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2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
This is an old design ship with no big comfortable areas for strolling and activities. Everything is in a specific area and feels old and claustrophobic. Its also an aged ship. Why would you choose such a ship when there are so many new ... Read More
This is an old design ship with no big comfortable areas for strolling and activities. Everything is in a specific area and feels old and claustrophobic. Its also an aged ship. Why would you choose such a ship when there are so many new and amazing ships available? The entertainment was quite disappointing and especially compared to my other cruises where the entertainment was excellent. Activities on board could be better in comparison to other ships. Dining was OK but not excellent. A more sophisticated menu would be nice. . . . . .. . Service is excellent. The crew is great. Some of the ports were unnecessary. I could skip Frederica, less days in Saint Petersburg and more in Copenhagen where its beautiful. Shore excursions are very good but you can do as well if you go to town by yourself. Embarkation and Disembarkation were smooth in all places. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We primarily sail with Royal Caribbean and decided on a Baltic itinerary, on Serenade of the Seas. We prefer to avoid the larger ships. We find them too impersonal and crowded. We were very happy with the numbers of ports and time ... Read More
We primarily sail with Royal Caribbean and decided on a Baltic itinerary, on Serenade of the Seas. We prefer to avoid the larger ships. We find them too impersonal and crowded. We were very happy with the numbers of ports and time allowed in each. Fredericia Denmark is really fun. The locals come out to welcome the ship, and to wave goodbye (including a three cannon salute! The entire staff: waiters, bar staff, cabin attendant, performers and cruise directors staff (even security) were friendly and really went out of their way to make the cruise enjoyable. We sail a lot on Royal Caribbean, so the production shows were repetitive, but there was a nice mix of headliners. The main dining room menu was disappointing. For only 5 out of the 15 days did it have anything upscale or interesting. The rest of the time it was ravioli and chicken breast; and no lobster night. Except for the smaller Denmark stops - Fredericia and Aarhus, we booked the Royal Caribbean excursions. NOTE: this made Russia easier, since the tour ticket serves as the required visa. The tours were good, but overpriced. And the feedback from other guests was that except for Russia, the Hop On Hop Off buses were a great value and access to the locations. One very negative note, they completely mishandled the arrival transfer. They had the group of early arrivals (7:15 am) lugging bags all over the terminal to the wrong locations before finally boarding the bus to the ship. And as luck would have it, our luggage didn't arrive in the cabin until 8:30 at night, despite arriving with us on the bus at the 11 am embarkation. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
So this was our first cruise and 13 days was kind of a risk we were taking! But the itinerary makes everything so worth it :) The first 6 days were so packed that we did not even get a chance to visit the main dining hall. The ... Read More
So this was our first cruise and 13 days was kind of a risk we were taking! But the itinerary makes everything so worth it :) The first 6 days were so packed that we did not even get a chance to visit the main dining hall. The ship is kind of old but it was spotless and so we did not mind. Food was excellent. We took an interior guarantee and I think Royal Caribbean chose the best room for us (3549). It was spotless and we slept like logs - that is all we want from a room!! We had a comedy show and an Abba tribute band which we really loved. Did not get inspired to see other shows. Stockholm - do the canal tour first and then anything else. That will give you a fair idea of the city. Helsinki - Our time was very limited and it was very, very hot. We did not like this port due to these reasons or I don't know what! St. Petersberg - Ah, what a beautiful city. We did a private tour with White Nights Travel and loved every moment of it. This gives you a time to be yourself rather than following a group in a hurry. A luxury which we thought was well spent. Tallinn - Again, very limited time but a beautiful city. You will have to take the HoHo bcoz the port is far off. After seeing the old time, do visit the newer areas of Talinn. That gives you a glimse outside the walled city. Riga - We loved this port. It felt so nice and warm here. The Ship was docked right next to old town. We walked around a lot, saw the beautiful park and sat in the squares. Riga has a great vibe to it. Klaipeda - We had to take the shore excursion to Curonion Spit. They try to show you a lot of stuff in very little time. I wish they just went to the spit and then one village and that would have been great. The ship docks near market square, so you can visit that after the excursion. Fredericia - They give you a walking tour map to explore the town. A few spots were not worth the walk in the sun! It is a cute town so you will enjoy visiting the port. Do grab a drink at the beach and DO NOT miss