156 Royal Caribbean Explorer of the Seas Caribbean - Southern Cruise Reviews

This is my 30th RCCL cruise, of the fifty over 35 years and I am at the Diamond + level. I selected this cruise via a "discounted" Casino Royale cruise certificate. My main focus will be on the casino. Explorer of the Seas has ... Read More
This is my 30th RCCL cruise, of the fifty over 35 years and I am at the Diamond + level. I selected this cruise via a "discounted" Casino Royale cruise certificate. My main focus will be on the casino. Explorer of the Seas has one baccarat table, two three card poker tables, two Ultimate Texas Hold'em tables, several blackjack tables, two roulette tables and on ten seat poker table. Minimum bets start at $10. The slot machines are a mixture of MANY old style slot machines, and "Asian" themed slots and a few video poker machines. The Explorer of the Seas is scheduled to be renovated in the early 2020, before it sails to European ports. THE CASINO NEEDS A TOTAL OVERHAUL. The casino staff were cordial, bar and waiters were prompt in providing beverages to the passengers playing in the Casino Royale. Now on to the rest of the review: Embarkment was at Terminal F, in Miami, FL, and if you ever sailed through RCCL's new Terminal A in Miami, FL, you thought you were back in the dark ages. It takes less than 15 minutes to go through check in and security in Terminal A and get onto the ship. Terminal F had lines for Security to check you passport and cruise documents, then it was up to the second floor to get into another line for you to check in, have them take you picture and get you sign and sail card. Then to another line to finally get on the ship, it took approximate 45 minutes. First day Windjammer Buffet: Crowded, but that was to be expected, standard buffet food, good but not great. Stateroom: Interior room, 7305 which had a window to view the promenade which was the open area in the center of the ship that had the guest services, shops and bars. Nice room, my stateroom steward, Anant was very friendly and attentive, he fulfilled my several requests promptly. Main Dining Room: It appears the RCCL fleet has standardized its memus, as the Sunday menu, was exactly that same as on the Oasis OTS in December and Allure OTS in November 2019. Food was good, and service was prompt and courteous. As this was a casino cruise, I did not do any shore excursions or see any shows. The ship overall, was in good shape, but you could see that it needed to be refurbished, In the Diamond Club, the chairs were somewhat worn, as well as other seating throughout the ship. Pools: There is a Solarium pool and whirlpools for adults only which was nice, The main pools, split on the port and starboard side had plenty of lounges for sun bathing. The smoke area was adequate for the dwindling number of smokers. Drinks are very expensive, so if you tend to over indulge on the adult beverages, the pre cruise discounted beverage package if you buy it only is about $55 + the 18% tips, so if you drink 5 alcoholic drinks per day, its a push, more than 5 per day it might be worth the purchase. I did not eat in any of the specialty restaurants, however, for what I heard at the Diamond Club passengers, the quality has done down hill. Overall it was a good cruise, not a great cruise, compared to the quality of the food and services on the mega ships. The problem is that every time you experience an exceptional cruise, that sets the standard for the next cruise, to be either met or exceeded. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
The embarkation process in Miami was quick and easy. We had stayed at the Epic Hotel near the cruise terminal so it was a short cab ride over. Other than its speed and ease there is not much to say about embarkation. That's ... Read More
The embarkation process in Miami was quick and easy. We had stayed at the Epic Hotel near the cruise terminal so it was a short cab ride over. Other than its speed and ease there is not much to say about embarkation. That's probably it a good thing. It was smooth! There were parts of this cruise that were exceptional. For example, the Main Dining Room staff (Alan - Head Waiter, Lin - Waiter, and Uragil - Assistant Waiter) were absolutely exceptional. We have never had better service or a more personalized presentations. The pool areas were always crowded but the staff of the pool bar and everyone involved in the sports programming did a fantastic job. These crews are among the finest we have encountered on any Royal Caribbean cruise. As far as entertainment goes, the headline show in the Main Theater was a Motown thing. Good performers, just not a very interesting show. The ice show in Studio B was, again, good performers but not a very interesting show. The band Midnight Avenue that played in the Star Lounge over and over was fantastic and their singer (Faith) is incredibly talented. Stuff like the 70s and 80s parties was done well enough. But the New Years party was atrocious and seemed completely unplanned. This is our third New Years cruise and the entertainment on New Years Eve this time was just plain terrible. The cruise director, Mike, stood on the promenade bridge and sang a couple of weak versions of Stevie Wonder songs. In fact, most of the stuff that Mike did was dull. He seems like a nice enough guy but he does not ooze the fun like many cruise directors do. Another issue that repeatedly arose was the fact that many of the bars were running out of top spirits. It was as if there had not been a bar stock in a long long while. If you wanted Botanist gin, Four Roses bourbon, Buffalo Trace bourbon, or Pyrat rum the odds were about 20/80 that they had it versus did not have it. Our teenagers had a great time with Optix and seemed to really enjoy the activities there. The helipad became a late evening spot for the teens...some of that was good, some not so good as a few of the teens were rowdy and cursing at other passengers in the are...trying to look cool, no doubt. But, all in all a pretty good group with pretty good programming. Our first port was Labadee. Weather was great and we hung out at Columbus Beach. We did not do an excursion but found plenty to do. For our first trip to Labadee we were impressed. The views along the beaches were great. Our second port was Aruba. We did a sail and beach excursion which was decent but not incredible. The natural beauty of Aruba was the feature, as it should have been, and the crew gave us a good tour of Aruba's history and significance. The drinks on the sailboat were included but were pretty much horrible. The drinks at the beach were included but were made on the ship and were pretty much horrible. Real cheap ingredients. That said, Palm Beach, where Pelican Pier is located, was a nice place to spend a few hours. If you're ever in Aruba on New Years Eve, expect fireworks everywhere. Like miles of firecrackers lit at a time. Insane. Most of the stores close early but restaurants and bars stay open for New Years Eve. Our third port was Bonaire. We rented a golf cart and drove the north part of the island. Navigation can get kind of wild up there and lots of one way streets make it difficult but Google Maps proved quite good at getting us around. There are some areas of the coastline with cliffs and beaches that are beyond words beautiful. We did not do the southern side of the island...but the folks at the golf cart rental recommend it more than north. Lots of stuff was closed because this was New Years Day. The little distillery in Rincon was open. Nice place. Good people. Not much to see at the distillery though. Golf cart rental was a great way to get around the island. Our fourth port of call was Curacao. We did the Discover Curacao shore excursion and it was excellent. In fact the whole experience that we had in Curacao was excellent. The sea walls, the fort, the floating bridge. It's an amazing place. Among our favorites. The ship itself was in great order and looked fantastic. The Main Dining Room food, for the most part, was excellent. We did not do any specialty dining. All in all, a good but not great cruise. I would go on Explorer again just for the Main Dining Room staff, they were that good. But, then again, our next cruise is already planned on the Oasis. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
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
First of all let's start by saying that I booked a deluxe balcony suit and spend over $18,000 on a 9 day cruise for my family. To start off, the cruise didn't even include transportation from the Miami airport to the dock. That ... Read More
First of all let's start by saying that I booked a deluxe balcony suit and spend over $18,000 on a 9 day cruise for my family. To start off, the cruise didn't even include transportation from the Miami airport to the dock. That was an additional charge. Once we boarded we couldn't even go on to our private balcony because it was covered in exhaust soot from the boats exhaust. The bed was hard as a rock and the couch had no cushions. once the balcony was washed and we were able to go out on it the next day, but it was nothing but a spectacle of peeling paint and rust. On a daily basis the deck would be covered in falling paint chips. Not to mention the private balcony, was overlooked by the cruise ship dining room. Not very private. Everything on the cruise ship seemed to nickel-and-dime you to death. You can't even get a Coke without buying it. The ice cream machine on the pool deck was constantly broken. They charge for pool towels as they have to be signed in and signed out and if your kids forget to sign them back in you get charged $25. at the excursions desk, nobody there seemed to have gone any the excursions or able to give any details as to what they're actually like. If that's your department you should at least know what you're selling. The casino was stained and smelled of old cigarette and cigar smell. On a plus note, Our dining room staff attendant we're amazing. And our room attendant was also equally is amazing. For the most part, I would give the staff a 5-star rating, and the boat a one-star. I later found out the boat was due to go into dry dock in the next few weeks and get a huge revamp however this was withheld at the time of booking otherwise I would not have booked a trip for my family or paid such a fee for a boat that was in complete disarray and in need of a major overhaul. A huge disappointment was there Private Island in Haiti, they allow local vendors. At this point they were so abrasive and aggressive, my small children were completely terrified. Also there's very few activities on their private island you can do without an additional cost and ridiculously high fees. Even on the jet ski excursion, they take you to an area where the vendors come up in bombard you with trying to sell local trinkets. I am beyond disappointed with Royal Caribbean's policies. I was not expecting an all-inclusive, but for the amount of money spent I would have expected basic amenities to be included. As for my kids, the kids clubs were of inappropriate age groupings, And lack supervision ... as I witnessed two different fights break out (at one point I had to intervene in order to end the conflict) and no security there to help in the teenage club which included my 12 and 13 year olds alongside 17 year olds. The entertainment for my nine-year-old consisted of one room with a few games in it. the basketball court was a complete chaotic mess as kids were trying to play soccer along other kids trying to play basketball. The ice rink was complete embarrassment and not even worth time. The pools started getting closed up by 9 pm. One evening they even kicked the parents out of the hot tubs by 10. all being said, I highly doubt I will ever return to a Royal Caribbean Cruise line ever again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
This was my 5th cruise with Royal Caribbean, two of which were also Voyager Class ships including the Adventure and Mariner of the Seas. We enjoyed both of those ships as well. THE GOOD: The good definitely outweighed the bad when ... Read More
This was my 5th cruise with Royal Caribbean, two of which were also Voyager Class ships including the Adventure and Mariner of the Seas. We enjoyed both of those ships as well. THE GOOD: The good definitely outweighed the bad when it comes to the Explorer. The itinerary of this cruise was great - we made stops at the ABC islands and Labadee, Haiti. The excursions that we chose were informative and thorough.For example, in Bonaire we did a glass bottom boat tour which I certainly recommend for those fascinated by marine life! Additionally, we found that we enjoyed the food on this ship more than we had on its sister ship, Adventure. The buffet and the dining room were equal when it came to dinner, with the Windjammer buffet serving some food offerings that were in the dining room, as well as adding extra options such as burgers, hot dogs, mac and cheese, and a salad bar. At dinner for desert it would alternate between a chocolate fountain and a crepe station in addition to the cakes that changed every night. The service that we experienced in both the main dining room and the buffet I think was up there in my list for ships with the best service (and I've been on over twenty something cruises). The staff couldn't be any more pleasant. At the buffet, you didn't need to get up for drinks- the waiters would immediately come to the table and ask you what you wanted. (Complimentary drinks) Dining room service was also very quick as we would usually be in and out within one to two hours. Our inside cabin was how we expected it: small. However, there was ample storage space. THE NEGATIVE: Entertainment was poor. The nightly production shows were boring. There was also a performance by a group of singers that the ship had brought in that I found so incredibly boring that I left in the middle of it. The only good shows were from a magician that was brought in and the one ice skating show. Speaking of the ice skating show, the ship would assign you times based on your muster station that you would be able to see the show. For us it was a nuisance because we were assigned a time of 7 pm which would be for us in the middle of dinner. During the day there was also a lack of activities to do. There were no slides or other cool attractions found on Royal Caribbean ships. The only things to do were really the FlowRider (which always has too many people), the rock climbing wall, mini golf, and shuffle board. Almost everyone I saw on the pool deck had a book in their hands, (including me!) something that I rarely see on big cruise ships. I definitely would recommend bringing a book as well. As much as I love the Solarium on RC, there were not enough seats for everybody, as it was incredibly difficult to get a seat. The only time we managed to get a seat was at 9:30 in the morning when everyone was either asleep or eating breakfast. As for the ship as a whole it definitely is due for renovation and amplification. This will actually be done by May of this year! However, I still highly recommend this ship! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
