Having read so many negative reviews prior to leaving, I was curious as to what tragedy awaited us on this journey. Happy to report that the Serenade, Royal Caribbean, and cruising in general remains a great vaca option. For myself and DW, both 60 and working, this was our 12th cruise and 9th with RCI. While the mega-ships offer a huge amount of cool stuff to do, the smaller ships sometimes have itineraries such as this one, Alaska, Hawaii, Greek Isles, and others that the mega-ships can’t offer. We flew into Boston Logan two days early and stayed in a Marriott property downtown. We purchased Red Sox (hottest team in the league) tickets well in advance of the cruise, and took in a fabulous tour of Fenway Park prior to the ballgame.
I read many negative reviews on the decline of RCI service, and up-selling, the condition of the ship, and the attitude of the staff. Serenade is beautiful and well cared for. The captain and entire crew was phenomenal as always. Any day shipboard, either in port or at sea, if better than a day at work. We are “loyal to Royal” except when they don’t offer an itinerary. As far as up-selling, we purchased EVERYTHING we wanted to participate in; spa treatments, drink package, Chops, Mystery Dinner Theater, shore excursions, on-line and in advance so except for a minimal amount of shopping, there were no surprises and we were completely paid for weeks before we landed in Boston. I was able to "just say no" to the art auction and to "gold chain by the inch" and other than that, did not once feel like I was being up-sold.
Getting to the port in Boston was challenging, but we paid a taxi to navigate that for us. Boarding process to was simple. The idea of an appointment time was novel to us but worked great. We were in the terminal 10 minutes or less. Our balcony stateroom, 9598 was adequate and appointed as expected. Our cabin steward was Inyouman, he was outstanding as expected. Our MDR waiters Michelle and Miodrag were outstanding as expected. The orchestra was fabulous, the signers and dancers were as good at the productions would allow (there were many very obscure songs selected in the production numbers). The headliner shows were top notch. Day Tripper (Beatles Tribute) sounded great. Rick Corso (Comedian) had me both crying with laughter and nearly peeing myself about 15 times. We booked all of our excursions through Royal, as always, our guides were highly knowledgeable and interesting and we returned to the ship on time, every time. The only small complaint is the lack of daily selection at the Windjammer. Clearing customs on the ship during debarkation was the absolute easiest process ever!
Large enough, appointed as expected.