We sailed Rhapsody of the Seas in January and had a great time.
Rhapsody is older and smaller than most other RCI ships, but that’s part of why I enjoyed it. Being smaller means everything is closer and the service is more personal.
This comes at a price, of course. A smaller ship has less to do and moves around much more than the larger ships. We had 6-10 waves and you really felt it in several parts of the ship. The solarium pool acted like a wave pool. It was great fun!
We had 3 interior cabins. (8015, 8017, 8019). 8015 is an accessible cabin. We booked the cruise more than a year ago, and my wife’s knee was getting worse. I was concerned she’d need this cabin. Turns out she was fine and we just felt guilty about getting an accessible cabin without a real need.
All three cabins were fine. The accessible cabin is much larger. All three are under the pool deck and it was noisy between 10pm and midnight. Other than that, no complaints.
One thing I’ve learned about cabin selection. They assign the best stewards to the suites. Since the interior cabins across the hall have the same stewards, you can get the same fantastic service. That said, the suites are located according to the view. This means they move more and are frequently noisier than other cabins further down. Our experience on Rhapsody reinforces this theory.
We arrived in Tampa the night before and stayed at the Embassy Suites Downtown/Convention Center. The hotel was great and the area around it felt safe and inviting. They had a stay and park deal, which worked out just fine. We could have taken the trolley to the port, or even walked, but we overpacked and took a LYFT instead. Worked out great!
We left Tampa just as the rain cleared and had a beautiful view of the Sunshine Skyway as we went out to open sea.
Arrival in Key West was on time, but we were delayed getting off the ship due to a medical emergency. Sadly, this was the second medical emergency as someone was removed from the ship in Tampa as well.
The sky was clear and the temperature was in the mid 70s. Our parasailing excursion was cancelled due to high winds, so we walked the town and went to Fort Zackary Taylor. Very cool place! I recommend it both for the beach and the historic fort.
One shout out to RCI on the Parasailing. The winds were 20+ mph. This is higher than the recommended speed for parasailing. However, the excursion company was still taking people out. Personally, I really appreciate RCI being careful and cancelling.
Cozumel is Cozumel. Been there. Done that. Walked around the pier shopping for a few minutes and went back to the ship.