We live 300KM east of Melbourne, so travelled to Avalon to catch a jet star flight to Sydney. Stayed in a pretty seedy hotel (Capitol Square- don't bother) but things looked up the next day as we boarded Rhapsody of the Seas. Embarkation was fairly trouble free, however there weren't enough tables to fill out our outgoing passenger cards. Will do that well before we go next time. Our Stateroom (inside superior on deck 3) was a little squeezy, but big enough for the two of us. The family ( daughter, son in law and 16 and 10 year old) were a few doors up. The ship was very classy, although showing its age in a few areas. Work was progressing even whilst we were at sea, with new carpet being laid in some areas. New plasma TVs were also being fitted. The ship was spotless, and there is always someone cleaning and polishing. Public areas were very tasteful, and there was always something going on. Dining was fantastic, and we had most of our main meals in the dining room. Quality of the meals was top notch, always hot, well presented and what you asked for.. and plenty of it! If you wanted a second entree or even a main course you only had to ask. ( son in law did) The most outstanding thing about this ship is the service that you receive from the staff. I have never experienced anything like it, and it was wonderful. What a friendly, happy and helpful group of people. They made us feel so special, and I can't compliment them enough. Our Stateroom attendant was fantastic, and the towel animals were great.
The organised tours were a bit pricey, so we arranged our own when on shore. Be prepared to bargain for the best deal. Tender transfers were good. We made sure we left early to avoid the rush. Entertainment was also great, and living in the country we don't often get to see live entertainment. Grandson just loved Kids club, and we rarely saw him. He made lots of new friends, and had a ball. We missed out on Mystery Island due to bad weather, but I'd rather the captain erred on the side of caution than be stuck on the reef. All in all, we had a wonderful time, and would recommend the Rhapsody of the Seas to anyone who wants a wonderful holiday where you can do as much or as little as you like. We're already planning another trip for next year.