Sail Date: January 2019
This was my third cruise with Royal Caribbean. So I'm not much of a cruise fanatic. Kudos go to everyone. Boarding was a breeze despite computer problems. Security present and friendly. Carlos, my cabin steward, went above and beyond ... Read More
This was my third cruise with Royal Caribbean. So I'm not much of a cruise fanatic. Kudos go to everyone. Boarding was a breeze despite computer problems. Security present and friendly. Carlos, my cabin steward, went above and beyond the call of duty. Servers in Windjammer and the restaurant on top of it. Food in Windjammer better than ever. Entertainment surprisingly good. I was disappointed on the last cruise. Shopping Goddess, Maia, helped us get a great deal at Diamonds International. Leaving was piece of cake too. Ports: Aruba, Curacao, Bonaire, St. Lucia, and Antigua. We picked this cruise due to the ports. Snorkeled at 4 of 5 destinations. Highly recommend Woodwind in Bonaire and Spencer Ambrose Tours Jalousie/Sugar Beach break in St Lucia. Book them early. They both have dedicated followers. Also loved Playa Puerto Marie in Curacao. Warning...it's $50 cab ride one way. But you will not find many tourists on the beautiful deserted beach with a great reef right off the beach. So it was worth it to us. More port/destination info on TripAdvisor. Things that need improvement. The sofa in my cabin was worn to the point that the fabric on the arms were gone. I know it's an older ship. But since they changed the back cushion, someone must have seen the damage. Next, when we went to the dining room at 530, the host said there was no record of my reservation. I showed my documents with the reservation scheduled during booking and pretty much the told me too bad. This was the only person who's service stunk. An apology would have been nice. Now I could only make reservations for 5pm or after 730. This was due to the significant number of seniors who had grabbed early times. Anyway, got a table after a 30 minute wait. Our server, Boy, was wonderful as was his assistant whose name I cannot recall. That being said, first time food in Reflections was disappointing. During my last cruise, food was vastly superior. The menu in Reflections was available in the Windjammer, so we gave up on the restaurant. Summary: I would probably try a different cruise line next time. Many of the hardcore cruisers were disappointed and suggested alternatives. But I got a great deal and sometimes you get what you pay for. Overall, had a great time. But the competition for my travel budget is fierce. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
Another great cruise on the Serenade. Ship is wonderful, well maintained and the crew were all so friendly. The food in the Windjammer was excellent. Great selections. Did the MDR several nights and the service was excellent along with ... Read More
Another great cruise on the Serenade. Ship is wonderful, well maintained and the crew were all so friendly. The food in the Windjammer was excellent. Great selections. Did the MDR several nights and the service was excellent along with the food. The lobster was delicious!! We cruised on this ship last year and enjoyed it so much that we did another 11 days this year. Now, it is a smaller ship and doesn't have as much to do as the bigger ships but that's what we wanted. It was very peaceful. The crew were constantly cleaning and fixing things. We had a couple of rocky nights but it wasn't too bad. Room was kept very clean. The only negative with the room is the so called frig. It never got cold. Plenty of storage available. The Ports of call were excellent. We really enjoyed Curacao and Aruba. Will not hesitate to sail on this ship again. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
We wanted to enjoy a long cruise seeing some beautiful islands. We stayed in a wheelchair accessible room and while it met all my needs, the view of the ocean was partly obstructed by the covering to the lifeboat of below. While we knew ... Read More
We wanted to enjoy a long cruise seeing some beautiful islands. We stayed in a wheelchair accessible room and while it met all my needs, the view of the ocean was partly obstructed by the covering to the lifeboat of below. While we knew this beforehand, we didn’t realize how big it was. I would never stay in a room like that again. I find it objectionable that they would place an accessible room there as those of us who cannot stand to peer over had a much worse view. The food on the ship was bland. The buffet was the same each day. Rarely did anyone assist with me in my chair and they expected my husband to to all of the work. Even after we complained to the manager, things never improved. Even the lobster lacked the usual sweetness I have had on other cruises. I asked for a small cup of drawn butter and a big production was made to get it. They tried to skimp at every turn. The only relief with the food was at their speciality restaurants. We went to Chops Grille, Izumi and Giovannis and they were wonderful. Unfortunately, Rita’s Cantina was closed. We never used the ship’s shore excursions, but rather, rented vehicles on all but St. Lucia. On St. Lucia, we booked a private Solomon water taxi tour to the Pitons since they could not accommodate my wheelchair. It was worth the extra cost and we received great treatment! We highly recommend them! I can easily say that our time was put to good use on each island where we could get away from the crowds and see the beauty of these places. And our overall costs were less than the typical excursions. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
We picked this cruise to go back to Bonaire. We had a great time and all of the islands were great. We love the smaller ships as we get to meet many people and get to know them. The 5 days at sea were very relaxing. The service was great ... Read More
We picked this cruise to go back to Bonaire. We had a great time and all of the islands were great. We love the smaller ships as we get to meet many people and get to know them. The 5 days at sea were very relaxing. The service was great in both the dining room and the Windjammer. The food choices each evening were great and on the second formal night we had lobster and with refills allowed!! The Windjammer had a great variety of food and everything was a great temp. The evening shows were excellent with a good variety of shows. Getting on and off the ship at each port was very smooth with no long lines. Our cabin was a balcony cabin on deck 8 midship - we had plenty of storage and we enjoyed sitting there every evening with a nightcap. We were close to everything and walked to most places. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
We selected this cruise to first get away from the winter cold of New England and by leaving Jan 19th, we missed a frightful storm by the hairs of our chins! It met our first objective with flying colors! Our second objective was met as we ... Read More
We selected this cruise to first get away from the winter cold of New England and by leaving Jan 19th, we missed a frightful storm by the hairs of our chins! It met our first objective with flying colors! Our second objective was met as we also selected this cruise because of its destination to Bonaire as we've been to Aruba and Curacao, but never Bonaire and we were not disappointed! The ship is an aging grand dame, but it is well maintained and sparkles like a jewel. Dining twice in Chops was our guilty pleasure. Our My Time dining experience was amazing and we sat most nights at a table served by two consummate hosts .. Michael our superb waiter and Million our impeccable Asst Waiter - both meticulous and punctual professionals who enjoyed their work. The food seemed to be an improvement over our most recent RCCL cruise. The entertainment entertained by a timely RCCL formula. I do admit that the singer and dancer numbers are getting a little ho-hum but not for lack of the troupe's performance - just because they are all starting to seem repetitive. I wish they would offer more Broadway plays - even condensed versions on the smaller ships. All in all, it was a successful mission and we were out of "dodge" for two weeks. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
read some negative things about this ship by other reviewers...perhaps Royal Caribbean noticed or perhaps the other reviewers were too critical...but as opposed to some others, we loved the ship...the dining choices were great with lots of ... Read More
read some negative things about this ship by other reviewers...perhaps Royal Caribbean noticed or perhaps the other reviewers were too critical...but as opposed to some others, we loved the ship...the dining choices were great with lots of variety every night...we hit the windjammer every day for lunch and most breakfasts and found it too was awesome. We loved the entertainment, some just brought on board from other ships for a few days... The service was exemplary especially Loyed and Mika in the dining room...these two went out of their way to ensure we were content, in every way. I would love to travel on this ship again. We chose it because of the itinerary having not visited some these islands before. I don't like the larger ships and with the smaller ones, you do get to meet and know a lot more of your fellow passengers. Most of the passengers onboard were Diamond and up...we were nothing as among our 7 cruises thus far, this was our first RCL and we were very very pleased. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
This was our 6th cruise with Royal Caribbean and our third on Serenade on the Seas. We were looking forward on cruising again with Serenade 9 years later. My husband and I were traveling with a young child and 2 seniors. Embarkation ... Read More
This was our 6th cruise with Royal Caribbean and our third on Serenade on the Seas. We were looking forward on cruising again with Serenade 9 years later. My husband and I were traveling with a young child and 2 seniors. Embarkation On departure day, our hotel had a a shuttle taking us to the cruise terminal around 11 am. Embarkation went smoothly enough. We were early enough to grab some lunch at the Windjammer even though it was already a total zoo. I remember an announcement asking passengers to eat and leave promptly to let other people have a chance to sit down and eat - don't think it worked well. Cabin Our cabin was nice (standard) and fairly well maintained, although some fixtures, shelves and towels looked a bit tired. We got decent service from our stateroom attendant. Dining The Windjammer was a zoo, same as always. The food was quite adequate, however. We felt we always had to get there early to avoid being trampled or run over by scooters. Staff-wise, it was hit and miss. Most were friendly, but I found those working at the coffee and drink stations often inattentive and slow. In the Reflections dining room, we only went there for dinner. We tried breakfast on the first sea day and the service was so slow and mediocre that we gave up. Our dinnertime wait staff, Randolph and Marisol, and head waiter Oscar were efficient and friendly, especially when it came to our young son. On the second night (first formal night) we found a group in hawaiian shirts and shorts sitting at our table and eating our bread. I assume this was confusion on their part and not the staff's fault. I really hope so, anyway. We had to ask for a change of cutelry and bread baskets. As for the food, the menu was quite repetitive and the quality inconsistent. I believe it was the exact kids menu every day. I often went with our waiter Randolph's suggestions, which worked out pretty well for me. I can't say the same for my in laws, who were mostly disappointed in their choices and often went to the 'staple' choices. I wish they had less few huge tables (10-12 people). They are very loud and seem to drain way more attention and time from the wait staff. Not everyone is travelling in a huge group. We went to Chops Grille one evening, and Giovanni's Table twice. The atmosphere was quieter and the service more attentive at both venues, but I remember being more impressed with the food in our past Serenade cruises. Giovanni's pasta in particular didn't 'wow' me on this cruise - it should have - so I'm not certain what accounts for the decline in taste and quality. Entertainment I didn't attend the evening shows but I overheard favorable comments from other passengers. I enjoyed the guitarist and pianist playing in various lounges and bars and in the Centrum. There was a band playing a bit too loud in the Centrum at times - glad my cabin was not too close. My son enjoyed spending time at Adventure Ocean and in the kids' pool and slide. The staff were really friendly, patient and attentive; I guess it helps that there were very few children on this cruise. Overall appearance and layout The ship size offers a balance of accessibility and diversity. It is well laid out generally. I wish there was just a bit more in the shops. Not much in terms of clothing and always too much jewelry. How many watches do you need? Since cruising with Serenade 9 years ago, I noticed quite a few renovations and changes to the ship, most unfavorable in my opinion. The Centrum has been redone. I miss the lighted staircase. It is a high traffic area so it would benefit from more access points. The elevators were slow and packed as always. The 13th deck is a total mess. The Vortex has been massacred to house two separate areas, with an 'exclusive' Diamond club. The separation is artificial and looks awful, the view is gone and there is almost no seating space. The Hollywood Lounge is now a Concierge Club. To me, it seems the Safari club would be a better venue for private events and to host the frequent cruisers. I understand these senior cruisers need to feel pampered but Royal Caribbean should really concentrate more on attempting to cater to Platinum, Gold, and new cruisers. On the subject of elitism, it seemed to us the elevators seemed rigged to favour the 13th floor for these 'elites' - we kept seeing empty elevators bypassing our floors and going directly up top. Disembarkation Always my least favorite part, not just because the vacation is over. Having to get up as early as possible to try to grab a table at the zoo-like, completely packed Windjammer is never my idea of a good time. It seems everyone is a bit more rude than usual. We were able to get off in a timely manner, found our luggage fairly quickly and had to wait in line for a while to clear customs. We wanted a porter but weren't able to get anyone - none were available