8 Royal Caribbean Serenade of the Seas Cruise Reviews for Entertainment Cruises to Canada & New England

We chose this cruise because we had not been on this itinerary before and it seemed like a good alternative to the Caribbean. When we first booked the cruise, over 1 year before sailing, our travel agent told us that the only option for ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we had not been on this itinerary before and it seemed like a good alternative to the Caribbean. When we first booked the cruise, over 1 year before sailing, our travel agent told us that the only option for dining was my time dining. When we met with our travel agent he asked us which seating we had chosen and explained that he had earlier told us that there was no seating times and only my-time. So I am not sure if he messed up when we booked or that the cruise line later added the two seating times. Our travel agent believes that with my-time you can just show up and let them know you would like to eat, that is far from the truth. Luckily I found on the cruise website that you can preset your my-time dining times as opposed to waiting until you are on the ship. There was always someone waiting to be seated that did not have a reservation and was handed one of the vibrating pagers waiting for a table to open up. The next big problem with the my-time dining is that the waiter is dealing with multiple tables that are in various stages of eating their meal, from waiting to order, getting their appetizer, getting their main course or waiting for their dessert. It really does take an organized person to be able to keep up with all of this. For the first three nights we were sat at a different table each night and found that the 3 waiter was struggling with all of this. On the fourth night we were seated at Yaser's table and we new we found a winner. Yaser made the dinner wonderful and we made sure we were seated at one of Yaser's tables each of the remaining nights. It was explained to me by a dining services manager that the servers in the my-time dining room are the more experienced servers, which makes sense when you realize how much they have to juggle. It has been about 3 years since our last cruise and I found that the food in the main dining room was not up to the level I expected or had experienced in the past. One night we had a pork dish that had very salty sauce. Another night I had a pork dish where I found the meat to be tough. Some nights we found the variety to be lacking as well. We used the Windjammer buffet for breakfast and lunch every day with the exception for two lunches we at while off the ship. I found the food to be very good for a buffet with one complaint about the breakfast. I like lox (smoked salmon) with breakfast and was disappointed to find it was not available on the breakfast buffet. I asked someone about it and was please when he said he would get it for me. I asked for lox probably 3-4 times and was gladly provided with it. So why not have it on the buffet? The other complaint was that on the last morning, departure morning, why are the usual assortment of pastries available when it appears the rest of the breakfast is normal? I really liked their chocolate covered doughnuts and was disappointed there were none. This cruise was our 25th anniversary and I had ordered a dozen roses for my wife 3 days before the cruise. When we got on the ship I was surprised to find they were not in the room but thought they might show up after dinner. They did not and I managed to slip away from my wife to go to guest services to ask about the roses on Monday. I was told by the representative that they would look into it and let me know. I told him not to leave a message as I didn't want my wife to get the message. I checked back with him later that day and he said he has not yet heard back from the corporate office and I should check back the next day. When I did he informed me that someone was getting them from the port we were in and I should have them later that day, saying he would call and ask for me if my wife answered. He called and said I could pick them up at guest services. I was able to sneak away from my wife and get down to guest services and asked him to please have them delivered to my room, since they should have been anyway. When we got back after dinner I was surprised to find a dozen roses sitting on the table, without water or a vase. I returned to guest services to ask them to please provide a vase which they did the next day. It would have been nice to have them from the 1st day and not half way thru the cruise. After a few days on the ship we found our message light flashing on the phone only to find that there was no message. I had reported this to guest services and it was still flashing. I also reported this to our room steward and she seamed to be able to get it cleared, but only for a few hours and then it came back on. The problem was we have three children in college and told them that if they needed us to call the cabin and leave a message. So each time we entered the room we had to keep checking the phone to see if someone left a message. When the light first came on it was noticed during the middle of the night and we thought we missed a call. Makes for a disturbing nights. I was told this happens, but you would think they would fix it. I found my cell phone would shift from land based cellular service to the ship based service when we were sailing but had difficulty in receiving text messages at times. Initially my wife and I had chosen 2 ship based excursions, one in Saint John NB and the other in Halifax. In Saint John I wanted to the the Bay of Fundy and Fundy trail. I specifically wanted to see the sea caves in St Martins. I had contacted the cruise line's excursion department to get specifics about the excursions. The usually responded in about 24-36 hours with answers to my questions but could not provide the exact information I wanted as to whether or not we would be able to walk out to the sea caves given the tour time and the time of low tide. I asked the excursion desk once on board the ship and was told they would look into it. It was