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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). We love having a stateroom with a verandah but when I discovered that the smoking area for the ship was on Deck 5, starboard side, right below us (deck 5 outside area is “two stories” below us) I was worried but we very rarely smelled smoke. The size of our stateroom, including storage space was perfect for two people. You could add a small child and still be ok. Internet. This is the first time we purchased the internet plan on a ship (Voom Surf + Stream 1 device). If you manage your expectations its ok. When it works it works fine. But it was spotty. There were times that we could not connect at all (for example sea days when everyone is trying to research the next day’s port call. Best times were during late diner, first thing in the morning, or during a port call. One tip: when they say “1 device” this means one device at a time. So my wife and I took turns on our different devices-tablets, phones, and laptop. I feel like it was worth having the internet plan. Drink plan. I am not a big drinker, I like a beer occasionally, so the drink plan is not for me. However, my wife loves wine and martinis. We almost purchased the drink plan for her which would have been around $500 for 11 nights. I’m glad we didn’t. She didn’t even spend half of that. By the time you subtract the departure day and the large chunks of time you off the ship at the ports, you have to really drink a lot to make it worthwhile. Gift shop. Even on day 1 the only sizes available seemed to be small and XXXLarge. I guess they figure by the end of the cruise we will have eaten so much that we’ll need the bigger sizes? For a company trying to make money at every corner, it seems strange that they don’t have the popular sizes available. Water package. We paid 47 Euro to have some Evian water in our room. This is obviously ridiculously overpriced. At our first port, Katakolon, the duty free shop sold cases of water for 3 Euro and the staff had no problem with us bringing 2 cases on board. Of course they were hawking all of the liquids for liquor contraband. Ports. Katakolon, Chania, Mykonos, Santorini, Kusadasi, Piraeus, Venice. We did not use any of the cruiseline packages. We find that there are way better deals out there. We use Trip Advisor and have been happy with the results for years. Katakolon-- hire Nicolas at OlympiaTaxi and go see Olympia. Chania—walk around old town have lunch or a drink overlooking the bay. Mykonos—just walked around the city its nice but windy. Santorini-Amazing. We took the bus down to the ruins of Akrotiri and then up to Oia for lunch and shopping. Kusadasi--hired a private guide and went to House of Mary and Ephesus. Piraeus—hired a private guide and went directly to Acropolis at 7:30. We beat the crowds and the heat. We had been to Venice before so we just went and had drinks, diner and gelato.

Greek Isles for our 25th Anniversary!

Rhapsody of the Seas Cruise Review by toddlang@aol.com

37 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: August 2016
  • Destination: Greece
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).

We love having a stateroom with a verandah but when I discovered that the smoking area for the ship was on Deck 5, starboard side, right below us (deck 5 outside area is “two stories” below us) I was worried but we very rarely smelled smoke. The size of our stateroom, including storage space was perfect for two people. You could add a small child and still be ok.

Internet. This is the first time we purchased the internet plan on a ship (Voom Surf + Stream 1 device). If you manage your expectations its ok. When it works it works fine. But it was spotty. There were times that we could not connect at all (for example sea days when everyone is trying to research the next day’s port call. Best times were during late diner, first thing in the morning, or during a port call. One tip: when they say “1 device” this means one device at a time. So my wife and I took turns on our different devices-tablets, phones, and laptop. I feel like it was worth having the internet plan.

Drink plan. I am not a big drinker, I like a beer occasionally, so the drink plan is not for me. However, my wife loves wine and martinis. We almost purchased the drink plan for her which would have been around $500 for 11 nights. I’m glad we didn’t. She didn’t even spend half of that. By the time you subtract the departure day and the large chunks of time you off the ship at the ports, you have to really drink a lot to make it worthwhile.

Gift shop. Even on day 1 the only sizes available seemed to be small and XXXLarge. I guess they figure by the end of the cruise we will have eaten so much that we’ll need the bigger sizes? For a company trying to make money at every corner, it seems strange that they don’t have the popular sizes available.

Water package. We paid 47 Euro to have some Evian water in our room. This is obviously ridiculously overpriced. At our first port, Katakolon, the duty free shop sold cases of water for 3 Euro and the staff had no problem with us bringing 2 cases on board. Of course they were hawking all of the liquids for liquor contraband.

Ports. Katakolon, Chania, Mykonos, Santorini, Kusadasi, Piraeus, Venice. We did not use any of the cruiseline packages. We find that there are way better deals out there. We use Trip Advisor and have been happy with the results for years. Katakolon-- hire Nicolas at OlympiaTaxi and go see Olympia. Chania—walk around old town have lunch or a drink overlooking the bay. Mykonos—just walked around the city its nice but windy. Santorini-Amazing. We took the bus down to the ruins of Akrotiri and then up to Oia for lunch and shopping. Kusadasi--hired a private guide and went to House of Mary and Ephesus. Piraeus—hired a private guide and went directly to Acropolis at 7:30. We beat the crowds and the heat. We had been to Venice before so we just went and had drinks, diner and gelato.
toddlang@aol.com’s Full Rating Summary
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