5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Chose this cruise for its ports. Entertainment was good the first 10 days, but how many times can you listen to an island band play same songs night after night while making up words. Also headliner shows were too loud and not very ... Read More
Chose this cruise for its ports. Entertainment was good the first 10 days, but how many times can you listen to an island band play same songs night after night while making up words. Also headliner shows were too loud and not very good. One night was cruise director singing songs from early 1900, and a lot of people got up and left' Food was good, except for spare ribs in MDR. Couldn't even cut them off the bone. Wouldn't have served them to guests at my house. Windjammer food was good, but only thing hot was the soups. I like my food hot not tepid. Turn up the heat lamps. Shows in centrum were also very loud. Loud doesn't make it good. A lot of times you couldn't understand what they were saying. Ship was in good shape for its age, and staff was friendly. We had an ocean room cabin and it is just like any cabin on any other ship. We don't spend a lot of time in cabin, so we aren't hung up on cabin type. This is my opinion, and I am not trying to pursuade any one to choose this ship or not. I have never been on a bad cruise, even when we missed 2 days in Israel, or when we went around 2 hurricanes. We just enjoyed the new adventure. My take is we are all different in our expectations, God made us that way for a purpose, so get on board and enjoy the ride, Its a vacation, not a status. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
We'd previously cruised to Eastern Caribbean ports and Western Caribbean; never had done Southern Caribbean, so we picked this cruise. It was our first time cruising with Royal Caribbean. Ports were fine; we certainly liked that we ... Read More
We'd previously cruised to Eastern Caribbean ports and Western Caribbean; never had done Southern Caribbean, so we picked this cruise. It was our first time cruising with Royal Caribbean. Ports were fine; we certainly liked that we never needed tenders at any of our five stops. Royal Caribbean was OK -- not bad, not great. With a little bit of thought, they could do a better job. We took three excursions through the ship's desk and we had a little of everything -- one poor tour guide (Bonaire Highlights) whose English was substandard, one who was average (Panoramic St. Lucia) and one that was very good (Amazing Antigua). Food was average; a few times entrees were only warm. Our primary server in the main dining room, Viktoriia, was outstanding. Nothing fazed her. She was both pleasant and efficient, and her recommendations were very good. She was perhaps the best server I've had on eight cruises we've taken. On Day 3 or 4, we pointed out a problem with wine service, in which the server would arrive at the table with five or six glasses of wine, then ask people at the table to pass them around until the right glass arrived at the right person. We asked the person in charge of the dining room to fix this problem -- I doubt that's the way they were trained -- but it resurfaced a few days later. Breakfast in the main dining room was very good, a great way to start the day. At the end of the day, we didn't have anything served to us that made us say, "Hope we have this again!" Royal Caribbean gets an F grade for the amount of thought they give to when and where they schedule some of their live entertainment. They offer a pianist and an acoustic guitar player at different times in the Schooner Bar, but the place is so damn loud, you can only appreciate the musician's talent if you're seated 6 feet away. Kids are arguing over a checkers game, the bartender is ringing a bell for a good tip, group conversations carry throughout this open space, part of the space also serves as a popular walk-through to the Safari Club . . . this is an embarrassment to the musicians playing here. As I was called from being next in line to talk to a person about booking excursions, a band began its set in the Centrum, about 40 feet away. You could have heard them a mile away, which made my conversation with the tour booking rep close to a shouting match. WHEN DO WANT TO GO ON THIS TOUR? TUESDAY. IT'S TOO LATE TO BOOK THAT TOUR FOR TODAY. NOT TODAY . . . TUESDAY! 99 percent of the chairs in public seating areas (excluding the main theater) are absolutely terrible. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
We wanted to celebrate our 40 years of marriage. We did 2 consecutive cruises - Caribbean and then crossing the Atlantic ocean to do the second one including Azores, Ireland, France, Belgium, Holland with final port Copenhagen. We ... Read More
We wanted to celebrate our 40 years of marriage. We did 2 consecutive cruises - Caribbean and then crossing the Atlantic ocean to do the second one including Azores, Ireland, France, Belgium, Holland with final port Copenhagen. We enjoyed both cruises. The service was excellent as a whole. Entertainment and activities included events for all ages and interests. Performances in Tropical Theater were impressive. The cabin was attended twice a day, which you cannot experience even in the high class hotels, the food was good as well. Windjammer offers quite a variety of different cuisines. Food exceeded our expectations in term of quality.The best of service we received at Reflections in the evenings, we were served by Zhelio Hristov, who was very helpful and polite. The whole staff we got in contact was very friendly, we were impressed by its attention and attentiveness. We will certainly recommend Serenade of the Seas to our friends. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
We chose this review because of the new areas we have not been to. Ponce PR and Grenada. All in all we really enjoyed the cruise. The Pinnacle/Suite Concierge was very good and we really enjoyed the special party put on for Pinnacle/Suite ... Read More
We chose this review because of the new areas we have not been to. Ponce PR and Grenada. All in all we really enjoyed the cruise. The Pinnacle/Suite Concierge was very good and we really enjoyed the special party put on for Pinnacle/Suite Guests. It was so good to see Mario in the Diamond lounge again. The elevator's were the only problem for us. They were so small and key hole shaped. Not good. We have traveled on the Serenade of the Seas before in 2009 14 night Panama Canal Cruise and 2012 The 12 night Mediterranean Greek Isles Cruise and do not remember the elevators being like that. The dining rooms also have changed and not for the better. Would like a better menu. There were so many things I could not eat. I ordered Original Chocolate Ensure from Special needs and did not receive it for 4 days. I got mighty hungry before it showed up. They first sent me Vanilla on day 3 which I did not like... wish I knew how to expedite this on my next several cruises so I get it in my cabin on the first night. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We are destination cruisers rather than loyalty cruisers. So we can compare the difference in cruise lines. We've sailed on Royal, Princess, Celebrity, Norwegian and Carnival. And this was a very nice cruise. It doesn't beat ... Read More
We are destination cruisers rather than loyalty cruisers. So we can compare the difference in cruise lines. We've sailed on Royal, Princess, Celebrity, Norwegian and Carnival. And this was a very nice cruise. It doesn't beat our best - the Norwegian Getaway -, but it was certainly worth the money. Embarkation was the best ever. There was no filling out paper work - just show your ticket and board. . Disembarking was confusing as the printed delivered document gave different information than the computer screen. It went quickly, though. We ate at Chops, Izumi and Giovanni's all of which were good. Surprisingly, we liked Izumi the best. I think because the waitress was so pleasant. If there were on thing we could complain about it would be the entertainment. There were a couple of good shows, but over all we felt it was greatly lacking. The service was excellent. We really enjoyed the Park Café as it was quiet enough to read or play cards. The hot tub needs to be replaced. There is only one in the Solarium and it is way behind the times. There were few children on the ship, I think we would try a different cruise line if we did it again so that we would have a fair measure. This is the longest cruise we have ever taken and found it enjoyable other than the lack of entertainment. It is embarrassing to say that we spent some time watching TV and we went to the Cinema on board. We would have preferred to see a good live show. In this area Norwegian is superior and it has more choices of restaurants. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Picked this cruise on Vision of the Seas for the destinations that we had not been to before. Really enjoyed Barbados, Grenada and especially Antigua. Did not enjoy Puerto Rico, St. Kitts and St. Lucia as much, but were a nice ... Read More
