931 Royal Caribbean Explorer of the Seas Cruise Reviews

I wanted to cruise the ABC islands without flying to San Juan, Seen this 9 night cruise from Port of Miami at a good rate. The only thing cruising from Port of Miami is it is so busy 8 ships in when we left and returned. This was our 11th ... Read More
I wanted to cruise the ABC islands without flying to San Juan, Seen this 9 night cruise from Port of Miami at a good rate. The only thing cruising from Port of Miami is it is so busy 8 ships in when we left and returned. This was our 11th cruise, so not new to cruising. The ship is old and has only one more cruise, as of now, before it goes in dry dock for refurbishing. The crew was excellent, food choice was great and good. In the main dinning room the servers and head waiter seen after my 10 year great grandson was tired of steak, they fixed him chicken fingers and fries!! The crew member in the Windjammer was so helpful in finding use seating for 6, when we first boarded. Bon remembered my name every time he seen me. My grandson and his wife enjoyed their evenings at the various places to party at night.We thoroughly enjoyed the theater productions. Our last cruise was on Carnival and they are still geared toward a young party crowd. Royal is my favorite, balcony cabins are larger, food and service in much better. Breakfast in the Windjammer or Main dinning room was always fresh and their breakfast fruit smoothies were delicious. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We were celebrating our 30th Wedding Anniversary, which was actually 3 days ahead of the cruise launch - but still.... I had forgotten how horrific access to the Port of Miami is - even though we were parking offsite. I was swearing ... Read More
We were celebrating our 30th Wedding Anniversary, which was actually 3 days ahead of the cruise launch - but still.... I had forgotten how horrific access to the Port of Miami is - even though we were parking offsite. I was swearing and vowing we were never sailing out of that POS Port again, which my HEA tells me I said last time i fought through Miami Traffic, limited access and construction. We used an off-site parking service, which delivered exactly what we expected and got us to, and picked up from port without having to take our car all the way into the port area. From curbside to Boarding Clerk was a maze of seemingly useless twists and turns and hallways before getting anywhere - but was efficient once we got there. That may have been because we were in the "suite" line and not the general check-in group, as we were in a Balcony MiniSuite. Turns out Explorer is very much a sister ship to Navigator - or as Navigator was when we sailed her - so we were familiar with the layout and immediately felt at home! I had ordered 3 food amenities in advance - chocolate covered strawberries, brownies and box of chocolates. We've found we enjoy the little extra munchies in the room during cruises, and had put notes for the dates i wanted each delivered. They were all there when we got to the cabin - surprised - not disappointed, especially since our room was ready when we got to it. We had a Balcony MiniSuite - which was, for us, a great room! I notified our cabin steward that i would need extra coffee, which was there every day as requested, although i was short spoons to stir for a cupla days??? Not sure what happened there. We were overwhelmed by the amount of space first - and storage second in the room. Save the bathroom - the room could handle a wheelchair or walker - including the nice big walk In Closet! And no surprise - the only power was just to the side of the mirror - half behind the TV. We looked for another hidden outlet - none that we could find. The weather for the beginning and end of the cruise was 'typical Florida winter" - which comes as a surprise to folks who are not native to Florida....Yes it get cold, yes it gets windy, and yes - it gets cold and windy! So spending time out on deck, or even walking the deck was somewhat uncomfortable. The impact of this reality on movies under the stars was devistating - as we enjoy that activity. The further south we went, the better the weather during the day, but it was periodically a bit chill with the air movement at night. We were notified the night before porting into Labadee that our ParaSailing adventure had been cancelled due to weather - this was not the second time we'd suffered a weather cancellation for ParaSailing! But I'd also booked us on to both Zip Lines and they were running, give or take weather. The staff worked with our scheduling, closing the 5 hour gap between the first and second Zip Line adventure to less than an hour - and off we went!! We dashed from the Zip Line to do some shopping - BEWARE of how persistent the "let me help you find" people are in the shopping area!!! All i wanted was a couple of Shooter Shot Glasses...we fended off at least 30 volunteering to help me find what i wanted...and after giving up walking around, we ended up buying the shooters in the building at the beginning of the vendor sales area. Apparently the "let me help you" people aren't allowed in there. It did shower off and on - and a big shower came through right about lunch time - i guess the cabannas and gazebo area used for serving general cruisers during their day at Labadee isn't big enough to hold the population on-shore from 2 ships in port at the same time! oops.... inconvenient - but actually more amusing than anything else... We ate in 4 venues while OnBoard. Primarily we enjoyed the Windjammer, but ate in the Main Dining Room MyTime on Deck 3 for Formal Nights, and Took one night out for Giovanni's, and a lunch adventure At Sea to Johnny Rockets. None disappointed! Windjammer still provides a wide variety of options - changing daily to focus on different nationalities, while still offering the staples of dining in various nationalities and dietary concerns - lotsa salads - lotsa fruit - lotsa fresh! Dinner in the Main Dining Room was fab! We left the table each night sated and smiling. Our first night they acknowledge our Anniversary - delivering a piece of chocolate cake with a candle, and half a dozen of the staff came over to sing. They handled my one 'custom' order just fine (one from this column and one from this column together, and take the veggie from over here and make my dinner please?) The bread offerings have changed over the years - but everyone's found ways of cost savings so it's hard to take that personal. And i'm a sucker for a good Creme Brulee - and they do make a good one on Royal Caribbean! Giovanni's dinner was fantastic. We were well treated, meat was cooked to perfection, and we ordered 2 'shareable' veggies. We actually had gotten full and were ready to leave with no dessert (no room left) when we received a marvelous multilayered slice chocolate cake with a candle - and a few of the staff came and sang Happy Anniversary for us...all rather unexpected! Royal Caribbean does read and pay attention the notes in the file on their passengers. We'd been to Aruba before - and