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We'd previously cruised to Eastern Caribbean ports and Western Caribbean; never had done Southern Caribbean, so we picked this cruise. It was our first time cruising with Royal Caribbean. Ports were fine; we certainly liked that we never needed tenders at any of our five stops. Royal Caribbean was OK -- not bad, not great. With a little bit of thought, they could do a better job. We took three excursions through the ship's desk and we had a little of everything -- one poor tour guide (Bonaire Highlights) whose English was substandard, one who was average (Panoramic St. Lucia) and one that was very good (Amazing Antigua). Food was average; a few times entrees were only warm. Our primary server in the main dining room, Viktoriia, was outstanding. Nothing fazed her. She was both pleasant and efficient, and her recommendations were very good. She was perhaps the best server I've had on eight cruises we've taken. On Day 3 or 4, we pointed out a problem with wine service, in which the server would arrive at the table with five or six glasses of wine, then ask people at the table to pass them around until the right glass arrived at the right person. We asked the person in charge of the dining room to fix this problem -- I doubt that's the way they were trained -- but it resurfaced a few days later. Breakfast in the main dining room was very good, a great way to start the day. At the end of the day, we didn't have anything served to us that made us say, "Hope we have this again!" Royal Caribbean gets an F grade for the amount of thought they give to when and where they schedule some of their live entertainment. They offer a pianist and an acoustic guitar player at different times in the Schooner Bar, but the place is so damn loud, you can only appreciate the musician's talent if you're seated 6 feet away. Kids are arguing over a checkers game, the bartender is ringing a bell for a good tip, group conversations carry throughout this open space, part of the space also serves as a popular walk-through to the Safari Club . . . this is an embarrassment to the musicians playing here. As I was called from being next in line to talk to a person about booking excursions, a band began its set in the Centrum, about 40 feet away. You could have heard them a mile away, which made my conversation with the tour booking rep close to a shouting match. WHEN DO WANT TO GO ON THIS TOUR? TUESDAY. IT'S TOO LATE TO BOOK THAT TOUR FOR TODAY. NOT TODAY . . . TUESDAY! 99 percent of the chairs in public seating areas (excluding the main theater) are absolutely terrible.

Some good, some not so good

Serenade of the Seas Cruise Review by Jeff Q Smith

Trip Details
We'd previously cruised to Eastern Caribbean ports and Western Caribbean; never had done Southern Caribbean, so we picked this cruise. It was our first time cruising with Royal Caribbean. Ports were fine; we certainly liked that we never needed tenders at any of our five stops. Royal Caribbean was OK -- not bad, not great. With a little bit of thought, they could do a better job. We took three excursions through the ship's desk and we had a little of everything -- one poor tour guide (Bonaire Highlights) whose English was substandard, one who was average (Panoramic St. Lucia) and one that was very good (Amazing Antigua).

Food was average; a few times entrees were only warm. Our primary server in the main dining room, Viktoriia, was outstanding. Nothing fazed her. She was both pleasant and efficient, and her recommendations were very good. She was perhaps the best server I've had on eight cruises we've taken. On Day 3 or 4, we pointed out a problem with wine service, in which the server would arrive at the table with five or six glasses of wine, then ask people at the table to pass them around until the right glass arrived at the right person. We asked the person in charge of the dining room to fix this problem -- I doubt that's the way they were trained -- but it resurfaced a few days later. Breakfast in the main dining room was very good, a great way to start the day. At the end of the day, we didn't have anything served to us that made us say, "Hope we have this again!"

Royal Caribbean gets an F grade for the amount of thought they give to when and where they schedule some of their live entertainment. They offer a pianist and an acoustic guitar player at different times in the Schooner Bar, but the place is so damn loud, you can only appreciate the musician's talent if you're seated 6 feet away. Kids are arguing over a checkers game, the bartender is ringing a bell for a good tip, group conversations carry throughout this open space, part of the space also serves as a popular walk-through to the Safari Club . . . this is an embarrassment to the musicians playing here.

As I was called from being next in line to talk to a person about booking excursions, a band began its set in the Centrum, about 40 feet away. You could have heard them a mile away, which made my conversation with the tour booking rep close to a shouting match.

WHEN DO WANT TO GO ON THIS TOUR?

TUESDAY.

IT'S TOO LATE TO BOOK THAT TOUR FOR TODAY.

NOT TODAY . . . TUESDAY!

99 percent of the chairs in public seating areas (excluding the main theater) are absolutely terrible.
Jeff Q Smith’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
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Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
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Cabin Review

Ocean View Balcony
Cabin 5D 7582
A bit tight. Certainly two people had to work in order to avoid running into each other. Some parts of the cabin showed wear and tear. I was surprised to see more than a few spots of rust on the balcony, along with paint splatters on the balcony table. Did these thing prevent us from enjoying the balcony? No. Did they make a good impression? No.
Deck 10 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins