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5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
We have just completed the cruise and groove ( Elvis Tour) and was disappointed with it. We booked this cruise way back when it was first advertised. Our statement of account was issued on 19.8.17 from Helloworld Carindale. That is nearly ... Read More
We have just completed the cruise and groove ( Elvis Tour) and was disappointed with it. We booked this cruise way back when it was first advertised. Our statement of account was issued on 19.8.17 from Helloworld Carindale. That is nearly 15 months before the embarkation date. From meeting lots of people and talking, we found out that those lots of people all got upgraded. Especially the two ladies in cabin 3016, who got upgraded to an ocean view cabin. Why is it good enough for some to get upgraded, and not good enough for some others to not get upgraded. I would think that if you booked over 12 months ahead that those people would be the first to get chosen. Sadly and very unfortunately on our part we didn’t get upgraded. We think this is very unfair. Please tell me how the system works and which people you choose to upgrade first. The entertainment of the artists was fantastic. I was disappointed with the organising of the venues. We had early dining and late show, and when you went to other venues you just could not get in due to the amount of people.The dining menu hardly changed and some people sent meals back as they weren’t cooked properly. If you happened to go for a late night feed, all there was to offer was hotdogs and pizzas.We have travelled other cruise lines and you can just about get anything to eat till early hours of the morning.The staff in the dining room were polite and very, very helpful, they were great. When it came to the activity programs delivered to your cabin each night,there should be more clear information.It showed a sushi class and my wife went and later next day she was charged something like $33, so for people with poor eyesight you couldn’t see the little $ sign. When complained about it my wife was told she should have booked, but we said where does it say to book. They could not answer that question. One last complaint, I did not like crew members coming around trying to sell you food or drink packages while you are having your meal, and also in foyers, it was annoying. I am sorry to say but I don’t think we will return to Royal Caribbean cruising in the future, unless better deals are made. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Our primary reason for taking this cruise was to see the ship. At 137,000 tons, this is the largest ship we have ever sailed on and it has some features we have never seen before. We have visited the ports many times so they were not a ... Read More
Our primary reason for taking this cruise was to see the ship. At 137,000 tons, this is the largest ship we have ever sailed on and it has some features we have never seen before. We have visited the ports many times so they were not a factor. We also feel that the entertainment on Royal Caribbean is usually superior to other cruise lines and hoped to see some good shows. If you ever consider taking a cruise out of Seattle and need to fly there, think again. The Seattle airport has to be one of the worst. We flew in the night before the cruise and had the hotel shuttle deliver us back to the airport the next morning to catch the Royal Caribbean bus to the ship. There was absolutely nobody in the airport to give us any directions to the cruise bus. We finally found a group of construction workers and they told us we had to go up several flights, cross a bridge to another part of the airport, walk through the parking garage, go back down to a lower floor and walk about half a mile to the place where the buses were parked. We started walking through the deserted airport and luckily came across a person with a red vest. She turned out to be a representative for Royal Caribbean and told us where to get the bus. The waiting area was outside in a very windy and cold area. We had to wait there for about an hour before the bus finally came to take us to the ship. The ride to the ship takes about 45 minutes and was comfortable. Upon arrival, we were escorted to the check in area and that process went very smoothly. We then boarded the ship and went to an upper deck to wait for the restaurant to open for lunch. Our cabin was ready at 1 o’clock and we then went down to inspect it and unpack our carry-on bags. CABIN We had cabin 8620 on deck 8. It was across the hall from the elevators and the computer room. It was located at the top of a hump in the side of the ship, so we had unobstructed views to the front or back of the ship. It was also a quick elevator ride to the Windjammer restaurant on deck 11 and the main dining room on deck 3. It was a bit of a walk to the