Rhapsody of the Seas

Rhapsody of the Seas arrives in Seattle for 2014 Alaska season

In:
24May2014

Rhapsody of the Seas arrived in Seattle to begin her 2014 Alaska cruise season.  Our blog readers Tom & Diane Trudnowski sent us photos of Rhapsody's arrival.

Arriving at the cruise terminal area

Rhapsody of the Seas is there, but is blocked by Celebrity Solstice

There she is

Wide angle look at Rhapsody of the Seas

Rhapsody of the Seas heading to Alaska

Rhapsody of the Seas passing by

Rhapsody of the Seas passing by other boats

Royal Caribbean to send Explorer of the Seas to Australia to replace Rhapsody of the Seas in 2015

In:
04Apr2014

Royal Caribbean will send Explorer of the Seas to Australia for the 2015-2016 cruise season to compliment sister ship Voyager of the Seas.

Explorer of the Seas will replace Rhapsody of the Seas, which has been a fixture in Australia since 2007.

Explorer of the Seas, a Voyager class cruise ship, was previously announced to be going to Europe for April through September 2015 and will begin offering cruises in Australia starting in November 2015.

Royal Caribbean made the announcement in an email sent to members of its Crown & Anchor loyalty program.

Radiance of the Seas will also return to the region again for the 2015-16 season, the newsletter reveals.

For Rhapsody of the Seas, 2014/2015 will be its last season down under.

Royal Caribbean’s Australasian itineraries for 2015/16 will go on sale at the end of the month.

Rhapsody of the Seas and Splendour of the Seas to sail Eastern Mediterranean and Black Sea in Summer 2015

In:
27Feb2014

Rhapsody of the Seas and Splendour of the Seas offer cruises in summer 2015 to Greece, Turkey and – for the first time for Royal Caribbean – Black Sea itineraries. Rhapsody of the Seas and Splendour of the Seas’ summer 2015 Europe seasons also are now open for bookings. 

In June 2015, Rhapsody of the Seas will mark Royal Caribbean’s first time in the Black Sea, offering passengers three round-trip sailings, 10- and 11-night in duration, from Istanbul, Turkey. Guests will join the ship in making maiden port calls at Burgas, Bulgaria; Odessa, Yalta and Sevastapol, Ukraine; and Sochi, Russia, with overnight stays in Odessa, Sochi and Istanbul. Rhapsody of the Seas’ arrival at Istanbul will be preceded by a series of sailings that will reposition the ship from Sydney, Australia, to the Black Sea on Apr. 17, 2015. The ship will sail Australia’s north coast to Singapore; follow the Indian sub-continental coast to Dubai; and transit the Suez Canal into the Mediterranean to arrive for the summer season on June 1. 

From July to mid-November, Rhapsody of the Seas will homeport at Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy, and sail seven- to 11-night Greece and Turkey itineraries. The seven- and nine-night itineraries focus on smaller ports such as Katakolon, Thessaloniki, Mykonos, and Santorini in Greece; and Bodrum, Turkey.  Rhapsody of the Seas will then reposition to Sao Paolo, Brazil, for the winter season on a Royal Caribbean trans-Atlantic Ocean Voyage, departing from Barcelona, Spain, on Nov. 19. 

Rounding out Royal Caribbean’s summer 2015 Europe season, Splendour of the Seas will return to homeport at Venice, Italy, for the 10th consecutive summer season, and sail seven-night Adriatic and Greek Isles round-trip itineraries for an extended season through November. A special 12-night itinerary from Barcelona to Venice will kick off the season and sail on May 4 to the French and Italian rivieras as well as Dubrovnik and Split, Croatia. 

Passenger's body recovered after falling from Rhapsody of the Seas

In:
21Dec2013

A passenger fell overboard while on Royal Caribbean's Rhapsody of the Seas cruise and in the subsequent search, the body was found.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that the Australian Maritime Safety Authority, the incident occured at 2:00am on Saturday.

Evidently Rhapsody of the Seas was about 300 nautical miles east of Brisbane when the man was seen falling from the ship.  At that time, the ship immediately turned around and life rings and marker smoke were deployed.  Rescue boats were deployed to find the person.

Rhapsody of the Seas was on a nine-night cruise of the south Pacific.

A spokeswoman for Royal Caribbean said in a written statement another passenger had witnessed the man go overboard.

The incident was also captured on the ship's CCTV system, she said.

"The ship's captain immediately stopped the ship, turned around, and alerted the local authorities including the Australian Maritime Safety Authority," the spokeswoman said.  

"...With the assistance of the Search and Rescue aircraft, the Rhapsody of the Seas was able to locate the guest however regretfully the guest was found to be deceased at the time.

"The body of the deceased has been recovered on board the Rhapsody of the Seas.

"Royal Caribbean’s care team is providing support to the guest’s family and travelling companions and our thoughts and prayers are with them.

Royal Caribbean to send Rhapsody of the Seas to Istanbul instead of Alaska in 2015

In:
18Nov2013

Royal Caribbean has decided to send Rhapsody of the Seas to Istanbul instead of Alaska in 2015 and subsequently cancelled two sailings in April and May 2015 due to the change.

Cruise Passenger reports the two cancelled cruises are the Sydney to Honolulu 16-night cruise departing on April 17, 2015 and the the Honolulu to Vancouver 13-night cruise departing May 2, 2015.

Royal Caribbean it is contacting guests that were booked on these cruises and offering them a full refund or the option to move to an alternative cruise, including the Trans-Pacific cruises on Radiance of the Seas.

Instead of these cancelled cruises, Rhapsody of the Seas will offer a 16-night Sydney to Singapore sailing departing April 17, 2015 followed by a 14-night Singapore to Dubai cruise departing May 3, 2015. Lastly, there will be a 15-night Dubai to Istanbul cruise departing May 17, 2015.

Royal Caribbean announces 2014 Alaska cruises

In:
15Mar2013

Royal Caribbean announced its 2014 Alaska cruises and cruisetour offerings, which include 34 sailings on seven-night itineraries from Vancouver, British Columbia, and Seattle, Washington.  Delivering Royal Caribbean's Alaska experience will be the recently revitalized Radiance of the Seas and Rhapsody of the Seas.

Radiance of the Seas will switch between North- and Southbound seven-night cruises out of Vancouver and Deward, respectively.  Passengers will cruise the Inside Passage and the monumental Hubbard Glacier, as well as call at Ketchikan, Icy Strait Point, Juneau and Skagway, Alaska. Radiance of the Seas’ Alaska season will be bookended with a seven-night itinerary, sailing roundtrip from Vancouver on May 9 and Sept. 5, calling at Icy Strait Point, Juneau, and Ketchikan, and cruising up Tracy Arm Fjord to see Sawyer Glacier.

 In addition, Rhapsody of the Seas will offer seven-night, roundtrip itineraries to Sawyer Glacier from Seattle, Washington. Passengers will sail the Inside Passage and call at Juneau, Skagway, and Victoria, British Columbia. Two similar seven-night itineraries that call at Ketchikan instead of Victoria will sail from Vancouver to Seattle on May 16 and vice versa on Aug. 29.

 “Royal Caribbean has been unfolding the wonders of the Alaskan frontier for a quarter century and we continue to deliver this amazing destination like no other cruise line,” said Lisa Bauer, executive vice president of Global Marketing and Sales, Royal Caribbean International. “Guests can explore this awe-inspiring destination while sailing aboard our recently revitalized ships that are Designed for WOW and enjoy Royal Caribbean’s friendly and engaging GOLD Anchor service from every staff and crew member. To further immerse themselves, vacationers also can choose an unforgettable Royal Caribbean Alaska cruisetour combining the best of land and sea in the region and without having to worry about any of the planning.”

