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I spent a lot of time giving feedback at the end of this cruise on their survey. Below are my comments to RCI (with edits). We had sailed on the Royal Princess recently (I know it's a newer ship and a different class) so we could make direct comparisons easily. I hope they use some of the comments to improve the experience for others. This is not a new ship but well maintained with a very friendly crew. We enjoyed the rock climbing and tried to participate in many of the activities offered. We just sailed on the Royal Princess about 8 weeks ago so it was easy to compare our experiences. Both cruises were enjoyable BUT the Princess cruise was more enjoyable overall. We embarked in Ft. Lauderdale and it was not as nice looking a terminal as the Princess cruise from the same port. The buffet on the Princess cruise has a much bigger selection and really really good food and an insane variety of foods from different cultures. It was so good, we hardly went to eat in the dining room. To get superior food on the Serenade we had to eat in the dining room. We also enjoyed the buffet service better on the Princess cruise. There seemed to be more staff at the buffet to get our drink orders (no having to get up to get our drinks) and tables were cleared very often on the Royal Princess. The dining room staff on the Serenade were very good and charming. Also, little touches like water and wet face clothes after an excursion were not done on the Serenade. To return towels after an excursion we had to return on the Lido deck (long hike after a tiring day). Also we felt we were charged more for services like laundry (we loved the self-serve laundry on every deck on the Princess), photos, spa, etc. We felt the Princess had better value for us in general and a more pleasant overall experience. Our experience on the Serenade was good but it could have been excellent. We did love seeing Captain Aris around all the time. And the entertainment staff, dancers and singers were very fun. We loved the Switched On Band and tried to dance as a family overnight with the band! We participated in the mob dance (thanks Naomi!). We also enjoyed the Flag Ceremony and the Farewell Ceremony as we know the crew really work hard. We also thought the entire crew were friendly and charming from our Steward to the Wait Staff. In terms of hand washing, the Royal Princess has very efficient had washing stations before entering the buffets and restaurants that were enforced. We loved that. We know the Serenade is an older ship but during a retrofit, you should do that (safety first). The small outdoor movie screen also has a pixel issue. The app on the Princess allowed your party to text/message each other for FREE! The RCI app is looks beautiful but not as useful for our family to communicate with each other around the ship. Also your TV, doesn't allow people to select movie and shows on demand (which we had on the Royal Princess). We liked how it was announced by the captain on the first day that everyone fist pumps on the ship and does not hand shake. We enjoyed hearing from the captain as he seemed to really participate in the events. We enjoyed the dance classes by professional dancers (the dance team was very good) and we enjoyed the meet and great with the dancers and singers on the last day. Loved the live music around the ship and in the theatre! We liked the actual glass shower doors (no mess). The spa double charged me for a service (no way I could get my pedicure twice on the same day). I went to speak with Mina (spa manager, it was later in the evening). Instead of processing the refund right away, she said she would need to speak to her team first and find out the reason for the mistake. This is not good customer service - she should have processed my refund immediately and then spoken with her staff the next day. We enjoyed the egg drop, ship building battle (our kids won), mob dance, napkin folding, towel folding, bartender show, 70's night and 70's night dance training with Naomi. My husband showed up for the darts and table tennis contests but no staff were at the "events" so the passengers did their own "contests and games" which was too bad because he won both competitions. We thought this cruise's entertainment was more fun but our general feeling was that it could have been a better overall experience in the other areas. The Ft. Lauderdale terminal did not look nice at all on departure; it should be renovated so keep that nice ship feeling all the way through. The terminal didn't understand that Global Entry passengers should have a separate line to get to the customs agent! We had to speak to someone to help us with that and thankfully, he understood and helped us. Finally the kids club, our 10 year old preferred the one on the Princess and thought it was really restrictive on the Serenade and never wanted to go there as she wanted free time to do her own thing in the club. The photos, we liked the experience on the Princess better (they also retouch your photos for free on the Princess). As we "collected" the photos, they kept it for us so it wasn't a chore to find them all the time, we purchased them on the ship (we were told they didn't have enough room on the Serenade to do this). and they used the bar code to put the digital photos right away on a USB stick for us so I was not concerned about an email coming to me. The photo package for all the photos were also more affordable on the Royal Princess. It seems like such a waste of printed photos to have them all displayed and most of them trashed. All ships should have computer terminals that with a simple swipe of your sea pass card or medallion, you get to see all of your photos on a screen and get your digital files emailed to you or on a USB stick. Not environmentally friendly at all and waste of your staff resources. No more printed photos! Who really wants 8 x 10s! We just want to post on social media and be done with it or just print out a few at Costco. We loved how often we saw or heard Captain Aris around the ship. He looks like someone who enjoys his job! We would love to see a female captain one day. We enjoyed the dining room staff, especially manager Kaviraj and his staff Sheldon, Maynard and Hurray. Special acknowledgement to Adikash who made a wonder paper jumping frog for my child and her cousin. They loved it! We enjoyed the soft serve ice cream in the buffet and the sorbets in the dining room. Sanya, our steward was great and we loved to hear her laugh. Napkins should be available at the self service drink stations. We also thought the buffets hours were odd on the Serenade (they close at 9:00 and before lunch and before dinner) because it never closed on the Princess during the day and was open to 11PM every night! Tip for muster station info on the sea pass cards, put the deck number on it too. Hand sanitizers should also be located right by the food at the buffet too. I didn't trust that everyone had clean hands so after handling the food serving spooks and ladle, I sanitized my hands again but had to walk all the way back to the hostess or the front doors.

