86 Royal Caribbean Serenade of the Seas Caribbean - Eastern Cruise Reviews

I spent a lot of time giving feedback at the end of this cruise on their survey. Below are my comments to RCI (with edits). We had sailed on the Royal Princess recently (I know it's a newer ship and a different class) so we could ... Read More
I spent a lot of time giving feedback at the end of this cruise on their survey. Below are my comments to RCI (with edits). We had sailed on the Royal Princess recently (I know it's a newer ship and a different class) so we could make direct comparisons easily. I hope they use some of the comments to improve the experience for others. This is not a new ship but well maintained with a very friendly crew. We enjoyed the rock climbing and tried to participate in many of the activities offered. We just sailed on the Royal Princess about 8 weeks ago so it was easy to compare our experiences. Both cruises were enjoyable BUT the Princess cruise was more enjoyable overall. We embarked in Ft. Lauderdale and it was not as nice looking a terminal as the Princess cruise from the same port. The buffet on the Princess cruise has a much bigger selection and really really good food and an insane variety of foods from different cultures. It was so good, we hardly went to eat in the dining room. To get superior food on the Serenade we had to eat in the dining room. We also enjoyed the buffet service better on the Princess cruise. There seemed to be more staff at the buffet to get our drink orders (no having to get up to get our drinks) and tables were cleared very often on the Royal Princess. The dining room staff on the Serenade were very good and charming. Also, little touches like water and wet face clothes after an excursion were not done on the Serenade. To return towels after an excursion we had to return on the Lido deck (long hike after a tiring day). Also we felt we were charged more for services like laundry (we loved the self-serve laundry on every deck on the Princess), photos, spa, etc. We felt the Princess had better value for us in general and a more pleasant overall experience. Our experience on the Serenade was good but it could have been excellent. We did love seeing Captain Aris around all the time. And the entertainment staff, dancers and singers were very fun. We loved the Switched On Band and tried to dance as a family overnight with the band! We participated in the mob dance (thanks Naomi!). We also enjoyed the Flag Ceremony and the Farewell Ceremony as we know the crew really work hard. We also thought the entire crew were friendly and charming from our Steward to the Wait Staff. In terms of hand washing, the Royal Princess has very efficient had washing stations before entering the buffets and restaurants that were enforced. We loved that. We know the Serenade is an older ship but during a retrofit, you should do that (safety first). The small outdoor movie screen also has a pixel issue. The app on the Princess allowed your party to text/message each other for FREE! The RCI app is looks beautiful but not as useful for our family to communicate with each other around the ship. Also your TV, doesn't allow people to select movie and shows on demand (which we had on the Royal Princess). We liked how it was announced by the captain on the first day that everyone fist pumps on the ship and does not hand shake. We enjoyed hearing from the captain as he seemed to really participate in the events. We enjoyed the dance classes by professional dancers (the dance team was very good) and we enjoyed the meet and great with the dancers and singers on the last day. Loved the live music around the ship and in the theatre! We liked the actual glass shower doors (no mess). The spa double charged me for a service (no way I could get my pedicure twice on the same day). I went to speak with Mina (spa manager, it was later in the evening). Instead of processing the refund right away, she said she would need to speak to her team first and find out the reason for the mistake. This is not good customer service - she should have processed my refund immediately and then spoken with her staff the next day. We enjoyed the egg drop, ship building battle (our kids won), mob dance, napkin folding, towel folding, bartender show, 70's night and 70's night dance training with Naomi. My husband showed up for the darts and table tennis contests but no staff were at the "events" so the passengers did their own "contests and games" which was too bad because he won both competitions. We thought this cruise's entertainment was more fun but our general feeling was that it could have been a better overall experience in the other areas. The Ft. Lauderdale terminal did not look nice at all on departure; it should be renovated so keep that nice ship feeling all the way through. The terminal didn't understand that Global Entry passengers should have a separate line to get to the customs agent! We had to speak to someone to help us with that and thankfully, he understood and helped us. Finally the kids club, our 10 year old preferred the one on the Princess and thought it was really restrictive on the Serenade and never wanted to go there as she wanted free time to do her own thing in the club. The photos, we liked the experience on the Princess better (they also retouch your photos for free on the Princess). As we "collected" the photos, they kept it for us so it wasn't a chore to find them all the time, we purchased them on the ship (we were told they didn't have enough room on the Serenade to do this). and they used the bar code to put the digital photos right away on a USB stick for us so I was not concerned about an email coming to me. The photo package for all the photos were also more affordable on the Royal Princess. It seems like such a waste of printed photos to have them all displayed and most of them trashed. All ships should have computer terminals that with a simple swipe of your sea pass card or medallion, you get to see all of your photos on a screen and get your digital files emailed to you or on a USB stick. Not environmentally friendly at all and waste of your staff resources. No more printed photos! Who really wants 8 x 10s! We just want to post on social media and be done with it or just print out a few at Costco. We loved how often we saw or heard Captain Aris around the ship. He looks like someone who enjoys his job! We would love to see a female captain one day. We enjoyed the dining room staff, especially manager Kaviraj and his staff Sheldon, Maynard and Hurray. Special acknowledgement to Adikash who made a wonder paper jumping frog for my child and her cousin. They loved it! We enjoyed the soft serve ice cream in the buffet and the sorbets in the dining room. Sanya, our steward was great and we loved to hear her laugh. Napkins should be available at the self service drink stations. We also thought the buffets hours were odd on the Serenade (they close at 9:00 and before lunch and before dinner) because it never closed on the Princess during the day and was open to 11PM every night! Tip for muster station info on the sea pass cards, put the deck number on it too. Hand sanitizers should also be located right by the food at the buffet too. I didn't trust that everyone had clean hands so after handling the food serving spooks and ladle, I sanitized my hands again but had to walk all the way back to the hostess or the front doors. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
My wife and I get to cruise once or twice per year, it is our light at the end of the tunnel. We love everything about cruising and this trip did not disappoint...mostly. Let's get the bad out of the way, this was the worst ... Read More
