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Serenade of the Seas Cruise Review
4.5 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
1,679 Reviews

Serenade of the Seas - Canada/New England

Serenade of the Seas Cruise Review by mccoy132

5 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Sep 2003
  • Destination: Canada & New England
  • Cabin Type: Deluxe Ocean View Stateroom with Balcony

Here's my review of the NY - Canada (Halifax, St. John) cruise (our


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


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


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


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


dinner. Going back to a fixed dinner time took some getting used too.

Service - The service was also very good. Dinner courses were


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


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


area on almost every deck. Since it was chilly in Canada, we did not


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


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


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


Overall, it was a very good trip. I just want to note that most of


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


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


If you have any specific questions, please email me at


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Cabin Review

Deluxe Ocean View Stateroom with Balcony
Cabin E1 8138

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

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