Explorer Of The Seas Review and Specifications
Specifications of Explorer Of The Seas
|Year built||2000 / Age : 20|
|Builder||Kvaerner Masa-Yards (Turku, STX Finland)|
|Building cost||USD 500 million (2020 Royal Amplified USD 110 million)|
|Owner||Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd|
|Operator||Royal Caribbean International|
|Speed||24 kn / 44 kph / 28 mph|
|Length (LOA)||311 m / 1020 ft|
|Beam (width)||49 m / 161 ft|
|Gross Tonnage||137308 gt|
|Passengers||3282 - 3938|
|Decks with cabins||8|
|Sister-ships||Adventure OTS, Mariner OTS, Navigator OTS, Voyager OTS|
|Christened by||Jackie Joyner-Kersee|
Review of Explorer Of The Seas
History - construction and ownership
Royal Caribbean International (RCI) is a US company, trademarked brand and subsidiary owned by Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd (RCCL, shipowner). RCI was established in 1968 and currently has over 1/5 of the worldwide cruise market. RCI also has RCCL's largest fleet as both numbers of vessels and GT tonnage (ship sizes and capacities). All Royal Caribbean liners have names ending with "of the Seas".
The 137,308-ton, 3,114-passenger cruise ship Explorer of the Seas has been bypassed in size and conveniences by the Freedom-class trio and the massive Oasis-class twins. However, it's still between the largest ships in the world, with a range of the most un-cruise-like places at sea. The revolutionary Voyager-class vessels follow the floating resort concept and boast a wealth of amenities, activities and amusement. Among the special facilities is a sixty-foot-by-forty foot ice skating rink, a shopping and dining boulevard, rock-climbing wall, wedding chapel, complete-court basketball and spa complex. There is a lot to appeal to each age group, making Explorer an amazing cruise vessel for multi-generational reunions. Explorer of the Seas is also one of Royal Caribbean's most reasonably priced ships.
Cruise itinerary program
Explorer of the Seas itinerary program is based on European cruises (from homeport Southampton UKto Canary Islands and Western Mediterranean) and Miami roundtrips in the Caribbean.
In 2020, following the USD 110 million Royal Amplified drydock refurbishment in Cadiz Spain, the ship will be homeported in Civitavecchia-Rome for 7- and 9-night Mediterranean itineraries visiting ports in Italy and Greece/Greek Islands (Santorini, Crete, Mykonos). Following the Transatlantic repositioning crossing from Europe to USA, Explorer OTS will be homeported in Miami Florida for 5- and 9-night Eastern and Southern Caribbean roundtrip itineraries, also visiting CocoCay (RCI's private island in The Bahamas).
Explorer Of The Seas has a total of 1557 cabins (of which 119 Suites, 517 Balcony rooms) in 25 grades. Most Explorer of the Seas staterooms includes 150-sq.foot insides (480). Almost 50% of ship's accommodations have private balcony views. 26 are the wheelchair accessible rooms. The largest aboard Explorer of the Seas are the Royal Suites (1090 ft2 - more than 100 m2!).
Shipboard dining options - Food and Drinks
From the meals in the main dining room to the buffet choices in Windjammer Cafe and options available at 24-hour Cafe Promenade, food aboard Explorer of the Seas is well prepared with plentiful choices, especially considering ship's capacity. The main dining room offers flexible "My Time Dining" during dinner. Guests can choose between assigned early or late dining, or opt for flexible dining. The 3-level formal dining room is between the most stunning in moderately priced cruise lines: it's a unique space linked by a grand staircase, with gold-leaf columns and golden velvet curtains. Explorer's MDR also features a ceiling dome with gold rays and stars. Each of its three levels is themed to legendary explorers: Magellan, Da Gama and Columbus.
The Windjammer buffet restaurant features mediocre cuisine with kudos to the egg station at breakfast and the carving station at lunch. Vegetarians will do better in the MDR at lunch. The Windjammer, however, is an option for the nights when flexibility is expected. The buffet features the items offered on the main dining room menu. The Italian-themed Giovanni’s Table charges a US$20 per-person cover charge (speciality beverages, wine, beer and soda are paid separately), and offers a multi-course meal. Johnny Rockets is another speciality eatery, 1950's-style burger joint, where passengers can indulge in hot dogs, burgers, chilli fries and onion rings.
Follows the complete list of Explorer of the Seas restaurants and food bars.
- Sapphire Restaurant (540-seat aft Dining Room with fixed seating for Dinner)
- Windjammer Cafe Lido buffet restaurant (310-seat, offers Early Breakfast at 6:30 a.m., Breakfast between 7:00-11:30 a.m., Lunch 11.30-3:30 p.m. and Dinner 6.30-9:00 p.m.)