although it read differently - the excursion we ended up on this time was veritably identical to the last, a bit of a disappointment. That was redeemed, however, by the Sunset Schooner Cruise! The weather was just warm enough - and i brought my sweater anyways! That was a GREAT relaxing experience, and will be looking for similar events on future cruises, regardless of port. Bonaire and Curacao were lovely little islands, at the higher level of eye appeal and maintenance we've come to expect from the Dutch owned islands. We ran into a bit of a traffic jam at the beginning of the tour on Bonaire - quickly forgotten in the middle of having fun! The only real complaint i have is with a couple of the Tour operators. I understand that everyone is out to save a buck - but the large vans/small busses used by the operators on a couple of the tours left hubby and I both bruised for squeezing ourselves into the seats. Tour operators should be required to use full size busses, and full sized seats! We're adults - mostly senior citizens with a touch of southern spread - and i'm not the only one who was grumbling about bruises on the tours. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Beautiful boat. Great dinners every night. Stayed in Room 3624. Terrific ocean view room right outside 3rd floor dining room - so convenient. Only problem was it was an “adjoining” room so there was a door where the couch should have ... Read More
Beautiful boat. Great dinners every night. Stayed in Room 3624. Terrific ocean view room right outside 3rd floor dining room - so convenient. Only problem was it was an “adjoining” room so there was a door where the couch should have been, leaving room only for a chair. Also, we had to put a towel under the door. You could hear talking, sneezing, coughing, hair dryer, etc. - it didn’t really help much. The entertainment ran from great to mediocre at best. The headliner shows were very good (except for the 3 Divas - but that’s just my opinion). The ice show was fabulous and should not be missed. Not a bad seat in the house. Not cold. If you plan to skate bring long pants. The magician was also great and funny. Bring towel clips to hold your towels on to the chairs at main pool. The winds get a bit crazy at times. People leave towels and books early to reserve their spots. My only real complaint is the amount of young children and toddlers in the hot tubs at the main pool. Ridiculous! Never went into those. The giant hot tub in the fitness room was always empty, however. We really had a wonderful time and can’t wait for our next RCL cruise. You’re going to love it. Labadee was my favorite stop. Perfect beach day. Took 2 minute tram to Nellie’s Beach. There is also a free short boat ride provided if you did not want to walk down the road. Great tiki bar and lunch was provided. $20 for umbrella charged to room key - worth every penny. Water was crystal clear and warm. Enjoy! Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
This was a great Royal Caribbean cruise out of Miami to the ABC islands and Labadee. Royal Caribbean staff were friendly and helpful. We enjoyed our fixed dining and had great vegan food. They brought us the menu the night before and we ... Read More
This was a great Royal Caribbean cruise out of Miami to the ABC islands and Labadee. Royal Caribbean staff were friendly and helpful. We enjoyed our fixed dining and had great vegan food. They brought us the menu the night before and we ordered what we wanted from there. We often ordered 1 or 2 vegan items and then supplemented the rest of our meal from the regular menu. We especially liked the vegan soup and the fresh rolls. We enjoyed all the food we had in the dining room, including breakfasts with buffet option, lunch with buffet option, and dinner in the dining room (no buffet option unless you specifically go to the buffet. The dining room was open for lunch on the first day and that was great too. We had an aft balcony 9692. It was listed as the lowest category 6D obstructed balcony, but we found it wonderful and not obstructed. It was a large balcony with 2 full recliners, 2 chairs that also reclined, and a small round table. It had white bars across it which allowed for breezes rather than being blocked with plexiglass or similar. I guess the ship considers the frame of the ship as the obstruction. At Labadee we got off early and practiced snorkeling at Nellie’s. There were some fish near the rocks on either side, and the closer we got to the swim boundary in those corners, the better. We walked there and back. At Bonaire, we rented a golf cart and went to 1000 steps. We found the surf and winds a bit challenging for snorkeling, but the steps were no problem (more like 70 steps). Then we made our way to Te Amo Beach near the airport. We found this beach perfect for our needs. We went out in from of the Kite City food truck and were on the outside of the reef, which had good fish and was calm enough. At Aruba we took a cab to signature park opposite the butterfly sanctuary and near the Palm Beach Police Visibility Team. Just in front of the police building there is a rocky area and we saw some nice fish. This was on a windy day where people in other locations had problems. This was a great spot for that kind of day. We walked over to the Riu next store and there was a bus stop in front of it to return. At Curacao we took an excursion to Blue Bay Beach resort and the snorkeling and view of coral was wonderful. Better on the left side and you can swim out and follow the drop-off but still be close to the shore there. Best snorkeling for us. One negative was that there were a lot of kids on the cruise, 600 we heard, and so there were more crying kids in places than we had anticipated. Royal Caribbean has been aiming at families but we were surprised about the number when school was still in session. Another was the jogging track. People were spread out across the track which partially blocked it at times. 9 times around was a mile, so it was a small track. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Embarking was an absolute mess! The coast guard too a long time for their inspection, I figured this would happen, so we didn’t show up as early as we usually do. We were still there about 15 minutes early because of the shuttle times. ... Read More
