5 Royal Caribbean Serenade of the Seas Greece Cruise Reviews

This was our first RCI cruise (9 previous cruises on Princess, Celebrity and Cunard) and were were mostly pleased with the experience. The staff were great and friendly and the ship (Serenade of the Seas) was absolutely lovely and every ... Read More
This was our first RCI cruise (9 previous cruises on Princess, Celebrity and Cunard) and were were mostly pleased with the experience. The staff were great and friendly and the ship (Serenade of the Seas) was absolutely lovely and every easy to navigate. We loved the ship, enjoyed our itinerary (Greek Isles), thought the public areas were beautiful and we had a great cruise. A few pluses: Food was very good, particularly in Reflections at Dinner. We participated in My Time Dining which is a different experience on this ship than other cruise lines as they want you to pre-book your table daily. We had the same table/wait staff and they were fantastic. They got to know us very well (group of 5) including our names and likes/dislikes and their camaraderie and service was the absolute highlight of our cruise. The cabin (Inside) was cosy, large and comfortable. Staff - friendly and helpful A few minuses: Coffee - everywhere (Windjammer, Reflections, Cafe Lattitudes - it is terrible! Windjammer - breakfast and lunch - sometimes food was not hot enough; bacon undercooked daily Casualness of guests in Reflections at dinner - this was the biggest minus for us. On Princess, Celebrity and Cunard, everyone dresses for dinner, even on Smart Casual nights (collared shirt/dress pants for men; blouse/nice top/skirt/pants/dress for women). On this cruise, the majority of people in Reflections for dinner dressed in jeans, sweatpants, workout wear, shorts and runners every night. Even on Formal nights, we would see people in jeans. We were very shocked that this is allowed and extremely disappointed. Where is the pride in looking nice and not like a slob at dinner-time! Overall, we loved our cruise and we had a wonderful time. Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
First time on Royal for me. Found myself comparing to other cruise lines. Check in was a breeze, in our rooms by 1 PM. Food good but one in our group has Celiac disease and her choices were limited. Disappointed in the hours of the buffet, ... Read More
First time on Royal for me. Found myself comparing to other cruise lines. Check in was a breeze, in our rooms by 1 PM. Food good but one in our group has Celiac disease and her choices were limited. Disappointed in the hours of the buffet, closes early. Brought our one bottle of "allowed" wine on board but no wine glasses in cabin. Had to go ask for them each day from a bar. Friendly staff. Good shows. Cruise director needs to be replaced - phony is the only word I can think of. Great ports of call, two tender ports. Disembarkation was also very smooth. Hate smoking so have to mention the fact that the casino reeks of it. There were specials when you could get two for one drinks some days between certain hours at certain bars and of course, those bars were packed with people. Only two bartenders which created chaos. Saw this on two occasions. Also, people would bring food from buffet onto pool deck then leave dirty dishes laying around. I don't know how many times we saw waiters walk right by these dirty dishes and not pick them up. We did anytime dining and we had no problems, never had to wait for a table and there were 7 of us. Yes I will travel with Royal again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
Just off the nine night Greek Islands cruise onboard the Serenade out of Civitavecchia in a two bedroom family suite – five adults, (Mom, Dad, DD, DS and DIL). Daughter and I did the 12 night Med cruise onboard the Serenade last year ... Read More
Just off the nine night Greek Islands cruise onboard the Serenade out of Civitavecchia in a two bedroom family suite – five adults, (Mom, Dad, DD, DS and DIL). Daughter and I did the 12 night Med cruise onboard the Serenade last year same timeframe out of Barcelona that we enjoyed a tad more. We also spent a week in Rome pre cuise. I arranged for a private mini van from Roma to Civitavecchia (5 persons and tons of bags) for 145 Euro from romeshuttlelimo. They arrived promptly on time and it took quite a while to get through Rome Center and we arrive at the port in about 1 ½ hours. Check in was fairly easy, all lines were about the same, although they did have a suite line. We arrived about 12:30 and was on board right about 1 and walked right to the cabin, dropped off our carry ons and decided who was getting which rooms. We took advantage of the BOGO dinner at Chops the first night (this was offered to everyone) and we also booked Giovanni’s, paying the first night with our C&A D+ coupons, but reserving much later in the cruise. Of course we did have that extra 5th person we paid for in full. Both specialty dinners were delicious. The room attendant was never able to figure out how to tuck in the sheet for either the twin sets up or the queen bed. We all complained and even spoke to him that we’d wake up with the sheets completely sliding