1 Royal Caribbean Explorer of the Seas Cruise Reviews for Spring Break Cruises to Caribbean - Eastern

I don't even know where to begin with this review. First let me say that I have travelled with Royal Caribbean three times now with my first two times being outstanding, breath taking experiences that led to my loyalty in booking ... Read More
I don't even know where to begin with this review. First let me say that I have travelled with Royal Caribbean three times now with my first two times being outstanding, breath taking experiences that led to my loyalty in booking with you for a third time. This third time comparatively, however, was horrendous. Not only did the boat seem old and out of date, it was also un-clean and the staff was not as friendly as my cruises on Liberty of the Seas. My largest complaint is that somehow it happened that 60-70% of the passengers on this particular cruise were college students on a wild spring break adventure. From two different colleges. Was Royal Caribbean having a special deal with these colleges? This should have been revealed to customers BEFORE booking as me and many other couples and families were extremely dissatisfied, and would have chosen to pay more to book another date or ship. Completely irresponsible and inexcusable on Royal Caribbean's part. No one wants to spend an evening on one of the decks hearing college students CONTINUOUSLY shouting a sports cheer ending with the words "there ain’t nothing finer in the land than a drunk, obnoxious Georgia fan!" I've never heard this cheer before but based on the number of times I heard it on the cruise, it's sad that I now almost know it by heart. The college kids consumed and destroyed everything in their path (no joke). The lines to the bars were so insane and bartenders ran out of ingredients. I bought a drink package and feel that my money was completely wasted, as I couldn't even get to the bar enough to make it worth while. You were sometimes waiting upwards of 20 minutes for a drink. I even timed it once. On the first night of the cruise our waitstaff revealed to us that the ship was about 200 passengers OVER CAPACITY. Is that even legal?? Ethical? Safe? I'm sure Royal Caribbean doesn't care because all they see are dollar signs flashing in front of their eyes and couldn't give two shits about the actual well being of their passengers. Each passenger. Because the ship was over-stuffed, it makes sense as to why the lines to each bar was so long, ingredients were running out, and the general morale of all staff was low. I should probably mention now that I am in my mid-twenties and my boyfriend is in his late-twenties, so that to any staff member, we looked like college students. As such we were treated absolutely horribly. After the first day, the staff began being ageist. Rudely talking to or ignoring us (because we looked like the rude obnoxious college students), not serving us drinks, becoming suspicious of us. There were no delightful waitstaff walking around with fun colored drinks on their trays, because no waitstaff dared to be confronted by students. Even if this had been my first cruise, I would have been confused at the lack luster treatment by the staff. But because I know what amazing things Royal Caribbean is capable of and how wonderful and happy and attentive staff have been on my previous two cruises, the treatment on this cruise was absolutely appalling. I cannot believe I wasted my money to be treated worse than I would be just staying at home. Because I have so many other complaints, I will just list the rest of them off here and try to be brief. Previous cruises I went on were very laid back and casual, staff chatting with you, and overall the entire mood was relaxed and happy. This cruise was rushed, staff did not bother to stop and chat or say hello, not many of the staff smiled, and even our own waiters were rushing around and never had time to get to know us (again comparing to other cruises were everything felt much more personal). Our room attendant spoke very little english which started to become a problem because we couldn't communicate to him things we needed. At one point he just shut our door on us because he seemed really busy and confused. We ordered room service 3 out of the 6 mornings of the cruise. It was NEVER what we ordered. It was late the first morning, and all 3 mornings we either were missing food or got the wrong food or drink. We didn't even bother to re-order because of how long the entire process took. Staff was inconsistent: in the Windjammer on day 1 and day 4 my boyfriend and I were able to get refills on our alcoholic drinks from servers walking by. This was a luxury we were never afforded again, and one server on day 2 even said "they don't refill drinks and it is against our policy" and told us to go to the bar. And wait in line. WHAT? Another issue: the security. In the stateroom next to us, there were 3 college guys and they always had more people over and smoked marijuana in their room and balcony. It stunk up the entire hallway and was very obvious. It would get so bad my boyfriend and I couldn't even enjoy our OWN BALCONY. That we paid extra money to have. The smell was too much and would waft into our room. We called security twice. They never did anything. The second time they were called it was because it was 3am and they were being extremely loud, shouting, and partying in their room and I was trying to sleep, plus they were smoking. The security told me because the people in the stateroom would not answer the door when they knocked to inquire, they couldn't do anything about the issue. The passengers were hiding on their deck smoking- of course they aren't going to answer the door! I could see them from my own balcony! The fact that security can't address an issue because the passenger "won't answer the door and they aren't allowed to go in" is just insane. What is the point of security then? Rules were not enforced consistently. Young people would walk around in t-shirts and swim trunks on formal night in the dining room, and would wear no shirt or shoes in the Windjammer. There was sometimes noise and people yelling/running around drunkenly through the hallways by the staterooms until 5am. Rest and relaxation was not in the vocabulary of this cruise. One thing that extremely bothered me was that I couldn't spend any time on the upper deck or pools. The 30 minute towel rule was not enforced so literally ALL of the chairs were occupied by college students or towels indicating there were people there. The entire time. I once counted a chair having towels on it for over 2 hours, with no people around, and staff did absolutely nothing. This left no spots for people who actually wanted to be on the deck. I felt especially bad for families with small children as the pools were so crowded with drinking college students that there was no way to access them unless you were ONE OF THEM. The college students even hung a Fraternity banner (I can't remember the chapter) over the pool area from some poles. And the staff didn't care. The banner was up all day as if they claimed this boat to be a fraternity boat. The surroundings were all around disgusting with drinks left everywhere (stairs, chairs, hallways, in the middle of the floor) and bathrooms unclean. One bathroom had a plate stuffed in the only toilet stall to cause overflow and there was poop and urine all over the plate and spilling onto the floor. Tables were sticky and overall you just didn't want to touch anything. There was a huge fight on the last night and all the passengers were gathered around and cheering like we were back in high school. It took a while for security to break it up. I'm sorry, but if I wanted a crazy cancun spring break vacation, I would have paid for one. Royal Caribbean was supposedly known for relaxation, fun, perfection, and class. Sadly, you do not mean that to me anymore. Lastly, while our excursion in Cozumel was beautiful and probably the only highlight of the trip (Playa Mia), our second excursion in the Bahamas was 30 minutes late and the staff was not courteous. If I'm paying an arm and a leg for this activity, I expect it to be on time, and if it isn't I expect an apology or some kind of warm welcome/greeting. Neither of these things occurred. Overall the common apology from staff and crew was "Sorry but we were not expecting this. We are unexpectedly busy" How were you not expecting this??? Does no one tell the crew that the ship is going to be over capacity and filled with tons of drunk spring breakers? How come neither the cruise staff nor passengers received any warning? This is unacceptable and made for a horrid cruise experience. I'm sure if this was my first cruise, that it would have been my last. That's how bad and un-special the entire experience was. Only because I know of what Royal Caribbean is capable of from my previous two cruises would I possibly ever entertain the idea to sail again. But most likely I'm going to seek out other cruise companies at this point. In conclusion, I felt this trip was a waste of money and I was very unsatisfied. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
Explorer of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.2
Dining 4.0 4.0
Entertainment 5.0 3.9
Public Rooms 4.0 4.3
Fitness Recreation 5.0 4.1
Family 5.0 4.1
Shore Excursion 3.0 3.8
Enrichment 4.0 3.5
Service 4.0 4.4
Value For Money 5.0 3.9
Rates 4.0 4.1

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