Just back from a 7 day cruise from Dubai on the Serenade of the seas. Starting with embarkation: Very chaotic, we had an overnight flight and was taken to the Hyatt hotel for breakfast and booking in process, but they had run out of sea pass cards, so we had, with others a piece of paper giving our cabin Numbers etc. But they didn't tell the security so we couldn't get on the ship until we made quite a fuss, also getting picked up from the hotel was like a mad scramble to get on the buses.(suggestion get a taxi from airport straight to ship) no hassles I gather. Once aboard very impressed with the decor which is very elegant and comfortable. Cabin was excellent, we were on 4th deck with large window, lots of storage space and cabin steward was really good. I gather the lower decks with small portholes not as good as very low down, limited view, but most people thought cabins were very comfortable and large enough, balconies were recommeded as good for getting away from the crowds.
Food - was good but a bit disappointed as not to 5* quality, I gather from regular R.C travellers food is not as good as in the past. But saying that we enjoyed both the Windjammer buffet for lunch and the set evening dining. If you are willing to pay extra there is more options in the speciallity restuarnts. We also enjoyed the Park cafe in the solarium which is very chilled and good for a light lunch or breakfast. The solarium is a little haven of peace and quiet, no children allowed... However, we thought the cost of alcohol was extortionate especially wine, cheapest bottles cost average 40 dollars without the added tax, approx Â£35 + so we like so many people didn't buy too many bottles and made the wine last for a couple of nights which I felt spoilt the whole experience of eating good food and drinking fine wine. We did however bring on two bottles of wine as this is allowed, but you could only drink this in your cabin, not really a lot for a week aye but anything helps !! The drink package still works out at 165 dollars- Â£26 per bottle + tax a bit much when other cruise lines are much more reasonable. ( All the drinks are expensive so be aware) There is a 45 dollars each package drink as much wine and beer as you want, but I am not sure if that includes the tax. I doubt if we could drink that much a day so was no use to us but may work out okay if you like a few drinks..
Entertainment very good great fun with good party nights, but was disappointed shows were pre dinner most nights i.e 7pm or just the one show at 8.45 so didn't get to see these much as we like to watch them later after our 8.30 dinner seating. But overall, some good fun nights.
If you want to go for an out side cabin try deck 4, We were in deck cabin 4503, great cabin easy access to the reception area, the dining room which for us was on deck 4. We had the lift just close by so could get up to the solarium and get coffe ;tea or soft drinks easily. our cabin was very quiet no oiverghead noise as there was nothing above us on deck 5. We had a dead end so no one was passing by us apart from our neighbours in the next couple of cabins. I gather the balcomnies were also nice especially on the higher decks.
Great, place but very busy with traffic, we did hop on and off bus which included a boat trip along the creek, very good.
Port 2 - Abu Dabi not on selection list, quite good, trip to grand mosque a must see.
Port 3 Fujairah - nothing much there, cheap shopping in the mall.
Port 4 - Oman - Brillant a lovely place, recommend hop on and off buses. But trip to mosque etc good.