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Serenade of the Seas Cruise Review
4.5 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
1,679 Reviews

Comfortable ship for family, fantastic ports, great service

Serenade of the Seas Cruise Review by Steebu

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Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Jun 2019
  • Destination: the Baltic Sea
  • Cabin Type: Ocean View Balcony

Chose this cruise due to its unique ports of call and its timing with school holidays . We are aa family of 5 and booked two cabins one balcony and one internal cabin opposite each other. Ship appeared modern and well maintained, as its a smaller boat only additional activities offered are put put golf and rock climbing .

Boarding was poor , we purchased the Key program which was meant to give preferred boarding but as we were unable to pre check in online (even after trying for weeks) we were given absolutely no preference at check in. In whole found The Key program disappointing with little preferential treatment.

The cabins were extremely comfortable and gave the best sleep Ive had in long time- only tip is bring some tape to help with the block out curtains as the nights are very short. Plenty of storage space .

Reflections restaurant service was stressed at busy times , Food quality was poor e.g. crab cakes using artificial crab sticks, prawn cocktail with no cocktail sauce. tried it twice then never ate there again. Preferred paying the extra to eat at the premium restaurants : Giovanni's and Chops Grille were excellent from both a food quality and service perspective although they could perhaps offer daily specials to add variety to the menu. The buffet restaurant was pretty good for breakfast and the occasional lunch if your still hungry.

Gym was well fitted out but tended to be busy and not quite big enough .

Even though the weather was cold the pool was warmed - probably about 22 deg C so cool but comfortable enough for a quick dip.

Purchased the deluxe beverage package for myself which was well worth it especially with fresh juices at breakfast , coffee , bottled waters and open bar with some great cocktails- only point is the wines within the package weren't great and ended up paying extra for better quality wines . The kids didn't get any beverage package and it was fine.

Bar options were good and never too crowded except maybe for Centrum.

Kids club was great and kids spent most of the time there. We had a 2 yr old and left him a lot at the nursery where he was well looked after and reasonably priced.

Entertainment on the boat was pretty average - went to a couple of shows and left early .

Spent a few nights playing $5 blackjack in the casino and was a great way to meet fellow travelers.

Staff extremely friendly and attentive throughout - except as noted during busy times in Reflections.

Port of calls- Geiranger was amazing and if your fit enough get an ebike for assisted ride to enjoy the views . Tromso the most disappointing stop as we booked the huskies tour and on a 3 hr tour kids only got less than 20min with the huskies. Hannisverg just to walk around the town was nice, also good location to get an bike and head out for a ride for some great scenery and try and head over the mountain to the Cape ...I only made it halfway. Alesund, is a nice city just to walk around and explore. Flam is a really pretty town to walk around and the tour on Flam railway is the only tour of the trip we would recommend.Stavanger was pretty town but 3 cruise ships arrived at same time - did the Leyford cruise which was pretty boring with a lame lunch stop for waffles - would not recommend it - better to try a trip to Pulpit Rock. In all, apart from Flam railway the organized tours were disappointing. One of the good benefits of The Key program was the a la carte breakfast on the departure which was a relaxed way to finish the cruise.

It was our first cruise and definitely enjoyed the experience and would do it again.

Steebu's Full Rating Summary
Onboard Experience
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
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Shore Excursions
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Cabin Review

Ocean View Balcony
Cabin 2D 9001

Cabin was very comfortable - wife and I slept in comfortable double bed- kids sleep in single beds . Block out curtains aren't great so bringing some tape helps to bock out the morning rays. Bathroom small but adequate, Our rooms were the first on 9th deck so got a little bumpy at times but never uncomfortable.

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews


try some of local restaurants - great to walk around. Marriot a good hotel choice

Awesome experience , some of the best views. Bike makes the riding easier

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Too little time with huskies

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Flam Railway

One of the worlds great train rides. Also nice just to walk around town

View All 212 Flam Railway Reviews

Boring , the snack stop for waffles was terrible

View All 68 Lysefjord Reviews

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