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Explorer of the Seas Review

4.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating
1997 reviews
12 Awards

Worst Cruise Ever

Review for Explorer of the Seas to Bermuda
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10+ Cruises • Age 30s

Rating by category

Value for Money
Public Rooms

Additional details

Sail Date: Oct 2014
Cabin: Superior Oceanview Stateroom with Balcony

I have sailed with RCL 6 times before, 20 times total between 3 different cruise lines, and I have never experienced such atrocious service, disgusting facilities, and horrible food as Explorer offered on this 9 day Bermuda and Caribbean cruise. I have talked up cruises so much, that our friends who have never cruised before decided to join us this time for their first cruise. It was so bad, that on day 3 they said it would be their last, and I would definitely think twice before sailing with RCL ever again.

Start from the beginning, embarkation was fairly standard, and actually went pretty smooth, discounting the long wait on the shuttle bus to actually get to the ship itself. Our cabin was very nice, clean, albeit with an ancient TV, but that doesn't really matter much, who wants to spend time in the room anyways. Sailaway was exciting, going under the Brooklyn bridge, ship horn blasting, probably the nicest sailaway I've ever seen. And then the "fun" started. My friend and I went to the casino bar to have a cigarette (legit smoking bar, no breaking rules here). When we got there there was no bartender, and no ashtrays on the counter or anywhere else to be seen, so I used the glass I just finished drinking out of to ash into. Moments later a bartender appears, runs over to us, snatches the glass from in front of us and proceeds to YELL at us, "You can't do that, do you do that at home". I was incredulous, but politely responded as to what else I was supposed to do when there are no ashtrays, but the bartender would just not stop yelling and berating us, though he did slam the ashtray on the table in front of us, with such force I was surprised it didn't break. I refused to accept the rudeness and asked the bartender to speak with me more politely, or I will go have a conversation with guest services (which I really don't like to do, I don't want to cost anyone their job). At that point he threw up his hands, turned around and walked away, without even offering an apology! A few days later I did mention the incident to the casino manager in the process of a casual conversation, and he was visibly upset with that, brought over the casino manager for a personal apology, "It's a smoking bar, ashtrays should be everywhere, what are you supposed to do, ash on the floor?"

I was willing to chalk this incident up to a random moody bartender, and tried not to let it ruin the vacation, but that was not the end of poor service. It was everywhere, at every bar, and pretty much from every crew member ever encountered. Coming up to guest relations to ask a question, the attendant made me feel like I was taking up his precious time by asking him. Bar stewards at the pool deck were non existent, I'm used to seeing them walking around offering drinks pretty much constantly, but this time on all 5 sea days that we had, they would walk around maybe once an hour, if that. I don't mind going up to the bar to get my drink, but whenever I did that, I felt like the bartenders were doing me a favor serving me. Even when there were 5 people at the bar waiting for service, they were too busy talking amongst themselves, or walking around pretending to look busy, rarely acknowledging the people waiting in line. I routinely had to wait more than 5 minutes at the bar for someone to take my drink order, and it wasn't because they were busy helping other customers. At one bar, when I walked up, I was greeted with a surly "What do you want", without even so much as a smile. Speaking of smiles, they were non existent from any crew members encountered anywhere on the ship. On every other cruise line, when you run into a crew member while walking about on the ship, you get a smile and a greeting, but no on the Explorer. At best you get a nod of acknowledgement, but more the norm was getting completely ignored.

Cabin Review

Superior Oceanview Stateroom with Balcony

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