29 Royal Caribbean Enchantment of the Seas Cruise Reviews for Family Cruises to Bahamas from Baltimore

We have a one year old daughter and live one hour from Baltimore, thus the idea of taking 5 bags of baby crap by plane to Miami or by trunk to Maryland left us at the Baltimore Cruise Terminal. We've been on several cruises on new ... Read More
We have a one year old daughter and live one hour from Baltimore, thus the idea of taking 5 bags of baby crap by plane to Miami or by trunk to Maryland left us at the Baltimore Cruise Terminal. We've been on several cruises on new and old ships but are not stuck up when it comes to expectations. We knew that we would get lackluster ports (Port Canaveral, Nassau, CocoCay) and an older/smaller ship compared to the luxury megaships going to more beautiful Caribbean ports leaving from Florida. Here are my observations, hope they help you make the right decision for you. Departing from the Baltimore port is hectic in that the port/staff handle like two departures a week compared to busier ports. Dropping baggage and passengers off and going to park was relatively easy (you park literally steps away for $15/day) but the line was long at 11:30AM and moving slow. Luckily we had my father with us and they have a separate handicapped line so we snuck through within 15 minutes. This was the week before Spring Break, so there were few children and a lot of 30-55 yr olds with your obligatory seniors as well. Leaving from Baltimore you had a lot of locals and PA/Pittsburgh folks Our cabin was a bit larger than the tiny interior rooms we've had in the past, a large picture window offers less of a "beautiful view" and more of a way to know if it's day or night (and makes the room less tomblike). With a RCL provided pack and play for the baby we had no excess room but made do. The shower was small but servicable for an average sized adult, it was a basic cruise cabin room. The steward, Isreal, was always good about freshening up the room but we didn't make many demands. The nicest part of the ship is the Solarium, a glass enclosed pool on the 9th deck. Not only can you lounge in comfort even on cold sea days but the Park Cafe is in the rear of the complex which has good sandwiches and snacks throughout the day and late night. Of course there are people who throw a towel on a chair in the morning to save the seat to use 2 hours later. I recommend getting there earlier, its adults only but on the sea days they offer a family swim time period for the kids. We usually eat in the main dining room every dinner because the food is much better than a buffet....why eat beef stroganoff when they're serving prime rib? The wait staff in the dining room were excellent, the head waiter made sure to find out what our daughter liked and had the staff cook baby food like mashed sweet potatoes every night. At least 8 waiters stopped nightly to dote on our daughter, they all love kids and likely miss their own. The quality of the food was good, there was never a dish I did not enjoy and like I said the selection included good beef/seafood/etc that isn't found on a buffet. The few meals we ate on the buffet were OK, but the food was average and the size of the buffet was small for a cruise ship this size leaving not a lot of selection and not enough seating at most meals. We snuck more than one lunch/snack at the Park Cafe which was fast and painless. We did not pay for the Chops restaurant ($30/person), my father paid $15 for the filet served in Chops to be served in the dining room and enjoyed it. We usually go to all the shows, some art auctions, and talks/etc but with a 1 year old we spent most of the time entertaining. The nursery was installed this winter during a refurb and offers infant care for $8/hour. Most cruiselines have kids programs that do not offer many infant options outside of Disney and RCL ships with nurseries and this is part of why we selected this cruise. We only had her in the nursery daycare for 5 hours in Nassau while I dove and my wife swam with the dolphins, they seemed capable and she was the only one in there since there was few children on a cruise a week before school has their vacation. The next week they said was slated to bring 900 children on board....ouch. The diversions I can review are the casino which had blackjack at $6 minimum (odd amount), craps at $5 minimum and friendly dealers. My wife enjoyed the Blue Lagoon Dolphin Encounter and I dove a 1 tank dive with Bahama Divers I booked on my own (the cruise docked at 1PM, too late for most dive options). At CocoCay I dove again, a shore dive with only 3 participants led by a divemaster to 30 feet. There was an octopus, huge eagle ray, and unbelievably a 7 foot manatee that followed us for 30 minutes allowing us to pet him. It was the best dive experience to date for me and only $55 with equipment, a bargain. Cococay is nice, the buffet lunch is average, but finding a hammock to doze in during a cold March back home is what doing this cruise was all about Overall, the ship isn't huge and is several years old but is holding together well. If you have been on cruises and have high expectations, fly to Florida and book on a new ship with crazy features like skating rinks. If you want a quick escape and the ease of a hassle free option don't hesitate if you can get a good rate Read Less
Sail Date March 2013
Let me start by saying that I am a fan of Celebrity Cruise Line, but that in no way has tarnished my review. My DW, son, d-I-l, and a dear friend traveled from Hudson, NY to Baltimore by train to meet the ship. Upon arrival in Baltimore, ... Read More
Let me start by saying that I am a fan of Celebrity Cruise Line, but that in no way has tarnished my review. My DW, son, d-I-l, and a dear friend traveled from Hudson, NY to Baltimore by train to meet the ship. Upon arrival in Baltimore, (the first time we used that port), we were directed to a line by what deck we were on. My son, and friend were on deck 2 and were sent to a line and my DW and I were on 7. We made it through the line in 25 minutes and upon getting to the front of the line we were told that by being Crown and Anchor members we should never have been made to wait. This was not the end of the world but, it was a lack of attention to detail. We made our way to the buffet for lunch and a young boy dumped a number of dinner rolls on the floor. I have been on many a cruise and the staff would generally converge on picking up a "spill", not on this ship. Wait staff walked over the problem. Okay, I thought this was just a management issue, no attention to detail... We had breakfast out by the pool one morning at 9:00 AM and sat and had coffee, catching up on our hectic lives, and saw that many poolside tables were vacant but not bussed for over two hours. Staff were all around and walking by the tables and not cleaning them off. NO ATTENTION TO DETAIL. We had a balcony cabin. Now I know that maintenance is an important part of upkeep on a seagoing vessel, but we were given a note that our balcony would have work done on it while we were at sea. We were in two ports where painting could have been completed. The only time we could have enjoyed the balcony was when we were at sea the last two days and this was never considered. Again, attention to detail! I took a picture of confetti that was in my cabin when we arrived and that was still there when we disembarked. You know...detail! Now that I have brought up these errors, I will tell you that the main dining room staff and the food therein were fantastic. We elected the "my time" dining option and found ourselves asking for the same wait staff each night. They made the cruise. We also elected to go to CHOPS restaurant and I would recommend this to all passengers. It is truly an experience. I am not yet "sold" on Royal Caribbean. Did I HATE the cruise, no not at all. Is there plenty things that could be improved on, you bet. So, that being said...please don't think I'm judging the whole line by my two Royal cruises. I am not. I am merely stating some facts. Draw your own conclusions. Is this enough to change your thought process for picking a cruise ship? It is up to you. Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
A family group of 7 of us cruised on the Enchantment of the Seas from Baltimore to the Bahamas for the Christmas holiday cruise (12/22/12 - 12/29/12). We booked three cabins: (1) a single woman in an inside cabin, (2) two ... Read More
A family group of 7 of us cruised on the Enchantment of the Seas from Baltimore to the Bahamas for the Christmas holiday cruise (12/22/12 - 12/29/12). We booked three cabins: (1) a single woman in an inside cabin, (2) two retirees/grandparents in a deluxe oceanview cabin, and (3) a family of four (two children ages 2 and 4) in an adjoining deluxe oceanview cabin. The experience overall was very much a mixed bag. I would say more positives than not, but the negatives were really bad - especially the fiasco of a shore excursion to Disney World (never again). Pros: (1) Booking through American Express - AmEx Platinum has a partnership with Royal Caribbean, so we had VIP Priority embarkation and didn't have to wait in line at all. Using AmEx also gave us the additional perks of a free bottle of Moet & Chandon Imperial Champagne in our room waiting for us, a free bottle of red wine in cabin, free dinner for two at Chops specialty restaurant, free soda plans for children (which we adults used!), and a $100 onboard credit. These were nice perks. (2) Embarkation - A breeze. Thanks to AmEx, we didn't have to wait in the long line at all. We parked around 12:00 PM and were onboard drinking champagne by 1pm. Our room was ready earlier than anticipated. NOTE: the Muster drill was outside, which was chilly. But the drill seemed a lot shorter than other drills we've participated in, so nothing unbearable. Just be sure to bring your coat in winter! (3) Dining - My Fair Lady / Main Dining. Our entire party agreed that the food onboard was generally excellent in the main My Fair Lady Dining Room. There were delicious seafood options every night, ranging from horseradish-crusted salmon, sea bass topped with shrimp, New England lobster tail one night, rock lobster tail the last night, barramudi, shrimp cocktail, snow crab legs salad, etc. Appetizers were delicious and varied, ranging from salads to soups to shrimp cocktail and everything in between. Desserts were hit or miss....cruises always seem to use the same congealed-pudding-type filling for every dessert, no matter what the flavor, chocolate, strawberry, etc. I am a not a steak eater, but my husband and other family members enjoyed the filet on the second night, but said the NY strips and prime rib in the My Fair Lady dining room were grizzly and tough. Chops Steakhouse - Specialty Dining: We did experience Chops steakhouse one night for dinner because we had a free voucher. I thought the seafood in the main dining room was actually better than Chops' options. But for steaks, Chops was far superior, according to my husband. And Chops also had better side dishes and much better desserts. Overall, I didn't think Chops was worth the upcharge, considering the My Fair Lady dining room food was probably the best we've had in a main dining room on a cruise. Windjammer Cafe -- We only ate lunch here on the first day/embarkation and it was decent, typical cruise buffet food. Some ethnic dishes, burgers, fried chicken, salad bar, pasta bar, fresh fruit, etc. Nothing to write home about, but not bad either. Reminiscent of college cafeteria food. We did have several breakfasts in the Windjammer, which were decent but not outstanding. Similar to a free hotel breakfast with rubbery waffles and pancakes. I will say that the one delicious breakfast option at Windjammer was the egg bar, when the chefs would custom make any type of omlette or egg dish for you. But this require waiting in line (sometimes long). We also liked that Windjammer had turkey sausage in addition to the beef/pork options. Breakfasts in My Fair Lady were superior, if you had the time and patience for a sit-down. Park Cafe -- This was the snackbar type option to go to near the pool when the other dining areas were closed. Apparently Park Cafe is a new option that was just installed a couple of weeks before our cruise, while the boat was in dry dock. There is a bagel bar in the morning, oatmeal, and grab-and-go breakfast sandwiches and panini, similar to what you would see in a Starbucks pastry case, same for muffins and danishes. For lunch/afternoon/evenings there are pre-made sandwiches, panini, soups, and salads. My husband had a particularly good asian shrimp noodle salad. I had a couple of panini that were delicious. A nice addition for a quick no-hassel meal or snack. Ben and Jerrys / Coffee - We didn't go to these because they required upcharges. (4) Entertainment- for a smaller scale ship out of Baltimore, I have to hand it to the entertainment on this cruise! The cruise director, Luke, is a MADMAN...seriously, this guy has more energy and talent then most large-scale Vegas acts. And he is a hottie, too! :) I will never forget how he lead the 70s Disco Party with other staff dressed up like the members Village People, from head to toe in fireman, indian, sailor outfits, bare chested, dancing and singing. Hilarious. True, genuine, energy. This guy loves his job and is great at it. He was a delight to the cruise! The other entertainment was also quite fabulous, much to our surprise. We expected cheesy cabaret-type shows. And while, Yes, there were a couple of those (some of the cruise singers are just so-so), there were some arists and acts that completely stood out. There was a young juggling husband/wife team, who were incredible! The juggler was so into his passion, you could see the excitement and go-for-it attitude when he showed us all some of his tricks-in-progress (even when he missed the first time). The guy was amazing! There was also a magician on-board who, along with his wife/team, were the excellent quality of a Vegas-or-TV style show. It was real good stuff....and we are not gullible, and tend to be very critical/sarcastic with these types of things. We were very impressed by the entertainment onboard. Some of the entertainment singers were just ok. But some were standouts. We saw one show called "Can't Stop The Rock" which was a variety show of movie-themed songs. It was cheesy and pretty boring. The comedian was funny, but not outstanding. But the entertainment was worth it for the juggler and magician! Awesome! Maybe it was because this was Christmas week, but there seemed to be a very special energy on the boat. One of my favorite memories will be the Christmas Caroling in the centrum on Christmas Eve around 10:30 PM, with staff, entertainers, children, and passengers alike, all singing Christmas carols up and down 5-6 levels of the ship in the centrum, with the accompaniment of the ship's live orchestra. It was beautiful. There was also a really nice apperance by Santa, who took photos of the kids. And all children received a complementary gift from Santa. My two year old son received some Fisher Price Little People beach toys, and my 4 year old daughter received a reusable/insulated lunchbag. It was a nice gesture. (5) Ship overall - nicely decorated and well thought out. The centrum was especially nice, airy, bright. The pool decks were nice and not typically crowded (obviously part of the cruise was cold). On the nice days in port, everyone went off the boat, so the pools were nearly empty. There is a nice kiddie splash area, and a separate pool area for older children and adults. There is also a solarium pool that is supposedly adults-only, but because it's indoors and it was cold that policy was not enforced. The only complaint we had about the pool deck is that they have two HUGE scantron screens that blast music all day/night long. When we are lounging at the pool, we don't always want to be blasted by hip-hop music from Justin Bieber and Nicky Minaj. Even grandpa (who is semi-deaf in one year) asked them to turn down the freaking music! (6) Cabin steward - Our cabin steward Elmer was amazing. He went above and beyond to make our very cramped and crowded cabin livable and cheery. Between "decorating" the cabin with our kids' toys to making towel animals. He was a super nice guy and knew all our names within the first day. This guy was top knotch! He was trustworthy and gave us a good vibe. Most of the cabin staff were nice and friendly and helpful. (7) Kids Clubs. The cruise got SO much better for my husband and I for the second half when we decided to take a chance and enroll both our 4-year-old and 2-year-old in the kids club/nursery for a couple of nights, so we could enjoy the entertainmnet/shows and a dinner without food flying and fussing/wiggling/ overstimulated kids. At first we were not comfortable with the kids clubs...the first half of the cruise they were absolutely packed and we didn't trust the