Good, but not great

Serenade of the Seas Cruise Review to Transatlantic


Contributor Level: Third Mate
Experience: 7+ cruises
Reviews: 2
Helpful Votes: 14

Overall Rating:

3.0 out of 5
Verified Review
15 Night Transatlantic Eastbound (Boston To Copenhagen)
Sail Date: April 24, 2015
Ship: Serenade of the Seas
Cabin Type: Oceanview
Traveled As: Couple
Reviewed: 2 years ago

Well, perhaps my expectations were beyond realistic for this cruise. Six days of sailing, then seven fabulous ports. What could be bad? Nothing. Except this cruise was just a little "off." For starters and, of course, not Royal Caribbean's fault, the weather was awful. Cold, windy, all the way across and in every port. We never had an opportunity to sit on deck, to enjoy the sun, to swim, to rock wall climb, and the like. For another, the ship was unprepared to offer its guests critical information we needed about the ports themselves. For example, maps were not provided consistently that showed where the ship docked, what transportation was available from those docks to the city, and the cost and frequency of that transportation. When guest services was asked, we were told that maps were available when we got off the ship. Well, I like to plan my day in port the night before. That was very difficult to do. Such an inconvenience did not seem to bother guest services, who remained aloof from guest distress. Another example--guest services could not tell us the Swedish currency equivalency to the dollar. Come on, now. Nor could they provide us with Danish currency, even though our last port was Copenhagen. Guest service personnel really needed a course in extraordinary customer service.

Food was good, not great. Food service personnel were very attentive and helpful, though. Entertainment was good, not great, except for the orchestra, which was excellent, and a guitar player named Segundo, who was brilliant. We saw two good comedians the first two nights out, and then never saw them again. What happened to the adult comedy show they could have performed on those nights? There was little activity going on in the evenings. Five movies shown over and over again on a fifteen day cruise. Really?

So, the cruise did not live up to my expectations.

 

Food and Dining

3 out of 5
Not a lot of variety at breakfast or lunch. Meh.

Onboard Activities

3 out of 5

Entertainment

3 out of 5
What there was of it was fine. Lacking in late night entertainment.

Service and Staff

3 out of 5
Maximo, our waiter, just terrific.

Ship Quality

3 out of 5
Serenade is looking a little seedy. For example, the sitting area around the main area of the ship--the Centrum--had couches that needed serious cleaning, rips in the leather seating. Deck 4 had a noticeable mildew odor.

Cabin / Stateroom

3 out of 5

Ship Tip

Research the ports yourself. Bring copies of the research with you, or prepare for a substantial additional charge for internet connection. Bring a lot of warm clothes. Average on deck temperature for this crossing was 39-46 degrees and very windy. Bring a small sturdy umbrella.

3 out of 5
Trip to Stonehenge was 10 hours, most of which was on a bus. Tours were quite expensive.

Cherbourg, France Did not visit port

If you are looking to buy an umbrella from Cherbourg (see movie), be prepared to spend $165 or more! If you debark on a Monday, the shops are mostly closed. Bigger stores open in the afternoon, something guest services should have told us, but they didn't.

Zeebrugge (Bruges), Belgium Did not visit port

Gorgeous city. Take the canal ride, but save your tour money and book the ride when you get into the city.

Amsterdam, Netherlands Did not visit port

You can spend 2-3 hours or more at any one museum (Riks, Van Gogh, etc.), but you probably can't do more than one for the amount of time you have in Amsterdam. Use your time wisely.

Goteborg (Gothenburg), Sweden Did not visit port

Okay port.

Copenhagen, Denmark Did not visit port

We docked in a container port, far from the city. Taxis are very expensive.
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