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4/11/04


bakal
"We just returned yesterday from the Rhapsody. It was beautiful, everything was extremely clean. We had no problems with any of the crew, they were all very friendly."

TRIP INFO

Sail Date:04/12/2004
Destination:
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RATINGS

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COMPLETE REVIEW

The only problem we had was trying to get soda in the dining room. There were so many activities, we could not do it all. What we could not go to was shown later in the evening on TV. So that was very nice. We were on deck 3 with a larger inside stateroom. We were not sick at all, most of the sick people we talked to were staying in the upper decks of 7 & 8. We had no issues down below. We had a larger inside stateroom for the 4 of us (the girls are 13 & 15 and the bunks were very large) and had no problem with unloading our 7 suitcases plus carry-ons.

I was very impressed with the number of drawers and closet space and the bathroom was very large. Our room was kept very clean (even picking up the kids stuff and making neat piles!) The towel animals were very cute. Anytime we saw our room attendant she was asking if there was anything we needed, if everything was okay. She kept our cooler filled with ice at all times for the cans of beer my husband bought and the wine we got from the travel agent. We were turned away in Grand Cayman, only the smaller Carnival ships were able to tender there. It was not the captains decision the port authorities of Grand Cayman cancelled it. Chris our cruise director said the locals hate it if the port is closed as they loose a lot of business! So that was disappointing. We were really looking forward to Tortuga rum. (If anyone is going soon and are from Wisconsin-let me know I'll pay you for some!) It could have been worse though.

Voyager only was able to go to Cozumel on FRIDAY; all their other ports were cancelled. At least we had Key West and Cozumel! It was mostly cloudy and rain on and off on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. The pool had to be drained on Wed. since we had 8-10 foot seas most of the trip. It probably should have been drained on Thursday too when Grand Cayman was cancelled, but I think if they had done that the natives would really have been restless! The replaced the pool water 3 times and the last time on Friday the pool temp was 82 degrees and warmer then the air! We had great fun in the pool when the ship was really rocking. There were actually undertows and we were getting pulled in! The staff did a great job of coming together and planning extra activities on the day we were supposed to go to Grand Cayman. The cruise directors were very fun, the shows were great (we had the original drifters, juggling, comedy, Broadway productions, a member of the letterman group.) There was something for everyone.

The bingo was fun, the kids can play as long as the adult buys the cards and claims the prize (prices were steep though at $35 per 6 pack of cards). The food was excellent in the dining room. The buffets in the windjammer were not the hottest temperature but that is always true at home too!), the selection of food was great and the kids loved the cookies there. Our headwaiter Sam was great. Always making a new origami animal for the kids each night. The dining room staff did sing for us every other night. It was so much fun to watch them. By the time the week was done my hands hurt from all the clapping all week! There was violin and piano music during the daytime in the lobby area and in the dining room each evening. There was a surf side band during the afternoon at the pool. Slow dancing in the lounges. Disco in the Viking crown lounge. Theme nights (50's, 70's, 80's themes).

I am very sensitive to cig smoke and was very impressed that there was not a lot of that, although we did stay out of the bar areas at night. I would cruise again in a heartbeat, if we could afford the voyager class we will try that one but I would not hesitate to go on the rhapsody again. The Captain retired with our cruise so a new one was starting with the next sailing. He had a great dry sense of humor. When we got to key west he yelled to the people watching on the dock to see if this was Key West, they nodded their heads then he turned to us up on deck 10 and said this was Key west.

I don't know who the next captain will be but he was pretty funny. You cannot pay with cash only for gambling in the casino, we did not give the kids spending abilities as it was with our purchases, gratuities, bingo, wine, soda cards (it actually was just a sticker on your sea pass card, once you got the coke container you never needed to show it again), massage, photos our total came to $821! There were people ordering the drink of the say at $5.95 like water, we only had a few. So I can't imagine what their totals were! The soda cards for the kids were well worth it at $28 + 15% gratuity, so we bought 2 kids and then 1 adult--the adult was $42 + 15%. Had I known that the containers were exactly the same I would have just bought the 2 kids. Soda by the can was $2.50 if you bought it. We had no room in the suitcase or we would have brought some!

Lemonade and Iced tea were free all the time, but you could not get lemonade in the dining room. I should have brought a little vodka a long to add to it! All in all it was a great vacation and we will do it again as soon as we can pay this one off! There were people of all ages (some of the elderly were complaining about the kids but they picked spring break to come, so they should have expected that!). I was surprised at how many infants-3 yr. olds were there, I would not consider that a vacation for me! The 4yr-12yr olds looked like they had a blast. There were many groups of 2-4 families together that looked like they had a blast. The kids all hung out together and they knew some people already. We may try that next time, come with some friends and their families! My girls being 13 & 15 were split up in age groups and since they always hang out together they were a little disappointed. They spent more time with us then I had imagined but that was okay too. They slept late and we had breakfast by ourselves! Sorry this was so long but we had such a good time!

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