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Royal Caribbean International: Explorer of the Seas

Explorer of the Seas Review

In 2000, Explorer of the Seas was the second of five Voyager-class ships to be introduced. Like sister ships, Explorer will also be upgraded to receive more features in 2014, including an outdoor movie screen poolside, an updated wine bar, casual Park Café, Italian specialty restaurant, digital signage, lounges for elite past passengers, and a new nursery.

A truly impressive building program introduced one of these gigantic Voyager-class ships per year over a five-year period. With their rock-climbing walls, ice-skating rinks, in-line skating tracks, miniature golf, and multiple dining venues, they are destinations in their own right. Sports enthusiasts will be thrilled with nonstop daytime action.

The unusual horizontal, multiple-deck promenade-atriums on Voyager-class vessels can stage some of the pageantry for which Royal Caribbean is noted. Fringed with boutiques, bars, and even coffee shops, the mall-like expanses set the stage for evening parades and events, as well as spots to simply kick back for some people-watching.

Other public rooms are equally dramatic. Though it's considered to be three separate dining rooms, the triple-deck height of the single space is stunning. These ships not only carry a lot of people, but carry them well. Space is abundant, and crowding is seldom an issue.

Big, bigger, biggest! In the early 1990s, Royal Caribbean launched Sovereign-class ships, the first of the modern megacruise liners, which continue to be the all-around favorite of passengers who enjoy traditional cruising ambience with a touch of daring and whimsy. Plunging into the 21st century, each ship in the current fleet carries more passengers than the entire Royal Caribbean fleet of the 1970s, and has amenities—such as new surfing pools—that were unheard of in the past.

All Royal Caribbean ships are topped by the company's signature Viking Crown Lounge, a place to watch the seascape by day and dance at night. Expansive multideck atriums and promenades, as well as the generous use of brass and floor-to-ceiling glass windows, give each vessel a sense of spaciousness and style. The action is nonstop in casinos and dance clubs after dark, while daytime hours are filled with poolside games and traditional cruise activities. Port talks tend to lean heavily on shopping recommendations and the sale of shore excursions.

What You Should Know

Pros

  • Royal Promenade may elicit the biggest "Wow!" on board when a parade is center stage
  • Professional ice-skating performances are staged twice during each cruise
  • Equipment to participate in sports activities is provided at no additional charge

Cons

  • With the exception of the gym and some fitness classes, nearly everything else on board carries a price tag
  • Although there is no charge to attend, you must get tickets for the ice-skating shows
  • Smokers may be frustrated to find that smoking is prohibited in cabins and in most indoor areas
Ship Stats
  • Crew Members 1,185
  • Entered Service 2000
  • Gross Tons 142,000
  • Length 1,020 Feet
  • Number of Cabins 1,557
  • Passenger Capacity 3,114 (3,835 max)
  • Width 158 feet
  • New

Jan 1, 2017

Review of Explorer of the Seas

Maryann slavin Age: 62 Occupation:Retired Number of Cruises: 13 Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean Ship: Explorer of the Seas Sailing Date: 2016-06-4 Itinerary: Seattle to Alaska My husband and I took our first cruise in 2000 on a Royal Carribean cruise out of Galveston, TX. It was magical and the service and food were superb and we got the cruising bug. In the intervening years we have taken several cruises on Carnival, NCL, Celebrity, and Princess. Our

most recent cruise on Royal Carribean was horrible. Check-in was a chaotic free-for-all and we had people trying to reach over and around us to talk to the cruise person helping them. Only one person could approach the counter at one time and we had my 88 year old mother with us, who was being relentlessly jostled by the hordes. The trainee screwed up our photos and so we had to do the whole dog and pony again. The food was average or less, and often arrived cold and late. Our head waiter and team at dinner was great but otherwise it was catch as catch can. All the prices on the ship went up dramatically. The drink packages were difficult to figure out but the company seems to want to push passengers in that direction. My husband ordered a glass of Cabernet at dinner and he was charged $14 and 18% gratuity. A scrap book for the cruise was $30 for a flimsy cover and maybe 7 pages. The ship has lots of rust and needs maintenance and an update. The food was less than average, forget about it being anything above that. The first morning we went to the main dining room and it took one and a half hours to receive our food. Those who had Eggs Benedict complained that the eggs were more hard boiled than poached. Everything was cold. When someone at our table complained, we were told they were really busy. Is that not their job> The stateroom was fine, but on our first RC Cruise we had a full size tub and a nice shower and this time we had a flimsy shower that did not drain well and flooded the tiny bathroom floor. I thought they were focused on selling things on board and directing people to stores at ports who the cruise ship owned or had a kickback arrangement. There were not enough actual activities. I have been on cruises with napkin folding and towel animals and other activities that were fun. This cruise had a lecture series, that I would have enjoyed, but it was scheduled at 9 a.m. And that did not work with breakfast. Do go on the whale watching excursion out of Juneau to Auk Bay. For us, after four trips to Alaska, this was the most disappointing in terms of wildlife, the cruise ship, the failure to go up Tracy Arm Fjord to Sawyer Glacier which was the reason that we booked this particular tour, and a huge disappointment for the three people we took with us who had never been to Alaska and we had told there would be lots of whales and Tracy Arm Fjord Sawyer Glacier. I will never cruise RC again.

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  • New

Jun 3, 2016

Seattle to Alaska

My husband and I took our first cruise in 2000 on a Royal Carribean cruise out of Galveston, TX. It was magical and the service and food were superb and we got the cruising bug. In the intervening years we have taken several cruises on Carnival, NCL, Celebrity, and Princess. Our most recent cruise on Royal Carribean was horrible. Check-in was a chaotic free-for-all and we had people trying to reach over and around us to talk to the cruise person

helping them. Only one person could approach the counter at one time and we had my 88 year old mother with us, who was being relentlessly jostled by the hordes. The trainee screwed up our photos and so we had to do the whole dog and pony again. The food was average or less, and often arrived cold and late. Our head waiter and team at dinner was great but otherwise it was catch as catch can. All the prices on the ship went up dramatically. The drink packages were difficult to figure out but the company seems to want to push passengers in that direction. My husband ordered a glass of Cabernet at dinner and he was charged $14 and 18% gratuity. A scrap book for the cruise was $30 for a flimsy cover and maybe 7 pages. The ship has lots of rust and needs maintenance and an update. The food was less than average, forget about it being anything above that. The first morning we went to the main dining room and it took one and a half hours to receive our food. Those who had Eggs Benedict complained that the eggs were more hard boiled than poached. Everything was cold. When someone at our table complained, we were told they were really busy. Is that not their job> The stateroom was fine, but on our first RC Cruise we had a full size tub and a nice shower and this time we had a flimsy shower that did not drain well and flooded the tiny bathroom floor. I thought they were focused on selling things on board and directing people to stores at ports who the cruise ship owned or had a kickback arrangement. There were not enough actual activities. I have been on cruises with napkin folding and towel animals and other activities that were fun. This cruise had a lecture series, that I would have enjoyed, but it was scheduled at 9 a.m. And that did not work with breakfast. Do go on the whale watching excursion out of Juneau to Auk Bay. For us, after four trips to Alaska, this was the most disappointing in terms of wildlife, the cruise ship, the failure to go up Tracy Arm Fjord to Sawyer Glacier which was the reason that we booked this particular tour, and a huge disappointment for the three people we took with us who had never been to Alaska and we had told there would be lots of whales and Tracy Arm Fjord Sawyer Glacier. I will never cruise RC again.

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  • New

May 3, 2015

Canary Islands adventure cruise

Just out of Cadiz after a refit we thought we were in for a treat,how wrong can anyone be,we managed to get on the ship very easily ,good start ,went to stateroom couldn't get in along with several hundred others all doors had to be reset ,luggage came after a couple of hours we were lucky others waited until after 8 .we had joined with our friends to be on a table of 8 when we arrived only 2 seats left ,the people who had just changed their booking

on embarkation wouldn't move we stood in dining room waiting for 10minutes waiting for someone to find a spare 4seats ,we were shown to a table of 5 ,3 of which were children under 8(thought no youngsters at 2nd sitting) This was just the first 8hours of a 10day cruise things couldn't be worse ???? Could they !,, The breakfasts in wind jammer were hot ,tasty,and plentiful In the main dining room as the servers did not have a very good command of English you didn't always get what you had ordered and when you did it was never hot , the first evening we sat down at 8.30 and we were still waiting for dessert at 11 the dining room was always half empty and the staff couldn't cope apparently all the competent ones have been moved to "Anthem" . Boring menu very samey and didn't always arrive as advertised The room over looking the promenade deck was spacious and tidy ,the attendant was very pleasant ,but classed a request for a sachet of coffee as a special one and she had to ask if she could get one for me ,very odd As we packed for dis embarkation we found ticket stubs from March 2014 on a shelf ,obviously cleaning up wasn't a high priority Everything on board is based on the company making money,drinks packages,endless photographs,extortionate excursions,extra costs in restaurants.Flowrider a waste of space on this route closed due to high winds rough seas Extra costs in Johnnie Rockets for "milkshakes" a staple of a diner surely Hit and miss shows , we are not still in the 1950s Unless you are in an unstable country or need to see a specific site in a short space of time do your own thing it's cheaper A very expensive way of receiving substandard services,by ill trained staff, the share holders must laugh all the way to the bank

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By jo_CR

  • New

Apr 30, 2014

Bermuda

Ship is in great need of refurbishing. Stains on everything. Royal should spend time removing nasty stains off upholstered furniture. Room attendant tries to make room clean but all those scratches, chips and stains give the appearance of neglect. Food was very good this time. Prime rib was the best I have ever had onboard. Lobster was excellent...not overcooked and very tender. Always love the bread...but server never made it back for

seconds. Clean but beat-up cabin. ok entertainment Bus trip was wonderful...driver was great.

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  • New

May 14, 2013

Caribbean

Frank the tank and Leigh made the cruise soooo much fun. They make an awesome team. Our stateroom attendant, Clayton on the 9th floor, was so perfect. We miss him very much. He did an outstanding job!! The food was o.k. We wanted to eat at Palos but didnt because the food was too fancy for us. An ordinary dish of lasagna or some alfredo would have been great! 9576 was outstanding!! They were so much fun, but a little late

for us. We couldn't stay up for some stuff we wanted to attend. It was our first vaca. in 8 yrs. and it was more than we could have hoped for. We did an excursion on every island. We had so much fun on board and lots of rest too.

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