This post is a review of Explorer of the Seas Royal Caribbean cruise ship. Including details and Explorer of the Seas pictures to help share details about the deck plans, staterooms, pools, facilities, activities, kids club, food, drinks and any cruise ship tips from our family vacation.
What You'll Find in This Post
Explorer of the Seas Overview
This Explorer of the Seas review is based on the cruise we took in the South Pacific with our family of four.
The Explorer of the Seas cruise ship sails from different ports and goes to different locations depending on the time year. So, although our cruise was from Sydney, Australia the information about the Royal Caribbean’s Explorer of the Seas.
Deck Plan & Cruise Ship Interior
The Explorer of the Seas deck plans available in detail on the Explorer of the Seas website. This can give you a closer look into where things are located. But, here is a quick overview.
There are 15 decks, which are very similar in format and easy to get around. They have deck plans posted all through the ship and by the elevators to provide information about where you are and helps to navigate to where you are going to next.
The interior of the ship provides the elegance of a 5-star hotel and beautifully decorated throughout. You sometimes forget you are on a cruise ship and think you are at a luxury hotel.
There are a wide variety of staterooms available with a difference in costs that go along with the choices.
- Interior (no windows)
- Outside view
There are also different options for sleeping arrangements to accommodate how many people you have in your room. All range in different square footage and can be confirmed when you book.
- Stateroom with sofa bed
- Stateroom has third Pullman bed available
- Stateroom has third and fourth Pullman beds available (this is what we had – stateroom 2356)
- Connecting staterooms
- Accessible staterooms
The Pullman beds are put away and made up with the morning and evening stateroom service.
Money Savings Tip – If you have the company (Royal Carribean) choose your stateroom upon purchase you can save some money. You choose the type of room and they select the stateroom number and level. Or you can pay extra to choose from what is available.
We booked a last minute cruise, so there were only a few rooms remaining and it didn’t matter to us based on what was left. So we saved money on the cruise this way!
There is always some kind of entertainment being held every evening in the main show lounge. It could be a comedy show, movies, plays or other shows. These will be listed in the Cruise Compass that you get every evening in your stateroom.
Activities & Facilities
The Cruise Compass will outline all the morning, afternoon and evening activities going on for each day. This will also include details about the port city you are arriving in, time at port, weather and other useful information about what is going on that day on the Explorer of the Seas. I think of it as a little daily newspaper of activities to check out!
There are a few pool options to choose from, including a family pool, adult-only pool and hot tubs. We never had an issue getting a pool chair and finding space to sit.
There is also a pool bar and music or band playing by the pools to keep you entertained. The pools are generally busier during cruise days with lots of activity going on in the pool area.
Gym & Spa
The Explorer of the Seas has a great gym and spa located at the front of the ship. We enjoyed heading here first thing in the morning to feel refreshed with some amazing views from the treadmills.
There is also an outdoor track if you prefer to walk or run outside to get your daily exercise in!
The Kids Club on the Explorer of the Seas is amazing! Hands down it was by far our kids favourite part of the cruise (aside from the food). They wanted to go EVERY day and insisted that we take them.
There are limited spaces for different age groups, so we did arrive outside the kids club area to ensure we could get them in. We also were on the cruise during Easter break so there was an abundance of kids on the cruise when we were there.
Each day in the kids club was a different theme. They did crafts, games, scavenger hunts, interactive games with other kids and had FUN!
They even have options for kids club in the evening where they would watch a movie! This was a perfect opportunity for us parents to go enjoy and date night with a late dinner and then go back and pick up the kids. They were happy and we were happy.
They had some great activities and events for the kids for Easter too! Egg hunts, painting eggs and easter themes for the day. I can only imagine what they do for Christmas for the kids, and I am sure for other celebrations like Valentine or Halloween would be fun too!
There is a kids arcade area too for either kids or tweens to hang out in. Keeps them busy and a bit of fun for kids of all ages.
If you want to try out rock climbing they have a cool rock climbing wall that you can tackle! There are certain times that it is open so that the staff are there to help set you up with the climbing equipment.
The entire family can enjoy this mini golf course with some breathtaking views from above. The kids loved this and this was a great way to spend some time outdoors on the ship.
If you get some rainy days (like we did), they have a small library with some games that can be great for the family to enjoy. We also packed our favourite games with us and went to this area to play since they have great tables and chairs to relax.
Here are some of our favourite travel games that we always take and used on the cruise:
If you are looking for some adult fun on the ship, the Casino can be a great place to spend a few hours. We spent some time here in the evenings when the kids were in the kids club. Slot machines, roulette, blackjack and other typical casino games were available.
Note: The casino is only open when you are cruising and not at a port.
Food & Drinks
There are a few different dining room options that can be enjoyed on the Royal Caribbean Explorer of the Seas ship. You will be extremely happy with all the options!
A business casual dress code is best for the dining rooms – dress shirts, pants and summer dresses worked just fine. You can dress up even more if you like, it all depends on your preference.
There is a Captain’s dinner which is likely more sophisticated and fancy. The cruise compass will advise you on the attire that is needed for the dining rooms. Kids wore shorts, flip flops and summer dresses.
