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Jason Griffiths

Age: 39

Occupation:Northern Body Corporate Management

Number of Cruises: 1

Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean

Ship: Rhapsody of the Seas

Sailing Date: 2011-12-17

Itinerary: South Pacific

As a first time cruiser I was hesitant about cruising instead of going on a 'normal' holiday to a specific location. We used this as a family Xmas for the whole family to get together(3 families). To my surprise this was one of the best holidays I have experienced and would recommend it to others. The Cruise was fantastic from the friendly crew, great food to the varied and many activities on board. We could do as much as we wanted or as little and also could spend time with family without having to live in each others pockets as happens at Xmas time when families get together. We went on the 10 night South Pacific Cruise and the port stops were good.

There was a good variety of food from the Wind Jammer buffet which we had brekky and lunch as it met our varied eating times. Dinner sitting was very good with a different menu each night with plenty of variety. There is also the burger, pizza & hot dog bar open for snacks all the time. Plenty of variety for everyone. Excellent waiter service from Bozi & Claudio. Thanks if you ever read this.

Very clean and extremely well maintained morning and night, Thanks Michael for all the towel animals, my wife loved them. Apart from sleeping and changing clothes did not spend much time in the room.

Plenty of activities on board with something happening at all hours to suit all ages. Cruise director has planned all activities to keep everyone amused... or just laze about the pool having a few cold ones.

Pre-book your shore trips before departure to avoid missing out. Once on the islands it becomes limited to what you can experience and they book out quickly once on board. Islands: Noumea - Polenesians welcoming, remainder rude. Avoid cafe/takeaway shop near market as owner extremely rude. Noumea Least desired location. Next time I would remain on board. Villa - Unfortunately it rained when we were there and a lot of tours cancelled. Nice place, get bombarded by taxis when depart ship. negotiate price first. They will offer you tours to other areas as soon as you get in the cab. Mystery Is. - Small island with snorkelling, take some gear with you on the ship or buy it in Villa for $12 AUD. Take some cash as locals do offer reef trips etc from as little as $30 PP,which was not detailed on board as it is not part of liners shore excursions. Very nice people with some interesting photo opportunities. Lifou - Fantastic snorkelling about 15 min walk from where dropped off, lots of coral, clams, turtles and varieties of colourful fish. Local dancers and food good. Isle of Pines - Very picturesque with fantastic beaches and swimming.

Boarding/Departing - Boarding took a little while approx 1.5 hrs but most of this was the line up through Australian customs. Registering to get on the ship took about 15 minutes, departing was less than 20 minutes. Overall, rate it has one of our best holiday experiences and suffering from PCD "Post Cruise Depression" as we get back home to normal daily life. Already looking in to cruise for next year with Royal Carribean. Thoroughly recommend it.

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