Cruise Review February 9, 2003 to February 16, 2003 Rhapsody of the Seas
Day One: took Continental flight leaving Denver at 6:30 arriving in Houston at 9:45 am. From there we took the Royal Caribbean shuttle which costs 62.00 per person round trip in the pouring rain to Galveston. We got to Galveston at 12:00 and were on the ship by 12:30. That was by far the best embarkation we have ever experienced. We did book a suite category C which lets you skip the lines and get right on the boat. Upon arriving on the ship we proceeded directly to our stateroom which was easy to find and ready for us. We had the best state room attendant Edgar who came and introduced himself to us after we had settled in. As soon as we were settled in we went to eat in the Windjammer which I was dreading because of the poor reviews it received on the message board but we were pleasantly surprised to find that the buffet was very good and fresh and included everything you could want in a buffet including a carving station and a huge desert station.
Although it was very cold in Galveston (low 50's) the sail away party on the pool deck went on as planned and we were headed to Key West with our bahamma mama drinks in our hand. Just before dinner around 5:30 our bags arrived in our room and we were able to dress for dinner. The first nights dinner we met our waiter Mustafa and assistant waiter Allen who were very proficient considering they had 20 people to wait on they were right on top of it. We ordered the wine and dine package which cost 125.00 including tip which gives you one bottle of wine of your choice with each dinner. However on the first night we could not be served wine until we were in international waters so we didn't get wine until mid way through our dinner. We also met our table mates who were wonderful entertainment.
That night's show included the Royal Caribbean singer and dancers singing "taking care of business" the Ritmos Duo which are male and female drummers who were entertaining but strange and goofy too. We were also introduced to Tom Canosa who is the cruise director who did a great job through out the cruise.
Day two at Sea: there were plenty of activities through out the day for all ages but we chose to relax and swim this day in the solarium pool which was very nice. We did decide to play bingo this day but were not impressed. You paid 35.00 for 5 games but the odds of wining were like a thousand to one too many people played bingo. The show for that night was the Royal Caribbean singers and dancers doing the Swingin Singing Years the band and singers put on a very good show that was defunitny geared to an older audience you can tell that a lot of hard work goes in to the production
Day three Key West: There where a lot of activities in the morning. We walked a mile; Ate breakfast in the windjammer witch I always liked. it was very good any breakfast item you could want ( bagels , lox's , eggs , ham , donnuts , made to order omelets , potato cakes , yogurt . and much more ) At 3:00 pm the ship arrived at key west we docked at the down town Hilton pear. My wife and I got off the ship at 3:45 pm walked around town looked at the bars and shops got back on the ship just in time to watch the sunset from our cabin balcony with a bottle of Champagne. Dinner was open seating we ate early so we could see my big fat Greek wedding in the theater it was very funny hopping they would show it. After the movie we went to bed and missed the comedy show and late night sail away pool party. It is nice to do as much or as little as you like!
Day Four at Sea: Again there were a lot of activities to do during the day at sea. We did all the ship shape activities to earn our ship shape dollars and that was kind of fun. We played in the casino but never one a dime only gave tons to the slots. The out door pool is usually crowded on sea days so we used the in door pool to swim and lay by the pool it is a really nice area to relax. The 4th night show was the best show we have seen. The Original Drifters were on the ship and put on a great show. Even at 26 and 30 we new every song they sang, it was so good. It was by far the best cruise show performance we have ever seen.
Day Five Belize City: We anchored near Belize City at 7:30 a.m. and all the tours were the first ones off the ship and then the rest of the passengers wanting to go ashore could go but you had to tender over so we decided we weren't going to get off the ship. But later that day we changed our minds and took the tender over. It is about a 15 minute boat ride over but there is really not much to see when you get over to the island. We only stayed in Belize for an hour and then tendered back it was kind of a waste but at least now we can say we've been to Belize. We were going to watch the movie that was playing in the Broadway Melodies Lounge but a quarter way through the movie shut off and the only two men who new how to run the computer were in Belize picking up a piano player for the next nights show so the movie was never fixed. However they did run the movie on the T.V. in each stateroom the next day all day long so we were able to see it. We were so exhausted this night we decided to order room service watch a movie and go to bed it was one of the best nights we had.
Day Six Cozumel: We arrived at 7:30 a.m. and we were one of the first people off the ship. It is so easy to get off the ship when you are at the international peer. We took a taxi over to the plaza for $6.00 and we were there way too early nothing opened up until 10:00 or later in the morning. We walked all around and looked at the open markets and found a great place to play mini golf we had a lot of fun. It was hot this day so after playing mini golf we took a taxi back to the peer and got back on the ship and lay by the pool for awhile. It was a great day to be in Cozumel. This was lobster night in the dinning room so we ate in their and had a pretty good meal. The lobster tail were good sized and they even offered you a second or third. This was one of the better meals in the dining room. This evening's show was a pianist named Glenn Smith. He was very unprepared and he was sick so the show wasn't very good. He also wasn't like a concert pianist he was more of a rock-n-roll pianist it just wasn't our taste of music I guess.
Day Seven At Sea: We laid in the sun most of this day as it was our last chance to work on our tans before headed home. We also played the final game of bingo that was a jack pot of $10,000.00 I got with in two numbers but some guy from Texas won the whole pot lucky him. The weather started to change as we got closer and closer to Galveston and we were trying to avoid a storm most of the night. This night's diner was the best on the cruise. It was prime rib and they cooked it any way you liked. It was a great final dinner for the cruise. We decided to skip the last night show and have one more relaxing night before we headed home to our busy house with the kids running around all the time but it was a great night none the less.
Day Eight Disembarkation: We had a lot of trouble docking in Galveston because of the wind so this put the disembarkation about an hour behind but it didn't seem to bother anyone. The customs process ran really smooth and the disembarkation also ran smooth. We were some of the first ones off the ship because we booked the Royal Caribbean shuttle to the airport and these left early so that was a plus. All in all the disembarkation was an easy process.
A final summary: The ship was magnificent very well maintained and very clean. Our state room attendant was the best he was so efficient and very nice too. The food over all was hit and miss the dining room was the worst place to eat but the food in the windjammer was great. We had a great trip and we already booked another one on the same ship for next year. Happy sailings to everyone.