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14 Night Transatlantic Cruise from Barcelona

14 Night Transatlantic Cruise from Barcelona

Rhapsody of the Seas
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    Gran Canaria
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    Perfect Day at CocoCay
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Rhapsody of the Seas

Rhapsody of the Seas - Royal Caribbean International


Personalized service and consistent quality in the main dining room and buffet


Entertainment options could be improved; shows amused but rarely wowed

Bottom Line

Comfortable, intimate midsize ship offers a solid choice of amenities

Cruise Reviews

3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We chose this cruise more for the itinerary than for the ship itself and based solely on the itinerary we had a great time. If this was a review just of the cruise ship I'd say it was below average for what we've had in the ... Read More
We chose this cruise more for the itinerary than for the ship itself and based solely on the itinerary we had a great time. If this was a review just of the cruise ship I'd say it was below average for what we've had in the past. I'm putting this recap out there mostly to help others with ideas for the ports of call and less for the ship itself. We left out of Venice on Saturday, June 8th, but were delayed leaving by several hours because of protesters in the water protesting all the cruise ships and tourists. (The previous Monday a cruise ship from a different cruise line hit a ferry and the dock in Venice causing multiple injuries so the local populace was upset about all the tourism) Because of our late departure the captain told us we would not be able to make our stop in Kotor, Montenegro. That was a real disappointment as we had read how beautiful that was. So, instead of that first stop Sunday became a day at sea. On Monday we made our first stop on the island of Corfu. it was a beautiful and green island. We chose to walk from the pier into the old part of town. I took us about 30 minutes walking to make it all the way into town where there we visited the old fortress and climbed all the way to the top of the lighthouse. The climb up was a bit steep, especially on the smooth stones so be careful going up and down. Entrance fee was around 6 Euros each. Right in that general area there is a shopping district where you can buy touristy items. After seeing the fortress we picked up a taxi and we had a beach in mind we were going to visit and the taxi driver, Giannis, talked us into a better beach that was about a 30 minute drive from the cruise ship. The beach we went to was Glyfada beach and it was spectacular. It was a long beach with beautiful sand and the best part was it was not crowded at all. We rented two beach loungers with an umbrella for 20 Euros and that also included a large bottle of water and free towel rentals. There were several bars and eating establishments to choose from if you were hungry and they would bring you drinks to your lounger. There were also restrooms and showers. The water was warm and you could walk out 50 yards and still only be in water up to your waist. Just a beautiful beach and experience. Giannis arranged to pick us up at a certain time and he was there right when he said he'd be. It took about 30 minutes to get back to the ship so if you go there plan your time accordingly. As for Giannis, if you are looking for a taxi driver in Corfu, he is your guy. He speaks perfect English, was entertaining, and got us to and from where were going just like he said he would. If you want to try and pre-arrange something you can email him at johnleivas83@yahoo.gr or call him at +30 693 484 3704. Tuesday we stopped in Athens and as you can imagine took a tour of the sites there. We booked a private tour through a company called Private Greece Tours and our tour was amazing. The initial booking with Nikos was very easy and he was very responsive to all of my questions. Our tour was arranged for a 6 hour tour and Nikos let us know ahead of time what sites were included or what we should visit as well as what tickets we should pre-buy so we could get into the Acropolis and other sites without issue. Once we got to the cruise port we were picked up right as we exited the terminal by Geórgios and Dorina. Geórgios drove the van and Dorina accompanied us to all of the sites. They were the best guides ever! Both spoke perfect English and were easy to understand. Geórgios would point out a lot of things as we were driving and then Dorina would get out with us at each site and explain what we were looking at and the history of each place. This is our 3rd time to Europe and we've done a lot of tours and without question Dorina was the best tour guide we've ever had. She knew everything about each site and presented the information in a fun and compelling way instead of just telling us dull information. Geórgios was also so good to us as we were driving and navigated us through the congested streets of Athens with ease. For the tour itself, even though we had a rough idea from Nikos what we would be seeing on our tour the first thing they asked us was what we wanted to do or if we had anything in particular in mind so they could shape the tour for what we wanted. That is great service! We really didn't have anything particular in mind so they shaped the tour for us and it ended up being amazing. We visited the Temple of Zeus, Ancient Olympia Stadium, the National Garden, the changing of the guard, the Acropolis and other sites around Athens. At the end of the tour we hit a little shopping area and then back to the cruise ship. Our 6 hour tour ended up being 7 hours and Geórgios had us back to the cruise ship with an hour to spare. There were 7 of us on the tour, 5 adults and 2 kids ages 14 and 10. It cost us 350 Euros for the van rental portion and 250 Euros to have Dorina come with us. Best 600 Euros we spent the whole trip and they were so good we tipped them both on top of that when we were done. If you're headed to Athens and want a great tour book through Private Greece Tours and ask for Dorina and Geórgios. Wednesday we stopped on the island of Mykonos. We took a tender into the city and they dropped us off right in a beautiful area with lots of shopping and near to the famous windmills. We walked around and enjoyed the windmills and the shops for a while and then decided to head to the beach. We found a taxi to take us to Ornos beach (20 Euros one way) which we had read was a nice beach to go to. This was a big disappointment after our beautiful beach in Corfu. The beach was jam packed with people and was very rocky as opposed to the sandy beach we were on. They had people there trying to sell you all types of trinkets and quite frankly wouldn't leave you alone until you had told them no about 20 times. The beach loungers here cost us 25 Euros. We ended up not staying very long and then instead of a taxi took the public bus back to the ship. For 5 of us that went in cost us 9 Euros for a one way bus fare and the bus took about 25 minutes to get back. (After it picks you up it actually takes you the opposite direction picking up more people before you head back to the port area) If I had to do it all over again I would have skipped the beach in Mykonos and just enjoyed the town and the shopping. We did find that the shopping in Mykonos was more expensive for the same item as in the other ports we stopped in. Perhaps there is a way better beach on the other side of the island but we don't know. On Thursday we stopped at Argostoli. Argostoli is known for having Loggerhead turtles in their waters so we got off the ship and walked along the harbor hoping to spot some turtles. We probably strolled for 30-45 minutes through the main street in the town and ended up spotting a turtle near the walking bridge that crosses to the other side of the island. On the other side of the bridge there was a little stand (I think they called themselves "Turtle Land" or something like that) where they rented little boats you could take out on the water to see if you could spot turtles. We rented a 4 person electric boat and took it out on the water. We cruised right down the middle of the water and probably ended up spotting 10 or 12 turtles. You could get pretty close and we got some great pictures. Once they spotted you they would jet away and you had no chance of catching them. It cost us 30 Euros to rent the boat for 45 minutes. After our turtle adventure we walked 30 minutes back towards the ship and there was a little shopping area we browsed around. After talking to a local about a nice beach to see she recommended Makris Gialos beach. We took a taxi over there (about 20 minutes from the cruise ship and 20 Euros) and came upon a beautiful beach. The Costa Costa beach club is on this beach and we rented 2 lounge chairs from them for 15 Euros. They have a full bar and restaurant option. The beach itself was a long sandy beach. The water was warm and blue and once again you could walk way out and still only be up to your waist. The downside to this one as compared to the beach on Corfu was that this beach was packed with people. You didn't feel too crowded in the water but on the beach in the loungers you were packed in. All in all it was a nice beach. Friday was a day at sea and Saturday we returned to Venice. The ship reached the outskirts of Venice around 5 am and took about an hour to make it through to the cruise terminal. We had a flight to catch so we asked for the earliest disembarkation time and that ended up being 7:30 am. We walked off the ship at 7:30, grabbed our bags, customs agent just waved us through (They were randomly stopping some people) and were ready to be picked up by taxi at 7:45. As for the cruise ship itself I'd say it was nice but a bit dated. The biggest negative for us is we traveled with our kids and aside from the swimming pool there really wasn't anything for them to do. The kids clubs were tiny, the arcade was tiny, there was no basketball or anything like that. They probably played ping pong the most and a little shuffleboard. They advertised a family bingo session one time so we went to that and they literally played to rounds of bingo and that was it. My 10 year old son went to their kids club once and they charged us 3.50 for that. Not sure why that was for but didn't bother arguing it. So, if you have kids, just know that there isn't a lot of options there. We had an outside cabin with a balcony which was nice for 3 of us and then an inside cabin for the other 2. Having that balcony let us see the beautiful ports as we pulled in and just gave a beautiful view when you wanted to relax. Our bed was a nice size and it seemed like there was plenty of room for all of our stuff. I like the cruise ships where you can actually fit your luggage under your bed but you couldn't here so we had to wedge them into the closet. Bathroom was typical cruise ship small but bigger in the balcony cabin than the inside cabin. The room stewards did a good job but our lady made the couch into a bed for our son to sleep on and then just left it like that the whole time. From past experience they would usually change the bed back to a couch during the day and then back to a bed at night but that didn't happen. It would have been nice but no such luck so we basically had to sit on the bed when we were in cabin. The rooms had a nice Samsung tv but the channel selection isn't great. They would run movies at random times instead of all day so basically the in room entertainment was non-existent. Dining was okay, nothing spectacular. The buffet on deck 9 was always stocked with familiar favorites and with new dishes each day. There was pretty much something for everyone. If you take this ship don't miss the coconut cookies. They were really good. The main dining option is all we chose since we had the kids. The servers were fine and I'd say the food was okay but it took way too long for dinner. Every night you were 2 hours at dinner. You'd eat your appetizer and have to wait 30 minutes for the main course, etc. They should have been a lot more efficient than that. Side note, the offer you pay options to upgrade your dinner to steak and lobster or other selections. On our cruise every day they'd offer a bigger discounted price on those options. It went from 25% off to 30% off to 45% off. So, if you want to get it one night maybe wait until later and get a bigger discount. They had a Ben & Jerry's ice cream station but you had to pay for that. The problem with that was it was the same flavors the whole time and they weren't flavors we liked. Had they changed it up instead of offering the same exact flavors all week long we might have gotten something. The entertainment after dinner in the big theater was hit and miss. They had Ukrainian ballroom dance champions and they were really good but overall the shows they put on were average. Average singing, average dancing. Had a few jugglers and comedians and they were funny but again, nothing too spectacular. The cruise director, Michele, was funny and did his best to liven the crowd. In our situation with our family though, it just didn't seem like there was that much for us if we didn't want to go to the casino or lounge outside by the pool. My daughters tried to go to a towel animal class and there were only about 10 people there and they turned them away and said they ran out of towels. One more thing about the weather. We had absolutely perfect weather the whole time. My wife tends to get seasick and wears seasick bands on cruises but on this cruise you could hardly tell you were moving. The seas were so calm and beautiful and there was little to no rocking of the ship. To recap, I would go on this cruise again, if only for the itinerary. I wouldn't choose this ship if I was basing it on ship activities alone. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
This was my husbands first cruise and my 3rd. He was a reluctant cruiser so we choose this Greece-Croatia Mediterranean cruise as it had many port stops and was only 7 nights. Turns out he loved it. We chose a balcony cabin which gave ... Read More
This was my husbands first cruise and my 3rd. He was a reluctant cruiser so we choose this Greece-Croatia Mediterranean cruise as it had many port stops and was only 7 nights. Turns out he loved it. We chose a balcony cabin which gave us many opportunities to view the beautiful ports as we came and left. Breakfast became a must on our balcony as we soon found we did not enjoy Windjammers selections for breakfast, lunch or dinner. In saying that we used Windjammers for snacking-taking fresh fruit, cereal,milk,yoghurt and cheese back to the room. We tried izumis-Japanese-nice, Chops-good steaks and Giovannis-italian all were quite tasty. The mainlining room for main meals were also good-no complaints here. The service staff on the whole ship ere really marvellous, diligent, attentive and do now how to make you feel special. From our young assitant waiter Dmitrii to Oscar-our room attendant and Rowena and Joah our drink waiters we could not fault