Embarking was an absolute mess! The coast guard too a long time for their inspection, I figured this would happen, so we didn’t show up as early as we usually do. We were still there about 15 minutes early because of the shuttle times. We were in terminal G, not sure why we didn’t go to the large new terminal, we were the only RC ship in port that day. The terminal was packed, hot, and one employee directing people was quite rude! I really enjoy the smaller ships, not that she’s really small, and I like the layout pre Amped. We had a great cabin and attendant Mira. Explorer is definitely ready for her refurb, but she is still very nice, and clean. I found an article called secrets of Explorer of the seas, check it out , and visit the locations! Giovanni’s was absolutely amazing, try the gnocchi! The adult pool is nice, places to sit on the top and put your feet in ankle deep water, or room to sit in the very shallow water and/or dangle your legs into the deeper part. The guys enjoyed the Connoisseur Club, the Cigar lounge. Our dining room staff were amazing! Martin and Cristina, they brought me special request salads every night. Our Excursion in Cozumel was the Coba Pyramid climb and Cenote swim. Our Quine was Diego, he was very informative about the culture and history of the area, making the 3 hour round trip entertaining. The sack lunch was one of the better excursion prepacked lunches I’ve ever had, it consisted of ham & cheese on a hoagie bun, a small bag of chips, a lightly crispy Quaker Oats fruit bar, banana, juice box, and a tiny brown bag with mustard, mayo, and a breath mint! They also supplied cold water before the pyramid, and a real sugar Mexican Coke after! The Cenote was beautiful, 60 stairs down a rough spiral staircase. Crystal clear water, life jackets available. There isn’t as much oxygen in the cave, so in short time I was out of breath and had to get out of the water, even the young in great physical shape was huffing and puffing! In Costa Maya we went to a place called Tropicante. Great service, their blog is sandals and skis.com. The service and food are fantastic! Debarking was a breeze! We caught a waiting shuttle to the airport for $10 per person. Read Less
Sail Date November 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
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
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
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
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 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
Have cruised a lot on several of the big lines and this was our second cruise with RC. Having read the other reviews this is our take. We traveled with our 24 year old son (he loves a free holiday!) and had a sea view cabin 2584 with 3 ... Read More
Have cruised a lot on several of the big lines and this was our second cruise with RC. Having read the other reviews this is our take. We traveled with our 24 year old son (he loves a free holiday!) and had a sea view cabin 2584 with 3 single beds one being a bunk! We had such a laugh taking it in turns to stop on the top and getting up and down the ladder! I'm 57 wife 51 so you can imagine the fun!!! Loads of room for the three of us and whilst the room was a little dated how much time time do you spend in the room!? Shower was more than ample for a six foot bloke and was kept impeccable by our room attendant. I have read that some people think the ship was tatty but you would really have to look hard to find wear and tear and during the two weeks there was always work going to paint etc and we also got a new mattress each during the two weeks as did the whole ship. Again it had no bearing on my overall holiday I found the ship to be excellent and exactly what we wanted. We eat each morning and lunch if on board in the windjammer and found it excellent. Great choice of everything with separate stations for various things every day. With 3000 people on board it is always going to be busy but we never found it hard to get a table and the staff where always around to clear or get you a drink. I have to say I had some of the tastiest food on a ship and the burgers at lunch are 5 star! I eat my own weight in burgers in the two weeks!! Dinner was taken each night in the the main dining room, we had intended to go to specialty restaurants a couple of nights but we really didn't need to as again the food and service was excellent. We eat second sitting and had two great waiters and the manager was also great fun. Varied menu each night and if you cant find something you liked there was also a great selection of old faves to choose from. As we remembered from our first RC cruise 10 years ago overall everything was top draw. Entertainment I wont spoil other than to say really enjoyed it. Didn't go every-night but had laughs with comics sang along to the Beatles and enjoyed the dancing. Would say you have to spend a night in Schooners with the ever so camp Perry and his shiny suits! Again a great mix in a great theater. Ports Gibraltar: Been before and love it. Go see the monkeys and enjoy England in the sun! Cartagena: Great little un spoilt Spanish town with fab buildings and little shops, if you love history the Roman ruins are spectacular. Barcelona: Two days to explore, do the red route on the hop on bus but leave time to eat some amazing food. The food market on La Rambla is a must! walk round looking at all the amazing meat and sea food then jump on a seat at one of the many food stalls and watch as you food is cooked! Had some amazing giant red prawns!!! Malaga: My new fave Spanish city! Flown in many times cant believe I never stayed here! Large cosmopolitan and very Spanish! Great shops, great back streets, great little Tapas restaurants and a lovely beach right next to the ship! Nothing to not like! Parma: Again been before, had a beach day then walk around the town, very pleasant. Valencia: 10 minute shuttle brings you to the centre of the old town, lots of squares and churches to find, what I call a proper Spanish city! Cadiz: Again very Spanish see above. Lisbon: Lots to see and on a food theme! find the TimeOut food market near the main square and eat!!! get there about 11.30 by 12.15 it was packed with locals, custard tarts to die for! And what a cruise in and out down the coast under the bridge! Getting on and off was a breeze we got there 12.30 on board 1.15 off in 10 minutes, Yes it was busy getting off and getting a taxi but no drama. Overall I would give a score of 9 out of 10. I really enjoyed it and after writing this review I will be looking for the next cruise! Andrew Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We chose this cruise primarily because of its itinerary which included one or two extra ports of call and fewer cruising days. Departing from Southampton was another bonus. We hadn’t cruised with Royal Caribbean before and Explorer ... Read More
We chose this cruise primarily because of its itinerary which included one or two extra ports of call and fewer cruising days. Departing from Southampton was another bonus. We hadn’t cruised with Royal Caribbean before and Explorer was the largest vessel we’d ever chosen so we were slightly concerned we might find it overcrowded, noisy and too glitzy. Nothing could have been further from the truth as we had a very positive experience. Yes it was a busy ship but it was possible to find quiet areas to relax if you needed to. Service in the dining rooms was brisk, attentive and highly efficient with a consistent range of good food. The number and good standard of entertainment and enrichment activities was another pleasing feature. Compared to other cruises we’d been on, we were also impressed with the organised way disembarkation at ports was arranged as, apart from one occasion, movement of passengers on and off the boat seemed logical, speedy and well planned. Finally we have nothing but praise for all members of staff who were unfailingly happy, professional and willing to please. Explorer wasn’t the most modern of ships and a few areas did look a bit care-worn (notably the French-style cafe) but overall we had a remarkably enjoyable time and would happily choose Royal Caribbean again for another holiday. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
