We choose the Rhapsody because we wanted to go on an Alaskan cruise for our 25th Anniversary. The itinerary seemed a perfect blend of port and transit days making for a well-paced trip.
Embarkation: Very smooth and fast. We arrived between 11 and 11:30 and had our bags checked and Sea Passes in hand within 10 minutes. Once aboard, we explored the ship and were very impressed. The Centrum was a masterpiece and the public facilities awesome. The Windjammer Cafe had lunch available if you were hungry.
The cabins were ready at 1 PM and when they were, the bags were in front of the room. After unpacking, it was nice to see the lines from the ship instead of being in them. After the muster drill, we were underway on a beautiful Seattle afternoon.
Transit to Alaska: First night dinner was casual and was a good preview of the menu for the trip. The variety was good for even the pickiest eater or strictest diet. The staff were attentive and competent and the food first rate. We enjoyed our table-mates and by the end of the cruise developed some friendships.
The activities the first night were fun and served to break the ice among the passengers.
Juneau: The weather was cool and damp but we went ahead and did our scheduled Bike and Brew excursion. The ride itself would have been great - in good weather but the rain gear the excursion operator provided kept all nice and dry. The weather made the beer tasting that followed all the better.
Skagway: It was a gray and foggy day. The excursions were the Yukon Suspension Bridge/Gold panning tour and the Musher's Camp trip. The fog did not allow for good views traveling to the suspension bridge. However the fog cleared a little ways into Canada. The bridge is over a picturesque ravine with good views almost everywhere. The trip had a highlight of having "Jack" as a greeter. The owner's dog was a friendly host. The gold panning portion of the tour was good but would have been more fun in a stream than over the water tables they had. The musher's camp excursion was a blast. Got to see the dogs and the drivers and how they interacted. They also had us ride on a sled pulled by a team of dogs. They ran remarkably fast.
Prince Rupert: The day started out wet but cleared to gray by the time our afternoon excursion took place. We choose the canoe/rain forest walk/cookout excursion. This was by far the most enjoyable excursion we took. The guides are very friendly and informative, the rain forest was awesome and the crab tasted great.
Rhapsody: It is an excellent, well-maintained vessel with a very friendly staff. The size was about right and was easy to get around on. We highly recommend paying Derrick a visit in Schooner Lounge for his Adult Day Care. You'll have a great time with "Kamikaze Karaoke". Food-wise, there were no complaints. The dining room service and food were very good. The less formal Windjammer Cafe's buffet was well stocked with a variety of foods. Only complaint with the Windjammer was that it is hard to find your table after getting the food - the area is circular so pick a landmark before leaving the table.
Not only were the crew friendly, the passengers themselves developed a camaraderie throughout the week which in itself was as surprising as it was refreshing.
Leaving the Ship: Even though we did not want to do it, we had to leave the ship. The process was as smooth as getting on. The color-coded groupings re-united with our luggage and through customs.
We highly recommend both the ship and cruise line. The week aboard the Rhapsody of the Seas was one of the best vacations we've ever had. Despite bad weather and rough seas, my wife and I had a great time on board and can't wait to cruise again.