20 Royal Caribbean Enchantment of the Seas Cruise Reviews for Family Cruises to Caribbean - Eastern from Baltimore

We work to plan family vacations that are interesting for my husband and myself (50+ year olds) and also fun for our children (who are in their 30s) and their children (2-one year olds, 1-three year year old, and 2-five year olds). This ... Read More
We work to plan family vacations that are interesting for my husband and myself (50+ year olds) and also fun for our children (who are in their 30s) and their children (2-one year olds, 1-three year year old, and 2-five year olds). This year we selected Enchantment of the Seas, out of Baltimore, mostly because we thought a cruise would be easy for the younger children and only 3 of our party would be required to fly. So a year in advance, we booked 3 grand suites, one for each family, two of these suites adjoined. All 11 of us took a "pinky" swear to hold these dates. Next time I would definitely purchase the "cruise insurance", there were some iffy moments. Leaving from Baltimore was as easy as noted in many reviews. They were especially helpful with the luggage, picking it up from our cars before we parked. Parking was $15 per day and it took 2 cars and one truck to get all of us and our luggage to the port. We had a ton of luggage, 6 adults and 5 children require a lot of clothing and other accessories when cruising for 9 days. Luckily there is no luggage limit on the Enchantment! Suite guests are now permitted to bring 2 bottles of wine or champagne, unfortunately we packed this extra wine in our luggage and this caused a delay in bringing our bags up to our suite. My husband had to go to deck 1 and retrieve them. We should have just carried it on through security. For our cruise there was a problem with the sea pass cards and when we arrived at our suite we couldn't open the door. Our card was replaced quickly. As we boarded the ship the first people we saw were the staff from the children's Oceans Adventure programs. They put arm bands on each of the children so they could be easily identified and they explained the programs they offered. We then headed off to the Windjammer for lunch. Throughout our entire cruise, the Windjammer is the only area on the ship that ever seemed crowded. We circled until we found a couple of tables and checked out the food. We have vegans, vegetarians and children who mostly like french fries and pasta with butter in our group and everyone found things they liked to eat. For beverages the kids liked the fruit punch and milk and I was happy to find that unsweetened iced tea was available. We did not purchase a soda package, but the family with the most kids did purchase a juice package. We did purchase 17 bottles of wine to accompany dinners and it turned out to be 5 too many. We carried those 5 bottles home with us. We all thought our suites were wonderful with enough storage space for that ton of luggage we brought with us. We had requested "pack and plays" for two of the suites, they fit nicely and were in great condition. My daughter brought a small folding cot to expand the sleeping areas in their suite. This worked out beautifully and the kids actually argued about who got to sleep on the cot. Our balconies were huge, but the dividers could not be removed, we had hoped to create an outdoor space for the children and that was not possible. We loved the suites and all of the perks that came with them, the robes, nice bathroom soaps, the special seating at shows and the afternoon cheese and dessert trays. But the best perk of all was the concierge's lounge with cocktail's before dinner, the snacks and breakfast foods and that amazing coffee machine. We visited the lounge every single day (sometimes twice) of the cruise. Reyno(our concierge)scheduled our excursions and Cabanas on Labadee. He made it all so easy. We enjoyed My Fair Lady dining room for many, many (breakfast, lunch & dinner)meals. Because there were so many of us and we had 2 one-year olds we always had a table to ourselves. We thought the food was good and they adjusted quickly to our special needs (vegetarian offerings and buttered pasta). One of our 1-year olds likes hard boiled eggs and lentil soup and they had it ready for him every night. As soon as we arrived at our table Jay our waiter had fruit salad ready for the all of the children. My five-year old grandson preferred the Windjammer and my daughter discovered that they put out salsa, guacamole and chips in the afternoon. This was a huge hit with out group! But mostly we found the Windjammer crowded and difficult to maneuver. I used the gym one morning and a treadmill was immediately available. It was a great experience working out as you look over the ocean. My daughter-in-law took a spin class and found it challenging but excellent. She thought the instuctor was outstanding and pushed the group very hard. We played bingo twice, the bingo "caller" was great! He worked very hard to make the game entertaining, as we lost every game. To communicate on the ship we brought walkie talkies(that were recommended in another review) with us, each family had one and we had fun using them during the first part the cruise. They worked everywhere on the ship and even at the ports. We tried to attend the shows and events every day. The Magic Show (David Haines)was amazing and then we followed up with "how the magic happens" lecture, also very good. Do not miss this show,some members of group did and they still regret it. It was great for the kids too. We enjoyed the production shows and Tony B. too. The last day of our cruise was on Superbowl Sunday and the final show was moved to 2:30 in the afternoon. It was fantastic! The reason I mention this is because we thought Tony B. was an outstanding addition to this final show...we enjoyed him there actually better than during his show and saw what an enormous talent he is. The final show included the Royal Caribbean dancers and singers and at one point they launched huge balloons over the audience. It was an exciting and fun show and of course the kids grabbed balloons. There were late night comedians that were promoted as "adult" shows that the 30 somethings in our group attended and enjoyed. We thought that RCI-EOS did a great job with the Superbowl. It was broadcast live in multiple venues and in all staterooms. In the Orpheum theater they provided football stadium type food.. hot dogs and chips etc. I thought this was such a nice touch. We watched the Superbowl in our suite, but ran down to the Orpheum to see the half-time show on the big screen. So fun! Read Less
Sail Date January 2013
We traveled from Arlington, VA which makes a very big difference when you have to use an electrical wheel chair. Even though it was snowing the check in went nice and smoothly. Our cabin (accessible) was great! Plenty of space and with the ... Read More
We traveled from Arlington, VA which makes a very big difference when you have to use an electrical wheel chair. Even though it was snowing the check in went nice and smoothly. Our cabin (accessible) was great! Plenty of space and with the needs that had been arranged with the special needs department; in other words, by the time we got back to the room after lunch all was in order. The cruise was sensational: the service in our cabins and at the restaurant (2d. sitting - Table 108)very unique ... the three wonderful individuals, very professional, serviceable and most of all always cheerful and willing to help, In relation to FOOD. it had been a long time since my DW and I had been in a large ship, since 2000 we had been in river cruises (Europe and China) and the improvement of what we remembered (accessibleas cheerfulular; one of the best meals we ever had in a Steakhouse was on Wednesday night at the Chopps restaurant - great food and real great professional service. There is just NO COMPLAINT. We are very glad we cruised in the Enchantment out of Baltimore and are already exploring opportunities for our next cruise with RCCL, out from Baltimore. Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
I took this cruise with my my wife and 2 children under 3, along with my inlaws, who had their own child under 2. The 7 of us were booked in a single Royal Family Suite, which proved to be too small for this many people. We made the best ... Read More
I took this cruise with my my wife and 2 children under 3, along with my inlaws, who had their own child under 2. The 7 of us were booked in a single Royal Family Suite, which proved to be too small for this many people. We made the best of it however, and one child had to be sleep in the walk in closet in a Pack N' Play with the door always partially open. One of the two bedrooms simply has no open space other than the bed. I slept in the Master Bedroom, which had a bathtub shower combination and a little open space. We were able to just barely fit a Pack N. Play and fold out cot for our two children. Space constrictions aside, the room was well furnished, with flat screen TVs in each bedroom, and a 40" flat screen and DVD player in the main living area. Our room attendant did an amazing job cleaning up after our little ones, and left us chocolates and towel animals each night on our bed. The benefits of booking a suite including priority seating in the theater, and access to the concierge lounge. The concierge lounge turned out to be the best part of the cruise, as many in my family agreed. Reyno, the concierge, was very helpful, and assisted with booking a last minute excursion. The open bar and canapes each evening before dinner were wonderful, and this became a daily tradition for our entire extended family. If you ever book a suite on a ship, you should really take advantage of this VIP feature. Dining: The Windjammer was crowded most of the time, but crew members were constantly clearing off tables and looking to assist those trying to find seating. Once you were sat, they would offer you drinks. The food was mediocre, but they at least made an effort to offer something different each day. The Main Dining Room had significantly better food, although some nights the Menu just seemed unappealing. Service the first night was very slow, and scared a number of tables around ours away. The rest of the cruise things came out alot quicker, and we enjoyed our experience in the main dining room. Our Headwaiter loved playing with my children, and gave them extra attention throughout the week. I found the desserts and the chilled fruit soups to be the best menu items. Ports: San Juan- Don't bother getting off unless you have an excursion, unless you want to walk to Senor Frogs. There is jewelry shopping, but not much else in the historic district. St. Thomas- We went to Magen's Bay, which is as beautiful as they say it is. It gets crowded later in the day, but the beach alone is worth a trip. Try the local "Carib" beer, and hit the shops on the way back. You can't beat the prices on jewelry and cameras there. Samana, DR- We went on an ATV excursion into the jungle, which was truly an adventure on multiple levels. On the way into the jungle, you passed lots of locals and the poverty is all around you. The children wave, but the adults generally ignore you. We rode the ATVs through mud, rocks, rivers, and ended up at a truly isolated beautiful beach. You can only get there by ATV or horseback, and it was truly an amazing experience. The locals will try and sell you there little handmade wares and trinkets, but are polite once you tell them no. If you want a true adventure into Samana, take the ATV tour. You also walk across a suspension bridge, visit a remote waterfall, and visit a cigar and chocolate plantation in the jungle. Amazing experience all around. Labadee, Haiti- This was also a very impressive stop. Labadee is very well built up, clean, and well organized. We booked a cabana and stayed at the private beach for hours, and really enjoyed ourselves. There are about 50 jet skis for rental, a waterpark, massive zip line, and rollercoaster that are not to be missed. I only wish we had more time to try some of these things. There are multiple buffets set up by RCL for cruisers that get off the ship to eat lunch. Entertainment- We also attended a magic show, which was mediocre, and a comedian, who was absolutley terrible. I was too scared to try another comedian the rest of the trip after the performance we saw. I heard from other people that the RCL singers and dancers were impressive, but that is not my cup of tea. The casino staff were very friendly, and kept me entertained while I donated my money. There was tons of trivia, karaoake, dancing, and DJ activity throughout the week, which kept me busy on slow days. I did not try the rock climbing wall or trampoline, and can not comment on those. Our kids were too young for the children's programs, but the older kids on the ship seemed to really enjoy them. Overall, we had an very good cruise. For those cruisers looking for a good time on a smaller ship, I highly recommend the Enchantment of the Seas. Read Less
Sail Date November 2012
We just completed a 7 night cruise on the RC Enchantment of the Seas, with our twin 11-year old boys. Let me preface my comments by saying, this was our 5th cruise, 3 on Carnival and now 2 on Royal Caribbean. We were looking forward ... Read More
We just completed a 7 night cruise on the RC Enchantment of the Seas, with our twin 11-year old boys. Let me preface my comments by saying, this was our 5th cruise, 3 on Carnival and now 2 on Royal Caribbean. We were looking forward to the ease of boarding in Baltimore as that is just over an hour's drive away from our home. Parking was shipside, and we were on the ship inside an hour of arriving at the port. Once we got to our Junior Suite, we were somewhat discouraged to see that the ship was pretty "tired". The cabinetry is quite old looking, and is in need of updating desperately. We did however have a flat screen TV, and a nice sized balcony. Our first, second, 12th meal and so on in the Windjammer, was bittersweet. The view is excellent, the food is not. The food on the entire cruise was quite disappointing. The best way to put it is just plain mediocre. In the Windjammer, we would joke about the "dried meat of the day" special. How can sliced roast beef taste like sandpaper?! The formal restaurant My Fair Lady had somewhat better food, not by far however, and the portions were very small. These discoveries were very disappointing when you so look forward to the food on a cruise. The entertainment on the ship was hit or miss, mostly miss. The singing and dancing shows were billed as "Broadway quality". Someone at RC needs to go back to Broadway. They were high school caliber at best. There was a hilarious comedy team called, John and Johnny B., they were terrific. The next night was a comedian named Dean Austin, that was painful to watch him self-destruct on stage. We were embarassed for him, it was beyond bad. The husband and wife team cruise directors tried very had to make things work with what they had. At times they seemed a little cheeky, but it must be hard to stay fresh week in and week out on these ships. Kids Club- Being that it was spring break week, we had over 900 kids on our ship of 2700 passengers. Our boys wanted to check out Kids Club, and it was packed! After an hour, and one kid throwing up in front of everyone, it was time to get them out. Having contracted the Noro Virus on our last cruise and confined to our cabin for 5 days, we were not taking any chances. They never went back to the club. Overall, I would rate this cruise 2 out of 5 stars. It is a small ship, the ports are okay, with the exception of Port Canaveral. There is a reason why that is an embarkation port, and should not be a destination port. Not much to do there. Nassau was nice, especially Atlantis. CocoKay was jam packed, as there was another ship there when we were there. At 9 am, they were already out of umbrellas for over 5000 people. I counted 30 on the beach, seriously?!! For a first time cruiser, this might be a good option, but for anyone that has cruised on another line, or is looking for more space to spread out, I would suggest going with something over the 100 gross ton category. In the meantime, the Enchantment needs to get a total facelift, and upgrade the food quality in a big way to be a serious cruise contender. Read Less
Sail Date April 2012
FIRST IMPRESSIONS: The best part of the cruise was sailing out of Baltimore. We only live an hour and a half away. The port is easy to get to and parking was a breeze. When we checked in, the computers were down and it took a while until ... Read More
FIRST IMPRESSIONS: The best part of the cruise was sailing out of Baltimore. We only live an hour and a half away. The port is easy to get to and parking was a breeze. When we checked in, the computers were down and it took a while until they got us through. We could go on the ship right away, without any additional wait. However, they let us in by the back door, on the first floor. When we sailed with Celebrity last time, we entered into the main entrance and received a welcome champagne drink. I believe first impressions are important! Like everyone else we went to the lunch buffet in the Windjammer Cafe. It was almost impossible to get a table. I was not too surprised, since I heard about the lack of space from other reviewers before, but it was still bothersome. The food was nothing to write home about: the usual selection consisted of hamburgers, French Fries, some unusual looking Asian food, a couple of deserts, salad and fruit. Free drinks were water, ice tea and lemonade (apple and orange juice of low quality was only available in the morning). CABIN: We could go to our cabin at 1:30 pm and the luggage had already arrived. Our large interior cabin was in good condition and of adequate size (for cruise ships). Everything was clean, except for the drawers. We had enough space to hang our clothes, even though we were three people. I think that a family of four has enough room in the cabin, if you get rid of the table and chair. You can request it to be taken out and the room steward will store it away for you. SPECIAL NEEDS: RCI was very accommodating with our special needs. My husband got a bottle of distilled water for his CPAP machine and my son got a refrigerator in the room. He is on a gluten and casein free diet, which basically means no wheat or dairy products. The dining room was exceptional in accommodating his dietary needs. FOOD & ADVENTURE OCEAN: The food in the dining room was good. I particularly liked the lamb shank which was marinated and cooked to perfection. Only one time I had to return an appetizer, because I did not like it. Our servers in the evening were super. They accommodated our son's needs and got him out of the dining room in time for My Family Dining. He got picked up by a member of the Adventure Ocean team at 6:40 pm, so we could eat the main course and dessert in peace. We really liked the kid's program overall. They had a lot of activities, face painting, crafts and movie nights. Our son did better than expected. He was in good hands. Now to the negative aspects of the dining room: The servers at night were spectacular, the service during breakfast and lunch was the worst we have ever received on a cruise ship. I assume they get only paid the gratuities from the evening guests and slack off with the service during the day. For lunch guests had to wait in line for about 10-20 minutes. Several times the line was so long it began in the Centrum and wrapped around the elevators (I am not kidding). When they extended the ship in 2005, they added mostly cabins, but not much space in the dining room and buffet area, hence the lines. Once seated in the dining room, one could wait another 10 minutes in line for the freshly prepared salad. One time the waiter brought all of our food - the soup and main meals - when my husband came back with his salad plate! I had to eat my main course first and my salad afterwards. After I was done with the salad they finally found our wine bottle from the night before and I had it with dessert. Sometimes we would split a salad, so only one of us had to wait in line. The other one had to stay with our son. SHOWS & ACTIVITIES: The shows on board were really good, better than the ones on our previous cruises. The Divas of Motown, the magician, the comedian and the dance crew were very good. The activities, however, were geared towards seniors: lots of trivia, bingo and crafts. We really liked the cooking demonstrations, wine seminars and enrichment classes on Celebrity. Also, they only had one dancing night on the boat (70's night). On other days, anything other than ball room dancing was virtually non-existent. I missed an 80's and 90's night. They supposedly played this kind of music in the night club, but all I saw was the DJ on auto pilot and a couple of cigar smokers. CRUISE CRITIC: We had a wonderful team of fellow cruisers. We met a couple of them when we first got on board. Two days later we had the meet & mingle meeting. Grandma Gail and 2Cruising had organized a gift exchange, a cabin crawl and a slot tournament. Especially the cabin crawl was interesting and we got a chance to see junior suites and a grand suite. I don't think you get a chance like this too often! Read Less
Sail Date November 2011
Thanksgiving cruising has become our families tradition. For the last three years, we have cruised out of Baltimore for our Thanksgiving holiday. Baltimore's cruise port is one of the best kept secrets. Very easy to get to, ... Read More
Thanksgiving cruising has become our families tradition. For the last three years, we have cruised out of Baltimore for our Thanksgiving holiday. Baltimore's cruise port is one of the best kept secrets. Very easy to get to, parking is relatively inexpensive ($12 per day), and the process is very smooth. We arrived at 11:00 and processed through the lines in about 30 minutes and boarded by 11:30. We live in DC metro area so this is perfect. The cruise itself was terrific. The weather was a bit rough on days one/two as we sailed down the coast. Once we reached Florida then it smoothed out, got warm, and we started loving the cruise. The itinerary is pretty great and has something for everyone. We went to San Juan, St Thomas, Labadee, and Samana (Dominican Republic). The weather was awesome and we had a great time. At Samana, make sure you do the Caya Leventado beach escape which takes you to a private beach with locally made Coco Locos (the only drinks made with a machete). The ship (Enchantment) is an intimate size and small by today's standards. We were on deck 8 and stayed in grand suite. OMG...it was so nice that we spent a significant amount of time just enjoying the room. After 10 cruises, this was our first time in a GS and it was worth saving extra for it. I felt like the GS brought back much of the luxury that one associates with cruising (chocolate covered strawberries delivered to the room, nightly chocolates, gifts, a concierge, complimentary drinks, special lounges, and a special reserved areas in Labadee). It was great. Food was the usual great experience. We ate in the main dining room every night and enjoyed every meal. My wife requires a gluten free diet and the staff gave her the next night's menu early so she could make a gluten free selection that would be ready the next day (for both lunch and dinner). There were signs that more expensive foods like the rack of lamb is being replaced for less expensive options like beef stroganoff...but we still thoroughly enjoyed every meal. Entertainment was OK. We frequently cruise so we had seen most of the shows which are OK but not great. The entertainment is directed towards the 60/70 year old crowd (we are in our 40's). I enjoyed the juggler and comedian. Music was again directed towards the 60/70 year old crowd. Lots of music from the 40's, 50's, and some 60/70's. Lots of classical. Fitness room had very nice equipment (weights and aerobic equipment). The treadmills were usually full so we made a practice of shifting our workout to the afternoons. It was nice seeing so many people focused on staying fit while on a cruise! Lots of kids since this was a Thanksgiving cruise. My son (10) and daughter (13) was able to get away from school so this worked for us...as it worked for a lot of families. This is expected for a Thanksgiving cruise...lots of happy children running around. Overall we had a terrific cruise (thank you RCCL!) and have already booked next Thanksgiving! Read Less
Sail Date November 2011
This was our second cruise, our first time with Royal Caribbean and the first time cruising with our daughter who is 8 years old. We were also traveling with my sister and brother-in-law and my mom and stepfather. Embarkation from ... Read More
This was our second cruise, our first time with Royal Caribbean and the first time cruising with our daughter who is 8 years old. We were also traveling with my sister and brother-in-law and my mom and stepfather. Embarkation from Baltimore is a treat. We arrived at the cruise port at 10:45 and we were onboard by 11:30. Our staterooms were available just shortly after 1:00. Our stateroom was as expected, very clean, and there was tons of storage space. A tip for future cruisers would be to bring extra clothes hangers. We brought several cheap dollar store wire hangers which worked out excellent. The window in our room was very large. Even with the pullman bed down we had enough space for the three of us. We had a connecting stateroom with my sister and brother-in-law which was very handy for playing games or chatting after our daughter had gone to bed. Service throughout this ship is exceptional! All crew members greeted us with a smile. There was always a server in the Windjammer ready to help carry drinks to a table, help find an empty table, or get your drinks for you. In the main Dining room our daughter was treated like a princess every night by our waiter and assistant waiter as well as the head waiter. Any reservations I had bringing her with us on this cruise were eased the very first evening. Our assistant waiter, Dondon, was phenomenal and played a key factor in making our trip amazing. I very much enjoyed the size of this ship. It was refreshing to be able to get from forward to aft without having to pack a snack! Although it is an older ship it is spotlessly clean. The public areas are very inviting with ocean views everywhere. We never had a problem finding a chair on the pool deck. If you wanted to be near the action you could be and there were plenty of areas to relax on the outer decks if you were wanting some quiet time. There were several activities taking place on the sea days. Our cruise director Mitch did a fantastic job. Debarkation was well organized, it was easy to find our luggage in the terminal and the customs officers were pleasant and smiling (WOW). Overall, if you are looking for a enjoyable cruise on a medium sized ship I highly recommend Enchantment. It was a pleasure driving to the cruise port (an easy drive from Ontario) and not having to worry about baggage restrictions and security lines at the airport. We will definitely cruise with Royal Caribbean again and would absolutely consider Enchantment when planning our next cruise. Read Less
Sail Date November 2011
The night before our first cruise was met with excitement and a little anxiety on my part. Not knowing what exactly to expect with the shuttle from the Country Inn and Suites in Linthicum, Md to the port and if we had to carry our bags to ... Read More
The night before our first cruise was met with excitement and a little anxiety on my part. Not knowing what exactly to expect with the shuttle from the Country Inn and Suites in Linthicum, Md to the port and if we had to carry our bags to the port or get a porter. The list goes on and on! The hotel was fantastic, as well as the staff. They assured me everything was going smoothly and made sure we got into port with plenty of time to spare. Our driver, Dominic, told us some interesting facts on the way to the port and was very funny and polite! The food, room, endless coffee and juice and warm cookies went along way with us after having traveled from Roanoke, VA in the pouring rain for most of the way. Finally, cruise day! The first sight of the ship was great! Having never been on a cruise before, my family, which consists of two boys ages 16 and 14 and our daughter who is 13 were so amazed at the sight before us! WOW here we go! Going through port security and getting on-board was no problem at all. Everyone seemed so nice and showed such patience with us. I am the only one to have a passport while the others all had Birth Certificates that had to be put into the computers by hand. It was time consuming, but the lady at the desk was wonderful. Once on-board, we were allowed to go directly to our stateroom. Again, amazing! After the ship had gone through a stretching, it made our room now 608 sq.ft! It slept 8 and had 2 bathrooms. We then ventured to the Windjammer Cafe. I had read that the lines were awful to get food and some preferred not to do "buffet" style. We did not run into any of this at all! The passengers all moved smoothly and quickly getting all they could ever want to eat or drink. The service was great and the food delicious. The next two days at sea were wonderful! We got to know our room attendant, Courtney. He was absolutely wonderful and his surprise pets that he made for us were adorable. We had to take pictures of them. So cute. Our room was directly below the Cafe and never once were we disturbed by noise or movement. The window was perfect to sit in and watch the morning come. The beds were extremely comfortable and well laid out. Our dining staff, Denzil and Sheryl, were top notch! I can't say enough about them. We thought they were very attentive and really got to know the children. The head waiter, B was great. He came by nightly to check to make sure we had everything we needed. Josephine, the hostess, was amazing! She knew our room number after the first night and never had trouble scheduling our My Time Dining reservations. There was also a hostess from the Windjammer cafe. Her name was Reah. She was fantastic! We looked forward to seeing her every morning. Her bright smile and great attitude were infectious. We enjoyed trying new dishes and being treated like royalty was so new to us that even the children didn't mind wearing nice clothes every night to dinner! The food...WOW delicious. The staff at the rock wall were wonderful. David, Carter and Adrianna were so awesome that my kids loved going several times a day! Even my husband climbed! David was also at the jump zone and did a great job with this as well. Their patience and great attitudes really rubbed off on us. We got to know Jose and Ji Binjie at the outside pool bar. It was amazing to hear about where everyone lived and if they had families, how long they had been with RCI etc. They are truly amazing people that work on this ship and we are so grateful to have been able to take our first cruise on Enchantment of the Seas. Everyone was so personable and kind. Our kids really enjoyed the teen center and those that helped run things did a great job! My kids are still talking about it! I liked the fact that the kids had their own place to go. No parents allowed was pretty cool for them. We toured San Juan on our own and enjoyed it. The fort was amazing. St. Thomas was beautiful. We took an excursion to Magen's Bay with Davis Gumps taxi service and was in awe. The water was great and the life guard, Jessi was so friendly. Seeing iguanas walk around was new to us and also very exciting. We strolled around town some and enjoyed that very much. We didn't care for the one lady that followed us. We finally realized that she was waiting for us to need a taxi back to the ship. We did not use her. We used someone else and were very happy. In Samana, D.R. we took an excursion with Touring Samana with Terry. We did the horseback riding and feel like we really got to see the real Samana! This was by far, the best part for us. We had read Terry's web-site and saw that we could take school supplies to the children. We all got so excited about this and my kids really got into it. So that's what we did. As well as, baseball gloves and volleyballs that had been sitting in my garage. We flattened that out to fit in our luggage and took a pump along! We road horses to the school and met the kids and gave them their supplies and met the teacher. What a blessing to be able to do this. We learned how they teach/learn and the kind of day they have. We then stopped and tried some local fruit, cocoa, honey, coffee. These people were amazing to open their area to us and share there bread and marmalade with us. We did buy a couple of little trinkets and some honey. Everything was so delicious and the people were so kind to us. Our tour guides, Laura and her husband, Domingo were again amazing! They told us about their island and the people on it. They next took us to lunch, which was included, on the beach. The lady, Mama who cooked everything was wonderful. We had fish, chicken, rice with chickpeas, potatoes carrots with water chestnuts, fresh fruits, cabbage salad and local beer and coffee. To say I am an adventurous eating is a lie. I am very picky, as are my kids. We tried everything and loved EVERYTHING! Cooked fresh and over a grill was so good. When we complemented Mama on feeding us her food, she beamed! We could tell she really enjoyed feeding people! My daughter, who is an avid horseback rider finally had her dream of galloping on the beach! She and Laura went twice and I again felt so blessed to have been able to be there at that moment in time. We then went to the waterfall and swam. WOW this was new and exciting and so beautiful. Some of the local kids helped us along the rocky path and they work on tips. Very friendly and very unassuming. We were happy to tip them a couple of dollars for their time. There was a gentleman at the waterfall selling his trinkets and t-shirts. I did get a little put out with him when he wouldn't leave us be. Somewhat pushy, but I certainly could have been a little more stern with my "No thank-you" I just kept thinking about all the "things I have and these people don't have that. Oh well. If that was the worst of it, that was still better than most. I had heard from others that they did not do an excursion but walked around. These people said they were hounded by kids for money. We had none of that happen. Our excursion with Terry, was awesome and we highly recommend it to anyone! Labadee, Haiti was outstanding and very comfortable. The snorkeling, zip-line and para-sailing were incredible. We would love to sail out of Baltimore again on the Enchantment of the seas. We are now a happy cruising family and would do this again! Read Less
Sail Date October 2011
We left Rochester at 5am to get to the Port of Baltimore around 12:30pm, easy port to find. This was our second consecutive time cruising from Baltimore. Embarking the Enchantment was slightly complicated since it was POURING but we ... Read More
We left Rochester at 5am to get to the Port of Baltimore around 12:30pm, easy port to find. This was our second consecutive time cruising from Baltimore. Embarking the Enchantment was slightly complicated since it was POURING but we were up on deck by 2pm. I didn't spend too much time on the outer decks because it was raining almost all day for the first 5 days of the cruise (We had to go in between Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Jose). The Ship itself was very nice, it doesn't look superior from the outside but the inside was very updated. My cabin was located on deck 2 (the lowest passenger deck) midship. It was sortof a bummer because it was far away from both forward and aft elevators/staircases, but hey, I got my exercise. The cabin itself wasn't the greatest, the shower was tiny and the closet was smaller than on Carnival, but the beds were comfy and the bathroom (except the shower) was pretty spacious for being on a cruise ship. The entertainment was great, and the food was also amazing. I was disappointed that there was no sports court on this ship, but the fact that there were bungee trampolines totally made up for it. **Note: when you use the bungee trampolines, wear Capri or long shorts. I got Velcro burn on my inner thighs because I wore short-shorts. The teen club was a little small, but there were 2 Foosball tables and a dance floor, which was nice. I thoroughly enjoyed hanging there and in the Viking Crown Lounge with my many new friends. All in all it was a great vacation and I hope to sail with RCI again soon! Read Less
Sail Date August 2011
This was our first time we did not fly to our port of embarkation and it was great. It just couldn't have been any easier. We parked right at the port and we were on the ship in less than 30 minutes after leaving our car. I have to ... Read More
This was our first time we did not fly to our port of embarkation and it was great. It just couldn't have been any easier. We parked right at the port and we were on the ship in less than 30 minutes after leaving our car. I have to say We were expecting to see a lot more wear & tear on this ship considering her age, but we were pleasantly surprised. The only area we found to be showing a little age is the pool deck. That being said, it really didn't detract from the pool deck area or the ship's beauty. We stayed in cabin 8610, our first JS. The room was probably a little smaller than the JS's on newer ships but we still found it roomy. I usually bring an over the door shoe holder to help store all our little things, but I did not use it on this trip. There was plenty of storage. We ate almost all our dinners in the main dining room and found the food and the service to be very good. We took advantage of the My Time Dining option but we still had the same servers every night which was nice. One thing we did notice about this ship is that it seems to have a strong appeal to the older set. We saw more scooters and walkers on this ship than we have seen on all our previous 7 cruises combined. This is probably because we usually cruise on larger ships which are less appealing to older passengers. This being said, it really didn't take away from our fun. There were still plenty of younger passengers to mingle with. Our 17 y.o. son also enjoyed himself even though the ship didn't have the bell & whistles found on the larger ones. There were plenty of other teens to hang out with. Although I think we will probably choose to cruise on larger ships in the future, we will still look back at this cruise fondly. It is a great ship for relaxation with a little night life thrown in. Read Less
Sail Date August 2011
My family and I, along with our son's girlfriend decided to Enchantment of the Seas because it was local for us. We arrived from South Jersey within two hours. Parking is available at the port and plan to pay as you arrive. Checkin ... Read More
My family and I, along with our son's girlfriend decided to Enchantment of the Seas because it was local for us. We arrived from South Jersey within two hours. Parking is available at the port and plan to pay as you arrive. Checkin went well and arrived on the ship and was able to go to the Windjammer for lunch. Our cabin was nice. I always like to have a balcony so I could step out and enjoy the ocean while at sea. Our cabin steward was great - he was always fixing our room up and was very pleasant. One thing I was disappointed about was the pools. They did, several years ago, take the ship, cut it in half and expanded it along with some remodeling. However, the two pools are not graduated, they are about 4 1/2 feet deep so children who can't swim cannot really enjoy the pools. Our twelve year old is short for his age and was not able to go into the pools. There is a wading area for toddlers, but nothing for children that don't swim. The dining room was nice. We always enjoy Royal Caribbean's food. Our head waiter, Ice was great and paid extra attention to our son. Carmen, our bread waiter was friendly and just went the extra mile to make us feel welcome. The shows were enjoyable. However, plan to arrive about a 1/2 hour early. The theater does fill up quickly. They do offer activites of which if you do something, again, arrive early. We went up to the lounge, but it was so smokey, we had to leave. There is a rock climbing wall that is fun to try, although I wasn't quite able to make it to the top! There is also a trampoline that looks like kids enjoyed. We loved the ports we visited. Labadee, Haiti was beautiful. This was Royal Caribbean's private beach. They do offer a wonderful lunch and we found this day to be our favorite! Puerto Rico was excellent for our horseback ride. St. Thomas - great for snorkeling and shopping! In all, we did have a nice time. But, the ship is looking worn and could use some updating. Read Less
Sail Date July 2011
This was an absolutely fabulous vacation. Out of all six cruises I've been on before, this was definitely one of the best. We arrived a day early, and stayed at the Hotel Monaco, which was a block or so from the inner harbor. ... Read More
This was an absolutely fabulous vacation. Out of all six cruises I've been on before, this was definitely one of the best. We arrived a day early, and stayed at the Hotel Monaco, which was a block or so from the inner harbor. The hotel was very nice, clean, and service was great. However, they did not offer a park and cruise option, so we ended up parking at the pier. This was rather convenient, since we walked right off the ship, and our car was a stones throw away. The embarkation process went smoothly. The longest part of it was waiting in the car for 20 or so minutes in a line to get into the parking lot. Priority check in was quick, and we were on the ship in no time. The ship is older, and it is showing its age in some areas. The older staterooms (excluding the royal, owners, and grand suites) need refurbishing. The wood cabinetry is worn and the bathrooms are outdated. Also, many carpets on the public areas of the ship have stains on them and need to be replaced. We had purchased an owners suite 8520 for the cruise though, and everything was very well kept. My grandmothers room on the other hand, a junior suite 8562, looked as if it had not seen any work since the ship was built, with the exception of the tv. Both rooms had new flat screen tv's. I have heard reviews about people noticing a sewage smell on the lower decks, but I never noticed this. Thankfully, the crew did a very good job in keeping everything excessively clean. As long as a few carpet stains don't bother you, it isn't a big matter. This cruise was one of my favorites, mostly because of the crew. Everyone seemed extremely happy to help the passengers and get to know people. My room was at the front of the ship, and there were three stateroom attendants I had to pass to get to the centrum. Each one took a moment to get to know me, and inquire about how my vacation was, what i did in port etc.. The concierge, Reynor was also great. After my mom explained to him how the ship had no caffeine free diet coke, he took his time at the port of St Thomas, and was able to find her a 12 pack. The night, he rang our doorbell and gave it to her (free of charge). He was always full of energy, very professional, and happy to see his guests. I went to every show during the ship. The two comedians/jugglers were very humorous and talented. One of them was able to ride a unicycle, with a young child on his shoulders, and juggle balls. All while the ship was rocking back and fourth (we had a few rough days at sea). The RCL singers and dancers were also the best i've seen on any of royal Caribbean's ships. They never seemed to get bored of doing their shows (they perform these shows many times during the year, and normally you can tell). The actual shows that RCL provided them with were not that great, but the production team put the shows on top notch. They had the only performance during the whole cruise that received a standing ovation. Also, if you do not have a gold colored sea pass (diamond member, or guest in a suite) i recommend getting to the shows about 20 minutes early, or else you most likely will not be able to find a seat. In San Juan, we walked to El Morro fort, and then walked around the city on our own. We didn't do much else. In st. Thomas, we did a snorkeling tour booked through the ship. The reef was very pretty, and we even saw a turtle! My mother and grandparents booked a driver (not through RCL) and he took my father and I up to a few look out point on the top of the mountain. Then we shopped, and boarded the ship. In Samana DR, we did Tours with Terry. We took a horse ride to the salto de limon waterfall. Samana was very poor, but the people were excessively nice. They did not speak much english though. I had a great time on the tour, and would recommend it to anyone. The waterfall was beautiful, and the horses were not malnourished. In Labadee we booked a private cabana on the ocean. I went on the hipline, which was pricy, but well worth the money for a once in a life ride. I do recommend avoiding the artisan shops in labadee. The vendors are extremely aggressive, and will keep you in their store until you purchase something. They will NOT let you out. If you want to buy something, and need change, you will get your change in the form of other trinkets, not money. Overall, I had a great time on this ship, and am thinking about doing the six night to bermuda next year. i took photos, http://www.flickr.com/photos/27837585@N06/sets/ Read Less
Sail Date July 2011
My family of six just got back from a cruise on Royal Carribean, Enchantment of the Seas. This is a lovely ship and the destinations were great. We went to Puerto Rico, St. Thomas, Dominica Republuic (Samana) and Labade Haiti. This ... Read More
My family of six just got back from a cruise on Royal Carribean, Enchantment of the Seas. This is a lovely ship and the destinations were great. We went to Puerto Rico, St. Thomas, Dominica Republuic (Samana) and Labade Haiti. This is our 5th cruise, our 2nd on Royalk Carribean. The staff on this ship is out of this world. We could not be happier. Our waiter Mellvine treated each of us like we were his only table...very attentive....gave us special treatment ...although i am sure he treated all like that it just felt like special treatment. The entire staff was great andaccomadating...bar tenders get to know you by name. The entertainment was fabulous (the magician we could do without...worst I have seen..he was a comedian/magician) Early from Turkey was hilarious...any show he hosted, any game he was in charge of we left with our sides hurting from laughing! The Unexpected Boys did a great Frankie Valle Show. All the shows were great. Puerto Rico we could not do the excursion we wanted due to weather...but we went on a tour...i could live without Puerto Rico but we did go to Senor Frogs while we were there and had a BLAST!!! St. Thomas is just beautiful we went on a tour of Black Beards castle, run famtory it was Great!! Samana Dominica Republic is beautiful. If you don't planan excursion I would not get off the ship..it is sad little children begging. But we went on a exxcursion to a waterfall thru the rainforest. Our guide Peter was funny, friendly, entertaining and informative. The countryside is BEAUTIFUL!! Labade Haiti was gorgeous as well. We went snorkeling there and the guide on the boat was great took my family out and showed us things on the ocean floor we would have overlooked. It was great!!! WE always take excursions from the ship. What better way to get the feel of each destination. You see things you might never see. I can't say one bad thing about the entire cruise (except the comedian/magician). My husband and I even took ballroom dance lessons while there (and my husband hates dancing ) but I think now I can convince him to take lessons that was a blast. My daughter told our girl that takes care of our room how much I LOVE the bed animals out of towels and she made sure that every night I had one in my room. It tickeled me. Would I do this cruise again? YES!!! Would i go on Enchantment of the Seas again? YES!!!! Read Less
Sail Date June 2011
Review of my 12 night Enchantment cruise. We drove down the day before and stayed at the Sleep Inn that ran a service that shuttled customers to and from ship- this was great. We booked this through 123stay or stay123 dot com. This ... Read More
Review of my 12 night Enchantment cruise. We drove down the day before and stayed at the Sleep Inn that ran a service that shuttled customers to and from ship- this was great. We booked this through 123stay or stay123 dot com. This reduced the stress of getting to the ship on time/parking. Remember...if you are leaving your car parked for 13 days....hide any valuables that you leave in your car!! I saw at least 1 car at the port parking with a broken window and one at the hotel. Day 1- embarkation, easy! This was my first RCI cruise and I would say the processes on both lines are similar. Toured the ship with my father and 4 year old. My daughter was amased at ship (in my opinion....too bad it wasn't the Pride....that's a beautiful ship). Toured Adventure Ocean and my daughter did not want to leave. She loeved the foosball tables and wii's, but those were for the 6-8 year olds. But outside AO there is a foosball table, but regular size so smaller kids could not see the ball. Went to see the comedian in the Orphium...not bad. My daughter sat through it ? Day 2-Deck 9 closed- there was ice. Rough seas, but that would be expected. Went swimming in the Solarium from 12-2 when they allow kids in on bad weather days. Warning about the pools- All of them tend to be hot or cold, never really in between. The reason being that some people like hot water, some like cold...or that was what was explained to me. Captain's Party...met some great people. Meet and mingle this day too. Formal night that night and family disco in the kids section...great fun!!!! Day 3- Bathing suits out by 11am in the outdoor pools!!!!! Day 4- Labadee. It rained. We had considered renting a cabana if any were still available, but so glad we didn't. Adventure Ocean is on land this day...lots of water balloon tossing in morning session. There is a small water spray park that kids can play in with parents around- great fun. Note- there were 70 kids under the age of 18 on this trip. On the occasions I would use AO onboard, there were between 1 and 5 kids max in the 3-5 group. That was wonderful!! I understand the current cruise (xmas week) has 500-700 kids on board (UGH!!!) Kids were treated so well my staff on the ship. Our Head Waiter (can't remember his name but he was from Romania) always made sure my daughter had a shrimp cocktail at dinner. Day 5- Semana- My daughter and I did the Cayo Levanto tour. I would recommend this to anyone. Beautiful beach! Beach chairs were included. Small shower in the am, but nothing that would ruin our day! Day 6- San Juan- We spent the day doing our own thing. Took the free trolley to Fort San Cristobel. Very interesting. Afterwards, we walked back down to the ship. Tried bungee jumping and the rock wall. For dinner, my dad and I went to Chops. I was a bit skeptical, but ended up loving it and would pay to go again. Warning- the dinner the next night in the dining room is disappointing. Show this night was a gentleman who had a few hits in the 60's. Often times he would say "if you are over 45, you will remember this." Well, I am not 45 and I did not care this show. Day 7- St Thomas- Took a taxi to Magen's Bay. Loved it!!! Lots of fish that were foot biters, but I got use to it. It tickled more than anything. Best beach for a young child...calm waves! Day 8- St Marteen- dad, daughter and myself did the Butterfly Farm and Marigot Tour. It was good. We live in a city that has a butterfly experience at the local play museum and near Niagara Falls, Canada that has an amazing butterfly experience. For someone who has not 'walked with butterflies', it would be a great time. Shopping in Marigot....just the same shopping as where the ship docks, but on the other side of the ocean. Tour guide was good and showed us where they filmed "Speed 2" Day 9-Best of Tortola tour. OK tour. The beach that they took us to at the end (on Atlantic Ocean side) was great. Lunch was included, and it was worth it. I had the grilled mahi mahi. Day 10- Spent time in the sun until 1pm when it started to get a bit chilly. Rest of the days...casino and reading time! I felt as though the captain was more of a comedian than the cruise director. Loved the captain!! We did self check out...loved it! Off the ship by 7:30, on the shuttle by 8, and on the road by 8:30! Read Less
Sail Date December 2010
We sailed on the Enchantment of the Seas for a post-Thanksgiving cruise. I had sailed this itinerary in 2005 on the Grandeur of the Seas and enjoyed it very much. I do not like the changes made with the expansion of the ship. There ... Read More
We sailed on the Enchantment of the Seas for a post-Thanksgiving cruise. I had sailed this itinerary in 2005 on the Grandeur of the Seas and enjoyed it very much. I do not like the changes made with the expansion of the ship. There is now only one way in and out of the Spotlight Lounge since they put in Chopps Grill. Also, two wonderful sitting areas were lost. They have removed the doors from the library so the library, despite the note to the contrary in the Daily Compass, is NEVER a quite area. Also, part of the Champagne Bar seating area is now reserved every evening for a "Diamond Only" event. The captain was Capt. Rob and he was as great as always. Always fun to sail with him. No one wants to miss his daily log at noon or any other announcement he might make. The last day was stormy and the decks were closed (so you couldn't walk from the Windjammer to the Solarium, but had to go down a level, walk across and then up). The staff came up with more activities (televised football games!) but it was clear that they weren't happy. Rules were changed from what they were previously in the cruise and that upset the trivia players with the scoring. I constantly had the idea that the games weren't to have fun, but to fill time. We were often hurried so that Bingo could start. The last game I went to was a Scene It where the RC staff person told the two teams who had perfect scores that there would be a sudden death play off (she had to get to Bingo) then told one person (when both turned in the answers at the same time and she took one, not the other) that she could have shoved the other person out of the way to turn in her answer. She only had 6 prizes and so only one team could win. The winning team gave 3 of the prizes to the second place team. Everyone in attendance was appalled at the behavior of the RC staff person and many went over to thank the winning team for their good sportsmanship. Has RC gotten so cheap that they can't come up with 6 more little prizes? The last day games left a bad taste in my mouth for RC games. Read Less
Sail Date November 2010
This is my third cruise, all through Royal Caribbean, and it was pretty much perfect, as expected. Sure there were some issues, but nothing that really spoiled our vacation. We did find a hotel that would keep our car for the ... Read More
This is my third cruise, all through Royal Caribbean, and it was pretty much perfect, as expected. Sure there were some issues, but nothing that really spoiled our vacation. We did find a hotel that would keep our car for the length of the cruise just for staying there the night before, or after, the cruise. It was cheaper than parking at the port, and we got breakfast included ! That allowed us to go down the night before, and avoid the last minute rush and fear of heavy traffic, flat tires, etc. The hotel supplied us with a shuttle trip to and from the cruise port without incident. This cruise was my first cruise out of a local port, so we didn't have to worry about airline restrictions or timing. It is the second cruise on the Enchantment of the Seas, and the second time we stayed in room 8093. When we booked this cruise last year on our previous cruise, we liked the room, so booked the same one. Not that our room was anything special, but it was on deck 8, which put us close to the activities. We seldom had to use the elevators, as we could easily walk up or down a floor or two and be where ever we wanted. We also didn't have to wait in an elevator that stopped at several floors on our way to a lower level room every time we had to go to the room. We found the onboard activities to be more than satisfactory. There was always something to do. If nothing seemed interesting to you, you could always find other ways to pass the time. The Cruise Director (Carly B) and her staff (Mo, Desmond, Dave, and all) were 100 percent enjoyable. They know how to entertain! Milton, one of the contestants for "Mr. Enchantment of the Seas" said it best when he said (and I am paraphrasing) "If you don't have fun on this cruise, it is your own fault!" He was absolutely right. There was something for everyone. The crew did everything they could to make your vacation the best it could be. The service was great, and our room steward (Vernon) was the best. (Doesn't everyone seem to say that ?) The dining room service was also excellent. Edguardo, our Waiter, was very efficient, enjoyable, and perfect in every way. He knew your preferences by day three for sure - some even by day two. By the end of the cruise, he had become more of a friend than a waiter. On my birthday, we decided to eat in Chops. It cost $50 for two people, plus drinks if you chose. The food was excellent, and the service was perfect. They only take so many people per night, so it isn't crowded. The meals were definitely worth more than $25 each. Cooked to perfection for both of us, we had the Filet Mignon. Next time we know, if you are going to eat at Chops, do not eat breakfast and lunch ! The quantity of food they give you is really too much. And, they don't offer doggy bags to take the rest home (no, I didn't ask). I didn't eat much of my salad to make sure I had room for the beef, but that didn't work. With the appetizers (family style) and bread, salad, etc., I still could not eat all the filet. If you never ate in the specialty restaurants while on a cruise, do yourself a favor, and try it at least once for a special occasion. The fourth port we visited was Labadee. This is a private resort owned by Royal Caribbean, so only Royal Caribbean cruisers can get there. If you want to swim make sure you go to either Nellies Beach, or Columbus Cove. The other beaches are great for sunbathing, but not swimming. The other beaches have many stones and rocks on the beach floor where Nellies Beach and Columbus Cove do not. The swimming beaches are nice clean beaches, beautiful scenery, and various types of tropical trees lining the beach offering shade if wanted. Although we were here for about 8 hours, it would have been nice to spend two days here, and not stopped at our third port - Samana, Dominca. The roller coaster (new feature) was fun, but I think overpriced. I did it twice, and am glad, but don't have the urge to do it anymore. The food was a huge display of cruise ship food brought onto the island. The choice was limited, but there was some variety. The resort is large, but you can easily walk from one end to the other. A tram is offered to go from the beach area to the ship, and back again, but we decided to take a look at the island and walk instead. There is an Artists Alley where vendors are trying to sell you their goods. Even telling them you don't have any money, doesn't stop them from trying. Here, like the other islands we visited, you do not want to pay the first price they quote you, or you will be overpaying. Talk them down to something you would feel good about paying, and if they won't do it, walk away. They won't sell you something at a loss, but they also won't let a profit walk away. When the time came to get off the island, we didn't want to go. We enjoyed the water, the beach, the food, and the fellow cruisers. This is one place that I would love to come back to in the future. One think about leaving from Baltimore during the cooler months. It is cooler for the first two days or so, so you may not be able to do any outside swimming in the ships pools. The waters of the Atlantic Ocean are also a bit rougher than the Caribbean. I can't say that they were terrible or anything, but they definitely were not as calm as when you are in the islands. We did hit some windy days and patches of rain, but it also did eliminate the hassle of dealing with airlines, and eliminated the extra costs for the airline tickets. All in all, we really enjoyed the cruise. We met many new people, as well as seeing some people we have met before. Jut about everyone we met seemed to want to have a good time, and made the most of the cruise. Occasionally, you would meet someone who disliked RCI for one reason or another, and they would tell you how good the "other" cruise line is. Hopefully, they won't sail RCI again, and I won't have to listen to them complain. I liked it, and will continue to sail Royal Caribbean International and they can go back to their favorite. Read Less
Sail Date October 2010
Family of 4, we've cruised many times, on many lines. This was one of our least favorite cruises. Of course we still had fun (a bad cruise is still more fun than work and school!) and there were some positives, but simply not as good ... Read More
Family of 4, we've cruised many times, on many lines. This was one of our least favorite cruises. Of course we still had fun (a bad cruise is still more fun than work and school!) and there were some positives, but simply not as good as other cruises. Positives: Embarkation - This was probably the best embarkation we have ever had. Never cruised from Baltimore before. From the moment we drove the car into the parking lot, everything was extremely organized and quick, really a pleasure. "If you know it, dance it" - This is the first time I had seen this game, and it was nice to see something new. They announce a particular dance step or famous performer, and everyone in the lounge rushes up to the dance floor to do the step and get points for their team. A great game for the first night, really got everyone involved. 70s night party - They did a really good job with this, probably the best 70s party I have seen on a cruise ship. A lot of energetic participation from both cruise staff and singers/dancers, it was a great party. Just wished they did the same with any other night of the cruise! "The Quest" - Listing as a positive just because I think it is a fun activity. Nothing new here if you have seen it on other RCCL ships. "Gotta Dance" - Another fun activity. Although it could have been done better (see below). Disembarkation - Went very smoothly and quickly. (t least from a Platinum-member's point of view, we did get out earlier than others...) Guest entertainers - I enjoyed the comedians, jugglers, guest singers, etc., with the exception of one woman singer they had as a "headliner" one night - I forget her name, but she really wasn't that good, really had trouble with all the high notes (some of the Karaoke singers were better...) Negatives: Ship - Ship was very crowded. I've been on full ships before, but they don't usually feel full. This was does. There aren't enough seats in the theater - if you go 30 minutes before showtime, you still couldn't get a good seat in some cases. Perhaps this is because the ship was expanded, but the public rooms are still only large enough for the original size? Cruise staff - With the exception of the 70s party, the cruise staff just didn't seem that interested. For example during 50s night party, they had 2 cruise staff people dancing with each other in a corner of the dance floor, hardly engaging the guests at all. Worst 50s party ever. If only they took the energy they had during the 70s party and gave the same during the other 8 nights... Guest services - This is the first time I've had problems with guest services. I asked a question, and was told they would call me back the next day with an answer. They never called. Then I went back a few days later and asked again, and they gave me an answer that was wrong. Also made me stand in line twice in order to fix a single mistake they made on my bill. Stateroom TV - Not a big deal, but odd not to see a view from the deck, videos of various activities, etc., that I normally see. Also the channels are all Spanish channels - shows might be in English, but if there are subtitles you need to read, they are in Spanish, as are all commercials. Never saw that before. My Time dining - was told I should call between 9:30 and 11:30 am to make reservations, but several times no one was manning the phones during that time, and the line went to someone else's voice mail. Went in person and still no one was there... Activities - Usually on a cruise there is always something on the list of activities I want to do, sometimes there are multiple options I need to choose from. Here there were many times when there just wasn't anything listed I had any interest in. Dancers - Production shows included 3 dance couples. They were fine, but would have been nice to have more. Most other ships seem to have added ballroom couples, adagio couples, acrobats, gymnasts, etc. to their production company to add more variety to the show, but not here. Photographers - Much more picture taking then usual. Every single day. And some were quite pushy, stopping you to take pictures even after you said no. Children's program - There were some positives here, as they did some good activities. My kids are 7 and 9, and it was nice to see they integrated some science activities and arts and crafts into the program. I just wish the youth staff was more engaging. I've been on ships where by the middle of the cruise, the youth staff knew the names of both me and my children, and would say hello if they see them anywhere on the ship. Here, by the last day, they still had no idea who I was coming to pick up. Children felt the staff was not as playful as on other ships. Also note that they combined the 12-14 kids with the 15-17 kids, saying there weren't enough kids to split them up. I think this is a bad idea - do you really want your 12yo daughter playing with 17yo boys?? Keep them separate, I don't care how many you have. "Gotta Dance" - I listed the program itself as a positive. But I understand on other ships it was done better, by having a video you can watch on TV to practice, and providing guests with accessories. Also, first time it was listed in the Compass, it was just a single line entry with zero explanation. Why not provide a 1-paragraph explanation, as is done for many other activities? Neutral: Food - Typical of RCCL. Not as good as some other lines, better than some others. Not a lot of variety in the Windjammer, but could always find something. Read Less
Sail Date August 2010
We booked this cruise because it leaves out of Baltimore and that is a much shorter drive for us than Florida. My husband hates to fly. We did the same itinerary a few years ago on the Granduer and we really had a great time. Maybe our ... Read More
We booked this cruise because it leaves out of Baltimore and that is a much shorter drive for us than Florida. My husband hates to fly. We did the same itinerary a few years ago on the Granduer and we really had a great time. Maybe our expectations were to high. Our stateroom attendant was wonderful. Can't say enough about how good she was. We had a balcony stateroom that was very nice with plenty of room for storage. Missed having the menu on the TV to check charges on sea pass. Dinner in the dining room was not so great. I didn't think the food was up to the usual standards. We did not get very good service. The waiter tried hard but his assistant was not on the ball so he had to keep going behind her and doing her job as well as his. You would think by the end of the nine days she would remember what people were drinking, but this was not the case. We were always the last to leave our section because our food was so late. We had early seating and it usually took at least 45 minutes to get our appetizer. No little extras at the table no card tricks or any of the little things that entertain. That being said I wonder how much of this was due to a very demanding couple at our table that were very high maintenance. Had breakfast and lunch at Windjammer. Windjammer was pretty good. Not really sure what else they could put on breakfast bar, it had everything. Lunch was also pretty good. Royal has cut back on so many little things that first time cruisers would never miss, but experienced cruisers do. As I said they are small things but were part of what sets Royal above some other cruise lines. We were on Freedom last summer and maybe we just need a bigger ship, but I will not book this ship again. As far as ports - I love Labadee (although our favorite little cove is now for suite guests only). I also enjoyed St. Thomas. In Samana we did the Cayo Levantado Beach break and had a great time, our son snorkeled right off the beach and said it was great! We do not care for Old San Juan. We have been there before and did not like it. We should have stayed on the ship. I don't mean for this to sound totally negative, it just was not up to the standard that I usually enjoy with Royal. Read Less
Sail Date July 2010
Overall we had a great cruise - we met some new friends, enjoyed fun activities, and relaxed. We sailed this exact itinerary on the same week last year. We love the 4.5 Sea Days to relax. This is my 6th RCCL cruise (9th over all). I sailed ... Read More
Overall we had a great cruise - we met some new friends, enjoyed fun activities, and relaxed. We sailed this exact itinerary on the same week last year. We love the 4.5 Sea Days to relax. This is my 6th RCCL cruise (9th over all). I sailed with my daughter (almost 15) and an adult family friend who sailed with us last year. Parking/Check In/Etc. - We arrived in Baltimore about 45 minutes later than planned (11:20) due to a late start and bad traffic. The porter took our bags, we paid cash (135 for the week) and we parked in less than 15 minutes. We went to the terminal and waited for security. We were in a suite so we were able to use the special check-in line. The process was efficient and well run. We were on the ship in less than an hour from the time we arrived. Room - We were in a Grand Suite (8032). It was very similar to the suite we had last year on Grandeur. It is across from the crew stairway/elevator and you will hear considerable noise when luggage is being moved (first day and last night)- otherwise it was no issue. The balcony did have new furniture. In St. Thomas, they replaced our tube TV with a flat screen. We heard carts rolling in the Windjammer in our room. Once I realized what they were, I learned to ignore them when I was awake - they were never loud enough to wake us up. This could be an issue for a light sleeper. Unlike the Grandeur, this ship had a concierge and lounge. We used it every day and really enjoyed it. Diego was a wonderful Concierge and took care of anything we needed. We tended to eat a continental breakfast in the Concierge lounge because we could easily sit down, the view was great, the coffee machine was there, and Diego always asked how the cruise was going. Food - We had breakfast in the dining room twice and Windjammer once. For lunch we had food from the Windjammer twice and ate in the dining room three times. The Windjammer was packed at both breakfast and lunch. It did not seem to matter if you were early or late. The breakfast food was so-so (typical buffet). At breakfast, the omelet line was very long but they seemed to be the best item. The food and service in the dining room for breakfast was very disappointing compared to past RCCL cruises. Pancakes were either under cooked or over cooked. I received the wrong side item once - the waiter never did correct this. Drink refills (coffee, water, etc) were very slow (or non-existent). The cereal and fruit bar was a great idea. The Windjammer food at lunch was not bad (the Indian Tomato Soup was wonderful) but finding a table was almost impossible. We tended to take food back to the balcony to eat (A tray would have been nice for this). I thought there was less variety/selection than in the past. In the dining room the salad station was the very popular. They alternated the same two menus on the 5 days it was open. Service was better than breakfast but still not up to the level of what we had had in the past (slow drink refills, not asking if anyone needed anything). We ate early seating in the My Fair Lady dining room for dinner 7 of the 9 nights. We had a very good server (Antony from India). His assistant was a little hit or miss but he made up for it. We shared a table for 10 with 2 other families. Overall the food was good - some items better than others. We shared a curry each night as a side dish. One night the head waiter had a chicken curry made as a special entree since we seemed to enjoy it so much (it was so good). On San Juan night we missed our seating (excursion ran until 6:30). Since we were in the suite, we ordered the dining room dinner through room service. It was delivered promptly and nice and hot. We ate on the balcony overlooking Old San Juan. We also ate in Chops one night. The food and service was perfect. It was so worth the $75 cover charge (25 x 3). Shows/Entertainment - The shows for the main seating were packed - standing room only in many cases. We were in a suite and sat in the reserved area each night. The only guest entertainer we really enjoyed was Kenny James. The magician's show (Justin Flom) was good only because of the audience members he happened to pick. We thought the two production shows were pretty good - better than what we had last year on Grandeur. The two shows outside the theater with the singers (70's show and the Jazz show) were both very good. The pool band (Riddim Wave - sp?) was much better than the band last year. People seemed to enjoy the Latin band in Boleros. The contemporary band was good but needed more song variety. I thought the piano singer in the Schooner bar was terrible. Activities - The ship had a variety of activities during the week. This included the ever popular Bingo, Name That Tune, Trivia, Pool Games, scavenger hunts, crafts, ice carvings, etc. There were some activities that ran over multiple days: Karaoke Superstar, Olympic Team Challenge, and Progressive trivia. The Love and Marriage Show and the Quest were fun as always. Ports - We did an excursion through the ship in all three of the four ports - Zip Lined in San Juan, Captain Nautica's Snorkel in St. Thomas, Cayo Levantado in Samna. We relaxed in Labadee. We considered all four port stops to be 5+ and would recommend these excursions to anyone interested. We did convince our table mates to plan something for Samana instead of just getting off of the ship. They thanked us for the advice that night. Other observations - Overall the ship was clean but certain areas and restrooms would become "over run" at times when events were going on. They did not seem to add extra staff during these times. The Spotlight Lounge was often packed for events (Complete the Lyric, Liar's Club, Karaoke, Quest, etc). It seemed too small for popular activities. The ship did not seem to have enough facilities for all the kids on-board. Several times the older AO group was moved to the teen room and the teens moved all over the ship. They need a true dedicated space for teens to just meet and hang out. The 18 - 20 age group needs some type of activities or space also. (It was peak family travel season) There were some chair hogs around the pools but were able to find 2 chairs together in the afternoon on all of the sea days. Only 1/2 of the Solarium roof opened (I think they may need to repair the other half). Because of this, it was hot and humid in the Solarium in the afternoon. They do pool maintenance in the evenings - sometimes both non-Solarium pools were closed at the same time. The food in the Solarium was very popular in the afternoons and at night. We did not attend the dancing under the starts party and deck buffet. My DD said it was very popular and the food was good. She said it had heavy appetizers - Pot Stickers, Jamaican Beef Patties, Small Quiche, a rice dish (Jambalaya?), cookies and an ice cream sundae station. The new towel policy was being enforced - I don't object to being responsible for the towel but I found it inconvenient that the exact person who checked it out had to return it. We had three towels for excursions - all checked out on the one card (not mine). When I tried to return them after Labadee, the attendant said they could not help me and I was questioned as to where I "got" (implied stole) the towels. I explained a traveling companion in the same room had checked them out - they could exchange but not return them. Same experience on the last night when I realized DD still had a towel - I had to find her to return it. RCCL could learn something from Carnival here. On Carnival a beach towel is left per person in the room - it needs to be there on the last night or you owe a fee for it - you could sign out extras with the room attendant - the pool deck was exchange only. Photos - I did not think the photographers did as good a job as in the past. My budget appreciated that many of the shots had poor lighting, strange expressions, closed eyes, etc. Read Less
