Explorer of The Seas
In Nov 2015 we went on our second cruise with Royal Caribbean, a cruise from Singapore to Fremantle for 11 nights. We jumped at this cruise when we saw it was repositioning and coming to Western Australia - as it saved us a return airfare. Actually 3/4 of the ship were from WA !
Explorer of the Seas is an amazing ship. So much to do for the kids !! There was ice skating, rock climbing, mini golf, swimming pools & spas, basketball courts, ping pong, shuffle board, kids clubs and much more ! They refurbished the ship after we booked and unfortunately didn't put the 0-3 kids club back on the plan, which was hugely dissapointing as its nice to be able to have a peaceful dinner one night without the kids. Luckily they still did babysitting (and Royal Caribbean covered the expense which is around $15 an hour due to the confusion with the baby kids club), so we went off one night and had a great time playing roulette. Even though the kids enjoyed the kids club they actually only went in once as we were just so busy every day doing activities!
We had stops in Kuala Lumpur, Phuket, and Langkawi. We had 6 straight days, which I won't lie got a bit much after day 4 (Possibly as it was getting rougher as we approached the WA coast aswell), but managed to find things to do every day. We watched an amazing ice skating show from some professional ice skaters which well worth a watch, the kids were amazed.
With 3 kids we have to have the Grand Suite or higher which makes cruising a little bit more expensive than what it would with 2 kids (the world is made for a family of 4 !!), but we get some perks with this room which are well worth it. Every evening we went up into the concierge room with the kids for free drinks and canapes from 5.30-7pm. This room was extremely busy on this cruise, and the guests were very elegant, and poised - and our kids were the only kids in there..... Our first thought was "oh no, we are going to be the most hated people in this room". We were on edge the whole time telling the kids "don't touch, sit down nicely, fold your legs, use the tongs" as you can imagine ! But our kids were so well behaved, even the 21month old - they got to know all the guests who treated us so well and we made some lovely friends which we still talk about now. We were constantly told how well behaved the children were and how fantastic it was that we are taking them cruising and giving them these experiences. So all in all it wasn't the disaster we imagined each night !
Each cruise will have a couple of formal nights depending on the cruise length and they are a great night. There is also the opportunity to meet and greet the captain and get photos if you wish. Everyone dresses to different levels of "formal" so don't feel you need to wear a long ball gown if you don't wish. And if you don't want to dress up at all that's perfectly fine. There is also other theme nights like tropical night, 80s nights etc which are alot of fun.
The waters around Singapore are extremley calm so not many were seasick, but coming back into Western Australia it got alot choppier - the sick bags came out on the railings a few times. The guest services will also hand out seasickness tablets to whoever requires them.
I can't recommend this ship enough, Royal Caribbean are an amazing cruise line and I guarantee you won't want to get off the ship, both kids and adults 🙂