16 Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades) to Caribbean - Eastern Royal Caribbean Enchantment of the Seas Cruise Reviews

We took the Royal Caribbean's Enchantment of the Seas a Vision Class Ship out of Norfolk, VA's Half Moone Cruise and Celebration Center on June 3, 2010 for 9 days. I've heard other people complain about the parking downtown ... Read More
We took the Royal Caribbean's Enchantment of the Seas a Vision Class Ship out of Norfolk, VA's Half Moone Cruise and Celebration Center on June 3, 2010 for 9 days. I've heard other people complain about the parking downtown so we had a friend drop is off so we didn't have a problem with it. The worst part for us was making the turn into the Cruise Terminal; the City of Norfolk really needs to work on that. The best suggestion I can offer is to make a loop and coming straight into the terminal rather than attempting to make the turn from downtown or from I-264. We had to wait for about 15 minutes to make the turn but other than that it was very painless and the remainder of the embarkment process and the return disembarkment went very smoothly. Kudos to the Norfolk Port as it quiet lovely, I don't understand why there are not more cruises out of this Port, it seems as though it is a quite a waste to let the terminal be idle. Many of you may know that the Enchantment of the Seas underwent a major refurbishment in 2005; there was an addition of 73 foot to the midsection to lengthen the ship. Although the Enchantment was originally launched in 1997, I'd say that the renovations made her much fresher and contemporary. Enchantment's renovation is said to be the most complicated ever undertaken by a cruise line. Considering that it is the biggest cruise ship ever to be lengthened. The ship was actually sliced down the middle, and then a newly built midsection was slotted in between the two halves. As a result of the stretching, there was room for new facilities, from a fabulous new pool area to an alternative gourmet restaurant and a Latin-themed nightclub. The ship also received an extensive refurbishment that, though not comprehensive, refreshed the ambience. It's got one of the most beautiful sun decks/pool decks at sea, not only is it spacious, with plenty of room for everybody, but it also possesses unique features, such as a multi-colored splash pool, the Oasis bar with sea view stools and the elegant if slightly futuristic-looking suspension bridges that sway over the area. They also added a Jump Zone, it's a bungee trampolines and a Rock Climbing Wall. I did not try either of them out however. I did watch a competition but with the Wall being on the very back of the ship it wasn't much room to gather and watch. Instead of a standard buffet, there's a food court-like venue, Windjammer Marketplace with stations that include Mediterranean fare, salads, a rotisserie, desserts and more. The ship gained an alternative restaurant, Chops Grille not to mention other noshing "boutiques" like Seattle's Best Coffee and Ben & Jerry's. We enjoyed the Coffee bar but found out almost too late that the cookies and pastries were free when you got your coffee there. While on the subject of coffee, the absolute worse coffee is served in the Windjammer. I chose to eat in the dining room instead or just had room service for breakfast instead. The itinerary from Norfolk was to San Juan, Puerto, St Thomas, VI, Samana, Dominion Republic and Labadee, Haiti. We didn't get off the ship in the ports except in St Thomas because we have seen the islands many times and wanted just to relax and enjoy the peace and quiet. Although we did check out the excursion offerings and they were a number to choose from we opted for a self directed excursion in St Thomas by just taking a taxi to Sapphire Beach. The beach was incredibly beautiful and the snorkeling was awesome. I would definitely go there again and would recommend it to others for some awesome snorkeling, that being said, don't expect much once you get to the beach, there is little "customer service" available but they do have sodas. I personally really enjoy room service for breakfast so you don't have to face the day before coffee! So a special treat is for me was the breakfast room service menu. There is still a full hot menu with eggs, bacon, sausage and the coffee from the dining room is much better. Many of the other cruise lines have gone to a "continental" menu for room service breakfast menu so kudos Royal Caribbean for that. The Windjammer Market place was the buffet area, you could have breakfast, lunch and dinner there if you wanted but the food was average. The seating was awful, so you had to get up early if you wanted to get a seat for breakfast or eat an early lunch unless you wanted to take your food elsewhere to eat it. Overall I found in the dining room the food to be average as well however the chicken, pork tenderloin and lamb were very quite good as were their desserts. However, the steaks were hardly ever cooked right and they were fatty. I guess they are no longer serving the "better" cuts of meat in the dining room so folks will be inclined to go to the Chops Grille for steak. I was very disappointed in the lobster night because the lobster wasn't cooked quite enough, so they tried to fix it by "deep fat frying it" which resulted in horrible lobster. I will give them an "E" for effort because they tried to fix the problem. There were areas on the ship that were untouched during the renovation such as the decks surrounding the Centrum, the Internet Cafe, the area around Ben & Jerry's, Seattle's Best and the Casino so they appeared a little worn. I am quite sure that the refurbishment did not include the bedding, because they are the hardest mattresses I ever laid on but of course, it has been 5 years since the refurbishment. I would definitely recommend that Royal Caribbean take some lessons from Carnival on their bedding choices because I have never been disappointed with my bed on a Carnival ship. We made the mistake of selecting cabin 3761 so please do not make that mistake or the surrounding cabins, they are under the kitchen and it sounds like you are under the bowling alley. Really Royal Caribbean should convert those cabins to storage because they are unfit for anyone to sleep in due to the noise level. Due to the noise level, we requested a room change and it was handled quickly and the young lady that helped was very understanding and quite competent. I was quite surprised to find that there were no printed deck plans available once you were onboard to put in your pocket. So I went and asked for a copy of one and I was given an overview of the desks and the public areas. Our most favorite area had to be the Adult Solarium. We took advantage of it almost the entire time onboard, especially on port days when we chose to stay onboard. There was ample seating but you did have to get there early on sea days and the sliding roof and windows made it a great environment just to relax in. They had 2 whirlpools and an adequate pool area; they also had a grill area with burgers, hotdogs, pizza, fries, cookies and fruit in the area during specific hours. They also had ice tea and lemonade to drink there so you didn’t have to over to the Windjammer if you wanted a bite to eat. We thought the entertainment was a little stale and it seems that the cruise line needs to take it up a notch to keep it fresh. I heard all the jokes before and the shows seem to be just a repeat of the ones I have seen on other ships but the Karaoke was fun. They had a Solo Guitarist in the Centrum area and a Family Trio which were extremely good and folks just hung out there to hear them play. The art showing were the traditional affair for Park West and I personally enjoy looking at nice pieces of art but that being said, I don’t go onboard to buy art. I certainly would not recommend that anyone buy art based on what they are told onboard without thoroughly checking out everything. The Enchantment is a lovely ship but they just need to improve on their food and bedding. Also, Royal Caribbean just improved their Crown and Anchor program so we did go ahead and reserve our next cruise but this time it will be on a newer Freedom Class ships, the Freedom of the Seas. If you are a frequent cruiser I definitely would recommend that you take advantage of their future cruise credit program and get an onboard credit when you book with a minimum deposit. Overall I wouldn’t consider it an enchanting experience but average, we give high points to the beauty of the ship, the itinerary, and the service staff was extraordinary. There are several reviews of the Enchantment online and I really like this one, http://cruisediva.com/Enchant_of_the_Seas_new1.htm Read Less
