1. Home
  2. Cruise Reviews
  3. Explorer of the Seas
I had done a 7 night South Pacific cruise before on Voyager of the Seas and wanted to see different ports in the Pacific, which was the reason for picking this cruise. I would've preferred to have gone on Voyager again but it didn't return to Australia this season, so we picked Explorer. There's not much difference physically between the two ships. I will divide this review into positives and negatives. The positives: - The ship is very nice and very well-maintained. The staff were great. I have nothing but good things to say about the experience on the ship. - We had a balcony stateroom on deck 6. It was a guarantee balcony and initially I was concerned thinking it may be too close to the elevators/main stairwell, but it was just far enough down the hall that we didn't get any noise from that part of the ship at all. It was a nice sheltered balcony, so we were able to peg clothes to our balcony chairs without worrying about them blowing away. - In other cruises I have been on higher decks but I enjoyed being in close proximity to the Royal Promenade, Cafe Promenade and the Star Lounge, as most of the activities I attended were in the Star Lounge. - The ports were all great. We went to Mystery Island, Isle of Pines, Lifou and Noumea. We didn't book shore excursions in any of the ports. On Mystery Island we booked a cabana through a local vendor (advertising on Facebook) and were able to have a place to store our stuff and chairs to sit on rather than lying on the beach. We snorkelled on Mystery Island, Lifou and Isle of Pines. There were shops and food vendors on each of the islands so we spent most of the day there. In Noumea we got on the $15 hop on hop off bus to take us around to the beaches. That was a bit of a letdown as it didn't take us to the lookouts. - I found the food in the Main Dining Room to be very good, though we only ate in there three nights. The service on the first night was pretty ordinary and we were actually charged for a bottle of wine we didn't order, and had to fix that up at Guest Services. I can't fault the service for the other two nights. - We went to Chops Grille on two nights and had fantastic meals there. Definitely worth the money. The food and service were outstanding. - We went to Johnny Rockets one night and had a very filling meal there as well. I would definitely recommend it. - I found the entertainment staff very good. Music trivia was especially fun and the Quest game show was the highlight of the cruise for me. - The ice show was also very good, and I liked how it was broken up into muster stations so you didn't have to queue for tickets. - As this was my second cruise with Royal, I am a gold member (not that I thought that meant much), but I was given a list of "perks" that I could take advantage of, including 10% off all of the ship merchandise (that came in very handy) and getting drinks for cheaper. That was exciting! - Debarkation was very smooth. We were given the tags for our bags and left them out the night before, and in the morning we were called from the Star Lounge promptly at 8.30am to pick them up. We were then able to check our bags in with Virgin Australia at the pier rather than having to take them to the airport ourselves. That was a huge relief for us. The negatives: - On the whole I thought four shore days in a row was a bit full on, but I prefer a lazier cruise! - The muster drill on the first day was hands down the worst muster drill I have ever had to attend on a cruise ship. We were lined up like cattle on the promenade deck for half an hour; it was AWFUL. I'm not sure if the regulations have changed in the last couple of years (as my last cruise from Sydney was in 2016). If the regulations have changed, that's fine, but if this is an Explorer of the Seas thing only then quite honestly they need to rethink it because that was half an hour of misery I never want to repeat in my life. - We got an email the week before the cruise saying our check-in time was going to be 3.30, which was fine as we weren't planning on boarding the ship until after 2pm anyway. We dropped off our bags at the pier at about 9.30am on boarding day to absolute chaos, and when we returned at 3pm to board, the place was practically empty and we walked onto the ship in about ten minutes. So my advice is, if you can, hold out until the afternoon to avoid the total madness of the morning rush. I know everybody got that same email and they all seemed to ignore it. - I was totally, 100% completely over the buffet food by the end of the trip. There was nothing really wrong with it, but I don't think it holds a candle to the food in the main dining room. - They play movies over the pool at night starting at 9pm, so we decided to sit in a hot tub to watch 'The Meg'. We'd been in there for about an hour when we were kicked out because they were going to drain the hot tub - the only hot tub they asked people to move from. I get why they have to do it, but that was really frustrating. We pretty much had to leave halfway through the movie. - The beds in the staterooms aren't great. They weren't great on Voyager and they're still not great on Explorer. You get used to it after awhile but the first couple of nights aren't fun. - I don't think people should be allowed to smoke around the pool. It's pretty disgusting. All in all my complaints are pretty minimal. For the most part everything was really good. There were just a couple of small things that soured it for me, but for everyone else they might not have been that big of a deal. I got what I expected and there were no real "nasty surprises". I would definitely cruise Royal Caribbean again and am planning to in the future, for sure.

Lovely ship, great ports

Explorer of the Seas Cruise Review by felicityd

5 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: November 2018
  • Destination: South Pacific
  • Cabin Type: Ocean View Balcony
I had done a 7 night South Pacific cruise before on Voyager of the Seas and wanted to see different ports in the Pacific, which was the reason for picking this cruise. I would've preferred to have gone on Voyager again but it didn't return to Australia this season, so we picked Explorer. There's not much difference physically between the two ships.