This was a great Royal Caribbean cruise out of Miami to the ABC islands and Labadee. Royal Caribbean staff were friendly and helpful. We enjoyed our fixed dining and had great vegan food. They brought us the menu the night before and we ... Read More
This was a great Royal Caribbean cruise out of Miami to the ABC islands and Labadee. Royal Caribbean staff were friendly and helpful. We enjoyed our fixed dining and had great vegan food. They brought us the menu the night before and we ordered what we wanted from there. We often ordered 1 or 2 vegan items and then supplemented the rest of our meal from the regular menu. We especially liked the vegan soup and the fresh rolls. We enjoyed all the food we had in the dining room, including breakfasts with buffet option, lunch with buffet option, and dinner in the dining room (no buffet option unless you specifically go to the buffet. The dining room was open for lunch on the first day and that was great too. We had an aft balcony 9692. It was listed as the lowest category 6D obstructed balcony, but we found it wonderful and not obstructed. It was a large balcony with 2 full recliners, 2 chairs that also reclined, and a small round table. It had white bars across it which allowed for breezes rather than being blocked with plexiglass or similar. I guess the ship considers the frame of the ship as the obstruction. At Labadee we got off early and practiced snorkeling at Nellie’s. There were some fish near the rocks on either side, and the closer we got to the swim boundary in those corners, the better. We walked there and back. At Bonaire, we rented a golf cart and went to 1000 steps. We found the surf and winds a bit challenging for snorkeling, but the steps were no problem (more like 70 steps). Then we made our way to Te Amo Beach near the airport. We found this beach perfect for our needs. We went out in from of the Kite City food truck and were on the outside of the reef, which had good fish and was calm enough. At Aruba we took a cab to signature park opposite the butterfly sanctuary and near the Palm Beach Police Visibility Team. Just in front of the police building there is a rocky area and we saw some nice fish. This was on a windy day where people in other locations had problems. This was a great spot for that kind of day. We walked over to the Riu next store and there was a bus stop in front of it to return. At Curacao we took an excursion to Blue Bay Beach resort and the snorkeling and view of coral was wonderful. Better on the left side and you can swim out and follow the drop-off but still be close to the shore there. Best snorkeling for us. One negative was that there were a lot of kids on the cruise, 600 we heard, and so there were more crying kids in places than we had anticipated. Royal Caribbean has been aiming at families but we were surprised about the number when school was still in session. Another was the jogging track. People were spread out across the track which partially blocked it at times. 9 times around was a mile, so it was a small track. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Explorer of the Seas live report 12/13/19-12/22/19 I will try updating each day, but cruising vacation may get in the way. I will also try to “periscope live”-socialwork911-. I will try to post pictures here as well, if I can ... Read More
Explorer of the Seas live report 12/13/19-12/22/19 I will try updating each day, but cruising vacation may get in the way. I will also try to “periscope live”-socialwork911-. I will try to post pictures here as well, if I can figure it out too. Itinerary: 12/13- Car service will pick us up at 9am, be at Port Miami around 10am to embark as early as possible. Sail away is at 5pm pre sail away party planned at schooner bar 2pm slot pull planned for 10:30pm 12/14- sea day meet and mingle in morning…161 people signed up 12/15- Labadee-7am-4pm #6 OW cabana reserved at barefoot beach 12/16-sea day cabin crawl planned 11:00am 12/17-Bonaire-8am-5pm. Excursion planned and booked through RCI, Bonaire Hightlights North and South, 9:30am-12:30pm 12/18-Aruba-8am-10pm. No pre-planned excursions 12/19-Curacao-8am-5pm. Private Journey Excursion booked through RCI-Jewish Heritage Tour, 9am-1pm 12/20-sea day 12/21-sea day 12/22-arrive back to Miami 7am Who we are: I, 63yo, clinical social worker and adjunct professor and DW 59yo, computer programmer, DS, just turned 21 and finishing a radiology therapy program, joining us. This is our cruise history: Harmony of the Seas 3/19, Harmony of the Seas 12/18, Harmony of the Seas 12/17, Oasis of the Seas 7/16, Carnival Victory-10/15, Oasis of the Seas-3/13, Explorer of the Seas-12/09, Explorer of the Seas-12/08, Brilliance of the Seas-12/07, Jewel of the Seas-4/07, Radiance of the Seas-8/06, Jewel of the Seas-4/05, Staten Island Ferry to Manhattan- 5/98-3/2010, Spirit of New Jersey 8/97- chartered for our wedding We are Diamond + and have Aft cabin 9394, 2 bedroom GS on deck 9. We have always booked suite cabins, GS or OS…this will be our first time in a 2 bedroom GS. Generally, we are easy going and relax on our vacations, spend time on our veranda, walking around the ship, attending shows and people watching…..and eating…..going to the Gym daily is on the agenda too. Since this ship has no Coastal Kitchen, we have booked the Ultimate Dining Package as we have found the food in MDR and buffet never to be hot enough (temperature wise). In addition, we find those venues too crowded for our liking. And while the dining choices are limited on this class of ship, Chops, Giovanni’s and Izumi….we will make due. This package also gives us lunch options during sea days. DW and DS have booked the refreshment package. We usually have one/two alcohol drinks a day. We love the Oasis class ship, with all its amenities, and were hesitant to book this cruise since it is an “older” ship, without a CK and right before it’s due for being “amped-up”…..but we love the ABC islands and the price was right, $6686 for 9 nights in a suite, all in with gratuities, booked it while on our last cruise and got $300 OBC too. Here is the packing list I use 7 tee shirts, 2 Hawaiian shirts, 2 long sleeve dress shirt, black jeans, beige dockers, 2 pair shorts, 2 pair gym shorts, 6 pair underwear, 5 pair socks, bathing suit, water shoes, dress shoes, boat shoes, rain jacket, meds/toiletries...I think that's it ropped of at Miami 10:15 terminal G. This a small old terminal.... we walked right in, got sea passes , no line for suite guests the waiting area is cramped and small at about 11:00 we boarded the ship went to concierge lounge, it’s empty . There were some small sandwiches and fruit and cookies, not worthy of suites. The lounge is an “inside “ room can’t tell if it’s day or night. It is on deck 9, same as our cabin. Had two cappuccinos and went up to see the diamond lounge. This is on deck 14. This lounge is bright with a dedicated out door area. Sadly the refreshment offering was the same poor selection. Having the unlimited dining package, we went for lunch at chops. One server, 6 tables... just unmanageable, we waited 30minutes from the time we order still we got our food. I ordered the hamburger, it was perfect, DW had steak salad, excellent, DS order salmon, but when he saw my hamburger, he ate half of my burger instead. Rooms opened and went to see our cabin, we carried on our bags so that was easy.... the room is nice, very spacious for the three of us, great for 4. They say it holds 8 but that would too many. At 4:30 met up with concierge and booked our lunches and diners for the rest of the cruise. Diner at 6:30 in Giovannis, I had filet minion, one of the steaks , Luke butter, DW had linguine and clams, she said it was good, looked just ok to me, DA has mushroom risotto, it was just ok. The roasted squid, was great as was the ahi tuna appetizer. Dessert, chocolate cake , but who had room. Watching basketball as I write this Miami vs LA-right game. In about an hour going for the slot pull as organized by our roll call.... meet and mingle is 9am tomorrow morning, seems early for me. We will try so do a galley tour, as we never did that before. The ship does need a dry dock, as some windows are “smoked” and cabin furniture is tired. Also the second bedroom in this cabin does not have a tv, do is sad.... I’m sure in dry dock it will be added. To be continued Good morning the slot pull last night was well attended and fun... lost $20. But well worth the hour of fun it provided. Walked into the wind jammer this morning , way to crowded for me at 8am. Saw at least two blown windows. I know at dry dock in match all should be fixed, but really no reason to not fix them, since it seems like they been this way for over a year already The bed was firm, but I like a firm bed. I’ll post some room pictures later coffee in concierge lounge is good small cold food offerings same in diamond lounge, but I had to empty the coffee grounds for the machine to work. Good thing I learned how to do this a few years ago meet and mingle in an hour the dry doc will place the CL, or SL in a great location, but without a CK on the ship, it falls short of great. Lunch at chops, the slowest service ever, we are not going back there. Walked into the windjammer to check out offering, it was a madhouse, even for a cup of coffee... never going there.... went to CL for coffee, safe and quite.... going to the gym, will report back on it.... Izumi tonight. Entertainment seems lack luster... the production show... invitation to dance,a fusion of Latin and ballroom dance... really, dancing is not a production show.... more of nothing to do... glad I brought a book to read At the suite cocktail reception, the guitarist entertainment played stairway to heaven and some other rock tunes.... I stood up and applauded her. I was the only one.... went over to her to say thank you.... she is playing in the schooner bar till 8:30 tonight she said Just got back from the gym. Had a good workout. The gym is nice lots of machines and not empty but not over crowded Tonight’s dinner was at Izumi. At first the server said the unlimited dining package was up to $30.00. My email says $35.00. Then he checked with the manager and I was correct. Why would a server say this? A poor staffing issue, one sushi chef for the whole restaurant, 25 tables.... well that means I waited 20 minutes for my appetizer... unacceptable.... my sashimi was very good.... DS had DX sushi plate.... the rice was like mush, way over cooked for sushi rice.... tomorrow is labadee, a beach day with my favorite cabana #6 OW, dinner at Giovanni Labadee is great...barefoot beach was half empty... guess suites and pins stayed on the ship. OW cabana 6 is great. The lunch included baby lamb chops and lobster tails Tonight was dinner at Giovanni, we wanted calamari which only on the lunch menu, our server went and spoke to the chef and got it for us.... love that extra customer service, a nice tip was earned.... all the food was great too.... clearly the best restaurant on this ship service and food, everyone smiles and greats you. Hanging out in schooner bar, guitarist playing rock songs, deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, queen... can’t beat that entertainment on a small ship.... tomorrow is a sea day.... I’m going to try and have breakfast, so far I’ve only had coffee..... also room crawl tomorrow 11am.. Relaxing sea day. Had about 10 people for room crawl, great time, Izumi lunch, again the server says unlimited dining package is $30pp.... I had to train them.... thinking of speaking to loyalty ambassador? After went to ice show... ok, not as good as show on harmony.... the story line was the four seasons..... really no story at all.... dinner at Giovanni, service is great, food good.... went to comedy show, very funny.... spent some time in schooner bar, a few drinks and some music.... good time.... tomorrow is Bonaire, breakfast in Giovanni, as suite guests, off the ship by 9ish.... doing rci excursion, best of north and south, 3 hours, than just probably walk around town.... dinner at Giovanni again, headline show is mark Preston, former member of letterman music group oday we were in Bonaire.... the waves were very rough from labadee, lots of sick people.... but the weather is perfect bagel and lox for breakfast and off the ship by 9am.... rci excursion both and south.... about 35 of us on a small bus, with seats built for small thin people.... the bus should also have a clear dome so everyone can really see sights.... the driver did a great narration job... went to a museum of sorts and had some complementary- meaning prepaid-cactus liquor.... very tasty, also charging 50 cents to use the bathroom? , WTH is with that RCI Next stop slave huts, next salt piles, a good overall tour Went to test the pizza when we got back... no serrentos, so pizza choices very limited, I wanted a mushroom and pepperoni pie, not possible... either plain pepperoni or mixed vegetables ... RCI, really, instead went to johnnie rockets .... Regular fast food Dinner was at Giovanni, ordered the branzino, after 15 minutes they come out and say they are out of it and only have halibut.... servers should know this and have a note in the menus Tomorrow is Aruba, no excursion planned, just go out and walk around Good morning from Aruba.... great weather and blue waters.... sailing was rough last night... very windy and bouncing seas.....no plans, just a leisurely breakfast at Giovanni, banana pancakes, and walk around. We are in port until 9:30pm.... not sure what and where to go once it gets dark off the ship.... my risk tolerance is -1 Rough sailing seas getting to Aruba.... had banana pancakes at Giovanni, alway good and great staff.... spoke with loyalty ambassador about my good and not so good experiences.... she seemed less than interested in what I had to say, IMO walked off the ship and toured the downtown area. I guess I needed to do more research as I was hoping to find a big Dutch/German influence... in fact not one Dutch or German restaurant anywhere, mostly Columbia’s and Venezuela food and language spoken? I guess Aruba had a big immigration flow from those countries and all the Dutch want back to the Netherlands. We even asked some policemen where are the authentic Dutch restaurants, he said there aren’t any.... WTH....did family soft archery competition, we came in 3rd, bronze medal, but it was fun... dinner at Izumi, good fish, service was ok..... tomorrow is Curacao and private journey, Jewish heritage tour.... afterwards we’ll walk around town, maybe it’s more Dutch ...love to have authentic lunch.... dinner at chops tomorrow night Great day in Curacao, meet our tour guide for private journey, Jewish heritage tour... we had a private van, driver and guide... went to two Jewish cemeteries, art museum tour, synagogue, Jewish history museum and distillery to taste Curacao alcohol... the entire tour was fully narrated... not rushed in anyway, no crowds... highly recommend back on the around 2pm for our nap out for dinner at 6:30 at chops, good meal and service.... not much going on this