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just4kixx

Back from the Rhapsody 6/20-6/27

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I'd easily give this trip and Royal Caribbean a 4 star (out of 5) rating. We had a super time, and even booked our 2005 family vacation while onboard.

 

Let me preface this review with the fact that we did have first night turn-down service and chocolates on our pillows :)

 

The cabin attendant, Dorothy, and our wait staff of Frederick, Johnny, and head waiter Sergei were very friendly and accomodating. We had a pitcher of water and a pitcher of ice in our stateroom at all times. The beds were considerably comfortable IMO. Our cabin was in very good condition, and the ship was spotless, overall. I think we ran into Dorothy in our room only once the whole trip. WE did see her a couple of times in the halls where she would open the doors if our hands were full, and always had a smile to share. Our waiters, Frederick & Johnny took care of our every need, getting down our family's likes and dislikes pretty early on. We took up 2 tables, side by side with the kids (5 of them) at one and the adults (8 of us) at the other. The head waiter, Sergei, stopped by our table each night and took time to talk with the kids as well. We met his lovely wife Olga, who took care of us at the Champagne Bar, And on the last night, Sergei even went and got a camera to get his own picture with our kids and the ever popular sombrerro!

 

Because of certain circumstances, my and my DS's night was pretty much over after dinner, so I cannot comment on the evening entertainment, although other family members were quit pleased, especially with the illusionist.

 

The Champagne Bar & the Schooner Bar were our favorite spots to meet before dinner. The Dining room carried one menu for breakfast all week. We never ate lunch there. The Windjammer had made to order omlettes everyday for breakfast, as well as made to order sandwiches at lunch time. The dinner menu at the Windjammer was very similar to what we found in the Main Dining Restaurant. Desserts were very tasty, IMO, & dinner was good... keeping in mind the number of passengers being served! The lobster was excellent!

 

The pool is salt water and stings the eyes and freshly shaved legs! Goggles for the kiddies, and arm floaties if they aren't confident in 5'6" water. Pool entertainment was ok... the reggae band played the same tunes every day, and sometimes the same verse multiple times... words didn't really seem to matter The poolside games were fun to watch, and the daily drinks were quite tasty! Chair hogs weren't in abundance that I could see, although very few chairs were empty. Heard the solarium was very nice... walked through it for pizza with DS a couple of times and it was always relatively empty.

 

Had an inside cabin under the casino and never heard anything from above until the morning of debarkation... I think they may have been switching some machines or something! The cabin was 151 sqr feet and adequate for the 3 of us... next time there will be a window! Don't plan on using the starboard cam to wake you in the morning... When it turns dark out, they switch the cam to a program that shows you how far you have gone and where you are going... leaving the screen bright 24/7!

 

We had beautiful weather all week... heard it rained alot in Galveston while we were gone! The seas were rough 1 time midweek, and on our final night. I didn't see anyone get sick.

 

I was told there were over 600 children onboard, most school aged kids... very few toddlers/babies. I never felt overrun by them, and most were very well behaved.

 

Formal nights covered both ends of the spectrum. I saw very few tuxs, but lots of prom dresses. On casual nights, I saw many men wearing shorts with golf shirts, and many teens in jean skirts, and jean capris. Although I was stopped from entering the WIndjammer without a shirt over my swimsuit, I saw no one stopping people going into the dining room regardless of attire. On the night we sailed from Cozumel, I saw a young man wearing a grass skirt with a coconut bra eating in the dining room!

 

We did a nativeways tour to Stingray City... thumbs up to Sharon and her crew! We also did the Royal Dolphin Swim at Chanakaab Park... abit pricey but worth every penny to see DS's & DD's face light up :) Their pictures are irresistable! We also visited Paradise Beach and it is everything everybody on CC says about it! As expected, met PB Tom at the end of the pier handing out literature... unfortunately we could only spend a short while there because of the dolphin excursion. Hopefully, we can make a day of it sometime soon.

