Royal Caribbean’s Serenade of the Seas Southern Caribbean seven day cruise is a great way to experience the wonders of the southern Caribbean.
The Serenade of the Seas, one of Royal Caribbeans newer ships, offers the ultimate "at sea" experience by combining speed, added comfort, greater space, sweeping ocean vistas and an exceptional staff committed to serving your every whim. Spectacular features include a ten-story glass-constructed Centrum, glass elevators facing the sea, the highest percentage of outside cabins in the Royal Caribbean fleet, a rock climbing wall, indoor solarium and a mini golf course. It is a beautiful ship.
Our seven day Southern Caribbean cruise began in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The entire area around the port is extremely interesting so allow yourself time to experience it before setting sail.
Just minutes from the ship, Old San Juan is filled with narrow blue cobblestone streets and picturesque colonial buildings which date back to the 16th and 17th centuries. It is a fairly easy stroll to the city's ancient thirty foot tall defensive wall and two forts - El Morro and San Cristóbal where hundreds of families gather to fly kites and picnic. Pick up a tourist map and go explore. It is easy to stay within walking distance of the ship and still experience the wonderful sights and sounds of Old San Juan.
After departing San Juan, our first port of call was St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands. The port area has several rows of shops that are an easy to walk to and from the ship. St. Thomas is mountainous and many roads offer terrific panoramic views of the island and the amazingly turquoise ocean. The famous overlook of Megans Bay is beautiful. Swimming and snorkeling in St. Thomas are tourist favorites.
Our second port of call was St. Maarten. This island has two identities: the Dutch side - Sint Maarten and the French side - Saint Martin. The island is known for its crystal clear waters with underwater views of up to 100 feet and its 37 beautiful beaches including Maho Beach and Orient Bay clothing optional beach. Cruise excursions include scenic bus tours which give you a taste of both French and Dutch cultures with stops at local street fairs.
Antigua was our next stop. The port is located right in the heart of town making it very easy to explore on your own. We found the St. John’s Cathedral that was built in 1681. The grounds were surrounded by a graveyard where many of the markers dated back to the 1700s. The island’s buildings are painted very bright colors and world famous coral reefs attract snorkelers and scuba divers from around the globe.
Our next port was St. Lucia – home of the world famous Pitons. These two spectacular peaks rise 2500 feet above sea level and are so close to the shoreline that they seem to come right out of the ocean itself. Tour operators offer everything from waterfall views to zipline rainforest adventures. Whatever you do, try Piton beer. Many people think it is the best beer in the world.
The highlight of our St Lucia visit happened as we departed. The captain announced that a he would be bringing the ship as close as he could get to the Pitons. As we sailed just under those magnificent peaks, the captain spun that 962 foot ship a full 360 degrees giving everyone the sight of a lifetime.
Our last port of call for this cruise was Barbados. There are many tours to choose from ranging from catamarans to submarines to bus tours. On this trip, we chose the bus tour (we had previously enjoyed the submarine). Our guide was a Barbados native who gave us a detailed history lesson of her home and her people. In all our travels, she was by far the best tour guide we’ve ever had. The highlight of our tour was the beach of Bathsheba. The huge and unique rock formations along the shoreline are a beautiful sight and a photographer’s joy.
Our Southern Caribbean cruise ended back where we started in San Juan. The ship offered an all-day tour of San Juan for those of us with late flights so we took advantage of this opportunity for another day of exploring the rain forest, towns and roads. Our luggage was at the airport when we arrived for our flight home.
Royal Caribbean’s Serenade of the Seas is an excellent ship and the seven day Southern Caribbean cruise is a great way to experience the many wonders of the southern Caribbean.
Watch our video of this cruise -
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