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Ian Derbyshire

Age: 46


Number of Cruises: 7

Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean

Ship: Rhapsody of the Seas

Sailing Date: 2012-06-22

Itinerary: Alaska Inside Passage

This cruise was very good - our best ever. We have sailed with Royal Caribbean 6 times now, but this is our last. I would gladly recommend the ship, the itinerary, the staff, the food - but NOT Royal Caribbean's Customer service. This is the first time anything has gone wrong. I have complained in writing 3 times and they just ignore me - does anyone know how to get them to respond?

Alaska was an amazing experience. We expected this to be a "once in a lifetime", but we are already considering returning - with anyone but Royal Caribbean. We did get a bit fed up with the penny pinching and the need to pay the staff more in tips than I earn.

We have previously only been on the bigger ships - Freedom and Voyager class, but this smaller ship was very good. It is a shame that so much was made of a multimillion dollar refurbishment, because it was hard to see where all the money was spent. Even so, it was very nice.

Food was quite good. Mainly we ate in the main restaurant - we don't like the buffet race, although from what we saw, Rhapsody was more organized, cleaner and less busy than others we have sailed with. We were on Liberty in May 2012 and did notice that the menus were very similar, but good meals every night, with plenty to choose from. Wine and drinks were fine - not too pricey - wine served at perfect temperatures. The Waiting Staff - Vicky and Lester were absolutely fabulous - probably the first time we had tipped "recommended amounts".

Stateroom (eventually) was very good - see my rant later on. We had a Junior Suite with balcony. "Refurbished" apparently. I think this applied only to the bathroom, the rest looked a little tired, but beds were comfortable, rooms were quiet, air con seemed to keep the temperature nice - once we had fiddled with it a bit.

The Cruise director on Rhapsody was brilliant - loads of fun and had whipped the staff into great shape. The skits she put on were mostly better than the "broadway" style singers and dancers. Shows were a little lackluster otherwise. The special guests were fun.

We took a helicopter flight onto Mendenhall Glacier - WOW! and hiked with crampons and icepicks - WOW!. This was so good! (There are no toilets on a glacier - not good for some). We also went to see the sled dogs - also good fun. Both a bit pricey - but reassurance of having booked and that they would get us back to the ship on time made it worth it

now the rant: We booked this cruise whilst on Independence of the Seas in March 2011. We wanted the rear corner junior suite - because of the better balcony - "not a problem" - Fernando took the deposit and booked it. In March 2012 we had an e-mail to advise us of a "change of state room". The corner suite was no longer available they said, because we are refurbishing the ship - choose another they said - so we did. I e-mailed immediately Royal Caribbean and asked if we could have the suite if it became available - we got a reply - "we'll get back to you", but they didn't. I emailed gain in May 2012 - they completely ignored that one. We complained on the ship - "tough" (Although I have to say that Guest Services on the ship seemed to want to help and were very pleasant but RCI did not want to get our suite back or offer any compensation). Other people on our table had been moved suites and were given $200 compensation - and they were moved like-for-like. They were US Citizens - more important that us Brits. I had the survey when I got home - told them again - "If you would like a reply give us your e-mail and telephone number" - done that - completely ignored. What a load of rude people RCI must be for no one to bother to reply to 3 complaints. I have seen other similar complaints/reviews - please don't reply and explain to me that it was a "mix-up" with cabin numbers - we've heard this excuse, I want to know why can't the staff of RCI respond to our complaints? I can't book with them again - this was our 6th cruise with them of 7 total cruises. Our understanding of this is that if a US citizen wants your cabin, they can have it and you will be moved. Tough! Beware. They like your sterling, but they don't like you Brits.

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