1st March 2013 -- 11th March 2013 Rhapsody of the Seas
We are Jean and John, retired and in our mid sixties , this was our first cruise with RCL but we have traveled extensively by sea over the years our last cruise being on Oriana (1) in approx 1978
Rhapsody of the Seas
We live in Melbourne Australia in the outer eastern suburb of Wantirna south which is about an hours drive to the airport, we engaged the services of Parkview corporate cars for airport transfers in both directions , they were moderately priced and provide good service
So a 4:45am pickup from home and a pleasant drive found us in the Qantas terminal in good time to check into our 7am flight , the aircraft was an airbus a330 and we had a comfortable flight , Qantas provided a breakfast which was quite nice , cereals and a muffin with tea and coffee.
On arrival at terminal three in the Qantas domestic terminals we quickly found our luggage and decided to have a morning coffee at a coffee bar near the information desk for the airport link train information desk , after this we took the lift down to the station and purchased tickets to Circular Quay approx $11-00 each.
The ride on the train was smooth and we soon arrived at Circular Quay , this was at approx 10:30am.
Fortunately the rain eased for just enough time for us to walk to the OPT where we ducked into the cafe for yet another coffee and to wait until boarding started at I thnk 11;15am
We found the process quick and painless and we were on board and having a light lunch in the windjammer by approx midday.
We wandered about the ship a little until the staterooms were ready at 1pm and went down to deck three and stateroom 3624 a large ocean view ,and settled in.
Shortly after our steward Mohammad introduced himself .( He provided us with splendid service throughout our cruise )
So more exploring around the ship until sailing time which found us by the Park Cafe a nice spot to watch rainy Sydney .....
I wont detail every day but give you our thoughts.
We liked the decor , our cabin was just as we expected clean and comfortable having fresh linen each day was very nice indeed , we used the laundry and found the service good and pricing reasonable
The public rooms of the ship we found pleasant and not quite as "glitzy" as we expected, however the centrum we did find rather noisy when entertainment was in progress and we found the "R" bar unusable in the evenings due to the noise and number of children, I don't think the a sophisticated bar and children are a good mix.
The Scooner bar was a nice pre and after dinner venue and Peter Rosetti at the panio was very nice especially after we got him to learn the words to "As Time goes by"
The Shall we dance lounge , a very nice lounge with a nice dance floor... but used for just about anything but a dance..would like to see a late into the night jazz trio in this lounge
Our favorite spots included the Crown Viking Lounge and The Park Cafe , on deck the after (teak) deck s on deck five, a great place to sit in the shade
We dined in the MDR for most meals and found it to be very good , we had no problems with any food not arriving hot and were peased with the quality and portion sizes which were just the right amount
All wait staff provided attentive prompt servive throughout the entire cruise
We had one Lunch in Geovanis Table which we enjoyed , but it was rather rushed we thought and we would have liked more time between courses
Windjammer and Park Cafe were fine
Whilst somewhat "Americian" we enjoyed the shows in the theatre and found the seating and lines of sight to be fine
We thought the captains reception would have been better held in the theater rather than the centrum which we thought was a bit of a zoo. With far too much space taken up by the photographers.
The so called art gallery was a joke and a total waste of space , this would have been better used to provide a proper libarary and a card room
The Casino... well I'm sure it made a nice profit (But not from us)
The shops .. quite a good selection and some reasonable prices
Ports of call
I'll not detail them , we did our own thing at each port , we very much enjoyed the school children singing on Mystery Island and made a donation to help their school
The Tuskers beer in Port Vila was very welcome after a hard mornings shopping !
In general we had a wonderful holiday the cruise met all our expectations , we were however supprised at the number of children on board in what was a school time, most of them were very well behaved .
Would we cruise on Rhapsody of the Seas again .. you bet we would!
However we decided on board that our next cruise would be on Celebrity lines Solstice in March 2014 leaving from Auckland New Zealand and returning to Sydney via Hobart
Our decision we made on the perception that Celebrity will be a little more soficitated in some areas and perhaps a little more in line with our age group requirments
RCI gave us a good on board booking deal and some OBC ....(Grin)
Disembarcation was easy and quick , we found ourselves at the airport very early and were quite pleased with Qantas who put us on an early flight so we arrived home about midday....
We had a wonderful trip ... !
All The Best
Jean & John