CruiseMates' Readers Cruise Reviews

Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines Explorer of the Seas Eastern Caribbean February 6, 2005

My wife and I sailed on Explorer of the seas recently. Overall we had a very nice time. I will try and give you my perspective of how we felt about this ship.

First, this was our 6th cruise overall, 5th w/RCCL, and 1st on a Voyager class ship. The ship itself is impressive to say the least. I saw really no visible areas of wear and tear on the ship....very minimal stuff..some of the varnish on the rails was peeling off, minor minor carpet stains...nothing to complain about.

We sailed to Eastern Caribbean, San Juan, ST Maarten, ST.Thomas, Nassau. So much has been written about these ports, I wont say too much. We dod book the Screaming Eagle Jetboat tour in ST. Thomas, but due to mechanical problems with the boat, it was cancelled at the last minute. RCCL quickly credited our seapass accounts, no problem.

Weather was great for most of the trip..the 1st morning at sea was a little cool, maybe a 10 foot swell. No problem for this big ship.

Food-we ate 4 nights in Portofinos (20.00 cover per person) Service/food there was notch. We ate breakfast/lunch usually in the windjammer, it was "o/k", nothing great, but not horrible either. We at twice at Johnny Rockets, once again that was just "o/k". They do charge 3.95 per person again, but if you are a crown and Anchor member, you get one free pass to eat there. We did not eat at all in the dining room, Portofinos seemed worth it to us.

Service-overall friendliness of the crew was great. I don't know how people complain about the crew all the time...every cruise I've gone on with RCCL the crew always says hello, good morning, etc. Our room stewardess, Amanda, was great, kept our room spic and span 2x a day. Extra towels, pillows, no problem, she got more than the recommended tip, and deserved every penny of it.

There were tons of activities daily to keep you occupied, and the ship is so big, we really never felt crowded or never really had to wait in a long line for anything.

If anything, the ship seemed almost too big for our tastes. There was so much to explore, it took us 2 full days to see everything.

Our real only major complaint was disembarcation. It was not the greatest. From what I saw, when they called our color, there was about 500 people with Red. They let people off in 15 minute intervals, and had us stand in line waiting. My wife and I stood in line from 8:30AM to 10:45 AM. We had a 2PM flight, and just made it to the airport around 1PM. Worst disembarcation I've ever went through.

Another point before I forget, if possible, fly down a day early, especially in the winter to avoid any weather delays, etc. We booked a hotel on and got Miami Courtyard downtown, about 1 mile from the ship. It was a very nice hotel, good service, clean, etc.

Will we sail with RCCL again, yes. Will we sail on a voyager class ship again, maybe. My wife and I seem to prefer Vision class/Radiance class ships as we get older. Explorer was beautiful, but just a little to big for us.


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