52 Royal Caribbean Serenade of the Seas Romantic Cruise Reviews

We've been cruising with Disney before RC, and even considering the fact that Disney is much more expensive, it left us with a feeling that it was much better, especially in the food, entertainment, and general feel ( there were 2 big ... Read More
We've been cruising with Disney before RC, and even considering the fact that Disney is much more expensive, it left us with a feeling that it was much better, especially in the food, entertainment, and general feel ( there were 2 big spots of rust in the indoor pool on Serenade). Even the free food court (near the pools) in the Disney Dream was much better. What I found most irritating the design of the beds, that for some reason are half arched toward their end, so if you are a tall person like myself ( 1.92 meters) , if you sleep with legs stretched, you ankles will be outside the bed. I was told it is the same in all RC ships, and it was not comfortable at all. The RC app is a very good idea - too bad it doesn't always work in the real world and needed many restarts during the day. We tried specialty drinks ( 1 coffee, 1 alcoholic and one mocktail) , the mocktail was good but the other terrible especially for the price of 12$ before 18% tip. Quality of food in main dining room - 7/10 Main dining room service 10/10 Quality of food in Windjammer (buffet) 7/10 Service at Windjammer 9/10 The specialty restaurants (extra charge) Chops Grille (American, Meat) Giovanni's Table (Italian) 10/10 If you get a discount, you should try these. The food is noticeably better than in the main dining hall. Breakfast in Windjammer - tends to be very very busy, and it takes some times to find a place to seat. Guest services staff 10/10 Service was terrific! All staff members tried to help and find solutions, smiling, positive. Service - We got Alemao and Dehiby as waiters in the main dining hall, and Ikomang as room attendant. They were all excellent 10/10 and we gave them an extra tip. Staterooms - very clean, but design feels outdated (and uncomfortable as mentioned) Entertainment - 8/10 Daytime Activities (Rock Climbing Wall, Mini Golf, Dance Classes, Pool Side Events, Contests, Enrichment Classes, Lectures,etc.) 7/10 Arcade - very small arcade, with around 20 machines. It was deserted when I visited it during rainy days, and it was July (many kids on board) General : * I wish they would state the names of the cruise piers in each destination in advance, as it might lead to confusion when you tour by yourself. * The cruise felt like it was best for the adult crowd, less for families with children. *Embarkation - Swift and easy. Leaving the ship on disembarkation was also a very fast process, while in Disney it took a long while. *Duty free or not, the shops on the ship changes the stock everyday, but the prices are pretty expensive. I saw there a Russian chocolate they sold for 7 Euros, found it was sold for 2 Euros in St.Petersburg. * The Itinerary is pretty good, since the cruise began and ended in Stockholm and that enabled us to visit the city for a total of 5 days. The stops in Tallinn, Visby and Helsinki were too short (last boarding time 15:30 to 17:00), but those city are much less to offer than Stockholm. St.Petersburg is a marvel - try to book a cruise that docks there at least 1 night (equals 2 days in the destination). Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Picked this cruise on Vision of the Seas for the destinations that we had not been to before. Really enjoyed Barbados, Grenada and especially Antigua. Did not enjoy Puerto Rico, St. Kitts and St. Lucia as much, but were a nice ... Read More
Picked this cruise on Vision of the Seas for the destinations that we had not been to before. Really enjoyed Barbados, Grenada and especially Antigua. Did not enjoy Puerto Rico, St. Kitts and St. Lucia as much, but were a nice experience to visit once. We took three land excursions and also three sea excursions. Really enjoyed the sea excursions (some through Royal and some outside companies. Fun time, weather was beautiful and the overall experience was as expected. Chops dining was very good service and excellent food. Show quality was not bad, and singers and dancers were very talented. The entertainment was good for he size of the ship (Vision of the Seas) and kept us entertained throughout the trip. Room attendant did an excellent job, and was very stealthy about room cleanings, but was available when we needed him. We have traveled Royal many times, and this was a nice trip on a medium size ship. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
My wife and I get to cruise once or twice per year, it is our light at the end of the tunnel. We love everything about cruising and this trip did not disappoint...mostly. Let's get the bad out of the way, this was the worst ... Read More
My wife and I get to cruise once or twice per year, it is our light at the end of the tunnel. We love everything about cruising and this trip did not disappoint...mostly. Let's get the bad out of the way, this was the worst entertainment staff we have ever sailed with. They were professional, courteous and pleasant but man were they boring. Worse was the cruise staffed performers, they had on excellent singer we wished they would have featured more. The other singers and dancers were like a really bad high school production. The costumes were cheap and made at times little sense and the choreography very blah. That being said the rest of the entertainment was fantastic, every day and night the entertainment was great from the Ship's orchestra to the comics to the solo bar artists the Caribbean pool duo. But the stars of the ship was a pop band from Mexico called Switched On. They had incredible range and great charisma, they had everybody rocking in a very good way. Serenade is an older ship but incredibly well maintained. We love her size, because it feels more quaint, easy to figure out and you see the same crew often which breeds comfortable familiarity. We also don't love a tender process and didn't have to do any on this cruise. Getting ashore and back on was efficient and painless. Windjammer is where we did most breakfasts and lunches at it had great diversity of choices we have come to expect. I like the Indian fare and the Omelet Station is great, they have it down to a science. Main dining room Reflections is just fine for us and the My Time Dining. We were seated with Waiter and Assistant waiter Sinaga and Ian. Find these two, Sinaga is hard working sincere and does fantastic close up magic, Ian is equally hardworking, has a mischievous glint in his eye and is delightfully funny. The Itinerary was fantastic; St. Thomas-We have been to this beautiful Island a few times so we opted to take the ship excursion to St. John Trunk Bay and it was great. A fun Island Girl Ferry over and back with a friendly crew, then a short bus ride.Good snorkeling was included