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2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
The ship was very dated but overall clean and well-kept. Most of the staff was very friendly and personable. Our room stewart, Clover, was amazing and really made us feel at home. The Guest Services staff needed some work. They gave the ... Read More
The ship was very dated but overall clean and well-kept. Most of the staff was very friendly and personable. Our room stewart, Clover, was amazing and really made us feel at home. The Guest Services staff needed some work. They gave the impression that we were inconveniencing them by asking questions or addressing any problems. The ship was on the smaller size so there wasn't much in line of children's activities. The 2 production shows were quite enjoyable...especially the boogie nights show. There were a number of quiet areas on the ship and I spent a good bit of time in the Viking Crown Lounge at the top deck. The Windjammer is poorly laid out. It was very hard to get around the buffet when it sits right at the entrance. But the food was good and, even though the Windjammer was small, it had a good selection of food. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
Had wanted to cruise out of New Orleans forever so once this particular cruise became available I reserved my cabin at best price immediately. The trip on the Mississippi River is quite rough, in fact the first 24 hours was rough so I ... Read More
Had wanted to cruise out of New Orleans forever so once this particular cruise became available I reserved my cabin at best price immediately. The trip on the Mississippi River is quite rough, in fact the first 24 hours was rough so I suggest putting on those pressure point wrist bands on within the first 2 hours and leaving them on though out the night. Since the ship is much smaller than popular newer ones the activity director proved successful in getting all passengers to participate at some point during our trip utilizing the 4th & 5th level as you leave the Main Dining Room. It's all out full fun and the last day a group of our fellow cruisers performed Michael Jacksons "Thriller" in full make up & dress. You could see most passengers took a break from packing to watch the production from all levels of the ship. Flawless & well done! All the tours booked by Royal Caribbean went off without a hitch and I'd book the ruins again at Costa Maya saving time at the beach side resort developed entirely to entertain cruise visitors as it offers a super pool surrounded by all types of restaurants, bars and shops. Our tour group didn't have but 30 minutes here - not near long enough. There were problems at Trujillo Honduras with the ships Tenders repeatedly getting stuck in a sandbar near the dock but the shopping was traditional and they had multiple handmade items for sale. The wait to re-board the ship was up to 2 1/2 hours with a very long line. I learned later this was a new R.C. port site so I'm certain they'll make necessary improvements. Be sure to save time for the city of New Orleans either before or after your cruise! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We went on this cruise with a group 10 (9 of us are retired) including 4 brand new retirees. Since we are a group ranging in age from 55 to 80 (most in the 55-65 range) we were looking for an active cruise agenda and some fun ports of ... Read More
We went on this cruise with a group 10 (9 of us are retired) including 4 brand new retirees. Since we are a group ranging in age from 55 to 80 (most in the 55-65 range) we were looking for an active cruise agenda and some fun ports of call. Most of us are fairly novice cruisers (less than 5 cruises) and we wanted to keep to a cruise of less than 7 days. We thoroughly enjoyed the cruise agenda and the staff of the Vision of the Seas was top notch. The ship is a bit on the smaller side and is dated in some areas, but is a beautiful ship inside and out. The food was excellent and the stops at Coco Cay and Key West were fantastic. Our only negative was Nassau. The city has some nice restaurants and attractions, but the locals are very aggressive around the port in hawking debarking passengers for taxi, tours and other offers ... its a but unsettling. Additionally, the city is not all handicapped friendly ... streets and sidewalks are narrow and uneven without many ramps or access points for wheelchairs. We hit some rough seas on the return trip to New Orleans and several of us were a bit queazy over the final day and evening. Overall, a great experience made so by the staff of the Vision. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
Our daughter booked this cruise for her family, which included a 6 year old, 4 year old, and a 14 month old. We found an interior room a few doors down last minute so we booked our cruise to join them. I knew nothing about Royal Caribbean ... Read More
Our daughter booked this cruise for her family, which included a 6 year old, 4 year old, and a 14 month old. We found an interior room a few doors down last minute so we booked our cruise to join them. I knew nothing about Royal Caribbean or the ship when we booked. Our previous cruises have been on Carnival. We really liked the layout of the ship and we could easily get anywhere within a few minutes. On the flip side, we had some rough seas and really felt the rocking. I had to take motion sickness medicine three different times during the week. I really felt bad for the kids' adventure club staff and the kiddos during those times. The kids' club is located in the front of the ship on deck 10. The kids handled it way better then me. I had to get back down to deck 4 on those days. The kids enjoyed going to the kids' club. The baby went to the Royal Tots a little every day. He did prove to be a challenge for the ladies but they kept at it. We are pretty sure he got to hang out with the captain's little baby boy some of the time. Our dining experience was super! The only dining time left when we booked was at 8 pm. Meanwhile, our daughter and family had My Time Dining. The hostess was very accommodating and made us standing reservations all together in MTD for 5:30. Our waiter, Estrella, and assistant waiter, Gede, were the BEST! They were great with the little ones, including having fruit bowls ready for them each evening when we first sat down at the table. They really made our dinners enjoyable because of their attentive timing and service!! We ate most meals in the dining room as it was easier with the kiddos. We did eat a few in the Windjammer and enjoyed the offerings as well as Ida, our area server, and Angelina, who greeted the kids by name each time we went there. We had an interior cabin for the first time ever. We were worried about it but we actually ended up liking it better than an outside cabin. Our daughter's window was dirty, plus we think we slept better since it was darker. The shower curtain kept trying to get intimate with me making it very difficult to shave my legs. Cabins are dated but the bed was comfortable. Our room steward, Dhanny, took great care of us even though I could never remember to put our magnet out alerting him that he could come make our room up. He was always around with a smile on his face. Entertainment staff was good. Entertainment overall was okay. Never made it to the 11 pm Viking Club dancing and I am a young 55 year old, which probably was on the young side of the median age on the cruise. I wish we would have known about some of the special events prior to leaving home. I would have brought tropical, mardi gras, and disco clothes as well as fun materials for the egg drop contest. Ports - Cozumel is fine but we've been there 4 times now. The port information guy suggested a beach place for us. It was bad. When you pulled up there was a sign that said "Absolutely no refunds." Luckily, our taxi driver waited while we checked it out. He whispered to me that he would take us somewhere better. He took us to the Paradise Beach Club, which was perfect. My hubby and I had actually been there before but couldn't remember the name of it. Costa Maya we never have to go to again. Grand Cayman was just ok. Some of the locals don't seem as friendly and care more about the money. The port transportation buses don't leave until every seat is filled and they wanted to charge for the baby even though he didn't take up any seat. We went to another beach club for a little while and then did some shopping back near the port. Overall - the 6 year old said he wanted to go on a cruise every year until he is 100 so I'd say it was overall a hit. Our daughter was very satisfied with the kids' programming and service so she is on board with cruising again in the near future. We will most likely join them as long as it is a slightly bigger ship. I love cruises but don't like being seasick. A little bigger and newer ship would probably be better for that. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
I’m a price/deal buyer for cruising. The stars aligned the first week of January – a low season cruise week. There were good choices- HAL out of Tampa had great window cabin pricing and air fares were good. Promenade decks are ... Read More
I’m a price/deal buyer for cruising. The stars aligned the first week of January – a low season cruise week. There were good choices- HAL out of Tampa had great window cabin pricing and air fares were good. Promenade decks are required for us as is the possibility of some ballroom/Latin dancing and extra sea days are a bonus. My decision was swayed by the fact I was four nights away from Platinum on RCCL- and the ocean view fares were good on the Vision of the Seas. New Orleans is an excellent cruise port. The airfares creep up a little on the weekends, but the airport is close by ($35 flat rate cab or Uber) and there are lot of hotel choices. You can stay downtown or in the Garden District – we are Hotel Indigo people – boutique hotels are cool. Kevin the bartender at the Indigo knows everyone and everything New Orleans and suggested a walk on Magazine Street where we found a fun breakfast at Molly’s – grits, collard greens and eggs. The trolley gets you downtown rapidly for $1.25 or $3 (pay the onboard machine) for 24 hours. We found several yarn/knitting shops (the Quarter Stitch has Mardi Gras yarn) and I wanted to find some crawfish. Crawfish bread and gumbo were good choices at the historic hole in the wall called the Chartres House. An XL Uber for all the baggage from the Indigo was not expensive to the cruise port (there are two main docks and at least a third for other lines) <$15 with tip or so. From downtown you can practically walk to the main cruise port which is literally on the back side of the Hilton/outlet mall and convention center. There was no waiting at all at 11:30 to board. I did notice they were spotting and grabbing power strips from hand luggage- the surge suppressor ones are a documented shipboard fire hazard. The confiscated ones included non-surge styles. Our cabin had two real 110v outlets and two Euro ones. Pro Tip: Bring a cheap Euro (round pin to US) plug adapter and many devices (cell phone chargers) are happy on 208V /50Hz. The window cabins are tidy and just right- deck 2 was quiet and the in room couch was comfortable. Steward service 2x a day was flawless. The Vision is a nice ship. I was studying deck plans ahead of time and was hopeful on the promenade deck- alas it has about 85% of one- no access to the bow. But the old school teak deck setup seems safer for loading lifeboats and this one has some deck chairs to relax in. We avoid buffets- so we found embarkation lunch at Park Cafe- it was quiet (except the annoying background music) and the seating was wide open. They had a tea /hot water machine – I hate luke warm and or coffee flavored tea water- this one said 202 degrees on the display- but it was sadly unplugged at 5AM when I looked for it every morning. You could find a beverage setup in the pool area outside Windjammer that was open a lot. It had warm tea water and reportedly cold coffee very early each day. We arrived at the MDR my time usually overdressed. Formal night was tuxes to shorts and informal night was very informal. There was a tropical night and Mardi Gras night- which we were not aware of ahead of time Two MDR waiters stood out- Dante and Dione – and Sandee and Kevin the assistants. Head Waiters and even the Training Manager were cheerful and pitching in where needed. Service was good. Table sharing was very nice – the early breakfast and MDR lunch chats were fun. There were quite a few tables for two if you like that. Interestingly they had expert hostesses assigning tables and the senior MDR leaders were managing table turnover and inventory – they need invest in some wireless tablets for them to use. On another company – table turnover fell apart and this led to long lines. MDR food was very good. There were always a couple of difficult main course decisions. Soups were above average but the mains were just right. Breakfast was good- they were marketing the little buffet setup- but I order eggs benedict daily off the menu. RCCL Pro Tip- a guy siting next us who was an RCCL fan gets his waffles and strawberries from Windjammer and brings them in. We found a cheerful bartender from Jamaica up on Viking Crown Lounge – a nice space which was sometimes taken up by VIP receptions. It has nice views but was chilly and we got a hint it was a quiet place in the mornings. We looked at the menus for specialty dining but none were appealing. We are not meat and or sushi people. Dancing was hit and miss. I was digging in the posted daily programs -and there seemed to be some Latin and pre-recorded ballroom. We got in a foxtrot or two at the Captains Reception and then they had a few nights of recorded ballroom. The Latin band was good- and one could grab a Rumba or Bachata here and there. Given the number of passengers from the South, I might suggest some pre-recorded country. Talita from the cruise staff was a fireball - wicked funny and did a great job on dance lessons, singing etc. We saw the welcome aboard show and comedy- both were good. We poked our heads in Windjammer- the area looked small ish and the selections were not as extensive as on newer ships. Events by the pool were ear splittingly loud and the big TV ran 24x7 at full blast. The Meet and Mingle was interesting. It was run by the Cruise Events staff- so prizes and games – no officers. We were chased out of the area by the Park West Manager- who apparently needed an hour to set up - boo hiss. Miami was an unexpected day stop. I found a wholesale electronics shop that was happy to sell me a tablet and we found Peruvian shrimp soup. It was either that or Little Havana. Budget land transport was the free trolley (Coral Way) that stops right at Terminal F or the crew shuttle (3$) that took you to the mall. Insider tips- The crew says this is a happy ship (lots of repeat contracts) and if time is tight and you want to go to the mall vs downtown take the crew shuttle. The British Colonial Hilton Day Pass in Nassau again did not disappoint. Reserve this ahead of time online. It is a short walk to an exclusive private beach. The staff are cheerful and they upgraded the chairs and have a lot of new clamshell loungers. The view of the harbor is outstanding. You can see your ship- Pro Tip- if they have all several radars going and are blowing the horn it might be time to pack up and run. After coming here regularly for twenty years the recent complaints about security in Nassau are complete nonsense. Everybody here either works in tourism or knows someone who works in tourism – this is what they do. Key West was fun- we looked for and did not find the free shuttle bus – so saved $30 each and walked a mile down to the southernmost point. A block toward Duval we found the Southernmost Beach Café. They have an epic sea view, and nice island food. And the place is on a sandy beach and rents chairs, umbrellas, etc. I regret not buying the pound bag of key lime jelly beans on the way back on Duval. There was a shop on Duval selling Turkish souvenirs- the ceramic trivets are pretty and very handy. Disembarkation was well managed- quick and easy. Having passport checks in Key West was a big time saver. As one of the older and smaller ships in the fleet, we were pleased with our experience. If you want to pay top dollar and expect the finest features and amenities – I would go with a larger, newer ship. But for the very low price this is a good value. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
My husband and I (50-somethings) have been on half-a-dozen cruises, but not since 1/17. All but one of our cruises have been on smaller ships (Vision class Royal Caribbean and M-class Celebrity) and the one on a larger (S-class) ship ... Read More
