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Explorer of the Seas

Royal Caribbean International History

Founded by three Norwegian shipping companies in 1969, Royal Caribbean’s first ship, Song of Norway, entered service in 1970 as the first passenger ship purpose-built for warm weather cruising instead of point-to-point transport. Song of Norway also was the first ship with a cocktail lounge cantilevered from its smokestack, thus making the Viking Crown Lounge a hallmark of every Royal Caribbean vessel. In 1988 Royal Caribbean and Admiral Cruises merged, marking a growth spurt that included introduction of the 2,350 Sovereign of the Seas, with a dazzling five-deck atrium. After going public in 1993, adding more glittering ships to its fleet, the line in 1997 changed its name to Royal Caribbean International, better reflecting its global scope and itineraries. In 1997, Rhapsody of the Seas entered service in Alaska, and in 1999 RCI hit what even competitors called a “home run” with introduction of its first Eagle class ship, Voyager of the Seas, with the industry’s first rock climbing wall and an ice skating rink to boot. In 2004, RCI continues trail blazing with new options in the Gulf of Mexico, expanded adventures in Alaska, more itineraries in Europe, and 15 Royal Caribbean ships cruising the Caribbean.

Founded in 1969, Royal Caribbean has a history of firsts to its credit, including introducing the mega-liner atrium aboard Sovereign of the Seas, quickly noted and adopted by other lines. In 1999, RCI hit what even competitors acknowledged was a bases-loaded home-run, unveiling the Voyager Of The Seas - at the time the largest ship afloat - with an eye-popping slew of firsts including a rock-climbing wall and an ice skating rink. Since then, RCI has ordered up the Ultra Voyager for delivery in 2006 (again to be the world’s largest cruise ship, eclipsing Cunard’s Queen Mary 2), with 18 passenger decks and a capacity of 3,600 passengers. Overall, RCI’s fleet is composed of Voyager-class, Vision-class and Radiance-class ships, all topped by the hallmark Viking Crown Lounges, and known for an abundance of glass.

Quick View

Olympic track star Jackie Joyner-Kersey is the godmother of this ship, which has one of the highest space-per-guest ratios in the cruise market, including enhanced staterooms, expanded dining options, and exceptional recreation facilities.

Fast Facts

Year entering service: 2000
Registry: The Bahamas
Tonnage (GRT): 142,000
Cruising Speed: 22 knots
Capacity: 3,114
Decks: 15
Crew: 1,185
Cruise / Hotel Staff Nationality: International
Destinations: Eastern/Western Caribbean

About Gratuities
Recommended gratuities are at $9.75 per guest, per day, and a 15 percent tip is automatically added to bar checks. Tips can be pre-paid during reservation, added to onboard SeaPass accounts or paid in cash at the end of cruise with envelopes provided.

Disabled Access
Guests undergoing continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis are welcome to board with supplies, and all types of oxygen supplies are permitted. Not permitted are women who have entered their third trimester of pregnancy.

Ship Features

A rock-climbing wall, a street fair, an ice-skating rink, and more.

Kid & Teen Stuff
RCI’s Adventure Ocean youth program caters to Aquanauts (age 3-5, toilet-trained), Explorers (ages 6-8), Voyagers (ages 9-11), Navigators (ages 12-14), and Teens (ages 15-17). Parents can drop kids off at Adventure Ocean when disembarking for shore excursions. There’s group babysitting from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. and teen centers and discos are open until 2 a.m.

Cruises Specials

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Life Aboard

Sports / Health / Fitness
Spa/fitness center, aerobics, jogging, aquacise, basketball, volleyball and golf.

Blackjack, Caribbean stud poker, craps, slots, and video poker.


Cruise Pricing: Click Here.

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