45 Baltimore Holiday Cruise Reviews

Departing from Baltimore was excellent! We anticipated a wonderful, joyful Christmas cruise. In actuality, the decorations and activities were minimal and low budget. The entertainment was generally passable, but it was nothing special. ... Read More
Departing from Baltimore was excellent! We anticipated a wonderful, joyful Christmas cruise. In actuality, the decorations and activities were minimal and low budget. The entertainment was generally passable, but it was nothing special. Not enough activities for children/teens. Overall the ship experience was disappointing. The islands and excursions were generally good. We loved exploring the islands, and meeting locals who were all very friendly. The Royal Caribbean staff was courteous and generally seemed to care about doing a good job; particularly the dining staff. Unfortunately, we cannot recommend this ship because of poor maintenance, lack of activities, and overall pushiness of crew members trying to sell us dinners, art, spa treatments, etc. There was a sewage leak on our deck early in the trip and as a result, the entire deck smelled like sewage for the rest of the 7 days. Overall, we enjoyed being together on a cruise with our family, but Grandeur of the Seas is not up to par. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
We did not expect to have the great vacation that we had on this experience. I would definitely recommend this cruise for other families. Some of the thing we enjoyed on this cruise was, that the boat always had some type of activity for ... Read More
We did not expect to have the great vacation that we had on this experience. I would definitely recommend this cruise for other families. Some of the thing we enjoyed on this cruise was, that the boat always had some type of activity for the kids and adults to enjoy. They made me and my family feel as if we were at home. They we very respectful, encouraging to try new things, always very attentive to me and my family. Also Everyone that work on the ship enjoyed and loved what they did. One of the most important things was the amount of sanitary stations that you would find around the ship this showed that they cared about the germs that were around. Another thing we enjoyed was the organization that they had when you would exit the ship to go onto and island. Lastly I would definitely recommend this cruise for other families to enjoy as much as we did. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
My adult niece and I both live in Maryland so sailing from Baltimore eliminated a long drive or a flight. We drove in the morning of cruise, arriving around 11:30am. Dropping of luggage, parking car and entering cruise terminal took all of ... Read More
My adult niece and I both live in Maryland so sailing from Baltimore eliminated a long drive or a flight. We drove in the morning of cruise, arriving around 11:30am. Dropping of luggage, parking car and entering cruise terminal took all of 10 minutes. There was no wait to reach the security screener other than guests in front of us had to dig for their set sail and passports. Once inside we completed our health forms and were directed to the suite line. We were in a Junior Suite and I am diamond plus, niece is platinum. No wait to reach an agent and on the ship by 12:05. Using the lower gangway puts you on the ship on deck 1. We elected to take the steps to deck 4 to the R bar to wait for staterooms to be ready. Settled down to enjoy the ship and have our welcome aboard cocktails, Cosmo for me and white wine for niece. Shortly after 1pm we made our way to deck 8 and our lovely stateroom. Dropped our backpacks and headed to windjammer for a little something to hold us til 5:30 fixed seating. Not very busy at that time but very few clean tables. Then back to stateroom to see if luggage had arrived. Out of 6 bags 3 were there! Wandered the ship until 3ish then headed to cabin to get our coats for muster drill at 3:15pm. Fortunately we were on the sunny side of the ship and it was almost hot standing there. Lesson learned, don't arrive on time, that is 3:15pm. We stood there until 3:40pm before the announcements and instructions were made. Fortunately it was over at 3:45pm. Made our way to deck 10 for sail away. By this time the sun was going down and it was getting cold. When we hadn't pulled away from the pier by 4:30 we gave up and went to our cabin. I had hoped to watch us go under the Key Bridge but our 5:30 dining time came before we sailed. We had a great time and booked the same cruise for next year. Biggest issue I had was our next door neighbors, the cabin just forward of ours, was smoking on the veranda. Called guest services the first night to complain. I was told to stick my head around the divider and determine if they were in fact the smokers! I advised that was not my responsibility to confront other guests. Went to bed determined to track down the Hotel Director in the morning. On our first sea day I opened the veranda door to enjoy the view and was met by cigarette smoke. Called the front desk to complain and with in 5 minutes two security officers were knocking on our door. They went out on our balcony and stuck their heads arounds and saw the people smoking! Officer advised the guests she would be right over to speak with them. She advise us the matter would be resolved and I would not have to call again. Taken care of! Thank you RCI. Dining - We had 5:30 fixed seating and loved it. Always finished in time if we wanted to see the early show. Dinner in the MDR was hit or miss. We found it best to order 2 entrees. I loved Izumi, ate there once, niece loved Giovanni's - ate there twice, Chops was good - had one meal there. Most of our breakfasts were in the MDR, love being served and the food was hot. Lunch was in the WJ, found the MDR lunch menu to be very limited. Issue in WJ was finding a clean table. Only once during the entire cruise did a staff person ask if we wanted a coffee or water refill in the WJ. Entertainment - Did not go to production shows. The headliner entertainers were good to great. Surprisingly loved the 'unexpected boys' and the adult comedian. Rosario Strings and the piano entertainer in the Schooner Bar were my favorites. I loved quiet evenings in the Viking Crown Lounge. Service - The crew were wonderful. Always a smile, Merry Christmas or Happy New Year. Ports and Shore Excursions - Loved Antigua and St Maarten, they about my favorite stops. Used ship excursions for St Thomas and Antigua for beach trips. Kids - We had just over 500 children onboard and I was surprised how little I saw or heard any. It wasn't until the last day we ran into the 'packs of tweens'. Wonderful holiday cruise. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
good value for the dollar we got two holidays in one trip. The dining was our only issue, the waiter was not very friendly or sociable just stuck to his job and staff was under sized as our waiter's helper had 4 tables to handle ... Read More
good value for the dollar we got two holidays in one trip. The dining was our only issue, the waiter was not very friendly or sociable just stuck to his job and staff was under sized as our waiter's helper had 4 tables to handle when they normally have two . My request on first dining seating for raw sugar was quickly shot down as our waiter said they were out of that kind and should be getting some tomorrow so i was like ok. Next evening at dinner same story so i questioned why the windjammer has tons of raw sugar, he had no explanation and walk away at that time i said to my wife" I am tired of this crap" and I was going to customer service to complain,when out of nowhere the helper brings the sugar and never had a issue with sugar the rest of cruise. Now the food from start to finish of cruise was always lukewarm and is unacceptable,I said something to head waiter but that was useless, one night I ordered the meatballs and they were raw inside, head waiter got me new order and same thing raw inside,so he got me 3rd order except this time had more gravy on top, when cut open raw again he said they all are like that, to dip in gravy you will never see the color, then walked away. I could not believe what he said, after all the warnings about eating undercooked food. Ship overall is in average shape and could use some updating, showers are too small and the shower curtain stuck to you like glue. Toilets wont flush at times seems like maintenance is fixing them all the time. Shore excursions where costly, certain taxis were costly when doing your own thing, we did group tours which were reasonable from 15 to 40 a person.The galley tour n brunch was well worth the 20 bucks,fillet mignon was on the menu all you can eat, highly recommend.Staff was friendly and very helpful.Shows were very good .Overall I have been on this ship 3 times and this was the worst for food quality and dinner service. The park cafe is the pits,they have no wraps, no turkey, no made to order sandwiches unless it was a panini,the burgers,fries,hot dogs,pizza was always cold. Younger kids constantly ran around the ship some were pressing the elevator buttons some just causing noise. I would do cruise again as this was the first time for some issues that we did not experience on prior cruises with this ship. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
We went on a Christmas cruise and the ship is old and the entertainment and onboard activities are only OK. I would never go on this ship again as the food was terrible. I almost "lost it" when I saw Caribbean goat curry a ... Read More
We went on a Christmas cruise and the ship is old and the entertainment and onboard activities are only OK. I would never go on this ship again as the food was terrible. I almost "lost it" when I saw Caribbean goat curry a selection on the buffet. One dinner entree was so cold that the waiter sent it back after he saw that I could not eat it. I threw up all night after one of the steak dinners that had a bit of a funky taste to begin with. I of course did not finish it. The brisket that I ordered one night was all fat. One taste of that and the bite ended up in my napkin. The waiters were very good and the staff cleaning the stateroom was excellent, otherwise I feel that this ship is not up to the standards that I have had on Royal Caribbean in the past. We are Emerald members of the Crown and Anchor Society, so we have sailed many times on this line. The weather was cool so many people went to the Solarium which is dedicated to adults, but it was too cool on the outside pool so everyone crowded in the Solarium and plunked a towel down. The staff did not remove the towels until late in the day so many chaise chairs were tied up with no one using them all day long. I tried to get a seat many times and asked for help, but was met with stares when I asked the staff for assistance in removing towels that were there for hours with no one in them. It was awful. I know it sounds minor, but it meant that I did not get a chair as the people that did "reserve" one were at chapel, changing clothes or somewhere else for hours and that was their chair when they returned. It was simply not fair and Royal Caribbean did nothing to solve the problem, nor did the staff care. My husband had his 80th birthday and the travel agent informed the staff at RCC. It was never acknowledged. We had a great table so the last night I asked them before we disbanded to wish him a happy birthday. Don't get me wrong, it was not about RCC not giving him another dessert. After 8 nights we knew that there was not one that was even pretty or good as we had tasted them and the only one edible was the ice cream. Just was a disappointment as we had gone on this ship for the holidays and his birthday. The line up for Customs and the departure was terrible. They herded you in one room then had you to sit forever and then paraded you around to another area where the lines were not known to anyone and it was utter chaos. I am a migraineur and to not have pain if I drink a cup of coffee several times a day. I do not think that their coffee has caffeine in it as I got a migraine which was not helped by their coffee. They had a Starbucks on board so I bought coffee which solved the problem, but I am pretty sure that they probably serve only decaf in the dining facilities.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
The good and the bad: I did enjoy the entertainment, especially the Tango show and lessons, the Karaoke, the dance parties, etc. but the dining experience ruined it for me. This was my 4th cruise, but my 1st from Baltimore. I am vegan and ... Read More
The good and the bad: I did enjoy the entertainment, especially the Tango show and lessons, the Karaoke, the dance parties, etc. but the dining experience ruined it for me. This was my 4th cruise, but my 1st from Baltimore. I am vegan and gluten free because I am allergic to dairy and gluten, but I have never had any issue. I usually just alert the staff and they make things I can have. This time I did alert the staff, and spoke with them at length daily, but it was hit or miss and mostly badly miss. Either I got nothing or I was given dishes that I was told were vegan and gluten free and either I realized they were not, or my body told me they were not later. I was sick to my stomach the last two days, from the reaction I have to dairy. To give some examples, the day before thanksgiving I told the staff what I wanted to eat. On Thanksgiving day, the only vegan and gluten free appetizer specially made was given to another guest. When my entrée arrived, I was told they could not make the appetizer I requested (something already on the menu, minus the cream). They should have told me this upfront, as they discussed making it more than 24 hours before. The entrée was fake chicken, which I specifically and repeatedly told them that I could not eat because it contains gluten. I requested the same thing but with tofu and not fake meat. I sent it back. They brought it out again, minus the fake chicken, still no tofu. At this point I decided to quit trying to actually have a thanksgiving dinner, and have dessert instead. But at dessert time, they again said they did not have the dessert I requested, strawberries, although they were present on the menu and other guests’ plates. At no point any day did they ever offer me something else when claiming they didn’t have something. So for thanksgiving dinner I had salad and a banana, and my meal and holiday experience were ruined. For the next day, I again requested tofu and mushrooms. What I got was some cold vegetable sludge with literally two mushrooms and a few tiny cubes of tofu. I asked for more mushrooms and tofu, again they said they had none. For dessert they gave me raw, cold, uncooked, unsweetened canned pumpkin in a dish. Obviously you don’t eat uncooked food from a can, not to mention that it was disgusting. They did give me soup that they said was vegan and gluten free, but I am sure it was not based on how I felt later and that it was indistinguishable from the non vegan version the other guests were eating. The chef did make me things special at times and they were great. I believe the issue was with the wait staff. In order to actually get anything I could eat, I had to wait an hour or more and ask multiple waiters repeatedly. This was embarrassing in front of all of the rest of my party. They would all be done eating and I would still be begging for something. The wait staff also outright lied to me about not having things like cinnamon, strawberries, mushrooms, tofu, etc which magically reappeared later or in other places. I don’t think they bothered to ask for it or speak to the chef half of the time. Other people placed special orders, and they were actually given them, and in a timely manner, so that was not the issue. I don’t think the staff had a clear understanding what vegan or gluten free meant. Part of it is actually that many are not native English speakers, and some come from countries without a large number of vegetarians. I also don’t think they realize that food allergies can make people sick or kill them. They were acting like it’s just an annoyance and not a serious problem. When they tell someone something doesn’t contain dairy and they can eat it, they need to make sure because there are serious problems when it isn’t correct. When I finally complained to guest services, I was told I should have came to them sooner. I went to waiters, head waiters, chefs, etc. Why do I have to spent the time complaining while my party is out dancing? It’s a simple fix, but my feeling was they did not want to do anything. It should have been right from the beginning. The boat was much smaller than the one I went on last year (from NJ), and had a lot less features like no ice skating rink, no minigolf, etc. Our stateroom attendant was great. Guest Services overall was very good. Entertainment was great (music and music theater especially). I was not happy that the ship did not stop in Key West. I was looking forward to Key West the most, as it was the only city I had not been to. Royal Caribbean previously did this, when they canceled stops in Martinique and Guadeloupe on another trip I went on. In that case, at least they replaced the stops with other stops. Here they didn’t and three days on the boat at sea was too much. I live right down the road from the Baltimore terminal but after this experience I wouldn’t want to do it again. At least not with this ship. My advice for people considering purchasing is to go to NY/NJ for a better experience. Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
My wife and I recently sailed for 8 nights over Thanksgiving on Grandeur of the Seas out of Baltimore. This was our second time on the Grandeur as we really like the convenience of the port in Baltimore as we can drive in less than 2 hours ... Read More
My wife and I recently sailed for 8 nights over Thanksgiving on Grandeur of the Seas out of Baltimore. This was our second time on the Grandeur as we really like the convenience of the port in Baltimore as we can drive in less than 2 hours with no airfare. The ship has been refurbished since our last time on and it is very nice. The service was excellent. As a matter of fact, our room steward was the best we've ever had in 20+ cruises with multiple cruise lines. We picked the itinerary for the Key West port and unfortunately, due to weather we were unable to get in there. The entertainment was good, but we would have liked it if there were more choices. We weren't impressed with the Windjammer Café (buffet). However, the Park Café was very nice. We were disappointed that the times of operation of the eating venues was limited also. Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
We took three vehicles to get eleven people to the ship. My wife and myself made this everyone's Christmas present. Going on the cruise with us was my oldest son, wife and three year daughter. In the next cabin was my other so , girl ... Read More
We took three vehicles to get eleven people to the ship. My wife and myself made this everyone's Christmas present. Going on the cruise with us was my oldest son, wife and three year daughter. In the next cabin was my other so , girl friend and five year old daughter and the last cabin had my mother in-law, her grand daughter and great granddaughter age thirteen. They all had inside cabins. My wife and myself had a suite. We ate at chops one night and took everybody to guava is table one night. All the other nights we all ate in the main dining room. The food and service were good in the main dining room. Taking care of this family was a challenge for servers as many have picky taste. The specialty restaurants were excellent in both quality and service. All of the kids used the kids programs and everyone was happy with the activities and the way coucileors worked with the kids. Activities for everyone else seemed lacking on this ship. My wife and myself are almost diamond and this is the smallest ship we have been on in years after doing Oasis and Allure the last two years. Entertainment was average at best. We expected this with the smaller ship. Stateroom was always clean, but never saw room steward except on the last two days. I had to write him notes as to what we needed or wanted. Getting on and off the ship was easy. Overall the trip was enjoyable and enjoyed being around the little ones. Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
We had a marvelous holiday cruise on the Grandeur of the Seas. One of the best cruises I've been on and we are Diamond members. Entertainment: Wonderful. The activity staff on the ship worked extremely hard making the holiday special ... Read More
We had a marvelous holiday cruise on the Grandeur of the Seas. One of the best cruises I've been on and we are Diamond members. Entertainment: Wonderful. The activity staff on the ship worked extremely hard making the holiday special for everyone. Jeff and Darryl were seen everywhere making the cruise so much fun. The young singers and dancers gave 110%. The featured performers were fantastic and we enjoyed the shows every night. We only missed one because we were so exhausted. I believe it was a magic show that we missed. Finis Henderson and the Argentina dancers were amazing. The comedian was also very good. Christmas Eve there was story telling in the Centrum for all the little ones and it was very festive with the large tree and beautiful decoration. It was special evening before bedtime for the children. Christmas day we started the morning with mass. The Captain had messages over the intercom system that there was an unidentified blip on their radar and kept giving us updates regarding Santa's arrival. Santa arrived at 9:00 via the elevator and sat with all the children in the Centrum. Every child received a nice gift, there was holiday music and it was magical. Christmas movies played on the big screen, and we had a wonderful dinner. New Year's Eve parties were fabulous in five different locations. In the Centrum they had hundreds of balloons and confetti drop at midnight with champagne toasts, we were serenaded by big band music and the Captain came down to enjoyed the countdown with us. We were provided with egg nog, hats, leis, and horns. The photographers took many great pictures. They worked so hard on making the event a great memory. I will never forget the balloons being released and the happiness on my granddaughters' faces. Memories to last a lifetime for sure. The days on the ship were filled with entertainment. Music and dance lessons were happening everyday. There were bingo games, pool activities, trivia, scrap booking, lectures, face painting, and many other things one could enjoy. One of the fun things on this special voyage was earning raffle tickets by participating in different events. They had drawings for two free cruises and were very exciting. Of course we were hoping that we would win, but it was not the case. A really fun thing that my granddaughter and son-in-law participated in was to learn the Thriller dance by Michael Jackson. The last night on the cruise they got to perform for the whole ship in costume and make-up. What a life long memory this event was. It was so magical and special. Royal Caribbean really got this right. Everywhere we walked my granddaughter and son-in-law were told how great they did and got lots of compliments, they were so proud of their accomplishment. The instructor for the dance was patient and very sweet. She really was outstanding in making the group shine. The ports were wonderful. Labadee has been so built up since the last time we were there. The kids loved the water park and the coaster ride. I didn't think that the slide was worth the money. The only bad part about the water park was that my granddaughter and son-in-law got scratched on their legs from something under the inflatables. I also saw some others that got scratched too. Puerto Rico was nice. We took a bus tour and went to a fort that was very interesting. We did some shopping and came back to the ship. The only negative was that we didn't arrive into the port until 3:00. You kind of miss a lot of what Puerto Rico has to offer by the late arrival. St. Thomas is always wonderful. My children loved Magen's Bay. The water was crystal clear and they had a blast. They took a snorkel excursion that they liked very much. We bought an underwater disposal camera that took some great pictures. St. Martin was really great too. We took the water taxi over to the beach and it was a great relaxing day. We rented a jet ski at this port and it was so much cheaper than doing the excursion through the cruise line. Dining: I thought the food was extremely good. They had a wonderful selection on the menu. My husband loved the lamb chops. We did not go to any of the specialty restaurants, I felt like it was no need to spent additional money, it would be a wasn't of money. We were more than satisfied at our nightly table/ Not many people purchased the Barbie package for their little girls. I was really surprised that there wasn't more. We spoke to a man who had two daughters that were signed up for it and they were actually disappointed in the experience. There were almost 500 children on board and only 6 girls had participated in the event. Our cabins were small on the lower decks, but it served us well. It was located in the middle of the ship and little did I know that when I booked the cruise that my decision was wonderful for us. On the first two days out of port at Baltimore we had a little rougher waves and my daughter felt ill. Being on the lower deck in the middle of the ship was a great location for her because you don't feel the rocking as much. On our 3 days travelling back to Baltimore was very calm and she did not have any sickness. The only negative thing that I have to express is my dealing with the port authority personnel in Baltimore, and that's not Royal Caribbean fault. One individual in particular was very rude and unprofessional. I wrote a letter today to the Maryland Port Authority to express my extreme dissatisfaction by the behavior. I was embarrassed that this person represented our city and state. The RCCL holiday cruise was magical, wonderful life long memories, and I thank them for such a great experience and memory. Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
I sailed on the Pride on Thanksgiving week with my wife and 11 year old son. Based on all experiences this will be my last cruise on carnival and out of Baltimore. Embarkation: We have been at Tampa, New York, Fort Lauderdale, Miami, San ... Read More
I sailed on the Pride on Thanksgiving week with my wife and 11 year old son. Based on all experiences this will be my last cruise on carnival and out of Baltimore. Embarkation: We have been at Tampa, New York, Fort Lauderdale, Miami, San Diego, and now Baltimore. I would say Baltimore was far the worst port we have sailed from. The security line was long and the line to check in was much longer. It seems they lacked staff. 2 of the security lines were not even working. The lady we checked in was very pleasant, however getting there took way too long. Service: Our cabin steward was great. He was really the best part of our cruise. He was so attentive. We always had our room cleaned after breakfast and after dinner. Anytime we needed anything he was always there. I would love to take him on future cruises. Cabin: The cabin was fine. Even when the air conditioner was on we asked if they could turn on the heat, which they did pretty quickly. It did get a little hot when we down to the Caribbean and I did not want to have them readjust the temperature, because when we started to go back to Baltimore they would have to readjust again. Dining Dining in the dining area and steakhouse (David's) was nice. We had a great hostess and dining staff. Be had anytime dining and for the most part we had 2 head waiters. Both were real nice and very attentive. We did have one assistant waitress who seemed that she did not want to be there. The service otherwise was excellent. Entertainment This was the worst part of the cruise, in my opinion. Except for a few of the comedians the shows lacked any surprises and it seemed we have seen these shows before. Carnival should look at Royal Caribbean and how they do their entertainment. They have different venues which much better talent. I would give the entertainment 2 stars, except the comedians. Children's Clubs Camp carnival was really good and my son really enjoyed himself. The staff was great and he really enjoyed the night owls programs. Disembarkation This was an absolutely nightmare. First of all the line to customs was very long and someone who left the ship earlier accidentally took one of my suitcases. That is not the real issue. The issue was the people of the port did not real care we lost our bag and were really nasty to us. This was an emotional situation since the bag was my sons and he was very emotional. No one at the port would walk around with me. The real issue is that the person who accidentally took my luggage called and apologized. The [problem is carnival is saying that since someone took it is not the responsibility to return the bag to me. If Carnival would have offered to pick up my bag and return it to me this would be a non-issue. However their take is that since someone else took the bag they have washed their hands off the issue. In the scheme of things how much would it cost Carnival to have someone pick up my bag and deliver it to me? Summary I think this will have been our 8 and final cruise with Carnival. The entire experience, especially with our luggage has left a sour taste with Carnival. We had a nice time, however these incidents were disheartened.   Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
This was a 10 night cruise over Thanksgiving. This was my first cruise with Royal Caribbean. (Previously, I had been on cruises with Norwegian, Celebrity and Carnival). I had a great time and experience on all my other cruises, but not on ... Read More
This was a 10 night cruise over Thanksgiving. This was my first cruise with Royal Caribbean. (Previously, I had been on cruises with Norwegian, Celebrity and Carnival). I had a great time and experience on all my other cruises, but not on Grandeur of the Seas or with Royal Caribbean. Things to know before booking with Royal Caribbean/Grandeur of Seas: 1. Toilets do not flush properly in either the rooms or in the common areas....a common occurrence experienced by many. (While others have commented about bad odors, we did not experience bad odors in the common areas despite the problems with the toilets). I thought the common bathrooms were kept clean, 2, The elevators work very inconsistently....OFTEN skipping over the 7th floor. Many were complaining about this issue and it was never corrected. It is an older ship. Be warned it you need to rely on elevator access. We ended up walking a lot of stairs. 3. There is a nice feature of having electronic boards by the elevators that told you about daily activities. However, these electronic boards were incorrect at times, sending you on a wild goose chase to find the proper floor or location of an activity. 4. This ship was improperly managed on so many different levels. For Puerto Rico, the ship made an announcement that it was time for people to come down to get off at this port. Rather than letting people of, they kept us trapped like sardines for a long time with NO INFO. When I finally asked for info, the Royal Caribbean employee told us that they are getting off people on tours first, and hence that is why we are packed in like sardines without moving. When I made the suggestion, that next time they should let all the tour people off before making the announcement for everyone to come down, he told me no announcement was made! Well a couple hundred of my sardine friends, assured him that the announcement was made! 5. This cruise was on Thanksgiving. The ship ran out of Turkey and pumpkin pie early in the evening. They knew it was Thanksgiving and should have planned food accordingly. A bid disappointment. 6. SHOPPING ON THE SHIP: BE WARE: I purchased a piece of costume jewelry for $40. The Royal Caribbean salesperson, threw down the receipt and said sign here....Well I actually took the time to read my receipt and the Royal Caribbean Salesperson added in a tip for $29.97!!!!!! Imagine all those who just sign quick without reading. 7. My husband bought a bottle of rum in Labadee. Royal Caribbean holds it until the end of the cruise and then it is supposed to end up back in your room. Well it was never delivered to us in our room as promised. When we called to inquire, Royal Caribbean told us it was lost! My husband was upset because it was a unique kind of rum with a cool bottle. Royal Caribbean did in fact give us a different bottle of rum in the end. 8. KIDS CLUB - Wonderful, and safe! Daughter LOVED it! They have great hours for the kids club compared to other ships. Can not rave enough about the kids club. 9. Pool. The outside pool is either 1 foot deep or 5.6 feet deep. If you are shorter, you can not stand in this pool . 10. Captain - The captain on this ship was consistently wrong about the weather and overall they did not provide us with information when we went through waves up to 40 feet high and winds of up to 90 mph. Everyone was sick (including crew for about 24 hours) Captain advised the bad weather would get better by 6 pm....but it did not get better until 6 am! 11. My TIme Dining: This is not on your time....like on Norwegian...It is either 5:30 pm or 7 pm. or after 8 pm. If you go to the 7 pm dining you will likely miss shows as it takes about 1.5-2 hours in the restaurant. 12. No picture at all in our cabin. 13. Food: Food overall was pretty good. Waiters work so hard! No good dessert on the entire ship, which was a shock! 14. Lack of staff: In comparison to other cruise ships, there was a lack of staff here. The tables by the pool constantly had dirty dishes on them from prior guests. Overall, there was nothing Grand or Royal about this vacation....A big disappointment! Be warned, there are much better ships and cruise lines!   Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
My mom and I decided to let the nice people at Royal Caribbean make Thanksgiving dinner for us, and so we set forth on a cruise to the Caribbean for Thanksgiving. We have sailed 5 times from Bayonne, Nj. This was our first time leaving ... Read More