staff. But toward the second half/end of the cruise, the kiddie crowds thinned a bit. My daughter spent two evenings in the Aquanots club for children ages 3-5, and had a blast. They have a great evening program when you drop the kids off at 5:00pm and they will feed them dinner in the Windjammer (pizza and fries) and then entertain them with activities until midnight. And it's FREE! My 2-year-old son went to the nursery, which is a separate area for younger babies and toddlers under the age of 3 and not toilet trained. It was a great facility with a 4:1 ratio of childen:caregivers, lots of fisher price toys, cribs for resting/naps, climbing equipment, and a large screen TV with Dora the Explorer on it. We dropped him off at 5:45 PM, and they also fed him dinner and took care of him until about 10pm, after we finished watching the show. He had a great time. For overprotective parents like us, they gave us each a pager in case there were any issues whatsoever. We also inquired about bathroom breaks for our daughter (we didn't want any strangers taking her to the bathroom), and the policy is that children in the 3-5 club have to use the potty by themselves....no staff goes with them. They have a potty right in the aquanots club that the kids use. There is a charge for the nursery of $8/hour, which was a bargain, considering we pay our babysitter over 2x that amount. Both kids were happy to go to the kids club, and seemed well cared for. My husband and I peeked in on them both nights we used the services, and the kids were playing and happy. So for any nervous parents like us, I can recommend it. We were told in an emergency that our 4 year old would be brought to our muster station (she had a wristband she had to wear the entire cruise with her identification, room, and muster station number). For the infants, the staff carry the babies down to their respective muster stations and wait until parents arrive. (8) Coco Cay - This stop at Royal Caribbeans private island made the whole trip. It was a full beach day, relaxing, lots of chairs and space available, lots of things to do for young kids, great lovely beaches, and yummy BBQ lunch. I have read that many times if seas are rough RC will skip this port...how awful! It really is the best stop on the cruise. We thoroughly enjoyed the shopping, beaching, relaxing, and drinks. (9) Blue Lagoon Island in Nassau - This was a positive shore excursion experience. We took a nice 60-min boat ride to a little island lagoon near Nassau. Nice calm beach. Good lunch included in price. The only problem is that we only had about 2-3 hours on the lagoon because the port stop was relatively short. Our ship didn't get into Nassau until nearly 1pm and then we had to be back on board relatively early. But the ferry ride to blue lagoon island, and the experience on the island was very nice. Perfect for young children. Calm and safe. Cons: Shore Excursion. Port Canaveral - Walt Disney World Shuttle. I have no idea why Royal Caribbean even bothered to advertise a shore excursion to Walt Disney World for the stop in Port Canaveral. It was an expensive waste of time and money. The boat didn't get into port until 11am, we were off by 11:30am and it took an hour by bus to get to Disney. We got to the park at 1pm only to be told that the Magic Kingdom was CLOSED because the park had reached capacity and was full. This was the one stop my kids were really looking forward to and talking about for weeks in advance. You can imagine the tears from my daughter when she couldn't see the Magic Kingdom. And the upset parents, grandparents, and children all on the bus. Even worse, we were out $300 for park tickets and $100 for the bus ride. And we had to wait until 7pm to take the return bus back. We also had a character dining reservation in the Magic Kingdom that we couldn't get to because we couldn't get into the park. So I had to spend nearly an hour on the phone with WDW reservations trying to avoid a no-show penalty. It was an AWFUL experience! The bus didn't drop us off at the Magic Kingdom as promised, but instead took us to the WDW transportation hub and basically made us fend for ourselves. With two elderly grandparents and two young children, this was no easy feat. We ended up packed in the Animal Kingdom, which no one really cared to visit. And because we didn't want to have to wait until 7pm or 8pm for the return bus, we ended up shelling out nearly $200 for private transportation back to the boat. When I went the next day to the shore excursions desk to ask for a refund, the gentleman at the desk was rude and hostile. Apparently a lot of other families had complained about the Disney fiasco and he was not in a good mood. He started to write up a report for his supervisor, noting my complaints. When i started to read the report over his shoulder to make sure it was accurate, he yelled at me, put his hand over the computer screen, and said it was "private" and "not for me to read!" This is MY report, and I wanted to make sure it was accurate. I received a phone call the next day from a supervisor, saying I would be refunded the shore excursion bus ride, but I have yet to see the credit on my credit statement, and it's been nearly a week! Guess I need to call back on that one. The Bottom line - Don't bother with a Disney day trip as a shore excursion from Port Canaveral. The bus gets in way too late to enjoy anything. It's a waste of time and money. In fact, the Port Canaveral stop should just be skipped. It's not really warm there, there isn't a whole lot to do, etc. Royal Caribbean would be better off just skipping over it and going straight to the warm and tropical bahamas for another day. And don't bother with anything Disney during Christmas vacation week. The Magic Kingdom park was closed at capacity of 75,000 before 12 noon on both December 24 and I heard also December 25 and December 26 and December 27. The Animal Kingdom was packed body to body. We only got to go on two rides for the entire time we were there. And then we left. Save your money! Cabin - If we were in a deluxe oceanview cabin, I would hate to see the regular sized one. Soooooo small for a family of four with two young children and all their stuff. Especially since Santa paid a visit too. IMPORTANT NOTE FOR YOUNG FAMILIES: our cabin was technically able to sleep 4 however, this room was not equipped to host two young children under the age of 5. We had our two-year-old son in a pack n play, but there was nowhere for our 4-year-old daughter to sleep! The room had two pull-down beds from the wall, but we were told once we were onboard they are for children ages 8+. There was no sofa or sofabed in the room, despite that I was told that by Royal Caribbean reservations at least twice. So, my daughter had to sleep in the bed or on the floor(!) while my husband or I slept with in the pulldown bed. Not exactly romantic. So parents with young children....I would advise to upgrade to a family suite that has a sofabed or sofa for another young child to sleep on. I don't think Royal Caribbean customer service knows what they are talking about. I specifically asked and confirmed with them that the room had a sofa or sofabed for our daughter. They knew the ship and even knew our pre-selected cabin number. But there was NO sofa bed. Service - We opted to do the My Time Dining instead of a regular seating. And I think service suffered because of this. Not only did we have to prepay all our gratuities, but the service wasn't as good because we didn't get to know our waitstaff the way the routine seating times did. We had some servers who were excellent (Lakinder Singh from India - was an outstanding exception...he even cut our children's food for them!), but in general with the Mytime Dining we found the service to be sub-par. Some of the waitstaff seemed bothered or offended when we asked for extra napkins, an extra dessert for the kids, or there were problems like the wrong drink brought to us. Other of our requests were simply ignored! Breakfast service in My Fair Lady was downright rude at times. We found the service in Windjammer to be much nicer for breakfast. The cruise was packed and I think the servers were very hassled and overworked with so many people onboard. Ridiculous Upcharges - This really pissed us off. Sitting for breakfast in the My Fair Lady dining room, a server came by offering fresh squeezed orange juice. Of course we all said sure. Then he informed us that there was an upcharge of $2-$3 per juice. What? Did we not just pay for a cruise? This was not labeled on the menu. Same for coffee. I ordered a latte only to be told that there would be a $2-$3 upcharge for it. Again? It seems like Royal Caribbean was trying to upcharge us for everything. You want a better steak? $20 more. You want a lobster tail? $29 more. You want better coffee? $2. This happened over and over again. We expected the cruise line to push things like photographs, shops etc, but did NOT expect to pay for fresh squeezed orange juice. I will take the plain old regular juice, thanks. Wifi - In this day and age, there is no need to charge something like $7/min for Internet service. Thank goodness we had it in port. Crowds/illness - This was a very crowded boat, since the holiday cruise was sold out. Lots of sick people, too. And Lots of sick staff. The captain was sick. The shore excursions director was sick in the infimary. Mention of this staffer or that staffer being sick. Seems like everyone had the flu. They blamed it on the boat being in dry dock for the two weeks prior, but I didn't buy that. There definitely was something going around. Thankfully we avoided it...but not everyone did. The grossest was seeing some guy vomiting/hacking into a trash can right in front of the elevators on the first day just after embarkation. We all got into the elevators and prayed he stayed out. Also saw evidence of "illness" in the public restrooms. We made a point of using the bathroom in our stateroom with the kids or for us. Some of the public rooms were gross - for two days the hallway outside of the orpheum theater smelled like vomit. When we embarked, we all had to fill out a health form, certifying that no one you are traveling with has had flu-like or gastroinstestinal symptoms within the past week, otherwise they had to be evalated in the infirmary. I think TONS of people lied on that form. People were coughing and hacking all over the place. Thank God I brought along 3 canisters of antibacterial handwipes for the kids. This is another reason we avoided the buffet in Windjammer....lots of sick people touching tongs and coughing around the food. I actually saw one lady picking up food using her bare hands instead of the tongs. GROSS! Because it was so crowded and it was cold for 4/7 days of the cruise, the inside of the boat was usually packed. On the 6th day of the cruise, while we were at sea, my family spent 30 minutes looking around the boat for somewhere to sit. Every place was packed. On a warmer cruise, folks would be spread out more on deck. Casino - Location was right outside the orpheum theater, so you and your family (and kids) had to walk through a smokey casino back and forth to get to the shows. Poor placement. Also, poor that the casino was so smoky all the time. The smoked waffed everywhere into the theater and around the other public facilities. We appreciated the two "smoke free casino nights" that the boat had on formal nights. That gave my husband and me the opportunity to play a bit of blackjack without infecting our lungs. Overall, the cruise was an enjoyable time for our family. There were definitely some highlights but absolutely some lowlights. On a grade scale, I would give the food an A-, shore excursions a C, cleanliness of boat B-, restaurant service B-, Room service A. ports B-. Overall three stars. I don't think I would do a holiday cruise like this again. Too crowded. But I would cruise with Royal Caribbean again on a different ship to different, warmer, ports. Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
We aren't a family vacation family. When the kids were little, we tried the rental-house-at-the-beach thing, but that fell by the wayside once the kids had summer things they wanted to do. However, now that we have older teens ... Read More
We aren't a family vacation family. When the kids were little, we tried the rental-house-at-the-beach thing, but that fell by the wayside once the kids had summer things they wanted to do. However, now that we have older teens starting to leave the nest, we wanted to find a new way to spend time together as a family. My daughters have very different interests and tastes. I'll call them Patty and Cathy. If you remember the Patty Duke Show, you'll understand the reference. I booked this cruise shortly before Thanksgiving, at which time there weren't many options that worked with our schedule. We wound up in the Royal Family Suite because it was available, and very little else was! Having nothing to compare it to, I can only report on our experience. Getting to the Cruise Baltimore terminal couldn't have been easier. (We live about 20 minutes to the south.) Even with the snow, we had no problems getting there, figuring out how to proceed, parking, and getting inside. Patty has a health problem and cannot stand for long periods, so I had some anxiety about standing in lines. We did encounter some lines, but she was able to rest on my rollaboard suitcase. I recommend bringing along something--a seat cane or a rolling bag--if you are traveling with someone who cannot stand. Once through security, we were quickly onboard because we got to go through the suite passenger line. (There was one family in front of us.) I could see the line could be pretty long otherwise. We were able to get into our suite at 1:30, and found it to be very comfortable for the four of us. We had the mid-ship Royal Family Suite, which I gather may be smaller and differently configured than the ones at the aft of the ship. Just inside the cabin door were a small bedroom (just big enough for the bed...I'd thought I had asked for it to be arranged as twins but it wasn't, and I'm not really sure it could be) and a small bathroom with a stall shower. Pat these was a pleasant living room with a sofa and two club chairs, and a coffee table, but not the dining table we'd seen in the floor plans for some other RFS staterooms. Separated from the living room by a sliding glass door (and curtain), we had a nice master bedroom with balcony, and its own bathroom with tub. The balcony was just big enough for four chairs and a small table. This suite theoretically can sleep up to 8, if I recall correctly, but I think it was just right for four. The beds were very comfortable and there was plenty of storage. We dined every night in the Main Dining Room (late seating) and found the food to be generally good, but certainly not great. The service was attentive and accommodating, and we got personal help from the head waiter in identifying items that contained peanuts (Cathy is allergic). However, as nice as she was, our lovely and attentive waiter did not, as far as I could tell, learn our names or remember from one day to the next that we don't eat shellfish. Or pork. (If she'd remembered that, I think Patty's spaghetti wouldn't have arrived with that prosciutto on top the last night...) But really, the wait staff couldn't have been nicer. We tried all the different venues--room service, main dining room, Windjammer, and Park Cafe for other meals and would say that everywhere, the food is pretty good, but nothing to rave about. I'd done enough research not to be surprised or disappointed. I was happy that there was always something available I didn't mind eating. Some of the desserts were good enough to go back for seconds. As far as activities, we went to a few of the trivia games in the Schooner Bar, karaoke nights in the Spotlight Lounge, some of the shows and games that the staff put on, but didn't see the headliners in the theater. I will say--don't go on this cruise ship for the karaoke. I've had a better karaoke experience in a friend's living room. The song selection is limited and there are not enough books for people to look through. But hey, we had fun. The game shows, like Quest, Love and Marriage, and Battle of the Sexes were more fun than I expected them to be. If there is one thing I can say about the passengers on this cruise, they were really good sports! People got really into participating and made it a lot of fun for those of us watching. We went to the first production show with the Royal Caribbean Singers and Dancers and thought it was...fine. Had they been amateurs we would have been really impressed. However, for professionals, I think they didn't quite meet my expectations but it wasn't an unpleasant experience. My daughters did a couple of the dance lessons and a craft activity or two. They tried checking out the teen activities (Cathy was hoping to find Patty someone else to hang out with so she could read a book in peace), but they really weren't happening, despite having a lot of kids on board. (I can't remember if they said 400 or 500.) For what it's worth, they did let Cathy into the teen lounge even though she's 19...they never asked her. There isn't anything visible on the Sea Pass to identify passengers as being over or under 18, and they never asked to scan her Sea Pass. She was even able to get Patty a soda using Patty's Sea Pass and soda cup. No one ever scanned it to see if she was Patty. One thing that made me anxious about cruising was the prospect of crowds, lines, insufficient chairs, etc. I was pleasantly surprised that the ship hardly seemed crowded at all. We hardly ever had to wait in any type of lines and there was always a chair when Patty needed one. The pool deck was awfully crowded on the day we started our two-day sail from the Bahamas back to Baltimore, and the inside of the ship started to feel a little crowded on the last day when the weather was really bitter on the pool deck and everyone was inside. Other than that, though, we could generally find chairs and tables when we needed them, could walk right up to what we wanted at the buffet, etc. The longest lines I encountered were at guest services, the first day, when many people's Sea Passes didn't open their staterooms, and the last night, when many people (including me) felt the need to get a look at their bill before it was delivered to the stateroom. I understand some ships offer the ability to review your bill from the TV in the room; this one doesn't, although, oddly, some material in the room indicated that it did. The ports of call for this cruise were Port Canaveral, Nassau, and Coco Cay. At Port Canaveral, Cathy and my husband did an excursion to NASA, which they enjoyed. Patty and I stayed on board and enjoyed the empty ship. She got a massage (they have a reduced price service list for kids, called Y-Spa), jumped on the bungee trampoline with no waiting, got the personal attention of the two guys running the otherwise-abandoned climbing wall, and took a nice long bath. On our Nassau port day, we took our time leaving the ship (had lunch in the uncrowded Windjammer after lots of people had gone ashore) and enjoyed walking through the shops collecting the freebies that the port shopping lecture lady had given us coupons for. (I didn't go to the lecture, but I saw it on the closed circuit TV and then stopped to chat with her near the Guest Services desk, where she plied me with coupons for free jewelry at several different shops.) We also didn't rush off the ship at the first opportunity in Coco Cay, although in retrospect it might have been wiser to do so. We had a hard time finding a place to "park," because there did seem to be more people than beach chairs. (Two ships were there.) Eventually we got a couple of hammocks in the shade and were happy. Patty and my husband went parasailing and Cathy went snorkeling. Firsts for everyone and they enjoyed these very much. The shore excursions are pricey, though. The trip wasn't without glitches, but in general, we had a pleasant and unstressful time. We liked it enough to put down a deposit on a future cruise. Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
Air travel for me this year was a disaster, which made cruising out of Baltimore very attractive -- only a three hour drive from our home and no airfare cost or delays!!! My kind of travel. We booked this trip back in August and ... Read More
Air travel for me this year was a disaster, which made cruising out of Baltimore very attractive -- only a three hour drive from our home and no airfare cost or delays!!! My kind of travel. We booked this trip back in August and invited two other families to join us -- one of which had never cruised before. That family was very reluctant to take a cruise and had many negative preconceived notions. Now that the trip is behind us I do believe that they will ultimately cruise again and walked away with a positive experience. Departure Experience We booked a Grand Suite, and as a result, were given a separate line for check in at the port. This was a great perk and cut down significantly on our wait time. We knew in advance that this particular ship was an older and smaller ship, so our expectations weren't grand. However, our first impression of the ship was positive and we were very pleased with our accommodations. The Grand Suites are a good size, with nice furnishings and great bathrooms. The staff at check in was extremely pleasant and the entire process (parking, unloading, checking in, boarding, etc.) was pain free and quick. Stateroom Observations While we loved our room I would never book this particular stateroom again. 8532 is directly across from the service elevator, and the noise from the elevator at all hours of the night made it very difficult to sleep through the night interrupted. That, coupled with the noise of the Windjammer overhead, translated to a week of poor sleep quality. I should have checked this out prior to booking so I feel that I have only myself to blame for this. Lesson learned and hopefully will never make that mistake again. One other detail that made this stateroom problematic is the sliding door that whistles all night long. While I miss being on the ship I don't miss the poor sleep I got while on board as a result of the above issues. Despite the above we had a great cabin steward (Bobby) so I feel bad complaining/being so nit picky. Overall Suite Experience In spite of the above, I can't say enough about how much I love traveling Royal Caribbean via Suites. I love the extra space, the great balconies, the priority seating and MOST IMPORTANTLY, access to the Concierge Suite. This was a highlight of our cruise!!! Reyno, our concierge, is perhaps the best in the business!! While I was skeptical when he said on the first day that he has a following, I was a definite believer by day 3 on the ship. Whatever they pay this guy is not enough -- he is THAT GOOD. I can't imagine that I will ever encounter a concierge better than Reyno on future cruises. Dining Experience Is Royal Caribbean the best dining experience in the cruise industry? Probably not. But there are many things I liked about the food on this ship. Made to order salads in the My Fair Lady dining room as well as the Solarium cafe were a highlight for me. There was usually something on the dinner menu each night that was a standout, just as there were items each night that weren't so great. The folks in our party got good at figuring out what to order and we ultimately weren't disappointed, as a result. I do have to say that I didn't find the evening Dining Room staff to be particularly friendly and on some nights found these folks to be somewhat rude, in fact. I didn't find that to be a problem in the Windjammer or other venues on the ship, however. On Board Experience A big highlight for me was the fitness center (love, love, love Rene, the fitness instructor!!). The classes I took were wonderful and the lectures very informative and valuable to me. This was a no-joke workout experience for me and I will miss my Rene workouts. Beyond the fitness center the activities options were endless and the entertainment top notch (we particularly loved the Quest gameshow and Bingo). We traveled with kids ranging in age from 12 to 25, and all were happy/well occupied. Ports There were so many things that I loved about this itinerary (Baltimore to Port Canaveral to Nassau to Coco Cay back to Baltimore). We did a Sea Lion Encounter excursion through the ship in Nassau and this was a definite highlight for our family. I can't say enough good things about this particular experience. As far as the other two ports were concerned, we were beach bums in Coco Cay, and pretty much stayed on the ship in Port Canaveral. All of this was exactly to our liking. Disembarkation Getting off the ship was had on us emotionally, but was certainly not difficult from a logistics perspective. We were off with our luggage claimed by 8:30. It was a very orderly and well orchestrated process. Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
Embarkation at Baltimore was flawless - we dropped our large suitcases off at curbside (we carried aboard our meds and a change of clothes, including winter jackets), check-in was quick and efficient, and we checked into our Large ... Read More
Embarkation at Baltimore was flawless - we dropped our large suitcases off at curbside (we carried aboard our meds and a change of clothes, including winter jackets), check-in was quick and efficient, and we checked into our Large Oceanview Stateroom ("large" appears to be a misnomer - despite paying a premium price, our cabin was just as big as the regualr Oceanview Stateroom down the hall - the only difference being that our cabin has a third and fourth berth, which made our stateroom seem all the more smaller). We headed to the grill for departure - we sailed past the historic Fort McHenry (with her flag still flying) and under the Chesapeake Bay Bridge at sunset. That evening, a slight swell rocking us to sleep indicated we had exited Chesapeake Bay and entered the Atlantic. The next morning was a sea day and we had breakfast and lunch in the Windjammer Cafe. Although the setting offered a scenic view forward, there were far too few seats and tables for a ship carrying over 2200 passengers, especially on a sea day when everybody is onboard and the vast majority plans on taking their breakfasts at 9 am - despite the efficient staff's efforts to clear tables as soon as possible. The same phenomenon happened at lunch, where the Windjammer and the restaurant were the only venues available for people who wanted to eat at noon. It wasn't until halfway through the cruise and numerous complaints that the staff opened up a hidden overflow seating area aft of the Windjammer. Although the ship was extended in 2005 to add 151 mid-ship cabins, the dining areas didn't receive a commensurate expansion in capacity, nor did the main showroom. The seats for both evening shows filled up thirty minutes before showtime, so if you wanted to take advantage of the ship's headliners, you had to subject yourself to a half-hour of vigorous pull-tab sales. Even the late-nite adults-only comedy show was packed to the gills, but then again, this was not a port-intensive cruise with 6 am shore excursion calls. Heavy winds prevented the use of the rock-climbing wall and trampoline while the ship was at sea, which constituted over half the cruise, and on the days the ship was in port, we'd rather spend our time ashore than doing activities we could do at home, like climbing walls and jumping on a trampoline. We took full advantage of the Adventure Ocean kid's center, whose staff did an outstanding job of keeping the kids occupied with various scheduled activities during all hours of the day - one night they dressed the kids as pirates and led them through the ship chanting pirate slogans. Although RCL claimed the indoor Solarium pool would be open to kids on sea days when weather caused the Splash Pool to be closed, it remained adults-only for the duration of the cruise. The restaurant and housekeeping staff couldn't have been more helpful (with the exception of the Windjammer management who kept the overflow area locked up) and the food in the main dining room and specialty restaurant met our expectations. Our only complaint about the food was its availability after 9 pm. The only food available on the 990-foot ship (besides waiting for room service) was the tiny little "cafe" at the very back of the ship, tucked away in the rear corner of the solarium. The cafe's sparse selections were limited to warmed-over pizza, leaden hot dogs, and uneaten desserts from the dining room. On the bright side, however, it's a strategic way to avoid the complaint of gaining weight on a cruise. Despite these minor inconveniences, the cruise offered a rewarding and relaxing final boost of sunshine before winter set in, and we dreaded the mid-way point in the cruise where we began counting down the hours before we returned home. Read Less
Sail Date November 2012
Our vacation started with an awesome check-in process! Baltimore is a breeze. We parked quickly and checked right in. We left Pittsburgh at 7:30 am and our family was having lunch in the Windjammer by 12:00 noon!! The Enchantment of ... Read More
Our vacation started with an awesome check-in process! Baltimore is a breeze. We parked quickly and checked right in. We left Pittsburgh at 7:30 am and our family was having lunch in the Windjammer by 12:00 noon!! The Enchantment of the Seas is very nice. Most of it sparkled and was very clean. It was built in 1997 and refurbished in 2005, so it does show a few signs of wear. This did not affect our vacation in any way. In December 2012, this ship is going into dry dock for additional refurbishment. Our statement was an ocean view room. We had a nice large window, queen size bed and two upper berths. There were three of us in the room and it worked well for the week. The staterooms seem to show the most wear of the entire ship. Our room was very clean, but it did show wear. I'm sure that Royal Caribbean will be addressing this when the ship goes in for refurbishment. Again, the room was decent and this did not affect our vacation! The bathroom is VERY small on the Enchantment!! I have cruised on Disney twice before and Royal Caribbean 3 times before and never remember having a bathroom this small! Again, it was clean which was my main concern. The staff was wonderful on the ship. Everyone was very friendly and cheerful and wanted to make our vacation pleasant. The service in the dining room was great. We ate breakfast there every morning and dinner every night! We only went to the Windjammer a few times for lunch. It was sufficient and the food was good enough. I definitely enjoyed the dining room more. Our 8 year old daughter was with us. She did agree to go to Adventure Ocean on the first day for 30 minutes to try it out. When we picked her up, she didn't really want to go back. Other children seemed to be having a wonderful time though, so I have to assume that my child is one of the only ones that didn't enjoy it. Since my daughter would not go to Adventure Ocean she was with us during the duration of the trip. This was NEVER a problem! There were so many family-friendly activities to choose from that she wasn't bored for one minute!! Royal Caribbean did a great job of this. (Like I said before, we've cruised on Disney and loved it, but Royal did a great job of keeping kids busy and costs a bit less). We had a great time in port at Port Canaveral, Nassau and Coco Cay. The weather was great. On our return trip up the east coast we hit some bad weather and had very rough seas. The Captain did a great job of keeping the guests up to date and letting everyone know that we were not in danger. There were several sick people on the ship during that day. I enjoyed this cruise so much! Going out of Baltimore was wonderful and EASY! I would definitely recommend it. My only suggestion is that you keep in mind that it's an older ship and doesn't have all of the amenities of the new ships. Overall though, it's beautiful! Read Less
Sail Date March 2012
This was my 5th cruise and the second leg of our Back2Back. The first leg was an 11 night Southern Caribbean on the Explorer. I will add a few comparisons throughout the review. All our previous cruise have been on The Explorer. We met ... Read More
This was my 5th cruise and the second leg of our Back2Back. The first leg was an 11 night Southern Caribbean on the Explorer. I will add a few comparisons throughout the review. All our previous cruise have been on The Explorer. We met up with our 2 daughters (14 & 16), my mother and grandmother in NJ after disembarking the Explorer on Feb 17 and drove to Baltimore. Royal Caribbean put my husband and I up at the Hilton Hotel as part of the B2B package. The Grandmas and girls stayed at the Elkridge, MD Best Western. Both hotels were very nice and I would highly recommend them. The Best Western offers a Park & Cruise package with up to 14 days free parking, transfers to/from the cruise port and a continental breakfast. Embarkation was smooth and rather quick. Our only upset was having to carry the case of water we had tagged to be delivered to our room. In Cape Liberty, we would have been able to check the water with our luggage. Next time we will just put the water in a bag and send it on though. Live and learn. Shortly before we were due to sail Captain Gus informed us that there was a problem with one of the two propulsion motors and that we would be delayed. Repairs were attempted and we were cleared by the Coast Guard to sail the following day, Sunday Feb 18. Test were preformed once we got out into the Chesapeake but the issue persisted. We were reassured that though we would not be able to go as fast, the ship was okay sailing with only one working prop motor. The Capt. announced that we would miss Key West and gave an OBC of $200 per interior/exterior cabin and $300 per balcony/suite cabin. Later it was announced that we would also miss Coco Cay and that we were being reimbursed for the base cruise fare paid. Really? Wow an almost free cruise... I'll take it. Yes, we were disappointed that we would miss 2 of the 4 ports and that the hours were changed for our stop to Nassau causing us to have to cancel our Stuart's Cove Shark Snorkel, but Royal went above and beyond with the offered compensation. We did have one night of slightly rough weather. One drawer on the desk kept rolling out and slamming back in. Not a big deal. We certainly did NOT fear for our lives as some people apparently did The Enchantment staff also went above and beyond. Everyone from Ana at the Starbucks, to Nitesh & Lavi, the photographers, to our stateroom attendant, Frederick and our Waitstaff, George, Errol and Wilson did whatever they could to make this cruise special despite the disappointments. notes and comparisons: The hot tubs were barely warm (maybe because it was vacation week and there were over 600 kids???) Even the Solarium ones weren't hot. Same temp as the pools. The coffee was horrible! Had to buy at Starbucks to get a decent coffee. Explorer was not much better (Promenade Cafe was ok). Very disappointing for us coffee addicts. The Tutti Salad Bar was better run, had more selection and flowed better on the Explorer. The WindJammer Buffet food was by far the best we've had but the space is too small for the amount of people using it. The Main Dining Room food was okay but nothing special. The My Time Dining was much better than we have had on the Explorer. We were actually at the same table with the same waitstaff every night which was very nice. The guys treated us like royalty and I will miss hearing Wilson say "My pleasure" every time we thanked him :) The cabin was small but clean and the furniture was in good shape. We had a 20" flat screen TV (kids and Grandma's had old TVs in cabins 8671 & 3618) The bathroom had a nice tub but only a small area of non-slip surface and I fell pretty bad getting in the first night. Please be careful! The was no light out on the balcony. I love to sit out and read at night before bed while my husband watches TV in bed. I had to leave the cabin lights on and drag the chair up to the balcony door to have enough light. We purchased the mycruisephotos.com package online before the cruise at $169.95. What a great deal! On board it was $249! It was nice to be able to take as many photos as we wanted with no worries about how much it would cost us at the end of the cruise. (Our 1st cruise we spent about $600) No interactive TV to keep tabs on your SeaPass account. This make it tough to keep tabs on your spending (and the kids spending). We loved the Centrum area compared to the Promenade on the Explorer. The 70's party rocked! This was the first time we have attended the Welcome Back Party and the Top Tier Event. Royal really needs to step it up in this area. Boring! The CruiseCritic party was ok but with Katrina, with that big personality, running the show I thought she could have done a bit more to break the ice and get everyone mingling. All in all we had a wonderful cruise. Not exactly what we anticipated but accept the things you cannot change and use your OBC to get a massage!!! Read Less
Sail Date February 2012
First some background: I'm a relatively "seasoned cruiser". This was my 6th cruise, having previously cruised with Norwegian (1), Royal Caribbean (1), Disney (1), and Carnival (2 times). We are from Rochester, NY area and ... Read More
First some background: I'm a relatively "seasoned cruiser". This was my 6th cruise, having previously cruised with Norwegian (1), Royal Caribbean (1), Disney (1), and Carnival (2 times). We are from Rochester, NY area and typically cruise during our school's February break, which is the week of President's Day. For our February, 2011 cruise, my daughter and I took the Carnival Pride for a 7-day cruise out of Baltimore. It is an easy 6-hour drive from Rochester to Baltimore, and we agreed that for future cruises we would prefer to drive to Baltimore rather than fly to other ports. The Carnival Pride cruise was fantastic, but we wanted to give Royal Caribbean a try this year (having heard that it was "much better"). We were excited to find that the 10-day Royal Caribbean Enchantment of the Seas cruise was approx the same cost as the 7-day Carnival Pride cruise. The itineraries were similar, but the RC cruise also included stops in Key West and Coco Cay. We booked our hotel thru Stay123.com. If you are driving, be sure to check out their website. We drove down on Friday, stayed at the Holiday Inn Express (on Russell Street, near Stadium) on Friday night, enjoyed a very nice complimentary breakfast, shuttle to/from port, and 10 days of gated parking for under $100. You can't beat that, since 10 days of parking at the port would cost more than $100. The only downside is that there was a bit of a wait for the shuttle, but nothing we couldn't deal with. Overall, they seemed pretty organized -- better than our experience at the Comfort Inn in 2011. The driver took care of transferring our luggage to the ship, so all we had to lug on board was our carry-on with a few essentials. Boarding the ship was quick and easy. Although the website tells you that you can't board before 1:00, you can actually board much sooner. Because I had cruised with RC once before, I was considered a "crown & anchor gold member", which meant expedited check-in. We were whizzed right through while others had to wait in line. Amazingly, the entire process took less than 15 minutes. If you have read other reviews for this cruise, you may already know that our itinerary was altered due to engine problems. We were late leaving Baltimore, and arrived a day late to Cape Canaveral. We were not able to go to Key West or Coco Cay, and our stay at Nassau was altered. Once we learned that we were getting a full refund, I was VERY HAPPY to have a "free vacation" and had no complaints. We simply decided to make the best of it, and come back again next year. The weather was cold/windy for most of the way to Cape Canaveral, but we had nice beach weather for Cocoa Beach and Nassau. Out of the 10 day cruise, we had 3-4 days of warm weather (sufficient to head back home with a bit of a sun burn). You could make the case that if we had stuck with our original itinerary, we may have had more time in warmer weather, but all in all, we couldn't complain. Comparing RC to Carnival: 1) Food: The food on RC was good, but we liked Carnival better for the following reasons: - Carnival has free ice cream 24/7. RC had frozen yogurt late morning to afternoon. They advertise that they have Ben & Jerry's, but it's $2.50 for a small cone. On principle, I refuse to pay for ice cream on a cruise. - Carnival has food 24/7. You can get pizza and sandwiches all night long. RC has late night food in the solarium, but only until 2:00 am. (Not that I really needed to eat between 2 am - 6 am, but it's nice to know it's there.) - When they "stretched" the ship to accommodate more passengers, they should have enlarged the dining area. There was a serious shortage of seats in the Windjammer buffet area. Perhaps if weather had been nicer, some people would have eaten on open deck. - Desserts weren't so great. Most looked better than they tasted. I have a rather active sweet tooth, but by the end of the 10 days, I really didn't care to try any more of the desserts. - We really enjoyed lunch in My Fair Lady dining. The tutti salad (salad bar) was a big hit and I'm not normally a big salad eater. 2) Demographics: My 17-year old daughter felt that there weren't very many teens her age, and that there wasn't much to do. Part of the problem may have been too many cold "at sea" days due to the changes in itinerary. However, I believe Carnival attracts a younger crowd, so if you are traveling with kids, keep that in mind. My daughter considers our 2011 Carnival Pride cruise to be our "best vacation ever", so it was hard for RC to meet her expectations. There were definitely a lot more "older people" on this ship. I'm 51 and I was one of the younger adults. I'd guess that the typical age was 60-75. Everyone I met was very, very nice. Some of the adults wondered why there were "so many kids" out of school. If you are not from the northeast, you may not be aware of February break. If you don't enjoy cruising with youngsters, you should try to avoid that week. 3) Entertainment: The entertainment was outstanding. Much, much better than Carnival. I LOVED the comedians. Very funny, and the humor had the older audience in mind. The comedian on Carnival Pride was rather raunchy in comparison. We went to the 8:45 shows, and discovered that you had to arrive at least 30 minutes early to get a seat. For most shows, there were people standing in the back or sitting on the stairs. 4) Facilities: We always go for the ultra-cheapo room (inside lower cabin). If we had known we were getting a full refund we would have gone first class - haha. Joking aside, we didn't choose well. The heads of our beds were against a wall that separated us from a utility room. Around 5:00 am we would wake to sounds of things bumping against the wall in the utility room. Also, our bathroom, especially shower, was very, very small. The bathrooms on Carnival were much larger. 5) Pool: My very favorite spot on the ship was the Solarium. The water in the pool was very warm (had to be close to 90 degrees). Even on the cold days, it was very pleasant to sit in there and read, and take a dip in the pool. If you have young children, you should know that children under the age of 16 are not allowed in the solarium, so that didn't leave a lot of options for the kids on the cold, windy days. Also, no kids in diapers, etc. allowed in ANY pool which would be a real bummer if you were traveling with toddlers. They had a nice children's spray pool on the open pool deck, but I only saw that operating once. Also, didn't see anyone on rock wall or trampoline. I believe you can only use them while the ship is in port. Despite the changed itinerary and cold/windy weather, we both had a nice time. If I were cruising with older friends, I would try RC again (for the entertainment and solarium). However, for our next mother/daughter cruise, we will choose Carnival Pride (for the younger crowd and ice cream!). Happy Cruising! Read Less
Sail Date February 2012
We booked a cruise out of Baltimore, MD on the Enchantment of the Seas. Started off rocky with an engine issue which caused us to stay in port at Baltimore overnight while they worked on the engine - they were unable to fix the engine but ... Read More
We booked a cruise out of Baltimore, MD on the Enchantment of the Seas. Started off rocky with an engine issue which caused us to stay in port at Baltimore overnight while they worked on the engine - they were unable to fix the engine but we left on Sunday with the announcement that we would be cruising at half speed and would have to cut out one of our ports, Key West, FL. That was the only port I was interested in going too but I got over it. The ship itself I would consider in need of updating - although the Centram is well appointed and a newer part of the ship, some of the other areas of the ship are well "loved". The staff on the ship were nice and did their best to accommodate our needs. We had a good cabin steward "Patrick" and we had good wait staff "Clinton" and "Rodolpho". The food was ok - better at dinnertime but it was ok. The Windjammer Cafe' was too small with not nearly enough seating for the number of guests booked on the cruise. The My Fair Lady dining room was spacious and we found ourselves eating there most of the time because it was such a challenge to find a seat in the Windjammer. My biggest complaint of this ship is the lack of ice when you wanted a drink and the lack of places to get something to drink. The main pool area had a drink station that was open most of the time, but it was cold outside a good part of our trip so you had to go out in the cold to get to the drinks. The ice machine in the Windjammer wasn't working so there was rarely ice when you needed it. There was a burger/hotdog/pizza area in the Solariam but it had limited hours and when they closed that, they also closed the beverage/ice station - which really disappointed me - how much trouble is it to keep an ice machine and lemonade and tea going. The entertainment didn't start out very good but it got better - there were a couple of pretty good comedians and a really good magic show - there was a juggler one night that was good. RC doesn't have the constant activities that I'm use to on Carnival so it was just "different". Much quieter and laid back with lots of time to sit and do nothing pretty much. Overall, I may go on another RC cruise but I probably won't go on the Enchantment until it is overhauled - our cruise was shortened by two stops but we were refunded (or will be refunded) our entire cruise price because of the problems - that's more than I expected so my hats off to RC for doing the right thing in a bad situation. Read Less
Sail Date February 2012
Just a brief background, my husband and I are in our early 30's with a 3 year old. This is our 6th Cruise. We just wanted to get away and the itinerary fit our schedule. So now let me begin. PORT: Embarkation Very organized and ... Read More
Just a brief background, my husband and I are in our early 30's with a 3 year old. This is our 6th Cruise. We just wanted to get away and the itinerary fit our schedule. So now let me begin. PORT: Embarkation Very organized and efficient! We arrived at 11am and checked in quickly. We arrived early, so the rooms weren't ready until 1:30pm. Understandable. We toured the ship and had lunch in the Windjammer. STATEROOM: Small, but it worked. HOWEVER, the shower was unbelievable SMALL. No mini fridge in the room. And NOOOO access to your account on the TV. The stateroom attendant was very attentive. Even though we had a little mishap, he accidentally splattered bleach all over my husband's shorts; he apologized and gave us a bottle of wine. Which we were glad he made the effort. MAIN DINING ROOM: Well, were do I begin? The 1st impression the waiters gave us was... overwhelmed! Which surprised us because on prior RCL cruises, we had such outstanding service. I can't tell how many times I had to remind the assistant waiter, that my 3 year old needed a paper cup, not a glass for his chocolate milk. We don't ask for much, but just a paper cup, please! How about the food? Well, it was mediocre. I wasn't impressed. I just felt that because it was an older ship, they really didn't care much. For RCL, this was very disappointing. ADVENTURE OCEAN: My son loved it there! Everyone was so nice and he had a blast! It was outdated and not many toys and play centers, but for my 3 year old it was suffice. They did a lot of coloring, dancing, games, and he had such great memories. GREAT JOB GUYS! Chuck, Kelly, Barbie, and the staff were AWESOME. Overall SHIP: The pool deck was nice. The solarium had a heated pool, which was a nice touch. They also have a snack bar with pizza, sandwiches, fries, and hotdogs. In the evening, this is a "THE ONLY" snack you can get. I really wish, RCL would stop being so cheap, and at least give juice that isn't watered down. The Windjammer had okay food for lunch and dinner. Thanks to Vedasto Lagbo for being so attentive to us. Every evening, he went out his way to get us 2 chocolate milks for our son. Not even room service was able to this for us. SO GREAT JOB! But it was so predictable, not much variety. I don't really mind the ship being older, but at least make an effort with the food. The lounges, and main areas were nice and the entertainment was what I expected of RCL, great! They had GREAT entertainment and lounges. PORTS: PORT CARNAVAL: We paid for the shuttle bus to Disney. Spent the day in Magic Kingdom. Pretty crowded, but the weather was great. Pricey, but worth the memories. KEY WEST: We did the CONCH train, which was so informative and a nice experience. MUST get a Key Lime Pie and shop around. Beautiful, picturesque place port. NASSAU: We stayed on the ship, being that we have been to Atlantis before. But if you are contemplating ATLANTIS, you should go at least once. It was awesome. COCO CAY: Our son loved the Adventure Ocean activities, fisher price race track (FREE) and the hammock. The weather was windy, but sunny and great for relaxing. Disembarkation: Was super smooth, we walked off with our suitcases. Overall, we had a nice time relaxing and spending quality family time. We met great people, a few exceptional employees that added to our experience. Read Less
Sail Date January 2012
I was expecting more from Royal Caribbean. Wasn't overly impressed with The Enchantment of the Seas.
I was expecting more from Royal Caribbean. Wasn't overly impressed with The Enchantment of the Seas. Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
This was our 2nd RCL cruise (same ship - Enchantment pre-stretching and our kids were MUCH younger) and 1st time to Bahamas. Also 1st time from Baltimore and driving to/from the cruise. Embarkation: Easiest ever. Highway access is ... Read More
This was our 2nd RCL cruise (same ship - Enchantment pre-stretching and our kids were MUCH younger) and 1st time to Bahamas. Also 1st time from Baltimore and driving to/from the cruise. Embarkation: Easiest ever. Highway access is very good, reasonable process to unload bags (get the luggage tags ahead of time and pre-tag your bags). Check in was a bit slow but not terribly so. Bags arrived quickly and we had plenty of time to grab lunch in Windjammer. Liked getting the muster drill done in port (no wind). Cabin: We had adjoining interior cabins on Deck 3 under the Centrum area. Sure is a lot more room without 4 people in 1 cabin! Arrangement made it very easy to coordinate activities with our now adult-age kids. Warning - could hear the activities in the Centrum, especially if a band was playing. They usually quit around 11PM, so not a problem unless you go to bed early/are a light sleeper. I occasionally could hear furniture (?) being moved as well. Otherwise a convenient location for us and we'd prefer to spend $ elsewhere than a "better" cabin. Cabin service was excellent. Our cabin attendant left amusing towel creatures for us each night - including a rabbit, an elephant, and a monkey. Meals: A highpoint of the trip. Bento (waiter) and Edward (asst) were excellent. Absolutely no problems with special requests or changes or extra helpings, and Bento provided excellent suggestions and was a mind-reader on our dessert preferences. I think out of 4x7 dinners, we had exactly 2 items (a soup and a main course) not to our liking and they were quickly substituted with something better. Breakfasts and lunches were good, although service in the My Fair Lady dinning at those times was sometimes slow. Only grabbed a few snacks in Windjammer. Kids used it more often and liked it. We did not use "Chops" and ate all our dinners in the main dinning room (2nd seating). Drinks were generally well-made and not exorbitantly priced. People who used the wine service said they liked it. I was pleased that the bartenders at the lounges with dancing never gave us a hard time when we just ordered ice water. There were 2 formal nights. I just bring a blazer and tie now, but some people were in tuxes and there were many well-dressed ladies. You can rent a tux on board - I didn't check prices but it's an option if you want to pack lighter. Shows: I am not a big show person; my wife is and liked most of them. 2 comics - 1st was OK at best, 2nd was very good. Juggler was funny, magician was AMAZING. One of the Osmond brothers was in a mid-cruise show - he seemed to be lip syncing and harmonizing on many of the songs and I never liked the group anyway. Dancing: We are big dancers and took advantage of as many opportunities as we could find. Viva band was fun, especially when we had them mostly to ourselves in Spotlight or Boleros. We would have preferred more opportunities for dancing in Spotlight, but it's used for Bingo and other activities, too. A number of times, we were in the Centrum area and just found an open space or moved some chairs out of the way to make a dance space - the bands were playing dance music, but the dance areas were in use for photos and such. The 70s party was a hoot, and the dancing under the stars party on the main pool deck was fun. For club music, the Viking lounge on deck 11 is decent and was usually not very crowded when we were there. DJs played a good selection, and they had a class on "how to DJ" on an at sea day after Coco Key. Programs: We usually split up for different programs and activities. Decent selection, although I thought there was an emphasis on ways to help us spend money. Wife & I went to the dance lessons - 2 by members of the production show dancers, and several more by a dance instructor (Anita) on board for the cruise. Anita was excellent and even though she was concentrating on basics for the many novice dancers, we learned a few things to improve our own dancing. We were very pleased RCL had a Hanukkah program each evening, complete with latkes. Thank you, RCL! Other than renting snorkeling gear, we didn't use any of the shore excursions (we did run into the shopping excursion in Nassau and they seemed to be having a very good time). Photos: I have trouble posing well, but we managed to get a good shot from one of the formal receptions and by combining 2 of the Nassau photos (they will photo-shop someone from one shot to another). They also reprinted at no additional charge a photo that was damaged in spite of it being the end of the cruise. On-board shopping: Good prices on liquor (you get it the last day of the cruise, so no in-cabin parties), and some unusual items not available stateside. We waited for sales later in the cruise on various items. Tortuga rum cakes were comparable to prices ashore in Nassau, so we purchased on board. Ports: Port Canaveral was handy for getting last-minute items and some new beachwear at Ron Johns. AAA cabs has an exclusive for the port and charges about $5/person each way to Cocoa Beach. Worth it. Get the driver's card and you can call them for pick up at your convenience. We walked the beach a bit, returned for a late lunch in Windjammer. 1st time in Nassau - mostly shopped and walked around. I'm still not sure what kind of shopping Nassau is known for or specializes in. Lot's of watches - my son tried on a $24,0000 Rolex! There is a Tortuga Rum store next door to Burger King, their Vanilla Rum is very smooth. The Bacardi shop is closed. Straw market it good for hats and handbags - most of the other stuff looks like cheap souvenirs made in China. Note - their are clean public rest rooms in the Straw Market building. I was surprised how quiet Nassau gets at dark (also the relatively poor street lighting). Only activity we saw when we went briefly ashore after dinner was at the bars on the street facing the waterfront. The ship arrived "late" according to the original schedule - 1:30 vs noon. I heard this is really the new official time, which does reduce the daylight time available ashore this time of year. Coco Key - this is the private island stop and mostly for water sports and a beach day. Water was a little on the cool side for snorkeling but we had a good time in the lagoon area. The rental equipment was decent and includes a real buoyancy vest, not a recycled life jacket. You can rent went suits, too, and I should have. Lunch is pretty basic - would be a disappointment if this was the typical food, but OK for the 1 day. Tenders run all day back and forth - so you don't wait long to get ashore or back and can go back and forth if you wish. It was also windy, so not a good day for kayaking. There is a small "straw market" which had a decent selection of hats if you still needed one and otherwise was more of the same stuff we saw in Nassau. At Sea Days: the indoor spaces were busier on the 1st and last days, as we were further north and it's late December! Ship never felt overly crowded, even though we were full and had many families with children aboard. Enchantment had a great kids program when ours were younger; seemed to be still good. Gym was very crowded in the mornings - tough to get a treadmill or stationary bike. They had decent (Lemond) indoor cycles that were only for spin classes ($). My wife would have liked some aerobics classes in the gym or one of the lounges. Library has a limited selection of books, especially non-fiction. I saw many Kindles and iPads - so passengers are probably bringing their own libraries with them. Disembarkation: We opted for the early round; still had enough time to get breakfast in the dinning room, leave cabin, and spent only a few minutes waiting before we could go ashore. We found our bags quickly and were in our car and on our way within 30 minutes of the departure announcement. Smoothest time ever. Things I'd change: Fix the soft serve machine on the pool deck (seemed to be broken of off too often). I don't "get" paying for a Starbucks coffee on a cruise but that's probably me. Or a Ben & Jerry's ice cream. I'd have more locations than Windjammer and back of the Solarium area where you could get ice water and fill a water bottle. And did I mention we'd have liked more dance venues where we could take advantage of the excellent live performers? General condition of the ship is good - some dings (cannonballs?) on the cabin doors but the ship is well-maintained. I could not readily spot differences between the stretched and pre-stretch areas. Service by the ship's staff was generally excellent and several went out of their way to make our cruise a special experience. Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
We sailed out of Baltimore for the first time and it was as easy as everyone's says.. Very easy to park $105 for the week not bad... Very easy to walk to the ship and easy check in...So far so good. This was our second time on ... Read More
We sailed out of Baltimore for the first time and it was as easy as everyone's says.. Very easy to park $105 for the week not bad... Very easy to walk to the ship and easy check in...So far so good. This was our second time on Enchantment. The weather leaving MD was fine really couldn't use the outside pool or hot tubs until day three but that is to be expected sailing out of the northeast in December. The staff on this ship may have been the most friendly that I have ever met. We all agreed that our waiter Albert Geronomo was the best waiter that we have ever had.. His assistant Alberto was also top notch. Dinner every night was a wonderful time. The food was awesome with a nice choice for everyone's taste. We ate lunch and breakfast in the Windjammer and it was better than I remembered. The only negative that I that was that the production shows were not very well produced. The ship singers were just Ok in my opinion. I felt that when they sang in a group they just didn't harmonize very well together With that being said it was still a very nice experience. The special guest entertainers were very good and the one comedian Mitch was hilarious. I wish bigger ships could sail out of Baltimore because it would become my favorite place to sail from. Just but down a deposit for another sailing next December ship to be decided (Freedom or Liberty)... RCCL is number one!! Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
My family and I chose to cruise for Christmas 2011 on the Enchantment of the Seas and the Royal Caribbean Line. There were 10 of us in 2 state rooms. We have absolutely nothing to compare it to but we ALL agree this was our best trip ... Read More
My family and I chose to cruise for Christmas 2011 on the Enchantment of the Seas and the Royal Caribbean Line. There were 10 of us in 2 state rooms. We have absolutely nothing to compare it to but we ALL agree this was our best trip yet. The state rooms were spacious and accommodated our needs perfectly. The staff were genial and kind. The state room attendant learned all of our names by day 2. The Waiter and assistant waiter also learned our names. One of our goals on board was to celebrate our parents' 40th wedding anniversary and it was handled with grace and style!! Our ports of call included Port Canaveral, Nassau and Coco Cay. There were emergencies on board but the privacy of those guests was kept by the staff. Our party included 4 teens and they were entertained by the on-board activities. 6 of our 10 chose to do excursions and they were pleased with the excursion in FL. However, our ship arrived late to Nassau and the 4 who chose an excursion were somewhat disappointed. The ship gave an acceptable response to the issues. Shopping information from the ship was totally valuable to the 4 of us who chose to shop in Nassau. We got NICE freebies because of the seminar on shopping. If I could write a book I would tell of the wonderful experience that this family experienced on Enchantment of the Seas. We got involved with what was offered and made quite a name for ourselves as the "FUN FAMILY". I personally had a treatment in the salon and I am extremely pleased with the results!! My parents had a couples massage and wanted to adopt the staff from the spa. Our treatments were awesome. Please consider Enchantment for you next cruise. We are already making plans to go again next year maybe even on the same ship!! Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
We were really looking forward to this cruise. It was the first one for our 4yr old and our first one on RCI. We came with a VERY large party, reserving 6 cabins for our group alone. All in all we paid 1.5 times the amount we normally ... Read More
We were really looking forward to this cruise. It was the first one for our 4yr old and our first one on RCI. We came with a VERY large party, reserving 6 cabins for our group alone. All in all we paid 1.5 times the amount we normally pay with Carnival per person but thought we were getting a better experience with RCI since we had done all the Carnival cruises by now. Baltimore was beautiful and enjoyed the night we stayed there but the vacation quickly went downhill once we boarded the ship. The ship really shows her age and smells it too. The carpets were dirty, chairs looked very worn and overall just very aged. Even on the pool deck things weren't much better. The staterooms were smaller than we were used to but seemed to be the cleanest place on the ship. We were on the ship 9 days and not once did we see anyone cleaning the common areas. There was a handout in our rooms warning us of the signs of Norwalk virus or "Norovirus" but from past experience we had never had any issues with this. I guess that should have been a warning sign right there. Within the 9 days, 15 of our 17 members with our party alone had contracted Norwalk including our 4 yr old, 2 got pneumonia/bronchitis and 3 got pink eye. If you haven't had or heard of Norwalk, google it now. You can't kill Norwalk with hand sanitizer. The virus is only killed by bleach and washing your hands. It's VERY contagious. RCI's solution to cleaning was to place hand sanitizer stations in front of the common dining room areas and to have a person standing there telling you to sanitize. During the trip, we noticed the only people cleaning were in the Windjammer (which I have complaints about that later) and they were taking a dirty rag and going from table to table without bleach or any other cleaning agent. You can guess what they were spreading from table to table... and it for dang sure wasn't good cheer. Speaking of staterooms, our room attendant was awesome! Seriously only person on the entire ship that wasn't rude. He was interactive and friendly with our children and was very accommodating. He was definitely one of two good parts of this ENTIRE cruise. We decided with such a HUGE group all together we would use the "My time dining" feature. To do so you had to prepay all your gratuities which we did. On the first night we just hung out and ate at the windjammer but the second night we decided to check out the dining room. We called to get reservations that morning for dinner that night and were denied. We did get in the next night after complaining to the customer relations who turns out have NO customer relations at all. Dining crew was nice after we finally got to see them. Food wasn't that great though, had better on Carnival. We ate in the dining room a total of 3 times in 9 days and were not satisfied with the quality of food any of those days. Now to the Windjammer. My BIGGEST complaint about it is that it closes. Who has EVER heard of a cruise line without 24 hour, eat all you want, stuff your face style food?? I mean, most jokes about people who cruise are based around lines at the buffet! However, we found ourselves hungry at 6pm waiting for the windjammer to open. Try explaining that to two 4 yr olds who are used to eating dinner around 5pm. The food was boring and tasteless unfortunately. We generally ended up getting hot dogs which were sometimes cold or hamburgers which were just bland. The drinks were non-existent unless you were buying alcohol at every meal. They served o.j. from the beverage stations yet offered to SELL you fresh squeezed o.j.? No thanks.. I'll just stick with the free stuff. Every beverage station had broken ice machines and they were few and far between to start with. The staff couldn't decide if they were going to serve you drinks or allow you to get your own. I left this cruise being more thirsty than I have EVER been in my entire life. There wasn't enough seating for everyone who wanted to use it and with the food quality in the main dining room... I think the entire ship wanted the windjammer. Leaving out of Baltimore during November didn't help this problem because it was VERY cold outside the ship so everyone on board was bunkering down in the windjammer or the formal dining room IF they got in! So your dining choices were VERY limited which leads me to the solarium which was advertised as your 3rd included dining option or your late night dining option but even that was closed before windjammer was open or after. We found it open a few times when we were very hungry and just took the food to our room. Room service charges a fee after midnight and if you called 2 hours before midnight you didn't get your food till after. Sneaky sneaky. We waited 2 hours for food several times and ended up falling asleep before it even came. The other times we just hung up and didn't bother because they kept you on hold for almost half an hour. The entertainment staff was great and the shows were nice. The children's program, Adventure Ocean is the second of 2 good things on the ship. They were great. Both my kids wanted to be there the entire cruise and came