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Rhapsody of the seas Greek Islands 25 Aug - 1-Sep , semi live blog

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Day 7 and 8 (Sea day and disembarkation) 

So every good thing must end I guess, Day 7 came quite fast , I love sea days , no need to plan anything beside , well to leave some time to pack. Lucky for us we were told we need to leave the suitcase no later than 11 (its usually 10). As we did not had special plans we did a last tour at the ship , spend some time on the sundecks (which was quite pack but still we could find places , and yes many chair were empty for hours with books and towels). It was a perfect sea day from weather perspective, during most of out port days we had some rain for 30 minutes +/- but during the sea day the sun was out all the time. Dinner was again in the MDR , it was the last day to see our wonderful table companion , I feel lucky we got this table as we really enjoy the conversions. During this meal we took some pictures, shared emails. We said goodbye to the Casino and the Casino bar (who provide us with few drinks during this cruise) and went to sleep around 11 PM , I found out that one of the key making the disembarkation easier is to : try to sleep early, avoid to many drinks before going to sleep and pack early so it will not bother us. Before going to sleep I found our cabin attended and gave him extra cash gratitude as I think he did the extra mile.

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Our disembarkation was schedule to 9 AM ad included airport transfer so we had time to eat quick breakfast, get out from the room around 8:20 and waiting for our number to be called. It was a rainy morning but not that bad. As our flight was schedule for 6 PM we considered two options for the day , the first was to use RC program “stay a while” which allows you, for a payment to stay on the ship until 1 or 3 PM , use the different facilities and eat lunch at the WJ. We thought about it and we were not sure we really want to stay and watch all the happy people that just got boarded the ship and have full 7 day to enjoy it. The second option (and the one we choose) was to get to the airport, rent a car and drive to the nearest city mail for few hours of shopping with lunch break at a local restaurant. So, we went down to the port, collect our luggage  and catch the transfer, we did not have to wait too long and the bus left to the airport with 10 people, it was about 15 minutes ride. At the airport the bus leaves you at a parking lot which you need to walk around 10 -15 minutes to get to the gates (take it into consideration if you consider this) . we dropped our suitcases at the luggage storage service (7 Euros per suitcase as I booked a small car and did not know if it will have enough space for the luggage) and collect our car. All in all, it cost us the same as if we used the stay awhile program but allow us more flexibility to do whatever we wanted. Flight back went without any major issues and we arrived back at home safely ,  starting another week and to countdown our days before our next cruise.

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So what I think about the Rhapsody?:

It was our first cruise on a Vision class ship and we had some doubts  (small ship , older ship etc) , the ship itself looks good, It is well maintained although you can find here and there some places which might need to be refreshed.

Service – Service on the ship is very good and maybe even better than other ships we sailed at the past. Facilities dose not feel crowd, we always found place to seat at the WJ and the Centrum during major events was not crowded more than the promenaded during same events. MDR services was very good and quite fast.

Ports - The ability to get to ports which bigger ships can not attend is a major plus for sure, I loved Mykonos, Kotor and Athens will try to visit them again.

Food – food quality in the MDR was usually good , some of the dishes were better than I was eaten on other ships, Chef table was amazing , we did not tried other special restaurant.

Off hours food – Here I Think RC could have done much better, the only facility offers food after 9 PM is the park cafe were you can get small salads, Pizza and hot dogs , some cookies were also offered. Most of the days it was open only until 12 AM and on some days until 2 AM , offering mainly Pizza.  I think RC  should offer bigger variety  and leave it open longer. The area near the cafe was packed with people that were looking for something to eat. In one or two of the nights the place around the cafe was quite a mess with allot of used cups and dirty plates.

Entertainment – Although they do not have Broadway shows on board they offered something almost every day, we saw one headliner show and one home production , it was nice. Live music was easy to find, and the Centrum was always offered something.

Casino – Small comparing to the other ships but not very small, it has some new  slot machines installed , six to eight gaming tables (4 BJ ,1 3 card poker, 1 roulette   and 1 Caribbean Poker. Most of the times it was not too busy, 3 $ games were offered many times.

Cruise Director / Events manager – The CD is Elvis from Chile and EM is Paulo from Italy (who looks to me exactly like the Austin powers character) , it was their first cruise together but they had good chemistry. I think both did good job , Elvis could been seen everywhere and they both organized nice events. The fact they added the Quest plus the love and marriage game show to  a European cruise   was a big plus.

So, Based on our experience would we try another cruise with a vision class?  I will say yes, if it is an interesting route or we can get a good deal on it.  I think RC doing good job maintaining Rhapsody and if you are not comparing it all the time to the bigger classes she is doing not bad at all.

Let me know if you have any questions.

 

That’s it for this blog, as always II enjoyed sharing the experience. I would like to thank my spouse for her patient ,  for all the times I took the internet to update the blog, asking her to wait with the food before I am taking the pictures and leaving the lights on late at night to finish sending the updates 😊

 

Thank you , until next time.

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Bonus post - Real Hummus  recipe (not RC Hummus)

As promised I am adding a real Hummus recipe , although it take much more time than go to the supermarket and buy ready made one I Guarantee fresh homemade Hummus is much more tasty and healthier.

The main missing integrates In so called “Hummus” in many restaurants is the Tehina (sesame paste) You can get one in every middle eastern grocery shop  or in many Natural food stores, I even found it once in Walmart.

What you will need :

Two cups of chickpeas (dry ones, not from a can)

One cup of raw tehina/tahini

One Lemon

One onion

5-6 Garlic clove

Salt/pepper

Olive oil.

Preparations:

The secret for a good Hummus is to  first soak it in water for at least 24 hours. So we will put the Chickpeas in a bowl and rains it. We will add water to the bowl, enough to cover the chickpeas grains. The water should be replaced every 6 to 8 hours. In places like Florida its better to put the bowl of chickpeas in the refrigerator. After 24 hours we rinse again the chickpeas few times. Now we are ready to cook.

Cooking

Put the chickpeas inside cooking pan/pot and add water (around 5 cm/2 inches above the chickpeas level) add the garlic cloves (peeled) and the onion. once the water is boiled reduce the hit, remove the foam that was created during the process using a spoon. From time to time , using a small sieve, remove the shells which are separated from the chickpeas. The Chickpeas should be cooked for around 1 to two hours , it is ready when you take out one grain and can smash it easily in your hands. As fresher the Chickpeas are the shorter time they need to be cooked , some people add  a spoon of sodium carbonate to expedite the process , its possible , I try to avoid it.

Once it is ready , remove the onion and move the Chickpeas with some of the cooking water to a food processor or a blender  Grind the Chickpea and the garlic until getting smooth paste.

Let the Hummus cool a while before mixing it with the tehina as tehina very sensitive to hit. Once the Hummus is chilled you can bring it back to the food processor/blender and slowly add the tehina, lemon Juice from one lemon , salt and pepper and a spoon/two spoons  of olive oil.

That’s its, now you have real Hummus , Enjoy.

 The prepared Hummus can be kept in the refrigerator for up to two days but if its left more than that it mean : or you do not like Hummus or something went wrong with the process 😊.

If you want to reduce the preparation time for the future, you can cook more Chickpeas and freeze them before processing it. Once you take them our from the freezer you can grain them with the tehina and lemon/salt.

There is also possibility  to use a pre cooked chickpeas from a can , but then you need to rinse it very well and the taste will not be the same (but still better than many other places).

 

 

 

 

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