8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
We flew into Copenhagen a couple of days early and explored on our own. Love that beautiful city. We took a taxi to the cruise port at our assigned time and check in was a breeze. We were onboard and at the buffet by 1:30 pm. Our ... Read More
We flew into Copenhagen a couple of days early and explored on our own. Love that beautiful city. We took a taxi to the cruise port at our assigned time and check in was a breeze. We were onboard and at the buffet by 1:30 pm. Our luggage was outside our cabin when we got back from lunch. I will do our review in sections: Cabin - we were in cabin 7158. It was dated, but nice. The half sofa was quite stained, but I just put towels on it. The bed was comfy and I brought my own pillow, so I can't comment on the pillows. The balcony is large. It does have an extension that goes out over the lifeboats, but it isn't obstructed in anyway. Our cabin steward was Daisy and we hardly saw her, but our room was always made up and had cute towel animals each night. Windjammer - if you got there for breakfast around 7:00 - 7:30, it wasn't too crowded and you could always easily find a table. Later than that, and you would have to search a little harder for a table. I thought the food in the Windjammer was really good and there was always something I liked. I used the omelet station almost every morning (because I was there early) Reflections Dining Room - we were a group of 6 and we always do the traditional set dining time. Our time was 6:00 pm. Our waiters were Mikhail and Reggie and they pampered us. The food was good - but they just don't have the selections they used to. (thus the reason I miss the old days) And you used to get lobster on formal nights, but alas ... now it is offered every night ... for $40 extra!! But the menu choices we made were always delicious. Shows - we only went to a couple of shows and they were good. We loved Toby and the (somebody) Dogs. Toby is the cruise director, and man he puts on a good 50's - 60's show. I miss the old midnight grand buffets - especially the ones with the ice sculptures. But, oh well - all the cruise lines have cut them. Tour Excursions - well organized and on time. No complaints. STOCKHOLM - I didn't care for our Stockholm tour that much - Old Town and Royal Palace. The Palace is dark and they are renovating about every other room in it - tarps and stuff everywhere (we were informed it won't be done for several years) - But hey, we are the ones that chose that tour. ESTONIA - we did the Soviet Experience Tour and we loved it. Our friends did the Country and Old Town Tour (I think that's the name) and they loved it. For us, experiencing what it was like during the communist rule was very interesting - and it was also fun because our tour guide had some humorous stories as well. After the tour, we wandered around the Old Town and did some shopping. It was great. ST. PETERSBURG - we took the Grand St. Petersburg and Hermitage Tour. We really enjoyed it and the Hermitage (Winter Palace) was breathtaking. One thing I didn't care for was that our tour guide was so into the famous paintings there and she spent so much time interpreting what the painter had in mind, that we just blew through the Russian History and Rominov stuff, so she could hurry and get to the next painting. I love art -- but I love history too. The lunch was good and in a neat little restaurant. We also toured St. Isaac's Cathedral. It is so old and so beautiful. I can't believe the communist left that Christian cathedral alone. The Church of Spilt Blood was amazing. (we didn't go inside) All the other photo stops and the shopping stop was well worth it. HELSINKI - we happened to port on the day of the funeral of the PM of Finland and most everything was closed. Luckily, we had signed up for the Glimpse of Porvoo, which is about 45 minutes out of Helsinki. What a cute little town and all the shops were open. COPENHAGEN - since our flight was later, we took the Royal Copenhagen w/airport transfer tour. We went to the Little Mermaid (and I mean little) - talk about c r o w d e d!! Then we toured Christianborg Palace and Rosenborg Palace. Loved them. We just enjoyed this cruise so much. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2017
An excellent opportunity to relax combining high level tourism, living in a luxurious environment and simultaneously enjoying on board any activity you wanted to have immediate access to it ( theater, cinema, gym, swimming , ... Read More
An excellent opportunity to relax combining high level tourism, living in a luxurious environment and simultaneously enjoying on board any activity you wanted to have immediate access to it ( theater, cinema, gym, swimming , entertainment , etc) and excellent quality, variety and quantity of food all day plus variety of gourmet restaurants at reasonable price. On the other hand the cost of some of the excursions may be improved as well as the variety and quality of the entertainment (more and more resent movies, theater). Very important was the embarkation de-embarkation process which was very well organized very quick and with minimum effort of the passengers. The crew members were always available and ready to explain and assist, always with a smile. The Windjammer, you could always find a place, the food and the service excellent and the cooks eager to satisfy any request. This level should at least be maintained as such. At last , a bravo to Taor and Marcus, our waiters in the dining room and bravo to the management for an excellent job. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
The first reason why we did this cruise is the ports of call and second this is our 6th time cruising with RCC. The ship could really use some major window washing. It was hard to see the views through the window in the back of the ship ... Read More
The first reason why we did this cruise is the ports of call and second this is our 6th time cruising with RCC. The ship could really use some major window washing. It was hard to see the views through the window in the back of the ship because the windows were really dirty. It's an older ship, so there are signs everywhere of it's age and used. Their Photo Gallery can use some lessons about photo retouching from Carnival Cruise. Carnival offers photo retouching for free and take much professional photos, where as RCC does not offer this at all. We could have spent more money in the photo if they came out more professional looking, come on, with the computer technology, this is not hard thing to do! The food was just okay but gets to be boring after a couple of days. We booked a dinner at Chops Grille for $35 pp, I was disappointed that there are additional charges for some steak and lobster for $30! The steak almost tasted like the ones in the main dining room. So I think the specialty restaurants on board is not worth it. The crews were amazing, the entertainment was good. What I love most was the disco night, everybody seems to have a good time. The crew did a wonderful job on this event. We also booked the specialty sushi restaurant, Izumi, which was a good relief from the ship's daily food routine. RCC seems to be cutting back and charging on things which they did not use to charge before, like American room service, no more lobster night. We are Platinum member and the only thing we got was a robe to use while on board! They did not even bother to do anything for our 33 year anniversary even though they asked us in advance; We are glad that we booked all our shore excursions thru SPB tours, we don't feel like herds compared to the RCC big bus tours. SPB tours are so professional and have smaller crowds. The best to use anywhere in the Baltics, we booked cuz they have good reviews in tripadvisor.com. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2017
