We just got off a seven day Caribbean cruise aboard Royal Caribbean’s Rhapsody of the Seas. Of course we had a fabulous time, even though the weather wasn’t that great. It’s hard to have a bad time on a cruise! This one left out of Tampa and stopped in Roatan, Honduras, Belize City, Belize, Cozumel and Costa Maya, Mexico. Although the Rhapsody is one of Royal Caribbean’s smaller ships, there is still plenty to do. This was also one of the best crews we have ever experienced on a cruise. They were all so nice and helpful. The first two days aboard were a bit chilly and rainy. We used this time to do more of the ship activities because it was not good pool weather. We actually ended up having a great first day aboard going to trivia, games, and different seminars throughout the ship. (We also spent a lot of time at the Schooner Bar.)
Because we have achieved Diamond status in Crown & Anchor, we are very loyal to Royal Caribbean. We consistently have a great time aboard and we like the familiarity of the ships. The Rhapsody of the Seas is in the Vision Class of ships. It has 11 decks, an outdoor pool, Solarium, and 4 hot tubs. There is also now a big screen out by the pool, which is great to watch movies at night under the stars. For specialty dining, there is Chops Grille, Giovanni’s, and Izumi. We ate at Chops Grille and Izumi. Both are wonderful. We suggest doing Chops Grille the first or second night so you can really enjoy the food. By the end of the week, we were quite full! Izumi was great, also. It would be a great dinner spot, however the view is so beautiful that it was a nice place to eat lunch and enjoy the food.
Roatan, Honduras: Unfortunately it rained pretty much all day here and most of the tours were cancelled. It actually made for some neat views with the mist and the mountains, but not good for walking around. We hope to go back to Roatan and explore more next time.
Belize City, Belize: This is one place that we would suggest taking a tour. You can walk around the city on your own, but there’s not much to see and it is not very nice. There were times where we actually felt a bit uncomfortable. The ship offers some great tours like cave tubing, visiting Mayan ruins, or go snorkeling or diving.
Costa Maya, Mexico: Costa Maya used to be one of our least favorite ports to stop at, but over the past couple years it has become one of favorites in the Caribbean. They have really made the area right where the ship docks a lot nicer with more shops and cultural things to see. A couple miles from the port is another area called Mahahual. This is a resort destination with lots of hotels and hostels along the beachfront. The beach is lined with restaurants where you can eat, drink, get a massage, lay on the beach, and listen to music. We stopped at The Krazy Lobster which was affordable and the food was surprisingly good! You can walk to Mahahual or take a taxi. The taxis cost $2 per person.
Cozumel, Mexico: This is the big port for shopping when you go on a Caribbean cruise. (You will see A LOT of Diamonds International.) This is a nice area to walk around. It is safe and there are some great shops and restaurants. They recently redid the plaza area there and it looks great! Cozumel is also where you can take the popular shore excursion to see the ruins of Tulum. This is a great experience, however it is a very long day because of the long ferry ride to the mainland.
This seven day Caribbean cruise is nice because you have the three stops and a sea day at the beginning and the end. It gave us all time to relax and enjoy the ship’s amenities. The food and service was also wonderful and we can’t wait until our next cruise!
Have you done a Caribbean cruise? What did you like/dislike? Let us know in the comments!
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