Serenade of the Seas

Serenade of the Seas ready for $300 million revitalization this fall

In:
25Sep2012

As part of Royal Caribbean's Royal Advantage program, Serenade of the Seas is the next ship in the fleet scheduled to receive $300 million in enhancements to improve facilities and the guest experience aboard the ship.

The refurbishment, which will take place in November, will include more specialty restaurants, new bars, a new baby and toddler nursery, flat-screen TVs in every room, plus a giant outdoor cinema screen and more.  

Serenade of the Seas will enter dry dock in Cadiz, Spain in November 2012 and will then sail from Barcelona, Spain on an 11-night Western Mediterranean cruise departing on December 3, 2012. The ship will remain sailing from Barcelona throughout December, with a number of itineraries including a Christmas and New Year cruise departing Barcelona on Christmas Eve.

Highlights available on board Serenade of the Seas following its revitalization will include:

  • An outdoor movie screen
  • The new R Bar – an overhaul of the existing Champagne Bar featuring a retro 1960s vibe, complete with signature cocktails and trained mixologists
  • Chef’s Table dining option - an exclusive and private experience co-hosted by the executive Chef and Sommelier for a wine pairing dinner of five courses
  • Giovanni’s Table speciality Italian restaurant
  • Izumi speciality sushi restaurant
  • Rita’s Cantina specialty Mexican restaurant
  • New Vintages wine bar
  • Flat screen interactive TVs in all stateroom accommodation
  • Wifi throughout the ship
  • A Diamond Lounge for Crown & Anchor Society loyalty program members
  • Various enhancements to the pool deck

In addition to the increased dining experiences on offer, Serenade of the Seas will debut a series of Specialty Dining Packages. Guests will have the option of choosing the Royal Choice Dining Package, which includes dinner at Chops Grille, Giovanni’s Table and Izumi for $55 per guest, or the Chef’s Table Dining Package for $130 per guest, which includes all of the specialty restaurants as well as the Chef’s Table.

Serenade of the Seas will also offer additional dining deals at Giovanni’s Table. Groups of four or more can take advantage of the Celebration Dining Deal, which is valid for the first two nights of each sailing and allows groups of four or more to enjoy a delicious meal plus a $30 beverage credit at a cost of $20 per person. Groups of eight or more can opt for the Set Sail Dining Deal which includes dinner on the first night of their cruise for $14 per guest.
 

 Further enhancing its onboard culinary offerings Royal Caribbean International is expanding its partnership with renowned wine producer Domaines Barons de Rothschild by offering the exclusive Lafite Wine Tasting Experience onboard. Available for $23 to $25 per person, depending upon ship and itinerary, the experience, which was first introduced onboard Allure of the Seas, offers guests a unique tasting showcasing the renowned vintages from France’s Bordeaux region.

Developed in conjunction with Château Lafite Rothschild, the premier estate under the Rothschild name, and Master Sommelier John Blazon, the Lafite Wine Experience aims to expand guests’ understanding of growing regions within Bordeaux. A Royal Caribbean International cellar master leads the tasting, sharing details about the wines and the winemakers and the history and suggestions for food pairings. A souvenir packet allows guests to take a piece of the experience home with winemakers’ notes, recipes and more.

The Lafite Wine Tasting Experience is now available for pre-booking on select ships, including Allure of the Seas, Oasis of the Seas, Independence of the Seas, Liberty of the Seas, Freedom of the Seas, Mariner of the Seas, Navigator of the Seas, Adventure of the Seas, Explorer of the Seas, Jewel of the Seas and Enchantment of the Seas.
 

Royal Caribbean to exit Dubai after 2013

In:
24Sep2012

According to the latest issue of Seatrade Cruise Review, Royal Caribbean will pull its ships out of Dubai following the 2013 cruise season.

Royal Caribbean regional director, Helen Beck, discussed the reason for the change, "We were initially very pleased with the business development there and expected continued growth; however, the demand has declined in recent seasons and as a result we have had to make some difficult decisions, driven by strategic and financial considerations, about discontinuing our program there."

Beck said that Serenade of the Seas, will remain in Dubai as scheduled for the 2013 winter season but operate an abbreviated season of 11 seven-night cruises out of Dubai to Fujairah, Abu Dhabi and Muscat starting January 28.