for novices in crystal waters and a gorgeous beach. really nice facilities with food and drink available for purchase. St Croix- Cruise excursion to the Whim Estate, an old sugar plantation with cultural and historical guides. Then to the St. George Village Botanical Gardens a very nice walk with an informed guide, took some pics for ideas in my Florida garden. Then to the Captain Morgan distillery because Cruzan was closed. This part of the tour was mostly sales, however the staff were amazingly friendly and the rum tasting...well it was an intoxicating venture and the gift/liquer store prices were very good. Antigua- Ship excursion and short bus trip to Ffryes Beach, again crystal clear water and beautiful beach. Some tent shops with very polite salespeople and not pushy at all. Ffryes Beach Bar/ Dennis Restaurant where two drinks and a very tasty lunch was provided. St. Kitts- Research told me to pick a tour once disembarked, and it was spot on. Look for All Weather Tours run by Franklin, it is all you need to do. 30 years on the police force and corrections now turned to tour guide. $20 a piece gets you a comfortable open air, narrated bus ride by someone in love with his country and impassioned to share it. The tour hits all the highlights except the fort. He also carries a bar and mixes some mean cocktails. If you think you can hang ask for the Ting with a Sting" or his delicious "All Weather Rum Punch", just know your limits. Next time we go we will book him again, it was that much fun. Our favorite stop on this itinerary by far. St. Maarten- Ship excursion 6 Jeeps with walkie-talkie narration. a Good guide who was able to keep us together and handled some adversity very well. You have to drive aggressively which was a blast but one of our jeeps had an incident with a tourist's vehicle in which the driver who was to drive to drunk. This was our least favorite destination, it is crowded, not very friendly and ridiculously expensive. Not a fan of either side of the Island. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Balcony, large with good view. Midship, 9610. This is our first 11 night cruise. It's also the smallest ship we've cruised on. It's also our first time back on Royal Caribbean. The embarkation was surprisingly smooth ... Read More
Balcony, large with good view. Midship, 9610. This is our first 11 night cruise. It's also the smallest ship we've cruised on. It's also our first time back on Royal Caribbean. The embarkation was surprisingly smooth and fast! RC has improved! Thankfully! Their online presence is improved greatly but still needs work! Ship has Has a small town feel. Fewer people. Less crowds. And less to do. Never much problem finding a seat for anything. My only complaint about RC is their annoying policy of removing reserved chairs. Got up at 6 am to get the seat we wanted. Ate breakfast and came back. No problem. Then it stormed. We left our blankets and went to Next Cruise to reserve our next trip. Came back and all our stuff was moved and a very proud new owner was in our place. Needless to say, I was not happy. Hate this policy especially on such a small ship. Understandably on a larger ship but not this one. The ship is notably dated and slightly dirty but acceptable. It's due for updating for sure. The beds are hard. Yet, I asked for two toppers which helped greatly. I hate RC tube showers. However, the water pressure is great. The gym is good. The thermal suite was not in good repair. I eat a strict keto diet. It was sufficient. Had one specialty dinner and that was amazing. Overall, at 56 and 48 yrs of age, we found we were among the younger guests. Hardly any 18 and younger. Nice cruise. Already booked a bigger ship for next year, same length. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
While the food was just average, almost everything else about this cruise was very good to excellent. The crew was friendly and efficient and the ports were very good. Boarding and disembarkation was very smoothly. We used My Time Dining ... Read More
While the food was just average, almost everything else about this cruise was very good to excellent. The crew was friendly and efficient and the ports were very good. Boarding and disembarkation was very smoothly. We used My Time Dining which went smoothly. Our regular waiters were good, Viktoriia and Maynard. Contrary to other reviews, we found the ship to be very clean and well maintained. It is an older ship, but we found it well cared for. The ports were interesting, particularly Curacao. The one exception is Bonaire, which has little of interest unless you like diving or snorkeling. We understand for other cruisers that the specialty dining rooms were okay, but not spectacular. The food in the main cafe, Windjammer, was quite repetitive. (By the way, the Indian dishes were weak even though we tasted all of them provided on a daily basis.) The dinners in the dining room were generally fine, but it turned out to be virtually impossible to get a truly rare steak. The evening bars were well done. Both comedians and the Motown review were very good, but the four regular production singers were weak. The best feature overall was the friendliness and efficiency of the crew. We found most of our fellow cruisers to be extremely open and friendly. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
My husband and I chose this cruise because of its 10 night duration, the itinerary, and the price. The pros: marvelous service throughout the ship, plenty of chairs to sit in the sun or the shade, very relaxed atmosphere, great ... Read More
My husband and I chose this cruise because of its 10 night duration, the itinerary, and the price. The pros: marvelous service throughout the ship, plenty of chairs to sit in the sun or the shade, very relaxed atmosphere, great itinerary, amazing aft balcony, easy embarkation. The cons: entertainment was lacking, food was hit or miss. The ship is not a new glitzy number, but was welcoming and fit like an comfortable old shoe. It was easy to get around, easy to learn the layout. In the center was, of course, the Centrum, where there was music or other entertainment featured most of the time. Speaking of entertainment, there was no pool band due to a last minute family issue for one of the musicians, and this was a glaring miss. In addition, there really was only one big production show, as the new singers and dancers arrived later in the cruise. They actually were quite good. We were introduced to the Royal Quest, and it was a ball! There were a lot of "loyal to Royal" folks on this cruise, and I think it added to the more relaxed tone on the ship. We cruise many lines, but it is always interesting to hear what other cruisers have to say. We would happily sail on this ship again, Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
