151 Royal Caribbean Serenade of the Seas Romantic Cruise Reviews

First let us introduce ourselves we are a married Egyptian couple with no children living in Kuwait I work in investment banking and my wife is a freelance graphic designer. We came across the Dubai cruise by chance and the booking was ... Read More
First let us introduce ourselves we are a married Egyptian couple with no children living in Kuwait I work in investment banking and my wife is a freelance graphic designer. We came across the Dubai cruise by chance and the booking was the fastest decision we ever had, took us around 15 minutes to close the booking we even decided to do an early anniversary celebration for it. We booked before the embarkation by a several month and till the big day we kept dreaming and fantasize about how it will look like beside lots of research. To cut it short to the review we landed in Dubai the day before the embarkation and stayed at Savoy Central hotel about 5 minutes drive from the port. And here comes the big day as we were approaching the port and got the 1st visual contact with the ship we were amazed by the ship's massive size (I know it's a small one compared to RCL fleet but we still rookies) , RCL land staff on the port were very nice , helpful ,smiling and organized the check in process took around 20 minutes including double checking with UAE coast guards our eligibility to take a return visa to UAE at the end of the cruise. Finally we got our sea passes and headed to the ship and from the moment we stepped in the ship the fascination started from the Centrum till we reached our stateroom at the 9th floor, after checking out our beautiful room we decided to talk a walk around the ship and since then we didn't stop walking till we reached back Dubai. Our stateroom was on the 9th floor we booked a balcony room very spacious with a nice size balcony , very comfy bed and pillows bathroom was good the shower was a little bit tight but wasn't a problem as you don't want to waste too much time in the shower , room service was great they clean and make up your room several times a day and by every night you will find your cruise compass along with a very nice wrapped towel (we had an elephant , dog and a hanging monkey. The ship is amazing with lots of activities from live shows to various dining options , relaxation by the solarium to watch movies on the huge screen by the pool, interactive touch screens on each floor showing the ship map , point of interests and all the activities going on board was very informative. For the dining we tried several places along the trip (Windjammer , The Reflections , Giovanni's Table and Park Cafe) usually we had breakfast around 8 Am , Snack 1 PM and Dinner 8:30 PM. 1- Windjammer : The food on windjammer is very nice with lots of varieties and the main thing we loved in Windjammer that no matter how crowded it is you'll never feel it due to its spacious space. 2- The Reflections : The food was very tasty and sophisticated and very nice wine menu. 3- Giovanni's Table : we went to Giovanni's Table on the Mystery Wine Dinner night Same as reflections very tasty and sophisticated and the show was awesome. 4- Park Cafe : Very nice for a mid day light snack and they have the best Roast Beef sandwich I ever had. Regarding the onboard activities we enjoyed the lovely animation team on the Serenade they had different activities every day , the Arabian night was wonderful . We went to the tropical theater a couple of times and were impressed by the huge production they have onboard , also the shows on the Centrum was very amusing specially the 70's disco night. The good thing that if you missed on any show (which defiantly you will as some shows are played together) it will be broadcasted on the internal channels on your stateroom TV. Also all live bands were very nice playing different genres of music from easy listening to latin music. The overall entertainment onboard the ship was awesome Service on the ship is wonderful and very professional from room attendants to restaurant greeters and waiters, bar tenders , animation team ,onboard shops sales representatives all officers and senior officers everyone is greeting you with a huge smile and won't save an effort to help you in anything. We didn't do any kind of shore excursions as we enjoyed the ship very much and we didn't want to waste any time outside it, we only got to a short tour in Oman by our own around 2 hours but from the excursions list we got on the ship seems like they offer lots of on shore activities with very reasonable prices. The most thing we loved in the cruise is the guests onboard the ship a very nice combination of multi culture people that are looking forward to spend good time all guests were friendly , smiling and happily greeting each other, we had lots of short/long side conversations with many people from all around the world we even managed to earn new friendship with a very lovely German couple on the 2nd day and we spent the rest of the cruise together. The only thing we didn't like on the whole cruise that the outdoor swimming pool became very dirty by the last 2 days of the cruise. Checkout process was very easy specially that I had all the onboard expenses debited from my credit card directly. Bottom line we enjoyed every second on the cruise and we are officially attached to the cruising life. we started looking for 2014 cruise already. In the end I would like to thank everyone working on the Serenade Of the Seas for making our dream vacation comes true. Hope the above info. Was informative for you. Read Less
Sail Date April 2013
There were delays after delays its boading and disinbarking. The pillows and bedding were old and more then worn out. The pillows were hard flat rocks. All 4 of them. The couch in room was worn out to thread baren. Tours were very ... Read More
There were delays after delays its boading and disinbarking. The pillows and bedding were old and more then worn out. The pillows were hard flat rocks. All 4 of them. The couch in room was worn out to thread baren. Tours were very expensive and little to do in ports without tour. Food was uneatable! No table space in windjammer. Food cold and bad! Don't go. Overall the food was below par.ln the main dining room to add to the poor food we had a table of ten with one server and one backup.i felt the staff were trying their best but throughout the ship there was a noticible lack of staff. I had to chase a cocktail on more than one occasion. The room staff consisted of one young man doing his best. I felt that the cruise line was only interested in their bottom line but at the expense of the passenger . Overall a very poor cruise. Would not recommend it to my worst enemy, Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
Royal Caribbean was so disappointing this time around. The staff did not seem sympathetic to our plight of lost luggage, and assured us that we would be able to shop for clothes on our excursions. We were not able to shop for any ... Read More
Royal Caribbean was so disappointing this time around. The staff did not seem sympathetic to our plight of lost luggage, and assured us that we would be able to shop for clothes on our excursions. We were not able to shop for any essentials on our excursions as we only went to souvenir shops. I suggested that Royal help us find a way to get to shopping and they did not. All they were able to give us for the five days that we had no luggage was a white t-shirt and sub very sub-par toiletries. They offered us laundry service, but the guest services desk lady must have not been very in touch with what was happening because when I asked how long our laundry would take to get to us she said "48 hours." Luckily, housekeeping was a bit more realistic and when we discussed it with them, they were able to turn our laundry around in a couple of hours. For formal night, she offered to give my husband a free tuxedo, but offered nothing to me. The lady at the front desk (Jasmine) told us she would locate our luggage, and then told us she couldn't locate it. When I asked her who she called, she told me SAS. To that I told her that we had a transfer from United to SAS and our luggage was most likely with United. She asked ME if I wanted to call United myself! My husband firmly recommended that she do it herself. Later that day, she told us she was able to locate it with United. So that caused an unseemly delay in getting our luggage because of her ineptitude. I came crying to the front office after four days of no luggage , no makeup and no toiletries and she offered me 100 dollars credit to my account (any outfit on the ship cost no less than 54 dollars each) and a night at one of their restaurants in her words "out of my own goodwill towards you." I was aghast at the lack of sympathy. She later told me our luggage would be waiting for us in Estonia on the morning before our excursion. To my dismay, we did not get our luggage as promised in the morning but at night. The ladies in the spa, were very gossipy and rude, even talking about guests behind their backs. The people working in the Windjammer never smiled or offered any table service. The whole crew (aside from a few people in housekeeping and in various bars) were amazingly lacking in customer service. After this trip, I will never want to board a Royal Caribbean trip again! Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
Arriving at port to board , they wouldn't check our luggage . I am disabled ! My wife and I had to push our luggage up on to the ship, resulting in severe pain to my damaged spine ! At the front desk on ship , rep. took our bags ... Read More
Arriving at port to board , they wouldn't check our luggage . I am disabled ! My wife and I had to push our luggage up on to the ship, resulting in severe pain to my damaged spine ! At the front desk on ship , rep. took our bags and put them into storage for us . After access to our room we returned to get our bags . A different rep. gave us a terrible time and was even yelling at my wife . She didn't want to release our bags ! As the conversation became more heated the rep. screamed at my wife " take your bags and go" At this point we wanted off this ship,,now ! We were told as we had boarded we couldn't get off . At the front desk we spoke to a supervisor who then informed us that the rep who was yelling at my wife had told her that we are racists! As we are both from New York City the last thing in the world either one of us is - would be a racist. The evening dining room service was excellent and food was OK. Our room staff was also excellent. The rest of the staff on