Enchantment of the Seas Cruise Review by columbiaresident: Mildly interesting Caribbean cruise
Overall Member Rating
Mildly interesting Caribbean cruise
Destination: Eastern Caribbean
We had taken 8 previous cruises, but this was the first as a pure Caribbean cruise. With school in session, it was mostly older adults and a few younger parents with a few children under 5 or so. The ship seemed quite full, which led to some problems as I'll mention below.
First of all, we had no complaints with the ship's crew. Service was very good in the dining room, Windjammer cafeteria, and in our stateroom. In addition, I found the food generally better than on other cruises. Unlike most chefs, the ones on the Enchantment did not need to over-spice their recipes so you could actually taste the flavor of what they were preparing. Unfortunately, this varies by chef, so you cannot count on this on any future cruise.
The Enchantment was extended in 2005 by 73 feet with the addition of 114 staterooms. Unfortunately, they did not add to the size of the Windjammer or to the theater. Thus during breakfast and lunch in the Windjammer, you were subjected to a constant More stream of "eat and leave" messages to make room for others. You could ignore these, but it was intrusive. In addition, on sea days, it was impossible to get a seat in the theater for either of the 2 performances without arriving about 45 minutes early - which is not something I wanted to do on a leisurely vacation. On port days, enough people were heat-beat by beach visits so more seats were available for the later shows. This lack of space definitely hurt the cruise experience. For this ship RCI should consider 3 evening performances on sea days at 6:30, 8:30 and 10:30 pm to accommodate all.
I always use the fitness center on-board. Generally I found it uncrowded most of the time. They have a large assortment of equipment. I use the recumbent bicycles, but they were generally wearing out - some were inoperative and all could use a tuneup.
We found the live entertainment (e.g., the bands that perform in various lounges) weak on this ship. I have generally found such entertainment weaker on RCI than on other cruise lines.
Our stateroom was an oceanview cabin on deck 3. The view was good. The room seemed a bit smaller than others we have had, but was sufficient - more than enough drawer and closet space.
The ports were what we expected. Most passengers either headed to the nearest beach to bake or to go into town to buy jewelry (cheap junk or otherwise expensive diamonds). Since we like to do neither of these, we found the ports only mildly interesting. Although those who like such activities seemed to enjoy themselves.
Embarkation and disembarkation in Baltimore went quite smoothly. It took us about 30 minutes from arrival at the pier until we were on-board. We left ship and were in a taxi leaving the pier within 30 minutes at the end. (We live in Maryland near Baltimore.)
In summary, if you like cruises to the Caribbean islands to either buy jewelry or go to the beaches, the cruise was quite satisfying. My major complaint was the overcrowding in the Windjammer and the theater. Less
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