While blizzards hit New York city and much of the East Coast, Baltimore was sparred. however about 200 folks missed he ship due to weather related delays. Boarding was smooth and while the main check in lines looked longer than usual, the Diamond line was quite short. After about a 20 minute wait through security, we were on the ship about 20 minutes later. Not the fastest, but not bad.
Enchantment of the Seas is certainly an older ship. It shows. From the rust around the outside windows/portholes to the overall condition on the inside. Many of the bars and Casino Reek of smoke ( even when completely empty of people). In all seas conditions, the ship rattled and creaked. It was almost comical in the Schooner Bar and Crown Lounge, where everything made noise while underway.
When it rains, the Solarium leaks like crazy, with so many drips, almost hard to find a dry spot (I thought the reason for an indoor pool was to escape the rainy days).
One of the best points on the ship was the entertainment.. Not the Piano player in the Schooner bar.. He lacked in talent, but sure tried to make sure everyone had a good time... The main stage performers, Putting Oasis of the Seas aside, had some of the best entertainers I have have ever seen on a ship. Outstanding is the only word which applies. From the magician to the comics, very good.
Their did seem to be a bit of lacking in other things to do. The rock wall had very limited hours, and there were several nights that if you didn't want to sit and drink, there wasn't much else to do. They have area called "jump zone" on the front upper deck, not sure what it's about as it was broken and closed.
This ship also has a superior pool deck. Park of the lengthening of the ship was increasing the pool deck space. It was very good. Even on crowded sea days, you can find a spot closer to the pools if that is what you want.
Now let's get to the other stuff.
The food. Dreadful. In fact of the the 21 cruises (19 Royal), it was the worst.
The Windjammer was just awful. Now I have long understood that it is a buffet and will never be 5 star. However the crap we were served was shameful for RC. Breakfast was the worst. The morning biscuits could have broken a tooth and I could only pray for toast or a bagel in the morning as there was 1 person in 1 station with 1 toaster, trying to keep the whole ship stocked in toast. There would be a line in the morning waiting for toast or toasted bagel, etc. Out of 10 times in the windjammer for breakfast, I was able to get a toasted bagel exactly once...because I refused to wait 5 or 6 people deep for toasting while the rest of my breakfast got cold.
Lunch started out tasteless and uninventive, same crap every day, although the last 2 sea days, it was better. It was sad that the best lunch was on day 6, when we ate in a restaurant in St Thomas.... NOT a fancy place at that. I was so sick of Pizza and hotdogs.
The dining room was also sub-par. One night I was so disgusted at fatty and tuff rack of lamb, that I looked forward to the $3 M&M's in the room.. I was so hungry. The last formal night was fantastic, great lobster and lots of it.
The dining room service was also lacking. The head waiter worked his butt off while the Assit did little. Even after speaking with the head waiter, nothing changed. Our poor waiter worked his tail off while it was barley possible to even get our assit waiter to fill water, wine glasses and get us more bread.
One thing which I was terribly annoyed was that on New Years Eve, they gave out horns and hats at the start of dinner. Hmmm, let's think about this RC. Horns given to everyone (including children with less than attentive parents), BEFORE dinner? Let's just say it was hard to have a conversation and even enjoy dinner. It was the least enjoyable dinner of the cruise, sadly.
The crew: the bartenders and bar servers worked very hard and were very polite and service oriented. The cruise director Carly, not in making my top 10 list, but OK. The Captain, fun and entertaining, which is nice.. But as long as we get from point A to point B... Thats the important part.
The ports: Labadee is Labadee. We didn't leave the ship as it is just a beach day and it is more quiet on the ship.
Samana, Dominican Republic. It is a very poor place with not much to do. You need to take an excursion, but I do not know which one to take. DO NOT TAKE the 'Nature Hike with Waterfall' tour. The guides were nice, but once we got to place we we given bots because we are told path is muddy. (also told it is always muddy even though it hasn't rained in days). Also on this same path, people ride horses down to this waterfall. So basically you walk 30 minutes on a very rock and VERY muddy path full of Horse POOP. This is no joke. This is the most disgusting tour I have ever taken. I was gagging half the time because I was Smelling horse poop. Seriously gross. Then when we got to the waterfall, I was so underwhelmed, as were most of the guests. Let's just say 35 people brought towels and swim suits with the intent of swimming and 5 got into the water. There is no place to set your things down without it being in the mud. The whole place is just gross.
AVOID this !!!!! (My life will have purpose once I get RC to no longer off this tour).
St Thomas we just ate lunch and did some shopping. Some folks at our table had a great time in Meagans Bay at the beach there.
St Maarten is one of our favorites. Did some shopping and eating and dining along the beachfront of Phillipsburg. Some friends of ours had a wonderful time at the beach in Orient Bay.
Tortola is very pretty. We opted for the fast ferry ride over to Virgin Gorda. There we did the Baths tour. This was a beautiful beach, but the best was the walk, crawl, climbing, through the rocks to Devils Bay. The cave walk wasn't as difficult as it could have been, but you must be able to climb over rocks and squeeze into some tight places, but only for a minute. Claustrophobics, unless extreme, shouldn't have trouble.
Shopping on Tortola seemed limited and no real "deals", plan on shopping elsewhere.
The return trip had 3 sea days, which I quickly realized was too many. The 1st sea day was perfect. The 2nd well...rain and waves made for not much fun. It was mostly a of sleep and seasick pills. Although it smoothed out at night and made for a great evening and the last sea day was quite pleasant... Of course too cold for the outside decks, it was still a nice day.
Getting off the ship was easy and of course having a local port is wonderful! Home in 45 minutes is always a plus.