This is our first cruise since Fairstar in 1986. Embarkation in the rain went well. We had to sort out our pre-ordered drinks package, no problems.
Cabin - was an inside Superior Interior on Deck 8 and it had everything we needed. We didn't spend much time there.
Dining - had My Time dining in MDR and had no problems. Meals were great. Albert & Mark were superb waiters. Had one lunch and one breakfast in MDR and these were good. Had most other meals in Windjammer and a couple at Park Cafe.
On board - we found the Solarium excellent with the pools, bar & Park Cafe. Nice and quiet for reading. Had a few visits to the Casino but didn't like it being a thoroughfare with children etc walking through. The Theatre was spectacular and the shows were of a good quality. Enjoyed the Viking Lounge on Deck 11, another quiet area for reading. We had the Cruise Critic Meet & Mingle which was enjoyable. The shops were average although quite enjoyed the 'frenzy' at one of the sales. Also enjoyed the Schooner Bar Trivia sessions.
Ports of Call: Isle of Pines - nice weather, walked to prison ruins for photos. Had swim and back to boat reasonably early. Tendering worked well.
Lifou - a wee bit nicer than Isle of Pines, another long walk and swim
Vila - did a short van tour, visited a locals village and a couple of other stops, then back to main shopping area. Quite expensive.
Noumea - We did our only ship organised excursion here to Amadee Island for the day and this was the highlight of our cruise. Glass bottom boat, cultural show and meal, climbed the lighthouse, went out to the reef and swam and swam. Will definitely do this again.
We will cruise again on a Royal Caribbean ship, maybe something larger around Australia or into Asia, but would have no problems going on Rhapsody again.