Royal Caribbean has all the regular room types you find on most large cruise ships – suites, balconies, ocean view, and inside. They also have some unique features on ships like Explorer of the Seas, which has inside cabins with virtual balconies and inside cabins with views of the Royal Promenade – an area inside the ship that resembles a city street. Besides the standard lower deck ocean view cabins there are also some upper deck cabins with panoramic ocean views with nearly the entire outer wall a window. Lower deck ocean view cabins have round windows. These may look like portholes, but actual portholes are smaller and have covers that can close them up during stormy weather. This ship has no true porthole cabins for passengers.
Suite categories vary from junior suites to grand suites, owner’s suites to two bedroom, two bathroom royal family suites to the biggest royal suite of all, which at 1188 square feet is bigger than my house. Suites vary in shape and size and while many are grouped together on deck 10, others can be found about the ship in other locations.
Cabin numbering is a bit different on this ship than on ships we’ve sailed on previously. It has even numbers for outside cabins and odd numbers for inside cabins rather than even for port and odd for starboard. Decks 9 and below have the cabin number starting with the deck number, as is usual on most ships, but the cabin numbers on decks 10 and above give no indication of the deck where that cabin resides without looking at deck plans that say which numbers are located where.
Sometimes cruise ship passengers have a special occasion like a birthday or anniversary while onboard. They can arrange in advance to have the room decorated before they board, which is usually done as a surprise for someone in the room.
Accessible rooms are available in interior, oceanview, balcony, and junior suites. Besides having accessible features, these cabins tend to be larger than others in the same category.
Royal suites have over a thousand square feet with a separate bedroom and a balcony as big as the average stateroom. They sleep up to 4 people.
Royal family suites have less interior space, but even larger balconies. These suites sleep up to 8 people with 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 2 drop down bunks, and a sofa bed for 2.
Grand suites sleep up to 4 people with separate bedroom and living room areas. Both the room and the balcony are about double the size found in standard balcony staterooms.
Junior suites sleep up to 4 people and are about as big as a stateroom and a half.
Balcony staterooms come in superior and deluxe with superior having a slightly larger room and deluxe a slightly larger balcony. Some superior balcony cabins sleep up to four people while deluxe cabins sleep a max of three.
Oceanview cabins come with either a panoramic view with the entire exterior wall as window on deck 12 or with a standard round window, which is larger in deck 3 rooms than on deck 2. Ocean view rooms with round windows are also available at the front of the ship on a variety of decks. Family ocean view rooms are larger than the rest and sleep a maximum of 6 people while the maximum in other ocean view cabins is 4. Some of the family ocean view cabins have bunk rooms. Large ocean view cabins are bigger than standard cabins, but smaller than the family ones. These are found mainly at the bow.
In addition to standard inside cabins, Explorer has some interior cabins with virtual balconies. It also has some with real windows and a view of the city-like promenade. The max guests for interior rooms is 4. Virtual balconies are a false window with a real-time video view.
Our cabin had lots of storage space, which is typical of all the staterooms on this ship. The closet had pull-down extra racks and space for life jackets to sit on top of the closet so they weren’t taking up room inside. It had 2 sets of drawers and 2 side mirrors with shelves behind them at the desk area and 2 small cupboards above the TV. Each nightstand had a shelf and a drawer and there was a 3-shelf storage cabinet behind a side mirror in the bathroom. The refrigerator came empty so people could put what they wanted to in it. It did have an option to purchase mini-bar items, none alcoholic.
The room had two outlets in the desk area, which is one more than you find on some ships, but not enough for most people so it’s always a good idea to bring your own power strip. Walls are magnetic which is helpful for keeping paperwork organized if you bring magnets. The cabin doors are magnetic too which comes in useful for people who like to decorate them.
The bathroom had the smallest clothesline we’ve ever seen on a cruise ship in its little round shower. Bringing some sort of clothesline of your own comes in useful, especially since this ship has no guest laundries. Bathroom supplies provided included a dispenser in the shower with 2 in one shampoo/conditioner and tubes of shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and hand lotion. They also provided bars of soap. We enjoyed our time on Explorer of the Seas and would be happy to sail with Royal Caribbean again.
See more about this ship or cabins on other ships from our Ships and Cabins Page