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Neesa

Rhapsody & Tampa Port insight please?

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*May I ask as to what class of ship the Rhapsody is? There is one cabin left on a sailing I have been "stalking" forever, just became available I think due to a recent cancellation. It is for a Junior Suite (nothing left on the ship but this one) and my concern is would my seasoned cruisers splurge for this cabin on this class or continue to wait to see if something else pops up?  It does not seem to be anything but a balcony cabin with an inflated price tag and in addition we have never embarked from the Port of Tampa before & read that this is possibly an unpleasant experience even in a "suite" Thanks in advance everyone!

They did not state a cabin # either so the cabin may be a connecting one, which I dread due to the elevated noise bleed.

* Never mind, vision class any insight on that class in general...Thank you :)

Edited by Neesa
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1 hour ago, Neesa said:

*May I ask as to what class of ship the Rhapsody is? There is one cabin left on a sailing I have been "stalking" forever, just became available I think due to a recent cancellation. It is for a Junior Suite (nothing left on the ship but this one) and my concern is would my seasoned cruisers splurge for this cabin on this class or continue to wait to see if something else pops up?  It does not seem to be anything but a balcony cabin with an inflated price tag and in addition we have never embarked from the Port of Tampa before & read that this is possibly an unpleasant experience even in a "suite" Thanks in advance everyone!

They did not state a cabin # either so the cabin may be a connecting one, which I dread due to the elevated noise bleed.

* Never mind, vision class any insight on that class in general...Thank you 🙂

I can't comment on suites stuff, but the Rhapsody had the reputation (when we sailed in 2017) as the friendliest ship in the fleet.  Having been a regular Baltimore cruiser before retirement, I am comfortable with the Grandeur, the Enchantment, and the Rhapsody.  We found it more weathered than other ships (those nasty shower curtains in economy class....), but very enjoyable.  I love the Centrum.  We get an Ocean View if Balcony seems overpriced.  My only complaint involved some of the guests who were rude to others...I think that was an isolated case.  We are booked to sail the Rhapsody again.  We had no problem boarding in Tampa.  Someone who has sailed more recently can update you.

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Sailed Rhapsody in December - very good experience EXCEPT a poor dining room server.  We could not be moved, so we suffered, but had a lot of attention and help from the head waiter for the area.  Port parking can be an issue, so suggest one of the nearby off-site lots that shuttle in both directions.  Suggest Parkway Parking - pay in advance.  

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Honestly, some may disagree but Tampa is one of my favorite ports - it always feels very easy to get in and out and the people working in Tampa seem friendlier than other ports to me? Idk it could also just be the few experiences I had there. 

Sailing out of Tampa is neat because you sail under the Sunshine Skyway bridge at night (about 1.5 hours or so after sailaway). 

Rhapsody and the vision class are your typical older, smaller ships. They won't have many of the bells and whistles and some of the decor is a little cheesy nowadays. I just spent 7 days on her a few weeks ago and really enjoyed the ship and the staff. I am also a sucker for some of the smaller ships and don't need so many activities to have a good time. 

I don't have any experience with Jr Suite however I did do a Grande Suite on Vision which was nice but certainly not as impressive as on newer ships.

I say if you enjoy smaller classes and relaxing on cruises, go for it if the price is right! Andddd it would 2 cruise points (if that is your thing). 🙂 

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I think the Junior suites on Rhapsody have a pretty good size advantage over the balcony cabins.  The downside is that I believe that most if not all JSs (and full suites) are on located on deck 8, which is immediately below the pool deck/windjammer.  We had a lot of dance party noise come through late at night on deck 8 forward.  Aft rooms would be more quiet as those are under the spa. 

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3 minutes ago, berkeleykel said:

which is immediately below the pool deck/windjammer.  We had a lot of dance party noise come through late at night on deck 8 forward.

