We have cruised 3 times with RCCL now, the other two times both on the Independence of the Seas, and so wondered what Serenade was going to be like after the larger ship. We needn't have worried...Serenade was wonderful and to be honest, we didn't see all the areas of the ship on the 12-night cruise.
As we're Gold members, we discovered we had priority boarding when we entered the cruise terminal, which was a bonus, and we had the discount/offers booklets waiting in the cabin for us, but many of the offers were not something we'd use and so we'd only had use of the special drinks offers and the photo discount. We noticed one or two other "cut backs" from our previous RCCL cruises, namely the choccie on the pillow at night. It might seem a little thing, but I really liked that touch and we found that toiletries were no longer provided also.
However, all in all, the cruise was wonderful, the staff attentive and couldn't do enough for you, particularly Martinho and Keshav, our dining staff. We ate in Chops Grille on our 20th anniversary and we have to admit the food is much nicer than in the main dining room, but whether you could afford to eat in there every evening, would be the big question. We also ate in Rita's Cantina, which we had planned to do but not on the night we did. We hadn't realised that the overnight in Venice meant open dining in the main dining room, and we decided to eat somewhere else on the ship instead. The food we had, whilst not massive portions, was tasty and quite spicy. Don't get me wrong, we're not massive portion people, but having being used to 3 courses every night, this was satisfying but because it tasted so good, I wanted more!!
The only part of the cruise I thought was lacking was the pool attendant, who walked around picking up used cups/glasses but failed to advise passengers that they shouldn't be reserving sun loungers or removing belongings like the Cruise Compass said they would do, and we ultimately had to witness two altercations within as many days due to passengers reserving sun loungers and wandering off for hours on end...not fair but whilst the warnings are everywhere you look, staff are not enforcing them.
The itinerary was brilliant even though we'd been to some ports before and so stayed onboard, but our main ports were Venice and Dubrovnik and both were wonderful.
Would we cruise on Serenade again...? Most definitely. I've probably forgotten to tell you about all the bits you're most interested in, but to be fair, everyone who cruises on Serenade will have differing views, but we loved her and have some happy memories of celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary whilst onboard.