just back from Hawaii to Vancouver: Rhapsody of the Seas Cruise Review by ladycanuck

Rhapsody of the Seas 3
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just back from Hawaii to Vancouver

Sail Date: May 2009
Destination: Hawaii
Embarkation: Honolulu
This was our first time on RCI (Celebrity twice, Princess once) and we chose it strictly because of the itinerary - fly to Honolulu from Vancouver, 3 days in Honolulu, board Rhapsody, stop in Lahaina, Hilo and Kailua-Kona, then cruise the Pacific back to Vancouver. The interary was perfect - lots of time in ports to do what we wanted - snorkel, tour the volcanoes (actually walked through the crater, 2 hr hike), attend a luau and sightsee. General impression of the ship - very attractive, lots of very comfortable lounges, excellent adult pool area, perfect stateroom attendant (met him on Day 1, never saw him again, probably because we slept in til 10 each morning). But Celebrity blows RCI and Princess out of the water when it comes to the food quality, choice and service. The BIG disappointment? We had booked this trip to celebrate a 46th wedding anniversary and a birthday. Our TA twice notified RCI, and our on-line boarding pass indicated both celebrations. NEITHER happened. We are More now dealing with the cruise line regarding this. We also had some difficulty getting a stateroom change - we booked our trip 8 months in advance and were assigned an inferior cabin - 3500 - which although was outside, had 2 portholes instead of a picture window, and was at the extreme front of the ship which meant hiking to get anywhere. At first RCI insisted on charging us $98 each to change cabins, but our TA was able to get this done without a surcharge.

The ship itself is beautiful - lots of interesting artwork everywhere, beautiful lounges, especially the Viking at the very top, lots of open area for outside walking, lots of quiet places to spend time, lots of loud places to spend time, excellent entertainment and lots of choice at the buffet although the only one we used was breakfast in the Windjammer. Drinks were fine - we tended to go for the 2-1 which were OK although they all tended to be too sweet. The stateroom was roomy enough, lots of closet and storage space. The bathroom amenities are lacking - only shampoo and poor quality soap - so be prepared to take your own cream rinse/conditioner and shower cap. There was tea-making equipment but not coffee. Our cabin was right across from the elevators and we never heard a sound - either from the hallways or adjoining rooms. Staff were very friendly, especially the dining room.

TV channel selection was very minimal - they don't want you to stay in your cabin - but it would be nice to keep up with the news of the world. The last 3 days at sea we had CNN in Spanish and we don't speak Spanish. Also the internet service on board went down which I am sure caused a lot of people grief - these days we tend to rely on the internet to conduct business, make reservations, etc.
Overall, our next choice will once again be Celebrity. Less

Published 05/24/09

Cabin review:

Great location right across from elevator hallway, very quiet, lots of closet and storage, extremely comfortable bed.

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