We chose this ship and cruise because of the prior experience and the personnel on the ship We were able to have the same waiters as on previous trips and many recognized us from our previous cruise. The entertainment was fantastic with ... Read More
We chose this ship and cruise because of the prior experience and the personnel on the ship We were able to have the same waiters as on previous trips and many recognized us from our previous cruise. The entertainment was fantastic with a good variety. Our cabin well maintained and our steward "Sheredon" does an excellent job. Visit to the dining room surprised our prior waiters "Kevin & Max". Kevin & Osden were our waiters this time and what an nice asset to the cruise line industry. The Executive Chef :Benedict Capriata" stopped by to see how satisfied we were with the food provided. This does not normally happen and what a nice treat. The Head Waiter : Mihal Oprea is real people pleaser and always upbeat and friendly. In the Windjammer our waitress "Mengol Lee" made this restaurant a dining pleasure. Made friends with many of the staff and met fellow cruisers to vacation with. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
Ship is very worn. Lot's of rust. Raw sewage smell in the cabin twice during the cruise. Same smell in other areas of the ship. Maintenance was quick to respond each time. Ship is too crowded and loud. Too many smoking areas, ... Read More
Ship is very worn. Lot's of rust. Raw sewage smell in the cabin twice during the cruise. Same smell in other areas of the ship. Maintenance was quick to respond each time. Ship is too crowded and loud. Too many smoking areas, cigarette smell in too many areas. Loud music from the pub below kept us awake until the early areas of the morning. Rude and unhelpful crew and customer service. Main and assistant waiter were great! Food was great. Room service selection is poor. On our first day there was a pair of underwear, a dental flosser and a bobby pin on the floor from the previous occupant. Groups on scavenger hunt kept disturbing us to take their picture. Deck 7 has a partially obstructed view due to the roof over the life boats even though their company policy says it is not obstructed. Crew/staff seem listless overall and some were rude. They are trained in multiple ways to say "No" and not take care of problems. This is my 5th cruise and the 3rd on Royal Caribbean. In the future I will spend more money and cruise on more exclusive cruise lines. We jokingly referred to Serenade of the Seas as the "Ghetto Ship". Headliners were good for the most part. Ship's dancers/entertainers/shows were poor. If you walk off the ship at some ports of call you are mobbed by tour operators/taxi drivers/locals selling tours. Most are not very friendly. Roseau, Dominica has open sewers with raw sewage flowing down the street. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2017
This ten day cruise went to St. Martin, Tortola, Dominica, Antigua and St. Kitts. We did locally purchased shore excursions, mostly from the taxi vans that wait outside the port gates. They were much cheaper than the ships excursions and ... Read More
This ten day cruise went to St. Martin, Tortola, Dominica, Antigua and St. Kitts. We did locally purchased shore excursions, mostly from the taxi vans that wait outside the port gates. They were much cheaper than the ships excursions and we were quite satisfied with them. This was a great itinerary and the weather mostly cooperated. The food was very good in both the main dining room and the buffet. The buffet breakfast had crepes and freshly made waffles, as well as the usual omlette station and other items. The pastries at cafe latte were pretty basic compared to the ones on other RCI ships and it seems the mudslide cookie has completely disappeared from the menu. One night the soft serve ice cream machine stopped working in the buffet and it seemed to totally perplex the staff as to who was responsible for fixing it. There seemed to be some kind of staffing issue throughout the ship. The staff conducting activities like trivia seemed more interested in themselves than the game or the passengers. They decided to have a cleaning crew clean the decks of the aft outdoors dining area right at dinner time one night and the head of the Windjammer Buffet seemed totally unaware of the fact that they had closed it. The Guest Services staff were excellent and worked hard to solve a recurring mystery noise at night in our cabin. Well done. The Captain was very personable and was in evidence throughout the ship. Overall this was a very good cruise, but the executive staff needs to impress on their crew the importance of guest satisfaction. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2017
This was our first cruise, so we don't have anything to compare it to, but think it went very well. We had rough seas on two of our cruise days, which gave me a bout of seasickness, but luckily my travelmates didn't have any ... Read More
This was our first cruise, so we don't have anything to compare it to, but think it went very well. We had rough seas on two of our cruise days, which gave me a bout of seasickness, but luckily my travelmates didn't have any issues. I had brought sea bands and Dramamine, which helped a little, but not completely. We picked this cruise because our friends were interested in a 10 day Caribbean cruise and we wanted to sale Royal Caribbean because of its good reviews. They also wanted to be on a somewhat smaller ship. Embarkation was fairly quick - there was a line to get one but it moved along pretty well and didn't take very long. Short lines for the embarkation photos. Crew: There were only a couple crew members that were less than spectacular - one of them we only saw the first day and he was gone when we left port, so I'll give him the benefit of the doubt that it might have been an end to a long tour. The other was not the most pleasant, but did his job satisfactory. We had quite a few great staff - our room steward was amazingly helpful, the photo staff was awesome...all the staff were very helpful. Cleanliness: One thing I was especially impressed with was how much the ship crew tried to make sure everyone stayed healthy on the ship. This year, I seem to have caught every bug there is, so I was worried about catching something on the ship. There were hand sanitizer stations at the entrance of every room, and when entering dining areas, staff were by those stations and directing people to use them or provided hand sanitizer directly by hand. Additionally, the crew noted they would not be shaking hands but instead doing fist bumps. I was really happy to see the efforts made for that. Add-ons: We bought the deluxe drink package, which I think was completely worth it. We used a lot of the bottled water in the ports and had drinks in the evenings. My boyfriend bought a Wi-Fi package, which we shared. I think the wi-fi package was worth the money for sharing, but didn't consider it a "value" like we did the drink package. There are some benefits to not being connected, haha. But it was enough we could just work emails, which was the main item we needed. We also purchased the digital only photo package. One of the photographers was especially fun and seeing him was the highlight of our trip. We had over 150 photos at the end, which I consider a bargain for $99. All of our packages we purchased prior to getting on the ship, which was cheaper. Food & Activity: For the main dining room, our group of 4 was placed at a table of 8 and they other group was amazingly