We were looking to get away over the Christmas Holidays. Being an Elite class passenger, I had been attempting to find suitable arrangement to book a room on Celebrity Reflection out of Ft. Lauderdale. Alas, no good airline connections were to be found. Therefore, we looked at RCCL Enchantment of the Seas out of Baltimore. Since we live in the Maryland suburbs of Washington, DC, the drive is less than one hour to the port. Enchantment had just undergone a two-week overhaul in early December and boasted some nice improvements, plus being well cleaned up and painted. I found a guaranteed Junior Suite on the RCCL website and put it on 24-hour hold. I knew they had sold our all of their Junior Suites but this might be a cancellation. After my wife approved he cruise I called back to find out that since I was in the Diamond class of passenger it was likely we would be upgraded to a larger suite at the same price. A few weeks later, I did some digging and discovered we indeed had been assigned a Grand Suite around the corner from the forward elevators. I look at the floor plan a discovered a very large L shaped room with a huge balcony. This was looking good. I looked at the itinerary to discover we would make three port calls. One stop at Port Canaveral, FL, the next day, Christmas day on to Nassau, Bahamas and the next day to their so-called resort facility called Coco Cay, which was originally Little Stirrup Cay, Bahamas. It turns out that the Nassau stop was on Christmas day and no stores were open. There was the standard hawking of tours of the island, but I had my fill of touring Caribbean Islands.
Embankment was smooth and well organized. We arrived early, got a close parking spot and registered quickly. Now the start of some of the disappointments. To get to the fourth level of the ship where the bridge crossed onto the ship required walking up a series of inclined ramps to deck four while being weighed down by my carry-on. Our bags were very late so our fabulous room attendant went to look for them, located them and delivered them to our room.
Our room was lovely, large airy, vast storage space, three closets many drawers, and huge bathroom with tub, pullout couch opening into a double bed and a huge balcony. Heat and AC were well controlled. Note there is almost no shelf space as there is only one shelf in one closet that is filled with life preservers. There were no hooks to hang things and the hangers are the type that clip into the hanger holders on the clothes pole.
Food was disappointing in that it was nowhere up to the level of food or service of Celebrity cruises. A New York strip steak was good for exercise for my left hand holing the knife and my jaws. It was marginal tis the best I can say about it. Service was adequate but the food delivery was sometimes slow. I suggested to the water he take the ladies orders first and then the gentlemen's and serve the ladies first and then the gentlemen... The suggestion was received by a deaf ear. The waiter continued to serve the opposite way, i.e. men first, women second. Desserts were good and some were even first class. Dinner at their special restaurant Chops was very good as the service was quite good, food was top notch and the portions were huge. It was a delightful dinner.
Entertainment was outstanding. Their cruise director was a wonderful singer and dancer. The ships company of singers and dancers were fresh, exciting and genuinely talented. The shows included a comedian, who did an early show and an adult late night show, anther comedian on other nights doing a late night and the next day an evening show, a terrific juggler and a sensational magician. The production shows were beautifully produced and presented by artful dancing, rich melodic voices and an exuberant entertainment company. The lounge acts were run of the mill, using a European band to do American Pop and Country and Western music. Varied piano players and trios filled the bill in the other clubs on the ship.
My favorite place was the Concierge Club. A retreat for passengers in Grand Suites and above and Diamond Pus category passengers. The butler service was very most accommodating with complimentary hors' dourves and cocktails of your choice served. The room had many chairs with plush seating and had a very clubby atmosphere. We stopped by another private lounge for Diamond and above passengers but did not find the level of ambience that we experienced in the Concierge Club.
My wife used the Vitality Spa for a massage on a port call day. She informed my they were very accommodating and extended her time with no additional charge. The massage and treatment were wonderful.
The most annoying thing about this cruise was the smoking policy in the casino and the associated lack of ventilation to expel the dormant drifting cigarette smoke. Since this not the United States, smoking is permitted in the casino on non-formal nights. A non-smoking policy is enforced on formal nights. After undergoing her two-week overhaul, nothing was done to improve the ventilation system in the Casino. I had to ask people to not smoking near me because of my asthma. The casinos are operated by sub-contractor to RCCL. Why they permit their employees to be exposed to tobacco smoke every time they work is in my opinion selfish, self-serving and bordering on criminal behavior. There should be a no-smoking policy at all times thorough the entre of the ship, including staff facilities.
Disembarkation was smooth other than a minor backup a U.S. Customs. We were in-group 1 to disembark. We were off the ship and in our car in 30 minutes. After a short 45 minute ride to Rockville, Maryland and we arrived home. That's pretty good.
For an older and smaller ship, it appears to be clean and well maintained. Were it not for the convenience of the Baltimore Cruise Port I would not sail Enchantment of the Seas again.