evening, as has been the case for most of this cruise. So off to watch the democratic debate and post game show. tomorrow is a sea day Dinner at chops was not great, the filet minion was chewy, had a real night at schooner bar, piano player was entertaining another fun sea day tomorrow.... doing a galley tour, ping pong, dinner at Giovanni and comedy show.... sadly packing too Last day of this cruise... loved nine nights....breakfast at Giovanni, went to do our galley tour.... very interesting. we went pick up our free8x10 diamond pictures. And then off to ping pong.... after a quick and small lunch at Azumi. The manager came over and asked if everything was ok.... it was, as the last time we ate their it wasn’t and I. Told him, we then went back to the room to start our packing and relax on the veranda. Watch the wake and read our books. went out about 5 to listen to some music at the schooner bar before dinner. Saw our room attendant in the hall, and thanked him for great service and gave him an additional tip.... Dinner at Giovanni did not disappoint, they had our calamari and the filet minion was perfect.... everyone there knows our name and always has a smile, gave our servers and manager an additional tip.... they made our trip after went to the final show and comedian... funny show.... had the drink of day for $8.00.... we walked the ship to take our last looks and enjoy till our next cruise ended up in the concierge lounge for a cappuccino and back to the room to finish packing, sadist night of the cruise tomorrow early breakfast and the concierge will escort us off the ship at 8am. Our car service pick up is at 9am for my last post I will do an overview of what I thought were the good and not so good experiences, IMO thanks for coming along on my trip.... I look forward to going with you next time getting off the ship was a mess......the concierge took us to the front of the line where they check out your sea pass card and then you are on your own....last year on harmony (ft lauderdale) we were taken all the way through to a special customs line..maybe this just how it's done in miami . IMO, here are my highlights of the good and not so good. GOOD: service at Giovanni’s, the most friendly servers and good food being on cruise is always (usually) better than work the 2 bedroom GS is really nice....lots of space to stretch out, nice veranda diamond lounge...lots of light and indoor/outdoor space guitarist and piano player in schooner bar comedy shows the fish in Izumi is very fresh, nice choices private journey excursion in curacao #6 over water cabana on Labadee lunch on Labadee-lobster tails and lamb chops...among other choices the meet and mingle and seeing people you know throughout the cruise NOT SO GOOD: the staff was not friendly....no consistent initiated greetings from staff ....one needed to greet them first food and service at Chops was poor service at Izumi was poor MDR and Windjammer had really poor food and was always over crowded not many activities to do during the day concierge seemed disinterested small inside room for concierge lounge "production shows" were boring of course all these things are subjective opinions, my views and your view may vary greatly....seemed like the main things to do on this ship were drink alcohol, gamble and lay in the sun....JMO Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We are Diamond (soon to be +), booked a Grand Suite. Although we live in Central Florida - we came down a day early and went to the Guitar Casino (very over-rated) and stayed in Hilton Blue Lagoon. Drove over to port in the am. On ... Read More
We are Diamond (soon to be +), booked a Grand Suite. Although we live in Central Florida - we came down a day early and went to the Guitar Casino (very over-rated) and stayed in Hilton Blue Lagoon. Drove over to port in the am. On our first trip around the port, we discovered parking garage by G was "closed" (however you could see rooftop spots available from ship). Drove around again and asked where to go since no signs. Was told go to use Lot J. OK drove around again looking for signs - none. On 4th trip around asked same guy and he said right at stop then left - which we did, but went into apparent construction area. Turned around and went back for 5th time. This time we followed someone and they went way down to "J" garage. Saw a bus sitting there and he took us to over to terminal. Walked right in and check in went quick. Were directed to what was supposed to be a suite lounge - which was a complete JOKE. People walking in and out coming in to get coffee and cookies, going out and sending in their friends, walking around the barrier. Employee in charge of "directing traffic" had absolutely no control. People who were entitled to the suite privilege did not even get seats (we did - folks next to us were first time cruisers also did - several people with pinnacle badges were left standing). Finally time to board and we had to make an attempt to make our way through the crowd, and even then, folks just joined in the line. No cards were checked. Our suite 1264 was what we expected (having booked suites on prior cruises) and our attendant was fabulous. My birthday was embarkation day, which we advised, but were not offered a cupcake or anything (not a big deal). Had my hair cut on first sea day and stylist did great job. There was, of course, the push for the Elemis products they sell on board (which are fabulous, but you get a better deal on their website BTW) - price was what I expected. However, also got eyebrows waxed, and that was a whopping $30 before tip. Won't do that again. First port was Labadee. Thankfully we were aware of the suite perks at Barefoot Beach already as we were NEVER advised of them on this ship. Entry to water is quite rocky - water shoes certainly help. Can't understand why they don't make a little walking area out to the water. On the ship, apparently the maintenance people came into our room (with no notice to us) and took off our balcony handrail to paint. No idea how long they were in there. Next evening we get a notice on bed that there will be "maintenance" on the balcony and you could elect to not have them come in. Well, we just expected that they were going to replace the handrail and it was an oversight for the notice - NOT SO. We walked in from our shore excursion to take a nap and cool down to find several guys painting our balcony with the door open - paint smell overwhelming in room. Thankfully cabin steward ended up coming in behind us to witness. I said something to guest services - more so that I was a little irritated that we weren't informed the first time someone other than the steward would be in the room, and then what the maintenance would be so that we could make an informed decision whether to opt out or not. Housekeeping manager got up with us quite promptly and offered a 10% discount on next cruise - well we tried to book on board, and couldn't use the certificate - apparently have to pay up front and then TRY to negotiate the refund with RCCL corporate. Yeah, we'll see how that goes. I did teach 3 Zumba classes on board and they went over quite well. Men and women were stopping me ashore and on board telling me how much they enjoyed the class. No much else to do. Thanks to Jing for setting it up, the Cruise and Activities directors for the nice morning show shout outs and the bottle of wine (which we drank AFTER class LOL) We did go to the ice show - they schedule you by muster stations - which I think is a good idea so that everyone gets a chance to see the show. It's the same show we have seen before but it was still nice to watch again. The production show was ok. Not like shows in the past. Costumes were kinda low budget. (I am a quilt teacher and fabric designer so I pay attention to these things). Diamond lounge upstairs was VERY crowded the first day then levelled out. Servers did a fabulous job and Jorge was always circulating and visible. Shout out to Brandon, one of the servers!! Appetizers left a little to be desired - perhaps if they just went simple instead of trying to be fancy tossing peppers and weird garnish in the dish. Suite lounge was midship deck 9 and (to me) very clostrophobic. Giovanni's for b'fast was also fabulous and we enjoyed the staff! We sat at Table 531 for main dining and both our guys Abhishek and JRoss, got my onion soup (with no onions) fast and perfect every day!! To muster for shore excursions you go into the theatre, which is a good idea, but they would be better off perhaps having folks sit in designated area for THEIR excursion, rather then tell them to sit wherever. Island tour of Curacao was fabulous. We had Helenica as a guide. Extremely knowledgeable and well spoken. Driver very skilled and safe. Bus was cool and comfortable. First time ever on a Caribbean tour that they did not ASK for tips. Bonaire - another island tour. Salt flats, slave homes. Guide again well spoken and clear. Bus had good sound system - but a little squished (we are not skinny LOL). Aruba did the KunuKonuko tour and it was FABULOUS!! Absolutely fabulous. I love to make noise and party. Driver Leslie was one crazy dude (said in the most loving fashion). I'd do it again and again. Debarkation was another !@#$ show. Waited in the suite lounge and we were escorted off early and were quickly through customs with a porter's assistance. Got outside and were told to wait in an area for a bus to take us over to garage J. Waited 20 minutes...no bus. Asked several port people - no one knew where to find this bus. Finally one of the girls told us to go down between slots 5 & 6, which we did, and we waited some more - no bus. We decided to hoof it over, each of us pushing an approximate 60+lb suitcase and a carry one. I should note that I am 5 weeks out of a heart attack. We got over to RCCL HQ and we stopped and hubby went the rest of the way to grab the car. We're short on points to get to D+ for our December 2020 cruise, so we booked on board for the Harmony out of Pt Canaveral (20 miles from home) in February. Tried to use the housekeeping certificate (nope), then tried to use the $100 casino certificate (another nope). Why even give them? We will NEVER EVER drive to Miami again. We were spoiled on the Allure. The concierges Dexter and Nancy were fabulous. Internet was free. Suite lounge was huge and I could go on and on. Compared to the Allure suites, this was certainly not worth the money. If they had a vacation guarantee, I'd certainly ask for my money back we were that disappointed. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
I sail to snorkel. Ship looked okay but going into drydock 3/2020 for 7 weeks. Embarkation process sucked. Captain blamed it on CBP. 77 b to b held up 4000 new cruisers. Sounds fishy...lolol. Three + hours to board. No one inside had a ... Read More
I sail to snorkel. Ship looked okay but going into drydock 3/2020 for 7 weeks. Embarkation process sucked. Captain blamed it on CBP. 77 b to b held up 4000 new cruisers. Sounds fishy...lolol. Three + hours to board. No one inside had a clue except our FB group. We had a guy held up. He was one of the b to b held up and posted throughout the process. Most meals I could finish. I'm not a foodie. Terrible entrees in MDR. I refuse to pay for Specialty Dining. I was on same route same week on Explorer 2018 and thought MDR food was great. The Quest was great. Performance show was great. I avoided tanning because I burn easily. My Stewart was outstanding. On top of everything. 10's. Dining Room waiter Henry and Kaif were excellent. Labadee looked like an RCI tourist trap. Nice place to stretch legs... Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
This was my first cruise at age 75 and have no others to compare it to. My partner is 82 and has been on many cruises so he had those to compare this cruise to. I understand The Explorer of the Seas will be going in to be refurbished in ... Read More
This was my first cruise at age 75 and have no others to compare it to. My partner is 82 and has been on many cruises so he had those to compare this cruise to. I understand The Explorer of the Seas will be going in to be refurbished in March of 2020. I thought the ship was lovely as it was, but not without its quirks. My biggest disappointments were the entertainment, elevators, food. Day of embarkation consisted to standing in line for 1-1/2 hrs. Not fun for sure. Don't really know what the reason for the delay was due to. Heard 3 different reasons. This was a caribbean cruise to Labadee, Haiti, Caracao, Bonnaire, Aruba. Our stateroom was fine, small, but doable. My partner used the small shower and dropped the soap. Trying to pick it up by stooping he could not get up. What a nightmare. We struggled for 15 minutes but he finally managed to crawl out. Whew! These showers are not for big men. Air conditioning worked very well. Our stateroom was kept clean and very well supplied every day. The attendant came twice a day once in am and again in pm to turn bed down and clean again (I thought it was overkill myself). Attendant left the itinerary for the next day. Ship was very clean. I never saw anything to suggest it wasn't clean. I saw workers cleaning the small tables in the lounge bar with toothbrushes. Geez! Bathrooms on the ship were always very clean and well-supplied. I wished they had paper seat covers but that's just another thing to flush. Entertainment was at best 2nd class lounge acts. These acts were comedians, singers, the Royal Caribbean Dancers. All shows were about 55 minutes. Did not care for the entertainment and was disappointed when there was no "real" entertainment such as a play or musical. FOOD! Such a disappointment. 