Sail Date July 2010
My family of four (me - 38, wife - 35, son - 8, and son - 6) just returned from our July 29th sailing aboard the Enchantment of the Seas. A collection of my thoughts are captured below. This was the 4th cruise for my wife and me; the 3rd ... Read More
My family of four (me - 38, wife - 35, son - 8, and son - 6) just returned from our July 29th sailing aboard the Enchantment of the Seas. A collection of my thoughts are captured below. This was the 4th cruise for my wife and me; the 3rd for our boys. Pre-cruise and embarkation: We drove to Baltimore from Ft. Wayne, which was achievable in roughly 8.5 hours. I rather enjoy driving not only from a cost-saving perspective, but I just hate the hassles of flying anymore. We left home at mid-day on the 28th and arrived at our hotel just before 9:00 PM. We stayed at the BWI Sleep Inn, which has a "Stay and Fly" package that gives you a one-night stay, free parking for up to 14 days, and a shuttle to/from the cruise terminal, all for $119.00. The hotel was not in the greatest neighborhood but the place was clean, the accommodations were fine for our brief stay, and the shuttle service was efficient. It also offers free continental breakfast. Considering it would cost $135.00 just to park at the port for 9 days, this was a pretty good deal. Embarkation went very smoothly. The hotel shuttle dropped us off about 10:30 AM and two porters were right there to collect our bags. We walked about 50 yards to the terminal building, filled out some quick health-related paperwork, and got in line. We were checked-in within 20 minutes of entering the terminal, then ushered to a waiting area as the ship was not yet ready for boarding. About 11:15 AM they began boarding the ship. We were sitting down for lunch in the Windjammer by 11:30 AM. Cabin: We had two adjoining Oceanview rooms, #4536 and #4538. They were conveniently located right as you exited the elevators. At first I was concerned that we might get a lot of noise due to it being a high traffic area or because of people congregating at the elevators, but the rooms were mostly very quiet. On Day 2, the seas got a little rough and there was a banging noise the origins of which we never determined. Luckily that was the only night we experienced it. Our room steward, Ketut (pronounced K2), was terrific. He knew all of us by name after introducing himself to us early on Day 1 and would always go out of his way to speak to the kids and greet us any time we were coming and going from the room. He took care of our every need with a smile, and our kids, of course, loved his nightly towel animal creations. Public areas: Every part of the ship was tastefully decorated and always immaculately clean. Workers could always be seen cleaning, polishing, painting, and doing routine maintenance on the ship. The Centrum was very pretty, as was the Orpheum Theater and the MDR. My wife and I spent a little time in Boleros, the Schooner Bar, and the Spotlight Lounge and enjoyed them all. The Library is pretty small and has limited reading material (bring your own), yet was surprisingly busy the times I stopped by to pick up the daily Sudoku puzzle. We hit the Viking Crown briefly but were turned off by the smokiness, even though we were the only people in there at the time. The casino was also very smoky, though on Day 8 they offered a smoke free day. I personally didn't gamble, but it was always busy when open. Entertainment: Sadly, our 8 year old came down with a bug on Day 1 (we later learned he had pneumonia!), falling ill at the muster drill and never recovered for the entire trip. He sucked it up and dealt with it during the day, but crashed several nights at dinner time and would have to go to bed early. Thus, our opportunities to get out and enjoy the ship's entertainment offerings were quite limited. We saw no shows in the Orpheum, but did stand in the back and watch the comedian on the Farewell Show on Day 9 for about 15 minutes (Ralph Achilles). His material was PG and he provided some chuckles, but I wouldn't say he was hilarious. At various points in time, we also had opportunities to see the piano bar singer (whom I frankly thought was pretty poor), the calypso pool band Riddim Wave (good), the Dominican Quartet at Boleros (good), and Rhythm Shakedown, which was their pop/Top 40 band, which I would rate as average. They also had various performers in the Centrum during the dinner hours who provided some nice classical music. We'd sometimes stop for a few minutes and enjoy them on our way to the dining room and they were all pretty good. We never got to enjoy any of these acts for too long due to the sick child. The most surprising element on this cruise to me was the karaoke. On previous cruises, the only karaoke singers I've seen are the types you tune in to American Idol to laugh at. This cruise actually had some REALLY good karaoke singers. We even went to the finals in the afternoon of Day 9. I'd say 3 if not 4 of the 8 finalists were terrific and I would personally rate them better than some of the ship's entertainers. Dining: We ate breakfast every morning in the Windjammer - or the "Trafficjammer" as it became known to us. The custom omelets were good, but otherwise it was your typical breakfast fare - scrambled eggs, sausage, bacon, breakfast potatoes (basically tater tots), pancakes, waffles, bagels, pastries, muffins, cereals, yogurt, etc. On to my first pet peeve: rude people. Rude people suck, and they were plentiful aboard this ship. The Trafficjammer is not set up in a way to optimize the flow of people. Cereals, fruits, and yogurts have their own station which you encounter first upon entering. That's fine. Everything else is organized in what I would best describe as a roundabout. Food is arranged on an inner ring and an outer ring, with guests maneuvering between the two rings. So if you will, imagine for a moment that you're approaching a traffic roundabout in your car. The roundabout is bumper-to-bumper and full of all types of drivers: NYC cab drivers, elderly people, people who think the road belongs to them and everyone else is just an inconvenience, people driving under the influence, oblivious teenagers, and just plain old stupid people. Now mind you, these vehicles will likely make several passes through the roundabout. They will weave in and out of traffic, they will cut you off, they will stop in the middle of the road and ask for directions, and then they will turn around and drive in the wrong direction. If you can picture this in your head, then you can envision the Trafficjammer Marketplace aboard the Enchantment during prime-time breakfast and lunch hours, especially on days at sea. It is chaotic at best. The staff does a good job keeping things clean and replenishing the food. However, I thought it was a bit understaffed at times. I purchased the beverage package but gave up trying to get a Diet Coke for lunch most days just because either my food would get cold waiting or I would finish my meal before I got it. So I would deal with a similar cluster-you-know-what at the self-service beverage area and at least hold my beverage destiny in my own hands. We didn't let our kids anywhere near the food areas, opting to use them to hold a table and keep them out of the way. Unfortunately for my wife and I, this meant multiple trips through the traffic to get the kids' food first, then go back for ourselves. We wanted to do the MDR more, but (1) our kids are picky eaters and there was more selection at the Trafficjammer, and (2) we didn't want to get seated at a table with others when we had a sick kid. We did have lunch in the MDR on one day and it was pretty good. The salad bar totally rocks. We wished we could have gone to the MDR for lunch much more frequently just for the salad bar. Service in the MDR for lunch wasn't quite what it was for dinner, but still good. At dinner, we did the MDR for 8 nights and my wife and I were able to sneak away to Chops for one night. Our head waiter in the MDR was a woman named Aysun ("Ice" for short). She was incredible - easily the best and most involved head waiter we've had on any of our four cruises. She was just super....great with the kids....everything. If you get assigned to her area, you'll love her. Our waiter and assistant waiter were Elsie and Carolina. They were also great and did a super job taking care of us. They were swamped, however. It appeared to us that our waiter was responsible for 20 - 22 guests and it sure looked like she was sharing our assistant waiter, Carolina, with an adjacent section of the dining room. To complicate matters for them even more, we were seated close to the door, which was the furthest spot from the galley. By the time our main courses were served, our poor waiter was sweating and looked exhausted. She continued to apologize for what she perceived as slow service, but we were perfectly happy at the pace. We did sign the kids up for "My Family Time Dining" a number of times. The way this works is you order the kids' meals immediately upon being seated and the food comes out right away. They eat, then the Adventure Ocean staff picks them up about 45 minutes after you've been seated, allowing mom and dad to enjoy the rest of their dinner in peace while the kids go play. On a couple occasions, the kids' food was slow to arrive and they had to hustle through their meal, but they always had time to eat before going outside the MDR to meet up with the AO staff. Several times, Aysun took care of delivering the kids' meals herself. The food in the MDR was good. I hate seafood and most of the appetizers are of the seafood variety, but there was always a Caesar salad available and I ordered that on most nights. Likewise there was always a beef, poultry, or pork option for entrees (sometimes a couple) and I found each to be good. Portions weren't huge, but let's face it - nobody's going hungry on the ship and quite frankly I wasn't all that hungry when we went into the MDR to begin with. So the portions were about perfect in my opinion. Desserts were good but not great, except for the warm chocolate cake on the last night. THAT was great, and Elsie made sure I had vanilla ice cream to accompany it, which made it all the better. I'd say everything else regarding desserts met my expectations. Chops was quite good. I would recommend it. I've read others complaining about the service in there. It is slow, but I perceived that to be by design, as they are trying to pace your meal to be slow and leisurely. Everything I read from RCI said to allow at least 2 hours for your meal in there. There were only about 5 tables occupied for our 7:30 PM reservation and our meal took us about 1 hr 45 min. I had a salad, french onion soup, the 10 oz. filet, mashed potatoes, onion rings, then coffee and mud pie for dessert. My wife had the petit filet. I commented that only on a cruise ship is nearly half a pound (7 oz.) of red meat referred to as "petit." Ship's officers / other ship staff: The current captain of the Enchantment is Espen Been. He's