This was our first cruise and I must say, we were very happy with our choice of ships. The Enchantment of the Seas is just that: enchanting. We had a balcony stateroom which I would highly recommend. We had our breakfast brought to our room a few times and sitting on the balcony enjoying coffee and breakfast was a dream come true. We cruised in mid summer so we expected alot of kids. We were right, however most times I didn't even realize they were there. Seems they have programs for all ages. Our ports of call were Key West, Cozumel, Costa Maya and Grand Cayman.
I enjoyed all except for the MExico ports, but I'm sure that's just a matter of preference. Grand Cayman is absolutely beautiful tho, I hope to visit there again someday. Food was very good in both the dining room and the Windjammer. Waiters were polite and very effecient. Our cabin attendant was always wearing a smile.. whenever we saw him. He left our room spotless and comfy twice daily!! I would highly recommend this ship and look forward to cruising again. I found this webpage helpful when I was researching cruises, so if you have any questions about this ship, feel free to email me.
We hosted our entire family to celebrate our 50th anniversary. requested we all sit together (12) or 2 tables of 6. Got on board only to find the entire family of 10 were seated together and we the hosts) were at a table for 6 entirely across the room! Saw the maitre'd immediately and he was without a doubt the most arrogant man I've ever dealt with. There was a line of about 50 people complaining about table seating arrangements. Once inside his office we refused to leave until he came up with a compromise. (our travel agent had faxed him directly requesting a table for 12 - they have 3).
He of course blamed the agent. So, they squeezed 12 of us at a table for 10. Great service after we paid $20,000 to bring the entire family along. Bad service on this ship and they nickel and dime you to death. I feel soft drinks during meals should be included for children. Adults are offered ice tea, water, coffee free, why not let the kids have a coke of two? This was our 9th cruise so we are notnovice travelers. The days of competent, knowledgeable personnel are over. Purser's office not much help either. We wanted to pay the entire tip for head waiter and his assistant for the table. They said the computer couldn't handle it....???? This is our second trip with RCCL - never again!
This was my first cruise and definitely will not be my last. We are planning an 11-day cruise around the Caribbean next year. This time we are going to upgrade to a room with a balcony.
THE GOOD: Getting on and off the ship at the different ports as well as disembarking at the end of our trip, was run like a well oiled machine.
The ports we visited were really wonderful. The best shopping for liquor, jewlery and perfume are DEFINITELY in St. Maarten. Don't let anyone tell you St. Thomas. That's what happened to me and I missed out on a great deal on a pair of South Sea Pearl earrings with a 1/2 carat diamond drop (with a guarantee from a New York based company). The same ones in St. Thomas were $700.00 more and they will not deal, as they know you just came from St. Maarten and are heading toward Nassau. The liquor in St. Maarten has the BEST prices. The perfume prices are really low too.
When you go to Nassau, look for a little restaurant off Fredericks St. called the "Bahamian Kitchen." If youlike conch salad, conch chowder, conch fritters, cracked conch, this place is a must. The locals can direct you.
THE BAD: This was my only negative. I had to deal with the Pursor's Office on the ship 5 times during our cruise to help in answering questions and getting certain information. Out of the 5 encounters with the Pursor's Desk, 4 of them were a VERY BAD experience. These people (for the most part) were rude and unhelpful.
THE BEST: We met the most wonderful people who worked on the ship (excluding the Pursor's Office).
Our waitress in the My Fair Lady dining room was Carmen, a girl from Romania (Carmen). She had the best personality imaginable and made our dinners so very memorable. The Assistant Waitress was a girl from India (Rupali). She had the most bubbling personality and always a smile.
On the Windjammer Deck (Pool Deck), there was David, who served us the most delicious daquiris ever. If you go on this cruise, ask for David and get him to show you his balancing tricks with the tray. What a show!
Then in the Viking Crown Lounge there was Rosa and Bersedorf, who served us up the best Chocolate Martinis. They were both very friendly and couldn't do enough for us.
Last, but definitely not least, was Pat, our Cabin Attendant. She always had a smile on her face and kept our room emmaculate and was always making us some kind of animal in the evenings out of towels. And I can't forget the chocolate mint on our pillows every night.
We also met other wonderful passengers from all over the world that we will stay in touch with for years to come.
Can't wait until my next cruise. If you have any questions that I might be able to help you with, you can contact me at my email address: CRISCOMIA@AOL.COM
Eastern Caribbean cruise with my wife and 3 sons age 2.5, 5 and 7. Cruise prior to this was on the Sovereign in 1989 before kids entered the picture. Prior to that I cruised almost every summer from ages 6-18 on Holland America since I was lucky enough to have a father who worked for the line. I've also been on various other cruises and spent one summer working on Sitmar's Fairwind. I'm writing this because I enjoyed reading through all of the other member reviews.
The ship: Very nice although carpets and furnishings are starting to show wear. The size was intimate enough to run into the people you wanted to yet large enough that you never felt crowded. We had connecting category N cabins which worked out great. Our 2 year old could nap while one of us could read in the other cabin. The children's program was excellent for our older kids. This was a family vacation so we didn't drop them off for the entire day. They would spend most mornings there and a couple times they went from 2-4pm. They loved it. I will say however,there were only 75 kids of all age groups on our cruise. Our vacation was between winter and spring breaks and from what I was told, there would be 400+ kids starting in mid-March. This limited the number of friends they could meet but also insured very small age groupings and more attention from the staff. In my 7 year olds group, for example, I never saw more then 7 other kids with him.