not until the night before we were in Saint John that I finally got a message from the excursion desk telling me that they heard from the tour operator and that we would not be able to walk out to the caves. I had already cancelled the excursion anyway because I could not wait for them to reply. For Halifax we were going to take the excursion to Peggy's cove. After plenty of research on this website I realized that I could book my own excursions and not rely on the cruise line, and save a lot of money. We rented a car in Portland, Saint John and Halifax. In Portland we drove to six lighthouses, google it, and then went to Kennebunkport using Enterprise which picked us up at the ship and would return us back, but we chose to walk back. In Bar Harbor I booked a tour with Acadia tours as well as walked the shore path and walked out to Bar Island at low tide. In Saint John we rented a car from Avis and drove straight out to St Martins and the Fundy trail. Originally the trail was supposed to be closed for cars as of Columbus day but they had extended the opening which we found out from the Avis rep. After driving the Fundy trail and seeing the Salmon river we returned to St Martins and had lunch at the Caves restaurant, which has the best seafood chowder I have ever had. In Halifax we rented a car and drove to Peggy's cove as then on to the Flight 111 memorial and some other coves on the way back to Halifax. We returned the car and then walked up to the Citadel which was worth the admission. I am so glad I did the research and did our own thing, plus saved a lot of money. The highlights were Kennebunkport and the sea caves. All of the cruise employees we met on the ship were very friendly and eager to help out. The ship was very nice and we found it be very clean. We had an inside cabin on deck 8 and found it to be adequate and what we expected. One lesson I learned was to bring a nightlight as the room is totally dark when all the lights are out. The only issue we had with noise was people letting their door slam shut or people slamming drawers closed. We were a little disappointed in the amount of activities going on while at sea and wonder if it has more to do with the weather being to cold for pool based activities. The entertainment that was brought onto the ship was great but we found the ship based shows to be okay but nothing to rave about. The Vibeology show could have been better, it's tough to listen to an Elvis song sung by a woman, same thing with Beatles tunes. The one issue I had with the shows was that on the last night there was only one show time offered and the main act, the comedian was only given about 25 minutes of time. He was funny and it would have been nice if he was given the same amount of time the other acts were given on previous nights. My wife would have attended some of the aerobics classes but was not willing to pay for them, that was a disappointment. In the past there was not a fee for these classes. We drove to the port from our home and parking was $20 a day and the parking lot is about 1 block away. I recommend RCCL and would recommend this itinerary. However I will not do it again anytime soon since there is a limited amount of sights to see or things to do in each port. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
The Serenade is a nice smaller ship,,, not as well kept as it should be. A little dirty in some places. The Internet is terrible,, can't log on,,doesn't stay connected,,and so slow,,,,,,, with staff only available at ... Read More
The Serenade is a nice smaller ship,,, not as well kept as it should be. A little dirty in some places. The Internet is terrible,, can't log on,,doesn't stay connected,,and so slow,,,,,,, with staff only available at certain hours,,, not worth the cost !!!! Crew & Waitstaff are GREAT!!!!!,,,, Food as fine as any ,,,,Better then most,,,, Only real complaint was the Whale watching Tour in Halifax NS,,, One trip out,, for 1 hr. pa system only working in lower covered deck,,could not hear anything that was said.. 1 hr. Trip back,,, no whales at all !!!! Main observation,,, Boat Captain, First Mate, NEVER LEFT THE BOATS WHEELHOUSE, EXCEPT TO GET COFFEE, Never even explained what to look for to spot a whale !!!!Upon return, the locals explained that most all of the whales have moved farther south to breed in the caribbean seas..55 people paid 60 $ for a cold boat ride,I will be complaining to RCI for my refund>>>>> Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
I'm usually a fan of Royal Caribbean and have had two previous cruises with them that I would rate as excellent, but this one wasn't. My wife and I were celebrating our 20th anniversary and I had pre-booked an ultimate ... Read More
I'm usually a fan of Royal Caribbean and have had two previous cruises with them that I would rate as excellent, but this one wasn't. My wife and I were celebrating our 20th anniversary and I had pre-booked an ultimate anniversary package, only to find that after I got on the ship it had been cancelled by Royal Caribbean without any notice to me. Then when I tried to re-book it, I was told that they don't carry the items on the ship and therefore couldn't provide it. Instead they offered the minimal. Hugely disappointed. Activities on the ship - not varied enough and fairly standard. Talent on the ship - below even cruise performers. No-one was notable and none of the performances were very inspired. Ports of call - okay, but not much variety in the shore excursions between each of the ports. Got "excursioned out" because the lack of variety. And too cold to hit the pool on the days of sailing. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
The main reason I (we) chose this cruise was because of the venue - fall colors. Although the colors had not yet peaked, the colors were turning and were quite beautiful It's all about timing (and luck). We were just a little too ... Read More
