Explorer of the Seas

3.8 out of 5
Price: $ $ $ $     Size: L     Refurbished: 2 yrs ago    
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About Explorer of the Seas

Explorer of the Seas is a large ship, carrying 3114 passengers and 1185 crew, and sails from Sydney, Australia and Seattle, Washington.

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Recent Review

TexasHeatEscape says ...

Go to Alaska!

This cruise was my gift to my daughter for her high school graduation.  Alaska is an... Read more
Read 1301 Explorer of the Seas reviews


Contributor Level: Purser
4 out of 5

Go to Alaska!

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Sail Date: / Traveled As: Family (older children)

This cruise was my gift to my daughter for her high school graduation.  Alaska is an amazing sight to behold... if you have the opportunity to go...  GO!!  It's a beautiful place and pictures can't hold a candle to the actual sight of it!  Although this was our first RC cruise, it was our 2nd cruise experience.  We traveled with some of our other family members who had a great experience with their first RC cruise when they went on a 9 day Carribbean vacay so we decided to give RC a shot.  All-in-all, the cruise was great...  but... there were a couple of things that should've been better.  First, although the food was great in the main/Captains dining room... our service from the waiter and waiter assistant were more than lacking: water/tea glasses went unfilled even after asking for refills, they repeatedly placed the wrong orders in front of the wrong people at our table so more than once we had to play "musical plates", and the service they gave the table was very slow.  As a matter of fact, the service the first night was so poor, the family of 4 we were to share a table with for the week didn't return after that first night.  The second issue...  soda package drink availability:  soda package costs ~$70 for the 7 day trip, numerous soda packages sold on the ship based on the number of package glasses seen among passengers- - only 6 soda dispensing machines on board on a vessel that is 14 decks high.  In addition to that, 2 of the machines were located in the dining room that was blocked off for private use more often than not and then, of the other 4, 2 were usually out of ice or not working correctly so the dispensed liquid was not cold/refrigerated... definitely not giving the consumer $70 worth of service with this.  Let me just end by saying...  these 2 issues were the only real complaints we had with the trip.  Overall, it was a great experience and we would definitely repeat it.  Our room attendant, Nestor, was AWESOME!!!  The food was great and plentiful!  The staff friendly.  The music varied and fabulous... and did I mention that Alaska was AMAZING!!?!  WinkLove

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Contributor Level: Deck Hand
4 out of 5

Birthday cruise....

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Sail Date: / Traveled As: Family (older children)

For the most part - they did what they said.  I thought the main dining waiters etc. were outstanding.  Our person who cleaned our room was also outstanding.  The ship was lovely and very clean.

 

Negatives....The shore excursions we signed up for were way too short....i.e/ Mendenhall Glacier (We were only there 1 1/2 hours and it took about an hour to hike to and from glacier - no time to even go to the visitors center).  Even the panning for gold in Skagway was way too short....not enough time to even may a bathroom break.  Juneau and Skagway were great and enough time to see the towns - that was a plus!  The train ride was wonderful! in Skagway.  We went to Beauchart Gardens in Victoria and AGAIN 1 1/2 hours WAY TOO SHORT to see such a beautiful area.  It was raining so it even seemed to take a little longer with all of the umbrellas.  The bus driver was very good and informative. 

 

The TV programs were terrible - absolutely nothing to watch....and a good portion of the channels were in another language. 

 

The food (especially the bakery items and fruit)  were always the same day after day no variety.  It would have been nice to have some strawberries, or some different type of bakery items....somewhat boring day after day. 

 

Overall loved the ship and the itinerary.  Also, the check-in process was very slow and no one realized we could tag our bags and get in line for check-in.  If more people were out front informing the passengers of the procedure it would have gone so much smoother. 

 

The whole crew was wonderful - NO complaints.

 

I had set up a day for my daughters Birthday celebration and that did not happen....but we told the crew and they at least sang to my daughter.  NOT sure why that didn't happen. 

 

They also changed some of the times of activities such as the Sushi making - who wants Sushi at 9:00 in the morning.  We had signed up for noon and they changed it.  We ended up not eating it and throwing it out!

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Contributor Level: Purser
4 out of 5

Great cruise for glacier viewing

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Sail Date: / Traveled As: Couple

This was our 2nd cruise with RC and both have been on this class of vessel, they are really nice ships.  The trip offered stunning views at every turn.  We were a little worried about taking this trip so early in the season, but we got lucky and had great weather - 60's and 70's F for daily highs, partly cloudy or sunny every day but one - the last sea day it rained.  That's fine because you're not going to spend a lot of time on deck on the sea days, it is too cold and windy on the north Pacific.  In port it was fine and I used the pools a couple of times while in port, they are heated and it was quite pleasant.

 

We did an RC tour in Skagway - White Pass Rail, I highly recommend it. In Juneau we made our own arrangements to see the Mendenhall Glacier which was easy, there are multiple operators who will take you back and forth to the visitors center.  In Victoria, my wife booked high tea at the Empress - again I highly recommend that, and we did our own tour of some places in the city.  The trip down the Tracy Arm Fjord was absolutely spectacular.

 

This is a different type of cruise, our others have all been to warm places with lots of time at the pool.  You won't be doing that here but if you want to see some of the wonders of Alaska, this is a great way to do it.

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Contributor Level: Purser
3 out of 5

Port of Seattle Problems

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Sail Date: / Traveled As: Family (young children)

This cruise got off on a bad note due to serious problems at the port getting to the luggage drop off area.  We took Uber from our hotel to the port.  All private vehicles, uber, hotel shuttles, etc, were diverted to a staging lot where we sat for an hour before finally moving to the luggage area.  This doubled our Uber fare.  People were getting very impatient and angry.  This also caused back-ups at the check in counters.  The port employees seemed very unorganized and uninformed.  Also the problem was likely impacted by the simultaneous loading of the Explorer and a large Celebrity ship docked adjacent.  Taxis did not have to go thru the staging lot so I recommend taking taxi to port.

 

The cruise itself was fine.  Weather was great, ports stops were good.  Our favorites were Skagway and the White Pass Railway, and the morning in the Tracy Arm Fjord and Sawyer Glacier.  We were somewhat disappointed in the food at the main dining room.  I believe the food quality has declined on RCL over the past few years in the main dining room.  Windjammer was ok, we don't expect as much there.  We did have an excellent meal and service at the Italian specialty restaurant, but $35 surcharge.  Johnny Rocket's is always good with a nominal surcharge.   The Kids Club and Teen Club were great for our grandchildren.

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Contributor Level: Deck Hand
5 out of 5

Best ever

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Sail Date: / Traveled As: Couple

The best part of the cruise was the service, the food and the excursions. Our room steward, Nicholas was always there taking care of our needs and keeping our room exceptionally clean. Our waiter, Flickson (India) and our server Antara (Indonesia) made our dining experience a simply wonderful event. I can't wait go on another Alaska Cruise to be assisted by this crew again!!

 

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Contributor Level: Deck Hand
2 out of 5

Cruise Not So Good

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Sail Date: / Traveled As: Couple

1. More TV Channels

2. Front Desk poor attitude 

3. Leaving ship luggage needs to out on dock by 7:00 am

4. Lack of concern by management 

5. Would NOT recommend RC to anyone!

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Contributor Level: Purser
5 out of 5

Beautiful Alaskan Cruise

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Sail Date: / Traveled As: Large Group

Great cruise, not enough time in Juneau of you do three whale watching, samon bake and Mendenhall Glacier.  The excursion was 6+ hours and didn't get a chance to shop there. Also the embarkation needs some serous work. Got there at our declared time and had to wait over an hour and half to get front the front door onto the ship. I was told they were trying something new.... it didn't work. Other than that it was simply breath taking.   Would recommend this to anybody looking to do a cruise. FYI go for the Jr. Suite 9270 plenty of room for a family of 4 which has a larger balcony, walk in closet and full bath tub/shower combo.

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Contributor Level: Deck Hand
3 out of 5

Where has RCCL gone

Verified Review
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Sail Date: / Traveled As: Family (older children)

Nice cruise, but things have changed. Room service $7.95 per call.Nervous Windjammer Food has gone down hill. We had (8) in our family in the Main dining room. They didn't cook a steak right in 7 days.Sad We ordered at least 5 steaks per night and not one time were any of the steaks cooked right. Either to raw or overcooked each time. Pubic hair on the carrot cake one night, and plastic grilled into the steak on one side. Complained to the head waiter, and that was as far as it went. Our staterooms were well taken care of. Prices have all went up. Time to move on to another cruise line.

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Contributor Level: Deck Hand
4 out of 5

Nice trip with a couple of exceptions.

Verified Review
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Sail Date: / Traveled As: Family (older children)

Friendly staff overall.  A lot of activities for both kids and adults.

The only big issues are taste of food at Windjammer, and the stop at Victoria, BC, Canada.

Some items/drinks tasted weird.  The stop at Victoria was a total waste of time!

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Contributor Level: Purser
5 out of 5

Bucket list cruise COMPLETED

Verified Review
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Sail Date: / Traveled As: Family (older children)

The Explorer of the Seas is a lovely ship, with a great itinerary.  We had a virtual balcony interior stateroom on deck 10.  What a neat feature!  The room seemed very large & bright, with the "balcony" feature and the placement of the mirrors in the room.

The hot tubs were HOT (great on this cruise) and the pool water was warm. The spa was nice, especially the steam room & sauna.

The food was plentiful and good at the Windjammer buffet..  I enjoyed smoked salmon every morning for breakfast!  The crepe station was terrific.  I also noticed "Gluten Free Island" for those who need a special diet.  The main dining room had a nice menu.  We ate there for dinner most nights.  We did not try room service.  

We ate at one of the specialty restaurants, Giovanni's table, a nice Italian meal, with LOTS of food.

We enjoyed a sushi making class, at Izumi, where we made our own sushi, for lunch.  It was fun!

We also did the champagne brunch galley tour, bottomless champagne and a lovely menu based brunch after our tour of the galley.  The galley team seemed pleased to have us watching them at work.

The Alaska itinerary was good.  I personally enjoyed the enrichment lectures.

The shops had a nice selection of merchandise.

The ice rink was fun.  The ice shows had seating based on your muster drill.  It was a full house at the show I attended.

The photographers were all around.  We purchased a USB drive of our photos, quite convenient, and were able to share our photos immediately from our phones.

The coffee shop on the deck 5 was convenient for grabbing a snack or sandwich.  There was almost always a line for the specialty coffees and Ben & Jerry's ice creams.

I bought the soda plan.  They did need to work on keeping the soda machine full, on a couple of occasions the only non-calorie drink available was water....

Our cabin steward, Laida was amazing.  She was caring & efficient.  She even got me a kettle!  I enjoyed making a cup of chai tea whenever I felt like it.

All of the staff we encountered were pleasant & very helpful.

All in all, it was a really terrific cruise!Happy 

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Was this review helpful? 8

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Cruises and Itineraries

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Explore Cabins

Explorer of the Seas has 1557 cabins and 25 cabin categories. See what each category
has to offer and read cabin reviews from the community.

Avg. Size: 152 sq. ft.
Avg. Cost: $105 per night

Avg. Size: 184 sq. ft.
Avg. Cost: $132 per night

Avg. Size: 173 sq. ft.
Avg. Cost: $182 per night

Avg. Size: 564 sq. ft.
Avg. Cost: $262 per night

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Deck Plans

Explore the layout of all 14 decks on
Explorer of the Seas.

Deck 5

Deck 5 features Columbus Dining Room, Maharaja's, Champagne Bar, Connoisseur Club, observation deck, Cafe Promenade, Sprinkles, Crown & Kettle, gaming...

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Deck 11

Deck 11 features the ShipShape Fitness Center & Spa, Windjammer Cafe, Portofino, Island Grill, two outdoor swimming pools, whirlpools, pool bar, swim shop,...

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Deck 4

Deck 4 features Da Gama Dining Room, The Palace Theatre, Schooner Bar, Casino Royale, the Chamber, Aquarium Bar, and the Centrum.

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Deck 2

Deck 2 features staterooms in categories H, I and AY, as well as the Palace Theatre and entertainment complex.

Explore Deck 2
Laraine
Contributor Level: Third Mate

The breakfast in the dining room was excellent. We went there the last 2 days...wish we had done it sooner.

EdSachs
Contributor Level: Second Mate

Catch her this year before she moves south and the prices go up to sail the Quantum.

BermudaCruiserM
Contributor Level: Purser

Must attend the entertainment and game show. Besides, have great fund on Deck 5.

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$

Price

L

Size

Oct 2000

Built

2 yrs ago

Refurbished

3114

Total Passengers

2.63

Crew to Passenger Ratio

14

Number of Decks

1557

Total Cabins

25

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