Sail Date: August 2018
This was our first cruise, so my comments may sound as if I am a greenhorn – which I am as far as cruises are concerned. The cruise was on the "Serenade of the Seas" (Royal Caribbean) on the Baltic Sea from Copenhagen ... Read More
This was our first cruise, so my comments may sound as if I am a greenhorn – which I am as far as cruises are concerned. The cruise was on the "Serenade of the Seas" (Royal Caribbean) on the Baltic Sea from Copenhagen stopping at Stockholm, Tallinn, St. Petersburg and Helsinki, then returning to Copenhagen. The ship is huge (though I was told there are even bigger), well-organized, clean, plenty of food, entertainment. There are lots of things for children to do, and of course there was the casino for those like to gamble. And, very important, the staff was very friendly and efficient. Food: you can very easily eat too much. The dining rooms are full of food for all tastes and diets. However, Reflections (the main dining room) has a limited selection for dinner, but there are changes every day. For vegetarians, there are 2 choices for starters, one for the main dish and of course no problem with dessert. This may be contrasted with the Windjammer Café, which has almost a constant buffet, and the variety of dishes is far greater. One (minor) criticism: There was no honey for breakfast on the last two days. One solution to the substantial food offered and attempts to eat two main meals only (breakfast + one other meal, be it lunch or dinner) is to offer half-board, as it were. As in hotels, everyone eats breakfast, and they can choose one of the other two meals. Anything else may be purchased and eaten at one of the cafes. This seems easy to administer: the SeaPass would have to be read (in a machine) when going in to eat lunch and supper, and if one of the two meals of that day has already been eaten, you are charged for the other. Formal dining: why bother? This is a remnant of cruising of a generation and more ago, and no longer relevant. There were a few gentlemen in tuxedos and women in long dresses, but many of the passengers dined in casual clothing, though usually with a jacket. Beverage packages: We did an overkill without realizing it. We thought that we should make sure that we have enough water in the stateroom (cabin), and that we will have enough coffee breaks apart from coffee at breakfast and dinner. But what we did not know was that there is no lack of food at meals and of course it's already paid for. As for water, we could have done with 3-4 bottles between us for the 7 days, and not 12! And the extra coffee was good, each came with a "free" cake, but if we had known, we would have made do with one card with 15 coffees, and not one card each (one for me and one for my wife). But we are new cruisers. Never had previous experience. You live and learn. Stops and shore excursions. We did not take any of the excursions organized by the ship, but made our own way around at the four ports of stop. If you want to take full advantage of the ship's facilities, then a passenger would have to cut down on going ashore. So, there is a choice between going ashore and staying on board (where activities are still going on). Going ashore allows you to see cities you may never have gone to, were it not for the cruise. However, if you do not take an organized excursion, it does take time to get off, and then to get to the centre of the city (in Stockholm by hop-on/hop-off bus, in Tallinn and Helsinki by shuttle bus and in St. Petersburg by public transport or by taxi). Of the four stops, Helsinki was in a way a waste of time. We had only half a day. We disembarked at around 9.30 -- we were on holiday, so why leave the ship at 7.30, which was possible? So, we could manage a couple of hours in town, which is not enough time. The best of the shore trips was Tallinn, perhaps because it is a small town, and you have plenty to see and you have time. The answer probably from the cruise company would be that we should take an organized excursion – that would be OK if you want to pay the fairly high price and run around after a man or woman in a flag. It's not our style. Criticisms: public loudspeakers were not clear unless you were standing or sitting in specific areas. When in your stateroom, you could hear that someone is speaking on the public address system but you can't catch what is being said. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
Choose this cruise for the ports ... Copenhagen, Stockholm, Tallinn, st Petersburg and Helsinki. Had a brilliant week. The ship was excellent . We had a balcony stateroom which Comfortable, clean and lots of storage space. We were very ... Read More
Choose this cruise for the ports ... Copenhagen, Stockholm, Tallinn, st Petersburg and Helsinki. Had a brilliant week. The ship was excellent . We had a balcony stateroom which Comfortable, clean and lots of storage space. We were very lucky with the weather in all ports. Had a pre cruise hotel stay in Copenhagen to do some sightseeing there. Boarding the ship was very organised and went smoothly. We choose to eat in the reflections restaurant for breakfast and dinner... good choice of food and lovely presented. Went to most of the shows and they were all very enjoyable especially the Beatles group. All the staff on board were very helpful and friendly. We did not do any of the ships tours and found it easy enough to get around when ashore . ..had a shuttle bus from the ship in two of the ports. We had pre booked a tour in st Petersburg with alla tours which included all the places we wanted to see . Overall an excellent cruise Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
