Back in November 1994, my family took me on a 4-day cruise to Catalina Island and Ensenada aboard the Viking Serenade when I returned from serving a 2-year church mission. At the time, this ship seemed huge to me as my only other cruise experience was aboard the Carnival Mardi Gras in 1991 which was much smaller. What I remember about this ship was how strange it seemed like the decks were laid out. At the time, I didn't know that the Viking Serenade had been a former cruise ferry and that one of the decks that had formally been used for cars was converted into a passenger deck. I also remember that on our sea day, the captain sailed up to a sea cave in the Channel Islands.
My family and I had a great time on this cruise. It was quite a bit different than cruising is now, as the highlight was the food and the shows, not waterslides, bumper cars, climbing walls, etc. What was also much different is that the ship had very few balcony cabins but did have a lot of ocean view rooms. It is interesting how different cruise ships looked back then. The entire ship seems like one rectangular block with a bow on the front, but the cruise itself was a blast. While the ship didn't have any of the future activities that cruises have subsequently added I remember having fun every day and never being bored. This was also the last major family event we had before my grandfather suffered his first stroke so the vacation stands out in my mind. We are now getting ready to cruise to Alaska next year on the Ovation of the Seas and it got me thinking about what former ships operated by RCCI were CC favorites and why?