My wife and I get to cruise once or twice per year, it is our light at the end of the tunnel. We love everything about cruising and this trip did not disappoint...mostly. Let's get the bad out of the way, this was the worst entertainment staff we have ever sailed with. They were professional, courteous and pleasant but man were they boring. Worse was the cruise staffed performers, they had on excellent singer we wished they would have featured more. The other singers and dancers were like a really bad high school production. The costumes were cheap and made at times little sense and the choreography very blah. That being said the rest of the entertainment was fantastic, every day and night the entertainment was great from the Ship's orchestra to the comics to the solo bar artists the Caribbean pool duo. But the stars of the ship was a pop band from Mexico called Switched On. They had incredible range and great charisma, they had everybody rocking in a very good way. Serenade is an older ship but incredibly well maintained. We love her size, because it feels more quaint, easy to figure out and you see the same crew often which breeds comfortable familiarity. We also don't love a tender process and didn't have to do any on this cruise. Getting ashore and back on was efficient and painless. Windjammer is where we did most breakfasts and lunches at it had great diversity of choices we have come to expect. I like the Indian fare and the Omelet Station is great, they have it down to a science. Main dining room Reflections is just fine for us and the My Time Dining. We were seated with Waiter and Assistant waiter Sinaga and Ian. Find these two, Sinaga is hard working sincere and does fantastic close up magic, Ian is equally hardworking, has a mischievous glint in his eye and is delightfully funny. The Itinerary was fantastic; St. Thomas-We have been to this beautiful Island a few times so we opted to take the ship excursion to St. John Trunk Bay and it was great. A fun Island Girl Ferry over and back with a friendly crew, then a short bus ride.Good snorkeling was included for novices in crystal waters and a gorgeous beach. really nice facilities with food and drink available for purchase. St Croix- Cruise excursion to the Whim Estate, an old sugar plantation with cultural and historical guides. Then to the St. George Village Botanical Gardens a very nice walk with an informed guide, took some pics for ideas in my Florida garden. Then to the Captain Morgan distillery because Cruzan was closed. This part of the tour was mostly sales, however the staff were amazingly friendly and the rum tasting...well it was an intoxicating venture and the gift/liquer store prices were very good. Antigua- Ship excursion and short bus trip to Ffryes Beach, again crystal clear water and beautiful beach. Some tent shops with very polite salespeople and not pushy at all. Ffryes Beach Bar/ Dennis Restaurant where two drinks and a very tasty lunch was provided. St. Kitts- Research told me to pick a tour once disembarked, and it was spot on. Look for All Weather Tours run by Franklin, it is all you need to do. 30 years on the police force and corrections now turned to tour guide. $20 a piece gets you a comfortable open air, narrated bus ride by someone in love with his country and impassioned to share it. The tour hits all the highlights except the fort. He also carries a bar and mixes some mean cocktails. If you think you can hang ask for the Ting with a Sting" or his delicious "All Weather Rum Punch", just know your limits. Next time we go we will book him again, it was that much fun. Our favorite stop on this itinerary by far. St. Maarten- Ship excursion 6 Jeeps with walkie-talkie narration. a Good guide who was able to keep us together and handled some adversity very well. You have to drive aggressively which was a blast but one of our jeeps had an incident with a tourist's vehicle in which the driver who was to drive to drunk. This was our least favorite destination, it is crowded, not very friendly and ridiculously expensive. Not a fan of either side of the Island. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We boarded the Serenade of the Seas (myself and 2 friends) on Friday, 3/15, for a 10 day Caribbean cruise! Embarkation was incredibly easy! By the time we arrived at the port it was 1pm and there was no line at all. Our cabins were ... Read More
We boarded the Serenade of the Seas (myself and 2 friends) on Friday, 3/15, for a 10 day Caribbean cruise! Embarkation was incredibly easy! By the time we arrived at the port it was 1pm and there was no line at all. Our cabins were ready when we got there and our cruise pass cards were in our cabins. My friends had one balcony cabin, 8530, and I had 8532. Unfortunately, the balcony separator could not be removed on this ship, but it worked out ok. The cabins had a little bit of wear, but overall, they were clean with plenty of storage. The only negatives were the number of outlets (only 2), and the bed quality (really, really horrible). My friends had no complaints. I felt like I was sleeping on top of springs. My cabin attendant put a comforter under the bottom sheet and it helped, but the mattress should have been replaced. My room attendant, Irod, was a really nice guy who always had a kind word and a smile. Serenade has so many places where you can go and read or sit and relax! I love the center atrium because you always know what’s going on from any deck. It’s a nice gathering area. The ship is easy to navigate and never felt crowded. There’s a nice area with chairs and tables outside of the Windjammer that was a great place to sit and grab a snack after an excursion. Overall, it’s a very pretty, well-designed ship and I would easily sail on her again. The food was okay. Some meals were great (panko crusted salmon, lobster) and some meals were just eh. The menu repeated a lot in the main dining room, but there was always something for everyone. If not an entrée, then certainly a couple appetizers. We had My Time dining, but made a reservation for 5:30 each night. And each night we had the same table and the same waiter. I guess we did a modified, traditional eating plan! Our waiter, Julio, and assistant waiter, Wuh, were excellent. The windjammer was a typical buffet. Just pick your favorites and move on. I think the museli is enough of a reason to cruise!! I read a few comments from past cruisers who felt the staff looked bored and uninterested. I have to agree with them. Those that provided great service were the minority in the Windjammer and main dining room. We tried lunch a few times on sea days in the main dining room. Not only were the servers not interested in serving us, they were rude and unpleasant. Not all, but most. I bought a coffee card and Andres knew my name and drink of choice by the second day. That amazes me! He serves so many people, but remembers details like that. And he didn’t mind if you asked for more of this or less of that. Thank you Andres!! We had 5 stops and did 4 ship excursions and one private. Disembarkation was very easy and never a wait. Same with getting back on the ship. No problem whatsoever. We met our tour groups on the pier, which we preferred way more than meeting in the theatre and being herded off the ship. The first stop, St. Thomas, we took a ship excursion over to St. John. We went by boat and then boarded an open air truck to drive around the island. Very pleasant. Even stopped for rum drinks half way through. I wish we would have had more time to walk around the town, but the transfer boat wanted us back on by 2:30 and the tour ended at 2:10. The 2nd stop was St. Croix. We booked a private jeep tour with TanTan Tours and it was incredible! We had to take a taxi over to the Christiansted side of the island (about 30 min ride) and that was not easy. They did not like that we wanted one way and not round trip, it was total chaos trying to get a cab and they crammed as many as they could into every vehicle. We did eventually make it for $8/pp one way and walked a bit to meet our tour. The Jeep tour was amazing! I highly recommend it. A lot of off-roading and a stop to swim in tidal pools. Great fun! The third stop, Antigua, we booked a day on a private island. I think it was called Crusoe island. Although we enjoyed it, I would not do it again. Too primitive for me. My spoiled brain pictured rum drinks being served while lounging in chairs under umbrellas and on a nice beach. In reality, we were bussed to a hotel, crammed into an old, wooden boat for the 10 minute ride to the island. There were chairs to sit in, but zero shade. Every time we asked for an umbrella, we were told we had to wait for everyone to get there. That took about 2 hours. I don’t want to sit in the hot sun for 2 hours. They eventually put up a couple 10x10 tents and we did finally have shade. There was plenty of rum punch. There was one marine toilet for about 45 people. It did not work and even after asking twice for flushing directions, it never did work. The water was very pretty and they did offer snorkel equipment but you had to go out pretty far to get to water over your knees. The lunch was really great! It wasn’t a horrible excursion, but I thought it was kind of boring and not what I expected. In St. Kitts, we took the boat ride to Nevis and tour of the island. It took about 45 mins to get from St. Kitts to Nevis and then we boarded another open air truck. We stopped at the Alexander Hamilton museum but you couldn’t get out. Next stop was hot springs, then lunch at an outdoor restaurant. Food was okay. The highlight of the trip was seeing Prince Charles and Camilla back at the dock when we were leaving. You could go up and shake their hand if you wanted. It wasn’t the frenzy that it is here in the States. The islanders found it merely interesting. Our last stop, St. Maarten, was one of the best! So much devastation still there from the hurricane in 2017. Boats overturned in the water and buildings completely gutted. And then in between were signs of recovery and newly renovated places. We took the 3 Islands by Power Boat tour. We stopped a few places to snorkel and swim and ended with lunch on the beach. We really enjoyed this excursion! In summary, we greatly enjoyed our cruise and would definitely sail again on Serenade of the Seas! Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Cabin/Ship: I thought Serenade of the Seas was a lovely ship. Even though she is older I found the staff keep her clean and tidy. She is smaller ship, which is fine with me. I prefer that to the mega ships. Our Cabin 3070 was your ... Read More
Cabin/Ship: I thought Serenade of the Seas was a lovely ship. Even though she is older I found the staff keep her clean and tidy. She is smaller ship, which is fine with me. I prefer that to the mega ships. Our Cabin 3070 was your standard cabin in a good location (quiet...cabins above and below). Our cabin Stewart, Hannibal, was terrific. Anything we requested we received promptly. Our room was clean, although the only negative was that our picture ‘port hole’ window, which was large, was like looking through a fish bowl. The glass was so that it was not a clear view but a bowed one…if that makes since. I did not mind the cabin being on a lower deck; I always take the stairs so I can have dessert and a few drinks and keep my weight in check. Dinning: We ate in both the main dining room and Windjammer for dinner. I found the food in both places to be good. For lunch we grabbed salads at the Solarium café, which were good. Breakfast at the Windjammer also good with lots of choices. The only disappointing thing I found was even though I called and specifically asked if the Solarium had a smoothie machine and was told yes they did not have one. They did have a smoothie drink from cartons but they are filled with lots of sugar. Excursions: St. Thomas - Caribbean Sail to Christmas & Honeymoon We have taken this excursion before. The first time it was on ‘The Bones’ schooner. This time it was on a catamaran. It was a smaller cat. I preferred the schooner myself. The snorkeling was not very good. The hurricanes did damage the reef systems. It is coming back but slowly. We did see a few turtles. The beach and lunch were good. Loved being on the water. All in all a good trip. St. Croix – Discover Scuba Diving Well my husband discovered he did not want to scuba LOL. He wears earplugs while swimming/snorkeling to prevent ear infections and cannot wear them while scuba diving. He decided not to try. I did try and was able to make it through the training with no issues. But when we descended further down in the ocean my mask started leaking. Tried to fix the issues a few times cut could not. As to not hold the others up I decided to end my experience. I would LOVE to try again someday. We went with Cane Bay Dive Shop and all of the staff was great. Thanks to Paul for all of his encouragement and patience. St. Johns, Antigua – Catamaran Cruise with Lobster Lunch We have taken this excursion before. The first stop is just ok. No chairs or umbrellas. The water is nice, beach is nice, can take a long stroll if you want. Basically they drop you off so they can set up Lunch; which is fine with us. The lobster lunch is always great! Lots of Rum punch! St. Kitts – Catamaran Fan-ta-sea to Nevis Weather could have been better but never the less a very nice excursion. The snorkeling was average. No reef but boulders and a shipwreck. We did not go to the beach with our stop at Nevis but stayed on the Catamaran due to the rain approaching. Those who did go to the beach, besides the rain, enjoyed it. Lunch was good and plenty of it if you wanted seconds. St. Maarten – Three Islands by powerboat with Lunch The island is still recovering from the hurricane. Excursion went through Cole Bay where you saw the extensive damage from hurricane Irma. Boats still submerged in the water. Homes boarded up, piles of wreckage everywhere. Very heartbreaking. For me brought back bad memories of having to rebuild with Super Storm Sandy. Otherwise the day and tour was very good. The reef is starting to come back at Creol Rock. You can see little staghorn coral growing. Fish were around and a 4 foot barracuda. Next onto Tintamarre Island. You will need to swim to island. Otherwise you could snorkel around the boat. Those who choose to stay on the boat saw some turtles. It is a sandy bottom, not many fish. Onto Pinel Island. Saw wild horses up on the ridge. Water and beach is nice. Next stop the restaurant for lunch. We sat outside, on the beach, picnic tables with shade. Lunch was good. On the way back to the ship we stopped on the water and had a few planes fly overhead and watched them land on the runway. Very pleasant day. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Serenade of the Seas Review March 15th-25th Sailing Stops: St. Thomas, St.Croix, St. Kitts, Antigua, St. Maarten Once again, another amazing cruise onboard the Serenade of the Seas. Just as a little background, I’m a mid 30’s ... Read More
Serenade of the Seas Review March 15th-25th Sailing Stops: St. Thomas, St.Croix, St. Kitts, Antigua, St. Maarten Once again, another amazing cruise onboard the Serenade of the Seas. Just as a little background, I’m a mid 30’s Diamond+ single cruiser and this is my 2nd time on this ship, and 3rd time on a ship of this class on RCCL. Although the ship is a bit small, and one of Royal’s older ships, it’s still provided a great vacation. The entire staff was amazing and gave great service at every corner of the ship. The ship was very clean and at times it felt like you have the entire ship to yourself, not nearly as cramped or busy like the bigger ships. Before getting into a short overall review about this cruise, I wanted to get some acknowledgement to some all-stars I ran into on this ship. Josepher Lead Bartender: This man was all over the ship, taking care of our drinks at the Pool bar, Diamond Lounge, and Night Club. His service, personality, and friendliness are 5 stars. Every time I saw him, he would always take time and stop to have a conversation about my day. One of the best bartenders I have ever ran into in my cruise history. Ervina and Rulof Beverages: These two gems are amazing married individuals, that also provided the highest level of service at the Diamond Lounge and at the night club until 2-3am. This was a primarily older aged cruise, and night life was, well … non existent haha. So, majority of the 10 nights, it was just Rulof and I, chatting all night. Both Rulof and Ervina made some of the best drinks onboard and provided the best company throughout the cruise. I wish them both the best in the future, and the best for their family. Hannif Beverages: My goto guy at the 2nd floor pool bar and at the Safari Lounge. Great personality and quick & accurate service each time I visited him (and I visited him A LOT haha). Cheers Hannif! JJ and Mario Diamond and Concierge Lounges: Great people that always greeted you with a warm welcome and 5 star service in the diamond club. And Last but not least, our amazing Dinners Staff - Grace, Jerry, and Ty Grace Waitress: Fantastic service each and every night from this trio. Grace is a sweetheart that did a superb job getting us top tier quality service every night. One night my fish looked a little dry as she presented to me, without even batting an eye, she told me it looked too dry and sent it back. She had a replacement meal out in under 5 minutes that was cooked perfectly. Ty Beverages: Jerry Assistant Waiter: Jerry and Ty took care of all our drinks and water like clockwork and were always smiling and having a lot of fun with us. Ty is all over the ship as well, and someone you want to make friends with on day 1. She delivers drinks at the pool, the main dining room, and Main Lounge during the shows. Now onto the cruise itself… The ship is very clean, very beautiful, and is a perfect way to see some amazing destinations with friends or loved ones. For singles, it may be a bit of a different story. Most of the ship was mid 40’s and above, which provided a very relaxing vacation, but it