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This is the first cruise that I went on with JUST my sister. In the past, our parents or several other family members have been with us. We opted for this cruise because of a no-deposit deal. There was nothing terribly BAD about the cruise, but for two single girls in their early thirties, there were definitely some things to be desired. There were a lot of people on the cruise that were our parents age and older, which isn't a bad thing, by any means. We met a lot of really cool people. However, the activities were definitely geared toward an older generation. The dining room was pretty loud and felt disorganized, but the food was always delicious. We're just used to a more quiet dining experience on cruises (we've mostly done Disney in the past). Our room steward was a nice guy, and he kept our room spic and span. All of the staff we talked to was very nice. We even chatted with them while on land if we saw them. We took the Sushi making class at Izumi, and it was extremely informative (though I wish the sign advertising it had said that it cost money. But it was well worth it for all of the sushi we got to take!). It was a little loud, so a little hard to understand the teacher, but he came around to each of us to make sure we were doing it all correctly. It was a fun experience, though. The best part of the ship, actually. The adult area was really nice. The pool was warm, and it was enclosed, so we could swim despite the frigid temps outside. We also each got spa treatments. The crewmembers in the spa went above and beyond to make us feel welcome. I'd never gotten a massage on a cruise before, and it was much nicer than the massage I'd gotten on land. Definitely worth the money. The ports were most definitely our favorite part of the trip. Bar Harbor, especially. It was a cute little town with all of these amazing shops. The people were so nice. And our excursion was a lobster bake and drive through Acadia National Park. I'd never had a whole lobster before, and our waitress had to show our entire table how to break it down, but the food was awesome. The park was absolutely stunning, and our tour guide had a lot of great stories. Portland was our first stop, and we saw many lighthouses, saw the town, and even got to try Lobster Rolls. Pretty tasty, but not sure I'd go out of my way to eat it again. After our morning tour, we stopped at the Titanic museum, a birthday present from my sister because I am a Titanic nerd. She didn't need a tour guide or the little device that gave you info. She had me. I ended up buying a couple pictures because they cracked me up. Our time in Saint John, NB was fun because we ran into our parents who were on another cruise. Spending the day on a tour bus with them was a lot of fun, and reminded us both why we enjoy cruising with them. We took the Pink Double Decker Bus Tour, and stopped at a few historic places (we're history buffs in our family), and it was pretty great. We stopped for lunch in a pub that had great burgers. Our last stop in Halifax was the day we were looking forward to most. Our excursion was a Scottish kitchen party. We had no idea what to expect, but going to a casino and drinking tea and eating biscuits while listening to (fantastic) music for an hour with three hours to do as we pleased wasn't really it. We're not gamblers, so we ended up utilizing the casino's free wifi to chat with friends back home while we waited for our bus. We did tour the city that morning in another double decker bus. I was surprised how narrow the streets were, and those drivers were champs for navigating so well! The Disembarkation was a bit of a headache, and similar to embarkation. Long lines for breakfast, hardly any tables available, and then a lot of waiting once you wanted to get off the ship. We spoke to a lot of previous RC customers who said that this experience was definitely a few steps below what they were used to on other ships. They urged us to try RC again in the future, and we will. Probably with a different location, which would probably have a younger demographic.

It was just okay.

Serenade of the Seas Cruise Review by martinbeks

2 people found this helpful
Trip Details
This is the first cruise that I went on with JUST my sister. In the past, our parents or several other family members have been with us. We opted for this cruise because of a no-deposit deal.

There was nothing terribly BAD about the cruise, but for two single girls in their early thirties, there were definitely some things to be desired. There were a lot of people on the cruise that were our parents age and older, which isn't a bad thing, by any means. We met a lot of really cool people. However, the activities were definitely geared toward an older generation.

The dining room was pretty loud and felt disorganized, but the food was always delicious. We're just used to a more quiet dining experience on cruises (we've mostly done Disney in the past).

Our room steward was a nice guy, and he kept our room spic and span. All of the staff we talked to was very nice. We even chatted with them while on land if we saw them.

