First a little about us, we are a couple in our late 40's/early 50's with no children, husband is a chef and is fully aware of the logistics required to provide quality meals to hundreds of people! This was our 9th cruise all of which have been with Royal Caribbean but this was our first on the Serenade. We have done this cruise before three years ago on the Brilliance of the Seas and enjoyed it so much we had to come back and do it again. This was our first cruise as Crown & Anchor Diamond members.
We had decided to stay in Dubai for a couple of nights before the cruise and had organised our flight, hotel, and cruise direct with RCI. We flew out from London Heathrow T3 with Virgin Atlantic which wasn't great. Its been a few years since we flew Virgin but our impression was that standards have dropped, the seats were uncomfortable, the food was bland and dry, and the entertainment system had very poor sound and picture quality. After an overnight flight we landed tired and grumpy, but once we were off the aircraft things started to look up, There were staff with Serenade of the Seas signs at each step of the way checking our names off, making sure we had all our luggage, and showing us which way to go next. Just over an hour after landing we arrived at The Grand Hyatt Hotel, our base for the next 2 days. The hotel was excellent, it was immaculately clean, the staff were very polite friendly and couldnt do enough to help you, the room was huge and very tastefully decorated with everything we needed including complimentary water and a fruit basket which were both replenished daily. Its location was great for us, although relatively near the airport, there was an endless supply of taxis and the most expensive journey we made was only 30AED. We would definitely stay there again but would probaly add at least one extra night as our first day we were really too tired to fully enjoy ourselves.
On embarkation day the transfer process was very smooth. We had left our luggage in the room and apart checking that it was actually on the transfer coach we didnt see it again until later that day in our cabin. Getting onboard was possibly one of the fastest we have ever done, from getting off the coach to getting onboard was less than 15mins. Our cabin was an E1 balcony on deck 7 towards the front, we had gone there as soon as we boarded and were very surprised when within 30mins our luggage arrived. The cabin was bright, comfortable, very clean, plenty of storage space, flat screen TV, and in a very quiet location. With only one set of neighbours who we only saw once it was a very quiet and secluded balcony. We would certainly book this cabin again.
Lots of storage, very clean room, very comfy bed. Only one balcony neighbour so its a very quiet and secluded balcony. Good location not too far from elevator and does not have a lot of people passing by the door. Would definitely book this cabin again.
Lovely country, very interesting, organised excursions whether ship or private would help you get the best out of your time here. Well worth a visit to the Mosque, the Palace, the Souk, and the local markets.