- Johnny Rockets Restaurant (248-seat burger bar, the extra fee applied)
- Giovanni’s Table (Italian speciality restaurant, reservations recommended)
- Izumi (Japanese Cuisine)
- Island Grill (454-seat)
- Chops Grille (steakhouse).
Shipboard entertainment options - Fun and Sport
At night, Explorer of the Seas offers Broadway-style revues at the 4-deck Palace. Bar venues offer various musical performances aimed to please everybody at any time with classical guitar, jazz and country. Beyond the usual, where this cruise vessel excels is the unique, like Studio B ice rink which hosts ice skating show "Ice Planet" with falling "snow" - worth the effort to get a ticket (free of charge but the venue is tiny, so tickets are limited). Another unusual activity is the rock-climbing wall competition. And while the Royal Promenade is the spot for a street-fair atmosphere, the intimate spaces for quiet time onboard include the Aquarium Bar, with nice tanks with 56 tons of saltwater and variety of tropical fish; the nautical-themed Schooner Bar and Seven Hearts Card Room.
Additional amenities include Complimentary 24-hour Room-Service, Supervised Youth program, Internet/WiFi Access, Laundry.
Follows the complete list of Explorer of the Seas lounges, clubs and other entertainment venues for kids, teens and adults.
- The Palace Theatre (1362-seat, features two grand productions per night with dance, acrobatics, comedy and game shows)
- Studio B Lounge (904-seat indoor ice-skating rink; also serves as a spot for ice shows, cooking demos, game parties)
- The Chamber Disco and Nightclub (240-seat)
- Focus Photo Gallery and Shop; Art Gallery (art auctions are organized in the 350-seat Star Lounge)
- The Centrum (social hub); Next Cruise Lounge; Concierge Club (26-seat; suite and past guests only); Viking Crown Lounge and Bar; Diamond Club Lounge and Bar (past guests only); Dizzy’s Lounge and Bar (96-seat jazz club); Crown and Kettle English Pub (75-seat)
- Schooner Bar (130-seat piano bar); Connoisseur Cigar Club (34-seat smoking lounge); R Bar (wine tastings); Sky Bar; The Tavern (sports bar)
- Casino Royale (capacity 416 seats)
- Cafe Promenade (105-seat, 24-hour; serves snacks and drinks, as well as Starbucks speciality coffee)
- Royal Promenade Boutiques (perfumes, jewellery, duty-free alcohol, general store, logo/souvenirs); Sea Trek Dive Shop
- Royal Caribbean Online centre (Internet computers room; 24-hour)
- Vitality at Sea Spa and Fitness Center; 7 jacuzzis; 4 pools
- Solarium lounge (includes Park Cafe, pool bar and adults only pool area)
- Outdoor movie screen
- Video Games Arcade; Optix Teen Disco club; Living Room teen lounge area; Royal Babies and Tots Nursery
- Adventure Ocean kids lounge area
- Sports Court (golf simulator, table tennis, basketball court); Jogging Track; Rock-climbing Wall; Explorer Dunes Golf Course; Flowrider
- Skylight Wedding Chapel (40-seat, provides religious services).
Explorer Of The Seas - user reviews and comments
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Explorer Of The Seas Wiki
Explorer is one of Royal Caribbean's Voyager-class liners, with sisterships Adventure, Navigator, Mariner, Voyager. Ship's godmother was Jackie Joyner-Kersee (US athlete and Olympic medalist). The naming ceremony was on October 21, 2000, held in New York Harbour. On Oct 28 started the inaugural cruise (maiden voyage) from NYC to Eastern Caribbean.
"Explorer of the Seas" is not a randomly selected name. The ship has a laboratory for studying the seas and the atmosphere. The lab is run by the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science of the University of Miami.
On May 16, 2016, Explorer OTS (back then the largest passenger liner on US West Coast) arrived in homeport Seattle WA. Ship's inaugural Alaskan season offered 7-day Seattle roundtrips to Alaska and Canada (Juneau, Skagway, Tracy Arm Fjord, Victoria BC).
Ship's Captain is Kjetil Gjerstad (Norwegian).
Explorer OTS refurbishment 2020 review (Royal Amplified)
Ship's 2020 refurbishment (USD 110 million / EUR 99 million drydock project / March 17 - May 6, to be done in Cadiz Spain) is by RCI's "Royal Amplified" (fleet renovation) program. The long list of newly added venues and amenities includes:
- (Sports Deck 13) Perfect Storm (outdoor complex with 2 high-speed waterslides - Cyclone” and “Typhoon”). Both spiraling slides are positioned portside and go around the Flowrider. Starboard is the raft slide “Tidal Wave” (rafts plummet down a very steep drop, hen shot up a nearly vertical wall into the air, follow a free fall and a swift return below). Note: The new water park and the duo of waterslides were first introduced on Liberty OTS and Harmony OTS (Oasis-class).