My mom and I decided to let the nice people at Royal Caribbean make Thanksgiving dinner for us, and so we set forth on a cruise to the Caribbean for Thanksgiving. We have sailed 5 times from Bayonne, Nj. This was our first time leaving from Baltimore, and Baltimore was not nearly as well-organized as Bayonne. My almost 92 year old mom needs a wheelchairfor the long distance to board the ship. In Bayonne this was never a problem. In Baltimore, Mom had to walk so far to get to the wheelchair that she was exhausted. Once we were on the ship we went to the Windjammer Cafe for lunch and then to our cabin. We had a Junior Suite. We were very pleased with the closet space and especially with the drawer space. Hooray! We had someplace to put our clothes. We had a nice table for 2 in the Main Dining Room with friendly people sitting next to us. Our waitress, Sharon, and her assistant waiter, Alberto, did an outstanding job and helped to make dinner a lovely experience each evening. Our cabin steward, Dan, also did an excellent job. We would like to commend Ricardo and Lourdes at Guest Services for their assistance when Mom needed a wheelchair during stormy weather. We loved listening to music in the lounges after dinner. It is a lovely way to end the day. We enjoyed our cruise and are ready to pack our bags and sail again. Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
This being our third sailing of Pride in past 12 months, mainly due to convenience of Baltimore port, we are in a good position to compare how she has done through the year. Answer, not so good. Reason, I think Carnival is asking less and ... Read More
This being our third sailing of Pride in past 12 months, mainly due to convenience of Baltimore port, we are in a good position to compare how she has done through the year. Answer, not so good. Reason, I think Carnival is asking less and less staff to do more and more. I base that on condition of cabin, service, and number of bar waiters. EMBARKATION: Just have to love Baltimore. Just no fuss, just everything so close. Drive in, baggage handlers take luggage right out of car, drive into parking lane, pay and park. Walk across and enter terminal. Staff in terminal area very nice and helpful. Security a bit more of a TSA approach than previously however making me remove laptop from carry on, a first at any cruise line security point. Really did feel like they had seen a TSA training video and thought they were them. Here's the point security, we are not boarding a secure aircraft. We are boarding a large ship where dinner knives, explosive materials, etc abound. We don't really have to bring it on board. I am a security profession by career, I know the big deal checkpoint is as useful in this regard as a t.t on a bull. The banning of photo's and cellphones is terminal area, really? If needed a picture would go on internet. The only other embarkation comment, really wish they would build a gantry entry instead of making people walk that long uphill 5 story back and forth gangway. It's like it never ends. We arrived about 11:30 disembarking still taking place as we knew it would be. Baltimore at least the Pride arrives late for cruise ships. CABIN: 6173 Ocean Suite - Rosario cabin steward friendly and responded to requests, extra pillow etc no problem. That said, when spare roll toilet paper gone not replaced until requested. Found LARGE empty gift type box behind garbage can left by previous passenger. One faucet obviously broken had to call for repair, top was in pieces. Balcony door handle and latch broken. Repair crew came took them hour and a lot of cutting and drilling to replace. Balcony chairs crusted with salt balcony filthy remained until I called guest services. Steward explained hose didn't work. Table mates told us their cabin, don't know number, plumbing leak had fans in there for days as carpet was soaked. DINING: Table 232 worked hard, great personality did their best but obviously too few people doing too much work. They did their best to be attentive can't complain about them but can about cruise line that is just cutting staff every chance they get if you ask me. Two now do the jobs that were once done by 5. You want escargot this has now been relegated to the $35 per person specialty restaurant. Food itself was excellent no complaints. And again not waiters fault that so few do so much. ENTERTAINMENT: Good, comics always nice touch and Macey is great. Overall decent cruise but have to admit that I think we are Carnival and especially Pride overdone. We will try RCL out of Baltimore for next sailing from there. Staff are trying hard but line is not giving them the tools needed to make this a great cruise any longer. Heck it was hard to find bar waiters at times. One thing they are NOT short of, photographers. maybe they should convert a few of them into wait staff. I like to smoke a cigar and was too cold on balcony coming and going. They have one lounge for cigar smoking, closed it two days for art auction. Day was open asked bar waiter passing by for a scotch, he said that bar was closed, pardon me? Adjacent bar open what's up with that, casino bar open right near there to. When hard to get a drink you know you are understaffed. Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
Let me start by saying that I am a fan of Celebrity Cruise Line, but that in no way has tarnished my review. My DW, son, d-I-l, and a dear friend traveled from Hudson, NY to Baltimore by train to meet the ship. Upon arrival in Baltimore, ... Read More
Let me start by saying that I am a fan of Celebrity Cruise Line, but that in no way has tarnished my review. My DW, son, d-I-l, and a dear friend traveled from Hudson, NY to Baltimore by train to meet the ship. Upon arrival in Baltimore, (the first time we used that port), we were directed to a line by what deck we were on. My son, and friend were on deck 2 and were sent to a line and my DW and I were on 7. We made it through the line in 25 minutes and upon getting to the front of the line we were told that by being Crown and Anchor members we should never have been made to wait. This was not the end of the world but, it was a lack of attention to detail. We made our way to the buffet for lunch and a young boy dumped a number of dinner rolls on the floor. I have been on many a cruise and the staff would generally converge on picking up a "spill", not on this ship. Wait staff walked over the problem. Okay, I thought this was just a management issue, no attention to detail... We had breakfast out by the pool one morning at 9:00 AM and sat and had coffee, catching up on our hectic lives, and saw that many poolside tables were vacant but not bussed for over two hours. Staff were all around and walking by the tables and not cleaning them off. NO ATTENTION TO DETAIL. We had a balcony cabin. Now I know that maintenance is an important part of upkeep on a seagoing vessel, but we were given a note that our balcony would have work done on it while we were at sea. We were in two ports where painting could have been completed. The only time we could have enjoyed the balcony was when we were at sea the last two days and this was never considered. Again, attention to detail! I took a picture of confetti that was in my cabin when we arrived and that was still there when we disembarked. You know...detail! Now that I have brought up these errors, I will tell you that the main dining room staff and the food therein were fantastic. We elected the "my time" dining option and found ourselves asking for the same wait staff each night. They made the cruise. We also elected to go to CHOPS restaurant and I would recommend this to all passengers. It is truly an experience. I am not yet "sold" on Royal Caribbean. Did I HATE the cruise, no not at all. Is there plenty things that could be improved on, you bet. So, that being said...please don't think I'm judging the whole line by my two Royal cruises. I am not. I am merely stating some facts. Draw your own conclusions. Is this enough to change your thought process for picking a cruise ship? It is up to you. Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
A family group of 7 of us cruised on the Enchantment of the Seas from Baltimore to the Bahamas for the Christmas holiday cruise (12/22/12 - 12/29/12). We booked three cabins: (1) a single woman in an inside cabin, (2) two ... Read More
A family group of 7 of us cruised on the Enchantment of the Seas from Baltimore to the Bahamas for the Christmas holiday cruise (12/22/12 - 12/29/12). We booked three cabins: (1) a single woman in an inside cabin, (2) two retirees/grandparents in a deluxe oceanview cabin, and (3) a family of four (two children ages 2 and 4) in an adjoining deluxe oceanview cabin. The experience overall was very much a mixed bag. I would say more positives than not, but the negatives were really bad - especially the fiasco of a shore excursion to Disney World (never again). Pros: (1) Booking through American Express - AmEx Platinum has a partnership with Royal Caribbean, so we had VIP Priority embarkation and didn't have to wait in line at all. Using AmEx also gave us the additional perks of a free bottle of Moet & Chandon Imperial Champagne in our room waiting for us, a free bottle of red wine in cabin, free dinner for two at Chops specialty restaurant, free soda plans for children (which we adults used!), and a $100 onboard credit. These were nice perks. (2) Embarkation - A breeze. Thanks to AmEx, we didn't have to wait in the long line at all. We parked around 12:00 PM and were onboard drinking champagne by 1pm. Our room was ready earlier than anticipated. NOTE: the Muster drill was outside, which was chilly. But the drill seemed a lot shorter than other drills we've participated in, so nothing unbearable. Just be sure to bring your coat in winter! (3) Dining - My Fair Lady / Main Dining. Our entire party agreed that the food onboard was generally excellent in the main My Fair Lady Dining Room. There were delicious seafood options every night, ranging from horseradish-crusted salmon, sea bass topped with shrimp, New England lobster tail one night, rock lobster tail the last night, barramudi, shrimp cocktail, snow crab legs salad, etc. Appetizers were delicious and varied, ranging from salads to soups to shrimp cocktail and everything in between. Desserts were hit or miss....cruises always seem to use the same congealed-pudding-type filling for every dessert, no matter what the flavor, chocolate, strawberry, etc. I am a not a steak eater, but my husband and other family members enjoyed the filet on the second night, but said the NY strips and prime rib in the My Fair Lady dining room were grizzly and tough. Chops Steakhouse - Specialty Dining: We did experience Chops steakhouse one night for dinner because we had a free voucher. I thought the seafood in the main dining room was actually better than Chops' options. But for steaks, Chops was far superior, according to my husband. And Chops also had better side dishes and much better desserts. Overall, I didn't think Chops was worth the upcharge, considering the My Fair Lady dining room food was probably the best we've had in a main dining room on a cruise. Windjammer Cafe -- We only ate lunch here on the first day/embarkation and it was decent, typical cruise buffet food. Some ethnic dishes, burgers, fried chicken, salad bar, pasta bar, fresh fruit, etc. Nothing to write home about, but not bad either. Reminiscent of college cafeteria food. We did have several breakfasts in the Windjammer, which were decent but not outstanding. Similar to a free hotel breakfast with rubbery waffles and pancakes. I will say that the one delicious breakfast option at Windjammer was the egg bar, when the chefs would custom make any type of omlette or egg dish for you. But this require waiting in line (sometimes long). We also liked that Windjammer had turkey sausage in addition to the beef/pork options. Breakfasts in My Fair Lady were superior, if you had the time and patience for a sit-down. Park Cafe -- This was the snackbar type option to go to near the pool when the other dining areas were closed. Apparently Park Cafe is a new option that was just installed a couple of weeks before our cruise, while the boat was in dry dock. There is a bagel bar in the morning, oatmeal, and grab-and-go breakfast sandwiches and panini, similar to what you would see in a Starbucks pastry case, same for muffins and danishes. For lunch/afternoon/evenings there are pre-made sandwiches, panini, soups, and salads. My husband had a particularly good asian shrimp noodle salad. I had a couple of panini that were delicious. A nice addition for a quick no-hassel meal or snack. Ben and Jerrys / Coffee - We didn't go to these because they required upcharges. (4) Entertainment- for a smaller scale ship out of Baltimore, I have to hand it to the entertainment on this cruise! The cruise director, Luke, is a MADMAN...seriously, this guy has more energy and talent then most large-scale Vegas acts. And he is a hottie, too! :) I will never forget how he lead the 70s Disco Party with other staff dressed up like the members Village People, from head to toe in fireman, indian, sailor outfits, bare chested, dancing and singing. Hilarious. True, genuine, energy. This guy loves his job and is great at it. He was a delight to the cruise! The other entertainment was also quite fabulous, much to our surprise. We expected cheesy cabaret-type shows. And while, Yes, there were a couple of those (some of the cruise singers are just so-so), there were some arists and acts that completely stood out. There was a young juggling husband/wife team, who were incredible! The juggler was so into his passion, you could see the excitement and go-for-it attitude when he showed us all some of his tricks-in-progress (even when he missed the first time). The guy was amazing! There was also a magician on-board who, along with his wife/team, were the excellent quality of a Vegas-or-TV style show. It was real good stuff....and we are not gullible, and tend to be very critical/sarcastic with these types of things. We were very impressed by the entertainment onboard. Some of the entertainment singers were just ok. But some were standouts. We saw one show called "Can't Stop The Rock" which was a variety show of movie-themed songs. It was cheesy and pretty boring. The comedian was funny, but not outstanding. But the entertainment was worth it for the juggler and magician! Awesome! Maybe it was because this was Christmas week, but there seemed to be a very special energy on the boat. One of my favorite memories will be the Christmas Caroling in the centrum on Christmas Eve around 10:30 PM, with staff, entertainers, children, and passengers alike, all singing Christmas carols up and down 5-6 levels of the ship in the centrum, with the accompaniment of the ship's live orchestra. It was beautiful. There was also a really nice apperance by Santa, who took photos of the kids. And all children received a complementary gift from Santa. My two year old son received some Fisher Price Little People beach toys, and my 4 year old daughter received a reusable/insulated lunchbag. It was a nice gesture. (5) Ship overall - nicely decorated and well thought out. The centrum was especially nice, airy, bright. The pool decks were nice and not typically crowded (obviously part of the cruise was cold). On the nice days in port, everyone went off the boat, so the pools were nearly empty. There is a nice kiddie splash area, and a separate pool area for older children and adults. There is also a solarium pool that is supposedly adults-only, but because it's indoors and it was cold that policy was not enforced. The only complaint we had about the pool deck is that they have two HUGE scantron screens that blast music all day/night long. When we are lounging at the pool, we don't always want to be blasted by hip-hop music from Justin Bieber and Nicky Minaj. Even grandpa (who is semi-deaf in one year) asked them to turn down the freaking music! (6) Cabin steward - Our cabin steward Elmer was amazing. He went above and beyond to make our very cramped and crowded cabin livable and cheery. Between "decorating" the cabin with our kids' toys to making towel animals. He was a super nice guy and knew all our names within the first day. This guy was top knotch! He was trustworthy and gave us a good vibe. Most of the cabin staff were nice and friendly and helpful. (7) Kids Clubs. The cruise got SO much better for my husband and I for the second half when we decided to take a chance and enroll both our 4-year-old and 2-year-old in the kids club/nursery for a couple of nights, so we could enjoy the entertainmnet/shows and a dinner without food flying and fussing/wiggling/ overstimulated kids. At first we were not comfortable with the kids clubs...the first half of the cruise they were absolutely packed and we didn't trust the staff. But toward the second half/end of the cruise, the kiddie crowds thinned a bit. My daughter spent two evenings in the Aquanots club for children ages 3-5, and had a blast. They have a great evening program when you drop the kids off at 5:00pm and they will feed them dinner in the