Explorer of the Seas Tour – Part One

Explorer of the Seas is a very large ship and in this post I’d like to give you a tour of her.

Before we go though here are a few statistics.

  • Class: Voyager
  • Built: Finland
  • Entered Service: October 2000
  • Refurbished: March 2015
  • Displacement: 137, 308 tons
  • Passenger Capacity: 3,840
  • Crew: 1,185

You can read more here but I think these are pre-refurbishment figures and I think extra staterooms have been added since then.

Naomi and I did not go to every place on the ship, we missed the fitness centre and beauty salon due to lack of interest and the medical centre as fortunately we didn’t need it but we covered most of the other areas between us. Naomi has given me permission to use some of her photos which I thank her for. She took a great many in the early mornings before many people were about and got some spots that I missed.

Let’s begin our tour on Deck 3. Deck 1 is predominantly crew areas and Deck 2 has mostly staterooms so we didn’t take any photos on either of those decks although we did embark and disembark from the ship from them once or twice.

On Deck 3 you will find Studio B which is houses the ice skating rink and I believe is also used as a disco for young people (presumably without the ice). Outside is the Photo Centre where you can book a photographer for formal photos, buy things like batteries and camera accessories and view and order the photographs that the ship’s photographers are forever taking of guests when the join or leave the ship, go to dinner or just happen to catch their eyes. Ships photographers are like paparazzi but with better manners.

Also on Deck 3 is the lowest level of the Sapphire Restaurant and the lower level of the two level Palace Theatre. Deck 3 is a trickier one to navigate than some of the other decks as the fore and aft sections are separated by the ice rink. You have to be careful to use the right stairs or lift for the place you want to go or you have to go up and across to reach it. This happened to me a couple of times and I was not the only one.

Studio B Explorer of the Seas
Studio B set up for the Ice Show..
Outside Studio B in the Photo Centre.
Outside Studio B in the Photo Centre.

On Deck 4 forward you will find the upper floor of the Palace Theatre. This deck has a lot of public rooms so you can walk through the Schooner Bar to Casino Royale, out the other side to The Tavern and past Giovanni’s Table and the Art Gallery to the middle level of the Sapphire Restaurant. There are stairs fore and aft and several sets of elevators. Occasionally when a show lets out or in port when a lot of people are coming and going these can get busy and if you are only going a few floors walking is probably quicker.

The Schooner Bar- Photo N. Bovill
The Schooner Bar- Photo N. Bovill
The nautical themed Schooner Bar on Deck 4- Photo by N. Bovill
The nautical themed Schooner Bar on Deck 4- Photo by N. Bovill
The Casino Royale- Table Games and "pokies" on Deck 4
The Casino Royale- Table Games and “pokies” on Deck 4. This is the stairs that lead down to it from the Promenade.
Explorer of the Seas The Tavern Sports Bar. Photo by N. Bovill
The Tavern Sports Bar. Photo by N. Bovill
Explorer of the SeasItalian Restaurant-Giovanni's Table - Photo N. Bovill
Italian Restaurant-Giovanni’s Table – Photo N. Bovill


The Sapphire Dining Room during the day.
The Sapphire Dining Room during the day. Sometimes used for cooking demonstrations and activities such as scrapbooking.

Deck 4 also has some outdoor areas where you can sit on a deck chair and relax or if you are not the relaxing type, play shuffleboard. Deck 4 is also one of the few areas open to smokers so it is usually popular.

Playing Shuffleboard on board ship.
Shuffleboard on Deck 4.

Staying outside we can go forward and climb a short flight of steps to reach Deck 5. It can be windy out here but on a calm day it’s lovely and a great place to watch the ship arriving into port from.

Are you tired yet? There is still a long way to go so we’ll just have a quick peek into the Star Lounge which is where you access the open deck from and rest our feet before tackling the Promenade. In the next post we’ll take a walk along the Promenade, take another look at the Sapphire Restaurant and head up to our cabin on “LuckyDeck  7” to have a look at some towel animals.

 Star Lounge Explorer of the Seas
Our muster station was in the Star Lounge which is mostly used for lectures during the day and musical performances at night.


I was born in England in 1957 and lived there until our family came to Australia in 1966. I grew up in Adelaide, South Australia, where I met and married my husband David. We came together over a mutual love of trains. Both of us worked for the railways for many years, his job was with Australian National Railways, while I spent 12 years working for the STA, later TransAdelaide the Adelaide city transit system. After leaving that job I worked in hospitality until 2008. We moved to Tasmania in 2002 to live in the beautiful Huon Valley. In 2015 David became ill and passed away in October of that year. I currently co-write two blogs on WordPress.com with my sister Naomi. Our doll blog "Dolls, Dolls, Dolls", and "Our Other Blog" which is about everything else but with a focus on photographs and places in Tasmania. In November 2019 I began a new life in the house that Naomi and I intend to make our retirement home at Sisters Beach in Tasmania's northwest. My current housemates are Cindy, my 14-year-old Staffy-Lab X dog and Polly the world's most unsociable cat who is seven.


  1. An ice rink? My goodness, it’s hard for me to imagine a ship big enough for that! I’m surprised to see so many places empty with that many people on board.


    • That surprised me too as I watched many YouTube videos of the ship before we went and wondered how they were able to film areas which were deserted. In fact many of the photos in the two posts were taken when the restaurants were not in use or early in the morning, my sister got up early every day, or at night. However we were usually able to find a quiet spot to settle down with our books and puzzles away from the noise on the pool deck. I’ll talk more about that in the next couple of posts of the tour.


      • Knowing you were able to find quiet spots makes cruising seem much more appealing to me than it was before! I look forward to hearing about more of your journey. 🙂


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