This was our first cruise. We choose Royal Caribbean and the Rhapsody because of our itinerary - Alaska that we'd never visited before - and after doing research decided we wanted to travel in June because of the weather that was nearly totally awesome!
We drive up to Seattle from Portland for embarkation. Security and the boarding process were hectic, so we were glad to get to our (inside) cabin. Sailing weather varied from mostly gorgeous to cold and windy - both wonderful! It was interesting seeing the brave few who tolerated the cold to smoke cigars and whale watch! And we saw a lot of whales! I sat for a half-hour, after leaving Skagway, with my binoculars watching a pod of whales feed while birds swirled overhead!
The crew, for the most part, seemed to genuinely like us and their jobs. There was always a friendly greeting as we passed and Daniel, our cabin steward, called us by name and kept our cabin in impeccable condition. We looked forward to the daily announcements from Capt. Hampstead and appreciated his humor! We mostly ate in the Windjammer (buffet) and had a few dinners in the Edelweiss. Except for one meal with over-cooked fish the food was very good. I particularly liked the international variety in the Windjammer. The entertainment was spotty. There were obvious mistakes during the first night's welcoming show and the rest of the entertainment in the Broadway Melodies theater that we saw was mediocre. However, the bands located in various locations on the ship were great and offered a wide variety of music. There were the typical silly things to do on the daily schedule like napkin folding and presentations for over-priced cosmetics, but no hard sell. The ports of call (Juneau, Skagway, Victoria, BC and Mendenhall Glacier) were varied and interesting.
Overall, I give high marks to Royal Caribbean and the Rhapsody!