New ports of call .....Loved all 5.Could not compare them .Dining was great.For breakfast we tried the park cafe which opened earlier and we tried the windjammer,the main dining,and room service.All were great with no complaints.We only ... Read More
New ports of call .....Loved all 5.Could not compare them .Dining was great.For breakfast we tried the park cafe which opened earlier and we tried the windjammer,the main dining,and room service.All were great with no complaints.We only snacked for lunch if that but dinner was always the main dining which was great in every way.My favorite appetizer was the coconut shrimp.And my hubby was happy with his double shrimp cocktail and double creme brule.He says he is going through creme brule withdrawl.lolThe cafe lattitudes for coffee also had some awesome deserts.We booked one excursion with the cruise line in St Lucia.It took us on a spanish Galleon replica ,took us to the volcano where we had a mud bath experience,and got to try a creole buffet.All were great and highly recommend.The other 4 ports we found stuff to do on our own.Highly recommend all 5 ports but for different reasons because they are all so different.Our room was always clean and we had an awesome attendant.There was always stuff to do on the ship.And we loved the hot tub and minature golf early on ship.My hubby and I had a date night every night and that was great.For entertainment they had almost everything.Yes we would go again. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
my wife and I took this cruise for a mid-winter get away and celebrate our up coming 30th anniversary. Over all about what we expected if not somewhat better. I will say that some of the theater entertainment was "high schoolish" ... Read More
my wife and I took this cruise for a mid-winter get away and celebrate our up coming 30th anniversary. Over all about what we expected if not somewhat better. I will say that some of the theater entertainment was "high schoolish" reminded me of the high school drama club performers.. Also still trying to figure out why I was billed approx 150.00 more than my final on board statement showed.. The ports were nice with the exception of Ponce.. No reason to get off ship there. The boardwalk area is still recovering from hurricane season and the list of things to do in town was not exciting.. Would like to have spent more time in Barbados and St Lucia..(love those islands) But understand the need to get the ship out of port. All staff we dealt with were awesome, The main dining room people are great,, Food was above expectations. Still hope they can do something about "deck chair hogs" I saw numerous chairs vacant for over 1 hour with towel and personal stuff. I do not have an issue with saving a chair for your self or spouse, But 1/2 hr is all that is allowed, however not enforced by staff. I have and will move your stuff myself but that could cause a problem someday. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
We chose this cruise because of the Itinerary and we had heard a lot of good things about Royal Caribbean. Embarkation was smooth but we like to carry our own luggage on and we were not allowed to. Food selection in the Windjammer buffet ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the Itinerary and we had heard a lot of good things about Royal Caribbean. Embarkation was smooth but we like to carry our own luggage on and we were not allowed to. Food selection in the Windjammer buffet dining room was exceptional and the food was very good. Staff was very friendly, very nice and accommodating. Cons: No ironing stations or laundry room. This was the smallest ship we had ever been on but it was no problem for us. We were also use to having a TV as part of the treadmill in the fitness room, it helps the time to go by faster for me while working out so that took a little getting use to. We booked our own shore excursions. One was via shoreexcursioneer for St Marteen. the skylift and Flying Dutchman combo and it was excellent. For Debarkation we did our own luggage carry off and it was the easiest debarkation we have EVER experienced on any cruise we have ever done. We have done 23 cruises not counting this one. Thanks to the staff, food and itinerary it was overall a very good vacation. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
This is the first time I have ever written concerning any vacation or cruise I have taken. This is because I am a very laid back person and realize that sometimes thing will go wrong on any trip or vacation. So, I have learned to go with ... Read More
This is the first time I have ever written concerning any vacation or cruise I have taken. This is because I am a very laid back person and realize that sometimes thing will go wrong on any trip or vacation. So, I have learned to go with the flow and don’t sweat the little things in life even when one of the islands I wanted to see was replace with one I been to last year because of the hurricanes. You are on vacation so chill and have fun because there are many people who can’t take a vacation or in this case a nice 10 day cruise to 5 Caribbean Islands. I decided to write after receiving a survey from Royal Caribbean concerning my cruise experience on Serenade of the Seas so decided why not. First, I would like to say I had a great time but I have never had a bad time on a cruise if traveling with friends, family or alone. The food was good, the ship and staff was great, the entertainment was good, and the locations were fantastic. I received some sort of insect bites on my first day and night on the ship and the staff, front desk, nurses and doctors went above and beyond to make sure I was ok. They gave us a new room and gave me great medical service to relieve my discomfort. Ricky the cruise director was great! I don’t know where he gets all of his energy from but he and his staff did a great job of keeping us entertained. If I had to write about anything that can be improved I would say that there should be more than 1 night showing of great comedians like James Stephens because if you miss the act one day you can see it another. I made the mistake of heckling him from the audience, something I have never done before, but he got me back by calling me to the stage. It was all in good fun and I spent the rest of the cruise explaining to other guest that I wasn’t part of the act and that it just happened. He does the best impresses of Bill Cosby and Ray Charles I have ever seen. When there is a great show word gets around the ship but if it is not shown on the ships TV anyone who missed it doesn’t get to ever see it. This is what happened to a friend who missed his act because she wasn’t feeling well. There should be a video of the cruise that can be purchased because with all of the activities going on there is no way to catch them all. It would be a great memento to keep and share with family and friends. I asked the front desk if there was one to purchase and was told there was not. I have been on other cruises in which there were. Also, the