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Explorer OTS - Review

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Last week the wife and I did the Explorer's last Alaska 7 night of the season. This was our 3rd RCCL. Previously we did a 15 night TA on Brilliance in April of this year and a 7 night WC on Oasis last year. Must say, the MDR service compared to the last two (we do My Time dining with reservations made prior to sailing) was terrible. The last two cruises the MDR service was fantastic in all respects. In fact after the first two nights we simply stopped going and went to WJ.


For some reason we only saw the assistant waiter twice on the second night and that was it. Probably why my water glass sat empty for an hour (I kept track, it was literally an hour with nothing to drink). Took close to 45 minutes to get our appetizers from when we sat down. This was on night 1 and 2. The head waiter looked like he was way overwhelmed. I even asked him if he was working by himself as I saw him doing the drinks and bread as well. Don't really know what was going on but there were a lot of people just sitting and waiting and waiting..... We made this know in the mid-cruise survey but decided to not go back.


Another lacking venue on this ship was the entertainment. Again, the difference between Brilliance in April and this one was incredible. The CD on Explorer, Graham and his activities direction, some lady named "Icy" did not do very well at all. "Icy" put on a James Bond themed show one night in which she was supposed to sign, guess.... James Bond themed songs. While she did sing some. others had nothing to do with the franchise. But it would have been okay if not for the fact that the poor woman cannot sing. It appears in lieu of RCCL hiring talent, they are using people that think they can sing on the cheap I suppose.


The nightly feature shows had the Explorer in-house singers on night 6 and 7. They had one male lead singer that was so terrible that I have literally seen better at a high school recital. It was bad, really bad. The cast had a Latin couple that were really good dancers but the rest....wow, not good. The CD, Graham Seymour puts on some British Rock show one night. It consisted of him with a electric guitar (which I don't believe was hooked up to anything) and 4 women dressed in these cheesy outfits all standing on the upper walkway of the promenade. Graham is screeching out songs in his best tone-deaf manner and they are moving around....just a bloody disaster. The entertainment on this ship needs to be scrapped and redone. Between Graham and "Icy", they are doing RCCL no favors in our opinion, although I will say Graham does have a witty sense of humor. I told the wife I thought RCCL must have forgotten about this single ship up here in Alaska and someone from Miami needs to get here and redo things. Contrast this to the on-board talent that RCCL had under contract on Brilliance and it was night and day. Amazing the quality is so starkly different from one ship to the next.


It will be a while before we go on this ship again.

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The entertainment on this ship needs to be scrapped and redone.

What you experienced is not the norm - it could be that they didn't get the staff on board they were supposed to have. Did you see the ice show?

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Blauelini, I have to agree with your assessment of the Explorer. We went August 3rd our 4th time on that ship. It was the most costly cruise we have been on and the most disappointing except for beautiful Alaska. The dining room was slow and disorganized. We had many visits from the head waiter too. I would have hoped he would have straightened things out by now.


Biker19 the ice show was excellent. That was a bright spot.

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We did the ice show and it was good. The bright spot was the excursions. We did the glacier/salmon bake, the train ride (we upgraded to the luxury car and it was so worth it) and the whale watching in Victoria. Apparently we lucked out on the whale watching. We wound up seeing half of the remaining Orca's (so sad) left about 35 on the day we were out there. First time apparently all season that many were there. But for the awesome excursions, the ship was a bust. Miami really needs to address the issues on Explorer.

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I took this same cruise on Explorer a month ago and have the exact opposite thoughts. Everything was wonderful; ship was beautiful. I’ve been on 20 RCI cruises and Graham Seymour is one of my favorite CD’s. Found him to always be extremely funny with spot on timing. I’m not big on the singing and dancing shows but the ice skating show was great. Only comment I have is that they should change the show occasionally. I was on Explorer last September and the ice show was exactly the same.


The food was probably the best I’ve had in several cruises. A bad waiter/assistant waiter can taint your overall satisfaction but after day one when we told our waiter that he didn’t need to spend 10 minutes explaining everything about the menu, service was great.

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