their service. We did enjoy The Schooner Bar and particularly liked the Pianist/singer in the late evenings. Entertainment onboard was a bit hit and miss-one show we walked out of because the female lead was so out of key we couldn't watch-whether or not that was sound or ear piece issues we were unsure-but many people were taking about it the next day. However there were many other options around the ship to enjoy oneself, particularly at sea days. The ship itself could definitely do with a revamp, outdated furnishings etc...but it was clean and comfortable. The ports- *Dubrovnik-cool-we hired a scooter on our own from Modena scooter hire and it proved to be a very fun day. *Kotor-Montenegro-boring,but the day went was raining and had lots of could coverage-we went on the Grand Montenegro Day excursion-I do not recommend it *Santorini-big let down because of thousand of tourists. w did the Oia Village tour which encompassed a winery tasting-worse wine I have ever tasted.I do not recommend this tour. Oia itself is stunning but you d nt get to enjoy any of it because of the crowds. *Katakalon- Loved it *Venice-Loved it Verdict we like cruising, and will definitely do it again Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
This was our first cruise on Royal Caribbean--having been on Holland America (3-star Mariners), NCL, Celebrity and Carnival. We liked the itinerary and the timing was right for us. We booked 21 nights which was sold as part of a package, ... Read More
This was our first cruise on Royal Caribbean--having been on Holland America (3-star Mariners), NCL, Celebrity and Carnival. We liked the itinerary and the timing was right for us. We booked 21 nights which was sold as part of a package, but turned out to be basically two cruises, back to back: A TransAtlantic out of Tampa, and then a week in the Mediterranean ending up in Venice. Another recent review called it "A Tale of Two Cruises" and I agree with that impression. We were interested to see that RCI treated it like two separate cruises although we've been on other b2b's before on other cruise lines that didn't do that. Anyway, I am aware that The Rhapsody is different from the mega ships in the RCI fleet, but it is similar in size to the other ships we've sailed with, and we basically liked the ship a lot. The public areas are beautiful, especially the "Centrum" and the theater. We really liked the layout of the Windjammer buffet (although it was often very crowded). But, O.K., here are my personal "complaints": Our ocean-view cabin was very small, with barely enough room to wedge our suitcases under the bed. We're used to small showers, having been on river cruises and traveling in an RV--but the shower is really, really small. And I missed having a nice place to relax and look out over the ocean. The best views are in the Windjammer at the front of the ship, but it isn't a place to "hang out". There are good views aft from the "Shall We Dance" lounge, but that space was underused except for the hundreds of "Diamond" level passengers who pretty much took it over. And I was really upset that the "Royal Crown Lounge" (a small but lovely venue overlooking the pool area) was pretty much off limits unless you were "Diamond Plus". In fact, the daily newsletter advertised a special price on Martinies in the Royal Crown Lounge, but we were informed that we were not allowed to sit down and enjoy our drinks there! Many activities were scheduled in the Schooner Bar which is a narrow, noisy hallway, basically. I just think there could be a better use of the various areas overall. We thought the food was very good, almost without exception. We didn't eat in any of the specialty restaurants, but enjoyed the bounty of the Windjammer and the choices in the main dining room. My husband had a New York Strip Steak that was tough, one night. But everything I ordered was delicious. They did a good job of providing a lot of interesting things to do during the TransAtlantic sea days--almost to the point that we had to make some time for ourselves to just sit and read. My only complaint about the activities was that I would have enjoyed a lecture or two about the history of the areas we were going to visit. The "port talks" they did have were mostly about ship excursions and/or shopping. In fact, there was very little advice or help forthcoming for those who just wanted to get off at the ports and explore. We attended all the evening entertainment in the theater and thought it was all outstanding. Unfortunately many of the shows were repeated in the third week, but it was so port intensive that we didn't really care. Everyone comments about how friendly and accommodating the staff and crew are, and I agree. How all those hardworking people stay so cheerful and nice is amazing. And they are so good about getting to know you and making everyone feel special. But (I guess I always have a "but") we did have a little problem with someone's inefficiency. As I said, the two portions of the cruise were treated as two different cruises. And at the end