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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! The cabin stewards were great. They made several towel animals during the trip and always greeted us with a smile. Our assistant waiter, Ladylin, was outstanding. Even at the buffet, she’d see us and give us extra special service. The attention to detail was impressive. Guest services worked hard to keep us happy. During peak times, they had someone with a tablet helping out and keeping the line short. Tampa 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. Key West 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. Grand Cayman I’ve never been to Grand Cayman before and really liked it. The island was cleaner and better kept than any I’ve seen in the Caribbean before. We did a Snorkel and Stingray City excursion which everyone enjoyed. Cozumel Cozumel is Cozumel. Been there. Done that. Walked around the pier shopping for a few minutes and went back to the ship. Costa Maya Cancelled due to high winds. Rhapsody of the Seas does not have Azipods and was not able to overcome the wind to dock.

Enjoyed smaller ship with great service

Rhapsody of the Seas Cruise Review by steverk

2 people found this helpful
Trip Details
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!

The cabin stewards were great. They made several towel animals during the trip and always greeted us with a smile.

Our assistant waiter, Ladylin, was outstanding. Even at the buffet, she’d see us and give us extra special service. The attention to detail was impressive.

Guest services worked hard to keep us happy. During peak times, they had someone with a tablet helping out and keeping the line short.

Tampa

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.

Key West

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.

Grand Cayman

I’ve never been to Grand Cayman before and really liked it. The island was cleaner and better kept than any I’ve seen in the Caribbean before. We did a Snorkel and Stingray City excursion which everyone enjoyed.

Cozumel

Cozumel is Cozumel. Been there. Done that. Walked around the pier shopping for a few minutes and went back to the ship.

Costa Maya

Cancelled due to high winds. Rhapsody of the Seas does not have Azipods and was not able to overcome the wind to dock.
steverk’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Interior
Cabin 4V
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.
Deck 8 Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Cozumel
    Cozumel is Cozumel. Been there. Done that. Walked around the pier shopping for a few minutes and went back to the ship.
    View All 6,820 Cozumel Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Cozumel Cruise Port Review
  • Snorkeling
    Just a few minutes boat ride from Stingray City was the reef. We were allowed about 30 minutes to snorkel and observe the reef.
    View All 317 Snorkeling Reviews
  • Stingray Swim
    The tour company met our ship and we were quickly off on a bus to what seemed the far side of the island. From there, we were on a boat for about 30 minute ride to Stingray City. Tons of other boats were there and it took about 10 minutes for us to find a good location. Once done, the stingrays were out in force. Everyone had a great time and will remember this forever
    View All 739 Stingray Swim Reviews
  • Key West
    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.
    View All 1,833 Key West Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Key West Cruise Port Review
  • Tampa
    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.
    View All 578 Tampa Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Tampa Cruise Port Review