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Serenade 3/30/18 10 night Eastern Caribbean


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6 hours ago, twangster said:

Cruise Summary

I really enjoyed my first Radiance class experience.  Compared to the Vision class it is greatly improved.  With all the glass around the Centrum you definitely feel connected to the sea.

Things I liked about Serenade:

  • Aft outdoor seating in the Windjammer where I ate most of my WJ meals.
  • Vintages wine bar with awesome seas views
  • Pub with live music
  • Centrum with different music at different times
  • Solarium especially when the roof was opened
  • Decent Voom experience (despite some issues with throttling)
  • Easy to get around 
  • Glass outward facing elevators
  • Good MDR experience
  • Great service (except Chops)
  • Helipad access

I have sister ships Brilliance and Jewel on my future cruises list and have no concerns now about booking these ships.

I enjoyed each port and was happy with the excursions I booked.  

Ten nights is a nice length.  

I'm keeping an eye on a Serenade cruise in the fall as I'd have no issues sailing this ship again.

 

The fall serenade cruise out of boston are fun in the fall if they do that itinerary again this year. 

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7 hours ago, twangster said:

Cruise Summary

I really enjoyed my first Radiance class experience.  Compared to the Vision class it is greatly improved.  With all the glass around the Centrum you definitely feel connected to the sea.

Things I liked about Serenade:

  • Aft outdoor seating in the Windjammer where I ate most of my WJ meals.
  • Vintages wine bar with awesome seas views
  • Pub with live music
  • Centrum with different music at different times
  • Solarium especially when the roof was opened
  • Decent Voom experience (despite some issues with throttling)
  • Easy to get around 
  • Glass outward facing elevators
  • Good MDR experience
  • Great service (except Chops)
  • Helipad access

I have sister ships Brilliance and Jewel on my future cruises list and have no concerns now about booking these ships.

I enjoyed each port and was happy with the excursions I booked.  

Ten nights is a nice length.  

I'm keeping an eye on a Serenade cruise in the fall as I'd have no issues sailing this ship again.

 

If you're eyeing the October 28 repo...we're on that sailing.  Boston to Ft Lauderdale, 12 nights.  

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On ‎4‎/‎8‎/‎2018 at 9:07 AM, twangster said:

Earlier I mentioned my slow dinner in Chops Grille. 

I ran into the Revenue Manager in an elevator and he asked about my cruise experience.  i reported I was having a great cruise but took the opportunity to mention my Chops Grille experience as the only outlier.  He mentioned he would talk to the restaurant manager. 

My phone rang last night and it was the Chops Grille manager.  He defended his team and expressed surprise that anyone would have issue in a fine restaurant with relaxed service.  After I explained about the gap between appetizer and entree of over 45 minutes without seeing any wait staff including no water or wine refill being offered his response was he "...would talk to his staff and have them ask guests if they were in a hurry at the start of dinner".  It was rather condescending implying it was my fault for being in a hurry.  He expressed no surprise or concern over the long periods of nothing but did explain it takes a long time to cook a steak to order unlike in the main dining room. 

At home on my grill I cook steak all the time and even manage to pull together a complete dinner with salad and asparagus much like I had in Chops.  I've eaten in steak houses around the country, I think I understand how a cooked to order steak dinner can go.  Apparently in Chops it does take a full 90 minutes to cook a steak.  I can only assume they must thaw each steak from frozen before grilling them.  

He said he saw that I would be in the MDR for dinner tonight and offered a glass of wine for my troubles. 

I expedited in the kitchen at a pretty nice restaurant all through college and I know exactly how long a steak should take. Even a well done steak should be on the table 20-25 minutes after it is ordered. 30 minutes is a possibility but even then we'd have sent it out with a manager to apologize for the wait. On top of that it was the Cheesecake Factory that I worked and we were a heck of a lot more crowded than Chops Grille could ever be. That is absolutely insane for him to act like 45 minutes is a normal wait time and you were just in a hurry. That wouldn't even explain why no one refilled your drink the entire meal either. I hope you left that experience on your post cruise survey because that is just ridiculous. It's great that he at least offered a glass of wine, but that would still leave a bad taste in my mouth even more than the meal itself. It sounds like that manager isn't up to the standards of Royal Caribbean.

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  • 2 weeks later...
20 hours ago, chilis said:

Thank you so much for such a beautiful blog!  My husband and I took our first cruise ever last fall on Serenade (to New England and Canada), and loved it.  So we recently booked Serenade to Bermuda this fall!  Your pictures got me even more excited to return to her.  <3

I did serenade to new england and canada last fall too.  What date did you go?

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2 hours ago, iluvwineandtravel said:

I did serenade to new england and canada last fall too.  What date did you go?

October 1st-8th.  We got very lucky and had near perfect weather the whole week!  Well, perfect for what we anticipated going to New England and Canada in October, lol.  Nothing like this amazing Southern Caribbean report!

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  • 2 weeks later...
On ‎4‎/‎8‎/‎2018 at 5:24 PM, twangster said:

Day 10 - Sea Day - On my balcony and then this happened...

Don't you just hate click bait titles like this?  :3_grin:

I was out on my balcony contemplating how much I enjoy this extended balcony.

5aca409641f61_SerenadeDay10Ships-1.thumb.jpg.a7513822d74ba4329ea11afe21bfc332.jpg

I was concerned about privacy but I love being able to get out in the sunshine or having a panoramic view of the stars at night looking straight up to watch some shooting stars (or Chinese space junk) in the night sky.  I'd definitely do one of these deck 7 balconies again.

 

@twangster is this deck 7? are all these balconies larger? if so what category are they?

 

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3 hours ago, J_Keeble said:

@twangster is this deck 7? are all these balconies larger? if so what category are they?

