Monday, December 17, 2012

Royal Caribbean “Revitalizes” Serenade of the Seas

Royal Caribbean's Serenade of the Seas, has just emerged from a $29 million makeover, and I must say, I didn’t think it was possible to make this lovely ship more perfect than it already was!  However, Royal Caribbean has been making strides in adding additional dining venues to all their ships during scheduled revitalizations, and Serenade’s makeover includes the addition of five new dining options!

The restaurants that have been added originally debuted on Oasis-class ships, and were so well received by guests, it became a “must” to include them on as many ships as possible.  They are:

-- Giovanni's Table, a casual Italian trattoria. Your very first bite will instantly transport you to the Tuscan coastline!  It's open for lunch ($15 per person flat charge) and dinner ($20 per person).

-- Izumi Asian Cuisine, a pan-Asian restaurant. Diners can choose from sushi rolls, sashimi, or the fun and popular Hot Rock (Ishiyaki) Plates. It has a cover charge of $3 per person for lunch and $5 per person for dinner, in addition to a la carte pricing for menu items.

-- Park Café, an indoor/outdoor gourmet market serving made-to-order salads, sandwiches, soups and pastries and is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I find myself constantly telling guests to try the roast beef sandwiches, with a smear of horseradish! It's available to passengers at no extra charge.

-- Rita's Cantina, a casual Mexican eatery. It's open for lunch and dinner. Menu items are available at a la carte pricing. Great margaritas perfectly paired with party nachos and fiesta guacamole!

-- Chef's Table, a private, five-course dinner experience with wine pairings co-hosted by the ship's executive chef and sommelier. This is an amazing dining experience and a perfect way to celebrate a special occasion! It costs $95 per person.

Serenade of the Seas passengers also can book a new dining package that includes dinner at the ship's Chops Grille steakhouse, Giovanni's Table and Izumi for $55 per person. A second dining package that also includes the Chef's Table costs $130 per person. Having personally done the dining package that includes the Chef’s Table on a previous cruise (Splendour of the Seas), I highly recommend it!

As part of Serenade's overhaul, the ship's centrally located, five-story Centrum was revamped to include a '60s-inspired bar.  That entire area has become an activity hub of the ship, both day and night! In addition, the vessel also received a new Concierge Club for passengers staying in suites and a Diamond Club for Crown & Anchor Society loyalty program members. Families will appreciate the addition of the Royal Caribbean' signature Royal Babies and Tots nurseries.

Serenade of the Seas is the eighth of Royal Caribbean's 22 ships to get an overhaul since the line announced a fleet-wide revitalization in 2011. The ship is sailing in the Mediterranean through January, when it moves to Dubai for a series of Middle East voyages. It will return to the Mediterranean in April for the summer season."

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