This was the first sailing out of Ft. lauderdale after the ship had returned from dry dock for 3 weeks getting a face lift. The ship looked first class with all new carpet throughout. This also made the ship smell fresh. The Serenade of the Seas is very easy on the eye, with beautiful art and soft neon lighting throughout. The food quality in Windjammer was a step above our previous experiences at the much larger and newer RCCL ships (we have been on over 20 RCCL cruises). The staff was also extremely pleasant & accommodating at every level. It may have helped that they were either new to the ship or back from vacation, as I previously stated this ship was in dry dock for repairs and refurbishment. Our cabin was in great condition, with ample space & plenty of room for our belongings (though you have to look hard to realize that there are storage cabinets behind mirrors). There was absolutely no foul smell anywhere on the ship during this cruise. Our cabin steward was wonderful & left us towel animals on 3 of the 4 nights. We ate at each of the specialty restaurants & once at the main dining room. Both Chops & Giovanni's Table were excellent, with great service & very accommodating to our every wish (even multiple entree's). Izumi (japanese restaurant with sushi options) was not up to par for a dinner experience, better to go there for a lunch. The main dining room was pretty, not extravagant, and the food was average, which isn't bad considering that they cook for close to 2000 guests. I'd recommend that you pre-purchase a specialty dining package for at least 3 or more nights. Surprising to see lifeguards at each pool during all open hours (even the adult only pool in the Solarium). I'm assuming that this stems from the unfortunate drowning of a child on the Anthem of the Seas last year. Entertainment was again, better than I expected for the most part. The house orchestra that accompanies the main shows is really talented & 9 pieces! The comedian was top-notch & provided both a family show & a late night adult show. There always seemed to be live music playing somewhere on the ship all day & night long, so there is no dearth of entertainment, dancing, singing, etc. The bars are scattered throughout the ship with plenty of different seating options. We did partake of the Diamond lounge a few nights & found that to be a bit limiting in both seating & food options. Keep in mind that those that qualify for the Diamond lounge can now get up to 3 free drinks at any bar on the ship during those same open hours of 4:30-8:00pm, so there really is no reason to go to the lounge itself. The Concierge lounge for suite guests is smaller, with the same nasty food options, but their lounge does provide a very nice ocean view.There is a nice, but small cinema on board where we saw a very good film, they also show G-PG rated movies on deck on the big screen at night. The gym is in excellent shape with ample equipment & no problem getting a machine. There is also a self serve laundromat which comes in handy for those longer duration sailings. Embarkation was very efficient, and disembarkation was extremely streamlined (no need to fill out a customs form any longer). The Serenade of the Seas is a very lovely ship that caters to adults primarily (not much for teens or young adults), the ships size is just perfect (not too small or too large) & it appears to be priced right for a very comfortable and memorable vacation. My only complaint is that RCCL continues to allow smoking in it's casino.
Very nice cabin with ample space & plenty of storage. Bring your own shampoo/conditioner. there is a small safe & a hair dryer in each cabin. The bed mattress was very comfortable, & it appears that they replaced the balcony chairs with brand new ones recently.
Cozumel was very nice this time of year (November is not too hot), not much to do other than snorkel/scuba or shop the main drag along the Gulf of Mexico.