Picked this cruise on Vision of the Seas for the destinations that we had not been to before. Really enjoyed Barbados, Grenada and especially Antigua. Did not enjoy Puerto Rico, St. Kitts and St. Lucia as much, but were a nice experience to visit once. We took three land excursions and also three sea excursions. Really enjoyed the sea excursions (some through Royal and some outside companies. Fun time, weather was beautiful and the overall experience was as expected. Chops dining was very good service and excellent food. Show quality was not bad, and singers and dancers were very talented. The entertainment was good for he size of the ship (Vision of the Seas) and kept us entertained throughout the trip. Room attendant did an excellent job, and was very stealthy about room cleanings, but was available when we needed him. We have traveled Royal many times, and this was a nice trip on a medium size ship. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
This ship, in my opinion, is the one of the best on RC. The staff working on the ship were top notch. Efficient, personable, pleasant, and very hellpful. The Diamond Club was excellent as were all bartenders on the ship. The guests ... Read More
This ship, in my opinion, is the one of the best on RC. The staff working on the ship were top notch. Efficient, personable, pleasant, and very hellpful. The Diamond Club was excellent as were all bartenders on the ship. The guests were friendly and fun. Entertainment was everywhere on this ship. The size of this ship was perfect. Although, I got sick on my trip, Guest Services, Housekeeping, and Room Service went out of their way to make sure I was okay. I would have to say, though, that one of the doctors was in no way any help, but when I asked for the other doctor, I was given the proper meds. This set me back 2 days. of my trip, unfortunately. Other than that, I would recommend this ship, to anyone who wants a perfect size ship with awesome, friendly, helpful crew. Would love to go on this ship again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
I spent a lot of time giving feedback at the end of this cruise on their survey. Below are my comments to RCI (with edits). We had sailed on the Royal Princess recently (I know it's a newer ship and a different class) so we could ... Read More
I spent a lot of time giving feedback at the end of this cruise on their survey. Below are my comments to RCI (with edits). We had sailed on the Royal Princess recently (I know it's a newer ship and a different class) so we could make direct comparisons easily. I hope they use some of the comments to improve the experience for others. This is not a new ship but well maintained with a very friendly crew. We enjoyed the rock climbing and tried to participate in many of the activities offered. We just sailed on the Royal Princess about 8 weeks ago so it was easy to compare our experiences. Both cruises were enjoyable BUT the Princess cruise was more enjoyable overall. We embarked in Ft. Lauderdale and it was not as nice looking a terminal as the Princess cruise from the same port. The buffet on the Princess cruise has a much bigger selection and really really good food and an insane variety of foods from different cultures. It was so good, we hardly went to eat in the dining room. To get superior food on the Serenade we had to eat in the dining room. We also enjoyed the buffet service better on the Princess cruise. There seemed to be more staff at the buffet to get our drink orders (no having to get up to get our drinks) and tables were cleared very often on the Royal Princess. The dining room staff on the Serenade were very good and charming. Also, little touches like water and wet face clothes after an excursion were not done on the Serenade. To return towels after an excursion we had to return on the Lido deck (long hike after a tiring day). Also we felt we were charged more for services like laundry (we loved the self-serve laundry on every deck on the Princess), photos, spa, etc. We felt the Princess had better value for us in general and a more pleasant overall experience. Our experience on the Serenade was good but it could have been excellent. We did love seeing Captain Aris around all the time. And the entertainment staff, dancers and singers were very fun. We loved the Switched On Band and tried to dance as a family overnight with the band! We participated in the mob dance (thanks Naomi!). We also enjoyed the Flag Ceremony and the Farewell Ceremony as we know the crew really work hard. We also thought the entire crew were friendly and charming from our Steward to the Wait Staff. In terms of hand washing, the Royal Princess has very efficient had washing stations before entering the buffets and restaurants that were enforced. We loved that. We know the Serenade is an older ship but during a retrofit, you should do that (safety first). The small outdoor movie screen also has a pixel issue. The app on the Princess allowed your party to text/message each other for FREE! The RCI app is looks beautiful but not as useful for our family to communicate with each other around the ship. Also your TV, doesn't allow people to select movie and shows on demand (which we had on the Royal Princess). We liked how it was announced by the captain on the first day that everyone fist pumps on the ship and does not hand shake. We enjoyed hearing from the captain as he seemed to really participate in the events. We enjoyed the dance classes by professional dancers (the dance team was very good) and we enjoyed the meet and great with the dancers and singers on the last day. Loved the live music around the ship and in the theatre! We liked the actual glass shower doors (no mess). The spa double charged me for a service (no way I could get my pedicure twice on the same day). I went to speak with Mina (spa manager, it was later in the evening). Instead of processing the refund right away, she said she would need to speak to her team first and find out the reason for the mistake. This is not good customer service - she should have processed my refund immediately and then spoken with her staff the next day. We enjoyed the egg drop, ship building battle (our kids won), mob dance, napkin folding, towel folding, bartender show, 70's night and 70's night dance training with Naomi. My husband showed up for the darts and table tennis contests but no staff were at the "events" so the passengers did their own "contests and games" which was too bad because he won both competitions. We thought this cruise's entertainment was more fun but our general feeling was that it could have been a better overall experience in the other areas. The Ft. Lauderdale terminal did not look nice at all on departure; it should be renovated so keep that nice ship feeling all the way through. The terminal didn't understand that Global Entry passengers should have a separate line to get to the customs agent! We had to speak to someone to help us with that and thankfully, he understood and helped us. Finally the kids club, our 10 year old preferred the one on the Princess and thought it was really restrictive on the Serenade and never wanted to go there as she wanted free time to do her own thing in the club. The photos, we liked the experience on the Princess better (they also retouch your photos for free on the Princess). As we "collected" the photos, they kept it for us so it wasn't a chore to find them all the time, we purchased them on the ship (we were told they didn't have enough room on the Serenade to do this). and they used the bar code to put