Excellent Cruise on the Serenade: Serenade of the Seas Cruise Review by JaysonF
Overall Member Rating
Excellent Cruise on the Serenade
Destination: Southern Caribbean
Embarkation: San Juan
We had two balcony cabins (7658 & 7660) and they were great. The bathroom is small, but very function-able, there is a chair/love seat in the room, rounded corner bed and these two cabins had extra deep balconies. You cannot see straight down to the water, but is great to have an extra 3-4 feet of space.
We explored the ship for a while after eating. The ship is laid out well and very easy to navigate. It has great tones and workmanship. It is a clear luxury ship and is very well maintained.
Main Dining Room:
We chose the My Time Dining and loved it. You go to 5th floor (starboard - right side) and sit in the main dining room. You have the same waitstaff nightly and they really get to know you and take care of More you. If you would like something (like BBQ sauce or chocolate covered strawberries) just ask. They will do everything they can to make it happen for you.
The formal nights were Sunday and Thursday - Thursday was lobster night.
Food was of good quality and there is a variety each night. I am not a fancy food person, but was able to find something every night. They have a vitality menu for the person who wants to count calories.
We had lunch here a few times and although the menu was about the same each time, there is always something to have. There is enough choices to keep it fresh daily. The quality was good and some of the desserts were the best on board. We had breakfast here most of the time and again it was mostly the same, but had enough choices to keep it fresh. The quality was good on most things (under cooked pancakes a couple of times). We did not have dinner here at all.
We had snacks here and they were good. It was hard to locate the first time (main pool deck behind the kiddie pool area). This is where you can get chicken fingers, onion rings, wings and such. Again quality was good.
We booked Chops on Wednesday at 6:30pm. It was not busy at all when we arrived and were looking forward to a great dining experience. The service was slow (they tell you to allow about 2.5 hours to eat). We ordered after a wait and it took some time to get everything. We enjoyed our apps and then our steaks arrived. 3 of us had the porterhouse and one had the filet. The filet was great...the porterhouses...not so much. They were all very gristly and had hard tendons running through them. Very hard to cut, not possible to eat. We spit out about as much as we ate. We told the staff and from there met about every person in the kitchen staff...all the way to the executive chef. He personally apologized and said that it has happened before and offered to make us another steak...we ended up getting a free filet in the main dining room as we were all turned off by meat at that time..
There are two main times for the shows each night 7pm & 9pm. Even though the ship was full and the theater smaller, there was plenty of room. The quality of the shows were good. I was not expecting Broadway, so I was not let down. Most of the shows entertained and were good. The only show that the 4 of us thought lacked was the comedy/magician show - He cracked a couple of jokes and did about 3 corny tricks and that was it. It lasted about 30-40 minutes. All other shows were about an hour or a little more.
They have singers and dancers, 3 comedy shows, 3 tenners (opera signers).
There is music all around the ship from Latin songs to piano bars. On deck 13, you have the two nightclubs where you can sing karaoke.
There was always room to sit around the pools, you may not get right next to the pool, but there were more than enough chairs.
The Solarium was a nice over 18 place to lounge. The chairs in there have nice cushions to relax on. There is not alot of seating in there. The roof opens (although they never opened it for us). The only warning I have for this is that the pool is COLD until you get used to it and is salt water. It was never very busy so you can frolic all you like. There is one hot tub here (very chlorinated) and two by the main pool.
Cruise Director Staff and Activities:
Ricky Matthews was the Cruise Director - he is a very flamboyant person and over the top with antics. Hard not to smile or laugh.
Lee is the Assistant Director and does the bingo announcements daily. He seemed a little less enthusiastic but still friendly.
The activities were pretty basic Sunday - belly flop contest, Wednesday - the Quest,Thursday - Marriage Game & Battle of the Sexes. There were a couple that if you had a late return time from an excursion you would miss.
I will not go into much on the excursions other than we had a great time river tubing in Dominca. That was alot of fun and would do it again. The drive to get there is about an hour, and the roads were the worst I have ever seen on the islands.....scary. Never heard anyone complain about their off boat trips.
Overall this was a great trip with good friends. We enjoyed the food and shows and the sun was warm. We lounged, laughed, ate and napped....refreshing!
Disembarking was easy but a hurry up and wait game. They give you a specific place and time to go to, and you just sit there until they take your group off. We had a late (1:40pm) flight so we were not in a hurry to leave. We hung out in the Windjammer until about 9 when they needed to clean it. We then walked around a bit and then went to the Schooner bar and got on the next group off. Walked off, went and found our luggage (huge room, but signs hang from the ceiling to help you locate it) and off through customs. This is the long portion of this as they had 3 agents and it took about 15-20 minutes to get through, caught a cab and off to the airport. Very smooth and excellent time!! I hope that you to will enjoy!! Less
Cabin review: E27660 Deluxe Ocean View Stateroom with Balcony
7660 - good sized room, plenty of closet space (bring some hangers with you). Bathroom was small, but functioned great. Balcony was deeper due to being over the lifeboats. It gives you another 3-4 feet of space. It was great as well as it was under an overhang and when it rained a few times, you could stay dry on the balcony....as you watched others scramble back in their rooms.Read All Deluxe Ocean View Stateroom with Balcony (E2) Reviews >>
Port and Shore Excursions
Read Cruise Critic’s Serenade of the Seas Review >>