Last years Spring Break cruise being so much fun for our family, we decided to go out again this year. However, no one wanted to drive or fly to Florida again, so we decided to see how leaving from much closer Baltimore would be.
We arrived in Baltimore around 11:30 am in a pouring rain after a much shorted drive from Ohio. The parking line snaked slowly around the parking lot. The rain really slowed up the luggage drop off, but about an hour later we were parked and inside the building checking in. Check in was quick, and we were on board very shortly.
We had two side by side junior suites and supposedly had a linked reservation. Despite this, our room cards showed two different tables for dining on two different floors. So, our first stop was the dining room to beg for the 6 of us, 3 adults and 3 children, to be seated together. The hostess took pity on us and quickly gave us a new assignment in one of the private rooms in the front corners of the dining room. Initially we were disappointed not to be in the main dining room, but as the cruise went along I appreciated the small dining room. We had a great view out the windows and it was much quieter in there.
From there we braved the Windjammer for lunch. After this we rarely ate up there. It was always a madhouse. Being a spring break cruise, the ship was very full and full of children. The Windjammer buffet has a very tight design and was always way too crowded. We couldn't ever find a table for 6 and it was tough to get through the crowd to get food and struggle back to our tables.
Once done with lunch we found our cabins available and made our way there. We had cabins 8614 an 8616. These are junior suites very near the centrum elevators. This was a very convenient location. We had some noise from above during the day. I believe we were right underneath the ping-pong table, so there was some running noises overhead, but it was quiet enough at night. We didn't lose any sleep. The kids liked the pole at the foot of the bed in cabin 8614. The other cabin didn't have the support pole, but the room was large with fairly nice beds. One of the kids slept on the pull out sofa bed. While large, the sofa bed is a thin cot mattress over slats and bars. It would not have been comfortable for an adult to sleep on. The room also had two arm chairs, two ottomans which opened for "secret" storage. The kids claimed those for their stuff. The balcony contained two chairs and a table. The bathroom was large with a good sized tub and a large sink and counter with two medicine cabinets.
Around 4 pm we attempted to leave the Port of Baltimore. Shortly thereafter, the Captain announced that he had wrestled the ship back to the dock due the storm. This would impact our cruise and it was later announced that we would lose the stop in Coco Cay. After a nice evening on board we went to bed still docked in Baltimore. We apparently left sometime in the wee hours of the morning. At breakfast we awoke to find ourselves off the coast of the Hampton/Newport News/Norfolk area. It was finally sunny and while the air was brisk we had no more rain for the rest of the cruise.
We enjoyed the ship for the next two days while sailing to Florida. The kids liked the kids club so much they asked to go up there quite a lot - every day, several times a day. The liked the activities and made quite a lot of friends. They also enjoyed the pools and hot tubs. The rock climbing wall was a big hit as well. The bungee trampoline was enjoyed as well, but it had much shorter hours and the line to jump was often over an hour long. I thought RCCL did a great job with family activities. They had family trivia, karaoke, dance parties and a family quest. I was disappointed that the family movies were shown at 10 pm. 8pm would have been a better time, 10 was too late for our kids. Still, the TV showed plenty of kids movies such as Toy Story 3 and Despicable Me. Despite the large number of kids - I heard mention of at least 900 children aboard, the majority of the children were reasonably well behaved. Security staff were conspicuously present throughout the ship and I think that their active presence kept a lot of children from acting up.
The ship was clean, a little aged but beautiful with large windows looking out to sea everywhere. There was always a nice place to sit with a view. The pool chair hogging seemed to ease in the afternoon and I almost always found a place to sit fairly quickly. We say a couple of shows in the theatre. The New York Vagabonds were a big hit. If they show up on your cruise don't hesitate to take in their show. El Gaucho was the other show we saw and he was entertaining as well, although I heard that a comic later in the cruise was offensively bad.
Meals were fairly good. We had some minor problems with the dining room early on with several menu items not being available. But the staff was so apologetic and worked so hard to please us though the rest of the cruise that we quickly forgave the early problems. The only real disappointment with the dining room was the final evening we had ordered a birthday cake for one of the children who was celebrating a birthday on board. The cake was paid for and ordered weeks in advance, yet the ship had no record of the order. We made do with a slice of cake, but RCCL needs to figure out what went wrong there.
Overall it was a great cruise. It was really enjoyable sailing out of Baltimore. The Enchantment was a lovely ship and everyone had a terrific time. We may go again next spring break.