Best Cruise Experience Yet!: Serenade of the Seas Cruise Review by ignornet

Serenade of the Seas 5
Member Since 2010
8 Forum Posts

Overall Member Rating

Best Cruise Experience Yet!

Sail Date: February 2010
Destination: Southern Caribbean
Embarkation: San Juan
This was my sixth cruise and my wife's 8th in 7 years together. Why we tried everyone else before going with RCCL is a mystery. It was the best overall experience we have ever had. After deciding that we never need to go with Princess again (horrific service), Norwegian (dining room food a combination of inedible and portions designed for children or supermodels),or Carnival (twice for me, four times for the wife. I never had a problem, but my wife was on the Destiny 3 weeks earlier. See any post on the Destiny and you will understand),we will definitely cruise RCCL again. It was the best balance of service, food quality, entertainment, and overall value that we have found so far.

This ship was very nice and easy to get around. It never seemed crowded and some of the staff commented that they even prefer these somewhat smaller ships and would need to be forced to take a position on the newest and largest ships.

The outside cabin was adequate. It was nicely More decorated and had plenty of drawer and shelf space despite the wife's many many shoes.

The staff was very attentive. Our room steward must have been listening for the doors to any of his cabins open and was always poking his head into the hallway as we headed out to see if we needed anything. He quickly figured out our routine and there was always fresh ice in the room.

The dining room staff too was very attentive, though we needed to ask for a wine list each evening. This was out first time cruising as just a couple in a while and we quickly made friends with those seated with us. This added to the enjoyment of our meals even more.

The food in the dining room was very good, as were the portions. I only asked for additional appetizers or entrees if I could not make up my mind (as opposed to the Norwegian Dawn last year). There was at least one evening when the menu selection did nothing for us, so we went to Chops. The food at Chops was outstanding as was the service. The waiter ensured that what we ordered was really what we wanted (like the wife ordering the small fillet vs the bigger one. We are paying the same price either way...and she was going to order fish originally).

We ate at the Windjammer often as the dining room is not open for lunch on port days. The food was always fresh and varied from day to day. Our normal routine had us in there around 4PM since we chose the later dinner seating and typically got back on the ship at about that time.

We did have a few minor complaints with the food, but nothing serious. Once the Windjammer closes you can no longer find lemonade or iced tea. Your choices at that point (after 9 PM I believe) are ice water or pay for something at the bar. Additionally, after dieting for months leading up to the trip we were looking forward to eggs Benedict in the dining room for breakfast, a guilty pleasure for both of us. The first morning the hollandaise sauce was very citrusy. We tried it again a few days later and had the same opinion. But like I said, not a deal breaker.

The itinerary for this cruise was incredible. In fact, we chose this cruise only 6 weeks before departure largely because of the itinerary. On 3 of the 5 port days, we were the only ship in port. The other 2 days we were 1 of 2. Nothing was ever crowded.

We can't wait for our next cruise! Less

Published 03/16/10

Cabin review: Out

Port and Shore Excursions

Antigua was another beautiful beach day. I would recommend either booking through the ship or picking the first driver you see. They are merciless in trying to get you join them. We finally just gave up and decided to pick one, then a couple of drivers started arguing over who talked to us first. My wife threatened to start crying, so one gave up and left us alone. Once we go to the beach though that all changed. Jolly beach was beautiful and quiet. Didn't want to leave.

Read 1191 Antigua Reviews

Grenada was our favorite stop again as it had been when we were there 5 years ago. The island is not at all as commercialized as many other ports. After leaving the cruise ship terminal, there is not much else in the way of shopping other than for locally produced goods and items. But that is its charm. We hired a cab for $150 for the day for 4 of us with the promise he would take us anywhere we wanted to go. We started with a stop at Dougladston spice plantation and the Gouyave nutmeg station. From there we went to the Seven Sisters Waterfall. It was not crowded and the swimming there was amazing. Then lastly a stop at Magazine Beach for some swimming and snorkeling. Unfortunately, my wife left her camera at one of the roadside vendors in Grand Etang and didn't realize it until it was time to head back to the ship. The driver promised to try to get it back and said he would mail it to us. And he did. It just arrived in the mail with an apology for taking so long. No apology was necessary. For anyone to go to those lengths for a customer they will likely never see again amazed us. We can't wait to go back to Grenada.

Read 531 Grenada Reviews

In St Lucia we booked with Cosol Tours on our own. This is a great tour including food, a mobile bar, (which is a separate vehicle loaded with local beer, rum punch, and other beverages), and a very fast paced tour of the island. We got to see and do much more than any of the cruise excursions offered.

Read 1134 St. Lucia Reviews

St Maarten was a disappointment. We booked the Captain Morgan sailing excursion to try something different. It was a little windy that day and we did not get the areas normally visited on the tour. The snorkeling was a little rough. The "floating bar" is a guy in an inner-tube with a pitcher of rum-punch. The barbeque lunch was just okay. The second beach stop left us anchored about 200 feet from shore. We had just enough time to swim there and back before heading back. It was definitely an older crowd too. Not what we were looking for, and definitely overpriced.

In Tortola (went to the Baths last year and loved it) we were content to just have a relaxing day at the beach. We jumped on a cab with some other passengers to Cane Garden Bay. The beach itself was a little too narrow and crowded for my taste, but we enjoyed in nonetheless. A short walk from the beach is the Callowood Rum Distillery. It is not much more that a small, stone, 400 year old building, but the rum is wonderful. I purchased a bottle of the 10 year aged in oak rum, but upon getting ready to leave the beach, realized the cork had popped out (from the heat? we were not in the sun) and 2 thirds of the contents had spilled onto my shorts. We walked back to Callowood and after some convincing that we had not just drank it, they gladly replaced it for us.

Read 1239 Tortola Reviews

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Member Since 2010
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