Rhapsody of the Seas is one of the latest additions to the fleet of luxury liners owned by the Royal Caribbean International Cruise Line. This 78,500t liner was built by Chantiers de l’Atlantique Alstom of France and had its maiden voyage in 1997. Rhapsody of the Seas has a capacity for 2,000 passengers, and cruises Alaska and the Mexican Riviera.
The vessel has an overall length of 279m and a maximum moulded breadth of 32.2m. Its maximum draught is 7.75m and it has a deadweight of 6,300t at 76m. Its international gross tonnage is 78,500gt and its service speed is 22.3 knots. It has a steel weight of 15,000t and a steelplate surface area of 750,000m². The vessel is compartmentalised by 32 watertight division doors.
The main spaces have been distributed over twelve decks with glazed windows in large numbers (almost 7,000m²). The public spaces have been situated over four decks: two indoor decks and two weather decks.
The passenger cabins are distributed over five decks and extend all along the ship’s length. Almost 25% of the cabins have a balcony, including those on stern face, over two decks. The passengers can have the choice between eight types of cabins, 142 of which are communicating ones. Each passenger cabin has a TV network in every room and a sound installation. There are 2,000 phone sets and more than 50 control video cameras for equipment and access. In addition to the 14 cabins for handicapped people, all the suites and the owner’s cabins can be reached by wheelchairs.
Food is served in the 1,240-seat edelweiss formal dining-room over two levels, or in the more casual windjammer café. A central hall goes up to the open air over six decks. Leisure facilities include a solarium with six whirlpools, an indoor/outdoor swimming pool with retractable glass canopy, and the casino royale (which has blackjack tables, slot machines, roulette, craps and stud poker), as well as a jogging track, a video-game centre, shuffleboard and children’s play areas. Other amenities include a beauty shop, library, photo gallery, conference room and shopping gallery.
The vessel has electric propulsion with two shaftings and fixed blade propellors (weighing 75t each). Each shafting is directly driven by an electric motor (17MW at 145rpm). The electric generation necessary to drive the motors is ensured by four generating sets. The electric motors are of synchronous three-phase type with double windings, supplied by thyristor frequency converters to reducing the network’s harmonic level. A 6,600V/3,000V transformer supplies each converter from the 6,600V electric network.
The engine room has two 10t/h unit capacity oil-fired boilers and four 4.3t/h unit capacity waste heat boilers at the diesel engine exhaust. The heel balancing system is provided with a 400m³/h pump and there are two 600t/day fresh water generators. The cleaning of the diesel engines and incinerator exhaust pipes is performed by an air compressor infrasonic system.
The seakeeping is enabled by a pair of fin-type stabilizers. Steering is carried out by two flap-type rudders, each one controlled by an electro-hydraulic steering gear. Manoeuvring is enabled by two transverse 1,750kw bow thrusters and one 1,750kW transverse stem thruster.
The electricity is generated by four 15,520kVA, which is transformed to 6,600V 60Hz, three phase. The alternators, driven at 514rpm by diesel engines, supply the 6,600V main switchboard.