fun. The only downside is we had 8:00 dining, which meant we generally missed a lot of the "parties" and other items going on in the evening. If I did it again, I think I would do the "My Time" Dining so there would be more flexibility. We were able to make it to a Love & Marriage game that started at 10, which was very fun, along with sitting in on karaoke a couple of times, but almost all of the main activities in the evening started at 7-7:30 so we always missed them. The leveling pool tables were pretty fun but usually crowded. We also did a Mystery Dinner in Giovanni's one night, which was entertaining and the food was amazing. We did three specialty dining experiences on the ship. The first night, Izumi had their prices at half off, which was a great value and their food and service was amazing. For awhile, we were the only people in the restaurant, so if you want to experience specialty dining, I would definitely say doing it the first day is the way to go. We had read they usually have discounts, which turned to be true. Izumi is ala carte, so you pay as you go for any food you order. We also did Chops Grille steakhouse one night. The presentation of the food was lovely, but the food was just ok. Definitely not bad, but nothing too spectacular. For that restaurant, you had a cover charge for food ordered. Our Giovanni experience was part of the Mystery Dinner and their food was excellent. For our port days, we were mostly off the ship. Most of the people on the cruise were older than us (we were in our 30s/40s) and the activities during the day were things like knitting, learning to make towel animals, etc. I think if we had stayed on the ship, we might have been a bit bored. I would be interested in trying a larger ship next time, as our table mates said there is a bit more to do on them. Because of the size of the ship, the pool areas, etc. seemed to always be crowded and they didn't have much space to take pictures on formal days. Spa: We did do two spa packages - a couples massage and a couples stone massage. The massage was alright - my masseuse was not as good as my partner's, but overall was good. The spa had a mistake upon booking so we ended up not getting the service what we made an appointment for (couples massage and ritual bath), which was a bit disappointing but overall worked out. They very much pushed products after the massage, but our friends who also had a couples massage said their masseuse asked them politely afterwards if they were interested in hearing about products before diving into the sales speech, so I think how hard you get products pushed on you depends on the person. For our stone massage, I had a different masseuse and it was absolutely amazing. We had some scheduling and payment issues with our spa that were straightened out in the end, but kind of left us with a feeling they were trying to trick us into paying more if we weren't careful. Overall, it was a good experience, but I would suggest anyone booking spa appointments should confirm what their appointment is when they come at the time of their appointment to avoid issues like we had. Fitness: I only used the fitness facilities a couple of times, but they were very nice. It was really warm in the gym area. They offered classes that were mostly an extra cost aside from a few stretching ones. I did a yoga class which was good, but a bit awkward because the class was held in the middle of the gym, so people on the treadmills were facing us during the class. They had a variety of equipment and held several seminars on healthy eating, etc. throughout the cruise. Ports: We enjoyed all of our ports and shore excursions, with the exception of our first one at Tortula. Our original excursion got cancelled because of rough seas, so we ended up with the Norman Snorkeling. That was the only disappointing excursion we had - we were supposed to go snorkeling in two different areas, but instead they had us snorkel in two areas and go to a beach. The add-on of the beach meant that in our second snorkel spot, we had just got off the ship when they honked to have us all get back on. Everyone seemed very disappointed as the 2nd site was Norman Island, and the main snorkeling site. I will try to add more information on the other ports later. Disembarking: We were alerted by our Compass to the fact that our port at Ft. Everglades was the only one in the country that allows Mobile Pass, which is an app you can download that helps speed up customs. We downloaded the app and between that and using Luggage Valet, we were off the ship and in a taxi within 15 minutes of leaving the ship. I would highly recommend using Luggage Valet - it's $25/person, and you don't have to worry about overweight charges, so we were able to come back with baggage slightly heavier without any worries. It was awesome to be able to go to the airport with only our backpacks and not worry about luggage until reaching our home airport. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2017
We were 3 friends cruising together and not for the first time. We choose this boat because of the destinations. We cruised with different cruise line before and we always reserved a suite with balcony. Due to spring break the only thing ... Read More
We were 3 friends cruising together and not for the first time. We choose this boat because of the destinations. We cruised with different cruise line before and we always reserved a suite with balcony. Due to spring break the only thing available was a deluxe stateroom. It was the first time we cruised on a ship that old. There was a bit of rust but the employees were trying to maintain the ship. There was a lot of old people cruising with us and not a lot of children. It was very quiet and it was OK. No teenager and screaming to disturb the peace. I really appreciated that. The deluxe stateroom with balcony was in fact small, old and not very comfortable. You could see that it was in need of a renovation but it was clean. The attendant came at least 3 times a day to take care of everything. The bed was OK but the 3rd person was sleeping on a mini coach transforming in a bed at night. Let me tell you that it's not made for an adult. It was like sleeping on a plank of wood. The bathroom was tiny and if you are a bit overweight you might not fit in the shower. Don't lose your soap because you have to stop the shower and open the door to be able to retrieve it. We were dining on MY TIME and it was great. The food was really good and the presentation was amazing. We always had the same table and dining at the same time. Our 2 wait staff were very polite and friendly. The service was fast and without any mistake. We were seating near a window and it was great. We even took a tour of the kitchen and talked with the head chef and he explained the way it was working to feed almost 3000 people a day. Let me tell you they know what they are doing... Rooms service was free until the end of our cruise and you need to be very specific on what you want. Ex: you order food for 3 persons and they bring you only 2 cups for the coffee. Since march 28, you will have to pay a fee of $7.95 for each delivery at your room. The entertainment at night was fun. Great shows at the theater, it was not Las Vegas but it was entertaining. We saw something different every night. The Casino was not bad at all. We had movies on the big screen on the last deck a couple of night but it was very cold. There was always musicians at the Centrum and people were dancing. The pool deck was OK. The pool is not big at all. The shops are at the minimum and in one hour you will see everything they offer. You also have the art gallery. There was about 150 different shore excursions. We booked one for every port we visited and we did it on the first day of the cruise to make sure we were in on what we wanted to see. It was about sight seeing, panoramic drive and beach. They were all on time and the guides were very upcoming and friendly. The security on board was the same has any other ship. Overall, we had a great vacation. For our next cruise in 2018 we will make sure to reserve on a newer ship. We like our comfort too much. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
