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DavidJrandRichard

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About DavidJrandRichard

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Alabama, USA
  • Interests
    We travel when we can.
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Royal Caribbean
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Mediterranean, Australia
  • If you have a personal or hobby CRUISE or TRAVEL BLOG, include the url here:
    TV Meteorologist for 20 years, now a Realtor so I can sleep past 2:30am lol.

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  1. The sea days- It is very difficult to talk about the sea days without mentioning the ship and crew, afterall, those are most important while at sea. Rhapsody of the Seas is an older, smaller ship. The ship had brand new carpet installed in many areas including the Centrum, Staircases, and hallways, and the Windjammer. In some areas the older carpeting remained making the newer carpet stand out, not just because it was new, but also, the colors just didn't quite match or go with the colors of the older carpet. This is not a complaint, just something I noticed. The ship remains beautiful, especially in the Centrum areas, as well as the dining rooms, lounges, and other public spaces. There are some areas that are showing the ship's age in a more negative way. I think the gym and locker room and spa areas are the worst, now I am only speaking about the men's locker room of course, but these areas are in need of major updates. As far as the crew, they really could not be nicer. Interesting story- so when you have a string a sea days, we had 6 of them strung together in this crossing, it is very easy to lose track of what day it is. We had 2 tours booked pre-cruise. The all-access tour, and the galley tour with the bottomless brunch. We were excited and looking forward to these. Unfortunately, when we remembered them, they had already passed. We woke up one morning thinking that the galley brunch tour was that day, so we headed to the dining room at 10:30am as instructed. Only to find no one was there but a crew member at the podium...because the galley brunch was actually the day before! After joking with us, he rescheduled us for the next galley brunch that was scheduled on the last string of sea days. It was the next day that we discovered that we forgot the all- access tour. We went to the guest relations desk asking what we could do, I fully expected for them to say that we missed it, there is nothing they could do. However, they booked us for the same morning as the rescheduled brunch tour, only to find out the times overlapped. To make a long story short, the lady at the shore excursion desk said they understood why we missed them and they created an all-access tour and galley brunch JUST FOR US and they will make sure the first will end in time for the 2nd (galley brunch). Amazingly that is exactly what they did- we had a private- just the two of us- all access tour of the ship, followed by a private galley tour with brunch in Chops with bottomless champagne. We were amazed at how well they accommodated us and even allow us to sit in the captain's chair on the bridge!! We felt really bad about the whole thing, because it was our fault for missing them, but the crew went out of their way to provide a personal experience that went above and beyond our expectations. This is something that we will not forget! There are some areas where the crew appeared to be a bit stressed/overworked at times, for example in the dining room. The first night's table service just wasn't the level we are accustomed to on Royal, so we tried another section the next night and there the service was great. our head waiter's name was Joe, unfortunately, he is headed back home after the current sailing and will not return for several months. Overall, the food was great, but there were a couple of instances where the food was not hot. We went to the dining room 3 times for breakfast, all 3 times the grits arrived room temperature. I mentioned to the waiter on the first day, she brought them back a few minutes later- they were the exact same temperature. I though the overall food quality in the dining room and windjammer was excellent except for a few occasions when the food arrived cold in the dining room-this seems to be a problem that others experienced as well. Out stateroom attendant Liliana was very nice, we could tell that she was a bit stressed as well. One night she failed to come by during dinner. We did not mention it as she overall did an excellent job. One day a supervisor was checking on her and checking rooms at random to see how well she was doing. Up next...Bob the Cruise Director and staff....
  2. Ports of Call in the Canary Islands-all 3 islands are different when it comes to scenery and experiences! Lanzarote was my least favorite but we enjoyed all 3! Lanzarote- we did a private tour, this island is basically a dormant volcano with miles and miles of hardened lava flows. The National Park of Timanfaya was the highlight and must-see. Gran Canaria- we did a private tour and can highly recommend them, they provide such a unique experience and provide hang gliding as well, we did not do this. If you want a tour of this island, I would not think twice about booking them, awesome!! Just google sky rebel and Gran Canaria. La Palma- this island is beautiful that has some amazing views and topography. We did a private tour that included the highlights I will be happy to provide further information on our tours, just message me. Next on the review- Oh the seas days....
  3. We got queen size. We kept the box while onboard and brought packing tape from home with us. We rolled it up very tightly, taped it up, and then put it in the original box and put it out with the rest of our luggage last night.
  4. We talked about doing that too, but since we need a new one and driving home, it made sense to buy a higher quality one.
  5. We just docked in Tampa... We are told disembarking will be later than planned due to "channel traffic" this morning. I have no idea if this will impact embarkation for the next cruise.
