188 Royal Caribbean Explorer of the Seas South Pacific Cruise Reviews

We have sailed on a number of RC ships and were looking forward to this one. Just a short break to the Pacific Islands. Bars - definite lack of staff in this area (all bars) always had to wait for drinks, (never had this problem on ... Read More
We have sailed on a number of RC ships and were looking forward to this one. Just a short break to the Pacific Islands. Bars - definite lack of staff in this area (all bars) always had to wait for drinks, (never had this problem on other ships) first ship we have had to ask for a stirrer and slice of orange in a Campari and soda it’s a basic drink (staff just not trained)! Main dining room well don’t recommend that at all, in fact we spoke to someone about the lack of attention and the food just well............ Windjammer again disappointed the same dish was served for the first three days! Usually there are such great choices. Specialty dining - Giovanni’s was very nice attention to detail good. Izumi’s the best excellent food and service. Chops Grille sad, it was great on other ships but this visit definitely disappointed. Shows were pretty good, ice show excellent, general entertainment hmmmm... We felt there was a ‘lack of food venues’ for snacks and coffee etc., other RC ships definitely had more choice/venues. It even seemed to be a battle to get a cup of tea at times and sometimes just didn’t bother because the queue was just too long. Again just not enough staff!!!! On one occasion I was making a cup of tea and noticed pink lipstick on the mug while pouring hot water into it, staff standing next to me, I said “ooh this mug is dirty” he turned and walked away!! Not the reaction I expected. Overall the staff moral seemed low and staff numbers seemed low as in a great shortage of them. After listening to the Captain at a ‘function’ thinking there maybe lies the answer! Would not sail on Explorer of the Seas again and would not recommend it. Next cruise will make us Diamond and really thinking do we want to keep going ? Have had so many fantastic cruises just hoping they are not ‘losing the plot’. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We choose to experience the bigger ship but it fell short on expectations. Symphony dining was one third full with two people at 8 seater tables. Background music was so loud we couldn’t hear ourselves with the Head Waiter saying it ... Read More
We choose to experience the bigger ship but it fell short on expectations. Symphony dining was one third full with two people at 8 seater tables. Background music was so loud we couldn’t hear ourselves with the Head Waiter saying it couldn’t be changed as it was arranged from Miami. Some diners were dressed in singlet shirts, caps and thongs and the Head Waiter said they would be offended if told to change. This complaint goes back some years. Windjammer buffet restaurant was noisy and food ‘just ok’. Promenade Coffee shop - too small for a 4,000 person ship particularly on sea days and coffee well and truly brewed most of the time. Balconies overlooking the Promenade had lights shining into their cabins and noisy. Very young children were running about the top deck and up and down in lifts at midnight. No parents were in sight. Tenders were efficient, evening shows were good quality. Shops had good quality merchandise. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Chose this deal when on Radiance last December as big irresitible hook of $350usd OBC offered. We were assigned Inside cabin deck 8 aft, a burst water pipe put paid to that, so after a haggle with Guest Services we ended up in a Junior ... Read More
Chose this deal when on Radiance last December as big irresitible hook of $350usd OBC offered. We were assigned Inside cabin deck 8 aft, a burst water pipe put paid to that, so after a haggle with Guest Services we ended up in a Junior Suite at rear of deck 6 for the remaining 5 nights, brilliant. Staff were great, dining room waiters Geraldine & Prudencio & Maitre D fussing to make sure all was good. Breakfast & occasional lunch in MDR Sapphires was excellent. Windjammer was crowded, better to avoid at peak hours. Captain Mal & officers mixed on several occasions with guests, very visible & omniprescent. Crown & Anchor evening was good, Captain & C & A lady doing the talking. WE took the 79USD package & used it at Izumis 3x, great tucker. Production shows were hot hot hot, loved every one. Fast Forward, Invitation to Dance & Las Vegas show. The supporting acts were very good over all, Monique Martinez & Coedian Paul Bracks excellent. The solo guitarman Jovencio was very good, Piano lady spoilt by too trebly amplification, C Wind band very good playing 70-80s music. Ports of call Lifou, Mystery Island & Isle of Pines were great, that torquoise colored water is unforgettable, Noumea however is forgettable. Enrichment was by someone from Minerals Council i think, too early for me. Embarkation was easy at 130pm, disembarking was a cattle call. Tenders to the islands was great, 4 tenders docking at the island piers making a quick journey. The trip was made so enjoyable by the Junior Suite, first upgrade ever after about 16 cruises. Next time on RCI we will be Diamond so that will mean no queing at all, look forward to it. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
I chose those cruise because I have had a good experience with Royal Caribbean before and expected the same. Unfortunately that wasn’t the case. The best bar, Dizzys on deck 14 with the best view, was unavailable every single day, ... Read More
