2,119 Royal Caribbean Explorer of the Seas Cruise Reviews

We chose this cruise because of transatlantic Miami destination with four stops in Caribbean islands. One week before departure we were informed that the cruise would depart 3 days later than planned because of storm weather at its ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of transatlantic Miami destination with four stops in Caribbean islands. One week before departure we were informed that the cruise would depart 3 days later than planned because of storm weather at its position then. Three of the island stops were thus canceled. We had the opportunity to cancel and be reimbursed of change our travel plans to Southampton from Barcelona (nears airport to our home). We were also informed that our cabin would not be a "guaranteed junior suite" but a balcony cabin at same price. Several phone calls resulted in our obtaining what we paid for with written reservation : a junior suite 7692 We were not reimbursed for cancelations of two prepaid hotel reservations , one night in Barcelona (before flight to Gatwick) and one in Southampton. This added extra unexpected expenses. The ship was in excellent condition and cleanliness. The restaurant gave excellent service and a wide choice on the menu. One minus there : price of wines + gratuities !!!! Entertainment on the long seaways was not entirely to our taste. But we give high marks to the ice-dance show, the Beatles imitators and the magician/pickpocket. Passengers were 95% Senior Brits. Disembarkation was extraordinarily well organised. And fast !! Within one hour after waiting in dining room, we were in line at the airport for car-rental. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Remember this song ?There was no land in sight !!!! October 25th was quite a nice day to embark on our 11 night cruise to the Canaries I have been on this cruise many times and couldn't wait to sail. Embarkation was reasonable ... Read More
Remember this song ?There was no land in sight !!!! October 25th was quite a nice day to embark on our 11 night cruise to the Canaries I have been on this cruise many times and couldn't wait to sail. Embarkation was reasonable but being Diamond does not seem to have that preferential treatment it used to ....sadly . Once onboard we were able to go straight to the cabin which was one of the last two available as we only booked three days prior to sailing at a great price too I hasten to add, an inside cabin on deck 8. Off we sailed and we were nowhere near the Bay of Biscay before we heard the most awful crashing at the front of the ship which was apparently the waves ! The ship was pretty rocky and there were several falls and lots of sickness all of which I have never witnessed before . The Captain informed us the weather was bad but would settle down which it eventually did a day later lol We ate in the main dining room svereal times but we were the only people on a table of six there were lots of tables likes this and despite asking to sit with others it was never granted so we decided to eat at at the Windjammer instead, The food was very good I especially enjoyed the curries and seafood of which their was plenty . The entertainment was not very good at all and sadly the cruise director not much better he gave you no incentive to put the tv on and find out what was happening .The only entertainer who drew crowds every night was Perry Grant he sang in the Schooner bar and he was my reason for going on this cruise this was the third time I had seen him in a year .The bar was packed and it was standing room only every night The audience participation was second to none on this cruise it was hilarious . After we had visited Madeira, Tenerife, and Gran Canaria the weather had started to take a turn for the worse for our route home and apparently we would approach four storms ,after a lot of confusing hearsay we were told that we would not be visiting Vigo nor La coruna and in fact we would be spending four extra days onboard to avoid the storms . We reached Lanzarote (theres a great zara in Lanzarote ) and some people disembarked , obviously this change of itinerary affeceted lots of people in many ways either children not being able to return to school and people waiting to have surgery that they could not rebook as they did not know how long before it would be rescheduled and some people just desperately wanting to get back to ther own businesses . Eventually the ship sailed and the Captain announced that we would now be stopping at Malaga for two days then a further two days in Lisbon ,I for one was elated I love Malaga, and Lisbons Antiques and general market was due to be held on the day we arrived (Tuesday ). The weather In Malaga was quite windy and there were several ships in port it was very busy the market was on but it was a thouroughly enjoyable stop,again some passengers disembarked and I admit to being scared regarding the seas as we sailed away . We arrived In Lisbon and it was cloudy with a few showers The market was great as you look from the ship its behind The Dome to your right so not far and I took a 10 euro tuk tuk there and walked back down the hill . As we sailed away from Lisbon we heard that our Captain had in fact given up his own vacation to keep us safe which I think is to be admired . People were apprehensive mainly because we had experienced such bad weatther on the way out ,We did feel more movement and I believe that peoples cabins were changed away from the front , we never felt a thing in our cabin as it was inside and midship .some people stayed in their rooms as they were unable stand up due to the movement and sickness and some people slept on the sofas on deck 11 as they felt the fresh air helped . Miraculously we avoided the worst of the four storms and reached Southampton late on the Thursday evening and started disemabarking about 20.30 . The passengers that left the shipprior to Southampton were offered £300 each as compensation to get home and I managed to claim on my travel insurance for delay and received £200.Passengers that had the drink package had to pay their own for the extra four days which was not appreciated by some .Unfortunately The Explorer was due to commence a Transartlantic Cruise and this itinerary was also changed they missed all the ports bar one and also lost four days so I believe lots cancelled .I will think twice before booking October and November in future as things could have been far worse but thanks to our Captain this time they were not . Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We found Explorer of the Seas to be as nice as when we first sailed on her 3 years ago on an Alaskan cruise. In fact, we found the service and food to be even better! The ship is kept immaculately clean. We were surprisingly assigned the ... Read More
We found Explorer of the Seas to be as nice as when we first sailed on her 3 years ago on an Alaskan cruise. In fact, we found the service and food to be even better! The ship is kept immaculately clean. We were surprisingly assigned the same balcony cabin, 8280, from our Alaskan cruise which is mid ship and a perfect spot. The only disappointment was in picking this particular cruise, we wanted to visit Versailles which was an excursion for the port of Le Havre. About 2 weeks before the cruise, we were advised that the ship would be arriving 2 hours later in port and the excursion would be pushed back to accommodate time. No problem, we would still get to go. Disappointedly, 5 days before sail date we were told the excursion was completely cancelled. This left us very little time to find another excursion as most were filled up. Nothing much in the port of Le Havre. Paris is 3 hours away and even with an overnight docking, I don’t think I would consider a 6 hour travel time. Other ports of Hamburg, Rotterdam, and Amsterdam were wonderful. We didn’t see much of the entertainment....not our cup of tea, but many seemed to enjoy the shows available. Dining was excellent in the main dining room and my time dining was flawless. We always had a table available and service was excellent. The food was always served piping hot and was delicious! Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
