On an Explorer

Christopher Columbus, Ferdinand Magellan, and Vasco da Gama are a few of the early European explorers. but this post is not about any of them because the day after arriving in Quebec City, we joined another explorer – Royal Caribbean’s (RCCL) Explorer of the Seas.

This 1025 ft (312.4 m) explorer is part of RCCL Voyager Class capable of carrying 3,114 passengers and almost 1,200 crew. Our trip was about 96% capacity.

When in port, we spend much time seeing sites and walking. Our evenings following a pattern of dinner, theater entertainment, then dancing – but the dance floors on this ship were a negative. Enjoy some pics of the ship.

Explorer of the Seas

Explorer of the Seas

Beautiful main dining room named after famous explorer

Beautiful main dining room named after famous explorers

1,350 capacity theater

1,350-seat capacity theater

900 seat ice rink

900-seat ice rink

ProminadeAbove

4-story Main Street Promenade for shopping, eating, drinking, and gathering

Some rooms overlook Main Street

Some rooms overlook Main Street

A not-for-me climbing wall

A not-for-me climbing wall

,

The top deck (from ship-technology.com)

The top deck (from ship-technology.com)

Find out where this trip went.

For additional information about Explorer of the Seas

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85 thoughts on “On an Explorer

  1. We have taken a couple RC cruises and really enjoyed them. Our last one was on the Allure. Great ship. Cruises make for a wonderful family vacation, because the kids can go do their own thing, and mom and dad get some time together without whining and sibling rivalry. I love going to the trivia games. I collected quite a bit of RC junk (key chains, pens, etc.) the last time we went. 🙂

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  2. That is a huge ship, Frank. I’ve never been on a ship so large. I don’t think I’d want a room overlooking the shopping area but I suppose it beats one of those internal rooms. I could never stay in those – I think when you’re on a ship the whole point is to be able to look out on the ocean. Welcome home! xx

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    • Spiced,
      I wondered about the rooms overlooking the promenade. Good news is that most of the time, the promenade is not loud with activity. But I’m with you about other inner rooms … no thanks!

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  3. Good grief! The cruise ship I took in 1987 could fit in that thing’s ice rink! And please, PLEASE stop showing me photos of ships from the beam. It gets my torpedo trigger finger all itchy. 😉 (Hey, I spent more time onboard the U-505 at Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry than did some of her crews! 😀 )

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      • The U-505 was THE first warship I was ever aboard. Heck, she was the first WW2 anything I’d been on! And, as Scotty says to Cpt. Picard in “Relics”, “You never forget your first. It’s the same with women. You don’t quite love a woman like that, ever again.”
        And hopefully one day, I’ll take my first love to see my first love. 😉

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        • I have not been to see the U-505, so I enjoyed the clip Frank found. As a submariner myself I can say that the guide gave a good tour. I was struck by the similarities between it and the three diesel boats I served on. Engineering evolves through trial and error as well as R&D and submarine design is a great example, with successful innovations carried forward. But it was also apparent that the German U-boat was significantly more uncomfortable than the later and larger U.S. fleet boats. The movie, “Das Boot” is an extreme compilation of the stresses on the submariners, but not so far from the truth as one might think. Those guys had to be tough, proficient and brave. Most of them died.

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        • Jim – One of the advantages the US subs had was primitive air-conditioning. We put it in ours, not for the crew, but for the delicate tube-electronics we used, through the crew definitely benefited. I’ve read a number of stories similar to the comment in “Das Boot”, where the one sailor is scraping mold off the food and stating that was all that thrived on a U-boat. The U-505 was a so-called Type IX, an upgrade from the “standard” Type VII that was the workhorse. The submariners I really respect are the guys who went out in the WW1 and early WW2 Type II boats – they made our S-boats from pre-WW2 days look like modern Cadillacs compared to their clunky Model T’s!

          And for everybody, here’s a link to the lady, including the story of how she got from the Atlantic Ocean to Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry, and her recent move (done since I moved down to Ohio) into an underground, environmentally-controlled protective shelter:
          http://www.msichicago.org/whats-here/exhibits/u-505/
          If you get there before I do, please give her all my best!

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  4. As much as the wife likes boat trips, after one of these ran into Italy, and another ran into a sewage treatment plant, I think we’ll just stay on dry land….I just checked with my wallet, and it agrees. 😉

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    • Archon,
      Interestingly, both the situations you listed are the same company. Cruises also have ways of making money on ship, so it’s not inclusive, but rooms, meals, entertainment, and basic beverages are free. … but then there’s that darn airfare!

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      • We like cruises too. We’ve found Holland America best for us. The ships are smaller than your Explorer, no main street, no shopping mall (shopping? really?), and perhaps a major advantage, hardly any kids. I think the best thing about it is not having to deal with the uncertainty of shopping for food and accommodations – the dining room is about as good as it gets, and always with grand variety.

        I note Archon’s concern for safety, but except for Carnival, the industry’s record is excellent. It is worth noting however that there are no police on the ship. Nor journalists, come to think of it. Hmm.

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        • Jim,
          As you know, there are advantages and disadvantages to every ship. We’ve only cruised Celebrity and Royal Caribbean, so we’re limited. … and we like to cruise during when most kids are in school … I think this trip had 6 teens aboard … probably no more than 12-15 kids overall.

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  5. WOW! Great… İf they were able to see this ship, Christopher Columbus, Ferdinand Magellan, and Vasco da Gama, I can imagine their faces… This should be a great voyage… Thank you, love, nia

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    • Nia,
      I can’t imagine their thoughts because their ships were so small! By the way, I used those three explorers because each level of the main dining room was named after these explorers.

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  6. It’s funny we are in Quebec quite often (two of our children attend university in Sherbrooke), yet we have never been to Quebec City. I’m not sure though if I would ever take a cruise, from everything I read they don’t appear to be all that safe.

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    • Redhead,
      I recall talking to a Canadian couple that had been all over Canada, but it was their first trip to Quebec City .. and they loved it! Cruising isn’t for everyone, just like flying, camping, car racing, or whatever.

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  7. Beautiful ship, sounds like a lovely time. I have only taken one cruise, I did not enjoy it though I suspect this was due to the company not the actual cruise or the ship. My parents use to cruise all the time, nearly every year and they loved it.

    Perhaps I must reconsider my aversion.

    Sorry for the disappointment on the dance floors. Welcome home! Can’t wait for more pictures of your trip!

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    • Sylvia,
      Given the small floors, they were crowded … plus we saw more ballroom people on this cruise than we normally do. The ice rink was for shows, but they had skating sessions for guests … and could cover the ice to use the space for other purposes.

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  8. I’m always amazed by how much they can fit on a cruise ship. Like you said, it’s a fun way to travel, once I get past my sea sickness. To be honest though, all forms of travel make me ill. I grin and bear it … most of the time.

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    • TBM,
      I’m a motion sickness person, thus get the prescriptive patch (Scopolamine) … even though I get side effects when coming off them … but I’ve learned to manage it. ,,, however, the patch works.

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  9. Beautiful!
    When you say your trip was 96% capacity, I wondered what’s the norm of capacity, & how much capacity would be a loss to them. You got me thinking on that point!

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    • Norleen,
      Cruise ships will have sales if occupancy is down … so I don’t know what is normal. However, the cruises we’ve take have been between full or close to full.

      FYI: People who live close to cruise-boarding ports are ready to go when deals come along.

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    • Debra,
      Amazingly, it’s easy to navigate. The confusing thing is when floors don’t go all the way through (excluding room areas). … On this ship, both my wife and I struggled with which way to go to the room on our floor (depending how we got there). Thankfully, I used the signs.

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  10. WW and I are enjoying our Sunday morning coffee as we peruse your fabulous pictures of Quebec and your cruise. You and Mrs. A have great taste. Delightful! If WW ever gets to return to work again (a pox on the heads of our Repub congress), maybe we’ll make a return trip to Quebec. Thanks for sharing.

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  11. Pingback: On North American Europe | A Frank Angle

  12. We took a Royal Carribean cruise to Alaska about 10 or 15 years ago. It was much fun. Your ship looks even cooler than ours was. Was this the New England fall cruise? Don’t tell me. I’m going to find out for myself.

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    • Christine,
      The ships are getting bigger and with more stuff … amazing …. search Quantum of the Seas (their newest coming soon).

      Meanwhile, by now I know you answer your question. This run RC does twice … the reverse up to QC, then the return trip that we took.

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