156 Royal Caribbean Rhapsody of the Seas Alaska Cruise Reviews

We did a land & sea cruise,.I would highly recommend the RC ship but not necessarily the trip before the cruise, The tour guide and bus driver were excellent, but we could have planned a better itinerary ourselves. The first day ... Read More
We did a land & sea cruise,.I would highly recommend the RC ship but not necessarily the trip before the cruise, The tour guide and bus driver were excellent, but we could have planned a better itinerary ourselves. The first day we met our tour guide, the trip included in Denali was not worth the time, so you had to upgrade, and the hotel Denali Park Village was awful.. The Alaska cruise was wonderful with attentive staff ad great service as usual. We stopped at the Hubbard Glacier and stayed for a few hours. There was a terrific narrator explaining about glaciers as we watched the glacier fall into the water, . The entertainment was outstanding. We went on excursions each day - the best was the helicopter to the glacier, The guides were very interesting and we tasted the water- unbelievable. This is one of the pricier tour but well worth it. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
We got a Jr. Suite instead of our usual balcony stateroom (there was a special - we go the Jr. Suite for a few $$ more than the balcony) so we had Priority Boarding - that was great! Went ahead of the general masses and were on-board in ... Read More
We got a Jr. Suite instead of our usual balcony stateroom (there was a special - we go the Jr. Suite for a few $$ more than the balcony) so we had Priority Boarding - that was great! Went ahead of the general masses and were on-board in about 10 minutes. Everyone at the pier was quite pleasant. The room was fairly spacious and very clean. Every one of the crew that we came into contact with was extremely considerate and willing to do almost anything to help make out trip a WOW. There were two areas of disappointment: 1) The nightly entertainment left alot to be desired. 2) The food was good. What is wrong with that? In the past, the food has been great! Could the reason for these areas of disappointment be that the Rhapsody is a Vision class ship and is not one of the larger in the fleet? Our helicopter excursion was cancelled due to inclement weather in Juneau, so we spent the afternoon in the Red Dog Saloon. (highly recommended - not for children!!) Other than those two areas, the cruise was a huge success for us and the rest of our group. This is our second cruise to Alaska. I would go again, but there are so many other area in the world I want to see! Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
Since Rhapsody will be going elsewhere until further notice, I don't know how helpful this review will be to those interested in the Alaska itinerary, but here goes.. Seattle: We elected to stay fly in the day before and stay the ... Read More
Since Rhapsody will be going elsewhere until further notice, I don't know how helpful this review will be to those interested in the Alaska itinerary, but here goes.. Seattle: We elected to stay fly in the day before and stay the night after the cruise. We stayed at the Sleep Inn at Sea-Tac. I was feeling a little sorry that we didn't stay downtown near all of the sites, but now glad that we didn't. The price was right for Sleep Inn and we had all that we needed. It was clean and provided a shuttle and an adequate breakfast. The shuttle took us to Sharps Roast House for supper which was priced and only fair quality. I would opt to eat elsewhere if I were to do it again. We took a tour of Seattle after the cruise with "Let Tour Seattle". Our guide Dick was outstanding and has a fantastic knowledge of everything Seattle. We were picked up at the pier after doing self assist off the ship which was pretty easy as we packed as light as we could for an Alaskan cruise in August. After 6 hours he dropped us off at our hotel, and after a quick supper at the IHOP located across from the hotel we crashed for the night as we had an extremely early flight back in the morning. Embarkation: Had Seattle Express take us to the pier, which was $12pp one way. They also have a complimentary shuttle from Sea-Tac hotels to the mall, but you have to reserve it at least an hour ahead of time, which we did not know so we weren't able to take advantage of that. We arrived a the pier at about 11:15 and were on the ship within the hour. We had a quick lunch in the Windjammer and then relaxed on the pool deck until our cabin was ready. The Ship: Rhapsody is an older ship but looks great after the revitalization. The carpets are all clean and bright. The restaurants are also very attractive. The shops are small and cramped with limited inventory. Don't wait until the last day to get your T shirts... the selection is ridiculous and the sizes are not all available. To be fair though, Rhapsody won't be doing Alaska again so it wouldn't make sense for them to stock up and I'm sure they were trying to get rid of everything they could. Our cabin was nice and clean and except for a few times that our steward forgot to refill our ice bucket, we had good service. We only saw him twice, once the first day when he was delivering our robes and once when we came back to the cabin when he was cleaning. No real complaints. There singers and dancers... by far the best in the fleet. They seemed tireless. Don't miss the ariel acts in the Centrum. The live music throughout the ship was sometimes good and sometimes not so much. Dining: I thought the food was fine. The coffee was better than other ships. I liked that drinks and coffee were available outside of the Windjammer on the pool deck area and also in the Solarium where the Park Café is located. Park Café was not always open according to the hours listed in the compass, but the food was good as always.. the roast beef sandwiches and salads to order. If you want chips you have to ask though. They keep them below the counter. There were a few workers there who need to learn how to smile and make eye contact. We did MTD and the gal at the reservation podium was delightful and personable. They were always rushed in the MDR especially at breakfast. They are not alone because we have noticed this on other ships at breakfast. Service was good, probably the best we've had in a long time. I made MTD reservations on line before the cruise but for some reason only one made the system. They seem to try to put you in the same spot each evening but we changed our times a lot because of late excursions. Giovannis and Chops were both good. We took our deserts to go. Excursions: We did the Seaplane Glacier exploration in Juneau. All the excursions were pricey, but this one was the worst one. They did not have a shuttle to take us back to the ship after the excursion, so we had to walk downtown and take a shuttle. We did the Evening Whale Watch in Juneau as well. It was a nice vessel and they had a nice buffet. We had a few tail and back views of whales but none breaching. We really saw more whales from our balcony than on this excursion. I wouldn't do this one again. In Skagway we took the White Pass Yukon rail excursion. I liked it ok, but make sure you sit on the left side in the first car to see the sites while they are narrating. They have you change sides on the way back but it isn't quite the same. Also in Skagway, we did the Sled dog and musher camp excursion. This was by far the best one. The dogs pulled us in a vehicle and we were able to pet them afterwards and had some "puppy time" as well. The presentation was very informative and the tour bus driver was very good. Highly recommend this excursion. One thing of note: in Skagway they do not have a hospital or doctors. They have a nurse practitioner and a few physicians assistance. If you need a hospital of course as a cruise passenger you have the ship, but if you are not on a cruise and need a hospital you have to be airlifted to Juneau. Might want to take out extra insurance just in case! Service: Cabin steward and waiters were fine and worked very hard. Guest services were fine except for the morning of debarkation. We had Crown and Anchor coupon for one hour of internet usage which we always use to sign in for our flight home and print our boarding passes. Since we were staying over one night after the cruise we needed to do this at 0630 in the morning. We couldn't log on so went to guest services and they gave us a code to use. Didn't think anything more about it but when we got home saw that instead of the credit on our account that we had it was about $30 less. Emailed customer service and they emailed me the updated Sea Pass account where I could see that I was charged for $29.99 for internet! Still waiting to find out if they are going to make this right or not. Just be aware and make sure you are not charged for the 5 minutes it takes to get your boarding passes! Overall, we were pleased with the ship. Alaska is beautiful but the cruise portion is by and large a scenery cruise. Next time I would do the cruise tour to see more wildlife.   Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
This was our sixth cruise overall and 2nd with RCI and part of a family vacation with parents and siblings. Room: The Rhapsody is an older ship but some updating has occurred. I liked the bathroom counter setup compared to other ships and ... Read More
This was our sixth cruise overall and 2nd with RCI and part of a family vacation with parents and siblings. Room: The Rhapsody is an older ship but some updating has occurred. I liked the bathroom counter setup compared to other ships and we found enough shelf/storage space for all of our toiletries. Although small, the room did not seem too cramped for our limited time spent there. The steward service was very good with our attendant knowing our names and schedule very early on. Itinerary: Alaska is a wonderful destination and the ability to fly into and out of the same port is an added bonus for same day travel and minimizing your time away from home. Although we were able to see Glacier Bay, an up-close tour of the Tracy Arm Fjord was beautiful. No glacier calving this late in the season, but we had good weather to see all the landscape. Dining: This was the most disappointing aspect of the cruise. We were surprised the first night to see poor service offered by the wait staff with delayed food and orders being placed incorrectly. When we complained, the supervisor said that the kitchen was "not used to the rush" of the first day. This excuse is totally inexcusable for a staff that does this week in and week out. They did improve over the week, but the waiter was not overly engaged with our table and did not seem happy to be serving us. Lunch the second day in the dining room also had its problems with a hot chicken dish being served 30 minutes after others on the table. The food was generally tasty, but we did experience dry variations in freshness from food sitting too long or being over-cooked. The lobster tail served on the 5th night was also tasteless and bland.   Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
Our balcony view room, next to our travel-mates, was wonderful! Every vista was jaw-dropping! (Did you know that most glaciers are BLUE!??) The main dining room was 4+ out of 5. The food was really good, but our HOSTS/ WAITERS were what ... Read More
Our balcony view room, next to our travel-mates, was wonderful! Every vista was jaw-dropping! (Did you know that most glaciers are BLUE!??) The main dining room was 4+ out of 5. The food was really good, but our HOSTS/ WAITERS were what made dinner a must-be-there event. They carved food; they sang songs; they served REALLY good food! And if we showed up at a different time, we were recognized immediately and served just as excellently! The ports were very good: we went zip-lining twice. First time in Juneau, in a temperate rain-forsest: in August, there was a breeze, misty rain, and I was chilled the whole time! Since it was 99 degrees in Alabama, we were in paradise! We were served warm Blueberry tea on one of the zipline stops, which was just what we needed. They provide the raincoats and a slide show (of us) at the end. Very good excursion! The second zipline was in Victoria, BC Canada. Victoria is on Vancouver Island (across the bay from Vancouver proper). The ground was covered in shag-carpet-style moss! It was a comforting light green, and it was everywhere! Again, easy-going staff, fun to be with, and clear about safety. August saw 80 degree temperatures, quite different from the 60 degree with wind at the port, but we were dressed in layers and very happy. Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