This ship is disappointing. The room 2640 is on top of the engine room and is very noisy. The decor is tired and dated. The staff and food are excellent but it feels budget in comparison with celebrity and P & O. For example, there are ... Read More
This ship is disappointing. The room 2640 is on top of the engine room and is very noisy. The decor is tired and dated. The staff and food are excellent but it feels budget in comparison with celebrity and P & O. For example, there are no nice complimentary toiletries - just some body wash in a locked container in the shower. There are no little towel animals or chocolates on the pillow, nor is there any complimentary room service (they charge 8 dollars). Also the sheets are past their best and are bobbled. In the windjammer restaurant the plates and glasses are made of plastic. In the formal dining room there are only two waiters per three large tables meaning service is painfully slow and drinks sometimes don't arrive (no sommeliers at all). Again, no one to pull out your chair and place your napkin on your lap - those little extra touches that make all the difference. Also no coffee after your dinner. Entertainment good, but I like cruising because you are made to feel special and I WANT all those little extra special things. Sorry Royal Caribbean but I think you have gone too far in trying to penny pinch. I shall be going elsewhere for my next cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We chose this cruise for the D Day Beaches and the American Cemetery at Normandy. We booked a fairly expensive all day excursion in Le Havre. I was shocked to receive an email about a month before sailing, that due to ship speed limits, ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the D Day Beaches and the American Cemetery at Normandy. We booked a fairly expensive all day excursion in Le Havre. I was shocked to receive an email about a month before sailing, that due to ship speed limits, we would not arrive a Le Havre at 10:30 am as scheduled but at 12:30 pm. The excursion was cancelled and we did receive a full refund. I booked a different excursion to Normandy immediately that was still shown on the cruise planner. Once we got on the ship, a partial credit was issued as this excursion was shortened without a single word to us. The last stop on the excursion was Arromanches, the site of the remaining Muberry Harbor, but at the time we arrived, all shops in the area were closed and only two restaurants open. Everyone on the bus had to go to the bathroom so this was total chaos. My second complaint is the main showroom. One of the shows was a cover band of the group Take That, that I had never heard of. Apparently this was an English group that was know to the British cruisers. We saw the whole show but was not impressed. Imagine our surprise when the Farewell Show the next night featured the group again. However not for just a song or two but their entire show from the night before. What a disappointment, not with the group but scheduling from the entertainment staff. Ship is in need of some updating, but our cabin was fine and our room steward was great. Dining was very slow the first night but we complained to the head waiter and extra efforts were taken to complete dinner service in a reasonable time frame. Food in the main dining room was fine. No options late at night but the Promenade Cafe. I noticed that the bills from the bar did not indicate that a tip had been added. I asked my bartender and he stated that a standard tip was included in the amount paid. He also mentioned that this had changed with their departures from Southampton. I don't know if this was a ploy to get an additional tip added or some issue for the British cruisers. I did not add an additional tip so I hope the bartender was correct. I had heard that Royal was doing away with formal nights but this was not the case. We had two of them and planned for none. Went to a future cruise talk. Three people showed up and the audio visual equipment wouldn't work. In the shore excursions, Royal did not offer transfers to Heathrow after the cruise. I was forced to find my own transportation and was surprised to see transfers on the embarkation schedule. One of the couples at our dinner table called Royal and was able to book this transfer. Why do you have to call to book a transfer? Even though we overnighted in Le Havre, no information was provided in the Compass or by the shopping staff. The cruise line sold bus transfer tickets into town for $10. Based on the crowds of people waiting catch the bus back to the ship in town, so they certainly knew how many people went into town. I mentioned this to the shopping manager and apparently it never occurred to them that people might be interested in Le Havre. I have cruised on Royal five time. This will be my last for some time to come. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
The ship was nice, people were great. Dining room dinner menu disappointed and we ate in the windjammer most nights. When we did eat in the dining room, it was good. The ship was on the small side, but it doesn't need to be bigger ... Read More
The ship was nice, people were great. Dining room dinner menu disappointed and we ate in the windjammer most nights. When we did eat in the dining room, it was good. The ship was on the small side, but it doesn't need to be bigger with ports so close together and one cruise day. First port, Hamburg Germany on a Sunday. All stores are closed on Sundays, forget shopping. Are you serious Royal? My wife and I are more than upset. Only thing you can do is walk empty streets. Second port, Rotterdam, plenty of time, but nothing special. Third port, Amsterdam, somewhere around 6 hours, not enough time to really look around and enjoy the place! France, the last, promised 28 hours to visit the city. Came into port 2 hours late, shuttle stopped on the way to Paris even though no one wanted to. They changed the pickup spot and a passenger had to go get the others like us to find the bus! From drop off to pick up, we were given 21 hours that includes sleeping! This was the port we really were looking forward to and we feel we got screwed! Thanks Royal, you really did a crap job! Another disappointment, I really look forward to the T-Shirt sale and they didn't have one on this cruise. Seriously, bad schedule! We save our valuable time off to spend one good time a year and this was awful! Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We chose this cruise because we had not been to Hamburg, Rotterdam and Amsterdam. Felt it was a good way to see these destinations. Apart from the drizzly weather, which was expected at this time of the year, they were very interesting ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we had not been to Hamburg, Rotterdam and Amsterdam. Felt it was a good way to see these destinations. Apart from the drizzly weather, which was expected at this time of the year, they were very interesting places. Embarkation at Southampton was extremely easy, onboard very quickly and cabin and luggage available within hour. We had inside cabin 8673, very well located. Very quiet. Excellent room attendant 'Floyd'. Only ate in the Windjammer and at the Promenade Café. Excellent food and service. Biggest disappointment was shuttle bus in Hamburg. I believed that Royal Caribbean had indicated that shuttle bus was recommended. They charged 18 USD per person and I bought tickets on board. We went to same place that we had been dropped off for return bus to ship. Lot of people, didn't notice any signage regarding shuttle bus service. Waited approx. 40 mins, no bus arrived. Noticed other people walking in direction of ship, we followed. Very easy walk along quayside which took approx. 20 mins. On return to ship went to Reception desk, noticed others that had also walked in the queue. Persons in front of me made report to Receptionist, I added my observations and disappointment to their report. Giving our cabin number. I was told that Shore Excursions would respond on their return to the ship. They did not! I went to their desk during the evening and was advised that the shuttle service was not the responsibility of RCI. I did argue the point as I felt that they were responsible. They sold the ticket and advertised the service. The shuttle was operated on behalf of RCI. Member of staff did not agree and Manager called. Manager said I was rude to staff member and would not discuss. She did check to see why I hadn't had response to my original complaint but could not find it on their system! Entertainment on board was good, ice skating show was excellent. Felt that Reception/Shore Excursion staff let RCI down. All other staff were brilliant. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Cabins need a refurb. Public areas ok. Entertainment was hit and miss. Ventriloquist was excellent a really funny show. Take that experience were good. Not sure about the headliners, didn't enjoy any of their shows. Drinks prices ... Read More
