Abbreviated Cruise (through no fault of the cruise line)
Serenade of the Seas Cruise Review to Caribbean - Southern
Sail Date: April 18, 2016
Ship: Serenade of the Seas
Cabin Type: Inside
Cabin Number: 3123
Traveled As: Couple
Reviewed: 1 year ago
A short review of Serenade of the Seas, 11 nights starting (for most) 4/18/16. Due to massive amounts of rain in our hometown (Houston TX) we missed the ship (1st time in 23 cruises we missed a ship) and through a series of successes and mishaps, we were able to join the ship at it's first port of call, Oranjestad, Aruba on Thursday, 4/21/16. Overall, we were extremely pleased with the ship, crew, food, service, decor, operation, etc. Food was excellent for the most part, and this from the complimentary offerings only, we didn't avail ourselves of the specialty restaurants. Service equally so, staff was attentive, friendly, superbly professional, more so than we expected from something other than one of RCCL's "mega-ships". The shortcomings, if any, concerned the people connected with "Guest Services" who were, through no fault of their own, placed in extraordinarily difficult circumstances, actually at both "ends" of the cruise, at the beginning with those of us unable to complete initial boarding in Florida, as well as departing guests due to a medical emergency onboard causing an overdue arrival at the end of the cruise. Our only real problem (trying to be completely fair here) was getting caught in between ship vs shore personnel, with both sides "pointing the finger" as it were, in the opposite direction. Ship staff said it was up to RCCL's emergency staff in Florida to do or perform X, while on contacting the home office, we were told that it was something "ship personnel were supposed to take care of". As well, after a certain hour, a supervisor was unavailable at either office, onboard or ashore, no one in fact to make a decision other than to tell us either a) it was up to "the other guy"; or b) there was nothing they could do. The situation was, in fact, easily rectified upon reaching the airline the following day, leading one to believe that the ship personnel weren't, as they said, in contact with the airlines.
To finish on a positive, overall, we'd take this cruise, this ship, and this line again, secure in the knowledge of solid value for our vacation dollar. The circumstances and/or consequences of unforseen difficulties made it difficult at times for everyone, but I think Serenade's positives far outweigh any "less-than-superior" aspects.
Hope this helps someone considering this ship/line.