5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Despite what I consider to be the most apt review title, my wife and I thoroughly enjoyed the cruise albeit plagued by a very high numbers of people experiencing prolonged bouts of chesty coughing and sneezing with some also suffering ... Read More
Despite what I consider to be the most apt review title, my wife and I thoroughly enjoyed the cruise albeit plagued by a very high numbers of people experiencing prolonged bouts of chesty coughing and sneezing with some also suffering bouts of the dreaded Noro Virus. Thankfully my wife avoided the Noro Virus but both regrettably fell foul to the coughing sickness and in my case twice, with only 3 days clear around Mid trip. There were many cruisers being taken off the ship by ambulance in the various ports of call, there was also a helicopter high line medivac on the 2nd day of the cruise. There were frequently large lines of people standing outside the medical centre. Apologies for the rather lengthy review but this was a 21 day cruise. Our vacation started with a BA from London to Seattle on Wednesday 4th October arriving in Seattle around 18:00, we took the light train from Seatac to Westlake for the amazing Seniors price of $1 each. Unfortunately as we had been previously advised, regular taxis were rather thin on the ground in Seattle and as we don't use Uber we set off to find the Edgewater hotel on foot. After a couple of wrong turns and taking advice from some very friendly and helpful locals we arrived safe and sound at the hotel some 20 minutes later. It was a bit of a hike dragging our luggage but perfectly doable for the relatively fit and healthy. I would however most probably chose a hotel closer to Westlake station if I were to return to Seattle in the future . (Or figure out how to use Uber) The Edgewater was a great hotel ideally located for sightseeing. However was a bit miffed by the concierge who quoted $45 for a hotel taxi to the cruise terminal, telling us it was about the same cost as a regular taxi. We took a regular taxi and only paid $15 including the tip. We arrived at the pier 91 around 11:00 and were on board the magnificent Explorer of the seas by 11:20 with the absolute minimum of fuss... well done to both the port authorities and RCL for this. After running the now normal gauntlet of crew trying to up sell almost everything imaginable, including the kitchen sink, we settled down on the Royal Promenade to await access to the staterooms. Despite the rather gloomy weather, first impressions of both the ship and staff were very good. Our stateroom which was ready at exactly 13:00hrs was spic and span and our stateroom attendant Ketut from Indonesia found and delivered our bags and also a couple of extra pillows as requested. Our wait staff Renato and Guilherme in the Sapphire deck 3 my time dinning were very friendly and efficient and our first dinner was both excellent and served in a very timely manner which we very much appreciated. We took the majority of dinners in the Sapphire dinning room, lunch was just a sandwich in the Promenade cafe and breakfast in the Windjammer. We gave up doing speciality dinning around 10 years back, finding them none to special after the 2nd or 3rd time and not worth the additional cost. The entertainment and activities organised throughout the cruise from were numerous and well organised by the entertainment staff. The very experienced cruise director (head of on board sales) was very good at his job. He did appear to be quite elusive at times during the day and only turned up at events as and when he had to. In a similar manner the master of the vessel was certainly not a high profile character. If were not for his somewhat repetitive noon announcements we would not have known he was on the ship. The Hotel Director on the other hand was the complete opposite, he was to be seen frequently on a daily basis around the ship carrying out his various duties and interacting with both crew and passengers on numerous occasions. The continued on board attempts to up sell various products and services was occasionally annoying but thankfully not overly so, with the exception of speciality dinning being touted within the main dinning room. Which I personally considerer to be a somewhat shoddy practice and rather insulting towards the food being served in the Sapphire dinning room. Thankfully the Park West art auctions were being held in the ships conference room. Well out of the way and not taking up valuable seating in any of the lounges, every 2nd day or so. (You may guess, I am not a great fan of Park West).....We heard frequently about RCL being an environmentally aware company and doing all within its power to save the planet. I have a great suggestion for RCL to assist in their most noble effort, stop delivering Park West paper copy junk mail to all Staterooms Fleet Wide.....that would certainly save quite a few trees each year.... The ice show as always was phenomenal, the 2nd show impromptu show was also very good. The majority of the headline acts were very good however the initial production show Wild Cool and Swinging by the resident singers and dancers, was rather disappointing with respect to both vocals and set design. The other production shows after this however, were very professional and most enjoyable. The exceedingly high number of Diamond and Diamond Plus cruisers on this very popular voyage