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We chose this cruise because it was cheaper than Disney and had basically the same itinerary. I had never been on Royal Caribbean before but I had been told that they were a little below Disney but above Princess, Norwegian and Costa. Embarkation process-Very smooth and fast. Best ever. Cabin- Was quiet and traditional with normal restroom set up(no thanks Norwegian Epic). However the shower was backed up (gross) and the door lock stopped working twice a week apart. Also third bed is a bunk bed not a sofa bed so of course I had to hit my head a few times. Food-Overall, the food qualify was a little below average but the selection was pretty good.The desserts were terrible with little selection. This is the first cruise where they didn't provide unsweetened ice tea and water. Sugar free drinks were gross. Also the ice cream machines provided ice milk not ice cream. Entertainment- The daily shows were average. They were showing previews of a magician/escape artist so I thought he would so some of those tricks in his show. However he only did card tricks on an overhead. The channels on the tv were not very entertaining. Not a lot of movies and a lot of the times the TV signal was bad. A lot of the video games in the arcade did not work. Classes/lectures-Did not have enough lectures or hobby classes. They had classes on how to play casino games, however. I would have appreciated more history classes on places we were going to or classes on how to make things or towel animals or things like that. Excursions-For the most part the excursions were as advertised. The excursion I went on in Copenhagen of the Christianborg Palace and Tivoli Gardens does not tell you you will only have an hour there. My son loves to ride amusement park rides so it was a little disappointing. I wish they would tell you the time spent at each location as it would make a difference. Outdoor activities on ship-Have rock wall and wave rider activity. My son loved the rock wall. The basketball court is also used as a soccer pitch at the same time. Not a good idea. I got hit in the head with a soccer ball. Could organize separate times for each activity to avoid possible law suits. Disembarkation-We left early taking our own luggage. I am not sure if I would take Royal Caribbean again. I would definitely not take the same ship again as it is old and not well maintained. The food might tip the scales as to me not taking them again. If I can get the same thing or better for less why wouldn't I?

Overrated cruise line with a ship showing its age

Explorer of the Seas Cruise Review by cruisewhippersnapper

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: August 2019
  • Destination: Baltic Sea
  • Cabin Type: Interior
We chose this cruise because it was cheaper than Disney and had basically the same itinerary. I had never been on Royal Caribbean before but I had been told that they were a little below Disney but above Princess, Norwegian and Costa.

Embarkation process-Very smooth and fast. Best ever.

Cabin- Was quiet and traditional with normal restroom set up(no thanks Norwegian Epic). However the shower was backed up (gross) and the door lock stopped working twice a week apart. Also third bed is a bunk bed not a sofa bed so of course I had to hit my head a few times.

Food-Overall, the food qualify was a little below average but the selection was pretty good.The desserts were terrible with little selection. This is the first cruise where they didn't provide unsweetened ice tea and water. Sugar free drinks were gross. Also the ice cream machines provided ice milk not ice cream.

Entertainment- The daily shows were average. They were showing previews of a magician/escape artist so I thought he would so some of those tricks in his show. However he only did card tricks on an overhead.

The channels on the tv were not very entertaining. Not a lot of movies and a lot of the times the TV signal was bad.

A lot of the video games in the arcade did not work.

Classes/lectures-Did not have enough lectures or hobby classes. They had classes on how to play casino games, however. I would have appreciated more history classes on places we were going to or classes on how to make things or towel animals or things like that.

Excursions-For the most part the excursions were as advertised. The excursion I went on in Copenhagen of the Christianborg Palace and Tivoli Gardens does not tell you you will only have an hour there. My son loves to ride amusement park rides so it was a little disappointing. I wish they would tell you the time spent at each location as it would make a difference.

Outdoor activities on ship-Have rock wall and wave rider activity. My son loved the rock wall. The basketball court is also used as a soccer pitch at the same time. Not a good idea. I got hit in the head with a soccer ball. Could organize separate times for each activity to avoid possible law suits.

Disembarkation-We left early taking our own luggage.

