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Alphawave

Back today from Rhapsody!

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Hi everyone! I will be giving this review in installments, as it might be lengthy.

Others from this Cruise Critic were on board as well and you may be hearing from them too!. Christi and Matthew, and Bob and Donna a special hello to these great people!!!

 

Leaving for Galveston on 4/03 started out a bit poorly, as we left late and subsequently parked at EZ park (we had made a reservation for this). Took one hour for DH to get back to the terminal after parking our car. Then we breezed through check-in as we had a suite (Jr.). No line at 12:50 and we were on board and off to the Windjammer for a light meal. Got in our suite 8094 at 1:30 and unpacked our carry ons. Then we went to explore the ship and decide on shore excursions. We had to trade in some water activities as I had been bitten by a spider 12 days prior to departure and was forbidden to get in the ocean by my Doc. No matter, we switched our plans and RC was great and signed us up for Explorer glass bottom boat in GC and conch train in Key West.

We got our luggage at 4:30, just about time for life boat drills, which went quickly. Before you know it, we changed clothes and were off to the Edelweiss for a wonderful meal with 6 great table mates. Both DH and I had the Ribeye steaks and salads and seafood dip for appetizers. I had a nice selection of sugar-free desserts as I am borderline diabetic I really appreciated the creative treats. Everything was excellent. Out waiter was Elio and assistance waiter was from Lithuania (long long hard to pronounce name).

We headed off to the Casino later and then managed to zip into the Broadway Melodies Theatre for a nice show. Then is when we met Peter, the cruise director from Great Britain. Really liked this guy, very funny, lively and informative.

We received our invitations to the Meet-n-Mingle party when we got back from our evening activities. We had an aft balcony and sat on the back enjoying the sea breeze before retiring.

 

Next installment, tomorrow..... Elaine

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Monday morning caught us sitting on our balcony with a tasty room-service breakfast. It doesn't get any better than that!!!

Then off to the "shopping seminar" for me while DH went to the casino. I thought some of the info from "Allan" was beneficial. I bought the $20 coupon book for freebies, and discounts from mainly jewelry and clothing shops on the ports stores. Unless you really want to shop significantly, don't waste the $20, like I did.

After the shopping, my DH met me at the door and escorted me to the bulletin board at the casino's entrance. It had his picture plastered on it. Why? He won a $625 jackpot, YEA YEA!

We ate the mid day meal in the Dining room, our only day to do that. The lunch was long, tasty, but tedious with another family sitting there miffed at their kids for not eating (they were precious kids and none of us minded) but I think the lovely parents were nervous.

We played bingo that day (no winning there) and spent lots of time walking, shopping at the duty-free shops, and just plain old relaxing.

I attended the M&M and met lots of wonderful people who post here and it was a blast

Dinner in the dining room was wonderful. I had the Duck l' orange and it was a delicately spiced, nicely prepared meal. Of course DH had a filet steak as did everyone else at the table and they loved it!!

We skipped the show and ran off to play in the Schooner lounge and TRIED to listen to the BIG ten Basketball championship. Then off to the casino where I won $50. Had a good time and TOOK my winnings with me!

 

More later.........

 

 

Elaine

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I was hoping to see the next installment before I left for work:) . Elaine If you could please touch upon the general condition of the ship...i,e I would appreciate it. I am probably jumping ahead as I am sure you will. Thank you once again.

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The ship's general condition was superb! For those of you concerned. Remember it had been dry-docked in November. Absolutely pristine.

Tuesday was a fun day. Played bingo (still not winning, but close). Spent a lot of time walking and enjoying the sea air. We had a great docking at 3 pm and swiftly met our group for the Conch Train tour. Definitely worth it!!! We walked around Key West and shopped a bit (everything was pricey). Then we stopped at a quaint cafe where we could relax out in the lushious garden. MMMMMMM. Then a key-lime margarita was in order. After that back to the ship and another drink on the balcony of our suite. Was able to telephone home and ha ha, I called work. We ate a 7pm dinner wherein I enjoyed a very tender Sea Bass with a yummy sauce and an artichoke/pine nut salad and I think this was the day I had a shrimp cocktail. We then sat by and watched the sunset which was gorgeous. Saw a comedian?magician at the evening's show. My DH and I enjoyed him very much (sat in the front row). Later we roamed the deck and watched the ship leave Key West, very romantic! We didn't have the going-away buffet (simply weren't hungry), but lots of people gathered on the pool deck and listened to the Steel drum band (we watched from deck 10). Wow, another great day!

