Serenade of the Seas Cruise Review to Caribbean - Southern

Contributor Level: Purser

Experience
7+ cruises

Review
1

Helpful Votes
0

3 out of 5

GOOD BUT NOT EXCEPTIONAL CRUISE FOR THE MONEY

Sail Date: November 23, 2015

Reviewed: 10 months ago

Traveled As: Couple

Room Type: Inside

ROYAL CARRIBBEAN  cruise lines is the reason we got hooked on  cruising 25 years ago aboard the MONARCH OF THE SEAS.   It was one of the largest ships at the time, (although small by todays standards 75,000 tons), We have cruised every year since then, (not all on RCCL) but unfortunately   the cruise experience has deteriorated ever since then. The  blogs show that many other long time cruisers   ditto  this sentiment.  Although the service was reasonably good at most

venues,  the crew did not speak or understand English all that well.  It became obvious if   you had a question or special request.  Seems  to me RCCL,  the staff   and the passenger would all benefit if the management of RCCL would  offer  English  as a second Language Class  to the staffers on board ship.   This would be a win, win, win for all concerned.  To pay for it they could get rid of the ubiquitous but under utilized rock climbing wall.   The cost to build it and the cost of the 4 staffers to run it could be better used elsewhere. 

Speaking of costs: $14.16 is a bit much for a regular gin martini. 

PUBLIC AREAS:  During the day we hung out in the enclosed atrium adults only pool area.  The regular outside pool was impossible to enjoy because of the horrible loud music they started to blare after 10:00am.   I go to the pool, as most passengers do,   to relax, read, snooze & converse, but it is impossible when the music   is so loud that you have to shout into your spouse's,  (partner's) ear to carry on a conversation.   Bloggers have been complaining about this issue for many ears but Sr. Management has apparently turned a "deaf ear".   THE ATRIUM is another sore spot.  In the evenings they have popular dance bands here which draws large crowds.  There is very little seating. The available chairs accommodate only one person, but the design of the chairs is much too large.  So people mill around and stand around that causes a serious traffic jam with those passengers that want to pass  through  or utilize  the  guest relations desk and  or travel desk or internet area. Meanwhile the Crown Lounge on deck 12 is virtually empty.  Tis is a major negative for me.

THE FOOD. Mostly good in the dining room and Windjammer.  On an 11 day cruise the food in the  main dining room  gets repetitive so we ate dinner in the Windjammer on several occasions.  We were pleasantly surprised  that the dinner selections were pretty good here., especially those foods personally prepared at the pasta  station  and grill area.  My main complain is the breakfast coffee.  You cannot serve yourself.  The  given coffee  is much too strong. But you Starbucks aficionadas my like it. To me it tasted too strong, bitter and burnt.

I always had to find a server to cut the taste with a splash or 2 of hot water.  The orange juice was drinkable.  On some mornings I would have paid for fresh squeezed but I could never find anyone to operate the fresh squeezed machine.

THE SHOWS:    Mostly good. The comedian,  4 Tenors and illusionist were exceptional. The RCCL singers and dancers were mediocre  and I am being kind  by calling them only mediocre. We walked out.

Debarkation also went well. No problems.

Cabin / Stateroom
ADEQUATE FOR 2 ADULTS. I did notice a build up of dust in the corner of the closet. Indicates only a fast pass with the vacuum.
Entertainment A mixed bag. The good the comedian George Kantor, and the 3 Tenors, The Royal Caribbean Singers and dancers, not good, amateurish
Service and Staff
Food and Dining
Mostly the usual, The lobster on formal night was very good & decent size. No shrimp cocktail the 1st 2 nights in the dining room , The Windjamer sometimes had excellent selections such as Salmon & steaks personally grilled to your taste Also had dipped ice cream during dinner hr.
Ft. Lauderdale (Port Everglades), Florida
Oranjestad, Aruba
Kralendijk, Bonaire
Best snorkeling anywhere in the Caribbean.
Bridgetown, Barbados
Mount Gay Barbados Rum, not cheap anymore. Might as well buy it in the states.

Tip

NOT NEARLY ENOUGH SEATING IN THE ATRIUM AREA WHERE THE SHIP MANAGEMENT INSISTS ON HAVING POPULAR DANCE BANDS. These dance bands should be held in an appropriate lounge. SEE COMMENTS IN THE review section.



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