We chose the serenade because of the great destinations and with a 7 year old girl it felt like a convenient way to get around and see Scandinavia and Russia. Having said that we were very conscious that the ship itself was fairly old and small and we’d read reviews about everything that has gone wrong from embarkation to food to the service.
But we were so pleasantly surprised right through the programme. Getting on the ship was an absolute breeze. We were taken into lunch at the Windjammer and by the time we’d finished the rooms were ready. The rooms also was just about right and clean with a cozy balcony. It was serviced twice a day with my child’s bunker bed put down during the evening turn down service.
Our daughter absolutely loved the kids club activities in the adventure ocean club (9 am to 12pm; 2pm to 5pm and 7pm to 10pm). So much so that she didn’t join us in a couple of ports. This gave us ample time to lounge around, check the 16 bars without having to worry about her. This was such a blessing and the team at adventure ocean where thorough professionals providing fun educational ways to keep the children engaged.
The service also was really exceptional and personalised. We got the same table in the dining room. But also in Windjammer. The staff is from all over and friendly and ever willing to engage in conversations.
The food was amazing all through and surprisingly we did not get bored although we didn’t do any of the speciality dining. The staff is particular about hiegene and everyone follows through with sanitised hands. No cases of Nora virus was reported on the ship which was the other thing we were worried about.
The other impressive feat was the way a helicopter landed to fly someone out. It was just the most amazing sight. And the copter looked too large but we didn’t feel a thing when it landed or took off. And there wasn’t any fuss at all.
Entertainment on the ship was also quite nice in the tropical theatre, in the centrum and the safari club. Some of the home grown productions are quite good. The team really makes an effort and it comes through.
We didn’t do shore excursions with the exception of Russia for visa. In all other places we were offered a shuttle service into the city centre for 10 dollars. There was no hassle getting out or in whatsoever and no preference was given to people on the shore excursions as we had read.
All in all without having to spend on any additionals the cruise turned out to be a lovely experience and we are considering more such cruises. We will in all probability sail on the royal Caribbean. The ship offers gorgeous views of the sea with glass everywhere.
It was a balcony room. Very clean. With adequate space. A clever bunker right above opens out for the child. The shower is in a cubicle but not as tight as I had read in other reviews. Loads of towels were provided. The service was great. Hot shower, comfy beds and nice balcony. But we were out in the pool and solarium on cruising days.
The airport shuttle was convenient
Gamla Stan was charming.
We had a 10 Euro shuttle drop us of to town centre. Loved the little charming town.
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