- redesigned pool deck (Lido Deck 11) adding to the swimming pool's sundeck hammocks, daybeds, casitas (small wooden cabins) and in-pool chaise lounge chairs
- "The Lime and Coconut Bar" (poolside bar on 3 levels/decks)
- completely renovated Solarium (adults-only complex forward on Deck 11)
- Giovanni’s Italian Kitchen (Italian specialty trattoria restaurant also offering hand-tossed oven-baked pizzas and made-to-order dishes, premium Italian wines (by the glass) and signature Italian cocktails.
- "Playmakers Sports Bar and Arcade" - a sport-themed bar lounge with a total of 52 large-sized HDTVs on its walls, pub-type drink and food menus, arcade games, trivia contests, sports tournaments, pool table, Owner’s Box (VIP seating).
- Johnny Rockets Express (pool deck food and beverage service with US fast-food favourites and milkshakes.
- Starbucks (kiosk) serves brand's well-known coffee beverages and pastries.
- Studio B (2-level lounge / decks 2-3) will be upgraded with RCI's signature "glow-in-the-dark laser tag game "Clash for the Crystal City".
- Adventure Ocean (kids complex) will be redesigned and upgraded with new rooms and activities by age group.
- Teens-only club lounge will be redesigned and upgraded with a new hangout, music and gaming options, exclusive open-air sundeck.
Explorer OTS refurbishment 2018 review
Ship’s 2018 drydock refurbishment resulted in the following deckplan changes:
- On Spa Deck 12 (aft), the new “Slashaway Bay” kids aqua park was added. This is an interactive water play area with cannons and geysers, replacing the old Outdoor Youth Area (aka “back deck”).
- All staterooms were renovated.
Explorer OTS refurbishment 2015 review
The list of deckplan changes after drydock 2015 (March) included:
- Chef’s Table (gourmet, private dining package experience)
- On deck 2 (starboard) the Board Room was replaced by 4 new oceanview cabins.
- On deck 3, the Chamber disco was replaced 19 new interior cabins. Also here (aft portside) were added 5 new oceanview cabins, plus another 15 cabins (starboard) taking space from the Art & Photo Gallery. The gallery itself was renamed to Focus, and the Dining Room – from “Magellan” to “Sapphire”.
- On deck 4, the Chamber disco (level 2) was transformed into the Giovanni’s Table (Italian trattoria restaurant). Also here, the Eco-learning station and the Aquarium Bar (portside section) were replaced with The Tavern (sports bar). The Dining Room was renamed from “Da Gama” to “Sapphire”.
- On Promenade Deck 5, the Maharaja’s show lounge was redesigned and renamed “Star Lounge”. Also here, the Champagne Bar (wine bar) was replaced by R-Bar. The Dining Room was renamed from “Columbus” to “Sapphire”.
- On deck 6, one new inside cabin was added (number 6137) and the Business Services office was replaced with Next Cruise.
- On deck 7, one new inside cabin was added (number 7139) and some of the balcony room categories were changed. Categories were also changed on deck 8.
- On deck 9, one new inside cabin was added (number 9237) and category changes were made.
- On Navigation Deck 10, one new inside cabin was added (number 1233) and category changes were made.
- On Lido deck 11, an outdoor theatre) (Jumbotron /huge movie screen) was installed. Also here, the Portofino (Italian restaurant) was replaced by the Chops Grille (steakhouse). The Island Grill is now part of the Windjammer buffet.
- On Spa Deck 12, the Royal Caribbean’s signature Nursery was added. Also here (forward, around the ShipShape Spa) new Spa cabins were added in categories Panoramic Oceanview and Balcony. Aft on the deck, Adventure Beach was replaced with the Outdoor Youth Area.
- On deck 13, the In-line roller track was removed and the Royal Caribbean’s signature FlowRider (surf simulator) was added
- On deck 14, the “Diamond Club” lounge replaced the “19th Hole” (sports bar). This is a signature venue for “Crown & Anchor” members only. Also here, two multipurpose rooms (Cloud Nine, Seven Hearts) were replaced by the Izumi (Asian restaurant).
- Digital signage (way finders) on several decks were installed. These touch-screen boards allow you to know your way around the ship.
- Wi-Fi coverage was upgraded to shipwide.
