My husband and I just returned Monday (1/27/14) from the Enchantment of the Seas weekend cruise. It was actually a mini-honeymoon. I had only cruised once before and this was my husband’s first cruise. My first cruise was actually on a smaller ship with much less to offer and while this ship is a bit old and not as large and elaborate as many new ships today, for a weekend cruise it was just the ticket!!
If you consider yourself not an elaborate over the top but more middle class everyday kind of person, you're going to enjoy this cruise just as we did. Sure, my husband and I enjoy elaborate things but are reasonable, hard working, everyday people. It seems to read many of these reviews people set their expectations way too high therefore they were disappointed.
I hope these are helpful tips/suggestions:
Arrive to the port at 10:00 am. We did and it was a breeze, you'll have first choice in the Windjammer cafe for lunch and drinks on the sun deck. It's those that don't arrive to the port until 2:00 or 3:00 in the afternoon who seem to have problems and complain that they couldn't get a seat in the windjammer or on the sun deck, etc.
Bring a carryon bag with anything you may need right away. Any checked luggage will not arrive to your room until much later (I think our suitcase was at the room around 3:00.)
Go directly to guest services if you have any problems, address them at the beginning, again early, while the lines aren't long (we had to make reservations in the My Fair Lady dining hall) So we went there first, made the reservation... in and out of line in like 15 minutes.
Then head directly to the Windjammer Cafe, you'll be sure to have a great seat, good lunch, not crowed.
We went to the sun deck for a drink for about an hour. At 1:30 we could check into our rooms. We checked in, I read something crazy that someone saw bed bugs in their stateroom, so I actually brought a flashlight and rubber gloves to inspect the mattress my self, we booked the cruise late, so we were on the 2d floor.... no bed bugs and actually really liked the 2nd floor because it was really quiet. (inside stateroom too I might add) it was small, but the attendants freshen up 2x a day.
The first night, if you get sea sick, take your Dramamine, wear the sea sick patch or I purchased some kind of oil you put on behind your ear from the gift shop because the first night is a little rocky, at least for me but I do get that sea sickness feeling easily, my husband was completely fine and many others seemed to be fine as well. We ate in the main dining room My Fair Lady for dinner, Ricky and Wilson were our waiters and they were wonderful!!! Great service!!
In Nassau, we rented a scooter... totally recommend. Just stay on the main road, you can see so much more so quickly rather than paying for a cab or walking. But seriously we didn't get off the main road, it's really not safe. We ate at the Fish Fry restaurant area for lunch, which was good and then dinner at the Sharkeez restaurant (right outside port area) The scooter had to be returned by 5:00, we ate at Sharkeez after dropping the scooter off and got back on the boat by 7:30 ---- do not stay out after dark, there have been reports of tourists being mugged lately. (the ship even has a warning on the daily day planner newsletter that is left in your room each day about this)
Coco Cay - WONDERFUL. I highly recommend the Cabenette - it's a private beach on Coco Cay, it's on $50 (it's considered an excursion) So go to guest services and book this when you get on the ship. It was so pretty and quiet, you could hear a pen drop, its not really promoted as an excursion, more word of mouth. You get a tram ride (basically it's an extra long golf cart) that picks you up right at the guest services area once on Coco Cay to take you out there and you have a bottle of champagne, fruit tray, lounge chairs under a tiki umbrella or you can get the clam shell tent and floats for the water. When you want to go back up to the main area for lunch, just tell Linda, she will have the tram come back... Marley was our driver, he is great!!! And Linda was amazing! They seriously took great care of us out there!
Last bit of advice, do the early check out and get to the deck to disembark at 7:00am.... although you can't actually get off the ship until 7:30am, the line begins at 7:00am. And if you stay at a local hotel the night before the ship left like we did, just drive to the port yourself and park in the garage there.... it's $20/day but to get right off the boat and in our car was great, we had a 6 hour drive ahead. There were other people waiting awhile just to get on the shuttle to go back to their hotel to get in their car then drive home.
I'm sorry this was long but I hope it was helpful!! Happy Cruising!!