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WillWorkForCruise121

Rhapsody of the seas after dry dock comparable to X-Solstice?

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My wife and I are booked for summer 2013 on the Celebrity solstice out of Seattle to Alaska. I asked the question before about how the Rhapsody might measure up and wound up booking the Solstice because it appeared to be the far superior ship. The solstice also stops at Ketchikan while the Rhapsody OTS does not.

 

I just saw the RCI video of the Rhapsody and some of things they have done and added to the ship. It really looks like they have improved many things about the ship. How do you think it stacks up now to the solstice?

 

We have never cruised Celebrity, but have heard that the food quality is superb and it has a much more traditional and formal feel. Which is completely fine by us, although we are a bit concerned it won't be as fun as the RCI ships. We are currently booked on the Solstice in an inside cabin, and see that the Rhapsody is actually less in this catagory. obviously the balconies are much more abundant and reasonably priced on the Solstice if we decide later to upgrade. Is it worth it to take the savings and sail on the Rhapsody OTS?

 

We would also like to remain on RCI to get more crown and anchor points. But I am okay with missing out on crown and anchor points if we are likely to have a much better experience on Celebrity.

 

Does anyone have any advice or input? Has anyone sailed both ships or sister ships? Any help is greatly appreciated! Thanks so much!

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Hi, WillWorkForCruise121 (great name!),

 

We just got off the revitalized Splendour, which is Rhapsody's sister. I think they're doing mostly the same/similar on the Rhapsody makeover. Here's a thread I posted with my impressions: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1598833

 

We've also sailed the Rhapsody, way back when, and we were on Solstice a couple of years ago. I actually adore both Rhapsody/Splendour and Solstice, but they are very different ships. The RCI Vision Class ships are obviously much smaller than the Celebrity Solstice class ships. And in spite of getting quite a fabulous facelift, these "older" RCI ships are a bit more dated and limited in terms of offerings. By that I mean, the Solstice feels a lot more contemporary and sophisticated--and because of size, there are more venues for eating, drinking, entertainment, shopping, etc. That doesn't necessarily mean better! It all depends on what you like to do.

 

Celebrity's food is definitely better to our tastes, but we are very happy with RCI food. We love RCI entertainment. Celebrity's is similar, with production shows and headliners, but the classical quartet is featured more, the a capella group is amazing and if the glass works is going in Alaska (I guess it will be?), it's such a unique shipboard experience that you need to do it sometime, whether on this or another cruise trip. When you talk about Celebrity being more formal and traditional, I understand how you may have drawn that conclusion; but in my Celebrity experiences, I haven't felt like there was that big of a difference between the two in that way. Also, on our Alaskan cruise, the ambiance was a bit different--people are dressing for "rugged" soft adventures by day and often "mountain lodge" look at night. Because of all the packing involved, I think fewer people go all out for formal nights and even routine dinners. So a Carib or Euro Solstice cruise will likely have a very different feel than an Alaskan (that's my speculation! if Solstice summered in Alaska last year, I'd read those reviews to get a better idea).

 

Is this your first time in Alaska? IMO, choosing a ship for Alaska is all about itinerary. So I would worry less about the onboard life--which will be great no matter which you settle on--and focus on which itinerary appeals to you. You've already mentioned a stop in Ketchikan as being on one and not the other. Another itinerary-related issue is how many other ships will be in port the day you stop? (You can find port calendars for each stop. They may/may not have the 2013 season posted as yet.) Alaskan port towns are very small, and when a lot of big ships are in port the same day, the towns are overflowing, popular tours sell out and all operate at max capacity, etc. It can be a little overwhelming! When we did Alaska, we purposefully chose a smaller, older ship which was sailing a weekday-weekday itinerary so we could distance ourselves from some of the weekend-weekend cruise crush. Understandably, you may not have that flexibility (work schedule and all!).

 

Regarding cabin selection, Alaskan cruises fill up fast, so it's definitely better to select your desired cabin early. You won't have the luxury of choice if you wait. This is one of the few itineraries where I think a balcony is the absolute best choice if you can swing it. The reason is, much of the time, the ship is "gliding" at a very low speed through the Inside Passage (if featured on your itinerary) and along the coast, plus hopefully viewing glaciers. If you are in a balcony on the land side, you will use it more than ever before to go out and watch the natural wonders as you go by. If the weather is inclimate, which it often is in Alaska, even during peak summer, it is much more lovely to "nest" on your own balcony with room service coffee, blankets (provided by the ship), your own music, maps and books, binoculars and camera at the ready, etc. than fight for a comfy space on deck.

 

Anyway...food for thought! We've done 27 cruises, and Alaska is definitely in the top 3, maybe number 1. Loved it!!! :) Have fun researching and planning.

Edited by Artemis

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My wife and I are booked for summer 2013 on the Celebrity solstice out of Seattle to Alaska. I asked the question before about how the Rhapsody might measure up and wound up booking the Solstice because it appeared to be the far superior ship. The solstice also stops at Ketchikan while the Rhapsody OTS does not.

 

I just saw the RCI video of the Rhapsody and some of things they have done and added to the ship. It really looks like they have improved many things about the ship. How do you think it stacks up now to the solstice?

 

We have never cruised Celebrity, but have heard that the food quality is superb and it has a much more traditional and formal feel. Which is completely fine by us, although we are a bit concerned it won't be as fun as the RCI ships. We are currently booked on the Solstice in an inside cabin, and see that the Rhapsody is actually less in this catagory. obviously the balconies are much more abundant and reasonably priced on the Solstice if we decide later to upgrade. Is it worth it to take the savings and sail on the Rhapsody OTS?

 

We would also like to remain on RCI to get more crown and anchor points. But I am okay with missing out on crown and anchor points if we are likely to have a much better experience on Celebrity.

 

Does anyone have any advice or input? Has anyone sailed both ships or sister ships? Any help is greatly appreciated! Thanks so much![/quote

 

Hi

Just a qestion to you where did you see the video upgrade of the Rhapsody I would like to see it , as we have a cruise book in September

2012. thank You

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My wife and I are booked for summer 2013 on the Celebrity solstice out of Seattle to Alaska. I asked the question before about how the Rhapsody might measure up and wound up booking the Solstice because it appeared to be the far superior ship. The solstice also stops at Ketchikan while the Rhapsody OTS does not.

 

I just saw the RCI video of the Rhapsody and some of things they have done and added to the ship. It really looks like they have improved many things about the ship. How do you think it stacks up now to the solstice?

 

We have never cruised Celebrity, but have heard that the food quality is superb and it has a much more traditional and formal feel. Which is completely fine by us, although we are a bit concerned it won't be as fun as the RCI ships. We are currently booked on the Solstice in an inside cabin, and see that the Rhapsody is actually less in this catagory. obviously the balconies are much more abundant and reasonably priced on the Solstice if we decide later to upgrade. Is it worth it to take the savings and sail on the Rhapsody OTS?

 

We would also like to remain on RCI to get more crown and anchor points. But I am okay with missing out on crown and anchor points if we are likely to have a much better experience on Celebrity.

 

Does anyone have any advice or input? Has anyone sailed both ships or sister ships? Any help is greatly appreciated! Thanks so much![/quote

 

Hi

Just a qestion to you where did you see the video upgrade of the Rhapsody I would like to see it , as we have a cruise book in September

2012. thank You

 

YouTube.... royal Caribbean had the video on their channel. Just search rhapsody of the seas in you tube

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Hi, WillWorkForCruise121 (great name!),

 

We just got off the revitalized Splendour, which is Rhapsody's sister. I think they're doing mostly the same/similar on the Rhapsody makeover. Here's a thread I posted with my impressions: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1598833

 

We've also sailed the Rhapsody, way back when, and we were on Solstice a couple of years ago. I actually adore both Rhapsody/Splendour and Solstice, but they are very different ships. The RCI Vision Class ships are obviously much smaller than the Celebrity Solstice class ships. And in spite of getting quite a fabulous facelift, these "older" RCI ships are a bit more dated and limited in terms of offerings. By that I mean, the Solstice feels a lot more contemporary and sophisticated--and because of size, there are more venues for eating, drinking, entertainment, shopping, etc. That doesn't necessarily mean better! It all depends on what you like to do.

