Rhapsody strikes a different cord for us!: Rhapsody of the Seas Cruise Review by sparkscruiser
Overall Member Rating
Rhapsody strikes a different cord for us!
Destination: South Pacific
Food and Beverage- HUGE OPPORTUNITY for improvement here! Let me say that the best meal I had on the cruise was the raw tuna sandwich I had in Papeete. It was outstanding. Sadly, the food was fair at best. I must also add that that our friend ate the Indian/Indonesian meals most nights and was very impressed by the flavors and presentation. Most of our dining room meals were warm. Not hot, just warm. Presentation was ok - now we were the table located closest to the door so that food had to travel quite a distance before it got to us. Dining staff of Shan and Alvin were good, trying very hard to overcome the challenges of poor food quality. We did have a few good meals, but most were only fair. Lyndon our Head Waiter was very attentive he really made the extra effort. Maitre D' came and visited with us after a dinner that we did not complete until 10:45 pm. Blamed food quality to us on the Australian suppliers and (SURPRIZE!!!) blamed American suppliers to the Australians. Our table called her on it and she chose to ignore the comment. By the way, did you know that Australians don't like lobster? That's why they don't serve it on the Rhapsody. Of course we all prefer "fresh" - but don't tell me you would not eat it if available. Windjammer basically served the same thing the dining room did - so if you did not like that menu you were more or less out of luck. Pizza in the Solarium was yuck - hot dogs poor - and when they "BBQ'd" it was warming things already cooked up on the grill and putting it into pans warmed by Sterno. I was sick one evening no doubt from something left too long in the buffet. Only one ice cream machine most likely so that it could not compete with the Ben and Jerry's on board. To get a decent steak you had to pay for it. Bars ran out of ALL Australian beers with days left in the cruise. Now I know that those beers don't sell well in American waters, but the crew told us that if there were any left they went to the crew bars - so no loss there. Ran out of Bundy too, but not until we were almost to Oahu. Bar waiters seemed to make their own drinks and that could be a challenge at times, but Katarina was the best we had - she was great. Pursers Desk - Rude, Rude, Rude! Asked a few questions and honestly gave up going back there as I was treated so badly that it was not worth the effort. When asking simple questions, customers should not be treated with disdain. I inquired about the internet service being slow, double charges when we crossed the international dateline - and asked for an accounting of time used and was told the info was not available and I should keep track of it myself. Found out later that they certainly could give me a printout - this person was either badly trained or just lazy. I did manage to get a credit for the overcharges they put onto my internet account though. Internet is very slow and if I did not need it for business, I would not have bought the package.
Activities - Boy did we have a great time here. From Trivia games to Bingo - great staff under Carly and Rachel. I won a medal in a scavenger hunt, won another contest in song lyrics and got to perform in the talent show. Daniel from the band was fantastic and put together music so I could sing a Gershwin song they said they had no music for. We did the Wish Walk which is a great program for the Make a Wish Foundation. The Captain and his family walked with us as well. Crossing the Dateline and the Equator we really good days. We are no longer Pollywogs! ANZAC Day was great and very moving. Thanks to the Captain and crew for making it possible. Public Rooms - Main Theatre very nice venue. Shall we Dance Lounge very comfortable, not many bars on board, but we made do! Only in the Casino for brief periods, but enjoyed the fact it was non-smoking. Entertainment was very good! Lots of variety, we went to just about every show. Spa and Fitness - Did not use the Spa, used the Gym once (I know, I know - should have used it much more!) but the equipment is in good shape even if I am not.
Fellow Passengers - mixed group onboard. Largest group was Australian with Germans coming in second. Small group of Americans onboard. Most folks were great - like I mentioned in the beginning, at least one ugly American who drove the crew crazy.
Ports - I realize there were difficulties caused by the merchants in Papeete not being open on Sunday and that is not Royal's fault (we had to get fuel!) - I understand they tried diligently to get the shopkeepers to open - but apparently our dollars were of no interest to most of them. But like I mentioned - had a great sandwich! We had a driver for the day (private tour guide) and got to see the real Tahiti. Moorea was great, went on a Ship Excursion - but again Royal lacked any real planning - no signage for people with tours booked as to where to go etc. I know you are only in these locations a few times a year, but planning goes a long way. Went into Cooks Bay and bought fabulous pearls and had a great lunch. Bora Bora, did the FABULOUS Patrick's Circle Island Tour. Do this if you get the chance. Spectacular! Raiatea, waste of time for a stop other than threading through the reef to depart - that was breathtaking.
Debarkation was a Breeze! Best exit from a ship that I have ever had. One more funny thing - I was checking my emails on day 10 of this cruise and Royal sent me one asking how my cruise was - I had to remind them I was still on their ship. Overall I would say I had a really good time meeting the folks that I did - made some lifelong friends I am sure. We most likely will not sail on Royal again as it just was not a good fit. Less
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