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Explorer of the Seas Review

Explorer of the Seas
Explorer of the Seas
2019 Best for Embarkation
2019 Best for Fitness & Recreation

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4.5 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
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Aleney de Winter
Cruise Critic Contributor

Explorer of the Seas Overview

The second of five in the revolutionary Voyager-class series that started with Voyager of the Seas in 1999, Explorer of the Seas follows the floating resort concept, with a wealth of facilities, activities and entertainment that will appeal to every age group. Some its most exciting attractions are an ice skating rink/concert venue/TV studio, spa/solarium complex, a shopping/dining/entertainment boulevard, 3D movie theater, and outdoor movie screen. A fitness center, outdoor jogging track and outdoor youth area with a rock-climbing wall, full-court basketball, nine-holeminiature golf and brand new FlowRider Surf Simulator offers active cruisers of all ages, from children to seniors, something to enjoy.

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About Royal Caribbean Explorer of the Seas


A wealth of facilities, activities and entertainment for every generation


The high passenger capacity means queuing is inevitable

Bottom Line

With a broad range of activities, Explorer has something for everyone, from active cruisers to families

The Royal Promenade is the heart of the vessel. You feel like you are in an upscale mall as you walk this longer-than-a-football-field and wider-than-three-lanes-of-traffic boulevard anchored by two atria that are marvels of marble and colossal sculpture. Diversions on the promenade include shops selling everything from ship's logo items, to cheap accessories and designer merchandise.

Despite all the amenities, the ship has been out-sized and out-classed by the line's Freedom-class and Oasis-class ships, but Explorer certainly has plenty of solid selling points. 

Fellow Passengers

Royal Caribbean typically appeals to couples and singles in their 30s to 50s as well as families of all ages. The median age is in the low 40s on seven-night cruises and in the 30s on three-and four-night cruises. Passengers 50 to 55 and older tend to dominate 10-night and longer cruises. Royal Caribbean attracts passengers that are looking for an affordable, active vacation.

Royal Caribbean Explorer of the Seas Dress Code

Daytime:During the day, dress is casual.

Evening:Evenings are either casual, smart casual or formal. On casual nights, suggested attire is sports shirts and slacks for men and sundresses or pants for women. On smart casual evenings, ideally men should don jacket and tie and women dresses and or pantsuits. On the one or two formal nights per cruise, men can opt for a tuxedo, though a simple sports coat and tie is becoming the norm, while women should wear cocktail dresses or gowns.

Not permitted: Shorts are not allowed at dinner, regardless of the venue (with the sole exception of the buffet).

For more information, visit Cruise Line Dress Codes: Royal Caribbean.

Royal Caribbean Explorer of the Seas Gratuity

Royal Caribbean passengers are charged $14.50 per person, per day. Suite passengers can expect to be charged $17.50 per person, per day, except for Australian and New Zealand bookings, where service charges for cabin attendants and dining room staff are included in the fare. Outside AU/NZ, gratuities can be prepaid or will be added on a daily basis to passengers' SeaPass accounts during the cruise. Passengers can modify or remove gratuities by visiting the guest services desk while onboard. An 18-percent gratuity is automatically added to bar, spa and in-room dining when sailing in all countries.

Royal Caribbean Explorer of the Seas Awards

Cruisers’ Choice Awards

2019 Best for Embarkation
2019 Best for Fitness & Recreation
2018 Best for Service
2017 Best for First Timers
2014 Best for Entertainment
2014 Best for Fitness
2014 Best for Service

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Royal Caribbean Explorer of the Seas Member Reviews

Explorer of the Seas
Sail Date: Jul 2019
sailing because of both the cruise line and the itinerary. It was also our second sailing on Explorer of the Seas, so we have had prior experience with RCCL. Our overall impression (which we seemed to...Read More
Explorer of the Seas
Peter Brennan
Sail Date: Nov 2018
Explorer of the Seas 16th November 2018, we had 11 Nights It was the ports of call we wanted to go to, with friends We done our own Shore Excursions for this Cruise Nightly Entertainment was great...Read More
Explorer of the Seas
Sail Date: May 2019
however we had a great time and would definately return to Royal Carribean but not on the Explorer of the Seas....Read More
Explorer of the Seas
Sail Date: Dec 2018
untrained the other cruises staff were with tendering processes. Well done Royal Caribbean and Explorer of the Seas. The food at speciality restuarant Izumu was brilliant with the food in the main dining...Read More

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