10 Royal Caribbean Serenade of the Seas Romantic Cruise Reviews

We chose this itinerary because of the ports, and were excited to try Royal Caribbean again after quite a few years. Serenade of the seas was outdated, boring, lack of good entertainment and activities. Food in the the Windjammer was ... Read More
We chose this itinerary because of the ports, and were excited to try Royal Caribbean again after quite a few years. Serenade of the seas was outdated, boring, lack of good entertainment and activities. Food in the the Windjammer was terrible. Main dining room was mediocre at best, the waitstaff was excellent though, all the crew were excellent, no complaints on that aspect. No Caribbean music at the pool, they played 70's and 80's music the whole cruise. Didn't even feel like we were on a Caribbean cruise! Movies on the big screen were hard to watch with all the black spots/bad pixels. Who wants to watch red bull advertising on a movie screen by the pool! come on we are in the Caribbean, that's all they ever played during the day. No poolside activities worth anything, come on a belly flop and a sexy man contest on an 11 day cruise....boring. I guess if your over 65 this cruise is for you, most guests were geriatric. Sorry to say but it's the truth. Room was okay, our room Stewart was very nice and helpful. Shore excursions were over priced and didn't deliver(Picture Aruba and sunset cruise in Curacao...don't waste your money) Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
To start with my wife and I are pretty easy to keep happy, yet they failed in every way possible. While we have enjoyed RC cruise lines in the past, this one was a FAIL in all aspects and not just by our opinion but also by MANY in asked ... Read More
To start with my wife and I are pretty easy to keep happy, yet they failed in every way possible. While we have enjoyed RC cruise lines in the past, this one was a FAIL in all aspects and not just by our opinion but also by MANY in asked for comments by others. The Ship was clean and on time getting to and leaving ports, and while a good thing, that should not be the best thing about the trip. Where to start on the list of problems is difficult but here's some of the highlights...our suite's mini fridge/bar was broken and actually making items HOT so they quickly removed it and replaced it 4 (FOUR) days later. Our at port activities booked through RC (one every port) with the exception of one were Late to start, early to return, poorly planned and over priced, here's an example...At the last port we booked a Jeep and Beach ADVENTURE about 4 1/2 hours, you drive your own (group's) 5 passenger NEW jeep, convoy style to historic and viewpoints, do some off roading on the dunes, and arrive at a beauty of a private beech where you'll have crystal clear waters swimming, beach loungers, umbrella, cocktails, and food. after a couple hours a bus will pick you up, make a stop for a little local shopping/refreshments, then return you to the ship...sounds Great right?...REALITY Late start, about 45 min waiting on the dock in the sun standing in a line, 10 minute march to a BUS depot where you board a SMALL and over PACKED bus...some sat/stood in the walk way. About 45 min later (with people packed in like sheep) we arrived at a parking lot with a view that was less than breath taking, people scrambled back to secure a seat and we went to the "other beach", where they had ran out of loungers, seats, umbrellas, But had LOT'S of rusty bottle tops and broken glass in the sand to keep u occupied as you BAKED in the sun and swam in thefairly murky water of the about 20 yards deed and 75 yards long beach (along with about 200 other people). I was offered a BROKEN chair (1) for our group of 3 for $15 dollars US, and you COULD NOT have beer or cocktails as our Jeeps (that we would be the drivers of) would be arriving...then the self drive home in convoy style, heavy traffic (literally their rush hour time) where we stopped 3 times for about 10 min to SMELL the stench of open sewage at areas wiped out by the hurricane. After a stressfull hour driving we stopped at a what was less that a flea market for 15 minutes then rushed back to the ship with 5 minutes to spare before scheduled departure......Here's the KICKER...MOST of us raised some hell at the excursion center on the boat...the next day we were told the best they could do was a 17.00 dollar US refund!!!!...and I don't even want to start with the quality of the "SHOWS" on the boat they tried but...hahaha not in a good way. That was our last day at port, and my last trip with them. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
For our 10th wedding anniversary we booked an eleven night Southern Caribbean cruise on the Serenade of the Seas. The ship was okay, the cabin and cabin attendant were great. The dining room left a lot to be desired. The menu ... Read More
For our 10th wedding anniversary we booked an eleven night Southern Caribbean cruise on the Serenade of the Seas. The ship was okay, the cabin and cabin attendant were great. The dining room left a lot to be desired. The menu selections were repetitive, the serving sizes were small, almost minuscule. The food was tasteless and I often compared it to hospital food! Crab claws to wrestle on formal night....really! Overcooked and under seasoned! The service in the dining room was lacking......no rapport with the passengers. After complaining to the Head Waiter I had a meeting with the head chef to express my dislike....he really had no explanation but did offer a nice filet mignon the next night for the two of us from Chops! We did eat in Chops and it was excellent as usual.....so I know they can prepare good food. One night we ate dinner in Windjammer just to find more variety in selection. The food in Windjammer was no better, but they did do a nice breakfast! Diamond Lounge was a joke and should be abolished. Over 300 Diamond guest on the ship and seating for 30 at one time. Not a great way to treat your repeat customers. Mario, the manager of the Diamond Lounge said it was an executive decision and I should contact Miami about the situation......which I will do. Sure, they push you to just go get your three free drinks at any bar...but that is not the purpose of the Diamond lounge. Entertainment was blah....except for the comedian.....he was entertaining. Next time I decide spend my valuable vacation dollars it will not be to be stuck somewhere eating cafeteria food with lack luster entertainment and poor service. Wake up Royal Caribbean......I will be shopping for a new cruise company! Did not book another cruise while on the ship! Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
The ship is large enough to find things to do. The pool deck get a little crowded but that's to be expected. The gym was quite good so that was a big plus. The cabins are a little outdated. We found ours to be super dusty. The ... Read More
The ship is large enough to find things to do. The pool deck get a little crowded but that's to be expected. The gym was quite good so that was a big plus. The cabins are a little outdated. We found ours to be super dusty. The dining was a really big disappointment as it's one of the things you look forward to on cruises, there were not many options and the meals become repetitive. They aren't many healthy options either. Everything was drenched in cheese or butter or sugar and salt. The ports were the highlight of the trip, this itinerary was quite good, too bad they cancelled St. Kitts three days before the cruise and replaced it with Martinique. I wouldn't really recommend this cruise to 25-40 year olds. We went as a couple and almost 75% of the people on board were over 55. The activities seemed to be really geared towards this crowd. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
One of the worst cruises with Royal we have been on. The food was terrible including Giovanni's. The food service in general on the entire ship was bad. Room service was a hit or miss, that is only the continental breakfast. One ... Read More
One of the worst cruises with Royal we have been on. The food was terrible including Giovanni's. The food service in general on the entire ship was bad. Room service was a hit or miss, that is only the continental breakfast. One day they were over an hour late but we had to leave, another day they only got half of the order.... The cabin was worn looking also, furniture has seen better days. The bathroom had rust in the shower and around the sink. The chrome was worn on the faucet. The carpet and furniture were torn in a couple of spots. The window also had rust and blistering paint. The excursion organization was non-existent. Overall we were NOT happy with this ship or most of the crew. Royal has changed since we last cruised 2 years ago and not for the better. Sorry to say but we are seriously thinking of switching cruises line for an already booked cruise on Liberty because it was that bad and we are very easygoing people not picky but we are paying for a vacation that should be better than this. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
I'm usually a fan of Royal Caribbean and have had two previous cruises with them that I would rate as excellent, but this one wasn't. My wife and I were celebrating our 20th anniversary and I had pre-booked an ultimate ... Read More
I'm usually a fan of Royal Caribbean and have had two previous cruises with them that I would rate as excellent, but this one wasn't. My wife and I were celebrating our 20th anniversary and I had pre-booked an ultimate anniversary package, only to find that after I got on the ship it had been cancelled by Royal Caribbean without any notice to me. Then when I tried to re-book it, I was told that they don't carry the items on the ship and therefore couldn't provide it. Instead they offered the minimal. Hugely disappointed. Activities on the ship - not varied enough and fairly standard. Talent on the ship - below even cruise performers. No-one was notable and none of the performances were very inspired. Ports of call - okay, but not much variety in the shore excursions between each of the ports. Got "excursioned out" because the lack of variety. And too cold to hit the pool on the days of sailing. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
The good: Marie, our stateroom attendant, was phenomenal! So incredibly friendly and talkative. She genuinely seemed to care about us having a great cruise. She also kept our room immaculate! The head waiter (can't remember his ... Read More
The good: Marie, our stateroom attendant, was phenomenal! So incredibly friendly and talkative. She genuinely seemed to care about us having a great cruise. She also kept our room immaculate! The head waiter (can't remember his name) was extremely friendly and helpful, always asking what he could do for us, and going above and beyond. The bad (prepare yourself, it's long): We noticed when next to other cruise ships, especially the Disney ship, that the level of service and maintenance was very sub-par on Royal Caribbean. For example, the Disney ship always had water ready with citrus slices, and available until just before leaving port. Our ship seemed to only do that once, and it was not available towards the end of our time in port when most people are returning to the ship tired and thirsty. We noticed how, as soon as the Disney ship was in port, maintenance was spraying down the windows, and their ship had no rust spots showing. A glaring difference from Royal Caribbean's incessantly dirty windows, and many rust spots. When next to Norwegian's ship, we noticed them touching up paint on areas where paint had chipped off as soon as they were in port. I cannot tell you how much the dirty windows and rust spots irritated me. I understand that windows get dirty, but they don't seem to have been cleaned even once while we were onboard. Not once. Our stateroom window, dining room window, and the windows in the pool area were ridiculously dirty. There are big rust spots all over the ship, but most noticeably in the wicker-furniture area right in front of the Windjammer. At floor level, there is a big rust spot on almost every outer hull support in that area. Does this ship not carry paint? Come on... In the Windjammer, service clearing tables was extremely slow. It seemed to be a lack of staff tasked with clearing tables. There would be a significant number of people roaming around looking for an empty table, but all of the unoccupied tables were dirty and filled with dishes. This was almost every time we ate there, breakfast lunch or dinner, unless we were there right when it opened. I felt that a significant number of the staff were not friendly. There were some amazing staff members, but some just appeared to be in a very bad mood. Some were almost rude. I often heard crewmembers talking in a derrogatory manner about their job, other passengers, etc. which should never happen within earshot of passengers. We noticed some disappointing differences between our last cruise with Royal Caribbean in 2011, and this cruise as well, as far as policy/amenity changes. In 2011, I think we also purchased an alcoholic (Deluxe, I believe) beverage package. We and multiple other passengers commented on how the selection of wines priced $12 and under (by the glass) that could be enjoyed with the Deluxe beverage package, was extremely lacking. I remember finding a reasonable selection in 2011, but was very disappointed this time. My favorite wine is Pinot Noir, and there were only 1-2 available within the drink package pricing, and I didn't care for either. I'm not a wine snob by any means, which really says something. Fortunately I fould a single red wine I liked, the "Jupiter" italian red blend. The one I REALLY wanted to try, the "Remole?" italian red blend, was unavailable. 2 red blends priced $12 or under, and the most enticing one is unavailable. WOW. Many restaurants will offer a better wine for no additional cost if they are out of the wine you want, but not Royal Caribbean! As a side note, I saw a "Diamond Plus" couple turned away (unless they wanted to pay full price) at Vintages, hearing them comment that this was their first cruise where they couldn't get any wines at Vintages as a perk of their Diamond Plus status. I also want to note that the selection of wines available within drink package pricing at Vintages was even worse than the main dining room! Why buy a drink package, especially the Deluxe package, whose selling point is the best selection, if the selection of wines within drink package pricing is so incredibly poor? Another disappointing difference was charging for room service. We heard that this is the first cruise since that policy change. We don't even tend to do room service, but that was a