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118 Royal Caribbean Pacific Coastal Cruise Reviews

This was definitely NOT a "WOW" c ruise. I went on the Explorer of the Seas on her Best of British Columbia 4 night cruise with my mother. As she doesn't cruise much [this was her 6th cruise] tended to think everything was ... Read More
This was definitely NOT a "WOW" c ruise. I went on the Explorer of the Seas on her Best of British Columbia 4 night cruise with my mother. As she doesn't cruise much [this was her 6th cruise] tended to think everything was GREAT & I should automatically know everything as this was my 19th cruise. Before the cruise RCI had 2 issues that were not what they would’ve liked: 1., My passport expired 1 month or more after cruiser was back; they would prefer an expiration 6 months or more after cruise was back. However that was a recommendation rather than a requirement. 2. They prefer inbound flights to arrive before 12:00 [that is a requirement & they don't allow a setsail pass to be printed without flights being in time range], Southwest allowed us to change our flights {it actually was cheaper}. We got into Seattle @ 10:30. The outbound flight left @ 11:00, they would like people to leave 1:00 PM or later. The ship got back to port @ 6:00 AM. We put in fake flight information (we also could have said flights were on the next day). We took a Speedee Shuttle to the pier rather than sitting to wait for RCI's transportation. They had a rep waiting for us @ baggage claim. Not far away was the cruise line's person. In our shuttle were couples going to a downtown hotel & 6 others who were also on the Explorer. At the pier building was the long lines to check in; since we both were C&A members we could go to a separate line but general boarding was about just as long. I would say it may have been about an hour to get onboard ship after entering the building. When we finally got on the ship, we couldn't go to our stateroom because they weren't ready yet. We went to the Windjammer to eat. In contrast to what was reported, food was ready even though Explorer had to go through a health inspection. They apparently boarded passengers later than originally planned. Our room was ready shortly after getting our food. Food was nothing special but I did try 'Honey Strung Chicken'. I had made all of our My Time Dining arrangements weeks before boarding. That worked out well however we did skip one night. The first we got a table to ourselves. They didn't ask but assumed as the last name was the same. It was the not asking what would be our preference the other night.The bed originally was together even though it was requested months in advance to be two separate. When we got back from the lifeboat drill, he was in the process of changing them & we had to give him ten more minutes. I also noted that they have their carts positioned more for their convience. As you are aware hallways on ships are not very big to begin with. The room & halls weren't as clean as they should have been. The staff seemed to me to be tired as the ship just got back from a 24 day cruise with many sea days. Mother gave the stateroom attendant & his assistant an extra $5/day when what they got from the daily charge was sufficient. In contrast to other ships, people were not cleaning brass & very little carpet sweeping & mopping. I adapted my style. Back to the food, people will be disappointed to learn that they no longer have 'Savory Bites' and the escargot was not as good as before. I found the food to be rather bland and service to be poor. Food in the Windjammer was also bland & cold by the time you sat down. There also was no one taking care of cleaning spills. For example @ one breakfast, a elderly man dropped sausage link on the floor. At least 3 staff went by it including uniformed staff. They are quick to remove plates. The Explorer has a 3 level dining and MTD is on the lowest, they did seem to be more organised with have 2 lines, one for those who already had reservations. The other time we went to the dining room for dinner on the third night, we were seated @ a larger table. The waiter "Ravi" according to his nametag was extremely slow. I did what is called 'Twiddling my thumbs' several times. One couple after seeing the menu got up & left, At no time did the waiter make any recommendations. They didn't inquire about your food being to your liking. This night, service took over 2 hours, the waiter got the wrong orders to the wrong person. The first full day was at sea, even though this was a short cruise; they had ice shows. They gave guests a show timed based on their assembly station. Ours not until the third day. They open the doors 30 minutes before showtime for designated guests and 5 minutes for anyone else. Since everyone was onboard, it is advisable to wait for your designated show. That is if you want a guaranteed seat. Other things they had on ship miniature golf, casino, rock climbing wall, trivia, scavenger hunts, shuffle board, flow rider, wine tasting, bingo, dancing lessons,shopping, Scattegories, and movies. I won $140 on slots & we won trivia once.The movies they had were: A Monster Calls, Collateral Beauty,Fantastic Beasts, Inferno, Hacksaw Ridge, The Founder, Arrival, and Allied. They also had a shore excursion talk, which was good as one of the ports Nanaimo is not visited often. The night before, you had to fill out Canadian customs form. They wanted to know when you got into their country, same information asked on USA custom forms, how long you planned to spend, and if you planned to spend more than $60 Canadian. The ship had to give officials the forms for clearance. Since while the ship may have gotten into port & tied down @ 7:00 AM, no one was allowed off until 8:00. It is also possible that some didn't turn in their forms as we were delayed in being cleared. We ended up taking the free shuttle which had stops & Jill gave a great talk about the village. We also did a city tour the next day in Victoria. We had visited this city earlier at the end of a 7 day Alaskan cruise. That ship was Celebrity Infinity & as it was smaller, it didn't get into port until 5 pm, it got dark about an hour later. Because of distance, the Gardens [main attraction] is about 45 minutes away. We learned more about Victoria this time. They have about 15 different governments, real estate sells quick (many houses cost over .5 million), and some older buildings like the Empress Hotel were built on land that used to be the ocean floor. We didn't feel like shopping, he allowed people to get off the bus @ the Empress Hotel & the waterfront. He suggested people taking a taxi versus the shuttle. We went back to the ship & were able to play miniature golf. After lunch went to the movie, the first 15-20 ways sound only until they fixed the problem. We went to the ice show, that was good as always. If your ship has one, I recommend not missing it. We packed as were doing self checkout. We got off the ship with no incident. We did have to wait outside for our Speedee Shuttle to the airport. Even though we didn't check in for flights until the airport, the positions were not bad. Because of an incident in the Las Vegas airport, South West let us preboard. Be warned SEA-TAC airports' waiting areas are very dirty. The incident in the Las Vegas airport jetway was I tripped and fell down shortly after getting off the plane. South West fully documented the incident & had me checked out for fitness to fly. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
We chose this particular cruise as it took us to a different location and fit our vacation schedule. We have been on many cruises on other cruise lines but not Royal Caribbean Lines. We had heard that the service was incredible and that ... Read More
We chose this particular cruise as it took us to a different location and fit our vacation schedule. We have been on many cruises on other cruise lines but not Royal Caribbean Lines. We had heard that the service was incredible and that the food was fantastic. Getting on board was simple and quick. The staff upon check-in were friendly and welcoming. We were anxious for the dining experience and chose a 5:30pm seating. When we arrived at the dining room, we found the staff to be confused and disorganized. The cruise guests were also confused and frustrated as we waited in long lines to be seated. Once seated, our waitstaff was friendly, however the service was slow and there was confusion as to who was suppose to take care of our table. Once our food came, it was tasty and delicious. Our diner experience lasted between 1 1/2 - 2 hours. - a bit long for cruise dining. The ship was beautiful and well appointed. Our standard cabin was clean and perfect for 2 guests. Housekeeping services were excellent. we had never seen a "virtual balcony" - that was an outstanding feature! Although overall the staff and crew were very friendly and accommodating, there was nothing outstanding that made us want to re-book another cruise on Royal Caribbean. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
The cruise was cheap and local port to us. Food was very good despite the bad reviews I read, we have been on about 40 cruises. RC treats us well but that smelly room and hallway real bad was the worst. The carpet should have been ... Read More
The cruise was cheap and local port to us. Food was very good despite the bad reviews I read, we have been on about 40 cruises. RC treats us well but that smelly room and hallway real bad was the worst. The carpet should have been replaced as it was beyond repair but I think they try to save it because of the re-furbished coming up but like I said the carpet stunk so bad they should have thrown overboard and just replaced it with something that maybe didn't match but it would been more pleasing to the customers I did not complain about it to the person because I know it would not have done any good that ship was full there were no rooms available. Royal Caribbean treats us really well as we have cruised with them a lot of times can I complain about their service the food was great though in the dining room Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
Really positive experience overall, found the ship and most facilities clean and easy to navigate, although will add our first day embarking and settling in was confused, and some notice / info about needing Lanyards would have been good ... Read More
Really positive experience overall, found the ship and most facilities clean and easy to navigate, although will add our first day embarking and settling in was confused, and some notice / info about needing Lanyards would have been good to know in advance. Also our stateroom was not set up for our family of four but just had two twin beds, which on boarding was a disappointment and meant delays in unpacking and settling in. The mandatory emergency drill was a great idea but no one seemed to know it was happening until it did, and then we were left standing on the deck without any indication of how long we would be there, ( only 10 mins). Small fry though, easily fixed. After that, the rest of the cruise went smoothly and we had a great time. Out stateroom attendant Rommel was fantastic as were our regular wait staff in the Sapphire restaurant ( where we chose to have our evening meals). Windjammer cafe was handy for easy breakfasts and lunches. Only used one of the restaurants ( Izumi Japanese) which was great. Enjoyed the shows in the La Scala theatre which were great quality, loved the cocktails, the shore excursions, movies, duty free shopping and the Bingo! Kids enjoyed kids club and the gym facilities were A+. Getting a deckchair and some space to swim could be tricky so we tended to swim early and spend the afternoons on activities. Eating meals at set times ( access to the MDR) could be inconvenient when you are not used to dining early. We took Travel wash and a travel clothesline for hand-washing smalls and bathers. Also did not buy drink packages but paid as we went on our card and saved $$ (We still had a cocktail each and a bottle of wine plus a few lemonades a day for the kids, but otherwise went to Windjammer and drank juices, cordials and water). Coffee is rubbish, even at the Cafe, so savour your last brew before you go. Our Cruise Director Mitch was fabulous, as was his entire team. The TV channel informative and the daily activity lists are massive! Got some great photos thanks to the on-board photographers. Not exactly restful but a great experience. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
We where very excited to spend Christmas with our kids in this big ship!!, but we had a BIG disappointment, the food was always the same, poor quality, the crew tried the best , mostly everybody did not understand English.The elevators ... Read More
We where very excited to spend Christmas with our kids in this big ship!!, but we had a BIG disappointment, the food was always the same, poor quality, the crew tried the best , mostly everybody did not understand English.The elevators always full, sometimes take 10 minutes to go from level 11 to 14, cant walk due to a operation. Entertainment average mostly boring , if you had the chance to actually see one because they where always cancel.Solarium for adults always full really hard to find a chair. Every bar at the level 14 where full, never most than 2 barmen s to serve 15 people. Day 13 of the cruise we went to the Esplanade to get some Margarita pizza for my son, they run out of Mozzarella, they add Parmesan cheese , what a shame. To have breakfast a Windjammer at 8 am, was a run for your table every morning without fail, and the food was again average, thanks god was fruit to eat. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
I have heard so much about cruises that I must take another one since the 60s. This is indeed an excellent surprise. The staff were all very courteous and diligent in their work. I was impressed by the dinning room service which was ... Read More
I have heard so much about cruises that I must take another one since the 60s. This is indeed an excellent surprise. The staff were all very courteous and diligent in their work. I was impressed by the dinning room service which was more than excellent. The drink waiter, Budi was very good and the food waiter Simi was always courteous in his service. The cabin twice a day service was excellent. The entertainment were of a variety and of different level from the big orchestra to the duet by Tony and Diana, entertaining in the concert hall, dance room and on the main alley way. Entertainment were for the children, family and the adults. The service overall was excellent by all levels of the service sector. The port and shore excursions was well organized and directions were very clear. Voyager of the Seas is an excellent ship, very majestic yet very well designed for the leisure and enjoinment of its passengers. I wont hesitate in recommending any intending passengers to give Voyager of the Seas a trial. Peter Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
For my first cruise the 13 night was a good length to find out what cruising is all about. I shared a promenade cabin with work mate. The cabin a good size for two older women and had a good view of the promenade for people watching ... Read More
For my first cruise the 13 night was a good length to find out what cruising is all about. I shared a promenade cabin with work mate. The cabin a good size for two older women and had a good view of the promenade for people watching without leaving the cabin, although we didn't have much time for this. The food was excellent with lots of choices, and lots of it from buffet style, formal dining, Japanese, Italian, Grill and an American style milk bar. It was also of a good quality. Lots of things to do on board even when the weather wasn't the best from ice skating to board games. The staff, from cabin attendants to restaurant staff were helpful and friendly. Tours were easily arranged both before leaving on the cruise and for last minute bookings. Would recommend getting a drinks package if you like a glass or two of wine and a couple of mocktails during the day. Can't wait to do it again. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
Overall a very nice cruise. This was only my second cruise so I don't have a lot to compare it to. I found the staterooms to be clean and comfortable and the house keeping staff were always there to do anything to make our stay more ... Read More
