1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
Cruised on Serenade in the past it is the perfect size for us, entertainment was mostly above average and the crew did a great job. Our dinning room waiters Erwin and Adikash were very helpful and always had a smile. Our cabin steward was ... Read More
Cruised on Serenade in the past it is the perfect size for us, entertainment was mostly above average and the crew did a great job. Our dinning room waiters Erwin and Adikash were very helpful and always had a smile. Our cabin steward was excellent responded to every request quickly and efficiently and kept the cabin spotless. The food was quite good especially in the Windjammer were breakfast was excellent with an omelet and fried egg bar. I do think that RCCL needs to provide a few more tour options for passengers with mobility issues at a number of ports there were no shuttles which could accommodate passengers in wheelchairs. The entertainment was okay with highlight being a Beatles tribute band who were very good. Embarkation went very quickly and smoothly and disembarkation was okay although it would be helpful if there were a few more porters available. Weather was wonderful sunny and warm for the entire cruise. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
Have been on the Serenade twice before. I noticed that they seem to be cutting corners. Seems to be less crew to accommodate passengers. Noticed this in pool area -- no glasses at the self serve drinks near Park Cafe when they were ... Read More
Have been on the Serenade twice before. I noticed that they seem to be cutting corners. Seems to be less crew to accommodate passengers. Noticed this in pool area -- no glasses at the self serve drinks near Park Cafe when they were closed. No one cleaned up water around pool (till 10:35 AM )which had accumulated Saturday into Sunday( during the night)-- someone could have had a serious fall ! Several (2 evenings) with no entertainment in the Tropical Theater. Menus in Reflections Dining Room at dinner were repetitive ( especially appetizers and desserts) I doubt hat these cutbacks are only on the Serenade. Royal Caribbean may just be concentrating on its mega sized ships . The Guest Relations crew staff need to know where there are pharmacies close to the ports. It is inexcusable that they sent me to a pharmacy almost 20 miles from the port (in St. Thomas) when there was a pharmacy which was less than 1 mile and walkable from Crown Bay where we docked ! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
A neighbor of our close friends researchers cruises for good prices and perks. Almost two years ago, our friends told us about this cruise. There were 28 people from our over 55 community here in Texas. Most of these people were doing back ... Read More
A neighbor of our close friends researchers cruises for good prices and perks. Almost two years ago, our friends told us about this cruise. There were 28 people from our over 55 community here in Texas. Most of these people were doing back to back on this particular cruise. We signed up for the second cruise. We have taken 14 cruises since we retired ten years ago.....10 with Celebrity and this being the 4th with RCCL. We realized that the Serenade had been around for a number of years. But the itinerary and the reputation that RCCL has/had was a good reason to sign up for it. Starting from the good to bad reviews, let me start with the good. Our room attendant and the wait staff were excellent. It was what you would expect, or wanted, on a cruise. The food was good. It could have been better, but we were okay with it. By no means was it outstanding. And, we definitely have experienced cruises with some above average appetizers, entrees and desserts. The entertainment usually held in the theater at two scheduled times was not good. There was no entertainment on two nights. Zilch. Oh, they did offer movies in a cinema room. But the big entertainment for the night was missing. Instead they called a movie their entertainment. And, this happened on the preceding cruise taken by many of our friends. I have to give this review a fair-good rating. A 5 out of 10 !!! I forgot to add that the overall status of the ship was in need of some major overhaul. Many areas appeared worn. I am not sure if they have had any refurbishing of this ship. 7610 Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We love going on longer cruises because we like to get to know people and the crew. The crew was fantastic and very helpful with everything! The food was great in the Main Dining room and ok in the Windjammer. The wheelchair accessible ... Read More
We love going on longer cruises because we like to get to know people and the crew. The crew was fantastic and very helpful with everything! The food was great in the Main Dining room and ok in the Windjammer. The wheelchair accessible cabin was perfect for my wheelchair bound husband. He had plenty of room in the bathroom to be able to use the sink while remaining in his wheelchair. He loved it! The entertainment depends on everyone's own taste. I like some of the shows while others were a little too loud for my taste. The comedians are always funny. This cruise had a lot of elderly cruisers so not too many late night activities were crowded which was nice. Our room steward was 1st rate and bent over backwards to make sure we were happy! As far as excursions go, don't bother with taking the cheap tour of Curacao, it's not worth the money to see the curacao liquor factory (which really isn't one) and the "hand-made" craft store which is just a bunch of "made-in-China" junk you can get anywhere. Over all we would do this cruise again in a heart beat! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2018
First, being a Boston resident, I am thrilled to board the Serenade close to home. I have done this sailing three times and have loved each one. The staff on the Serenade is wonderful. They will go the extra mile to get things done. The ... Read More
First, being a Boston resident, I am thrilled to board the Serenade close to home. I have done this sailing three times and have loved each one. The staff on the Serenade is wonderful. They will go the extra mile to get things done. The entertainment on the ship is diverse and upbeat. The ship was clean and shiny. The cruise director is full of energy and fun. Everyone has their own preferences and Royal does their best to accommodate everyone. I’m not saying they are perfect, but pretty close. I spent a lot of time in the Diamond lounge and the wait staff there is fantastic. The drinks and appetizers are delicious. I love the ports but I really don’t even get off half the time. I’d rather stay on the ship! I just wish there were more sailings by RCCL from Boston what return to Boston post cruise. I think I would be sailing every month! Loyal to Royal!! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
I wanted to take my elderly mother on a calm cruise as a cruise was on her bucket list. When I boarded the ship I ask if I could rent a wheelchair for my mother I was declined do to the face I did not make arrangements when I booked the ... Read More
I wanted to take my elderly mother on a calm cruise as a cruise was on her bucket list. When I boarded the ship I ask if I could rent a wheelchair for my mother I was declined do to the face I did not make arrangements when I booked the reservation. I didn’t think we would need one 3 mo prior to the trip. I was spoken to TERRiBLE by the security personal. After we boarded the ship an after a 2 hour wait to get in our room I was told it was mandatory we attend the safety drill procedure. I could not take my elderly mom there with walking disability down the stairs so I had her stay in the room while I attended.. My mother there has Dementia also. When I returned to the room my mother was not there. I went to the hallway an ask the cabin Stew Ricardo if he had seen my mother.? Ricardo stated he went into the room (I assume to clean as it was not very clean when we arrived) an he saw he sitting on the bed with a blanket. Ricardo then said she said she was hungry then she left the room. I told him I needed to find her she has dementia. I looked through halls of our floor an I found her safe an sound. I was then paged by the security personal. I went to guest services an was invited to an office of the security personal. The female security officer and the male officer spoke to me HORRIBLE!!!!!! The female officer stated the cabin stew stated he found my mother in the room wrapped in a blanket laying under the bed. Complete total LIE. First of all my mother would not b able to get on the floor much less under the bed. Second, ileven if that were true...why would he leave her there?.,I told them that was impossible!!! They then told me the cruise line was never t responsible for my mother and I was not to leave her alone. I told them I would not have left her alone had it not been for their safety procedure an the caregiver who was suppose to be on the trip with us had cancelled the day before., I was shocked humiliated over they way I was treated. Also I ask guest services if I could rent a wheelchair was declined from for the ship and also declined for shore excursions an just walking in the towns when we docked so our entire trip was spent on the ship except for one day we left the ship for Halifax an I thought maybe I could rent a cab. My mother had a very difficult time even walking down the ramp to the port. A very nice man who works for Hop on Hop off ask if we needed anything I explained I wanted my mother to tour the city was unless we hired a cab it wasn’t going to work out. He said if we wanted to take the Hop on Hop off they would help me get her on an off. We did do that an we just stayed on the bus but at least she was able to see the city. This was the only time during this vacation someone treated my mother with kindness and respect. I feel my mother was discriminated against several times by the Cruise Line an will never take another Royal Caribbean Cruise again. Your cruise line should be ashamed. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2018
Entertainment was good, food enjoyable and the staff for the most part were professional and friendly. The ship was clean and well kept but could use an overall on the general appearance. It was great to have 6 different ports of call. ... Read More
Entertainment was good, food enjoyable and the staff for the most part were professional and friendly. The ship was clean and well kept but could use an overall on the general appearance. It was great to have 6 different ports of call. Ponce was a disappointment not really ready for a large cruise ship, most shops and restaurants were still closed and only a few merchants were selling. The hurricane damage was still very evident and I would not recommend that RCL continue to visit this port for the foreseeable future. The rest of the ports had not been affected and were very enjoyable with lots of excursions available. I do think it is time for RCL to bring back the Beer and Wine package as there are still many cruisers who do not want to drink liquor. Also there is a lot of space wasted with artificial plants that would be better used for seating especially in the pool area. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
We are Diamond Plus, so we've had both good and bad experiences. On this cruise, we had a great time! The ports were good except for Ponce, PR. Ponce is not ready for cruises to call. The dock is too isolated, and there's ... Read More
We are Diamond Plus, so we've had both good and bad experiences. On this cruise, we had a great time! The ports were good except for Ponce, PR. Ponce is not ready for cruises to call. The dock is too isolated, and there's just not much to do in Ponce unless you book a shore excursion. The crew was fantastic, one of the friendliest I've cruised with. The ship is in good shape. Cabins are a little small, but that was the standard when Serenade was built. Food was OK, although I think RCCL needs to get some new menus as the current ones have been in use for several years. The entertainment was only fair. Same comment as about the menus, some of the shows are getting tired as are some of the headliners. How many times can you see Bobby Arvon???? Anyway, everything was as expected, ran smoothly, and who could complain when someone is doing all the cleaning and cooking for you? Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2017
My partner and I chose this cruise for the length of the cruise and it’s itinerary. I have been registered disabled for over eight years. Royal Caribbean’s Special Services we’re contacted five months prior to departure, and I ... Read More
My partner and I chose this cruise for the length of the cruise and it’s itinerary. I have been registered disabled for over eight years. Royal Caribbean’s Special Services we’re contacted five months prior to departure, and I had completed several forms about my disabilities and the medications I would be carrying; one of which is a class ‘A’ drug. On arrival at Miami Airport we found that transport had not been arranged, we thus made our own way to the hotel for a pre cruise stay. Transport did not arrive to transfer us from the hotel to the ship, again we made our own arrangements. At the end of the cruise there was a shortage of wheelchairs and I had no alternative but to walk off the ship and through the arrivals area, searching for luggage. Again no transport was arranged and we had to travel to the airport at our own expense. Not once during the eleven night cruise did I receive any help whatsoever from Royal Caribbean. The ship was very cold in all areas due to a very aggressive air conditioning system. In our cabin we had to stuff towels into the air ducts to stop the freezing air blasting onto our sleeping area; it was not possible to turn it off, and regulating it proved impossible. Food in all restaraunt was of a poor standard. The self service restaraunt; The Windjammer, was little different from a works canteen, food items were picked over and messy dishes often held the remains as passengers picked out the bits they wanted. It’s is the first time anyone has openly voiced discrimination at me, but one day when reboarding the vessel, a fellow passenger told me “the world would be better if people like you died”. I was not the only disabled traveller on this ship to spoken to like this. I reported it to Guest Services but what could they do! My partner and I are very experienced travellers. We have taken at least ten cruises. This one with Royal Caribbean will be the last. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2017
Nomally do I as single have to pay for two. This time i got a better deal and therefore I choose to go on this cruise.I do not regret since it was a pleasant cruise with nice people and very serviceminded crew.The food in the restaurants ... Read More
Nomally do I as single have to pay for two. This time i got a better deal and therefore I choose to go on this cruise.I do not regret since it was a pleasant cruise with nice people and very serviceminded crew.The food in the restaurants was of good quality and the cabin was to my satisfaction. I appreciated the musical shows in the theatre as well as some of the concerts with first class ship orchestra. I also appreciated the quick service at the bars. The only negative experience was the US passport control in Fort Lauderdale. It took more than 2 hours from arrival terminal until I could enter the ship. On departure it took almost 90 minutes from I left the ship till I could walk out of the terminal. This is not acceptable .If going on a new cruise I shall therefore not consider Fort Lauderdale as a port of departure. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2017
The cruise was meant to be a quick get-away with daughter and son-in-law who flew in from Colorado. I wasn't expecting much because the ship was small and older I had just been on the Allure of the Seas and it needs to go into dry ... Read More
The cruise was meant to be a quick get-away with daughter and son-in-law who flew in from Colorado. I wasn't expecting much because the ship was small and older I had just been on the Allure of the Seas and it needs to go into dry dock, she is tired. I was disappointed in that cruise. This ship was well maintained, convenient to everything, with a delightful staff. The food was above average and the dining staff was very accommodating. We did see a few people on formal night come in shorts and flip flops and was disappointed they did not respect the suggested dress for the evening. The last afternoon we sat at the La Catina outdoor seating off the Windjammer and my son-in-law said, "What more could you ask for? This was an amazing trip and there is nothing I could possibly complain about. My son-in-law is in his late 50's and has traveled by ship many times. I would definitely go on this ship again. Elaine Dermody Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
Want to fight over a table during lunch time? Be reminded over the sound system not to hang on to long? Pay an arm and a leg for your water, tea and sodas? Sleep on an artisanal extra bed made of bits and pieces? And pay over € 7000 for ... Read More
Want to fight over a table during lunch time? Be reminded over the sound system not to hang on to long? Pay an arm and a leg for your water, tea and sodas? Sleep on an artisanal extra bed made of bits and pieces? And pay over € 7000 for it. Chose the Serenade of the Seas. You might also experience the leaking through the ceiling and the bathroom lamp falling down in the middel of the night (no extra pay for this). And leave your cabin in time for your next activity because there are 8 elevators on the ship for 2500 people...I hope you have a lot of time on your hands...We experienced this the whole week with a wheelchair bound person :o And if you think you haven't paid enough, they will make you pay extra for water. And try extra again for water at your dining table. And they will sell you exclusively the most expensive water for your cabin water consumption. They sell you an all-included trip, but at the end it is stress-included. This is NOT how I see hospitality. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
travel agent found this cruise for us - DISASTER.we had lots of problems with the cabin allocation prior to sailing. one of the party is disabled and needs the use of a wheelchair on occasion. although i followed all RC's ... Read More
travel agent found this cruise for us - DISASTER.we had lots of problems with the cabin allocation prior to sailing. one of the party is disabled and needs the use of a wheelchair on occasion. although i followed all RC's instructions, completed the relevant forms and e mailed the request for a cabin close to restaurants/elevator my request was totally ignored. we were allocated a tiny interior 'stateroom' (more like a prison cell) a long walk to elevators, at the opposite end of the ship to restaurants etc. and to top it all off the linen station was parked right outside our cabin every day making it impossible to get the wheelchair in or out of the cabin. The request to change cabins was met with a NO! Would not recommend interior cabins.we developed really bad chest infections and coughs caused we think by the air con which you have to have on constantly as it is so hot and you cant turn it off. Windjammer food was at most what we would expect of a typical 3 star all inclusive hotel. Basic and bland. don't expect to get a glass of wine with your meal here as the self serve bar didnt serve alchohol and we found it almost impossible to find a waiter to serve us. Restaurant food was better, but why do RC have a dress code for the restaurants if they dont adhere to it. we noticed people going into the restaurants in shorts t shirts for dinner. not appropriate dress. Beware of the travel agents (thomas cook in particular) telling you this is an all inclusive cruise. we tried to order drinks at the bar only to be told we only had a soda package which consisted of Coca Cola and soft drinks. Cocktails and spirits are not included and nor is bottled water at the bars. they finally relented and allowed us house wine and beer but only after i made a phone call to the U.K. to complain to thomas cook who informed us we had the whole drinks package. We went on a couple of excursions- enjoyed them especially the beach extravaganza in antigua. Embarkation and disembarkation was a bit if farce - organised chaos with some of the staff not sure what they were doing. took us about 3 hours get off the ship and through security. we have been on 4 cruises in the past but Royal Carribean is by far the worst. Although the staff were very friendly and hard working the customer service needs to be reviewed. very disappointing holiday! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
I chose this cruise because of all the great islands we could visit for a winter get away. The weather and the sun were just perfect! The cruise seemed to have so many seniors traveling on this cruise. They seem to take over the centrum ... Read More
I chose this cruise because of all the great islands we could visit for a winter get away. The weather and the sun were just perfect! The cruise seemed to have so many seniors traveling on this cruise. They seem to take over the centrum seating and it is hard to find a seat in the cinema and in the theatre because the seniors get there and do not move over to let others get seats. Since this is a ship that travels in the winter to the Caribbean it needs to address needs for seniors and needs for non senior guests for activities, seating and food needs. We had a hump room 9094 and we loved the balcony size. The Serenade of the Seas is the right size for a ship not too big like the mega ships are and not too small to not have anything to do. The elevators were fun to get on with the beautiful sea and ocean in front of your eyes. We ate at the Windjammer and watched a baby whale learning to breach the water on top of her Mama come right by us as we were eating! The food was good but not too special. Love the little bacon and cheese bread buns, not a fan of the tough beef items, need to offer less Indian food and add more Mexican ethnic food. Love the ice cream sundae bars and consider putting these bars back in the sweet treat areas so that the traffic flow is easier to get through. Reflections servers and staff are superb and hardworking kind and caring people but the food is not as good as in the past. Need quality and creativity to this menu. I would love to see the beds on this ship be designed for travelers needs. These rock hard mattresses and firm pillows are just horrid. The ports of call improvements that need to be done are provide golf carts to take handicapped people up to the pier front so they can get off the ship without feeling like they are being burdened by the long walks off these piers at some ports. In Barbados a shuttle bus was used and this allowed us to get off the Ship to the port front for an excursion. I have a walking handicapped due to a disease I have now and I still want to get off at ports but with 6 ports of call I could only get off at three ports to explore due to the substantial walk length which I cannot do. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
We were on the Serenade back in 2013 for the Mediterranean and again in 2015 for the Baltic Cruise and now to the Caribbean. We love this ship. The staff were great. We like our waiter/waitress especially Nick, the head waiter. ... Read More
We were on the Serenade back in 2013 for the Mediterranean and again in 2015 for the Baltic Cruise and now to the Caribbean. We love this ship. The staff were great. We like our waiter/waitress especially Nick, the head waiter. He's amazing. I am visually impaired and every night, he would print for me a large print menu. I also received a large print compass in the room every night. Excursions are OK. We only booked 3 out of the 5 excursions. The other 2 were private. The activities on board were great especially the dance classes. The only thing we didn't like is the activities manager (Russian girl, don't remember her name). She doesn't seem to do her job. Really? We do not need to hear you sing. It's not like she sang well. If you were on the Dec 23rd sailing, you will know what I mean when she sang the song "Hello" from Adele. Other than that, we love Royal Caribbean and will continue to cruise with them again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
Second time we were on this cruise. Enjoyed the ports and embarking process. They were quick and efficient in Boston. Staff pleasant and hard working. Main dining food was good and service was great. Entertainment was ok but we had ... Read More
Second time we were on this cruise. Enjoyed the ports and embarking process. They were quick and efficient in Boston. Staff pleasant and hard working. Main dining food was good and service was great. Entertainment was ok but we had seen most of the entertainers on prebius cruises and their shows were the same. Cabin attendent was great and tried his best to help with the wet carpet isses (see cabin review). Tendering in Bar Harbor was disorganized and our tour was cut 30 minutes short because we left so late. Halifax was very nice and can be seen without joining an organized tour. Leaves were still green so if you want the vibrant colors, consider a later cruise. Weather was not the best but that was not anyone's fault. Bar staff was friendly and actually had a show demonstrating their "Tom Cruise bar skills". Enjoyed cruise despite of the cabin issues. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2016
Royal Caribbean was so disappointing this time around. The staff did not seem sympathetic to our plight of lost luggage, and assured us that we would be able to shop for clothes on our excursions. We were not able to shop for any ... Read More
Royal Caribbean was so disappointing this time around. The staff did not seem sympathetic to our plight of lost luggage, and assured us that we would be able to shop for clothes on our excursions. We were not able to shop for any essentials on our excursions as we only went to souvenir shops. I suggested that Royal help us find a way to get to shopping and they did not. All they were able to give us for the five days that we had no luggage was a white t-shirt and sub very sub-par toiletries. They offered us laundry service, but the guest services desk lady must have not been very in touch with what was happening because when I asked how long our laundry would take to get to us she said "48 hours." Luckily, housekeeping was a bit more realistic and when we discussed it with them, they were able to turn our laundry around in a couple of hours. For formal night, she offered to give my husband a free tuxedo, but offered nothing to me. The lady at the front desk (Jasmine) told us she would locate our luggage, and then told us she couldn't locate it. When I asked her who she called, she told me SAS. To that I told her that we had a transfer from United to SAS and our luggage was most likely with United. She asked ME if I wanted to call United myself! My husband firmly recommended that she do it herself. Later that day, she told us she was able to locate it with United. So that caused an unseemly delay in getting our luggage because of her ineptitude. I came crying to the front office after four days of no luggage , no makeup and no toiletries and she offered me 100 dollars credit to my account (any outfit on the ship cost no less than 54 dollars each) and a night at one of their restaurants in her words "out of my own goodwill towards you." I was aghast at the lack of sympathy. She later told me our luggage would be waiting for us in Estonia on the morning before our excursion. To my dismay, we did not get our luggage as promised in the morning but at night. The ladies in the spa, were very gossipy and rude, even talking about guests behind their backs. The people working in the Windjammer never smiled or offered any table service. The whole crew (aside from a few people in housekeeping and in various bars) were amazingly lacking in customer service. After this trip, I will never want to board a Royal Caribbean trip again! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2015
A wonderful 11 days cruise made perfect by the fantastic food provided, excellent service especially by our personal waiters Orsan Turan and Prasanna Manoharan who were not only experts at their jobs but a pleasure to share a conversation ... Read More
A wonderful 11 days cruise made perfect by the fantastic food provided, excellent service especially by our personal waiters Orsan Turan and Prasanna Manoharan who were not only experts at their jobs but a pleasure to share a conversation with them. They could not have been more helpful and courteous. My only slight criticism is that the entertainment could have had more variety. What there was however was quite good. I must also congratulate those responsble for the ships cleanliness which was first class. I would recommend this ship to anyone wishing for a special cruise. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2015
