Sail Date: December 2017
Boat was beautifully clean,staff were friendly and efficient,very pleased to note that people who refused hand sanitizer were denied access to windjammers. Lifeguards were extremely vigilant at the pool and whirlpool spas...just a ... Read More
Boat was beautifully clean,staff were friendly and efficient,very pleased to note that people who refused hand sanitizer were denied access to windjammers. Lifeguards were extremely vigilant at the pool and whirlpool spas...just a little disconcerting though being watched That closely in the adult pool area.i think a small cafe serving sandwiches,salad,yoghurt,fruit would be nice there so you don't have to go for the full mid day meal thing.shows were o k ...dancing was good standard but all just a bit dated.the fellow doing the freedy Mercury juggling show was highly entertaining and very funny. Disembarking in all ports was easy and orderly. Cabin was well appointed and loved the vital balcony...nice to see what is outside Ice show was spectacular but we saw it 3 years ago,...could be due for an update Overall an excellent time Food in restaurant was good as usual but I thought windjammers was tops for variety,presentation,freshness ,convenience of not having to change clothes etc... Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
This was our first ever cruise as a family and it was a great experience. I found the staff and service to be amazing! The staff were extremely helpful and went out of their way to ensure that we all had a good time. We really felt ... Read More
This was our first ever cruise as a family and it was a great experience. I found the staff and service to be amazing! The staff were extremely helpful and went out of their way to ensure that we all had a good time. We really felt pampered The food was delicious and the staff and service were excellent! The entertainment during the cruise was great!! Every night there was a concert and during the day there were plenty of activities and bars, pools and spas to keep us entertained. The cabins were great. The beds were king size and very comfortable and i appreciated the in cabin TV for the kids. Brisbane was not such a great port due to the time it took to travel to the city. The gym was good, but not a place for a serious workout. It would be nice to have an indoor cinema for longer curses. Overall it was a great experience and i will definitely go again. Again, the staff and crew were amazing!! I would highly recommend the experience Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
Having sailed with Princess, P & O and Carnival. I was eager to see how the Royal Caribbean line would fare. I can say that it didn't disappoint us. Embarkation was seamless. The food was exceptional in the dining room and the Italian ... Read More
Having sailed with Princess, P & O and Carnival. I was eager to see how the Royal Caribbean line would fare. I can say that it didn't disappoint us. Embarkation was seamless. The food was exceptional in the dining room and the Italian restaurant. Food in the buffet was great as far as buffets go, plenty of variety. The beds were ok. Nowhere near as comfy as the Princess line. Just saying. The staff were all happy and driven to offer the best service possible. A big thank you to Iris our cabin steward and the waiter at the Italian restaurant, Ricardo or Edwardo? Not exactly sure of name now, but he was the best waiter I have had on any ship. Cheers mate. In relation to service, we were blessed with a free night at the Italian restaurant and a couples massage for giving up our wheelchair accessible room. We would have given up the room regardless, but why not do a little bargaining hey. To be offered these perks says a lot about the care for their customers. Beware though if getting a service at the spa centre, as they try to convince you to buy their products which are ridiculously priced. On that note, don't bother attempting to buy anything duty free as the prices are more expensive than in Australia. Hard to fathom, as alcohol prices in the U.S are so much cheaper than in Aus, Therefore you would expect the duty free to be extremely cheap? Nope? If you want a 50g bag of country kettle chips, expect to shell out 10 bucks U.S?? These absurd prices and the fact that the currency onboard is in U.S dollars, was my only complaint of the overall experience. That been said, the beverage package was extremely good value! We paid $63 AUD a day for unlimited drinks, inclusive of any alcoholic beverage $14 US or less. If you are going to drink more than 4 drinks a day, get the package, simple. The drinks were all top shelf too. Think Ron Zacapa Rum, Grey Goose vodka and various top quality Scotch. You would be seriously mad to not get the package. Mad I tell you. The nightclub was a disappointment in my eyes. They had a kind of a makeshift dance floor? Nothing like the clubs on Carnival Spirit, Pacific Explorer or Golden Princess. I think they need to give this area a bit of a revamp. Ice skating show was fantastic!! The gym was awesome, plenty of equipment and room to move. The adults only area was where we spent most of our time outdoors. Nice size pool and two big spas or whirlpools as they say. Big bar also there in close proximity which was utilised excessively by my partner and I hehehe. :) I would highly recommend the Explorer of the Seas. You can get some really cheap deals on the ozcruising.com.au site. See you all onboard some day fellow cruisers. Peace out Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
