Serenade of the Seas Cruise Review by shortbread75: Cruisin with Hurricane Maria
Member Since 2011
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Cruisin with Hurricane Maria
The trip overall was wonderful.We were a couple- one person 40 and the other an active 56 on our fifth cruise together. We did have a scare with Hurricane Maria in front of our return. The captain monitored the path and notified us with updates. They could have been a bit more frequent. Especially since you could not hear them in your cabin. The San Juan port was closed awhile. There was confusion as to which flights were canceled Sunday morning or afternoon. They could have posted them on a screen so EVERYONE did not have to call their airline. Hotel arrangements needed were made by you -they gave you a list of recommended ones -if needed. A personal cell phone with international calling came in handy as did a lap top-bring one or both if possible during hurricane season especially. They had 6 phone lines to use -you took a number and waited. They also provided free wi fi for 5 hours-should have been longer.
Disembarkation- Going through customs and getting your luggage was More easy. All morning excursions were cancelled due to the storm so you had to plan what to do. You now have luggage to contend with. There were tour guides there offering city tours 25 dollars per person. They would either drop you off at the end at your hotel or at the airport. You can check bags up to 3 hours before your flight. They also have a suitcase scale (too many souvenirs-transfer extra to carry on) ,an agricultural checkpoint before you check your bags and a body scan. Plan time accordingly.
The ship- It was smaller but easy to get around. Beach chairs are abundant-surprisingly. Jogging track is an obstacle course chairs and people get in the way. Only at midnight is it clear jogging.The public areas were always very clean even behind the pictures! The glass elevators are very lovely. I love the days on the rug on the floor. Personnel on the ship were very accommodating for any special dinner request.We were late one night due to the flight arrangement confusion and they held our dinner. The food was delicious in the main dining room. Lobster was very tender as was the shrimp.They had a chocolate special every night. I liked the entertainment of the waiters on the fifth night. The ships entertainment was fair. The comedians were good but for a smaller setting as in the Safari club at night for an adult show not for the big theater.They were very funny. The dancers were good but just lacked the "show" quality. The costumes were lackluster. One of the male singers just did not have a strong voice. The best part of one of the shows was when they sang at the end and they had a transparent curtain in front of them. That was unique. I always have liked the show when the employees come out on the last night with their talent. We just had to give them applause no talent show. Plus then we had to rush to dinner - bad time planning.
Activities could have had more pool side activities- participated in a few inside- bingo,salsa dancing,trivia,wine tasting,casino, karaoke, cake decorating,acupuncture (had a treatment but did not help) Health club- could have had tai chi classes,nutrition or zumba classes machines were always busy Spa- very nice and relaxing-go for the special 5 deal 139.00 the 90 minutes are so worth it Money- just a note bring small bills "ones" for knick knacks-and smaller bills for tips for the excursion operators, taxi cab, bus operators or stores- if not you may get change in local currency Less
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Cabin review: Serenade of the Seas Large Oceanview Stateroom Deck 7 4552
room was good size near to the Centrum but great insulation NO noise service was excellent\food was excellent from room service no intercom in rooms to hear announcements water pressure was great in room extra hanging bar in closet great need more ventilation in bathroom clothes never dried had 4 little towels one night instead of a bath towel need to have ice in room when you arrive refrigerator not cold enough 3 nights of towel animals only awkward place for light switch for bathroom need a night light mode in bathroom blue blanket needs to be folded and put away after first night-lay it on the sofa-if it is used for suitcases then I do not want it on my bed again when I sleep good clearance under bed for suitcases cold water not real cold- hot water great
Port and Shore Excursions
We arrived at the airport around 11am. We have always bought transfers to the ships we have boarded AT the airport. Buy your transfers from RC beforehand-it is cheaper. They would just charge it to our room. It is not allowed in San Juan so we had to get a taxi to the ship. Be warned you can not walk to Old San Juan where the Serenade of Seas docks. Carnival ships dock right at the base of the old city. So if you want to go back out to tour the city it is another taxi ride. Arriving early does get you checked in quickly- have lunch in the Windjammer-drop off excess luggage in your room by 1pm and then plan to go back out-they want you on the ship by 730 so you have time to explore San Juan. Even though you now have your "Sea Pass card" do not forget to take your passport (can you guess I did not have mine it was in the safe in my room) with you to re board the ship. We just discovered all the side streets and some great pastry and visited the forts. San Juan is a walking city wear comfortable shoes-it has cobblestone streets and is very hilly. We went for an air conditioned tour with a great guide called Angel when we came back from our cruise.
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