Of Explorer of the Seas’ 1,643 staterooms, 1,001 have an ocean view. Suites number 119 and there are 652 balcony staterooms. Twenty-four of them offer stunning floor-to-ceiling windows for panoramic views. There are 642 interior staterooms on Explorer of the Seas, of which 81 boast virtual balconies: floor-to-ceiling TV screens that provide live HD views from outside the cruise ship, right into your stateroom. Twenty-six cabins in total are wheelchair accessible.
A hallmark of this ship's class is the Royal Promenade-facing staterooms (138 on this ship) that overlook that engaging thoroughfare -- these are a step up from the usual inside cabin. A warning however: Privacy is at a premium with these cabins because they do not have privacy glass windows. Also, due to the late-night revelling that goes on, all but night owls may find them noisy.
A few of Explorer of the Seas’ aft cabins have views partially obstructed by pipes, but balconies in that part of the ship are big and passengers can still enjoy rather expansive ocean views from their chairs.
Explorer of the Seas cabin categories range from spacious Interior staterooms to similarly sized units with 52-square-foot balconies. Standard cabins are attractively decorated in earth tones with art on the walls, quality fabrics and fine woods. All cabins feature twin beds that can convert to queen-size, phone, flat-screen television with closed circuit and satellite programming options, minibar, hair dryer and individually controlled air-conditioning. Bathrooms are basic and only suites have tubs. The showers, however, have wonderful, half-round sliding doors, a fabulous improvement over icky, clingy shower curtains. Soap and shampoo are provided (suites get mini-bottles of Royal Caribbean's Vitality shampoo, conditioner and lotion).
Interior: Interior cabins on Explorer of the Seas range from 150 to 256 square feet. Category G staterooms, inside with Royal Promenade views, have blackout curtains and special glass in the windows to reduce noise. Explorer of the Seas’ Virtual Balcony units are a popular choice for passengers who need to find a compromise between space and budget. They’re the same size as regular interior staterooms, but the HD screen offering “outdoor” adds a little bit of visual space.
Ocean View: Outside cabins come in three varieties: regular (160 square feet), large (178 square feet) and family (265 square feet).
Balcony: Explorer of the Seas Balcony cabins range from 164 to 275 square feet with 42- to 52-square-foot private verandas. Spacious Ocean View Balcony and Ultra Spacious Ocean View cabins have the largest outdoor spaces of all.
All suite-holders are entitled to use the Explorer of the Seas Concierge Club on Deck 9. This windowless room features continental breakfast and a cocktail hour. Upon request, the concierge on duty will make reservations on your behalf.
Mini-suite: Moving up a notch from Balcony staterooms is the Junior Suite. It's the smallest suite, coming in at 277 square feet with a 50-square-foot balcony. Bigger than the standard balcony, Explorer of the Seas Junior Suites offer extra perks such as a tub in the bathroom, and a bigger living room area.
The remaining suite categories provide access to the concierge and definitely move into the higher-ticket arena.
The Explorer of the Seas Grand Suite is just a larger "junior," but it's quite a bit larger at 381 square feet and features a 95 square-foot balcony. The feature two twin beds and one double sofa bed. Two-bedroom Grand Suites – complete with four twin beds, one double sofa bed, and two Pullman beds – are also available. They offer 547 square feet of indoor space and a 234-square-foot balcony.
Royal Caribbean Explorer of the Seas Owner's Suite offers more amenities and features even beyond increased square footage; passengers booking this category of accommodations get a bathroom with bathtub, bidet and separate shower, along with separate bedroom and living areas (with a queen-size sofa bed). Measurements are 506 square feet for the cabin and 64 square feet for the veranda.
The piece de resistance on Explorer of the Seas is the Royal Suite. Coming in at a whopping 1,260 square feet, it comes with all the Owner's Suite amenities plus a baby grand piano, whirlpool in the bathroom and a balcony that measures 217 square feet complete with hot tub and better-than-standard furnishings, including a dining table and chairs.
Located on Deck 12 of Explorer of the Seas, Ocean View Panoramic Suites offer 406 square feet of space and can sleep up to 6 guests. All boast floor-to-ceiling wraparound panoramic windows, two twin beds, one double sofa bed, and two bunk beds. These suites don’t have a balcony.
Tip: Families should book as far in advance as possible -- a year ahead of time if you can -- to have the best choice of family-friendly staterooms (including connecting cabins), particularly if you are traveling during school vacation periods.