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

Good Cruise Except for My Time Dining

Serenade of the Seas Cruise Review by mhedge

7 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Sep 2015
  • Destination: Canada & New England
  • Cabin Type: Interior Stateroom

I would have rated this cruise a 4 instead of a 3 if it weren't for the crazy, mixed up My Time Dining. I chose the cruise for the itinerary and it was wonderful. The weather was also wonderful which made up for the lack of fall colors.

The schedule was good with plenty of sea days and daily activities. The evening entertainment was excellent, although I didn't attend any of the shows put on by the cruise staff. The trivia contests were well attended even though giving prizes to just the winners was not a big incentive. The movie theater had good movies and it was always full, so often people sat on the steps, making it dangerous for people to leave during the show. The fitness room was great and was always accessible before its opening time of 6:00 a.m., although I had a hard time finding it the first day. I used my OBC for 2 shore excursions which were good, but not exceptional for their price. Signage was good, so it was easy to find your way around the ship. The staff was very hard working and friendly, and some called me by my name or room number when seeing me. The passengers were very friendly and everyone I talked to had cruised before.

Unfortunately, one of the main points of discussion was My Time Dining which everyone I met had a problem with although one couple said they had no problems with it on their last 2 cruises. So here's my experience. After finally embarking after waiting for the security machine to be fixed and checking in on the ship, I was told there was a problem with my dining reservation. I couldn't imagine what. I had followed instructions and made My Time Dining reservations for each dinner as we were instructed to do even though I was not certain what time I'd want each day. When I finally got to the right man at the dining reservations computer, he typed on the computer, took my sea pass, crossed off My Time, and wrote in 8:00 without saying anything! I whipped out my reservation sheet and showed him my reservations. Again without saying anything, he typed, crossed things off on my sea pass and wrote some illegible letters on it in what I later discovered was permanent ink. I still have no idea what my reservations said in the computer. But what happened almost every night was a problem in where to seat us even though I went at the time I originally signed up for. Twice we were led to tables which were already full, twice we were led down the stairs and then back up the stairs, sometimes we were at tables where people had already started eating, and once we were told we had FOUR minutes left to finish eating before the late diners came in which was their fault for seating us on their floor. Aside from these problems, the food was good but not as good as I expected after reading the descriptions.

Some people said that because of their My Time Dining problems, they'd never cruise with Royal again. As for me, I don't know. It all depends on the itinerary and cost for me. Nothing is perfect.


mhedge's Full Rating Summary
Cabin
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Service
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Cabin Review

Interior Stateroom
Cabin L 3133

The cabin was good, but it was nothing out of the ordinary. The carpeting was in good condition. The bathroom had some small cracks and gouges and a sewer smell sometimes as did the hallway. Our cabin steward was great.


Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

Quebec City

This was an excellent place to visit. We walked to the Place Royale the first day. On the second day, we took Bus 21 to the upper city and took the funicular back. The weather was sunny and in the 60's, making it perfect for walking and looking. We visited the Chateau Frontenac, took the Government Walk with many steps, and went to the fort.

I was glad to see the Anne of Green Gables house and barn and some of the island and learn about some of the culture from our guide. I'm glad I had OBC for this because I'm not sure it would have been worth it to pay for it. Plus the cost had gone up $10 since I last looked at the excursion on the website. I don't understand why you have to wait to book excursions onboard when you're using OBC.

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Halifax

We walked around the Old City Burial Ground, St. Mary's Basilica, the citadel, and the new public libary.

Bar Harbor

We took one of the free Island Explorer buses to Acadia National Park. We went to Sand Beach and took the .7 mile Ocean Path to Thunder Hole. Then we got on another Island Explorer bus for the return trip.

Portland (Maine)

We went to Monument Circle and viewed the Wadsworth Longfellow House. It seemed like a nice city and everything was easy to find.

Saint John (New Brunswick)

We walked to Market Square and used the pedway there. On our way back we went to Trinity Church and a United Church of Canada.


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mhedge
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