4 Royal Caribbean Serenade of the Seas Cruise Reviews for Romantic Cruises to Transatlantic

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
This cruise was a deal, and travel, from our home to Fort-Lauderdale, and back from Copenhagen was not a problem. We had been thinking about a transatlantic for awhile and the itinerary was perfect. Our cruise experience so far stands at ... Read More
This cruise was a deal, and travel, from our home to Fort-Lauderdale, and back from Copenhagen was not a problem. We had been thinking about a transatlantic for awhile and the itinerary was perfect. Our cruise experience so far stands at 14. We have cruised Alaska, the Bahamas, the Caribbean, Hawaii, the Mediterranean and Norway. This was our sixth cruise on RCL, our fourth on Serenade of the Seas since 2005 and, unlike some reviewers, we found her to be in excellent shape, although some furnishings, especially the blue couches in some staterooms need replacement. Since the removal of the Grand Staircase, the Centrum has become a beehive of daily activity and nightime entertainment, albeit with inadequate seating for some events. Example: In a move to maximize returns, RCL moved the Future Cruise Sales to deck 5 from deck 12, thereby sacrificing some space from Latte-Tudes, our favorite coffee spot. This tendency to maximize RCL's bottom line should not be so obvious, but it seems to work. "Push" marketing is very present throughout signs, events all over the ship and printed material delivered every night to your stateroom. Nonetheless, if you can put this aside and concentrate on the positive, you can have a very nice time, as we did. It is understandable that, with so much expansion and megaships joining the fleet, that some cruises are part of personnel training and this was quite obvious on Serenade. We had a few encounters with trainees but nothing unpleasant, just that the lack of experience was noticeable at times. Stateroom and dining room staff were very good. Food quality was satisfactory, maybe even a tad better than our previous cruise on Serenade, but the wine prices were horrendous, based on wines we consume at home and in local restaurants. We found adequate and health conscious choices available throughout the ship. Unlike the beverage or coffee packages offered, the three meal package for the specialty restaurants was a good deal. The captain made sure that the Serenade was a happy ship, from the bridge all the way down the ranks, to the passengers themselves. He was very proficient, funny and accessible, not to mention a competent musician as we found out at the crew talent show. After a smooth crossing to the Azores, an early departure from Ponta Delgada and a change of course to Ireland helped us avoid stormy seas and gave us a decent ride. The very slight rolling made for our most comfortable sleep. Later, en route to Le Havre, the thick fog and reassuring blasts from ship's horn every two minutes brought home memories of what life on the old ocean liners was probably like. The onboard entertainment was fantastic. From the ship's own musicians, singers and dancers, to the featured entertainers, a Celine Dion impersonator, scottish brothers playing celtic to Everly Brothers, to a virtusoso classical pianist, the shows were great. The crew talent show, on the last day at sea, had a Guest Services employee with the voice of Andrea Bocelli, 9 chefs dancing rap, and the Captain on guitar in a rock band. Our excursion to the twin lakes in Ponta Delgada was hampered by weather and poor visibility, as was the Alabaster Coast in Le Havre. The Heritage Center in Cobh was very interesting as it traces the emigration of Irish to America and Canada, and our Irish countryside tour to Kinsale was quite pleasant. We visited Bruges on our own and luched on "moules et frites". Very enjoyable. In Amsterdam, we missed out badly. We though the tulip festival was over and Anne Frank house was sold out. But a city tour and canal cruise was fine, and the weather, perfect. We have been to Copenhagen before so we went straight to the airport. Serenade is still a real ship, not a floating resort/shopping mall. No ice rink, zipline or bumper cars and that's OK! And aside from horrible and very pricey internet service (...no VOOM here, as RCL advertises is now fleetwide) and a few condescending and impolite fellow passengers, we had a great cruise and will probably return on RCL soon. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
We sailed from Boston to Ireland, England, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Sweden, and Denmark. Enjoyed the cruise, the ship, and the staff. Food was fine. Ship was clean. Wish the loading for excursions was a bit more organized. Other than ... Read More
We sailed from Boston to Ireland, England, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Sweden, and Denmark. Enjoyed the cruise, the ship, and the staff. Food was fine. Ship was clean. Wish the loading for excursions was a bit more organized. Other than that we had no complaints. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
At first I wasn't too sure about doing the transatlantic cruise for our Honeymoon but my wife and I really did enjoy our time on the ship and at the ports. I will try and be as thorough as possible. Ship: yes the Serenade of the Seas ... Read More
At first I wasn't too sure about doing the transatlantic cruise for our Honeymoon but my wife and I really did enjoy our time on the ship and at the ports. I will try and be as thorough as possible. Ship: yes the Serenade of the Seas isn't the latest and greatest but we found the ship to be very clean, spacious that included many different amentities. we especially enjoyed the movie cinema, under the stars screen at pool deck and Chops grill/Giovannis. Spend the extra money on the package for the specialty dining. I ate some of the best food I have ever eaten at these restaurants. you cant go wrong. Staff: the dining staff were phenominal. we sat at table 462 and were served by melbert and max, paul was the head waiter. they went above and beyond to meet our needs. our stateroom attendant also did a great job and was always greeting us with a smile. the entertainment staff also were great. Bobby (cruise director), Lorenzo and debs were great. ports: we enjoyed Malaga spain the most and found it to be very picturesque. we also did the dolphin excursion in Anguilla, loads of money, but totally worth it! Days at sea: it was a transatlantic cruise, so we had many days at sea. we always found that there was something to do which was nice. but for times when we just wanted to relax we found that not to be a problem to kick back by the pool and read a book. all in all, great service, nice ship and some cool ports. we plan to try a larger ship for our next cruise. happy cruising!   Read Less
Sail Date April 2014
Serenade of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.3
Dining 4.0 4.0
Entertainment 5.0 3.6
Public Rooms 5.0 4.3
Fitness Recreation 5.0 4.0
Family 5.0 4.0
Shore Excursion 3.0 3.9
Enrichment 1.0 3.5
Service 5.0 4.4
Value For Money 5.0 3.9
Rates 4.0 4.3

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