I chose those cruise because I have had a good experience with Royal Caribbean before and expected the same. Unfortunately that wasn’t the case. The best bar, Dizzys on deck 14 with the best view, was unavailable every single day, closed for Diamond only! This is clearly unfair. Even when it was open, there were long periods it was unattended. Staff apologised as they kicked people out at 4:30 but really, just not good enough. When it reopened at 8:30 the diamond folks remained so hard to find a seat, and the entertainment up there was atrocious! Awful DJ, pandering only to the elderly. The movies were screened twice a day on deck, but at weird times like at lunch or dinner when people would clearly be out dining. No BBQ or pizza or snack on deck, I assumed you simply weren’t allowed to eat there, it was certainly strongly discouraged! there was a blatant lack of seating or shade for people on the pool decks. If you wanted to spend time there, you had to plant early and one of you always be there! Little to no effort was made to provide us with decent music or entertainment on deck except at sail away, and that was brief and not very good, then it would abruptly end after about 45 minutes. Theme nights were a joke as they were carried out in the promenade so so one could move or see! Waste of time. Cocktails were mixes and watered, often warm. We often had to teach them cocktails and many refused. Cocktail list at the R Bar has literally five cocktails listed and that’s it! As Dizzys was never available the other bars were packed out every day so again a huge lack of seating was a big problem the entire cruise! The sapphire dining room was slow, we gave up as we were refused cocktails and our request for wine and beer took over 30 minutes. Bigger noisier tables got first service. I ordered an eggs Benedict well done with bacon, was told twice the reason my order was taking so long was because I wanted it well done. Came out after 35 minutes runny with grey undercooked bacon. Got up and left, waiter didn’t bother asking why, as it was obvious! The windjammer was very good though and the head cook fantastic. Great theme nights! There was never enough pizza in the promenade cafe however, not ever. They ran out all the time. As it’s the only place to get a snack you’d think they’d be better prepared. Chefs table was fabulous, as was specialty dining; Giovanni’s was outstanding. Explorer is continuing on to Southhampton and then not returning to Australia after refurb so it very much felt like little effort was made, by the cruise director or the staff. The ice show and theatre shows were good, and worth seeing, it was the huge lack of entertainment elsewhere that was a problem and so it got very monotonous doing the same things only, like trivia. Disappointing and boring cruise. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We have just returned from a 14 day South Pacific cruise on Explorer of the Seas. May I say I was very concerned going in since she was launched in 2000 and is 19 years old. For us humans 19 years is nothing but having thousands of people ... Read More
We have just returned from a 14 day South Pacific cruise on Explorer of the Seas. May I say I was very concerned going in since she was launched in 2000 and is 19 years old. For us humans 19 years is nothing but having thousands of people engage with her a lady can show age! The itinerary drew us to Explorer since we were all the way over on the other side of the world and came off Ovation of the seas in New Zealand ( more on that later) so why not extend the trip. We booked the Owners Suite and said let’s see what happens. Bottom line, WE LOVED HER! Yes there was a bit of wear but not what we expected. She looked like a beautiful girl for what I call “old school” nostalgic. The touches of cruise ships from the past were fantastic. The crew outstanding, there was not a time that the crew stepped up and made our experience outstanding. Being Diamond the Diamond lounge was the best lounge on and ship we have been on. Since there were 462 Diamond or Diamond Plus people the lounge poured out ito Dizzy’s which was fantastic, did not go over well with the other people because Dizzy’s was closed from 4:30-8:30 every night. Andy the ar tender than you for your service and Micheal your service was fantastic! The specialty restaurant staff was outstanding! Thank you to all! Chefs table outstanding! Our Jamaican chef you were the best and I still say you have a Chefs table highlighting your culture would be a win! I know Explorer goes int dry dock next year so she will only get better. Take this from one who travels a lot, if you are considering Explorer book her, she will not disappoint you! Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
All staff members were lovely the ports that we stopped at were amazing although we missed Noumea because of a tropical cyclone. The one thing i wasnt overly impressed about was the lack of entertainment, they only really had trivia, ... Read More
All staff members were lovely the ports that we stopped at were amazing although we missed Noumea because of a tropical cyclone. The one thing i wasnt overly impressed about was the lack of entertainment, they only really had trivia, bingo, dance classes and the evening shows. Dont get me wrong the shows were awesome and the trivia was fun because we did it with friends and my partner did attend the dance classes but couldnt always participate because of the lack of space but other than that there wasnt much to do. Some days the first thing we went to on the compas was at 3 or 4pm so a little more entertainment catered to younger people would be appreciated, especially if there is bad weather like we had and they closed the outside decks so we couldnt use the rockclimbing wall, flowrider, pools or ice skating rink which sucked. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Excellent Cruise, Very nice ship with plenty to do on board. Tropical Cyclone Oma was in the vicinity so the order of ports was changed. Only one port missed in the end (Noumea) which was due to high winds at the port. Captain and staff ... Read More
