Explorer of the Seas Tour – Part Two

At the end of the last post we were resting our feet in the Star Lounge on Deck 5. Most likely  there will be some activity going on in a portion of it so if we don’t want to get shanghaied into joining in we’d best move on. Here is a better picture of the Star Lounge taken by Naomi on one of her early morning walks. Mine was taken when we went there for Muster and the lighting was a bit dim.

Explorer of the Seas The Star Lounge, photo by N. Bovill
The Star Lounge, photo by N. Bovill

The Grand Promenade is the main thoroughfare through the ship and is like a street lined with shops and cafe’s. It’s quite hard to imagine you are on a ship when you are there as it is more like a shopping mall. Above the Promenade is an atrium which stretches several decks. You can have a cabin with a window overlooking the Promenade but if you like to go to bed early I would not recommend it as the Promenade is often the venue for evening parades and parties some of which start after 10pm.

Here are two views of the Promenade, one taken on our first day by me and another taken by Naomi very early before anyone was about. They do change the lighting on the Promenade at different times. At night it is more blue. The small balconies are a good spot to watch the parades from.

Explorer of the Seas The Promenade Deck 5
The Promenade Deck 5
Promenade early morning NB
The Promenade in the early morning. Photo N. Bovill
Looking up.
Looking up from Deck 4.
Explorer of the Seas -The Promenade in the early morning. Photo N. Bovill
The Promenade in the early morning. Photo N. Bovill

The shop with the red awnings is the Cafe Promenade. It is open 24 hours a day and we sometimes went there in there for a snack. They had sandwiches, cakes, cookies and you could either make your own tea or coffee or for an extra charge have a cappacino or a latte or whatever you fancied. Cafe Promenade as also the place to buy Ben and Jerry’s ice cream which we were keen to try having heard so much about it. It was good ice cream but New Zealand ice cream is still our favourite. The cafe was often quite busy especially after a show but we could usually find a seat inside even when the tables outside were full.

The Cafe Promenade - Explorer of the Seas
The Cafe Promenade where you can get tea, coffee, snacks and ice cream.

The Crown & Kettle is supposed to be an English Style Pub and while it looks the part it was not really what we expected. We had hoped there would be food served there but it was just a bar and the folk singer that occupied it most nights kept us away. We had been hoping for darts and piano singalongs I suppose.

There are also shops on the Promenade. We liked the shop selling souvenirs and bought quite a lot of things in there both for ourselves and for gifts to take home. There was another store selling duty free alcohol although rules on board ship are strict about that. You can buy it but you can’t have it until you disembark I believe. There were also stores selling jewellery, handbags and watches. In fact the watch sale became a bit of a joke because they seemed to have a watch sale just about every day. The prices were not bad but neither of us needed a watch.

One of the shops on the Promenade.
One of the shops on the Promenade.
There were always sales on board.
There were always sales on board.

I had intended to go on to the dining room from here but after all that shopping I think we’ll take the elevator or the stairs up to our cabin on Deck 7 instead and leave the dining room for later.

Decks 6, through 10 are predominantly staterooms so we didn’t take pictures there. Deck 7 houses the Library and Card Room which we thought would be a quiet place to play Scrabble but it turned out to be quite busy. The ships four sets of Mah Jong were always in use. I had not realised that Mah Jong was such a noisy game.

Every couple of nights Jayson our cabin attendant would leave us a towel animal. We were not that good at guessing what they were but they were very good.

While we are here say hello to Naomi’s new teddy bear. She wasn’t going to buy any more bears she said but what is a bear collector to do ?

Explorer of the Seas Teddy Bear.
Explorer of the Seas Teddy Bear.

The next post in this series will be about our Indian Lunch and tour of the galley and you will meet our favourite waiters.


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. Currently we have five pets between us. Naomi's two dogs Toby and Teddy and cats, Tigerwoods and Panther and my cat Polly. My dog Cindy passed away aged 16 in April 2022.


  1. Wow, it does look like a shopping mall inside! Even seeing the outside, I still wouldn’t have imagined the inside being quite that spacious.


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