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Sherry Gilson

Age: 68

Occupation:Retired

Number of Cruises: 5

Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean

Ship: Rhapsody of the Seas

Sailing Date: 2013-06-28

Itinerary: Alaska

This cruise exceeded my expectations. I was not excited about being on a ship with 1800 people (we prefer smaller ships), but we took our daughter, son-in-law and 10 year old grandson and it was important for him to have activities to keep him busy. This is a wonderful ship for families with children traveling with them. My grandson loved the place for the 9 - 11 year olds. He spent a great deal of time there which then gave his mother and father a real vacation.

Depends on the venue. The three speciality restaurants - Chops, Izumi and Giovanni's Table were excellent. We even went back to Chops on our last night we liked it so much. We did not eat breakfast or lunch in the dining room. We had dinner there one night and it was average - very slow service, not a great table and food was OK. We did enjoy our meals in the Windjammer Cafe - lots of variety and it was fresh. Also can get Starbucks pastries for free if you buy a Starbucks.

Stateroom was very nice. We had starboard side verandah - this is best side as we had a wonderful sunset in Juneau and were away from the dock in Skagway. I would highly recommend a verandah due to the two days of cruising and also the best spot for the iceberg viewing. Beds were comfortable. There was a couch and desk area. Shower was pretty good sized with good water pressure. Also lots of storage.

AS I said our grandson loved the kids club. We enjoyed the pre dinner music in the Centrum. Also the rock and roll show with Bowser and the Stingrays and the evening we spent in the Schooner Bar listening to Derek Lewis and his bawdy songs. We did not like either of the two speakers - one on glaciers and one who was a retired Royal Mounted Police. The woman who spoke on glaciers was too detailed and her power point slides were impossible to read. Also she gave lots of information about glaciers we were not going to visit so it was probably a canned speech. The retiree spoke a lot about himself and other stories rather than about the organization and its workings. We were very disappointed with the aerial shows. The first one was cancelled after 10 minutes due to some technical problems and not rescheduled. The second one was only 10 minutes and not very exciting.

We did a whale watching with Marv and Harv rather than through the ship as it allowed us to have our own boat instead of being on a large boat with lots of people. I would highly recommend taking a whale watching trip. The Yukon Pass Railway which we did do through the boat was OK. It's an hour up and an hour down on a small gauge railway. The cars are comfortable, but it's hard to get good pictures when the train is moving. Due to fog we did not get off at the top as there was no view. I would not recommend eating or visiting the Red Dog Saloon in Juneau - hot, crowded, a real tourist joint. Also disappointed with shopping in Juneau - mostly tacky souvenier shops. Butchart Gardens in Victoria was wonderful - again we booked our own transportation as we wanted to spend as much time as we could. This is a must see if you're a garden buff.

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