disappointing change stacked upon all the others. Another irritating change was in the menu of the main dining room. My wife and I both seem to remember the now "premium" selections didn't used to cost any more. We also remember that prime rib used to be one of the options that was always available. This was great, since there are nights when none of the other selections look good to me. Furthermore, I felt that the quality of the food itself in the main dining room has declined. Some things were amazing, and others I only ate in order to not waste food, and wishing we had gone to the Windjammer. I remember the food in the main dining room being amazing every night on our last cruise with Royal Caribbean. The debarking process was delayed, and lacked communication. They airport transfer process had a huge line that didn't move at all for about half an hour, and had ZERO communication as to what was going on, how long it would be, would we make our flight? We should have had PLENTY of time to not only make our flight, but to have a leisurely lunch at the airport. Nope... we got there barely in time for our flight. We would have been infinitely better off taking a taxi or private company shuttle instead of the Royal Caribbean airport transfer. I want to reiterate how we were very disappointed with the Serenade of the Seas' lack of maintenance, window cleaning (especially in a Radiance class ship where the selling point is more windows and natural light...), and level of service/amenities. In all, we still had a wonderful vacation, but we may never choose Royal Caribbean again. Our previous cruise on the Freedom of the Seas did not leave us with a bad impression of Royal Caribbean, but this one sure did. We have the ability to take more vacations like this now, and we plan to cruise every couple years from now on. However, Royal Caribbean is not likely to see us again after the negative things that detracted from our experience this time. It seems like Royal Caribbean has an overall lack of caring for the ship, about the passengers, and a lack of trying. It also seems that the policy changes seem to all be about getting more money out of the passengers, or cutting costs... all about the bottom line instead of providing the best experience possible. As a side note, the port of St. Croix could be removed from all itineraries in favor of a better port. While we had a great time at Rhythms at Rainbow Beach, this port is a sorry example of the USA. I feel bad for the people that live there. Ridiculously poor road conditions, the excursions don't seem very enticing, the shopping is almost nonexistent, and the port city itself is in very poor condition as well. The people are incredibly friendly, but it wasn't enough to make this a good port. Side, side note... In the Windjammer on several occasions, there was no silverware to be found! Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
Last year at this time, we took the 11 day cruise on Serenade of the Seas, rating it an A. This year's 10 day cruise doesn't rate above a C. Last year's WOW has evaporated. On the positive side, the ship was clean, and ... Read More
Last year at this time, we took the 11 day cruise on Serenade of the Seas, rating it an A. This year's 10 day cruise doesn't rate above a C. Last year's WOW has evaporated. On the positive side, the ship was clean, and the staff was friendly, courteous, and attentive, but grossly overworked. Our room attendant was superior. The Concierge Lounge and its entire staff were superb. On the negative side, we have experienced numerous disappointments comparing both cruises. Docking twice in industrial/cargo areas was unacceptable. Dining room food choice and quality have noticeably diminished. Entertainment aboard ranked near the bottom of all our cruises, although the new crew of singers and dancers was excellent as was the band. It seems with each cruise we take, RC has either eliminated or cheapened something else. Sliders rather than steak on the classic dinner menu: really? There are fewer room attendants with many more rooms to clean. We noticed the same downsizing of staff and increased workload in the dining room as well. Staff cuts are very apparent. Departure from the ship was chaotic as the procedure differed from the printed procedure. Consequently, we were 45 min. late leaving the ship even though we had priority departure. Royal Caribbean needs to focus on returning the quality that formerly existed in the smaller ships rather than placing all the emphasis on the new big ships. This was our 20th cruise on Royal Caribbean and 25th overall. Royal Caribbean better shape up or we will be shipping out. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
This was our 13th RCI cruise and our 3rd cruise to Canada/New England. It was also our first RCI Crown & Anchor "member" cruise and our first cruise on the Serenade. We stayed in a Grand Suite. We are a married couple in ... Read More