Sail Date June 2010
While this was not my first cruise, it was my first in almost 10 years.  On my first cruise, I was a little gunshy because at the end of it, I felt like I had been sold a bill of goods.  So I tried to be a little more informed and do ... Read More
While this was not my first cruise, it was my first in almost 10 years.  On my first cruise, I was a little gunshy because at the end of it, I felt like I had been sold a bill of goods.  So I tried to be a little more informed and do more research before I booked, but because I booked at the last minute, I missed some important points.  Hence my feeling of de ja vu.When I booked the Royal Caribbean Enchantment of the Seas cruise for July 16th, it was because I wanted to go on a cruise, an all inclusive vacation and I wanted some activities for my 1-yr old son.  Unfortunately, the all inclusive and activites parts did not come to fruition.  Besides being charged for everything under the sun, if you are travelling with children under the age of 3, please know the following as it will not be told to you in advance by RC staff:1 - Children in diapers and pull ups are not allowed in the pools.  On Enchantment there is a sprinkler area for THOSE children (like theyre second class citizens) to play in.  Unfortunately not only did the younger children (infants and toddlers) play there, but also some really big kids (including some teens) as well, which made for an unsafe environment for the babies and toddlers.  (THANK YOU to a Cruise Critic member review I found this out before I cruised, but unfortunately after I booked.)  I never got to go to the pool because where I was, my baby was sure to follow.2 - The Royal Babies program on Enchantment consists of ONE 45-min play early morning session where a staff member opens up a bag of Fisher Price toys and lets the children have at it.  I missed the play session two out of three days due to being in port, but on the third day I was disappointed that the play group was nothing more than a toy free for all.  Btw, it was the same bag of toys the guest services desk gave to me to take to my cabin when I complained about the lack of activities for the babies when I got on board.3 - Royal Caribbean does not provide food service for babies HOWEVER if you know to ask for the special senior meal where they will puree the food for you, you can arrange to have fresh pureed food in the dining room at dinner time and take left overs to store in your cabin refrigerator to be microwaved by the room service staff.4 - Baby sitting is available at a fee in your cabin only until 1am.  (GOOD TO KNOW if you want to have an adult night out)5 - The Adventure Zone (children's play space) is NOT open to children under the age of 3, so keep you babies with you is the message they are sending youI called Royal Caribbean several times about the lack of information communicated to me.  Each time I called, the cust svc people knew I was travelling with an infant, yet none of them imparted any of this information unless I knew the questions to ask.  Unfortunately how do you know what questions to ask if you don't know the questions!  Anyway, my 1-year old son had a wonderful time on the cruise.  We had absolutely wonderful service in the dining room (THANK YOU ROBIN, JOFRED, and COLLINS!)  But, I and my spouse unfortunately did not enjoy ourselves as much.  Not only did I feel mislead from the beginning, I also felt nickel and dimed during the whole trip.  As much as I was looking forward to cruising again, and particularly on RC, I don't think I will be travelling on their line again (al teast not of my own selection).  While I still enjoy the cruising concept, I haven't found cruise line yet that has made me want to come back for more.  I have one or two more cruises I would like to take.  Hopefully 3rd time will be the charm.All I'm saying is be informed.  Do your research and ask as many questions as you can possibly think of, then think of some more! Read Less
Sail Date July 2009
I just returned from the 9/15 Enchantment of the Seas trip to Key West, Cozumel and Belize. Traveled with a friend 52 yrs old and her mom 74 yrs old. Both speak Spanish, friend speaks English, I speak only English! Embarkation: It ... Read More
I just returned from the 9/15 Enchantment of the Seas trip to Key West, Cozumel and Belize. Traveled with a friend 52 yrs old and her mom 74 yrs old. Both speak Spanish, friend speaks English, I speak only English! Embarkation: It was a breeze because I am a Platinum member! If for no other reason you should join the Crown and Anchor society so your points add up to get this benefit! Food: Food was very good. Good selection in Windjammer, very rarely had to wait for a table. Breakfast omelette station was great! Dinner was very good ~ first seating, never felt rushed. Waiter VJ and Asst Waiter Mario were fantastic. I would never have know VJ was in training,he was that good! Good wine and drink service. Did not eat at Chops Grille. Spa: Very good. Took advantage of the "in port special" for $99 which included 25 min back massage and 25 min facial. No hard sell of products if you tell them you already have them or are not interested. Entertainment: Very good on average. Comedian of first night needs work! Production shows lively and entertaining. Overall Condition of Ship: Needs some work, painting, rug changes, etc. but over in ok condition for her age. Cabin Steward: Very nice, enjoyable. Spoke Spanish which mad MA MA happy! Kept cabin neat and clean. Embarkation: Somewhat of a nightmare! The process was slowed down by the escalators at the terminal breaking down. I can understand why they don't let people walk down escalators. Everyone was trying to carry their big bags, etc. and if you have ever walked down an escalator you realize the steps are not the height and depth of a standard stair. There surely would have been an accident, which would have delayed things further. I believe the staff acted appropriately telling everyone what had happened, apologizing for the delay, etc. All I can say to those who had early flights ~ next time ~ make your flight later in the day. It will relieve a lot of stress because breakdowns do happen! I am embarking on another cruise this Saturday, the "Liberty of the Seas" I'll give you my review when I get back! Bon Voyage Read Less
Sail Date August 2008
We arrive at the terminal around noon and was in our room by 1pm. Fairly fast and easy process. Remeber that you pat 15.00 per day to park if you drive in, 75.00 for 5 days. This is out 5 cruise, 4th on RCL and we love this cruise line. ... Read More