the digital photos right away on a USB stick for us so I was not concerned about an email coming to me. The photo package for all the photos were also more affordable on the Royal Princess. It seems like such a waste of printed photos to have them all displayed and most of them trashed. All ships should have computer terminals that with a simple swipe of your sea pass card or medallion, you get to see all of your photos on a screen and get your digital files emailed to you or on a USB stick. Not environmentally friendly at all and waste of your staff resources. No more printed photos! Who really wants 8 x 10s! We just want to post on social media and be done with it or just print out a few at Costco. We loved how often we saw or heard Captain Aris around the ship. He looks like someone who enjoys his job! We would love to see a female captain one day. We enjoyed the dining room staff, especially manager Kaviraj and his staff Sheldon, Maynard and Hurray. Special acknowledgement to Adikash who made a wonder paper jumping frog for my child and her cousin. They loved it! We enjoyed the soft serve ice cream in the buffet and the sorbets in the dining room. Sanya, our steward was great and we loved to hear her laugh. Napkins should be available at the self service drink stations. We also thought the buffets hours were odd on the Serenade (they close at 9:00 and before lunch and before dinner) because it never closed on the Princess during the day and was open to 11PM every night! Tip for muster station info on the sea pass cards, put the deck number on it too. Hand sanitizers should also be located right by the food at the buffet too. I didn't trust that everyone had clean hands so after handling the food serving spooks and ladle, I sanitized my hands again but had to walk all the way back to the hostess or the front doors. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
My wife and I get to cruise once or twice per year, it is our light at the end of the tunnel. We love everything about cruising and this trip did not disappoint...mostly. Let's get the bad out of the way, this was the worst ... Read More
My wife and I get to cruise once or twice per year, it is our light at the end of the tunnel. We love everything about cruising and this trip did not disappoint...mostly. Let's get the bad out of the way, this was the worst entertainment staff we have ever sailed with. They were professional, courteous and pleasant but man were they boring. Worse was the cruise staffed performers, they had on excellent singer we wished they would have featured more. The other singers and dancers were like a really bad high school production. The costumes were cheap and made at times little sense and the choreography very blah. That being said the rest of the entertainment was fantastic, every day and night the entertainment was great from the Ship's orchestra to the comics to the solo bar artists the Caribbean pool duo. But the stars of the ship was a pop band from Mexico called Switched On. They had incredible range and great charisma, they had everybody rocking in a very good way. Serenade is an older ship but incredibly well maintained. We love her size, because it feels more quaint, easy to figure out and you see the same crew often which breeds comfortable familiarity. We also don't love a tender process and didn't have to do any on this cruise. Getting ashore and back on was efficient and painless. Windjammer is where we did most breakfasts and lunches at it had great diversity of choices we have come to expect. I like the Indian fare and the Omelet Station is great, they have it down to a science. Main dining room Reflections is just fine for us and the My Time Dining. We were seated with Waiter and Assistant waiter Sinaga and Ian. Find these two, Sinaga is hard working sincere and does fantastic close up magic, Ian is equally hardworking, has a mischievous glint in his eye and is delightfully funny. The Itinerary was fantastic; St. Thomas-We have been to this beautiful Island a few times so we opted to take the ship excursion to St. John Trunk Bay and it was great. A fun Island Girl Ferry over and back with a friendly crew, then a short bus ride.Good snorkeling was included for novices in crystal waters and a gorgeous beach. really nice facilities with food and drink available for purchase. St Croix- Cruise excursion to the Whim Estate, an old sugar plantation with cultural and historical guides. Then to the St. George Village Botanical Gardens a very nice walk with an informed guide, took some pics for ideas in my Florida garden. Then to the Captain Morgan distillery because Cruzan was closed. This part of the tour was mostly sales, however the staff were amazingly friendly and the rum tasting...well it was an intoxicating venture and the gift/liquer store prices were very good. Antigua- Ship excursion and short bus trip to Ffryes Beach, again crystal clear water and beautiful beach. Some tent shops with very polite salespeople and not pushy at all. Ffryes Beach Bar/ Dennis Restaurant where two drinks and a very tasty lunch was provided. St. Kitts- Research told me to pick a tour once disembarked, and it was spot on. Look for All Weather Tours run by Franklin, it is all you need to do. 30 years on the police force and corrections now turned to tour guide. $20 a piece gets you a comfortable open air, narrated bus ride by someone in love with his country and impassioned to share it. The tour hits all the highlights except the fort. He also carries a bar and mixes some mean cocktails. If you think you can hang ask for the Ting with a Sting" or his delicious "All Weather Rum Punch", just know your limits. Next time we go we will book him again, it was that much fun. Our favorite stop on this itinerary by far. St. Maarten- Ship excursion 6 Jeeps with walkie-talkie narration. a Good guide who was able to keep us together and handled some adversity very well. You have to drive aggressively which was a blast but one of our jeeps had an incident with a tourist's vehicle in which the driver who was to drive to drunk. This was our least favorite destination, it is crowded, not very friendly and ridiculously expensive. Not a fan of either side of the Island. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We boarded the Serenade of the Seas (myself and 2 friends) on Friday, 3/15, for a 10 day Caribbean cruise! Embarkation was incredibly easy! By the time we arrived at the port it was 1pm and there was no line at all. Our cabins were ... Read More
We boarded the Serenade of the Seas (myself and 2 friends) on Friday, 3/15, for a 10 day Caribbean cruise! Embarkation was incredibly easy! By the time we arrived at the port it was 1pm and there was no line at all. Our cabins were ready when we got there and our cruise pass cards were in our cabins. My friends had one balcony cabin, 8530, and I had 8532. Unfortunately, the balcony separator could not be removed on this ship, but it worked out ok. The cabins had a little bit of wear, but overall, they were clean with plenty of storage. The only negatives were the number of outlets (only 2), and the bed quality (really, really horrible). My friends had no complaints. I felt like I was sleeping on top of springs. My cabin attendant put a comforter under the bottom sheet and it helped, but the mattress should have been replaced. My room attendant, Irod, was a really nice guy who always had a kind word and a smile. Serenade has so many places where you can go and read or sit and relax! I love the center atrium because you always know what’s going on from any deck. It’s a nice gathering area. The ship is easy to navigate and never felt crowded. There’s a nice area with chairs and tables outside of the Windjammer that was a great place to sit and grab a snack after an excursion. Overall, it’s a very pretty, well-designed ship and I would easily sail on her again. The food was okay. Some meals were great (panko crusted salmon, lobster) and some meals were just eh. The menu repeated a lot in the main dining room, but there was always something for everyone. If not an entrée, then certainly a couple appetizers. We had My Time dining, but made a reservation for 5:30 each night. And each night we had the same table and the same waiter. I guess we did a modified, traditional eating plan! Our waiter, Julio, and assistant