other elevators that took us to the show room. I was surprised that a ship this large had only two elevator towers. We often had to wait quite a long time for an elevator. We were very pleased with the location of this cabin. The cabin was clean and comfortable with a king size bed, vanity with many drawers and lots of cabinet space above. The closet was adequate. The night stands were very small with only one drawer. Lamps were mounted on the wall behind the bed and had two lights; one for general lighting and one for reading. There was a small couch and table. The bath had a fully enclosed shower with sliding doors to enclose it. This feature is much better than a shower curtain. Our cabin steward did a very good job. FOOD The main restaurant had fair to good food. The waiters were all excellent. We had My Time diniing and that part of the main restaurant seemed totally disorganized the first night. It got better on later nights. The Windjammer restaurant on deck 11 was usually crowded and the food was usually somewhat tasteless compared to the main restaurant. They also had a problem keeping plates and utensils available. We have had unpleasant experiences at extra restaurants on various ships, so avoided them on this cruise. The prices also seemed quite high as compared to other cruise lines. Chops was $39.00. Giovanni’s was $30, Johnny Rockets was $9.95 and room service was $7.95. This was the first time we saw a charge for room service on any of our 50 cruises. We thought this charge was way out of line. ENTERTAINMENT We usually choose Royal Caribbean for the entertainment. On past cruses, it far exceeded what is offered by other cruise lines. That was NOT true on this cruise. The production shows were ho-hum. One of the two comedians was good. The second one was poor. A magician was excellent. One night there was only a movie in the main showroom. The ship has an ice rink and there was an excellent show there one afternoon. We did not attend any of the bar shows, but noticed large crowds there as we walked past. There seemed to be fewer activities offered than on other cruises. We went to see the Flowrider and Rock Climbing Wall a couple of times. The Flowrider had only three people trying it and we never saw anyone on the wall. The wind and cool temperatures may have affected the use of these facilities. We played miniature golf one night and only one other couple was using the course. SHOPS There is a promenade on deck 5 with a number of large shops. There is also a café that is open 24 hours with coffee and snacks. It is the only place to get coffee in the early morning. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
This cruise was a close cruise for a Western Washington resident. Not too many cruises (3) but like the experience. The ship while a little old is in great shape and constantly being cleaned, etc. Wanted to try out interior cabin with a ... Read More
This cruise was a close cruise for a Western Washington resident. Not too many cruises (3) but like the experience. The ship while a little old is in great shape and constantly being cleaned, etc. Wanted to try out interior cabin with a virtual balcony. The virtual balcony really expanded the utility of the interior room. Even though camera was on the opposite side of the ship, it was easy to adjust perspective. Great food in dining room, waiters Nitish and Jeffrey were exceptional. Windjammer was standard buffet food with wide variety, some good and some not so good. We tried to get in front of the line to get selection before other diners had a chance to potentiall leave germs, etc. Shows were standard fare, good dancers, singers, magician and comedian. Cruise director kept things moving, especially the tribute to British Rockers. Don't know how he maintains the high energy level. All of the crew members were pleasant and welcoming. Service was great. Getting on and off the ship was a breeze. Really enjoyed the soft serve ice cream machine by the pool. Was too windy and cool when in transit but no rain so success for the Pacific Northwest. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
This was our second cruise with Royal Caribbean. We chose Explorer of the Seas because of the pacific coast itenerary. It was just my husband and myself. Our previous cruise had been on the Oasis of the Seas so the Explorer was much ... Read More
