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Arrival & Embarkation We flew to San Juan on departure day. Our flight arrived on time around 1:00 and we went right to the port. The cab fare was stated at the airport and after about 20 mins we were at the port. I noticed little to no signage instructing you where to go. We had priority embarkation and located the luggage drop-off and got in line. We were in our cabin about 25 mins after we arrived at port. Cabin We had cabin # 1100. We like the aft corner- both for the larger balcony, and the quiet. The walk aft has never bothered us, and we never noticed excessive noise from the Windjammer. Our Cabin steward Dassa was great, always smiling and saying hello when we would see him in the hallway. Food We have always thought the food on RCI was fine, nothing special, but still enjoyable, and this was no exception. We chose the late seating due to our shore excursions. We were assigned a table for 4 by a window. Our waiter Ignacio, and his assistant Jacqueline were very attentive and after the first night knew our drinks and roll picks, but asked anyway-just in case. Before dinner, we would have ho rs-d'oeuvres and a drink at the Champagne Bar, it became a routine we would follow the rest of the cruise The windjammer was fine for breakfast- good salmon. I enjoyed going to the Seaview Cafe, especially once we got back from a shore excursion. Great fries, cuban sandwich and chicken fingers. Sorry that it is being replaced. Went to the pasta demonstration at Portofino. Really good appetizers, but when I went to take a forkful of my seafood risotto, i bit down on a shell fragment. I told our waitress and she commented that "sometimes that happens" and took the plate away. If that is what RCI feels is "fine dinning", I didnt want to experience dinner that evening and asked to cancel my dinner reservation that evening. I was told that there would be a fee for cancelling less than 24 hours. After talking to the manager, the fee was waived. While the food was good at Portofino, Its really not a fine dining experience based on the staff. I have eaten at some really good restaurants and when something like this happened I was offered another entree, a glass of wine and/ or had the meal comped.Other than waiving the cancellation fee, the manager did little more than say "next time it will be better. Entertainment Didnt go to any shows. Ports Booked excursions, or explored the ports on our own. Tortola Went to the baths on Virgin Gorda. We really enjoyed walking around and thru them. St. Maartin Headed to the Sunset Bar to watch the planes. Again, really cool to see. St. Kitts Was supposed to do the volcano hike with Royston Tours, but got the starting time confused with another excursion. Royston came back and gave us a great tour of the island. Dominica Went canyoning with Extreme Dominica. One of the best excursions we have ever done. A couple of hours repelling and/or jumping off waterfalls. Really, really cool and fun. Barbados Went on the Calabaza. Relaxing and fun snorkeling with sea turtles. Ship General We sailed on the Serenade 4 years ago to Alaska. Since the last time we were on her, you could notice that some areas of the ship need some updating, but we didn't notice anything that would stop us from having a great time. I am sure that all of that will be taken care of when she goes into drydock later this year. Disembarkation We were flying out the next day, so we were in no hurry to get off the ship. We had breakfast in the Windjammer, and then went back to our cabin to get our stuff. We went to the main dining room for our 9:00 departure time. Found ou luggage and were through customs in about 10 mins. Took a cab to the Hotel Milano and checked in. We chose a room in the back due to our early flight the next morning. The hotel is nice. Rooms are a little small but the staff are helpful,the location is great, and is affordable, at least compared to other hotels in the area. Walked around OSJ and toured the forts. Lots to see, its a really cool place. Departure Had the front desk person call a cab for us @ 4:00am. Cab ride to the airport was quick. what was confusing was the fact you had to go thru an agriculture check/screening prior to checking your bags with the airline. Other than that getting back home went smoothly

Great vacation

Serenade of the Seas Cruise Review by nohoyas

Trip Details
Arrival & Embarkation

We flew to San Juan on departure day. Our flight arrived on time around 1:00 and we went right to the port. The cab fare was stated at the airport and after about 20 mins we were at the port.

I noticed little to no signage instructing you where to go. We had priority embarkation and located the luggage drop-off and got in line. We were in our cabin about 25 mins after we arrived at port.

Cabin

We had cabin # 1100. We like the aft corner- both for the larger balcony, and the quiet. The walk aft has never bothered us, and we never noticed excessive noise from the Windjammer. Our Cabin steward Dassa was great, always smiling and saying hello when we would see him in the hallway.

Food
We have always thought the food on RCI was fine, nothing special, but still enjoyable, and this was no exception. We chose the late seating due to our shore excursions. We were assigned a table for 4 by a window. Our waiter Ignacio, and his assistant Jacqueline were very attentive and after the first night knew our drinks and roll picks, but asked anyway-just in case.

Before dinner, we would have ho rs-d'oeuvres and a drink at the Champagne Bar, it became a routine we would follow the rest of the cruise

The windjammer was fine for breakfast- good salmon. I enjoyed going to the Seaview Cafe, especially once we got back from a shore excursion. Great fries, cuban sandwich and chicken fingers. Sorry that it is being replaced.

Went to the pasta demonstration at Portofino. Really good appetizers, but when I went to take a forkful of my seafood risotto, i bit down on a shell fragment. I told our waitress and she commented that "sometimes that happens" and took the plate away. If that is what RCI feels is "fine dinning", I didnt want to experience dinner that evening and asked to cancel my dinner reservation that evening. I was told that there would be a fee for cancelling less than 24 hours. After talking to the manager, the fee was waived. While the food was good at Portofino, Its really not a fine dining experience based on the staff. I have eaten at some really good restaurants and when something like this happened I was offered another entree, a glass of wine and/ or had the meal comped.Other than waiving the cancellation fee, the manager did little more than say "next time it will be better.

Entertainment

Didnt go to any shows.

Ports
Booked excursions, or explored the ports on our own.

Tortola
Went to the baths on Virgin Gorda. We really enjoyed walking around and thru them.
St. Maartin
Headed to the Sunset Bar to watch the planes. Again, really cool to see.
St. Kitts
Was supposed to do the volcano hike with Royston Tours, but got the starting time confused with another excursion. Royston came back and gave us a great tour of the island.
Dominica
Went canyoning with Extreme Dominica. One of the best excursions we have ever done. A couple of hours repelling and/or jumping off waterfalls. Really, really cool and fun.
Barbados
Went on the Calabaza. Relaxing and fun snorkeling with sea turtles.

Ship General

We sailed on the Serenade 4 years ago to Alaska. Since the last time we were on her, you could notice that some areas of the ship need some updating, but we didn't notice anything that would stop us from having a great time. I am sure that all of that will be taken care of when she goes into drydock later this year.

Disembarkation

We were flying out the next day, so we were in no hurry to get off the ship.
We had breakfast in the Windjammer, and then went back to our cabin to get our stuff. We went to the main dining room for our 9:00 departure time. Found ou luggage and were through customs in about 10 mins.
Took a cab to the Hotel Milano and checked in.
We chose a room in the back due to our early flight the next morning. The hotel is nice. Rooms are a little small but the staff are helpful,the location is great, and is affordable, at least compared to other hotels in the area.

Walked around OSJ and toured the forts. Lots to see, its a really cool place.

Departure

Had the front desk person call a cab for us @ 4:00am. Cab ride to the airport was quick. what was confusing was the fact you had to go thru an agriculture check/screening prior to checking your bags with the airline. Other than that getting back home went smoothly
nohoyas’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Cabin
Rates
Service

Cabin Review

Junior Suite
Cabin JS 1100
love 1100. lots of room for 2 adults and 2 kids. huge balcony and closet very quiet. never had any problem with noise from ther windjammer
Deck 10 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Catamaran Tour
    Great tour with a maximum of 12 people, lots of room on the boat with a staff that is quick to make sure that you always have a drink, answers questions, or let your 13 year old daughter drive the boat ( with his help) a relaxing 1/2 day with A delicious lunch and snorkeling with sea turtles.
    If you have a chance book them.
    View All 68 Catamaran Tour Reviews
  • Canyoning
    One of the best excursions we have ever done.
    starting upstream we hiked down a river and repelled or jumped down waterfalls ( I think thwe max height was about 25' for repelling, about 10-15' for the jumps). The staff is great and very helpful and we never felt concerned about the safety of what we were doing. All of us thought it was grat and were surprised at how quickly 2.5 hours goes by.
    View All 1 Canyoning Reviews
  • Island tour
    Was originally scheduled to do the volcano hike but i confused the start time with another excursion so Royston left the meeting place.
    Once we got there he didn't feel there was enough time to do the volcano so we took his islansd tour.
    We went to see the bloody point petroglyphs, brimstone fortress,romney manor and just about everything else on "his" island.
    He is a great guide and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend him
    View All 204 Island tour Reviews
  • St. Maarten
    really cool seeing the planes take-off and land
    View All 4,134 St. Maarten Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's St. Maarten Cruise Port Review
  • Tortola
    Went on our own to visit the baths. Cool rock formations and my family really enjoyed it.

    View All 1,244 Tortola Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Tortola Cruise Port Review