93 Royal Caribbean Serenade of the Seas Transatlantic Cruise Reviews

CD Carly B and her Activites Manger Grant kept us busy and informed. When the ship missed LeHarve due to French workers strike, we went to Dover and the ship provided free bus service to the train station, town center and the castle, Well ... Read More
CD Carly B and her Activites Manger Grant kept us busy and informed. When the ship missed LeHarve due to French workers strike, we went to Dover and the ship provided free bus service to the train station, town center and the castle, Well Done. The Windjammer was the best ever with many, many individual stations - multiple eggs, carved meats, ribs, whole pig, crepes, fresh ice cream etc. also the MDR food was hot and tasty. The Captain took the ship around an Atlantic storm to limit the motion in the ocean and sped up for us to maintain our schedule. In Amsterdam we were delayed ata the lock, but again the ship stayed later to ensure our full time in Amsterdam. There was a nice variety of on board entertainment including showing the movies on yout cabin TV concurrent with the cinema and pool screen showings. Also, the music in the venues was expanded in number and times from our previous TAs. A couple of NON WOWs were..the assistant waiters now cover more folks, do not serve bread and also,take your drink orders...too much in my opine. Finally, the shore excursion team was a little disorganized in Amsterdam when we arrived an hour late and they told us everything was delayed an hour, then took the tours on time. The folks need a little more training in customer relations based on our interactions with the team in the Amsterdam terminal. Overall, a very nice cruise vacation.... Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
Chose this cruise to accompany our family and friends. First 7 days were sea days - great shows, great activities, and lots of relaxation. The crew on Serenade is simply amazing - smiles and greetings from all. The ship is due for refurb ... Read More
Chose this cruise to accompany our family and friends. First 7 days were sea days - great shows, great activities, and lots of relaxation. The crew on Serenade is simply amazing - smiles and greetings from all. The ship is due for refurb but is still beautiful, just a little rough around the edges. Food was good and plenty of it! Our room steward, Anthony, was friendly and right on top of any issues. When the battery in our cabin door started to give us trouble occasionally, he had it fixed within minutes. We boarded her and were in the Windjammer by 11:00 am. No problems, even with the collection of passports. Everything went smoothly. Disembarking was the same. We walked off in Denmark, found our luggage quickly and taxied to our hotel. I must say though that Denmark didn't seem to have enough taxis that early in the morning. We booked our excursions through Royal simply because we like the guaranteed wait policy. We did not want to get stranded in a foreign country with no passport! The only change in our itinerary was France - it had to be changed due to a dockworker strike. Arrangements were made for us to dock in Dover, England instead, and on such short notice the excursion team did an amazing job of acquiring buses for excursions to Canterbury and London for those that wanted to leave Dover. All in all, we had an amazing time and would do it again in a heartbeat. Same ship, same captain, same crew! Loved everything about this cruise! Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
We chose this cruise based on the itinerary. We were disappointed to be diverted from France secondary to a port strike. The planned D-Day excursion was to be the highlight for my husband. The ship staff did a great job in setting up ... Read More
We chose this cruise based on the itinerary. We were disappointed to be diverted from France secondary to a port strike. The planned D-Day excursion was to be the highlight for my husband. The ship staff did a great job in setting up alternative excursions in Dover, England and we did enjoy our visit there. We had MyTime dining and had great service. We chose to always sit at the same table with great servers! The food selections seemed more budget conscious than in the past with surcharges for certain menu items that would have been included on previous cruises. Many high level Crown and Anchor guests were on this ship and the perks offered to them made many of the lower ranking guests feel excluded. The sense of entitlement by these "higher" classed guests offended some lower ranked guests. I am referring to people who thought they did not have to wait in lines like others, they would just walk to the front in front of those who had been waiting and the ship staff allowed it. We attended the evening shows every night except one. The times of the shows caused some issues. They were scheduled at 9PM and 10:45PM which were later than we previously experienced. Most passengers tried to go to the 9PM show and it was difficult to get seats unless you arrived very early! They did change some of the shows later in the cruise to 7PM and 8:45PM which made attending easier. The crew was very visible maintaining and freshening the ship. An outside paint job was very noticeable when we returned from an excursion. The Vortex on the 12th level was a nice place to sit and peacefull read and relax. The piano bar in the Schooner Lounge was enjoyable. The Safari Club also had fun activities topped off by The Quest one of the last nights. Ballroom dance classes were available and well attended. Bingo was overpriced and had to be cancelled once for lack of attendees. We booked our excursions through Royal Caribbean after researching the destinations. Many cruisers were experienced and took trains and planned their own excursions using public transportation available in the ports. We learned many tips from experienced cruisers. There were six time changes on this cruise and usually done at noon. This made dinner and lunch very close together. The last time change was done overnight and did not affect daytime activities. Overall we had a great experience, made new friends and visited new locations. We would do this again! Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
We chose this cruise to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary and it was our first trans-Atlantic cruise. We had fantastic entertainment, great musicians, good singers, and dancers. There were lots of shore excursion options. We ... Read More
