This was our second cruise with Royal Caribbean, and the second on board the Enchantment of the Seas. We live in Virginia Beach, so not having to fly to the port is an advantage. My parents were celebrating their 40th anniversary and the last time they cruised was 37 years ago. We were traveling with our 5 yr old son as well.
We stayed the night before in the Holiday Inn Express by the Stadiums in Baltimore, free parking for 7 nights and $5/night after that. Free Breakfast and shuttle to/from the pier, and they handled our bags for us- what could be better?
Morning of debarkation- Very easy, couldn't be any easier. We arrived at the port at 11am and my parents were on board before 11:30 ( My mom is in a wheel chair, so they were given priority boarding) We met them at the Windjammer by noon.
We remembered last year the Windjammer was overrun with people on the first day and that was true again, but due to it being chilly outside, no one wanted to eat outside, so it was even more crowded than I thought it would be. Chaos is a good word to describe it.
Our cabin was great, Large window and our son loved the Pullman bed and the ladder. The shower was great- no curtain that attacked us like last year (inside cat N) but rounded doors that our son also loved playing in. My parents cabin 4578 was a handicapped cabin and that was a very large room, lots of space for the wheelchair to move around in and the bathroom was very large- my parents were pleased with their cabin as well.
The food was good. My husband is a very picky eater and he was pleased with seafood they offered. We ate dinners in the dinning room and lunches anytime they were served in the dinning room as well. The Windjammer food was good- I had a salad every day, and preferred the awesome salad bar in the dining room to the buffet hands down. For dessert every night I would get a plate of fruit which was always good. My husband was a little disappointed in the desserts though.
We have to rave about the children's program on board. The Adventure Ocean program is why we cruised with Royal again. They had amazing hours 9-12, 2-5 & 7-10pm which meant my husband and I could really relax and enjoy ourselves. Our son LOVED going to Adventure Ocean and would cry when we would come to pick him up to leave. The teachers were nice, always had interesting and fun projects for the kids to do and were very helpful anytime there was an issue. Our son had a potty accident and were so nice and discreet about it to the other kids, and they gave him an Adventure ocean t-shirt and shorts to wear until we came to get him.
Also, Family time dining is outstanding. The waitstaff would literally race to see who could bring our son his dinner first. Every night we would sit down, there would be 2 beautiful cups of cut of fruit for our son to eat at his place. The waiter, the assistant waiter and even our head waiter would ask what he was having, even before the adult menus were handed out. By the time the adults were ordering dinner- his food would be brought out, and our waiter and head waiter or assistant waiter would cut up his meat for him. As a mom, it was awesome to see them working so hard to make him feel special, and give me a break. At 6:40 every night, we would bring our son to the front of the dining hall where a worker from Adventure ocean would be there to pick up the kids so we could eat dinner together as a family, and then he would go to the evening session, and my husband and my parents were then able to enjoy some adult conversation and a wonderful dinner with out a tired 5 year old. It was amazing.
The service on board was always very good- we were always treated very well, and with mom in the wheel chair - the staff did everything possible to help her out.
The entertainment was good- we saw most of the shows, nothing outstanding, but a good way to spend the evening.
The shops on board were nice, the liquor was very reasonably priced, and they guarantee the price, so if you find a cheaper price in port- they will match the price.
My husband and I really enjoyed the pools, the rock climbing wall and the bungee trampolines- all were very fun and hardly had any wait at all. We would be in the hot tubs in the mornings and there was usually no one with us.
The age of the guests were definitely older on this cruise that on our last cruise. We were one of a handful of couples under 35.
We enjoyed the live music in the bars and in the centrum, and just enjoyed the slower pace of the cruise. Many days we would find ourseves in the Viking Crown reading or on the sun deck reading and talking.
Mom and dad liked the movies they showed the afternoons, and mom did a Tia-Chi class for the first time ever (we really saw my mom come out of her shell around day 6 or 7)
Overall it was an outstanding vacation and it was great to see my parents waited on hand and foot and really enjoying themselves as well.