What a disappointment. I've heard so many good things about RCI cruises in the past. The ships, the food, the entertainment...all of it had been described to me with glowing terms. This cruise really let me down. I'll start ... Read More
What a disappointment. I've heard so many good things about RCI cruises in the past. The ships, the food, the entertainment...all of it had been described to me with glowing terms. This cruise really let me down. I'll start with the positives. 1. Itinerary: this was the biggest reason we chose this cruise. To us, spending time in the Arctic Circle (and Honningsvag in particular) was mandatory, and was the reason we chose RCI over others. Our stops included Aalesund, Honningsvag, Tromso, Geiranger, Olden, and Bergen. One misleading part was that the third day was listed as "scenic cruising in the arctic circle", and that happened to be one of few days where we were too far from land to see anything. It's not scenic if you can only see water. 2. Service (huge asterisk): the service we received from our "regulars" was very good. Not outstanding, but very good. This would include our cabin steward, dining staff, and a couple others at bars that we saw repeatedly. (overall service gets 2/5 due to really terrible service from many crew we saw sporadically). 3. Ship appearance: overall, the appearance was very pleasant. With a couple very glaring exceptions, the ship was in good overall shape. 4. Our cabin (see below.) 5. Some of the excursions. Aalesund's Path of the Trolls, Geiranger's Mt. Dalsnibba, and Olden's "cruise on lake Loen" were all very good and worthwhile. Now the negatives... 1. Crowd management. Every opportunity RCI had to exercise some crowd control, they failed miserably. Embarkation was far and away the worst I've experienced in my 15 cruises. Awful organization, very rude staff, inexcusable delays, and ridiculous wait times. Absolutely unacceptable. And it didn't get better throughout our cruise. Dining crowds were horrible. After the second day, we started coming to dinner 10-15 minutes late every day to avoid the glut of people crowded into the narrow hallway. This ship only has two sets of elevators, and one is quite far from most ship services. This puts an incredible strain on the main set of six elevators, one of which was broken for the entire cruise. This theme continues: if there were crowds, there were problems. 2. Operation hours. Very strange policies here. For example, on the first port day, the most popular tour (Path of the Trolls) started at 7:00am. Guests were supposed to report to zones at 6:45. What time did the buffet open? 6:30... Dining rooms? 7:00... THE COFFEE BAR? 6:40. Unacceptable. Another example: sitting in the indoor hot tub (popular due to 45 degree weather for much of the cruise) at 8:30pm, we were asked to leave on more than one day so staff could clean it. We were told we could come back in "4-5 hours". Is it that hard to understand that staff should do their cleaning overnight and let the guests use the facilities?? Aside from the (money-making) casino, we were disappointed with most areas of the ship with regard to their operating hours. 3. Entertainment. Again, the worst experience I've had in 15 cruises. The two stage shows by RCI staff were...decent. The outside entertainment was very bad. The lounge singers were bad. There were three attempts to do shows in the "atrium" (central hub, open from decks 4-11). All failed due to "rough seas". If those were rough seas, I'm not sure how those shows would ever take place. Also, music entertainment in the atrium until 12:30am is probably a poor idea when it's that loud, that close to guest rooms. They had to close the fire doors every night from 9pm-1am to help with the noise... It never kept us up (we are night owls) but it just seemed like such a poor choice. 4. Food. I'm listing food here not because it was bad, necessarily, but because it was disappointing. The dining room quality was...fine. But I expected more, as I've heard from others that RCI has a good reputation in the food area. The buffet food was also disappointing. There was a little variety each day, but not much. Also (and this message applies to Princess, Norwegian, and anyone else gouging prices of soda): c'mon...include soda in the price. It costs you $0.02 per glass, which includes the cost of having someone pour it and wash the glass later. Charging $8/day ($88 total) is crazy. And I thought the soda prices were bad until I reached the bar. NINE DOLLARS per shot. So my father-in-law's "double Jack and coke" cost him $20 per. (Yes, they charged him for the soda too...) "Cheap" beer was $5 or more. Wine was more than I've paid on other lines. It was crazy to think that you can go to a well-themed bar like Skylines on DCL and get a very strong and creative martini drink for $8 there, but a conventional mixed drink like a mojito ran you $14 on RCI. 5. Excursions, pt. 2: While our Aalesund, Olden, and Geiranger tours were great, the others were not so good. Thankfully, I did enough research on Honningsvag ahead of time to realize what was happening. The most popular excursion there is essentially a shuttle bus to the North Cape. There is no narration, no guide, just a shuttle bus. And you are responsible for catching the last bus back. They charge a lot for this... For about 25% less than what RCI charged, our group of 8 hired a private company (Nordkapp Bilservice). We had a 15-person minibus to ourselves, along with a really knowledgeable guide. He took us not only to the North Cape, but to all three fishing villages on the island and to a Sami settlement. When talking about our private tour vs RCI's "tour" with other guests later, others were angry and felt "ripped off." I can't blame them. In another stop, Tromso, we chose a city tour. Unfortunately, the bus driver and guide had incorrect information and thought we were not supposed to stop anywhere. So we skipped two stops we were supposed to make. And the rest of the time, the driver sped past anything of interest. Our complaints back on the ship got us $10 refunds... Finally, in Bergen, we wanted to see the Stave church. Unfortunately, only one tour stopped there, and that tour included much more time in Edvard Grieg's home than the church. The Grieg home was quite dull. I expected more out of all three of those ports. 