152 Royal Caribbean Serenade of the Seas Romantic Cruise Reviews

Unknown to me until after sail-away, my now-fiancE had planned this vacation as a proposal-and-engagement cruise. Our relationship began on the Jewel of the Seas, another Radiance-class ship, in March 2007 so it was very sentimental. :) By ... Read More
Unknown to me until after sail-away, my now-fiancE had planned this vacation as a proposal-and-engagement cruise. Our relationship began on the Jewel of the Seas, another Radiance-class ship, in March 2007 so it was very sentimental. :) By sheer coincidence we also had the same cruise director, Marc Walker, so it was fun to get a chance to tell him the story at the Meet & Mingle. We flew into San Juan the night before the cruise and spent the night at the Radisson Condado. We had credit card reward points to use so the stay was free. The hotel was nothing special but neither was it problematic in any way; in the end, it was a perfectly decent place to spend the night and the cab for both of us to the pier was simple and reasonable. Embarkation went smoothly; we arrived early, around 11:45, and we were picking out seats in the Windjammer about ten minutes after the cab driver dropped us off at the pier. Our room took until 1:30 to be ready and even then we kept crossing paths with the cabin steward as we went in and out in the afternoon, but I understand how quickly they have to do a ton of work on embarkation day so it wasn't really a big deal. Our luggage arrived around 4:00. We were in aft cabin 9256, one of the 8 corner-aft cabins that Radiance-class ships have. The balconies are large enough for two loungers, two normal chairs, a couple of small tables, and some room left over. (They are also large enough for a romantic night-time proposal!) The walk to the nearest stair / elevator, at the Centrum, can be fairly aggravating if you have to do it several times in a row ("oops, I forgot my...") but in a general sort of sense wasn't an issue at all. I would like very much to luck into having one of those cabins again! (In our case, it happened to open up 2 months before sailing and we managed to grab it.) The ship itself was beautiful and well-maintained, as we expected. The service from our poor room steward was a little mixed, but it's not his fault we kept a very odd schedule for most of the cruise and were extremely difficult to work around some days, I'm sure. Our waiter and assistant waiter were professional and competent, but for the first time ever I *really* liked our head waiter. He was outgoing, full of smiles, and brought us a celebratory cake. (Anyone bringing cake gains my favor, hehe!) The dining room food was very good; not superbly excellent, but quite good. Chops and Portofino, on the other hand, were astounding as always and well, WELL worth the money. The entertainment was mixed. We left one "impressionist's" show after about 10 minutes, since every singer he was imitating sounded just like him, only in a funny hat, but the production shows were great. (We also won a private backstage tour and Q&A in the Make-a-Wish auction, and that was actually fascinating. The singers and dancers were very friendly!) The comedians were all very funny, surprisingly good, and the last night's duo were fun enough to watch. The ports were mixed, but varied from "nice enough" to "utterly amazing," as described below. The only excursion not described below was our disembarkation excursion when we returned to San Juan. We did the walking tour of Old San Juan and for anyone who likes cities and history, I cannot recommend it highly enough. Old San Juan is beautiful and fascinating. Overall, I had the time of my life on this cruise. Our travel went smoothly, our ports were beautiful, the weather was fine, the ship was great. Royal Caribbean is now 2 for 2 in my book, and we're looking forward to planning the honeymoon! Read Less
Sail Date December 2008
I hope I remember everything I want to say. :) I absolutely loved our end of May Alaska Royal Caribbean Cruise. :) It was my in-laws 25th anniversary and so they, their 4 kids and their two daughter-in-laws (including me) the 8 of us went ... Read More
I hope I remember everything I want to say. :) I absolutely loved our end of May Alaska Royal Caribbean Cruise. :) It was my in-laws 25th anniversary and so they, their 4 kids and their two daughter-in-laws (including me) the 8 of us went together. :) Dining: I gained 10 pounds!!!! That should speak for itself! :) hehe. ugh, the food was much too fantastic. very yummy. And even better than the food! (if you can imagine that) was the fantastic service. Our head waiter was a bit too proud of himself, but our Waiter Freddy Gonsalves and his assistant waiter Liodela were just so absolutely wonderful :) They did everything in their power to take care of our requests and never made us feel guilty for having asked for anything! :) They are the best! :) The windjammer was yummy too! :) It was warm enough that we would sit outside but you do need a lite jacket at the end of May in Alaska. We did not use the Portofino or the Chops Grille. Wy pay $25 per person more when you have just as excellent food and service for FREE in the Dining room and Windjammer :) And the room service was very nice. They were a little abrupt over the phone when we would call in, which was probably from under-staffing. Put a few more people working for room service and they'd have it down :) If you don't like to wait, go to the windjammer and yes ;) you are allowed to take the food back to your room. :) If you want he full wonderful dining experience, go to the dining room but it does take longer. We had the 6 pm seating. We would come at 6 and order, bread and drinks are served. Appetizers began at 6:30, Main courses 6:45, desserts about 7:15 p The Ship: BEAUTIFUL!!! :) All the glass.. especially the glass elevators... just beautiful :) 10 story lobby. beautiful art all over the ship :) My husband enjoyed the Shipshape center :) Putt putt and dodge ball were fun too (we are in our 20's :D) and the VIEW: :) To DIE FOR! :) I'd say the view ... all that water and mountains.. even better than any port of call! :) Ports of call 1st: Icy Strait Point: If your heart can handle it :) try the Ziprider! :) I loved it! I'd describe as a swing but much faster :) and only in one direction lol :) Lots of history in the museum and things to buy that you can't get on board such as AFFORDABLE sunglasses lol...(stuff in the onboard shops is very expensive unless you wait for days when they have stuff on sale like normally their watches are from $50 to $500 but they had ONE day when they had $15 watches.) 