We took the Sushi making class at Izumi, and it was extremely informative (though I wish the sign advertising it had said that it cost money. But it was well worth it for all of the sushi we got to take!). It was a little loud, so a little hard to understand the teacher, but he came around to each of us to make sure we were doing it all correctly. It was a fun experience, though. The best part of the ship, actually.

The adult area was really nice. The pool was warm, and it was enclosed, so we could swim despite the frigid temps outside. We also each got spa treatments. The crewmembers in the spa went above and beyond to make us feel welcome. I'd never gotten a massage on a cruise before, and it was much nicer than the massage I'd gotten on land. Definitely worth the money.

The ports were most definitely our favorite part of the trip. Bar Harbor, especially. It was a cute little town with all of these amazing shops. The people were so nice. And our excursion was a lobster bake and drive through Acadia National Park. I'd never had a whole lobster before, and our waitress had to show our entire table how to break it down, but the food was awesome. The park was absolutely stunning, and our tour guide had a lot of great stories.

Portland was our first stop, and we saw many lighthouses, saw the town, and even got to try Lobster Rolls. Pretty tasty, but not sure I'd go out of my way to eat it again. After our morning tour, we stopped at the Titanic museum, a birthday present from my sister because I am a Titanic nerd. She didn't need a tour guide or the little device that gave you info. She had me. I ended up buying a couple pictures because they cracked me up.

Our time in Saint John, NB was fun because we ran into our parents who were on another cruise. Spending the day on a tour bus with them was a lot of fun, and reminded us both why we enjoy cruising with them. We took the Pink Double Decker Bus Tour, and stopped at a few historic places (we're history buffs in our family), and it was pretty great. We stopped for lunch in a pub that had great burgers.

Our last stop in Halifax was the day we were looking forward to most. Our excursion was a Scottish kitchen party. We had no idea what to expect, but going to a casino and drinking tea and eating biscuits while listening to (fantastic) music for an hour with three hours to do as we pleased wasn't really it. We're not gamblers, so we ended up utilizing the casino's free wifi to chat with friends back home while we waited for our bus. We did tour the city that morning in another double decker bus. I was surprised how narrow the streets were, and those drivers were champs for navigating so well!

The Disembarkation was a bit of a headache, and similar to embarkation. Long lines for breakfast, hardly any tables available, and then a lot of waiting once you wanted to get off the ship.

We spoke to a lot of previous RC customers who said that this experience was definitely a few steps below what they were used to on other ships. They urged us to try RC again in the future, and we will. Probably with a different location, which would probably have a younger demographic.
martinbeks’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Cabin 2015
The room was kept clean and our steward very nice. He also does a great towel animal.
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Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Acadia National Park
    After a walking tour of downtown that morning, we met up with our group to have a lobster bake, which actually took place at the Bar Harbor Club (fancier location than anticipated). The lunch was a lot of fun, as neither of us had tried a whole lobster before. Or mussels. We discovered that we're fans. From there, we drove through Acadia National Park, and saw the stunning sites, and history of the area. We were able to get out at a bridge, which was the best part of the drive. Wonderful views.
    View All 186 Acadia National Park Reviews
  • Halifax
    The price for this excursion felt more expensive than what we got. We enjoyed the music and the tea and biscuits, but that was only an hour of the excursion. The rest of it was time on our own where we could gamble in the casino or walk to the local shops, which were about a mile away. After the concert, we ended up using the casino's free wifi until our bus left. The musicians were great, but overall, it was overpriced.
    View All 12,409 Halifax Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Halifax Cruise Port Review
  • Lighthouses of Maine Tour
    Our tour guide was a lot of fun. She had a wide range of both personal and historical stories about the area and the lighthouses. She had good recommendations for lunch when we came back, and took her up on her suggestions. She wasn't wrong.
    View All 23 Lighthouses of Maine Tour Reviews
  • Hop On Hop Off
    We chose this excursion because our parents were going to be on Saint John on the same day, and this was something we could do together. The premise of the hop on/hop off was easy, and were found a lot of places to stop and explore, including a history museum in an old house. The tour guides were very knowledgeable, and it was definitely a good option.
    View All 28 Hop On Hop Off Reviews