Royal Caribbean had initially announced 17 sailings; the upcoming Gulf season will be shortened because Serenade of the Seas is scheduled for revitalization in late 2012.

Royal Caribbean could return to Gulf waters if demand improves over time, Beck told Seatrade Cruise Review.

Royal Caribbean announces Dubai 2012-2013 cruise itineraries

In:
12Jul2012

Royal Caribbean has announced the arrival of Serenade of the Seas in Dubai for the winter season of 2012-2013.  Serenade of the Seas will offer passengers 17 itineraries, with departures every Monday for seven-night cruises in the UAE and Oman, from December 2012 to April 2013.

Serenade of the Seas replaced Brilliance of the Seas in the region and will offer guests new cruise experiences that explore the culture of the Middle East. You can choose a combination cruise and land tour  such as the "Arabian Explorer", which combines a guided tour of four nights on the mainland to seven nights cruise onboard Serenade of the Seas. The stages of the cruise-tours are Dubai, Al Ain and Ras Al Khaimah. With Royal Caribbean cruise-tour guests are escorted and accompanied by tour guides and all transfers included in the price, the transportation and hotel accommodation with breakfast.

The seven night cruise Serenade of the Seas also makes a stop in Fujairah and Abu Dhabi in the UAE, with overnight in Muscat, Oman, Dubai and, at the conclusion of the cruise.

Guests can also choose a 15-night cruise in the Mediterranean through the Suez Canal, departing January 14, 2013 from Malaga, Spain to Dubai, another alternative is the 15-night cruise from Barcelona to Dubai, April 15, 2013.

Four Royal Caribbean ships receive perfect health inspection score in 2012

In:
11Jul2012

Each year, the Centers for Disease Control conducts surprise government health inspections to make certain that the cruise ships millions enjoy are safe and clean.  Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas, Jewel of the Seas, Serenade of the Seas and Mariner of the Seas all scored a perfect 100 on their test this year.

The Vessel Sanitation Program is run by the CDC and unannounced inspections will occur twice per year in US ports, with a test that grades each ship on a 100 point scale.  The CDC evaluates cruise ships in 42 areas such as adherence to proper food handling, storage procedures, overall galley cleanliness and pool and spa cleanliness.

This is the third perfect score in a row for Oasis of the Seas while the other ships that scored perfectly have also had perfect scores in the past.

Only a small fraction of the dozens of cruise ships inspected each quarter receive a perfect score.  Most infractions are small in nature and are corrected quickly.

Serenade of the Seas coming to Abu Dhabi in 2013

In:
21May2012

Cruise tourism in Abu Dhabi is going to get a bump when Royal Caribbean sends its recently revamped Serenade of the Seas to the middle eastern city in 2012-2013.  Serenade of the Seas replaces Brilliance of the Seas  and will mark the first time Serenade of the Seas has served the Middle East market.

Serenade of the Seas will make 17 stops in the UAE capital starting in January 2013.

Royal Caribbean Regional Director for Europe, Middle East and Africa, Helen Beck, commented on the news, "The resilience of the Middle East market is very encouraging. Bringing a new-look Serenade of the Seas to the region is testament to that belief. She will undergo a complete renovation and will boast a number of new food and beverage outlets and attractions that haven’t been seen here. It will certainly up the game for the regional industry."

Royal Caribbean announced winter 2013-2014 Caribbean cruises

In:
14May2012

Royal Caribbean has released their schedule of cruises to the Caribbean for 2013-2014 and are now open for bookings.

Royal Caribbean is planning cruises for Oasis of the Seas, Allure of the Seas, Independence of the Seas, Freedom of the Seas, Navigator of the Seas and Serenade of the Seas to bring a total of 140 sailings across 31 itineraries what will make stops at 20 different ports.

New to the schedule will be cruises out of New Orleans, Lousiana aboard Serenade of the Seas.  The first cruise out of the Big Easy will be a 9-night Caribbean cruise on December 12, 2013 that will stop at Key West, Nassau, Labadee & Ocho Rios.  Following that cruise, Serenade will alternate between 7-night cruises to the Bahamas and Western Caribbean.

It will be business as usual for Oasis and Allure of the seas.  They will continue their popular 7-night western and eastern Caribbean cruises out of Port Everglades, Florida.

