Rhapsody o/t Seas - 10 Night Great Barrier Reef - Just Returned
Just returned from a 10 night cruise on Rhapsody to the Great Barrier Reef; amazing trip and would highly recommend to anyone. The ship was in really good condition for a ship of her class and one that gets as much global usage as she does. The captain was great (Rick Sullivan from Canada); first time ever with a Captain that you can actually understand over the PA system.
One neat highlight was that I was invited to dinner at the Captain's Table; I guess my 36 cruise credits counted for something. As for the "free upgrade"; I was close to the bottom of the list as they had a guy onboard with 219 cruise credits, then someone else with 90 and someone else with 85. So, for such a rare sailing; it was packed with heavy hitter Diamond Plus passengers.
The ship sails to various ports of call within Australia; two of the ports of call have tours that take you to the Great Barrier Reef; each tour has a hydro-foil like boat that takes about 30-45 minutes from the pier to the reef itself. Once at the reef, you can snorkle, scuba dive, take a glass bottom boat, etc. Royal Caribbean does not spesifically stop at the reef, they just sail to ports of call that have tours that take you to the reef physically. As for airfare, that would completely depend on where you live and when you book. On average, a flight from the US to Sydney in coach roundtrip would cost you between $950 - $1450 USD.
We did two tours to the Great Barrier Reef, both offer snorkling, scuba, glass bottom boat, etc. I personally did snorkling as the reef is very shallow; there are sections I snorkled that were less than 2 feet deep. Other tours outside the reef included rainforest, duck tours, outback tours, zoo's, etc. Overall a great trip. Rhapsody has some of the best food and service I've received in a long time; considering the age of the ship. Found tons of cruisers that got on in Feb 2010 and won't get off until May 2010.