We arrive at the terminal around noon and was in our room by 1pm. Fairly fast and easy process. Remeber that you pat 15.00 per day to park if you drive in, 75.00 for 5 days. This is out 5 cruise, 4th on RCL and we love this cruise line. WE have cruised Princess but prefer Royal. Our cabin was an inside cabin on deck 8, perfect location and clean room. My only complaint was we never saw our room steward as we are used to on previous cruises, we asked for ice to be in our room at first cleaning but all we had was a bucket of water until the last day. Food was just ok on this cruise, yes you can have as much of anything you want but I found it to be just ok this time and I didnt feel like I had a whole lot of choices unless I wanted Steak or Fish which Im not a real big eater of either. My other complaint is the seating arraingments, we asked to be seated at a large table but ended up at a table for 4, unless you really click with your table mates this can be ackward, I would have liked a table for 2 but didnt see any and it wasnt offered.WE ate in the Windjammer for breakfast and lunch which was good for buffet style food. I highly recommend Chopes a little price at 25.00 a person but it was well worth, food was delicious and service was excellent. The entertainment again was just ok, same song and dance routines. We loved the Beatle Mania show it was awesome. And of course you dont want to miss Love & Marriage, always a good laugh. The comedian was a little over the top but that is always a hit or miss. Our cruise director Mark was by far the best we had ever had, he was everwhere and very funny. As far as activities the choices were pretty limited. On prev. cruises it seemed like we had 3-4 choices every hour and always found something to do on this cruise the choices were limited ,we watch several movies due to nothing else to do. It rained half oth the 2nd day at sea and the whole day in Grand CAyman, we didnt bok any tour for this island so we were ok with the rain. Cozumel was warm and sunny, did a Power Snorkle,highly recommend. Disembarktion was kinda a mess in the warehouse stting but once our color was called we were out of there fairly quick. PATIENTS PEOPLE All in all it was an ok trip, not sure I will go on this boat again, it was nice but I think we will try one of the bigger ships next time. Read Less
Sail Date May 2008
Well, its was our first cruise. For our 30th anniversary. I worked as a manager for a major company for 30 years and dined in many fine/expensive restaurants. My wife and I have a taste for good food. We embarked at Ft Lauderdale. We ... Read More
Well, its was our first cruise. For our 30th anniversary. I worked as a manager for a major company for 30 years and dined in many fine/expensive restaurants. My wife and I have a taste for good food. We embarked at Ft Lauderdale. We arrived at 11:30 by cab and I can't imagine our checkin going much smoother. We sit in the staging area for about 5 minutes and spent 5 minutes in live and Security. On board We couldn't get into our cabin until 1pm so we went directly to the Windjammer restaurant for lunch. Our first impression of food was very good and it only got better. I made a caesar salad with all the fixins. I then sampled 5 other entrees and 3 desserts. All of them different and very tasty. Food 8 out of 10 We ate in the dining room (My Fair Lady) every nite and we cancelled our chops reservations because of the quality of the food in the dining room. Overall, i would rate the food in the main dining room as 8.5 out of 10. I've definitely eaten better food but only in the finest dining rooms and at a very high cost. We had breakfast in the dining room once but opted for the windjammer cafe because of the immediate nature of it. I did spend a couple of extra minutes to have my omelette prepared specially (very good). Breakfast in the Windjammer I would rate at 7.5 out of 10. Service 9 out of 10 We found the service to above average in all areas. The dining room and cabin service were definite highlights. We were treated like royalty. Everyone onboard was pleasant and happy at all times. Excursions 9 out of 10 I scuba dived in Grand Caymans on the boats excursion. I first considered doing my own dive with another operator but decided not to and booked the excursion ahead of the trip. It turned out much better than I could have imagined. The boat only had 7 divers and could handle 30. They send 3 instructors down who were very helpful. The water was everything you could imagine. It was obvious that the dive operators were doing everything they could to make us happy. They asked that we tell the cruise ship if we were happy with them so they could keep their contract. USE THE CRUISE SHIP EXCURSIONS. Only 1 person scheduled the Ocho Rios dive and it was cancelled. Too bad. I rented a jet ski and ran up and down the coast to sitesee myself. My wife went to the beach on the Georgetown and enjoyed it. Shows and Entertainment 8 out of 10 We enjoyed all the shows. The singers and dancers were very talented. I seen better but a at a greater cost. The Quest game show (advertised as adult) went a little far when the men stripped to their underwear to gain points as directed by the cruise director. They then wore womens bras (yes the women had to take them off under their blouses)on the last part. Good fun for many but a little over the line for me. Great trip/great value We will be back. Read Less
Sail Date February 2008
Ship Info Enchantment of the Seas January 12th -18th 2008 Ship is smaller and more intimate less busy more relaxed atmosphere a plus in my book Activities Daytime: Rock Wall Climbing and Bungee trampoline for those more adventurous. Pool ... Read More
Ship Info Enchantment of the Seas January 12th -18th 2008 Ship is smaller and more intimate less busy more relaxed atmosphere a plus in my book Activities Daytime: Rock Wall Climbing and Bungee trampoline for those more adventurous. Pool side barbecues, Jacuzzi's and Frozen drinks ( I consider this an activity). Service: Excellent except for the casino Bar, I felt these bartenders were more interested in flirting with the 20 something girls then providing service to everyone. Shore Excursions: Jamaica snorkeling , ship and crew very nice and attentive, Young boys handle the guiding and the were very professional and truly wanted you to see all their ocean had to offer. Choose to go it on our own for a beach day in Grand Cayman Summary: Overall this was a wonderful relaxing cruise I would sail on this ship again . Travel To Port of Embarkation: by our own transportation , easy to find and park. Stateroom : if the highest rating is a 5 star this was a 10 I can never go back to a regular balcony again The dining room really needs attention in both the menu the quality and presentation and the manor in which diner itself is served on the other hand the Windjammer cafe is the best buffet I have ever seen, The lay out is excellent the choices are varied daily and are many, always hot food and fresh fruit and veggies well presented and kept absolutely clean. The Windjammer staff is excellent. We opted for the Windjammer over the dinning room for two nights and felt it was a better choice then the dinning room. Dining : Entertainment; Standard ship entertainment , except for the concierge lounge , this was truly entertaining and worth the price of the suite. Disembarkation: Extremely easy in this class.. virtually no waiting Read Less
Sail Date January 2008
This was our second cruise on the Enchantment, the first being in May 2006. My Husband (32) and myself (27), and another couple of the same age traveled. It was a 5 night, with stops in Grand Cayman and Ocho Rios, Jamaica. We had an inside ... Read More
This was our second cruise on the Enchantment, the first being in May 2006. My Husband (32) and myself (27), and another couple of the same age traveled. It was a 5 night, with stops in Grand Cayman and Ocho Rios, Jamaica. We had an inside cabin on deck 3. We drove from our home in Orlando to Fort Lauderdale and parked at Park 'n Fly about 4 blocks from the port. They had a shuttle that dropped us off at the port. Total cost to park was only $42.50, much cheaper than the port parking. Arrived at check-in desk at 12:45pm and were on board by 1:00pm. We went straight to Chops Grille on deck 6 and made dinner reservations for 7pm on night 3 (Jamaica). Then we went to check out our rooms, both were ready. The stateroom was small, however, we found them neatly organized, and very clean, although that didn't stop me from wiping down most of the surfaces. This was my first time in an inside room, I have always had oceanviews on prior cruises (3), I was nervous about not being able to look out the window and see what my body was feeling (if that makes any sense). It turned out to be a non issue. Although I missed the view, for the price we paid it was just fine. After eating and drinking the champagne and chocolate covered strawberries that we had previously ordered, and were waiting for us when we arrived to our rooms, we explored the ship and headed to the Windjammer for lunch. The food was good, we were always able to find seats. The muster drill was next. Muster was quick and painless. Our friends went up top to watch us set sail, while my husband and I went to the room for a nap. We had late seating at 8:30pm. We thought the dinning room overall