June 2014 - Explorer of the Seas to Caribbean
The overall cruise was very good--the best of our previous experiences with Royal Caribbean. Gorgeous ship, great service, very good accommodations, and the four destinations were awesome. We love the town plaza with all of the shops, eateries, staged and spontaneous activities, including a Starbucks, which made my wife and daughter extra happy . The evening dining menu and food quality in Da Gamma were ok and a little disappointing, however. The best thing about the dinner was our waiters and the bonding we established. They were the most personal and best we have experienced and they became part of our extended family. Our greatest overall food experience was in the buffet (breakfast/lunch). The food was very tasty and enjoyable every day. We did not experience the buffet for dinner. We had dinner twice at the specialty restaurant and enjoyed the food and atmosphere very much. The room service menu and food were also very good. Our cabins were very comfortable and the experience of sleeping with the open balcony was so refreshing and rewarding. We are eagerly looking forward to doing this cruise again and hope our experience will be enhanced even more by our comments below.
Would like to make a few suggestions for enjoyment in the future. The dinner menu and food quality need to improve. For example, crab cakes were on the menu and every one in our party ordered them. Not a single piece of crabmeat could be found. They were made with fake crabmeat (pollock), and after the first bite, all of us returned the dish. A couple of times the food was not cooked thorougly or as requested and not enough daily variety was offered. These were inexcusable and disappointing. Overall, maybe one-half of the items we selected during the nine dinner nights were good to very good. No excuse for it not being consistently very good. Good thing we had the waiters we did. They made up our dinner disappointments.
We were disappointed in the choice of sweetners used in the preparation of sugar-free deserts and available in the dining and eating facilities. All of the sugar alternatives were nutri-sweet varities that are all artificial and dangerous to ones health. More healthier and natural sweetner such as truvia or stevia were no where to be found. Splenda, which is not as good as truvia and stevia, but much better than nutri-sweet was unavailable, but available on other Royal Caribbean Ships we have traveled. No excuse for that either. We have come to love cruising on Royal Caribbeans and hope these suggestions will be implemented in time for our next cruise this year.