We just returned from our Alaskan cruise on Rhapsody of the Seas. This was our 3 rd time cruising with Royal Caribbean -once on the Mariner and once on the Oasis(too big for our personal taste but the amenities were wonderful). We are an ... Read More
We just returned from our Alaskan cruise on Rhapsody of the Seas. This was our 3 rd time cruising with Royal Caribbean -once on the Mariner and once on the Oasis(too big for our personal taste but the amenities were wonderful). We are an average middle class family of three 2 adults with 1 five year old daughter, and grandparents came too. Food: Dinning Room - We had requested 5:30 dinner and. Table for 5. When we got our sea pass cards we noticed we did have 5:30 Dinner but we were at 3 separate tables. So down to the dinning Room we did go to find a long line of others with similar problems. The one trying to fix the problems was not the Maître De but just a waiter who had his hands full. We started talking with others and figured we could all probably fix our own dilemmas much quicker and some people did. We waited for over an our for our turn to be told by this waiter that our tables were next to each other and would be pushed together- really- someone couldn't have told me that before I waited for an hour. We LOVED our server and the food was good too. Training a brand new assistant waiter took a few days but he got it by the 4th day;) We had steaks, prime rib, salmon, chicken, shrimp cocktail, salads, and the cold soup was always a treat. The little one had pizza every night but not for lack of choices on a separate kids menu. The desserts were always a treat- but we are dessert lovers at put house. Windjammer- terribly crowded on the first day, but we expected that, and we were able to find a seat after a few passes. Food was good but the variety didn't seem to change much from day to day for breakfast and lunch- same eggs, bacon pancakes and Danishes everyday for breakfast. Same deli meat, pizza hamburgers/ hot dogs for lunch. Some days the kids cereal was available some days it wasn't. We had an awful time in the Windjammer on the glacier day. Once our boat left the Glacier Everyone decided it was time for breakfast and it was chaos. We did get a table but the other people were terribly rude- hungry I guess. Stepping on and grabbing things from my 5 year old, not allowing anyone to cut in to grab something quickly just poor manners all around. But the staff was so nice- we made some lovely friends of the wait staff in the windjammer. Drink packages- to our feeling not really worth it on this boat. We had 1 soda package and one Royal Replenish. The soda offerings for this boat are a huge joke- do you want coke or sprite- that's it- total waste of money for us. Found better offering from the free stuff list- coffee, tea, lemonade, iced tea, some juices. Rooms- we had 2 balcony rooms - well worth the money, but the inside rooms we got to peek into we're not totally bad just small. There was plenty of storage in our room to put everything we brought along including the toys we bring for the little one. We had a special request for our room and it was worked out even better than I expected. Our daughter is allergic to laundry detergent so we made that known when making our reservation and a representative called us to personally make arrangements with us as to what we needed done and they offered to steam clean the room instead of using the usual cleaning supplies - to us that was wonderful news a huge plus. Kids Club: We paid for the little one to have the Barbie Experience - that was so much fun for her - these activities occur separate from the rest of the kids club activities and made her feel special as the group was small. She participated in every event that the Barbie Experience offered the story time, designer dresses, dance class and runway and loved every minute. She begged us on several occasions to take her to kids club and liked the regular one okay but not as much as the Barbie stuff. The staff was very kind and made all the kids feel welcome and when they saw "their" kids outside of kids club they always went out of their way to say hello, even on their time off. I also appreciated the fact that as soon as the kids were signed in they had them go and wash their hands and kept it up through the session - no extra germs for us please. Pictures: We did enjoy the opportunity to have our pictures taken so many times but it is a bit strange to have them taken at dinner while you are eating- but they have done that on all of our cruises. But once the pictures are taken it becomes a very chaotic experience to find them. On both of our previous cruises they put all of your pictures in a folder with your room number on it and you could just check your folder each day for new ones. It doesn't seem to work that way on the Rhapsody- you have to hunt for your pictures individually In a certain section everyday and they are always being moved around so they are never in the same place twice. By the last night there was not enough room for all the pictures so they put them in stacks on the table for you to go through. The other issue this bring up for us as parents is that anyone can see, pick up and oh yes even buy a picture of your darling daughter to take home with them if they like- that's not okay with us. Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
This was my first ever cruise. My husband and I went with a group of about 60 people – most of whom we hardly ever saw during the cruise, except at dinner. The first day at sea had very rough waters and high winds. The ship was bobbing ... Read More
This was my first ever cruise. My husband and I went with a group of about 60 people – most of whom we hardly ever saw during the cruise, except at dinner. The first day at sea had very rough waters and high winds. The ship was bobbing and swaying constantly. Many people experienced severe motion sickness. My husband and I were not sick, but I was very unsteady and in constant fear of falling. I was assured by experienced cruisers and crew that this was unusual. As soon as the ship reached the Alaskan inside passage, things calmed down. For the rest of the cruise I did not experience any instability apart from my normal clumsiness. Below I have listed several areas with my ratings – on a scale of 1 to 10 – 10 being most excellent, and 1 being something that nobody should have to experience on land or at sea. Embarkation -- 2 We arrived at the cruise terminal at about the same time most other cruisers did. We stood in line for almost an hour to get in-processed. I didn’t realize that I could have sat down while my husband stood in the long line. Nor did I have any concept about requesting priority processing, for which I would cheerfully have paid a few extra dollars. I don’t consider myself a handicapped person, but I do have some physical issues that make it difficult for me to stand for that long. By the time we finished in-processing and boarded the ship, my feet, legs and back ached so much that all I wanted to do was sit for the rest of the day. I had little energy or enthusiasm for exploring the ship. Staff and service – 8 The captain, cruise director and several of the staff often bragged about what a friendly ship Rhapsody Of The Seas is. These were not empty boasts. The servers in the main dining room, the Windjammer and the bartenders and waiters in the various lounges were very helpful and pleasant. By the second day they were greeting us by name and were willing to do anything for us. Two of the dinner waiters even helped me in removing the shells from lobster and shrimp dishes when I was having difficulty. Ronoldo, our cabin steward, was most attentive and kind. He cleaned and tidied our room on average – about 2 times a day. I especially enjoyed members of the cruise director’s staff with their cheerful banter and teasing as they conducted games, classes and dances throughout the trip. Food – 7 Most mornings we ate breakfast in the Windjammer. The food there was typical buffet fare. There was a wide assortment to choose from. It was nothing out of the ordinary– except for the made-to-order omelets. I did have to wait in line for five minutes or longer while the chefs prepared my omelets, but it was worth waiting for. I usually skipped lunch while my husband either went back to the Windjammer or grabbed a lighter meal at the Park Café. We ate all our dinner meals in the main Edelweiss dining room where we had reserved seating. The lobster I had one evening was a bit rubbery and tasted like it may have been overcooked. Aside from that, the dining room food was well-prepared, presented in an attractive manner and tasted very good. The portion sizes were perfect. And as mentioned above, the service was outstanding. Entertainment – 6 There were several different instrumental combos and singers who performed in the Centrum as well as the Schooner Bar which we frequented for drinks before and after dinner. The Schooner Bar was also the main locale for trivia games which were held two or three times a day. While I only participated in a couple of the games, I always enjoyed listening to the banter of the cruise staff as they conducted the games. Evening entertainment in the Centrum and the various lounges tended to be a little too loud and not to our conservative, introvert tastes. The nightly shows in the theater were typical Las Vegas type productions. The mime comic performance on the first night was poor. “Sideshow Bert” who performed on the last night obviously had much skill in balancing and juggling, but his act was not to my taste. Singers Patrick McMahon and Kenny James were world-class and I thoroughly enjoyed their performances. The two productions from the ship’s singers and dancers were okay. The quality we are used to with concerts and live theater productions at home far exceeds anything that the Rhapsody singers and dancers could offer. Ship’s lounges and public areas – 6 When “Rhapsody” got its overhaul in 2012, a lot of attention was given to modernizing and updating public areas of the ship. The lounges, the Centrum and the various dining venues are attractive, comfortable and pleasant. All the public areas tended to be quite crowded and noisy, especially the Centrum and the pool area including the Solarium. The lounge area in the spa and the Viking Crown Lounge were designated as “quieter” areas. But these places could also become crowded and noisy when lots of people gathered to talk. Scenery and port excursions - 9 The landscape and scenery along the Alaskan inside passage is fabulous. This kind of natural beauty and grandeur has to be seen and experienced first-hand to be fully appreciated. My husband described the whale watching excursion in Victoria, BC as the highlight of the trip for him. Our tour guides found a mature mother humpback and her calf, which the naturalists aboard estimated to be a year old. The two whales were very playful and put on quite a show. My husband got a good photo of the calf jumping up out of the water. I think that made it worth the price of the fancy new camera that he bought for the cruise. The trip through Tracy Arm Fjord to Dawes Glacier was a scenic delight and another wonderful photo opportunity. Our Cabin Home Away From Home -- 4 For two introverts who are used to sharing a 1700-square foot, four-bedroom house with two spoiled cats as the only other occupants, our less-than-60-square-foot stateroom seemed kind of cramped. The air-handling system was loud. We were usually in bed by 11 pm just as the ship’s night-life, dancing and partying was cranking up. We could hear the loud music from the Centrum. I had to put on my headphones or use ear plugs to block it out. The cabin was clean and we had plenty of storage space in the closet, drawers and cabinets. There was a nice window for watching the beautiful scenery. The room had one comfortable lounge chair plus a desk chair. The only other occupiable space was an uncomfortable two-bunk bed that was pushed together to make a queen-sized sleeping surface. Few people sleep comfortably away from home no matter how thick the mattress. However I think our cruise ship mattresses were thinner and more lumpy than the bunk I had as an army private in basic training. I heard several complaints from other people about the uncomfortable beds. We spent a lot of time in our cabin because it was the most relaxing and secure place we could find to escape the loudness and noise of the ship’s public areas during the day. In hind sight, I wish I had invested the extra money to upgrade to a larger suite with an outside patio. Debarkation: -3 (minus 3). Understanding and participating in the debarkation experience was the fulfillment of some my worst travel nightmares. I thought this had been taken care of and paid for through our travel agent in our initial planning. I was wrong! The ordeal included completing extra forms that seemed to contradict each other and paying more money for poor service due to Royal Caribbean’s failure to follow through. There was a lot of disinformation, misinformation and defensiveness from the guest services staff person who was supposed to be helping us. They lost one of my bags. We ended up having to juggle and drag around all our luggage by ourselves as we went through the port terminal to the bus and then off the bus and through the airport. It’s a very long sad story. Though I would not label it a happy ending, we did have a successful outcome. The lost bag was found and we made it to our flight on time. This cruise was a first-ever luxury vacation for us and a celebration of our anniversary. (We will have been married 30 years in September.) Despite some of the problems and discomforts, it was generally an enjoyable experience. If we do take another cruise, we will try to find a more modern and more comfortable ship.   Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
DW and I had a great cruise to Alaska on Rhapsody. I was concerned about some earlier reviews that were very negative about the ship. I thought the ship was in great shape for her age. It was clean, and maintained very well. I preferred ... Read More
DW and I had a great cruise to Alaska on Rhapsody. I was concerned about some earlier reviews that were very negative about the ship. I thought the ship was in great shape for her age. It was clean, and maintained very well. I preferred the size of this ship to larger RCI ships (last ship we were on was a Freedom class). This was our ninth cruise, eight on Royal Caribbean. The crew on Rhapsody is the friendliest and most outgoing we have ever had! Awesome service can be found all over the ship. It really made our cruise exceptional. Food was decent. Windjammer was a bit disappointing. MDR was pretty good, most things we liked very well, a couple things were just okay. My wife loved the crème brulee! She had it almost every night. The food at Chops was good, but I liked the old menu better. But again, excellent service in all three places. That goes a long way with us. Skagway and Juneau were awesome. We went to Mendenhall in Juneau. In Skagway, we rode the train one way to Fraser, and then had a private tour from Beyond Skagway Tours, which was excellent! Instead of cruising to Sawyer Glacier, we went to Dawes Glacier because the ice conditions were safer. Captain Gustavo did an outstanding job of getting us close! Victoria was nice, but not our thing. Chris the cruise director was very visible and full of energy. There were plenty of activities to participate in if you wanted to. We didn’t do much as we are very laid back cruisers! Overall this was an excellent cruise for us!   Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
My Cruising Background: 12 cruises in total / 7 on Royal Caribbean, 3 on Norwegian, 1 on Celebrity and 1 on Carnival - 7 day - 18 day / Europe, Middle East, Central & South America, Caribbean & Mexico. This cruise on Rhapsody of ... Read More
My Cruising Background: 12 cruises in total / 7 on Royal Caribbean, 3 on Norwegian, 1 on Celebrity and 1 on Carnival - 7 day - 18 day / Europe, Middle East, Central & South America, Caribbean & Mexico. This cruise on Rhapsody of the Seas was the first time on an RCL ship in over 3 years. I was excited to get back to RCL after a break on other cruise lines. This review will cover the positive and negative experiences (I believe in balanced reviews because there is always something good to balance out the bad and if I didn't mention something, I didn't experience it). Ok, the good first... Embarkation: Seattle is a very small port and the fact that I am an Emerald Crown & Anchor member helped us bypass lines (actually there were no lines, but had there been, it would have been great). From start to finish, we were on the ship in 15 minutes at 10:45am. The luggage handlers outside the port building were nice and very helpful. Staterooms: I stayed in 2027 (I wanted to have my own room to myself even though I was traveling with a friend), first time I had ever stayed in an inside room on RCL. The cabin was actually very nice and well laid out. There were plenty of hangars in the closet and the bathroom was very nice since the renovation. There was plenty of storage in the room as well. Lighting was great (something to think about in an inside room). The bed was very comfortable. I had brought some work with me and the desk was perfect size for my 15” MacBook Pro. Food & Beverage: - WINDJAMMER: I loved the layout (in the round) of the Windjammer. The quality of the food was pretty much like all of the other RCL ships I have sailed on. Service in Windjammer was very good and we were recognized often and called out by name (very cool). When staff recognized us, they were very genuine in wanting to attend to our needs. - EDELWEISS: The food in the Edelweiss (main dining room) was okay to good depending on what was ordered. The standout item in the Edelweiss was the service (after night 1 - see below). Our waiter, Rhea, and our Asst. Waiter, Rafael, were excellent - some of the best I’ve had. The manager, Anneline and the hostess, Maria, were both wonderful too. The service was really quite good. - PARK CAFE: The Park Cafe was a nice addition to the Solarium (nice variety of lite fare). - ROOM SERVICE: The food was good and just as ordered. It was surprisingly hot. The room service department called me 2 hours after I got my food to make sure it came and everything was as I wanted it. That was nice follow up. Guest Service Desk: Lines were not long and staff was helpful. One standout staff member was Lidya. She handled several problems for me and was always willing to help and follow up to make sure everything was taken care of. Internet: I purchased the $199 package for 555 minutes and it worked well. I was able to get a signal most everywhere on the ship (even my stateroom on deck 2 inside). Fitness/Spa: The fitness room is small but has everything you need and the equipment is in good condition. The men’s locker room is laid out really well and it is quite large for such a small ship. It has 4 showers, a steam room and a sauna. I’ve been on larger ships where it wasn’t as nice. The steam room and the sauna are very large and never felt crowded. I loved the fact that it stayed open until 10pm (most ships close at 8pm). Entertainment: The standouts for me were the guitar/violin duo in the Schooner Bar and the band in the Centrum - they were good. Pool/Solarium: The pool area is very large and never felt crowded outside. The renovation is very nice and the deck tables and chairs are contemporary and sturdy. There were plenty of tables (which has been a problem on other ships). I loved the big screen TV by the pool. It was cool to watch movies and sporting events by the pool. The Solarium was a blowout success. It is beautiful and the chairs and tables are very nice. The decor is very understated and elegant. I loved the addition of the Park Cafe in the Solarium for light fare food. It had a good selection and it was very convenient. Because it was an Alaskan cruise, weather was sometimes an issue where children were allowed in - but when the weather was nice outside, staff did a good job on ensuring kinds were not allowed in the Solarium. It ended up being my favorite spot to relax, sleep, hot tub, swim and relax. Disembarkation: Easy breezy... I wanted to carry my own bags off - I had to do nothing extra to make that happen. I just walked off the ship at 8:00am and the customs process was easy and quick (basically walked right on out). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Now for the bad… Embarkation: The only real issue was I travel (for work) with a power strip in my bag for use on hotel rooms and they took it at embarkation and told me I could pick it up as I was disembarking from security. I have never had THAT happen before on RCL. The Windjammer didn’t open until 1:00pm and our rooms were not ready until 1:00pm so we had to just hang. It was ok, but it would have been nice to have been able to get into our room. If you are allowed to get on early, the rooms should be ready. Staterooms: Remember, the only toiletry they offer is shampoo - so don’t forget to bring your own conditioner and hand lotion if you use or need it. My stateroom attendant never came to introduce himself on day 1. He finally came to see me on the morning of day 2 and said, “I’m sorry I didn’t introduce myself last night - I was just too busy.” I’m wondering if he thinks that makes guests feel good when he says things like that? He was attentive for the remainder of the cruise however. Food & Beverage: - SPECIALTY RESTAURANTS: The 1st big problem came when we bought on day 1 the specialty restaurant dining package “3 for $60”. We were sold 3 restaurants for $60 which in our brains simply equated to $20 per venue. We were also asked to fill out AND SIGN forms stating the purchase. We assumed it would be charged to our rooms (much the beverage package was when we signed for it on day Not so. When we went to the first restaurant, the check came and we were charged $16 for our dinner. When we asked about this, the waiter started talking about a “20% discount off the cover charge.” It was all very confusing. The waiter even agreed to was confusing to him. When we asked the Guest Services desk about it after dinner, the woman we talked to agreed too it was very confusing. In the end, we got it all worked out - but RCL staff needs to do a better job explaining how it all works. Giovanni’s Table was just ok (the old Portofino was MUCH better). Chops Steakhouse was just ok as well. It had been my fav on other ships but the quality was subpar and the service was just ok. Our waiter said he had worked in Chops for 18 years... He needs a break. Service was too fast and un-attentive. - MY TIME DINING: The 2nd big problem was “My Time Dining.” RCL started this over 4 years ago and still don’t have it down (they need to take the lead of NCL’s Freestyle Dining - they know how to do it). We made a reservation for night 1 at 7:30pm and finally go tested at 8:00pm. All kinds of excuses were given but the bottom line - RCL still does not know how to manage this process well. - ROOM SERVICE: I only ordered room service once and it took an hour for it to get to my room. Guest Service Desk: Once again, with one exception, staff seemed like robots and genuine personal interaction seemed nonexistent. As with so many other departments, staff really only helped when they HAD to and even then, it seemed forced, fake and contrived. Internet: The only really bad thing was there is no dedicated staff member in the iCafe Internet lounge so other staff members around it have to help answer questions and solve problems which can be challenging (especially if it is not their primary job). One thing to note... I was able to pull an AT&T signal in every port in Alaska with no problem. If I had known that, I would have purchased a smaller internet package... Just sayin'. Fitness/Spa: the steam room was broken for the entire cruise. My biggest problem (other than the fact it was broken) was when I asked a staff member on day 1 if it would be fixed, she said "they are working on it and hopefully will be fixed tomorrow." At that moment the spa manager stepped up and told us it would not be fixed for 2 weeks as they had to order a part. The left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing in this spa. Also, on day 4, I was sitting in the sauna in the men's locker room and found out after 30 minutes, there was no water anywhere in the locker room. Seriously? This ship is old and a renovation can't fix some things (lipstick on a pig still means it's a pig in the end). The sauna worked well, but I prefer steam. Also, the staff was highly un-attentive and it felt like they didn't like their jobs (felt fake and in-authentic) Shore Excursions: The reason we chose to do no shore excursions was cost. Try are way too expensive. I don't have a problem paying for them if they are reasonable. Entertainment: Overall, entertainment was just so-so. It seemed stale and dated (like every cruise I took 8 years ago - same formula). The arielists in the Centrum were the coolest part (quantum class entertainment is going to rock!!!) Overall Summary: Overall, I'm glad I took this cruise with this itinerary for several reasons.... 1.) The scenery is spectacular and pictures simply do not portray its grandeur. It's an item I can now check off my travel bucket list. 2.) I learned I like blue water and not green water (when on the open sea). 3.) I don't like ships this small (Radiance Class or above only for me). 4.) Old ships are old ships regardless of renos and updates. 5.) Finally, good service is everything. This was my 12th cruise and I feel like I have experienced a wide range of service levels on this ship, with this crew (with the few exceptions noted above), overall, were fake, not genuine, forced and just plain bad. As much as it pains me to say anything negative overall about RCL - I would not recommend this ship. If you want to do Alaska on RCL, book Radiance of the Seas. Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