waiter, Wuh, were excellent. The windjammer was a typical buffet. Just pick your favorites and move on. I think the museli is enough of a reason to cruise!! I read a few comments from past cruisers who felt the staff looked bored and uninterested. I have to agree with them. Those that provided great service were the minority in the Windjammer and main dining room. We tried lunch a few times on sea days in the main dining room. Not only were the servers not interested in serving us, they were rude and unpleasant. Not all, but most. I bought a coffee card and Andres knew my name and drink of choice by the second day. That amazes me! He serves so many people, but remembers details like that. And he didn’t mind if you asked for more of this or less of that. Thank you Andres!! We had 5 stops and did 4 ship excursions and one private. Disembarkation was very easy and never a wait. Same with getting back on the ship. No problem whatsoever. We met our tour groups on the pier, which we preferred way more than meeting in the theatre and being herded off the ship. The first stop, St. Thomas, we took a ship excursion over to St. John. We went by boat and then boarded an open air truck to drive around the island. Very pleasant. Even stopped for rum drinks half way through. I wish we would have had more time to walk around the town, but the transfer boat wanted us back on by 2:30 and the tour ended at 2:10. The 2nd stop was St. Croix. We booked a private jeep tour with TanTan Tours and it was incredible! We had to take a taxi over to the Christiansted side of the island (about 30 min ride) and that was not easy. They did not like that we wanted one way and not round trip, it was total chaos trying to get a cab and they crammed as many as they could into every vehicle. We did eventually make it for $8/pp one way and walked a bit to meet our tour. The Jeep tour was amazing! I highly recommend it. A lot of off-roading and a stop to swim in tidal pools. Great fun! The third stop, Antigua, we booked a day on a private island. I think it was called Crusoe island. Although we enjoyed it, I would not do it again. Too primitive for me. My spoiled brain pictured rum drinks being served while lounging in chairs under umbrellas and on a nice beach. In reality, we were bussed to a hotel, crammed into an old, wooden boat for the 10 minute ride to the island. There were chairs to sit in, but zero shade. Every time we asked for an umbrella, we were told we had to wait for everyone to get there. That took about 2 hours. I don’t want to sit in the hot sun for 2 hours. They eventually put up a couple 10x10 tents and we did finally have shade. There was plenty of rum punch. There was one marine toilet for about 45 people. It did not work and even after asking twice for flushing directions, it never did work. The water was very pretty and they did offer snorkel equipment but you had to go out pretty far to get to water over your knees. The lunch was really great! It wasn’t a horrible excursion, but I thought it was kind of boring and not what I expected. In St. Kitts, we took the boat ride to Nevis and tour of the island. It took about 45 mins to get from St. Kitts to Nevis and then we boarded another open air truck. We stopped at the Alexander Hamilton museum but you couldn’t get out. Next stop was hot springs, then lunch at an outdoor restaurant. Food was okay. The highlight of the trip was seeing Prince Charles and Camilla back at the dock when we were leaving. You could go up and shake their hand if you wanted. It wasn’t the frenzy that it is here in the States. The islanders found it merely interesting. Our last stop, St. Maarten, was one of the best! So much devastation still there from the hurricane in 2017. Boats overturned in the water and buildings completely gutted. And then in between were signs of recovery and newly renovated places. We took the 3 Islands by Power Boat tour. We stopped a few places to snorkel and swim and ended with lunch on the beach. We really enjoyed this excursion! In summary, we greatly enjoyed our cruise and would definitely sail again on Serenade of the Seas! Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
Cabin/Ship: I thought Serenade of the Seas was a lovely ship. Even though she is older I found the staff keep her clean and tidy. She is smaller ship, which is fine with me. I prefer that to the mega ships. Our Cabin 3070 was your ... Read More
Cabin/Ship: I thought Serenade of the Seas was a lovely ship. Even though she is older I found the staff keep her clean and tidy. She is smaller ship, which is fine with me. I prefer that to the mega ships. Our Cabin 3070 was your standard cabin in a good location (quiet...cabins above and below). Our cabin Stewart, Hannibal, was terrific. Anything we requested we received promptly. Our room was clean, although the only negative was that our picture ‘port hole’ window, which was large, was like looking through a fish bowl. The glass was so that it was not a clear view but a bowed one…if that makes since. I did not mind the cabin being on a lower deck; I always take the stairs so I can have dessert and a few drinks and keep my weight in check. Dinning: We ate in both the main dining room and Windjammer for dinner. I found the food in both places to be good. For lunch we grabbed salads at the Solarium café, which were good. Breakfast at the Windjammer also good with lots of choices. The only disappointing thing I found was even though I called and specifically asked if the Solarium had a smoothie machine and was told yes they did not have one. They did have a smoothie drink from cartons but they are filled with lots of sugar. Excursions: St. Thomas - Caribbean Sail to Christmas & Honeymoon We have taken this excursion before. The first time it was on ‘The Bones’ schooner. This time it was on a catamaran. It was a smaller cat. I preferred the schooner myself. The snorkeling was not very good. The hurricanes did damage the reef systems. It is coming back but slowly. We did see a few turtles. The beach and lunch were good. Loved being on the water. All in all a good trip. St. Croix – Discover Scuba Diving Well my husband discovered he did not want to scuba LOL. He wears earplugs while swimming/snorkeling to prevent ear infections and cannot wear them while scuba diving. He decided not to try. I did try and was able to make it through the training with no issues. But when we descended further down in the ocean my mask started leaking. Tried to fix the issues a few times cut could not. As to not hold the others up I decided to end my experience. I would LOVE to try again someday. We went with Cane Bay Dive Shop and all of the staff was great. Thanks to Paul for all of his encouragement and patience. St. Johns, Antigua – Catamaran Cruise with Lobster Lunch We have taken this excursion before. The first stop is just ok. No chairs or umbrellas. The water is nice, beach is nice, can take a long stroll if you want. Basically they drop you off so they can set up Lunch; which is fine with us. The lobster lunch is always great! Lots of Rum punch! St. Kitts – Catamaran Fan-ta-sea to Nevis Weather could have been better but never the less a very nice excursion. The snorkeling was average. No reef but boulders and a shipwreck. We did not go to the beach with our stop at Nevis but stayed on the Catamaran due to the rain approaching. Those who did go to the beach, besides the rain, enjoyed it. Lunch was good and plenty of it if you wanted seconds. St. Maarten – Three Islands by powerboat with Lunch The island is still recovering from the hurricane. Excursion went through Cole Bay where you saw the extensive damage from hurricane Irma. Boats still submerged in the water. Homes boarded up, piles of wreckage everywhere. Very heartbreaking. For me brought back bad memories of having to rebuild with Super Storm Sandy. Otherwise the day and tour was very good. The reef is starting to come back at Creol Rock. You can see little staghorn coral growing. Fish were around and a 4 foot barracuda. Next onto Tintamarre Island. You will need to swim to island. Otherwise you could snorkel around the boat. Those who choose to stay on the boat saw some turtles. It is a sandy bottom, not many fish. Onto Pinel Island. Saw wild horses up on the ridge. Water and beach is nice. Next stop the restaurant for lunch. We sat outside, on the beach, picnic tables with shade. Lunch was good. On the way back to the ship we stopped on the water and had a few planes fly overhead and watched them land on the runway. Very pleasant day. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Serenade of the Seas Review March 15th-25th Sailing Stops: St. Thomas, St.Croix, St. Kitts, Antigua, St. Maarten Once again, another amazing cruise onboard the Serenade of the Seas. Just as a little background, I’m a mid 30’s ... Read More