My husband and I sailed on Explorer of the Seas on 23 June 2019 on a 14 Night Baltic Cruise as part of his birthday celebrations and I booked the cruise a year in advance. He has always wanted to see Russia and this cruise gave us the ... Read More
My husband and I sailed on Explorer of the Seas on 23 June 2019 on a 14 Night Baltic Cruise as part of his birthday celebrations and I booked the cruise a year in advance. He has always wanted to see Russia and this cruise gave us the opportunity to spend 2 days in St Petersburg, visit lots of other ports and sail from Southampton so no need for flights. We did have a long drive from our home in Scotland but broke up the journey on the way down, staying with family near Chester. Southampton Pre-Cruise - Stayed at the Premier Inn which I booked online a few months in advance. Parking available but very limited and payable extra. Booked dinner that evening at White Star Tavern which was excellent. - Parked car at ABP Parking. Again, booked in advance and was able to use a discount code when I emailed them direct to get 10% off. Couldn't believe how easy this was. Basically, we drove to the terminal, spotted the ship, were directed to a car park directly adjacent to the terminal, parked up, took out our cases with their labels attached and locked the car. We keep the keys and the cases were taken from us by porters. We just walked over to check in with our hand luggage and were on the ship within half an hour. We had an advised check-in time of 2.30pm but arrived at 12pm and were onboard by 12.30pm. Cabin - we had been assigned inside cabin 6229. I had put in a low bid on RCI's Royal Up scheme for a Promenade and a Balcony but was unsuccessful. The ship was full so no upgrades were available. We've previously had inside cabins which have been perfectly adequate although we did enjoy a balcony on a Marella cruise in the Med. However, RCI wanted an additional £1600 for the balcony cabin at the time of booking which I felt wasn't value for money. I hadn't considered an Ocean View cabin. With hindsight, I would probably look at this again as we missed seeing daylight and would have liked to have the ability to relax in our cabin in the evening and still enjoy a view. The cabin had everything we required - safe, fridge, double wardrobe and 4 shelves inside plus shelves at the dressing table and either side of the bed. There was a small couch but no table which would have been good for eating breakfast on the few days when we ordered breakfast in the room (Continental is free/ Cooked has a charge of $7.95 per room). There are tea/coffee making facilities. TV is limited, mainly RCI channels promoting their products, couple of sports and news channels and a Film of the Day channel. Explorer of the Seas is due to go for a refit next year and will benefit from new carpets/upholstery and a fresh lick of paint which it does need. However, the standard of service and attention from the staff more than makes up for this. We ate in the Windjammer at breakfast and lunchtimes (if we weren't in port) and the choice of food is fantastic. Fresh omelettes and eggs cooked to order. You could eat your way around the world. Staff are very attentive and we ordered our drinks when we sat down. We were on the ultimate drinks package and ordered whatever we wanted from the drinks menu. If there's a cocktail they haven't listed they'll make it for you if you describe it. We ate in the Main Dining Room which is called Sapphire in the evening and also had a 5 night Speciality Restaurant dining package which I had bought through the Cruise Planner. The first night was booked in advance and I booked the remaining nights as soon as I boarded the ship to make sure we had the reservations we wanted. The speciality restaurants are as follows; Giovanni's Table - We were disappointed with this. Nothing to do with the staff. The restaurant is situated on deck 3 and feels like it was added as an afterthought, no windows and almost feels like dining in a basement. Also, I had linguine vongole which appeared on the MDR menu a few nights later. Meant to be 'speciality'. Izumi - We're not very familiar with Japanese cuisine and enjoyed the experience. The staff were great at recommending dishes which fit within the budget allowed. We had 2 starters, 2 main courses on hot stones and dessert and only had to add $2.00 to the bill. The view from Izumi is stunning as it is situated on the top deck opposite the Sky Lounge. Chop's Grille - Our favourite. We ate here 3 times. Feels like a speciality restaurant should feel. Amazing view with floor to wall windows on deck 11. Ate every course offered on the first visit and realised this was just too much for us so got it right on the next visits. We stuck to the steaks but did see a couple having the small seafood tower which looked HUGE and delicious. Supplement for that but would be lovely for a special treat and especially if you like seafood. MDR - We always requested a table for 2 and never a problem. We were on My Time Dining and tend to eat later so usually arrived at 8.30pm which was never an issue. We requested a specific table on several occasions and were always accommodated. Food choices were great and we could always find something we liked. We aren't vegetarian and don't suffer allergies/intolerances so not sure what this would be like although the staff always asked this question in advance. There is no midnight buffet but the Promenade Café seems to be open all night (the latest we went to bed one night was 3am and it was still open) and serves pizza, sandwiches, cakes, tea and coffee. Entertainment - Can't really comment on this too much as we didn't go to many of the shows/activities. We have previously been on Allure where the shows are of an extremely high standard so the offering on Explorer didn't seem as spectacular. We did go to the Silent Disco on the 2 occasions it was held and we found it hilarious. We also went to the Russian Folk Dancing show which was held in the Palace Theatre on the overnight stop at St Petersburg. Really enjoyed this and well attended. There was a singer playing most nights in the Crown & Kettle Pub on the Promenade and there was a singer called Perry playing in the Schooner Bar who proved to be extremely popular. He was like Liberace meets Judy Garland. There are discos every night in Dizzy's in the sky Lounge which start about 10pm (apart from one night when all the adults had to clear out for a teen zone!). Sky Lounge - This was our favourite bar, especially in the evening when we returned from the port and wanted a drink before getting changed for dinner. We watched