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My wife and I sailed on Serenade of the Seas for its 10 night itinerary to the Southern Caribbean. We booked the cruise many months in advance and shopped for the best deal we could find for a longer cruise sailing from Florida since we live in Florida. We chose the cruise because we had sailed on a Radiance Class ship in the past and enjoyed it. We also liked the amount of sea days and the ports of call. When we arrived in Fort Lauderdale we found our parking lot and parked our car. We chose not to park directly at the cruise terminal because of the price. Instead we parked at Park 'N Go and were shuttled to the cruise port by bus. We found that by paying online and parking offsite we saved a considerable amount on parking. We were happy with the service and facilities at Park 'N Go. Embarkation was a breeze at Fort Lauderdale. The lines were fairly short and were managed very well by Royal Caribbean. The Royal Caribbean staff that checked checked us in were very helpful. After we received our cards we headed aboard the ship. Things were a little confusing when we arrived on board deck 5 via the gangway. It was not clear what door we should use. There were some areas that were taped off with caution tape as they were making preparations to sail. It worked out and we found our way, but we did get turned around initially. We headed to our cabin to drop off our hand luggage that we had carried aboard. The room was what we expected for an interior cabin. It was in good condition and it was clean. One inconvenience was that when we made the reservation I let Royal Caribbean know that we wanted the bed made into one bed not two twins. However, when we arrived it was set up as two twins. Our room steward fixed it promptly and was friendly. She did a good job throughout the cruise. She was friendly and helpful. We had no problems with our cabin. After settling in we headed to the Windjammer to get something to eat. It was fairly busy. It seemed that the quality of the food in the Windjammer was slightly lower than the last time we cruised on Royal Caribbean. It was good and we did not have any complaints. We had a late seating in the dinning room and our waiter, Lenny, was very good. Along with his assistant server, Viktoriia, they did a good job. Again, I noticed that the quality of the food in the dinning room was slightly lower than when we sailed on Royal Caribbean 7 years ago. The food was still pretty good and some of the dishes remained the same (shrimp cocktail, escargot, and creme brulee, for example). We ate in the dinning room each night and we were pleased by it. We ate some lunches in the Park Cafe in the Solarium. The food there had sometimes set out for too long and was not always fresh. It was not dangerous or unsanitary, just not fresh. Also, there was a young woman who was working behind the counter at the Park Cafe who was not friendly at all. She never smiled and she did not respond to polite conversation. She only serviced the order. I noticed a couple days into the cruise she had been moved to a clean up position and another staff member was doing the serving. We made use of the fitness center regularly. The equipment was well-maintained and there was a good variety from treadmills to selectorized weight machines to a set of dumbbells up to 75 lbs. We also enjoyed some of the other amenities on the ship like the miniature golf course and the athletic court. We attended a couple of shows. Some of them were not to our taste, but most of them were well-done. One show was a pop piano concert put on by the performer was talented, but seemed frustrated by being on a cruise ship where things were not run the same as on land. We did attend a trivia event as well as an evening of Karaoke. The cruise staff ran things well. The service on board was very good. Our dinning room servers were great. Our room steward was good. Throughout most of the ship the staff was quite good. We enjoyed the ports of call on this cruise. We took the excursion over to Virgin Gorda to the Virgin Baths while we were docked in Tortola in the British Virgin Islands. I would recommend this excursion it was well-led and the Baths are beautiful. Some of the areas require some crouching and climbing, but it was worth if. We enjoyed our visit to St. Kitts, but we did not book a ship excursion. Be aware that in St. Kitts people will walk up to you and put a monkey on your shoulder or on your head and want you to pay them for using their monkey for a picture. They will do this without your asking. I was able to head them off, but if you are not firm (but polite) with them, you will find yourself with a monkey expense. In Dominica we took the excursion to the Titou Gorge and the Heated Natural Pools. Our guides on the excursion were good. However, the water level was very high in the Titou Gorge and we were not able to swim against the strong current up to the waterfalls. It was still a beautiful area and the heated sulfur springs were very nice. In Antigua we took a walking tour of the town. Our guide was good and it was interesting. This was an average excursion. In St. Maarten we sailed on the tall ship Mercedes. It is a beautiful vessel and it was very peaceful sailing the coast of St. Maarten. We sailed out toward the airport and watched the planes taking off and landing near the beach. If you get sea sick I would not recommend this excursion. The biggest complaint I would have on this cruise was disembarkation. The process took an hour and a half. Initially there were only two or three customs offices checking the thousands of passengers getting off the ship. It was ridiculous. Something needed to be done very differently. Serenade is a beautiful ship, but is starting to show its age. There were areas that would benefit from some painting or staining. It does not have all the amenities of the larger ships, but the size is big enough to have things to do, but not so big that it feels crowded or overwhelming. I would recommend the Serenade of the Seas and the Southern Caribbean Itinerary.

An Enjoyable Cruise but the Ship Is Aging

Serenade of the Seas Cruise Review by TJKFlorida

3 people found this helpful
Trip Details
My wife and I sailed on Serenade of the Seas for its 10 night itinerary to the Southern Caribbean. We booked the cruise many months in advance and shopped for the best deal we could find for a longer cruise sailing from Florida since we live in Florida. We chose the cruise because we had sailed on a Radiance Class ship in the past and enjoyed it. We also liked the amount of sea days and the ports of call.

