Fall in Alaska

Explorer of the Seas Cruise Review to Alaska - Inside Passage
Experience: 7+ cruises
Review: 1
Helpful Votes: 8

Overall Rating:

4 out of 5
Verified Review
Explorer of the Seas

7 Night Alaska Glacier (Seattle Roundtrip)

Sail Date: September 08, 2017

Ship: Explorer of the Seas

Cabin Type: Inside

Cabin Number: 6579

Traveled As: Couple

Reviewed: 1 year ago

Review Summary

Nothing I can add to the above but even though I am at the Diamond level, my overall impression is that RCCL has deteriorate from what it was 10 years ago and, compared to Carnival, Celebrity (it's sister ship) and Princess, it is overpriced for comparable routes and cabins. I will carefully evaluate RCCL in the future against other options. I opted not to make an onboard deposit even when they take the deposit off the current cruise bill as I doubt if I will take another RCCL cruise.

Embarkation

4 out of 5
The main entrance hall prior to the second floor cruise desks forced everyone to go through 2 people who checked passports after they had been checked at the entrance door. This took over 15 minutes. If this is a requirement there should have been 2 to 3 times as many checkers to keep the line moving swiftly.

Ship Experiences

Food and Dining

3 out of 5
The buffet food was above average and quite varied but the main dining room was average and nothing special. Additionally the drinks are quite expensive if you don't buy the drink package. Wine was averaging $12 a glass plus tip for a 5 oz pour. Significantly overpriced. Same experience as last RCCL cruise.

Onboard Activities

5 out of 5
more than enough to do. The hot tubs were open 24/7 but of marginal use when under sail. There were also two hot tubs in the solarium. This was not the case on last RCCL.

Entertainment

3 out of 5
half revues and half comedians with several nights one show only at 9:15 virtually precluding late diners unless they rush through dinner. Ice show was O.K. but seems silly to have that expense on a cruise ship. I would have rather seen that investment used to add two shows a night and upgrade quality.

Service and Staff

5 out of 5
A few minor glitches but nothing to write about. Overall everyone worked hard to please us and addressed issues promptly.

Ship Quality

5 out of 5
no complaint.

Cabin / Stateroom

5 out of 5
This is an inside overlooking the promenade so it has a window with a seating area for two along with a couch for two and a chair. Very comfortable. We booked run of ship so this was a surprise upgrade.

Ship Tip

Unless you don't drink, buy the drink package before sailing at the 20% off price. 4 drinks per day pays for it.

Ports Of Call

Seattle, Washington

4 out of 5
Big city. Busy. Pike place market rather boring - an expensive flea market. Space needle reportedly expensive. Taxi's outrageous. $60 from airport to downtown or from ship to airport. On the return, it was an absolute zoo with two ships in port. The taxi line was 30 minutes. It is actually cheaper to take the ship shuttle if there are only two people although the ship sets you up for a shuttle 3 hours before your flight.

Juneau, Alaska

2 out of 5
Not much to see or do in town. Jewelry stores, tourist stuff, bars, and expensive. Additionally it was overcast and foggy so the cable car would have been a waste of time and money. The balance of the tours were very pricy and going on inflatables at 50 degrees did not appeal to us.

Skagway, Alaska

3 out of 5
Ditto Juneau. Many people took the train only to be fogged in at the top. However, we took the good time girls tour for $50US each and it was a hoot. Don't miss it.

Victoria, British Columbia

5 out of 5
Did not do an excursion through ship but went to Butchart Gardens. The weather was great with a clear blue sky and 70 degrees and the gardens were almost in full bloom. It takes about 30 minutes each way and you need at least two hours without shopping. However, it is a $50US cab ride each way and $25US for entrance. Unfortunately, the ship excursion was even a bit more at $80 each. Try to get together with another couple. We also went to high tea at the Empress. With a glass of champagne it is almost $100US pp but a once in a lifetime experience.

Disembarkation

2 out of 5
No problem getting off the ship, finding luggage, and clearing customs. Getting transportation from the port was a zoo. It might be feasible to set up a private cab when you exit the terminal with Uber or Lyft.
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