Very enjoyable cruise

Explorer of the Seas Cruise Review to Europe - Western Europe

Cruises: 7+ cruises
Reviews: 2
Helpful Votes: 25

Overall rating:

4.2 out of 5
Verified Review
Explorer of the Seas

13 Night Canaries & Azores (Southampton Roundtrip)

Sail date: August 31, 2019

Ship: Explorer of the Seas

Cabin type: Balcony

Cabin number: 9224

Traveled as: Couple

Reviewed: 1 year ago

Review summary

If I could be sure of having a similar sized cabin with the excellent storage and larger bathroom, I would sail with RC much more rather than the so-called "higher end" ships like Celebrity.

Embarkation

5 out of 5
This took less than 45 minutes. Other cruise lines keep us in lines for up to 2 hours.

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

4 out of 5
As frequent cruisers we hardly ever eat at a full service restaurant any more. We find the buffets are as good and we get to eat what we want and much faster, so we can get on to what we want to do faster. (Frankly, cruise ships could reduce the size of the full service restaurants and it would probably improve things.)

Onboard Activities

2 out of 5
Compared to other ships, the gym was old/decrepit and key equipment was not working (eg the rowing machine and one side of the pulley machine). For the size of the ship the gym needs to be bigger as well. We were looking forward to having a soak in the hot tub. But, the temperature was tepid, not hot enough to relax muscles, and also it was full of regular passengers who were not even using the gym. So, annoying and a waste of time and space.

Entertainment

4 out of 5
The ice show was excellent. We didn't even know the ship had an ice rink, so it was a lovely surprise. The other main auditorium shows were average at best. Our cruise on Princess last year had MUCH better shows.

Service and Staff

5 out of 5
Service on all the ships we have sailed on is nearly always excellent.

Ship Quality

4 out of 5
I know the ship is destined for dry dock in a few months for modernization. The current seats were very comfortable. A concern is that new seats are chosen cos they look good in photos - but the new coll-looking seats are always LESS COMFORTABLE!!! Am hoping this doesn't happen during the refurb. The buffet room was often dirty by the windows where spilled food had been left. Otherwise ship was clean.

Cabin / Stateroom

5 out of 5
Compared to the newer "higher end" ships like Celebrity, our Explorer cabin was much better. The new ships have cabins that are quite claustrophobic, with insuifficient space to store clothes - so we end up living out of our suitcases which have to be stored under the bed. Explorer, an older ship had more space, larger bed, generous storage cabinets and drawers. The bathroom and shower were also larger so I didn't bang my elbows in the shower like I usually do on the newer ships. Much more comfortable experience than the newer "higher end" ships!

Ship tip

Book excursions at the discounted price before boarding. In other ships the price doesn't seem to change. But, our excursion cost 30% more when booked on the ship.

Ports of call

Southampton (London), England

2 out of 5
Not worth getting off the ship other then debarkation.

Ponta Delgada, Azores

3 out of 5
Only get off the ship the first time one visits to buy cork products. After that, don't bother.

Funchal, Madeira

4 out of 5
The cable car to mountain top is a must do, and one can buy cork products. Not much else worth doing/seeing.

Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, Canary Islands

5 out of 5
Got taken around by a pal. Excellent.

Tenerife, Canary Islands

5 out of 5
Got taken around by a pal. Excellent.

Lanzarote, Canary Islands

5 out of 5
Got taken around by a pal. Excellent.

Lisbon, Portugal

5 out of 5
Maybe the best port to dock at of all cruises we have taken. Lots to do and see. One could spend a week or more here.

Disembarkation

5 out of 5
Quick and efficient - other than lining up for 15 minutes just to get a trolley.
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