The embarkation procedure in San Juan could not possibly have been smoother. Although as Diamond Members we have priority check in, we did not need it as there were only a few people waiting when we arrived. (People who have not cruised before should be aware that it is customary to tip the baggage handlers who take the luggage at the port even though they only "carry" it a few feet.)
This was our second trip on the Serenade of the Seas. We liked the ship so much last year that we booked it again for this year and we were not disappointed (with one exception which will be discussed later). The ship is kept spotlessly clean. Although there had recently been issues on another RC ship with Norovirus, we experienced no difficulties whatsoever (although I will also add that we were regular users of the purell stations - especially when we got on the ship after visiting a port. We also used the sanitizers outside the restaurants and Windjammer. ) (One suggestion would be to make this MANDATORY for the Windjammer since anyone who does NOT sanitize puts everyone at risk!) By coincidence we had the same room steward as we had last year. Not only did he remember us, but he welcomed us like family!!! It made our trip very special! We also met our restaurant server from last year and even though we were not seated at her station she would often come to check up on us!
I am prone to motion sickness but the ship is generally very stable. We encountered weather that was not typical for the Caribbean in the spring (rain, storms, high seas) but the only time motion was an issue was the last night of the cruise when there were 5-7 foot waves. It was unusual even by the crew's standards.
The food was very good (what we had expected!) - with lots of choices in the afternoon at the Windjammer. The cruiseline has become more sensitive to different dietary needs, so there are always lowfat or low carb options.
We also enjoyed the "open" coffee and tea stations outside the Windjammer. The only 'glitch' as far as food goes in the availability of late night snacks. If you are hungry, you have to trek up to the one small cafe that is open after 9:30. It takes a lot of determination to find it and to get there and the selection is somewhat limited.
The only other 'disappointment' was in the cruise director and staff. Last year, the cruise director was absolutely excellent. He MADE the trip -- great sense of humor and limitless energy! He remained at ALL events well beyond when the director normally departs and he seemed to really enjoy being around the passengers. The cruise director this year was not of the same caliber and we were disappointed.