seemed like everyone was asleep by Midnight. There were no specialty nights at the club like on most ships (silent disco nights, dancing under the stars, etc) The entire ship was dead past midnight. RCCL should organize cruise staff to relax and dance with guests at the club during some of the first nights to get people to dance and have fun (much like they do with the poolside sea day dancing). HOWEVER, the best cover band I have ever seen on a cruise ship played almost every night until midnight in the Centrum, “SWITCHED ON Band” ! An absolute fantastic show, and they did such an amazing job performing for us every night. I believe they are new to the RCCL circuit. My family saw them during the winter on Anthem of the Seas, which I think was their first ship, and we were fortunate to have them transfer to Serenade just before our trip. Amazing, amazing band, and make sure to check them out on Instagram “switchedonbandmx” and on facebook. The music in the irish pub was also superb, and he did a great job on the acoustic guitar, I believe his name was Julio. Great voice! The stops were beautiful, all of them. There was not one stop I did not enjoy. (I will post our stops below with pictures). The at sea days were fun, with all the standard contests (belly flop, sexiest man, volleyball). The live entertainment on the pool deck was very enjoyable also, and they did an excellent job. Overall Cruise Rating PROS: Excellent service everywhere you turn Very relaxing and enjoyable cruise SWITCHED ON BAND! Ship is smaller than most, but has great comfortable feel to it Great Food and Drink Service Beautiful stops on a long and relaxing 10 days PRO/CON (this may apply differently to different ages): Due to it being longer than a week, the average age may be above what you’d like CONS: Serenade does not have a lot of the amazing activities which are provided on other Explorer and higher, class ships (Slides, Flow Rider, 24/7 pizza, dancing under the stars). Nightlife past midnight was dead. No activities like silent disco, or outdoor parties. Accessories in the camera shop are VERY overpriced (SD card for my GOPRO was $70.. same card on amazon is $14) 400% markup! Amazon search before you buy on ship. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
This was a b2b cruise and the stops at all the ports were excellent. Used some of the ships shore excursions and satisfied with all of them. Really enjoyed all the live music happening around the ship. Cruise director Carly B was very ... Read More
This was a b2b cruise and the stops at all the ports were excellent. Used some of the ships shore excursions and satisfied with all of them. Really enjoyed all the live music happening around the ship. Cruise director Carly B was very good. One downside on the Serenade was the lack of more enrichment programs. Only talks were mainly port shopping or selling shore excursions. Would like to see some talks about the areas we were stopping at. Also very limited amount of craft programs, especially on sea days. Not everyone wants to play trivia games. Unfortunately, finding the quality and variety of food in the main dining room has gone down over the years. Service in the main dining room however is still excellent. Windjammer was decent for a buffet and morning omelet station definitely a four star. I can certainly recommend RC to friends but I would warn them in advance about a few of the downsides I noted. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We chose this cruise because we really enjoy the Eastern Caribbean. We like to include an island we haven't been to and St Croix was it this time. This was our 1st 10 day cruise as well with 2 cruising days on each end of this ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we really enjoy the Eastern Caribbean. We like to include an island we haven't been to and St Croix was it this time. This was our 1st 10 day cruise as well with 2 cruising days on each end of this adventure with 5 islands in a row in the middle. There were more older couples on the ship than younger but that was OK with us. We were looking for relaxing and quieter surroundings. The usual pool activities like the Belly flop competition and sports events such as the Rock Climbing Wall, dodge ball, and basketball took place. Dance classes, art events, drink mixing; all the usual things that take place while one is on board were in full swing. The crew of the Serenade of the Seas were truly outstanding. Always a smile with a "what can I do for you" attitude. The food and dining was very good. We bought a 3 night package that gives you a discount on wine and takes care of the extra charge before you board. Chops grille twice and Giovanni's Table once were our picks but it didn't matter because they were both excellent. The Windjammer buffet had an excellent selection all day long. We chose the late seating in the Reflections dining room. Our waiters were Dede and Lois and they did a great job. I sometimes wonder why people complain about the food. Sure a specialty restaurant is a bit above the main dining room fare but isn't it supposed to be? I'll just say this: At the end of the week the greens were still crisp and the entree's still done to perfection. Selection was top notch. The shows at the Tropical Theater were very good. We were in some choppy water going out and coming in and you would have thought we were in an expensive metropolitan venue the way the performers carried it out. We were able to tour the backstage on day 10 of our voyage and it was well worth our time. Speaking of tours I would recommend the ships tours to anyone who hasn't done them. Very interesting how the crew gets their jobs done. We did 3 shore excursions all with Royal Caribbean. Went to St Johns Trunk Bay for snorkeling while in St Thomas, did the Rum Tour and West End Highlights in St Croix, and did the Great Bay Beach Experience while at St Maarten. St Maarten was last minute because we were told Orient Beach was not looking good due to the hurricane. It turned out great. Hard to beat a beautiful beach and a bucket of beer at a reasonable cost on your last port day! The other two excursions were also very enjoyable.. Would definitely do them again. Want to say that the service was truly exceptional the whole time. Embarkation was a snap. We were on board by 11:00 am and we were not the 1st. When it came time to disembark that was easy as well. Our stateroom was taken care of by Dyaz who was a very personable fellow who adjusted to your schedule as required. A very special "shout-out" to Andres (Andy) who was our Concierge during our cruise. I don't know how he found the time to take care of all the Suite Guests like he did. That club was packed but it sure seemed to go smoothly. All in all a wonderful 8th cruise for us as we continue to stay "Loyal to Royal". Read Less
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
Sail Date February 2019
Chose this cruise for 4 reasons. One a Royal Caribbean ship we have not cruised on, itineraries, length of cruise and a super, super low price. What a great choice. looking for water slides etc. Not on this ship. Well so far a total of 66 ... Read More
Chose this cruise for 4 reasons. One a Royal Caribbean ship we have not cruised on, itineraries, length of cruise and a super, super low price. What a great choice. looking for water slides etc. Not on this ship. Well so far a total of 66 cruises under our belt now and this one was one of the very best. Tie with the Harmony of the Seas. Totally two different ships but our two best picks. Only a few negatives and so many positives. This will be a long review. I cannot say enough about the wonderful experience. The ship, older but beautiful. Like a ship should be. Decorated heavily with nautical décor. So much wood and planks. So beautiful. Super comfortable and cozy. A nice warm feeling. Not just a floating shiny piece of steel. Because of it being an older ship, there are signs of wear. Totally understandable. However, they keep it up and looking very nice. Exceptional had cleaning everywhere. They also wipe down all the railings with disinfectant several times a day. Our Ocean view state room. Large port hole and beautiful décor also. Small but very comfortable. We no longer dine in the dining room. Such a waste of time. So we will talk about the buffet in the WindJammer. I cannot describe how delicious everything was every day, no exceptions. Unbelievable. The temperature of the food was always perfect. Service was tops. Breakfast, lunch and dinner had such a wide variety of food. Out of all the ships this one by far had the very best pizza. Made like it is in a Pizza shop. Not in an automated machine. In a Pizza oven. Always three different kinds and always so very hot and tasty. Like hand tossed. Never burnt or under baked. Always super fresh and stringy cheese. Yum! If you like a certain food, I bet they have it. I love mashed potatoes and on carnival, you will be lucky to get them once on a cruise. On RCCL every day lunch and dinner. happy me! The burgers for dinner were hand made, the fries, always perfect and always very hot. I could do 1000 words on just the food. Entertainment was tops. Headliners, not just singers and dancers. Eight piece orchestra. They were awesome. Lead singer from the Jersey Boys. Awesome performance. Music everywhere and all different. Getting off of the ship was like normal. However it was handled with precision and fast. As for the crew members. The ALL were so wonderful. Made you feel like you were part of the crew. They get along so well, laughed and joked around with one another. Talking to many, they ALL indicated they were like family and all had good times together. It shows, always a smile and big hello. Asking them if they wanted to do another contract on this ship. All said definitely. So if you are considering a cruise on the RCCL Serenade of the Seas. Totally recommend it. Not much for children on this ship. No water slides, but they do have a rock climbing wall. OK it can’t be perfect, can it. Right, it is not. But it is close. Only one recommendation. The soft serve machines. They have four of them, only one or two are ever used. They only have them operating during lunch and dinner hours. I wish they had one where the drinks are open 24/7 till at least midnight. Carnival 24/7. Nice to have a soft serve late in the evening or before retiring for the night. I have two negatives. One is the Bingo. Lowest cost is $29 you get three cards for three games, and one crack and peal. The top is $69 you get the automatic 32 card iPad and 6 cards and two crack and peal. The payout is super low. $100+ game one to $300+ for the top sometimes even lower. No different if a lot of players are there. If you are lucky to win, you hope you are the only winner. The very last game was for a free cruise. I can see paying more for that one. Not the others. They are a rip off for sure. Now for the biggest disappointment. That was the specialty steak house. DO NOT GO!! Do not waste your money unless you just want to get waited on. We waited over 45 minutes to get our steaks and only 8 people were in the steak house. All of steaks are terrible and a big rip off. The steaks in the WindJammer are far better. Guessing on the average of the cruisers I would say 60ish So I will close by saying. Have fun cruising. Totally recommend the Serenade of the Seas for an enjoyable, relaxing, wonderful cruise experience. Read Less
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
Sail Date January 2019
We were on the Serenade two years ago and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. When we saw this year’s ininerary, we decided to sail on her again. I love the size of the ship. She has plenty of activities to keep us occupied and it’s ... Read More
We were on the Serenade two years ago and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. When we saw this year’s ininerary, we decided to sail on her again. I love the size of the ship. She has plenty of activities to keep us occupied and it’s also very easy to get around. We attended a few shows; our favorite was Travis Cloer, the headliner. He played Frankie Valli in “The Jersey Boys” on Broadway and put on one of the best performances that I’ve seen on any ship. The magician and comedian were also good. Two years ago, my one negative comment was that the food could be better. A ship’s officer told me that they changed chefs, and I could tell the difference. The food was excellent. We did not have a bad meal in the MDR or in the Windjammer. How they manage to keep such high standards while feeding so many people is a mystery to me. DeDe and Gorin, our waiters in the MDR, took excellent care of us. Our cabin was small but serviceable for just the two of us. I did notice that the furniture showed its age, and some refurbishing could be in order. We took a few tours of some the islands. One of our favorites was in St. Kitts. The tour owner and guide was Desiree, and she was fantastic. She was born and raised on the island and knew everything about it. While she’s not a RC sponsored tour guide, she was excellent and made sure we were back to the ship in plenty of time. All in all, we had a great time, and the Serenade has not seen the last of us. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
This was our second time on Serenade. We loved it the first time so decided to sail again on her. Embarkation was very fast and easy and we were sitting outside on the Lido Deck by 1115. Cabins were ready by 1pm. We had a aft JS which ... Read More
This was our second time on Serenade. We loved it the first time so decided to sail again on her. Embarkation was very fast and easy and we were sitting outside on the Lido Deck by 1115. Cabins were ready by 1pm. We had a aft JS which was spacious with a large walk in closet, large bathroom wiht tub and lots of storage space. The only negative was we were an aft JS on deck 10, underneath the outside patio of the Windjammer. I knew it was 0700 without opening my eyes when I heard the scraping of the chairs and tables. This went on all day and into the night when the area was being cleaned. For this reason I would not recommend cabin 1602 or any other cabin on deck 10. We had My Time dining and never had to wait for a table. The menus have been updated but have less selections than in the past. That being said, everything we had in the MDR was very well prepared and tasty. We had dinner in Chops one night and Giovanni's another night. Both were excellent. Park Cafe had the usual delicious roast beef sandwichs and lunch in the MDR was a lovely salad bar, pasta bar or you could order off the menu. The only disappointing aspect of this cruise was the entertainment or should I say lack there of. There was a few night where there was no entertainment in the theatre or if there was something it was scheduled for 7:15 which was inconvenient for anyone dining at 6-7pm. The service by every crew member we came in contact with was exceptional. Our waisted and asst.waiter knew our preferences after our first night and our cabin steward kept our cabin spotless. Surprisingly i was able to get a lounge in the sun at the pool whenever I wanted one. The Sanctuary was always full so I never bothered to go there but the outside pool, while small never felt crowded. I took all 4 indoor cycling classes and the fitness instructors knew their stuff. The bikes were in excellent condition. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
My husband and I chose this cruise because of its 10 night duration, the itinerary, and the price. The pros: marvelous service throughout the ship, plenty of chairs to sit in the sun or the shade, very relaxed atmosphere, great ... Read More
My husband and I chose this cruise because of its 10 night duration, the itinerary, and the price. The pros: marvelous service throughout the ship, plenty of chairs to sit in the sun or the shade, very relaxed atmosphere, great itinerary, amazing aft balcony, easy embarkation. The cons: entertainment was lacking, food was hit or miss. The ship is not a new glitzy number, but was welcoming and fit like an comfortable old shoe. It was easy to get around, easy to learn the layout. In the center was, of course, the Centrum, where there was music or other entertainment featured most of the time. Speaking of entertainment, there was no pool band due to a last minute family issue for one of the musicians, and this was a glaring miss. In addition, there really was only one big production show, as the new singers and dancers arrived later in the cruise. They actually were quite good. We were introduced to the Royal Quest, and it was a ball! There were a lot of "loyal to Royal" folks on this cruise, and I think it added to the more relaxed tone on the ship. We cruise many lines, but it is always interesting to hear what other cruisers have to say. We would happily sail on this ship again, Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We booked this cruise because it was 10 nights and the itinerary was a good one. The ports of call were good saint kitts was beautiful. The ship was beautiful. I liked the way it was easy to maneuver. The thing i liked was that it had ... Read More
We booked this cruise because it was 10 nights and the itinerary was a good one. The ports of call were good saint kitts was beautiful. The ship was beautiful. I liked the way it was easy to maneuver. The thing i liked was that it had a dedicated theater. Which rccl has done away with on most ships. I just love having a choice to see an in house movie . The movies were good. I loved the windjammer the food was actually excellent. The ribs and the brisket and the all the grilled veggies were very nice. The waffle machine where belgium waffles were made fresh with all toppings every day was a plus. On other ships i have seen frozen toaster waffles. The deserts were good .The dining room was excellent with great service lobster wasn't over cooked and the prime rib was perfect. In fact every dinner we had in both the dining room and the windjammer was perfect. The latitudes coffee bar was great. The service was quick and personal touch was much appreciated. The shows were good but not plentiful which was my complaint. It lacked comedy shows and other broadway type shows. Some days no show at all??? The casino was tight but friendly. The pools were crowded but i usually don't swim since i have a pool at home it's no big deal. The bars were busy and friendly the service was great and the drinks were fairly poured sometimes even generous. I really loved our cruise on this ship .I would do it again on the same ship. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
First off let me say we have cruised over 35 times with different cruise lines. Royal Caribbean has always been our favorite though and they did not disappoint this time. We are Diamond Members with RC so it takes a lot to impress us. ... Read More
First off let me say we have cruised over 35 times with different cruise lines. Royal Caribbean has always been our favorite though and they did not disappoint this time. We are Diamond Members with RC so it takes a lot to impress us. From the food, to the service to the entertainment everything met or exceeded our expectations. This was a 10 day cruise that left from Ft. Lauderdale and visited St. Thomas, St. Croix, Antiqua, St. Kitts and St. Maarten. We have visited all the islands several times so we didn't do anything special in any of them. If you have never been though St. Thomas and St. Maarten are your shopping ports. There is not a whole lot in St. Croix or St. Kitts to see so we just got off and walked around some before heading back to the ship for lunch. In Antigua we did share a cab with 4 other people and went to a beautiful beach where we spent about 3 hours. The cab was only $6 a person round trip. Only pay for one way though to make certain they come back to get you. For an additional $20 we got a beach umbrella and 2 chairs. I believe the same tour off the ship was $56 a person. If you want a close and easy beach in St. Maarten just take the water taxi into town $7 round trip and you will see the beach chairs and umbrellas right where you get off the ferry. Most places were charging $20 - $25 for an umbrella, 2 chairs, and a couple of drinks. We thought it was a good deal. St. Maarten has many other beautiful beaches though as well, but those you will need to take a taxi to or a tour. This was nice that it was right close to the main street shopping and then you could sit and relax and just enjoy the view. One thing we really enjoyed about the Serenade was that it had an actual Movie Theater and each day it showed a new movie several times so you had options on when to go see it. We are not sun worshipers so it was nice to have something to do in the afternoon beside sitting by the pool. All the movies were current as well. We were in a standard inside cabin. There was lots of storage space. I do always take extra plastic hangers with us. There are never enough in any cabin we have ever stayed in. We did have to tape a towel over the air vent. It blew directly across our bed and we knew we would not be able to sleep with cold air blowing on us so we taped a towel over it and the air flowed down the wall instead and it worked perfectly. We will carry a roll of duct tape with us whenever we travel in the future. We prefer Main dining so we eat with the same people every night. We had great dinner partners and really enjoyed our time with them. A table of 6 is perfect for conversation. There was not one item we ordered that we did not like or had to ask the waiter to get us something else. Everything was delicious. We had only one very small complaint. That being, in the past grilled salmon was offered every night as an alternative along with strip steak and chicken breast. On this cruise instead of salmon they offered a fish of the day. We are not big fish eaters, but do like salmon so that was a little disappointment but again so minor it is hardly worth mentioning. Before sailing though we did book the 3 night Specialty Dinner package for $60 a person. This was a bargain. If you get an e-mail beforehand and this is offered take advantage of it. On ship it was $70. One night at Chop's Grill is $39. We ate one night at Giovanni's and 2 nights at Chop's Grill. Both restaurants are excellent. The filet is top notch and the service is outstanding. Each waiter only services 2 tables so you wait for nothing. Even though we enjoyed everything in the main dining room, as well as, our dinner partners it was nice to have an alternative for those nights. Especially with it being a 10 day cruise. The Diamond Lounge is small and since almost a third of the people on-board were Diamond, Diamond Plus or Pinnacle Members getting a seat in the lounge was difficult so we would just go to the Centrum area and get our drinks before dinner and listen to music there. Bar service in general was more of a walk-up service than waiters coming to you. We found this to be true pretty much everywhere on the ship. Again for us, no problem, because we are not big drinkers. We prefer water and iced tea which we would get from the Windjammer or Park Cafe in the Solarium. Another thing we liked was that the Centrum area was not excessively loud. We were on a Celebrity ship last Spring that had a similar layout as this ship and we could not stay in the Centrum area because there was just too much noise. Again, we have taken a lot of cruises so we have a lot to compare to and we don't always give a ship 10's across the board, but this one we did. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We wanted a good value warm-weather getaway and we got that and more. The embarkation process was the smoothest I've ever experienced. The crew members throughout the cruise were efficient and friendly and out to please, especially ... Read More
We wanted a good value warm-weather getaway and we got that and more. The embarkation process was the smoothest I've ever experienced. The crew members throughout the cruise were efficient and friendly and out to please, especially the dining staff. The people we met through the roll call were terrific and we enjoyed meeting for lunch or a drink or a shore excursion. Our main room dining companions were great fun. Most of our shore excursions were island highlight tours from independent operators and were a great value (usually half the cost of similar ship excursions), really enjoyable, and gave us options to customize as we toured. We knew the kind of tour we wanted, and when we got off the ship we choose from the licensed local tour people who were out there with their signs. The tours we chose were in smaller (mostly comfortable but always air conditioned) 10 - 14 people vans, and we benefited from informal but knowledgeable commentary and history. Most of the islands, especially St. Thomas and St. Maarten, were still recovering from hurricanes Irma and Maria, but the resiliency of the people was admirable, and you could see how important tourism is to these islands. The headliner Rookie was amazing. The cruise director gave star-gazing talks outside at night and they were pretty cool too. I was disappointed in the types of activities offered on sea days. We are not big fans of trivia or games. The weather, however, was beautiful, and we took advantage of being outside. Another disappointment was the holiday decorations. One day they put up garlands. Another day they added a green tree with red garland in the Centrum. Another day the beautiful big tree appeared in the main dining room and that was nice. Another day they added decorations to the green tree in the Centrum. That was pretty much it, and I've heard a variety of explanations why the decorations were so sparse and took so long, but it was disappointing nonetheless. Overall, though, a good cruise - really enjoyed the people we met, really appreciated the ship's crew, and really enjoyed the weather and the islands. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We chose the cruise for the destinations. They were all stops we wanted to see. The staff was great. Friendly and helpful. The ports were fun and excursions were great. The food was very good and we had more then enough choices. Everything ... Read More
