Royal Caribbean Explorer of the Seas
We cruised the seven night Alaska Glacier (Seattle Round trip) Cruise on Royal Caribbean Explorer of the Seas. It was an exciting adventure that started in Seattle, Washington then had a day at Sea followed by arrival in Juneau, Alaska. The following day we docked in Skagway, Alaska. The next day was scheduled to be the Tracy Arm Fjord, followed by a day at sea. Finally we were to have a day in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada before returning to Seattle.
When our good friend Matt Hochberg of the Royal Caribbean Blog announced that he was planning a group cruise to Alaska, it was a no-brainer. The Cookingyo family was in. Luckily Matt and his MEI Travel partners planned the 7 night cruise right after the reservations opened up and I was able to grab THE best junior suite on the aft of the ship. Now all we had to do was wait the 465 days to the cruise. Oh yeah and pay for it.
The cruise itself cost was definitely more than a seven night Caribbean adventure but that has a lot to do with the time of year and availability; obviously you can’t cruise Alaska year round. Also the excursions were expensive. I understand why everything is more expensive in Alaska; fuel cost more and so does labor. It isn’t a major negative, just something that needs to be understood. Also airfare from the East Coast to Seattle is higher than going to Florida, also there are less flights. So plan accordingly.
Day 0 – Travel Day – Philadelphia to Seattle
We purchased our airfare soon after flights became available at around 10 months. Is it necessarily the cheapest, no! Unfortunately we needed to be on a certain flight do to work commitments so our flexibility was extremely limited. It actually worked out in our favor because shortly afterwards our original flight was changed and the new fares were always higher than what we paid.
Our travel day plans were to leave work a little early and get on the plane. Our flight was to depart PHL at 5:50PM and arrive in Seattle-Tacoma (SeaTac) airport around 9PM West Coast time.
We arrived and did curbside check-in. We barely squeezed under the 50 lb limit for each suitcase. I feel Alaska is the hardest cruise to pack for because of the wild weather swings that can be encountered, but more on that later. We each had a packed carry on suitcase and each had a personal item (back pack).
We got through security lightning fast thanks to TSA-Precheck, (If you travel a few times a year it is well worth the fees, to avoid the long lines). Then it was a waiting game.
The family did our normal pre-flight ritual in PHL and that is a beer for the adults and a soda for the Bubs, and maybe crab fries or a sandwich depending on how much time we have. Tonight we had plenty of time and enjoyed a leisurely dinner be fore heading over to the gate.
When we arrived at the gate the previous to us flight was still there. It was delayed due to weather. Our flight was on time.
We boarded on schedule and the five plus hour flight was uneventful, till we got to the Rocky Mountains. The captain made an announcement. It was kind of a good news bad news deal. He stated the good news was we were a full hour ahead of schedule. Yeah Buddy! The bad news was we were an hour and a half out of SEA and the sewage tanks were almost full. If the tanks filled then they would have to land, oh and the pilots would be over their hours and we would then be extremely late to SEA. Oh POOP, Right! So they cancelled 2nd beverage service and then the waiting game was on. Nobody and I mean nobody went to the restroom. Anytime someone stood up to stretch the entire cabin gave the look of death, till they realized it was just a stretch.
The good news was we landed safely, an hour early. We grabbed our bags and off we went to get transport to down town Seattle.
It is our understanding that SeaTac is the fastest growing airport by passenger volume, the volume is increasing more every week, the bad news is SeaTac has zero room to expand. The lines to get to arriving passengers can take awhile, like an hour. We called for an Uber XL because of all our cases and he arrived 20 minutes later. He said the long lines are the new normal in a city that is getting a 1000 new people a week.
The ride in to Seattle was uneventful, there really wasn’t much traffic going in to town, and the sun was setting so it made for a very pretty sight. Our hotel was the Holiday Inn Express by the Space Needle. It was $280 a night and there was nothing special about it. All Seattle hotels are rather pricey.
We checked in, the family settled in, Mrs. Cookingyo sent me to the local gas station for a night cap and some munchies. We enjoyed our view of the full Holiday Inn which backed up to the Express and soon it was time to retire for the evening.
Day 1- Departure Royal Caribbean Explorer of the Seas from Seattle, Washington
We got up early and hit the included continental breakfast at the Holiday Inn Express. Everyone got washed up. We secured our luggage and made our way down to the lobby. The Royal Caribbean Blog travel partner MEI had arranged transportation to Pier 91 for the group. A large van arrived and the first group which included the Cookingyo family was mobile.
It was about a 20 minute ride on a Friday morning through light traffic to get to the pier. The van had to pass through a check point and the cluster of out going and incoming passengers was forming. We arrived very early. There was a pile of luggage which was to be checked, the longshoreman hadn’t arrived yet to start handling bags. We said a quick prayer that our bags would make it and we headed to the first security check point with our Set Sail Pass and passports.
We were in side the terminal, there was another quick check of our paperwork and we were on our way up the escalator going to security. We had a quick scan of our items.
Funny story, I brought 15 rolls of film which were in a lead lined bag so they wouldn’t be damaged through the multiple x-ray machines. Security only cared about the 1950’s metal folding camera at the bottom of a bag. Needless to say, I was good to go.
Next we proceeded to the check in lines. Just an FYI, if you are a member of Royal Caribbean’s Crown and Anchor Society there are lines to help you expedite your check-in. Also if you are staying in a Suite, Jr. Suite and up there is also a special line. We went through the Suite line. They had us smile for our pictures and issued our Sea Pass cards. We were good to go. The young lady also told us there was an area off to the side we could sit till the ship was ready.
We moved over to that side area expecting it to fill up with cruisers but it never happened. A nice elderly couple came and then another family of four. That was it. Eventually a crew member came down and said we could board, so we started up the gangway, the line split in to two and we went right. The Cookingyo family was THE first on board, and THAT is how we like to start a vacation.
Boarding time was around 1045, I actually got a shot looking up at the Promenade without any people on it. Now I had an advantage because this was the 3rd Voyager class ship I have sailed on in 6 months. I took the Bubs on a quick cruise to Mexico on Navigator of the Seas in January, and I was Solo on the Adventure of the Seas Repositioning from Puerto Rico in May 2018. So I am very familiar of the layout of the ships…Generally speaking.
We headed to the Promenade to grab a cold beverage as other members of the group were arriving. It was nice to meet old friends whom we have sailed with before, and get introduced to new ones.
Eventually we went to lunch in the Windjammer. It was getting crowded fast so we grabbed our food and secured a seat on the aft.
Afterwards we still had about 45 minutes before the cabins opened up so The Bubs, read a book while the Mrs. and I grabbed a frozen drink on the pool deck. Surprising the pool water was heated at this time.
Finally cabins opened up at 1PM, we headed a deck down to our home for the next seven nights.
J3 – Aft Junior Suite – Royal Caribbean Explorer of the Seas Cabin 1394
Now I made sure to have the Mrs. and the Bubs give me five minutes to shoot this cabin properly with both my DSLR and the 360 camera. Luckily they obliged even though I took a little longer than planned.
The cabin itself is a good size, about 1 and half time the size of a standard balcony cabin. The balcony is very large, and it is protected by the elements because the Windjammer overhangs it. I know what you are thinking, No we did not hear any noise from above, It was very quiet minus a little hum from the engines.
360 Photographs of Royal Caribbean Explorer of the Seas – Aft Jr. Juite 1394
Cabin Photo number one Click HERE!
Cabin Photo number two Click HERE!
Cabin Bathroom Photo Click HERE!
Cabin Walk In Closet Click HERE!
Cabin Balcony Photo number one Click HERE!
Cabin Balcony Photo number two Click HERE!
After we dropped our bags we explored the ship, there was an informal get together at Dizzy’s. It was the “Go with the flow Lava Flow meet” in the Viking Crown. It was great to see old friends, and new cruisers.
Staff shut the bar down an hour before the mandatory Muster drill which was a half hour prior to sailing. Luckily the captain wasn’t too chatty and the drill itself was pretty painless.
There was a Sail Away toast on the Pool Deck, Deck 11. It was great to see many group cruise t-shirts representing our people.
Slowly the ship pulled out. The Celebrity Solstice had left prior to us and was away in the distance. It was nice to see the ferry boats of Puget Sound as we slowly started working our way to open water. We also passed by an interesting light house in the distance.
Eventually we did pass the Celebrity ship, the view from the aft is spectacular.
We had purchase the 3 night Specialty dining package. We arrange all of our nights during the afternoon so it would be Giovanni’s Table on Deck 11, right off the Windjammer complex on night 1. CHOPS Grille down on Deck 4 on the first formal night night 2, and Izumi on Deck 14 on the second Formal night on night 6.
Royal Caribbean Explorer of the Seas – Giovanni’s Table
Appetizer and Salads
The sunset was outstanding and the light lingered so late.
After dinner, the Bubs went to do some Teen Club activities, while the adults went to the Schooner Bar to check out the Piano Player. We hung out for a while. Then headed up to retire for the evening.
Oh, by the way, for those that follow the adventures of Cookingyo, you will know that one of my favorite activities is taking pictures of the Milky Way, and or of stars when ever possible. Well it seems that Explorer is different and they close the forward observation deck from Dusk till Dawn, I was kind of bummed but what can you do about it. Just another case of RCCL not being consistent between ships. As it turned out the skies were pretty much overcast throughout the entire trip, plus we were going so north that we truly didn’t get true darkness. It is what it is!
While we are at it. Let’s talk about VOOM. Now I know the more north you go the crappier VOOM should get. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that out, the satellites are on the equator. Now please oblige me a quick rant. Royal Caribbean put a disclaimer in the cruise compass about VOOM and possible connection issues. Did they bother putting a disclaimer in the Cruise Planner for those who pre-purchased a package? Nope, nothing. Also the best internet we got was while in port. Why do you ask? Well a reliable source told me they connect to a local ISP while in port…. Go figure!
Day 2 – Sea Day -Royal Caribbean Explorer of the Seas
The sun rise on Day 2 morning was outstanding, we were off the coast of Vancouver Island. In fact it was one of my top 5 ever at sea.
We took our time getting going on Day 2. We walked up a deck to the Windjammer to grab a little breakfast and pre-hydrate before a little pub crawl that was on the agenda.
They had one of my favorites, eggs Benedict, Yummy! The Windjammer was crowded everyday. Due to the chillier temperatures, most people chose to get eat their breakfast in the complex.
We wondered the ship a bit, I took some photos for the blog and started to take the 360 photos for this write up. Unfortunately I gravity checked the 360 camera on the helipad, so it was functioning but the lens was damaged. Oh heck! An excuse to get a new camera.
After lunchtime there was a private meet up sponsored by our travel agency MEI hosted in the Viking Crown lounge. There were adult beverages, hors d’oeuvre, and a yummy cake.
After that, there was a mini-bar crawl. We made 4 stops: Schooner Bar, Crown & Kettle pub, R-Bar, and the Sky Bar. Let us just say that there may have been more than 1 drink poured at each bar and someone might of said the word “SHOTS”.
It was a good time had by all, and it actually went in to Crown & Anchor society Diamond hour. So those who are Diamond, Diamond Plus, and Pinnacle club who did not have a drink package could get a couple of beverages on Royal Caribbean.
Night number two was also formal night. We had reservations at CHOPS Grille.
Soups and Salads
Meats and Poultry
After dinner we headed down to get some formal night photos taken. It was time to get out of the suit and head to the pub to enjoy the Pub Singer….. may I add he did not even acknowledge repeated calls for “FREEBIRD” but hey, we still had a good time. We turned in at a decent hour though it was still light-ish out.
Day 3 – Juneau, AK – Royal Caribbean Explorer of the Seas
Well finally things were getting real. When we awoke the view outside was definitely not tropical. We were put crawling along through a very over cast almost dreary morning. We had our first ice sightings and there was the occasional birds that hung out on the ultra blue ice. We didn’t dock in Juneau till almost noon so we had a very leisurely breakfast followed by the search for whales. We were totally covered and I just left the camera on standby in case anything popped up.
We had ordered breakfast from room service
On the pool deck RCCL was selling their wares (Hats, gloves, coats, binoculars etc.) for those trekking out in the bush and who forgot something.
We docked around Noon at the AJ Dock, the furthest from town, and we had one heck of an excursion planned but we had to wait an hour after docking for our guides. There is a pay shuttle that will take folks to town and back but we didn’t have enough time to explore town.
We met our guides who picked us up in a mini bus and headed over to their outfitters station. They had packs with wet weather gear, helmets, crampons for ice and little pouches of snacks. After everyone was fitted we headed back to the bus and over to the Mendenhall Glacier area. We parked by the far end of the lake and soon we were at a landing where there was a big ass canoe.
This was a 14 person canoe. We slowly boarded along with our gear and before you know it we were paddling the 2 1/2 miles to the glacier. It took about an hour to get there and the guides kept a very brisk pace. The guides said getting there was twice as hard due to the current of the water flowing off the glacier, but the paddle back would be much easier. Along the way we passed the visitor center in the distance and Nugget Falls.
