May 2016 - Explorer of the Seas to Alaska - Inside Passage
Due to flight issue, we missed our departure port. RC told us numerous times over the phone that we could meet the boat at the first port of call with no issues then finish our cruise, but we would have to leave the ship early due to some Jones Law in the US. No problem to us, so we flew to Juneau and met the cruise a day late. They would not let us on the boat. Made us wait outside in the freezing cold for over an hour. They claimed I had not notified the cruise line of our plans, ugh! Eventually, since I knew the laws and had proof that we were complying with the law, they let us on the boat but refused to return our passports for a full day. They also changed the reason 3 times why they would not return our passports (which we needed for an excursion in the Yukon). Guest services was a joke. We did however eventually manage to settle in and enjoy parts of the cruise. Some highlights and lowlights:
1. Ship was nice and our JR Suite was very comfortable and clean
2. Fitness facility was very spacious and had a lot to offer
3. Mystery Dinner was dumb, 3 hrs long, and food was no better than midnight buffet quality. For $65 a person it was not worth it
4. WindJammer cafeteria was HUGE, but all the food seemed under seasoned and half of it seemed like frozen dinners you buy at the grocery store. Was not impressed with the selection or quality of cafeteria food. We only made one formal dinner and food was good but portion size was seriously small.
5. We did enjoy the amount of onboard activities. Go to the Quest and Marriage shows. I personally enjoyed the sport activities (dodgeball, archery, cornhole,etc)
6. Alaska is AMAZING! Got to see Orcas, humpbacks, eagles, sea lions, glaciers
7. This ship did not give off the "Party Vibe" like Carnival (which we liked)
8. Karaoke was a huge hit on the ship, but they stopped it early every night
9. Graham, the cruise director, (who we got to meet and hang out with while we waited in the cold to board the ship) was fun, but bordered on being potty mouthed even in front of kids.
I will try other cruise lines before giving RC a second try.