After tons of time spent pouring over reviews in preparation for our family cruises, I've finally decided to sign up & offer up one of my own reviews. The information I've received from other people's posts have been very helpful, so time to pay it forward. This was my 5th cruise (2nd with Royal Caribbean, and 3 with Carnival), 1st time on the Enchantment of the Seas.
Day 1 (Friday): We flew Southwest Airline into Orlando the morning of the cruise. Landed at 10:15, rented a car with EZ Car Rentals at the airport (pre booked) & drove to the Park N Cruise lot (also pre-booked), arriving at 12:30. It was actually cheaper to rent the cheapest car & leave it at the Park N Cruise location than in was to pay for a transfer with cruise line or taxi. This also gave us a car for the day we returned since our flight out wasn't until 7PM. Park N Cruise was very easy to work with. Pulled up, gave them our reservation # & keys, waited for about 15 minutes for their shuttle to take us to the ship. Arrived at the ship in about 7-8 minutes and dropped off our luggage with the porter (Park N Cruise even had staplers & stapled our cruise luggage tags on for us). We got in line at 1:00 to board, had our sea passes & passports in hand, got our picture taken & received our sign & sail cards. At 1:35 were were walking onto the ship.
Room: Large stateroom with window on deck #3 midship (room 3068). Surprised that we felt absolutely no movement or heard any noises at night. A first for us out of our 5 cruises. Typical stateroom. Small couch, full length mirror, mirrored dresser/table with drawers. Plenty of closet space (open room under beds to store suitcases & shoes too) Typical small bathroom. Liked that the shower had a closing door instead of a shower curtain. Not very hot water. Beds were ok as far as comfort, pillows very soft. Our bedding was a little dated with a couple of stains.
Pool Deck: By far the best pool deck we have ever seen out of our 5 cruises. Large outdoor pool deck with 2 pools, a splash pad for kids & hot tubs. The deck is much wider than on other ships. Lots of room for walking & tons of chairs. 1st time I've ever seen people not have to save chairs first thing in the morning. Plenty! A big movie screen is also on deck. We were able to watch the USA vs Portugal world cup soccer game, baseball game, and 2 movies. This ship also has an area called "Serenity". It is an area for ages 16 & up and is enclosed in glass. It has a small pool & two hot tubs with a bar, snack shop & lots of tables & chairs.
Food: This is where the disappointment comes in. Not very good food at all. We are very laid back & not picky eaters at all. Realize it's difficult to cook amazing quality food for 2700 people at once, so we didn't have overly high expectations. We had much better food on our Carnival cruises. We choose the My Time dining in the My Fair Lady dining room, and ate 2 nights there with reservations made earlier in the day (had the same table & servers both nights). Steak was very chewy & had no flavor, Fish was dry & flavorless. Chicken & Pasta dishes were okay. Hard to really mess up chicken or pasta. Veggies were yucky. Basically the main dishes were not very good. The Caesar salad, bread & baked potato were good. We didn't have very good service either. No conversation or pleasantries from the servers, took a long time to get in & out (1 1/2 hours), my water glass stood empty on a couple of occasions.
We choose to eat breakfast, lunch & dinner one night in the Windjammer. Breakfast was by far the best meal of the cruise. Great omelets made to order, good pancakes & french toast, bacon, potatoes, pastries, cereal, yogurt, fruit. Wish breakfast was served all day! There was a good variety of items for lunch & dinner, but still not the best quality. Definitely better than the dining room though! One of the biggest disappointments was the fact that the well know 24 hour ice cream machine on other cruises, was non existent on this cruise. Was only operating a couple of times. This is one of my teenagers (& ours too) favorite food bonus! Not sure why they had it closed so much.
There is a snack shop in the Solarium area. They served pizza, roast beef sandwiches, salads, chips, fruit cups & desserts. It was open during times when the diningroom & Windjammer weren't. We didn't eat at any of the specialty places, so I can't comment on those.
