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17 Night Australia & New Zealand Cruise from Honolulu

17 Night Australia & New Zealand Cruise from Honolulu

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Serenade of the Seas
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Itinerary

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  • Day 1
    Honolulu
  • Day 2
    Cruising
  • Day 3
    Cruising
  • Day 4
    Cruising
  • Day 5
    Cruising
  • Day 6
    Cruising
  • Day 7
    Tahiti (Papeete)
  • Day 8
    Moorea
  • Day 9
    Bora Bora
  • Day 10
    Cruising
  • Day 11
    Cruising
  • Day 12
    Cruising
  • Day 13
    Cruising
  • Day 14
    Cruising
  • Day 15
    Auckland
  • Day 16
    Paihia
  • Day 17
    Cruising
  • Day 18
    Cruising
  • Day 19
    Sydney (Australia)

Serenade of the Seas

Serenade of the Seas - Royal Caribbean International

Pros

Has both an indoor and outdoor pool, as well as multiple dining venues

Cons

Lack of Royal Caribbean's signature outdoor attractions might disappoint some cruisers

Bottom Line

Good value-for-money choice for families and groups


Cruise Reviews

3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
I always wanted to cruise the Norwegian Fjords and this cruise suited my available dates. I travelled with my teenage niece who was cruising for the first time - it was my 4th cruise holiday and first one with Royal Caribbean. The ship ... Read More
I always wanted to cruise the Norwegian Fjords and this cruise suited my available dates. I travelled with my teenage niece who was cruising for the first time - it was my 4th cruise holiday and first one with Royal Caribbean. The ship is impressive overall though, on closer inspection, is showing some signs of wear and tear. I was impressed with cabin size. The evening entertainment was good in the main though the main headline shows were very short - a maximum of 45 minutes. That's fine for a so-so show but far too short for a good one - and we had one excellent show in particular, Beatle Maniacs, a Beatles tribute band who were exceptionally good. I'd have loved another hour or so of them! The main restaurant was where we dined every evening, we had availed of the My Time dining option. The food was simply outstanding as was the service. We had the same waiters each night and they felt like old friends by the end. We had a la carte breakfast in the main dining room most mornings and, while the food was good, the service wasn't. In the main service in the mornings was slow, impersonal and, we felt, unprofessional at times. We witnessed staff arguing with each other in front of passengers a few times. We weren't very impressed with the Windjammer buffet restaurant in terms of food quality. There was usually an Indian selection but we found that far too spicy for our palates. The cost of port excursions was very high - prohibitively so in my view in most cases so we ended up just doing our own thing at most ports. Finally our cabin steward was wonderful - friendly, cheerful and very helpful. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
Chose this cruise mainly to see St Petersburg, Estonia, Stockholm and Copenhagen. Excellent to have the overnights in Stockholm and Copenhagen and especially two nights in St Petersburg. We found both the embarkation and ... Read More
Chose this cruise mainly to see St Petersburg, Estonia, Stockholm and Copenhagen. Excellent to have the overnights in Stockholm and Copenhagen and especially two nights in St Petersburg. We found both the embarkation and disembarkation went well for us and I didn't hear anyone we spoke to complaining about it. Found the ship easy to navigate and liked that there are not too many people on board. All the staff we spoke to were all friendly and helpful. Great having the Solarium on the cooler days and will look for that on other ships when we choose our next cruise. Very good entertainment at the different areas around the ship and people seemed to join in with the crew. Bingo was a bit of a rip-off so won't do that again but did have a go on the pokies and won $500. Good variety and quality of food in the free dining areas. (we didn't try any that you had to pay for) We didn't do any of the ship's shore excursions so can't comment on them. (we did do a tour in St Petersburg with TJ Travel and would highly recommend them) Will definitely travel Royal Caribbean again! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
We chose this cruise because of the 3 days in St Petersburg, adding a few days before in Copenhagen, and after with Stockholm, Norway in a nutshell, and Bergen. A long trip. Ports Stockholm Was so Hot! We enjoyed our Steves walking ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the 3 days in St Petersburg, adding a few days before in Copenhagen, and after with Stockholm, Norway in a nutshell, and Bergen. A long trip. Ports Stockholm Was so Hot! We enjoyed our Steves walking tours and meeting with a friend from home for lunch before he went home the next day. Lots to see and do, ran out of time. Helsinki- cold. Steves walking tour. Helsinkin library was a must see we may have missed if not told about it St. Petersburg- cold rainy. crowds, crowds, do a tour to get past them all. so much glitz. Peterhoff was a nice break. Tallin- warmer. very quaint town. Iron man competition was happening but navigable. Riga- Not much there, tried to do church but not easy to get around. Not as cute as we had hoped. Visby- a favorite spot for us. You have never seen a medieval festival till you have been here. The only ones not in authentic wear and gear was tourists from the ship. So amazingly authentic and not the hype of festivals we americans are used to. We were very disappointed the ship left so early so we couldn’t see the evening games. cute town easily walkable. Warnemunde- took tour to schwerin. Ok, but could have spent time seeing the incoming tall ships for the next day festival. Fredericia- rainy. we took the train to Jelling for a change, then walked around Fredericia till time ran out. 
Copenhagen- rainy. we were worried hot to get off the ship and what to do with luggage but it worked out to take it to our hotel early and store it there. Again lots to see and not enough time. Steves walking tour. Embarkation- lightening fast. Never had it so good and easy. Props for organization. Disembarkation- very fast and easy although there was much confusion among many passengers about when we had to actually get off the ship, and how. Transportation to and from ports each city was different. The Compass was to give information but one of our first ports was wrong in the compass. We had researched it and knew we needed a bus or taxi but compass said walking distance. Good thing we had already made our plans. City bus (bought the 2 day pass) for Copenhagen was a lifesaver. A few tours picked us up. Mostly we just walked to towns although we did spend for taxi a few times with luggage. Someone mentioned and there is lots of confusion over getting off in Russia. We had a private 3 day tour booked with Alla. We did not have visas. We did have have lines showing passports going thru checkpoints at the dock like everyone else. We got off like everyone else. We read you had to have a ‘sponsored’ tour to leave the dock BUT I saw plenty of people coming and going and taxi’s outside. Not sure if legal to do so. Our second day a few of us wandered out the door but were missing one. The guard there (not on the last day) wouldn’t let us back in to get the one who we could see inside and didn’t know we had left him…he eventually did. We waited outside for our tour leader. Dining: Main dining room Reservations for each night depending on the schedule. twice placed at a new location than our ‘regular’ spot. Waiters were very good. They remembered our evening requests like no ice, herb tea, and most importantly 2 plates of grilled veggies for the 6 of us (once we started asking for it). (veggies seem to be non existent on cruise ships). Background music got a bit too loud for conversations a few nights but they turned it down when we mentioned it. Food was hit and miss. We were told the first night that the bottom half of the menu stayed the same the entire cruise, that meant that only a few items in each category changed each night with many repeats. Unfortunately my favorite 2 desserts I had the first night were never again to be seen. Many nights a good portion of the dishes were variations of seafood. Fine if you like seafood, and I do, but not so many options ruling out other choices. Other nights most of the offerings had some type of alcohol which I don’t want so was limited. Some dishes were really good, a few were not. Among my group of 6 the hit was the apple ‘pie’, cheese plate, and sugar free variations. We were disappointed that there was no ‘local’ options or fresh seasonal fruits other than easy to store stuff. We did breakfast on the sea day with menu or buffet option (or as it turned out both). Our food took forever to come and was only mediocre. Buffet was better options. Better than the mobs upstairs but not the variety. Buffet Why is there so much indian and japanese food? No mexican or other options. I like indian but this was all too spicy (as some main dining dishes were when I asked for mild). Lots of variety of breads, eggs, healthy stuff. Short on fruit options other than the easy to store stuff like melon, apple, oranges…I am not a buffet type diner as I find food not as good and I eat too much but we used it for all breakfasts but one due to the schedule, and lunch on the sea day. Nothing great. I really wanted a chef salad as opposed to the basic, caesar, etc. and none were available so I resorted to creating my own and asking for a sliced hard boiled egg. It was the best meal I had there. We found it easy to find spots to sit with our group (we kept crossing paths) off to the sides, behind drink station, and in the wing which gets opened and is very nice, just away from the food. After hours dining Limited options. Period. Mediocre. I recommend grabbing a cheese plate at dinner and taking it to your room for an evening snack. The ship For 6 of us not into the bar and noise scene, we never really found an ideal place in 2 weeks to play games. The best we did was the safari club which was very underused and only the stage area for the most part. It had a great rearward view and was quiet unless a game was happening which was rare. The chairs are ok and table would be if it didn’t have an annoying mounted lamp in the middle we had to work around. The game room we had planned on using didn’t have any space. Safari was comfortable and our ‘meeting’ spot. People seemed to go there to read and have quiet. The dining areas were closed off during down time, so not usable Shipboard Pool- too cold and busy and was actually covered up each evening even though it was supposed to be open. Props for having life guards who looked official even if it wasn’t necesary. Pool table- it 2 weeks to get it Shuffleboard- we gave it a try on our sea day. missing ball, bent pusher. and the puck things were defective. After an hour we succeeded in only getting about 5 pieces on the game board. All others stopped half way or flew 3x farther than intended. We have played before without issue. so it wasn’t us. We couldn’t even get any points. Movie theater- same movie all day and not great ones. Ok, too bad there isn’t a popcorn or refreshment stand nearby. Activities We tried a few ship activities on our sea day and evenings. Have had much better on other ships. Dancing lessons in the atrium could have been fun if we wren’t stepping on each other and getting smacked by inconsiderate flying arms in the cha cha. Why not use the Safari lounge with so much more room and empty??? Who cares if passers by can see? The game ideas were good but completely dare I say ‘unfair’? Ok, I am being picky but if you go you have a hope of winning. The young people leading the games were so ‘whatever-ish’ that it was really a waste of time. The game where you try to find the unique answer…those of us at the beginning crossed off the answers others said Those at the end were talking and didn’t cross the answers we said a long time earlier. Trivia game, same thing. Scavanger hunt was for items in the ship but started early before we got there and we couldn’t find anyone to tell us what to do just ‘here’s your paper, go’. Then it ‘ended’ when someone said they had all the stuff but it wasn’t on their person. I would like to see a ship do a ‘digital’ scavenger hunt where you have to bring back photos of items pertaining to the ship itself, not things you may not have in your cabin or a big group may have. After the first evening show would have been a good time to have some games but there wasn’t. Entertainment What we saw was excellent for the most part. We went to the introductory night and was not impressed by the ships entertainers so didn’t go back to their night. We heard it was OK, but not great. The other entertainers were a range of good to excellent, and we were glad we went to them. We could hear bits and pieces of special musicians around the ship but again, they are always overlapped with other things we were doing, like the 5:30 -6 dinner and show afterwards. Guitarist was great as we passed by. I wish they were staggered more or someplace other than the atrium. If our cabin wasn’t just past the atrium on 4 we would have missed many happenings as we came and went. Medical- yes we did have to make a stop for something (never had before). Hubby got bit by something someplace unknown, and it turned really nasty looking. After trying what we could we headed downstairs where the nice Dr. took a look and told us we were doing what needed to be done. At least we had it documented. We were also pleasantly surprised we weren’t charged the full bill, one we could handle without contacting our insurance company. Read Less
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