Serenade of the Seas Cruise Review by Twechar
- Sail Date: July 2017
- Destination: Europe
Our concerns began when it took 4 weeks for RC to answer a question about transport from the ship at the end of the cruise to the airport.In the end we got two conflicting answers from the UK office and the USA office and booked transfers ourselves.
Part of our deal was 40% discount off bottles of wine priced up to $100 at all bars and restaurants onboard.This was not a drinks package its was part of the Ultimate dining package. But no one onboard knew about it !!. Twice on day one we were refused the discount and had to visit guest relations to complain and receive our discount .This was done and we were reassured all bars and restaurants were informed about the deal and we would have no further issues.But it happened again on day 2 and once again Guest Services apologised applied the discount and informed us the Food and Beverage Director would be in touch. Again on the evening of day 2 we were refused the discount and again Guest Services applied the discount and promised that the F&B Director would make contact - but he never did . It wasn't just the fact that the deal was denied us It was the manner in which it was done each time we were made to feel like we were lying. On day 4 we went to the main restaurant Reflections where first the waiter refused the deal but then the manager refused the deal . He marched off to guest services and returned with a business card and took delight in front of other guests to direct us to Guest Services .We went but it turned out he had told them we had said we were on a drinks package which we weren't .So once again Guest Services applied the discount. But before we did that we had ordered a special meal Lobster and fillet steak - it arrived burnt to a crisp - couldn't get the lobster off the shell it was so burnt .I called over the F&B beverage manager and all he could say was that he wasn't the chef !!. We can't prove the food was destroyed on purpose after the wine incident but it was an uncanny coincidence -.we walked out without eating .
Anyway we were refused the discount deal on 8 occasions .
In addition we had a pre- booked shore excursion to Tallin cancelled with 36 hours notice. We had pre booked and paid for a wine tasting but on arrival at the tasting they had no record of our booking and couldn't believe what we paid - other guests had paid $10 we paid £17.
Our cabin was on the 10th floor directly underneath the Windjammer restaurant and every morning at 6am the food trolleys would screech across the floors ( our ceiling) and wouldn't stop until 10pm every single day . We asked ( at our expense ) to upgrade but there wasn't another cabin.So we put up with the noise .
But the final humiliation was to be saved for the final evening.
After finally having a trouble free day and evening and a lovely meal at Chops Grille we decided to go to Vintages bar to have a last evening few drinks followed by last evening shopping. But to our horror when ordering our drinks we were informed our account was blocked and that we had to go to guest services . Well this was our last evening! we had used our Amex linked to the account on the ship as instructed to online and also presented it at embarkation so we couldnt understand why on the last evening it was blocked.
Anyway after standing in an enormous queue of people checking and settling their final bills . We were told that the limit on our Amex card had been exceeded . And that we had a problem . Explaining that this was impossible but not knowing what to do we retired to our cabin completely distraught . Worrying that we may not be allowed off the ship. I returned to guest relations and waited patiently in another long queue ( it was now well after 11pm). I explained to a really nice girl the issue she explained that we had gone over the ship onboard limit by $169 dollars.I explained that wasn't possible I had several thousand dollars credit on my card. Anyway I agreed to pay the $169 to unblock the account - which I duly did using my Amex !! Which magically was accepted. Anyway night ruined plus all the other issues -cruise ruined.Amex bill checked on return to the UK and only one transaction on statement for full amount so there was no issue !!
We got back to the UK and emailed our experiences to RC and waited and waited ( RC promises 72hr turn around) but after two weeks I decided to write to the UK Managing Director.
Three days later I received a phone call on a Friday evening at 7pm from their Executive Office representative phoning on behalf of the UK MD. Acknowledging all the issues but as compensation offered a discount off a future cruise. So in other words they accepted all the issues and that our cruise had been ruined but wanted us to buy another cruise to receive compensation - unbelievable. I declined and suggested the offer should be unconditional.
So I waited and waited for the offer in writing but it didn't come. So after a further two weeks I wrote to the UK managing Director again giving him the chance to make good all the issues .
One month later on the 19th Sept Tiffany emailed me to once again apologise but repeat that compensation was conditional on the purchase of a future cruise
I have to say in 38 years of overseas holidays this is the single worst experience not only with the issues onboard the Serenade of the Seas but the failure of the people at the very top of the organisation to take seriously a genuine customer complaint.
I nor any of my family and friends would travel with Royal Caribbean again.
I hope this rather long review helps others make decisions with whom they travel with in future.
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However no sun on the balcony due to overhang from the restaurant above .
Also because it was directly under the restaurant there was noise from 6am-10pm from food trolleys being constantly pushed accross the floor ( ceiling)