Eventually we reached the shore of the glacier and pulled the canoe out of the 34 degree lake. The guides told us to snack and drink water and we had around a 30 minute break. Next we grabbed our trekking gear an hiked about a quarter of a mile to the glacier.
We put on the crampon devices for walking on ice and we had poles to assist with walking and before you know it we were on our way. The glacier has it’s own weather pattern, it was actually pretty sunny and the temperature was comfortable.
The guides showed us some interesting features to include drains, crevasses, and a large valley that is not visible from the shore.
We were hoping to see ice caves but unfortunately they collapsed the summer before. We were shown the drains which had the most wonderful color of greenish blue.
After our time on the glacier we had another break to snack and water up, it was then time to paddle back.
This time it took 45 minutes and it didn’t seem as difficult. Finally we reached the shore and the canoe was pulled out of the water and we picked it up and put it back on its storage rack. We headed back to the parking lot where the bus was waiting for the group. A short time later we were back at the outfitters station and a little bit later we were heading back to the ship.
The excursion took all day and we knew we were going to eat at the Windjammer and watch as the ship slowly left port and headed upstream to our next stop.
We had a real low key night, we used a lot of energy and might of even lost a pound. It was nice to meet up with friends and have a few cocktails before retiring for the evening. The sunset was beautiful and pulling out of Juneau so late was nice. We actually saw a couple of Bald Eagles but they were too quick for me to snap a shot.
The 1970’s party was on night 3. We only stayed for a few but it looked like a good time.
Day 4 – Skagway, AK – Royal Caribbean Explorer of the Seas
We arrived in Skagway in the AM after the long 90 mile cruise. We had a leisurely breakfast. Our big excursion was a Speed Boat adventure outside of town. The excursion was out of the small boat harbor which was right next to Radiance of the Sea. A small mini bus took us over there. We then met the captain and crew of the boat. We were given a safety briefing. Any belongings that you didn’t want to get wet were placed in a large tote and secured. Then we were each fitted for a Coast Guard Approved life suit; imagine a giant orange puffy suit with a built in life preserver. Then we strolled down to the harbor and got on the boat.
Note there are no real seats. There was row after row of saddle seats with a loop to hold on to. Captain told us that the 700hp craft could easily reach speeds of 45 knots, and it was highly advised to keep 1 hand on the handle. Our tour was an hour and the boat would go full speed till something interesting popped up like waterfalls or wild life. Then the assistant would give a brief talk about what we were seeing and then off again we would go.
Occasionally the captain would do a 360 loop and you would really have to hold on. This went on for around 11 miles. Then we crossed the Lynn canal and were in front of a spectacular water fall. We spent a few minutes here taking a break and getting photographs.
Then it was time to start the boat ride back to town. It was amazing to see the bald eagles (which looked like baseballs in the trees) lined along the canal. Before you knew it we were screaming past the cruise ship in one last full speed pass and the the ride was over.
Both the Captain and the assistant were very professional, both would answer any question the guests had. Even though the excursion was rated extreme, I think most people could handle the rigors of the trip. If my 12 year old could do it then most able body adults should have no problem.
After the boat tour we walked in to “Down Town” Skagway. We had a recommendation from friends to try the Skagway Brewing Company for food and beverages. So we casually walked the streets of the old town looking at the folky architecture with the back drop of the big mountains in the background. It truly was amazing. BTW – Most of the downtown Skagway pictures were taken with a 1950’s medium format manual camera. I wanted an old timey feel for these pictures.
We finally made it to the end of the town and the Skagway Brewing Company, there was a short wait for a table so we hung out in the back area and had a beer. Our name was called and we were seated. The Brewing Company is an interesting building with very interesting characters working there. The highlight of the meal was actually the Tater Tots, OMG! they were amazing, otherwise the food was good but not spectacular. The beers were tasty, Mrs. Cookingyo had a flight, sampling what they had, and I drank an IPA.
When we finished lunch, we grabbed a few souvenirs, and strolled all the way back to the ship, which isn’t that far outside of town.
After boarding the ship we decided to hot tub. It was amazing to soak our muscles and drink a tropical drink all the while looking at the majestic mountains that surround Skagway.
Dinner on night 4 was in the Main Dining Room. It is a running joke with my family to see where we get seated at in the main dining room. Normally it works out that we are adjacent to a serving station, or the kitchen doors. Nope this time we were sandwiched at the junction of of three rows so we had a lot of traffic passing us by.