Excellent Cruise, Very nice ship with plenty to do on board. Tropical Cyclone Oma was in the vicinity so the order of ports was changed. Only one port missed in the end (Noumea) which was due to high winds at the port. Captain and staff did really well to accommodate the changes in itinerary and to keep the ship safe. Food on board was a very good standard, There was a special on the ultimate drinks package (Buy one/get on at half price which dropped the cost down to $US53 pp. With cocktails between 10 and 14 dollars and wine up to $13 by the glass, with coffees, juices, soft drink and bottled water included this proved to be good value. Canadian singer songwriter Jon MacAuley was a very popular entertainer in the pub on most nights. High level of interaction with the various groups on board. Wide selection of music and requests We thoroughly enjoyed this cruise and will start looking for our next one with RCL Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We are Diamond+. 45 cruises in 3 years. Why do ships make rules, but don't enforce them, e.g. dining rooms - men wearing shorts t-shirts and thongs, not good enough! Junior cruisers without adult supervision up to 1am? ... Read More
We are Diamond+. 45 cruises in 3 years. Why do ships make rules, but don't enforce them, e.g. dining rooms - men wearing shorts t-shirts and thongs, not good enough! Junior cruisers without adult supervision up to 1am? Yikes, disaster. No ticketing for tenders and ice shows - you have to be kidding, a recipe for disaster. Children playing games on the dance floor, whilst people trying to dance. Dangerous! If a family is 'put off' for unsociable behaviour, RCI should announce it, no names etc, but let people know there are consequences for bad behaviour. Children seated at front of theatre and playing up, and going onto the stage during live performances.?? Dining room food, very good, service excellent. The staff onboard work very hard, extremely hard. Some customers should pull their head in. The Ice show is great, seen it many times. The theatre/production shows have been running for too long, they are ok for first timers, but new routines songs headliners should be brought on. I can even guess the comedians next jokes... Events e.g. trivia karaoke band art auctions game shows, should start and finish as per the daily compass, with a 15 minute break to allow people to move in/out comfortably. We want RCI to be successful, the above is intended to help them be better. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Booked this cruise because I wanted to see the South Pacific but was somewhat disappointed. Stops in Fiji were not very good. Vanuatu was much nicer especially if you like to snorkel. Lifou, New Caledonia was also very good for ... Read More
Booked this cruise because I wanted to see the South Pacific but was somewhat disappointed. Stops in Fiji were not very good. Vanuatu was much nicer especially if you like to snorkel. Lifou, New Caledonia was also very good for snorkeling. We had to skip Noumea, New Caledonia due to high winds. I was told it is common for some ports of call to be canceled on South Pacific cruises. Passengers were mostly Australians and many we met had taken this cruise in the past. Dinners in the main dining room was overall not as good as other cruises we have been on but the classic items were available every night. Breakfast and lunch in the Windjammer was also not as good as other cruises. Entertainment was poor so we skipped the nightly shows. We did not take any ship excursions as they were overpriced and I don't care for all the waiting and lines one must deal with when on a ship excursion. Dinner and cabin service was very good, better than what we experienced on other cruises. This cruise is good if you wish to spend much time snorkeling or laying on the beach but I'm no longer interested in either so I would not take this cruise again. First port of call was Newcastle where we did a lot of walking. We decided to tour Newcastle on our own. We were not allowed to walk from the ship but there was a free shuttle bus which dropped us off at Queens Wharf in front of the Six Degrees restaurant. We wanted to see Fort Scratchley and the Christ Church Cathedral and at the advise of a tourist guide at the shuttle stop, we walked to Fort Scratchley than to the Cathedral. It is much easier to walk to the Cathedral from Fort Scratchley direction since the road from Queens Wharf to the Cathedral is very steep. On the way from the Fort to the Cathedral we passed the salt water pool and Newcastle Beach which was having a surf meet. Newcastle Beach looked much nicer than Nobbys or Horshoe beach. After the Cathedral we waked down the very steep hill where there is a long row of stores across from the Wharf. Our next stop was supposed to be Noumea, New Caledonia but our itinerary was revised due to cyclone Oma. After 3 sail days we reached Lautoka, Fiji. Cost $9 USD for round trip shuttle ride which dropped us off in front of Jacks clothing store. We would have walked from the ship to town but it was very hot and humid that day. Lautoka is not a very nice town and I would not go there again. Next stop was Suva, Fiji. There were tours offered on the pier and we decided to take a 4 hour group tour to a village and waterfalls which cost 95 Australian dollars for 2 persons. The van held about 18 persons and was air conditioned and comfortable. There was a warrior dance show at the village. The waterfall was down a steep, slippery, muddy trail and there was only 45 minutes total time available for those whom wanted to swim in the falls pool. Our tour guide was great but