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

A disappointing experience

Serenade of the Seas Cruise Review by gardenbug22

3 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Sep 2019
  • Destination: Bermuda
  • Cabin Type: Interior


Boarding was smooth, efficient and pleasant experience. I boarded at noon and was sent with my carry on luggage to the Windjammer for lunch. At one I went to my room to drop off my luggage.

First impressions..T

The first room(3645) was a good size with two comfy chairs to read in. Alas the room had not been thoroughly cleaned, as there was "solid matter" in the toilet from the last guest. I took a deep breath after flushing, of course, and said it can't get any worse.. Wrong..


We had a 5:30 seating for dinner the first nite only after a tablemate complained at 5:58 was our order taken, it was requested that we see the Head waiter .. he avoided our table until we were served, then came over several times and proceeded to throw our wait staff,( who was very good, by the way) under the bus so to speak. We never left the dining room until 7:30. I am allergic to Cow Dairy products. The only accommodations were the choice of soy or almond milk in my coffee. There was nothing to put on the rolls.There was no butter or sour cream substitute. I received a dry baked potato each meal... no gravy either. Even after carefully choosing my items on the menu I never received close to what I ordered, nor did I have any idea what I would receive until it appears in front of me. I gave up ordering deserts and had fruit each nite. The call I received from the dining room one afternoon mid week was unnerving. I was accused of signing up for the dining room and never showing, interrogated to if I was planning to show. It was a pretty hostile call. I advised I had been there every nite at the 5:30 sitting, named my wait staff,as well as names of table mates. I was grilled about my table #. No apology was issued. The dining room seemed disorganized.

Cabin experience

I went to bed I was awaken by the slamming of the crew door from 11 pm to 12:30, the vacuum caused my bed room door to rattle each time. Needless to say I placed a chair up against the door that nite. I got up the next morning only to find there was no hair dryer in my room. My steward was not concerned! Nor too motivated to find me one without prodding. I went to Breakfast , came back and noticed my steward's supervisor was present. I brought up the slamming of the door, and letting him know I was aware there was an empty room just up the hall from mine. the above was the experience in my first room. The supervisor sent me to Guest Services where I was met with great resistant from Veronika on the desk, When I mentioned I had already spoken to a supervisor, things got better. I moved myself from one room to the other tho I was told the steward would assist me. He watched. The first nite I in the new room was quiet however I woke up with several insect bites on me. I brought it to the steward's attention.. and my bed was searched for bed bugs... nothing else.. It was determined there were no bed bugs, and the same bedding was put back on my bed. The next morning I woke to more bites and a tick embedded in me. However all I was offered was to go to the medical center as there were no bed bugs! In the 2nd room I had I stepped on hard plastic left on the floor by the prior cruiser.. Guess this room, too, was not thoroughly cleaned. Needless to say the room experiences and the upkeep or lack of were not on my list of things to rave about. Towel animals appear on the beds every other nite, no longer every nite

Enrichment activities

Alas the so called activities were slim to none, and what they had reminded me of the activities at the local assisted living home. The shows were scheduled so that you could not eat that the 5:30 or 8 sitting and attend the shows. You had to go to the Windjammer for dinner if you wanted to see a show.


As one who does the walk off with luggage, the experience was not good. I know they can do it well, as I traveled with them in 2012 and was impressed with how they handled it as it was so smooth and pleasant.. This was not smooth or pleasant. Being sent to the theater, parking your carry on luggage outside and having a free for all to locate and claim it in order to walk of the ship was not my idea of fun.


I have traveled on RCCL in the past and had wonderful experiences, alas I am glad this was not my first trip with them ,as it would be my last. I thought the service was sorely lacking and a disappointed all the way around. And needless to say I am not pleased that I contracted Lyme disease on the trip. I never in a thousand years would expect to have to take bug/tick repellants on a cruise.. just for the ship experience. I might give this ship a miss until they shift management to other ships .

gardenbug22's Full Rating Summary
Onboard Experience
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Public Rooms
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
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Cabin Review


The cabin itself was fine. I was a solo traveler so I didn't have to share space. the bed was made into a double, it was a bit tight getting out of bed and not banging your knees, but not unexpected. the chairs/ couch were comfy for reading.. The closet space for one was fine, The bathroom was the normal ship size, tho it did seem like the shower was smaller than most.

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

Alas, part of the tour we could not complete as Fort Hamilton was closed, there was no substitute and we spent most of our time in BUEI vs being outside for a good share of the excursion. I didn't think the tram tour was anything to write home about. Both men who conducted this tour were very professional and knowledgeable. But the tour could be modified to be more interesting. I would have preferred purchasing a travel pass and exploring on my own vs this excursion.

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