Sail Date: September 2018
New England and Canada foliage tour. Good decor and clean ship for its age. Staff attentive and efficient. Main dining room food was somewhat disappointing. Buffet areas were surprisingly better than expected. Excursions and unboarding ... Read More
New England and Canada foliage tour. Good decor and clean ship for its age. Staff attentive and efficient. Main dining room food was somewhat disappointing. Buffet areas were surprisingly better than expected. Excursions and unboarding unorganized at times. Floor shows not top notch. Overall a good experience, staff did not seem overly happy and did not speak English well. Land excursions were very good, tour guides exceptional. Timing of most was good and returns to ship afforded some rest before dinner. We had a group of 12 and most were very pleased overall. Entertainment was not tailored to the passenger ages and missed the mark, except for the “Elvis guy” which was pretty good. Lot of extra cost on beverages and dining choices. Good ship, needing some updates, but pleasant decor. Bar areas very good, just pricy. Attentive staff in main dining room and quick service each meal. Service desk very good and helpful. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Embarkation was a breeze, Boston had improved the process tremendoulsly. Although the ship is looking a little tired, she is still beautiful. We had great weather with rain only one day on the way home for 15 minutes in the morning. ... Read More
Embarkation was a breeze, Boston had improved the process tremendoulsly. Although the ship is looking a little tired, she is still beautiful. We had great weather with rain only one day on the way home for 15 minutes in the morning. Rocking seas on way down made for the solarium pool to become a carnival ride if you dared to enter. Our room was a balcony near the forward of the ship. Great room steward, one of the best in over 25 cruises. Beds were comfortable and room was clean and well kept up. Food in the main dining room was good but the food in Windjammer has declined. Seemed to be less choices and items were all a lot smaller. Fruit diced into little cubes, small tiny pastries. Lunch had limited variety. Staff however in the Windjammer were friendly and kept up with the crowds. I feel the beverage package is a huge mistake, lots of drunks on board trying to make their daily quota---the golden age of cruising is gone. Bartenders in all venues were nice and remembered you by name. The Diamond Lounge is a mess. The wait staff had to make drinks from a makeshift bar area near the buffet and it was often difficult to get a drink. Disembarkation was a nightmare as over half the ship decided to walk off with their luggage and the crew was not prepared. This is our second voyage on Serenade and would sail her again if the ports were what we wanted. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
My hubby and I just returned from a New England/Canada cruise on Serenede of the Seas. We had a wonderful week leaving from Boston and going to Portland, Bar Harbor, St. John and Halifax. Serenede is a wonderful ship just the right size. ... Read More
My hubby and I just returned from a New England/Canada cruise on Serenede of the Seas. We had a wonderful week leaving from Boston and going to Portland, Bar Harbor, St. John and Halifax. Serenede is a wonderful ship just the right size. Not too big to get lost and not too small that it never felt croweded. Our favorite places on the ship were the Schooner bar and Safari Club. I loved the coffee bar. In the afternoons I would go get my coffee while my husband took a nap. It was a great place to sit, relax and people watch. Embarkation was a breeze. We arrived around 10:30 and were on board with a cocktail by 11 am. For disembarkation we self disembarked and again the process was a breeze. Our cabin was an inside cabin on 3rd floor port side. We had no issues with the cabin. It was small but for the amount of time we spent in the room it was fine. The cabin steward was fine as well. Restaurant- We had the regular early seating time. Our waiter and his assistant were fabulous. We ate at all three specialty restaurants and all were supurb. We ate at Chops twice, Gionvanni's once and did Izumi for lunch. Chops was our favorite. The waiters at Chops and Giovanni's were outstanding. Breakfast was our least favorite. We ate at the Windjammer on port days and it was hotel continental breakfast like. We ate at the restaurant on sea days and it was slightly better. The entertainment on board was an 7/10. Jamie (cruise director) and his staff were excellent in all the activities they hosted. The Quest game and Love and Marriage Game Show were our favorites. The activities in the Centrum were all entertaining as well. The Tropical Theater shows were Ok. Could have been better though. The weather did not allow us anytime at the pools. We did sit in the solarium for a bit on sea days. The Ports of Call were amazing. I only gave this review 4/5 but really it was almost a 5. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
The Serenade of the Seas had the worst food that I have had on my 8 cruises. During the day, the Park Café was mediocre with mini quesadillas being the best thing on the menu. At night, the available food was cut in half and the ... Read More
The Serenade of the Seas had the worst food that I have had on my 8 cruises. During the day, the Park Café was mediocre with mini quesadillas being the best thing on the menu. At night, the available food was cut in half and the Panini sandwiches were heated using a microwave. No one could tell us way the Panini Press could not be used at night. The cakes and cookies at the Park Café were always inedible. The Windjammer Café was just slightly better. A meat skewer offered during Middle Eastern night was not recognizable as food. This product became the opening joke for the late night comedian. There were virtually no vegetables and all meats except chicken were poorly prepared. All fish was either bland or salty. Potatoes, chicken, cakes, and pies were Ok. The Reflections Dining room was somewhat better than the Windjammer. The main entrée was OK on two of six nights that we ate there. On the bad side, the sauce for the Shrimp Ravioli was so salty we could not eat a single bite. The exception to the bad food was the at-sea luncheon buffet in the Reflections Dining room. This was absolutely fantastic. The seafood included delicious cold grilled lobster, and large scallops. If all meals were up to the quality of these luncheons, I would not be writing a bad review. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
Very easy to get around the ship. Very colorful, always some sort of the entertainment in the Centrum. EVERYONE aimed to please! Particularly Vince and Julius at Vintages Wine Bar. They remembered what we drank and when we arrived our ... Read More
Very easy to get around the ship. Very colorful, always some sort of the entertainment in the Centrum. EVERYONE aimed to please! Particularly Vince and Julius at Vintages Wine Bar. They remembered what we drank and when we arrived our drinks were poured even before we could sit down -- loved that! The food was exceptional. There were 6 of us and we ate dinner in the MDR each night. Our servers were outstanding and professional (Airel and Odair). The buffet had a good variety and wow the breads - assorted and fresh! Items changed daily. We also LOVED the lunch on sea days held in the dining room. You can order from a menu or have the buffet including hot items, salad bar and carving station, and a very impressive desert table - with cakes at least 10 inches high...yummm! Good itinerary but not at all impressed with St. Johns. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
Having read so many negative reviews prior to leaving, I was curious as to what tragedy awaited us on this journey. Happy to report that the Serenade, Royal Caribbean, and cruising in general remains a great vaca option. For myself and ... Read More
Having read so many negative reviews prior to leaving, I was curious as to what tragedy awaited us on this journey. Happy to report that the Serenade, Royal Caribbean, and cruising in general remains a great vaca option. For myself and DW, both 60 and working, this was our 12th cruise and 9th with RCI. While the mega-ships offer a huge amount of cool stuff to do, the smaller ships sometimes have itineraries such as this one, Alaska, Hawaii, Greek Isles, and others that the mega-ships can’t offer. We flew into Boston Logan two days early and stayed in a Marriott property downtown. We purchased Red Sox (hottest team in the league) tickets well in advance of the cruise, and took in a fabulous tour of Fenway Park prior to the ballgame. I read many negative reviews on the decline of RCI service, and up-selling, the condition of the ship, and the attitude of the staff. Serenade is beautiful and well cared for. The captain and entire crew was phenomenal as always. Any day shipboard, either in port or at sea, if better than a day at work. We are “loyal to Royal” except when they don’t offer an itinerary. As far as up-selling, we purchased EVERYTHING we wanted to participate in; spa treatments, drink package, Chops, Mystery Dinner Theater, shore excursions, on-line and in advance so except for a minimal amount of shopping, there were no surprises and we were completely paid for weeks before we landed in Boston. I was able to "just say no" to the art auction and to "gold chain by the inch" and other than that, did not once feel like I was being up-sold. Getting to the port in Boston was challenging, but we paid a taxi to navigate that for us. Boarding process to was simple. The idea of an appointment time was novel to us but worked great. We were in the terminal 10 minutes or less. Our balcony stateroom, 9598 was adequate and appointed as expected. Our cabin steward was Inyouman, he was outstanding as expected. Our MDR waiters Michelle and Miodrag were outstanding as expected. The orchestra was fabulous, the signers and dancers were as good at the productions would allow (there were many very obscure songs selected in the production numbers). The headliner shows were top notch. Day Tripper (Beatles Tribute) sounded great. Rick Corso (Comedian) had me both crying with laughter and nearly peeing myself about 15 times. We booked all of our excursions through Royal, as always, our guides were highly knowledgeable and interesting and we returned to the ship on time, every time. The only small complaint is the lack of daily selection at the Windjammer. Clearing customs on the ship during debarkation was the absolute easiest process ever! Yes, there is something very magical about that very first cruise, but this one was was also awesome, as have the many previous others. You go Royal! We love you! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
This was our second and most probably our last cruise. Having previously travelled with P&O, we were lead to believe that things could only get better. Our maiden cruise to the Norwegian Fjords was plagued with badly arranged events ... Read More
This was our second and most probably our last cruise. Having previously travelled with P&O, we were lead to believe that things could only get better. Our maiden cruise to the Norwegian Fjords was plagued with badly arranged events and a very poor attitude by the crew we encountered, The 'best' part of the P&O cruise was the time spent ashore and away from the boat. Royal Caribbean was recommended by the agents, IGLU, clearly to suit their own agenda and not ours. This cruise was Boston - Boston with 4 shore excursions to truly lovely places. The food and entertainment on board was also excellent. In particular the Cruise Director, Jamie Fentiman proved to be a spirited entertainer and got everything he was involved in 'going'. Now for the not so good news: The cabin or Stateroom (totally inaccurate description) was inferior to the cabin we enjoy on the Brittany Ferries vessel Pont Even - a ship we use from Portsmouth to Santander on a regular basis. We paid for a cabin with a balcony and seating area and while we got all of those - the amount of space was very cramped. Our P&O cruise provided at least 30% more space in this area. Before booking the cruise I reviewed many alternatives - with particular emphasis on the free to spend on board amounts. Having discovered that the headline price for a cruise is a distant relation to the actual cost you are eventually confronted with, I believed I had taken every precaution to avoid any chance of being mislead again.The unacceptable face is the area of 'Gratuity' giving closely followed by charging every onboard expense with an inbuilt gratuity. On boarding the cruise we were presented with a sheet of paper on which we were informed that a $14.50 per day gratuity would be charged to our cabin - I challenged this and had it removed. I believe that any gratuity is earned and I will determine the level - I will and did not accept the prescribed amounts. On leaving the ship I tipped the cabin steward because he did a good job, despite being harangued by his supervisor. When we used the bar we saw that every purchase carried an 18% 'Service Charge'. I believed I had paid for the service in the cruise cost. To add insult to injury there was a further opportunity to add an 'additional tip' to recognise outstanding service. This curtailed our use of the onboard facilities yet we still managed to spend $1,187 on excursions and speciality dining (very disappointing). I understand this to be standard practice on cruise ships as the people who work behind the scenes are seldom recognised. I countered this with one crew member by suggesting they pay proper salaries instead of lining the pockets of their shareholders. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
My husband and I had a wonderful time on our cruise. All of the personnel that we dealt with, from our cabin steward to our restaurant staff were wonderful to deal with. We had a wonderful time at all of the activities, but most ... Read More
My husband and I had a wonderful time on our cruise. All of the personnel that we dealt with, from our cabin steward to our restaurant staff were wonderful to deal with. We had a wonderful time at all of the activities, but most especially the 80's Dance Party. Our weather was perfect. We feel that the food was not always at a high standard (i.e., occasionally not as hot as it could have been and the steaks were sometimes not tender). We do feel that everyone on the ship went out of their way to make sure that we enjoyed our cruise. We also especially enjoyed the piano bar, especially Danny. The shore excursions were the only area that we had an issue. Halifax (Peggy's Cove/Titanic Graveyard) - Peggy's Cove was more than we could ever have dreamed of. I wish we had picked an excursions that was only that stop. We only landed up having about 45-50 minutes, so there was no time to go into the store, get food, or see the town. We would have liked to have time to sit on the rocks and just relax. We did have a huge issue with the bus service. It was very warm (80's) and the air conditioning on the bus was either not working or working poorly. People were complaining and asking them to turn up the air conditioning, especially since the windows did not open. I started to feel so sick that I thought I was going to faint. The next day we ran into other people that said they they almost fainted also. It was terrible and ruined the rest of the excursion. New Brunswick (Hop On/Hop Off Big Pink Bus) - We started out very disappointed with the bus service. We had to have waited almost 1 1/2 hours for the initial bus to pick us up in the parking lot. The parking lot was full of people, standing in direct sunlight on a very warm day, waiting (people in wheelchairs, with canes, etc.). The bus service was poorly run. Otherwise the tour was okay. The Skywalk was a little disappointing and was much smaller than the picture. We were done in 15 minutes. Bar Harbor (An Intimate Look at Acadia National Park) - This tour was the highlight of our cruise. Despite the fact that Immigration showed up an hour late and caused a commotion with all of the tours that had to wait for their passengers, our tour of Acadia was wonderful! It was even more beautiful than we imagined. We had a wonderful time in Bar Harbor. Overall, despite some disappointment with our shore excursions, our cruise was a wonderful experience and we would love to go again in the not very distant future. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
My friend and I chose this cruise bc it was the only 5 day cruise out of Boston with the New England and Canada intinerary. Our boarding was delayed because the Coast guard wanted to inspect the ship due to Serenade returning from a ... Read More
My friend and I chose this cruise bc it was the only 5 day cruise out of Boston with the New England and Canada intinerary. Our boarding was delayed because the Coast guard wanted to inspect the ship due to Serenade returning from a summer overseas...at least we knew the ship was safe!! You could also see Royal’s procedures in place to ensure a smooth boarding process and it was. It’s just that the ship was completely booked so there were a lot of people boarding at once rather than trickling on all day. The rooms opened promptly at 2. Our room was very nice and clean and our room attendant Juliarta was amazing...he made our cruise special with his attentiveness, efficiency and sense of humor! We were on the starboard side of the ship and we got both sunrise and sunset from our balcony! We stopped in the R Bar in the Centrum first and this turned out to be our favorite place to hang out.. there was a guitar player who entertained there a couple of times who was amazing! We also enjoyed Vintages and the Schooner for trivia..we received great service from the staff in all of these places! The ship itself is beautiful with different artwork in every corner hallway and stairwell, they even have a champagne art auction! The food in all of the venues was very good...service even better...we were especially impressed with the lunch buffet in Reflections dining room and the nice hot food in the Windjammer! We even had someone bringing us drinks and clearing things for us in the Windjammer. We dined in Giovanni’s and Chops and the service and food was second to none! We did Giovanni’s for 1st nite done right and it was only $20...There are so many choices to eat..just not in Rita’s Cantina, which was disappointing bc we wanted Mexican food with Margaritas! The excursions we took on this cruise were really great! 3 hour tour of Peggy’s Cove in Halifax and the trolley tour of St John. 1 1/2 hours...then we hopped off at the City market and walked back to the ship. There was a flea market inside a white tent specifically for cruise ship travelers, in St John...down the street and on your left of the terminal...Everyone in Canada takes American dollars! And they reduce the price for you...$20 Canadian and $17 American..I can’t say enough about how friendly everyone is in Canada!! Some people complained that they didn’t enjoy their 6 hour tours in both ports!, but I can’t even imagine touring for that long! I would suggest a shorter excursion and then finishing off with your own tour/ lunch by yourself..It’s perfectly safe and easy to get around in these city’s.. Bar Harbor was a different story because we were completely fogged in and we had to go thru immigration on the ship, but they couldn’t find the ship due to the fog! It backed everything up bc it was a slow process getting off, with excursion boats arriving late and only 2 tenders unloading everyone..But RC made up for it by giving us an extra hour in port and enlisting the help of local tour boats to get everyone back on in a timely manner!! Keep the very real possibility of fog in mind when you plan your excursions...sometimes they go anyway and you can’t see anything! There is plenty of shopping and dining in Bar Harbor if you choose not to do an excursion. Disembarkation was backed up a bit bc Boston was slow in releasing the ship, but it got moving pretty quickly...our bags were waiting for us and we were in a taxi by 9:30am....it would have been longer if we had to go through immigration. Overall, I was really impressed with every aspect of this cruise...the ship, the crew, the ports and the excursions..the only hiccups were from things outside of Royal Caribbean and they did everything possible to make up for it So I can say that I recommend it highly! 2 thumbs up!! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
I wanted to take my elderly mother on a calm cruise as a cruise was on her bucket list. When I boarded the ship I ask if I could rent a wheelchair for my mother I was declined do to the face I did not make arrangements when I booked the ... Read More
I wanted to take my elderly mother on a calm cruise as a cruise was on her bucket list. When I boarded the ship I ask if I could rent a wheelchair for my mother I was declined do to the face I did not make arrangements when I booked the reservation. I didn’t think we would need one 3 mo prior to the trip. I was spoken to TERRiBLE by the security personal. After we boarded the ship an after a 2 hour wait to get in our room I was told it was mandatory we attend the safety drill procedure. I could not take my elderly mom there with walking disability down the stairs so I had her stay in the room while I attended.. My mother there has Dementia also. When I returned to the room my mother was not there. I went to the hallway an ask the cabin Stew Ricardo if he had seen my mother.? Ricardo stated he went into the room (I assume to clean as it was not very clean when we arrived) an he saw he sitting on the bed with a blanket. Ricardo then said she said she was hungry then she left the room. I told him I needed to find her she has dementia. I looked through halls of our floor an I found her safe an sound. I was then paged by the security personal. I went to guest services an was invited to an office of the security personal. The female security officer and the male officer spoke to me HORRIBLE!!!!!! The female officer stated the cabin stew stated he found my mother in the room wrapped in a blanket laying under the bed. Complete total LIE. First of all my mother would not b able to get on the floor much less under the bed. Second, ileven if that were true...why would he leave her there?.,I told them that was impossible!!! They then told me the cruise line was never t responsible for my mother and I was not to leave her alone. I told them I would not have left her alone had it not been for their safety procedure an the caregiver who was suppose to be on the trip with us had cancelled the day before., I was shocked humiliated over they way I was treated. Also I ask guest services if I could rent a wheelchair was declined from for the ship and also declined for shore excursions an just walking in the towns when we docked so our entire trip was spent on the ship except for one day we left the ship for Halifax an I thought maybe I could rent a cab. My mother had a very difficult time even walking down the ramp to the port. A very nice man who works for Hop on Hop off ask if we needed anything I explained I wanted my mother to tour the city was unless we hired a cab it wasn’t going to work out. He said if we wanted to take the Hop on Hop off they would help me get her on an off. We did do that an we just stayed on the bus but at least she was able to see the city. This was the only time during this vacation someone treated my mother with kindness and respect. I feel my mother was discriminated against several times by the Cruise Line an will never take another Royal Caribbean Cruise again. Your cruise line should be ashamed. 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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