We boarded the Enchantment of the Seas on 1-17-2011 in Baltimore at approx. 11:00 AM. The weather was cold and cloudy. As we drove up to the ship we were all excited about the upcoming cruise. The ship looked great. We had to wait a short while in the parking lot because they were still off loading passengers. The wait was about 20 minutes. You prepay the parking charge so you can disembark and leave quickly. The waiting line to get on the ship was less than 15 minutes if you have your boarding pass. Of course it helps if you have someone who is in a wheel chair like we did. We went up to the windjammer and easily found a table and prepared to have lunch. We were a group of four. We were able to go to our room by 2:00 PM. If you're going to pick an outside cabin make sure you get one that's close to the centrum and champagne bar. It's a great location that's close to a lot. They have dance and other music and a 70's party in the centrum. The elevators are close. The first night was a roller coaster. There were a lot of people that were sick including me. It smoothed out the next day. The windjammer is great for breakfast and we used the windjammer and the dining room equally. If you go to the dining room you bypass the crowd at the windjammer. The windjammer does get a bit crowded especially on sea days but if you wait till just past prime time there is no problem. staff is great at clearing tables quickly. Omelette station was fast in windjammer and they were fluffy. Omelettes were like crepes in the dining room.
The first place we visited was labadee. We didn't get off at labadee,samana or san juan. My father who is 87 and slightly disabled didn't really want to get off on these stops so we took the time to rest and investigate the ship. The daily activities on the ship were very nice. A lot of trivia games and of course bingo on the at sea days. The crew was great. The crew members that managed the trivia games and the bingo were very good and had great personalities. This was not a bingo crowd and smaller group than on other ships. Even on jackpot final day it wasn't a huge crowd. Jackpot was $4,000 but to get to that number the payouts on previous days were rather low. On a 12 day cruise passengers seemed to be more into cards, books and visiting friends with cocktails. Activities crew were very personable and always took extra time for those of us who participated in trivia, jewelry making, scrapbooking, etc. The daily report by the captain was informative and he had a great sense of humor. Dry humor. We did get off at St. Johns, St. Martin and Tortola. St. Johns of course is great and there are a million places to buy jewelry. The ship pulls up to the dock so no no tenders. The ship also pulls up to the dock at St. Martin and Tortola. I always went to the top deck to watch the sun come up and the docking. Very interesting.
It's amazing the way the ship can maneuver next to the dock with such ease. The ship's condition overall was very nice and doesn't show its age at all. There's a few worn places but overall very clean and nice. The shows were geared to the average age of the guests. The Happenings, a singer and a comedian from the late 60s Johnny Carson era, and two other comedians, one with a cute puppet. theater was always packed. People started going into theater before staff could even retrieve all of the glasses in order to get a seat so they stopped even closing the doors between performances. This cruise had a lot of older retired people and there was quite a few walking canes. You can expect this on a 12 night cruise in January. Very few children. The wife and I are 59. They play 60's, 70's and 80's music on the ship for background. I enjoyed it very much but I'm sure the older crowd didn't. They played music like the Beatles and Led Zeppelin and other rock music. I was on a holland america 3 years ago and the crowd age averaged at least in the 70's or 80's. The music was from the 40's and 50's time period and I couldn't stand it. The meals varied from outstanding to average. We used My Time dinning and it worked out great. We found a table of 4 the first night and asked the head waiter if we could have the same table and wait staff for the rest of the cruise. The casino is very nice and has an ample amount of machines. The only problem is the cigarette smoke. although this casino seemed better ventilated than others have been. You can't smoke anywhere else on the ship except the open decks and casino but there were a lot of people who used the casino it for a giant ashtray. There was one or maybe two smoke free nights in the casino.
12 nights on a cruise ship is very nice and you get to know the ship and the crew. The trip back to Baltimore was unusually smooth. We were following a storm and didn't repeat the bad seas of the first night. The amount of at sea days were very nice. 6 Days at sea. The disembarkation took a while because we were group 23 out of 25 and we didn't get off until after 12PM. We didn't have to catch a plane so we took our time getting off. We heard there was a delay because someone fell down while walking down the gang plank and this held up things for a short amount of time. I think they were making sure there was no ice. When you get off the ship they put the luggage inside in the area that coincides with your disembarkation number. Very organized and handled very nicely. Had no problem finding our luggage. Going though immigration was a breeze and the immigration people never even asked any questions or looked at the immigration form. Quite a jolt back to reality to disembark and then have to go and scrape snow off of the car. We were so late getting off that new passengers were already arriving at the terminal and as fast as a car drove away there was a little snowplow that cleared the snow off of the pavement for the next incoming car. Would have been nice if this was a covered parking area. Can't imagine what it would have been like if there had been heavier snow. They may have cleared some while we were gone but I'm sure it becomes a liability issue and what if your car alarm goes off if they trigger it while scraping your windshield? Overall, I give this cruise a 95 out of 100. If you get a chance take this cruise for 12 nights or the 9 night cruise. We have taken Royal Caribbean one time before on the Mariner and the enchantment of the seas is a much smaller ship but it's just the right size for those who don't like the mega ships. The extension makes the ship just the right size. Very nice cruise and ship.