We sailed our first cruise on Enchantment of the Sea in 1998 to the Caribbean out of Florida, and it could not have been better. Since then, the ship has been renovated and many more rooms added. We understand this is their last trip out of Baltimore and will be going in for another renovation and then sail out of Florida.
Pros: Embarkment and Disembarkment out of Baltimore was flawless. Upon exiting the ship, my seacard pass wouldn't let me out. The attendant asked me if I had left anything behind. I told him "no" but he insisted I go to Guest Services. Thank heavens I did as I had placed my purse down in the lounge waiting to leave and left it behind. What a wonderful system that was!
Our cabin attendance, Martin, was exceptional. Because of a recent injury, I had to keep my knee constantly iced down. He brought in an enormous supply daily. We had also asked for extra towels and he was failed to deliver. Our cabin was spotless and location on the ship was perfect as well. We find giving an initial tip is a nice gesture for the attendants.
The Fair Lady Dining Room was truly wonderful for dinner. Each dinner kept getting better and better. Our head waiter "Leston" was exceptional and caterered to our every desire and made wonderful suggestions. We were travelling with 6 friends. Talking to other guests on board, I learned their experience was not as good and they experienced poor service but we did not.
The Cruise Director, John Blair, was the best we've ever had. He is multi-talented, extremely funny, and kept us entertained constantly. The comedian, magic show, Jersey Boys rendition show, and Blair's tribute to Neal Diamond were truly the best. The game show he organzed with his wife Katrina were really funny too.
Because of my knee limitation, we didn't go on a lot of excursions but the one to Cadillac Mountain was sensational. Our friends, took a lot of the others and were very disappointed.
Their entertainment at night in the lounges was also wonderful but too packed to be able to sit down, after coming out of the theater's show.
The Casino was great and dealers very accommodating.
The ship was definitely way overcrowded (over 2,000). We had a 5:30 dinner seating. In order to make the 8:15 p.m. show, we had to literaly run to the theater to get a seat and they were lousy seats as we sat in the back of the dining room and the crush of people getting out was nasy. We were told the problem was, 1,500 people were booked for the 5:30 p.m.dinner seating and only 500 for the second seating. Every evening there were constantly disappointed people who were not able to see the shows. On previous cruises, you could at least see the entertainers on TV from the evening before but they must have discontinued that. That was indeed a disappointment for the hundreds of people who were unable to get into the shows.
The Windjamer (buffet), was adequate, but the crush of people and waiting for table sin the morning and lunch were terrible. We basically stuck with yogurt and a bananna at breakfast or eggs and simple salads or light at lunch. When we decided to eat breakfast at the Fair Lady the last few days, after we could no longer tolerate the crush of guests at the Windjammer, we found the food just adequate. The staff in the Windjammer were extremely accommodating!
BTW, the soft ice cream bar outside the Windjammer is wonderful and has a choice of lowfat or the "high test".
We had the constant feeling we were nickled and dimed to death with everything. $2.50 if you wanted freshly squeezed orange juice. Their so-so wine packages are ridiculously expensive. I can see they want you to buy their wine, but it has to be corked in dining room at dinner and you can take the rest with you. When my SO cut his arm on the tender, we stopped in the Medical facility to ask for a bandaide, so we didn't have to go to the cabin to get our own, he was told very sternly, they would give him one, but if he needed more, he'd have to go to the vending machine. The bandaide was so cheap, it came off immediately.
By all means, skip the nutritional seminar at the fitness center. The first day was all about nutriotion but nothing new. He touted the second day's seminar regarding detoxing your body. That was a total waste of time, as he was only selling a product that amounted to hundreds and hundreds of dollars. I would have rather been relaxing in the solarium reading a book than wasting my time on an unproven product.
The Canadian excursions our friends took, were just not worth it and didn't see anything at either stoped they'd care to return to. On their last excursion in Nova Scotia, they had to get on and off 3 different buses and wait in line, which was not acceptable.
The jewelry you can get just as cheap or cheaper on land than on the ship. My S/O wanted to buy a Nikon camera for $299 and we checked and Walmart has it for $279. I got suckered into buying a Citizens Eco-Drive watch that does not have to be wound but runs on solar energy, which, of course, means no batteries. I was told I could not find it any cheaper and guaranteed. Well, when I returned here I found it the same price which was fine, but I also found they have a much bigger and nicer selection than on-board the ship.
There were 3 large cruise ships in the ports at one time. We were told this is unusual and hence the reason for crowds everywhere, but wonder why excursion people in the city wouldn't have more things available; i.e. Peggy's Cove.
Bottom line: Our friends agreed with us, the trip was just "ok". We loved getting together with them, and had a super time, but the over-crowded ship put a true damper on our entire trip. We were unable to get tickets to Peggy's Cove and everyone we talked to that did go, said it was spactacular. We were going to take a taxi to Peggy's Cove but it was $170 for each person!
Would love to hear cruisers experiences on board ship for this trip.