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Review of Rhapsody of the Seas post drydock 29 Mar to 13 April

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We chose this cruise for the itinerary and the fact that this would be the first cruise after drydock – we went fully expecting a few hiccups being the first cruise, IMHO there actually were very few, I travelled with my 2 daughters (11&14). Apologies for the long winded nature of this review but here goes......

 

Overall we had a wonderful time – any day at sea…… there were a few issues but overall we had near perfect weather, smooth seas, great cabin and ports and met some wonderful cruisecritic friends. I personally loved the new look (having been on the Rhapsody in Dec 2009), there were quite a few grumblings from some passengers (from the reasonable to ridiculous IMHO) and with the usual mix of a few obnoxious people but overall excellent. I thought the ship with the changes now looked like it had mellowed nicely.

 

Embarkation was reasonably smooth (more paperwork was required to be completed, then check in then shuttle bus to the port then more queuing to hand in passports then onboard) – I think it was the Pacific Princess that was also embarking passengers so was slightly confusing until a RCCL rep was found and directed us upstairs to fill in a whole lot more paperwork – more places to complete this would have been good – but the wait wasn’t too long then onto check in which was very prompt with little to no waiting. A shuttle bus number was given and an approximate time (for us 1pm) but when we went there at 5 minutes to 1 there was quite a line – there was no policing of numbers and so a free for all (example many in front of had no. 24 – we were 11) but we are on holidays so…. Waited approximately 20-25 minutes but at least it was in the shade. Upon arrival at the dock large marquees had been set up with very long lines we were asked to wait onboard the air conditioned bus which was fine by us, until the queues had moved – once off the line moved reasonably quickly and then through security and onboard. The only disappointing thing was no embarkation photos dockside – we found the photographers had set up near the purser’s desk so happily had our pic taken there!

 

Cabin – I had specifically chosen a JS corner aft (originally 8588 but now 8596) and was enormously relieved to finally get onboard and know we had this cabin - long story not for here but on our previous sailing we had issues retaining this cabin and despite assurances that no further moves would occur had a large “discussion” portside when they tried to take our corner aft balcony cabin from us!!! – but had also been somewhat nervous given the renumbering debacle but we got it and it was super – and somewhat worth the angst! The cabin itself was definitely a lot larger than the corner aft balcony cabin we had last time but having said that it was extremely humid for most of our trip and with the sun beating down we didn’t use this nearly as much as last time – the balcony cabin was substantially covered so depending upon the destination (and affordability) I would definitely consider the balcony to JS on a future sailing! Our cabin steward Rennan was also wonderful nothing was ever a trouble and always done with a big smile, be it the mountain of extra pillows and hangers we requested or additional blankets – like magic it happened! I must add that the bed and pillows (I can be a bit funny about these : )) were very clean and comfortable!

 

Ipads we were told that the consignment had been delayed and that they were now going to be installed when the ship arrived in Alaska!

 

I have taken pics of the new oceanview cabin on level 8 (I thought I had taken more but..) and also the new family cabin together with running and snapping as many as we could on the last day!

 

New Dining Venues – travelling with my 2 DD’s (one being an extremely fussy eater) and without my DH, I didn’t use any of these (with the exception of the Park Café) but heard mainly good reports from those that did – they did have a package to visit all venues for $120 which I thought very reasonable and had DH been there most likely would have. Towards the end of the cruise they did have another “special” to encourage people to try, I can’t quite find the flyer but it might have been $50 for all (bar the Chef’s Table) again I thought this very reasonable.

 

The few times we went to the Park Café it was good – I believe breakfast is great but we never ventured there – I can say the pizza late at night (thankfully only discovered 2 nights prior to disembarkation!) was some of the best!!!!

 

Food – look you will never starve – overall the food was good, my girls loved the restaurant for breakfast I would have much preferred Windjammers as they had a good egg and toast station so you could ensure everything was hot and fresh, something I really didn’t experience in the dining room until towards the end when I mentioned this in passing to our wonderful waiter (whom we had most mornings) who said always ask for fresh eggs and bingo from then on it was great (but I really don’t think you should have to but…) I always enjoy lunch on the Rhapsody in the dining room because if there is nothing that takes your fancy they always have that super salad bar in the middle of the restaurant. Dinner was a bit hit and miss which some nights it was a shame from the waste point of view eg one night I ordered lamb chops and seriously couldn’t cut into them, let alone eat them (and I really am not that fussy) and realised all around me the chops were being returned but you could not fault the staff they were simply superb, our Head Waiter, Emmene (patience of a saint when the obnoxious “look at me I’m very important” boar, mentioned above had a few loud tantrums – some people have NO manners, despite thinking they are above the rest of us) but every night went above and beyond looking after my fussy one!!! She and our waiters very much made our nightly experience wonderful.

