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Sail Date: October 2017
One of the most fun cruises we have been on. I truly believe the Cruise Director makes and sets the tone for a cruise. Carly is head and shoulders above all cruise directors we have had...except for Chole, they're tied! She interacts ... Read More
One of the most fun cruises we have been on. I truly believe the Cruise Director makes and sets the tone for a cruise. Carly is head and shoulders above all cruise directors we have had...except for Chole, they're tied! She interacts with passengers, her staff is engaging . They involve all. The Captain was also present around the ship and it showed by how the crew interacted with passengers. A happy crew leads to very happy passengers. We had such a great time we will be back onboard next year! It may not have all the glitz of the newer ships, as much space as the bigger ships but she has heart starting from the Captain to the Cruise Director to every crew member. Most ships do not. The only flaw is the menu...it needs to be upgraded fleet wide. It has gotten very old and uninspiring. Keep the Strawberry Bisque Soup but entrees need to be changed. Can't wait to see the changes after the facelift refresh Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
We chose this cruise because of the Itinerary. With the end point being Brazil, this offered us an opportunity to extend our vacation and see some additional sights (i.e.: Rio De Janeiro, Iguazu Falls. The logistics for getting to the ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the Itinerary. With the end point being Brazil, this offered us an opportunity to extend our vacation and see some additional sights (i.e.: Rio De Janeiro, Iguazu Falls. The logistics for getting to the embarkation and disembarkation points can be very expensive. A shuttle trip of 1 1/2-2hrs is needed in Valparaiso Chile and Santos, Brazil. Overall Rhapsody staff did very well accommodating language differences. The Food in the Windjammer was acceptable, although at times impossible to obtain seating. The main dining room cuisine was great with a variety of choices. The portions were acceptable. Sometimes trying to obtain a second bread roll was met with a funny look. We Americans love our bread :) Chops Grille steakhouse was extraordinary. The entertainment could have included a little more variety. I am not an opera or piano, violin aficionado so to have the entire evening performance with one discipline was a little trying for me. The disembarkation at ports was at time extremely difficult with my elderly parents. The were many ways of emptying into the small lower decks which made it impossible to know where the end of the lines were. Tempers were often an issue. Plus if a Royal employee with an excursion crowded in, all bets are off you will thrown off. Perhaps an earlier Excursion only exit would be more amenable to everyone. My guest room was unfortunately to close to the Centrum. Even though the solid door is closed at 10pm, people going to their cabins open the door and leave it opened. I had to get up and close the door several times. Shore excursions were extremely expensive through Royal. I would say a small mark up would be acceptable but at time the excursion price was %100 more than any independently reserved. Overall a good deal for the price paid. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
Royal Caribbean Cruises; Rhapsody of the Seas - April /May 2016 Cruise Chile to San Paulo Brazil with two day stop over before cruise in Santiago Chile (19 nights in total). ... Read More
Royal Caribbean Cruises; Rhapsody of the Seas - April /May 2016 Cruise Chile to San Paulo Brazil with two day stop over before cruise in Santiago Chile (19 nights in total). --------------------------------------------------------------- My wife and I have been cruising now for 40 years altogether, we always pick the itinary over the shipping Company therefore only cruising with this company Royal Caribbean Cruises 4 or 5 times. The last time was two or three years ago and we would just like to let people know the subtle in some cases and not so subtle changes that have been made without telling the passengers b before they book. Now you have to accrue points by spending money with the Company to get a better service, a service that was always expected at all times otherwise now your just a economy no frills passenger. To a new person going cruising the first time I suppose it looks good but there have been cut backs with crew making their workload crazy, staff in the Restaurant and buffet are so short and nobody seems to be bothered but just smile and tough it out except for one lady waiter cracking up one night and running out)?, The whole atmosphere has changed dramatically. In the formal Restaurant it always took two hours to get our meal served and finished (50 minutes before ANY service if you don’t count the glass of water)!! THE FOOD IN THE BUFFET WAS ALWAYS COLD. AND IN THE RESTUARANT ONY 50% HOT Of course the trips are so expensive it’s ridiculous, 4 hour trip EACH WAY to see penguins (hundreds of pounds)? Taking over 8 hours in total, just as an example. Hand disinfectant machines were evident at most locations but an attendant only accompanying