Serenade of the Seas Jan. 21st 2006. Any thoughts??
I am just about to book our cruise for next month. This is the first cruise for my wife and I. The itenary or St. Thomas, St Martin, Antigua, St. Lucia, and Barbados is incredible!!! I was originally want to go on one of RCCL's megga voyager class ships but this one looks new and beautiful. I just want to pick out the best ship possible. Do you think this one is one of the best???
I am partial to the "Radiance" class ships and was just on the "Serenade" in Oct. The main thing is to be happy with the itinerary and you have already covered that so I am sure you will enjoy the ship. This class of ship is large without being overwhelming. Don't be shy about learning the layout of the ship quickly to enhance your cruise experience. I would also recommend mixing up your dining. The dining room is available for lunch on sea days and is a nice change from the buffet. As you may have read, the food is not what it used to be but it's not as bad as some have suggested either. So read up on all the tips you can and be sure to book your next cruise while onboard!
Feel free to e-mail with any further questions, Robbie
was on this ship this past feb and of the 12 cruises i have taken, this is my favorite. had a junior balcony suite aboard the serenade and it was unbelievable! great selection of islands, one of the reasons i took this cruise. had never been to antigua or st. lucia before. check out lawrence of antiguas excursion. he is great. i also signed up for the meet and mingle on another website which i can not mention here but if you email me, i can tell you about that and some great excursions i booked online. you will really enjoy this ship. bob firstname.lastname@example.org
We are booked on this ship for an April cruise and I can hardly wait! I have read nothing but great reviews of this ship. (Except for 2 which I think were by chronic complainers. )
We also have booked excursions. Our friends have booked Lawrence, while we are doing Eli's Eco Tour in Antigua. We are going on the Silver Moon in Barbados, and have booked with Frank for our tour in St. Lucia. We are going over to St. John while in St. Thomas and aren't sure what we will do in St. Maarten.
Have a marvelous cruise! I envy how close yours is!
Mariner of the Seas 3/30/08
"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
We are boarding the Serenade April 1st and are looking at all of the same excursions (plus ther 12 meter race in St. Maarten). From a previous post, I think you are leaving the day we return. I think you may be right about the bad reviews. Either they have spoiled themselves with luxury cruises before or its just their nature to find fault in minor annoyances. I figure something may go arwy somewhere along the line, tut the vacation on the whole will be amazing. Sounds like I'd better be booking those excursions this week before they fill up!
April 1, 2006 - Serenade of the Seas - 7 days to the Southern Caribbean
October 8, 1984 - NCL Sunward II - 3 day cruise to the Bahamas
I was on this ship and itinerary over Thanksgiving. Both are awesome. The ship is beautiful and there is a lot to do, although the itinerary is so port intensive that you won't be on it much during the daylight hours. Here's a tip...don't take any excursions to the Pitons while in St Lucia, the captain will take you unbelieveably close to them when you depart. Also, your only sea day will be a Friday - Our captain (and I've heard the "regular" captain) took us very close to Monserrat (the active volcano), then cruised very close to Nevis, St Kitts, St. Eustasius, and San Saba. Simply beautiful.
For excursions, my daughter and I did the "treetop adventure" in St. Maarten. Breathtaking, but not for those with a fear of heights. We went on our own to Pineapple beach in Antigua - beautiful and not very crowded. We did a bike ride in Barbados - it was very scenic, but if you're looking for a workout, it's 99% downhill. We just took a cab on a tour of St Lucia. It was nice, but next time, I think I'll take a ships excursion.
Again, this is simply a beautiful ship and the best itinerary I've been on. My bet is that you'll really enjoy it.
This was our first cruise as well, did that route in March 04, you will love it ! There is just so much to do on the ship and as well every port. In St.Martin you should definetely do so shopping, Antigua try to make your way to Dickensons Bay, the beach there is beautiful and in St.Lucia we hired a driver named Jackson with whom we had a fantastic time, did a full day tour of the island, I think his taxi service is called Phillip Tours St.Lucia. Glory tours are also good for a tour of the island in Barbados. Have a wonderful time on SOS you will enjoy her.
We did that same route in May 2004 on RC Adventure of the Sea, a voyager class ship. It is the best itinerary, you will love the islands, a new one almost every day. That ship was doing 2 different alternating routes, the other is a 4 island one. I don't think they are doing the 5 island again until April, so your best bet will be Serenade for the time you are looking at in January. I have not been on Serenade, but have heard only good things about it, so would not hesitate to book it. I believe that the Golden Princess out of San Juan does that same itinerary also, alternating with a different route but don't know the dates available. That's just FYI, there are so many excellent choices. I think you will have the best time and will love the southern caribbean as much as we do. If you can possibly fly down a day ahead, it would be smart to do so, especially flying in the winter. We always do that when leaving from San Juan, it is much more relaxing and gives you time to explore an extra port. Enjoy......!
LOVED this ship! We did our first cruise back in April of this year. I have photo's posted over on the Interactive Features, but you have to go back to the month of April for the Serenade topic.
It's big, but even though we were short 600 passengers, it never, ever seemed crowded because its so spacious. We wanted to do as many islands as possible in case we wanted to stay at one for a vacation and this ship offered what we were looking for. Plus, its still new. People were great, food was awesome! Crew was above & beyond the call of duty!
The only warning I could tell you is if you do excursions at every island - be prepared to go to sleep early at night! You are going to be exhausted! Or at least - take a nap either in your cabin or out on Deck 5. The lull of the ship will put you to sleep in no time. And you'll probably have the best sleep in a week than you've ever had in your life! Others on here I'm sure will contest to that.
I now have the cruise bug - my next cruise will again be on this ship doing the same itinerary. We just loved it!!
Thanks for all your replys. We are so excited 32 days away!! The only bad thing about this cruise is you are at ports everyday but 1, so you don't really get to enjoy theship that much!!! We might just stay on the ship one day for the heck of it. Thanks again
I prefer the Radiance class ships over the Voyager class. We had a great room overlooking the stern on the corner - it had a balcony large enough for two chaise lounges and our room was not a suite. If you don't mind a little motion and the walk from the elevator these rooms are great. We went on my favorite shore excursion ever, mountain biking in St. Lucia. We actually saw big trees in the rainforest.... and a huge snake. You know how many of the descriptions go, that you will see native plants and animals -- we have been dissapointed before but this excursion was great because there were only 12 of us, we were out on our own away from the crowds, and it was fun. I agree with others that this cruise is a lot of go go go - remember to get some rest and spend some time on the ship.
Voyager of the Seas March 2000
Adventure of the Seas March 2002
Navigator of the Seas March 2003
Serenade of the Seas March 2004
Enchantment of the Seas January 2006
We did this ship and itinerary in Jan 2004 and loved it. I did Adventure Southern Carib in Jan 2005 and loved it. You can't go wrong with either. My husband prefers the Voyager class ship over the Radiance class, as he finds there is more to do with the Royal promenade, bigger pool deck, skating rink, etc. Some prefer Radiance for their nicer decor, however. It is really a matter of personal preference and what is important to you. The cabins on Radiance are definitely nicer. The Royal promenade is nice to stroll down and sit and have a drink in before or after dinner and the parades are fun.
I agree with the poster about the Pitons, make sure you are on deck or on your balcony (if it is on the right side of the ship) for sailaway from St. Lucia. Personally, Barbados is my least favourite port of all those in the Southern Carib (and I have been there twice). Pushy taxi-drivers and not so nice beaches, IMHO. St Maarten, St Thomas and Aruba are my favourites. Great beaches and friendly locals.