Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
Kreuzfahrtneuling

Serenade of the Seas picture heavy fun review–12 day Med cruise incl DIY port trips!

Recommended Posts

Hello everybody!

Welcome back to all the nice people who have already followed along with my first attempt of a review of the Adventure of the Seas. Great to have you back!

 

Also of course a warm welcome to everybody who just happens to peek in this thread for the first time! We’ll have a fun time together during the next weeks.

 

This will be a looong review – very personable, with good and bad memories shared. You’ll get to see loads of pictures with our faces in it (no worries --many without us as well :)).

 

I will write and add the pictures as I go along, so be prepared for the review to take a while to be finished. The first pictures will be added this weekend when I got the first ones loaded up.

 

Today let me start by telling you who we are. Those of you who have read the Adventure review of course already know, but please bear with me anyway for the “new” readers.

 

My name is Steffi – or Stef. I’m the blond gal in all the pictures you’re going to see. Tanja – my better half – is the brunette girl. We’ve been “married” for 7 years now (a couple since 1999 – wow—that sounds quite long -- but then again – on the love and marriage show onboard the Serenade was a couple married for almost 60 years – so we still have a long way to go to be in a position to brag I guess. But I’m drifting … sorry for that…where was I … oh yeah, describing who we are. We live on a small farm in a little village in Germany. Also along for the ride, aehm cruise was our 13 year old fosterson named Tarik. He’s the cute kid with the Aladdin Look (Disney trick movie) going. He’s been living with us since last year… oh – hang on, this is the first story you’ll have to endure before everthing else (the fun cruisy part) starts:

 

Last year Tanja and I just returned from our very first cruise on the Adventure of the Seas. We just landed in Hannover, Germany and went to wait at the luggage belt for our bags. Tanja said she wanted to check her messages on her cell phone, so she moved to the side a bit. I was waiting at the belt for our bags, but was looking in Tanja’s direction every once in a while. I could tell that something was up. Her look was just – weird. Once I got our suitcases I couldn’t wait to ask her what’s going on.

Tanja: “The youth agency called and left several messages. Apparently they have a 12 year old boy, who desperately needs a new home right away. They repeatedly asked to call them back right away.” It was a Saturday evening – the Agency wouldn’t open until Monday 8:00 a.m.….this was going to be a loooong weekend.

Monday 8:00 a. m. sharp I called the agency and found out more. To abbreviate this at least a bit – Tarik has had quite the stream of bad luck in his former life. Father unknown (rumors are that he was from Turkey --- so that would explain the Aladdin look), Mom single parent died of cancer when he was around 5 and now his grandmom, who he lived with since then was about to die of cancer as well. Ouch! Plus the matter was most urgent. The grandmom was already in the hospital with no chance of ever returning and Tarik was parked with his great aunt and uncle who have severe medical problems themselves. He would have to move right away. It took about 5 minutes debating with Tanja over the phone (who was back at work after the cruise for the first day) to see this little guy. He came to visit this same afternoon and moved in the next morning…..Wow – that was a dramatically fast change of family life without much prior notice. But did we regret our decision?

Not ONE Minute!

 

He’s a fantastic little guy, who now needs some time to catch up on some elementary stuff…but we’ll be there to support him as much as we can. So now if you see him in the pictures and might have thought wow – this tiny little guy is supposed to be 13 years old – now you know a bit about his past and maybe understand why even growing was a task his body couldn’t come up with in these difficult times.

 

This cruise was going to be his very first travel experience ever! Find out if he liked it later!

 

 

More to come!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am really looking forward to your review Steffi! We will be on the Serenade next June. I am anxious to see what your itinerary was.

 

Thanks for sharing Tarik's story. The poor guy sure has had his share of bad luck in his short life. I am happy to hear it sounds like his luck has turned for the better! I wish all three of you many happy years to come :)

 

Karen

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Woohoo - I've been REALLY looking forward to this ever since you said you'd be doing it. Really enjoyed your last review but we'll be on Serenade in just over 4 weeks time so can't wait to see this. Thanks for posting so soon :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I am really looking forward to your review Steffi! We will be on the Serenade next June. I am anxious to see what your itinerary was.