Windjammer (pizza and fries) and then entertain them with activities until midnight. And it's FREE! My 2-year-old son went to the nursery, which is a separate area for younger babies and toddlers under the age of 3 and not toilet trained. It was a great facility with a 4:1 ratio of childen:caregivers, lots of fisher price toys, cribs for resting/naps, climbing equipment, and a large screen TV with Dora the Explorer on it. We dropped him off at 5:45 PM, and they also fed him dinner and took care of him until about 10pm, after we finished watching the show. He had a great time. For overprotective parents like us, they gave us each a pager in case there were any issues whatsoever. We also inquired about bathroom breaks for our daughter (we didn't want any strangers taking her to the bathroom), and the policy is that children in the 3-5 club have to use the potty by themselves....no staff goes with them. They have a potty right in the aquanots club that the kids use. There is a charge for the nursery of $8/hour, which was a bargain, considering we pay our babysitter over 2x that amount. Both kids were happy to go to the kids club, and seemed well cared for. My husband and I peeked in on them both nights we used the services, and the kids were playing and happy. So for any nervous parents like us, I can recommend it. We were told in an emergency that our 4 year old would be brought to our muster station (she had a wristband she had to wear the entire cruise with her identification, room, and muster station number). For the infants, the staff carry the babies down to their respective muster stations and wait until parents arrive. (8) Coco Cay - This stop at Royal Caribbeans private island made the whole trip. It was a full beach day, relaxing, lots of chairs and space available, lots of things to do for young kids, great lovely beaches, and yummy BBQ lunch. I have read that many times if seas are rough RC will skip this port...how awful! It really is the best stop on the cruise. We thoroughly enjoyed the shopping, beaching, relaxing, and drinks. (9) Blue Lagoon Island in Nassau - This was a positive shore excursion experience. We took a nice 60-min boat ride to a little island lagoon near Nassau. Nice calm beach. Good lunch included in price. The only problem is that we only had about 2-3 hours on the lagoon because the port stop was relatively short. Our ship didn't get into Nassau until nearly 1pm and then we had to be back on board relatively early. But the ferry ride to blue lagoon island, and the experience on the island was very nice. Perfect for young children. Calm and safe. Cons: Shore Excursion. Port Canaveral - Walt Disney World Shuttle. I have no idea why Royal Caribbean even bothered to advertise a shore excursion to Walt Disney World for the stop in Port Canaveral. It was an expensive waste of time and money. The boat didn't get into port until 11am, we were off by 11:30am and it took an hour by bus to get to Disney. We got to the park at 1pm only to be told that the Magic Kingdom was CLOSED because the park had reached capacity and was full. This was the one stop my kids were really looking forward to and talking about for weeks in advance. You can imagine the tears from my daughter when she couldn't see the Magic Kingdom. And the upset parents, grandparents, and children all on the bus. Even worse, we were out $300 for park tickets and $100 for the bus ride. And we had to wait until 7pm to take the return bus back. We also had a character dining reservation in the Magic Kingdom that we couldn't get to because we couldn't get into the park. So I had to spend nearly an hour on the phone with WDW reservations trying to avoid a no-show penalty. It was an AWFUL experience! The bus didn't drop us off at the Magic Kingdom as promised, but instead took us to the WDW transportation hub and basically made us fend for ourselves. With two elderly grandparents and two young children, this was no easy feat. We ended up packed in the Animal Kingdom, which no one really cared to visit. And because we didn't want to have to wait until 7pm or 8pm for the return bus, we ended up shelling out nearly $200 for private transportation back to the boat. When I went the next day to the shore excursions desk to ask for a refund, the gentleman at the desk was rude and hostile. Apparently a lot of other families had complained about the Disney fiasco and he was not in a good mood. He started to write up a report for his supervisor, noting my complaints. When i started to read the report over his shoulder to make sure it was accurate, he yelled at me, put his hand over the computer screen, and said it was "private" and "not for me to read!" This is MY report, and I wanted to make sure it was accurate. I received a phone call the next day from a supervisor, saying I would be refunded the shore excursion bus ride, but I have yet to see the credit on my credit statement, and it's been nearly a week! Guess I need to call back on that one. The Bottom line - Don't bother with a Disney day trip as a shore excursion from Port Canaveral. The bus gets in way too late to enjoy anything. It's a waste of time and money. In fact, the Port Canaveral stop should just be skipped. It's not really warm there, there isn't a whole lot to do, etc. Royal Caribbean would be better off just skipping over it and going straight to the warm and tropical bahamas for another day. And don't bother with anything Disney during Christmas vacation week. The Magic Kingdom park was closed at capacity of 75,000 before 12 noon on both December 24 and I heard also December 25 and December 26 and December 27. The Animal Kingdom was packed body to body. We only got to go on two rides for the entire time we were there. And then we left. Save your money! Cabin - If we were in a deluxe oceanview cabin, I would hate to see the regular sized one. Soooooo small for a family of four with two young children and all their stuff. Especially since Santa paid a visit too. IMPORTANT NOTE FOR YOUNG FAMILIES: our cabin was technically able to sleep 4 however, this room was not equipped to host two young children under the age of 5. We had our two-year-old son in a pack n play, but there was nowhere for our 4-year-old daughter to sleep! The room had two pull-down beds from the wall, but we were told once we were onboard they are for children ages 8+. There was no sofa or sofabed in the room, despite that I was told that by Royal Caribbean reservations at least twice. So, my daughter had to sleep in the bed or on the floor(!) while my husband or I slept with in the pulldown bed. Not exactly romantic. So parents with young children....I would advise to upgrade to a family suite that has a sofabed or sofa for another young child to sleep on. I don't think Royal Caribbean customer service knows what they are talking about. I specifically asked and confirmed with them that the room had a sofa or sofabed for our daughter. They knew the ship and even knew our pre-selected cabin number. But there was NO sofa bed. Service - We opted to do the My Time Dining instead of a regular seating. And I think service suffered because of this. Not only did we have to prepay all our gratuities, but the service wasn't as good because we didn't get to know our waitstaff the way the routine seating times did. We had some servers who were excellent (Lakinder Singh from India - was an outstanding exception...he even cut our children's food for them!), but in general with the Mytime Dining we found the service to be sub-par. Some of the waitstaff seemed bothered or offended when we asked for extra napkins, an extra dessert for the kids, or there were problems like the wrong drink brought to us. Other of our requests were simply ignored! Breakfast service in My Fair Lady was downright rude at times. We found the service in Windjammer to be much nicer for breakfast. The cruise was packed and I think the servers were very hassled and overworked with so many people onboard. Ridiculous Upcharges - This really pissed us off. Sitting for breakfast in the My Fair Lady dining room, a server came by offering fresh squeezed orange juice. Of course we all said sure. Then he informed us that there was an upcharge of $2-$3 per juice. What? Did we not just pay for a cruise? This was not labeled on the menu. Same for coffee. I ordered a latte only to be told that there would be a $2-$3 upcharge for it. Again? It seems like Royal Caribbean was trying to upcharge us for everything. You want a better steak? $20 more. You want a lobster tail? $29 more. You want better coffee? $2. This happened over and over again. We expected the cruise line to push things like photographs, shops etc, but did NOT expect to pay for fresh squeezed orange juice. I will take the plain old regular juice, thanks. Wifi - In this day and age, there is no need to charge something like $7/min for Internet service. Thank goodness we had it in port. Crowds/illness - This was a very crowded boat, since the holiday cruise was sold out. Lots of sick people, too. And Lots of sick staff. The captain was sick. The shore excursions director was sick in the infimary. Mention of this staffer or that staffer being sick. Seems like everyone had the flu. They blamed it on the boat being in dry dock for the two weeks prior, but I didn't buy that. There definitely was something going around. Thankfully we avoided it...but not everyone did. The grossest was seeing some guy vomiting/hacking into a trash can right in front of the elevators on the first day just after embarkation. We all got into the elevators and prayed he stayed out. Also saw evidence of "illness" in the public restrooms. We made a point of using the bathroom in our stateroom with the kids or for us. Some of the public rooms were gross - for two days the hallway outside of the orpheum theater smelled like vomit. When we embarked, we all had to fill out a health form, certifying that no one you are traveling with has had flu-like or gastroinstestinal symptoms within the past week, otherwise they had to be evalated in the infirmary. I think TONS of people lied on that form. People were coughing and hacking all over the place. Thank God I brought along 3 canisters of antibacterial handwipes for the kids. This is another reason we avoided the buffet in Windjammer....lots of sick people touching tongs and coughing around the food. I actually saw one lady picking up food using her bare hands instead of the tongs. GROSS! Because it was so crowded and it was cold for 4/7 days of the cruise, the inside of the boat was usually packed. On the 6th day of the cruise, while we were at sea, my family spent 30 minutes looking around the boat for somewhere to sit. Every place was packed. On a warmer cruise, folks would be spread out more on deck. Casino - Location was right outside the orpheum theater, so you and your family (and kids) had to walk through a smokey casino back and forth to get to the shows. Poor placement. Also, poor that the casino was so smoky all the time. The smoked waffed everywhere into the theater and around the other public facilities. We appreciated the two "smoke free casino nights" that the boat had on formal nights. That gave my husband and me the opportunity to play a bit of blackjack without infecting our lungs. Overall, the cruise was an enjoyable time for our family. There were definitely some highlights but absolutely some lowlights. On a grade scale, I would give the food an A-, shore excursions a C, cleanliness of boat B-, restaurant service B-, Room service A. ports B-. Overall three stars. I don't think I would do a holiday cruise like this again. Too crowded. But I would cruise with Royal Caribbean again on a different ship to different, warmer, ports. Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
For all those contemplating cruising from Baltimore, here is a comparison of the two ships sailing from this port. We went on the New Years cruise of both ships: the Enchantment in 2011 and the Pride in 2013. Of course, cruises change ... Read More
For all those contemplating cruising from Baltimore, here is a comparison of the two ships sailing from this port. We went on the New Years cruise of both ships: the Enchantment in 2011 and the Pride in 2013. Of course, cruises change depending on the cruise director at the time, so it is possible the Enchantment may be different now. To start off, let me state that we had a great time on both ships. A cruise is what you make of it and each ship has strengths and weaknesses. The few negatives I mention do not change the fact that you're at sea with your every need being met--one must keep some perspective. That being said, here is the comparison by category: Ship: We preferred the Enchantment, mainly because of the decor of the Pride. The Pride is like a renaissance art gallery crossed with a Las Vegas casino, with generally darker colors and less light. It is a little jarring at first, but you get used to it after a while The atrium in the Enchantment is much lighter and more open, Both ships have similar amenities. Cabins: The Pride wins this one hands down-especially in the cheaper categories of cabins. The Pride has many more outside cabins, including obstructed view balconies and french doors (the kind we had). These are sold for the same price as an interior, yet have light and fresh air. The cabins are also quite a bit bigger than the Enchantment. Food: Edge to the Pride here. The main dining rooms on both ships were excellent, but the Pride's buffet was better with a greater selection and better food. There were also more choices available off hours. Service: This depends greatly on who you happen to get as your cabin steward and waiters. In our particular experience the Enchantment staff were friendlier and more accommodating, particularly the activities folks. Activities: Enchantment all the way! They had a wide variety of things to do for all: sports, dance classes, lectures, make-up classes, etc. The instructors were great in everything we tried. The Pride really fell short in this area, with most of the activities existing primarily to sell things. Entertainment: I would call this a tie. The evening shows in both were very well done with top notch singing and dancing. The Enchantment had a little more variety in their small musical groups throughout the ship. Atmosphere: The two lines go for a different feel. Royal Caribbean tries to appeal to a wide audience: shows are more family friendly, activities are a little tamer. Carnival has their "fun ship" theme and tends to emphasize the partying aspect more, however it was not as crazy as some led me to expect. We were travelling with an 11 year old and they did label any show or activity that was not appropriate for children clearly. Overall: My wife and I both preferred the Enchantment overall because it fits our personal tastes better but I would not hesitate to go on either again. Happy cruising! Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
A bit of background: DW and I are on both sides of 50 and pushing 20 cruises, this is our third on RCI (last RCI was about 4 or 5 years ago). Previous cruises were on the Grandeur out of New Orleans and the Adventure out of San Juan. ... Read More
