28 Royal Caribbean Serenade of the Seas Transatlantic Cruise Reviews

Chose this cruise for its ports. Entertainment was good the first 10 days, but how many times can you listen to an island band play same songs night after night while making up words. Also headliner shows were too loud and not very ... Read More
Chose this cruise for its ports. Entertainment was good the first 10 days, but how many times can you listen to an island band play same songs night after night while making up words. Also headliner shows were too loud and not very good. One night was cruise director singing songs from early 1900, and a lot of people got up and left' Food was good, except for spare ribs in MDR. Couldn't even cut them off the bone. Wouldn't have served them to guests at my house. Windjammer food was good, but only thing hot was the soups. I like my food hot not tepid. Turn up the heat lamps. Shows in centrum were also very loud. Loud doesn't make it good. A lot of times you couldn't understand what they were saying. Ship was in good shape for its age, and staff was friendly. We had an ocean room cabin and it is just like any cabin on any other ship. We don't spend a lot of time in cabin, so we aren't hung up on cabin type. This is my opinion, and I am not trying to pursuade any one to choose this ship or not. I have never been on a bad cruise, even when we missed 2 days in Israel, or when we went around 2 hurricanes. We just enjoyed the new adventure. My take is we are all different in our expectations, God made us that way for a purpose, so get on board and enjoy the ride, Its a vacation, not a status. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We just finished 3 B2B cruises that started in Ft. Lauderdale Florida. We crossed the Atlantic and the first segment terminated in Copenhagen. From there we did a Norwegian fjords cruise taking us back to Copenhagen. Followed by a Dave Koz ... Read More
We just finished 3 B2B cruises that started in Ft. Lauderdale Florida. We crossed the Atlantic and the first segment terminated in Copenhagen. From there we did a Norwegian fjords cruise taking us back to Copenhagen. Followed by a Dave Koz charter cruise to the Balkans. This was 31 days onboard the Serenade of the Seas. We changed cabins with every segment. That's the background, here's my impressions. The crew was fantastic, they were friendly, attentive to our needs and requests. And by the end of the 3rd cruise, they were treating us like family. The meals in the restaurant were better prepared that those we've experienced on Princess. We used anytime dining with a reservation. Because of this we typically got the same waiters. When we missed our reservation and they had to put us at another table, we typically got a different waiter. Because of this we did experience different waiters and I've got to say that there's a wide range in abilities in the wait staff. Some waiters were very good at getting things done efficiently and getting the correct plate to the right diner. Other waiters were slow and frequently confused dishes. The cabins were nicely appointed. We had superior balcony rooms. My only complaint would be the shower. And who doesn't complain about the shower. It's a tube shaped appliance that doesn't give you much room to bend over and scrub your toes. There's one more thing, make sure you pack some shampoo and conditioner. These items are no longer provided unless you're in a suite. Had I known, I would have grabbed them from the hotel we stayed in the night before departing on the cruise. We only booked excursions through Royal Caribbean. We booked when the excursions went on sale and at that point the prices were as good or better than any of the 3rd party excursion companies. All of the excursions we took were well done. Feedback from other cruisers that took some of the other excursions were similar. One note about one of our stops in the Baltic, we spent a day in St. Petersburg Russia. Near the end of the excursion we stopped at a shopping mall for the opportunity to purchase some souvenirs. Here's my advice, stay on the bus. The prices are ridiculous. There are several shops at the cruise terminal with much better prices and some of the vendors are quite willing to bargain. One item we were hoping to pickup was a stacking Christmas tree. Thankfully, they had some of these on the ship so we already knew what a reasonable price was. We couldn't find anything on shore that even came close. Guess what, we bought ours onboard. In the end, we had a great cruise. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Wanted to return to Europe in a slow fashion, enjoying meals and entertainment on route.Cabin was very small and today’s style of larger cases are extremely difficult to fit under the beds - very little room and had to leave a case near ... Read More
Wanted to return to Europe in a slow fashion, enjoying meals and entertainment on route.Cabin was very small and today’s style of larger cases are extremely difficult to fit under the beds - very little room and had to leave a case near bathroom. The sofa was tiny and barely held two people. The cabin was very tired looking and in need of refurbishment. Food on board was excellent and Windjammer self service always had piping hot food. Service in the dining room was rather slow, with too many people on my time dining which overwhelmed the waiters at times. Entertainment on board was good and of a good variety during the crossing. Activities were also varied and the staff worked really hard all the time. Excellent variety of excursions at the various ports of call although some were quite expensive ( eg costs of outings to Paris ) Enjoyed the Atlantic crossing with only a small rough patch at the Bay of Biscay ! Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
First and foremost, my rating was based on the itinerary and ports of call. They were all beautiful, extremely cultural and lots of fun. Celebrity is usually our cruise line of choice but we have sailed on Royal Caribbean several times ... Read More
First and foremost, my rating was based on the itinerary and ports of call. They were all beautiful, extremely cultural and lots of fun. Celebrity is usually our cruise line of choice but we have sailed on Royal Caribbean several times with the last sailing in 2014. Oh, how times have changed. We noticed a definite decline in service due to a reduction in staff in every department. Our stateroom attendant had no assistant, there wasn't a constant bathroom attendant in any of the "public" bathrooms, therefore the floors were always a mess especially under the men's urinals. I understand talking to my wife that the women's bathrooms were just as bad. You are asked to save water by using the same bath towel, but the attendant can use several towels to make animals that are placed on your bed at night (How much sense does that make?) And, no more chocolate on your pillow. Bar service could be extremely slow depending on where you were at. Our first night in the Main Dining Room, my wine was served in a dirty wine glass by a server who blamed the bartender for pouring it into a dirty glass (In my restaurant, they both would have been in trouble. The bartender for pouring it and the server for serving it.) There are no longer suggestions of what wines to pair with the nightly entrees, there are no vintages listed on the Wine List and no more sommeliers roaming the floor offering their expertise. My suggestion if you are to eat at the Windjammer Buffet and desire a cocktail, wine or beer, stop at a bar on the way before you get there. The staff in the buffet has been decreased greatly and consequently has forced each of them to do double and triple duties, therefore you may not get your drink until after you have eaten. By the way, if you have missed a particular dinner in the Main Dining Room, no worries, it will be served eventually in the buffet. Drink prices we noticed have also doubled in price. Also, be aware that drink packages have to be bought in tandem. If one of you buys a package,(and to avoid any shenanigans) the other person in your stateroom has to buy a package of their choice as well. The theatre is not used as much as it should be for large extracurricular shows and demonstrations, instead, the Cruise Director has chosen to use the Centrum Bar on Deck 4 which does not have the capability of hosting large numbers of guests which forces a great many of us to view what's going on by leaning over the railings on Deck 5 thru Deck 10. What an inconvenience that is. The nightly newsletter called the "Compass," that was delivered to each stateroom always showed the casino winnings up to that point. No more. Nobody was winning. On a 16 night cruise, that's ridiculous. The slots were tight, tight, tight. We also noticed a difference in the staff's attitudes on board. Not as many friendly and smiling faces as we remembered. Let us hope that this isn't contagious throughout the Royal Caribbean brand. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We chose this cruise because it had an itinerary that covered a lot of our bucket list. We were not disappointed; the ports of call were wonderful. Embarkation was seamless; we were on the ship in 10 minutes after arriving at the dock. ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it had an itinerary that covered a lot of our bucket list. We were not disappointed; the ports of call were wonderful. Embarkation was seamless; we were on the ship in 10 minutes after arriving at the dock. The weather in Lauderdale was beautiful but that quickly changed after the first day at sea. Unfortunately we were unable to get much time on deck unless we were bundled up in winter gear. By the third sea day the winds continued to increase and we were experiencing high swells. The doors to the deck were sealed and the "white" bags were strategically placed around the ships. Fortunately none of us got sick thanks to Bonine, no nausea at all and we continued to enjoy the food and dining venues. After six days at sea, we were happy to reach land (Punta del Gada, Azores) and from there on, we were kept very busy moving from port to port. Except for a very cold, windy and rainy day at the beaches of Normandy, all other port days were gloriously beautiful. We had two private tours (Azores and Cork, Ireland) arranged through our CC thread; and due to time constraints, we felt more secure taking two ship's tours (Beaches of Normandy and the Keukenhoff Tulip Festival in Amsterdam). We did DIY in Brugge, Brussels and Copenhagen. Again, what wonderful ports they all were. We had My Time Dining and never had a wait since I had previously made reservations on line. Food in the Dining Room was great some nights, other nights it was just fair. To be honest, I'm not that fussy as long as I don't have to cook and serve a meal. We pretty much had the same two waiters depending on which table we were at. Both were very attentive; no complaints there. The food in the Windjammer was good, varied and plentiful. Didn't know what to choose each day. We had lunch in the dining room a few days, which we really enjoyed. We at at Giovanni's Table one night and while my cruise mates raved about it, I thought it was just okay and not really worth the up charge. Speaking of up charges, RCI was relentless in hawking the pay dining venues. Could have done without that. Speaking of up charges, that is why I did not rate this cruise a 5. It seems as though everything that used to be included in the price of your cruise, now has a charge and doesn't come cheap. You want to learn to make cupcakes - you pay $25 for that class. You want to take a wine tasting class - another up charge. Pilates, Yoga, Spinning - more charges. The ship was very clean and well kept. She is holding her age well. The "free" activities during sea days could have been better and more of a variety . There was plenty of trivia, dance classes and karaoke. The cruise director, Carly, and her staff were wonderful and tried really hard to be accessible and available to everyone. The enrichment classes were not to our liking and we had little interest in them. Debarkation in Copenhagen was just as smooth as embarkation and were were at our hotel by 8:30 AM! I wouldn't hesitate to do another Transatlantic in the future. All in all, it was a great cruise with very few disappointments. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
I chose the this ship as I wanted to go to Iceland and the larger ships do not go there. I travel the transatlantic twice a year and prefer a ship that has the Royal Promenade, ice skating, diving, Production Shows, nightly ... Read More
I chose the this ship as I wanted to go to Iceland and the larger ships do not go there. I travel the transatlantic twice a year and prefer a ship that has the Royal Promenade, ice skating, diving, Production Shows, nightly entertainment , lectures, etc I would not go to Iceland again but I can say "Been There, Done That" I booked an interior room for the trip to Iceland. Never again, I would not do that again.You just do not know what is going on outside, especially the weather. I like to know when morning has arrived and you do not know that in an inside cabin. I also like an afternoon nap and that is so much better in an outside cabin. I felt cut off from the rest of the ship The nightly entertainment was not up to my standards or at least what I have become accustom to. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
Generally we prefer the Oasis class ships due to the amazing entertainment, but we decided to give Serenade a try because of the itinerary. We did have a concern that 29 days on a smaller ship might get a bit old, but because the first ... Read More
Generally we prefer the Oasis class ships due to the amazing entertainment, but we decided to give Serenade a try because of the itinerary. We did have a concern that 29 days on a smaller ship might get a bit old, but because the first two cruises (Baltic and Norwegian Fjords) were so port intensive that we never felt tired of this ship. The final cruise, a TA stopping at Iceland and Halifax on its way to Boston, was fun as well. Seas a little choppy and windy in the beginning, but still had lots of fun. The staff was a great family and 29 days gave us plenty of time to become friendly with them all. Even our first captain (Thor) jammed on his guitar with Topi and the Topcats! While we were on-board they rolled out a new puzzle game played with teams...FUN! If there was a disappointment, it was the food. We did enjoy Chops several times during this adventure, but we found the dining room food was ordinary. However, that wouldn't stop us from taking this ship again if it does other equally exciting ports. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
We did a transatlantic from Copenhagen to Boston. The ship was clean, cabin balcony cabin was comfortable. First time I saw a chair instead of a couch. The mattresses need changed but we managed. What they cut: no more lobster ... Read More
We did a transatlantic from Copenhagen to Boston. The ship was clean, cabin balcony cabin was comfortable. First time I saw a chair instead of a couch. The mattresses need changed but we managed. What they cut: no more lobster night, no more 90 minutes free internet for Diamond members- you get 24 hrs., What they did well: Employees seemed very pleasant especially our room attendant and dining room servers. Entertainment had to be the worst we have had on an RCCL cruise. The RCCL singers and dancers were ok but still not what we are used to. (This was our 20th RCCL cruise) The food was hit and miss. There were a couple of nights I just ordered several appetizers and not entrée. Why can't they make a decent soup! The excursions were fine nothing outstanding. We purchased our excursions before the cruise so we got what we wanted. 2 stand out; the whale watcher in akuryri and the wine tour in Halifax. The bartenders were great. Especially David in the Schooner bar. We had the premium Drink package. They aren't creative but they make what you want. We are diamond members but choose the drink package for the coffee, water and juice. There were MANY diamond members and the lounge at night was packed so we were glad we didn't have to fight for drinks. The drink waiters are VERY Scarce; none in the dining room! Checking in and getting off went OK. Getting off there were several passengers who didn't either pay their bill or go through immigration so they held up getting off the ship until 7:45am. We didn't have a flight but it was almost came to fists in line! The taxi line was about 30-45 minutes. Again we were not in a hurry but several were! Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
We chose this tour specifically to see Iceland. Unfortunately, the entire first day it rained and the second day was not much better. The third day was fine. Obviously, the cruise line cannot be responsible for the weather. The 5 days ... Read More
We chose this tour specifically to see Iceland. Unfortunately, the entire first day it rained and the second day was not much better. The third day was fine. Obviously, the cruise line cannot be responsible for the weather. The 5 days at sea were a little long, but we new that in advance.Once again, not the fault of the cruise line. We missed the daily newsletter that they used to offer. There was no one sports channel on the TV for 13 of the 15 days. Disembarkation was a total disaster. Some people stood in line on the ship over an hour before they were released.They blamed it on the customs officials. What the real problem was we may never know. They went out of the way to have fine entertainment. The crew was excellent. The ship was neat and clean. Fortunately, the seas were relatively calm which was good because my wife tends towards sea sickness. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
Never did transatlantic or visited any of the countries before.The majority of shows were very good,particularly Stephanie Parker,Joe West,Joel.??,Abba tribute,and the ships Dancers and singers (although one of the male singers was ... Read More
Never did transatlantic or visited any of the countries before.The majority of shows were very good,particularly Stephanie Parker,Joe West,Joel.??,Abba tribute,and the ships Dancers and singers (although one of the male singers was replaced by a dancer who mimed for the second show they did) and the orchestra were very good as always.The cruise director was,unfortunately,on an ego trip.His show and that of the entertainment manager,were well below par.You need to be able to sing if you want to perform to an audiance of this size.Pity they didn't put more effort into the guest talent show.Perhaps they didn't really want the competition.Some of the entertainment staff were good though,particularly the little Russian (I think) girl,Irene? who seemed to be doing most of the events on her own!Great energy and personality Will make a great Cruise Director as she is a natural and does not need to boost her ego!Our assistant waiter,Nuria,was the best ever and should be a senior waiter.Nothing was too much trouble and she was a pleasure to meet.Also some of the bar staff deserve a special mention.Mario at the indoor pool,Alexander on deck 4,David at the Schooner bar (who took a lot of abuse from some of the elderly American passengers,and just smiled and got on with it)and Hugo in the Theater.Overall,I had a very good time. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
I caught a good price for this cruise and the ports it was going to made it highly desirable! Even though events prevented us from going into France (Le Havre), I think the crew handled it well. I know I was one of the few that ... Read More
I caught a good price for this cruise and the ports it was going to made it highly desirable! Even though events prevented us from going into France (Le Havre), I think the crew handled it well. I know I was one of the few that weren't upset by this change, but felt the excursion crew handled themselves most professionally. After our day in port many said that Royal Caribbean should make Dover a regular stop, so I think that proves the crew did an amazing job! This is the first time I've done my time dining. I have mixed emotions about it. I liked because I got meet different people sitting at different tables each night, but it seemed to throw the dining staff off. It took about 2 hours to get through dinner. There was definitely a lack of activities for younger crowd. I know this cruise had more golden aged people on it, mainly because most working people can't get this much time off, but I just recently retired and don't play bridge, knit, ballroom dance (didn't go with a partner either). I found history lectures on our ports of call interesting and trivia got old. Also enjoyed the English pub and listening to guitar with Kevin. Attempted a few shows but not really into variety shows, kind of thought that went out with Donny and Marie. Found Kevin playing in pub on way to show and saw no reason to go to show after that. Can't believe he's not in a recording studio somewhere! Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
The main negative was the main dining room food variety and preparation. The quality of service was outstanding with the staff being friendly and helpful. Another negative, they allow smoking in the Casino and we found ourselves walking ... Read More
The main negative was the main dining room food variety and preparation. The quality of service was outstanding with the staff being friendly and helpful. Another negative, they allow smoking in the Casino and we found ourselves walking through the casino several times a day. Embarkation and disembarkation were painless. The shows and headliners in the theater were quite entertaining. The Dailey compass did not have all of the information we needed at times. The Radiance class ship was a nice size to us, it did not take long to figure your way around. We enjoyed all the ports of call. Rained on us in Punta Delgada but the ship is parked downtown easily walkable for exploring. Cobh, Ireland again parked right in town walkable and there is a train stop right at the pier that will take you to Cork. In Dover, England the pier is a ways from town but they provided a free bus service that had three stops and ran until everyone had to be back onboard. Amsterdam you are right down town, walkable, and they have an amazing tram service. Zeebruggen is in an industrial area not much to do near the port. Copenhagen was our disembarkation point and is a ways from town, so we got to spend 1 & 1/2 hours in the cab line. We stayed a couple of days and thoroughly enjoyed the community. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
I always wanted to go transatlantic by ship and now I can check it off my bucket list. In fact, in 2018 I'm doing it in reverse. Wish they would have had more interesting things to do on the sea days. Doodle Art? Really? Food in ... Read More
I always wanted to go transatlantic by ship and now I can check it off my bucket list. In fact, in 2018 I'm doing it in reverse. Wish they would have had more interesting things to do on the sea days. Doodle Art? Really? Food in Dining Room was excellent. Windjammer for breakfast was great, pretty good for lunch and fair for dinner. My waiter Melbert and server, Weekly were fantastic! Ship was clean but could use some renovations. Cabin was spotless due to my Stateroom Attendant, Arnold.. Embarkation was very smooth as I went two hours into the process. Disembarkation was totally smooth.. Bravo to Royal Caribbean for having this down to a science. The gentleman who worked Room service was getting obnoxious and tried to charge me 7.95 for tea. No food. Just a pot of water and a teabag. The woman who worked there was very nice. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
As a first time cruiser, this trip was amazing. The staff were outstanding in terms of friendliness, helpful and they would go out of their way to assist you. An itenary is given to you the night before so you know whats happening in ... Read More
As a first time cruiser, this trip was amazing. The staff were outstanding in terms of friendliness, helpful and they would go out of their way to assist you. An itenary is given to you the night before so you know whats happening in advance which was a good thing. The food was o.k. Not spicy enough for me although they did have sauces available to you but it wasn't the same. There is however a variety so you were bound to find something to your liking. The chefs are very good at cooking something for your own taste so for example, I have a tolerance of egg so they cooked me a white omelette which was fantastic. I found the cruise quite expensive as it was done through an agent. Next time I will find my own cruise as its important to research the ship first before you book anything. Find out whether its a family ship with activities, a young ship for the younger generation, a cruise for the older generation or a mixture of both. The drinks package is really expensive if you do not drink that much. I found that the days we visited the islands, I drank on purpose just to get my monies worth but next time, I will not do the drinks package. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
Great ports of call though our stop in LeHavre, France was changed to Dover, England due to a strike at the port. We were price gouged with the new shore excursions offered for Dover and didn't get much for our money. Very ... Read More
Great ports of call though our stop in LeHavre, France was changed to Dover, England due to a strike at the port. We were price gouged with the new shore excursions offered for Dover and didn't get much for our money. Very disappointed! Cabins showed wear and tare, ship needs to be refurbished. Entertainment in the Schooner Bar needs help, piano singer talks more than he plays and sings, but probably a blessing as he could use some singing lessons. The Cinema is way too small for the crowd it draws and are required to stand in line for over an hour just to secure tickets only to be told the tickets for the time slot requested was already handed out and tickets were no longer available. If fortunate enough to get a ticket, you need to show up at least 45 minutes prior to show time in order to secure a decent seat - front row seats are a neck breaker. Most of the evening entertainment in the theater was good but several of the nights we left after only 10 minutes - truly needs better planning. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
I wanted a nice long cruise to relax and visit cities I hadn't been to before. If you are not a dedicated RC cruiser be prepared to feel like a second class citizen. It began with check-in when we were put into lines segregated by ... Read More
I wanted a nice long cruise to relax and visit cities I hadn't been to before. If you are not a dedicated RC cruiser be prepared to feel like a second class citizen. It began with check-in when we were put into lines segregated by rewards level. It you're not Diamond plus, be prepared to wait. The entitlements of the upper level reward system continued throughout the cruise. Also be prepared for the makeup of your fellow cruisers: 90% over 60, mostly from Florida and not active. There were a lot of canes, walkers and wheelchairs. The daily enrichment classes were geared toward the makeup of the patrons: napkin folding, doodling, coloring, etc. I looked forward to the enrichment lectures on the cities were would be visiting: Cohb, Bruges, Amsterdam, Paris, Copenhagen. Unfortunately, while the lecturer was very knowledgeable, his speciality was Ancient History. Each lecture began with the early Romans and Vikings and he only touched on topics after the 18th century in the last 10 minutes. We learned to arrive after 30 minutes into the lecture to hear about modern times and present day highlights and what to expect in each city. We had booked all our excursions before boarding but soon canceled almost all of them when we discovered that there was usually local transportation to each city at 1/3 the price. So instead of paying RC $60 for a bus to Bruges, we took a bus right at the port to the city for $20. The excursion desk will not give you any information unless it's about their excursion. The first few days we had warm, sunny days and spent a lot of time either at the outdoor pool or indoor pool. Contrary to the signs posted, people would put the towels on chairs at the indoor pool at 8:00 AM to save them. If you were patient, though, you could usually wait it out and get a chair. We had a balcony room and enjoyed the patio but after the first couple of days, couldn't sit out due to the high winds. We still enjoyed looking out at the wide expansion of the ocean though. We had nice meals at the main dining room and Windjammer. We were seated at a table of 10 and everyone was just great. We were from all over the country and enjoyed wonderful conversations. There were three formal nights but most people dressed in business casual. We had definitely packed too many dresses. Because of a pier strike in LeHarve, we went to Dover instead. Although we were disappointed, Dover was a fabulous substitute. We took a train to Canterbury ($18 instead of $60 that RC was charging) and then went to Dover Castle. Although my review has lots of negatives, I would like to do another transatlantic cruise now that I know what to expect. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
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
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
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
This cruise was a deal, and travel, from our home to Fort-Lauderdale, and back from Copenhagen was not a problem. We had been thinking about a transatlantic for awhile and the itinerary was perfect. Our cruise experience so far stands at ... Read More
This cruise was a deal, and travel, from our home to Fort-Lauderdale, and back from Copenhagen was not a problem. We had been thinking about a transatlantic for awhile and the itinerary was perfect. Our cruise experience so far stands at 14. We have cruised Alaska, the Bahamas, the Caribbean, Hawaii, the Mediterranean and Norway. This was our sixth cruise on RCL, our fourth on Serenade of the Seas since 2005 and, unlike some reviewers, we found her to be in excellent shape, although some furnishings, especially the blue couches in some staterooms need replacement. Since the removal of the Grand Staircase, the Centrum has become a beehive of daily activity and nightime entertainment, albeit with inadequate seating for some events. Example: In a move to maximize returns, RCL moved the Future Cruise Sales to deck 5 from deck 12, thereby sacrificing some space from Latte-Tudes, our favorite coffee spot. This tendency to maximize RCL's bottom line should not be so obvious, but it seems to work. "Push" marketing is very present throughout signs, events all over the ship and printed material delivered every night to your stateroom. Nonetheless, if you can put this aside and concentrate on the positive, you can have a very nice time, as we did. It is understandable that, with so much expansion and megaships joining the fleet, that some cruises are part of personnel training and this was quite obvious on Serenade. We had a few encounters with trainees but nothing unpleasant, just that the lack of experience was noticeable at times. Stateroom and dining room staff were very good. Food quality was satisfactory, maybe even a tad better than our previous cruise on Serenade, but the wine prices were horrendous, based on wines we consume at home and in local restaurants. We found adequate and health conscious choices available throughout the ship. Unlike the beverage or coffee packages offered, the three meal package for the specialty restaurants was a good deal. The captain made sure that the Serenade was a happy ship, from the bridge all the way down the ranks, to the passengers themselves. He was very proficient, funny and accessible, not to mention a competent musician as we found out at the crew talent show. After a smooth crossing to the Azores, an early departure from Ponta Delgada and a change of course to Ireland helped us avoid stormy seas and gave us a decent ride. The very slight rolling made for our most comfortable sleep. Later, en route to Le Havre, the thick fog and reassuring blasts from ship's horn every two minutes brought home memories of what life on the old ocean liners was probably like. The onboard entertainment was fantastic. From the ship's own musicians, singers and dancers, to the featured entertainers, a Celine Dion impersonator, scottish brothers playing celtic to Everly Brothers, to a virtusoso classical pianist, the shows were great. The crew talent show, on the last day at sea, had a Guest Services employee with the voice of Andrea Bocelli, 9 chefs dancing rap, and the Captain on guitar in a rock band. Our excursion to the twin lakes in Ponta Delgada was hampered by weather and poor visibility, as was the Alabaster Coast in Le Havre. The Heritage Center in Cobh was very interesting as it traces the emigration of Irish to America and Canada, and our Irish countryside tour to Kinsale was quite pleasant. We visited Bruges on our own and luched on "moules et frites". Very enjoyable. In Amsterdam, we missed out badly. We though the tulip festival was over and Anne Frank house was sold out. But a city tour and canal cruise was fine, and the weather, perfect. We have been to Copenhagen before so we went straight to the airport. Serenade is still a real ship, not a floating resort/shopping mall. No ice rink, zipline or bumper cars and that's OK! And aside from horrible and very pricey internet service (...no VOOM here, as RCL advertises is now fleetwide) and a few condescending and impolite fellow passengers, we had a great cruise and will probably return on RCL soon. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
We 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
Overall cruise was great. Some of the people that helped make it great were: Silviu Dirlie-Restaurants-Was the assistant waiter in main dining and helped in Wind Jammer. Outstanding service and very professional. This guy remembered ... Read More
Overall cruise was great. Some of the people that helped make it great were: Silviu Dirlie-Restaurants-Was the assistant waiter in main dining and helped in Wind Jammer. Outstanding service and very professional. This guy remembered what bread you liked each night, if you used pepper or not, what you drank, your dressing, etc. I recommend a promotion to head waiter as our head waiter was poor. Stefan Panait-Beverage- Always did an excellent job every night at one of the bars knowing what I wanted (non-alcoholic) and very professional. Mariana Dinu-House Keeping-Was not my attendant but my observation of her was she was always first on duty and last to leave. Very friendly and interactive with her clients. Appeared to always be on top of things. Andrea Crisan-Restaurants-Not sure of spelling of name but in Wind Jammer... was always friendly, thorough, and professional. Diamond Club was way to small, lighting after hours was so dim you could not relax and read, music from club next door was always to loud and during the Diamond hours there never was enough seating. Spent very little time there and is worst Diamond Lounge of all cruises I've been on. Volume in theater was reasonable and not too loud for the shows. The shows overall were good but not great. Spent one day in advance at RCCL selected hotel - the Crown Plaza. Overall experience with hotel is good. About 2 blocks from large indoor mall with many eating places. To get to downtown you'll need to take train or taxi. Train from airport was a breeze and very easy to use. It had room to take a suitcase on board. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
Balcony cabin was very nice but TV & refrigerator failed. Repair was prompt, but ship showed its age. Cabin attendant was just great. Paint in the pool showed wear, plastic plants badly faded. Automatic door failed several times. Most ... Read More
Balcony cabin was very nice but TV & refrigerator failed. Repair was prompt, but ship showed its age. Cabin attendant was just great. Paint in the pool showed wear, plastic plants badly faded. Automatic door failed several times. Most pool bars not open during the day. Coffee pots and snack stations also not serviced during the day except in Windjammer. Food in main dining room was excellent with new menu every day. Our wait staff was very attentive and made dinner fun. Windjammer food was not up to par at breakfast or lunch. Dinner was fine. Headliner entertainment was very good. Ship singers and dancers not as good as other Royal ships. Choreography lacked polish. Many events in the Centrum were very crowded. A larger venue should have been used. Tours were very good & varied, but the weather was not very cooperative. Sea was rough during the crossing, but Captain did well in stabilizing as much as possible. Crew was very attentive & helpful. Many said it was their first contract with Royal. RCCL should make an effort to identify & retain these people. The international makeup of the passengers provided a significant opportunity to exchange ideas. Everybody was friendly. Wi-Fi was not available most of the cruise. Staff apologized, but said the system has not been upgraded recently. Most passengers used shore-based wi-fi. This is a problem if you paid for the package. Boarding in Copenhagen for Crown & Anchor was supposed to be in a separate lounge. We sat with everybody else. Staff seemed as lost as the rest of us. Only water was available. Staff did not seem to be ready for boarding procedures. Again, not up to Royal standards. Mid cruise survey was addressed promptly by personal contact and issues addressed. This was our 9th cruise with Royal and the only one where I found anything substandard. I have booked another for next year, and expect to see things back to my high expectations. 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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