Overall a very nice cruise. This was only my second cruise so I don't have a lot to compare it to. I found the staterooms to be clean and comfortable and the house keeping staff were always there to do anything to make our stay more comfortable. The food was good although after talking to other passengers, they commented that the food was not as good as it used to be on their previous cruises through out the years. The crew and staff were outstanding, friendly, helpful and always ready to lend a hand. The ship had plenty of activities to keep anyone busy night and day. I especially enjoyed the ice skating rink. The shows were very entertaining and never too crowded There was a lot of audience participation during some of the shows. The most entertaining shows were 70's dance and the British invasion that were put on by the ship dancers and singers. I would sail with Royal Caribbean again and recommend this cruise line to any one . Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Obviously RCCL is cutting back on EVERYTHING. We felt like the crew is overworked in the dining ro0om with too many tables assigned to them and even though they were trying very hard they were having trouble doing the job they normally ... Read More
Obviously RCCL is cutting back on EVERYTHING. We felt like the crew is overworked in the dining ro0om with too many tables assigned to them and even though they were trying very hard they were having trouble doing the job they normally do. The same goes with the room attendants, ours was great but seemed to be overworked. The only place there seemed to be enough waiters was the Windjammer. I have also NEVER had to wait at the Windjammer or the dining room for breakfast. The Diamond Plus lounge was also a joke when they combined the Diamonds in with us. Too many people crowded into one small place, the ship always felt like it was overcrowded. We have been on many cruises and this was the first time I was really ready to get off the ship. This will probably be our last cruise unless someone tells me this is the only ship that is being run as cheap as possible Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
We chose this cruise as we love Pacific Coastals and Seattle wasn't too far to fly. We have cruised over 50 times across several different lines but this was our second cruise on Royal Caribbean, the first being close to 10 years ... Read More
We chose this cruise as we love Pacific Coastals and Seattle wasn't too far to fly. We have cruised over 50 times across several different lines but this was our second cruise on Royal Caribbean, the first being close to 10 years ago. But, because of our status on Celebrity, we were given reciprocal benefits as Diamond members on RCCL. The embarkation went very smoothly after we arrived at the port around noon. Upon entering the ship, we noticed it was probably the prettiest ship on which we've sailed. Everything was maintained well and the ship was absolutely immaculate. Our room was ready when we boarded. We were able unpack our carry on luggage that we brought onboard (we had no luggage to check) and were off to explore the other areas of the ship before meeting up with our roll call at 3 PM by the pool. We had a great roll call membership, many of which were Diamond or above so they gave us the scoop on where to meet and the benefits we could expect onboard. We were called for muster, which had us lining up on deck 4 without having to bring our life jackets. It was efficient and completely rather quickly and we were off to grab a quick bite to eat before going to the Diamond Lounge at 4:30. We should have gone up early to save a seat as there was nothing available at that time, as I understand there were close to 900 Diamond and above members onboard. We were told the crowds would probably die down after the first couple of days but that never happened. It was very crowded every single night even though they opened up Dizzy's for the overflow. But, even with standing room only, the bartenders and waiters did a bang up job of keeping everyone's glass filled. After a couple of hours, the crowds did thin when patrons went to the dining room but still not a lot of empty seats to be found. Our official meet and greet was held in the morning of our first sea day and was well attended. RCCL had contests and prizes so made it even more fun to attend. We met more of our group at that time, a few of which we planned some excursions with. The following day was our slot pull which also had well over 100 attendees making it a very fun event. RCCL also included a raffle and prizes during the slot pull. Although we didn't win anything during the slot pull, we also didn't lose everything we put in, rather, we pretty much broke even. We spent a bit of time and money in the casino. We saw some people winning, but for the most part, as with any casino, more were not pulling out a profit. The casino host was very friendly but also very busy. He did take the time to recognize our Mlife status so were treated to a specialty dinner and complimentary drinks in the casino. Our first port of call was the following day, in Santa Barbara. Once we started sailing back up the cost, the seas got quite choppy and were the worst between sailing north from San Francisco to Astoria and then again up to Victoria. Because of very high winds, we were not able to dock on time in Victoria but the Captain tried again and was successful by noon or so. He extended our stay by 3 hours into the evening while in Victoria as the weather started to clear up. Although, we stayed onboard and got our packing done as we had just been to Victoria the previous month and couldn't get any packing done with the rough seas we hit the previous days. Our cabin was an aft facing stateroom on one of the upper decks so may have been susceptible to more movement than the midship cabins. Since we were way at the end of the hall, we usually had quite the walk to the midship stairs but it made for a nice quiet environment since very few people walked down that hallway. There was some banging noise that occurred in our stateroom when the seas were rough but for the most part, it was not all that bothersome. There was no noise from the Windjammer just above our cabin. Our room was meticulously maintained and cleaned. Our room steward, Nino, provided stellar service. Also, Sherwin, right down the hall was so sweet and always greeted us with a smile and a cheerful hello whenever we saw him. I was rather worried when I read of the extra firm mattresses and pillows but Nino put a duvet under the sheets and found us a couple of softer pillows and it was pretty comfortable. There are no robes, no box of tissues or lotion in the staterooms but if you request it, your room steward will bring you what you need. I can only surmise this is a cost saving effort and I have no problem with them bringing only items that people request to the staterooms. I heard some fellow passengers complaining about it, though. We ate at the dining room most mornings during the cruise and only a couple of times for dinner and once for lunch. The MDR was one of our disappointments on this cruise. We never felt as though the waiters there ever connected with us. Not once did the head waiter introduce themselves and they seemed very hurried. The assistant waiters actually delivered the food and we'd not see the head waiters again. The food was of decent quality. We did eat at Giovanni's Table, Chops Grille and Izumi's as well. The service in all of these was excellent and the food at the first two listed was absolutely spectacular!! We didn't care for the food at Izumi's but that is so subjective. One other disappointment wasn't really with the food in the Windjammer but that it closed during certain times of the day. They would send us down to the Cafe Promenade but they didn't have any vegetables or salads, which is usually what we wanted in the middle of the day. Of any cruise I've sailed, I have never seen the entire buffet closed down at any time. Even on the last morning, we were unable to get coffee in the Windjammer as they weren't open until 6 AM. One compliment I can give to the staff in the Windjammer is that the staff there cleared tables in a split second to make sure there was room for fellow passengers to sit and they brought beverages around every few minutes. The staff was very efficient and friendly in this