Serenade of the Seas Cruise Review by kag19
- Sail Date: February 2009
- Destination: Southern Caribbean
Getting to the pier was easy and embarkation was fairly simple as well. We got there probably a little before noon and there was a small line but it went fairly quickly.
Once we were aboard the ship we decided to start exploring so we walked around and got our bearings and then had lunch at the Windjammer. The ship is really a great ship. There is so much to do on the ship but it doesn't feel like it is too large or crowded at times. The only day it seemed a bit crowded was the day at sea by the main pool. Our room was ready by 1 or 2pm I want to say but cannot remember exactly. Our state room attendant, Anthony, was great. We asked for more towels and washcloths the first day and he made sure we had more every day after that. I just love coming back to our room and having it all clean...I just wish that would happen at home! The state room attendant is probably my favorite person on board because I get a week without having to clean. :) The room itself was a nice setup. The balcony was really spacious and we loved having that. We had one on our first cruise and now can never not have one. Spoiled ourselves. The shower was a lot nicer on this ship versus the last cruise through Carnival...it was tight but not too bad unless you dropped something and the water pressure and temperature were so nice.
Food - All of the food on the ship was excellent. There were a few dishes we tried at dinner that weren't our favorites but they were something we would not normally order if we were to go out to dinner at home. It was a lot of fun trying new and different things though. We had a great wait staff at dinner. Marvin, our waiter, Baldwin, our assistant waiter, and Coronado, our head waiter were all fantastic. We had excellent service and had a really great time talking to them about themselves and their experiences on the ship. We had planned to go to Chop's or Portofino's for dinner but never made it since we enjoyed the food so much in the main dining area. For lunch we mostly hit up the Seaview Cafe or the little food station in Solarium. Both were really good. The Windjammer had a really great selection as well. We probably had lunch there a few times and breakfast there once. A majority of the mornings we opted to have room service for breakfast and ate on our balcony. I loved that. We did have breakfast in the main dining area on the day at sea and the day of disembarkation. The banana pancakes and French toast were amazing! Another area we enjoyed was Latte-tudes. Great lattes! That was a nice treat since I was missing my daily latte from Starbucks. :) We opted to get a wine package and I am glad we did. We like having wine with dinner and on a few occasions we took the bottle (usually the second bottle...) back with us to our room so we could bring it with us the next night for pre-dinner drinks at the Champagne Bar.
Spa - We took a tour of the spa when we got there and I set up some appointments right away. We also bought passes to the thermal suite for the week. We loved using that! The thermal suite is an area where there are heated ceramic loungers, dry sauna, steam sauna, aromatherapy room and showers. It was really nice and relaxing. The only thing that was a little disappointing was that the aromatherapy room did not seem to be working a couple times when we were in the suite. I also had a "Happy Hour" treatment, which consisted of a mini-facial, scalp massage, partial body massage and champagne. Very nice! I had an oxygen facial, which was nice as well but I broke out...I usually do from facials so that is not anything new. I also had an acupuncture session and that was fabulous! I was extremely skeptical before having it done but the problem areas I indicated felt so much better afterwards. I will be finding an acupuncturist around home now.
Excursions - For the most part we had decided we wanted to keep everything simple and relaxing so we did not go on a lot of excursions. In St. Thomas we took the sky ride to Paradise Point. The views up there were spectacular! Well worth the money. At St. Maarten we decided to just get off the ship and walk the pier and shopping area right next to the pier. Antigua was the only disappointment we really had during our vacation. We had booked the Grand Pineapple East Tour with a day pass to the resort through Serenity. The tour guide was supposed to meet us with a sign in a designated area but we had problems locating him. After about 20 people coming up to us asking us if we wanted taxis or tours and feeling really uncomfortable we finally found him. Once we met up with him he told us that another couple had booked the excursion as well but had canceled so we could still go if we wanted to but it would be $30 more per person for the taxi. Uh, no thanks. The tour was already costing us $150 so that was just too much in our opinion and we were a little ticked off at that point. The whole situation just rubbed us the wrong way. We decided to grab a taxi to Runaway Beach instead and had a nice time relaxing there. It didn't ruin our day in Antigua, lemons into lemonade and all that, but I will definitely not be booking anything through Serenity again. In St. Lucia we did a tour through Cosol Tours and that was great! Highly recommended. We ended up having Cosol as our guide and he really made sure everyone was having a great time. It was raining on and off all day but we ended up still having a great time. It was kind of funny because Cosol was more worried about the fact that it was raining than anyone on the tour was. He kept saying how he wish he could control the weather but couldn't. It was a great way to get a feel for the different parts of the island and the culture. At our stop in Barbados we chose to walk into town and had some drinks at a cafe and that was it.
Other Observations - Since we wanted the vacation to be mostly relaxing we spent a lot of time just lounging in the Solarium or by the main pool. We got in a lot of reading and a lot of napping so that was fantastic. We also spent quite a bit of time on our balcony watching the world go by. We did spend some time in the casino and had a few good nights at the craps table but they giveth, they taketh away so we ended up about even by the time we left. It was a lot of fun though. We would hit the Champagne Bar or Schooner Bar for drinks before dinner. After the week was over we realized that we had not gone to any of the shows, the gym, rock climbing wall and a few other areas. Oh well! We still had an excellent time and we would not change any of our relaxing time for anything else.
Both my husband and I would highly recommend this ship and itinerary to anyone. We had a fantastic week and were so glad that we were able to take the week to see a few places and still have plenty of time to just relax. We are definitely hooked now to Royal Caribbean. We just thought the atmosphere of the ship suited us to a tee and the people on the ship were quite a nice mix with people of all ages.
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