when we needed one. Oh well, at least we saved a few bucks. Other observations -The staff was not too pushy overall - good! I've been on cruises where the photographers and other sales staff were way more agressive. -Photography is really getting pricey. -Dress code: Would it be possible for Royal Caribbean to let passengers know in advance at the very least how many formal nights to expect? There used to be 'smart casual' and other theme nights, and 3 formal nights for longer cruises. Now it's all casual except for 2 formal nights, a suggestion that is taken very lightly by a large portion of the passengers. Had I known about these decreasing standards, I would have packed different clothes. Overall, the ship still looks great, the crew is friendly, and the cruise experience wasn't bad. The problem is that we saw a huge decrease in quality and service since we last cruised on Serenade. Royal Caribbean has been disappointing us in the past few years in favor of other cruise lines offering more value for money. What we noticed the most this time around, though, was the obvious favoritism towards the frequent/lifetime cruisers. We would not encourage first time or less experienced cruisers to cruise on Serenade. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
A neighbor of our close friends researchers cruises for good prices and perks. Almost two years ago, our friends told us about this cruise. There were 28 people from our over 55 community here in Texas. Most of these people were doing back ... Read More
A neighbor of our close friends researchers cruises for good prices and perks. Almost two years ago, our friends told us about this cruise. There were 28 people from our over 55 community here in Texas. Most of these people were doing back to back on this particular cruise. We signed up for the second cruise. We have taken 14 cruises since we retired ten years ago.....10 with Celebrity and this being the 4th with RCCL. We realized that the Serenade had been around for a number of years. But the itinerary and the reputation that RCCL has/had was a good reason to sign up for it. Starting from the good to bad reviews, let me start with the good. Our room attendant and the wait staff were excellent. It was what you would expect, or wanted, on a cruise. The food was good. It could have been better, but we were okay with it. By no means was it outstanding. And, we definitely have experienced cruises with some above average appetizers, entrees and desserts. The entertainment usually held in the theater at two scheduled times was not good. There was no entertainment on two nights. Zilch. Oh, they did offer movies in a cinema room. But the big entertainment for the night was missing. Instead they called a movie their entertainment. And, this happened on the preceding cruise taken by many of our friends. I have to give this review a fair-good rating. A 5 out of 10 !!! I forgot to add that the overall status of the ship was in need of some major overhaul. Many areas appeared worn. I am not sure if they have had any refurbishing of this ship. 7610 Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
Chose this cruise for 4 reasons. One a Royal Caribbean ship we have not cruised on, itineraries, length of cruise and a super, super low price. What a great choice. looking for water slides etc. Not on this ship. Well so far a total of 66 ... Read More
Chose this cruise for 4 reasons. One a Royal Caribbean ship we have not cruised on, itineraries, length of cruise and a super, super low price. What a great choice. looking for water slides etc. Not on this ship. Well so far a total of 66 cruises under our belt now and this one was one of the very best. Tie with the Harmony of the Seas. Totally two different ships but our two best picks. Only a few negatives and so many positives. This will be a long review. I cannot say enough about the wonderful experience. The ship, older but beautiful. Like a ship should be. Decorated heavily with nautical décor. So much wood and planks. So beautiful. Super comfortable and cozy. A nice warm feeling. Not just a floating shiny piece of steel. Because of it being an older ship, there are signs of wear. Totally understandable. However, they keep it up and looking very nice. Exceptional had cleaning everywhere. They also wipe down all the railings with disinfectant several times a day. Our Ocean view state room. Large port hole and beautiful décor also. Small but very comfortable. We no longer dine in the dining room. Such a waste of time. So we will talk about the buffet in the WindJammer. I cannot describe how delicious everything was every day, no exceptions. Unbelievable. The temperature of the food was always perfect. Service was tops. Breakfast, lunch and dinner had such a wide variety of food. Out of all the ships this one by far had the very best pizza. Made like it is in a Pizza shop. Not in an automated machine. In a Pizza oven. Always three different kinds and always so very hot and tasty. Like hand tossed. Never burnt or under baked. Always super fresh and stringy cheese. Yum! If you like a certain food, I bet they have it. I love mashed potatoes and on carnival, you will be lucky to get them once on a cruise. On RCCL every day lunch and dinner. happy me! The burgers for dinner were hand made, the fries, always perfect and always very hot. I could do 1000 words on just the food. Entertainment was tops. Headliners, not just singers and dancers. Eight piece orchestra. They were awesome. Lead singer from the Jersey Boys. Awesome performance. Music everywhere and all different. Getting off of the ship was like normal. However it was handled with precision and fast. As for the crew members. The ALL were so wonderful. Made you feel like you were part of the crew. They get along so well, laughed and joked around with one another. Talking to many, they ALL indicated they were like family and all had good times together. It shows, always a smile and big hello. Asking them if they wanted to do another contract on this ship. All said definitely. So if you are considering a cruise on the RCCL Serenade of the Seas. Totally recommend it. Not much for children on this ship. No water slides, but they do have a rock climbing wall. OK it can’t be perfect, can it. Right, it is not. But it is close. Only one recommendation. The soft serve machines. They have four of them, only one or two are ever used. They only have them operating during lunch and dinner hours. I wish they had one where the drinks are open 24/7 till at least midnight. Carnival 24/7. Nice to have a soft serve late in the evening or before retiring for the night. I have two negatives. One is the Bingo. Lowest cost is $29 you get three cards for three games, and one crack and peal. The top is $69 you get the automatic 32 card iPad and 6 cards and two crack and peal. The payout is super low. $100+ game one to $300+ for the top sometimes even lower. No different if a lot of players are there. If you are lucky to win, you hope you are the only winner. The very last game was for a free cruise. I can see paying more for that one. Not the others. They are a rip off for sure. Now for the biggest disappointment. That was the specialty steak house. DO NOT GO!! Do not waste your money unless you just want to get waited on. We waited over 45 minutes to get our steaks and only 8 people were in the steak house. All of steaks are terrible and a big rip off. The steaks in the WindJammer are far better. Guessing on the average of the cruisers I would say 60ish So I will close by saying. Have fun cruising. Totally recommend the Serenade of the Seas for an enjoyable, relaxing, wonderful cruise experience. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
We were on the Serenade two years ago and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. When we saw this year’s ininerary, we decided to sail on her again. I love the size of the ship. She has plenty of activities to keep us occupied and it’s ... Read More
We were on the Serenade two years ago and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. When we saw this year’s ininerary, we decided to sail on her again. I love the size of the ship. She has plenty of activities to keep us occupied and it’s also very easy to get around. We attended a few shows; our favorite was Travis Cloer, the headliner. He played Frankie Valli in “The Jersey Boys” on Broadway and put on one of the best performances that I’ve seen on any ship. The magician and comedian were also good. Two years ago, my one negative comment was that the food could be better. A ship’s officer told me that they changed chefs, and I could tell the difference. The food was excellent. We did not have a bad meal in the MDR or in the Windjammer. How they manage to keep such high standards while feeding so many people is a mystery to me. DeDe and Gorin, our waiters in the MDR, took excellent care of us. Our cabin was small but serviceable for just the two of us. I did notice that the furniture showed its age, and some refurbishing could be in order. We took a few tours of some the islands. One of our favorites was in St. Kitts. The tour owner and guide was Desiree, and she was fantastic. She was born and raised on the island and knew everything about it. While she’s not a RC sponsored tour guide, she was excellent and made sure we were back to the ship in plenty of time. All in all, we had a great time, and the Serenade has not seen the last of us. Read Less
Serenade of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.3
Dining 4.0 4.0
Entertainment 5.0 3.7
Public Rooms 5.0 4.3
Fitness Recreation 5.0 4.0
Family 5.0 4.0
Shore Excursion 3.0 3.9
Enrichment 1.0 3.5
Service 5.0 4.4
Value For Money 5.0 3.9
Rates 4.0 4.3

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