area. Ajay was always out in front to welcome patrons and remind them to use purell upon entering the buffet area. Kudos also to the bartenders at the Windjammer. They were always friendly and most accommodating. The programming on the television and even the movies were geared towards a much younger crowd. Several stations only showed cartoons and only one international news station was available. There were also 2 ESPN stations, which I am sure was appreciated by sports fans. There were no movies that were of interest to us; Angry Birds seemed to be the dominant choice. The non-smoking section in the casino was extremely limited. My only other disappointment was with the long lines or huge crowds at nearly every venue. We don't often use elevators on any cruise but saw many people complaining about the excessive waits for a car to arrive. We didn't see any of the productions on the Promenade as it was just too crowded. We also had an incident where I had waited in line for 45 minutes at the excursion desk, only to find out that the excursion I wanted was sold out. I turned to walk away but turned right around and inquired about being put on the waiting list and the staff member that I spoke to said I had to go back and wait in that long line again. I wasn't 2 steps away when I turned around and she refused to help me. I waited again and asked to speak to someone other than her and requested to lodge a complaint with her supervisor. I am pretty sure this was never done as I received no response in the subsequent days. I wasn't requesting anything for my trouble except for an acknowledgement that that was poor customer service and additional training would be done. Now, on with the excellent aspects of the cruise and there were many: The computerized events display and maps at the stairwells are the best idea of all. The ice show was absolutely phenomenal. Every venue on the ship, including the public bathrooms, were immaculate. The Promenade was beautiful and made shopping or sitting for a cup of coffee or glass of ale was very inviting. We loved being able to go up to the Diamond Lounge in the morning to get a cup of cappuccino! The musicians onboard were very talented, as were the dancers and entertainment staff. We liked being able to check on our account or order room service right from our stateroom TV. The photo area and the concept of ordering your photos through a computer is the best idea I have ever seen. Very advanced and wish all cruise lines would do this. The entire ship was designed so beautifully. One would be hard pressed to find a bit of rust, dirt or even a light bulb that had burnt out. The hallways for the passenger cabins were nice and wide and were also kept spotless. Our cabin, including our balcony, was so comfortable and had very tasteful furnishings and curtains. The bathroom had the sliding shower doors instead of a curtain and there was a nice shelving unit off to the side behind the mirror for your toiletries. And, as mentioned, our room steward was beyond excellent so everything was kept spotless. He even decorated our room with very nice birthday decorations which was such a nice touch. RCCL allows passengers to each bring on one bottle of wine and it can be consumed anywhere throughout the ship without a corkage fee. Embarkation and Disembarkation were about the best we've ever experienced. Even in our one tender port, everything ran quite smoothly. I would definitely consider sailing on another RCCL cruise as the excellence far outweighed the small number of what I considered missteps. And even though the Explorer of the Seas was one of the most gorgeous ships on which I have sailed, I think the 3600 capacity or above is something I would steer away from. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
We choose this cruise for the convenience and location to the house. The ship itself is amazing. It is very nice. However, it goes down hill from there. The customer service agents look like they are held at gun point to work there. They ... Read More
We choose this cruise for the convenience and location to the house. The ship itself is amazing. It is very nice. However, it goes down hill from there. The customer service agents look like they are held at gun point to work there. They are not friendly by any means. Never participate in small talk and there faces are frozen in the frown position. However, we had two cabins in two locations and both of our cabin stewards were amazing. They were friendly, attentive, and even ran to open the door when our hands were full. The main dining room food was ok. Nothing to write home about but edible. Our team of waiters were fantistic. The head waiter was Vivitek (not sure of spelling) and I can't remember the assistant waiter that worked along side him but they were both top notch. That being said, the buffet left much to be desired. While we always found something to eat, the selections and taste were way below what one would consider good. Worse, they close at 9 p.m. so if you get hungry after that, you have to get a snack at the cafe located on the promenade. Not much to choose from but when your hungry, it will make do. The coffee......THE COFFEE IS HORRIBLE! I have yet to find a cruise line that has great coffee but Royal Caribbean's coffee should be against the law it is so bad! The only show worth seeing is the ice show. It is wonderful and the skaters are great. Very entertaining. However, the Explorer of the Seas dance/singing crew were nothing to write home about. The white head male singer's voice is not strong enough to be the lead singer. While he was great on a couple of numbers, most of the time, he was just ok. The black head singer's voice is just plain bad. He has no business taking the lead on any number. As for the two females, while the young blond with long hair was easy on the eyes, her voice could not compare to the other lead female singer. Her voice was amazing yet they featured the other singer more often. A big mistake in my opinion. Overall, the cruise was ok. The cruise director will not go out of his way to talk to anyone but he was funny. The other guy they call Big Mac, acted like he could not wait until the game he was hosting was over. We even ran into him on the elevator and he just ignored everyone. We never seen the captain walking about but he did update us on the weather and when it was too rough to port in Victoria, he anchored right outside Victoria until the weather subsided a bit and we were able to port later that day. I never had a captain do that before so cudoos to him. Overall, the cruise was fine. Not the best, not the worse. I can say that while I will be cruising again in the near future, I have no plans to sail with Royal Caribbean again. It is just not worth it. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
i wanted to see the West Coast, mainly San Francisco, Seattle, Oregon and other parts of California. The ship was beautiful and the cabin was excellent. My cabin was an outside cabin. I was in cabin 3608. The Anytime Dining was not ... Read More
i wanted to see the West Coast, mainly San Francisco, Seattle, Oregon and other parts of California. The ship was beautiful and the cabin was excellent. My cabin was an outside cabin. I was in cabin 3608. The Anytime Dining was not organized. You could not get a table for 2 unless you wanted to eat at 7:30 P.M. or later. Anyone who ate at 5:30 P.M. for dinner had to share a table. The staff seemed that they were in training. They kept getting passengers ordered mixed up. The food was sometimes cold. The entertainment was good, however, it was better on the Anthem of the Seas. The shore excursions were okay, however, nothing great. I did enjoy the Din Sum tour and luncheon in San Francisco. The Captain's Cocktail party did not honor any outstanding cruisers whom had cruised an extra amount of time as the other Captain's function did. I had to ask my cabin steward for a bathrobe and I should have had it in the cabin since I am a Diamond Member. I had ordered Cholocate Covered Strawberries for my friend whom was in cabin 3606 to be in her cabin on arrival. The strawberries arrived to her cabin at 11:00 P.M. after I made an inquiry. I did not get my Welcome Back gift until the next day. It took 3 days to get my laundry back from being pressed. I gave the cabin steward the laundry on the first morning after arrival and received the laundry back 3 days later. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Unlike the previous weeks reviews on this ship, we had an all-around good experience. The only downfall was in the Chops Grill. The food was excellent as usual, but the service was terrible. You could tell something was off this night. We ... Read More
Unlike the previous weeks reviews on this ship, we had an all-around good experience. The only downfall was in the Chops Grill. The food was excellent as usual, but the service was terrible. You could tell something was off this night. We don't drink alcohol and weren't asked if we would like anything else. Our waiter was trying to serve with a smile, but something was building and you could see his frustrations building, and at one point said "sorry, not my fault. We have waiters move over to Chef's Table right now". The Manager heard of our disappointment and insisted on giving us chocolate strawberries in our room...twice. He would have refunded the meal, but ours was comp-ed by our agent. Pre-cruise hotel- the new Staybridge Suites was like home away from home. Good hot breakfast included, outdoor patio with barBQ and fireplace (off dining room), rooftop patio with 2 barBQ and fireplace to site by with views of Lake Union and downtown, snack shop, movie room, secure underground parking, FREE shuttle to anywhere downtown. We used shuttle to see Pike Place Market, a shopping n entertaining mecca. Had fishNchips overlooking Seattle Harbor. Cruise Parking- given easy direction's from friendly hotel staff, we parked at Seattle Cruise Park. Booked on-line. Staff at this parking was helpful, courteous, efficient. Embarkment- went smoothly and fast @ 11:30 am and had a relaxing time people-watching over coffee at the Promenade Café. Mt hubby has medication that's need refrigeration, so we opened the cabin hall door and proceeded to our room. We were told of no entrance yet, but when we explained, they were very accommodating to let us in room, and even let us put knapsack in room. Cabin Steward, Rocky, was so polite and apologetic about the situation. He told of how we won't be getting "turndown" because of luggage retrieval in progress. He made us a different towel animal every day (7 days), and did excellent job of room service. Dining- Windjammer Buffet was the best we've had. So many option, so fresh, and waiters so happy and accommodating. I personally thanked the chef. Only suggestion was them saving popular breakfast options to place on the lunch menu, instead of throwing out. Some of us like breakfast at lunch. We only did 3 nights in My Time Dining and was not disappointed. Ricardo, our assistant waiter was so funny, yet knowing when to be professional also. Our head waiter was also good, with details and manners at upmost best. As usual, we loved Johnny Rockets atmosphere. The waiter searched the ship @ 11pm to get us a coffee. Entertainment- didn't do all shows, as we seen most before. Participated in most games in Star Lounge, as this is something we haven't done before. It was entertaining and good way to past time, since upper decks was a bit cool on most days. Amy, entertainment manager, was fun and innovative. Cruise Director, Graham, was always lively, with late night TV broadcasting. His show, "British Invasion" on the Promenade is a must-see. Santa Barbara- tenders were efficient and timing to get to shore was good. Had a fun ride with Hot Rod Limo (booked online) and strolled the main street, having a coffee while people watching. Wish this port was longer. The tourist info-greeters were very nice and informative, making you feel welcome and at home. San Francisco- did the Hop Oh Hop Off "BigBus" (booked online), staying on throughout San Francisco (been here many times) and learned some new interests. Nararator was good. Having some glitches of one side of bus earbuds not working half way through, he insisted on stopping and persisted with fixing until it worked again. Took only 10 minutes.We got off after going over Golden Gate Bridge. Caught the trolley down to Sausalito, with stop at bottom of bridge for photo-op. Driver was fun. This quaint community is nice to walk around. Stopped at coffee shop with pastries. Headed back to ship for dinner, then walked to HOHO Bus main building (a 15 minute walk to Pier 39) to do the night tour. This is a popular option, so book in advance. Got beautiful pics of city-line from Treasure Island, with racoons living near the shore. Saw our first albino racoon....so neat! Astoria- looked forward to this port. Did lots of research. Knew of $1 trolley ride along shore, through downtown, to end of line where "Goonie" house is. But, following the line of cruisers to a shuttle bus system that cost us $6, I instantly thought that this was only option due to late season or overcast cool weather. Went to the Oregon Film Museum, asked of how to get to Goonie house, and was told to walk 2 blocks to trolley, as it should be running. A bit disappointing to know that this option as available and the Visitor staff at the pier only "herded" us towards the costly shuttle. The museum was very interesting, with a staff that welcomed you with options of discounts and trying a had at filming your own scene (to which they emailed you a copy....FREE) Walked down mainstreet and found it not appealing, with antique & "hippy" stores. I searched averwhere for a magnet, ende up going back to museum and was given 2for1 because of my failed quest. Victoria- because we lived here, didn't leave ship. It was very windy and captain was close to dock, but aborted for the safety of guests getting off and to save his ship from damage. We anchored out for 2 hours until wind went down, then he succeeded in docking. He announced our depart as 2 hours later than planned, so time in port was same, but those with Shore Excursions had to be refunded and made a day on their own. Disembarkment- went smoothly as expected. We hail a porter for our luggage and he waited for us at other side of customs, which also want smoothly and quick line moving. Our Cruise Park driver was waiting and asked how our cruise was. Insisted on dropping everyone off at each of their cars, and helped with putting luggage into them..Gave us good directions on getting back to I-5. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Overall we had a very good cruise. There were a few things that could have been better. We arrived the day before the cruise and stayed at the Quality Inn, Seattle Center. This was an older hotel and it showed its age, but it was the ... Read More
Overall we had a very good cruise. There were a few things that could have been better. We arrived the day before the cruise and stayed at the Quality Inn, Seattle Center. This was an older hotel and it showed its age, but it was the only place that we could get a transfer from the airport to the hotel and from the hotel to the pier at a reasonable price. We used Speedy Shuttle. They were there on time and everything was handled very well. Overall, the food was very good and was cooked as we requested. The variety of food in the main dining at night was very good, but the breakfast and lunch menus got a bit repetitive. The situation with the lounges at night needs to be worked out. The concierge lounge on deck 9 was packed and the Diamond lounge on 14 was also packed. The servers did a great job in trying to get everybody served, but there needs to be a better system when there are over 800 people on board who are Diamond or Diamond Plus or Pinnacle. Embarkation was the best we have experienced. We arrived about 11:45 and were on the ship in a matter of minutes. Very well organized process. Rooms were not ready until 1:00, so we went to the windjammer and found several tables available. The food served was hot and fresh. First impression was excellent. Cabin ready at 1:00 and room steward had delivered our water and wine (we are diamond plus). He kept the cabin clean and refreshed and was very friendly and helpful and always called us by name. His name was Made Darmka and he was great. The bed was hard as a dining room table and we asked for a foam topper. Evidently, they no longer have them. We used extra pillows for softness. The next 2 days were sea days and we found ourselves looking for things to do that did not involve a sales pitch. We like the trivia and we found an excellent lecture to attend (thanks to the Cruise Critic Meet & Mingle pages) If you ever get a chance to hear Fred Cink talk about Astronomy and the stars and the planets - be sure to attend his lectures. This was probably the best thing we did on the 3 sea days. He did 3 lectures. The ship did not offer any enrichment lectures that did not involve a sales pitch. We did not take any ship tours. In Santa Barbara, we did a walking wine tasting, along the Funk Zone. Found some interesting wines, but didn't have enough time to visit very many before we had to return to the 7 block long line that was waiting for the tender boats back. The tender situation in Santa Barbara needs to be changed. We wasted almost 2 hours of the 6 hours we had - just waiting in lines. In San Francisco, we did the Fisherman's Wharf and fish & chips and the sea lions. We have been there several times and just did a very easy day and then returned to the ship. It was cold and windy and we stayed inside. In Astoria, we took the shuttle to downtown and explored the Theatre and the Museum and found Josephson's fish market. They smoke their own fish and had a very nice smoked salmon sandwich . We also had clam chowder. Both were fabulous. The tram was useless because it was always full both ways, so we had to walk al the way back to the ship. We probably needed the exercise anyway... In Victoria, the wind and rain caused the ship to be delayed by almost 4 hours. We took the shuttle to downtown to the Empress Hotel and then went on a harbor tour on one of the little harbor boats. The guide was very informative and we got to see the port and watch the sea planes take off and land. It started misting and we headed back to the ship before it poured. The promenade was great for people watching except for the smoke that was ever present from the casino. We ended up avoiding the promenade at night when the smoke was the worst. The ice show was excellent. We are always amazed that they do so well on a moving ship. And THIS SHIP WAS MOVING A LOT!!! We bounced all over the ocean. The production shows were maybe average, but we have seen much better on other Royal ships. Disembarkation was a breeze and we were off with Speedy Shuttle again to the airport for our flight home. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
We selected this cruise to experience the West coast ports of the United States, and it certainly provided an outstanding overview. The ports from Santa Barbara to Victoria were well selected, and each entertained in a different way. We ... Read More
We selected this cruise to experience the West coast ports of the United States, and it certainly provided an outstanding overview. The ports from Santa Barbara to Victoria were well selected, and each entertained in a different way. We took the ship's journey to Reagan Library in Santa Barbara, and it far exceeded our expectations (Imagine being on Air Force 1); our independent journey to Alcatraz in San Francisco was the most organized handling of thousands of people I have ever witnessed; the Maritime museum in Astoria was a historical view of Astoria's past and was excellent; Victoria's visit was diminished, despite the captains excellent handling, by the weather. Would love to go back. The ship was immaculate as was our room, the people crew were great and the embarking and disembarking were our best in 20+ cruises. Our wait staff in my time dining were excellent, however the food was inconsistent and the fish and shell fish severely overcooked. We were well entertained by all the performances we viewed, but often just relaxed to music in the large lounge. We would return to the West Coast with RC, but would visit different ports except Victoria Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
We chose this cruise for two reasons: even though we live on the West Coast, we'd never sailed this itinerary before, and the prospect of driving to a port and not having to endure the torture of air travel appealed to us. However, ... Read More
We chose this cruise for two reasons: even though we live on the West Coast, we'd never sailed this itinerary before, and the prospect of driving to a port and not having to endure the torture of air travel appealed to us. However, driving to the port is one thing-finding a place to park our car in Seattle at a reasonable cost was quite another. There are two parking lots dedicated to cruise parking that we were able to find, and the cost at either was exorbitant. $140 for 8 days was the cheapest (and we're paying in CAD dollars, making it even more painful). For this reason alone, we probably won't sail out of Seattle again. We were unable to find any hotels that had a reasonably priced park/cruise package. We liked the size of the ship-easy to find your way around, and we never found it too crowded. We had an inside cabin on Deck 8 overlooking the Promenade-a room with a view. While it did provide a bird's eye view of the Promenade activites, we did have to be careful to keep our curtains shut at all times. Noise was only an issue on the two evenings when there were activities with music late in the evening-the music pounded from 10:15 until 11, then it shut down. Since we travel only with carry on luggage, we never have a problem with waiting for our luggage to arrive. Deck 8 seemed to be the luggage depot on embarkation day-the hallway was lined with lined with luggage, much of it from other floors. We observed many frustrated passengers cruising the hallway, looking for their luggage. By the next morning it had all (we assume) been delivered to the right cabins. We loved the shower door-no clingy wet shower curtain this time! We did find the bed to be seriously hard, and since we had anticipated this from our previous cruise, we had purchased and brought along our own egg crate foam topper. For me, it was the difference between sleeping or not! The cruise line got rid of their 'egg crate toppers' a while ago, because the foam can't be sterilized. Or so we were told. Have they never heard of plastic covers?? I had also requested a mini-fridge for meds (filled out a 'special needs' form online months ago), but I had to chase that down. Nobody seemed to know anything about my request. It eventually showed up. We skipped the MDR (haven't eaten there in years-too slow and noisy) and ate all our meals in the Windjammer. From the comments in some previous reviews, we were a bit concerned about what we were going to be getting, but we found the food excellent. Some people are just born to gripe, I guess. Each day had a different theme for the food (Chinese, Mexican, etc), but there was always lots of variety. The staff were always quick to clear the tables, and if you looked out the window too long, your plate might disappear. I'm lactose intolerant, which means 98% of the desserts are out of bounds, but two evenings the chef brought me lactose free desserts. Apparently they do keep them in the kitchen, and you just have to ask. Same for lactose free milk-it was always available at the counter where the cereals were, at breakfast. We loved the Promenade cafe, and often ate there-their sandwiches were awesome. We are diamond plus level, and we did go to the diamond lounge on Deck 14 for drinks and appetizers before dinner a few times. The lounge was hopelessly overcrowded, and incredibly noisy, so we gave up on that after a few evenings. There is definitely a class structure in the Palace Theater-the prime upper deck middle seating section was roped off for those with certain color cards only. The only show we considered to be a 'must see' was the ice show, and if you miss your designated evening, there were always seats available at the other times. (It was done three times.) The two production shows were, in a word, awful. The singers and dancers are incredibly talented, but the material they were given was at best mediocre. We found the staff to be unfailingly cheerful and helpful, although the motto for the front desk should be "I know nothing!" There was zero information about the ports, aside from a very short writeup in the daily Compass, so we were glad we'd done our homework. There was lots of tourist information/maps available on the pier, once you get off the ship, but it helps to know what you're looking for. We had planned to catch the waterfront trolley in Santa Barbara, but it didn't show up for a long time, so we just walked the waterfront to State Street, and up to the courthouse. We got there just as one of their free tours was starting-definitely a must see. San Francisco was lovely-the weather was spectacular. First nice day in a week, we were told. We bought tickets for the SF Big Bus HOHO on the ship (they were the same price as buying from the bus line directly), and that meant we got picked up and dropped off right in front of the ship. Otherwise, you have to find your way to their ticket office, which is several blocks away. The buses were crowded in the morning, but there were lots of bus staff to help out with seating and tickets. We opted to do the entire tour and not to get off. Turned out to be a wise choice, since there were no seats to be had when people did try to get on at different stops. The 90 minute tour was narrated by a lively girl, who'd grown up in San Francisco, so she added lots of bits of information that was not in the prerecorded narration. BTW, everyone (at least in the morning) got earbuds, a poncho, and a map. The tour ended up being almost 3 hours long-we crossed the Golden Gate bridge, and stopped briefly at the other end before returning to the city. The views were spectacular. After lunch, we decided to do the tour again and to sit on the top open deck. We were lucky to get the front row, right behind the windshield-it was pretty breezy farther back. We could see far better from the top deck, but I wouldn't want to be up there in wet weather. There was also no live narration in the afternoon, only the prerecorded stuff. The driver was on his own, with no other staff on board to help out. But it's a good way to see lots of the city. Astoria was ok-a small town with little to see, although the waterfront trolley (ride all day for $2) was interesting. The two drivers provided narration. Victoria almost didn't happen-because of high winds, we couldn't dock in the morning, so had to retreat to the open water until 1 pm, when the captain tried again and was able to dock. Instead of leaving at 4 pm, departure was extended to 7 pm. We've been to Victoria many times, so chose to just walk around. Because of the winds, most excursions were cancelled, even those to Butchart Gardens. We love the trivia activities, although the prizes that RCI hands out for any activity are an absolute joke. Seriously--zipper pulls and highlighters?? No free galley or back stage tours anymore, nor free cooking demos either (except for one cake making demo). You have to pay big bucks for all of that now. The library is made up mostly of books left there by other cruisers, so get there early on the first day if you want any books. Better yet, bring your own Kindle or Kobo. There are games tables set up in the library, with some games provided, so it was a nice place to have a game of dominoes (bring your own). The one thing we really, really didn't like was the smoking in the casino. We observed a lot of people simply standing around in the casino and smoking, instead of going out on the deck. The smoke drifted up the stairs into the Promenade and much of the surrounding area. Come on RCI, ban smoking in the whole ship!! We did enjoy the cruise, except for the sea day between San Francisco and Astoria. That was 24 hours of stomach churning rocking and rolling. I didn't leave the cabin all day-even green apples and meds didn't help. We've experienced rough seas in this area before, and for that reason (and the expensive parking and seriously hard beds) won't sail this itinerary again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
I chose this cruise because of the cost. Inside cabin was ok. No coffee table any more so I had the cabin steward move on the bedside tables in front of the loveseat. Food was for the most part so-so. Only a few dishes to rave ... Read More
I chose this cruise because of the cost. Inside cabin was ok. No coffee table any more so I had the cabin steward move on the bedside tables in front of the loveseat. Food was for the most part so-so. Only a few dishes to rave about(lamb was excellent and Drunken Kalhua cake fantastic). Royal promenade interesting,and nice having Cafe Promenade to have a bite to eat whenever I wanted to. Parades-so so. Disco party and Brit party on the promenade were a lot of fun. Some of the entertainment staff really good-especially Kacy,Big Mac and Zarek. Lots of trivia. Bands ok,but not great. Weather was mostly cool. Overall,an ok cruise but I probably would not go on another pacific coastal cruise again. Some hot tubs were really hot,especially in the solarium. Wish RCCL would trust passengers with returning pool/hot tub towels as other cruise lines do. I thought alcohol drinks were extremely expensive. I only had the wine that I brought in my cabin. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
We chose RCI because a friend had recommended them to us. We chose this particular cruise because we booked last minute and it was one of the few left with rooms available; plus we had never been to California. Embarking at Seattle was ... Read More
We chose RCI because a friend had recommended them to us. We chose this particular cruise because we booked last minute and it was one of the few left with rooms available; plus we had never been to California. Embarking at Seattle was wonderful. It was also our first time in Seattle so we took the early train and arrived just before noon. By this time, it would be wise to start making your way to the cruise terminal as we did. The terminal was already quite full but the lines were moving so there wasn't much fuss getting our bags and ourselves checked in officially. The attendants at the port were friendly and helpful. The ship itself is breath-taking. It's very large and the interior is spectacular, yet cosy. We gave ourselves the tour down the Royal Promenade (central strip) right away and took in our surroundings with glee. The Cafe Promenade was the only thing open at the time so we sat down for a snack there. Coffee and tea is also available. Next, we thought we'd find our cabin so we could put away our carry-on. It was small, but very sufficient. It was very clean, which was probably the most important thing for us. Our assigned steward, Christian, came by later that evening to introduce himself. He is very friendly, sincere and has proven himself to be most attentive. He welcomed any requests and while we made none, he continued to observe our habits and always had the room made just the way we liked it! Well done, Christian! I wonder if we are able to request stewards by name... The Sapphire Dining Room (Main Dining Room) was wonderful throughout our stay. We dined there almost every night, except when we were at the specialty restaurants. The reservations attendant, Ethel, befriended us quickly and knew us by name by the 3rd or 4th night! We opted for My Time/Flex Dining, which worked out really well for us as we enjoyed planning our itinerary daily. They would always accommodate our request for a table for 2 without any fuss. The food was always very good. The waiters were mostly very engaging and would actively participate in our menu selections. We found it helpful as they would make some really good recommendations! We really enjoyed the variety and quality of food here. There will be packages available for the specialty restaurants when you get on board, so watch for those. We bought the package at $75 for 3 meals. The ideal for them is that you try all 3 of their specialty restaurants, but you can always choose to visit 1 of the restaurants twice instead. It's well worth it, ladies and gents. I would highly recommend purchasing the package! Chops Grille was fantastic. Filet Mignon speaks for itself, but please get it with the peppercorn sauce! The scallops and the crab cakes were my favourite appetizers. The brut is a lovely accompaniment to a meal here. For dessert, look no further than the mud pie! Giovanni's Table was also marvelous. The lamb chops are actually rack of lamb, and it is SO GOOD. Finish off with the Tiramisu and you'll be in heaven! The shore excursion that