Enchantment of the Seas Cruise Review by ruud hartog: Great Short Cruise
Overall Member Rating
Great Short Cruise
Destination: Western Caribbean
Embarkation: Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
We needed something to fill in between our April 2008 Trans-Canal cruise from San Juan to San Francisco on the Serenade and our next scheduled cruise, so this was it. After we made the reservations, some long time friends from Massachusetts wanted to come visit us, so we told them if they wanted to really do that, they needed to join us on this cruise.
We drove from St. Peterburg FL to Ft. Lauderdale. Boarding the ship was quick and painless. Our cabins were nice but "dated" by our more recent RCCL experiences on the "Mariner" and the "Serenade".
The Enchantment of the Seas is the only ship in the "Vision" class ship series that was stretched by 71 feet. Originally RCCL intended to stretch all those ships, but the bill for this ship was about twice as much as expected, so they cancelled the remaining stretch projects. So now the "Enchantment" at 87,xxx tons is too long to fit in the Panama Canal locks. The "Radiance" class ships at 99,000 tons fit in the Panama More Canal. Also the area where they stretched the ship looks funny, as seen from the pool deck and above. Looks like a giant butterfly on both sides.
The itinerary was perfect for a short cruise. Key West (1/2 day) and Cozumel (1 day), and 1.5 days at sea. In retrospect, the cruise staff did a great job squeezing in all the landmark activities in a short time.
Food was good, better than the last two RCCL voyages we were on , and we didn't use any of the specialty restaurants such as Chops Grille (as a matter of principle, they owe us the best food without a premium).
Since this was a short cruise, we decided we would skip the inevitable formal night. As a result, our suitcase(s) were dramatically smaller, and we opted for the "board yourself" option, where you push (or pull) your own luggage. That was great and painless. As a result, we were eligible for "Express Departure", and on Monday morning we were gone long before anybody on the ship heard the first departure announcements. We spent the evening of formal night in the Windjammer, and had a wonderful (quiet !!!!!!) dinner with our friends in stages as we desired. I had Mongolian Bar-B-Que.. to die for good. They make the Windjammer casual restaurant look more intimate for dinner.
Service on the ship was great as usual.
The "Enchantment" was not as crisp as other RCCL ships we have recently been on. It showed areas of initial (or refurbishment) shoddy workmanship (like in the Solarium), as well as a need for increased corrosion control maintenance. There was rust visible here and there, but then that is not abnormal when a ship is due for drydock (is it??). Public address announcements were overbearing and way too loud. nevertheless we enjoyed it, and our friends from MA were "awed" by the experience. So maybe my wife and I are getting to be jaded cruisers.
We rated this high on value for the money since it was an initial low price accompanied by a military discount. Very good value for the money. Less
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