We chose the cruise for the destinations. They were all stops we wanted to see. The staff was great. Friendly and helpful. The ports were fun and excursions were great. The food was very good and we had more then enough choices. Everything was clean. The entertainment was great. The comedians had us laughing so hard and the dancers were very good. They made sure we were aware of all that was happening so we wouldn't miss things. Getting on and off the ship was pretty easy. No big delays. Most of the passengers we met were friendly and interesting. We will definitely be booking another cruise in the future. May e a different destination and ship so we can check them all out!! I guess the only thing I can say on the "down" side is there were soooooo many jewelry stores. They were everywhere lol. All in all it was a fantastic trip we will share with everyone. We had a balcony and will never have less. It was great to wake up to and go to bed after sitting out there for a while Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Wanted to return to Bermuda (7-nights), love the repo (12 nights), and love the itinerary for the 10-night at the end. From Day 1 we felt that all crew provided beyond exceptional service! Everywhere on the ship we noted that ... Read More
Wanted to return to Bermuda (7-nights), love the repo (12 nights), and love the itinerary for the 10-night at the end. From Day 1 we felt that all crew provided beyond exceptional service! Everywhere on the ship we noted that Officers not only supervised service, but participated in every aspect in every location. Crew members were always cheerful, many got to know us over the 30 days we were on board. Dining: First, we must compliment Dining Sevices for excellent management and organization of My Time Dining! We have experienced waits on other ships, but Serenade has this well managed. Our Head Waiter, Bassem Romdhane, is the best we have ever met. He personally ensured adherence to a milk allergy menu, even serving some courses himself. On discovering my love of tofu and stir fry dishes, he made that available any time. Also, we were greeted at the DR door each evening by Ayessa Ertugrul, Training Manager, as if she were waiting just for us! She always knew if our table was ready. We felt like king and queen during the entire trip! Concierge Lounge: A huge shout-out to our favorite Concierge Manager, Mario Abba Reyes! He is hands-down the best in the RCCL fleet! We actually book some cruises just to follow Mario, lol! Cabins: Unfortunately, we booked the B2B2B piecemeal, so were unable to get the same cabin for all. All were Spacious Ocean View (2B - 9078, 1104, and 9658) with balconies. We did feel that the decor is becoming a bit ‘tired’ but sheers had been replaced with new on balcony doors and Rooms were clean and well maintained. Cabin Attendants were wonderful and immediately addressed any issues we brought up. Not sure what happened for another reviewer who had mud on their balcony, but we found Attendants cleaning the balconies and outdoor furniture every day! Also, the Attendants moved our belongings for us each move, so no worrying about strangers handling things. Other: We very much enjoyed the musical talent of Damian Joyce in the Pub! Bar service was great there, as well, thanks to bar staff, Itupu, and bartender, Ian. We are not much for the theater entertainment, so cannot comment on that. Centrum duo was great, too. Excursions: We have been to these islands many times so only did a few. On Bermuda we did a private tour with Byways Tours and highly recommend. We love Ffryes Beach and lunch on Antigua. The Beach Rendezvous on St. Maartens was lovely despite some rain - probably the best shrimp sandwich I have ever had at Kim Sha Beach. Am likely forgetting something, but overall we have a wonderful month on Serenade! Can’t wait to sail with her and this amazing crew in April! Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We signed up for this cruise, for the ports of call, but mainly because we were going with friends who had sailed with RCI before. This was our first time on an RCI ship and because of the Lack of things to do, it will be the last time on ... Read More
We signed up for this cruise, for the ports of call, but mainly because we were going with friends who had sailed with RCI before. This was our first time on an RCI ship and because of the Lack of things to do, it will be the last time on an RCI ship. The pool side daytime movie screen entertainment was, day after day, the same mind numbing drivel. When the cruise line has paid for movies, why not show them during the day instead. And fix or clean the movie screen please, watching anything on a screen with multiple black spots is painful. The climbing wall was closed for maintenance for the first few days. Our cruise director, Carly B, seemed unable to offer any novel activities for those of us not on the geriatric treadmill. Our cruise was over half young or young at heart and yet the activities were almost nonexistent. Our friends, who sailed with RCI before, were equally disappointed. The food in the dinning room and windjammer, was boring, repetitive, and usually either cold, over cooked or unappealing. Despite signs around the pool not to save deck chairs, one couldn’t find one after 7 a.m. to use, staff never once removed towels or books on chairs that were obviously unused. The only saving grace was our ports of call, though some of the excursions were not well sourced out by the cruise line. One, a plantation and beach excursion, was a mixed bag. The plantation was great, very informative, but the beach portion was below par. Yes, there was a beach chair as advertised but you had to rent the umbrella for $5.00, the change room was the bathroom, and the showers were outside so that the sand one inevitably had in ones suit was impossible to get rid of. Another excursion offering a beach break was better and had inside showers, separate change stalls and toilets was much better. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
I choose this cruise for the islands it was going too.the ship it self was not a wow factor. But the service given was very good.i did not like the food in the main dining room ,so I eat in windjammer as I had more of a choice.my state ... Read More
I choose this cruise for the islands it was going too.the ship it self was not a wow factor. But the service given was very good.i did not like the food in the main dining room ,so I eat in windjammer as I had more of a choice.my state room was very clean and well keep my room attendant worked very hard. The entertainment was first class especially if you like dancing I had a ball.the service I was given was first class, I loved the ports and all the excursions which was the highlight of my cruise.very friendly staff make me feel at home at all time.getting on or off the ship was very fast and everything was well organised for us. We had staff to meet us off our flight and put us in taxi to our hotel and staff to help us get to the bus to take us back to the airport. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Everything was just adequate. The staff was efficient and friendly but the activities were equivalent to Carnival ships — mostly games and related to buying a product or service. No education or culture offered. Food was ok, better in ... Read More
Everything was just adequate. The staff was efficient and friendly but the activities were equivalent to Carnival ships — mostly games and related to buying a product or service. No education or culture offered. Food was ok, better in the buffet than in the dining room. They tried hard and were as accommodating as they could be but the overall food prep was not as good as other RC ships and a far cry from the quality of Princess or Celebrity. Good for first time cruisers who like sun and sand and drinking. Strangest thing was cruise director reading the newsletter word for word every morning as if she didn’t know what was going on each day. Music was ok but they didn’t have properly timed music — always interferes with dinner or shows. Reasonable cost, sizeable rooms and balconies with very friendly and accommodating staff who go out of their way to help. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
