This was a 13 night repositioning from New Orleans to Boston via the Southern Caribbean - Grand Cayman, Aruba, Bonaire, St Maarten, St Thomas. Although RCI tries to ensure that the standards are exactly the same on every ship, this Pinnacle member thought that much on Serenade was "just a little bit better" than RCI's norm.
Unfortunately we started off with the very worst Airport Meet/Greet that I have ever had. There was no representative in the Luggage Hall where you usually meet them; however a unobtrusive sign directed me to another building, the Transportation Center, where a completely disinterested and sullen RCI rep told me that a bus would be there in 10 min. Sixty-five minutes later a bus finally arrived and so we were finally off to the ship for a very easy check-in and boarding as it was now mid afternoon and most people were already aboard.
Other complaints - the absolute worst Internet of all RCI ships, Room Stewards did not come up to go to work until after 9 am, the WORST Windjammer lunch food that I have ever had (and Windjammer was the only option open at noon on in-port days), no wines at less than $30 per bottle, service charge now raised to 18%, less than 50 books in their Book Nook" (Libraries were abandoned on RCI years ago. (they didn't "make money) of which 40 were in German.
Compliments - food in all other venues "just a little better" than RCI's norm, wonderful crew morale, excellent canapés/snacks plus drinks at Meet and Mingle event, special luncheon on last day for Cruise Critic members, an Orchid Plant in my stateroom, restoration of Captain's leaving port and mid-day announcements, wonderful Formal Private Dinner for Pinnacle members along with many additional Pinnacle benefits, although the two Production Shows are old and tired they were good, better than average Headliner performers, a lecturer (something that RCI does not usually have aboard), a Catholic priest aboard for daily worship services (something RCI is only lately providing on many of their cruises).
As this was a longer cruise and a repositioning, their were over 1450 C&A members aboard including 270 Diamond Plus and 35 Pinnacles. This makes for a completely different and more mature atmosphere aboard - a far cry from the "Spring Break" party cruises that the ship had been doing previously.
I had a most enjoyable trip and would say that Radiance Class ships are my favorite on RCI, and Serenade, along with Jewel, are the best of the class.