We sailed out of Venice on 15 Aug for an eleven-night cruise on the Rhapsody of the Seas. Our stateroom was 7580. We were celebrating our 25th anniversary. We have 60 nights of cruise experience on Disney, Carnival and Royal Caribbean. Our overall experience was very good. Check-in at Venice was very smooth and the lines were reasonable. The staff did a nice job with a ship full of people speaking different languages. In fact, I would say that the staff was the strong point of our cruise. Everybody was very friendly and helpful. They really went out of their way to make our anniversary special. This was our first major vacation without our kids (both are young adults now).
When we booked our cruise only the early dining was available. We did not ask for My-Time dining. For us, the jet lag from flying from the states matched nicely with early dining. We typically went straight from dining to the early show being about 15’ late, we usually only missed the introduction by the cruise director. This schedule allowed us to be in bed before our jet lagged bodies gave out. We did purchase the 3 meal plan for the special restaurants and scheduled a slightly later time with them. Chops was excellent. Our dining table had 6 seats and the other 4 people were French speaking. One couple never showed up so we were paired up with a couple that spoke very little English-which is way more than the French we speak-none. My wife was very uncomfortable with the situation and kept trying to have a conversation with them. This effort was exhausting and a distraction. The head waiter was French speaking and did a little translating for us but sensed our issue and asked us if we would prefer a private table because we were celebrating our anniversary—this improved our dining experience (and I’m sure the other couple felt the same) dramatically and it is this kind of attention to detail that made me really appreciate the staff.
Overall the size of the ship is nice (we have sailed on the Allure and really liked that too). It’s quick and easy to get around on the ship. The Windjammer restaurant was usually very crowded as was Deck 10 around the pool but we aren’t pool people and we just avoided the Windjammer for the most part. My biggest complaint is noise coming from the Centrum area. The Centrum has a stage on the 4th floor that is open all the way to the top of the ship. They have activities in the evening through about midnight that are very loud (music). Our stateroom is only a few feet from this area and it is EXTREMELY loud. Earplugs help very little. At 10:00 pm they close a door leading to the staterooms that helps but people are constantly going through the door allowing periodic blasts of noise. If you are a non-jet lagged, night owl this won’t be a big deal. But if you are craving an early sleep you better hope your cabin is not near the Centrum (ours was 7580).