4 Royal Caribbean Enchantment of the Seas Cruise Reviews for Senior Cruises to Caribbean - Southern from Baltimore

Enchantment of the Seas Review March 19-31, 2012 We were overdue for a cruise: the last time we sailed was 1974 on our honeymoon from NYC to Cherbourg, France on the QEII. We spent our honeymoon in Paris before returning to Berlin ... Read More
Enchantment of the Seas Review March 19-31, 2012 We were overdue for a cruise: the last time we sailed was 1974 on our honeymoon from NYC to Cherbourg, France on the QEII. We spent our honeymoon in Paris before returning to Berlin Germany, our home for the first three years we were married. Our TA was able to find this 12-day Southern Caribbean cruise which fit perfectly into our schedules. I used Fodor's Caribbean Cruises and the AAA Caribbean Tour Book guides. Cruise Critic ship and port review were invaluable as was the Roll Call. We drove 5 hours to Baltimore from our home in eastern Ohio and stayed overnight at the Holiday Inn Express at the Stadiums/Russell Street, a package our TA arranged for us. See my review of the hotel on TripAdvisor: "Holiday Inn-Express to the Pier." Our included shuttle departed the hotel at 11:00 a.m.; we were at the Baltimore Cruise Terminal by 11:10. The shuttle driver handed our bags to the ship porters. Be sure to keep your carry-on with you in the van or it could be whisked away with the checked bags. Our carry-on was scanned along with our credit card and passports. We were assigned to a boarding area (#29) and waited to be called for boarding. While the procedure is efficient, we did not enjoy being sandwiched with other cruisers while waiting. We were onboard by 12 noon, oriented ourselves and explored the public areas. I purchased a helpful app for $1.99 called "ShipMate," specifically for the RCCI line. One of the helpful features was "Explore the Ship" with a map for each deck. We used the deck map for several days. We noticed that the our sailing was mostly older adults with varying degrees of mobility. Our stateroom was ready at 1:30 as promised. Our amazing attendant, Milton, came around to introduce himself and then it was off for the muster drill which was over in about 30 minutes. Serious business, post Concordia. Names were checked off. Don't even think about missing it. Stateroom: Balcony/Stateroom 7060 is mid-ship, port side, equidistant from the staircase or the Centrum area. The room was so well insulated we never heard any noise coming from the Centrum area or the staterooms on either side of us. I had read about the spaciousness of the balcony stateroom and we were not disappointed. The storage space is amazing. There were 23 hangers in the closet which also had 3 drawers. Our large suitcase and garment bag fit easily in the closet; we stored the lifejackets on the side of the vanity. Our other roll-a-board suitcases fit easily under the beds. Other storage includes a 5- shelf angled closet; 3 shelves at the end of the vanity; 3 drawers on either side of the vanity; shelves on both sides of the vanity mirror; and, 2 drawers in each bedside nightstand. The beds were very comfortable. The bed linens were crisp, clean and fresh. Each bed had two pillows: one firm, one soft. I brought my own tempur-pedic pillow for my personal comfort. The bathroom medicine cabinet had 3 large triangular-shaped glass shelves behind two glass-fronted mirror/doors. The bathroom lighting was excellent. I appreciated the mirrors on the side of the sink which allowed me to apply makeup easily without having to lean over the sink (I'm quite nearsighted). An open area under the sink holds a 'built-in' wastebasket. There are shelves in the shower for toiletries which also has a soap/shampoo dispenser which was filled daily. Other reviewers have commented on the 'friendly' shower curtain. It never made a move on me; however, I did weigh it down with two clothespins (previously suggested) and left one side of the curtain open a little for airflow. When Enchantment goes into drydock in December 2012, glass shower doors are supposed to be installed. Our stateroom had a new, smaller flat-screened TV and a digital safe. The ship must be rolling out these updates since others mentioned older TVs and safes which are accessed by a credit card. It was difficult to hear Captain Gus' announcements clearly in our stateroom. We stood near the door and could hear him clearly from the hall. The only time we could easily hear announcements in the stateroom speakers happened when passengers were late for a port sailaway. Captain Gus ended his 12 noon briefing with words of wisdom. Among my favorites: "There are 50 ways to leave your lover, but only one way to leave the ship: the gangway." We really enjoyed our balcony (and the refrigerator) - well worth the extra cost. It had two chairs and a glass-topped table, the perfect size for our morning room service tray. The balcony is not 100% private since the translucent divider is curved and you are able to see your neighbor by standing at the railing. Others have commented on the lack of varnish on the balcony railings: true statement. However, I like to think the varnish was worn away from cruisers leaning on the balcony talking with their new neighbors or staring at the ocean while slowly decompressing and falling under the ocean's spell. I can assure you there is lots of varnish on the public decks, polished to a high gloss. Room Service: I concur with other reviewers: the crew works incredibly hard for 12-16 hours a day while away from their families (up to 8 months at a time, depending on their contract). I wish I could name each crew member who smiled at us, asked us how we were doing or made us feel special. We came to know: our amazing, insightful stateroom attendant, Milton Pasos (Nicaragua); Keshia Ellis (Jamaica) who delivered our coffee and then breakfast to the stateroom on time, without fail; Peeter de la Cruz (Peru) the Deck 6 bar attendant in the Orpheum Theatre. Although we did not order drinks until the last night, Peeter came over to say hello every.single.night and to ask about our day. Mark in the Windjammer Marketplace greeted us every night and always had a nice word. RCCI is fortunate to have these four crew members and all others in their employ. Hint: on Day 1, we called Room Service to have a standard coffee order delivered between 7-7:30 am. Another nice touch? We got a call to let us know the order was on its way. We filled out a breakfast room service card and hung it on the door each night. Every morning, breakfast was delivered within our 7:30-8:00 a.m. window. Now you know why we didn't want to get off the ship! If you like strong coffee, room service is the best on the ship. Windjammer coffee is weak and Latte Tudes is very expensive. Meet and Mingle: Prior to the cruise, I registered with Cruise Critic(.com) and joined the Meet and Mingle held on the first full morning at sea in the Spotlight Lounge. Many people attended the well- organized event which included lots of goodies: signature RCCI travel accessories, a gift exchange and personalized visors for each person. Grandma Gail, organizer of the event, made the visors, a nice memento of the cruise. Following the M&M, we participated in a "Cabin Crawl" to visit four types of staterooms. Other organized activities included a Casino Slot Pull; group lunch; a shuffleboard tournament; and a dinner in the Chops Restaurant. Since we were first-time cruisers, I benefited from reading the posts on our cruise Roll Call. Experienced cruisers willingly shared information and answered questions. Their advice helped us adjust to ship life and to know what to expect. Join Cruise Critic for a wealth of information on everything cruising. Entertainment: We enjoyed the early/6:30p.m. show in the Orpheum Theatre each evening. Many have commented on the crowded shows and the need to show up an hour early; we did not find that necessary. We staked out seats on Deck 6 in the upper balcony each night at 6:00 p.m. and people-watched. Entertainment summary: Day 1: The "Sailaway Show" emceed by John Blair, Cruise Director, and his wife, Katrina Blair, Activities Manager (60-100 activities are scheduled daily). Day 2: This was an SRO crowd for a production show, "Can't Stop the Rock," a tribute to rock and roll featuring an energetic young cast finishing up their 6-month contract on board. Day 3: Joey Van, music, comedy and impressions. Day 4: Rodney Johnson, comedian. He joked a lot about shipboard life and parenting. Day 5: The music and comedy of Judy Kolba, international comedienne/singer. If guests were listening closely, they took away this message from her closing song: "Enjoy yourself; it's later than you think." If I learned anything on this cruise, it was just that. Hello. Day 6: The Grand Illusions of David Haines, illusionist, featuring (wife) Abi. Because of the anticipated large crowds, we were in 'our' seats by 5:50 p.m. Day 7: El Gaucho, singer/dancer/rope twirler/audience participation. Day 8: Johnny Thunder from The Drifters. Day 8: Matt Henry, juggler. Day 9: Production Show featuring the RC singers and dancers in "Stage to Screen" - the Broadway hits that made it to the Hollywood. Day 10: Matt Henry, comedy juggler. Later: Cruise Director, John Blair, starred in a tribute to Neil Diamond: "Longfellow Serenade." Day 11: Your Three Tenors, singing highlights from famous operas. Day 12: Farewell Showtime, featuring many of the previous entertainers and the RC singers and dancers. Each show had two interpreters for the (only) deaf passenger onboard. Their services are contracted with RCCI at no extra cost to the passenger. Website: Terpsatsea.com. They also interpreted for the passenger on shore excursions and at a daytime Centrum event toward the end of the cruise. Onboard Observations: If you are a runner, you will enjoy the ' mile track on Deck 10. Keep in mind, however, that you will compete with casual walkers who will not necessarily keep to the right and who may stroll three abreast. During inclement weather and/or high winds, Deck 10 will be closed. Although running is not permitted on Deck 5, we walked that deck many nights when Deck 10 was closed. It is more protected from the elements than Deck 10. Shopping Talks: Frequent port shopping presentations are scheduled with Earl, the shopping guide. They focus on how to buy diamonds and gems. "Official Shopping Maps" for each port are distributed with the "Royal Picks" noted: those vendors endorsed by RCCI. The cruise line receives commissions from passengers. Art on Royal: Art Gallery on Deck 6 with an art dealer and scheduled seminars, collections, and auctions. Music: The ship is alive with music in the Centrum, lounges, and pools. The groups included: DJ Conrad/Lucian; Rosario Strings; Viva Band; Lightning Wave; Max Difaz; Evergreen Trio; Enchantment Orchestra. Shops at Centrum: Shop till you drop at the onboard shops. Hint: toward the end of each cruise, many items are reduced significantly. If you can, wait! Ditto for spa treatments. Watch the Cruise Compass and signage for details. Disembarkation/Embarkation Procedures: When leaving the ship in port, each passenger inserts the SetSail Pass into a machine to document who has left the ship. When returning, all sunglasses and hats must be removed. Do this before you reach the gangway. There are many people behind you! Screeners match each passenger with the photo taken at Baltimore on Day 1. Each passenger is required to produce the SetSail Pass and sometimes, photo id. I was asked once for my photo id. All backpacks, phones, and cameras are put through a scanning machine, just like airport security. A crew member squirts passenger hands with antibacterial solution. Purell dispensers are found throughout the ship. While rules are prominently posted at the gangway and in the Cruise Compass about taking food off and on the ship (including warnings about fines if caught), our bags we were never inspected. Fruits and vegetables are the big worry. Enrichment Lectures: Joe Condrill presented enrichment lectures in the Spotlight Lounge. His one-hour topics: "Age of Discovery in the Caribbean;" "Piracy in the Caribbean"; "Enchanted Isles-Tortola, St. Maarten, St. Thomas and Puerto Rico"; "Twenty-five Amazing Dates that Changed the World"; "Nostradamus Speaks to Us"; "Fascinating Tales about US Presidents, First Ladies, & Veeps"; Handouts were available. Religious Services: Saturday Vigil Catholic Mass was held on Saturday at 4:45 p.m.; Jewish Sabbath Service at 4:45 p.m. on Saturday; Interdenominational Video with Joel Osteen 6:00 a.m. -- noon, Sunday, on Channel 27; Interdenominational Religious Service at 4:45 p.m. on Sunday. Cruise Compass: The Bible of your cruise. The stateroom attendant will bring two copies to your stateroom the evening before for the next day's activities. The multi-page leaflet includes: Important Things to Know Today; Programs Onboard; Offers of the Day; Activities and Entertainment Highlights; Open Hours (for onboard venues); Daily Planner; Today's Activities. The CC also includes a daily insert: Cruise Specials and More, focusing on shopping and onboard services; and, when in port, the omnipresent Official Shopping Map. Towel Exchange: Not as annoying as reported. Check-out RCCI beach towels on the Pool Deck and exchange for the same number of towels. SetSail pass is required. A $25 charge will be applied to the shipboard account if the towels are not returned prior to disembarkation. Library Deck 7: A nice, quiet retreat. Games and books are available for checkout. Daily Soduku and Trivia puzzles are available. I was happy to see a used book exchange, too. Imagine my delight when I traded my paperbook from home for James Michener's Caribbean. Reading it after the cruise helped to 'extend' our cruise and teach me more about the fascinating history of the Caribbean. Future Cruise Sales Deck 7: Take advantage of special prices by registering for your next cruise onboard. Hint: If you are even considering a future cruise, sign up early for a 30-minute appointment with the (two) cruise counselors. Hours are limited. Onboard we applied for a RCCI Visa card (approved the next day); registered for the NextCruise Program (a $100 per person nonrefundable deposit with ability to decide later on a specific cruise); registered for the Crown and Anchor Society. I guess you could say we are now "loyal to Royal." The disembarkation was as smooth as the embarkation. The night before departure, an instruction sheet and new (numbered) luggage tags were placed in each stateroom. Each number (ours was '41') was assigned a departure lounge on the ship and a time to gather. All passengers were divided into groups. All "41"s waited in the Orpheum Theatre, Deck 5 forward at 9:10-9:20 a.m. Coffee (undrinkable), juice, and sweet rolls were available. At 9:15 a.m., we formed a 'conga line' and were led off the ship, walking through the Enchantment one last time. We didn't want to leave! Passengers could choose to do a 'self-carry' departure between 7:30-8:00 a.m. Our luggage was already waiting for us in Area 41 in the terminal. Our 5 bags were all together. However, no one checked to see if we were the owners of the bags. Kudos to RCCI for pulling off this amazing feat. We gathered our bags and proceeded to the "Pick-Up Lot" to call and wait for our hotel shuttle. Porters with rolling carts are available to assist with bags but more are needed. Caution: Even though guests are staggered as they exit the ship, there is a lot of congestion with people and baggage. Don't fall over the person in front of you who decides to stop for no reason simply because h/she is dazed and confused! Everyone is still on island time. We called the Holiday Inn Express at 9:20 a.m. for a shuttle; he arrived at 10:00 and we were back at the hotel at 10:20. We used the bathroom, grabbed a cup of coffee, gassed up and departed Baltimore at 10:45 a.m. The Enchantment worked her magic: we arrived home rested, relaxed and ready to sail again: September 28-October 4 to Bermuda. Read Less
Sail Date March 2012
I just returned from a 12 day cruise on Enchantment of the Seas. I sailed with my sisters and BIL.Embarkation:We drove to the port of Baltimore from our home in central Virginia. We have sailed from this port several times before and ... Read More
I just returned from a 12 day cruise on Enchantment of the Seas. I sailed with my sisters and BIL.Embarkation:We drove to the port of Baltimore from our home in central Virginia. We have sailed from this port several times before and always have arrived around 10 to 10:30 a.m. Never had a wait before but this time when we arrived shortly after 10 a.m. they were not allowing cars into the parking lot. We were lined up to wait. The ship had arrived on time that morning but passengers didn't start to embark until around 11 a.m. so we didn't have access to the parking area. We waited until around 11:30 before the line started to move. From that point on things went smoothly and we were on board and in the Windjammer eating lunch before 12:30. Never did hear a reason for the delayed embarkation.Stateroom:There were 4 of us adults in the Royal Family Suite #8666. We have stayed in this category stateroom on the Grandeur and the room was basically the same. We had 3 flat screen TV's-one in each bedroom and one in the living room.The balcony was huge and we enjoyed it a lot.The room and balcony need some work. Carpet was stained in the stateroom and on the balcony the railing was white with age and needed staining badly. This in no way kept us from having a wonderful cruise.Public areas:All public areas were very well maintained and keep very clean. Shows: I really didn't go to many shows so can't comment on the entertainment. Others in my family enjoyed them very much. I was glad we had reserved seating (a perk of the suite) as the nights I was in there it was standing room only.Concierge Lounge:It was very nice and Reyno was wonderful. We visited this room several times each day but didn't stay. It was so hot in there that it was very uncomfortable. We would get drinks and snacks and take back to our room. Staff:We had one of the best stateroom attendants ever on this cruise. He did a wonderful job of cleaning our room twice a day and very quickly got us feather pillows and a blanket instead of that heavy comforter which is on the bed.Dining room staff was also very nice and served us quickly each night. I really don't like having to wait so long between courses and our waiter did a great job of keeping the courses flowing nicely without us feeling rushed.Food:I was not impressed with the food with the exception of our dinner at Chops one night. That meal was wonderful. The menu in the dining room was repeated several times. Desserts were not good except for the last night when we had key lime pie which was delicious. Food in the Windjammer was hit and miss also. Again this didn't ruin our cruise. We didn't go hungry.Ports:We've done these ports several times before when this cruise was a 9 day. We loved the addition of 3 days and the ports of Tortola and St. Martin.We're not fans of Samana and are glad to see that in 2012 this port is removed and Antigua will be added.So--we had a great time. The weather was wonderful. The staff was great (but we did miss Capt. Rob who was on vacation.) We liked it so much that we booked again for March 2012. Read Less
Sail Date March 2011
Arrival at the Pier looked like trouble was at hand. Passengers were stretched outside the terminal in two very long lines. The weather was cold and raining and the line was not moving. The terminal had lost power and could not process ... Read More
Arrival at the Pier looked like trouble was at hand. Passengers were stretched outside the terminal in two very long lines. The weather was cold and raining and the line was not moving. The terminal had lost power and could not process people through the metal detectors or the boarding counter without their computers. This went on for about 45 min. when they finally had to do something as passengers still outside were not happy and they let both security and RCL know about it. They finally started moving people through security after they found some hand held metal detectors and the boarding counter started hand writing peoples information. The process still took about 1 1/2 hours to get people inside and under cover. In all fairness to RCL they did try and make people in wheelchairs and older passengers comfortable by setting up chairs for them to sit on while they waited. I had booked in the last 40 days prior to sailing so I did not have much of a choice on cabins. I wound up directly below the atrium dance floor which proved to be very noisy at night with the band, dancing and chairs being dragged across the floor. I would certainly be more careful next time. The Enchantment is quite an old ship in the fleet, well worn but clean and comfortable. The smell of tobacco smoke was the worst I have experienced in the last 10 years when cruise lines started to crack down on places you can smoke. Smokers were suppose to stay on the starboard side of the ship and then only on two outside decks. This was being completely ignored by both the smokers and the crew when a lot of people started to complain. I registered four complaints. Two with the crew who were in charge of the pool area and one at customer service desk and then a review I did up and left before getting off the ship. Never had anyone take this seriously or have a reply. I personally will not sail on this particular ship again and will investigate other RCL ships if I decide to go back. It is unacceptable in this day and age to have smoking ignored. I also sail with Celebrity,Princess and Holland and they are right on top of this situation. Even smoking on balconies are not acceptable with those lines. Smokers need to be given a deck off the back of the ship where the smoke blows out to sea rather than bothering a whole lot of other passengers.Other than that situation the food was okay not great but the waiters, assistant waiters, room attendants and other crew were great and always trying to make your cruise a great one. RCL needs to also look at offering liquor packages such as on their sister line Celebrity. RCL did offer a wine package but not very flexible. I had bought a 6 bottle package and would have liked to add one more bottle nearing the end of the cruise but even if you paid the per bottle price as in the package they would not go for it. They wanted an additional $10 over the already $30 price per bottle. So in the end they lost the sale of an extra bottle. Very strange rules. Read Less
Sail Date February 2011
Baltimore is an efficient Port for Embarkation. $15/nt to park, but worth it. Complaints about the ENCHANTMENT are heavy smoke in the Viking Crown Lounge; also, the Casino. No Smoking is NOT enforced, anywhere. Even if it was, the ship ... Read More
Baltimore is an efficient Port for Embarkation. $15/nt to park, but worth it. Complaints about the ENCHANTMENT are heavy smoke in the Viking Crown Lounge; also, the Casino. No Smoking is NOT enforced, anywhere. Even if it was, the ship is small, so all smoke permeates the total room. Wish RCI would contain smoking to either the outside areas or to a "smoking room". We heard Lots of complaints about the smoke. It has been said here, before, to expect a high % of seniors and disabled on this ship, from Baltimore. Our sailing was no different; perhaps, even worse. Because the ship is small, the high number of wheelchairs clogged passenger walking areas, elevators, and lounges. Wheelchair etiquette seemed to be: get out of my way, cause I'm coming through as fast as I can! Saw lots of wheelchair mishaps. If you book a cabin that is close to the centrum, know that you will be hearing the nightly entertainment that performs, for a period of time, in the centrum. ENCHANTMENT is a stretched ship, but the Windjammer and Theater areas did not increase correspondingly. As a result, some passengers were forced to stand throughout the performances. Wheelchairs compounded the seating problem, because after many riders parked their wheelchairs, they proceeded to take up an additional theater seat. The Windjammer was impossible, unless you were first, on the day of embarkation, and mornings, for breakfast. Dinner, however, in the Windjammer was a pleasant and agreeable experience. My Time Dining was acceptable. Great ports of calls made this 12 nt sailing a pleasant cruise experience. Captain Rob is a Great Captain. Carly, is a Great Cruise Director. On board activities were cruise-appropriate, including the Enrichment Lectures, etc. Nightly towel animals - no pillow chocolates. The Diamond Experience includes nightly gathering with wine, champagne, soda. Also, morning breakfast w/specialty coffees in the dining room. The ship had an Adventure Ocean Program, but we had few children, on our sailing. Read Less
Sail Date December 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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