1st night of the 9 days cruise was the best and so I thought well this will go well. Prime rib was excellent, chicken marsala my partner said was very good. All downhill after that. Do not get wrong there were some very nice dishes but the majority of them, in my opinion, weren't very good. Small portions. Yes, I know we could have ordered more. It took a long time to get your starter dish and after that at least 1/2 hour to get your entree. Long, long wait in between. No chance of ordering more food. I had a problem with "New York Strip Steak" that was published on the outside board but when you got the menu it said "New York Strip Loin". This was a very thin and much tougher cut of meat. Not the New York Strip Steak I know. Another night they were serving turkey dinner with baked brie as a starter. Oh good, I love turkey and had never had baked brie. When I saw menu that night there was no turkey dinner or baked brie. I mentioned this to the waiter and he checked and came back and said that was their Thanksgiving Menu put up by mistake. One night I had Shrimp Scampi. Four very tiny shrimp and linguine that had soaked up the very spicy sauce. I didn't even eat the linguine. Waiter asked how I liked it and I said way to spicy. Then here comes a man in a suit (floor manager?). I told him very spicy and it didn't say that in the description. He said it did and then brought the menu to me and it did not say it had chili peppers in it. He said they would have to change that description. This is just one example of the food problems we experienced. Went to the breakfast buffet in the main dining room every day. It was just OK. I liked the little flower shaped waffles. Bacon was a surprise. I think they cooked it in a big kettle. Every piece was stuck together to the next one. You got a clump of bacon which usually consisted of raw and over done all fused together. I took the crispy parts and broke it apart. There was no way to cut this bacon. Lunch buffet was pretty good. You could get a handmade salad. One day I got a steak at the "live steak station". The chef, or I think really just a dining worker doing the steak, gave us a nice steak, better than the New York Strip loin advertised at dinner. Problem with it was after frying it in a pan, pressing it, turning it, cooking it, fiddling with the heat we cut into the steak and it was completely raw. We ordered medium each. Another disappointment. That young man needs more training that was apparent. And it went on and on for the 9 days. I won't even go into length about the Windjammer buffet. Cold food, runny mashed potatoes etc. I do have to give some slack here. That's a buffet for you, how many times is your food hot, or even warm when you have to carry it through a very air conditioned environment in a huge room. No ice cream machines. One additional comment on the dining experience - at a lunch buffet we were seated way in the back at a table for 2 with 3 other tables for 2. Impossible to get to our table in the middle. Had to walk in back of 3 other tables to get to it. Then we asked to be moved and the floor manager? (he wore a suit) moved us to another round table for 2. OK, there was no butter at the table. I eventually had to get up and ask a waiter for it since it seemed we didn't have one. The menu was still on table and now we had dishes piled up. No one came to remove the dishes or the menus. While we were seated many waiters and waiters standing by the front door had to have seen us but no one came to remove dishes and menus or even ask if we needed anything. We found out the section he moved us to was a closed section. What? He didn't know this? Such confusion in that dining room at times. We just felt abandoned at this table. The elevators, while plentiful, did not work properly at times. Press the down arrow and the elevators went up. Some seemed to be stuck on the 1st floor and never came up again. Many times we had to go to another bank of elevators to only wait again. The first stop was Labadee, Haiti. The walk from the ship was long. My partner uses a cane and had a very difficult time making that walk. I never did go to the market because it seemed so far away. I think they had shuttles but there were a lot of people waiting. We had a drink where we could see the water and then they had a mediocre buffet, with hamburgers that were almost crispy they were so overdone. With the exception of a couple of service staff, everyone was so friendly, smiling, giving you great service. Four people gave us exceptional service and we did give them a private extra tip. Would I go on another Royal Caribbean ship? NO! I thought the the prices of drinks and anything else that required you to buy it was excessive. The word greedy comes to mind. I thought an 18% gratuity was excessive on every drink. While I probably would not mind if it was on the total of entire order. I want to go on another cruise, but not a Royal Caribbean cruise. The excursions were nice and we had nice tour guides that we learned a lot from. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We travelled with our 6 month old baby girl and I have to say apart from our cabin steward the staff were extremely accommodating, especially the head waiter in the dining room I can’t remember his name he was from Bali I think his name ... Read More
We travelled with our 6 month old baby girl and I have to say apart from our cabin steward the staff were extremely accommodating, especially the head waiter in the dining room I can’t remember his name he was from Bali I think his name was Suyanto or something similar. I’m gluten free so he also looked after me well and offered to make me something different if I didn’t fancy anything on the menu. The gluten free selection on board is weak compared to other cruise lines especially in the wind jammer very repetitive and boring especially deserts for gluten free. My husband who isn’t gluten free said the food was quite bland from his perspective especially the restaurant, and we did hear a lot of people complaining about the wait in the dining room at breakfast time 45mins plus wait for food though we never experienced this. Guest services were very rude probably the worst and most unhelpful I have experienced in 15plus cruises and need lessons in customer service. I was served once by the supervisor again didn’t catch her name she had long hair of Asian origin Philippines I think and she barely said two words didn’t greet me, barely looked up etc very rude indeed goodness knows how she made it to supervisor!! We went to the ice show which was so professional and amazing the theatre shows were only ok although we saw the confusionist he was very good and the promenade parties are always fun. Our cabin was small and very tired and the ship is showing it’s age our cabin and bathroom need a complete overhaul very dated plug broken, chipped furniture etc. If your travelling with a baby don’t be worried they couldn’t do enough for us in the dining room from accommodating the pushchair to making purées. One tip we thought about taking a stroller but in the end took our bugaboo and so glad we did. Our daughter was so much more comfortable being fully reclined etc and it wasn’t a problem for us getting on and off the ship or in and out of the cabin. Yes it took up more room but we would rather she was more comfortable so we will do the same when we go in cunard next month. Overall we chose this cruise because of price and we were restricted on dates but wouldn’t chose this ship or the itinerary again. Vigo we have done many times we just got off and had a walk around sat and had a coffee etc , gijon again we just caught the courtesy bus into town and had a walk around but it isn’t a very nice place in our opinion so not sure why they stop there. It’s ok but wouldn’t want a return visit and in le harve we walked into town which took about 20 mins as the queue for shuttle was very very long but actually was pleasantly surprised and we found the shopping quite good. Overall would we cruise RCI again probably if the price was right but on a more modern ship and better itinerary and hopefully better food. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Embarkation was easy, smooth and without any trouble. I can not say enough good things about the food on the Freedom of the Seas. Everything well prepared, tasty, great presentation and fresh. Service by the dining room staff was the ... Read More
Embarkation was easy, smooth and without any trouble. I can not say enough good things about the food on the Freedom of the Seas. Everything well prepared, tasty, great presentation and fresh. Service by the dining room staff was the best. My husband and I ate on My Time schedule and feel this worked out the best for us. We were able to see all the shows and enjoy the party feel in the Promenade. The shows were entertaining and had a younger feel to them than some of the stuffy Broadway entertainment we have seen on other ships. Music was full of life and we were familiar with some of the tunes. Played miniature golf on the ship was fun and not crowded. What I liked best is I never felt crowded We were on deck 8 our steward was very accommodating and did all he could to make our cruise a memory we will never forget. Our room was clean, well stocked and quiet. Freedom of the Seas goes on my best trip ever list. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
This was our 12th cruise with Royal, our second on Explorer. Travelling were myself, husband and two children, ages 9 and 12. Being from Canada we always travel south a day or two early to ensure we make it to the ship in time. Our 8 hour ... Read More
This was our 12th cruise with Royal, our second on Explorer. Travelling were myself, husband and two children, ages 9 and 12. Being from Canada we always travel south a day or two early to ensure we make it to the ship in time. Our 8 hour flight delay on this trip proved once again that early travel is always a good idea. We spent 2 nights pre-cruise at the Country Inn & Suites By Carlson, Port Canaveral. The hotel is very close to the port - we could see the ship from our hotel window. A buffet breakfast is included with your room and it was amazing. Lots of choices and plenty of food for everyone. Outdoor pool. Great customer service, clean rooms. Will stay there again without hesitation. We took a cab to the port but a shuttle service is available. We asked for our cab to arrive at 9:30am but he showed up at 9:00am which meant we got to the port too early and had to wait in line outside the building until 10am. I'm guessing the taxi driver wanted to pick up another fare from all the cruisers getting off the ship. The ship was at the new terminal recently built. Waiting in line wasn't too bad. There isn't anywhere to sit if you need that option. There are a few chairs just inside the building, but the doors do not open until 10am. That being said, some of the staff did go through the lineup and find those who needed a seat and offered to take them inside. This put them at the front of the line for security which bothered those who had arrived early to be first on board. It didn't bother me - I was getting on regardless so why complain? Outside the building, washrooms are close by. It gets a little cool temperature wise since you are in the shade of the building and the wind blows through the waiting area. Take a light jacket with you, just to be on the safe side. Once the doors opened, we went through security without hassles. We got our SeaPass cards with little wait. We did have to wait to board the ship though. Boarding started around 11:00am with suite guests going first, then Pinnacle members, Diamond +, Diamond. We are Diamond so we boarded at this time. I am assuming that Emerald, Platinum and Gold were next, following by non-members. We were on board before 11:30am. This was the second last cruise for Explorer before her dry dock but it didn't cause any issues that I could see. There was a new beverage package offer called Grapes or Grains for $20 a day. You choose wine or beer and each package had a small selection to choose from. My husband went with Grains (beer) and there were four beers to choose from - Bud, Bud Light, Heineken and Corona. I believe this package was only offered on this trip since the boat was headed to dry dock and the cruise line was attempting to reduce its on board inventory. Once on board we went to the Cafe Promenade for lunch. There were a variety of sandwiches, pizza and dessert to choose from. We spent almost two hours here, chatting with another family we met until the announcement was made that our rooms were ready. We dropped off our carry on bags and got ready to enjoy our vacation. We attended the mandatory muster drill at 3:45pm. If you are travelling with children under the age of 12, they will be given an armband with their muster station number. Usually there are tables set up during check in to get these bands. We didn't see one and had forgotten about the bands to tell the truth. If you don't have one, they are also given out at the muster drill. Again, no one came by and we were slightly distracted since we had a unique situation to deal with. We had two adjoining promenade rooms, one for myself and husband and one for the kids. As it turned out, our rooms were assigned two different muster stations, us at one and the kids at another. We checked in at both stations and the staff told us to stick together at our station. It wasn't until 2 days later when we brought our son to the kids program that he finally got his armband. We asked that he have the one for our station, not his. I'm sure I could have got one at guest services as well had I remembered that he needed one. Promenade rooms are great. They have extra seating and a window overlooking deck 5. It's great to be able to see what's going on "outside" from your room. There are blackout curtains for the evenings and the lights are dimmed at night. In the morning the lights are turned up, giving the impression of daylight. Activities on board included trivia, movies, rock climbing, ice skating, inline skating, scavenger hunts, bingo, art auctions, swimming, dancing, seminars, karaoke, card tournaments, parades, street parties and competitions (belly flop, sexy man, airplane making, baggo, wii, majority rules, battle of the sexes, love and marriage, the quest). As with any trip, you get out of it what you put into it. You won't enjoy all the activities, but get out there and try something new. There is always something to do, even if it isn't something you particularly like. For my taste there are way too many seminars and shopping chats, but there are those who enjoy these things and it's their vacation as well as mine. I have no complaints about the service. It is exactly what I expected it to be. I can't say I was "wowed" by anyone - but after 12 cruises, what wows a first time cruiser is common place to me. If something wasn't to my expectations, I mentioned it and it was fixed. The staff aren't mind readers - if you have a problem you have to let them know. My husband did say that he had great experiences with the bar staff at the pool bar. He usually tips a few dollars cash (cash makes all the difference!) every once in a while and he is always treated wonderfully. Dining - we went with My Time Dining and booked all our reservations before we sailed. We did cancel our reservation if we decided to eat elsewhere, such as Windjammer or Johnny Rockets. We met two families on board and after the 3rd day, we ate most of our evening meals together. The staff at the main dining room set us up with a reservation for 11 later in the evening (8pm) since this was the only time available for such a large group. Staff was wonderful and so was the food for the most part. If you didn't like something all you had to do was say so and the waiters would bring you something different. We all ate at the Windjammer one evening. Trying to find a spot for 11 at the Windjammer was difficult, but the staff were very helpful and opened up a closed off section for us to use. They are they to help - just ask if you need anything. We did enroll our kids in the children's Adventure Ocean program. There were only about 55 kids on board and 35 enrolled in the club. As such, pretty much all ages were put together in one group, except the really little kids. We gave our kids the option to sign themselves in and out of the program so they could go there whenever they liked and leave when they wanted. It was probably the first time the kids used the program more than