Good itinerary, good service, small overcrowded ship with little to do onboard

Rhapsody of the Seas Cruise Review to Caribbean - Western

Cruises: 4-6 cruises
Review: 1
Helpful Votes: 25

Overall rating:

3.6 out of 5
Verified Review
Rhapsody of the Seas

7 Night Western Caribbean (Tampa Roundtrip)

Sail date: January 04, 2020

Ship: Rhapsody of the Seas

Cabin number: 7148

Traveled as: Family (older children)

Reviewed: 1 year ago

Review summary

Although there were some good things about this cruise -- we had good times in Key West and Cozumel and the service was very good -- I would not go on this cruise or on this ship again and would not recommend it. The ship is very small, there is little to do onboard, and our cabin (maybe because of location) was not comfortable. I love cruising, and I will cruise again, probably even with Royal Caribbean, but this one was a big disappointment.

Embarkation

5 out of 5
Bought the "Key" for very little money, and it more than paid for itself in benefits. Priority embarkation line -- I have never had a better or more expeditious boarding experience on a cruise.

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

3 out of 5
The main dining rooms were fine. We reserved dinner every night in the main dining room with the same servers, Jasmin and Andri, who were fantastic. Food was fine. We did not dine in the specialty restaurants because of a glitch with our onboard credits through Sky Miles Cruises. The buffet was terrible. It was grossly overcrowded, not enough seats for everyone, the food was bad, but there were times when it was the only option because of limited hours in the main dining room.

Onboard Activities

2 out of 5
There was one tiny outdoor pool which was, of course, very crowded. There was a small indoor pool for adults only, which was good. There was a tiny rock-climbing wall, a nice fitness center and spa. There was just very little to do onboard. Trivia in the Schooner Bar, which was always overcrowded beyond its seating capacity; the casino, which was fine; and a couple of shops. That was it. We had two planned days at sea, and an additional unplanned day at sea when we could not dock at Costa Maya because of weather. There was just very little to do on this very small ship.

Entertainment

3 out of 5

Children's Programs

We were not traveling with small children

Service and Staff

5 out of 5
The service was very good.

Ship Quality

4 out of 5
The ship was very small. Layout and design were fine. Common areas were fine.

Cabin / Stateroom

2 out of 5
The size of our cabin was about what you would expect for a "spacious balcony cabin." It had plenty of closet and storage space. It was clean. It was in a horrible location, however, and we had engine noise and vibration nearly all of the time, which made sleeping very difficult and just being in the cabin very unpleasant. I would avoid this cabin and any cabin toward the rear of the ship.

Ship tip

Get a suite -- high up and toward the front of the ship. I put in a "bid" for an upgrade when solicited by Royal Caribbean, but did not get it. At the very least, get the Key. Avoid the Windjammer buffet.

Ports of call

Tampa, Florida

3 out of 5
This was just our departure and arrival port. We stayed one night before the cruise at a hotel near the cruise port. Went to a nice restaurant, but there was not much around to do.

Key West, Florida

5 out of 5
You don't need to do an excursion. Key West is small enough to walk the whole thing and do everything fun. It was excellent.

George Town, Grand Cayman

3 out of 5
There is not much at the port. We did not book an excursion, but regretted that because there was really not much around the port area to do. We were back on the ship by lunchtime.

Cozumel, Mexico

5 out of 5
We loved Cozumel. We did not do an excursion, but booked a taxi for the day. Our driver took us to a local restaurant that was excellent, a small site with Mayan ruins, a tequila tasting (okay, this was a captive-audience tourist trap, but that is just par for the course), and a nice beach. We had a great day in Cozumel.

Costa Maya (Mahahual), Mexico Did not visit port

The weather was bad, so the ship could not dock at this port. This caused us another day at sea, and especially with bad weather making the outdoor areas uncomfortable (and for a time off-limits), there was just very little to do.

Disembarkation

5 out of 5
Just as with the embarkation, the disembarkation was smooth and expeditious.
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