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*I purchased the drink package but unfortunately I found that it was frustrating to try and get service from any of the bars on the ship, partly due to the lack of attention from the bar staff and also due to understaffing of the bars. For example in the star lounge on new years eve, the customers waiting for drinks were 4 to 5 deep but there was a considerable period of time where not a single staff member was serving. 2 staff were collecting empty glasses while the third was arranging clean glasses in a pattern at the rear of the bar. You can imagine how upset everybody was at the complete lack of service and lack of care by those staff members. It was also obvious that the bar staff lacked any connection with their customers as they never knew who was next to be served and usually struggled to remember who to give the sea pass back to, usually just holding it in the air until a customer grabbed for the card. This also added to peoples frustrations as people who had already been waiting for a considerable time for drinks were being overlooked. Staff that were collecting empty glasses normally also offer to get a new drink from the bar when they collect empties from a table but staff on this ship simply collect the empties and walk away. As a test, while in the Schooner bar, I placed my sea pass on top of an empty glass on my table, to suggest I would like a new drink. The bar staff collected all of the other empty glasses on our table and left the empty glass with my sea pass sitting on it. Not a word was said to anyone on the table by the bar staff. *Our previous experience with Royal Caribbean cruises is that the Dining Room experience was of very high standard with regard to the food and service quality. Unfortunately the dining room experience on Explorer was completely lacking and disappointing. We found the food was not of the expected calibre of the dining room. Meals did not get brought out for a very long time, and some meals were returned as they had clearly been sitting for too long and had gone cold. The drink waiter was virtually non existent, only coming over once someone was able to grab his attention by waving. He would then take the order of one person at the table and leave without asking any others at the table if they require drinks. A quality drink waiter would have taken drink orders for the table very shortly after everybody was seated, and also would have monitored his tables to see when people required replacements. We ended up avoiding the dining room after the first few days because of the poor service, poor food, and we found we ended up being there till after 10:30 after an 8:30 sitting. Dining overall was well below the expected standards for Royal Caribbean. In actual fact we found that Carnival Cruises out-performed in the dining room by far even though their cruises are much more budget oriented. *The stop at Mare was a real disappointment, considering after taking the tender to shore, there was nothing to see unless an additional $15 per person was paid for a bus out to the beach. If you make a stop as part of the cruise you should not be charging additional fees to make the stop of any use. Champagne bay or Mystery island would have been a far better alternative. *Kids Club was disappointing for our children. Compared to previous cruises, with Royal Caribbean and others, the staff lacked enthusiasm and it was reflected by the lack of attendance of our children and most of the other children on the ship. Kids Club has been a highlight for our children on other cruises and they couldn't wait to get there. Unfortunately not so on the Explorer. *The ice rink which is one of the highlights of the Explorer was not open most of the time. It didn't open for the first time until we had been on-board for 4 days. *The pool water had very high levels of chlorine which very quickly bleached any swimwear worn in the water. This has never been the case before. * On a positive note, our room attendant, Christopher was amazing and went well above the expected levels of service. He is a real asset to Royal Caribbean.

Poor service and poor quality food

Explorer of the Seas Cruise Review by Nebularcrionix

5 people found this helpful
Trip Details
*I purchased the drink package but unfortunately I found that it was frustrating to try and get service from any of the bars on the ship, partly due to the lack of attention from the bar staff and also due to understaffing of the bars. For example in the star lounge on new years eve, the customers waiting for drinks were 4 to 5 deep but there was a considerable period of time where not a single staff member was serving. 2 staff were collecting empty glasses while the third was arranging clean glasses in a pattern at the rear of the bar. You can imagine how upset everybody was at the complete lack of service and lack of care by those staff members. It was also obvious that the bar staff lacked any connection with their customers as they never knew who was next to be served and usually struggled to remember who to give the sea pass back to, usually just holding it in the air until a customer grabbed for the card. This also added to peoples frustrations as people who had already been waiting for a considerable time for drinks were being overlooked. Staff that were collecting empty glasses normally also offer to get a new drink from the bar when they collect empties from a table but staff on this ship simply collect the empties and walk away. As a test, while in the Schooner bar, I placed my sea pass on top of an empty glass on my table, to suggest I would like a new drink. The bar staff collected all of the other empty glasses on our table and left the empty glass with my sea pass sitting on it. Not a word was said to anyone on the table by the bar staff.

*Our previous experience with Royal Caribbean cruises is that the Dining Room experience was of very high standard with regard to the food and service quality. Unfortunately the dining room experience on Explorer was completely lacking and disappointing. We found the food was not of the expected calibre of the dining room. Meals did not get brought out for a very long time, and some meals were returned as they had clearly been sitting for too long and had gone cold. The drink waiter was virtually non existent, only coming over once someone was able to grab his attention by waving. He would then take the order of one person at the table and leave without asking any others at the table if they require drinks. A quality drink waiter would have taken drink orders for the table very shortly after everybody was seated, and also would have monitored his tables to see when people required replacements. We ended up avoiding the dining room after the first few days because of the poor service, poor food, and we found we ended up being there till after 10:30 after an 8:30 sitting. Dining overall was well below the expected standards for Royal Caribbean. In actual fact we found that Carnival Cruises out-performed in the dining room by far even though their cruises are much more budget oriented.

*The stop at Mare was a real disappointment, considering after taking the tender to shore, there was nothing to see unless an additional $15 per person was paid for a bus out to the beach. If you make a stop as part of the cruise you should not be charging additional fees to make the stop of any use. Champagne bay or Mystery island would have been a far better alternative.

*Kids Club was disappointing for our children. Compared to previous cruises, with Royal Caribbean and others, the staff lacked enthusiasm and it was reflected by the lack of attendance of our children and most of the other children on the ship. Kids Club has been a highlight for our children on other cruises and they couldn't wait to get there. Unfortunately not so on the Explorer.

*The ice rink which is one of the highlights of the Explorer was not open most of the time. It didn't open for the first time until we had been on-board for 4 days.

*The pool water had very high levels of chlorine which very quickly bleached any swimwear worn in the water. This has never been the case before.

* On a positive note, our room attendant, Christopher was amazing and went well above the expected levels of service. He is a real asset to Royal Caribbean.
Nebularcrionix’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Cabin
Cabins were average for the age of the ship. Could all use a good renovation.
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