resulted in the pre-dinner social drinks event being extended from the dedicated lounges to the Star lounge to accommodate the numbers. Despite this change, seating in the Star lounge was at a premium for the first hour or so. It took until around day 10 or so to realise just why we could never find and empty seat at 17:00hrs., there were people queuing up from before 16:00hrs to rush in and grab their favoured seats in the star lounge. Our first port of call Honolulu was a bit of a disappointment, the local tourist board have obviously no interest in cruise passengers. There was no warm welcome to Hawaii indeed there was no welcome either within or outside the extremely large and barren cruise terminal. No greeting of any sort, no local guides or tourist pamphlets, no maps etc. absolute zero, an opportunity lost by the Honolulu tourism industry. Lahiana our 2nd port of call and our first tender port was considerably better. There was a group of singers on the jetty giving us a real Hawaiian welcome. There was also plentiful local information to be had on the jetty and a considerably better atmosphere in comparison to the rather inhospitable Honolulu. There was about a 10-15 minute wait for our tender going ashore which has to be expected with so many people wishing to get ashore at the same time. However the line was well organised and controlled by ships staff. On the return trip we listened to the cruise directors advice and came back slightly before the high volume rush time, getting a tender with no delay on the jetty. The crossing the line ceremony (equator) was a hoot and very well attended and the certificates we received from King Neptune were a great souvenir as was the one for crossing the international date line westbound loosing a full day in the process, on the occasion Friday the 19th Suva Fiji was a bit rough looking around the port area but the people were very friendly polite and most helpful. We took a shore 4 hour excursion with Mona tours, visiting the Museum, a native village and some sightseeing along the way. Our guide was excellent, and the bus/group size was ideal with only around 20 passengers. (One of the 2 reasons we no longer use ship tours is the delays involved with large bus groups, the other being the extortionate price charged by RCL) Again regrettably Port Villa Vanatu was also somewhat rough around the edges, and not somewhere I would be in a hurry to return to. We took the $5 water taxi into town and had a good look around before returning to the ship. Mystery Island was just expected, a very small uninhabited Island with a grass airstrip running down the centre. We had a great time wondering round the island, sitting on the sand and dipping into the clear water occasionally to cool down. Just a shame the weather turned rather wet in the afternoon. Numea New Caledonia was a great port of call, the compulsory free shuttle bus takes you from the ship to the In town Cruise Terminal" from where there are many many options to go sightseeing. The cruise terminal has excellent free WiFi and reasonably priced souvenirs. Well done again to both RCL and the Australian immigration authorities for carrying out the immigration checks prior to our arrival in Sydney. This resulted in a very smooth departure from the ship. From the volume of moaning and groaning by some Americans and the repeated PA announcements regarding the Australian Visa requirements, not all US cruisers were aware of this requirement prior to the cruise. All in all a great transpacific cruise, the sea days were brilliant, the crew were great, the ports were OK, but not a cruise I would repeat Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2018
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary. After booking the 21 day cruise I discovered I was gluten intolerant and went on a gluten free diet. I thought I would be doomed to eat foods naturally gluten free and have to pass up so many ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary. After booking the 21 day cruise I discovered I was gluten intolerant and went on a gluten free diet. I thought I would be doomed to eat foods naturally gluten free and have to pass up so many of the goodies. The first night, in the dining room, when I told my waiter about my diet needs, he brought the head waiter over to talk to me. From then on, they made sure I was enjoying as much as possible while not messing with my diet. Every evening Clinton would bring me the breakfast, lunch and dinner menus from the next day and have me place my orders. In addition to those things marked as gluten free, they would make changes to the food if possible to meet my needs. For example, replacing the pasta with GF pasta, replacing the toast with GF (finally eggs and toast for breakfast), etc. My order was always prepared in a special gluten free section of the kitchen, to prevent cross contamination. In addition to the dining room, the buffets were also accommodating. They had a gluten free section which always had GF breads and rolls, GF entrees, deserts etc. If I wanted the GF bread toasted, they used fresh gloves and used a dedicated toaster. They offered delicious GF pizza upon request. They had great GF cookies at the Cafe Promenade. I am sure they would be as accommodating and attentive to any special diet needs. Other than the food, the rest of the cruise was spectacular as well. We loved the ports, the ship is beautiful, and enjoyed many of the activities. My only complaint would be that the evening entertainment started too late for us, so we missed a lot of it. In past cruises we were able to listen and dance to music before dinner and go to the show shortly after dinner. We missed that. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We had been on Explorer twice before, both cruises out of Cape Liberty. This was to be our first Pacific cruise. Never having been to Seattle we arrived 3 days early. We toured the city and took in a Mariners game. We made the Hampton ... Read More
