Embarkation in Galveston was totally efficient, easy, and quick. When we arrived on board the Buffet was open and the food was excellent with a wide variety of delicious food. We were onboard ship by 11:30 a.m., had access to our stateroom by 1 p.m. and our luggage was at our door by 2 p.m. Everyone affiliated with Royal Caribbean and Rhapsody of the Seas were totally committed to making our cruise the best ever. Our stateroom attendant made sure everything was perfect every day, he was totally unobtrusive, but also available if you had need of anything. The unique folding of "towel characters" on the bed each evening was an event we looked forward to every day. Everything was always spotless and the bed etc. were made up perfectly. We had plenty of closet and drawer space, unpacked our luggage when it arrived, and it was easy to stow luggage under the bed and thus keep our stateroom neat. We had a large, inside stateroom, which was comfortable, plenty large enough, and extremely quiet. We NEVER hear any noise from outside the cabin. We had been assigned late dining, but asked to have that changed to early seating because of the medication my husband takes after the evening meal. They did make that change quickly and we enjoyed the early seating at a table for 6 with two other couples from Texas who made our dining fun and enjoyable every evening. Our waiter and asst. waiter were absolutely the BEST, very attentive and their service was always perfect. We became acquainted with them by the second or third day and when we left, felt they will always be part of our "cruising family." The food in the Eidelweiss dining room was wonderful each day, with a wide array of food for all courses, served beautifully, and very tasty. They were wonderful to bring extra items of each course if you asked for it and if there was a dish you didn't care for, they would immediately replace it with another request. The buffet was also excellent and we utilized that for breakfast and lunch most days. There was a huge selection and each meal we would find something we didn't realize had been there before. We were a little disappointed with the fast food available in the spa area. The pizza was terrible and the hamburgers and hot dogs were nothing to brag about. Actually the meat was okay, but the buns were always hard and dry.
We weren't impressed by the first two ports we sailed to. Key West was CROWDED, loud, lots of party people, etc. The sidewalks were so crowded you could hardly walk. We took one excursion there on a trolley and I don't recommend it. It was FAST, no opportunity for picture taking, and the guide was terrible. We only had a few hours in the early evening in Key West and it was dark after we finished the excursion and most museums, etc. were already closed. We ate delicious Key Lime Pie, and returned to the ship for dinner. The next port was Georgetown, Grand Cayman, and again it was terribly crowded. There were six cruise ships anchored there you we were tendered in and out of the port. We did two excursions there and neither was worth the money - the Butterfly Farm and the glass bottom boat that went out over the coral reef and old ship wrecks. Save your money! If you want to do sight seeing, make your own arrangements once you are at the pier. Again, it was so crowded with cruise people, you could hardly walk. The last port was Cozumel and it was much more enjoyable. They are doing a good job of rebuilding along the pier since the hurricane and it was very pleasant to just wander the streets, browse in the shops, and the prices were much cheaper than the first two ports.
Entertainment and activities on board were excellent. We went to the show in the theater each night and enjoyed all the entertainers thoroughly, although the night of the country musical presentation, the acoustics were much too loud. Many people said the same thing and some people got up and left. The casino was usually busy, though we didn't use it, and it is absolutely beautiful. The library is well stocked and very comfortable if you want to relax and read and you didn't bring your own novels. There are many lovely lounge areas with expanses of glass to enjoy the ocean view --- we loved that. We didn't use the exercise facilities or spa, or pools, but they were always busy and seemed enjoyable. I definitely recommend the cocktail seminar. The bartenders are entertaining and fun, and the drinks are awesome. Definitely worth the money for the ticket. In fact, the drink of the day, is one of the best buys on board if you enjoy a delicious cocktail. They are priced at just $4.25 per day and a different one is available each day. In fact we thought all their alcoholic beverages were very reasonably priced. All in all it was a great 7 day and night cruise; our first one and we've been married 47 years. It's a great bargain for we Texans who don't have to fly to port!! The personnel really make the cruise so enjoyable the entire time. Everyone is totally dedicated to serving you and we loved the way they pamper you. If we ever cruise again, it will definitely be on Royal Caribbean. Debarkation was just as easy as embarkation. We were off the ship and in our car by 9:30 a.m. In fact the groups they call to debark at specific times really works well and it ran about 30 - 45 minutes ahead of the time they had posted. Our luggage was waiting inside the port area and customs was fast and easy.