July 2016 - 7 Night Scandinavia & Russia (Stockholm Roundtrip) Cruise on Serenade of the Seas
Great Ports, Tired Crew, CROWDED and Drab Ship
We were a party of 6 adults who had taken this same cruise on the Vision of the Seas 5 years ago. The ports were all still amazing, but we were disappointed in the condition of the Serenade, the over-crowded/oversold conditions, and the tired and grumpy crew. The ship was sold as having undergone a recent renovation, but we did not see it. Pool areas are unpainted and rusty. Stateroom furniture is threadbare. This particular ship was WAY oversold. We, ourselves - were offered a HUGE last-minute discount to put 4 adults in a stateroom with bunk beds (no way!). Many others took the deal, and it showed. Loud announcements were made frequently to eat and then get out of the cafe area, due to insufficient seating for the number of people onboard.. All of the staff seemed very tired. Also, this ship docked VERY far from the Riga city center (unlike the Vision 5 years ago), and we were required to pay $14 per person to get into the city and back. This was not announced until the night before we arrived, leaving no time to make other arrangements. We felt "nickeled and dimed", unlike our previous cruise. All in all, we had a great time...but this was not the "luxury vacation" that Royal promises.