My wife and I have sailed on the Explorer of the Seas for multiple cruises and had high expectations for the 4 B2B Odyssey cruise that was offered from Sydney to Southampton, UK from March 29th to May 7th. Those expectations have not been achieved. Due to a high number of older and more experienced cruisers, who are apparently much more tight with the pocketbook, we have had many of the venues we enjoyed stopped or marginalized for Royal Caribbean to cater to their Diamond and Diamond plus cruisers at the expense of anyone lower. Bingo was stopped due to low participation, yet the problem, was very little advertising, playing Australian versus US Bingo, low payouts and constant switching of the venue time and location. The Casino has been lightly attended and part of that was the introduction of new slots with higher minimums. They even increased the minimums on the Blackjack tables. They refused to change out card decks if a player requested it. If you wanted to play craps many times one would have to play alone and only late in the evening. Many of the scheduled poker, blackjack and slot tournaments were canceled due to lack of minimum players. Even when we tried to recruit more players to come, the ship refused to broadcast that we were seeking a few more players to play. Complaints to the CD were dismissed by his saying that the decisions were coming out of Miami. Laundry was refused due to being in the wrong bag. (It was a plastic bag for a special one cost for the bag that our steward had left us earlier and we had not utilized but they only ran on certain days versus the higher cost itemized laundry bag.) This has been a very disappointing cruise, and seems to be getting worse as it goes on.
Since this was 4 B2B instead for just one repositioning cruise, the entertainment was stale by the second leg of the trip. Timing was not very well coordinated with other activities like meals. We enjoyed the enthusiasm of the entertainment staff but the Cruise Director and Asst. Cruise Director tended to act like a couple of juveniles with a morning show that was a level of entertainment not much above that of juveniles. Sort of Bennie Hill type of humor. Maybe the geriatric crowd aboard Royal Caribbean on these repositioning cruises love this sort of stupid antics but I found it demeaning at many times.
My recommendations are not to take the repositioning cruises on Royal Caribbean unless you are a Diamond or above in their Crown and Anchor Society. it just does not pay to be onboard.