Did that get your attention? Well In a Nut Shell, a Bohemian is a person living an unconventional lifestyle. This however has no significance in the title of this review although i figured it might get some attention, so please read on.
With a bit of skepticism we made our reservations on board Rhapsody of the Seas. For the record our skepticism was on the Ship Size and really nothing more so i broke this review down in detail. I am covering everything from the Port Boarding to Disembarking so I Hope you enjoy the read
15 Cruises with Royal Caribbean 115 Cruise Days
7 Day Cruise from Tampa - Key West - Gran Cayman - Cozumel - Costa Maya
Feb 1st through Feb 8th. State Room 7042 Balcony Starboard Side
Port of Tampa and Cruise Terminal (8 out of 10)
I think this could have gone better than it did, the Port itself is very uniformed and did not see many if any traffic jams. The Local LEO's did a spectacular job moving traffic along.
However, getting your documentation - sea pass card ect. from the Desk Clerks seemed a little disorganized and delayed. We (3 of us) were at the counter for almost 25 Minutes and all we were waiting for was a Sea Pass Card and Picture, seems a little longer than any of the other ports. Rhapsody has only one entrance that is used for Embarking and Disembarking so it bottle necks pretty fast. I am not quite sure why they don't use Deck 5 as an option for this as it would make more sense than trying to fit 2500 passengers into a less than modest size welcome area.
Rhapsody of the Seas Ship Overview (10 out of 10)
For those of you who are use to a Royal Promenade deck Rhapsody of the seas does not have a Royal Promenade as this is a Vision Class Ship. Royal Promenades are available on Voyager - Freedom - Quantum and Oasis Class Ships only, Any others have a Centrium which is basically a Ship Center where the entertainment is performed. It is a bit congested but Rhapsody proved to be a good ship to enjoy the festivities. The shops and stores are located on Deck 6 interior and are pretty spacious. I suggest rooms above deck 6 Center or Aft to limit the music and activities during the evening hours. The nice thing about this size ship is there are wide areas behind the elevators for movement and access to other areas of the ship so elevator areas don't get crowded. Further, due to the positioning of the elevators - staterooms and the ship size you are always within striking distance of your stateroom, which prove to be very nice as you come and go.
Deck 5 has access to the outside walking area on the Port and Starboard sides of the ships which is very relaxing if you like quite and nice breeze. Smoking is allowed on Port Side of Ship only on Decks 5 and 9. Lattitudes Coffee is available on deck 6. Pool is on Deck 9. Disembarking for Island Stops is on Deck 2. Remember only one Entry and Exit on this ship so bottle neck lines will occur when disembarking.
Rhapsody of the Seas condition (8 out of 10)
Fellow cruisers - Rhapsody is aged a bit and you can see some wear on her, but overall she is a great ship - I have heard rumors that RCCL may be selling these ships soon so they may be just fixing that absolute NEED to's until the sale is completed. But overall we honestly had no complaints about the ship.
Customer Service Area (10 out of 10)
All i can say is throughout the 7 Day trip we never seen more than 3 people waiting in line, this was a huge surprise to us as we traveled on the other class ships and this area is constantly jammed with Passengers so Rhapsody is doing something right. They should share their success with the other ships.
Genre (10 out of 10)
The ship was made up of Families and Couples ranging from late 30's and up. There were some younger passengers but for the most part it was 80% over 30 and up. Which made it very relaxing and not having to worry about disorderly young adults discovering alcohol.
Service (10 out of 10)
Extraordinary - unlike the bigger ships the service was top notch, there was a wait staff within 5 feet of us the whole trip. It was very refreshing knowing the ratio from Employees to passengers was more balanced on this ship then others we have been on .
Restaurants (9 out of 10)
The Windjammer set up is spectacular - the main food is Laid out in a Circle with tables on the outside which we called the bull pen. The access was fantastic and we never had to wait for a table to dine. The only draw back was the special cooking request caused a slight - slight bottle neck but it really never interfered with the guests - just a bit more wait time. We went to Chops Grill and although it was good Steak is Steak and we realized you can pretty much get that at the Main Dining Room for free if wanted. Giovanni's was fabulous great service and great food. Izumi was also on our list, although the food and service was good - the Menu is limited so if your not at least 85% into Japanese cuisine i wouldn't recommend going. Main dining room was busy but seemed a bit under staffed during the time we were there but still nice overall.
Entertainment (8 out of 10)
The live entertainment in the Centrium was great, the movie's at the pool on Deck 9 were a bit over played - this was a perfect opportunity to sit back and watch a movie under the stars but the ship showed 3 Movies the whole week and it was the same movie day after day so it got rather boring after a while, and just an observation for RCCL - maybe serve popcorn during the movies.
The only shows that were available were a couple headliner shows and couple performances by the Ships employees but no complaints about either - it was pretty great overall.
Ports of call (7 out of 10)
KEY WEST - Was great and the ship ports close to downtown on Deval Street
GRAN CAYMAN - Ships do not dock at this port so you have to tender - which is generally a 15 minute wait coming and going. Reminder, there is only one entry and exit so this does bottle neck.
COZUMEL MEXICO - Ship ports outside of Senior Frogs and Margaritaville, near downtown Cozumel. Lots of vendors and stores to walk through as you get out of the interior population vendor zone.
COSTA MAYA - CANCELLED We had to abort docking at Costa Maya because of high winds and safety precautions, I get it. However i think RCCL could have done more for their passengers rather than saying "Sorry we have extra events Planned" - In my opinion maybe they should consider dropping Beverage Prices / Casino Table Minimums and Dining to half cost for the duration of the time we would have spent at the port I think it would have made some great PR for RCCL.
Casino (8 out of 10)
Machines are Really Tight and the Employees seemed a little distant. We are generally greeted with Smiles and some conversations regardless if its a few words or not. Although not all the employees were like this - i would say better than half were and it made for a somber time at the tables or the machines.
Disembarking (9 out of 10)
As much as i have written about disembarking i am beginning to see that regardless of where your at or what ship your on - this seems to be a huge bottle neck and definitely room for improvement - i am scoring this as i seen it it but it could use improvement.
Customs and Border Patrol (8 out of 10)
After leaving the ship you will enter the main tunnel to the CBP area, Caution if you have two bags in hand the Person at the escalator will not let you use the escalator unless you have one had free - so the alternative is to stand in line to your right for the one and only available elevator to take you down one level - Once you get past there it moved pretty fast.
Overall I would rate the Ship and this Cruise from Start to Finish (9 out of 10)
94% overall satisfaction
Our Stateroom was mid ship #7042 Starboard Side Middle of both elevators and accessible to Decks 5 and 9 whether by using the stairs or elevators. - strongly suggest getting a stateroom on deck 7 Port or Starboard Side Mid Ship. The balcony room had lots of Storage space and was far enough away from Entertainment activities where we did not hear any noise or distractions interfering with our sleep time