1,703 Royal Caribbean Serenade of the Seas Cruise Reviews

We chose this itinerary because of the wonderful ports and 4 days at sea, which we really enjoy. The weather was magnificent! Lots of “older citizens” on this trip! Wow! Many are demanding and quite cheap! Another issue is that the ... Read More
We chose this itinerary because of the wonderful ports and 4 days at sea, which we really enjoy. The weather was magnificent! Lots of “older citizens” on this trip! Wow! Many are demanding and quite cheap! Another issue is that the staff does not enforce the rule of not holding lounge chairs around the pool. If you want a chair, you need to get up before 7:00 am and go put your towels on a chair. We didn’t want to play that game so we rarely had a place to sit. We enjoyed a few of the shows in the Tropics Theatre, but again, the saving of chairs made it difficult to get a place to sit unless you arrived very early to the show. There also is a movie theater that shows good movies which we enjoyed. We are not casino people, so we didn’t use that area. It’s very smokey in there!! Our dining experience was bumpy at the start. We had the 8:00 pm seating. The first night was a disaster-incredibly slow service, cold food, no beverage was brought to our table until we were nearly done with our meal. We were the last table in the dining room to leave. It was BAD! The dining room manager was apologetic and promised us that the next night would be better. Well, it was better, but still really slow. Again, long waits, slow beverage service and cold soggy food. After the third night of the same service, we gave up and went to the 5:30 dinners. The dining room management was fabulous and worked hard to accommodate us. Things improved dramatically! Don’t be afraid to speak up if your service is poor! The ship is showing it age as the furniture is quite worn and banged up in the public areas. The dining room chairs are filthy. Maybe now that the cruise industry is closed down for a few weeks because of the Coronavirus, they will be able to clean these up. The Windjammer Buffet is the typical busy place. Decent food and very clean!! We enjoyed many of the bars, entertainment and service throughout the ship! The Centrum area is small and busy. There is not nearly enough seating, so again, be prepared to stand. The smoking area is positioned so that the much if the ship smells of cigarettes smoke! As non smokers, we didn’t care for that. The crew was very nice and work hard to keep the ship clean. I believe that we were the last cruise before the industry was closed down for the month because of the Coronavirus. We had a wonderful time and enjoyed the ports, the excursions we had, and our time away from the routine of daily life! Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
The March 2nd sailing of the Serenade of the Seas was the first back to back cruise we had ever had the pleasure of taking. The first leg of our adventure started on the Serenade on the February 21st sailing. We had no idea what a B2B ... Read More
The March 2nd sailing of the Serenade of the Seas was the first back to back cruise we had ever had the pleasure of taking. The first leg of our adventure started on the Serenade on the February 21st sailing. We had no idea what a B2B was when we first saw the term on our roll call. After discovering that people really did do a cruise, stay on the ship and do another one we knew it was something we wanted to try. Our thought was it would be a great way to have a longer cruise and save the airfare of doing two separate cruises. It was delightful. We had the same balcony cabin, 8070, for each of the cruises. When we arrived back in Fort Lauderdale on March 2nd, we were escorted off the ship, our passports were reviewed, and within minutes we were walked back onto the ship. A very efficient and simple process. The crew was so busy getting ready for the next set of guests we stayed in our room out of their way. We enjoyed setting on our balcony and relaxing. The Serenade was the smallest ship we had ever been on and we loved it. We could get from one end to the other easily and quickly. It was so easy to learn where everything was and navigate the ship in just a day. She is a beautiful ship. She does show her wear slightly but for the most part is perfect. The second leg of our adventure was as outstanding as the first. Being settled into our cabin made our first day very easy. We wondered if spending 21 days in a cabin, even though it had a balcony, would be difficult for us. It definitely was not. The cabin had plenty of storage and room for the two of us. Our cabin stewardess Maria took very good care of us. Due to our past sailings with Royal we do not purchase specialty dining. The food offered on RC in the main dining room, the Windjammer, and the other eateries available is outstanding. Doing a back to back cruise means you repeated basically the same menu. That was not a problem. There are a number of choices every day that allowed us to have a wide variety of various meals. The quality of the food and the superior service makes specialty dining a non starter for us. Sam, Okkey, and Omar were professional, friendly, knowledgeable, and caring. From the first night they knew our preferences and we never had to ask for anything. Being we were doing a back to back cruise we knew we would probably be seeing the same shows on the second cruise as we did on the first one. It was definitely not a problem. Some of the headliners were different and the ones that were the same were still very entertaining. It also allowed us to catch anything we might have missed on the first sailing. Seeing it all on one cruise is not easy as there is so much to do. The ships orchestra, the dancers, singers were amazing. All professional and talented. We enjoyed seeing the cast members in the ports enjoying time off the ship with each other. Chris and Scott kept the fun going for everyone and could be seen all over the place. Not just doing their thing, but helping organize shore excursions too. It is definitely a team effort on the Serenade. One of the most impressive things about the Serenade is that all crew members seemed to truly enjoy their jobs and each other. It made the ship comfortable and everyone feel at home. The shore excursions were all excellent. We will definitely sail on the Serenade again. Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
My mum chose the itinerary as she'd never been to the Caribbean. Its a smaller ship, which is easier to navigate around, but also much easier to meet people & make friends which is exactly what happened. The staff were warm, ... Read More
My mum chose the itinerary as she'd never been to the Caribbean. Its a smaller ship, which is easier to navigate around, but also much easier to meet people & make friends which is exactly what happened. The staff were warm, friendly but quick & efficient. The food was excellent, and the rotten weather couldn't spoil the mood. In fact due to the bad weather we had to find social things to do + so met more people than we would expect to. I did see + hear other passengers moaning very loudly about ridiculous things, which I thought was petty and at one point very cruel... absolutely no need to be nasty. But there will always be someone who enjoys being miserable... which is sad, and on this trip, completely unnecessary. I would go back to the Serenadeoftheseas in a heartbeat. My 1 and only criticism, which I know is due to my age, is that the entertainment on the whole was dated, unoriginal, unfunny and very poor quality. The in house singers + dancers far outshone the so called "Headline Acts". None of whom I would give any rating at all.... not even 1 star. The majority of the mostly elderly audience appeared to love them, which to me was incomprehensable... but each to their own. Its a huge shame, as the rest of the activities organized by the excellent Chris Brown, were fun, engaging, stimulating and original. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
