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Rhapsody Review - Vancouver to Hawaii

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I'm late posting this review, but wanted to make a few comments regarding our recent cruise on the Rhapsody of the Seas. This was the 12-night Vancouver to Hawaii cruise in September.

We've cruised many times and enjoy RCI and Princess the most. This was our first time on the Rhapsody of the Seas and we like this size of ship. There were lots of signs of its recent refurbishment. New carpet, paint, upholstery, flat screen tv's, etc. Overall the ship is well maintained and even though there are signs of its age, none of these are a distraction.

Pre-Cruise/Embarkation:

We stayed at the Marriott Pinacle for three nights prior to the cruise. Weather was perfect and we enjoyed exploring Vancouver. This is a great hotel in the perfect location. It is only a couple of blocks to the cruise terminal and we just rolled our luggage over for embarkation. We arrived at about 11:30 and deposited our bags with the porters. They recommended we shop around in Vancouver a bit and come back in a couple of hours to avoid the crowds. We declined their invitation and got in line. We were processed in less than an hour. Those that followed their advice ended up waiting several hours to get on board.

Entertainment:

The singers and dance team on the ship are some of the best we've ever seen. The shows were a bit dated, but the performers were all very talented. Often we have seen performers that look fresh from a high school production. But that was not the case here. And the additional performers were also excellent.

Food:

We booked anytime dining but were very disappointed with the food in the main dining room. In fact, after a couple of nights we decided to eat our remaining dinners in the Windjammer Cafe. Honestly, the main courses and appetizers were bland and not very interesting. We never eat in the alternative restaurants as we've always enjoyed the food in main dining rooms. This cruise was the one exception. That being said, we did enjoy several breakfasts in the main dining room. Food in the Windjammer was very good and we felt the atmosphere at dinner time was much more relaxing and the same friendly crowd seemed to be there every night. There was a large group of Indians on the cruise, so one side of the buffet had some interesting Indian food offerings. I was disappointed in desserts overall on the cruise. The one time we saw a cheesecake selection, it was terrible. Hopefully, this will not be the case on our upcoming cruise on the Mariner.

Cabin:

We've cruised in balcony cabins, outside and inside cabins. Generally we book the cheapest cabin available which helps me justify cruising a little more often. We aren't in the cabin much, so we booked a large inside (#4465)on the Rhapsody. We were satisfied with the cabin until the sixth night. Apparently our cabin was adjacent to a galley or storage room. At 1:30 am someone began doing dishes, storing pots and pans or moving shelving. The noise was incredible and sounded like they were right in the cabin. After half an hour I called the front desk. They sent a security team to our room who verified the noise and they went to stop it. When it began again an hour later, I called the front desk again. Finally it stopped. After three nights of this, they moved us to another cabin. And while this fixed the problem, I was a little disappointed that they couldn't fix the real problem, but just escaped it by moving us. We feel sorry for the next people that get this cabin. I was amazed that the ship had a policy that allowed for such noisy work to take place in rooms adjacent to sleeping cabins.

Itinerary:

We enjoyed the five sea days and the ship seemed to have a lot of activities to keep passengers busy throughout the day. I enjoyed the morning lecture series and the afternoon series on the history of the areas visited. Excellent. Mind you, I'm happy with my book and a comfortable chair, but my wife did enjoy the activities.

It was our first trip to Hawaii. And we loved it.

Maui, Day 1 we rented a car and drove from Lahaina up the west coast to Kapalua. We stopped along the way at Ka'anapali Beach and several other beaches. We hiked to the Nakalele blow hole and sampled the famous banana bread in Kahakuloa. Great day. One tip: if you're going to rent a car, go with Hertz. Their office is right in Lahaina and is a short 15 minute walk from the pier. Day 2 we booked a snorkeling excursion with Hawaii Ocean Project. We snorkeled off the island of Lanai and then off a sunken pier near Lahaina. Not the best snorkeling we've experienced but the crew was friendly and the food was great. If your cruise stops in Lahaina, there are lots of kiosks offering low priced excursions. Unless you arrive at a busy time, you can get away with a last minute choice here.