travel agent found this cruise for us - DISASTER.we had lots of problems with the cabin allocation prior to sailing. one of the party is disabled and needs the use of a wheelchair on occasion. although i followed all RC's ... Read More
travel agent found this cruise for us - DISASTER.we had lots of problems with the cabin allocation prior to sailing. one of the party is disabled and needs the use of a wheelchair on occasion. although i followed all RC's instructions, completed the relevant forms and e mailed the request for a cabin close to restaurants/elevator my request was totally ignored. we were allocated a tiny interior 'stateroom' (more like a prison cell) a long walk to elevators, at the opposite end of the ship to restaurants etc. and to top it all off the linen station was parked right outside our cabin every day making it impossible to get the wheelchair in or out of the cabin. The request to change cabins was met with a NO! Would not recommend interior cabins.we developed really bad chest infections and coughs caused we think by the air con which you have to have on constantly as it is so hot and you cant turn it off. Windjammer food was at most what we would expect of a typical 3 star all inclusive hotel. Basic and bland. don't expect to get a glass of wine with your meal here as the self serve bar didnt serve alchohol and we found it almost impossible to find a waiter to serve us. Restaurant food was better, but why do RC have a dress code for the restaurants if they dont adhere to it. we noticed people going into the restaurants in shorts t shirts for dinner. not appropriate dress. Beware of the travel agents (thomas cook in particular) telling you this is an all inclusive cruise. we tried to order drinks at the bar only to be told we only had a soda package which consisted of Coca Cola and soft drinks. Cocktails and spirits are not included and nor is bottled water at the bars. they finally relented and allowed us house wine and beer but only after i made a phone call to the U.K. to complain to thomas cook who informed us we had the whole drinks package. We went on a couple of excursions- enjoyed them especially the beach extravaganza in antigua. Embarkation and disembarkation was a bit if farce - organised chaos with some of the staff not sure what they were doing. took us about 3 hours get off the ship and through security. we have been on 4 cruises in the past but Royal Carribean is by far the worst. Although the staff were very friendly and hard working the customer service needs to be reviewed. very disappointing holiday! Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
Cruise on the RCL Serenade of the Seas Feb 3rd, 2017 to Feb 13th, 2017 Well we were very excited to try a different Cruise Line and compare it to Princess, which is the only Cruise Line we have used thus far. The first day started ... Read More
Cruise on the RCL Serenade of the Seas Feb 3rd, 2017 to Feb 13th, 2017 Well we were very excited to try a different Cruise Line and compare it to Princess, which is the only Cruise Line we have used thus far. The first day started off on a rocky note as we were whisked into the holding/customs building only to have to wait an hour and a half or more, to actually start to be processed into the ship. Something about the photo station not working so they had to do it when we boarded. Since we were directed to the back seats, everyone that came after us were put in front of us when those seats became empty so we were last onto the ship and people who just got there were processed before us. We then were finally let on the ship around 1pm or later and were directed to the Windjammer for lunch. It was an okay lunch and we were happy to eat and finally relax. We checked a couple of times for our luggage when the hall doors to our stateroom were unlocked but no luggage to be seen. We saw that someone else's luggage was in front of our #8639 stateroom door so we figured our luggage was elsewhere. We started to hunt for it and finally found it halfway down the hallway in front of someone else's door. If "Nino", our stateroom attendant, had been on shift he would have corrected the mistake immediately. Our stateroom attendant, Saturnino Badajos "Nino", introduced himself to us and gave us his business card. Our first impression of "Nino" was that he was a very quiet man with a great amount of class. He was very friendly, all the while being unassuming, a sweet man who I hugged and my husband shook hands with throughout the cruise. We liked him immensely and our thoughts and respect only increased throughout the cruise. This man should be promoted pronto. He is the type of customer relations staff that every cruise-ship, wanting great public relations, should strive for. He showed us where everything was and said to call if we needed anything. We didn't ask for much as we usually were up at the crack of dawn and to bed early. We love sunrises and sunsets. We unpacked and went to the dining room for dinner at 5pm. Since I have allergies to Shellfish, Fish, and Histamines, the head of the dining room looked after me and he was very patient and attentive. He made a copy of my allergy list from my doctor. We did have to wait for him to come when we ordered each course, as he was very busy. So is the life of a person who could die from shellfish. Better safe than dead. We ordered prime rib and it was terrible. A very bad and thick cut of meat with fat and hard gristle. Baked potato was very plain. Veggies were tasty. Buns were tasty. My husband loved his chocolate dessert but thought the coffee was the worst he had ever tasted. I ordered the banana creme brûlée and it was curdled with the crust overdone. We decided that the dining room food was not worth 3 hours of our time each day, including getting ready for dining and changing afterwords. We heard from many, many other guests who also disliked the dining room food. We also heard that the waiters were slow and frazzled. My husband and I didn't have that experience with our waiters or with the head of the dining room. We had tea later in the Windjammer and I was delighted to see that they had Twinings 100% English Breakfast BlackTea. They only had it the first day though, much to my disappointment. They made excuses why they didn't have it anymore, but they were excuses. Now to the Windjammer staff! They were amazing. The friendliest helpful staff we have ever had the pleasure to experience. Truly! The very tall thin young man with dark hair who was always at the grill cooking stir fry to filet mignon was exceptional. I wish I could remember his name. He is also very classy, cheerful, helpful, and should be promoted. He was very thoughtful when it came to my allergies. The food at the Windjammer was every bit as good as the dining room food but we wondered just how many ways they could dress up the mousse desserts. They did have the odd different desserts like the berry tart and key lime or apple pie. The big cake was also very good. The grill food was really good as was the omelette station in the morning. Bread selection great! Salad selection lacking. The world theme foods were interesting. Juices were watery. We found the pools were too small but the hot tubs