the machine at Restaurant and buffet, it’s a shame a hint was needed to some passengers as in any ship but anywhere else on board with no attendant very few used them, this tended to result in diarrhoea all over the place in the toilets on decks. Leaving the ship at the end of the cruise was chaotic, people arguing and shoving in the massive queues for passports and customs, lots of handbags at dawn sort of thing, to make it worse the Captain came along with a lady putting her in front of us who had been waiting for 45 minutes so far and my wife asked about the queue jumping being wrong he just looked then walked off. (Even he didn’t give a fig). Nobody was taking ANY responsibility whatsoever just passing the buck to someone else etc etc. A very expensive holiday that was a nightmare, the weather was as expected so that wasn’t an issue but he decided NOT to call at two place one being round the horn as it was rough, taking into account we had been in 30ft swells and very large wave all day anyway. Many got the impression he just wanted a quite life but we certainly cannot challenge his judgement, but it did seem silly. After 40 years cruising worldwide under our belt this one has made a easy decision for us to pack it all in starting with the normally good in the past Royal Carrabean. The ships are so large now that for the Company it’s just a case of fill the cabins and smile all the time at the passengers even though your tips are now inclusive and you don’t have to work for them now. Our tip for future cruise DONT go on these massive ships they are very impersonal, not as friendly as the small cruise ships. We both were ill and still are over a week after the end of the cruise, toilet, toilet, toilet. Very disappointed, NO. Feel as we have been ripped off passengers. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
Purchased this cruise to go around the Horn and visit Cape Horn, which did not happen. The dining room staff were very slow and inexperience. They seem to have a lack of customer service and a "don't care" attitude. Had to ask ... Read More
Purchased this cruise to go around the Horn and visit Cape Horn, which did not happen. The dining room staff were very slow and inexperience. They seem to have a lack of customer service and a "don't care" attitude. Had to ask our dining room waiters each night to bring the wine I purchased to the table. Lobster was not served any night on this 14 night cruise. Very poor communications from guest services. Could not get an answer from anyone regarding the Meet and Mingle meeting. Call twice to guest services and was promised to get a return call but no one ever call me back with the information. Only by talking with other cruisers did I find out the Meet and Mingle meeting information. No one received the usual notices in their cabins regarding this meeting. Entertainment was not up to the usual RCL standard. Shore excursions were very expensive and did not meet expectations. Embarkation staff were rude and discourteous. We paid for the bus transfer to the airport at disembarkation & was directed to the wrong bus by the local agent outside who was in charge of loading the buses. Fortunately as we were getting on the bus, a RC staff lady recognized us and directed us to the correct bus. This cruise was a very big disappointment and very expensive. The requirements of a Brazil visa and the Argentina "reciprocity fee" should have been explained by the "Next Cruise" agent when we purchased this cruise. We've sailed over 30 cruises with RC and this cruise was a very big disappointment. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
I am Sooo Done with Royal!!! I am a veteran of more than 50 cruises, many (Emerald) with RCI. This cruise from Valpariso (3/27/16) to Sao Paulo was a total disaster. When we arrived at the port in Valpariso we were ushered to the ... Read More
I am Sooo Done with Royal!!! I am a veteran of more than 50 cruises, many (Emerald) with RCI. This cruise from Valpariso (3/27/16) to Sao Paulo was a total disaster. When we arrived at the port in Valpariso we were ushered to the "Priority"line for Emerald /Diamond customers. Ha! We waited for over two hours in line while the incompetent check in people took their sweet time. Where were the Royal executives to maneuver the lines? The checkin person told me this was first day on the job! She took my credit card and scanned it. I watched her do it. The windjammer was terrible. Not one seat was available at any regular eating time. we had to eat standing up. The "top tier" brunch was so crowded that we had to ingest our food while standing. Not a seat was available. Imagine! The entertainment was below par. not up to normal standards on other Royal cruises. Upon disembarking in Brazil, we also waited two hours in a priority line. When we actually arrived to scan my sea pass card at exit, I was held up from leaving with my group because I was told that I had a cash account which had not been satisfied. I had visited the cruise services desk for a copy of my account on at leas 4 occasions during the cruise and was never told that I had a cash account. I argued that I never had a cash account and in fact my credit card was successfully scanned at the port in Valpariso. Nonetheless, I had to fight my way back to guest services and wait in a giant line....again. The rep said there was no credit card on file for me. Imagine!!!!! Why did they not notify me in my room during the 14 days on the cruise but waited to embarrass me at exit? Royal....I have had it with you. Never again. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