because of several people in the group and the lack of time management, our tour arrived at the pier 1.5 hours later than it should have. Next stop was Port Vila, Vanuatu. We decided to take a private taxi tour and paid 150 Australian dollars for 3 hour tour to The Reef Vanuatu Zoological and Blue Lagoon. At the Reef Zoological you can see baby and older turtles, fruit bats, parrots and other animals. There is a 17 Australian dollar per person entry fee but I feel it was worth it. Next stop was the Blue Lagoon where you can spend your time swimming. There is an entry fee of 4 Australian dollars per person. Was very crowded due to all the other cruise ship passengers. We were next driven to Port Villa to shop than back to the ship. Next stop was Mystery Island which is only good for snorkeling. Didn't stay on shore long. Next stop was Lifou, New Caledonia. We walked up to Notre Dame church which provided a great view than walked to Church of St Francis Xavier than back to the ship. Last stop was supposed to be Noumea, New Caledonia but the wind was too strong so our ship headed back to Sydney. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Dates were convenient and needed to take a break to relax with friends and family. The cabin and waiter staff were exceptional. Particularly Shaien, Bayu and his assistant waiter Yuting had been superb dining servers. House keeping/Cabin ... Read More
Dates were convenient and needed to take a break to relax with friends and family. The cabin and waiter staff were exceptional. Particularly Shaien, Bayu and his assistant waiter Yuting had been superb dining servers. House keeping/Cabin crew Selty was incredibly kind and helpful. It was such an relaxing expierience and these servers in particular along with all the crew in general involved really made it a memorable and perfect cruise. I would highly recommend this cruise to anyone who in need of r and r. It was like a party every night with the abundance of entertainment and activities avaible. Life performance were especially enjoyable. Australia Day celebrations was incredibly memorable and even though we were away from home we were able to celebrate in such a fantastic way. The balloons falling will forever be engraved in our memories. My wife and I and our family will definitely return again for another fantastic cruise. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Family first time cruisers, was a bit overwhelming to begin with with the boat at max capacity and all were excited. Settled in well with a good mix of age groups, food in windjammers was great with variety each day, i found the dining ... Read More
Family first time cruisers, was a bit overwhelming to begin with with the boat at max capacity and all were excited. Settled in well with a good mix of age groups, food in windjammers was great with variety each day, i found the dining room food a little bland and generic. Izumi was amazing the chef's signature sushi rolls to die for! We had deluxe beverage packages which were definitely worth it with bar staff service top quality spirits such a grey goose vodka and the limit for beverages was $14 USD which meant you could have any beverage including the top cocktails. Noumea was a sham, shops are closed on Sundays so you have to pay for a tour or return to the boat (nothing open to self guide around the city) I'm sure this is done on purpose purely to promote tourism. Mystery Island and Isle of Pines were magnificent and definitely worth it, the aqua water and snorkelling is not to be missed! We packed a couple of snorkel sets and did our own thing. Overall excellent cruise - now to get back down to precruise weight :) Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Our son organised a group of 24 family and friends for this cruise. Twelve being first time cruisers. We’ve completed over thirty cruises and this was up there with the six star cruise we did a few years ago. The staff, food, service ... Read More
Our son organised a group of 24 family and friends for this cruise. Twelve being first time cruisers. We’ve completed over thirty cruises and this was up there with the six star cruise we did a few years ago. The staff, food, service was second to none. Everyone of our group had a fabulous time throughout the entire cruise, our Suite was lovely and clean everything we needed was catered for. We met the captain at Dizzys at a cocktail party held for Suite members, he was such a nice man very personable. He spent about ten minutes speaking to us and was in no rush to move on. We saw him around the ship often and always seemed happy to speak to anyone who approached him. The Cruise Director Graham was in the two best we have ever had. Brilliant entertainer and appeared to be genuine with people. Densely in the Conceirge was fantastic and helped organise birthday gifts and surprises for my sister. He was very kind and patient with our three grandchildren as well. Definitely the best RCL cruise we have had to date, currently looking for our next one. Thank you RCL. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
hi we just finished our 9 night cruise on Explorer Of The Seas and we had a great time. the main reason for having a great time was mainly due too the fact that we had a large group of 31 people with a mix of both adults and kids. some of ... Read More