Hilo, Hawaii - here we booked the Waterfalls Spectacular excursion through the ship. We visited several waterfalls and were able to swim in one. Then finished with a great lunch. Weather was perfect.

Kona, Hawaii - here we also booked through the ship a snorkel trip with Captain Zodiac. I would strongle recommend this group. Great fun and great value.

Kauai - here we rented a car for the day and drove from Nawillwili to Waimea Canyon. A shuttle picked us up at the pier for a short drive to the airport and our car rental. Waimea Canyon is incredible and the weather again was perfect. We had no cloud cover even at altitude. Simply beautiful. When we got back to town that afternoon we had time to drive over to Wailua Falls.

Oahu - we stayed an extra five days in Waikiki and thoroughly enjoyed the trip, including visits to Pearl Harbor, the Polynesian Cultural Center, North Shore and more. Great place, great time.

Miscellaneous:

Just wanted to make one mention regarding the captain of this ship. As stated earlier, we've cruised quite a bit, but we have never seen a ship’s captain as friendly and professional as this one. He had a great sense of humor, was very approachable and added a pleasant spirit to the cruise. Captain Hempstead is the best we've ever seen.

Again, there were some bumps along the way in this cruise, but none that diminished our enjoyment. Would be happy to answer any questions.

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Thanks for the review. We sailed on Rhapsody 3 times, the latest being just before refurb. I found out last night that my 94 yo Nanna (grandmother) is sailing on her in February. She's been on a could of Princess cruises before but this will be her 1st time on RCI.

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Just read your review and it was great. We have just booked this cruise for Sept 2013 yesterday. Me, my mother (will be 91), sister, bil, his parents and my aunt and uncle (party of 8). me, mother, sis and bil did this cruise 2 years ago on Carnival Spirit and we enjoyed it very much. We rented a car in every port, so got to see lots of amazing scenery.

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Thanks for the We are doing this trip next september. We have never sailed on the Rhapsody but have sailed with Captain Rob, he is great hope he is still on the Rhapsody next Sept

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Great review... I'll be bringing her back to Canada in a short 7 months :). Finally someone who has lived in an inside that I can ask these Q's! Did the stateroom have a mini fridge, did they redo the showers adding doors or is it still shower curtains?

 

We'll be a group of 8 as well so will only be renting in a couple of ports... At the moment only have 2 cars in Hilo reserved... Any other port that you felt a car would be of good benefit?

 

 

Sent from my Speak & Spell using Tapatalk

Edited by Beth C

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We were also on this cruise - and will just agree with most of the posters points - first and most importantly was the captain - FUNNY - SO FUNNY - a real NICE man. We met him most mornings in the buffet breakfast - YES BUFFET - and he even cleared all his own plates - spoke to everyone - like he was your friend. Unfortunately he did get the time of the volcano sailby wrong - and my one critisisum of him would be he should have announced that we were passing it earlier than scheduled - as some people missed it.

 

I agree with the comments about the food - it was not brilliant. We had requested early dining and a smallish table - we got late dining and a table of 10!!!!!!!!!!!! We spoke to the Matre'd - she could not help at all - and said the 18.00 was fully booked (although we know people who said there were loads of tables free). She went as far as to ignore the whole table we were on for the whole cruise and never once came over to speak - just walked passed our table each night and spoke to people round us!!!!! (guess what tip she got???)

 

I didn't see any mention of the entertainment team - which were very poor. Casey was the director - He didn't do very much at all. James was brilliant - very funny and always around. As an idea - usually when we have cruised last nights entertainment is on the telly in your room - in case you missed it. The whole cruise only showed one game show - the Mr and Mrs (newly wed ) style show. Only ONE day was there any kind of entertainment on the pool deck and the weather was brilliant for the whole voyage - a volleyball game in the pool and a Mr universe style show - not one sailaway had any of the entertainment team on the pool deck - a band played for a while - but if the sailaway was delayed - even they had gone!!!! The entertainment team quite obviously did not get on - and you generally did not see them together around the ship.

 

The shows in the atrium were outstanding - it changed from chandilers to 'bungee ropes' to a ring with the arobic team doing something every couple of days.

 

We had a very 'compact' inside cabin on deck 3 (3801)- and we have to say we slept soundly!!!! but it was the smallest cabin we have ever had - it had two chests for each side of the bed - but it could only fit one - so one sat in the wardrobe all the time - and therefore restricted how much we could hang up - as the chest restricted the length if you understand. But it was very clean, and the room boy (who we never saw at all) always left towel animals.

 

We loved the itinery - as the poster said the sea days were lovely - and the weather was really good. The sailaway from vancouver was wonderful - 3 ships leaving within mins of each other - Celebrity Millinium - Brilliance of the sea and then us - and to see them all sail into the sunset under the bridge was a wonderful sight and a wonderful photo oportunity.

 

The Brilliance sailed along side most of the way down to Hawaii - and that would have been very handy if the fire we had onboard had got any more serious!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

A wonderful cruise - which I would happily do again.

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We were also on this cruise and captain Rob was great. When then had the fire onboard he calmed the situation down and explained how the fire was being handled.Beth C the inside room we had did not have a fridge and had a shower curtain. We were also

Disappointed in the main dining room food but had great meals in chops and Giovanni's

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Great review... I'll be bringing her back to Canada in a short 7 months :). Finally someone who has lived in an inside that I can ask these Q's! Did the stateroom have a mini fridge, did they redo the showers adding doors or is it still shower curtains?

 

We'll be a group of 8 as well so will only be renting in a couple of ports... At the moment only have 2 cars in Hilo reserved... Any other port that you felt a car would be of good benefit?

 

 

The Inside Cabin did have a mini-fridge. It is stocked with items from bar service, but you can ask your steward to remove them to make room for your own items. The showers still have a curtain, no doors.

 

We rented cars in Kauai, Maui and Oahu and would do it again. Very simple process in each of those ports and getting around is easy. We especially enjoyed the drive through Waimea Canyon.

 

Enjoy.

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Oooh molestation by shower curtain. Yippee lol

 

Sounds like its hit and miss with the mini fridge... We've got 3 insides on 7 and one of the new OV's so maybe that one will be updated with the fridge

 

The MDR concerns me since this will be the last sailing with the old menu :( Not that I mind the WJ but will probably do the MDR a few of the 13 nights

 

How about a safe?

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Edited by Beth C

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Our inside cabin did not have a fridge - deck 3 - 3801. The tins of drinks and boxes of biscuits were left on the dressing table but there was no worktop space so asked the room boy to get them removed

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we are booking this trip soon, it looks like we will be staying in the 3000s any tips, on this level. Is there some where that shows what is on each level?

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Hi All,

 

We, too, were on this cruise. Agree with everything said above; MDR food was a disappointment in comparison to earlier cruises but not bad, Captain Rob was a joy, we loved his daily updates and we saw him off the ship in Maui and he was the most down-to-earth guy.

 

We were also in an inside cabin on Deck 3 and we had a fridge and a shower curtain. We must have had a larger room than one of the earlier posters since both of the bedside tables fit perfectly.

 

We really enjoyed the itinerary as it was our first trip to Hawaii and gave us the opportunity to sample the various islands. I highly recommend the Capt Cook snorkeling excursion in Kona and the zip-line tour in Kauai, both of which I booked through the ship (something I usually don't do).

 

The head bartender in the R Bar located on Deck 4 was the most knowledgable mixologist I've ever met. A true professional.

 

I would highly recommend this cruise.

Edited by jhannen

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We were also on this cruise and captain Rob was great. When then had the fire onboard he calmed the situation down and explained how the fire was being handled.Beth C the inside room we had did not have a fridge and had a shower curtain. We were also

Disappointed in the main dining room food but had great meals in chops and Giovanni's

 

FIRE??? What happened... This wasn't in the OPs review.

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Thanks for the review. We did this cruise in 2005 on the Radiance and had a wonderful time. Sounds like from the general group that was on board with you the MDR was bland and tasteless. That is unfortunate.

 

We too stayed a few days after the cruise ended and enjoyed our time on the Island. Makes me want to go back again.

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