had very good food. The service was good, our waiter was not as personable as the assistant waiter, but he was very efficient nonetheless. We did notice the portions have been reduced since our last cruise, but we were very happy with that change. Less waste is always a good thing. You could always order seconds, but we didn't and always left very full. We did have lobster on the last night, it was included in the Fisherman's platter with shrimp, rice and broccoli. In my opinion it was over sauced with the butter and garlic. So if you order it, ask for the sauce on the side just to be safe. Day 2 Sea day. I lounged at the pool and played some at the casino. It was formal night, as well as the Captain's welcome aboard reception, free champagne! We found the Schonner bar and it became our go to place. The piano players were all very talented. Great views and a fun place to hang out. We found out quickly that the bartender there made the strongest drink onboard. Day 3 Grand Cayman. We took a cab to Sea Grape Beach. The fare was $5.00 per person each way. Beach chairs were $10.00 each and that included a drink at the bar (nonalcoholic). Umbrellas were $5.00 each. We brought our own snorkeling equipment, which we highly recommend. There is a small reef a few yards out, we saw some very friendly fish. The liked to swarm my husband. We then went to Margaritaville had a drink, and went back onboard. It was a very relaxing day, my most favorite of the whole cruise. Day 4 Ocho Rios, Jamaica. We booked the Dolphin Swim and Dunn's River Fall climb through the cruise line. It was $138.00 per person. Swimming with the dolphins was a great experience. The guides were friendly and we learned a lot about the animals. There were about 10 people per dolphin. We then went to Dunn's River Falls and things went downhill fast. The guides were fine as you were climbing, but every few yards they made you stop and pose for a picture, or say something for the video they were shooting. Afterwards, they were very pushy for a tip and seemed to think the tip we game them was not enough. We then tried to find the exit that didn't take you through the Marketplace, but were unable to find it so we braved the path through the shops. Although we never felt unsafe, it was not a pleasant experience. No thank you was not enough for these people. I overheard a man on out tour say that next time he was there he would have a bunch of $1.00 bills to pass out as a peace offering to let him pass. Not a bad idea, we thought. While waiting for our fellow tourmates on the bus, my husband stepped off to have a cigarette. A man approached him and offered him marijuana, when he said no the man pressed him as to why not, even asking him if he was scared. Like I said, no is not enough! We truly enjoyed the dolphins and the actual climbing of the falls was a once in a life time experience, but it was ruined by the whole Marketplace experience. My husband and I are in agreement, twice to Jamaica is enough, we won't go back. Chops Grill was the best meal of the cruise. We each had the filet, and it was just excellent. The service there was absolutely top notch. Well worth the $25.00 cover charge. FYI- be sure to get the Mud Pie, it's to die for, really! Day 5 Sea day. Earlier in the cruise I had expressed an interest in seeing the kitchen to the Head Waiter. He explained that due to safety issues they no longer offered a tour, and on the limited times that they did, it was only for the most elite cruisers. He said that he would talk to the Chef and see if it was possible. Well he came through, and myself and one of our friends had a private tour of the kitchens with one of the chefs. It was amazing! Everything was huge! If you can arrange it, totally do it. I had lunch in the dining room, and they had a wonderful pasta bar. You had to go to the station tell the chef what you wanted on you pasta and they made it right there and delivered it to you table. It was delicious. Day 6 Departure. Leaving the ship was okay, it took about 45 minutes. Customs was a breeze. We got picked up by Park 'n Fly and were headed home by 10:00am. Read Less
Sail Date January 2008
I have taken 3 cruise and have never written a review because I have always been more than satisfied with the cruise. This cruise did have enjoyable moments. However, it does seem that often misery can overshadow joy. Getting on the ship ... Read More
I have taken 3 cruise and have never written a review because I have always been more than satisfied with the cruise. This cruise did have enjoyable moments. However, it does seem that often misery can overshadow joy. Getting on the ship was fine. Like always simple and easy to check in. However, we were rerouted do to an "electrical problem" on the boat. We were supposed to end in Key West but started there. Which would not have been a big deal except we got to Key West at 7:00 am left at 1:30 pm. Nothing opened until 10:00 am so we had 3 and a half hours to enjoy the port. Not nearly enough time!!!! Our next port was Cozumel, Mexico. What a total disaster!!! People just congregated in the hallway on the first floor waiting to get off the boat. You were not supposed to get off the boat until Noon unless you had an excursion (which we did). However, there was no one to check and make sure this didn't happen. Many people missed their shore excursion because they could not get off the boat. We were told it was unorganized because RC does not typically tender in Cozumel, but was forced to because we changed our port day. Unacceptable! The staff should have know what to do. Tendering in Belize was nearly as bad. More waiting with little organization. Again many people missed their excursions because of delays tendering. The basically herded everyone in to the auditorium and we waited and waited and waited. However, the absolute worst was getting off the boat once we returned to Ft. Lauderdale!!!! The ship was a ghost ship. There were no employees to be found to give any direction. No announcements were made. Fist day on board we were told not to put our bags out the night before just to do the carry off ourselves. Which is normally what we do anyway. For the early carry off we were told to gather in the lounge on Deck 6. When we found out that we were disembarking from deck 4. It was a mad rush to the elevators to get off. People were pushing, shoving, and rolling over each other with luggage. There was even a fight. Simply awful then we got stuck on deck 4 with hundreds of people for over an hour. There was no where for the older people to even sit. If one person would have fallen they would have been trampled to death! It was awful!!! Carnival call by floor which is much better way. There is little or no congregating in the hallways. Food was not good at all. Choices were few in the dinning room. One night our entire table got up and left because there was nothing that appealed to us. I will never ever go on this boat again and it is quite possible I will never go on RC again either. Read Less
Sail Date December 2007
My wife and I currently sailed with Royal Caribbean. Our flight was canceled and our guaranteed flight was not taken care of. We booked a flight with another airline and Royal Carib. refused to reimburse us. Next our itinerary was flipped. ... Read More
