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Jennifer McConahey

Age: 36

Occupation:Account Rep.

Number of Cruises: 2

Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean

Ship: Rhapsody of the Seas

Sailing Date: August 19th, 2007

Itinerary: Western Caribbean

This was the 2nd cruise for me and my husband, but the 1st with our children (Girl age 10 and Boy age 7). We had a fabulous time. Oh – where to start.

Departed from Galveston. Very smooth. No problems at all. We parked at the Easy parking lot (cheapest and most convenient around). We got there about 2 hours earlier than they said to but they were already letting people onboard. The entire process took about 30 minutes. We had had lunch in the Windjammer and the kids were swimming before we were even supposed to be allowed on the ship.

Room – we had an inside cabin on deck 7. There were some benefits to being on deck 7 such as we hardly ever had to take the elevator. We were only one floor up or one floor down from almost everything (restaurants, pool, shows, etc.) I have heard people on decks 2-4 spent a lot of time waiting on elevators. But the downside was we were way too close to a late night club on deck 6. We heard the music every night until about 12:30 when they shut down. We typically didn’t come to bed ourselves until 11 – 12 so it wasn’t that huge of a deal but for those who go to sleep early – I can see it would be an issue. Next time I would stay on deck 7 or 8 again, but make sure we are further away from the clubs. The room it’s self was spacious enough and the kids loved seeing what animal the hand towels would be made into each evening.

Food – Windjammer was good. Some things better than other but it seems that by the end of the week it kind of all started to taste the same. We ate every breakfast but one there and all lunches when we were not in ports. Lots to choose from and it was pretty good. The food in the main dining room was great. Had a beautiful table right by a window and nice people at our table. We enjoyed it a lot but think one formal night would be enough. We did try out the dining room for breakfast one time and felt that the food was about the same as you would get from the Windjammer (they have awesome omelets).

Entertainment – We thought the shows were very good. Some better than others but there was not one time when I thought I wasted my time by going. The cruise director Eric was very funny and we enjoyed him. The singers and dancers did well (except the male singers on country night – not good) but overall, they were all good.

Kids Club - My seven year old son LOVED it. He loved all games and was so proud of the bronze medal he won at dodge ball. He wanted to wear it every time he went back. The only complaint I have about it was that they would try and get them all excited while the parents were at the show to stay for the late night session (which is $5.00 an hour). Doesn’t seem like a lot but it’s up to 3 hours a night for a week – just so they can keep playing. Made you feel like a heel to say no when the staff works to hard to convince them how fun it will be if they stay and tells them all the cool things they would miss if there were not there. Anyway – my son ended up staying for at least 1 – 2 hours 4 or 5 of the nights. My ten year old daughter was not quite as impressed as my son, but there were parts she liked. We signed her up for self checkout which made her feel quite grown up. I was nervous about it a little at 1st – but every kid in the 9-11 age groups did it and there were no issues. It was good because she met some girls the 1st few days in the kid’s area and was able to play with them all week. She would just check the schedule each night and go to the things she wanted to. For example – she loved all the scavenger hunts.

Complaints - I don’t have too many, but nothing is perfect.
1. BINGO – way too expensive. Granted they had good prizes (free cruise, room upgrade, etc.) but for $50 a person each time. They need to offer more family type bingo sessions. Smaller prizes would be fine, but make it so families can play together. My kids were excited to play before we go on board and when we showed up for the 1st session and found out how much it cost we were all disappointed. We left and never did play.

2. Pictures – also expensive. Again – granted there for the most part did a good job, I just feel that $16.95 - $19.95 per picture is so high. You can choose not to purchase them, which we did for the most part – but if they lowered the price some I know we would have bought more.

3. Room – mentioned above (too close to the late night club).

4. Kid’s area – mentioned above (pushing the kids to stay for the late night time then charging $5.00 an hour to do).

Ports –

1. We were supposed to go to Jamaica. Due to Hurricane Dean we went to Key West instead. Now I had everything planned for Jamaica and no idea what to do in Key West. We thought we would just walk around and take it easy, maybe do some shopping. It was so HOT that we were miserable. There was a cool butterfly deal that we walked through – kids loved it. But other than that it was just HOT. If I had it to do over we would have rented one of the golf cart/car deals they had and seen a lot more of the area. We missing the Hemingway House and most Southern Point of the US which would have been cool – but we didn’t even know to look for them until after we were back on board. Since it was so last minute of a change you just really didn’t have the chance to research it.

2. Cayman Islands. This was the one we were looking most forward to and it was a great time. We booked a snorkel / sting ray swim excursion through Captain Marvin’s and it was great. Very smooth and our boat was much less crowded than those that the people who booked through the cruise was. We also added on the Turtle Farm visit and that was my son’s favorite part of the entire cruise.

3. Cozumel. This turned out to be the best port of all. After what we went through in Key West when we go off the ship they had motor bikes for rental. $50.00 each for the day. We got 2 of them and had so much fun. We drove ourselves to Paradise beach and the kids had a blast. They have huge trampolines and rock walls that the kids can climb in the ocean. My daughter got her hair braided and we had a great time. Then we motor biked to some shops downtown and found some great deals. SO MUCH FUN!!!!

Over all, this cruise was awesome. Would recommend 95%.










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