off the beds. So here we are lying on something that isn’t covered with clean linen. Yuck. Other than that the room attendant was decent. I was disappointed in the suite bath amenities. Basically you received shampoo, conditioner, shower wash and lotion. NO shower caps, NO q-tips or cotton balls. Thank God I had brought some with me. But I was pretty sure in prior suites I had always gotten q-tips and shower caps. In our nine night cruise we received one towel animal on day two (or may have been day three). Our C&A gifts were all in the suite waiting as were numerous welcoming letters and invitations to this or that. The first morning the Suite concierge AND the Diamond concierge both left messages early morning. So cover up those phones if you don’t want to see them flashing each morning starting around 6 a.m. All the following mornings we only received them from the Suite Concierge Nizar. Same old stuff, weather update, have a great day, etc. Nice, but enough already and I haven’t mastered how to delete without having to listen to the entire message. A few times, they also delivered nasty hors d’oeurves. But again, nice of them. So our two bedroom suite was Deck 8 8668, corner wraparound. They had put three chairs, a table and two upscale (sort of) loungers. All pads were horribly moldy. There was hardly room to walk around. We asked them to take out one of the loungers. They said they could not replace the pads as they were fire retardant, so they covered them with gold towels. One time. Anyone who gets aft cabins, knows everything is covered in soot after a couple of days. We did spend quite a bit of time out there, but luckily not all at once. There was a suite packet in our room that listed the menu we could order from each day. That was supposed to be changed each day, but was not. We never ended up ordering in the room because there were five of us and it just wasn’t big enough. Oh, we did have enough seats to sit in in the main cabin part once the couch was put back in place. The suite packet also contained a list of board games and movies we could order. The movies were old and the board games all missing pieces. The singers and dancers were changing over, so there were many rehearsals in the centrum. Lots of mistakes. The centrum gets way overcrowded. I really don’t know why they hold any shows there as it causes fights pushing and shoving. My DIL who looks like a child (very petite) had a man grind into her and pin her against the overlook into the centrum. They reported him to security, reviewed the cameras and pulled him in. It was quite an ordeal. This cruise was a very different experience for us even from last years which was the same ship, almost the same itinerary.   Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
Ship Problems:- 1) The elevator calling system is a nightmare at boarding and disembarkation as they are far too busy. On arrival we had to endure the ‘scrum’ of guests competing for elevators which had no logic to them. We eventually ... Read More
Ship Problems:- 1) The elevator calling system is a nightmare at boarding and disembarkation as they are far too busy. On arrival we had to endure the ‘scrum’ of guests competing for elevators which had no logic to them. We eventually worked out they appear to work on a priority call system which in principle sounds sensible, but in practice means that it is impossible for guests to know which elevator to wait by; causing people to miss an elevator because other people by pure luck were closer to the doors. Terrible for guests like us with a wheelchair!!! Why can’they use the same system used in Hotels. If an elevator is going up – it’s going up, and vice versa. At least you know what elevator to stand by and not miss your place. 2) The corridors to the staterooms are almost impossible to traverse with a wheelchair due to the room attendant trolleys. These trolleys should have ‘parking stations’ where they can be set back out of the way. 3) There are no disabled or wheelchair spaces for the entertainment areas such as the Centrum or the Tropical Theatre. In fact the Theatre is a nightmare to get to unless you enter and exit via deck 4, which we only found out by chance. Even that route has a ‘Crew Only’ sign on it, although we can’t see why as it only routes to the theatre. 4) The disabled restrooms have automatic doors. Whilst this seems like a good idea; in practice they are a complete disaster. They open outward rather than slide, embarrassingly blocking entry and exit from the abled bodied restrooms. If you forget to lock the door, the button does not immediately close the door – you have to go through the embarrassment of sitting there (in whatever condition) whilst the door continues to open fully before it closes!!!! 5) Poor facilities for disabled guests in Reflections Dining room. The spaces between the tables are far too small. Even able-bodied guests are often knocked as waiters squeeze between the tables. We had to use the Windjammer as a preference; this was not fair and not what we paid for. 6) Facilities to assist disable guests when tendering is poor. A facility to disembark wheelchair guests should be provided. 