The actual service was acceptable, though our assistant waiter disappeared after a bit never to be seen again.
Main Dining Room Night 4
The food was fine, and we finished up with enough time to see some beautiful sites and to catch a spectacular sunset.
We spent most of the evening in the Schooner Bar listening to the piano player and talking with friends. We did pass an interesting lighthouse in the middle of nowhere. I looked it up and it is named Eldred Rock Lighthouse.
Day 5 Endicott Arm Fjord, AK – Royal Caribbean Explorer of the Seas
The morning of day 5 started very early. We originally were originally scheduled to view the glacier in the Tracy Arm Fjord. It was explained that for safety sake and customer comfort the alternative Endicott Arm Fjord and the Dawes Glacier would be visited.
That morning was crappy, it was overcast and raining. The initial outlook was not looking good for the Royal Caribbean Explorer of the Seas. Well when we finally arrived at the glacier, a miracle happened. The skies opened up and the sun popped out. Remember above where I said the glaciers have their own weather. Well this was a prime example.
It was our understanding that the normal procedure was to have the ship get so close and then using the bow thrusters, perform a 360 maneuver. Well it actually turned out that the ship performed 2 full spins and then a 180 so we were pointing towards that exit of the Endicott Arm.
It was a chilly morning and a coat made life more comfortable. I took a stroll to the top deck and there were people wrapped in comforters. A little extreme but o.k. if it works for them.
To view the full size 10 panel Panorama of the the glacier click HERE! (14999×5140 7.9mb)
The sun was almost too strong as it bounced off the sides of the cliffs that were on both sides, but the colors of the rocks and vegetation were amazing. Unfortunately we did not see any large calving of ice off the glacier but I did see some small bits fall in to the water.
When out time was up and the ship departed the Dawes Glacier, the rains picked up right as we were leaving and continued almost to the end of the Endicott Arm. There was a small 22 passenger private charter pulling in as we were pulling out. How lucky of those folks to see the glacier super close up.
From this time till Day 7 we were going to be at sea making our way down the inside passage and along Vancouver Island to our last port of call, Victoria, British Columbia.
Lunch was at the Cafe Promenade, It is a great alternative if you just want some quick fare and don’t want all the energy of the Windjammer.
The rest of the day consisted of some fun group activities to include some photography tricks and tips. Some trivia in the Schooner bar and just relaxing.
The evening was formal night but first we enjoyed the Royal Caribbean Crown and Anchor Society Top Tier Event. It normally consist of some champagne or drinks, a small performance by talent then the introduction of Command Staff and a little speech by the Master of the Vessel, (The Captain).
This evening we planned to eat at Izumi as part of our Specialty Dining package we had pre-purchased.
Izumi Night 5
After Dinner we enjoyed a beautiful sunset.
Then we watched Karaoke with a live band which was quite entertaining.
Day 6 – Sea Day -Royal Caribbean Explorer of the Seas
As usual we had breakfast at the windjammer and then bummed around and napped most of the morning.
We did notice that the 10 Drink Card was available today for $75. The drink card doesn’t come every voyage. If you don’t have a drink package the drink card is a good way to get discounted cocktails or buy a drink for a new friend.
Lunch we had a special treat. The Royal Caribbean Blog had a special luncheon for those who are Insiders. What is an Insider you say? Essentially they are those who make a small monthly donation to the blog to help upkeep and upgrade and keep the wheels running. If you are interested in being an insider check out HERE!
Lunch was at CHOPS GRILLE and it was delicious. Note: CHOPS offers an amended menu at lunch. It was so filling and it was great hanging out with like minded cruising people.
Day 6 CHOPS GRILLE Lunch
After a great lunch meal, the family spent a good portion of the afternoon whale watching from the Helipad. There were some close encounters but unfortunately we didn’t get any good photographs up close. Mrs. Cookingyo had the binoculars which she would share with the Bubs, and I was shooting with my Ultra telephoto lens.
The thing to look for was the mist from the blow holes and the rest would follow suit. It was windy but we had a great time.
We were so stuffed from lunch that we decided to forego a full sit down meal in the Main Dining Room and settled for some light fare in the Windjammer.
Later in the evening we popped in for a Show at the Main Theatre.
We stopped in to the Schooner bar for a bit then headed to Battle of the Sexes in Studio B which was a primer for the main event, The Quest.
