Alaska - again. First time in inside cabin: Rhapsody of the Seas Cruise Review by ruthandjohn

Rhapsody of the Seas 5
Member Since 2005
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Alaska - again. First time in inside cabin

Sail Date: May 2011
Destination: Alaska
Embarkation: Vancouver
We sailed on the Rhapsody 7 day which left Vancouver, BC & ended up in Seattle with the standard port stops. This was our 14th Alaska cruise, 5th on RCCL but first not on the Radiance Class...our favorite RCCL class. BUT the price was definitely right to squeek in an extra cruise this year, so. We have never sailed in an inside before. Have been booked in 1 3 times but was upgraded out on the others but decided to keep this to see what it was like.

The inside was midship and large enough. We LOVED having a tea kettle in the room as we always bring our own teabags (Brits) and haven't seen this except on the Independence of The Seas. No fridge though...a little disconcerting to get in & find all the desk space taken up with all the things that are usually in the missing fridge. Stowed them behind the mirror sides which opened. Thought maybe no fridge because we were inside, but dinner companions in balconies didn't have fridges either.

Ship is a nice midsize. More Very navigable. Like the Dawn Princess or HAL Volendam, Zaandam etc. Maybe a slight tendency to roll in seas while coming back outside of Vancouver Island on the way home which bothered some folks, but we were fine.

The Cruise Director Dan and his wife Becky who was the Activities Director were some of the best we have had. Very natural, down to earth and good at their jobs. Their calling & running of the horse races at sea were outstanding and the theme nights in the centrum were very well done in a smaller space and were well attended and participated in. One thing I have to say is this was the worst embarkation in our 40+ cruises. It was one of the first cruises of the year for Vancouver so don't know if that is their excuse, but we have never had this bad of a time here in Vancouver before. The Celebrity Millenium was boarding as well but that is usually the case...that another ship is leaving the same day.

We stood in the security screening line for an hour before getting to the 2 baggage screeners. But then were in the Immigration lines for an hour. The line was separated into 2 sides where you were directed to zigzags. There were only 2 passport checkers on one side & 3 on the other. The folks we stood next to at the boat drill said they had spent 2 hours in the baggage screen line and 2 1/2 hours in the passport line, so I guess we got blessed. Anyway, it was not good...although as I said we have never seen it like that before.

On a positive note, Canadina Captain Rick was one of the most personable and communicative captains we have had. Very friendly, gregarious and a good singer as well! He had a great pr ability. Some captains are better on the bridge than in the public settings. Kudos! Less

Published 06/13/11

Cabin review: K4563 Large Interior Stateroom

We were in 4563 inside midship. Great location...low & mid if the weather/seas might be a bit iffy. LOVED the tea kettle & ceramic mugs. No fridge. We didn't hear noise from the centrum. turned out to be an adjoining cabin and we had a family with 2 small children next door beyond the connecting door who did a lot of screaming. It was mostly temper and spoiled child demanding attention. The baby woke at 4 am. After the 2nd night started wearing earplugs which I bring but hardly ever have to use. They had just brought on new mattresses for most of the ship which I unfortunately had a severe allergic & asthmatic reaction the the outgassing...even had a rash after sleeping in the beds 1 night. Extremely strong chemical smell. The housekeeping staff had to get me back an old mattress so I could cut back on the inhalers I had been forced to use...which I always travel with just in case. Housekeeping were very accomodating and helpful.

Read All Large Interior Stateroom (K) Reviews >>

Port and Shore Excursions

To explain the "red headed stepchild" comment above, Juneau was the first example. We were to dock at 11am and I had organized a Cruise Critic group on Orca Enterprises whale watching. We have been with them 10 times, fab every time with lots of whales. BUT...for some reason, the port put the Rhapsody way down on the auxiliary dock although the Crystal Symphony was the only ship in port leaving at least 1 or 2 dock slips closer to the town, and no other ships arriving that day. In our 14 Alaska cruises, this is only the second time we have ever been down there...the other on a ship that came in at 1pm on a summer day with 4 ships already in port. Disembarking was terrible because you had to get into town on a shuttle rather than just walking off the ship and across the street to the Orca whale watch office. We phoned them & explained the situation and the held the tour until we got therefor my husband and I but 4 of our people missed the group and had to go later. We were ticked! When we asked the CD what happened, Dan said they had also asked the captain who reported the port authorities looked sheepish and shrugged when he had asked them.

The weather was lovely...sunny and in the 60s. Best we have had in Juneau in May for a few trips. A group went to Mendenhall Glacier after the whale watch (we saw lots of whales as usual...humpbacks including a playful calf and orca)and lots of shopping bags coming aboard. Float planes were busy and lots of folks weren't at early dinner as they were taking advantage of port time.

Read 1185 Juneau Reviews rained in Ketchican...which was to be expected. It's the rain capital of SE Alaska and most of the 14 times we have been there it has rained.

We were given the back dock again, leaving the front open for a Holland America which came in about 45 minutes before we left at 6pm. The Crystal Symphony docked in front of us about 2 hours after we docked. least at Ketchican, everything is easily accessible from any of the docks so it doesn't matter like it does in Juneau.

Ketchican is the base for a float plane ride to Misty Fjords which is spectacular. Occasionally if the weather is too bad they are canceled, but that is a great excursion. Within walking distance, and in sight from the back dock, is the Lumbejack show which is fun if you haven't experienced that kind of competition. You can do the Ketchican Duck Tour in the amphibious vehicle which is quite fun & popular, and another favorite here is the Deadliest Catch repurposed boat from the series where you go out crabbing...only with comfortable spectator seats and your don't have to get frostbite. Samples yes, frostbite, no.

Antoeher great thing to do is rental car and drive up to the tundra & Emerald Lake. You usually see wildlife along the way and you can't get lost...or not for long...only 30 miles of road in the whole area.

Just off the ship or down the dock a bit is a building where independent shore excursion operators are available if you haven't booked onboard.

Read 1339 Ketchikan Reviews

At Skagway, we were docked at the Train favorite because of all the ship signs and graffiti left over the years at the sheer rock face by the dock. We had one of the warmest days we had ever had in Skagway which we always consider the wind tunnel of the Alaska ports. The walk into town was super. The train ride on the White Horse & Yukon RR is very popular and the folks that went had an especially good day for photos and views of the ship from way up at the top. The helicopter flights to the glacier are spectacular and the weather was perfect for that as well. We just walked up to town and walked around visiting the only antique shop in town and did a bit of shopping. They are now running some whale watch/wildlife tours our of Skagway which they didn't used to do which we will check out when we are next in Alaska in Sept. All together a gorgeous day.

The entertainment was average cruise ship quality but felt the singers were very good. Had seen some of the headliners before.

Read 877 Skagway Reviews

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