This cruise was a Year 12 graduation present for my son. He and his mate enjoyed themselves but the rest of us were left a bit flat. We prepaid for drink packages that apparently didn't appear on the system so this took time to sort ... Read More
This cruise was a Year 12 graduation present for my son. He and his mate enjoyed themselves but the rest of us were left a bit flat. We prepaid for drink packages that apparently didn't appear on the system so this took time to sort out.Then we kept getting charged for our drinks - more time to sort out. We had the same problem with our Diamond drinks. I was surprised at the reduction in the choice of non-alcoholic cocktails. Bar service at some venues was ridiculously slow with only 1 or 2 people serving. I also didn't realize that you now pay for room service whenever you order it. We ladies were looking forward to some free craft activities as usual but there was only one for the entire cruise. I'm afraid if you don't do quizzes your options are somewhat restricted but they did have an abundance of them. The Dining Room staff were lovely but the dinner menu wasn't all that exciting. Windjammer often had much more appealing choices. As usual the ice show was very enjoyable. We all had Virtual Balcony cabins which help you feel a little less boxed in. I always enjoy these cabins as for the price I can spend extra elsewhere. Our cabins were serviced very well. It's a shame they've cut down on the little extras in the cabin. I really don't feel that their plate of cookies is much of a thank you for those on Diamond and higher tiers considering you can get them at anytime from the Cafe. Being on the higher levels used to be a little more special but now you have to request your robe, etc where previously everything would be waiting for you when you boarded. We didn't do the ship tours at the islands preferring to use local operators instead. Vanuatu is definitely the cheapest place for duty free. My son bought a carton of cigarettes aboard, US$60, in Vanuatu the same carton cost $30. All in all a relaxing, if somewhat unexciting, time was had. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2017
totally agree with lassie79 unfortunately far too many children we were told about 600 up to the age of 16 - will definitely not be cruising again late November. Meeting lovely like-minded people always brightens the cruise experience ... Read More
totally agree with lassie79 unfortunately far too many children we were told about 600 up to the age of 16 - will definitely not be cruising again late November. Meeting lovely like-minded people always brightens the cruise experience and far outweighs any small insignificant complaints. You are on holidays so make the most of every minute. The nighttime entertainment was again excellent and have noticed that since our first cruise on RCCL in 2012 they have cut out alot of the daytime singers and small bands. The meals in the dining room were great and Giovanni's was fantastic. The Windjammer on the other hand was a bit downhill but great for a meal on the go. Despite the ship being pretty much full capacity we had no real problems getting a seat in the bars, pub or pool deck and if you go to the nighttime shows at least 15 minutes before the start we always managed to get our favorite seat. Just be careful of USD-AUD exchange rates when purchasing anything in the onboard shops - found the alcohol 1/3 of the price in Vila - luckily RCCL has a returns policy. All in all we enjoyed our 9 days and will definitely be back again - next time to try Ovation! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
We had a great time in our first time cruise experience! Plenty of positives and negatives, we will do it again but not in the near future. The price we paid was very reasonable for a 1 week cruise (Sun-Sun) to South Pacific, we went ... Read More
We had a great time in our first time cruise experience! Plenty of positives and negatives, we will do it again but not in the near future. The price we paid was very reasonable for a 1 week cruise (Sun-Sun) to South Pacific, we went to New Caledonia and Lifou Island. The online booking experience was very good. However, despite our booking included a 3 yr old child, we were allocated main room dining of 8.30pm - i thought there was no personalisation or pro-active customer service thinking here to allocate such time for a 3 year old. I thought its the limitation of internet, i called the customer service, i got even poor response, the answer was not possible to change dining time. The check in was smooth, we went to the terminal around 12noon, we were able to drop our bags and stand in the Que with hand luggage only, the Que moved quite quickly and we didn't spend more than 20 mins to get in to the ship. The staff at check-in were good and friendly. We surely booked a mid level cabin on deck 6, but when we reached it was the last cabin (6888) towards the end of deck 6. Something went wrong in the booking experience, may be a default setting which gave us a $50 credit to go into this bad cabin which we didnt notice, but we surely selected a mid level cabin. The cabin itself was good but the structure of the cabin due to its location different to all other balcony view rooms, ours was relatively smaller. The balcony was not useful because it had plenty of obstructions and far from the ocean due to a large area that was closed for passenger access. at the level below right next to our cabin was some very busy warehouse, a door that kept swaying and making big noise, staff working at all time of the day making big noise, i even saw many bins being left there which was ugly site from my balcony. you could feel the waves as if you're in a small boat, i think a cruise of such reputation must review the purpose of allocating those cabins to guests who are coming to have a well earned holiday. We dont want to pay the price of a big brand and travel like in a P & O. However, we didnt go there to sleep in the cabin, but a good night sleep is important for kids, i don't think anybody from Royal Caribbean cared. the room cleaning service was very good, done more than once a day and unlimited towels etc. The house keeping staff were very friendly, they would do little surprises for the kids. The lifts in the ship worked really well, most of them were super cool with good views which our little boy enjoyed. The entertainment on the ship was spectacular. This is where i believe the Cruise Director Dan Whitney does a great job. its unbelievable levels of entertainment. events happen one after the other and well coordinators. the entertainers themselves were super high class. Ice Skating performance was out of the world. Some 1st class performers from France, USA, Canada and Russia. The comedy shows, live performance and games were excellent. The cruise Director is an entertaining personality. i witnessed couple of late night games, the participation was huge and the excitement was awesome. The cruise director staff team works really hard with lot of passion to make it a super good experience, i was talking to one of the team members Christina, it was mid night and she was not finished, thats how hard they work to make you entertained. On the other hand the operational nightmare in the resturants makes you feel very bad. i understand that we are talking about 3900+ guests onboard, but the dining experience is very messy, the first impression doesnt give you a good feeling. these are massive restaurants, when you walk in you see 100s of massive nicely laid table in massive royal mansion looking main room dining restaurant, but the staff there make you feel like you're there ot beg for food..too many staff talking walkly-talkie to one & another trying to get you seated. come on its a luxury cruise, people are on holiday, we dont need such a massive operational nightmare to have a nice dinner in the middle of the ocean? the staff dont have to make it look like a a limited access White House. Once you get your seat, you're in for a nice dining experience. the food was good. the menu was big enough. the food comes really fast. the waiters are excellent when it comes to service, they know how to make a guest happy over 7 days. The sad part is, you never get a chance to sit as a family on your own for dinner in such luxury cruise experience, you're always sharing a big table with somebody else unless you're a family of 6-7, its good to meet other people but i think there should be some privacy atleast for 1-2 nights. The windjammer is the other casual dining experience - my worst experience- absolute rubbish. lot of food, but too many people walking around with food looking for table to sit. the restaurant is aiming to squeeze in many people as possible, so the food is all kept in a small area across various locations within the restaurant, but again i think if some good thought and design is put in, the dining experience can become much more refined. you like to eat a lot but not eat so messy, this is people just eating for the sake of eating soon as they get a seat. The pool deck is very good, good bars, good cocktails..the cocktail of the day is $ 9.95 so depending on how much you drink you may choose to buy/not buy a drinks package which is additional. We didn't buy Wi-Fi package, which was good to disconnect from the world, but i think Royal Caribbean must look at giving free wi-fi in such high class Cruise. we felt safe always, the safety briefing were very good. the staff did