Old Style Cruising
Old Style Cruising. I have just returned from a back to back cruise of 21 nights on Royal Caribbeans Serenade of the Seas. Departing from Fort Lauderdale on a Friday, which made for a quieter time other than the busy weekend sailing, boarding was a breeze and immediately you could see that the ship, whilst full, was never crowded and the demographic was in the main 55 plus. The ship, a Radiance Class ship, is one of our favourites, sleek and almost yatch-like with lots of glass, was in great condition and the centrum, the heart of the ship was very well presented. This was a return to old style cruising where it was sun-bed and food with nice evening entertainment, no gimmicks of ice rinks, North Star, water slides etc. It was if we were cruising back on the Sun Viking in the 1980s. Yes the ship has a big TV screen, and miniature golf but in essence it is a simple cruise and we loved it as did everyone we spoke to. The food onboard was very good, plenty of choice and always hot. The ships staff were happy and obliging and whilst the cruise director from Peru was very poor, the acts in the theatre were not too bad and more importantly not a spar seat in the house could be found. Casual music was provided by an excellent Polish gent who quite simply was the best we have ever seen / heard. The pianist was also excellent and these two provided music sets all over the venues of the ship and more importantly they varied the music. The islands were pretty standard for a Eastern Caribbean cruise, and we enjoyed them all bar Ponce Puerto Rico. Why do RCI go to an industrial town, with absolutely nothing going for it, and a 15 minute drive into the town, to see....street people being hounded by the Police. Place was a waste of time. The bonus island of Grenada, complemented great islands including St Kitts, St Maartin, Barbados, St Lucia and others. We had a great time going local, beach trips, using local ferries and sampling the local brews. The weather throughout was sensational, 80 plus degrees, with no humidity. At the end of our 21 days I honestly can say I could have stayed for another 21 days such was our relaxed state. I just hope RCI keep these Radiance Ships and Vision class ships. They offer the old style cruising we love.
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