were clean and hot! We found the ship was very clean and the staff were always cleaning and repairing each day, every day. We, at first were not happy that the Windjammer closed at 8:30pm as the Princess Line buffet was always open until 11:30 pm. But then we discovered the other spots to go to find drinks and snacks. I was very impressed with the Breakfast in the Solarium when I was up early for the sunrises. Great strawberry parfait. Coffee was still the worst I have ever had but the other foods were good. The ship Theatre singers were very good. The comedian and the Hypnotist were so bad that guests were leaving in droves. I felt sorry for them, in a way. We had a message on our phone that the excursion we booked for my favourite island, Dominica, was changed. We were not asked what we wanted to do we were just given the Hibiscus Falls instead of the Emerald Pool. We went down to the excursion desk and the rude woman ( a chunky girl with dark hair. Her name started with a J ), said snootily that she thought the Hibiscus Falls was a better choice. She then called her boss who told us Royal Caribbean had known about this for six weeks. We had booked all six excursions before Christmas as a present to each other and we could have made different arrangements if we had known. We then cancelled the Dominica excursion and after talking we then cancelled the others ( we had gone to the Tortola one already) because she was so rude and had a very bad attitude. She should not be in a position of customer relations. Unlike Princess Line, Royal Caribbean charges your Visa for the excursions when you book them. Princess charges you after you actually go on them. The staff on the customer relations main desk were great also. We didn't have an alcohol drink at all as they were $10 U.S. Plus 18% tax/gratuity. We brought empty Pepsi bottles and filled them with water from our room for our island walking and also brought our Tim Hortons Mugs so we could bring tea to our room. They did have takeout cups and lids. Our favourite spot was the back of the Windjammer which was open with a canvas top. I had to call the Royal Caribbean today as our $264 from the excursions we cancelled is not returned to our Visa yet. The nice young man said we were charged $12.39 for two bottles of water missing from the mini fridge in our room. I told him we didn't drink anything from the fridge, in fact didn't have a drink period on our cruise. He said he would reimburse the money to us. I asked who thought we drank the ships water and he said the staff who refills the fridges. I guess mistakes will be made with the rush to get ready for the next ship full of guests. The movies under the stars is a favourite thing for us. If only the staff cleaning the bar behind us could be a little quieter. Also the young staff men were standing around behind us chatting in there own language kind of loud. All in all we loved the fact that the ship was not over crowded and we could always find a quiet place to read and relax if we wanted to. We found that 95 % ,or more, of the staff were helpful and genuinely friendly. Hope this long review helps. Rose and Jim Read Less
Sail Date: January 2017
We chose this cruise to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary and it was our first trans-Atlantic cruise. We had fantastic entertainment, great musicians, good singers, and dancers. There were lots of shore excursion options. We ... Read More
We chose this cruise to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary and it was our first trans-Atlantic cruise. We had fantastic entertainment, great musicians, good singers, and dancers. There were lots of shore excursion options. We especially enjoyed the one in the Azore islands. It is impressive that these remote islands are virtually energy self-sufficient, except for the importation of oil and gas, having a combination of geo-thermal, wind, solar, and hydroelectric. We enjoyed the two lakes and the village in the crater of the extinct volcano. Visiting a pineapple farm was also a unique experience! It certainly makes me appreciate the two years of work and growth that goes in to get my pineapple for breakfast every morning! The tour of the Keukenhof Gardens in Amsterdam with the breathtaking display of tulips was the experience of a lifetime. It was an item on our bucket list! It was a great celebration, and we would do it again, but we will have to have a different excuse than a 50th anniversary! Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
We choose this cruise because of the length of the cruise that leaves on that specific date. We had one particular date and a specific amount of time to be gone. This ship is smaller than others that we have been on. It was filled with ... Read More
We choose this cruise because of the length of the cruise that leaves on that specific date. We had one particular date and a specific amount of time to be gone. This ship is smaller than others that we have been on. It was filled with retired people escaping the cold winter. However, that did not affect the activities. Serenade had something going all the time. Good entertainment that we really did not want to miss. But the point of our trip was to slow down and recover from a hectic life. And we were able to do that. We ordered room service, sat on our balcony and read. We did participate in the shows, some games and some restaurants.Everything we participated in was high quality. The nightly entertainment in the theater was amazing. The food served in all of the restaurants was exceptional. The staff was outstanding. It was a memorable cruise!!! Best we've had. One thing we did different this cruise was participate in the Murder Mystery Dinner. That was so much fun. The actors did a great job in making us believe we had witnessed a murder. We had to solve the murder. Royal Carribean has always done their best to see that we are pampered. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
we chose this particular cruise for the destinations as we already been to most of the regular islands, this was our first and last cruise with royal Caribbean line. thee embarkation locale is dirty and guests are treated like cattle, we ... Read More
we chose this particular cruise for the destinations as we already been to most of the regular islands, this was our first and last cruise with royal Caribbean line. thee embarkation locale is dirty and guests are treated like cattle, we were booked in a superior balcony suite, it felt like a shipping container with a balcony, the bathroom is so small even the comedian joke about the only way to soap is first rub the soap on the walls of the shower and then roll. I can't even describe the bed because I was afraid to look underneath. they nickel and dime the passengers, no shampoo, or conditioner, our cabin person was non-existent we only saw him just a few times, the bedsheets were never changed, the room was dusty even after a request to vacuum, I made the mistake of opening the balcony door while the ship was moving, we paid dearly, the dust that came flying in from the curtains felt like we were next to a sand quarry so for the duration of the cruise we spent as little time as possible in the room. after the first day of visiting the windjammer cafeteria, we avoided it like the plague, the servers are the rudest peoples ever, but have to mention the staff in the reflection dining room ( Gerard and Heman) made up for the rudeness of the rest of the staff. The food were at best palatable( luckily we didn't get sick). the entertainment is ZZZ because I fell asleep almost every night, some of the cruise directors staff were terrible with the exception of one(Grant). the parties at night were ok and only because of the limitation of music selections. It is the first time I ever experience where staff members refers to guest as "hey Man" or "hey lady" when addressing guests. Be careful when returning from shore excursions because a few of the security guards are unprofessional and think that their are cops and treated the guest just like TSA agent do. Overall the excursions are decent. we met some nice and interesting folks both on and off the ship that made up for some short coming of management whose agents lies to get a sale, they make false promises i.e. onboard credits( when attempted to verify the guest is treated like a criminal by guest services,) or unrecorded diner vouchers sent to the homes that cannot be redeem. Oh I forgot to mentioned several ports the ship docked in freight terminal so in order to do anything in town one must take a shuttle. Overall we made the best of a bad experience, not coming back, we rather pay more on a higher quality line. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2016
