2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
Don't get me wrong, this is a great ship. Previously we have been on Rapsody and Radiance of the seas. This ship carries nealy double the amount of passingers. The ship has extra bars eating area's and meeting places to cover this. The ... Read More
Don't get me wrong, this is a great ship. Previously we have been on Rapsody and Radiance of the seas. This ship carries nealy double the amount of passingers. The ship has extra bars eating area's and meeting places to cover this. The problem is when some of the more popular activities are scheduled for an area you may find participation is difficult unless you arrive 30-40 minutes prior to the start time. Also, it appears Royal Carribean have reduced the number of drink waiters. On several occasions none were to be found. There are of course plenty of bars to get your own. It was not like this on the four other cruises we have done with RC. Despite this, it was an excellent cruise. Food and choice was fantastic. Entertainment first class, although a couple of nights movie's were shown in lieu of live entertainment.. We had a great time, but would choose the Radiance of the seas next time Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
I have never boadered a ship as quickly as this one, from arriving at Circular Quay, to actually boading the ship took no more than twenty minutes thanks to everone involved from the luggage handlers to the immigration staff, they made it ... Read More
I have never boadered a ship as quickly as this one, from arriving at Circular Quay, to actually boading the ship took no more than twenty minutes thanks to everone involved from the luggage handlers to the immigration staff, they made it so simple. So much to do in eleven days so I just relaxed each day and let the younger generation enjoy all the activities available. The crew, as always were magnificent, so helpful and always there for you to help in any way. Wonderful service in the dining rooms and such a good selection of food to choose from. The Windjammer also had so many different dishes to choose from with the swwets to die for. Our cabin steward Tom was rearly seen but did an excelent job cleaning and tidying our cabin, THANKS TOM. It is no wonder that I love Royal Caribbean, it is soooo good to sail on their ships. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
We had previously sailed on Voyager of the Seas a couple of times and was therefore familiar with the feel of the ship. The amenities and facilities are of the standard you come to expect from RCI. The rooms and all public areas were ... Read More
We had previously sailed on Voyager of the Seas a couple of times and was therefore familiar with the feel of the ship. The amenities and facilities are of the standard you come to expect from RCI. The rooms and all public areas were always clean and tidy. Staff were friendly and accomodating, we have always found the service to be good on RCI cruises. For this cruise we chose to eat breakfast most mornings in the dining room, they have a nice combination of buffet or full table service. The variety was good and the bonus was not having to fight the crowds in Windjammer. Lunch was a quick bite from Windjammer or a piece of pizza from Cafe Promenade, much better pizza than the ones from Windjammer. Dinner was always in the main dining room. The waiter and assistant waiter were efficient and friendly. Food quality was what we have come to expect, however being fussy and simple eaters we do sometimes have trouble finding something on the menu to order. I am always impressed by the flexibility of the staff to accomodate our requests and customise the meals. Entertainment, hmmm, where do I start. We have always been critical of cruise ships and the way they hang on to old music, sometimes feel like I have teleported to the 50's. Well Explorer took this to new levels, 2 of the 3 production shows were very poor. Not only were they based around very old and unknown music but the quality of the singers was without a doubt the worst we have experienced on a cruise, the karaoke was much better! The dancing in the shows was good, unfortunately for the first 2 shows it was just singing and dancing with no discernible story. Maybe we have been spoilt by the 3 excellent production shows on Ovation of the Seas. The entertainment around the ship was also a bit of a mixed bag. Some was OK for our tastes but generally we had trouble finding somewhere to sit and listen to live music. For us the C-Wind band was the best we could find around the ship. It was only C-Wind and the lady pianist that played anything we could relate to. Cruise lines in general need to think about their target audiences and the type of music they like to listen to. It is sad when we talk about modern music in cruise ship terms and think 40 - 50 year old songs are modern. Two of the guest artist shows, a Queen show and a Beatles show, were very good. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
Explorer of the Seas 16th November 2018, we had 11 Nights It was the ports of call we wanted to go to, with friends We done our own Shore Excursions for this Cruise Nightly Entertainment was great each night, we also had friends ... Read More