Serenade of the Seas Review March 15th-25th Sailing Stops: St. Thomas, St.Croix, St. Kitts, Antigua, St. Maarten Once again, another amazing cruise onboard the Serenade of the Seas. Just as a little background, I’m a mid 30’s Diamond+ single cruiser and this is my 2nd time on this ship, and 3rd time on a ship of this class on RCCL. Although the ship is a bit small, and one of Royal’s older ships, it’s still provided a great vacation. The entire staff was amazing and gave great service at every corner of the ship. The ship was very clean and at times it felt like you have the entire ship to yourself, not nearly as cramped or busy like the bigger ships. Before getting into a short overall review about this cruise, I wanted to get some acknowledgement to some all-stars I ran into on this ship. Josepher Lead Bartender: This man was all over the ship, taking care of our drinks at the Pool bar, Diamond Lounge, and Night Club. His service, personality, and friendliness are 5 stars. Every time I saw him, he would always take time and stop to have a conversation about my day. One of the best bartenders I have ever ran into in my cruise history. Ervina and Rulof Beverages: These two gems are amazing married individuals, that also provided the highest level of service at the Diamond Lounge and at the night club until 2-3am. This was a primarily older aged cruise, and night life was, well … non existent haha. So, majority of the 10 nights, it was just Rulof and I, chatting all night. Both Rulof and Ervina made some of the best drinks onboard and provided the best company throughout the cruise. I wish them both the best in the future, and the best for their family. Hannif Beverages: My goto guy at the 2nd floor pool bar and at the Safari Lounge. Great personality and quick & accurate service each time I visited him (and I visited him A LOT haha). Cheers Hannif! JJ and Mario Diamond and Concierge Lounges: Great people that always greeted you with a warm welcome and 5 star service in the diamond club. And Last but not least, our amazing Dinners Staff - Grace, Jerry, and Ty Grace Waitress: Fantastic service each and every night from this trio. Grace is a sweetheart that did a superb job getting us top tier quality service every night. One night my fish looked a little dry as she presented to me, without even batting an eye, she told me it looked too dry and sent it back. She had a replacement meal out in under 5 minutes that was cooked perfectly. Ty Beverages: Jerry Assistant Waiter: Jerry and Ty took care of all our drinks and water like clockwork and were always smiling and having a lot of fun with us. Ty is all over the ship as well, and someone you want to make friends with on day 1. She delivers drinks at the pool, the main dining room, and Main Lounge during the shows. Now onto the cruise itself… The ship is very clean, very beautiful, and is a perfect way to see some amazing destinations with friends or loved ones. For singles, it may be a bit of a different story. Most of the ship was mid 40’s and above, which provided a very relaxing vacation, but it seemed like everyone was asleep by Midnight. There were no specialty nights at the club like on most ships (silent disco nights, dancing under the stars, etc) The entire ship was dead past midnight. RCCL should organize cruise staff to relax and dance with guests at the club during some of the first nights to get people to dance and have fun (much like they do with the poolside sea day dancing). HOWEVER, the best cover band I have ever seen on a cruise ship played almost every night until midnight in the Centrum, “SWITCHED ON Band” ! An absolute fantastic show, and they did such an amazing job performing for us every night. I believe they are new to the RCCL circuit. My family saw them during the winter on Anthem of the Seas, which I think was their first ship, and we were fortunate to have them transfer to Serenade just before our trip. Amazing, amazing band, and make sure to check them out on Instagram “switchedonbandmx” and on facebook. The music in the irish pub was also superb, and he did a great job on the acoustic guitar, I believe his name was Julio. Great voice! The stops were beautiful, all of them. There was not one stop I did not enjoy. (I will post our stops below with pictures). The at sea days were fun, with all the standard contests (belly flop, sexiest man, volleyball). The live entertainment on the pool deck was very enjoyable also, and they did an excellent job. Overall Cruise Rating PROS: Excellent service everywhere you turn Very relaxing and enjoyable cruise SWITCHED ON BAND! Ship is smaller than most, but has great comfortable feel to it Great Food and Drink Service Beautiful stops on a long and relaxing 10 days PRO/CON (this may apply differently to different ages): Due to it being longer than a week, the average age may be above what you’d like CONS: Serenade does not have a lot of the amazing activities which are provided on other Explorer and higher, class ships (Slides, Flow Rider, 24/7 pizza, dancing under the stars). Nightlife past midnight was dead. No activities like silent disco, or outdoor parties. Accessories in the camera shop are VERY overpriced (SD card for my GOPRO was $70.. same card on amazon is $14) 400% markup! Amazon search before you buy on ship. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
I booked this cruise for myself and two friends. I wanted to take a southern Caribbean cruise to some islands I hadn't visited before and this particular cruise fit the bill. I had sailed on the Serenade's sister ship and love ... Read More
I booked this cruise for myself and two friends. I wanted to take a southern Caribbean cruise to some islands I hadn't visited before and this particular cruise fit the bill. I had sailed on the Serenade's sister ship and love the size of the ship, as I prefer smaller ships (2600 passengers) rather than the larger ships (6,000+ passengers). We paid for a balcony cabin and there were three of us in the room, which means, but space was VERY tight even though we put our empty suitcases on the balcony. We were on deck 9, starboard and forward. The location was close to the theater and dining room but at the opposite end of the ship from the pools and buffet, but the walking was good for us. I was NOT happy about the cruise lines drink policy. Who can drink $39 worth of soda or $69 worth of alcoholic beverages in one day? I am the only person in our cabin who partakes of alcoholic beverages but policy is that all adults in the same cabin MUST buy the beverage package. So, I didn't drink much. I will admit that the drinks I had were all top shelf liquor, not skimpy on the alcohol and cost just slightly more than that same cocktails in bars where I live, so one nightcap a night was sufficient. Be warned, if you buy the soda package it does NOT include bottled water. The food was not the best I've had on cruises. The dining room had the same vegetables every night (broccolli, carrots and green beans). The menu included caeser salad, onion soup, shrimp cocktail and fresh fruit plate every night but changed up a second soup and one or two other "starters". They never offered a tossed salad or coleslaw. Prime rib was offered three times (on an 11 night cruise). I like prime rib, but thought that excessive. Food in the buffet was good, as buffet food goes, and the variety was good. Entertainment was typical (a comedian one night, a hypnotist one night, a juggler one night, two production shows and a movie one night). The show I enjoyed the most was a Motown tribute group from Detroit called "Horizon". They were a big hit and I thoroughly enjoyed the show. We didn't book any shore excursions through the cruise line, but booked independently on Aruba, St. Lucia and Bonaire. I have absolutely NO complaints about any of the staff and crew. Everyone works hard, always has a smile on their face and earn every penny of the money they make. The ship is lovely, is showing a little wear and tear, but was always clean. Also, kudos to RCCL for trying to enforce the "no saving deck chairs" policy. I actually witnessed one crew member removing items from chairs that had been unoccupied for more than 30 minutes. The cruise was, for me, a good balance of sea days (5) and port days (5) and I didn't have any trouble finding things to do on sea days. Will I cruise again? Probably, but not for a while. I have to get over being mad over the "nickle and diming" the cruise lines are doing in order to increase their profits, while not really offering anything new to the customers. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
