We have been at a 'Serenade of the Seas' - 7 Nights Western Caribbean Cruise, November 17th from Port Everglades. Ports of Call: Key West, Roatan, Costa Maya and Cozumel.
Prior to the cruise we did stay one week in Miami in order to recover from the 6 hours time difference and a very long flight. We flew with Scandinavian Airlines direct from Copenhagen to Miami - rented a Hertz car i Miami Airport and did return the car at the Hertz office in Port Everglades.
Friday morning at 9:30 in Miami the suitcases were packed and we drove to Fort Lauderdale.
We handed our rental car to the Hertz office at SE 24th street 10:30 am. There is a shuttle bus from the Hertz office to Port Everglades - a small bus, many cruise passengers and a lot of luggage.
3 ships in the harbor. First shuttle bus stop was berth 18, for Celebrity Reflection. Long car queues and slow traffic. Next stop was berth 29 for Serenade. Here the traffic was better organized and no traffic jam. On the other hand there were long queues at ID and security check.
Check in for Serenade was well organized and we were aboard just after noon. Had lunch in Windjammer.
At 1 pm the cabin was ready. E2-8538 Deluxe oceanview with balcony. Our luggage was delivered to the cabin very fast - at 2 pm we have unpacked.
Unfortunately cleaning of the cabin was inadequate. Half bottle of liquor in a closet, used batteries and toiletries in a drawer and under the bed. In addition, much dust on surfaces and shelves.
The issues were rectified when our cabin attendant arrived at 5 pm, but not the most positive start of a our cruise.
C&A Loyalty Program is continuously adjusted. As Diamond Plus we have previously got upgraded bathroom amenities. Now only guests with more than 340 points will get upgraded bathroom amenities. Bathrobes still available on request.
Many years since we last sailed with Serenade. Around the ship to look at the facilities. Ship was in dry dock beginning of November 2017 - new decorations/painted, and new carpets on hallways, but still a bit worn after 14 years in service.
A well managed muster drill at 3:15 pm.
Departure was scheduled for 4 pm but was delayed almost an hour due to traffic in the harbour.
Enjoyed the sail away in nice weather conditions from our balcony and upper deck (see post from Day 1 below).
Initially we had booked My Time Dining at 6 pm but changed to 07:30 pm - then we had time for a drink in the Schooner Bar. Excellent dinner in the Reflections Restaurant and excellent service.
It was a Thanksgiving cruise. Centrum was decorated for Christmas and a large Christmas tree in the Restaurant – Thanksgiving Thursday the restaurant served Turkey and Pumpkin Pie.
We did eat in Reflections main restaurant all nights. Had made 'My Time Dining' reservation prior to the cruise, but did change time most evenings. Not a problem changing time - table with the same waiters most evenings. When eating early in the Main Dining Room there were a nice and relaxed atmosphere - while eating 7:30 pm athmosphere was a bit more stresses in order to prepare tables for new guests.
Breakfast and lunch in Windjammer - nice selection of grilled vegetables for lunch - enjoyed the food.
Last day of the cruise. Serenade of the Seas arrived at Port Everglades just before scheduled time at 07 am.
Disembarkation went very smoothly. At 7:20 am the ship was cleared and self-assist express departure could depart.
We had booked a shuttle to Miami Airport- had got tag number 16 - scheduled departure was 8:40 am - we got breakfast in Windjammer
- already at 8:10 am we could depart.
Short queue for immigration - it took about 20 minutes from we left 'Serenade of the Seas' until we were through immigration.
Link to as 'As You depart' information,
At 10:30 am we drove the 30 minutes from the port to Miami Airport. Check-in at 12:15.pm Departure at 3:45 pm. Back home in Denmark 12 hours later.
We did not book any excursions - did only walk in port or city - below our port experience.
Despite the small issues with the cabin an excellent cruise.
At 7 am, Serenade of the Seas arrived at Key West, the southernmost point in the United States. Most houses date from 1886 to 1912. Ernest Hemingway lived in the 1950s in Key West.
Hurricane Irma passed Key West in September the city has been restored in record time - in surpricingly good shape - tourism is an important source of income. The town was well organized and hardly any traces of the hurricane.
We started off the main street Duval St. where we visited the oldest house in Key West. Further up to Hemmingway's Home and back on Whitehead St.
An interesting trip through the old city
At 7 am we arrived at Coxen Hole, the largest city on the island of Roatan, a department in Honduras. The city was founded in 1835 when pirates moved to Roatan from the Cayman Islands. The city is named after pirate captain John Coxen and was home to over 5,000 pirates.
We went for a walk in town before it got too hot.
First we had to pass all the taxi drivers offering islands tours. From the port we walked half a mile along the Main Street. Very picturesque, but also impoverished
Costa Maya is a small tourist area in Mexico - just north of Belize.
The cruise port of Costa Maya is a nice little artificial Mexican village, build from scratch for cruises - It feels like a private island.
We arrived just before 7 am followed by Navigator - two Royal Caribbean ships at the pier.
A long pier leads to the shopping and entertainment area - transportation is provided for those who would prefer not to walk.
There is a small, man-made beach right at the port, but too rocky for swimming.
The cruise pier is located approximately 1 mile north of Majuhua, a one-time fishing village of 200 people that's about a 30-minute walk or $5 cab ride away.
The shopping village has an outdoor amphitheater, where a Mayan folklore show was offered for free - a couple of restaurants, several bars, and a saltwater pool for dolphin swimming and dolphin shows.
Nice and cozy are, but many people, when there were two ships at the pier. Enjoyed a drink at a beach bar before we went back to the ship.
At 7 am we arrived at Cozumel, an island in the Caribbean Sea at the eastern coast of Mexico's Yucatán peninsula.
Took a taxi from International Pier to San Miguel de Cozumel, the largest town on the island - a 5 km and $ 8 trip. Of course we were set off next to a jewel store!
Walked along the seafront there were plenty of souvenir shops and the locals stood outside their shop to lure us inside. If you want to avoid the Sidewalk Shuffle on San Miguel's waterfront, walk on the ocean side of the street.
In the side streets and at San Miguel's El Zócalo (The Plaza), with its bandstand and clock tower, - there was more peacefulness.
Enjoyed a drink on a sidewalk cafe at El Zócalo. San Miguel is very colourful, with low rise colonial-style buildings - and it is very safe and friendly.
After about 3 hours in town we took a taxi back to the ship
We did have two cabins:
E2-8538 Deluxe Ocean view Strm w/Balcony and H-4582 Large Ocean View Stateroom.
Both at the beginning of the hallway - close to stairs and elevators - 4582 in a short hallway was located close to Centrum and 8538 close to forward stairs/elevators. I did expect noise from Centrum in cabin 4582 - there was a door between Centrum and the hallway - and absolutely no noise from Centrum activities!
Both bathroom were with sliding showers door.