I told my husband that for my 50th birthday, I wanted to go on an Alaskan cruise and so I started to plan for it in April 2013. Our first cruise was to the Panama Canal on RCI Vision of the Seas in 2001. We have also cruised with ... Read More
I told my husband that for my 50th birthday, I wanted to go on an Alaskan cruise and so I started to plan for it in April 2013. Our first cruise was to the Panama Canal on RCI Vision of the Seas in 2001. We have also cruised with Norweigan, Carnival, and Disney, but we knew we wanted to go on RCI again because we wanted to do a roundtrip out of Seattle and it had to be a family-friendly cruise. We were joined by a group of family and friends and were a total of 11 people ranging in age from 7 - 62 in three junior suites and an inside cabin on Deck 8. Taking advantage of Marriott points, we flew into Seattle the night before the cruise and stayed at the Renaissance Seattle on Madison Street. Nice hotel about an 8 block walk from Pike's Place Market and 5 blocks from the Seattle Monorail, a short ride to the Space Needle. My only regret is that we didn't spend more time in Seattle as it was a beautiful city that we were not truly able to explore as it should be. Hopefully, we will get a chance to come back! Our cabin, 8102, was was spacious with more storage room than we needed and a massive balcony that had three chaise lounges, a table, and two chairs. More than enough room to host balcony parties! To get a sense of how large, I put my size 7.5 feet one in front of the other roughly 13 times from entrance of balcony to end and 10 times across. My only complaint about our room was the vibration that we felt when the ship was moving at maximum speed (primarily the first two days out of Seattle) and my bed was not very comfortable. However, I didn't mind the vibration and Setyo, our very accommodating cabin steward, put a foam sheet on the bed that helped. My husband slept like a baby on his side and my daughter was very comfortable in her sofa bed. For me, I guess it was a small price to pay for the humongous balcony! Just in comparison, the other balconies were about a third of the size as ours. Setyo also did a wonderful job cleaning the cabin and making sure we had fresh towels, soap, and other toiletries. All in all, I would take this cabin again any time for the size of the balcony and the 180 degree views! Other than embarkation and debarkation day, and one other day for lunch at the Windjammer, we primarily ate our meals in the MDR. It's not that the food in the Windjammer was bad, it was the crowding that chased us away. Our ship had been sold out for months, and when we got on board we learned the reason was that it was hosting a group of about 1,000 Chinese guests from Jeneusse corporation. Apparently, they had booked all their employees on three consecutive cruises between RCI and Celebrity. However, about 400 of them never made it on board because they were unable to get visas, so the ship was never really crowded, other than the Windjammer. Excursions and activities on board were virtually empty, which was wonderful for us (but not so much for the staff I guess). Food in MDR was good, sometimes excellent, but never bad. We had a very nice waiter (Gus from Indonesia) and his assistant waiter was a lovely young Chinese girl who's name I never really got. Angel, the head waiter, was very accommodating. My daughter absolutely loved the Adventure Ocean Club! I don't know what exactly they did there, but my daughter cried when we had to leave. From what she told us, they played all kinds of games and participated in different activities. Since there weren't a lot of children there, they were a nice group that became pretty close by the end of the cruise. She especially loved Shawn the Sheep, Penguin, Marshmallow and all the staff. We left them one night after 10 pm and paid an extra $10.50 for 1.5 hours (well worth it). That night they got a pillow case that they could decorate. She also participated in the Barbie Premium Experience which was also worth the $199 we paid. The room was decorated with Barbie accessories and she got a doll, clothes for the doll, and a bag to put it all in. She participated in a fashion design workshop, dance class and a fashion show where we found out that two items were missing from her kit (toiletry kit and activity book), which she received the next day. The shows on board were very good. We especially loved Kenny James, The Piano Man, and our friends went to the Ron Lucas show and said it was great! The aerial shows were pretty cool and we enjoyed the trivia games. Even though it was cool and rainy on most days in Alaska, we were fortunate enough that we had clear skies for the excursions. The weather in Victoria could not have been more beautiful! We were unable to go to Tracy Arm because of the weather, but Endicott Arm was gorgeous! Lots of ice in the water, so the captain believes there was some recent calving. Speaking of the Captain, Gustavo, he was wonderful! Handsome, engaging, and very funny, he kept us safe and we saw him and his crew on several occasions walking around ship. All in all, I couldn't have asked for a better experience and a birthday to remember!!!! Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
We had a great vacation on the Rhapsody, booked two interior cabins since we were taking our parents on their first cruise. We were a little worried since everyone says that a balcony is a must for this itinerary, but we felt that we ... Read More
We had a great vacation on the Rhapsody, booked two interior cabins since we were taking our parents on their first cruise. We were a little worried since everyone says that a balcony is a must for this itinerary, but we felt that we didn't miss anything since there were plenty of areas were to sit during the Tracy Arm morning. This was our third trip on Royal Caribbean and we felt the food quality has gone down since the last time (2012). Plenty of options in main dining room but flavors were not as outstanding as we have experienced before, our waiters (Jigger and Julio) made it up for us with their great hospitality and service. We had YTD but after making a reservation the first night, kept our same time/table throughout the cruise. Entertainment was good for the most part (with the exception of the last "comedian" on board), i can only say that the singers are amazing and the cruise director Graham Seymour is the best we've encountered in all our cruises, so funny and talented, he really made a difference on our vacation. In Juneau, we spent the first hour walking around and checking souvenirs, then we took the blue bus to Medenhall Glacier ($10 each), totally worth it, great pictures. Make sure you have sneakers or boots for the short hike (about 2 miles). In Skagway, we rented a car and drove to the Yukon all the way to Emerald Lake, breathtaking scenery, amazing photo opportunities along the road, we spotted a black bear and two mooses (mom and baby) on the road. In Victoria, just walked on our own, there is a marked path with plenty of signs to go downtown (less than 3 miles), beautiful/ clean city. Strolled around all the landmarks, had some coffee while checking on wifi signal. Cell reception on both Alaskan ports was great and even kept signal until about an hour after sailing on each port. The captain was very hands on, overall the entire crew made us feel welcome. Great first cruise experience for my parents, very relaxing and serene cruise for us (we are in our high 30's). Glad I left the kids home, I don't think they would have appreciated the ports of call Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
I loved my Rhapsody of The Seas vacation, and this is coming from someone who doesn't particularly like vacations. Room- We had connecting rooms which were great! Really nice views out the window and definitely enough space for 3 ... Read More
I loved my Rhapsody of The Seas vacation, and this is coming from someone who doesn't particularly like vacations. Room- We had connecting rooms which were great! Really nice views out the window and definitely enough space for 3 people in 2 rooms. Food- I thought that the food at the Windjammer was average at best. I liked breakfast's offerings much better than lunch's. For a person that wakes up late, it was a struggle to wake up in time, but it was worth it. The main dining on the other hand, was great. My parents and I enjoyed every meal we ordered. The lasagna I ate on day 3 was the best lasagna I have ever eaten. Our waiters were wonderful and made sure we were accommodated. Ports- In Juneau, we took a bus to the salmon bake. The food was good. My parents liked it more than I did. I liked the atmosphere of the place. It reminded me of a campsite. We also took the Mount Roberts Tramway. The view- oh my gosh the view- it was a lot to take in. Amazing! In Skagway, we took a ride on the White Pass Scenic Railway. We were extremely lucky because the weather was beautiful and the sky was clear. More breathtaking views. I loved it. Lastly, in Victoria, we hit up the Butchart Gardens. My parents liked this excursion more than I did. The flowers were pretty and there were so many of them! Activities- I like that there was something for each of us to do. My dad loved the towel folding and napkin folding classes. He also enjoyed dancing in the flash mob classes. My mom relaxed mostly and together they saw some shows. Tied with the beauty of Alaska, my favorite part of the cruise was the TEEN CLUB. I went to it the first night and left with 4 new friends. That was just the first night. For teens cruising with their parents, the teen club is a great way to make new friends. They also put on fun activities like scavenger hunts, crazy tag, gagaball, karaoke, movie nights, Assassins, The Dating Game, Battle of the Sexes, and much more. My friends and I looked forward to the teen club's activities. The teen club staff basically consisted of a guy named Iggy. We adored him. He was so funny and took time to meet all of us, which I loved. Thanks to the teen club, I now have friends from over the country and memories with them I will never forget. Overall, I had a wonderful cruise experience. The staff was wonderful, food was mostly great. I especially loved seeing beautiful Alaska and having so much fun with new friends. Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
I was worried when I read a couple of negative reviews before our cruise but we had an excellent experience from beginning to end. Honestly, I didn't see anyone who wasn't enjoying themselves. Yes, it's a smaller ship than ... Read More
I was worried when I read a couple of negative reviews before our cruise but we had an excellent experience from beginning to end. Honestly, I didn't see anyone who wasn't enjoying themselves. Yes, it's a smaller ship than we're used to and it's older too, but it is in great shape and the crew couldn't have tried harder to ensure our good time. The food choices on this size ship are more limited. We missed the promenade pizza bar for example on Liberty of the Seas, our last family cruise ship, but we managed just fine. My husband and I were on Allure this past year and it is an amazing experience that is a destination in itself. Rhapsody is not that, but it accommodated us nicely. We never felt crowded and always found seating in the Windjammer and the lovely main theatre. I wondered if that central atrium would be packed but each night there was room to dance and watch others have a good time. Because my husband and I took Mariner of the Seas from Galveston to Shanghai for 51 nights in 2013, we know the RCCL menu very well. We missed some of the good Indian curries, etc. on Rhapsody and the buffets were more limited, but we all found things we enjoyed eating. The highlight every night was all of us gathering in the main dining room at 8:00 to enjoy a rather leisurely dinner and recap of the day. There was no table for 12 but we had two six person tables side by side and that worked. (Note to RCCL - we love you but the person who came up with the idea of our poor waiter holding up a large board displaying the expensive extra choices on an otherwise excellent menu is cheapening the experience and should be replaced. I told him to put that away immediately and not show it to us again. I think he was relieved.) Two things I especially appreciate are the continued use of excellent musicians and live entertainment all over the ship. It really enhances the cruise experience, and on this Alaska cruise I really enjoyed the outer deck sound limitations imposed by the Alaska government. That big screen at the pool was even better without the blaring sound it's capable of. Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
This cruise was gifted to us by our church and it was our 1st time to Alaska. Which was on the top of our bucket list. Embarkation was the fastest I have ever experienced and as was dis-embarkation. Did have to wait till 1 to get into our ... Read More
This cruise was gifted to us by our church and it was our 1st time to Alaska. Which was on the top of our bucket list. Embarkation was the fastest I have ever experienced and as was dis-embarkation. Did have to wait till 1 to get into our cabin but wasn't a big deal, it was a warm sunny day so sat by the pool and relaxed. Our cabin was a bit smaller than other cruise ships we've been on but think that is cause of when the ship was built. Had plenty of storage space, more than we needed and the mattress was so comfortable, wish could have taken it home. The cabin was immaculate and stayed that way thru the cruise, Daniel our attendant was great. We did miss the towel animals every night and of course the chocolate on the bed though. Capt. Rob and cruise director Graham did a terrific job and were very hands on, we liked the Q&A session they had very informative. All the crew were friendly and so welcoming, have run into some real rude ones on other cruises. We thought that most of the crew were very talented and enjoyed their shows. There could have been more acitivities going on, especially with so many at sea days but we were there for the scenery and that didn't let us down. As another poster said, there were stunning views and everywhere and could sit on your balcony and see so much, which is what we did. The food did leave something to be desired, especially in the Windjammer. It needs to be re-configured to help make the lines move smoothly and efficiently, the food has to be kept being refreshed so that doesn't get cool or stale. I got a hamburger one day, and it was raw (not rare) all in middle and my husband got one of their steaks and he cut into it and again it was totally un-cooked all the way thru. !! Contrary to what previous poster said, Windjammer was very clean, didn't smell and the staff very accommodating. Went to the main dining room few times, and it was ok, was very surprised to see that they charged extra if you wanted other than what was being offered that night, that was very disappointing and the portions were on the skimpy side. Yes took awhile to get thru the meal but a lot of people had to be fed and the food was hot and served soon as it came out, not like on other cruise ships. We went to Chops and the meal was superb, meat melted in your mouth, worth the extra money !! Come to NYC and got to a restaurant of same caliber and tasty, and you'll pay at least $200 + for same meal. We are not food snobs, and it's not what we cruise for and appreciate what is done and how many people are served on one so Thank you to all the staff. Previous poster, was on same deck and few cabins away from us and we never encountered any drunken people or naked one anywhere or noisy ones, this was one of the quietest cruises we've been on. Yes it did have an older crowd ,their TA should have told them that Alaska cruises, due to the cost and what is offered on board, tend to be less partying types. Yes there were some rude people on board but just ignore them and they go away. You are dealing with the public. It would have been nice if could have gone to Ketchikan also but the itinerary was wonderful. For us it was all about the ports and tours and we weren't disappointed. What an amazing trip and one that will be hard to beat. Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
It was recommended by my travel agent to book RCCL as we are in our 30's and RCCL supposedly has younger passengers. This was our first cruise. Wow, what a circus it was getting on and off the boat each time. The boat is in bad shape, ... Read More
It was recommended by my travel agent to book RCCL as we are in our 30's and RCCL supposedly has younger passengers. This was our first cruise. Wow, what a circus it was getting on and off the boat each time. The boat is in bad shape, and doesn't appear to have had a makeover since it was built in the 90's. Walls were stained and peeling, water dripping from ceilings, frequently the smell of sewage, artwork held together with scotch tape. Many passengers spoke of getting sick on the boat, and there was a big push to wash your hands, but the boat itself was filthy, sticky, and tons of passengers coughing and hacking at all times. My stateroom, a more expensive balcony room was disgusting. There was hair and dust everywhere; what looked to be a pubic hair on the nightstand. The other passengers were a mixture of people 60+, and foreigners. The foreigners had their own cultural norms they were following and seemed very rude. They were often pass out drunk. I was physically shoved several times by people wanting me out of the way for better views. Coming back to my room one day around noon was a naked Philippine man lying in the hallway. The older people expected the boat to be a floating senior center. It was impossible to sit alone with my husband and enjoy each other, as within minutes an older stranger would sit down and yack my ear off. All the activities and music on the ship was geared towards the elderly. Bingo and outdated trivia being popular. The food in the main dining room was good, but service was slow and a meal would take 2 hours. The food in the windjammer buffet was gross, crowded, and the place smelled bad. Every time I ordered room service they gave me an incorrect order. The worst was the rude staff at guest services. I was double billed for my excursion, and guest services said they couldn't do anything so I had to call my credit card for fraudulent charges. Overall, I felt the ship was horrible, everything felt like a big sales pitch for my money, and being nickel and dimed. I liked alaska but it would have been better to just fly there. Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
The embarkation went quickly and we were on board before we knew it. As expected, the Windjammer was packed. Avoid it at all costs if you can. This was probably the biggest problem we had with the sailing was the poor setup and space ... Read More
The embarkation went quickly and we were on board before we knew it. As expected, the Windjammer was packed. Avoid it at all costs if you can. This was probably the biggest problem we had with the sailing was the poor setup and space planning in the Windjammer. We ended up eating most meals (including breakfast and lunch) in the dining room. The food there was very good and had nice selections. The ship was nicley taken care of and we had no problems at all with our stateroom. We sail in interior rooms, just because we don't spend much time there. The only day I wish we would have had a balcony was the day we were at Dawes Glacier. We wouldn't have had to get up so early to get a good spot to view it on deck. The captain was awesome and manuevered the ship all around several times so that all guests would get a good look at the glacier no matter where they were. We loved our Juneau excursion. We went on a whale watching trip with Harv & Marv's and saw many humpbacks, eagles and seals. Then they dropped us at Mendenhall and we had king crab legs at Tracy's Crab Shack. Skagway was great. We rentaed a jeep and drove into the Yukon. We spotted a black bear by the side of the road on our trip back and he stayed there for quite a while so we got great photos. Victoria was pretty. Don't bother with the hop on hop off from the cruise line. All it did was get you to downtown. You had to walk most of the stops anyway. We rented bikes and had a nice time in the city park. All in all, we loved our trip and have beautiful memories of it. Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
I was on the verge of tears after so many easy things went very wrong. My husband had to tuck me away in a corner and seek other vendors to assist us due to the Royal Caribbean's inadequacies with respect to customer service. We like ... Read More
I was on the verge of tears after so many easy things went very wrong. My husband had to tuck me away in a corner and seek other vendors to assist us due to the Royal Caribbean's inadequacies with respect to customer service. We like to plan ahead and make the most of our vacations so we planned excursions, dinner, and spa sessions before even leaving port! The spa and excursions were all planned through the website and my credit card was charged. The first thing that came up was the spa shave for my husand on the first formal evening. We delayed our dinner plans at the main dining room in order to give him time to be freshly shaven and put on his suit. When it got close to his appointment, I walked him up to the nineth deck and waited for everything to be squared away, but it wasn't! They had completely LOST his appointment and blamed computer troubles. When we explained the timing was a factor, they told us that they had no availability at this time but could fit him in another day - how about tomorrow (when we are in port all day and not just at sea)? We double checked my appointment and rescheduled his thinking this is just a fluke and he went down to shave himself in our cabin. His appointment came later in the week and they did not have a professional barbor doing the job at all - it was a woman that was better as messages than a razor so he ended up with razor burn and said he could have done better on his own - we paid almost $100 for an ameteaur shave! We made it through the first formal night and enjoyed our dinner as the service was AMAZING in the main dining room! Of course due to the set backs from the spa, we got in late. We noticed tickets on our bed and thought nothing of them as we had already received our excursion tickets for the next day (we did a later excursion to allow us time to hit a non-excursion location before that closed early). As we climbed into bed, we noticed the red blinking light on our phone indicating a message but no one knew which cabin we were in so we checked it to find out that they had cancelled our excursion and rebooked us into an earlier time. Of course you can't do anything at 10pm at night about it so we went to bed upset and were going to fix it in the morning. I got up and made it through breakfast which is NOT meant for introverts (no matter if you are My Time dining or not - get ready for at least 8 people per table for both breakfast and lunch in the main dining room and telling everyone where you are from and what you do each meal). When I went to the excursion desk, I told them our predicament about wanting to see another building and how it closes early which was why we opted for the later excursion. Amber's answer was, "sorry, it's going to remain cancelled at this time." She was COMPLETELY unhelpful! She did not try to help us find another excursion until after we asked and did not try to offer suggestions at all. Her only offer was to cancel for us. I was livid. My husband finally put me in a corner with a book and called the building we were trying to visit - they actually were trying to help us by offering to have a security guard let us in after hours if possible! Now THAT is customer service! The hits just kept coming and we were so excited when we finally landed back in Seattle and away from this disappointing trip. Every morning for breakfast, there was an option of a buffet in the main dining room EXCEPT the last day where you had to order off the menu and it took over 45 minutes to sit down, order and receive our food. If Royal Caribbean wants to expedite the process, then offer the buffet! We talked to others on the boat that were amazingly disappointed as well. Trainers didn't show up for stretch classes and food was overcooked. I will NEVER sail with Royal Caribbean again. Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
We booked out of Seattle because the airfare was so much more affordable than Vancouver. Checking in was easy in port. I suggest arriving the day before - there were people that almost missed the sailing because of delayed flights in the ... Read More
We booked out of Seattle because the airfare was so much more affordable than Vancouver. Checking in was easy in port. I suggest arriving the day before - there were people that almost missed the sailing because of delayed flights in the same day. The most frustrating thing on board the Rhapsody was the crazy setup in the Windjammer. It was designed poorly and everyone was converging on the same places all at once. We avoided eating there for as much of the trip as possible. We ended up eating in the restaurant for breakfast, lunch and dinnner to avoid the chaos in the Windjammer and that is not normal for us. We usually eat most of our meals there. Aside from that, the cruise was awesome. We had great experiences with most of the staff. The only siourpuss was one of the cruise director's employees that was a bit crabby. Service was fast at all the bars and at the restaurant. The food was fine, but because it's a smaller ship, there weren't as many choices. We did our own excursion with Harv and Marv Whale watching in Juneau, and it was great. We also rented a jeep in Skagway on our own. The only excursion we did through the ship was the Hop on Hop Off Bus in VIctoria. It wasn't worth $39, so find your way into town on your own. All 3 cities were great to visit. Don't miss Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau. Wildlife is amazing. Saw a big black bear outside of Skagway, which was a highlight. The captain was amazing and really maneuvered the ship during our visit to Dawes Glacier in Tracy Arm Fijord. Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
We now understand why everyone we have ever spoken with who has taken a cruise to Alaska has had nothing but good things to say about the journey. Before I get too wound up extolling the virtues of this scenic and adventurous excursion I ... Read More
We now understand why everyone we have ever spoken with who has taken a cruise to Alaska has had nothing but good things to say about the journey. Before I get too wound up extolling the virtues of this scenic and adventurous excursion I need to separate the elements that have to do with nature, and thus out of the control of the cruise line, from those that have to do with Royal Caribbean and the Rhapsody of the Seas. First, Royal Caribbean and the Rhapsody of the Seas. To begin with Captain Rob Hempstead, the captain of Rhapsody of the Seas, is one of those seemingly unique cruise ship commanders who has a hands on approach to the daily running of the vessel. He was visible every day, and often observed stalking the passageways and dining venues making sure his crew knew he was watching them. Rob’s routine announcements were informative and humorous. We looked forward to them. Not since out 2012 voyage on the Mariner of the Seas with then Captain Flemming Neilson have we seen a skipper so interested and engaged. Next was the crew, who were outstanding. Far and away the best we have experienced in all our years of cruising. In terms of nationality, most hailed from the Philippines and Asian locals. All were pleasant, efficient and helpful. The handful of Eastern European staff, notoriously sullen, morose, disengaged and unhelpful, seemed to have been hidden away in the bowels of the ship and working where they did not come into contact with passengers. Hurrah for Royal Caribbean! Please do this on all ships! The vessel itself is practically twenty years old and sadly it shows its age. Although public areas have been revamped it is not possible to camouflage the low ceilings, passageways that seem like rabbit warrens, and out of date ships fittings. In spite of these shortcomings the cabins were quite up to standard, clean and well maintained. The theaters were extremely well fitted and most attractive. Same holds true for the common areas. The dining venues were clearly inadequate for the number of passengers, and were the main thing worthy of grousing about. Breakfast, dinner and supper time at the Windjammer was more like feeding time at the local zoo’s monkey island. Royal Caribbean has gone through a lot of effort to offer a grand assortment of food at the Windjammer that should be sufficient to suite most all tastes. Some was good, some average and some a disappointment. On balance the Windjammer was a let down. The main dining room, on the other hand, offered a nice variety of choices. We dined there six of the seven nights and thoroughly enjoyed each and every different entre. We took dinner and supper once each at Giovanna’s. We loved this restaurant on the Navigator and the Mariner but were sadly disappointed with our experience on the Rhapsody. Food was just not at all good or well prepared. Service was adequate. Nothing special at all. We couldn’t wait to get out of the place and were afraid to try Chop’s. The ship’s entertainment was not a highlight. It did not need to be of course, as the scenery, ports and adventure trips are what one goes to Alaska for. We had no expectation of good onboard entertainment and did not sign on to this cruise for the evening offerings. That expectation was fully met (unfortunately). There were some very talented singers and musicians that we thoroughly enjoyed. The remainder of the offerings was not very good. Most notable was the Pure Country show. The program was over acted and poorly done. It seemed more like a comedic parody of He Haw than serious entertainment. After four songs we walked out. The cruise directors affected, over acted style coupled with his thick Australian accent was a turn off, and made it double difficult to understand what the heck he was saying. It would seem to me that Royal Caribbean would select persons with good diction and voice projection to do the announcements but that’s just me! OK…all that said we still give Royal Caribbean and the Rhapsody of the Seas a very high score. About an 8 ½ or a 9 out of 10. The things that count to us they did extremely well and we love em! As for the voyage to Alaska itself, it is by far the most magnificent cruise we have ever taken. Very different than most in that one has something picturesque to look at all day every day, virtually from either side of the vessel. Most of our voyages have been to the Caribbean, when one has a lot of ocean to look at until the ship reaches a port. Not so on the Alaska cruise. The public areas of the ports we visited (Juneau, Skagway and Victoria B.C.) were spotless and attractive. Everything looked well kept and we never once encountered a crabby person! We loved it. The White Pass and Yukon rail trip is fantastic. We highly recommend it. We were blessed with exceptionally good weather all day every day. Clear and dry with temperatures in the high 50’s and low 60’s each day. Captain Rob commented several times that we were very fortunate to see the glacier as well as the Alaskan coastline under such spectacular conditions. We are sure that on a grey, cloudy and rainy day it would still look spectacular.   Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
For a one line summary- what an amazing cruise! Of the many cruises we have been on, this was on of the best we've ever been on. We stayed at a hotel in downtown Seattle, which was really nice, since we were able to take a monrning ... Read More
For a one line summary- what an amazing cruise! Of the many cruises we have been on, this was on of the best we've ever been on. We stayed at a hotel in downtown Seattle, which was really nice, since we were able to take a monrning run from our hotel to the ships and back. Being an incredible day- sun, sun, and more cool sun- we got to see both the Rhapsody and the Celebrity Millenium docked during the morning run. And that seemed to help our timing as well- while I've recently read a few complaints about boarding, we didn't have any of those issues. Between the run and eating breakfast, we arrived at the port at nearly 12:30pm- so the crowd were much lighter, and we were able to get on the ship quite quickly. Since it was also near when the rooms were ready, it was a short wait until we went to the cabin and unpacked (we carried all of our luggage on). Which was the first view of the incredible cabin 8096- this is a corner aft Junior Suite- and IMHO, the cabin to have on an Alaskain cruise- but I'll get into that as we progress. In short- a MASSIVE balcony. We headed off to the Windjammer, which was kind of hecktic, and not well supplied that day- turned out that the ship got a surprise inspection that day. Whcih is good- to keep them all on their toes. But it resulted in kind of hecktic service as they were trying to please both customers and health inspectors. Most of the time, we go to the sailaway party, but this time we did not- we just went back to the cabin, got some extra blankets, and laid out on our balcony for a few hours. Man, oh, man, what a view. Seattle is great, but in addition to that, the passage to the sea is very spectactular. Mountains to the west in the Olympia National Park. HUGE. Dinner that night, we took advantage of BOGO, and dined at Giovannis. Not sure why they get a bad wrap, but we really enjoyed the food. No need to be specific, since we all know taste is subjective. The other nice thing here- it's on the port side of the ship, which is the same side as the national park! INCREDIBLE views of mountains. Good thing we were still on eastern time, as we were among the first seated at 6pm (and we were starving). Either Giovanni's or Chops would be a great thing to do on sail away day. The one "bad" thing about the aft cabins- if you are sensitive to vibration, the cabins may be a problem. We are not- and slept really well, even when the light was in the room early. I know people complain about the light leakage, but we opened the curtains all the way, so we could see out all the time. Having the sun slowly wake you at 6am isn't a big deal when your body thinks that is still 9am. Next day was at sea, we worked out in the morning, and saw a lot of whale spouts- they were still on their way to Alaska from the winter locations. pretty cool. We had heard a few people mention dolphins, but we didn't see them. that was also the day of the M&M, and that was great to put faces to virtual names. And my rule of meeting kept coming true- once you meet someone, you will see them on the ship all over the place. So much to do on the ship that by the time we got to dinner- the only night we ate at the MDR, and it was the first formal night, I thought the M&M was the day before! This vacation is going well when you think that, IMHO. Day 3 was in Juneau- where we did a whale watch + a Mendehall Glacier hike. Great tour- it was a small group in a nice boat. I think we only saw 3 actual whales, but we did spend a lot of time watching them. Very, very cool. I'm sure later in the year when more are around, it gets better. The hike was pretty easy, and very