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Reviews for Med – royal Caribbean cruise june 2019 We sailed on a 14 day med cruise on Explorer OTS, chosen primarily because of the itinerary and it being mid-June. This was our 8th cruise but only our second cruise with Royal Caribbean and I have to admit I was somewhat concerned about how much I would enjoy the ship, especially considering the spate of very negative reviews that have been written. Well in a nutshell my husband and I had a fantastic cruise and enjoyed almost all aspects of our 14 days, however in fairness I have to say that we are not overly critical people and enjoy a laidback cruise and on occasion the solitude of our cabin. So many reviews have commented that the ship is overdue for a refurbishment and not in a good stare of repair; well apart from the odd bit of rust on our balcony we had absolutely no complaints. Our cabin (8568) was well appointed, clean, had masses of storage space and the bed was very comfortable, and the public areas were fine. Then again we do not spend our holiday looking for negatives to complain about we just get on and enjoy ourselves. Embarkation was efficient and timely. We arrived in Southampton slightly earlier than boarding and after waiting perhaps 15 minutes we were on our way up the walkway, in the lift to the upper deck and sipping our first cocktail. (our traditional Aperol Spritz ) The windjammer buffet was a very pleasant surprise. Even that first lunchtime we were easily able to find a table and the choice and standard of the food was exceptional. The design seemed far more spacious than other ships we have been on and I never felt crowded. Perhaps my biggest compliment belongs to the MDR administration. When I booked I was not able to secure any time dinning and had to book fixed dinning. Unhappy with this option I contacted the Maître D on the first day requested a change and on the following day there was a note in my cabin saying they had amended my reservation to ATD. I really didn’t expect such efficient prompt action. My second compliment goes to the tender disembarkation organisation in Ville Franche. Royal Caribbean do not allocate tender tickets but it was organised in a very timely manner and we were ashore to meet out tour guide ahead of time. We ate every evening in the Sapphire dining room and enjoyed every meal. We liked sitting with strangers and having very different conversations each night. Service was perfectly acceptable for A La Carte service which I don’t expect to resemble the in/out speed of self service. We had planned to utilise our OBC by going to the speciality restaurants but food quality was so good I spent it on an amazing but ridiculously priced spa treatment instead,. Entertainment in the theatre was good but perhaps not excellent. While the professional acts were good I did not enjoy the royal Caribbean players. In my opinion the worst feature was the overly amplified sound system, making the whole show just a noise!! Perhaps the sound system was deliberately loud to mask the poor quality of the performers. Other evening entertainment venues did tend to get very crowded and was the only times I was aware that we were sailing fully booked. As iv said this cruise was chosen for the itinerary and we enjoyed every port. I don’t use ships tours preferring to organise my own small group private tours with local companies and all were excellent. I made contact with fellow passengers via CC and Facebook and a total of 8 couples did 5 tours of 4 couples each. It was an added bonus making such lovely friends. When reading my individual port reviews, you may realise I am not too keen on ships tours, but that’s my personal opinion. Small niggles – our cabin steward never bothered to introduce himself, disembarking at Southampton was a tad confused and I wasn’t keen on the structure of our balcony which was sheltered and prevented me sunbathing. All in all an excellent cruise, a fantastic holiday, some lovely friends and I won’t hesitate to book royal Caribbean again. Ports of Call Gibraltar Caught a white minivan outside port and had 2 hour tour of rock, tunnels, caves, views and monkeys for £30 pp. - Very enjoyable. The minibus was able to climb higher up the rock than the bigger tour buses and so minimised walking. Shop prices are in sterling or Euros but beware of the offered exchange rate. Excellent duty free prices - particularly alcohol, tobacco and cigarettes. Villefranche Had organised two private tours of 4 couples each with Riviera Premium Tours. Company had excellent reviews and ours tours lived up to expectations. Our 6 hour tour included Nice ( Flower market was amazing) Monaco, Monte Carlo, drove the grand prix circuit and the mountain village of Eze. A really good tour, professional and well organised and very reasonably priced La Spezia Florence and Pisa – small private tour of 4 couples with Florence Connections. We left early and beat the crowds, it included a long drive but was well worth it. Sergio our guide was excellent and our tour included a professional guide for 3 hours in Florence. Once again we were able to access the centre of Florence which the big coaches were not able to thus saving us a 20 minute walk each way. I was a little concerned about the distance we were motoring in case we were late returning to the ship but as Sergio explained all tours follow the same road back to port so any hold up would be experienced by all coaches. We were back on board at exactly our requested time and over an hour before the ships tours that only toured Florence. Both Pisa and Florence were amazing and I can highly recommend them. Rome – Civitaveccia We have actually stayed in Rome twice before so chose to stay in port. Wandered the town and found a ‘rustic’ café on the beach and ate pasta and bar b q prawns while sipping a local red wine. Life was good Naples We toured with AP Tours, a company I had used before and once again they were very professional, and gave great service. This time we toured Pompeii, a vineyard and ate a locally produced 5 course lunch while sampling the various wines. Highly suggest hiring a professional guide in Pompeii to appreciate the magnificent city. Two years ago I went on their Amalfi Coast tour which again was excellent. Can highly recommend either tour with this excellent company. Seville – Cadiz This was probably the best tour that we did. We did a 3 ½ hour food tour with Bertram from Cadiz Food Tours. We had a walking tour of the town which was so pretty and touched on the history, visited the fish market – amazing and then visited 3 different authentic tapas bars to sample both their food and wine. What an amazing tour, the food was unbelievable ( not everything was to my taste – do say if you are non-fish eater or vegetarian) but I was literally blown away by the quantity, the quality and the choice of food offered. For the price it was outstanding.