7) Entertainment was ‘ok’, but not Las Vegas style as should be expected on a ship of this category. 8) Food was ‘average’. For example, in the Reflections, no lobster (or anything like it), but hamburgers (sliders) were on the menu. I didn’t even see a good steak offered unless I paid extra. This is poor. Also the dessert trolley should be brought to your table. Service Problems:- 1) For the first 2 nights, we did not realise the information regarding attire was on the newsletter (it was not pointed out to us), so we missed the complimentary pressing/ironing of clothes for the 1st formal night (as well as not dressing for it). We requested complimentary pressing/ironing for the 2nd formal night so we were ready, but the room attendant did not get back to us as promised. 2) We arrived 45mins early for a Centrum show and took our seats only to have our view blocked by people standing in-front of us. Despite requests to the waiters, they would do nothing, even though one of our party had a wheelchair. We complained to the Guest Services Manager who informed us we should have had priority (not sure how this would have worked and later we found out this was incorrect information). We received a complimentary bottle of wine and an apology. I suggested they should provide wheelchair areas or even rope off one of the viewing balconies for wheelchairs – a simple solution. To add salt to the wound, the next show was also ruined by its last minute cancellation which we did not hear about because the announcements don’t work in the cabins – ridiculous. 3) Almost impossible to get a drink in the Tropical Theatre and the Windjammer Restaurant. Very rarely asked if we would like a drink and servers almost impossible to find. Insufficient staff. 4) Food/snacks unavailable after 1pm – this is too restrictive. A good night out at Vortex and not even snacks available past 1pm. Room Service should not be required. We have been on much smaller ships where snacks are available in the early hours. In Summary There is little provision for disabled guests which is not just an oversight; it’s actually illegal in most countries unless a vehicle or building is many years old. As the Serenade is only 11 years old it’s disgraceful. Many of the problems we encountered would not need a complete redesign of the ship to correct. They just need a little more consideration for disabled guests and better stateroom and service management. Considering we paid almost $10,000 for one (2-bedroom) stateroom holiday, we expected a much higher standard. We have paid half as much on smaller ships and received better service all round. Royal Caribbean only accepted our complaints when I wrote to their CEO. Their idea of compensation is a percentage voucher towards our next cruise - fat chance!!   Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
We recently did a cruise with RC to celebrate our 40th wedding annniversary. From start to finish we thoroughly enjoyed it. The attention to detail was amazing and everything went very smoothly. The staff were all very friendly and made ... Read More
We recently did a cruise with RC to celebrate our 40th wedding annniversary. From start to finish we thoroughly enjoyed it. The attention to detail was amazing and everything went very smoothly. The staff were all very friendly and made you feel quite special. I liked that they would call you by name when getting on and off the ship. The food was very nice and plenty of it in several different restaurants. The entertainment was fairly good and the aerial acts in the Centrum were spectacular. There was something for everybody to do and plenty of places for sunning and relaxing. Plenty of sun loungers (except on sea days) and towels supplied. The weather was hot all the time but you could always find a shady spot if you wanted. We booked 2 short tours (4/5 hours) which were very good. One to the Accropolis in Greece and the other to Santorini. Both tour guides excellent and we had a very enjoyble trip both times. Other days we just did our own thing and got the shuttle buses into the port town. Our stateroom with balcony was fine but a little tight on space. We had to use the arm chair and coffee table to hold the suitcases. Plenty of wardrobe space and shelves and bathroom perfect. Everything was spotless and room cleaned twice a day. Our cabin attendant Kenneth was so nice and helpful and the towel folding at night was a lovely touch. We enjoyed the evenings in the different bars and the theatre and casino. Used the hair salon twice and also had a pedicure. Very pleased on both occasions but was pressurised into buying products I really didn't want at very inflated prices every time I went. The products were in bags and handed to me as I left. All in all this was a very memorable trip and we will definitely be looking to cruise again. If you eat in the Windjammer it takes a bit of organisation to get your food, a drink and find a table before food goes cold but it can be done. We learnt as we went along. Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
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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