Centrum should be extended or have more seating because whenever there was certain events going on there was not enough room for the over flow of guest. The front desk being right next to the stage area where music and other events were going on makes no sense because it gets pretty loud at times. The few times I had to talk to someone at the front desk I had to shout to be heard. This has to be a big problem for the front office staff too. It seems it would be better served if the front desk was moved to another floor and the space was used for more seating. I was on a ship with many senior citizens and it was sad seeing them show up late for events at the Centrum, on walkers and crushes, only to not be able to find seating. There was even a show one night in the Tropical Theater which was crowded in which a elderly women was having a hard time finding a seat and was being forced to walk down the stairs to the lower level until I stepped in to help find her a seat in our area. Cruise lines with a high number of elderly guests should have staff available to assist them in finding seats. I’m not a big gambler but would love to give it a try when cruising but the strong smell of smoke in every cruise casino I have ever been on runs me out fast. Now I’m not trying to ban smoking in cruise casino’s but there should be another casino on the opposite side of the ship for those like me who may want to gamble but can’t because the smoke smell is so repulsive. Lastly, Royal Caribbean should take a page from Carnival and begin serving burgers, and vegan burgers, fries, tacos and burritos at the poolside which makes it a nice touch and adds to the feeling of having a party at the pool. All in all I had a great time and I love RC and will continue with the cruise line but I do like to try other cruise lines and ships, to compare, to get the best deals and the locations I want to visit. But again, I have never been on a bad cruise. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
The main reason I (we) chose this cruise was because of the venue - fall colors. Although the colors had not yet peaked, the colors were turning and were quite beautiful It's all about timing (and luck). We were just a little too ... Read More
The main reason I (we) chose this cruise was because of the venue - fall colors. Although the colors had not yet peaked, the colors were turning and were quite beautiful It's all about timing (and luck). We were just a little too early to get the full advantage of the fall colors. But the venues were great - Hallifax, Portland, Bar Harbor and Boston - all great stops. Having sailed many time of Celebrity, I did see some difference in what was supplied in the staterooms. On Celebrity I always got shampoo, conditioner and body lotion. This did not happen on the RC cruise. We only got shampoo and we had to ask for additional bars of soap half way into the cruise. The crew on the ship were fantastic - very pleasant and helpful. We are looking forward to our cruise in February on the Serenade of the Seas to the Caribbean. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
We just returned last night from a wonderful visit to some excellent ports. We chose this itinerary because it stayed overnight in St Petersburg and included Riga. Every port was charming, and St. Petersburg is definitely worth the two ... Read More
We just returned last night from a wonderful visit to some excellent ports. We chose this itinerary because it stayed overnight in St Petersburg and included Riga. Every port was charming, and St. Petersburg is definitely worth the two days. Helsinki - we took an overall city tour through RC. Good information and time for shopping. We chose to return with the bus, but could have stayed longer and returned by shuttle. St. Petersburg - we chose a 2 day private tour through Best Guides. Fabulous and worth every penny! Our guide, Kirill, was excellent and graciously answered our questions. You can definitely spend more time in SPB. Tallin - we walked into town on our own. Easy to find and absolutely lovely! We climbed the 234 steps to the church tower - fabulous view, but be careful on the steps! Riga - a nice surprise. We chose a city highlights tour (I won it!) and enjoyed the day. We had a bus tour, walking tour, and concert in the cathedral. The Serenade was familiar since we have been on the identical Brilliance. The food was excellent. HOWEVER, our My Time Dining was a disaster, and not just for us. They allow people to reserve not just a time, but a table which caused many of us to have to wait hours to get in. Even when we made a reservation, people who walked in ahead of us in line were seated first! Very disappointing, so we ate three nights in the Windjammer. The food was just as good - my favorite dessert of the cruise was their apple pie! The entertainment and music were very good. We enjoyed the variety of musicians and acts throughout the day and at the shows. The cruise director himself is quite talented! As far as service, the cabin attendants, dining staff, and room service staff were friendly and helpful. We encountered a rude woman at guest services, but that's really all. We would go back to RC for the itinerary, but don't see other advantages to us over our status with Carnival. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
We chose this cruise for the itinerary since we'd heard from multiple people that a Baltic cruise was a "must do". While we were very impressed with the ports of call, the ship left something to be desired. We had read that ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary since we'd heard from multiple people that a Baltic cruise was a "must do". While we were very impressed with the ports of call, the ship left something to be desired. We had read that the boat had recently been remodeled and you could tell that it had a minimal face lift - new carpet and artwork. The boat itself was very clean and the service was great, but that's the extent of nice things i can say about the boat itself - This cruise felt like a constant quest for RC to get as much money from you as possible - There were hardly any activities on board that didn't come at an additional cost. In the dining room, every menu came with "up charge" items and we were even told that we couldn't have breakfast in the dining room one morning because they were doing a brunch that was an additional $35. We ate in Chops Grille the last night of the cruise because of a good experience we had on another cruise and we were very disappointing. Our service was better in the main dining room and my husband had to send back his steak twice and it was still not correct. We wont be going back to chops again. The windjammer was pretty terrible as well. I was very surprised at the poor quality of the food on this cruise given the opposite experience we've had with RC on other cruises - we chalked it up to the fact that they were probably sourcing from different areas given the area of the world and had less selection. Room service is also no longer included outside of toast, coffee and pastries. Very dissapointed at how nickel and dimed we were given the cost of the cruise itself. Aside from the food - our service and experience was great. If i had to do it over again i would choose an itinerary that skipped Estonia and Latvia. Russia 2 day tour was fantastic but strenuous - be aware of that if you are not an active person. Finland Icebar tour way exceeded our expectations and ended up being a favorite. Estonia bike tours were a cluster. No organization, Not enough helmets, not enough warning for participants that you need to be a seasoned bike rider to do this tour. We were ok but lost 2 families along the way due to bike wrecks - the tour guides were not really keeping track of everyone either. Taste of Latvia tour was disappointing but cheap. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
