Serenade of the Seas Cruise Review by gnshpdude: Royal Caribbean always very good!
Overall Member Rating
Royal Caribbean always very good!
Embarkation: New Orleans
This is our third cruise all on RC. The other two were on the Freedom of the Seas and the Oasis of the Seas. We purposely wanted a "smaller" ship, so decided to try the The Serenade for my 50th Birthday. We from Northwest Florida to New Orleans. RC does not have a exclusive parking terminal in New Orleans, like Carnival Does. The share the Conference Center Parking. Unfortunately this caused an issue as the parking lot was completely full at 11:00. This may have been due to some comic con convention going on. After sitting in line for over 45 minutes to park we were directed to turn around and follow traffic to a far end parking lot. I instead decided to park at a private lot called Parking Management Services Fulton Garage located on 901 Convention Center BLVD. They provided a free shuttle mostly covered parking with the exception of the rooftop for $12.00 a day. I highly recommend them. They were waiting when the ship got back with a shuttle. They drove us to the garage. My wife More
watched the luggage and I got the car and we were on our way to the interstate in 15 minutes after disembarking. The Serenade is a nice ship. We actually enjoyed the size. There was always a lounge to be found by the pool. We purchased the alcohol package for $55.00 day each. This includes everything except the really high end stuff. I was drinking Belvedere Vodka which would be $9.00 a shot. Remember to Tip you bartenders a $5 spot every few rounds. I know tips are supposedly included, but you will be surprised how far a little extra goes. Canned mixers were not included in this package, but they never charged me. The shows were the usual cruise ship fare. Key west was a short stop of 5 hours, but long enough to get acquainted with the area. Nassau and Coco Cay were all day. I would have preferred a day between stops, but understand the schedule is dictated by distance. Coco Cay is RC private Island and for me was the best port. It has a nice low pressure straw market and unlimited outdoor beach activities. I thought the tenders would be a pain, but actually enjoyed the 15 minute ride to the ship. The hammocks and sitting areas in the shade were a nice touch. Smokers beware RC changed there smoking policy on 1-2014. You can no longer smoke on your balconies. There are designated smoking areas in the Casino, select Bars and one side of the pool deck. Less
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Cabin review: 1074
This was a nice stateroom. Because it was next to the suites it appears we got a couple extra feet of space. There is plenty of storage and the balcony is nice.
Port and Shore Excursions
Great Private Island that RC owns. Much to do or just relax in the shade in a hammock. I thought the tender ride fro the ship would suck, but I ended up liking it. We took a Jet Ski tour and the water was pretty rough 204 foot seas. My wife had to get off but I stuck it out and actually had fun, but was sore for three days. The straw market here is low stress and contains some unique art work and clothing.
The reason for the 3 stars is because the short stop of 4.5 hours didn't leave much time to see everything.
I was not impressed with Nassau. It is very expensive and the shops contain much counterfeit merchandise. I couls not find one place that has real Cuban Cigars. They all carried the fake "Costa Rican" ones. When I asked to see a box with the Habana SA hologram the dude acted like he didn't understand. The numerous Jewelery stores were much expensive then Mexico or Jamaica. I should have went to Atlantis as I heard it was rockin.
Most Relaxing Cruise!
Disappointing Christmas cruise
You get what you pay for.