Enchantment of the Seas Cruise Review by allentownahoy: Celebrity fan sails on Enchantment and finds it good enough
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Celebrity fan sails on Enchantment and finds it good enough
Embarkation: Arrived at port around 11 and was in Windjammer by 11:45.
Room: We had an inside room which was typical of the type. Storage was fine. stateroom attendant was good. I do wish the safe used a keypad rather than a credit card.
Dining: This of course is very subjective but we were both quite satisfied. I heard quite a few complaints about the meat but since I only eat vegetarian and fish this was not an issue for me. I found the food that I had tasty, well prepared and varied. We had MTD but only ate in the MDR a few times for dinner as we preferred not spending 2 hrs at dinner and enjoyed the variety and ability to try several things at each meal. Most MDR entree and dessert selections were available in WJ as well as Indian and Asian food, sushi, stir fry. You could even get the cold fruit soups up there. Contrary to what I have read we found the waitstaff in WJ very attentive regarding getting us beverages and clearing tables. I did eat in the MDR for More lunch on a few sea days and loved their salad bar. Being able to have asparagus among other things in my salad was wonderful.
Pools and towels: I read many complaints about having to check out and return towels on RCCL as opposed to Celebrity. This was no big deal at all. Yes, Celebrity towels are plusher but you can get as many towels as you want and exchange them until 10 PM each night. I NEVER had a problem getting a lounger in the pool areas-something I was never able to say on any previous cruise. I like shade, a hot commodity, but could always get it. If the towel policy is the reason I say Bravo. My only gripe is that smoking is allowed on one side of the pool deck and sometimes if I wanted shade I had to deal with smoke. I loved the Solarium pool area and was usually able to get a lounger even there and even on our colder sailing days.
Activities and shows: My favorite activity on sea days is trivia followed by reading by the pool and watching the sea. There were lots of trivia options and I met lots of great people through this activity. The two production shows were good. I usually do not go to most of the shows. I did see a pianist, contortionist, comic-must be seen to fully understand, named Zelweig I think. He was great. My son saw an illusionist that he said was excellent.
I really liked the Enchantment and the fact that so many venues were light and had windows and views. I am still not convinced I would like a larger RCCL ship. All the staff at all venues were friendly, cheerful and helpful. There really was a whole range of activities so anyone could find things to do.
Captain Rob is a blast-very funny and visible. Participates in cake decorating showdowns and other activities.
Ports: We had 6 ports in a row and towards the end I petered out and happily stayed on ship enjoying the pools for a few.
Labadee is beautiful but the vendors in the market are awful. I really wanted to spend money there to help but they were so aggressive and obnoxious that I left very quickly instead.
In Samana at Cayo Leventado the vendors wanted to make sales but did so in a nice, friendly manner. The beach and lawns there were beautiful.
In San Juan I took the free trolley for a free tour all around Old San Juan. My son spent the whole day exploring the forts and then following the city wall all the way back down to the ship.
In St. Thomas I went to Emerald Beach. I have been there before and love it. My son went on the catamaran sail and snorkel thru the ship and had a blast.
In St. Maarten and Tortola I mostly enjoyed the ship. My son's mountain bike tour i St. Martin was cancelled so he signed up for the Reef Express snorkeling. The trip was cut short due to miscommunication between vendor and cruise line but we did get 50% refunded after voicing our dissatisfaction with the Exploration staff.
In Tortola my son went on an independent tour with Tortola to the Baths thru Tortola Charters. This was a mistake. Seas were rough and red flags were posted but when my son asked what the red flags meant he was told it just meant there were some swells. Wrong. The cruise line excursion did not end up at the Baths in the morning and the afternoon excursion was cancelled because the Baths were closed. My son's trip was a swim from the boat into the Baths and the currents were very strong and hard to overcome. Many people got scraped and bruised on the rocks. By the time he made it onto "land" at the Baths he could not enjoy it because he was worried about the swim back.
Disembarkation: I asked for a late departure time and this was really the way to go. Walked off the ship with absolutely no lines, even at Customs. Another first. Actual disembarking times ran about 30 minutes behind schedule. We actually waited in the library until our stated time and only then went to the assigned disembarkation lounge. A very pleasant, comfy place to wait after breakfast and vacating our room ( they want everyone out of their room by 9:00.
Summary: This was a wonderful cruise, despite some skepticism on my part as to how I would find the Enchantment in comparison to Celebrity. In fact it was so good that I booked the same cruise again for next year. Are there little things missing that Celebrity offers- well yes-no Aqua Spa Cafe, no sorbet and fruit served poolside, no drinks and cool towels at the pier. Was the absence of any of this enough to diminish my enjoyment of this cruise. Not at all. Less
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