Rhapsody of the Seas, the vessel deployed to the region by Royal Caribbean International (RCI), is not without the Asian touch. Many of its 765 crewmembers are Asian or speak languages such as Mandarin and Korean, and the restaurants carry several local specialties, while activities like mahjong and karaoke are available.
First stationed in Singapore, it moved to Hongkong conducting a number of trips to Hue (Danang), Hanoi (Haiphong), Okinawa and Taipei. After March 27, it proceeds to Shanghai from where it will do five to seven-night sailings, calling on Fukuoka and Kyoto (Kobe), Busan and Jeju.
Weighing 78,491 gross tonnes, Rhapsody of the Seas entered service in 1997 and experienced refurbishing a year ago. The range of facilities is comprehensive, including a feature unique to all RCI ships – a rock-climbing wall besides the requisite gym, spa, swimming pool, casino, themed bars and lounges and theatre showcasing Broadway spectaculars. The Edelweiss dining room, one of two outlets, is spacious enough to seat 1,200 guests.
There are 999 staterooms, making up 17 room categories and accommodating 2,435 guests. Each is equipped with ensuite bath, phone, television, minibar, individually controlled air conditioning and 24-hour room service. Those staying in the Grand Suite, Family Suite, Owner’s Suite and Royal Suite can enjoy the ministrations of a butler.
While their parents chill, youngsters can try RCI’s Adventure Ocean Programme offering fun as well as educational experiences for all age groups conducted by trained staff.