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Terrible value for the money. They have pretensions of being an upscale cruise. Two nights are supposed to be formal wear. We wear our tuxes, the table next to us is in shorts and T shirts. Pretty much sums up the cruise. There seemed to be a greater emphasis on selling junk: bad art, cheap jewelry and watches, etc. Also, spa service and cosmetic services. I know this is part of any cruise, but it seemed more aggressive and omnipresent. The dining room food is ordinary. I get the sense that the food is ordinary to encourage dining in the specialty restaurants. We did not go, but we heard many complaints about the service in the chop house. Our waiter and assistant waiter were excellent, but over extended. They had to serve too many tables. Every ice cream dessert ordered arrived half melted. The food court food is high school cafeteria level. Most cruises have specialty stations (Asian, Mexican, etc) that change every day and hamburgers cooked to order. This cruise did not. Mexican, Indian, and Hungarian, would all be mixed together, and basically they were all a brown stew with slightly different spices. The hamburgers were all precooked (at 4:00 AM). By the fourth day, it felt like we were getting leftovers. The pork chops were roofing tiles, the hamburgers were hockey pucks, and the cold cuts were as dry and curled as autumn leaves. When we complained the the food captain, he was condescending and dismissive. Basically, saying that we were too stupid to understand how a cruise ship works. We had a similar situation at breakfast before disembarking. Talking to guests as if they are mentally challenged toddlers is not good business. The production shows were cheap and amateurish. The costumes looked like they came from a bad dance recital catalog. The sets were high school level. The "talent" seemed to be what was leftover after all of the other cruise ships had their pick. The headliners were strictly cruise ship entertainment, but the were *good* cruise ship entertainment. The galley tour was a disappointment as it was very noisy and the guide spoke heavily accented English. Nobody heard much of what he said. Perhaps an unrealistic criticism, but the 6' men all stood in the front blocking everyone else. I think the guide should have taken control of the situation and made them stand in the back. The brunch afterwards, though, was probably the best meal on the ship. A similar problem with the wine tasting. The speaker spoke heavily accented English and was incomprehensible most of the time. Unfortunately, this overshadows the good points: excellent cabin service, etc.

Never again

Serenade of the Seas Cruise Review by dollone

5 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: September 2017
  • Destination: Canada & New England
  • Cabin Type: Superior Ocean View Stateroom with Balcony
Terrible value for the money. They have pretensions of being an upscale cruise. Two nights are supposed to be formal wear. We wear our tuxes, the table next to us is in shorts and T shirts. Pretty much sums up the cruise. There seemed to be a greater emphasis on selling junk: bad art, cheap jewelry and watches, etc. Also, spa service and cosmetic services. I know this is part of any cruise, but it seemed more aggressive and omnipresent.

The dining room food is ordinary. I get the sense that the food is ordinary to encourage dining in the specialty restaurants. We did not go, but we heard many complaints about the service in the chop house. Our waiter and assistant waiter were excellent, but over extended. They had to serve too many tables. Every ice cream dessert ordered arrived half melted.

The food court food is high school cafeteria level. Most cruises have specialty stations (Asian, Mexican, etc) that change every day and hamburgers cooked to order. This cruise did not. Mexican, Indian, and Hungarian, would all be mixed together, and basically they were all a brown stew with slightly different spices. The hamburgers were all precooked (at 4:00 AM). By the fourth day, it felt like we were getting leftovers. The pork chops were roofing tiles, the hamburgers were hockey pucks, and the cold cuts were as dry and curled as autumn leaves. When we complained the the food captain, he was condescending and dismissive. Basically, saying that we were too stupid to understand how a cruise ship works. We had a similar situation at breakfast before disembarking. Talking to guests as if they are mentally challenged toddlers is not good business.

The production shows were cheap and amateurish. The costumes looked like they came from a bad dance recital catalog. The sets were high school level. The "talent" seemed to be what was leftover after all of the other cruise ships had their pick. The headliners were strictly cruise ship entertainment, but the were *good* cruise ship entertainment.

The galley tour was a disappointment as it was very noisy and the guide spoke heavily accented English. Nobody heard much of what he said. Perhaps an unrealistic criticism, but the 6' men all stood in the front blocking everyone else. I think the guide should have taken control of the situation and made them stand in the back. The brunch afterwards, though, was probably the best meal on the ship.

A similar problem with the wine tasting. The speaker spoke heavily accented English and was incomprehensible most of the time.

Unfortunately, this overshadows the good points: excellent cabin service, etc.
dollone’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Shore Excursions
Service
Onboard Experience

Cabin Review

Superior Ocean View Stateroom with Balcony
Cabin D1 9592
The cabin was fine. The cabin steward was excellent. I found the pillows to be too hard and apparently alternatives were not available, but that was the only problem.
Deck 10 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Halifax
    A bit disappointed. Halifax seems to have been one of those cities that said "to hell with historic preservation" in the 1980s and allowed the old town to be destroyed. The citadel was fascinating, but it is a long uphill walk. Well worth it though. The one guide we spoke to was very well informed and quite helpful. PLEASE NOTE: many shops and cafes do not take US money or US debit cards, or they will take US money, but not give change back.
    View All 631 Halifax Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Halifax Cruise Port Review
  • Portland (Maine)
    A bit of a disappointment. The old town is geared towards residents, not tourists. It is probably a great place to live, but as a tourist, it was meh.
    View All 271 Portland (Maine) Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Portland (Maine) Cruise Port Review
  • Bay of Fundy
    Excellent tour. We were a bit disappointed by the old town (though we did see two nice churches). The Loyalists House is a nice house, but the tour guides are less than useless and most of the "information" is just plain wrong. After that disappointment we decided to take the tour. We had a Greek guide who was wonderful, funny, and very informative. The bay was very interesting.
    View All 38 Bay of Fundy Reviews