room service delay and we were given a special number to call for future room service. The late night disco music was very good (which was a disappointment on past cruises with DJ's that don't care what they play) --- the DJ did take requests and played music to the various ethnic groups, which danced late into the night. All in all, this was a very relaxing cruise, with a good staff and the great people we met on the cruise. Next year for us, will be a warm weather cruise to the southern Caribbean, as 2 cold annual trips to Norway has me thinking about a little warmth. Our dismemberment off the ship was the BEST ever, with NO customs to go thru leaving the ship. Special thanks to Susan (NY) for organizing the van transport to Heathrow Airport. The flight home was flawless, only to find a big scratch on the new car bumper, at the airport parking lot. Now I find myself going to work and dreaming of my next April/2016 cruise... Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
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 4.4
Value For Money 5.0 3.9
Rates 4.0 4.1

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