most of the sailaways from here as the view is fantastic and the staff are so attentive. In reality, it was too windy to spend too much time on deck and the ship would have benefitted from a cover over the pool areas for this type of cruise. It wouldn't be an issue in the Med or Caribbean but the Baltic is quite windy, especially on Sea Days. The solarium is open to the elements and there were occasions were the Jacuzzi had to be closed. There were some people who lay on sunbeds but they were wrapped in blankets and fully clothed! We actually had better weather than I expected but it was still to windy to sit on deck in the evening. PORTS VISITED - Our main reason for selecting this cruise was St Petersburg but the other ports proved to be equally as interesting. All the times I've given are the time we were allowed ashore. OSLO 1100 - 1630 Docked next to Akershus Fortress. No need for a shuttle bus. Can walk directly into town. We walked to the Opera House where you can walk inside and on the roof for free. We then went to the Tourist Info Centre in the main train station (one of the nicest stations I have ever seen) and bought tram tickets from there for Tram 12 to Vigeland Sculpture Park. Returned by tram to Mathallen which is a foodhall where we had a fresh seafood meal. Drink is VERY expensive but that's Nordic countries for you. Returned in time for a quick look at the big souvenir shop at the terminal before boarding. COPENHAGEN 1030 - 1630 Docked at Quay Oceankaj C331 which is potentially walkable but would take about 45 mins. We had booked a free walking tour with Sandemann's which started at 11am so we took the shuttle bus and tickets for this can be bought at guest services and charged to your account ($20 per person). Our walking tour was 3 hours and took us from City Hall through the mediaeval parts of the city down to the harbour. At the end, you tip the guide. Thoroughly recommend this. We had time for a drink in a bar overlooking the canal. 2 beers cost about £20 but you're in vibrant Copenhagen in the sunshine. HELSINKI 100 - 1700 What a surprise! Clean, cosmopolitan and friendly. We docked at Hernesaari which is a small peninsula which is being developed with new homes, restaurants. It is walkable into town but, due to time constraints and wanting to see as much as possible within the time constraints, we took the Hop On Hop Off Shuttle Bus. This was again charged to our account ($20 each) and makes 4 stops in the city. We saw the Old Market Hall which has reindeer, smoked salmon, prawns so don't eat too much for breakfast, Uspenke Cathedral, Rock Church (3 euros to go inside) and could have got off at the Sibelius sculpture but ran out of time as we had booked a sauna at the Loyly Sauna. This was amazing a very Finnish thing to do. We had a choice of saunas (traditional smoke and standard), birch twigs, terraces to enjoy a drink while looking over the bay and a dip in the Baltic and you HAVE to wear a costume which appealed to our conservative British customs. If you fancy this, book it in advance as it was fully booked when we arrived. You get a locker, towel, napkin and 2 hours in the sauna for 19 euros. Short walk from there back to the ship. ST PETERSBURG Stunning and overwhelming experience. Docked about 20-30 mins outside the city centre. 6 cruise ships all berthed in the same dock. We had booked an independent tour with SPB Tours and are delighted that we did. They were professional and their attention to detail was outstanding. We benefitted from the fact that we were a small party of 14 with our own mini bus and driver and were able to bypass the huge crowds which were everywhere. It was VERY busy. I don't think I've seen so many tourists in all my life. RCI try to encourage you to book their tours but, if you do, you're first off the ship so have to be up extremely early and you'll be on a big bus with about 40-50 people. We completed a form on the first day of our cruise informing them we had an independent tour arranged. We were given a time slot to meet in the MDR at 8.15. There were hundreds of people there and we were all taken off in groups to go through passport control. This takes about 45 mins to clear (much quicker on the 2nd day) and our guide was there to meet us when we got into the terminal. They wait until the whole group is there (as everyone had different time slots). We did the 2 Day Deluxe Tour and got a discount for being part of the Cruise Critic Roll. I paid everything in advance online and gave tips in US dollars to the driver and guide at the end of the tour. We visited the following; Metro Hermitage Church of Spilled Blood Yusopov Palace St Isaac's Cathedral St Peter and St Paul Fortress Peterhof Palace and Gardens Boat trip on Neva Lunches were included on both days (one was 4 course and the other was 5 course so you won't be hungry!) and we were taken to a souvenir shop. It was expensive but you can't wander about yourself so if you want a souvenir you buy it there or at the shops in the terminal (the ship did sell Russian gifts too). TALLINN 0700 - 1600 Easy 15 minute walk into town although there are shuttle buses available. We had booked the KGB Museum which is located in Hotel Viru at 11am. It's 2 rooms at the top of the hotel but gives a fascinating insight into life in Estonia in the Soviet era. Views from the top are pretty special too. Again, book in advance if you want to do this as it was sold out on the day. Spent the afternoon walking around the old town which is beautiful. Quaint houses, cobbled streets, viewpoints looking over the town. We went to a bar called Porgu where they serve Estonian beers and local food. Prices for everything are much more reasonable here. Also had cake and coffee in Cafe Maisasmokk which is the oldest cafe in Tallinn. Lots of souvenir shops so good place to stock up on reasonably priced local items. STOCKHOLM 0800 - 1430 Docked at Stadsgarden. It was pouring when we arrived which wasn't great but still have to go ashore for a look. There were shuttle buses and Hop On Hop Off which we didn't organise and we heard there were lots of delays due to the weather. We walked to Gamla Stan which was about half an hour. Very touristy in Gamla Stan. but nice to see the Changing of the Guard at the Palace at 12.15. We passed the Parliament Buildings and noticed they do free tours in English on the hour. We went for a meal in Tradition which had traditional Swedish food and was busy, always a good sign. The sailaway from Stockholm is the most spectacular I have ever seen and shouldn't be missed. It takes 5 hours so you can enjoy it from the Sky Lounge/restaurants on the upper decks. SKAGEN 0900 - 1630 Small town whose population doubles when a cruise ship arrives (on top of which there was a music festival so it was buzzing). Weather was extremely windy so probably not seeing it at its best but pretty houses and nice shops. Walkable into town although we bought shuttle bus and regular bus tickets in the Tourist Info at the dock (directly opposite the ship gangway). Went to Grenen where the Baltic meets the North Sea. This was fantastic. Get the sandworm otherwise it's a bit of a trek. We had amazing fish and chips in Skagen Fiskerestaurant where the floor is covered in sand (booked in advance online) STAVANGER 0900 - 1630 Docked in the centre of town so easy walk in. This was the only port where I had pre-booked a RCI Shore Excursion which was subsequently cancelled due to lack of interest (they credit your onboard account, not your credit card). However, we had booked the Petroleum Museum which we could see from the ship and just walked to! Cost of tour was almost £80 for us both (included a trip to the 3 Swords Statue) but entry to the museum was 120 Krone each (about £24). Spent 2 hours here. If we'd gone to other museums in Stavanger, entry would have been half price. Very pretty old town. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We had the most amazing cruise ever to Scadinavia on Explorer! I read the negative reviews on Explorer beforehand and they had me concerned. I really shouldn't have worried at all as the ship is in great condition for her age. Yes, ... Read More
We had the most amazing cruise ever to Scadinavia on Explorer! I read the negative reviews on Explorer beforehand and they had me concerned. I really shouldn't have worried at all as the ship is in great condition for her age. Yes, there was some paint chipping and condensation on the windows but you are much more particular than us if that's going to affect your vacation at all. The ship was clean, the staff (especially our stateroom attendant) was so friendly, the food in both the MDR and Windjammer was delicious and the entertainment was great (especially the skating show). We really couldnt find any fault at all with the ship. When we had an issue with our bathroom it was fixed in 15 minutes. We went to a lot of the game shows and sports events and had a fantastic time. We won 10 medals! Never had an issue finding a seat in the theater or star lounge. Even on busy sea days we always found a seat in the Windjammer and it was great that they opened the chops grille to give more seating for breakfast. We chose this cruise for the incredible itinerary and it didnt disappoint . Embarkation was very easy, we were on the ship in about 20 minutes. At most ports the ship docked within walking distance of the main areas . We did Oslo (go to Vigeland statue park), Copenhagen, Talinn Stockholm (dont miss the Vasa museum) on our own and found the cities easy to navigate from the ship. For helsinki we did a royal Caribbean excursion to a really fun ice bar which was great! For St Petersburg we used SPB tours which did the same itinerary as royal but was cheaper and had a smaller group In stavanger we climbed pulpit rock. Incredible views but an incredibly difficult hike dont underestimate it! Overall this was the cruise of a lifetime on a wonderful ship. Highly recommend a cruise on Explorer! Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Reviews for Med – royal Caribbean cruise june 2019 We sailed on a 14 day med cruise on Explorer OTS, chosen primarily because of the itinerary and it being mid-June. This was our 8th cruise but only our second cruise with Royal ... Read More
Reviews for Med – royal Caribbean cruise june 2019 We sailed on a 14 day med cruise on Explorer OTS, chosen primarily because of the itinerary and it being mid-June. This was our 8th cruise but only our second cruise with Royal Caribbean and I have to admit I was somewhat concerned about how much I would enjoy the ship, especially considering the spate of very negative reviews that have been written. Well in a nutshell my husband and I had a fantastic cruise and enjoyed almost all aspects of our 14 days, however in fairness I have to say that we are not overly critical people and enjoy a laidback cruise and on occasion the solitude of our cabin. So many reviews have commented that the ship is overdue for a refurbishment and not in a good stare of repair; well apart from the odd bit of rust on our balcony we had absolutely no complaints. Our cabin (8568) was well appointed, clean, had masses of storage space and the bed was very comfortable, and the public areas were fine. Then again we do not spend our holiday looking for negatives to complain about we just get on and enjoy ourselves. Embarkation was efficient and timely. We arrived in Southampton slightly earlier than boarding and after waiting perhaps 15 minutes we were on our way up the walkway, in the lift to the upper deck and sipping our first cocktail. (our traditional Aperol Spritz ) The windjammer buffet was a very pleasant surprise. Even that first lunchtime we were easily able to find a table and the choice and standard of the food was exceptional. The design seemed far more spacious than other ships we have been on and I never felt crowded. Perhaps my biggest compliment belongs to the MDR administration. When I booked I was not able to secure any time dinning and had to book fixed dinning. Unhappy with this option I contacted the Maître D on the first day requested a change and on the following day there was a note in my cabin saying they had amended my reservation to ATD. I really didn’t expect such efficient prompt action. My second compliment goes to the tender disembarkation organisation in Ville Franche. Royal Caribbean do not allocate tender tickets but it was organised in a very timely manner and we were ashore to meet out tour guide ahead of time. We ate every evening in the Sapphire dining room and enjoyed every meal. We liked sitting with strangers and having very different conversations each night. Service was perfectly acceptable for A La Carte service which I don’t expect to resemble the in/out speed of self service. We had planned to utilise our OBC by going to the speciality restaurants but food quality was so good I spent it on an amazing but ridiculously priced spa treatment instead,. Entertainment in the theatre was good but perhaps not excellent. While the professional acts were good I did not enjoy the royal Caribbean players. In my opinion the worst feature was the overly amplified sound system, making the whole show just a noise!! Perhaps the sound system was deliberately loud to mask the poor quality of the performers. Other evening entertainment venues did tend to get very crowded and was the only times I was aware that we were sailing fully booked. As iv said this cruise was chosen for the itinerary and we enjoyed every port. I don’t use ships tours preferring to organise my own small group private tours with local companies and all were excellent. I made contact with fellow passengers via CC and Facebook and a total of 8 couples did 5 tours of 4 couples each. It was an added bonus making such lovely friends. When reading my individual port reviews, you may realise I am not too keen on ships tours, but that’s my personal opinion. Small niggles – our cabin steward never bothered to introduce himself, disembarking at Southampton was a tad confused and I wasn’t keen on the structure of our balcony which was sheltered and prevented me sunbathing. All in all an excellent