once and asked to go back again and again. The staff is awesome and kept the kids entertained. We didn't book any of the ship's excursions. For the most part, the only offerings were for city tours and my personal opinion is if I'm going to tour the city, I'd rather do it on foot on my own. We visited Haiti (Royal Caribbean's private island), Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao. We'd been to Haiti several times and this time decided to stay on board. There was another RC ship in port with us so we decided to avoid the crowds and spend the day on the pool deck. Aruba - my least favorite port. We left several restaurants after waiting 20 minutes or more for a waiter. At two of the bars we stopped, I ordered cocktails and I'm sure they made them without alcohol. Bonaire - we went to Gio's for gelato. It was awesome. The kids really enjoyed it, but it does get busy and there is limited seating. Still worth the trip. It's a short walk from the pier and there is lots of shopping along the way. Curacao - best port by far. We visited the Hato Caves (took a cab and he waited for us) and spent the afternoon at the Rif Fort. There are lots of restaurants and shops there, as well as lots of spots with free wifi if you are so inclined. Entertainment - I only saw one of the Production show times since this really isn't my thing. If you like musicals, then you'll love these shows. There was a juggler who was really good and a ventriloquist who should have stayed home although I did hear many people say they really enjoyed his performance. Again, personal preferences doesn't make for a ruined trip. I did enjoy the band that played poolside each day but I heard others complaining. Best part is, there are lots of places to go if you don't want to hear a particular group. We had an instance where the fire alarms went off. Apparently a fire started inside a contained unit and was put out automatically by fire extinguishers before staff even arrived on the scene. It was all handled quickly and easily. It was strange leaving my cabin and realizing that I couldn't go anywhere because all the fire doors were closed. All I could think about was that my kids were on the other side of that door and I couldn't get to them. We felt a bit trapped but luckily the doors were opened fairly quickly with no harm done. Getting off the ship was too easy. Wish I could have stayed longer. We had time to have breakfast before he headed to theater until our number was called. In Summary, an awesome trip. Would highly recommend RC. I already have my next three cruises planned with them. Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
We drove from upstate New York to Port Canaveral so we could stop and see friends along the way. We ran into snow in North Carolina and learned that folks from this part of the country don't have a lot of experience driving in the ... Read More
We drove from upstate New York to Port Canaveral so we could stop and see friends along the way. We ran into snow in North Carolina and learned that folks from this part of the country don't have a lot of experience driving in the snow. Embarkation Day - Royal Caribbean has built a very nice terminal at Port Canaveral, they also seemed to have the bugs worked out that I had read in other reviews as we had a smooth arrival and easy access to the ship. We had sailed on the Explorer back in 2007 when she sailed out of Miami and she is still a wonderful ship. The crew definitely takes great pride in keeping her clean and presentable. We had no complaints in this area. Our Room which was an aft facing balcony was ready at 1:30 and was clean and neat. Anca our room attendant took great pride in providing great service. Never had to ask for anything as the small touches were always there. We had an unusual experience in the dining room as we had the 8:30 dining and there were many empty seats. We learned from our waiter and head waiter that the age grouping on this cruise was older and the 6:00 meal was filled to overflowing. But the food was great and the service fantastic. Being Diamond cruisers we had 3 free dinks loaded on our seapass card. We quickly found out favorite watering hole to be the Aquarium Bar. Kelvin, Claudia and Carol provided the best service and made excellent cocktails. We stopped at Labadee and as we have been there several times we only went to Columbus Cove for a swim and sometime in the sun. But we love this Island. Our Second stop was in Bonaire and as we have never been there we took a snorkeling excursion sponsor by the ship. We went on a small ship called the Somar and the crew was great and they helped folks who had never snorkeled before learn how to snorkel. This made the experience so wonderful. In Curacao we went to the beach and had a great time. In Aruba we again use a ship sponsored excursion to DE Palm Island. I will have to say in all the years we have been cruising this was the best stop we have ever made. The resort was beautiful and the food and beer were included in the cost of the excursion and just about unlimited, beyond a doubt the best value for our money every on an excursion. The Cruise Director Leigh and Activities Director Tanya were great. The Quest was the best we have ever been to. All the shows were great. All in all this was one of our best cruises and we will miss the Explorer as she transitions overseas.   Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
Let me preface - my husband and I are in our 50's and this was our 8th cruise (our second on RCL) and we were accompanying my mother and her 80 year old friends on a reunion cruise. They are experienced cruisers with 75+ cruises under ... Read More
Let me preface - my husband and I are in our 50's and this was our 8th cruise (our second on RCL) and we were accompanying my mother and her 80 year old friends on a reunion cruise. They are experienced cruisers with 75+ cruises under their belts, so they were not novices by any means. Arrival: The lines to board the ship were ridiculous! It took over an hour for Diamond Check in. We felt sorry for those who didn't have priority check-in......their wait had to have been much longer. Lunch on deck was not much better. Although we know that it is hectic trying to get everyone fed and moved through, this was particularly chaotic. the food was just ok, pop machines were not working, no one was helping with seating....not a great first impression. FOOD: My time Dining with any kind of group is nearly impossible. We were lucky enough to be able to switch to a "set" my time dining for our group of 10 or every dinner we would have had to line up and wait for people to vacate a 10 topper. The HIGHLIGHT of this cruise were our dining room servers.....they made our trip! Dinner in the dining room was good, not great. Only a couple of the meals were very good and there was not one excellent meal. Breakfast and lunch in the dining room were just good. Service was often lacking and we frequently had waiters who were visibly exhausted. The buffet ..... lets just say that it felt like they were cleaning out the refrigerators in preparation for dry dock. It was a variation on the same theme every day. Salad options never changed. Just sad! Pop machine was often not working. Seating was always a problem unless you ate at off times. Just disappointing compared to other cruise lines. There was no beverage station on the pool decks, like on other ships, where you could get water, tea and lemonade throughout the day. The Promenade had the one cafe which served the SAME 6 finger sandwiches and pizza slices and 3 types of cookies for 9 DAYS! Come one..... ENTERTAINMENT: or better Lack of Entertainment. Other than the theater shows, there was very little going on in the evening. On the other RCL cruise we were on there were deck parties, deck entertainment during the day (not just the same jamacian band playing from 1-4pm), dancing, parades on the promenade, wine tasting, cigar tastings, martini tasting, dance lessons, themed nights, classes .... this ship had NONE of this!!! We spent a lot of time on the pool decks .... we NEVER saw a photographer walking around taking pictures and there was only 1 waiter walking around serving drinks ... mostly to people with gold towels, Drink of the day..... was there one? Never saw anyone in 9 days selling a drink of the day. We did have lots of shopping talks, trivia and ridiculously priced bingo. There was a small salsa band that played music on a very small stage at the entrance to the casino. The dance floor comfortably had space for 4 couples. (The salsa band was very good! and we enjoyed them every night as they were the only entertainment). There was also a singer in the pub on the promenade, but after one night, it was enough. Only one dance party - a 70's party - during the entire 9 night cruise. Pathetic. When we ASKED the Cruise Director AND the Cruise Personal Shopper why there wasn't more going on they both told us that the demographic for our cruise is older and there wouldnt be any interest so they didn't do more at night "fun" activities. I WISH SOMEONE WOULD HAVE TOLD US THAT IF YOU ARE UNDER 70 AND YOU DONT WANT TO BUY JEWELRY IN PORTS then you shouldnt be on this cruise. It would have saved a lot of time and aggravation! BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT OF ALL: This cruise was on Valentines Day and during Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday). N O T H I N G was done to make either one of these days special in any way shape or form. Valentines wasn't even a formal dinner ... it was casual! Wait, you did have the option on the Promenade Deck to BUY expensive champagne or BUY roses. Come on! How about the strawberries at dinner cut into hearts or a special dance under the stars or ballroom dancing ......something,anything .... waiters wearing red ties ....or maybe red napkins or flowers on the table .... or maybe red soup .... red themed menu .... strolling musicians in the dining room ... MARDI GRAS: We were docked in Curacao on Sunday when the island was holding their celebrations. 1) We arrived late...after 2pm, so we missed a majority of island activities. 2) If you booked a shore excursion, many of the sights were closed or you couldn't get to them because it was Mardi Gras and Sunday ... therefore closed. Just super poor planning. Then we pulled out of port at 11pm for the 40 mile "cruise" to Bonaire. An absolute waste of time and poor planning. Disappointing to say the least. Tuesday (Fat Tuesday) was a sea day so there was ample time to have something special happen. No beads, no masks, no parades, no jazz band, no sweets buffet, no masks, no NOTHING! Passengers that brought their own beads and masks from home were the only ones that added some color to the evening. RCL dropped the ball! Was it laziness or did they just not care. It was such a let down, that these two days could have been so much fun and they were completely ignored and unacknowledged. HIGHLIGHT OF THE CRUISE: Our dining room server and our cabin steward. That is pretty darn sad, when that is the best thing you can say about a cruise line. (Of course we had a good time with family and friends and enjoyed the islands, which were beautiful, but this is a review of the ship and not our vacation) We hope that when this ship comes out of dry dock it not only looks good but has a new energy about her. Our experience was that it was a tired old ship with a very tired, unenthusiastic crew who were just hanging on for 2 more weeks. This ship needs a cruise director! Erke from Turkey just isnt cutting it! Sadly, we will be shopping around for a new cruise line for future travels. This trip was expensive in both cost of the trip and precious vacation time used from our jobs. RCL, you dropped the ball on this one! Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
Most of my cruises in the last few years have been on Princess. We had not sailed on RCCL for three or four years. We picked this cruise primarily for the price and the fact that it sailed from Port Canaveral. There were 8 seniors in our ... Read More
Most of my cruises in the last few years have been on Princess. We had not sailed on RCCL for three or four years. We picked this cruise primarily for the price and the fact that it sailed from Port Canaveral. There were 8 seniors in our group. All experienced cruisers. Embarkation: Our group arrived at two different times and had two different experiences. Four of our group arrived about 11:30 am since they need assistance in boarding and had notified RCCL that they required wheelchair assistance. Upon arrival they were told that there would be about a 2 hour wait since RCCL only had a couple of wheelchairs! Remember this ship carries over 3,000 people. After waiting over an hour they decided to board w/o the assistance, but this was to be a recurring theme. RCCL is not inclined to provide assistance to handicapped people. If you require assistance, I would suggest you try another line. They only place they were at all equipped to handle people with disabilities was in Labade . We arrived about 1:30pm and had no problems boarding. I was surprised, however to see people boarding with cases of water and soda, after RCCL had specifically told me none were allowed to be taken on board and it is clearly stated in the contract that you can bring ONLY one bottle of wine per person on board. If you are going to have a rule--enforce it! The new terminal at Canaveral is very nice, but be prepared to walk long distances. Room: our inside room was adequate. They only complaint I have about the room is that if you want to put the beds together, it is almost impossible to walk around them. We had to separate our beds to preserve our shins. You could tell the ship was due for refurbishment. The carpet in the cabin was stained and the towels had seen much better days. The bathroom was decent size and the only complaint I have is that the toilet refused to flush on a few occasions. It was promptly fixed. We were on Deck 7 toward the rear and it was a good location. Often was hard to get an elevator, but was convenient to the computer center. Our cabin steward was fine. She did what was asked, but nothing more. Service has fallen way off on RCCL. Dining-- Main dining room food was fine, nothing outstanding and our service was good. The biggest complaint I had about the dining room is that breakfast and lunch menus never changed. Windjammer Cafe-- Just a disaster. First problem is organization. Who would put salad dressing at the beginning of the line? Before you get to the salad station? Butter no where near the bread? Lukewarm food or food that had been sitting out way too long. Both Princess and MSC have shown me that buffets can be done right, but RCCL does not have a clue. There is no service at all in Windjammer. No one asks you if you would like a drink or a refill. You are on your own. Finally, they do not clean the tables. They sit with dirty dishes and when someone takes away the dishes the table is hardly wiped at all. Yet you better washie washie with Purrel when you come it. That does no do much good when floor is covered in food and the tables are not cleaned. We mentioned this on at least two occasions to the people in charge of the area and they were sooo sorry, but nothing changed. These people though the ship was already in dry dock! Service in general-- was poor. RCCL might want to divert some advertising dollars to hiring and training their people. I saw where RCCL pays not federal income tax even though it shows a profit--maybe they should devote the same amount of energy and attention to customer service as they do to tax accounting. Whether it was in the shops, the cafes or the font desk,there was very little desire to please the customer. I waited in one shop for over 10 minutes to get some information on a watch, while the staff stood around talking to each other! Entertainment-- good to excellent. The ice show was a highlight of the cruise and we had fun skating one day. Most of the singers and dancers were good and the guest entertainers were fine. Disembarkation was fine for the 4 of us that did not need assistance, but despite registering with the purser and being number 2 and 3 on the list, our friends were told that it would be 2 to 2 and 1/2 hours to get off the ship since they only had 3 wheelchairs. Unacceptably. Overall, I was quite disappointed with the Explorer of the Seas. RCCL just did not seem to give a flip about the passengers. I was not WOWed. Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