we bought was quite a mess. It was for Santa Barbara - Historical City and Wine Trail ($90 per person). My foot. The bus driver got lost(?!). Is the bus driver not from Santa Barbara? We wasted half the tour rounding the city blocks with the tour guide rambling on about the same nonsense over and over again. We then got off the bus at the Mission, and given the most boring talk ever by the other tour guide. The information was uninteresting and you could see it on everybody's faces: "Get me out of here". We hopped back on the bus and was driven to the Funk Zone (wine trail) with a mere 45 minutes to spare. We were all given 3 tasting tickets for 3 different tasting rooms. Although the wine tasting part went well (probably because it was self-guided), it did not change any of our opinions on the sham that is the first half of the tour. After this, I hesitated to buy any more excursions. Shame, as this was our very first stop. When we got to San Francisco, we decided to just go off on our own and had a marvelous time on the Big Bus! I have to tell you that Astoria is one of the most boring places on earth. It was a waste of a stop, frankly. We got off and walked the "waterfront" trail into "town" and saw all 3 blocks of their "town". Can't say it was a good time. As for Victoria, we are from Vancouver so we already know how lovely Victoria is. We had a wonderful cruise director and a really enthusiastic activities team, so that made the entertainment portion of this cruise really, really great! We especially enjoyed the game shows hosted by the cruise director, Graham. His morning shows are also not to be missed. It's your first piece of entertainment in the morning! The headliners and staff performers were all great, except for the comedian on the last night. His jokes did not sit well with the audience and his delivery tumbled even further down the rabbit hole. After conversations at breakfast the next morning, we can confirm that practically no one enjoyed his act. I'd suggest maybe not hiring this act again. The activities in the lounges were quite entertaining. The various trivias and games kept us busy all day! Finally, the service staff were all really lovely. I have already sung my praises for the steward, but the servers and everyone else on staff was really very charming and accommodating. We did not travel with children but I saw that they had a kids club where parents could leave their children under the supervision of a crew member all day. The kids seem to have their own itinerary so I'm assuming they manage to have good fun while mummy and daddy soak up some fun! I would most certainly do this again! In fact, we visited the NextCruise department before the end and booked our next cruise! Good job, RCI! We will see you again soon! Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Our first cruise. We thought we were getting a great price for the 8 day cruise on the Explorer of the Seas from SEATTLE - CALIF - Victoria BC - Seattle. I will pick a warmer time of year next time as the weather in early October was very ... Read More
Our first cruise. We thought we were getting a great price for the 8 day cruise on the Explorer of the Seas from SEATTLE - CALIF - Victoria BC - Seattle. I will pick a warmer time of year next time as the weather in early October was very rainy and waters were rough. The ship service was excellent (usually) but the food was at best "average". Many times the meat was over-cooked even when ordered medium. The desserts were usually poorly prepared and was not very tasty. The salads were good. I did book a Caribbean Cruise for spring on a different ship (still Royal Caribbean) with the hopes that the food improves and the weather is better. Some of the other passengers stated that the food has been better on other cruises so I'm holding out hope. The soft serve ice cream was probably the best tasting food group. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Chose the cruise for the location. It was a short flight from Phoenix and my friend had never cruised before and we liked the ports of call. Enjoyed all the ports of call and the availability of assistance at each port of call. I ... Read More
Chose the cruise for the location. It was a short flight from Phoenix and my friend had never cruised before and we liked the ports of call. Enjoyed all the ports of call and the availability of assistance at each port of call. I choose to do my own exploring and not to use ship shore excursions and there was plenty of information and assistance at each port of call. Service on the ship was good, but it was evident that they were very short-staffed and personnel in all areas were extremely stressed by the expectations of their employer. Food was less than acceptable. I've had better meals at a Denny's. Quantity was more than sufficient, but quality was poor, to say the least. I had told my friend about my previous experience on other cruise lines as to dining room service and food choices and was really looking forward to a similar experience on this ship. We were both extremely disappointed. In 8 days of dining I can honestly say I had one meal I would have considered good - not outstanding. The best meal I had was a sandwich from the Promenade Cafe. Pizza at the Cafe was horrible. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
It's all about value. This cruise was very affordable. We cruise for the cruise experience and not just ports. The food was good but the evening dining was excellent. The breakfast and lunch (and snacks) is always a cattle call on the ... Read More
It's all about value. This cruise was very affordable. We cruise for the cruise experience and not just ports. The food was good but the evening dining was excellent. The breakfast and lunch (and snacks) is always a cattle call on the 11th floor. The only thing that kept this from being a "Very Good" cruise was the re-boarding process, especially on the return from Astoria. The line was single file and there was only one scanner in service (but their were two others sitting idle. The re-boarding was tedious and lengthy. As always (cruise #26), the room steward and the main dining staff were excellent. the best entertainment was the ice show...5 stars! The dance troupe was proficient but the pageantry was not what we are used to seeing...3 stars. The ports were okay...been to Astoria and San Francisco enough that there was nothing new we wanted to do. The shore excursions are way too expensive and the photos were so expensive we didn't even take pictures on formal night or when coming and going on the ship. Royal Caribbean is still our favorite cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Embarkation was a breeze. We arrived at the port at 10:30 am and were in the Windjammer at 11:00. We have sailed on many of the RCI ships and have never had a cruise we didn't like. The Explorer was no exception. We skipped the ... Read More
Embarkation was a breeze. We arrived at the port at 10:30 am and were in the Windjammer at 11:00. We have sailed on many of the RCI ships and have never had a cruise we didn't like. The Explorer was no exception. We skipped the MDR and had all lunches and dinners in the Windjammer. We found the food to be somewhat better quality than on previous cruises and the selection was great. Apparently, the hotel manager changed recently which probably had something to do with it. The skating show, especially with the hoops skater, was amazing. Other shows were good. We really enjoyed staying overnight on the ship in San Francisco. A beautiful city which we toured with The Painted Ladies. Josh, the owner and our guide for the afternoon, was exceptional. He took us to the top of twin peaks where we had a spectacular view of the city. Along the way, we stopped at all the usual points of interest, including a slow drive down the windy Lombard Street. I highly recommend this tour which can go to places the large buses can't. Astoria is pretty much a run-down very small, uninteresting place so we just strolled around. Victoria is gorgeous and we took a hop-on hop-off bus. Disembarking was also easy. Much better organized than some ports and we were off the ship in less than 30 minutes. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
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