Just okay, not more, not less
Rhapsody of the Seas Cruise Review to Alaska - Inside Passage
Sail Date: July 18, 2014
Cabin Type: Balcony
Cabin Number: 7528
Traveled As: Family (older children)
Reviewed: 2 years ago
First, let me say that Alaska ROCKS as a destination. It's absolutely gorgeous, and the more you can get out -- whether it's helicoptering, whale-watching, renting a car or dogsledding -- the more you will enjoy it. That said, the Rhapsody Of The Seas cruise is merely okay because it includes only TWO ports of call, Juneau & Skagway. I know other Alaska cruises have additional ports of call at Sitka, Ketchekan, and others. Rhapsody does stop in Victoria, B.C., but frankly, that is a town that takes less than 2 hours to explore and it's simply not as amazing as Alaska. There are at least 3 full "days at sea" with Rhapsody and 1 partial day, which is just too many. Especially when you consider that it can be windy and rainy even in the summer!
Other elements of the cruise that are also "just okay" in my book: the food and the onboard activities. The main dining room has about one good entree per meal, with the rest being okay to poor. Windjammer has its usual limitations, being a large, crowded buffet, so I didn't expect much from the quality of food and that's about it delivered. If you're fine with casual fare, the Park Cafe in the Solarium actually has the most consistently high quality foods for breakfast and lunch. As for the specialty restaurants, I would NOT recommend Izumi, the japanese restaurant. Very high prices for very poor sushi. We didn't try Giovanni's or Chops Grille, but have heard lukewarm reviews of both.
Regarding the onboard activities, can you abide by trivia, trivia, and more trivia? That's about all there is! The ship is smaller, so they don't have "name acts" for the evening entertainment. A few of the singers and dancers are in the 7-8 (out of 10) range; some are 4-5. They try really hard, so I don't want to diss them too badly. Basically if you keep your expectations in check, you won't be (too) disappointed.
The ship is still in good shape, though a few upgrades are recommended: several people commented on replacing old shower curtains with glass or lucite shower surrounds, for example.
My final recommendations: splurge on the helicopter glacier tour -- it's worth it. Also, rent a car and drive the Yukon Highway. The scenery is spectacular with several deep green glacial lakes. The Cliffside Restaurants near the Canadian border has great food and great views of the mountains and you're sitting almost directly over a river! Gorgeous. And the summer dogsled musher's camp is fun. Especially the one in Carcross, Canada (via rental car).