August 2014 - Serenade of the Seas to Europe - Mediterranean
Good: Beautiful ship, outstanding staff, wonderful spa.
Not so good: We were not made aware of all of the upcharges that were required once we got onboard. Those were charges for shuttles or buses to every city and to the better restaurants. We were never close to any of the cities we wanted to visit so the shuttles and buses were required at every port. The advertisements for the ship seemed to include broadway shows, upscale restaurants, non-alcoholic drinks (cokes). We had only cruise-employee entertainment, comedians, karyoke, and bingo (another charge).
I don't think I would do another cruise like this one. I would prefer a smaller ship with more inclusions or a larger ship with more options.
There were many unruly children on our cruise unsupervised by parents. They were in the bar, the casino and generally, everywhere.
We expected the shops to carry merchandise that was representative of the cities we visited, souvenirs or objects from these cities. Instead, the shops carried only ordinary merchandise that could have been purchased at any discount store in the U.S.A. Additionally, the very small portion of the shops that were availabile for personal use was inadequate. it was impossible to even purchase a lipstick or body lotion.
Generally, we did not have an opportunity to fully appreciate the cities we visited. For example, in Venice, the excursion we took allowed 30 minutes in Murano, ten minutes of which was a demonstration of how they blew glass. There was not enough time to look around the shop or even to try to purchase any of the glass objects. There was more time in Burano and Torcello where there was virtually nothing to see.
I would have preferred more time at sea and more time in the important cities, i.e., Venice, Florence, Rome. We had to choose between seeing historical sites and having free time to shop or dine.