We had been on Explorer twice before, both cruises out of Cape Liberty. This was to be our first Pacific cruise. Never having been to Seattle we arrived 3 days early. We toured the city and took in a Mariners game. We made the Hampton Inn on 5th avenue our base of operations. The room was clean and comfortable and breakfast was included each morning. (I love those waffles!) On Friday morning (after breakfast of course) we took the hotel shuttle to the cruise terminal. Check-in went painlessly and before you knew it we were on the ship. From hotel to ship it took us about 45 minutes, the fastest check-in I ever experienced. Seeing that this was our third voyage on Explorer there was no need to explore the ship. So, after going to guest services to have our sea-passes punched and going to the dining room to check out our table, we headed up to the Windjammer for some lunch. After eating our room was ready so we checked that out. We met our room steward and began unpacking as our luggage had been delivered. Soon it was time for muster. Our station was in the Star Lounge. Great, we didn't have to stand on a hot deck! After the drill it was time for sail-away. I finally got to meet most of the people I had been taking to for over a year! I can't remember the names (I've got a lousy memory!) The only ones I remember were Rich and Patti because they lived about 40 miles from us. Knowing that we would see these people again during the week, we said good-bye and went to the room to get ready for dinner. At the dining room we met our tablemates. They were a couple from Delaware, a couple from Australia, and another couple from New York that as it turned out, lived about 15 miles from us! All were great company throughout the week. The next morning we docked in Astoria, Oregon. After breakfast we met our excursion and boarded a bus for Mt. St. Helen. I must say, it was a very impressive tour. Even after close to 40 years after the eruption, the area was still devastated! That was an all-day tour so we went right to dinner when we returned, after our martini that is! After dinner we went to the evening show for a while and then my wife went back to the room while I went to the cigar lounge. That's where I experienced my first disappointment of the cruise. The company there was excellent. I'm a retired police officer and it seems everybody in there was related to the law enforcement field in one way or the other! The trouble is that there was no attendant/waiter in the lounge. That meant that we had to get our own drinks and nobody ever emptied the ashtrays. I know that RCCL is getting rid of the Connoisseur Clubs (which I think is a mistake), but at least wait till they're gone before you abandon them! I have to say that after that night the waiter from the Star Lounge did pop in every so often to take drink orders. The next day was a sea day so we basically relaxed, ate, and drank. That night was the first formal night so we got to dress up for dinner. My wife got all dressed up in formal attire and I put on my tux. Man, did we look good! Even the captain remarked as to how good we looked! The following day we docked in San Francisco. Again, after breakfast we boarded a bus for our next excursion, The Napa Valley Wine Train. The train is made up of a lounge car and a dining car from the golden age of railroading. First we had cocktails and appetizers in the lounge car before moving into the dining car for a delicious lunch. All while traveling past many wineries of the Napa Valley. We got back and had our evening martini, dinner, and my wife to bed, and me to the cigar lounge. The next morning, after breakfast, we walked down towards Fisherman's Wharf. We had been to San Francisco 38 years earlier on our honeymoon. Most of the land we walked on was not there then! A lot had been reclaimed from the bay. We walked around and then headed back to the ship. It was very hot that day. I should mention that the weather for the entire cruise was perfect, except for our return to Seattle. That morning it was raining off and on. The ship left San Francisco about 4:30 pm. As we sailed along the coast whales would surface every once in a while! For dinner that night we went to Chops! Excellent food! The next day was a sea day. Again we spent it relaxing, eating, and drinking. Early that afternoon, we went for a couples massage. If you've never done it, you really should. If I was anymore relaxed after that I would have been liquid! That evening we went to diner at the Chef's Table. The food and wine pairings were so good, but the best part of the evening was our fellow guests at the table! We had such a lively bunch! The following morning we arrived at Victoria Island, British Columbia. Our tour that day took us to Butchart Gardens were we had high tea. The gardens were beautiful even though it really wasn't the ideal time of year to go there. Afterwards we went back to the ship. We had our farewell dinner with our tablemates. After a final nightcap, my wife went off to bed and I went to the cigar lounge and had one last smoke with my new friend Rich. The next morning it was back to Seattle and the real world. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Last minute cruise from the local port Seattle to Astoria to San Francisco to Victoria Island, got a good discount . This is our third cruise on three different cruise line. We’ve been on Holland and Princess on Alaska and Mexico ... Read More
