Just back from Enchantment of the Seas Bermuda-Boston-Newport itinerary. This is our 7th cruise with RCI and the 4th with the kids.
Overall, this was an excellent vacation. We had connecting interior staterooms near the centrum which were very convenient for us as a family travelling with a 11 yr old and a 15 yr old. This was our first cruise on a Vision-class ship, but have sailed on 3 of the Voyager class and the Radiance, and thought we would take advantage of the convenience of a Baltimore departure.
Embarkation: Baltimore has it down perfect with Cruiseport Maryland. Both embarkation and debarkation were simple, easy, time-efficient, and the port and check-in staff very friendly. Luggage drop-off was easy, parking convenient, and we were both on and off the ship in less than 15 minutes.
Regarding the ship, starting with the positive - the crew, with only one exception, was absolutely great. The Captain and Hotel Director were personable, our dining room More
team (Glenn and Cinthia) were fantastic, our stateroom captain (Dion) was attentive, and the bar staff (Esp. Dennis, Patsy and Brian "The Booze Doctor") were exceptional. The Art Director (Billy) was very entertaining.. My younger daughter enjoyed everything Adventure Ocean had to offer (Thanks Tornado, BeadHead, Lollipop, Nemo, and Freckles), while my older one had a great time, she was disappointed that the teen lounge was also frequently used for the younger kids due to the number of children on board.
The food was classic Royal Caribbean menus, Good, but not exceptional, but nothing on the menu was bad.. We ate at Chops Grille one night, and the Filet was mouthwatering. The poolside late night buffet in Bermuda was great. Windjammer was typical of our other RCI experiences, but does get very crowded at peak times. Lunch in the dining room was relaxing and the assortment of options there for lunch, particularly the salad bar, was impressive.
The ship is in very good shape for its age, but a few areas need attention.. the pools woodwork should be redone, the tile outside the Solarium was slippery and cracked, and the exterior of the ship needs a paint job, but the ship was always clean. A few suggestions for RCI for the next overhaul: The whirlpools are too small, and the fitness center lacks luxury as there is no sauna or steam room on the ship. The spa and fitness center areas on the Voyager-Class ships are much nicer. The issues with the theater and Windjammer being undersized for the ship after the stretch are true, but both are clean and adequate facilities.
Bermuda was disappointing in that the weather wasn't great, the beach (Horseshoe Bay) was loaded with seaweed, and the surf was rough, but we had a good time in Boston, and in Newport, just scoping things out on our own. We were told by others that the Snorkel Park right next to the port in Bermuda was nice, calm, and a good time.
A few negatives worth mentioning. The Spa Manager was rude and unaccommodating. The spa "giveaway" at Sail Away wasn't actually a giveaway - it was a coupon that was limited to the most expensive services only on port days.. When my daughter won one of the raffles, she was not allowed to use it. Seems like the focus there is only on raking in revenue, not on customer service. The "Win-a-Cruise" bingo winner was told she could not book a Baltimore or Bayonne departure, even though both ports offer 7-day itineraries to the Caribbean.. Bingo-BTW-has gotten a little crazy expensive $36-$52 to play. Rick in the Schooner Bar is a talented pianist, but butchered the lyrics in almost every song he played.
We booked two more crusies while on board, and look forward to more vacations with RCI.. Less