My wife and I currently sailed with Royal Caribbean. Our flight was canceled and our guaranteed flight was not taken care of. We booked a flight with another airline and Royal Carib. refused to reimburse us. Next our itinerary was flipped. This put us in Key West from 9AM to 2 PM. It is not a happening town at this time. We had a pub tour scheduled for 5PM at first. Now it was set for 10AM. What a joke! Our next stop was Cozumel. This went off without a hitch. We leave Cozumel and around 2AM in the morning an announcement wakes us up to let us know we are returning to Cozumel to return a "passenger" who was seriously hurt. Oh and by the way, we will not be going to Belize as scheduled. Turns out that the "passenger" was a crew member. We were within helicopter and boat access to get him off. Instead we sail 4 hours to return him to Cozumel. I am in the medical field and a four hour wait tells me he was not in that bad of shape. Royal Carib then decides that it will be taking us to a small island that they own called CoCo Cay. It was a joke. They actually had the nerve to charge for activities after they canceled a major stop of the cruise. They also were excited about a BBQ they would be hosting on the island. It was hamburgers and hotdogs they brought over from the boat. I ate very little due to the thousands of flies that also ate on the food as you were trying to get to it. Customer Service offered nothing to us for all the problems when we got back. We are currently fighting with them over the airfare that we couldn't use that they guaranteed. I am an old school person. If you can't deliver what you sold, give the customer something equal to or better to remedy the situation. Royal Carib attempted neither. We will never cruise with them or Celebrity since it is the same customer service group. For our first time cruising it was a sad and disappointing experience. A last note is that the food on Royal Carib. was just sad. The buffet would be a downgrade from something like Golden Corral. Read Less
Sail Date November 2007
My husband and I left on our first cruise on Sept 1. This was the honeymoon we never when we married 28 years ago. We flew into Fort Lauderdale and used the transportation arranged by our travel agent to get to the ship. The process was ... Read More
My husband and I left on our first cruise on Sept 1. This was the honeymoon we never when we married 28 years ago. We flew into Fort Lauderdale and used the transportation arranged by our travel agent to get to the ship. The process was seamless. I was really impressed with the organization of the cruise line during the check in process. Considering the number of people that need to board long lines were expected but happily nonexistent. We were sent to the Windjammer for a buffet lunch. What a poor first impression that was. There were more people than tables, a traffic pattern that made you always feel like someone was cutting in front of you and just a general feeling of what did we get ourselves into. Luckily, the rest of the trip was definitely uphill. My husband purchased a soda sticker. Unsure if he would do it again. It was often difficult to get a soda or a refill. The bartenders ignored the soda crowd to wait on patrons ordering alcohol drinks. After lunch we found our cabin and settled in. I had read a lot about the lack of space but found our balcony room to have more than enough space for us to have a very comfortable vacation. There was plenty of drawer, shelf and closet space. The bed was comfortable. The TV was small but I didn't go on a cruise to watch TV. Earl, our room attendant, introduced himself and was very friendly and helpful throughout our trip. Dinner was in the My Fair Lady room. It was a big improvement from lunch. We chose to eat the majority of our meals there. Breakfast, lunch and dinners had plenty of choices (8 or more entrees) to accommodate even a picky eater. The food was consistently delicious. Appetizers, salad, entree and dessert were part of every dinner. Breakfast and lunch food was a step up from the Windjammer. The service was amazing. After ordering tea with my dessert at 2 meals, tea was served after dinner the remaining evenings without a request.Our staff was friendly, and efficient. They would share information about their job and family if asked.We did not gamble, use the children's club or book shore excursions. We did spend time at the pool. We never had trouble finding a chair. We also spent time in the health club. Several times we needed to come back at a later time because all machines were being used. The area is a little cramped. We enjoyed the shows, especially the comedian. We also enjoyed putting our recent dance lessons to use in the lounges. We attended the program about shopping on the shore. I lacked any knowledge about shopping on the islands and counted on Kyle to honestly guide me. Unfortunately, looking back I think I was conned more by Kyle than the natives. Kyle hyped the "Savvy Traveler" coupon book. Only 25 to sell, must have, get free ruby etc. I am mad at myself for falling for the hype. The coupon book may save you money but first you must be in the market for high end jewelery. Otherwise you will just waste your money ($25) and time( running around collecting free trinkets). Jamaica- We chose to skip the excursions and venture out on our own. After wasting time shopping, we hired Richie, a cab driver,($40) who took us to the craft market and later Dunn's Falls. Richie stayed with us the entire afternoon making sure no one bothered us at the craft market and followed us up the falls, taking pictures as we went. We had the opportunity to talk with him about life in his country. He had lived in the US (Miami and NY) for several years. Would make the same choice again. Grand Cayman- Due to Hurricane Felix we were rerouted to Nassau RC went out of their way to offer excursions and an opportunity for us to chase the sunshine and visit another port. Nassau - Again we skipped the excursions. We chose instead to rent a motor scooter. We drove across the bridge and walked around Atlantis. Returned and found a little beach on West Bay and went swimming. Then did a little shopping. Again high end jewelry/watches is the item most available. Disembarkation - Again considering the number of people that had to get off the process went smoothly. All in all I would recommend this ship. Read Less
Sail Date September 2007
We booked this cruise through RCCL and it was a great decision. It was my sons first cruise and we left on July 25th 2007. Pulling up to the port was the "magical" moment for my son. He was so excited and he could not believe ... Read More
We booked this cruise through RCCL and it was a great decision. It was my sons first cruise and we left on July 25th 2007. Pulling up to the port was the "magical" moment for my son. He was so excited and he could not believe the size of the ship. After unloading off the bus we walked into the waiting room. It was all my husband and i could do to calm down our son. His legs were shaking and his fingers were just moving back in fourth on the handle of his seat. Then the best thing of my sons life, we got up and walked into the check-in area. After checking in we walked on to the cruise. My sons jaw dropped and he was in awe. We then walked around and found our room on the 7th floor. Dylan quickly rushed out and went to the teen lounge to find some friends. I was really nervous that he wouldn't find any but sure enough he found a family of 5 kids and him nd his friend didn't leave each others sights. We arrived at our port of call, Jamaica, on tuesday. We went to dunns river falls after my husband refused to buy tickets for the dolphins. Although we didn't get to do the dolphins, we had the best time at Dunns River Falls. I strongly recommend Dunns River Falls. We then went to the Jimmy Buffets bar and grill which my son loved because they had a water slide. Getting back on the ship was no hassle at all, we got right on. Our next and final port of call was Grand Cayman. It was a beautiful city with many store. We decided to do the jetskis for our excursion. My family and my next door neighbors family hopped on the 9 jetskis and drove into the clear Cayman Island ocean. The water was beautiful. You could see straight down. We then spent two days coming back but there was one more awesome experience. While we were eating dinner, everyone started talking and the dining room got noisy. The lights flickered and the captain came on the loud speaker, All of a sudden everyone ran over to the window and saw 3 Cuban refuges in a little paddle boat. They then called the coast guard and they were escorted back to Cuba. The cruise was an awesome experience and we are about to go on the freedom of the seas next April. Read Less
Sail Date July 2007
Background: This was a Spring family trip for my wife and I along with our daughter(7) and son(3). We have sailed with Royal Caribbean before on the Sovereign of the Seas in Spring 2006. We have also sailed on the Disney Magic twice and ... Read More
