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I find it very easy to find fault with the hospitality industry. I was a meeting planner and have a gimlet eye when it comes to service and cleanliness. I could not find a thing wrong with Royal Caribbean's Serenade of the Sea. The ship is fantastically clean. It looks like no one has ever used the ship. The crew was always cleaning and repairing, but unobtrusively. Even the tables in the buffet were cleaned as soon as you put down a fork! The crew was friendly. We always received a greeting, even passing crew in the hallway. Waiters asked what you wanted to be called and remembered for the entire trip. Crew was willing to chat, but not 'in your face.' The itinerary was interesting, the usual Caribbean suspects, but the salt water pool in the Solarium kept our attention! No kids allowed and rarely used. Piped in bird sound made it feel like outside. The main pool was crowded with Alternative Rock blaring - and a great Caribbean band in the afternoon. It was a fun diversion from the quiet off the Solarium. Any complaint: overcharges, incorrect charges on a bill, were immediately taken care of. No problem was the standard answer to any request. They even gave me free Internet time when my boarding passes refused to print!Entertainment was okay. Comedian from Boston, magician, Broadway show tunes, vocal mimic - really something for everyone. Shows were broadcast on in ship TV after live show. Nice touch for people who go to bed early or just prefer their cabin! Met a third grader on the flight home who was on the cruise. He had a blast. All kids seemed to be having fun and very well behaved. Highly recommended for fussy people, neat freaks and those who demand great service. We will be sailing with Royal Caribbean again soon!

Great Ship - Great Value

Serenade of the Seas Cruise Review by cruiserillinois

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: December 2011
  • Destination: Eastern Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Superior Ocean View Stateroom with Balcony
I find it very easy to find fault with the hospitality industry. I was a meeting planner and have a gimlet eye when it comes to service and cleanliness. I could not find a thing wrong with Royal Caribbean's Serenade of the Sea.

The ship is fantastically clean. It looks like no one has ever used the ship. The crew was always cleaning and repairing, but unobtrusively. Even the tables in the buffet were cleaned as soon as you put down a fork!

The crew was friendly. We always received a greeting, even passing crew in the hallway. Waiters asked what you wanted to be called and remembered for the entire trip. Crew was willing to chat, but not 'in your face.'

The itinerary was interesting, the usual Caribbean suspects, but the salt water pool in the Solarium kept our attention! No kids allowed and rarely used. Piped in bird sound made it feel like outside. The main pool was crowded with Alternative Rock blaring - and a great Caribbean band in the afternoon. It was a fun diversion from the quiet off the Solarium.

Any complaint: overcharges, incorrect charges on a bill, were immediately taken care of. No problem was the standard answer to any request. They even gave me free Internet time when my boarding passes refused to print!Entertainment was okay. Comedian from Boston, magician, Broadway show tunes, vocal mimic - really something for everyone. Shows were broadcast on in ship TV after live show. Nice touch for people who go to bed early or just prefer their cabin!

Met a third grader on the flight home who was on the cruise. He had a blast. All kids seemed to be having fun and very well behaved.

Highly recommended for fussy people, neat freaks and those who demand great service. We will be sailing with Royal Caribbean again soon!
cruiserillinois’s Full Rating Summary
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
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Service

Cabin Review

Superior Ocean View Stateroom with Balcony
Cabin D2
Nice room. Typical: small shower, small head. Great bed. Very quiet location. Could smell cigarette smoke on balcony: neighbors? smoking area? Never figured it out.

9040
Deck 9 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

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    Bank Holiday. Stayed on ship.
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    Captain Jerry did not show up for whale watching so negotiated a taxi tour of the island. Wanted to see the Wooten Sulphur Springs. A mud hole with steam rising. Not like Yellowstone.

    This island is still primitive - easily twenty years behind other Caribbean spots as a port. Streets in town are narrow, crowded and uneven. Leave this port to the young and agile who want to hike and swim.
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  • San Juan
    This was our embarkation point, so not sure if it counts as a port, but I highly recommend spending time in Puerto Rico. Nice people, great things to do, fab food, beautiful beaches.

    El Yunque was fascinating, although crowded at main site. Must hike in to get the real sense of the place. Be careful- trails are slippery!

    Bio Bay worth the trip if just for the bus ride in the dark to the water. Very scary! East Island Excursions did a great job and you could book from US. Bio Bay is fascinating - luminescent fish! And low light pollution for star gazing - not long before that is gone. A tip: Pick a day when moon is new - less light is better. Excursion crew had areas well lit for boarding. If you are a swimmer, definitely do the kyacks. Looked like fun, but husband does not swim.
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  • St. Kitts
    Great tour with Thenford Gray, a delightful man and very knowledgeable about his island.

    Beautiful island. Romney Manor is nice: crafts are very expensive, but fabulous. Brimstone Fortress is a construction marvel.

    Green monkeys and mongoose siting is at a beach bar populated by twenty-somethings in bikinis.
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  • St. Martin
    Walked around town - very crowded. Could not find a cab to take us to Marigot for lunch. Typical Caribbean town: hustlers trying to get you to go where they want you to go so they can make money.

    Skip it all and rent beach chairs, umbrella and buy a bucket of Red Stripe! Take the water taxi right to the town beach - very nice.
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