The food: Good. Not great and certainly not poor. I will say that times have changed this. From what I remember on my prior cruises, food was excellent. Oh well. I still gained 5 lbs. Dressing up and going to dinner as a family is wonderful. We sat at table #130 which right in the middle of the lower level. Kids always could get something they wanted from either the kid's or regular menu. I can't tell you how proud my wife and I were when people approached us and told us how well behaved our kids were. At least 20 people. We even had people from the balcony come up to us and tell us this. I can't say the boy's were angels but I think it was a great experience for them.
Service and Staff: Excellent! I could go on and on about how nice everyone. I'll leave it at that.
Islands: I'll mention one highlight especially if you're bringing your kids. In St. Martin, go to Le Galleon Beach. Lots of rough road to get there but if you want a beach where you can wade out 200 yards and have water up to your waist, this is the place to go. It is quiet, there is food and drink, bottle of beer $2, umbrellas and chairs, and para and windsurfing for excitement. I talked to some people who were snorkeling and they said there wasn't much to see except lots of small fish so you're out of luck there.
Overall: We had a fantastic time. It is a great family vacation and we'll be doing it again.
We sailed Enchantments of the Seas Eastern Caribbean, on Sept 30-Oct 7. We were a group of ten, most were first-time cruisers.
Embarkation: We landed in Miami at around 10:30am and were chartered to the dock in Fort Lauderdale. It was about a 40 min. drive. Once at the port, it was quite chaotic while all the luggage was unloaded and identified to dock workers who would have it transferred over to the ship.
The terminal inside was packed but fortunately there were plenty of places to sit down. They could improve the control of the line-ups though. At one point, after lining up for about 15 minutes, one of the dock officials asked everyone in the front of the line to sit down because there was a backlog in the next room and they weren't letting anyone in yet. Unfortunately they didn't tell anyone in the back of the line and they ended up moving up and lining up in the spots that the people in the front of the line had just vacated. Which, you can imagine, made them very frustrated since they had to line up all over again.Other than that, the embarkation process went quite smoothly.
Stateroom: I had heard that the cabins in the Enchantment were smaller than most ships and was expecting something closet-sized. We had an inside M-cabin, on deck 3. But we were quite pleased to find that there was plenty of room and that space was maximized to provide the most storage and yet create an atmosphere that did not seem crowded. It was comfortable. Lots of mirrored surfaces to increase the feeling of space. Enough drawers to fit anything you could possibly bring. Lots of movie channels and some satelite feeds, including CNN and Discover. I really appreciated the cabinet with the numerous shelves in the bathroom. The only minuses were the small size of the shower stalls and the darkness of the inside cabins when the lights were shut. You could never tell what time it was outside.
Our room attendant, Leon, always seemed to be cleaning up our cabin when we were away. We almost always came back to a spotless cabin.
Make sure you check out the prices of the drinks that are provided in the rooms before you decide to open one up. You may be surprised at the end of the trip.
It was great having an in-cabin safe. It's activated by your supercharge room card and can only be opened by the card that locked it.
There are no hairdryers in the staterooms.
Food: I had also heard some mixed reviews about the food but we all found it great, except the last evening when they seemed to run out of steam. We had the first seating. For breakfast, we ate once in the dining room but mainly went to the Windjammer Cafe on the pool deck. We also spent most lunches in the Windjammer. Breakfast was good with lots of choices. Mainly bacon, sausages, scrambled eggs, fruits, cereal, yogurt, croissants, etc. The best were the fresh made-to-order omelettes and fresh toast or english muffins around the back of the Cafe. Breakfast and lunch were open seating in the main dining room. We ate in the main dining room every night. The food was great. The service was great. Our waiter, Goushe, and the assistant waiter, anticipated our every need. by the second and third night, they had our preferences down pat already. They were alot of fun. Don't miss the lobster tail or the escargot, and the smoked salmon was perfect.
Every night, there were what were called "midnight delights", waiters would bring around trays of light sandwiches and finger-foods to various places in the casino, and some of the bars and lounges. The best was the midnight buffet. It was a feast for the eyes as well as the palate. Even if you don't want to eat a buffet that late, don't miss the viewing. They have viewing and picture-taking at 11:30pm-12:15am. The feast actually begins at 12:30am.
The Ship It is an impressive ship. The Centrum, a huge multi-storey, main foyer where the champagne bar is, and the My Fair Lady main dining room are the most beautiful areas of the ship. The Centrum has grand sweeping stairs, glass elevators, and a wonderfully relaxing atmosphere with two small stages for easy dancing. Balconies from several floors overlook the Centrum. Every night the Sherri Cafaro Trio played easy listening dance music. Sherri has a wonderful, soothing voice. It was relaxing to just sit down after dinner with a drink and listen to her singing in such a beautiful atmosphere. The crew seemed to almost always be cleaning the ship or conducting life-boat and other drills. My only complaint is that people always seem to be leaving their used towels (there are bins of clean towels provided) lying around after they use them instead of using the conveniently provided bins.
Entertainment The main shows in the theatre were very entertaining. Billy Prudhomme, a comedy juggler was great on the first night and the last farewell show. In between, there were Mark Eric Hall, a singer impressionist who was very funny. A female comedian who was good, two floor shows by the Enchantment of the Seas singers and dancers. They were very good and creative. The magicians La Ra were fantastic. Don't miss their Guiness book record-breaking quick change act.
On most nights there were other more interactive activities like the Not So-Newlywed Game (hilarious), the Novel Quest (lots of fun), and the numerous theme nights. Even if you happen to miss a show or a game, they broadcast them for 48 hours on one of the onboard networks in your room.
