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(1) Impossible to communicate with the home office in Miami. Very poor customer service. (2) Check in at the port in Barcelona took forever. RCL's employee was letting all Platinum and above members through, while keeping the line for the Gold members at a standstill. It was faster going through the line for people who were not Crown and Anchor members at all. (3) The balcony was covered with splattered paint. An 8 year old could have done a better painting job. (4) Disembarkation for tours was extremely mishandled. Completely disorganized. We were kept waiting for hours and our tours were shortened as a result. Waiting in line for our visas and passports was just as bad. RCL assigned one person to process hundreds of people. In one line the passports for our deck were missing. It turns out a crew member had put the box somewhere behind them because they were too lazy to drag over an extra table. (5) With the exception of the excellent dining and room service staff, customer service was non-existent. The attitude on the part of the crew was always to blame someone or something else. There was never an attempt to actually solve a problem. It was so bad that many passengers started yelling at them. It was almost like the staff was mutinying or on a slow down. Perhaps RCL underpays them or in some way mistreats their employees. (6) Internet connectivity was a joke. Don't bother to spend the money. (7) Laundry service was usurious. It costs $2 to launder a pair of socks. Better to throw them away and buy a new pair! (8) During the cruise there were both Norovirus and cold/flu virus epidemics on board. My husband developed a serious case of bronchitis. This was no surprise in light of the lack of supervision on the ship. During the epidemic, with heightened cleanliness standards, we saw crew members waving cleaning cloths at the door handles, instead of actually cleaning them, as they walked down the hallways of each deck. (9) On the second leg of the cruise (Dubai to Singapore), we had to change cabins which was bad enough but the one we were moved to was smaller than the one we had on the first leg AND the deck was disgusting as mentioned above. Since we had been upgraded to Platinum level with RCL's loyalty program after the first leg, we were eligible for a cabin upgrade, not a downgrade. The supervisor of the loyalty desk was very rude and at first denied that we had been upgraded to Platinum. After she admitted that she was mistaken, she started telling us why the downgrade wasn't RCL's fault. She refused to try to accommodate us or solve our problem. Just putting us on a list for an upgrade, if available, would have been a reasonable gesture on her part. (10) I fell in Paris, before boarding the ship, and hurt my back. Upon boarding, I went to the ship's medical department and received several exrays. Due to the poor equipment, I was told that my back was fine. Upon arriving home, my doctor advised me that T-12 on my spine was completely shattered. As a result of RCL's inadequate medical equipment, I may have done more damage to my spine by walking around and going on excursions during the entire cruise. (11) When I complained to the home office upon reaching home, they thanked me for taking the time to let them know about the problems I encountered but made no attempt to reimburse me in any way for the money I spent for such a horrible experience and the damages incurred. (12) Probably to save money at the passengers' expense, Royal Caribbean booked port of call dates that were on New Year's day in Jordan and on the sabbath in Dubai and Penang. As a result most places were closed in Dubai and Penang and in Petra it was so crowded that the excursion was more of a trial dealing with the crowds than the wonderful experience it should have been.

Terrible Cruise

Explorer of the Seas Cruise Review by npezdek

Trip Details
(1) Impossible to communicate with the home office in Miami. Very poor customer service.

(2) Check in at the port in Barcelona took forever. RCL's employee was letting all Platinum and above members through, while keeping the line for the Gold members at a standstill. It was faster going through the line for people who were not Crown and Anchor members at all.

(3) The balcony was covered with splattered paint. An 8 year old could have done a better painting job.

(4) Disembarkation for tours was extremely mishandled. Completely disorganized. We were kept waiting for hours and our tours were shortened as a result. Waiting in line for our visas and passports was just as bad. RCL assigned one person to process hundreds of people. In one line the passports for our deck were missing. It turns out a crew member had put the box somewhere behind them because they were too lazy to drag over an extra table.

(5) With the exception of the excellent dining and room service staff, customer service was non-existent. The attitude on the part of the crew was always to blame someone or something else. There was never an attempt to actually solve a problem. It was so bad that many passengers started yelling at them. It was almost like the staff was mutinying or on a slow down. Perhaps RCL underpays them or in some way mistreats their employees.

(6) Internet connectivity was a joke. Don't bother to spend the money.

(7) Laundry service was usurious. It costs $2 to launder a pair of socks. Better to throw them away and buy a new pair!

(8) During the cruise there were both Norovirus and cold/flu virus epidemics on board. My husband developed a serious case of bronchitis. This was no surprise in light of the lack of supervision on the ship. During the epidemic, with heightened cleanliness standards, we saw crew members waving cleaning cloths at the door handles, instead of actually cleaning them, as they walked down the hallways of each deck.

(9) On the second leg of the cruise (Dubai to Singapore), we had to change cabins which was bad enough but the one we were moved to was smaller than the one we had on the first leg AND the deck was disgusting as mentioned above. Since we had been upgraded to Platinum level with RCL's loyalty program after the first leg, we were eligible for a cabin upgrade, not a downgrade. The supervisor of the loyalty desk was very rude and at first denied that we had been upgraded to Platinum. After she admitted that she was mistaken, she started telling us why the downgrade wasn't RCL's fault. She refused to try to accommodate us or solve our problem. Just putting us on a list for an upgrade, if available, would have been a reasonable gesture on her part.

(10) I fell in Paris, before boarding the ship, and hurt my back. Upon boarding, I went to the ship's medical department and received several exrays. Due to the poor equipment, I was told that my back was fine. Upon arriving home, my doctor advised me that T-12 on my spine was completely shattered. As a result of RCL's inadequate medical equipment, I may have done more damage to my spine by walking around and going on excursions during the entire cruise.

(11) When I complained to the home office upon reaching home, they thanked me for taking the time to let them know about the problems I encountered but made no attempt to reimburse me in any way for the money I spent for such a horrible experience and the damages incurred.

(12) Probably to save money at the passengers' expense, Royal Caribbean booked port of call dates that were on New Year's day in Jordan and on the sabbath in Dubai and Penang. As a result most places were closed in Dubai and Penang and in Petra it was so crowded that the excursion was more of a trial dealing with the crowds than the wonderful experience it should have been.
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Cabin Review

Cabin 7364
Very nice on the first leg. Terrible on the 2nd leg (cabin 8324).
  Explorer of the Seas Deck Plans

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Aqaba
    It was wonderful except Royal Caribbean chose to dock on Jordan's New Year's Day resulting in unbearable crowds. Be careful when booking a cruise with RCCL as they chose to be in port when it is less expensive for them at the expense of the passengers.
    View All 60 Aqaba Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Aqaba Cruise Port Review
  • Barcelona
    We stayed in an Airbnb and toured Barcelona on our own.
    View All 2,170 Barcelona Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Barcelona Cruise Port Review
  • Dubai
    We had just a short time at a Souk in Sarjah because many other options were closed due to the sabbath.
    View All 223 Dubai Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Dubai Cruise Port Review
  • Dubai Museum
    Since RCCL chose to be in port on a Friday, the UAE's sabbath, most places were closed until mid afternoon. Therefore, we hired a driver and tour guide to drive us to the Emirates of Sarjah and Umm Al Quain (where the fort museum and archeological museums were closed!) In the afternoon, we toured the Dubai Museum (quickly because it didn't open until 3 p.m. and we had to be back on board by 5 p.m.), various Souks. the Dhow Warfage (we were transported in an Abra to the other side as well), the Bastikya quarter, Al Shindagha, etc. There were many sites that we could not see like the Al-Dur, Al Sufouh and Jumeirah Archeological sites because they were closed!
    View All 2 Dubai Museum Reviews
  • Bus transportation to and from Kuala Lumpur
    Since Kuala Lumpur is an hour from the port, we decided to take Royal Caribbean's bus which transported us to and from Kuala Lumpur only. Rather than providing shuttles, RCCL charged us $75 each for this non-tour. Unfortunately, this choice left us at the mercy of Royal Caribbean's staff who took hours processing the hundreds of passengers taking excursions. As a result, we only had time to take the hop-on-hop off bus but NO time to actually get off at desired locations to see some sights. Due to the delays, the ship actually stayed in port longer than expected but apparently didn't bother to tell their tour drivers so we did not benefit from the extra time. As a result, the whole thing was a waste of our time and money.
    View All 12,431 Bus transportation to and from Kuala Lumpur Reviews