I have just gotten off Rhapsody on the South Pacific run. I was in outside cabin 3064 on 1 Feb - 11 Feb 2013. So to answer a few questions.
From my initial contact with Rhapsody with the transfer at the airport, nothing was a hassle for any staff.
Check-in & bag drop at the pier was quick. We were able to board by about 10.30 am after checking in and being cleared by immigrations. We literally got on at deck 4 and the caught the elevator down to deck 1 & got off to enjoy Sydney circular quay. At 1 pm the staterooms were opened for us to access to drop off our carry on luggage. We meet our fabulous room attendant Sandy Bassilo. Thanks for the towel animals Elephant, Dinosaur, Stingray & Monkey.
There is no bar fridge in an outside cabin. Mini Bar is located in the cupboard above the dresser. 4 x Bottles of Water, 4 x soft drink, 4 x pks biscuits.
There is no need to buy water except for when going ashore at the tender ports. Even then you could still buy bottled water ashore.
Themed Nights - Formal Day 2 & Day 9, 70's Day 4, Tropical Day 5, Country Day 6, 50/60's Rock & Roll Day 7, White Day 8
Doors are magnetic, if you wish to put up door signs. Makes finding the room easier.
We dined in My Time dining and where given a table at the back in the middle of the resturtant but asked if we could move to a window seat for sail away, this was accepted & we where moved to table 207 with waiter Princely (India) and assistant waiter Benjamin (Grenada). Benjamin treated my party like Royalty from the moment we sat down. We decided to make a permanent dining time of 6pm to have this wonderful man serve us. He was funny and nothing was to much a hassle, especially when one member injuried her hand, he just cut her meal int bite size pieces. Benjamin was upset that he was not able to catch me to sing happy birthday as we where quick to leave the dining room on completion of a meal. He finally caught me a few days later! We also loved seeing Benjamin's hats in the Windjammer each lunch time.
The activities offered on board by Cruise director Rickey Martin (Jamaica)was insane, so much to do and not enough time to attend all the activities.
All islands accept AUS Dollars. Take small demoninations!!!
Noumea & Lifou local currency is French Pacific Francs
Shore excursions are only offered in Noumea & Vila from RC.
Noumea you dock at a working port & you will be shuttled into the tourist centre.
You can ride the tchou tchou trains cost $30 each(about 1 - 1.5 hrs) and includes the hop on/off bus for the rest of the day
Mystery Island is a tender port, great market stalls this is where to collect your lei's for island night, Swimming & snorkeling are the big activities, this is the first of the islands that the girls can get their hair braided (If you plan this activity take a silk scarf to cover the head when sleeping to maintain them)
Lifou is a tender port. No RC tours offered however the locals will have many tours available. We walked to the catholic church, head up hill turn right about 15 mins. Just pass the church will be a local sitting near a shed, if you pay him $10 each he will direct you to the cave. This looks dodgy however it was amazing. about 5 - 10 mins more walk/climb down they do have a rope to hold onto. When we arrived at the cave it was amazing to jump into the crisp water. Don't worry the depth is approx 20mtrs, some of the cruisers even jumped from high on the wall, the locals will show you. The locals will have markets set up for you. Swimming & snorkleing is the big call.
Vila docked in port, local markets to the left hand side, lots of stalls. Taxis lined up as far as eye could see. most will take you to town for about $5 each (10 min drive). We did the Abseil at Cascade Waterfall could only be booked thru RC on cruise days max 10 per tour. The climb is VERY STEEP & almost straight up, the abseil down is AMAZING. They take lots of photos.
Vila is the port to buy your duty free in town.
Isle of pines is a tender port, do yourself a favour & do the 45min tour of the local village $15 each, this was such a great photographic adventure. Swimming & snorkeling are the main activities (Keep off Scared Rock). the locals set up markets along the shorelines
Cruise DVD - the best way to get on the DVD is to attend all the activities run by cruise director the fabulous Rickey Martin (Jamaica) Yeah Man!
Alcohol - I did not drink beer however I did see Coronas, foster oil can, I know they stocked Bundy Rum (8.25) the bars had a good range. All spirits & cocktails were by free pour
Take a lanyard for your seapass!
Duty free shopping on Rhapsody was amazing, budget extra money for this activity, the daily specials where ridiculous.
Bingo is $32 for 4 games. we had some great $ prizes only played on Seadays hosted by Andre Miller (Jamacia) & assisted by Amanda (Australia) & Lizzie
The entertainment in the Broadway Theatre whether by Guest artist or the fabulous Royal Caribbean Singers & Dancers. Lori, Pedro, Connor, Lynn, Miranda,George, Caitlyn, Christian your technique & performance could certainl be part of any Broadway Show You were just fabulous Really loved the country show