Enchantment of the Seas is a bit of an anomaly. Most ships are new, old or at least uniformly updated, but this one can't make up its mind. Following a 2005 refurb -- in which the ship was sliced and diced and sewn back together with the addition of a 73-foot-long midsection -- parts of the vessel sparkle like new, while others show a bit of wear.
Although the exterior of the ship is slightly faded, the midsection (both inside and outside) still looks relatively new, offering a larger pool deck, funky suspension bridges, the Boleros Latin lounge, Ben & Jerry's, a Champagne bar and the ritzy Centrum atrium, complete with glass-enclosed elevators.
Cabins are comfortable and fairly modern, but a few of the hallways show their age with scuffed walls and dented stateroom doors, some of which looked as though they had been hit with rocks ... or cannonballs.
Although the ship was full during my sailing from Baltimore to Bermuda, it never felt crowded -- not even at mealtimes. I was also surprised by the number of young adults onboard, as well as the zealous nightlife. However, those who chose to steer clear of more rowdy pursuits had plenty of options, as well; everything from trivia to Bingo was offered, and the Solarium provided a relaxing escape for lounging.
Overall, food onboard was decent, and service was efficient and friendly. Royal Caribbean's stellar youth programs kept children busy, so the hallways and pool areas weren't overrun with kids. And, although chair hogs were out in full force during my sailing, I never wanted for a sun lounger by the pool. I was, however, disappointed by the closure of the sports deck for much of the sailing, due to windy conditions that rendered the jogging track, rock-climbing wall and bungee trampoline unsafe for passengers.
Enchantment of the Seas Fellow Passengers
The majority of the passenger base consists of Americans in their 50's, but there's a fair mix of younger adults, as well. (Note: This ship is great for families, but because school was in session, there were only about 150 children, ages 17 and younger, onboard during a recent sailing.)
Enchantment of the Seas Dress Code
Casual clothing is the norm during the day throughout the ship, but no shorts or flip-flops are allowed in the dining room, and men's shirts must have sleeves (no tank tops). Dinner attire is generally resort or country-club casual, with most men wearing khakis and collared shirts and women wearing sundresses or blouses with dress pants or skirts. There is one formal night on each cruise, during which most women wear party dresses or gowns, while men opt for suits or slacks with collared shirts and blazers. Occasionally, men also wear tuxedos.
Enchantment of the Seas Gratuity
Royal Caribbean passengers are charged $13.50 per person, per day ($16.50 for suite guests). Gratuities can be prepaid or will be added on a daily basis to passengers' SeaPass accounts during the cruise. Passengers can modify or remove gratuities by visiting the guest services desk while onboard. An 18 percent gratuity is automatically added to bar tabs.
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