A bit of background: DW and I are on both sides of 50 and pushing 20 cruises, this is our third on RCI (last RCI was about 4 or 5 years ago). Previous cruises were on the Grandeur out of New Orleans and the Adventure out of San Juan. We've lately been sailing mostly Princess (7? -- in June we did a 12day Med). Last Christmas we did an 11day HAL to Panama Canal and ABC islands. Pre-Day 1: Got into Chicago Union Station (Amtrak) around noon and checked our bags to Baltimore (Amtrak allows 2 50# bags person for no additional charge). We got some lunch and walked down to the loop where I tried to stay engaged w/ my wife as we wandered in and out of the various stores. Our train, #50 the Cardinal departed on time at 5:05pm and soon we were rolling south through Indiana, watching the countryside go by from our roomette and then the dining car. Pre-Day 2: I awoke early somewhere in KY and spent much of the morning taking in the breath taking scenery along the New River Gorge area of WV. We rolled into Baltimore on time at 705pm (I enjoyed the 26hrs on the train... DW, not so much) and took a cab to the Fairfield Inn& Suites Inner Harbor. Day 1: I was up early and headed out in a snowstorm to explore the Inner Harbor area while DW finished her slumber and got ready. I returned to the hotel soaked, but ready to head south on a ship. We took a cab to the cruise terminal; the embarkation was painless and we were soon having lunch in the Park Cafe. I enjoyed my first roast beef sandwich and some of the fresh salads. This is a far nicer venue than the hotdog stand it replaced. Around 1:30 we headed to our room to check it out and drop the carryons. This was an inside room, booked last minute, so expectation was pretty low and room did not exceed expectation, although I will give it points for a new large flat screen TV. Compared to other rooms, this had the largest TV and the smallest shower. So, we set off to explore; public areas were very nice for a ship this old. The centrum had that older-ship classic look that spiraled up all 10 decks. There was snow piled on deck 9 (pool deck), so I made a small snowman, just because I could. We had dinner in the Windjammer and while I was a bit underwhelmed, I certainly received my required caloric intake. Later we went to the welcome aboard show and were quite entertained. Day 2: I was up and out of the room early while DW finished her slumbering (typically 'til 11 or so... just because she can). I got coffee, some fresh fruit and a breakfast panini at the Park Cafe and eventually found my way to the trivia at Schooners where I was invited to play with a nice couple from Pennsylvania who have done 50+ RCI cruises with about 5 more booked this year. Funny, we managed to do pretty well, but mostly because they knew the answers from previous trivia matches. I figured by now it was time to roust DW, so I stopped at the Windjammer for some enticements (coffee and sweet rolls) and headed back to the room. We then went to the Windjammer for lunch. I found it OK, but uninspired, but once again, my caloric intake was not forsaken. I met my new trivia buds back at Schooners for something called Triploid or some such thing. You are given 3 words and must find something in common with all of them... for example, the clues : "finger, house, war"; the answer is "paint". We went ten for ten and were rewarded with key chains... my trivia buds gave me theirs so I had 3... woo hoo! It was still uncomfortably cold on the outside decks, so DW and I went to Boleros and watched football for much of the afternoon. Tonight was the first meet the captain party, oddly though, it was smart casual attire... I'm thinking they switched formal night to tomorrow (New Year's Eve). We attended the capt's affair and enjoyed snacks and sparkling wine. Later we dined in the MDR, we had anytime dining and were seated at a table for 2 immediately (8pm) and shared 3 entrees... our waiter (Ronaldo) recommended the lamb shanks and they were excellent as were the other dishes. Only disappointment was the escargot, which were on the menu, but replaced with tiny scallops served in the escargot plate... these were barely OK. By now it was starting to warm outside, so I grabbed my GPS to see where we were... There was no map on the TV, just the latitude/longitude coordinates. We were a couple hundred miles east of Jacksonville, FL. Day 3: Today DW managed to get up earlier as we were planning to take the shuttle to Cocoa Beach. We arrived in Port Canaveral around 11. I went to the shore excursion desk to purchase tickets for the shuttle and was told to go to the main theater. We got there and were instructed to stand in a line that stretched down from deck 5 to deck two and all the way to the gangway (center ship). While this was a bit different, I figured the shore excursion folks would be the first ones off the ship. Not the case; the shore excursion folks were merged at the gangway with the hordes of others coming down the stairs from the Centrum to the gangway. I still cannot make sense of why the shore excursion folks were herded down to deck two and then led halfway down the ship to the gangway (all the while folks with rooms on deck two were battling the packed hallway to get to and from their rooms)??? Anyway, we get to Ron Jon's and walk the beach to the pier that is about a half mile north. DW and I dined here 20 years ago when the kids were in grade school. We had a nice lunch, DW then goes over to the beach, and I head further out the pier to check out the fishing (I always cruise with a pack-rod). I buy some bait (frozen whole shrimps w/ heads) and proceed to start fishing. I can see DW over on the beach, she is in heaven. I caught a few un-notables, and have a few huge pelicans that seem very interested in my catches... they are a bit intimidating, but mostly amusing. By late afternoon, we are back on the ship and getting ready for the New Year's Eve festivities. Formal night and DW is struggling to get her hair just so... eventually it is to her liking. I don my black suit and we head to the MDR for dinner. Once again, we are seated at a table for two and greatly enjoyed our dinners. Following dinner, the evening's festivities are in full swing and we wander from venue to venue and wind up in the Viking Crown Lounge enjoying the disco music (did I actually say that?). We head down to the Centrum around 11:45 for the balloon drop. It was a very similar chaotic experience as we had on the Grandeur on New Year's Eve some years back... The music was loud, the champagne flowed and a fun time seemed to be had by all! BTW, I've failed to mention our CD, Luke Arrowsmith who has done a fantastic job... one of, if not the best we've had. A bundle of very focused energy. Also, today Capt Gus announced a norovirus outbreak, thus we have stepped our preventative measures. We've witnessed appalling, germ spreading behavior by guests in the Windjammer, folks picking up food with their bare hands, some being returned, etc... all while the staff looked on. I wish they would be more stringent about enforcing preventive measures and general buffet etiquette. Day 4: Awoke to sunshine and warmth this morning... this is where I really don't understand the design of this itinerary. We were in port last night until 11 or 12. Today we arrive in Nassau at 1pm. Why not leave Port Canaveral at 7pm and arrive in Nassau at 8am? The only other ships in port were two Carnival Fantasy class ships (small), so it does not appear to be a port capacity issue? This time, rather than participate, we watched with amazement and intrigue as those with shore excursions were herded from the theater on deck 5, down the stairs to deck 2 and through the hallway to the center-ship gangway. Last night was the Junkanoo Festival/Parade, it runs from 2am to 8am and is the Bahamian equivalent of a Mardi Gras parade. We got there just in time to see them cleaning up. They were taking down the grandstands, hauling away the floats, cleaning the streets... It must have been a heck of a party! We took a walking tour from Frommers (printed google map) and then walked to Junkanoo Beach (off the ship take a right and it is just past the Colonial Hilton) and on to the Fish Fry. The last time we went to this beach was about 6 or 7 years ago and it was an un-named shore comprised of rubble and rock. Now it is a nice sandy beach with beach-shack shops and restaurants. A huge improvement! Day 5: Finally, the destination we had really been looking forward to; the only real destination for us on the itinerary... Coco Cay! We were both up early. I caught the first tender in and although I had not been here before, I had been to the sister island, NCL's Great Stirrup Cay, so I knew exactly where I wanted to go; as far away from civilization as I could. So, I got off the tender and headed to the far end of the island for some peace, some quiet and some fishing. I had a spool of 10lb and a spool of 20lb line. I opted for the 10lb line and after a couple of casts, I was into a nasty barracuda who after a short wrestling match had managed to bite off the lure. Same with the second one ... man these things have a nasty disposition! So I switch to 20lb, but now I was out of the shiny cream-colored soft plastic baits that had fooled the first 2 fish. It was pretty slow fishing and the tide was going out. I had planned to meet DW at noon for some lunch and snorkeling... So, I headed back to where I'd gotten off the tender, met DW and we proceeded to have a nice lunch of ribs, chicken, burgers, fresh fruit and beer. Following lunch, we headed off the beach to snorkel and had a great time. The highlight was a huge spotted eagle ray. This thing had a wingspan of about 10ft, a head like a dog and a tail that was maybe 10ft long. It swam by, turned and came toward us... we were a bit intimidated... ok, more than a bit! But it was awesome! It was now about 2pm, and it was time to get back to fishing... I headed back to my previous haunt (about 1 mile) and by now, it was really shallow, but looked like good conditions for bonefish, so I waded out, donned the light spool, but could only spot the occasional single and no large groups. About 4:15 a RCI worker drove up in a cart and told me it was time to get back to the ship. I told him I thought the last tender was at 5:30, he told me it was 5:00... ??? So I fished a bit more. There was a woman fishing off the point with a throw line (the traditional way the locals fish). There was also a woman fishing a couple hundred yards out in a motor boat who had been out there in the morning as well and she seemed to catch fish continuously. I went out to the point and found out the woman fishing was a RCI employee who lived on the island with about 80 other employees. She is originally from Andros Island. She had caught a couple jacks that were to be her and her husband's dinner that night. Her husband was visiting that week (we also saw lots of ship employee's relatives on board). She said they were contracted in much the same way the ship employees are. She also said that the woman in the boat owned a grocery store on a neighboring island and sold the fish she caught through her store and to restaurants. So, it is now about 4:45 and I figure I'd better get back to the tender just in case the guy who told me to be back at 5 was right (but I figured he just wanted to get his day done so he could get home and have a beer). The last tender left at 5:30 and those riding on the top deck were treated to a beautiful sunset as we made our way back to the ship... a perfect finish to a spectacular day! Day 6: Up early and greeted with sunshine and warmth. This was the big poolside activity day. I watched the belly flop contest and participated in the Crew vs Guests volleyball tournament. It was a great time and there were several (6?) teams of 6 to take on the crew team... About half of the guest teams managed to beat the crew team and the finale was having all the guest teams in the pool together against the crew team. There was very little room to maneuver, but the guests won by one point. I also did the bungee jump much to DW's amusement. Day 7: Sunny and cooler today as we steamed north. I did the 10:00 trivia this morning and we got our butts handed to us by a couple who are staying on the ship for 71 days. I'm told they sold their wintering home in FL and find staying on a ship is more economical than owning a place and staying in FL??? It was a leisurely day; I managed to get 90% of my packing done early in the afternoon. Very quiet on the pool deck as it is quite cold and windy, but there are a few brave souls bundled up out there enjoying the last day of their cruise. Late this afternoon I put on a hooded sweatshirt and went out just to get out. I am glad I did as I spotted some whale spouts and spent about 30min watching spouts and a few flashes of tails and bodies as the pod/herd/flock/gaggle/brood headed south. This evening we went to the farewell/ back to reality show and were amused by the CD, a comedian and the captain. We then had dinner in the MDR and both ordered a seafood combo of fish, scallops and shrimp... they were lightly breaded and very tasty. Disembarkation day: We were out of our room at 8 and had breakfast in the MDR. We were seated next to a family of 4 and found out the youngest (6?) had been quarantined for a day with the norovirus. When my wife got it on the Grandeur she was quarantined for 2 days and because I was in the room with her, I was quarantined for 1, so it looks like they may have changed their procedure??? I couldn't help but notice that during breakfast, this family had almost zero interaction with each other as the parents and oldest kid were heads down, buried in their electronic devices... Is this the typical new millennium family? OK, enough of my social commentary... Anyway, we are off the ship around 9:30, take a cab to Penn Station and await our 12:43 train to WAS where we catch train #29, The Capitol Limited home. All in all it was a very nice winter getaway, Baltimore Inner Harbor is a great area and I hope to sail out of here again. FWIW, below are my likes and dislikes. Likes: With one exception (see below), the MDR food was flavorful and nicely presented. The big flat screen TV in our room was very nice. Embarkation and disembarkation were very efficient. The Park Cafe was a nice addition; I enjoyed most breakfasts and lunches here. Capt Gus was very funny and personable (be sure to catch the farewell show on the last night for a great surprise!). CD Luke deserves high praise as well; he was very energetic, entertaining and approachable. Music fans take note; the live bands on this ship were exceptional (I was a touring musician in a former life). The Shine band played a wide variety of old school country mostly late '50s to mid '70s... avoiding much of that schlocky country rock stuff of the last 30 years. This is not a variety band, this is straight up, drownin' in your beer country music which I found very refreshing. The Roots Vibration band had an incredible singer, Dery, who had impeccable control, strength and range... He blew my sox off! They did a broad range of reggae, calypso, doo-wop and Motown. The Enchantment Orchestra was also very impressive they could really swing those big band classics. It was the strongest live music lineup of all our cruises. I generally do not have nice things to say about the schmaltzy, anemic, amateurish, off-key live music on cruise ships. Dislikes: The procedure for disembarking shore excursion participants was laughable. The lobster was strong tasting and stringy. The buffet was uninspired and virtually the same for breakfast and lunch each day (after the mention of noro I mostly avoided it). The tiny shower was challenging. The shower temperature control was hard to dial in and on the last day there was no hot water. We found closet space lacking and the drawers in the closet practically useless. The TV's navigation channel did not have a map showing the ships position. Nor was there a channel showing an outdoor camera view. The service in the MDR was inconsistent/up and down. I sure wish they still had that Royal Belgian Ale. Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
My DW and I made a last minute decision to try and get a New Years Eve cruise booked. Given the cost of last minute flights, we looked specifically at something that was within an 8 hour drive from our home in Toronto, which pretty much ... Read More
My DW and I made a last minute decision to try and get a New Years Eve cruise booked. Given the cost of last minute flights, we looked specifically at something that was within an 8 hour drive from our home in Toronto, which pretty much limited us to Baltimore! We were able to find an Outside Cabin on the December 29 departure and booked it via an online agency. Our drive down was rather uneventful. We came in the night before but did not take advantage of the numerous 'stay and park' offerings in the area as we were staying on points. EMBARKATION DAY The cruise ship terminal is located just off of I-95 and was easy to find using the instructions on Royal's website. Parking was straightforward ($105 for the week paid upon arrival) but was a little time consuming as the port authority had only two kiosks open, and neither of the parking attendants were in any hurry. We arrived at a little before noon and had about a 10 minute wait to go through the security check, followed by another 10 minute wait to check in. most of the delay at security was due to passengers not paying attention to requests to remove metallic objects, etc. resulting in an alarm and subsequent additional inspection. Once checked in, we were able to head straight onto the ship...but were not allowed to go to our rooms. This is not the first time that we've had this situation and we've gotten quite good at lugging our carry on luggage around but nonetheless it makes for a crowded lunch up in the Windjammer buffet. Before I go on further, just want to mention that this was our third cruise this year; with earlier cruises being on Celebrity and Disney. THE SHIP I had heard that the ship was getting on in years but we found it to be very well looked after. The recent drydock refurbishment showed, with new carpets in many areas, flat screen TVs in the room, touchscreen displays in the common areas, and redecorated cabin bathrooms. The centrum is fantastic looking. The ship was still decked out for Christmas with a large tree in the atrium along with a display of gingerbread houses. Even though the ship was very full (2490 passengers - much higher than the double occupancy rate) we never felt crowded outside of the Windjammer cafe. One major disappointment was the solarium. It was advertised as an adult only oasis but, due to the inclement weather for 3 days of the cruise, the non-existent enforcement of the rules, and the location of the Park Cafe in the solarium, there were kids everywhere! We were looking forward to a quiet oasis for at least some of the cruise. The crew kept the ship very clean during our cruise. THE CABIN We had a Deluxe Oceanview Stateroom on Deck 4. We typically go for a balcony but none were available at the late time that we booked. The room was clean but much smaller than what I was used to on Celebrity and Disney. Not a