This was our 13th RCI cruise and our 3rd cruise to Canada/New England. It was also our first RCI Crown & Anchor "member" cruise and our first cruise on the Serenade. We stayed in a Grand Suite. We are a married couple in our early 40's. We are Crown & Anchor Diamond members. We expected the passenger demographic to be much older, which it definitely was, and we were fine with that. Member Cruise Because this was a "member" cruise, we did receive RCI-branded gifts (sunglasses, selfie-sticks, USB charge sticks) in our cabin a few of the nights (not every night), so that met our expectations. There were some member activities offered on several days (not every day), such as craft classes and trivia. The disappointing part about the "member" cruise was that, compared to our past cruises, RCI did not adapt their planning of Diamond and Diamond+ events to consider the very high numbers of Diamond and Diamond+ passengers on this cruise! For example, the Diamond welcome back party (early in the cruise) and Diamond event (later in the cruise) were held in the usual area for this class of ship (the lounge on Deck 6), but were so crowded that you couldn't get in or had to wait in a huge line just to get in. Once inside, there weren't enough bar staff to handle the crowd. Captain Well, what can I say, we did make it to all of the ports safely, so that's a definite plus. But his personality was a zero. He really looked/sounded like he didn't want to be there. RCI screwed up and scheduled the Diamond party (the one late in the cruise) at the exact same time while we were sailing out of one of the ports, so he couldn't be there. Apparently, neither could the orchestra. They had a couple of crew members (they said had won a crew talent show or something) come on stage (in front of all of us packed into the lounge during the special Diamond event!!) and sing. Not karaoke style, just really trying their best to sing and entertain us. It was bad. They looked scared to death. Oops .... Cruise director and staff Carly was outstanding! Great energy, great effort. She related well to the passengers. Entertainment A lot of comedy, most of it was good. Musicians (RCI orchestra and other performers) were wonderful. RCI singers and dancers were on par with our other cruises (good). Dining Room (read this ... you can't make this stuff up!) OMG, I thought we were on candid camera or something. It was THAT bad. We have NEVER had such poor dining room service. We actually wanted to stay away and eat in the Windjammer buffet some nights. And this was from TWO separate tables! We started at our assigned table. We had a table for 6. We requested a big table because we really enjoy meeting others and didn't want to dine alone. Only the 2 of us on the first night (not too unusual). The server came over, looked across the room the whole time (never at us), said a one-word hello (still without looking at us, which was weird!) and started reading the menu from top to bottom. Then, she said "so what do you want?". Um, OK, we put in our orders. Assistant waiter poured drinks and didn't talk to us at all. Both of them looked confused the whole time. Night two, still just the two of us. I ask our server, "where are the others?" She says "I don't know. They should be here". Night three, I still just the two of us (the head waiter has strolled by all 3 nights and saw us sitting alone). I'm thinking, maybe he'll offer to move us? We could see some empty seats at other tables all of those nights. I finally called our Suite concierge and mentioned that we've been dining all alone. When we got to dinner on night 4 (after my phone call), the Maitre-D came over and apologized and escorted us to one of the other tables that had some empty seats. That (different) server came over, didn't even notice we were new, and started reading the menu from top to bottom and said "so what do you want"? (ARGH!) The assistant came over with rolls, asked for our drinks. We always get the same rolls, same drinks. I noticed that everyone else at the new table got the same rolls, same drinks each night. But each night (and this 12 night cruise was starting to seem VERY long), the assistant waiter kept asking each of us, which drink, which roll? Over and over, and it was always the same answer. In past cruises, the assistant would at least remember your preference! It was really awkward, and everyone at the table noticed it (why can't he remember?) It gets better -- our new server kept giving the wrong plates to us (not what we ordered). We'd have to switch them around. Like every night, sometimes appetizer, sometimes main course, sometimes dessert. No apology, nothing. Just "oh, I guess that one goes here". The head waiter passed by on most nights, and corrected her out loud in front of us, "no, we serve the ladies first", and she had to be corrected multiple nights. Does RCI even train these people anymore? We didn't want to even try a 3rd