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Boarding: We walked over form the Marriott early morning with our four checks bags (two big and two small - ONE being a case of water) and they immediately ask if you have an extension cord or alcohol, keep it with your carry on. We retrieved our extension cord. We went back to the Marriott. once you are processed you may not get off the ship again and it doesn't leave until 6:30 pm. We eventually made our way on the ship at 1 pm. and our carry on with the extension cord went through security with no issue. But we did not receive a large bag when we had received all the rest. The Diamond concierge called down to security at 4ish and they confirmed they had our bag. We went down to Deck 4 (could have been 5), and my daughter had a small multi tool that had a knife part to it, that they took and said to pick up during disembarkation. On each bag was a note what their xray saw. Most were marked "IRON", some had knife; some had alcohols, one had "weight", and one had rice cooker, lol. Anyway, keep your extension cords out and don't bring irons. The rooms were ready at 1 or 1:30. We then headed up to Windjammer for lunch. The muster took place at 4:00. Every time I get on this class ship, I swear I won’t sail her again. These ships are older and smaller. I do believe the food selections are very limited based on the size of the ships and our selection was very small and we did not care for most of the food at all. Although their three cheese tortellini is so good. I hate saying that because I feel loyal to Royal. With that aside, Captain Rob was wonderful and took very good care of us as he steered right into a Cat 5 Cyclone (Marcia). We had two sea days in the Cyclone with very rocky waves and bad weather. Once we were cleared it was sunny skies all the way. If you are going to have rain, having it on sea days was better than port days. Captain Rob is quite the character in his daily briefs. I find him funny while he annoys my daughter. So I guess you’ll have to decide on your own. We were in JS 8590 and our stateroom attendant was excellent. Always around and kept our ice cooler filled. The refrigerator did not stay shut, so even though these refrigerators are not known to keep things cool this one was even worse. In our 37 cruises, we’ve never had to complain about neighbors, but we had a Chinese couple next door that invited their extended family/friends into the cabin for balconies parties between 11 pm and 3 every night. After about three nights in a row we addressed it. RCI was quick to respond, adding that they had already fined them regarding smoking in the room. Other than an occasional outburst when they returned to the cabin, they stayed relatively quiet and we were grateful. Concierge Lounge – Amit the concierge has to be the best concierge we have ever had. He really went above and beyond for everyone. He knew we had a couple of private tours requiring us to be off the ship early and was as panicked as we were. He has the greatest personality and is just so caring. The CL is relatively small, narrow, and most nights would open the door to the Viking Crown which they blocked off with a screen and would monitor it carefully. Jeffrey was the bartender and was excellent. He would start making your drinks as soon as he saw you walk in. The new seats in the lounge are pretty uncomfortable. There are a handful of comfy seats that go quickly. We used the lounge nightly and never used the sea pass loaded drinks at other bards. Diamond Lounge – A much bigger lounge and more comfy seats. This is located next to the Shall We dance lounge and they too opened the door and blocked off part of this lounge in the evening. Newcastle: We did the ship Newcastle Hunter Valley tour. Ugh. The “host” Malcolm needs to just retire. He was just awful. His monotone voice, he has zero personality, and really had nothing to say about the wine valley. He would point out things about this or that town we were driving through or where he lived from here or there. With a long drive, one would expect someone to tell us about the wineries we’d be visiting or something of interest based on the tour. Plus we had to make a detour, because the tour company didn’t give the driver, the Royal Caribbean bus decal so we drove ½ hour out of the way into a residential area to fetch this bus decal. Really? Hunter Valley is predominately white wines, so that was our mistake for not getting enough info on that. There were quite a lot of samples to taste and it was nice all tasting fees were included. Cairns: Because we sailed into the Cyclone, Captain Rob had to slow down the speed, which got us into Cairns a little late. We communicated with Reef Magic, our independently booked tour of the Great Barrier Reef, but they were told by the ship’s agent we’d be two to three hours late and clearly would miss our tour. So they said they’d refund us our money because they wanted to sell out seats. Even if they hadn’t sold our seat, they were very understanding about the cyclone and our delay, and I’m sure would have refunded our money regardless. We arrived at the Fleet Terminal at 9:30 (1/2 hour after our tour left). We tried booking with other tours leaving later, but due to Chinese New Years, there were 30,000 (this is not a typo) Chinese tourist there and they had literally taken over all excursions and such. We even were willing to pay for the helicopter tours and could not get on them either. BTW, it is blazing hot in this part of the world in February. We could barely breathe walking around. Cairns Day two we booked Kuranda Cable car up and back. We visited the Wildlife area and had our photo with the Koala. Again, we booked this privately and saved a ton of money. We were told we would not have time to do both the Wildlife and the Army Duck. But we could have easily, again, trying the book the army duck the day