cruise, a fantastic holiday, some lovely friends and I won’t hesitate to book royal Caribbean again. Ports of Call Gibraltar Caught a white minivan outside port and had 2 hour tour of rock, tunnels, caves, views and monkeys for £30 pp. - Very enjoyable. The minibus was able to climb higher up the rock than the bigger tour buses and so minimised walking. Shop prices are in sterling or Euros but beware of the offered exchange rate. Excellent duty free prices - particularly alcohol, tobacco and cigarettes. Villefranche Had organised two private tours of 4 couples each with Riviera Premium Tours. Company had excellent reviews and ours tours lived up to expectations. Our 6 hour tour included Nice ( Flower market was amazing) Monaco, Monte Carlo, drove the grand prix circuit and the mountain village of Eze. A really good tour, professional and well organised and very reasonably priced La Spezia Florence and Pisa – small private tour of 4 couples with Florence Connections. We left early and beat the crowds, it included a long drive but was well worth it. Sergio our guide was excellent and our tour included a professional guide for 3 hours in Florence. Once again we were able to access the centre of Florence which the big coaches were not able to thus saving us a 20 minute walk each way. I was a little concerned about the distance we were motoring in case we were late returning to the ship but as Sergio explained all tours follow the same road back to port so any hold up would be experienced by all coaches. We were back on board at exactly our requested time and over an hour before the ships tours that only toured Florence. Both Pisa and Florence were amazing and I can highly recommend them. Rome – Civitaveccia We have actually stayed in Rome twice before so chose to stay in port. Wandered the town and found a ‘rustic’ café on the beach and ate pasta and bar b q prawns while sipping a local red wine. Life was good Naples We toured with AP Tours, a company I had used before and once again they were very professional, and gave great service. This time we toured Pompeii, a vineyard and ate a locally produced 5 course lunch while sampling the various wines. Highly suggest hiring a professional guide in Pompeii to appreciate the magnificent city. Two years ago I went on their Amalfi Coast tour which again was excellent. Can highly recommend either tour with this excellent company. Seville – Cadiz This was probably the best tour that we did. We did a 3 ½ hour food tour with Bertram from Cadiz Food Tours. We had a walking tour of the town which was so pretty and touched on the history, visited the fish market – amazing and then visited 3 different authentic tapas bars to sample both their food and wine. What an amazing tour, the food was unbelievable ( not everything was to my taste – do say if you are non-fish eater or vegetarian) but I was literally blown away by the quantity, the quality and the choice of food offered. For the price it was outstanding. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary. The food in the Main Dining Room could be improved. I ordered Prawns and was given a shrimp dish and the shrimp still had the shell on. The entertainment was great, so was the Ice Show. I ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary. The food in the Main Dining Room could be improved. I ordered Prawns and was given a shrimp dish and the shrimp still had the shell on. The entertainment was great, so was the Ice Show. I don't agree with comments made that cruisers we're not happy with the entertainment. The Barricade Boys were off the chart awesome. We certainly enjoyed Perry Grant. Graham the Cruise Director was funny and informative. He can surely pack the Schooner Bar, 10-20 deep. I am so glad that RCL now has the hot milk in thermos instead of having it next to the oatmeal in a huge pot. We were invited to a Top Tier Party as Diamond members and that was very enjoyable. It would be nice if RCL would include more free mixed drinks for Diamond members in their menu. We will be back. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Been our first cruise our travel agent recomended it we really enjoyed it the cabin was lovely spacious and our cabin attendant came around twice a day all the staff were lovely and couldnt do enough for you we ate in the sapphire dining ... Read More
Been our first cruise our travel agent recomended it we really enjoyed it the cabin was lovely spacious and our cabin attendant came around twice a day all the staff were lovely and couldnt do enough for you we ate in the sapphire dining room on deck 3 food was very good menu had a good choice of meals we sat on same table everynight apart from the night we went to chops grille wich was nice but thought it was just as good as the restaurant we were served by the same two waiters Prastika and Jayvee who were lovely entertainment was ok managed to see two films we wanted to see overall cant really fault anything staff work very hard and nothing was ever too much for them we purchased the drinks package wich i would recomend the waiters always made sure you had a drink sun bathinv without having to keep getting up for drinks was fab very relaxing Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
It was nice to be back on Explorer after many years. Embarkation was very quick and i was on board before 11 am. I know Explorer is due an upgrade soon but it didn't worry me at all. The crew were amazing always smiling and kind they ... Read More
It was nice to be back on Explorer after many years. Embarkation was very quick and i was on board before 11 am. I know Explorer is due an upgrade soon but it didn't worry me at all. The crew were amazing always smiling and kind they really made my cruise. I enjoyed the food and didn't feel the need to eat in any other restaurants other than the main dining room and the windjammer. I have to say i was very tempted i have to say to eat in Chops though. My cabin was 6441 an inside which was ideal for me i was well looked after by the kind steward looking after my room. Entertainment was good in the Promenade and the Schooner bar, i didn't see any other entertainment. I was told by many people i met how good the shows were and the ice skating show. I didn't do any shore excursions but as normal just did what i wanted when we arrived in the ports. Shore excursions seemed busy but i never spoke to anyone that had booked any so i cannot comment. I am very lucky to be back on Explorer in September and October and i cannot wait. As i said the crew made my cruise for me and i hope to meet up with some of them again Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Just got back from our first ever cruise and I dont think I could go back to a "normal" holiday. Absolutely amazing! Ship was amazing and staff were so attentive. Bars got very full at night and not enough seats but that's ... Read More