It is a bit odd writing a review of a ship that is about to go into dry dock for 45 days of repair and change, and then be stationed in another part of the world, so I will consider this review as much an ode to RCCL as to our particular ... Read More
It is a bit odd writing a review of a ship that is about to go into dry dock for 45 days of repair and change, and then be stationed in another part of the world, so I will consider this review as much an ode to RCCL as to our particular cruise. We sailed on February 12, 2015 for a 9 day trip to the ABCs. We arrived a day early and were able to watch a rocket launch from the Cocoa Beach Pier. This was very cool! The next morning we spent three hours at the Kennedy Space Center, with time to see both the shuttle and the Apollo rocket. Then off to board. The new terminal at Port Canaveral is nice, with three lines. One for Diamond and Suites (very long line—which we evidently qualified for as newly minted Platinum members), one for Gold (a shorter, but still long line), and one for those with no status (first timers?), which was short. We went to that line, and were on our way quickly. Before boarding, there was yet another line, with an express section that included us as Platinum or higher (the sign only said Diamond or higher, but we were directed to it). This cruise was made for relaxing—four of the eight full days were sea days, and one of the port days was Labadee, which is really like a sea day but with land. So we did, indeed relax—lots of time lounging on the balcony of poolside. So, lots of time to notice the ship—which was nice and clean and well kept, unless you wanted to inspect for the rough spots, which you could find if you looked. So yes, a 15 year old ship is not as new and shiny as a brand new ship, but it was still very nice! The crew was also excellent and enthusiastic. Our room attendant was friendly, efficient and unobtrusive. We made use of the “do not disturb” and “please make up room” signs, and so did he. We did my time dining, with a 7 pm reservation for 8 nights, and sat at the same table each night. Awesome waiters! This way we could eat at the time we like, while not losing the connection with the servers. This was particularly helpful as two of the four us were vegetarians, with special meals ordered on occasion. We also had a very nice dinner at Portofino one night. In Curacao we mainly checked out the town, took photos of the iconic waterfront, and headed for the pool on the ship as it was quite hot. No beach plans as we did not dock until 2 pm. In Bonaire we went snorkeling with Woodwind, which was perhaps the best snorkel I have ever had (including the Great Barrier Reef, so I am not kidding!). In Aruba, we went to the beach with a day pass at the local Renaissance Hotel private island. Pricey but nice ($99 per person includes boat rides out and back, beach chairs and towels, water toys (mats, snorkels, etc.) lunch and a drink). In Labadee we lay on the beach, and noticed how over the years RCCL has added many amenities ($$) to the island so that it is beginning to feel like an amusement park. Still, the beach, beach chairs and lunch are all included. On the last sea day I took the behind the scenes tour. We saw the laundry, trash and recycling, bridge, engine control room, employee lounge area, kitchen and theatre. It was pretty cool to walk around in the restricted areas after all these years. Getting off the ship at the end was quick and efficient, as was our RCCL bus ride to the airport in Orlando. Of course, there was a storm in my home city, my flight was cancelled and I got home a day late. My only thought was how I was glad it happened on the way back and not at the beginning! The service, food, and ship were excellent. The entertainment was also quite good—my wife and I like the late night music. We spent a few evenings on the 14th floor (Dizzy’s) dancing to the music (Bosco and the Storm), and a few nights in the Irish pub on the promenade listening to the singer there (Ben Trout) while having a few. Those in our group that like singers and dancers said the ones on the ship were quite good. RCCL gave a great value and a great vacation. We had a terrific and relaxing time.   Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
This is my 2nd cruise with Royal Caribbean, my last with them was 10 years ago on the Majesty of the Seas. I was anxious to try Royal again after so long because I wanted to try something different. This was my 5th mother/daughter (me) ... Read More
This is my 2nd cruise with Royal Caribbean, my last with them was 10 years ago on the Majesty of the Seas. I was anxious to try Royal again after so long because I wanted to try something different. This was my 5th mother/daughter (me) cruise. We tend to like the longer sailings, and this was our 3rd trip to Aruba in 4 years. Mom has been great with going on Carnival the last couple trips, but this time we did her beloved Royal Caribbean. I can say I wasn’t the only one disappointed. Embarkation Day This was probably the worst and most unorganized embarkation that I’ve ever done in my 10 plus cruises. We had to wait for the porters to get a spot for our bus to pull in, then get us un-loaded. While that wasn’t bad, once we got to the door of the terminal the line stopped. They had stopped letting people into the terminal. No reasons or explanations were given, we were just at a stand still for 30 minutes. Finally they let us in; the lines were still long even with all the waiting. It took about an hour from the time we got to the port till we got on the ship. It wasn’t the long lines that bothered me, it was the lack of communication on why we were stopped. Once we got our sea passes we realized they moved us to anytime dining. We had a confirmation of 6pm but because of the amount of older folks and diamond plus members we were moved. The card even said 6pm but they decided last minute to change us, which was NOT ok. We look forward to the 6pm dining and like to get a large table to meet people. It took until the 2nd night, but they finally got us to a good table of 8 and we enjoyed Dinner. I don’t know why the issue was with them over accepting the 6pm dining but, they really need to work on this, it was a terrible way to start our cruise. Ship Condition/Cabin Its old, but I knew this wasn’t going to stop me from having fun. You could tell it needs a desperate dry dock (and they are going in 3 weeks), but really it was clean and wasn’t a problem for us at all. The only issue I had was with the TV’s. Now I don’t usually watch a lot of TV during a cruise, but there were only 2 channels in English, and they had a tendency to go from one movie to another in the middle of the first movie. Also everything was dubbed over twice, and I had absolutely no idea what was going on in the world, CNN would have been nice to have. Service We had the best room steward, and dinning staff ever. They really made our trip the most enjoyable. The rest of the staff always had a smile, and were very friendly. Food While the service hadn’t changed in the last couple of years, the food sure has. I was REALLY disappointed in the food. The dining room food was ok, but the portions are very small compared to here in the states. They had no problem ordering us more if we needed it. However, the Windjammer food was the same basically all week. I had a hamburger for lunch every day. Breakfast wasn’t bad, but wasn’t great either. Overall I’m headed back to Carnival where I am happy with my Guy’s Burgers and the dining room food is awesome. I am not saying I won’t be doing another RCCL cruise, but for now I will be sticking with Carnival. Mom is headed back to Celebrity and we will see if her next cruise (next month) meets her expectations.   Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
I booked Explorer of the Seas while on board Oasis during a cruise in February 2014. I'm still a rookie to Royal Caribbean as this was my second sailing however I've cruised with Carnival 4 previous times. The reason for booking ... Read More
I booked Explorer of the Seas while on board Oasis during a cruise in February 2014. I'm still a rookie to Royal Caribbean as this was my second sailing however I've cruised with Carnival 4 previous times. The reason for booking this particular cruise was the itinerary to Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao, and Haiti. At the time of booking I knew very little about this ship other than what the deck plan provided and prior to the cruise I had plenty of time to read the negative reviews which I'll address later. Overall we very much enjoyed our cruise on Explorer of the Seas and found the service on board to be outstanding. Prior to my sailing on Oasis last year I was very loyal to Carnival however I got invited to join a group which sails on Royal every year and I had such a good time last year I decided to book again. I live in New England and always travel a day prior to the cruise and I also used a travel agent. I'd recommend an agent if you have a good local one as they tend to get the best offers and maximize the on board credits, etc. Prior to the sailing my fiancee and I stayed at the Radison Hotel at Port Canaveral. The hotel was reasonably priced for being located less than a mile from the ship and served it's purpose as a pre-cruise hotel. The hotel offered transportation to the peer for $6 per person however since we rented a car Hertz brought us over for free. Embarkation Day I heard a lot of noise about the long delays and rocky embarkation process at the newly opened Terminal 1. I will say the embarkation was not exactly with I call smooth as it took about 40 minutes to get on the ship after getting off the shuttle. My shuttle arrived about 11am and there were at least 5 others ahead of ours so we waited about 10 minutes to get to the porters. Last year we were able to bring a case of water onto the ship and check it with out luggage however we were informed by the porters it had to be carried on. We were also told to remove our wine from our luggage and carry it on. This was disappointing however we became further frustrated when we were told by security the water could not be brought on board and would be confiscated until the end of the cruise. We would later speak to guest services and the bar manager regarding the policy as I did not read about this online and were informed it was a policy set by the ship's management. Ship Condition I read a lot of negative reviews about the condition of the ship and how it seemed tired and old. We found that this was not the case at all. Our cabin was in good condition with minor wear and tear as were the public spaces. There were spots where worn carpet and furniture were noticeable, some small cracks in tile work, a dirty window here and there but overall the ship was very well kept and clean. There were even some areas were new carpet was installed and during the cruise some furniture had a fresh coat of varnish. All of the hot tubs, pools, coke machines, and services on the ship were in good working order. Activities Explorer of the Seas is set to be completely refurbished in March of 2015 so it has yet to receive any of the Oasis style upgrades. The ship did however have plenty of shows, nightly entertainment, comedy, music, and live bands to keep us happy. Explorer also has an ice rink, inline skating track, rock wall, and mini golf course to keep busy during the day. There were ample deck chairs and we had no problem finding a nice spot in the sun everyday. Cabins We booked a standard D1 cabin which included a balcony. The room was overall in good shape but we did have an issue with our bathroom during the cruise. Water backed up and collected on the floor which was due to a clogged drain. The cruise line offered a free soda package as compensation along with a bottle of wine. A word of caution regarding the balconies; Explorer has its balconies built into the hull of the ship so multiple rooms can't be opened up together. You would have to book a connecting stateroom. Service The service provided on this shape made our cruise. The room steward was excellent and spoke to us by name every time we saw him. We also enjoyed the bartenders in the Weekend Warrior Sports bar who would frequently run over to the Crown and Kettle to get us specialty beers. Since we had a large group, the dining room staff was able to set our mytime dining at 8pm every night with the same waiters. They were excellent in providing service and a delightful dinner service. Ports As far as the ports go all of our excursions were booked privately. We found a $20 dollar tour around Aruba which was excellent and lasted two hours. We visited the beaches in Boanire via private taxi and did a foot tour around Curacao. We spent the day on the beach in Haiti as it's Royal's own private island and the tours were a bit pricey for our taste. Food The food on this ship was excellent both in the main dining room and Windjammer. We also ate at both of the ships specialty restaurants which were Johnny Rockets and Portofino. I will say that some of the choices in the main dining room became a bit redundant and the proteins were being prepared a little different each night to give the illusion of something different. The food tasted good and I did not get any sickness of discomfort. We also from time to time snacked at the Promenade Cafe which offered pizza and sandwiches. Disembarkation was very quick and organized except for our airport transfer booked through the cruise line. The folks managing the reservations had trouble keeping order and some people were cut in line which caused frustration. Overall we very much enjoyed Explorer of the Seas. She may not have all the bells and whistles of the Oasis class but there was plenty to see and do as well as eat and drink. We booked another tour on Freedom of the Seas and I look forward to next year's trip!   Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
