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I joined this cruise in Barcelona and spent the night before embarkation at the Barcelona Airport Hotel. Excellent value for money with breakfast, transfers from the airport and to the port included. Nice room and good restaurant. Now for the cruise, my first ever with Royal Caribbean and possibly my last. Explorer of the Seas is a lovely ship, but unless you are into outdoor activities, there is very little to do. Maybe things are better on cruises that are not repositioning but I hate to imagine what it would be like on board in bad weather as sunbaking seemed to be the main activity on this cruise. Even the cruise director seemed embarrassed one day to have to announce 'napkin folding' and a 'belly flop contest' as the items of entertainment for the day. It was disappointing but understandable not to get into Israel, but there was no excuse for the total absence of any commentary during the Suez canal transit. The aviation lectures were excellent, so good in fact that the pilot speaker drew a large crowd and the venue had to be changed to the Palace theatre to fit everyone in. Trivia was on offer and a few talks about computer safety and hints. The shows, except for the superb ice skating show, were ho hum, especially after I realised I had seen at least one act on a previous cruise. Surely some location specific movies could have been organised, Laurence of Arabia for example. Internet was expensive but worked most of the time and at least with the unlimited package waiting for slow downloads was not a worry. I enjoyed all the dining venues. Meal service was good as was the food. I did one shore excursion and I think it was my bad luck to be in group 6 with an unhelpful guide. Hint for anyone else going to Petra. If you want to get a buggy back out it will be very difficult unless you have taken one in. Most if not all are reserved for return journeys and getting back to the top to go to lunch is difficult as everyone else will have the same idea. Interesting that some of the private tours were picked up by small vans and did not have to walk out. Definitely worth investigating. It was also very annoying not to be given any water on the bus. This was a real example of RCCL money grabbing. Water on the ship was very expensive. I had a bottle I filled each day at the buffet. Chania [Crete] was very easy to do by yourself with buses available at the port for, I think, Euros 3.40 for the return trip into town. Well organised, pleasant little Greek town with a nice market. In Dubai I joined a small group tour, thank you Richard, and was very happy with it. Excellent, helpful guide. Nice overview of the city and a trip up the Burj Khalifa tower. Note that if you decide to do the tower by yourself you will need to book in advance. It was booked out until after 6pm on the day we were there.

Lovely Ship, But.......

Explorer of the Seas Cruise Review by CJSANDFS

Trip Details
I joined this cruise in Barcelona and spent the night before embarkation at the Barcelona Airport Hotel. Excellent value for money with breakfast, transfers from the airport and to the port included. Nice room and good restaurant.

Now for the cruise, my first ever with Royal Caribbean and possibly my last.

Explorer of the Seas is a lovely ship, but unless you are into outdoor activities, there is very little to do. Maybe things are better on cruises that are not repositioning but I hate to imagine what it would be like on board in bad weather as sunbaking seemed to be the main activity on this cruise. Even the cruise director seemed embarrassed one day to have to announce 'napkin folding' and a 'belly flop contest' as the items of entertainment for the day.

It was disappointing but understandable not to get into Israel, but there was no excuse for the total absence of any commentary during the Suez canal transit. The aviation lectures were excellent, so good in fact that the pilot speaker drew a large crowd and the venue had to be changed to the Palace theatre to fit everyone in. Trivia was on offer and a few talks about computer safety and hints. The shows, except for the superb ice skating show, were ho hum, especially after I realised I had seen at least one act on a previous cruise.

Surely some location specific movies could have been organised, Laurence of Arabia for example. Internet was expensive but worked most of the time and at least with the unlimited package waiting for slow downloads was not a worry.

I enjoyed all the dining venues. Meal service was good as was the food.

I did one shore excursion and I think it was my bad luck to be in group 6 with an unhelpful guide. Hint for anyone else going to Petra. If you want to get a buggy back out it will be very difficult unless you have taken one in. Most if not all are reserved for return journeys and getting back to the top to go to lunch is difficult as everyone else will have the same idea. Interesting that some of the private tours were picked up by small vans and did not have to walk out. Definitely worth investigating. It was also very annoying not to be given any water on the bus. This was a real example of RCCL money grabbing. Water on the ship was very expensive. I had a bottle I filled each day at the buffet.

Chania [Crete] was very easy to do by yourself with buses available at the port for, I think, Euros 3.40 for the return trip into town. Well organised, pleasant little Greek town with a nice market.

In Dubai I joined a small group tour, thank you Richard, and was very happy with it. Excellent, helpful guide. Nice overview of the city and a trip up the Burj Khalifa tower. Note that if you decide to do the tower by yourself you will need to book in advance. It was booked out until after 6pm on the day we were there.
CJSANDFS’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Cabin 7610
Very pleased with my cabin. Excellent location.
  Explorer of the Seas Deck Plans

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Petra Walking Tour
    The site is amazing but the guide for group was less than wonderful. I asked about getting a buggy out and got a very vague reply about cost. What he did not tell me was that most people taking buggies book them for the return trip so when I wanted to leave to get to lunch at the Movenpick, like everyone else at 1.30pm, all the buggies were taken. I managed to get a lady to share but it was a real hassle. He also left one lady on the bus and there was no first aid for another lady who fell and grazed her knee. I'd recommend a private tour as some of the mall vans managed to pick people up at a sort of side entrance so no need to walk out. It is a long, hot, dusty walk.
    View All 81 Petra Walking Tour Reviews
  • Barcelona
    Easy transfer to port from Barcelona Airport hotel.
    Well organised check in.
    View All 2,289 Barcelona Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Barcelona Cruise Port Review