We have been avid supporters of RCI since we first cruised with them on our honeymoon. This was our 4th cruise with RCI and we have not been disappointed, until now. On our previous cruises, we had excellent food, service, accommodations, shore excursions, you name it. However, this cruise fell short on certain aspects.
Choiceair and airport transfers went flawlessly as expected of RCI. Staff were friendly and very helpful. Embarkation was efficient also as expected.
My wife and I had booked this cruise for the sole purpose of showing my mother-, father- and sister-in-law a good time while they were visiting the US. And from our prior experiences with RCI, we thought a cruise on the Enchantment would be perfect. For our party of 5, we booked the Royal Family Suite 8166 which was huge, had 2 nice bathrooms and an enormous balcony with amazing aft views. The iPad in-suite was a nice touch. Our suite attendant Rocky did his job to expectations, but nothing extraordinary. However, we noticed some problems which maintenance should probably have fixed prior to boarding, considering the price of this suite.
Firstly, the safe had buttons that worked some of the time, and we had to try multiple times to open it. We informed maintenance, the concierge and our suite attendant to have it fixed, but no one ever showed up when promised. In the end, we locked our valuables in our bags.
Secondly, the air-conditioning controls never worked. The living room area was always warm, even when we closed the curtains to keep out the sun. On the other hand, the inside bedroom was always freezing cold and would never warm up despite turning the A/C up to the warmest setting.
The ship had been recently revitalized and looked newer than it really was. We really liked the expanded pool deck that is larger than other Vision class ships. Ship board activities were abundant although we never really took part in any of them except the entertainment shows.
The Magic show by Hanes Magic was simply amazing. Some of the illusions truly seemed impossible, especially the finale. This was the highlight of the cruise. The headliner show, however, fell flat in comparison. The dancers and sets were alright, but the broadway selection seemed pretty random and geared towards an older generation. The addition of a couple of modern broadway tracks would have been nice.
Dining, which is usually a highlight on RCI cruises, was a disaster to our dismay. Windjammer food was average as usual. The annoying thing was that the drink station kept running out of cups and there was actually a long line for drinks, which I've never seen before on prior cruises. Park cafe cups were dirty. We had to inform the staff, who rectified it immediately to their credit. The main dining hall was a major disappointment. I ordered the classic NY strip steak medium rare, and what I got was a medium piece that was dry and had no taste at all. Our waiter (who was fantastic) apologetically brought it back for the kitchen to fix. Next time it came back with no garlic butter and was now medium well and dryer than before. Our waiter claimed that the chef measured the internal temperature to make sure it was right. Sure..... At this point, I gave up and ate something else. Not only did the kitchen butcher this RC classic, the BBB was also below par. Other dishes were so so, and not up to the standard I remember on previous cruises. As suite guests, we had a private breakfast with the ship's officers. Typically, this meal should be a highlight, but the food was mediocre, even the breakfast steak tasted way better on the Jewel of the Seas. What annoyed me also was that they put banana smoothie on the menu and than say they ran out when you ask them for it. It's breakfast time and there aren't that many suite guests, shouldn't there be some banana smoothie kept in stock for this "special" meal?
On Nassau, we took the City and Ardastra Garden tour. The city tour was so-so, but expected, considering Nassau isn't really that big. The Ardastra Garden zoo however, was amazing! Although it was small and not very modern, the experiences we had there were extraordinary. Guests can feed the parrots with apples in their enclosure, so parrots would be perched on your wrist or shoulder for an amazing interaction. Also, the pink flamingos are trained to follow commands and can march, turn and stop on command, so the flamingo show was a delight. Guests could also pose really close to them for photos. The animals seemed to be well taken care off. I would highly recommend this tour for a different experience from the usual beachy stuff.
The concierge lounge and concierge Reyno was as expected, nothing to rave about.
Disembarkation was efficient as usual and airport transfer was good.
Overall, service was good but not great. Food was definitely a big disappointment on many fronts and hopefully RCI reads the review card we filled up. I feel bad as I wanted my in-laws to have a great time like my wife and I did previously, but this became an average to good time. And considering the amount of money we spent, definitely not worth it.
Will we cruise with RCI again, yes. On the Enchantment, a big NO.