back with crafts or faces painted almost every night. We even watched them come through the casino in a giant chain making faces at the casino patrons and screaming their little heads off. They made everyone laugh and really seemed to be having a good time. If you have the misfortune of going on Royal Caribbean, I definitely recommend Ocean Adventure. If I could change things around, I would put them on Carnival Cruise Line and the world would be right. The ports of call are honestly what you make of them with any cruise line. We had been to San Juan before with Carnival and docked in practically the same spot. Best thing to do there is walk around a bit to see the city then go back and eat dinner on the ship to reduce costs. After dinner we visit Senor Frogs for a bit of fun. We generally stumble back to the ship, retrieve our children from the kids program and sleep the night away. The next port was St. Thomas which again we had been to before. Nice shopping, beautiful island, no complaints. There is a beach if you like beaches, there are shops if you like shops and there are of course excursions if you are into that. After that was Samana, D.R. That one was special. While some would see it as dirty and poor or not your typical tourist style port, it gives you an honest view of the world outside the U.S and was a very good teaching tool for our 10 yr old who is the typical American kid. We toured around and sampled the local fruits and vegetables, ending up at a beach that was beautiful with the ship in the background. Lastly was Labadee, Haiti. This was RCI's leased area and was beautiful of course. The beach itself was quite dirty with trash and very rough sand/shell but is still a beach. Has all the amenities of the ship right outside. The local shop area is confusing and a bit pushy but is typical of any shopping you do off a cruise ship. We purchased the roller coaster excursion there and really enjoyed it. Would recommend this to anyone. In all honesty, the entire cruise just felt like a chance to up sell you. They weren't satisfied with your cruise admission, they wanted more and more at every turn. I expected to pay for alcohol and extra dining services but was very disappointed to feel like I was getting sub par service because I wasn't shelling out an identical amount of the over priced admission ON the ship as well. On previous cruises we have always left feeling like we had just stayed at the nicest hotel you've ever seen and eaten the finest food anyone has ever made and that was not the case with RCI. In conclusion, this was honestly the worst cruise ever and our party of 17 wasn't the only one with this lasting view. We will NEVER use RCI again and will tell everyone we know to use another cruise line. You shouldn't leave a vacation with trips to the emergency room for Norwalk Virus or Pneumonia or pink eye for that matter. We needed a vacation from our vacation. After getting off the ship and visiting hospitals and doctors offices for our children it took us two additional weeks to get everyone healthy and back to normal. So I'd like to say thanks to RCI for warning us about Norwalk but not being knowledgeable enough about it to correct the issue or take steps to combat it and to tell the people who were boarding the ship 2 hours after us that we are so very sorry. I'm sure they contracted Norwalk too due to not having the ship clean and sanitary for the next cruise. If you are looking for a first time cruise line and just want to enjoy the experience without worry or sickness or rude staff, go with Carnival. We sure will. Read Less
Sail Date November 2011
Enchantment of the Seas ReviewLet me begin this post by stating that we were seasoned Princess cruisers, but decided upon price to try a Royal Caribbean cruise. Having read many positive and negative posts about this ship and Royal ... Read More
Enchantment of the Seas ReviewLet me begin this post by stating that we were seasoned Princess cruisers, but decided upon price to try a Royal Caribbean cruise. Having read many positive and negative posts about this ship and Royal Caribbean in general it was our intent to go into this cruise with an open mind to determine for ourselves which line we felt was best. I am sure that after this post the Royal Caribbean faithful will begin the flaming, however our intent is to accurate and fairly report the positives and negatives from this experience. I would also like to begin by stating that it has been our experience that the important components of a cruise were fairly consistent from our experience throughout the Princess fleet. Having said that, we are assuming that those same important components would also remain consistent throughout the Royal Caribbean fleet. We fully understand that larger ships in both fleets provide more amenitities however again this post is really weighing those things that should be consistent within a fleet such as staterooms, food, entertainment, etc. Embarkation - Baltimore, MarylandWe had read previously that you could embark as early as 10:30 a.m. We arrived at 10:30 a.m. (by car) and were then staged in a line to wait to drop off our luggage and then park. While we were in line we did notice that some passengers were able to board as early as 11:00 a.m. having been dropped off. At 11:30 a.m. the line of cars began to move and we parked and were processed and boarding by 12:30 p.m. The availability of the long-term parking could not be more convenient as it is right next to the cruise terminal and all in all the embarkation process was very efficient. Special note that we did check in 2 cases of bottled water with our checked baggage which did arrive in our stateroom. We simply put a luggage tag on each case and reinforced it with packing tape, so this should answer the bottled water debate. Second, we did not see any scrutiny whatsoever of any carried on luggage as it relates to rum runners. In fact, our carryon contained a full bottle of rubbing alcohol and the bag was not even opened. Perhaps the end of spring break has reduced the level of heightened security. It was fairly easy to find a table at the WindJammer for lunch and you were not allowed anywhere near the staterooms before 1:30 p.m. Our luggage arrived at 3:00 p.m.Stateroom - Insides on second floor - aft - 2097 and 2099Previously on all of our cruises we have always had balcony cabins and strictly due to price we opted for this cruise to give the inside cabins a try. We were pleased with the layout and size of the cabins. The space was functional for my wife and I, and we never felt confined. As was suggested by previous cruisers on these boards, we did place the coffee table in the closet and kept the beds separated which provided at least an additional 30% of usable floor space. The only negatives of the room were the lack of the mini fridge, which is provided in all Princess rooms, and the antiquated television which really was a disgrace. I would also like people to note that there is a strong sewer odor, which we noticed especially in the evening hours. This was reported on and off on the boards in the past. We did not have any plumbing problems, which were also reported on and off. Dining Room - We had my time dining in the My Fair Lady dining room with our reservation mostly being 6:30 p.m. The first two nights, we were not happy with our table and asked to be moved. By moving our reservation to 7:15 p.m. we were able to relocate to a nicer table and our waiter (Erkan from Turkey) was absolutely wonderful. We found the food in the dining room to be one of our biggest disappointments of RC versus Princess. From selection to quality, there is truly no comparison. A common problem was none of the food ever arrived hot - warm at best and even sometimes cold. We feel that we are not alone in this review and this was clearly illustrated by comments we heard from other passengers and our own observations of the number of people in formal wear who opted to dine on formal night in the WindJammer. Also, the dress code is NOT enforced in the dining room. Many people in shorts, jeans, sweatpants, sweatshirts, hats, etc. WindJammer - We were pleasantly surprised to find that we really never had a problem finding a table for four at both breakfast and lunch. By mid cruise, we found the selection quite boring for both breakfast and lunch, as it varied very little. For breakfast, we did try the dining room one morning, but again, all of our food arrived cold. In the WindJammer, a breakfast staple, muffins, were not available most mornings even after asking for them. We also found that the staff began closing down half of the stations 30 minutes before the end of breakfast time, which led to longer lines especially at the omelet station. We feel the layout of the Windjammer is conducive to mass confusion due to the circular layout of the food area, with no clear direction of travel. People tend to go from end to end which creates a traffic jam. Another HUGE disappointment was the lack of food available after 9PM when the WindJammer closed. After that time, the only food available is the "hockey puck" hamburgers and hot dogs in the Solarium, or room service, which we also found to be very limited and lacking in quality. On all Princess ships, a portion of their buffet is available round the clock. Don't get me wrong - none of us lost any weight on this cruise, however, anyone who wants to be naïve and feel that food is not a huge part of a cruise is just kidding themselves, and again, we find the Princess line to be worlds ahead of Royal Caribbean in this area. We also feel that if this was a planned cost cutting measure by RC, that most passengers would be willing to pay a bit more to get an upgrade in the quality of the food. Drinks-We did have a problem with the way that the drinks are mixed on the ship. For example, when you get a Banana Daiquiri, they pour the shot of liquor in the bottom and then fill the glass the remainder of the way with the blender mix, leaving all of the alcohol sitting on the bottom unmixed. We found this to be consistent with any of the blender drinks, and really do not see a purpose behind this method. There was a nice mixture of free drinks available at the WindJammer, ranging from iced tea and lemonade daily, and then a rotating line of fruit punch and various flavored waters that were available all day both outside and inside the WindJammer. They also had a nice beer special for the week for AB products. For $33, you got 8 beers in a padded insulated shoulder cooler that could be a mixture of Bud, Bud Light, Bud Light Lime, or Michelob Ultra. Refills of the cooler were 8 beers for $25 for the duration of the trip, which we found to be a great deal. Itinerary - Port Canaveral, Florida - We found that it was a bit of a shame after the fact that we spent the most amount of time in a port with the least amount of things to do. We opted to rent a car and spent the day at Universal Studios (45 minute drive), which was fairly crowded. And later having spoken to other passengers, we regretted not taking the tour of the space center.Key West, Florida - We booked an independent tour with Fury Cat for a 3 hour catamaran snorkel trip. We would not do this again, as it was very windy, which led to difficult conditions and even with the conditions aside, the snorkeling was not very good. It ended up being more of a boat ride (1 hour to get to the snorkel location and 1 hour back) with about 45 minutes of snorkel time. We also had time to walk around the shops a bit and would have liked to have had more time in this port. Nassau, Bahamas - We opted for a day room at the Sheraton beach resort. This was a really good choice given the fact that a day pass is $25 per person and the room for the day was $99, which gave us the ability to shower and change prior to returning to the ship. Unfortunately, the weather did not fully cooperate and we did have some heavy rainstorms and it finally cleared about 2:00 p.m. in the afternoon. This is a very nice resort, with a nice beach and pools and had some really great snorkeling right off the beach in only 3 feet of water. The location on Cable Beach appeared much nicer than that of the Hilton which is another popular day spot as the Hilton is located closer to the ship.CocoCay - This private island (owned by RC) was by far the nicest stop. The tendering was very efficient, which got everyone off the ship and on the island quickly. We followed advice from others on these boards and walked through the vendor area, out past Coconut Willies and around the corner to Barefoot Beach. We practically had the beach to ourselves with the only drawback bring the proximity to the barbeque buffet and other amenities. There were plenty of chairs along this beach, in addition to some huts which provided shade. The water here is beautiful and shallow for over 200 yards off the beach. There is a large sandbar off the beach where we saw numerous large rays and bonefish. The barbeque lunch was good and we also snorkled the sunken plane and shipwreck which had a lot of fish to see. The one major negative that we would say about CocoCay is that once the buffet closed down, unless you had a soda card, there was no option to get any drink at all (including water) unless you purchased it. As it was a hot day, it would have been nice to be able to be able to get the iced tea, lemonade, or even ice water that is always available on the ship.We feel that all in all the ports of call were nice stops, however also feel that Royal Caribbean needs to adjust the scheduling for this particular itinerary. For example, the distance from Port Canaveral to Key West, Key West to Nassau, and Nassau to CocoCay does not necessitate the current time limitations that are imposed in each port. When the ship is sailing at less than half of its maximum speed, it is clear that more time could have been allotted in these ports while still maintaining the scheduled arrival time in each. The limited time in these ports was exacerbated by the repeated problem of RC not being able to maintain its arrival/disembarkation schedule for every stop on our itinerary. We unfortunately experienced 15-45 minute delays in getting off the ship in every one of the ports. While some of this may be compounded by people congregating in the stairwells leading to the gangway, you really cannot blame them when they are trying to get off as early as possible due to the already limited time in port. Entertainment-To keep this section short and sweet, we found the production shows to be downright painful to watch, but the guest entertainers such as Scott Henry, Kenny James, Rick Novel, and David Haines were all excellent. Show times were: Day 1: 7:15PM, Days 2 thru 4 and Day 6: 8:15PM & 10:00PM, Day 5 and Days 7 thru 9: 6:15PM & 8:15PM. I would also like to say that we attended the 10PM shows, and for the most part you could have arrived at 9:55 and still obtained an excellent seat. Previous reports of having to arrive 30-45 minutes prior to the show time to get a seat were unfounded, at least for the 10PM show. We did enjoy the casino and found it to be better than those we have experienced on any of the Princess ships. Ship-Overall, we had heard both positive and negatives of this ship and Royal Caribbean in general. While the Enchantment may be one of the older ships in their fleet, we found the condition to be quite acceptable. While she does show some of her age, the crew constantly works at upkeep and cleaning through the entire week. We actually prefer this size ship, as we found that we never had issues of overcrowding in any of the public areas which includes the availability of poolside chairs that you can sometimes experience on many of the larger ships. One thing that we found was some inconsistency with the enforcement of some of the rules. For example, in the Solarium pool, they did not enforce the 16 and over rule on any of the sea days as some kids were running rampant around the pool. Yet, the staff of the Viking Crown Lounge prevented me from entering with my 16 year old son before 10PM one night. I have no problem with there being rules, if they are all enforced equally. Disembarkation- Baltimore, MarylandNot much to say here. We were off the ship, through customs, had our luggage, and were in the car on I95 within 20 minutes and it could not have been any smoother. In Conclusion-One thing that we found surprising was the demographic of this sailing. We had always heard that Royal Caribbean, as a whole, tended to be a younger crowd with more kids. Nothing could have been further from the truth on this cruise. We understand that there could have been several factors that impacted this, such as school break weeks and the length of the cruise being more than 7 days, and also that this was a C&A cruise. The average age of this cruise had to be easily over 60 years old. Not that that's necessarily a bad thing, but it is something to be considered when planning a cruise with young children. Understand that we fully agree that no cruise is a bad cruise. However, in comparing both Royal Caribbean and Princess, unless there was a huge price difference, we would opt to stay with Princess. The reason that we chose this cruise was purely price. Paying $700 PP (which included all gratuities) was an unbelievable deal. Would I sail Royal Caribbean or this ship again? As I said previously, unless there was a huge price difference, no I would not. It has always been my understanding that Royal Caribbean's passenger base was those seeking a bare budget cruise, and it is our opinion that that is what you get with them. Not that there is anything wrong with that - it's just that you really do get what you pay for. Read Less
Sail Date April 2011
This is our 16Th family cruise; our first with Royal Caribbean. We booked this cruise by recommendation of cruise line, itinerary, and size of ship. It was not an expensive cruise ($700 per person total including the full tips). We got ... Read More