This was our second cruise with Royal Caribbean. We chose Explorer of the Seas because of the pacific coast itenerary. It was just my husband and myself. Our previous cruise had been on the Oasis of the Seas so the Explorer was much smaller compared to the Oasis. We had priority boarding so check in was a breeze. We had an inside room. It was small but adequate. I was apprehensive about an interior room but it worked out well for two people and since this was a colder weather cruise I don’t think we would have made much use of a balcony. We ate breakfast and lunch in the Windjammer and every day and the food was very good and had a great selection. We ate in the main dining room for supper and enjoyed the food there too. We had the late seating. I think we would pick the choose the My Time dining next time. The Royal Promanade seemed much more crowded than on the Oasis. Even though Oasis has a much larger number of people on board there is more space to spread out. The pools and hot tubs looked nice but it was so chilly few people were using them. We used the fitness center twice and found it to be in good condition and had a great view. We really enjoyed trivia in Schooner Bar and the drinks there. First port was Astoria, OR. It is a quaint seaside town. We enjoyed the Maritime museum. I went out shopping and there are a lot of shops selling wares made by local aritisans. There Are also 3 or 4 craft breweries if that is your thing. We then spent two days in San Francisco which we enjoyed this stop the most. Sailing under the Golden Gate Bridge was amazing! We booked one excursion through the ship for Muir Woods which is an amazing place. The only downside of this excursion is it stops in Sausalito for a little over an hour on the way back. We would have rather gone back to San Francisco not much in Sausalito to see other than shopping. We booked our own tour to Alcatraz which was very interesting. Our next port was Victoria, B C. This is a very pretty and clean city. We just walked around there and did not take any tours. I was glad we did not take the kids on this cruise because it is definitely more adult oriented and they would not have enjoyed the pool or flow rider do to the colder temps. I would recommend this cruise to adults who would like to see this part of the world. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Last minute cruise from the local port Seattle to Astoria to San Francisco to Victoria Island, got a good discount . This is our third cruise on three different cruise line. We’ve been on Holland and Princess on Alaska and Mexico ... Read More
Last minute cruise from the local port Seattle to Astoria to San Francisco to Victoria Island, got a good discount . This is our third cruise on three different cruise line. We’ve been on Holland and Princess on Alaska and Mexico destinations. PROs: By far the best thing about the cruise was the Great shows, incrideble they have an ice show. Lots of different activities. Rooms are clean and our States Room attendant was pleasant. Johnny Rockets makes great burgers, fries, onion rings and shakes. CONs: ice rink only available twice the whole trip. Food was extremely disappointing; lunch and dinner buffet was subpar, the complimentary cafe has school grade cafeteria cardboard pizza, the speciality steakhouse steaks were obviously frozen steaks. The complimentary dining is average, had a couple decent dishes. Johnny Rockets cost 10 bucks. Complimentary foods are very limited on this cruise. There’s an eight dollar room service fees. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We had been on Explorer twice before, both cruises out of Cape Liberty. This was to be our first Pacific cruise. Never having been to Seattle we arrived 3 days early. We toured the city and took in a Mariners game. We made the Hampton ... Read More
We had been on Explorer twice before, both cruises out of Cape Liberty. This was to be our first Pacific cruise. Never having been to Seattle we arrived 3 days early. We toured the city and took in a Mariners game. We made the Hampton Inn on 5th avenue our base of operations. The room was clean and comfortable and breakfast was included each morning. (I love those waffles!) On Friday morning (after breakfast of course) we took the hotel shuttle to the cruise terminal. Check-in went painlessly and before you knew it we were on the ship. From hotel to ship it took us about 45 minutes, the fastest check-in I ever experienced. Seeing that this was our third voyage on Explorer there was no need to explore the ship. So, after going to guest services to have our sea-passes punched and going to the dining room to check out our table, we headed up to the Windjammer for some lunch. After eating our room was ready so we checked that out. We met our room steward and began unpacking as our luggage had been delivered. Soon it was time for muster. Our station was in the Star Lounge. Great, we didn't have to stand on a hot deck! After the drill it was time for sail-away. I finally got to meet most of the people I had been taking to for over a year! I can't remember the names (I've got a lousy memory!) The only ones I remember were Rich and Patti because they lived about 40 miles from us. Knowing that we would see these people again during the week, we said good-bye and went to the room to get ready for dinner. At the dining room we met our tablemates. They were a couple from