Technically, today was our inland transit day that I found out, which was the day our ship crossed inland waters from Vancouver to Alaska. Basically, it was just a day at sea as we headed to our first stop.
I got up around 7am to start working on RoyalCaribbeanBlog. If that seems early, I’m still a bit adjusting to west coast time, and the fact that 7am is 10am on the east coast really bothered me because I was missing that was going on in the world, so to speak.
The day started gray, with clouds dominating the sky.
When the rest of the family woke up, we headed to the Windjammer for breakfast. One of the benefits of being a suite is that we have a private breakfast location at Chops Grille, but the variety offered by the Windjammer won out at least this morning.
My kids loved the waffle station in the middle of the Windjammer, and my wife admitted those waffles were pretty darn good.
I also spotted the avocado toast station.
We took our food to the outdoor patio formerly known as Rita’s Cantina. One of the waiters brought us coffee and hot chocolate for our kids.
After breakfast, we headed to the Solarium to enjoy the outdoors. As stated yesterday, from 8am to 11am the solarium is open for children (except the hot tub).
My girls brought their sketchbooks to draw, and I decided to start early on my Diamond Plus drink vouchers with a Bloody Mary.
I walked from the solarium to the pool bar for a drink. The Solarium Bar was not open today (it was yesterday).
As the morning progressed, the temperature warmed up and peaks of sunlight began to break through. I enjoyed spending time on the pool deck with the fresh air and plenty of chairs to choose from.
My wife had her spa appointment this morning, and later that morning I took the girls to the spa for their nails. With my husband and father of the year title simultaneously intact, I headed to the Safari Club for the Top Tier event.
On non-short cruises, Royal Caribbean invites guests to attend a meeting to welcome Crown and Anchor members who have achieved Platinum or higher, and recognize members with the most points or achieving Pinnacle status.
There are over 700 members of the Crown and Anchor Society on board, and the ship’s captain welcomed everyone.
I always make it a point to attend Top Tier events to show my appreciation for them hosting these events for us. Free mimosas and champagne aren’t a bad excuse to go either.
After everyone was finished in the spa and salon, we went down to the main dining room for lunch.
The food was good and I appreciated the ease of being able to sit down and enjoy a meal rather than another visit to the buffet.
Mediterranean lamb sandwich
After lunch, we headed to the NextCruise office to review future cruise options. Looking at new cruising ideas is the closest thing I have as an adult to wandering around KB toy stores as a kid.
My kids wanted to go see Encanto in the ship’s cinema, which gave me the perfect excuse for my favorite maritime activity: a nap.
Tonight was a formal evening and we booked a table at Giovanni’s Table for dinner.
While this may not be Giovanni’s Italian Kitchen’s newest update, we still enjoyed the menu selections, especially the filet mignon option.
The soup of the day special, Minestrone, was really good, and of course the main courses did not disappoint.
Tuna tartar sauce
Spaghetti pasta of the day
After dinner it was show time. Tonight there was a Broadway medley in the theater that featured Broadway songs that turned into Hollywood movies.
There were songs from West Side Story, Hairspray, Little Shop of Horrors and more.
I hadn’t seen this show on a Royal Caribbean ship before, so it was nice to see something different.
Coming out of the show around 10 p.m., I could see that it was still daylight. Get closer to Alaska!
After the show, we watched karaoke at the Safari Club. My eldest daughter really enjoyed seeing people give their best.
Tomorrow we will be in Sitka.
Workforce situation on Serenade
Speaking of things that aren’t open, it’s no secret that Royal Caribbean cruise ships are currently understaffed due to the same staffing issues that all businesses face.
Read more: The main issues facing Royal Caribbean as it returns to full capacity
I had read other people’s stories about long waits for drink service, dinners taking longer than usual, and other such wait-related issues. Really in the first two days I didn’t encounter anything that made me think twice about my experience.
While I would love to enjoy the pub, the pub singer performs at the Schooner Bar instead. The casino does not operate the craps table, but I found plenty of open seats for blackjack or roulette instead.
Dinner the first night in the main dining room lasted an hour and fifteen minutes, while dinner at Giovanni’s lasted an hour and a half. These times are well within the norm for meals I would have had before 2020.
It’s still early in the cruise, but I wanted to share that I’m constantly looking to gauge how much the experience has changed between me and the other guests I’ve chatted with on board.
We received a note in our room that we had reached enough Crown and Anchor Society points for a crystal block. We have the choice to bring it home now, ship it home, or pass it on completely.
Crystal blocks are periodically given to Diamond Plus customers after accumulating enough points. Once you reach 140 points in Crown and Anchor Society, you gain a crystal block from the ship you are on at the time.
You then earn a new block for every 70 points accumulated thereafter.
I also received a letter in the room advising us as a Diamond Plus guest that we could not use the concierge lounge as there were too many Diamond Plus and Pinnacle guests on board. It’s not a problem because I’m in a suite.
A nice change you’ll find on an Alaskan cruise compared to a Caribbean cruise are the enrichment events, where speakers give a talk on a given topic. Today a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police spoke about the work he does with the Canadian National Police.