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I'm not really sure why this ship doesn't have better reviews. Just returned from this cruise yesterday (we spent 2 additional days in Stockholm after the cruise) and really enjoyed ourselves. My wife and I (in our early 60's) began the cruise on July 23 and it ended on July 30. Yes, I can see some of the "age" of the ship, but that did not prohibit us from enjoying the cruise. This ship goes into dry dock later this year and will have some increase machinery in the laundry division. I'm not sure cruisers will see much change in the appearance of the ship. We have mostly used Carnival (NCL once) while this was our first RC cruise experience. We do have another RC cruise booked for Christmastime. We had cabin 8590 which is a balcony stateroom. Our balcony was smaller than other balconies because we were in the "hump" of the ship and that required our balcony to be smaller. That did not diminish our enjoyment of the cruise or the balcony. Cabin attendant was friendly and efficient. We've had better attendants in previous cruises, but not to say this one was "bad." I will give Carnival's shower head a "shout out" over RC's. RC's shower head reminds me some yesteryear's experience! I liked the shower closet part over Carnival's shower curtain, but the shower head "war" belongs to Carnival. Some people had difficulty determining how to work the controls in the shower. On the left, is the water pressure and on the right, is the water temperature (in Celsius degrees). RC provides liquid shampoo (would be nice if it were labeled) and a bar of soap. I had no problem "getting around" the bathroom. Stateroom was fine, bed a bit hard, I guess. Asked for an additional pillow (made 3 pillows for each of us) and that was fine. Plenty of storage space for clothing. Safe was available. A/C worked and had no problems with it. Did not watch much TV (too busy with other activities!) Rest of the ship was fine. We swam in the Solarium since the weather in the Baltic was cool. My only complaint was the staff didn't consistency enforce the "no children" rule. There were times when children were allowed, which is fine. But when they were not allowed, the staff didn't consistency enforce the rule (they did sometimes, but not at others!). Anyway, the main dining room was excellent both in food quality and service. Windjammer was indeed busy, but food was good. We found the service to be fine in the Windjammer although I read many negatives about it. It IS chaotic to be sure. I would think some direction about "where to start" each station would be beneficial. However, we enjoyed the experience each morning and lunch for the most part. We ate in the dining room for breakfast once and service was not the usual excellence as the evening (different waiters). Lunch at seaday also not on par for service. Food quality was always excellent. Trivia games were fun while the "winnings" of the games were somewhat lacking. I don't expect a cruise for winning, but a pen? Really? Can't think of another item to give away?? The magnets were a better item when given away. Entertainment was fine although we didn't always go. ABBAmax was fun and enjoyable. Did not watch any movies (we weren't interested in any of them). Did not frequent any bars, so don't know about that. Shopping seemed to be fairly popular although we shopped, we didn't buy much. Some candy offerings would be nice. Lastly, the ports were simply wonderful. From Stockholm, to Helsinki to St. Petersburg, to Tallin (our favorite), to Riga were great. Used RC tours for St. Pete. Otherwise, toured on our own. Overall, a fun, enjoyable cruise. Would do it again and recommended. We liked the Serenade of the Seas. Would have no problem returning to the ship in the future.

Easy to get around ship and great ports

Serenade of the Seas Cruise Review by paba2016

4 people found this helpful
Trip Details
I'm not really sure why this ship doesn't have better reviews. Just returned from this cruise yesterday (we spent 2 additional days in Stockholm after the cruise) and really enjoyed ourselves. My wife and I (in our early 60's) began the cruise on July 23 and it ended on July 30. Yes, I can see some of the "age" of the ship, but that did not prohibit us from enjoying the cruise. This ship goes into dry dock later this year and will have some increase machinery in the laundry division. I'm not sure cruisers will see much change in the appearance of the ship. We have mostly used Carnival (NCL once) while this was our first RC cruise experience. We do have another RC cruise booked for Christmastime.

We had cabin 8590 which is a balcony stateroom. Our balcony was smaller than other balconies because we were in the "hump" of the ship and that required our balcony to be smaller. That did not diminish our enjoyment of the cruise or the balcony. Cabin attendant was friendly and efficient. We've had better attendants in previous cruises, but not to say this one was "bad." I will give Carnival's shower head a "shout out" over RC's. RC's shower head reminds me some yesteryear's experience! I liked the shower closet part over Carnival's shower curtain, but the shower head "war" belongs to Carnival. Some people had difficulty determining how to work the controls in the shower. On the left, is the water pressure and on the right, is the water temperature (in Celsius degrees). RC provides liquid shampoo (would be nice if it were labeled) and a bar of soap. I had no problem "getting around" the bathroom. Stateroom was fine, bed a bit hard, I guess. Asked for an additional pillow (made 3 pillows for each of us) and that was fine. Plenty of storage space for clothing. Safe was available. A/C worked and had no problems with it. Did not watch much TV (too busy with other activities!)

Rest of the ship was fine. We swam in the Solarium since the weather in the Baltic was cool. My only complaint was the staff didn't consistency enforce the "no children" rule. There were times when children were allowed, which is fine. But when they were not allowed, the staff didn't consistency enforce the rule (they did sometimes, but not at others!). Anyway, the main dining room was excellent both in food quality and service. Windjammer was indeed busy, but food was good. We found the service to be fine in the Windjammer although I read many negatives about it. It IS chaotic to be sure. I would think some direction about "where to start" each station would be beneficial. However, we enjoyed the experience each morning and lunch for the most part. We ate in the dining room for breakfast once and service was not the usual excellence as the evening (different waiters). Lunch at seaday also not on par for service. Food quality was always excellent. Trivia games were fun while the "winnings" of the games were somewhat lacking. I don't expect a cruise for winning, but a pen? Really? Can't think of another item to give away?? The magnets were a better item when given away.

Entertainment was fine although we didn't always go. ABBAmax was fun and enjoyable. Did not watch any movies (we weren't interested in any of them). Did not frequent any bars, so don't know about that. Shopping seemed to be fairly popular although we shopped, we didn't buy much. Some candy offerings would be nice.

Lastly, the ports were simply wonderful. From Stockholm, to Helsinki to St. Petersburg, to Tallin (our favorite), to Riga were great. Used RC tours for St. Pete. Otherwise, toured on our own.

Overall, a fun, enjoyable cruise. Would do it again and recommended. We liked the Serenade of the Seas. Would have no problem returning to the ship in the future.
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Cabin Review

Cabin 8590
Not a bad choice of a cabin. It's in the "hump" of the ship with a smaller balcony, but we enjoyed our cabin nonetheless. The cabin is big enough to move around with plenty of storage space.
  Serenade of the Seas Deck Plans

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews