We live in Florida so driving to the Port of Embarkation was just over 2-hours this trip (blessed with good weather and no traffic accidents/holdups). We parked in the Midport Garage (we believe if we have to pay for parking we wanted car/weather coverage) rather than open air and walked to the embarkation area; we arrived at 11:30am and covered a medium 10-minute walk to the ship. Disembarkation we had to take a shuttle. As we had entered our information and photos on the internet we were able to walk right through the check-in with our sail and sign in hand. Shortest embarkation ever :-)
Our stateroom was one of the largest we have had which was extremely nice for a change (photos included). Large area, room to actually walk around the bed, lots of closet/drawer storage space, 17 hangers between the two sides with cupboards in- between. I hope the photos help. Cabin Review follows (with pictures)
This was our second trip of Serenade (photos to follow) and it was very easy to find our way around the ship without getting sidetracked or lost (difficult to do here).
We were fortunate enough again to have the 5:30pm dining time. Beautiful dining area for both dinner and lunch when available. (Photos/menus to follow) Delicious food! Exceptional service.
Royal is known for having things going on all day long into the evening. We enjoyed a few games of golf, walking around the upper decks and sitting on deck 5 lounge chairs to view the ocean. At 1:00pm it was visiting the Cinema to see new movies (get there early for seating as it is quite small). There are activities for all age groups. Safari Club was utilized for playing chess and where we enjoyed the Top Tier celebration.
Service is exceptional on Royal cruises, staff seem to show "the heart of the ship" and it was the same on this ship.
Entertainment included the Serenade of the Seas orchestra, dancers, one night of comedy/singer and one night of comedy (7am family and 10pm adult). One night of 'love and marriage show'. Excellent all around.
I cannot offer much information on excursions as we do not utilize them due to what we consider exorbitant costs. If you wanted to do anything you needed a taxi, shuttle, excursion. Our dinner companions who went of some enjoyed every one they utilized. We would leave the ship to walk and catch some wifi internet and check out some shops on the ports where there was no beach/swimming area nearby. Unfortunately for this cruise the ports were, as expected, all diamond shops and shopping. If you wanted anything else it was usually on the other side of the island.
Swimming in Labadee and Philipsburg/St. Maarten had swimming available for those who wish to do so.
Disembarkation was as expected. Numerous(!) people use self-assist (as did we) and you just have to be patient. Your stand in line for quite a bit of time but eventually it gets moving. Glad the Windjammer was open at 6:00am so we could get coffee and something to eat before heading home.
All-in-all this was a very relaxing cruise. Not having to be anywhere at any time (having no excursions) you can take your time, leave the ship, get back on, use the pool, take a nap, etc.
My one and only area of discontent: the music playing in the Centrum and also in the Dining Room on the nights the staff sing and/or dance is Excruciatingly Loud!! I can never understand why. At dinnertime five of us at our table had to leave due to the noise over the intercom played when the staff started to sing/dance. One person had hearing aids and the noise made him cringe in pain and he had to cover his ears exiting leaving our desserts and coffee behind. Enjoying music is one thing, having to cover your ears and move from the area is another. Just a personal thought.
Counting down to our next Royal Cruise in January! :-)
One of the best cabins in all of our cruises which was wonderful for a change. Our stateroom was one of the largest we have had which was extremely nice for a change (photos included following). Large area, room to actually walk around the bed, lots of closet/drawer storage space, 17 hangers between the two sides with cupboards in- between.
Love this area! Water and more water! Lunch served on the island. Zip line and other excursions for those who are interested.
Having visited many times we saw no need for anything else. Visit both castles for some history. Lots of shops!
Much shopping available for those interested.
More shopping if interested.
More shopping if interested.
Walked to the beach passing many shops and restaurants. Really love this beach!