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Explorer of the Seas, comments on recent trip


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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.

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The issue is too many Diamonds and above. As stated, more than 700 on that sailing. About the only place to host a group that size would be the theater or the main dining room. Obviously the dining room would be in use. So. ....  I would be interested in hearing your feelings about solving this issue. 

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26 minutes ago, cruisefan0110 said:

The issue is too many Diamonds and above. As stated, more than 700 on that sailing. About the only place to host a group that size would be the theater or the main dining room. Obviously the dining room would be in use. So. ....  I would be interested in hearing your feelings about solving this issue. 

Well, they could make all the Diamonds really irritated and NOT let them into the lounge at all and just make it Diamond+ and Pinnacle. Or, they could just open the Viking Crown to all of the Diamond and above. Then everyone would be at least pacified. Once Explorer goes to drydock, the Diamond lounge is moving and there will be even less options to resolve this issue. And, all of the window views will be gone in the "new" lounge. RCL is making this worse rather than better. I think if there were clearer expectations on how the vouchers worked, that might help. Several in the lounge were discussing and were confused about the process. Sometimes you get a receipt, sometimes you don't. There were billing issues with the drinks. We personally don't like the vouchers because we have had billing issues on previous cruises and I do not like to spend my time at Customer Service.

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I was on that same cruise and I agree that the staff was exceptional. 

I was only in the Diamond lounge a few times, usually in the morning or early afternoon and it was empty.  When I heard there were 700 Diamonds onboard - I knew to stay away from the lounge.  

 

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I was in same cruuse.

I food in all venues were excellent.

I'm Diamond also.

Whereas I had early dining, rather than go to the Diamond lounge, I used the six drink vouchers that my wife and I had and used them in the MDR with no issues.

I was previously on the Allure where they moved Diamond Lounge at night to Blaze Nightclub. I wasn't impressed, small selection appetizers. Did vouchers were more than enough for me as my wife doesn't drink.

 

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The only major problem on the ship for us that week was the lack of forward elevators.  To only have the 2 small elevator working and the 4 large elevator out of service was unacceptable.  We tried the Diamond lounge once, but using a mobility device made the room unavailable due to crowding.  We just go to the bar or dining room to get a drink

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19 hours ago, later said:

I was also on the cruise. They did use Dizzys as overflow later in the week.

When you used Dizzys, did you need to show your card? and did they give you a receipt? We were in Dizzys but there were also non-Diamonds up there. It was not just for us, so we just went back into the lounge for our drinks.

 

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To be clear, I am not complaining. My main point was that we enjoyed our cruise very much and had exceptional service and a very kind staff. Others have noted the negative reviews. This is a positive review.  Loved the ship and the staff it reminded us of what cruising used to be and was very enjoyable. 

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As far as cruise directors go, I find that position to have very little value on a cruise. The cruise planner gives me all I need to plan my day to make  it a great one.  9 days on that cruise I passed by Mike once other than introducing shows. Assistant cruise directors seem to be seen more than the cruise director. 

Just not a big deal for me. Don 't need a cheer leader.

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We were also on this cruise.  I echo a lot of the comments made.  We were not diamond until after this cruise, so I cannot comment.

We noticed a few areas of the ship looked a bit tired, but not dirty.  We know she is going in soon for drydock.  It really didn’t bother us.

We also found the MDR to be very good, we always found something we liked.  Service was top notch.  My husband commented that he found the shrimp cocktail to be great, but he wished the sauce had more horseradish in it.  The next night he was brought extra horseradish to add without asking.

The only negative we found was the CD Mike.  He was very obnoxious at times.  We were uncomfortable with the way he commented to an elderly gentleman at the bellyflop show.   

Great cruise, met some really nice people.

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I was on the same cruise, and I'm not sure what the issue is with the Diamond Lounge.  Of course, at 4:30pm the crowds formed to get a drink and the lounge was packed.  We just got our drink and walked into Dizzy's and/or got a few apps in the DL and got a drink on our card in Dizzy's.  At 5:30pm, first seating, there was no issue getting a seat in the Diamond Lounge.  

 

It was a great cruise.  🍷

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