  6. Yes, but we purchased it not only for the cruise but also to replace our current one at home that is 6 years old.
  7. Good Morning! Rhapsody of the Seas is now in Tampa Bay and we should be docking within an hour. I will now begin reviewing certain aspects of our cruise: Stateroom- 8086 Type: Jr Suite port side near the aft We found the size to be very nice, especially for a 14 night voyage. Again, we purposely booked for double points so we would reach diamond status for our next cruise in March. Also, we purchased a matress topper in Barcelona for around 275 euros, this made the bed very comfortable as it was similar to memory foam. The closet space was a little tight for this many nights but the extra shelves near the bathroom door was perfect for shoes. The cabin does show signs on wear, especially on the cabintry, but basically what you would expect for this age of ship. The balcony size is very nice, we enjoyed it many days as we were very fortunate to have such great weather almost every day. The sofa and chairs show very little signs of wear but the carpeting was not replaced during dry dock...but was replaced in many areas of the ship as evident by the fuzz that the crew constantly vacuumed during the first few days. The bathtub size is nice plus water temp and pressure were never an issue. Noise: There were a couple of times i remember hearing bangs from above but they didn't last very long. One or two times very late at night. The lady in the neighboring cabin toward the centrum told me they heard very loud banging every night and complained to Guest Services because it was affecting their sleep. Overall we were very happy with the choice of cabin and its size.
  8. Embarkation We requested a quote from the hotel for a taxi from our hotel to the CruisePort in Barcelona, we were told it would be 50 euros, which seemed high. We left the hotel at 9am and walked outside thinking we may need to walk a block or two to the nearest taxi stand, fortunately a taxi was pulling up just as we walked out. Total cost was 12 euros. We were at the port before 10am and was in the checkin line and first at the counter. We quickly got our seapass cards and was told the ship would open at 10:30am We were onboard by 10:45am, the easiest amd fastest check in process I have ever seen. We were seated in the Centrum shortly thereafter, staterroms were ready by around Noon- this ship just finished 2 weeks of drydock.
  9. Barcelona- This was my 2nd time to visit this beautiful city. During the time leading up to our visit, there were many demonstrations and protests, in fact, we got a couple of emails from the US State Department warning us what areas to avoid. Thankfully, there was no issue, the electrions were held a fee days after we embarked and sailed so that might have changed. I did see one peaceful protests, but that was all. We stayed in Passeige de Gracias Bas Apartments. It is a couple of blocks away from Los Ramblas so the location wasn't perfect, but it was quiet and very nice. Our room was ready upon arrival at 11:30am, which was very nice. Plus it had a full kitchen and washer and dryer for laundry. The staff was very helpfull. After checking in, we went to Sagrada Familia for timed entry tickets, recorded audio tour, and tower access.. Simply put, this is an amazing place and cannot be missed. We then went to Parc Guell, whuch was under construction so we did not enjoy it as much. The 2nd day David wasnt feeling well, so I met up with sone CC folks and took the train up to Montserrat. We rode the cable car and enjoyed the beautiful scenery. It was windy and cold but the highlight for me was hearing the monestary's boys choir. They give a concert almost every day and that should not be missed. This trip takes up much of a day due to travel time there and back, especially if you are returning mid or late afternoon during rush hour. Friday, David is feeling better and joins me-we took the Free Gothic Quarter Tour in Barcelona, this was awesome and afterwards we went back to visit some of the places the guide recommended including the museum with the Roman ruins of the original city. Afterwards, we stopped by a large department store and picked up a mattess topper, this is due to the fact we find Royal Caribbean's beds to be too firm, so this should help during our 14 night voyage. We quickly returned to our room and then headed out to meet up with some CC folks for a planned dinner. This was a lot of fun and we really enjoyed getting to know our soon-to-be cruisemates. Up next- check in and embarkation
  10. Hello everyone, I am still onboard this morning with 2 more days to go before we reach Tampa, Florida for disembakation. As you will read in my coming review, this by no means has been a perfect cruise. It has had its ups and downs. I am not one to go looking for issues or reasons to complain, but I do have a certain level of expectations. In the end though, simply put, I think you will understand why we will remain loyal to royal. Something important that I do want to say is that we have so enjoyed meeting everyone in our cruise critic M and M group. We have gotten to know so many wonderful people, i feel like we have gained many friends that we hope to see again soon. Having friends onboard on a 10+ night cruise is awesome and it felt like that from night 1. Why we chose this cruise- I have always had a dream of crossing an entire ocean on a ship. Also, this itinerary, in a Jr. Suite with double points allowed us to become and be recognized as Diamonds by our next sailing on Oasis 2020. Part 2 coming: Barcelona, sightseeing, the port, checkin, hotel, and transportation.
  11. I am on Rhapsody in November for the westbound TA, I will check then, it will be just after the next drydock.
  12. We become diamonds are our Rhapsody TA this November by the 7th night, but from what I am reading, we will have to wait until our next booked cruise before visitng the diamond lounge 😞
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