My husband and I (50-somethings) have been on half-a-dozen cruises, but not since 1/17. All but one of our cruises have been on smaller ships (Vision class Royal Caribbean and M-class Celebrity) and the one on a larger (S-class) ship convinced us small ships are for us. Just a few weeks ago, we decided to take a January vacation and stumbled across a sailing on the Vision of the Seas out of New Orleans. We've never been to New Orleans, or to Key West (one of the ports of call) and the price was unbeatable--I think we paid less than $900 for our inside cabin. Even pre-paying tips and adding in an internet package (about $19/day for two devices), this was a really inexpensive vacation. We spent two nights in New Orleans at the Courtyard Marriott French Quarter/Iberville. It's a great location. We'd stay there again. We did two terrific walking tours with Free Tours by Foot--one of the Garden District and one of the French Quarter. 100% recommended. Did the obligatory coffee and beignets at Cafe du Monde, a muffaletta sandwich in the French Market (half a sandwich is enough for two people) and rode the streetcar. Embarkation was a breeze--hotel lobby to Windjammer in less than 20 minutes.Our Lyft driver knew how to avoid the construction snarls. I gather others were not as lucky. This was our first cruise in an inside cabin, and we were glad to discover it met our needs just fine. There was PLENTY of storage space for two (we had empty drawers) but a little less surface space (the desk is a bit shallower than in a balcony, I think, and the coffee table is replaced with a teeny circular table), so I was glad we'd brought magnets to hold papers on the wall and a shoe holder we hung over the closet door to gather our this-and-that. It helped us keep the surfaces uncluttered. Our cabin was just forward of the Centrum, but we never heard any noise. It was quite convenient to the Centrum, both the forward and aft stairs/elevators, the theater, and the casino (not that we ever went there). I think it was under the casino but we didn't hear any noise from above. The crew is very pleasant and helpful. The activities program was really great, with lots and lots of trivia games, lots of interactive game shows, dance lessons, karaoke, etc. And the passengers were a very game and enthusiastic bunch, always willing to get involved with any game on offer. This gave us plenty to do and plenty to watch when we didn't care to do. The cruise director, Steve, didn't participate in too many of these events (or, at least, not the ones we went to) and we didn't really see him until the "Love and Marriage" Game. But there we were really impressed with his manner. He was warm and not mocking and managed to make the show hilarious while not humiliating the participants. The rest of the activities team (Talita, the manager, and the three hosts, Orlando, Charlie and Jacob) did a nice job of keeping us busy, although I found Talita's and Orlando's senses of humor sometimes veered towards making fun of people. The DJ, Bam, had great playlists (at least, it was to my taste!) and the live music was terrific. The Rockport band, in particular, did a great job. The ports of call were Miami, Nassau, and Key West. The price to book the Hop-on, Hop-off bus in Miami through the ship was the same as the list price on their brochure, and our excursion included a shuttle from/to the cruise port. The price for the Old Town Trolley in Key West was LESS than the online price for Old Town Trolley. Normally I feel like I'm a chump for booking through the cruise line, but this wasn't a bad deal. Plus, in Key West the ENTIRE SHIP had to clear an immigration check (whether or not they wanted to leave the ship), and being booked on the "excursion" to the Old Town Trolley got us off the ship first. So that was a bonus. In Key West we got off at the Hemingway house and took a guided tour. Definitely worth a visit. Such beautiful grounds! The entry fee is a bit steep ($14 pp) though. In Nassau, we booked an excursion to do a flight simulator where my husband, an aviation buff, got to take off and land a 737! He loved it and we're looking for when we can get back to Nassau to do it again. Now for the bad part...the food. Two years ago, we were on the Grandeur of the Seas and discovered that the WJ at dinner time was peaceful and quiet, and that the SAME FOOD was available in the WJ and the MDR! We were delighted by this discovery--especially me, because I love to sample lots of different dishes. We were looking forward to this again, but it turned out this was not the case at all on this cruise. I'm not sure if it's because things have changed fleet-wide in two years, or because it's a different ship, or a different departure port, or what, but the food in the Windjammer was just...SAD. The offerings at dinner were typically mashed potatoes, chicken breast, steamed fish, pizza, hamburgers, hot dogs, PLAIN spaghetti noodles with a vat of sauce...basically the picky eater alternative menu that is usually off to one side while the interesting food is front-and-center. But there was no interesting food. Not even as interesting as a filled pasta (even when tortellini was on the MDR menu--how hard would it be to put a dish of that out on the buffet? There's only one kitchen!) To make it even more irritating, the physical layout of the WJ is just illogical. The main entrees are at a station right inside the door. People entering/exiting have to squeeze by the people trying to serve themselves. It creates a jam up at the entrance that doesn't have to happen. Go look at the Grandeur! Event the Park Cafe managed to make an unappealing roast beef sandwich. (Not the same cut of meat we're used to in the Park Cafe.) Did we starve? No. Once I got over being annoyed, we found it kind of funny. The fries were good. The soft serve ice cream was fine. There was a nice selection of bread and cheese. And on the plus side, I didn't find myself overeating because of all the appealing choices and wanting to try everything. My understanding is that the food in the MDR was better (certainly the menu was more interesting) but we'd booked late and been assigned an 8 pm dining time which conflicted with a number of things we wanted to do. I would have liked to see a couple of lectures (the only port talks were from the shopping "experts" and the shore excursions team, and there wasn't--as far as I saw--even a lecture from a ship's officer about navigation or similar topic). We've enjoyed these in the past. I also would have liked to see more of the activities that took place in the theater broadcast on the stateroom t.v. I didn't come across anything until about Day 5. These are minor issues because we spent most of our time out of the cabin anyway and generally had plenty of things to do. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
We wanted a winter getaway and when we saw that Royal Caribbean was sailing out of New Orleans we decided to give them a try. We liked the fact that the drive from St. Louis to New Orleans was usually an easy drive down I-55, It was not ... Read More
We wanted a winter getaway and when we saw that Royal Caribbean was sailing out of New Orleans we decided to give them a try. We liked the fact that the drive from St. Louis to New Orleans was usually an easy drive down I-55, It was not so this time as 10 miles out of Memphis traveling 75 miles per hour we hit a hawk that shattered our windshield and we had to continue with a damaged windshield all the way to NOLA. We did arrive safe and after spending the night in NOLA we boarded the ship. Having cruised many times the boarding was just about what we expected despite the fact that our boarding agent was a trainee. My wife and I are easy going and if someone is trying to do their job we give them a lot of latitude. With all the new ships being built it seems strange to call a ship that holds 2500 passengers one of the smaller ship but actually I found that I liked the idea of fewer passengers, My wife had been on the Allure of the Seas with our granddaughter and she commented how crowded the public rooms were on the Allure all the time, The ship is a little tired looking but I did not find it off putting but it could use an update. It has been awhile since we cruised on Royal C and I was surprised to find extra charges in the main dining room for upgraded meals along with them trying to sell upgrades of the speciality dining. I found this a little off putting, but did not pressure you. We did purchase the drinks package and my wife took the Wi-Fi package since she is a professional actress in St Louis and was in the process of being cast in a major production in March. I don't know how we came out money wish on the drink package but I do know we had a lot to drink. All the crew that we interacted with we friendly and pleasant. The only problem we encountered was with guest services, In Key West we arranged to have the windshield replaced Saturday morning at 9:00 in NOLA for our drive back to St. and since we were parked in the overflow lot I was concerned as to how we got to that lot with our luggage. We were told to take the shuttle which after getting on same found it did not stop at that lot. We paid the shuttle driver to get us as close to the lot as she could and then we hoofed our luggage to the lot. Guest services seemed to be uninterested in our problem, only bad mark of entire cruise. Food was about what we expected, cabin was kept clean and neat, public rooms were clean as were dinning rooms and buffets. We got off the ship at all stops but only to walk around as we did not book any excursion To sum it up I think that all in all it was a nice getaway and that the crew of Royal C did a fine job. As I said we are easy to please and we don't go out of our way to find fault or look for tings to nit pick, We were fortunate to have pleasant companions at our dining table and again being a "smaller" ship made it easier to get a table at the buffets, around the pool and public rooms. The one highlight of the entertainment was the Thriller Dance. The passengers that took part in the dance really worked hard and the fact that they were made up to look like zombies was a nice touch. The casino had a live dealer at the Texas Holdem table and that too was a nice touch and again being a smaller ship we were able to get a seat at the table. Along with our harrowing drive down we found when we got off the ship that there was a snow storm in St Louis and they had 15" of snow. After waiting 2 hours for or windshield to be replaced we started home after, We debated staying in NOLA but decided to drive till we hit snow, We got within 20 miles of our home and were able to limp home arriving safe and sound.. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
We wanted to try cruising without all the fuss of a larger ship. The Vision of the Seas was a lovely ship with a great crew! We easily were able to navigate and figure out where everything was. The Masquerade theater provided great ... Read More
We wanted to try cruising without all the fuss of a larger ship. The Vision of the Seas was a lovely ship with a great crew! We easily were able to navigate and figure out where everything was. The Masquerade theater provided great comedy entertainment and shows. It was a New Years cruise and the crew provided an awesome party! The service was divine. We were well taken care of and we did have a mishap. My 17 year old daughter smashed her finger in the door and we got to experience the med deck. They took excellent care of her and provided x-rays at no additional cost to us. She had actually fractured her finger in all this but the clinical crew were very helpful and accommodating and it did not ruin her time. The rest of the cruise all our stateroom staff would ask each day how our daughter was feeling. Those extra touches made us feel welcome and cared for! Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
We took a 7 day cruise out of New Orleans. We took this cruise for several reasons. The first reason is because it left from New Orleans. Since we live just outside of New Orleans, it is very convenient to just drive to get on the ship. ... Read More
We took a 7 day cruise out of New Orleans. We took this cruise for several reasons. The first reason is because it left from New Orleans. Since we live just outside of New Orleans, it is very convenient to just drive to get on the ship. The second reason is because it was a Royal Caribbean ship. We have sailed several times with this cruise line. We usually enjoy their ships. The third reason is because it was a New Year's Eve Cruise. Overall the cruise was enjoyable but there were some disappointments with this cruise ship. The entertainment was top notch. The music was good and the entertainers were awesome. Our cabin was very comfortable. We did not have a very attentive room steward. We also did not care for the food in the main dining room. We did not eat in any of the specialty restaurants. The ports were visited were very good except Miami. We landed in Miami on New Year's Day. Most of the tourist attractions were closed. This port was a change in our itinerary. Originally we were supposed to go to Coco Cay. We were very disappointed with the change in itinerary. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
We traveled the week before Christmas with our two kids 10 & 13. We had a wonderful time because that is what we made it! Though there were some cons, we figure life is what you make it. Pros: Service. The service was ... Read More
We traveled the week before Christmas with our two kids 10 & 13. We had a wonderful time because that is what we made it! Though there were some cons, we figure life is what you make it. Pros: Service. The service was amazing. Everyone from our room steward to the dining staff did everything they could to ensure we were happy and taken care of. Our daughter is sensitive to gluten and she couldn't have been happier about how the dining staff took care of her. Christopher in the main dining room brought her the next nights menu every night and said he would make anything she wanted GF (if it was possible). He even made sure she had warm toasted GF bread every time she sat down in the dining room and GF pancakes at breakfast. Our servers were amazing as well. They remembered our names, what we liked, and greeted us like old friends every time we came to the dining room. Those people work so hard, be sure to tip them extra! We had some super rough seas the second to last day which made our daughter and I sea sick. The dining room staff sent my husband out with cut up green apples and GF bread for our daughters upset stomach. The waiter in the centrum who ran out of canned ginger ale, went out of his way to find some fresh ginger in the kitchen, cut it up,and put it in fountain ginger ale to try to help her. The staff continually went out of their way for us. The food. We rarely ate at the Windjammer because of our GF daughter, and I'm not a fan of buffets. Our son enjoyed the variety and the kid type foods there though. We tried to eat in the main dining room as much as we could. The food was delicious in the dining room and our son was so happy to be able to enjoy escargot, crab cakes, salmon, shrimp, spaghetti and clams, etc. The only thing that could have made it better was flavored coffee creamer with the coffee. The port stops. We scheduled excursions on our own and made the most of every port stop. We had so much fun and made lots of memories with our kids. We swam with dolphins, enjoyed an all inclusive at a beautiful beach, snorkeled, and even held a sloth! The room. We had a cheap interior room but our room steward made it up twice a day. It was small but comfortable and met our needs. We didn't go on a cruise to stay in the room. We mostly just needed a place to sleep and shower. This served our purpose. Cons: Activities: There simply weren't enough things going on. We spent time trying to find things to do. A few "trivia" run by an annoying guy and a few other paid events like bingo or events geared toward the older crowd, but that was about it. We had rough seas the last few days and the pool was drained and closed. There simply wasn't anything to do except try not to focus on the ship tossing back and forth. Its a good thing we brought cards. We spent a lot of ship time playing UNO and Phase 10. The highlight was the egg drop (our family participated) and watching the Thriller dance. Get there early if you want to be able to see, even on the upper floors. Kids clubs: The kids refused to go into the kids areas after the first night since my 10 yo said he was "with the babies" (both the older and younger groups are mixed together in a small area and do the activities together). The teenager said the few kids who showed up to the teen "meet and greet" the first night just sat around on their phones and there were no planned activities. After that, she didn't go back. The ice cream machine: My kids were enamored with the idea of ice cream any time they wanted it. It was down more than it was working. Debarkation: We carried our own bags off of the ship. It was an absolute mess. Lines flowing into lines with no clear entrance or exit. People skipping the line, lines weaving all over the ship where just anyone could jump in even though we'd been waiting over 40 minutes. They need a MUCH better system for this! It took us almost an hour of waiting to get off. Overall: Overall we had a good time. The captain did his best despite the awful weather the last few days. (Our whole cabin was creaking and we were literally sliding around in our beds.) It was actually kind of scary. I'd say half of the ship was sick. We enjoyed ourselves on the port stops so much that the ship was really secondary. We would cruise RC again but maybe on a ship that has more to offer. We have already booked a NCL that has water slides and lots of stuff for kids next year. Our kids can't wait! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
Our first Caribbean cruise went very well. The Vision of the Seas isn't a new ship but it is very well maintained. The food was superb, the service excellent, lots of entertaining. We faced a very stormy weather for one entire day and ... Read More
Our first Caribbean cruise went very well. The Vision of the Seas isn't a new ship but it is very well maintained. The food was superb, the service excellent, lots of entertaining. We faced a very stormy weather for one entire day and the ship swayed a lot. My wife got motion sick and crew member gave us a miraculous pill that helped us to heal faster. Two issues they can easily get fixed: 1. The cigarrete smell at the casino should be controled by installing glass slidind doors both edges. 2. Mold smell in the steam sauna. Otherwise, a great ship, a great crew and a wonderful itinerary. Ports of call at Cozumel, Costa Maya and Roatan are excellent choices. This was a family-oriented cruise. Embarkation and disembarkation were smooth and fast. The Captain is accessible, absolutely knowlegeable and participates in a lot of cruise activities and dinners. Restaurants are excellent. Great food and an unique gourmet experience. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2015
This was a 13 night repositioning from New Orleans to Boston via the Southern Caribbean - Grand Cayman, Aruba, Bonaire, St Maarten, St Thomas. Although RCI tries to ensure that the standards are exactly the same on every ship, this ... Read More
This was a 13 night repositioning from New Orleans to Boston via the Southern Caribbean - Grand Cayman, Aruba, Bonaire, St Maarten, St Thomas. Although RCI tries to ensure that the standards are exactly the same on every ship, this Pinnacle member thought that much on Serenade was "just a little bit better" than RCI's norm. Unfortunately we started off with the very worst Airport Meet/Greet that I have ever had. There was no representative in the Luggage Hall where you usually meet them; however a unobtrusive sign directed me to another building, the Transportation Center, where a completely disinterested and sullen RCI rep told me that a bus would be there in 10 min. Sixty-five minutes later a bus finally arrived and so we were finally off to the ship for a very easy check-in and boarding as it was now mid afternoon and most people were already aboard. Other complaints - the absolute worst Internet of all RCI ships, Room Stewards did not come up to go to work until after 9 am, the WORST Windjammer lunch food that I have ever had (and Windjammer was the only option open at noon on in-port days), no wines at less than $30 per bottle, service charge now raised to 18%, less than 50 books in their Book Nook" (Libraries were abandoned on RCI years ago. (they didn't "make money) of which 40 were in German. Compliments - food in all other venues "just a little better" than RCI's norm, wonderful crew morale, excellent canapés/snacks plus drinks at Meet and Mingle event, special luncheon on last day for Cruise Critic members, an Orchid Plant in my stateroom, restoration of Captain's leaving port and mid-day announcements, wonderful Formal Private Dinner for Pinnacle members along with many additional Pinnacle benefits, although the two Production Shows are old and tired they were good, better than average Headliner performers, a lecturer (something that RCI does not usually have aboard), a Catholic priest aboard for daily worship services (something RCI is only lately providing on many of their cruises). As this was a longer cruise and a repositioning, their were over 1450 C&A members aboard including 270 Diamond Plus and 35 Pinnacles. This makes for a completely different and more mature atmosphere aboard - a far cry from the "Spring Break" party cruises that the ship had been doing previously. I had a most enjoyable trip and would say that Radiance Class ships are my favorite on RCI, and Serenade, along with Jewel, are the best of the class. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2015
We are RCI Diamonds so we have a lot of experience with Royal. We found the departure and disembarkation excellent. We are both 69 years old, but this cruise made us feel young. We have never seen so many cruisers on walkers, canes and ... Read More
We are RCI Diamonds so we have a lot of experience with Royal. We found the departure and disembarkation excellent. We are both 69 years old, but this cruise made us feel young. We have never seen so many cruisers on walkers, canes and scooters (good for them...they are still traveling!). We think that is why our walk off with luggage was so quick as most people could not carry there own luggage. We had an ocean view stateroom on deck 3. The room was as expected...clean and fresh. Our stateroom attendant was very courteous as were many of the other stateroom attendants we met. They provided excellent service. As far as entertainment went. We saw three movies. Two on the outdoor screen and one in the too small theater (40 person). The first Serenade production show was a bit uneven and the cast seemed to be not in sync. The second production show was excellent. Everything just clicked. There several dark nights in the theater....and there was the usual game show with spouses. We felt that there could have been more entertainment provided. There were no shows on the Atrium although the equipment was in place to have one. In the Schooner bar one night, the trivia game was hosted by what seemed a 'wasted' host. The next time she evening she appeared to be a bit more in control. We got our drinks there as the Diamond Lounge was overflowing and they seemed to be the best drinks on the ship. Great service there, but a bit noisy. Dining was OK...not great. The menu was heavy on chicken and fish. There were not as many beef selections as on other cruises. Our waiters were just OK on one night then great on another night...so call it a bit spotty. The Windjammer served diner, but it was mostly 'stew' type selections. We were going to try Rita's Cantina. We didn't go because we found that we would the only people there. Chops was good as usual...finally got a good beef selection. The ship condition could use a good inspection. We found several retaining bars with loose screws....one in an elevator. Overall, it was good voyage with interesting ports. However, this was not the best cruise with have been on with Royal. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2015
There was good and not so good. The crew were the friendliest of all my RCCL cruises. I only wish the high price charged for internet was worth it. Waiting to get online was unacceptable. Food in the Dining Room was average. A new ... Read More
There was good and not so good. The crew were the friendliest of all my RCCL cruises. I only wish the high price charged for internet was worth it. Waiting to get online was unacceptable. Food in the Dining Room was average. A new menu was being introduced. I would have liked a couple of "Wow" meals. For entertainment, I enjoyed the movies by the pool best of all. Getting off in Boston was poorly organized. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2015
After reading several opines on this trip I decided to add my humble one also. We ere 7 adults and 4 children, RC experience range from Diamond Plus for PaPa and Grandma to RC newbies, with a few Disney cruises under their belt, so here it ... Read More
After reading several opines on this trip I decided to add my humble one also. We ere 7 adults and 4 children, RC experience range from Diamond Plus for PaPa and Grandma to RC newbies, with a few Disney cruises under their belt, so here it goes. Embarkation security was slow and awkward, once to the RC line all went well. Our cabin steward met us and all was fine for the rest of the trip. Eats The food in the main dining room is slipping in our experience, however, the waitstaff was great to the children ranging in age from 18 month to 10 years, well done. We were typically one of the last out of the 5:30 sitting and did not feel rushed at all. I have the same opine on the Windjammer, lower selection and quality over the years. We never had any probable with seating nor service, the servers were always at out table asking if they could get us anything. Entertainment Directors cruise staff was great, needed anything they were there. Main theather has the typical mix of jugglers, comedians and RC cast shows and was typically good. Pool Pool band of two, needs improvement, more players, more songs and more time. Most times we could find a pool chair. Bar Staff Well there bar staff, happy times. Debarkation UNBELIEVEABLE short, the ship was delayed an hour due to traffic on the river, but we dinged out and nine minutes later we had our luggage was thru customs, phoned our limo bus and they were there..... The Serenade, Radiance class ship has its pluses and minuses, but we never felt crowded with 1900 of the nominal 2100 passengers onboard. So overall, it's not a five star luxury ocean liner, it's a cruise ship with most folks wanting to have a good time and not complain, about everything. We enjoyed the family vacay and were treated well across the board.....Its not the Ritz but certainly a good value for your money in my opine. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2015
Having just returned from 7 nights on the Serenade of the Seas, there are a few areas that could use improvements. This was my first experience with " my time dining" and proved out to work well. We were able to book the same ... Read More