Amazing cruise

Explorer of the Seas Cruise Review by nasus2

4 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: June 2019
  • Destination: Europe
Reviews for Med – royal Caribbean cruise june 2019

We sailed on a 14 day med cruise on Explorer OTS, chosen primarily because of the itinerary and it being mid-June. This was our 8th cruise but only our second cruise with Royal Caribbean and I have to admit I was somewhat concerned about how much I would enjoy the ship, especially considering the spate of very negative reviews that have been written.

Well in a nutshell my husband and I had a fantastic cruise and enjoyed almost all aspects of our 14 days, however in fairness I have to say that we are not overly critical people and enjoy a laidback cruise and on occasion the solitude of our cabin.

So many reviews have commented that the ship is overdue for a refurbishment and not in a good stare of repair; well apart from the odd bit of rust on our balcony we had absolutely no complaints. Our cabin (8568) was well appointed, clean, had masses of storage space and the bed was very comfortable, and the public areas were fine. Then again we do not spend our holiday looking for negatives to complain about we just get on and enjoy ourselves.

Embarkation was efficient and timely. We arrived in Southampton slightly earlier than boarding and after waiting perhaps 15 minutes we were on our way up the walkway, in the lift to the upper deck and sipping our first cocktail. (our traditional Aperol Spritz ) The windjammer buffet was a very pleasant surprise. Even that first lunchtime we were easily able to find a table and the choice and standard of the food was exceptional. The design seemed far more spacious than other ships we have been on and I never felt crowded.

Perhaps my biggest compliment belongs to the MDR administration. When I booked I was not able to secure any time dinning and had to book fixed dinning. Unhappy with this option I contacted the Maître D on the first day requested a change and on the following day there was a note in my cabin saying they had amended my reservation to ATD. I really didn’t expect such efficient prompt action. My second compliment goes to the tender disembarkation organisation in Ville Franche. Royal Caribbean do not allocate tender tickets but it was organised in a very timely manner and we were ashore to meet out tour guide ahead of time.

We ate every evening in the Sapphire dining room and enjoyed every meal. We liked sitting with strangers and having very different conversations each night. Service was perfectly acceptable for A La Carte service which I don’t expect to resemble the in/out speed of self service. We had planned to utilise our OBC by going to the speciality restaurants but food quality was so good I spent it on an amazing but ridiculously priced spa treatment instead,.

Entertainment in the theatre was good but perhaps not excellent. While the professional acts were good I did not enjoy the royal Caribbean players. In my opinion the worst feature was the overly amplified sound system, making the whole show just a noise!! Perhaps the sound system was deliberately loud to mask the poor quality of the performers. Other evening entertainment venues did tend to get very crowded and was the only times I was aware that we were sailing fully booked.

As iv said this cruise was chosen for the itinerary and we enjoyed every port. I don’t use ships tours preferring to organise my own small group private tours with local companies and all were excellent. I made contact with fellow passengers via CC and Facebook and a total of 8 couples did 5 tours of 4 couples each. It was an added bonus making such lovely friends. When reading my individual port reviews, you may realise I am not too keen on ships tours, but that’s my personal opinion.

Small niggles – our cabin steward never bothered to introduce himself, disembarking at Southampton was a tad confused and I wasn’t keen on the structure of our balcony which was sheltered and prevented me sunbathing.

All in all an excellent cruise, a fantastic holiday, some lovely friends and I won’t hesitate to book royal Caribbean again.

Ports of Call

Gibraltar

Caught a white minivan outside port and had 2 hour tour of rock, tunnels, caves, views and monkeys for £30 pp. - Very enjoyable. The minibus was able to climb higher up the rock than the bigger tour buses and so minimised walking. Shop prices are in sterling or Euros but beware of the offered exchange rate. Excellent duty free prices - particularly alcohol, tobacco and cigarettes.

