CruiseMates' Readers Cruise Reviews

Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines Serenade of the Seas by Frequent Cruiser Southern Caribbean November 18, 2006

A beautiful ship. Highly recommended.

POSITIVES (these are just a few):

  1. Excellent service by all staff. Very friendly and professional.
  2. Tasteful, understated decor throughout the ship.
  3. Balcony cabins are protected from the weather by a large overhanging deck above (the 11th floor of the ship). We noticed the difference when a heavy storm moved in while in port.
  4. People sitting on their balconies on the adjacent ship all had to get duck inside their cabins, while we were able to sit outside and watch the storm. A nice feature.
  5. Adults-only solarium pool is air conditioned with cushions on the lounge chairs. Moreover, the main and solarium pools are both open 24 hours a day! This is a very welcome change from most ships, which place nets over their pools in the evenings and while in port.
  6. Large number of smaller sitting areas and lounges for quiet getaways.
  7. "Seattle's Best" brand coffee products served in the coffee bar.
  8. Refrigerator and stocked mini-bar in the cabins are a nice touch.
  9. Very comfortable full-sized sofa in the cabin.

NEGATIVES (these are minor, and should not discourage you from trying this ship)

  1. Inadequate ventilation in those interior areas where smoking is allowed (the casino, sports bar, and schooner lounge). Non-smokers will want to avoid these rooms altogether.
  2. The buffet restaurant (Windjammer cafe) has no self-service drink stations of any kind. Even to get a glass of water or a cup of coffee, you have to wait for a bartender to pour it, and there is no organized line. Also, most meats in the buffet are wildly overcooked. Fish entrees, in particular, are to be avoided for this reason.
  3. Showers in the cabins are extremely compact. Overweight individuals may have a difficult time moving around in there.
  4. There is only 1 place to get towels (at the main pool, mid-ship) for all exterior areas of the ship. If you're on another deck or at one of the other pools, you may have to walk a bit to find this one station. Odd.
  5. The embarkation/debarkation point in San Juan is on the OTHER side of the harbor from Old San Juan, so it's not within walking distance of any of those attractions.
  6. Generally mediocre entertainment. Two of the guest entertainers (the LaRaf magician and the "Happy Days" singer) made disparaging jokes about gays which weren't even funny. Why do that and risk alienating or insulting someone on their vacation? An exception was the world-champion juggler. I usually dislike juggling performances, but he was very entertaining and hysterically funny.
  7. And for my last minor gripe, it would be nice if the soft-serve frozen yogurt machines were located in an area which could be accessed 24 hours a day. As it is, you can only enjoy this treat when the Windjammer cafe is open, so no late-night yogurt fixes!

That being said, you're virtually guaranteed a great time on this ship.

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