We had chosen this cruise for the itinerary and sights to see, and had planned and looked forward to it for three years, but as we were about to begin our cruise in Valparaiso we were denied entrance to the ship because we had no ... Read More
We had chosen this cruise for the itinerary and sights to see, and had planned and looked forward to it for three years, but as we were about to begin our cruise in Valparaiso we were denied entrance to the ship because we had no Brazilian visas ! After the initial shock, we found that there were many others , 30 or more, in the same situation. No help was offered, other than being told we had two choices: go home or catch the ship in Punta Arenas (4th day,) IF we could get our Brazilian visas in time. Many were told that their luggage COULD NOT be retrieved to be given back to them. After the ship had left with many of the people's luggage already on board, including breathing machines, and Chemo medications, a bus was found to deliver some folks to Santiago by 11 PM. My husband and I had already paid $200.00 to go back to Santiago. 19 of us stayed in a hotel and decided to go to the Brazilian Consulate the next morning, where we explained our situation and were told that if we would do the leg work and accomplish each step individually and in person we MIGHT get the visas in time to fly to meet the ship. Each of us had to turn in our passports to the Brazilian Consulate, then go to get passport pictures taken and do an electronic application for the visa, scanning in our pictures, using one of two hotel computers. None of us were familiar with the process or the computers and the computers were timed to give only 1/2 hour for each use. Many attempts were made by each of our group of 19, and 24 hours later we all had finally had submitted the visa apps.electronically. Some pictures were unable to be scanned in, so they were taken to the consulate when we went to check to see if they had received all of our applications. Then we had to find foreign currency exchanges to change $190.00 per person into Chilean money - banks wouldn't do it for us - and take the money back to the consulate. We were given deposit slips and told that we needed to take them with the money to the consulate's bank and make the deposit, then bring back the receipts to the consulate.We were told to check back with them in several hours and maybe some of the visas would be ready. When we checked, ours were ready, so we went to the Lan Chile airlines office and purchased our flights to Punta Arenas, the next port for the ship. We flew out of Santiago at 2:30 AM, arrived in Punta Arenas at 5:30 AM, found a motel where we rented rooms for two days so that we could check in early, get some sleep, then spend the night and meet the ship early on the day it docked. The rest of the party ended flying at 2:30 AM and arriving at 5:30AM, just as the ship was pulling in. We all had missed the most spectacular part of the cruise,first four exciting days, the cruising along the coast, the views of the Andes, the glaciers, the ice and the beauty of that part of the world. All of our party made it, but with much anger, anxiety, monetary expense, aggravation and the feeling that all of this could have been avoided if RCL had let it be known ahead of time that Brazil required a visa. Once on the ship we found that it was in quite a state of disarray, compared to other RCL ships we have been on. Our Grand Suite was nowhere as nice as others we had been in, and amenities seemed to be lacking. Quality of entertainment, quality of food, variety of music and dancing -all were less than expected. The ship seemed crowded, the Diamond Lounge spilled out into an area where games were being loudly led by Portugese staff who couldn't be understood in English. The Concierge Lounge was also crowded and spilled into the Viking Lounge. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
I took this cruise to be with family members for a non profit fund raiser. The reunion was excellent. The entertainment was great as were the restaurant and cabin attendants. The public areas of the ship are well maintained and ... Read More
I took this cruise to be with family members for a non profit fund raiser. The reunion was excellent. The entertainment was great as were the restaurant and cabin attendants. The public areas of the ship are well maintained and pleasant. This is not the case for the cabins. Ours had a balcony on deck 8. Though mostly clean, it was a very simple cabin, with no daily carafe of water, not reflecting what we paid for it. I have been on a number of cruises. Royal Caribbean leaves a lot to be desired by comparison. Their customer service is so only in name. I will be very brief. They neglected to unload our luggage. It took over a month to get it back. There were MANY frustrating phone calls, many unreturned calls, many forms filled and faxed several times over. One night, my sheet was stained in blood. Not mine! Yes, they did change it after my call. There were no apologies given for any of this. There were other less egregious disappointments. I would not travel on Royal Caribbean again but I would go back to South America. Although we docked in Valparaiso, Santiago is not far and it is well worth seeing. Santiago has street sculptures everywhere. The murals also were more interesting than ones I saw in Buenos Aires or Valparaiso. I arrived in Buenos Aires earlier and toured on my own. You must take in a tango show. BA also has interesting museums. Check out the Museo Nacional De Bellas Artes. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
We were among the very lucky cruisers on the March 13 sailing who actually circumnavigated the Island of Horn at Cape Horn, thanks to our excellent Capt. Dimas Manrique, and Mother Nature's gift of relatively calm seas. This cruise was ... Read More
We were among the very lucky cruisers on the March 13 sailing who actually circumnavigated the Island of Horn at Cape Horn, thanks to our excellent Capt. Dimas Manrique, and Mother Nature's gift of relatively calm seas. This cruise was the trip of a lifetime for my DH and myself, and we loved every minute of it. We had a 3 night pre-cruise stay in Buenos Aires at the outstanding Icaro Suites Hotel, which was right downtown and allowed us to easily stroll the streets of this wonderful city. During the cruise, we were fortunate to be able to sail into all of the ports on our itinerary which were Montevideo, Punta del Este, Puerto Madryn, sail around Cape Horn, Ushuaia, Punta Arenas, cruise the Chilean Fjords, Puerto Montt, and finally disembark in Valparaiso. From there, we took a bus to Santiago and stayed 3 nights at the Welen Hill Downtown Santiago apartment, owned and managed by Marcela, our wonderful hostess. This was a great apartment with everything we needed for our stay, and we were able to walk to many of the historical sites. Cruise Highlights: Capt. Dimas and the wonderful staff. We especially want to thank our MDR servers, Juliana and Jean Leno, for their kindness and professionalism. They made every dinner a very pleasant experience, and we felt very welcome. We found the food to be very good in the MDR, the Windjammer, and the Park Café. We did not eat in any specialty restaurants. We also want to thank Beatriz Sodre, our cabin attendant, and Javier, the Deck 7 supervisor for all of their help keeping our cabin spotless and providing us with everything we needed. The crew (dining, cabin, and entertainment) were almost all Brazilian, and we appreciated their sense of fun and cheerful smiles. We especially enjoyed Marina for hosting Trivia and exercise classes in the Centrum, including great Zumba! They all worked very hard to please us, and did a great job. Our balcony cabin, deck 7, aft, portside was beautiful, with a comfortable bed and sufficient storage. I had read somewhere on these boards to take blue painter's tape with us to tape the drawers and closets during rough seas. We did and it was a big help on the one night that we did have some high seas. This was after Punta Arenas as we were entering the Pacific Ocean. Capt. Dimas told us what to expect, and it was pretty rocky, but overall, not the worst we have ever experienced, and he did a great job getting us through it. For us, the two highlights were going around the Horn and seeing the breathtaking scenery there, and being able to walk around Ushuaia with its exotic and beautiful snow-covered mountains. We did not take any shore excursions, as I had done extensive research as to what to see in each port. Rhapsody is in good shape. We had gone on her sister ship, Vision, a year ago on a transatlantic cruise, so we felt right at home. We really had no complaints at all, and were so very grateful to be able to have experienced the wonders of all of these places. Thanks to RCCL for the best cruise ever! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
We chose this cruise because of the "rounding Cape Horn" opportunity, and we were not disappointed. Captain Dinas circumnavigated the island brilliantly and even dispatched a small boat to the island to have our passports ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the "rounding Cape Horn" opportunity, and we were not disappointed. Captain Dinas circumnavigated the island brilliantly and even dispatched a small boat to the island to have our passports stamped. However, the ship was dirty. Glassware and rom service trays stayed in hallways for days. Tables wee rarely bussed in the buffet so you were always eating with your garbage. The oft serve ice cream machines repeatedly broke, as did the restrooms and the ice machines. Guests served themselves--many with their hands --- opening up disease possibilities, and railings and serving pieces were rarely replaced. In the main dining room, busboys would clear tables, scrape garbage from plates, and then serve fresh food to diners all without washing their hands. Lectures were on video tape. Food looked good on the menu but was poorly prepared and presented. The satellite TV continuously repeated the same games and news stories for 3-4 days before updating. Read Less
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