2nd: Hubbard Glacier: unfortunately the fog decided to be lazy and didn't clear up but for an hour... so never got to see that collapsing glacier event thing :( But that's not the cruise lines fault they can't control the weather :( 3rd: Skagway: Very nice town :) You have to do a bit of walking in order to get all around and see all the different stores but it was concentrated enough ... that I don't think we walked more than 3 miles the entire day all together. We did take the train through the mountains :) Very very pretty :) Especially Inspiration Point :) You are allowed to stand up and walk outside while the train is moving to take pictures... my husband spent nearly the entire time outside :) We were supposed to go on the 8 am train but the train in front of us was disable on the track and so they moved us to the 4:30 p train... which I think was probably better than the 8 am :) the train was back by 7:30 and out boat left at 8 pm phew some of us were worried that the train would have troubles and the boat would leave without us but the train people assured us that the boat does not leave without the 50 people on the train... it would wait for us if anything happened :) YAYE! :) 4th: Juneau: Hehe I got lazy. Stayed inside and slept and went up top and viewed the town... very big compared to the others... very sprawling. Days at sea: beautiful... open ocean was all you could see... it was like looking into eternity :) Believe it or not I did come back with a tan!! :) yaye! :) WEDDING VOW RENEWAL!!! :) well, not for me :) For my in-laws :) The Cruise Programs Administrator Kelly Tucker was absolutely wonderful. We are supposed to plan before you get on the ship but it didn't occur to us to throw a surprise vow renewal for Ma and Pa Simpson until we were already on the ship. of the 6 kids I was elected to see if we could get it worked out and when I met up with Kelly... she just treated me like I mattered like even though we were doing things out of order and other people had signed up before me to have their weddings or vow renewals down that I, the late bird, mattered just as much as them! :) I did not expect that :) She was just absolutely wonderful and took care of our every need and request :) Just absolutely WOW :) Between Freddy and Kelly... I just felt so loved and cared for and like family on Serenade :) I couldn't thank them enough for all their hard work and effort and time and patience :) The Rooms: I was told that cruise ship rooms and tinier than you could ever imagine so I went in with the expectation of some 4 x 10 room, a twin bed, and one of those trailer showers that sits right over the toilet... it was actually bigger than I thought! :) We had an inside room and I would call it very spacious - the bathrooms too :) But you have to walk in with the expectation of smallest tiniest box in the world and then when it ends up better than the smallest thing you can imagine, then you will be able to enjoy it :) Our room had a ton of mirrors all over which helped add to its spacious feel :) I like the movies (Wild Hogs, Harry potter, star dust, ratatouille, etc) (and ya there is actually a cinema theatre :D )and programs on TV that taught about the different ports and amenities. If you get easily nauseous, get an inside stateroom cuz its in the center of the ship and therefore rocks less... you can barely feel it on a bad day if you stay in bed. Balcony rooms or rooms at the ends of the boat can definitely feel it when the water gets choppy. Stateroom attendant: QUICK! :) I thought she did a good job but I also don't have very high standards lol :) We would be gone for 2 seconds and come back and the room had already been cleaned. Very quick! :) My mother-in-law commented on how she thought boats were supposed be cleaner or shinier and that most everything seemed to have a filmy layer on it and therefore less shiny. I reminded her that of the high prevention measures they are taking because of the Norwalk virus and so they have to use bleach on nearly every surface (including shiny ones) and bleach can leave a filmy residue especially when used as often as they were required to use it... so you will have a less shiny ship but its worth it to not get a gastrointestinal virus that keeps you hugging the commode for the rest of the cruise. :) (And NO the ship did NOT ever smell like bleach thank good ness cuz that is a horrible smell to live with) Money money money: Everything is very expensive so wait for a sale, the have a ton of them and that is when to buy stuff... spa too what is $200 one day is $89 the next ... seriously lol :) I regret not having taken part in some of the sales especially the art sales and raffles but I will know better for next time! :) The DOWN SIDE: Oh poo I hate this part.... at least I don't have a ton to say :) Bar: My family and I don't drink alcohol and apparently alcoholics are great tippers cuz when we would go to a bar to order virgin drinks, the bar attendants would barely acknowledge us in comparison to the drunk tippers on the other side of the bar. :( I must say though that the drinks were very good :) Plus the drunks were hilarious to watch... so it made for a good show lol. Guest Services: Very abrupt... but again, just understaffed, there were too many things they had to deal with and not enough people to do it so that had to get through the line of people as quickly as possible. Nausea: It is a ship. It does move. :) lol. Bring Nausea medicine just incase.... I never used any, but my in-laws did. Anyway enough with that!!! :) More upsides! :) Do as many poses as you can with the photographers :) Posing is free and they are set up most evenings to take you picture for formal nights of casual or ports :) Then you have a big selection to pick from :) The photos are very professional but you don't have to pay a sitting fee like with other professional photographers AND the photo prints are less expensive... more so than say Wal-Mart but much better quality. $20 for 8 x 10 full plus $10 more if you'd like another 8x10 with wallets and 4x6's in it. So 1 8x10 2 4x6 and some wallets for $30 :) Our local professional costs $27 just for one 8x10 besides the $100 for an hour of posing :) Free posing and cheap high quality prints :) Moral: GET YOUR PICS DONE! :) Its worth it! :) If you are going and you happened to bump into Freddy Gonsalves or Kelly Tucker, let them know the Simpsons said hi (yep they memorized our names, ain't that something :))... Enjoy yourselves on the Serenade! :) I know you will! :) Read Less
Sail Date May 2008
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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