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Sail Date: April 2019
I was celebrating a big birthday in April and our wedding anniversary in May so we decided to do something different - we usually do golfing vacations or visit family back in the U.K. So, we chose a 15 day cruise from Port Canaveral ... Read More
I was celebrating a big birthday in April and our wedding anniversary in May so we decided to do something different - we usually do golfing vacations or visit family back in the U.K. So, we chose a 15 day cruise from Port Canaveral finishing in Barcelona. I did extensive research and also found the Roll Call on Cruise Critic invaluable as other passengers had great information to share. There were negative remarks on the internet about the design of the cabins, the wavy walls and especially the bathroom set up so I looked up videos on YouTube - we did not have a problem with the design - both the toilet and the shower are in cubicles of frosted glass and there is a privacy curtain to pull across if needed. There isn't a lot of space between the bottom of the bed and the units making it impossible for 2 people to pass at the same time, but you organize yourself .. Plenty of storage space, I was surprised. We found the food to be excellent and liked the freestyle dining very much - you didn't have to sit at the same table at the same time every evening and they offered the possibility to share tables with others, which we found to be very enriching as we spoke with people from different parts of the world and it was a very pleasant way to spend most mealtimes. Entertainment catered for all tastes, although we understood from others that it was easier to see shows on smaller ships. We saw what we wanted to with the exception of a couple of things that we fully booked. On board is a "replica" of the Cavern Club in Liverpool - they have a Beatles tribute band playing there, so obviously only a very limited number of people can fit into it at a time, so they had the band perform one evening in the main theater which gave many more people the opportunity to watch and listen. There were activities, not that we participated much, although I used the exercise room every day and all treadmills and bikes look out to see, very pleasant. The pool wasn't very big but neither was it ever full, maybe different when the children are off school and on vacation. The service was great in every aspect, the crew extremely polite and pleasing. We were told there are 74 different nationalities on board. The itinerary is what attracted us to the cruise, we had been to some of the ports many years' ago and it was a delight to re-visit and see the changes. We only took one excursion, which was from Cadiz to Seville, the rest we did on our own, using the hop on hop off buses mainly. As far as embarkation and disembarkation were concerned, again, no problems. We stayed for a couple of extra nights in Barcelona, again to re-visit. As we live in Florida we did not explore the departure city. Wi-fi. We chose the most expensive option as we needed to remain in contact with our business and found it worked perfectly, we even streamed a movie one evening without interruption. One important thing to remember as far as we were concerned, the sea was calm for the entire duration of the cruise. This obviously influenced in our enjoyment level, because had it been rough and we'd been sea sick, we would not have enjoyed the culinary delights, especially the specialty restaurants, in the way we did. The whole thing for us, was a very positive experience and we have definitely made some beautiful memories. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
We choose this cruise to celebrate our 40th wedding Anniversary and the special offer price was too attractive to turn down. We were let down by Guest Services in Suffolk regarding this but the staff on board more than made up it. Stephen ... Read More
We choose this cruise to celebrate our 40th wedding Anniversary and the special offer price was too attractive to turn down. We were let down by Guest Services in Suffolk regarding this but the staff on board more than made up it. Stephen and Gustie in the Thistle were great. The food was better than expected with lots of choice. Our Cabin stewardess Patti offered service above expected and James in the Observation Lounge remembered our cabin number after the second visit to the bar. Jeffery in guest services sorted out head offices issues! In my opinion the art works left a lot to be desired. The one in our cabin was awful. It would have been useful to know that all the museums but one were closed In Lisbon on a Monday and Cadiz was closed on Sunday (the days we visited). The drinks package was good for adults but for anyone aged between 12-17 years it was a waste of money unless you were prepared to rot your child's teeth with at least 9 fizzy drinks a day. Yet you had to pay adult prices for the children if you had anyone of this age in your cabin. Very unfair Fred Olsen. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Had a lovely time onboard the Explorer, the ship itself was very good and well organised. The cabin was of the usual cruise ship size but was cleaned to a very high standard. The food was very good in the many all inclusive/buffet ... Read More
Had a lovely time onboard the Explorer, the ship itself was very good and well organised. The cabin was of the usual cruise ship size but was cleaned to a very high standard. The food was very good in the many all inclusive/buffet style restaurants onboard. We went to two of the additional charge restaurants Surf & turf, and Kori la both were excellent and well worth the extra charges. The entertainment crews were very good and the Broadway shows were excellent. ALL the waiter, waitress, & bar staff were very friendly and always had a smile for us. All the crews work very hard and do deserve a tip although I think most people didn't tip, but in my experience good service deserves a tip whatever cruise company you go with. We didn't go on any Tui excursion as though they were on the expensive side although we went ashore in every port and did our own thing. I did read a few bad reviews about the Explorer prior, but to be honest this is a great ship with an excellent crews. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We really loved this Cruise Ship, having been on Majesty, Celebration, Discovery 1 and 2. All were very good , but we found there wasn't the atmosphere on the Discoveries with the crew that there was on Majesty and Celebration. On ... Read More
We really loved this Cruise Ship, having been on Majesty, Celebration, Discovery 1 and 2. All were very good , but we found there wasn't the atmosphere on the Discoveries with the crew that there was on Majesty and Celebration. On Explorer it had all come back wtih the singing and music playing from the crew in the dining room. We loved our outside cabin and the bathroom had a proper shower cubical rather than a space with a curtain that has been on all the other ships The entertainment was really good with the crew and their shows and for two nights we had the brilliant finalist from 'Britain's Got Talent' a few years ago Jon Clegg. His comedy and impressions weregreat and went down really well. A chap that was singing in the lounge was really good and was playing many of the folk songs we used to sing when we first stated dating back in the early 70s. It brought back some lovely memeories. The food was really good and great sevice from the staff. On the night when they have a party for regular guests, we were approached by Richard the general manager and asked for our feedback on the new ship. I said we had a wonderful time, but to be really picky the Gluten Free bread and rolls they provide for my diet were pretty hard, like they are on all long haul airlines. We were very impressed that the next day Richard phoned me in the cabin and said he had looked at the bread and agreeing with me spoke to thechef. He said in future they would be getting freshly baked GF bread for the ship. Hober was our cabin man and he was as helpful and friendly as all the other crew. Looking forward to thinking about Explorer two due to be launched later this year. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
This was our first cruise and We Were not sure what to expect. The whole experience from start to finish was memorable. What an amazing ship with the most friendliest staff and crew you could ask for. Food and entertainment was fantastic ... Read More
This was our first cruise and We Were not sure what to expect. The whole experience from start to finish was memorable. What an amazing ship with the most friendliest staff and crew you could ask for. Food and entertainment was fantastic and our rooms although dated were spotless. Henry and Rocky were fantastic cabin stewards with the most loveliest smiles for you every time they saw you . I can’t believe waiter staff knew our names after only a couple of days . Service was fantastic. Absolutely gutted this is the ships last year sailing . Only downfall was that there was only one charging socket for phones etc .And WiFi not so good although it was £49 for 7 days per person . The entertainment team were amazing as was the compare who was very funny. Shops ok but not much to purchase would have liked a little more choice Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
The food and entertainment were excellent. The shows (including (Gareth Gates) were west end standards and the ships band were the best. A good choice of food was always available as was the ice cream, unlike P & O! We've been ... Read More
The food and entertainment were excellent. The shows (including (Gareth Gates) were west end standards and the ships band were the best. A good choice of food was always available as was the ice cream, unlike P & O! We've been on most of the cruise lines before, including a previous Princess, but this has to be one of the best ships. The cabin steward, bar staff, restaurant staff, were so polite and obliging. The ship itself, although built in 2004, had obviously had a recent update. The bed in our cabin was king size and very comfortable. The only negative thing I could find was the choice of beers! All lager types apart from Bass (brewed in USA!!!) and the tasteless John Smiths and Boddingtons. Here's where P & O score points as they have a good choice of British Beers. Princess, take note!!! Definitely go with Princess again though. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
We chose this cruise as it was a very good price and we needed to see some blue sky. I had read mixed reviews about the ship and was aware it was quite old and smaller than I had been on before, but it was truly lovely, the staff were ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it was a very good price and we needed to see some blue sky. I had read mixed reviews about the ship and was aware it was quite old and smaller than I had been on before, but it was truly lovely, the staff were wonderful, entertainment was great and and so was the food...no complaints at all. Sailed from Malaga and were able to have a good explore before we left as we didn't have until 10 pm and Malaga is compact. All ports of call were easy to explore on your own, although I would recommend a tour from Casablanca, we chose Rabat. The disembarkation always ran smoothly and without queues, one of the advantages of a smaller vessel. We travelled as a couple and had a cabin on the lower deck, mid ship, the beds were very comfortable and our cabin steward, Wilbur, was fantastic. We had a porthole window which I was fascinated by, it was a whole new perspective being right by the water, especially when the waves came over the window. Read Less
28 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
Having cruised last October on Tui Discovery I had no hesitation in booking this cruise on its new sister ship Tui Discovery 2, and was not disappointed. I travelled with my four children (aged 19, 17, 14 and 8) and all five of us had a ... Read More
Having cruised last October on Tui Discovery I had no hesitation in booking this cruise on its new sister ship Tui Discovery 2, and was not disappointed. I travelled with my four children (aged 19, 17, 14 and 8) and all five of us had a fantastic time. Embarkation (and disembarkation) were smooth and swift, which always helps on a cruise! And, on boarding, our luggage arrived at our cabins in a very timely fashion. The ship itself was clean throughout and easy to navigate (as I say I had already sailed on the Tui Discovery and this ship's layout was identical). This is a mid-size ship (previously a RC ship), which is perfect for first time cruisers or families as it does not take too long to get your bearings. We had two different types of cabin - myself and my two youngest were in a deluxe balcony and my two eldest were in a standard inside. Both cabins were clean (and constantly kept that way by the super efficient staff) with comfy beds, adequate storage and standard size/facilities as for most cruise ships. I booked specific cabins so that we were close to each other and so that we were mid-ship and not near any noisy/busy areas of this ship so was very happy with my choices. Dining was very good with plenty of options for all. I did not bother with the speciality restaurants (as they cost extra and because there were so many other places to eat). Breakfast can either be taken at Islands buffett (good selection, good food, was a little busy on disembarkation today, but apart from that never a problem finding somewhere to sit) or in the main restaurant (this was more civilised and a more leisurely affair, as the main hot options were waiter service with a small cold buffet selection). Lunch can be taken again at the buffett or a set 4 course at the main 47 restaurant or you can just grab a snack at the snack shack (burgers, hot dogs, mac cheese, sandwiches, salads etc) or there is also food at the indoor pool. In the afternoons you can get ice-cream and from 3pm - 5pm afternoon tea at the buffet was very good (great selection of tasty sandwiches, cakes, cream teas etc). Dinner can either again be in the buffet or in the main restaurant or the Italian above (we had 5 meals in the main restaurant and 2 in the Italian, all of which were really good - although the Italian menu does tend to be the same every night). We only had to wait to be seated on one evening (you are provided with a buzzer and you do not have to wait long). All in all very good food and very good service. Bar service was in general good although there was often a long wait at the pool bars (they could do with more staff) and occassionally waiting time at the other bars in the evenings. The new all inclusive package was ample for us and do not see why you would want to pay any extra - all your standard drinks - shorts, wines, beers and cocktails (and they were good quality labelled brands) and good selection of non-alcholic drinks and mocktails too were included - you just have to present your card. Evening shows were good quality (although one was identical to a show we saw in October which was a shame, also there were no real plays, which I usually like and one night there was a comedian but it was unclear whether this was suitable for young children so we did not attend just in case) we did not go to any of the films this time as they were either not things we wanted to see or things we had seen. All the bands/musicians/singers around the ship were really good and provided good entertainment. Did not use the casino (it is tiny!!). Never had a problem finding a seat in the theatre (we went to the 8.30pm perfomances each night). Day time entertainment was OK (although a little tacky at times). Kids club was good (although I would have preferred more or longer sessions or drop in sessions). Climbing wall was good (you need to book a slot) my middle and youngest boy enjoyed this. We also enjoyed the mini golf and shuttle board and table tennis. My 17 year old used the gym every day which he said was not bad. The main pool is tiny and crowded (full of kids) is more like a glorified children's paddling pool, but that is often the way on a cruise ship. The inside pool was better and had an adults only time period, but who wants to be inside when there is sun shining outside? There was not usually a problem finding a sun bed - apart from the day at sea when we could not find one at all!! So had to all cram onto our balcony!! They are supposed to impose a 45 minute rule (whereby if a sun bed is empty for more than 45 minutes they remove the items on it) but I never saw this being implemented. Likewise you can never get anywhere to sit in the adults only section (had the same problem on Tui Discovery in October). Also finding any beds that are in shade (for my 8 year old) was impossible so had to use our towels to form a tent for him! It was a shame that only about 50 - 60% of the passengers bothered to dress up for the "dress to impress night". I always love this night on cruises and it makes it so special - however when you and your daughter are dressed in a cocktail dress and your boys are in suits and you are seated at dinner next to people in t-shirts it does rather spoil it. I think if there is a formal night or dress up night reminders should be sent to travellers before the holiday (so they can pack accordingly) and maybe if they don't want to dress up for that one night they can be seated in a more casual dining area. Ports of call were all very good: In Barcelona we got a hop on hop off bus tour and managed to see quite a bit. In Palma we did book one trip through the ship (the train in Soller) which was OK but nothing special. At all the other ports (Ibiza, Almeria and Ceuta) I had already researched in advance where we could go and what we could see so we were well prepared to do our own thing (as I always find the maps that you get from the ship are a bit basic). All staff were excellent - polite, efficient, friendly, courteous, helpful ..... perfect!! I did have two small issues - Firstly I ordered a photo (for £14.95) and before I went to collect it I gave £20 cash to reception to add to my account to cover the photo - however later that evening my card was refused at the bar and during dinner when I asked for wine and both times I was told I owed money (the drinks were all inclusive anyway so did not understand the logic behind this) - this was embarrassing (as I did not owe money) and had to use my eldest boy's card instead just to have wine with my dinner. When I went to reception they said my account was in credit and they did not understand why there had been a problem. (To their credit, the next day, as way of apology, I was sent a bottle of wine to my cabin so have to say I was more than happy that they acknowledged and acted on the issue). Secondly on leaving the ship I was told I owed E1.50 for a premium drink (that had somehow been added to my card) It was only a small amount but out of principle I said i did not want to pay for somebody else's drink. I then was kept waiting for almost 10 minutes (when I needed to disembark) for the matter to be resolved. However, these two tiny issues did not spoil what was an excellent holiday over all and I would definitely sail on this ship again. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
First time on a cruise and we both loved it from start to finish. Ok inside Cabin little small but very Functional,Lovely bathroom. Food , Good and plenty of it . We personally preferred the self service Restaurant on Deck 10 ... Read More
First time on a cruise and we both loved it from start to finish. Ok inside Cabin little small but very Functional,Lovely bathroom. Food , Good and plenty of it . We personally preferred the self service Restaurant on Deck 10 Drinks all nice , Free tea , coffee , Water . Shows at night ok . Disco 52 open until 2am Very good Day time consists of game shows competitions, quizzes etc ,if you decide to stay on board . All Staff very Freindly . All areas of Ship very clean . If you have booked this Ship don't worry it's fabulous. Wish we where still on board. Top tips If you have a little spare cash go for a upgrade on your cabin . Look at the Drink Deals carefully. Take plenty of sun tan lotion. Drink plenty of water day & night . Enjoy you wil love it . Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
We chose this cruise to coincide with my husbands birthday. From day one we had a fantastic time The cabin with balcony was spacious, the bathroom a bit cramped but adequate and everything cleaned to a high standard every day. Cabin ... Read More
We chose this cruise to coincide with my husbands birthday. From day one we had a fantastic time The cabin with balcony was spacious, the bathroom a bit cramped but adequate and everything cleaned to a high standard every day. Cabin staff ..especially Rona were always cheerful even though it was obvious they were under pressure to complete their work. We found waiting for the lifts a bit challenging but decided on day one that it would be easier to climb the stairs, luckily we are fit and able to do so We decided on freedom dining and it suited us well. The restaurant staff were always helpful . The food was good and we were not rushed. Talk around the dinner table ineviitably turned to 'how many cruises have you been on' this was bit tiresome but if people make cruising a full time hobby its to be expected Entertainmement was as good as some West end shows The drinks are reasonably priced with no surcharges. The daily charges for cabin services reasonable. In all a brilliant trip and will use P&O again Read Less

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