In addition to witnessing the majesty of Alaska by ship, vacationers also can explore Alaska’s interior on a variety of exciting Royal Caribbean Cruisetours, which combines a sailing aboard Radiance of the Seas with a three- to six-night land tour adventure. Royal Caribbean takes care of all the planning, transportation and lodging on fully escorted tours that spend at least one night in Denali National Park and one leg on the Wilderness Express, a plush, glass-domed train cars that offer panoramic views of the grand Alaskan frontier. A 10-night, family-geared cruisetour will feature a three-night land tour that includes a behind-the-scenes visit to the Alaska Sea Life Center to learn about the region’s natural habitat and the center’s wildlife rehabilitation and conservation efforts, and wildlife spotting in Denali National Park at the Murie Science and Learning Center.

Rhapsody of the Seas upgrades will generate sales, according to travel agents

In:
18Jun2012

Travel agents are saying that the newly refurbished Rhapsody of the Seas will make the ship easier to sell, thanks in part to the ship's new amenities.

The upgrades that Rhapsody of the Seas received is part of Royal Caribbean's $300 million Royal Advantage program, where the line is looking to upgrade features and services on its older ships to bring them in line with the newer vessels, such as Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas.

Yuki Battan, owner of a travel agency in Seattle,thinks seeing the upgrades in person will make a difference with clients, "t’s different seeing it and feeling it than just seeing little pictures,” she said. “I can tell clients I got to taste the food and it was great, or the service was excellent.”

Rhapsody of the Seas has several new dining options, including Royal Caribbean's signature steakhouse, Chops Grill, and two restaurants that debuted on the Oasis: Italian restaurant Giovanni’s Table and Asian eatery Izumi.

The ship also has a Park Cafe, the salad and sandwich shop that was born in the Oasis’ Central Park neighborhood. On the Rhapsody, the Park Cafe is on the pool deck.

The ship's five-story Centrum was reinvented and given technology to allow for acrobatics shows done from two chandeliers.

Other new features are a giant screen on the pool deck, a concierge lounge and remodeled bathrooms in all cabins. The Rhapsody also now has the Royal Babies and Tots Nursery for passengers under age 3.  

Royal Caribbean announces Australia & New Zealand 2013-2014 plans

In:
19Apr2012

Royal Caribbean is offering its broadest range ever of itineraries in Australia and New Zealand come summer 2013-2014.  For the second consecutive cruise season, Voyager Of The Seas, Radiance Of The Seas And Rhapsody Of The Seas will offer cruises to the region.

Voyager of the Seas will offer 53 distinctive itineraries along with the recently revitalized Radiance of the Seas and Rhapsody of the Seas.  In total, Royal Caribbean will offer 55 cruises at 56 Australian, New Zealand and South Pacific ports, with departures from September 2013 to April 2014.

Royal Caribbean commercial manager for Australia, Adam Armstrong, commented on the news, "It’s with great pleasure that we can confirm that sister ships, Voyager of the Seas, Radiance of the Seas and Rhapsody of the Seas, will be back to wow Australian cruisers in summer 2013-14. For the next two summer cruise seasons, Royal Caribbean International will be the largest cruise line operating out of Sydney, and these newly revitalised “premierships” will offer the very latest in cruising – experiences guests previously had to travel to other parts of the world to have."

“We’ve added more cruises on Australia’s first megaliner Voyager of the Seas and some new itineraries across the entire fleet to ensure that there are even more options to suit different lifestyles and needs. It’s our widest ever range of cruises Down Under."

Voyager of the Seas will reposition from Singapore to Sydney on a 14-night cruise in late October 2013 that begins with an overnight in Singapore and calls at Port Keland for Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and Darwin and Brisbane, Australia. The ship then homeports at Sydney for nine sailings to New Zealand, Fiji and New Caledonia. These cruises range from nine to 14 nights.

A nine-night Tasmania cruise in early February 2014 features an overnight at Hobart on a one-time-only itinerary. At the end of the season, Voyager of the Seas will sail an 18-night Australia and New Zealand itinerary to Perth before returning to the Far East on a 14-night sailing in late March to Singapore via Bangkok.

Radiance of the Seas and Rhapsody of the Seas also homeport at Sydney from October 2013 to early May 2014, and will operate a wide variety of itineraries ranging from seven to 15 nights.

The cruises visit Australia’s Tasmania and Queensland, New Zealand, Fiji and New Caledonia. Radiance of the Seas will circumnavigate Australia twice with a 16-night north coast and a 17-night south coast and New Zealand itinerary.

Pacific crossings between Vancouver, BC and Sydney bookend both ships’ Australia season. These are a 12-night Hawaii and a 16- or 17-night South Pacific sailing, departing Sept. 13, 2013 and April 10, 2014 aboard Radiance of the Seas, and Sept. 6, 2013 and April 18, 2014 aboard Rhapsody of the Seas. 

Royal Caribbean completes Rhapsody of the Seas refurbishment

In:
29Mar2012

After a month in dry dock in Singapore, Rhapsody of the Seas has completed a $54 million revitalization.  Royal Caribbean characterized the refurbishment as, "deliver guests a host of exciting new dining options, visually stunning entertainment and unique amenities after the ship's bow-to-stern transformation."

Royal Caribbean senior vice president of marketing, Betsy O'Rourke, commented on the refubishment, "Rhapsody of the Seas' dry dock is part of Royal Caribbean's multi-ship enhancement and revitalization strategy to deliver the world's most innovative cruise ships, exciting itineraries and world-renowned Gold Anchored service to our guests, also known as the Royal Advantage.  With every inch of Rhapsody of the Seas renewed, five new dining restaurants added, the evolution of entertainment in our iconic Centrum, plus an array of new touches, guests will be wowed by what is virtually a new ship."

The complete list of changes to Rhapsody of the Seas includes

  • Royal Babies and Tots Nursery
  • a Diamond Lounge for Crown & Anchor Society loyalty members
  • a Concierge Lounge for suite guests and top-tier loyalty guests
  • Completely refreshed staterooms
  • Wi-Fi availability throughout the ship
  • Flat-panel televisions in all staterooms
  • Outdoor LED movie screen on the pool deck
  • a digital way-finding system
  • Reinvented Centrum

New restaurants aboard Rhapsody of the Seas include

  • Giovanni's Table (lunch, $15, and dinner, $20)
  • Izumi Asian Cuisine restaurant (lunch and dinner, $3.00 cover charge for lunch and $5.00 for dinner plus a la carte menu pricing)
  • Park Cafe deli-style restaurant (open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, complimentary)
  • Chop's Grille steakhouse (dinner, $30 per person)
  • Chef's Table (dinner, $95 per person)

Royal Caribbean announces 2013 Alaska cruises

In:
14Mar2012

Royal Caribbean unveiled its summer 2013 cruise itineraries for Alaska to the public.  The soon-to-be revitalized Rhapsody of the Seas will be one of Royal Caribbean's ships offering trips to Alaska for that season along with Radiance of the Seas, which was also revitalized in 2011.

From May 17 through Aug. 30, 2013, Radiance of the Seas will offer alternate seven night north and southbound cruises between Vancouver, Canada and Seward, Alaska.  laskan ports of call include Ketchikan, Icy Strait Point, Juneau and Skagway. Additionally, guests will cruise the Inside Passage as well as get an up-close view of Hubbard Glacier.

Rhapsody of the Seas also will sail every Friday on seven-night, round-trip Alaska cruises from Seattle, stopping at Juneau and Skagway, Alaska, and Victoria, British Columbia. Passengers will also visit through Alaska’s Inside Passage, as well as venture up Tracy Arm Fjord to see Sawyer Glacier.

In addition to just cruises, Royal Caribbean Alaska Cruisetours combine a Radiance of the Seas’ sailing with a pre- or post-cruise land tour that totals to a 10- to 13-night land and sea adventure that ranges as far north as Fairbanks. For the land tour portion, guests are escorted by a Royal Caribbean Tour Director. Royal Caribbean Cruisetours include premium hotel accommodations, motorcoach transportation and admission into select attractions. Almost all 2013 Alaska Cruisetours also include a leg aboard the Wilderness Express.

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