My wife and I decided to go on 9 day trip from Baltimore on the Enchantment of the Seas. We both needed a bit of a break, and the price was great.
I was a little worried that my wife would not enjoy it. Although we met on a cruise, she actually does not like cruising all that much. This trip made her a bit of a convert- especially because the ease of getting away and some of the on-board entertainment.
We are from the DC area and it was very nice to sail so close to home. Getting to the port was a breeze and we saved the hassle and expense of air travel. However, it is a long way down to warm weather. On balance, I might be tempted to pay the airfare it exchange for more warm days- but it is a close call. My wife LOVED not having to fly- so I guess we will be sailing from Baltimore.
It is an older ship- but it did not show much wear on it. My wife did notice that it occasionally had a smell coming from the toilet- but it was not too awful. We very much liked all the natural line coming into the public spaces. The ship does not have all the bells and whistles of the newer ships and I didn't feel that it quite had the charm of some of the older ships. However it was nice enough.
We very much enjoyed the on-board entertainment- especially the violin/piano duo. We felt all the on-board acts were good. Sadly, the music generally did not start until the early evening making for some long sea days (three in a row).
We felt the production shows were nice- especially the magician. However, I felt the sets and dancing were a little simplified and feel they have been cutting corners on there acts. They lost a dancer to an injury (nothing major) and did a bang up job of re-blocking the second show on the fly. Very impressive.
There was, surprise, surprise, plenty of food. Some was quite good- I felt the lobster was the best lobster at sea I have had. There were quite a few misses however- much of the meat and fish on the buffet was tough. We enjoyed the Indian food and I was very happy to see an Indian choice at dinner each night. I did feel there was not quite the variety of foods I have seen on similar ships of this size- but you will not go hungry.
The service was quite good- perhaps close to the best that I have seen in 18 cruises. The dive master/excursion people actually encourage me NOT to buy a certain excursion. The MTD dining staff was great and our cabin steward was also fantastic.
We did feel that the activities during the day were not much to our licking- leading to a lot of reading and walking/talking time for us. That was nice, in a way, but I wish they had more music or enrichment activities during the day. I played a lot of cards- but I could do that at home. The weather was nice- but a bit too nippy to enjoy the large pool deck.
The ports, by nature of where we left from, were limited. We enjoyed Port Canaveral much more than we thought- despite the rain. I LOVE LOVE LOVE cocoa cay. My wife had a very nice/simple Scuba trip there and the snorkeling was quite good for shore snorkeling. I was born in Key West- so it was nice to get "home" and it is a charming town- but not as exacting as St Thomas, Aruba or many other ports. Nassau is ok- but I have been there an awful lot and we only had about 4 hours of daylight in port. I wish we had more leave as the 12 day itinerary is much more interesting.
We did notice a number of cost-cutting items. For example, no more chocolate on our pillows (I brought some for the wife), nor eggs Benedict on the dining room menu (although I ordered and got it one day- it wasn't very good). Mainly it seemed like the shows have been somewhat simplified. They were still good- but not as fancy as they usually are. Maybe this is because I generally sail carnival and they seem to be a little more over the top in this area.
All in all we had a nice time and the end of the day my wife said she really enjoyed it. It was definitely nice to get away without the hassle of flying or driving great distances. The price was great also- so we will probably do this again some day.