of, we could not due to the Chinese having it booked solid the entire day. Those that took the ship’s tour train up, were extremely disappointed. They complained the train was like a sauna, and had little time to do anything in the village and were bused down. Airlie Beach. We had the best privately booked excursion with Ocean Rafting. A full day, snorkel Whitsunday Island, a visit to Whitehaven Beach (the water is crystal clear), the sand whiter than white and cool sand. You can see lemon shark pups swimming in the shallow water. Too cute. Then off to the other end of White Have while they prepare the lunch and you can continue your swim. They do nickel and dime you to death. You more or less must rent the stinger suit, you must bring money to pay for drinks, even bottled water and lunch is also $15 on top of the $139 for the day. While I give it a 4 out of 5 stars, it would be much lower had I been one of the few that did not get a seat. It was a little overcrowded and a few who boarded last, ended up with the option of sitting on the side of the raft but in reality then stood and leaned (smart move) with the fear of bouncing off and over. FYI, the ship tour with this same company, Ocean Rafting, offered a half day tour – snorkeling from a beach (said to be a cloudy site, but they did report swimming with turtles as well, fish and reef. But that was it. They did not visit White Haven, the gorgeous beach. This half day ship tour was $80 more than the privately booked tour. Brisbane – Since we had our Koala and Kangaroo encounter in Kuranda we opted to take the Ship shuttle into Brisbane rather than the infamous Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary or Australia Zoo. I mentioned Australia Zoo because we saw photos from others who did that tour and their photos were amazing. Looks to be worth it. It’s a shame the ship docks so far from the city. There is nothing but a cargo grain and new car (ro-ro) terminal, so there will be no walking around from the ship. The $20 US round trip worked out fine. It takes about 40 minute drive. Going we were in a nice tour type bus, with a lovely British man as our driver who provided great information. Comfy seats and soft music and it was air conditioned. The bus back was a city public type bus, a lot less comfortable, no commentary but did its job and got us back in time. They drop you next to an open air shopping mall which goes for blocks and blocks. Stores, restaurants and free wifi for I believe was for an hour. You could also sign onto many other open wifi. Of course the Irish PUB we decided to have lunch (near the bus pick up spot) did not have wifi, but they did have good food. There were a couple of nice spas, Pure indulgence being one, where we had hoped to have a nice spa package, but they were all booked up. We ended up having massages at Massage Philosophy which I recommend you avoid that and the one called Happy Feet. Other shipmates, reported walking over the bridge to South Bank where they took a dip in the lagoon. I do highly recommended everyone go into town; it was a nice break from the ship.  

11 Nights Queensland

Rhapsody of the Seas Cruise Review by Trekker954

Trip Details
Boarding:
We walked over form the Marriott early morning with our four checks bags (two big and two small - ONE being a case of water) and they immediately ask if you have an extension cord or alcohol, keep it with your carry on. We retrieved our extension cord. We went back to the Marriott. once you are processed you may not get off the ship again and it doesn't leave until 6:30 pm. We eventually made our way on the ship at 1 pm. and our carry on with the extension cord went through security with no issue. But we did not receive a large bag when we had received all the rest. The Diamond concierge called down to security at 4ish and they confirmed they had our bag. We went down to Deck 4 (could have been 5), and my daughter had a small multi tool that had a knife part to it, that they took and said to pick up during disembarkation. On each bag was a note what their xray saw. Most were marked "IRON", some had knife; some had alcohols, one had "weight", and one had rice cooker, lol. Anyway, keep your extension cords out and don't bring irons. The rooms were ready at 1 or 1:30. We then headed up to Windjammer for lunch. The muster took place at 4:00.
Every time I get on this class ship, I swear I won’t sail her again. These ships are older and smaller. I do believe the food selections are very limited based on the size of the ships and our selection was very small and we did not care for most of the food at all. Although their three cheese tortellini is so good. I hate saying that because I feel loyal to Royal. With that aside, Captain Rob was wonderful and took very good care of us as he steered right into a Cat 5 Cyclone (Marcia). We had two sea days in the Cyclone with very rocky waves and bad weather. Once we were cleared it was sunny skies all the way. If you are going to have rain, having it on sea days was better than port days. Captain Rob is quite the character in his daily briefs. I find him funny while he annoys my daughter. So I guess you’ll have to decide on your own.
We were in JS 8590 and our stateroom attendant was excellent. Always around and kept our ice cooler filled. The refrigerator did not stay shut, so even though these refrigerators are not known to keep things cool this one was even worse. In our 37 cruises, we’ve never had to complain about neighbors, but we had a Chinese couple next door that invited their extended family/friends into the cabin for balconies parties between 11 pm and 3 every night. After about three nights in a row we addressed it. RCI was quick to respond, adding that they had already fined them regarding smoking in the room. Other than an occasional outburst when they returned to the cabin, they stayed relatively quiet and we were grateful.