Deck 7, 6D category.  

I originally booked Serenade as "Balcony Guarantee"  and was assigned this deck 7 balcony by chance.  I'm glad it worked out as it did.  I've booked another deck 7 balcony in this category on another Radiance class ship later this year for a B2B. 

Not all deck 7 balconies are created equal.  If you look at deck 7 floor plans there is a forward and aft group of cabins with larger balconies.  Mid-ship on deck 7 the passenger cabin decks narrow and balconies are standard. 

1702675444_serdeck7.jpeg.e2ed2713152341695a64a1512d6d8172.jpeg

Within the forward 6D cabins, 7028 has a drop down bunk bed that lowers from the ceiling plus the love seat pulls out into a bed so it can accommodate more guests.  Here you can see the larger balconies you get in this section of the ship.

55129372_serdeck7det.jpeg.276d961654b96da93f9c31a7a4262171.jpeg

 

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30 minutes ago, twangster said:

Deck 7, 6D category.  

I originally booked Serenade as "Balcony Guarantee"  and was assigned this deck 7 balcony by chance.  I'm glad it worked out as it did.  I've booked another deck 7 balcony in this category on another Radiance class ship later this year for a B2B. 

Not all deck 7 balconies are created equal.  If you look at deck 7 floor plans there is a forward and aft group of cabins with larger balconies.  Mid-ship on deck 7 the passenger cabin decks narrow and balconies are standard. 

1702675444_serdeck7.jpeg.e2ed2713152341695a64a1512d6d8172.jpeg

Within the forward 6D cabins, 7028 has a drop down bunk bed that lowers from the ceiling plus the love seat pulls out into a bed so it can accommodate more guests.  Here you can see the larger balconies you get in this section of the ship.

55129372_serdeck7det.jpeg.276d961654b96da93f9c31a7a4262171.jpeg

 

thanks @twangster have you any pictures of the balcony? I may have missed them so if I have I apologise.

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On 5/3/2018 at 11:24 AM, J_Keeble said:

thanks @twangster have you any pictures of the balcony? I may have missed them so if I have I apologise.

Only those on the first page in this blog

 

Other balconies on the decks above this stop at the dividers, so that glassed wall extension is the differentiator.  It's roughly 1/2 m or maybe slightly more than that.

What I like about the extension is the ability to walk out into the sunshine or looking straight up into the night sky.  You can also look straight down towards the water.  Md-ship you can not, the life boats have an awning like cover over them in the middle of the ship. 

You do have the fear that you may be standing right beside your neighbor at times but it never bothered me and only occurred a few times.  I simply nodded and said hello.  I used my balcony more on this cruise than I have on other ships (when I've had a standard balcony).

 

 

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@twangster, how was the motion of the ship in these forward balconies compared to when you were on larger ships and more forward (or aft)? I'd like to keep these cabins in mind if we book a Radiance class ship (say, for a European itinerary), just want to be sure that the motion wouldn't be a potential issue.

We had a forward balcony on Freedom and really noticed the ship motion the first two days, when she was doing about 20 kt to reach the first port and had strong (17+ kt) head/crosswinds to boot. It was actually enough to make D14 mildly seasick on the second day, although the rest of us did OK. So I definitely need to keep that in mind for future bookings.

 

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3 minutes ago, JLMoran said:

@twangster, how was the motion of the ship in these forward balconies compared to when you were on larger ships and more forward (or aft)? I'd like to keep these cabins in mind if we book a Radiance class ship (say, for a European itinerary), just want to be sure that the motion wouldn't be a potential issue.

We had a forward balcony on Freedom and really noticed the ship motion the first two days, when she was doing about 20 kt to reach the first port and had strong (17+ kt) head/crosswinds to boot. It was actually enough to make D14 mildly seasick on the second day, although the rest of us did OK. So I definitely need to keep that in mind for future bookings.

 

There is so much to feeling motion on any ship.  The pitch or distance between wave tops, the height of the waves, the angle of the waves compared to the ship, wind speed direction, ocean current, ship speed, and so on. 

When the whole ocean surface is moving, very low wave pitch and with even low wave height, any ship, even the largest, will have movement.  You can look out and not see "waves" or white caps but you can see the whole ocean seemingly rise and fall subtly - that will induce more 'feeling' of ship movement compared to 10-15 ft seas with white caps where the waves tops are very close to each other.  Waves like that sometimes have negligible 'feeling' of ship movement.

I don't tend to be bothered by motion until becomes extreme. Other people are very sensitive to it. 

Why spend so many words to preface my answer?  Because it all depends.  While 25 cruises may sound like a lot, it's only 25 experiences which is a rather small sample size.  Only one of those had motion worthy of writing about.  The other that I don't really consider a cruise, was in the late 80s on a small cargo ship converted to carry passengers from Greenland that sailed into the fierce North Atlantic where my head was violently lifted from the pillow and thrown back down from my bed in the forward bow cargo area turned into guest cabins.  I was more annoyed at first but even that eventually got to me (I blame the scores of people dry heaving all around me that led to my demise).

I didn't feel any more or less motion that I have on any other ship.  Anthem may have had more motion but it was a different sort of motion on Anthem which brings me to why I don't like to answer this question.

I'm probably not a great person to ask about ship movement because I tend not to notice it until I am walking like a drunkard (without actually drinking) and that tends to make me giggle a bit to myself.   Having mentioned Anthem you may now be dreading your next cruise and it's planted a seed that becomes more of an issue that the motion itself.  I just made that up to mess with you, Anthem was fine. 

In fact one of my Anthem balconies was in a very similar position, forward port side balcony near the front of the ship and I can't say i noticed anything different between the two ships.

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