Wednesday, December 07, 2022

Royal Caribbean (Rhapsody of the Seas): 7 Nights Southern Caribbean Cruise

continuation of my quest to go beyond #lakbay100 despite the odds... November 26 to December 06, 2022

"Dance with the waves, move with the sea. Let the rhythm of the water set your soul free." - Christy Martine

My 106th solo backpacking trip and trying some usual budget do-it-yourself (DIY) itinerary from arrival to departure. Yes, you read it right, backpacking despite the very laidback type of journey. It is due to some of my flights have no check-in luggage included just to avail the cheapest flight. This trip served also as my Second visit in Caribbean following the Hispaniola Island (Haiti - Dominican Republic) solo trip (Oct. 2020) and Second Cruise Adventure following the Antarctica voyage (Nov. 2019)

The islands of the Caribbean Sea or West Indies are an extensive archipelago in the far west of the Atlantic Ocean, mostly strung between North and South America. They've long been known as a resort vacation destination for honeymooners and retirees, but a small movement toward eco-tourism and backpacking has started to open up the Caribbean to more independent travel.
https://wikitravel.org/en/Caribbean

Rhapsody of the Seas is a midsize Vision-class cruise ship owned by Royal Caribbean International built in 1995. Rhapsody doesn't have all the snazzy high-tech features included on newer cruise ships. But, guests will enjoy superior service, smaller crowds, and a more intimate cruise experience.
https://cruiseline.com/ship/rhapsody-of-the-seas

My reasons why I chose this cruise are (1) the itinerary voyage consist of all the 6 Caribbean island countries that I did not visited yet, (2) Rhapsody of the Seas is the only ship that offers the item (1) in a compressed itinerary and (3) luckily I got the cheapest cruise package and flights from / to Philippines (MNL).

My Objective Why I still pushed this Adventure despite of what happened on my 2022:

1. It's my dream to experience the Caribbean cruise.
2. I got a huge discount luckily to flights and the cruise itself.
4. I need a diversion and new beginning of what just 2022 offered me.

Visa Requirements for Caribbean Cruise:

Cruise ship passengers staying for less than 24 hours and not staying on the island overnight do not require a visa (most of the caribbean islands). 


Royal Caribbean (Rhapsody of the Seas): 7 Nights Southern Caribbean Cruise

Royal Caribbean (Rhapsody of the Seas): 7 Nights Southern Caribbean Cruise

Royal Caribbean (Rhapsody of the Seas): 7 Nights Southern Caribbean Cruise

Royal Caribbean (Rhapsody of the Seas): 7 Nights Southern Caribbean Cruise

INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT CARIBBEAN
timezone - UTC -0400H   
visa - Philippine passport holders are eligible for visa application upon arrival or exemptions for passengers with a cruise reservation confirmation for a maximum stay of 24 hours

1. There are only really two seasons in this tropical region: dry and rainy (or wet). The Caribbean dry season, or 'high season', runs from mid-December through to mid-April, and the wet season ('low season') from mid-April through to mid-December. The wet or low season is also stormy, with the official hurricane season being June 1 to November 30, although they can sometimes occur earlier.
2. Home to the smallest shared landmass in the world.
3. Real life “Pirates of the Caribbean” could become governors.
4. The Caribbean has the largest natural deposit of asphalt in the world.
5. The Caribbean is home to the shortest runway in the world.


Included - (1) All meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner with drinks) in ship’s main dining room, Windjammer Restaurant (Buffet) and snacks at Park Cafe (2) Daily entertainment, including most activities and all main theater shows (3) Use of the fitness center, (4) Use of the rock climbing wall, (5) state room with double size bed (6) and Total Cruise Gratuity of 112 USD (16 USD per day).

Excluded - (1) Specialty dining, (2) 18% auto-gratuities added to all specialty dining, beverage, spa and salon purchases, (3) Most fitness classes, spa and salon services, (4) Activities including but not limited to arcade play, arts and crafts classes, bingo, alcohol tastings, sushi-making classes and casino gaming, (5) Wi-Fi access, (6) Shore excursions, (7) Photos, artwork and retail shop purchases.

Caribbean Cruise Requirements (print-out expedites the process):

1. Original Passport and photocopies (minimum 6 months validity)
2. Barbados online arrival form (Bridgetown is the airport and seaport of entry / exit of the cruise)
3. Print-out Full Covid19 Vaccine Certificate 
4. Print-out Return Flight tickets
5. Print-out Cruise Receipt / Itinerary

ITINERARY FOR SEVEN NIGHTS SOUTHERN CARIBBEAN CRUISE (RHAPSODY OF THE SEAS)

Preparation: (booked / paid on 02-Nov-2022, just 24 days before first flight departure)
* Return Flight MNL-AMS-MNL (Emirates) and AMS-BGI-AMS (KLM) via Sky Scanner (Trip.com) P118,648
Total: PHP 151,789 (USD 2,643)

Day 0: November 26, 2022 Saturday LONG FLIGHT
1200H ETD Home; Grab car 1,200
1400H ETA NAIA Terminal 3; Airport check-in / NAIA T3 Emirates Marhaba lounge BDO Diamond Rewards
1740H ETD Manila UTC +0800H; flight EK333
2315H ETA Dubai UTC +0400H; 4hr transit 
Note (TWOV): Passengers transiting through Dubai (DXB) with a confirmed onward ticket for a flight to a third country within 24 hours.
Total: PHP 1,200

Day 1: November 27, 2022 Sunday BRIDGETOWN, BARBADOS
0320H ETD Dubai; flight EK145 
0750H ETA Amsterdam UTC +0100H; 6.5hr transit 
Note (TWOV): Passengers transiting through Amsterdam (AMS) with a confirmed onward ticket for a flight to a third country within 24 hours which is not a Schengen Member State. 
1435H ETD Amsterdam; flight KL781
1850H ETA Bridgetown UTC -0400H; Taxi to Bridgetown cruise port 48 BDS ($24) (30min ride)
2000H Rhapsody of the Seas check-in / 99.75 USD Credit Charge on-hold / Sea Pass
2030H Ship Boarding closed / Fine Dining (complimentary)
2200H ETD Bridgetown UTC -0400H; ship cruising
Total: USD 24

0600H Morning walk and workout / Buffet Breakfast 
0900H ETA Scarborough UTC -0400H
Botanical Garden, Fort King George, Tobago sign; Souvenir Currency and Fridge Magnet $3 
1130H Back to ship, Buffet Lunch 
1300H Back ashore, stroll around random walk
1500H Back to ship / watch FIFA match at pool
1800H ETD Scarborough UTC -0400H / Fine dining / outside movie at the pool
2100H Sleep rest
Total: USD 3

0600H Morning walk and workout / Buffet Breakfast 
0800H ETA Port of Spain UTC -0400H
The Red House, Trinity Cathedral, Queen's Park, National Museum, Stollmeyer's Castle, White Hall, Archbishop House
1130H Back to ship, Buffet Lunch 
1300H Back ashore, stroll around random walk
1500H Back to ship / watch FIFA match at pool
1800H ETD Port of Spain UTC -0400H / Fine dining / outside movie at the pool
2100H Sleep rest
Total: USD 0

0600H Morning walk and workout / Buffet Breakfast
0800H ETA St. George's UTC -0400H
Fort George, Christ of the Abyss, Lagoon / Exchange 15 USD = 40 XCD (2.7) / Fridge magnet 5 XCD
1130H Back to ship, Buffet Lunch
1300H Back ashore, stroll around random walk
1500H Back to ship / watch FIFA match at pool
1800H ETD St. George's UTC -0400H / Fine dining / outside movie at the pool
2100H Sleep rest
Total: USD 15

0600H Morning walk and workout / Buffet Breakfast
0800H ETA Kingstown UTC -0400H
Fort Charlotte (6km distance with 200m elevation gain), Botanical Garden
1130H Back to ship, Buffet Lunch
1300H Back ashore, stroll around random walk / Fridge magnet 10 XCD
1500H Back to ship / watch FIFA match at pool
1800H ETD Kingstown UTC -0400H / Fine dining / outside movie at the pool
2100H Sleep rest
Total: USD 0

0600H Morning walk and workout / Buffet Breakfast
0800H ETA Roseau UTC -0400H
Botanical Garden, Morne Bruce hiking via Jack's walk trail
1130H Back to ship, Buffet Lunch
1300H Back ashore, stroll around random walk / Fridge magnet 5 XCD
1500H Back to ship / watch FIFA match at pool
1800H ETD Roseau UTC -0400H / Fine dining / outside movie at the pool
2100H Sleep rest
Total: USD 0

0600H Morning walk and workout / Buffet Breakfast
0800H ETA Castries UTC -0400H
Castries city view point, La Toc beach, Vigie beach
1130H Back to ship, Buffet Lunch
1300H Back ashore, stroll around random walk / Fridge magnets 15 XCD
1500H Back to ship / watch FIFA match at pool
1800H ETD Castries UTC -0400H / Fine dining / outside movie at the pool
2100H Sleep rest
Total: USD 0

0600H Morning walk and workout / Buffet Breakfast
0700H ETA Bridgetown UTC -0400H / 99.75 USD refund
Brandon's beach, Old Town, Brownes beach / Fridge magnet 5 USD
1300H ETD Bridgetown center (bus terminal); bus 12/13 to airport 2 USD
1959H ETD Bridgetown UTC -0400H; flight KL781
Total: USD 7

Day 9: December 05, 2022 Monday LONG FLIGHT 
1245H ETA Amsterdam UTC +0200H; 9hr transit
2200H ETD Amsterdam; flight EK150
Total: USD 0

Day 10: December 06, 2022 Tuesday HOME 
0745H ETA Dubai UTC +0400H; 1.5hr transit
0925H ETD Dubai; flight EK334
2135H ETA Manila UTC +0800H; Grab car 1,000
Total: PHP 1,000

GRAND TOTAL: $2,643 + $49 + $40 (P2,200) = USD 2,732 (PHP156,000) 

 
Royal Caribbean (Rhapsody of the Seas): 7 Nights Southern Caribbean Cruise

Royal Caribbean (Rhapsody of the Seas): 7 Nights Southern Caribbean Cruise

DAY 1: Arrival at Bridgetown Airport going to Bridgetown Cruise Port

Day 1: November 27, 2022 Sunday BRIDGETOWN, BARBADOS 
1850H ETA Bridgetown UTC -0400H; Taxi to Bridgetown cruise port 48 BDS ($24) (30min ride)
2000H Rhapsody of the Seas check-in / 99.75 USD Credit Charge on-hold / Sea Pass
2030H Ship Boarding closed / Fine Dining (complimentary)
2200H ETD Bridgetown UTC -0400H; ship cruising
Total: USD 24

Important Note: Wearing camouflage and/or military apparel is illegal. Clothing of this nature will be confiscated if worn in port, and the wearer may be charged by local authorities.



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