We choose this 11 day cruise based on the itinerary and price. We also read comments from other cruise critic members that indicated the ship was very comfortable with lot's glass in the public areas that offered some great views. ... Read More
We choose this 11 day cruise based on the itinerary and price. We also read comments from other cruise critic members that indicated the ship was very comfortable with lot's glass in the public areas that offered some great views. The embarkation was very quick. Less than 15 minutes. We found the ship very comfortable, but did notice quite a bit of wear on the furniture. The food choices were pretty good, except that for the entire 11 day cruise, the main dining room served the same vegatables with ever meal. (carrots & broccoli) And yet other options were available in the Windjammer. The servers in the main dining room were exceptional. We found the entertainment overall quite good. Most of the headliners were very good and the ships singers and dancers were very talented. The stateroom was comfortable and our room steward did a great job of looking after all our needs. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
Balcony, large with good view. Midship, 9610. This is our first 11 night cruise. It's also the smallest ship we've cruised on. It's also our first time back on Royal Caribbean. The embarkation was surprisingly smooth ... Read More
Balcony, large with good view. Midship, 9610. This is our first 11 night cruise. It's also the smallest ship we've cruised on. It's also our first time back on Royal Caribbean. The embarkation was surprisingly smooth and fast! RC has improved! Thankfully! Their online presence is improved greatly but still needs work! Ship has Has a small town feel. Fewer people. Less crowds. And less to do. Never much problem finding a seat for anything. My only complaint about RC is their annoying policy of removing reserved chairs. Got up at 6 am to get the seat we wanted. Ate breakfast and came back. No problem. Then it stormed. We left our blankets and went to Next Cruise to reserve our next trip. Came back and all our stuff was moved and a very proud new owner was in our place. Needless to say, I was not happy. Hate this policy especially on such a small ship. Understandably on a larger ship but not this one. The ship is notably dated and slightly dirty but acceptable. It's due for updating for sure. The beds are hard. Yet, I asked for two toppers which helped greatly. I hate RC tube showers. However, the water pressure is great. The gym is good. The thermal suite was not in good repair. I eat a strict keto diet. It was sufficient. Had one specialty dinner and that was amazing. Overall, at 56 and 48 yrs of age, we found we were among the younger guests. Hardly any 18 and younger. Nice cruise. Already booked a bigger ship for next year, same length. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
We had never been to any of the southern Caribbean islands and this ship had the perfect itinerary. We knew it was an older ship but it got excellent reviews. The reviews were correct, The ship was in great shape and very clean. We found ... Read More
We had never been to any of the southern Caribbean islands and this ship had the perfect itinerary. We knew it was an older ship but it got excellent reviews. The reviews were correct, The ship was in great shape and very clean. We found most of the crew very welcoming and friendly. The food in the main dining room was very good and the food in Chops and Giovanni was excellent. The ports were great and we had some great excursions. My husband and I were sailing alone and I was celebrating my birthday. I was served birthday cake and everyone sang it was very nice.The new royal Caribbean App. was great it was very helpful and easy to use. It would be great if you could use it to be alerted when your luggage arrives at your door. We would definitely sail on the serenade again. We met many friendly people and had a great time. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Just the right size for us. Great crew but some dinners in MDR could have been a little better. Fried chicken one night was dry and mostly bones. Windjammer basically had the same offerings every day. Was very bored with their lunches. Our ... Read More
Just the right size for us. Great crew but some dinners in MDR could have been a little better. Fried chicken one night was dry and mostly bones. Windjammer basically had the same offerings every day. Was very bored with their lunches. Our room steward was excellent. He paid so much to detail. Best steward in my 22 cruises. Ship was very clean and no sickness as far as we could tell. Have been at all the ports before except Bonaire. We enjoyed all of them no matter how many times we have been there. Wish they would have more deck chairs. Sea days was impossible to find an open seat. Many saving of chairs. Very annoying. Spent every evening in the diamond lounge. Snacks could have been better. Mario the diamond concierge was wonderful and trying to keep everyone happy. Waited a little long for servers to take our drink orders. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
While the food was just average, almost everything else about this cruise was very good to excellent. The crew was friendly and efficient and the ports were very good. Boarding and disembarkation was very smoothly. We used My Time Dining ... Read More
While the food was just average, almost everything else about this cruise was very good to excellent. The crew was friendly and efficient and the ports were very good. Boarding and disembarkation was very smoothly. We used My Time Dining which went smoothly. Our regular waiters were good, Viktoriia and Maynard. Contrary to other reviews, we found the ship to be very clean and well maintained. It is an older ship, but we found it well cared for. The ports were interesting, particularly Curacao. The one exception is Bonaire, which has little of interest unless you like diving or snorkeling. We understand for other cruisers that the specialty dining rooms were okay, but not spectacular. The food in the main cafe, Windjammer, was quite repetitive. (By the way, the Indian dishes were weak even though we tasted all of them provided on a daily basis.) The dinners in the dining room were generally fine, but it turned out to be virtually impossible to get a truly rare steak. The evening bars were well done. Both comedians and the Motown review were very good, but the four regular production singers were weak. The best feature overall was the friendliness and efficiency of the crew. We found most of our fellow cruisers to be extremely open and friendly. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
This was a b2b cruise and the stops at all the ports were excellent. Used some of the ships shore excursions and satisfied with all of them. Really enjoyed all the live music happening around the ship. Cruise director Carly B was very ... Read More
This was a b2b cruise and the stops at all the ports were excellent. Used some of the ships shore excursions and satisfied with all of them. Really enjoyed all the live music happening around the ship. Cruise director Carly B was very good. One downside on the Serenade was the lack of more enrichment programs. Only talks were mainly port shopping or selling shore excursions. Would like to see some talks about the areas we were stopping at. Also very limited amount of craft programs, especially on sea days. Not everyone wants to play trivia games. Unfortunately, finding the quality and variety of food in the main dining room has gone down over the years. Service in the main dining room however is still excellent. Windjammer was decent for a buffet and morning omelet station definitely a four star. I can certainly recommend RC to friends but I would warn them in advance about a few of the downsides I noted. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