As our cruise date approached, I was a little nervous about going on the Serenade of the Seas by Royal Caribbean. We had been mostly on larger ships and the information I was ready on the blogs made me wonder if we had made a mistake. We ... Read More
As our cruise date approached, I was a little nervous about going on the Serenade of the Seas by Royal Caribbean. We had been mostly on larger ships and the information I was ready on the blogs made me wonder if we had made a mistake. We were pleasantly surprised and as always when we sail on Royal Caribbean totally happy with our decision! Embarkation and disembarkation went as smooth as silk. Very quick and very efficient. Although a smaller ship the Serenade offered everything we were looking for and more. The ship has been well maintained and although she showed her age slightly in some areas was beautiful. The Serenade does not have all the bells and whistles for the kids but for a family looking for a relaxing vacation it should be considered. Our ocean view balcony cabin was very adequate. It offered plenty of storage, the bed was very comfortable and our mid ship location between the elevators made the cabin perfect for us. Our cabin steward Maria did a great job. We find the food on Royal to be outstanding whether we are in the main dining room or the Windjammer. We do not buy the specialty dining due to the quality of food everywhere on the ship. The dining room service was impeccable.Sam, Okkey, and Omar were the best waiters ever! Christopher in the Windjammer went out of his way to be sure we always had anything we needed. The entertainment was excellent. The singers and dancers where extremely talented and did a great job. The headliners, the entertainers in the lounges, and the orchestra were all very entertaining and professional. We were not disappointed with any of it. The cruise director Chris, and the activity director Scott, were always visible and kept everyone involved. The casino was like all others. if there was a negative to the cruise it was that the casino sometimes smelled smoky. Not good for people allergic to smoke. Early in the day it was better so that is when we visited the venue. The service we received in all areas was the BEST we have ever had overall on a Royal ship. The staff was on a mission to make our vacation perfect. Since this sailing was at the beginning of the Corona virus they did everything they possibly could have done to protect all of us from the virus. They cleaned non-stop. We were totally impressed with their efforts and at no time felt anything but safe on this wonderful ship!!! The ports were all beautiful and interesting. Shore excursions were excellent as always. We are loyal to Royal and have another cruise planned for December of 2020 with our grandchildren and their parents on the Anthem. We also booked another cruise with Royal for next February on the Enchantment of the Seas. We have never had a bad experience on Royal and recommend their Serenade of the Seas to all. We look forward to sailing on her again in the future. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
The good, the bad and the ugly. I’m not a fan of this ship’s design. The centrum design lacks functionality. It doesn’t offer enough room for large crowds to enjoy the entertainment and it acts as a chimney for cigarette smoke to ... Read More
The good, the bad and the ugly. I’m not a fan of this ship’s design. The centrum design lacks functionality. It doesn’t offer enough room for large crowds to enjoy the entertainment and it acts as a chimney for cigarette smoke to travel up to the upper floors and hallways. We were in a suite on floor 10, 5 floors above the casino, we could smell smoke just outside our room in the hallway. Park West, the art auction company that contracts with cruise ships, BEWARE!!!! They overcharge for their artwork and make false claims. Check them out on the internet and research before buying anything! RCI gets a percentage of everything sold onboard. The service on this voyage was excellent! The food on this voyage was average to slightly above average. They served Basa, Tilapia and several other substandard fish. The beef on the ship was all excellent! The noise in our suite from above was very loud. The entertainment was very good too. The itinerary was also very good. Do your research before booking any cruise and also read reviews so you don’t have any unexpected surprises! Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We picked this cruise for a couple of reasons: The ports of call Smaller ship Less kids The embarkation was quick. Disembarkation just as good. We booked the cruise shuttle to take us back to the airport which was one of the ... Read More
We picked this cruise for a couple of reasons: The ports of call Smaller ship Less kids The embarkation was quick. Disembarkation just as good. We booked the cruise shuttle to take us back to the airport which was one of the best decisions we made. The buses were right there to pick us up. Our buses were clearly marked. Being a smaller ship there was less to do but easier to find your way around. When a lot of activities were in the Centrum, it was a small area and seats were limited. Our group ate at the Windjammer for breakfast and lunch and the Dinning room or Windjammer (taco nite) for Dinner. We had "my time dinning" which we booked the same time every night.(5:30) We did miss the photo with the captain, not sure if that was a timing issue or he was dinning room only not "my time dinning". The food was good. Lots to pick from. It took several days to find out we could get Evan water instead of the other no-name brand and canned pop instead of fountain pop for our drinks (with our deluxe drink package) We had a lot of fun playing mini golf. (Rules depending on who was playing) The cost of the 10 day cruise was good. It was the cost of getting there that was more than we thought. On top of the airfare you have to add baggage fees per checked bag & seat fees both ways - times two. I would take the time and find the best deal and check out other airlines and other airports. I would also suggest you sign up to Cruisecritic to learn all you need to know about everything you should know before your cruise. I did and I was well informed. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We chose this ship do to the many different ports in the Caribbean. The problem is on board this ship. We have never seen so many older people in my life on a cruise. Super boring on ship, except for the theatre shows. We too are around ... Read More
We chose this ship do to the many different ports in the Caribbean. The problem is on board this ship. We have never seen so many older people in my life on a cruise. Super boring on ship, except for the theatre shows. We too are around 60 but like other reviewers this was just to old of a crowd for us. Karaoke was lame, the vortex dance club maybe 8 people in there total. Never seen anything like it on any cruise before. The boat is smaller so has very limited activities. All these really old people just take up the pool chairs and read and most don't even get in the water. Really hard to get chairs by pool because RCI dose not enforce the saving of the chairs like their signs say. Read other reviews, this is the oldie but goodies ship. If you like the 50's and 60's music this is your boat. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Our community picked this cruise because it had southern Caribbean ports and left from Fort Lauderdale and not San Juan. 75 of us went on this six port intensive and four sea day cruise. While the 75 of us just had this cruise, we met ... Read More
Our community picked this cruise because it had southern Caribbean ports and left from Fort Lauderdale and not San Juan. 75 of us went on this six port intensive and four sea day cruise. While the 75 of us just had this cruise, we met many others that enjoyed this as a B2B, and even up to a 6B2B! I can see why this is popular for the cruising fanatics. Food was great, service was fantastic, crowds were manageable, ports were fun, entertainment was enjoyable, and ship looked wonderful. We had two pretty good comedians on the ship, a couple good shows, a couple bad shows, and two FANTASTIC Beatles tribute shows. I hope these four guys are on your next cruise. Pub singer was great, Bar act was over worked. Other music was pretty good for a smaller ship. To me, MDR dinners was uninspired. It lacked choices and flavor. WJ was better when we went there. Lunch at MDR was far superior with choices, taste and desserts. We did not try any specialty restaurants this trip. Food in Diamond Lounge was very good. Room service breakfast was spot-on. Coffee was fine at all venues. We did our research here on CC for the ports and booked independent operators for all our excursions. Opinions will be shared on those boards. Wish more ships would visit Ponce, PR - the area needs development. Overall, loved meeting new friends, seeing new places, and can't wait till our next adventure! Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Royal Caribbean's business policies have ruined this ship. The crew works hard, but you can't fix things from the back seat. It became obvious two days into an eleven-day cruise that there would be less to do more. Stateroom ... Read More
Royal Caribbean's business policies have ruined this ship. The crew works hard, but you can't fix things from the back seat. It became obvious two days into an eleven-day cruise that there would be less to do more. Stateroom attendants must take care of more rooms. This means the room cannot be deep cleaned regularly unless there is an "accident" or event that would require it. Closets, drawers, and under the bed were thick with layers of dust. There is a supervisor that tours and offers comments, but no assistance. The same thing applied to the Main Dining Room (MDR) and Windjammer. Fewer staff, lower quality foods and so many repeat items that it felt like Groundhog Day. This business decision drives repeat cruisers (like us) to the other restaurants onboard for a change and an increase in the level of service. We have been loyal cruises for almost 20 years and have been on Serenade before - the change in the past five years is noticeable. So much so that I will be considering a different cruise line. Additionally, I should have done more research before booking this cruise...too many old people (and I'm 60) and repeat/repeat or B2B cruisers. This drove the entertainment to a new low as RCI catered to this group. Trivia, puzzles, and shows were the same just on a different topic. Entertainment in the Theater was pedestrian and fit better in the Centrum as many times it was repeated in the Centrum to a larger and more enthusiastic crowd. Rules are non-existent regarding the saving of chairs and seats anywhere on the ship. Poolside, theater, practically any venue found people saving seats for not one or two but large crowds. If you did not have an advance scouting party you were relegated to the back rows and standing where you could find a spot. If this is going to be the policy then make it the policy. Telling those of us that chairs will not be saved only to find out made be surly to the staff after a few days. Additionally, dress codes in dining areas are not enforced either. If you want to become Carnival fine, stop setting standards and then not following them. Bathing attire in the MDR, t-shirts, and bike do-rags are not acceptable AND if they are the make that the policy. If I return I will never bring a tuxedo again. Smoking is another policy item. The smoke and smell of smoking permeates the Centrum - all day-every day. Smoking areas on Decks 5 and 11 don't just encroach upon, but generally, fogged the entire area for several decks. The crew works very hard to keep customer service up, but they are fighting a losing battle. RCI business policy has decided to cut corners and by in large cut the level of customer service. You can pay extra, but even then there is no guarantee that the level of service you are looking for will be achieved. I will look elsewhere. I can go cheaper and expect the same sub-standard level of service. I can spend more and get an increased level of service - neither will be on Royal Caribbean. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We sailed January 20th on a 10 day southern Caribbean cruise with stops in Costa Rico,Colon.Panama,Cartagena, Aruba, Curacao but missed Costa Rico due to medical emergency.This was one of my most enjoyable trips getting to experience the ... Read More
We sailed January 20th on a 10 day southern Caribbean cruise with stops in Costa Rico,Colon.Panama,Cartagena, Aruba, Curacao but missed Costa Rico due to medical emergency.This was one of my most enjoyable trips getting to experience the Panama Canal locks, carriage ride through old Cartagena, quiet shopping day plus lunch at Lucy’s in Aruba then relaxing day in Curacao. We stayed in a balcony cabin room 7058 and found it quite small with two people separated beds. The refrigerator was not able to open door and space to balcony tight. When we sail on Serenade next time will be junior suite. We found the dining room staff and food to be very good. If we needed something not on menu they tried to accommodate our request. The excursions we did were: Panama 8 hr. On ferry through locks to Panama City. In Cartagena the carriage ride through old town. We experienced a lot of street vendors each time our carriage stopped that was annoying. Our son found a nice market plus animal area with monkeys, sloth and birds in our port near ship.Aruba and Curacao were waking leisurely through shops. In Curacao I found best Cuban coffee (cubita dark roast ) on the walk back to ship in store across from ship. A fun trip if you would like to do an different Caribbean cruise and hope to return to visit Puerto Rico. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We cruised on the Serenade of the Seas January 20-31, 2020 sailing from Ft. Lauderdale. The Port Everglades Cruise Terminals are only 10 minutes from the FLL airport and very convenient. We stayed at the Embassy Suites on 17th St the ... Read More
We cruised on the Serenade of the Seas January 20-31, 2020 sailing from Ft. Lauderdale. The Port Everglades Cruise Terminals are only 10 minutes from the FLL airport and very convenient. We stayed at the Embassy Suites on 17th St the night before departure. Instead of taking the hotel shuttle to the ship, we took Uber which is less expensive and more convenient. We chose this cruise because of the ports of call: Costa Rico, Panama, Colombia, Aruba and Curacao. Unfortunately, we had to miss Costa Rico because of a medical evacuation for one of the passengers. The captain tried to evacuate him in Falmouth, Jamaica and allow us a 4-5 hour visit, but the weather didn't cooperate. Instead, we had an extra sea day which we enjoyed. As to the ports visited, our favorite was Cartagena, Colombia. It is a large, modern and clean city. We took the hop on, hop off bus and had a great time. For those wanting beach time in port, Aruba and Curacao are great, but we spent most of our time wandering the downtowns - both clean and safe. Colon, Panama is another story. There is nothing there and it is dirty and dilapidated. Some of our tablemates took tours of the canal, but still commented on the conditions of the country. As to on-board activities, we enjoyed the movie theater, headliner shows, daytime activities and the live music. The production shows can be missed. The food is good, but nothing extraordinary (except for the rack of lamb the last night of the cruise). All of the crew are very friendly and willing to do what ever they can to assist. We were on this ship last February and one recommend it to others. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
This was my first cruise with RCI and for those who say to make a good impression RCI did anything but. I will admit I am on the younger side of adult hood but that doesn't mean I shouldn't be taken any less seriously especially ... Read More
This was my first cruise with RCI and for those who say to make a good impression RCI did anything but. I will admit I am on the younger side of adult hood but that doesn't mean I shouldn't be taken any less seriously especially if I am a paying costumer. Lets start with the good things. I loved the service from the staff in the MDR. They were always willing to go the extra mile to ensure I had a nice dining experience. The rock climbing wall was super fun and the trainer that was in charge of it always gave me tips on how to improve my workouts as a whole which was very helpful. Some of the shows were good when we went after dinner, but some of them were really underwhelming. Unfortunately I didn't have that many good experiences. For starters, there is a rule that you can't reserve deck chairs which was broken making it really frustrating as someone who was following the rules to come out and have no place to sit. Even when you reported it they didn't do anything. I really didn't appreciate how rude the "Junior cruisers" were. I was in the Safari Club drawing with headphones in and music turned up pretty high, but this group of kids came in loudly interrupting and went to the other side of the room where I could still hear them through my music. They even caused a family sitting closer to them to get up and leave. Whenever I report this to guest services they always ask me for my age and then tell me there is nothing they can do. They would always tell me this with attitude which was frustrating because I paid for my cruise. It got to the point where I got security involved and that is when I was blown away by the clear ageism (being discriminated against based on your age) I was receiving. I was asked my age again by security but they took it to the next level by requesting my birthday and who I was on the cruise with. Then after I gave them the information I was still being looked down upon and their tone of voice indicated they weren't taking me seriously. If you are a legal adult but under 21 they won't take you seriously. I just found that sad considering they would discriminate against a paying costumer. Last thing was the shore excursions. We booked 3 excursions through the ship and the rest through a travel agency. The shore excursions we had through the ship were unorganized and underwhelming. We were late getting back to another excursion we had on the same island. BOTH THROUGH THE SHIP! Then on our last island we did a snorkel with stingray and kayak experience. The kayak experience was underwhelming because all we did was go through the mangroves, the tour guide never told us anything. Stingrays were fun but when we got back to shore we missed our bus trying to get the pictures we took while swimming with the stingrays. We weren't told to remember our driver so when we tried to get back on our bus it was a hassle. We barely made it back to the ship with enough time which was disappointing because I wanted to look around some of the shops. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
The cruise that we took had many stops. Every country we visited had lots of activities to choose from. They ship had several restaurants that you could choose from. We upgraded and bought the dining package which allowed us to eat at the ... Read More
The cruise that we took had many stops. Every country we visited had lots of activities to choose from. They ship had several restaurants that you could choose from. We upgraded and bought the dining package which allowed us to eat at the Japanese restaurant and the Italian restaurant and the steak restaurant. We found that the staff were all very friendly and accommodating. The ship was updated and spectacular. The only bad experience that we had was that they allow smoking in the casino. Unfortunately that smoke pours out of the casino into the open areas that most people spend time at.We were surprised that so few smokers can be allowed on the ship and affect 95% of the people there. We found the smoking so offensive that it kept us from spending time in areas that we would’ve enjoyed being in. We would strongly suggest that this cruise line reconsider their smoking policy and be more considerate to the vast majority of people that cruise. Other than that this cruise ship was truly amazing.In the future we will be reviewing the smoking policy of any cruise ship that we look at. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We were celebrating a 40th wedding anniversary, 60th birthday and an engagement. We had 11 family members from 3 different locations coming together for this cruise. December 30th. We boarded the ship and was advised to head up to the ... Read More
We were celebrating a 40th wedding anniversary, 60th birthday and an engagement. We had 11 family members from 3 different locations coming together for this cruise. December 30th. We boarded the ship and was advised to head up to the pool bar to get a drink and relax until the buffet was open and our cabins were ready. Upon getting to the pool bar, there was only 1 bartender, and her attitude clearly showed that that was the last place she wanted to be. She was unfriendly and rude and basically, we were inconveniencing her. We moved on to the Schooner Bar, and that was also a disaster. I waited for half an hour to get drinks and it was so disorganized, having to swipe our cards over and over to get them to work. DINNER SERVICE: Once again very disorganized. I will commend Oksana and Veda (our waitress and assistant waitress) for their diligence and commitment to trying to get everything right. However, the main fault herein lies with the bar! Our drink orders were taken as soon as we sat down, yet, we didn't receive our drinks until after the appetizers had already been served. The first few nights, we weren't even able to get a fresh glass of wine to go with our dinner. Moving forward, Veda was smart to put in our drink orders before we even got to the dining room so that we would have drinks when we arrived. Great idea, but caused some confusion when we wanted to change what we were drinking. One of my daughter's meals was served with hair in her food. The manager handled it well, however asked for her cabin number so that the incident would be noted and we would be contacted for follow up. NO contact was ever made and no follow up completed. DINING: The food was just okay.... Nothing special. There is no 24 hour option. Everything is closed by 1:00am which is ridiculous when the bars are still open and people need some option after that time. Also, in today's world, what about healthy options? Fresh fruit or vegetable smoothies? BAR SERVICE: This whole bar system, service and offering is a JOKE! We each paid $860 Canadian Dollars for the all inclusive bar package. I have NEVER been anywhere in this world that had so many restrictions with an all inclusive package. The drink menus posted all over the ship at every bar, did not have some of the drinks that were listed. When asking the bartenders about it, they shrugged and looked blank. No idea what they were even offering. The one drink rule at a time is an absolute disgrace. I can understand if you have waiters serving the drinks etc, but to expect me on my vacation to stand in line for 30 minutes to get a drink and then to be told I can only get one drink at a time and THIS INCLUDES WATER!!!! This is ludicrous. You supply us with a cold drinks cup and then we can't fill it because we can only have 1 drink at a time. No doubles allowed, but wait in line for another 30 minutes for another drink. Asked for bottled water for our cabin and was told that we would have to pay extra for it and that was with the all inclusive package. Had to call the mini bar service, then customer service and finally the bar manager just to get some bottled water for the cooler in the cabin. No alcohol in the cabin, so basically not allowed to enjoy the balcony on the cabin with a drink while getting ready for dinner or baileys in my coffee while watching the sunrise. EXCURSIONS: We were misinformed about everything. All tours are overbooked and we are packed in like sardines. We booked two excursions and was supposed to get the 10% discount that was being offered. The customer service staff didn't know how to process it so was going to have the excursion staff either process it or call me to confirm. Neither happened. Had to spend my last evening of the cruise trying to get it sorted out. Specifically asked about the driving to the excursion destinations as one of my daughters suffers from severe motion sickness, Was advised that it was not a long drive and she "should be fine". For the adventure tubing excursion - for a 3 1/2 hour excursion over 2 hours of it was driving and on switch back roads etc. My daughter was hanging out the window with nausea and vomiting. When we arrived at the location, we were advised that they were not expecting that many people and we had to stand around waiting while they pumped up more tubes. They ended up not having enough life jackets and tubes for everyone that was there. CHOPS GRILL: Dining in one of your up-sell dining rooms. First off, had we been told that it was like a $20 difference to go from one restaurant to 3, we would have taken that option. But that was never suggested. We booked in at Chops Grill to celebrate a 40th wedding anniversary. This was booked even before we left home and there was no end of trouble with it. My sister will be contacting you regarding this as well. I had notified your representative who booked the cruise for us what we were celebrating. He assured me that all 3 occasions would be noted on our file and that something "special" would be done to acknowledge all 3!!!! NOTHING WAS DONE OR EVEN ACKNOWLEDGED. We barely sat down at Chops Grill and the server was there taking drink orders but wanted our food order at the same time. We hadn't even looked at our menus yet. They were very pushy and we felt extremely rushed. This was supposed to be an enjoyable, leisurely meal and it was not. CONSTRUCTION AT THE POOL: Just what we wanted... NOT!!! On day 3 or 4, they started dismantling the screen that was pool side. For the remainder of the cruise, until day 9, there was construction pool side. It was extremely loud, with welding sparks flying, burning smells and just overall disturbing. With the construction, that meant no music entertainment as anything was drowned out by the construction noise. Also meant no relaxing quiet time for reading or just enjoying the beautiful weather. THIS IS SOMETHING THAT SHOULD BE DONE WHEN THE SHIP IS IN FOR REFURBISHING NOT WHEN PASSENGERS ARE ON BOARD TO RELAX AND ENJOY THEIR VACATION. PHOTO GALLERY AND PACKAGE: I was on board with my two daughters and trying to get a photo package was ridiculous. Photo packages are done by cabin, why not families? I bought the full package yet was not able to get some photos of each child as they were not in the photo package of the cabin. CABIN: We had a leak in our cabin from about day 2 or 3. I advised Ida (room steward) of this and he was excellent. Got on the phone immediately to have someone look at the leak and see what was going on. Came back to our cabin after dinner that evening to check in to see if anyone had contacted us or been in to fix it. Told him no one had been by. He contact them again and still we had no results, We came back to the cabin maybe on day 5 and someone had put a towel down??? This was eventually escalated to the steward supervisor, Shonwin, He came down to speak with us. He was as frustrated as we were that nothing had been done. My daughter in the next door cabin told me at around day 6 or 7? that someone was in our cabin and had the ceiling taken down and it looked like they were working on it. Came back to the cabin, no note or anything but Ida did tell us that it was supposedly fixed. IT WAS NOT!!! On day 8, we came to the cabin after dinner to see that an industrial fan was in the room, blowing, trying to dry it out and also get rid of the smell. (sewer) Finally, enough was enough and I went to customer service. The lady at the desk Veronica had no idea that there was any kind of concern with the cabin. She asked me to wait while she looked into it, 10 minutes later, I had to ask one of the other representatives if she was coming back. She eventually did and I was told that they were going to move my cabin and she was "upgrading" us! We were moved to a cabin with a balcony, however the keys didn't work, just another frustration. We had 3 rooms side by side with family and now we are separated. Very inconvenient and not much of an upgrade. Shonwin (steward supervisor) offered us a FCC for 10% off. I laughed at him and said no thanks. Your representatives on board the ship were offering $600 off your next cruise and you are offering me 10%. That was a slap in the face for all of the inconveniences, hassles and frustrations that we had to endure. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
The entire pool deck at TV end couldnt be used due to all the replacement parts sitting all around & not able to have Dancing or evening affairs due to RC using the New Years cruise to replace TV, but it would be ready for next cruise ... Read More
The entire pool deck at TV end couldnt be used due to all the replacement parts sitting all around & not able to have Dancing or evening affairs due to RC using the New Years cruise to replace TV, but it would be ready for next cruise who paid the same fare!! Took the entire 10 days to do this & have pictures to prove, forcing ALL events to be held in Solarium which isnt big enough for all to participate. Shame on RC for doing this at Sea & making it difficult & UNEJOYABLE for most looking for out door entertainment ! I’ve cruised over 45 with Royal Caribbean & only get “were sorry”! Service in dining room was horrible, cold ,wrong orders & drinks to people, have cut staff all over the ship, our table started with 5 couples & only 1 remained the entire cruise, so it was either pay for other meals or eat nightly in Windjammer! Heard many say if this was 1st cruise, it would be their last ! They were VERY aware of our complaints but nothing was resolved ! Sorry unable to pull pics from phone to show! Have been LOYAL to Royal & that means NOTHING to them ! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We went with a group of 12 for New Years and a 40th wedding anniversary which was never acknowledged. Dining room staff were great and our room steward too. Definitely overpaid for this cruise. I would now rate Royal with Costa and ... Read More
We went with a group of 12 for New Years and a 40th wedding anniversary which was never acknowledged. Dining room staff were great and our room steward too. Definitely overpaid for this cruise. I would now rate Royal with Costa and Carnival and I have been on 30+ cruises.. Reasons: One dispenser in the shower for soap and shampoo. Even the cheapest motels offer separate bottles. Construction of a new TV screen on the main 11th deck, so a large portion of the deck was closed off for this for the majority of the cruise. Why not wait to get into port to do this? Elevators as spread far apart and by the time you figure out which one has arrived and you dash over to it, it has left. No pen and paper in the stateroom. The gym bicycles are motion powered and not electric or hybrid. For someone who just had knee replacement surgery I could not go as fast as required and so they cut out after a minute or less. Was then told that i had to wear close toed shoes to be in the gym. This is a Caribbean cruise for sandals - why was this not made very clear before hand? I checked the ticket contract and can't find anything about that. The casino sent a "thank you" to our cabin which consisted of 4 stale cookies which I could have gotten myself from the buffet. Other cruise lines send chocolate dipped strawberries etc. The customer service desk is right where the live music is and so you can't hear most of what is being said and you have to be repeating everything several times and wasting time. Had a question that the person at Customer Service could not answer. She took my name and room number and said someone would be in touch. I am still waiting to hear back. No waiters come around on 11 or 12 to take drink orders when you are lying down.You don't need to be bothered non-stop but it would have been nice not to get up Ponce is a sad joke - you pay a taxi to take you from the ship and it the place is small and run down with nothing to see or do. Guess Royal must be getting some really cheap docking fees to go here and not San Juan. Bar service is slow with long line ups. Were told they had no Baileys at one bar and it would take half an hour to get some. We were 1 point short of the next Crown and Anchor Tier status. On other cruise lines, they have bumped you up automatically knowing that you will have 11 nights credited shortly. Leak outside our room in the corridor. We called and it took them 2+ hours to even investigate and then 2 days with yellow tape and wires and fans that we had to dodge around to access our cabin and no word of apology. Barbados had a free tram running from the ship to the pier. Why not at some of the others which were just as long? It would be nice to have a lounger on the balcony … Meat in the regular dining room was mediocre at best but once you paid extra and went to Chops or paid for the speciality steaks, they were great. So what exactly does your base cruise fare include??!!!.. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Booked this New Year 11 night southern caribbean cruise for our anniversary, how dissppointing to find the ship overpacked from the 2900 capacity to over 3300 souls, it was bedlam with large groups of overseas visitors rude loud noisy, and ... Read More
Booked this New Year 11 night southern caribbean cruise for our anniversary, how dissppointing to find the ship overpacked from the 2900 capacity to over 3300 souls, it was bedlam with large groups of overseas visitors rude loud noisy, and gangs of feral teenage kids roaming the bars and lounges each evening. Worse still was the workmen who set up on embarkation day to remove and refit the huge tv on pool deck - without customers being given any notification of this work, so all week they welded banged worked closed off the pool area, even welding and working into the night, causing distress for people in cabins below this deck. totally unacceptable. Then the food, ok in the main dining but more like a rushed cattle market than fine dining, and the Windjammer was horrible, dirty tables, (if you could ever get one for the large groups hogging them morning and lunch), poor food choice, cold food, coming back from shore to find theyd closed the windjammer food and little or nothing to eat between 3-4.30 Been on other lines and never ever had this before! The only positive thing was the cabin was good, clean and well maintained by our steward. we chose RCL this time because our first ever cruise was with Majesty in the 90s and we enjoyed it, but wow have they changed, dumbed down to mass market family appeal and constant upselling. Will not choose them again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Everything was great, all the staff and crew are very thoughtful and helpful, very positive. We have never had such a great experience in our lives and we were impressed. Our dad had to be hospitalized on the island of Antigua due to a ... Read More
Everything was great, all the staff and crew are very thoughtful and helpful, very positive. We have never had such a great experience in our lives and we were impressed. Our dad had to be hospitalized on the island of Antigua due to a health condition and Royal Caribbean were super nice to provide a crew member to get off the ship with my dad and help translate and serve as Person who can protect. We are very thankful and will always be loyal guests of Royal Caribbean from now and on. Embarkation and disembarkation processes always went smoothly. Ship was clean and has a lot of amenities to offer but the entertainment program could have been better when we were at sea. Our cabin was With balcony for 4 people and it was really nice but not a lot of spare space when there are 4 people. Balcony was big enough to just sit and relax anytime . Dining options are great and food is available during the day in different venues when you get hungry. Service was great, our room attendant was always making our room when we are gone and she knew when we usually go out. Ports were great and shore excursions were interesting and well organized. I would suggest using excursions by RC because if you are running late for the ship, they would wait for the group in comparison to being a solo. We traveled with kid and she loved it. For sure will go again next year. Was the best experience we ever had Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Highly recommend spending the holidays on a cruise. The ship was smaller than others I've taken, but we were able to meet people we would continue to see. Food at Windjammer and main dining room was great, including Lobster ... Read More
Highly recommend spending the holidays on a cruise. The ship was smaller than others I've taken, but we were able to meet people we would continue to see. Food at Windjammer and main dining room was great, including Lobster night and Indian night. Entertainment was generally good, Deena from the Royal Caribbean entertainers, has an amazing voice. Also enjoyed Motown live, and the male comedian. Perry Grant at the piano bar I thought was hilarious, but especially funny after the kids left. The only criticism is the casino allows smoking which seeps into other rooms. It could possibly be improved by better ventilation or simply not allowing smoking in the casino. Most ports can be explored by taking a island cruise by van/taxi, which averaged about $25-30 per person. All dropped us off at the beach. Other note is they had Chanukah services, led by the cantor from the St. Thomas island synagogue. It was nice that made an effort to be inclusive to other religions and also had some amazing beef brisket. They also had latkas and matzoh ball soup. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We were looking for a relaxing cruise with new and interesting ports for our family of 5 over the holiday season, and this was a great itinerary on a fantastic ship. There were a couple of hiccups and problems but otherwise it was a solid, ... Read More
