Live Report from Alaska - Rhapsody of the Seas

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#1
4,135 Posts
Joined Nov 2009
Well, it's that time again! Another live report from a (hopefully) great Royal cruise. This time we chose Alaska. We were originally supposed to visit Alaska last year on the Radiance, but our cruise was canceled due to the extended dry dock so we opted for Europe. So this year we were determined to get to Alaska, but we opted for the round-trip cruise instead.

Here is some background about us so you can determine whether to continue reading:

I am a 34 year old college professor and DH is 45 (currently not working). Hubby is diabetic with severe neuropathy and not able to walk long distances. Therefore, cruising works for us. I go crazy on the ports and he vegs out.

We don't really drink, are nonsmokers (former smokers), and are a bit of homebodies. This means we tend to spend a lot of time in our room. We do, however, love trivia and I try to go to all the shows.

We are booked in a junior suite, which is our preferred cabin choice. We like the bit of extra space and the double points. Speaking of which, this is our first cruise as Diamond, so I am looking forward to seeing some of the extra perks.

We are booked on a whale watching excursion in Juneau and the White Pass Railroad + Yukon in Skagway. We have nothing planned yet for Victoria.

The plan for this trip is to just relax...we just got back a few days ago from 17 days in Ireland, so this is our "vacation from vacation."

I'll plan on updating at least once a day and answering whatever questions you have. I am really excited to see the refurbished Rhapsody! We were just on Grandeur in the spring, so we have a bit of a comparison.
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Spreadsheet for 5/24/16 roll call: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets...gid=1135979365

Previous Cruises (97 days at sea)
Norwegian Jewel - 05/31/15 (Venice to Barcelona)
Brilliance of the Seas - 8/7/14 (Baltics)
Navigator of the Seas - 3/9/14 (Western)
Allure of the Seas - 8/4/13 (Eastern)
Adventure of the Seas - 3/10/13 (Southern)
Rhapsody of the Seas - 7/27/12 (Alaska/Sawyer)
Grandeur of the Seas - 3/18/12 (Panama/ABC)
Voyager of the Seas - 12/31/11 (Western)
Navigator of the Seas - 5/22/11 (E. Med)
Adventure of the Seas - 12/19/10 (Southern)
Majesty of the Seas - 11/19/10 (Bahamas)
Liberty of the Seas - 4/11/10 (Western)
NCL Jewel - 12/13/09 (Western)
#3
4,135 Posts
Joined Nov 2009
Pre-Cruise in Seattle

We have already visited Seattle before and we're still trying to unwind from our Ireland trip, so the plan was just to veg out and watch some Breaking Bad (we just got hooked on it during our Ireland trip) on Netflix.

We flew American Airlines direct from DFW to SEA. No problems with the flight. We did check luggage this time (because of the bulky coats and gloves, etc.) and had to wait quite a bit for the luggage to come out.

We booked an airport hotel. The downtown hotels were too expensive for our taste (over $200/night) and we weren't really interested in exploring Seattle anyhow. So we booked a La Quinta near the airport. There weren't many options by the time I booked and we generally have no problems with La Quinta (we use them when traveling in the US because we have a dog). The hotel has a shuttle and it was really easy to follow the signs to the pick-up.

Checked into our hotel around noon and went across the street for a bite to eat at Dave's Diner. It was actually really good! The rest of the day we spent napping (we're still on European time) and watching Breaking Bad.

Up at 4 AM.....my biological clock has no clue what time zone I am on!!!

We arranged for Seattle Express to pick us up at 10 AM so we can try and board early. They only charge $12 per person.

More later!!
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Spreadsheet for 5/24/16 roll call: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets...gid=1135979365

Previous Cruises (97 days at sea)
Norwegian Jewel - 05/31/15 (Venice to Barcelona)
Brilliance of the Seas - 8/7/14 (Baltics)
Navigator of the Seas - 3/9/14 (Western)
Allure of the Seas - 8/4/13 (Eastern)
Adventure of the Seas - 3/10/13 (Southern)
Rhapsody of the Seas - 7/27/12 (Alaska/Sawyer)
Grandeur of the Seas - 3/18/12 (Panama/ABC)
Voyager of the Seas - 12/31/11 (Western)
Navigator of the Seas - 5/22/11 (E. Med)
Adventure of the Seas - 12/19/10 (Southern)
Majesty of the Seas - 11/19/10 (Bahamas)
Liberty of the Seas - 4/11/10 (Western)
NCL Jewel - 12/13/09 (Western)
#4
4,135 Posts
Joined Nov 2009
How exciting Beth!!! I bet you can't wait to get here
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Spreadsheet for 5/24/16 roll call: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets...gid=1135979365

Previous Cruises (97 days at sea)
Norwegian Jewel - 05/31/15 (Venice to Barcelona)
Brilliance of the Seas - 8/7/14 (Baltics)
Navigator of the Seas - 3/9/14 (Western)
Allure of the Seas - 8/4/13 (Eastern)
Adventure of the Seas - 3/10/13 (Southern)
Rhapsody of the Seas - 7/27/12 (Alaska/Sawyer)
Grandeur of the Seas - 3/18/12 (Panama/ABC)
Voyager of the Seas - 12/31/11 (Western)
Navigator of the Seas - 5/22/11 (E. Med)
Adventure of the Seas - 12/19/10 (Southern)
Majesty of the Seas - 11/19/10 (Bahamas)
Liberty of the Seas - 4/11/10 (Western)
NCL Jewel - 12/13/09 (Western)
#5
Southwest Nebraska
907 Posts
Joined Mar 2011
Victoria was beautiful, we did a walking tour and then took off on our own to just explore. You said that your hubby can't walk any distance but maybe you could get a driving tour. It really is a beautiful town.
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Rhapsody of the Seas 8/19/11 20th Anniversary
Freedom of the Seas 8/12/2012 Family Cruise
Explorer of the Seas 5/30/2013
Radiance of the Seas 8/28/2015 Family Vacation


#6
ONTARIO CANADA
89 Posts
Joined Dec 2010
Can't wait to hear more, we're on the Rhapsody august 10th, same itinery i think.
#7
Surprise, AZ.
12,308 Posts
Joined Jul 2004
We are hanging on every word of your live report as we are on the Rhapsody on the 23rd.

***
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Diamond Plus- Linda & Mike



Spending Our Children's Inheritance
One Cruise a a Time!

311 days at sea with RC and counting!
30 cruises on RC!
Always excited for the next one!

~~~Our memories~~~
Sovereign~ Majesty~ Monarch~
Vision x2 ~ Rhapsody x 2 ~ Grandeur~
Radiance x 8 ~ Serenade x 2~ Brilliance~Jewel x 2
Mariner x 2 ~ Navigator
x 2
Alaska Cruise tour- Fairbanks- Radiance south bound
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Liberty

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~~~~~~~~
~~~Future cruises~~~
2017 cruises

June 30, 2017 Celebrating 50th wedding anniversary on the Solstice- 7 nt Alaska Seattle round trip.

50th Anniversary Family cruise
Allure July 23,2017

January 2018 - 14 day Caribbean cruise on the Caribbean Princess.
#8
Long Island, NY
840 Posts
Joined Nov 2010
Have a great time! Alaska was by far one of my favorite cruises, we were on Rhapsody last year for it. It was a great ship and I saw some pics of the updates and it looks great!

We met some friends who had a great time on the whale watching excursion in Juneau and said it was well worth it.
My parents did the White Pass and loved it.
We just walked around Victoria. It was the first time that we had sun (of course our last day) and the city was so gorgeous. There are buses that take you from the ship to town. There were many cute cafes.

You'll have a great time!
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Danielle and Brian


02/16/15 -Nassau, CocoCay (Cancelled), Key West (Cancelled) -Majesty of the Seas
08/18/13 -Nassau, St. Thomas, St. Maarten -Allure of the Seas (Honeymoon!)
08/19/12 -Labadee, Falmouth, Grand Cayman, Cozumel, dodging Tropical Storm Isaac -Freedom of the Seas
08/19/11 -Juneau, Skagway, Victoria -Rhapsody of the Seas
08/23/10 - Key West, Nassau, CocoCay - Majesty of the Seas
08/01 -Scandinavia

07/95 - Nassau, Freeport -Carnival Fantasy


"As SailorJill and I looked on, the six Suzukis slowly slid, one by one, beneath the waves – sending Davy Jones a brand new set of wheels." -SailorJack
#9
Near Charlotte, NC
3,700 Posts
Joined Apr 2007
Oh I am so looking forward to revisiting my Rhapsody cruise via your trip. I know we had a great time. The only less than wonderful weather was the day we set sail from Seattle. Whale watching in Juneau? Harv & Marv by any chance. They were absolutely FIRST CLASS!!!

I'm sure you'll enjoy the view from the train in Skagway. It was so beautiful.

Victoria is a beautiful place. Hopefully you can get a bus tour or some such since DH is limited on his walking.