 

I'd sail the Rhapsody again, but I hated spending 2 whole days travelling to get there and get back from Philly! Sunday we were up at 6:30am cst and we'd hurry up and wait all day long. Customs... hurry up & wait, breakfast... hurry up & go to lounge to wait... debark, get luggage and wait on bus... 1 1/4 more hours on a bus to Houston, wait to check in luggage and have random search done on one suitcase, 2 1/2 hours wait in Houston airport, A 1 hour layover in Atlanta turned into a 2 hour wait with a change in gates... and hurry off plane in Philly to wait at baggage carosel... finally home to rest at 10:00pm est!

 

Next year, we'll fly out of Miami :)

 

Advice:

Bring a multi-socket extension cord

Bring an alarm clock

Bring a nightlight

Don't miss the StingRays in Grand Cayman!

Royal Swim with the Dolphins in Cozumel if you can

 

Any questions, feel free to ask!

A

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Thank you so much for your review. I always look forward to any information about the Rhapsody. Could you be more specific about the inside cabin? That is what we booked. We have always booked an oceanview, but to save on expenses this time, we went with an inside cabin. We usually don't spend that much time in the cabin. Why did you say "next time there will be a window", was it that bad? My DH seems to think it won't matter, but me I am afraid not having the concept of time, will drive me crazy!!! That should be a short trip!! lol I had already planned on taking an alarm clock, power strip, and night light. My thought was we are on the ship and no matter what we will have a great vacation. It sounds like you guys really enjoyed yourself!!! We are also doing Nativeway Watersports. Sharon's communication with us has been great!!! My family and I have done the Dolphin swim on a previous cruise at Xcaret and we absolutely loved it!!! Plan on doing another Discovery Scuba dive with Eagle Rays in Cozumel!!!

 

My TA just called a little while ago and told me our docs are in, so I guess you can say I am doing the Doc dance!!!!!

 

Thanks again,

Bettina

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I love the Rhapsody! We sailed her in 2001 and can't wait until we sail again in Oct. 2004. I have a few questions for you,please!

1. What time does she sail away now?

2. When was the muster?

3. Is the solarium pool still " no one under 16"? If it is does rc enforce this rule?

 

Thanks in advance.

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I love the Rhapsody! We sailed her in 2001 and can't wait until we sail again in Oct. 2004. I have a few questions for you,please!

1. What time does she sail away now?

2. When was the muster?

3. Is the solarium pool still " no one under 16"? If it is does rc enforce this rule?

 

Thanks in advance.

 

I, too, was on the Rhapsody last week (6/20). It was a fabulous week. We had a Junior Suite on Deck 8 Aft. Outstanding. I'll get one of those again.

 

In answer to those questions:

 

1. We departed Galveston at 5:00 PM.

2. Muster drill was at either 4:15 or 4:30 PM (I drank way too many beverages during the week to specifically remember.

3. The Solarium pool was still noone under 16. We never stepped foot in there during the week because the weather was so nice, so I can't answer the question about enforcement.

 

Our waiter kept telling us during the week that his goal was to make sure that everyone gained at least 15 pounds while on our trip. He very well might have succeeded, although I'm not going to get on the scale for verification.

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In regards to the inside cabin...

 

There were 3 of us in cabin #4459: myself, DH & 11yo DS. 14yo DD stayed with 12 & 14yo cousins in 4457, SIL & BIL stayed in 4455. All rooms were classified as "larger inside staterooms", at 151 sq feet and were located directly underneath the casino. The cabin size was comfortable... we sailed a Norwegian ship 2 years ago that made this room feel like a castle! With the size of our kids (11 & 14), I think we would have been alittle cramped, but for 3 it was just right. It was nice to be located "off the beaten path". And the total darkness is nice when it is time to sleep... but as for me, (and DS especially) we "prefer" to have a window. We'd all wake up disoriented and fumbling for a watch to check the time. It wasn't "bad"... just didn't exactly meet our preferences. As mentioned earlier, DS & I retired each evening after dinner. It would have been an even nicer trip for us if we were able to watch the ocean from our cabins. My in laws were in a smaller inside stateroom, and claimed they couldn't both change at the same time there was that little standing room...

