We arrived in San Juan 3 days early and rented a car from Charlie Car for $75.00 for the 3 days. They do not rent junk cars they all looked new. When we returned the car we returned it to the lot that gave a complimentary ride to the cruise terminal, which we only waited 5 mins for the van to take us there and it was only a 10 min. ride to the port. We stayed at the Embassy Suites Del Mar Dorado. What a beautiful hotel and it was only 30 minutes west of San Juan. It has it's own little beach with drink and food service from the pool bar. The rooms are big but I do suggest you request a pool or ocean view.
When we arrived we were given a room with a view of a rusty roof and a empty building that was being worked on. When I requested another room the staff was very accommodating and gave a a room facing the pool and ocean. We are definitely going to stay here again if we ever get back here. The staff were all very nice and friendly. Free full breakfast was ok, we ate around 7:00 and the food was cold but you can order made-to-order omelets. There is a casino next to the property. Parking is $10.00 a day in the garage and don't forget the resort fee of $15.00 a day.But all this is worth it! One day we drove to the town of Catano and took the ferry over to Old San Juan for $1.00 RT per person. I would not recommend trying to find a parking spot in old San Juan. I have found that everyone we have come in contact with in PR were very friendly and we never felt threatened in any way when walking around. We highly recommend eating at Senor Frogs. The food is very good and a fun atmosphere.
Embarkation was fast and easy. You hand your luggage to the luggage crew when you get to the terminal and then move to the next area where you wait to get into the terminal. They check ID's and Cruise Docs at the door before you enter the terminal. You go through Security then to the check-in line. Remember to check-in online at home and print your sea pass before leaving home as this makes check-in faster.You will be asked for your docs. and credit card, you are given your sea pass and then go up stairs and get your picture taken. Now you are ready to board :).
Serenade of the Seas is a beautiful ship and very easy to navigate.Our stateroom was on the 9th deck and on the hump. I felt the room was big with plenty of storage space and the balcony was a good size. However, the bathroom is very small and the shower tight. We went to the Windjammer Cafe for lunch. The food is plentiful and good. There is an outside eating area which we ate at almost ever meal. We ate dinner in the main dining room 4 nights and our table mates were wonderful people. Food was good. Service the first night was very slow and it was hard to believe they do this every day. Everyone had to skip desert in order to make it to our muster stations for the drill. We ate at Chops Grill one night and wow! The food and service was amazing. The side dishes they give you are enough for 2 people, even the baked potato is enough for 2 people. Overall we had a wonderful cruise experience on the Serenade of the Seas. There were always fun activities going on. I don't think the Cruise Director ever slept!