This was our 3rd cruise with Royal Caribbean, strangely enough our first close to home. We have previously cruised on Radiance and Splendour and enjoyed Rhapsody which is a similar size and layout to Splendour. We do however prefer the larger Radiance class ships, with their extra dining venues. In saying that we enjoyed the quality and variety of food, particularly the desserts and the fresh fruit muesli in the Windjammer.
EMBARKATION: We were amazed at the smoothness of the check in process we encountered. From dropping our bags off to boarding the ship, the process took less than 30 minutes. It was lovely walking around Rhapsody's top deck on a lovely sunny day and taking in the sights of Sydney's Circular Quay.
SHIP: Rhapsody (like other Royal Caribbean ships we have travelled on) is kept in beautiful condition. The ship is light and airy particularly the Centrum.
STAFF: Thankyou to our dining staff Louisa and Adrianna for their cheerful attentive service where nothing was a problem and to our cabin steward who always had our cabin looking spic and span, we enjoyed coming back to the cabin in the evening to see what towel folded animal he had assembled and placed on our bed.
PORTS OF CALL: Noumea, Mystery Island, Vila, Champagne Bay, Luganville and Isle of Pines. Enjoyed all the ports excepting Luganville, where there are very few shops and not much in the way of sightseeing offered.
EXCURSIONS: We didn't go on any excursions offered by the ship. We preferred to organize our own which wasn't a problem as people in most of the ports of call spoke English and in many cases accepted Australian Dollars.
CABIN: On this cruise we had a Oceanview Stateroom, which was quite spacious, liked the lift up beds where you could store suitcases out of the way. The bathroom was small but adequate with plenty of shelves for shampoos, soap etc.
ENTERTAINMENT: The quality of the entertainment was great. We attended most of the shows in the Theatre. We really enjoyed Geraldine Doyle who had the audience in fits of laughter. The Royal Caribbean singers and dancers were fantastic. The quality and the number of daytime activities improved as the cruise progressed.
DISEMBARKATION: This was very well organized and went just as quickly and as smoothly as embarkation
SUMMARY: This was a very restful and enjoyable cruise. The drinks were expensive as they were in US$$, however there were specials on cocktails each day which was great. Comments from Australians onboard who have been on other cruise ships in the South Pacific is that they really enjoyed the Rhapsody, the only thing they missed was not having self service laundries on board.
All in all a great cruise, looking forward to hopefully another with Royal Caribbean in the near future