Rhapsody of the Seas - Western Caribbean: Rhapsody of the Seas Cruise Review by Fighterone

Rhapsody of the Seas 5
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Rhapsody of the Seas - Western Caribbean

Sail Date: December 2005
Destination: Western Caribbean
Embarkation: Galveston
Embarkation was slow, not because of poor staffing but because most everyone decided to check in at the same time we did (1:00 p.m.). RCI staff and security were very professional and very pleasant. Our stateroom was clean, with the exception of a moldy shower curtain. The attendant changed it on the third day of the cruise without anyone of us asking for him to do so. Our cabin attendant was distant, but did a good job of keeping the room clean and well stocked with towels, (beach and bath) and ice. I had requested a small refrigerator through the T.A. and despite their assurance that it had been arranged, none was available. I was told to give the room attendant my medication; he would store it in some refrigerator, and bring it to me on demand. I declined this arrangement and was assured that the staff would keep looking. The next day, we had a fridge. There is plenty of storage space in the cabin, many hangars and drawers. The beds are comfortable and the room is quiet,no loud More fans.

The spa is spacious and has a relaxing reading room where you can get tea and fruit. The staff was not very friendly and did not acknowledge me when I went in to tour the area. My friend asked if there were any specials on manicures and pedicures during our stop in Cozumel. She was told surly that there are NEVER any specials on these.

The exercise facility is full of great equipment and the jogging track is well marked with number of laps to a mile.

The crew is generally subdued. Waiters dont harass you to sell you drinks, or bottled water for excursions. One thing that disappointed all of us, Cruise Critic members who had signed up for the Meet & Mingle, is that the cruise director did not stop by. The first time several of us saw him (Drew) was when we were getting off in Grand Cayman; that was on the fifth day of the cruise. The captain checked in at noon, every day and gave us a detailed, humorous and friendly report on the status of the weather.

We ate dinner in the dining room every night and sampled several dishes. The food was generally excellent, the choice was varied. The waiters worked very hard. The head waiter provided us with a table for four so we could sit with our friends; this should have been pre-arranged by their T.A. but was not. The first night, my husband ordered the 7 day wine package; the waiter suggested that we go with the higher cost, the Gold Package, which I cannot recommend because of the limited selection.

The wine service was slow, understandably, since the assistant waiter must travel far from the dining room to get it. I wondered why the bartenders, (dressed in pink) mostly standing there, did not take charge of providing and serving the wine.

On open seating night, we were asked to go to our regular table. Since a couple was sitting there, we requested another table for 4. We were immediately accommodated but the waiters serving us were visibly not happy. We had lunch in the dining room one time only. After you are seated at a table for 10, the waiter takes your order.

We preferred the Windjammer for breakfast and for lunch because it gave us the opportunity to sample several different dishes. At breakfast, the attendant at the bread toasting station was quick in providing already toasted bread or bagels; however, for a fresh toasted slice, be ready for a long wait. That station needs updating to more modern and faster equipment. The attendant who prepared omelets to order is no longer. The omelet station has recently been replaced with a station of 3 chafing dishes: these contain 2 different types of omelets and fried eggs; these yellow bricks are a poor excuse for an omelet. When all four food stations are opened, we observed that they were serving mostly the same food but with sometimes one or 2 different dishes. For example, only one station had baked tomatoes.

Pastries are fabulous; fruit are plentiful, coffee is very good. You are given a nice big oval plate with silverware wrapped in a nice cloth napkin, when you first walk into the buffet area. The solarium area was beautiful and the food was excellent. The Windjammer is spacious. We preferred taking our food outside and enjoy the fresh air; the glass windows protect from the wind and cold.

We did not do justice to the entertainment, with the exception of the Platters, which were great. The theater curtain is beautiful. We enjoyed the games by the pool and the dancing. The disco was fun, loud, and with great music, balloons were everywhere and The Village People even made an appearance. We attended many of the art auctions, and some of the art seminars. We found the auctioneer to be a captivating speaker and very knowledgeable. The spa is spacious and has a relaxing reading room where you can get tea and fruit. The staff was not friendly, however, and did not acknowledge me when I went in to tour the area.

If you plan on shopping on the ship, be there at least an hour before closing time. They start putting the sales tables and their contents away at least 30 minutes prior to closing time so if you were planning on having a sales shopping spree, you are in for disappointment. Another detail here is that a lot of the sales staff concentrates on putting the goodies away, instead of tending to the customers.

The public restrooms were plentiful but not as clean as expected. On 3 occasions, there was no toilet paper. On the other hand, the public areas were beautiful, clean, and comfortable. The ship is decorated with great taste, the live vegetation is beautiful and the art work is remarkable.

The centrum is breath taking. We spend a lot of time in the Champagne Terrace and enjoyed the music.

We did not book any excursions through the ship. This was a mistake during our stop in Cozumel, since the docks have been destroyed by hurricane Wilma, we now tender in. Those who booked a tour through the ship got off first. It took us at least 2 hours to board a tender. We certainly would have preferred another port to this one. After experiencing the convenience of walking onto a pier, it was a disappointment to see how much time it takes to get to shore, now. Our Compass included a letter from the Mayor of Cozumel, welcoming us to the island. Nevertheless, we believed the port authority was not ready for cruise ships.

On the last night of the cruise, we were asked about our experience by a couple of crew members who had been involved in providing us with service. Both said that if our experience was not Excellent that was not good enough for them. As we completed the survey, where we were asked to rate the staff, we noted that the crew members must really be drilled to request this Excellent rating. While most of the crew members certainly deserve it, instead of a rating of Very Good it should not have to be requested. Less

Published 02/15/06

Cabin review: F4048 Large Ocean View Stateroom

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