We like very much cruise trips and before we enjoyed cruise trips many times. However RoyalCaribean exsperience was our first experience and definitely the LAST. We have chosen this company because our dates fit and also there is an agent ... Read More
We like very much cruise trips and before we enjoyed cruise trips many times. However RoyalCaribean exsperience was our first experience and definitely the LAST. We have chosen this company because our dates fit and also there is an agent in Istanbul which helped us the booking. We never thought this is such a lousy company. First of all, the food is terrible. The quality of the food was worst I have seen in a cruise trip. Really terrible. Normally we eat at a restaurant which they serve you at the cruise trips. You think I am exaggerating but food was not eatable. Very very bad. For instance I requested ahi tuna steak last night, they brought me something fried within a burned oil. The waitress very nice and she said, sir, it is no problem I can change it if you don’t like it. Then I said yes please I like to have pasta with ketchup. You might think ahi tuna is a complicated food so not every restaurant can cook it in the right way. But I ordered salads and they were worst salads in my life. I tried to fix my dressing by myself on the table olive oil and vinegar than I was able to eat it. We made joke of it with our waiter when the food comes I started to laugh and she did the same, very nice waiter, experienced enough to make a fun of it. It is really that bad. Even the cheese they serve it is third quality. Open buffet food, teen ages food all the time, spaghetti, hamburgers, pizza, hot dogs etc no change at all. Normally other cruises they have a special food every night different. They really saved a lot of money I guess. If you go to paid restaurants which we so far tried Italian, steak restaurant and tonight we go to the sushi restaurant. Than the food becomes possible to eat but than you have to pay. I don’t really mind the bad food too much, anyway we went to very nice restaurants an the places we visited and I consumed a very limited food at the ship. But also I had a very bad experience with one of the guest service officers. It was very disappointing for me and I decided that I never go with RoyalCaribean never never again. I had a small problem. It was a sea day and my payment card did not work. I wanted to have some drinks, and I wanted to go to SPA for some paid services. So I went to the front desk to solve the problem. LUCIA REYNAUD HID checked my situation and tod me that my credit card is not working. I provided my credit card for the payment but they don’t have the system which I can key in my passcode. For this reason I couldn’t make the payment and I need the to call the bank. But it was seeday and my phone was not working. I told her that tomorrow morning I will call the bank in Stockholm and I will solve the problem. She told me that she can not help me. I said in this case I would like to talk with the Manager. She was very upset when I said this and told me that go back to line and wait to see the Manager. I told him that I already waited on the line to see you around 20 minutes and just call the manager for me. She just ignored me and invited the next people on the line. I was like shocked and very embrassed. Than I went to another guest service person and she informed the front desk manager right away and she solved my problem right away. I had a complain sent to RoyalCaribean for this instance but no response as yet. Third the SPA. Fitness equipment is out of date. No tv monitors, old equipment. This is also very important for me. Fourth, entertainment. This was a joke as well. Very very poor shows. I don’t believe it such a waste. I would sing Beatles song better than those guys and I am a banker. You will figure out how bad was it. We are still on the ship and our seeday is started for more than 24 hours. I could not wait to write this. In summary, NEVER, NEVER, NEVER AGAIN with this company. Zafer Kurtul Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
This was my second time on a Baltic Cruise and my 2nd time to all ports of call. Even though not new, I really enjoyed this cruise. It was my first time on this ship and only my third time with Royal Caribbean. As with any cruise there ... Read More
This was my second time on a Baltic Cruise and my 2nd time to all ports of call. Even though not new, I really enjoyed this cruise. It was my first time on this ship and only my third time with Royal Caribbean. As with any cruise there were some negatives. Primarily on the up selling and nickel and dime game RC has become. But otherwise I enjoyed the trip very much. Copenhagen is an easy port to use, embarkation was done well and easily. Sea days were relaxing. I enjoyed being on a smaller sized ship. Nothing ever felt crowded and there were always seats and very few lines for anything. The ship is decorated well and bright. The only time things felt busy were breakfast at the windjameer. Especially on sea days. We had a 3rd level inside cabin. No issues at all. It was quite and cool. We experienced great weather on this trip that we were able