Last minute cruise from the local port Seattle to Astoria to San Francisco to Victoria Island, got a good discount . This is our third cruise on three different cruise line. We’ve been on Holland and Princess on Alaska and Mexico destinations. PROs: By far the best thing about the cruise was the Great shows, incrideble they have an ice show. Lots of different activities. Rooms are clean and our States Room attendant was pleasant. Johnny Rockets makes great burgers, fries, onion rings and shakes. CONs: ice rink only available twice the whole trip. Food was extremely disappointing; lunch and dinner buffet was subpar, the complimentary cafe has school grade cafeteria cardboard pizza, the speciality steakhouse steaks were obviously frozen steaks. The complimentary dining is average, had a couple decent dishes. Johnny Rockets cost 10 bucks. Complimentary foods are very limited on this cruise. There’s an eight dollar room service fees. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
This was our second cruise with Royal Caribbean. We chose Explorer of the Seas because of the pacific coast itenerary. It was just my husband and myself. Our previous cruise had been on the Oasis of the Seas so the Explorer was much ... Read More
This was our second cruise with Royal Caribbean. We chose Explorer of the Seas because of the pacific coast itenerary. It was just my husband and myself. Our previous cruise had been on the Oasis of the Seas so the Explorer was much smaller compared to the Oasis. We had priority boarding so check in was a breeze. We had an inside room. It was small but adequate. I was apprehensive about an interior room but it worked out well for two people and since this was a colder weather cruise I don’t think we would have made much use of a balcony. We ate breakfast and lunch in the Windjammer and every day and the food was very good and had a great selection. We ate in the main dining room for supper and enjoyed the food there too. We had the late seating. I think we would pick the choose the My Time dining next time. The Royal Promanade seemed much more crowded than on the Oasis. Even though Oasis has a much larger number of people on board there is more space to spread out. The pools and hot tubs looked nice but it was so chilly few people were using them. We used the fitness center twice and found it to be in good condition and had a great view. We really enjoyed trivia in Schooner Bar and the drinks there. First port was Astoria, OR. It is a quaint seaside town. We enjoyed the Maritime museum. I went out shopping and there are a lot of shops selling wares made by local aritisans. There Are also 3 or 4 craft breweries if that is your thing. We then spent two days in San Francisco which we enjoyed this stop the most. Sailing under the Golden Gate Bridge was amazing! We booked one excursion through the ship for Muir Woods which is an amazing place. The only downside of this excursion is it stops in Sausalito for a little over an hour on the way back. We would have rather gone back to San Francisco not much in Sausalito to see other than shopping. We booked our own tour to Alcatraz which was very interesting. Our next port was Victoria, B C. This is a very pretty and clean city. We just walked around there and did not take any tours. I was glad we did not take the kids on this cruise because it is definitely more adult oriented and they would not have enjoyed the pool or flow rider do to the colder temps. I would recommend this cruise to adults who would like to see this part of the world. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
This cruise was a close cruise for a Western Washington resident. Not too many cruises (3) but like the experience. The ship while a little old is in great shape and constantly being cleaned, etc. Wanted to try out interior cabin with a ... Read More
This cruise was a close cruise for a Western Washington resident. Not too many cruises (3) but like the experience. The ship while a little old is in great shape and constantly being cleaned, etc. Wanted to try out interior cabin with a virtual balcony. The virtual balcony really expanded the utility of the interior room. Even though camera was on the opposite side of the ship, it was easy to adjust perspective. Great food in dining room, waiters Nitish and Jeffrey were exceptional. Windjammer was standard buffet food with wide variety, some good and some not so good. We tried to get in front of the line to get selection before other diners had a chance to potentiall leave germs, etc. Shows were standard fare, good dancers, singers, magician and comedian. Cruise director kept things moving, especially the tribute to British Rockers. Don't know how he maintains the high energy level. All of the crew members were pleasant and welcoming. Service was great. Getting on and off the ship was a breeze. Really enjoyed the soft serve ice cream machine by the pool. Was too windy and cool when in transit but no rain so success for the Pacific Northwest. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Our primary reason for taking this cruise was to see the ship. At 137,000 tons, this is the largest ship we have ever sailed on and it has some features we have never seen before. We have visited the ports many times so they were not a ... Read More
