July 2015 - Serenade of the Seas to Europe - Northern Europe
If you want a snapshot of the Baltic this is the cruise to take. The ship was very comfortable and our cabin near the Centrum deck 9 was very quiet. Centrum entertainment was very good and half of the Showroom presentations were of high quality while the rest was just OK.
The food and variety was very good, especially lunches in the Windjammer. Unfortunately Windjammer experiences can be poor as there is not enough seating or staff to continuously clear tables. We only had dinner there once after a long excursion to Berlin; however this was a terrible ordeal because many excursion returned to the ship late forcing most people to the Windjammer and not the Dining Room. My Time dining in the Reflections dining room was very good. Reasonable variety and very good service.
The quality of the excursion guide often dictated the quality of the excursion. If your guide had a clear loud voice or provided headsets and receivers. This should be a requirement for all excursions! Since Royal Caribbean provides little information on the excursions or the ports you really have to do your homework to decide an itinerary.
We have used the excursions offered by United Cruises and found then to be of high quality and good value. Groups are smaller and they are offered at lower prices. Since we tend to be risk averse we only use them when the ship is not leaving port. With the higher priced ship excursion you are guaranteed that the shop won't leave with out you.