Explorer of the Seas
Explorer of the Seas / Royal Caribbean International
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The Crown & Kettle Pub
The Crown & Kettle Pub / Royal Caribbean International
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FlowRider
FlowRider / Royal Caribbean International
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Scuba lessons
Scuba lessons / Royal Caribbean International
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Promenade Stateroom
Promenade Stateroom / Royal Caribbean International
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Explorer of the Seas
Our Ship Review
Royal Caribbean
Cruise Line
Deal Expert / Travel Blogger

When it launched in 2000, Royal Caribbean International’s 3,114-passenger Explorer of the Seas was the largest passenger ship in the world. Despite refurbishments that increased tonnage, Explorer of the Seas is now far from the largest at sea. The refits have added the exhilarating activities Royal Caribbean has been introducing on its ships (ice-skating rink, surfing simulator), though, so it feels more modern than you would expect. After 14 years in the Caribbean, Explorer of the Seas relocated to the other side of the globe to sail in Australia, the South Pacific, and Alaska starting in 2015.

What We Love

FlowRider: One of the upgrades from its 2015 dry dock, this surf simulator attracts passengers of all ages and surfing levels.

3-D Movie Theater: Royal Caribbean has a partnership with DreamWorks, and the studio's animated films are shown in 3-D in the onboard movie theater. The experience is thrilling, whether you have kids in tow or not.

Best Known For

Traditional Royal Promenade: This is at the heart of Explorer of the Seas’ 15 decks and is flush with activity: Shops, bars, and places to snack line the rambling corridor (it's longer than a football field).

Amazing Amenities: Beyond the 10 pools and whirlpools, Explorer of the Seas provides a chance to climb walls (literally), ice-skate, play basketball or minigolf, watch concerts and 3-D movies, or work on keeping the waistline in check at the gym and jogging track.

Who It's Best For

Active Families of All Ages: The "something-for-everyone" promise is kept on this ship. There are games and discos for the young, lounges and lectures for the not-so-young, rock-climbing and ice-skating for the active, and the Vitality Spa and adults-only Solarium for the pampered.

Don't Say We Didn't Warn You

It's Not a Convenient Ship: Once a staple for the New York crowd with cruises to Bermuda and the Caribbean, Explorer of the Seas is now far from its former home in Bayonne, New Jersey, docking in the U.S. only in summer — and only in Seattle and Alaska.