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Royal Caribbean redeploys Rhapsody of the Seas summer 2022 sailings

In:
30 Jun 2021

Royal Caribbean has new plans for Rhapsody of the Seas next year.

Rhapsody of the Seas will call the Mediterranean home in summer 2022 with a few new itineraries, sailing from Greece, Italy, Spain and Israel.

Beginning in May 2022, Rhapsody of the Seas will offer 7-night cruises from Rome and Ravenna, Italy; Athens, Greece; and Barcelona, Spain. 

Guests have their choice of a combination of Greek and Adriatic, Greek Isles and Western Mediterranean itineraries that feature visits to ports of call, such as Split, Croatia; Cannes and Nice, France; Crete and Mykonos, Greece and Florence and Sicily, Italy.

Rhapsody of the Seas will then homeport in Haifa, Israel between August and October.  She will become the first Royal Caribbean cruise ship to homeport in Israel.

From Haifa, Rhapsody will offer 3- to 8-night round-trip itineraries to Greece, the Greek Isles and Cyprus.

Royal Caribbean redeployed Rhapsody earlier this year, when they announced she would sail from Barbados beginning in November 2022.

There are a number of 5-, 7-, 8-, and 14-night cruises to choose from, visiting destinations such as Trinidad, Grenada, Guadeloupe and more.

On the on 14-night sailings, Rhapsody is offering overnights in ports like Aruba and Cartagena.

Royal Caribbean will deploy Rhapsody of the Seas to Barbados beginning November 2022

In:
28 Apr 2021

Another Royal Caribbean cruise ship will call Barbados home.

Rhapsody of the Seas will begin sailing from Bridgetown, Barbados in November 2022.

Royal Caribbean has plans for Grandeur of the Seas to sail from this Southern Caribbean island beginning this fall.

The new sailings are available to book immediately for winter 2022-2023.

There are a number of 5-, 7-, 8-, and 14-night cruises to choose from, visiting destinations such as Trinidad, Grenada, Guadeloupe and more.

On the on 14-night sailings, Rhapsody is offering overnights in ports like Aruba and Cartagena.

Second ship to sail from Barbados

Since the cruise industry shutdown due to the global health crisis, Royal Caribbean's relationship with the island of Barbados has strengthened.

Barbados was one of the few ports letting ships dock in its waters and exchange crew members in 2020.

Royal Caribbean International President and CEO Michael Bayley is the co-chair of a task force along with the Prime Minister of Barbados, Mia Amor Mottley, which is aimed at working on the safe return of cruising to the Caribbean.

In addition, Grandeur of the Seas will begin sailing from Barbados in December 2021. At the time, it was the first Royal Caribbean ship to be announced to sail from outside the United States in an effort to get around the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) ban on cruise ships from the United States.

The new sailings run between December 2021 and April 2022, although more sailings could be added if the sailings prove to be popular.

A variety of 7-night sailings are available to book immediately. There are three different itineraries, including two separate 7-night sailings and a 14-night sailing with stops in St. Lucia, Dominica, Trinidad and Tobago, St. Vincent, Grenada, Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao, and more.

Two Royal Caribbean cruise ships will stay in British Virgin Islands temporarily

In:
09 Jan 2021

Royal Caribbean has received permission for two of its cruise ships to remain in the British Virgin Islands (BVI) in a state of warm lay-up.

The BVI Ports Authority announced on Friday that Rhapsody of the Seas and Grandeur of the Seas have been given permission for technical calls and warm lay-ups in Tortola.

Strict health and safety rules were agreed to by both the Port Authority and the cruise line, which will allow the ships to remain in the BVI starting on January 11, 2021 for an initial period of thirty (30) days for a warm lay-up.

Neither ship will have passengers onboard, and the purpose of this agreement is so that the ships can remain in port and refuel, take on provisions and spare parts, and possibly other services.

Acting Managing Director, Oleanvine Maynard said, "Crew members will not be allowed to disembark and there is no access to vessels from shore-based staff during stays in the BVI."