Villefranche

Had organised two private tours of 4 couples each with Riviera Premium Tours. Company had excellent reviews and ours tours lived up to expectations. Our 6 hour tour included Nice ( Flower market was amazing) Monaco, Monte Carlo, drove the grand prix circuit and the mountain village of Eze. A really good tour, professional and well organised and very reasonably priced

La Spezia

Florence and Pisa – small private tour of 4 couples with Florence Connections. We left early and beat the crowds, it included a long drive but was well worth it. Sergio our guide was excellent and our tour included a professional guide for 3 hours in Florence. Once again we were able to access the centre of Florence which the big coaches were not able to thus saving us a 20 minute walk each way. I was a little concerned about the distance we were motoring in case we were late returning to the ship but as Sergio explained all tours follow the same road back to port so any hold up would be experienced by all coaches. We were back on board at exactly our requested time and over an hour before the ships tours that only toured Florence. Both Pisa and Florence were amazing and I can highly recommend them.

Rome – Civitaveccia

We have actually stayed in Rome twice before so chose to stay in port. Wandered the town and found a ‘rustic’ café on the beach and ate pasta and bar b q prawns while sipping a local red wine. Life was good

Naples

We toured with AP Tours, a company I had used before and once again they were very professional, and gave great service. This time we toured Pompeii, a vineyard and ate a locally produced 5 course lunch while sampling the various wines. Highly suggest hiring a professional guide in Pompeii to appreciate the magnificent city. Two years ago I went on their Amalfi Coast tour which again was excellent. Can highly recommend either tour with this excellent company.

Seville – Cadiz

This was probably the best tour that we did. We did a 3 ½ hour food tour with Bertram from Cadiz Food Tours. We had a walking tour of the town which was so pretty and touched on the history, visited the fish market – amazing and then visited 3 different authentic tapas bars to sample both their food and wine. What an amazing tour, the food was unbelievable ( not everything was to my taste – do say if you are non-fish eater or vegetarian) but I was literally blown away by the quantity, the quality and the choice of food offered. For the price it was outstanding.
nasus2’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Cabin 8568
Very good cabin. Very clean, Good size, loads of storage , comfortable bed
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Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Gibraltar
    Caught a white minivan outside port and had 2 hour tour of rock, tunnels, caves, views and monkeys for £30 pp. - Very enjoyable. The minibus was able to climb higher up the rock than the bigger tour buses and so minimised walking. Shop prices are in sterling or Euros but beware of the offered exchange rate. Excellent duty free prices - particularly alcohol, tobacco and cigarettes.
    View All 12,970 Gibraltar Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Gibraltar Cruise Port Review
  • La Spezia (Cinque Terre)
    Florence and Pisa – small private tour of 4 couples with Florence Connections. We left early and beat the crowds, it included a long drive but was well worth it. Sergio our guide was excellent and our tour included a professional guide for 3 hours in Florence. Once again we were able to access the centre of Florence which the big coaches were not able to thus saving us a 20 minute walk each way. I was a little concerned about the distance we were motoring in case we were late returning to the ship but as Sergio explained all tours follow the same road back to port so any hold up would be experienced by all coaches. We were back on board at exactly our requested time and over an hour before the ships tours that only toured Florence. Both Pisa and Florence were amazing and I can highly recommend them.
    View All 293 La Spezia (Cinque Terre) Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's La Spezia (Cinque Terre) Cruise Port Review
  • Naples
    We toured with AP Tours, a company I had used before and once again they were very professional, and gave great service. This time we toured Pompeii, a vineyard and ate a locally produced 5 course lunch while sampling the various wines. Highly suggest hiring a professional guide in Pompeii to appreciate the magnificent city. Two years ago I went on their Amalfi Coast tour which again was excellent. Can highly recommend either tour with this excellent company.
    View All 12,970 Naples Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Naples Cruise Port Review
  • Rome (Civitavecchia)
    We have actually stayed in Rome twice before so chose to stay in port. Wandered the town and found a ‘rustic’ café on the beach and ate pasta and bar b q prawns while sipping a local red wine. Life was good
    View All 2,164 Rome (Civitavecchia) Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Rome (Civitavecchia) Cruise Port Review
  • Sardinia
    Didn't do a tour - walked around and had the best Aperol Spritz of the whole holiday for only 2E each
    View All 253 Sardinia Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Sardinia Cruise Port Review
  • Seville
    This was probably the best tour that we did. We did a 3 ½ hour food tour with Bertram from Cadiz Food Tours. We had a walking tour of the town which was so pretty and touched on the history, visited the fish market – amazing and then visited 3 different authentic tapas bars to sample both their food and wine. What an amazing tour, the food was unbelievable ( not everything was to my taste – do say if you are non-fish eater or vegetarian) but I was literally blown away by the quantity, the quality and the choice of food offered. For the price it was outstanding.
    View All 12,970 Seville Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Seville Cruise Port Review
  • Villefranche
    Had organised two private tours of 4 couples each with Riviera Premium Tours. Company had excellent reviews and ours tours lived up to expectations. Our 6 hour tour included Nice ( Flower market was amazing) Monaco, Monte Carlo, drove the grand prix circuit and the mountain village of Eze. A really good tour, professional and well organised and very reasonably priced
    View All 12,970 Villefranche Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Villefranche Cruise Port Review