the sail away from the top decks. They really make you feel special! Aarhus - Go to Dokk 1 library (the free shuttle from ship drops you here) and take the Aarhus card. After that, tour the city on your own using public transport and HoHo (both included in card). The card also includes entry to very interesting Den Gamble By and the Art museum which is must see. We missed going to the castle though. The museum there is supposedly very nice. Copenhagen - Do plan to stay one day extra in this city. We took the HoHo and covered as much as possible. Canal tour is a must as well. Christiania is a world of its own. Take out time to walk around on your own away from touristy areas. Also, take the 24 hour transport card from a metro station. It helps to go to the cruise port by public bus whenever you want. We used Air Luggage the next day to transport our luggage from cruise terminal to airport and then used the bus again to tour Copenhagen. And then the metro to go to the airport on our own. It worked out very well. I hope this info helps people!! Message me in case you need more advice :) Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
Enjoyable time on a beautiful ship. Food was plentiful and very good in the Windjammer and it was inot oftencrowded. We didn’t eat at any of the specialty restaurants. There is a definite attempt by Royal Carribean to encourage you to ... Read More
Enjoyable time on a beautiful ship. Food was plentiful and very good in the Windjammer and it was inot oftencrowded. We didn’t eat at any of the specialty restaurants. There is a definite attempt by Royal Carribean to encourage you to eat in the specialty restaurants by offering repetitive menus when eating in the dining room. The dining service was excellent and the food was very good, except often the same choices each night. Our beds were comfortable, the room noisy and the ports of call great. We did excursions through the ship except for St. Petersburg where we went with a private company. All excursions were great except Helsinki. The entertainment was fair except for two shows, we didn’t like the ships singers..the Russian dancers and the Ukrainian circus pair. After two Royal CarribeAn cruises back to back, we are ready to try a different cruise line for something new. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
I'll start off with this - I did not even want to go to the cruise as I had apprehensions about being sea sick and bored..but NOW I'm converted, and really, I'd recommend it whole heartedly to anyone! So -- all in all, ... Read More
I'll start off with this - I did not even want to go to the cruise as I had apprehensions about being sea sick and bored..but NOW I'm converted, and really, I'd recommend it whole heartedly to anyone! So -- all in all, I'd say it was fantastic. There was something for all age groups - young kids, teenagers, twenties, thirties, young couples, middle aged couples, and elderly people as well! I'm telling everyone it was like being on floating 5 star hotel! All in all - here's what I thought were par excellence: -Staff: Everyone was friendly, professional, went out of their way to ensure they could help - whether it be bringing food for someone who couldn't walk well; or cleaning the room thrice a day. Also, if you're South Asian, the staff were more than happy to bring you a handmade roti/chappati at Windjammer Hall - all you have to do is ask! -Entertainment: evenings were fully booked! Theater, dance, drama, movies, dance nights, you name it - it was all there. -Sports: I loved the mini golf and table tennis/ping pong! Jogging track was great -- jogging while staring at the ocean, who wouldn't like that! -Serenity/ease: The ride was smooth sailing. Not a moment of turbulence AT ALL. At times I had to look outside to ensure we were even sailing, it was that smooth! -Timing: We were at every destination at the times promised. -Ease of embarkation and disembarkation at all ports: NO long lines, no waiting for ever - everything was smoothly handled thanks to the security staff throughout. -Views: Lovely Baltic Sea views throughout, to help you de-stress, unwind, and just enjoy the sea! -Food: Can I say food, food, food! The Windjammer Dining Hall (included in cruise price) has unlimited breakfast buffet, lunch buffet and dinner buffet. And the buffet was extravagant - 50 dishes (minimum!), salads, vegetarian, chicken, meat, sea food - gluten free, catering to whatever your dietary restrictions may be. They had a special theme every night, so we had Spanish food, Seafood, Indian food, French food night among others. -Snacks: No matter what time of the day - you will find unlimited tea, coffee, snacks, chips -- especially at the Park Café on Floor11 :) -Attention to cleanliness: We were really impressed by the attention to cleanliness - all public spaces, Centrum, public bathrooms were always spotless; and they had unlimited hand sanitizer there before you entered the Dining Hall. Really good initiative! -Lack of crowd: Although there were about 2500 passengers, 700 staff, at no point did the ship feel overflowing or crowded. This is thanks to all the space, and different entertainment areas they had, including multiple dining halls (Reflections Dining Room, Windjammer included in ticket price). -Cabin: We had an Ocean View Balcony view on Deck 7. This was ideal as since it is in the middle of the ship, it is very smooth and you can't feel the water. Having a balcony is recommended as it makes the room spacious, and allows you some air. Recommend. It was a double bed plus a bunk bed on top ( for the 3rd person); sofa; TV, bathroom, cupboard, mini fridge, AC etc. All in all, it felt a good size and not cramped at all. -Fellow passengers: Fellow passengers were friendly and nice. No large and noisy groups, no drunk people. Mostly families, singles, couples - everyone was decent and respectful. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We chose this cruise solely for the ports of call as we really wanted to visit St.Petersburg and we were also interested in the other places as well. We had a couple of nights in Stockholm first and the hotel arranged a taxi to the ... Read More
We chose this cruise solely for the ports of call as we really wanted to visit St.Petersburg and we were also interested in the other places as well. We had a couple of nights in Stockholm first and the hotel arranged a taxi to the port, our embarkation the was 12-12.30 and although we arrived a little bit early we were swiftly 'processed' and we were on the ship in a matter of 15 minutes - there was no queuing at all at this time. We chose 'My Time Dining' and there was some chaos on the first night as it seemed everyone had turned up at once. We did complain (albeit in a typical pleasant English sort of way) and thereafter everything went very smoothly and the staff made sure we were happy all week. We ended up requesting (and getting) the same table and waiters all week as they were excellent, attentive and very pleasant. We were very happy with the service. 3 out of the 4 of us were very happy with the food and choices but I am very difficult when it comes to food. I thought that the food was never served at a really hot temperature but I accept that am really picky. However, I always managed to get an acceptable meal, sometimes having 2 starters or a cheese plate and a pudding. The waiter went out of his way to come up with something that I enjoyed. The menu was rather repetitive on the whole. On one evening I paid extra for the filet mignon from Chops Grille - it was absolutely delicious and definitely put the regular menu to shame. The buffet restaurant was fab for breakfast or a couple of lunches that we had. The veggie curries were very tasty. It was always warm enough to eat just outside the main dining area which was always a bit crowded (it was beautifully peaceful and pleasant outside. We chose the deluxe drinks package as we liked to have a couple of cocktails before dinner, a few glasses of wine with dinner and a couple of whiskies after dinner ( i know, it sounds bad but we were on holiday!). We purchased the packages at "Buy One, Get One Half Price) and we certainly seemed to get our money's worth. Especially as I discovered an unexpected love of Piña Colada which I have spent my whole life thinking that i didn't like, along with bottles of water, the odd Diet Coke, Americanos and mint tea added up to a worthwhile package and it was very nice not to have a bill to pay at the end of the cruise as it had already been paid for in advance. For us it was worth it anyway. also, by the way, we were always served promptly and pleasantly (with one notable exception unfortunately). We certainly had no problem getting drinks and, as far as I could see, got exactly the same service as people signing for drinks. In fact, the service everywhere was excellent and everyone was very pleasant. The weather was amazing and we spent quite a bit of time on deck, following our excursions, we always found somewhere to sit in the sun, this was a lovely thing to do. The entertainment was fine, nothing spectacular but pleasant enough. The shows were good (as expected really), we didn't join in much to be honest. I was expecting more of the daytime entertainment but this was a very port intense cruise anyway. I felt a lot of the activities, sadly, were there to encourage you to spend more. The shore excursions that I booked through RCL were very disappointing on the whole. In St.Petersburg I booked our own tour and it was far superior to any of the ships tours that we went on (and much cheaper!). However, the sea day tour of the ship was fabulous, and the Panoramic tour of Stockholm with airport drop-off was good. Overall, I don't think that large group tours are right for us, I guess they're ok for some people. I also had a treatment (pedicure) in the spa and I didn't think it was anything special. I'm not sure if I would choose RCL again but, for the price and the ports of call it was worth it on this occasion Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
This was my 5th cruise with RC. It was about what I expected. The ship was clean and updated. We had about 2100 passengers and I think it’s just enough. We had the four night food package and one night at chefs table. We were a little ... Read More
This was my 5th cruise with RC. It was about what I expected. The ship was clean and updated. We had about 2100 passengers and I think it’s just enough. We had the four night food package and one night at chefs table. We were a little disappointed in this Chops compared to past cruises but Giovanni’s was excellent and we ate there twice. Izumi had good food and we went there twice as well. Chefs table by far had the best food, great service and was well worth the extra cost. The pairing of wine was good and had one of the best and most original desserts ever. This cruise focused on music. The game show on song knowledge was really funny. The 50s and 60s night had a band and surprise visit with a British Elvis. It was hysterical and fun to sing along. There were two guys who sang reggae and were very good and another band of four members with softer sounds. There was also a pianist and guitarist playing background music in various dining and bar venues. It was nice to sit and relax to good music. Finland was pretty but our guide knew little about history and this week was unseasonable warm and they refused to turn on the A/C until everyone on the bus complained loudly. Two days in St Petersburg were fantastic but we shared the city with crowds from the World Cup. Our two guides, Alexandra and Andre knew tons of history and were really great. Both days were over 10 hours and were saw plenty but were totally wiped out the next day in Estonia. Our guide was good but I think insulted that everyone on the bus immediately fell asleep. The town was beautiful and I would go back there for a more leisurely stay. Riga, Latvia was not nice. We docked 30 minutes from town and drove through a depressed looking area. The best part was the small handmade items market. The other shop owners were downright rude and after three hours of feeling unwelcome repeatedly we went back to the ship for lunch. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
Its was chosen for our leadership training where the top leaders of the champion team were there and most especially we had 9 families that were included . Truly amazing time with lots of activities for the kids and adult alike and ... Read More
Its was chosen for our leadership training where the top leaders of the champion team were there and most especially we had 9 families that were included . Truly amazing time with lots of activities for the kids and adult alike and wonderful staff that are friendly mostly the filipino crews and staff on board for always being so helpful and always have that smile. The very accomodating kitchen staff sincr we have birthday for one of the kids , for the guest relation staff on the 4th floor and talented musicians as well as tye dance instructor on the vortex, even the kids had fun , to the staff on the ocean adventure where we know that pur kids are safe and having fun while learning. For the stewards where they always clean our room and have fresh towel. Thank u for the wonderful time for my family and the whole team. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We cruised the baltic sea in July. The ship was a little disappointing in regards to the food availability, especially from 20 yrs ago. First, no midnight buffet. Second, No food available after midnight - we would go to see a movie ... Read More
We cruised the baltic sea in July. The ship was a little disappointing in regards to the food availability, especially from 20 yrs ago. First, no midnight buffet. Second, No food available after midnight - we would go to see a movie that finished at midnight, but unable to get a snack after unless you wanted to pay room service. Third, the other food service areas did not have a place just to pick up a slice of pizza or minimal hours to get a glass of ice tea. Positive, disembarkment the ship quickly was well worth taking our minimal luggage with us & not having to pack the night before. We did enjoy looking out our balcony at the scenery & sunset/sunrise. The drapes did block out the sunlight. Finally, since our flight had mechanical issues & we missed our connection - we purchased our air fare with the package air 2 sea. We were told that we should of bought insurance multiple time..... we missed our embarkment in Stockholm, air 2 sea was able to get us to Estonia. Royal Caribbean took no responsibility or consideration of us missing the first day on the cruise. A very expensive day for sitting in airports! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
Serenade of the seas We chose this cruise liner because we wanted to visit the Baltics in Scandinavia We travelled 4 hour journey to Heathrow terminal 5 arriving at midnight in Stockholm which left very little time to look around ... Read More
Serenade of the seas We chose this cruise liner because we wanted to visit the Baltics in Scandinavia We travelled 4 hour journey to Heathrow terminal 5 arriving at midnight in Stockholm which left very little time to look around the city. We had no information or details provide as to what time Royal Caribbean that would be picking us up for transfer to the cruise liner. Grand Centre by Scandic hotel were unable to provide information, but mentioned RC rep would be arriving in the morning for transfers. 