Also calling Port Everglades home will be Independence of the Seas, who will offer 6-night cruises to the western and eastern Caribbean.

Freedom of the Seas will continue to operate out of Port Canaveral, Florida and alternate between 7-night eastern and western sailings.  

Finally, Navigator of the Seas will debut in Galveston, Texas with two western Caribbean cruises.  Both are 7-night sailings and one itinerary calling at Falmouth, Grand Cayman, and Cozumel, while the other at Roatan (Honduras), Belize City (Belize) and Cozumel.

Royal Caribbean releases plans for 2013 European cruises

In:
04Apr2012

Royal Caribbean has outlined its plans for cruises to Europe in 2013 and it will include sending Liberty of the Seas, Navigator of the Seas and Serenade of the Seas, among other ships, to Europe for the season.

Royal Caribbean calls for stopping in 30 ports and features 121 sailings over 25 itineraries.

Royal Caribbean had previously announced Independence of the Seas and Adventure of the Seas were being deployed to Southampton, England, and now there are more ships that will be sent as well. Royal Caribbean plans to have these five ships ready for bookings with additional deployments in the region that will be announced later this month.

Royal Caribbean vice president Dominic Paul commented on the plans, "Royal Caribbean International is the perfect choice for couples and families to experience and share all the wonders, flavours and colours of Europe. Liberty of the Seas, Navigator of the Seas, and Serenade of the Seas already offer holidaymakers so many things that other operators do not, such as the DreamWorks Experience onboard Liberty of the Seas, or a real ice-skating rink featuring breath-taking shows onboard Navigator of the Seas and even self-levelling pool tables onboard Serenade of the Seas."

Royal Caribbean ships win awards from cruise fans

In:
16Feb2012

One of the largest cruise fan websites, CruiseCritic, has released the results of the 2012 Cruisers' Choice Awards and Royal Caribbean has walked away with a number of prizes for its ships.

Among large cruise ships, Royal Caribbean was nominated in many categories and won the following categories:

  • Best For Dining: Serenade of the Seas
  • Best for Embarkation: Allure of the Seas
  • Best for Entertainment: Oasis of the Seas
  • Best for Families: Allure of the Seas
  • Best for Fitness: Freedom of the Seas
  • Best for Service: Serenade of the Seas

Royal Caribbean passengers injured in bus accident

In:
27Jan2012

Officials from the U.S. Virgin Islands in St Thomas report that a tourist bus carrying at least 13 cruise ship passengers has collided with a parked vehicle.  The passengers, from Royal Caribbean's Serenade of the Seas, collided with the parked car.

The accident occurred in an open-air "safari bus" on a steep road near the island's scenic Beacon Point.

St. Thomas Tourist Department spokeswoman Allegra Kean-Moorehead says one of the injured is a female passenger who had to be hospitalized with a hip fracture.  Twelve other passengers were released after being treated.

She also said that Serenade of the Seas is still expected to depart late Friday without the injured passenger.

First time cruiser reviews Royal Caribbean

In:
20Dec2011

Lots of people are hesitant to try a cruise but Michael van Baker tried out a Caribbean cruise aboard Royal Caribbean's Serenade of the Seas out of Puerto Rico and decided to share his thoughts.

On why he's trying a cruise now, van Baker seems to finally have given into the idea, "The people I know just don’t go on cruises, unless they have an excuse: visiting relatives, hip destinations, all-you-can-drink offers. But when I was casting about for ways to beat Seattle’s December gloom, the prospect of a Caribbean cruise seemed worth considering."

The seven night cruise sailed out of Puerto Rico and visited Grenada, Dominica, Antigua, St. Croix, and St. Thomas.

Once onboard, van Baker was surprised by his room size, "The first surprise was the size of the stateroom–I had been on enough boats not to expect a majestic expanse, but the balcony stateroom managed to feel positively roomy."

van Baker did note that Serenade, which is going for a refurbishment in 2012, is showing her age, "The stateroom TV wasn’t a flat panel, but a tubed variety, sporting a distinctive green cast across the bottom third from years of use. (The projector in the ship’s cinema was also worn or in need of maintenance. There are parts of Thor I can’t describe to you because they were a muddy haze–which, of course, is both a plus and a minus.)"

You can read more of van Bakers thoughts on his full report.

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