Each night there were at least 4 groups around the ship playing every kind of dance music from every era, from jazz to easy listening, to big band, to disco. The beautiful 360 degree Viking Crown Lounge held the nightly disco and 70's parties.
The cruise directors were energetic and enthusiastic and funny.
Exercise Lots of state of the art equipment. Numerous classes from kickboxing to aerobics to stretching, to tai chi and yoga. In the morning and afternoon there are walkathons. There is a Shipshape program in which you are awarded Shipshape dollars for every exercise event you attend. On thursday and friday you can redeem them for tee-shirts, caps, bags, etc.
Onboard Activities Lots to do if you like activity but also lots of places where you can just sit and do absolutely nothing very comfortably. From lessons on paper-folding, to fantastic demonstrations by the chefs, ballroom and line-dancing lessons. The activities were well-organized and the staff were always well-prepared and entertaining and easy-going. The casino seemed very popular. A little too smoky for me. Bingo also was popular. There was a huge Snowball Jackpot on the last bingo session. The pot was over $7000. Only one person won it.
Art auctions were interesting even though I didn't participate. They had quite a few interesting pieces which they display during the day.
Ports and Shore Activities We docked in St.Maarten, St.Thomas, and Nassau. You get a great view of coming into the port during breakfast in the Windjammer. We didn't go with any of the tours onboard. The veteran cruisers in our group arranged private tours in airconditioned vans which are always waiting by the dock. Great deals on excellent quality jewelry and electronic equipment.
Shopping and Other Things Lots of shops on board with a wide range of offerings. I found that the prices onboard were comparable to those in the ports. One thing which is not widely advertised are the drink packages you can buy for alcoholic or non-alcholic drinks. If you drink, these are a great deal. Just ask for them at any of the bars. They include the gratuity. No one in our party had any problems with sea sickness, even though on the first two days, we had fairly choppy seas.
All in all, it was a great experience and I would travel with Royal Caribbean again and maybe with Enchantment of the Seas on its western Caribbean leg next time.
Hats off to a well run ship. From the time you get to the pier until you return you are well taken care of. One of the best embarkations we have ever experienced. The ship is beautiful, the staff are helpful and courteous at all times. It was a full ship but for the most part you felt you were on a ship that was just for you alone. Never crowds for the elevators and always a seat for the shows. It was nice to have some of the shows at 7 pm for the late dinner guests.
If you get a chance in St. Maarten take the America's Cup Sailing Excursion. It is well worth the money. You now have to attend Immigration each time you are returning to U.S. ports but it is well run (considering it is new to them) and not too time consuming. Rating? Excellent!! We have had 20+ cruises and rank this one with the best.
We just returned from a 7 day Western Caribbean cruise, following the same route as Carnival's Paradise, which is the one we took last year during spring break. We couldn't help comparing Enchantment and Paradise all week, especially since we saw her docked near us at 3 of the 4 ports!
We arranged our own airfare, arriving in Ft. Lauderdale at 12:50pm. Embarkation took 75 minutes of lots of standing. My parents (late 60's) arrived at 10:45 am and had no wait at all. This was a negative comparison to Paradise since last year we arrived at the same time and got right on.
Our family of 4, including 15 & 12 year old girls, had a category C suite aft on deck 8. My parents were midship, same type cabin, same deck. We booked this cruise with only 3 weeks notice. At first we had 3 outside cabins on deck 4, but my husband balked at paying almost $6000 for the girls to have their own cabin. Then our travel agent found a suite that slept 4, had a balcony, and cost only $3450. We decided to do it sincethe cabin was bigger (245 sq. ft), had a 55sq ft balcony, and last year we all bunked together on Paradise in a 190 sq ft cabin with no problem. My parents upgraded to the same deck for ease of communication between us. The cabin was nice but we decided we prefer bunk beds because they take up less floor space. It was tight walking past end of beds and the only vanity/mirror in the room. The bathroom was bigger than on Paradise and had a tub, which enabled 2 people with swimsuits on to get showered at the same time. The girls shared a queen size sleeper sofa, which the cabin steward opened at night and put away during the day.
The balcony was very relaxing, but we didn't spend as much time on it as we thought we would. A few of us would use it before dinner and before bed, while waiting for the others to get ready. We watched as we took off from ports, and coming into ports, also. It was nice because my parents were on the opposite side so we could switch, depending on which had a view or shade. The balconies have small overhangs above, but the sun angle was such that it comes directly onto the balcony frequently anyway.
Food: I had read the bad commentaries and generally like anything if I don't have to cook or clean up. The food isn't bad, just plain. However, I do highly recommend the chilled fruit soups that come with dinner and lunch. They are great! Paradise did not have anything like them, although the food on Paradise was definitely better. Service in the main dining room was also incredibly slow. We sat at a table for 6 with my parents and the first night we couldn't believe how long it took between courses. We were seated at the entrance to the dining room and the kitchen was in the back, so maybe just walking took up part of the time, but it was a huge negative in our comparison. The waiter and asst. waiter were very friendly and Enchantment has a "head waiter"(8 of them) instead of a maitre'd. He actually helped once in a while, too, and visited us every night. He was also very friendly. Our waiter and head waiter were from Jamaica which was one of our stops and they gave us good info about touring there. The asst. waiter was from Turkey, very nervous, and new. We really liked helping him relax and getting to know them all. But the best service we had all week was when we were in Cozumel and 2 of their 3 tables didn't show up for dinner.
The midnight buffets were very small, mostly appetizers. The grand buffet was not grand. Paradise's was much better and bigger. My 12 year old did not like the food at all and lost 4 lbs. We asked for a children's menu since she wanted macaroni and cheese, and they didn't have one. They did bring her a bowl of cheese noodles, tho. They really did try to please, it's just that they have too many people to take care of so dinners always took at least 2 hours. Other people left before us so not everyone had our delay.
