- Royal Caribbean International
Rhapsody of the Seas Review
The fourth of Royal Caribbean’s Vision-class ships, Rhapsody of the Seas launched in 1997. In addition to new staterooms and a family suite being added, upgrades to the ship in 2012 included an outdoor movie screen poolside, the casual Park Café, Asian, Italian, and steak-house
specialty restaurants, digital signage, lounges for elite past passengers, and a new nursery.
The first Royal Caribbean ships to offer balconies in a number of categories, these Vision-class vessels, named for sister ship Vision of the Seas, have acres of glass skylights that allow sunlight to flood in and windows that offer wide sea vistas. The soaring central atrium at the heart of each ship is anchored by a chic bar that fills with music after dark and is the ideal spot for watching the daring aerial performances overhead.
Big, bigger, biggest! In the early 1990s, Royal Caribbean launched Sovereign-class ships, the first of the modern megacruise liners, which continue to be the all-around favorite of passengers who enjoy traditional cruising ambience with a touch of daring and whimsy. Plunging into the 21st century, each ship in the current fleet carries more passengers than the entire Royal Caribbean fleet of the 1970s, and has amenities—such as new surfing pools—that were unheard of in the past.
All Royal Caribbean ships are topped by the company's signature Viking Crown Lounge, a place to watch the seascape by day and dance at night. Expansive multideck atriums and promenades, as well as the generous use of brass and floor-to-ceiling glass windows, give each vessel a sense of spaciousness and style. The action is nonstop in casinos and dance clubs after dark, while daytime hours are filled with poolside games and traditional cruise activities. Port talks tend to lean heavily on shopping recommendations and the sale of shore excursions.
What You Should Know
- Open, light-filled public areas offer sea views from almost every angle
- Each vessel now offers numerous dining options, both free and for a fee
- Daring aerialists offer a new wow-factor high above the central atrium
- Some lounges serve as a thoroughfare and suffer from continuous traffic flow
- Except for premium suites, accommodations lean toward the small side
- There are no self-service laundry rooms
- Crew Members 765
- Entered Service 1997
- Gross Tons 69,130–78,491
- Length 915
- Number of Cabins 1,020
- Passenger Capacity 1,800–2,000 (2,076–2,435 max)
- Width 106 feet