After having the worst cruise and land tour, on their sister company ,The Millennium by Celebrity in Alaska in May, I was skeptical to go back to Royal Carrabean, but our cruise was just fabulous !! We were 9 people, family vacation, ... Read More
After having the worst cruise and land tour, on their sister company ,The Millennium by Celebrity in Alaska in May, I was skeptical to go back to Royal Carrabean, but our cruise was just fabulous !! We were 9 people, family vacation, had four cabins and found the service amazing! The ship is refurbished and really looks good.Unlike Celebrity who did nothing for us, Royal Carrabean gave amazing customer Service and went out of our way to make us happy.We had two small children in our party, 4 and 6, and they had plenty to do , even if at this time of year there are not many children on board.They have mini golf , mountain climbing and fun activities and games by the pool. Our cabin person was great and was there to attend to every need. The food was great both at the buffet and at the dining room.We had dinner very night in the dining room and the service and food was lovely.The shows were very professional and a lot of fun.The cruise director was very visible and put together great shows. Live music all over the ship. By the pool, by the bars and in the lobby, you could dance or just listen any time of day.Was presently surprised at how spacious our inside cabins were and the cabins with the two children had bunk beds which went up during the day.The gym was good, except that they charged too much for spinning classes that were not worth it.Ports of call were all beautiful.Two days at sea, Ponce, Porto Rico, St.Kitts,St. Lucia, Grenada,Barbados and Antigua.Two days at sea at the end. Perfect itinerary for a large group.We all enjoyed it very much and would recommend it to anyone. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
Cruised on Serenade in the past it is the perfect size for us, entertainment was mostly above average and the crew did a great job. Our dinning room waiters Erwin and Adikash were very helpful and always had a smile. Our cabin steward was ... Read More
Cruised on Serenade in the past it is the perfect size for us, entertainment was mostly above average and the crew did a great job. Our dinning room waiters Erwin and Adikash were very helpful and always had a smile. Our cabin steward was excellent responded to every request quickly and efficiently and kept the cabin spotless. The food was quite good especially in the Windjammer were breakfast was excellent with an omelet and fried egg bar. I do think that RCCL needs to provide a few more tour options for passengers with mobility issues at a number of ports there were no shuttles which could accommodate passengers in wheelchairs. The entertainment was okay with highlight being a Beatles tribute band who were very good. Embarkation went very quickly and smoothly and disembarkation was okay although it would be helpful if there were a few more porters available. Weather was wonderful sunny and warm for the entire cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
I will say the emarkment and departure went pretty smooth. The food was mediocre and the service just ok. This being my first cruise with royal Caribbean I was excited to hear about the high standards they had. I paid a high price for my ... Read More
I will say the emarkment and departure went pretty smooth. The food was mediocre and the service just ok. This being my first cruise with royal Caribbean I was excited to hear about the high standards they had. I paid a high price for my junior suite which was lovely - on the 10th floor with no refrigerator. The elevators were a nightmare and the people that were on them were very rude and acted like elevator gastopos. The same with trying to get a chair at the pool! What a nightmare! Previous passengers on this cruise were very proud of that fact and made sure to let you know that they were special. The towel attendant did put an end to saving chairs on the last two days of the cruise, which thoroughly upset the passengers that had came down early to put towels down then left and came back at any time of the day. My sister was down there the first two days at 7:30 am to get chairs the first two days of the cruise then finally just gave up. We were not the only passengers upset about this situation! Our time at the ports were lovely and the people were very kind and always had a smile, not so much on the ship. We will not be sailing Serenade of the Seas again and not so sure if we will even use Royal Caribbean. It would be nice if they tried to treat their first time customers a little special as well! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We just returned from an eleven-day Caribbean cruise on the Serenade of the Seas, and although we’ve taken 17 previous cruises (15 on RCCL), this ranks as one of our favorites. First, the weather was perfect and we had little to no rain ... Read More
We just returned from an eleven-day Caribbean cruise on the Serenade of the Seas, and although we’ve taken 17 previous cruises (15 on RCCL), this ranks as one of our favorites. First, the weather was perfect and we had little to no rain and perfectly calm seas the entire cruise! The ship is beautiful and easy to get around on. We were in a forward stateroom on Deck 4 and never had a problem getting to any venue or event (even took the stairs to Deck 11 for Breakfast and Lunch in the Windjammer!) Of the ports visited, Ponce, Puerto Rico; St. George’s, Grenada; and St. John’s, Antigua were our favorites. In Ponce, we booked a two-hour walking tour with Isla Caribe. In Grenada, we took the Discovery Train around the city and port area and in Bridgetown, Barbados, we visited the Mount Gat Rum Welcome Center. Though not booked with RCCL, we would highly recommend any of these tours. As to the ship, highlights include the Headliner Shows in the Tropical Theater, our cabin steward, our waiter and asst. waiter in the Main Dining Room, the mini golf on Deck 13, the live music for dancing in the Centrum and other locations, the Slot Pull with our Meet & Mingle group and the Indian foods served in the Windjammer during lunch. One surprise that we thoroughly enjoyed was the movie theater (Cinema) on Deck 6. It seats 40 guests and showed some fairly recent movies that we’d missed seeing. As to things that were average (or less) when compared to other cruises were the onboard activities (not very many and the staff wasn’t enthusiastic), the production shows in the theatre, the Diamond Lounge (overcrowded at night) and the menu served in the Main Dining Room (they’ve scaled it back considerably from previous cruises). Also, the ship’s crew did little to discourage passengers from saving seats around the pool deck and in the Solarium. We would frequently search for two seats together only to find blue towels laid out, but very few people sitting in them. People also saved seats in the theatre and the ship did little to prevent it. Would we sail on the Serenade again? Definitely, Yes! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
First 11 night cruise. I was surprised at the number of scooters in use, as well as walkers and wheelchairs. Most of the users were very polite and also friendly but as usual there were a couple that were not very polite. The dinner ... Read More