1 July 2018 in the morning of our cruise we checked again, hotel staff informed us they received an email and pick up would be 11:45am an hour delay instead of 10:45 Am. So if we wanted to go out we should arrive at the hotel by 11 AM Luckily we decided to return to the hotel by 10 am RC was present at the hotel transfers were 10.45 am so we should bring all our lunch gage down to the lobby at 10-30 am John our house keeper was very efficient and friendly. Our select to dine at 8-30 pm in the main dining room, But they were very flexible regarding the dining times. The waitress were friendly, comoared to our first cruise with RC dining wasn’t as nice experience, waiters were rushing about very busy serving guests, at times we had to draw their attention. Our main meals were lukewarm so I requested to ensure our meals could be served hot. There were quite a number of guests coughs and colds, many without covering the mouse was inevitable that it would be passed around . We both did finally catch a cold. Saturday early morning after midnight, my husband got out of bed he stood on the carpet outside the shower / entrance door which was soaking wet. He quickly moved our luggage to one side used towels to soak up the water. I was woken by the commotion To call r3cotion. Maintenance men at requested promptly resolved this issue Instead of leaving it till the next morning in Ashe the situation worsens. A hot air very noisy heater was left in our cabin the whole day to dry the carpet. It did cause some on convenience as we are unable to rest inou cabin. Last day of cruising was no toilet flushing water again this was dealt with very quickly by maintenance . We were offered a 10% discount for next cruise, which is based on the cruise fair paid for the current sailing and is valid for one year. With family commitments thank you we are unsure if we will be able to use this complimentary gesture offered ! Arriving at Stockholm airport at 11.30 am with many hours to spare before flight departure at 21-20 pm. Not feeling too well we just rested in the airport. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
Chose this cruise because it offered solo passenger fare without having to pay double rate. Room small but more than adequate as I was only in there to sleep. Steward Ardjul went out of his way to be pleasant. Food delicious. ... Read More
Chose this cruise because it offered solo passenger fare without having to pay double rate. Room small but more than adequate as I was only in there to sleep. Steward Ardjul went out of his way to be pleasant. Food delicious. Activities great and enjoyable. St Petersburg dancer & singer show wonderful. Restaurant staff more than accommodating. Guest services & shoreex desk helpful. I spent my ship time walking the jogging track basking in the expanse of the Baltic sea. Em and debarkation very easy. Spent prenight at Nordic C hotel in Stockholm arranged thru RC. Great choice, efficient pickup from airport, fantastic included breakfast, efficient transfer to pier. Pilipino activity staff Mark very funny & enthusiastic. Parade of nations in centrum was highlight. shoreex: St Petersburg 2 day all inclusive was highlight, exhausting and the gold and palaces were mindboggling; fantastic guides German and Ekaterina. Helsinki (Porvoo) charming & quaint. Guide encouraged sampling at chocolate factory. Riga and Tallin were taken right out of the pages of medieval history. Stockholm city tour enjoyable. Saw palace in Helsinki where trump & putin were to meet. Saw cathedral in Riga where pope will soon visit. Over 1,000,000 visitors in St Pete for fifa but didn't cause any problems or traffic jams. St Pete guide referred to speed limits as speed suggestions-how funny to describe a limit as a mere suggestion! Will go on another cruise that has solo room rate. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
Having heard much, but never actually experienced cruising in the past, my wife and I decided to try a new way of vacationing. I had expected to be satisfied at the end of the Cruise, of course. However, looking back on the experience ... Read More
Having heard much, but never actually experienced cruising in the past, my wife and I decided to try a new way of vacationing. I had expected to be satisfied at the end of the Cruise, of course. However, looking back on the experience after a couple of days, I can assure you that it was much better than I had expected. My wife shares this sentiment. I first learned about the ship and its facilities from the information provided by the agent with whom we booked the Cruise. I got more information provided by Royal Caribbean International on the Internet. Should you do something similar, feel sure that you can rely on the positive things you read. I must commend the ships' staff, and say lots of good things about the Ship, the Cabin, Dining , Entertainment Activities, the Service and the Ports and Excursions. Since these would be very positive words, I guess you can imagine what I can write. We travelled with members of our extended familiy, yet had the opportunity to meet and interact with lots of people (both staff members and passengers) from many different nationalities. The friendly and relaxed athmosphere encourages this interaction. This is also an outcome of the work done by the staff (those we came in contact with, and the large numbers who work behind the scenes). I strongly recommend this Cruise and hope you have a positive experience, too. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
Have never traveled this part of the world. A very enriching experience. Realized how much I need to learn about the history,culture of these nations. St. Petersburg, Peterhof -incredible, almost unreal.Every port was unique and ... Read More
