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This was my wife and my sixth cruise, but first with Royal Caribbean. We will not hesitate to book another cruise with this line. We flew in on Saturday afternoon and took a 15 minute taxi ride to the ship. Embarkation was smooth and we were onboard in approximately 20 minutes. The ship: The Serenade of the Seas is an absolutely beautiful ship! The size is about perfect for us . . . large enough to offer a wide variety of venues and activities, but not overwhelming. I was especially impressed with clean and well-maintained the ship was, definitely better than most of the other ships we've experienced. We're teachers, so tend to travel on "the budget plan". We don't have a problem with an inside cabin since we spend so little time there. What could have been a very negative experience with our cabin assignment (4521)turned out fine thanks to outstanding service of the crew. When we arrived on Saturday afternoon, we noticed a lot of noise from the back of our cabin . . . not constant, but a very strong beat when it was playing. We stopped by the concierge desk to tell them about the problem. We looked at the ship's map and couldn't figure out where the sound could be coming from. However, she said to call if the sound was a problem at night and they would send a security person down to check it out. To make a long story short, the sound was still there at 11:30 at night. The security guard checked it out and the desk called back a few minutes later . . . telling us that they could put us in an emergency room for the night and would switch our room the next day. We decided to stay put for the first night, but were moved for the rest of the trip to cabin 9011. As it turns out, the ship's movie theatre slopes down with the back of our original room bumping against the bottom of the theatre. Anyway, we were very pleased with the crew's response and they checked on how things were going a few times during the cruise. The ship's main pool was very nice, though it was difficult finding an open lounge on the sea day. I have experienced ships with better layouts in this area. The solarium is very impressive and must be a real joy on an Alaskan cruise! Food: We ate in the main dining room every night and found the food to be very good. It seems like all of the major cruise lines have cut back a bit in this area, but we were always able to find delicious choices. The Windjammer cafe was better than most of the cafeteria type food on other cruises. We especially liked the layout which makes lines nearly non-existent. On the fifth day of the cruise, we discovered the Seaside Cafe and really enjoyed their choices. Entertainment: While entertainment was generally in the satisfactory range, we were not overly impressed. We went to the main show each night with the exception of an evening when they only had a game show. We guessed that an entertainer must have canceled or something. The best nights were the Broadway musical review and the comedian. What we really missed was a piano bar that played popular "sing-along" type music.  

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Serenade of the Seas Cruise Review by 3 Dog Night

Trip Details
This was my wife and my sixth cruise, but first with Royal Caribbean. We will not hesitate to book another cruise with this line. We flew in on Saturday afternoon and took a 15 minute taxi ride to the ship. Embarkation was smooth and we were onboard in approximately 20 minutes.
The ship: The Serenade of the Seas is an absolutely beautiful ship! The size is about perfect for us . . . large enough to offer a wide variety of venues and activities, but not overwhelming. I was especially impressed with clean and well-maintained the ship was, definitely better than most of the other ships we've experienced.
We're teachers, so tend to travel on "the budget plan". We don't have a problem with an inside cabin since we spend so little time there. What could have been a very negative experience with our cabin assignment (4521)turned out fine thanks to outstanding service of the crew. When we arrived on Saturday afternoon, we noticed a lot of noise from the back of our cabin . . . not constant, but a very strong beat when it was playing. We stopped by the concierge desk to tell them about the problem. We looked at the ship's map and couldn't figure out where the sound could be coming from. However, she said to call if the sound was a problem at night and they would send a security person down to check it out. To make a long story short, the sound was still there at 11:30 at night. The security guard checked it out and the desk called back a few minutes later . . . telling us that they could put us in an emergency room for the night and would switch our room the next day. We decided to stay put for the first night, but were moved for the rest of the trip to cabin 9011. As it turns out, the ship's movie theatre slopes down with the back of our original room bumping against the bottom of the theatre. Anyway, we were very pleased with the crew's response and they checked on how things were going a few times during the cruise.
The ship's main pool was very nice, though it was difficult finding an open lounge on the sea day. I have experienced ships with better layouts in this area. The solarium is very impressive and must be a real joy on an Alaskan cruise!
Food: We ate in the main dining room every night and found the food to be very good. It seems like all of the major cruise lines have cut back a bit in this area, but we were always able to find delicious choices. The Windjammer cafe was better than most of the cafeteria type food on other cruises. We especially liked the layout which makes lines nearly non-existent. On the fifth day of the cruise, we discovered the Seaside Cafe and really enjoyed their choices.
Entertainment: While entertainment was generally in the satisfactory range, we were not overly impressed. We went to the main show each night with the exception of an evening when they only had a game show. We guessed that an entertainer must have canceled or something. The best nights were the Broadway musical review and the comedian. What we really missed was a piano bar that played popular "sing-along" type music.
 