Delaware, a couple from Australia, and another couple from New York that as it turned out, lived about 15 miles from us! All were great company throughout the week. The next morning we docked in Astoria, Oregon. After breakfast we met our excursion and boarded a bus for Mt. St. Helen. I must say, it was a very impressive tour. Even after close to 40 years after the eruption, the area was still devastated! That was an all-day tour so we went right to dinner when we returned, after our martini that is! After dinner we went to the evening show for a while and then my wife went back to the room while I went to the cigar lounge. That's where I experienced my first disappointment of the cruise. The company there was excellent. I'm a retired police officer and it seems everybody in there was related to the law enforcement field in one way or the other! The trouble is that there was no attendant/waiter in the lounge. That meant that we had to get our own drinks and nobody ever emptied the ashtrays. I know that RCCL is getting rid of the Connoisseur Clubs (which I think is a mistake), but at least wait till they're gone before you abandon them! I have to say that after that night the waiter from the Star Lounge did pop in every so often to take drink orders. The next day was a sea day so we basically relaxed, ate, and drank. That night was the first formal night so we got to dress up for dinner. My wife got all dressed up in formal attire and I put on my tux. Man, did we look good! Even the captain remarked as to how good we looked! The following day we docked in San Francisco. Again, after breakfast we boarded a bus for our next excursion, The Napa Valley Wine Train. The train is made up of a lounge car and a dining car from the golden age of railroading. First we had cocktails and appetizers in the lounge car before moving into the dining car for a delicious lunch. All while traveling past many wineries of the Napa Valley. We got back and had our evening martini, dinner, and my wife to bed, and me to the cigar lounge. The next morning, after breakfast, we walked down towards Fisherman's Wharf. We had been to San Francisco 38 years earlier on our honeymoon. Most of the land we walked on was not there then! A lot had been reclaimed from the bay. We walked around and then headed back to the ship. It was very hot that day. I should mention that the weather for the entire cruise was perfect, except for our return to Seattle. That morning it was raining off and on. The ship left San Francisco about 4:30 pm. As we sailed along the coast whales would surface every once in a while! For dinner that night we went to Chops! Excellent food! The next day was a sea day. Again we spent it relaxing, eating, and drinking. Early that afternoon, we went for a couples massage. If you've never done it, you really should. If I was anymore relaxed after that I would have been liquid! That evening we went to diner at the Chef's Table. The food and wine pairings were so good, but the best part of the evening was our fellow guests at the table! We had such a lively bunch! The following morning we arrived at Victoria Island, British Columbia. Our tour that day took us to Butchart Gardens were we had high tea. The gardens were beautiful even though it really wasn't the ideal time of year to go there. Afterwards we went back to the ship. We had our farewell dinner with our tablemates. After a final nightcap, my wife went off to bed and I went to the cigar lounge and had one last smoke with my new friend Rich. The next morning it was back to Seattle and the real world. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Overall the pacific coastal cruise was lovely and at a good price. First things that could be improved. Avoid cabin 9221 as the ceiling was squeaky. Maintence twice tried to fix, but couldn't locate source of problem. We ... Read More
Overall the pacific coastal cruise was lovely and at a good price. First things that could be improved. Avoid cabin 9221 as the ceiling was squeaky. Maintence twice tried to fix, but couldn't locate source of problem. We stuffed towels between the ceiling and the in room desk/vanity. Didn't fix the issue but helped a bit. When in rough seas you will hear loud intermittent squaks from the ceiling. The rougher the seas the worse it gets. I didn't try the hot tubs as the water was murky (not clear). A clean hot tub should have clear water when the jets are not on. The greeters at the windjammer (buffet) were animated and chanting phrases more in line with a disney cruise..like .how you would talk to your children. ("Wash-ie wash-ie") Nice amentities - the specialty restaurants offered great food amd service. We tried all 3. Izumi had exceptional views and cozy vibe. Chops offered best steaks hands down -- get the filet. Giovanni's offered a great sampling of many treats. The prominade (deck 5) had a lovely snack spot with free coffee, tea. And treats. It was nice to see the ship now offers gluten free and lactose free options...just ask for them. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Have traveled with Celebrity (Solstice) and Holland America..First Cruise for awhile and booked with a friend. She cancelled, thank goodness as the inside Cabin was soo small, The cost of this cruise was low priced though, and ... Read More
Have traveled with Celebrity (Solstice) and Holland America..First Cruise for awhile and booked with a friend. She cancelled, thank goodness as the inside Cabin was soo small, The cost of this cruise was low priced though, and through Travel with Alan group. Spoke to some cruisers who paid $199.00 (for two) the same cabin and cruise through Royal Caribbean lines, and another woman who paid 600.00 through Costco. The embarkation was quite easy and friendly people. Then the fire drill outside. I seemed to mix up the directions, as to where the restaurants were. I thought I was in the middle of the ship, and depending where the elevators started, your restaurant could be at the other end of the ship (aft or forward) and then one had to walk outside by the pool to get there. Walk thru the inside to take another elevator! Advice. Dining: 1. If you like buffets, go to the windjammer. (I saw undercooked bacon, and not palatable food, bluntly dogfood) Did not eat in the dining room, as I read previous reviews, not great, other people said it was average and below. Promenade restaurant open all the time. Bread could be alittle fresher, other than that, handy, nice people and manager there! Luckily I chose the package of specialty restaurants. Purchased on ship from Smiling "Raul"! (same waiter in Chops! ) Very reasonably priced too. Save almost half with the packages. One is for 4 nights, another for 3 nights. First was the Italian Giovanni's Restaurant. Excellent food and service. Waiters name was EUTEMIO, even tho they were very busy, he was attentive and helpful! I like separate courses, as in Italy. Caprice Salad, pasta(crepe with warm Mozzarella, spinach with sauce of chunky tomato) then Lamb, nice presentation 3 perfectly cook lamb chops. Desert was to go! Mixture of 5, including panna Cotta! Great presentation on plates being served. No.2: Japanese IZUMI Asian Cuisine, Spider Roll, Seafood cooked on hotplate, Saki and a lovely plate of 3 fried icecream rounds, mango, lime. The server was the best part JOHN CABRERA , always smiling, happy and helpful in suggestions. Also, very nice presentation of plates served. No.3: Chops, best reputation of all I was told. Our server RAUL, was gracious, superior in service, helpfulness, friendly, always smiling. Goat Cheese Salad, Shrimp Cocktail (large, fresh tasting) (friend loved Mushroom soup the sides were fresh asparagus, mashed potatoes, sauteed mushrooms,) and the very tender petite filet mignon . Desert a warm chocolate cake, similar to Chocolate Fondant/lava cake, vanilla ice cream, lace chocolate wafer floating on top. Superb. All plates, a beautiful presentation. A very positive organized restaurant crew. Sometimes saw same waiters in different areas and in different restaurants. As you can see from above, Foodie here writing. Dining ratings refer to Special restaurants! The Mixture of Entertainment and shows were pleasant enough. One complaint, from a DJ (Dizzy's?) who was self absorbed, into the only rap music he was playing. It seemed we totally bothered him with request to change the venue. Very few people were dancing at all. People in Guest Services were helpful and especially our man "Pratik Tamhankar" from India. A happy smiling young man ever soo talkative and helpful He needs to watch the series of Mozart on Netflix, main actor, he sounds just like him! Other girls there said they didnt want to be his girlfriend. The woman that worked in guest services with Pratik were very kind and helpful. Very sympathetic to a small lost boy on board. Nanimo, spent day with friend who lives there. High Tea at the Empress was a delight! Well worth the experience. Raining in Victoria. This is the first time cruising with Royal Caribbean. And it was a N.W. Pacific Cruise with many Northwest People. A mixture of dressed and not appropriately dressed people. I met some very nice, fun people. Not sure I would like to take a cruise for longer length of days on here, and overall it was quite a bargain for what people paid. As one person reported, 3 or more nights hotel in Seattle would cost more than this cruise! A nice adventure to Canada. Travel with Alan company, delivered lovely bottle of Washington State , Domaine Ste MICHELLE, Brut, 2 fluted glasses, on ice and Fruit Plate, upon arrival. Departure, a delicious box of Truffles! Thank you Travel with Alan, Lynnwood, Washington! And thank you to the Crew of Explorer of the seas. (Cabin info: Inside Cabin was soo small, only one