We drove down from South Carolina the day prior to the cruise and stayed at the hampton Inn Fort Lauderdale Airport / Cruise port. They have a deal were parking in included in the room price for seven nights. The extra 3 nights cost ... Read More
We drove down from South Carolina the day prior to the cruise and stayed at the hampton Inn Fort Lauderdale Airport / Cruise port. They have a deal were parking in included in the room price for seven nights. The extra 3 nights cost $10.00 per night. It also included 2- shuttle tickets to the port. We needed 4 and the extra passes were $10.00 per ticket. We've decided that our next cruise we'll take a taxi as upon return the taxi to the hotel cost less than $25 for four of us included the $5.00 tip. The Hampton Inn was nice with a small pool, but nothing to brag about. We would stay here again. We always like to arrive at the port early so we can be on board early and get some pool time. We arrived at 10;45 and were onboard by 11:15 sitting by the pool. Included in our group we myself, wife and 2 - 13 year olds. Since we were early embarkation was a breeze. We stayed on deck 3 which was very nice. We have a great room stewart as always. The cabin seemed to be slightly larger than other rooms we've stayed in. The main dining room was good, but not great. Service seemed a little slow at times, but nothing to too awful. We ate here about half the nights. We ate 2 nights at Izumi and it was wonderful. If you enjoy Asian food, I highly recommend Izumi. We also ate at Giovanni's and it was wonderful as well. We ate most of our lunch meals and one night at Windjammer. It's all good buffet style food. The dinner night the food seemed to be especially good, so might give it a try at night. A few miscellaneous things: My 2-13 years had a blast. As always they made friends and had a great time. Service for the most part was fantastic. The Christmas and New Years Eve activities were very fun. Based on conversations with bar staff, they did raise prices at the bars particually on sparkling wines and champaine. I thought overall the ship was in good repair, but does need a little TLC. My wife and I both purchased the drink package and found it worth the money and it makes the transaction of buying a drink easier as there is no check to sign.. average drink prices are: beer: $6-7 fruity drinks $8-12, with most being $12 liquer pours $8-10 I had a bloody mary in the morning, a couple drinks during the day, a glass of wine or two with supper and a drink or two during a show. Overall I enjoyed my experience and would return again. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
Greeting Folks,, I am sharing my thoughts on our recent first ever cruise. We chose Royal Caribbean’s Serenade of The Seas because of it’s size (not a mega sized ship) and from reports from users who have sailed with this specific ... Read More
Greeting Folks,, I am sharing my thoughts on our recent first ever cruise. We chose Royal Caribbean’s Serenade of The Seas because of it’s size (not a mega sized ship) and from reports from users who have sailed with this specific ship. The focus of the trip was to celebrate our 27th Wedding Anniversary and to escape from Canada’s prolific Winter Wonderland for a couple of weeks. I will provide an overview of our experience in a somewhat narrative style. At the end I will provide a link to a small viideo/photo montage of our trip. Please note all excursions were booked through Royal Caribbean prior to departing Canada. Day 1. We departed from Ottawa Canada, via Montreal, on Air Canada en-route to the ship’s port city of Fort Lauderdale. It was recommended that due to the potential uncertainty of winter travelling (especially from certain parts of Canada), it would be prudent to give ourselves sufficient time in case of weather related flight delays. This allowed us to relax for a day before boarding the ship on day 2. We stayed at the Rodeway Inn for the one night. Our impressions of Rodeway Inn. The facility is clean and I would rate it as a 3 star establishment. We were picked up at KFLL with their airport shuttle service. When we arrived, it took some time for check in as service seemed rather slow. Once we received our room key, we went to our designated room to drop off our luggage. We decided to go for lunch and immediately discovered upon leaving our room, that the door would not lock. After confirming this a couple of times, we let the front desk know and they sent someone over who then proceeded to reinforce the door hinges with an electric drill. I was somewhat sceptical as to the effectiveness of the procedure, but it seemed to do the trick. The only eating establishment within walking distance was the Marina 84 Bar & Grill. While it looked to be a part of the Rodeway building, I found out it was not owned by the hotel. Food was pretty decent; some alcoholic drink prices seemed somewhat high, but that may have more to do with the fact that there were no other competitive establishments close by. Day 2 / 3 / 4 Pre-Boarding Rodeway again provided shuttle service to the ship terminal. This shuttle was not free however. I believe it was $2 US/ per person. We chose to get to the terminal early (again through advice given to us) in order to see if we could beat the crowds. As it turned out we did end up close to the front of the line, but the terminal doors did not open for almost an our after we arrived. Checkin was fairly straightforward; basically like at the airport. We had all of our documents printed (baggage tags / sea pass docs etc) so we went through very quickly. We were assigned to a specific seating area in groups, as they were boarding the ship in sections. Once our turn for boarding came up we were photographed (I guess to match the sea pass) and allowed to board the ship. On Board We tried not to look too much like cruise newbies, but failed miserably. We did not care :) It was a great first time experience. The basic things that we initially saw are captured in the video montage. Given that we had over two days of sailing prior to reach our first port of call, we made good use of the time getting to know the ship and her crew. Everyone was genuinely helpful and very pleasant. The ship was clean and easy to get around. I have read other reviews that say the ship seemed worn and is overdue for refurbishment, but maybe it was because this was my first cruise and I have no prior frame of reference; but It looked great to me. Our ocean view balcony stateroom seemed (surprisingly) larger than I expected it to be. I really could not tell from the pictures that I pored over while planning for the trip, but the room was very comfortable. More