Rhapsody of the Seas Cruise from Sydney to 7 islands from 22nd Feb to 6th March.
Embarking was smooth - except now unable to take power boards on ship ( friend had theirs taken till end of cruise ).
Ship - Lovely décor , clean, well looked after.
Cabin - shower very small ( luckily had shower head with hose to wash below )
- no fridge ( cabin steward supplied bucket with ice each day )
- always cool ( even with temperature adjustment maximum heat )
- could not turn tap in sink on faster than very slow otherwise water sprayed all over the place due to restrictors in tap ( or aerators )
- 240VAC two pin outlet only available in one spot and that was in bathroom up high, not in main room area anywhere
- otherwise good TV was good size flat screen, room was quiet, modern.
Windjammers Buffett Restaurant - Good - food was varied and quality was fine, staff were pleasant and worked hard. Some small items - tea - had all kinds of fancy teas but lacked basic Lipton's tea bags half the time. No ice cream, but could go outside and get some from ice cream machines. Toast was cold and dried out - very hard to eat, so gave up on toast. Sometimes crowded at breakfast but still better than some ships otherwise OK in day or at night. Also labeling sometimes an issue - label says Apple Cobbler but is red inside ??
Entertainment - Guest artists were good, the regular dance troop was OK, but the regular singers were not good.
Day Activities - Regular things as per all ships like Bingo, Trivia, etc. Why they used Scooner's Bar I don't know, it was so small and noisy.
Bands - Music was good with lots of variety.
Ports - All were fine except Louganville which is a hole and should be condemned. We enjoyed lots of snorkeling at most ports ( been to all previously many times, but still found new things to do at all ).
Could easily get off the ship and get a tour with local operators at all spots for half the price of ship tours and use Australian Dollars in all ports no problems.
Drink prices on ship - reasonable - but are in American Dollars which up's the price to Australians by 15% or more after conversion costs. Was about $5.50 for Australian Beer to $7.50 or so for others. Some people got the pay once and drink till fall down deals - think it was like $45 a day or more for them, see cruise site for details.
Gratuities - Being Australian we pay price for cruise and don't expect to be slugged extra $15 a day each just for being on ship ( do not pay this on P&O Aust, Princess Australia or Carnival Spirit ), so opted out on first day without a problem. Just did tips to Cabin Steward and others that we associated with.
Laundry - Nil for passenger use - had to pay for a bag if you needed. We just hand washed and hung up to dry underwear, socks, etc OK for short cruises.
Overall - Heard lots of passengers talking ( previous Rhapsody passengers ) and they thought it was a dull voyage, but we enjoyed it. Did hear some saying it needed a room for dancing quietly to some music and I agree with this, there was always a band playing with a few regular dancers but nowhere for people who could not dance well to just get up and move around with others.