The 78,491-ton, 2,000-guest Rhapsody of the Seas was the fifth of Royal Caribbean’s six Vision-class ships, launched in 1997.
Like the rest of the Vision class, Rhapsody looks downright tiny today next to her newer fleetmates, measuring about half the size of the Voyager- and Freedom-class ships and a third the size of the Oasis-class ships. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, since midsize ships can be cozier and easier to get around. But all in all, the Vision-class ships are a mixed bag, offering some of the attractions and amenities of Royal Caribbean’s newer vessels but also feeling a bit dated, with more glitz than subtlety in their 1990s designs.
Most public rooms are located on Decks 5 and 6, radiating out from a central seven-story atrium full of faux palm trees and glass elevators. At the base of the atrium, on Deck 4, the Champagne Bar offers musical entertainment to go with its namesake bubbly.
On Deck 5, there’s the glittery Broadway Melodies Theatre and the flashy and crowded Casino Royale. On Deck 6, there’s the nautically themed Schooner Bar for piano entertainment and relaxation; the cozy Moonlight Bay seaview lounge; the Shall We Dance Lounge for a mix of live music, dancing, and entertainment; and six shops, including the photo shop. Up at the top of the ship, Deck 11’s Viking Crown Lounge is an observation lounge by day and disco by night.
For kids, the Adventure Ocean playroom on Deck 10 is stocked with toys and games, and there’s a teen center and video arcade right next door.
On Deck 9, you can swim or lounge in the spacious main pool area or chill out in the Solarium, with its retractable glass ceiling and vaguely Roman design motifs. Just astern, the two-deck spa and fitness center offers the usual selection of treatments, steam rooms, and saunas, plus small aerobics and workout rooms. Outside are a rock-climbing wall and a jogging track.
Dining options on Rhapsody are limited. Dinners are taken at the two-deck Edelweiss Dining Room, a very 90s-looking space with lots of chrome, glass, and dramatic lighting features. Other than that, your main alternative is the Windjammer Cafe buffet restaurant.
Staterooms aboard the Vision-class ships tend to be small and have seen a lot of use in their decade and a half of service. Standard outside staterooms are only 151 square feet, and come with a TV, a small sitting area, a vanity, and a small bathroom.
If you want a private balcony, you’ll have to bump up to a 191-square-foot Superior Oceanview stateroom, which also offers a minibar, small sitting area, and lots of storage space. The top-of-the-line accommodations are the 1,176-square-foot Royal Suites, which come with separate living room and bedroom, a huge marble bathroom with a whirlpool tub, a baby grand piano, and a 138-square-foot private veranda.
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