Having sailed on the Serenade in the past, I was looking forward to see the ship since its makeover in November. The boat is still in very good shape although some of the restaurant modifications seem to be a bust.
Embarkation along helpful staff was good as usual. The average age on this trip seemed to be about 60 and there were very few children present.
The stops in Cannes, Civitavecchia, Livorno, Salerno, Venice, Ravenna, and Split were awesome and full of history and beauty. If you were lucky enough as we were to get excellent tour guides, an incredible amount of history was given, making the excursions that much better. It would be very easy to spend a week in cities like Rome and Pompei and not see everything. Pricey fees of water taxis and shuttles in some ports such as Venice and Ravenna were not very pleasing to many people. When we booked our excursions, these were never mentioned.
Luckily the awesome cities we visited made us forget about the time on the ship. When at sea the Serenade seemed to be a bit dead. Same old trivia games and towel folding classes. The entertainment aside from the dancers and orchestra was not very good for the first time I could remember. This was the first cruise I have been on where there was no comedian for the entire 12 nights! Com'on man!!!
The new sushi restaurant which replaced the awesome Seaview Cafe has great food, but is one more place you have to pay for and was rarely busy. Rita's Cantina, the new "Mexican" restaurant was also not a big choice for the passengers. The Park Cafe had very good food but was crammed into the solarium area, turning a once peaceful reading area into a busy food stop. The normal dining room was very good and a new menu had just been released on this cruise. The Windjammer Cafe was decent and what you expect from a buffet for the most part.