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  1. Down to fewer than 10 days before we cruise, so of course I'm thinking about the FOOD! I heard a podcaster mention the yummy smoothies available at the Vitality Spa on the bigger ships. Does anyone know if something like this can be found on Explorer? We have the Deluxe Drink Package, so I'm looking to get the most out of it, including beyond alcohol. Also, on less healthy note - are there donuts anywhere? Thanks! Fa
  2. Does the Explorer have the Solarium area with the Bistro? My wife and I went on a Med cruise on Oasis last year and really enjoyed that area. I can't find anything that looks like it on the deck plans for Explorer. Thanks for the help! Hooter
  3. Hello. We just arrived back from a sailing on the Explorer (1/24-2/2). Had a wonderful time. Must say the staff onboard was exceptional. Very friendly and went above and beyond to be pleasant and helpful. Have not seen this on a ship in quite a while. It was noticeable and impressive. Also thought they are doing a better job in the Windjammer for lunch. Lots of easy to eat foods, like burgers and nachos, but also had a few different items every day to make it interesting. And nice big salad bar. The one big negative that we found was that they did not open the Diamond Lounge in the evening out into the bar area. It was cramped in that little room and there seemed to be an attitude that RCL does not care about its top cruisers. We were sent a letter at the beginning of the cruise that there were 700+ Diamond and above that would be using the lounge and just to use our vouchers. As per usual, that did not go over very well. RCL knows they have a problem and just don't want to do anything about it. There is a second, minor negative. The Cruise Director, Mike Witte, was boring, grumpy and not very entertaining. He even chastised one of the contestants during the Love and Marriage Game Show. It is an ADULT themed event and he should expect that. He is way to sensitive! He seemed to be quite a drag the whole week. Other than that, the ship atmosphere was much better than Inde and Anthem, which we recently sailed. Overall fantastic cruise and reminded us of what it used to be like.
  4. Hello, I will be on my first RCI cruise in multiple years later this week; my first ever on one of Royal's big ships. I will be on the Explorer for 9 nights, and one of our ports is Labadee. I was wondering, from the more experienced cruisers, what are some Explorer/Royal "hacks"? ie, how can I get to the bow to watch the ship sail away (I think it's cool that you can do that on Royal), where is the best place to get a lounge chair on deck, what night is a must-do in the MDR, etc? Not having cruised Royal in multiple years, I don't know many anecdotes, and those usually make a vacation for me, and considering how I want to like Royal, I'm looking to make this cruise as great as possible. As for Labadee, I have never been, and I was planning on just chilling out, going in the water, and enjoying the free beach day. What beach is typically the best? Is there any barbecue that offers better/different food than all the main ones, or are they pretty standard? Any other "hacks"/tips? Thank you in advance to anyone who provides anything, if anything, I'm just trying to kill the time between now and my flight on Thursday night. I'm very excited if you can't tell! 😄
  5. Looking for main dining room menus leaving on 9 day cruise on the explorer- to ABC ISLANDS?
  6. Need some help. I'm putting together a group of 12 people. 9 adults. Most are veteran cruisers. 3 children. 8, 7, and 4 (first cruise for the kids). It looks like I have it down to Explorer (9 night) or Oasis (7 night). For me, nine nights is always better than 7, but the price goes up too. I've sailed oasis class so I know the pros and cons, but I have never sailed voyager class. Which would you select for the kids? Why? Which would you select for the adults? Why? tia
  7. Can anyone advise me how many European type plugs there will be in a Junior Suite (cabin 1628) on board Explorer of the Seas? We would like to purchase adapters for each one of those outlets. Many thanks.
  8. Hey y'all, I just got home after a great 9 nights away on the Explorer of the Seas. I am planning to write a little review on here later detailing the hits and misses I experienced, but in the meantime, I'll take any questions from any future cruisers and answer them to the best of my ability! Happy cruising!
  9. I've seen a few people that seem to think that Explorer will get a similar refurbishment to Navigator. I personally don't get why considering that Navigator was completely redesigned with the 3/4 night market in mind and in particular, the entire pool deck is designed for the Caribbean and wouldn't work in Europe. I have noticed that she is out of service for 2 months, so it looks like her drydock is fairly extensive and certainly much better than what Voyager will be getting. I am thinking of cruising in Europe next year and Explorer from Civitavecchia is one of the options, so am intrigued. Hoping that they add solo cabins. What do you think will be added?
