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My wife and I (66 and 67) just completed our 9th Annual Southern Caribbean Cruise. We booked our first cruise the week I got out of the hospital after Kidney Cancer Surgery and figure we have 10 or 15 Southern Caribbean cruises to go. We have already scheduled our 10th Annual cruise this December on the Adventure of the Seas where we will be joined by our children and grandchildren. This was our first trip on Royal Caribbean. Most of our previous trips were on Princess and last year we were on the Celebrity Summit. For the most part the differences between these 3 cruise lines are small and we choose this cruise based upon sailing date and ports visited. First a few words about the pluses and mineses about Royal Caribbean. Overall we thought the food was the best of the cruise lines we had been on. The buffet in the Windjammer was laid out in sections and there were fewer but more appealing choices. A few dinner choices were not up to par. The Salmon was bland and the New York Strip was very thin, perhaps 3/8ths of an inch. The desserts were excellent, but there seemed to be an absence of individual pastries. The service in the dining room was excellent. Kudos to Stephanie our waitress. We choose anytime dining, but nicknamed it their time dining. On Princess 2 of the 3 dining rooms were for anytime dining and you had a real choice of when to eat. On Serenade of the Seas 1/2 of the 2 dining rooms were for anytime dining and you were encouaged to come early or late so there was much less flexability than Princess. Additionally you had to prepay the gratuities which I think is Royal Caribbean's way of discouraging it. My biggest complaint was the smoking in the Casino and 1/2 of the pool area. The Casino reaked of smoke even when it was closed and even when there was no smoking during formal evenings. Althogh Princess allowed smoking in the Casino it never smelled that bad. Kudos for Celebrity Summit for not allowing smoking in the Casino. The one outdoor pool which was very small allowed smoking on one side which was a big minus. We visited the Ports of Tortola BVI, St. Maarten, St. Kitts, Dominica and Barbados. We learned long ago that for the best value do everything on your own rather than book tours thru the ship. On Tortola we spent the day at Canes Garden Bay Beach which is beatiful. On St. Maartan we visited Orient Beach which has besides being a beautiful beach its own (wo)man made scenery. On St. Kitts we got a day pass at the Marriott which is a beautiful property. On Barbados we got a day pass at the Hilton which is also a top notch property. By far our favorite Port was Dominica which we visited for the second time. My wife pre booked a tubing adventure with Fun River Tours. The trip was fabulous as we spent nearly an hour going thru one rapids after another in our indididual tubes. I fliped over in one of the rapids, but that turned out to be fun. This was not a trip for sissies and we noticed other AARP and CARP menbers in our group of about 40 tubing participants. Most of our group booked thru the ship rather than directly as we did. They paid more and got taken there in a nicer van. So What. After the tubing we were taken (in the lesser van) on a tour of part of the raimforest and Trafalger Falls. We saw Trafalger Falls last year in the rain. It was even more beautiful this year in the sunshine. The entertainment had its hits and misses and is similar to what we had on the other Cruise Lines. On this and every other Cruise I have been on the employees are helpful in any way they can. All in all it was a wonderful cruise and I hope Royal Caribbean can address the minor flaws I have pointed out so the cruises are even more enjoyable for the cruisers to follow.

Another fun Southern Caribbean Cruise

Serenade of the Seas Cruise Review by sunshinetoo

Trip Details
My wife and I (66 and 67) just completed our 9th Annual Southern Caribbean Cruise. We booked our first cruise the week I got out of the hospital after Kidney Cancer Surgery and figure we have 10 or 15 Southern Caribbean cruises to go. We have already scheduled our 10th Annual cruise this December on the Adventure of the Seas where we will be joined by our children and grandchildren. This was our first trip on Royal Caribbean. Most of our previous trips were on Princess and last year we were on the Celebrity Summit. For the most part the differences between these 3 cruise lines are small and we choose this cruise based upon sailing date and ports visited.



First a few words about the pluses and mineses about Royal Caribbean. Overall we thought the food was the best of the cruise lines we had been on. The buffet in the Windjammer was laid out in sections and there were fewer but more appealing choices. A few dinner choices were not up to par. The Salmon was bland and the New York Strip was very thin, perhaps 3/8ths of an inch. The desserts were excellent, but there seemed to be an absence of individual pastries. The service in the dining room was excellent. Kudos to Stephanie our waitress. We choose anytime dining, but nicknamed it their time dining. On Princess 2 of the 3 dining rooms were for anytime dining and you had a real choice of when to eat. On Serenade of the Seas 1/2 of the 2 dining rooms were for anytime dining and you were encouaged to come early or late so there was much less flexability than Princess. Additionally you had to prepay the gratuities which I think is Royal Caribbean's way of discouraging it. My biggest complaint was the smoking in the Casino and 1/2 of the pool area. The Casino reaked of smoke even when it was closed and even when there was no smoking during formal evenings. Althogh Princess allowed smoking in the Casino it never smelled that bad. Kudos for Celebrity Summit for not allowing smoking in the Casino. The one outdoor pool which was very small allowed smoking on one side which was a big minus.



We visited the Ports of Tortola BVI, St. Maarten, St. Kitts, Dominica and Barbados. We learned long ago that for the best value do everything on your own rather than book tours thru the ship. On Tortola we spent the day at Canes Garden Bay Beach which is beatiful. On St. Maartan we visited Orient Beach which has besides being a beautiful beach its own (wo)man made scenery. On St. Kitts we got a day pass at the Marriott which is a beautiful property. On Barbados we got a day pass at the Hilton which is also a top notch property. By far our favorite Port was Dominica which we visited for the second time. My wife pre booked a tubing adventure with Fun River Tours. The trip was fabulous as we spent nearly an hour going thru one rapids after another in our indididual tubes. I fliped over in one of the rapids, but that turned out to be fun. This was not a trip for sissies and we noticed other AARP and CARP menbers in our group of about 40 tubing participants. Most of our group booked thru the ship rather than directly as we did. They paid more and got taken there in a nicer van. So What. After the tubing we were taken (in the lesser van) on a tour of part of the raimforest and Trafalger Falls. We saw Trafalger Falls last year in the rain. It was even more beautiful this year in the sunshine.



The entertainment had its hits and misses and is similar to what we had on the other Cruise Lines. On this and every other Cruise I have been on the employees are helpful in any way they can.



All in all it was a wonderful cruise and I hope Royal Caribbean can address the minor flaws I have pointed out so the cruises are even more enjoyable for the cruisers to follow.
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