118 Royal Caribbean Explorer of the Seas Romantic Cruise Reviews

This was sold as a Holiday cruise - with New Year's celebrated on the ship. We booked a Junior Suite and were not disappointed! It was comfortable and roomy (and the bathtub and walk-in closet weren't bad either!). This was my ... Read More
This was sold as a Holiday cruise - with New Year's celebrated on the ship. We booked a Junior Suite and were not disappointed! It was comfortable and roomy (and the bathtub and walk-in closet weren't bad either!). This was my first Caribbean sailing - but not my first RCL cruise. I was told the ship and amentities would be more crowded than what I was used to - and that there would be a more family vibe. I didn't find crowds to be that bad - we're up early for breakfast so the Windjammer at 7:00 - 7:30am was perfect. Not too crowded at all and seats could be found all over the place! The family vibe was definately there. Not a fan of a lot of kids, but it was okay as they were mostly behaved (even though some took to running up and down the hallways late at night...). Most disappointing was the food in the Main Dining Room. No special dinner for New Year's Eve. Food choices were okay, but not exceptional. All menus were red meat heavy (and I am not a vegetarian by any means!). Appetizers had more imagination and were quite good. We had dinner at Chops one night. My filet mignon was cooked to perfection! My husband rated his steak as just okay. The menu indicated that sides were shareable, but some were not. I think if a couple shares three sides, that would be ample (we shared only two). Desert was just okay - we got the same selection as in the Main Dining Room. RCL staff were wonderful in every area - they all worked really hard to ensure every guest had the most memorable vacation - and we did! Yes, some of the entertainment was cheezy, but there were a lot families, so we went with the flow and had an enjoyable time. Headliners were wonderful and we were quite pleased with all the performers. We wish there were more matinee movies on the sea days. Excursions booked through RCL were great, although really research your tours as we found that the decriptions provided by RCL were not always clear. For example, we booked a UTV ride in Aruba that went in part to the Natural Pool, but no where in the brochure did it tell us we could go swimming so no one on our tour packed a bathing suit or towel. Labadee was a great stop, but unfortunately, the beach lounger we booked was on Adrenaline Beach - which we found as unswimable due to the rocky bottom. Luckily we brought swim shoes, but the ocean floor was painful at times. There was so much to do that we didn't get to, so I hope we'll be able to go back and try the zipline! We opted for Jet Skiing this trip and it was so much fun! One thing if you go ashore, do pack some US $. The Haitians work on the island, and it's nice to tip them for the great service they provide (like showing you to your beach cabana and/or lounger). New Year's on the ship was fun! We got party hats, tiara's and noise-makers at our MDR table. The Promenade, as expected, was packed. I had read about reserving tables for a fee and must say, it would have been a waste of $ to do so - it was much more fun walking amongst the crowd! It was a real party atmosphere. Added bonus - we got to watch the fireworks in Aruba from our balcony! We have very fond memories of our trip. The weather was amazing and RCL staff were fantastic! A perfect way to spend our anniversary! Read Less
Sail Date December 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
We chose this cruise as it was sailing to a number of tick box locations. The embarkation process was amongst the easiest of all, after 8 previous cruises, we are big fans of cruise embarkation, this was excellent. We made our way to our ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it was sailing to a number of tick box locations. The embarkation process was amongst the easiest of all, after 8 previous cruises, we are big fans of cruise embarkation, this was excellent. We made our way to our cabin 7204 - Ocean view, very clean and as we took our own phone chargers it didn’t matter that the only part of the cabin that didn’t work was the hub socket. We have now had cabins at the stern previously and chose a front facing cabin. Our first two week cruise, we took clothes to fit this, however we believe the wardrobe wasn’t big enough, perhaps during the next refit this could be addressed without losing too much. After checking out and being pleased with our cabin, as is our normal practice we look at the restaurant and where we were to spend our evening meal. We had informed Royal Caribbean of our request for early dining and a table for two. As far as we were concerned this was agreed however on reaching our table we were to be sat at a table for eight. Speaking to the chap with the laptop, we were told, “we decide table seating, not Royal Caribbean “, as we were an early sitting, he advised us to eat at 2000, when a two seat table would have been arranged. At 2000, we returned to the restaurant and were dealt with by embarrassed staff, who could not do enough for us. We ended our meal with the promise that our table for the next meal was a two seater table at 1800. This was confirmed with a note posted to our cabin. The following night we went to our nominated table at our nominated time and unfortunately another couple were sat having ordered their meal. Further embarrassment all around amongst the staff, eventually we had to be in the restaurant at 1745, we could then eat at the same table (for two) for the remainder of the cruise. On our return home I contacted Royal Caribbean to inform them and received the following reply “We have received your correspondence regarding the table issue. We apologize that it did not work out as you said it has in the past. When you request a table for two that is exactly what it is a request its not a guaranty”. (It would be impolite to alter the spelling) the evenings entertainment on day one was a make shift performance to introduce everyone to the guests, day two the entertainment on the first sea day was a Beatles tribute band, excellent they were to, standing ovation The entertainment was a series of guest artists appearing nightly, including Mick Miller, who was quite funny in the 70’s, 40 years later, not so! Visiting male singer, female singer, a juggler, a hypnotist, a magician all of whom were simple fare passing the time until the next days visit. The scenery of a Baltic cruise is exceptional unfortunately 50% is during the night, but it must be said the ports and shore excursions were second to none, however all when booked on the ship were very expensive due in main to the rubbish exchange rate between the dollar and the pound. We needed to book the shore excursion in St Petersburg to enable a visa to be covered for the trip. Otherwise normally we do not book onboard excursions, these were very expensive, what we did though was book the hop on, hop off buses for $18 each. Visiting Oslo, Copenhagen, Tallin, St Petersburg, Helsinki, Stockholm, Skagen, Stavanger, all superb places to visit, though the majority were not suitable for wheelchair users as explained in the ships daily post, still ignored however, particularly on the cobbles of St Petersburg, it was painful to watch the struggles of pushing or being pushed on the treacherous paths. The entertainment team (not singers or dancers) tried very hard to make the cruise enjoyable with lots of quizzes, these were in the main very difficult. They ran the bingo, very expensive at $56 for two pages of four and two dabbers. The session we attended was a very long session for one house which was $500. We think there were four singers in the entertainment team, they were brilliant but only put on four shows in the fortnight we were on our cruise, the team of dancers were equally talented but also only gave the four shows. Further entertainment was provided by the Wild boys, again brilliant and also another comedian who was up to date and funny Speaking to other passengers who had sailed with Royal Caribbean they agreed the ship was the worst they had been on, it was our first Royal Caribbean cruise and yes it will most probably our last. A shame, a very good crew, a very funny Cruise Director but the first weeks food was bland, the second weeks food was better. All in all if this was our first cruise we would not be upset, but after nine cruises, it was no where near the best one. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Mostly went on this cruise for the wonderful ports we stopped in. Embarkation and leaving the ship were quick and easy. The ship was fine. The average age of the ship was very old (older than i thought and I expected the crowd to be ... Read More
Mostly went on this cruise for the wonderful ports we stopped in. Embarkation and leaving the ship were quick and easy. The ship was fine. The average age of the ship was very old (older than i thought and I expected the crowd to be old). This was fine for us as we are not the type to stay out late partying - but almost nobody showed up to parties or events. The shows were also tailored for the older crowd. The ship was our biggest so we expected entertainment to be awesome - the lead male and female singers were great but there was only one comedian the entire trip and we were unimpressed with the entertainment overall. There is not a ton to do on the ship - basketball and ping pong are outside and the wind makes them almost impossible. If you are not doing trivia, at a bar, or playing bingo, there is alot of time for hot tubs. The adults only section of pool and hot tubs were the biggest I've seen and we loved them - but they did not have access to watch the movie if you are excited about that. There were also a variety of lectures prior to the port stops. Dining was fine - very comparable to other cruise ships and companies. The service, however, was EXCELLENT. The best dining room service we have had in about 6/7 cruises. We did not try any specialty dining for the first time. Ports were great - some very small towns such as Oslo had little to do but were enjoyable. Russia did not disappoint - be sure to book excursions before hand in order to get off the ship. HOWEVER, the cruises sometimes imply or otherwise make it seem as if you can only get off the ship if you have an excursion booked through them directly. This is NOT the case. While the Royal Caribbean cruises had more time (about an hour before and a bit after) in Russia, we completed our full two day tour. I recommend SPB for small groups - the cruise had large buses with up to 45 people. Many places such as the Hermitage and Peterhof are packed and it is very disorganized in the museums so having a small group with SPB of only about 15 made things MUCH easier. Highly recommend the Ice Bar in Helskini - there are several (such as Stockholm) but Helsinki is far superior with a large indoor facility. Love the trip - once in a lifetime. PS there are not a ton of kids on this trip - we loved it. however, if we had kids there was not alot for them to do and not enough kids to get anything done Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We chose this cruise for the itinerary; we'd never been to ports of call. The staff was friendly and attentive, always ready to help. Our Main Dining Room staff was excellent, from the Head Waiter to our personal waitstaff. ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary; we'd never been to ports of call. The staff was friendly and attentive, always ready to help. Our Main Dining Room staff was excellent, from the Head Waiter to our personal waitstaff. Most of the musical entertainment was very good. The comedians were just okay...maybe it's because we missed some things since we're not British (the accent, colloquialisms, etc.). Perry in the Schooner was funny, but it was the same show every night. Further, the timing of some shows conflicted with both MDR times. The nights when there was only one performance, you'd either arrive late or have to leave early. The ship was refurbished a few years ago, and needs an update again. Some areas of the ship are showing wear and tear. Then, the food. There were some highlights, like the osso buco one night in the Main Dining Room. The buffet has a huge variety, but the food was just average. The set-up for the drinks is congested. We went to Chops Grille one night, and it was good. 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
This was the only time we could get off from our business so decided to look for something all inclusive and in one place and to cover New Year. From the ease of boarding, the cleanliness, the super efficient service, the facilities, the ... Read More
This was the only time we could get off from our business so decided to look for something all inclusive and in one place and to cover New Year. From the ease of boarding, the cleanliness, the super efficient service, the facilities, the food choices, the entertainment, the new friends and the sheer relaxation confirmed we had made the right choice. We loved the bed and pillows in our Balcony cabin and our cabin attendant was superb with little touches to make us feel special. Plenty of room and mid-ship on deck 6. We chose the Deluxe Drink Package and we definitely recommend for value for money. It doesn't take long to add up special coffee's, Cocktails, Beers, Wines and Nips throughout the day. The entertainment from the theatre to the Ice Rink was first class. The my time dining was exceptional as we had the same table for two every night, with the same waiters who became friends easily. If you wanted seconds or even thirds it was available including Giant Prawns and lobster tails. Good selection of wines throughout the ship as well. The ship was well furbished and spotless. The toilets around the ship were pristine all the time. The cleanliness of the ship was evident with staff wiping down everything and hand washing a big must everywhere. We have already booked another and highly recommend to every one. We read a few negative comments before boarding however, what we found we couldn't fault. We would also recommend Chops Grill as an extra because this restaurant was outstanding. We also expected the windjammer buffet to be standard fare however we were shocked at the choices and the food standard was way above expectations. If you want to Drink, Relax and eat to your hearts content then go for it. My wife also booked phone connection and this was excellent throughout. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Had heard n read reviews about Royal Caribbean cruises.was our first time on a cruise. The embarkation was very smooth with no hassle n on upon the ship the staffs guided us through the allocated entries. The cabin was very clean and ... Read More
Had heard n read reviews about Royal Caribbean cruises.was our first time on a cruise. The embarkation was very smooth with no hassle n on upon the ship the staffs guided us through the allocated entries. The cabin was very clean and well kept.the dining staff were very helpful n there were lots of choices of food. The entertainment was great as we experienced a variety of performance . Lots of activities for all ages .The service provided by most staff were excellent.though the swimming pool area was taken by the same people everyday n not every one got the opportunity to enjoy the pool. The on shore excursions especially city n country side ride was a bit too costly as not much was provided on this trip.the staffs at the stopover place for refreshments were very rude n unfriendly. The pastry was ridiculous.did not get to see much on the noumea excursion.waste of time Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We did a day sampler on Explorer and thought we would go longer to give it a try. We were in Grande suite Deck 10 cabin 1548, the bath is too deep to get into for a shower if you have mobility issues. The cabin is underneath Solarium/ ... Read More
We did a day sampler on Explorer and thought we would go longer to give it a try. We were in Grande suite Deck 10 cabin 1548, the bath is too deep to get into for a shower if you have mobility issues. The cabin is underneath Solarium/ Spa area we could hear trolleys of towels? being moved, but it wasn't annoying. We are very close to lifts but restaurants were at other end of ship unfortunately. We were able to go to concierge Lounge, but no toilet facility's are near by unless you go to deck 11 next to Choppes Grille. I found the Victoria Secrets spray more expensive than Radiance of the seas and personnel in shop were snobs and didn't want to help unless you were buying expensive perfume. Food in MTD was lovely and proportioned, Choppes Grill was good and Giovannis was just beautiful. We would go on Explorer again, but be a bit more careful when choosing a room. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
My partner and I have cruised with Royal Caribbean before on Radiance of the Seas but this ship was much better in regards to things to do and the interior of the ship. The decor was beautiful and there were a lot more activities onboard ... Read More
My partner and I have cruised with Royal Caribbean before on Radiance of the Seas but this ship was much better in regards to things to do and the interior of the ship. The decor was beautiful and there were a lot more activities onboard than on Radiance. I feel that this particular ship is more suited to young and middle-aged people but there were a lot of older people on it enjoying themselves- the more the merrier! Radiance of the seas is definitely suited to older people, not young, so for young people considering going on Radiance of the Seas, just a warning that there won’t be many young people to meet. Explorer blew me away from the minute we got on it as I had read terrible reviews for it and took it to heart. I was glad that I could make my own opinion. When we got on we were able to go into our room straight away- the room was much bigger than the one we stayed in on Radiance! That was the first plus for me. We then headed up to the Windjammer for lunch and the food was good. We had dinner in the Sapphire dining room every night. The food was very good and the waiters were attentive. The only speciality restaurant we tried was Johnny Rockets, an American fast food diner. It was fun but the food wasn’t too special as it was very deep-fried and greasy. That is the idea of it though! It is worth going to though. The tuna melt was amazing. It’s $9.95 US each. Milkshakes and desserts are extra. We don’t have kids but noticed that there is a special place where kids can go and are looked after and entertained all day and night which is excellent. The only con for us was the price of the drinks. We hadn’t purchased a drinks package because we’re not big drinkers but when we decided we wanted to have a few drinks, we were held back by the price. The drinks are about $10 US!!!!!! The ship has lots of bars to accommodate everyone and the royal promenade is amazing. There is also a cafe that have complimentary food but the ice cream and barista coffee is extra. One of the other things I was concerned about prior to sailing on Explorer was the crowds, lines and wait times. Of course I was worried about nothing because the only time we stood in a queue was boarding on and off the ship which is to be expected. The ship is so big and spaced out that there is so much room for everybody on board to spread out except on a good day the pools are always busy and the theatre is packed when shows are on. I was mesmerised by how beautiful the ship was inside! If you are lucky enough to get Marvin or Michael hosting the quizzes, bingo etc, they are so hilarious and are very entertaining. I’m so glad I got to meet them. My partner and I were lucky enough to be seated with 2 other couples which we made really good friends with and shared wonderful memories. It made the trip go really fast meeting like-minded people that we hung out with for most of the time. Overall a very fun, relaxing and wonderful holiday. We will definitely be cruising with Royal Carribean again but I would love to go on this ship in particular again! We paid half the price of the Radiance cruise and I can say I definitely like Explorer ship more. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Moderate luxury in junior suite Paying constantly for extras such as onshore cruises where more extras such as snorkeling. Can’t access an iron. Friendly staff. Food average to ok. Junior suite was spacious and clean but needs ... Read More
Moderate luxury in junior suite Paying constantly for extras such as onshore cruises where more extras such as snorkeling. Can’t access an iron. Friendly staff. Food average to ok. Junior suite was spacious and clean but needs maintenance. Very expensive internet. Good entertainment. I didn’t like hints near the end to tip in addition to pre paid gratuity. Also to leave good reviews. We paid extra for three restaurants but hardly worth it. Prawns in one restaurant we’re watery and I couldn’t eat them but replaced at no cost with a Caesar salad and a friendly apology. The mystery night ( cost extra) was great. Long life milk only made coffee and tea unpalatable even when paying extra in cafes. Generally fellow cruisers flappy and no hint of trouble but again it was November and few young people onboard this cruise. Overall we had a good holiday but will try another line next time. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We had been on Explorer twice before, both cruises out of Cape Liberty. This was to be our first Pacific cruise. Never having been to Seattle we arrived 3 days early. We toured the city and took in a Mariners game. We made the Hampton ... Read More
We had been on Explorer twice before, both cruises out of Cape Liberty. This was to be our first Pacific cruise. Never having been to Seattle we arrived 3 days early. We toured the city and took in a Mariners game. We made the Hampton Inn on 5th avenue our base of operations. The room was clean and comfortable and breakfast was included each morning. (I love those waffles!) On Friday morning (after breakfast of course) we took the hotel shuttle to the cruise terminal. Check-in went painlessly and before you knew it we were on the ship. From hotel to ship it took us about 45 minutes, the fastest check-in I ever experienced. Seeing that this was our third voyage on Explorer there was no need to explore the ship. So, after going to guest services to have our sea-passes punched and going to the dining room to check out our table, we headed up to the Windjammer for some lunch. After eating our room was ready so we checked that out. We met our room steward and began unpacking as our luggage had been delivered. Soon it was time for muster. Our station was in the Star Lounge. Great, we didn't have to stand on a hot deck! After the drill it was time for sail-away. I finally got to meet most of the people I had been taking to for over a year! I can't remember the names (I've got a lousy memory!) The only ones I remember were Rich and Patti because they lived about 40 miles from us. Knowing that we would see these people again during the week, we said good-bye and went to the room to get ready for dinner. At the dining room we met our tablemates. They were a couple from Delaware, a couple from Australia, and another couple from New York that as it turned out, lived about 15 miles from us! All were great company throughout the week. The next morning we docked in Astoria, Oregon. After breakfast we met our excursion and boarded a bus for Mt. St. Helen. I must say, it was a very impressive tour. Even after close to 40 years after the eruption, the area was still devastated! That was an all-day tour so we went right to dinner when we returned, after our martini that is! After dinner we went to the evening show for a while and then my wife went back to the room while I went to the cigar lounge. That's where I experienced my first disappointment of the cruise. The company there was excellent. I'm a retired police officer and it seems everybody in there was related to the law enforcement field in one way or the other! The trouble is that there was no attendant/waiter in the lounge. That meant that we had to get our own drinks and nobody ever emptied the ashtrays. I know that RCCL is getting rid of the Connoisseur Clubs (which I think is a mistake), but at least wait till they're gone before you abandon them! I have to say that after that night the waiter from the Star Lounge did pop in every so often to take drink orders. The next day was a sea day so we basically relaxed, ate, and drank. That night was the first formal night so we got to dress up for dinner. My wife got all dressed up in formal attire and I put on my tux. Man, did we look good! Even the captain remarked as to how good we looked! The following day we docked in San Francisco. Again, after breakfast we boarded a bus for our next excursion, The Napa Valley Wine Train. The train is made up of a lounge car and a dining car from the golden age of railroading. First we had cocktails and appetizers in the lounge car before moving into the dining car for a delicious lunch. All while traveling past many wineries of the Napa Valley. We got back and had our evening martini, dinner, and my wife to bed, and me to the cigar lounge. The next morning, after breakfast, we walked down towards Fisherman's Wharf. We had been to San Francisco 38 years earlier on our honeymoon. Most of the land we walked on was not there then! A lot had been reclaimed from the bay. We walked around and then headed back to the ship. It was very hot that day. I should mention that the weather for the entire cruise was perfect, except for our return to Seattle. That morning it was raining off and on. The ship left San Francisco about 4:30 pm. As we sailed along the coast whales would surface every once in a while! For dinner that night we went to Chops! Excellent food! The next day was a sea day. Again we spent it relaxing, eating, and drinking. Early that afternoon, we went for a couples massage. If you've never done it, you really should. If I was anymore relaxed after that I would have been liquid! That evening we went to diner at the Chef's Table. The food and wine pairings were so good, but the best part of the evening was our fellow guests at the table! We had such a lively bunch! The following morning we arrived at Victoria Island, British Columbia. Our tour that day took us to Butchart Gardens were we had high tea. The gardens were beautiful even though it really wasn't the ideal time of year to go there. Afterwards we went back to the ship. We had our farewell dinner with our tablemates. After a final nightcap, my wife went off to bed and I went to the cigar lounge and had one last smoke with my new friend Rich. The next morning it was back to Seattle and the real world. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Well I’ll start by saying visiting Alaska is a must on anyone’s bucket list ! Cruising seem to be the best way to see the most Alaska has to offer ! If you can get a balcony room ! Your excursions do not have to be planned in advance ... Read More
