Number of Cruises: 20
Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean
Ship: Rhapsody of the Seas
Sailing Date: January 29th, 2006
Itinerary: Western Caribbean
The check in for the ship was very smooth and efficient. There were no lines and check in took only a few minutes. That was the good part. The departure was a nightmare. This was the 436th cruise for the Rhapsody so you would think they would have this down pat. We were taking Royal Caribbean's bus transfer to IAH (about a 1.5 hour ride) and had a flight at 1:30 PM. This would seem to be no problem as our color luggage tags was scheduled off the ship at 8:10 AM. Our departure off the ship was delayed about 45 minutes due to a late arrival of the ship due to weather (understandable). Once our color was called at 8:55 we did not get through the entire offloading procedure until 10:15. It was standing around and waiting in line on the exit ramp. It was chaos trying to find out which bus we would suppose to get on. We just missed one, and were redirected to get on another. The bus was half full and after waiting for another 15 minutes we asked the RCCL rep when we were leaving. She said she was waiting for 20 more people. This seemed unlikely since we were the last group called with luggage tags for transfers. We told her we have a flt. at 1:30 and she said we would make it. There was another couple with a flt. at 1:00 who were getting very nervous. They finally found a supervisor who blamed them for getting off the boat late!!! All of us on the bus also started a revolt and demanded that the bus be released as it was unlikely that there were still 20 people for the bus (this was already after 11:00. Once at IAH, it was 12:30 when we arrived, it was too full at Continental to pull in the bus so we were redirected to the intl. terminal. We checked in there and then had to take the terminal tram to the correct terminal. After the line for security we barely made our flt. This was after being ready to leave the ship before 8:00. I was so stressed the entire day from this experience.