a great job in this regard. The casual pop music in the pool deck and Royal Promenade was very good, some amazing Jamaican talent, i enjoyed some good dancing in the pool deck with my little boy.the pool itself was good, but not at all safe for young ones, the hot tubs were the only option for 3 year old. Baskeball court, golf, rock-climbing , game centre were all fantastic. we didnt do anything at the casino. but when you think about it nothing much to do for kids below 5 years old. The other bars in the ship were excellent, good service. You can do some shopping in the Royal Promenade which was quite a busy street to walk and very nice and trendy in the night. Breakfast was a nice experience in the main room - we chose the small buffet at the main room, there was also set-menu on deck-4 of main room. food was good. nice limited choice. Again, in the morning when nearly 3/4th of the main room was empty getting a seat was made to look like a big task and that doesnt give us a good feeling. lot of guys trying to find where should we sit. coffee and tea served at the table were good. The islands were beautiful, especially Lifou island. amazing place, white sand beach nice water..we had a great time...we took plenty of nice photos with the ship in the backdrop whilst we were enjoying a nice swim in the sea. New Caledonia was good, we took the hop-on-hop-off bus for $ 12 per person, we got down and took the boat to Duck Island which was nice..again nice clam waters and lot of marine life not too far in the sea. But the highlight was Lifou Island which was spectacular. I used the gym- one of the most remarkeble GYMs i have even been on. super view and good quality equipment. well done. The crowd in the ship were good. the notion that cruise is full of old people is fully rubbish, there were some of the best looking people, especially ladies having a great time. Check-out was swift. we opted to take our own luggage..had early brekky at 6.45 on arrival in Sydney, then 10 mins before we were out. We will do it again, but may be when our little boy is 7+ so he can do much more things. Also only when we can be assured of a better quality cabin. otherwise 7 nights in a 5 start resort in Phuket with good variety of Thai, Japanese, Italian meals with massages for the same money is our preference! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2017
Embarkation went fairly well considering the volume of people, thank god they had food readily available on the ship due to our travel plans to get there. House keeping staff did and outstanding keeping our rooms clean and refreshed, (5 ... Read More
Embarkation went fairly well considering the volume of people, thank god they had food readily available on the ship due to our travel plans to get there. House keeping staff did and outstanding keeping our rooms clean and refreshed, (5 rooms, 11 of us) Dining Room staff did a great job serving and informational wise with food choices, also outstanding job entertaining my 3 year old granddaughter. Ship was clean and staff very pleasant. Disappointments: Purchase the deluxe drink package @ $300 ea. along with my kids ( 32,33 & 35 years old) very disappointed "the old open bar trick" only 2 bar tenders to handle massive crowds. Drink quality was " lite weight" extremely "lite weight weight" when I pay for a drink package I would request I get what I payed for!!!!!!. Shore Excursions, false advertising; led me to believe I was going to swim with the turtles not the case along with with the Island tour waste of money, so do your research and book on your own. Royal Caribbean needs to focus more on customer service rather than the buck $$$$$$$. When I pay for for something up front I expect to get want I payed for. Departing Ship: family left and I was stopped by cruise personnel stating bill was not paid, long with several others so we had to go back on board to settle our accounts, wrong,,,,, they had my credit card number which is what they do at check in,,, again they screwed,up again,,,, otherwise had a great trip with the most important people in my life family, life is short my friends,,,,,, enjoy the ride! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2017
This was our last family cruise with our daughter (23) and her boyfriend (21) our 17 yo daughter and 16 yo son. We booked ourself a balcony room and 2 promenade rooms for the "kids". This was a ten day cruise with 5 ports - ... Read More
