3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
To preface my review so you will understand my experience: I took the cruise with my younger sister and my parents. I am 14 years old, and I've only been on one cruise before this one - on the Carnival Miracle, which went to Mexico. Thanks ... Read More
To preface my review so you will understand my experience: I took the cruise with my younger sister and my parents. I am 14 years old, and I've only been on one cruise before this one - on the Carnival Miracle, which went to Mexico. Thanks for reading my review and I hope you take my thoughts into account when choosing your next cruise! :) The embarkation process went quite well and it was not long before we were able to explore the ship - however, the staterooms did not open until 1pm (we boarded at 11am). The ship itself is quite nice. It has various venues for trivia/entertainment/activities, etc, and they are all used to the fullest extent they can be. Dining was not fantastic. The service in the Sapphire Dining Room was very slow and the food was essentially the same as that which was served in the Windjammer Cafe - not bad, but also not stunning. My dad requested and consequently received a wine menu, but nobody ever came back to ask what he wanted from the menu. The second time we went there, we asked to sit somewhere else and the service did not improve. The third time, we asked to be seated elsewhere again and instead were seated in the same place as the first night. We then left and went to the buffet. We did not visit the steakhouse so unfortunately I do not know if it was good or not. The Promenade Cafe is a good place to grab a quick bite or a coffee, but the pizza isn't very good. I definitely recommend purchasing the drinks package beforehand - being able to get soda as often as you want is great and the cups they give you for the soda make a nice souvenir. My parents really enjoyed being able to get lots of different cocktails and other drinks as well. As for the ports: Juneau - We went on a Historic Gold Panning Adventure. It was pretty fun to find gold flakes, and our guide, "Tundra Tom", seemed to be having just as much fun as we were. There are a few interesting stores to visit in town, but it's a rather long walk through a rather industrial area back to the dock. Skagway - My mom and my sister and I took the Street Car Tour, which was very informative and engaging. My dad went on a Dogsled Flightseeing Tour, which was apparently great. We ate lunch in town and then took a shuttle back - the shuttle is only $2 a person and it was a bit of a ways to the ship (as far as it can be in Skagway, at least), so that was worth it. Victoria - Definitely very different than the other two ports. I didn't enjoy it much and I really would rather have just spent the last day on the ship with unlimited soft serve. Red Fish Blue Fish is a great seafood place so definitely check it out. There can be a long line but the food is good, especially the deepfried pickles. In terms of activities on the ship: there was a wide variety of trivia, games, and bingo which were all hosted by the excellent Cruise Director Staff (Not to be confused with the Cruise Director himself, Topi, who didn't seem to do much that had to do with the passengers other than introduce shows and do the announcements). The music trivia was a lot of fun and I would definitely recommend it. Overall, I really enjoyed the cruise. Given the chance, I would take the same cruise again. It was a great experience and I had a lot of fun! Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
My wife booked this cruise a year ago in July while we were driving from Florida to Tennessee to visit family. Our cruise rep at Royal Caribbean worked with her for over an hour on the phone mind you, getting us the best deal possible. ... Read More
My wife booked this cruise a year ago in July while we were driving from Florida to Tennessee to visit family. Our cruise rep at Royal Caribbean worked with her for over an hour on the phone mind you, getting us the best deal possible. We knew we wanted an outside cabin with a balcony and we were able to book that at a decent price. I will cover shore excursions later. Once booked we anticipated the departure for the rest of the year and began to make travel plans. We did not let RC do our travel and hotels, I did the departure hotel, Holiday Inn Express at the airport and wife did the return stay (3 nights) at Cedar Brook Lodge. We took the shuttle from our hotel to the port. We arrived and checked in on the ship around 11 a.m. on Friday. It was my wife's birthday, June 15 and I had RC decorate our cabin accordingly. We were able to get in our cabin at 1 pm and it was very nice and much more than I had anticipated, even having cruised with RC before. One mistake we made, was we put both our hand carry bags on pier side to be picked up. My wife's meds were inside and as luck would have it, that was the last bag we received! Note to self: don't do that again! We checked the ship over, ate lunch at the Windjammer and it was the usual OMG it's a ship board buffet! Food on this trip was exceptional. Only one evening was the