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In writing this review, I would like to concentrate mainly on the entertainment/activities that can be experienced on the Rhapsody Of The Seas - but to begin with, I shall just quickly cover the basics. I cruised onboard the Rhapsody for 2 weeks (14 nights) back-to-back, embarking on 4th February and finally leaving the ship on 18th February. The mid-cruise immigration process went smoothly and all of the consecutive cruisers were personally escorted off the ship and straight back on again. I must question though - would it not be easier for the guests, if the Immigration Officer boarded the ship to see our passports, instead of making the people in wheelchairs or on 'scooters' and 'walking frames' to make the journey down the gangways; which were quite steep and difficult to maneuver? Both of the one week cruises saw exactly the same itineraries and were identical in almost every way. Sometimes that can be a good thing or sometimes not! I'll let you, the Cruise Critic members, decide. Embarkation was easy; no wait times, no problems, no drama. My first impressions were that this ship was clean, well cared for and provided everything that I expected. My cabin review can be found later in this critique so I will not mention it here. Although I much prefer to dress for dinner and frequented the main dining room every evening, I must confess to thinking the menu was somewhat repetitive, with few choices and even less herbs and spices! The Wind Jammer on the other hand, offered a huge variety of dishes, both hot and cold. All were delicious! Considering the distances between the ports, I did not appreciate the length of time allowed in the ports of call. In George Town, Grand Cayman the last tender back left at 3pm. In Costa Maya it was back onboard by 3.30pm. In Cozumel, all aboard by 7pm (nice) and in Belize City the last tender back was 5.15pm. On the last sea day of the first week, the Captain announced that high winds were expected overnight and in order to miss these currents, he was sailing the ship full speed ahead and that as a result, we would arrive in Tampa 3 hours early. Subsequently the Casino and bars closed at midnight and the public areas were deserted by this time. Interestingly, on the last sea day of the second week, the Captain announced exactly the same thing; there were high winds expected and in order to miss these winds, the ship would increase speed and arrive in Tampa 3 hours early. I checked the weather report on the internet this second time and there were no high winds expected. It was smooth sailing al the way. Nevertheless, the casino and bars closed at midnight and we arrived in Tampa 3 hours early! Strange, huh? Now you've had the 'veg' ...... so on to the 'meat' of this critique - the ENTERTAINMENT! It was diverse, fun, silly and, as it shoud be, wholly entertaining! In anticipation of writing this 'entertainment' review - and with as much as my energy and my time constraints would allow - I took part in as many activities as I could. In an effort to experience both sides of the coin, if I took part in an activity one week, then I sat and observed the guests' reactions the other week. All of the trivia quizzes (music/world events/general knowledge/sports/movies/places/songs with color/true or false..and so on..) presented different questions each week and were conducted in a fun and pleasureable manner. The game shows and activities (such as:- Putting on the Hits/Battle of the Sexes/Who wants to be a Caribbeanaire/60 seconds or less/Finish That Lyric/Love and Marriage/Most Talented Couple/Ring Toss/Taboo/The Quest/Belly Flop/Majority Rules/Bean Bag Toss.... and oh, so many more...) were fun, comical, exciting and interesting (to both take part in and to watch). All In all, the Activities team did a fabulous job - and as much as I don't want to make this critique an adulation to one particular person, necesssity deems that it may turn out that way. The Activities staff ultimately come under the jurisdiction of the Cruise Director, who can make the entertainment precisely that - entertainment! - or just a drag and a bore; leaving people opting not to go/paticipate. I must say that the highlight and instigator of the unsurpassed entertainment onboard this cruise was the Cruise Director, one Elvis Pinto Robles. Obviously I have cruised with RCCL many, many times but never have I seen, met and spoken with, a more personable and charismatic Cruise Director. On both weeks, he was highly visible on all decks and chatted with all the guests he met. No-one was passed over and he made a point of making every singe person feel important. He was funny, quirky, comical, enthusiastic and clearly strived to include EVERYONE in the fun. I heard him (on 70's Disco 'Macho Men' evening) call out to people on the 6th, 7th & 8th decks. He encouraged everyone to dance and join in - and I saw old ladies and men get up out of their chairs and do a few steps. He came down off the stage and himself danced with seniors, the disabled, young kids, guests small, big, fat, thin, of every ethnicity. He encouraged old men to join in and parents to bring and dance with their chidren. He reached out to couples and grand parents and I am convinced that Elvis is a man who clearly understands his job, enjoys his work and strives to include everyone (and I mean EVERYONE) in the fun. When speaking with him, I learned that he is informed of his cruise guest demographics 2 days beforehand. Every Cruise Director knows (if he bothers to read and take notice of it) the different nationalities, how many seniors, how many 30/60s, how many kids, etc., are on board - and it was quite obvious that this Cruise Director speaks to his Activities staff and 'tweaks' the entertainment to match this criteria. This was easily identifiable in the change of 'trivia quiz' questions and the 'Finish That Lyric' game show, to name but two. I have been on many, many cruises and elieve me, this man knows his craft! This is also the first time that I have seen the Cruise Director teach his own salsa dance class! These were very well attended and in speaking to the majority of people attending this class, their response was that although they had never danced salsa before, they were taking the class simply because it was being taught by Elvis. It became obvious (on both weeks) that the guests simply adored him. He is not only DOING his job, he LOVES his job - he is an entertainer and a performer in his own right and a definite asset to RCCL. I am absolutely convinced that if you ever sail on a ship where Evis Pinto Robles is the Cruise Director, you will certainly not be disappointed - both with the entertainment or his Activities staff onboard. In what would otherwise have been a very mediocre cruise, the Cruise Director and his Activities staff saved the day (or should I say, saved the 14 days!)

Entertainment/Activities Staff Save the "RHAPSODY" from mediocre.

Rhapsody of the Seas Cruise Review by Joyontheseas

6 people found this helpful
Trip Details
In writing this review, I would like to concentrate mainly on the entertainment/activities that can be experienced on the Rhapsody Of The Seas - but to begin with, I shall just quickly cover the basics.

I cruised onboard the Rhapsody for 2 weeks (14 nights) back-to-back, embarking on 4th February and finally leaving the ship on 18th February. The mid-cruise immigration process went smoothly and all of the consecutive cruisers were personally escorted off the ship and straight back on again. I must question though - would it not be easier for the guests, if the Immigration Officer boarded the ship to see our passports, instead of making the people in wheelchairs or on 'scooters' and 'walking frames' to make the journey down the gangways; which were quite steep and difficult to maneuver?

Both of the one week cruises saw exactly the same itineraries and were identical in almost every way. Sometimes that can be a good thing or sometimes not! I'll let you, the Cruise Critic members, decide.

Embarkation was easy; no wait times, no problems, no drama. My first impressions were that this ship was clean, well cared for and provided everything that I expected.

My cabin review can be found later in this critique so I will not mention it here.

Although I much prefer to dress for dinner and frequented the main dining room every evening, I must confess to thinking the menu was somewhat repetitive, with few choices and even less herbs and spices! The Wind Jammer on the other hand, offered a huge variety of dishes, both hot and cold. All were delicious!

Considering the distances between the ports, I did not appreciate the length of time allowed in the ports of call. In George Town, Grand Cayman the last tender back left at 3pm. In Costa Maya it was back onboard by 3.30pm. In Cozumel, all aboard by 7pm (nice) and in Belize City the last tender back was 5.15pm.

On the last sea day of the first week, the Captain announced that high winds were expected overnight and in order to miss these currents, he was sailing the ship full speed ahead and that as a result, we would arrive in Tampa 3 hours early. Subsequently the Casino and bars closed at midnight and the public areas were deserted by this time.

Interestingly, on the last sea day of the second week, the Captain announced exactly the same thing; there were high winds expected and in order to miss these winds, the ship would increase speed and arrive in Tampa 3 hours early. I checked the weather report on the internet this second time and there were no high winds expected. It was smooth sailing al the way. Nevertheless, the casino and bars closed at midnight and we arrived in Tampa 3 hours early! Strange, huh?

Now you've had the 'veg' ...... so on to the 'meat' of this critique - the ENTERTAINMENT!

It was diverse, fun, silly and, as it shoud be, wholly entertaining!

