1. Home
  2. Cruise Reviews
  3. Serenade of the Seas
We started our holidays 12 days earlier as we flew to Puerto Rico from Vancouver to enjoy 10 days of sun before boarding our ship. We had an awesome time in Puerto Rico but the highlight of this trip for me was the cruise that was waiting for us. We then flew from Puerto Rico to Fort Lauderdale the day before where we stayed at a boutique hotel in Fort Lauderdale called The Nobleton Hotel which was about 15 minutes taxi ride to the cruise terminal. We arrived at the terminal around 12:15 pm. The check in was pretty fast. We did not have to wait in line and it went very smooth. Once on the ship we went around familiarizing ourselves with the different decks to see where everything was. Our cabins were not ready until 1:30 pm so we decided to go to the Windjammer for some lunch. At 1:30 pm our cabins were ready so we headed that way and to our surprise found that our luggage was waiting for us right outside our cabins. That was a great bonus for us as we were able to organize ourselves and get ready in time for the sail away party. I chose this itinerary because I wanted to go to St. Lucia and some of the ABC Islands. I was not disappointed with my choice. We enjoyed every single island that we visited. In Antigua and St. Lucia we did shore excursions through Royal Caribbean and the rest of the islands we did on our own. With regards to food, I was not thrilled with the food at the Main Dinning Room. Some things were good and others were not good at all but our waiters Gabriel and Mara from Brazil were great. We ate there every night except for one night we went to Giovanni's and another night we did the Chef's Table. We had breakfast (except one morning where we went to the MDR but was not thrilled with it) and lunch (except one lunch that I went to the MDR, and tried their salad bar that they prepare in front of you) every day at the Windjammer and sat at the back overlooking the ocean. That was a very nice thing to do every day. We enjoyed the entertainment on board. We missed a couple of shows like the ventriloquist, because that day we did not feel like going to a show and also the Beatles as we were at the Chef’s Table that night. Most of the mornings when getting to port we will get up early and run to the Helipad where you can see as we approached the ports of call. That was a great experience to do every morning as you are standing on the helipad and the ship is slowly sailing to the ports. In Antigua, there was on the pier already a Holland America ship, the Rotterdam. In St. Lucia, there was one ship called Club Med 2. In Barbados, including our ship, there were a total of 6 ships. There was from Celebrity, the Eclipse; from P&O, the Britannia; from Seaborn, the Royal Clipper; from Oceania, the Regatta; plus a yacht that we couldn’t see which ship it was. In Grenada, at the old pier, the Sea Cloud II was there. And in Aruba, there was again the Britannia from P&O and from Thomson Cruises, the Tui Discovery. Regarding the bars, every time we wanted to go to the Schooner Bar it was like a freezer in there so we just did not have any drinks there. The same thing with the Safari Club, it was too cold. I understand it is hot outside, but that does not mean that you have to freeze while inside. We had a drink once at Vintages and the bartender was really nice. He provided us with some tapas at no charge to go with our drinks. We had a few drinks on Deck 4 by the Centrum, but forgot the name of that bar. The service was great. Also had a few drinks from the bars by the pool. When you tell them how you like your drinks (like not too sweet or more lemony) then you have a really nice drink. At Giovanni’s we had an excellent dinner there one night. The food was excellent and our waiter was really nice. There was a lot of food and every dish was delicious. We followed the waiter’s recommendations and we were not disappointed. We had some appetizers, as well as a caprese salad followed by some pastas (mushroom risotto and gorgonzola gnocchi. Sole fish and lamb chops. And of course we had to have tiramisu, cannoli and panna cotta. The Chef’s Table for me was the highlight with respect to food. We were greeted with a glass of champagne. Once everybody arrived (we were 10 people in total) we headed to the table. The chef explained to us, course by course, how he will make the dish, the waiter will bring our dish and then he will explain the wine that he was pairing it with. This was for all six dishes that we had. Six courses, six different kind of wine (full glasses). I think at the end of the night we needed somebody to take us to our cabins. Just kidding. Every penny was well worth it for this dinner. I definitely recommend it. Islands: In Antigua we did the Catamaran and Snorkel shore excursion through Royal Caribbean. The staff was really pleasant. It was not the best snorkel that you can find as not too many corals but there were plenty of fish. The rum punch was the best that I have had on all islands. After the excursion we took a taxi to a close by beach where we stayed for a couple of hours and arranged with the taxi driver to pick us up and he did. We enjoyed this island. In St. Lucia we also did the excursion through Royal Caribbean. We did the Catamaran view of the Pitons with snorkel. This excursion was in the afternoon, so in the morning we hire a taxi that took us around some parts of the island. Very beautiful. I was impressed with the luscious vegetation and our driver was really nice. The shore excursion was nice. It is just incredible to see the Pitons from the ocean. The view is quite something. The snorkel was OK, just off the beach. On the way back we were served some punch but this was not as good as in Antigua as it was too sweet. We were listening to Christmas carols on the boat with a Reggae style. Quite funny. I will definitely come back to this island. We didn’t do a shore excursion in Barbados through RCI. Instead we hired a taxi for over 3 hours and he took us around the island. He was great. We told him more or less what we wanted to see and he took us there. We negotiated a good price and were very happy with what he showed us. He then dropped us at a beach close to the terminal and he picked us later after one and a half hours. Grenada was the island that we liked the most. We hired a taxi and he took us to several areas of the island. We were very impressed with the beauty of this island as we really did not do our research here and it was quite beautiful. Our driver was very knowledgeable and very pleasant. He then dropped us by the old pier as we wanted to walk through some of the streets of Grenada. We will definitely come back to this island as well for sure. In Bonaire we didn’t do much. We just took a taxi to a beach and stayed there all day. We took with us our snorkeling gear as we had heard there was good snorkel there. We saw lots of fish. We took a taxi back to the pier and walked around looking at some of the shops. In Aruba we took a public bus to Fisherman’s Hut where my DH was able to windsurf. He was very happy about this, as he has not been able to snorkel for a few years. After he finished windsurfing we walked towards the hotels and resorts to find a beach were we could find some facilities, like food, water and bathrooms. After several hours we took the bus back to the Pier where we walked around the many stores around the area. We would want to come back to this island and stay at the resorts with all the kids and grandkids. The last day at sea we did the “All Access Tour”. That was lots of fun. We were taken to the galley, back stage and the bridge among other areas. For me, as a foodie, it was impressive to see the kitchen where they make all the food for the different specialty restaurants and the Windjammer and the MDR. Impressive. The bridge was quite something, being able to talk to the Captain and their second in command where they explained us everything. We found it quite interesting. My overall experience was fantastic. We would definitely come back to this ship. We didn’t feel that the ship was old or anything like that. We saw that it was maintained all the time. Cleaning and painting whenever they could.

