This was our 7th Royal Caribbean cruise, and we chose this Russia and Scandinavia sailing because of both the cruise line and the itinerary. It was also our second sailing on Explorer of the Seas, so we have had prior experience with RCCL.
Our overall impression (which we seemed to share with many fellow guests) was that standards had been allowed to drop by RCCL.
Meals in the Sapphire Dining Room were disappointing. The service was fine, but the menu choices were strange and, most importantly, the quality of the food was notably lower than on our six previous cruises. Could it be that RCCL are lowering the standard of the (included) meals and ingredients to encourage guests to upgrade to “added-cost” meal selections or visit their speciality restaurants? Meat quality was poor.
The windjammer restaurant seemed to have become even more overcrowded-tables were packed very close together in an attempt we assume to cope with the no of passengers, but this made it hard to get to and from tables.
Entertainment. The young cruise director seemed poor, compared with those we had sailed with before. He was lacking their presence.
Entertainment. The scheduling of events that were put on during the cruise disappointed us- and was something we were not alone in criticising. Perhaps linked to the cruise director inexperience?
Ship’s condition. We gathered that Explorer of the Seas is going in for a refurbishment and dry docking next year. She was showing her age, with paintwork, railings and some furnishings in need of tender care or replacement. Some chairs in the Star Lounge had bare patches on the arm rests; several seats in the theatre needed fixed.
No issues with our cabin. It was nice in size, and in a quiet part of the ship. The single, small tv was adequate though the choice of channels was poor.
Bed was very comfortable, though I would observe that the linen/bedsheets were looking a little tired and creased.
Bathroom was a good size for a cruise ship.
We were taken by coach to a town 75km south of Stavanger, and given a long 90 minutes to wander around its streets before heading back to stavanger by train. On neither the coach trip or train trip did we see much of the coast. We would have been far better wandering around Stavanger, taking a trip up the fjord by boat or hiking to pulpit rock. The sea view trail was poor value for money.View All undefined undefined Reviews
Walking Tour. Whilst the walk itself was fine, the communication equipment used by the guide (so that all of her large party of guests could hear her commentary) was very poor. Ones used in St Petersburg were excellent by comparison.View All 193 City Tour Reviews