When we arrived in Fort Lauderdale we found our parking lot and parked our car. We chose not to park directly at the cruise terminal because of the price. Instead we parked at Park 'N Go and were shuttled to the cruise port by bus. We found that by paying online and parking offsite we saved a considerable amount on parking. We were happy with the service and facilities at Park 'N Go. Embarkation was a breeze at Fort Lauderdale. The lines were fairly short and were managed very well by Royal Caribbean. The Royal Caribbean staff that checked checked us in were very helpful. After we received our cards we headed aboard the ship. Things were a little confusing when we arrived on board deck 5 via the gangway. It was not clear what door we should use. There were some areas that were taped off with caution tape as they were making preparations to sail. It worked out and we found our way, but we did get turned around initially.

We headed to our cabin to drop off our hand luggage that we had carried aboard. The room was what we expected for an interior cabin. It was in good condition and it was clean. One inconvenience was that when we made the reservation I let Royal Caribbean know that we wanted the bed made into one bed not two twins. However, when we arrived it was set up as two twins. Our room steward fixed it promptly and was friendly. She did a good job throughout the cruise. She was friendly and helpful. We had no problems with our cabin.

After settling in we headed to the Windjammer to get something to eat. It was fairly busy. It seemed that the quality of the food in the Windjammer was slightly lower than the last time we cruised on Royal Caribbean. It was good and we did not have any complaints. We had a late seating in the dinning room and our waiter, Lenny, was very good. Along with his assistant server, Viktoriia, they did a good job. Again, I noticed that the quality of the food in the dinning room was slightly lower than when we sailed on Royal Caribbean 7 years ago. The food was still pretty good and some of the dishes remained the same (shrimp cocktail, escargot, and creme brulee, for example). We ate in the dinning room each night and we were pleased by it. We ate some lunches in the Park Cafe in the Solarium. The food there had sometimes set out for too long and was not always fresh. It was not dangerous or unsanitary, just not fresh. Also, there was a young woman who was working behind the counter at the Park Cafe who was not friendly at all. She never smiled and she did not respond to polite conversation. She only serviced the order. I noticed a couple days into the cruise she had been moved to a clean up position and another staff member was doing the serving.

We made use of the fitness center regularly. The equipment was well-maintained and there was a good variety from treadmills to selectorized weight machines to a set of dumbbells up to 75 lbs. We also enjoyed some of the other amenities on the ship like the miniature golf course and the athletic court. We attended a couple of shows. Some of them were not to our taste, but most of them were well-done. One show was a pop piano concert put on by the performer was talented, but seemed frustrated by being on a cruise ship where things were not run the same as on land. We did attend a trivia event as well as an evening of Karaoke. The cruise staff ran things well.

The service on board was very good. Our dinning room servers were great. Our room steward was good. Throughout most of the ship the staff was quite good.

We enjoyed the ports of call on this cruise. We took the excursion over to Virgin Gorda to the Virgin Baths while we were docked in Tortola in the British Virgin Islands. I would recommend this excursion it was well-led and the Baths are beautiful. Some of the areas require some crouching and climbing, but it was worth if.

We enjoyed our visit to St. Kitts, but we did not book a ship excursion. Be aware that in St. Kitts people will walk up to you and put a monkey on your shoulder or on your head and want you to pay them for using their monkey for a picture. They will do this without your asking. I was able to head them off, but if you are not firm (but polite) with them, you will find yourself with a monkey expense.

In Dominica we took the excursion to the Titou Gorge and the Heated Natural Pools. Our guides on the excursion were good. However, the water level was very high in the Titou Gorge and we were not able to swim against the strong current up to the waterfalls. It was still a beautiful area and the heated sulfur springs were very nice.

In Antigua we took a walking tour of the town. Our guide was good and it was interesting. This was an average excursion.

In St. Maarten we sailed on the tall ship Mercedes. It is a beautiful vessel and it was very peaceful sailing the coast of St. Maarten. We sailed out toward the airport and watched the planes taking off and landing near the beach. If you get sea sick I would not recommend this excursion.

The biggest complaint I would have on this cruise was disembarkation. The process took an hour and a half. Initially there were only two or three customs offices checking the thousands of passengers getting off the ship. It was ridiculous. Something needed to be done very differently.

Serenade is a beautiful ship, but is starting to show its age. There were areas that would benefit from some painting or staining. It does not have all the amenities of the larger ships, but the size is big enough to have things to do, but not so big that it feels crowded or overwhelming.

I would recommend the Serenade of the Seas and the Southern Caribbean Itinerary.
TJKFlorida’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Cabin 4025
The interior stateroom was well-maintained and clean. Everything functioned well and there was plenty of space for the two of us. Being in the middle of the hallway on deck four toward the front of the ship, the cabin was generally quiet and peaceful. Deck four is very convenient to the dinning room and to the tropical theatre. However, the solarium, pool deck, and the fitness and recreation areas are many decks higher and sometimes the elevators are quite busy.
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Port & Shore Excursion Reviews