We were looking for a relaxing cruise with new and interesting ports for our family of 5 over the holiday season, and this was a great itinerary on a fantastic ship. There were a couple of hiccups and problems but otherwise it was a solid, fun, relaxing option. 1. Ship. The Serenade is not one of RCCI's new mega ships, but it's a well-laid out, charming space that punches above it's weight. We loved the public spaces which had a lot of lovely nooks and crannies for sitting around with a drink or a project and looking at the ocean. Embarkation and disembarkation were very smooth and easy on both ends, and we had access to our cabin immediately. 2. Cabin. We had two next door balconies on deck 9 for our family of 5, which was lovely. Guest Services were able to give us a key to the room where the kids were staying so we could get in and supervise when needed, which was much appreciated. We loved having a refrigerator and there was plenty of storage -- I didn't need my shoe organizer or hooks at all. The bathroom was tight, but had plenty of hot water and storage as well. 3. Dining. If you're expecting old, midwestern style supper club food, you'll be well-pleased with the main dining on the Serenade -- lots of steak, prime rib, duck, mashed potatoes, etc. It would have been nice to have some lighter and more modern options, but everyone found something they liked to eat every day and in some ways the traditional menu is the more exotic. We didn't eat at Chops or Giovannis, because the majority of those menu options were available in the MDR and so we didn't see the value. We did eat at Izumi for a birthday and were significantly underwhelmed -- if you're a big asian/sushi person, this may not be for you. (The mild case of food poisoning suffered by 2/5th of our party sure didn't help, either...) 4. Entertainment and activities. We loved the meet and mingle, the mystery/escape room, and trivia programs. My teenager loved the teen program, which had a great balance of hang-out time and organized activities. The kids program was more hit and miss. Our 7 year old loved the kids club and rarely wanted to be out of it. Our 11 year old (who is painfully shy) was bored and had a hard time communicating with the staff that he wanted to leave. Despite giving him the ability to sign out at will, the staff made a very big deal of him wanting to go, calling us every time. When that made him uncomfortable enough to cry and want to hide, we were yelled at for 10 minutes in public by the staff about how he/we would be written up for this. This definitely reduced everyone's happiness and trust in the Adventure Ocean staff, and I definitely wouldn't recommend planning on using that service if you have a kid who is shy, quirky, special needs or doesn't stand up for themselves well. 5. Service. Apart from the Adventure Ocean staff, everyone that we interacted with on board was lovely, kind, polite and very willing to go the extra mile to help us do whatever we were doing -- from the moment we arrived at port to the moment we got on our shuttle out, the customer service was flawless. 6. Ports and Shore Excursions. We booked the majority of our excursions independently for this trip, through Viator or other online services. This meant that we went to many of the same places as the cruise line excursions (since several of these ports were new-ish and are still developing their tourist infrastructure) but in groups of 5-8 rather than 50-80, which made all the difference. In Costa Rica we did the Torturgero Canals, which was far cooler than anticipated. In Panama we saw Fort San Lorenzo and the new locks -- in hindsight, we probably would have made the trek to the fancier and more developed locks closer to Panama City with the kids, because they would have gotten a better appreciation for the canal. In Cartagena we wandered around independently, and did a chocolate-making workshop, which was the best day of the cruise according to the kids. Aruba was the only port where we did a cruise-line excursion and it was a major let down; we were snorkeling and sites that were chosen had significant current, cold water, and were on the choppier side of the island, meaning that the snorkeling was really unsafe for adults and kids (several folks from our party needed to be rescued with life-preservers by the crew, who were fantastic). If we had it to do over again, we'd do the submarine excursion or stay on land in this port. Curacao was lovely and our second favorite port of the itinerary -- we took a private excursion to snorkel with sea turtles, which was a bucket-list dream come true, and then had a lovely wander through the old town. We would definitely go again, and are looking at another cruise on the Serenade in Alaska for 2021. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We live in Florida so driving to the Port of Embarkation was just over 2-hours this trip (blessed with good weather and no traffic accidents/holdups). We parked in the Midport Garage (we believe if we have to pay for parking we wanted ... Read More
We live in Florida so driving to the Port of Embarkation was just over 2-hours this trip (blessed with good weather and no traffic accidents/holdups). We parked in the Midport Garage (we believe if we have to pay for parking we wanted car/weather coverage) rather than open air and walked to the embarkation area; we arrived at 11:30am and covered a medium 10-minute walk to the ship. Disembarkation we had to take a shuttle. As we had entered our information and photos on the internet we were able to walk right through the check-in with our sail and sign in hand. Shortest embarkation ever :-) Our stateroom was one of the largest we have had which was extremely nice for a change (photos included). Large area, room to actually walk around the bed, lots of closet/drawer storage space, 17 hangers between the two sides with cupboards in- between. I hope the photos help. Cabin Review follows (with pictures) This was our second trip of Serenade (photos to follow) and it was very easy to find our way around the ship without getting sidetracked or lost (difficult to do here). We were fortunate enough again to have the 5:30pm dining time. Beautiful dining area for both dinner and lunch when available. (Photos/menus to follow) Delicious food! Exceptional service. Royal is known for having things going on all day long into the evening. We enjoyed a few games of golf, walking around the upper decks and sitting on deck 5 lounge chairs to view the ocean. At 1:00pm it was visiting the Cinema to see new movies (get there early for seating as it is quite small). There are activities for all age groups. Safari Club was utilized for playing chess and where we enjoyed the Top Tier celebration. Service is exceptional on Royal cruises, staff seem to show "the heart of the ship" and it was the same on this ship. Entertainment included the Serenade of the Seas orchestra, dancers, one night of comedy/singer and one night of comedy (7am family and 10pm adult). One night of 'love and marriage show'. Excellent all around. I cannot offer much information on excursions as we do not utilize them due to what we consider exorbitant costs. If you wanted to do anything you needed a taxi, shuttle, excursion. Our dinner companions who went of some enjoyed every one they utilized. We would leave the ship to walk and catch some wifi internet and check out some shops on the ports where there was no beach/swimming area nearby. Unfortunately for this cruise the ports were, as expected, all diamond shops and shopping. If you wanted anything else it was usually on the other side of the island. Swimming in Labadee and Philipsburg/St. Maarten had swimming available for those who wish to do so. Disembarkation was as expected. Numerous(!) people use self-assist (as did we) and you just have to be patient. Your stand in line for quite a bit of time but eventually it gets moving. Glad the Windjammer was open at 6:00am so we could get coffee and something to eat before heading home. All-in-all this was a very relaxing cruise. Not having to be anywhere at any time (having no excursions) you can take your time, leave the ship, get back on, use the pool, take a nap, etc. My one and only area of discontent: the music playing in the Centrum and also in the Dining Room on the nights the staff sing and/or dance is Excruciatingly Loud!! I can never understand why. At dinnertime five of us at our table had to leave due to the noise over the intercom played when the staff started to sing/dance. One person had hearing aids and the noise made him cringe in pain and he had to cover his ears exiting leaving our desserts and coffee behind. Enjoying music is one thing, having to cover your ears and move from the area is another. Just a personal thought. Counting down to our next Royal Cruise in January! :-) Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We like a more than 7 day cruise, so RCI options are really limited unless you do a pricey back to back. We also like the larger ships, Radiance class & larger - for me, the larger the better! After cruising Oasis last year, this ... Read More
We like a more than 7 day cruise, so RCI options are really limited unless you do a pricey back to back. We also like the larger ships, Radiance class & larger - for me, the larger the better! After cruising Oasis last year, this ship is disappointing & in need of refurb work. Biggest disappointment is the tiny, congested main pool area, with an overhead video screen that doesn't work. A poolside bartender told us the screen has never worked, so it's sort of a big dark "sore thumb" just hanging there! Wear & tear in our stateroom & bathroom were obvious: couch material worn & frayed, shower door gasket failure. We're diamond level cruisers & found the bed on this cruise so uncomfortable, we needed to request additional cushioning. We've never had a bed on an RCI ship before that was this uncomfortable. Embark & disembark went perfectly. Dining was average at best, we only used Windjammer & Dining Room; selections were uninspired, many nights we ate at Windjammer because they had same offerings as Dining Room. Entertainment was average compared to other RCI cruises. Service aboard ship was above average, our stateroom attendant was excellent. Ports were average, been to these same ports with RCI many times before, except for St. Kitts & Antigua. We wouldn't do this ship again unless some big refurbs were done; this ship claims to be a sister to Brilliance & Jewel (we've sailed both), it isn't. It's a smaller ship enlarged to be similar to 90K ton vessels, it's not - the too small main pool area causes the Solarium pool to get overcrowded. Very loud stomping neighbor above us was never home when we called Guest Services to try to remedy this. Never had this issue before on an RCI cruise. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We've taken this cruise before (although with different cruise lines) because it offers a nice getaway without the airport hassle. Our balcony (partially obstructed view) was fine. Actually, the shower was somewhat larger than we ... Read More
We've taken this cruise before (although with different cruise lines) because it offers a nice getaway without the airport hassle. Our balcony (partially obstructed view) was fine. Actually, the shower was somewhat larger than we anticipated. One major complaint is that this ship does not have an aft elevator (only mid-ship and forward.) Since our cabin was near the stern this resulted in many long walks... The food was fair/good. The variety and taste left much to be desired -- same two vegetables every night -- fine if all you like are carrots and broccoli. With just a few exceptions, the desserts do not seem fresh, but rather frozen and reheated -- have they done away with a pastry chef? Only one place to buy specialty coffee. We chose late traditional seating for dinner at a large table -- they seem unable to accommodate the request for dining companions; only two other people were assigned to our table for 8. Several nights we sat by ourselves. The entertainment was standard, but OK. There was absolutely no cultural presentation / information. I would hesitate to take a longer or more expensive Royal Caribbean cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We just got back from the Canada New England cruise. I will start out with our meals at night, they were absolutely delicious-every single night from the appetizer to the dessert. Also, we had exceptional service from our waiter Ikadek ... Read More
We just got back from the Canada New England cruise. I will start out with our meals at night, they were absolutely delicious-every single night from the appetizer to the dessert. Also, we had exceptional service from our waiter Ikadek and his assistant Marcos. They both had had great sense of humor, and had great attention to every detail, we always looked forward to seeing them at mealtime. Next our room attendant was Shawn and our room was cleaned twice a day with the cutest little towel animals on our beds at night. We ate in the Windjammer at breakfast and lunch and so many choices and everything we had from the waffles, ham that melted in your mouth to the carved meats for lunch and also hotdogs and hamburgers. The shows at night with the dancers and singers were Spectacular!! Those people are really talented. Now for the reason we will forever cruise with Royal Caribbean, one of the days Nick, the Activities Director, had all the veterans meet in one of the bars to meet each other and tell what branch of service and a little about what they did, that was so special, and if that wasn’t enough, on another day, they had all the vets meet in the Centrum and had the band the song for each branch of service and at the end they played God Bless America. There was not a dry eye in the house. I told Nick, “I will Love You Forever for doing this.” Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Took this cruise to relax and enjoy the Fall foliage. Beautiful color in each port. Especially liked Bar Harbor and Kennebunkport. Nice boardwalk in Nova Scotia. Great clam chowder and lobster everywhere. Locals in every port were very ... Read More
Took this cruise to relax and enjoy the Fall foliage. Beautiful color in each port. Especially liked Bar Harbor and Kennebunkport. Nice boardwalk in Nova Scotia. Great clam chowder and lobster everywhere. Locals in every port were very friendly and welcoming. Went to specialty restaurant Chops Grill and Izumi. The food, atmosphere, service at was excellent at Chops Grill. Izumi asian restaurant was very enjoyable with lots of beautiful sushi choices. Bingo sessions were fun, especially since several at my table won money or give-aways (t-shirts, gift certificate to spa, ship photos, etc.) Enjoyed a Swedish Massage on board during one of the cruising days. There were two formal nights on this cruise. Professional ship photo area was good, but twice the on-line photo review PCs has issues with allowing the customer to order or update information. As a result, self-service digital orders that would have normally been done on the PC had to be manually recorded on paper by a cruise employee, which caused some confusion. Embarkation and disembarkation went very smoothly and were well organized. Will definitely consider taking this cruise again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Serenade of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabin 4.0 N/A
Dining 4.0 4.0
Entertainment 5.0 3.6
Public Rooms 5.0 4.3
Fitness & Recreation 5.0 N/A
Family 5.0 4.0
Shore Excursions 3.0 N/A
Enrichment Activities 1.0 N/A
Service 5.0 4.4
Value for Money 5.0 N/A

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