Have never traveled this part of the world. A very enriching experience. Realized how much I need to learn about the history,culture of these nations. St. Petersburg, Peterhof -incredible, almost unreal.Every port was unique and beautiful. Interesting how the historical events intertwined and affected the people of all the surrounding nations. Would definitely recommend to anyone interested in learning. Traveled on serenade of the seas- a really great ship. Enough entertainment to keep anyone busy and more. Shore excursions- absolutely wonderful. Food was fantastic! My only gripe was that the health club opened at 6:00. Wish it was 5:00 for the early birds. Service and friendliness of the staff just incredible! In Stockholm stayed at Victory hotel; a very nice maritime themed hotel with a delicious breakfast and very helpful staff. Took Stockholm archipelago boat tour- very informative and the salmon lunch was absolutely fantastic. The Vasa museum and Nobel museum- very informative. Definitely recommend St. Petersburg tour/2days includes surrounding attractions/Pushkin and Peterhof. Helsinki/Tallinn andRiga not to be missed- all unique. Too much to list. Well worth it!! Read Less
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
1 Helpful Vote
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
3 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 ... 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
2 Helpful Votes
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
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
Amazing staff, food and facilities on Serenade of the Seas. Myself and my wife and two children aged 14 & 16 had a fantastic time and the children especially met some very good similar aged friend from all parts of the globe and ... Read More
Amazing staff, food and facilities on Serenade of the Seas. Myself and my wife and two children aged 14 & 16 had a fantastic time and the children especially met some very good similar aged friend from all parts of the globe and will I am sure keep in touch with them for a very long time to come - one of the main reasons why we choose Royal Caribbean in fact as we know that great friendships are built up with the younger passengers as they form groups on board via the 'teenage club' area and do not get bored as there are plenty of activities and things to do around the ship all of the time. This is our third cruise in 4 years with Royal Caribbean and the same things has happened on the two previous cruises which is great. The entertainment is great of an evening and the shore excursions and choice are extensive from short 3/4 hour trips to entire day excursions. The specialty restaurants are just amazing with service to match and we honestly could not find fault with any of the cruise. The one small and regular gripe that seems to happen each time is in respect of the Tips that you can pay in advance when booking the cruise but which we decide not to as we tip dollars throughout the cruise at the various dining areas, specialty restaurants and bars and also leave a sizeable ‘last day tip’ for the room attendant and the main dining room staff who we see most days. Even though we choose not to pay these up front it seems to always be the case that they get added in anyway on board and within 48 hours of the cruise you start to see several $13.50's appear on your room statement (we had two adjacent rooms so I saw 8 of these on the second day!). You then have to visit the Customer Services desk and they will then email the central accounting department and adjustments will then appear within 48 hours. It seem that despite specifically choosing not to pay these in advance when the cruise is booked and choosing to tip the staff yourself in cash, this request seems to be ignored on board and you are automatically charged anyway. This is an easily resolved issue I would say but it should not really happen in the first place. Just be aware of this when you book a Royal Caribbean cruise. I would still 100% recommend Royal Caribbean for your cruise provider and will be looking to book up my families next cruise with them for 2018 very shortly. 5 starts! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
The cruise was amaizing. We enjoyed the entertainment staff, shows, food and most of the ports of call. St, Petersburg was amaizing. We spent two days and also took the opportunity for a night tour to see the beatifull city at night anf ... Read More
The cruise was amaizing. We enjoyed the entertainment staff, shows, food and most of the ports of call. St, Petersburg was amaizing. We spent two days and also took the opportunity for a night tour to see the beatifull city at night anf the opened bridges. Tallin, Stockholm and Riga are also beatifull, but we found Helsonki as disappointment. We loved the ship althogh is it not one og the biggest or the newest. The maintanance of the ship is good, it is very clean and looks nice, although you can find a bit of signs of rust if you look for it. The ship crew was very comitted and friendly. The ship's crew provided music, shows and dancing every evenong until late hours. The performance level of the shows and music was really impressive. We also want t mention the food large variety and high quality, althugh the windjammer restaurant was sometimes very croudy. This is our second cruise with Royal Caribbean (the former one was to the Caribbean witj Allure of the Seas) and it is certainly not the last one with RC. Read Less
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