The wife and I booked this cruise about a year out, long before our son moved up to Tacoma with his girlfriend for a great career last March. Once we told them about our cruise plans her parents and the kids joined us. Embarkation was very easy arriving around 10:30am we were on board by eleven. We toured the ship a bit then down to check on our "first night done right" booking. We had been told that a restaurant would be assigned to our group but it was not.....we booked Chops at 7:15pm. Finding some lunch in windjammer we went on exploring the Explorer. She is in pretty good shape considering her age....all pools and hot tubs worked and were heated well. Our cabins (we all got interiors) were also in good shape, however the beds are quite firm as everyone says.....they were replacing the bed foundations all week. I will say RCI could improve their bedding game here, while the linens are great the beds suck as compared to the new Princess dream beds. We loved the brewed coffee always available down in the cafe all day long and free, Princess makes you pay for it and wait in line. Dinner at Chops was very good, though having eaten there four years ago on the Oasis I can see where quality and/or quantity has gone down. Meals in the dining room were good, not great.....service was good and we tried to get the same table each night but that did not work out. The last night we were put at another area and table which was not very good, issues like being charged full bottle price for glasses of wine. The entertainment was good not great......but we managed to find things to do each night. The casino was not very generous and nobody we spoke with had won on machines. I for one enjoyed the smoking lounge that I hear they are removing soon. Overall it was a great cruise however we'll be using Princess going forward as we're close to elite status there. Debarkation was a breeze we were off the ship by 7:30am carry off.
Our cabin was clean, comfortable getting out of bed either side was challenging as the desk or couch was right there at end of bed. Shower had decent pressure and temp. Our steward Bobby did a great job for us. Temp control was pretty spot on with air conditioning or heat.