We didn't ever order 2 main courses. On Paradise we did that several times. Also on Paradise, both formal nights offered lobster and filet mignon. On Enchantment only one night the whole week had lobster. We ordered an extra one for my daughter, knowing she wouldn't eat it, because to have asked for another one after the first ones were delivered would have taken another half hour!!
Windjammer Cafe was always buffet style and we had breakfast there 6 times. It was very good but a staff member is positioned at the coffee machine to pour your coffee into the mug and it was annoying. That area is crowded to begin with, then toput an extra person there was one more obstacle to maneuver around. Lunches there were also good, but not varied. The only ethnic thing offered all week was on St. Patrick's day. We were hoping for Mexican while in Cozumel. Breakfast and lunch in the main dining room were much faster and their Eggs Benedict were done perfectly. by the Solarium (quiet pool) is a hot dog, hamburger, pizza counter. The burgers were okay but the pizza was lacking. My 12 year old thought the pizza we got on the way home on US Airways was the best food she had all week!!!
There is no ice-cream machine on Enchantment as there is on Paradise. No hot chocolate machine either. The only beverages offered for free during the day are water and iced tea. We missed the fruit juices and lemonade on Paradise.
Shows: Very good. The dancers are energetic and skilled. The comedians were good. We especially enjoyed getting to know the juggler/comedian personally during the cruise. He offered free juggling classes, which my girls attended. We also were seated with him at open seating lunch one day and he joined us For coffee one day. Really nice guy - so talented and funny! One of the best things about Enchantment was that the sight lines from every seat were great, even though the theater seemed smaller than on Paradise. You can show up 20 minutes before show time and still get a great seat! On Paradise you had to get there 45 minutes early just to get a seat because they played bingo there every night and the best seats went early. It was great here because we could shop and look at photos after our slow dinner, without rushing straight to the theater to hold a seat.
My parents were thrilled because the surprise show was "The Platters", a singing group they grew up hearing.
Pools: We never had a problem getting chairs because we seek shade. We used the quiet pool (Solarium) all week. It's for 12 yrs and up, no music or ball playing and the rules were enforced by a "deck patrol." I'm glad because one day some loud 17-21 yr olds showed up and started playing beach ball in the pool. Since it's salt water, people were not happy getting splashed in the eyes. After about 15 minutes, a patrol man told them to stop. The 2 hot tubs in this area are great. They never had more than 7 people in them, compared to Paradise's 13!!, and the people didn't stay in too long. On Paradise, the quiet pool's hot tub was clogged with the same group of college kids all week. This was another great positive for Enchantment.
Excursions: We took the kayaking excursion in KeyWest. It was okay, no insects at all as some have reported here. We saw baby jellyfish, lots of mangrove trees, and some birds. We had frozen key lime pie on a stick($5.00) at a shop right by the pier. We don't highly recommend this excursion. We like to kayak and it was interesting, but not repeatable any time soon.
In Cozumel we went to Chankanaub Park on our own, by taxi. My parents came, too. The snorkeling is absolutely awesome!! We saw all kinds of beautiful fish. My mother couldn't snorkel, but just standing in the water waist deep, she saw tons of fish swarming around her! Admission = $10.00cash. Taxi = $8.00. They don't take credit cards. Shopping in Cozumel at the pier is frustrating. Deduct 70%for every price tag you see and stick to your guns. Paying too much is irritating.
Grand Cayman: We did the8:30am stingray snorkel. We did the9:30am one on Paradise last year. This year they were hungry!! My 12 year old got back in the boat after only 10 minutes!! Last year she loved it. They were all around, rubbing on our legs. At first, nobody at all was snorkeling. It was too crowded to begin with. The boat operators group you between boats. After more people got on the boat, we were able to snorkel and see puffer and trumpet fish as well as stingrays. I'm much more comfortable with my feet off the ground any way! My husband fed a big one with his hand in the wrong position and had his fingers sucked into a ray's mouth. He could feel the two bony plates as they scrapped his fingers. Ouch! He had small abrasions to show for it all week, but he did learn to hold the bait the right way!
Jamaica: My daughters, husband, and father did the horseback riding. We did it last year, too. They had a great time, especially my father! My mother and I took a taxi to the Taj Mahal shopping area. She bought some gold jewelry at good prices. When my daughters returned I took them there again for souvenirs. It's only a two-minute cab ride from the pier. RCI's pier there is ugly! Paradise is at the new, pretty pier and they can walk to the shopping center.
Noise: Our cabin,8078, was 2 floors above the Carousel Lounge, but I could still hear them the first and second night thru my pillow. They also hold pool parties on deck 9 and my parents heard that several nights until 1am. I didn't think vibration would be noticeable since we had sailed on Paradise and enjoyed ship movement, but on Enchantment, there is definitely some major quivering going on when they dock. It's weird! The whole bed would shake rapidly back and forth like a vibrating bed. It only lasted half a minute at a time, repeating for several minutes, but it would wake us up! I imagine lower decks felt it more. We also heard lots of drawer banging, door closing and other loud bangs (?) during the night. It was much noisier than our cabin on Paradise. The sofa bed creaked loudly, too, so we ended up putting the mattress on the floor every night. The very first night the intercom started blaring at 6:30 am and again at 8:00 am. Then at 10 and noon! We complained to my parents and they showed us that it could be turned off altogether. Thank goodness!
