Rhapsody of the Seas Cruise Review by yogimax: Viet-Nam Great - But total Chaos!
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Viet-Nam Great - But total Chaos!
Pre and Post Cruise Hotels - We stayed at the Stanford Hillview pre-cruise and BP International post-cruise. Both are close to the cruise terminal and cost ~$100/night. Of the two, BP International is the choice. It's modern, clean and has great views.
Visas - a major point of contention. I had been emailing RCCL for weeks asking if a visa was necessary for Sanya, China. The replies I received either avoided the question or pointed to information on their website. Well, the information is incorrect. Save yourself $260 (for a couple). No visa is needed for Americans in Sanya. RCCL provided Vietnamese visas for $30pp.
Embarkation - Total Chaos - Check-in at the Marco Polo Hotel was a model of disorganization. We were sent to three different locations for check in, all incorrect. We were sent outside the building twice and sent in the wrong direction. Be prepared for long lines, more long lines and confusion.
Ship - Rhapsody is a nice mid-size RCCL ship. More It's clean and has fairly nice art work. Unfortunately there is no Concierge Club. Instead, they have installed a "High Rollers Room," obviously hoping to attract Asian gamblers. Strangely, the casino was virtually empty most days.
Dining - The typical RCCL menu with additional asian dishes. Each night a delicious vegetarian curry dish was also available, which we shared as an extra order.
Ports - Vietnam was great. We took ship tours around Halong Bay (the cave was fantastic) and "Hoi - An Ancient Merchant Town." If you thought there were shopping bargains in Hong Kong, wait til you see Vietnam! Be prepared for more chaos with the organization of the tours since virtually the entire ship is getting off. In Sanya, we toured a local cultural village before the obligatory and boring stops at silk and pearl factories.
Debarkation - Once again a lack of communication. We docked at a pier about twenty minutes from the Cruise Ship Terminal and had to be shuttled to the Marco Polo. This was not announced, either before or on the day of debarkation.
Over-All - By all means visit southeast asia and especially Vietnam, but be prepared for confusion, chaos and a lack of information. Less
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