32 Royal Caribbean Serenade of the Seas Transatlantic Cruise Reviews

We chose this cruise because of the stops in Iceland and Greenland, so the other ports were a bonus. The ports were good overall, but I would look carefully at the excursions offered from the cruise line and investigate ones on your own. ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the stops in Iceland and Greenland, so the other ports were a bonus. The ports were good overall, but I would look carefully at the excursions offered from the cruise line and investigate ones on your own. We used Saga tours for tours in Iceland and Greenland. They did a good job overall, they were with small groups and we enjoyed that. The only problem is make sure if you use them in Greenland for a trip to the glacier that you get a guarantee of size of boat, that it is covered for ALL passengers, and that there are accommodations that allow for viewing for all passengers. We didn't, and they tried sending 4 large people in a boat that was meant for two people inside the "cabin area - the pilot and one other) with the rest of everyone outside. When is it drizzly weather being stuffed under the console was not a pleasant experience - we had to have the pilot return to port as we feared someone was going to crack their head open on the console when the pilot picked up speed. Regarding the shore excursions with Royal Caribbean, they were okay. They didn't offer anything outstanding but they weren't awful either. They did have a big problem in getting people off the ship when we tendered in Shetland, Scotland. Our private tour was delayed two hours because of it, we were unable to get to the southern part of the island as a result. The big thing to watch for is cabin location. We weren't able to self select the cabin, and were assigned 3610 - average size with a nice sized window. The major PROBLEM was it is over the engines - we had a constant hum to whine the entire trip. You could tell how fast the ship was going by the sound of the engines. For two nights there was a horrible sound that reminding me of an anchor being pulled up, it clanked and rolled. The food is average, but the waitresses and waiters were top notch. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Service staff in general are hard-working, cheerful, and concerned about providing a pleasant trip. We found some managers less thoughtful, sometimes uninterested. There were stupid mistakes like running out of Purell and not being able to ... Read More
Service staff in general are hard-working, cheerful, and concerned about providing a pleasant trip. We found some managers less thoughtful, sometimes uninterested. There were stupid mistakes like running out of Purell and not being able to find a spare for over 2 hours- that's a managerial error. Moving the dispenser is not a solution. F&B staff should check the coffee machine before Diamond cocktail hour begins. It happens every day, so why don't they learn. Everywhere on the ship the sound system was too loud, especially in the evenings. We went to the "service" desk, but no one ever changed the volume or to our knowledge, even checked. It drove us out of the bars and lounges and when I explained that to mgmt, someone just laughed. The guests were walking around in outdoor jackets and scarves, they didn't reduce the air-conditioning, so we went back to our rooms where we could control the temperature. Food was great and beautifully presented. Chefs and servers were uniformly friendly and informative. Many of the common areas could use a little touch-up paint. One customer stated that the boat had been ridden hard over the years and needed some TLC. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
Chose this cruise as the ports of call were on our list of locations we wanted to visit. We found the excursions were overpriced through the cruise ship and could be obtained for significantly less in the locations themselves. We also ... Read More
Chose this cruise as the ports of call were on our list of locations we wanted to visit. We found the excursions were overpriced through the cruise ship and could be obtained for significantly less in the locations themselves. We also found that the dining room experience has dropped in its attractiveness as the food in the main dining room and the buffet area was good but not up to the standard we were expecting from Royal Caribbean. Some of the meals were bland and rather tasteless, the buffet area was not kept very clean by the waiters. The dining experience in the paid restaurants was excellent and the service was wonderful, however, it appears that the cruise line is trying to capture more money by lowering the quality of the regular dining experience and getting you to pay additional to get the better experience. In our opinion, they have let the quality drop too much. It is the first cruise that I have heard so many negative comments about the dining experience. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
I like longer cruises, partly because embarkation and disembarkation are my least favorite aspects of cruising, but also because it offers more opportunity to meet other cruisers. I like transatlantic/transpacific cruises, because they ... Read More
I like longer cruises, partly because embarkation and disembarkation are my least favorite aspects of cruising, but also because it offers more opportunity to meet other cruisers. I like transatlantic/transpacific cruises, because they minimize the jet lag inherent with airplane travel. I also like visiting different ports than I have seen before, as this cruise itinerary did. I prefer staying in a port more than one night, as this cruise did. I'd actually prefer to stay in each port two nights. In order to get a more complete feeling for each destination, it is good to be there in the evening, instead of sailing away. When I'm at sea for several days, its all about the ship experience, but when I'm in a port, its all about the local culture! Boarding the ship in Copenhagen, we left the hotel at 10:15 a.m. and were sitting by the pool drinking coffee at 10:50 a.m. I've never had such a smooth boarding experience. Our junior suite (1598) was spacious, and it was very nice to have a balcony even in the cool and rainy North Atlantic. Entertainment was not as spectacular as on previous RCI cruises. The food was not exceptional, but there were the usual wide choices and everything was really very good. As always, service was impeccable. The fitness area was kept too warm to facilitate a good workout, unless sweating without effort was the goal. We took two RCI shore excursions, and although they were on big busses, they were well planned, we could t hear the guide, and did not a feel like we were being herded like cattle. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
We chose this cruise because of it's stops in Iceland. We have been to the other countries which were very nice. The Serenade is in good shape for it's age and the overall cruise was average but cutbacks are everywhere. They only ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of it's stops in Iceland. We have been to the other countries which were very nice. The Serenade is in good shape for it's age and the overall cruise was average but cutbacks are everywhere. They only supply one bar of soap at a time in the bathroom. The Hair conditioner and lotion are only given to Crown & Anchor Members who have over 350 points. A 15 night cruise with no lobster being served, it was substituted with a few large size shrimp that were listed on the menu as Jumbo Prawns.Lets hope these cutbacks and others are not going fleetwide. Service was good and entertainment was good to bad. The assistant cruise director had a show of her own one night singing James Bond tunes. She was so bad people were walking out. There were many nice people onboard and we still had a great time. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
OUR GROUP: Three senior couple (65-71) traveling together during Hurricane Harvey hitting Houston as we boarded (late August) and Florida as we exited in Boston. Our 3rd cruise with the same group having done a Princess and Celebrity ... Read More
OUR GROUP: Three senior couple (65-71) traveling together during Hurricane Harvey hitting Houston as we boarded (late August) and Florida as we exited in Boston. Our 3rd cruise with the same group having done a Princess and Celebrity earlier. We felt of the 3 Celebrity was the premium product. All cruises were great experiences and we are happy to have done these with good friends. Our nightly dining at the MDR table for six offers many fond memories on all three cruises. One couple from WA state the other two from Phoenix. ITINERARY: Transatlantic - Copenhagen to Boston 26 August to 10 Sept. Two Norway stops, two Iceland stops, 5 sea days, a stop in Halifax and finally Boston. GETTING FROM PHOENIX TO THE SHIP IN COPENHAGEN In order to break up the long uncomfortable plane ride from Phoenix we have begun doing an overnight en route, this time flying PHX-DEN-YYZ (Toronto). Six hours total flight time with connections on United. Overnight at Fairfield Inn near the airport, our 2nd time with them. They offer a 24 hour free shuttle and free breakfast, nice rooms and reasonable, especially with the currency difference. Though the Toronto airport seemed very busy from curb to gate took 45 minutes. Fairfield also allowed a late checkout the next day as we flew Air Canada non stop to Copenhagen the next evening - 6 hours, 45 mins flight time arriving next day in Copenhagen. Customs and bag claim went well, we changed terminals to catch our shuttle to the CPH hotel, the Crowne Plaza near the airport, arriving 11am Danish time. They allowed early check in so this was great as well after no sleep overnight. Though not downtown this hotel is quiet and nice and reasonable as well and a short walk away from the Fields shopping center where there is shopping and many dining options plus there is a metro stop to get downtown at the center as well. The next day there was a shuttle from hotel to the Oceankaj terminal, took about 40 minutes and was under $20 USD each, hard to beat to get to the ship. THE SHIP AND CRUISE EMBARK: Oceankaj Terminal - we arrived about 1 PM, 45 minutes in line to get on board, once on board our room was available. Our Room: Oceanview 4th deck, front of ship right side. Room was quiet, 2 single beds placed together, comfortable, room temperature adjustable and good. Mini bar in room gone, entire fridge available; we brought soda and wine onboard. This floor was good as straight back was MDR each evening, theater was 1 floor up at the front. Found we used elevators very little being on deck four. DINING: MDR all but three nights, 530 PM traditional dining at our table for six. Windjammer for breakfast and lunch. Did do reflections a couple times for lunch and one specialty restaurant-Giovanni’s for lunch for $15 each - very good service and food with waiter Sandra. MDR menu weak this cruise - food variety and quality and waiter service with Reggie and Csaba inconsistent. Veggies and desserts weak. Three formal nights and they did nothing special for the formal nights; in the past I remember a better menu on these nights. PASSENGERS: 2100 with 1600 from US. Heavy load of Diamond and up; Diamond, Diamond Plus and Pinnacle were almost ½ of the entire passenger load. LAUNDRY: As Emerald we got a $5 off coupon for a bag of laundry so $34.99 minus $5 but what can be included is limited to underwear,socks etc, no big items but this was very helpful. PORTS: Always arrived and departed on time. Oslo - could have used more time here; only 8 hours. Kristiansand: 8-5; less time here. Reykjavik, Iceland 8-5pm - about right. Akureyri, Iceland 10-8, less time here, but coming here allowed us to cross the Arctic Circle. Halifax 8-5pm - been here several times but is a good stop. EVENING THEATER SHOWS: Had a good variety but for the most part to us seemed to be 2nd tier. They have cut the budget here or they need to spend more to provide a little more top notch entertainment, at least on a few nights. Once nice thing about their theater is the seats are large and comfortable - please retain these CASINO: 185 total slots - compared to Princess these were generous and a good number of small initial bet slots available. Also had blackjack and roulette. OTHER ACTIVITIES: A fairly good selection of things to do, especially on the 5 consecutive sea days - we regularly played dice games with our friends and the time went quickly. We were regular trivia players and even won several times. Also had exercise classes, enrichment lectures, craft making so I think most people would be happy with the options available to keep busy and entertained. WEATHER ON THE CRUISE: We were concerned about the 5 sea days crossing the North Atlantic to Halifax and wondered about the seas. We experienced no more than 8’ swells, usually were 4 or 5 feet. No sea sickness in our group. Did have fog a day or two during the crossing. Iceland had some sun, some clouds, some misty rain but was 50’s most of the time and very welcome to us from Phoenix. Halifax was about 75, sunny almost warm, Boston was 65 or so on disembarking, sunny and brisk. Really very good weather all around for us. DISEMBARKATION: We were to dock at 600am in Boston, right on time. They decided to bring the customs officials on board to clear us then we would exit. We signed up for express walk off & were suppose to be done by 630am. The custom people got on at 610 and did not see any passengers till 630. So we waited in line from 545 am to 635 am, got our luggage then got into another line from 650 until 800am when they finally cleared us for departure; so over 2 hours standing in two lines. Finally got a cab at 815 am for the four of and were at Logan in 10 minutes for $35.00 total. Our flight was at 9:20 am on SW and we could have made it but the flight was late so we did not leave until 1050 am. It was 10 minutes to the airport because it was a Sunday morning - early Sunday - and airport was not busy. Hard to believe we could exit the ship at 820 and make a 920 flight. This would not be possible on a Mon through Friday. We normally use express walk off and have never run into a delay like this - by far our worst disembark experience with RCL. ON BOARD BOOKING: They have re-done some of the features of this program and eliminated our $100 per person deposit which was one of our favorites. Also have gone to a refundable - non refundable fare and made other changes. We have found these to be very customer unfriendly and do not like the changes. All three couples booked on board but booked Celebrity as they still retain the old RCL onboard booking features, like the $100 deposit - hopefully Celebrity will not adopt the RCL program. MOST IRRITATING: During the day and night there always seemed to be loud music going in the centrum, entertainment, exercise, whatever. They have located the next cruise office, the customer service office and the internet right at the centrum so as we tried to book our on board Celebrity cruise we had to shout back and forth with their agent to hear one another. Please - move these 3 functions to a quiet place or move the loud centrum music to elsewhere - this is a horrible placement of these offices. DRINKS ON BOARD: Most mixed drinks were a flat $12 + 18% tip - this is too high. We avoided it by buying the drink of the day or using a punch card. Wine was more reasonable but not by much. Bear in mind you can bring 2 bottles of wine on board so that is what we did and was a good savings. 12 ounce cokes were almost $4.00 each total individually priced. OVERALL - we all felt the ship had slipped a little in quality, especially in the MDR for the evening meal. There were many things to like and enjoy - being with friends on the ocean with a beautiful sunset is something you cannot enjoy on many other vacation venues. No matter what happens to the other aspects of the cruise that is an aspect that is hard to top. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
I have to preface this review by saying the crew did an excellent job. Very friendly, courteous and did very well with what they had to work with. We have cruised several times with other cruise lines such as Princess and Norwegian. ... Read More
I have to preface this review by saying the crew did an excellent job. Very friendly, courteous and did very well with what they had to work with. We have cruised several times with other cruise lines such as Princess and Norwegian. Multiple times with Princess. The cruise itinerary included Norway, Iceland, Halifax and ending in Boston. After Iceland there was a 5 day at sea schedule that just didn't do it for us. It might have been different on a ship that actually had things to do but Serenade of the Seas provided lackluster entertainment and on board activities were mediocre at best. Definitely not worth calling it a 15 day cruise. But, we knew the itinerary before we signed up. Now on Princess Cruises we normally cruise around our anniversary and Princess (like all the cruise lines do) asked if we were celebrating anything. We told them it was our anniversary and when we walked into our cabin for the first time there was a nice little cake, champagne and balloons for the occasion. But Royal Caribbean? Nothing! The only time they recognized our anniversary were on invitations to buy things. Like the Spa. "Come celebrate your day" "buy this" "blah blah blah". Also mediocre was the food. We signed up for "my time" dining and some nights were better than others but for the most part, very mediocre. Whatever they served in the main dining room they also served in the cafeteria. Some nights we just went to the cafeteria and ate. And it seemed the "chefs" for the main dining room couldn't cook a steak (supposed to be a NY Strip???) to save their lives. One night I asked for medium rare and it was cooked well done. Another night I asked for medium rare and it was barely cooked. Very raw inside. One night we decided to go to Chops Grill. I ordered a filet and it was perfect. $35 more but it was worth it. Also, we choose inside cabins now. No need for a window when you're sleeping. But everyone has their needs. We loved Iceland and Norway which is the primary reason we went on this cruise. But I'll never do a cruise with more than 1 day in between ports. We rented a car in some ports while others were paying a premium to be led around seeing the same excursions and being told what to look for, what to look at, when to go here when to get on the bus.... We were able to take our time and go where we wanted and see things that most didn't get to. Who pays for a "walking tour"? In summary, Food (especially deserts) were very mediocre. The ship provided acts that were dismal. I'll give you an example....they had a ABBA tribute band that knew the songs but sounded nothing like ABBA. It was ok but no one would pay to go see an act like that. On board activity extremely boring. Most of the passengers were of retirement age and probably enjoyed sitting and reading and taking naps. I have to say again, the crew was very friendly and courteous throughout the voyage. We may cruise again but not with Royal Caribbean. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
This was our 2nd TransAtlantic, our 1st was with Celebrity. Difference was striking! Royal used to be our favorite cruise line (we're Diamond Plus status) but they have really gone downhill. Cutting corners at every opportunity, even ... Read More
This was our 2nd TransAtlantic, our 1st was with Celebrity. Difference was striking! Royal used to be our favorite cruise line (we're Diamond Plus status) but they have really gone downhill. Cutting corners at every opportunity, even down to eliminating shampoo. How ridiculous! Waitstaff was superb, but obviously running at breakneck pace due to staffing cuts. This led to frequent mistakes and collisions. Enrichment lectures were a joke. The only speaker worth attending was Dr Fischer, the other two were worthless. Some jerk who was totally unorganized and unprepared, babbling about Chinese facial expression reading and the Golden Globe Awards, and a former anchorwoman who was an egomaniac and almost broke her arm patting herself on the back about the great job she did with the Macon Police Department. In the theater the projection system was totally out of focus and slides were completely unreadable. A twenty-dollar projection system on a multi-million-dollar ship? And the AV system in the Safari Club didn't work, so that room was rendered useless for enrichment lectures and other such events. Food was great and staff was friendly but overworked in crowded conditions. Ship needs maintenance, which is taking place in November so hopefully all will be clean and working after that. Thanks, RCCL, it was fun while it lasted. We'll stick with Azamara and Celebrity in the future. And Oceania, Regent and Viking Ocean are looking better all the time! Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
We chose the cruise for the ports. Copenhagen was a great city to sail from. Tivoli Gardens is a gem. Oslo and the fiords of Norway were pleasant. Iceland is so unique that there is nothing the can be done to ruin the experience, even ... Read More
We chose the cruise for the ports. Copenhagen was a great city to sail from. Tivoli Gardens is a gem. Oslo and the fiords of Norway were pleasant. Iceland is so unique that there is nothing the can be done to ruin the experience, even when the ship docks far from the city and the bus fare is very high. The Blue Lagoon was touristy and so worth a visit. All went well up to the Transatlantic crossing. Weather was sub optimal - cold and rainy and activities and entertainment were mediocre, often single one-off performers i.e. ventriloquists, magicians, that were second or third tier. Production shows were limited and the cast was enthusiastic but not terribly talented. Movies were recent but not hits and seating in the theater required advance tickets for the few popular shows. There were often one show a night equally inconvenient for early or late dining and totally inaccessible for anytime dining. Each day was an adventure which made it difficult to schedule dinner and show. We gave up on the shows because of the lack of quality. Overall service on the ship was adequate,except for Guest Services (a misnomer) and Specialty restaurants. Guest Services had no authority to reverse charges or correct reservations, requiring having to deal with each individual restaurant. They were useless in working out any problems. I'm not sure why there were even there. Food and service was most lacking at Giovanni's table. Our meal had to be sent back for being over cooked and pasta dishes went untouched - risotto hard and gorgonzola gnocchi was like lead and laking any flavor. Our wine selection was mislabeled as Amarone on the wine list and when the bottle was presented the label said valpolicella. Our waited tried to justify the mistake by saying the valpolicella was a "baby Amarone" rather than admit the error on the menu, We bought a dinner package, yet was charged full price for the specialty meal. We were promised a correction. Never happened. After speaking with the manager about out concerns about the meal, I'm not convinced this was not an intentional oversight, We found the Asian Restaurant to be a welcome change in cuisine from the monotonous main dining room menu. The sushi was fine, not outstanding. But totally different from the MDR. Nothing that was served in the MDR was bad, just uninspired and routine. Quality, Spicing and Flavor left a lot to be desired. Lunch was particularly boring as they repeated menus. Been there eaten that. We ended up eating in the Windjammer because we could control our selections and have more variety in food type and quantity. The ship was well maintained and easy to navigate. The trouble was during sea days there was little to do. Because of the weather, finding a quiet space indoor to read was difficult as the Centrum is used from game shows to dance classes and the sound travels around the ship. The Safari Lounge was closed frequently for special events and game shows. Balcony cabin on deck 8 was ample. Lots of storage and a terrific steward. Bed an pillows were not plush but comfortable enough. One disturbing part of the cruise was fellow passengers. Over half the passengers were the top two tier levels of Royal Carribbean Crown and Anchor Society. They were demanding and expected special services. The majority of the passengers were American and elderly. Often the ship felt like a floating nursing home. As well as a petri dish as an upper respiratory virus was rampant throughout the ship. Perhaps the worst was disembarkation. We elected to leave early and waited in a line that ran the whole length of the 5th deck from 5:45 till 7 AM for customs clearance inside the ship. It didn't;t help that customs was over 20 minutes late. Long lines without chairs or water or coffee. Then when we left the ship in Boston, we stood wrapped around the outside deck for another hour till the ship was cleared by customs. Again there were no chairs, no water of coffee and protection from the cold Boston morning. We were never given the option to remain inside the ship. There was little communication of what was happening. What a mess! It was the worst disembarkment we've ever experienced. Overall not a pleasant cruise or experience. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
Iceland is a very popular destination so we wanted to check it out. Done it and not impressed. If you had seen Niagara falls then the waterfalls in Iceland has nothing to brag about. The geysers are puny compared to the geysers in New ... Read More
Iceland is a very popular destination so we wanted to check it out. Done it and not impressed. If you had seen Niagara falls then the waterfalls in Iceland has nothing to brag about. The geysers are puny compared to the geysers in New Zealand and even the geysers in Yellowstone. What a mess it was in Copenhagen, the transfer from the airport to the port was totally disorganized. There was no one to greet the passengers or to direct us where to wait for our transfer. When we finally found a representative she directed us to a space in the terminal with no seats available and had to wait over an hour for the buses to be loaded. The disembarkation was a total disaster. Guests who opted to do the express (lagging their own luggage) were instructed to clear immigration at 6AM, didn't get close to seeing the immigration till 7 AM then we were herded to the outside deck on 5 and left there to wait and wait. We must have waited in the cold for almost an hour and a half. No one was told what was the delay. A lot of us missed our flights. We had a 10 AM flight that we almost missed. Until today no one from RCCL has said anything about the delay. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
Many years ago I had my first and last cruise on Royal C. -- an unpleasant one. Since then I've become a fan of Holland America and Celebrity, so most of my baseline in writing this review will reference those experiences. We ... Read More
Many years ago I had my first and last cruise on Royal C. -- an unpleasant one. Since then I've become a fan of Holland America and Celebrity, so most of my baseline in writing this review will reference those experiences. We always travel in suites; on this occasion we were in what is termed an Owner's Suite. POSITIVES: Gorgeous vessel Excellent room (suite). VERY well serviced and maintained during our 16 day stay (thank you, Amos!) Internet service: the best I've experienced at sea. Well run Lounge for suite passengers NEGATIVES: The Food -- MDR in particular has been well below expectation. Had 2 meals in specialty restaurants - both forgettable. The cafeteria was also average at best. This line is not for those who enjoy fine dining as an essential component of cruising, IMO. The Boarding Process -- the slowest I've ever experienced, despite "suite priority". In addition, when I asked for priority in getting off at one port where we had a tight time frame, I was told it was not available. Main Showroom: Very average -- we stopped attending after the first week. Little Things: No complimentary champagne in room on check-in, no notepad/pen, no ice until requested. No spare blanket for use on patio, etc. No stock in minibar. No complimentary dinners in premium restaurants. NET, NET: IMHO, A great vessel that does not provide the same quality food, or the same "Suite extras" as do competing cruise lines. We will not be sailing on Royal Caribbean again. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
I love the sea days found on Transatlantics and many of the ports on their itineraries are wonderful, too. As the Radiance class ship is unquestionably my favorite class of ship, I was pleased to give the Serenade of the Seas a try on a ... Read More
I love the sea days found on Transatlantics and many of the ports on their itineraries are wonderful, too. As the Radiance class ship is unquestionably my favorite class of ship, I was pleased to give the Serenade of the Seas a try on a recent Eastbound Transatlantic. The Fort Lauderdale boarding procedure was perhaps the worst or nearly worst I have ever encountered. Loved the layout of the ship as I had expected. Was very disappointed that as a diamond plus, I was unable to use the concierge lounge as I had been able to use on many of the ships before this trip. Do understand that there were a large number of high level loyalty members aboard so I understand the numbers factor but the concierge lounge was frequently nearly empty. As a solo traveler (now a widow) I appreciate having a bar seat available to use...It is daunting to enter a room with groups and couples and have to ask if you can join a group. A lounge with bar seats is much more relaxing way to meet unfamiliar people than seats around a small table. The Diamond plus "spill over lounge" in the Vortex had a bar but it was not available to the Diamond plus members unless we used the voucher system so very few of us used it. Also there were not enough available seats in the designated roped-off area. Very poor advanced planning by the Royal corporate staff that is aware of the ever growing Transatlantic loyalty lemmings. I did use the diamond lounge in the Safari Club as it had 2 bars - a great and welcoming staff of bartenders and waiters - as did many of the diamond plus cruisers. The venue certainly lacked the ambience of the water views that the upper decks hold, but it was an enjoyable and spacious room. The lowering of a once-quality food standard in dining room is certainly noticed and frequently discussed. Very few seeded rolls available, quality of the meat selections has dropped significantly, soups once a source of pride is now only passable - watered down versions of the past delicious varieties. So many once enjoyed amenities are now history. There is no lack of money to publish fancy ads for art auctions, future cruise bookings and shop promotions, however, to keep the trash can overflowing. I would like to commend most of the shipboard staff. Their cooperation and helpfulness was ever present and mostly outstanding. Corporate cutbacks make it much harder for the staff to do their job, when the cruisers are disappointed and disgruntled by not having their expectations met. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
My wife and I have cruised approximately 50 times with major cruise lines. Over half those cruises were with Princess, second most with RCCL and the remainder with the various major cruise lines. With the completion of this voyage we ... Read More
My wife and I have cruised approximately 50 times with major cruise lines. Over half those cruises were with Princess, second most with RCCL and the remainder with the various major cruise lines. With the completion of this voyage we have had 107 sea days on RCCL. In my opinion RCCL management policies have now begun to sacrifice passengers' overall on board experience in favor of crew. For example time change due to changing time zones occurred at noon rather than late night. This among other things caused overcrowding in the Windjammer by reducing the period open for lunch by one hour. I would like to know if time is extended at noon on west bound voyages. My guess is no. Show times were poor. First show began at 9:00 PM, if you were to arrive after 8:30 chances are you would not find seats together. After several attempts we gave up trying for the early show. Second show began at 10:45 PM, which is a little late when dinner is at 6:00. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
Wanted to cruise to Europe instead of flying.Sounded a lot of fun to get to Europe this way. More relaxed and entertaining.Serenade of the Seas is an old ship.need refurbishing urgently!!!! I will not book it again until it is. The ... Read More
Wanted to cruise to Europe instead of flying.Sounded a lot of fun to get to Europe this way. More relaxed and entertaining.Serenade of the Seas is an old ship.need refurbishing urgently!!!! I will not book it again until it is. The cabin was small, the furniture frayed, the glass in the balcony always dirty,the shower had mold. The social areas were OK but not up to RCI standards. The floors were we danced frequently dirty so very difficult to dance... you got glued to the floor! The food in my timind great. the Windjamer satisfactory same goes for the Park Cafe.. Our waiter, Wilmer excellent, assistant waiter Jack ,hostess Rodi, suprevisor Dhanish and steward Peter all very good. The hot tubs always too hot to enjoy, except in the solarium but then again to enclosed and it smelled o clorox so difficult to use. The price not accordingly to quality. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
Have been on 3 Royal Caribbean Cruises. Took almost an hour to board the ship. Cabin was neat and clean but had noise issues that they could not repair. The wood panels in the back of the room at the head of the bed would rub and make a ... Read More
Have been on 3 Royal Caribbean Cruises. Took almost an hour to board the ship. Cabin was neat and clean but had noise issues that they could not repair. The wood panels in the back of the room at the head of the bed would rub and make a loud creaking noise. This would wake us at night. Maintenance tried to repair it but the noise would only go away for a few days. There were pipes rattling that sounded like someone was knocking on your door. This was repaired and the noise never came back. The entertainment was high school performers lever with the exception of the Royal Caribbean Singers and Dancers. These performers put on an outstanding show and were very talented. The ship only has three hot tubs not enough for 2500 guests. The main dining room food was good but nothing exceptional. It was also very noisy and you hard a very hard time hearing the person across the table. The Windjammer cafe food was sometimes better than the main dining room. However, the deserts were mainly cupcakes. Missed going to France because of a Pilot Harbor Strike. They diverted us to Dover England. The staff worked very hard to provide alternate shore excursions and transportation. The did an excellent job on a very short notice. Disembarkation was a total disaster. Most people had to wait almost two hours for a taxi. We were standing in line the whole time. This did not bother our legs then but cut the day short later on. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
I am a diabetic and the first 4 or 5 days of the cruise, they did not have any pastries on the buffet that were sugar free. I actually had to ask. Had to get our own coffee and juice in the morning and if you asked someone, it as like them ... Read More
I am a diabetic and the first 4 or 5 days of the cruise, they did not have any pastries on the buffet that were sugar free. I actually had to ask. Had to get our own coffee and juice in the morning and if you asked someone, it as like them doing you a favor. Cleaning off the tablws was a real chore. I also was charged $2250 on my credit card (not my sea card) for a reason I am still questioning and RC ould not help me solve the problem. Customer Service is non existant Dining room was excellent for dinner. Waiter and assistant were awesome. Serenity room in the spa which I paid extra for was not working properly for the first couple of days. Wanted Styrofoam cup to bring coffee to the room and was told they had no more available for that day. Overall service from Royal Caribbean has gone down hill. Never had this before. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
like cruising TA because you can relax and get in the mood for European ports. however, this cruise was not the best for royal or the best we have ever taken on royal. embarkation was the pits. finally made diamond plus. had to wait in ... Read More
like cruising TA because you can relax and get in the mood for European ports. however, this cruise was not the best for royal or the best we have ever taken on royal. embarkation was the pits. finally made diamond plus. had to wait in line for well over an hour to get checked. no priority boarding for DP. collected passports for the first time which slowed the process. got on board and got to use the DP lounge for the first time ever only to find a sign on the door, suite guests and pinnacle guests only. let me get this straight, if you were a first time cruiser suite guest you got more benefit than a Diamond Plus guest that has spent probably more than $90,000 to get that privilege. now with the new non refundable and change fee policy, there is no advantage to cruising with RCCL any longer. so if you book early on a cruise a year in advance and 6 months later decide for whatever reason to change your cruise or upgrade to a better cabin, royal will charge you a $100 per person change fee. they stated that's what Carnival does, so if carnival runs aground, rccl will do it to? they are the reasons i don't sail on carnival. back to the cruise, got to Copenhagen. disembarkation was fine but there was a total lack of cab or other transportation to get into the city. wait time for a cab was almost 2 hours. when you walk with a cane and travel with friends who have a walker it causes problems. it seems royal could ease that problem but chose to blame it on the port of Copenhagen. i rest my case, time to cruise elswhere. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
Good value but there is a visible difference in how they treat new cruisers vs diamond/gold members. So, for example every afternoon they had cocktails In the public bar that others could not enter. The theater had seats reserved for gold ... Read More
Good value but there is a visible difference in how they treat new cruisers vs diamond/gold members. So, for example every afternoon they had cocktails In the public bar that others could not enter. The theater had seats reserved for gold members and a lounge room in the Vortex area for diamond members only. Everything was posted no entry for us other lowly cruisers in these areas. You are supposed to feel special but they made you feel second class (which I guess we were). Other ships are more discreet in the extras they provide repeat cruisers. The ship shows a lot of wear and tear on furniture and tables. The tables in the Windjammer restaurant we're always sticky. The good things: great service from staff in stateroom and dining room. The staff was friendly and very good at their jobs. The stateroom was fine but couch had tears on the arms and looked dirty. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
Good value for a 16 day cruise. However, RC has apparently achieved that by cutting back on the budget for stage shows. There were only 2 evening and 1 daytime ensemble show; much smaller ensemble than in the past. The remainder of the ... Read More
Good value for a 16 day cruise. However, RC has apparently achieved that by cutting back on the budget for stage shows. There were only 2 evening and 1 daytime ensemble show; much smaller ensemble than in the past. The remainder of the evening shows were individual acts. A few were outstanding but the rest were just ok. The dining room food was quite poor. Our waiter was horrible and multiple conversations with the head waiter &the dining room manager yielded little improvement. First run movies on board was a pleasant surprise. The solarium, when sailing the Atlantic in spring, was a delight. Plus the only place to get late night food unless you want to pay $8 for every food order delivered to your room other than a continental breakfast (I guess carrying an egg with a continental breakfast takes so much more out of the waiter!) Late night in the Schooner Bar is a stitch, but after a couple of nights, a change is nice. The cabin stewards work hard, but have so many more cabins to care for nowadays, that you really hardly ever see them. I would go again, but I'd lower my expectations. Read Less
Sail Date April 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 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
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
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
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

Find a Serenade of the Seas Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click