Really liked the Explorer. The moment we stepped on the ship we could see that the carpets and upholstery were all new. Everything was in immaculate condition.
We had a large balcony cabin on deck 10. The room was quite small, IMO it would have been better for the balcony to be a bit smaller and the cabin a bit larger. The balcony had 2 chairs, a table, a lounger and a hammock. The cabin was well appointed with plenty of wardrobe and drawer space, there was a dressing table with a large mirror above and good lighting. There was a European and American plug socket. The bed was very comfortable. The shower room was nice, all white with a large shower with glass door. There was a washing line in the shower and plenty of space for toiletries. The toilet flush was a little unpredictable and slow, but we never had any major worries. The only problem we had was the very noisy air conditioning. You definitely need to take ear plugs.
The dining rooms were all bright and airy and the waiters were very hard working, they could have done with a few more. The food was all very good wherever we ate. Latitude was on both decks 5 & 6 and Vista Italian made up part of deck 5. There seemed to be plenty of tables for 2 especially in Vista. The Market Place (buffet) was pleasant and we never had a problem getting a table. The Mediterranean was good for a quick breakfast and plenty of outside tables. We weren’t keen on the position of Umi Sushi which was a room between other rooms, effectively a corridor, and people were walking through and passing the diners. We did not use the ‘pay’ restaurants as we did not feel the need.
Entertainment was as usual around the pool in the daytime and there was audience participation type of entertainment in the Squid and Anchor pub. We found the shows to be extremely good, the showteam work so hard to put on a different show every night and all the shows were new to us, they included Musicals, 50’s Diner and Festivals. Not too keen on the upstairs seating in the Broadway as much of the view was restricted.
We never had any problem with drinks service although there are clearly fewer waiters than on previous ships. However, they now have waiters pushing carts around the pool decks full of beer, wine, prosecco and cold drinks all on ice. This worked really well as you could get a drink instantly. If you wanted other drinks, you could order them as usual. In the Broadway theatre they have lots of drinks out in the entrance e.g. beer, prosecco and blue lagoon and maitai cocktails. Again you could order other drinks and you could take 2 drinks in if you wanted to. We found this to all work well.
Dress to impress night – This was the first cruise my DH has not taken his suit. And we were so glad he didn’t. There was hardly anyone wearing suits, most men wore smart trousers, shirt and tie. Some obviously hadn’t dressed to impress at all!
The ship staff were lovely and over 50% were Philipinos, they are always smiling and cheerful and nothing is too much trouble. The crew show was back and it was a joy to see the staff enjoying themselves.
Didn't do any excursions, all ports were easy to walk around and DIY
Would we return to Explorer, of course can’t wait!