food in the main dinning room not "over the top". My wife ordered fish and it was deep fried and not the best she's ever eaten. Otherwise, every meal was amazing for us. Prime rib, lobster, lasagna, etc etc. We loved it. We met a lovely Scottish couple first night in the dining room and my wife and Linda bonded instantly. Her husband John and I sat back and let the ladies talk.. which they DID! Departure from Seattle was in the evening and we had a starboard cabin and just an awesome view of the Skyline of Seattle. We didn't do much the first night out, just walked around, did some shopping in the ship's store and scouted the entertainment venues. Second day was a full cruise day to Junea, arriving early on Sunday morning. It was foggy and we got to see very little on that day. We took a whale watching excursion from Juneau and our captain and his crew were great. First stop was a "salmon bake" at Orca Point Lodge. The silver salmon was just delicious. Grilled and served with "fixings" that included a brownie for dessert. After a full meal, we went out on the fjord to do whale watching. We were NOT disappointed. Saw three (possibly a fourth?). Got some great photos of breachings. Also saw a group of sea lions sunning on a buoy. We departed Juneau at 6 pm that evening into a fog bank that had earlier "eaten" a competitors ship. Upon arrival at Skagway Monday morning, the weather was, in a word, perfect. Sunny skies, high 50s and warming every hour. We walked around Skagway, had lunch and then took our 1 pm White Pass Rail trip excursion (booked through RC) to the summit of White Pass. The train ride was just amazing. Breathtaking scenery, had many many great photo ops from the train platform as it rose up 22 miles to the summit. We didn't see much wildlife, only one black bear and two mountain goats. We had a late lunch at a local Skagway restaurant, the Skagway Fish Co. Their menu is available on line. Lots of folks were eating the crab legs (by the pound) and we had the fish (fresh haddock) and chips. Nice meal, a little pricey, but hey, it's Alaska! From there, we made our way back to the ship for a 6 pm departure to Traci Fjord to the Dawes glacier. The cruise down to the glacier on Tuesday morning went smoothly. Again, our weather for that portion of the trip was excellent. The captain said he had been able to get closer on this trip than he had on the previous ones. We sat a couple miles off the glacier and the captain spun the vessel in place for about an hour so that everyone had a great view of the glacier. We caught a few "calving" as it shed ice into the Fjord. We slowly exited back up to the channel we were to use to go back towards Seattle passing ice blocks and scenery that was beyond beautiful. Open sea cruising the next day (Wednesday) arriving at Victoria, BC on Thursday morning around 10 a.m. Again, weather was perfect. Shirt sleeve weather with sunny skies. We took a bus tour of Victoria, the Highlights tour (again booked through RC) enjoyed that excursion as well. Our guide was very knowledgeable and very informative. They treated us to a Tim Horton coffee, "Ten bits" and a gift bag at the end. WE departed Victoria at 5 pm and arrived in Seattle early the Friday morning. We had booked a final excursion with RC for the Seattle tour which included the Chihully Glass and Space Needle. Once completed, we were dropped off at SEA-TAC. We had arranged for the hotel we were staying with to pick us up there and we won't go into that here. Highlights of the cruise were the great weather and the entertainment on board. RC has done a great job of booking entertainment. The ice show was amazing considering the size of the rink on board. The skaters were all great and very energetic. The Explorer orchestra was really talented and did a great job supporting the musical show and the finale on the last night of the cruise. They had a magician, Leo Ward who I wanted to see very much and sat in row 2 for his first show. This man did things that were amazing to me and I understand a lot of the illusions that are done! Timi Rogers, the comedian was the highlight of the entertainment for me. His adult show had me sore from laughing so much. He did a show the last night as well and although my wife missed the first show, this one was just as funny. Our room attendant, Mark was superb. He always greeted us and had our room prepared perfectly. His towel animals were great as well. I told him the first night he left a gorilla in the room that my wife was afraid of monkeys.. he had this shocked look on his face until i told him i was teasing him. He understood and had a laugh with me.. He had hung the gorilla up by a coat hanger with two clips on it.. I returned the favor next morning by hanging the coat hanger up with two US bills on it! Our dinner waiters, Danilo and Inyoman were just as great to us every evening we ate in the main dining room. One thing you must not miss on the Explorer is "Chops". The food there was delicious, well prepared and just as good as any 5 star restaurant. We both had steak and it was delicious. My wife's cheesecake dessert was great and my key lime pie was good as well. I'd give this cruise a 10 on my 1-10 scale. RC did a great job of organizing excursions and I was very impressed by everything on the Explorer. She is a little bit older and smaller than the new "super" ships... I like her! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2018