hi we just finished our 9 night cruise on Explorer Of The Seas and we had a great time. the main reason for having a great time was mainly due too the fact that we had a large group of 31 people with a mix of both adults and kids. some of us have cruised before, my family cruised on the carnival spirit 3 years ago so we could compare it to that cruise. so firstly we could not fault any of the staff at all, from the dinner wait staff, the cabin attendent down to the pool staff everyone was excellent as they were on our previous cruise also they all deserve more money. when it comes to entertainment our whole group were So dissapointed, the nightly shows were very dissapointing compared to our previous Carnival cruise which were awsome.one show was a so called comedy show performed by the director of the cruise but i must say Sorry but you aint no comedian we expected so much more. So when it came to Kids club we thought having such a large group of kids they would love kids club but they didnt. it took them 1 hour to want OUT and never wanted to go back. our kids when on the carnival cruise were allowed alot of time to do their own thing but on Explorer they were told you should have read the intinerary if you dont like what we had planned you should not have come. at one stage the kids did such a very exciting activity where 20 or so kids sat in a circle with a single staff member in the middle passing the ball to them one at a time (very exciting). and i dont want to keep comparing the Explorer to the Spirit but the Spirit had a better layout in our opinion, for eg the adults only area on the Carnival Spirit was at the rear of the ship was really well laid out with a large round covered lounges around the deck edge, when compared to the Explorer's adult area called the Solarium was a roman theme and in my thoughts wasn't very appealing at all. it was in the middle of two other areas one being the main pool the other being the cabin and lift areas which if you had children you had to walk through the are to get to the pool, which sought of defeats the purpose of an adults only area.our room was cabin 1852 right at front of the ship with the whole wall being a window it was awsome and it was bit bigger than a standard room. We visited the pacific islands which are OK if you have never been before but after a couple of times its the same old thing dead broken coral after 30 odd years of trampling it gets a bit boring will definilty be looking at other locations for further cruises. so overall we had a great time with our group but would prefer a different ship and destination next time we expected so much more after being told Royal Caribbean are the best. sorry guys tried to add pics but for some reason it wouldnt work so sorry Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We chose our Cruise on Explorer of the Seas primarily because it fitted our criteria of being on a Cruise departing Sydney to Celebrate our 25th Wedding Anniversary, which ended up being the day of departure on the 15th of January 2019, it ... Read More
We chose our Cruise on Explorer of the Seas primarily because it fitted our criteria of being on a Cruise departing Sydney to Celebrate our 25th Wedding Anniversary, which ended up being the day of departure on the 15th of January 2019, it was a first time Cruise for my wife and I, and overall as an experience we had a great time, there were a few things about the whole experience that were a little disappointing which i will detail later in the review. Firstly the good things about tihe Cruise were the Staff who were very friendly, courteous, and helpful, a standout was our room attendent who had to contend with our comings and goings at all times without any help from us letting him know with placing a "Make up my room" sign on the door which we only discovered late in the Cruise ! He was always cheerful and friendly, the Cabin itself was excellent, clean, and tastefully furnished, the ship itself was amazing, the promenade on Deck 5 was like a shopping strip with shops and bars, as for the activities, it took my wife a long time to convince me about the merits of going on a cruise, i just had this pre conceived idea that i would be bored, there were so many activities, from Trivia, to concerts, and shows, we were never bored on the ship. There were a few things about the cruise that were disappointing, firstly communication with Royal Carribean in Sydney was poor, i called the number provided for the Sydney office, it was an International Call centre, i wanted to surprise my wife for the Anniversary, they had an Anniversay package with Champagne and Chocolates, but the package also included gaudy decorations which i did not want, I was happy to purchase without, however as calling was useless as the person i spoke to did not quite understand I was happy to purchase but wanted to buy without the pillow cases that said "I Love you" and the hanging decorations, he was unable to help me make the purchase without the decorations, an email i sent elicited a response that i was unable to purchase the package without the decorations, i ending up taking two bottles of Champagne on board which you are allowed to do, as well as Chocolate dipped strawberries purchased from a shop near home, communication pre cruise was poor. Secondly for us the Cruise had too many people on it, getting a place in or around the pool was a game in itself, very difficult, dinning we found to be slow, on a couple of occasions it took 2 hours, thirdly as i am usually an independent traveller who researches everything about destinations pre trip, when researching our stop to Noumea, i became very interested in the Maritime Museum which had an exhibit about La Perouse, however when reading further I discovered that the only day of the week that the Museum was not open was Monday, the day we were in Noumea, might i suggest to Cruise companies that it is not a good idea to be in Noumea on Monday's as many Museums and Markets are closed, on our trip it might have been better to have the first stop at Noumea and the last Stop at Isle of Pines, that way we get to see all attractions in Noumea, and finish with the Isle of Pines which was unbelievably good. Another annoying aspect of the ship was the "Art Auction " which is just basically over rated artworks that are based on established popular styles of art, they are by no means masterpieces which they are made out to be, and the hard sell was hard to take as well, we went to the inroductory to the Art Auction on the first night because they offered free champagne, every night we came back to our room there was advertising about the Art Auction, Hard Sell was a very negative feeling i have about the Cruise experience, from advertising about imploring us to win another Cruise by getting between 4000 and 10,000 points in the Casino, to the Vitality Spa where a free beauty consultation led to an uncomfortable hard sell experience for my wife. Also bear in mind that the shore excursions offered on Royal Caribbean are way over priced, as you can purchase the same or similar excursions with tour operators for much cheaper, for example the Tchu Tchu train on Noumea when purchased through Royal Carribean is about $69AUD, from the New Caledonia Tourist website it states the cost at 2200 F which is about $29AUD With the long list of disappointments listed it may look like we did not enjoy the cruise, nothing could be further from the truth, the Cruise was great and it will always be a great memory of how we celebrated our 25th Wedding Anniversary. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
This is our second trip on Explorer, the previous being 2 years ago. Both times before we left I read lots of negative reviews and both times I couldn't fault anything once onboard. I have cruised 13 times in all. Embarkation and ... Read More
This is our second trip on Explorer, the previous being 2 years ago. Both times before we left I read lots of negative reviews and both times I couldn't fault anything once onboard. I have cruised 13 times in all. Embarkation and disembarkation were well organised. The food was delicious, especially in the buffet which had fabulous changing selections nightly plus the firm favourites.The Sapphire Main Dining was top notch too. Service in both dining areas and the Promenade cafe was so efficient and prompt. There were lots of fun activities and some great parties at night. The nightclub was busy and pumping every night. Ice show was a must-see. The production shows with the singers and dancers were so well done to a really high standard. We went to the 9pm shows most nights and enjoyed them all. Room steward service was excellent - we wanted for nothing. This cruise was around the South Pacific and Noumea, Mystery Island, Lifou and Isle of Pines were all clean and beautiful. Lots of snorkelling with tropical fish. One thing that would make the trip better though would be to have a better selection of free movies for the cabin television. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
I took 3 first time cruisers who were adamant they would not enjoy it at all, day 2 and I was asked when are we books the next cruise!! The service was fantastic there was always something to do so there was no time when we were bored. ... Read More
I took 3 first time cruisers who were adamant they would not enjoy it at all, day 2 and I was asked when are we books the next cruise!! The service was fantastic there was always something to do so there was no time when we were bored. The food in the windjammer was amazing, so much to choose fro, the main dinning rm, the Sapphire room, was perfect, we could want for nothing more,the staff were polite, friendly and very helpful. The ship was beautiful if you wanted osop you could if you wanted to drink you could if you wanted too eat you cold, so many choices of everything was available. The bars were great if I couldn’t decide what I wanted the bartender suggested something and asked do I prefer fruity, creamy sweet etc etc. The room was so clean and comfortable our steward was so helpful and friendly. Read Less
Sail Date January 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
Loved everything. Service was great especially our room steward and main dining room. Some bar staff not as friendly but speed of service was okay. Not a big fan of windjammer but loved the dining room and pizza qt cafe promonade. ... Read More
Loved everything. Service was great especially our room steward and main dining room. Some bar staff not as friendly but speed of service was okay. Not a big fan of windjammer but loved the dining room and pizza qt cafe promonade. Plenty of dining options to find something to taste. Entertainment directors could have been more entertaining. Missed a sailaway party and more bands live music on the pool deck. Shows were of a high standard. Overall staff were amazing and it was a holiday of a lifetime. The embarking disembarking was speedy. Some wait for tender boats but not too bad. Islands were all wonderful and snorking was the best we have experienced. Mystery island was the family favourite. Touch touch train on noumea is highly recommended. Isle of pines 2 hour sighseeing train (booked on island) was also recommended. Dont miss the cave it was a highlight. Will be cruising with royal caribbean again! Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
The trip started off well with a very efficient embarkation. Our rooms were ready on-time to the minute. Things that stood out for me on this voyage: The medical facility was good. I was glad to be able to purchase some ibuprofen ... Read More
