I traveled with a group of 6 friends and my husband, we are ages 30-44 (I'm 30). I have a lot to say so I will break it down in an effor not to bore you with things you're not interested in. Here we go...
Boarding and Exit: Both were a breeze, we had no problems. Customs was fine too, I was able to take some small shells home with me that were packed in my bag. 5 of us also took some liquor aboard with us in our large luggage. We had no issues with this either, it was all in our bags when we got to our rooms. They were in their regular bottles too, we didnt try to hide them.
Rooms: Bed, pillows, closet space was all good. Bathroom was fine, small shower but that was expected. Hot water was good every day. We had an interior stateroom on deck 8. It is very dark in there and there is no alarm clock only a clock on the phone that you can see if you have a light on. I left my phone at home so if I woke up in the night I had no concept of what time it was unless I climbed More
over my hubby and turned on the light. It was easy to set up wake up calls too. Our friends had a balcony room on deck 10 that was really nice and worth the extra $$. We saw dolphins from there one of the days swimming with our ship. Overall the rooms were better then I had expected.
Food: Very good. We did the formal dining room every evening, and every day we left stuffed to the rim. It was no problem to order whatever, and as much as you wanted of every dish. Salads, shrimp, lobster tail, scallops, steak, chicken, indian dishes, lamb, duck, I could go on for ages here. Granted, not every dish was amazing, but if you didnt like it, simply order something else. Our group had our own table so we would share some dishes and our waiter would always bring an extra appetizer, entree, and dessert every meal for us to share. The Windjammer is the buffet on deck 11, we had breakfast every day there and it was good. We never ate any dinners there cause we loved the more formal sit down dinners. There was late night pizza bars and another cafe open late also. I was very happy with the food, and ate way too much of it.
Service: EXCELLENT. Hands down, not sure if we were just lucky, but our waiters (same 2 guys every night in formal dining) were beyond any service I've ever had, and I'm an ex-waitress/bartender for years and kinda a stickler on customer service. Ash, our waiter, would actually cut up some salads, and help de-shell the lobster tails. Seriously on top of his game, drinks filled always, pulling chairs out. One of our group asked for mushrooms for her steak on the first night and every night from there on he had an extra bowl of mushrooms for our table to share. Very personable, just amazing. The same goes for our state room attendant, Ronnie. On top of his game, very good. No complaints at all. The rest of the staff was also very nice, quick to please, and very friendly. We were very satisfied in this area.
Ports of Call: Our favorits were St. Marten and Antiqua. In St. Marten we went to the natural/nude beach. Not to go nude, but we heard it was the nicest. It was amazing. The nude beach is actually down the beach just a little bit,and the rest is just normal. The beach has a number of beach bars, and all I can say was that it was like being in a Corona commercial all day. Just beautiful. We did the zip-line challenge tour in Antiqua which was also so much fun and amazing too. Barbados was ok, the beach was nice, the city was nice too, but not great for me. St. Lucia was beautiful, we went on a 5 hour tour of the island to see the Pitons and a volcano etc...BEWARE: St.Lucia roads are basically continuous sharp turns up and down mountains over and over again, so if you get motion sickness, prepare accordingly!! St. Croix, we stayed close to the ship, not much for shopping, the beach right by the ship (walking distance) was great for snorkeling, but the island was dirty in that area. Such a shame to see litter all over the place, and a ton of broken glass in the sand. I suggest water shoes, but the beach water was good for swimming.
If you have time in Puerto Rico hit up Old San Juan and the old forts. Amazing.
Ship & Entertainment: Well, I don't have any to compare it to, but it was very nice and clean. Ricky, the cruise director was a riot, very entertaining,and got everyone involved. The shows were better then I expected too. The "Quest" show in the Safari Club, adults only, was fricken hilarious, and I was laughing so hard I was crying. Do yourself a favor and don't miss it. It is quest involved. Not too much pool side stuff, was kinda suprised by that. We always had something to do, and it was fun to explore the ship and find new stuff.
Misc: I am motion sickness prone, and this was my biggest concern. I had a ton of people tell me it's a floating city and I would be fine. Ha! The first night I was in Hell, given, it was the roughest night for the waves. I'm suprised I didnt get sick, but I most certainly felt it. By mid day 2 the waves calmed, and I started to feel ok. By day 3 I was fine. I wore at ALL TIMES motion sickness bracelets I got at Rite Aid ($14) They saved my life, seriously. I was also eating Dramimine the whole time, but with that combo I was fine and actually quite proud of myself for finding my "Sea legs". You can feel the ship people! Or maybe it depends on the person, but go prepared just in case. Next time I will get the patch you wear behind your ear you get from a doctor, I was told this works great.
Hope this helps some of you, and I hope you have a great trip. I will be back with Royal Caribbean in the future! Less
Serenade of the Seas Cruises to the Southern Caribbean