Overall great service, a good amount of time at the ports and at a fair price. I loved our time in Juneau and Skagway. We booked excursions outside the cruise line and saved a fair amount. Our room was clean but the beds were a lttle ... Read More
Overall great service, a good amount of time at the ports and at a fair price. I loved our time in Juneau and Skagway. We booked excursions outside the cruise line and saved a fair amount. Our room was clean but the beds were a lttle hard. There was a lot of storage space in the room. The entertainment was fairly good with the exception of a production with their singers. They played the same movies over again. Some more variety would be nice. We did not have to wait in line for entertainment with the exception to ice skate, but they did a good job in scheduling a time for us to come back. Food was decent except for the Windjammer, which was not good. I scheduled our "my time" dining reservations before we left, but they did not all upload properly in their system. If you book these ahead of the cruise, double check that they are in their system after you board. The captain did a great job positioning the ship near a glacier in the Tracey Arm Fords. It was beautiful and memorable. Overall a good value. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
Took this cruise with family whom had already cruised Alaska on another cruise line. I had been to Alaska on a road trip before and been on other cruises, Caribbean and European. Nobody in our 6 person group wants to sail Royal ... Read More
Took this cruise with family whom had already cruised Alaska on another cruise line. I had been to Alaska on a road trip before and been on other cruises, Caribbean and European. Nobody in our 6 person group wants to sail Royal Caribbean again after this lackluster performance. The itinerary included Skagway (not worth the stop to me), Juneau, and Victoria... with too many sea days, none of which included the inside passage. So itinerary really isn't much. Ship was fine, the 12th deck balcony rooms were spacious enough with lots of storage. On ship activities were not worth attending. Service was poor. Room attendant seemed generally unhappy, bartenders uninterested, service desk people were fine at best, and casino dealers were occasionally downright rude. This was the second poor Royal Caribbean experience and our last. All other cruises have been great. We only changed lines for new itineraries, but we're going to have to find a European line. Happy cruising. Hope this helps. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
This was our 9th Royal Caribbean cruise and we were once again very happy with absolutely everything on the ship and the excursions. We're a young 40's couple traveling without kids and had a wonderful time on board and at the ports of ... Read More
This was our 9th Royal Caribbean cruise and we were once again very happy with absolutely everything on the ship and the excursions. We're a young 40's couple traveling without kids and had a wonderful time on board and at the ports of call. Royal Caribbean always provides great food (never tried the pay extra restaurants) and great service and great quality rooms. We splurged a bit and got a balcony room for this trip because it's Alaska! SO so worth it! The entertainment wasn't as good as on the Oasis class ships, but it was still fun. The only complaints were with the piano bar being super sleepy slow music, and the Pub singer not actually just singing and entertaining. The Pub singer kept making every night a karaoke style event where he'd make someone get up and sing with him. It was really awkward... Other than that though it was a vacation of a lifetime. The pool was heated too! You could swim comfortably even with 47F weather. The hot tubs and outdoor movies were so fun. We didn't think we'd want to do that, but once in the hot tub, it was a beautiful setting to watch a movie on a really nice LCD quality jumbo tron. So Fun! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2018
I wanted my husband and I to take an Alaskan cruise with a visit to Victoria, Canada (we are big Anglophile's) and was considering Holland America, Princess and Royal Caribbean. R. C. had the only itinerary that visited Victoria during AM ... Read More