In anticipation of writing this 'entertainment' review - and with as much as my energy and my time constraints would allow - I took part in as many activities as I could. In an effort to experience both sides of the coin, if I took part in an activity one week, then I sat and observed the guests' reactions the other week. All of the trivia quizzes (music/world events/general knowledge/sports/movies/places/songs with color/true or false..and so on..) presented different questions each week and were conducted in a fun and pleasureable manner. The game shows and activities (such as:- Putting on the Hits/Battle of the Sexes/Who wants to be a Caribbeanaire/60 seconds or less/Finish That Lyric/Love and Marriage/Most Talented Couple/Ring Toss/Taboo/The Quest/Belly Flop/Majority Rules/Bean Bag Toss.... and oh, so many more...) were fun, comical, exciting and interesting (to both take part in and to watch). All In all, the Activities team did a fabulous job - and as much as I don't want to make this critique an adulation to one particular person, necesssity deems that it may turn out that way. The Activities staff ultimately come under the jurisdiction of the Cruise Director, who can make the entertainment precisely that - entertainment! - or just a drag and a bore; leaving people opting not to go/paticipate. I must say that the highlight and instigator of the unsurpassed entertainment onboard this cruise was the Cruise Director, one Elvis Pinto Robles. Obviously I have cruised with RCCL many, many times but never have I seen, met and spoken with, a more personable and charismatic Cruise Director. On both weeks, he was highly visible on all decks and chatted with all the guests he met. No-one was passed over and he made a point of making every singe person feel important. He was funny, quirky, comical, enthusiastic and clearly strived to include EVERYONE in the fun. I heard him (on 70's Disco 'Macho Men' evening) call out to people on the 6th, 7th & 8th decks. He encouraged everyone to dance and join in - and I saw old ladies and men get up out of their chairs and do a few steps. He came down off the stage and himself danced with seniors, the disabled, young kids, guests small, big, fat, thin, of every ethnicity. He encouraged old men to join in and parents to bring and dance with their chidren. He reached out to couples and grand parents and I am convinced that Elvis is a man who clearly understands his job, enjoys his work and strives to include everyone (and I mean EVERYONE) in the fun.

When speaking with him, I learned that he is informed of his cruise guest demographics 2 days beforehand. Every Cruise Director knows (if he bothers to read and take notice of it) the different nationalities, how many seniors, how many 30/60s, how many kids, etc., are on board - and it was quite obvious that this Cruise Director speaks to his Activities staff and 'tweaks' the entertainment to match this criteria. This was easily identifiable in the change of 'trivia quiz' questions and the 'Finish That Lyric' game show, to name but two.

I have been on many, many cruises and elieve me, this man knows his craft!

This is also the first time that I have seen the Cruise Director teach his own salsa dance class! These were very well attended and in speaking to the majority of people attending this class, their response was that although they had never danced salsa before, they were taking the class simply because it was being taught by Elvis. It became obvious (on both weeks) that the guests simply adored him. He is not only DOING his job, he LOVES his job - he is an entertainer and a performer in his own right and a definite asset to RCCL. I am absolutely convinced that if you ever sail on a ship where Evis Pinto Robles is the Cruise Director, you will certainly not be disappointed - both with the entertainment or his Activities staff onboard.

In what would otherwise have been a very mediocre cruise, the Cruise Director and his Activities staff saved the day (or should I say, saved the 14 days!)
Joyontheseas’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Service
Onboard Experience
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Cabin Review

Cabin 7140
On the first week of this cruise, I was part of a group booking with a 'D1-GTY' (guaranteed superior ocean view stateroom with balcony). On the second week, I chose the stateroom myself and elected for stateroom 7594 (also a superior ocean view stateroom with balcony). Both staterooms were on deck 7 and were absolutely identical - apart from the much longer walk from the elevator to the 7140 stateroom (on the first week). The 7594 stateroom was two doors away from the elevator and on the opposite side of the ship.
Both staterooms were easily located, clean, offered a fridge, nice bathroom and balcony. The stateroom attendants on both weeks were male; acquiesced to my every request and did an excellent job in looking after a very British lady, who likes everything prim and proper!
  Rhapsody of the Seas Deck Plans