Royal Caribbean has yet another ship in its fleet fresh from a face lift after a three-week, $29 million dry dock for the Serenade of the Seas.
The ship was the recipient of the Royal Advantage program, which has already touched seven previous ships in the fleet. The upgrades borne out of popular amenities aboard the Oasis-class ships include new restaurants, upgraded atrium and all sorts of technological bells and whistles.
The ship docked at Navantia Ship Yard in Cadiz, Spain for the upgrades and will now continue sailing the Mediterranean through January before migrating to Dubai for the spring. It then returns to Barcelona before eventually home porting in New Orleans in November 2013.
Passengers can expect almost twice the number of dining options than before with the addition of Giovanni's Table, Izumi Asian Cuisine, Park Café, Rita's Cantina and Chef's Table.
Also part of the refit is an upgrade to the Radiance-class ship's atrium area known as the Centrum. The space now features the Centrum experience, the highlight of which is acrobatic performances as well as the addition of the '60s-era R Bar.
Other additions include the Crown and Castle Pub, Royal Babies and Tots Nursery as well as a new Concierge Club for suite guests and Diamond Club for the line's loyalty program members.
Technological upgrades include shipwide Wi-Fi and the addition of flat-panel TVs in all staterooms, an outdoor LED movie screen on the pool deck and digital deck navigation screens for those wandering the decks and in need of direction.
The 965-foot, 2,500-passenger Serenade was originally built in 2002. The New Orleans itineraries include seven- and nine-night Caribbean and Bahamas trips.
Royal Caribbean currently sails the larger Voyager-class Navigator of the Seas out of New Orleans. Serenade will sail out of the Big Easy through April 2014. New Orleans has two Carnival ships and one Norwegian Cruise Line ship for the winter season both this year and in 2013.