Saturday, May 19, 2012

Comfortably at Home Aboard Rhapsody of the Seas

Rhapsody of the Seas in Alaska
It’s been a while since I last sailed on one of Royal Caribbean’s Vision Class ships, of which Rhapsody of the Seas is one of six in that class. Since then, the cruise line has been rejuvenating these vessels by adding features that passengers enjoy most on their newer fleetmates. As I reported earlier this year, a “Like New” Rhapsody of the Seas was introduced in March and there are many upgrades I anticipate discovering while on board this week in Alaska that weren’t a part of the original Vision Class experience.

The first new discovery is my Superior Oceanview Stateroom on Deck Seven that measures in at 192 square feet with a 42 square feet balcony. I’m in 7650 and, along with my counterpart on the ship’s opposite side in 7150, have a somewhat obstructed view. Actually, it's simply a bit of angled steel that doesn't obstruct much and it’s still a great spot to breathe in the fresh sea air in Alaska.

In addition to the two twin beds (that can be converted into a single queen-size) and a sitting area with sofa bed and occasional table, other fairly standard features in my home for the next week are a mini-refrigerator, vanity/desk area, hair-dryer, telephone, safe, and 110/220 electrical outlets. New stateroom amenities include a flat screen television, remodeled bathroom, and refreshed interior décor with new linens and furniture. There’s plenty of storage, especially since I’m sailing alone. Had my husband Mel been able to accompany me, we would both be quite comfortable here.

Possibly one of my favorite new features isn’t actually inside my stateroom, but reaches me nonetheless—it’s the recently installed bow-to-stern WiFi. An additional perk that’s coming soon is that passengers will find iPads in every stateroom, allowing them to access the daily Cruise Compass of events and activities; personal daily itineraries, including shore excursions; monitor their onboard account; order room service; view restaurant menus; access the Internet; and watch movies.

Like other Royal Caribbean ships, Rhapsody of the Seas offers four main categories of accommodations—suites, balcony staterooms, outside staterooms with an ocean view, and inside stateroom. After choosing a category, you can then select a specific room type to suit your needs whether that means large enough for a family or accessible for the mobility impaired.

Smokers should note that smoking is not permitted inside any stateroom on board Rhapsody of the Seas or any other Royal Caribbean ship. Smoking is permitted only on private outdoor balconies of suites and staterooms that have them and in other specially designated public areas.


Andrew Kruglanski said...

Ship wide wifi sounds great, and I have heard about the coming of an iPad in every cabin. The real question is how stable and fast is the wifi connection? I love to blog about my adventures while on a cruise, and usually the quality of internet connection rivals the old 54K dial-up modems. How is the wifi signal you are experiencing?

Best, Andy K., cruise blog

Linda Coffman, AKA Cruise Diva said...

No iPads in the cabins yet, but the WiFi worked from my cabin (7650), which was all the way aft on the starboard side. The signal was pretty good except in Alaska ports and cruising the fjords when the ship was surrounded by mountains.

Best, Linda

Anonymous said...

Read your comment s about IPADs being provided in the staterooms and ship wide wifi connectivity. Interesting. Does RCL charge for connecting to the internet with this system?

Linda Coffman, AKA Cruise Diva said...

Since the iPads weren't yet available I wasn't able to determine that first-hand. However, I believe they will have a connection to things like the daily program and restaurant menus on a complimentary basis, but you'll have to pay to access the Internet, just as you would with a personal device.

I'm still trying to nail it all down.


HelenJS said...

Thank you Linda, I'm booked on Rhapsody of the Seas for a cruise next year and have been doing some 'homework'. I wonder if you could answer a couple of questions for me. They may be trivial, but they are pet peeves of mine when traveling. Do you know if the 'considerable wardrobe space' in the staterooms is backed up with 'considerable clothes hangers' or not? Pet hate, lots of closet room and only two hangers :( My other question pertains to the bathroom facilities. Do you also know if their are drawers in the bathroom or only bench space on top. Another pet peeve I guess - having to live out of a toiletry case because of no storage within a hotel/ship bathroom. I'd be so delighted if you have any answers or even clues that I may need for my stay on Rhapsody. Thank you for your review.

HelenJS said...

Hi Linda, thanks for your reviews. I wonder if you could answer a couple of maybe 'nitpicky' questions for me. We are booked on Rhapsody of the Seas' next year. I'm trying to find out if their 'considerable wardrobe space' is backed up with 'considerable clothes hangers' - a pet peeve of mine I guess; lots of wardrobe space and exactly two hangers :) My other question is whether or not their is drawer/cupboard type storage in the stateroom bathrooms, or if we have to live out of our toiletry kits on a benchtop. I hope you could maybe enlighten me even if I am being nitpicky. Many thanks, Helen.

Linda Coffman, AKA Cruise Diva said...

Hi Helen,

Yes, there wer plenty of hangers in the closet. In fact, there were more than I needed.

The bathroom has a "tower" of built-in shelves to one side of the vanity. It had three shelves up top, a small drawer in the middle, and an enclosed storage area below behind a door. I thought the lower enclosed area was too shallow to be useful, but the rest had more than enough room for my things. Plus, there is a shelf below the vanity.

For small items I hused a shower caddy that is held on the wall with suction cups. See it here,

Instead of using it in th eshower, I attached the suction cups to the big mirror in the bathroom.

Hope that helps.

Best, Linda