On Board Activities: We didn't use the kids club, casino, bars or see any of the variety shows. There is a rock wall & trampoline bungee on board, but much to our disappointment they were only open when we were off the ship & on the islands. It was never raining or windy, so I'm not sure whey they weren't open any other time. Our 14 & 16 year olds checked out the teen club, but it was pretty empty & they weren't interested. The comedian we saw on the last night (the adult version) was very funny! The singing & dancing in the main center of the ship was fun to listen to and watch. The deck dance party & midnight buffet was a lot of fun. Lots of food & lots of dancing under the stars. The US Cup game & movies on the big screen on the pool deck was great!
Nassau: We were in Nassau from noon-midnight. We lined up at 11:30 to be off the ship soon. We were off the ship & walking down the pier at 12:30. We booked a parasailing trip with Freddie's Hi-Tech Parasailing (highly recommend, was amazing). He picked us up in his boat right next to Senor Frogs. We had also decided on a day pass at the Melia resort. After parasailing, Freddie dropped us off right on the beach at the Melia. We went in and purchases a day pass ($30 per person). This gave us access to 3 big swimming pools, a hot tub, lounge chairs, towels, private beach, & non motorized activities (paddle boards, canoe, floating mats). They had both live & recorded music playing, a couple of bars & a restaurant. The chicken fingers/french fries & the Conch burger were yummy! Alcoholic Drinks are expensive. $10 each. It was an amazing resort & very fun & relaxing. We left at 5:30 & took the Jitney (public bus) back to the pier. They come by all the time & are $1.25 per person. Look for any of the #10 buses to take you back. Stopped at a couple of souvenir shops, and headed back to the ship for a little hot tub, shower & dinner. We didn't venture out in Nassau at night. Everything totally shuts down except for the bars & casino at Atlantis. I wish the hours at Nassau were different and we arrived in the morning. More things to do in the daytime. Not family friendly at night. Only for those who want to bar hop or gamble.
CoCo Cay: This is RC's private island, and is beautiful! We walked around and checked everything out, then walked to Barefoot Beach (much less crowded). The tide was very low and we could walk out into the ocean forever with the water only at our knees. Found baby crabs & cool fish. From 12-2, they provide a big island BBQ lunch. Ribs & chicken were good. Hamburgers & hot dogs were not. They had potato salad, mac-n-cheese, salad, lots of fruit & lots of desserts. After lunch we went snorkling & our son played basketball with some other teens that were playing. The big disappointment of the day was our kids (& us, lots of fun for adults too) missing out on the ocean toys. The get a wrist band for 50 minutes of playtime. After snorkeling, we went at 3:00 to buy wrist bands and they were closing. You are on the island from 8-5, but the ocean toys are only open from 11-3. It didn't state the hours anywhere, so it kinds sucked that we missed out on that. The last tendar to the ship is a 4:30. Not sure why they would shut it down at 3 and not open till 11. For the remainder of the time, we got floating mats and lounged in those or the hammocks. I don't agree with the fact that EVERYTHING on the ships private island cost money. It's really no different than going to any other destination, except for not as crowded since it's only ship people. You have to pay for the kids water slide, ocean toys, snorkling, life jacket, mats, etc. They don't accept cash, everything is put onto your sign & sail card. The island is very peaceful & beautiful!
Disembarking: We arrived back in Pt. Canaveral at 7 AM on Monday. We got up at 7:00, ate a large breakfast in the Windjammer & self disembarked at 8:30. If was very fast & simple. No lines or waiting. We got on our shuttle back to the Park N Cruise place, where they had our car pulled up, trunk open, air condition running waiting for us. We didn't have a flight out until 7PM, so we drove down the street to Cocoa Beach, went to Ron Jon's surf shop, then drove to Orlando and went to Disney's boardwalk. We ate at the ESPN restaurant & watched some more soccer, then walked around the lake & boardwalk. We headed back to the airport, turned our car in & hopped on our plane back home.
Overall, it was a great 3 night cruise. The weather was perfect, the ship was very nice (without being overly cheesy like some of them), the pools & solarium were great. The crew was very friendly & the port was very easy. We would cruise on this ship again. Maybe they will improve lunch & dinner by then. :)