This is our 16Th family cruise; our first with Royal Caribbean. We booked this cruise by recommendation of cruise line, itinerary, and size of ship. It was not an expensive cruise ($700 per person total including the full tips). We got what we paid for.The Ship: Nice layout. Easy to get around. Nice upper deck for walking / running. Great central areas and nice solarium. The center of the ship inside had a lovely large central areas for gathering and entertainment. The few lounges and bars were not intimate or interesting; rather seemed an afterthought. No cozy area to hang out, or enchanting bar area to have a nighttime blast. Spa / Gym: Unimpressive and an afterthought at best. RC charged for Yoga and other classes, and constantly changed the times so you just could not keep up. The Spa was dated. No steam baths other other luxury treatment. The overall condition of the ship - sparse, very old, and dated. While we were told the ship is going to be renovated soon, that did not make me happy while sitting with a 1980's TV in our cabin. Other cruise line ships built in the 1990's (we cruise often) had / have so much more to offer. Not sure why RC ship seems so lackluster.The cabin was very dated. Shower curtain was so old and shower leaked all over the place. Curtain came down from the ceiling (the entire bar holding the curtain that separates the inside bed came crashing down). The cabin while small, did offer lots of storage. Very annoying, RC used a large part of the small desk area as a mini bar. There was nowhere else to put this and we did not want this expensive water, soda, and boxes of high priced cookies taking up so much space on our small desk area. We asked that this be removed however were told no. With so much free food on board, and room service, who would buy cookies at $4.00 a box? If I needed cookies, room service offered cookies 24/7.The deck (3) had a very foul smell. Seems to be an engineering issue. RC seems to want to keep this tub afloat and given the about of activity in the casino, I am guessing this boat is fully depreciated and making money from the booze and gambling. For an overall cruise experience, RC did not leave a good impression.The ports were very enjoyable. One port I would skip in the future was Key West. It has changed and looks industrial. Boats must leave by 2:30 pm so the locals can see the sunset. You have almost no time to enjoy the beaches, and much of what made Key West special seems lost in the wind. I doubt Hemingway would find any inspiration in Key West today.The food was barely adequate. Not that we need more food but hot dogs and cold slaw for snacks, seriously? Princess, offers gourmet pizza cooked to order all day and has for years. The buffet was the worst I have ever had on any cruise ship. Poor layout. Poor selection of food. No service. The only wonderful thing to mention is the view from the buffet area; lovely place to sit and have coffee or iced tea and watch the sea.The dining in My Fair Lady was unimpressive. The food was OK and quality varied considerably. Our last Holland cruise left us with high expectations. Carnival, Princess, Disney, MSC had a much more gourmet quality to their food. RC just is not focused on food. No late night food either. Not that we need to eat all of the time, however isn't this a cruise standard?The staff were very nice, and hard working. We did meet rude bar staff who told our 15 yr old son (pre paid soda card) that he had to wait until "all paying customers were served first" and he waited and waited while all booze buyers came up behind him and ordered. I suppose pre paid means no tips, so why serve a kid?There was a clear lack of consistency in the manners and training of the staff. On other cruises, the staff that serviced the customers were very consistent in manners, how they spoke, how they interacted with customers, etc. The entertainment was OK. The cruise director did a great job. The guests seemed to offer more comedy and entertainment than the ship. The few headliner shows were geared toward the 60 and over crowd, short, boring.The most positive note was that my 15 yr old did meet up with a few kids his own age, and had a good time. RC started the kids club with an hour our of free arcade and introduced them to the computer games. Other cruise lines seemed to lack in this area (Holland). I would not trade a much higher class cruise if my kid is going to sit bored in the cabin, so RC gets a 5 star rating in this area.Overall, we did have a good time although my expectations were not met, the weather was good and it was nice to leave cold weather for the Bahamas. Not sure we will sail again with RC. I have heard to much hype about this cruise line, and it just did not meet my expectations. Read Less
Sail Date April 2011
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 ... Read More
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. Read Less
Sail Date April 2011
Before we left our home in Northern Virginia on Saturday morning, we received a call from Royal Caribbean that we would not be able to get into our cabin until 3:00. I had read on the Internet that they were cleaning after a Norovirus ... Read More
Before we left our home in Northern Virginia on Saturday morning, we received a call from Royal Caribbean that we would not be able to get into our cabin until 3:00. I had read on the Internet that they were cleaning after a Norovirus outbreak on the previous cruise. We delayed our departure for a few hours and arrived at the terminal around 2:30. We parked, checked in, and boarded the ship very quickly. Our room was still being finished, so we stashed some of our things and began exploring the ship. The wind was really gusting, so we predicted that we wouldn't be sailing at 4:00. After the Muster Drill, the Captain announced that we wouldn't be able to set sail until Midnight at the earliest and he was eliminating Key West from the itinerary. Although disappointed to miss out on seeing a place I've never been before, I was happy to have some extra time in Port Canaveral, as we planned a day at Disney World with our 6 yr. old and 3 yr. old. After grabbing a bite to eat in the Windjammer (mediocre), we went to check out Adventure Ocean where we filled out paperwork and were issued a pager. There are lots of activities for kids, divided into 3-5 yr. olds, 6-8 yr. olds, tweens, and teens. Activities ran in 3 hour blocks from appx. 9:00-noon, 2:00-5:00, and 7:00-10:00. Late night parties went until 2 am, but our kids were too little to stay up that late. I heard there were over 500 kids on the cruise, but the kids' area never seemed jam-packed except on the first day. Our 6 year old son loved it and asked to go to Adventure Ocean, but our 3 year old preferred to stay with Mom and Dad most of the time. She had a good time on the rare days when she decided to go. One day, we tried to drop her off there and she cried that she didn't want to go. The staff member told us they can't take a child who is obviously upset, but our daughter is the type who cries for 2-3 minutes at separation and then is fine. I can understand why they don't want to take a crying child, but I wish they would have tried it to see how quickly she calmed down. They could have always paged me to come and get her if she continued to cry more than a few minutes. Luckily, my MIL and her friend were traveling with us, so we could get a bit of a break from child care once-in-a-while. Our Junior Suite on Deck 8 was adequate for a family of 4, but space was a bit tight and furnishings a little dated and worn. It was nice having a bathtub for the kids and a balcony for some fresh air when they napped. The food on the cruise was plentiful, but nothing to rave about. Our best meal was the night we went to Chops steakhouse. At $25 pp, it was worth the extra money. We also used room service for snacks, and were pleased with the variety and speed of service. The loss of Key West as a port was disappointing to us, but there were a lot of very angry people. I half expected a mutiny from some of the passengers. In Port Canaveral, we rented a van from Enterprise to go to the Magic Kingdom. It couldn't have gone more smoothly and we enjoyed taking our kids to see Mickey and Minnie for the first time. The park was more crowded than I thought it would be in February, but I was told that week is a holiday for a lot of schools in the northeast. Go figure. In Nassau, we haggled for a 2 hour van tour of the island with a short stop at Atlantis Paradise Island. We paid $50 for the four of us, which is a lot cheaper than booking a tour through the ship. Secret: the farther you walk from the gangway, the cheaper the tour suddenly becomes. In Coco Cay, we did book a glass bottom boat tour through the ship which we all enjoyed. The boat captain and his partner would bring items from the sea floor for passengers to touch. We're all suspicious about the starfish, though. I half expected to turn it over and see a "Made in China" sticker on the bottom. It looked as if it had been varnished. After our tour, we spent some time building sandcastles and enjoying the fabulous weather. The ship had a beach barbecue set up for passengers, but it was very crowded and there were a lot of flies buzzing around. I had some punch and that was about it. All in all, it was a fun trip and I'm glad I went. I would like to try a larger ship next time and perhaps a Disney Cruise. I wish more cruise lines sailed out of Baltimore or Norfolk since I live in between. Read Less
Sail Date February 2011
We climbed the gang plank on Enchantment of the Seas surrounded by festive merry makers in greens and golds and blacks. Many had traveled from near and far—the Superbowl their plan of attack. Mixed among the guests were a vigorous couple ... Read More
We climbed the gang plank on Enchantment of the Seas surrounded by festive merry makers in greens and golds and blacks. Many had traveled from near and far—the Superbowl their plan of attack. Mixed among the guests were a vigorous couple hundred few, supporting their Packers and Steelers. This would prove to be an exciting cruise. Enchantment did not disappoint, for on the last day of the voyage did she, display the big game on the theater's 2 deck high screen, with hamburgers, hot dogs, chips and guacamole. And though the Packers won, and some fans a bit forlorn, they can say that they witnessed the game on probably the largest screen ever born. We left in flurries, we returned to Baltimore in ice; in between the days were 75, sunny and nice. Our neighbors did send us photos of the frozen snow pile out their window they did stare. Though less than an hour after dropping our luggage off, we were on the ship seeking out lunch and a lounge chair. The engines hummed, the water churned, down the Chesapeake we turned. Gathered in the Viking Lounge stood a hearty and foolish few—partaking of the self-important ritual of counting the rivets of the underside of Key Bridge we cleared by a only a yard or two. Vision class is the largest ship that can safely sail under the Key. We hold our breath each time we've left, that the mast does not become part of the scenery. So quickly do we adapt to the thrilling life at sea, the dining room and Windjammer buffet call for those to eat heartily. We made some friends in the waitstaff, who always brought us the lemony drinks not spiked. The food choices were healthier still - mango flavored water—what a refreshing drink to like. We made the most of Vitality, Royal Caribbean's low-calorie menu fare. The choices were quite delicious, surpassing some standard cruise ship fare. Our first call, Port Canaveral, the most fundamental dilemma ensues—take the child to the mouse kingdom or visit the big rockets and Space Shuttle, painted in a building of reds, whites and blues. Our son, he won; to the House of Mouse we went, transported in motorcoach provided by Enchantment. Though the day was somewhat short, to a five year old it was more than enough. I'd rather take the slow boat to Disney, than deal with TSA at the airports rifling through our stuff. Port two: Key West—the most laid back place you'd ever see. Stroll down to Hemmingway's house and watch his famous 6-toed cats strolling the grounds quite free. We picked up a souvenir, a wine bottle deformed in an artsy way. Now upon our table it resides, reborn as a cheese tray. A Spanish shipwreck museum, Margaritaville, and other larger-than-life figures hold sway-- the megaship tied up right downtown, bobbing at the end of the quay. Port three: Bahamas: The ship arrived in Nassau harbor and pulled off an acrobatic feat, spinning 180 degrees on its axis, backing in nice and neat. Along the shore, the straw market draws you in, with thousands of t-shirts, arts and ceramic crafts you know not where to begin. Found a pirate museum just down the block, the best of the bunch I've seen--the buccaneers so mean and lifelike aboard their ship, my son wants to join them for Halloween. The days at sea were quite lovely, unhindered by the ship's frenetic pace. So many things to do: swim in the pool, dance the rumba, or play a kazoo. Still amongst all of these activities most planned, the best part of all was finding a chair in the deck with book and a fruity drink in hand. We drank enough of their specials, to bring home a set of six. The blue and gold swirly patterns, our own martinis to mix. Too soon the end has come, on adventure-filled days do fly, and we alone facing thoughts of home a tear to wet our eye. For though we look forward to another Enchantment, the departure date foretell, this cruse alas is ending with the sound of the ship's horn and bell. Read Less
Sail Date February 2011
Oh, the poor Enchantment is not a magical spell or bewitchment. It is like a Bad spell cast by Endora on Darren. This was my 50th cruise, 15th or so with RCCI. This make us Diamond Members. Being Diamond members made check in a breeze, ... Read More
Oh, the poor Enchantment is not a magical spell or bewitchment. It is like a Bad spell cast by Endora on Darren. This was my 50th cruise, 15th or so with RCCI. This make us Diamond Members. Being Diamond members made check in a breeze, we sailed past the (one of many, many, many) long lines and were checked in rapidly. I am not sure if this was good or bad because the rule now with most ships is that you can not drop anything off in your cabin until after 1:30 pm. So what happens is 2,000 people are hungry and go to the Windjammer cafe that only holds 500 people. As most people know this ship was cut in half and an addition added. I am sure this was ONLY done to increase revenue. So with the stretch there was very little if anything done to accommodate the additional cabins and guests. The Windjammer is CONSTANTLY crowded and you spend your time fighting for a table and dodging other guests. Either be there exactly when the doors open with the other cattle or 20 minutes before it closes and you just might find a table, if you are lucky! Next area of fun, your luggage. About 5 pm I was called and told there was problem with my luggage. I immediately went to the "luggage reject" area. There must have been 500 pieces of rejected luggage. I was asked if I had alcohol in my luggage. I said "no". They then had to take my luggage to be re-x rayed. After running it in and out about ten times. They said I had a knife. I actually had a very very small pair of 3" scissors, and after they saw them said I could keep them. My guess is they are checking each piece of luggage for unacceptable items, because the vast majority of the luggage was being rejected for alcohol. People would not try to sneak a little alcohol in their luggage if the prices were not so high, and if you drink it in the privacy of your cabin, so what? Good point- Out waiter - Gracias and his assistant Cliffroy were one of the 3 best teams I have ever seen on a ship, they made dinner a pleasure. The dining room food was good, not great, but good. Appetizers were average, soups were average, entrees good, and desserts not so special. This ship feels very very crowded, every place you go has lines of people. You are always waiting for something, in a line of waiting for an elevator. No additional elevators were added for the additional guests or the stretch. PLEASE+++++++++++++++++ Can they please throw away the many (hundreds) of tired, dried up, dead, ugly Christmas Poinsettia plants. They are beyond the fork stage, 3 weeks ago!! Another poor thing done with the stretch and remodel is this is the only ship I have been on that DOES NOT have a sauna and steam room in the changing area. That is one of my favorite parts of a vacation, working out in the gym and then going to have a 20 minute steam or sauna. NOT AVAILABLE on this ship. I am sure it was eliminated to generate more revenue. And yes the gym is the same small size, always crowded. Because the ship is so overcrowded get to any event at least 15 minutes early, you may get a seat. Then there is "the quest" - a Royal Caribbean event not to be missed. This was being held in the Starlight lounge, it was packed to the gills 20 minutes before the show even started. Maybe they should split this into 2 events, one for early seating dinning, and a 2ND quest for late seating guests....no that would make too much sense. This was also the case with the back stage show of the theater....way too many guests to even hear what was being said. Speaking of the theater, the Singers and Dancers did a great job with both shows. Another entertainer worth mentioning was Jason Chase- very funny without using one vulgar word- a nice change--GOOD JOB Jason!! One perk of being a Diamond member is "THE EXCLUSIVE NIGHTLY DIAMOND EVENT" from 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm in the Viking Crown Lounge. You are served complimentary (cheap) wine, champagne, and soft drinks. First NO ONE is checking if you are a Diamond member, some people there were definitely NOT diamond members. THE CIGARETTE SMOKE - smoking is allowed on the side next to this event and the ventilation is zero. ALL you can smell is smoke. It destroys the pleasure of this event. The coffee--- The coffee in the Windjammer in the worst tasting liquid I have ever tasted in my life. Dining room coffee is OK. I guess they want you to purchase the pay extra coffee at Cafe Latte on Deck 6? Two days during breakfast at the Windjammer Market Disaster they RAN OUT OF Orange Juice, YES ran out of OJ, and provided no substitute. Another day I saw a staff member filling the OJ dispenser, when he took the lid off the sign that says OJ fell into the dispenser. The employee looked around to see if anyone saw this, and then reached his hand/arm into the dispenser to "fish out" the sign and put it back on top of the dispenser. He did not notice that I saw the entire event. The casino- another room filled with smoke, but I did leave the cruise with $10 more than I started with! I have had many great Royal Caribbean Cruises, this was NOT one of them, avoid this ship if possible! They have not stretched any of the other Vision Class ships, now I see why, it does NOT work! Read Less
