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Bill Gunter

Age: 34

Occupation:System Administrator

Number of Cruises: 1

Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean

Ship: Rhapsody of the Seas

Sailing Date: January 23rd, 2005

Itinerary: Western Caribbean

The sailing date didn't appear on the confirmation page, it was Jan 23, 2005.

My wife and I had a marvelous experience aboard the Rhapsody. It was our first voyage and we were glad we went with some friends of ours who could show us the ropes.

Our interior stateroom (the oddball 4451) was tiny, but we knew that going in. A window would've been nice, I suppose, but we enjoyed the complete darkness (and I mean complete!) and slept great. The hum from the fan room next door provided just the right amount of white noise and there was absolutely no foot traffic outside due to our location. Our attendants were very good, and the towel creations are very cute. We looked forward each evening to discovering what creature would be waiting for us in our room.

We really liked the layout of the ship. There are plenty of nooks and cranies to read in. We especially enjoyed the Moonlight Bay lounge. There is very little sound leakage from one section of the ship to another. There is also always more than one way of getting from one end of the ship to the other, so everyone isn't forced to squeeze through one hallway to get somewhere.

The food was quite good (six pound gain for me!). Our waiters, Albert and Candice, were great. My wife got her diet coke every night without asking. The omelet station in the Windjammer is definitely the way to go at breakfast. The pizza and burgers at the Solarium Cafe are passable.

The entertainment was hit-and-miss. We really liked the magician/comedian and the jugglers (the Hill Brothers, I think?). David Orion, however, is a complete buffoon and we didn't laugh once during his routine. Inexplicably, lots of other people seemd to like him and gave him a standing ovation. Go figure. The production shows were just okay.

The excursions were also hit-and-miss. They could've left Key West off the itinerary and we wouldn't have missed it at all. It's just an excuse to send people bar hopping. Our Cayman stop was changed to Costa Maya due to reduced traffic at Georgetown because of the hurricane cleanup. Costa Maya is a very young port and probably looks like Cozumel when it was only three years old. We took a Mayan ruin tour and that was fun. Afterwards we ate lunch at the touristy taqueria in the port. Get the fried whole fish, it was very good. Everything is toned way down in spiciness, though. Then we took a cab to Mayahual and sat on the beach and had a beer. A very sedate port-of-call. Cozumel is a bit more exciting. If you want to try scuba diving, contact Eduardo at . He's an awesome instructor. We took two 45-min dives ($180/person with all gear including wet suits) and it was only myself, my friend Bob, Eduardo and the captain on the boat. I can't recommend him enough. The wives went to the coastal park that's close by and had a good time there walking around.

All in all a very enjoyable cruise for us first-timers. We would definitely sail on the Rhapsody again.

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