After spending 30 days and $54million being in dry dock, Royal Caribbean’s Rhapsody of the Seas is finally ready for its big debut. During this month long period, the ship went through a complete bow to stern renovation, giving it a makeover that will leave guests wondering if it is the same Rhapsody of the Seas that went into dry dock in Singapore’s Sembawang Shipyard.
Rhapsody of the Seas will be sailing to Alaska this summer before it heads off to Australia in the fall.
Betsy O’Rourke, senior vice president of marketing for Royal Caribbean, has stated, “Rhapsody of the Seas’ dry dock is part of Royal Caribbean’s multi-ship enhancement and revitalization strategy to deliver the world’s most innovative cruise ships, exciting itineraries and world-renowned Gold Anchored service to our guests, also known as the Royal Advantage.” She also went on to explain the kind of changes that are going to “wow” guests as they cruise on the ship for the first time by saying, “With every inch of Rhapsody of the Seas renewed, five new dining restaurants added, the evolution of entertainment in our iconic Centrum, plus an array of new touches, guests will be wowed by what is virtually a new ship.”
Rhapsody of the Seas is one of the 5 ships in the Vision Class and was first launched in 1996 before its maiden voyage in 1997. This new makeover which was very comprehensive and included new lounges, 5 new dining options, flat screen TVs in staterooms, ship-wide Wi-Fi and more, has helped to restore the youthfulness of this ship as well as add some new amenities that only some of the newer ships like Oasis of the Seas have.
Even though this ship already had Wi-Fi available it was not available everywhere, and you would be hard pressed to try to surf from your stateroom, which most cruisers would like to be able to do. The new changes allow for that.
Features like a new LED movie screen on the pool deck and a fancy digital way-finding system have found their way onto the newly restored Rhapsody and they should be eagerly welcomed.
But what’s the best part about cruising? The food. And this is where Rhapsody really kicked it up a notch… BAM!
The five new restaurants include Giovanni’s Table, Izumi Asian Cuisine, Park Café, Chops Grille, and Chef’s Table.
- Giovanni’s Table: A classic Italian restaurant with a Tuscan flare with entrees that include fresh pesto, Zuppa di Porcini, Gnocchi di Patate, Lasagna Tradizionale, and more. (lunch:$15, dinner: $20)
- Izumi Asian Cuisine: Traditional Asian dishes with sushi, sashimi, sukiyaki and more, and it’s very affordable at $3 for lunch and a $5 surcharge for dinner.
- Park Café: This restaurant is only on two other ships (the Oasis and Allure of the Seas), and offers meals like sandwiches, soups, salads, and pastries. All food is included with price of your cruise so eat up.
- Chops Grille: This is one of Royal Caribbean’s signature steakhouses with cuts of premium meats for $30 a person.
- Chef’s Table: This is more of a private dining experience with a small group of people who pay $95 a person and have an executive chef cook for you a 5 course meal.
The look and feel of the 5 story atrium (the Centrum) has been completely renovated as well and will include entertainment such as high flying aerialists and daytime activities.
Right now the ship is still in Singapore but will soon be making a 15 night journey from Singapore to Sydney, Australia. From “down under” she will sail to Hawaii and finally on to Alaska for the summer cruise season on 2012.
7 night sailings will be available from Seattle to Alaska with ports of call in Juneau, Skagway, and Victoria, B.C.
The Rhapsody of the Seas can carry almost 2,000 passengers, 765 crew, and weighs 78,000 tons.
Let us know if you have been on this ship before or are looking forward to sailing on the newly renovated cruise ship in the comment section below.