Number of Cruises: 2
Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean
Ship: Rhapsody of the Seas
Sailing Date: April 17th, 2005
Itinerary: Western Caribbean
We have just returned from a wonderful cruise aboard Royal Caribbean's Rhapsody of the Seas out of Galveston, Texas.
This is a great seven day Western Caribbean cruise that goes from Galveston, Key West, Grand Cayman, Cozumel. This was the second cruise for my husband and I.
We live in Phoenix, Arizona and we flew into Houston's International in Houston on the day of our cruise. We has prearranged for ground transportation from information we got from a Galveston web site. When our flight arrived in Houston at 12:15 pm, we were told that our limousine service would be awaiting us just outside baggage claim. After claiming our bags we walked outside as instructed, to meet our limo. But nothing. We had arrange for a service by the name of the Galveston Limousine Service to pick us up and transfer us directly to the ship. We had been told that it was a 90 minute ride from International Airport to the cruise docks in Galveston. After waiting and pacing, a dirty white van with dents missing hub cups, pulled next to where we were waiting. The sign on this van read "Galveston Limousine Service".
At this point my husband and I were very disappointed. We were expecting a nice sedan. After we loaded, we sat in this van and waited for twenty minutes. The driver said we were waiting for another person. So at 1:15 pm we left the airport, now we are finely on our way to the cruise ship. But oh no, 30 miles from the first airport we made a stop at a second airport, to pick up some 5 more people going to Galveston. We leave this airport at 2:15 pm . Twenty minute from the second airport the van pulls off the freeway and pulls up at a Motel 6 in some small town between Houston and Galveston and discharges one of the passengers. Now we are on our way again. We finally arrived in Galveston thirty minutes after stopping at Motel 6, then the driver starts dropping the other passengers off at various hotels and motels before driving us to the cruise ship terminal. And once we reach the terminal, he drops us off at the wrong terminal with our bags. After yelling and waving at him to stop. we reloaded our bags and then drove to the "Rhapsody". It took almost two hours and thirty minutes to get from our airport to our ship. And to think of how uncomfortable this ride was, one man was loud and very obnoxious, another had a bad body odor, and the woman sitting next to me smacked her chewing gum to the entire trip. We made a big mistake taking this form of transportation. Van service is fine as long as your sharing it with your family or friends. If its a van service fine, tell us. This is a not a the Galveston Limousine (Limo) Service, is not a "LIMOUSINE SERVICE" ! There is NO luxury or comfort about this service. And it take to long to get there. This it just a cheap, this is a low class way to get there. I look at it this way, if you have to ride this cheap, you probably can't even afford the cruise. Needless to say we didn't ride back to the airport with them. One of the porters at the ship give us the telephone number of a driver with a Lincoln Towncar for just a few dollars more.
We arrived at the cruise terminal at 3:30 pm and by this time the check-in was light at the terminal. A porter met us and took our checked baggage. Once in the terminal we walked straight through and were in our stateroom by 4:00 pm. On-line embarkation forms, passports, and having everything ready to hand over made it go really fast. We were excited, we had heard that a lot about this cruise from reading review and commends of others.
The "Rhapsody" is a very nice ship. Every lounge, the theater, dining room, Windjammer cafe, very comfortable and well decorated. Our favorite places on the ship was our balcony We enjoyed the Windjammer, the Centrum with the music, the Schooner Lounge, the Dining Room. We rarely used the pools, but everyone else seemed to be enjoying them. I don't think I ever saw a problem with a lack of deck chairs, there were always some available. We did spend some time in the casino. I heard about lots of people winning in the first few days of the cruise.
Our statement was great. it was corner aft cabin with a huge wrap around balcony. We had plenty of room and never felt crowded. There was plenty of room for everything. Everything was handy. The cabin attendant was great, he kept the room neat at all times, he took very good care of us.
We ate most of our evening meals in the Dining Room . The food was excellent! My favorites here were the lobster, prime rib, all the appetizers and the chocolate cake for dessert. Service was top rate, the head waiter even stopped by a few times to check on us. It was very regimented, we were they seated at a large table with some very nice people from San Antonio, Texas, they seem to know each other. Most of our lunches were at the Windjammer. The pasta was always my good, a new dish every day and very tasty. They also had lots of fresh fruits. We always enjoyed our meals there. Most mornings we ate breakfast in our room. Room service was always prompt and the food arrived as ordered. Room Service coffee were very good.
Entertainment was always good, The singers and dancers are very talented professionals. The comedians were great. The games onboard the ship were a fun way to meet people. We managed to get together with the same group for many of these and enjoyed it thoroughly. It is amazing what the crew can get ordinary people to do. I had heard so many horror stories about disembarkation in Galveston, we braced myself for the worst. Actually it wasn't bad. We had breakfast around 7, were called to immigration check-out about 8:45 then we went back to the stateroom. Our cabin attendant let us stay in the room until they called us to leave the ship. We went down when they called us, found our luggage, my husband called the driver that we had arranged for, and in less than five minutes, we were loaded into this nice comfortable town car and headed to the Houston International Airport. It took half the time to get there than the dirty, ugly dented van, that took us to Galveston. Let Galveston Limousine (van) Service be your last choice.
This was a great vacation cruise. Great weather for the entire cruise. We highly recommend the "Rhapsody of he Seas" Don't let a bad ground transportation service spoil your cruise. Be smart in your selection.
Betty and Ben Levitz