Our trip started with a few days in Cocoa Beach at the Best Western, nice enough place overlooking the sand for about $105 per night and walking distance to the pier. We took a side trip to Kennedy space center and were blown away with the ... Read More
Our trip started with a few days in Cocoa Beach at the Best Western, nice enough place overlooking the sand for about $105 per night and walking distance to the pier. We took a side trip to Kennedy space center and were blown away with the rockets and up close look at the Atlantis space shuttle. There was aslo a rocket launch after our tour which was a once in a lifetime experience for people from Seattle. Embarkation day was exciting, the new terminal was very nice and we were onboard in less than an hour arriving at 11am and following a very long line without any waiting around. My wife, I and a friend sailed on the Explorer expecting to have an ok time at best based on the reviews but found the boat to be in great shape with excellent food in the dining room and buffet. Drinks are very expensive and they like to give you a sales pitch at every turn but this was not a big deal, just part of cruising. We had great weather on our trip to the ABC islands and Haiti. Most of the passengers on the 9 day trip were in theirs 70s and 80s but enjoyed them as we were in our 50s and didn't have to deal with the party crowd. The crew members were very friendly and greeted us with a smile and kind words at every turn. The only negatives were the shows in the Palace theater. There was a guy that did impersonations who used to be an announcer on the price is right, very old routine, maybe good for a house party but not a paying audience as not much applause. Juggler was ok but most of his comments were that nobody was clapping or making noise....like it was our fault that his routine was outdated. We skipped the singers and dancers as they generally don't appeal to people under 70 due to show content. Commedy show on last night was good but only lasted 15 minutes. Ice show was fantastic, don't miss it. Quest show is really good, everyone loved it! Cabin was the same as every other cruise, good beds & storage, pretty quiet. Aruba was great, nice beaches on the west side, clean, lots to do but very windy. Curacao was sort of dumpy and poor but was there for Carnival which was amazing to watch. Bonaire had cristal clear water and lots of fish but nothing much on land other than nature outside of the one horse town. We went to a couple of beaches, one is good for windsurfing and the other was a resort for snorkeling and tanning, the cab drivers can tell you what is best for your tastes. Labadee was beautiful but the locals working there don't like you and it's obvious so you'll just have to ignore them. Overall experience was great and can't wait to sail again. This was my 10th or so cruise and much better than Carnival as far as food, entertainment no so good but who cares, we made our own fun! Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
We have been on 8 cruises - 5 Carnival, 1 Princess, 2 Royal Caribbean. Royal Caribbean is by far the worst when it comes to customer service. The bar staff would roll their eyes or speak another language when we would ask for drinks. ... Read More
We have been on 8 cruises - 5 Carnival, 1 Princess, 2 Royal Caribbean. Royal Caribbean is by far the worst when it comes to customer service. The bar staff would roll their eyes or speak another language when we would ask for drinks. Making drinks was clearly a chore for them. The main dining room staff just plan forgot about us. At one point we stacked up our own dirty plates in hopes of them coming back to us. After 20 minutes of waiting our waitress finally reappeared. Our bill was a mess. I asked to adjust some of the gratuities and the guy (that walks back and forth in front of the service desk) got mad and said, (in an angry voice) 'you either have to leave it all on or take it off....no adjusting'. When I told him we were going to take it off he instructed, ' you will leave them cash then'. Then the self serve pop machine. We paid $197 for a pop card/cup. From day one there was no Dt. Coke. I asked at the front desk and they told me it would be filled by day two of the trip. Day two came and Dt. Coke, Caff. Free Dt. Coke, Coke, and a couple others were totally out. I inquired again. They then told me that there was a glitch and them machines would not be filled this cruise. WHAT??? How do you run out of a service people pay for. As for our room. Our steward did a great job and was very helpful, friendly, nice, and did great cleaning our room. The coffee bar was our favorite place. There was one guy that was always with a smile and very helpful and friendly. The sports team (rock climbing wall/ice rink) were awesome! They new our kids by name at the end. The stops.....Curacao - we got there on a Sunday so every shop was closed. Very disappointed as they stated this was the best shopping island. Bonaire - we took a water taxi over to Kline Island/Beach. Wonderful snorkeling! Aruba - make sure your taxi driver drops you were you want to me. Ours dropped us off 2 miles early and we had to walk the rest of the way to the beach. Once we arrived (had a drink) we really enjoyed Aruba's beach! Beautiful and amazing water!! Haiti - that was SUPER fun!! We did the water park area (giant floaters in the water). We bought our wrist bands, on the island, right when we got there (9am) for $19/person for one hour. At 10:30 my aunt tried to buy one and it was now $29/hour. They said the higher the demand for a one hour time slot the higher the prices went. We didn't like that -- make sure if you are going to do an activity by your ticket/band right away when you get there. And double check your bill when you get back onboard. RC charged us the $29/person. So we had to go down and talk to them and they did adjust the bill. The water park was SUPER fun. I have a 9 & 10 year old and they loved it as did us parents. The meal on the island was nice as well. All and all the islands made the vacation. We did have fun as a family! Our disappointments were customer services and lack of food options (only one 24 hour option, coffee bar, and one regular meal option - Windjamer). Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
This was our sixth Caribbean Cruise and the first time we embarked from Port Canaveral. We were impressed with the new pier and things went well. After the parking shuttle dropped us off we were on board The Explorer of the Sea within 30 ... Read More
This was our sixth Caribbean Cruise and the first time we embarked from Port Canaveral. We were impressed with the new pier and things went well. After the parking shuttle dropped us off we were on board The Explorer of the Sea within 30 minutes. Because we were among the earliest to be on the ship lunch in the Windjammer worked out well also. We were able to find good seats and have a pleasant lunch. By the time we were finished our room was ready and our luggage appeared about the same time. We met our room attendant Igede Wisnawa (Puja) who treated us very well for us the entire cruise. Sail away was nice. We left an hour earlier than originally scheduled so we had time to watch the shore disappear and still get to our 5:45 dinner. We had four at sea days and four days in ports. Due to bad weather for the at sea days in the Caribbean we were really glad we were able to visit all the scheduled ports. It rained for the picnic at Labadee but we went ashore anyway. The food and the picnic tables are covered and we could still see the waves in the sea. Rather a disappointment for us and I'm sure for the vendors too. We did enjoy a ride around the area on their transportation. All in all we thought the food was good in the Windjammer and the Dining Room. We had My Time Dining for 5:45. We were seated in the Columbus Dining room on the Starboard side which was very noisy. After an evening meal on the Port Side we realized the ambiance was much better so we requested seating there for the rest of the cruise. Some how they worked it out. I'm not real sure I will have My Time next time we sail. Maybe we'll go back to the early or late dining where we can be with the same people every time (if they're not eating at a specialty place) I rather like the servers and waiters to become familiar with us and our preferences. I like the way Royal Caribbean sets up the Magellan dining room for "at sea" days with a big salad bar and with the attendants serving up the salad items and meat and cheese. This is followed by lunch from the menu. True this ship is in need of refurbishing. Furniture is bumped up and there are stains on the curtains and carpet but it was clean and things seemed to work fine in our cabin. The sheets were incredibly smooth - silken even. The pillows flat and worn out; quite a disappointment. This is the second cruise in a row where the pillows are flat. Even in our own home we make sure our guests have new fresh comfy pillows. We asked for more pillows and Puja brought us more pillows for propping ourselves up to read. We had inside cabin # 8611 on the Promenade which was about 160 square feet. It did not have a good view but the location was great. The evening chocolates are gone as are the mints leaving the dining rooms. There are no tote bags for the day at Labadee or the beach. We had to ask for bathrobes which were not in great shape. We asked for lotion and hair products also. We were never given the large round bar of soap for shower bathing. We only had bar soap. Our cruise included "Super Bowl" night - this was our third time for a Super Bowl cruise. This one was rather lackluster compared to last February on the Oasis. There were no snacks like chicken wings, etc. The food was more like a meal of hamburgs and hot dogs and it was only provided on the Promenade. The football game itself was shown on the screen in The Palace and on the Promenade and in our cabin on our TV. Of course this ship does not have movie under the stars nor a closed Solarium. Maybe this will be part of the refurbishing plan when she moves to Spain in March. This cruise offered very few movies for viewing either on our own TV or at other venues. The evening entertainment had some good shows but the real treat was the ice skating show. We've seen three skating shows and this was the best. The theme was beautiful and the girl with the hoops was incredible. There is nothing that can be done about the weather - we only played ping pong and miniature golf once. There were a couple of days when no one, not even the band, showed up by the pool. When we could be near the pool we noticed that the music was very pleasant; not so loud that we wanted to leave which has happened many times before. And we managed to "drag" ourselves to the frozen yogurt stand almost every day by the pool area. Yum. However, the days we stopped in the ABC islands were very nice. Thank goodness. We took this cruise for the itinerary and the embarkation at Port Canaveral. I had a very nice snorkel experience on Bonaire with The Seacow. The sights under water were amazing. The Explorer of the Seas is a nice size ship and we hope to sail on her again sometime. Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
Great ship: sailed with an even keel in gale force winds; Lots of onboard amenities with at least 6 hot tubs and an ice rink. Cabins were nicely appointed, clean, and well maintained. On the other side of the coin: Food was adequate, but ... Read More
Great ship: sailed with an even keel in gale force winds; Lots of onboard amenities with at least 6 hot tubs and an ice rink. Cabins were nicely appointed, clean, and well maintained. On the other side of the coin: Food was adequate, but not exceptional. Atmosphere on deck and the "Grand Promenade" was like visiting a third world town. Street vendors everywhere. Product sales should be limited to the store fronts. Everywhere, the vendors set up tables to hawk their wares of the day. They were courteous and pleasant, but always in your face. That together with the nickel & dime charges for sodas and club soda got a bit annoying. Didn't feel like a guest on a first class cruise. Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
Boarding went well, about 20 minutes from time we arrived at terminal 1 in Port Canaveral. We had lunch in the Windjammer restaurant. I had sliced roast beef; it was good. A small piece of sugar free strawberry mousse and a chocolate chip ... Read More
Boarding went well, about 20 minutes from time we arrived at terminal 1 in Port Canaveral. We had lunch in the Windjammer restaurant. I had sliced roast beef; it was good. A small piece of sugar free strawberry mousse and a chocolate chip cookie for dessert was great. We got our cabin (6536) about 1:00pm and our bags arrived about 3:00pm; better than expected or promised. The Explorer is due for renovation in March and is showing its age. It's a nice ship, but in need of help. This is our third cruise on the Explorer in about ten years. We have a balcony cabin on the port side toward the front of the ship. We left port about 4:30 heading for Labadee, Haiti as our first destination, a day and a half away. The seas were a bit rough making my wife queasy. She donned her seasick bracelets but still felt off a bit. Dinner in the restaurant that night was shrimp cocktail (excellent) and prime rib with potatoes; the prime rib was average at best. Dessert was less impressive, a cobbler that was too dry. The rough seas led to an early bedtime as that was the best way for my wife to avoid getting seasick. January 30th At Sea At sea all day; the seas are somewhat smoother and I think the Captain slowed the ship down a little to smooth out the ride. Breakfast was excellent, with fresh cooked eggs and bacon, as well as some delicious oatmeal. There was plenty of fresh fruit and breads to go with a good assortment on the buffet in the Windjammer. Several windows in the restaurant were permanently clouded; the ship is ready for rehab. Many areas throughout the ship are showing signs of rust and age. There were plenty of activities throughout the day, which was good because a light drizzle cleared the pool area in the afternoon. For dinner we all ordered the tenderloin which was fantastic; our waiter brought us seconds which was much appreciated. We started with the shrimp cocktail once again followed by lobster bisque, both very good. Cheesecake topped-off a very hood meal. The service was excellent. In the Palace theater, they had a great show of 60s and 70s songs and dancing by very talented entertainers. January 31st Labadee, Haiti We awoke to rain which continued for much of the day. After breakfast in the Windjammer, we relaxed on our balcony to do some reading; there would be little opportunity for water activities on Labadee. We did venture onto Labadee at lunchtime; it