Unethical management practices
In Australia we believe paying a fair price for service and we tip extraordinary service if warranted. Charges of gratuities on a daily basis to $260 for 2 people for the cabin is highway ( or high seas) robbery. Advertised prices for services thru their shops might be $135 then when you get to the shop in 7 point there is a disclaimer plus 25 to 28.5% service fees and taxes. Really we are on the high seas no taxes there. The medicos charge 4 x times a standard consultation fees with absolutely no care. SPEND your holiday bucks somewhere else. We will not travel with them again.
Cruising is such fun
Cabin 2078 is noiseeeeey .......... so take ear plugs. It is right above the engine so the noise is constant (no nanna naps!). The ship is great but going out of Australia we never had a hot dinner from the dining room - it was always luke warm. Never had this before on any RC ship - but this was my first cruise (our of over 20+) out of Australia. All out of the USA the food is always awesome and hot hot hot. Ship and staff are great though and we had an awesome time. But the ship is smaller and older than you get in the USA, that's why it's here.
Entertainment wise was not good.
There were several reasons I would not chose this cruise again. The entertainment sucks. There was no creativity. We cruise for 11 nites and everyday the entertainment was just singing and dancing. We were expecting some stand up comedies or some magic shows etc. But all they did was tribute to some singers and it really bored us very much. At least they have to have some variety every nite. Singing and dancing for 2 to 3 nites was alright but they did it every nite throughout the whole cruise,,,,,,, disappointed. On the third nite, we started regretting taking this cruise. But food was ok.
Just got back from the so called Rhapsody of the Seas that went from Sydney to Vanuatu and back.
In a word, terrible and I will never book or spend another dime with this Muppet outfit.
Staff that can barely speak English, room service that never arrived or that arrived 3 hours late and was listed as complimentary but was charged for afterwards, bogus food, way overpriced wine and a noisy balcony suite. That's just scratching the surface of our experience.
Not to mention fraudulent claims made by ROTS including "7 pools" (there are ...only 2 pools with 5 spas that are connected to these two pools), the Ben and Jerry's "ice cream parlour" (there are a few tubs of B&J in the coffee shop) and other such fantastical marketing lines of pure BS. Save your money people, this cruise liner isn't worth the spend! The "Trapped in a 4 Star Hotel" review above is a pretty honest one although I personally wouldn't even give it that much credit. Not when there's mould on the curtains in your $500 per day room that's right underneath a pool deck where every noise is translated to your cabin perfectly.
trapped in a 4 star hotel
If your idea of an expensive holiday is to be trapped in a 4 star hotel for a week, then you've found your paradise (cough). If you like being ripped off with mandatory daily tips (called gratuities which include being paid by your children), b-grade entertainment, b-grade food (unless you pay extra), drunken bogans taking advantage of the 'all you can drink ticket for an extra $55 daily fee', coffee that would kill a brown dog (unless you pay for the real McCoy at the one and only café), want to enjoy a cigar outside in a howling 16 knot wind ...(the average speed of the boat), you like to pay double for a suite with an outside balcony (the size of a Vicount caravan) where smoking is forbidden on that outside balcony under pain of a $250 fine, enjoy paying an additional mandatory tip for every drink you buy, and watching people vomit on a daily basis; then this trip is for you. Enjoy! Frankly, my wife and I would have been happy to get off (were it possible) on the second day. For the $5,000 we paid (including plane transfers, taxi's and insurances) we could have stayed in a 5 star hotel with the same view of the sea in Cairns or Indonesia with the freedom to come and go at will. So think twice before you book that cruise of a lifetime. Unless of course your a bogan beer swiller or you like to be bored out of your tiny little mind and be subject to daylight robbery. Our one caveat to the above was the good service, but one couldn't help but feel one wasn't being lubricated for extra cash tips over and above the mandatory "gratuity." Oh, and don't forget the exchange rate if you want to gamble in the casino. Here they take on the 'Myth Busters' philosophy of replacing reality and replacing it with their own reality. When the legal exchange rate was about .86 cents to the Ozzy dollar the ship board exchange rate was .72 cents; and to add insult to injury a .92 cent return rate on the US dollar you just paid .72 cents for. I could spend another hour describing the many rip-offs and reasons why you should avoid Rhapsody of the Sea, or any other Pacific cruise, for that matter, if that cruise was indicative of others. My next cruise will be sailing up the Amazon where the Bogans dare not venture and the coffee is of excellent quality, and cheap, and a man can enjoy a quiet cheroot in the still of the forest. At least I won't be bored witless.