The trip started off well with a very efficient embarkation. Our rooms were ready on-time to the minute. Things that stood out for me on this voyage: The medical facility was good. I was glad to be able to purchase some ibuprofen and dayquil there and it was well staffed. The Shore excursions desk was particularly helpful. I appreciated getting good advice about destinations without the hard sell as i’m more of a diy type myself. The Duty free shop is a joke. If you can’t find better prices on liquor and cigarettes where you live...relocate! Lunches in the Sapphire dining room were lack luster. Menu options didn’t impress and service was consistently awful. We were a table of 12 with 5 children. On one lunch there nobody looked after us the entire meal. No help with the high chair, dirty seats, no menus and no service. When we finally got the attention of a waiter for menus, he returned with breakfast menus instead instead of lunch. The level of engagement there was horrible. Also a problem in the Sapphire Dining Room, the door attendants did not require hand sanitizing even though at lunch time most guests there opted for the lunch buffet. The lunch buffet table was exposed without glass to shield food from coughing and sneezing. It's important to note that we were service notice of occurrences of norovirus on our sailing and although nobody in our party got it, several contracted the flu or other viruses. Drink packages horrendously expensive. Unless you plan on draining the ocean, it's probably better to buy individually even with the high drink prices. During tendering, Royal Caribbean exhibited good crowd control. Lines weren't always short but they always moved very quickly and orderly. Shows were of mixed levels of quality. Ice skaters were very good quality. The broadway style entertainers were so-so. We had two comedians...one was aweful and the other was a lot of fun. The professional dancers were very talented. We had a magician aboard for several shows. He was a hit with most of the guests. We thought he was a jerk. If keen to ice skate, bring your own skates as those offered aren’t worth strapping on. They buckled under the weight of the persons wearing them. The Amateur Choir was a lot of fun to watch. I'm sure the travelers participating had a blast too. The soft serve ice cream was a hit and so were the pizza and espresso at the cafe promenade. We spent time there nearly every day. We really liked the buffet for dinner. They took turns with different ethnic options every evening. The Indian and Mexican, in particular, were really good. Our room steward was amazing. Really good due who worked his butt of endlessly. Loads of issues with sea cards and card readers. The lifeguards around the pools were very attentive and always present.I really appreciated that with 5 kids in our party. They made it feel very safe. Bad internet The fastest their internet got was .5 mbps. The person working at the internet cafe said this wasn't normal but offered no reason why or when good service would be restored so I assume it's always that crappy...Don't waste your money. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
This was THE WORST cruise we have ever had. The Cruise itself was OK, but the treatment of families with young kids was no good. If you have ANY kids that still use Nappies and or are not COMPLETELY 100% Toilet trained. This is not ... Read More
This was THE WORST cruise we have ever had. The Cruise itself was OK, but the treatment of families with young kids was no good. If you have ANY kids that still use Nappies and or are not COMPLETELY 100% Toilet trained. This is not the cruise to go on. The Kids club and Pools will not accept any kids that cannot go to the bathroom by themselves, do their business by themselves, and finish up by themselves. There is no splash pool for younger kids on this cruise. Do not let advertising fool you as we did, that they take kids from 3-12 yrs old in the kids club. It just isn't true. The Deluxe drink package is also awfully expensive. Naturally we didn't get to use much of the $850 drinks package because we had childcare duties 100% of the entire cruise. The good part of this cruise - Boarding and departure were quick. The food was OK Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
This was a sensational cruise The embarkation was swift and straight to Windjammers ( great quality) Cabin better than expected ( Hanging area loaded with hangers Ship was well run you could feel the vibe and the unity that this ... Read More
This was a sensational cruise The embarkation was swift and straight to Windjammers ( great quality) Cabin better than expected ( Hanging area loaded with hangers Ship was well run you could feel the vibe and the unity that this was a committed team . The ship was always being cleaned all we need to do it Coach the passengers to wash their hands !! The wait staff in the MDR and Windjammers was amazing and very attentive The Head Waiters ( especially Andreea and Erol ) we’re so supportive of there staff and us as passengers I also noted that a vast number of wait staff went out of there way to build rapport with the passengers, not seen much of this activity in the past voyages we have done . Even saw the Big Indian Restaurant Manager sweeping and collecting plates whilst in duty .... I complimented him for having created such a wonderful team He was so genuine in his attitude and work ethic His team rallied constantly ( wish I had taken his name ) The Australian INX Show was brilliant one of the Best we have ever seen at Sea excellent work RCI The Magician was also good however the RCI singers were average and I did not enjoy their productions ( even struggled with Xmas Carols ) The ship was also very respectful of Xmas .... did a great Ship in this politically correct world we live in Santa visited the ship and the kids !! The crew in the specialty dinner restaurants were not up to scratch Giovanni’s were under staffed and that Head Waiter was NOt a team player and the unity was NOT evident plus our medium rare steaks we both well done If our waitress was ever on the floor we would have sent back BUt we were too full to bother ( 5/10 ) The tender service was well organised and worked a treat The Explorer was smart enough to have a vast number of tenders down to accomthe passenger flow ! One of the Best cruises we have ever done Be proud RCI and Explorer Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We chose this cruise for a family Christmas cruise because we believed there would be lots to do for the kids. Our only criticism of the children's activities are that a couple of the attendants had so little interest in what they ... Read More
We chose this cruise for a family Christmas cruise because we believed there would be lots to do for the kids. Our only criticism of the children's activities are that a couple of the attendants had so little interest in what they were doing it didn't make it enjoyable for the children. Also children were vetted according to height for the wave pool which resulted in shorter older children missing out on using that facility in favour of younger children who may have been taller. Our seven year old grandson was only just short of the height restrictions but 5 and 6 year old taller children who were not so adept at sport were able to use that facility. Seemed a strange way of vetting use. We had just come off a 26 day cruise with another cruiseline (with only 900 passengers) where we were so disappointed to miss 3 shore stops because that cruise line believed it was not safe to tender. This Royal Caribbean cruise though with about 4500 passengers with such a well trained tender staff had no problem getting all passengers off in a very timely manner, way quicker than our previous cruise and on ports which would have been considered unsafe on the other cruise. This made us realise how untrained the other cruises staff were with tendering processes. Well done Royal Caribbean and Explorer of the Seas. The food at speciality restuarant Izumu was brilliant with the food in the main dining room being of good quality. Service at both restaurants was excellant with the wait staff being very attentive and knowledgeable on the menu. We didnt like the way parents allowed their children to handle food in the buffet restaurant and only ate there if in a hurry. That should be stopped as there was gastro onboard however none of our party caught it. Overall we would definitely go on this ship again even without the grandchildren. There was so much to do with the entertainment in the evening being very good. With so many passengers we had been expecting huge delays for boarding, disembarkation and tendering but did not find this at all. This had to be one of the most well organised cruises we have been on. Thank you Royal Caribbean and Explorer of the Seas. A great experience. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
The ship was fabulously decorated and the staff and crew went way above to create a memorable experience. The atmosphere with most of the passengers dressing up was certainly festive. Lots decorated the cabins and the cabin doors. Food ... Read More
The ship was fabulously decorated and the staff and crew went way above to create a memorable experience. The atmosphere with most of the passengers dressing up was certainly festive. Lots decorated the cabins and the cabin doors. Food delicious. Cafe Promenade needs updating. One negative experience was the massively expensive Lunch at La Meridian on Isle of Pines was terrible and the excursions manager said no one had ever complained before and it was their most popular excursion. Don’t fall for it, the food was disgusting. They said they would let head office know. There were lots of extra activities for the kids (1700 onboard) but a little limited for adults. Shows were great. Because of the number of children the adults pool was not crowded, with plenty of deck chairs available. The screen in the theatre and the projector desperately needs updating. Although the ship was full the staff handled the numbers very well. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
This was my third cruise with my family (wife and 8 year old daughter). My thoughts are that overall, Explorer provides a solid cruise experience. While some of the bells and whistles are absent, all of us had a great holiday. The ... Read More
This was my third cruise with my family (wife and 8 year old daughter). My thoughts are that overall, Explorer provides a solid cruise experience. While some of the bells and whistles are absent, all of us had a great holiday. The dining experiences in particular, were consistently of a high quality. On realising that I liked Indian food, my waiter at the Sapphire dining room ordered me an Indian main every night, off the menu. Little touches like this were consistent. Having tried all the specialty dining with the 3 night package, I think Giovanni's table probably had the best experience but my daughter thought Sapphire was where it was at. The entertainment staff did well too. Trivia, live music and poolside activities provided us plenty to do. We did find that trivia was very popular and we arrived about 15 minutes prior to get a seat. Evening entertainment showed signs of brilliance with excellent singers, dancers and a booked out ice-skating show. Some of the tribute bands were less great though. One caveat - Adventure Ocean was packed this cruise. We had to arrive 15 minutes before opening to get a space. I haven't had that experience on Ovation or Carnival Spirit, despite school holidays. The Christmas experience was well done. There was a parade, Santa Claus, gifts for the kids and plenty of activities throughout the day. My wife and daughter participated in the choir, which they really enjoyed. 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
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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