Explorer of the Seas 16th November 2018, we had 11 Nights It was the ports of call we wanted to go to, with friends We done our own Shore Excursions for this Cruise Nightly Entertainment was great each night, we also had friends and they also wanted to see the South Pacific, and the date suited us all I don't think people should be allowed to smoke around the pool deck 11 area on the Starboard side, as there was a lot of children on this deck, and they had moved outside of the area, into the Non smoking area, and people used this area to eat from Breakfast and lunch and dinner time in the warm days while on board It's pretty disgusting, and only should be on Deck 4, as per the ships information about smoking on the ship. Explorer of the seas and Voyager of the seas are sister ships with only a few differences Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
My partner and I have cruised with Royal Caribbean before on Radiance of the Seas but this ship was much better in regards to things to do and the interior of the ship. The decor was beautiful and there were a lot more activities onboard ... Read More
My partner and I have cruised with Royal Caribbean before on Radiance of the Seas but this ship was much better in regards to things to do and the interior of the ship. The decor was beautiful and there were a lot more activities onboard than on Radiance. I feel that this particular ship is more suited to young and middle-aged people but there were a lot of older people on it enjoying themselves- the more the merrier! Radiance of the seas is definitely suited to older people, not young, so for young people considering going on Radiance of the Seas, just a warning that there won’t be many young people to meet. Explorer blew me away from the minute we got on it as I had read terrible reviews for it and took it to heart. I was glad that I could make my own opinion. When we got on we were able to go into our room straight away- the room was much bigger than the one we stayed in on Radiance! That was the first plus for me. We then headed up to the Windjammer for lunch and the food was good. We had dinner in the Sapphire dining room every night. The food was very good and the waiters were attentive. The only speciality restaurant we tried was Johnny Rockets, an American fast food diner. It was fun but the food wasn’t too special as it was very deep-fried and greasy. That is the idea of it though! It is worth going to though. The tuna melt was amazing. It’s $9.95 US each. Milkshakes and desserts are extra. We don’t have kids but noticed that there is a special place where kids can go and are looked after and entertained all day and night which is excellent. The only con for us was the price of the drinks. We hadn’t purchased a drinks package because we’re not big drinkers but when we decided we wanted to have a few drinks, we were held back by the price. The drinks are about $10 US!!!!!! The ship has lots of bars to accommodate everyone and the royal promenade is amazing. There is also a cafe that have complimentary food but the ice cream and barista coffee is extra. One of the other things I was concerned about prior to sailing on Explorer was the crowds, lines and wait times. Of course I was worried about nothing because the only time we stood in a queue was boarding on and off the ship which is to be expected. The ship is so big and spaced out that there is so much room for everybody on board to spread out except on a good day the pools are always busy and the theatre is packed when shows are on. I was mesmerised by how beautiful the ship was inside! If you are lucky enough to get Marvin or Michael hosting the quizzes, bingo etc, they are so hilarious and are very entertaining. I’m so glad I got to meet them. My partner and I were lucky enough to be seated with 2 other couples which we made really good friends with and shared wonderful memories. It made the trip go really fast meeting like-minded people that we hung out with for most of the time. Overall a very fun, relaxing and wonderful holiday. We will definitely be cruising with Royal Carribean again but I would love to go on this ship in particular again! We paid half the price of the Radiance cruise and I can say I definitely like Explorer ship more. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
Totally loved my cruise, loved the staff and the overall experience. I cannot complain about one single thing! I cant wait for my next cruise and bringing my family this time. The shops were great, the cabin service was primo ... Read More
Totally loved my cruise, loved the staff and the overall experience. I cannot complain about one single thing! I cant wait for my next cruise and bringing my family this time. The shops were great, the cabin service was primo especially the personal touches such as towel animals Food was exceptional and so were the staff. Endless laughs and smiles. Great Shows, Great Spa, Great Pool and of course the Solarium. The Art Auction was a bit of a catch but fun none the less. Ports were great, a little disappointed that not much in Noumea was open on our port day but it was still a great day. Everywhere we went our needs were catered for, loved the different venues and themes. It felt like a dream, I had to keep pinching myself, however now I am hooked so I am pinching my pennies instead so I can get back on that Cruise Ship. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
