Background - My wife and I have been on 18 cruises and this was our second cruise on the Enchantment of the Seas. We are RCI Crown and Anchor Society Diamond Members. We have also cruised on NCL, Cunard, Carnival and Celebrity. My wife and I are in our mid-forties and our son is seven. We took this cruise because we wanted to get away from the snowy cold winter in New Jersey and found this cruise to be a great deal. We weren't excited by the itinerary, but we were on the Enchantment before and loved it, so it was a no brainer for us. We took our son out of school for a few days and brought his homework with us. He is in first grade so missing a few days was no big deal.
Embarkation - Went as smooth as glass. From the car to the ship in less than 20 minutes. No issues at all!!
Ship Information - The Enchantment is an older ship in today's world making her maiden voyage in 1997. She was stretched, by adding a new section, in 2005 and is now 83,000 tons. RCI has kept her up beautifully and we always saw the deck crew working to make sure she remains beautiful. The public spaces are very nicely appointed and kept very clean. She has the requisite RCI rock wall at the stern of the ship and also bungee trampolines on the bow. She is the only RCI ship with the trampolines. She has a beautiful solarium aft of the main pool area. She has a huge main pool deck with plenty of loungers. This contains the main pool, the kids pool and the kids splash area. The solarium is adults only, but those rules were relaxed when the weather was too cool to go in the main pool. The My Fair Lady main dining room is two decks (decks 4 and 5) and Chops Grill is located on deck 6. The Orpheum Theater on decks 5 and 6 is now too small to hold everyone for the after dinner shows. The stretching added many new staterooms, but the theater seating was not expanded. Since the ship was sailing full, we needed to get to the theater 30 to 45 minutes before the show to get a good seat. The Windjammer on deck 9 forward was nice, but got crowded at peak eating times. Best to get to breakfast and lunch early on sea days to ensure a good seat and fresh food items. The ship has a lovely main lobby and centrum.
Activities - Rock wall, bungee trampolines, casino, theater, movies, kids club, shuffle board, Nintendo Wii, pools (2), hot tubs (6), computer center, card room, bars and lounges, etc.
Service - Outstanding all the way around. The friendliest crew on the high seas. Kudos to our waiter, Ian, assistant waiter, Christine, head waiter, Sherry, and our stateroom attendant, Carmen. Also Adventure Ocean staff Tetiana and Adam.
Accommodations - We had a large ocean-view stateroom on deck two amidships. This was a great location for getting to dinner, the gangway, and to the centrum. The middle of the ship is also the most stable. The room was 151 sq ft. It held our clothes and other items well. The shower as usual was small. The bed was surprisingly comfortable and I had my best sleeping cruise ever.
Dining - The food overall was average. This is par for the course with RCI. I think they are a bit conservative with their food choices and should take more chances by offering some more spicy cuisine. The Indian food on the ship was exemplary. We enjoyed each dinner at the main dining room and loved the fresh salad bar offered at lunch time. They also had a fresh breakfast bar with dried fruits, juices, yogurt and muesli. The Windjammer had all of the good stuff.:) Meats, bacon, eggs, pasta, made to order omelettes, etc. We did not eat at Chops Grill. This was a 9 day cruise. There were two formal nights on day 2 and 8. The remaining days were casual dress. At dinner flip flops, tank tops, shorts and hats are not permitted. Jeans are permitted at dinner on casual nights.
Entertainment - Was very good as usual. The production shows were older ones that we'd seen on other cruises so we skipped those. Our favorite headliners were Bobby Avron (writer of the Happy Days TV show theme) and the comedy team of John Joseph and Joey B. (Biting NY City type humor).
Children's Club - The kids club on all RCI ships is called Adventure Ocean. Our son loved it and went there 6 to 8 hours a day. He had a blast and met some friends. He was in the age 6 to 8 group called the Explorers.
Ports - Port Canaveral, Key West, Nassau, CoCo Cay. We went to the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral, which is about a 30 minute ride from the ship. We booked the VIP tour through the cruise line and had a wonderful time. It is really cool!! The other stops we explored on our own. If you have kids, the Key West Aquarium is only one block from the cruise pier and was alot of fun. We got to feed the fish, touch a Nurse Shark and pet a baby alligator. The admission price is very reasonable. Nassau is dumpy, so we stayed on the ship. CoCo Cay is a nice relaxing beach with a good lunch barbecue.
Disembarkation - As smooth as glass. Less than 20 minutes from the ship to the car. Well done!!
Overall Summary - The most relaxing cruise we have ever taken and one of the most enjoyable. Thanks to Captain Rob Hempstead for keeping the mood of the ship so relaxed and giving us those great 12 noon updates from the bridge. :) Thank you Enchantment of the Seas for an enchanting time once again!!