An easy trans Atlantic cruise, with much to do--even on sea days. I especially enjoyed the organized duplicate bridge, progressive trivia, the bands and music, the staff and the ports of call. Our captain was on top of things, and as we had great weather/seas up to the Azores, he scooted us out of the Azores a couple of hours early and bypassed/rerouted from what could have been heavy seas.
The problems that I had , were related to the size of the doors in our cabin but as far as the cruise itself, I really enjoyed it. Once our problems were corrected except for the shower to give my son a bath, which I had to wash him with a wash cloth we were treated very well. Everyone on the ship were helpful and the service in the dining room was excellent. We got to see the Captain every day as he mingled with the passengers. This is the first ship were the Captain was so visible and very nice. Always asking the passengers if everything was ok. The front desk not as nice nor as helpful as they should but I guess they have a lot to content with. Over all the cruise was great and have another one reserved on the same ship. Ty
I. Norman Sarette, am writing this review. It is mostly my Opinion. Maria's Wold have given you 5 stars. I did not because of a few small things that I noticed since I sailed about 15 years ago. The food was better and you did not have to go to a specialty restaurant to get it. The bar staff had more waiters and would come to you more often and had a better attitude. I believe it is because they are understaffed and whereas most people have opted for drink packages there is an underlying attitude not to always give there best. They are definitely overworked. And the times we did not go on excursions there would be only one bar tender.I think again it is a Policy Problem and not so much a people problem. We had a royal replenish package for the both of us as we don't drink much alcohol and I believe it was not a good value for us. We understand how these packages can be abused and seen people abuse them. So I can see why some restrictions apply. I was going to a zip line tour on one of my excursions and used my card to get 2 bottles of water to take with me so as to have enough water for the next 4 to 6 hours that I would be off the ship on a hot day in a humid climate on an Island that I would be concerned with parasites in the water. I was told I could only Have one and he would not give me two because of policy. I took another on my own and I could see the panic in his eyes that there was going to be a problem and he reached for it and I gave it back to him and avoided a bigger situation. I survived but it is a major reason why I gave you 4 stars. Over $200 a piece My wife and I payed for a royal replenish package, which we did not abuse, and We could not get 2 bottles of water at a time, like we were going to abuse the system. Like I said I seen people do it with drinks and I therefor see the need for being cautious about the abuse of these cards, but not for water, a staple for life in those climates. You would do better to give any person who books a tour with Royal Caribbean all the water they would need while on that tour. When we came back from that tour the person who was selling the waters was still there and I said to him you finally got your water, as they had run out as we were leaving the ship, he said yes and that his relief person had not shown up yet and that he was hungry and might miss his break. Again we were treated with respect from your staff. I believe some improvement in some policies would help. As for our cabin steward and our dining waiter and sub waiter Paul & Adi We gave them all another tip as they were so exceptional. All the waiters in the windjammer and any of the food places were exceptional! We can not praise them enough. All the room stewards too. Not just our room. We thank them. This is where your your policies and your People shine. Keep up the good work. I see that most of these people come from poverty and poor situations in there home countries. My wife Maria is from those situation and knows what hunger and fear is. It is good that the cruise ships give them an opportunity. You can be proud of yourselves. Please beware not to abuse them. PS. We believe that the value paid and what we received was a very good value. The money spent in today's dollars for this cruise of 10 days would have been much more for the 7 day cruise 15 years ago. So a good value for our cruise. Thank You The Sarettes
The cruise was great, especially the shore excursions. A big advantage of sailing on one of the smaller ships is that they can get into the tiny and interesting ports. One was Barbados where we visited the Harrison Caves and saw some glorious stalagmites and stalactites. Granada was also interesting. That little island was almost destroyed by Hurricane Ivan and is just starting to come back to life. We toured a nutmeg factory and a dark chocolate factory and got free samples at each. Yum. The best excursion was on Aruba where we took a six hour Catamaran cruise which stopped at two beaches and then provided a lobster lunch onboard. Yes, I did get sunburned, but not super-bad. Only had a 50 percent block with me. But yes, it was worth it.
The Serenade of the Seas provided an extremely smooth trip even in 9 ft seas. However the cruise line is, to say it nicely, too frugal. At a bingo a crew member said they sold 200- $60.00 bundles of cards in addition to the $44 and $33 bundles. So they took in about $15,000. The games were extremely short. There was only 3 games and the payouts were $500 and $300. The big game was a cabin upgrade but they only played an "X" game so it was over very quickly also.
The shows were short and average. To see a movie in the Cinema you had to go an hour before the show because there were so few seats. One elevator was out of service and we spent a "lot" of time trying to get on the remaining elevators. They would pass by empty and most passengers,us included, would just get on when they had a spot and go down to go up and vice versa.
On the plus side, the captain was very social, taking part in on board activities. Embarkation and departure was smooth at all ports of call. Cabin service and restaurant service excelled. Food was very good.
This was our second southern Caribbean cruise and enjoy the 11 night itinerary. We enjoyed the Serenade of the Seas. Last year, we sailed same area and length on Legend of the Seas. Both nice ships. We always get an ocean view as we don't really use the balconies that much. Entertainment can be switched up a bit and I stated that in my Royal Caribbean review. Seeing the same shows from one sailing to another... Even the game shows need to be changed -- the Quest is fun, but even the Love & Marriage show needs a few new questions -- same from ship to ship... Now, if you are new to Royal Caribbean, this won't be a problem. And maybe, all the lines get stale in the entertainment and games department... Food in Windjammer much better than in dining room. Good staff on board. Would definitely go on Seranade again to do a long itinerary.
I loved the 11 day itinerary but many things with RCCL have gone down hill I believe. We are 5 pts from Diamond and I have watched the overall quality of the vacation experience go down hill over the last few years. Quality of food is not near what it used to be. The special "perks" you used to get for being a Crown and Anchor member are almost non-existent. Internet package didn't work, couldn't get checked in for my flight yet Guest Services did nothing about it. Sorry.... no refund, no investigation as to why I couldn't log in. Just an "oh well....." Not up to par anymore. Not sure if I will remain "Loyal to Royal."
Our trip was seamless which made it very relaxing. We had the first 2 days at sea which was nice to give us time to get acquainted with the ship and rest up to tackle the 5 Islands that we were going to visit. Our weather was great! The ship was very nice and we really liked our stateroom with a window. Our stateroom attendant, Fnu Asmadi, was friendly, professional and an incredibly hard worker! Pablo Gutierrez, our waiter, was perfect. His assistant, Servio Fernandes, was ever attendant. The food was good as was the entertainment. We really enjoyed the movies that were shown during the trip. A very fun time!
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. :)
When picking your stateroom, make sure there are no public areas above it . Deck 10 is where most of the suites are but unfortunately Deck 11 is where the pool, Windjammer, Park Cafe, the Solarium and the Spa are located. If you are a light sleeper, you'll be able to hear all the movements at night
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