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Here's my review of the NY - Canada (Halifax, St. John) cruise (our honeymoon cruise) of Serenade of the Seas. Note that I've cruised twice before, most recently on the Norwegian Dawn so any comparisons I make will be against those two cruises. Embarkation - It went very smooth. We got to the pier around 12 noon and the check-in process took under 15 minutes. Cabin - We had a category E1 cabin with balcony (#8138). The cabin was smaller than a similar one we had on the Dawn, especially in the bathroom. However, the cabin had a lot of storage space/shelves. Also, the closet was configured with shelving in the middle of the closet rather than on one side. This would've made fitting any large suitcases in there hard if not impossible. Luckily, we had a rolling garment and duffel bags. The balcony was nice but with Canada being chilly, we didn't use it as much as we'd like. The balcony had two chairs and a small table but the chairs both had a fixed back (the tilt of the backs could not be adjusted like the chairs near the pool). Food - The food was very good. We had dinner at Reflections, the main dining room every night (6pm main seating) and the service/food was excellent. We had breakfast/lunch buffet at the Windjammer Cafe and the food was good too. The waiter staff did some singing for the guests on two of the nights. There were two alternative restaurants, Chops Grill and Portofino (Italian food) which we didn't use because we found the basic dinner good enough. The Norwegian Dawn had freestyle dining, which let you decide when you wanted to have dinner. Going back to a fixed dinner time took some getting used too. Service - The service was also very good. Dinner courses were delivered quickly. The dinner took about 1 hour to 1 ¼ hour from beginning to end. The staterooms were cleaned twice a day. Public Rooms - There were many places to explore on the ship. I liked the Schooner Bar - Safari Club area on deck 6. It was very relaxing and comfortable area. There was also a piano player there who added to the atmosphere. I also liked the Centrum, the lobby of the ship. There was music/dancing there every night. Unlike the Norwegian Dawn, which concentrated all its public areas on a 2-3 decks, Serenade had them more spread out, with at least one public area on almost every deck. Since it was chilly in Canada, we did not spend much time in the pool. We did try the miniature golf on the sea days, when it wasn't as cold. Entertainment - This was one of the best parts of the cruise. There were a lot of different activities aboard the ship throughout the day. There were two production shows, one focusing on Broadway musicals that were made into movies and a "music legends" show. Other evening entertainment included 2 comedians (Sal Desmone was the better of the two), a dance comedy couple (think Fred Astaire/Ginger Rogers meets the Marx Brothers), and a juggler. Just before we left Halifax, one of the local Irish dance companies put on a show for the passengers in the theater. The cruise director, Allan Brooks, was around all over the ship and was very involved in many of the activities. Excursions - Because we haven't been to either of the cities, we took the Halifax and St John's City highlights tours and enjoyed both of them. They both gave an overview of each city. Our dinner table mates took the Halifax Hop on Hop off bus tour. It was cheaper and more flexible than the city tour we took so if you are going to Halifax, consider that one. At the cruise shop pier, there was shopping with local arts and crafts. The downtown of each city was only a few minutes walk from the ship. Disembarkation - This was also very smooth. We took the Express checkout option, which lets you off the ship first if you carry your own bags. The ship started letting us leave around 8am and we were off the ship around 8:15am. Overall, it was a very good trip. I just want to note that most of the passengers were older, about 70% was at least over 55 and there weren't too many families on board. There was a kids center that seemed to keep them occupied. The kids also made an appearance at one of the evening shows. This was my first Royal Caribbean cruise and I would recommend this ship/cruise line. The Serenade is a beautiful ship, especially since this was only its 6th cruise. If you have any specific questions, please email me at mccoy132@aol.com

Serenade of the Seas - Canada/New England

Serenade of the Seas Cruise Review by mccoy132

4 people found this helpful
Trip Details
Here's my review of the NY - Canada (Halifax, St. John) cruise (our
honeymoon
cruise) of Serenade of the Seas. Note that I've cruised twice
before, most
recently on the Norwegian Dawn so any comparisons I make will be
against those
two cruises.


