Serenade of the Seas Cruise Review to Europe - Northern Europe

Contributor Level: Purser

7+ cruises


Helpful Votes

4 out of 5

Good Ports-Questionable excursions!

Sail Date: July 26, 2015

Reviewed: 1 year ago

Traveled As: Couple

Room Type: Balcony

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 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.



Food and Dining
Dining room experience generally very good however the Windjammer is too small to handle large crowds, especially when large numbers arrive after lengthy tours and the dining room is unavailable. There is not enough space and not enough staff to clear off the tables. On the plus side a lot of variety and quality for lunch at Windjammer. Dinner variety and quality not very good.
Service and Staff
Accommodating and very friendly and helpful
Gr8 orchestra and Centrum entertainment. Shows were either very good or just OK 50:50
Onboard Activities
Destinations and Excursions
Good destinations but poor information on ports. Seems they were more concerned with shopping than the sights. Some excursions were led by very poor guides that were hard to hear or not well versed. The good guides/tours provided us with headsets and receivers. Ship excursions generally overpriced. St. Petersburg excursion through United
cruises the best quality and value
Ship Quality
Embarkation and Disembarkation
Embarkation was a little disorganized since ship got in late. Disembarkation was poor has only one of a double door terminal exit could be opened making it difficult and time consuming. In the US this would likely be a safety violation
Cabin / Stateroom
Lots of room and quiet. Well kept by the steward
Stockholm, Sweden
City excursion including Vasa Museum had a very poor guide that had a low voice and talked into her shoulder; she did not respond to complaints. This and all the other tours had large numbers making it difficult to get up close and in the direction of her talking.
Helsinki, Finland
Tallinn, Estonia
Beautiful Medieval town, unfortunately tour guide did not have much to say. Narrow streets and very crowded look-out points
Riga, Latvia
City highlights gave good insight as to life before and after independence
Klaipeda, Lithuania
Warnemunde (Berlin), Germany
Berlin tour was excellent, albeit long-12.5 hrs. The Warnemunde area looked like a ni9ce place to explore
Fredericia, Denmark
Beautiful quaint and friendly city. Get a map from the information booth and spend the day exploring.
Copenhagen, Denmark


Do your homework on the ports. The ship gives out little information because they want you to buy their excursion. Some of which had questionable value. This is important since the ship descriptions are incredibly vague making it difficult to make a good choice.

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