 

More later... (I have to go to teach a class, and Tues/Wed work 12 hour nursing shifts, but I promise to write!

 

Elaine

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Hi Elaine,

 

I can't wait until we sail on the Rhapsody on July 3! I'm looking forward to your next installment. Great review so far! Please don't stop!!

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Anxiously awaiting our next installment in a so far great review of the Rhapsody.

 

Thanks again, Elaine

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I can't wait!:eek: I need to know the rest! We are going on the Rhapsody in Nov. and I can't wait!

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Glad to hear things are so good from a recent cruiser...we go in June. My parents are celebrating their 50th anniversary and the whole family is going, 12 in all. I can hardley wait.:)

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I can hardly wait to read more...we leave on Sunday on the Rhapsody...I can hardly wait to read more! I definitely cannot wait for the next five days to pass!

--Susan

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I was on this same cruise and it was as fabulous as Elaine is telling it. Since her review is so complete, there is no point in repeating it. There were 11 of my family( age 70 to 10) there and we all had a great time. Plenty to do for everyone & very good food.

In Grand Cayman we booked an Island Tour & Stingray City with Nativeway Water Sports and it was the highlight of our trip. Lots of time in the water with the stingrays and with only 20 on the boat, lots of individual attention.

Cozumel was the day everyone did their own thing. Some went horseback riding and said it was a good tour, younger ones & parents swam with dolphins. I shopped!

Son & DIL took kids to play Bingo and won $ 500. Very exciting for them.

Dismenbarkation was very fast but waiting for the bus to fill to get to Houston was a pain.

Anyone going on this cruise will love it, it was near perfect.

Norma

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Sorry guys, long nursing shift.

 

Back to the boat....

Wednesday was an ahhh haaa day. We weren't just relaxed or happy, it was different than that. Somehow in the middle of the ocean, we felt removed from the political slandering, the IRS, the jobs, the hassles. It was just a boat full of people being happy, polite and enjoying themselves. I didn't just enjoy the ocean I felt in tune with it. What a marvelous "Day at Sea". I read part of a book, listened to my own music and ventured out for meals in the Windjammer for breakfast and lunch. Later after drinks out on the pool deck we had a super dinner at our formal table. I can't say enough about the "jerk chicken" actually the best I had ever eaten. My husband had a thick juicey pork chop (one of those butcher cuts).

Of course I ended up in the casino. Drew 3 triple diamonds, and won the jackpot, (only I had been playing one coin instead of 2, so only $200). It was more than fun with all the bells and whistles sounding.

The show that nite was great, kind of a mixed bag of dancing, singing, etc. I believe this was the nite we had the 50's and 60's dancing in the "Shall we Dance Lounge". It was a very popular event and everyone had a great time.I highly recommend the special events they have scheduled after the shows every nite!

Wound up in the Viking Crown Lounge for a neat Tangueray martini which really hit the spot. A great place to hide away for intimate conversation, you need to visit this lounge at least once on your trip!

Lastly, a walk on the 10th deck, where if you walk to the front (bow) you have an incredible view of the major constellations. You'll never quite see them like that again, and "star-gazing" takes on a whole new level.

 

More tomorrow.....

 

 

Elaine

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Elaine, great stuff. I giggled with glee for you on the triple diamonds! And I agree about the Viking Crown - why more people don't use this great space is a mystery to me. We like to go up there to catch the sunset on the horizon while enjoying something fruity.

 

Is the Captain still the young guy from Seattle? I forgot his name but he was brand new when we sailed. Seemed like a nice guy - I couldn't believe how young he was to have made it to Captain! (I'm early 40s so I figured he was not much older than me!)

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Glad to hear things are so good from a recent cruiser...we go in June. My parents are celebrating their 50th anniversary and the whole family is going, 12 in all. I can hardley wait.:)

 

My family celebrated my parents' 50th anniversary last summer with a cruise on the Explorer! So much fun!! I think it is the perfect vacation for extended family - something for everyone to do! In fact, we had so much fun that we have decided to do it again for Christmas this year, on the Rhapsody.

 

Have a great time in June! I think it is wonderful that you are able to celebrate your parents' marriage in such a special way. I hope you all come away with wonderful memories, as my family did! :)

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Elaine, your postings are wonderful! So much more than a review. A diary really. You seemed to be enjoying every single special moment. This is what cruising is all about. As I read, I could feel the water lulling me while I sit stretched out on a lounge chair (one I did NOT hog.. lol) , on the pool deck with a cold drink in one hand and a good book in the other, thinking of how wonderful life is. Doesn't get much better than that! I cannot wait for your other installments!!