Having just returned from 7 nights on the Serenade of the Seas, there are a few areas that could use improvements. This was my first experience with " my time dining" and proved out to work well. We were able to book the same table and wait staff and time for every night. I do find the menu needs some updating. We did dine at Chops and Giovanni's table, of the two I prefer Gionanni's table. Ate very few meals in Windjammer because I do not like buffets but when we did the staff was attentive and got our drinks for us. The cruise director and staff were very visible and friendly. RCCL is my choice if they go where I want to go. Was recognized for 280 cruise nights with RCCL on this cruise and have 36 more booked before the end of the year. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2015
We cruised out of New Orleans on March 14th, 2015. We arrived in New Orleans a day early and stayed at the Hyatt across from the Convention Center. We parked our car at the Fulton Garage right next door. If you book your parking on line ... Read More
We cruised out of New Orleans on March 14th, 2015. We arrived in New Orleans a day early and stayed at the Hyatt across from the Convention Center. We parked our car at the Fulton Garage right next door. If you book your parking on line ahead of time it is a lot cheaper. And so convenient. We will always park at the Fulton Garage from now on when going on a cruise out of New Orleans. We ate at Mannings on Friday night. It was very good. I would highly recommend going to Mannings. It is located in Fulton Square. Boarding the ship was very easy. We were dropped off at the pier around 11:00 and we were easily on board by 11:30. Went directly to the Windjammer for lunch. Went to the back of the Windjammer and went outside to eat. Great place to eat. Could always find a nice table out there. The ship was very nice. We had traveled on the Serenade in February of 2013 and not much had changed as far as the appearance of the ship. However, the crew had changed quite a bit. When we traveled in 2013 there was a husband and wife team. The husband was the cruise director, I believe, and the wife was in charge of activities on the ship. They were great. This time was very different. The new cruise director, in my personal opinion, was not very good. She was older and didn't have the personality to do the position of cruise director justice. And the younger girl out by the pool in charge of activities out there was even worse. Could not for the life of her, generate any energy. The games by the pool were rather boring and there was not very much participation. Having said that... we do not cruise for the cruise director or the activities by the pool. I am a firm believer that the cruise is what you make of it. And we had a great cruise. Met many new friends. Enjoyed other venues of the ship. We only went to the main dining room on three occasions. We had anytime dining, which works out perfectly for us. We always like to see what is going on each day in the evenings before we decide when and where to eat. Each evening the food in the Windjammer was practically the same as in the main dining room. So we weren't missing out on much. The idea of having to go in at a certain time to get cleaned up for dinner is not too becoming to us. We did not do any of the specialty restaurants this time. We did Chops in 2013 and we weren't too impressed with the food or our waiter. We did do Rita's one evening and it was very good and nice to sit outside and eat. We really liked to sit outside in the evenings and eat. Added so much to our cruise. We also enjoyed going to the Park Café for lunch on most days. Very fresh sandwiches and salads. And I am sure they were probably a lot better for us considering all the other junk we were eating (ice cream... lots of ice cream). We always eat our lunch in port whenever we had a port day. That way we don't get too tired of the food on board. Our cabin steward was great. His name was "Happy". He took care of all of our needs. They should give him a raise. Also, twice in our room we had a problem. First time was with the T.V. We could not get a good picture. We called and within five minutes we had someone in our cabin fixing it. The second time we were having trouble with our air... it continued to get very hot. We called and that time we had someone in our room within ten minutes fixing it. High praise for the "fixers" on the ship. We enjoy watching movies at night on the screen by the pool. However, on the Serenade, it is a little awkward. You have to be on a certain side of the pool to get full view of the screen. And, the sound is not too good. However, we did enjoy two shows during our cruise. The theater shows were O.K. I have seen much better. The theater is very large and we never had a problem getting a seat. There were a lot of activities on the ship so you always had something to do. Zack in the Crown and Castle Pub was very good. We usually went in there every night for a while. He was from Australian. Very good entertainment. The Pub is a little small. Every night it was packed. Later at night they had adult karaoke in the Pub. As it was Spring break there were a lot of kids on the ship. However, that didn't bother us. In fact, they were very well behaved kids. Even the college kids behaved themselves. And you could tell they were all having fun. As I said before... your cruise is what you make of it. We hit three ports... Falmouth, Jamaica; Grand Cayman; and Cozumel. We thoroughly enjoyed each port. In Jamaica and Cozumel we booked out excursions on line with independent tours. Much cheaper tan booking through the ship. In Jamaica we went to the Hilton Rose Hall on a day pass. Very nice. People there were extremely nice. Had a great day there, even though it rained a little. In Cozumel we booked a tour of the island driving a convertible volkswagon. Our tour guide was Omar. He was great. We made several stops, including one for lunch, which was included in our cost. Had a great day on Cozumel. Weather was perfect. In Grand Cayman we just shopped and ate lunch at The Bar at the Sunset House. Very nice... right on the water. Great view of the ship. It was about a mile south of where the boat was docked. We walked it. Very nice walk; however, some may have chosen to take a cab. Would definitely go back there. Very nice place to have lunch. I probably won't go on the Serenade again. We have done it twice. Nothing to do with the crew or any shortcomings the ship may have had. Just want to try something different next time. It was very convenient for us each time we went on the Serenade as it went out of New Orleans and it is easy for us to drive there and board the ship. Saves a lot on airfare. We found out that Royal Caribbean will no longer be going out of New Orleans after March. Someone said they did not choose to renew their contract. Getting off the ship went very well. They are very organized and it went very smoothly. Said getting off that morning. We had such a great week. Wished we could have done it all over again. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2015
We started out with a Pre-Cruise at Holiday Inn Downtown Superdome in New Orleans. We can enthusiastically recommend this hotel if you are staying there. We found the service, friendliness of the staff and the rooms were all excellent! ... Read More
We started out with a Pre-Cruise at Holiday Inn Downtown Superdome in New Orleans. We can enthusiastically recommend this hotel if you are staying there. We found the service, friendliness of the staff and the rooms were all excellent! EMBARKATION- This was a breeze. We had priority boarding, but it didn't seem to make a difference. It was very well organized. CABIN- The cabin was well laid out with lots of storage space and a decent size balcony. It was very clean and the bed was comfortable. CABIN ATTENDANT- The cabin attendant was pretty efficient. She wasn't very personable and we did not see her around a lot, but she kept the room clean and was prompt to respond to any requests. MDR- We ate in the Main Dining Room 3 of the 7 nights. After the first night, we did not have to ask for the same table. We had a table for two, but there was a table for 4 right next to us and the same 2 couples were there each night. Very nice people. The quality of the food was much better than I was expecting. We really liked our assistant waiter, but never once met the waiter. This applies only to dinner. We did eat in the MDR for breakfast one morning and it was not a good experience. WINDJAMMER/PARK CAFE- The food in the buffet was also very good and there was a wide variety to choose from. The scrambled eggs for breakfast as well as the hash browns, were generally not hot, but there were a couple of omelet stations where you could get eggs cooked to order. If you just wanted a snack, there was the Park Cafe for sandwiches. BARS- Believe it or not, we did check out several of the bars. If you have ever been on an RCI ship, there is no need to discuss the Schooner Bar as they are the same on every one. We used that one a lot if we just wanted to relax for a bit or