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This 3200 passenger ship should get a design award. Instead of the ordinary round atrium, it has a four deck high Royal Promenade that has the feel of a New Orleans street with a party going on. Shop entrances are along the promenade and bars and a cafe spill out tables and chairs for seating. At various times there was big band dancing (with a most excellent ship's band), reggae, disco, and any number of special parties. Were that not enough, the activities crew, led by Dan Whitney and his sidekick Amy, put together loads of activities. Dan Dan is part stand-up comedian and his "game show" hosting had the audience in stitches. On-board classes and activities also included sushi making and cupcake decorating as well as a galley tour followed by a free flowing champagne brunch. This ship has side by side pools filled with warm salt water and hot tubs on the main pool deck. There were plenty of deck chairs and music and dancing there as well. Just forward of that is a large adults-only solarium with hot tubs, multiple quiet nooks for napping or lounging and its own bar. The spa has sauna and steam rooms and a large hot tub pool. To my delight, unlike other ships I have recently visited, there was no additional charge for daily usage for these facilities. And then there was food. Oh, my. I had 8 p.m. seated dining in the main dining room on Deck 4 and I never had anything less than exceptional service and great food. Breakfast was usually room service and it was always on time, exactly what I ordered, hot if it was supposed to be, and delivered with a smile. Once a day or so I usually cruised through the Windjammer buffet. I thought it was well organized and what food I ate there was quite good. How they manage to maintain this level of quality is beyond me. My cabin was a balcony on deck 7 starboard side aft. My one and only complaint about the ship was that while most ships this size have forward, middle and aft elevators and stairs, this one has only two, one on either end of the Promenade. My cabin was quite far from them and required a lot of walking. Given the many, many features of this ship, though, it seemed like nothing to complain about. I've done this itinerary before and was looking more for a fun cruise than a new travel experience. That said, the ports were well worth seeing again. We started out in Astoria, Oregon, where I did a really excellent Willamette Valley Wine Tour, then we overnighted in San Francisco. Being docked overnight on the San Francisco waterfront, walking distance from Fisherman's Wharf and the Ferry Building, was the thrill of a lifetime! Finally, we spent the day in beautiful Victoria, B. C. before heading back to our departure port of Seattle. I even had good interactions with the Guest Services staff, which is largely unheard of in my experience. I had a couple of questions, one complaint (quickly and easily resolved) and purchased an airport transfer while aboard ship. Everything about this cruise was easy, friendly and I truly felt like a valued guest. Though I did not travel with children, one of my table mates was accompanied by her seven year old grand-daughter. By day three, my dining companion could barely drag her away from the kid's activities for dinner. She loved it and came to dinner every night showing us her projects. I tend to think a staff that works this well has to have excellent leadership and I complement the captain, hotel manager, food services staff, entertainment staff and everyone else aboard this ship for a job well done. Thank you. And, oh, yeah, it has an ice skating rink!

Superbly designed mid-size ship with an excellent crew

Explorer of the Seas Cruise Review by Lscruiser

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Trip Details
This 3200 passenger ship should get a design award. Instead of the ordinary round atrium, it has a four deck high Royal Promenade that has the feel of a New Orleans street with a party going on. Shop entrances are along the promenade and bars and a cafe spill out tables and chairs for seating. At various times there was big band dancing (with a most excellent ship's band), reggae, disco, and any number of special parties.

Were that not enough, the activities crew, led by Dan Whitney and his sidekick Amy, put together loads of activities. Dan Dan is part stand-up comedian and his "game show" hosting had the audience in stitches. On-board classes and activities also included sushi making and cupcake decorating as well as a galley tour followed by a free flowing champagne brunch.

This ship has side by side pools filled with warm salt water and hot tubs on the main pool deck. There were plenty of deck chairs and music and dancing there as well. Just forward of that is a large adults-only solarium with hot tubs, multiple quiet nooks for napping or lounging and its own bar. The spa has sauna and steam rooms and a large hot tub pool. To my delight, unlike other ships I have recently visited, there was no additional charge for daily usage for these facilities.

And then there was food. Oh, my. I had 8 p.m. seated dining in the main dining room on Deck 4 and I never had anything less than exceptional service and great food. Breakfast was usually room service and it was always on time, exactly what I ordered, hot if it was supposed to be, and delivered with a smile. Once a day or so I usually cruised through the Windjammer buffet. I thought it was well organized and what food I ate there was quite good. How they manage to maintain this level of quality is beyond me.

My cabin was a balcony on deck 7 starboard side aft. My one and only complaint about the ship was that while most ships this size have forward, middle and aft elevators and stairs, this one has only two, one on either end of the Promenade. My cabin was quite far from them and required a lot of walking. Given the many, many features of this ship, though, it seemed like nothing to complain about.

I've done this itinerary before and was looking more for a fun cruise than a new travel experience. That said, the ports were well worth seeing again. We started out in Astoria, Oregon, where I did a really excellent Willamette Valley Wine Tour, then we overnighted in San Francisco. Being docked overnight on the San Francisco waterfront, walking distance from Fisherman's Wharf and the Ferry Building, was the thrill of a lifetime! Finally, we spent the day in beautiful Victoria, B. C. before heading back to our departure port of Seattle.

I even had good interactions with the Guest Services staff, which is largely unheard of in my experience. I had a couple of questions, one complaint (quickly and easily resolved) and purchased an airport transfer while aboard ship. Everything about this cruise was easy, friendly and I truly felt like a valued guest.

Though I did not travel with children, one of my table mates was accompanied by her seven year old grand-daughter. By day three, my dining companion could barely drag her away from the kid's activities for dinner. She loved it and came to dinner every night showing us her projects.

I tend to think a staff that works this well has to have excellent leadership and I complement the captain, hotel manager, food services staff, entertainment staff and everyone else aboard this ship for a job well done. Thank you.

And, oh, yeah, it has an ice skating rink!
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Cabin Review

Cabin 7380
Beautifully decorated, very spacious with lots of storage. The bed was next to the balcony doors, which I liked. Nice bathroom with a glass shower stall. Good water pressure, plenty of hot water, plenty of outlets, refrigerator. It was perfect. I also liked the fact that the balconies on this ship are divided by floor to ceiling metal "walls" and not those flimsy dividers where you can hear everything your neighbors say. I never knew whether or not I had neighbors.
  Explorer of the Seas Deck Plans