We went on our first cruise for our honeymoon. We loved our experience on Serenade of the Seas. Our room was an interior room on the 2nd level, 2005. The cruise director was great and for the most part there was always something interesting to do. There were enough food options to always be well fed (not all food was great but most was pretty good). We enjoyed out 8pm dining in the main dining room, Reflections. Our wait staff was fabulous! They were always friendly and had good recommendations. The plating of the food was always nice and most was really good. We also liked having breakfast and lunch on the back of the boat at Windjammer. We did not try any of the speciality restaurants or buy a drink package (water, flavored water, lemonade, tea, coffee, hot chocolate, milk, orange juice, and apple juice are all provided) We enjoyed the evening shows, Bingo, salsa dancing, and the workout room. We did find that the pools and hot tubs could be crowded at times, but still swam in the pool.
We really enjoyed our time in New Orleans, Jamaica, and Cozumel. We did not care for Grand Cayman as much but still had fun. In New Orleans, we went sight seeing on our own with my husband's brother the day of embarkation and disembarkation. In Jamaica, Cozumel, and Grand Cayman, we went on Royal Caribbean's excursions.
All in all, we loved our first cruise experience and look forward to more spring breaks (we are both teachers) of cruises! We were very impressed with Royal Caribbean.
Our stateroom was nice and quiet. It was away from most of the things on the ship but easy to embark and disembark at ports. The room was big enough and the bed was comfy. Our room steward, Livia, did a great job. She made towel animals most days and our room was always clean and well stocked with towels! The only thing we didn't like was not having a window, so you couldn't see the sun in the morning.
The falls were very crowded and busy. Our guide had us cut the line and we felt bad (but we found out a lot of other groups did the same). Our group did not get a videographer at Dunn's River Falls, but the groups that did seemed to get a better tour (ours was still great!). During the falls, we kept thinking we were at the end but they kept going. We were soaked and had fun (even though it was raining). We did not go through the market and were glad to skip it (we've heard scary things about it). After Dunn's River Falls, we visited Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville in the cruise port on our own. I would not get food there again (it was pricey and mediocre at best) but it was fun to walk around and take pictures there.View All 256 Dunn's River Falls Reviews
In Jamaica, we went to Green Grotto Caves and Dunn's River Falls. This was our favorite excursion. I would not travel around Jamaica on your own but with an excursion and in the port we felt safe. The port was nice and not crowded. On our excursion, our tour guides were great, especially at Green Grotto Caves. Our group had about 15-18 people. Our guide taught us a lot about the history of the caves and made the experience a lot of fun. We did not have kids with us, but there were some in the group and our guide incorporated the kids well! At the end of the caves, punch was provided.View All 41 Green Grotto Caves Reviews
The beach break was the only good part of our snorkeling, Stingray City, and 7 Mile Beach lunch. After our cancelled snorkeling trip, we were happy to find out that there were coral we could snorkel in at the beach. The beach was busy and the provided buffet was good. There were chickens walking around on the beach. After lunch, we snorkeled with our own snorkeling gear but you could rent some at the small gift shop on the beach. The coral didn't have tons of fish but was still nice. After our excursion, we went back to the very busy port. We got gellato (a bit pricey but good) and waited in the long line to take the water taxi back to the ship. We found out that the rum was inexpensive in the rum shop at the port and wish we would have got some.View All 220 Beach Reviews
We did not enjoy our excursion at Grand Cayman. We did the Snorkeling, Stingray City, and 7 Mile Beach Lunch. The port at Grand Cayman was busy and crowded. Our tour was disorganized and started late. We felt like we kept hurrying up to wait. Once we finally got to the yacht club. They informed us that our snorkeling part of the trip was cancelled due to "rough" waters. Our group did not feel like this was the cause- the waters were not rough. We believe it was due to the disorganization and running late. Royal Caribbean refunded us $30 or $35/person for the inconvenience.View All 340 Snorkeling Reviews
We had a large group for our excursion 30+. We did not like Stingray City or our guides. We felt like it was an exploitation of the rays. I have swam with stingray in Belize before. We were in a small group actually swimming. Here at Grand Cayman, you were crowded on a sand bar with hundreds of people. You were rushed and barely able to move. The guides were ushering people through to take pictures, then charging $40/picture that would be emailed to you. I felt like the stingrays were being stressed and not treated fairly as they were lifted out of the water for pictures. I would not do this again.View All 795 Stingray Swim Reviews
We walked around New Orleans on our own both the day of embarkation and disembarkation with my husband's brother as our guide (both the embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly). We enjoyed seeing all parts of the city. We did not get to go to Cafe du Mont but went to Cafe Beignet because the line was much shorter (the wait at Cafe du Mont would have been hours). The beignets were good. We enjoyed the street shows, sight seeing (including the old above ground cemeteries) and restaurants. We visited the French Quarter, Magazine St, Bourbon St, Garden District, and Old Algiers. I look forward to going back with more time.
After snorkeling, Ivan and his team took us to Playa Mia while providing drinks, singing, and dancing. At Playa Mia, the buffet was not very good, but there were lots to do on the beach, at the pools, and water park. It was busy but pretty and fun. The water was cooler than I expected. After Playa Mia, we boarded the boat again for more drinks, singing, and dancing. We road back to the port. At the port, we shopped around until boarding the boat.View All 696 Beach Reviews
We booked snorkeling and Playa Mia for Cozumel. Disembarking at Cozumel was more intense than the other ports (they check everyone's bags before you are allowed to enter). Once we were in, we went to meet with our group. Our guide was Ivan of Playa Mia. He was fabulous and well organized. We waited at a bar on the beach to board the boat. Once we boarded the boat, Ivan gave us some info about the area and snorkeling, he took pictures for people, and was very entertaining. Before snorkeling, water and soft drinks were provided. After snorkeling, water, soft drinks, rum punch, margaritas, and beer were all provided. We had fun singing and dancing to Playa Mia. We enjoyed the snorkeling at Playa Mia. The current was strong but Ivan and his team were great.View All 485 Snorkeling Reviews