chair. A definite ONE person Cabin! (If with a spouse it may be ok) A lighted scene of water with curtain! A friend said she did not have the lighted scene on wall, ha ha. Maybe the location of my cabin? Or a single person cabin? The cabin was clean, attendant Rolando Azucena was kind, polite always asking if I needed anything, which I did not. Except I had to ask someone for Lotion. The cabin is very dated compared to other ships, experienced. I found this on someones review which I thought was a perfect description of the Bath and Shower. "Beam me up Scotty, Star Trek Transporter (round with sliding doors) water pressure fine, slow with hot water. Inside cabins receive nothing but Towels which seemed strange. At times it felt like I was in our past Motorhome bedroom and bath. This was the only cabin available on this cruise when I booked with Travel with Alan group.) Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
The wife and I booked this cruise about a year out, long before our son moved up to Tacoma with his girlfriend for a great career last March. Once we told them about our cruise plans her parents and the kids joined us. Embarkation was ... Read More
The wife and I booked this cruise about a year out, long before our son moved up to Tacoma with his girlfriend for a great career last March. Once we told them about our cruise plans her parents and the kids joined us. Embarkation was very easy arriving around 10:30am we were on board by eleven. We toured the ship a bit then down to check on our "first night done right" booking. We had been told that a restaurant would be assigned to our group but it was not.....we booked Chops at 7:15pm. Finding some lunch in windjammer we went on exploring the Explorer. She is in pretty good shape considering her age....all pools and hot tubs worked and were heated well. Our cabins (we all got interiors) were also in good shape, however the beds are quite firm as everyone says.....they were replacing the bed foundations all week. I will say RCI could improve their bedding game here, while the linens are great the beds suck as compared to the new Princess dream beds. We loved the brewed coffee always available down in the cafe all day long and free, Princess makes you pay for it and wait in line. Dinner at Chops was very good, though having eaten there four years ago on the Oasis I can see where quality and/or quantity has gone down. Meals in the dining room were good, not great.....service was good and we tried to get the same table each night but that did not work out. The last night we were put at another area and table which was not very good, issues like being charged full bottle price for glasses of wine. The entertainment was good not great......but we managed to find things to do each night. The casino was not very generous and nobody we spoke with had won on machines. I for one enjoyed the smoking lounge that I hear they are removing soon. Overall it was a great cruise however we'll be using Princess going forward as we're close to elite status there. Debarkation was a breeze we were off the ship by 7:30am carry off. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
This cruise was offered by a travel agent (he had 1100 customers on board) for a great price! It was a quick getaway that we could drive to the port. I was amazed at how CHEAP RCCL has become. In the cabin no chocolates on pillows, no ... Read More
This cruise was offered by a travel agent (he had 1100 customers on board) for a great price! It was a quick getaway that we could drive to the port. I was amazed at how CHEAP RCCL has become. In the cabin no chocolates on pillows, no pen and tablet on the desk, small scratchy sandpaper towels, no lotion in the bathroom (just shampoo in a dispenser in the shower), on demand movies offered for free by Princess were $12 to view!!! In the dining room we were offered one roll from a tray and never we offered more. A strict accounting was done with the thin, rough pool towels that no one would ever want to steal. On Princess there are towel bins everywhere to help ourselves. When returning to the ship after a day on the beach there are big bins to deposit sandy, salty towels. Entertainment was quite good except we didn't care for the Production Show. Not nearly as good as it should be. Ice Skating show was excellent. Public areas looked fine but the cabins are showing their age. A little touch-up paint could help some. Crew were friendly and helpful. Promenade cafe was the only 24 hour food venue with poor offerings. Their sandwiches had one VERY thin piece of meat and were not worth taking. We were disappointed there was NO parade during our cruise! Nanaimo offered MANY volunteers greeting and offering maps, brochures, and a free shuttle. Victoria was a great walk along the waterfront. Will NOT return to RCCL!!! Read Less
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