My family decided this holiday it was time for a Cruise. My parents, my sister her husband and 2 boys (18 and 16), myself, my husband, our daughter (18) and her boyfriend (19). 10 of us in total. I was a bit worried about the alcohol policy but in the end I just signed the boyfriends waiver as his guardian and no-one questioned it at all.
The boarding in Sydney was quick and easy and within 30 mins we were in the Windjammer having lunch. We picked up our luggage on the way to our cabin from the stair area as the attendants were busy sorting it out and rather than wait we found our own. Our cabin was spacious and well appointed and our attendant was eager to make sure we were happy. Almost every night there was a different towel animal on our bed. We were dining at 6pm so we went to the dining room. The food was excellent with a varied choice every night and our waiter was a lively guy who was intent on making us laugh and always remembered our names. After dinner we went up to the show lounge but because there was only one show on that night we couldn't get a seat, so we left and wandered down to the Schooner bar for a drink. My daughter (18) and her boyfriend (19) had to wait for their alcohol waivers to be delivered to their stateroom later that night before they could order any drinks. Although when we first got to the Windjammer after boarding a waiter tried to get them to buy a cocktail not caring what age they were.
Anyway we had a great time and the Rhapsody is a well appointed ship with a crew who were always polite and friendly. The food was always piled on and a good variety of dishes to please everyone. The solarium pool was lovely and because no kids were allowed it was always a nice place to swim.
The shows each night were well put together and entertaining.
There is a lovely coffee/ice cream shop if you want a decent cup of coffee.
NOW THE BAD BITS.
The only bad port was Brisbane, we couldn't go under the bridge so we had to dock at Fisherman's Wharf which is a 50 mins bus ride to the city. We had to pay $15 each way for the privilege of spending our money in Brisbane. Shame on the city council, they should have followed in Newcastle's footsteps and put on free buses for the 2,500 spenders coming to their city.
I would have ordered more cocktails if they weren't so strong, I don't think they know what a nip is. They don't measure anything, it is just splosh splosh with the booze. The young ones loved it because they could have cheap drinks ($6-$9 for most cocktails).
The language barrier is usually not a problem but on a few occasions at the pursers desk it is difficult to get your point across. Only minor but we almost didn't go on a shore trip because the guy at the pursers desk told us no more tickets available. What he meant was, he had no tickets but there were tickets at the terminal off the ship.
Every day there was a couple of trivia quiz comps held in the Schooner bar, only problem was the Schooner bar held about 50 people and if you didn't get there 2 hours ahead of the quiz you didn't get in. Many a night we strolled thru and ended up in the Moonlight bar listening to the laughter from the Schooner bar. Many people i talked to said the same thing. I put this in my feedback so I hope they change for future cruises.
All in all we had a great time and cant wait for our next cruise.