one of the younger captains I've seen on a cruise ship. I'd estimate his age at early to perhaps mid 40s. He seemed quiet and rather reserved. He was friendly and cordial at his public appearances. He would smile and acknowledge you on the way in and out of the lounge, yet you could tell he wasn't particularly comfortable grabbing the mic and addressing the guests during the Welcome Aboard and Return Guest parties in the Spotlight. The cruise director was Keith Williams. He was friendly and would always offer a smile and a friendly greeting when encountered about the ship, yet there were times when we'd go a couple of days without seeing him. Perhaps that was a factor of us being confined to our stateroom with a sick child on a number of nights, or perhaps he just wasn't as visible as some of the others we've sailed with. No complaints with him at all - just an observation. The rest of the officers and the staff at the Guest Relations and Explorations desks were quite good. I went to the Guest Relations desk on a number of occasions and never had to wait in line for more than a couple minutes. I did wait in line at the Excursions desk for about 30 minutes right after it opened on Day 1. Otherwise the lines for those services were quick. Book your excursions ahead of time to save yourself that potential wait. We did have to wait in very long lines for photographs on formal nights. We never go to professional photographers to get family photos, so we view cruises as a great opportunity to get pictures of the four of us. By my count, there were only 5 stations open for photos on the 1st formal night and 6 on the second. The lighted stairs in the Centrum appeared to be the most popular location for pictures and the line for that location would sometimes wrap nearly to the elevators. The other stations' lines weren't as long, but a couple of the photographers got a little carried away and were literally spending 7 - 10 minutes with every group. So if you were 4th or 5th in line, the minimum wait time for your photograph was half an hour. One night, my wife and I waited in line for 30 minutes until the dining room opened and it didn't look like we would be up for another 20 minutes at least, so we just bailed. Before the cruise was over, we were able to get a nice family photo and one of the kids, so it all worked out, but we spent way too long standing in those lines for my taste. If you want photos on formal nights, go early! Ship activities: There are 3 primary pools on the ship: 1 in the Solarium and 2 at mid-ship. The Solarium pool and the smaller of the two pools at mid-ship are salt water. The main pool is fresh water. The pool deck was busy in the afternoons, particularly on days at sea, which you'd expect. However, it never got overcrowded. During morning and evening hours, the pool deck is sparsely populated, so if you just want a nice quiet dip in the pool with little (if any) company, try it then. We enjoy a little pool time but aren't the types who want to sit out in the hot Caribbean sun and just bake all day. So we typically tried to find one of the shaded tables on the pool deck and enjoy a drink while the breeze blew in the windows. We never had too much trouble finding one. Similarly, chairs at the pool were readily available. You might not always find a spot in a prime location, but you could always find a chair if you wanted one. In addition to the pools, the rock wall and the Jump Zone were the two primary outdoor attractions. The rock wall is located on Deck 10 at the stern whereas the Jump Zone is all the way forward, also on Deck 10. Each is usually open 4 - 6 hours per day, with the longer hours occurring on days at sea. What we witnessed, however, is that the Jump Zone is quite often closed when the ship is at sea due to high wind. So if you want to try it, plan to do it on a day when the ship is in port. Guests: I'm compelled to review the guests aboard the Enchantment for this sailing. I'm not sure what it was, but there seemed to be a higher ratio of idiots aboard this ship compared to our previous sailings. I really can't overstate just how ridiculous some of the behavior was in the Trafficjammer for breakfast and lunch. My wife witnessed three ladies literally arguing over who had rights to one remaining donut. Later that day, at lunch, a teenage kid (whom I had previously labeled a punk for his appearance and behavior) told a lady to "suck it" when she cut in front of him in line to get french fries. But she was so incredibly rude, I actually sided with the kid and rather enjoyed his aggressive confrontation with her. There was a roaming crowd of kids I'd estimate at 11 or 12 years old - maybe 13 - who terrorized the poor little Indian man named Sunil who works the Solarium grill every night. For starters, the Solarium is warm to hot, depending upon the weather. So Sunil is standing back there in this cramped space with heat lamps going on both sides of him to keep pizzas and fries warm for all the obnoxious teens and over-indulging adults who come calling every night around 10:00 PM. This group would predictably show up a few minutes before 10:00 PM every night (I know because my 6 year old would have me there waiting for pizza too) and antagonize this poor man. They would wise-crack and make smart-mouth and sometimes completely unnecessary degrading comments to him. Then, of course, order up their pizza and fries which he would serve up with a smile and tell the punks it was a pleasure. I'm sure he is used to that kind of garbage, but I truly felt sorry for the guy and tried to go out of my way to be kind to him and thank him. I just fail to understand how some parents can allow their kids to be so rude, obnoxious, and disrespectful. There was one in particular - he had a white blonde mop-top and apparently thought of himself as the funniest person on the ship - that I just wanted to throw overboard. It was embarrassing. Rude people seemed to exist everywhere a line could form, particularly in the dining establishments. They seemed to feel a sense of entitlement and that everybody standing in line was simply doing so for their own health, and that they could just barge in in front of people if they "only wanted one thing." I tried to keep my "it's vacation and I'm not going to get mad" attitude, but I was pushed to my limit, and by the time those last two days at sea came around, my patience was really put to the test. Kids program: The Adventure Ocean program was good. Our youngest son is 6 and he made the most use out of it. Our 8-year old would have gone more, but due to him not feeling well, there were many times we took him back to the room and put him in bed. When there, the kids always had a good time. We typically spent the morning and afternoon as a family, then let the kids go to AO after they've finished dinner until around 9:45 PM. It's obvious that some parents drop their kids off and more or less use it as all-day babysitting. If the kids like it, that's fine, but I always felt a little bad for the really little ones where it's clear that mom and dad just abandoned them for the day. If you really need the time away, make arrangements with grandpa and grandma to watch your kid for the week. Just my opinion - everyone has their own circumstances. But the staff there is very friendly and have patience worthy of saint-hood. On Labadee, AO moves ashore for the day. They have a splash park there for the kids that AO gets exclusive use of for an hour in the morning before it opens to everyone. They also have shade available so the kids aren't out in the hot sun for the entire time, and I believe they also make sure they stay hydrated. One of our kids complained about "the awful tasting stuff they made us drink." Not sure what it was, but I assume it was Gatorade or some similar thing. Ports: San Juan - we loved Old San Juan! If you're on this itinerary in the future, position yourself along the port side of the ship as you sail into San Juan. You'll pass one of two forts and it's really an incredible site. There's a ton of history there, dating back to the early Spanish explorers in the 1500s. You can walk to one of the forts in about 10 minutes from the pier. It's the least expensive thing you'll do on the cruise. It costs $3 for adults and is free for kids 17 and under. For an extra couple bucks, you can gain admission to the other fort, which you passed on the ship while sailing in. You can walk or take a free trolley. We only did the one closest to the ship, but it's really neat and worth checking out. For the younger party crowd, there is, reliably, a Senor Frogs within staggering distance of the ship. It's literally right across the street from the pier. You'll see lots of folks stumbling back onto the ship with various balloon shapes on their head and carrying the "yard" long drinking devices that once contained their beer or frozen concoction. A very nice thing about San Juan is the total absence of the aggressive vendors you run into in many of the Caribbean ports. Even the vendors who have tables set up out in the city parks do not approach you or solicit from you. They wait for you to come to them. We were told there is a great little shopping district as well, though we didn't go looking for it. St. Thomas - we made the 15 minute walk from the pier to the Sky Ride up to Paradise Point. It's a bit pricey ($21 per adult, $11.50 per child), however, the views from up there are gorgeous. We spent a good amount of time up there. They have souvenir shops and a bar with nice drinks and great views overlooking the harbor. One of the shops' proprietors is apparently a retired bird trainer from Busch Gardens. At 10:30 AM and 1:30 PM, she puts on a free show with her birds. Don't make the trip up there just for that, but if you're there around either of those times, it's clever and worth a look. Samana - we didn't go ashore in Samana. Our kids are too young to do any of the excursions that would interest my wife or me, and everything we read about Samana said it wasn't a good place to go just to walk around. So we stayed aboard the ship and made it a quiet, relaxing day at the pool. This was nice as the ship was lightly populated for most of the morning and early afternoon. Around 1:00 PM, people began filtering back onto the ship, but we enjoyed the quiet and mostly vacant pool deck in their absence. Labadee - this place is becoming a favorite of mine. I enjoyed it last year when we stopped there aboard the Freedom. Now that the pier is complete, as well as a whole bunch of other new features, it is REALLY cool. My wife and I did the wave jet tour, which was a lot of fun. If your waverunner experience is on lakes or other inland waters, just be ready to hold on! Riding a waverunner on the ocean is definitely different than on the smooth lakes of northeast Indiana - to this I can attest! After lunch, the whole family tried the Dragon's Tail Coaster. That, too, was pretty fun. There was no line for the coaster at all. They require you to watch a 4 - 5 minute video before riding, but after that, they load you on the cart and up you go. The carts are big enough for one adult and one child (or really small adult). The person in back (the adult) has control of a brake that can be used at your own discretion, though there are signals throughout the track that prompt you when you should use it. I'd estimate it at about a 3 minute ride up and probably 1.5 minutes down. On the day we were there, if you had paid $40 for the unlimited rides, I think you could have gotten off and right back on without waiting. So if that's your thing, you could certainly get your money's worth on the Enchantment stops in Labadee. I suspect it could be much busier when the bigger ships are in port. Overall: We had a nice time. The sick 8-year old certainly put a damper on things and that was a disappointment, but that was no fault of Royal Caribbean. The ship was very nice and the itinerary was good. I'd definitely sail out of Baltimore again and I would sail the Enchantment again also. I think our kids were perhaps a little bit let-down and bored with the ship at times, but the only previous cruise they remember was last year's sailing aboard the Freedom. So perhaps mom and dad should have done a better job calibrating expectations accordingly, as there just aren't the number and variety of things to do aboard the Enchantment as there are on the Freedom. But again, we knew that ahead of time and the entire experience very much met our expectations. We do hope to be able to do a "mom and dad only" cruise soon. Read Less
Sail Date July 2010
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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