big deal for us but I am sure families would have had issues with this cabin. Our steward, Humberto, made at least three visits a day to keep things clean and well stocked. FOOD AND BEVERAGE We were only able to book My Time dining as both the early and late seatings were full. The My Fair Lady dining room has two levels, with the upper level now dedicated to My Time dining guests. We have the same complaints as others -- service can be indifferent! However, we did find a waiter we liked on the second night and arranged to be in his area for the remainder of the cruise. I strongly suggest doing the same if you are doing the My Time dining. I did get a chance to talk to our waiter (name withheld - I'd hate for anything to come back on him) about the My Time dining. It's a much different process from the assigned dining. With the assigned dining, waitstaff are able to collect orders 'all at once', submit them, and then spend some time with diners. Again, once the course is delivered, the waitstaff has time to follow up and find out if there are any issues. As well, since they have the same guests every night, they can make better suggestions regarding menu choices. The My Time dining results in waitstaff having people coming in at all different times. Couple that with no reduction in the number of guests served by a waiter and there is less time to interact due to the less efficient process. If you could get assigned to the same waitstaff every night it did get better but you certainly didn't get the same experience as the set dining times. One final item: the EOS has two galleys in the MDR. The upper galley, servicing the My Time diners, closes at 9:00 pm, resulting in added effort for the waitstaff as they need to traipse downstairs to the lower galley to get meals after 9:00! Royal really needs to do something about this! The MDR food was hit and miss. My wife is a vegetarian and, like most cruise lines we've been on, Royal has poorly executed vegetarian entrees. We were quite disappointed that the many curry dishes that used to be on the menu had disappeared with the redesigned menus introduced last month. The Windjammer cafe was a typical buffet. Okay food and lots of people! The layout made for plenty of traffic jams! However, you could easily avoid it by eating a little later (after 1 pm). The Park Cafe is a new addition to the EOS and was a pleasant surprise. They had a nice selection of sandwiches, desserts, and a build your own salad station. We didn't try the added fee steakhouse as we heard a number of comments that it was basically the same as the MDR, just with larger portions. I would have liked to see Royal put an Italian or French dining experience in place. Royal was offering the 'all you can drink' package on this sailing - not sure if this is the first time for the EOS. There are a couple of drawbacks to the package. First off, everyone over the age of 21 in the cabin must purchase the package. Not useful if one person doesn't drink, as is the case for us! Secondly, and more importantly, we saw a few people who were doing their utmost to make sure that EOS lost money on their drinking! This did ruin the atmosphere some nights in the dining room. I did find the soda package to be a good deal. It was nice not to have to pay every time I ordered a coke! ENTERTAINMENT The EOS had a wide variety of entertainment for cruise, with one exception that I will come to shortly. The headliner shows were a mixed bag. We went to all shows except for the trio of Broadway singers (really not our thing). The stage productions were mediocre at best, with the "Can't Stop the Rock" show on day 6 being downright awful. The magic show (Haines Magic) was fantastic - easily the best show of the cruise. Additionally, the do a 'behind the scenes' lecture in the daytime that is terrific. The husband and wife juggling team was very good as well. They were very passionate about their craft and it showed. Both comedians were mediocre. Neither were able to really connect with the crowd and, other than the headline shows, were pretty much invisible. We tried to take in most of the Trivia contests (there were at least 3 each day). They are a lot of fun but a few of the crew had trouble with English so the flow was poor. Luke, the cruise director, was much funnier than either of the comedians on board and we looked forward to his appearances. I did mention one exception to the variety of entertainment: on the last full day (a sea day) there was a dearth of things to do. I expect Royal was thinking we would be out on the deck enjoying one last day of sun...which isn't going to happen in the North Atlantic in January! Many cruisers mentioned that there was very little in the way of planned activities on the last day. THE PORTS The ports visited was probably the weakest area of the cruise. Port Canaveral has very few options - we took a shuttle to Cocoa Beach and hung out for the day. Some cruisers went to Disney World even though they were warned about extremely long lines. Royal really should consider doing something else than visit Port Canaveral. We arrived at Nassau on New Years Day to a deserted town! Seriously, there might have been ten stores open. I've been there a number of times and always found it hectic...except this time. My wife was prepared to do a lot of shopping and was, needless to say, disappointed. Coco Cay was the best port visited. The island was quite nice even with two ships visiting (Majesty of the Seas was there). We tendered out early in the morning, grabbed some sun, and headed back to the ship for lunch. We then went back out in the afternoon after refreshing ourselves for a while on the ship. The tendering process was well run - you obtained a tender ticket and headed to the tender when your number was called. OVERALL Generally a pleasurable cruise experience! We found the ship to be in much better condition than expected. Service in the MDR and the cabins was excellent; other areas tended to be somewhat indifferent. Given that I was on Disney and Celebrity earlier this year, I would rate Royal as having better food than Disney, but worse than Celebrity. Disney and Celebrity had much better service than Royal. Interestingly, we never saw the 800 kids on our Disney cruise but the 400 kids on this cruise were very apparent! Royal could take some cues from Disney on how to keep the little ones engaged and entertained! Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
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
Let me start this review by saying the cruise was very enjoyable, the crew fantastic, and we had a wonderful time. The things I am pointing out that I noticed to be a distraction were very minor. We took this particular cruise because ... Read More
Let me start this review by saying the cruise was very enjoyable, the crew fantastic, and we had a wonderful time. The things I am pointing out that I noticed to be a distraction were very minor. We took this particular cruise because it departed from Baltimore, (a one and a half hour drive)and it fit in with my wife's work schedule. After reading all of the reviews and some of the negative comments I was a little leary of what we had to look forward to. The first thing I want to mention is the fact that the ship was late arriving at the port. We were notified ahead of time and adjusted our departure accordingly. However even with our delay it seemed we all arrived at the port at roughly the same time, making what could have been a very bad situation. This is where I have to commend the entire Port and Carnival Personnel. They took a very hectic situation and made it flow smoothly and we were through it all and on the ship within 2 hours of arrival. Tired and rushed at this point and not in the best of spirits we got to our cabin to find the room ready so we were able to drop of our carry-on and go to dinner. Because of the delay in departing dinner was open seating, within minutes of arrival we were seated and our first real introduction to the Carnival attitude. Our Wait staff headed by Rossana (a true gem) greeted us as if we were old friends, the professional attitude and care was wonderful. They cheered us up in no time. I cannot emphasize enough how this effected our cruise experience.Fortunately my family is not effected by motion sickness,so the fact that is was quite rough on the first two sea days did not hinder our enjoyment of the cruise. Knowing the time of year we expected this to a point. I say this as we did encounter some seasick passengers, and know many that sat in their rooms, the medical staff was kept quite busy too. The weather did not cooperate and was cloudy and cold most of the time outdoor activities were at a minimum. All that being said the staff had their hands full. This is where I want to commend all the the staff we encountered, Cruise Director Eric, his assistant Gumby and all of the hosts did a wonderful job. I never saw them act in any manner other then happy to be there. Our cabin was cramped with 4 adults sharing space, but closet space was more then adequate, our room Steward (Jono) did yeoman service in keeping our room spotless, while dodging all of the extra "stuff" we had in the room. We ate breakfast in the Mermaid Grill, and in the dining room. The dining room was very nice the food good to excellent, the service very good and the food was delivered in a timely manner. Breakfast in the Grill was very similar to that in a good buffet restaurant. Had no real problems with layout or finding a table. We also ate lunch at both the Grill and Dining room. I found the Deli Grill to be very good and like being able to get sandwiches made to order. I also like the daily variation in the menu for lunch. The dining room service and food was very good. Now to bring us to the highlight of our day. Our evening dining experience was something we looked forward to each and every day. Our dining staff, head waiter Kwame, and the two Andi's made our meals a true experience, always cheerful, very attentive, and left you feeling you were royalty. I will say that the food quality and choice are not what they were on carnival years ago, but I was very satisfied overall. I do have a little problem with the ships decor, (no not the nudes)in fact I like the art. My problem is with all of the art it makes the ship seem dark, along with the weather this could actually depress you. I would like to commend the bartenders (specially addidta in Starry Nights) and all of the wait staff. I am also an ex-smoker, I will say that the smoke did not bother me. This brings me to the one low spot of our cruise. I am a lover of the shows on most cruises and look forward to these shows, I also have some experience with the theatre, and my adult children are both Music majors. This being said my criticism is more then just a passing thought. I cannot say this more bluntly, the designers of the shows took money under false pretenses. The singers and dancers are very talented but are completely crippled by sorry material. Choreography is way to busy, dancers are rushing and wasting good moves, scenery and settings for the around the world show are rife with negative sterotypes. Classic Jazz number have their tempo's changed. (who could write or arrange it better then Ellington or G. Miller). I could go on but have gone on enough. Carnival really has to look at their shows. I do want to say that we had a very enjoyable time, and want to thank involved in making this a most memorable experience. Will do this again very soon. Read Less
Sail Date November 2012
Choosing to spend a week with Royal Caribbean durringg thee holiday, was a good idea for my wife and I. We were picked up by a shuttle service at our Baltimore suburban home for a short 20 minute ride to the port. Check in was quick and ... Read More
Choosing to spend a week with Royal Caribbean durringg thee holiday, was a good idea for my wife and I. We were picked up by a shuttle service at our Baltimore suburban home for a short 20 minute ride to the port. Check in was quick and easy. We were on the ship in less than 30 minutes. We did not have to touch our bags from our driveway until they arrived at our state room. The ship was decorated tastefully for the holidays including most of the religious preferences. Santa made several appearances throughout the ship at different times. There was a special showing on Christmas morning for pictures and gifts from Santa, sponsored by Royal Caribbean. Christmas dinner in the main dining room was a good mix of traditional holiday meal favorites nicely presented and prepared. Our waiter and dinning staff were excellent. They provided us with as many items as we cared to eat or taste. We shared a table with other couples, meeting and chatting about different cruises, all up for a different kind of holiday experience. We ate all of our meals in the main dinning room for the service and pampering. We grabbed an occasional snack from the Windjammer when pool side. The ship is aging but in good condition and well maintained. Our state room was well appointed and comfortable. Our stateroom attendant was exceptional, providing just the right amount of room care and amenities. The shows were tastefully creative and entertaining with a holiday presentation on Christmas eve. All of the performers had professional experience. They were all enthusiastic, costumes were colorful, dancing was chorographed well, energetic and fun. One of the excursions was cut short by bad weather in Coco-Cay. We had good weather in Cape Canaveral and Nassau. Our overall opinion of this cruise is great. We would do it again, and we would recommend it to others. There is a lot of negative noise out there on the web about this line and the staff of the Enchantment Of The Seas. One can find disappointment in anything if one looks close enough. Happy Cruising to all other happy cruisers ! Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
I've read many reviews of this ship, some ok, some good, some not so good. Here is my pinion of this ship and the ports of call. First, the ship is actually quite nice. I liked the decor and the renaissance themed art. It was ... Read More
I've read many reviews of this ship, some ok, some good, some not so good. Here is my pinion of this ship and the ports of call. First, the ship is actually quite nice. I liked the decor and the renaissance themed art. It was easy to get around and had everything I would want on a cruise ship. The fitness room and spa was nice, never had trouble getting to the cardio or weight machines. While we never went into any of the pools or hot tubs, there were plenty of them, though the pools were a bit small and frequently crowded with yelling kids, but that's to be expected I suppose. Fortunately this ship features the Serenity Lounge on the stern, that is for adults only and has its own bar, hot tub, and lots of hammocks and lounge chairs - but it was full most of the time. We were able to spend some time there and it was most relaxing! Being gamblers, we spent a LOT of time in the casino. The slots are no more or less loose than any land-based casino I've been to, and there are plenty of table games to play. I would have liked to see some newer slot games, as the machines are rather old, but they are still fun. We were able to rack up our 1500 points on day 2 of the cruise so we drank free while in the casino 9and playing) the rest of the cruise. the trick to this is, once you hit your free drinks, just play the penny machines at the lowest bet when you want to drink, and you'll be spending as little as 9 cents, yes 9 cents, gambling while getting $8 to $10 drinks free! The food at the mermaid grill was typical buffet fare - ok, nothing special. The Normandie Dining Room food was a little better, usually well prepared, good variety, and promptly delivered. We elected the anytime dining and never waited longer than 5 minutes or so to be seated. The final night of the cruise we got lobster and prime rib and had all we wanted! David's steak house, however, is a MUST EXPERIENCE! The food, the service, the decor, absolutely rivals any of the finest eateries we have here in Boston! And THAT'S saying something! Our cabin was nice, nothing special, but again, suited our needs nicely. The cabin steward was very nice and always took care of us. We never met a rude or inattentive member of the crew, everyone was great. Now, here's the one BAD aspect of the cruise. WHATEVER YOU DO, DO NOT TAKE THE BLUE LAGOON SHORE EXCURSION in Nassau! If I could, I would have sued for false advertising! The description is a "luxurious, private white sand beach with great luncheon and drink availability". Ok, not even CLOSE! There is chain link fence running along the dock into the water and oil spill looking booms roping off the swim area, which is tiny! The food is advertised as 100% Angus beef burgers, but I can assure you unless the server's name was "Angus", there was no Angus to be seen, only dried chicken, cold rice, and hockey-puck like hamburgers. I was completely disappointed with this excursion and, to top it off, Carnival charges $90 per person for this, while you can get it on line for a mere $50 if you're NOT a cruise ship passenger. HUH??? Yes, you must book this through the ship so Carnival can apparently get their commission. When I brought my concerns up with the shore excursion desk, I was told "we have to get in touch with the trip provider". Now, if I book this trip through Carnival on the ship, why do they have to contact ANYONE else in order to make it right? We were told it was a 4.5 hour excursion, and it ended up being 2.5 at best, but only an hour for us as we left early it was so bad. All I asked for, was a refund of ONE of the tickets . . .I figured whereas we did go on the excursion I should at least pay for what I did "use" of it. I figured it would have been a nice gesture for Carnival to refund basically just half of the price, as we only got about half of what was promised. In stead, I got a letter from the assistant shore excursion manager telling me he was passing along my concerns to the tour operators and was sorry my excursion sucked, but please continue to sail with carnival. Having dropped over $3000 in the casino, I would think a lousy $90 refund would have been not too much to ask for - after-all, they would have gotten in back in a slot machine anyway! All in all, it was a good trip, a good time and pleasant experience. But, again, a reminder, DON'T BOOK EXCURSIONS TO THE BLUE LAGOON!!!! Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