Concierge Lounge – Amit the concierge has to be the best concierge we have ever had. He really went above and beyond for everyone. He knew we had a couple of private tours requiring us to be off the ship early and was as panicked as we were. He has the greatest personality and is just so caring. The CL is relatively small, narrow, and most nights would open the door to the Viking Crown which they blocked off with a screen and would monitor it carefully. Jeffrey was the bartender and was excellent. He would start making your drinks as soon as he saw you walk in. The new seats in the lounge are pretty uncomfortable. There are a handful of comfy seats that go quickly. We used the lounge nightly and never used the sea pass loaded drinks at other bards.
Diamond Lounge – A much bigger lounge and more comfy seats. This is located next to the Shall We dance lounge and they too opened the door and blocked off part of this lounge in the evening.
Newcastle: We did the ship Newcastle Hunter Valley tour. Ugh. The “host” Malcolm needs to just retire. He was just awful. His monotone voice, he has zero personality, and really had nothing to say about the wine valley. He would point out things about this or that town we were driving through or where he lived from here or there. With a long drive, one would expect someone to tell us about the wineries we’d be visiting or something of interest based on the tour. Plus we had to make a detour, because the tour company didn’t give the driver, the Royal Caribbean bus decal so we drove ½ hour out of the way into a residential area to fetch this bus decal. Really? Hunter Valley is predominately white wines, so that was our mistake for not getting enough info on that. There were quite a lot of samples to taste and it was nice all tasting fees were included.
Cairns: Because we sailed into the Cyclone, Captain Rob had to slow down the speed, which got us into Cairns a little late. We communicated with Reef Magic, our independently booked tour of the Great Barrier Reef, but they were told by the ship’s agent we’d be two to three hours late and clearly would miss our tour. So they said they’d refund us our money because they wanted to sell out seats. Even if they hadn’t sold our seat, they were very understanding about the cyclone and our delay, and I’m sure would have refunded our money regardless. We arrived at the Fleet Terminal at 9:30 (1/2 hour after our tour left). We tried booking with other tours leaving later, but due to Chinese New Years, there were 30,000 (this is not a typo) Chinese tourist there and they had literally taken over all excursions and such. We even were willing to pay for the helicopter tours and could not get on them either. BTW, it is blazing hot in this part of the world in February. We could barely breathe walking around.
Cairns Day two we booked Kuranda Cable car up and back. We visited the Wildlife area and had our photo with the Koala. Again, we booked this privately and saved a ton of money. We were told we would not have time to do both the Wildlife and the Army Duck. But we could have easily, again, trying the book the army duck the day of, we could not due to the Chinese having it booked solid the entire day. Those that took the ship’s tour train up, were extremely disappointed. They complained the train was like a sauna, and had little time to do anything in the village and were bused down.
Airlie Beach. We had the best privately booked excursion with Ocean Rafting. A full day, snorkel Whitsunday Island, a visit to Whitehaven Beach (the water is crystal clear), the sand whiter than white and cool sand. You can see lemon shark pups swimming in the shallow water. Too cute. Then off to the other end of White Have while they prepare the lunch and you can continue your swim. They do nickel and dime you to death. You more or less must rent the stinger suit, you must bring money to pay for drinks, even bottled water and lunch is also $15 on top of the $139 for the day. While I give it a 4 out of 5 stars, it would be much lower had I been one of the few that did not get a seat. It was a little overcrowded and a few who boarded last, ended up with the option of sitting on the side of the raft but in reality then stood and leaned (smart move) with the fear of bouncing off and over. FYI, the ship tour with this same company, Ocean Rafting, offered a half day tour – snorkeling from a beach (said to be a cloudy site, but they did report swimming with turtles as well, fish and reef. But that was it. They did not visit White Haven, the gorgeous beach. This half day ship tour was $80 more than the privately booked tour.
Brisbane – Since we had our Koala and Kangaroo encounter in Kuranda we opted to take the Ship shuttle into Brisbane rather than the infamous Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary or Australia Zoo. I mentioned Australia Zoo because we saw photos from others who did that tour and their photos were amazing. Looks to be worth it. It’s a shame the ship docks so far from the city. There is nothing but a cargo grain and new car (ro-ro) terminal, so there will be no walking around from the ship. The $20 US round trip worked out fine. It takes about 40 minute drive. Going we were in a nice tour type bus, with a lovely British man as our driver who provided great information. Comfy seats and soft music and it was air conditioned. The bus back was a city public type bus, a lot less comfortable, no commentary but did its job and got us back in time. They drop you next to an open air shopping mall which goes for blocks and blocks. Stores, restaurants and free wifi for I believe was for an hour. You could also sign onto many other open wifi. Of course the Irish PUB we decided to have lunch (near the bus pick up spot) did not have wifi, but they did have good food. There were a couple of nice spas, Pure indulgence being one, where we had hoped to have a nice spa package, but they were all booked up. We ended up having massages at Massage Philosophy which I recommend you avoid that and the one called Happy Feet. Other shipmates, reported walking over the bridge to South Bank where they took a dip in the lagoon. I do highly recommended everyone go into town; it was a nice break from the ship.