I wanted my husband and I to take an Alaskan cruise with a visit to Victoria, Canada (we are big Anglophile's) and was considering Holland America, Princess and Royal Caribbean. R. C. had the only itinerary that visited Victoria during AM hours! We booked a Spacious Balcony cabin right behind the elevators (which turned out to be a blessing more than a problem). We were on the right (port) side of the ship and enjoyed watching the mountains, waterfalls and coastline from the balcony. We really lucked out with the weather - it was beautiful. The bed felt too firm for us, but we both slept really well. The room steward was excellent-no complaint. The cabin: Last June, I went on a cruise with my daughter from Southampton, UK, to Amsterdam & Brussels aboard Cunard's Queen Victoria cruise ship. To my surprise, Royal Caribbean's cabin was nicer, larger, better laid out, and with a larger and better equipped shower. There were cabinets and drawers aplenty, so that when I stowed away my toiletries, etc., the room was completely uncluttered. There was also a much better mirrored dressing table with good lighting that was not on the Cunard ship. It was very comfortable for us. The food: After reading online complaints, I wasn't expecting much. I prefer quality to quantity, so we only ate at the Windjammer buffet three times (1 breakfast, 1 lunch, and 1 dinner). The dinner buffet was a big disappointment in that other than the usual hamburger, hot dog, and pizza offerings, the only entree available that we could find was "bangers" (sausage) and a Tandoori fish. My husb. tried the bangers and only ate 1/2 of it-and he eats everything. I tried the Tandoori fish and did not care for it at all, so we more salad (which was always good and fresh) and whatever else we could find. Best thing on the buffet in my opinion was the hot dessert with custard sauce (bread & butter pudding, apple & rhubarb cobbler, etc.) offered every night. The dining room menu had good selections and we thought the food overall was pretty good. A few things we had were just OK, but most of it was really good. Better than the food on my Cunard cruise (maybe due to my American tastes). Also surprised that there was a small buffet also offered in the dining room for breakfast and lunch! This was a great plus - you could navigate the buffet and sit in much more comfort in the dining room while also ordering something special from the menu. Also of note: there was also a very good sugar free dessert option every night. The excursions were great - Juneau -Mendenhall Glacier & Rainforest, Skagway-White Pass Railroad (luxury car!) and Victoria - O Canada city tour Entertainment: While on board, enjoyed the ice show with professional ice skaters, an interesting and humorous lecture from a Canadian Mounted Police, a lecture on Alaskan animals, and a comedy show combined with the ship's orchestra and a singer. Would have enjoyed watching a movie in the theater, but they were only shown poolside (too cold at night for me). Some of the entertainment could be viewed on the TV in the cabin - we enjoyed watching the Love & Marriage game with married couples from the guests on the ship. Biggest drawback: The two hour wait (partially in the sun) in a DisneyWorld type back and forth between chained off rows lines. It was brutal. I got sunburned. And then immediately after onboard, there was the emergency drill on outside deck, in single file lines shoulder-to-shoulder - I was 1st in my line in the sun again waiting for all the stragglers who didn't want to participate, etc. which led to the sunburn. On Cunard, this was held in the theater (sitting). Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
Overall I would say the theme of our cruise was underwhelmed. I have been on over 20 cruises with my family and friends and this was the first time I would rate one was just meh, if this cruse had a color it would be beige. Nothing went ... Read More
Overall I would say the theme of our cruise was underwhelmed. I have been on over 20 cruises with my family and friends and this was the first time I would rate one was just meh, if this cruse had a color it would be beige. Nothing went terribly wrong, nothing was amazing. We sailed out of the port of Seattle, which was the best organized easiest port I have every had the pleasure of sailing out of. Like many of the sailing on this ship to Alaska we missed out on the Tracy Arm portion and did not get to enjoy any glaciers as advertised. This seems to be an ongoing issue with this ship/captain in the region and I feel like it needs to be addressed by the cruise line. If a large number of sailings are being impacted they need to adjust the itinerary rather than having so many sailings being impacted. The Pros The ship was very large yet never felt really crowded outside of a few isolated incidents in the public shopping area. The dining room staff were spot on and very attentive. Lots of deck chairs and space by the pools. One of the best cruise directors I have had the pleasure of cruising with. The cons Entire ship is very dated and needs a major update. Ship is showing its age and needs a significant refurb. Casino was very small with extremely limited variety of gaming options. Chops grill service was terrible (food was actually quite good). Spa area is small and limited (no co-ed steam/sauna, therapy pool, etc). The dining room menu was limited and uninspired. They need a lot of work in this department. Kids clubs had little to offer, and very restricted hours. They rooms had very little in them and were not really age appropriate. We sailed with 4 children ages 10-15 and none of them were impressed, they have previously been on 5 other cruises and this one by far had the least to offer them. Overall it feels like RCCL has increased the daily tips, increased the cost of drinks, added a charge for rooms service, all while the standards have slipped and they are delivering less for the money. Up to this point I would have said RCCL was a 4-4.5 star cruise line (depending on the ship), but this was a solid 3 for me. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2018
