Thursday, September 15, 2011

Thursday Travels: Royal Caribbean Rhapsody of the Seas

The cruise bug is a funny thing. Once bitten it just kind of niggles at the back of your mind until finally it can simply no longer be ignored. Our first cruise was in December of 2004. By fall of 2006 I simply could not bear it any longer, and another cruise was planned. This one, however, was to be a totally different experience. 

Firstly we would be bringing an extra this point in time my DS and his girlfriend had been dating for over two years and I had a feeling that this one was for keeps (yeah, mom's just know these things). So we decided it was time to introduce her to the cruising experience. 

We also decided to try a new line; Royal Caribbean. As the sister line of Celebrity, at a more reasonable price, we felt it would be a good fit for us. Also we wanted to save a little money by sailing out of Galveston, Texas, a ten hour drive for us, versus paying for airfare. We chose an August 2007 sail date and a Western Caribbean itinerary...the only option when using Galveston as a embarkation port. We were in for a totally different experience...and an absolutely great time!

We decided to leave the day before and spend the night along the way. My DS celebrated his 20th birthday at a Buca di Beppo restaurant north of Houston. Even the trip to Galveston itself was fun! We were very lucky, cruising during hurricane season, to have beautiful weather throughout our trip.

 And watching a new cruiser is always a good time! The Rhapsody was smaller, older, and not nearly as classy as the Celebrity Millennium, and the cruise experience on it was an absolute blast! There were overhead announcements, towel animals, lots of activity, and a very laid back atmosphere...I was home.

I learned a lot on my first cruise and used that knowledge to do things a little differently this time around. That is one thing I have noticed, I grow a little wiser with each cruise I take! For this cruise we booked adjoining cabins, which made touching base with one another so much easier. We also hung out with different family members depending on what our interests were.

 The great thing about cruise ships is the wide variety of things to do, all in a fairly contained space. We could all get away from one another as needed, but still have plenty of good times together as well.

Another change was our dinner seating. On our first cruise we had been at a table for four in the middle of the main dining room. This time we were placed at a table for ten at a window, with another family of five. It was wonderful to get to know another family, whose children and a boyfriend mirrored our own! 

It was their first cruise and we actually talked one of them into trying the escargot...which after sampling, two more of them ordered! After all, if you can't try new things and be adventurous on a cruise, then when can you?!

Next time; Montego Bay, Jamaica!

Bon voyage! ~Marla

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