1. Home
  2. Cruise Reviews
  3. Explorer of the Seas
Having been with Royal Caribbean several times before we were very keen to travel with them again, on Explorer of the Seas as a new Itinerary for this cruise included the Azores. First of all I must mention the Price it appear that Royal Caribbean on this cruise was charging the UK market far more than in the US and Canada and the difference was excessive. This ship has had troubled times in the past and has been referred to as Royal Caribbean's training ship, we though given other not so flattering reviews that RC would have sorted this out by now, however we were soon to realise that these reviews were justified. A lot of passengers had flu like symptoms plainly evident at boarding there were no RC checks on health needless to say we boarded the ship well but soon came down with the flu like symptoms. The Cabin and the requirements we had booked were not fulfilled by RC, and we were left without a suitable bed in our cabin for the first night, the cabin itself was old and run down with fixtures and fittings missing, a travel lodge room in the UK would have been better. They are also advertising a lot a cabins as mid ship as this one was but ship signs clearly place it aft. We were told to Contact Guest Services to explain the problem, this was an absolute waste of time fobbed off and lied to time and time again whist standing in the queue and later speaking to other guests were soon realised we were not the only ones. The problem was simple to fix but they chose not to do it, stating there were no other beds on board, to replace the problem one in our cabin after the first night we had enough, went to customer services and stood our ground refusing to leave the desk. There was a faceless manager in the back room who refused to speak to us. They stated there was no solution for us. Given our personal circumstances this was unacceptable for more than a fortnight. We reluctantly decided to leave the ship at the next port of Call We asked for RC to help us to return to the UK only to be told we would be left on the dockside after we had filled out the paperwork to clear immigration. Fuming we return to our cabin, the Stateroom attendant seeing my mother was visibly upset asked us what had happened we told him and his deck supervisor attended the cabin with in an hour the solution that guest services was not on the ship had arrived in our cabin and was in place. In the mean time Guest Services had tried Charging us an extra $1000 dollars for another cabin at entry level. The guest services constantly lied to guests and fobbed everyone off . Guest services was an absolute disgrace and completely useless on this ship. The food in the restaurants especially in the windjammer was served blue or rare, when we asked for well done due to our dietary needs, we were told there wasn't any. The main dining room was very good given our two waiters the saving grace of RC food. We had pre-booked two nights in the speciality restaurants only to find theses were undercut on the ship. There were relentless sales drives even by the captain it just felt like RC was fleecing you for every penny and this wasn't an enjoyable experience, this went on day after day. Entertainment was generally good although all venues lacked capacity. Access to the Ice Shows was complete chaos nobody seamed to know what they were doing or who was in control. There also appeared to be a policy of moving waiting staff around the ship to busy areas this left no waiting staff in the other bars. The waiters and waitress worked very hard and long hours and were a credit to RC but they simply did not have enough people on duty nor the tools to do there jobs properly We also noticed that some of the toilets constantly were overflowing as to speak, especially the Male pool side toilets, this was not appetising as the phone needed to report the problems was near the lifts for the windjammer. The shore excursions again were very expensive and again were relentless in the sales drive, they appeared to play on the fear of missing the ship as a main sales tactic, shameful. We also had problems as we docked twice on Sundays, places were all closed nothing to do apart from going for a walk. Portuguese Ports Madeira and the Azores appeared better prepared to handle a ship of this size. In Bilbao the docking experience leaving and returning to the ship fell apart and had significant delays of two hours before we got off, no taxis and the buses couldn't cope with the numbers of people. We left on our last leg arriving in the channel around 12 hours before we were to go into port. My honest opinion is that the back room function of this ship was mismanaged corners had been cut and it was in complete chaos at the expense of the passenger. Cruises are suppose to be carefree and relaxing, but the passenger ram and cram attitude of RC is unacceptable. This company was at the forefront of the industry years ago but failed miserably on this cruise. Reported our problems to customers services in UK and America, got the impression no-one gave a hoot and that this was now the accepted level of service after all they had my money. I had a battle with them for months given there poor communication to get answers but these were inconclusive and I guess given the reviews for our cruise and after that nothing has been done. The only thing we can doo is make people aware of what went on so they can avoid the same experiences, hence this review. My advise, don't bother travelling with RC or Explorer of the Seas, they need to respect the customer again until then I will not travel with.

Royal Caribean & Explorer of the Sea (Save your money & Don't Bother)

Explorer of the Seas Cruise Review by Tom4

4 people found this helpful
Trip Details
Having been with Royal Caribbean several times before we were very keen to travel with them again, on Explorer of the Seas as a new Itinerary for this cruise included the Azores.

First of all I must mention the Price it appear that Royal Caribbean on this cruise was charging the UK market far more than in the US and Canada and the difference was excessive.

This ship has had troubled times in the past and has been referred to as Royal Caribbean's training ship, we though given other not so flattering reviews that RC would have sorted this out by now, however we were soon to realise that these reviews were justified.

A lot of passengers had flu like symptoms plainly evident at boarding there were no RC checks on health needless to say we boarded the ship well but soon came down with the flu like symptoms.

The Cabin and the requirements we had booked were not fulfilled by RC, and we were left without a suitable bed in our cabin for the first night, the cabin itself was old and run down with fixtures and fittings missing, a travel lodge room in the UK would have been better. They are also advertising a lot a cabins as mid ship as this one was but ship signs clearly place it aft.

We were told to Contact Guest Services to explain the problem, this was an absolute waste of time fobbed off and lied to time and time again whist standing in the queue and later speaking to other guests were soon realised we were not the only ones.

The problem was simple to fix but they chose not to do it, stating there were no other beds on board, to replace the problem one in our cabin after the first night we had enough, went to customer services and stood our ground refusing to leave the desk. There was a faceless manager in the back room who refused to speak to us. They stated there was no solution for us. Given our personal circumstances this was unacceptable for more than a fortnight. We reluctantly decided to leave the ship at the next port of Call

We asked for RC to help us to return to the UK only to be told we would be left on the dockside after we had filled out the paperwork to clear immigration. Fuming we return to our cabin, the Stateroom attendant seeing my mother was visibly upset asked us what had happened we told him and his deck supervisor attended the cabin with in an hour the solution that guest services was not on the ship had arrived in our cabin and was in place.

In the mean time Guest Services had tried Charging us an extra $1000 dollars for another cabin at entry level.

The guest services constantly lied to guests and fobbed everyone off . Guest services was an absolute disgrace and completely useless on this ship.

The food in the restaurants especially in the windjammer was served blue or rare, when we asked for well done due to our dietary needs, we were told there wasn't any. The main dining room was very good given our two waiters the saving grace of RC food.

We had pre-booked two nights in the speciality restaurants only to find theses were undercut on the ship. There were relentless sales drives even by the captain it just felt like RC was fleecing you for every penny and this wasn't an enjoyable experience, this went on day after day.

Entertainment was generally good although all venues lacked capacity. Access to the Ice Shows was complete chaos nobody seamed to know what they were doing or who was in control. There also appeared to be a policy of moving waiting staff around the ship to busy areas this left no waiting staff in the other bars.

The waiters and waitress worked very hard and long hours and were a credit to RC but they simply did not have enough people on duty nor the tools to do there jobs properly

We also noticed that some of the toilets constantly were overflowing as to speak, especially the Male pool side toilets, this was not appetising as the phone needed to report the problems was near the lifts for the windjammer.

The shore excursions again were very expensive and again were relentless in the sales drive, they appeared to play on the fear of missing the ship as a main sales tactic, shameful.

We also had problems as we docked twice on Sundays, places were all closed nothing to do apart from going for a walk. Portuguese Ports Madeira and the Azores appeared better prepared to handle a ship of this size. In Bilbao the docking experience leaving and returning to the ship fell apart and had significant delays of two hours before we got off, no taxis and the buses couldn't cope with the numbers of people.

We left on our last leg arriving in the channel around 12 hours before we were to go into port.

My honest opinion is that the back room function of this ship was mismanaged corners had been cut and it was in complete chaos at the expense of the passenger. Cruises are suppose to be carefree and relaxing, but the passenger ram and cram attitude of RC is unacceptable. This company was at the forefront of the industry years ago but failed miserably on this cruise.

Reported our problems to customers services in UK and America, got the impression no-one gave a hoot and that this was now the accepted level of service after all they had my money.

I had a battle with them for months given there poor communication to get answers but these were inconclusive and I guess given the reviews for our cruise and after that nothing has been done.

The only thing we can doo is make people aware of what went on so they can avoid the same experiences, hence this review.

My advise, don't bother travelling with RC or Explorer of the Seas, they need to respect the customer again until then I will not travel with.
Tom4’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Service
Free Price Drop Alerts
Get Royal Caribbean Explorer of the Seas price drops
250,000+ people have entered their email
By proceeding, you agree to Cruise Critic’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

Cabin Review

Cabin
Dated, tired and fixtures and fitting missing, Just been through and upgrade, must have missed this cabin.

Room attendant and deck boss very welcoming
  Explorer of the Seas Deck Plans

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews