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Serenade of the Seas

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Price: $     Size: L     Refurbished: 2 yrs ago    

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acebodyandframe reviewed 8 days ago

What people said about this ship:

"...in food quality at the Windjammer( buffet) and in the dining room ." in 77 reviews.

"...20 galveston port, we chose to make the 6 hour drive to new orleans because of the the destinations, the ship and the..." in 22 reviews.

"Time at Key West was too short." in 18 reviews.




637 reviews from our community




davidivy
Third Mate

5 star
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5 out of 5

Is there an award fo InineraryI

small verified icon Verified Review | Ship: Serenade of the Seas | Sail Date: Apr 24, 2015

If an award exists for itinerary of the year this one wins hands down.  This was a great trip in every respect. The cruise director, Carly B, introduced a new entertainment feature called Master Chef of the Seas wherein members of the officer ranks participated in a cooking competition similar to the TV show chopped it was very entertaining and well attended.  The shows in the theater were as a group the best we have ever seen and with the exception of a piano duo who played well enough but just could not stop trying to tell jokes.  At least one measure of the success of the shows was a fully packed theater each evening,  I have never missed a show and I have never seen night after night such well attended performances.  Dinning was pretty much true to RCI standards accompanied by excellent service.  Our stateroom was well kept and the public areas were always clean although Serenade could use a little paint.

 

Out of Boston our 6 sea days went by very quickly the seas where running 12 to 15 feet with very strong winds but the ride was not uncomfortable but use of the outdoor facilities was limited to the very hardy.  Our first stop in Cork was nice less than 100 yards to the train station for a ride into the city was very easy and quite cheap.  We toured the city had a nice lunch in a little local dinning room, a nice day after 6 at sea.  Portland in the UK was a nice visit to a popular British resort town although the weather was cool and damp the city fathers had provided a shuttle service into town that was very good.  I took the opportunity offered by RCI to visit a couple to the Jurassic coast sites very picturesque and the country side on the bus ride out was very nice highlighted by sighting several pair of wild pheasant, beautiful birds.  In Le Havre we got off the ship and made a deal for a driver for the day to take us to the home and gardens of Monet at Giverny.  It is one of  the most beautiful sites if you have not been I cannot recommend it to highly.  Our driver then took us to Rouen to visit the Cathedral which is fantastic and a walk through the old towns, many of the shops were closed as it was Sunday but enough were open to make it worth the time.  We made a short stop in Hornfloure and then back to the ship.  Cherbourg was the highlight of my trip having wanted to again visit the invasion beaches of the Normandy D-day battles.  We had made arrangements with Bayeux shuttles for a driver for the day and he gave us a full days worth of adventure I think every U.S. citizen should at some time visit the Cemetery at Colville it is inspiring and humbling.  Bruges was a nice stop and we did the touristy stuff--bought chocolate-lace and did the canal tour on a very windy day.  Amsterdam was a very rainy and could day but the sun came out just in lime for our trip to the Koukenhouf Gardens where the tulips were in perk form the fields and the gardens are just brilliant with color.  A sea day followed our stop in Amsterdam which everyone was ready for.  Gothenburg was pleasant we had a little shopping to do and the huge mall there was just what we needed..  Back open board for our last evening and off the ship ion Copenhagen to catch a flight to Boston and on to Houston the following morning.

 

I have no suggestions for a fix but Cruise lines really need to focus on the demarcation experience.  No problem getting off the ship and our luggage was right where it was supposed to be but beyond that the crowd control and moving a mountain of bags to a bus which was not well marked turned into a bit of a struggle with people trying to get on excursions mixed in with hotel and airport transfers.  This was not the first time we have experienced this but there has got to be a better way I just don't have any ideas unless they could just hold everybody else until I get off and loaded on a bus or taxi, just kidding.

A great trip and one I would recommend to anyone.  The price was right and the itinerary the best.

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4 star
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4 out of 5

Suggestions

small verified icon Verified Review | Ship: Serenade of the Seas | Sail Date: Apr 24, 2015

Getting on board in Boston was a nightmare.  Not enough staff.  We had to wait ONE HOUR in line to get checked in after Security.  We've embarked in other ports (FL, NJ, CA), and never had to wait nearly as long.

Also I think going thru a metal detector after every port visit is silly, and Security personnel could be more pleasant.

I don't know why bridge games were limited to 13 tables.  People had to be turned away.

Staircases beautifully decorated.  Overall, ship showing its age.

Dining room meals were varied and creative, with some occasional misses.  Lunch buffets were very good; breakfast could use some variety.

We were highly pleased with our waiter team, Francisco and Jose Cin, plus their supervisor.  Also stateroom attendant Aaron.

We had some minor problems onboard, and all were resolved in a highly satisfactory manner.  Most staff worked hard to make sure guests are satisfied.

Other cruise ships distribute detailed information on ports visited; this ship had next to nothing. We loved our one sponsored tour (Swedish islands), but felt all these were overpriced.  Free bus shuttle service was great.

TV selection was poor.  After first few days, a few old programs were constantly recycled (e.g., Masters golf).  Internet connection on public computers was MUCH too slow.  If technology is an issue, price should be lower.

Shows were uniformly excellent.   I think the Entertainment staff should be reassigned.  Those running the trivia contests have accents too thick to understand their English; Cruise Director Carly would be better running trivia, not hosting shows.

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drruthb
Purser

3 star
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3 out of 5

Good, but not great

small verified icon Verified Review | Ship: Serenade of the Seas | Sail Date: Apr 24, 2015

Well, perhaps my expectations were beyond realistic for this cruise. Six days of sailing, then seven fabulous ports. What could be bad? Nothing. Except this cruise was just a little "off." For starters and, of course, not Royal Caribbean's fault, the weather was awful. Cold, windy, all the way across and in every port. We never had an opportunity to sit on deck, to enjoy the sun, to swim, to rock wall climb, and the like. For another, the ship was unprepared to offer its guests critical information we needed about the ports themselves. For example, maps were not provided consistently that showed where the ship docked, what transportation was available from those docks to the city, and the cost and frequency of that transportation. When guest services was asked, we were told that maps were available when we got off the ship. Well, I like to plan my day in port the night before. That was very difficult to do. Such an inconvenience did not seem to bother guest services, who remained aloof from guest distress. Another example--guest services could not tell us the Swedish currency equivalency to the dollar. Come on, now. Nor could they provide us with Danish currency, even though our last port was Copenhagen. Guest service personnel really needed a course in extraordinary customer service.

Food was good, not great. Food service personnel were very attentive and helpful, though. Entertainment was good, not great, except for the orchestra, which was excellent, and a guitar player named Segundo, who was brilliant. We saw two good comedians the first two nights out, and then never saw them again. What happened to the adult comedy show they could have performed on those nights? There was little activity going on in the evenings. Five movies shown over and over again on a fifteen day cruise. Really?

So, the cruise did not live up to my expectations.

 

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4 star
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4 out of 5

Overall Review for first-time cruisers

small verified icon Verified Review | Ship: Serenade of the Seas | Sail Date: Apr 11, 2015

The entire staff on the cruise ship were so nice and accommodating.  They responded to every request.  The food was great, as they would try to cater to all tastes and dietary restrictions.  Our only problem was not to over-indulge.  All the live shows were very entertaining, and live music everywhere.  The director of Activities, Carly, was excellent, as well as her counterpart, Renato. There were activities for everyone, and everyone seemed to enjoy all of them.  

The problem we had was the bad internet service.  We paid $200 and we could never get connected to gmail.  It would take all morning to get into anything, if at all.  Very slow system.  We got some refund, but we think we should have gotten a full refund.

I must report that my friend and I got a respiratory infection while on the cruise.  After the 1st week, we had sore, dry throat, then became a bad cough.  We still are coughing with post-nasal drip.  I noticed that the vents in my room were filthy.  There was one in the closet that was completely covered with dust.  They have taken precautionary steps to make sure every person uses Purell before entering the dining room for gastro-intestinal infections, but they also need to work on making sure all vents are well cleaned to prevent respiratory infections.

One other item of note, I think they should not have selected a war movie to show in the Tropical Theater.  Everyday, we had such lively, fun, entertaining live shows, then the one day that they didn't have a live show, they showed an ugly WWII movie.  We walked out in the mid-point of that movie.  It was too depressing.

Overall, the cruise was very relaxing and fun.  Every moment was covered with activities for everyone, and great music to listen to.  The cruise members made it very enjoyable for everyone.

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to881473
Purser

4 star
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4 out of 5

Loved it but...

small verified icon Verified Review | Ship: Serenade of the Seas | Sail Date: Apr 11, 2015

The 13 day cruise on the Serenade of the Seas was great.  We loved the ship, not too big and full of amenities.  The Crew ( including the Captain) was friendly and very helpful.  How can you complain about 13 sun filled, fun filled days on a beautiful ship.  My only complaint was the charge for the beverage package on Royal Caribbean,  I would never purchase one again.  You can't drink enough to justify $24.00 a day of soda, water and juice.  The fresh squeezed juice was only available in the buffet. 

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5 star
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5 out of 5

Repositioning cruise to Boston was an excellent value.

small verified icon Verified Review | Ship: Serenade of the Seas | Sail Date: Apr 11, 2015

My wife and I live in the New Orleans area, where we jumped on board (hassle free). We liked all the ports but particularly enjoyed visiting Aruba and Bonaire for the first time. The cruise ended up in Boston where we saw several historical sites and then took a cheap flight back home the next day. The ship was well maintained and the service and food were great. Perfect repositioning scenario and excellent overall cruise experience.

Jeff & Pam

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munsterdude
Third Mate

4 star
4 star
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4 out of 5

Fun and relaxing trip

small verified icon Verified Review | Ship: Serenade of the Seas | Sail Date: Apr 04, 2015

This is my first time on a Royal Caribbean cruise, and it was a nice experience.  The boat was nice and clean, the staff were friendly and always willing to help.  The main dining room always had great choices for dinner and it was always delicious and fresh.  The main server and assistant servers made the trip memorable.  They are always willing to go the extra mile to make out trip fun and easy going.  My stateroom was always neat and clean.  I can be gone for an hour and come back to a freshly made bed.  Our room steward was friendly, helpful and informative.   The ports on this route were Key West, Nassau, and CocoCay.  Key West was beautiful and full of fun as soon as you stepped off the boat.  The area was made for tourism.  The houses were cute, the shopping areas were great and plenty of choices for food.  If you get a chance, swing by Two Friends Patio Restaurant and have some of the key lime pies (TO DIE FOR)!  CocoCay was a great stop to.  It was nice to just hang at the white sand beaches with its crystal clear waters.  I didn't do an excursion on this port, but you won't need to with all the things you can do for free on this island.  Nassau was nice, but as soon as you got off the boat and went to the end of the port, there were so many salesmen trying to get you to book one of their taxis.  It was a little unnerving and annoying.  Once you got on a taxi and made your way to the Atlantis Casino and Resort, it was nice and beautiful.  The casino is large and the shopping ares were nice and clean.  If you go to the beach area, you will have more salesmen trying to rent you a beach chair and an umbrella.  Other than the annoyance of feeling forced, it was an ok port.  All in all it was a nice and relaxing trip.  Next time if my trip takes me to the port of Nassau, I might stay on the boat and find more fun things to do without the haggle and hustling.

Cruise Photos

Beautiful artwork scattered around Unusual, but delicious desserts Mouth-watering meals

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JEG
Deck Hand

3 star
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3 out of 5

Serenade of the Seas

small verified icon Verified Review | Ship: Serenade of the Seas | Sail Date: Apr 04, 2015

We very much enjoyed the food, the dinning room service, the itinerary, and the overall cleanliness of the ship.  However, we were not prepared for the layout of the ship in regard to the entertainment in the Centrum area, which is open to all decks.  We had requested a cabin close to the elevator, not knowing that would put us directly in front of the Centrum and the loud music, which was quite audible in our cabin.  There were corridor doors that could be closed (by ship staff), that eliminated some of the noise, but they were not closed unless you called and then it took time for them to respond.  If you intend to go to sleep before midnight try to get a cabin further from the Centrum.

In the cabin the sink had a large chip and crack and the shower needed repair.