Teens programs: Mine refused to go. We did pass through one evening about10:30pm to go to the observation deck to see the stars. It's a great view! There were about 15 teens sitting on 2 sofas talking. They were there for a good hour doing nothing but talk. The one 17 year old girl that tried to befriend my 15 year old (who is 5'11" and looks older) at the beginning of the cruise, later told her how she was hanging out with the singles groups, being offered drinks, and staying out until 2:30 am. Made me glad my girls didn't want to join!
Overall, we had a fun cruise. We wish the ship were totally non-smoking like Paradise, though. We had to leave a late show in the Carousel lounge because of smoke, and once in the Centrium, while my parents were dancing, two men were smoking and making nasty comments to people who complained about it. There is no smoking in the dining rooms and main show room. We smelled smoke in the hallways occasionally and while in port, the halls smelled like latrines. Uggg!
I would cruise RCI again, but we'll probably get 2 cabins for privacy sake. The balcony was nice, but I'll settle for an outside window. We will try Princess, Celebrity or Holland America next time in order to attempt to find the best of both of these ships in one.Coppermom
This is for Royal Carribeans wonderfully royal Enchantment of the Seas. Date taken: march 31st- April 6th, 2001 (spring break time) I went with my dad, sister, friend Zach, and myself (Erik)
Day Before: We left that saturday after i got off work and plane departed Cincinatti Airport around 7. Flight was fun, yet a little rough. Deffanetly alot of people on the plane, since it was spring break. We arrived in Ft. Lauderdale and I remember stepping out of the airport and feeling the hot air around me, and I realized then just how much I needed this vacation. We claimed our bags, took a cab to the Comfort Inn (which was about 15 miles from port) We got to our room, put stuff there, then walked to Taco Bell which was right across the way from our hotel. From there my dad and sister went back while me and Zach walked over to Dave and Busters.
Woke up around 1030 and showered and all that. Got cab immediately (there was a line at the hotel so my dad phoned ahead and our taxi was right there!) Took maybe15 minutes tops to get to port. If its your first cruise, it really is amazing to see a huge ship in fron of you that you know you will be on for the next week. Just amazing. We got our baggages taken care of and all, then went to the check in process. Surprisingly it took a total of 10 minutes. But then we entered the "big" warehouse type room where you receive your keys and any other fees you must pay. We got through line in about 10 minutes, but when my dad went to the lady to get keys, she said there was a problem and had to go in this other line. At this point were scared. My dad was all types of mad, but it ended up being for better. After 15 minutes of waiting, it was our turn to talk to the lady. She said that they had to upgrade our cabin from deck 2 to deck 7 (which if you dont know, thats REAL good) Turned out our room was a handicap room and some other guest needed it. We then boarded the ship. Right when you walk up the plank-type catwalk thing, your jaw drop as you enter the Atrium. 2 men greet you in white suits, while your surrounded by brass rails, much art, and all other glitsy stuff. Walking in is probably the best feeling the whole trip, just the shock and amazement. We went to our rooms and talked to our cabin guy, Carl (who was totally awesome!) He told us our bags would come a little late, due to our cabin switch. We then headed to the Windjammer cafe. People complain about food in there, it is actually good, just depends when you go! Farewell Party was a fun thing to attend, watching Ft. Lauderdale dissapear in the sunset. Ill just sort of summarize thoughts on week and stuff on ship rather than going day by day.
Decor on ship was elegant, or enchanting as title renounces. Very colorful, with pastels of orange, pink, red, pretty much a Carribean feel. Brass all shiny, marble shiny, everything well maintained. Never once did I feel it was the least bit dirty. Alot of art and lights over ship. Food: VERY good. Plates decorated with pastry type stuff. Cooked as you ordered. If you were indecision between two items, our waiter (Delroy who made the trip :-) would bring both. Everynight I ordered sherbert. After the 2nd night he knew just to bring it, and also brought me extra usaully. Delroy was indeed the essence of royal service. He was fun, funny, nice, caring, and wanted to meet and exceed you every need. If we passed him during the day he would say Hey Erik and Zach. They get to know you! Its really cool! Activities: Teen program. Ill touch on that a bit. First night, we met these 2 girls our age (16) at our table (coincidence, I think not!) We talked to them and their family throughout dinner and decided to meet at FantaSeas (teen club) later. We did and stayed there for a while. The club was ok, but not all activities were fun. So usually most nights we'd leave with a bunch of people and just hang around this ship. You think itd get boring, think again. Best week of my life. Met so many people. One thing. deffanetly attend DUTS (dancing under the stars) It was THE most fun night. Some girl from Trinidad and Tobago (whom i forget her name, great conselour!) taught us dances to Carribean music with the Calypso band from 1030-1. Deffanetly every teen was out dancing and everyone was just having so much fun! Unforgettable! Ports: We had 3 ports; St.Marteen, St.Thomas, and Nassau.
St.Marteen- Most fun port. The city is just fun to walk around and obsreve. Just a fun place. best port just to browse around. St.Thomas- Me and Zach scuba dove here. It was fun but only lasted till 1. We had the rest of the afternoon to do nothing. So we walked around. Town was a loooong 2 mile walk!!! We got there, nothing to do! So we took a cab (Thank God) and stayed and tanned the rest of the day. Only day that rained (late afternoon for 20 minutes...light rain that is!)
Nassau-very fun. Me and Zach rented mopeds and drove around for 2 hours. Hint:dont rent mopeds right when you get off. Walk a bit into island. We paid 40$ for 2 hours, other people paid 35$ for 3 hours!! Journey to Atlantis resort. VERRRY cool place!