the ship incompetent, rude, lazy and untrained. Before leaving Lauderdale the staff on the ship was replaced with trainees. The deck spaces around the pool and the rest of the gathering areas were left unclean with dishes, cups etc left from the night before on the following morning. In the smoking area the ash trays were not cleaned for days and overflowing. The three small tables in that area were covered in coffee cups, plates etc. On one morning I approached the security guard and asked that this be addressed - he then called the deck supervisor who yelled at him for bothering him. The security guard visibly embarrassed took it upon himself to clean this area - to his credit. This was a daily occurrence. The coffee areas either were out of coffee out of cups out of milk etc. This also was daily. The buffet areas were understaffed unclean and out of food more often than not. The staff at these areas would tell guests they were closed when they were not. When brought to the attention of a supervisor, they claimed to be open just out of food. My wife and I have been on many ships and lines and have never experienced a more horrendous situation. Staff that had been on this ship and with royal for 20 years+ claimed they have never seen anything as bad as this before and where embarrassed. Upon contacting Royal Caribbean on our return with our complaints we found they did not seem to care nor where willing to do anything to fix the situation. I highly recommend no one ever cruise with Royal Caribbean. If this is how they choose to treat their customers and claiming they are a cut above the rest, clearly they are below average. I would recommend Norwegian Cruise Line or Holland America. Celebrity is owned by Royal so therefore I would not recommend them either. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
My 14 night Baltic cruise during the summer of 2015 with Royal Caribbean on the Serenade Seas was two different experiences. The Ports of Call and the ship herself were a 5 Star experience. Royal Caribbean as a company provided a 1 Star ... Read More
My 14 night Baltic cruise during the summer of 2015 with Royal Caribbean on the Serenade Seas was two different experiences. The Ports of Call and the ship herself were a 5 Star experience. Royal Caribbean as a company provided a 1 Star Experience…below WOW! The ship has a capacity of 2,500 passengers and 900 crew. This was my 2nd Cruise after my Mediterranean cruise on a competitor’s ship with 4,000 passengers. You could regularly see late at night teams keeping the ship clean and in good repair. This team is top notch! We had our luggage within an hour of checking into our room. One night we had to call to have the balcony cleaned thanks to shipmates from above and they came with a team and address the issue right away. There were teams providing upkeep constantly. All areas were well maintained except the early closure of the hot tubs early…and the spa never picked up after the towels. But otherwise...great experience. We choose this cruise as no one had a better itinerary (3 days in St. Petersburg with only 1 day at sea). It was also nice as we ventured into some rarely visited port towns that made the trip extra special (i.e. Berlin, Klaipeda, Frederica, Riga, Helsinki, etc.). Regarding Russia: you have 2 travel options a) Russia Travel Visa or b) Tour Visa. If you’re in Russia for less than 72 hours and are with a guide you can avoid the expensive and long government Visa...the other process is expensive and takes 3 months. We went to Moscow through a boat excursion for under $600. That included a bus to the airport, a 1 ½ hour roundtrip flight to Moscow, tickets for the Kremlin, and a beautiful 5 Star Russian Restaurant (Salmon Roe, Blintz, Beef Stroganoff, Vodka, & Wine). We also did the Folkloric show, which was a Russian Army choir of 30 that would switch with a high energy dance troop of 30. The other 2 days in St. Petersburg we purchased a private guide and Mercedes SUV driver (SPB Tour Company) for a very reasonable price. We basically did the 2 day deluxe tour (which they try to keep the groups under 20). The Kremlin I heard is not open on Thursday and SPB has certain schedule for group tours which is also why explored the cost effective private tour. Now about my 1 Star Royal Caribbean Experience. It began at the website (did you know the call center rep and the customer can’t be logged in at the same time?) At port, the check-in was a 1 ½ hour line! At the registration desk, the 30 page packet they had me print apparently didn’t include the Credit Card Authorization I did online (who knows where that information is). They literally had a table with 8 employees that would connect the credit card authorization to another stack of paper to later be manually processed. My access card didn’t work for 2 days and all our receipts were tri-level carbon. Security thereafter continued to be an issue. Each day imagine going to the airport for 20 minutes! Then once you get past security your next 14 night once in a lifetime cruise experience…you get nothing! This is where the crew of less than 900 is unable to WoW! There were never officers or entertainers welcoming you back on board. Dining on the ship was poor…but depend on which of 2 kitchens you dined from. The Specialty Kitchen does Chops, Giovanni’s, Chef’s Table, Murder Mystery and the At Sea Lobster Mimosa Brunch. Those meals were all delicious and a great experience. Our intimate Chef’s Table with our friends from Australia, Arizona, Illinois, Mexico City, Florida and staff of 3 was well worth the experience! The meals were delicious and worth it (although buy on the boat as they don’t regularly sell out and they always have a deal). The other kitchen does room service, the main dining room and the buffet. The main dining room is very good…and a toss up to which is better versus the specialty kitchen. Room Service, the buffet, and that “café” are garbage…garbage…garbage! Most frustrating is the Café! The menu never changes, quality is similar to a 7/11 deli, and never enough places for people to regretfully try this horrible food. The challenge is you get onto the boat from a day of sights around 4…but dinner reservations are not until 8. There are no food options other than this deli or crappy room service. Entertainment was also poor. They did bring in this headliner act from Russia that did these cirque di sole items close to the end...which was amazing! The other days were no good. Day 1: Elton John. Day 2: Queen Tribute: Day 3: BMX Bike Stunts Day 5: (Day at Seas) Cruise director talking about his trip to Mount Kilimanjaro. Also, the TV gave out very valuable port information (after you visited the port) lol…I made none of this up my friends! Then in the Centrium they are supposed to have this big show. I asked 5 different crew members when was the show…no one knew and each told me a different answer. 5 different answers…you can bet at least 1 of them lied to me. I believed the 5th version that the rig was broken for 2 months and it was unsafe was the truth...until there was a random show that we stumbled upon returning from port after 11 day (wasn’t listed in the guide). We tired Izumi and were hoping to make the later showing….but it took 40 minutes to serve raw sushi (12 crew eating in the dining room of a late port with only 6 guests). The only WOW moment I experienced was with the F&B director that left a bottle of Merlot in our room. Otherwise, I feel there is not enough crew for entertainment or quality basic dining options. The Excursion Desk was only open from 8 to 9. This was a challenge when you were in port from 8 to 7 and didn’t realize you needed to talk to someone until 10. My experience with a competitor is that the caliber of food might be meh…but at least it’s decent overall. I recognize the entertainment experience is different on each ship but this experience was beyond bad (and I blame the cruise director for that). Overall, I had a wonderful vacation and I wouldn’t have changed a thing…except for Royal Caribbean. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
We were on our honeymoon and decided to take the 12 day with stops in Salerno, Sicily, malta, Montenegro, Venice, croatia and Corfu. The ports were wonderful. We went in September so we're on one of the "oldest cruises they had ... Read More
We were on our honeymoon and decided to take the 12 day with stops in Salerno, Sicily, malta, Montenegro, Venice, croatia and Corfu. The ports were wonderful. We went in September so we're on one of the "oldest cruises they had ever seen" and it seemed the ship was more geared towards that age demographic so there was not much of interest for our age group (we're in our thirties.) They closed the disco at least an hour early every night. We had heard the food was spectacular so we're expecting good eats...not the case. The main dining room serves their prime rib grey, and the other meals were also sub par. We paid extra for the lobster and it was overlooked and dry. Also, the first night we had to wait till after our mains till our wine showed up. On the last evening we stood in the front of the restaraunt and waited 35 minutes and were not even acknowledged. The couple in front of us and their two children had been waiting 45 minutes so I guess we should be considered lucky. The buffet is full of fatty, inedible food that made my husband and I sick so the main dining room is really your only option unless you want to pay more. We were scared to try after upgrading our main dining room experience to no effect. Tried to mention the above to the staff and were brushed off in a rude manner. Not impressed with the food, atmosphere or staff on this cruise line. This was my second and my husbands first cruise and neither of us will ever be on one again that's for sure!!! Totally ruined our cruising experience and put a damper on our honeymoon. We're planning a "redo honeymoon" for next year to wash away this bad taste in our mouths. South of France here we come...not on Royal Caribbean!!! Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
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
