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This was my 6th Royal Caribbean cruise and the second on a Vision Class ship. We sailed on the Grandeur last summer, and dining was certainly a highlight of the experience. I liked the way that the menu showcased the chef and/or a particular theme for the evening, and that it had some choices available every night for the duration of the cruise alongside featured items for just that evening. More importantly for me, as a vegetarian, the Grandeur’s menu evidenced an intentional effort to accommodate vegetarians – lentil meatballs, veggie sweet and sour, artichoke crepes, etc. Rhapsody’s accommodation for vegetarians was more accidental than intentional. Vegetarian appetizers were almost nonexistent, unless you consider the same fruit cup offered night after night. Most vegetarians are sick to death of salads and pasta and are looking for something different. Grandeur’s dining crew did a good job last summer, so I was looking forward to sailing on Rhapsody. In 7 nights, I did not have a single meal of exceptional quality. The service was good. The bread was great. Not so much the rest. I understand that only so much effort can be applied towards catering to a small minority, but Royal needs to consider that families won’t choose a vacation unless all members of the family are accommodated. I hope this is not a fleet-wide thing, as we will all hit Emerald status on our next Royal cruise. The ports on this trip were somewhat lackluster. Tendering was such a disaster at one stop that we never made it off the ship. People were lined up in the stairwell from Deck 6 down to Deck 1. Crew flat out lied, saying the wait was due to rough seas. The sea looked like a lake. The wait was due to insufficient tender boats, shared by three ships that arrived at the same time. The dippy Cruise Director blathered about that before the evening show, indicating that RC had no control over that situation. Cruise ship schedules are set years in advance, so they certainly should have seen it coming, and might indeed have been able to do something. Costa Maya and the "port" at Belize City are just tourist-fleecing operations in cahoots with the cruise lines. Same stores you find everywhere else, and armed guards at the gates to keep the locals out. You're not really getting a feel for these places or the locals. Excursions were overpriced but overall good. Starfish Island (Belize) was very nice but we would have liked to stay another hour. What a beautiful place. The Atlantis sub at Cozumel was a great trip - though they wasted some of our time by having us meet 45 minutes before they were ready to take us anywhere. Hearing an old goat lecture the operator on how he's an "on time kind of guy and expects that 11:55 means 11:55, not 12:30" was quite entertaining! The Costa Maya "Port Pass" was a bit of a waste. You get to choose three out of four activities. The aviary, where you meet and feed many different kinds of tropical birds was cool. The "chocolate factory" isn't really a factory and they make nothing there. They do a hokey show that talks to the history of chocolate somewhat, and offer samples of Mexican chocolate for the purpose of selling said chocolate in the gift shop. Swimming with rays was ok but not exceptional - I think there were around 4 rays and lots of fish in a walled-in swimming area. We did not go to the tequila attraction (traveling with kids).

Lousy Menu for Vegetarians - Ports not Great Either

Rhapsody of the Seas Cruise Review by clp4

5 people found this helpful
Trip Details
This was my 6th Royal Caribbean cruise and the second on a Vision Class ship. We sailed on the Grandeur last summer, and dining was certainly a highlight of the experience. I liked the way that the menu showcased the chef and/or a particular theme for the evening, and that it had some choices available every night for the duration of the cruise alongside featured items for just that evening. More importantly for me, as a vegetarian, the Grandeur’s menu evidenced an intentional effort to accommodate vegetarians – lentil meatballs, veggie sweet and sour, artichoke crepes, etc. Rhapsody’s accommodation for vegetarians was more accidental than intentional. Vegetarian appetizers were almost nonexistent, unless you consider the same fruit cup offered night after night. Most vegetarians are sick to death of salads and pasta and are looking for something different. Grandeur’s dining crew did a good job last summer, so I was looking forward to sailing on Rhapsody. In 7 nights, I did not have a single meal of exceptional quality. The service was good. The bread was great. Not so much the rest. I understand that only so much effort can be applied towards catering to a small minority, but Royal needs to consider that families won’t choose a vacation unless all members of the family are accommodated. I hope this is not a fleet-wide thing, as we will all hit Emerald status on our next Royal cruise.

The ports on this trip were somewhat lackluster. Tendering was such a disaster at one stop that we never made it off the ship. People were lined up in the stairwell from Deck 6 down to Deck 1. Crew flat out lied, saying the wait was due to rough seas. The sea looked like a lake. The wait was due to insufficient tender boats, shared by three ships that arrived at the same time. The dippy Cruise Director blathered about that before the evening show, indicating that RC had no control over that situation. Cruise ship schedules are set years in advance, so they certainly should have seen it coming, and might indeed have been able to do something.

Costa Maya and the "port" at Belize City are just tourist-fleecing operations in cahoots with the cruise lines. Same stores you find everywhere else, and armed guards at the gates to keep the locals out. You're not really getting a feel for these places or the locals.

Excursions were overpriced but overall good. Starfish Island (Belize) was very nice but we would have liked to stay another hour. What a beautiful place. The Atlantis sub at Cozumel was a great trip - though they wasted some of our time by having us meet 45 minutes before they were ready to take us anywhere. Hearing an old goat lecture the operator on how he's an "on time kind of guy and expects that 11:55 means 11:55, not 12:30" was quite entertaining!

The Costa Maya "Port Pass" was a bit of a waste. You get to choose three out of four activities. The aviary, where you meet and feed many different kinds of tropical birds was cool. The "chocolate factory" isn't really a factory and they make nothing there. They do a hokey show that talks to the history of chocolate somewhat, and offer samples of Mexican chocolate for the purpose of selling said chocolate in the gift shop. Swimming with rays was ok but not exceptional - I think there were around 4 rays and lots of fish in a walled-in swimming area. We did not go to the tequila attraction (traveling with kids).
clp4’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Ages 13 to 15
Service
Onboard Experience
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Cabin Review

Cabin 4532
Cabin was tight but functional! With 6 of us crammed into that space and sharing one bathroom, we thought it might have been better to get two regular cabins.
  Rhapsody of the Seas Deck Plans

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Beach
    We visited Starfish Island. Beautiful place, good snorkeling, nice Belize-style lunch, and a floating water park for kids (bring some cash, because the water park piece had a small fee). We did not want to leave (could easily have stayed another hour).
    View All 40 Beach Reviews
  • Costa Maya
    Aviary was awesome. Chocolate "factory" doesn't actually make any chocolate, and was kind of lame. Swimming with rays was neat, though I only saw 4 of them in the walled-in area we were in.
    View All 13,150 Costa Maya Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Costa Maya Cruise Port Review
  • Submarine Tour
    Wasted some of our time with an early gathering time, but they were not ready to take us anywhere for 30+ minutes. Sub was very cool, went down 120 feet. We saw lots of fish, shipwreck, scuba divers on shipwreck, and ledge that drops off 2000+ feet down. Sub is NOT claustrophobic. You have far less personal space on an airplane.
    View All 83 Submarine Tour Reviews