Summing it up: Enchantment makes you feel your at the beautiful sea the whole time, due to all glass windows everywhere, beautiful architecture, music, and color scheme. Deffanetly reccomend for anyone. Teens and kids have plenty to do, while parents and older people can still relax all they want! Any Questions email me at Magikalerikal@aol.com
Left out of Minneapolis/St.Paul airport the day before the cruise on a Northwest flight and arrived in Miami and stayed at the Fort Lauderdale Sheraton. The hotel was ok, but it gave us the chance to rest up for the cruise. This was our third cruise w/ RCCL, previously have also sailed on Princess and Carnival. The air and hotel package was booked through RCCL.
Left hotel about 11am for the ship and embarkment at Port Everglades went very smoothly. No lines and after our picture was taken we were on the ship by noon. We couldn't get into our room until 12:30pm, so we had lunch in the Windjammer and explored the ship. Last year we did a southern caribbean itinerary on RCCL's Grandeur of the Seas, which is identical to the Enchantment in layout.
Overall, my impression of the ship was good. The carpets, brass, and wood of the interior of the ship were in very good condition. Unlike the Grandeur last year, which needed some cleaning and refurbishing. I believe now the Grandeur has been refurbished.
Our cabin was #3568 w/ an outside view. The cabin was typical RCCLw/ small, but w/ lots of storage space. Our cabin attendant Carlton from Jamaica was very efficient. We seldom saw him, but when we did he always greeted us warmly in the hallway and the room was always made up. I enjoyed the towel animals which were made every evening for us.
Food in the Windjammer was better than last year on the Grandeur. Food was always plentiful and was served at the correct temperature. Only once did we have a problem finding a place to sit. We had breakfast in the Windjammer daily. Lunch was usually eaten in the Solarium, since we usually missed when lunch was being served. Lunch was served from only 12 - 2 pm in both the dining room and Windjammer. The hotdogs, burgers and pizza we ok, but nothing special. After reading previous reviews about the pizza, I was a little worried, but it filled us up until the real treat which was dinner. We have never missed a dinner in the dining room on all our previous cruises and this year was no exception. We were seated at table #144 on the main level. We had 10 people at our table 2 from NY, 2 from Pittsburgh,PA, 2 from Virginia, 2 from New Jersey and us from Minneapolis,MN. We enjoyed the company of these people and always talked to them whenever we had a chance throughout our cruise. Our waiter was Tomas from Hungary, and assissant waiter was also named Thomas, but was from the Czech. Republic. They took very good care of us during dinner. The food was very good, especially the soups and desserts.
Ports of Call
Key West, Cozumel, Costa Maya, and Labadee (private island of RCCL) and 2 days at sea.
Key West: We really enjoyed Key West, but wish we had more time. The ship docked at 8am, but the museums and shops didn't open until 9 or 9:30. We have never seen this problem before. The shops are always open when the ship pulls into port. We went to the Ripley's Believe It or Not and the Mel Fischer museum. Both were very interesting and worth our time. The shopping was very good, but just ran out of time. The ship left port at 3pm.
Cozumel: Shopping and drinking took up our entire day. We docked at the international pier and took a cab to downtown. Cost was $5 per taxi. We bought some Tanzinite from Tanzinite International and gifts for others. Had lunch at Carlo's and Charlies' which was good and had very strong drinks. We were in port from 10am until 7pm.
Costa Maya: Arrived about 8am, instead of the expected 7am. This ended up changing our tour we had planned. The ship's tour we had planned on taking was the "Mayan Explorer", which was going to take us to Kohunlich and Dzibanche. Since the ship arrived late into port we only went to Kohunlich which was very interesting. We did receive our money back for not going to Dzibanche. The ship left at 3pm. So we didn't have time to do any shopping.
Labadee (private island in Haiti): Very hot!! Arrived about 9am, instead of the expected 10am. We just layed out on the beach and relaxed. The BBQ lunch on the beach was very basic and acceptable. Food was hotdogs, burgers, BBQ chicken and ribs. They ran out of burgers and hotdogs, but the BBQ chicken and ribs were overcooked, dried out, and were not tasty. The marketplace where locals sold stuff was not overly priced, but very similar from one stand to the next.
Disembarkment: We had a tour planned since our flight out of Fort Lauderdale airport on Easter Sunday did not leave until 5:00pm on Northwest. We left our stateroom at 7:30am, had breakfast in the dining room and left the ship by 10:00am. Overall, disembarkment went very smooth. The Fort Lauderdale Highlights and Intercoastal Cruise was very interesting and fun. The only exception was that we had packed our sunscreen and we got a little more sun than expected. The tour ended about 1:00pm at the airport and we had Easter dinner at Chili's at the airport.
Overall: My wife and I enjoyed this cruise on the Enchantment w/ RCCL and are looking forward to our next cruise with either RCCL or Princess.
The following contains our personal reflections on our experiences, and do not necessarily represent another's perception of the very same set of circumstances.
Two sailings on Enchantment of the Seas, Jan. 20, 2002 and Jan. 27, 2002, back to back. I am 38, my wife 31, and we sailed this time with both our mothers (in their 60's) in tow, it being the first cruise for my mom. We are all from Montreal, Canada.
We flew into Fort Lauderdale the day before, arriving at 7:00 pm. Everything moved smoothly, and we were at our Hotel/Motel by 8:00 pm. Note the music they play during the baggage carousel start-up... the Macarena & ship's horns, gets you into the mood. We had heard of "incidents" with the local taxi drivers, so we checked for ID inside the cabs, but couldn't find any. All four cabs we took ran the meters, and didn't rip us off. We stayed at the Airport Travelodge (actually nowhere near the airport), and were not expecting a classy establishment. We were not disappointed. It is not a very clean place. Walked and ate dinner at Wendy's, 2 blocks down.
