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I was on the Serenade of the Seas on a Baltic cruise on July 5 with my wife and two sons (ages 19 and 16). We had a really enjoyable time. It was my 5 cruise in the last 24 years, the last three of which have been RCL cruises. Basically, I am not too much into cruises (I don't like to feeling of moving when I am trying to sleep), but for us, it was the perfect way to see 5 cities in 9 days without packing and unpacking often. The ship itself was very nice, but the destinations were really excellent. As for the ship, the cabin was perfectly fine. We had two rooms with balconies. Both were adequate sized for cabins and very clean. I was very happy with the food on the ship. I’d say no food was less than a B+ and plenty was better than that. We did the flexible scheduled dinners and we were happy with the way that worked out. We had the same table each night (at different times) and the waiters were excellent. Twice we had the buffet dinner, which was excellent also. Entertainment on the ship was ok. My sons were more than entertained in the evening with chess, checkers, mini golf, shuffleboard and pool. It seems obvious with that ships with more exciting entertainment options are not particularly needed on a port-intensive itinerary like the Baltic Sea. Maybe we would have liked more, but it was not a big deal. The shows were ok. I am not too into Broadway reviews, but the performers were talented. A brother team that sang classic rock was pretty good. A Russian juggler and Russian acrobats were more to my taste. Maybe a comedian would have been nice. We were not into other ship activities like bingo, the casino and the art auctions. I kind of dreaded the day at sea, but it was not that bad. We got up later, ate slower and generally, were a little tired. It was kind of cool temperature on the deck, but we braved the pool anyway. There was also a matinee show which we enjoyed. Overall, all I really wanted was a moving hotel and I got a lot more. As for the ports: 1. We really loved Stockholm. We had two nights before the cruise and one after and we could have done more. It was a very cool city. We did a Tours By Locals private tour, which we really liked and we also saw a lot after and before that. 2. We also loved St. Petersburg. We did a private tour with Alla, which we liked a lot. In hindsight for both Stockholm and St. Petersburg, we probably went to too many museums and palaces. I really preferred just exploring different neighborhoods, as well as riding their subways and taking interesting boat rides. 3. Tallin and Riga were both very nice, historic cities. We explored Tallin on our own (one of our sons recently spent 5 months nearby) and in Riga, we did a Tours By Locals private tour that was very enjoyable. 4. We expected Helsinki to be a zero, but frankly, we liked it also, though less than the other cities. It was more modern, with less specific places to explore, but it was an enjoyable day. Overall, I’d rate the ship experience a 8.5 out of 10, the ports a 10+ and the overall cruise a 9.5. It was a great experience.

Baltic cruise on the Serenade of the Seas was excellent.

Serenade of the Seas Cruise Review by lapp15

4 people found this helpful
Trip Details
I was on the Serenade of the Seas on a Baltic cruise on July 5 with my wife and two sons (ages 19 and 16). We had a really enjoyable time. It was my 5 cruise in the last 24 years, the last three of which have been RCL cruises.

Basically, I am not too much into cruises (I don't like to feeling of moving when I am trying to sleep), but for us, it was the perfect way to see 5 cities in 9 days without packing and unpacking often. The ship itself was very nice, but the destinations were really excellent.

As for the ship, the cabin was perfectly fine. We had two rooms with balconies. Both were adequate sized for cabins and very clean.

I was very happy with the food on the ship. I’d say no food was less than a B+ and plenty was better than that. We did the flexible scheduled dinners and we were happy with the way that worked out. We had the same table each night (at different times) and the waiters were excellent. Twice we had the buffet dinner, which was excellent also.

Entertainment on the ship was ok. My sons were more than entertained in the evening with chess, checkers, mini golf, shuffleboard and pool. It seems obvious with that ships with more exciting entertainment options are not particularly needed on a port-intensive itinerary like the Baltic Sea. Maybe we would have liked more, but it was not a big deal.

The shows were ok. I am not too into Broadway reviews, but the performers were talented. A brother team that sang classic rock was pretty good. A Russian juggler and Russian acrobats were more to my taste. Maybe a comedian would have been nice.

We were not into other ship activities like bingo, the casino and the art auctions.

I kind of dreaded the day at sea, but it was not that bad. We got up later, ate slower and generally, were a little tired. It was kind of cool temperature on the deck, but we braved the pool anyway. There was also a matinee show which we enjoyed.

Overall, all I really wanted was a moving hotel and I got a lot more.

As for the ports:

1. We really loved Stockholm. We had two nights before the cruise and one after and we could have done more. It was a very cool city. We did a Tours By Locals private tour, which we really liked and we also saw a lot after and before that.

2. We also loved St. Petersburg. We did a private tour with Alla, which we liked a lot. In hindsight for both Stockholm and St. Petersburg, we probably went to too many museums and palaces. I really preferred just exploring different neighborhoods, as well as riding their subways and taking interesting boat rides.

3. Tallin and Riga were both very nice, historic cities. We explored Tallin on our own (one of our sons recently spent 5 months nearby) and in Riga, we did a Tours By Locals private tour that was very enjoyable.

4. We expected Helsinki to be a zero, but frankly, we liked it also, though less than the other cities. It was more modern, with less specific places to explore, but it was an enjoyable day.


Overall, I’d rate the ship experience a 8.5 out of 10, the ports a 10+ and the overall cruise a 9.5. It was a great experience.
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