Now that you mention this, I think you are correct. In GS on Vision, I was right below the pool deck but was only an issue for us in afternoons with pool deck live music and pool chairs being dragged around. 

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Rhapsody is a Vision class ship.  We sailed her the last week of January and had a wonderful time.  We were in an "ocean view" (aka window) stateroom on deck 4.  Only issue is that the OV rooms seems a little smaller than the ones on Voyager or Freedom class ships.  We had a wonderful waiter and assistant waiter (actually, we loved our assistant waiter). Also, the cruise director and activities manager were wonderful.  All-in-all, I'd recommend it and can't think of any major glitches.

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@berkeleykel, thank you so much for taking the time to provide that video, sadly that would drive me bonkers. I was under the pool deck once and swore I would never do it again. You have provided great clarity, I'm going to go with the balcony on a lower floor. It seems with this terrible scare cabins are popping up a lot these last few days. Happy future sailings!

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2 hours ago, Matt said:

I did a cruise oh Rhapsody out of Tampa in 2018, and you can see my experience: https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/category/category/rhapsody-of-the-seas-live-blog

Matt

Thanks for the link, even more excited about travelling on Rhapsody than I was before (my wife is just rolling her eyes reminding me that I'm in my 50's)

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I just booked/reserved parking at Parkway Parking, per recommendations Ive received, and overall reviews from various sites, and price. Anyone have experience with them? They state they have several shuttles running continuously, and its secure. Hope so! 

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We cruised on Rhapsody out of Tampa Thanksgiving week 2019 and had a wonderful time. We have booked again for Thanksgiving 2020 on Rhapsody out of Tampa. The itinerary is slightly different, but I think our re-booking demonstrates what a good time we had. Even on the smaller ship, we love the relaxation of cruising so much that sea days are our favorite days!

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19 minutes ago, Johnstewarth said:

We cruised on Rhapsody out of Tampa Thanksgiving week 2019 and had a wonderful time. We have booked again for Thanksgiving 2020 on Rhapsody out of Tampa. The itinerary is slightly different, but I think our re-booking demonstrates what a good time we had. Even on the smaller ship, we love the relaxation of cruising so much that sea days are our favorite days!

I ended up booking her, purely because it was the only RCCL ship going to Roatan (my wife is from Honduras) the week before Easter ( kids Spring Break). Hope we dont end up missing that port! 🤣 Good to hear you enjoyed it, and shes a good ship.  Like @Matt says, I doubt seriously I would find a "bad" ship in the fleet (in my opinion). 

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We are also going the week just prior to Easter.   April 4th.  We actually got a room assignment today,   30 days out on our guaranteed booking.   Myself, the wife, and our 7 year old daughter who is excited to go to Roatan and see/hold the sloths and Daniel Johnson’s hangout excursion....her favorite animal.    We have only cruised out of Tampa once before but found it much more laid back and less chaotic than say Miami.   Going under the Skyway bridge is interesting, it’s a tight fit or at least it appears that way.

As for the ship we generally choose the middle or smaller size ships due to the cost being more manageable for us and we always have a great time.    We have not been on Rhapsody yet but have been on Enchantment, Majesty, Empress, etc, smaller ships, quite a few times in the past.

We are looking forward to it!

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24 minutes ago, SteveinSC said:

I ended up booking her, purely because it was the only RCCL ship going to Roatan (my wife is from Honduras) the week before Easter ( kids Spring Break). Hope we dont end up missing that port! 🤣 Good to hear you enjoyed it, and shes a good ship.  Like @Matt says, I doubt seriously I would find a "bad" ship in the fleet (in my opinion). 

We are also going that week....only 30 days to go

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8 minutes ago, SteveinSC said:

We (My wife and I, as well as my brother, his wife, my mom and stepdad) will be the ones trying to sterilize our insides via alcohol by the pool....while the kids are in Adventure Ocean. 

Pool Party Summer GIF by Team Coco

At least you have a plan !  Have a great time !

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