1. Home
  2. Cruise Reviews
  3. Explorer of the Seas
We have Diamond status on RCL so we are not newbies. We have recently returned from a 10-day cruise to New Caledonia and just lost ten days out of lives that we will never get back again. This cruise was an absolutely terrible experience. I could not believe the inconsistent product everywhere. This cruise did not many of the basics expected from RCL, there was not even one fruit and vegetable or ice sculpture seen, there was not even the expected pool-side barbeque. No wine package was available but the beverage package was pushed to encourage irresponsible drinking, which was rampant. Absolutely no effort was made to control standards, thongs (flip-flops), tank-tops and shorts were allowed in the restaurants even on formal nights. Children ran uncontrolled all over the ship, up/down corridors ringing doorbells. Food was bland, bland, bland even in the theme restaurants which are over-priced. The theme restaurants have additional surcharges for some items; I do not expect surcharges in restaurants for which a surcharge was already paid. “Anytime” dining is a farce and is fraudulent advertising. If you want to book at 6 or 8 (no in-between times) you might succeed, Gold Card made no difference at all. To make things worse the seating hostess has yet to acknowledge our presence, let alone smile. The wait staff in the Sapphire restaurant were totally unprofessional. All of the restaurants are noticeably understaffed, as is the whole ship. This is the first ship we have travelled on (and we have travelled on many) that did not have a sommelier. The wait staff did not even know what a wine “vintage” was. Red wine was offered in a wet, chilled water glass. No glasses were proffered with a beer and repeated requests had to be made. Wait staff had to be asked to change cutlery between courses after removing cutlery from the starter plate and placing them on the tablecloth. A complaint to the head waiter resulted in our being pointed at by him at every subsequent meal. When you could find a waiter (due to under-staffing) in Dizzie’s bar they could not supply a martini glass, olives or a twist for martinis which were served without garnish in a wine glass. Wifi is ridiculously over-priced, my Diamond entitlement of one free day could not be obtained despite many requests, I had to pay full price for one day which should have been complimentary. As an owner’s suite passenger, I expected an internet package like other lines provide. I expect a tablecloth for room service in a suite and not the tray dumped on the side. Room service breakfast was cold and inedible and arrived 30 minutes early. I expect a "lay-up" room service in suites (like Princess). Concierge Lounge and Diamond Lounge are way too small for comfort and are not a pleasant experience. I am not trying to compare RCL to lines such as Silversea and Seabourn but I can compare RCL to Princess and thet failed miserably. It will be extremely unlikely that they will see us again, you could not even manage to charge the correct credit card at the end of the trip.

10 days lost from my life

Explorer of the Seas Cruise Review by Gowrie

27 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: February 2017
  • Destination: South Pacific
  • Cabin Type: Owner's Suite - 1 Bedroom
We have Diamond status on RCL so we are not newbies. We have recently returned from a 10-day cruise to New Caledonia and just lost ten days out of lives that we will never get back again. This cruise was an absolutely terrible experience. I could not believe the inconsistent product everywhere.

This cruise did not many of the basics expected from RCL, there was not even one fruit and vegetable or ice sculpture seen, there was not even the expected pool-side barbeque.

No wine package was available but the beverage package was pushed to encourage irresponsible drinking, which was rampant.

Absolutely no effort was made to control standards, thongs (flip-flops), tank-tops and shorts were allowed in the restaurants even on formal nights. Children ran uncontrolled all over the ship, up/down corridors ringing doorbells.

Food was bland, bland, bland even in the theme restaurants which are over-priced. The theme restaurants have additional surcharges for some items; I do not expect surcharges in restaurants for which a surcharge was already paid.

“Anytime” dining is a farce and is fraudulent advertising. If you want to book at 6 or 8 (no in-between times) you might succeed, Gold Card made no difference at all. To make things worse the seating hostess has yet to acknowledge our presence, let alone smile.

The wait staff in the Sapphire restaurant were totally unprofessional. All of the restaurants are noticeably understaffed, as is the whole ship. This is the first ship we have travelled on (and we have travelled on many) that did not have a sommelier. The wait staff did not even know what a wine “vintage” was. Red wine was offered in a wet, chilled water glass. No glasses were proffered with a beer and repeated requests had to be made. Wait staff had to be asked to change cutlery between courses after removing cutlery from the starter plate and placing them on the tablecloth.

A complaint to the head waiter resulted in our being pointed at by him at every subsequent meal.

When you could find a waiter (due to under-staffing) in Dizzie’s bar they could not supply a martini glass, olives or a twist for martinis which were served without garnish in a wine glass.

Wifi is ridiculously over-priced, my Diamond entitlement of one free day could not be obtained despite many requests, I had to pay full price for one day which should have been complimentary. As an owner’s suite passenger, I expected an internet package like other lines provide.

I expect a tablecloth for room service in a suite and not the tray dumped on the side. Room service breakfast was cold and inedible and arrived 30 minutes early. I expect a "lay-up" room service in suites (like Princess).

Concierge Lounge and Diamond Lounge are way too small for comfort and are not a pleasant experience.

I am not trying to compare RCL to lines such as Silversea and Seabourn but I can compare RCL to Princess and thet failed miserably. It will be extremely unlikely that they will see us again, you could not even manage to charge the correct credit card at the end of the trip.
Gowrie’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Service
Onboard Experience
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

Owner's Suite - 1 Bedroom
Cabin OS 1320
Nice room but the Owner's Suite comes with little ectra for the money
Deck 10 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews