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The short review is, great cruise, would absolutely recommend it and would even do this trip again. This was a really good way to see some of the Pacific coast, plus it gave 2 days and 1 night in San Francisco - cruising into San Francisco at dawn was stunning. So, we arrived in Seattle a day early and spent the afternoon walking the area, taking in Pike's Place Market and enjoying the sites. The ship itself is a beautiful ship and I found it easy to learn your way around. The ports of Astoria, Oregon and Victoria, Canada were quaint and just beautiful places to visit. We rented a car in Astoria and in Victoria, this was a very cost-effective way to see the area on your own time and leisure. Heading South out of Astoria takes you to Seaside and then a bit further to Cannon Beach - just beautiful areas of rugged shoreline, broad beaches and the mesmerizing surf. The car rental companies were relatively close to the ports and easy to get to with shuttles. Butchart Gardens in Victoria are beyond gorgeous, would love to see this place in the different seasons. In San Francisco we booked a Jail and Sail tour thru Viator, this got us to Alcatraz and then later a sunset cruise in the San Francisco bay, both were outstanding. This particular tour combination was not offered by the cruise line, but Viator was easy and a good price. If doing Alcatraz, via the cruise line or Viator, whoever, book early, Alcatraz sells out and it doesn't disappoint. We did a Sonoma wine country tour through the cruise line and had a very nice day at Cline Cellars and a quick stop for lunch in Sonoma, the excursion was on a comfortable tour bus and we also actually got to see sites in San Francisco like China Town and other spots. Loved having a sea day in the beginning and then near the end of the week, perfect time for relaxing and enjoying the ship. All staff I encountered on the cruise were friendly and cheerful and wanted to please. I found there to be plenty of staff available and attending to your needs in the Windjammer (buffet) dining area, whether it was clearing dishes or offering to bring you something to drink. I also found it easy to get a drink on this ship, the bar staff were ample and ready to wait on you, service on this ship was outstanding on all levels - the room attendant, the bar staff, buffet staff, main dining room staff (I did not go to specialty restaurants). I found all the meals to be delicious, well-prepared and served in a timely fashion. I had read some reviews of people saying the options were not good and that food was like cafeteria food - I don't know what these people eat at home to make them turn their noses up at the food on this ship, because it was absolutely fantastic...some people just like to complain. The shows and entertainment on this ship were top-notch and of good variety, loved the British Invasion and Disco Inferno nights held on the Grand Promenade, like a street dance-party. Good crowd, everyone into it and having a great time, great music and lively. I would not want an interior room with a bowed window overlooking the Grand Promenade, I really think it could be noisy and annoying, but maybe those rooms are really well sound-proofed. The casino was smokey and the slots were really tight. Even if the slots had been loose I would not have spent much time here because of the smoke. I'm sorry, but they simply need to make the casinos on all cruise lines smoke free or put in air-handlers that can turn over the fresh air quickly.

Great itinerary, terrific cruise

Explorer of the Seas Cruise Review by Flamingo15

Trip Details
The short review is, great cruise, would absolutely recommend it and would even do this trip again. This was a really good way to see some of the Pacific coast, plus it gave 2 days and 1 night in San Francisco - cruising into San Francisco at dawn was stunning. So, we arrived in Seattle a day early and spent the afternoon walking the area, taking in Pike's Place Market and enjoying the sites. The ship itself is a beautiful ship and I found it easy to learn your way around. The ports of Astoria, Oregon and Victoria, Canada were quaint and just beautiful places to visit. We rented a car in Astoria and in Victoria, this was a very cost-effective way to see the area on your own time and leisure. Heading South out of Astoria takes you to Seaside and then a bit further to Cannon Beach - just beautiful areas of rugged shoreline, broad beaches and the mesmerizing surf. The car rental companies were relatively close to the ports and easy to get to with shuttles. Butchart Gardens in Victoria are beyond gorgeous, would love to see this place in the different seasons. In San Francisco we booked a Jail and Sail tour thru Viator, this got us to Alcatraz and then later a sunset cruise in the San Francisco bay, both were outstanding. This particular tour combination was not offered by the cruise line, but Viator was easy and a good price.

If doing Alcatraz, via the cruise line or Viator, whoever, book early, Alcatraz sells out and it doesn't disappoint. We did a Sonoma wine country tour through the cruise line and had a very nice day at Cline Cellars and a quick stop for lunch in Sonoma, the excursion was on a comfortable tour bus and we also actually got to see sites in San Francisco like China Town and other spots. Loved having a sea day in the beginning and then near the end of the week, perfect time for relaxing and enjoying the ship.

All staff I encountered on the cruise were friendly and cheerful and wanted to please. I found there to be plenty of staff available and attending to your needs in the Windjammer (buffet) dining area, whether it was clearing dishes or offering to bring you something to drink. I also found it easy to get a drink on this ship, the bar staff were ample and ready to wait on you, service on this ship was outstanding on all levels - the room attendant, the bar staff, buffet staff, main dining room staff (I did not go to specialty restaurants).

I found all the meals to be delicious, well-prepared and served in a timely fashion. I had read some reviews of people saying the options were not good and that food was like cafeteria food - I don't know what these people eat at home to make them turn their noses up at the food on this ship, because it was absolutely fantastic...some people just like to complain.

The shows and entertainment on this ship were top-notch and of good variety, loved the British Invasion and Disco Inferno nights held on the Grand Promenade, like a street dance-party. Good crowd, everyone into it and having a great time, great music and lively. I would not want an interior room with a bowed window overlooking the Grand Promenade, I really think it could be noisy and annoying, but maybe those rooms are really well sound-proofed.

The casino was smokey and the slots were really tight. Even if the slots had been loose I would not have spent much time here because of the smoke. I'm sorry, but they simply need to make the casinos on all cruise lines smoke free or put in air-handlers that can turn over the fresh air quickly.
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Cabin Review

Cabin 1559
Good space, very clean, adequate storage for 2 people, would be a little tough for 4 people's things if on a 7 night cruise. This cabin can accommodate 4 with pull down berths. I found the bed to be hard, just too firm for my liking, so sleeping was not so comfortable for me, but I lived.
  Explorer of the Seas Deck Plans

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews