Sail Date: March 2019
I booked this trip well over a year ago, and had six friends join us which was great. We were all very excited and had pre-booked and pre-planned everything possible. To start with, the embarkation at Sydney was fairly quick and our ... Read More
I booked this trip well over a year ago, and had six friends join us which was great. We were all very excited and had pre-booked and pre-planned everything possible. To start with, the embarkation at Sydney was fairly quick and our room was available straightaway, and this was probably around 1 pm. We were immensely happy with our particular room up on level 12 but I will go into that in more details later. We had lunch up in the windjammer cafe which was very nice with plenty of variety and it didn’t take too long until we found seats for all of us. By the time we got back ,our bags had arrived so it was a very efficient service. We had pre-booked the chefs dinner, The gallery tour and lunch, and also the wine around the world talk and tasting. All the information for these were waiting in our cabin for us which again is great service. We met our cabin Steward KOLI..He turned out to be a lovely young gentleman, very personable and very very efficient. So we all just wandered around the ship and checked everything out and eventually met for dinner in the main dining room, where on that night, and every other night following, we had really really nice food. We had Billy and Inyomen, looking after us every night, and they also were extremely friendly, extremely efficient, with a great sense of humour. We had some people with food allergies and one vegetarian, and they went out of their way to ensure everything was okay for them. My husband and I are not great socialisers , as we don’t drink a real lot, and generally don’t bother with the shows, we just like to relax, read a book, have a nap, and do very little. And many times we did do this. But my friends are more outgoing and like to do all the activities and see the shows, so we went along to a few of these things, like trivia, karaoke, and all sorts of other shows, and I have to say, that despite myself, I had a really good time at these activities. We saw ice shows , Movies, parades, art shows, and I watched the wave Rider and golf activities. And generally kept myself entertained, together with long long periods in the Jacuzzi that was in the spa , Very near our room. We thoroughly enjoyed our gallery tour and huge lunch and bottomless champagne..wow Same with the wine tasting.. I’ve been to Champagne in France, and many wineries in Australia, but still learnt things from the sommelier on this cruise.. The best of course was the chefs dinner. Wow wow wow..worth every cent.. way too much food and wine, but a fantastic experience.. So, we also had some other stuff go on...Two medical airlifts early on in the cruise.. not that great for the patients ( who I believe are ok now) but quite exciting for those watching the skill of the pilots and medical staff. Our cabin afforded us the best view ...so many photos and videos taken.. Apparently another medical problem which meant we departed Darwin abit late.. Two missed ports of call. Airlie and Yorkies Knob.. which meant we only stopped at Brisbane and Darwin... Quite a few people disappointed, but really didn’t bother me, as I’m aware that these stops are often missed due to the weather.. those people who set their hearts on seeing the Great Barrier Reef, would have been better just going up there for a few days , as cruising and using tenders is a 50/50% chance.. I had prebooked private excursions at both places and was SUPER surprised to get my money back immediately...no questions asked. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We are Diamond Plus RCI cruisers. Have always enjoyed our RCI cruises. I must say that this was the Most Disorganized cruise we have ever taken. It seemed that one department had no idea what another department was doing. We had ... Read More
We are Diamond Plus RCI cruisers. Have always enjoyed our RCI cruises. I must say that this was the Most Disorganized cruise we have ever taken. It seemed that one department had no idea what another department was doing. We had great waiters in main Dining Room, we were on My Time, deck 3. The evening menus seemed to be same menu day after day. We truly missed the Chef's Suggestion of the Day that we used to have. The breakfast menu on deck 3 was the same everyday. We just walked over to center of Dining Room for buffet. The Royal Caribbean Dancers and Sinhers were a highlight for our entertainment. The rest of the entertainment was a major disappointment and that's probably why the Palace Theater was hardly more than half full regardless if it were early or late show. First RCI ship we have been on where entire crew (all departments) were not represented at Closing Show. We were sad to see that it was only cruise director/activity director staff and Royal Caribbean Singers and Dancers. I realize that this Review sounds like I am a complainer but I really am not. I spoke with countless other passengers to see if I was off base. Most that I spoke with felt as I did I found. To be honest with you, if this was my first RCI experience I would not be cruising on RCI again. As it is we have four more RCI cruises booked at this time with another on Explorer of the Seas on November 4th. If we didn't already have plane and hotel reservations already paid for I would cancel the cruise on the Explorer. I am praying that there will be a different management crew on that cruise and things will change for the better. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
We chose this cruise because of its itinerary. We hadn’t been on Royal for a few years and didn’t expect that it would be so changed. It has or it’s just that we are spoiled from our other non royal cruises. The staff didn’t ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of its itinerary. We hadn’t been on Royal for a few years and didn’t expect that it would be so changed. It has or it’s just that we are spoiled from our other non royal cruises. The staff didn’t care. For instance it took two full hours to disembark. No staff to direct passengers while waiting or offer suggestions as to where to stand. We were the first group scheduled and we were self assist. It appeared that they were discharging their tour groups first so there we were along with another 1000 or so people waiting two hours. And then the announcer actually told the following group to report while we were still there. Total chaos and rude staff. Elevators ran inconsistently or not at all. They were also out of service for much of the trip. We were sitting in the shade poolside for several hours when a representative said”hey guys we have to move you”. Really? They had decided to set up a poolside buffet and told 40 people to move. Poor planning. And very rude to top it off. There are too many choices to use vacation time and money but this is a no brainer. We won’t be back. They won’t miss us and we won’t miss them. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
I am on board this ship attending a genealogy conference. Thank goodness I AM attending a conference because the overall options for things to do on this ship are terrible. Everything is aimed at young families - the ones where the parents ... Read More
I am on board this ship attending a genealogy conference. Thank goodness I AM attending a conference because the overall options for things to do on this ship are terrible. Everything is aimed at young families - the ones where the parents traipse off and have a good time but leave their brats to run amok and annoy fellow guests. Then there is the food - the Windjammer is terrible, all food is well overcooked and what is not eaten is served up the next day in a variety of stir fry's and casserole-type dishes. The Sapphire Dining Room is just as bad. The only decent meals are to be had in the speciality restaurants which leads me to think they make the general food so bad you will naturally take up the specialities! It would also appear that the shore excursion staff are not kept informed about any changes to excursions until the very last minute and are not able to get the message out to its passengers. For one excursion I was booked on, I was complaining about the change of date at such late notice (the evening before) when several other passengers advised they had had 4 date changes to the same excursion. Was also booked on the Tour of the Ship only to be told while waiting for the tour to commence that it would not be happening because we were sailing through the Torres Straits and no one is allowed to enter the bridge or engine room on this day. HELLO why was the day available for the booking in the first place when the organisers would have known we would be travelling through those Straits on that day. Arrived in Darwin to be told our collected tour group (who had to meet at the fore theatre room on Deck 3 had to walk up to Deck 4, across to the aft elevators and go down to Deck 1. We get down there having had to wait many minutes for elevators (they only take so many people) to be told, no you are exiting from Deck 4. Up we go again to find we have to disembark down the steepest, wet, gangway I have every seen. Our group consisted of many elderly persons with mobility problems including a totally blind woman with a stick. Surely this is a health and safety risk just waiting for a passenger to have a fall and sue the pants off of Royal Caribbean. I have done several cruises with their sister company Celebrity and the difference between the two is staggering. Royal Caribbean - Explorer of the Seas - no longer supplies fresh water jugs to your cabin; no longer gives you that little chocolate on your bed making you feel special; instead of two cabin stewards there is only one very overworked steward; the conference room in the fore of the ship has only 1 toilet for up to a hundred people. Then there is the state of the elevators, one of which kept breaking down - to be honest it was the one you could rely on because it wasn't working with the others continually whizzing past your floor or staying on each deck for around 4 or 5 minutes minimum. Much quicker to take the stairs but not suitable for the elderly or those with mobility problems. I could go on but then I'd only be seen as a whinger - along with at least half of the passengers on this cruise. My advice - pay the extra and go with Celebrity or its ilk. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
My only previous cruise experience was a 2 month voyage on Queen Victoria sailing from Sydney to Southampton. If I were to compare the experience with my voyage on Explorer of the seas I am highly impressed with my latest venture. I ... Read More
My only previous cruise experience was a 2 month voyage on Queen Victoria sailing from Sydney to Southampton. If I were to compare the experience with my voyage on Explorer of the seas I am highly impressed with my latest venture. I was pleased to find that the crew were so friendly and obliging. Our room attendant, Jasina, always had a smile for us and prepared our room spotlessly and at times that suited our comings and goings. We dined most evenings in the Sapphire Dining Room(level 3) and our group of 9 could not believe our luck to have our sensational waiters, Shival and Kisan. we all agreed that you could not wish to meet more friendly, courteous and professional gentlemen. After dinner we would enjoy listening to Liz on the piano, where we also met two more of your wonderful crew, Adriana and Rakanathwa. Congratulations to all and I look forward to maybe one day enjoying your company once more Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We have sailed on a number of RC ships and were looking forward to this one. Just a short break to the Pacific Islands. Bars - definite lack of staff in this area (all bars) always had to wait for drinks, (never had this problem on ... Read More
We have sailed on a number of RC ships and were looking forward to this one. Just a short break to the Pacific Islands. Bars - definite lack of staff in this area (all bars) always had to wait for drinks, (never had this problem on other ships) first ship we have had to ask for a stirrer and slice of orange in a Campari and soda it’s a basic drink (staff just not trained)! Main dining room well don’t recommend that at all, in fact we spoke to someone about the lack of attention and the food just well............ Windjammer again disappointed the same dish was served for the first three days! Usually there are such great choices. Specialty dining - Giovanni’s was very nice attention to detail good. Izumi’s the best excellent food and service. Chops Grille sad, it was great on other ships but this visit definitely disappointed. Shows were pretty good, ice show excellent, general entertainment hmmmm... We felt there was a ‘lack of food venues’ for snacks and coffee etc., other RC ships definitely had more choice/venues. It even seemed to be a battle to get a cup of tea at times and sometimes just didn’t bother because the queue was just too long. Again just not enough staff!!!! On one occasion I was making a cup of tea and noticed pink lipstick on the mug while pouring hot water into it, staff standing next to me, I said “ooh this mug is dirty” he turned and walked away!! Not the reaction I expected. Overall the staff moral seemed low and staff numbers seemed low as in a great shortage of them. After listening to the Captain at a ‘function’ thinking there maybe lies the answer! Would not sail on Explorer of the Seas again and would not recommend it. Next cruise will make us Diamond and really thinking do we want to keep going ? Have had so many fantastic cruises just hoping they are not ‘losing the plot’. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
We choose to experience the bigger ship but it fell short on expectations. Symphony dining was one third full with two people at 8 seater tables. Background music was so loud we couldn’t hear ourselves with the Head Waiter saying it ... Read More
We choose to experience the bigger ship but it fell short on expectations. Symphony dining was one third full with two people at 8 seater tables. Background music was so loud we couldn’t hear ourselves with the Head Waiter saying it couldn’t be changed as it was arranged from Miami. Some diners were dressed in singlet shirts, caps and thongs and the Head Waiter said they would be offended if told to change. This complaint goes back some years. Windjammer buffet restaurant was noisy and food ‘just ok’. Promenade Coffee shop - too small for a 4,000 person ship particularly on sea days and coffee well and truly brewed most of the time. Balconies overlooking the Promenade had lights shining into their cabins and noisy. Very young children were running about the top deck and up and down in lifts at midnight. No parents were in sight. Tenders were efficient, evening shows were good quality. Shops had good quality merchandise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
Chose this deal when on Radiance last December as big irresitible hook of $350usd OBC offered. We were assigned Inside cabin deck 8 aft, a burst water pipe put paid to that, so after a haggle with Guest Services we ended up in a Junior ... Read More
Chose this deal when on Radiance last December as big irresitible hook of $350usd OBC offered. We were assigned Inside cabin deck 8 aft, a burst water pipe put paid to that, so after a haggle with Guest Services we ended up in a Junior Suite at rear of deck 6 for the remaining 5 nights, brilliant. Staff were great, dining room waiters Geraldine & Prudencio & Maitre D fussing to make sure all was good. Breakfast & occasional lunch in MDR Sapphires was excellent. Windjammer was crowded, better to avoid at peak hours. Captain Mal & officers mixed on several occasions with guests, very visible & omniprescent. Crown & Anchor evening was good, Captain & C & A lady doing the talking. WE took the 79USD package & used it at Izumis 3x, great tucker. Production shows were hot hot hot, loved every one. Fast Forward, Invitation to Dance & Las Vegas show. The supporting acts were very good over all, Monique Martinez & Coedian Paul Bracks excellent. The solo guitarman Jovencio was very good, Piano lady spoilt by too trebly amplification, C Wind band very good playing 70-80s music. Ports of call Lifou, Mystery Island & Isle of Pines were great, that torquoise colored water is unforgettable, Noumea however is forgettable. Enrichment was by someone from Minerals Council i think, too early for me. Embarkation was easy at 130pm, disembarking was a cattle call. Tenders to the islands was great, 4 tenders docking at the island piers making a quick journey. The trip was made so enjoyable by the Junior Suite, first upgrade ever after about 16 cruises. Next time on RCI we will be Diamond so that will mean no queing at all, look forward to it. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
