Serenaded by Drums

Serenade of the Seas Cruise Review to Caribbean - Southern

Cruises: 7+ cruises
Review: 1
Helpful Votes: 23

Overall rating:

3.2 out of 5
Serenade of the Seas

11 Night Southern Caribbean (Ft. Lauderdale Roundtrip)

Sail date: January 15, 2018

Ship: Serenade of the Seas

Cabin type: Inside

Cabin number: 8501/8503

Traveled as: Family (older children)

Reviewed: 3 years ago

Review summary

Overall had a good time. Not much fun with sick family (colds/fevers). Very few children on board and those we saw were 7 and under. Called to naughty room for steamer in luggage. It is a small plastic one, I was allowed to keep. NOT a full sized steam iron. They confiscated over 40 full sized ones and probably same amount of small travel ones. They don't open your luggage you have to. No problem with bringing water in separate suitcase. I did not go into casino other than to play my 3 free pulls and passing thru from one side of ship to other, too smoky. The smoke carried into Centrum area. Note, they now have lifeguards at all pool areas.


4 out of 5
Fast since we were the only ship leaving that day.

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

4 out of 5
Overall quality of food was good, but service was really lacking, slow and always reminding waite staff what was ordered. Had to ask for cold tea at either lunch in main dining room or at dinner for it and never getting it. Only one night did I get it at dinner. Waiter tried too hard, pushing food on us, if we didn't eat all on our plates. You had to get your own beverages in Windjammer. Asked why it ws taking so long for food and were told it was due to crew being ill, but it wasn't the noro, more cold/cough related. We ate at Givinatis 3 times, Chops 1 time and Iszumi 1 time.

Onboard Activities

3 out of 5
Activities were scheduled while in port or right before the early seating.

RC Online

1 out of 5

Paid for the surf and streaming service half way thru cruise. Husband was unable to email out messages, they kept getting dropped. For the price, not good.


3 out of 5
Not able to see some of the 1 time shows due to no seating available.

Concierge Lounge

3 out of 5

Too small for number of Diamond Plus and Suites guests on this cruise. The Diamond Lounge was way too small. They could have opened up Vortex area for the overflow which they did on our New Orleans cruise.


3 out of 5

R Bar great drinks. Venue too small for the activities, they should use Safari Club behind Schooner Bar.

Children's Programs

No children under age of 27 with us.

Service and Staff

3 out of 5
Alex our room steward did a great job, but don't book room 8501,8503, due to noise issues. Called security first night due to someone I thought was practicing their music after 8:30 next door. They came turns out it was coming from theatre 2 floors below. Check out room layout. Only other room issue was daughter's adjoining room had a tapping noice the first night in her ventilation system that sounded like someone knocking at her door thoughout the night. We could hear it from our room as well. Maintenance fixed it. Customer service tried to resolve and compensate us for our lack of sleep.

Ship Quality

4 out of 5
We really enjoyed our previous cruise on Serenade, but this one did not live up to previous experience. Ship was clean, layout (sound issues) from theatre on deck 5/6 and us on deck 8 ability to hear the background music from all shows was annoying when trying to sleep at night or napping during the day. It should have been noted in brochure those cabins are subject to noise issues like they do for balcony cabins (obstructed view).

Cabin / Stateroom

2 out of 5
Layout made great use of space, able to get out of sides of bed with it together. Bed was comfortable, clean. Room steward was great, location of adjoining room door was good. Able to put soft side suitcases under bed, hard side (2) fit in closet. Only negative was they left old outlets on desk area where they had removed sockets with exposed wires. One drawer had the front come off when you pulled on it. Some cracked and peeling paint issues in bathroom. Water pressure super.

Ship tip

Try to be patient. The staff and crew are doing their best, to make your cruise an enjoyable one. Which they did for us, would I cruise this ship again, YES in a heartbeat.

Ports of call

Ft. Lauderdale (Port Everglades), Florida

4 out of 5
Came in 2 days before cruise and enjoyed the hotel we stayed at only.

St. John's, Antigua

4 out of 5
Took the Lobster and Beach tour. Would do this one again. Small group of about 18 had protected beach all to ourselves. 5 hours was a little long, Food was good. I was able to get in the water by myself due to gradual sloop of sand.

Castries, St. Lucia

3 out of 5
We did not go on this excursion although we had it booked. Other members of family did go, and said I would not have been able to go to hot springs due to distance, steps and walking conditions. They would not recommend this tour. Also cruise staff advised us NOT TO USE our credit cards to make any purchases here due to theft of card information. Only use cash.

Bridgetown, Barbados

3 out of 5
I did not get off in port because I did not know they had complimentary transportation from our docked location into port terminal. Other members of family did. We were looking to purchase special rum that we had purchased about 6 years ago. I have name of Wine shop, they took taxi, but the only store on this side the island was totally out. They only had 3 bottles in terminal building which they purchased. Would call ahead next time to make sure they had the amount and type available. It can not be imported to US.

Willemstad, Curacao

3 out of 5
Our excursion was cancelled by ship. The tour ship had mechanical problems. Family members took complimentary shuttle buses into town center to shop. It was to be a beach day.

Oranjestad, Aruba

3 out of 5
Booked online thru Resorts for the Day. (TIP) make sure to call your credit card company before leaving the US to let them know you are out of country. We were advise that resort did not take cash only cc. We got there and tried to use our cc but they were declined . So we pooled our cash and had enough to pay balance and have enough for return taxi fare. Went to beach area with restaurant, and was hit up by restaurant staff to pay for lounge chairs, which were to be complimentary, I had the letter stating what was included. Daugher overheard restaurant staff only charging $18 per chair for people who just took taxi to beach. When it came time for lunch, we asked restaurant staff what was available for the 5 of us to spend of our voucher. They could not say. At that point, husband asked for voucher back and proceeded to front desk of resort. After speaking to different managers, he was able to get the rest of our money back. We should have gotten it all, but he thought it fair to pay $30 dollars for use of the 3 beach chairs. Will pursue this later with Resorts for the Day.


4 out of 5
Was held up leaving due to crew not off loading luggage according to luggage tag numbers. They had offloaded 38 before 4. We were held up for hour on top floor of terminal before we were able to proceed and pick up luggage. We were unable to use porters for luggage. Fastest thru we didn't have to declare anything, just show passports to immigration. We had made arrangements with shuttle service we used getting from airport to hotel and hotel to ship for transportation to airport. $30 for 3 people 6 pieces of luggage and $60 for 5 people and 12 pieces of luggage.

Traveler Photos

Lobster and Beach Tour Twin Peaks
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