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary. We were not disappointed by that at all. The Ship was small and I missed the Promenade Deck. Centrum is too small and confining. We feel the same way about the dining room. Cramped space and ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary. We were not disappointed by that at all. The Ship was small and I missed the Promenade Deck. Centrum is too small and confining. We feel the same way about the dining room. Cramped space and service was not good. Food was great, we only ate in the main dining room 3 of our 10 nights. We did greatly enjoy the Specialty Restaurants and didn't mind paying the surcharge for it. Not enough activities and the entertainment was boring. Cruise director was bland. No music on the pool deck during the day. Our Stateroom was clean and comfortable and our Steward Alvin was wonderful. Embarkation was very smooth and we were on the ship in less than 20 minutes. Debarkation was horrible. The lines were too long and it seemed chaotic. I will definately give Royal Caribbean another try but not on Serenade. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
The St. Thomas Scenic Harbor Cruise and Shopping excursion was a sham. It was not a tour. It was an slow and expensive water taxi ride straight to town and after a short time a ride straight back to ship on the same route as before. A ... Read More
The St. Thomas Scenic Harbor Cruise and Shopping excursion was a sham. It was not a tour. It was an slow and expensive water taxi ride straight to town and after a short time a ride straight back to ship on the same route as before. A land taxi ride was $4 US. This cost much more and did not give us enough time to shop and sightsee. Unable to watch anything on TV because they did not have program list. What is on? When is it on? Seats at outdoor theater did not face screen -no blankets, pillows, popcorn - volume so low all you could hear was audience talking. They roll up the sidewalks early. Beer is very expensive. No food after 12.00am and not much after 10pm. No ice cream shop or pizza shop. Decor: Just OK. Service: Excellent Clean: You bet Food: Nothing special Ship: Good condition, BUT old and out of date (no Ice skating, no huge water slide tubes and missing some of the cool stuff on the newer ships. Elevators: They SUCK (and at only 2 locations) Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
My wife and I just returned from a 12 night cruise aboard The Serenade of The Seas leaving out of Ft. Lauderdale on 2-26-18. It was a wonderful cruise but did have some hiccups. We LOVE the smaller ships as we have been on the larger ... Read More
My wife and I just returned from a 12 night cruise aboard The Serenade of The Seas leaving out of Ft. Lauderdale on 2-26-18. It was a wonderful cruise but did have some hiccups. We LOVE the smaller ships as we have been on the larger ones (Anthem, Oasis, Quantum) and feel they are much too big with too many people and the "personal" touch is just not there. Well this ship was small and to are liking but was missing two of our most favorite things when cruising. First of all their hot tubs were terrible. Not hot at all many days and had absolutely NO BUBBLES. When we complained we were told it would be looked at but after speaking directly with the pool maintenance folks, it was discovered that these hot tubs have very few jets and 1 motor...just not powerful...that sucked! Secondly the casino was extremely outdated. Old, old machines. Really? You can refurbish the ship but not refurbish the casino? There were only maybe 6 fairly interactive modern machines in the entire casino and a husband and wife monopolized play on these machines all hours of the day. They were there so much I don't think they even ate the entire trip!!! On the plus side our balcony was so spacious and beautiful...we had a Deluxe Ocean View Balcony room and it was fantastic! We spent many a night out on our balcony watching the moon, sipping wine, and listening to the roar of the waves. Herbert, our greeter in the Windjammer Café was the star of the show!! He was great! Always wearing a smile every day and saying "hello my friend!!" Every ship should have a Herbert!!! The cruise itself was great..destinations were enjoyable but we would not go back o this ship until they update their casino and their hot tubs!! Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
SO I have been a long time cruiser for over 30 years. My wife and I book this cruise for a quick getaway. Four nights to Cozumel from Ft Lauderdale. Boarding quick and easy, just have your paperwork done. Less then 5 minutes we were on ... Read More
SO I have been a long time cruiser for over 30 years. My wife and I book this cruise for a quick getaway. Four nights to Cozumel from Ft Lauderdale. Boarding quick and easy, just have your paperwork done. Less then 5 minutes we were on Board. The ship being older but RCCL says it just came out of dry dock. I m not sure what was done but there are signs of wear and tear. Hot tub did not work the entire cruise.Dis appointing as I like to use it in the mornings. Our room was the biggest let down,we were on deck 7 balcony. Open the door and what do you see is a roof from deck 6,which covers the rescue boats. When you sit on the balcony you see a roof and the handrail. Looking down did not exist. We asked for a room change and was given the runaround by the member services. Not pleased with them at all.Our room was very clean (Danny) did a great job. Food is adequate ,serving portion are good. Nice variety on the menus. We did eat at Giovanni's , great service, very good Italian food. Entertainment was just so-so a juggler was good but I found it to be a bit boring for a headliner. Dancers were in need of rehearsal ( new crew is what I heard). The casino was poor, couple of tables, oldest slot machines I have ever seen. SMOKE, and dealers did many errors on the roulette tables. On a scale from one to ten...about a 6.5 is about right. Would I go again? Maybe. But not on deck 7 ! Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
It looked like a good deal price-wise for the first cruise of the year to the Baltics. The food in the main dining room was pretty good in the evening except for the desserts. The next to last night they exceeded themselves with offerings ... Read More
It looked like a good deal price-wise for the first cruise of the year to the Baltics. The food in the main dining room was pretty good in the evening except for the desserts. The next to last night they exceeded themselves with offerings of both Baked Alaska and Grand Marnier souffle. On the last night they offered a key lime pie which I passed on because and earlier offering was called the mile high lemon meringue. Turned out to be a dab of lemon in a pastry cup with a ball of meringue on top. The key lime pie though was the real thing. Entertainment was not Las Vegas style and most nights it was only a one or two person "show". Also many nights there was only one show. It was a fail on entertainment. Our cabin was kept spotless and was serviced at least 3 times a day. Food in the buffet was average with a fail again on the desserts there. The pastry chef does not seem capable of producing an edible blueberry muffin. On the other hand Royal continues to have the best bread at sea. Royal was extremely cheap with the orange juice and only filled the glasses halfway. The crew was the most international I have seen on any ship with 55-65 countries represented. Ports were generally good but in Riga the ship docked at a container loading area to save docking fees. As far as Klaipeda was concerned, I think a day a sea would have been better. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
We chose this trip for the many island stops, some of which we've never visited. The ship seemed just fine for our needs. It's disappointing how many people talked about how old this ship is, or that they didn't like the ... Read More
We chose this trip for the many island stops, some of which we've never visited. The ship seemed just fine for our needs. It's disappointing how many people talked about how old this ship is, or that they didn't like the activities, entertainment or food. Honestly, it was fine for us, but in general it seems all ships/cruise lines are going down hill in food quality, service and offerings (that are included). Now, to get anything special, it's all extra, extra, extra. I'd like to see a few things. One is the crew not allowing people to save lounge chairs by the pool. It was posted in signs, but no one enforced it. Large groups of chairs were saved for a couple of hours without people in them. It's so discourteous of people to do this. Two, it would be nice to have a spa service and/or a spa/fitness seminar without feeling like we are being asked to buy a product. After a couple of seminars, I didn't even want to go to anymore as it's one huge selling scheme. Lastly, we did have some great waiters and service in the dining room, but some just weren't up to par with how to serve, timing, and personality. We tried the My Time dining for the first time, and loved the flexibility, and we met a lot of nice people, but I missed the consistency of one waiter/assistant waiter team that we got to know, etc. Not sure I'll do the My Time again. We had an inside cabin on Deck 3 this time. Quiet and great location in the back of the ship as just one deck down was where we'd get off boat for islands. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
RCCL has disappointed us for a very special trip. If not for the Islands, the friends we made on board and some of the staff, this would be rated the lowest rating. I'll start with the good: 1) Cafe Latitudes- the BEST! (Better ... Read More
RCCL has disappointed us for a very special trip. If not for the Islands, the friends we made on board and some of the staff, this would be rated the lowest rating. I'll start with the good: 1) Cafe Latitudes- the BEST! (Better than Starbucks- in fact, we had Starbucks the day after and though it was horrid compared to the Caramel Macchiato on the ship!) 2) Not hearing loud speaker announcements every 5 minutes for sales pitches like another cruise line 3) The elevators (while not perfect) were really overall good in getting. Minimal frustrations. 4) Most staff members very friendly and helpful - some were just rude and snippy, but considering the conditions and some other guest behaviors, I can't say I blame a few of them. 5)Some staff did try to rectify problems- Assistant housekeeping manager being one, the MDR manager another. 