than enough closet and drawer space for two people. We were very happy with the room. Food The stories we had heard leading up to our first cruise made us think you would be wading in food! :). Food was in abundance, but we learned through others we met on board that the amount (and to some extent, quality) has somewhat diminished. The main food area is the Windjammer Cafe and for me, the quality varied from day to day. Sometimes the lunch menu was better than the dinner menu, and vice versa. We did book one night (our anniversary) in the Chops Specialty restaurant and that was exquisite. We really enjoyed that. We ate two or three times in the Reflections dining room for dinner and one time for breakfast. Two of the three dinners were average, with one being good. The one breakfast did not fare so well, but your mileage may vary. It took me 4 days to discover that you could order seconds when eating in Reflections and it took 5 days for me to find out that the desserts in Cafe Latitudes was free. :) The Park cafe had good salad selections and was my favourite spots for getting toasted bagels with cream cheese and salmon. Entertainment We attended Shows in the Tropical theatre that included Stand-Up Comics, Musicals etc. For the most part, were pretty good, but with varying quality. To be fair, it would depend on your own tastes and preferences. We tried to see a movie one afternoon in the ships cinema, but it was full. We discovered that whatever was showing in the cinema, was also available on your stateroom TV. Other Activities You will never be able (nor would you want) to do every scheduled activity onboard. We took part in a couple trivia games; watched a World Sexiest Man contest by the main pool (I cannot honestly say what possessed me to do so), as well as a Belly Flop Competition. We did discover our favourite spot on the ship - The Safari Lounge. especially sitting right by the floor to ceiling windows at the stern of the ship. A nice place to chill out with a book. Meeting Others We had missed a first time cruisers meeting on the 1st or 2nd day at sea, but invariably met people while dining. After two dinner bookings by ourselves in Reflections, we wanted to just join in at a group table to get to know others. Ports of Call We had selected the 10-Day Southern Caribbean itinerary that included the following Islands: Day 4 - Tortola BVI No planned excursions. We just walked around town. We did not really get to see any location highlights. Day 5 - St. Kitts - Plantation and Beach Excursion The only real hiccup in an otherwise fantastic cruise. The excursion itself was very good, but there was a fair bit of initial miscommunication pertaining to where and what time to meet for a planned day excursion. We were told to wait in a specific section on the pier after disembarking. We sat under a tent for about 35 minutes. I got up to look at the signs other excursion reps were holding up, but did not see ours. Went to the washroom nearby and when I exited I just happened to be passing by someone with a sign with really small print, and discovered it was our excursion. I confirmed that with them and they said they had been waiting for almost 20 minutes for the “final two” passengers. I was somewhat put out as we were told twice too just wait by the tent. No one called out that the excursion was boarding and we were not told how to find our excursion rep. I took it up with Guest Services after we got back on board later and they apologized. I did recommend that things should be more organized. Day 6 - Dominica - Rain Forest Excursion Our excursion on this island was to the Rain Forest. We had an excellent tour guide and thoroughly enjoyed this small island and its people. Day 7 - Antigua No planned excursion as we just walked around the capital city of St Johns. Again, not really much to see given that we were limited to just a small radius around the ship Day 8 - St. Maarten - Our Anniversary - Island Tour Excursion of The French & Dutch Sides Our most disappointing excursion, as our expectations were not met. The tour guide diligently pointed out things such as car dealerships, supermarkets, high schools and a few statues located in roundabouts. I guess I was looking for more on the history of the island, landmarks such as a fort up on a hill were only given a passing mention. We were brought to what I can only describe as “tourist traps”. Stalls selling locally crafted clothing and trinkets. We would have been better served if we took ourselves to a beach for the day. Please do not get me wrong. I do not begrudge anyone trying to make a living in these islands. For the most part that is their only source of livelihood, but if you have to navigate the same scene at every port of call and while on an excursion, it can become a bit tedious. Lessons learned I suppose. Given that this was our first cruise, we opted to “play it safe” as far as excursions went. Now with one cruise under our belt, we are already defining what we will do differently next time. Arriving Back In Florida Our flight back to Canada was scheduled to leave at 1:50pm, but we left the ship early due to the fact the ship had set a later than expected disembarkation time. We had previously booked a shuttle from the terminal to the airport for 9am, so we had to push our off ship time earlier to make the shuttle. Getting back to Canada was disruptive due to flights being affected by east coast winter weather…and yes our luggage made it home one day after we did. Better then, than on the cruise, so we are not complaining. Summary and Conclusion This was one of the best vacations I can ever recall taking. It has adjusted my viewpoint on all-inclusive resorts. I guess I have gotten the bug because I definitely will be planning to do this again in different geographic locations. Hopefully I have been able to give a sense of what a first cruise feels like, but it goes without saying it will be a different experience for everyone. One thing I know, there is a lot more to cruising that I am yet to learn. Video Montage (approx 16min) - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rTx62TEu3x8 Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2016
The dates and ports worked for us. The weather was great, the ship, not so good. This was my 7th cruise and the amenities were the worst. To give you an idea of how they think about food.....they listed the main dining room as ... Read More
The dates and ports worked for us. The weather was great, the ship, not so good. This was my 7th cruise and the amenities were the worst. To give you an idea of how they think about food.....they listed the main dining room as complimentary dining. The entertainment was woeful with the exception of the comedian. Zumba was great. Finding food after being in port was nearly impossible....only two stations open with three people serving. It's not the employees fault, definitely the corporation. The size of the ship made it manageable but there are too many negatives. Guest services and security during disembarkation at ports were nonexistent. I tried to get a wheelchair for my husband just to get him to the end of the port...you would have thought I was asking for the moon. Security said go to guest services and vice versa. Unfortunately, not all of the ports have private transport for the docks. It would be helpful if the cruise line could accommodate this. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
Well...we have only started cruising for years ago. During that time we stayed loyal to Royal but I must say that the quality of the Serenade of the Seas was a bit...disappointing. It's an older ship and in need of renovation on a lot ... Read More