Review of 12-25-11 to 1/1/12 Carnival Pride Cruise out of Baltimore to 'Florida and the Bahamas': I would like to set the tone from the outset of this review that I was very happy with my cruise on the 12-25-11 to 1/1/12 ... Read More
Review of 12-25-11 to 1/1/12 Carnival Pride Cruise out of Baltimore to 'Florida and the Bahamas': I would like to set the tone from the outset of this review that I was very happy with my cruise on the 12-25-11 to 1/1/12 Carnival Pride out of Baltimore to 'Florida and the Bahamas'. It was the most relaxing and fun vacation I have had in years. Carnival spoiled me, and I would cruise with them again. However, just so you know, this was my very first cruise and I have nothing to compare it with. I cruised solo, so my perspective may be quite different from most who have cruised before. This review may help those who have never been on the Carnival Pride, or those who have never cruised, or for someone thinking about cruising solo for the first time. And another FYI: my review is a long read, with in a ship log style, so if you do not have time to read all of it, that would be completely understandable. Caveats out of the way, here we go.................. It was one of my all-time favorite vacations. Easy drive there, easy embankment, nice state-room, balcony, great service by most of the staff, wonderful entertainment, relaxing serenity deck, plenty of food, and most of all a grand comfortable ship. It is a great product in a great location for me. I have shared my photos and videos with friends, coworkers and family, and have recommended the Carnival Pride for their next vacation. I cannot wait until I am aboard again! Here are just three questions from the online 'Carnival Exit Survey' I was emailed to take after I got home, along with my answers to them: Did anything happen during your cruise that surprised you in a negative way? I did not like the poorly organized Nassau Excursions on the pier. I did not like the David's Steak House service on New Year's Eve - the waitress could not speak English very well, and it was very difficult to communicate with her. I Did not like the Pizza Cafe, as there was no one there to take my order, and when he finally showed up, there were too many kids butting in line. The TV in room was old and hard to see. My bed was too hard and made my back stiff in the mornings. The 'Singles Meet and Greets' were poorly organized and poorly attended. Did anything happen during your cruise that surprised you in a positive way? Housekeeping staff was excellent, especially Angel on Deck 8. I really liked the Adult Only Serenity Deck, just need to try preventing 'all' kids off of it at 'all' times. I really enjoyed my balcony, but did not like the one side that had spaces big enough for those on the balcony next to mine to see into my room. The Taj Mahal Shows were very entertaining, as well as most of the comedians. The Normandie Restaurant staff was excellent, especially Edwardo(sp?) who told me he had been with Carnival for nearly 15 years, and was very professional and friendly. Would you like to recognize members of the Carnival team who went out of their way to make your experience special? Angel -- My Room Steward on 8th deck -- he was always around and ready to please. Eduardo(sp?) my usual server in Normandie - he was a true professional who was very friendly and always made me feel comfortable dinning alone. Eric - Assistant Entertainment Director - funny and organized. The Waitress in Ivory Lounge - competent and very friendly. Jennifer the Karaoke Lady - who was very friendly and organized. Casino Helper guy who assisted me with cashing out my winnings. All of the Library Internet Helpers. With all of that said, below is my personal daily ship log (with likes and dislikes) in chronological order. 1ST Day Sunday Christmas 12-25-11: I left my house around 10:45 am and drove down I-95 from Wilmington, DE, arriving at the Baltimore, MD Port around Noon (about 1 hour-15 minutes). There was some holiday traffic, but it moved well, as many just passed me while I drove most of the way in the far right slow lane. The exit (#55) to the port off I-95 was the first right after the Baltimore Tunnel. I took the first left at the first light, but I must warn you that there is no sign at the light for the Port. Once in the Port Parking Lot I moved swiftly to the double car lanes to drop off checked luggage, but had to wait about twenty minutes behind 10-15 cars in front of me. Once past luggage drop off, I chose the cash parking line as there was no one in front me there. However, the credit card choice to park had about 15 cars and a long wait from what I could tell. I found a good parking spot near the middle and made my way into the terminal, through the security line(snuck in booze with no problem), and then waited in a long line that moved quickly for check in. Once I was parked, it took about 30 minutes to make it onto the ship. It was quite fast considering all the people in front of me. Once on the ship (after a long up hill gangway) about 1:00pm, I followed the line of people in front of me into the Normandie Dinning room on the same level (Deck 3). It was almost like they shoed us into it. I ate a nice lunch (Pasta) with several others at a long table near a big window. I went to the Library after lunch to purchase my Internet Time (4 hours -- of which I only used about 2.5 hours the entire cruise). About 3:00pm I went to my state room (8168) to see if it was ready. They were in the room finishing it up. My big luggage bag was outside my room, and was carried in by my Steward (Angel). He spoke great English and was very friendly and helpful throughout the entire cruise. I saw him almost everyday, sometimes two or three times a day on my floor. My safe did not work, so he called for help and a maintenance guy had it fixed in about an hour. That was the only problem I had with the room the entire time. The shower was plenty big and the water plenty hot. Everything worked well, but the TV was old and hard to see with my middle aged eyes. The extended balcony was everything I thought it would be and I got plenty of use out of it, just relaxing on it and taking great pictures coming into and out of port of calls. The room was plenty big for just one person, and should also be for two people. I would not want to be in it with any kids though. The bed was a bit hard for me, but the pillows were big and puffy. I took a short nap, unpacked and went to a nice dinner in the main dinning Normandie Restaurant, seated by alone at one of those small tables for two along the upper level center rail. After Dinner I went to the 6:00pm show in the Taj Mahal Theatre. Cannot remember which one it was, but they were all good. Afterward, I went to the Ivory Piano Bar and sang along with Roger the Piano Man, who was very good, but had to laugh a few times at his Asian accent singing Elton John songs, and other such soft rock artists' pop tunes. Most people sitting at the bar and in the lounge sang along with him as well. So, it was fun. After that I attended the late Adult comedy show, and sat and drank with two single ladies. We laughed a lot at Eric the Assistant Cruise Director, but I must warn you, he is by far the raunchiest of all the comedians (5 in total I believe). I finished up in the casino with a nightcap and won some money on the slots (came out ahead for the entire cruise on both slots and poker). I met some young fellows at the casino from Canada, and another one in the U.S. Army on leave. I bedded down around 2:30am exhausted from a long, but unique, Christmas Day. 2nd Day Monday 12-26-11: Woke up around 10:30am, ate a continental breakfast (I ordered it from a menu card that I hang on my door knob each night) received from room service earlier in the morning (bagels are small and danish is dry, but the rest is great, especially the fresh fruit). I showered, and then checked my sign and sail account on the TV. Put away the rest of my packed items. Sat on my extended balcony for awhile, then went to lunch (Spaghetti with meatballs -- very good) around 12:30pm in the Normandie restaurant, and sat with 3 couples (we all talked about our first night on board, none of which did what I did). I then explored every level of the ship and took photos of each deck. I laid out on the Lido Deck Serenity Pool area (about 68 degrees outside and a little windy). About 4:00pm I went down to my room and took a one hour power nap. I woke up and showered again before dressing up in my suit for the first 'Formal' night in the Normandie restaurant. I was seated alone again around 6:45pm, and eat a wonderful meal of crab-cake and prime rib (asked for a second crab cake and received it). Ordered the famous Chocolate Melting Cake for desert and it is everything it is billed to be, and then some. I went back to my room after dinner and changed out of my suit and tie and into a collared pull-over, and slacks. I attended the late Vroom Show in the Taj Mahal, and it was the best of all the shows, imho. I went to the Singles Meet and Greet at the Atrium Bar -- what a waste of time. There were about eight people there, and it broke up about a half hour later. I was asked by one woman to go dancing in the Beauties Dance Club, but responded to her that I do not dance much, and off she went without a chance for me to offer an alternative option. Maybe I should have followed her -- oh well, there were other opportunities to come that were much better ;-) I then went to the Starry Nights Lounge for Karaoke, and was pleasantly surprised by all the talented guest on the ship who could actually hold a tune. Finished up the night in the casino where I lost at Poker, but won at the slots to finish ahead for the night. I was in bed by 1:30am or so. My state-room (8168) was right under the Lido Deck Stage, so I had to use ear plugs some nights due to the loud thumping and chair dragging right above my bed. Not a big problem though, as long as you have ear plugs. 3rd Day Tuesday 12-27-11: I got out of bed around 9:30am. I checked my sail and sign card account, then sat on the balcony and ate the continental breakfast I received earlier that morning via room service. The outside temperature was already 72 degrees. I starting writing this log on the balcony, but did not finish it until a few days after the cruise ended. I went down to Guest Services to clear up a discrepancy I found on my S&S card account(they fixed it quickly), and then went to the library to check email. I ate lunch on the Lido deck Deli around 12:30pm (Had the Grilled Ham & Cheese -- it had not been not heated up long enough, but was edible). I laid out on the Serenity Deck by the pool until around 2pm, then went over to the Apollo Pool to watch the hairy chest contest( It was kind of funny, but tacky as expected, and of course the wrong guy won, imho). I went down to the Taj Mahal around 4:00pm and watched the Wedding Game (very entertaining and funny). I went to the Photo Gallery and purchased three of the photos taken of me by Carnival; the main portrait they take during embankment, and from the first two dinners, including the formal ($11.50 each). I took a quick nap on my balcony, then down to the 7:00pm Juggler show in the Taj Mahal. It was one of the America's Got Talent Contestants last season, and he was very good, not to mention hilarious). I went to the Internet Cafe for a short check on email (was expecting something important in my inbox). Had a quick dinner in Normandie around 8:45pm (Fried Chicken and Mash Potatoes -- not very good). I went to the Butterfly Lounge to see the 9:45pm Adult Comedian Show (a middle aged comedian who looked, and sounded, like Dice Clay (he was very funny). Ended the night at the Perfect Game Sports Bar watching an NBA game, and won $40 on the bar top virtual poker game. I was in bed and asleep by midnight. 4th Day Wednesday 12-28-12: I woke up at 6:00am to the 'room service guy' knocking at my door, and eat the continental breakfast before going down to the deck 3 gangway for the 8:30am Port Canaveral Excursion to the Kennedy Space Center (very organized and interesting tour, but a lot of walking). I especially liked seeing the Hubble 3D IMAX movie). Had lunch at one of the park's cafeterias and was back on ship around 4:00pm). I went to my room and sat on my balcony as it was such a nice day out, and took photos of the port and was able to zoom in on the Kennedy Space Center with my camera. My balcony was a nice way to rest my weary feet after a lot of walking that day. I took another shower and went to my 6:00pm reservation at David's Steak House. I ordered the spinach salad, which was really good, and then had the surf and turf (4oz of tender filet, and two succulent lobster tails). I had two glasses of fine Cabernet Sauvignon to wash it all down with. The only alcohol I had that night. And I finished with the biggest slice of cheese cake I have ever been served that I could only eat about half of. David's Steak House is a must on the Pride. It is at the top of the ship with large windows overlooking the ocean. The service that night was impeccable, but no so on the last night, as I will explain later. I went to the Taj Mahal for the 7:30pm Trivia Competition Show (guessing songs on a few notes). It was very entertaining. I met a nice woman there and we teamed up to come in nearly last place, but it was a blast. We stuck around for the Liars Club Show (really just a knock off of the old truth or consequences TV game show). That was not as entertaining, but we stuck it out through the end. I went back to my room early, watched a pay per view movie and was asleep by 11:30pm, only to be awakened just after midnight to loud thumping coming from above me. Apparently there was a midnight rock it out party on the lido deck stage that lasted until 3am. I put in a pair of ear plugs that allowed me to drown out the late night revelers. In addition to the thumping there was some chair dragging above my room on the lido deck at all hours during the entire cruise, but it didn't bother me too much. If you are on the 8th deck (Panoramic), make sure you bring ear plugs to sleep. 5th Day Thursday 12-29-12: I got up around 7:30am to the knock on the door by room service bringing my daily continental breakfast. I showered and packed a small backpack for the quickly back to the ship in beachwear and flip flops, making it ba'Nassau Bus Tour and Beach' Excursion. I left the ship earlier than I needed to, as I set my clock to Atlantic Time thinking Nassau was on it, but I was informed later they were still on Eastern Time. So, I was the first one off the ship, as I walked up the long dock, then up the long pier to the terminal. Once I realized my ship excursion tour guide was no where to be found, I walked all the way back to the ship to find several tour guides now just outside of the gangway with signs directing a thousand or so shipmates to each respective excursion. It was chaos, but eventually they put it all together and walked us in different lines to the terminal and to our respective buses. After that bad experience, my tour and beach day were great. My Nassau Tour was informative, and the beach was nice. However, be warned that the guide will ask for tips when you depart the bus at the beach, and then again later at the terminal at final drop off. The Poop Deck Restaurant next to the beach had good 'Conch Chowder' and sandwiches for lunch. They dropped us off at the terminal around 3:30pm, and I walked over to the Green Turtle Sports Bar about a block away to watch the Notre Dame Bowl Game. I drank there with some Locals until about 9pm when they reminded me I had to be back to the ship before 9:30pm. I walked very ck just in time before the ship set sail again. I changed out of my beachwear and into my nightly garb and went to the Ivory Bar for another sing-along with Roger the Asian Piano Man. I left there after another great sing-along with a packed lounge, and went to the Butterfly Lounge for the team competition. I teamed up with a woman a little older than me, and a married couple in the 30s sitting near me. At one point the women had to take their bras off under their shirts and the men had to take off our shirts and wear their bras onto the stage. There were several bare chested men with bras all lined up on the stage competing for the grand prize. Some middle aged Asian fellow won the competition (a bottle of Champagne) by doing some pretty crazy acts on stage. It was a lot of wild drunken fun that night. Stayed at Butterflies for the Karaoke All-Stars singing with the Ship Band at Midnight, but only stayed a little while due to the sudden realization I had not had any dinner yet, so I stumbled back to my state-room for a very late supper via room service. I fell asleep around 1:30am after a very long day and night. 