This was our last family cruise with our daughter (23) and her boyfriend (21) our 17 yo daughter and 16 yo son. We booked ourself a balcony room and 2 promenade rooms for the "kids". This was a ten day cruise with 5 ports - Lifou, Noumea, Mare, Mystery Island and Port Vila. The cruise was wonderful, food was amazing, plentiful and their desire to ensure my daughter's needs for Gluten free was extraodinary. Every night the Head Waiter "Johnny" would offer her the next evenings menu so she could choose anything and they would ensure it was gluten free. Very special treatment. The ship was immaculate, always clean and well maintained. Cabins were serviced beautifully by Kim and our kids can be Grotbags!!! Nothing was too much trouble. Our only real complaint about the cruise was theme nights. Every port night - 5 - were tropical themed. That got a little tedious. They were 2 formal nights and all other nights were casual. There seem to be limited effort with theme nights. Embarkation and disembarkation was smooth and hassle free, tendering and ports were faultless and all the ports were enjoyable - although Noumea is never my personal favourite. Overall, we loved the cruise, would definitely cruise with RCI and Explorer again and are already looking to book our next cruise :) Read Less
Sail Date: November 2017
Chose this cruise for date and value for our first cruise. Got a junior suite 9258. Very roomy, stacks of storage space and for this cruise when docked it was on our side. No noise complaints. The fridges on board are cool not cold. ... Read More
Chose this cruise for date and value for our first cruise. Got a junior suite 9258. Very roomy, stacks of storage space and for this cruise when docked it was on our side. No noise complaints. The fridges on board are cool not cold. Lots of upselling on everything, not normally in your face but the massage ladies were very pushy. Got the drinks pacakage and glad we did. Cudos to the staff are the R Bar - they are quick and cheerful. Did a couple of ship tours - all acces is good as you see areas that are normally off limits. The galley brunch was ok but if you’re doing the all access don’t bother as the tour part is the same - just a lunch added. Food - average and bland (thinking for American tastes). Coffee is woeful. Had to get triple shot to get a decent amount of caffeine. Food is plentiful. Dissapointed in the main dining room as had 2 out of 4 meals very average. Booked the 2030 dining and in hindsight would have gone with my time. Especially if your not taken with your table mates. Giovannis food was excellent and worth the extra $. The Buffett in the windjammer was good but its chaos with lots of kids running around. Lots of young groups that just seemed to want to get pissed that were a little annoying. Saying that you can avoid them and still enjoy yourself. The shows were very good on board and we at first thought the cruise director (DAN) was an annoying yank at the start we warmed to him by the end of the cruise. In summary it was good and we will cruise again with RCL Check in with the junior suite was quick and painless. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2017
We usually always go with r.c and have sailed on this ship before and enjoyed it, however R.C has never allowed this many children on board before and I think it is a downward trend. A lot of kids were running round the ship alone ... Read More
We usually always go with r.c and have sailed on this ship before and enjoyed it, however R.C has never allowed this many children on board before and I think it is a downward trend. A lot of kids were running round the ship alone without supervision. If RC want this many children on board they need to have staff that pro actively stop bad behaviour. They have a curfew of 1 am for kids, really get serious should be 10 pm and they should be in bed. It did make the ship a lot more noisy in all the public areas. Despite this we enjoyed our days at sea and in ports as well. Villa is the cheapest place to buy duty free, no where have i ever seen it cheaper.. Really worth the shop the best duty free is pretty big and right at the bottom of town on the main road just keep walking from the drop off point and you will see it. The cruise dinning in main dinning area was excellent with great service really could not fault the meals or the staff all great. Our cabin had a virtual balcony which was great, did not feel quite so boxy and i see they are putting these in all the new ships now.. Horizons buffet had usual selections and all was great we used it for lunch mostly. We ate in the dinning room for breakfast, where it was a bit quieter all good. One thing i did notice was RC now buy in their pastries and the quality just not the same. The ice show seasons was spectacular we have seen it before but loved to see it again. stunning and not to be missed. We attended most of the shows and they were all pretty good, the comedian was funny and the queen tribute show excellent. There were nightclub events to go to but we didnt attend those. There were a few folks who got kicked off the ship for bad behaviour I noticed, so be warned if you cant control your drinking and cause agro you will be put off.. Fortunately the weather was good though it was a bit windy on the way to vanuatu. but the ship has excellent stabilizers so hardly felt it. We will be back but not in school holidays for sure. Read Less
Explorer of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.2
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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