Let me start out by saying I love RCCL and have been on 17 cruises just off the Oasis in July and booked the Serenade in May 2011. That being said this was a nightmare cruise from the minute we checked in to going thru customs. 1st when we booked it was a month prior and did so because after the Oasis where everything is on a schedule we just wanted to relax by ourselves no children. Our friends wanted to get to diamond before our next cruise so they booked junior suite to get 2 credits and they also got upgraded two weeks before sailing to the Royal Family suite.(I'll about that room later). We were told by crown and anchor the day before sailing there were 6 suites left and ask at the check in desk to be upgraded, something we have never done and thought we would try.
When we got to the check in desk a very rude man stopped us mid sentence and said you can't do that here you have to go on the ship and ask the Hotel manager Eric. My husband was very mad that the run around had begun and this man was so rude .We were not accustomed to this on RCCL. We boarded the ship went straight to the main desk and were greeted by yet another rude man named Keith who said there is nothing left but I could come back at 6 and see if there were no shows.When we asked to speak to Eric the manager we were told he was busy but that he would go ask him. We later found out he was never informed we asked for him.
We returned at 6 and were told nothing was left by Keith who then just walked away. We went to our room and just figured we would call when we got back. Our friends checked in to there Royal suite 8518 and even though it had two bedrooms the 2nd one which has twin beds and 2 upper bunks I can't imagine 4 people in that room with no floor space but a 12 inch by 5 feet strip. The living room was nice with a queen size couch and a big plate glass window that was old and rusted all around the frame and moldy. The second bathroom also had mold in the shower.The main master bath kept backing up with water when the shower was used.
We went to shower for dinner in our room when we discovered there was no hot water only very cold. Our Room attended Albert who was fantastic said he would call maintenance ,we went to our friends to shower and we all shared there one smaller bathroom because the master one was full of water. That night after returning from the late comedy show we saw still no hot water. The next day we told our room attendant again and he called in front of me and we went to the pool. When we came back at 5 to shower NO hot water . We called the main desk and were told they would call needless to say it took 3 nights with no hot water for them to finally change the facets. Only after Eric the hotel manager called me himself did it get done and that's when I found out he never knew we had ask for him and that Keith had lied about it.
If you book a suite with the intentions that you will be first for everything and priority seating for shows forget it ,every show we went to and arrived 15 min early was full and the seating set aside for suites was open to everyone. When we asked the attendant she said she wasn't comfortable asking people to move.There were other suite owners with us very upset also.
The person who they have book future cruises was by far the most unpleasant woman I have ever encountered on RCCL. As I sat and read my emails on my computer she blew off at least 5 couples one day and 3 the last day saying she was booked up and the couple she was with said she was 20 minutes late. We were at table 80 floor 4 8:30 seating MDR with Peter and Freddie and they were the best waiters we have ever had and honestly saved the cruise from being a total wreck. They were happy and friendly and genuinely enjoyed there job .Our bar waiter Gerard was also wonderful and a pleasure to see everyday both in dining room and by the pool he made a point to find us and make sure we got drinks. Freddie worked the windjammer for lunch and always found us and got our drinks. I think the ship really needs to be modernized our TV was 12 inches old fashioned and worked on and off. Our phone was the old princess style so you got no messages.I will say this compared to the Oasis which had no storage drawers but 3 little ones and a little closet , There was plenty of storage and drawers in both rooms. Also on every ship we have been on there was always a place besides the windjammer to get coffee free but no on here its $3 and the windjammer closes in the afternoon before dinner. This ship is under staffed in so many areas that getting help is very difficult. Very relaxing I will say that. lol In Grand Cayman we only got off and got cigars and then came back on and enjoyed the pool to ourselves. We have been there many times and love the swimming with the stingrays and the 7 mile beach
In Cozumel once again we didn't get off but we went deep sea fishing in July and very nice. The shopping is not worth it or cheaper and restaurant's are very dirty and just want you to get drunk
Embarkation is very very slow it took 20 minutes to get thru the line we got a porter yet there is no separate porter line however you do get to watch all the people the police dogs caught with drugs from the Carnival ship we got to see a mother with a baby with cocaine in the cane.
I think the ship really needs to be modernized our TV was 12 inches old fashioned and worked on and off. Our phone was the old princess style so you got no messages.I will say this compared to the Oasis which had no storage drawers but 3 little ones and a little closet , There was plenty of storage and drawers in both rooms. The suites had large walk in closets. Pools very small and so over crowded not enough seats.
This ship and staff are not handycap friendly.we saw a few people struggling.