What a time! My husband says this is the way to go for vacation. This was our very first ever cruise, and we are ready to go back. We had the help of my brother and sister-in-law in making the decision to go on this cruise as we went with the group they had cruised with before. It was kind of a hard decision as the planning started over a year prior to the cruise itself, and that seemed like a long time away. It was all worth it!
We booked with the travel agent that the group was with even though it was in a different state and it worked great. We were able to book our own flights and save some money too. We flew to Fort Lauderdale the night before the cruise and stayed in a hotel that was about 15 minutes from port. The cost of the hotel was a bit high for the quality of the room, but you paid for the fact that you were on the beach, not that big of a deal though. The next morning we had time to catch breakfast and do a little shopping(as we had forgotten a few items), and walk the beach. The travel agent had all of our shuttles and transfers set up ahead of time. For the most part they were all good, with the exception of SuperShuttle. This company did not communicate very well the fact that our service was pre-paid from hotel to ship and ship to airport, which caused delay and confusion both times.We arrived at the Enchantment around 1:00pm and dropped off our luggage, and began embarkation right away. It was nice to be able to get right on the ship even though it was early. We had no problems with embarkation and it was very fast, 5-10 minutes max! Once on the ship I was amazed, even more so than when I arrived at the port to see this monstrosity that I would be living on for the next few days. Can you say shock and awe!?
We were greeted by the Staff as we boarded. The only thing that would have been a nice gesture was to be given a map of the ship to find our rooms and other areas a little more quickly. We found our room in about 10 minutes and they had already started bringing the luggage around. We had packed some things in a carry on just in case, but our luggage was to our Stateroom within 45 minutes of boarding. We just continued to venture out on board to see what was in store for the rest of the cruise.
Lunch was ready for us in the Windjammer, and what a smorgasbord that was. Anything and just about everything you could want was there. This would be the first of many many meals, and I mean MANY for the time we were there. We also invested in the soda package for the 6 days, which was a pretty good deal as you could get unlimited soda for $6 per day, per person. The only regret was the Wine and Dine package. This gave us 5 bottles of wine(mostly for dinners) for $129. Unfortunately, I was the only one to drink it. I know now that I will order a single glass for dinner next time, instead of drinking a whole bottle! Dinner was in the My Fair Lady dining room each night. The food was out of this world, and the service (from Saul and Dane!!) was wonderful! We had so much fun with our waiters.Day 2 was an at sea day. This gave us time to enjoy the pools, but because of the high wind that day I think we got more windburn than suntan, ha! We pretty much just relaxed on the pool deck and upper deck that day. Day 3 we were in Ocho Rios. We did some shopping in the morning, got my hair braided and then a Snorkel By Boat excursion. This was alot of fun as neither one of us had snorkeled before. We saw quite a few fish, and some beautiful reefs. They supplied us with all of our equipment and had rum punch ready when we got back in the boat(a little punch with your Rum!) By the time we got back from snorkeling we were ready to get back on board. Day 4 we were in Grand Cayman. What a beautiful place. We had a little time to shop, but not too much for me as I fell prey to the jewels in Jamaica. We went on the Jeep 4x4 Beach Adventure. This was great because we had our own jeep, top down, sun shining and 96 degrees. We followed with a group of about 12 more jeeps and toured several beach resort areas,went off-roading(husband loved this!),went snorkeling again(much nicer than Jamaica), and visited a rum cake place, yet again, a little punch with your rum. We got back just in time to catch a tender back to the ship. Day 5 we were at sea and took advantage of seeing things and doing things on board that we had not yet done(more casino, shows, etc) We had a great Stateroom attendant (Bryan) who made sure our "pets" were waiting for us upon return from dinner. We had the likes of monkeys, stingrays, dogs, and swans. The shows that we saw were also great. Our Cruise Director was the ever famous Carly B. and she was great! The only real problem I had was with the service at the Enchantment Day Spa. I had booked services for my sister and I the day we boarded. They never booked the complete information and when it came time for our services, they were only able to do half of what our request was. Then in trying to compensate by rescheduling, my sister was late to our last dinner and I missed my appointment completely. Probably would not do that again. Debarkation was a little lengthy as they like you in your color assigned area by 8:30am, and were were not called to debark until around 10:00am. Finding our luggage was a breeze and customs was easy too!
I know that we would definitely do this again as everything was absolutely wonderful! This is truly the way to take your vacation.