Took acab to the ship at 10:30, boarded at 11:15am, very smooth process, no incidents.Others in line with us were held up by unfinished paperwork. Fill it all out, folks! Apparently the ship was late clearing that morning due to passengers not showing up for customs inspection.
The Enchantment is very impressive in size and in the amount of glass and window area. Open spaces abound, and the windows eliminate any feeling of confinement, giving the ship a very airy, natural feel to her. It's like the ship belongs on the open water. We really like the Vision-Class ships, as my wife and mother-in-law are prone to motion sickness. The Enchantment was extremely stable, like our previous cruise on Splendour of the Seas. Sea conditions varied to as much as 10 foot swells, but no medication was needed. A bridge officer commented that our approach to San Juan harbour was "the roughest he'd seen in some time", and the ship took it in stride.
The ship has been some time since a significant re-fit, and it showed. Many carpets are torn, stained, and loose from their fittings in some places. Our cabin carpet was somewhat stained, and burned in spots. Lots of light bulbs were burned out, notably the ones inside the lounge tables, where you put your drinks. Many elevator buttons didn't work, or needed to be pushed with force. The mountings around some elevator buttons were worn and badly scratched. One button for floor number 9 was replaced, and was installed upside down. Nobody could figure it out, and there were two deck sixes for that particular elevator. The flaw was not corrected during the 14 days we were on the ship. The deck numbers are also worn off the elevator buttons, and quite a few up/down arrows and floor indicators do not light up.
There were walkers in our group, and we chose this ship for the wrap-around jogging deck on deck 10. This deck turned out to be impossibly windy on sea days (due to the absence of windbreaks found on other ships) and hot as Hades when in port. The walkers chose to use deck 5 instead, and this turned out to be fine... however they do close the bow are off often, making a complete circle of the ship impossible.
The solarium was a nice tranquil spot to sit and read, or swim & sunbathe, and the children only frolicked in the main pool hot tubs. A few notes. Pools are saltwater, jacuzzis are fresh. Main pool area closes at 8 pm, solarium pool & hot tubs stay open till midnight.
The ship is kept very clean, glass is shiny and all is spic & span. Pool decking needs new coat of paint in areas. There are many comfortable chairs indoors to just sit at, and lots of deck chairs available. Internet service is available at .50 cents a minute. The ship also has an ATM. A Seattle's Best coffee kiosk (charges apply) is located off the atrium on deck 6.
We were in inside cabins 3051 and 3535 on deck 3 forward. No upgrade this trip. The cabins are small but well-laid-out, with plenty of storage. Soundproofing is good. New features are a hair dryer at the vanity table and a shampoo dispenser in the shower.
Royal Caribbean is known for strict safety procedures, and this ship was no exception. We stood in the blazing sun for almost 30 minutes (twice) while the last passengers were rounded up. An elderly woman passed out during the second drill, and was carried away. The starboard side was more fortunate, being in the shade for the drill. Customs inspections moved smoothly at St. Thomas, and Fort Lauderdale (twice). Being Canadians, we were inspected in the Carousel lounge. I cannot speak for how smoothly it went for the Americans in the Orpheum theatre.
The food on the Enchantment ranged from fantastic to abysmal. Their strengths are the seafood dishes, fresh-baked breads and the desserts (Key Lime Pie is awesome!). Weaknesses are the beef dishes, excluding an excellent Filet Mignon and an acceptable Prime Rib. I had to send the sirloin steak back twice, and swallowed several other tough ones, because the chef had no idea how a medium steak was supposed to be cooked. The flame was up way too high. Most of the soup choices were pretty bad as well, and served lukewarm. We did like the cream of broccoli and Mulligitawny (Indian) soups. Salads were fresh and crisp, with three dressing choices.They also need more overall food variety, and more chicken dishes on the dining room menu. The Windjammer Cafe was acceptable in most aspects, having five hot choices daily, as well as a variety of fruits, cold sandwiches and salads. Desserts were mostly left over from the night before, but still fairly fresh. Frozen yogurt and cookies were served daily (except embarkation day) from 4 to 5 pm. There are times on this ship where the only food available on the ship consists of burgers, hot dogs, fries and pizza: 2:00 pm - dinner and anytime thereafter. Burgers & Dogs were good (ask for burgers well done, otherwise pink in center), pizza was the worst I've ever seen anywhere, just disgusting. There are no longer any hot foods served in the Gala buffet, however, the Caribbean deck buffet had several. The Taco station held up the deck buffet, because the meat was located after the fixings in the lineup. Stupid.
The entertainment this cruise was quite good, albeit over-employed. Juggler Billy Prudhomme was quite good but started to wear thin, as he appeared three times the first sailing, and was on the second as well. The comedians were passable. The Platters were good, and a real treat for the older folks. I could have done without the Motown filler-material and the "God Bless America" encore. A cheap pop from a legendary group who need not stoop to such things for an ovation.
The two shows, "Sweet Dreams" and "Flashback" were well executed, with acceptable dancing (some practice needed) and strong vocals, although a lot of the singing & music was pre-taped. Staging & multi-media were superb. The second show "Flashback" is somewhat abbreviated, with a break for a headline performer in the middle. For us, this was the second appearance (of three) of juggler Billy Prudhomme, now starting to wear a bit thin.
The pool band Mega Four, were very good, with a wide variety of material. However, they overextended themselves on a few occasions, notably on a reggae version of "Maria Maria" by Santana. Just Awful. The pool area and sound system allow you to find a seat where the volume is just perfect, and the older ones in our party were happy to sit and listen.