 
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Cabin Review

Cabin 8590
our stateroom attendant was excellent. Always around and kept our ice cooler filled. The refrigerator did not stay shut, so even though these refrigerators are not known to keep things cool this one was even worse. In our 37 cruises, we’ve never had to complain about neighbors, but we had a Chinese couple next door that invited their extended family/friends into the cabin for balconies parties between 11 pm and 3 every night. After about three nights in a row we addressed it. RCI was quick to respond, adding that they had already fined them regarding smoking in the room. Other than an occasional outburst when they returned to the cabin, they stayed relatively quiet and we were grateful.
  Rhapsody of the Seas Deck Plans

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Brisbane
    – Since we had our Koala and Kangaroo encounter in Kuranda we opted to take the Ship shuttle into Brisbane rather than the infamous Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary or Australia Zoo. I mentioned Australia Zoo because we saw photos from others who did that tour and their photos were amazing. Looks to be worth it. It’s a shame the ship docks so far from the city. There is nothing but a cargo grain and new car (ro-ro) terminal, so there will be no walking around from the ship. The $20 US round trip worked out fine. It takes about 40 minute drive. Going we were in a nice tour type bus, with a lovely British man as our driver who provided great information. Comfy seats and soft music and it was air conditioned. The bus back was a city public type bus, a lot less comfortable, no commentary but did its job and got us back in time.  They drop you next to an open air shopping mall which goes for blocks and blocks. Stores, restaurants and free wifi for I believe was for an hour. You could also sign onto many other open wifi. Of course the Irish PUB we decided to have lunch (near the bus pick up spot) did not have wifi, but they did have good food. There were a couple of nice spas, Pure indulgence being one, where we had hoped to have a nice spa package, but they were all booked up. We ended up having massages at Massage Philosophy which I recommend you avoid that and the one called Happy Feet. Other shipmates, reported walking over the bridge to South Bank where they took a dip in the lagoon. I do highly recommended everyone go into town; it was a nice break from the ship.
    View All 206 Brisbane Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Brisbane Cruise Port Review
  • Cairns
    Cairns: Because we sailed into the Cyclone, Captain Rob had to slow down the speed, which got us into Cairns a little late. We communicated with Reef Magic, our independently booked tour of the Great Barrier Reef, but they were told by the ship’s agent we’d be two to three hours late and clearly would miss our tour. So they said they’d refund us our money because they wanted to sell out seats. Even if they hadn’t sold our seat, they were very understanding about the cyclone and our delay, and I’m sure would have refunded our money regardless. We arrived at the Fleet Terminal at 9:30 (1/2 hour after our tour left). We tried booking with other tours leaving later, but due to Chinese New Years, there were 30,000 (this is not a typo) Chinese tourist there and they had literally taken over all excursions and such. We even were willing to pay for the helicopter tours and could not get on them either. BTW, it is blazing hot in this part of the world in February. We could barely breathe walking around.Cairns Day two we booked Kuranda Cable car up and back. We visited the Wildlife area and had our photo with the Koala. Again, we booked this privately and saved a ton of money. We were told we would not have time to do both the Wildlife and the Army Duck. But we could have easily, again, trying the book the army duck the day of, we could not due to the Chinese having it booked solid the entire day. Those that took the ship’s tour train up, were extremely disappointed. They complained the train was like a sauna, and had little time to do anything in the village and were bused down.
    View All 126 Cairns Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Cairns Cruise Port Review
  • Newcastle (Australia)
    We did the ship Newcastle Hunter Valley tour. Ugh. The “host” Malcolm needs to just retire. He was just awful. His monotone voice, he has zero personality, and really had nothing to say about the wine valley. He would point out things about this or that town we were driving through or where he lived from here or there. With a long drive, one would expect someone to tell us about the wineries we’d be visiting or something of interest based on the tour. Plus we had to make a detour, because the tour company didn’t give the driver, the Royal Caribbean bus decal so we drove ½ hour out of the way into a residential area to fetch this bus decal. Really? Hunter Valley is predominately white wines, so that was our mistake for not getting enough info on that. There were quite a lot of samples to taste and it was nice all tasting fees were included.
    View All 21 Newcastle (Australia) Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Newcastle (Australia) Cruise Port Review