Sail Date: January 01, 2008 Ship: Rhapsody of the Seas Cabin Type: Oceanview Traveled As: Couple Reviewed: 10 years ago
We were on the first cruise for RCI out of Singapore to Hong Kong in January 2008 and let me tell you there were issues. Long delays leaving the ship on shore excursions. Totally unprepared for the new venue in this area. Also the local guides were nearly impossible to understand but very nice.
We were told by RCI to bring our own visa's for Vietnam and Cambodia and after forking out $400 for the two of us we found that RCI provided them onboard for $25 each. Again the right hand didn't seem to know what the left hand was doing.
Nothing though could take away from the beautiful countries visited or the great weather and good ship board experiences. I think with time RCI will work this all out and it will go smoothly like Alaska, etc. At the time there were some pretty annoying happenings but on reflecting back I would do it all again mostly because of the wonderful service from our great Waiter Ahlok, and his assistant Yuan to our friendly happy go lucky steward Yueray we were pampered and spoiled and treated royally and isn't that what a cruise is all about.
Food and Dining
3 out of 5
The food was fine, probably not the type a super gourmet would rave about but it was certainly well served in the dining room and lots of good choices in the Windjammer. They ran out of bananas mid-way and I thought it odd they didn't re-stock since bananas seemed a staple in all those countries. The fresh fruit could have been fresher and more varied (I'm a fruit nut though.) There was no Chocolate buffets at night and not even a midnight buffet....what's with that on a 12 night cruise.
1 out of 5
As stated before excursions were a mess, really need to get a handle on that, I expected better. The entertainment was spotty at night, think they were trying out a lot of people for the first time as this was the inaugurial cruise. I suspect some would be replaced. Most were okay, the Canadian fellow the next to last night was the best and the RCI singers and dancers were good as well.
Service and Staff
5 out of 5
We found the staff the best part of the experience (beyond the great ports of call.) Every part of the ship they were always helpful and smiling. Even poor Helen the Shore Excursion director who was often under fire from very irate passengers kept her cool and did her best with out seemingly much support from upper management.
3 out of 5
The ship seemed a bit worn but clean and easy to find your way around. I think on an Asian cruise especially they need to have two card rooms....one for Majong (boy it's loud) and one for more quiet card games. Also the card room was an interior one with an awful vibration. We liked the Serenade of the Sea card room with outside windows much better.
Cabin / Stateroom
3 out of 5
We had an oceanview room slightly back of mid-ship and it was very comfortable. Bed (after our steward added some egg crates)was super comfy. We had a couple of very rough days and were quite thankful to be at a lower level. State room was always clean and the decor through a bit dreary was pretty standard. Airconditioning worked well but the PA system only had one level WAY TOO LOUD for all of our captians amusing announcements.
Pros: Great Service, good food, interesting ports of call.
Cons: Poorly organized excursions, slow tendering, and miss information on visa's.
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