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To start off, my family and I have been on over 12 cruises in the past four years, mainly with Carnival and a couple with NCL. A friend said we had to try RCI, so we gave it a shot. My wife and I are in our early 50's and love to cruise, and it's always fun trying out a new ship, this one was no exception. It was the first with a promenade and ice skating rink. I read the reviews on the ship (after we purchased our tickets) and to be honest, we were a little concerned, but like all cruises, it's what you make of it yourself. That being said, it was a good cruise. The food was about average, the entertainment (shows) were not very good in my opinion, the rooms were average size/shape, and the horror stories we heard about the crew was completely off. The cheerful can-do attitude of these folks was some of the best I had ever seen. Our room steward Odelin Michel) was by far the best we've been associated with during our cruising experience. He was very customer friendly and very professional. I hope we meet up with him again down the road on another cruise. The dining room staff was also really good, but the food was just so-so. The Entertainment Director was pretty good too - he was everywhere, which was a nice change from our last couple cruises. The casino was about average. The reviews stated the ship was worn/old. We didn't see that, it was very clean and we had no complaints. The Captain was from Tampa, if you can believe that. Yea, one we could understand every word (lol). The ship stopped in Cozumel Mexico and Freeport Bahamas. For the life of me, I'll never understand why ships pull into Freeport. I've been there about three times, and each time I ABSOLUTLY HATED IT! That town is a dump/industrial wasteland. There is one place to go (and it costs about $20 to get there) and that's the casino/hotel, market and beach. Trust me - stay on the ship and get a tan or a message during this "port visit," you can thank me later. Cozumel was interesting. If you're on Carnival it pulls in to what appears to be there own little piece of the island with all the Carnival shops you've come to expect. If you're on RCI, it pulls into Senior' Frogs and the downtown area, so our last two visits were different, which was a nice take on things. The crowd on RCI was a little older than we're used too. My wife and I both commented that it appeared we were the youngest cruisers on the ship there for a while. After 1 a.m. in the morning, our 26 year old son and his friend informed us that the 20-30 crowd came out of the woodwork and danced the night away. I'll have to take his word for this - I was fast asleep by then. So it was older crowd by day, younger crowd by night. That sums up RCI on this trip. I guess the grass isn't always greener on the other side - I think I've learned a thing or two about other cruise lines and - I'm headed back to Carnival.

First Time Royal Caribbean Sailing

Explorer of the Seas Cruise Review by Rushman58

Trip Details
To start off, my family and I have been on over 12 cruises in the past four years, mainly with Carnival and a couple with NCL. A friend said we had to try RCI, so we gave it a shot. My wife and I are in our early 50's and love to cruise, and it's always fun trying out a new ship, this one was no exception. It was the first with a promenade and ice skating rink. I read the reviews on the ship (after we purchased our tickets) and to be honest, we were a little concerned, but like all cruises, it's what you make of it yourself. That being said, it was a good cruise. The food was about average, the entertainment (shows) were not very good in my opinion, the rooms were average size/shape, and the horror stories we heard about the crew was completely off. The cheerful can-do attitude of these folks was some of the best I had ever seen. Our room steward Odelin Michel) was by far the best we've been associated with during our cruising experience. He was very customer friendly and very professional. I hope we meet up with him again down the road on another cruise. The dining room staff was also really good, but the food was just so-so. The Entertainment Director was pretty good too - he was everywhere, which was a nice change from our last couple cruises. The casino was about average. The reviews stated the ship was worn/old. We didn't see that, it was very clean and we had no complaints. The Captain was from Tampa, if you can believe that. Yea, one we could understand every word (lol). The ship stopped in Cozumel Mexico and Freeport Bahamas. For the life of me, I'll never understand why ships pull into Freeport. I've been there about three times, and each time I ABSOLUTLY HATED IT! That town is a dump/industrial wasteland. There is one place to go (and it costs about $20 to get there) and that's the casino/hotel, market and beach. Trust me - stay on the ship and get a tan or a message during this "port visit," you can thank me later. Cozumel was interesting. If you're on Carnival it pulls in to what appears to be there own little piece of the island with all the Carnival shops you've come to expect. If you're on RCI, it pulls into Senior' Frogs and the downtown area, so our last two visits were different, which was a nice take on things. The crowd on RCI was a little older than we're used too. My wife and I both commented that it appeared we were the youngest cruisers on the ship there for a while. After 1 a.m. in the morning, our 26 year old son and his friend informed us that the 20-30 crowd came out of the woodwork and danced the night away. I'll have to take his word for this - I was fast asleep by then. So it was older crowd by day, younger crowd by night. That sums up RCI on this trip. I guess the grass isn't always greener on the other side - I think I've learned a thing or two about other cruise lines and - I'm headed back to Carnival.
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Cabin Review

Cabin 9345
about average. I did get a chance to look inside one of the mini-suite rooms. Next time I'll spend a few more bucks and get the bigger room. All in all it was a stateroom.
  Explorer of the Seas Deck Plans