Book your dining room time right away. We booked ours early with the kids and they sometimes would take the kids to the buffet and then just us adults would go back for a late evening supper.
Drink Packages – Have a look at the cost of the drink packages and then calculate if it worth it for you. On average when we went it was approximately 4 drinks a day to break even for the alcoholic package.
We did not get any of the drink packages (alcoholic or non-alcoholic), if we would have been travelling with more friends we would have bought the drink packages.
We would get a bottle of wine each dinner and whatever we didn’t finish we were able to take to our stateroom for a late-night drink.
The kids had some juice, milk and water options for their drinks. The non-alcoholic packages were for soft drinks.
The food was AMAZING and we ate so much food, but it was so good. It’s hard to describe how good so here are some pictures of some of the food we had on the Explorer of the Seas cruise.
Dining Room Food:
For the buffet dining areas, anything really goes for the dress code, except you will need beachwear covers and shoes! It’s really casual and nice when you don’t feel like getting dressed up or exhausted from your day onshore and just needs to feed the kids and you!
The Check-In process was extremely easy. On your itinerary, you are given a check-in time range to be there for. They are well organized and queues for the appropriate place you are to go when you arrive. They have many staff able to assist and guide you in the right direction.
Upon checking in you will be prompted to take a photo and give travel documents and passports for them to check ID. You are responsible for having the proper visas if needed for travel purposes.
Be sure to complete your check-in online prior to boarding to speed up the process at the terminal.
I would also recommend staying in a hotel close to the ship terminal the night before your departure. These hotels are used to cruise travellers and can accommodate holding your luggage. This was the hotel we stayed at before our cruise.
Many folks book longer stays either before or after your cruise to enjoy the departure city. For longer-term holiday stays we use VRBO and usually if you find a place close to the cruise terminal they can arrange arrival and departure times with you. Just ask before you book.
Book your accommodations as soon as possible since there are thousands of other people who have booked the same cruise as you and will be looking for the same dates!Booking.com
The night before your departure you will be instructed to leave larger suitcases in the hallway for collection purposed and speed up the process on check-out.
Keep all your valuables and overnight bags with you and you will depart with those on your own. You will collect your luggage in the terminal off of the ship. There will be instructions given to you a couple of nights before and you can always ask the stateroom staff for details.
At Port Processes
Depending on the port of arrival the process will be different. If there is a bigger ship terminal it will be as easy as queueing down on the bottom of the level of the ship.
If you are at a smaller port you may need to be transported by the tender boats, which is a fun experience for the kids, but sometimes it can take a little bit longer for disembarking.
Explorer of the Seas Cruise Tips
- You can find out exactly what cruises are available for the Explorer of the Seas on Royal Caribbean website. It lists what options are available for the cruises upon this ship.
- Don’t forget to have travel insurance when travelling out of the country and on a cruise ship. We used and recommend World Nomads for our travel insurance.
- Sign up for the Royal Caribbean email newsletter and sometimes you will be updated on last minute cruise deals and sales happening.
- Tipping/Gratuity – This is usually charged per person (per day) onto your SeaPass account. Review these carefully and ensure these are charged the amount you want.
- Alcohol Policy – Review this in your Guest Ticket Booklet that you get upon booking a cruise. It will give you the exact details of how much alcohol you can bring on the ship. At the time we went you could bring 2 bottles (750ml) of wine per stateroom. And bring this on in your carryon if possible.
- Wifi – Wifi can be spotty at time depending on where you are in the seas. They do have extra wifi for purchase per day, or you can use common areas on the ship for wifi access.
- Don’t be surprised if they have folks hand-sanitizing you everywhere. Washy-washy before you go into any of the food areas for helping reduce illness on the ship.
- You will have the option to book discounted future cruises while on the ship and not just on the Explorer of the Seas ship but any Royal Caribbean cruise ships or cruises. This is always a great way to find out more information about where Royal Caribbean cruises to including – Alaska, Caribbean, Mediterranean and more!
- There are always ongoing refurbishments and updates scheduled for the ships in rotation. So be sure to check out the websites for what options and additions are added. It’s never a bad thing, always usually good improvements and upgrades.
Looking for more information on South Pacific Travel?
- Royal Caribbean South Pacific Cruises – Vanuatu, Lifou, Noumea
- Australia Itinerary 4 weeks
- New Zealand Itinerary 4 weeks
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One thing that makes this entire world journey worth it in our eyes, is the bond these two kids have made with each other. They are brother and sister, always and forever! They have become closer through these travel experiences. Nobody can take that away from them or change these memories. They will also be able to relate to one another on how crazy their parents were to take them on this adventure 😂#brothersister #familymemories #newcaledonia #lifou . . . . #Passportkids #familytravel #kidstravel #ftb100 #tinytravels #familytrip #familytraveltribe #tbscommunity #havekidswilltravel #tmom #lpkids #travelwithkids #familymemories #kidswhotravel
Note: This review of Explorer of the Seas is solely based on our own opinion. We were not compensated or hosted in any form from the Royal Caribbean cruise line.