 

Windjammers – with the exception of breakfast I am really not that fussed, to me the food just is never quite hot enough and eg my daughter came back horrified pointing at a very well groomed lady who had decided to sample the pineapple with her well manicured fingers a few times before deciding either she had had enough or it wasn’t for her – eeeeeekkkk yuck (and another reason my daughter’s preferred the restaurant) but we did go for the occasional lunch and never had a problem getting a seat or the tables cleaned.

 

A word of warning – like anywhere – we had a snack there one night when a very distressed young woman came in with security, just near where we were seated, it would appear she had left her bag on the floor when she went to the buffet and had just discovered her wallet (with all her money!!) was missing, we felt for her but a hard lesson on sadly not trusting anyone anywhere!

 

Much to the disappointment of my youngest the icecream machine only worked a few days – was usually out of order!

 

We had purchased soda cards and I must say I never had any problems being served and in fact two bar staff in Schooner’s, which is where I normally went, James and Abigail – were outstanding and I was lucky often when they saw me (even with a crowded bar) my plain soda water with a little ice and slice of lime and a straw would magically appear with a big smile and there having been no request from me!!!!! This was very much appreciated!!! My 2 dd’s sometimes found it a little harder to be served at some places but overall – excellent service! My youngest was very disappointed that they no longer serve Shirley Temple’s with the soda card, we spoke to a lovely bartender who “snuck” her one and he said they have really come down hard on any additions to the drinks eg bitters etc I did have one or two cocktails and in the past found these good value and quite strong – this time around they IMHO were very much standard in composition and not the generous types I have had in the past.

 

New library I know several people have asked about this – I have taken some pictures – but this is now located, by means of several floor to ceiling shelves with glass doors, between the photo gallery and Café Latte-tudes.

 

Shows

We only went to a few shows but the ones we saw were good. My youngest daughter was transfixed with the aerial acrobatic performers (who were just gorgeous to her – she is very shy but they would always smile and wave to her and chat if they walked by her), given they had only just started on the ship (although apparently they had been rehearsing for several weeks prior) initially we were all concerned whether a show would actually eventuate but being professionals it did – we really enjoyed it but I am sure it will definitely improve within these next few weeks – again I did hear quite a few grumbles but we chose to politely ignore these.

 

Only one of my daughters used the teen’s club – the other chose not to participate – the staff were absolutely gorgeous and Erin (who was in charge) was super! She enjoyed the activities and really liked the staff. The new nursery looks gorgeous and I took several photos of this.

 

Cruisecritic meeting was well attended and at the end the Captain even came in and said hello and had a brief chat with us which was nice. The Captain was definitely out and about during the whole cruise.

 

The negatives: Whilst the flatscreens are great -one of my biggest gripes was the inroom entertainment system, – personally (and this is my “thing” on cruises) I love to watch movies – in my ordinary life this is a luxury I don’t normally get to do, so on hols love to kick back in my balcony cabin and catch up – unfortunately the first 5/6 days there was no guide whatsoever with very few channels – movies (and this continued the whole cruise) was very much a switch on the tv and pray and flick and hope there was one on and then one that you wanted to watch. There was no movie guide (and very few movies played in the theatre – on the few occasions there was these were well attended!). They then had a limited TV guide only…. The internet was extremely slow particularly the first few days when they were having trouble with the whole entertainment system it was marginally better later …. The new outdoor screen – whilst on I never once heard it – so not sure that is a success as yet!!!

 

Ringing guest relations brings up another gripe the staff – I found them rather incompetent and extremely a) disinterested and b) unhelpful eg we went to have our cruise card hole punched and as there were a lot of us in line wanting the same thing one of the staff member got the whole punch and proceeded to ruin several peoples cards (including my daughters) because of where he punched them, so then had to rejoin the line to get a new one – sheesh is it that hard! – several times we were given info only to be contradicted by the next staff member you came across! The staff at the tour desk were perhaps even worse eg the night before arrival into Darwin I went to see what excursions were available (knowing there wouldn’t be a big selection as I (deliberately) had left this late) there were about 4 people in front of me and at least 5/8 behind each was told the desk was closed to come back in the morning – when I went back to see the opening time I realised that it was now 5 to 8 and the desk was supposed to close at 8!!!!!! When I pointed this out I was told my clock was wrong – when I pointed to the ships clock I was told their clock was also wrong as her watch was correct and so was her computer and I shouldn’t be expecting to be able to get on a tour when I was booking so late – I politely explained I simply wanted to find out what was available but anyway it was this sort of attitude I encountered from them and pursers desk – we were definitely doing them a favour! Talk about potential lost revenue let alone customer service…..