Good but some tweaks could make it excellent

Serenade of the Seas Cruise Review by sabley

1 person found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: March 2019
  • Destination: Eastern Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Ocean View Balcony
I spent a lot of time giving feedback at the end of this cruise on their survey. Below are my comments to RCI (with edits). We had sailed on the Royal Princess recently (I know it's a newer ship and a different class) so we could make direct comparisons easily. I hope they use some of the comments to improve the experience for others. This is not a new ship but well maintained with a very friendly crew. We enjoyed the rock climbing and tried to participate in many of the activities offered.

We just sailed on the Royal Princess about 8 weeks ago so it was easy to compare our experiences. Both cruises were enjoyable BUT the Princess cruise was more enjoyable overall. We embarked in Ft. Lauderdale and it was not as nice looking a terminal as the Princess cruise from the same port. The buffet on the Princess cruise has a much bigger selection and really really good food and an insane variety of foods from different cultures. It was so good, we hardly went to eat in the dining room. To get superior food on the Serenade we had to eat in the dining room. We also enjoyed the buffet service better on the Princess cruise. There seemed to be more staff at the buffet to get our drink orders (no having to get up to get our drinks) and tables were cleared very often on the Royal Princess. The dining room staff on the Serenade were very good and charming. Also, little touches like water and wet face clothes after an excursion were not done on the Serenade. To return towels after an excursion we had to return on the Lido deck (long hike after a tiring day). Also we felt we were charged more for services like laundry (we loved the self-serve laundry on every deck on the Princess), photos, spa, etc. We felt the Princess had better value for us in general and a more pleasant overall experience. Our experience on the Serenade was good but it could have been excellent.

We did love seeing Captain Aris around all the time. And the entertainment staff, dancers and singers were very fun. We loved the Switched On Band and tried to dance as a family overnight with the band! We participated in the mob dance (thanks Naomi!). We also enjoyed the Flag Ceremony and the Farewell Ceremony as we know the crew really work hard. We also thought the entire crew were friendly and charming from our Steward to the Wait Staff. In terms of hand washing, the Royal Princess has very efficient had washing stations before entering the buffets and restaurants that were enforced. We loved that. We know the Serenade is an older ship but during a retrofit, you should do that (safety first). The small outdoor movie screen also has a pixel issue.

