Overall Impression of Royal Caribbean Serenade of the Seas Cruise
Food: A very nice variety in the Windjammer. There were so many stations and so much variety that there were never any lines. Unfortunately, we did not have a chance to eat lunch here. The Sea View Café had excellent sandwiches and fries. The Solarium Café had great wraps, pizza and warm cookies. The Barbeque buffet on sea day was good with a lot of variety. The dinners, I thought, were excellent. Our biggest problem was trying to decide what appetizer, entrée and dessert to order because they all sounded wonderful. By the second night, Sipahi decided to help us out and brought us one of everything (almost!). The midnight buffets looked fabulous, but we were way too full to even try a nibble (we had the late dinner seating).
Photography: There are pictures being snapped all the time. Every time we got off the ship at an island, they were there taking our picture. Also, every evening before and after dinner, they have several photographers with several different backgrounds where you can get your photo taken. You can have as many or as few taken as you wish. There is no obligation to buy any of them. Each night you can view your photos from the previous day and decide whether or not you want to keep them. We kept all our photos together until the last day so we could view them all at once and then make our decisions. I thought the pictures were very nice and very reasonably priced.
Staff: As mentioned earlier, our wait staff absolutely made our trip. They were so nice and so attentive, but yet very modest. Sipahi was fantastic. Marlena, our assistant waitress, was very good also and very patient when we were trying to decide what wine to order. Our maitre de, Vijay, was also very attentive. He even had the chef make us a special Indian dish, which was very good. The wait staff are very, very busy. During the day they rotate through all the dining venues. One day, Sipahi was working in the Sea View Café where we ordered sandwiches for the pool. He took our order and then happily delivered them to us poolside. Way above and beyond the call of duty, in my opinion! As you can see, I cant say enough about our waiter! Our room stewards were just as attentive. We asked to have ice in our room in the middle of the afternoon/evening. Sure enough, every day there were two buckets of ice waiting for us. Anything we needed, they were able to get. Very impressive. We had all of our shore excursions booked ahead of time, so we did not encounter any of that staff. All of our tickets were delivered the first day on board, and everything was in order.
Shows: Unfortunately, we did not attend any of the shows. We were very busy during the day with shore excursions and opted to enjoy the pool and sunsets before dinner rather than being inside in the theater. After dinner (late seating) we were too full and too tired so we either enjoyed the hot tub or walked outside on the decks. Being from Minnesota, we wanted to spend as much time as possible outside.
The Ship: The Serenade is absolutely gorgeous with tons and tons of glass. The glass elevators overlook the ocean and the Centrum. This is a very big ship, but it is very easy to find your way around. The dining room is well laid out and was not crowded. I was a little disappointed in the Shops as there was not much variety. I was hoping for more Serenade of the Seas attire (sweatshirts, specifically). We spent a lot of time on the pool deck watching the sunrise and walking the track. They have what looked like a very nice exercise facility, but unfortunately I did not take the opportunity to use it. The outdoor pool was quite small, but yet never seemed crowded. There are 2 outdoor whirlpools, and these were always busy. There is a separate pool for kids with a water slide. This pool seemed well used and well liked by the kids. The Solarium is beautiful with an indoor pool and whirlpool. This area was not very busy, but we had beautiful weather, so Im guessing most everyone was outside.
All in all, I would sail the Serenade again in a heartbeat!