This was our first Royal Caribbean cruise and 2nd cruise for our family. Although the 6 of us have travelled extensively (all 50 states and international), we are new to cruising. Our only other experience was a Norwegian Cruise last year to Alaska – which was great. As a comparison, domestically I tend to stay in 3-4 star places, internationally 4-5 star hotels.
Embarkation from Port Canaveral was easy and painless. Much easier than Seattle. Just drive in and either park or drop luggage then park. The service was perfect. Then the typically security and boarding. Nothing to improve. It was very smooth.
Public Rooms were great – others commented on a “worn” look to the Enchantment, but we didn’t notice that at all. Everything was well designed. The couch/lounge chairs in the theater was an interesting approach vice the NCL Jewel’s more theater-like seating.
The cabin was the only area showing some wear, but it was still very nice. The bathroom was much tighter than our NCL mini-suite. But the rest of the room had plenty of space for 5 of us to gather to await the final family member to be ready – there is always one!
The Fitness center was a bit tight, but I did like the wrap around view. The only real disappointment there was that it only had a drinking fountain and no cups. You either had to walk to a bar for a glass of water, or pay for a bottle. Disappointing. The running track was usable – if you were willing to get up early or dodge the sun bathers. It was nice that it was an even ¼ mile!
Rates for the Holiday were more than double normal, but when your wife is a teacher you only get vacation during high periods.
Dinning was a totally mixed affair. The Main Dining Room food was excellent in 90% of cases. Great steaks, wonderful fish, great salads. Then they’d bring 4 mini-shrimp and call it a cocktail. But overall, the food was outstanding. The only real issue was the mass seating. On our NCL, with anytime dinning, we’d just show up, wait 0-10 minutes, get seated, order, and eat. On the Enchantment, we’d be seated and although our servers were great and took our orders promptly, we’d wait at least 30-45 minutes for appetizers. So it was very slow. 90-120 minutes a day for dinner.
The Windjammer (buffet) was satisfactory, but nowhere near the quality of the NCL buffet. I’d rate this as notably better than I’d expect at a “mall” buffet place (but cannot speak from experience), but just good food – not great. Blasé fare. Just wish the MDR had been open for breakfast and lunch every day.
We didn’t make much use of the entertainment – too short a cruise with so many other options. The Comedian was great (and a nice guy – thanks Max for the chat on the tender waiting for the waves to subside). The “last summer” run movies were nice too. Didn’t see any other shows except the welcome (which helped convince us to not prioritize anyone but the comedian).
We took one shore excursion to snorkel and they did their job for the money. Nothing more. But I credit them for working on New Year’s Day.
Coco Cay likely would have been fun, but we had an unexpected squall hit after we were on the island. The afternoon was spent on the tender while the crew very carefully and safely unloaded us all.
The New Year’s festivities were very nice – too windy for a poolside party unfortunately, but a great party in the Centrum with free champagne at midnight (or better champagne for a charge).
The trip was well worth it and we had a great time. Not too many little ones – guess those families paid double for the Disney Cruise running the same itinerary or maybe Carnival on a similar itinerary as well. Thanks, Enchantment staff, for a great holiday to remember.