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First and foremost, my rating was based on the itinerary and ports of call. They were all beautiful, extremely cultural and lots of fun. Celebrity is usually our cruise line of choice but we have sailed on Royal Caribbean several times with the last sailing in 2014. Oh, how times have changed. We noticed a definite decline in service due to a reduction in staff in every department. Our stateroom attendant had no assistant, there wasn't a constant bathroom attendant in any of the "public" bathrooms, therefore the floors were always a mess especially under the men's urinals. I understand talking to my wife that the women's bathrooms were just as bad. You are asked to save water by using the same bath towel, but the attendant can use several towels to make animals that are placed on your bed at night (How much sense does that make?) And, no more chocolate on your pillow. Bar service could be extremely slow depending on where you were at. Our first night in the Main Dining Room, my wine was served in a dirty wine glass by a server who blamed the bartender for pouring it into a dirty glass (In my restaurant, they both would have been in trouble. The bartender for pouring it and the server for serving it.) There are no longer suggestions of what wines to pair with the nightly entrees, there are no vintages listed on the Wine List and no more sommeliers roaming the floor offering their expertise. My suggestion if you are to eat at the Windjammer Buffet and desire a cocktail, wine or beer, stop at a bar on the way before you get there. The staff in the buffet has been decreased greatly and consequently has forced each of them to do double and triple duties, therefore you may not get your drink until after you have eaten. By the way, if you have missed a particular dinner in the Main Dining Room, no worries, it will be served eventually in the buffet. Drink prices we noticed have also doubled in price. Also, be aware that drink packages have to be bought in tandem. If one of you buys a package,(and to avoid any shenanigans) the other person in your stateroom has to buy a package of their choice as well. The theatre is not used as much as it should be for large extracurricular shows and demonstrations, instead, the Cruise Director has chosen to use the Centrum Bar on Deck 4 which does not have the capability of hosting large numbers of guests which forces a great many of us to view what's going on by leaning over the railings on Deck 5 thru Deck 10. What an inconvenience that is. The nightly newsletter called the "Compass," that was delivered to each stateroom always showed the casino winnings up to that point. No more. Nobody was winning. On a 16 night cruise, that's ridiculous. The slots were tight, tight, tight. We also noticed a difference in the staff's attitudes on board. Not as many friendly and smiling faces as we remembered. Let us hope that this isn't contagious throughout the Royal Caribbean brand.

Don't Let The Rating Fool You

Serenade of the Seas Cruise Review by Gary from So Cal

1 person found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: April 2018
  • Destination: Transatlantic
  • Cabin Type: Ocean View
First and foremost, my rating was based on the itinerary and ports of call. They were all beautiful, extremely cultural and lots of fun.

Celebrity is usually our cruise line of choice but we have sailed on Royal Caribbean several times with the last sailing in 2014. Oh, how times have changed. We noticed a definite decline in service due to a reduction in staff in every department.

Our stateroom attendant had no assistant, there wasn't a constant bathroom attendant in any of the "public" bathrooms, therefore the floors were always a mess especially under the men's urinals. I understand talking to my wife that the women's bathrooms were just as bad.

You are asked to save water by using the same bath towel, but the attendant can use several towels to make animals that are placed on your bed at night (How much sense does that make?) And, no more chocolate on your pillow.

Bar service could be extremely slow depending on where you were at. Our first night in the Main Dining Room, my wine was served in a dirty wine glass by a server who blamed the bartender for pouring it into a dirty glass (In my restaurant, they both would have been in trouble. The bartender for pouring it and the server for serving it.) There are no longer suggestions of what wines to pair with the nightly entrees, there are no vintages listed on the Wine List and no more sommeliers roaming the floor offering their expertise. My suggestion if you are to eat at the Windjammer Buffet and desire a cocktail, wine or beer, stop at a bar on the way before you get there. The staff in the buffet has been decreased greatly and consequently has forced each of them to do double and triple duties, therefore you may not get your drink until after you have eaten. By the way, if you have missed a particular dinner in the Main Dining Room, no worries, it will be served eventually in the buffet. Drink prices we noticed have also doubled in price. Also, be aware that drink packages have to be bought in tandem. If one of you buys a package,(and to avoid any shenanigans) the other person in your stateroom has to buy a package of their choice as well.

The theatre is not used as much as it should be for large extracurricular shows and demonstrations, instead, the Cruise Director has chosen to use the Centrum Bar on Deck 4 which does not have the capability of hosting large numbers of guests which forces a great many of us to view what's going on by leaning over the railings on Deck 5 thru Deck 10. What an inconvenience that is.

The nightly newsletter called the "Compass," that was delivered to each stateroom always showed the casino winnings up to that point. No more. Nobody was winning. On a 16 night cruise, that's ridiculous. The slots were tight, tight, tight.

We also noticed a difference in the staff's attitudes on board. Not as many friendly and smiling faces as we remembered.

Let us hope that this isn't contagious throughout the Royal Caribbean brand.
Gary from So Cal’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Ocean View
Cabin 2N 3584
Nice cabin with a great shower featuring glass doors instead of a curtain that usually sticks to you while you are showering. Had to beg for more coat hangers. (On a 16-night cruise, how did they think we were going to hang up our clothes?)
Deck 4 Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews