Sail Date: March 01, 2012 Ship: Explorer of the Seas Cabin Type: Inside Traveled As: Couple Reviewed: 5 years ago
This was our fourth cruise in the last 15 years. Obviously we don't go all that often so it's important to us that we have a good trip. This was our first on Royal Caribbean and was our best in terms of the ship. Explorer of the Seas was clean, big, not too crowded, and the crew was exceptionally friendly. Everyone from the cabin stewards to the maintenance men would greet you whenever you happened near them. The ship was full - every cabin - but we never had problems getting a deck chair on even the sunniest of days. The ship's policy was no saving of deck chairs (which was generally observed) which helped a lot. Also there were 500 kids on board but for the most part they had their own programs and activities. With all the shipboard areas (Basketball, climbing wall, inline skating, putt-putt golf, ping pong, arcade, etc..) there was plenty to keep the older kids busy and the younger kids happy. We especially enjoyed Dizzy's lounge where we could read and be out of the wind. If you wanted a drink the staff would happily get one for you. If you didn't want one - no worries - they would let you read without constantly checking. The food was excellent and the service was great. The rooms were adequate (we had an interior room) and quiet. Also, there was a commitment to health and plenty of hand washing stations... required for entry to all eating areas. Our Windjammer greeter would say "No washee, washee, no foodee, foodee; no foodee, foodee, no yummee, yummee, no yummee, yummee, ho happy, happy." By the end of the week he had everyone on board saying it.
Food and Dining
5 out of 5
The Windjammer had plenty of choices. We ate there for late breakfast and lunch. We had the second seating (8:30) for dinner and were on the second level. Our waiter and assistant waiters were very attentive and remembered our preferences from one day to the next. They greeted us by name and we enjoyed their service. One of our party has to have gluten free food and our waiter made sure each evening to give him the next days menu so that he could have the chef prepare whatever he wanted to order - gluten free. We ate one night at the Portofino. The filet mignon was excellent and the presentation of all the dishes amazing. We went to the murder-mystery night and while we really enjoyed the program it was expensive and I felt crowded in at the tables. I think next time we'll just go on a regular night to enjoy the food and service without the program - less expensive too. The cover charge of $20pp would be well worth the money. (The Murder Mystery was $49.50pp)
5 out of 5
We loved the ice shows. During the 10 days there were two completely different shows. The "seasons" show was the last and the best. Great lighting and excellent performances. I especially enjoyed the way the skaters interacted with the audience. With four different performances (for each show) everyone had a chance to get in without have any crowding problems. The singers and dancers put on at least four different programs and all were excellent. All the programs were 45 minutes and pretty much went without breaks. It was our Cruise Directors first time on this ship but he did a great job. We loved his socks and his word for the day after the curtain fell.
5 out of 5
We didn't use these but the kids appeared to be well cared for with lots' of age-appropriate activities. They had their own pool area and essentially an excellent free day-care facility. The teens had their own "night club" and arcade area next to the sports deck. There was also a Johnny Rockets restaurant in that area ($4.95 cover charge pp).
Service and Staff
5 out of 5
EVERYONE was friendly. The Customer service was good and you definitely had the feeling that everyone really cared.
5 out of 5
The layout was exceptional. We enjoyed the promenade. Getting around the ship was pretty easy. The decor was nice and pleasing. We noticed and appreciated that the elevators had a floor rug with the current day posted. A nice touch on a 10 day cruise where it all feels the same! The ship was exceptionally clean and well painted. There were people sweeping the halls and steps every day (with really quiet vacuums). The maintenance men would work on small area (so not to disturb everything) and completely repair, repaint, and clean it and be gone before you realized it. (I saw them at work twice in 10 days)
Cabin / Stateroom
5 out of 5
We had an interior room. It was adequate. While it was awkward to get around to the side of the bed we just climbed in from the end. The bathroom was clean and well appointed. The shower was great... plenty of hot water - instantly.
Pros: The friendliness of the crew.
Cons: The TV in the room (interactive didn't work)
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