Definitely enjoyed our cruise

Serenade of the Seas Cruise Review by Goldieone1

3 people found this helpful
Trip Details
We started our holidays 12 days earlier as we flew to Puerto Rico from Vancouver to enjoy 10 days of sun before boarding our ship. We had an awesome time in Puerto Rico but the highlight of this trip for me was the cruise that was waiting for us.

We then flew from Puerto Rico to Fort Lauderdale the day before where we stayed at a boutique hotel in Fort Lauderdale called The Nobleton Hotel which was about 15 minutes taxi ride to the cruise terminal. We arrived at the terminal around 12:15 pm. The check in was pretty fast. We did not have to wait in line and it went very smooth.

Once on the ship we went around familiarizing ourselves with the different decks to see where everything was. Our cabins were not ready until 1:30 pm so we decided to go to the Windjammer for some lunch. At 1:30 pm our cabins were ready so we headed that way and to our surprise found that our luggage was waiting for us right outside our cabins. That was a great bonus for us as we were able to organize ourselves and get ready in time for the sail away party.

I chose this itinerary because I wanted to go to St. Lucia and some of the ABC Islands. I was not disappointed with my choice. We enjoyed every single island that we visited. In Antigua and St. Lucia we did shore excursions through Royal Caribbean and the rest of the islands we did on our own.

With regards to food, I was not thrilled with the food at the Main Dinning Room. Some things were good and others were not good at all but our waiters Gabriel and Mara from Brazil were great. We ate there every night except for one night we went to Giovanni's and another night we did the Chef's Table. We had breakfast (except one morning where we went to the MDR but was not thrilled with it) and lunch (except one lunch that I went to the MDR, and tried their salad bar that they prepare in front of you) every day at the Windjammer and sat at the back overlooking the ocean. That was a very nice thing to do every day.