 

Celebrity's food is definitely better to our tastes, but we are very happy with RCI food. We love RCI entertainment. Celebrity's is similar, with production shows and headliners, but the classical quartet is featured more, the a capella group is amazing and if the glass works is going in Alaska (I guess it will be?), it's such a unique shipboard experience that you need to do it sometime, whether on this or another cruise trip. When you talk about Celebrity being more formal and traditional, I understand how you may have drawn that conclusion; but in my Celebrity experiences, I haven't felt like there was that big of a difference between the two in that way. Also, on our Alaskan cruise, the ambiance was a bit different--people are dressing for "rugged" soft adventures by day and often "mountain lodge" look at night. Because of all the packing involved, I think fewer people go all out for formal nights and even routine dinners. So a Carib or Euro Solstice cruise will likely have a very different feel than an Alaskan (that's my speculation! if Solstice summered in Alaska last year, I'd read those reviews to get a better idea).

 

Is this your first time in Alaska? IMO, choosing a ship for Alaska is all about itinerary. So I would worry less about the onboard life--which will be great no matter which you settle on--and focus on which itinerary appeals to you. You've already mentioned a stop in Ketchikan as being on one and not the other. Another itinerary-related issue is how many other ships will be in port the day you stop? (You can find port calendars for each stop. They may/may not have the 2013 season posted as yet.) Alaskan port towns are very small, and when a lot of big ships are in port the same day, the towns are overflowing, popular tours sell out and all operate at max capacity, etc. It can be a little overwhelming! When we did Alaska, we purposefully chose a smaller, older ship which was sailing a weekday-weekday itinerary so we could distance ourselves from some of the weekend-weekend cruise crush. Understandably, you may not have that flexibility (work schedule and all!).

 

Regarding cabin selection, Alaskan cruises fill up fast, so it's definitely better to select your desired cabin early. You won't have the luxury of choice if you wait. This is one of the few itineraries where I think a balcony is the absolute best choice if you can swing it. The reason is, much of the time, the ship is "gliding" at a very low speed through the Inside Passage (if featured on your itinerary) and along the coast, plus hopefully viewing glaciers. If you are in a balcony on the land side, you will use it more than ever before to go out and watch the natural wonders as you go by. If the weather is inclimate, which it often is in Alaska, even during peak summer, it is much more lovely to "nest" on your own balcony with room service coffee, blankets (provided by the ship), your own music, maps and books, binoculars and camera at the ready, etc. than fight for a comfy space on deck.

 

Anyway...food for thought! We've done 27 cruises, and Alaska is definitely in the top 3, maybe number 1. Loved it!!! :) Have fun researching and planning.

 

Wow this was so helpful. Thank you so much for the reply. :-) I am very glad to hear Alaska ranks in your top 3. We are very excited about it. It seems like Alaska books very early. We were really hoping that since solstice is 85% balconies that balcony prices may drop... probably a little too much wishful thinking. Sounds like we would enjoy either ship. But I'm thinking with the extra port stop we might want to go.celebrity. who knows.... this may be the only time we see Alaska.

 

Thanks so much again for the detailed reply

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I am taking my 3rd cruise to Alaska in 8 days. My very 1st time was on Celebrity Infinity. It was a great ship with excellent service!!! Definitely a more mature and formal feel. The food was superb on every occasion. I would say if this is your first time going, then do stop in Ketichikan and go to the logger's show or do The Deadliest Catch excursions. After the first time bypassing Ketichikan and seeing more of the Inside Passageway is awesome!

 

In 8 days I am going on The Rhapsody of the Seas after her re-fit. I will then be able to say which is better. I am looking forward to my first time on a helicopter in Juneau where I will get to sled with the musher dogs....can't wait!!!

 

I'll re post update later,

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