get on the internet (BTW, the wi-fi on the ship was really slow). The Crown and Castle Pub is right by the auditorium and we stopped there fairly often. The only other bars we went to with any regularity were the R Bar, which was in the Centrum, and the Pool Bar, which was conveniently located by the pool. BARTENDERS- There were no bartenders that really stood out, except for maybe Vic in the C&C Pub and maybe our drinks server in the MDR. The overall service was very good and the lounge service was exceptional, for the most part. GUEST ENTERTAINERS- The guests entertainers were top notch. We enjoyed those shows very much. MAIN SHOWS- It only took one of these shows to tell us we did not want to waste our time going to any others. the talent of their crew, especially the lead male singer was average at best. LOUNGE ENTERTAINMENT- This was a high point for us. They had a couple piano players and a couple guitarists, each playing a different style. Their singers were good, but not great. CROWN AND ANCHOR PIER EVENT- This is the lamest excuse for an event we have ever seen. Seats were jammed together, so if you didn't get there early, you were pretty much out of luck. They didn't have the different managers up front to introduce them individually, and the Captain didn't even speak. Most of the speaking was done by the Assistant CD. SHORE EXCURSION- We only did one shore excursion and it was post cruise. It was a tour of New Orleans with an Airport drop off. We did this excursion because our plane wasn't scheduled to depart until later. It was worth the price. DISEMBARKATION- This was very well organized and there were no problems. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2015
We are loyal Royal Caribbean customers. This was our 8th cruise. The Serenade is a smaller ship than we use to and we sailed out of New Orleans. Our Cabin was great. This was our first experience with a balcony room. Once you go ... Read More
We are loyal Royal Caribbean customers. This was our 8th cruise. The Serenade is a smaller ship than we use to and we sailed out of New Orleans. Our Cabin was great. This was our first experience with a balcony room. Once you go balcony you can never go back. The dinning room felt overly crowded and the servers didn't seem very knowledgeable. On past cruises the waiter seamed to go the extra step, made dinner fun. Our port were Fairmouth Jamaica, Cozumel, Grand Cayman. We enjoyed 2 of the 3 port. Jamaica is a very poor town, and unless you take a shore excursion to the falls, (which we had already done on a previous cruise) there is nothing much to do in the safe shopping area. The other two port were great. We snorkeled and swam with the dolphins. The worst part of the cruise was the mystery dinner. This was a staged murder mystery that we were lead to believe that we were to solve the mystery. It was in a work DUMB. Not only was it not entertaining, it was scheduled on the same night as the lobster dinner which we ended up missing. Not cool! Read Less
Sail Date: February 2015
We were originally scheduled to sail on this cruise on Jan 24 with 4 other couples. Our cabin was one of 150 or so that were cancelled at the last minute due to water pipe break/electrical failure in front of ship. This part was not well ... Read More
We were originally scheduled to sail on this cruise on Jan 24 with 4 other couples. Our cabin was one of 150 or so that were cancelled at the last minute due to water pipe break/electrical failure in front of ship. This part was not well handled or well communicated by RCCL - we grade them a FAIL for this part (unrelated to this review, though). We flew home after waiting 6 hrs at the dock. We rebooked the same cruise for a sailing 2 wks later. Generally, we would NOT have selected this cruise unless we were traveling with our 8 friends. The itinerary has too few ports for our liking. Also, at this time of year, Cococay is almost ALWAYS cancelled .... too much wave action. (we were actually surprised that it was cancelled on this cruise because the seas were relatively calm). The captain pulls up beside the private island and explains why you will not be tendering ... however, you will be surprised when you look out to the ocean and notice minimal waves. The embarkation and disembarkation were the BEST experience that we have had versus any of our prior 8 cruises on RCCL, Princess, NCL, Carnival. Well done !! We arrived at 1030 am for embarkation .... very smooth. We were VERY pleasantly surprised that we enjoyed the 5 sea days. Many activities on the ship, of course, and we met many nice cruisers. Approx 2000 passengers vs 2200 capacity on this sailing   Read Less
Sail Date: January 2015
The state room was extremely clean, the staff were friendly & the ship was small. We were at sea for two days and the pool deck was extremely crowded. I enjoyed the dinner in the main dining room but some of the servers were somewhat ... Read More
The state room was extremely clean, the staff were friendly & the ship was small. We were at sea for two days and the pool deck was extremely crowded. I enjoyed the dinner in the main dining room but some of the servers were somewhat rude. They would walk in front of you not waiting for you to pass, and one waitress made us wait almost 10 minutes before taking our order. The head waiter noticed us sitting there & he just took over our table. The specialty restaurant Izumi was off the hook delicious! The staff were fun & friendly and it was affordable considering the quality of the food. The entertainment was also very well planned, the cruise director also entertained and he was very energetic. The last night of the cruise the ship lost power in the state rooms, including heat, It was difficult packing with glow sticks. This is the second time I sailed on an older RCCL & the last. I prefer larger, newer ships. Overall the cruise was a fun time but the last night put a damper on things. No word if RCCL will provide us with a credit for the inconvenience of the malfunction of their ship. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2015
First let me start by saying I am a long time cruiser with Royal Caribbean and have been Diamond for a while. Below is my review of our cruise (10 being perfect thru 1 lousy). EMBARKATION: No problem as we arrived around 10:30. Although ... Read More
First let me start by saying I am a long time cruiser with Royal Caribbean and have been Diamond for a while. Below is my review of our cruise (10 being perfect thru 1 lousy). EMBARKATION: No problem as we arrived around 10:30. Although we are Diamond, there was no line for us so we took our turn with all of the others. After we checked in, the ship was not ready for another 45 or 60 minutes, so we just had a seat (8). Once onboard, everything proceeded at a normal pace. SHIP: Ship seemed to be well maintained (8). The only problems were the long waits for elevators while they passed by the floor, also and the temperature in the Schooner bar area was always chilly. On the last day before the ‘Farewell Show’ started in the theater and fore quarter of the ship lost power from the front elevators forward. It would stay off until after the following cruise at least. C.D. John and Katrina and the rest of the crew handled it in a very professional manner. The Captain even came on the speaker and gave us an update of the seriousness of the flooding and electrical shorts that occurred. It looked like the fix would take a while. Our cabin was right behind the darkened halls so we were fortunate. We finished packing and prepared to go to bed. CABIN: Our interior cabin was small like they always are, but who stays in their cabin?? Everything worked with no calls to maintenance for anything (9). A special WOW shout out to our cabin Stewart CARLOS. On the first day DW let him know what we needed and without making notes said he would remember. Well he remembered everything told to him and nothing was missed (10). SPA: The SPA was well maintained and clean. Every sea day DW and I would use the treadmills and bikes because of course we were on a cruise. We attended a ‘Good Feet’ presentation which was enjoyed by both of us. Fernando (DW loved his dance with the Village People) and Jessee were very good at their jobs (8). FOOD: We ate all meals, including dinner in the Windjammer falsely believing that the diner food would be almost as good as the main dining room. What has happened to the Windjammer selections and quality (3). Breakfast: We always had an omelet after the first day of hard, dry scrambled eggs. The waffles with Strawberries and whipped cream were very good and very filling. The rest of the breakfast was just average - overall (6). Lunch: A carving station usually with beef brisket, cauliflower, hamburger, hotdogs, pasta and a couple of other hot dishes. Desserts were the best part. The chocolate roll was awesome (10), the best dessert I have had in a looong time. I could