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KansCocoa

Middle Aged Drama Queen's Eastern Med Review: Serenade, Pics, Surprises & Fun!

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While trooping back towards the elevators, so we can backtrack down to Guest Services and replace the Seapass Card that had only been in Taylor's possession for a matter of 15 minutes, Taylor suddenly exclaims, "HEY! I FOUND IT!!!"

 

Apparently, while slipping his iPod Touch back in his shorts, the SeaPass Card had "stuck" to the screen...and had magically disappeared from his view (& touch) in his pockets.

 

 

The same thing happened to me in Cozumel. I hopped off the ship to pick up some last minute items and all I brought was a debit card, my iPhone and my seapass. When I got to the cashier, I gave her the debit card and then she asked me for my ship ID. Suddenly the pocket was empty. Here's my phone, she has the debit card... how the heck did I lose the seapass? I turned all my pockets inside out. I searched the store with no luck and then headed back to the ship to turn myself in. We were about 30 minutes away from "all aboard" so I thought that I had better get back there and beg them to let me sail away with DW.

 

I reported in to the first security guard and he very excitedly spoke into his portable radio, from my limited recollection of high school Spanish I loosely translated his message as, "we have a situation here," and I believe the word "moron" was used. (That must one of those words that is very similar in English and Spanish.)

 

Immediately after the security guard caused enough of a commotion to sufficiently embarrass me, I looked at my phone again and lo and behold there was... stuck to the screen!

 

Problem over? Not quite. Now every time I tried to sign back in to the ship, when I heard the bing, the security guards all assumed the posture of code red terrorist alert. There must have been some type of flag placed on my card. Perhaps a message like, "Don't trust this guy. he's a moron." And even though they initially looked like they wanted to tackle me, the fact that I was at least a head taller than all of them caused them to hesitate long enough to check the picture a little closer and conclude that I was in fact the correct holder of the seapass, AKA "el Morono."

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Hi sherri

 

Tried to find you on fb but no luck, copy & pasted your full name, just comes up with no results?

 

Chrissy

 

Btw. If this was a book, I'd buy it, I think you missed your calling

Edited by chrissycpm

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Hi sherri

 

Tried to find you on fb but no luck, copy & pasted your full name, just comes up with no results?

 

Chrissy

 

Btw. If this was a book, I'd buy it, I think you missed your calling

 

Hmmm...you've got me stumped on the FB thing...if you want to email me your name (or post it here - up to you), I'll send a friend request to you. That's so weird that FB considers me invisible! :( My email address is sodell330 @ comast.net

 

And thanks for the compliment! I've been blogging now for about 3-4 years, and everyone keeps saying I need to publish my blog...with all of my adventures! Maybe one of these days...sigh. For now, though, it's FREE for everyone! :)

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I am loving your review!!! You have a calling for writing!!!

 

Thank you!

 

And thanks to everyone who has posted - I DO appreciate your comments, even if I don't personally respond to every one of them.

 

I'm somewhat under a time crunch to get this Trip Report published, as I'm heading off on another cruise on Sunday...on the Freedom! I'll be REALLY behind if I don't get busy!!!

 

Mickey & I are in Florida right now, and we had a MAJOR storm roll through here this afternoon, which knocked out the cable, internet & phone services. I panicked, thinking I had broken the Internet, with all of my CC ramblings! :eek: It just came back up a little bit ago, so I'll get back to posting.

Edited by KansCocoa

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I'm somewhat under a time crunch to get this Trip Report published, as I'm heading off on another cruise on Sunday...on the Freedom! I'll be REALLY behind if I don't get busy!!!

 

Awwww, poor Sherri is under a time crunch for her cruise report because she's going on another cruise!!!! ;)

 

We are living vicariously through you, though. That and discussing our next cruise are the only things getting us through our PCD. (Post-Cruise Depression)

 

PS- if we had only known about some of these stories during the cruise!!!! Like the Ticket Incident! :D

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When we last left our curious travelers, they were heading to the Grand Opening of the Cabins...the much-anticipated 1:00 pm, when the cabins are available...

 

So...1:00. Time to go check out our home-away-from-home for the next 12 nights...Cabin #1556, aka The Royal Suite. Only fitting for a self-proclaimed Drama Queen, right?!

 

This cabin is located on Deck #10, starboard side, on the hump.

 

Here's a photo/pictorial essay of the Royal Suite:

 

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Taylor enters through the main doors....

 

 

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The main living area of the Suite...the larger couch folds down into a double bed, which is where Mickey will sleep each night...

 

 

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Another view of the main living area...showing the wall of windows & sliding glass doors that opened onto the oversized balcony....