By far, our favorite part of this cruise was that each port was uniquely different and offered something for everyone. First stop was Tortola, which was the least commercialized of the 5 islands. We immediately found a local company that ... Read More
By far, our favorite part of this cruise was that each port was uniquely different and offered something for everyone. First stop was Tortola, which was the least commercialized of the 5 islands. We immediately found a local company that took us on a tour of the entire island for only $20 a piece. We made several stops, allowing us to enjoy breathtaking scenery and take amazing pictures. We did the same thing in St. Kitts, finding a $20 tour that took us all over at a fraction of the cruise excursion prices. St. Kitts is becoming more of a tourist hub, but it was simply gorgeous as well. Here we were able to visit Romney Manor and Wingfield Rum Distillery. Dominica was more tropical, and we were advised to avoid a beach day because the beaches were actually black from volcanic ash. Instead, we found a $25 island tour that took us to Trafalgar Falls and other amazing sites through the rain forest. Antigua is well-known for its beaches, and although we didn't go we heard they were beautiful. On this day we did take a shore excursion to zip-line in the rain forest. St. Maarten was our favorite stop. A $20 cab ride took us to the airport beach where we sat at Sunset Bar taking incredible pictures of the planes as we ate amazing food right next to the beach. I was expecting this place to be somewhat dirty and overcrowded, but it wasn't at all. The water was a brilliant blue and there was plenty of room to sit and enjoy the day. There was also lots of shade, which was good for this fair-skinned girl. We have cruised with other lines, but this one by far had the best food in the buffet. The Windjammer was every bit as good as the dining room, with lots of options for all preferences. I would highly recommend anything that is served at the carving station - it was all soooo good! We had a special date night in one of the specialty restaurants that was really nice but completely unnecessary - particularly if you are on a budget. Spend the money on souvenirs or an excursion - you won't need anymore food. If you drink I would recommend the buying the all-inclusive drink package, and buy before you go to save even more money. It was really nice not having to worry about bar charges adding up. While we have had better service on other cruise lines, I really have no complaints. If you like having the servers and bartender learn your name and get really personal with you, you won't find that here. But if you are simply looking for a fun, adventure-filled vacation, then this is the place. I will sail with Royal Caribbean again! Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
Ship tired rusty dirty carpets and old fashioned in the public areas. The cabins were clean comfy beds and clean linen and towels cabin staff excellent. Bar staff over worked tiered and stretched. Main Dinning room staff ... Read More
Ship tired rusty dirty carpets and old fashioned in the public areas. The cabins were clean comfy beds and clean linen and towels cabin staff excellent. Bar staff over worked tiered and stretched. Main Dinning room staff overworked hence sloppy our table of 8 never got our food together on any courses and 7/10 in was warm to cold! The food was very good when we got it hot we felt sorry for the chefs all there effort ruoined by waiters not getting the food out quick. Also the wine waiters were very slow in the main dinning room. Ship Didn't feel Christmassy only one xmas tree! More effort was made for new year but the music in the main centrum was disastrous slow and boring. Properly our fault for choosing a cruise in the school holidays but was very surprised to find so many un accompanied children approx 8 years upwards charging around playing in the lefts pushing past elderly people being very load and hogging the hot tubs! Cannot understand why the UNDER 18 curfew is 1am yes 1 am! Every day. And New Year's Eve 12 to 17 years olds till 2am! Hence there was sick in the corridors! Many we saw drinking alcohol from the free champagne on New Year's Eve. Lastly royal Caribbean managed to leave 4 of our party of 8 stranded at Miami airport after they cancelled our flights home! Still waiting for an explanation and apologee as there 4 reps in the airport were not willing to assist us - we had to sort out our own flights home and hopefully we can reclaim the fee £1500 per seat back! So cruisers beware. We will never use this company again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
1. Their bottom line was all that mattered. Squeezed every nickel out of you. 2. The rooms were uncomfortably small. The sofa was smaller than a love seat. Barely enough room to walk around the bed. We had what was called a Jr. Suite. ... Read More
1. Their bottom line was all that mattered. Squeezed every nickel out of you. 2. The rooms were uncomfortably small. The sofa was smaller than a love seat. Barely enough room to walk around the bed. We had what was called a Jr. Suite. We were falling over each other at all times. 3. The bed was uncomfortable. A thin mattress (probably not more than 8 inches) set on a strange frame that some sort of spring situation. 4. Stateroom staff were almost always unavailable. Where were they between 12:00 PM and 6:00 PM? If we left the room after 1:00 pm it would not be made up until the evening. 5. Even the cheapest motel provides bathroom amenities. Not RCL. No shampoo, conditioner, shower caps, robes, body lotion etc. How cheap can you possibly be? 6. Internet was outrageously slow. Took 2-3 minutes to load a page. Even the computers in their business center. 7. The soft drink package was a joke. They provided a mug that you had to go to a bar to fill. The problem is that the pool bars close early and all of the inside bars did no “fountain drinks.” Had to go either to the disco above the top floor or the Casino to get “the mug” filled. 8. No laundry room. Have to send clothes out and get charged an outrageous price for the laundry services. They confiscated my travel iron at the beginning of the cruise and returned it at the end. The idea being that the ship's laundry service be used and was outrageously expensive. 9. The dining room dress code was not enforced at all. People in shorts, tee shirts and flip flops were admitted even on formal nights. 10. On formal nights the photographers were only present for a couple of hours early in the evening and then went away and came back at 10:00 pm for half an hour. There were very few photographers. We went for a photography sitting and were presented with picture packages, some costing a cool $5500.00! REALLY!!! 11. Dining room staff was overwhelmed. They tried their very best under the circumstances. Way too many tables to even expect minimal service. 12. The buffet closed early (9:00 pm) and again the service was horrible. The tables usually didn’t get bussed until we were gone. There was a small (tiny) facility that was open to midnight with a minimal menu. Basically hot dogs and pizza and again no fountain drinks to fill “the mug.” In addition the buffet often started closing an hour before the posted closing time so by time you were ready for dessert, there was nothing left to eat. 13. The pools consistently closed earlier than the posted times. 14. The food was adequate but have you ever tried to open crab legs without a cracker. They had a cut in them but they sure can ruin a manicure. 15. The Christmas decorations were minimal. Nothing decorated the table in the dining room, not even a cheap candle. 16. When docking at the various ports we were docked way away from the towns, several times parked in freight docks. Had to take taxis to get into the cities. Other cruise lines were parked near and in the cities. Guess it’s cheaper for them to dock in a freight yard. 17. We cruise quite frequently but this was our first and last cruise on Royal Caribbean and we have encouraged other people to avoid this cruise line. Those who have cruised before know the difference. If you have zero expectations it probably would be OK. They did get us there and back… Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
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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