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Our primary reason for taking this cruise was to see the ship. At 137,000 tons, this is the largest ship we have ever sailed on and it has some features we have never seen before. We have visited the ports many times so they were not a factor. We also feel that the entertainment on Royal Caribbean is usually superior to other cruise lines and hoped to see some good shows. If you ever consider taking a cruise out of Seattle and need to fly there, think again. The Seattle airport has to be one of the worst. We flew in the night before the cruise and had the hotel shuttle deliver us back to the airport the next morning to catch the Royal Caribbean bus to the ship. There was absolutely nobody in the airport to give us any directions to the cruise bus. We finally found a group of construction workers and they told us we had to go up several flights, cross a bridge to another part of the airport, walk through the parking garage, go back down to a lower floor and walk about half a mile to the place where the buses were parked. We started walking through the deserted airport and luckily came across a person with a red vest. She turned out to be a representative for Royal Caribbean and told us where to get the bus. The waiting area was outside in a very windy and cold area. We had to wait there for about an hour before the bus finally came to take us to the ship. The ride to the ship takes about 45 minutes and was comfortable. Upon arrival, we were escorted to the check in area and that process went very smoothly. We then boarded the ship and went to an upper deck to wait for the restaurant to open for lunch. Our cabin was ready at 1 o’clock and we then went down to inspect it and unpack our carry-on bags. CABIN We had cabin 8620 on deck 8. It was across the hall from the elevators and the computer room. It was located at the top of a hump in the side of the ship, so we had unobstructed views to the front or back of the ship. It was also a quick elevator ride to the Windjammer restaurant on deck 11 and the main dining room on deck 3. It was a bit of a walk to the other elevators that took us to the show room. I was surprised that a ship this large had only two elevator towers. We often had to wait quite a long time for an elevator. We were very pleased with the location of this cabin. The cabin was clean and comfortable with a king size bed, vanity with many drawers and lots of cabinet space above. The closet was adequate. The night stands were very small with only one drawer. Lamps were mounted on the wall behind the bed and had two lights; one for general lighting and one for reading. There was a small couch and table. The bath had a fully enclosed shower with sliding doors to enclose it. This feature is much better than a shower curtain. Our cabin steward did a very good job. FOOD The main restaurant had fair to good food. The waiters were all excellent. We had My Time diniing and that part of the main restaurant seemed totally disorganized the first night. It got better on later nights. The Windjammer restaurant on deck 11 was usually crowded and the food was usually somewhat tasteless compared to the main restaurant. They also had a problem keeping plates and utensils available. We have had unpleasant experiences at extra restaurants on various ships, so avoided them on this cruise. The prices also seemed quite high as compared to other cruise lines. Chops was $39.00. Giovanni’s was $30, Johnny Rockets was $9.95 and room service was $7.95. This was the first time we saw a charge for room service on any of our 50 cruises. We thought this charge was way out of line. ENTERTAINMENT We usually choose Royal Caribbean for the entertainment. On past cruses, it far exceeded what is offered by other cruise lines. That was NOT true on this cruise. The production shows were ho-hum. One of the two comedians was good. The second one was poor. A magician was excellent. One night there was only a movie in the main showroom. The ship has an ice rink and there was an excellent show there one afternoon. We did not attend any of the bar shows, but noticed large crowds there as we walked past. There seemed to be fewer activities offered than on other cruises. We went to see the Flowrider and Rock Climbing Wall a couple of times. The Flowrider had only three people trying it and we never saw anyone on the wall. The wind and cool temperatures may have affected the use of these facilities. We played miniature golf one night and only one other couple was using the course. SHOPS There is a promenade on deck 5 with a number of large shops. There is also a café that is open 24 hours with coffee and snacks. It is the only place to get coffee in the early morning.

Far below our expectations

Explorer of the Seas Cruise Review by TahoeSierra

4 people found this helpful
Trip Details
Our primary reason for taking this cruise was to see the ship. At 137,000 tons, this is the largest ship we have ever sailed on and it has some features we have never seen before. We have visited the ports many times so they were not a factor. We also feel that the entertainment on Royal Caribbean is usually superior to other cruise lines and hoped to see some good shows.

If you ever consider taking a cruise out of Seattle and need to fly there, think again. The Seattle airport has to be one of the worst. We flew in the night before the cruise and had the hotel shuttle deliver us back to the airport the next morning to catch the Royal Caribbean bus to the ship. There was absolutely nobody in the airport to give us any directions to the cruise bus. We finally found a group of construction workers and they told us we had to go up several flights, cross a bridge to another part of the airport, walk through the parking garage, go back down to a lower floor and walk about half a mile to the place where the buses were parked. We started walking through the deserted airport and luckily came across a person with a red vest. She turned out to be a representative for Royal Caribbean and told us where to get the bus. The waiting area was outside in a very windy and cold area. We had to wait there for about an hour before the bus finally came to take us to the ship. The ride to the ship takes about 45 minutes and was comfortable. Upon arrival, we were escorted to the check in area and that process went very smoothly. We then boarded the ship and went to an upper deck to wait for the restaurant to open for lunch. Our cabin was ready at 1 o’clock and we then went down to inspect it and unpack our carry-on bags.

CABIN

We had cabin 8620 on deck 8. It was across the hall from the elevators and the computer room. It was located at the top of a hump in the side of the ship, so we had unobstructed views to the front or back of the ship. It was also a quick elevator ride to the Windjammer restaurant on deck 11 and the main dining room on deck 3. It was a bit of a walk to the other elevators that took us to the show room. I was surprised that a ship this large had only two elevator towers. We often had to wait quite a long time for an elevator. We were very pleased with the location of this cabin. The cabin was clean and comfortable with a king size bed, vanity with many drawers and lots of cabinet space above. The closet was adequate. The night stands were very small with only one drawer. Lamps were mounted on the wall behind the bed and had two lights; one for general lighting and one for reading. There was a small couch and table. The bath had a fully enclosed shower with sliding doors to enclose it. This feature is much better than a shower curtain. Our cabin steward did a very good job.

FOOD

The main restaurant had fair to good food. The waiters were all excellent. We had My Time diniing and that part of the main restaurant seemed totally disorganized the first night. It got better on later nights. The Windjammer restaurant on deck 11 was usually crowded and the food was usually somewhat tasteless compared to the main restaurant. They also had a problem keeping plates and utensils available. We have had unpleasant experiences at extra restaurants on various ships, so avoided them on this cruise. The prices also seemed quite high as compared to other cruise lines. Chops was $39.00. Giovanni’s was $30, Johnny Rockets was $9.95 and room service was $7.95. This was the first time we saw a charge for room service on any of our 50 cruises. We thought this charge was way out of line.

ENTERTAINMENT

We usually choose Royal Caribbean for the entertainment. On past cruses, it far exceeded what is offered by other cruise lines. That was NOT true on this cruise. The production shows were ho-hum. One of the two comedians was good. The second one was poor. A magician was excellent. One night there was only a movie in the main showroom. The ship has an ice rink and there was an excellent show there one afternoon. We did not attend any of the bar shows, but noticed large crowds there as we walked past. There seemed to be fewer activities offered than on other cruises. We went to see the Flowrider and Rock Climbing Wall a couple of times. The Flowrider had only three people trying it and we never saw anyone on the wall. The wind and cool temperatures may have affected the use of these facilities. We played miniature golf one night and only one other couple was using the course.

SHOPS

There is a promenade on deck 5 with a number of large shops. There is also a café that is open 24 hours with coffee and snacks. It is the only place to get coffee in the early morning.
TahoeSierra’s Full Rating Summary
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