It wasn't my first choice of destination but it fitted in perfectly with holiday allocation, one night in Barcelona and a final night in Dubai.
the Serenade is not the newest of ships but it was in good condition.
Now I do like Royal Caribbean but we did have an issue about the On Board Credit which is not what you want to start your holiday - it was eventually sorted but I was not impressed - RCI have since apologised to us and sent a voucher to all of us.
The food - as usual the food was very good, a few dishes were disappointing but was it the dish or was it me ?, but overall for I was paying it was very good indeed.
there was a shortage of tea bags and back bacon about which some passengers became extremely worked up and quite rude to the staff. stuff happens, may be the there was a problem with delivery, who knows, it is not the end of the world and why let it spoil your cruise.
One couple were so distraught that there were no Walkers crisps on board they More
uttered the words disgusting and we are going back to Thomson where they never run out of Walkers crisps - it takes all sorts.
The entertainment was very good as usual for RCI.
We were blessed with superb weather which always helps, the ports excursions were good and value for money apart from Safaga which wasn't worth the effort so I didn't and enjoyed having a near empty ship . Less
first of all leaving the ship was a nightmare, took about 2 hours to collect your passport, everybody blamed RCI but it certainly isn't in their interests to hack passengers off also they want people off the ship to get ready for the next load, it was NOT RCI's fault but the port authority's.
if you are doing your own thing then pre-book a taxi - not cheap but it will save a one or two hour wait in the sun, unless Dubai port authority has got it's act together and organised the taxis as opposed to it being a free for all.
Dubai is great, plenty to see and do, taxis in and around Dubai are very cheap and you do need them.
eating out is as cheap or as expensive as you wish, for good cheap food go to the food court at the big shopping mall, good quality and extensive choice and for a major city very reasonable prices, I had an excellent soup and bread for a couple of pounds, and later had a beautiful salmon dish for about Â£6.
the burj khalifa is well worth a visit but probably only once. if you pre-book a tour it will be a quarter of the price that you will pay if you turn up on the day. you can pre-book on line before you cruise.
A must see is the fountain show at the big shopping mall, very similar but bigger to that of the Bellagio hotel in Las Vegas.
we were there for 2 days and it wasn't long enough
it looked like we had docked next door to a cement factory,
safaga is used as a point to visit the pyramids etc - the tours take 12 or 14 hours = not worth it in my opinion, if you want to see the wonders of Egypt then do a nile cruise as the wonders are on your door step
some people went into safaga and said there was nothing much there, the taxi fares varied from $40 to $5 for the same journey so take my advice and barter or stay on board as many people go on all day trips and the ship is nearly deserted