The main reason I (we) chose this cruise was because of the venue - fall colors. Although the colors had not yet peaked, the colors were turning and were quite beautiful It's all about timing (and luck). We were just a little too early to get the full advantage of the fall colors. But the venues were great - Hallifax, Portland, Bar Harbor and Boston - all great stops. Having sailed many time of Celebrity, I did see some difference in what was supplied in the staterooms. On Celebrity I always got shampoo, conditioner and body lotion. This did not happen on the RC cruise. We only got shampoo and we had to ask for additional bars of soap half way into the cruise. The crew on the ship were fantastic - very pleasant and helpful. We are looking forward to our cruise in February on the Serenade of the Seas to the Caribbean. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
A group of friends chose this cruise to see the New England/Canada Fall colors. This was my first cruise; however, several members of the groups had cruised on Royal Caribbean cruises before and highly recommended it. My experiences, as ... Read More
A group of friends chose this cruise to see the New England/Canada Fall colors. This was my first cruise; however, several members of the groups had cruised on Royal Caribbean cruises before and highly recommended it. My experiences, as a whole, were very positive. The space in our stateroom was adequate. I appreciated the in-room safe, plenty of closet space with hangers and shelves, drawers and lighting. The bathroom was not cramped. The shower had good water pressure and temperature throughout the cruise. The towels were clean, but some were a bit ragged on the edges. Our room attendant did a nice job keeping our room clean. She was very pleasant. We all enjoyed the talented entertainment and many of the games available, especially when out at sea. Fabulous food and dining staff!!! In general, excursions were fun with exception of tour in St. John. The Tour guide was lackluster. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
I was overall happy with cruise for the most part. I would rate the cruise as follows, 60% as fun, entertaining, and enjoyable. 40% not so much, a lot of waiting in lines on numerous occasions. Maybe this is normal, but as a veteran, the ... Read More
I was overall happy with cruise for the most part. I would rate the cruise as follows, 60% as fun, entertaining, and enjoyable. 40% not so much, a lot of waiting in lines on numerous occasions. Maybe this is normal, but as a veteran, the Army might be more efficient in this area and vets know what I mean, a lot of hurry up and wait. Dinning room meals were disappointing, buffet eating was better by far, more choices not as much waiting. But then you had to serve yourself, I know some people like to be waited on. Shows and entertainment venues were very good, lots of laughs. Room was better than expected, we were in room with large port hole window, I would recommend a balcony if on a warm weather cruise. This cruise had many seniors, of which I am one, so some patients is required from younger individuals. All in all I would go again in the future, I would not go on a ship that holds more than 2,500 people, I can't imagine a ship with up to 6,000 passengers. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
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
Sail Date September 2018
My husband and I had a wonderful time on our cruise. All of the personnel that we dealt with, from our cabin steward to our restaurant staff were wonderful to deal with. We had a wonderful time at all of the activities, but most ... Read More
My husband and I had a wonderful time on our cruise. All of the personnel that we dealt with, from our cabin steward to our restaurant staff were wonderful to deal with. We had a wonderful time at all of the activities, but most especially the 80's Dance Party. Our weather was perfect. We feel that the food was not always at a high standard (i.e., occasionally not as hot as it could have been and the steaks were sometimes not tender). We do feel that everyone on the ship went out of their way to make sure that we enjoyed our cruise. We also especially enjoyed the piano bar, especially Danny. The shore excursions were the only area that we had an issue. Halifax (Peggy's Cove/Titanic Graveyard) - Peggy's Cove was more than we could ever have dreamed of. I wish we had picked an excursions that was only that stop. We only landed up having about 45-50 minutes, so there was no time to go into the store, get food, or see the town. We would have liked to have time to sit on the rocks and just relax. We did have a huge issue with the bus service. It was very warm (80's) and the air conditioning on the bus was either not working or working poorly. People were complaining and asking them to turn up the air conditioning, especially since the windows did not open. I started to feel so sick that I thought I was going to faint. The next day we ran into other people that said they they almost fainted also. It was terrible and ruined the rest of the excursion. New Brunswick (Hop On/Hop Off Big Pink Bus) - We started out very disappointed with the bus service. We had to have waited almost 1 1/2 hours for the initial bus to pick us up in the parking lot. The parking lot was full of people, standing in direct sunlight on a very warm day, waiting (people in wheelchairs, with canes, etc.). The bus service was poorly run. Otherwise the tour was okay. The Skywalk was a little disappointing and was much smaller than the picture. We were done in 15 minutes. Bar Harbor (An Intimate Look at Acadia National Park) - This tour was the highlight of our cruise. Despite the fact that Immigration showed up an hour late and caused a commotion with all of the tours that had to wait for their passengers, our tour of Acadia was wonderful! It was even more beautiful than we imagined. We had a wonderful time in Bar Harbor. Overall, despite some disappointment with our shore excursions, our cruise was a wonderful experience and we would love to go again in the not very distant future. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Serenade of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.3
Dining 4.0 4.0
Entertainment 5.0 3.6
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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