Cabins need a refurb. Public areas ok. Entertainment was hit and miss. Ventriloquist was excellent a really funny show. Take that experience were good. Not sure about the headliners, didn't enjoy any of their shows. Drinks prices high. Charged for shuttle buses we waited for over an hour for one and in the end paid for a taxi back to the ship, other cruise lines provide these free of charge. Customer service terrible. Some staff rude. The guy who greeted you at the Windjammer always had a smile and was great with the kids. The food overall wasnt on par with other cruise lines and didnt think the Italian specialist restaurant was worth the additional surcharge. Facilities onboard for kids are the best we've experienced at sea, Ie. flow rider, rock climbing, ice skating, arcade, sports court. Probably wouldn't book again on this ship but would give RCL another go. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We are C&A members, and we've sailed with RC over 10 times. So by no means we are "rookies". Granted this was a charter cruise, but we expected the service to be RC quality. Boy were we wrong. There is an extreme lack ... Read More
We are C&A members, and we've sailed with RC over 10 times. So by no means we are "rookies". Granted this was a charter cruise, but we expected the service to be RC quality. Boy were we wrong. There is an extreme lack of personnel in the general public area. Starting with the Windjammer, the food was mediocre at its best. There were no personnel going around tables to offer drinks from the bar. With the drinking package, one is given a refillable cup, which RC expects one to carry it at all times. That cup has a chip on the bottom, and it allows the person (in theory) to get their drinks from a Coca Cola machine. Well, the problem is that none of the machines were working properly. If one was lucky enough to find a machine that actually dispensed the drinks, it usually was out of most of the drinks, or didn't have ice, or in the middle of the refill would just show a message on the screen saying the machine was out of whatever drink you were serving yourself. As for the midnight snack at the Windjammer, they only serve cold hot dogs and greasy hamburgers that looked like they had been made 3 days ago. Only a small section of the Windjammer would be open at a time, so the lines were absurd. As for the main dining hall, I was not allowed to enter because I had arrived 30 minutes after the dinning time had begun. I had no idea the dinning hall was totally strict with the hours. When we did make it on time, the food was mediocre. How can you mess up a T-bone? It even tasted weird! The cabin was ok, it was an inside cabin with a huge screen that showed the outside of the ship like if we had a balcony. What a waste of resources! The darn thing didn't always work, and honestly, I could have done without the screen. As for the itinerary, I understand it was a charter cruise. But we were in port less than 5 hours. That meant that most of the shore excursions were cancelled without giving alternatives. Read Less
Sail Date October 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
We stayed overnight in a hotel in Southampton then got a taxi to the city terminal for 11am. As D+ loyalty we got priority security and check in and were on the ship within 20 minutes. We called into the Diamond Lounge for snacks and ... Read More
We stayed overnight in a hotel in Southampton then got a taxi to the city terminal for 11am. As D+ loyalty we got priority security and check in and were on the ship within 20 minutes. We called into the Diamond Lounge for snacks and a hot drink as windjammer wasn't open. Our balcony cabin was ready by 1pm and 30 minutes later our cases turned up so we unpacked and went for lunch. We used our D+ BOGO and went to Chops Grill first night and Giovanni's the second night. The other 4 nights we went to MTD and our waiters Russel and Bradey were excellent. Pre-dinner most nights we went to the Concierge Lounge where the service was excellent. We visited 3 ports. Vigo- Spain.Nice port 10 minutes walk up a hill got us to a long pedestrian street of shops including Zara and Mango. Gijon-Spain.This was a 20 minutes free shuttle ride into town.There was a nice promenade plus a long street of shops including Zara and Mango Le-Havre-France.There was a massive queue for the €5 return shuttle with estimated 45 minutes wait. We got a taxi instead to the docks shopping centre for only €8 which took around 10 minutes. We enjoyed our cruise and the ship looked in excellent condition. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We found the staff very helpful polite and couldn’t do enough for you. The food was remarkable quality Choice was outstanding. Restaurant staff couldn’t do enough for you. We found that our cabin attendant was absolutely ... Read More
We found the staff very helpful polite and couldn’t do enough for you. The food was remarkable quality Choice was outstanding. Restaurant staff couldn’t do enough for you. We found that our cabin attendant was absolutely fabulous outstanding in all aspects of offers and help and suggestions he made.Entertainment we found enjoyable some nights were absolutely outstanding still couldn’t fault it. We were on the ship on the 2019/10/05 for 6 days. It was our first cruise and we thoroughly had a fantastic time we sailed from Southampton we had two stops in Spain one in France back to Southampton thoroughly enjoyed ourselves to the point is we have booked another cruise with Royal Caribbean on the jewel of the sea in Dubai in March next year. We just like to say well done Royal Caribbean explorer of the sea for all your hard work in making our cruise special Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We have cruised with several lines, but found Royal Caribbean's Explorer of the Seas the best for food.The choice in the buffet is vast. Embarkation was swift & easy, as was disembarkation.Going from Southampton is ideal, so ... Read More
We have cruised with several lines, but found Royal Caribbean's Explorer of the Seas the best for food.The choice in the buffet is vast. Embarkation was swift & easy, as was disembarkation.Going from Southampton is ideal, so much better than having to fly to a port. Entertained by Perry Grant most nights. A very talented pianist, singer & comedian offering great fun with the audience's participation. All other entertainment was good, especially the Ice Show which should not be missed The only disappointment was missing 2 ports & spending 2 days in Le Havre instead! We also found the prices of drinks quite high. The cabin was comfortable as were all on board facilities. A good choice of shore excursions, but again pricey. Very good service in all areas. A little 'tired' in some areas, but due for a refit in 2020. We certainly recommend Royal Caribbean & will definitely cruise with them in the future. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Having had a brilliant cruise on Navigator last year, we booked to do the same itinerary with friends from Scotland. Our 19th cruise - and 8th with R.C. but what a huge disappointment - so much has changed. The admin staff were ... Read More
Having had a brilliant cruise on Navigator last year, we booked to do the same itinerary with friends from Scotland. Our 19th cruise - and 8th with R.C. but what a huge disappointment - so much has changed. The admin staff were 'polite' to the point of rudeness. The ship was tired and dull - downright grubby in places. Mirrors in dining room had a film of grease over them. No real sparkle to this ship. It may be going in for refit - but there was no excuse for poor cleaning. All the luxury elements were missing, no flowers on dining room table - in fact no diners!! Our complete section had empty tables around us - the food was tepid, insipid and uninspiring. Waiting staff were excellent - doing their best under the circumstances. The head chef spent more time apologising to guests than he did in the kitchen. Conclusion - they were trying to get you to spend more in the speciality dining ! Forget the windjammer - crammed to capacity due to guests not using dining room. Our jnr suite - excellent space - but we had to ask for the floor to be cleaned in the second week - no sign of a hoover and carpet getting thicker every day. Glass tables in bars were grubby. Drinks waiters friendly - but then they were getting regular tips to remember us. The changed the itinerary dropping Genoa before we even sailed - due to overcrowding - did they not book their slot over a year ago?? the replacement port was skipped due to the non-appearing Hurricane. Lisbon was skipped - and they substituted it with an overnight stay in Le Havre. Of all the ports they could have gone to why this ferry port with nothing of interest?? They did not even lay on shuttle buses to get to town. Over 3,000 people on board, many old and challenged - the queue for the port bus was over one hour long. the 25 minute walk - was more like 40 mins. They did manage however to book coaches for an overpriced trip into Paris. They even took coaches to Rouen for a trip - WHY French health official had declared the place an health issue due to huge chemical fire. Toxic soot on everything, questions over air quality and a ban on eating fruit and veg grown there and the milk had to be thrown away - yet RC thought it would be a great idea to take people to visit it. How desperate for profit was that. Very poor entertainment Cleary they are floundering in the expanding cruise market and have lost their edge. Our worst cruise out of 19 others !! Very poor value for money and disappointing to say the least -- Royal Caribbean dont even bother responding to correspondence outlining issues. Staff refused to provide a letter for insurance company stating port missed and the reason. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I choose cruises (after more than 40 throughout the years) mainly for the itinerary. I used many lines, some extinct by now, and Royal Caribbean never disappointed me (actually except one line, MSC, truly disappointed me). We departed from ... Read More
I choose cruises (after more than 40 throughout the years) mainly for the itinerary. I used many lines, some extinct by now, and Royal Caribbean never disappointed me (actually except one line, MSC, truly disappointed me). We departed from Southampton, embarkation was easy, with plenty of Staff to make you feel you are a wanted passenger from then on. The ship is large, but has many venues, and the food and service were very good. Wine service at the restaurant prompt, with large variety and prices of wines of the world. Unfinished bottles are kept and if you switch restaurantes the unfinished bottles are readily available for your lunch or dinner. Breakfast has a large variety, I was particularly surprised by a favorite of mine: smoked salmon of the first quality and presented in enormous plates with all the complements side by side. The cabin Staff perfect. The restaurants Staff idem.Japanese restaurant: first quality food and service, can compete with any Japanese gourmet around the world. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We are loyal to Royal Caribbean, we have always enjoyed cruises with them. Now we have a baby in tow, it made all the more sense to go with a holiday that we know what to expect and really enjoy. Useful baby-related tips: - we ate ... Read More
We are loyal to Royal Caribbean, we have always enjoyed cruises with them. Now we have a baby in tow, it made all the more sense to go with a holiday that we know what to expect and really enjoy. Useful baby-related tips: - we ate in the main dining room every night. Our baby - then aged 10 months - ate small pieces of food from our plates and we got extra portions of vegetables (the wait staff suggested this) so he was very happy. - there isn’t a baby splash zone on Explorer, but if you go to Adventure Ocean you can borrow a paddling pool (free of charge) and place it on the deck beside your sun lounger. Pool staff filled it up with lukewarm water. - on Explorer there isn’t a Royal Tots Nursery as such, instead they turned one of the conference rooms into a playroom with soft mats, musical toys, a chute, a see-saw, books etc. They had 1 designated activity time every day at 10am, apart from that the playroom was open for babies/toddlers (accompanied by their parents) 10am-10pm. - we used the buggy a lot but it was also handy to have the baby carrier eg for muster stations on the first day and for visiting hilly / cobbled ports such as Lisbon. The staff couldn’t have done more for us. Perhaps it was because there weren’t loads of children on this ship that we got extra special attention everywhere we went. Or perhaps it was because our baby is a very smiley baby and people can’t help but smile at him! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We sailed from Southampton and because we are Elite status on Celebrity, we are Diamond on Royal. This meant that we had priority boarding. We were soon on the ship, but had to go to the Windjammer for lunch as our room was not yet ready. ... Read More
We sailed from Southampton and because we are Elite status on Celebrity, we are Diamond on Royal. This meant that we had priority boarding. We were soon on the ship, but had to go to the Windjammer for lunch as our room was not yet ready. I missed the welcome drink that we are given on embarkation by Celebrity. The room was ready just after 1.15. We were in 7314, which was starboard side. I was delighted to see that there was no lifeboat blocking our view. We unpacked our trolley bags and it was already obvious that storage space was going to be tight, no overhead locker as we have been used to on the Celebrity S class ships. Our main cases had not turned up by the time we went to Muster. We went in good time, so that we could get a seat. Not so on Royal, you queue up on an outside deck like school children waiting to go into class. The Captain made an announcement at the end of the proceedings and had to be prompted by someone as to which ship he was on. In fact we were led away as he was part way through his announcement. Really? As 5 pm was not far away, we went up on to deck 11 for Sail Away, which was delayed, so we enquired as to the whereabouts of the Diamond Lounge, so we could avail ourselves of the free drinks. These were constantly filled up and this remained so throughout the cruise. In fact we were one week into the cruise before we realised that we could ask for bottled water during Diamond hours. A fantastic perk for me as I use it to boil for my early morning cup of tea. We had booked Anytime dining and I had pre arranged 7 pm as our dining time. We were able to use our 3 free drinks loaded on to our card in the dining room until 20.30. A fantastic perk. We were seated at the same table every night except the first, as I am Dairy Intolerant, so