The ship was larger than expected, with lots of eateries 24 hrs a day. we LOVED our dining room attendants Stanley and Kleeber - they were AWESOME1 BEST SERVICE IN THE DINING ROOM! also, OUR ATTENDANT, Romulo was GREAT1 always leaving the ... Read More
The ship was larger than expected, with lots of eateries 24 hrs a day. we LOVED our dining room attendants Stanley and Kleeber - they were AWESOME1 BEST SERVICE IN THE DINING ROOM! also, OUR ATTENDANT, Romulo was GREAT1 always leaving the room spotless and leaving us with nightly towel animals! The excursions were WONDERFEL and the glacier a high point. We were concerned about the weather this time of year, but dress in layers outside and you adjust. The ship had a very good fitness facility with all modern equipment, a large heated whirlpool,sauna, steam room,and lots of group programs everyday. Boarding the ship was fast and hassle free. After having something to eat at the Windjammer and doing the mandatory safety drill we were able to go to relax in our room and promptly were greeted with our luggage. The entire staff were always friendly and accommodating and eager to please in any way they could! Disembarkation went well also even with the fact that we had to leave early because of an early flight and had to do self assist (take our luggage off the ship ourselves). Just had to wait a little longer than usual for an elevator! All in all everything was great and would highly recommend this ship for an Alaskan cruise! Dave and Kecia C. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2018
Just off of a very disappointing cruise on the Allure and I needed something to restore my faith in Royal. I always preferred the Voyager class ships above the others and the Explorer and this itinerary brought me around again. So easy to ... Read More
Just off of a very disappointing cruise on the Allure and I needed something to restore my faith in Royal. I always preferred the Voyager class ships above the others and the Explorer and this itinerary brought me around again. So easy to move around and yet plenty to do. The MDR had a couple of so-so dinners, but the rest were superb. Our MDR waitress "Lucy" and assistant I-Wayan were top notch, and the same for our stateroom attendant who kept the stateroom immaculate. The cruise director Graham Seymour was hilariously entertaining. My wife was picked to assist in the magic show. She still can't figure out how he did what he did. Then she roped me into participating in the "Love and Marriage (and maybe a divorce)" show which did turn out to be fun to be in. We thoroughly enjoyed the whale watching, Mendenhall Glacier, and wildlife viewing excursion, which was a bit pricy, but worth every penny. We also enjoyed the White Pass railway excursion in Skagway. The staff made the trip interesting and the views are absolutely stunning. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
First time and only time on RCI. It was just a complete disappointment. This was a 50th Anniversary cruise for my parents and we had a party of 13 on board. I wish I would have booked us on a different line. The Explorer is a ... Read More
First time and only time on RCI. It was just a complete disappointment. This was a 50th Anniversary cruise for my parents and we had a party of 13 on board. I wish I would have booked us on a different line. The Explorer is a beautiful ship. The Ice Show is great. I enjoyed the Royal Promenade area. It is a shame such a nice ship is wasted on such a terrible experience. My cabin was dirty, smelly and my bed was hard as a rock. I cleaned the cabin myself with hand wipes I brought. My bathroom was disgusting. It literally smelled as if someone had peed all over the walls. I asked for it to be cleaned 3x and finally gave up and cleaned up the urine I found under the seat myself. The food was not great. The Windjammer was just ok. The MDR was good but the service was incredibly slow. We had photos taken one evening and asked them to hold our table. We were told no problem. We got to the MDR and our tables were given away. The coffee in the MDR was cold and not drinkable. I got one decent cup of coffee at 6:30am in the Windjammer. There was no formal night. We like many just went a head and made our own formal night and dressed up. There was no pool side band or anything like that. Nothing very fun or festive. It was just weird. I hated the staff walking around with signs trying to up sell reservations to their specialty restaurants. In conclusion it was just not what I had hoped for. My parents were troopers and said they had a great time so I guess that makes it okay. I am sad my husband took a week off work and wasted his vacation time to sail with them when we could have sailed with someone else. 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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