Sail Date January 2011
We are an older couple and I have some mobility issues. did a b2b on Enchantment of the Seas. This was my 13th and 14th cruise and our 2nd and 3rd RCI cruise - we were excessively unimpressed with the first one which was on Grandeur of ... Read More
We are an older couple and I have some mobility issues. did a b2b on Enchantment of the Seas. This was my 13th and 14th cruise and our 2nd and 3rd RCI cruise - we were excessively unimpressed with the first one which was on Grandeur of the Seas in 2007. But last winter when we cruised on Celebrity Mercury, we decided to give RCI another chance because we really really really like cruising out of Baltimore in the winter and there are only two choices - Carnival and RCI. We booked the cruise on the Celebrity cruise and asked if there was a laundry on either ship and the person booking said she thought there was one on Enchantment and she was wrong about that. Good things: I like the decor of Enchantment better than Grandeur - I found Grandeur depressing because of excessive beigeness and they used those Commedia dell'arte type clown masks on Grandeur as wall art. The crying one was right outside our stateroom. Enchantment uses Mardi-Gras masks which are much more cheerful. The captain was the same as in 2007 and he was funny and ran a good ship Service was much better in the dining room than it was on the first cruise on GOTS. Could not have asked for better service. Service was equally good in the cabin although the cabin steward appeared to be doing 20 cabins by himself with no assistant and that made it so that he didn't always get around to everyone right away. We had a new towel animal every night (without many repeats), and we always had a clean bathroom, clean towels when required and a full ice bucket. I like the Cruise Director on the first trip but she went on vacation at the end of the first cruise. Embarkation was pretty good and was quick, and dis-embarkation was good and efficient. We got into our rooms on embarkation about 1330, and we could stay in our rooms until our dis-embarkation time (which we were not allowed to do on GOTS). Pretty much everyone was off by 10:30. Beds were comfortable and cabin was quiet and in a convenient place. Did not hear anything from overhead or outside the cabin. I had a good time in the ports and met some nice and interesting people (some nice, some interesting and some both) For instance, one of our dinner table partners was a man who flew in WWII and was shot down and was in a German prison camp for some time. He and his wife had been married for 66 years. The Solarium pool was QUITE warm - almost hot tub temperature and it was nice to my arthritis to swim in it. I didn't try the hot tubs as they are always too hot for me. Because my health has deteriorated somewhat in the last two years and I have back and knee problems plus reduced lung function from asthma, I am not able to get around well anymore, and when I asked they let me have a EOTS wheelchair which was nice. At our table the first cruise were the dance instructors and we watched some of their classes. Bob said at the end of the cruise that he would try that, and he hasn't danced with me (or anyone else) since 1959 when we were married. They were very good. All of the people at our table on the second cruise (table for 8 so that is 3 couples) were diamond or diamond plus. They were much more party animals than Bob and I were. Bob was happy that he could watch Fox News instead of just CNN. I don't want to watch the news at all so I just did something else when the news was on like I do at home. I found the internet speed using my computer was almost as fast as at home - did not have any complaints about that aspect of computer use. RCI has a very good program (the Cruise Compass) which allows you to detach the page with the hours and times of all the events and fold it up and put it in your pocket. I don't know why more ships don't do this - it is so convenient. The breads and desserts were excellent - very good bread all the time and yummy desserts. They did claim that they had no cranberry juice on board on the first cruise. They said I should get off and buy some. Right On the second cruise, they said I would have to pay bar prices ($3.67 for a small glass with a lot of ice in it). I'm telling all the good things first because although I really enjoyed the cruise I did find quite a few deficiencies -- When I filled out my comment card at the end I said I might or might not cruise with RCI again. So when I report on the deficiencies, just keep in mind - We had a good time Less Good things- you can probably take a guess at what those are by the difficulty I had finding Good Things. We both completed a review of the cruise after each one, and someone from corporate actually called us yesterday to see if we had anything to add. I said I did not see how we could have anything farther to say. The fact that they are cutting back on the number of people makes all the ones that they have work really hard and stretches them really thin. There are no chocolates on the pillows anymore (not that I really needed that). I liked the Cruise Director on the first trip but she went on vacation at the end of the first cruise. The Cruise Director on the second trip was married to the Activities Director. She did most of the work it seemed to me. Going by what the Cruise Director and Activities Directors told us on the Celebrity Cruise, they are responsible for the Cruise Compass layout and printing. One day near the end of the second cruise there was a really bad screw-up in the Cruise Compass with wrong sale dates etc. The activities were also set up so that some of the popular ones conflicted and you couldn't go to both. If they did this on purpose it was nasty, and if they did it by accident it was incompetent. We had to get off between cruises and get back on again, and we had to wait to get back on because the machine that does the photos on the room cards was not working and the IT person had to fix it. One of the things I did say on the comment card was that the cabins themselves were the worst planned of any cruise ship I had been on except GOTS which was the same. When the beds are together as a king, it is impossible to get out of bed and walk around the foot of it to the bathroom without crawling over the end of the bed It is also almost impossible for the room steward to make them up. This is just stupidly poor planning. All they would have had to do is to order the settees shorter and made the mirror at the desk narrower, or some other compromise. About halfway through the cruise we separated the beds - just like those couples on TV in the 50s. The cabin steward thanked us as it made his job much easier Also the cabinet and storage in the bathroom was ludicrous. There was a tiny triangular cabinet and it wasn't possible to put things like toothbrushes into it lengthwise because it was too short. When I stood the toothbrushes up in holders, they fell out when I opened the cabinet. I know the floor was clean, but did not want to put a toothbrush in my mouth after it had been on the floor. I had to use the glass in there to store my inhaler so it would stay upright. There was also no appropriate plug for my husband's razor. He had to bring it out and recharge it in the main cabin. One of the cost cutting things appears to be that there is no one to run the computer room. You have to go through the customer desk. I had no problem logging on and picking a package of minutes. At one point on the first cruise I was logged on to the wireless network, but there was no internet. When I asked, I was told that they were fixing it and it would be fixed by the next day. The next day it still didn't work so I got off an did some stuff in the port (Nassau). When I got back on, it still didn't work and they said the tech person had just gotten on board and was fixing it because the problem was bigger than they had first thought.. I did have a problem getting the minutes logged on correctly. I bought two packages of 500 minutes (30 cents a minute) on each cruise. I would log on and it would say you have $##.## of time left at 30 cents a minute. And then it would charge me 65 cents a minute for each minute while counting down the minutes. This mean that I was in effect paying 95 cents a minute. Each time I would report to the desk, and they would take the charge off. I asked what I should do in the future and they basically didn't have any idea. They suggested I wasn't logging on right, so I took the computer down and they watched me, and I was doing it right. They said maybe I opened a second browser and I should only use one browser. No that wasn't it. Eventually I tried logging on with Firefox instead of IE and this worked. When I reported that to the desk, they said that I must not do that - the internet people said that it would not work with Firefox and must use IE. These experiences gave me the opinion that their IT person was an incompetent idiot. At one point, I knew that I had used all my minutes, and due to them crediting me back for minutes that were charged double, I had some minutes showing that I knew I was not entitled to. I asked her to remove the minutes. She said she couldn't do that. I had to sign on with my husband's card (I couldn't use mine as they will not sell another package if you have minutes left) and start another account. There was a coupon in the little booklet for 10% off computer packages. That was the only coupon that was of any use to us in the whole booklet and it was the only computer discount run on this cruise. The Diamond people at our table got about half an hour of free minutes, so maybe the administration isn't as concerned about people who are new to RCI. The port maps were not quite as bad as the previous cruise, but they still lacked quite a bit of essential detail like local museums and stuff other than shopping Read Less
Sail Date January 2011
I just read a critical review of the Jan 8, 2011 Enchantment of the Seas cruise and felt I needed to provide my own review since my experience quite different than theirs. I traveled on the Enchantment, departing Baltimore with a party of ... Read More
I just read a critical review of the Jan 8, 2011 Enchantment of the Seas cruise and felt I needed to provide my own review since my experience quite different than theirs. I traveled on the Enchantment, departing Baltimore with a party of four. Overall, I would call the overall experience and accommodations upscale, but they didn't cross the line into luxury. The 2005 expansion of the ship, which added 151 staterooms (330+ more people) didn't add space to the Windjammer Cafe or the Orpheum Theater (more on this later) so things were somewhat tighter, but I never really felt uncomfortably crowded and I am particularly sensitive to being in crowded spaces. I believe the overall spaciousness of the ship helps give a greater feeling of openness. The variety of on-board activities seemed to attract different groups to different places. As an earlier review mentioned, some on-board activities, particularly Quest, were very popular and therefore at capacity. On this trip, the ship was reportedly fully booked as it was announced there were about 2400 passengers on board, with the officially stated capacity being 2440. Note that there are a total of 1126 passenger staterooms and 437 crew cabins on the ship. Embarking at Baltimore did take some time. The check-in lines were long (more than a 40 minute wait), but the process seemed efficient for the number of people boarding. It would be nice to have 'breezed on' faster, but I don't think the time it took was unacceptable. I am not a member of Royal Caribbean's 'Crown and Anchor' society yet, so I went along with the masses without priority check-in. The ship, which took its maiden voyage in mid-1997, is showing its age a little bit, but it is a VERY nice ship and is quite clean and well appointed. The ship appeared well maintained and is constantly being wiped down and vacuumed by the crew. We even saw the crew washing walls in the stateroom hallway! The ship's elevators worked fine and weren't particularly crowded nor were there any unacceptable wait lines. We used the stairs frequently ... climbing from deck 4 to 9 is great exercise! The two main interior stairwells are very nice, with tasteful art and rich wooden paneling. The casino does look a little dated but most/all of the other public areas are fine. It was the only area where it was smoky, and The captain mentioned a major interior refurbishment is planned for 2012, which will probably make the ship appear brand new. The shows in the theater were very good - if you wanted a good/great seat, you needed to arrive about 30 minutes before the show. The 840 seat Orpheum theater, which is an impressive room, was generally full for the 9PM shows, but I've read elsewhere that it may be easier to get into the 7PM shows than the 9PM shows. The theater has excellent sound and lighting systems and is very well run. Entertainment included David Haines (a competent magician), two different comedians - one of which was a very good singer/impersonator/musician, 'Jeff the Juggler', a passenger talent show and some other events. The theater was also used for a well-attended Q&A technical discussion hosted by Captain Rob Hempstead, who is an attraction in his own right. 'Captain Rob,' as he called himself, has a great sense of humor which was evident in his daily briefings. Our 'outside ocean view' non-suite stateroom on deck 4 was perfectly fine, clean and comfortable with a nice window on the port side of the ship. The room was relatively small, as we expected, but it was efficiently laid out with plenty of closet and storage space for the 9 night voyage. Our stateroom attendant was attentive, modest, and hard working. The intricately folded towels she left on our bed each night were a nice surprise - the rabbits, walruses, elephants, ducks and other sculptures were a nice, personal touch. There were Purell hand sanitizing stations at all the entrances to the Windjammer Cafe and the My Fair Lady Dining room to encourage people to disinfect their hands. The 'My Fair Lady' dining room waiters and staff were outstanding. Our waiter and assistant waiter were personable, attentive and good conversationalists. I would say the food was very good to excellent. We dined in the specialty 'Chop House' restaurant one evening. The steak was excellent and the service superb [There is an extra $25 charge per diner for the Chop House]. The Windjammer Cafe was fine and could get crowded at times, but if you can go at slightly off-peak times, you won't have any problem with serving yourself or finding seating. The Solarium pool area was nice. The saltwater pool was comfortably warm and the two hot tubs were very relaxing. The other passengers on the trip I ran into were pleasant and friendly. On this trip, the age mix was quite varied - there were (a very few) families with infants, some families with mid-to-late teens, several young people, and a lot of middle aged folks. There were several NFL playoff games during the cruise with lots of boisterous Philadelphia, Baltimore and New York fans in attendance. The crew put out nachos and hot dogs and fries (buffet style) at the Spotlight Lounge for the people, which was a nice touch. Carly Boileau, the cruise director, was out and about during the trip, introduced the theater acts, and hosted at least one of the entertainment activities. She is an impressive woman with high energy, is very personable, a tremendous public speaker and seems genuinely interested in seeing everyone has a great time. One on-board activity was a fund raising walk for the 'Make a Wish' foundation and she walked a mile with all the other participants. The only (minor) complaint is that on the last sea day coming back to Baltimore there were only 'music' related activities - I would have expected some more variety with games or other things. I'm not a Bingo expert, but it was very expensive - $32 for three games was a 'special'! Overall, this was a great value and a great trip. The seas were calm, with no more than 4-5 ft waves, and the weather in all the ports (Port Canaveral, Key West, Nassau, Coco Cay) was unseasonably cool and windy, but much warmer than Baltimore! I particularly liked the few 'sea days' where we were in transit to and from Baltimore since it allows time to walk around, explore the ship, take in the view and simply relax without worrying about excursions and other timetables. Read Less
Sail Date January 2011
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 ... Read More
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!! Read Less
Sail Date January 2011
Enchantment of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.0
Dining 4.5 4.0
Entertainment 3.0 3.9
Public Rooms 4.0 4.2
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.8
Family 4.0 3.8
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.9
Enrichment 3.0 3.6
Service 4.0 4.4
Value For Money 4.0 4.0
Rates 4.0 4.2

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