 

 

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Mickey makes herself at home on the piano...which she doesn't play. However - for those of us musically challenged, the piano comes with a whole slew of CD's that pop into the "player" - and the piano magically comes to life. And it can get really, really, really loud...just an FYI.

 

 

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More of the living/dining area....

 

 

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The dining area...and the wet bar area...the roses were in the room when we first walked in, and I mistakenly believed that Hubby Mike had been a romantic devil, having them delivered...which he LET me believe for several days before confessing that the flowers weren't from him, but from RCI. Oh, he's a devil, all right...

 

The curtains were all electronically-controlled...as were the lights. There were so many buttons & gadgets & gizmos on the walls that it looked more complicated than a NASA rocket ship. We figured it all out, eventually, by about the 5th day of the cruise, but even then - you pretty much needed a degree in rocket science to work all the electronics....

 

We didn't figure out how to turn the volume down on the piano until Day #11. Because it was so loud, we pretty much kept it off for most of the cruise, which was kind of a bummer....

 

We never DID utilize the dining room table in the suite....Pre-cruise, I had whimsical visions of the family gathered around the table, enjoying a delicious breakfast delivered by Room Service. Well. That never happened. For the most part, the dining room table became a catch-all for the fruits, snacks & cookies that kept mysteriously showing up in our room, courtesy of RCI.

 

We DID use the wet bar...for not one, but TWO parties that we had, which I'll be discussing later....

 

Coming up: More photos of the Royal Suite....

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Awwww, poor Sherri is under a time crunch for her cruise report because she's going on another cruise!!!! ;)

 

We are living vicariously through you, though. That and discussing our next cruise are the only things getting us through our PCD. (Post-Cruise Depression)

 

PS- if we had only known about some of these stories during the cruise!!!! Like the Ticket Incident! :D

 

Knowing the grief I would get, I kept my mouth shut, and threatened the rest of the family if they spilled the beans.... ;)

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OK, dear one....where is the next installment????? I can hardly wait to see the pics of the GREAT suite!!!!

 

I have enjoyed this review so very, very much!! And good for you for going on another cruise with your daughter! She is just a doll, as are you!

 

Barb

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More photos of the Royal Suite:

 

 

Ship96.jpg

Looking from the main living area into the bedroom...

 

 

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The bedroom....

 

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Another view of the bedroom....

 

 

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The vanity area...kinda' tucked back away from everything, it was my little hidey-hole...

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Love the review...few questions:

 

1. Do you have the cruise compasses for this cruise?

2. Is there a free sauna? Is it coed?

3. Is there an area where you can use showers near the pool? Or are they only in the pay-spa area?

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More photos of the Royal Suite - in this case, the all-important closet, and the bathroom...

 

 

Ship99.jpg

A dream closet...walk-through, no less! Here it is...empty....

 

 

 

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And here it is...not-so-empty...in addition to the closet, there were several sets of drawers that could be used for storage....

 

 

 

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The Master bath...(there were two bathrooms in the Suite, but I never got pics of Mickey's bath...which was a shower, sink & toilet)....

 

 

 

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The shower and the jetted tub...and YES, I used the jetted tub...The bathroom had a steam function, but we never figured out how to use it, since we're not rocket scientists....

 

 

 

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The toilet and the drinking fountain....(which is what my boys used to call bidets when they were much, much younger)

 

 

 

So...there you have it. The Royal Suite. Besides the spacious cabin, there was a HUGE balcony - complete with loungers, a table and chairs...that we used as often as we could.

 

The Suite was definitely spacious. It was beautiful. It was more than we really needed, so we tried to share it with family and friends as much as possible. If it had been up to us, we'd have thrown the doors open and sailed every day that way....

 

I'm going to digress and share a story...back in 2004, Hubby Mike and I took our very first-ever cruise. We chose Royal Caribbean, and we chose the Serenade of the Seas...the southern Caribbean route. We sailed in a Grand Suite at the time, which gave us Concierge Lounge privileges. Every evening, we'd head to the Lounge and sit with fellow guests, drinking, nibbling, and sharing stories about our day. Mid-way through the cruise, we met a very interesting couple, who told us they were sailing in the Royal Suite. That evening, they graciously invited us back to their cabin so we could take a peek.

 

And here's a photo of Hubby Mike and I, from 2004, sitting at the grand piano in the Royal Suite:

 

200412.jpg

 

 

Little did we know we'd be sailing in it ourselves a few years later!

 

 

Up next: Sailaway Party & Evening Activities

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Oh no! That's all for tonight? You better get a move on if you want this finished before Sunday! ;)

 

Enjoying this so much!

