Having been home a week now, I can honestly say that booking this boat was a big mistake. Despite reading all the reviews, I apparently thought that reading only the five star reviews was the way to go, not so. There is a lot of information in the negative reviews that really should not be ignored. For instance, Rhapsody of the Seas is an old boat by today's standards. Don't expect flat screen televisions, modern bathrooms or updated decor in the cabins. The hallways have faded, old movie posters and concert flyers from the sixties. The dining room has more off-white Formica (that's turning yellow) than I have ever seen. However, the most outdated aspect of all is the stabilization system. This boat rocks! We were literally outstretching our arms in the hallways all the time so we wouldn't fall. In this day and age, with light seas, that should not be the case.
In regard to fellow guests, keep in mind that seniors will be in the majority. Wheel chairs, walkers, oxygen tanks and canes will not be uncommon. Waiting behind slow walkers is something we encountered many times. It started on the gangway when first getting on the ship and continued pretty much throughout. Getting around them pretty much became the game plan for the week.
Entertainment was easy listening music during the day. If you're looking for that during the day let's party atmosphere, you won't find it here. Only upon embarkation will you be entertained by an outside band with dance music. (I think they tried to do again one day, but the weather was bad.) The shows at night were more like high school musicals when the RCI singers and dancers performed. They really looked like babies. The one highlight was a very talented lead female vocalist (the blonde one, I forget her name). The best show that we saw was Bowzer from Sha-Na-Na. I'm not into 50's music and did not want to go, however his showmanship and enthusiasm were so top notch, and his classical music skills so incredible, you couldn't not like this guy.
Food was excellent in the dining room. If you get a table that vibrates, (stabilization problems again) request another one. There is no reason to suffer through seven nights with rattling stemware. The seats are threadbare and the artwork in the back of the dining room looks like it's from the 70's. The waiter we had was very intrusive and insisted on talking to us every night. He would go on and on about something we really didn't want to hear - while we were trying to eat! Food in the cafeteria (Windjammer) was downright insulting, so we only went there once. The Solarium food was limited and very much like the quality in the Windjammer. However, the saving grace was room service. It was always quick, hot and very good. We had breakfast delivered every morning.
Staff - big problem on this boat. I will delicately try to tell you that dealing with everyone from customer service, to room service order takers to dining room staff have very heavy accents. In most cases we had no idea what they were saying. This problem is so predominant that even the lead singer in the night band (in the Centrum) was hopelessly unable to pull of sounding American. It just did not work. He really sang like a bad contestant on American Idol. It was pathetic.
Alaska is beautiful. Loved Juneau. Took a mini van at the pier (they line up like taxis right at the dock). It costs $55 an hour. We went to Mendenhall before anyone else got there, Palin's mansion and the Salmon hatchery or something on the way back. Got dropped off in front of The Red Dog Saloon and had lunch, then shopped. Great day. (Don't miss the saloon - it's a blast.) Skagway - took the salmon bake and gold panning tour. Loved it. Lot's of fun and very informative. Prince Rupert - boring place. Rained all day. Went to museum, The Crest Hotel (right next door to Fire Museum (which is a few steps from the museum) and had lunch in the beautiful pub (which has wi-fi) then walked next door to the casino where we spent about an hour. (They have a restaurant in there too). The most beautiful part of all was Tracy Arm and the glacier. Gorgeous. This is what it's all about. Icebergs (tiny) floating past the window in the morning. Too many to count. Watching the crew retrieve a chunk of ice for ice carving (never did see that carving) was exciting to watch. Another great day.
Can't wait to go back to Alaska. Just not on The Rhapsody.