this makes it easier for the waiter. Handy really looked after at table 321A. After our meal we found a seat in the Starlight Lounge, where we would spend 2 hours listening to Perry Grant. This was the one and only time that we were able to get a seat, as many passengers were still in the Theatre. We listened to him playing for 2 hours, but then I was weary of him asking guests the same questions, Do you have walk in wardrobes, do you have Formica in your kitchen, what colour is it etc.etc. We returned to our cabin to find that our cases had at last been delivered, but we left the unpacking until the next morning. I could certainly have done with the delivery being before the guaranteed 8 pm. We ate breakfasts in the Sapphire dining room on Deck 4 as it was waiter service. On the first morning we asked to be seated in the Diamond area. I was so pleased that we did this, as someone from our Roll Call group was also seated with us. We ‘hit it off’ and came across each other multiple times. We saw each other at the Meet & Mingle, where I was lucky enough to win the second raffle prize, which was a drinks container. Our new friend asked the CD why the ship was overbooked; they had been asked to give up their cabin by Royal, but as they had come over from Spain for the cruise and had an actual cabin, Royal told them they were OK to travel. Apparently there were 500 less guests than the previous week, which had still been the school holidays, where families had shared cabins. This week, most travellers were couples, and Royal had booked too many Guarantee cabins and I suspect not many guests had requested Royal Up ( we were still being sent e mails just one week before the cruise inviting us to apply). One feature of this cruise was the number of Alpha calls, ambulances met the ship at every port, even when the cruise ended someone fell down the escalators and had to be taken to hospital. We enjoyed the evening entertainment. The Barricade Boys, and Beatles Celebration were outstanding. The Starlight Lounge was overfull every night, so I was pleased that Perry Grant was invited to perform in 2 shows on stage, We also saw 2 Ice shows, one especially for Diamond members and Seasons which was performed for all guests. On the final evening the Guest Choir performed at 9 am in the Star Lounge. We just managed to get there on time, which was a good job, as my husband and our new friends had spent every Sea day rehearsing in Dizzy’s at lunch time. We were lucky with the weather, even the Bay if Biscay was calm and too soon we were back in Southampton. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We have sailed several times with the royal carribean and normally I love my cruise - however the last cruise I had in August, will sadly probably be the last cruise I choose with Royal Carribean - the staff as always were perfect and ... Read More
We have sailed several times with the royal carribean and normally I love my cruise - however the last cruise I had in August, will sadly probably be the last cruise I choose with Royal Carribean - the staff as always were perfect and could not do enough to make our holiday special - however we had an unbelievable number of teens on our cruise who congregated each evening in level 8 - my floor - particularly near the lift area - so I was constantly feeling intimidated each time I used the lift - so much so that I opted to use the stairs - I had teens running up and down corridors late at night and once it was as late as 3.30 am - I did ring security on several occasions and in all fairness they came and solved the problem ...on that night - but it would be exactly the same on every night - annoyingly even on the last night they woke me at 1am - and as I was leaving the ship just after 7am to drive hundreds of miles I wasn’t happy at all - there was no monitoring of the corridors at all - I understand the shop is due for a refurb - which had I known I would probably have booked another ship as it looked tatty and needing paintwork in several places The food as always was incredible plenty of choice and fantastic On our return I did email customer services re our noisy holiday and was told I should have rang reception - which I did - no other help whatsoever - they didn’t seem interested whatsoever that I had saved all year for a holiday to be disturbed every single night and reluctant to use the lifts I personally will prob not ever be booking with RC again - not just because it was simply too noisy (I do have four children if my own so I am not anti children) but also the attitude I had from customer services Sadly it falls far short of the holiday I saved hard for - I love cruise ships so i’ll prob try another company next year Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
I was asked to accompany a friend and this was my first ever cruise. It was the best experience ever, From start to finish the whole experience was effortless. No queuing to board or disembark. Very calm and professional service ... Read More
I was asked to accompany a friend and this was my first ever cruise. It was the best experience ever, From start to finish the whole experience was effortless. No queuing to board or disembark. Very calm and professional service throughout. I did visit the gym once( to look around!) very well equipped but did not use it as I was relaxing but lots of people did. I was fortunate enough to see dolphins and whales!! Food was amazing, so much variety and all freshly prepared with so much choice all day long. I was a little disappointed with the amount of children running wild in the evenings unsupervised but it was the last week of the summer holidays.I do think young children should be with adults on such a luxury holiday not pulling phones off walls and playing in the lifts but that’s down to the parents. I won’t get the email to ask for my review about waiting staff as my friend booked it. I just wanted to mention Handi and komang gave the best service I have ever come across. Their attention to detail was above and beyond first class. Nothing was too much trouble for them. They truely deserve a mention as they made meal times an absolute pleasure. I hope 100% that I meet those young men again. An absolute asset to the ships crew. Thankyou Handi And Komamg for your service, friendship and entertainment. I am a bit of a sun worshipper so didn’t really use the day time activities but there was something going on all day every day. Evening shows were a must see. Some really good some not so good but everyone’s tastes are different. What I wasn’t really bothered about some were laughing there socks off so each to there own. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We have cruised 3 times with Royal Caribbean and decided we shall not ever travel again in their ships. Grubby worn and extremely lacking of any luxury fixtures or fittings. The chairs in the Stsr Lounge were extremely worn torn and shabby ... Read More
We have cruised 3 times with Royal Caribbean and decided we shall not ever travel again in their ships. Grubby worn and extremely lacking of any luxury fixtures or fittings. The chairs in the Stsr Lounge were extremely worn torn and shabby and some of the rest rooms left a lot to be desired..,. Broken door handles and fixtures missing....if you miss dinner and attempt to eat in the Winjammer it closed st 9pm do we were left to eat pizza at the small cafe on the promenade which was heaving with very loud teenagers. Great trip for families but some parents are oblivious to the antics of their offspring and we witnessed a good fight between some youngsters who were throwing ice cream at each other covering walls and floors on deck 11....bar staff were excellent as were the casino staff but the lack of quality isnd detail of cabins was very disappointing. we Are planning a cruise next spring and shall definitely be joining Celebrity again....maybe a little more expensive but extremely superior quality.... regards. Lynda Guy Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We have just returned from a 13 day cruise from Southampton to Spain, Lisbon, France. Travelled in 2 cabins, myself and my husband in one and our 2 teenage boys in the other. The embarkation and disembarkation was a dream. We parked at ... Read More
We have just returned from a 13 day cruise from Southampton to Spain, Lisbon, France. Travelled in 2 cabins, myself and my husband in one and our 2 teenage boys in the other. The embarkation and disembarkation was a dream. We parked at the port, left the cases by the car and they were delivered to our cabin a couple of hours later. We drove from Manchester and were sat in the bar at 12.30pm enjoying our holiday without any airports. I would recommend carrying off your own luggage if you can - the luggage collection area was manic. In terms of the ship itself, I was a bit concerned about some of the negative reviews but we all loved it. OK there may be room for improvement in some areas but honestly if I didn't know the ship was being refurbished next year I wouldn't have noticed. It is in good condition and there are plenty of nice bars and good sun decks. Overall I thought there was a great atmosphere and a great mix of people onboard. Cabins were basic but fine and the cabin stewards worked super hard and cabin was always spotless - could not fault it. Plus the beds were very comfy - have never slept so well in my life! The dining was good. We did buffet for breakfast and lunch and the selections were vast and always delicious. The MDR was also good and we had 2 great waitors taking care of us. The food wasn't always amazing but honestly can't complain when they are serving that many people with that many food choices. Some nights the food was outstanding. We dined in Izumi which was truly amazing, so much so that we went twice. Definately worth the cost. Also Giovannis table was nice and a pleasant change from the MDR. Bars were great. Perry Grant in the Schooners bar literally made our holiday - he was hilarious and he packed the place out every night - fantastic. We had the drinks pacakge which was expensive at £41 per day each but was worth it when we worked out what we would have spent. The service in the bars was great and was never without a drink. Entertainment was a bit average but it is a personal choice of course and we were happy to watch Perry everynight (or the guitar player in Crown and Kettle). The ice show was good but some of the others not so good. The ports varied from great to poor but we expected that before we went and we had good weather which helped. The pool decks were good - generally very busy in areas but there were a couple of quieter spots where a sunbed could always be found. Loved the music and general atmosphere around the pools.Drinks flowing too and lots of waitors around. The teenaged boys enjoyed their holiday as the cruise allowed them more freedom than a typical holiday so they spent a lot of time with their friends and in the arcade. Some of the newer ships perhaps have more fancy entertainment but they enjoyed it. Overall we had a great holiday - the ship is great and the staff were excellent without exception. We would definately travel with RCI again (have only previously taken a P&O cruise which had a more "stuffy" atmosphere which didn't suit us as well). Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We chose this cruise as it was sailing to a number of tick box locations. The embarkation process was amongst the easiest of all, after 8 previous cruises, we are big fans of cruise embarkation, this was excellent. We made our way to our ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it was sailing to a number of tick box locations. The embarkation process was amongst the easiest of all, after 8 previous cruises, we are big fans of cruise embarkation, this was excellent. We made our way to our cabin 7204 - Ocean view, very clean and as we took our own phone chargers it didn’t matter that the only part of the cabin that didn’t work was the hub socket. We have now had cabins at the stern previously and chose a front facing cabin. Our first two week cruise, we took clothes to fit this, however we believe the wardrobe wasn’t big enough, perhaps during the next refit this could be addressed without losing too much. After checking out and being pleased with our cabin, as is our normal practice we look at the restaurant and where we were to spend our evening meal. We had informed Royal Caribbean of our request for early dining and a table for two. As far as we were concerned this was agreed however on reaching our table we were to be sat at a table for eight. Speaking to the chap with the laptop, we were told, “we decide table seating, not Royal Caribbean “, as we were an early sitting, he advised us to eat at 2000, when a two seat table would have been arranged. At 2000, we returned to the restaurant and were dealt with by embarrassed staff, who could not do enough for us. We ended our meal with the promise that our table for the next meal was a two seater table at 1800. This was confirmed with a note posted to our cabin. The following night we went to our nominated table at our nominated time and unfortunately another couple were sat having ordered their meal. Further embarrassment all around amongst the staff, eventually we had to be in the restaurant at 1745, we could then eat at the same table (for two) for the remainder of the cruise. On our return home I contacted Royal Caribbean to inform them and received the following reply “We have received your correspondence regarding the table issue. We apologize that it did not work out as you said it has in the past. When you request a table for two that is exactly what it is a request its not a guaranty”. (It would be impolite to alter the spelling) the evenings entertainment on day one was a make shift performance to introduce everyone to the guests, day two the entertainment on the first sea day was a Beatles tribute band, excellent they were to, standing ovation The entertainment was a series of guest artists appearing nightly, including Mick Miller, who was quite funny in the 70’s, 40 years later, not so! Visiting male singer, female singer, a juggler, a hypnotist, a magician all of whom were simple fare passing the time until the next days visit. The scenery of a Baltic cruise is exceptional unfortunately 50% is during the night, but it must be said the ports and shore excursions were second to none, however all when booked on the ship were very expensive due in main to the rubbish exchange rate between the dollar and the pound. We needed to book the shore excursion in St Petersburg to enable a visa to be covered for the trip. Otherwise normally we do not book onboard excursions, these were very expensive, what we did though was book the hop on, hop off buses for $18 each. Visiting Oslo, Copenhagen, Tallin, St Petersburg, Helsinki, Stockholm, Skagen, Stavanger, all superb places to visit, though the majority were not suitable for wheelchair users as explained in the ships daily post, still ignored however, particularly on the cobbles of St Petersburg, it was painful to watch the struggles of pushing or being pushed on the treacherous paths. The entertainment team (not singers or dancers) tried very hard to make the cruise enjoyable with lots of quizzes, these were in the main very difficult. They ran the bingo, very expensive at $56 for two pages of four and two dabbers. The session we attended was a very long session for one house which was $500. We think there were four singers in the entertainment team, they were brilliant but only put on four shows in the fortnight we were on our cruise, the team of dancers were equally talented but also only gave the four shows. Further entertainment was provided by the Wild boys, again brilliant and also another comedian who was up to date and funny Speaking to other passengers who had sailed with Royal Caribbean they agreed the ship was the worst they had been on, it was our first Royal Caribbean cruise and yes it will most probably our last. A shame, a very good crew, a very funny Cruise Director but the first weeks food was bland, the second weeks food was better. All in all if this was our first cruise we would not be upset, but after nine cruises, it was no where near the best one. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Just returned from Royal Caribbean’s Explorer of the Seas Northern Europe and Russia cruise. THIS IS A FULL REVIEW. Explorer is 20 years old and smaller but otherwise identical layout to Freedom and Independence of the Seas, ... Read More
