Cruise on the RCL Serenade of the Seas Feb 3rd, 2017 to Feb 13th, 2017
Well we were very excited to try a different Cruise Line and compare it to Princess, which is the only Cruise Line we have used thus far.
The first day started off on a rocky note as we were whisked into the holding/customs building only to have to wait an hour and a half or more, to actually start to be processed into the ship. Something about the photo station not working so they had to do it when we boarded.
Since we were directed to the back seats, everyone that came after us were put in front of us when those seats became empty so we were last onto the ship and people who just got there were processed before us.
We then were finally let on the ship around 1pm or later and were directed to the Windjammer for lunch. It was an okay lunch and we were happy to eat and finally relax.
We checked a couple of times for our luggage when the hall doors to our stateroom were unlocked but no luggage to be seen.
We saw that someone else's luggage was in front of our #8639 stateroom door so we figured our luggage was elsewhere. We started to hunt for it and finally found it halfway down the hallway in front of someone else's door. If "Nino", our stateroom attendant, had been on shift he would have corrected the mistake immediately.
Our stateroom attendant, Saturnino Badajos "Nino", introduced himself to us and gave us his business card.
Our first impression of "Nino" was that he was a very quiet man with a great amount of class. He was very friendly, all the while being unassuming, a sweet man who I hugged and my husband shook hands with throughout the cruise. We liked him immensely and our thoughts and respect only increased throughout the cruise. This man should be promoted pronto. He is the type of customer relations staff that every cruise-ship, wanting great public relations, should strive for.
He showed us where everything was and said to call if we needed anything.
We didn't ask for much as we usually were up at the crack of dawn and to bed early. We love sunrises and sunsets.
We unpacked and went to the dining room for dinner at 5pm.
Since I have allergies to Shellfish, Fish, and Histamines, the head of the dining room looked after me and he was very patient and attentive. He made a copy of my allergy list from my doctor. We did have to wait for him to come when we ordered each course, as he was very busy. So is the life of a person who could die from shellfish. Better safe than dead.
We ordered prime rib and it was terrible. A very bad and thick cut of meat with fat and hard gristle. Baked potato was very plain. Veggies were tasty. Buns were tasty. My husband loved his chocolate dessert but thought the coffee was the worst he had ever tasted. I ordered the banana creme brûlée and it was curdled with the crust overdone.
We decided that the dining room food was not worth 3 hours of our time each day, including getting ready for dining and changing afterwords.
We heard from many, many other guests who also disliked the dining room food. We also heard that the waiters were slow and frazzled. My husband and I didn't have that experience with our waiters or with the head of the dining room.
We had tea later in the Windjammer and I was delighted to see that they had Twinings 100% English Breakfast BlackTea. They only had it the first day though, much to my disappointment. They made excuses why they didn't have it anymore, but they were excuses.
Now to the Windjammer staff! They were amazing. The friendliest helpful staff we have ever had the pleasure to experience. Truly! The very tall thin young man with dark hair who was always at the grill cooking stir fry to filet mignon was exceptional. I wish I could remember his name. He is also very classy, cheerful, helpful, and should be promoted. He was very thoughtful when it came to my allergies.
The food at the Windjammer was every bit as good as the dining room food but we wondered just how many ways they could dress up the mousse desserts. They did have the odd different desserts like the berry tart and key lime or apple pie. The big cake was also very good. The grill food was really good as was the omelette station in the morning. Bread selection great! Salad selection lacking. The world theme foods were interesting. Juices were watery.
We found the pools were too small but the hot tubs were clean and hot!
We found the ship was very clean and the staff were always cleaning and repairing each day, every day.
We, at first were not happy that the Windjammer closed at 8:30pm as the Princess Line buffet was always open until 11:30 pm. But then we discovered the other spots to go to find drinks and snacks.
I was very impressed with the Breakfast in the Solarium when I was up early for the sunrises. Great strawberry parfait. Coffee was still the worst I have ever had but the other foods were good.
The ship Theatre singers were very good. The comedian and the Hypnotist were so bad that guests were leaving in droves. I felt sorry for them, in a way.
We had a message on our phone that the excursion we booked for my favourite island, Dominica, was changed. We were not asked what we wanted to do we were just given the Hibiscus Falls instead of the Emerald Pool. We went down to the excursion desk and the rude woman ( a chunky girl with dark hair. Her name started with a J ), said snootily that she thought the Hibiscus Falls was a better choice. She then called her boss who told us Royal Caribbean had known about this for six weeks.
We had booked all six excursions before Christmas as a present to each other and we could have made different arrangements if we had known. We then cancelled the Dominica excursion and after talking we then cancelled the others ( we had gone to the Tortola one already) because she was so rude and had a very bad attitude. She should not be in a position of customer relations.
Unlike Princess Line, Royal Caribbean charges your Visa for the excursions when you book them. Princess charges you after you actually go on them.
The staff on the customer relations main desk were great also.
We didn't have an alcohol drink at all as they were $10 U.S. Plus 18% tax/gratuity. We brought empty Pepsi bottles and filled them with water from our room for our island walking and also brought our Tim Hortons Mugs so we could bring tea to our room. They did have takeout cups and lids.
Our favourite spot was the back of the Windjammer which was open with a canvas top.
I had to call the Royal Caribbean today as our $264 from the excursions we cancelled is not returned to our Visa yet. The nice young man said we were charged $12.39 for two bottles of water missing from the mini fridge in our room. I told him we didn't drink anything from the fridge, in fact didn't have a drink period on our cruise. He said he would reimburse the money to us. I asked who thought we drank the ships water and he said the staff who refills the fridges. I guess mistakes will be made with the rush to get ready for the next ship full of guests.
The movies under the stars is a favourite thing for us. If only the staff cleaning the bar behind us could be a little quieter. Also the young staff men were standing around behind us chatting in there own language kind of loud.
All in all we loved the fact that the ship was not over crowded and we could always find a quiet place to read and relax if we wanted to.
We found that 95 % ,or more, of the staff were helpful and genuinely friendly.
Hope this long review helps. Rose and Jim
Port Everglades is great.