Looking for romance, adventure, games and fine dining? The glamorous Rhapsody of the Seas has all these by the boatloads.
About The Royal Caribbean’s Rhapsody Cruise
I’m going on a cruise!” said a friend.
“Oh, how wonderful! Somewhere exotic?” she asked brightly.
“Yes, Singapore to Port Klang!”
“Huh?” was her bemused response.
Sailing from Singapore to Port Klang may not offer the most picturesque of ports and is rather brief, but it does give one a taste of luxury on the sea. And as I was in need of some R&R, I didn’t think twice about spending a weekend on board the Royal Caribbean’s Rhapsody of the Seas.
The Journey Began in Singapore
My other half and I arrived in Singapore on the comfortable Aero Line coach and found ourselves queuing up with hundreds of other holidaymakers to board the ship. After some delay completing the paperwork, we finally got on board. Phew.
My frustrations dissipated once I saw the cosy cabin with its twin beds, ensuite bathroom, TV and private balcony.
(It didn’t take me long to get into a relaxed mode. The sea air and the sight of the waves lapping the ship did wonders for eliminating stress.)
After the compulsory safety drill, I set about exploring the 915ft-long (279m) floating amusement park (that’s about nine football fields long).
Some Facts About the Rhapsody Cruise
At 305ft (93m) high with 11 decks, Rhapsody is three times the height of the Statue of Liberty and has a passenger capacity of 2,435. It is manned by a 765-strong crew from 52 countries, including 81 cooks and 25 musicians.
The ship’s interior is state-of-the-art. The glass-enclosed atrium with brightly-lit glass elevators and a golden spiral staircase acts as a focal point for guests who seem to congregate here at all hours.
What to Do While On Board the Rhapsody Cruise
There are so many activities on offer here that you can’t, in all good conscience, complain of having nothing to do.
Rhapsody boasts two swimming pools, duty-free shops, a gym, cinema, casino, beauty salon, library, card room, an art and photo gallery and several nightclubs and lounges. If you are fit as a fiddle, you may rise to the occasion by taking on one of the highlights of the ship – its 200ft (61m) rock climbing wall.
And then soothe your aching muscles later at the ShipShape Day Spa.
If you prefer to take things easy, you can just sit back and take in the ocean views on the open deck or swim lazily in the outdoor pool. The young and young-at-heart will appreciate the well-equipped video arcade, while the little ones will be kept suitably engaged through the ship’s award-winning adventure ocean programmes.
All these activities can work up a ravenous appetite, but food is scarcely a concern.
Dining at the Rhapsody Cruise
The Windjammer, with its self-service buffet, is the most informal of the food outlets and allows you the choice of enjoying your meal on deck or indoors.
The more formal Edelweiss Dining room seats 1,200, about the same number of passengers as two Airbus A380s, the world’s largest passenger planes.
This restaurant offers something for everyone, including hot or cold breakfast and full meals or snacks.
Imagine this: the galleys turn out a staggering 10,000 bread rolls each day and 6,000 dishes each night.
Night Life at the Rhapsody Cruise
At night, romantics may content themselves with sitting by the pool under the stars, but for something livelier, you can let down your hair at the Viking Crown Lounge or enjoy the evening shows at the Broadway Melodies Theatre. While Las Vegas may offers more sequins and feathers, what’s on offer here is no less enjoyable.
You will be suitably impressed with the costumes and repertoires of the scantily clad dancers.
Once out in international waters, the ship’s casino opens its doors for business. Ditto for the duty-free shops.
Rama Rebbapragada, Royal Caribbean Cruises’ Asia Pacific managing director, sees Rhapsody’s maiden voyage in the region as an opportunity to showcase what it has to offer.
“By bringing the ship to Asia, we are introducing our brand of sailing, while giving guests more choices for cruise holidays. The appeal for cruises has grown strongly in the Asia Pacific region and travellers can look forward to a selection of flexible and enjoyable itineraries to suit every age group and budget.
“We also offer state-of-the art amenities and an exquisite dining experience with an Asian touch,” he said.
The ship has since called on many ports, including Bangkok, Hanoi, Hong Kong, Taipei and Fukuoka and Kyoto in Japan.
Rebbapragada said Royal Caribbean has customised some amenities and activities to cater to Asians. This includes entertainers from Asia, crew members who are fluent in Mandarin, Cantonese and Korean, Asian-themed dishes, and activities like mahjong and, of course, karaoke.
For more information, contact Gem Travel and Tours at (03) 7727 9276/ 9287 or e-mail email@example.com