We were lucky enough to get a great deal in an Owners Suite so we were spoilt and I loved the room and the extra perks which fitted our family of four. My only complaint about the ship was I found the entertainment and the staff that did ... Read More
We were lucky enough to get a great deal in an Owners Suite so we were spoilt and I loved the room and the extra perks which fitted our family of four. My only complaint about the ship was I found the entertainment and the staff that did the entertainment a little boring. A little more fun stuff would of been great, but maybe I just like a good laugh so found the trivia etc. a little repetitive and slow. They had a great acoustic musician in a bar every night but again would of been good if they had 2 different guys not the same one every night as we always ended up there as that was it apart from night club music or Piano music. I also purchased an alcohol package for approx $68 Aus per day which I’m so glad I did, as the boat deals in US currency once drinks are converted to Aus dollars they are pretty expensive. $9.50 US for a spirit and $14 US for a cocktail soon adds up if you have a few cocktails during the day, then a wine at night. Overall I had a great time but it defiantly helped with the suite perks of Concierge Bar, 1st off tendering to islands, private dining room for breakfast and I loved the gold card reserved seating around the pool. Awesome!!!! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
I had done a 7 night South Pacific cruise before on Voyager of the Seas and wanted to see different ports in the Pacific, which was the reason for picking this cruise. I would've preferred to have gone on Voyager again but it didn't ... Read More
I had done a 7 night South Pacific cruise before on Voyager of the Seas and wanted to see different ports in the Pacific, which was the reason for picking this cruise. I would've preferred to have gone on Voyager again but it didn't return to Australia this season, so we picked Explorer. There's not much difference physically between the two ships. I will divide this review into positives and negatives. The positives: - The ship is very nice and very well-maintained. The staff were great. I have nothing but good things to say about the experience on the ship. - We had a balcony stateroom on deck 6. It was a guarantee balcony and initially I was concerned thinking it may be too close to the elevators/main stairwell, but it was just far enough down the hall that we didn't get any noise from that part of the ship at all. It was a nice sheltered balcony, so we were able to peg clothes to our balcony chairs without worrying about them blowing away. - In other cruises I have been on higher decks but I enjoyed being in close proximity to the Royal Promenade, Cafe Promenade and the Star Lounge, as most of the activities I attended were in the Star Lounge. - The ports were all great. We went to Mystery Island, Isle of Pines, Lifou and Noumea. We didn't book shore excursions in any of the ports. On Mystery Island we booked a cabana through a local vendor (advertising on Facebook) and were able to have a place to store our stuff and chairs to sit on rather than lying on the beach. We snorkelled on Mystery Island, Lifou and Isle of Pines. There were shops and food vendors on each of the islands so we spent most of the day there. In Noumea we got on the $15 hop on hop off bus to take us around to the beaches. That was a bit of a letdown as it didn't take us to the lookouts. - I found the food in the Main Dining Room to be very good, though we only ate in there three nights. The service on the first night was pretty ordinary and we were actually charged for a bottle of wine we didn't order, and had to fix that up at Guest Services. I can't fault the service for the other two nights. - We went to Chops Grille on two nights and had fantastic meals there. Definitely worth the money. The food and service were outstanding. - We went to Johnny Rockets one night and had a very filling meal there as well. I would definitely recommend it. - I found the entertainment staff very good. Music trivia was especially fun and the Quest game show was the highlight of the cruise for me. - The ice show was also very good, and I liked how it was broken up into muster stations so you didn't have to queue for tickets. - As this was my second cruise with Royal, I am a gold member (not that I thought that meant much), but I was given a list of "perks" that I could take advantage of, including 10% off all of the ship merchandise (that came in very handy) and getting drinks for cheaper. That was exciting! - Debarkation was very smooth. We were given the tags for our bags and left them out the night before, and in the morning we were called from the Star Lounge promptly at 8.30am to pick them up. We were then able to check our bags in with Virgin Australia at the pier rather than having to take them to the airport ourselves. That was a huge relief for us. The negatives: - On the whole I thought four shore days in a row was a bit full on, but I prefer a lazier cruise! - The muster drill on the first day was hands down the worst muster drill I have ever had to attend on a cruise ship. We were lined up like cattle on the promenade deck for half an hour; it was AWFUL. I'm not sure if the regulations have changed in the last couple of years (as my last cruise from Sydney was in 2016). If the regulations