I felt Royal is trying to sell you something wherever you turn your head. First, room attendant tells me he doesn't provide toothpaste but I could buy at the ship's shop! Their enrichment activities are opportunity to sell you ... Read More
I felt Royal is trying to sell you something wherever you turn your head. First, room attendant tells me he doesn't provide toothpaste but I could buy at the ship's shop! Their enrichment activities are opportunity to sell you something, their seminar conclude by selling you on some stuff as well. And when there is nothing to sell, they encourage you to buy drinks from the bar at every organized event. The mos OUTRAGEOUS of all is water. You are provided with the very expensive Eivan water in your room. And every station has a sing saying refilling water bottles is not allowed for "health reason"! Health of their revenue line that is. However I enjoyed my time at this trip. You get used to the selling after day 2. Their waiters services was excellent, even though the food was not that good. There's plenty of food, it would be hard to go hungry. The nightly entertainment shows were very enjoyable. A lot of live music which is always nice. The port, Norwegian fjords, were very beautiful. Unfortunately for us, our day at Geiranger was foggy as hell we saw no views whatsoever. It sucked. But we were lucky on 2 other days and the views were breathtaking. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
My wife and I had planned this cruise for 10 months and we were married in Copenhagen on the day of our cruise,fantastic adventure,I surprised my bride with a Jr. Suite that had been decorated by RCCL with a just married package,Suite ... Read More
My wife and I had planned this cruise for 10 months and we were married in Copenhagen on the day of our cruise,fantastic adventure,I surprised my bride with a Jr. Suite that had been decorated by RCCL with a just married package,Suite number 1570,for anyone cruising this is the quietest room on the ship,we did not hear a peep for 10 days,just the ocean,plenty of room,clean ,a balcony and a bathtub with the shower for your lady,Amos our attendant always had a smile,I keep reading about the ship needing this and that,well,the ship is in amazing shape,sure it's older but you make your vacation good or bad right?,it's just the right size,service on the ship was excellent from guest relations to the dining room,plenty of variety in windjammer and main dining room,service in main dining room never took more than an hour and we chose my time dining which worked for us,for all the meals the chef has to produce in mass quantity we found the quality to be above average,all the people who say it lacked variety are just being picky and nothing would make them happy,the menu changed every night,the ports were fantastic and again you make your own happiness and satisfaction by seeing the good in everything and embracing new experiences,we did a bike ride in Estonia and a ballet in St. Petersberg and everything in between,so fun,entertainment was energetic and very professional,we went to a show every night they had one,singers and band had a lot of energy and the duo who did the magic and acrobatics were so very strong,we were able to meet the acts after the show and on the ship as we shopped that's how intimate the ship is,the staff tried very hard in every circumstance,they even let us go into the guest relations office to print our boarding passes for our departure flight,that's going above and beyond,yes the internet was slow so plan B is a great idea,embarkation was smooth as was disembarkation,we would recommend this cruise and we visited 7 countries 2 we had been to before,very port intensive so plan your excursions wisely to make use of your time! Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
My wife and I live in upstate NY and have been on 10 previous cruises. We traveled with my daughter who lives North Carolinia . I have read some very negative reviews of this ship and want to give our account of this 10 day cruise. ... Read More
My wife and I live in upstate NY and have been on 10 previous cruises. We traveled with my daughter who lives North Carolinia . I have read some very negative reviews of this ship and want to give our account of this 10 day cruise. Embarkation was fine we arrived at the ship and were dropped off about 11:30 placed in the gold member line and went right on to ship. We had booked an inside room 7575 , the room was fine well kept , no issues with furniture , barhroom clean and neat and bed was fine. Room Stewart keep room clean and neat and different towel animals every night . We purchased the five night dinner package The 1st night we at at chops steak and chicken meals were excellent . My wife and daughter wanted a different type of bread then they serving , the staff went to the main dining room to get it for them . Service was very good . We had breakfast each morning at windjammer the food was good , fresh fruit , eggs, pasteries, variety of breads and a good assortment of breakfast foods. New any issues finding a table or clean silverware. A table with coffee and tea was set up when you 1st entered the windjammer if you wanted and on 5 of ten day waiting at the table I was asked if I wanted coffee or tea. Lunch we had at the windjammer and the main dining room , a carving station was set up each day for lunch and regular lunch items were available . I am sure what customers are expecting the food for lunch was ok no issues , ice cream Machine was operational everyday and seemed like everyone was having ice cream. On Easter Sunday the windjammer served Lobster for lunch I have newer seen this before.As I stated before we had purchased the 5 night dinner package 3 nights in Chops and 2 nights in Giovanni's all meals we excellent in Giovanni,s the lamb chops are excellent . A fellow cruiser went to Giovanni's 5 times most for the lamb chops. In Chops I had the upgraded steak for an additional