This deal allows Royal Caribbean to take care of necessary maintenance and technical concerns, while the BVI reaps economic benefits.

The BVIPA believes that maintaining a link with and continuing to service the cruising industry in the safe manner proposed with technical calls/warm lay-ups can be a vital part of the rebooting strategy. 

What is a warm lay-up?

When cruise ships are not in use, they are either in warm or cold lay-up. This refers to which state they are in of being temporarily shutdown.

The decision to send a ship into cold lay-up depends on the long term plans the company has for the ship.

Royal Caribbean presented their plans to the BVI Ports Authority about what the ships will do and other details pertaining to a warm lay-up.

Royal Caribbean Group Vice President of Worldwide Operations, Hernan Zini, said the ships will be carrying out refueling, repairs and start-up activities.

All of Royal Caribbean's ships are in a state of warm lay-up, which means the ships can return to service quickly because the machinery, lifesaving equipment and navigational equipment are all well-kept and up to date.

The engine department and deck department remain fairly close to fully manned in a warm lay-up.

Cold lay-ups save money in the short term, but take longer to get back into service once the cruise line wants to reactivate the ship.

However, when a ship goes into cold lay-up, many of the mechanical systems are taken offline, with just the bare essentials left online to preserve the ship. A prolonged cold lay-up can even go as far as to preserve sections of the ship by hermetically sealing off rooms.

Read moreWhat does it mean when a cruise ship goes into cold lay-up?

Royal Caribbean moves summer 2021 cruises from Venice to Ravenna

In:
18 Jun 2020

Royal Caribbean has sent letters to guests booked on sailings from Venice, Italy in summer 2021 that their cruise will now depart from nearby Ravenna, Italy.

Citing "increased concerns regarding the future of cruising in Venice", emails sent to travel agents and guests booked on Rhapsody of the Seas sailings that depart from Venice in 2021 an update that the cruises will now depart and end in Ravenna.

"There have been increased concerns regarding the future of cruising in Venice, Italy due to port congestion and the ability to control port traffic. And, while it's not yet clear how cruise operations will be affected there, it's important to us that we continue to do everything we can to provide you with a great experience and plan ahead, whenever possible."

"As a result, instead of Venice, we've changed our departure and arrival ports to Ravenna, Italy - a city located just a couple hours south of our original cruise port. We're terribly sorry for any inconvenience caused by this change. However, to ensure you have the smoothest experience possible and that you still get to experience Venice as planned - we're providing complimentary shuttle services before and after your sailing."

Guests who already purchased airfare will be able to take advantage of complimentary shuttle services both before and after your sailing. Guests an optionally purchase transfers leaving directly from the airport or pier. The trip will take us around 2 ½ hours, depending on local traffic.

On embarkation day, the complimentary shuttles will be waiting at the Arrivals area of the Venice Marco Polo Airport. 

Once the cruise is over, after collecting luggage, guests proceed to Customs and then will be directed to board either a complimentary shuttle bus headed to the Venice Marco Polo Airport, or to board a pre-purchased transfer headed directly to the next destination. 

Future of cruises from Venice

There has been speculation and discussion of banning or limiting cruise ships from Venice for years.

In late 2019, an accident involving a MSC Cruise ship in Venice sparked a new backlash against cruise ships. 

While policies have not shifted, Royal Caribbean decided to make the proactive change to guard against the possibility of a new ordinance or prohibition.

Rhapsody of the Seas added to Royal Caribbean app

In:
27 Jan 2020

Royal Caribbean has expanded its new app to include support for Rhapsody of the Seas.

Rhapsody now appears in the list of supported ships that can be found from within the app.

The new app is being actively developed, which means not all features area available on the app yet.  Moreover, the cruise line is slowly rolling out support for more ships.

The app is available on the iTunes App Store and Google Play Store.