6th Day Friday 12/30/12: I woke up early again for some reason. The bright sunrise blasted into my room around 7:00am and my balcony was calling me to watch it with a cup of tea. Room service arrived about an hour later, which I ate on the balcony while we pulled into Freeport. I showered and was off the ship around 10:00am. I did not have an excursion purchased for Freeport, so I just walked around the dockside straw market and took some photos. I went back to the Library to check email around noon. The Mermaid Grille Buffet lines were too long again, so I ate a late lunch on the lido deck Deli again (Reuben and slaw), then a quick swim in the Poseidon Pool. I laid out on the Serenity Adult Deck until about 2pm., before heading back to my balcony, as we left port around 3pm. It was so sunny and warm that day that the photos and videos of leaving port came out phenomenal. It was the most relaxing afternoon of the cruise; while sitting on my balcony watching us leave port and making our way back out to sea again for the long trip back to Baltimore. I went to an early dinner at Normandie(Tilapia -- overcooked), and that deliciously famous chocolate melting cake with two ice creams this time, and a cappuccino as I was not drinking after last night's Nassau Drunkfest! Went to the Taj Mahal Theater at 8:30pm to see the Jazzin Show, and although not as good as the Vroom Show, it was very entertaining, with some very good dancing. I went to the 9:45pm Adult Comedy show and met a couple of single ladies, as we watched what I thought were two only moderately funny comedians, with an hour break in between them. The last comedian was announced as being on the Oprah Winfrey Show. I was back in my room late and fell asleep around 3am. 7th Day Saturday 12/31/11: I was out of bed around 9:30am. I ate some leftovers in my fridge from a previous room service(s) for breakfast, as I forgot to fill out the breakfast card last night. I reviewed the debarkation handout and watched the TV version as well, then showered and went down to the Library to check email again. I went up to the Lido Deck Apollo Pool as there were very few kids up there for some reason, and laid out there until about 1:30pm. I tried getting a late lunch in Mermaids Grille, but only the Pizza Cafe was open. I stood in line for a few minutes before a bunch of kids came running up to the counter and butted in line again, so I went back to my room and ordered room service (Cornbeef on Rye and Chips, with some assorted chocolate chip cookies -- yummy). I sat on my balcony for an hour or so. I went down to the casino to cash out my winnings around 3:30pm, and then I purchased the Voyage DVD at the Photo Shop. I went to the FAIRWELL Party (free drinks -- and they were 'not' watered down) in the Taj Mahal and sat with the two single ladies I met the night before. The three of us then went to the Starry Night lounge for Karaoke until about 8:00pm. I went back to my room to pack and leave my checked luggage outside my room, and to change into more formal wear to rejoin the two ladies at David's Steak House for dinner for a 9:15pm reservation (the service was very bad this time there as the waitress could not speak English well -- but the food was superb -- had the excellent spinach salad again, and a 14oz New York Strip I could not finish, even with no desert). After Dinner I went up to the Lido Deck Stage for the New Years Celebration, and back to my room not too long after to get a good night's rest before debarkation the next morning. 8th Day Sunday New Years Day 01/01/12: The alarm went off early at 6:30am. I got up with another well deserved hangover, took a long hot shower, got into whatever clothes I had left over, and went down to the Normandie Restaurant for my first hot breakfast of the cruise. I came back up to the room and packed my carry-on bag, and was out of the room by 8:45am and down to one of the debarkation waiting areas(I chose the Taj Mahal as it had a big movie screen with ESPN providing highlights of the bowl games). My Zone 7 was called earlier than scheduled (around 11am), and I walked to the gangway, down it in a long but quick line, through customs very quickly, and found my checked bag quickly, and rolled it out to my vehicle in the parking lot; all in less than an hour. I was on the road before noon, but I would be remiss if I did not warn you about the poor signage for I-95 northbound drivers. The left hand turn you need to make does not have a sign posted to instruct you to do so at the traffic light. Just know when you come upon the first traffic light to turn left to make your way to the I-95 North entrance ramp. It's almost like a u-turn headed back the terminal. The drive home was as easy as the drive down, making it from Terminal to Home in about and hour and fifteen minutes. If you live within driving distance of the Baltimore Port, it is a no-brainer to book a cruise out of it on the Carnival Pride. I may try Royal Caribbean (RCL) out of Baltimore next, to compare the two. I don't know though, as it will be hard to beat the PRIDE for me! Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
As a seasoned cruiser, I have been on Regent Seven seas, Holland America, NCL, Costa, Royal Caribbean, Homelines, Carnival before, celebrity and mostly Princess; 20 cruises in all. I love Holland America but can usually get a balcony ... Read More
As a seasoned cruiser, I have been on Regent Seven seas, Holland America, NCL, Costa, Royal Caribbean, Homelines, Carnival before, celebrity and mostly Princess; 20 cruises in all. I love Holland America but can usually get a balcony cheaper on Princess because they have bigger ships with more balconies. So I am happy to report I have been spoiled by cruising. My husband and I decided to take the Christmas cruise because we can afford to be away easily during the holiday week. We are so blessed now to have a cruise terminal in Baltimore, so we booked the Pride. I was so surprised that the ship is similar to the Crown, Ruby, Sapphire and Emerald of Princess. We decided to book an aft balcony cabin. We had been upgraded to one years ago and really enjoyed it. The one before was three times the size of ours on the Pride, but it was big enough. A great choice. Just know that 5297 and 5299 are regular size balconies, just off the back of the ship. We were concerned about all the children that were to be on board. I found out later that there were 700, we never saw them after the first day. Carnival does a great job keeping them occupied. Loved our cabin and it's location. The food in the diningroom was great but some nights there was nothing on the menu I cared for. We have always looked to the Lido to save us if we feel this way, but on the Pride, the hot food served on the Lido deck is the same as the diningroom. You do have the pizza cafe, the salad bar or the grill if you want a burger but was disappointed that we did not have more choices. The first formal night we went to David's Steakhouse. The food and the service was excellent BUT they would not allow us to bring our left over steak back to our cabin to be eaten the next day. It had to be disposed of. Remember this so that you do not over order. It was a shame. However, I checked my refrigerator back in the cabin and found out that it did not keep things very cold. So I see theri point, however, I would like them to change this policy and give us mini frigs to hold our left overs. We also paid $30 each extra, so we felt we should be able to take our leftovers. My husband and I are not big entertainment people. We like to read, gamble and turn in early. The casino was the best I have ever experienced on the high seas. I had a wonderful time. The servers in the casino are attentive and learn your name quickly. Cabin steward was ok. I liked my towel surprises but he forgot lots of things like no glasses the first day with a full ice bucket. The cabin did not have a book that had info about the spa, etc. We requested one but it never appeared. He forgot to leave a breakfast menu twice and one time I made one up on a scrap of paper. His helpers were wonderful.Room service was awesome. I did not think the people in the stores were very friendly. The ship had sent our a picture of the tee shirts that they were selling. I wanted two specifically. I went to the store and looked around but could not find the two designs advertised. When I asked about them, the young man told me I had to come back each day to see which ones they put out. He was so nasty. I did go back every day but I did not want to because I did not want to be treated that way again. The people in the jewelry store ignored you. They hung together talking and when you asked to see something in the case, they seemed annoyed. If you did not buy what you looked at the first day, they would hound you when you came in later about what you looked at before. Kept me from buying alot, so I saved money. Other than these examples, the staff on board was top knotch. The service, food and ship itself was as good as all of he other cruise lines I have taken in the past, including Regent. I was just on that cruise in November. We did not take excursions, so I cannot discuss them but in most cases, we walk off the ship and find something to do ourselves unless we are far from what we want to see and have to book an excursion to get there. Would I take this ship again, YOU BET!! It is in my back yard and the prices other than during the holidays are excellent. I now know the ship well and will be right at home when I return. I plan to do so soon. Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
Background We are a married couple in our late 30's. This was our 7th cruise having sailed with RCCI, Disney, NCL and Princess. We have sailed in suites, oceanviews, balconies and interior staterooms and recently decided that if it ... Read More
Background We are a married couple in our late 30's. This was our 7th cruise having sailed with RCCI, Disney, NCL and Princess. We have sailed in suites, oceanviews, balconies and interior staterooms and recently decided that if it means we can sail more often we will stick with the interior rooms. This was our 2nd cruise with RCCI. Embarkation The port of Baltimore was extremely easy to drive to from Southwestern Ontario. We stayed one night at the Hunt Valley Marriott ($50 on Priceline) and drove to the port Saturday morning. It took a total of 30 minutes to get to the port followed by dropping off the luggage and then parking. We were in the terminal within 50 minutes of leaving the hotel and checked in within minutes after that. We were on the ship by around 11:30 a.m. and headed straight to the Solarium. We found a seat and headed to the Windjammer to pick up a light lunch. There was a very nice salad bar that included many fresh cut veggies, meat and an excellent selection of dressings. We took our food back to the Solarium and had a nice quiet lunch. Stateroom We booked in November right before Thanksgiving. We booked an interior guarantee cabin and ended up with cabin 8051 a large interior stateroom. We were in the room by 1:30 and were pleasantly surprised with the cabin. It was spacious, had a large closet, vanity, TV and a small loveseat. Everything was clean and the bed was extremely comfy. Overall the stateroom was perfect for us. Overall Impression of the Ship The Enchantment is an older ship but we found no issues with this. The furniture appears to be a bit outdated but all is in good condition and very comfortable. The ship was still decorated for Christmas and it was very pretty. The pool areas were clean and well kept as were all of the bars, public areas, washrooms, casino, decks etc. Overall we had a great initial reaction to the ship. Food We ate dinner in the main restaurant every night. We did not have one bad meal and found the steaks to be absolutely delicious. There was always a wide variety and the desserts, especially the sugar free ones, were extremely tasty. I would rate the dining room food at dinner as above average. The breakfast in the restaurant was another story. We ate their only once for breakfast and the food was cold, stale and basically not worth the time. We stuck to the Windjammer for breakfast and mainly ate from the omelette station which was fabulous. There were barely any lines to wait in and the omelettes were well worth the wait. Lunch was also mainly in the Windjammer although the restaurant did have an amazing salad station. You got to pick your greens, meats, veggies, dressing etc. It was very good. My only complaint with the food is that the buffet closes at 9 pm. You can get room service until midnight for free or for a charge of $3.95 after midnight. The menu is extremely limited. You can also get burgers, fries, pizza and hot dogs in the Solarium from 10 pm until 2 am. The pizza was very tasty. My other issue with the buffet closing is that it is hard to find a coffee after 9 pm and since I like coffee I was a bit annoyed with this. You can pay for Starbucks coffee at Latte-tudes until 11:30pm if you are willing to pay. You can also get Ben and Jerry's ice cream there for a fee but the desserts there are included in your cruise fare. Don't miss out on these desserts; they were some of the best on the ship. And for all the cookie lovers out there.....don't miss out on all of the delectable cookies available. My personal favourites were the sugar free cookies but they were all good! Activities There were 2 main production shows and 2 small production shows on the first and last nights. The dancers are extremely talented and 1 of the female singers was amazing. The other singers were OK but nothing special. There was a magician (nothing that you haven't seen before) a comedian whose jokes were the same as my 16 year old son will tell and Jay Johnson the most amazing ventriloquist who was the best entertainment on the ship. On the final 2 nights there was another comedian who was from Seattle and he was hilarious. There was your typical other activities such as trivia (which we love), games, bingo, karaoke etc. Overall there was a good variety of entertainment and we were never bored. There were a couple of days where they could have had more activities but overall it was very good. Crew Our cabin steward Jimmy from Grenada was very personable and did an excellent job of keeping our cabin clean and stocked with ice. We chatted briefly with him a couple of times and he did an excellent job. Our waitress for dinner was Cherie and her assistant Natalie. Both were pleasant but not overly special in any way. The rest of the staff was pleasant although some seemed like they needed a trip home. Mitch Marucci was the Cruise Director. When we saw him he was funny and spunky but other than the shows, The Love and Marriage Game Show and Quest we never saw him anywhere on the ship. His staff was probably the most boring except for one guy whose name I can't remember of course! Ports We did not book this for the itinerary as it was a Bahamas cruise with stops in Port Canaveral, Nassau and Coco Cay. We ran into some cold weather and got stuck in Nassau for 2 days rather than going to Coco Cay. That was fine since it was cold anyway but I really did want to see Coco Cay. Also, the Captain said that the Majesty would also be staying in Nassau overnight as they were supposed to go to Coco Cay with us as well. In the morning the Majesty was gone and I can't help but wonder where they went. I would not go on another cruise going to the Bahamas in the winter again. The weather at home was almost as nice as we experienced in Bahamas. We did go to Junkaroo Beach in Nassau and would go there again. It was too cold to enjoy but since you can just walk there from the ship it is worth the walk. Debarkation We opted to carry our luggage off. We were in the car by 714 am! It was stress free and the easiest process ever. Overall Sailing out of Baltimore was excellent although I think Brooklyn was the best embarkation experience we ever had and that was with Princess. We will definitely sail out of Baltimore again and most likely on Enchantment of the Seas. Overall it was a good experience at a great price. Hopefully we will sail in the summer to Bermuda and can't wait to experience the Enchantment in nice weather. Read Less
Sail Date December 2011

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