First time cruisers looking for escape and relaxation, we found the Rhapsody of the Seas exceeded our expectations. In a Junior Suite on the forward starboard side we had wonderful, relaxing views of the awesome scenery and ocean life. Boarding early, we were able to switch to My Time dining and were accommodated with a table for two almost every evening.
Our cabin attendants and wait staff were amazing and epitomized customer service and hospitality. Junior Suite (8530)had a great balcony, beds were reasonably
comfortable with excellent bedding, club chairs and sofa need to be
updated soon. Plenty of nooks and crannies to store all of the contents
of our luggage in addition to the closet. Wish the room had a clock -
pack one if knowing the time is important. Bathroom took some getting
used to; for someone of short stature, getting in the tub the first few
times was a challenge and grab bars are not appropriately placed! Room
was very quiet - we kept the sliding door open a bit every night and
the ocean lulled us to sleep. The view was magnificent - saw lots of
whales and porpoises from both the sofa and balcony.
The food was good and certainly plentiful no matter what the venue. Sailing weather was great (8/28 - 9/4/09) and captain remarked that it was the best weather they had encountered all season. However, the great weather also prevented the ship from navigating all the way to Endicott glacier as the fjord was heavily clogged with ice.
We booked excursions for Juneau (whale watching) and Skagway (White Pass Railroad) independently on line prior to sailing. On board we booked the Butchart Gardens & Wine and Chocolate tour in Victoria, BC which was a disappointment as 1 1/2 hrs is not enough time to enjoy Butchart's beauty. Much has been written about the vibration encountered by some. It was only noticeable to us once when seated out on the Lido deck; it was not a problem in our suite or where we were seated in the dining room. Think we felt the most vibration when a medical helicopter transferred an ailing passenger from the deck above us one afternoon. The entertainment, casinos, shopping and other activities were not our primary focus of the cruise and we only went to one show. Sitting in our suite or on the balcony watching the sights of Alaska and Canada was total relaxation, our intent. Rhapsody of the Seas may not be the newest, largest or glitziest ship but it was perfect for us.