We arrived in San Juan on Friday. the day before our cruise. Something that I would recommend as it allows you to relax and not worry if you will make it to the ship on time on the day of departure. We stayed at the Double Tree (Hilton) which was a very nice and comfortable hotel. The hotel is in the new San Juan area & only about 10 minutes by taxi to the ship. One thing you need to remember is to bring enough money for a Taxi. It's $15 to almost any where you want to go.
On Saturday, we got to the Ship early (Around 10 AM) & they came out around 11:00 AM and checked our bags. After dropping the bags off at the ship, we took a Taxi back down to Old San Juan and was able to explore the city at our leisure. We went back to the Ship at 3:00 PM and was by the pool by 3:15. Check in was quick & simple.
The Cruise took us to St. Thomas, St. Maarten, Antigua, St. Lucia, & Barbados. Photos from the cruise can be found here: http://www.kodakgallery.com/ShareLanding.action?c=dept8g5.1qrimizd&x=0&h=1&y=-v421lp&localeid=en_US.
Overall the experience on the ship was great. The food served in the main dining room (Breakfast & Dinner) was out standing. The Buffet lunch in the Windjammer was good. But like buffet food anywhere, it's lukewarm and you need to be there when they 1st set it out. As with all of our cruises with RCCL, the service is always impeccable, and just makes the cruising experience that more enjoyable. The room, was an inside cabin, near the front of the ship, just under the theater. So if you went to bed early, you got to hear the 10:30 production. Other than that, the room was suitable for our needs.
Overall, we would sail again on the Serenade of the Sea. The staff, entertainment and the ship made this an excellent cruise.