charge of $19.00 one of the best steaks I have ever had. The rest of our meals were my time dining , Made reservations on line before we arrived on ship did not have to wait on any night. Meals were good and every night a supervisor would check with our table to assure our meal was good , if we wanted something more he would bring it to us . Staff was excellent . Main show entertainment was a little disappointing usually it is very good compared to Norwegian this time it was a little disappointing . Kevin in the pub made up for it a lot he was excellent. Used the casino it was fine staff was taking out and replacing some machines . Noticed the casino being very quiet as far as volume of guests compared to other cruises we have been on . The ship is an older smaller ship and need a little work , the staff is cleaning every day and the ship looks and feels clean. The schooner bar area has a very nice feel and open areas. Did not feel confined on this ship at all. My wife had an issue in our room with a hair dryer , reported it to guest services and the staff was nothing but excellent with there customer service . Called everyday to make sure everything was ok . I have read some horrible reviews on this ship . I was getting nervous to board after reading some reviews . It's a smaller ship with great customer service you will not be disappointed. We used the mobile app at port to disembark, it we very easy and I would recommend it's called mobile passport. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
Our itinerary was very enjoyable with 5 ports nestled between two days at the beginning and two at the end in which to rest up and relax. Coordinating with various local touring companies provided exciting and enjoyable experiences such as ... Read More
Our itinerary was very enjoyable with 5 ports nestled between two days at the beginning and two at the end in which to rest up and relax. Coordinating with various local touring companies provided exciting and enjoyable experiences such as biking, hiking, touring, snorkeling and kayaking. The clean and comfortable Windjammer always had a variety of palette pleasing choices with readily helpful staff. The dining experience was a mixed bag. The wait staff was impeccably professional and attentive, but the host staff often seemed overwhelmed and confused. Even with reservations, our table was rarely available and we were seated in a variety of places. Poor Robet and Ketut had to keep waiting on us in a variety of places. Both the piano bar as well as the guitar pub were reliably entertaining. Our room service was prompt and polite as well as very tidy. We didn't travel with children. We would definitely return to this cruise ship. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
We choose this cruise because it offered all the ports of call that we were interested in visiting. The length of the cruise was great and the service was excellent. The ship was keep very clean and the staff make sure you are very ... Read More
We choose this cruise because it offered all the ports of call that we were interested in visiting. The length of the cruise was great and the service was excellent. The ship was keep very clean and the staff make sure you are very satisfied and relaxed. They cannot seem to do enough for you. The food was great and there was always a good variety in the Windjammer. The shows were great. There was always good entertainment for all ages. The pool area was keep clean and there was always an attendant there is case you needed anything. Towels were always on hand. It was too bad there wasn't a better choice of food after 9 PM though. Over all for the age of the ship it is kept in great shape. Not much shopping on board. Lots of photos. Our cabin was kept very clean. Also the embarkation and disembarkation I thought was very organized. Great trip and we would travel on the Serenade of the Seas again. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
Don't stay in the cabin above the Safari room!!! The noise cascades up-words and vibrates the room floor and bed until very late!! The ship is fun and the staff great, but the rooms at the aft of the ship on deck 7 are very noisy. We ... Read More
Don't stay in the cabin above the Safari room!!! The noise cascades up-words and vibrates the room floor and bed until very late!! The ship is fun and the staff great, but the rooms at the aft of the ship on deck 7 are very noisy. We are very disappointed in RCCL and may now see what other cruise line offer. The staff was great, including dining room and cabin attendant. Cruise director was fun and the entertainment was good as always. Ports of call were fun. We recommend the river tubing in Dominica. Also the amazing race on St. Martin was great too. It was a great way to see the town and learn about the history. The roads on the islands are scary, but your not in Kansas anymore! I hope we can find great excursions on other cruise lines. We love cruising in the Caribbean warm weather. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
I chose this cruise because of all the great islands we could visit for a winter get away. The weather and the sun were just perfect! The cruise seemed to have so many seniors traveling on this cruise. They seem to take over the centrum ... Read More
I chose this cruise because of all the great islands we could visit for a winter get away. The weather and the sun were just perfect! The cruise seemed to have so many seniors traveling on this cruise. They seem to take over the centrum seating and it is hard to find a seat in the cinema and in the theatre because the seniors get there and do not move over to let others get seats. Since this is a ship that travels in the winter to the Caribbean it needs to address needs for seniors and needs for non senior guests for activities, seating and food needs. We had a hump room 9094 and we loved the balcony size. The Serenade of the Seas is the right size for a ship not too big like the mega ships are and not too small to not have anything to do. The elevators were fun to get on with the beautiful sea and ocean in front of your eyes. We ate at the Windjammer and watched a baby whale learning to breach the water on top of her Mama come right by us as we were eating! The food was good but not too special. Love the little bacon and cheese bread buns, not a fan of the tough beef items, need to offer less Indian food and add more Mexican ethnic food. Love the ice cream sundae bars and consider putting these bars back in the sweet treat areas so that the traffic flow is easier to get through. Reflections servers and staff are superb and hardworking kind and caring people but the food is not as good as in the past. Need quality and creativity to this menu. I would love to see the beds on this ship be designed for travelers needs. These rock hard mattresses and firm pillows are just horrid. The ports of call improvements that need to be done are provide golf carts to take handicapped people up to the pier front so they can get off the ship without feeling like they are being burdened by the long walks off these piers at some ports. In Barbados a shuttle bus was used and this allowed us to get off the Ship to the port front for an excursion. I have a walking handicapped due to a disease I have now and I still want to get off at ports but with 6 ports of call I could only get off at three ports to explore due to the substantial walk length which I cannot do. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