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Love the review...few questions:

 

1. Do you have the cruise compasses for this cruise?

2. Is there a free sauna? Is it coed?

3. Is there an area where you can use showers near the pool? Or are they only in the pay-spa area?

 

 

1. Yes. :)

 

2. I don't know. I used the gym/treadmill, but that was all I utilized; I'd head back to my cabin to shower & clean up.

 

3. No, no showers near the pool. There are showers in the spa, but the showers are free - they don't charge you for the showers.

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Ah, I can go to sleep now after seeing the pics of your fabulous cabin! BUT I will be up early tomorrow to read more about your fabulous cruise. I love the humor, the family-feeling, and the pics. They are all wonderful! I just love the fact that you took your 3 kids on this wonderful cruise, as well as the fact that they enjoyed the excursions pre-cruise! You've obviously done a wonderful job with these "klingons".

 

Would love to cruise with you one of these days!

 

Barb

Edited by FloGaleRNTX

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After we checked out the Royal Suite - which took some time, mind you, because we had to push every button we could find, just to see what it would do (remember this button-pushing tendency...it will come into play later in the cruise) - we decided to go check out the boys' cabin.

 

They had cabin #9260, which was an aft balcony...and here's some beautiful photos of it to enjoy:

 

.

 

.

 

.

 

.

 

.

 

Say what? You don't see the beautiful photos?

 

That's because my boys NEVER took any photos of their cabin!!! Grrrr!!!! I am so sorry - apparently I didn't train them in all things cruise-related, because they failed! I failed as a Cruise Mom! I can't believe they never took a single photo of their cabin...but hey...if you want to see a photo of European pigeons....??? We've got plenty of those. :p

 

They, DID, however, take a photo of their balcony...so I guess they didn't totally fail; perhaps they deserve a D- rather than an outright F:

 

Balcony.jpg

 

 

And they seemed to like to take photos of the aft wake from their balcony:

 

Balcony2.jpg

 

The boys' beds were pushed together when we first saw the room, which both boys immediately recoiled in horror at; heaven forbid they sleep in such close proximity with each other....I didn't remind them that they used to take baths together when they were toddlers. Ahem. I instructed them to have their Cabin Attendant separate the beds, which I found out later he did, promptly.

 

Our luggage was all delivered around 1:30 p.m., which gave us plenty of time to unpack, unwind, and take in our Royal surroundings.

 

At some point, Randy, our Suite Attendant, came by to introduce himself. He seemed very capable, very vivacious, and very helpful...I knew we would get along just fine. He was always attentive to our needs, which really weren't much. We're pretty simple.

 

 

During the unpacking process, Hubby Mike took Mickey to the Arcade, ostensibly to get her out of my hair, but most probably to avoid having to do any unpacking himself. He's sneaky like that. Little did he know that he was creating a Monster with that initial visit to the Arcade....

 

 

We also went to Guest Services and had duplicate keys to the Royal Suite made for the boys, so that they could come & go in our room as they pleased. This was nice, so I wouldn't have to go and open the door every time they decided to come visit...which was often. Go figure.

 

 

In fact, they came to visit shortly after they had unpacked, all excited about what they were discovering on the ship. They then proceeded to tell me that they had been in the elevator, conversing, when a woman apparently interrupted them, asking, "Excuse me...do you happen to have a mother named Sherri?"

 

 

The boys looked at this woman in total disbelief, as if she had mind-reading capabilities or something....

 

 

The woman then said, "Well...I'm on Cruise Critic...and they way you two are talking, it sounds as if you must be Sherri's boys."

 

 

Once again - the boys were AMAZED that I was famous. AMAZED, I tell you. I asked them, "Who was it??? Did she say????" And the boys were like, "No...if she did, we can't remember."

 

 

"Well...what did she look like???"

 

 

"We can't remember."

 

 

Ack. About this time, I'm ready to beat my head on the wall with frustration. Sensing this, the boys managed to come up with one identifying clue as to the strange woman's identity:

 

 

"Oh, wait! NOW we remember! She was from Scotland!!!"

 

 

Scotland??? Really??? I quickly scanned my mental list of our Roll Call, and couldn't remember anyone being from Scotland. Huh. I had no idea who the boys had run into, but the mystery woman's identity would have to wait...as it was just about time for the dreaded - oops, I mean very important - Muster Drill. And then the very important SailAway Party.

 

 

Right before we left for the Muster Drill, however, the phone rang. The Dining Room was calling to see if I wanted to make our My Time Dining reservations for that evening. Well...that's weird. I had already made ALL of our MTD reservations for the entire cruise on the RCI website, long before we ever cruised. Did they lose our reservations???! That would be terrible! That would be disastrous! That would ruin our cruise!! (Not really...I'm being facetious. It takes more than reservations-gone-bad to ruin a vacation for us....)