Just returned from Royal Caribbean’s Explorer of the Seas Northern Europe and Russia cruise. THIS IS A FULL REVIEW. Explorer is 20 years old and smaller but otherwise identical layout to Freedom and Independence of the Seas, sharing the same (but smaller) Deck 5 central shopping mall idea, Schooners Bar, triple-floor Sapphire Dining Rooms, Windjammer buffet, ice rink, FlowRider and Dizzys/Sky Bar etc. The August cruise from Southampton to Northern Europe was perfectly pleasant. Oslo, Copenhagen, Tallin, St Petersburg, Helsinki, Stockholm, Skagen (Denmark) and Stavanger (Norway) and the weather was kind, but lazing in the sun on the main deck was possible on one day out of 14, although I spotted several people, probably from Newcastle on Tyne, out there in their bikinis in Force 8 winds! This is an easy cruise to access all the cities visited. All ports were quayside docking and all within easy walking distance of the city centres (Helsinki and Stockholm a couple of miles away but with cheap public transport from the quayside). Don’t fall for the cruise-line’s nonsense of buying their organised trips or paying an extortionate $40 for their own local shuttles - every city had cheap (typically $3 per trip or $10 for a 24 hour ticket covering all busses, trams, water taxis and metros) and regular public transport always right from the quayside. We organised our own tours through local operators, but in cities like Oslo, Helsinki, Copenhagen and Tallinn you can walk everywhere. In every case, local tours were 50% cheaper than the cruise line’s official tour, and usually better. In Skagen we just walked but a friend rented a car for $35 for the day and visited everything there was to see - more than any of the organised tours. In Stavanger we booked a 3 hour fjord cruise with Rödne Tours from a booth right next to the cruise terminal for $40 each when we arrived, but I’d recommend pre-booking in case there’s more than one cruise ship in port. In St Petersburg we booked a 2 day tour with TJ Tours just 5 days before arriving and had a great experience with our own guide and a comfortable Mercedes minibus, all meals and water included, visiting more locations and for longer than the best available cruise-line tour for half the price ($250 each). You must book with an official Russian tour operator to get your necessary temporary Russian visa - you can’t visit St. Petersburg unaccompanied (well, not officially) but it’s as simple as booking online with a tour operator such as TJTours, SPB or Alla Tours. We found many fellow Americans were scared stiff of Russia, thinking the “Reds” might not like them. Well, that’s simply not the case. They are lovely! The guests on this cruise were 60-70% British. Some Americans and Australians for whom this was usually one half of their European cruising (the other half being a Mediterranean cruise, but not always with RCI). The Brits were a mix of classes, lots of blue collar families but nice, friendly and honest in the way Brits usually are. A couple of dozen feral kids under 10 running around, living in the elevators with no parents or ship security enforcing some manners. A public keel hauling of the worst offender would soon restore discipline (this is a joke, btw). . The negatives on this trip were all on board the ship. Having cruised with Royal Caribbean several times a few years ago, these are the noticeable differences – a general decline in standards whilst RCI try even harder to screw every last penny out of their guests: - Sapphire Dining Room - food still ok but menus not quite as varied as before and some dishes simply not up to scratch. Service definitely slower and poorer than we’ve experienced on any other cruise or cruiseline. One night we waited 30 minutes for our order to be taken. Another couple next to us waited 90 minutes for their main course. Lots of complaints heard about this. The dining rooms seem to have more tables crammed in and they’ve dispensed with the nightly “Showtime” singalong by the waiters. Coffee and liqueurs used to be offered automatically, now you have to ask. No chocolate mints anymore. MyTime Dining is a shambles. Dress codes are not enforced at all - families in tee shirts and shorts - even on Formal Night. This is not what I pay my cruise bucks for. If diners want to dress in shorts, send them to the Windjammer. There IS a choice! Hey, Royal Caribbean - stop this race to the bottom and restore some semblance of style to your ships. - Bars. There seem to be fewer waiters going round taking orders. Best bar for cocktails is still Schooner. Dizzy’s on the 14th floor has a good atmosphere (but the air con is always too cold). Some evenings it’s taken over by a “silent” disco, which actually means drunken guests singing the chorus of two different songs out of tune at the top of their voices. Silent it is not! Why on earth they can’t hold this in one of the disco clubs is beyond me. Drink prices noticeably up. $6-10 for a beer, ordinary branded spirits $10-15 and wine at $11-16 a glass. Cocktails typically $12 and up. - On board sales bargains - e.g. watches and jewellery. Quality and variety on offer is poor and prices are the same as high street. The rest of the goods on offer was tourist tat, overpriced by 50% compared to identical tourist tat in each port. On board bargains used to be one of the joys of cruising. It isn’t any longer. Art and overpriced jewellery auctions did zero business. I never understand how they make money, but this cruise full of savvy Brits wasn’t going to part them from their money. - Windjammer Buffet. A glorious spectacle of excess. Food quality is awfully variable, from awful to variable yet never excellent. If you want to watch fat people getting even fatter, pushing and vying to see who can pile their plates highest and yet still leave enough waste food to feed New York’s entire homeless community, then this is the best free entertainment venue on the entire ship! The number of electric buggies plus the constant feeding frenzy was like that scene out of Wally...... Not offendin’ anyone, just sayin’.... - Theatre Entertainment. The in house ‘orchestra’ is a great bunch of talented musicians tied to performing holiday camp-standard routines. The in-house song and dance reviews were nothing special, in fact highly avoidable. A couple of guest bands were excellent, though - a Beatles tribute band and The Wild Boys in particular were very good. A visiting West End singer, magician and a hypnotist who were all pretty mundane. I fell asleep during the hypnotist act. No idea why. - Round the Ship entertainment. There’s a talented solo guitarist playing a repertoire of 30 almost recognisable pop hits in a vaguely classical style. He looks tired and bored, but go and ask him to play something decent, like Tarrega or Rodriguez, and he perks up! The House Band is OK, best when they are doing live karaoke. Lead vocalist loves herself but the drummer is the better singer. The reggae band are very good. There’s a very camp Liberace clone who knows his downmarket audience to a Tee! Straight from Phoenix Nights! Truly awful....unless you like that kind of thing. - The usual selection of half hour games and quizzes, presented in a generally lacklustre way, always in a hurry, formulaic and rushed. Too few staff? - Casino. Never more than 1/4 full. The Brits obviously don’t gamble. The ship did nothing to entice them in, so each night it was the same 50 American faces playing the slots and a handful of tables. At least half the croupiers looked dead or asleep. They could