Great Fun: Serenade of the Seas Cruise Review by teacherman
Overall Member Rating
Embarkation: New Orleans
Pre-Cruise: We booked this cruise 7 months prior to embarkation, and then had some difficulty booking a hotel room and flights, as it turned out to be WRESTLEMANIA weekend in New Orleans. Got room for 2 nights at Embassy Suites near to the Convention Center, which was hosting the wrestle festivities and 3 conventions at the same time. New Orleans has a good thing going for itself. We were very pleased with the hotel. We did a couple days of sightseeing, "experienced" Bourbon Street for a couple of hours in the afternoon (that was enough) and heard some great music.
Embarkation: We walked out of the hotel, turned left, pulled our bags 3 short blocks, gave them to the porters, registered, and got on the ship. The entire time, from when we left the hotel, took about 30 More minutes.
Passengers: There was a group of approximately 500 "Cajun Cruisers". Fun, laid back people. Some people wore dress clothes to dinner and some wore shorts. Everyone seem to have a good time. If you are bothered by jerseys, tee shirts, and baseball caps, I advise you not to sail from New Orleans. But we thought it was different and enjoyed it.
Ports: We only did Key West for about 5 hours and Nassau for too long. Cocoa Cay was missed due to high winds so that we could not tender. I guess this happens quite often, but no one seemed too upset, and the comedian even had jokes about it. In Nassau, we joined with some other CC members to do a walking tour of various food places. We really enjoyed this.
Food: We ate 2 nights in the dining room, 2 nights on the back open deck with Windjammer, 2 nights in Giovanni's and 1 night in Izuma. Enjoyed all of it.
Entertainment: Pretty good. Comedian made me laugh, which is saying something after 29 cruises.
Service: OUTSTANDING, especially the staff in the Diamond Lounge. Great fun every afternoon. Being Diamond level creates an entirely different cruise experience.
Dis-embarkation; Our flight was at 3:00 pm. We skipped breakfast. Walked off at 8:00 am, got our luggage, through customs; Gave our luggage to Courier Direct in the terminal ($40 for up to 4 pieces). They had it waiting for us at the airport at 1:30. Made arrangements with KLM transportation to pick us up at 1:00 in the French Quarter. ($14 pp, cheaper than a taxi) Then we caught the trolley right outside the terminal and went to Cafe DuMonde for beignets and coffee. We were there by 8:45. EASY PEASY. We then enjoyed some of the French Quarter Festival (21 stages, hundreds of food booths and drink stands) until our pick up at 1:00. The whole thing worked out wonderfully.
Summary: As we are retired, and have to fly to all of the ports, we normally do longer cruisers. We only did this 7 day to see New Orleans. But the whole trip was great. We are planning to do it again, but there won't be a Wrestlemania next year. Less
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