to enjoy the outdoor areas. The room attendant was great and so was the wait staff. As expected the food in the MDR was good to very good every night. I find this to be the case for European cruises over Caribbean cruises. Windjammer food was good most of the time as well. The cities you see on the Baltics are great. There is so much to see especially in Stockholm and St. Petersberg. Which we have more time there. Estonia a long port day in old town is enough, as well as Helsinki. Make sure you enjoy the departure from Stockholm, some of the most scenic cruising I ever seen. I did not do much on the entertainment side, but what I saw that was offered was good. Activities were not a ton, but it is a smaller ship. The art auctions were LONG though. They give a 10:45 registration but don't start until 11:30-11:45. WAY too long and not enjoyable at all for that long. I hated bingo being electronic and also that they charge for a bingo pen. As typical on a European cruise the casino was never very busy but the staff was good. I was with a larger group so we took shore excursions at all ports. I think they were all very good and did a good job for the time they have. For St. Petersberg is always good to have the longest possible tour given the visa restrictions. Overall, I could not have asked for a better cruise. Copenhagen was easy to disembark from too. And make sure to stay a few days prior or after there as well. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
We have been on one other cruise with RCI (Explorer of the seas) and chose this cruise mainly for the itinerary , but also because we had a good experience previously with RC and lastly because the ship is slightly smaller. The ... Read More
We have been on one other cruise with RCI (Explorer of the seas) and chose this cruise mainly for the itinerary , but also because we had a good experience previously with RC and lastly because the ship is slightly smaller. The booking process went well and communication pre cruise was very good. We booked flights and an overnight stay in Copenhagen as part of the package. The hotel in Copenhagen was excellent, Copenhagen is a lovely city. Lots of things to do and see and very easy to navigate on foot. We went on a canal boat tour which gave us a snap shot of the city. Everyone was very pleasant and helpful. We took the train from the airport to our hotel which was extremely easy to do, then a taxi from the hotel to the port. Embarkation was smooth and quick. From arriving at the terminal to getting on board was less than an hour. The ship itself was always clean and tidy. It's layout was similar to our previous cruise so we were able to get our bearings very quickly. Cabins were open by 3pm . Our cabin 4019 was an inside cabin on deck 4 . We chose this purely on cost. We, me my husband and 17 yr old daughter shared a cabin. We saw the cabin as somewhere to sleep and change and did not want to spend money on something we would hardly use. I was pleasantly surprised at the size. I was worried I'd feel claustrophobic with out a window, but I didn't at all. It was more than adequate for our needs. Our room steward was very friendly and kept our cabin clean and tidy. We chose my time dining, and ate in Reflections every night , sitting at the same table, we have wonderful waiters. And the food was excellent. There was always a very good choice , even for my daughter who is a pescatarian . We cannot fault the food or service. We also used reflections for breakfast a couple of mornings and a couple of lunches. Again food was always good. We also used the windjammer. We were always able to find a seat easily, our favourite place being in the outside seating at the back of the boat. Loads of choice. Something for everyone. We chose not to have an alcahol package as we only drink with dinner and so bought a bottle of wine a night....be aware that the price on the menu does not include the 18% gratuity or onboard tax....we got a nasty surprise when we received our account bill. We had two soda packages and a refreshment packages. And to be honest if you are going to just drink soft drinks you don't need a package at all....there is always tea coffee water and lemonade available . Entertainment was varied...always something to do. We went to the shows in the theatre which were of a good quality. The music and games shows put on by the entertainment crew were very good. You can fill every minute of every day if you desire....or sit and do nothing. The choice is yours. The ports....the main reason for us chasing this cruise.....Copenhagen, Stockholm, Talliim,st Petersburg and Helsinki were excellent. We did not book shore excursions. We self toured Stockholm and Tallinn and booked tours through TJ Travel for the other two. Over all we had a fantastic cruise and cannot really think of any negative points. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We primarily sail with Royal Caribbean and decided on a Baltic itinerary, on Serenade of the Seas. We prefer to avoid the larger ships. We find them too impersonal and crowded. We were very happy with the numbers of ports and time ... Read More
We primarily sail with Royal Caribbean and decided on a Baltic itinerary, on Serenade of the Seas. We prefer to avoid the larger ships. We find them too impersonal and crowded. We were very happy with the numbers of ports and time allowed in each. Fredericia Denmark is really fun. The locals come out to welcome the ship, and to wave goodbye (including a three cannon salute! The entire staff: waiters, bar staff, cabin attendant, performers and cruise directors staff (even security) were friendly and really went out of their way to make the cruise enjoyable. We sail a lot on Royal Caribbean, so the production shows were repetitive, but there was a nice mix of headliners. The main dining room menu was disappointing. For only 5 out of the 15 days did it have anything upscale or interesting. The rest of the time it was ravioli and chicken breast; and no lobster night. Except for the smaller Denmark stops - Fredericia and Aarhus, we booked the Royal Caribbean excursions. NOTE: this made Russia easier, since the tour ticket serves as the required visa. The tours were good, but overpriced. And the feedback from other guests was that except for Russia, the Hop On Hop Off buses were a great value and access to the locations. One very negative note, they completely mishandled the arrival transfer. They had the group of early arrivals (7:15 am) lugging bags all over the terminal to the wrong locations before finally boarding the bus to the ship. And as luck would have it, our luggage didn't arrive in the cabin until 8:30 at night, despite arriving with us on the bus at the 11 am embarkation. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2018
This is an old design ship with no big comfortable areas for strolling and activities. Everything is in a specific area and feels old and claustrophobic. Its also an aged ship. Why would you choose such a ship when there are so many new ... Read More
This is an old design ship with no big comfortable areas for strolling and activities. Everything is in a specific area and feels old and claustrophobic. Its also an aged ship. Why would you choose such a ship when there are so many new and amazing ships available? The entertainment was quite disappointing and especially compared to my other cruises where the entertainment was excellent. Activities on board could be better in comparison to other ships. Dining was OK but not excellent. A more sophisticated menu would be nice. . . . . .. . Service is excellent. The crew is great. Some of the ports were unnecessary. I could skip Frederica, less days in Saint Petersburg and more in Copenhagen where its beautiful. Shore excursions are very good but you can do as well if you go to town by yourself. Embarkation and Disembarkation were smooth in all places. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
So this was our first cruise and 13 days was kind of a risk we were taking! But the itinerary makes everything so worth it :) The first 6 days were so packed that we did not even get a chance to visit the main dining hall. The ... Read More
So this was our first cruise and 13 days was kind of a risk we were taking! But the itinerary makes everything so worth it :) The first 6 days were so packed that we did not even get a chance to visit the main dining hall. The ship is kind of old but it was spotless and so we did not mind. Food was excellent. We took an interior guarantee and I think Royal Caribbean chose the best room for us (3549). It was spotless and we slept like logs - that is all we want from a room!! We had a comedy show and an Abba tribute band which we really loved. Did not get inspired to see other shows. Stockholm - do the canal tour first and then anything else. That will give you a fair idea of the city. Helsinki - Our time was very limited and it was very, very hot. We did not like this port due to these reasons or I don't know what! St. Petersberg - Ah, what a beautiful city. We did a private tour with White Nights Travel and loved every moment of it. This gives you a time to be yourself rather than following a group in a hurry. A luxury which we thought was well spent. Tallinn - Again, very limited time but a beautiful city. You will have to take the HoHo bcoz the port is far off. After seeing the old time, do visit the newer areas of Talinn. That gives you a glimse outside the walled city. Riga - We loved this port. It felt so nice and warm here. The Ship was docked right next to old town. We walked around a lot, saw the beautiful park and sat in the squares. Riga has a great vibe to it. Klaipeda - We had to take the shore excursion to Curonion Spit. They try to show you a lot of stuff in very little time. I wish they just went to the spit and then one village and that would have been great. The ship docks near market square, so you can visit that after the excursion. Fredericia - They give you a walking tour map to explore the town. A few spots were not worth the walk in the sun! It is a cute town so you will enjoy visiting the port. Do grab a drink at the beach and DO NOT miss the sail away from the top decks. They really make you feel special! Aarhus - Go to Dokk 1 library (the free shuttle from ship drops you here) and take the Aarhus card. After that, tour the city on your own using public transport and HoHo (both included in card). The card also includes entry to very interesting Den Gamble By and the Art museum which is must see. We missed going to the castle though. The museum there is supposedly very nice. Copenhagen - Do plan to stay one day extra in this city. We took the HoHo and covered as much as possible. Canal tour is a must as well. Christiania is a world of its own. Take out time to walk around on your own away from touristy areas. Also, take the 24 hour transport card from a metro station. It helps to go to the cruise port by public bus whenever you want. We used Air Luggage the next day to transport our luggage from cruise terminal to airport and then used the bus again to tour Copenhagen. And then the metro to go to the airport on our own. It worked out very well. I hope this info helps people!! Message me in case you need more advice :) Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
