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Serenade of the Seas Review

4.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating
1629 reviews
3 Awards

First Time Royal Caribbean Passengers

Review for Serenade of the Seas to Alaska
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10+ Cruises • Age 60s

Rating by category

Public Rooms

Additional details

Sail Date: Aug 2021
Cabin: Ocean View Balcony

We are quite experienced cruisers and wanted to go to Alaska, and wanted to try a new experience on a different line. This was our opportunity. Our first impression was that it was quite like our other experiences, and we joked with each other the main difference was that it was "much louder". But after a while we began to notice some significant differences. The overall impression was that they just didn't seem as interested in a positive passenger experience as we had experienced on other cruise lines. True there were some definite extra issues due to the Covid situation that made things more complicated but this was not the entire issue. The ship had nearly a full crew but about half the normal number of passengers. Covid protocols required blocking off half the tables and chairs in many venues. But after an event (like a trivia session) why didn't the staff clear the tables of the previous group's glassware, etc. to give the next event's attendees a clean place to sit? To change your dining time you needed to use an app on the phone that didn't work. Announcements were made sporadically, but the only time we ever heard them was when we were in an elevator lobby or dining room. And why couldn't the ship have given us some information about the ports we were going to stop at? Oh yes, they did actually give us some information - but as the presenter admitted they were only going to talk about shopping and only in two of the four ports because the other two didn't have any stores that paid the ship a commission. The passengers' primary source of information about going ashore should not be looking at pictures on the waiter's cell phones. Likewise many events on the ship were minimally covered in the daily "Cruise Compass" but the cruise director's live announcements and daily TV show were limited to only things the ship could sell you or the various performers on the ship. Only on the last sea day did the information begin to flow freely - but only about the details of how to get off the ship. Other members of the cruise director's staff talked about how much better Royal Caribbean was at taking care of the crew compared to other cruise lines. Perhaps they should pay some attention to the perspective of the passengers instead. A little bit of effort, not that difficult or expensive, would have bumped the experience up considerably from just OK. Many of the waiters, bartenders, cabin stewards and the like are doing their best but I hold the cruise director and Royal Caribbean management responsible for setting the tone here.

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