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Chaz Danila

Age: 53

Occupation:Military Instructor

Number of Cruises: 2

Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean

Ship: Rhapsody of the Seas

Sailing Date: 2010-05-21

Itinerary: Alaska

Overall, the cruise was very enjoyable. This cruise was our attempt at a family outing and we managed to reconnect and have some very enjoyable moments that will be cropping up at family gatherings for a long time.

The dining room meals were great. Our waiters kept us going with entertaining brain teasers that are so easy once you know the secret. Well most of them are. However the Windjammer buffet, had some low points. For breakfast they would put out a selection of cold cuts, but only a dry/genoa salami for lunch. Not sure who was making sandwiches for breakfast, but I could have used a few more selections for lunch. Then one night the main choices were Sushi bar, Salmon and another fish. Guess on a cruise to Alaska they think everyone will like fish. I had to wait until 9:00 pm for the burger bar to open. What they make is good, but based on this experience I will not likely cruise on a ship this size again. The last ship I was on had 3 buffet lines and numerous smaller locations open during normal meal times.

We don't spend much time in the stateroom except for sleeping. Our stateroom was fine. We were in a standard interior room so I wasn't expecting much. It was well attended and plenty big enough for our needs. The TV was a little old. Some of the pixels were permanently red. Of course they were dead center of the screen. Looked like a kid had scribbled in the middle of the screen.

All of the onboard activities we participated in were excellent. And we heard many people raving about the activities we were unable to attend. The only gripe I would have is that during days at sea the afternoon activities could be beefed up. There was very little to do unless you were into scrapbooking or wanted to watch a pitch to sell you more services. I wondered if this wasn't intentional to get people into the casino. Actually watched three movies in the afternoons just because there was not really anything else to do.

Here is were they really fell on their face. We signed up for a Zip Line tour they had listed as a "mild" activity. I did this in Jamaica and it was really fun. There it was, ride a tram up to the top and zip your way down. Which I would give a mild rating. Unfortunately, this was not the case in Skagway. You get dropped off at the bottom and have to climb up the hill. If it was a finely done path this might not be so bad, but it is not. You have to climb up a very steep windy path through the trees stepping over roots and trying not to slide back down. Based on my experience in Jamaica and their rating, we took our father... He only made it half way up before he called it a day and went back down with me and a staff member holding him up. Now my dad is in his 70's, but he hikes often to birdwatch and completed all the other "mild" excursions. This really put a damper on our having a good time attitude.

And they weren't done yet. On Day 6 we find out that our excursion for Day 7 in Victoria has been canceled due to lack of participation. That's understandable. By why wait until the last minute to tell us? By the time we got the message on the answering machine, the excursion desk was closed for the afternoon and would only be open in the evening during the time we were scheduled to be in the dining room. We managed to speak with them briefly, but they were not very apologetic about the late notice. I'm sure they knew when we left port that this might be an issue and could have warned us a day or two earlier so we could plan for it.

We flew over glaciers, went to salmon hatcheries, mushed with sled dogs, and saw a LOT of good shows. Beyond the disappointing excursions we all had a great time. And since all four of us were declared "Superstars" I cannot leave out Derek Lewis and his tireless efforts to keep us laughing and enjoying ourselves. Kamakazee Karaokee was one of the best shows on the ship. The experience was "priceless". I got the ring, you know you want it.....

As I live a long way from the rest of my family this was meant as sort of a mini family reunion and it was great for that. We all had a great time aboard the ship. The entertainment was excellent. We have many memories that will last a lifetime and a few recordings that we will probably regret making. But I'm sure when we hear them it will bring a smile to our face.

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