We enjoyed the entertainment on board. We missed a couple of shows like the ventriloquist, because that day we did not feel like going to a show and also the Beatles as we were at the Chef’s Table that night.

Most of the mornings when getting to port we will get up early and run to the Helipad where you can see as we approached the ports of call. That was a great experience to do every morning as you are standing on the helipad and the ship is slowly sailing to the ports. In Antigua, there was on the pier already a Holland America ship, the Rotterdam. In St. Lucia, there was one ship called Club Med 2. In Barbados, including our ship, there were a total of 6 ships. There was from Celebrity, the Eclipse; from P&O, the Britannia; from Seaborn, the Royal Clipper; from Oceania, the Regatta; plus a yacht that we couldn’t see which ship it was. In Grenada, at the old pier, the Sea Cloud II was there. And in Aruba, there was again the Britannia from P&O and from Thomson Cruises, the Tui Discovery.

Regarding the bars, every time we wanted to go to the Schooner Bar it was like a freezer in there so we just did not have any drinks there. The same thing with the Safari Club, it was too cold. I understand it is hot outside, but that does not mean that you have to freeze while inside. We had a drink once at Vintages and the bartender was really nice. He provided us with some tapas at no charge to go with our drinks. We had a few drinks on Deck 4 by the Centrum, but forgot the name of that bar. The service was great. Also had a few drinks from the bars by the pool. When you tell them how you like your drinks (like not too sweet or more lemony) then you have a really nice drink.

At Giovanni’s we had an excellent dinner there one night. The food was excellent and our waiter was really nice. There was a lot of food and every dish was delicious. We followed the waiter’s recommendations and we were not disappointed. We had some appetizers, as well as a caprese salad followed by some pastas (mushroom risotto and gorgonzola gnocchi. Sole fish and lamb chops. And of course we had to have tiramisu, cannoli and panna cotta.

The Chef’s Table for me was the highlight with respect to food. We were greeted with a glass of champagne. Once everybody arrived (we were 10 people in total) we headed to the table. The chef explained to us, course by course, how he will make the dish, the waiter will bring our dish and then he will explain the wine that he was pairing it with. This was for all six dishes that we had. Six courses, six different kind of wine (full glasses). I think at the end of the night we needed somebody to take us to our cabins. Just kidding. Every penny was well worth it for this dinner. I definitely recommend it.

Islands:

In Antigua we did the Catamaran and Snorkel shore excursion through Royal Caribbean. The staff was really pleasant. It was not the best snorkel that you can find as not too many corals but there were plenty of fish. The rum punch was the best that I have had on all islands. After the excursion we took a taxi to a close by beach where we stayed for a couple of hours and arranged with the taxi driver to pick us up and he did. We enjoyed this island.

In St. Lucia we also did the excursion through Royal Caribbean. We did the Catamaran view of the Pitons with snorkel. This excursion was in the afternoon, so in the morning we hire a taxi that took us around some parts of the island. Very beautiful. I was impressed with the luscious vegetation and our driver was really nice. The shore excursion was nice. It is just incredible to see the Pitons from the ocean. The view is quite something. The snorkel was OK, just off the beach. On the way back we were served some punch but this was not as good as in Antigua as it was too sweet. We were listening to Christmas carols on the boat with a Reggae style. Quite funny. I will definitely come back to this island.

We didn’t do a shore excursion in Barbados through RCI. Instead we hired a taxi for over 3 hours and he took us around the island. He was great. We told him more or less what we wanted to see and he took us there. We negotiated a good price and were very happy with what he showed us. He then dropped us at a beach close to the terminal and he picked us later after one and a half hours.

Grenada was the island that we liked the most. We hired a taxi and he took us to several areas of the island. We were very impressed with the beauty of this island as we really did not do our research here and it was quite beautiful. Our driver was very knowledgeable and very pleasant. He then dropped us by the old pier as we wanted to walk through some of the streets of Grenada. We will definitely come back to this island as well for sure.

In Bonaire we didn’t do much. We just took a taxi to a beach and stayed there all day. We took with us our snorkeling gear as we had heard there was good snorkel there. We saw lots of fish. We took a taxi back to the pier and walked around looking at some of the shops.

