I booked this cruise for myself and two friends. I wanted to take a southern Caribbean cruise to some islands I hadn't visited before and this particular cruise fit the bill. I had sailed on the Serenade's sister ship and love the size of the ship, as I prefer smaller ships (2600 passengers) rather than the larger ships (6,000+ passengers).
We paid for a balcony cabin and there were three of us in the room, which means, but space was VERY tight even though we put our empty suitcases on the balcony. We were on deck 9, starboard and forward. The location was close to the theater and dining room but at the opposite end of the ship from the pools and buffet, but the walking was good for us.
I was NOT happy about the cruise lines drink policy. Who can drink $39 worth of soda or $69 worth of alcoholic beverages in one day? I am the only person in our cabin who partakes of alcoholic beverages but policy is that all adults in the same cabin MUST buy the beverage package. So, I didn't drink much. I will admit that the drinks I had were all top shelf liquor, not skimpy on the alcohol and cost just slightly more than that same cocktails in bars where I live, so one nightcap a night was sufficient. Be warned, if you buy the soda package it does NOT include bottled water.
The food was not the best I've had on cruises. The dining room had the same vegetables every night (broccolli, carrots and green beans). The menu included caeser salad, onion soup, shrimp cocktail and fresh fruit plate every night but changed up a second soup and one or two other "starters". They never offered a tossed salad or coleslaw. Prime rib was offered three times (on an 11 night cruise). I like prime rib, but thought that excessive. Food in the buffet was good, as buffet food goes, and the variety was good.
Entertainment was typical (a comedian one night, a hypnotist one night, a juggler one night, two production shows and a movie one night). The show I enjoyed the most was a Motown tribute group from Detroit called "Horizon". They were a big hit and I thoroughly enjoyed the show.
We didn't book any shore excursions through the cruise line, but booked independently on Aruba, St. Lucia and Bonaire.
I have absolutely NO complaints about any of the staff and crew. Everyone works hard, always has a smile on their face and earn every penny of the money they make. The ship is lovely, is showing a little wear and tear, but was always clean.
Also, kudos to RCCL for trying to enforce the "no saving deck chairs" policy. I actually witnessed one crew member removing items from chairs that had been unoccupied for more than 30 minutes.
The cruise was, for me, a good balance of sea days (5) and port days (5) and I didn't have any trouble finding things to do on sea days.
Will I cruise again? Probably, but not for a while. I have to get over being mad over the "nickle and diming" the cruise lines are doing in order to increase their profits, while not really offering anything new to the customers.
There were three adults in our cabin and it was "cozy". I slept in the upper berth and my friends slept in the twin beds. We had adequate storage space and put our empty suitcases on the balcony to give us room to navigate the small space. Our room steward, Made, was amazing as he had to work around the "I'm not leaving the cabin today" schedule of one of ladies in our group. He always had a smile on his face, a kind word and was often nearby to open the door for us when we returned to the cabin.
This tour was amazing. I am a certified scuba diver, but I have dived since my husband and dive partner died in 2012. I booked the snorkel/sail and it was great. This was the best snorkeling sight I have visited. We were on or in the water for four hours, snorkeled in two different locations and were provided with EVERYTHING we needed to snorkel, including prescription masks. Beverages and lunch were served and the food was amazingly good. I would take this excursion again in a heartbeat.View All 10 Sailing Reviews
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