As we had thoroughly enjoyed our 14 night cruise from Sydney to Singapore in February 2012 on Rhapsody before the refurbishment we booked this trip for my wife's "significant" birthday and managed to snare a junior suite for about the price of a balcony. Unfortunately the dreaded norovirus struck and my wife was not well for a good part of the trip, and to add insult to injury, was confined to her cabin on her birthday! We had also booked chef's table for that night but fortunately were able to transfer to a later date.
Whilst many of the updates to the ship were good e.g. the specialty restaurants, and upgrade of Park Cafe, we did not like the introduction of the art auctions which completely destroyed the ambiance of the centrum when they were on. The auction guy must have the most irritating voice at sea and it would be better to move this to a bigger venue, maybe the theatre. Also, to accommodate the art displays, the previous booths available for coffee at Cafe Lattetudes are no longer there. With swells up to 7-8 metres on the first couple of days and ordinary weather, most folk tried to find somewhere to sit indoors and it was impossible most of the time in the centrum area.
As usual the staff were fabulous - Maria on reception at "my time" dining was able to place us with the wait staff from our previous cruise. Ronnie and Genevieve remembered us and are just great. The staged embarkation times worked fine for us as Gold members and we were on board in under 20 minutes. Friends travelling with us joined the general queue, but again the delay was not too bad and they arrived about 15 minutes later. Regarding previous reviews - many of the staff have been with RCI for many years and we did not encounter staff who were not familiar with the ship. Unfortunately one who was new was our stateroom attendant and his performance left a bit to be desired and we made a formal complaint (especially as we had a junior suite). Also, whilst we were initially advised that the Fiji authorities would not permit my wife ashore, this decision was changed and she was allowed to go after finalising her quarantine period. Whilst Rhapsody is getting on a bit in years, internally she is in good nick. Some outside areas however show signs of age. We have found the cabins to be very quiet, and as mentioned before, the staff are second to none.