- Cabin amenities were upgraded with new flat TVs added in all cruise staterooms.
Explorer Of The Seas Itineraries
The below listed Explorer Of The Seas cruise prices on itineraries are only indicative and Per Person (in US dollars, based on double occupancy). These are the cheapest Royal Caribbean fares on the ship’s lowest category cabins available for booking. Cruise fares typically change with departure dates approaching, last minute deals, discounts, promotions, independent travel agency offers.
|Date||Cruise Name||Departure Port||Price from|
|2020 May 17||10 days, round-trip Greek Isles Cruise||Civitavecchia||$999|
|2020 May 27||9 days, round-trip Greek Isles Cruise||Civitavecchia||$1796|
|2020 Jun 05||9 days, round-trip Greek Isles Cruise||Civitavecchia||$1651|
|2020 Jun 14||7 days, round-trip Greek Isles Cruise||Civitavecchia||$979|
|2020 Jun 21||7 days, round-trip Western Mediterranean Cruise||Civitavecchia||$914|
|2020 Jun 28||7 days, round-trip Greek Isles Cruise||Civitavecchia||$1264|
|2020 Jul 05||7 days, round-trip The Cruise||Civitavecchia|
|2020 Jul 12||8 days, round-trip Greek Isles Cruise||Civitavecchia||$1581|
|2020 Jul 20||6 days, round-trip Western Mediterranean Cruise||Civitavecchia||$731|
|2020 Jul 26||6 days, round-trip Western Mediterranean Cruise||Civitavecchia||$697|
|2020 Aug 01||8 days, round-trip Greek Isles Cruise||Civitavecchia||$1326|
|2020 Aug 09||7 days, round-trip Greek Isles Cruise||Civitavecchia||$954|
|2020 Aug 16||7 days, round-trip Greek Isles Cruise||Civitavecchia||$1064|
|2020 Aug 23||7 days, round-trip Western Mediterranean Cruise||Civitavecchia||$821|
|2020 Aug 30||9 days, round-trip Greek Isles Cruise||Civitavecchia||$1133|
|2020 Sep 08||10 days, round-trip Greek Isles Cruise||Civitavecchia||$1527|
|2020 Sep 18||9 days, round-trip Greek Isles Cruise||Civitavecchia||$1373|
|2020 Sep 27||9 days, round-trip Greek Isles Cruise||Civitavecchia||$1312|
|2020 Oct 06||10 days, round-trip Greek Isles Cruise||Civitavecchia||$1144|
|2020 Oct 16||9 days, round-trip Greek Isles Cruise||Civitavecchia||$1117|
|2020 Oct 25||12 days, round-trip Holy Land Cruise||Civitavecchia||$1917|
|2020 Nov 06||14 days, one-way from Civitavecchia to Miami||Civitavecchia||$848|
|2020 Nov 20||9 days, round-trip Southern Caribbean Cruise||Miami||$1198|
|2020 Nov 29||5 days, round-trip Eastern Caribbean & Bahamas||Miami||$399|
|2020 Dec 04||9 days, round-trip Southern Caribbean Cruise||Miami||$799|
|2020 Dec 13||5 days, round-trip Eastern Caribbean & Bahamas||Miami||$319|
|2020 Dec 18||9 days, round-trip Southern Caribbean Cruise||Miami||$1098|
|2020 Dec 27||5 days, round-trip Eastern Caribbean & Bahamas||Miami||$999|
|2021 Jan 01||9 days, round-trip Southern Caribbean Cruise||Miami||$816|
|2021 Jan 10||5 days, round-trip Eastern Caribbean & Bahamas||Miami||$385|
|2021 Jan 15||9 days, round-trip Southern Caribbean Cruise||Miami||$866|
|2021 Jan 24||5 days, round-trip Eastern Caribbean & Perfect Day||Miami||$423|
|2021 Jan 29||9 days, round-trip Southern Caribbean Cruise||Miami||$816|
|2021 Feb 07||5 days, round-trip Eastern Caribbean & Bahamas||Miami||$385|
|2021 Feb 12||9 days, round-trip Southern Caribbean Cruise||Miami||$795|
|2021 Feb 21||5 days, round-trip Buckeye Cruise For Cancer 2021||Miami|
|2021 Mar 21||5 days, round-trip Eastern Caribbean & Perfect Day||Miami||$486|
|2021 Mar 26||9 days, round-trip Southern Caribbean Cruise||Miami||$861|
|2021 Apr 04||9 days, round-trip Southern Caribbean Cruise||Miami||$799|
|2021 Apr 18||5 days, round-trip Eastern Caribbean & Perfect Day||Miami||$496|
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