In Aruba we took a public bus to Fisherman’s Hut where my DH was able to windsurf. He was very happy about this, as he has not been able to snorkel for a few years. After he finished windsurfing we walked towards the hotels and resorts to find a beach were we could find some facilities, like food, water and bathrooms. After several hours we took the bus back to the Pier where we walked around the many stores around the area. We would want to come back to this island and stay at the resorts with all the kids and grandkids.

The last day at sea we did the “All Access Tour”. That was lots of fun. We were taken to the galley, back stage and the bridge among other areas. For me, as a foodie, it was impressive to see the kitchen where they make all the food for the different specialty restaurants and the Windjammer and the MDR. Impressive. The bridge was quite something, being able to talk to the Captain and their second in command where they explained us everything. We found it quite interesting.

My overall experience was fantastic. We would definitely come back to this ship. We didn’t feel that the ship was old or anything like that. We saw that it was maintained all the time. Cleaning and painting whenever they could.
Goldieone1’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Service
Onboard Experience
Free Price Drop Alerts
Get Royal Caribbean Serenade of the Seas price drops
250,000+ people have entered their email

Cabin Review

Cabin 7660
Our cabin attendant was Leo from the Philippines. He was great. Anything we asked he will get for us right away and he will remember for the rest of our cruise. We were really happy with Leo. We had a balcony on deck 7 and we spent a lot of time there drinking our wine and listening to music as we had brought our portable little speakers that we connected to our phone. At night it was very romantic doing this, as we would be slow dancing to some of our favorite music. I think the size of the cabin was good for our needs. It had lots of little places for storage. The closet was a good size where I could put my luggage which is relatively an enormous size and my DH was stored under the bed. Our balcony was big compared to the other balconies that were on top of the life boats.
  Serenade of the Seas Deck Plans

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Catamaran Sail
    In Antigua we did the Catamaran and Snorkel shore excursion through Royal Caribbean plus a beach stop. The staff was really pleasant. It was not the best snorkel that you can find as not too many corals but there were plenty of fish. The rum punch was the best that I have had on all islands.
    View All 101 Catamaran Sail Reviews
  • Aruba
    We took a public bus to Fisherman’s Hut where my DH was able to windsurf. After he finished windsurfing we walked towards the hotels and resorts to find a beach were we could find some facilities, like food, water and bathrooms. After several hours we took the bus back to the Pier where we walked around the many stores around the area.
    View All 1,675 Aruba Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Aruba Cruise Port Review
  • Barbados
    We hired a taxi for over 3 hours and he took us around the island. We told him more or less what we wanted to see and he showed us the best of what this island has to offer. We negotiated a good price and were very happy with what he showed us. He then dropped us at a beach close to the terminal and he picked us later after one and a half hours.
    View All 1,556 Barbados Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Barbados Cruise Port Review
  • Bonaire
    We just took a taxi to a beach and stayed there all day. We took with us our snorkeling gear as we had heard there was good snorkel there. We saw lots of fish. We took a taxi back to the pier and walked around looking at some of the shops.
    View All 611 Bonaire Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Bonaire Cruise Port Review
  • Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
    I have been to Fort Lauderdale several times and every time I go there I have lots of fun there. This time we were there only for 1 night and stayed at a boutique hotel 15 minutes away from the pier.
    View All 1,961 Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades) Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades) Cruise Port Review
  • Grenada
    Grenada was the island that we liked the most. We hired a taxi and he took us to several areas of the island. We were very impressed with the beauty of this island as we really did not do our research here and it was quite beautiful. Our driver was very knowledgeable and very pleasant. He then dropped us by the old pier as we wanted to walk through some of the streets of Grenada. We will definitely come back to this island as well for sure.
    View All 644 Grenada Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Grenada Cruise Port Review
  • Catamaran Day Sail
    We did the Catamaran view of the Pitons with snorkel. The shore excursion was nice. It is just incredible to see the Pitons from the ocean. The view is quite something. The snorkel was OK, just off the beach. On the way back we were served some punch but this was not as good as in Antigua as it was too sweet. We were listening to Christmas carols on the boat with a Reggae style.
    View All 68 Catamaran Day Sail Reviews