The app on the Princess allowed your party to text/message each other for FREE! The RCI app is looks beautiful but not as useful for our family to communicate with each other around the ship. Also your TV, doesn't allow people to select movie and shows on demand (which we had on the Royal Princess). We liked how it was announced by the captain on the first day that everyone fist pumps on the ship and does not hand shake. We enjoyed hearing from the captain as he seemed to really participate in the events. We enjoyed the dance classes by professional dancers (the dance team was very good) and we enjoyed the meet and great with the dancers and singers on the last day. Loved the live music around the ship and in the theatre! We liked the actual glass shower doors (no mess).

The spa double charged me for a service (no way I could get my pedicure twice on the same day). I went to speak with Mina (spa manager, it was later in the evening). Instead of processing the refund right away, she said she would need to speak to her team first and find out the reason for the mistake. This is not good customer service - she should have processed my refund immediately and then spoken with her staff the next day. We enjoyed the egg drop, ship building battle (our kids won), mob dance, napkin folding, towel folding, bartender show, 70's night and 70's night dance training with Naomi. My husband showed up for the darts and table tennis contests but no staff were at the "events" so the passengers did their own "contests and games" which was too bad because he won both competitions. We thought this cruise's entertainment was more fun but our general feeling was that it could have been a better overall experience in the other areas. The Ft. Lauderdale terminal did not look nice at all on departure; it should be renovated so keep that nice ship feeling all the way through. The terminal didn't understand that Global Entry passengers should have a separate line to get to the customs agent! We had to speak to someone to help us with that and thankfully, he understood and helped us.

Finally the kids club, our 10 year old preferred the one on the Princess and thought it was really restrictive on the Serenade and never wanted to go there as she wanted free time to do her own thing in the club. The photos, we liked the experience on the Princess better (they also retouch your photos for free on the Princess). As we "collected" the photos, they kept it for us so it wasn't a chore to find them all the time, we purchased them on the ship (we were told they didn't have enough room on the Serenade to do this). and they used the bar code to put the digital photos right away on a USB stick for us so I was not concerned about an email coming to me. The photo package for all the photos were also more affordable on the Royal Princess. It seems like such a waste of printed photos to have them all displayed and most of them trashed. All ships should have computer terminals that with a simple swipe of your sea pass card or medallion, you get to see all of your photos on a screen and get your digital files emailed to you or on a USB stick. Not environmentally friendly at all and waste of your staff resources. No more printed photos! Who really wants 8 x 10s! We just want to post on social media and be done with it or just print out a few at Costco.

We loved how often we saw or heard Captain Aris around the ship. He looks like someone who enjoys his job! We would love to see a female captain one day. We enjoyed the dining room staff, especially manager Kaviraj and his staff Sheldon, Maynard and Hurray. Special acknowledgement to Adikash who made a wonder paper jumping frog for my child and her cousin. They loved it! We enjoyed the soft serve ice cream in the buffet and the sorbets in the dining room. Sanya, our steward was great and we loved to hear her laugh. Napkins should be available at the self service drink stations. We also thought the buffets hours were odd on the Serenade (they close at 9:00 and before lunch and before dinner) because it never closed on the Princess during the day and was open to 11PM every night!

Tip for muster station info on the sea pass cards, put the deck number on it too. Hand sanitizers should also be located right by the food at the buffet too. I didn't trust that everyone had clean hands so after handling the food serving spooks and ladle, I sanitized my hands again but had to walk all the way back to the hostess or the front doors.
sabley’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
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Ages 10 to 12
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Cabin Review

Ocean View Balcony
Cabin 1D 8574
It felt like king bed (firmer mattress but our steward tried to make it softer with another comforter underneath). Our child slept on the bunk bed that dropped from the ceiling. The TV does not have movies or TV shows on demand. The baloney is nice; we use it as an extra room and to dry wet bathing suits. Really liked all the lights in the cabin. It was well set up but you can see the age as one of the drawers was falling apart and the bottom of the toilet was rusting. Liked the shower (hot water and good water pressure) and had glass shower doors. Enough closet space and drawers for our family of three and most of our luggage fit in the closet.
Deck 9 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

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