The disco on deck 11 was well-equipped and quite loud. However, here is my pet peeve: A disco is called a disco for a reason.. IT IS NOT THE PLACE to request rock and roll, oldies or other stuff that is played in abundance in the other six bars and lounges aboard the ship. We sat through 45 minutes of Rock-Around-the-Clock stuff one night, just because some drunk woman hollered from the dance floor for some "rock and roll music". Geez lady, go to the other lounge. The DJ did not have and/or did not play any of our requests for music from the present millennium. Other nights he played eight slow songs in a row (ZZZZZZZ ). What could have been really good was really bad instead. One good point is that security prevented the teenagers from entering the disco. The elevators were blocked from going to deck 11.
Crew and Cruise Staff:
The crew on this ship are very friendly and engaging to a man. I suppose it is the ship's policy for all crew to acknowledge and greet passengers when encountered. Several crew stated that the Enchantment was a happy ship, and they liked serving aboard her. Our cabin steward was very good, and adapted to our varying unpredictable schedule quite well. Our dining room waiters were very efficient, but still working on their english, so were not as friendly as others. The assistant waiters learned to keep bringing us soda by the second evening. Brownie Points earned.
The cruise director was just OK, not as engaging or funny as others we have seen, and his assistant, Phillipa was downright abrasive and annoying. The shore excursion director was one of the most boring individuals I have ever seen (monotone voice) and the Shopping Queen, Mandy was as perky as Kathie Lee. Other service personnel were polite and efficient.
Ports of Call:
We stayed aboard ship for the most part, as the ship's excursions were now prohibitively-priced for a group of four with Canadian dollars to spend. We did go ashore in Costa Maya, as it was a new stop for us, but only found the usual shops and trinkets. The beach here is 100 ft. long and full of seaweed. Needless to say, no-one was in the water. The rest of the shoreline is rocky. They have a tram on the pier to drive the truly lazy the 100 yards to the ship. We used it. There is also a big saltwater swimming pool in the middle of the shopping complex. If you are not into shopping for the usual mexican souvenirs, stay on the ship for this one.
RCI tends to attract upper-middle-class college-educated passengers, on this sailing aged from 40 to 70, with the median age around sixty. Most people are polite and talkative, with a few exceptions. The younger ones have yet to learn to say hi when encountering another passenger in the hallway. The Jeckel-and-Hyde thing happens on debarkation day, when everyone snaps it seems. We witnessed a woman literally yelling at another passenger because she wouldn't give up her table of four in the Windjammer. ("No saving tables!!!!"). The victim's family sat down 2 seconds later. It takes all types to cruise I guess...
Soft drinks are free in the main dining room only, not in the Windjammer. The soft drink card is $35 per week for adults, so you have to swill a lot of soda before this becomes worthwhile.... The soda card is cheaper for children. RCI also offered a frozen drink card, and a cocktail card, each limited to 10 drinks or so. An unlimited bar card was also offered at $37 a day (pick and plan your days to get hammered.... I suppose). Also, the fruit punch is no longer served in the Windjammer. Only Lemonade, Ice Tea and water. My mother is a water afficionado, and found quite a difference in drinking water quality at the Windjammer compared to the main dining room, the dining room tasting much better.
Drink prices have risen steeply since our cruise on the Splendour 4 years ago, so make sure you use the 2 for 1 coupon in the value booklet given to past cruisers. The bar staff applied the coupons to whatever we ordered, a big mix of drinks usually. Incidentally, the bar staff mix a mean Mai Tai. Bar service varied from smothering to spotty. In the dining room, we had to all stand up and wave frantically to get the bar waiter's attention for an aperatif. Bottled liquor on board: prices are up a bit. A liter of Bacardi is now $9, and was $7.50 on our cruise on Princess last year. Bailey's is 2 for $30.00, same as on shore.
The ship's staff was very adept at leaving junk mail (and of course, tip envelopes) in our cabin, and stuck on our door, however, they were not good at leaving unimportant stuff, like say, our final statement, our repeater's coupon booklet, the guest survey, and most of our hors-d'oerves & chocolate plates. We had to line up and get those at the purser's desk. Priorities........... One good point about this ship is that you can shut off the annoying announcements from being broadcast in your stateroom (sorry Mr. Bingo). However, if you like to sleep in, you will be shocked out of your bunk at 9am by a crew drill (that cannot be shut off) at least once during the cruise. And I defy anyone to sleep through that 15 minutes of alarm bells and announcements. The entire ship's menu was the same for both cruises. Considering there were a lot of back-to-back cruisers on this ship, this was a bit disappointing.
Speedy and smooth, however, a disconcerting note: quite simply put, we just walked off the ship, unchecked and unchallenged. Considering Sept. 11th and all, I was amazed at the security lapse. I could have had a kilo of cocaine or a rocket launcher in my carry-ons, and just walked away with them directly into downtown Fort Lauderdale.
Quality on RCI remains constant, even with the fluctuating rates, however, I feel it has slipped a notch overall since our cruise on Splendour of the Seas, 4 years ago. This is happening while the competition, namely Princess, are improving their product. If the cruise line maintains the low rates, I have no complaints, however, had I paid full price I would have a few issues. Would I sail RCI again? A qualified yes. They would have to offer more food choices and open a 24-hour lido restaurant before I go back. Perhaps the Voyager-class ships might be a better choice for us. Another more telling indicator is I gained 10 lbs. last year on Dawn Princess. This year on Enchantment, I didn't gain a thing.