Well I’ll start by saying visiting Alaska is a must on anyone’s bucket list ! Cruising seem to be the best way to see the most Alaska has to offer ! If you can get a balcony room ! Your excursions do not have to be planned in advance you can book on the cruise or with private companies at the ports or just walk to town ( take a cab in Victoria it’s the cheapest way to town 10$ To the empress hotel for up to 6 people the shuttle 13$ per person ) and do a self guided tour of the town , I highly reccomend booking one in Skagway as it is the longest day in port ! We did a tripbup the white mountain pass in a mini bus great views and photo opps ! Bus stops a bunch of times to take photos several water falls , if they see wild animals they will pull over to phoyograph ! We went to the kiosk just off the ship and booked through I think it was MNM tours Joe was our guide and he was great ! Got to see a bear ! But there aren’t any whale watching tours in Skagway from what I could see , if that is your interest book in jueneu or Victoria ( orca) this is the last leg of the trip so if your booking it needs to be the first thing you do in Victoria . I read somewhere that whale watching is best done in June . Whale sighting guarantees well let me tell you about that , you can see them from the ship at times we had several opportunities but you’ll be looking for the puff of water and then movent if your lucky you’ll catch a tail this isn’t sea world show this is wild life so your taking your chances . Watch the weather before you go , several excursions were cancelled due to weather related issues , mainly a lot of rain and high winds . Meaning no helicopters to take you up to dog sled . Skagway is very windy ! The day we were there it gave Chicago a run for its money ! That is what it’s namw means also Skagway = a windy place . Lol Pack in layers you never know what the weathers going to be like ! This ship has some bonus things you may not have read about ... CIGAR LOUNGE ! , adult only swimming area , with jacuzzis and cushioned chairs super comfy ! There is plenty to eat and drink that’s included with your cruise you will not go hungry ! , we are at Johnny rockets one night it’s very reasonable 10$ choose anything from the menu extra charge fir milkshake 5$ , burgers were amazing ! As well as the rest of our food ! The staff danced at our request , not as many people working there as a normal one so not as much dancing lol but they were real good sports about it it was great fun ! Read your flyers they put on your bed daily , look for special drink deals , sales , giveaways , events etc... there’s a casino on board as well ! , explore all floors something to do or see on all except 1 st floor . Your allowed to bring two 750ml bottles of wine per room at embarkment only ! And they say no food or drink bank on to ship at ports but you can bring bottles beverages unopened small ones , you will have to go through security just FYI . Bring a water bottle . Drink packages are overrated unless your a heavy drinker , if you drink soda the soda package is 70$ approx , but there’s drinks in the windjammer free unsweetened tea , coffee ( several locations throughout the ship ) water , lemonade , sugar free fruit flavored water , milk , chocolate milk ( you have to ask for it ) . We didn’t do any formal dining , but if you’d like to dress up it would be fun I’m sure ! If you have any questions feel free to ask ! Don’t forget to washy washy your hands ! Lol ! You’ll get this later unless you’ve cruised before ! Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
The ship was larger than expected, with lots of eateries 24 hrs a day. we LOVED our dining room attendants Stanley and Kleeber - they were AWESOME1 BEST SERVICE IN THE DINING ROOM! also, OUR ATTENDANT, Romulo was GREAT1 always leaving the ... Read More
The ship was larger than expected, with lots of eateries 24 hrs a day. we LOVED our dining room attendants Stanley and Kleeber - they were AWESOME1 BEST SERVICE IN THE DINING ROOM! also, OUR ATTENDANT, Romulo was GREAT1 always leaving the room spotless and leaving us with nightly towel animals! The excursions were WONDERFEL and the glacier a high point. We were concerned about the weather this time of year, but dress in layers outside and you adjust. The ship had a very good fitness facility with all modern equipment, a large heated whirlpool,sauna, steam room,and lots of group programs everyday. Boarding the ship was fast and hassle free. After having something to eat at the Windjammer and doing the mandatory safety drill we were able to go to relax in our room and promptly were greeted with our luggage. The entire staff were always friendly and accommodating and eager to please in any way they could! Disembarkation went well also even with the fact that we had to leave early because of an early flight and had to do self assist (take our luggage off the ship ourselves). Just had to wait a little longer than usual for an elevator! All in all everything was great and would highly recommend this ship for an Alaskan cruise! Dave and Kecia C. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We chose this cruise because of the destinations and to celebrate our 50th Wedding Anniversary. We had an amazing time! The ports of call were incredible. We love cruising and enjoyed 23 nights on this Transpacific cruise. The ship size is ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the destinations and to celebrate our 50th Wedding Anniversary. We had an amazing time! The ports of call were incredible. We love cruising and enjoyed 23 nights on this Transpacific cruise. The ship size is perfect....love the Promenade. Good food, excellent service, lots of activities and our Cruise Director Graham was great!! Embarkation and Disembarkation went smoothly...it helps to be Diamond Crown and Anchor members. RCCL has a very good system to get guests processed through as quickly as possible coming on board and exiting. Prices on board ship have increased...Johnny Rockets, Specialty Restaurants, Excursions, & all beverages. We bought a drink card for $71.00 for 10 Specialty drinks and that was a good purchase....but make sure you confirm the price of the beverage as it may cost more then the $12.00 cap per drink. We were in cabin 6390, Aft of the ship. This cabin has a noise issue that we were not aware of....a slamming door from deck 5 below that the crew uses to get to the galley to the dining room. Our cabin attendant and the Deck Supervisor worked with us to lower the noise level...still is an issue with this cabin. We would definitely go again ...but book a different cabin. We are loyal RCCL cruisers and have booked another cruise already!! Bon Voyage Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
This ship is big enough to not keep running into people you meet, it offers a variety of physical activities, fab shows and lovely quiet areas to just chill out. The food was great, staff were friendly and the ship modern and funky. The ... Read More
This ship is big enough to not keep running into people you meet, it offers a variety of physical activities, fab shows and lovely quiet areas to just chill out. The food was great, staff were friendly and the ship modern and funky. The cabin was clean, the balcony lovely stayed on the bump of the midship ... staff remember your name and can’t do enough to keep you happy. We did have to miss Fiji due to cyclonic weather but we diverted to Vanuatu instead and were welcomed by the locals like we were Royalty! Lovely people. Lifou was very nice, I enjoyed the scenery and vibe, the fitter you are the more you will see... last Port of Call was Noumea / over priced, lots of graffiti and I did t find the local folk very friendly.. wouldn’t bother going there again. But I did do a tour in Noumea through the ship and it was great. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
This was our first cruise and we were not disappointed. The staff & the service they provide are amazing. Everything was so clean and our cabin was more spacious than I expected, great bed and very quiet (we were on deck 3 H cabin ... Read More
This was our first cruise and we were not disappointed. The staff & the service they provide are amazing. Everything was so clean and our cabin was more spacious than I expected, great bed and very quiet (we were on deck 3 H cabin type).. Meals great in the restaurants. We ate at Giovanis and chops grill. Weather was not perfect and it we had about a 4-5m swell for a few days but I was surprised how little the ship moved. We did miss our Fiji stops due to weather but we were taken to Vanuatu instead. The snorkeling off Lifou was amazing at the back beach (although that cost $15au each., we felt it was well worth it) and there was also a cave to walk down into and swim in the water hole at the bottom ( cost $10 each and not for those with fears of confined spaces or problems climbing quite steep slippery rocks but we enjoyed it). At Noumea we went to Amadee island for snorkling and swimming with the turtles. Quite expensive but worth every cent. We loved the day it was a fantastic place. The cruise entertainment had a good variety and there really was never a time where we felt like there was lots of crowds anywhere on the ship. If you are not much of a drinker don't automatically buy a drink card. We waited to see how much we would drink on day q. Tge drinks are poured quite strong so I couldn't drink more than 1 or 2. We opted to just but our own drinks and did not spend much but we are not drinkers generally. The tap water and the lemonade included were available everywhere. Fitness wise there was enough free classes with a stretch class, absclass and zumba all free classes. Running the deck is great if not too windy but there are lots of treadmills. Ice skating was a lovely treat taking me back to my teenage tears. Overall we had a fantastic time and will definitely cruise again. Thank you Royal Caribbean for a great first cruise experience! Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We chose this cruise as it was an opportunity to get away from the usual xmas new year routine. Our daughter and son in law were celebrating their fourth anniversary and we decided to invite them. we advised the company that we were ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it was an opportunity to get away from the usual xmas new year routine. Our daughter and son in law were celebrating their fourth anniversary and we decided to invite them. we advised the company that we were celebrating this event .the immediate response was for them to rattle off all these overpriced packages. We simply asked that there be some small recognition - card on the door? announcement at meal? -There was none. Having in recent times (-over the last 3 years ) travelled with P&O and princess cruises, I'd expected the drinks prices to be high and had budgeted for a $40AUD bottle of wine with our meal each evening. I believe many had forgotten they were paying USD for everything.They were duped into thinking lets say $36 for a bottle of wine or $9 for a stubby was acceptable - in reality using "The Ship's official" rate of exchange these prices were nearly 40% more in aud. I Hadn't expected prices for a bottle of wine to start at $60 aud! many who had the $1100aud drinks package (which they thought was$900)were cheating by sharing drinks with their partners. Cabin , meal service excellent as always , entertainment had a "sameness" .reggae which i enjoy but not for 11 days solid! I was bit wary of the cruise director whose accent sounded Russian . "Topi" turned out to be a very likeable guy I thoroughly enjoyed his sailing account . Im not certain he was good at planning the entertainment .New year's and Christmas Eve were rather flat . The dance team were good though couldn't help feeling that every show was a dancing competition.orchestra, magicians were excellent also the comedy with the exception of one who i felt attracted the cult following "yobo" element. We wouldn't travel with Royal Carribean again .We have felt P&O were more in touch with Australian travellers. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
I went on the 9 night South Pacific Cruise to Noumea, Mystery Island and Lifou. The cruise compromised of mostly 3000 Australians and about 1200 kids. This was my first cruise and I am in my early 30's. I came with my partner. ... Read More
I went on the 9 night South Pacific Cruise to Noumea, Mystery Island and Lifou. The cruise compromised of mostly 3000 Australians and about 1200 kids. This was my first cruise and I am in my early 30's. I came with my partner. Embarking was really quick and easy, I checked in at approximately 3pm. Just have your luggage tags printed out, passport ready and credit card for the seapass handy. I got my luggage pretty quickly to my room as well. Tip: Bring your own lanyard for easy access of your seapass As it was nearing Xmas, the boat was beautifully decorated with lots of xmas decorations. The boat is quite nice although feels outdated in parts. By the second day, my partner and I were very familiar with the boat and there were lots of maps about if you are lost. I found it best to wake up early to get a great table with a view at the buffet and to ensure a short wait at the buffet. A lot of people sleep in so by the time it's 8am-9am or beyond - it was difficult to get a table. We had an interior room which fit a bed, small couch, small desk and a tiny bathroom. There was also shelves, draws and hanging space for clothes. It was fit for purpose although as there were no windows, it was pitch black when you turned off the lights. Our room attendant cleaned our room twice a day and was very polite. The first few sea days when things were new, I felt like there were lots of things to do. We avoided mini golf as there were so many kids, the rock climbing wall seemed to have a large line as well but I did do a zumba class and right after we registered for plastic archery. A number of people turned up at the time archery was meant to start and missed out. We quickly learnt that you had to get there early or you would miss out. This is where I thought the planning of the activities was poor. By the final days of the cruise, people were lining up 20-30minutes prior to events starting and people were everywhere. People would sit at the schooner bar claiming several seats for other people waiting for Trivia which made it impossible for popular trivia including Harry Potter where I felt like 150 people were trying to fit into a space that would fit 40 people. The hosts of trivia seemed to be quite stressed at having enough paper and pens for people to participate and would really focus on people returning pens. On the last few days of the cruise, I wasn't able to do a number of activities such as xmas card making, ginger bread decorating or ice skating as so many people were there. At the animal towel demonstration, approximately 80 people were trying to crowd around a small table which the kids and parents of about 15 people could see. I felt that better planning was needed or they needed multiple "attractive" activities occurring at one time. At times I saw very few people attend the seminairs that obviously didn't seem that interesting. The evening shows were good, with the quality improving as the cruise went on with external acts on board. The ice skating show was really cool and entertaining with ex-olympians. I went to the chef's table (additional $$) which was a nice dinner but the quality of food did not compare to the high quality food in Sydney. The food was still the best on the cruise. I found the buffet to be a bit repetitive but was sufficient. The Main Dining Room had food that was always incredibly salty in taste. The seafood quality was poor compared to Sydney standards. They had "jumbo prawns" on the menu which would be considered king prawns in Sydney. We have much bigger prawns that would be considered jumbo. There were still some good dishes in between but I was hoping the food would be better. I wasn't sure if there was a cultural difference - is American food typically a lot more saltier than Australian? I would recommend eating breakfast in the buffet and switching to the main dining room for breakfast as well. The buffet for lunch and the main dining room for dinner. Other patrons on the cruise said they didn't think Giovanni's was worthwhile and I did not think Johnny Rockets was worthwhile unless you are desperate for a chocolate shake. It was really good. The islands were really beautiful and I recommend going early for a seamless tender to the island. DO NOT book any shore excursions as you can easily book for 1/3 of the price as soon as you enter the islands. Noumea was nice, I did a bus tour which my partner really enjoyed. You can also pay an additional $8 for access to the hop on and hop off bus. Other people just went straight to the cove. My partner also had really nice french pastries in a local patissier. Mystery Island was my favourite and I paid $30AUD for a dodgey looking glass boat tour but it was still nice. There weren't loads of schools of fish but you did see various fish like Dory fish and coral. My partner also did a cultural tour which he really enjoyed. Lifou was a bit touristy and we paid $10 AUD to go into a cave. There was a guy at the entrance so I wasn't sure if it was official or if he just made an opportunistic play. Regardless I hope he shared the profits with the broader community. The cave was a relatively quick descent although not ideal for eldery, I was fine in flip flops (thongs) and there was a small pool of water at the bottom which a few daring people dived into. The last few sea days were really boring as It was very difficult to get into the activities. I managed to line up for a while and get into ice skating which was nice. Overall the staff were really friendly and lovely. Overall, as I got the cruise on sale, I think it's very high on value when you have accomodation, travel, food and entertainment included. The service was great and the people on the cruise were generally quite polite. With some better planning in activities and adjustments on the food - the cruise could significantly be great. I was a bit bored in the end. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
I wish to thank all members of the Crew of the Explorer of the Seas for a wonderful 11 Days. We thoroughly enjoyed every minute of every day of the Cruise. This is our second cruise on Explorer of the Seas and it has exceeded our ... Read More
I wish to thank all members of the Crew of the Explorer of the Seas for a wonderful 11 Days. We thoroughly enjoyed every minute of every day of the Cruise. This is our second cruise on Explorer of the Seas and it has exceeded our expectations on both occasions. We have advised family and friends that it is like being in a five star hotel from beginning to end. The excellent friendly and helpful staff. All staff members went out of there way to ensure my wife and i were having a wonderful experience. Thank you to all. The wonderful entertainment. First Class food and drinks. You have the ability to do as much or as little as you wish. Thank you all for making it a memorable holiday. Hope to see you on our next cruise with Royal Caribbean which will always be our cruise line of choice. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
Wanted to do the Pacific Coast. Selected the Explorer from Seattle and it did not disappoint! Stayed in Seattle for 4 days prior to cruise and explored most of what Washington has to offer. Boarded ship from Uber in to diniing room in 5 ... Read More
Wanted to do the Pacific Coast. Selected the Explorer from Seattle and it did not disappoint! Stayed in Seattle for 4 days prior to cruise and explored most of what Washington has to offer. Boarded ship from Uber in to diniing room in 5 minutes. Ship was beautifully kept. Service is best that we have had in RCCL for some time. Crew was very friendly and actually looked happy to serve. Kudos to Explorer staff. Dining was good. Junior suite was excellent and in great location. Great for arriving in Astoria, San Francisco and Victoria. Ship experience was great always able to find quiet spots for reading and naps. Busy cruise though as we made the most out of the great port of calls. 2 days in San Fran was outstanding and for us ending up being a must. Pier 39, The Wharf, Disney Museum, Muir Woods, Sonoma Wine Country, night time Alcatraz tour, The Presidio, Pacific heights and Chinatown..... Astoria Cannon Beach was also a great place as well as Victoria with the Butchart Gardens and history.... Ship never felt full. We never felt rushed and loved our time on board.... Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
we had been dreaming of a cruise for a very long time, we are both disabled and on a fixed income and almost seniors, the ad came in an email, what seemed like a good deal, we were booking an inside cabin when a balcony became available ... Read More
we had been dreaming of a cruise for a very long time, we are both disabled and on a fixed income and almost seniors, the ad came in an email, what seemed like a good deal, we were booking an inside cabin when a balcony became available for the same price so we jumped on it, the first cruise experience was great and we met some amazing people, and the crew and staff were amazing and very graciouse and polite. we enjoyed a number of shows onboard and although we don't drink , we did enjoy some of the bars and lounges, the food for the most part was very good except the food was very salty most the time, if your on a salt free diet you might be in trouble! my wife spent some time in the casino and won some money, this is where the trip went bad, my wife on the last night onboard came up missing some money from her purse which she left in the room when ever we left the room. we decided to report it to security, they came to our cabin and searched the room and our luggage at least three times, causing us to miss the last night of festivities and shows, and treatment from the security personal made us feel like we were criminals, we didn't accuse anybody of anything just that we were missing money. I felt humiliated, and confused. and they made us feel as we had done something wrong, would like to go again maybe on this ship, just won't report any problems. probably should checkout other cruiselines. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
We chose this cruise mainly for the itinerary and secondly for the Friday to Friday sailing. We have never been to any of the ports of call and they didn't disappoint! We rented a car in Oregon and drove down the coast a bit and ... Read More
We chose this cruise mainly for the itinerary and secondly for the Friday to Friday sailing. We have never been to any of the ports of call and they didn't disappoint! We rented a car in Oregon and drove down the coast a bit and back. San Francisco we did the Ship tour- HoHo bus with the harbor cruise. Then in Victoria we did the ship tour to Buchart Gardens with the picnic. This was my favorite!!!! The food was delicious and plentiful and the Gardens were stunning. I only wish it wasn't so crowded but I can see why it was! The service on the cruise was outstanding from the Dining room to the cabin steward. The Explorer of the Seas was in very good shape with no visible wear and tear. The only thing we didn't like was when we booked our anytime dining we had no idea of when the entertainment was scheduled for the night. We usually missed it. I like how the Oasis Class ships let you prebook both the entertainment and your dining times. No chance of missing anything! We had a wonderful, relaxing cruise and can't wait to sail again! Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary, but we were happy with so much more! Having come off of a very bad cruise experience with Celebrity, we were a bit hesitant to try Royal Caribbean (as we understand Celebrity is owned by ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary, but we were happy with so much more! Having come off of a very bad cruise experience with Celebrity, we were a bit hesitant to try Royal Caribbean (as we understand Celebrity is owned by them). That said - our experience with each cruise line was very different. On this cruise, there was a wide variety of entertainment, the food was very good, the service was excellent & their on board activities were fantastic: from mini-golf to rock climbing, ice skating, the flow rider and more - never a dull moment! There was lots to do, the ports were great & best of all - we weren't bombarded by high-pressure sales pitches at every turn (like on Celebrity). It felt like a real vacation! On the down side, the ship is starting to look it's age & one of their specialty restaurants, Izumi, smelled extremely 'fishy'. I love seafood, but this was not a good smell & it turned us off from trying it out. The odor even carried into the neighbouring lounge at times. Aside from that, we really enjoyed this trip & look forward to checking them out again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
Explorer of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabin 4.0 N/A
Dining 4.0 4.0
Entertainment 5.0 3.9
Public Rooms 4.0 4.3
Fitness & Recreation 5.0 N/A
Family 5.0 4.1
Shore Excursions 3.0 N/A
Enrichment Activities 4.0 N/A
Service 4.0 4.3
Value for Money 5.0 N/A

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