Enjoyable time on a beautiful ship. Food was plentiful and very good in the Windjammer and it was inot oftencrowded. We didn’t eat at any of the specialty restaurants. There is a definite attempt by Royal Carribean to encourage you ... Read More
Enjoyable time on a beautiful ship. Food was plentiful and very good in the Windjammer and it was inot oftencrowded. We didn’t eat at any of the specialty restaurants. There is a definite attempt by Royal Carribean to encourage you to eat in the specialty restaurants by offering repetitive menus when eating in the dining room. The dining service was excellent and the food was very good, except often the same choices each night. Our beds were comfortable, the room noisy and the ports of call great. We did excursions through the ship except for St. Petersburg where we went with a private company. All excursions were great except Helsinki. The entertainment was fair except for two shows, we didn’t like the ships singers..the Russian dancers and the Ukrainian circus pair. After two Royal CarribeAn cruises back to back, we are ready to try a different cruise line for something new. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
I'll start off with this - I did not even want to go to the cruise as I had apprehensions about being sea sick and bored..but NOW I'm converted, and really, I'd recommend it whole heartedly to anyone! So -- all in all, I'd say it was ... Read More
I'll start off with this - I did not even want to go to the cruise as I had apprehensions about being sea sick and bored..but NOW I'm converted, and really, I'd recommend it whole heartedly to anyone! So -- all in all, I'd say it was fantastic. There was something for all age groups - young kids, teenagers, twenties, thirties, young couples, middle aged couples, and elderly people as well! I'm telling everyone it was like being on floating 5 star hotel! All in all - here's what I thought were par excellence: -Staff: Everyone was friendly, professional, went out of their way to ensure they could help - whether it be bringing food for someone who couldn't walk well; or cleaning the room thrice a day. Also, if you're South Asian, the staff were more than happy to bring you a handmade roti/chappati at Windjammer Hall - all you have to do is ask! -Entertainment: evenings were fully booked! Theater, dance, drama, movies, dance nights, you name it - it was all there. -Sports: I loved the mini golf and table tennis/ping pong! Jogging track was great -- jogging while staring at the ocean, who wouldn't like that! -Serenity/ease: The ride was smooth sailing. Not a moment of turbulence AT ALL. At times I had to look outside to ensure we were even sailing, it was that smooth! -Timing: We were at every destination at the times promised. -Ease of embarkation and disembarkation at all ports: NO long lines, no waiting for ever - everything was smoothly handled thanks to the security staff throughout. -Views: Lovely Baltic Sea views throughout, to help you de-stress, unwind, and just enjoy the sea! -Food: Can I say food, food, food! The Windjammer Dining Hall (included in cruise price) has unlimited breakfast buffet, lunch buffet and dinner buffet. And the buffet was extravagant - 50 dishes (minimum!), salads, vegetarian, chicken, meat, sea food - gluten free, catering to whatever your dietary restrictions may be. They had a special theme every night, so we had Spanish food, Seafood, Indian food, French food night among others. -Snacks: No matter what time of the day - you will find unlimited tea, coffee, snacks, chips -- especially at the Park Café on Floor11 :) -Attention to cleanliness: We were really impressed by the attention to cleanliness - all public spaces, Centrum, public bathrooms were always spotless; and they had unlimited hand sanitizer there before you entered the Dining Hall. Really good initiative! -Lack of crowd: Although there were about 2500 passengers, 700 staff, at no point did the ship feel overflowing or crowded. This is thanks to all the space, and different entertainment areas they had, including multiple dining halls (Reflections Dining Room, Windjammer included in ticket price). -Cabin: We had an Ocean View Balcony view on Deck 7. This was ideal as since it is in the middle of the ship, it is very smooth and you can't feel the water. Having a balcony is recommended as it makes the room spacious, and allows you some air. Recommend. It was a double bed plus a bunk bed on top ( for the 3rd person); sofa; TV, bathroom, cupboard, mini fridge, AC etc. All in all, it felt a good size and not cramped at all. -Fellow passengers: Fellow passengers were friendly and nice. No large and noisy groups, no drunk people. Mostly families, singles, couples - everyone was decent and respectful. Read Less

Top Royal Caribbean Serenade of the Seas Itineraries

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 4.1
Family 5.0 4.1
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

Find a Serenade of the Seas Cruise