First time on the Rhapsody
We just completed a 12-night sailing on the Rhapsody of the Seas and I had checked out several reviews on here prior to sailing as we were a little apprehensive to take a smaller, older ship after having sailed many times on the Radiance and the Serenade, but the Rhapsody was the only ship doing the itinerary we wanted at this time of year. All doubts were quelled the moment we stepped onto this ship!
She was refitted in 2007 and looks like she was just launched! Our cabin was immaculate and undoubtedly had the best beds we have ever had! Thick mattress with a pillowtop! Much better than the Rhapsody and Serenade beds. The only downside on this ship were the tiny tvs in the cabin, but not a big deal as we rarely watched it. The Centrum area was by far better than the Radiance class of ships - more open with more multi-levels, allowing for more ease of traffic. The casino had a greater selection of machines than other ships and was totally smoke-free (Yay!) and the shops were More
much better laid out.
The food was outstanding and once again, the service impeccable. In fact, in 23 cruises I don't think we have ever had better dining room service. If you have the opportunity to have Orlando and Felizio as your waiter and assistant waiter, then you are in for a treat! We are off on the Mariner of the Seas next month, but it's going to be hard to top the service we just received. I would highly recommend the Rhapsody to anyone! Less
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Cabin review: Rhapsody of the Seas
Cabin 7538 - great location, close to elevator up to Windjammer! Lots of closet space even for a shopper like me! Nice balcony and comfortable beds. I do prefer the Junior Suite for sure as I like a bigger bathroom, but this is a good cabin if a balcony is all you can get or afford at the time.
Port and Shore Excursions
We have friends in Hilo so do not take advantage of any shore excursions. However, I would like to point out that two spots that are AMAZING that we do visit are not on any of the ships excursions, but they should be. Points to see when visiting Hilo are the Waipi'o Lookout and Laupahoehoe Beach Park - two remarkable places with fabulous photo opportunities.
Lots of things to do in Honolulu. Not our favorite port due to being so busy and we prefer the quieter islands, but it has a great nightlife and lots to see if you have the chance to stay there for a few days after your cruise. We took one shore excursion that was listed as the "natural wonders" tour - encompassing Waimanolo Beach, Haunama Bay and the Pali Lookout - a great tour and well worth it. Waimanolo Beach is the longest whitest beach ever and there is never anyone there! It's further up the island and I think that's why. Once you get out of Waikiki, you see a lot more lush places!
Nawiliwili in Kauai is a relatively quiet port but incredibly beautiful. We took the Waimea River and Fern Grotto shore excursion. It was ok, but would never make my 'must-do' list again. In previous years, we have walked over to the Kauai Marriott at Kalapaka beach - beautiful spot and easy walking distance to the ship. They have an amazing koi pond in the hotel that is a must-see for any fish lovers! Check out Duke's pub on the beach while you are there!
Kona is great and we highly recommend the Kona Highlights tour from the ship. It takes you to the temple, the painted church and the Kona coffee company. It's a good tour - but once you have done it once, it's very easy to rent a car and just drive around on your own. The shopping in Kona is excellent and well priced. Most shops are on the waterfront and it's a nice walk. There are also fun mopeds to rent if you want to get around a little faster.
Lahaina in Maui is my favorite place on earth! There are several tours you can take from the ship, but we highly recommend the 'triple crown' tour that includes the Iao Needle, the Maui Tropical Plantation and the Maui Ocean Center. Having taken that tour twice, this time we just wanted to visit the ocean center again, so hopped on a local bus that got us there in 20 minutes at the cost of $1 each! The ocean centre is one of the best aquariums we have ever visited - with giant turtles, rays, hammerhead sharks and jellyfish, among others. The shopping in Lahaina is addicting - lots of little stores with everything you could want. There is also a fascinating art gallery with exhibits of art done by celebrities like John Lennon, Paul McCartney and more. One of the best things in Lahaina is the Pioneer Inn - it's right at the dock where the tender lands so you can't miss it. They have a fabulous happy hour from 2pm to 7 pm daily and serve the best nachos we have ever had! We even missed dinner one night on the ship because we chose to eat there!