First 11 night cruise. I was surprised at the number of scooters in use, as well as walkers and wheelchairs. Most of the users were very polite and also friendly but as usual there were a couple that were not very polite. The dinner in the main dining room was not up to RCCL par. My wife wouldn't eat any of the meat dishes, after trying one, and on two nights she had ceasar's salad with chicken for dinner. I found shrimp pasta dish t be very bland and an assistant maitre de actually remade the dish with more shrimp and spices the following night. It was superb. I also found fault with the tiger shrimp. Although it was served with French Service the size was more like regular shrimp than prawns. The dish was served to me twice. The onion soup on this ship was not salty and very very good. One of the other people on my table had it every night of the cruise. One dinner had a milk allergy, and two had shellfish allergies. This made it a little difficult but during an 11 night cruise, and with forewarning, the waiters should have been able to handle that. The schooners bar had the best staff of any RCCL ship. Both Ivana and George were funny and friendly and got to know the regulars, all diamond or above members, that preferred it to the diamond lounge. Chops grill was very good. It was fun that we ran into so many couples we had met on other parts of the ship during dinner. The free drinks for diamond members could be better arranged because if you had a later seating, 8pm, you had to bring drinks into the dinning room as it was too late when dinner started. Don't miss the train ride on St Kitts. It is a pity Grenada landing was on a Sunday. A lot closed. Breakfast in the windjammer was well run. Omelets to order was very well controlled. I was surprised that lox was available every day. But the machine that cut the bagels has to be adjusted as it was very one sided. One size thick and one very thin. Also cream cheese needed to be kept cooler. But consider the age of the passengers, everyone was very friendly and conversations could be started at any table you sat at. Everyone washed their hands going into the windjammer or any eating facility. Without being asked. The ice cream machines were only used one at a time. But the ice cream was cold, as it should be, Yummy. Followed health advice and used plates and spoons rather than cones. operated the handle with a napkin. As was expected, on a sea day, people consistently saved chairs. The company that invented the towel clothing pin should be very wealthy, towels were held by these pins. We learned, on a sea day, to also use them to go into lunch or get a snack. The shows were were interested in; beatles, love and marriage, we went to. Others were quickly visited or skipped. We were annoyed that the new key , held seats that were empty till the show began. Another way of ripping off even diamond members. It is a new attempt to raise fares without seeming to do it. Very annoying. With all the extra costs now being attempted it is almost better to go to an up grade cruise line, even celebrity, where some of these things are included or normally better. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We chose this cruise because we had never been to the southern Caribbean islands on this itinerary. Our last two cruises ere on bigger ships so I was anxious to see if a smaller ship would still be pleasing or if it would feel less ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we had never been to the southern Caribbean islands on this itinerary. Our last two cruises ere on bigger ships so I was anxious to see if a smaller ship would still be pleasing or if it would feel less glamorous than Allure of the Seas. I needn’t have worried; while not as spectacular in terms of entertainment and variety of activities, it more than made up for that with friendliness and the chance to get to know both staff members and fellow cruisers. Embarkation and disembarkation both went smoothly with few lines or holdups. We were aboard ship in record time. We bought the Key program (new to this sailing, I believe) which gave us priority boarding, but I don’t think it was necessary. Other perks were earlier access to our room and a sit down lunch in Chops. It was great to not have to fight the crowds at the buffet! We had a Jr. Suite. Our stateroom attendant was good, but not spectacular. Little things like finding a used washcloth left in the shower, a tube of makeup in a drawer, and coffee spilled and not cleaned on the pull-out writing surface kept me from giving him an A+. In the past, I felt I received more attentiveness to detail than on this trip. Dining was very good, both in the main dining room and the specialty restaurants. We bought a 5-night dining package so we went to Chops once, and Izumi and Giovanni’s twice each. I expected Chops to be the one I liked the best but the service wasn’t as personal as I am used to. Izumi had the freshest food and a great view. Giovanni’s won us over with fabulous service and extra attention from the manager, Rachel. The food was terrific, as well. We had My Time Dining for our other dinners and never had to wait for a table, whether we had reservations or not. With a couple of exceptions, all our meals were great. I think there was a fish dish we didn’t care for one night, which was quickly replaced with a different entree. Meats were cooked to requested doneness and everything was served at the correct temperature with no delays. We also did Chef’s Table, which was held in a private room off the Safari Club. Radu, our host, was incredibly knowledgeable and self possessed; we were stunned to find out he was only 22 years old! He’s a young man who will go far in th hotel/hospitality industry. The meal, prepared by Chef Kayson, was over the top. I was less impressed by the wines, which were fairly standard and easily available in grocery stores. Overall, I’d recommend this special activity; this was the third time we’ve done it. We booked our excursions through RCCL, as I live in fear of not getting back to the ship on time. All met our expectations. We had excellent tour guides, good transportation and experienced drivers, and interesting tours. Millers By the Sea beach, in Antigua, was our only beach trip and it was very nice. The Mount Gay Rum tour on Barbados was informative and the guide at the distillery was fabulous! And we made it back before boarding time every time! Activities aboard the ship were fun, sometimes silly, and always led by enthusiastic staff members. From trivia, sudoku, and charades to fitness classes and belly flop contests, it was nice to be on a cruise that had traditional things to do. My fellow cruisers were mainly older retirees and I think the activities were reflective of that group. Entertainment around the dinner hour tended toward ballroom dance music and more relaxing classical guitar and piano. Later in the evening, and around the pool, the music was livelier with more rock and roll. I have to say, I loved the musical entertainment on this ship. The classical,guitarist, Voytek, was amazing, playing everything from Metallica and Led Zeppelin to Pachabel’s Canon in D and Spanish Flamenco. Chester, on piano, was the life of the party, pounding the piano, singing and keeping us all smiling. Carlo had a beautiful voice and played ballads on the guitar. I didn’t take in too much of the theater entertainment, mostly because the seats hurt my back. I heard most of it was good but a couple of nights were only so-so. I can’t say enough for the staff on this ship. I felt special every day. Crew members remembered us by name after one meeting. (I had one waiter who brought me a drink in the Crown & Castle pub. The next day, at poolside, he remembered my name, my room number, and what I was drinking the previous evening. I was stunned!) Naomi, who taught us our routine for the “flash mob” dance on our last day was so cheerful and lovely at rehearsals, and wherever else we ran into her. The bartenders at the Centrum “r bar” were delightful, especially Roman who wowed us with his juggling/bar tending skills. William, at Vintages, remembered the wine I liked every time we stopped by. Radu, from Chef’s Table, always stopped to talk when we saw him around the ship. Even the people cleaning around the ship had a friendly greeting for us. By the end of the 11 days, I was truly sad to say goodbye. The Serenade of the Seas is still in good shape and well-maintained. Everything was clean and upkeep was constantly being attended to. This vacation was truly pleasurable and won’t be soon forgotten. Read Less
Serenade of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.3
Dining 4.0 4.0
Entertainment 5.0 3.7
Public Rooms 5.0 4.3
Fitness Recreation 5.0 4.0
Family 5.0 4.0
Shore Excursion 3.0 3.9
Enrichment 1.0 3.5
Service 5.0 4.4
Value For Money 5.0 3.9
Rates 4.0 4.3

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