Number of Cruises: 2
Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean
Ship: Rhapsody of the Seas
Sailing Date: February 6th, 2005
Itinerary: Western Caribbean
I am a salesman who entertains customers in various ways. In November I went on a Norwegian Cruise Line cruise with my partner and our two twins. We had a wonderful time I decided it was a good way to entertain so I invited four customers and my assistant to go on the Rhapsody Of The Seas. The following review will discuss a number of different facets of the cruise experience. In many places I will compare this cruise with the other cruise I went on which was on the Norwegian Star in November of 2004.
The embarkation and disembarkation of the Rhapsody was very smooth. I took the advice of other cruise reviewers and did not show up until 2:00 PM and the line was very short. It took a total of forty-five minutes to get on. To get off of the boat we waited on the pool deck and visited until our color was called. Our color was called forty-five minutes later than scheduled, but once we were called it was only twenty minutes until we were in our limousine. Both getting on and off the Rhapsody was far quicker and less painful than the Norwegian Star.
The room I stayed in was an outside room with a window. The room was 151 square feet. It was put together wonderfully. It had lots of drawers and plenty of closet space. My roommate and I had extra storage space even after we put every thing out of our suitcases. The bathroom was small, (as was expected), but well put together. The shower had a circular curtain so it gave plenty of space even for a big person, I am 6’2” and 270 pounds. The window was real big and made the room seem less small. There was one 110 plug and that was at the table in the sitting area. The room even had a small couch. There was no small refrigerator, which I would have really liked. I got tired of asking for ice and waiting for it so I started going up to the restaurant and getting it out of their machine. Overall the room was really put together wonderfully, I would say it was a better room than I had on the Norwegian Star even tough it was 35% smaller.
The staff on the Rhapsody was wonderful. They seemed to be genuinely nice. They kept the rooms clean. Always did their best to smile. Dan the cruise director worked tirelessly and was truly funny. Several of my customers fell in love with Alley the bingo lady. The purser’s desk staff was always helpful and friendly. Toward the end of the week some of the staff looked a little tired, (not surprisingly), but they always kept professional and friendly. The staff on the Norwegian Star was good but just a notch below the staff on the Rhapsody.
If I had never been on a cruise before I would have given the food an A. Since I have been on the Norwegian Star I can compare the food and can give a fairer rating in comparison. The Windjammer buffet had good food but not much variety. The Edelweiss Restaurant was good but again not much variety or flair. One thing that was interesting about the Edelweiss is that they did not really enforce the formal rule on formal nights. If you dress in slacks and a collared shirt you were welcome to come. That made it nice for several of my customers who would not wear a suit. The deserts were enjoyable but again not much variety or flair. You won’t feel cheated by the food on the Rhapsody, but if you had been on a different cruise line where the food was truly superb you would know the difference. I would give the food a B. I would not choose this cruise for the food, but I would not rule it out for that reason either. It was very good, not great! The Norwegian Star had spectacular food in every way, variety, quality and flair.
The shows and activities were good. They were enjoyable, but again not great. I enjoyed them all but they could have been better. A little more money, dancers and singers for the productions shows would have helped. I did enjoy the shows but I would give them a B.
The ports were nice. At all of the ports we docked. This is real nice because it is so easy to get on and off when you don’t have to take a tender boat. Key West was fun it is a wild little town with lots of fun bars and very neat shopping. A very clean American town. If you absolutely want to go to Grand Cayman Island you should probably not take this cruise. In reading the other cruise reviews it seems like half of the time this ship does not go to Grand Cayman. Because I had read the other reviews I was prepared when two days before we left I got an email saying we were not going to Grand Cayman, no explanation given. Costa Maya was the replacement port. I enjoyed it. I t is a very small Mexican town. It is a $3 cab ride their and a $2 cab ride back. We snorkeled there and it was fun but not nearly as good as snorkeling in Hawaii. The last stop was Cozumel. We shopped in the morning in town, which was a $6.00 cab ride away. In the afternoon we paid a van to drive us around the island. We saw Mayan ruins and nice beaches and beach bars, very fun.
Overall I would give this cruise a B to a B+. It got an A for value for the dollar.