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Serenade of the Seas Review

4.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating
1619 reviews
12 Awards

Alaska-the new definition of

Review for Serenade of the Seas to Alaska
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HMICC
First Time Cruiser

Rating by category

Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
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Cabin

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Sail Date: May 2009
Cabin:

As you can see from my ratings and the title, this cruise was Awesome!  This has been our 5th cruise, first with Royal C, and by far the best.  The food was incredible in the main dining room, service was top notch.  The roasted lamb was the best thing I had on the cruise the last night.  We ate one night in Chops which was good (had steak) but was no better in quality that what we had in the main dinner providing you don't order a steak in the main dining room.  I had ordered steak one evening in the main dining room and it was tough so I sent it back and Vipin brought me whatever I wanted.   However, the service and ambiance in Chops was stellar, including witnessing some whales doing their whale thing.  A wonderful sight.We had a balcony cabin.  The room was well appointed with a nice bed, a sofa, a TV, and a very nice balcony with two chairs and a small table.  There was ample storage for all our clothing and stuff.  The bathroom, albeit small, was functional and served its purpose for all bathroom needs including showering.  I had read where the showers were incredibly small and tight but I had no issues and found it very usable.  The water quickly came to temperature.  Our cabin steward, George, was incredibly efficient.  We rarely saw him but he always seemed to know when we had vacated the cabin and seemed to get all his work done in no time.  We had very nice views from our balcony.  Although we were on the bow of the ship to observe the glacier, we went to the cabin as the ship was departing Tracy Arm and still had wonderful views of the glacier there. I thought the shows, and we attended them all except one I thing, were exceptional.  Mike, the cruise director, was very funny.  Chad, the magician, was excellent and hilarious.  We saw two of his shows and I also participated in his close-up show.  Still not sure how he knew the word I picked out of the book.  I can't remember ever laughing so hard as when we saw the premier of Fountains.  Indescribably funny.I will describe our three excursions in the section on ports in this review.  But be it known, THEY WERE GREAT!  Tracy Arm is not considered a port but we went to the glacier there which was beautiful.  The captain brought the ship very close, as close as the law would allow.  Some of the crew jumped into the icy water to retrieve a chunk of floating ice and bring aboard and turn into an ice sculpture.My only complaints are the smoking smell that reeks out of the casino and permeates into the other decks.  A better ventilation system could help or less people smoking.  On the plus side, it was so bad in the casino that I did not stay there long enough to lose much money.  My other complaint is the short time we spent in Juneau.  We went on the whale watching excursion which was inspiring and wonderful but did not have the time to actually spend any time in the town.  If I had a third complaint would be the slowness of the elevators and my fellow passengers would stack up in front of them.  Unfortunately since they were so slow, many of my fellow passengers did not follow elevator etiquette and allow riders to get off first and barging in front of others who had waiting for an elevator much longer than they had.Even with those few complaints, it was a stupendous cruise which we would do again in a heartbeat.  However, a 14 night Hawaii comes before I am ready book Alaska again.

Cabin Review

Cabin AD

We had a balcony cabin.  The room was well appointed with a nice bed, a sofa, a TV, and a very nice balcony with two chairs and a small table.  There was ample storage for all our clothing and stuff.  The bathroom, albeit small, was functional and served its purpose for all bathroom needs including showering.  I had read where the showers were incredibly small and tight but I had no issues and found it very usable.  The water quickly came to temperature.  Our cabin steward, George, was incredibly efficient.  We rarely saw him but he always seemed to know when we had vacated the cabin and seemed to get all his work done in no time.  We had very nice views from our balcony.  Although we were on the bow of the ship to observe the glacier, we went to the cabin as the ship was departing Tracy Arm and still had wonderful views of the glacier there.

Port Reviews

Icy Strait

I am not going to rate this port as we did not get off the ship.  It was a tendered port and not worth the lines.  I understand not much is here but if you are into zip lines, they say it is fun and exciting.

Skagway

This is a wonderful little town full of shops on wooden boardwalks.  Charming is the best way to describe it.  We took the rail excursion which was narrated and had beautiful scenery.  The weather was magnificent so we were able to see some sights that often could not be seen due to the weather.

Juneau

I give Juneau a 5 plus rating, not for the town but for the whale watching excursion.  This excursion guarantees that whales will be seen or $100 back per passenger.  They have never given a refund and this trip did not disappoint either.  The whales we saw were amazing and we even saw tail!!!  It too was a narrated tour that was quite good in giving facts out about the sea life, the geography and oceanography, and some history.  We also saw sea lions which were quite cute and curious about us.  But the whales are the story including following a female and her calf and again the weather was gorgeous. My wife got some great pictures.

Vancouver

After debarkation, we took the Vancouver city tour and it was very good.  We saw areas of Vancouver we would not normally see like China Town, The Market, the totems, and the Gas Lamp district.  Our driver was a life long resident of Vancouver, a professional transit driver, and knew the city very well.  He stopped at places many tours do not stop so you can taste and experience some of Vancouver.  He also gave some background on a number of buildings, either because of the architecture, age, or style.  I would recommend this tour if you have time to spend in Vancouver and are not a native.

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