I chose those cruise because I have had a good experience with Royal Caribbean before and expected the same. Unfortunately that wasn’t the case. The best bar, Dizzys on deck 14 with the best view, was unavailable every single day, ... Read More
I chose those cruise because I have had a good experience with Royal Caribbean before and expected the same. Unfortunately that wasn’t the case. The best bar, Dizzys on deck 14 with the best view, was unavailable every single day, closed for Diamond only! This is clearly unfair. Even when it was open, there were long periods it was unattended. Staff apologised as they kicked people out at 4:30 but really, just not good enough. When it reopened at 8:30 the diamond folks remained so hard to find a seat, and the entertainment up there was atrocious! Awful DJ, pandering only to the elderly. The movies were screened twice a day on deck, but at weird times like at lunch or dinner when people would clearly be out dining. No BBQ or pizza or snack on deck, I assumed you simply weren’t allowed to eat there, it was certainly strongly discouraged! there was a blatant lack of seating or shade for people on the pool decks. If you wanted to spend time there, you had to plant early and one of you always be there! Little to no effort was made to provide us with decent music or entertainment on deck except at sail away, and that was brief and not very good, then it would abruptly end after about 45 minutes. Theme nights were a joke as they were carried out in the promenade so so one could move or see! Waste of time. Cocktails were mixes and watered, often warm. We often had to teach them cocktails and many refused. Cocktail list at the R Bar has literally five cocktails listed and that’s it! As Dizzys was never available the other bars were packed out every day so again a huge lack of seating was a big problem the entire cruise! The sapphire dining room was slow, we gave up as we were refused cocktails and our request for wine and beer took over 30 minutes. Bigger noisier tables got first service. I ordered an eggs Benedict well done with bacon, was told twice the reason my order was taking so long was because I wanted it well done. Came out after 35 minutes runny with grey undercooked bacon. Got up and left, waiter didn’t bother asking why, as it was obvious! The windjammer was very good though and the head cook fantastic. Great theme nights! There was never enough pizza in the promenade cafe however, not ever. They ran out all the time. As it’s the only place to get a snack you’d think they’d be better prepared. Chefs table was fabulous, as was specialty dining; Giovanni’s was outstanding. Explorer is continuing on to Southhampton and then not returning to Australia after refurb so it very much felt like little effort was made, by the cruise director or the staff. The ice show and theatre shows were good, and worth seeing, it was the huge lack of entertainment elsewhere that was a problem and so it got very monotonous doing the same things only, like trivia. Disappointing and boring cruise. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We have just returned from a 14 day South Pacific cruise on Explorer of the Seas. May I say I was very concerned going in since she was launched in 2000 and is 19 years old. For us humans 19 years is nothing but having thousands of people ... Read More
We have just returned from a 14 day South Pacific cruise on Explorer of the Seas. May I say I was very concerned going in since she was launched in 2000 and is 19 years old. For us humans 19 years is nothing but having thousands of people engage with her a lady can show age! The itinerary drew us to Explorer since we were all the way over on the other side of the world and came off Ovation of the seas in New Zealand ( more on that later) so why not extend the trip. We booked the Owners Suite and said let’s see what happens. Bottom line, WE LOVED HER! Yes there was a bit of wear but not what we expected. She looked like a beautiful girl for what I call “old school” nostalgic. The touches of cruise ships from the past were fantastic. The crew outstanding, there was not a time that the crew stepped up and made our experience outstanding. Being Diamond the Diamond lounge was the best lounge on and ship we have been on. Since there were 462 Diamond or Diamond Plus people the lounge poured out ito Dizzy’s which was fantastic, did not go over well with the other people because Dizzy’s was closed from 4:30-8:30 every night. Andy the ar tender than you for your service and Micheal your service was fantastic! The specialty restaurant staff was outstanding! Thank you to all! Chefs table outstanding! Our Jamaican chef you were the best and I still say you have a Chefs table highlighting your culture would be a win! I know Explorer goes int dry dock next year so she will only get better. Take this from one who travels a lot, if you are considering Explorer book her, she will not disappoint you! Read Less
Explorer of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 4.0 0.0
Entertainment 5.0 0.0
Public Rooms 4.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 5.0 0.0
Family 5.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 3.0 0.0
Enrichment 4.0 0.0
Service 4.0 0.0
Value For Money 5.0 0.0
Rates 4.0 0.0

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