I was traveling with a friend (21 and 24 years old) on the Rhapsody the week of 10/30/05-11/6/05. This was my second time on the Rhapsody, and my 9th RCCL Cruise.
The Rhapsody, even though that had been in drydock since I was on it last, nothing much changed at all. THe ship is pretty much the same. THe ship is in great condition for being 8 years old (May 1997 ship).
Embarkation - Arrived at the pier at about 10:00. They started to check people in at about 10:45, and we had to wait until 11:30 to board the ship. Check in was pretty smooth, and I didn't hear any horror stories. We were told at the Pier that we wouldn't be visiting Cozumel due to Hurricane Wilma but we would be going to Costa Maya.
Upon getting on the ship, went to the buffet, since the room wouldn't be ready until after 1pm. When the room was ready we went swimming until the life boat drill at 4:15. Sailing was at 5.
Captain -- Teo S. From Croatia - VERY VERY Nice Cruise Director: Dan Whitney (Dan Dan the Party Man, pretty good, one of the better ones I have seen)
Pools -- The hot tubs were barely hot, and they were hard to get turned on. Only about 1/2 the jets in each one actually worked. This was the same problem as last August. The solarium pool is neat. It has a swim against the current feature that is really fun.
Food -- Normal Dining Fare in the Dining Room. The windjammer has improved a lot over the last year. The food was much more fresh, the waitstaff brought refills of coffee, juices, tea, and lemonade around this year, last year they did not. More selection of deserts. However, on a downside note, they don't make made to order omelettes anymore in the Windjammer for breakfast!
Bars/Lounges -- The disco is upstairs in the Viking Crown. Very busy actually at night. Stayed busy till am each night. The schooner bar had Karaoke each night, with a really funny host. THe anchors away lounge had different entertainment each night.
Theme Nights -- Monday - Halloween - Costume Party FORMAL NIGHT - Majority Rules Game show Tuesday - Key West - Late Night Deck Party Wednesday - Rock and Roll Night Thursday - Formal Night - LOVE AND MARRIAGE GAME SHOW Friday - Country Western Night - Country Hoe Down and the QUEST Saturday - Farewell night - the Liars Club was played.
Something to think about - Wednesday and Thursday nights, the toilets and all the running water on the ship were shut off from 1a-5a, creating quite an inconvenience for some people! The public restrooms really stunk!
Debarkation - THe ship was 2 hours late getting to Galveston due to the ship having to travel over 150 extra miles to Costa Maya. Debarkation didn't start until 8:15am, instead of 7:00 that they had told us the night before, so some people were running late, but the process was smooth.
Overall, a great vacation, I will do this ship again for sure! Most staff and crew were very friendly!
If you have any more specific questions, as I just gave an overview, feel free to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org