Boarding Rhapsody of the Seas is a little rushed and cramped, and goes all too fast for a first time cruiser with no idea of what to do. Along with RCI's boarding policy, we only got an hour or so before the security muster. Everything seemed so rushed and dis-organised.
By the end of the next day, I felt like I was getting into the swing of things, but cruising is in many ways a personal experience. Do you make friends with other people on the cruse, do you go to the night clubs, go drinking, lounge around the pool, sit in the theatre, oh so many choices, and Rhapsody really is not a large vessel by current standards. Still more than enough to keep a first timer quite confused about where they should be and when.
I got exceptional service from my stateroom attendant. I only ate in the dining room once on the whole cruise, my two kids just preferred the selection and simplicity of the buffet.
Shore excursions seemed more than a little pricey, and in general not at all worth the money. We had trouble in Airlie Beach with getting anchored and getting tenders running, so we lost more than 2 hours. RCI were quite poor at communicating the delays and the ETAs. On return from that shore excursion there were hundreds of people waiting for the tender back to the ship, and we ended up waiting more than hour on the pier. RCI again failed to effectively communicate exactly what was happening. There was a static water station at the start of the queue (which made me angrier because I think they should have been handing water out to everybody waiting). The whole thing felt poorly organised. For the money I dropped getting on the tour it was very frustrating.
Out of eleven nights this is minor complaint, and I would jump back on the Rhapsody in a heartbeat.