have jumped ship for two weeks and no one would have noticed. A missed opportunity. - Cruise Director. Every other Cruise Director we’ve had has been the life and soul of the ship - always about, saying hello, geeing people up. Not this one. Known as “Hello Clo”. Been in the business 27 years, apparently. Never saw her round the ship saying hello to passengers, never saw her on the gangplank, only on-stage introducing the acts. Something missing here. - Photographs. Still expensive but with many more photographers and backdrops. The old style of printing out thousands of photos on paper for you to peruse has been replaced with a dreadful touch screen system. The staff said it was more popular but I doubt it. - State Room Stewards. Great, as ever. These people work the hardest on the ship and deserve the biggest tips. - On Sea Days the ship was heaving with people because it was too cold out on deck. 3,500 bored passengers wandering round inside an already crowded ship, all looking for something to do. You would think the Entertainment staff would make a bit more effort and lay on extra entertainments when it’s too increment to go outside, but no. Nada. Nothing. This, above all else, was the weakest element of the cruise. The Ship. 20 years old and looking its age. It had a refit in 2015 but there are a lot of defects. Lifts out of action, PA systems on their last legs, cutlery in the dining rooms old and knackered, large viewing windows which had gone opaque, furniture a bit tatty. Lots of maintenance engineers fixing things discretely. Many staff just seem to be tired, going through the motions. Even the Captain’s daily announcement was delivered in a flat, monotonic voice. The only time he sounded enthused was in Stockholm, probably his home town. I heard that Explorer of the Seas is due another refit to take away some public areas and add more cabins, so this ship is likely to get even more crowded. I hope the staff-guest ratio increases but somehow I doubt it. Would I cruise with Explorer of the Seas again? No. Has my opinion of a Royal Caribbean been tarnished? Yes. Cruise destinations. 9/10 Ship. 5/10 Entertainment. 4/10 Dining. 6/10 Steward. 10/10. Value for Money. 7/10 Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
I'd heard about Royal Carribean and knew it had a good reputation. This was my first cruise. We had a great time! The stops were excellent;even Skagen where there wasn't too much to see, was a nice small town. The excursion ... Read More
I'd heard about Royal Carribean and knew it had a good reputation. This was my first cruise. We had a great time! The stops were excellent;even Skagen where there wasn't too much to see, was a nice small town. The excursion to St Petersburg was good, even though it was more expensive than some other providers.The 2 guides were full of information. It would have been better to get to the Hermitage early as it was just too crowded at 2pm. Ship entertainment was excellent.The shows were all good, and we LOVED Perry Grant who played alomost every evening for 3 hours in the Schooner bar. He's very very funny. We saw an excellent ice show in another hall one afternoon, and that was great. The staff are all lovely.The service is second to none.But we did feel the dress code was poor: too many people wearing (beach) shorts in the main restaurant was not good enough .These people should be restricted to the Windjammer for dinner if that's how they dress. There should definitely be a no-shorts (and possibly smart shirt only?) policy in the other restaurants. The excursions are very over priced.The fjord cruise in Stavanger was $280 for 2. We paid $110 for the same trip by booking direct. I'm aware all the other excursions were way over-priced. Drinks- the package is very expensive for the top option.With the discount on the first day it worked out at $1092 for 2 persons.After the first day the discount was taken away and it would have been over £2000 for 2. As light drinkers this was never an option.They should offer drinks deals by the day, as they do for wifi. -more later. Wifi- very annoying you have to pay for this, and a a high price. This should be free.I used it one day and it was VERY sloooow. One other beef- no irons were loaned to rooms.They claimed they were a fire hazard. Why do hotels offer them then? As a result it was $4 a shirt just to press.This is outrageous.If you don't allow a facility, you shouldn't then charge exhorbtant prices for cleaning and ironing. I sometimes got the feeling RCC were trying to bleed their customers dry whereever they could. it was my 60 th birthday on the cruise- I think RCC could offer a complimentary bottle of wine for all birthdays, especially big ones.It wouldn't cost them much . and would be excellent PR. In summary, though, it was excellent, and I'm sure my complaints are going to be similar or same with all cruise lines. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We chose this cruise because it was cheaper than Disney and had basically the same itinerary. I had never been on Royal Caribbean before but I had been told that they were a little below Disney but above Princess, Norwegian and Costa. ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it was cheaper than Disney and had basically the same itinerary. I had never been on Royal Caribbean before but I had been told that they were a little below Disney but above Princess, Norwegian and Costa. Embarkation process-Very smooth and fast. Best ever. Cabin- Was quiet and traditional with normal restroom set up(no thanks Norwegian Epic). However the shower was backed up (gross) and the door lock stopped working twice a week apart. Also third bed is a bunk bed not a sofa bed so of course I had to hit my head a few times. Food-Overall, the food qualify was a little below average but the selection was pretty good.The desserts were terrible with little selection. This is the first cruise where they didn't provide unsweetened ice tea and water. Sugar free drinks were gross. Also the ice cream machines provided ice milk not ice cream. Entertainment- The daily shows were average. They were showing previews of a magician/escape artist so I thought he would so some of those tricks in his show. However he only did card tricks on an overhead. The channels on the tv were not very entertaining. Not a lot of movies and a lot of the times the TV signal was bad. A lot of the video games in the arcade did not work. Classes/lectures-Did not have enough lectures or hobby classes. They had classes on how to play casino games, however. I would have appreciated more history classes on places we were going to or classes on how to make things or towel animals or things like that. Excursions-For the most part the excursions were as advertised. The excursion I went on in Copenhagen of the Christianborg Palace and Tivoli Gardens does not tell you you will only have an hour there. My son loves to ride amusement park rides so it was a little disappointing. I wish they would tell you the time spent at each location as it would make a difference. Outdoor activities on ship-Have rock wall and wave rider activity. My son loved the rock wall. The basketball court is also used as a soccer pitch at the same time. Not a good idea. I got hit in the head with a soccer ball. Could organize separate times for each activity to avoid possible law suits. Disembarkation-We left early taking our own luggage. I am not sure if I would take Royal Caribbean again. I would definitely not take the same ship again as it is old and not well maintained. The food might tip the scales as to me not taking them again. If I can get the same thing or better for less why wouldn't I? Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Explorer of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabin 4.0 N/A
Dining 4.0 4.0
Entertainment 5.0 3.9
Public Rooms 4.0 4.3
Fitness & Recreation 5.0 N/A
Family 5.0 4.1
Shore Excursions 3.0 N/A
Enrichment Activities 4.0 N/A
Service 4.0 4.3
Value for Money 5.0 N/A

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