Photo Tour of Owners Suite stateroom on Rhapsody of the Seas

In:
07 Apr 2018

We have a photo tour to share of an Owner's Suite on Royal Caribbean's Rhapsody of the Seas, which will take you through the cabin to provide an idea of what to expect if you book this category stateroom.

On Rhapsody of the Seas, we reviewed stateroom 8002, which is located on Deck 8 in the forward part of the deck.  

Some of the staterooms on Rhapsody of the Seas have special names, and our stateroom was called, "The Beethoven Suite".  Other than the fancy name, there is not really much distinction between this and another Owners Suite.

Upon walking in, the first thing you will notice is there is a ton of space.

The vanity area features lots of storage space, a television, electrical outlets (including a not-so-obvious plug above the TV) and...

...in room coffee and tea maker!

The primary bed can be completely enclosed by the curtains, providing privacy and does exceedingly well at keeping it dark.

The sitting area features another television, tables nad chairs.

There is also a large sofa and comfortable chairs that flank another table.

The sofa can open up to a bed, which can accomodate two guests easily.

Above the television is a Playstation 3, which is primarily used for playing movies. The Suite Concierege has a collection of DVDs that you can borrow (or you can bring your own).

The private balcony measures 104 square feet.

This particular room was very close to the bridge, and provided a look at one of the bridge wings.

The bathroom is massive, and features a stand-up shower, bathtub, dual sinks, toilet and bidet.

Being in a suite, guests receive upgraded toiletries.

5 things to love about Royal Caribbean's Rhapsody of the Seas

In:
25 Jul 2017

Royal Caribbean's Rhapsody of the Seas is a popular ship that offers cruises in Europe and North America. There is a lot to love about this ship, and we have five important facts you should be aware of before your next cruise on Rhapsody of the Seas.

Covered Solarium

The adults-only enclave of the Solarium is always a popular spot with many Royal Caribbean fans, and the fact it has an enclosed Solarium means the fun is available rain or shine.

The Solarium offers a terrific pool, along with comfortable lounge chairs and lots of sun (or shade, if that is your preference).  Whether on a sea day, or just a break between activities, the Solarium is the perfect refuge for guests looking to sit back, and relax.

Great itineraries

These days, Rhapsody of the Seas splits her time between North America and Europe.  This means that Royal Caribbean fans have the opportunity to take advantage of some great destinations.

In the fall and winter, Rhapsody calls the Port of Tampa home. Tampa is a convenient and lovely cruise terminal to sail from, including an amazing sailing underneath the Sunshine Skyway bridge. At sea, Rhapsody visits some beautiful ports in Central America, including Costa Maya and Roatan.

In the spring and summer, Rhapsody heads to Europe, where she offers a variety of itineraries from Venice.  Guests sailing on Rhapsody of the Seas will have the opportunity to visit the historic and beautiful ports of the Eastern Mediterranean, including Dubrovnik, Santorini and the Amalfi Coast.

Park Cafe

Royal Caribbean added Park Cafe to the cruise ship's Solarium, and that means not only a convenient spot to enjoy a quick meal, but one of the best sandwiches ever: the Kummelweck roast beef sandwich!

The Kummelweck sandwich was first offered on Oasis class ships, but Park Cafe has spread to other ships in the fleet since then. Guests are served a rare, thin cut of beef dipped in au jus accompanied by a secret sauce. If it sounds mighty tasty, that is because it really is and something that is a must-try (at least a half dozen times) for any guest.

Bars to visit late at night

If your idea of a fun cruise is staying up late and enjoying drinks while perhaps dancing, talking or relaxing into the late hours of the evening, then there are a few bars you will find open later than others.

On Rhapsody of the Seas, the Casino Bar, Viking Crown Lounge, R-Bar and Schooner Bar remain open later than other bars. Guests who want to avoid an (earlier) last call notice, should head to one (or a few) of these locations to enjoy uninterrupted late-night beverages.

Specialty restaurant

Just because Rhapsody of the Seas is smaller in size than the Oasis or Freedom class ships, does not mean she lacks the variety of specialty dining those ships offer.

During their cruise on Rhapsody of the Seas, guests can choose from Chops Grille, Giovanni's Table, Izumi and Chef's Table.

With Royal Caribbean's dining packages, enjoying some (or all) of these restaurants is very convenient and affordable.

Your favorite

What is your favorite thing about Rhapsody of the Seas? Is it on our list or do you have something you think is worth the cruise fare alone? Tell us about in this blog post's comments!

Royal Caribbean replaces Rhapsody of the Seas with Vision of the Seas in Cape Liberty

In:
02 Jun 2016

Royal Caribbean announced today it has changed deployment plans for which ship will be based in Cape Liberty, New Jersey, by replacing Rhapsody of the Seas with Vision of the Seas.

Royal Caribbean had announced in April that Rhapsody of the Seas would be based in the New York City area with Anthem of the Seas, but all of these previously announced Rhapsody of the Seas sailings have been canceled.

From May 20, 2017 through the end of October, Rhapsody will offer a variety of exciting 7-night round trip sailings from Venice, Italy.

At the conclusion of the Mediterranean season, Rhapsody will return to Tampa, Florida as planned and begin sailings on November 19, 2017.

On August 22, Vision of the Seas will offer a 16-night Transatlantic sailing from Copenhagen, Denmark to Cape Liberty, New Jersey with several calls in Denmark, Norway, Scotland and Iceland.

On September 7, Vision will offer a 13-night open jaw sailing from Cape Liberty, New Jersey to Quebec City, Canada.  The sailings departing from Cape Liberty on September 20, October 1, and October 11 will replace the previously planned sailings offered on Rhapsody and include calls in Boston, Massachusetts, as well as multiple ports in Maine and Nova Scotia.

Vision’s current fall Europe itineraries, including those departing from Venice, Italy from August 22, 2017 through November 17, 2017 will be canceled.

To accommodate guests booked on the affected sailings, Royal Caribbean will provide vacationers with a full refund of their cruise fare, the opportunity to re-book on another Royal Caribbean ship as well as an onboard credit to use during the newly booked sailing. In addition, vacationers who purchased airfare through Royal Caribbean will receive a full refund. Guests purchasing their own airfare will be given a refund for their airline change fee. All refund transactions will be automatically processed back to the original form of payment within four to six weeks. Commissions for travel agents will be protected for all cruises that are fully paid.

Guests requesting more information are asked to contact Royal Caribbean International’s customer service team at 1-800-256-6649 or their travel agent.

Royal Caribbean adds refurbishments for Radiance of the Seas and Rhapsody of the Seas in 2016

In:
16 Feb 2016

Royal Caribbean has added two more of its vessels to its schedule of ships to receive refurbishments in 2016.

Radiance of the Seas and Rhapsody of the Seas are now appearing on the 2016 refurbishment schedule.

There is no word yet on what changes are coming to either ship.  

Royal Caribbean just wrapped up its Liberty of the Seas refurbishment and has a busy year ahead with changes coming to the ships.

Tropical depression changes two Royal Caribbean ship itineraries

In:
09 Mar 2015

A tropical depression in the South Pacific has forced Royal Caribbean to change the itinerary of two of its cruise ships.

Cruise Critic is reporting that Rhapsody of the Seas and Voyager of the Seas will both skip a scheduled stop in Fiji to evade the path of the storm.

"Voyager of the Seas is on an 11-night cruise and departed Sydney on 5 March. Rather than sailing further towards Fiji, the ship is now taking a course towards Australia and will spend two nights in Hobart, before returning to Sydney as scheduled on 15 March," the cruise line said in a statement on Monday morning.

"Rhapsody of the Seas is on a 12-night cruise and departed Sydney on 8 March. As this ship departed only yesterday, it has been possible to make adjustments to its itinerary to keep the South Pacific flavour of the cruise, with six port calls planned in Vanuatu and New Caledonia."

Further itinerary changes are possible if the storm's anticipated path changes.

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