Michael & Joanne
Number of Cruises: 1
Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean
Ship: Serenade of the Seas
Sailing Date: February 21st, 2004
Itinerary: Southern Caribbean
Overall: Great trip
Dining Room food: Main courses average, appatizers excellent.
Windjammer food: very good
Entertainment: Very good
Best things: Itinerary (It was nice being in port everyday but the last, from 7-5), Look and style of the ship, late night entertainment, not crowded, no lines, deserts, casino and Mike the shopping guy.
Disappointments: 7 days was not enough, the dining room food was average restaurant quality (not exceptional), Barbados.
We arrived in San Juan around 1:30 pm and were at the boat at around 2:30. There was practically no line to register and get the sail and sign cards. I would say we were in our stateroom within 20 minutes (and we stopped twice for rum punch)
The stateroom was bigger than I was expecting (although still smaller than a hotel room). The beds were together as requested. The bathroom was the expected size. The shower was actually quite a lot bigger than I was expecting. The decor, was tasteful, rather than flashy.
The ship has tonnes of windows. The centrum looks up from deck 4 to 11. There are two elevetors that overlook the centrum and 4 elevetors that look right out to sea. Whenever we were in any port, our ship always looked the nicest. Our first stop was the windjammer cafe for lunch. It was set up with multiple buffet stations, so we never had to wait in line the whole cruise.
Our luggage was delivered at about 7:30 which just gave us enough time to shower and change for dinner.
We were at a table for 10, and everyone at our table was in our age group. (We are 28, the age range was 24-35)
Our waiter and assistant waiter we great throughout the cruise and it was always fun watching them do their little performances at the end of every dinner. We had the late seating and never saw any children. (In fact, throughout the cruise RCL did a great job of entertaining the children. I never saw any children running around unattended)
The first stop was St Thomas, we got up early to do some shopping but all the stores are closed until 10. We went to Saphire beach which had great waves and a beautiful view. The taxi ride ($8 each way) was an adventure in itself. Locals were not pushy or annoying.
Sunday night was the first formal night. Men were about 50/50 tuxes/dark suites. We went to Disco night at the Vortex which was a lot of fun. At midnight they had the "Almost Village People" put on a great show.
Monday we were in St Maartan. We took the water taxi downtown and after passing the first block of people wanting to do hairbraids and sell stuff we weren't bothered. THe shopping was great and visited a few local outdoor bars. The town is really quite nice. European style architecture with Caribbena style colours. (This was my favourtite port) In the afternoon we just stayed at the beach in town. Some of our tablemates went to the Orient beach on the other side of the Island and really enjoyed that.
Tuesday we were in Antigua. Similar to St Maartan, once you pass the first block, no hassles. The shopping was good. We took a cab to Runaway Bay in the afternoon. This is a local beach so there was hardly any one there (about 6 people that we could see). We rented a beach lounge chair for $4 and enjoyed a quite peaceful afternoon at the beach.
Tuesday night was country western night in the safari club. The quest is not to be missed. (It is probably the funnest night time activity)
Wendesday we were in St. Lucia, we took the afternoon snorkling excursion offered by RCL and it was amazing. I recommend only doing the 1/2 day tour. I think I would have been bored being there the whole day.
That night was the 50's and 60's night at the safari club.
Thursday was Barbados. It was the only place I wish I did a shore excurion. The locals are quite pushy and didn't take no for an answer in many cases.
Thursday was the next formal night which was fun. We got old fashioned style pictures taken.
Friday was a relaxing day at sea. (And we both needed it). The Solarium was my favoutirte daytime spot on the ship. Quieter than the outdoor pool and great decorations.
Embarkation on Saturday was a breeze. We are non-US citizens, and unlike I've read on other cruiselines, they give you your passports the night before, so there is no getting up extra early. We were up at 8:00 and off the boat at 9:30.
All in all a great cruise