Our primary reason for taking this cruise was to see the ship. At 137,000 tons, this is the largest ship we have ever sailed on and it has some features we have never seen before. We have visited the ports many times so they were not a factor. We also feel that the entertainment on Royal Caribbean is usually superior to other cruise lines and hoped to see some good shows. If you ever consider taking a cruise out of Seattle and need to fly there, think again. The Seattle airport has to be one of the worst. We flew in the night before the cruise and had the hotel shuttle deliver us back to the airport the next morning to catch the Royal Caribbean bus to the ship. There was absolutely nobody in the airport to give us any directions to the cruise bus. We finally found a group of construction workers and they told us we had to go up several flights, cross a bridge to another part of the airport, walk through the parking garage, go back down to a lower floor and walk about half a mile to the place where the buses were parked. We started walking through the deserted airport and luckily came across a person with a red vest. She turned out to be a representative for Royal Caribbean and told us where to get the bus. The waiting area was outside in a very windy and cold area. We had to wait there for about an hour before the bus finally came to take us to the ship. The ride to the ship takes about 45 minutes and was comfortable. Upon arrival, we were escorted to the check in area and that process went very smoothly. We then boarded the ship and went to an upper deck to wait for the restaurant to open for lunch. Our cabin was ready at 1 o’clock and we then went down to inspect it and unpack our carry-on bags. CABIN We had cabin 8620 on deck 8. It was across the hall from the elevators and the computer room. It was located at the top of a hump in the side of the ship, so we had unobstructed views to the front or back of the ship. It was also a quick elevator ride to the Windjammer restaurant on deck 11 and the main dining room on deck 3. It was a bit of a walk to the other elevators that took us to the show room. I was surprised that a ship this large had only two elevator towers. We often had to wait quite a long time for an elevator. We were very pleased with the location of this cabin. The cabin was clean and comfortable with a king size bed, vanity with many drawers and lots of cabinet space above. The closet was adequate. The night stands were very small with only one drawer. Lamps were mounted on the wall behind the bed and had two lights; one for general lighting and one for reading. There was a small couch and table. The bath had a fully enclosed shower with sliding doors to enclose it. This feature is much better than a shower curtain. Our cabin steward did a very good job. FOOD The main restaurant had fair to good food. The waiters were all excellent. We had My Time diniing and that part of the main restaurant seemed totally disorganized the first night. It got better on later nights. The Windjammer restaurant on deck 11 was usually crowded and the food was usually somewhat tasteless compared to the main restaurant. They also had a problem keeping plates and utensils available. We have had unpleasant experiences at extra restaurants on various ships, so avoided them on this cruise. The prices also seemed quite high as compared to other cruise lines. Chops was $39.00. Giovanni’s was $30, Johnny Rockets was $9.95 and room service was $7.95. This was the first time we saw a charge for room service on any of our 50 cruises. We thought this charge was way out of line. ENTERTAINMENT We usually choose Royal Caribbean for the entertainment. On past cruses, it far exceeded what is offered by other cruise lines. That was NOT true on this cruise. The production shows were ho-hum. One of the two comedians was good. The second one was poor. A magician was excellent. One night there was only a movie in the main showroom. The ship has an ice rink and there was an excellent show there one afternoon. We did not attend any of the bar shows, but noticed large crowds there as we walked past. There seemed to be fewer activities offered than on other cruises. We went to see the Flowrider and Rock Climbing Wall a couple of times. The Flowrider had only three people trying it and we never saw anyone on the wall. The wind and cool temperatures may have affected the use of these facilities. We played miniature golf one night and only one other couple was using the course. SHOPS There is a promenade on deck 5 with a number of large shops. There is also a café that is open 24 hours with coffee and snacks. It is the only place to get coffee in the early morning. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Overall the pacific coastal cruise was lovely and at a good price. First things that could be improved. Avoid cabin 9221 as the ceiling was squeaky. Maintence twice tried to fix, but couldn't locate source of problem. We stuffed ... Read More
