I am on board this ship attending a genealogy conference. Thank goodness I AM attending a conference because the overall options for things to do on this ship are terrible. Everything is aimed at young families - the ones where the parents traipse off and have a good time but leave their brats to run amok and annoy fellow guests.
Then there is the food - the Windjammer is terrible, all food is well overcooked and what is not eaten is served up the next day in a variety of stir fry's and casserole-type dishes. The Sapphire Dining Room is just as bad. The only decent meals are to be had in the speciality restaurants which leads me to think they make the general food so bad you will naturally take up the specialities!
It would also appear that the shore excursion staff are not kept informed about any changes to excursions until the very last minute and are not able to get the message out to its passengers. For one excursion I was booked on, I was complaining about the change of date at such late notice (the evening before) when several other passengers advised they had had 4 date changes to the same excursion.
Was also booked on the Tour of the Ship only to be told while waiting for the tour to commence that it would not be happening because we were sailing through the Torres Straits and no one is allowed to enter the bridge or engine room on this day. HELLO why was the day available for the booking in the first place when the organisers would have known we would be travelling through those Straits on that day.
Arrived in Darwin to be told our collected tour group (who had to meet at the fore theatre room on Deck 3 had to walk up to Deck 4, across to the aft elevators and go down to Deck 1. We get down there having had to wait many minutes for elevators (they only take so many people) to be told, no you are exiting from Deck 4. Up we go again to find we have to disembark down the steepest, wet, gangway I have every seen. Our group consisted of many elderly persons with mobility problems including a totally blind woman with a stick. Surely this is a health and safety risk just waiting for a passenger to have a fall and sue the pants off of Royal Caribbean.
I have done several cruises with their sister company Celebrity and the difference between the two is staggering.
Royal Caribbean - Explorer of the Seas - no longer supplies fresh water jugs to your cabin; no longer gives you that little chocolate on your bed making you feel special; instead of two cabin stewards there is only one very overworked steward; the conference room in the fore of the ship has only 1 toilet for up to a hundred people. Then there is the state of the elevators, one of which kept breaking down - to be honest it was the one you could rely on because it wasn't working with the others continually whizzing past your floor or staying on each deck for around 4 or 5 minutes minimum. Much quicker to take the stairs but not suitable for the elderly or those with mobility problems.
I could go on but then I'd only be seen as a whinger - along with at least half of the passengers on this cruise. My advice - pay the extra and go with Celebrity or its ilk.
Our cabin was was fine although a little outdated and the 3-seater lounge took up quite a bit of space which could have been utilised better. I have no complaints about our cabin steward who kept the cabin in perfect order at all times and was always bright and cheery.