 

"Oh - I see the problem," the disembodied voice on the phone said. "We still have you under your OLD room number."

 

If you remember...we'd originally booked under a different cabin, and had only upgraded about 6 weeks prior to the cruise.

 

Thinking we had it all straightened out, I cheerily hung up...not knowing that this room switch-a-roo would cause us problems pretty much the entire cruise. But that will be a story for later. (All these stories for later....gee....let's hope I get to them!)

 

So...on to the Muster Drill...the SailAway Party...Concierge...Dinner...and the Welcome Aboard Show....

 

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Wow! Fabulous review. After 11 cruises, and 11 ships, the Serenade is still my favorite :)

 

I have recently become somewhat of a "balcony snob" and prefer the cabins on the hump, but you've just reinforced everything I've heard on CC before, to NEVER get a cabin right below the Royal Suite because of the loud piano :D

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Sherri, you have NO IDEA how much I am enjoying your review!!! I write somewhat, er, long-winded ship tales, too... but I don't add photos, and that's such a treat.

 

Especially those pix of your AMAZING suite! I thought those were only in movies, didn't realize there were actually cabins with grand pianos, wet bars, dining tables... yeesh.

 

And beyond the clear descriptions of everything you're doing, the humor and light-heartedness make this review a real delight. I LOVE detailed information, it really lets me cruise vicariously with you.

 

As a single mom of two 20-somethings, Europe is a bit outside of our budget, so I really appreciate this opportunity to travel there with you and your lovely family. Looking forward to the promised future adventures!

 

Thanks so much for taking the time to do this for all of us following avidly along with you,

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Wow! Fabulous review. After 11 cruises, and 11 ships, the Serenade is still my favorite :)

 

I have recently become somewhat of a "balcony snob" and prefer the cabins on the hump, but you've just reinforced everything I've heard on CC before, to NEVER get a cabin right below the Royal Suite because of the loud piano :D

 

It's funny you would mention this....! The cabins that were right below us were taken by a large family reunion, SurfCityCruisers (a group of TEN!!!), here on CC...so we got to know Marcia and her family very well...they were at the Tapas Party in Barcelona, and at pretty much all of the CC events we had onboard. They had DREADED the fact that they were below the "infamous" piano...but later complimented us on how quiet we were. I told her we'd never figured out the piano volume, so pretty much left it off in deference to our neighbors.

 

I do have to mention that in the early evenings, usually before dinner each night, we'd all end up on our respective balconies...all of them right below us, and us on top...and we'd chit-chat about our respective day. We looked like a ship's version of the opening credits of The Brady Bunch...all of them looking up at us, us looking down on them - it would crack me up every time! :)

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Sherri, you have NO IDEA how much I am enjoying your review!!! I write somewhat, er, long-winded ship tales, too... but I don't add photos, and that's such a treat.

 

Especially those pix of your AMAZING suite! I thought those were only in movies, didn't realize there were actually cabins with grand pianos, wet bars, dining tables... yeesh.

 

And beyond the clear descriptions of everything you're doing, the humor and light-heartedness make this review a real delight. I LOVE detailed information, it really lets me cruise vicariously with you.

 

As a single mom of two 20-somethings, Europe is a bit outside of our budget, so I really appreciate this opportunity to travel there with you and your lovely family. Looking forward to the promised future adventures!

 

Thanks so much for taking the time to do this for all of us following avidly along with you,

 

Aw, thanks, Denise! I'm glad you're enjoying it...I'm really trying to shorten it, to no avail. :( I'm just...long-winded, I guess. Sigh. There's just so much to SAY! :)

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Ah, I can go to sleep now after seeing the pics of your fabulous cabin! BUT I will be up early tomorrow to read more about your fabulous cruise. I love the humor, the family-feeling, and the pics. They are all wonderful! I just love the fact that you took your 3 kids on this wonderful cruise, as well as the fact that they enjoyed the excursions pre-cruise! You've obviously done a wonderful job with these "klingons".

 

Would love to cruise with you one of these days!

 

Barb

 

I'm glad you can sleep easy now! :) Whatever I can do to help!

 

My Klingons ARE pretty special, and I never forget it...but I also never let them forget how lucky they are to have had this opportunity....!

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I have a pic of Brad and Taylor's cabin, but it's somewhat blurry from the excitement of the cabin crawl. That, and I can't figure out how to post pics on here.:confused:

 

There are no pigeons in the cabin.... but maybe if you had a stuffed one in there they would have taken a picture of it?:rolleyes:

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This is such a great review!!!!! We will be on the Serenade next June for almost the same cruise. You've been so helpful with all of your information. You are obviously a great writer and I'm truly enjoying this adventure. Enjoy your cruise on Sunday!

 

Kellie

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