Published on December 7th, 2013 | by Ann Rickard0
Holiday on the Seas
As much food as you can eat, entertainment day and night, and a once-only unpacking scenario all go towards making cruising a burgeoning travel industry.
On board Royal Caribbean’s Rhapsody of the Seas as she cruised the South Pacific recently, it seemed every one of the 2,300 passengers was getting the most out of their cruise package.
Cha cha, tango or line-dancing lessons? With ballroom dance champions if you don’t mind.
Poolside fun? How about the world’s sexiest man competition? Or a belly flopping war? (Both strangely enjoyable).
Napkin and towel folding? It goes without saying. Ditto for bingo.
Rock wall climbing? Out the back on deck level 10 if you’re up for it.
A spin of the roulette wheel? If you’re that way inclined.
A lazy afternoon at the spa? Yes, please.
Destination lectures with the experts? Very informative.
Cooking classes? Always ready to learn new skills.
Duty free shopping? Some bargain costume jewellery and cruise wear would be nice.
Entertainment? Every night in the expansive theatre, from comedy acts to boy bands and Vegas-style shows – and with stewards ferrying drinks as you sit back in the plush seats. Or how about some tinkling of the piano in one of the many bars, or the DJ doing his thing on the deck? Or at the heart of the ship, the six level Centrum atrium, the Royal Caribbean aerialists, singers and dancers will give thrills aplenty.
What about the all-important eating, surely a vital part of any cruise?
From buffets to challenge even the heartiest of appetites, to the Edelweiss a la carte restaurant, an all-day cafe as well as four speciality restaurants, Rhapsody of the Seas spoils for culinary choices.
At Giovanni’s Table, feast on traditional pastas, at Chops Grill the giant steaks are the finest cuts, at Izumi it’s all chopsticks and spicy Asian fare, and for the ultimate on-board dining experience, the Chef’s Table in an elegant private dining room sees the executive chef presiding over a multi-course dinner matched with premium wines.
Rhapsody of the Seas is also a floating art gallery. On at-sea days in the Shall We Dance Lounge, while the complimentary champagne flowed, more than 300 works came up for auction at bargain prices.
With something to do every moment on board – and the kids entertained in the kid’s club while the teenagers do their thing in their own space – it’s no wonder Royal Caribbean cruises are so popular with families as well as couples of all ages.
At first boarding it seems you’ll never get to know your way around this mighty ship but with user-friendly touch-screens at the elevators on every deck you’ll be ship savvy within hours. A tap of the screen shows your location, another how to get where you want to, another brings up all the day’s activities and shows menus for all the restaurants.
Fortunately, the ship has a fully-equipped gym, and the promenade deck takes you a full circuit of the ship. (We managed five easy kilometres a day – with stunning 360 degree ocean views.)
Fares are low, and with ports of call including Isle of Pines, Vanuatu, the Loyalty Islands and Port Vila, this 10 day cruise is arguably the best value holiday deal around.
Fares start from $1,009 per person for a seven-night South Pacific sailing onboard Rhapsody of the Seas departing November 8, 2014.