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4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
This was our 8th cruise with RC and we were excited for the many ports, especially three days in St. Petersburg. Really liked that the ship spent two days in Stockholm, three in St. Petersburg and two in Copenhagen at the end of the ... Read More
This was our 8th cruise with RC and we were excited for the many ports, especially three days in St. Petersburg. Really liked that the ship spent two days in Stockholm, three in St. Petersburg and two in Copenhagen at the end of the cruise. Royal Caribbean usually does a good job with embarkation but the first day, the Windjammer was a mess, totally packed, no seats for everyone. Getting a nice table for My Time Dining was difficult...the dining room hosts were harried and not easy to work with the first two days. It just seemed to be unsettled for a few days... then got better. The ship is tired and in need of refurbishing. It's also felt quite small and crowded for the number of passengers. The food was just okay. Two years ago, we were blown away by the specialty restaurants. This time, after eating at Giovanni's and Chops...we felt the dining room food was just as good. The staff has been reduced and those left work very had and are tired. We may try a more upscale cruise line for our next trip.. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
We've chosen this cruise for the ports of the Baltic cities but the ship could not stop at Riga because of the wind. This really disappointed me and I think there should be an alternative when these things happen as, I think, weather ... Read More
We've chosen this cruise for the ports of the Baltic cities but the ship could not stop at Riga because of the wind. This really disappointed me and I think there should be an alternative when these things happen as, I think, weather inconveniences should be quite frequent in that latitudes. Some people choose the cruises just for the cities to visit not for the entertainments. On the other hand, there are some stops with absolute no sense that could have been saved in favour of staying more hours in an important city such as Helsinki. I do not know if the navigation day could have been saved if the ship would have navigate more than 10 knots (18 km/h). Prices were quite expensive specially for alcoholic beverages and internet connection. Service were excellent, staff were very helpful specially in the restaurants and cabins but some furnishings are ready to be replaced. Food is extremely abundant and good quality and there are a lot of activities during the whole day if you want to be entertained. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
We, 2 adults, chose this cruise specifically for the itinerary, mostly for the 3 days in St Petersburg. The itinerary was awesome, as were most of the shore excursions booked through RCI. The ship is tired and in need of upgrades, ... Read More
We, 2 adults, chose this cruise specifically for the itinerary, mostly for the 3 days in St Petersburg. The itinerary was awesome, as were most of the shore excursions booked through RCI. The ship is tired and in need of upgrades, particularly the furniture in the cabins, although I did find more than enough storage room in the cabins. As we took advantage of the excursions, we did not spend alot of time on the ship, as there was little that entertained us. We don't use the casino, nor the bars. We tried the hot tub once, but were put off by the loud, brutish men and their women who made it difficult to converse or find a space. The dining was less than we had expected from other cruises, including RCI. We did buy the 3 option specialty dining but neither of the restaurants provided the additional value one expects when paying for additional quality and service. The buffets were fine, although finding a place to sit and enjoy your meal was a challenge. We used those as opportunities to chat with others, although some large groups only spoke with their own. The entertainment varied from very good (pianist and guitarist) to poor (the band in the Centrum). The stage band and productions were quite good. Service varied from very good (cabin steward) to poor (buffet staff) as I was disappointed that buffet staff seemed slow to clear tables to make room for others. The ports were very good and with the exception of a couple, the shore excursions were good. They need to be better described as clearly people in need of mobility devices delayed a couple of our tours, as the tours in the Baltic are quite strenuous. One tour was supposed to be a city tour with amber, but turned out to be totally focussed on amber, which was a disappointment. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2017
Great - the stay of 3 days in St. Petersburg was why we took this cruise instead of the 2 day only stays on cruise lines we normally take (NCL, Oceania, Viking). The other ports were interesting, though a couple seemed like ... Read More
Great - the stay of 3 days in St. Petersburg was why we took this cruise instead of the 2 day only stays on cruise lines we normally take (NCL, Oceania, Viking). The other ports were interesting, though a couple seemed like "filler" days. Several other folks we met were also on the cruise only because of the 3 day stay; most were otherwise disappointed. Very good - The table service in the main dining room and room steward. The cabin was in reasonable shape except for badly scratched furniture. They are to do a refurb in Nov. and had started to do some replacements during the cruise. OK - entertainment was hit or miss. Not sure what age group it was targeted for. Band was very good. Other performers were so-so and played often during the cruise; not much variety. Movies were welcome, though crowded to overflow. On the cancelled port call day, the movie should have been moved to the big theatre. Poor - Staff gave wrong information frequently. One day 2, we returned to ship at 2:35pm and went to dining room. After finding it, closed, the attendant told us the pool cafe was open. NOT. It didn't open until 1 1/2 hours later. So no food until 4pm. Shore excursion people told passengers that there was no transport available in Warnemunde. WRONG. The train station is 200 yards from the dock. Hit or miss - the food. The first 3-4 days were poor quality and not inspiring, but then improved. Nothing was really stellar; the most consistently good food was the French onion soup! Bottom line - I think I'll stick with more upscale cruise lines in the future. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2017
Staff great with exception of crown and anchor director who seemed to cater to a select few. Very evident that ship is in desperate need of updating. Had a balcony yet cabin was smaller than a postage stamp..not much can be changed there. ... Read More
Staff great with exception of crown and anchor director who seemed to cater to a select few. Very evident that ship is in desperate need of updating. Had a balcony yet cabin was smaller than a postage stamp..not much can be changed there. You get spoiled on a larger ship. Will keep this in mind when booking next cruise. Children allowed in pools constantly and hot tubs became swimming pools for the children. Saw a baby with parents who was not trained in the pool on numerous occasions and in hot tub when signs clearly state no children who are not trained. KIDS allowed to jump in the pools when again signs clearly state this is prohibited. When I told the attendant, he stated that this could not be enforced. TAKE THE SIGNS DOWN IF YOU HAVE NO INTENTION OF ENFORCING THEM. NOT A PLEASANT EXPERIENCE AT THE POOLS AND HOT TUBS DURING THE HOURS KIDS WERE PRESENT. We are glad we are Crown and Anchor but see so many cutbacks since we began cruising in 1982. Sad. Do not want Royal Caribbean to become like Carnival. Food was good but again quality has slipped somewhat. Dining service outstanding..great personable staff. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
I chose this cruise because of the itinerary. I prefer the mid-size and the Serenade was perfect. We flew to Stockholm 3 days before our cruise to explore this wonderful city. Embarkation went very smoothly as well as disembarkation. ... Read More
I chose this cruise because of the itinerary. I prefer the mid-size and the Serenade was perfect. We flew to Stockholm 3 days before our cruise to explore this wonderful city. Embarkation went very smoothly as well as disembarkation. Our ports of call after Stockholm were, Tallinn, Estonia, 3 days in St. Petersburg, Russia, Helsinki, Finland. Unfortunately we had to skip Riga, Latvia because of severe weather conditions, Berlin, Germany, Fredericia, Denmark and Copenhagen, Denmark. We booked all of our tours with the ship except for St. Petersburg. We booked a 3 day tour with Alla Tours recommended by Trip Advisor. It was a great choice. We were a group of 16. We went to the Fabrege Museum which was skipped by the ship's tour. The entertainment and activities were the usual. The highlight was a Russian Folkloric Dance group that performed for us. The tours we booked with the ship were very good except for Fredericia. We chose a tour of Hans Christian Anderson's home and a museum devoted to his life. This was a five hour tour with no break for a snack or something to drink. We all asked the tour guide for a chance to get something to eat. I would not recommend the tour. As we approached the ship the towns people set up a crafts fair. A lot of us asked to get off the bus. There was also a concession stand that had fabulous ice cream and drinks. As we walked back to the ship, there was also a small classic apcar show. That was the best part of Fredericia. The people of all of the ports were happy to see us and were very friendly. It made me realize that people around the world are all the same. I hope we shined as ambassadors of peace. Our cruise director was Topi from Finland. He was very entertaining as well as the rest of his staff. The assistant cruise director was from Russia and though I usually don't go to the enrichment programs, I was glad I went to this one. The topic was 1000 years of Russian History. It was excellent. We had a balcony cabin and had an excellent cabin steward. I thought that 2 cabin stewards for a whole hall was too much work, but both of them were excellent and worked very hard. The towel animals were great. We had dinner in the dinning room , did go to 3 of the specialty restaurants. The food choices were very good. My complaint about the Windjammer was that the tables were not bused in a timely manner because of inadequate staffing. The main dinning room was not open during port days which made the Windjammer a nightmare because there were too many passengers trying to eat and not enough available tables. Someone told us that the Serenade is going into dry dock for some upgrades, which are needed but on the whole it was a beautiful ship. I would like to add that we did our Air, hotels and transfers through Royal Caribbean. I was very happy with this arrangement because Stockholm was quite a distance from the airport. We stayed for 2 extra days in Copenhagen, and a prepaid taxi took us to the airport. I was very pleased with the all of the arrangements made by Royal Caribbean. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2017
I chose this cruise for the cruise line and the destinations.The ship is a little dated but nice. the cabin was a little dated, refrigerator didn't work.. The dining in assigned time was "boring", the Windjammer was a 4 out of 5. ... Read More
I chose this cruise for the cruise line and the destinations.The ship is a little dated but nice. the cabin was a little dated, refrigerator didn't work.. The dining in assigned time was "boring", the Windjammer was a 4 out of 5. The entertainment was fantastic. Service of the staff was very good. Best stateroom attendant we've ever had.Ports and shore excursions were good, and had some good selections. I was pick pocketed in Russia. at the Church of the Spilled Blood. We were given a gentle warning of the area for pick pockets. Afterwards the authorities didn't care, the tour guide didn't have anything to say either way and avoided us the rest of the 3 day tour. The service desk on the ship was very helpful with communications home for needed info.We later learned of another in our group that was also hit. It seems that the tour guides were communicating with each other all morning and not conveying to the people on the tours that the pick pockets were very bad that day at this location. I fault the tour guides, their companies and Royal Caribbean for not skipping that area that day because of the large number of pick pockets. It was a Royal Caribbean excursion. I do not recommend the 3 day excursion in Russia for safety reasons..Russia has some beautiful sites but its not worth the risk. The rest of the cruise was jam up and jelly tight.The excursions especially in Russia are extremely pricey. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
We chose this cruise because the timing fit into our schedule, the price was right, and we enjoyed the Baltic area on a previous cruise. We had been to all but three of the scheduled ports. We live in the south of the U.S., so the cool ... Read More
We chose this cruise because the timing fit into our schedule, the price was right, and we enjoyed the Baltic area on a previous cruise. We had been to all but three of the scheduled ports. We live in the south of the U.S., so the cool temperature (highs rarely exceeding 72 degrees) felt refreshing. The weather was decent; we only had rain a couple of days. Unfortunately, we had to abort our call in Riga, as the winds were too high to safely navigate the strait into port, and they were expected to increase later in the day, which would have made it even more difficult to get out later. Riga was one of the cities we had not previously visited, so this was very disappointing. The stop in Helsinki was a bit short, but pleasant. It was nice having three days in St. Petersburg. Having been there before and having seen many of the sites already, we were able to pace ourselves, only taking a half-day excursion each day. Many of our fellow tourists were worn out, trying to see it all with two- and three-day package tours. One night, a wonderful team of local Russian dancers came on board to entertain us. It was also nice having overnights on both ends (Stockholm and Copenhagen) so we had a little time to explore these magnificent cities again. Talinn was a great stop, although much more touristy than it was when we were there in 2001. Fredericia, Denmark, and Klaipeda, Lithuania--the two ports besides Riga we had not been to-- did not have much to offer, but were pleasant stops and the people were welcoming. Because the cruise was so port-intensive, we didn't take too much advantage of the onboard activities. There was decent entertainment in the lounge almost every night. The Royal theater has a good design, with few bad seats. There was a separate movie theater, also with a good design, and frequent movies--although not much time on board to see them. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2017
We chose this cruise for the Baltic capitals itinerary, which exactly matched our requirements. Most things that you would expect on a ship with 2,400 passengers was as we expected. The dining options were good and varied, ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the Baltic capitals itinerary, which exactly matched our requirements. Most things that you would expect on a ship with 2,400 passengers was as we expected. The dining options were good and varied, entertainments were available most of the time and of a reasonable quality, our stateroom was well equipped and matched the description in the literature, and transfers to/from the ship were well organised. The only general problem we had was the noise levels. In the main dining room (supposedly a 'sophisticated' experience), the background music was so loud that my wife and I had to yell at each other to make ourselves heard. How large groups fared I shudder to think. Also, the bass player in the band that entertained in the Centrum until midnight could be heard in our cabin on Deck 7, at the far end of the ship. This was totally unnecessary, as their audience sat only 25/50 yards from where they were playing. If loud, unnecessary noise bothers you, avoid this ship. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
Great cruise. All the stops in the Baltic were incredible. Riga is a very very nice city, that surprised us. St Petesburg is a huge city and the Hermitage was too crowded. Peterhof was a very entertaining and educational activity. In ... Read More
Great cruise. All the stops in the Baltic were incredible. Riga is a very very nice city, that surprised us. St Petesburg is a huge city and the Hermitage was too crowded. Peterhof was a very entertaining and educational activity. In Tallin we went to the mediaval castle and had a great time with my child. Very good for grownups and children. The food at the windjammer was very fresh and good. At the Reflections restaurant food every day had its highlights. At Schooners and the bars, they are not very frienndly when you dont ask for non alcoholic beverages, but nothing too bad! The stateroom (I was in an internal one for the first time in my cruiselife!) was good. We were 4 and found place for everyone. Bathroom had everything you needed. The adventure kids club was so good that my son wanted to be all day there! We had to go and pick him up! Great entertainment for kids. Read Less
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