interesting- it starts in the forest, which looks old with the moss hanging from tress- but it's really quite young, starting so fresh on bare rocks left by the glacier. We ended up on the lake that is at the base of the glacier- and what a great view of it. It was our first up that close, and we really loved it. Our tour ended with them dropping us in town (our option), where we wandered around before heading back to the ship. Day 4- Skagway- we had nothing planned, but just a run. And it turned into a day of letting the local suggest stuff to do. Just over 2 miles into the run, we ran into the garden/glass blowing location. Having read that one needs a shuttle to get there, as it's out of town, that was kind of a shock. You CAN walk there. Yes, walk. It's flat. While there, the cashier suggested that we run to the next road, turn left, run up the hill to the overlook- thank you so much! We were up at a turnout that was part of tours. So we were two runners among a bunch of busses and people looking out. Pretty cool. Back to the gardens for lunch and some light shopping, and that netted us a couple of more suggestions- a hike that hits Suprise Cove- which is a trail that starts at the end of the runway; and a suggestion to eat at the Harbor House. Both of which we did, and both of which we were very, very happy with the suggestions. If we go back, we may try the hiking trails up the mountain right next to the ships, or we may take the train, or we may rent a car and go to Canada. Skagway may be a small town, but there is a TON of stuff to do. A quick side note- the day before, we got an annoucement that was last outside annoucement before leaving Alaskain waters. Pretty cool idea for noise pollution. On the other hand, heliocopter tours are very common, and quite loud. Both Juneau and Skagway- they were very, very common and very loud. Hmmmm..... Voices bad, thumping heliocopters ok..... If you say so, Alaska. Day 5 was supposed to be the Tracy Arm Fjord. Supposed to be. We had met the captain (really nice guy, BTW) and heard him talk a few times, where he had hinted that we may not do that. Instead going up the alternate route to the Dawes (sp?) Glacier. Turns out that we did, and it was the best thing ever!!!!! We got woken up by an early delivery of our breakfast, but that annoyance turned quickly into thanks when we saw the scenery that we were passing. Breakfast was on our cold balcony outside, and totally worth it. Before too long, the ship stopped, and started rotating around, and we got to see the glacier. WOW. Like really WOW. We rotated twice before the captain did an early annoucement (this was 7:20am) to all the cabains suggesting they wake up and see this. He rotated one more time, then, before slowly leaving. This is where that corner aft balcony really showed it's stuff. We were out there for at least 5.5 HOURS. Moving from one side to the other, looking at things from all angles as best we could. What an amazing platform to see some incredible views. As far as I can tell, there are four aft, corner cabins. Get one if you can. Absolutely worth having the balcony. Sure, you could go up to decks 9 and 10 to see what we did. But IMHO, having our own space was totally worth it. Day 6 at sea- we got to tour the Bridge and the galley. Great time. Day 7 was Victoria BC. Again, all we planned on doing was a touring run. I should point out that running is part of our "health plan" but it's also a way of touring places- we get to see things that many do not, since they drive by them quickly, or miss the locations all together. We stopped at some cool rocky areas, where we could see the evidence of the ancient glaciers; we saw a few bays, including one that was the main beach of the area; we toured the downtown area, etc. After finishing, we cleaned up and headed back to the Empress Hotel for afternoon tea, and a very relaxing stroll back to the ship. The trip was blessed with quite good weather- mostly calm seas, and not much rain (some in Skagway). Victoria and Seattle days were just awesome. Entertainment was really good- this was our first Visions class ship with the arieal show- and it was really cool to see that. The show in the theater were typical qualty- if you like it, you'll very much enjoy it. We liked them. Food- besides the one MDR and Giovannis, we ate at Izumi for the first time. Lets put it this way- it won't be the last by a long shot. Great time. Other than that, we are fortunate enough to snack light at the lounges- to avoid stuffing ourselves silly. Ship- the Rhapsody- she's in great shape! I was expecting it to be almost the same as the Enchantment, but it's not. Just enough to know it's the same class, and just enough not to know she is a unique ship. We have her booked on a trip in 2015 already (just by chance), and we now very much look forward to travelling on her again. Great ship. (FWIW, we've sailed on all the classes...) All in all, for as many cruises we have been on, this was one of the best. To the point that when the same niece graduates from college (HS graduation was the reason we went), we will probably do the same cruise. Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
When my Grandma said she had booked our family on an alaskan cruise, I was a little bit apprehensive. I was thinking " alaska... isnt that for old people???" but as soon as I embarked on the ship the first day, all my ... Read More
When my Grandma said she had booked our family on an alaskan cruise, I was a little bit apprehensive. I was thinking " alaska... isnt that for old people???" but as soon as I embarked on the ship the first day, all my apprehension went out the window. There were actually people MY age. Embarkation was swift and efficient, and we were on the ship in time for lunch at the Windjammer. After lunch ( a spicy but DELICIOUS curry), we were summoned to our muster stations. Afterwards, the Captain came over the intercom and announced we were ready to push off the dock. I leaned over the rail as the lines were pulled in, and the ship vibrated as her bow and stern thrusters came to life. Days at sea: They were uneventful. I LOVED the way the ship glided through the dark blue water. The ship did rock a bit on the days at sea, but that didn't affect me as i NEVER get seasick. Ports of call: Juneau and Skagway were awesome. In juneau we chose to do a bus tour that takes you to a VERY beautiful glacier ( the tour guide was hot too). In skagway, we took a train that transports you WAY up into the alaskan mountains. The views were something worthy of a bucket list consideration. After leaving skagway, we headed up tracy arm fijord overnight, and after a VERY long night of clubbing ( almost got lucky that night), i woke up to find we were at dawes glacier. It was AMAZING, but cold. The ship dawdled at the foot of the glacier, then turned back around and headed for home. A Day later we were in Victoria BC, and it was surprising we got there so fast. The wallpaper on my phone is of the ship docked in Victoria. We saw the Bouchard Gardens, and had tea, and a delicious grilled cheese panini. After the ship pushed off and left victoria, moving at basically harbor speed, i was disappointed that in a few hours, We would be docked in seattle. Entertainment: FANTASTIC. I spent most of my nights up in the Viking crown lounge, as it converted into a nightclub. The DJ( DJ tick tack. REALLY?????) could've been better though. He didn't play ANY David Guetta or EDM. ( hell even the song She Wolf Feat. Sia would've been better than the crap he was playing) Dining: The Windjammer Buffet is a hallmark of ANY RCL ship, and for good reason. There was NEVER the same thing at the buffet. They always change it up which is nice, and it provides a selection for even the most fussy of palates. The dining room staff was excellent. Our Chief waiter ( damn it i cant remember his name) was awesome. On the last night, the Rigatoni pasta i had was SO good i requested another plate to eat in my cabin, and he was more than happy to check if they had a spare plate of it left. Also, someone brought chocolate dipped strawberries to my cabin ( probably from a girl i had met the day before ;) heh). Disembarkation : Despite my being groggy as heck from clubbing till 3 in the morning, I found disembarkation to be swift and efficient. Although I almost didnt want it to go so fast. I didnt want it to end. Would I take this cruise again??? HECK YEAH. it makes me sad to know Rhapsody isnt doing the itinerary anymore. She was an AWESOME ship. I will carry the memories from that cruise forever. Read Less
Sail Date August 2013
Let me begin by stating that this is only our second cruise, so I don't have a lot of experience to pull from. That being said, I thoroughly enjoyed this cruise on Royal Caribbean! I picked this specific cruise because of the ... Read More
Let me begin by stating that this is only our second cruise, so I don't have a lot of experience to pull from. That being said, I thoroughly enjoyed this cruise on Royal Caribbean! I picked this specific cruise because of the itinerary: I wanted to spend the day in Victoria BC. What I gave up was another port in Alaska (Ketchikan) which is why I probably left the cruise wishing I had seen more of AK. Flew in to Seattle the day before and stayed at the Inn at the Market. A little pricey, but met my requirement for proximity to Pikes Place Market, as we had my senior-aged aunt with us and didn't want too much walking. What made it worth it: the rooftop patio overlooking the Market and Elliott Bay - Marvelous at sunset! Side note on transportation: I checked Yelp ahead of time for a car service from the airport to the hotel (as there was NO shuttle service). A-ABC Transportation Seattle. HIGHLY RECOMMEND!! Cheaper than most others, and exceptionally friendly driver named Bobby. I might just keep them in my cell phone in case I am ever in Seattle again! Ports JUNEAU: Mendenhall Glacier. Took one of the $16 RT shuttles you see offered at the dock. Once there, did an easy hike to Nugget Falls which gets you fairly close to the glacier (relatively speaking, of course). Spent some time just admiring the natural beauty, then hiked back to visitor center. $3 Entrance fee to Ctr, watched the short but informative film. Then waited on shuttle to come back. Others said they had seen mama bear and cubs on another hiking trail. Would like to have done that, but didn't want to miss the last shuttle. Walked around the "town" (read "tourist zone" here) before heading back to the ship. SKAGWAY: Took the White Mtn Pass Railway. Beautiful scenery and entertaining narration throughout trip. Folks on the LEFT of the train get the good views first, but everyone flips the seatbacks and swaps sides for the ride down. The morning train gets you back around lunchtime, so we re-boarded and ate at Windjammer. Then went out to scope out the "town" (again "tourist zone"). Nothing truly special as far as shopping, but we knew this would be our last shopping opportunity in Alaska. TRACY ARM FJORD: Our ship's captain, Rob, took the better route to Dawes Glacier, and we got "as close as the ship had been all season" according to him. That closeness is still about 1/3 of a mile away. Beautiful colors. Unfortunately we missed a small calving, as the ship had turned and we were on the wrong side. Despite getting up at 5a.m. we were late securing a "front row" seating on the top deck (apparently many others knew to get up earlier than that and drag chairs from the Solarium to the top/front of the ship). However, we had great views and the captain spent a good bit of time there to let us soak it in. Note: the ship also dropped a net from a boom to collect a chunk of ice for sculpting later that morning! VICTORIA BC: Was to be the highlight of our trip for me. To begin with, the weather was overcast and ended up drizzling rain. I booked a combo tour through CVS (Cruise Victoria). It was for a City/Castle/Butchart tour. The young lady at the kiosk (in front of the Empress Hotel - you have to book that shuttle too, I found out) advised us to do the Castle first, City second, and Gardens third. Now, Butchart Gardens was my MAIN reason for picking this itinerary...keep that in mind. We finished the Castle in 45 minutes. Came back to the shuttle pick up point,and......NO SHUTTLE BUS. NOT FOR OVER AN HOUR! I called the main office, and was told "well, the 11:20 shuttle may have looked different, but