Number of Cruises: 1
Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean
Ship: Rhapsody of the Seas
Sailing Date: October 10th, 2004
Itinerary: Western Caribbean
This was our first Cruise and we went with another couple.
We flew from our home in Calgary, Alberta, Canada and arrived in Houston at around 12:30 p.m. We were met by a Royal Caribbean rep and directed to our bus. We travelled to Galveston (about 90 mins). We then boarded the Rhapsody of the seas with absolutely no wait in lines.
We set sail at 5:00 pm. sharp and began our sail to Key West.
I am not going to go through the whole itinerary, but I am going to review items by category:
Stateroom (2116) - Outside with porthole - Excellent! Lots of storage space and quiet. The only noise we could hear was when we arrived at a port we could hear things being moved around below us.
at the Eidelweiss Dining Room: FABULOUS!! I had read reviews before we left and could not understand why people complained about blande or ordinary food. It was always hot, tasty, well presented and our waiter and assistant waiter were very quick to serve, fill wine glasses, water, etc. We couldn't even pick up a pepper mill without one of them chastising us for lifting a finger. We always felt like royalty!! There was always a variety of choices (and I am a very picky eater).
The Windjammer buffet was always good with a variety at all meals. We tended to eat breakfasts here.
The Solarium cafe was good also - excellent specialty pizzas.
The drinks were always excellent (even for the price). There was always someone around to get a drink for us.
Ship Layout: It was a bit confusing at first, but once we got our bearing, we could travel around quite easily. Elevators were a bit slow, but hey, sometimes a walk on the stairs is just what we needed to work off some of the food!
Excellent!! Some of the shows were a bit cheesy, but the Drifters were FANTASTIC and had everyone up and clapping along.
Casino: Could get a bit smokey at night (even in the non-smoking section), but we had lots of fun here.
Pool: We stuck to the Solarium Pool most of the time as the outdoor pool tended to be a bit noisy. Water was always great to cool off in. We never had a problem getting 4 chairs in a row here or on the decks.
Key West - Okay, but not that many deals, would be great for bar-crowd, but we wandered in the "Garden Estate District" and enjoyed looking at the homes.
Costa Maya - Great Shopping!! Got a great deal on jewelry. Sat under huts on beach and had a relaxing day.
Cozumel - Went on the Tulum tour and it was very informative and interesting. Thanks to Hugo our tour operator!! The rest of Cozumel was a bit dirty, but we were tired and didn't explore too far.
Very smooth. As Canadians, we had to be in the lounge by 6:30 a.m. for Customs, but once this was done, we were sat for breakfast in the dining room and then we were called at 9:30 a.m. for disembarkation. We were the 3rd group to leave the ship. We collected our bags and the bus was waiting for us and we headed back to the Houston airport. VERY SMOOTH and efficient!!
Areas for improvement:
Photos on the ship were TERRIBLE. We tried on 6 nights to get our pictures done and only 1 picture turned out. The rest were off-centre, heads cut off, processing of film problems (shadows appeared on skin,etc). We tried to go to several different photographers, but it didn't help. I was very dissappointed not to be able to get some shots during the formal nights.
There was a lot of rude passengers aboard. Some people treated the ship staff horribly. Some complained about service during dinner (they expected their meals to be served as soon as one course was done, another should have been right behind it), I even saw someone bang their glass on the table to get another glass of wine. People in the room next to our friends' room had a very loud fight one night which resulted in broken dishes and wine all over the room. They left the mess for their cabin steward to clean up. Several times when my husband was waiting to order a drink at the bar, people would push their way in and ignore others waiting patiently. When elevator lobbies were crowded, some people would rush to get into the elevator, leaving polite people in wheelchairs nowhere to go. Where did some of these people learn their manners??
I will finish up by saying that we had a great time and will be doing it again in the very near future!!