We just returned from our 7 nights on the Rhapsody. We have done basically the same itinerary to Alaska on Princess, NCL, and now RCI. I decided to try the RCI Rhapsody because everybody seems to be so loyal to RCI. The ship had just been refurbished so I was eager to check it out. We traveled with a 6 year old and an infant.
Kids club is superb say hi to "Grandpa" up in in the kid's club. They are great. Programs keep kids busy,and they even do a great talent show and pirate show for the passengers.
Baby toys check out was also a great service and was free.
Service: I found service to be great in dining areas and cabins. We had the best cabin steward you could ever desire. He was at our beck and call and always did his work with a smile. If your are an RCI supervisor reading this, I really would like him to get a pat on the back. We were in 4451 & 4453. I really wanted to pack him in my suitcase and take him home to organize my life in my own house. Of course, that wasn't going to happen, so I just enjoyed my time we had him to help our family.
Dining staff are excellent, both in main dining and buffet areas. Once you make a special request on the first night (for us, it was a to go PB & J to take back to the room for our son since he gets hungry late at night) you will come to your table with your request waiting, no need to ask again. It was great.
Solarium pool area is nice. However, if you have kids, they can only utilize the indoor solarium pool from 12-2 and 4-8 pm. Princess has a full-time solarium open to all ages. This is important for cold weather Alaska cruises. You won't want to swim outside on an Alaska trip. We have been in May June & September.
Entertainment in the main theater takes a few nights to warm up. I've definitely seen better production shows on the 5 other cruises I've been on. The female comedian Judy was absolutely fabulous. What was difficult was the timing of the shows and entertainment. There doesn't seem to be secondary entertainment or dancing that caters to our younger ages until late late when you have to get your kid to bed. Other cruises seem to have a disco with modern music earlier in the evening so you can enjoy some dancing (other than oldies) before the kid's bedtime. Of course Disney is fabulous for that, but they cater to families.
If you are age range 50 or above you may have enjoyed most all of the entertainment on board music wise. My husband is 51 and sang along to everything. I'm 39 so I was like OK I'm going to fall asleep now!!
SPA: This time, I didn't purchase a spa service. Prices were completely unreasonable, even for a ship. The sauna & steam room were fine, however the showers in the spa were absolutely horrible. For a newly renovated ship, it was crazy. None of the shower doors even remained closed for privacy. On top of that, the doors opened on one side to a hallway, so basically, if someone was walking by and you were hopping out of the shower, they would see you. Also, there were zero amenities provided in the locker rooms. Most ships provide lotions, combs, hair dryers, etc. It's like they didn't really want you to hang out in the spa. And no relaxation area for non-spa patrons. Gym was okay but far too small & the price for fitness classes was crazy. $125.00 ya right.
NO AFTERNOON TEA SERVICE NOT ONE SINGLE TIME EVEN ON SEA DAYS. I was so surprised to find no afternoon tea service. I'm not British, but I enjoy this cruise tradition.
INFANTS & BABIES: We really enjoyed the staff in the Royal Tots & Babies during free open play. However, we felt like the ship could provide one or two hours per day of free babysitting for infants since we paid full price for a 10 month old infant that obviously isn't going to eat his way through the cruise. Just keep that in mind if you have kids under 3.
In summary: I discussed my concerns with many of the staff so we could decide if we should try RCI again. They reassured me that traveling on the Rhapsody wasn't the best ship to try for families with children. Basically, we need to try out the Oasis or Freedom class of ships and we may be happier.
Hope this helps.