6. Amenities: I expect more, simply put. If there is no self-service laundry for an 11-day European cruise, then laundry prices should be less than astronomical. If you offer room service, delivery times should be such that the coffee is still hot when delivered. Those are some examples, but amenities were lacking compared with other ships. 7. Photography. Not that this is a huge item, but there were two annoying components to photography here. First, the photographers were very unprofessional. If you tried to walk past their station without a picture, they sometimes got to the point of harassment trying to get you to come back. "Characters" who were dressed up and posing for pictures would pop out and put their arms around people without warning (or courtesy). And then to top it all off: we did buy a family picture from the embarkation process, and on the pre-printed border of the photo was... a church with onion domes. Yes...the photography (and merchandise...and casino...and port adventures...) area repeatedly confused our Norwegian Fjords cruise with the Baltic cruise (to St. Petersburg) that was happening the following week. Just bizarre. I've been to the Baltic, liked it, bought my souvenirs, got my photos. Now I want something with Norwegian things on it. Not more Russian nesting dolls. Not Orthodox Churches...STAVE Churches. Just amazing that they can miss something that basic...again and again and again. 8. Activities: Fewest activities I've ever seen on a cruise. Almost nothing, other than lounge singers and maybe one or two games, conducted after 8pm. Very poor movie selection--just one film per day, done on repeat. 9. The "little things". I know some of these are petty, but to experience them all 11 days they just added up to a cheapened experience: almost no in-room television programming, poor hours for poolside grill, poor/sporadic hours for bars, poor communication when passing points of interest, poor cleanliness (especially exterior windows...), poor availability of electrical outlets, poor and expensive internet (used for airline boarding passes), poor availability of movement throughout the ship. Items not reviewed: 1. Pre-cruise hotel and transportation. We've had less-than-optimal experiences with this in the past on other lines, so we generally just do this ourselves. Glad we did, saved a bunch of money. 2. Disembarkation. We stopped trusting RCI by the 2nd or 3rd day, so we just hauled our own bags off the ship as soon as we could. 3. Children: we don't have any, so we didn't experience this. I never saw a child in the outdoor pool or sports areas, though. 4. Loyalty or Concierge clubs: not a member, didn't see it. Though on the more scenic days in the fjord, RCI failed to police the "suite guests only" areas, resulting in very irritated suite guests being crowded on their observation decks. SUMMARY: I'm glad I took this cruise, but it was in spite of RCI, not because of them. There was nothing RCI did that exceeded my expectations. I could recommend this to someone only with the knowledge that you're paying quite a lot for "just-OK" room and board, and transportation to amazing places. If I had it to do over again, I would probably rather postpone my trip until another line got the itinerary I wanted. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2014
This cruise out of New Orleans was great. We visited the ports of Key West and Nassau (Coco Cay was cancelled). Embarkation was fast and easy. We were checked in and on the ship within 15 minutes of arriving at the port. Lunch in the ... Read More
This cruise out of New Orleans was great. We visited the ports of Key West and Nassau (Coco Cay was cancelled). Embarkation was fast and easy. We were checked in and on the ship within 15 minutes of arriving at the port. Lunch in the Windjammer was excellent. Going out of New Orleans is an experience in itself. There was much to see along the river as we twisted and turned our way to the gulf. Entertainment on the ship was very good. We had both musical and comedy shows. We also decided to do the Mystery Dinner Theater one night. The actual theater show was kind of silly and not well performed but the food and wine was exceptionally good. We did My Time Dining for the first time. We did not pick our times prior to getting onboard, which was a mistake. We were unable to get the dining time we wanted once onboard and ended up eating much later then we wanted to. Lesson learned and if we do MTD again, we will pre-select our times in advance of getting onboard. Although the food was really great, we are not fans of RCL's new menus. Many of our favorites are no longer offered. There were a couple of nights that we felt the selections were poor and we ordered off the of the Chops menu. We are also disappointed in the quality of steak offered on the regular menu. Our biggest complaint would be the sound level & type of music (and rehearsals) in the main centrum. This small area was overwhelmed by the loudness of the music. It was an insult to the ears even when getting off the elevators on other decks. We are used to having soft pre-dinner music in the area but that was not the case on this cruise. Our favorite place was the Diamond Lounge. What a wonderful job RCL did with this area. It was a wonderful retreat at all hours of the day. The host Rami was the BEST! He bent over backwards to make sure your every need was met. Although we missed the port of Coco Cay, the other ports were nice. We really enjoyed Key West. We do not do any organized shore excursions through the cruise lines but we heard RCL did a nice job on their excursions. Nassau was the same as usual. Nothing much new there. We could have spent much less time in that port. Being in Nassau until nearly mid-night is a waste of time (in our opinion). There was a pretty good selection of entertainment during our sea days and we enjoyed a few games of Trivia. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2009