always pays to pack an umbrella. RCL provided lunch on the island; burgers, hot dogs, chicken, and ribs, as well as salads and cookies. Nothing great, but passable. Labadee has expanded its facilities over the years; it is very nice, with beautiful beaches, souvenir shopping, a roller coaster, and mile long zip line. They have pavilions where you can escape the hot sun or rain. It's a far cry from when we last visited several years ago. It was nice to spend some time on shore after two days at sea. The show in the Palace theater this evening was singer/dancer/comedian named Tony Tillman; he performs the Sammy Davis role in the Las Vegas show, the Rat Pack. He was fantastic; high energy, funny, and a very good singer. He performed songs from the 60s and 70s because that was what this audience wanted to hear. The theater was packed for both shows and he didn't disappoint. We had dinner in the Portofino restaurant, the Italian specialty restaurant; the meal and the service were excellent. I started with a bowl of minestrone soup with a clear broth, followed by an appetizer of prosciutto, mozzarella cheese balls, and apple slices; all very delicious. The main course was a perfectly prepared 16 ounce t-bone steak with a side of broccoli. Dessert was a chocolate cake, covered in rich chocolate icing and a brandy cherry filling; absolutely wonderful, but so filling that I could only eat half of it. The Portofino carries an additional charge of $25 per person, but it is well worth it. February 1st, Super Bowl Sunday – At Sea Once again, we have a day at sea heading for Bonaire. Breakfast of bacon and eggs in the Windjammer. Today, the sky has cleared, but the sea is still a little rough; a good day to do some reading on the balcony while enjoying the noise of the Caribbean splashing against the ship. I don't understand how people can cruise without a balcony cabin; it's a window to enjoy the ocean. In the afternoon, we attended an ice show that was very well done; not to be missed. For the evening entertainment, they showed the Super Bowl on a 30 foot screen in the Palace theater; great game, great audience. The only two shortcomings were viewing on ESPN International; they did not show the great commercials and they did show pathetic half-time show with Katy Perry, she was terrible and the girl can't dance a lick. Late in the evening, they had an "oldies sock hop"; great idea, and for non-football fans it allowed people to burn up some energy during the day at sea. Being Sunday, My wife was bummed that there were no church services offered; with over 4000 people on the ship, we believe that RCL dropped the ball. Also, at dinner, I had the Manhattan strip steak, one of their standard offerings; very disappointing, the taste and texture wasn't very good; so much for steak the rest of this cruise. February 2nd: Bonaire Monday morning and a beautiful day in Bonaire. After our normal breakfast in the Windjammer, we set out for a day of sightseeing and shopping. They have the typical souvenir and jewelry shops throughout the tourist area by the pier. The city is clean and quite nice. Snorkeling and scuba diving are really popular in Bonaire and folks raved about their experiences. A tip: While on Bonaire, visit the Four Seasons restaurant near the dock for free, fast wifi; the pina colodas aren't bad either. At dinner tonight, I had the cannelloni, a stuffed pasta dish, and a Caesar salad; finishing up with a crème Brule. The entire meal was very good. Tomorrow Curacao. February 3rd: Curacao We had beautiful weather in Curacao. We walked quite a bit covering both sides of town, and crossing the floating bridge several times. Free wifi is available in town; it's a bit slow, not as fast as on Bonaire. Breakfast and lunch were uneventful, but for the third time in six nights, RFL screwed up our My Time dinner reservations. So much for using their website reservation system in advance of the cruise. Dinner was pretty good; I started with New England clam chowder and for the main course, I had lamb chops with mint jelly and potatoes, all prepared very well. My wife had veal oscar without the oscar; still no sign as to where the crab went. For entertainment, they had a juggler/comedian; he was pretty good even though we only caught the second half of his show. Tomorrow Aruba. February 4th Aruba Once again beautiful weather and windy. Aruba was very nice; it was clean but lacked the charm of Bonaire and Curacao. Though small, it was a bit more metropolitan than the other islands. Plenty of jewelry and souvenir shops to occupy your time. As with the other islands, the people were very nice. There is free wifi on Aruba, but almost impossible to access. Tried pay wifi (Aruba Wifi) which was reasonably priced ($5/hour or $10/day), hut almost as difficult to access as the free wifi. Back on ship at 3:30pm for long haul back to Port Canaveral. Why wasn't I surprised when once again the reservations people in the Magellan dining room messed up our reservation; it was their fourth screw-up in six nights? After twenty minutes of aggravation, our party of four was shown to a table for eight. Dinner followed with shrimp cocktail for appetizer and a main course of chicken cordon bleu; they food tasted good and as usual, the waiters were great. We finished eating at 9:10, which meant we were late for the 9:00pm show in the Palace theater. It was the singing group, the Alley Cats, a doo wop group with songs from the 50s and 60s. Because we arrived late, all seats were taken and we had to stand in the back of the theater. The show was great, but the standing was tiring and annoying. Thank you RCL restaurant management staff for once again ruining an evening on the cruise, the term "customer service" seems to have eluded these people. I'm quickly going from a big fan of RCL to a "hater", and RCL is earning every bit of it. Two days at sea to go; still trying to make the best of it, but RCL is making it a challenge. February 5th At Sea Breakfast in the Magellan was nice. We sat at a table of ten and many shared the same concerns we had as to the quality of the ship and lack of repairs and poor maintenance. Several mentioned the smell of raw sewage on the main Promenade deck near the back elevators. The odor lingered in that area for seven days until it was corrected; no excuse. It appears that RCL has a problem with plumbing in many areas of the ship. Later in the day, my wife discovered a dark sludge-like liquid coming from the drain and covering the floor of our shower. Our room attendant quickly cleaned the shower as well as the shower in the next cabin which also had sludge. Lunch in the Windjammer was uneventful except for the normal ritual of roaming the dining room hoping that a table will come open. They repeatedly broadcast a request that people vacate tables upon completion of their meal, but many sat around in conversation or settled in to read a book. It was common to see one or two people occupying tables for 5 and 6 well after completing their meals. The Windjammer does not have the capacity to handle lunch for everyone on ship unless you “eat and get out”. This is a problem as the Magellan dining room is not open for lunch; only breakfast and dinner. My wife and I took a very nice guided tour of the kitchen in the afternoon; it was hosted by Chef Vinnie (half Italian – half Jamaican was his claim to fame). He was a great host mixing humor and information in describing what went on in the kitchen; introducing all the head chefs; and explaining how the food was prepared for such a large number of people. It was lobster night at dinner and the lobster was delicious; seconds were readily available for the asking. The show in the Palace was a dancing and singing performance by the ship’s entertainers and was very nice. The second (late) shows were heavily attended in the Palace during the entire cruise and seating was at a premium unless you arrived at least 20-30 minutes early; after that it was standing-room only, not the best situation fro a boat full of senior citizens. We were kept awake this night by banging coming from the port side of the ship not too far from our balcony; maintenance was working in the middle of the night. February 6th Our Last Day at Sea You probably guessed it; RCL decided to do something about the sludge on the 8th day (actually 7th night) of the cruise. I went for coffee before breakfast and found two workers had covered our hall in plastic and were “snaking” the drain pipes. My guess is that the backflow prevention valves have either rotted internally or were just worn out from years of service; this is a health concern and 45 days in dry-dock next month is not enough time to repair or replace the 15 year old plumbing system. At least our shower was clean (for now) and the odors were gone. Off to find a table in the Windjammer and have some bacon and fresh cooked eggs for breakfast. After a few trips around the dining room, we secured a table and proceeded to enjoy our meal. There were trivia contests, small game shows, and various other forms of entertainment around the ship during the day. Of course, there were the pools, spas, and a rock climbing wall. Lunch was a repeat of the Windjammer table search and the usual buffet offerings. No shortage of good food, just not enough tables. For dinner, we had sliced turkey, dressing or stuffing, and vegetables. What was proclaimed to be all white meat was actually white meat on top, covering dark meat underneath. It’s ironic because it kind of fit the state of the ship; the only thing with the ship is that the outside was showing signs of aging while under the surface, it was decaying (plumbing). They had a mediocre comedian in the Palace this last night. February 7th Dis-embarkment We arrived on time in Port Canaveral and I believe many were ready for this cruise to end. After breakfast, we sat in large groups around the ship waiting for our group number to be called so we could make our way to baggage claim, customs, and our shuttles to our cars. Dis-embarkment went very well. Our number was called on schedule at 9:00am and we proceeded off the ship to the area where our luggage was waiting. From there, we moved through customs rather quickly and were on our shuttle in about 35 minutes. Most of the conversations we heard during this time were about the shape of the ship and the overall disappointment in that RCL never acknowledged that all wasn’t right on the “beautiful” Explorer of the Seas. The Ship: Dated and worn-out are the best adjectives to describe the current state of the Explorer. RCL has gone a bit overboard with drink packages; they are extremely overpriced, and individual drinks including coke and water are ridiculously priced. It appears that RCL is following the lead of the airlines in maximizing add-ons. Wifi is very expensive ($29 for one hour) and available only in a few locations on the ship; it's also slow so you don't get much bang for your buck. All around the ship, you see areas desperately in need of repairs. Some windows in the Windjammer restaurant are so permanently fogged that it is hard to see out. Many of the chairs in the dining rooms showed signs of distress; they were worn through in places, some had holes in the seats and showed numerous stains. You have already read my horror stories about the plumbing and the seven day stench of raw sewage opposite the main desk on the Promenade. I now finally understand how some people cruise without a balcony cabin. They either head out early to the pool area and drop a towel and bag on the lounge chair claiming it as their own for the rest of the day or they find another location in a prime area of the ship and lay claim to that area, or they do both. This makes it difficult for non-squatters to find lounge chairs near the pool, or a seat at a table on the Promenade to enjoy a cup of coffee or an ice cream, or a card table in the undersized game room, or a seat in the library, etc. For some reason, RCL does not enforce its policies of not saving seats; this lack of enforcement limits opportunities for those who follow the rules. RCL is more interested in pushing drinks on the pool deck than picking up unattended towels left on most of the lounge chairs on the pool deck. RCL intends on refurbishing the Explorer in March. I’m assuming that they will make changes similar to those they made on the Voyager of the Seas (the older sister of the Explorer). If they increase passenger capacity by several hundred people, increase specialty restaurants, and add a water surfing area as was stated during our Captain’s introductions, they will have to reduce public areas such as lounges on and around the Promenade and other decks, the Windjammer restaurant, and possibly the Ice Rink and Solarium swimming area. The elevators can barely handle the present passenger capacity; adding several hundred passengers will add to the nightmare. After re-hab, the Explorer is off to England, the Mediterranean, then Dubai, Singapore, and finally Australia. It is more suited for three day cruises to Nassau. I think it’s time to try NCL, Princess or MSC.   Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
This awsome Southern Caribbean itinerary included visits to Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao with a beach barbecue at Labadi, Haiti. We arranged our own transportation after going ashore on Aruba with Edmond, who owned his own vehicle which was ... Read More
This awsome Southern Caribbean itinerary included visits to Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao with a beach barbecue at Labadi, Haiti. We arranged our own transportation after going ashore on Aruba with Edmond, who owned his own vehicle which was clean and air conditioned. He provided great commentary on the sights. Curacao was great for shopping and the port of Willemstad had a European feel to it with colorful old and new buildings, outdoor cafes and many shops. Bonaire was a lovely small island with crystal clear water. No high rises, there are several beach front hotels which will rent you a chaise and snorkeling equipment, several dive shops just a short walk from the pier. Not much shopping here but a nice commercial district, there was a small market area with truly local crafts and art work. We really enjoy RCL for the design of their ships, entertainment, activities and friendliness of the crew but this ship should have been refurbished long ago. The MDR was a beautiful design and we had a great waiter. The food was ok. Entertainment was good with able singers and dancers but the ice show was the highlight. A Lecture on the polical and natural history of the islands would have been nice. We've attended those on other ships. The cruise director had a great morning show and was pretty entertaining. Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
Explorer of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.2
Dining 4.0 4.0
Entertainment 5.0 3.9
Public Rooms 4.0 4.3
Fitness Recreation 5.0 4.1
Family 5.0 4.1
Shore Excursion 3.0 3.8
Enrichment 4.0 3.5
Service 4.0 4.3
Value For Money 5.0 3.9
Rates 4.0 4.1

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