have changed, that's fine, but if this is an Explorer of the Seas thing only then quite honestly they need to rethink it because that was half an hour of misery I never want to repeat in my life. - We got an email the week before the cruise saying our check-in time was going to be 3.30, which was fine as we weren't planning on boarding the ship until after 2pm anyway. We dropped off our bags at the pier at about 9.30am on boarding day to absolute chaos, and when we returned at 3pm to board, the place was practically empty and we walked onto the ship in about ten minutes. So my advice is, if you can, hold out until the afternoon to avoid the total madness of the morning rush. I know everybody got that same email and they all seemed to ignore it. - I was totally, 100% completely over the buffet food by the end of the trip. There was nothing really wrong with it, but I don't think it holds a candle to the food in the main dining room. - They play movies over the pool at night starting at 9pm, so we decided to sit in a hot tub to watch 'The Meg'. We'd been in there for about an hour when we were kicked out because they were going to drain the hot tub - the only hot tub they asked people to move from. I get why they have to do it, but that was really frustrating. We pretty much had to leave halfway through the movie. - The beds in the staterooms aren't great. They weren't great on Voyager and they're still not great on Explorer. You get used to it after awhile but the first couple of nights aren't fun. - I don't think people should be allowed to smoke around the pool. It's pretty disgusting. All in all my complaints are pretty minimal. For the most part everything was really good. There were just a couple of small things that soured it for me, but for everyone else they might not have been that big of a deal. I got what I expected and there were no real "nasty surprises". I would definitely cruise Royal Caribbean again and am planning to in the future, for sure. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
Went in a group of 6 friends, one of whom has cruised with Royal Carribbean many times and recommended this shipping line. From the moment we arrived at the dock in Sydney to check in, everything was streamlined and hassle-free. The staff ... Read More
Went in a group of 6 friends, one of whom has cruised with Royal Carribbean many times and recommended this shipping line. From the moment we arrived at the dock in Sydney to check in, everything was streamlined and hassle-free. The staff are absolutely amazing. The food is awesome, although as an eco-conscious person, I do struggle with the amount of food that is wasted. Love the idea of no straws in the drinks, but would love it even more if they provided paper straws for those passengers who feel they must have a straw for their drink. Entertainment was fabulous. Pool and other recreation areas were fantastic, although would have preferred more adult-only pool space. Disappointed that the day we docked in Noumea (Monday) none of the tourist attractions were open, as they are all closed on Mondays. Therefore, there wasn't really anything to do in Noumea. The other island stops were awesome though. Little pockets of paradise. Don't bother being sucked into the art auction though. They lured us in with a free glass of bubbly and complimenatry artwork. Never received a complimentary artwork, and had to wait until almost the end of the auction for the drink. Art work was beautiful, and I would have loved to buy some, but way out of my budget. The trivia sessions were so much fun with Marvin and Michael hosting them. Ice skating show was awesome. Wi-fi is way over-priced. I didn't bother with it. All-in-all a great value holiday, and when I can afford it, I will definietely be cruising with Royal Carribbean again. Would like to find an adult-only cruise though. :-) Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
Moderate luxury in junior suite Paying constantly for extras such as onshore cruises where more extras such as snorkeling. Can’t access an iron. Friendly staff. Food average to ok. Junior suite was spacious and clean but needs ... Read More
Moderate luxury in junior suite Paying constantly for extras such as onshore cruises where more extras such as snorkeling. Can’t access an iron. Friendly staff. Food average to ok. Junior suite was spacious and clean but needs maintenance. Very expensive internet. Good entertainment. I didn’t like hints near the end to tip in addition to pre paid gratuity. Also to leave good reviews. We paid extra for three restaurants but hardly worth it. Prawns in one restaurant we’re watery and I couldn’t eat them but replaced at no cost with a Caesar salad and a friendly apology. The mystery night ( cost extra) was great. Long life milk only made coffee and tea unpalatable even when paying extra in cafes. Generally fellow cruisers flappy and no hint of trouble but again it was November and few young people onboard this cruise. Overall we had a good holiday but will try another line next time. Read Less
Explorer of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.3
Dining 4.0 4.0
Entertainment 5.0 4.0
Public Rooms 4.0 4.3
Fitness Recreation 5.0 4.2
Family 5.0 4.2
Shore Excursion 3.0 3.8
Enrichment 4.0 3.5
Service 4.0 4.4
Value For Money 5.0 3.9
Rates 4.0 4.1

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