 

Ports

 

All ports were great and very much enjoyed having an overnight in Cairns – I wish the cruiselines would do more overnight ports! The weather was super albeit very humid for most of the cruise and seas – again for most times – absolutely glasslike!

 

Tendering

 

Bali – this was super, efficient and fast, really could not fault – particularly getting off first up!

 

Airlie Beach – was an out and out disaster reboarding! What a shambles – it took a long wait to get off the ship but as we had nothing planned, didn’t overly bother us but several people were quite annoyed, this was done with the ships tenders and a few catamarans – but when we got to Airlie Beach I realised I had left all my money etc onboard – so straight back to the ship (where the security officer told another passenger all the tender boats were now being winched back onboard), we decided to have lunch and then venture back – I had to wait a good half an hour + but as I was just going for a walk I tried not to let it bother me but coming back is where this was a complete disaster – as I hopped off there was an “animated” discussion going on between a ships officer and catamaran operator as to whether he would take the next load of passengers (a long line had already formed) back to the ship (he was stating it was his instructions to pick up passengers from one of the islands and back to the ship ….) the upshot I later found out was a 3 hour + wait for passengers waiting in the sun – why they put the tender boats back onboard so quickly or didn’t respond – but there was an enormous amount of very angry passengers – when I got back to where the tender was departing the people who had been waiting were only just finishing off boarding the tender!!!!!) thankfully there was another waiting and I only had about a 30-40 min wait (and unfortunately for me that obnoxious loud mouth was directly behind me in the line!) but then when we got to the ship there was another enormous wait whilst the large catamaran was unloaded so another very long wait!

 

Photo package we had wanted to purchase this but with the lousy exchange rate etc I decided to purchase onboard (my only recollection of the website was it stated may be limited) so as soon as onboard and having our embarkation pictures taken I enquired about this only to be told it was $50 extra – the guys were lovely and said to talk to their Manager about whether this price could be discounted – I found the manager to be quite obnoxious (and not because I didn’t receive the reduced price) eg she said she would have to email head office and to contact her – everytime I did she would walk the other way etc etc when I finally “tackled” her was told no way – it’s not worth discussing here but she was just borderline rude and dismissive even the way she spoke to her staff but that is just my opinion – I found most (not all) of the photographers really lovely and very good and overall whilst expensive I was pleased we did purchase this package.

 

Overall it was a good cruise and we very much enjoyed it – the staff (with the exception of the tour and pursers desk) were absolutely wonderful and seemed very happy. I would sail again with RCCL however I must admit that if it was because I was very keen on booking a particular location eg having an aft or aft corner I would seriously look at alternative cruiselines as cabin location to me is extremely important. Again and this my personal opinion half the fun of a cruise is the planning and anticipation and this was very much lacking for me because of my past experience and being very concerned about not getting the cabin location I had booked close on to 10 months prior – if it was because the price etc was good and the cabin was secondary then I would have no hesitation – would just need to evaluate at that time.

 

I had tried to post several pics here unsuccessfully so will keep trying in the meantime I have set up an albumn in photobucket - just need to work out how to share! I will try and keep my pinkies crossed:

http://photobucket.com/2012_Rhapsody_of_the_Seas

 

Jane

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Thanks for sharing. I'm yet to go through your photos but your review was very informative. We've been on Rhapsody of the Seas three times since Feb 2011, the latest being Sydney to Singapore just before Drydock. I'm trying to convince DW that we need to go again in November.:D

 

I'm glad that they've sorted out the tendering issues in Bali. For us that was a disaster. We've been to Airle Beach twice and both times they've not used the ships tenders, just the catamarans & it hasn't been a problem. No long waits. I wonder what's changed.:confused:

 

Having been on Rhapsody 3 times in about 12 months we got to know some of the staff & got particularly friendly with the photographers as on our previous cruise we had the photo package & took EVERY opportunity to get our photos taken.:D

 

Many of the staff were leaving the ship just before or after drydock, including (I think) all the photographers. Matthew was the photography manager & he was helpful & generous. He even gave us some free photos.

 

I'm glad that you had a wonderful time overall.

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.... I'm trying to convince DW that we need to go again in November.:DAbsolutely you should view it as your duty to verify she is still in good shape!!!!!

