• Write a Review
  • Boards
  • Log In
Explorer of the Seas Cruise Review
4.5 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
2,092 Reviews

Royal Caribbean no longer up with luxury cruise leaders

Explorer of the Seas Cruise Review by MouldyMermaid

4 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Sep 2019
  • Destination: Europe
  • Cabin Type: Junior Suite

Having had a brilliant cruise on Navigator last year, we booked to do the same itinerary with friends from Scotland.

Our 19th cruise - and 8th with R.C. but what a huge disappointment - so much has changed.

The admin staff were 'polite' to the point of rudeness.

The ship was tired and dull - downright grubby in places. Mirrors in dining room had a film of grease over them. No real sparkle to this ship. It may be going in for refit - but there was no excuse for poor cleaning.

All the luxury elements were missing, no flowers on dining room table - in fact no diners!! Our complete section had empty tables around us - the food was tepid, insipid and uninspiring. Waiting staff were excellent - doing their best under the circumstances. The head chef spent more time apologising to guests than he did in the kitchen.

Conclusion - they were trying to get you to spend more in the speciality dining !

Forget the windjammer - crammed to capacity due to guests not using dining room.

Our jnr suite - excellent space - but we had to ask for the floor to be cleaned in the second week - no sign of a hoover and carpet getting thicker every day.

Glass tables in bars were grubby. Drinks waiters friendly - but then they were getting regular tips to remember us.

The changed the itinerary dropping Genoa before we even sailed - due to overcrowding - did they not book their slot over a year ago?? the replacement port was skipped due to the non-appearing Hurricane.

Lisbon was skipped - and they substituted it with an overnight stay in Le Havre. Of all the ports they could have gone to why this ferry port with nothing of interest??

They did not even lay on shuttle buses to get to town. Over 3,000 people on board, many old and challenged - the queue for the port bus was over one hour long. the 25 minute walk - was more like 40 mins.

They did manage however to book coaches for an overpriced trip into Paris.

They even took coaches to Rouen for a trip - WHY French health official had declared the place an health issue due to huge chemical fire. Toxic soot on everything, questions over air quality and a ban on eating fruit and veg grown there and the milk had to be thrown away - yet RC thought it would be a great idea to take people to visit it. How desperate for profit was that.

Very poor entertainment

Cleary they are floundering in the expanding cruise market and have lost their edge.

Our worst cruise out of 19 others !! Very poor value for money and disappointing to say the least -- Royal Caribbean dont even bother responding to correspondence outlining issues.

Staff refused to provide a letter for insurance company stating port missed and the reason.

MouldyMermaid's Full Rating Summary
Onboard Experience
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Public Rooms
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Sign Up for Price Drop Alerts
Get tomorrow's price drops
250,000+ people have entered their email
By proceeding, you agree to Cruise Critic’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

Cabin Review

Junior Suite
Cabin J4 9334

Good size. Plenty of storage. Bath and overhead shower. Connecting door to next cabin.

Good size balcony.

Carpet very grubby

Door off hinges on cupbard

Bed frame changed during cruise!!! surely this should be done when in for refit

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews


Not your fault Southampton ! I left passports at home (6 hours drive away) so it was rather traumatic!

Port staff were brilliant and assisted us in making onward plans to catch up with ship in Gibraltar - a very expensive detour :(


Not a lot to see in port - very few shops and nothing to do. You need to find an excursion for this stop!

Rome (Civitavecchia)

Been to Rome many times, so just walked into port. Dirty and tired, shops not as good as they used to be. Quite a large food market which is interesting.


Fiasco - No organisation with port shuttle led to near fights with people queue jumping.

Town ok and great for shopping- fairly long walk in- but a nice walk with some good port shops you miss if you take the shuttle.


Both last year and this year RC failed to dock in Genoa.

They claim it was overcrowded - cant see how when they are supposed to book berth there long in advance.

They subbed it with St Margherita - which they did not stop at due to non appearing Hurricane. Stayed at sea instead - BORING

Guide intersting - asked if she was walking too fast for long walk - told yes - but ignored it and carried on with speed walking !!!

Too little time in Florence - which was very crowded

View All undefined undefined Reviews

If you want to shop for jewellery, perfume then this is the port for you.


Oh Lisbon - we would have loved to have stopped there !!!!

The non appearing hurrican meant they skipped this port - and took us to LE HARVRE

a concrete blot on the landscape and just a ferry port with nothing of interest to offer.

Loooong walk in for very little.

Bitter disappointment and they made us stay over night.we were tempted to take a ferry back to UK just to get out of it !!

Previous ReviewNext Review
5 Reviews Written
60 Helpful Votes
Never Miss a Deal!
Subscribe and Save
By proceeding, you agree to Cruise Critic’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

More Royal Caribbean Explorer of the Seas Reviews

Want to cruise smarter?
Get expert advice, insider tips and more.
By proceeding, you agree to Cruise Critic’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.