I am not sure if I would take Royal Caribbean again. I would definitely not take the same ship again as it is old and not well maintained. The food might tip the scales as to me not taking them again. If I can get the same thing or better for less why wouldn't I?
cruisewhippersnapper’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
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Embarkation
Dining
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Entertainment
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Ages 7 to 9
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Cabin Review

Interior
Cabin 1V 1559
The cabin was quiet and had a separate all in one toilet, shower and shower which was nice. However the upkeep on the bathroom was poor and the third bed is a bunkbed not a sleeper sofa. First of all the shower drain was backed up. It was gross to have shower water go above your feet. I called maintenance and they did take care of the problem fast and there were no other issues during the cruise. Next, the door lock stopped working twice. I put my key card in and the door wouldn't open. Same problem both times. First I was told that the "battery" in the lock was dead. Ok, that is fine but to have in happen twice in one week is a little fishy. I had to wait in the hallway for about 15-20 minutes each time. These things have never happened to me before and this is my 8th cruise.

On a smaller note, I didn't like the 3rd bed being a bunk bed above my bed.I hit my head on the bunk bed more than a few times. I would prefer the third bed being the a pull out sofa or convertible bed like I have experienced previously.
Deck 10 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Tivoli Gardens
    Did Christianbourg Castle and Tivoli Gardens. The castle was interesting and guide was good. Only had an hour in Tivoli Gardens so was disappointed for my son who wanted to ride more rides at the amusement park there.
    View All 56 Tivoli Gardens Reviews
  • Finnish Home Visit
    Take this tour of the beautiful countryside of Finland. This was the favorite excursion of everybody in our group. The family was very nice and the property was amazing. We got snacks and coffee/tea as well. It was my 8 year olds favorite excursion as he got to see horses and sheep.
    View All 10 Finnish Home Visit Reviews
  • Oslo
    Took the hop on hop off bus. Getting to the Viking Museum take about 90 minutes but coming back is about half the time. It is ok. The sculpture museum is interesting. Did not want to pay $2 to pee though
    View All 372 Oslo Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Oslo Cruise Port Review
  • Skagen
    Town is easily walkable. Went to multiple light houses and made it as far as Grenen, before the sand buses. Did not make it all they way to the farthers point however. The museum in town is just ok as it is art musuem and not a history musuem which I wanted. Good hotdogs from carts!
    View All 69 Skagen Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Skagen Cruise Port Review
  • Southampton
    Got here late at night and left early in the morning.
    View All 973 Southampton Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Southampton Cruise Port Review
  • City Tour
    Took the 2-day tour. Went all over and even had a Neva River cruise which was unexpected. Spent probably too much time at a crowded and humid Hermitage Museum the first day. But it was summer and a Sat so I guess that is what to be expected. The first day is pretty much all day so it was a little tiring. If you don't care for art museums then it probably would have been an issue. Also few restrooms to the point my 8 year old almost peed his pants. The second day was spent mostly at Catherine's and Peters palaces in the countryside so it was a nice change. Lunch was included and was at a British pub the first day and I was served schnitzel and it was ok. The second day I was served beef stroganoff and it was not that good. The tour overall was well worth it as you see so much. Maybe more than you wanted too.

    Just don't expect people in Russia to speak English like in Scandinavia.
    View All 345 City Tour Reviews
  • Lysefjord
    Great boat ride to the fjord. Best to be in the very front of the boat which is facing the dock when you get on board. Stopped at a cool little cafe in the middle of the Fjord where we got pancakes and coffee. The town is interesting also . Had some delicious salmon in the restaurant area. Also the kids museum at the Stavenger Museum is cool for kids.
    View All 62 Lysefjord Reviews
  • City Tour
    Went to Vasa museum and it was very interesting to see a 300year old well preserved ship close up. Also tour of the City Hall was interesting. View of river near city hall was cool. Don't forget to get your Pippy Longstocking goods from the City Hall gift shop. Only issue was excursion ended so early and port is far from town so you cannot walk back but this is a small thing. Also good cinnamon rolls!
    View All 130 City Tour Reviews
  • Old Town of Tallinn
    Interesting mostly walking tour of the city. Very good example of medieval walled city. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral a must but could not take pictures inside. Good views of different parts of cities near the Cathedral.
    View All 172 Old Town of Tallinn Reviews