We are regular cruisers on Royal, first cruise on this ship. We also cruise on Norwegian. This was the first time we cruised from Ft Lauderdale for our winter vacation, usually leave from New York or Bayonne but we wanted to avoid the two ... Read More
We are regular cruisers on Royal, first cruise on this ship. We also cruise on Norwegian. This was the first time we cruised from Ft Lauderdale for our winter vacation, usually leave from New York or Bayonne but we wanted to avoid the two days of cold weather and rough seas. It was a great choice as we had awesome weather for 12 days. The ship was very nice, clean well kept and the service was very good. We found the drink prices were higher than we remembered, drink of the day $11 ? The only other complaint we had was the lack of things to do after 11pm. The casino was open till 1:30 but that was it. If you are looking to party after hours this may not be the ship for you. The dinning was very good, we had purchased a package for specialty dinning and even did the "chef's table" which was excellent. Don't think we will ever cruise out of New York again! Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
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
Sail Date December 2016
We chose this cruise because it went places we hadn't already been. We had a nice cabin in the quiet area of the ship. Our cabin attendant, Gerrylyn, was just okay. The food in the main dining area was fair, which was ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it went places we hadn't already been. We had a nice cabin in the quiet area of the ship. Our cabin attendant, Gerrylyn, was just okay. The food in the main dining area was fair, which was disappointing since we normally prefer to eat there even for breakfast. All of the table service crew were fantastic, especially the coffee servers in the buffet (sorry I didn't get your names). Chops was great. I believe they make the general restaurant food a lower standard so you will pay to upgrade to their specialty restaurants. The entertainment was excellent as well. We didn't go to every show, but every show we saw was worth it. We even enjoyed a few movies while onboard. One disappointment, which is on every ship, is that smoking in the confined space of the casino keeps us out. I guess that's to our advantage in the long run. Lol! We enjoyed the ports. We did a couple of island tours and spent the day at Moha Beach in St. Maarten watching the planes fly over our heads. Overall it was very relaxing and we are planning for next year. Read Less
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
Sail Date December 2016
 We returned last week from our wonderful cruise on the Serenade for our Thanksgiving cruise from Nov. 21 to Dec. 02.   Let me begin my review with debunking a few rumors.........fleet wide, I hope.  We were offered fresh ground pepper ... Read More
 We returned last week from our wonderful cruise on the Serenade for our Thanksgiving cruise from Nov. 21 to Dec. 02.   Let me begin my review with debunking a few rumors.........fleet wide, I hope.  We were offered fresh ground pepper ten nights out of eleven.  I had brought my own, more as a joke but never had to use it.   Parm was also served when the dish called for it. The very best debunking of rumors was meeting several Pinnacles in the main theatre and having wonderful conversations about everything and anything including status level.  They were some of the nicest people aboard.  I hope this was not an unusual situation for our sailing. and a very Happy Birthday to Bill celebrating his 64th. Hope to meet up with you on another sailing and buy you another White Russian. OK, that out of the way, we drove from Myrtle Beach to Melborne and that was enough.  We stopped to eat at Appleby's and needed to find a hotel.  Bad area to wing it as the space launch sightseers had booked everything for miles.  We could not find a hotel with any vacancy until hotel number 5, we took it and almost walked out as it truly was a dump of a rathole that was probably rented out by the hour.  We were way to tired to continue so we took a blanket and pillows from our car and made the best of it.  Going on a cruise is an adventure and seedy hotels on the way may be part of the experience.  We were out of there by 7:30 am and were very lucky not to have brought out any bed bugs with our own blanket and pillows. We arrived at our reserved hotel with free parking and free shuttle.  I believe the Quality Inn on Hollywood Blvd.,it was not ready for us as we were extremely early.  We were offered a light late breakfast and coffee by the sparkling pool and beautiful flowers. This was turning into a great day, and it became better as the day wore on. After checking in and breathing a sigh of relief, we walked to Walgreen's for batteries for my camera with no luck.  Surely they will have them on the ship.  We purchased a few items and went back to take a nap.........hey, we are on vacation and all that driving is exhausting! We decided on an early dinner at Rickey's across the street.  Rickey's  was recommended by a cruise critic member who I'd like to thank.  Rickey's is the local Cheers and our waitress did say she knew everyone's name around the bar and half of the booths!  This is a family run "joint" since the '50's with lots of personality.  It can get quite loud with 19 TV'S on football and Nascar.  As the saying goes........"Go with the flow"  We did and had a happy hour wine and their special of two twin lobster tails with a side for $25.  The price was amazing, the food was awesome, and we felt very welcomed to this neighborhood sports bar. We walked back to the hotel for some TV and an called it an early night as tomorrow was the big day.  We are going on a cruise!  We had to drive a few miles to the sister hotel to pick up the shuttle. About six couples were already waiting with their luggage, and we still had two hours to go. We were told well over a hundred people had to be shuttled and it was first come first served.  We were offered to be taken to the terminal early for $2.00 and we jumped on that as the chaos had not yet begun.  Good Move! We arrived at the terminal a bit after 9 am and yes the doors were not opened yet, but our luggage was checked and we met up with DH's brother who flew down that morning.  We were at pier 18 were the Oasis used to be. Once we were allowed in, they really checked your status so BIL was separated from us and we met up in the Windjammer. We boarded about a half hour later than usual as the coast guard was doing some once a year inspection.  Waiting wasn't bad as we were going on a cruise.! The bad news.  BIL developed a choking, coughing problem that got worst.  We insisted he see Medical during Muster, he was taken off the ship to Broward County Medical Center.  We were  kept informed by the ship's Doctor and were able to call the Hospital and his cell, with no answer.  We finally reached him at home days later where he was back in the Hospital with walking pneumonia.  He is much better now, but missed the cruise.  Yes, we all had insurance and it came in quite handy for my BIL. After being on the Anthem, our guaranteed balcony cabin was a bit tight, but really no complaints.  It was very private, forwrd 8508 and I would book it again.  We were assigned our cabins within hours of booking. The cooler was bare, so our wine and ice bucket and a few waters fit just fine. Our steward, Victor, was a gem and one of the best we ever had.  He brought us extra pillows, kept our ice filled and was just so pleasant. We ate in the MDR each night and the dress code was all over the place.  We were at a ten top and ate alone the first two nights.  On the third night we were invited and approved to join two British couples at another ten top.  I know we made life time friends and had such a wonderful time .  I even developed a slight British accent that I found quite lovely but drove DH crazy.  We had a lot in common and the conversation flowed with ease.  We were very happy to be able to join them as they did with us.  We looked forward to dinner, always found something we liked, and had our fill of escargot.  And if I remember correctly, the beef was on the menu the first night.  The everyday menu had sliders and the steak was removed.  Steak was on the menu a few nights and it was excellent and twice the size of Chops.  I heard that Chops had gone down hill. Our first port was Antiqua and we did a ships shore excursion snorkeling on a cat.  Our tickets said to meet on the pier,  We were  late getting in and were NOT allowed to exit with tour tickets in hand.  We were told to go to the theatre to get a sticker..........no way were we getting out of that line and did manage to make the tour.  If anyone is booked on deck 3 center to aft, you may want to rethink it.  On port days, it will be quite noisy and almost impossible to get in and out of your cabin with the line waiting to get off the ship. The snorkeling was wonderful,  We saw stingrays and the usual Doctor's office aquarium fish.  The rum punch was good too.  We came back to the ship, had lunch , then walked around a bit.  Nothing new in Antiqua. We zip lined for the first time in St. Lucia over the Pitons.  It was exhilarating and a check off the bucket list.  We have some interesting talk for upcoming  holiday family dinners.......Mom Mom & Pop Pop did  WHAT?  And yes, they know about the I- FLY on Anthem.........check!!  OK, back to the catamaran and another day of rum punch and reggae back to the ship.  We had lunch and watched a movie in the cinema. We canceled our tour in Barbados as BIL wasn't there to enjoy Harrison's Cave.  We had done that before, so we just walked around the terminal area and picked up four bottles of vanilla for the family as they requested.  We went back to the ship, the vanilla made it with no problem, had lunch and enjoyed our balcony. We had been to Grenada in 1999 and 2000 and did not recognize it.  It has turned into a shopping mall and quite expensive.  No more $1 beers.  We were hoping to hook up with our tour guide way back then, but no one knew who we were talking about.  It was disappointing.  We also thought the locals would be dancing in the streets with the news of Castro, but most of the venders were young and History is being lost.  If you don't know what I'm talking about, watch Heartbreak Ridge with Clint Eastwood..........great movie! Next was Bonaire which we had also been to before in 1999 and 2000.  It was as clean as I remember it, and we were off to snorkel again sailing on a Samori Junk.  It was amazing, and I swear we saw what I named an American Flag fish, the tail was red and white striped and the body was white with blue spots that looked like stars.  The fish was very bright in color and was not on their charts.  We saw three of them. We have been to Aruba many times and had nothing booked.  Since we loved the snorkeling so much, we booked another one which was the best of all.  We were on another cat, had an excellent time snorkeling again, and this time you had the option of enjoying something other than rum punch.  The bartender made a dozen "glowing neon" drinks at a time.  Mine was green, he called it a green iguana.  It was 90% booze, vodka, at least 4 different types of local rum, a splash of blue curacao and banana liquor, pineapple juice and shaken up with coco loco.  I had three, I don't remember much after that, but was in no pain. The cat turned into a dance party and all was well.  I'm sure we needed a shower and a nap after that. The ship The Serenade does need some updating, but this did not in any way effect our cruise. After being on the Anthem, it was a pleasure to be in a real Schooner bar with windows and nautical décor. Elevators were slow. Getting wine or any drink in the dining room was a joke.  If you were served before the dessert menu, you were lucky.  We learned to carry wine in. The crew. The crew was amazing, the CD was Topi and very likable.  A shout out to Melody, behind the bar in the Centrum who kept us filled with Moscato. Our waiters, Joy and OK, you really didn't think I'd remember, but soooooo cute.  You guys were amazing!! Our M&M Thank you to Royal and all Cruise Critic members who had a hand in planning everything.  It was well attended. Also a thank you to Janet who organized our slot pull. Surprises This sailing on the Serenade had two Vet's meetings that were both well attended. Most of the passengers knew the rule about letting people off the elevators before trying to get on. This sailing was a very International crowd and very little children. The Thanksgiving turkey was moist and delicious, but the stuffing was a blob of mystery. No Silent Party that we always look forward to. We bought the Surf and Stream package on sale.  It worked for us, we used email and watched a bit of TV on our FIOS.  Put the extension cord in with your two computers. Even with worrying about BIL, this 11 night adventure was a very positive experience and a wonderful cruise  with the nicest of passengers.  I hope your experience on the Serenade is just as great. Thank you for reading, Ocean Dancer Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
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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