I recently cruised for 4 nights onboard Royal Caribbean’s Explorer of the Seas from Sydney to Hobart.
I caught the train via Central to Circular Quay and from there it was only a 10-15 minute easy/slow walk to the Overseas Passenger terminal.
All bars were open as soon as we got onboard as well as the Windjammer café. Officially you do not have access to your cabin until an announcement is made around 2pm (some were lucky and had earlier access). However your luggage doesn’t arrive at your cabin until approximately 4pm so be sure to take a change of clothes, swimwear, medication and anything else you may need for the afternoon/evening in your hand luggage.
I was in a Balcony cabin which was wonderful – nice to go be able to go out and relax on your balcony in the fresh air.
Our cruise travelled via Melbourne. As we had been there before we decided to see a show at the theatre rather than sightsee. ‘Beautiful’ was on and was fabulous. I booked this direct at the theatre
Many activities on board are free however some do incur a cost.
Flowrider (The surfing pool) is free however if you want lessons you need to book in advance and pay an additional cost.
In the Kids Adventure Area each game is around USD $1.50 and credit can be added to the room card via a machine in this area. The smallest amount you can add is USD $10 so parents may need to set a limit for charging the card in this area!
Ice skating is free however long pants and socks must be worn.
The Casino take USD cash only!
The beverage package can be bought onboard but it is definitely cheaper to pre purchase before you go- especially if Royal Caribbean has a deal.
The bars offer the beverage package onboard and 3 speciality restaurants (Chops Grille, Izumi’s and Giovannis) offer a package deal also USD $79 – which is good value if you want to eat at all 3, you also get a USD $35 credit at Izumis (Japanese). These restaurants are all amazing experiences, my favourite was Giovannis. If you only want to do this one you can eat as much as you want for USD $39. It had a fantastic atmosphere and was a lovely place for a special dinner.
We had Izumis Japanese for lunch which is an additional cost but was quite reasonable with 8 pieces of sushi around USD $8.
You can have room service breakfast in your cabin for free unless you want a full cooked breakfast, then it is a service fee of US $7.95.
You are allowed to bring up to 2 litres of wine on board which can only be consumed in your cabin. Beer costs around US $6.75-$8, Wine around US $10-$12 per glass. Cocktail of the day US $10-$11, other cocktails $12-18 and spirits are US$8-12.
Overall I thought the whole ship was fantastic, great for everyone- families, couples and singles.