  10. Enjoy this video I made of the Royal Promenade on Explorer of the Seas.
  11. Last minute packing review, and it occurred to me: am I going to freeze while watching the ice skating show? Like pack jeans and a jacket? Or will a light sweater over a cotton dress be ok? I know everyone has different levels of cold tolerance, so somewhat subjective. I rarely feel the need to wear a sweater on the ship in general though so didn’t think about it while I packed. thanks!
  12. I know these are not sold all the time, only when alcohol sales are lower than they like and no guarantees they will be available at all, etc.. With that in mind, wondering if any recent cruisers on Explorer of the Seas have seen them pop Up? Just curious if anyone happened to notice?
  13. I just returned home after an amazing 9 night cruise on Explorer. I was extremely concerned as I read reviews just prior to my sailing on Jan 10th but I must say this cruise, ship and staged were outstanding.. First embarkment was a disaster but I found out from the loyalty ambassador on the cruise that the delay was due to a couple not leaving the ship when they were supposed to 😔. I arrived at the port around 10:15 or so. Check in was a breeze and I really liked it however the wait to board was horrible .we were told that boarding would start no later than 11:15 or so we’ll it didn’t start until after noon and there was no direction from Royal people just started walking out the waiting room in no order. Very disappointing. the cruise on the whole was amazing ! Cabin Attendant Oswald huge shout out to him he was amazing and efficient and always had our room cleaned and was helpful with everything . Our head Waiter, waiter Nevil and assistant waiter Adrian was outstanding with the service they provided. The food I thought was great both in the MDR and Winjammer I am not a foodie and thought it was good maybe there might have been a meal that wasn’t that great but that was it. I didn’t do any speciality Dinning. I attended most of the shows and enjoyed them also I did go frequently to Dizzy’s the nightclub and my husband and I love to dance even though we are in our fifties.😀 Did self Disembarkment as my flight was at 11:30am out of Fort Lauderdale . It was OK waited a little in the line but customs was a breeze. The ship rocked a lot as it was windy. Very very rough seas all the way from Labadee to Aruba . All the ports were amazing !!! Overall the cruise was fantastic enjoyed every moment can’t wait for the next one!
  14. Finishing up a great 9 night cruise on Explorer. Was very concerned by some reviews going into the cruise, but things have gone well. Service good to excellent (especially in Schooner Bar and Giovannis Table). Ship is older and shows her age in spots, but no major issues or anything impacting my cruise. I’ve enjoyed sailing on the last Voyager class ship that still resembles her original design. The 9 night itinerary is the best - perfect pace of sea days and islands (ABC).
  15. If anyone has sailed on the explorer recently, we were wondering what time that are allowing us to enter our respective cabins. thanks much for the info
  16. Does anyone have a table layout of the main dining rooms on the Explorer of the Seas? I have early seating at table number 465 in the main dining room and I'd like to know where it is. Thank you.
  17. Might want to do it on our own. Last time we had a walking tour around the Mykonos town.
  18. We will be on the Explorer of the Seas in 30 days. We originally booked an April cruise which was to be after the dry dock. They changed the dry dock dates and cancelled out cruise, so now we are going before the dry dock. If you have sailed her recently, how is she looking? Did you have a good experience?
  19. Wondering if anyone has just sailed the Explorer very recently, and how their cruise was? We are sailing her in Feb. 7, and have read some not so great reviews so I’m curious how any very recent sailings have been. This will be our fourth time sailing her, so we know the ship. Just curious what recent cruisers might have to say. Thanks!
  20. Enjoy my latest video - Explorer of the Seas J4 Center Hump Junior Suite.
  21. Current on Day 3 of our 9-night NYE sailing on Explorer of the Seas. A little background: My family travels in 3 generations at/near Xmas every year beginning a little over a decade ago (as hubby was deployed to Germany for 2 years & we spent Xmas overseas). We alternate cruise & land vacations each year. This is our 3rd Xmas cruise with RCCL but have cruised with RCCL multiple times & on most classes of ships. Why I suggest Undercover Boss? I read the not so great reviews ahead of time so came prepared. I’ll preface my noticings with the fact that we ARE having a great vacation because we’ll be certain to. We work very hard, have invested in a lot of extras to make our vacay even nicer, and we enjoy spending time together...and we LOVE the Ocean!!!! The ugly: - The ship is not in the best shape. One example....There are actually windows TAPED shut. (Easy to get past but it definitely doesn’t represent the product well. I’d be embarrassed if I was in charge here!) - Overall worst service we’ve experienced on any ship & any cruise line. Yes. Some employees are spectacular but too many are not! - Worst dining experiences in any venue....by far! We’ve eaten in the MDR, Chops, Giovanni’s, & Johnny Rockets thus far. Giovanni’s has had the best service so far but the food is not comparable to Giovanni’s on other ships. All family members have this opinion. - My husband still hasn’t met our room steward. - None of us can tell you the cruise director. Granted we haven’t gone to most shows but that’s typical for us on ships other than Oasis or Quantum class. We have usually seen and/or met the cruise director multiple times by now. - All of the “little things” are missing: Invitations/Reminders for specialty diners in the stateroom (good thing I wrote them down as my Reservations aren’t accurate on the TV), greetings from the staff, periodic check-ins from the room steward, etc. - Internet is the worst! We use it mostly to text but hubby does have to work at least one day this cruise. What’s funny is I thought I lost this post to spotty internet twice. Would be surprised if there ends up being duplicate posts! These things probably sound minor as you read it but experiencing it is interesting to say the least. Hubby & I both said today....Had this been our 1st RCCL Cruise, it would certainly be our last. As a reference point....Our two Carnival cruises years ago far surpassed this cruise in quality of product! RCCL should be aware that if this is someone’s first experience, they might be completely turned off. So...As I plan to enjoy the last 6 days on this ship...I plead to RCCL....send an Undercover Boss to this ship & determine if you’re comfortable with this particular representation of your product!
  22. I am on Explorer of Seas after the refurb is completed May. Mediterranean cruise. June cruise and already have my room assignment. It is one of the new balcony cabins getting added during refurb. 11th floor. Very front if the ship? Thoughts. Good location?
  23. We sailed to Alaska in 2016 on Explorer and were pretty miserable. Because of the open staircase from the casino, the promenade was so smoky and disgusting that we didn't even want to walk through it. For a cruise where you are in a cooler environment and want to be inside more, it's very important to be able to breathe freely 🙂We are now considering Ovation for Alaska for summer 2020, but I am hesitant because of our poor experience on Explorer. Can anyone who has been on both ships (or ships of both classes) offer a comparison?
  24. We just returned from a Christmas cruise on the Explorer of the Seas. Thought I would mention a couple things for others who maybe sailing before she goes into dry dock. Voom internet, couldn't connect with macbook pro. Spoke to the gentleman in the internet area and he said it has been an issue for a few weeks. They are not expecting it to be resolved prior to the drydock. Windows computers can connect and I was able to connect right away on my iphone and ipad. The service was a bit slow however I was able to stream from Acorn Tv. Bit disappointed I couldn't connect my macbook I wanted to test out working from ship. Lesson learned I will bring mac and windows laptop in the future. We were in Owners Suite 1320 ,love the setup of the room apart from the shower being a bit small. Not sure of other rooms have this issue but there were only 2 american plugs in the room and they were as far away from were we needed them as they could be. Everything else was european style plugs. My husband requires a scooter for distances and luckily our room attendant was able to help us out with the plug situation. You can't even get the scooter near were the plug was located. However this resulted in us having orange extension cords running across the room. The included coffee maker , well that was pretty sad indeed. Some old beat up mr coffee with you guessed it an american plug with no plug near it. The tea kettle was shabby but it seemed clean and I really wanted to be able to make my tea AND at least I could plug that in. Hope this helps anyone who may be cruising soon. Just bring windows laptop for internet and adaptors for plugs just in case!
  25. My husband is booked as a single on Explorer on the November 29 2019 sailing (he booked alone because I don't have any vacation time left to go with him), and he's trying to talk me into going with him and working from the ship for that work-week instead of him just sailing alone or me taking vacation time I don't have. We would have an inside cabin. I'm apprehensive, not at all sure I'd be able to find a comfortable place to work from, or that the internet would be adequate, or that it wouldn't be too distracting. On the other hand, I have a lot of "downtime" on cruises where I'm borderline-bored, and surely I could fit work the work that needs to get done into those hours. And it would mean someone else cooked and cleaned for me for a week while I worked, which is very tempting. So I thought I'd ask for opinions: Have you worked (like, a full work day or week, not just checking your work email) from a cruise ship before? If so, tell me about it! Is the desk in inside cabins on Explorer big enough to fit a laptop and a portable monitor to work from? If not, would it be better in a higher cabin category? Is the surf + stream internet up to doing video and/or voice call meetings for up to 3 hours a day? Is there anywhere else besides my cabin on Explorer that I could park myself, my laptop, and maybe my portable monitor and use them comfortably (i.e. table and chair not at an uncomfortable mismatch in height) and not obnoxiously (obviously I wouldn't be taking calls out in a public lounge or anything, but I also don't want to monopolize lounge space other people need/want or anger the service staff) for a few hours? Particularly where I could plug the laptop in? Is this just a Really Bad Idea that I should forget about?
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