The vibration was horrendous
Royal Caribbean and Celebrity is for me simply the best mass cruise operator that have ships based at home ports in Australia. They really do care about their passengers. Sadly, not on this recent trip on Rhapsody of the Seas from Hawaii to Sydney, those 16 nights turned out to be a nightmare for us. This was supposed to be a celebration cruise and as such we booked a Grand Suite on deck 8. Our internet search prior to booking this cruise never highlighted the constant noise disturbance we were to be subjected to on all 16 days and nights. Righ...t above us was the pool deck and immediately above our cabin was a 24 hr complementary beverage station, with the constant dropping of plastic glasses and cups, the constant thud, thud of grossly overweight bodies, walking to and from this station to quench their apparent thirst, after eating some of most salty food I have ever eaten at sea. Everyday whilst at sea, a deck party would be put on for the benefit of passengers to enjoy the reggae band sounds of the Caribbean, with the drum thumping out a beat which drove us constantly mad. The vibration was horrendous and went on for hour upon hour, day after day as the stage was directly above our sitting area of the suite. The ship also provided a party each and every single night of this 16 day cruise, either again on the pool deck or in the atrium. We had 5 late night pool parties to disturb our quiet enjoyment of the so called grand suite to 12 midnight. The glasses rattled and shook in our cabin, as if doing their own accompaniment to that drum beat, even with ear plugs stuffed right in and blankets pulled over our heads, there was no escape to the thud, thud, and boom, boom from the noise above. The Maître d had a solution which failed abysmally, as no member of the crew bothered to abide by his recommendation not to walk over the floor area after 10 pm at night. His words were well meant but in reality, how can one prevent people from walking on a deck floor which vibrates below with every step felt, as no floor/ceiling insulation was ever installed to prevent such noise disturbance. Royal Caribbean say, “You are the first passengers to feel such noise disturbance”. What utter rubbish! They have offered us 50% off a future cruise credit for the noise disturbance but as I constantly made the point, these cabins 8512/8514/8516 should have preventative noise insulation installed otherwise these cabins are not fit for purpose, which should be that any occupants of such cabins should be able to rest and sleep peacefully and not be subjected to such levels of musical disturbance and overhead foot traffic noise. Royal Caribbean on this occasion you have failed me and although the 50% is well meant and given in good faith, I will not be returning to take up such an offer, so for me, you have made an empty gesture and have just lost an extremely loyal Diamond member from your club.
Spoilt first experience of cruising
I rated this cruise as one star due to the fact that the purpose of this trip was ruined by the irresponsible handling of my luggage. Seven of my friends and I booked and paid for a quilting Cruise. All but one bought their own sewing machines.. Mine was damaged beyond repair so I was unable to sew. After months of difficult negotiations emailing and ringing the States I received a third of the cost of a new machine but no real apology or reimbursement for my spoiled trip.I could not commend .this company. I have no complaints about the quilting Tutors they were exceptional.and I would rate them them five stars
First Time Cruising Experience
I was very dubious about going on a cruise, but it is something my husband has always wanted to do. I am now totally hooked after spending 10 days cruising on the Rhapsody of the Seas. Pretty much everything "OZ" has said in his/her review I would say exactly the same. We could fault not a thing on board. From the Captain, who you saw often in various spots around the ship or on shore at island stops, to the service staff and housekeeping they were very friendly and went out of their way to help you if needed. You certainly could tell that...all working on board felt very much part of a team. We had an interior room and while it was small, there was ample wardrobe and drawer space and we hardly spent any time in the cabin apart from changing for dinner or have a wee nap. It was great at night (or in the day if you wanted a rest) as when you turned out the lights it was pitch black. Where else do you go and you have your room cleaned twice a day with fresh towels and the bed turned down. It was a treat at night to go back to the cabin to see what animal the housekeeper had made with towels and then sit down and read the Cruise Compass to pick out what events we wanted to attend the next day. Our cabin was on deck 7 which we thought was close to everything and we could take the stairs rather than lifts. We ate dinner most nights at the Edleweiss Restaurant on level 5, and choose My Time dining which allowed us to pick a time which suited us. We decided 8.00pm was best after going to the 7.00pm shows. We had a lot of fun and laughter with the staff. Maria front of house is absolutely impeccable. She is so welcoming and friendly to all. Ian, Jigger and Wesley waited on us each night and we loved their sense of humour. There were four couples in our party (all first time cruisers) and sometimes it would be near the end of the afternoon before we came across each other. Never once did we feel this ship was crowded or did we wait in a queue for anything. So once again Rhapsody of the Seas we will look forward to our next cruise with you. Everything
An Excellent Cruise
Having read some negative reviews here, I was apprehensive before boarding Rhapsody of the Seas in February 2014. However, our experience was fantastic, and nothing like that portrayed in those reviews. Departing Sydney, our cruise went to New Caledonia and Vanuatu - 11 nights. We were particularly lucky that the weather was perfect, with calm seas for the entire cruise.
The boarding process is very streamlined and you're told beforehand what time your deck level will board. You should complete your online registration before boar...
Well boarding on the 28th October 2013 was fantastic....We were in an inside cabin and it was tiny! I have never cruised on a ship with such a tiny cabin and very little drawer space. The bathroom was ridiculous. Our favourite spot was on deck 11 in the viking bar where we sat in the quiet of a day and read books. However the staff in the dining room of an evening was just fantastic, food very average even I thought in izumis was very average for a good Japanese restaurant. Buffet had an OK selection but I liked the idea of the Park Café area ...for additional eats...I had the gratuities removed at the pursers desk without too much of a problem and tipped the staff we thought deserved it. I am going on the mariner of the seas in Feb from Singapore so hoping for a bit better cabin and food. Expensive onboard for coffees etc, only 1 coffee shop
We're going again next year!
OK the Rhapsody is older and smaller than any other ships I've cruised on but it more than makes up for that with it's great crew! The 3 oceanview cabins the 6 of us booked were quite large with lots of storage. We did have the dreaded shower curtain but hey, you just have to wrestle with it for a few minutes each day so who really cares! The food, entertainment, and islands were all great! We enjoyed it so much that we've booked to go again next year!
Happy crew! Great entertainment!
Older & smaller ship
Surprisingly Great Trip
I booked a cruise on Rhapsody (Feb 2013 - Pacific Islands) as a surprise gift for my parents anniversary. My wife and I were almost dreading it, but to be fair we had an absolute ball. The room was better - and bigger - than expected, the staff were helpful and friendly, and we were generally impressed overall. The ship isn't the newest (and in some ways it did show a little) or the biggest, though that was one of the attractions. The entertainment was pretty good with a mix for all ages. They even had a small library and a daily sudoko / trivi...a quiz for lazing away time by the pool. The best thing was probably the food - the standard fare in the restuarant was OK (but nothing to write home about), but the specialty options were absolutely first rate. The Italian couldn't be faulted, the Steakhouse had some of the best steak I have eaten (and I do like meat) as well as great desserts, but the Japanese, although not for everyone, had some of the best and freshest Japaenese food I have ever eaten. Even my parents had a good night, notwithstanding sushi not making their 'favourites' list. I lived in Tokyo for quite a while and this was equal to anything there - certainly any of the restaurants I could afford to eat in!!! Friendly crew, lots to do, fantastic food. More families than I expected, though in fairness they did tend to stick to the 'buffet dining' end of the ship.
I never thought I would enjoy this cruise so much...
It never would have crossed my mind to go on a cruise, let alone with my family (mum and siblings) but it was the best thing I've ever been guilted into doing. I was cruising 18th Feb-1st March 2013, Sydney to North Queensland and back.
At first the size of the room was a HUGE shock. It's tiny. Four of us were sleeping in a room smaller than my own bedroom at home. Soon though, it really didn't matter. There was so much to do (and buy!) on board that your room was literally there just so you'd have somewhere to sleep and put your thin...
Great for all ages
First time on a cruise. Went with my husband-we're aged 23 and 24. We thought it'd be just for the oldies but there was always something for everyone. We went 11th march 2013. Can't really fault it. The gratuities do seem to be a rip off but unlike what people are saying, you do get that option of lowering it if you are not happy at the end. You also have the option of paying gratuities yourself. We approached guest relations and asked if we could do this and they informed us we'd paid for it when we booked. Travel agent didn't mention that. Th...ey give you envelopes if you want to add to it. The food was pretty good. We stuck to the free stuff and although it's not 5 star high class food-it's nice. You can always measure freshness by the quality of the salad. It was always good. If you want to save money on drinks as only basic drinks are free like water and juice etc, buy soft drink. It's only $2.50 for a can and they give you a glass with ice. Everything is paid for usin your sea pass which acts as a credit card as well as a door key and your one and off ticket on the ship. They replace it for free if it doesn't work though I'm not sure what happens should you lose it. My advice is try everything. Quizzes are fun. Gym is ok. Shows are good-get involved and you become like a ship celebrity. They offer bottled Evian or sparkling water at edelweiss. Unless you love it, don't go for it. It costs money and after they offer everyone free ice water that gets regularly topped up. They will tell you what costs money-no scams. Park cafe, edelweiss and windjammer are the only free eateries. Others cost money. Windjammer is all you can eat while edelweiss is menu, waiter etc. I loved it and recommend it to anyone. We don't drink but we had an awesome time. Parents left their kids to do what they wanted all day while they relaxed.
I was on the same cruise as Rickj, and we were disappointed as well. When I booked the cruise, I selected to not pay gratuities up front as they suggested, as we decided we wanted to only pay people who deserved it. Imagine our surprise in our cabin to find a letter saying that it was compulsory ($12 a day each for us) and would be automatically added to our account each day. Unimpressed to say in the least, they had ample time to tell people, but there was nothing said to us at all until we actually got on the boat. The ship itself was nice, b...ut I did find cleanliness an issue, I get up early so I was one of the earlier people in the windjammer buffet for breakfast, and the tables and chairs were filthy, and the food was horrible. I don't know how they even made hash browns taste bad. The boat had self serve premade coffee (apparently even a staff member called it dishwater) or lots of different flavours of tea. If you drank coffee, you had to drink the dishwater or buy a coffee from their coffee shop (all drinks purchased on board had a 15% gratuity fee on them) The coffee shop made a fortune. The edelweiss restaurant was nice, and our staff excellent, but the food was only average, pretty bland. The exception to this was the salad bar at lunchtime. I sailed on the P & O Pacific Sun last year just before it was retired and the food was so much better. If you like playing bingo or listening to classical piano/violin then the entertainment was great. We don't do either so we found the day entertainment pretty lackluster, they had a great lounge at the back of the boat that was severely under utilized, they could have had a band or guitar playing in there. The boat is geared towards two types of people, the ones who like to drink, and the people who like to play Bingo. The specialty restaurants were quite good, especially giovanni. Boat has internet, but at $30 an hour you would have to be pretty keen. Overall, we would never sail Royal Caribbean again, we just felt ripped off by the company when other companies do a better job. The boat was lovely, our staff were excellent. Overpriced, dirtiness, food.
We boarded Phapsody of the seas 1March 2013 for a 10 night Pacific cruise from Sydney . We are a couple over 50 having cruised 5 times so far , the majority on Princess with another to Alaska in May.
Pouring rain , not the fault of the cruise line but my luggage was soaked inside and out but it should have been covered on the trolley.
We travelled with a younger couple who had two children and opted to select which staff we would bestow gratities , but when boarding were advised that the rules had changed that day and we would be billed $10 ...
- ‹ Prev
- Next ›
Questions & Answers
I have already rung RCI and put money into my onboard expense account, and will be cruising in March. My question is, if I want to have a go on the pokies or play black-jack, can I just draw from this account on board without any drama? Are there any fees involved and is there anything else I should be aware of? Thanks in advance!
I'm not sure if you can draw money from your on-line expense account for the casino. You can only use American dollars to gamble and I made my exchange (Australian dollars to American Dollars) at the main customer desk. Please note that RCI's exchange rate bears no relation to the real exchange rate of the day. They seem to make up their own rate, which is based on 'daylight robbery' on the high seas, as far as I can tell. The only other thing you should be aware of is that RCI's web site advice clearly states, or did in November 2014, that smoking is permitted in the casino, as did advice in their daily on-board news letter. But when I attended the casino I was told in no uncertain terms that this was not true. You're probably not smokers, and good for you, but I am, and I found their blatant misrepresentation a great disappointment.
Can I use an Aust debit card to pay onboard expenses final bill? can someone please simplify the explaination of how to choose the currency conversion etc, this confuses me? Once I pay the final balance of the cruise cost will I then be able to access shore excursions etc? How do I know if I have checked in correctly, I did get to print out a set sail pass but wasnt really sure I was checking in properly during the procedure was just winging it and hoping for the best at the time. thankyou
I can't guarantee anything, but I think the debit card should work if it's on the Mastercard or Visa systems, Meg. The currency conversion option is a slight nuisance because nobody really explains that for you and upon check-in you really have to commit to one or the other. I chose to effectively allow my credit card (Visa) to deal with it instead of Royal Caribbean, although I doubt that it matters much either way. If you got your set sail passes to print out you've probably registered correctly. The test will be if you can access and pay for shore excursions - I was able to do so soon after registering.
Thanku OZ. information very much appreciated. My cruise is domestic so Im not too worried about the shore excursion thing as Im sure I could even do that on board. Just want to be able to leave the ship for the day when docking at the Aussie ports, so would be surprised if I couldnt arrange that on board. cheers Meg.
ProductReview.com.au has affiliate partnerships. These do not influence our content moderation policies in any way, though ProductReview.com.au may earn commissions for products/services purchased via affiliate links.