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We are Diamond Club members and have cruised with RCI and Celebrity for almost all of our 16 cruises. So when we selected Serenade for this cruise we were confident that it would be a great cruise. We were not disappointed. The high standard held by Royal Caribbean continues to grow. Of all of our cruises this one was the best, not only from the standpoint of the ship and crew but also the ports of call. I had been looking for a cruise that went to both Rome and Athens, and I was glad to see this one. Traveling to the port, what a mistake I made, I didn't consider all the time changes associated with getting to Barcelona and didn't get us there earlier than the day of embarkation. What a mistake and we paid for it, jet lag for the first 4 days (my bad). We had not traveled that far prior and didn't realize the problems associated with it. We learned. The transfer from the airport to the pier was well run and efficient. The embarkation precess was a trying process due to all the baggage checks between the front counter and finally arriving on board, trying but necessary now a days. Our stateroom was somewhat small for a balcony but it had everything we needed. Our room stewardess) was one of the best we have had and was a welcome sight after a long day. Our Cruise was the second to the last before refitting and dry dock so she showed a little of her miles but you had to really look to see them. She was very well maintained and cared for by her crew. Speaking of which, after so many cruises you get used to seeing the smiles that aren't smiles, but on Serenade they actually meant them, not just the normal crew members that you see everyday but everyone that you met in the halls and other ship locations. They all seemed to be happy and ready to help you. Captain Karen has a most fabulous crew and it starts at the top. Due to weather conditions on our way to Cannes we were late getting into port and for those of us that had reserved an all day tour, she held the ship for us to take our arranged tour. That was a first for us, you always hear about them leaving you if you are not on-board when it is time to sail, Thanks Captain Karen it was appreciated. After all that traveling of course we were hungry, the menu items in the Windjammer and in the dinning room were different than the ones that we were used to for the Caribbean cruises. The menu items did try to incorporate the local foods and it was a great experience for us. Our Waiter and assistant were very professional and personable. We had such a good time with them (we really did want to bring them home with us). The Diamond area for breakfast was wonderful, the specialty coffees and the attentive wait staff were everything they were supposed to be. Can you say PAMPERED. This cruise was so port heavy that other than seeing the shows after dinner we were too tired to do much else. They did have a toga party one night but we missed it. Halloween was on one of the few sea days and the costumes were everywhere including the melon carvings and the veggies. All of the ship services from the Pursers desk to the stateroom attendants was excellent. We usually pack enough to last for the entire cruise but weight limits on the airlines meant that we had to watch it. Packed for a week and had the laundry done on the ship (a first for us). The entertainment depended on where you were. Most of the shows were very good and a few were so so, but all in all they were good. Our return flight was scheduled for 1100 AM and we had tickets for disembarkation for 630AM. I wasn't even awake yet. Disembarkation went so smooth that I actually enjoyed it. Our luggage was where it was supposed to be and not lined up in endless lines so you had t waste time searching. The transfer to the airport went extremely smooth and efficient. This cruise will be extremely hard to top for our next cruise. It just seemed that everything came together and made for a perfect time for us.

Best Cruise ever

Serenade of the Seas Cruise Review by respotrichie

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Trip Details
We are Diamond Club members and have cruised with RCI and Celebrity for almost all of our 16 cruises. So when we selected Serenade for this cruise we were confident that it would be a great cruise. We were not disappointed. The high standard held by Royal Caribbean continues to grow. Of all of our cruises this one was the best, not only from the standpoint of the ship and crew but also the ports of call. I had been looking for a cruise that went to both Rome and Athens, and I was glad to see this one.

Traveling to the port, what a mistake I made, I didn't consider all the time changes associated with getting to Barcelona and didn't get us there earlier than the day of embarkation. What a mistake and we paid for it, jet lag for the first 4 days (my bad). We had not traveled that far prior and didn't realize the problems associated with it. We learned. The transfer from the
airport to the pier was well run and efficient. The embarkation precess was a trying process due to all the baggage checks between the front counter and finally arriving on board, trying but necessary now a days.

Our stateroom was somewhat small for a balcony but it had everything we needed. Our room stewardess) was one of the best we have had and was a welcome sight after a long day.

Our Cruise was the second to the last before refitting and dry dock so she showed a little of her miles but you had to really look to see them. She was very well maintained and cared for by her crew. Speaking of which, after so many cruises you get used to seeing the smiles that aren't smiles, but on Serenade they actually meant them, not just the normal crew members that you see everyday but everyone that you met in the halls and other ship locations.
They all seemed to be happy and ready to help you. Captain Karen has a most fabulous crew and it starts at the top. Due to weather conditions on our way to Cannes we were late getting into port and for those of us that had reserved an all day tour, she held the ship for us to take our arranged tour. That was a first for us, you always hear about them leaving you if you are not on-board when it is time to sail, Thanks Captain Karen it was appreciated.

After all that traveling of course we were hungry, the menu items in the Windjammer and in the dinning room were different than the ones that we were used to for the Caribbean cruises. The menu items did try to incorporate the local foods and it was a great experience for us. Our Waiter and assistant were very professional and personable. We had such a good time with them (we really did want to bring them home with us). The Diamond area for breakfast was wonderful, the specialty coffees and the attentive wait staff were everything they were supposed to be. Can you say PAMPERED.

This cruise was so port heavy that other than seeing the shows after dinner we were too tired to do much else. They did have a toga party one night but we missed it. Halloween was on one of the few sea days and the costumes were everywhere including the melon carvings and the veggies.

All of the ship services from the Pursers desk to the stateroom attendants was excellent. We usually pack enough to last for the entire cruise but weight limits on the airlines meant that we had to watch it. Packed for a week and had the laundry done on the ship (a first for us).
The entertainment depended on where you were. Most of the shows were very good and a few were so so, but all in all they were good.

Our return flight was scheduled for 1100 AM and we had tickets for disembarkation for 630AM. I wasn't even awake yet. Disembarkation went so smooth that I actually enjoyed it. Our luggage was where it was supposed to be and not lined up in endless lines so you had t waste time searching. The transfer to the airport went extremely smooth and efficient.

This cruise will be extremely hard to top for our next cruise. It just seemed that everything came together and made for a perfect time for us.
respotrichie’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Cabin 1512
Our cabin on deck 10 had a great view, but looking down from the balcony you were looking directly into the balconies on deck 7, not very private. The
balcony was small and semi private the walls between the cabins did not go all
the way from the wall to the railing. The cabin had a somewhat small bathroom
with a circular shower, have to open the shower door to pick up the soap. The
bed was comfortable (I actually slept quite well, a first) for a cruise. The
cabin did have adequate storage space for luggage and personal items and clothing. Being on deck 10 you felt the motion of the ocean more than at lower decks but that just rocks you to sleep. This was not the best cabin but not the worst either. Just as expected.
  Serenade of the Seas Deck Plans

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Athens (Piraeus)
    Our tour of Athens included the Acropolis, the Old Olympic Stadium. Just to have walked the steps that ancient Greek soldiers and poloticians walked over
    2000 years ago was just amazing. What a feeling.......
    View All 1,251 Athens (Piraeus) Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Athens (Piraeus) Cruise Port Review
  • Monaco Walking Tour
    To see the Cathederal where Priness Grace is laid to rest and the changing of
    the guards at the palace were my favorite parts of the tour.
    View All 5 Monaco Walking Tour Reviews
  • Monte Carlo Walking Tour
    This one is for the active person. There are many steps to navigate and it is
    not for the out of shape person. However, if you do take this tour you will be
    rewarded with fantaqstic sights, including the casino whick now allows visitors
    into the casino without the covercharge. Seeing the actual race course and
    the actual starting slots and the start and finish line was a thrill also.
    View All 7 Monte Carlo Walking Tour Reviews
  • Crete (Heraklion)
    Chania Souda Crete we did not take any tours and stayed on board the ship,
    the locals did provide a very fine exibition of the local culture and dances
    for us.
    View All 266 Crete (Heraklion) Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Crete (Heraklion) Cruise Port Review
  • Florence (Livorno)
    A walking tour of Florence including the Duomo was excellent and then going
    to Pisa for the "Leaning Tower" was just fabulour especially because or our
    much smaller group size. The group size enabled us to see more of the citys
    up close and uncrowded.
    View All 1,089 Florence (Livorno) Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Florence (Livorno) Cruise Port Review
  • Ephesus
    The excavations at Ephesus were unbelievable and there is so much more to un-
    earth that it is amazing. The high point were the Terrace Houses. These excavations literally bring you inside the houses to see the frescoes on the
    walls and the mosaics on the floors. Just beautiful.
    View All 242 Ephesus Reviews
  • Amalfi Coast
    The Amalfi Coast, this drive is NOT for the faint of heart. This road makes
    Lombard Street in San Fransisco took TAME. It is a white knuckle type of
    drive, but it is still worth the trip. The scenery was fantastic and our
    driver and guide were just great.
    View All 265 Amalfi Coast Reviews
  • Pompeii Walking Tour
    Entering through the SEA GATE and walking down the streets of the Agora and
    the surrounding Temples and homes was breathtaking to say the least.
    View All 465 Pompeii Walking Tour Reviews
  • Sistine Chapel
    The Sistine Chapel WOW just sums it up. Just fantastic,
    View All 114 Sistine Chapel Reviews
  • Vatican Museums
    Our guided tour of Rome including the Sistine Chapel and the Vatican Museums
    was the high point of our tour. We ordered our tickets ahead of time so that
    we did not have to wait in the long lines for tickets and had more time to see
    the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel. The Trevi Fountain was also on our
    tour and we had a scheduled stop there also and the Colosseum was fantastic.
    View All 128 Vatican Museums Reviews