Just returned from Royal Caribbean’s Explorer of the Seas Northern Europe and Russia cruise.
THIS IS A FULL REVIEW.
Explorer is 20 years old and smaller but otherwise identical layout to Freedom and Independence of the Seas, sharing the same (but smaller) Deck 5 central shopping mall idea, Schooners Bar, triple-floor Sapphire Dining Rooms, Windjammer buffet, ice rink, FlowRider and Dizzys/Sky Bar etc.
3rd floor ocean view cabin. Perfectly ok, quite spacious, good value, excellent state room attendant.
Walked into the city. Clean but clinical. No one about except tourists. The Norwegians spend their summers at their country homes. Very sensible.
Lovely city. Easily walkable. Take the canal trip to see most of the sights.
Nice old city. Easily walkable straight from the cruise port.
Walked the city. Visited the Church of the Rock.
Walked and used public transport. Visited Vasa museum and ABBA museum. Took a water taxi to and from the cruise ship. Why use any other form of transport?
Walk the town direct from the cruise terminal. 10 minutes.
Best tip if you want to explore is to hire a car for the day. $35. The local Budget car rental office is a tiny franchise - it’s a gas station with about 4 cars to rent, 1/4 mile from the ship. The lady who sells your gas gives you the keys to the car. It took 2 minutes! The best and quickest car rental experience ever.
Great embarkation. Fast and simple. We arrived after 2pm which was quieter.