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Serenade of the Seas Cruise Review by susanNjay: Serenade anniversary cruise, April 2014


susanNjay
3 Reviews
Member Since 2005
1,199 Posts

Member Rating

Cabin 5.0
Dining 5.0
Embarkation 5.0
Enrichment Activities Not Rated
Entertainment 4.0
Family & Children Not Rated
Fitness & Recreation Not Rated
Public Rooms 5.0
Rates Not Rated
Service 5.0
Shore Excursions 5.0
Value for Money 5.0

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Serenade anniversary cruise, April 2014

Sail Date: April 2014
Destination: Bahamas
Embarkation: New Orleans

We booked our twentieth anniversary cruise aboard the Serenade of the Seas out of New Orleans, LA. We chose this cruise because one of the three ports was Coco Cay and we had never been there before.

We traveled to New Orleans (a five hour trip from home) the morning of Friday, April 18th. We stayed at the Holiday Inn Super dome, where we have stayed before cruises previously. There is covered parking at the hotel where we can leave our vehicle during the cruise. We ate a super dinner at Oceana Grill (we love this place); taking a bicycle taxi from the hotel was $16.00. It was something we just wanted to try. It was fun!

We had a nice early breakfast at the hotel’s restaurant in the morning of the 19th, and then went back up to the room to get our luggage and take it down to the lobby to wait for the shuttle to the cruise terminal. The shuttle left the hotel at 11 a.m. There was a Carnival ship leaving the same day, so the driver dropped those passengers off More first and then dropped the Royal Caribbean passengers off next.

We had booked an Owner’s Suite, so we found the suite passenger’s line and we were checked in and on the ship in about 20 minutes. We went up to the Windjammer to eat some lunch shortly after boarding.

All of our food throughout the cruise was great! I won’t spend a lot of time discussing food; I will say that we ate all our dinners in the Reflections dining room on Deck 4 and we had traditional, late dining. We are not fans of the My-Time option, and we do not usually visit the specialty restaurants. We prefer getting to know our table mates and wait staff. We were seated with some great people who were also from Louisiana. Our wait staff was terrific—attentive, prompt, and fun! We ate most of our breakfasts on our balcony and the room service was very good; the food was warm and plentiful. We ate some lunches in the dining room and others in the Windjammer. When eating from the Windjammer, we found a nice, uncrowded area at the aft of the ship that allowed us to eat outside. We never had a bad meal. We had many very good meals! The Windjammer was always clean and tables were cleaned up quickly.

Our room was ready for us to drop off our carry-on luggage right at 1:00 p.m. We had previously stayed in a Royal Family Suite aboard the Mariner of the Seas, but this Owner’s Suite was more posh. The floors at the entrance/dining area and the bathroom were marble. There was a nice sectional sofa, a large, flat-screened television that turned around to face the king-sized bed, a chair, end table, and coffee table in the large living room. There were floor to ceiling windows across the entire living room and bedroom, and a HUGE balcony. On the balcony there was a table and two chairs where we ate our breakfasts and two lounge chairs. It was not at all crowded with the furniture and we had visitors on the balcony one morning and there was plenty of room for eight of us. There is a structure over the top of the balcony that keeps the balcony shaded and would have provided shelter from rain if we had ever had any. The bedding was terrific, as always. There is a huge amount of storage throughout the entire Owner’s Suite. There were three huge closets, a sort of bar area in the dining room area with shelves behind cupboards and drawers, and a huge vanity with shelves/cupboards and drawers. There were bedside tables at each side of the bed and two tables at the door. All of the tables contained drawers and shelves. The bathroom had two sinks, a jetted tub, a stand-up glass enclosed shower, a duvet, a toilet, and it was very nice. Our room steward was terrific, of course. He emphasized how he would like us to use the card in the door when we left the room or didn’t want to be disturbed, and he constantly kept the room spotlessly clean. There were plates of special treats, fruits, and a bottle of wine brought to us every day, compliments of the chef, the captain, and our wonderful concierge, Rami.

