We just returned from our Enchantment of the Seas cruise that departed 03/24/2014. I usually read a lot of reviews before choosing a cruise. I have to admit I don’t usually create reviews. My family was so pleased with the overall experience that I felt we should.
We arrived at the port just before noon and were happy to see that the boarding process had already started. Our luggage was taken directly from the shuttle so fast that we were slightly concerned about where it would end up. We didn’t even have a chance to tip the luggage guys. The lines in the terminal were already gone and we had almost no wait from time we entered the cruise terminal until we walked on to the ship. Our longest wait was probably that horrible boarding photo they make you feel like you must take just after you spent hours in the car or flight. Your hair is a mess and your clothes are wrinkled. After boarding, we made our way to the windjammer café with a slight hesitation. My least favorite part of a cruise is the mad buffet rush just before rooms are made available. If you are new to cruising, the mad buffet rush is not precursor to how the rest of the cruise is managed or the food tastes. It’s just the right of passage that most cruisers endure. If you have the patience and the stomach to survive the mad buffet, the rest of the cruise is all gravy (or ice cream, or cake, or all of whatever you like to eat.) Our next big surprise was finding a seat as soon as we walked in to the passengerjammer cafe. Of course it was still a mad buffet with sub-par food. Wow, we ate pretty quick and made our way up to teen club so our daughter could see where she would be living for the next few days. Before we knew it, the loud speaker announcement was made informing us that all cabins were finished and ready. (Note: you may want to pack your swimsuit in carryon if the weather is nice. Luggage doesn’t always arrive to the room as fast as you do. You can change and be up by the pool hours before the ship ever leaves the dock.) Anyway, the boarding process was almost too easy but that is a good thing. Not long after we entered the room, our housekeeper arrived and kindly introduced herself.
We had docked next to the Enchantment of the Seas on our previous cruise on the Liberty of the Seas. I was concerned about the outside look and size of the ship. The outside of the ship appears to be a little dated and small. The ship is one of the smaller ones available in the Royal Caribbean lineup. Again, we were pleasantly surprised at how nice and clean the interior of the ship is. It has been updated with many of the nice features available on the larger ships. According to our captain, there were 2700 people on the ship but we never really felt overcrowded. If during your cruise you need to get some alone time, just go to deck 5 and walk out one of the side doors. I don’t know what it is about the open deck below the life boats, but this is always a great get away spot on any ship.
Entertainment or things to do around the ship
Activities on the ship were nonstop. We didn’t get to sleep before midnight any night. The dancing shows are not my thing (fell asleep) but the comedian and magician were entertaining. The cruise director (Marc “Bing Bong”) was one of the best we have had. He was very enthusiastic and somehow seemed to appear at everything. I think he has a twin. You don’t really realize how much a cruise director can add to the overall experience until you have a boring one. If you like to sun bathe, finding deck chairs is another cruise item you learn to love or hate. It can be a real challenge (on almost any ship) if you get out to the pool late. If you don’t want a crowd or the music, you can always go to deck five. There are plenty of empty chairs and no people. I did manage to get up at sunrise everyday. The spa workout facilities were nicely maintained but a little cramped. I did manage to get in my workouts. I wasn’t able to jog or walk on the outdoor track. The wind was so crazy every morning that it would have been really difficult.
The food was great and there was more than we could possibly eat. We ate in the main dining room every night and for breakfast. We like to do the scheduled dinner seating so that there is no wait. You also get to meet and know some really nice people that way. The food was always hot and our wait staff was excellent. Our waiter Candice was very well prepared and very informative on the menu options. We didn’t make time for specialty dinning so I have no comment there. We did have room service a couple nights. It always arrived in a reasonable amount of time but there are limited options.
These are pretty much what you make of them. There are so many options. We did the Alantis water park in Nassau. It’s pricy but we had a great time. We didn’t plan an excursion at Coco Cay. My wife just wanted a day on a lounger at a sandy beach. It was perfect place for doing absolutely nothing. I walked almost the entire length of the island. In the morning when the tide is out, you can walk probably ½ mile out from the back side of the island in less than knee deep water.
I don’t know if it was luck or what. Debarkation was very well organized and took very little time to get in to the terminal and out through customs. I think the smaller ships may make a huge difference for the embarkation and debarkation process. Our luggage arrived on the carousel shortly after we passed through customs. The whole process, from the time we left the room, took no longer than 45 minutes.
The cruise was awesome from the time we left the dock until we arrived back at the dock. The customer service from the housekeeping staff, dinning staff, customer service desk and excursion desk was probably the best we have experienced on any ship.