of the TransAtlantic in Barcelona we were required to get off the ship and be issued new "Seapass" cards. When we booked the cruises we had to pre-register for each one separately and give all the usual info about passport numbers, credit card numbers, etc. Well, as we got ready to disembark in Venice we got a call in our room informing us that we needed to come to the desk to settle our account!?? I was politely but firmly informed that security would not allow us off the ship until we paid our bill in cash! What!? The bill for the first two weeks had been taken care of automatically--this was just for the third week. So, we had to stand in line with all the disgruntled passengers complaining about overcharges, etc., until our turn when the guy at customers service poked the computer for about 10 minutes and then remarked casually that this had happened to a couple of other people who did back to backs. Someone just forgot to re-register our credit card. While I'm talking about money, I do need to mention that RCI obviously tries valiantly to offset the original low cost of the cruise with "nickle and diming" everything else. The "specialty restaurants" charge outrageously high prices, I think. And wine, and cocktails--crazy prices! They did have that happy hour martini special ($9) in the Viking Crown Lounge (Where the only place you could drink it was at the bar) and a 2-fer price on Margaritas in the Schooner bar. We had most fantastic weather. It was balmy and smooth sailing all across the Atlantic. The only rough seas were one night in the Mediterranean and we slept right through it. We enjoyed all the ports. We booked ship tours in both Canary Island stops and the one in La Palma was especially good ("North Shore") with an overview of the island including a stop in a beautiful interior rain forest, and a visit to a rum distillery that included a tasting. One of the highlights of the trip was sailing through the Straits of Gilbralter at dawn. Several hundred passengers stood on the upper decks looking at the lights of Africa on one side and the famous Rock of Gilbralter on the other with the beautiful sunrise behind it. We did our own thing in Malaga.We made our way through the historic old town center past the cathedral to the Alcazaba. We purchased tickets and wandered through the gardens and and rooms of that ancient Moorish fortress. It reminded me a lot of a smaller Alhambra. Then we walked up (and up) the hill behind it to see the "castle" behind it. By then it was hot and sunny, and we wore ourselves out climbing that path. When we got to the top we discovered that there was a bus stop there, and the "Hop On Hop Off" could have taken us to the top! Oh well. Beautiful views! In Barcelona we got a taxi to Sagrada Familia where we had bought tour tickets on line to see the inside. Then we taxied back to Los Ramblas where we strolled down with all the crowds, and then detoured off into the Gothic quarter we had a light lunch at at sidewalk cafe. After Barcelona the whole ship had a different feel after the leisurely trip across the ocean. A lot of the "retirees" disembarked, and there were many more young people and family groups. And we had a different port every day. In Cannes we once again "did our own thing". We jumped on the little tourist train loading up right at the pier and got a good look at the seaside boulevard and all the beautiful yachts on the one side and fancy hotels on the other. We've been to Rome before, so we opted to take the only ship tour doing something different out of Civitavecchia: a visit to an olive farm in Tuscany. It was a pleasant bus ride through the countryside with a visit to the sleep mountaintop village of Tuscania before a light snack of bruschetta with various flavored olive oils as well as a glass of wine at the olive farm. Our last ship tour was to the ancient Roman city of Herculaneum which was buried in the same volcanic eruption as nearby Pompeii. Fascinating. In Catania, Sicily we looked out our cabin window to see Mt. Etna all covered with snow! We later learned how unusual it is to have snow on Mt. Etna in May. Gorgeous! Unfortunately we didn't get pictures because clouds rolled in and Mt. Etna disappeared. We took a smaller group tour arranged through our Cruise Critic roll call. It was a beautiful day making our way up to the little resort town of Taormina after a harrowing drive up switch-backs to the mountain medieval village of Castelmola. Amazing views! And we also did a Cruise Critic tour to Krka National Park in Croatia. On the way back to the ship our guide gave us a quick visit to Zadar and their "sea organ". This review is getting too long to gush on and on about the beauty of Krka--all the waterfalls and rivers and emerald pools. Truly a beautiful spot. And I also don't want to do a whole separate review of our time in Venice where we disembarked and spend two wonderful (although rainy) days. All in all it was another great cruise--small criticisms notwithstanding. Read Less
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