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We had sailed to Copenhagen last year on the Serenade so we were looking forward to both the itinerary and the ship. The itinerary did not disappoint, in fact, it exceeded our expectations. However, Serenade left quite a bit to be desired this time. The embarkation process was smooth. We stayed at the AC Marriott Bella Sky near the airport after our long flights. We were able to book coach transport to the terminal with them and this was convenient and less expensive. Once on the ship we quickly noticed that Serenade was in need of dry dock. Cushions on chairs in some of the lounges were stained or needing repair and our stateroom shower had several issues. Size has nothing to do with this. We have sailed on RCI at all levels and are used to small showers. But, there was no regulator on the shower and despite a maintenance request, this was not fixed. Made for interesting water flow throughout the trip. Our stateroom attendant was responsive and friendly. We were pleased with the level of service from him. The food in the main dining room has improved. We ate at two of the three specialty restaurants and in the main dining room several nights. These were all good experiences. However, the Windjammer was a joke. The food has devolved, sometimes not warm enough, not very appealing looking on many occasions. One morning there were no, and I really mean no, plates available at breakfast. The Windjammer was packed and being poorly managed. The staff did not seem to care and were not helpful. The Diamond Lounge was initially (for three nights) restricted to a space that seated 45, but there were over 350 Diamond and Diamond + on board. This made many people very unhappy. As to the ports, they were great! We could have skipped Tromso as the pier is far from town and cost $ to reach the center of interesting things. The RCI hosted excursion we booked was a joke. It said we were going to a fishing village. The drive was pretty but we learned nothing about fishing - it was really a resort fishing area. All other ports were fabulous and the scenery each day was wonderful. Norway is beautiful. Royal should do this itinerary more often. Two last things about RCI, I am getting tired of being nickel and dimed. Charging for Room Service American Breakfast is ridiculous and an insult. We always enjoyed eating breakfast on our balcony and didn't do it once this trip. That's a shame. We used the pool once and found we now need to have our card swiped to get towels - not a problem. The card was swiped when we returned the towels. When the cruise ended we were told we were being charged for two towels we had not returned. Husband called guest services and said he returned the towels and he was told the charge would be removed. Upon arriving home we learned we were charged not only for the towels but also mini-bar which we never used. Needless to say RCI received a phone call and after much too much time on the phone we are told the amount will be credited back to our card. It's too early to tell if this has happened. We have one more cruise scheduled with Royal. It may be our last.

Great itinerary, disappointments on the ship

Serenade of the Seas Cruise Review by jdqtravelstheworld

7 people found this helpful
Trip Details
We had sailed to Copenhagen last year on the Serenade so we were looking forward to both the itinerary and the ship. The itinerary did not disappoint, in fact, it exceeded our expectations. However, Serenade left quite a bit to be desired this time.

The embarkation process was smooth. We stayed at the AC Marriott Bella Sky near the airport after our long flights. We were able to book coach transport to the terminal with them and this was convenient and less expensive.

Once on the ship we quickly noticed that Serenade was in need of dry dock. Cushions on chairs in some of the lounges were stained or needing repair and our stateroom shower had several issues. Size has nothing to do with this. We have sailed on RCI at all levels and are used to small showers. But, there was no regulator on the shower and despite a maintenance request, this was not fixed. Made for interesting water flow throughout the trip. Our stateroom attendant was responsive and friendly. We were pleased with the level of service from him.

The food in the main dining room has improved. We ate at two of the three specialty restaurants and in the main dining room several nights. These were all good experiences. However, the Windjammer was a joke. The food has devolved, sometimes not warm enough, not very appealing looking on many occasions. One morning there were no, and I really mean no, plates available at breakfast. The Windjammer was packed and being poorly managed. The staff did not seem to care and were not helpful.

The Diamond Lounge was initially (for three nights) restricted to a space that seated 45, but there were over 350 Diamond and Diamond + on board. This made many people very unhappy.

As to the ports, they were great! We could have skipped Tromso as the pier is far from town and cost $ to reach the center of interesting things. The RCI hosted excursion we booked was a joke. It said we were going to a fishing village. The drive was pretty but we learned nothing about fishing - it was really a resort fishing area.

All other ports were fabulous and the scenery each day was wonderful. Norway is beautiful. Royal should do this itinerary more often.

Two last things about RCI, I am getting tired of being nickel and dimed. Charging for Room Service American Breakfast is ridiculous and an insult. We always enjoyed eating breakfast on our balcony and didn't do it once this trip. That's a shame.

We used the pool once and found we now need to have our card swiped to get towels - not a problem. The card was swiped when we returned the towels. When the cruise ended we were told we were being charged for two towels we had not returned. Husband called guest services and said he returned the towels and he was told the charge would be removed. Upon arriving home we learned we were charged not only for the towels but also mini-bar which we never used. Needless to say RCI received a phone call and after much too much time on the phone we are told the amount will be credited back to our card. It's too early to tell if this has happened.

We have one more cruise scheduled with Royal. It may be our last.
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