6)Photography team were fab 7)Muster was the best-- love not being out in the heat! (not sure if that went for everyone or not but I was happy with seat inside for this short event) Now for the disappointments: 1) Not having decoration packages available (cancelled 2 days prior to sailing- turned out to be vendor's fault but Main office was little help- Ship housekeeping acted on my email of disappointment) 2)Communications between main offices and ship are horrid... who is to blame is not my problem. I know the notes were in the system as I put them there myself! (and, no, I did not book as an industry reduced passenger- I pay as a regular guest when I travel) 3)Communications on the ship are bad- excursions cancelled- note put on door late when we were out enjoying ship and find note too late to follow instructions to confirm an alternate- excursion desk tells me next morning Guest Services could have helped-- but their voicemail (which I got in the morning) and note did not say to contact that desk! Also every invite and a lot of the compass important notes had the wrong day of the week listed... or the day of the week was right but the date wrong. 4) Cabin attendant taking food out of our room when we hadn't touched it-- just assumed we didn't want it... (covers still on and untouched)... when in fact we were keeping it for later only to return to find it gone..not big deal for ship provided food but when I paid for the in room delivered goodies and they were taken out without asking, then big problem! 5)Not getting what I asked for in notes (ice bucket for wine and wine glasses- on notes and asked 2 times).. 6)Finding our door cracked open 2 times and 1 time propped open (cabin attendent cleaning but not in room and didn't come to the room for 5 minutes after we had entered)... I get that they go into cabins but to leave a door open to anyone to waltz in is not acceptable 7)Putting us at table for 12 when we requested table for 2 8) Serving us Lobster bisque (allergic to lobster) when we ordered Chicken Consumme with ricotta (luckily my allergy is mild and husband who is severly allergic wasn't at table to eat--- yes, I know consumme is supposed to be clear, but with riccotta and something else listed, I wasn't sure if Chef blended it to make it creamy and took 3 bites before I could work out why it tasted different)--- they were only 'mildly' concerned, though they did send our food to the room to eat after i had recovered from the medicine to counteract the allergic reaction 9)Listing events in the compass only to have the shops say they weren't scheduled or didn't know they were scheduled 10)The food was mediocre at best but most of the time was horrid... even the desserts were horrible (except 1 night in MDR with Baked Alaska). Goat cheese in mashed potatoes??? really? 11)Bring back the smoking on balconies and provide closeable ashtrays on the port side balconies for those who do want to smoke! (mind you, we made a lot of friends on the smoking deck, so it wasn't bad, but a middle of the night or early morning smoke requires a jaunt that makes it a pain...besides, those smoking on the upper decks are throwing butts out to the sea because they don't have enough ashtrays up there and thereby make the policy a joke since the origin was because someone threw a butt out and it landed on another balcony) 12)Entertainment-- this was so so. Some good, some walk out early quality. 13) More variety in movies- 10 days and repeats 14)Better choice of TV channels (not everyone likes CNN) 15)telephones that ring to the right department- called room service and ended up with next cruise only to be told to call another extension 16)Better room service choices.. Carnival has you beat on this one (and that is a sad statement) 17)Better excursion choices 18)Better beds- 10 days on concrete mattress with pole in back and dividing the two twins does not make for happy campers... and that was with a mattress topper 19)tell cabin attendant to not turn water temp to full heat every time they are in room...and to provide more than 2 towels when a couple are staying in the room --- some women have long hair and need 2 towels! 20)Disembarking was a disaster.... unorganized and the CBP/TSA blamed the ship; the ship blamed the CBP/TSA... the guest suffered standing in a queue for 1.5 hours missing car services, flights and incurring massive frustrations... So, don't tell guest on board when they ask that it is a breeze and not to bother with Express when they ask in advance.... I would have rather have struggled with our 4 rolling bags and gotten off early than go through that disaster again. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
We chose this cruise because of its very different itinerary which included Copenhagen as a starting point, 2 ports in Norway, 3 in Iceland, Halifax, and, finally Boston. We had had such a wonderful first-time transAtlantic experience with ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of its very different itinerary which included Copenhagen as a starting point, 2 ports in Norway, 3 in Iceland, Halifax, and, finally Boston. We had had such a wonderful first-time transAtlantic experience with Princess in April that we were expecting a similar experience with Royal Caribbean. This was our first cruise with Royal Caribbean. We are the kind of folks who look for great itineraries at the best prices (and always a balcony cabin). We have cruised on Princess three times, Carnival twice, and Norwegian four times (3 of those on the Nor. Pearl). So, we were able to compare several things and, unfortunately, this ship/cruise came up short. Here are a few of the reasons why: 1. Only ship that didn't welcome their first-time cruisers with some type of a get-together. 2. Only ship with such abbreviated buffet hours. Several times it closed down and even more "slow down" times. This was a problem when in ports and late returns from tours. 3. Only ship with such unorganized "anytime" dining. 4. Only ship with only one dining room choice. 5. Only ship with so few additional "complimentary" dining choices. In fact, the Park Cafe, in the Solarium, was it. 6. Only ship where buffet frequently ran out of cups for tea and coffee and even glasses for water and juice. TIP: Bring your own insulated coffee cup like I did, so you'll get coffee while others queue up. 7. Only ship where complimentary toilietries weren't automatically supplied (had to ask). Oh, and no chocolates on the pillow, although I heard if you asked, you could get that, too. 8. Only ship where the non high-loyalty passengers were made to feel as if they were in steerage. (I understand some of it, but when we were frequently herded out of rooms for Diamond members to get their free drinks and appetizers and often had to hunt hard for seating in the buffet while a large room with around 50 tables was reserved for Diamond Members and almost always empty--we did feel a bit of the steerage rating.) Okay, here's what I liked. 1. We loved our 9th deck balcony cabin. It is roomier than most and was well laid out. 2. Our cabin attendant was good. 3. We loved the Cruise Director--and I think everyone did. 4. The entertainment was fine. Maybe a little quirky, but we appreciated experiencing comedian, flutist, pianist, featured singers, magicians, and more. First time a ship also offered some of the headline acts in a matinee as well. 5. Great, great group of passengers to meet. 6. The gyroscopic pool tables were a blast and free to all. 7. Beautiful scenery for quiet times (when available) in Safari Club and Vortex. 8. Solarium for comfy use of pool and hot tub for chilly and windy days. 9. Although we were pretty annoyed with the crowding and disorganization in the dining room, the food served was well presented and seemed a bit tastier than our other cruise experiences. Now, although we are pretty mellow about food, this was the only cruise where we found many of the buffet selections quite unappealing (after trying). However, there was always fruit, salad, good bread, great cheeses. AND, we were happy to be able to put on some eating brakes. It's hard to be disciplined when there are just so many good things. Of course, the desserts were very appealing and we had to really work hard to avoid them. We never lacked for a good meal--except when we found the buffet and the dining room closed. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
We love RC. We have traveled on them extensively. This trip was a little disappointing. The rooms were in need of a little TLC, Room 8020. Curtains on the bottom of the slider door were none to clean. It seems like since the tips are ... Read More
We love RC. We have traveled on them extensively. This trip was a little disappointing. The rooms were in need of a little TLC, Room 8020. Curtains on the bottom of the slider door were none to clean. It seems like since the tips are taken out automatically there doesn't seem for anyone to go out of their way to do much of anything. Our waiter and assistant waiter hardly ever spoke to us until the next to last night. Then it was to tell us to make sure we gave a good rating on the survey. I think we spoke to the room attendants twice in the whole 10 days that we were there. Very unsual for us. I let them know the minute we booked the trip that I had to eat Gluten Free. Everything is clearly marked on the menu in the Main Dining Room. You usually pick the night before but there is always something that you can extra order if you are hungry that night. My waiter did not really understand about GF and actually put a desert in front of me one night and told me "to eat around the desert". I had to ask for the Maitre D at that point. Another night I ordered eggplant parmesan and it was so salty I had to send it back. On a good note...if you like escargot you can order it every night. There GF bread is exceptional. If you like lobster and used to be able to order it every night if you wanted it....no longer. You now have to pay $29.00 and an extra tip for them to deliver it in the Main Dining Room. People were not happy with this. If you are a Diamond Member I would suggest looking up what RC gives us free. It is amazing. You can go to the Diamond Member Club and get certain free drinks every day. You can eat breakfast there if you don't want to go anywhere else. Nothing for GF...sorry. You can $40 Internet free for both of you if you are traveling with someone. I don't suggest it buying a package because it is by far the worse internet I have ever seen on a ship. If you go into the Spa to sit on the chairs don't plan on putting towels there early and never coming back. People want to sit in there and there is a new sign that says 30 minutes gone and your items will be taken off the chairs and put into Security. We actually saw some nasty scenes with people who looked like they were going to fight over chairs. I thought the entertainment on the ship was the best I have seen on any ship. All in all the ports are great. We took some lovely tours from the ship. Read Less
Sail Date February 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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