The ship is in excellent condition and we really enjoyed the views from all public areas and the elevators. We often used the mid-ship elevators since they were so close to our room, and we liked looking out at the water from these elevators. We loved the aerial shows in the centrum area.

I had to visit the guest services desk once to have a new card made when mine stopped working (no big deal) and they were very kind and helpful. We also had to present our dive certification cards at the shore excursion desk and that took very little time. The worker there reminded us to bring our cards on the day of the dive and gave us the usual forms to fill out. He was also friendly and helpful.

We visited the concierge lounge every night at 4:30 and enjoyed the happy hour until dinner time. Other suite perks included the suite seats in the show lounge, a breakfast area on deck 5 (we only ate in there once, service was a little slow and there was a screaming baby nearby), and priority tenders without tickets. We also used the concierge lounge on debarkation day and leaving the ship and getting through customs to the taxi took 12 minutes.

We used bar services throughout the ship and my husband found a few new flavors of beer to enjoy. There were some good fruity drinks onboard and I got a few souvenir glasses to bring home.

There was a decent sale of t shirts on the last sea day and I bought a few for family members. The shop also marked down some items on this last sea day and many things were half price.

We booked private tours in Key West and Nassau. In Key West we just did the hop-on/hop-off trolley tour and ate lunch at the Conch Republic restaurant. Then we did a bit of bar-hopping and walking around. In Nassau we had a private tour in a van with some other cruise critic friends from our roll call. We saw a fort, a rum distillery, a beach, watched conch harvesting, and did a bit of shopping. After our tour we ate at a local bar/grill and used the free WIFI.

At Coco Cay we did the shore scuba diving, and it was actually pretty good. The maximum depth was around 40 feet. We could have stayed down much longer, as both of us had over 1000 psi when we surfaced. After our dive we met some other cruise critic friends at the private cabana area where we ate an enhanced lunch and relaxed. The concierge had emailed us about a week before the cruise to offer a chance to book a cabana which could be used for up to six people, and through our cruise critic roll call, I had met another couple who wanted to share. After walking through the shopping area, I asked at the para-sailing area if they had availability for the afternoon and made a reservation for two of us to para-sail. It was a very enjoyable day. There was another Royal Caribbean ship at Coco Cay, but the island didn’t seem crowded. The workers on the ship said that due to sea conditions, the ship had missed the Coco Cay port for quite some time and they were all pleased that we could anchor and tender on our day.

Everything about this cruise was terrific. We would definitely cruise on the Serenade again—it is absolutely a beautiful ship. We would also love to visit the ports again. Less


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Cabin review: Serenade of the Seas 1058

We had previously stayed in a Royal Family Suite aboard the Mariner of the Seas, but this Owner’s Suite (deck 10) was more posh. The floors at the entrance/dining area and the bathroom were marble. There was a nice sectional sofa, a large, flat-screened television that turned around to face the king-sized bed, a chair, end table, and coffee table in the large living room. There were floor to ceiling windows across the entire living room and bedroom, and a HUGE balcony. On the balcony there was a table and two chairs where we ate our breakfasts and two lounge chairs. It was not at all crowded with the furniture and we had visitors on the balcony one morning and there was plenty of room for eight of us. There is a structure over the top of the balcony that keeps the balcony shaded and would have provided shelter from rain if we had ever had any. The bedding was terrific, as always. There is a huge amount of storage throughout the entire Owner’s Suite. There were three huge closets, a sort of bar area in the dining room area with shelves behind cupboards and drawers, and a huge vanity with shelves/cupboards and drawers. There were bedside tables at each side of the bed and two tables at the door. All of the tables contained drawers and shelves. The bathroom had two sinks, a jetted tub, a stand-up glass enclosed shower, a duvet, a toilet, and it was very nice. Our room steward was terrific, of course. When we met him on embarkation day, he emphasized how he would like us to use the card in the door anytime we left the room or if we didn’t want to be disturbed, and he constantly kept the room spotlessly clean. There were plates of special treats, fruits, and a bottle of wine brought to us every day, compliments of the chef, the captain, the hotel manager, and our wonderful concierge, Rami.

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