Very nice, very relaxing Transatlantic westbound cruise, great itinerary.

Rhapsody of the Seas Cruise Review to Transatlantic

Cruises: 4-6 cruises
Reviews: 4
Helpful Votes: 27

Overall rating:

4.9 out of 5
Rhapsody of the Seas

14 Night Canary Islands & Nassau (Barcelona To Tampa)

Sail date: December 08, 2018

Ship: Rhapsody of the Seas

Cabin type: Balcony

Traveled as: Couple

Reviewed: 1 year ago

Review summary

Transatlic Cruises are a big bang for the buck and this one was great. We enjoyed what we wanted on the ship and enjoyed the surroundings and local food in each port we visited. We had spectacularly good weather for the entire trip and even enjoyed a storm three days into the crossing. This cruise vacation proved once again that cruising is probably the best way to discover a few new places and make plans to come back and stay longer. Your cruise is what you decide it to be when you book it. Definitely plan ahead, make your reservations and keep your documents in order. You'll have a much better time and get much better service. Make it a point to get to know the people who are taking care of you on the ship so they can make it personal for you.

Embarkation

5 out of 5
Very quick and efficient embarkation at Port Vell. We were boarding the ship within 30 minutes.

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

4 out of 5
Overall good in the main dining room, Windjammer Cafe and Park Cafe. We thought service in the Main Dining Room was excellent but felt The menu options had been somewhat downgraded as compared to our 2011 Transatlantic on Liberty of the Seas. In the Windjammer we expect the 'large buffet' style offerings and still appreciate the ethnic diversity of the chefs there but we don't expect it to be anything more than a buffet. They still do a great job having something for everybody. Park Cafe was our favorite for a light breakfast. Always quiet and never crowded. We purchased the 5 night dinner package online. Izumi was excellent (2 reservations plus a sushi class) Chops Grille very good (2 reservations) with Giovanni's table at just one reservation. At Giovanni's, again we were expecting more of the rustic Italian style we enjoyed on Liberty years ago. Still, it's a good idea to take advantage of the specialty dining packages online - the dining packages are a great value for upgraded food quality as well as discounts on wines if you enjoy a bottle for two at dinner.

Chop's Grille

5 out of 5

The filet mignon is always good here but this time I went with broiled Atlantic salmon. I was not disappointed!

Giovanni's Table

4 out of 5

I thought it was better on Liberty of the Seas, but still good. Seems like the menu has gone away from more of the traditional rustic dishes.... maybe it was just the chef. But we'll go back again for sure.

Main Dining Room

4 out of 5

Service was excellent, food was good but not quite up to par as compared to previous cruises. Possibly that's because the cruise line is steering more toward specialty dining? Still, the MDR is a great incuded value on the cruise.

Schooner Bar

4 out of 5

Good, noisy stopping off place for a cocktail or glass of wine before dinner.

Viking Crown Lounge

5 out of 5

Good place for a quiet cocktail and ocean views.

Windjammer Marketplace

4 out of 5

Think of this as a giant free buffet with all you can eat and you get the picture. The diversity of the food is because of the diversity of the chefs.

Latte-Tudes

5 out of 5

Early into the cruise we developed a dependence on the coffee beverages about mid morning and you will, too.

Park Cafe

4 out of 5

Basic menu selections, good coffee, quiet and easily accessible.

Izumi Japanese Cuisine

5 out of 5

Exceeded our expectations all the way!

Onboard Activities

5 out of 5
Plenty of activity choices available if we wanted them. Our main focus was kicking back and relaxing on the at sea days. Pool, hot tubs, quiet time on deck with a good book and the morning lecture series was how we enjoyed the crossing. The sushi making class at Izumi was great.... you actually make your own sushi and have it for lunch and enjoy multiple refills of sake.

Guest Services and Explorations!

5 out of 5

Service here was fast and impeccable.

Perfume Shop

5 out of 5

My wife got what she was after and the lady behind the counter was very nice.

Solarium

5 out of 5

With the Solarium Bar and the Park Cafe it's a winner.

Logo Souvenir Shop

5 out of 5

We always grab a couple of souvenirs - a hat, a T shirt, but this time it was perfect for Christmas shopping. We usually check the watch sale promotions anyway.... good selections.

Entertainment

5 out of 5
There was literally something for everybody on this cruise. Motown act American Dream, Craig Meyer's Elton John Tribute Show, Comedy Magician Chad Chesmark, to name a few.

Broadway Theater

5 out of 5

Comfortable, great sound system, great sound and lighting technicians. THe shows we saw were very well done.

Observation Deck

5 out of 5

Any day here is a good day

Art Gallery

4 out of 5

It was nice to go through the gallery every day after getting a coffee drink at Lattitudes

Children's Programs

Our kids are 33 and 36. We didn't bring them ;-)

Service and Staff

5 out of 5
We interacted with many of the same staff members every day of our cruise. We knew their names and they knew our names. Always pleasant and helpful. For example we purchased a wine and cheese package to be delivered to our cabin. A fruit tray was delivered with a bottle of wine and one piece of Brie......but Dionta Soares with Guest Relations took care of everything, told us to enjoy the fruit and he made sure the cheese plate was delivered - with another bottle of wine. Kudos to Arlen our cabin steward (we got four towel animals!) Sorin and Milos our waiters in the MDR, Eric our waiter in Izumi, Victor our waiter in Chops and Michael, our waiter in Giovanni's. We did not purchase a drink package of any kind and we always got great service at Cafe Latitudes and any of the bars.

Ship Quality

5 out of 5
Rhapsody is a nice size and very easy and quick to navigate, never crowded except at the Windjammer to be expected during peak hours! She's old and well taken care of. We actually liked the throw-back design and architecture of the public spaces and it didn't bother us that she was built in 1997 or that she doesn't have all the bells and whistles of Liberty and Oasis..... we took this cruise to relax and that's exactly what we did. We think there is still a big demand for the smaller sized ships.......Mega ships may excell at getting more people to the Caribbean ports but they can't get into the smaller Mediterranean and European ports. We really enjoyed this Vision Class ship even after sailing on Liberty and Oasis.

Cabin / Stateroom

5 out of 5
We were very comfortable in our balcony state room. Arlen, our cabin steward was very attentive and almost invisible unless we caught him and said good morning in the hallway on our way out.

Ship tip

It's been our experience on the last three cruises that to avoid the luggage frenzy after boarding the ship, just head up to the highest deck on the ship that's got a bar. Get yourself a cocktail and start decompressing while you wait for your state room to be ready and your luggage to arrive.

Ports of call

Barcelona, Spain

5 out of 5
We had three days in Barcelona at Hotel Europark.... just a block and a half from Betlem, our new favorite restaurant and the Gerona metro stop. Enjoyed Bari Gotik, Pablo Picasso Museum and lunch at Cafe Nervion. We'll go back a third time and stay longer.....

Lanzarote, Canary Islands

5 out of 5
Easy access, just walk off the ship and 20 minutes later you're in town. On a whim we visited the Cactus History Museum.... then walked further along the waterfront and found El Principe Cafe for lunch. Definitely take the waiter's advice and have the fish 'caught this morning'. Order a a glass of Vino Tinto and try the Dorata with fresh tomatoes and Spanish potatos.

Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, Canary Islands

5 out of 5
At port we boarded the hop on hop off bus to get a feel for where we might want to spend some time here. One of the cruisers we dined with in the MDR says she always visits the Old Town when she's here. Sure enough that's where we ended up. We spent a couple of hours in the S.I. Cathedral, climbed the tower and enjoyed the museum there. Afterward we walked downhill toward the new town and enjoyed lunch at at Tasca la Picadita. Try the Tuna Tartar.....

Santa Cruz De La Palma, Canary Islands

5 out of 5
At this port we actually booked a shore excursion from the ship because my wife had visited the Silk Museum in El Paso on one of our previous cruises and wanted me to see it. We also visited Bodega Teneguia for a wine tasting and brought three bottles home. Nice four hour bus tour of the entire island and we were back on the ship enjoying ice cold Red Stripe beer at the pool deck before 2:00 pm.

Nassau, Bahamas

5 out of 5
Contrary to what many Caribbean cruisers have been posting, we did not find the locals to be pushy or obnoxious in any way. We got off the ship and found that the locals at the pier wer just as happy to direct you to the local shop or vendor you were looking for. We were in Nassau 14 years ago and this is not the same Nassau. It's cleaned up, lots of new construction going on. The Pirate Bar has been replaced by Smugglers (great conch fritters and tropical salad, by the way and the Red Stripe is ice cold). After lunch we walked up past the art museum and visited the John Watling Distillery for a tasting. The Buena Vista Rum is good by itself and mixes well with just about anything.

Tampa, Florida

5 out of 5
We were supposed to dock at Tampa but due to severe winter weather in the gulf and very high seas we were informed onboard for safety reasons that we would dock at Port Canaveral. Royal Caribbean made ship to shore telephone service available at no charge via their swtchboard so all passengers could modify travel arrangements as needed. From Port Canaveral Royal provided ground transportation at no charge for all passengers making connections at Tampa Cruise Port and Tampa Airport. We were able to cancel our Tampa port to hotel shuttle, get a refund and take advantage of out hotel's free airport to hotel shuttle. Four Points by Sheraton was great. While in Tampa we enjoyed Charley's Steak House and used Uber to get to the Salvador Dali Museum in St. Petersburg. We would definitely enjoy Tampa again.

Disembarkation

5 out of 5
Oddly enough we disembarked the day after the government shut down. Getting off the ship and claiming our luggage took maybe 15 minutes. Customs at port was closed down to two exits but we were still only in the customs line for maybe a half hour tops. The cruise lines have no control over customs or governemtn shut downs. All things considered, with bad weather and a rerouted docking at Poert Canaveral it went down pretty well.
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