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Royal Caribbean Explorer of the Seas

96 reviews
Traveller (468)
Common Areas (1,296)
Dining and Bars (466)
Itineraries for this ship
5 Night Cruise to the Western Caribbean
Departure date
Friday, 03/09/21
Galveston, Costa Maya, Cozumel, Galveston
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Passengers: 3,286   |   Crew: 1,185
Passengers to crew: 2.77:1
Passengers to space: 41.7:1
Launched: 2000   


  • Deck 2
  • Deck 3
  • Deck 4
  • Deck 5
  • Deck 6
  • Deck 7
Additional decks
Deck 2 layout
  Ocean View (8N)  
  Ocean View (1N)  
  Ocean View (2N)  
  Ocean View (3N)  
Loyalty Desk
Conference Center


Cabin size: 164 - 275 sq. ft.
Connected rooms: 100
Accessible rooms: 8
Maximum passengers: 4
Number of cabins: 652

Activities & entertainment

Activities (27)
  • CruiseCritic Meet and Mingle
  • Dance Classes
  • Dance Classes
  • Dance Parties
  • Explorer Dunes
  • Fitness Classes*
  • FlowRider
  • Hot Tubs (6)
  • Library
  • Pool Games
  • Pools (3)
  • RC Online*
  • Rock Climbing Wall
  • Running Track
  • Scavenger Hunts
  • SeaTrek Dive Shop*
  • Sports Court
  • Sports Tournament
  • Trivia
  • Video Arcade*
  • Vitality At Sea Fitness Center
  • Vitality At Sea Spa*
  • Wine Tasting*
  • Waterslides
  • Adventure Ocean
  • Optix Teen Disco
  • Outdoor Youth Area
Entertainment (14)
  • Live Music
  • Casino Royale*
  • Deck Parties
  • Demonstrations
  • Game Broadcasts
  • Game Shows
  • Karaoke
  • Outdoor Screen
  • Poolside Movies
  • Royal Promenade
  • Star Lounge
  • Studio B
  • The Palace Theatre
  • Wellness Lectures
Dining (18)
  • Sapphire Dining Room - American
  • Izumi - Asian*
  • R Bar - Atrium Bar*
  • Windjammer - Casual
  • Johnny Rockets - Fast Food*
  • Crown & Kettle Pub - Gastropub*
  • Ice Cream Parlor - Ice Cream*
  • Viking Crown Lounge - Iconic Bar
  • Giovanni's Table - italian*
  • Dizzy's - Martini Bar*
  • Schooner Bar - Nautical bar*
  • Café Promenade - pastries*
  • Pool Bar - Pool Bar*
  • Sky Bar - Pool Bar*
  • Solarium Bar - Pool Bar*
  • Connoisseur Club - Spirits*
  • The Tavern - Sports Bar*
  • Chops Grille - Steakhouse*
* May require additional fees
Traveller rating
  • 36
  • 22
  • 18
  • 13
  • 7
Time of year
Selected filters
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BenuBery wrote a review Mar 2020
New Delhi, India101 contributions14 helpful votes
The ship is a comfortable size,walkable end to end,carrying about 2000 different nationalities with staff also from China,Korea,Hongkong and India.Entertainment teams are even from Africa and Europe.Its a refitted Princess ship,looks new and facilities like gym,shopping arcade,kid’s club,science lab,game zones ,beauty parlour are there.Safety drill and payment process as well as embarkation and disembarkation procedures are planned,sightseeing tours can be pre booked online or at the travel counter. Restaurants and Bars offer non stop service, including a late night snack service at rear pool deck.There are speciality restaurants as well as a Chinese and Japanese one,Buffet offering a variety of cuisines, bars with various themes ,located at various levels.Service tax is levied in addition on a daily basis and unless one has a beverage package, alcohol is expensive on board.One cannot take in any personal alcohol.A deposit by way of credit card details are kept as security for every cabin. The entertainment by way of games,quizzes for various age groups and fun activities for kids as well as the swimming pool and jacuzzi ,keep everyone maxing out.The stops encountering are well timed and tours coordinated to ship arrival and departure times at port but horribly expensive,compared to other popular tour operators. Overall, housekeeping was excellent.Food,average and facilities aplenty.In advance booking,the price was reasonable.I would recommend this for a family anytime.
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Morgan W wrote a review Mar 2020
Noblesville, Indiana525 contributions144 helpful votes
Before I went on the cruise, I reads about the great public areas on the ship. They are there, but serve more as a sound funnel than anything else sending noise up to the interior staterooms. Elevators were problematic, which made me glad we were able to take the steps. Service was missing until I complained to my room attendant who managed to get the various other departments working. Food was decent except for the sushi restaurant. We were able to get off and on the boat without too much trouble. The excursions were somewhat limited. We chose the rain forest and the St. John tour, which were both great. We had such limited time at each place that even on the ship excursions it was hard to get back on time. Cabin was average with a decent size bathroom, plenty of hot water and water pressure. Bedroom part was average, but the bed was nothing to rave about. (Much more comfortable beds on NCL and the Princess cruise lines.) Our balcony was tiny. We always book a balcony room because that matters to us. It was difficult getting the two of us outside along with our breakfast tray. we are normal sized adults, too,) There were plenty of bars, good size arcade, casino, and hot tubs. Supposedly, there was a library, but I didn't find it. There was plenty of options for folks to entertain themselves. I was never bored.
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1 Helpful vote
Sara R wrote a review Mar 2020
Chicago, Illinois54 contributions6 helpful votes
I will start off by explaining that I sailed on this ship for my third Star Trek Cruise and was very much looking forward to seeing this new ship for the theme cruise. Having been on the Trek Cruise before and having an awesome time, Royal Caribbean had a lot to live up to and for the most of the part delivered- most of the growing pains had to do with organizing the events of the themes cruise, so I will not address those here. The good: 1. Quality/size of the cabin - since I do little more than sleep or shower in my cabin, I don't bother with a suite or balcony. Interior cabins on this ship are pretty spacious, and the couch was a nice addition. There was plenty of storage, including a cooler (looks like a fridge- don't be fooled by some other reviewers who clearly can't read signs- it's clearly labeled as a cooler) to help keep beverages cold. There is a small safe, which is standard, and the shower/bathroom consistently worked well. 2. Dining - there is a major downside which I will address separately, so here will focus on the good. The quality of the food was far superior to the other cruise line I have been on; there was also more fresh fruits and vegetables available, so I could focus on maintaining a fairly healthy diet for many of my meals. I highly recommend a dining package- it might not include alcohol, but the value you get in your meals and access to the specialty restaurants is well worth it. 3. Service- everyone, and I mean everyone was fantastic. Our room attendant was friendly and very helpful, and guest services addressed questions in a very clear manner. I read another review of someone who thought shaking their cup to get ice seemed like a good way to communicate, and I'll say right now- I wouldn't help you, either. That's just rude. The not-so-good 1. Dining- okay, so here's my main axe to grind with Royal Caribbean- the lack of vegetarian/vegan options is astounding. As a vegetarian I did okay, but this cruise would be near impossible for people adhering to a vegan diet. There were very few protein options- and the only place you could see a veggie burger was in a Johnny Rockets on board- which you had to pay extra for. As someone who splurged on a dining package, I was hoping to find some more plant-based proteins. Royal Caribbean needs to step up their game for those eating plant-based diets. 2. Transportation - elevator lines so long I felt like I was at Dragoncon! The upside was I, as an able-bodied person, could take the stairs and burn off some of the cocktails (which were fantastic). For people with accessibility needs, however, this got to be quite a headache- a friend of mine with mobility issues imparted this on me and was not treated terribly well by staff. It did not help that some of the elevators stopped working at different parts throughout the cruise. 3. Ports and Excursions - I will say that the cruise line used in past Trek cruises offered far superior excursions both in terms of quality and price. Last year and this past cruise I was able to do a celebrity excursion, and both were fun, but the level of activity was much higher on the other cruise line. We had 4 ports this cruise and very little time at each stop, making it hard to do much other than a short excursion. The last port- Freeport on Grand Bahama Island, was byfar the worst port I've been to. It was little more than a tourist trap with cheap trinkets, and with only 5 hours or so at the port you can't get away to do much of anything. Since I was on a theme cruise, I was never bored, but if you are on a regular cruise, I strongly encourage you to book at least a short excursion to ensure a quality time at ports with little to offer. Please note that my 5 star ratings of onboard activities and entertainment is skewed by the themed cruise!
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1 Helpful vote
Sarah L wrote a review Mar 2020
New York City, New York1 contribution1 helpful vote
Before I go too far into this - my cruise experience this past week was my first ever. However, my parents (who were with me) had been on one previously with another company and had already prepped me on the basics to expect... We were booked on the Explorer of the Seas for the Star Trek Cruise. A week at sea and port with fellow fans and actors from the shows. So while not a run of the mill cruise - the baseline experience was from what I have heard - a typical cruise set up minus the theme. I'm going to break this up into parts to make the information easier and also to help organize my thoughts. Overall - I had a really fun time, however this review will be strictly about the Royal Caribbean service and not about the theme of the cruise. Cabin - I shared a balcony room with my parents. While this wasn't a suite, I felt that it was spacious enough most of the time for all three adults to walk around each other comfortably. My parents shared the bed, and the cabin crew lowered a bunk above which I slept on. The bunk was ok. Not as comfortable as the bed below, and because of where the bed and couch were positioned next to each other there was no room for the ladder - leaving it either in the way or not secured properly when I needed to climb up. In the end I usually got out of bed by swinging over the side and dropping down onto the bed below. The fridge did not work, and kept our mini bar just barely above room temperature. The bathroom shower was cramped, and had black mold in places. There was also no fan - so it got extremely hot following showers (hence the mold). Dining - Our first night, we went to the Sapphire Dining Room for our meal. We were told we had an assigned table with our reservation, but when we arrived we were asked where we would like to sit. Fine enough. The food was... ok... certainly not as amazing as I had assumed it would be for the formal dining room. After the first dinner we ended up taking all of our lunch and dinner at the Windjammer buffet. The variety wasn't amazing - but every day we were able to find something. We did not eat at any of the extra restaurants or bars not included in our reservation. Drinks - we purchased the Soda Package and were given a reusable cup to fill from the Coke machines. The variety was amazing - when the machines worked. More than a few times a day when trying to get ice for our water bottles or drinks with our meal we were frequently having to hunt for a machine that worked. My Mom also had to replace her cup a few days into the trip because the machine wouldn't let her take anything (chip in the bottom said she had to wait for "X" hours before her next refill. Replacing the cup fixed that. Elevators - the worst I've ever seen. All elevator bays had their own quirks. Either the car would never come, or the doors wouldn't close/open, etc... you also had to push the buttons on both sides of the hallway because the two elevators on one side were controlled independently from the two on the other. One car on the forward port side of the ship I am convinced never moved from Deck 10 our entire week aboard. Excursions - there were several excursions offered through Royal Caribbean directly that were not a part of the "Star Trek" extra offerings. We chose the Fast Cat/Snorkeling/Beach option at St. Thomas, and the bus ride to the shopping market on Grand Bahama Island. NEITHER excursion ended up being what was advertised to us. While we ultimately enjoyed ourselves on both adventures, we felt victims of a bait and switch. We were especially disappointed in Port Lucaya Marketplace on Grand Bahama. Advertised as "Freeport’s sprawling International Bazaar and the nearby straw market for unique wood, shell and straw creations" actually turned out to be two rows of shacks with little shops full of same nick nacks and junky kitschy things we saw along the side of the road on our bus ride over. Staff Service - Especially in the last few days of the cruise I felt increasingly like I was being punked by the Royal Caribbean team. Instructions that we were given about certain things were countermanded by everyone. For example, in St. Thomas I purchased a bottle of rum to bring home. Like a good little passenger I dutifully turned the bottle in - and was ASSURED that it would be delivered to my room on the last night so that I could properly pack it. We were also told that the instructions for disembarking would also be delivered. Around midnight the last night, still no bottle delivery and still no instructions. I walked down to the desk, and was told that I would have to pick up my bottle in the morning before I left the ship - they do not deliver the bottles to the rooms ever apparently. We also found just asking basic questions like, "Can I get some ice" proved difficult because a good portion of the service staff did not speak English. NOW - I am NOT one of those "learn English dammit" kinds of people - however - if you are going to be working with predominantly English speaking guests and you are in a position where you must communicate then basic English should be a requirement. We kept asking for an ice refill and shaking our cups and they had no clue what we wanted. They were standing behind a bar in a pub. Picking up purchases - throughout the cruise there were purchases made such as photos with the Star Trek actors, our alcohol, etc... which needed to be picked up. I went down to pick up my purchased photos, stood in line, gave my name, and then was directed to a row of tables were ALL of the guests photos had been pre-printed and thrown into stacks which had to be sorted through until you found yours. For 20 mins I literally pawed through thousands of photographs looking for my 3. Same with the alcohol pickup. All of the purchased and held alcohol had been stacked in piles on the bar, and we had to hunt for the ones with our room number in them. There was no organization or barely organized chaos in those moments - and again the staff were pushy and rude, not interested in assisting at all. Overall - my experience on this cruise was not awful. I had a great time and enjoyed the travel. However there were enough issues with the Royal Caribbean side of our cruise experience that I will certainly be hesitant to rebook on another with this company in the near future.
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1 Helpful vote
AskDrN wrote a review Mar 2020
Ahipara, New Zealand131 contributions15 helpful votes
Escargot every night! The food was incredible, best I've had over the last 20 years of cruising. They offered extensive variety in the Windjammer buffet, all nationalities and taking into account food intolerances, they had the usual classics and then three of four other buffet stations with international choices and a large dessert bar! The ship is getting a new upgrade soon and will be refurbished by next year. The spaces are usable and roomy, staff keep all surfaces very clean and they actively encouraged hand washing and disinfectant use.
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Upcoming itineraries

5 Night Cruise to the Western Caribbean
Departure date
Friday, 03/09/21
The map for this itinerary is not available at this time.
Prices are cruise only, per person, double occupancy, and are provided by our partners. Taxes, fees and port expenses are not included. Fuel supplements may apply. Availability of prices is subject to the supplier’s pricing availability.