The boarding procedure was very lengthy & time consuming, but disembarkation was very well organized and swift.

 

 

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krisash
Purser

4 star
4 star
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4 out of 5

SERENADE OF THE SEAS OUT OF PORT OF NEW ORLEANS

small verified icon Verified Review | Ship: Serenade of the Seas | Sail Date: Mar 28, 2015

WE HAD A GREAT TIME ON THIS CRUISE VACATION IN SPITE OF A COUPLE LESS THAN PERFECT WEATHER DAYS. I BELIEVE THE WEATHER WAS A FLUKE AND IT JUST HAPPENED TO FALL DURING OUR CRUISE. I HAD DONE A LOT OF RESEARCH PRIOR TO DEPARTING AND PLANNED FOR OUR OWN EXCURSIONS AT EACH PORT. OUR FIRST STOP WAS JAMAICA AND I HAD 3 "FREE" PUBLIC BEACH OPTIONS TO VISIT WHILE THERE.  ONE OPTION WAS RED STRIPE BEACH, ONLY 7 MILES FROM THE PORT,BUT WHEN WE ASKED TO GO THERE, THE LOCALS SAID THEY WOULD CHARGE US $30 PER PERSON TO GET THERE!  THEY WOULD NOT TAKE US THERE. INSTEAD SUGGESTED A BEACH IN MONTEGO BAY THAT WAS TO COST $20 PER PERSON TO TRANSPORT, BUT BECAUSE WE HAD ONE EMPTY SEAT IN THE VAN, EVERYONE HAD TO PAY AN EXTRA $2 TO MAKE UP FOR THAT.  UPON ARRIVAL AT THIS BEACH, WE ALL HAD TO PAY $5 TO GET IN AND THEN ANOTHER $5 IF YOU WANTED A BEACH CHAIR. THE DRIVER KEPT ASKING US TO GIVE HIM MONEY FOR HIS LUNCH SINCE HE WAS WAITING AT THE BEACH SO THAT HE COULD RETURN US TO THE PORT WHEN WE WERE FINISHED.  I WAS TOTALLY DISGUSTED WITH THIS GUY AND FELT IT WAS A "SHAKE DOWN" FROM THE MOMENT WE GOT STARTED. WE WERE TRAVELING WITH OUR TEENAGED AND PRE-TEEN GRANDCHILDREN SO WHAT I THOUGHT WAS GOING TO BE AN "EASY ON THE BUDGET" DAY, TURNED INTO A VERY EXPENSIVE DAY.  GRAND CAYMAN IS WONDERFUL PORT AND I WISH WE HAD HAD MORE TIME TO SPEND THERE!  COZUMEL IS ALSO A GREAT PORT TO VISIT.  ROYAL CARIBBEAN IS A GREAT CRUISE LINE THAT MEETS THE NEEDS OF BOTH ADULT AND YOUNG PASSENGERS. THE SERVICE ON THE CRUISE WAS GREAT.  NO COMPLAINTS.  PLANNING OUR NEXT CRUISE WITH RCCL!

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moffetts
Purser

5 star
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5 out of 5

Cruise was awesome

small verified icon Verified Review | Ship: Serenade of the Seas | Sail Date: Mar 28, 2015

This cruise was Awesome  There were 11 of use ranging from 3 years old to 67 years old and we ALL had a great time.  The Royal Caribbean staff went out of their way to keep everyone happy.

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Popular tips for Serenade of the Seas.


get the Thermal Suite package on the first day! it averages out to about $14/day per person which is absolutely worth it. Also, we really enjoyed the Evening Stretch class provided in the gym which was free & as challenging or as relaxing as you choose to participate.

Remember it's YOUR vacation, just because the ship is at port doesn't me you HAVE TO get off the boat. Do what works for you, if your 'my time' dining doesn't work, then change it. If service is bad, SAY SOMETHING to a manager. And if someone is great, recognise them. :)

While the Ultimate Beverage package is expensive at $55/day/pp, if you like to drink, including fresh-squeezed OJ, champagne, and lattes, it is a good deal compared to the high per drink prices.

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Sail Date: Oct 19, 2015

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