We are Melissa and Rob, 39 and 47 years of age respectively. We are from Southern NJ, close to Philly PA.
When we completed our last cruise in March, Melissa suggested to me that since she suddenly has time off (she's unemployed at the moment), now may be the only opportunity to take the extra vacation I've always longed for. Well, that was an easy sell. I sailed on Enchantment by myself in 2006 and enjoyed it so immensely that since then I've wanted for Melissa to sail on her. Well, her unemployment afforded us the opportunity.
Since it was our second cruise of the year, practicality dictated that I downgrade from our customary balcony stateroom to a ocean view. Location being very important to me, I booked us a stateroom mid ship on deck 4, immediately forward of the centrum. I then booked our airfare, and we were almost ready to go.
Since we would fly into Orlando International, we would need transportation from the airport to Port Canaveral. After a thorough web search, I found a round trip shuttle service for $80 for the two of us ($40 per person). Our plane was due to arrive at MCO at 10:33 am and I scheduled the shuttle for 11:30 am. That should have given us almost an hour to deplane, walk to the baggage carousel, wait a few minutes for our bags to come out, and make our way to the shuttle pickup. Well, it didn't quite work out that way. At Philly, we waited in line behind 16 other aircraft on the tarmac for 50 minutes before we finally departed. I suddenly realized it would be a challenge to meet the shuttle, which was already paid for. We landed in Orlando 30 minutes late, only to taxi for a full 10 minutes to our parking spot. By this time, I was a complete nervous wreck, thinking we'd miss our shuttle. After a brisk run to a tram car and a short ride across the large airport, we made our way to baggage claim. Around that time I received a call from my shuttle service, which was already aware that our flight was behind, and had already arranged for a later shuttle for us. All my panic was for nothing.
We made it to Port Canaveral around 12:40, and because I'm platinum we got in the express boarding line and were onboard by about 1:15. We boarded into the Centrum, which was lovely. In 2006 the floors were stark white ceramic tile. They've recently upgraded the ship, and put some nice carpets in, which really spruced up the public areas. Our stateroom was not yet ready, so we went upstairs for lunch. Melissa remembered how much we enjoyed lunching at the Park Cafe on our earlier cruise on Allure of the Seas, so we walked through the Solarium and found the Park Cafe open, and as good as we remembered. By 1:30, an announcement was made that the staterooms were ready, so we went down to drop off our carry ons. Our stateroom was small but fine, with plenty of storage, even though we could not store our suitcases under the bed like we normally do. The bathroom had a slight sewage smell, but our stateroom attendant (Sebastian) did what he could to alleviate this and it helped, or maybe we just got used to it. I was disappointed to find out that the sundry shop onboard sold no spray air freshener as did Emerald Princess in 2010 when we had the same problem. I was also disappointed when I found out the pubic restrooms onboard had the same sewage smell, as well as some of the hallways. Perhaps this is a problem that grows worse as ships age. We'll find out soon if this is the case when we cruise on Adventure this coming February. Anyway, though it sounds a little gross, this problem did little to lessen the cruise experience for us.
Dining on the ship ran from fine to excellent. We enjoyed My Time Dining, though we ate at mostly the same time nightly, 6:30 pm (7:30 on the late night at Nassau). Doing this enables cruisers to dine at the same station with the same wait staff throughout the cruise. Our waiter was Emmanuel from the Philippines; our assistant waiter as Cinthia from Chile. They served us excellently, including keeping our drink glasses filled with complimentary beverages. The buffet was small for 2700 passengers, but during non-peak times it was actually a charming place to grab a quick bite. Made to order omelets were available there, as were hard boiled eggs which I hadn't seen before on a cruise. And, as I stated before, we enjoyed the Park Cafe for most of our lunches and late night snacks. The much lauded roast beef sandwiches were only available on the sea day, and mine was excellent. The soft ice cream was refreshing on the pool deck. The only problem I had (and I encountered this often) was curdled coffee creamer. I must have wasted 6 or 7 cups of coffee due to this. I enjoy a daily 4 pm cup, and this was a real hassle. this and the sewage smell in the facilities were both mentioned in my customer survey.
The pool deck (awesome for a ship of this size) and its activities were fun. The pool towel exchange was very busy. Many of the towels have reached the end of their useful lives. They are stained and old. The movie screen was a disappointment for us. During the day they showed music videos with no sound (why bother?), and during the evening they showed no movies (which is the allure of a movie screen). They did show the NBA play offs, which I saw some people enjoying.
The entertainment was excellent. The singers and dancers performed with passion, albeit the shows themselves are the typical cheesy fare, imho. The guest entertainment included a magic show (really excellent) and a stand-up comedian whose adult show was hysterical. Speaking of entertainment, Cruise Director Marc was perhaps the coolest cruise director I've ever cruised with. He was naturally funny and charming. There could hardly be a better host for the Love and Marriage game show.
I must confess that though the cruise seemed disappointingly short, the Enchantment crew did a great job cramming a lot of activities into a 4 night cruise. We had a wonderful time.