 

Thanks for sharing Tarik's story. The poor guy sure has had his share of bad luck in his short life. I am happy to hear it sounds like his luck has turned for the better! I wish all three of you many happy years to come :)

 

Karen

 

Thank you Karen,

We did the Venice overnight itinerary. But I'll write about all the details later -- promise! You'll have a great time next year!

 

We're happy to have Tarik as a family member and he feels completely at home already too:D! Thank you!

 

Stef

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Woohoo - I've been REALLY looking forward to this ever since you said you'd be doing it. Really enjoyed your last review but we'll be on Serenade in just over 4 weeks time so can't wait to see this. Thanks for posting so soon :D

 

Hi Bobal,

 

whoohoo -- a follower from the last review! welcome back! Glad you found it!

I'll try to keep up the pace once the pictures are ready --- but I can't promise to finish it all in time for your cruise....but I'll try!

 

Stef

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm looking forward to your review. We're going to sail on Serenade next July. You're review will be a great resource for us as we plan our trip!:)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

add me to the list of those looking forward to your review. Also can't wait for all the pictures!

 

I hope you have pics of your cabin. May I ask what category of cabin you had?

Thanks!

 

Oops, forgot to add, that I'm looking forward to your review because I'll be on Serenade out of New Orleans in January!

Edited by zaknzoey
addition

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Stef,

Tarik sounds like a pretty lucky young man.

I can't wait to hear of your adventures on the Serenade and see pictures of the ship, your ports, Tanja and Tarik.

 

Doug

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm looking forward to your review. We're going to sail on Serenade next July. You're review will be a great resource for us as we plan our trip!:)

Hi CruisePAC,

 

The itinerary is absolutely fabulous! You'll love it for sure! And I hope I can give you some tips --- I sure wish I would have known some stuff that became important during the cruise beforehand -- and I was pretty damn well informed about all sorts of stuff (Sorry-- but I really am an obsessed cruise planner -- there -- I said it) . Be patient--- I'll include it all!

 

Stef

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
add me to the list of those looking forward to your review. Also can't wait for all the pictures!

 

I hope you have pics of your cabin. May I ask what category of cabin you had?

Thanks!

 

Oops, forgot to add, that I'm looking forward to your review because I'll be on Serenade out of New Orleans in January!

 

Hi zaknzoey,

 

thank you! Sure you may ask ....not like I wouldn't tell you anyway at a later time...but just for you beforehand... we were lokated in one of the new inside cabins that were just added in the refit. Category Q (the cheapest there is:o on Deck nr. 8. I'll tell you all about the plus and minuses ... and of course I have pictures of that as well:). Hang in there!

 

Stef

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Stef,

Tarik sounds like a pretty lucky young man.

I can't wait to hear of your adventures on the Serenade and see pictures of the ship, your ports, Tanja and Tarik.

 

Doug

 

Thanks deltadoug,

...but actually we're the lucky ones to be able to see him develop into a fine young man someday!

 

no worries -- it takes some time--- but the pictures are coming soon!

 

Stef

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I love your family's story (it literally brought tears to my eyes) and I can't wait to read your review and see your photos!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Darkwolfe, IvanaCruise and DonnaK,

 

Thank You all for joining the fun! First pictures will follow later today!

 

First up: Which cruise to take --- Decisions, decisions.

 

Stef

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Shortly before Christmas 2012 the cruise fever hit us real bad again. Under the Christmas tree we started debating about the summer holiday vacation.

 

100_3881_zps05fa7e7b.jpg

That’s us – in front of our Christmas tree – already giddy about an upcoming cruise.

