RayB's Trip Report
As a multiple (8) cruiser, I met the " Washi-Washi" crewman at the entrance to the WindJammer restaurant for breakfast and lunch. He is such a pleasant soul. Unfortunately, I am unable to get his saying out of my head since arriving home about washing your hands before entering the restaurant. Its driving me crazy.
The crew is 1st rate throughout the ship. The food throughout all areas at all times was excellent. All shows we saw were excellent except that the ticket distribution for the ice shows during the trip was horrible: ALL TICKETS WERE DISTRIBUTED WITHIN A 2 HOUR PERIOD AND GUESTS WERE ALLOWED TO ASK FOR AS MANY TICKETS AS THEY WANTED. This resulted in some guests getting up to 10-15 tickets each. Many guests could not see the ice shows at all during the entire voyage.
Room service was horrible. When calling, we had to listen to the phone ring the room service operator for up to 10 minutes before the phone was answered. Upon giving our sandwich order, we had to wait three hours for the sandwich to be brought to our stateroom. They claimed " it was originally delivered to the wrong stateroom ?"
We had a balcony stateroom. When out on the balcony at the railing I observed that there was many areas of the steel structure that was severely rusted and unpainted, especially under the railing supports and along the balcony ceiling. Areas within the ship was clean, but not polished. Many areas showed water splash marks or dust build-up.
The cruise director noted during one theater event that the ship, Explorer of the Seas, will be re-assigned to another port once its' re-furbishing is completed during 2013-14 CRUISE SEASON and will be replaced with a brand new ship of the new Royal Caribbean "SUNSHINE CLASS" in Bayonne, New Jersey cruiseport. Given what I could find out about this new ship, it will be of a size between the voyager and oasis classes, that is, it will hold between 3500 and 6000 guests per cruise and will probably have most of the amenities of the oasis class ships. I look forward to its appearance.
I have many friends who cruise often. They cruise with RCCL, Carnival, Princess, Norweigen, and Holland America. The only positive comments have been with the RCCL cruises. I feel the same and will continue to cruise with RCCL.
P.S. : I am already planning my 2013 cruise with RCCL. I would not cruise on this ship again as we have sailed with this ship (4) times already. It seems to be going downhill ( maintenance wise). I was on the "Allure of the Seas" last year. WOW !!!!!