We chose this cruise to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary and it was our first trans-Atlantic cruise. We had fantastic entertainment, great musicians, good singers, and dancers. There were lots of shore excursion options. We especially enjoyed the one in the Azore islands. It is impressive that these remote islands are virtually energy self-sufficient, except for the importation of oil and gas, having a combination of geo-thermal, wind, solar, and hydroelectric. We enjoyed the two lakes and the village in the crater of the extinct volcano. Visiting a pineapple farm was also a unique experience! It certainly makes me appreciate the two years of work and growth that goes in to get my pineapple for breakfast every morning! The tour of the Keukenhof Gardens in Amsterdam with the breathtaking display of tulips was the experience of a lifetime. It was an item on our bucket list! It was a great celebration, and we would do it again, but we will have to have a different excuse than a 50th anniversary! Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
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
My husband, who is an excellent sailor, has always wanted to do a long cruise. I, on the other hand, was less enthusiastic as I tend to get seasick in rough waters. However, when a cruise-discount company posted an unbelievable price for ... Read More
My husband, who is an excellent sailor, has always wanted to do a long cruise. I, on the other hand, was less enthusiastic as I tend to get seasick in rough waters. However, when a cruise-discount company posted an unbelievable price for a balcony room on a transatlantic cruise coming up in three months, we pounced. Plus, Norwegian Air flew the two of us from Boston to Copenhagen for less than $800 total. Since we did not book through Royal Caribbean, I feared our cabin assignment would be less than optimal. Was I wrong...we had one of the best balcony rooms ever! Embarkation was very smooth and we were boarded early. Over half the passengers on-board were diamond level and above (as were we), and the entire Congo Bar of the Safari club was reserved for us each evening with free drinks, music and finger-food. Food and entertainment during the cruise were good, and we loved the super-salad bar available in the dining room for lunch during at-sea days. We even got to see the northern lights. Having spent a week in the gorgeous country of Iceland ten years earlier, revisiting the Golden Circle during this cruise was an unpleasant surprise as the famous sites are mobbed with visitors now. Fortunately, our eight-hour independent tour out of Akureyri (which we missed seeing years ago because of the weather) was wonderful and much less crowded!. We toured the Norwegian cities of Oslo and Kristiansand on our own and really enjoyed them both. Having been to Halifax before, and with three ships currently in port, we booked a tour to Peggy's Cove and the Titanic grave site. Good thing it was a ship tour as our bus barely got us back to port in time. Getting off the ship in Boston was a mess, but we made our flight so all's well that ends well. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
We choose this cruise because of the 4 days / 3 ports in Iceland and were not disappointed in our choice. The pre-cruise stay in Copenhagen was enjoyable and enjoyed the city tour and canal bout ride (arranged via Expedia) Even though ... Read More
We choose this cruise because of the 4 days / 3 ports in Iceland and were not disappointed in our choice. The pre-cruise stay in Copenhagen was enjoyable and enjoyed the city tour and canal bout ride (arranged via Expedia) Even though our arrival time for embarkation was to be after 1:00, the bus RCCL bus picked us up at 10:00 and we were processed reasonably quickly at port and boarded without problem. Overall Serenade was clean and in order, but some furniture, drapes, etc. needed sprucing up. It was obvious that staff was working quite hard to keep everything in order and clean. Our staff was some of the best we've ever had, meeting our needs quickly and always with a smile. Special thanks to Nickolay (Cabin Attendant), Gerald (Waiter), Oleg (Asssi. Waiter) and Sebastian (Head Waiter). We were very happy that our requests for special desserts were granted without difficulty. Husband wanted coffee ice cream every night and I wanted PLAIN Creme Brûlée. Enjoyed all our excursions and were amazed at the sights of Iceland. Suggest that more detailed information on the level of exertion required be provided. We felt that several excursions required more stair climbing or uneven ground than described. A lot of effort went into providing activities for passengers inside due to weather and inability to use outdoor pools, climbing wall, etc. and Topi, Cruise Director was terrific. On a negative note, the disembarking process was terrible! Delayed waiting for Immigration to set up and then every passenger had to pass by them, having documents checked. Then we had to go to Deck 6 to wait for city tour and airport drop off excursion. Delay in ship clearance before able to depart and then everyone had to go to deck 5. Halls, stairs, elevators were packed and not moving at all due to Sea Pass Card scanner not working. Lots of angry people. Once off the ship, the baggage and busses were well organized and we enjoyed the Boston city tour. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
Entertainment was excellent. Several service issues that needed to be addressed as there were a lot of new employees being trained on this sailing for Harmony of the Seas. Disappointed to see more increase in charges at specialty ... Read More
Entertainment was excellent. Several service issues that needed to be addressed as there were a lot of new employees being trained on this sailing for Harmony of the Seas. Disappointed to see more increase in charges at specialty restaurants. More of the quality of food is not found in the main dining room. Windjammer was fine, the food was hot and varied. Unfortunately the service is not what is use to be, not consistant , not offered more coffee or water. Ports of call were all great. Also had amazing weather throughout the cruise. Room was very spacious ( 9210 superior balcony) had a full size couch. Service for room was adequate nothing special. The embarkation went very smoothly, can't say the same thing about the disembarkation, that was a disaster. Cruise line needs to work on ways to improve this. Sad way to end a cruise, and passengers don't follow instructions. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
My instructions to the travel agent were, "find a ship that will spend a lot of time at sea." She came up with the Serenade..... This was only my fourth cruise, (Two Carnivals, Disney and the US Navy) so I have little basis ... Read More
My instructions to the travel agent were, "find a ship that will spend a lot of time at sea." She came up with the Serenade..... This was only my fourth cruise, (Two Carnivals, Disney and the US Navy) so I have little basis for comparison. I was very lucky in that I had a really GREAT waiter. He was fast and friendly. The rest of the staff were nice except the customer service desk. First they were cold, rude and unfriendly, but even worse for me, they spoke such broken American that understanding them was a real chore. The entertainment was poor to fair. Ninety percent of the passengers were well grayed yet they played much to current music. I got very tired of the same evening entries. Salmon or pasta every night is just not filling. The ship was clean neat but the restrooms were a bit smelly. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
Iceland was the new destination. And it was great. Glad we went. We had an extra day in Copenhagen. However we had a bad screw-up with their air department. At this time I don't recommend using OVC air department. The hotel ... Read More
Iceland was the new destination. And it was great. Glad we went. We had an extra day in Copenhagen. However we had a bad screw-up with their air department. At this time I don't recommend using OVC air department. The hotel we stayed at was great!! Rode the ho-ho bus around Copenhagen and enjoyed the city. Embarkation went smoothly. The ship was wonderful, although getting ready for a re-do with lots of minor maintenance issues. The main dinning room was wonderful for dinner. Enjoyed meals that were as good as the specialty restaurants. However, breakfast and lunch were better in the Windjammer. Enjoyed the fruit and yogurt bowls in the Park diner for breakfast. The omelets in the Windjammer were great!! and much better than in the dinning room. I have to say that I miss the "Production" shows. On the 16 day cruise we only had 3. And the acts in general were "so-so". We did enjoy Brooks Aehron and his discussions about the classical composers, as well as his piano playing. Also liked the idea on "sea" days to have a matinee showing of the artist from the previous night. Overall wonderful trip. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
We originally chose this cruise to see the Northern Lights & the Faroe Islands. The Northern lights were a bust (not the ship's fault) but the Faroe Islands were mysteriously cancelled by Royal with no explanation. The dining on ... Read More
We originally chose this cruise to see the Northern Lights & the Faroe Islands. The Northern lights were a bust (not the ship's fault) but the Faroe Islands were mysteriously cancelled by Royal with no explanation. The dining on the ship was so so. Lobster tail only served once on a 16 night cruise and it was served on the same night as prime rib. Breakfast in the Windjammer was great and included (on a rotating basis) crepes, belgian waffles, pancakes & breakfast burritos made to order. The cabins and the ship were clean but nothing special. The staff was friendly for the most part. Afternoon shows on sea days were new & refreshing. You can only spend so much time & money in the casino. One of the slot machines in the casino that I like was broken when we were on this ship in February and it was still broken. We missed the aerial shows in the Centrum. Too many people and you had to be there at least 1 hour to get a standing spot for a 5 minute show. There was a continuing problem with the coffee station outside the Windjammer. It is the only place to get early morning coffee and it was frequently out. When I complained to the food maonager he assured me it would be taken care of but the next morning it was out again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
I do not require a wheelchair or a walker, but I could not deal with all the walking required at the places where we docked. The shore excursion buses were far away from the boat, and I was dripping sweat by the time I got there. In ... Read More
I do not require a wheelchair or a walker, but I could not deal with all the walking required at the places where we docked. The shore excursion buses were far away from the boat, and I was dripping sweat by the time I got there. In Halifax, we were extremely far away from the correct pier and RC claimed they had a shuttle to get us there. WRONG. The shuttle only went half the distance and then we were told to walk. I had to turn around and go back to the ship and saw nothing of Halifax. The dining was not great due to our wait staff -- slow and sullen. The room was great and the entertainment was excellent. I play bridge and the space they gave us in the dining room was totally inadequate -- we were all crammed in together and had trouble moving from table to table. I was also disappointed that they changed the itinerary without notice and did not stop at the Faroe Islands. I also thought the shore excursions were very overpriced and was able to find much better prices with private tour companies who hire retired geology teachers as guides in Iceland. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
Chosen for the interesting-port itinerary, Serenade of the Seas also provided excellent entertainment, informative lectures, great food and very good stateroom service. Can't praise our Entertainment-Cruise Director, Topi, enough! ... Read More
Chosen for the interesting-port itinerary, Serenade of the Seas also provided excellent entertainment, informative lectures, great food and very good stateroom service. Can't praise our Entertainment-Cruise Director, Topi, enough! The shows were the best that I have seen and included a matinee featuring the top performers for a second time. Our quiet, inside, third-floor cabin, 3127, was an superb location because dining was just above on the fourth floor, an easy walk up the carpeted steps. In fact, the Lounge, for the Trivia-game location, Gyro-Pool tables, library/Sudoku, were also conveniently above us on the sixth floor. The only relatively long walk was to the theater, still not bad. Ports: beware of the Hop-On-Hop Off Bus in Reykjavik, Iceland and Halifax, NS, Canada. In Reykjavik, our ticket was purchased at the Information Bldg. The first bus passed us by, even though there were empty seats. Waited and the second bus let us on even though it was packed, so we got off. After waiting over an hour for the next bus, we walked back to the Information Bldg. and were able to get our money back. The Hop On Hop off Bus was worse at Halifax! Charged an outrageous sum of $50 per person, which was paid only because my husband had a pulled muscle and could not walk very far without pain. After a one-hour circuit drive around the city of Halifax, the orator made all of us get OFF the bus because there were three ships in port and lines of people. After the circuit, most of us wanted to stay on and ride to the third stop. Bottom line, it cost us $100 for that one-hour bus ride. And, despite the circumstances we could not get any part of our money back. Of course, If my husband could have stood for an hour or two, we could have gotten on another bus. Beware of the number of ships in the harbor before you pay for a Hop-on Hop-off bus. A highlight at Copenhagen, Denmark is the very beautiful, large Carlsberg Sculpture Museum! It is fascinating, even if you have been to many museums. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
First of all: itinerary was perfect, Copenhagen to Boston with four days in iceland. Ship was clean, but we found traces of poor maintenace on all decks. Nor elevators or stairs in the AFT, quite far away in midship. Most of the staff ... Read More
First of all: itinerary was perfect, Copenhagen to Boston with four days in iceland. Ship was clean, but we found traces of poor maintenace on all decks. Nor elevators or stairs in the AFT, quite far away in midship. Most of the staff seemed to be new and untrained ... especially in the buffet restaurant it needed a couple of days before it worked half-way. Some crew members were kind and exerted, others treated the guests like I would expect it in a marine corps drill. Food and entertainment was very good, organization was a disaster, especially in regards of shore excursions and deembarkation. E.g. they promised to see Puffins on a 150-buck-excursion in Iceland, but the tour guide said that the puffins left 3 weeks before our arrival as every year. Most of the staff envolved in any kind of organisation seemed to be something between bored and uninterested, and many of them have to be called rude in their communication with their customers. I never ever had this kind of experience on my other cruises. My conclusion: I will not travel with Royal Carribean again! Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
The Transatlantic cruise was smoother than I thought with an older ship. The cabin was very clean, just a complaint that on the 7th deck, you cannot see down to the water due to the roof on the lifeboats, which is not designated as even ... Read More
The Transatlantic cruise was smoother than I thought with an older ship. The cabin was very clean, just a complaint that on the 7th deck, you cannot see down to the water due to the roof on the lifeboats, which is not designated as even partially obstructed in the literature - as we were told to look out not down. Also our room was over the "crack" in the roofs so we always had a night light outside our window, making watching the stars a little difficult off the balcony or from the bed. The food was overcooked, but after the entire table complained about tough fish and meat, and not asking for drink orders, the Maitre'd addressed the issue and dinners went smoother, but the food still came out overcooked sometimes. Table also complained of 1 night of lobster out of 16 days, being very tacky. Entertainment was varied and enjoyable, seemed to fit to the older crowd on board. Topi and Aysy (sorry if wrong) need a lot of work on the Morning Show charisma, not there. Best line of Ship entertainment was the misunderstanding of "playing poker" to suggest "relations" - it still makes me giggle. Also, what kids, there were only about 14 on board and we only saw the same 5 or 6 kids the whole time being kids. Disembarkation was an unorganized nightmare with everyone trying to leave at 7:30 am, need a better system then the parade through the dining room to get a happy face on our card. If you explain it is just a parade, folks would have waited their turn as instructed. The ports were nice, we spent less than budgeted, but didn't take ship excursions, too pricey for what you received - so we planned our own excursions. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
We originally booked the TA cruise because we wanted to see Iceland and try a TA. Six months later we decided that is we were flying across the pond we would add the Norway Fjords cruise to it. We enjoyed both locations. Unfortunately ... Read More
We originally booked the TA cruise because we wanted to see Iceland and try a TA. Six months later we decided that is we were flying across the pond we would add the Norway Fjords cruise to it. We enjoyed both locations. Unfortunately because of this addition it was necessary to change cabins mid-cruise. We flew to Helsinki first too see DW’s relatives and then spent 2 days in Copenhagen before cruise. We stayed at Scandic Palace which we enjoyed as it was close to everything. We took a taxi to the port. Checking in was easy and fast at about 11:30 am. Only a couple people ahead of us as we put our luggage on the conveyor belt then in-line to check in and get sea pass cards. Took less than 30 minutes after arrival at port. We went right to Park Café and were able to find a table where we enjoyed lunch and our 1st beverage. Around 1:00 they said cabins were ready. We put our carry-on in cabin and then explored the ship some more. By mid-afternoon the luggage was in the main hallway. We waited a bit to see if the room steward would deliver the bags but soon discovered that we were supposed to get our own if. We brought them to our cabin and unpacked. We had AFT cabin 8672, for 1st leg, then moved next door to AFT 8670 for the TA. We enjoy the AFT cabins and the view. Our room steward finally showed arrived before we left port. When I wasn’t on Deck 12 taking pictures of the fjords, I was on our balcony taking pictures of both sides. We booked our own excursions or just walked around or used the Hop-On – Hop-Off (HOHO) bus at ports. We enjoyed the fjords scenery very much and all the waterfalls in Norway and Iceland. The 4 days in Iceland was very enjoyable and glad we went. Overall we had warm weather and really no rain out days. We were very lucky. We discovered in Iceland that at all the power plants had their own blue lagoon. While not all were available to the public there are other lagoons to use besides the highly advertised ones. The ship was in pretty good shape, there were some areas that needed painting, but the crew was working on that. The cabin and bathroom was what was expected and I found the bed comfortable. The cabin steward was good, he did what we expected and made the towel animals most nights. The maître de in MTD on the port side (Raul) was very slow. We had the same table and tablemates for 24 days, and he never remembered us and had trouble using the computer. The waiter (Neil) was ok but slow, 4 or 5 nights he said sorry but I am very busy tonight. Only half a dozen times did he say what was going on the next day and to have a good evening. The assistant waiter (David) was energetic and good and did his best to take care of us. The 1st week we had a good drink server – who knew what we wanted after a couple days and took care of us. On start of TA he was moved downstairs and his replacement was terrible. Mid-cruise the original drink server came back and things were improved immensely. While the food was ok, we found the menus limited and a lot of repeats, some times dry, same sides, and very little taste (except for excess salt- they used a lot in their cooking). WE DID have lobster on the last formal night of the TA. We ate breakfast in the main dining room most mornings, while good the service was slow. Most lunch’s we ate in Windjammer, and usually shared a table with someone, as it was crowded. I could find a salad and something else to eat, but DW sometimes had trouble. On the 1st leg we did the chefs table (5 courses with wine for $85 each) – said that night would give us 50% off if came back next week, but when booked –said manager would only offer 30 % off. The 6 of us did do it again, as well as we all bought the 3-night dinner package for $75.00 each. We enjoyed the specialty restaurants even if I cooked my own dinner in Izumi on a stone. Went to the Schooner bar before dinner and after some shows for a cocktail, where we found the waitstaff (especially John) and bartenders to very friendly and helpful. Since we are not yet Diamond Level we purchased the drink package (at discount on-line before cruise). I am sure I got my $$ worth, but not sure about DW, but she tried some different drinks and didn’t have to sign receipts. The piano player/singer was good in the evening. We did go to over half the shows and enjoyed the ones we saw. On the sea days they did have one or two talks a day, afternoon shows, as well as trivia, movies etc. DW enjoyed all the trivia. Since this was our 1st TA, DW and I did do the King Neptune event. Hit in the face with a fish, raw eggs broke on top of your head, then spaghetti and sauce poured on you and finally flour. It was messy for us and many others but a lot of fun. The cruise director and his staff did a wonderful job. The only place we really smelled smoke was in the casino when we walked thru after the shows (to avoid back-up in the shops) and a little in the Centrum outside the casino. I did see some smoking on the pool deck. When we arrived in Boston there was a long line for immigration - a 45 minute before they called the 1st group of numbers. We went to Main Dining Room and enjoyed their “slow” breakfast. After breakfast the line was down some. We went back to cabin to pack our carry-off etc. They called our number (19) just before 9am. Went to Main Dining Room for immigration and no line and went thru in less than 5 minutes. People should wait in cabins or designated areas for their turn and not stand in long lines ahead of time. We headed to the theater to wait for our number again but ended up in a line that had us off the ship with our luggage by 9:30 am waiting for our ride to arrive. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
Although I knew the Serenade was an older ship, and I usually cruise on Celebrity, I chose to go on this trip due to the wonderful itinerary..Azores, Le Havre, Brugges, Amsterdam and Copenhagen. This was a 16 day cruise . I was ... Read More
Although I knew the Serenade was an older ship, and I usually cruise on Celebrity, I chose to go on this trip due to the wonderful itinerary..Azores, Le Havre, Brugges, Amsterdam and Copenhagen. This was a 16 day cruise . I was disappointed in the quality of the food. The steak, for example, was filled with gristle, and basically inedible. Croissants were not crisp...you had to ask for shrimp cocktail or salmon as it was not on the menu. Service, however, was excellent both in the Main Dining Room and in the Windjammer. I have done 2 Celebrity transatlantic so and there was always some activity I was interested in. This was not true on this cruise. There was only one so-called Enrichment lecturer, a retired pharmacist , who showed humorous slides about dogs and cAts etc but really was not informative or stimulating. He was also repetitious on a daily basis. The entertainment provided by the Royal Caribbean singers and dancers was excellent. I did not attend the magician, hypnotist and the like. The stores on board had low level, not designer goods. I was not tempted to buy anything. They kept putting out Russian and Baltic cruise leftovers...we were not going there. The ship itself is small with only one bank of elevators near the Centrum...which had inadequate seating, by the way.It is getting shabby with rust and peeling paint evident. The service was good throughout the ship. I especially liked the fact that I didn't feel like they were constantly trying to get me to buy drinks etc, While I enjoyed the itinerary, in the future I would choose Celebrity due to the quality of the food and the Enrichment activities. In my opinion, it's time for the Serenade to sing its last song. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
We chose this cruise basically for the price. It was very LOW!! So low, in fact, I called my Travel Agent to find out if we had to row!. There was a delay in the ship arriving to port so our embarkation was delayed. This led to a very ... Read More
We chose this cruise basically for the price. It was very LOW!! So low, in fact, I called my Travel Agent to find out if we had to row!. There was a delay in the ship arriving to port so our embarkation was delayed. This led to a very bad beginning because the amount of people getting on-board at lunchtime led to no seats in the Windjammer Buffet for lunch as well as problems in replacement of the food offered. We hadn't sailed with RCI for quite a while and I was getting bad vibes right from the start. Basically the ship was fine. Good staff, nice decor, stateroom average, etc. Our transit was really fine. We lucked out with wonderful weather all the way to the Azores. Now I must say that the Captain was fantastic! He alerted the ship that a weather system was approaching so he cut the shore time by a few hours so that he could leave early and get ahead of the storm. This he did, we had a little rain but no bad effects from the sea. We did have issues with the time changes. I know that all the other cruises I have taken they always change the clocks before you go to sleep. No-brainer, that's the way it's always been. NOT HERE! Would you believe that they changed the time at 12 o'clock NOON! You go into the dining room at 12 noon, sit down and BOOM! It's 1:00 PM. OK, they don't throw you out before you finish eating but, if you want to participate in an activity at one o'clock you're screwed. We are Bridge players and the game starts at 2:00PM. If we went to the MDR we had to eat in less than an hour to be able to get into the Bridge Game. If we went to the Windjammer Buffet at 11:30 AM it took away from our morning activities and again, had to look for a table, get our food and get finished quickly. Not a relaxing noon time meal experience. As for our dining experience I would give the Menu 3 stars, our Captain and Waiter 5 stars. The choices on the menu were just average, maybe a bit below. You have your standard "Always available" items, but they were below par. The menu didn't thrill us. Our waiter was from India and I asked him if they had any Indian Cuisine available and they did. The food was fantastic. We had about 4 or 5 dinners off the regular menu, Lambchops, Lobster tails, etc., but for the rest we had great dinners and service. We signed up for another TA cruise, this time from Copenhagen to Boston. I'm going to contact RCI to find out how they are going to handle the time changes going westward in which we would gain an hour, 6 times in total. So if you go into the MDR at 12 Noon to eat lunch do you have to leave for an hour because it becomes 11:00 AM? Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
It was a gift to my husband and i. i had been very i'll the year before. although we did not pay for cruise or air fare, overall extremely expensive. one is constantly bombarded with marketing on ship. spa was a rip off. ... Read More
It was a gift to my husband and i. i had been very i'll the year before. although we did not pay for cruise or air fare, overall extremely expensive. one is constantly bombarded with marketing on ship. spa was a rip off. expensive products are very good and i will continue to use. check them before leaving ship. when i got home, one unopened bottle was empty. cannot get money refunded to credit card. katie and monique were sales people. in their absence, another attendant sold empty bottle for $35. i spent nearly $800. At spa for products taken by tsa. my husband paid for manicure, pedicure. be careful folks!! drink package cost through the ceiling. $850 for one person. Weather foggy, rainy, cold entire trip. no stops or shopping. only in holland. my husband will not travel again. 3-4 different currencies--exchange rip m off plus exchange fees. ft. lauderdale to copenhagen--unfriendly people. dropped of in rain after tour in copenhagen. no taxi would stop, maybe because i an black. They saw me and drove off. my husband is french. stopped for him. Heat in cabin did not work most of 16 days. we slept in coats, sweaters, and all clothes. Upon reaching new york, i was very sick. husband also. Read Less
Sail Date April 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
As luck would have it, this was our second repositioning cruise with RCCL and the same ship - Serenade of the Seas. We were out for 16 days. There is much to be happy about when cruising with Royal Caribbean. Number 1 is the staff, they ... Read More
As luck would have it, this was our second repositioning cruise with RCCL and the same ship - Serenade of the Seas. We were out for 16 days. There is much to be happy about when cruising with Royal Caribbean. Number 1 is the staff, they are accommodating from food service, guest services, stateroom, attendant, head waiter, activities, etc. The ship is easy to navigate but i will never understand the elevator system. On most occasions an empty or less than full elevator would pass us in our selected direction of travel. As a techie, I can only guess that the software is set up to pick an elevator at the time the button is depressed without regard to total availability as to first arrival. A 16 day cruise is a challenge to the kitchen, for sure. That said, the majority of the nights, it proved to be a challenge to find something to eat in the main dining room. Whoever heard of zucchini piccata as a main dish. You get tired of selecting from the Classic menu. Breakfast an lunch were terrific all over the ship, including the dining room. There were 2 nights where there is only one time for entertainment. The late dining crowd grabs the seats and us early diners have to wolf down dinner, trying to get to the theater for a seat. this simply does not work. We had no news stations on the ship but the guest services area had the BBC but it was not broadcast to the rooms. RCCL used to produce a daily newspaper with shorts about your part of the world. No more - gone! For whatever reason, half and half for coffee has become a challenge to the customer to enjoy. There were 4 days that the staff claimed there wasn't any. It had to be on the ship, as the ports of visits do not sell this item. Getting half and half in the dining room has become a challenge, which we noticed for the first time in August 2015 on Navigator of the Seas. Our passports were taken from us for review by the Europeann Union Customs. The problem with this is - No forewarning as a choice to take the cruise. If you want to rent a car or exchange money at a bank, you need a passport. They don't take copies as proof of citizenship. i do not believe that this is an RCCL thing but RCCL with our government need to work this out with the EU. The salad bar in the Windjammer is going down hill with missing crumbled cheese (bleu or gorgonzola), no anchovies. If you want lox in the morning for breakfast, you need to continually ask for it. Our stay in Ponta Delgado was cut short by 5 hours to allow th captain to sail around a bad storm. I support this a 100%. however, the weather was so bad in Ponta Delgado that a tour to see the sights was not possible because of heavy fog and overcast skies. The tours affected should have been cancelled or at least the opportunity to cancel be given to the consumer. I now will book tours off ship. Our phones in our balcony stateroom never functioned to receive messages. The downside was that we had no communication to staff or other rooms. While the staff was aware of the problem for about a 1/3 of the ship, they did not switch to written communication to the cabins. I like RCCL and I like their product but sometime in 2012 or 2013, they changed out key management and have switched to a profitability model. My suggestion is for them to take a look and see how they could do better without sacrificing customer service. The food was the topic of conversation all over the ship. If it weren't for the staff, I would search out another cruise line. The RCCL staff especially guest services and activities, are some of the best in the industry. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
We were booked for 1st dinner seating for a table for 2.  Arrived and told only larger tables available with 10 other guests so we had to switch to 2nd seating.  We experienced extremely slow and inattentive service by our waiter, ... Read More
We were booked for 1st dinner seating for a table for 2.  Arrived and told only larger tables available with 10 other guests so we had to switch to 2nd seating.  We experienced extremely slow and inattentive service by our waiter, Leslie.  We complained to the head waiter twice about our lack of service which included; ice-tea usually empty and having to prompt for refill, Leslie mumbling "ok,ok,ok,ok" when placing our order as if we were inconveniencing him, pepper arrived at the table 1/2 way through and at times when the meal was finished.  Leslie hounded us on the 2nd to last night at dinner to give him a "10" on the survey.  Service had improved after the 1st complaint but 2 days later reverted back which prompted a second complaint which only improved for an additional 2 days which was when the cruise ended.  We received "good" service for 4/16 nights.  Restaurants Operation Manager provided us dinner at Giovanni's one night to help make up for our terrible dinning experience which was a nice gesture and much appreciated.   The Loyalty Ambassador, Ullia, assisted us in getting our 3 missed amenities for being Diamond members.  I spent a lot of time at her desk because whomever was responsible for making sure we received them on formal nights dropped the ball and we had to wait several days for our chef's amenities to arrive.  She also had to coordinate our Welcome Aboard amenity.  She also went out of her way to ensure we received our Diamond pin which we never received when reaching that milestone.  We also experienced problems with my husband's diamond status even after she had updated her system.  She manually added the benefits to each category but some such as the internet didn't show up so we had to stand in the Guest Service line to have the charge reversed.   I was deeply disappointed with our stateroom bathroom cleanliness when we arrived in our stateroom.  Specifically, there was mold on the sink tile, mold in the shower on the doors and bottom lip portion.  I took pictures and would be happy to share them with you if needed. Our stateroom attendant, Alex B., sprayed it but that only removed a small portion of the mold problem.  It should be noted that Alex was the best part of our experience though.  He was very positive, happy, and accommodating.  We went without hot shower water for 2 days.  I called maintenance who supposedly came by to fix it when we were away but upon returning at 2220 hrs it was still ice cold so I placed another call.  Someone came and fixed it after several minutes of troubleshooting.  It was disturbing it took 2 calls to fix the problem. I feel the food quality has been severely downgraded from when I cruised last with RCI.  The food tasted very salty and heavily cream based.  The desserts were heavily mousse based or heavy cream based which lacked variation.  The carrot cake was very good and I wish they served it more than one day.    The Diamond Lounge experience was great although my husband had problems using his card gaining access.  Mario gave him an additional card to access the lounge since it couldn't be loaded to his normal SeaPass card.   The ship had run out of Splenda on the 13th day and said there was no more on board along with lids for the papers cups.   We've spent a good portion of our money with RCI for our cruises and really felt let down by our most recent experience on the Serenade of the Seas and it will take some time for us to even consider RCI in the future.   Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
Overall experience on the cruise was excellent. The Captain and crew were very personable and helpful. The Cruise Director (Carly B.) was fun and energetic, and overall the entertainment was a step above what we have experienced on other ... Read More
Overall experience on the cruise was excellent. The Captain and crew were very personable and helpful. The Cruise Director (Carly B.) was fun and energetic, and overall the entertainment was a step above what we have experienced on other cruises. The shows in the main theater were very good, and the ship's pop band was exceptional, playing everything from easy listening to rock and roll and even threw in some jazz and show tunes. Made for great music in the Centrum and the Schooner Bar where there was more dancing and fun times with karaoake. We dined in the main dining room every evening of the 16-day cruise, and found the food, service and cocktails exceptional. Our dining room servers (Jerome, Pablo, and Octavio) attended to our every need and made for a very personal experience accommodating all special requests without hesitation. We had a group of 12 traveling together, and they were able to seat us all together at one table each night and the service was comparable to that of any upscale restaurant. Our beverage server (Marco) was excellent, and prepared cocktails to perfection, and had a surprise after- dinner specialty drink available every night. We did the buffet for breakfasts and lunches. The buffet had plenty of variety, and the quality was very good. Had cooked-to-order eggs and omelets every day, and the pastries and breads were excellent for breakfast. Lunch included everything from main dishes to sandwiches, burgers, soups and pizza. As with most cruise ships, the 24-hour a day buffet is gone. Most food was done by 9:00 pm, but there was always light sandwiches and a few desserts at the atrium pool til midnight, and room service was available at no charge until midnight, and room service at a small charge all night. The indoor and outdoor pools and Jacuzzis were clean and well-maintained. Jacuzzi was only about 100 deg. F, so it was comfortably warm but not a "hot tub". I found this understandable for health concerns trying to accommodate such a wide range of passenger ages. Steam rooms were plenty hot. Fitness center was well-equipped, with plenty of classes available for a fee. Zumba type class available poolside every morning at no charge. We booked most of our excursions through Royal Caribbean, but had mixed experiences. Our first excursion was in the Azores Islands and was a terrible experience. Our time in the Azores was cut short because the Captain made the decision to leave 3 hours early due to a storm brewing. This was a good decision as we avoided some pretty rough seas. However, we paid for an excursion that was to include a tour of a pineapple plantation and a view of Fire Lake (a main attraction on the island). The tour of of the pineapple plantation consisted of a short narrative about pineapples while we were on the bus, and then being dropped off for 20 minutes in the gift shop of the pineapple plantation. We were then hurried onto the bus for a drive up a very narrow and winding road to the top of the mountain to view Fire Lake. The problem was that about two thirds of the way up the fog was so thick that the visibility was so bad you could not even see the sides of the road. The bus driver had to go so slow that by the time we got back down to the bottom, there was no time left to go into town or shop. Several passengers on the bus were concerned for their safety because the visibility was so bad on the bus. This excursion should have been cancelled. Certainly the bus driver knew, or should have known, that the fog was so bad on the top of the mountain before we went up. We believe it was poor judgement to take a bus full of people up that narrow winding road with visibility so bad. Even though we expressed our concerns, Royal Caribbean refused to issue any credit or refund. We also experienced a problem on our excursion to Bruges, Belgium. We scheduled a Walking Tour of Bruges through Royal Carribbean. The guide that was assigned to us had such a weak voice that you could not hear her among the group of 20 people that was on our tour, and she had no amplification system. Our group consisted of all people over 60 years old, and many of them had a hard time walking as fast as the tour guide. The tour guide would start talking about points of interest before the majority of the group arrived at each point of interest which meant that we learned nothing from her presentation. The tour was very long, and several people had requested bathroom breaks along the way, but the guide never directed anyone to a bathroom. The guide finally told us that there would be bathrooms at the Market Place, but this was the very last stop on the tour, and all of the bathrooms were in restaurants and only available to paying customers of the restaurants. The canal ride was the highlight of the tour, and you should try to schedule a boat ride on your own. Bruges, Belgium is a beautiful little historic town and is well worth exploring, but can easily be done on your own. Our son and his wife were there 3 days after we were, but not on a cruise ship. They toured Bruges on their own and had a delightful time exploring the the intimacies of Bruges. Transportation from the port to the center of Bruges is available for around 5 Euros. Our Walking Tour of Bruges through Royal Caribbean was a total waste of time, and worse than that, denied us the ability to explore this beautiful European village. We did have good experiences on our excursions of Blarney Castle and a Lunch Cruise of Paris, both organized through Royal Caribbean. Both of these excursions lived up to how they were presented, and were well worth taking. In spite of our problems with two of the excursions outlined above, the cruise itself was wonderful. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
We made the northern transatlantic crossing, starting in Copenhagen. Ports of Call were Oslo and Kristiansand, Norway, the Faroe Islands, Denmark, 3 days in Iceland, Halifax, Canada and ending up in Port Liberty N.Y. We know the ships ... Read More
We made the northern transatlantic crossing, starting in Copenhagen. Ports of Call were Oslo and Kristiansand, Norway, the Faroe Islands, Denmark, 3 days in Iceland, Halifax, Canada and ending up in Port Liberty N.Y. We know the ships class very good, because Serenade was the last of this class for us. We travelled the Brilliance, Radiance and Jewel before and it´s our favorite ships class. It´s perfect also for crossings, when the weather is like we had, terrible. We had a lot of wind, a lot of high waves, a lot of seasick people, lot of rain and fog on sea and in ports of call. But also a lot of fun, especially with some very nice CC members. The ship was better than we expected. But some parts have to be refurbished asap. Some tables, chairs and carpets were not acceptable. Some chairs in the dining room had to be changed, before they broke down during a dinner or lunch. But food was very good, especially in the dining room for lunch and dinner. Breakfast in Windjammer was good, but lunch was under average, too cold, overcooked, not so many choices. The total opposite to the offers in the evening. Dubbel as much choices than for lunch, stations for fresh grilled meat or fish, Wok-station. Really good and a wonderful Chef Joseph from India. The overall experience with the crew were wonderful. Lots of friendly and polite crewmembers, we had so many nice conversations. We loved the staff from the R-Bar in the Atrium. Unfortunately the musicians were playing almost every evening the same repertoire. Although they were good, a pianist, a duett, a bulgarian band and a gitarrist. We only saw one production show, which we did not like. The african american female singer was really good and the others just average. The choreographie was good, but the songs were not a good choice. Theys had a survey after the first 7 days and reacted 24 hours after reading it and reacted very fast on the things, we wrote down. The Crown&Anchor lady did her job not very well. Most of Diamond and higher members did receive only some invitations to the special events. We were wondering about certificates and a glasmodell of the Serenade, we got on our cabin. We thanked an officer during a wonderful CC lunch for this and heard, that we missed the event the evening before, where many people were called to receive it from the Captain. But only half of the people were invited and of course did not show up. The Concierges of the Diamond lounge did a good job, also the waiters during Social Hours. Overall it was a good but overpriced cruise. For the same price we could have done two other crossings. By the way, it was our 38th cruise, 12 with RCCL. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
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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