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Serenade of the Seas Cruise Review
4.5 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
1,679 Reviews

Beautiful ship with a Fantastic crew

Serenade of the Seas Cruise Review by Kristine1223

2 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Sep 2018
  • Destination: Canada & New England
  • Cabin Type: Ocean View Balcony

My friend and I chose this cruise bc it was the only 5 day cruise out of Boston with the New England and Canada intinerary.

Our boarding was delayed because the Coast guard wanted to inspect the ship due to Serenade returning from a summer overseas...at least we knew the ship was safe!! You could also see Royal’s procedures in place to ensure a smooth boarding process and it was. It’s just that the ship was completely booked so there were a lot of people boarding at once rather than trickling on all day. The rooms opened promptly at 2.

Our room was very nice and clean and our room attendant Juliarta was amazing...he made our cruise special with his attentiveness, efficiency and sense of humor! We were on the starboard side of the ship and we got both sunrise and sunset from our balcony!

We stopped in the R Bar in the Centrum first and this turned out to be our favorite place to hang out.. there was a guitar player who entertained there a couple of times who was amazing! We also enjoyed Vintages and the Schooner for trivia..we received great service from the staff in all of these places!

The ship itself is beautiful with different artwork in every corner hallway and stairwell, they even have a champagne art auction!

The food in all of the venues was very good...service even better...we were especially impressed with the lunch buffet in Reflections dining room and the nice hot food in the Windjammer! We even had someone bringing us drinks and clearing things for us in the Windjammer. We dined in Giovanni’s and Chops and the service and food was second to none! We did Giovanni’s for 1st nite done right and it was only $20...There are so many choices to eat..just not in Rita’s Cantina, which was disappointing bc we wanted Mexican food with Margaritas!

The excursions we took on this cruise were really great! 3 hour tour of Peggy’s Cove in Halifax and the trolley tour of St John. 1 1/2 hours...then we hopped off at the City market and walked back to the ship. There was a flea market inside a white tent specifically for cruise ship travelers, in St John...down the street and on your left of the terminal...Everyone in Canada takes American dollars! And they reduce the price for you...$20 Canadian and $17 American..I can’t say enough about how friendly everyone is in Canada!! Some people complained that they didn’t enjoy their 6 hour tours in both ports!, but I can’t even imagine touring for that long! I would suggest a shorter excursion and then finishing off with your own tour/ lunch by yourself..It’s perfectly safe and easy to get around in these city’s..

Bar Harbor was a different story because we were completely fogged in and we had to go thru immigration on the ship, but they couldn’t find the ship due to the fog! It backed everything up bc it was a slow process getting off, with excursion boats arriving late and only 2 tenders unloading everyone..But RC made up for it by giving us an extra hour in port and enlisting the help of local tour boats to get everyone back on in a timely manner!! Keep the very real possibility of fog in mind when you plan your excursions...sometimes they go anyway and you can’t see anything! There is plenty of shopping and dining in Bar Harbor if you choose not to do an excursion.

Disembarkation was backed up a bit bc Boston was slow in releasing the ship, but it got moving pretty quickly...our bags were waiting for us and we were in a taxi by 9:30am....it would have been longer if we had to go through immigration.

Overall, I was really impressed with every aspect of this cruise...the ship, the crew, the ports and the excursions..the only hiccups were from things outside of Royal Caribbean and they did everything possible to make up for it So I can say that I recommend it highly! 2 thumbs up!!

Kristine1223's Full Rating Summary
Onboard Experience
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Public Rooms
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
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Cabin Review

Ocean View Balcony
Cabin 2D 9530

9530. Like I mentioned above, the starboard side was a great side to be on..we were forward next to the elevators, but there was no noise from the elevators..If you were in the middle near the Centrum, it tended to get noisy..You could definitely feel the motion of the ship..but it was never bad enough to cause sea sickness..This room had a ton of storage and we were able to completely unpack( lots of drawers, shelves) and put our large suitcases in the closet, Lots of hangers available...Water pressure and temps in the shower were great..even better than my home! And there was a full soap dispenser in the shower..the shower door bowed out so there was ample space.

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

Peggy's Cove

Our tour guide Kathy wore a kilt and gave us a lot of really neat info including how to figure out kilos to gallons for the price of gas...Peggy’s Cove was beautiful and we got a stamp on our passport in the gift shop..a man played bagpipes outside the lighthouse..a nice touch The tour took 3 hours ( one hour) at Peggy’s Cove...there is a bathroom on the bus and one inside the gift shop...I believe there is a restaurant there too. I recommend this tour highly

View All 245 Peggy's Cove Reviews
Trolley Tour

Trolley tour took 1 1/2 hours and then we were able to jump off and tour the city Market and ate at Billy’s Seafood inside the market on the left as you enter...Bought local art work in the market...walked back to the ship down King street and water street..there is a cruisline only flea market inside a white tent near the front of the first ship in line...get off the ship and walk to your left down the street for maybe 5 minutes..they have lots of local stuff including Xmas decorations...hat...syrup...art...etc..A bagpipe player was playing for us from outside the terminal as we sailed away...starboard balconies get the show!! A nice touch...very friendly town...I would move thereif the winters weren’t so bad

View All 18 Trolley Tour Reviews

We toured on our own..this town has lots of shopping and dining...we ate at Stewmans on the water and had lobster..Their blueberry pie is the best I have ever had!

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Boston is a great city with excellent service..We stayed at the Seaport Hotel 10-15 min from the airport $22 in a taxi and 5 min from the ships front door $12 in a cab..there is a taxi stand right outside the front door...the valet will get your bags from the cab and deliver them to your room and they don’t take tips! It was pouring down rain when we got there so we couldn’t do much..ate at Raw Bar 34. Great food and service!

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