The Royal Caribbean "Enchantment of the Seas" ship was our first experience cruising. We heard that it was a great way to start and now we must agree. As I get more experience on cruises I suppose my reviews will be better but I ... Read More
The Royal Caribbean "Enchantment of the Seas" ship was our first experience cruising. We heard that it was a great way to start and now we must agree. As I get more experience on cruises I suppose my reviews will be better but I will give this a try and I hope it is helpful to you if you are looking to cruise on Enchantment. We cruised April 21-25 2014. We went to Coco Cay, Bahamas and Nassau, Bahamas.
Embarkation: This was a really smooth process for us. We arrived at Port Canaveral at 9 am when others were still getting off of the boat. We paid online at the site because we wanted everything paid ahead of time. It was $15.00 per day. We hung around outside and took pics of the beautiful ship! When it was about 10:00 am they let us inside and we were first in line to show our passports and our cruise documents (have these handy) this is when we were told that we should have checked our bags outside first (amateurs). We hurried to get them checked and came back in, showed our passports and we were inside of the port in minutes. We tipped the guys that checked our bags $3.00 per bag and they were very grateful. They do not work for Royal Caribbean and their gratuities are not included!! We made our way inside and were sat according to where our stateroom was and ate some cookies while we waited to be checked in. Shortly after we were in line to be checked in and all of our passports, etc. were checked. We were given our Sea pass cards. This was so exciting!! The kids drinks package was visible on their cards with a Coca cola logo and our cards had a sticker showing which drink package that we purchased (more on that later :)). Once on the ship we went to guest services immediately and had them punch a hole in the cards (we didn't want to take the chance that we punched on the wrong side) and then I attached all cards to Lanyards that I purchased pre-cruise in Walmart for about $1.00 each. These Sea Pass cards must be worn at all times for various reasons so the lanyard made it very convenient to carry and less likely to lose. After check in we made our way onto the beautiful Enchantment of the Seas!
We were already prepared with bathing suits and sunscreen in a carry on because we knew our cabins would not be ready for hours. Everyone changed into their suits and we made our way to The Windjammer Cafe for the buffet. We were on vacation the minute we stepped on the ship!! The Windjammer offered a lot of good food, burgers and hot dogs, salads galore. The amount of food was awesome and very good. It was not absolutely delicious but it was good and fresh comparable to a BBQ that you have in your neighbor’s yard. The staff did an awesome job of cleaning up after everyone and refilling what was empty. After lunch we made our way to the pool.
As I said before my husband and I purchased the drink packages. We got the Ultimate drink package and that costs $65.00 per person per day and was worth every penny. This price included gratuity and it was nice to not have to think about how much money we were spending. This also included Starbucks specialty drinks on board, all fresh squeezed juices, bottled water (great at the beach) and virgin drink and soft drinks. We got the Royal Caribbean keepsake cup used for soft drinks and it was so nice! We also purchased the drink package for the kids $4.95 per person per day and that included all the soft drinks were unlimited with their Royal Caribbean cup. They had to have their cup everywhere they went so I carried a bag around with me that fit them. We never lost a cup the whole trip, very proud! The drinks were one more delicious than the other and they were very very strong. I found a Mai Tai made with Amaretto that I really enjoyed and I drank that a lot but I did get to try a variety of drinks that I would not have wanted to spend the money to buy at a local bar. We never got drunk because we are adults and we drank in moderation throughout the day a drink here or there, two glasses of wine with dinner, a couple of mai tais near the pool, a few beers at the show that night (you're on vacation!!!!!) and the drink package was well worth it for us! The bar staff at the pool was fantastic and our favorite bartenders. The ones in the Bolero Lounge were good and the Schooner bar was good too. However the one in the Centrum was horrible and rude and we gave him another shot on the second night before deciding to just stay away from there because we wanted to be happy!!
We made our way to our cabins when they were ready at 1pm and we were pleasantly surprised. Our bags had not yet arrived but we did see them begin to. We were on deck 3 in adjoining rooms 3614 and 3612. Our rooms were right where the opening for the elevator and stairs were and that was perfect. We never felt cramped and barely heard anything outside our door. These were Ocean view state rooms and they were a very nice size. Never being on a cruise before we didn’t know what to expect but they were perfect with lots of room to store things and to move. The bathroom was also a nice size and the shower water pressure was great! We had Dennis as our Cabin Steward and he was fantastic. We didn't know that the beds come down from the ceiling and it was funny when he showed us what all of our reactions were! The beds were really comfortable and we all commented on what a great nights sleep we all had each night. We loved coming back to the room after breakfast and dinner and seeing that the room was cleaned up, fresh towels and the next day’s schedules laid out for us on the bed with a great towel character. He was attentive and courteous and we tipped him extra because the gratuities that are allotted are not enough for the service that we received.
Muster station drill went well. It is where you need to report in case of an emergency on the ship and mandatory to attend before you set sail. If you are not there they will come find you!!! Be at your muster stations so we can all begin to enjoy our vacations too!! It is also a great opportunity to go over emergency strategies with your children. They wear a bracelet at all times with their muster station on so the crew knows where to bring them. It made me feel very safe.
We were scared of getting sick so I bought some Bodine to have with us just in case but we never had to use it, thank goodness! The weather was perfect at the end of April and the seas just weren’t rough enough! The first night it was definitely a little rocky and we lost our balance a few times but nothing drastic. Once in the room I never felt the ship move. Being on the lower decks, mid ship was the best advice I ever took! It is the only way we will stay!
The food and service in the main dining room was outstanding. We had any time dining but once we got on board they suggested that we make a reservation. We opted for 5:30pm and were glad that we did. The next cruise we may not do that because there were some days we just weren’t hungry enough for dinner after a later lunch and snacks. However, the service made going to dinner worth it anyway! We had Valeriano as our head waiter and Bobby was the Assistant waiter and they were fantastic. They remembered our names, greeted us with warm smiles and knew exactly what we like to drink and eat, etc. They were very knowledgeable about the menu and went out of their way to please our family. Our five year old daughter loved being treated like a princess and had all of her favorites within minutes of arriving. The food was delicious and the atmosphere was beautiful. No shorts or flip flops allowed at dinner but casual dress was fine. My husband never wore a suit or tux but on formal night he did wear a tie. The girls wore sundresses and sandals. It was very relaxed. I won’t give it away….. But definitely eat in the main dining room on your last night!! On the nights that you can’t make it in to eat at The My Fair Lady dining room, they pretty much serve the same thing for dinner at the buffet in the Windjammer. There is always somewhere to eat, including room service where there is a small fee late at night to order it. We never saw a need because we would grab something to eat late at night at the Solarium pool (Park Café) and bring it back to the room.
The pools were awesome; a little water works areas for the kids with sprinklers that are attached to the kiddie pool. Right next to that pool is an adult one so we made sure that she had her life preserver on just in case she dipped into the wrong pool while she was goofing around in the sprinklers. We were able to get a seat whenever we went to the pool at any time. This time of year seems to be a great time to cruise weather and crowd wise and we will do it again going forward! The indoor pool was for adults only and looked very relaxing. There were great contests like a belly flop contest and worlds sexiest man by the pools on the day that we were cruising. The fun was never ending on this ship and I cannot stress that enough!!
We paid extra for the Barbie experience on the ship and our daughter loved it.They give away awesome Barbie keepsakes and have special activities for the Barbie girls. There was a Huge sticker on the board that said Barbie girl on board and the room was decorated for her. It was a great way to get her feeling special and cozy in a new place! She had a fashion show and a dance. It was awesome and the staff had a great time with it. If you have a little girl I highly recommend it for the $75.00 it costs!!
There was a magician that was great. The comedian was very funny and we saw both shows that he offered. The game shows on board were a lot of fun. The trivia was great including Harry Potter, Michael Jackson trivia and so many more. Marc Walker (BING BONG) is the cruise director and anything that he was hosting or recommending was fantastic. The 70’s party was great and it was funny how they all dressed up! Karaoke with Alessandro was a hoot! He is a young man from Italy and he tells the greatest stories. We loved any activity that he was hosting!! You can tell that he loves his job and loves making people happy. He made an impact in many ways on our trip by including our children in the activities, remembering their names and complimenting their manners. Alessandro is a great asset to the Enchantment!! By the second day we felt like we were with family and with the ship being fairly small you saw many familiar faces and were able to make many friends.
We docked in Coco Cay where we were tendered and took a ferry over to the beach. It was gorgeous! If you are looking for a relaxing, peaceful day then walk all the way down the beach until you can’t go anymore and you will hit “Barefoot beach”. It was beautiful, immaculate and peaceful and there were barely any seaweed or shells in the water at this part. The water was shallow over here so it was perfect for little ones to play in while you lounge in the chair under an umbrella. Get there early to get an umbrella!!
If you were looking for more excitement then stay on the part of the beach closer to where the ferry lets you off. They had contests, music and dancing on this end. The water is deeper there and better to swim in. The water is gorgeous and super salty which made it so easy to float and relax; we loved it and never wanted to leave. This is where you can do your excursions that you pay for on the boat. We did the snorkeling and aqua park and both cost us $50.00 together per person. Well worth the money, the kids had an awesome time. There was a teen adventure package that included the snorkeling, aqua park and water slide for $50.00 but it was sold out. Once on the beach I realized the huge water slide wasn’t on the water and it was set back away from the beach so I’m glad the kids didn’t want to do it anyway. The snorkeling was great; they had fun on the treasure hunt and swimming out to the sunken ship, plane and cannons. There were lots of pretty fish to see and they loved it. The aqua park was a lot of fun with trampolines and things to climb up and slide down into the ocean , it was a beautiful sight. The crew from the ship comes off and works on the island as it is owned and ran by Royal Caribbean. Our drink package was good here too and the bottled water was great to have! The BBQ was good with burgers, hot dogs and BBQ chicken, fresh fruit and cookies. We spent a beautiful day on this island of paradise and we would love to go back!!
We docked in Nassau the next day and it was everything everyone warned us about. We did not have a good experience here, the natives were very pushy and we were constantly being stopped and having stuff shoved in our face. Buy this, buy that, Miss!! Miss!! They were angry at each other if they both got to you first and one lady got so mad that I bought bags from a stand instead of walking with her to her stand that she punched her fist and kept yelling at me “I told you to buy MY stuff”. We wanted to walk around the dock area because we didn’t want to spend hundreds of dollars for an excursion that was only four hours long when we can enjoy the ship and its amenities that we paid for. But we only made a quick stop to Senor Frogs (not for families with small children), bought expensive drinks then made our way back to the ship. Nassau was dirty, smelly and pushy. We were originally going to go to Junkanoo Beach, a free beach near the dock, but after getting a feel for the area we chose to stay safe and go back to the ship. I would’ve enjoyed it more without my kids I’m sure, but my nerves were shot with all of them coming at us, just not enjoyable. I know that this is how they make a living but it could have been done more tastefully. It actually discouraged any of us from wanting to buy things and taking our money out in public.
All of the pictures that are taken of your family are posted in the photo studio on-board and it is very easy to find your family. They use face recognition to link it to your cabin. They took pictures at the ports, at dinner, at the activities on board, just everywhere. We took full advantage and purchased an awesome package for $250.00 that included every picture taken of us, printed and nicely matted with things like “Getting our groove one at the 70’s party” or “Coco Cay” with pics on the beach or in snorkel masks. If you see a photo op, take it! Then got to the on-board photo studios, so much fun!! All printed and put on a disc for you, it was awesome!
As a first time cruise this was an amazing experience for our family. We loved it so much that we can’t stop talking about it to everyone and we have Post cruise depression. Our extended family is going to join us on our next cruise to the western Caribbean on The Liberty of the Seas in April 2015! A total of sixteen of us should be fun!! Enchantment of the Seas is named appropriately and it was a magical experience for us all. I would gladly do this cruise again once I get on some more first! Royal Caribbean is just as amazing as I have heard they are and the service and hospitality is outstanding.
Disembarking (getting off of the ship): We did Self Disembarkation meaning we didn’t check our bags the night before and we had nothing to claim. We had a time-frame to get off of the boat and it was a very easy process. We were at our car by 8:30 am. We would do this process again!