Overall the pacific coastal cruise was lovely and at a good price. First things that could be improved. Avoid cabin 9221 as the ceiling was squeaky. Maintence twice tried to fix, but couldn't locate source of problem. We stuffed towels between the ceiling and the in room desk/vanity. Didn't fix the issue but helped a bit. When in rough seas you will hear loud intermittent squaks from the ceiling. The rougher the seas the worse it gets. I didn't try the hot tubs as the water was murky (not clear). A clean hot tub should have clear water when the jets are not on. The greeters at the windjammer (buffet) were animated and chanting phrases more in line with a disney cruise..like .how you would talk to your children. ("Wash-ie wash-ie") Nice amentities - the specialty restaurants offered great food amd service. We tried all 3. Izumi had exceptional views and cozy vibe. Chops offered best steaks hands down -- get the filet. Giovanni's offered a great sampling of many treats. The prominade (deck 5) had a lovely snack spot with free coffee, tea. And treats. It was nice to see the ship now offers gluten free and lactose free options...just ask for them. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
My daughter, 2 grandsons (20 months and 5 years), and I took a 4 night Royal Caribbean cruise from Sept 17-21 with stops in Nanaimo and Victoria. We stayed in 2 inside cabins, which were next door to each other. I have seen hundreds ... Read More
My daughter, 2 grandsons (20 months and 5 years), and I took a 4 night Royal Caribbean cruise from Sept 17-21 with stops in Nanaimo and Victoria. We stayed in 2 inside cabins, which were next door to each other. I have seen hundreds of commercials where RCI promotes its cruise line as family friendly but RCI did not meet our expectations for the following reasons: a) We did not expect activities for the 20 month old, but there were few activities a 5 year old could do. We wanted to experience the cruise with the children and not offload them to Ocean Adventures, which is a drop off daycare-like activity. The RCL website says there is a "kids aqua park" on the Explorer of the Seas. There was absolutely no "aqua park"--only 5 foot deep pools, a depth that would make our 5 year old uncomfortable. There was nothing a 20 month old could enjoy such as a splash pad or even a hose with running water. The rock wall is limited to kids 6+, which we knew in advance. Why isn’t there a mini-rock wall for smaller kids too? The wave runner was not applicable. The kids have had a better time at a playground at our local park. The arcade was grossly overpriced and almost always empty. $10 bought us about 8 minutes of entertainment. You could buy 1 life on a Mario-type game for $1.50. (That was 2 seconds of my life I’ll never get back.) b) We did not get information about the Ocean Adventure schedules in our staterooms and only stumbled upon them at the front office while exploring the ship. c) The ice show was great and the 5 year old loved it and wanted to go to more shows. The earliest evening show was at 8:30 and he loved the “fast forward” song and dance show but was unable to stay awake until the end. On the second night, we made a big deal about a date with Mommy for the magic show and they arrived early for a front row seat. After my 5 year old made a sound, the magician/comedian made a joke along the lines, “Hey kid, I hear you. We’re in international waters so I could cut you into pieces and throw you overboard and nobody would know.” This threat was hurled at a small sensitive child in the front row who was eager for a magic show and made the mistake of making one short sound. I complained to the activities director who apologized and said he would "talk" to the performer, Leo Ward. Mr. Ward is a seasoned professional who should know better than to make such a treat against a small child even as a joke. The audience did not laugh and the attendees I spoke with thought the incident was horrible. Doesn't RCL contracts with performers provide specifications on content? Are there no consequences for such an outrageous act beyond a "chat" with the activities director? There were also many adult elements to the comedy including sexual innuendo, sexual orientation, and simulated drug use. Needless to say, this awful event ruined the rest of our cruise. d) There was no parade (as advertised) and we could not find the 3D movie theater the RCL sales rep told us about. Movies shown during the day in the large theater were rated pg13. While there was a kids channel on the cabin TV, movie rentals cost $12. Open ice skating was limited to a 2 1/2 hour window during the dinner hour on the last day that also conflicted with the evening show. These were 3 things we were looking forward to because they were something the 5 year old could enjoy. I understand we were on a 4 day cruise, but there should have been some disclosure that these activities would not be included or severely curtailed with our cruise so we could have considered that when making our purchase decision. e) I found a small white pill on the floor of my stateroom that was left by the prior occupant. We looked it up and believe it was a medication for high blood pressure and A-fib. If the 20 month old had accidentally ingested this medication and we could have had a medical emergency without knowing the cause. Apart from the family UN-friendly aspect of the