I will divide this review into positives and negatives. The positives:

- The ship is very nice and very well-maintained. The staff were great. I have nothing but good things to say about the experience on the ship.

- We had a balcony stateroom on deck 6. It was a guarantee balcony and initially I was concerned thinking it may be too close to the elevators/main stairwell, but it was just far enough down the hall that we didn't get any noise from that part of the ship at all. It was a nice sheltered balcony, so we were able to peg clothes to our balcony chairs without worrying about them blowing away.

- In other cruises I have been on higher decks but I enjoyed being in close proximity to the Royal Promenade, Cafe Promenade and the Star Lounge, as most of the activities I attended were in the Star Lounge.

- The ports were all great. We went to Mystery Island, Isle of Pines, Lifou and Noumea. We didn't book shore excursions in any of the ports. On Mystery Island we booked a cabana through a local vendor (advertising on Facebook) and were able to have a place to store our stuff and chairs to sit on rather than lying on the beach. We snorkelled on Mystery Island, Lifou and Isle of Pines. There were shops and food vendors on each of the islands so we spent most of the day there. In Noumea we got on the $15 hop on hop off bus to take us around to the beaches. That was a bit of a letdown as it didn't take us to the lookouts.

- I found the food in the Main Dining Room to be very good, though we only ate in there three nights. The service on the first night was pretty ordinary and we were actually charged for a bottle of wine we didn't order, and had to fix that up at Guest Services. I can't fault the service for the other two nights.

- We went to Chops Grille on two nights and had fantastic meals there. Definitely worth the money. The food and service were outstanding.

- We went to Johnny Rockets one night and had a very filling meal there as well. I would definitely recommend it.

- I found the entertainment staff very good. Music trivia was especially fun and the Quest game show was the highlight of the cruise for me.

- The ice show was also very good, and I liked how it was broken up into muster stations so you didn't have to queue for tickets.

- As this was my second cruise with Royal, I am a gold member (not that I thought that meant much), but I was given a list of "perks" that I could take advantage of, including 10% off all of the ship merchandise (that came in very handy) and getting drinks for cheaper. That was exciting!

- Debarkation was very smooth. We were given the tags for our bags and left them out the night before, and in the morning we were called from the Star Lounge promptly at 8.30am to pick them up. We were then able to check our bags in with Virgin Australia at the pier rather than having to take them to the airport ourselves. That was a huge relief for us.

The negatives:

- On the whole I thought four shore days in a row was a bit full on, but I prefer a lazier cruise!

- The muster drill on the first day was hands down the worst muster drill I have ever had to attend on a cruise ship. We were lined up like cattle on the promenade deck for half an hour; it was AWFUL. I'm not sure if the regulations have changed in the last couple of years (as my last cruise from Sydney was in 2016). If the regulations have changed, that's fine, but if this is an Explorer of the Seas thing only then quite honestly they need to rethink it because that was half an hour of misery I never want to repeat in my life.

- We got an email the week before the cruise saying our check-in time was going to be 3.30, which was fine as we weren't planning on boarding the ship until after 2pm anyway. We dropped off our bags at the pier at about 9.30am on boarding day to absolute chaos, and when we returned at 3pm to board, the place was practically empty and we walked onto the ship in about ten minutes. So my advice is, if you can, hold out until the afternoon to avoid the total madness of the morning rush. I know everybody got that same email and they all seemed to ignore it.

- I was totally, 100% completely over the buffet food by the end of the trip. There was nothing really wrong with it, but I don't think it holds a candle to the food in the main dining room.

- They play movies over the pool at night starting at 9pm, so we decided to sit in a hot tub to watch 'The Meg'. We'd been in there for about an hour when we were kicked out because they were going to drain the hot tub - the only hot tub they asked people to move from. I get why they have to do it, but that was really frustrating. We pretty much had to leave halfway through the movie.

- The beds in the staterooms aren't great. They weren't great on Voyager and they're still not great on Explorer. You get used to it after awhile but the first couple of nights aren't fun.

- I don't think people should be allowed to smoke around the pool. It's pretty disgusting.

All in all my complaints are pretty minimal. For the most part everything was really good. There were just a couple of small things that soured it for me, but for everyone else they might not have been that big of a deal. I got what I expected and there were no real "nasty surprises". I would definitely cruise Royal Caribbean again and am planning to in the future, for sure.
felicityd’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Service
Onboard Experience
Free Price Drop Alerts
Get Royal Caribbean Explorer of the Seas price drops
250,000+ people have entered their email

Cabin Review

Ocean View Balcony
Cabin 4D 6252
Average sized cabin. Good storage space. Very sheltered balcony (non-obstructed view). Bathroom was quite small. Beds were very firm and probably need updating. Good location to stairwell and elevators and one deck above Royal Promenade. Quiet location; only noisy when people walked past talking. No noise from any other decks.
Deck 7 Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews