Of the 1,020 cabins on Rhapsody, 613 have ocean views, and 223 have balconies. (That's a pretty low percentage of balcony cabins, compared to today's new-builds.) During the 2012 refurb, 21 new cabins were added to the ship: a family junior suite where the Radio Room was previously; four balcony cabins on Deck 7, replacing the Card Room; and 16 outside cabins on Decks 7 and 8, utilizing space previously occupied by the Explorers Lounge (removed -- new Internet Cafe on Deck 4), Future Cruise Desk (moved to Deck 4) and Library (now a bookshelf by the photo gallery). While all cabins received upgraded linens and soft goods, the new cabins also sport more modern furnishings (upgraded desks/vanities, night tables, bathroom fixtures, etc.).
Three categories of inside cabins range in size from 132 to 165 square feet -- i.e. teeny tiny. While some are a standard rectangular layout -- the door at the short side of the cabin, leading into the living area, with the sleeping area at the other end -- some are laid out lengthwise along the hallway so the door is in the middle with the sleeping area to one side and the living area to the other. Standard oceanview cabins measure 152 square feet. Only two cabins on the ship (junior suites 8086 and 8586) have obstructed views.
Standard balcony cabins (called "superior oceanviews") are 192 square feet with 42-square-foot balconies. Balconies are each furnished with two chairs and a small table.
Family oceanview cabins, at 237 square feet, each feature a main sleeping area, plus a curtained-off area with bunk beds and a sofa bed in the sitting area. They sleep six.
Standard cabins are comfortable and practical, and even the smallest cabins feature small sitting areas with sofas and coffee tables. Storage space is generous with hanging racks and shelving in the closets, drawers and more shelves in the desks/vanities, and nightstands. Cabins feature flat-screen televisions, phones, safes and hair dryers. Outlets were old and not the best, as our plugs kept falling out. Royal Caribbean has added iPads in each suite. The iPads can be used throughout the ship to access daily schedules and onboard accounts, order room service, access the Internet, watch movies and make restaurant reservations. But be careful with your borrowed technology -- the fees for damaged and lost iPads are $200 and $700, respectively.
Bathrooms have decent storage, though each shower only has one shelf and a clingy curtain. Toiletries are limited to hand soap and a mystery substance (Shampoo? Body wash?) in an unmarked dispenser in the shower.
Cabin service was exceptional, unobtrusive and thorough. Cabin stewards create imaginative towel-people and creatures as part of turn-down service. (The hanging monkey was one of the best we've seen.)
Rhapsody offers six types of suites. The Junior Suite (at 243 square feet with a 67-square-foot balcony) is essentially an expanded balcony cabin with a larger sitting area (sofa plus two comfy chairs) and a bathroom with a bathtub. Grand Suites (353 square feet, 111-square-foot balcony) are even bigger, with more distinction between the sleeping and sitting areas (with an L-shaped couch) and a larger foyer area. The Owner's Suite (516 square feet, 116-square-foot balcony) has a separate living area with a queen-size sofa bed and a small dining table. The Royal Suite (1,140 square feet, 131-square-foot balcony) has a king-size bed in a separate bedroom, a large living room with a queen-size sofa bed and baby grand piano, and a whirlpool bathtub.
Suite passengers are entitled to perks like priority check-in, Concierge Lounge access (see below), priority tendering (where applicable), access to dining room menus via room service, luggage valet service, complimentary clothes pressing on formal night and priority debarkation.
Two suite categories are intended for families. The Family Junior Suite (470 square feet with 75-square-foot balcony) sleeps six with two sets of twin beds (one set in a separate room and others that convert to queens) and a double sofa bed in the living room. The Royal Family Suite (480 square feet with 59-square-foot balcony) features two bedrooms, two bathrooms (one with shower, other with tub), a walk-in closet, a double sofa bed and a Pullman bed in the living room. It can accommodate up to eight people.
A new Concierge Lounge, carved out of the Viking Crown Lounge in 2012, is open to all suite passengers and "Diamond-Plus" Crown & Anchor loyalty program members. Amenities include continental breakfast (served daily, 8 to 10 a.m.), hors d'oeuvres and petit fours served in the evening, a self-service bar (no fee) during happy hour, movies and CDs to borrow, and business services (faxing and copying for a fee). A concierge can assist passengers in making reservations for specialty dining and shore excursions, spa and salon appointments; pre-ordering wine at dinner; and arranging private parties. "Diamond" Crown & Anchor members have their own lounge in the back corner of the Shall We Dance Lounge, with similar services.
Wheelchair-accessible cabins come in several categories: outsides (255 square feet); balconies (350 square feet, with 39-square-foot balconies); and suites (276 square feet, with 69-square-foot balconies). These cabins feature open bed frames, wider entry doors, space to turn, lowered vanities and closet rods, bathrooms with wider doors, roll-in showers with fold-down benches, grab bars, a raised toilet and a lowered sink.
Obviously, I had to pay the money to have a little more space. I have spoiled myself with suites in the past and it is hard to go back to some of the other categories. The wife and I like the separate spaces the the suites offer because she can go to bed early and I can...continue