 

I'm glad that they've sorted out the tendering issues in Bali. For us that was a disaster. We've been to Airle Beach twice and both times they've not used the ships tenders, just the catamarans & it hasn't been a problem. No long waits. I wonder what's changed.:confused: They only had 2 catamarans running and I think that was the prob - when I went across the second time there was one waiting to board alongside and it seemed quite full = long time for passengers to disembark! so by the time it had and then gone back across to pick up the next lot of passengers it would have been quite sometime given there was already a long queue there when I hopped off - the prob seemed to be the cat we were one had to go to Daydream Island and the chap was saying to the officer - "I'm telling you now there aint no time" etc etc but I particularly felt sorry for some of the oldies as it was extremely hot and as I said next to no shade.....

 

Having been on Rhapsody 3 times in about 12 months we got to know some of the staff & got particularly friendly with the photographers as on our previous cruise we had the photo package & took EVERY opportunity to get our photos taken.:D She would give absolutely no discount and no freebies of any description - as I said it wasn't just that but more her general attitude (or really disdain) to everyone, to be honest she seemed out of her depth!

 

Many of the staff were leaving the ship just before or after drydock, including (I think) all the photographers. Matthew was the photography manager & he was helpful & generous. He even gave us some free photos.

 

I'm glad that you had a wonderful time overall.

 

Jane

Edited by CassCruise
typo noticed!

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Great honest review, thanks. Photos are very good. I appreciate your dining reviews also. I have always found that it's best to ingore the whingers....I'm on holidays & I'm in a good head space.

My DH is an expat Yank, he is really not looking forward the loud, moaning obnoxious Yanks (nor am I). Sorry if I offened anyone but it really grates on me.

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Great honest review, thanks. Photos are very good. I appreciate your dining reviews also. I have always found that it's best to ingore the whingers....I'm on holidays & I'm in a good head space.

My DH is an expat Yank, he is really not looking forward the loud, moaning obnoxious Yanks (nor am I). Sorry if I offened anyone but it really grates on me.

 

We found that the Canadians and Brits were bigger whiners on our Honolulu to Vancouver run last year.:)

 

OP, thanks for posting your review! Question for you: we were in 8588 last year and I found that the engines were very loud and thumped a lot when we were at sea (DH, a retired Navy engineer, felt right at home). Did you notice it? We booked 8096 (was 8088 at the time and had to fuss a bit to keep it in the renumbering) because it never seemed to be as loud on the port side.

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Jane

Awesome review and the photos are great. Great chatting to you today!!

Cheers Aleisha

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Thanks for sharing. I had a great read and I'm off to watch your pics.

 

Cindy

 

EDIT: Gorgeous pics. Thanks a lot :-)

Edited by sg1phileshipper

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We chose this cruise for the itinerary and the fact that this would be the first cruise after drydock – we went fully expecting a few hiccups being the first cruise, IMHO there actually were very few, I travelled with my 2 daughters (11&14). Apologies for the long winded nature of this review but here goes......

 

Overall we had a wonderful time – any day at sea…… there were a few issues but overall we had near perfect weather, smooth seas, great cabin and ports and met some wonderful cruisecritic friends. I personally loved the new look (having been on the Rhapsody in Dec 2009), there were quite a few grumblings from some passengers (from the reasonable to ridiculous IMHO) and with the usual mix of a few obnoxious people but overall excellent. I thought the ship with the changes now looked like it had mellowed nicely.

 

Embarkation was reasonably smooth (more paperwork was required to be completed, then check in then shuttle bus to the port then more queuing to hand in passports then onboard) – I think it was the Pacific Princess that was also embarking passengers so was slightly confusing until a RCCL rep was found and directed us upstairs to fill in a whole lot more paperwork – more places to complete this would have been good – but the wait wasn’t too long then onto check in which was very prompt with little to no waiting. A shuttle bus number was given and an approximate time (for us 1pm) but when we went there at 5 minutes to 1 there was quite a line – there was no policing of numbers and so a free for all (example many in front of had no. 24 – we were 11) but we are on holidays so…. Waited approximately 20-25 minutes but at least it was in the shade. Upon arrival at the dock large marquees had been set up with very long lines we were asked to wait onboard the air conditioned bus which was fine by us, until the queues had moved – once off the line moved reasonably quickly and then through security and onboard. The only disappointing thing was no embarkation photos dockside – we found the photographers had set up near the purser’s desk so happily had our pic taken there!

 

Cabin – I had specifically chosen a JS corner aft (originally 8588 but now 8596) and was enormously relieved to finally get onboard and know we had this cabin - long story not for here but on our previous sailing we had issues retaining this cabin and despite assurances that no further moves would occur had a large “discussion” portside when they tried to take our corner aft balcony cabin from us!!! – but had also been somewhat nervous given the renumbering debacle but we got it and it was super – and somewhat worth the angst! The cabin itself was definitely a lot larger than the corner aft balcony cabin we had last time but having said that it was extremely humid for most of our trip and with the sun beating down we didn’t use this nearly as much as last time – the balcony cabin was substantially covered so depending upon the destination (and affordability) I would definitely consider the balcony to JS on a future sailing! Our cabin steward Rennan was also wonderful nothing was ever a trouble and always done with a big smile, be it the mountain of extra pillows and hangers we requested or additional blankets – like magic it happened! I must add that the bed and pillows (I can be a bit funny about these : )) were very clean and comfortable!

 

Ipads we were told that the consignment had been delayed and that they were now going to be installed when the ship arrived in Alaska!

 

I have taken pics of the new oceanview cabin on level 8 (I thought I had taken more but..) and also the new family cabin together with running and snapping as many as we could on the last day!

 

New Dining Venues – travelling with my 2 DD’s (one being an extremely fussy eater) and without my DH, I didn’t use any of these (with the exception of the Park Café) but heard mainly good reports from those that did – they did have a package to visit all venues for $120 which I thought very reasonable and had DH been there most likely would have. Towards the end of the cruise they did have another “special” to encourage people to try, I can’t quite find the flyer but it might have been $50 for all (bar the Chef’s Table) again I thought this very reasonable.

 

The few times we went to the Park Café it was good – I believe breakfast is great but we never ventured there – I can say the pizza late at night (thankfully only discovered 2 nights prior to disembarkation!) was some of the best!!!!

 

Food – look you will never starve – overall the food was good, my girls loved the restaurant for breakfast I would have much preferred Windjammers as they had a good egg and toast station so you could ensure everything was hot and fresh, something I really didn’t experience in the dining room until towards the end when I mentioned this in passing to our wonderful waiter (whom we had most mornings) who said always ask for fresh eggs and bingo from then on it was great (but I really don’t think you should have to but…) I always enjoy lunch on the Rhapsody in the dining room because if there is nothing that takes your fancy they always have that super salad bar in the middle of the restaurant. Dinner was a bit hit and miss which some nights it was a shame from the waste point of view eg one night I ordered lamb chops and seriously couldn’t cut into them, let alone eat them (and I really am not that fussy) and realised all around me the chops were being returned but you could not fault the staff they were simply superb, our Head Waiter, Emmene (patience of a saint when the obnoxious “look at me I’m very important” boar, mentioned above had a few loud tantrums – some people have NO manners, despite thinking they are above the rest of us) but every night went above and beyond looking after my fussy one!!! She and our waiters very much made our nightly experience wonderful.

 

Windjammers – with the exception of breakfast I am really not that fussed, to me the food just is never quite hot enough and eg my daughter came back horrified pointing at a very well groomed lady who had decided to sample the pineapple with her well manicured fingers a few times before deciding either she had had enough or it wasn’t for her – eeeeeekkkk yuck (and another reason my daughter’s preferred the restaurant) but we did go for the occasional lunch and never had a problem getting a seat or the tables cleaned.

 

A word of warning – like anywhere – we had a snack there one night when a very distressed young woman came in with security, just near where we were seated, it would appear she had left her bag on the floor when she went to the buffet and had just discovered her wallet (with all her money!!) was missing, we felt for her but a hard lesson on sadly not trusting anyone anywhere!

 

Much to the disappointment of my youngest the icecream machine only worked a few days – was usually out of order!

 

We had purchased soda cards and I must say I never had any problems being served and in fact two bar staff in Schooner’s, which is where I normally went, James and Abigail – were outstanding and I was lucky often when they saw me (even with a crowded bar) my plain soda water with a little ice and slice of lime and a straw would magically appear with a big smile and there having been no request from me!!!!! This was very much appreciated!!! My 2 dd’s sometimes found it a little harder to be served at some places but overall – excellent service! My youngest was very disappointed that they no longer serve Shirley Temple’s with the soda card, we spoke to a lovely bartender who “snuck” her one and he said they have really come down hard on any additions to the drinks eg bitters etc I did have one or two cocktails and in the past found these good value and quite strong – this time around they IMHO were very much standard in composition and not the generous types I have had in the past.

 

New library I know several people have asked about this – I have taken some pictures – but this is now located, by means of several floor to ceiling shelves with glass doors, between the photo gallery and Café Latte-tudes.

 

Shows

We only went to a few shows but the ones we saw were good. My youngest daughter was transfixed with the aerial acrobatic performers (who were just gorgeous to her – she is very shy but they would always smile and wave to her and chat if they walked by her), given they had only just started on the ship (although apparently they had been rehearsing for several weeks prior) initially we were all concerned whether a show would actually eventuate but being professionals it did – we really enjoyed it but I am sure it will definitely improve within these next few weeks – again I did hear quite a few grumbles but we chose to politely ignore these.

 

Only one of my daughters used the teen’s club – the other chose not to participate – the staff were absolutely gorgeous and Erin (who was in charge) was super! She enjoyed the activities and really liked the staff. The new nursery looks gorgeous and I took several photos of this.

 

Cruisecritic meeting was well attended and at the end the Captain even came in and said hello and had a brief chat with us which was nice. The Captain was definitely out and about during the whole cruise.

 

The negatives: Whilst the flatscreens are great -one of my biggest gripes was the inroom entertainment system, – personally (and this is my “thing” on cruises) I love to watch movies – in my ordinary life this is a luxury I don’t normally get to do, so on hols love to kick back in my balcony cabin and catch up – unfortunately the first 5/6 days there was no guide whatsoever with very few channels – movies (and this continued the whole cruise) was very much a switch on the tv and pray and flick and hope there was one on and then one that you wanted to watch. There was no movie guide (and very few movies played in the theatre – on the few occasions there was these were well attended!). They then had a limited TV guide only…. The internet was extremely slow particularly the first few days when they were having trouble with the whole entertainment system it was marginally better later …. The new outdoor screen – whilst on I never once heard it – so not sure that is a success as yet!!!

 

Ringing guest relations brings up another gripe the staff – I found them rather incompetent and extremely a) disinterested and b) unhelpful eg we went to have our cruise card hole punched and as there were a lot of us in line wanting the same thing one of the staff member got the whole punch and proceeded to ruin several peoples cards (including my daughters) because of where he punched them, so then had to rejoin the line to get a new one – sheesh is it that hard! – several times we were given info only to be contradicted by the next staff member you came across! The staff at the tour desk were perhaps even worse eg the night before arrival into Darwin I went to see what excursions were available (knowing there wouldn’t be a big selection as I (deliberately) had left this late) there were about 4 people in front of me and at least 5/8 behind each was told the desk was closed to come back in the morning – when I went back to see the opening time I realised that it was now 5 to 8 and the desk was supposed to close at 8!!!!!! When I pointed this out I was told my clock was wrong – when I pointed to the ships clock I was told their clock was also wrong as her watch was correct and so was her computer and I shouldn’t be expecting to be able to get on a tour when I was booking so late – I politely explained I simply wanted to find out what was available but anyway it was this sort of attitude I encountered from them and pursers desk – we were definitely doing them a favour! Talk about potential lost revenue let alone customer service…..

 

Ports

 

All ports were great and very much enjoyed having an overnight in Cairns – I wish the cruiselines would do more overnight ports! The weather was super albeit very humid for most of the cruise and seas – again for most times – absolutely glasslike!

 

Tendering

 

Bali – this was super, efficient and fast, really could not fault – particularly getting off first up!

 

Airlie Beach – was an out and out disaster reboarding! What a shambles – it took a long wait to get off the ship but as we had nothing planned, didn’t overly bother us but several people were quite annoyed, this was done with the ships tenders and a few catamarans – but when we got to Airlie Beach I realised I had left all my money etc onboard – so straight back to the ship (where the security officer told another passenger all the tender boats were now being winched back onboard), we decided to have lunch and then venture back – I had to wait a good half an hour + but as I was just going for a walk I tried not to let it bother me but coming back is where this was a complete disaster – as I hopped off there was an “animated” discussion going on between a ships officer and catamaran operator as to whether he would take the next load of passengers (a long line had already formed) back to the ship (he was stating it was his instructions to pick up passengers from one of the islands and back to the ship ….) the upshot I later found out was a 3 hour + wait for passengers waiting in the sun – why they put the tender boats back onboard so quickly or didn’t respond – but there was an enormous amount of very angry passengers – when I got back to where the tender was departing the people who had been waiting were only just finishing off boarding the tender!!!!!) thankfully there was another waiting and I only had about a 30-40 min wait (and unfortunately for me that obnoxious loud mouth was directly behind me in the line!) but then when we got to the ship there was another enormous wait whilst the large catamaran was unloaded so another very long wait!

 

Photo package we had wanted to purchase this but with the lousy exchange rate etc I decided to purchase onboard (my only recollection of the website was it stated may be limited) so as soon as onboard and having our embarkation pictures taken I enquired about this only to be told it was $50 extra – the guys were lovely and said to talk to their Manager about whether this price could be discounted – I found the manager to be quite obnoxious (and not because I didn’t receive the reduced price) eg she said she would have to email head office and to contact her – everytime I did she would walk the other way etc etc when I finally “tackled” her was told no way – it’s not worth discussing here but she was just borderline rude and dismissive even the way she spoke to her staff but that is just my opinion – I found most (not all) of the photographers really lovely and very good and overall whilst expensive I was pleased we did purchase this package.

 

Overall it was a good cruise and we very much enjoyed it – the staff (with the exception of the tour and pursers desk) were absolutely wonderful and seemed very happy. I would sail again with RCCL however I must admit that if it was because I was very keen on booking a particular location eg having an aft or aft corner I would seriously look at alternative cruiselines as cabin location to me is extremely important. Again and this my personal opinion half the fun of a cruise is the planning and anticipation and this was very much lacking for me because of my past experience and being very concerned about not getting the cabin location I had booked close on to 10 months prior – if it was because the price etc was good and the cabin was secondary then I would have no hesitation – would just need to evaluate at that time.

 

I had tried to post several pics here unsuccessfully so will keep trying in the meantime I have set up an albumn in photobucket - just need to work out how to share! I will try and keep my pinkies crossed:

http://photobucket.com/2012_Rhapsody_of_the_Seas

 

Jane

 

One Question I would like to ask how did you take all the photos of other peoples cabins was the door open . Glad you had a great holiday .

we are book to go on a cruise with the Rhapsody of the Seas in the Sept 25th ,we have a new cabin it was the part of were the card room was.

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We found that the Canadians and Brits were bigger whiners on our Honolulu to Vancouver run last year.:)

 

OP, thanks for posting your review! Question for you: we were in 8588 last year and I found that the engines were very loud and thumped a lot when we were at sea (DH, a retired Navy engineer, felt right at home). Did you notice it? We booked 8096 (was 8088 at the time and had to fuss a bit to keep it in the renumbering) because it never seemed to be as loud on the port side.

Whilst there was a few "annoying" type the most obnoxious was an Australian "gentleman", physically tall and quite imposing in appearance - I would think some sort of senior exec in his working life but my goodness one example was his standing up and stomping over to the Waiter and yelling (yes yelling) that his wine was warm yet again (this was day 3) and if he had of wanted P&O service and food he would have done a P&O cruise - and on and on - made himself look like a complete idiot but puffed his chest out and strutted away - he did this on several occasions that we witnessed!

 

Re the cabin last year we were in a balcony cabin no. 7652, which was directly underneath - cruisecritic friends happened to be directly under and I hadn't realised how small this cabin was in comparison - but would take it in a flash and as I said one of the advantages is that it is a lot more protected so depending upon where you are sailing is a definite advantage!

 

One thing I meant to mention was the vibration people had spoken about - I can't remember it to any great extent last time but this time - my goodness that lounge when made into a bed at night was very noticeable to the point I slept there the first night and my daughter thereafter - she loved it saying it felt like a massage chair:rolleyes::eek: I was glad someone was happy with it - again probably not enough to stop me booking it but most definitely noticeable but not of a concern during the day but particularly noticeable when the bed was made up!

 

One Question I would like to ask how did you take all the photos of other peoples cabins was the door open . Glad you had a great holiday .

we are book to go on a cruise with the Rhapsody of the Seas in the Sept 25th ,we have a new cabin it was the part of were the card room was.

I had spoken to the officer in charge of the staterooms and had asked whether on the last day he would mind (I didn't think they would but thought it nicer to ask particularly a senior officer) and he said absolutely go for it on the last day and if he was around he would be only too happy to show me a few - the only quick snap I took was of the oceanview and hence why it is not particularly great as I quickly snapped (whilst the cabin attendent was there present) we would have loved to see the Royal Suite but alas some lucky person was in it from Singapore to at least Hawaii!

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One Question I would like to ask how did you take all the photos of other peoples cabins was the door open . Glad you had a great holiday .

we are book to go on a cruise with the Rhapsody of the Seas in the Sept 25th ,we have a new cabin it was the part of were the card room was.

We got one of the "new" cabins like you. I know they have floor to ceiling windows but that's about all. I have been anxious to get some details. We were originally booked on deck 3 but managed to secure a new cabin on 8. Couldn't be happier.

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So how were you able to keep your Aft Fantail cabin? Were these rooms not given to other passengers?
I am not sure whether it was only our cruise or indeed whether any other people were contacted but we were fortunate in that RCCL Australia, did what RCCL in US should have done IMHO, left a message advising that to not be alarmed but that our cabin no. had changed but not our location and that if I had any further questions to phone a specific person and their number. I did phone in part because our booking summary and set sail pass still had 8588 on it and I just wanted to again reiterate etc that we wanted that specific location. Now again whether I was contacted because of the previous debacle sailing on the Rhapsody but when I booked I was very very specific in our booking (which was done direct with RCCL) that under no circumstances did we want any other change to the location but ....

 

Aleisha (chookie 65) did they phone you about the change to your cabin for your cruise in October??

 

Jane

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Thanks for the Rhapsody review! Been waiting for one to show up post dry-dock. Can't wait to see Alaska on her!

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I am not sure whether it was only our cruise or indeed whether any other people were contacted but we were fortunate in that RCCL Australia, did what RCCL in US should have done IMHO, left a message advising that to not be alarmed but that our cabin no. had changed but not our location and that if I had any further questions to phone a specific person and their number. I did phone in part because our booking summary and set sail pass still had 8588 on it and I just wanted to again reiterate etc that we wanted that specific location. Now again whether I was contacted because of the previous debacle sailing on the Rhapsody but when I booked I was very very specific in our booking (which was done direct with RCCL) that under no circumstances did we want any other change to the location but ....

 

Aleisha (chookie 65) did they phone you about the change to your cabin for your cruise in October??

 

Jane

Jane ... no they didn't phone me about the cabin (nor did I phone him) ... I wrote emails to my TA which were forwarded to RCI Australia (Sydney) and I received an email via my TA advising that I could not be re-located to cabin 8102 (the new cabin in my old location) as someone else had booked this cabin number.

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Thanks for posting a review of your cruise. Glad you had a good time. Nice pictures, I'm looking forward to some more pictures that you will be posting.

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We got one of the "new" cabins like you. I know they have floor to ceiling windows but that's about all. I have been anxious to get some details. We were originally booked on deck 3 but managed to secure a new cabin on 8. Couldn't be happier.

 

Maxx - we have two of the new cabins. If we don't see any more pictures by the time we return, we will post some of our cabins. It's interesting to me that they put the bed close to the door. Don't suppose it matters much, just seems like it could be a bit of a hassle getting luggage in and out.

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Thanks for the info, as we are soon to be on this ship. Disappointed to hear the Ipods are not going to on my trip either.

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Maxx - we have two of the new cabins. If we don't see any more pictures by the time we return, we will post some of our cabins. It's interesting to me that they put the bed close to the door. Don't suppose it matters much, just seems like it could be a bit of a hassle getting luggage in and out.

I agree about the bed....there are 4 of us travelling. From what I can see the sofa is a pullout bed. I'm sure it won't bother us but if it does we may rearrange the cabin.

It does look good with the big window.

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Thanks for the review! I went to your photo site. They are great pictures! The first photos seem to be of an AFT cabin. Was it 8096? We have that one booked for June 2013 (Alaska) and we are super excited! Thanks again, and looking forward to more photos!

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Thanks for the review! I went to your photo site. They are great pictures! The first photos seem to be of an AFT cabin. Was it 8096? We have that one booked for June 2013 (Alaska) and we are super excited! Thanks again, and looking forward to more photos!
Yes they were of our aft cabin but the other side 8596!:)

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I agree about the bed....there are 4 of us travelling. From what I can see the sofa is a pullout bed. I'm sure it won't bother us but if it does we may rearrange the cabin.

It does look good with the big window.

If you have a look at my pics (of our beds made up) I am sure the bed would be the same as ours - I personally liked the lounge where it was particularly with the what appears to be floor to ceiling glass - wonderful looking out watching the world drift by - big sigh!!!! In our recent cruising days we have always had balcony cabins (except for a 2 nighter in an ocean view) but I would definitely consider one of these!

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If you have a look at my pics (of our beds made up) I am sure the bed would be the same as ours - I personally liked the lounge where it was particularly with the what appears to be floor to ceiling glass - wonderful looking out watching the world drift by - big sigh!!!! In our recent cruising days we have always had balcony cabins (except for a 2 nighter in an ocean view) but I would definitely consider one of these!

Would love a balcony but settled for 10 days in Honolulu pre cruise. The window does make the cabin look rather inviting.

We had a balcony on an Asian cruise but found the weather too humid to really appreciate.

I am seriously considering an aft cabin for our next cruise, they look awesome.

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