Right after the Battle of the Sexes The Quest started. For those who don’t know what The Quest is let’s just say that it a VERY Adult scavenger hunt. Royal Caribbean recommends all be 18 to attend.
This trip Team One captains were none other than Multiple Champion Claire and yours truly. Let’s just say that our team did what we had to do to win even if it meant finishing with a blown Hamstring. That is the price of victory. Team One was victorious and I am officially retired as a team captain, with an undefeated record. Or as Mrs. Cookingyo calls it “You always hurt yourself playing this stupid game”…. To each their own.
The rest of the night was spent celebrating, closing down multiple venues including the R-Bar, The Pub and of course the Casino Bar.
Day 7 – Victoria, British Columbia, Canada – Royal Caribbean Explorer of the Seas
The ship arrived at Victoria for 9 AM. Our plans for the day were not set in stone. We had pre-purchased Hop ON Hop Off (HOHO) bus tickets and our main target was to tour the stately mansion of Craigdarroch Castle.
The weather was chilly but not unbearable, though the skies were overcast most of the day. Getting to the Castle was easy on the HOHO bus. The self guided tour was around an hour and a half. The castle is beautiful with special emphasis on the wood work throughout. After that we hit the gift shop for some trinkets.
We went back to wait for the HOHO bus which run every 20 minutes. It was a little closer to 30 but we finally got on the bus. Little did we know there was a section of the trip where they will issue blankets to those on the upper deck because the wind chill is that bad. It only last for a few minutes but boy was it nice not to freeze your buns off. The bus winded from gardens to sea, to shopping districts and all around.
Stop 1 is by the world famous THE EMPRESS hotel. We did pop in to check it out. The good news is the Bubs got a post card, the bad news is they didn’t sell stamps. So we had a new adventure. We used the power of the internet and found out that there was a Canadian Post Office about a half mile away.
Fifteen minutes later, we arrived and only had a five minute wait to mail the post card. Mission Accomplished. All this walking and questing sure made us hungry. We had planned to take the longer way back to stop number 1 when we saw the greatest thing ever!
Ladies and Gentleman I give you the SüLT Pierogi Bar – 609 Yates Street, Victoria, British Columbia V8W 1L1.
Seriously, This little place was THE BEST. We sat down at a table and the staff were very friendly, chatting up a storm. We started with some beers while we looked over the extensive menu. Let’s just say that we might of ordered seconds…and even thirds. Wow! Amazing is all I can say. If you ever get to Victoria. Check This Place Out!
After lunch we worked our way back to THE EMPRESS along what seemed to be their High Street and returned to the hotel and stop 1. When we got back on the bus it passed a few more stops to include going through Victoria’s China Town and slowly made our way back to the ship.
Before going through the controlled area we strolled along the sea wall, Ogden Point Breakwater that seemed to be the place to jog or take a stroll in this part of town. Anyway we got some great shots of the ship and from the distance we saw the Celebrity Cruises ship which we have been shadowing a lot during the trip coming in to port.
In fact we did get to see the ship dock as we were boarding Royal Caribbean Explorer of the Seas.
Again because we were so stuffed from lunch we chose to get a quick meal in the Windjammer and then hang out with friends in the different lounges. In fact we might of closed down the casino bar one more time. No fear though. We did not have to catch a flight in the morning because we were staying two more days in Seattle to do some sight seeing.
All in All it was a wonderful cruise, one our most favorite, not because of the ship which is better than most but because of the star, the beautiful state of Alaska. Our weather was just o.k. and I do wish we had more sun and the temperature was a bit warmer but I will go back in a heartbeat; especially now that a Quantum Class ship will be doing the same itinerary that Royal Caribbean Explorer of the Seas did in the Summer of 2018.
One note: Getting off the ship was easy. The actual Port of Seattle is kind of messed up. We chose to take Uber to take us to our hotel downtown. The ride share area is just outside the gates of the secured area. Let me just say it was a Charlie Foxtrot…. A Cluster F@ck! There was zero organization and even though there was staff who would literally yell out people’s names as cars were arriving. Cars were weaving in and out of three lanes all the while people were trying to load vehicles, it was kind of funny watching all the chaos. Our car arrived around an hour after we first called. Once outside this loop the rest of the ride down town was cake. Just be forewarned in case officials have not made improvements to this process.
Royal Caribbean Explorer of the Seas Cruise Compass