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Explorer of the Seas Review

4.5 / 5.0
2,013 reviews

Staff and supply shortages on an 80% Passenger load

Review for the Western Caribbean Cruise on Explorer of the Seas
10+ Cruises • Age 60s

Rating by category

Public Rooms
Fitness & Recreation

Additional details

Sail Date: May 2022

This is my fifth cruise with RCL since their restart and by far the one that has been most impacted by COVID; yes, even this late in the ongoing pandemic. Bars ran out of Coca Cola (regular), a number of spirits and most beers and on the final day Bud Lite seemed to be the only one available. Staff was overworked and Izumi was closed except for lunch on 2-3 days. Capacity controls were in place in certain venues - Chops, Giovanni's. The MDR and buffet were boring uninspired and food was served lukewarm in MDR or terribly over cooked in the buffet. I understand the ship missed its "Amplification" due to the Pandemic but it sorely needs it and is looking rather worn and tired. Really needs an freshening and update. The ship was clean except for the unbussed tables due to staff shortages in dining venues. The ship was booked at 80% capacity the max for RCL due to their staffing issues. I think anyone booking this should really understand this is not a full Royal Caribbean experience but rather an experience more like one would find on Carnival or MSC. The entertainment was ok and the ice show was fantastic. I got the feeling that most of the crew were just tired. Mickey and the cruise staff did a valiant job and were pleasant and approachable and very talented. CocoCay is always nice, Jamaica - why bother?, and Labadee was very nice. Embarkation was a disaster due to crowd and they were using the old terminal in Miami, not the new highly efficient one (which was empty the day we departed). The technology is either unreliable or the connections are slow . Also people were sent to lines where there was no one to check them in, so they would stand there and wait, and wait, and wait......terrible way to start. Also beware of the royal up - we basically paid $210 for an upgrade from a standard balcony to a Spacious Ocean View which lost us 5 sq ft of balcony but added a full size sofa .... not worth it. First time I have felt taken advantage of by RCL. Cruising the Explorer is not like cruising on the other ships. I have been on the Jewel twice since the restart and in both instances she was a better experience while not being amplified.

Cabin Review

Nice, clean, not enough electrical outlets no USB, in cabin entertainment is awful and old style - not like on Symphony and other newer ships

Port Reviews


Terrible once you leave the port, actually feels unsafe

Perfect Day at CocoCay

Best part of trip

10 Helpful Votes
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