have been happy (fat but happy) on a dozen pieces every day. Unfortunately if you came a bit later, it was all gone (7 with chocolate rolls), (4 without the chocolate roll). Dinner: Basically leftovers from lunch. If you wanted beef curry, there was always some to be had. Except for the very good vanilla ice cream, dinner was well below average (2). I would like to give a special WOW to Wang Xu. She was so personable we seeked her out for breakfast and dinners for good conversation she provided. ENTERTAINMENT: Overall pretty good as compared with some others we have seen (8) The ventriloquist Ronn Lucas was hysterical (10). We enjoyed it so much we went back for the second show. Singer and dancer Earl had us up and enjoying (9). The cast ensemble was pretty good. (Vibe-ology (8). Stage-to-screen (6)). We missed the farewell show due to electrical problems mentioned earlier. The Centrum shows, like the Cirque De Soliel flying show and the return to the 70’s are very well done, but you have to get there early to be able to get a good viewpoint y the railings (8). Finally a special WOW to Raphael, a 11 or 12 year special child protégé who plays the piano better than any professional I have ever heard. He also assisted one night in the theater (10). PORTS: Falmouth – As we were in with the Oasis, we just took our time and walked around the port area with our first day in the warm sun (6). Grand Cayman – Took an excursion though RCI titled Land And Sea, which stopped at the turtle farm, where I was able to hold and pet a turtle while DW took pictures. Unfortunately there was just not enough time to do everything (8). Next was Hell. A small but very interesting geological formation. So we spent a little time in Hell until we got back on the van (7). Next was a stop at the Rum Cake factory, with samples, which I must agree were very good (6). Finally we took a submersible ride on the Nautilus which was very entertaining, educational and well enjoyed (10). Cozumel – We again shopped around the port area as we were once again in with the Oasis (5). POOLS: We spent time at the Solarium pool a couple of days and enjoyed it immensely because it was quiet. I still do not understand the saving of chairs. One lady while we looked for a lounger moved her stuff from two different chairs and put it back on the lounger she was already using in the next row. We never went to the main pool to hang out or to see any of the MUTS shows (9), but we did enjoy the belly flop competition looking down on it from the upper deck. DEBARKATION: Went smoothly except for the usual delays slightly were more pronounced, but I chalked it up to the problem with the electricity being out in the front of the ship (8). MISC: The Muster drill was painless (9). The Photo gallery was well documented and were able to find our pictures without incident. They should have more help on the last sea day though (7). Due to eating at the Windjammer for dinner, we were able to spend more time at the Diamond Club and as always it was run expertly (10). Meet and Mingle event appeared to be over as soon after it started and it felt like we were given the bums rush (4).   Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2014
I am going to start my review off by admitting that our experience may have been less than optimal as a result of the fact that we were the last cruise before the Christmas cruise. My wife and I have been cruising for almost a decade now ... Read More
I am going to start my review off by admitting that our experience may have been less than optimal as a result of the fact that we were the last cruise before the Christmas cruise. My wife and I have been cruising for almost a decade now and we have been cruising with Royal Caribbean for the majority of our cruises. Unfortunately, this was one of our worst Royal Caribbean experiences. The Good: This ship is older and smaller than many in the fleet, but don't let that deter you - it's been immaculately maintained. I understand they have recently renovated the ship, and it's in great shape! My wife and I have always enjoyed traditional dining and have been disappointed industry-wide that the dining room experience has seemed to be on the decline. Our last cruise on the Allure of the Seas, we were absolutely horrified by the quality of the dining room food. The Serenade of the Seas, however, renewed our faith in quality dining room food and service. There was a great selection, the food was fresh and the service was AMAZING. This is literally the ONLY time on a cruise ship that I've ordered a steak in the dining room rare and it actually come out as ordered. We were very pleased. The Bad: The entertainment options on the ship were extremely disappointing. The only option for entertainment after midnight was the "club" and even it was a ghost town. Again, this very well may be a result of the demographics of the passengers or the time of year and not the fault of the cruise. The ship was absolutely dead after 11:00 at night. It literally blew our minds. We always love sitting in the Pub listening to late night live music, and the pub on this ship didn't even have live music - just karaoke. The other negative we experienced was the lack of late-night dining options. On most Royal Caribbean ships we've been on, the Wind Jammer has always had food at least until midnight, if not a midnight buffet. The Wind Jammer on this ship closed at 8 PM and after that literally all you could get was either a hot dog by the pool or room service - which had an extremely limited menu as well. Otherwise, the trip was great. I'm not sure I would go on this ship again, but I'll definitely still give Royal Caribbean a pass that perhaps we caught them on an off week. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2014
We arrived at the Hyatt Place in New Orleans the day before our cruise, the hotel is quite noisy, our room was facing the street. Embarkation was fine, after getting on the ship our room was ready by 1pm. We lounged in the Sloarium, which ... Read More
We arrived at the Hyatt Place in New Orleans the day before our cruise, the hotel is quite noisy, our room was facing the street. Embarkation was fine, after getting on the ship our room was ready by 1pm. We lounged in the Sloarium, which is quite nice since its kid free. Very tranquil... Lunch in the Windjammer was pleasant. Salads were always fresh and they had a nice assortment of breads and cheeses. We stayed in cabin 3074. Our steward was a dream, wish I could have brought him home with me !! He was so attentive and we always had a fresh bucket of ice ! We ate in the MDR every night except for the last night. We went to Chops. I must say, it is pricier than it was worth. The MDR had food that was comparable. Our wait staff was great. The nightly shows were ok, they did have the Las Vegas Tenors one night and they were superb !! The ship itself is nice. not a lot of flash, just comfy. The wine selection could use a bit of variety but it was tolerable. The prices of course are always exhorbitant. We did bring 2 bottles on board and were not charged for corkage which was a plus. First stop was Jamaica, if you are ever there, enjoy their veggie patties, they are great !! Next stop Grand Cayman, we had to tender in and take a taxi downtown which was inconvenient but it was due to high winds that day. The tortuga rum cakes there are awesome. Cozumel was just.....Cozumel. Nothing new....same pushy sales people. If you are in the market for booze to bring back, look no further than the ship !! The prices are always less expensive and if you see something you want in another store off the ship and it's cheaper, just take a picture of the price and Royal Caribbean will match it !! So no hauling around bottles !! Disembarkation went ok, had to wait over an hour for a piece of our luggage, do not have a clue where it went but they found it. Customs a breeze, back to the hotel, then sight seeing in New Orleans. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2014
We booked the Serenade of the Seas for a cruise over Christmas It was a surprise for my mother in law and our 7 year old daughter. Overall we were pleased with the cruise. Dining in Reflections was hit or miss. Kids program was OK but not ... Read More
We booked the Serenade of the Seas for a cruise over Christmas It was a surprise for my mother in law and our 7 year old daughter. Overall we were pleased with the cruise. Dining in Reflections was hit or miss. Kids program was OK but not as good as Disney's. Hallways were hard to maneuver with a wheelchair when attendants were cleaning the cabins. Had to go up and around to get to places. We had handicap accessible ocean view room 4008 and balcony 8008 just above the S on Serenade. The balcony is the same as other balconies but has a piece blocking the front since it is the first bale on deck 8. Read Less
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