The 1997-built Rhapsody of the Seas cruise ship is of the Vision-class Royal Caribbean liners, with sisterships Vision OTS, Grandeur OTS, Enchantment OTS, Legend OTS (now Marella Discovery 2), Splendour OTS (now Marella Discovery).
History – construction and ownership
Royal Caribbean International (RCI) is a US passenger shipping company, trademarked travel brand, and subsidiary owned by Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd (RCCL, shipowner). RCI was established in 1968 and currently has over 1/5 of the worldwide cruise market. RCI also has RCG’s largest fleet as both numbers of vessels and GT tonnage (ship sizes and capacities). All RCI liners have names ending with “of the Seas”.
The 2000-passenger ship Rhapsody OTS is one of Royal Caribbean’s older liners. In addition to a family suite and new staterooms being added, upgrades to the ship included new dining venues, an outdoor movie screen poolside, lounges for elite past guests, digital signage and a nursery. The first Royal Caribbean vessels to offer balconies in a number of categories, the Vision-class ships feature acres of glass skylights allowing sunlight to flood in. Each ship boasts a soaring central atrium at its heart anchored by a chic bar filling with music after dark – the ideal spot for watching the aerial performances overhead.
Decks and Cabins
Rhapsody Of The Seas staterooms (1013 total, in 24 grades) include 98 Suites, 136 Balcony, 372 Oceanviews, 407 Inside. Cabin sizes vary between 130-150-190 ft2 (12-14-18 m2). Most cabin balconies are sized 40 ft2 / 4 m2. The largest is the Royal Suite (1185 ft2 / 110 m2 plus 140 ft2 / 13 m2 terrace). Wheelchair-accessible cabins are 14.
The boat has 12 decks, of which 11 are passenger-accessible and 5 with cabins.
Shipboard dining options – Food and Drinks
Rhapsody of the Seas got a new image with the refurbishment in March 2012. The US$16 million makeover was part of Royal Caribbean’s USD 300 million, 3-year “Royal Advantage” fleet renovation program for adding facilities and amenities found on the Oasis-class liners. A number of Oasis-class dining options were added to Rhapsody of the Seas, effectively doubling the choices. New dining venues include the Asian Izumi, the Italian Giovanni’s Table serving family-style dishes and Park Cafe deli – a casual bistro concept borrowed from Oasis and Allure. The ribbon was also cut on a new Chops Grille, Royal Caribbean’s signature option for grilled meats and seafood (US$30 per person), and the Chef’s Table, a US$95 wine-paired dinner hosted by the executive chef and sommelier.
Follows the complete list of Rhapsody of the Seas restaurants and food bars.
- Edelweiss Restaurant (1090-seat aft Dining Room; offers Brasserie 30 lunch on sea days; Chef’s Table)
- Windjammer Cafe Lido buffet restaurant (710-seat, offers Early Breakfast at 6:30 a.m., Breakfast between 7-11:30 am, Lunch 11.30-3:30 pm, Dinner 6.30-9 p.m.)
- Chops Grille (speciality restaurant; reservations recommended)
- Giovanni’s Table (79-seat Italian speciality restaurant)
- Izumi (Asian speciality restaurant)
- Park Cafe (76-seat deli restaurant; complimentary – serves the Solarium area).
Shipboard entertainment options – Fun and Sport
The hub of Rhapsody OTS’ entertainment is the Centrum Atrium, which got a complete makeover during drydock 2012. Its lowest level is on Deck 4, where the R Bar serves classic martinis in a ’60s mod decor setting. All the action takes place there, including art auctions, ballroom dance classes, cooking demos, audience-participation games and late-night dance parties. The Centrum soars up to Deck 8. The upper reaches were outfitted with rigging and stage lighting for aerial acrobatic performances. The ship features a few main lounges. Broadway Melodies is one of the most functional with seating on fixed banquettes, which provides adequate space to enter and exit. Space is maximized as the tables have been eliminated in favor of comfy drink holders on armrests. The theatre is done up in jade-green marble, with furniture in matching leather and turquoise brocade. On a week-long cruise, expect several performances by ship’s singers and dancers, as well as a few speciality acts.
Additional amenities include Complimentary 24-hour Room-Service, Supervised Youth program, Internet/WiFi Access, Laundry, Self-Serve Laundromats (14).
Follows the complete list of Rhapsody of the Seas lounges, clubs and other entertainment venues for kids, teens and adults.
- Broadway Melodies Theatre (870-seat, features grand production shows with dance, acrobatics, comedy and games)
- Photo Gallery and Shop; Art Gallery
- The Centrum (7-deck atrium and social hub, offers aerial acrobatics entertainment); Shall We Dance Lounge (300-seat show entertainment lounge); Diamond Club and Lounge; Concierge Club (suite and past guests only); Viking Crown Lounge and Nightclub
- R Bar (66-seat cocktail bar); Cafe Latte-tudes Bar (36-seat speciality coffee bar, Starbucks Coffee); Schooner Bar (145-seat piano bar)
- Centrum Boutiques (duty-free; clothes, perfumes, accessories, jewelry, logo souvenirs, General Store/alcohol and cigarettes)
- Casino Royale (282-seat)
- Royal Caribbean Online center (Internet computers room; 24-hour)
- Vitality at Sea Spa and Fitness Center; 6 jacuzzis; 3 pools
- Solarium lounge (includes Cafe Bar, pool bar and adults-only pool area)
- Outdoor Movie Screen
- Video Games Arcade; FantaSeas Teen Center and Disco; Royal Babies and Tots Nursery
- Adventure Beach; Adventure Ocean kids lounge area
- Sports Court (golf simulator, table tennis, basketball court); Crystal Canopy; Jogging Track; Rock-climbing Wall.
Rhapsody of the Seas itinerary program is based on Australia and Alaska cruises departing from, respectively, Sydney and Seattle, and visiting Hawaii during repositioning. Rhapsody OTS also offers voyages in Europe (Mediterranean departures from homeports Rome–Ravenna–Athens–Barcelona) and occasionally in South America (from Santos and Buenos Aires), with Transatlantic repositioning cruises between Europe and South America.
For winter 2022-2023, Rhapsody OTS will be homeported in Bridgetown Barbados (starting November 2022). The boat has scheduled 5-7-8-14-night roundtrips. The itineraries were themed as “Southern Caribbean Island Hop” (5-night and 7-night), “Southern Caribbean Adventure” (7-night), “Southern Caribbean Holiday” (8-night), “Ultimate Caribbean” (14-night).