Serenade of the Seas is changing from a Caribbean to an Alaskan itinerary shortly but I wanted to share our experience on this ship and the Eastern Caribbean ports of call given the fact that we had a member in our party that requires a ... Read More
Serenade of the Seas is changing from a Caribbean to an Alaskan itinerary shortly but I wanted to share our experience on this ship and the Eastern Caribbean ports of call given the fact that we had a member in our party that requires a wheelchair. We flew in a day early and rented a van (our daughter is able to stand and with two of use we transferred her into the middle bench seat. The van had a stow-n-go rear seat which folded into the floor providing enough room to get her wheelchair in not to mention all our luggage. We spent one night at the Embassy Suites Dorado del Mar which is right on the ocean just to the west of San Juan. It is a facility we could have spent the week at. Great pool and they had wheelchair access right up to the sand on the ocean on their property. Our sightseeing on Puerto Rico was limited due to time. We decided to go to the Arecibo Radio Telescope south of Arecibo. Don't let the fact that it is named after this coastal town lead you to believe it is nearby, nor easy to get to. While the signage was good the roads proved quite an adventure. They got quite narrow and we were constantly go up or down hills. While it was interesting when we got there; had we known what the drive would be like we would not have made the trip. We did not board the Serenade of the Seas until just after 5:00pm. There was no crowd. We got on board quickly and our room was immediately available. We had an oceanview accessible cabin on the third level. In earlier reviews some people mentioned odors on levels 2 and 3. We never encountered it on either level. The cabin was spacious with a king size bed and two pullman beds that came out of the ceiling to accommodate the four of us. All of the public areas were accessible on the ship. We only went to the theater once, on the last night so we can't speak to the entertainment per se, but we had no problem with seating. We did go to the casino, played some billiards and bingo, went to the on board shops and spent a lot of time on deck 12 where we could walk outside around the whole ship and take in the views. Nothing kept us from going where we wanted with the wheelchair. The dining staff was great. They pureed our daughter's food and even provided us with the following night's menu so it would be ready with our regular meals. Kudos to our headwaiter Eric, Waitress Mary and Asst. Waitress Liodela. They were always on top of things. Our daughter enjoyed her meals and so did we. The food was good every night. We often hit the Seaview Cafe for a reuben or other sandwich later in the evening. The buffet at the Windjammer was just that, a buffet. It had a good assortment each time we went there. We took advantage of room service for most of our breakfasts. The menu is limited. We were blessed with sun every day. Even so we did have a couple of evening with rougher seas. Even so we rarely ever noticed that the ship was moving. When it was turbulent it was funny to look out our third level window and watch the ocean. It seemed like we were on a fixed dock watching a stormy sea. It was that smooth. Our plan on each island was to hit a beach. We really had a hard time finding info on 'accessible' beaches. Again our daughter can stand and with two of us we could get her into the Van/Taxis on the islands. We brought a collapsible wheelchair to take with us. Our best surprise was that we were able to pull her in her chair backwards across the sand at every beach we went too! We never had to carry her in the chair to get on the beach. Each beach we went to allowed us to roll right from the pavement directly into the sand without having to negotiate a single step. On 'cruise' day, the last full day we did have an adventure getting a lounger on deck. We ended up sitting at the Seaview Cafe until mid afternoon when the crowd started to thin out. The adult beverage prices are high, but we expected that. We did a wine-n-dine which we prepaid for so it was done and we knew we would have wine with every meal and not think about the day's expenses. Be sure to check out the bars/convenience stores right off the ship. We were told there were no open container laws so we walked with open beers. Our disdebarking from the ship was smooth. We opted for the transfers back to the airport which at $14.50 per person is a deal when you need a wheelchair accessible van. We would highly recommend RCI and especially the Serenade of the Seas for anyone traveling with a wheelchair. We pleased beyond our expectations. Read Less
Serenade of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.3
Dining 4.0 4.0
Entertainment 5.0 3.7
Public Rooms 5.0 4.3
Fitness Recreation 5.0 4.0
Family 5.0 4.0
Shore Excursion 3.0 3.9
Enrichment 1.0 3.5
Service 5.0 4.4
Value For Money 5.0 3.9
Rates 4.0 4.3

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