Embarkation - It went very smooth. We got to the pier around 12 noon
and the
check-in process took under 15 minutes.

Cabin - We had a category E1 cabin with balcony (#8138). The cabin
was
smaller than a similar one we had on the Dawn, especially in the
bathroom. However,
the cabin had a lot of storage space/shelves. Also, the closet was
configured with shelving in the middle of the closet rather than on
one side. This
would've made fitting any large suitcases in there hard if not
impossible.
Luckily, we had a rolling garment and duffel bags. The balcony was
nice but with
Canada being chilly, we didn't use it as much as we'd like. The
balcony had
two chairs and a small table but the chairs both had a fixed back
(the tilt of
the backs could not be adjusted like the chairs near the pool).

Food - The food was very good. We had dinner at Reflections, the
main dining
room every night (6pm main seating) and the service/food was
excellent. We
had breakfast/lunch buffet at the Windjammer Cafe and the food was
good too.
The waiter staff did some singing for the guests on two of the
nights. There
were two alternative restaurants, Chops Grill and Portofino (Italian
food)
which we didn't use because we found the basic dinner good enough.
The Norwegian
Dawn had freestyle dining, which let you decide when you wanted to
have
dinner. Going back to a fixed dinner time took some getting used too.

Service - The service was also very good. Dinner courses were
delivered
quickly. The dinner took about 1 hour to 1 ¼ hour from beginning to
end. The
staterooms were cleaned twice a day.

Public Rooms - There were many places to explore on the ship. I
liked the
Schooner Bar - Safari Club area on deck 6. It was very relaxing and
comfortable
area. There was also a piano player there who added to the
atmosphere. I
also liked the Centrum, the lobby of the ship. There was
music/dancing there
every night. Unlike the Norwegian Dawn, which concentrated all its
public areas
on a 2-3 decks, Serenade had them more spread out, with at least one
public
area on almost every deck. Since it was chilly in Canada, we did not
spend
much time in the pool. We did try the miniature golf on the sea
days, when it
wasn't as cold.

Entertainment - This was one of the best parts of the cruise. There
were a
lot of different activities aboard the ship throughout the day.
There were
two production shows, one focusing on Broadway musicals that were
made into
movies and a "music legends" show. Other evening entertainment
included 2
comedians (Sal Desmone was the better of the two), a dance comedy
couple (think Fred
Astaire/Ginger Rogers meets the Marx Brothers), and a juggler. Just
before we
left Halifax, one of the local Irish dance companies put on a show
for the
passengers in the theater. The cruise director, Allan Brooks, was
around all
over the ship and was very involved in many of the activities.

Excursions - Because we haven't been to either of the cities, we took
the
Halifax and St John's City highlights tours and enjoyed both of them.
They both
gave an overview of each city. Our dinner table mates took the
Halifax Hop on
Hop off bus tour. It was cheaper and more flexible than the city
tour we
took so if you are going to Halifax, consider that one. At the
cruise shop pier,
there was shopping with local arts and crafts. The downtown of each
city was
only a few minutes walk from the ship.

Disembarkation - This was also very smooth. We took the Express
checkout
option, which lets you off the ship first if you carry your own bags.
The ship
started letting us leave around 8am and we were off the ship around
8:15am.


Overall, it was a very good trip. I just want to note that most of
the
passengers were older, about 70% was at least over 55 and there
weren't too many
families on board. There was a kids center that seemed to keep them
occupied.
The kids also made an appearance at one of the evening shows. This
was my
first Royal Caribbean cruise and I would recommend this ship/cruise
line. The
Serenade is a beautiful ship, especially since this was only its 6th
cruise.

If you have any specific questions, please email me at
mccoy132@aol.com
mccoy132’s Full Rating Summary
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