An Amazing Mediterranean Itinerary: Serenade of the Seas Cruise Review by Arizona Budgies
Overall Member Rating
An Amazing Mediterranean Itinerary
Destination: Europe - Western Mediterranean
DINING: we ate only in the included dining areas. Evening dining in the MDR: We were seated with 5 other couples at a table for 12, 3 from England, 1 from B.C., 1 from Ohio. What a marvelous group--we all looked forward to dinner each evening; the service (from Gener & Carl) was outstanding, the food was always very good to excellent & as a rule all couples ate there each evening. We normally used the windjammer for breakfast & lunch, with lunches being some of the best food of the cruise. We saw no reason to spend $30 each to eat elsewhere.
SHIP CONDITION: We were concerned the ship might not be up to par as it was heading to dry dock very soon - not a problem, we found it clean and well maintained, though a refreshing of some areas (carpets) would be good. As in the past, virtually all Royal employees always provided a greeting and smile. Our oceanview room was also clean and in good shape, our housekeeper always keept it clean and neat.
ENTERTAINMENT: The RC singers, dancers & orchestra were very good, some of enterainment booked we felt was not up to RC standards; this was one place where we were not uniformly satisfied. Activities on board were the usual, trivia, late night dance parties, bingo ($22 or $32 per session !!).
PASSENGERS: Approximately 2100; 1250 US, 320 Brits, 90 Australians, 60 Canadians and I would say less than 50 children; a nice international mixture, such a joy to talk with people from other parts of the world.
PORTS & ITINERARY: This was the outstanding part of this cruise, such a thrill to see these cities if only briefly. We tendered to Cannes, France & Split,Croatia, otherwise we docked at a port. At the start, 4 ports in 4 straight days was a chore but a labor of love. Hour plus commutes, 1 way, from Livorno to Florence and Civitavecchia to Rome. Venice overnight was great, docked from 10am Sunday till 840pm Monday, no city like it. MORE PORT DETAIL FOLLOWS IN MY CITY REVIEWS. We did not use any of the RC tours, used other vendors for Florence & Rome and did Pompeii via Salerno with our table mates on our own using local transport. This all worked well at a lower cost.
DISEMBARKATION: Opted for express departure, 1st off the ship as our flight was 1045am & the ship docked at 6am Monday. Left the departure lounge at 625am, 20 min cab ride to the airport (40.55E, RC charged $31USD each) and we were at the United counter at 655am, the counter didn't open till 745am! Once we had boarding passes we were thru security & customs and at our gate at 815am. The United flight to Newark left on time at 1051am, arriving Newark 50 minutes early, 8 hrs 20 mins total. In Newark--passport control, customs, bag claim, recheck bag, change terminals, re-screen security, this took 1 hour--allow time for this! Not a pleasant experience. Then EWR--DEN (3 3/4 hrs), finally DEN--PHX (1 1/4 hrs), all 3 United flights early or on time, all totaled - 6200 miles & 14 hrs in those 3 airline seats to get home & it went well, fortunately.
CRUISE PRICING: After we made our final payment RC marked our cruise down by another $600 or so. We were able to obtain an oceanview room vs. our original interior as a consolation (but no change in our amount paid) so our 12 day cruise was available at a very low cost had a person been able to book at the last minute. WEATHER: Could not have been better, no rain, sunny, 60 to 85 F each day, but rough seas to & from Barcelona on the 1st and last day. Could not be a much better time to do this itinerary. Less
Cabin review: H3014 Large Ocean View Stateroom
Our cabin was an oceanview on the left side at the front of the ship. Was quiet and we were happy with it. Further up the hall (toward the front) was where the orchestra practiced and we could hear them occasionally even though we were 10 cabins away. Not too bad with rough seas, though we could hear when they dropped the anchor (chain sounds as it lowered). Overall happy with the placement. Also, we exited for ports at decks 2 or 3 so this was handy in that regard.Read All Large Ocean View Stateroom (H) Reviews >>
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