Five Things to Know About Royal Caribbean International's Explorer of the Seas Cruise Ship
Best for: Adrenaline junkies and families who want to play all day
Sails: Alaska, Australia, the Pacific Coast, the South Pacific
At a Glance: Built in 2000, this Voyager-class ship underwent a stem-to-stern renovation in 2015. Among the fun new additions: a new steakhouse and Japanese restaurant, and a FlowRider surf simulator.
Inside Cabins Have a Virtual Balcony
During a refurbishment in 2015, many of the interior staterooms were upgraded with Virtual Balconies: The real-time view outside is projected onto a screen on one of the cabin walls, creating the illusion of a real verandah. Interior staterooms start at 150 square feet, while Royal Suites, the largest on the ship, top out at 1,087 square feet and come with a baby grand piano. Groups gravitate toward the 561-square-foot Royal Family Suites, which come with two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a sofa bed in the living room.
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The Activities List Is Large
Passengers who like to keep moving will love this ship. There’s a FlowRider surf simulator, ice-skating rink, rock-climbing wall, basketball court, and mini golf course. And if you’re in the mood for a workout, you can always hit the fitness center where you’ll find lots of classes to help you work off that buffet.
You’ll Spend Time in the Royal Promenade
This four-deck-high atrium is the heart of the ship. Lined with shops and bars, this indoor mall was built to look and feel like a charming city street, complete with street parties and parades. For optimal people watching, book one of the ship’s Promenade staterooms, which have views of all the action.
Your Kids Will Keep Busy
Parents who want a little time to themselves can hand their charges over to the Adventure Ocean club, which keeps kids busy with scavenger hunts and science-themed activities. Teens have a spot to hang out, too: They get their own lounge and disco.
There’s Plenty to Eat
When you’re not sampling the local cuisine onshore, you’ll have plenty of onboard options to choose from. During the day, grab a sandwich at Café Promenade, head to Johnny Rockets for a burger, or stop at Ben & Jerry’s for a scoop. For dinner, you can head to one of the main dining rooms or a for-fee specialty restaurant: Try Giovanni’s Table for Italian, Izumi for Japanese, or Chops Grille for a steak.