table. Oh, and apparently My Time Dining was very overcrowded on this sailing. There were head waiters on walkie-talkies running around the dining room while we were eating our dinner trying to call out empty seats at the tables around us. They would bring down My Time diners and seat them at our tables, even if we were half-way through dinner! Then, we would all be interrupted as they had to sit down, get menus from the server, order, wait for their food, try to join in our conversation, etc. Then, we would be finished by the time their food arrived and leave them sitting there. Awkward! Windjammer buffet This was our saving grace and our lifeboat for dinner a few nights! Good food, great service (compared to dining room, at least). Crepe station for dessert? Yes! We ate lunch here most days also. Specialty Restaurants We only visited Chops, but oh, my, what a waste of money. We have really enjoyed the quality of food and service in Chops on other ships. Chops on the Serenade is located on Deck 6 with a terrible view (there's even a lifeboat outside one of the windows). The steak and service was exactly the same as the dining room. Nothing special. We paid $60 ($30 each) just to eat there. We came close to asking for our money back (which we've never done), that's how bad it was. Suite perks (Before you roll your eyes and accuse me of whining about Suite perks (I was guilty of this when we first started cruising), look up the cost of a Suite and then you'll understand) .... First of all, the concierge on this ship (Mario) was outstanding. The breakfast served in the Chops restaurant daily was nice (except for the view), not as crowded as the Windjammer. The tours for Suite guests that we've had in the past (backstage tour, bridge tour) were not offered on this cruise. The reserved balcony seating for Suite guests was often full -- because it is offered to Diamond+ and Pinnacle also -- but on this cruise, there were tons of Diamond+ passengers! So perhaps RCI could have anticipated that and increased the reserved seating area on this cruise? Conclusion Overall, we were disappointed in our "member" cruise experience. We did send an email to Crown & Anchor and hopefully some of this will be corrected. We will cruise RCI again, but probably not on a "member" cruise. If you're cruising on the Serenade anytime soon, be flexible with your dining options -- you may want to consider the Windjammer! Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
First of all let me say that booking a suite out the aft of the ship sounded good at the time but turned out to be a disaster. I did however do my due dilegence and ask about what was above,the noise level and the movement of the boat ... Read More
First of all let me say that booking a suite out the aft of the ship sounded good at the time but turned out to be a disaster. I did however do my due dilegence and ask about what was above,the noise level and the movement of the boat before booking this and was reassured that it was "THE BEST ROOM ON THE SHIP" Deck 10 (the highest, room 1602). The windjammer is right above and from 6am the chairs are drug across your ceiling while the crew are cleaning and it does not stop all day. Actually it does not stop at night either. The kids find that running back and forth here after the resturant closes is great fun. Security was called every night starting about 1030PM. The ship needs a lot. The hallway carpets are torn and stink. One night we had to hold our noses to get from the elavator to our room because of the rotting smell of stagnant water. We had a suite which had a loveseat type couch that probably should have been replaced 5 years ago. With the amount of money they charge for this room they could easily buy a new loveseat for 250 bucks. Food was average at best. Waiters did a fine job. The pool for adults was never that way and the main pool was so crowded you could never get in.The Pool Bar bartender "Carlos" did not have good tings to say about RCL. Just what you want to hear on your first day. As far as the itinerary they should leave Sorrento and Ravenna completely out.Stay on the ship nothing worth seeing. It seems to me that when you pay to go on a cruise to see certain ports there should not be an extra added cost to shuttle you into the city you booked for. When did this start? It could be anywere from 6 Euros to 40 Euros per person.Unbelieveable.In Venice you got off the ship and had to walk for about 20 minutes in the hot sun to catch a water taxi to Venice that you had to pay for. Could they not even spring for a tram to take you to the water taxi? The head people seem to really want to help you with problems but unfortunately most could not be rectified by them. If I travel on RCL again it will be on a new ship. This one need to be melted down. Read Less
Sail Date June 2013
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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