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This was a renewal of cruising for my family, our first in nearly 20 years, this time with our young son. The Rhapsody is older for sure, but it provides plenty of bang for the buck. Everything's easy to access, and scheduling is well aligned, with few lines for anything beyond port departure at the busiest times (and really, that wasn't just us, but 4 ships arriving in Cozumel on the same day). Good: ship size, port variety, family-friendly (especially the Adventure Ocean program), good theater productions. Bad: food (sub-par in the main dining room, about what you'd expect in the Windjammer, upcharges for anything worthwhile), drink (daily soda and alcohol package are ridiculously pricy, and the latter encourages people to get hammered at all hours). Belize as a port has very little to offer, though at least what's there is real. Costa Maya has an incredible dolphin experience, but nothing else worthwhile IMHO. Grand Cayman and Cozumel are both terrific though, with tons of variety in excursions and options. Ugly: Constant advertisements for "upgrades". It's one thing to let us know that the service or experience exists. It's another to put your crew in t-shirts that read "Get Your Drinks Package!". Tacky, guys. Bait-and-switch on Internet pricing (price cut to "only" $15.99 per day on the 2nd-to-last day...if you buy access for both days; $22.99 per day otherwise, just nuts).

Goldilocks ship - not too big, not too small, just right. But the food...

Rhapsody of the Seas Cruise Review by aredubya

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Trip Details
This was a renewal of cruising for my family, our first in nearly 20 years, this time with our young son. The Rhapsody is older for sure, but it provides plenty of bang for the buck. Everything's easy to access, and scheduling is well aligned, with few lines for anything beyond port departure at the busiest times (and really, that wasn't just us, but 4 ships arriving in Cozumel on the same day).

Good: ship size, port variety, family-friendly (especially the Adventure Ocean program), good theater productions.

Bad: food (sub-par in the main dining room, about what you'd expect in the Windjammer, upcharges for anything worthwhile), drink (daily soda and alcohol package are ridiculously pricy, and the latter encourages people to get hammered at all hours). Belize as a port has very little to offer, though at least what's there is real. Costa Maya has an incredible dolphin experience, but nothing else worthwhile IMHO. Grand Cayman and Cozumel are both terrific though, with tons of variety in excursions and options.

Ugly: Constant advertisements for "upgrades". It's one thing to let us know that the service or experience exists. It's another to put your crew in t-shirts that read "Get Your Drinks Package!". Tacky, guys. Bait-and-switch on Internet pricing (price cut to "only" $15.99 per day on the 2nd-to-last day...if you buy access for both days; $22.99 per day otherwise, just nuts).
aredubya’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Ages 7 to 9
Service
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Cabin Review

Cabin 7594
Little frills, but absolutely functional, with tons of storage nooks for 3 people.
  Rhapsody of the Seas Deck Plans

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Belize City
    We weren't interested in RC's offerings, so spent little time. Standard tropical knick-knacks at the dockside.
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  • Dolphin Swim
    It's really, really pricy ($125 per person, plus $200 for a full set of pro pictures), but it was the experience of a lifetime. I deliberately chose the Costa Maya dolphin swim over a similar excursion in Cozumel, both to have it as the capper of our trip, and because I wasn't thrilled with some of the high pressure sales cited from other reviewers. I can happily say that our dolphin swim experience was amazing. My son got nervous being up close with a dolphin, but the trainer calmly lead the two of them through a getting-to-know-you routine, and had the boy all smiles by the end. Thank you Dolphin Discovery of Costa Maya.
    View All 36 Dolphin Swim Reviews
  • Cozumel
    Beautiful beach, with tons of free (in both available and cost) chairs. We plopped down in the shade of a pair of palms and relaxed for most of the day. Snorkeling area was small, but plenty of marine life to see. The offshore water park inflatables were tough to reach, but well worth the swim. The buffet was pretty lame - nachos, soft shell tortilla and lukewarm fixins, and my wife found the free drinks very watered down. I don't drink alcohol often, so I enjoyed tasty virgin cocktails which they were happy to make. My family also enjoyed the pool area, warm, clean and well appointed. We love Cozumel, and would surely consider coming back.
    View All 13,277 Cozumel Cruise Port Reviews
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  • Tampa
    We drove in to Tampa after staying with family. The's port area is quite walkable, as I learned after dropping off my rental car a mile from RC's terminal 5 location. This was planned from the beginning, not a surprise. FWIW, I saw travelers boarding the Norwegian Dawn at terminal 2, and they had a line hundreds long. Royal did a great job with recommended boarding times by deck, as the line was non-existent, and we were aboard in no time.
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