Enchantment of the Seas Cruise Review by bedfordfallsgal: First Time Cruiser and Possibly Last Time Cruiser
Overall Member Rating
First Time Cruiser and Possibly Last Time Cruiser
Destination: Western Caribbean
Embarkation: Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
I'm a frequent traveler and this was my first cruising experience. The cabin I had was one with two twin beds and a window. I was very pleasantly surprised at the view and the size of the room. There was plenty of storage space for me and my friend which included a closet and cleverly placed drawers and cabinets. The shower and the rest of the bathroom area was a little small, but could be navigated without too much irritation. I was amazed at how well our room was kept clean by the maids/room attendants and they made frequent visits to all cabins to replace towels, soap, and sheets. The only drawback of the cabin is it had extremely limited climate control. We could never get the cabin cool enough. It was like the temperature was controled by the ship with each cabin having a limited window for altering it. My room was often stuffy. This type of temperature control seems to be a new wave in hotels and such as I've seen this set up elsewhere. I hate it. If I'm paying for the More
room, I want to control how cold it gets. If I can't make the room cold and adjust it to make it warm, I don't have climate control.
The food in the dining room (My Fair Lady) at dinner was good and there was generally a good selection of special or gourmet type foods. For casual dining (Windjammer Cafe), there was an area that provided all meals buffet style and there was a fairly good selection for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. My only issue was that it was too crowded at meal times. There was also a grill (Chops Grille) restaurant that could be eaten in for a fee and I never tried it out. In all the food areas, I was very surprised at the friendliness and professionalism of the staff. I also tried out the room service for breakfast and late night cookie snacks and they were very prompt and very tasty.
The evening shows in the theatre were well done and included performances by the original Drifters and scenes from Broadway musicals and movie music moments. The only drawback was there was never enough seating for cruisers and people were often left searching for seats. Some of the problem was due to people saving seats for multiple individuals.
On sea days, it seemed as if most of the cruisers were around the pools and it was heavily crowded. There was limited room in small pools and no pool chairs to be found. Some of the problem (once again) was due to cruisers saving seats for multiple individuals. On the night the cruisers were to meet the captain in one of the lounges, it was overly crowded (yet again) and the area felt like a sardine can. There weren't any seats which were partly due to people saving seats for multiple individuals.
There was a very nice spa with super nice attendants. The services for a fee were great and in a relaxing atmosphere. The time slots went quickly so I had to book as soon as I got on the ship. I found that people could also keep an eye out for deals on days the ship was in a port.
I've always wanted to cruise to have the experience and I'm glad I did it. However, I am the type of traveler who travels to see historic and cultural sites or shows and restaurants and wants to have an itinerary of places to visit during a day. I travel to experience another part of the world. Because of this, I found days at sea extremely boring and somewhat sad I spent so much money on what I can do at home-relax, sleep, swim, and eat. It's true the ship has activities, but I'm not much into scrapbooking class, bingo, shuffleboard, learning to fold animal towels, gambling and the like.
The best part for me was checking out the Grand Cayman excursion as I had a chance to go to the beach and see the area. Very nice and only half a day was available. Surprisingly, Cozumel was most of the day. It was fine if you like checking out another culture (I do), but the shopping off the ship stunk (despite what was promoted on the ship) and was heavily pushed by pushy salesmen. Both of these ports offered excursions which gave more activities, but they were for a fee and I was not interested in purchasing what appeared to be overpriced. I was right when I went on my own in Grand Cayman and had a good time at a fraction of the price. Cozumel was a bit more difficult to explore on your own as it was crowded and not as easy to navigate without a guide.
I also found the crowds on the ship to be annoying. I don't go on vacation to fight for what I paid for from a pool chair to a show seat. The ship space was nice on days in port and then would work back up into a crowd at sea. I also didn't like that the initial rate didn't include a lot of hidden fees like tips, certain beverages (Example-Sodas are charged on the ship so be sure and get a soda package before you go as it will save you a fortune.), alcohol, lattes, spa treatments, shore excursions, etc. They may offer the initial fee deals, but they DO get their money back. The end of the trip did not leave me wanting to take another cruise, but schedule short destination trips to places in the Caribbean. If I could offer any final advice, don't cruise if your ideal vacation is to see new places and experience new geographic locations. The bulk of cruising is aimed at lounging around. For me, the only thing that would draw me back to a cruise would be an impressive port list with very limited days at sea. I would also hope for less people fighting for their place in various ship decks. Less
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