Just got back from our first ever cruise and I dont think I could go back to a "normal" holiday. Absolutely amazing! Ship was amazing and staff were so attentive. Bars got very full at night and not enough seats but that's the only thing I can honestly moan about. Entertainment was excellent and the cocktails!!! We only ate in the main areas so cant comment except Johnny rockets which for the price is a must! Absolutely amazing holiday and highly recommend! Excellent cruise for kids. My daughter loved it (6) Son is 2 so no kids club for him but staff were very accommodating and entertaining. My kids left feeling like royalty! So many different cocktails to choose from. Would definitely recommend buying the deluxe package. We were hesitant but ended up saving a lot of money. Photos were good and a reasonable price! Just waiting for ours to be delivered. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We took the ship and we enjoyed it. Staff was helpful, tons of activities on board and great variety of entertaiment. The main restaurant was great, not "awesome", but the buffet was extraordinary. We didn't bother ... Read More
We took the ship and we enjoyed it. Staff was helpful, tons of activities on board and great variety of entertaiment. The main restaurant was great, not "awesome", but the buffet was extraordinary. We didn't bother buying the beverages package, we just paid for our beverages at the end, buying the beverages pack would have costed us more and we had a lot of shots, haha. I think the cruise beverages pack includes only alcohol, so if you want for example a capucchino, you will see it in your receipt at the end. One thing we were very pleased was with the guy who attended us, he learnt our names from the very beginning and he kept our room clean, his name was Zack if I remember correctly, most of the staff was really nice. :) We enjoyed looking at the promenade, any noise didn't bother use since we just enjoyed the view. On thing about the cabin, tho, we had a big window, it made the cabin look bigger and we used it as a shelf for some of our stuff. We had a really fun, and exciting experience. We would take this ship again with no hesitation. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
I booked this trip well over a year ago, and had six friends join us which was great. We were all very excited and had pre-booked and pre-planned everything possible. To start with, the embarkation at Sydney was fairly quick and our ... Read More
I booked this trip well over a year ago, and had six friends join us which was great. We were all very excited and had pre-booked and pre-planned everything possible. To start with, the embarkation at Sydney was fairly quick and our room was available straightaway, and this was probably around 1 pm. We were immensely happy with our particular room up on level 12 but I will go into that in more details later. We had lunch up in the windjammer cafe which was very nice with plenty of variety and it didn’t take too long until we found seats for all of us. By the time we got back ,our bags had arrived so it was a very efficient service. We had pre-booked the chefs dinner, The gallery tour and lunch, and also the wine around the world talk and tasting. All the information for these were waiting in our cabin for us which again is great service. We met our cabin Steward KOLI..He turned out to be a lovely young gentleman, very personable and very very efficient. So we all just wandered around the ship and checked everything out and eventually met for dinner in the main dining room, where on that night, and every other night following, we had really really nice food. We had Billy and Inyomen, looking after us every night, and they also were extremely friendly, extremely efficient, with a great sense of humour. We had some people with food allergies and one vegetarian, and they went out of their way to ensure everything was okay for them. My husband and I are not great socialisers , as we don’t drink a real lot, and generally don’t bother with the shows, we just like to relax, read a book, have a nap, and do very little. And many times we did do this. But my friends are more outgoing and like to do all the activities and see the shows, so we went along to a few of these things, like trivia, karaoke, and all sorts of other shows, and I have to say, that despite myself, I had a really good time at these activities. We saw ice shows , Movies, parades, art shows, and I watched the wave Rider and golf activities. And generally kept myself entertained, together with long long periods in the Jacuzzi that was in the spa , Very near our room. We thoroughly enjoyed our gallery tour and huge lunch and bottomless champagne..wow Same with the wine tasting.. I’ve been to Champagne in France, and many wineries in Australia, but still learnt things from the sommelier on this cruise.. The best of course was the chefs dinner. Wow wow wow..worth every cent.. way too much food and wine, but a fantastic experience.. So, we also had some other stuff go on...Two medical airlifts early on in the cruise.. not that great for the patients ( who I believe are ok now) but quite exciting for those watching the skill of the pilots and medical staff. Our cabin afforded us the best view ...so many photos and videos taken.. Apparently another medical problem which meant we departed Darwin abit late.. Two missed ports of call. Airlie and Yorkies Knob.. which meant we only stopped at Brisbane and Darwin... Quite a few people disappointed, but really didn’t bother me, as I’m aware that these stops are often missed due to the weather.. those people who set their hearts on seeing the Great Barrier Reef, would have been better just going up there for a few days , as cruising and using tenders is a 50/50% chance.. I had prebooked private excursions at both places and was SUPER surprised to get my money back immediately...no questions asked. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Excellent Cruise, Very nice ship with plenty to do on board. Tropical Cyclone Oma was in the vicinity so the order of ports was changed. Only one port missed in the end (Noumea) which was due to high winds at the port. Captain and staff ... Read More
Excellent Cruise, Very nice ship with plenty to do on board. Tropical Cyclone Oma was in the vicinity so the order of ports was changed. Only one port missed in the end (Noumea) which was due to high winds at the port. Captain and staff did really well to accommodate the changes in itinerary and to keep the ship safe. Food on board was a very good standard, There was a special on the ultimate drinks package (Buy one/get on at half price which dropped the cost down to $US53 pp. With cocktails between 10 and 14 dollars and wine up to $13 by the glass, with coffees, juices, soft drink and bottled water included this proved to be good value. Canadian singer songwriter Jon MacAuley was a very popular entertainer in the pub on most nights. High level of interaction with the various groups on board. Wide selection of music and requests We thoroughly enjoyed this cruise and will start looking for our next one with RCL Read Less
Sail Date February 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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