My boyfriend and I were on Enchantment of the Seas from March 5th to 10th, 2005. The ports of call were Ocho Rios, Jamaica and George Town, Grand Cayman.
We flew into Ft. Lauderdale the morning of the 5th. We booked our own air thru Jet Blue, which was much cheaper than getting air thru RCCL. Our flight got into Ft. Lauderdale at around 10am. We took a cab to the pier for approx. US$10. We were very early – first ones there! We had to sit and wait quite some time to board the ship. Embarkation was a breeze and we were onboard by about 12:30pm. We packed in several carry on sized bags so we were able to carry our bags right onto the ship ourselves. This was great so that we did not have to wait for our luggage to arrive later that evening outside our room.
We enjoyed everything about this cruise. It was my second (first cruise was on Carnival back in ’98) and my boyfriend’s first. He definitely has the cruising bug and can’t stop talking about booking another one! I really liked RCCL – much better than Carnival. We thought the Enchantment was beautiful – easy to get around. Walking around deck 5 was my favorite! I’ve read some reviews saying the ship is showing her age but we didn’t feel that at all. She’s in great shape and they keep her so clean. I can only imagine how great she will look later this year after she’s stretched! We would definitely go on her again.
We had an outside stateroom on Deck 2. Room was a lot smaller than I thought it would be – pictures are deceiving! We managed though. Oscar our room attendant was great. I ordered Happy Birthday decorations for my boyfriend and they threw in a free cake too! That was a nice surprise. My biggest complaint about the room is the shower. Bathroom itself was fine. There was plenty of storage space in the mirror vanity. It’s the shower that I had a problem with. It was so small – like a semicircle. The only other thing was the shower curtain – very old and dirty! I was afraid to touch it. Hopefully they will put in new ones after the stretch – I’m sure they will.
We found the food in the dining room to be delicious – we had dinner there each night. Steak and lobster were our favorites, some really delicious soups and salads as well. Our waiter was was great. Our assistant waiter was even better! We sat with 2 other couples and we had a table by the window, which was really nice. I would definitely request that in the future. We were at the late seating.
I would have to say our only complaint about the Enchantment was that the food in the Windjammer was always cold! It was good quality and tasty – we both said it would have been great if it was actually hot! We had breakfast there every morning. The only hot items we could find were oatmeal and the made to order omelets. We only ate lunch in the Windjammer the first day. The 2 days we were at sea we ate at the Solarium – delicious pizza and french fries! The other days we ate in port.
The chair hogs were out in full effect on this cruise. First day at sea we went out around 10am and could not find a seat on the deck anywhere. We ended up lying on our towels for a bit. After 1 o’clock some seats started to open up. It was too hot to sit in the solarium on the days at sea b/c the roof was closed. It was only open when we were in port. On our last day at sea I decided if everyone else is going to hog chairs, we would too. We went out and put our towels down before breakfast. I put a magazine on top of the towel on one chair, and a shirt with the towel on the other chair. We were not at breakfast that long and when we got back to our chairs someone had taken our towels! They left our magazine and shirt, just took the towels. I found this to be incredibly rude being that RC charges you money if you do not leave the pool towels in your room on the last day. Luckily I knew I could get some more in the gym locker room. This was a great tip for days in port. It was nice to have some extra towels with us!
We booked our own tours for both ports thanks to the advice we found on Cruise Critic! We used Orville Taylor in Ocho Rios - highly recommend him. We were his only 2 people on his tour that day so it was nice. He picked us up at the dock and took us to Dunns River Falls. We climbed the falls and then he took us to Mahogany Beach for a few hours. He came back for us and took us to a wonderful restaurant for lunch called BiBiBips. It was on a cliff overlooking the beach/ocean right on Main Street. You could actually see it from Mahogany Beach.
Food was great – delicious jerk chicken. He then took us shopping on the way back to the pier although we didn’t buy anything. We found everyone to be very pushy in Jamaica. They don’t take “no thanks” too well. The island is beautiful though so it’s definitely worth going to. His cost is only US$15 per person for the entire day. This does not include the $10 entrance fee to Dunns River Falls though. You pay that to him right when he drops you off at the Falls. He already has tickets for you so you don’t have to wait in any lines. We were one of the first groups there though so it wasn’t too crowded which was nice. Here is Orville's website: http://www.geocities.com/orvilletay/ Email him and he will get back to you in a few days. He's great!
In Grand Cayman we booked with Soto's Tours for the snorkel and stingray city tour. I personally didn't do either - just went along for the boat ride. But my boyfriend loved it. Swimming with the stingrays is a must in Grand Cayman. The cost of this tour was either $30 or $35 per person. It's about 2.5 hours long. After that we went to the Hyatt on Seven Mile Beach. We had lunch there at Hemingway’s and relaxed on the beach. They charge $35 to use their lounge chairs and pool. If we were going to be there for the day we would have definitely paid this. But we were only going to be there for an hour so we just laid on our towels. They don’t mind you using their beach. We grabbed a cab for $3 each back to the pier. We did a little shopping before tendering back to the Enchantment. There's lots of shopping right in town by the pier. Here is Soto's website: http://www.sotoscruises.com/
I had 2 spa treatments. The first day I had a reflexology treatment, which was wonderful! The room was so nice with huge windows. It was well worth the $99! Be careful though b/c the woman who did the treatment rang me up and she charged me about $30 more than it was listed for. She didn’t know it was only $99 so I had to go back and have the manager credit the money back to my seapass account. I didn’t plan on having any other treatments but on the last day at sea I heard the special of the day was a mini facial for just $35. I went and booked it right away. This was really nice too. Again though, the woman charged me the full price instead of the special price. The manager was not there at the time so I had to dispute this in the morning, which was the day we disembarked. It was annoying. They did credit the money back to me finally though.
We didn’t go to all of the shows. We saw the Love and Marriage show which was hilarious but if you miss this it will be replayed on the TV in your room all week! We also went to Quest, which is not to be missed! We also saw the Battle of the Sexes game on the last night. This was very funny. We caught one of the shows before dinner one night in the Orpheum…it was from stage to screen songs – very cute. Oh and the jugglers on the last night were very good.
My boyfriend enjoyed the casino. He played in the slots tournament on our first day at sea and the blackjack tournament on the last day at sea. He had a lot of fun. He also played the big bingo game on the last day, which was interrupted by the 12 Cubans we rescued that day! That was certainly interesting. The only other onboard activity we took advantage of was a wine tasting class. For $10 a person you got to try 8 different wines. They also had cheese and bread, which was good.
Disembarkation was also a breeze! We had a flight around noon and had white luggage tags so we were the first off the ship. I forget which deck you disembark from, but we just hung out there until they let the first group off. We carried our luggage off ourselves & were in a cab and to the airport by 9am! We were able to catch an earlier flight so we boarded immediately and were home in New York by the time our original flight was to leave Ft. Lauderdale.
We really enjoyed our vacation and would recommend the Enchantment of the Seas to anyone….singles, families, couples! It’s a great ship! Enjoy!