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Serenade of the Seas Live Blog - Day 1 - Embarkation Day

06 Jun 2022
Matt Hochberg

A cruise delayed is not a cruise denied.

Serenade of the Seas pool deck

We were supposed to sail on Serenade of the Seas last week, but my kids caught the flu from school, so we had to push our plans back a week. We cancelled the first sailing (which we got a 100% future cruise credit because we booked under Royal Caribbean's flexible cancellation policy known as Cruise with Confidence) and then booked a new sailing for the following week so we can still do a back-to-back cruise.

Our cruise sails from Vancouver, so we flew from Orlando to Seattle and then rented a car to drive from Seattle to Vancouver.  After spending two nights in Vancouver to explore, it's time to cruise!

We stayed at the Pan Pacific hotel, which is attached to cruise port at Canada Place.  The hotel's cruise package allows for bell services to take your baggage down to the ship and you can then take the elevator downstairs and board the ship. Perfect for our family!

For check-in, we took the elevator downstairs and walked through the convention center to find the check-in area. There were three ships in port today, each with a line for them.

I had 11am check-in window, but the suite concierge emailed us before the cruise to say we had the option of coming in up to an hour early, so we arrived at 10am.

Once the line opened, check-in was easy and we breezed through check-in, security, and customs. Interestingly we went through U.S. Customs even though we were in Canada because I assume to save us the trouble when we get to Alaska later.

It took a while for the ship to be cleared and for boarding to begin. I think boarding didn't begin until around 11:30am.

Once we got onboard, our first stop was the Windjammer for lunch. 

Our next stop was the Vitality Spa to book my wife a massage. In a moment of fatherly weakness, I agreed to let my girls get their nails done in the spa.

We then walked around the ship to check out the various spaces, such as the cinema, fitness center, Schooner Bar and more.

We waited for our room to open on the pool deck. The morning rain had subsided, so it was nice to be outdoors with the breeze.

The cabins were ready at 2pm. For this cruise, we are booked in the two bedroom panoramic oceanview suite. 

There are two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a giant window in the living room. I'm hoping this will be perfect for glacier viewing.

We then headed down to the Schooner Bar to complete our muster drill.

We scoped out the main dining room table assignment. We are in the first seating, and got a table right by the window just for our family.

Adventure Ocean opened up for registration at 2pm, where we signed them up in case they end up going.

Our last stop on the list was the Suite Lounge to meet the suite concierge

By now the kids wanted to get back to the cabin to relax, so headed back to the room.

We had early dinner for this cruise (5:15pm), so we just enjoyed time in the room while we waited for our luggage to be delivered.

Dinner was right before sailaway, so we placed our order and then ran up to the helipad to enjoy sailaway out of Vancouver. 

Almost immediately, the ship passes under a bridge, and while windy and a little chilly, it was a great way to start the cruise.

I thought dinner went well for the first day, with the entire meal complete in just about an hour and fifteen minutes. Our waiters kept things moving and I enjoyed my Indian curry.

After dinner we walked through the Centrum shops. They had a lot of Alaska souvenirs. In fact, it seemed most of the store was exclusively Alaska gifts, with a few generic Royal Caribbean souvenirs in the back.

The kids quickly got bored of hanging with us, so they went back to the cabin to play on their devices.  My wife and I took the opportunity to grab a couple of cocktails in the Suite Lounge.

Tomorrow is a sea day.

Stray Observations

Here's the price of the Royal Caribbean drink package (alcohol) if you bought it onboard.

Every Radiance Class ship has a piece of "art" at the top of the Centrum elevator bank. On Serenade, it's a pair of cows.

There are set times where kids can use the pool in the Solarium on this cruise because of the cold weather.