cruise, we felt the dining service was much poorer than our prior cruising experiences where we were always used to “wow” service. We dined in the Sapphire room for 4 evenings and the majority of the time: 1) there was no assistance being seated beyond a point to the table, 2) we were not given a child’s menu on the first night and the kids did not like the food we had to order from the adult menu 3) we were not offered a beverage beyond water, 4) we had to ask for a high chair, and 5) beer was served in an unopened can delivered with an empty glass. Staff was responsive when we made a request, but we found it odd that we had to ask for basics such as a high chair, kids menus, beverages and even open beverages. We dined 3 times in the Windjammer at 3 different times of day and it was always crowded. There were no trays so it was very difficult to manage both kids and multiple plates. There were no clean tables available, so we had to sit at dirty tables and look for staff to clean the table and to provide a high chair. We were offered a beverage only once. One time my plate and beverage were removed from the table while I was picking up a dessert. Overall, it was a frustrating, crowded and noisy experience. What’s up with the shortage of spoons? Silverware wraps in the Windjammer and on the breakfast trays did not have spoons. My daughter’s breakfast tray never included a spoon. She called for 2 spoons and was brought 1. So she called again and asked for 8 spoons and kept a stash in a drawer because her trays never had spoons for yogurt and cereal for the entire cruise. I asked for butter one day and it was never delivered. I also want to mention that there was always at least 2 substitutions of items on my breakfast tray, even when I wrote, “no substitutions please.” I guess there were no blueberry muffins or granola in the pantry. We are experienced cruisers, but it has been several years since our last cruise. We were surprised and disappointed by the number and size of all the upcharges. Room service is free only for a continental (not a hot) breakfast. Otherwise room service costs $8 plus a gratuity. Movies on the TV were $12. Brunch was an upcharge. Lobster was a huge upcharge and there was no lobster or other special food on formal night. If there was a special food event, we missed it. A glass of wine was around $14-15 plus gratuity. A burger joint near the pool area was an upcharge. I would not have minded all the upcharges so much, but the prices felt excessive. We did enjoy the live shows with the exception of the magician/insult comic. The music and dancing were relatively modern and lively. I loved the 3 tenors from Vegas. The shows were at 8:30 and 10:15. The 8:30 show was always very crowded and you needed to be there early to get a good seat. The later show was barely half full with plenty of good seats. It was difficult to get an earlier dining time that did not conflict with going to the early show. We would have preferred an earlier show time option. On the last night, there were 6:30 and 8:30 shows. We had not noticed the schedule change and it would have been helpful if it had been announced by the activity director at the show on the previous night. There were also a number of other small live music venues throughout the ship. The cabins were comfortable and quiet. The pullman bed worked well for the 5 year old and a pack-n-play was provided for the 20 month old. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
This cruise was offered by a travel agent (he had 1100 customers on board) for a great price! It was a quick getaway that we could drive to the port. I was amazed at how CHEAP RCCL has become. In the cabin no chocolates on pillows, no ... Read More
This cruise was offered by a travel agent (he had 1100 customers on board) for a great price! It was a quick getaway that we could drive to the port. I was amazed at how CHEAP RCCL has become. In the cabin no chocolates on pillows, no pen and tablet on the desk, small scratchy sandpaper towels, no lotion in the bathroom (just shampoo in a dispenser in the shower), on demand movies offered for free by Princess were $12 to view!!! In the dining room we were offered one roll from a tray and never we offered more. A strict accounting was done with the thin, rough pool towels that no one would ever want to steal. On Princess there are towel bins everywhere to help ourselves. When returning to the ship after a day on the beach there are big bins to deposit sandy, salty towels. Entertainment was quite good except we didn't care for the Production Show. Not nearly as good as it should be. Ice Skating show was excellent. Public areas looked fine but the cabins are showing their age. A little touch-up paint could help some. Crew were friendly and helpful. Promenade cafe was the only 24 hour food venue with poor offerings. Their sandwiches had one VERY thin piece of meat and were not worth taking. We were disappointed there was NO parade during our cruise! Nanaimo offered MANY volunteers greeting and offering maps, brochures, and a free shuttle. Victoria was a great walk along the waterfront. Will NOT return to RCCL!!! Read Less
Explorer of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.3
Dining 4.0 4.0
Entertainment 5.0 4.0
Public Rooms 4.0 4.3
Fitness Recreation 5.0 4.2
Family 5.0 4.2
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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