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

Arctic Circle and Norwegian Fjords

Serenade of the Seas Cruise Review by roysmith99

6 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Jun 2015
  • Destination: the Arctic
  • Cabin Type: Deluxe Ocean View Stateroom with Balcony

Embarkation at Copenhagen's Ocean Quay was fast and simple, we arrived at 10.50 and were enjoying our first drink at 11.30. The ship was, as expected, in great condition. The range of dining options is similar to other RCL ships and the food was good but not exceptional; there has been a deterioration in choice in recent years. This was our 21st cruise and will not be our last with Royal Caribbean.

We ate in Chops and Giovanni's Table and had fantastic evenings. We never found time for Izumi, but our daughter and son-in-law (on their honeymoon) did twice and loved every moment. We did not eat at Rita's Cantina as the range of food did not suit our tastes. The Windjammer was always packed with guests who assumed they could live there if they wanted for the whole time it was open, regardless of anyone else. Some tables were occupied by people for hours, reading books and keeping chairs for 'friends' and not being challenged by staff - we think because of language differences. The same thing happened in the Vortex some times. We accept this as part of the cruise experience and as always work around the differences in culture and language to assure we do not adversely affect other people's cruises. We actually made several new friends whose first language is not English.

As for the Vortex - we spent most of our relaxing time there. The views from there during the four days of constant daylight were amazing and the service was excellent.

With only one exception the officers and crew were attentive, professional, helpful, caring and offered outstanding service. This one person, was in my view, very unprofessional, rude and ignorant and only after I finally confronted them on the last night, did they actually become polite (they were not an officer, wait staff, cleaner, bar staff, medical , engineering, security or our cabin attendant). We are diamond plus members and enjoyed all of the benefits offered, except one, where we were treated as second class passengers, rather than loyal RCL cruisers.

The diamond lounge manager was helpful, informative, professional and dealt with our questions quickly and in a friendly way. We spent much of our time in the diamond lounge rather than the concierge lounge.

My Time dining was very good mainly because we were part of a group who had arranged a table of ten and table of six, which we rotated through our group over the cruise. The waiter, assistant waiter, head waiter and dining room manager delivered a great experience.

We had a few issues, all of which were resolved immediately on raising them with the correct person. One benefit we get is the help of the Concierge for bookings and queries but he seemed happier to direct us to either guest services or shore excursions for dealing with our questions and issues.

The ports were as expected, fabulous Norwegian Fjords, towns and over four days of endless daylight - and experience not to be missed. We use RCL for one excursion, after having it changed twice and being overcharged we enjoyed a fabulous visit to two fishing villages in Honningsvag. We skipped the North Cape as neither of us wanted the long coach trip. We saw it from the ship twice anyway, as we sailed by.

Probably the most impressive change since our last visit was the use of the Sea Walk in Geiranger - thank you RCL for ensuring Serenade used it. We are too tired and fed up to use tendering if we can avoid it.

On arrival back. In Copenhagen we chose an RCL city tour and airport drop-off, a three hour tour which was, after a confusing start, was great. One thing o watch out for though is that RCL assume everyone needs three hours to checkin at the airport. As we flew at 2.10pm they tried to get us to change our transfer. but for the UK and our airline we only needed two hours. This meant that tickets stating "suitable for flights after 3pm" were ok for us. This took some pursuading on my part though.

We only went to two shows in the theatre, both very good, the rest were as we usually find, mediocre attempts at entertainment - that is of course a personal view - we just don't enjoy the shows.

We did take advantage of the spa services and instead of going ashore in Tromso, we enjoyed a couples massage - at a very enriched price.... but a real treat for my wife's birthday.

Overall an excellent adventure that actually helped us celebrate a wedding, a birthday and ten years of friendship with over 40 friends on this cruise.

roysmith99's Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Deluxe Ocean View Stateroom with Balcony
Cabin E2 9570

Adequate size, comfortable beds, nice balcony, usual compact but adequate shower. Good sized storage wardrobe and plenty of drawers and places to keep things. Clean and tidy, well looked after by our excellent cabin attendant.

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

City Tour

A pleasant tour which was given by a very good driver and guide, we visited several sites but we mainly used it as transport to the airport.

View All 201 City Tour Reviews

Provided by a private company using classic American limousines. Limousinewest.

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