January 2015 - 7 Night Western Caribbean (Ft. Lauderdale Roundtrip) Cruise on Serenade of the Seas
My wife and I just returned from our first cruise on RCB's Serenade of the Seas. Overall, the ship, service and value were excellent however there is definitely areas of improvement. We had a balcony room in the front of the ship (8th floor), and since this is not a very big ship, it took us a little while to get adjusted to our sea legs.
Here are some of the pros: Stateroom (We got spoiled by the service provided by our stateroom attendant), the features on the ship itself such as the common areas, the Solarium (It gets crowded easily), fitness area and the centrum (Truly a sight to behold). Cruise ports were good and Royal did a good job on managing the entry and exit in the ports of call. We booked our own excursions independent of the cruise line, and saved 25-30% from the cruise line prices.
Cons: Food choices and quality ranged from poor to excellent. The options were limited in the main dining room, however the food selection in the Windjammer was excellent. Complimentary beverages only included water, tea, fruit juice and coffee. The quality of on-board entertainment also varied from average to excellent. On our first two days at sea, they only showed one movie and none in the outdoor screen. The movie choices and selections vastly improved towards the end of the cruise, which was very puzzling.
For a first cruise, we definitely had a good time and learned a lot about cruising in general.