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We took Serenade of the Seas to Scandinavia and Russia. The ports of call were places I had been hoping to see for quite some time, and the towns were charming - especially Tallinn. The ship's worker bee staff seemed very pleasant and cheerful.......customer service desk not so much. Our room attendant called us by our names immediately and did an excellent job keeping the stateroom clean. We had dinner at the early seating in the main dining room, and all waiters and assistants were quite attentive and very efficient. Windjammer was crazy as always, but we learned to go at off times or as soon as they opened the doors to avoid the pushing, rude fellow passengers. Those fellow passengers are my main complaint, and I think Royal Caribbean could do a couple things to make it more enjoyable for everyone. Send out an instruction sheet via email or travel agents which tell the rules for being a good passenger. This includes waiting your turn in line and not barging through as though you are the only person trying to get somewhere. Staff seemed proud of the fact that there were guests from 55 different countries on board, but I think everyone just needs a reminder about what waiting in line means. Also, the shore excursions were nice, but at $149 - $179 per excursion it was a shame to not be able to hear the guide on the bus above the roar of all the people carrying on private conversations. Have a sign at the shore excursion desk with rules for considerate travel for all to read. I know the guides had much info to pass along, but who knew what they were saying over all the inconsiderate voices drowning them out. Also, if the guides cannot keep the passengers quiet so those of us who want to listen can hear, at least tell them to use a microphone on the bus. A tiny Russian girl with a little voice and a lot of knowledge to share could not do so due to conversations going on in 9 different languages. Very disappointing to pay that kind of vacation money and not get the benefit of a good tour due to rude, inconsiderate fellow guests who think only of themselves!

Recent Cruiser Says Impove In Many Areas - Especially Excursions Department

Serenade of the Seas Cruise Review by Piece of Fruit

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Trip Details
  • Sail Date: May 2016
  • Destination: Europe
We took Serenade of the Seas to Scandinavia and Russia. The ports of call were places I had been hoping to see for quite some time, and the towns were charming - especially Tallinn. The ship's worker bee staff seemed very pleasant and cheerful.......customer service desk not so much. Our room attendant called us by our names immediately and did an excellent job keeping the stateroom clean. We had dinner at the early seating in the main dining room, and all waiters and assistants were quite attentive and very efficient. Windjammer was crazy as always, but we learned to go at off times or as soon as they opened the doors to avoid the pushing, rude fellow passengers.

Those fellow passengers are my main complaint, and I think Royal Caribbean could do a couple things to make it more enjoyable for everyone. Send out an instruction sheet via email or travel agents which tell the rules for being a good passenger. This includes waiting your turn in line and not barging through as though you are the only person trying to get somewhere. Staff seemed proud of the fact that there were guests from 55 different countries on board, but I think everyone just needs a reminder about what waiting in line means. Also, the shore excursions were nice, but at $149 - $179 per excursion it was a shame to not be able to hear the guide on the bus above the roar of all the people carrying on private conversations. Have a sign at the shore excursion desk with rules for considerate travel for all to read. I know the guides had much info to pass along, but who knew what they were saying over all the inconsiderate voices drowning them out. Also, if the guides cannot keep the passengers quiet so those of us who want to listen can hear, at least tell them to use a microphone on the bus. A tiny Russian girl with a little voice and a lot of knowledge to share could not do so due to conversations going on in 9 different languages. Very disappointing to pay that kind of vacation money and not get the benefit of a good tour due to rude, inconsiderate fellow guests who think only of themselves!
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Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Copenhagen
    Flew into Copenhagen and arrived as scheduled. Took a shuttle to the ship and got on board. Everything was smooth; there was not a lengthy wait to check in. We did not take a shore excursion in Copenhagen.
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  • Helsinki
    Went to a town called Porvoo. Arrived way too early for all but one of the shops to be open. A fairly cute little place but it could be seen in 5 minutes instead of the hour we were given. So we just walked along the cobble stone streets until it was time to board for the Finnish farm.
    We next headed off for a rather early lunch at the horse farm owned by a hard working and very enterprising Finnish family. We had elderberry juice and cream of nettle soup and a creamy seafood entree followed by a wonderful cake, topped with 3 different berries and a great caramel sauce. A visit to the paddock to see the horses and then it was time to leave. Only a quick peek at the Rock Church and no time for even buying a postcard as the ship wanted us all back on board for an early afternoon departure and heading back to Copenhagen. Again no microphone on board the bus and again the guide seemed so very proud of his country and very enthusiastic in what he was trying to tell us, but people once again talked and laughed and did not seem to care that someone at the front of the bus was talking. At check in, Royal Caribbean needs to provide everyone with an information sheet on being courteous on shore excursions and on the ship. Again my fellow passengers made me feel that I had wasted $149 of my hard earned vacation dollars!
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  • City Tour
    St Petersburg was a very interesting, dirty and crowded city. Walked by the Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood, but the church was closed. Beautiful on the outside, however. Had a good lunch of beef stroganoff at a local restaurant. Went to The Hermitage along with another cruise ship so all we could do was shuffle along and hold on to our valuables. I cannot imagine how crowded this town would have been if 7 cruise ships had been in port.
    Headsets were wonderful for inside The Hermitage, but the bus needs a sound system and a guide who can instruct the tourists to be quiet. I could not believe how people just talked and laughed and did not listen to a word the guide was trying to tell us. She looked enthusiastic and seemed to be talking the whole time but who knows what she was saying? At $179.00 this tour seemed way overpriced since I could not hear above the talking and laughing of my fellow very discourteous passengers. A huge disappointment as I am always eager to learn about the country's history and its people. I just eventually gave up and tried to take a nap like my husband was doing. Royal Caribbean needs to hand out information sheets during the check in process called "Proper Etiquette for Cruising and Shore Excursions!"
    View All 345 City Tour Reviews
  • Stockholm
    I find the guide can make or break a shore excursion. Our guide was understandable and had a fair amount to tell us as we walked around the cute town of Sigtuna and then Stockholm's Gamla Stan. The day was perfect, flowers were in bloom everywhere, and the charming red houses were just as i had imagined them to be. The sail away from Stockholm was very scenic with hundreds and hundreds of small islands. Reminded me a bit of Alaska.
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  • Old Town of Tallinn
    Estonia was our favorite country, and Tallinn was a charming town. We had lunch at a great restaurant called The Peppersack and were entertained by musicians at a church. The market was in town so it was fun to stroll up and down and see the various crafts for sale. Not too much different than here in the US. The guide gave out headsets so we could hear what she was telling us as we walked along the streets. It was obvious she liked what she did and was able to tell us a lot about Estonia's history. We had a little time to visit the chocolate shop if we were so inclined. Restrooms were hard to find!
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