Explorer of the Seas Review (8/21-8/28 2005)

Welcome to Cruise Critic! If you'd like to participate on our forums by joining in the conversation, please Register Now! Be sure to visit our FAMOUS Roll Call forums, where you can meet other cruisers sailing with you and share a tour or shore excursion and SAVE MONEY!

#1
Cottage Grove, MN
4,057 Posts
Joined Jul 2004
HI, Just got back from a GREAT vacation on the RCCL Explorer of the Seas. Just some background on me so you know where I am coming from I am a 24 year old male traveling with Family.

We were scheduled to fly NWA to Miami, but switched to american at the last minute due to the NWA mechanic Strike - turns out it was a good Idea, says a mechanic that we know.

EMBARKATION - Started at about 11:30, approx. 50-70 people in the waiting area when we started the process. Went to the Platinum/Diamond area to check in. WHen he started to check us in, he told us we had to go to the pier coordinator. We went over to the desk there were 8 people standing around and 1 person doing the work. We waited 15 minutes to be helped, and we were told we owed $45.00 for a shore excursion. I asked what for, and the lady said, never mind It was a mistake! (HMM SOUNDS ODD) and gave us our room keys. On the ship by noon.
Life boat drill at 4:15.

FOOD - Normal cruise food, nothing special, nothing disgusting. Right about average. I will say one thing though about the service in the windjammer. It was really bad. Things would sit empty for long periods of time before getting refilled. The beverage stations were constantly running out of cups, and personnel issues like that.

The ship was in Great condition for going into Drydock in just a month. (Ship is a 2000). Very clean!

Clo O'connor was the Cruise Director. AWESOME! We loved her the last time on the Brilliance, and she was just as great now!
Johnny O was the Asst CD. He didn't please me too much. Very Hard to understand, and was never really visible except for BINGO.

Sunday - Embarkation
Monday - Sea Day (Formal Night 1) and Production Show
Tuesday - San Juan 2p-8p - Celebrity SHowtime
Wed - St. Maarten 8a-5p Ice Show, Love and Marrage Show
Thurs - St. Thomas - THE QUEST - Production Show 2
Fri - At Sea - Comedian - FOrmal night 2
Sat - Nassau - Comedian

I was also very pleased that there were 2 late night adult comedy shows.

There were a lot of young teens (13-15) running around the ship until about 3am, and security wasn't really doing much about it. (Not a big deal, except for 2 nights they were talking very loud in several hallways)

All in all, great trip. I know I was brief in my review, but if you have any questions at all and want me to go into detail please email me at [email protected]
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature


ROYAL CARIBBEAN: PINNACLE. (Adventure, Allure, Anthem, Brilliance, Enchantment, Explorer, Freedom, Grandeur, Independence, Jewel, Legend, Liberty, Majesty, Mariner, Monarch, Navigator, Radiance, Rhapsody, Serenade, Vision)

CARNIVAL: PLATINUM (Jubilee, Conquest, Spirit, Fascination, Freedom, Imagination, Liberty, Glory, Valor)]

PRINCESS: PLATINUM (Star Princess, Grand Princess, Caribbean Princess, Emerald Princess, Ruby Princess)

NORWEGIAN (Norwegian Majesty)
#2
4,132 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
Thanks for the review.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Carnival Fascination 1/02
Royal Caribbean Freedom of the Seas 7/06--Honeymoon
Royal Caribbean Majesty of the Seas 4/08
Royal Caribbean Anthem of the Seas 7/16 10 year Anniversary cruise!


#3
170 Posts
Joined Feb 2005
Firefighterhoop, perhaps we bumped into each other.

Planning on writing an extensive review, but here are some random thoughts.

Overall - Excellent experience.

Explorer certainly needs dry dock, but nothing that really upset me - frayed carpeting in the windjammer/island grill area, worn bed covers, broken tv and safe buttons.

Purchased wireless 90 minute package for $35.00. Wireless connection was spotty. Worked very well late at night in the Viking Crown. Could not get a connection to last longer than a few seconds during the afternoon at either the Cafe Promenade, the Solarium, or VIking Crown. They seem to be aware that there are some issues as they issued me a credit without me asking for one. Its a new system, so I am sure they are still working out the bugs.

As I said, was able to have a good late night connection at the Viking Crown, where I booked three rooms for the three families in our group at the Comfort Suites in Paradise Island while on board. I highly recommend booking a room at either Comfort Suites if you are spending some time. The Atlantis is beautiful with so many things to do, but most that require the Atlantis wristband. The hotel did not seem crowded at all. In fact, other than cruisers, the place would have seemed almost empty. Therefore, if you are going there on your cruise in the next few weeks, you may want to check out the prices at the Atlantis as well perhaps they've been significantly discounted.

Portofino - service and food were excellent. Well worth the $20 pp cost.

Casino - profitable.

Shows - All were very good. The ice skating show was absolutely wonderful. Great music (Pink Floyd, Doors, Springsteen, Queen mixed in with other music) and fabulous ice skating.

Stayed in Junior Suite, cabin 7392 - Loved the size of the cabin with all the extra room, counter and cabinet space. Balcony was huge. However, don't think I'd take an aft cabin on any deck other than the 10th again. I just didn't enjoy the metal bands crossing in front of my view. Personal opinion. Others may not care as much.

Kids really enjoyed the water slide. We cruised the Navigator of the Seas last year which did not have this feature and they just loved it. However, I guess the trade-off for the slide was a smaller and less organized Adventure Ocean program. While last year, the kids wanted to be there from morning until night. This year, it was too disorganized for them with too many children and too few counselors that they did not attend again after the second day.

All in all, an excellent cruise. Found the staff to be very helpful when little issues arose.

Menu button on tv remote was broken (couldn't obtain see pass acct info) - they replaced within a couple of hours.

Sofa bed was too hard for kids to sleep on. The stateroom attendant added an extra mattress cover which softened the bed sufficiently.

Would be happy to answer any questions you may have.
#4
NW Burbs, Chicago
306 Posts
Joined Feb 2004
I would like to address the comment about the 13-15 yr. olds running around late at night.

I am a parent of a pre-teen and I'll tell you why passengers find this age group running around. the A.O. club kicks them out of their meeting place so taht the 15+ crowd can go in. AND THERE'S NO FURTHER ACTIVITIES OR PLACE FOR THEM TO MEET! Isn't that so stupid!

I believe that kids should ALWAYS be well behaved but when there is nothing for them to do...trouble brews.

Just my opinion...but I'm stick'in to it.
#5
Cleveland, Ohio
19 Posts
Joined Aug 2005
Thanks for the great reviews!! We're leaving this Sunday Sept 4th on Explorer doing the same itinerary. ( We hope!! ) Katrina will be long gone by then. And hopefully no new ones. How was the weather while you were at sea and on the islands?
#6
170 Posts
Joined Feb 2005
Originally posted by CantWait2Cruise4Funnn
Thanks for the great reviews!! We're leaving this Sunday Sept 4th on Explorer doing the same itinerary. ( We hope!! ) Katrina will be long gone by then. And hopefully no new ones. How was the weather while you were at sea and on the islands?
The weather was great. Just a couple of showers while in San Juan and St. Martin. Just enough to cool you off. There was also one thunder and lightening storm at night that washed out the poolside gala (it was brought indoors onto the Promenade. Too small a place for so many people. We opted to skip it).
#7
Cottage Grove, MN
4,057 Posts
Joined Jul 2004
Originally posted by HazyDavey
The weather was great. Just a couple of showers while in San Juan and St. Martin. Just enough to cool you off. There was also one thunder and lightening storm at night that washed out the poolside gala (it was brought indoors onto the Promenade. Too small a place for so many people. We opted to skip it).
Actually, we went up to the deck and watched the storm come in (Also agree, too many people for me in the promenade). Pretty neat to see the lightning miles off in the distance and get closer!
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature


ROYAL CARIBBEAN: PINNACLE. (Adventure, Allure, Anthem, Brilliance, Enchantment, Explorer, Freedom, Grandeur, Independence, Jewel, Legend, Liberty, Majesty, Mariner, Monarch, Navigator, Radiance, Rhapsody, Serenade, Vision)

CARNIVAL: PLATINUM (Jubilee, Conquest, Spirit, Fascination, Freedom, Imagination, Liberty, Glory, Valor)]

PRINCESS: PLATINUM (Star Princess, Grand Princess, Caribbean Princess, Emerald Princess, Ruby Princess)

NORWEGIAN (Norwegian Majesty)
#8
Cottage Grove, MN
4,057 Posts
Joined Jul 2004
Originally posted by mamax4
I would like to address the comment about the 13-15 yr. olds running around late at night.

I am a parent of a pre-teen and I'll tell you why passengers find this age group running around. the A.O. club kicks them out of their meeting place so taht the 15+ crowd can go in. AND THERE'S NO FURTHER ACTIVITIES OR PLACE FOR THEM TO MEET! Isn't that so stupid!

I believe that kids should ALWAYS be well behaved but when there is nothing for them to do...trouble brews.

Just my opinion...but I'm stick'in to it.
How about bed? I mean it is midnight/1am....
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature


ROYAL CARIBBEAN: PINNACLE. (Adventure, Allure, Anthem, Brilliance, Enchantment, Explorer, Freedom, Grandeur, Independence, Jewel, Legend, Liberty, Majesty, Mariner, Monarch, Navigator, Radiance, Rhapsody, Serenade, Vision)

CARNIVAL: PLATINUM (Jubilee, Conquest, Spirit, Fascination, Freedom, Imagination, Liberty, Glory, Valor)]

PRINCESS: PLATINUM (Star Princess, Grand Princess, Caribbean Princess, Emerald Princess, Ruby Princess)

NORWEGIAN (Norwegian Majesty)
#9
Washington, DC
959 Posts
Joined May 2005
Originally posted by Firefighterhoop
How about bed? I mean it is midnight/1am....
Some parents wouldn't know if their kids get to bed if they're not in the cabin themselves........

Boggles the mind.......
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature





Past adventures

Adventure of the Seas 10/07
Freedom of the Seas 11/2006
Explorer of the Seas 9/2005
#10
192 Posts
Joined Aug 2005
I agree with Fritz and Firefighter....
How late do these kids need to be "entertained"?? Are they running around like that at home?? Or at a Destination Vacation?? I think a lot of parents take it for granted that we are on a ship and their kids are safe and for some reason... I think some forget that they even have kids!!! I am a Mom of 2, one teenager- one almost there. If you don't want to be botherd with your kids after their activites are over... then maybe they need to stay home with Grandma?? Just a thought.