Serenade of the Seas Cruise Review to Caribbean - Southern

Contributor Level: Deck Hand

7+ cruises


Helpful Vote

5 out of 5

A Great Cruise

Sail Date: November 01, 2011

Reviewed: 5 years ago

Traveled As: Family (older children)

Room Type: Balcony

Overall, a great experience. With 5 ports, we were very busy on shore excursions (four through the ship, and a scuba diving trip arranged on our own). Staff was very helpful and courteous. Main shows were good but not great. Shops are somewhat small without a huge variety, but I don't go on a cruise to buy things on-board. The $299 deal for all pictures is great; we must have gotten 35-40 pictures at that price (we do a lot of pictures on formal nights).

Mini golf was open at all hours (fun playing at night). Rock climbing wall was open way too few hours; kids were upset at that. Golf simulator was broken and had been for months (I wasn't planning on using it, but one person in our party was). Casino is a little small (too many slots, not enough card tables), but I did enjoy the several smoke free nights that they had at the casino.

I give this six smiles based on the price paid and the size of the ship. Other cruise lines may provide slightly better food at a higher price, while others may have bigger shows and more entertainment, but if you're cruising mainly to do things in the ports, and have good food on board, this is the cruise/ship for you.

Pros: Food

Cons: Shows

Recommends Serenade of the Seas? Yes!

Smaller ship, with smaller stage, means no huge production numbers. 8 dancers, 4 singers. They were good. Elvis impersonator was great. Comedian/juggler was good.
Ship Quality
This is not one of the larger ships, so if you're looking for a big ship with tons to do, this would not be the ship for you. But we prefer smaller ships, and spend our time in port on shore excursions.
Cabin / Stateroom
Good sized cabin and balcony. I prefer the layout here -- the bath and closets first, then the desk and sofa, with the bed being by the doors to the balcony -- as opposed to ships that put the bed before the sofa and desk.
Service and Staff
Dining staff were very good. Head waiter came around every night to check on how things were going (not the case with all cruises I've been on). Room steward was good, but we were often last to have our room made up. Got towels made into animals two days; would have preferred more.
Food and Dining
Had dinner in the main dining room every night but the night we went to Chops. First night was good, the rest were very good. You won't get quite the level of food as on cruise lines catering to an older, wealthier clientele, but the food was very good and better than on cheaper cruise lines. Had duck one night, lobster/shrimp another, and lamb osso busco a third. Others in our party had prime rib and various steaks, and they were also quite tender and cooked correctly at medium rare (not always easy to get on a ship). All very good. Windjammer was also very good; lots of variety and, due to the layout, never a line. Had dinner/steaks in the Chops Grill one night, and they were very good and the experience was wonderful.
Children's Programs
My 14 year old daughter had a friend on board with her, so they mainly did things together. They did do some teen activities, and said they were good.

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