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7 Night Canada & New England Cruise from Boston

7 Night Canada & New England Cruise from Boston

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Serenade of the Seas
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Itinerary


Serenade of the Seas

Cruise Critic Editor Rating:
4.5
1,555 reviews
Why Choose Serenade of the Seas?

Pros

Has both an indoor and outdoor pool, as well as multiple dining venues

Cons

Lack of variety in main dining room food and onboard entertainment might disappoint some cruisers

Bottom Line

Good value-for-money choice for families and groups


Cruise Reviews

Sail Date: October 2018
First, being a Boston resident, I am thrilled to board the Serenade close to home. I have done this sailing three times and have loved each one. The staff on the Serenade is wonderful. They will go the extra mile to get things done. The ... Read More
First, being a Boston resident, I am thrilled to board the Serenade close to home. I have done this sailing three times and have loved each one. The staff on the Serenade is wonderful. They will go the extra mile to get things done. The entertainment on the ship is diverse and upbeat. The ship was clean and shiny. The cruise director is full of energy and fun. Everyone has their own preferences and Royal does their best to accommodate everyone. I’m not saying they are perfect, but pretty close. I spent a lot of time in the Diamond lounge and the wait staff there is fantastic. The drinks and appetizers are delicious. I love the ports but I really don’t even get off half the time. I’d rather stay on the ship! I just wish there were more sailings by RCCL from Boston what return to Boston post cruise. I think I would be sailing every month! Loyal to Royal!! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2018
We chose this cruise because of the convenience of leaving from Boston and the islands to be visited. The ship is very easy to get around on and the staff is pleasant. Some areas of the ship are in need of repair. In our stateroom ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the convenience of leaving from Boston and the islands to be visited. The ship is very easy to get around on and the staff is pleasant. Some areas of the ship are in need of repair. In our stateroom bathroom the mirror seemed to have a buildup of algae around the edges and after a brief rainstorm the floor of our balcony was covered in a muddy debris. The cabinets and table are scratched and worn and the bed not very comfortable. The biggest drawback was an extremely unpleasant odor in the hallway on our deck (8). It could only be described as the foulest of odors that one would find in a poorly maintained nursing home. Travel companions on deck 7 also noted this smell. Though it was not constant it was present daily at different times. Having sailed on Princess and NCL before I was expecting more from Royal Caribbean as I had always believed it was a step up. I was wrong. The entertainment, in my view, was extremely lacking compared to other ships I have been on. There was one Caribbean duo in the centrum who was very good and one night there was a Village People tribute band who were a lot of fun but otherwise none of the piano bar singers or musicians were appealing. The games, karaoke and trivia challenges were not conducted in any kind of organized manner and it was sometimes hard to understand the questions shouted over a microphone (on Princess the trivia challenge questions are usually displayed on a TV screen). I have a hearing deficit and because most of the hosts have some kind of accent I would be lost and would have to have my travel companions repeat the questions to me. I do enjoy the art auctions and did purchase a Peter Max that I love but don't feel that Park West was offering enough of a variety to appeal to a large number of people and that made the attendance rather scarce. As for the food, it was just ok. I was mostly satisfied with everything that I ordered in the dining room but some of my companions were not. Rubbery calamari and fatty beef are not desirable. If you can't make a creme brulee with a hard top then you might as well not make it at all. We did have great servers in Gerald and Hafifi in Reflections deck 5 and that made up for some mediocre food. Food on the buffet in the Windjammer is mostly salty and I stuck with hard boiled eggs, freshly made waffles, pizza or hamburgers and of course soft serve. All of the islands we visited have their own unique appeal. We took a private tour in St, Maarten which brought us to the shopping district where the same items were displayed over and over in booth after booth, and hour and a half stop at Orient beach ($15 for one chair and umbrella and constant harassment from illegal beach vendors). Antigua has the most beautiful beaches imo. We went to Valley Church Beach( the sand is not sand but made up only of crushed shells and te ones that are intact are just beautiful) where you can get a nice 1/2 hour massage for at Pam's Wellness Center (it's just a little hut but it was very inviting and relaxing) If you book online through Tripadvisor.com you can get a couples massage for $60. We didn't book ahead of time so my husband and I were only able to get separate massages but still it was good. In Barbados we went to Harbour Lights Beach at Carlisle Bay. Two chairs and umbrella were $20. Local vendors but not as intrusive as the ones in St. Maarten. Curacao, a tourist's mecca! Walk along the historical path to the moving bridge and into a great sopping district and don't forget to stop at the Renaissance Hotel for free wifi and some casino action. We skipped the beach in Aruba and went into town for more shopping and a little casino play($10 coupons were being given out for both the Crystal and Seaport casinos). All in all it was a relaxing and fun 12 days but in the future I will stick with Princess or NCL which have more to offer. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