Erika
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All my children grow their own clothes.
email- CruiseCritic Name @hotmail.com



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Past Cruises

Mariner - Western Caribbean - May 2007 Mariner - Eastern Caribbean - March 2008
Monarch - Bahamas - May 2009 Rhapsody - Alaska - May 2010
Freedom - Western Caribbean - April 2011 Adventure - Southern Caribbean - March 2012
Allure - Western Caribbean - May 2013 Enchantment - Bahamas - October 2013
Navigator - Cozumel - March 2014 - The trip that almost wasn't Legend - Eastern Caribbean- March 2015
Enchantment - Bahamas - September 2015 -Girls get away Vision - SW Caribbean - April 2016
Majesty- Bahamas - September 2016 Radiance - Alaska Cruise Tour Bucket List Trip - June 2017
Member#138338
#11
Oklahoma City
10,718 Posts
Joined Jan 2002
When we were in Victoria about three years ago, we just hired a taxi to show us around. I think we paid about $40 for the two of us and he drove us around about 1.5 hours. Gosh, Victoria is SOOOO beautiful.
#12
4,135 Posts
Joined Nov 2009
Thanks for the Victoria suggestions! I was hoping maybe a driving tour of some kind. All hubby wants is to eat some crab legs somewhere!!

We are on board now and it's chilly and overcast. Sitting on deck having some tea (I got hooked on it in Ireland).

I'll post a full report tonight.

And yes, we are using Harv & Marv.
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Spreadsheet for 5/24/16 roll call: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets...gid=1135979365

Previous Cruises (97 days at sea)
Norwegian Jewel - 05/31/15 (Venice to Barcelona)
Brilliance of the Seas - 8/7/14 (Baltics)
Navigator of the Seas - 3/9/14 (Western)
Allure of the Seas - 8/4/13 (Eastern)
Adventure of the Seas - 3/10/13 (Southern)
Rhapsody of the Seas - 7/27/12 (Alaska/Sawyer)
Grandeur of the Seas - 3/18/12 (Panama/ABC)
Voyager of the Seas - 12/31/11 (Western)
Navigator of the Seas - 5/22/11 (E. Med)
Adventure of the Seas - 12/19/10 (Southern)
Majesty of the Seas - 11/19/10 (Bahamas)
Liberty of the Seas - 4/11/10 (Western)
NCL Jewel - 12/13/09 (Western)
#13
Elmhurst, IL, USA
1,560 Posts
Joined Jun 2005
Very excited to have a Live Review of Alaska, sailing on Rhapsody (we were on her last November).

Can't wait to read about your tour with Harv and Marv. Our friends loved their experience with them.

Have a fabulous vacation.
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Kimberly

Future Travel





Our favorite cruise experience:
Favorite Tour: Keishi Tours - Swimming with the sharks in Bora Bora:Before we got in...http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WPF_PeiHSP4
and then in the water with them http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=enjr8Vwghm0
Favorite Ship: Allure of the Seas
Favorite Cabin: Sky Loft Suite on Ovation of the Seas (with Star Class Service - WOW!!!!)
#15
Long Island, NY
16,582 Posts
Joined Mar 2006
Bon voyage!!!

Can you let us know who the cruise director is, so I can update the current CD list?
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~Donna
139 nights at sea (81 with RCI):
RCCL Anthem of the Seas (7 nights NJ to Bahamas) 3/19/17
RCCL Anthem of the Seas (5 nights NJ to Bermuda) 4/30/16
RCCL Anthem of the Seas (3 nights sampler NJ cruise to nowhere) 3/4/16
RCCL Liberty of the Seas (5 nights NJ to Bermuda) 10/17/15
RCCL Quantum of the Seas (3 nights inaugural sampler NJ cruise to nowhere) 11/18/14
Celebrity Summit (7 nights NJ to Bermuda) 8/17/14
Celebrity Summit (7 nights NJ to Bermuda) 8/25/13
RCCL Jewel of the Seas (7 nights Southern - Barbados route) 5/25/13
RCCL Explorer of the Seas (9 nights NJ to Bermuda, Labadee, San Juan and St Maarten) 5/24/12
RCCL Explorer of the Seas (7 nights NJ to Bahamas - New Years cruise) 12/30/11
RCCL Allure of the Seas (7 nights Eastern Caribbean) 8/21/11
Caribbean Princess (9 nights NY to Bermuda, St Thomas, San Juan and Grand Turk) 7/29/10 REVIEW
Caribbean Princess (7 nights Canada/New England) 8/24/08 REVIEW
RCCL Mariner of the Seas (7 nights Western Caribbean) 8/26/07 REVIEW
RCCL Mariner of the Seas (7 nights Eastern Caribbean) 8/20/06
Carnival Miracle (7 nights NY to Bahamas) 6/26/04 REVIEW
RCCL Adventure of the Seas (7 nights Southern - Aruba route) 8/24/03
RCCL Explorer of the Seas (7 nights Western Caribbean) 8/17/02
Costa Riviera (7 nights Western Caribbean) 5/90
Cunard Countess (7 nights Southern Caribbean) 6/89
Home Lines Atlantic (7 nights NY to Bermuda) 7/88
#16
Palm Harbor, FL
13,065 Posts
Joined May 2000
Thanks so much for taking the time to start the thread and report live from the Rhapsody!

I'll be sailing on her next May and can't wait to read more. Also booked with Harv & Marv and taking the Whitepass RR in Skagway (first time on both)
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Linda
#17
69 Posts
Joined May 2011
Just off the Rhapsody today. It was raining when we embarked in Seattle a week ago so it definitely could have been worse today. The weather was good by Alaska standards for the rest of the cruise meaning no rain.

I wish you the same kind of luck that people had last week whale watching in Juneau. There were about 15 whales out feeding last week. Very impressive. I talked with some locals that were out in a kayak in the middle of it and they said there were whales everywhere.

Hopefully you don't get socked in with fog in Skagway. We went into the Yukon and it cleared in the afternoon over there, but it was still cloudy on our return to Skagway.

The cruise director is Casey, but I don't remember his last name.

Make sure to check out the aerial show. They were amazing although I would recommend getting there early to get a good seat as it gets pretty crowded.
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#18
6,042 Posts
Joined Sep 2000
Thanks for this report. . .I love LIVE reports. Have a great Cruise !

Take lots of pics


Radio



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#19
Florida
3,473 Posts
Joined Mar 2005
Wahoo! Live report from Alaska! Thanks for taking us along with you.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk. Please excuse typographical errors.
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Upcoming Cruises
Empress of the Seas. September 13, 2017

Enchantment of the Seas. December 14, 2017
Rhapsody of the Seas. February 18, 2018
Symphony of the Seas. October 28, 2018


Past "Live" Trip Reports

RCCL - Brilliance of the Seas "Live" cruise report. December 12-16, 2013. "Live" report can be found HERE.
RCCL - Allure of the Seas "Live" cruise report. Nov 17-24,2013. "Live" report can be found HERE
RCCL - Enchantment of the Seas "Live" cruise report. July 19-26, 2013. Back -2- Back. "Live" report can be found HERE
RCCL - Jewel of the Seas "Live" cruise report. April 13-18, 2013. "Live" report can be found HERE.
RCCL - Monarch of the Seas "Live" cruise report. July 20-23, 2012. "Live" report can be found HERE
CCL - Carnival Sensation & Carnival Freedom B2B "Live" cruise report. November 8-17, 2012. "Live" report can be found HERE.
CCL - Carnival Ecstasy "Live" cruise report. December 3-8, 2012. "Live" report can be found HERE.

CCL - Carnival Ecstasy. Nov 24-27,2000. Report can be found HERE.

Royal Caribbean Cruises:
Harmony of the Seas(1), Enchantment of the Seas(3), Monarch of the Seas(2), Jewel of the Seas(1), Allure of the Seas(1), Brilliance of the Seas(2)
Carnival Cruises:
Carnival Ecstasy(2), Carnival Freedom(2), Carnival Legend(2), Carnival Inspiration(2), Carnival Imagination(2), Carnival Fantasy(2), Carnival Sensation(2)



#20
Finland, Europe
2,768 Posts
Joined Jan 2012
Oh yesss just what I need to help past the time before my next cruise!!
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Explorer of the Seas 2008 W.Caribbean
Oasis of the Seas 2011 W.Caribbean
Navigator of the Seas 2012 E.Mediterranean -Trip Report
Allure of the Seas 2012 E.Caribbean Trip Report
Jewel of the Seas 2013 S.Caribbean Trip Report
Rhapsody of the Seas 2013 Alaska Trip Report

Independence of the Seas 2014 Med Spain Trip Report
Statendam 2014 Hawaii and French Polynesia
Volendam 2015 South East Asia
Legend of the Seas 2015 Panama Canal
Allure of the Seas 2015 W.Mediterranean
Allure of the Seas 2015 Transatlantic
Harmony of the Seas 2016 Maiden Voyage


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