 

It had to be a cruise – we were hooked, no way around it. But where would the summer cruise take us? We had some things we knew for sure. We wanted to be in the Mediterranean region again, since we enjoyed it so much the summer before and we felt that we didn’t even scratch the surface of the things to be seen there. We wanted to travel with Royal Caribbean again, since this would be a great opportunity for Tarik to practice his English. And last but not least we wanted to be “on the road” heehee – or sea:) in this case for more than 8 days. So after typing in all of our wishes we had 6 cruises that fit perfectly:

 

Kreuzfahrtplanung1_zps887611b1.jpg

 

Sorry, some of the words are in German , but I’m sure you can figure it out anyway. Pretty much Ports, Departure and Arrival times. We were on the Adventure the year before, so this was the first two routes we deleted in the planning process --- not because we didn’t like it, but we wanted to experience something new. So we still had the two Independence cruises and the two Serenade cruises. This was hard. We really would have loved to try out the Flow Rider on the Independence, but several other factors made us decide on the Serenade after all. First the embarkation port. The flight to Southhampton would have cost the same as the flight to Barcelona. But being in Barcelona already we would be in the Mediterranean region right away and wouldn’t need two seadays right in the beginning of the cruise to get there. Plus the Serenade cruise would have the two sea days at the end of the cruise, so we would be able to recover from all the port excitement. So now we only had the two itineraries of the Serenade to decide on. This was by far the toughest decision. Greece or Venice overnight? We loved both of these equally and only decided on the Venice overnight cruise because – well the romantic overnight stop (sigh, little did we know what would happen – but more on that later).

 

All these decision makings took until maybe the end of January. On Feb 7th I checked the Internet once again for prices and availability and saw much to my surprise, that one of the cheapest inside cabins was once again free to book. We really don’t want to spend any more money than necessary on the cabin, since we only use it to crash at night. We had an inside cabin on the Adventure the summer before and didn’t mind. Okay, this time we would share it with a teenage boy, but we were pretty confident, we would get along. So on February 7th we couldn’t hold ourselves back any longer. We booked the cruise, the flight, and the hotel online. Whoooohoooo we’re going on a cruise!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

 

more to come!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yay!! This is the review I've been looking forward to reading!!! Though, I think after this cruise you'll need to change your username. :)

 

 

Sent using the Cruise Critic forums app

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Now the big planning time period could start. And boy – did I plan. I collected all kinds of infos and put them in my cruise binder.

 

IMG_0627_zpscf794a0f.jpg

Tadahhh --- behold -- the binder!

 

 

It started to grow until the very last day before the cruise. See the scale on the right hand side? This was the weight when I started the packing…till the time we actually left I think I was well up to 1 kg just for the binder. Here’s a selection of the contents:

 

Kreuzfahrtplanung2_zpsc69bbd32.jpgA coloured spreadsheet of the planned activities... I know I'm crazy --- but it was just so much fun. Maybe I got a little carried away sometimes :-).

 

 

IMG_0632_zpsbb16ee79.jpg

All prebooked tickets

 

IMG_0629_zps83615c00.jpg

Public transportation times

 

IMG_0630_zps81a4b939.jpg

Maps

13a68142-ea82-4370-be10-9f889281eaba_zps34249597.jpg?t=1375531510

Step by step walk through info for the main sights

 

 

How good or bad the preparation was I will tell you when I get to the port stuff. The planning took about half a year -- and I loved every second of it....almost felt like already being on the cruise. Tarik and Tanja rolled their eyes at me constantly. Tarik said my screenname shouldn't be Kreuzfahrtneuling (Cruise newby) but Kreuzfahrtsuchti (Cruise addikt). Mhhh, he might be right on that one.

 

 

more to come!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi there...you're back...in one piece... :D

 

Awaiting the pictures...

 

I'm like you in planning vacations...do it on Ipad and enjoy every minute...btw. less than a months for my cruise :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

cant wait to find out more. we were on the serenade in 2012 and loved it. i think we did the same ports you visited too.:)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • 2019 Cruisers' Choice Awards
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...