So, we've been on The Jewel of the Seas before, and it was fine. Signed up for this one because of easy access to Boston, and we love Bermuda. We've been there several times. Checking in was easy and the ship was nice. A little frayed ... Read More
So, we've been on The Jewel of the Seas before, and it was fine. Signed up for this one because of easy access to Boston, and we love Bermuda. We've been there several times. Checking in was easy and the ship was nice. A little frayed around the edges here and there but no big detriment. Our biggest complaint was not being able to get potable water easily. We need to drink a lot and brought several water bottles with us. The water in the bathroom sink was heavily chlorinated and tasted bad. The fountains all say not to fill your bottles there; well, we had to, as there was no where else! And every time we wanted water, we had to go up to the Cafe to get it. Why not have bottled water in the room fridge? They do not cost that much! Add $20 to each room fee to pay for it for crying out loud. Soda is another story. What does a can of soda cost when purchased in bulk? A quarter? Then why charge $4 for it? How about have soda/water machines on each floor where you can put in $1 and get what you want? It just leaves a bad taste in your mouth for being ripped off. I know they all do it, but why not have people clamoring to your cruise line to not feel ripped off? Be the first cruise line to provide free soda, it costs less than the fresh squeezed lemonade. Went to main dining room the first night. WHY do we have to sit with strangers, especially ones who ignore you? And the tables are so big, you can't even talk to the people across from you without shouting. Have an option for couples who are anti-social. (I know, why go on a cruise then? We like Bermuda, and it's the easiest cheapest way to get there!) So we opted to go to the buffet instead. A couple times we tried the main dining room again for lunch and breakfast, but were not impressed with what we ordered and then had nothing to eat. (Who's going to order another whole meal from the menu?) My husband ate salads, spaghetti, pizza and burgers every night. He complained the desserts were no good, (I found a couple I liked) and he has a huge sweet tooth. Also, it was very difficult to get a private table to eat at in the Windjammer. A could of times we had to go outside to the Cantina adjacent, which was a bit cool in October in the Northeast. The staff in the Windjammer were very efficient at removing your used plates and asking if you want coffee (I had to dilute the coffee with 1/2 hot water, as it was SUPER strong). The music in Windjammer almost drove us out. It was all modern girl bands shrieking and repeating the same lines (OK, I will admit I am 60, but 85% of the people onboard were ever older) The first day it was music I knew and liked, and then someone changed the channel! There were NO special food events like chocolate night or pool party BBQs; that made for a boring cruise, every day was the same old food, same old place. One night, they had a taco bar and there was a long line for it, it was great! Why not have that every night? People liked it! I can't see paying $50 each to eat in a "Specialty" restaurant, when you already paid to eat somewhere else.... it makes no sense to me! The entertainment was average. We've been on other ships where the comedians made you laugh so much that your face hurt. So I am not hard to please. And the shows, well, the singers and dancers were very talented and worked their tails off, costumes were delightful. But the shows they chose were a scrambled mismatch of snippets of something that I am unfamiliar with. And very loud. The best songs were when one singer did a solo; when they all sang together it sounded more like shouting, and you could not understand the words. The band was very brassy sounding, so maybe they had to sing loud to be heard. Trivia was OK, some really difficult questions and not many people scored higher than 10 out of 20. We won on other ships, this one, nothing. Maybe we got stupid over the years. Haha. The staff was not overly friendly or funny, except for Diego, he was hilarious. As many cruises, we felt that we were being squeezed for extra money everywhere we turned. I did ask to have the gratuities taken off, and paid our room steward in cash instead, as he was the only one we felt actually helped us in any way. We did not eat in the dining room and had to get our own food every day. The few drinks we had to buy had 18% added already (I figured out after adding another 20% the first time!) I will admit to being a cheapskate. $20 for a photo that costs a few cents to produce, and you are going to throw it away anyways if I don't buy it! Some things don't make sense to me. We did no excursions, but rented Oleander scooters in King's Wharf. For $55 each day (plus $30 one time insurance), they are the best and most fun way to see everything on the island and have our freedom to do as we pleased. We bring snorkel gear and go to Jobson's Cove, the best beach as far as we are concerned. In conclusion, I hope other cruise lines will consider departure from Boston to points southern and warm. I am tired of Norwegian and RC, but those are the options if you don't want to fly. Read Less
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