A week or so ago I posted some memories on the Carnival board regarding the MS Mardi Gras. Since I got such great response there I decided to post on the Viking Serenade.
I sailed on the Viking Serenade back in 1993. IT was a 4 day cruise from Long Beach, stopping at Catalina, and Ensenada. This was a memorable trip for several reasons.
1) My great-grandmother died the day before we sailed. Since my grandfather didn’t buy the insurance (too expensive he said), he was pretty unhappy the whole trip, because he thought they should refund his money anyway. Guess it pays to purchase the insurance.
2) Right after this trip, we flew up to Portland to attend the funeral. While in the Portland airport, my grandfather had a small stroke and fell down the escalator. Within a year he had several more strokes and ended up in bed for the last seven years of his life so this is the last thing we got to do while he was still able to do normal activities. While this is a sad part of my life, I look back on this cruise as a happy memory that we got to do something so fun before he got sick.
3) I had just returned to the “normal” world after serving on a mission for 2 years so I was in for some culture shock to be back doing every day things instead of talking to people about religion every day and wearing a shirt and tie everywhere. I had the total farmers tan going on so I’m sure it looked pretty weird.
The ship itself was great! While I knew it was smaller than most of the other ships at that time it seemed plenty big to me. There were lots of families on board, and it seemed like there was a lot of activities to do. Makes me wonder how overwhelming it must be on the bigger ships with the rock climbing walls, water slides, etc.
We had the most entertaining waiter I have ever met. He kept joking (at least I hope so) that he and I would trade places and he would go home with my family and I could stay and work on the ship. Our cabin steward was invisible, but our room was never a mess. I think they hide somewhere until just after you leave your room.
The funniest part of the cruise to me was sailing from Long Beach to Catalina. Since Catalina is only like 25 miles off the coast, we got there very quickly, and just sailed around the island all night.
Ensenada was great! I had been there many times growing up, but it was somehow different going there on a ship. We went into port, and had a great day shopping, soaking up the sun and getting some lunch. We also sailed in the Channel Islands during our day at sea, and they were very beautiful.
I know this ship is off being the Island Escape now. Please feel free to share your memories of cruising on this old RCL ship.
ms Zuiderdam - May 2006
Carnival Mardi Gras - July 1991
RCCL Viking Serenade - November 1994
Carnival Pride - September 2004
Was on her before ('90) and after (96?) they redid the ferry area below (heard crew used to play ball down there until it was refitted). Enjoyed her uniqueness but makes me appreciate all the modern aspects of the Radiance class!
We did Baltic on the "Jewel" this past May and got to compare her to the "Sun Viking" European cruise we had on her in '93. BOTH WERE GREAT!