Well...we have only started cruising for years ago. During that time we stayed loyal to Royal but I must say that the quality of the Serenade of the Seas was a bit...disappointing. It's an older ship and in need of renovation on a lot of things: The food in the Windjammer and the main dining room needs more variation! For the Windjammer, after 5 days of broccoli (which I like as a vegetable) you might want to change this and serve something else. Also the main dining room menu needs an update. We've had the same menu choice over and over again. Don't get me wrong, the food is good but get some variation in it! The entertainment was...kinda OK...although some variation is also needed: I mean, how many comedians, jugglers and wannabe singers can you take on an evening. There are so many good singers and performers in the world...why they always take the old and forgotten, I do not understand. On a previous cruise we once had a singer who took part in X-factor UK, he was awesome! Please, book more of those acts for your shows! They also had a group called the Music Makers who performed mostly in the Centrum...OMG, this is so NOT the quality we are used to! The older guy was mostly out of tune and he sounded like a cat meowing nervously. Up to now I did not know anyone who could kill an Abba-song...well, now I do. Staff was, as always, SUPERBE! Main dining room, room attendant and all other staff are ever so friendly and reliable. Itinerary was also awesome. We loved all the ports of call, St-Lucia, Aruba and Bonaire really impressed us in a good way. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2016
We chose this cruise because of friends that were also booked. If not for these friends and new ones we met it would be hard to find many positive comments other than the crew members. The flight to Boston was a breeze as was the taxi ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of friends that were also booked. If not for these friends and new ones we met it would be hard to find many positive comments other than the crew members. The flight to Boston was a breeze as was the taxi to the ship. To the best of my recollection check-in and boarding went smoothly. I recall seeing rust and paint bubbled as we walked along the deck to get inside the ship. When we went to our cabin on the inside we noticed the ship was really showing her age. Now it was time to get a bite to eat so off to the Windjammer to find the variety was not the same as other RCI cruises and this stayed the same for the next 12 days. Dinner in the Dining Room was less than exciting, we found it hard (some nights) to find something on the menu that looked all that appetizing. It used to be our evenings were planned around the show in the theatre but the quality of the entertainment was at an all time low. We went to two shows one of witch we should have got up and left. The in-house entertainment was so much better that the guest entertainment. Our favorite was the young man that played piano like no one I have ever seen. Now for the positive side: In the Diamond Lounge each evening we had one of the best bar tenders we've had on any of our 28 cruises. Over all the crew were exceptional from our cabin steward to the bartenders and fantastic wait staff in all eating venues. The young lady that made my omelet each morning was cheerful and just a delight. Best meal on the trip was at Chops Grill, great food and service. Would I cruise with RCI again, yes but probably choose a different ship. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
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
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
This cruise was back-to-back with Norwegian fjords. We chose it because we have done the Caribbean and Mediterranian, and wanted something different. The itinerary was supposed to be Stockholm, Estonia, St Petersburg, and Helsinki, but ... Read More
This cruise was back-to-back with Norwegian fjords. We chose it because we have done the Caribbean and Mediterranian, and wanted something different. The itinerary was supposed to be Stockholm, Estonia, St Petersburg, and Helsinki, but the weather was bad in Stockholm, so we went to Estonia, then spent two nights in St Petersburg instead of the one we were scheduled for, and then went to Helsinki. I know some folks were disappointed, but we were happy to spend more time in St. Petersburg as we have both spent a lot of time in Sweden. Seranade is a little smaller than the larger ocean-going ships, as it goes up through the fjords of Norway, and I expect a larger ship may not be able to navigate some of those narrow passages. We actually enjoyed the smaller ship. The big ones can be a bit hectic. Food and service were excellent, as usual for RC. We had two excellent waiters in the main dining room, and very much enjoyed dining with them. Their names were Pablo and Vyacheslav. Pablo was from the Dominican Republic and Slav was from the Ukraine. Excellent cruise and highly recommended. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
We chose this cruise because we have done the Mediterranian and Caribbean and wanted something different. We actually did back-to-back cruises to the Norwegian fjords and the Baltic (see separate review). August is not the best time of ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we have done the Mediterranian and Caribbean and wanted something different. We actually did back-to-back cruises to the Norwegian fjords and the Baltic (see separate review). August is not the best time of year to go to Norway, but it was our vacation window, and even though it was chilly, rainy, and windy, we still enjoyed it. The two best stops for us were Bergen and Gieranger. It poured rain while we were in Bergen but it was still fun to walk around the town and eat at the seafood market. Gieranger was our favorite stop, and the weather cooperated that day. We took and excursion to a goat farm where we saw how they make that brown Norwegian cheese. The road across the mountain was a bit nerve-wracking for a fellow with vertigo (me), but it was well worth seeing the countryside, the waterfalls, swollen streams, and the mountain tops with newly falling snow. (Yes, it snowed that day in the high elevations.) What was amazing was to see mountains rising to about 6000 feet directly from the fjord itself. And sailing up the fjord to reach the sea was a very peaceful and pleasant experience. Royal Caribbean provides excellent service, and we were extremely impressed at how well organized they were for those of us who had back-to-back cruises. We took the opportunity to take a hop-on-hop-off tour of Copenhagen, and as we left the ship, we received new cards so that when we returned, we were able to go directly back to our stateroom. It was interesting to compare the cruises of Norway and Baltic sea with the one in the Caribbean. The food was more variable, in order to satisfy a broader clientele, I suppose. Being from North Carolina, I was amused to see a German fellow loading his plate with what they called NC barbecue, and it was a reasonable facsimile to what I am used to. Overall, the food was good both in the buffet and the sit-down restaurant. We also ate in the Italian and Japanese restaurants, both of which were excellent. In fact, the sashimi was flawless, and the service was very nice. Great experience. We had a balcony room, which was very nice. Read Less
Serenade of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.3
Dining 4.0 4.0
Entertainment 5.0 3.7
Public Rooms 5.0 4.3
Fitness Recreation 5.0 4.0
Family 5.0 4.0
Shore Excursion 3.0 3.9
Enrichment 1.0 3.5
Service 5.0 4.4
Value For Money 5.0 3.9
Rates 4.0 4.3

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