 

We booked next year's family vacation on the Navigator while onboard to get the stateroom credits, and we all chose an outside cabin( which I was told are slightly larger than this year's larger inside cabin), category I (lowest outside category as prices dictate our choices)... therefore, next year there will be a window !)

 

You'll love the ship! I'd sail her again in a heartbeat... if only she sailed out of a more convenient port!

Have fun!

A

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Thanks so much for all the good information. Our family reunion is on Rhapsody in April and it's nice to know how great is was.

Norma

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DTM09....

 

What cabin # were you in? We will be on the Rhapsody in Jan. and were lucky enough to get #8088. I have never sailed on her before and don't know what to expect.

 

Any info you could give would be helpful! Thanks, Dawn

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Starq1,

Curious to know what sailing in January. We sail on Jan. 2-8.

 

Justforkixx,

Thankyou for the wonderful information. Can you tell us about the midnight buffet. Our group is talking about skipping dinner for that one night. Thanks!

 

Until I step foot on the big cruise ship, I'll cruise these boards!!!!!

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Starq1,

Curious to know what sailing in January. We sail on Jan. 2-8.

 

Justforkixx,

Thankyou for the wonderful information. Can you tell us about the midnight buffet. Our group is talking about skipping dinner for that one night. Thanks!

 

Until I step foot on the big cruise ship, I'll cruise these boards!!!!!

 

We will be "cruising" on the 9th. We wanted to go on the 2nd but our daughter is not going with us this time....happy dance....and that is when the grandparents can watch her!!

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rcclbound...

The Gala Buffet was 12:15am-1:15am on Thursday evening (Our Grand Cayman Day). That was also the 2nd formal night... just something you might want to consider.

 

We didn't make it, but heard it was "all that". I also overheard a teen the next morning talking of how she and her friends "rescued" entire cakes from being dumped in the garbage... they set up a mini buffet of their own :)

 

A

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Hi Kixx...

Nice review.She is my favorite of 8 different sailed.

Just curious about your statements about flying to Miami,and having to drive to Galveston,and Galveston being inconvinient???I mean,we do have airports here ya know:p ..

Also,are they down to only buffet (midnight) or did they still have the chocolate on the first night?

Who was the new CD?I had heard it was someone from here in Texas,then I heard from those a couple of weeks ago it was someone different?

We are doing Nativeway for the first time in Sept...sounds like they provide a fun trip!

Thanks again,glad you had a nice trip.

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Hi, I very very happy to read your review. Could you clarify for me, did you book air and transfers from RCCL?

 

We're booked on the Jan. 2 - 9 cruise, too, and haven't decided whether to go down a day or 2 early or not. Seems like it's a real expensive pain to get from Houston to Galveston? Anybody care to share their experiences with me?

 

Also was wondering, how early can we expect to get back to Houston for the return flight? There are several options available from noon to about 1:15, then nothing until after 4:30 p.m.!

 

Please help! (Looks like I'd better update my signature, now that we've booked!)

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DTM09....

 

What cabin # were you in? We will be on the Rhapsody in Jan. and were lucky enough to get #8088. I have never sailed on her before and don't know what to expect.

 

Any info you could give would be helpful! Thanks, Dawn

 

We were in cabin #8590. We utilized the heck out of that deck. We lounged out there. We hung up all of our wet clothes out there. We hung up all of our wet towels out there. I'm not sure we could have done all that on a regular balcony.

 

Despite what I had read on here previous to our trip, there is adequate room to store your clothes during the week in drawers. Granted, those drawers are small, but we (family of 4) had no problem storing all of our clothes in the drawers (I believe I counted a total of 14 drawers).

 

As for the dirty clothes? We piled them up in the bottom of the closet. We also brought extra hangers for those clothes that required to be hung in the closet.

 

Unless you have an unusually large suitcase, they will all fit under the bed, and will be out of your way for the entire week.

 

brn2crz -

 

The CD's name was Gustav (Goose). His last name escapes me at the moment, although I believe it's Neuman. He is originally from Canada.

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Hiya Brn2crz :)

I wasn't down on Galveston for those who live closer to it... just for me :) I live about 1/2 hour from Philly International Airport. The flight provided through RCCL on Delta had a lengthy layover both ways in Atlanta, then once in Houston there was another 1 1/4 hour bus trip to Galvaston! At debarkation, we were fortunate enough to get early debarkation tickets (I guess an advantage to having the cruise line book your air) and were called off the ship at 8:45, only to wait on the bus, drive 1 1/4 hours, then wait in Houston Airport for another 2 1/2 hours. It's the waiting around that kills me. Then the layover was extended from 1 hour to 2... with a gate change as well. Finally got home @10:00pm With 2 cranky kids in tow, and DH not much happier, it's a lousy way to end a vacation! If I fly from Philly to Florida, I can get a flight straight through that might take 2 1/2 hours total, then I'll be within a short cab's ride from the pier.

Don't get me wrong... we thought the passengers were the friendliest we've encountered, just felt the port wasn't quite convenient. Didn't mean to offend :)

AS for another midnight buffet... I am not aware of one. They did lidt "midnight snacks" from 11:30-12:30 on "various" decks on the first night... maybe that is what you are referring to?

The CD was Gustav "Goose" Neumann, a native of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. He spent time in Switzerland and Australia before joining RCCL in 1998. Hope that helps!

 

A

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Hi there! Are you on the July 4th sailing of Rhapsody? Have you found our thread yet in the Roll Call section? It's Rhapsody of the Seas 7/4/04 Roll Call. Come by and read up and join us!

 

Did you sign for the Meet & Mingle? Is this your first cruise? I'd love to hear about you and your party!

 

Maria

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Hi there Just4kixx (my previous post was for soriscruiser),

 

Thanks for the review - great information!

 

Did anyone in your party do the Adventure Ocean kids program? I was wondering what the kids thought of it.

 

Thanks!

Maria

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sorry, can't give any info on the kids program, as ours chose not to participate :(

 

Perhaps you can be more persuasive with yours :)

A

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Just4kixx,

 

Nice post, interesting and helpful. We are ever so grateful to live w/i

driving distance to Galveston. Been there, done that with schlepping all

over pre and post cruise. Hope you get more options in your area (Rhapsody

excluded ;-)

 

Sports Mamma,

 

We've almost always stayed in an inside cabin and been satisfied. DH

perfers the dark cabin to catch up on sleep. The cabins are tastefully

decorated and help to minimize a cabin fever feeling IMHO. When you

get back, let us know how it went for you.

 

CSW

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CSW and Just4Kixx,

 

Thank you so much for your responses to my question. I promise when I return I will have a very thorough review of the Rhapsody. I love experiencing as much as possible on a cruise and sharing that information with previous and future cruisers. I think it gets everyone excited for their up coming cruise or you can just sit back and remember your previous cruise. However, I would suggest as you read my review sit back and have that foo foo drink while you read and enjoy!!! lol

 

Happy Sailing,

Bettina

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No offense taken...Just curious.If I had to go through all those loops I woud be frustrated too.I wonder why that is.I would think Houston,would be easy to get a direct flight,guess not because I think I have heard this more than once..

 

Gustav..thats the one they were talking about...I wonder what happened to the Texas guy...

 

 

 

Thanks again...happy cruisin!

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Hi Everyone:

 

There are 2 midnight buffets on the Rhapsody cruise:

 

The night we depart Key West (12:00a.m.-Caribbean Party-Deck 9-poolside)

The night we depart Grand Cayman (12:15a.m. - Gala Buffet - Edelweiss)

 

The CD from Texas was Chris Anderson. Rumor has it that he will not be returning to Royal Caribbean; muchless the Rhapsody. Gustav "Goose" is an alright guy. Chris was much more fun....probably because he is from Texas.

 

Fausto

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