 

 

Rhapsody - July 5, 2005

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Elaine

 

We were on the ROS in cabin 8094 last October. Isn't that a great view especially early in the morning or late at night? And big enough to stretch out on. We had the steward get us a couple of the recling deck chairs.

 

We booked the ROS for October of this year in the corner balcony suit 8088, but had to cancel as we are due to become gradparents for the first time that week and the future grandma said no way was she leaving her baby.

 

Great review and sounds like the ship is as great as ever.

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Just thought I would BUMP Elaines review back up to Page One so she can find it when she continue's her review!!!

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Sorry everyone, missed yesterday had an emergency with my beautiful Congo parrot, he is still alive today so that is a step in the right direction.

 

Back to the review... Thursday was a great day in Grand Caymen. Very hot there, glad we were tendered early to our "Explorer" excursion. This a partial sub-glass bottom boat that cruised along on Cheeseburger reef, offering a great view of sharks, sting-rays, and an enormous variety of reef fish. Highly recommend the tour if you can't get in the water like I couldn't. We shopped a bit in Georgetown and had a refreshing iced tea at the Hard Rock Cafe. We opted then to go back to the Rhapsody for a casual lunch and then see a movie in the Broadway Melodies Theatre.

Took a lovely dreamy nap after that and then before you know it we were back to the dining room!Of course this was formal night again and lobster or prime rib was offered. Honestly the lobster was tiny (5 bites) and in a way I wish I had opted for the prime rib which looked juicy and thick. No matter, everything was very tasty.

We fooled around in the casino again, winning little bits and putting it back in the machines again, so we had fun! The show that night was OK, not our favorite, and we sat in the back of the theatre because we had attended the "Welcome Back party" for Crown and Anchor Members. Very nice and the captain answered many questions regarding future ships and Galveston Ports.

More dancing at the "Shall we Dance lounge" and back to the cabin pretty late!

 

More later......

 

Elaine

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We docked around 9 am and were off the pier before 10am. I got a taxi and had him drop us off close to the Forum shops. I dragged DH around for about an hour and then I got another cab to go back to the pier. I speak a reasonable amount of Spanish and was able to visit with the cab driver and speak with the store clerks easily. We then stopped off at Senor Frogs on the pier and ordered a yard of Margaritas. Wow. We then got back on the ship and had a late lunch in the Windjammer, which was becomming packed.

 

My DH took a nap and I went out to the pool area and caught some rays. At no time on our cruise did we notice a shortage of lounge chairs, and I never saw an argument over them at all. No so of last year's cruise on the Splendour where daily heated arguments took place.

 

It was Italian night in the dining room and we all had a super time. The waitstaff was dressed in red, green and white and the dining music was all Italian favorites! I had the chicken marsala which honestly was a lot better than Olive Garden's entree!!! There was also an awesome Garlic Soup which I fell in love with, order it if you see it!

 

The show that night was the "Temptations" , and these guys sounded like the real thing. They got standing ovations from everyone.

Of course you cannot have a cruise without a "Quest" game and we even participated. Wow what a blast, I can't remember when I have laughed so hard.

After a few rounds of walking on Deck 10, we retired around 1:30!

 

 

More later......

 

 

Elaine

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I was also on this cruise and I agree about there being no fights about chairs.

 

I did not go to the meet n mingle:( we crusied with our three Kids and we were busy between the pool and my DH dragging me back to our room 3144 .

Which was nice:my only complaint anout that is we were under the kitchen so it got loud above us some days.

 

The Kids program was great! My 5 DD looooved it and my 12 went to alot of activieties. My 9 DS did not like it but he is like his dad and is not comfotable around strangers.

 

All the shows were fantastic. They only thing i would change is I wish they had more day time activities . Not big Bingo or Casino fans!.

 

I will defently cruise again ( without Kiddos next time and maybe with out my DH (Dear Hermit) )

 

As far as the food it was a hit and miss. We ate in the main dining room everynight except Friday . I tried new things so It is hard to say if the food was bad or my taste. I enjoyed the snack buffet and breakfast buffet. I was not feeling well and missed out on the Gala Buffet but DH took pictures and I think it something to behold.

 

Sorry Alpha My post Got winded. Your review is Great!

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Only 8 days til I sail the same route on the Rhapsody (first time on Royal Caribbean). Can't wait for more info.

 

THanks so much for the review.

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