October 2015 - Explorer of the Seas to Other (Asia/Africa/Middle East)
The itinerary was great!! But the new RCL seems to just view the cruise as a platform for selling stuff. The internet packages were outrageous and you had to purchase them in blocks (30 min or days). You could not just buy some minutes use them during the entire cruise like before. Also the soft drink package is outrageously priced. We tried Chops and the Italian specialty restaurants. They have really cut back and I could not get a medium steak cooked correctly in either one. (I am not picky - I order medium in hopes of getting anything between medium well and medium rare! If you want a good steak in Chops you have to pay an extra $20 surcharge on top of the $30 surcharge you already paid!! Even the hamburgers were much smaller. Very little in the way of port, cultural or educational lectures (the poorest of my experiences) and the one lecture they did have was always scheduled very early in the morning so the ship could sell drinks via bar games and spa treatments during prime time. Speaking of the time, time changes were done in the middle of the day (noon) instead of midnight. Very confusing and it shortened the daytime and always confused lunch in the dining rooms. (I guess this reduced the need for day time entertainment of which there wasn't much and maintained the drinking during the night!! And there was sickness. They were scrubbing the ship 24 /7. Mediocre food in the dining room for the most part. We did enjoy the breakfast buffet and the lunch salad bar in the dining room. The buffet on deck 11 had very good food with a wide variety but with much repetition. The service was very good - the crew really does its best for the passengers. But the WOW factor for me is: WOW what happened to RCL???