Firstly,a little about ourselves: we are mid 40s, no kids. self proclaimed wine and food snobs. we cruise for the ship, not the port. usually. More on that later.... this was our third cruise overall and first with Royal. ur first, Carnival Pride out of LA was enough to convince us we liked cruising. just not THEIR style of cruising, Second was Disney. What?! a couple of childfreebychoice middle agers on Disney?! .. yeap..and we had a blast. but this is not about the Disney Magic. This is about The Enchantment of the Seas.
and she was definitely enchanting. Baltimore is a grand whopping 20 minutes away from home so getting there the morning of was breeze. until my husband missed a turn. but I digress....
got there around 1115 ish. Didn't even have to take the luggage out of the car, they send you over to the porters first and they do all the heavy lifting before sending you to the lot. parking was a breeze, although the line to pay in cash More
was definitely much shorter($15 a day). since we had a suite we were whisked over to a short line and waited maybe 2 minutes before being ushered over to check in. as soon as that was done we went straight on board and were on deck for before noon.
I will say that at first it was CROWDED on deck 4 where you come in, and it was a lengthy wait to grab an elevator to get upstairs if you were not up for climbing steps. but once they opened up the cabin areas( by 130 and it was announced on the loudspeakers) it became much easier to get around.
Lunch at windjammer was crowded/packed/a madhouse but we did manage to snag a couple of bar stool seats. Food was not bad although to be perfectly honest my honey stung chicken, perennially lauded on CC.com was.. well.. meh.. in my eyes. good, but not OMG good.
Met up with several CC members at the pool bar immediately after the lifeboat drill. a fun time was had by all.
we had late seating(830) and it was a good thing the concierge lounge( perk of being in a GS or above and Diamond Plus and higher) had nibblies from 5-830 each night. Reyno the concierge and Frank the bartender were PHENOMENAL. Frank's JD and cokes had more JD than coke. we spent hours there daily.
*note: a few months ago they opened up cocktail hour to children. on our cruise there were 2 families that took advantage of this.. and one, not until the last night). in both cases( one set of little girls were toddlers and the other a 14 year ofd girl and a 9 y boy) the kids were quiet, non disruptive and did not negatively impact the atmosphere at all.
Overall impressions: Food was anywhere from very good to excellent across the board. one of our tablemates was a bit of a chocaholic and by the second night our waiter team knew without asking to include a scoop of chocolate ice cream with whatever he ordered( usually the choccie dessert) . w ate in WJ a few times for breakfast and lunch, as well as the Solarium. the Solarium was very simple.. burgers, dogs and fixin's as well as a limited salad bar and desserts. but it was never crowded back there and eating light at lunch meant we had more room at dinner. Breakfast was in the main DR every day except once. Eggs benedict.. yummy. The french toast was easily 3 inches thick. Throughout the day, the concierge lounge also had a continental breakfast til about 10.. croissants, a truly sublime cranberry bread, plus smoked salmon and heavier options like a cold cut tray and fruit. then about 10, 1030 that was replaced with a tray of small sandwiches ranging form tuna egg and chicken salad to ham and cheese. also a plate of cookies. DH loved the chocolate chip, I was partial to the peanut and a honey/cinnamon one. a fancy coffee machine was available 24/7 with cappuccino, latte, espresso and regular coffee options as well as hot water with assorted teas and hot chocolate packets. the Cocktail hour had heavy hors d'euvres and mid shelf line up of the basic cocktails. The wine selection was basic and not nearly as terrible as many make it sound like. a Cab, Merlot , White Zin and one white option (minimum)
The ship was constantly being cleaned by crew. never really noticed much wear and tear, despite her age. you seldom saw a table anywhere on the ship.. lounges or in any of the seating areas with dirty glasses/plates for more than a few minutes. we hit every lounge at least once and each were comfy and charming in their own ways. I could have spent hours in the Crown Viking if it weren't for my dratted seasickness on the one sea day. stupid Beryl.
Our cabin was HUGE. My first apartment was smaller, I swear. Double sink in the bathroom. my only issue was the full size tub was a bit high and it was a challenge to step in and out especially during rough seas. Luckily there are ample grab bars in convenient spots so I was never in any fear of falling. one sink had a rather large crack but that was truly the only obvious sign of disrepair. a Large fruit plate was waiting for us, and twice during the cruise, randomly in the middle of the afternoon, the Hotel director presented us with a cheese plate or a dessert plate. the chocolate covered strawberries were as big as my palm. seriously. the balcony was long.. long enough to have 2 full size loungers and small table as well as 2 chairs and a full size table on it. Bed was comfy and we had 3 nights with towel animals, the usual suspects.. the snake, the doggie and of course the hanging monkey. L shaped couch as well as a chair and a decent sized coffee table. the TV was wall mounted and maybe 20 inches. lots of lighting, and more drawer space than I have now. Limited TV options and the same movie was shown in like 4 different languages on different channels. our attendant was quiet but efficient. had ice stocked twice a day whether we asked for it or not.
Bermuda: it was our first visit and we opted to only do one real excursion.. we took the ferry to hamilton then a bus to the Aquarium. less than an hour . weather was fantastic the entire time. had no issue getting directions to the bus terminal from the ferry( it is a 3 or 4 block walk up a hill) they do drive like crazy people though.. on narrow twisty roads. Yowza. My only regret.issue was we arrived so late on Sunday( 3pm) that there was nothing to do.. Hamilton and St George roll up the sidewalks at 5, so really the only option was the Dockyard.. which actually.. was enough. did our souvenir shopping.. rum cakes, of course as well as some trinkets. the next day was a full day and you did have plenty of time without feeling rushed to do anything. the third day all aboard was 1130, so again, really only could do Dockyard unless you spent the money on a taxi or used the ferry. the buses were not running that morning for some reason. we were dockside and only saw one group truly be 'late' they got on board with about 6 minutes to spare. we liked the area so much that when we return, we will try and do some more exploring esp in Hamilton and St George.
we were so taken by the over all product that we booked the Grandeur for Sept 2013 which is taking over for Enchantment in Baltimore in the spring. Less