the 12:20 will be the ORANGE shuttle." I honestly don't think the 11:20 shuttle came. So, we lost an hour waiting, then took the City Tour (you have no option)and got back to the Empress for a different bus to get you out to Butchart Gardens. The schedule we were on now put us at the gardens at 3:05, and the last shuttle back to the pier was to run at 4:00. REALLY!?! Less than an hour to tour 55 acres of gardens??? BAD ADVICE FROM CVS, BAD CHOICE ON MY PART FOR CHOOSING CVS. Be advised - you really only have time to do the gardens and the city tour (in that order) if you enjoy strolling through gardens rather than sprinting! THE SHIP: I LOVED Rhapsody of the Seas! It was clean, nicely decorated, well-staffed, and just all-around pleasant. Now, I've only had one other cruise to compare, but this far surpassed my first cruise. We ate in Edelweiss every night at the first seating. Malvin was our waiter and Joy our assistant waiter. BOTH WERE FABULOUS! And, I thought the food was excellent! Breakfast each day was at the Park Diner in the Solarium; Lunch in the Windjammer. No complaints other than typical horde mentality that occurs at open buffets. Entertainment on the ship was pretty good. We saw two shows in the theater (Motown tribute show which was great, and a salute to country which was acceptable). The best we saw were the Rosario Duo (flute and piano) and the band Metrotone (the singer was quite good). These were either in the Shall We Dance Lounge or the Centrum (note to bartending staff in Centrum: please don't overtalk the artists. This is rude). A couple of aerial acts in the Centrum were fun to watch, assuming you could find a spot with a view. I recommend the Captain's Talk. This was very informative and entertaining. Of course, we had Captain Rob and his sense of humor just can't be beat. I would almost search for a cruise based on whether or not he was at the helm! One suggestion I have is more varied activities for the sailing days. I don't need to know how to fold napkins or towels into animal shapes. I would have liked some more information from Naturalists (there might have been one, but wasn't at a convenient time). Overall: Like I said at the start - I loved this cruise and the scenery was beautiful. I just feel like I got a tiny sliver of Alaska. We can't afford many of those excursions that take you out in a smaller boat or up in the air by a chopper or seaplane. I guess I'll just have to go back to Alaska - just maybe not by a cruise.   Read Less
Sail Date August 2013
Sailing on the Rhapsody to Alaska was a grand experience from beginning to end. We embarked in Seattle where we moved through the check-in process smoothly. Our suite was ready and waiting for us, with our luggage arriving quickly at our ... Read More
Sailing on the Rhapsody to Alaska was a grand experience from beginning to end. We embarked in Seattle where we moved through the check-in process smoothly. Our suite was ready and waiting for us, with our luggage arriving quickly at our door. The steward arrived quickly to introduce himself and determine our needs and expectations which he expertly fulfilled and exceeded during the cruise. The crew is led by a captain who seems to completely enjoy his job and the people with whom he works. The positive attitude toward the guests onboard permeates the ship. Each staff member is always ready with a smile and a greeting. We availed ourselves of the Chef's Table dining package. We thoroughly enjoyed dinner with the chef and wine steward. We were less enthusiastic with our Italian and Asian experiences with the latter so heavily laden with salt that it was almost inedible. The specialty restaurants in general could benefit from menu tweaking. Since we had a suite, we visited the concierge lounge regularly and were quite impressed with both the concierge and his assistant. The Schooner bar was also a great place to meet people and mingle with other cruisers. The three ports we visited offered a great opportunity to see Alaska. We visited the shops locally owned and toured each community. In Skagway we went on a tour to Emerald Lake that afforded an opportunity to see the smallest desert in the world and the natural beauty of Alaska and Canada. Leaving any form of transportation can be a hassle. However, leaving the Rhapsody was so easy, so smooth and so painless that it was over before we knew it. I can well understand why many make this trip numerous times. It is truly magnificent. Read Less
Sail Date August 2013
My wife celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary with our first Alaskan cruise. This was the final Alaskan cruise of the year for the Rhapsody of the Seas as it is now on its way to Hawaii and then to Australia and the South Pacific. As ... Read More
My wife celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary with our first Alaskan cruise. This was the final Alaskan cruise of the year for the Rhapsody of the Seas as it is now on its way to Hawaii and then to Australia and the South Pacific. As such, this cruise stopped in Juneau, Skagway and Ketchikan and ended in Vancouver. (On our Roll Call chat, some people were not originally aware of the unique itinerary and changed to a cruise that went Seattle-Seattle. Those don't go to Ketchikan however, and Ketchikan is not to be missed. We splurged on a suite for this cruise and it was well worth it. We had almost no line at check-in, which was around noon for us. We were able to board right away after all the details were taken care of, and we had lunch in the Windjammer. The Windjammer is always extra full for lunch on boarding day but we were able to find a seat. Service was excellent as usual, and as I have come to expect on RCCL as this is our 5th cruise with them. The scenery on this cruise was outstanding. Going through the Inside Passage and the Tracy Arm Fjord were amazing. And even though the cruise director said they did not any way to "schedule" the whales, they still showed up many times. No big splashing breaches as I was hoping, but still more than enough to satisfy DW and I. We had 2 sets of great table companions this time. We saw them around the ship on occasion and we did things with them too. We even ran into a pair of them at lunch in Ketchikan and they shared their table with us, which cut our wait to Zilch. This was at the Fish Pirate's restaurant. Each port of call had 3 or 4 ships in port, which I don't think I've even had in the Caribbean yet, but all worked smoothly. In Juneau we took an excursion out to Mendenhall Glacier and the Salmon Hatchery. The Glacier was stunning, even though it rained on and off, and the salmon hatchery was informative. We even saw some seals there. In Skagway, we rode the White Pass railway and hiked to Laughton Glacier. The guides (Dylan, Kellen, and Shane) were personable, knowledgeable and always put our needs above theirs. Standing on a glacier was on my bucket list and it was not disappointing. We took over 200 photos on the hike. And we were certainly tired (and hungry) at the end of it. We had sandwiches on the glacier, and they gave us a fanny pack with 2 waters, 2 candy bars and 2 pkgs of nuts as well. But by the end, I was ready for dinner. Too bad I was almost too tired to eat! But I got through it (veal T-bone was excellent) In Ketchikan, we rented a car and did our own thing. We had seen a TV show, "Motion" there and we went and hiked the same places they did. We went to Ward Lake. Easy level hike around the lake. The salmon were spawning which was excellent to see. After that we drove to Settler's Creek and walked the 1/4 mile to the waterfall. Again, we watched salmon attempt to swim upstream at the step waterfall. It was amazing to see this age old natural stage in their lives, even if it did stink a little from the dead salmon around. After that we stopped at Totem Bight State Park and looked at the totem poles. Some great carving went into those. I found Settler's Creek and Totem Bight as a tour for $89pp. We rented a car for $59.95 total and did our own thing. I know some people on the Forums have strong feelings one way or the other for ship sponsored excursions. I've done both and had good and bad times on both. It's all what you make of it, I say. The entertainment we saw was great. The Rhapsody has been through its remodel and there were a couple of aerial shows in the Centrum. Too bad we slept through one of them. But that was our fault. The main comedians were funny; I liked Gary Mule Deer better than the first one but both were fine. We missed one of the Broadway dance reviews but the singing and dancing of the staff was great. Of course not Broadway level, otherwise the dancers and singers would be there and not here, right? The Staff's "Rock Britannia" show was great. Graham Seymour is an amazing Cruise Director. He did things (his own TV show and own comedy routine) that I haven't seen other Cruise Directors do. And in that vein, Captain Rick, was the most personable Captain ever. We saw him more often that any of the other 5 captains put together. He competed in a Cake decorating contest, sang to us at the Crown and Anchor society get together, and had a Q&A with passengers for about an hour in the theater. Not to mention his being out for the Walk for Wishes and his most informative daily noon updates. He even made sure to alert us to a pod of whales doing bubble fishing. Seeing the blowholes of 5-6-7 whales at one time was really neat. I've always enjoyed the food onboard and this was no exception. We dined for the first time in the extra fee Chops Grille. The food was more than we could eat and the steak was as tender as ever. I'm still ambivalent about those fee restaurants, but since it was our Anniversary, and all the other table mates were going out to specialty restaurants too, we figured we might as well too. The Rhapsody has a new cafe, the Park Cafe, in the Solarium. It took us a few days to discover it but it is a jewel. Not crowded for breakfast/lunch like the Windjammer. They have a nice selection of food, and you don't overeat as easy there. Plus, it's in the Solarium so you can eat, swim, sleep, in whatever order you want. My father in law is handicapped and the Windjammer and MDR both had some tight corners, but the Park Cafe would be no problem for him in his wheelchair. The Meet and Mingle was great, this was truly a special group. DW and I were missing my nephew's wedding, so the M&M group all helped us wish them "Congratulation" and they appreciated the video I posted online for them! Saw several of them around the ship too and we shared many cruise experiences. We are going to have to make Alaska a regular cruise itinerary for years to come. Hopefully next time we can add in a cruise tour and go to Denali as well Read Less
Sail Date August 2013
The 4 of us had a great cruise. The mini suite was big enough for us.The cabins have lots of space to put baggage/clothing. we had one large bed, a sofa bed and requested a single bed. We had very mixed weather during the cruise. Make ... Read More
The 4 of us had a great cruise. The mini suite was big enough for us.The cabins have lots of space to put baggage/clothing. we had one large bed, a sofa bed and requested a single bed. We had very mixed weather during the cruise. Make sure you take a waterproof wind sheet, and a swat shirt. The ship is small compared with current alternatives with few activities considering there are 3 sea days out of 7. the saving grace was the solarium area which was great and very relaxing the food was good and service from staff throughout the ship very friendly and professional. food is available at meal times + a bit more but not 24 hours a day our teenagers had about 60 contempories which was fun for them and they had a great time. Teen club not well specd.! We do our own trips "Juneau whale watching" and we saw bears ocean river kayaking in victoria. saw seals/fish brillian scenery we loved juneau, victoria and tracey fjord. we thought skagway was a waste of time. Alaska really is a beutiful wilderness would recommend Alaska cruise   Read Less
Sail Date August 2013
Rhapsody of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabin 3.5 N/A
Dining 4.0 4.0
Entertainment 3.5 3.7
Public Rooms 3.5 4.3
Fitness & Recreation 3.5 N/A
Family 4.0 3.7
Shore Excursions 4.0 N/A
Enrichment Activities 3.5 N/A
Service 4.0 4.4
Value for Money 4.0 N/A

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