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Cabin Review

Cabin 4521
Cabin 4521 . . . location was great, BUT the back of the room bumps up against the bottom of the 6th floor's movie theatre. There's a lot of noise (the heavy bass, vibrating kind!) while movies are being shown.We got moved to room 9011 - no complaints, other than that the showers on this ship are tiny!
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Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Antigua
    We read that it's possible to travel to much of the island using public buses. It was our plan to use these buses for the day. When we got off the ship, there were MANY very aggressive taxi drivers swarming around. A couple blocks from the ship, we asked a young man for directions to the bus stop. He told us how to get there and we continued to chat with him about beach recommendations, etc. Because he was extremely friendly and knowledgeable, we decided to use his taxi services rather than the bus.
    This was probably our wisest choice of the cruise! For $25 per person (4 in our group), Dwight spent the day with us. He took us to Nelson's Shipyard and then up to Shirley Heights, a location overlooking beautiful bays with the island of Montserrat in the background. We drove through the rainforest area of Antigua and stopped for fresh fruit cups (absolutely delicious!) at a small stand. In the afternoon we visited 3 beaches - Valley Church, Darkwood, and Jolly Beaches. All were beautiful, but the snorkeling was illusive.
    I can't say enough for the great service of our taxi driver. I would strongly recommend contacting Dwight Gardiner if you would like someone to take you around for the day. His van was only a couple weeks old and he communicated very well with us, teaching us about the island and what it is like for a young man (31 yrs. old) to live there. His email address is dag@aquatecwt.com and his phone number is 1(268)770-0073.
     
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  • Barbados
    This was also our third trip to Barbados and we kind of have a comfortable (very inexpensive!) itinerary for our day on the island. After getting off the ship, we walked a few blocks to the public bus terminal. For something like $1 per person, we were able to travel to the beautiful Folkstone Beach. There, we spent a few hours of awesome snorkeling just off of shore. We then took a bus back into Bridgetown where we went shopping at Cave Sheppard's Department Store and a local grocery store.
    We walked back to the ship, but probably should have taken a taxi . . . long walk on a hot day!
     
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  • St. Lucia
    This was our third trip to St. Lucia and our favorite day there . . . thanks to Cozol Tours! We had done an excursion that covered much of the same highlights on an earlier cruise. What set the Cozol tour apart was the opportunity to snorkel in an area between the Tetons. The setting was tremendous and we saw a great number of fish. Unfortunately, there were little jellyfish present as well! We also loved the breakfast provided on the tour!
    St. Lucia is a lush, beautiful island! We tried to go off and "do our own thing" on an earlier visit. In my opinion, the organized tour was a much better way to go!
     
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  • St. Maarten
    The organization of taxis just off the ship is excellent on St. Maarten. It's nice to know the rates are posted and you don't have to deal with haggling. We took a taxi to Orient Beach. My wife and the other couple we were with stayed on the more "conservative" part of the beach while I strolled to the far end of the beach to experience a little swimming and sun bathing "au naturale"! After a couple hours at Orient Beach, we took a taxi back into Phillipsburg. There, we spent a two or three hours shopping. Of all the islands, we probably enjoyed our shopping the most here.
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  • St. Thomas
    As I stated earlier, we tend to do things on the cheap! This often adds to the adventure! In St. Thomas, we took a taxi to Red Rock (hope I got the name right). From there, we took a ferry over to St. John where we enjoyed a few hours snorkeling at Trunk Bay. This is a gorgeous beach, strongly recommended. We took the ferry back to St. Thomas where we did a little shopping, picking up some necessities at the K-Mart a few blocks from the ship.
     
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