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Royal Caribbean Cruises aboard the Explorer of the Seas
Above: Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines Explorer of the Seas Cruise Ship.

Passenger reviews

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Ship Details
Began service: October, 2000
Guest capacity: 3,114
Total staff: 1,176
Length: 1,020 feet
Passenger decks: 14
CDC inspection score: 90

Explorer of the Seas Overview

The Explorer of the Seas cruise ship departs from Miami, FL, Bayonne, NJ, and Barcelona, Spain. Throughout the year, she offers ocean cruises to Bermuda and throughout the Caribbean.

Check Dates & Prices for cruises to Bermuda and throughout the Caribbean.

Explorer of the Seas, second of Royal Caribbean's series that debuted with Voyager of the Seas in 1999, is a destination in itself. She boasts an unprecedented wealth of facilities, activities and entertainment. Amenities include a 60 ft. by 40 ft. ice skating rink/concert venue/TV Studio, rock-climbing wall, inline-skating rink, a shopping/dining/entertainment boulevard, miniature golf, wedding chapel, florist, full-court basketball, spa/solarium complex, and, for the first time at sea, Atmospheric and Oceanographic Laboratories with hands-on demonstrations, interaction with scientists and displays such as a touchable iceberg. There is plenty to appeal to every age group, making this a great ship for multigenerational reunions.


There are 939 ocean view cabins (765 of those with balconies) and 618 interior staterooms (138 with Promenade views). 26 cabins are wheelchair accessible. Cabins are spacious and feature twin beds that can convert to queen-size, phone, television with closed-circuit and satellite programming options, mini-bar, hair dryer and individually controlled air conditioning. The bathrooms are small but functional. Category G cabins, inside with Royal Promenade views, have blackout curtains and special glass in the windows to reduce noise. Balcony cabins are 180 sq. ft. plus a 4.5 by 8.8-ft. balcony.


The 3-level formal dining room is one of the most stunning in moderately priced lines.

Each level is themed to a legendary explorer: Columbus, Da Gama and Magellan, with mosaics on the walls celebrating their journeys. Vegetarian selections (including paella) and ShipShape (low-fat) items such as grilled sea bass with ginger lemon sauce are offered. Service by the international staff was attentive and friendly.

Other dining venues include Johnny Rockets, a 50's-style dining venue. Royal Caribbean has instituted a $3.95 per person cover charge per guest for both in-restaurant and take-out dining (and beverages are additionally charged). Check out the casual buffets of the Windjammer Cafe and Island Grill; and the intimate, reservations-only, Euro-Italian Portofino Restaurant ($20 per person charge) . The Windjammer also offers a casual, open seating alternative dinner in the main restaurant featuring a buffet and table service with no fee and no reservations necessary. Twenty-four hour room service includes a full breakfast menu and full dining-room menus during lunch and dinner.


The Palace, the main show lounge, is a four-deck-high, 1,350-seat theater with an opera-house ambiance. Sightlines are excellent for Broadway-style revues. Studio B's ice rink sets the scene for the cool Ice Planet show with a cast of 11 where "snow" falls during some of the numbers. Jazz lovers gravitate to Dizzy's nightly performances. Weekend Warrior is a contemporary sports bar with multiple televisions and a satellite dish. The Casino Royale has a Vegas/rock 'n' roll theme and 300 slots, 10 blackjack tables, three Caribbean Stud tables, three roulette wheels and a craps table. Other options include piano and late evening sing-alongs in the Schooner Bar; music in Maharaja's, an India-themed secondary lounge; and The Chamber, a fun nightclub designed to resemble a Gothic castle.

Fitness & Recreation

Extensive facilities with more than 15,000 sq. ft. of workout, aerobics and spa - in addition to 10,000 sq. ft. of Solarium relaxation - are among the largest afloat. The ocean-view gym with stereo and TV monitors offers 20 treadmills, 18 Reebok strength units, 14 Reebok recumbent and upright cycles, eight Reebok steppers, six Reebok Body Trecs, and free weights with multiple benches. There is a jogging track (five times around equals a mile). The spa has 14 multipurpose treatment rooms, hair salon and relaxation area. The Solarium has a retractable glass roof so you can enjoy its pool and two whirlpools rain or shine. Other recreational facilities include a miniature golf course, driving range and golf simulators; a full-length sports court for basketball, paddle ball or volleyball; a rock climbing wall, rising 200 ft. above the sea; the ice-skating rink which is open for free skating during the day; a free inline skating track; and a dive and snorkel shop, where there are additional fees for classes and gear. An array of fitness activities includes everything from Sit To Be Fit classes to Challenge Workouts. "ShipShape" dollars are earned for participation and redeemed for sports gifts.

Public Areas

Featuring an impressive $11 million art collection (highlighted by the work of Hollywood stars like Tony Curtis, Peter Falk and Anthony Quinn), this ship is very pleasing to the eye. The Royal Promenade is the heart of the vessel. You will feel like you are in an upscale mall as you walk this longer-than-a-football-field, and wider-than-three-lanes-of-traffic boulevard. Diversions on this promenade include the Crown & Kettle, a traditional English Pub; a 24-hour cafe for pizza and pastries; 24-hr. self-serve yogurt; a sports bar; and shops selling everything from ship's logo items to designer merchandise by Versace, Bulgari, and Lladro. While the Royal Promenade is the place to be for a street-fair atmosphere, there are also quiet spaces aboard including the Aquarium Bar, with beautiful tanks holding 56 tons of saltwater and hundreds of tropical fish; a clubby cigar lounge; the Schooner Bar; a well-stocked library; the Card Room; the Champagne Bar; and the Skylight Wedding Chapel. An Internet Center, royalcaribbeanonline, is open 24 hours. (basic charge is 50 cents a minute). There is no self-service launderette.


The Explorer offers supervised programs for four age groups: 3-5 years, 6-8, 9-12 and 13-17. Young sailors have more than 16,000 sq. ft. of dedicated space including a playroom and outside play area with splash pools; teens, have their own club, Optix, with dance floor, DJ booth and soda bar. Activities include crafts, parties, movies, a carnival night and Adventure Science (with hands-on experiments). Children's menus offer tomato and cheese pizza, hamburgers, cheeseburgers and other favorites. Group baby-sitting (children must be 3 and toilet trained) is offered daily (cost is $4/per hr). In-stateroom sitting must be booked through the Purser's Office at least 24 hours in advance (it's available from 8am to 2am, children must be at least a year old, and fee is $8/hr. for one or two children within the same family; $10/hr. for three children within the same family).

Expert Explorer of the Seas reviews are edited by Michelle, and provided by Ian and Cruise Critic.com, an award-winning cruise community. This objective information can help you choose just the right ship for your next cruise vacation.

Check Dates & Prices for cruises to Bermuda and throughout the Caribbean.


Discount Code

Explorer of the Seas cruise reviews

Cruise Ship Inspection Report
All passenger cruise ships arriving at US ports are subject to unannounced CDC inspection. Explorer of the Seas Score: 90

Cruise Critic: Explorer of the Seas
The Cruise Critic gives NCL's Explorer of the Seas a 4-ribbon rating.

Web links

RCL Cruises
Request a brochure, or find a travel agent who represents Royal Caribbean Cruise Line at the company's official Web site.

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