Background: This was a Spring family trip for my wife and I along with our daughter(7) and son(3). We have sailed with Royal Caribbean before on the Sovereign of the Seas in Spring 2006. We have also sailed on the Disney Magic twice and have a Transatlantic cruise on the QM2 booked for this summer for just my wife and I for our 10th anniversary. Transportation: We booked our own flights from Charlotte to Ft. Lauderdale. We were a bit nervous given this was the first time we have ever flown down the same day as embarkation. This turned out not to be a problem given there were no delays or problems with the flight. We used Bradley Executive Limousine to get to the port using one of their SUVs. No problem with the transportation, but their prices were on the very high side and I wouldn't recommend them based upon that alone. Embarkation: This was a very smooth process. We arrived at about 11:00am so we had a little bit of waiting time before the process began. I wanted to give a big thumbs-up for the porter staff at the port. They were efficient, professional and very friendly. The boarding and check-in process was smooth and quick. The rooms were not ready when we boarded so we headed up to Windjammer for some lunch and then walked around the ship. Rooms: We had 7516 and 7518 with connecting doors. These are D1 Superior Oceanview Rooms. This was quite an improvement compared to our experience on the Sovereign. The rooms were fairly spacious and views from the balcony were great. Unlike on the Sovereign, there was no "hump" in the middle of our Queen-configuration bed which was nice. The only problem we had was that the lock on the balcony door in our kids' room was not working. We reported this to maintenance, but no one ever came to look at it. This was a little bothersome given we certainly didn't want our children on the balcony without an adult. Public Rooms: The Centrum was quite a sight to behold rising up to the top of the ship. The pool areas were very spacious and the splash pool for the kids was a nice touch, however this was often closed due to windy conditions. The Solarium pool was absolutely beautiful with nice furniture and in top condition. The shopping area was your usual cruise clap-trap items and nothing special. The Orpheum theatre was very nice with comfortable seating and in very good condition. Food: All I can say is thank goodness for our Head Waiter, Francis. He made up for very sub-par service from our Waiter and Asst. Waiter. Francis was friendly and great with our children. He found out that we loved Indian food and brought out some samples not on the menu on two evenings. Often we were done with our appetizers and into our entrees before our drinks would arrive from our Asst. Waiter and our Waiter was not someone geared to work with the public. It wasn't that he was rude, he just had no personality and reacted negatively if we asked any questions after his rushed and brief commentary about the evening's menu. The food quality overall was good, but not great. There were a few dishes that deserved special recognition. The coconut-curry chicken that was in Windjammer's was fantastic. The tomato-basil soup in My Fair Lady was outstanding as well. We did not go to Chops Grille, but several passengers said it was very good. Spa-Fitness: The fitness area was well-designed. Often there were waits for the treadmills, but it depended on when you went. I don't think it was because there were not enough of them (there were about ten of them)...I think it was more related to it was Spring Break and there were a large number of young and active passengers. I had the pleasure of having my first hot stone massage at the spa and it was heaven. Unfortunately, we had to cancel our couple's massage (see comments under Service). The staff at both the spa and fitness area were very polite and helpful. My wife went to the "Fab Abs" class and gave it a strong thumbs up. Service: Unfortunately, this was an area that almost spoiled the entire cruise. In addition to the difficulties with service at dinner, the Guest Services department was absolutely horrible. The staff was often uninterested or blatantly rude on multiple occasions. Usually this is where cruise ships really stand out from other vacation options based upon our experience with previous cruises both with Royal Caribbean and on other lines. This was certainly not the case on this cruise. My wife and I booked a couples massage during a time that the Oceaneer's Club was closed. We requested in-room babysitting for this time and Guest Services. We knew that it may or may not be available, but the person at Guest Services was quite rude in telling us that she "would try, but don't count on it." We crossed our fingers and hoped for the best. As Day 4 of the cruise approached (along with the deadline to cancel the spa appointment without financial penalty), we still had heard nothing. We stopped by again to ask if there had been any progress, so we could cancel the massage if no one was available. The person at Guest Services did little to hide her annoyance on having to check this and told us she didn't have an answer for us. We explained to her about the spa deadline and she said we should cancel it. We were disappointed, but knew it was a possibility. The next day, a babysitter shows up at our room! We explained to her that we had cancelled this request because no one could tell us if we had a babysitter. The babysitter was annoyed and rudely told us as she left that we still might be charged for babysitting services. This was just one example of the blatantly poor attitude and assistance we received from this department. We are still deciding if this will keep us from the Royal Caribbean line in the future given we take about two to three cruises per year. Kids: The Oceaneer's Club had wonderful and friendly staff. The space itself was a little on the small side especially for the 3-5 year-old group, but the kids didn't seem to mind. They had a wide variety of activities and both of our children gave this an enthusiastic thumbs up. Ports of Call: We decided to stroll about Ocho Rios and shop with no scheduled shore excursions. The area was nice with good shopping. The taxi drivers were a bit too aggressive for my taste, but minor point. We did the combination Butterfly Farm/Nautilus Semi-Sub excursion in the Caymans. We enjoyed both of these and would highly recommend them especially if you are traveling with children. Debarkation: Just as smooth as boarding. I thought the system was well-organized and seemed to move at a good pace. The porters in the luggage area were friendly and helpful and there were plenty of them. Overall, a good cruise but almost completely spoiled by Guest Services. Usually one aspect of a cruise can't come close to spoiling the overall experience, but this aspect was so bad...it almost did. Read Less
Sail Date March 2007
Enchantment of the Seas 5 day cruise 09 11 2006 to 09 16 2006 Cruise Experience over 22 cruises Embarkation Instead of sending us the Immigration form for the Bahamas so we could fill it out before we got to the port, they had hundreds ... Read More
Enchantment of the Seas 5 day cruise 09 11 2006 to 09 16 2006 Cruise Experience over 22 cruises Embarkation Instead of sending us the Immigration form for the Bahamas so we could fill it out before we got to the port, they had hundreds of people sitting everywhere trying to fill out the forms, this isn't too smart of them. Food One of the main reason people cruise is the food and it is a real hit or miss on this ship. On only the formal night was the food excellent and on lobster night it was good. But on the other 3 nights the food was barely ok. Lunch was the exact same thing everyday in the dining room and buffet, which is ridiculous, I have never seen that on a ship before, the same exact food everyday. Don't take this cruise if you like good food. Dining room service Excellent, as to be expected. I think almost every ship these days has excellent service in the dining room, except for Carnival. Room steward This was the second worst room steward we have ever had in over 20 cruises, the worst was on Celebrity which is also owned by Royal Caribbean. The day we got on the ship our room wasn't ready until 3 pm. Then, on the day we went to the private island we left a note on our door to do our room. When we got back at 4 pm the room still wasn't done. I also sent a shirt out to be cleaned and it was supposed to be back by 5 pm the next day. At 5 30 pm no shirt, had to call them to get it delivered at 6 pm. Service In the buffet the service was excellent, they would also get your drink for you. The customer service desk always had a long line, so they really didn't care much about customer service. Overall, the customer service on the whole ship was ok, but much better than Celebrity. Shows They had the worst singers, comedians and shows I have ever see. They would sing a popular song, but no one had any idea which song it was because the singer was so bad. The shows were a real waste of time. They should just do away with the shows on this ship and just have the stupid art auction all the time. The art auction would take over the whole ship everytime they did it, and only about 20 people were interested each time. Activities I would say for a large ship, they were very few activities. On the NCL ships, they have at least 3 times the activities of this ship. Keep that in mind if you like to do things. Spa Royal Caribbean is all about money. In the remodeling of this ship they took out all the free steam baths and now you have to pay if you want one, that's so stupid. Private Island They have the most beautiful and largest private island I have ever seen, with real houses. The beach was a mile long with so many chairs, that only about 20 percent was being used. Compared to NCL private island, where the beach was only about 200 ft and everyone was fighting to get a chair and it was so crowded. Captain Normally I don't mention the captain of the ship, because they just do what they do.. But this captain was very straight forward and honest about everything. He is also the funniest captain we have ever seen. They should put him in the show. Cruise Director Again, normally I don't mention the cruise director, because they just do what they are supposed to do. But, this was the absolutely worst cruise director I have ever seen. He would tell jokes and no one out of 1,000 people would laugh, he was that bad. They must have gotten him the same place they got the comedians. Ship Design Even though this ship has been around 8 years now, the design is excellent. It doesn't have the mall the newer royal caribbean ships have, but the atrium is very nice. The 2 story dining room is also very nice. The ship design is much better than even the new NCL ships. The whole ship looked brand new except for the carpet which needs to be replaced on the whole ship. Also, they have a very nice band playing in the atrium almost everynight, but they are so stupid they put them in the smoking section. Now, on a ship do you have more smokers or non smokers. Of course you have much more non smokers, so why put the band there. Also, this ship definitely has some water problems. On the first day of the cruise, the water in everyone's room was totally yellow and many times there was no water. I know people that took this cruise 2 years ago and they had the same problem then also. Disembarkation Took a very long time, we had the longest wait on this ship, longer than on any other ship before. Overall Despite all these things, we did have a nice time on this cruise, as we always do. But, you can see that Royal Caribbean really doesn't care about customer service especially at the bar or in the room. They also really don't care about the food you eat or the water you drink. Read Less
Sail Date September 2006
This was our seventh cruise with RCCL and we had a blast despite some of our issues with the cruise. We arrived a day earlier and stayed at the Holiday Inn Express Port and Sea. We had read some negative reviews about it but it was great ... Read More
This was our seventh cruise with RCCL and we had a blast despite some of our issues with the cruise. We arrived a day earlier and stayed at the Holiday Inn Express Port and Sea. We had read some negative reviews about it but it was great and super clean. We took their shuttle to the port and got their around 12:15pm. There were no lines and since we are platinum members and had a suite we went to the priority line. We were checked in and on our way in 5 minutes. Upon entrance to the ship we were directed to the Adventure Ocean staff as we had our two boys with us, ages 7 and 8 and told where to go for lunch. My first impression of the Windjammer was what a mess. There are endless lines and people cutting in front of you. They really need to do something as it was way to hectic. The seating was also an issue. We then went to check out our cabin. It was a nice size with plenty of storage space as well as a bathtub. It was rather outdated and there was a musty smell outside our door in the hallway. However, James, our cabin steward was great. The pool area was a mess as it was spring break and the chair hogs were at it. Also, they really need to enforce the smoking policy as there was not a place on the pool deck to get away from it. I usually don't complain but this was something that was not acceptable as they were even smoking around the children's splash pool, which by the way was hardly ever on. Food was okay. We ate in Chops one night and it was worth the $20.00 each. The food is sometimes bland in the dining room and the lobster was soggy. In Jamaica we went to Shaw Beach. It was nice but not great by any means. It was very rocky and there was a nude beach right next door. In Grand Cayman we did the snorkel and stingray tour. This was a blast and the water was beautiful. The shows are not the best and most of them are pretty boring. We did love the Quest though. They really need to have some todays hits music going on and not have to start at midnight. The solarium pool was nice and quiet but think they should allow children in at night at it is sometimes to windy on the open deck pool and the solarium pool was empty most nights. The kids loved Adventure Ocean and that is one of the reasons we only sail on RCCL. We have been on Carnival and were not impressed at all. Overall, we had a nice time but they need to really update the whole ship not just bits and pieces. Read Less
Sail Date March 2006
Royal Caribbean  Enchantment of the Seas 5 Night Cruise (Dec. 10  15, 2005) Ports of Call: Ocho Rios, Jamaica and George Town, Grand Cayman Oceanview stateroom: 2092 BACKGROUND -- This was our first cruise. My husband is 49 and I am ... Read More
Royal Caribbean  Enchantment of the Seas 5 Night Cruise (Dec. 10  15, 2005) Ports of Call: Ocho Rios, Jamaica and George Town, Grand Cayman Oceanview stateroom: 2092 BACKGROUND -- This was our first cruise. My husband is 49 and I am 46. We live in St. Louis and travel extensively. Our goals in selecting this trip were 1) find out if we like cruising and 2) relaxation. We booked the cruise directly through the Royal Caribbean web site. DAY BEFORE THE CRUISE -- We arrived in Fort Lauderdale the day before the cruise. We stayed at the Embassy Suites hotel, which is about 2 miles from the Ft. Lauderdale/Hollywood Airport. The rooms on the top floors are being renovated (hopefully they will include a more soothing and coordinated palate). Our room was clean and comfortable. We were on the 9th floor with a window that overlooked Port Everglades and our ship. Skip the evening happy hour unless you just want something simple like a beer. Plastic cups. . . Stale popcorn. . . But dont skip the breakfast, its the most important meal of the day and best of all it is included in the price of the room. There was a large selection of offerings including made-to-order omelets. The hotels location is great; the front desk people were courteous and helpful. There are a couple of grocery and liquor stores within walking distance. There is an Outback and Chucks steakhouse just a few doors away. CRUISE DAY ONE -- We arrived at Port Everglades (about 1.5 miles from the hotel) around noon. We were greeted by a baggage handler who said they were responsible for our luggage from the curb to the ship. . . and that a tip was not required but would be appreciated. For some reason there are signs posted stating that tipping is not required. Inside the terminal and with our signed Sail Pass and passport in hand, we were able to breeze right through the embarkation process. Once onboard the ship we were told our room would be available at 1:00 p.m. We went to our floor to see if we might be able to get in earlier but found the hallway doors closed. We appreciated their tight turnaround requirements and didnt want to impede their progress. Magically at 1:00 p.m. the doors opened and we were free to find our room. (One note: The ocean view staterooms on the 2nd floor actually consist of 2 windows that together appear to be slightly smaller than the stateroom single windows on Levels 3 and 4. It wasnt a big difference.) After reading positive reviews of the Chops Grille, we called and made a reservation from our stateroom. Chops is an additional $20/person and worth every cent. We enquired which night the My Fair Lady dining room would be featuring steak. Reviews of the steaks were not very impressive so that would be the night wed try Chops. (Unfortunately, steak night turned out to be the second night, which also was formal night and the night to meet the captain.) After making our reservation we headed to the Windjammer for lunch (open the first day from noon till 4:00 p.m.). The muster drill took place promptly at 4:30 p.m. and of course all passengers must participate. The muster drill lasted about 20 minutes. Afterwards we returned to our room to discover we had been reunited with our bags. We unpacked and explored the ship. Our cabin steward introduced himself and we found him to be helpful, personable and available when we had questions. We sent shirts to be laundered. The charge was $3 per shirt and they were back the following day. The Viking Crown lounge on deck 11 is a great place to be as the ship departs. Youll have a birds eye view of everyone on deck, the high rises, sunset, etc. CRUISE DAY TWO  At Sea -- We signed up for a wine appreciation class in the afternoon. For $10 they provided 3 white wines, 3 red wines and champagne along with grapes, cheese and crackers. The commentary while entertaining was not 100% accurate. If you are a wine snob, just enjoy the wine and laugh (silently) at the commentary. The ship offers several levels of a Wine and Dine package that includes several bottles of various wines that will be available in the dinning room. Be sure to look the package over carefully as most of the selections on the cheapest Gold Package are also available on the highest price Platinum Package. You will also find that the wine list (including the Reserve list) is limited with wines in the $22 to $28 range being a bargain. Wines above $35 dollars are overpriced as quality and taste ratings are comparable to those in the $25 range. Also, the ship lacks a sommelier. They used to have them (and we were told they sold more wine when they did) but some time back this ship did away with them. Our dinner reservation for Chops Grille was at 7:00. It is a handsome room with dark woods and rich fabrics. It appeared to be about half full. The experience was akin to Mortons of Chicago (one of our favorites). Youll find a choice of several cuts of meat with a token salmon or chicken. For appetizers we tried the crab cakes and portabella mushrooms. Our dinner guests ordered French onion soup and Caesar salad. We all enjoyed sumptuous filet mignon along with creamed spinach, asparagus, and baked potato. We are still talking about their take on a Mississippi mud pie. Awesome. On the downside, they lacked decent wine glasses (they were more of a one-size-fits-all type). Overall, the experience was very enjoyable and highly recommended. If you are Cigar aficionado, like my husband (the wine snob), and like to follow an exceptional meal with a good cigar, this ship may not be for you. The only lounge where cigar smoking is permitted is the Viking Crown lounge and only between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 1:00 a.m. He was told he could smoke on the deck but the high winds made that impossible. You will also find that the Viking Crown lounge is a disco at night and they play a good deal of LOUD rap / hip-hop music. So for all you cigar smokers out there, be warned. We enquired about other options for people with an appreciation of wine and cigars. Royal Caribbean Voyager Class ships have a wine bar called Vintages and I think the Connoisseur Club for cigar smokers. Otherwise wed have to look to a Celebrity ship for those kinds of amenities. We spoke with a representative in the Crown & Anchor Society who said, cigar smokers are being squeezed out. That night as we returned to the 2nd Level and headed for our cabin, we could smell the dreaded odor of backed up plumbing. Wed read that this is common on some ships. It was not as strong in our room where we spayed some Febreeze, and by morning it was gone. CRUISE DAY THREE  Ocho Rios, Jamaica -- I strongly recommend checking in advance to see how many ships will be in each of your ports of call (http://www.cruisecal.com/dnn/). Enchantment of the Seas was the only ship in Ocho Rios that day. Cant say that I remember what time we got into port. With no excursions planned, we took our time disembarking and headed to Island Village just a few blocks from the pier. There was lots of hassling once we left the confines of the pier. The locals are eager to offer an array of services and dont take no for an answer. DO NOT GO ASHORE ALONE. (That evening we heard a story about a couple from our ship that were talked into following a local to see the island. He led them down an alleyway where fortunately, the police showed up and chased the guy away. My guess is that the couple was spared a bad experience.) Police kept local street hustlers way once we entered the shopping area. We didnt feel compelled to go into a many shops. We tried Rum, Roast, and Royals and I bought a Tortuga rum cake, guava jelly and Blue Mountain coffee. My husband (the wine and cigar snob and former detective) checked out the cigars and recognized the counterfeit Cubans. There is a very small beach by the shops but it didnt look inviting. There were people offering, among other things, to braid your hair or give you a massage. CRUISE DAY FOUR  George Town, Grand Cayman -- Love the island; but didnt like the idea of being ferried to the island by a tender (boarding one of the tenders can be hazardous). It definitely took more time to step onto the island due to loading and unloading of the tender ships. It took an hour to leave the ship and make it to the shore from start to finish.. . and we left after the rush. Our goal this day was a little sunning and shopping. Unfortunately, there were four other ships in port making the city very crowded. We heard that the beach at the Westin hotel on Seven Mile Beach is a good bet if you want to get away from all the people. The Westin is the northern most hotel along that stretch of the island and its right next to the Governors house. We hopped on a mini bus with a bunch of people. The driver suggested a couple of places to spend a day at the beach. But we knew we would only stay a couple hours so we opted to go a little further up the road to the Westin. He said, Oh, youve been here before. I said, No, I just read a lot. :o) The good news is that it was still only $5/person due to set rates. Plan on traffic being heavy so allow twice as much time to get back to the ship if youll be returning later in the afternoon. As you are standing on the street looking at the Westin, walk to the right of the hotel and soon you will see the beach (the spa entrance will be on your right and the Governors house will be to the right of that). We brought our beach towels from the ship so we wouldnt have to use the hotels lounge chairs. There was a little shade by the hotel, but not a lot. There were hardly any people around. We could see the ships in the distance. The sand is soft and the waves are gentle. It was about lunchtime so we went to the pool and had lunch. It was pricey but the beautiful surroundings are worth it. We each had a cocktail and sandwich and the bill with tip came to around $50 US. We took a cab from the hotel back to the ship and I think it was around $6 or $7 per person. We found the people in Grand Cayman to be warm, welcoming and honest. It reminded us of Bermuda. Shopping in George Town looked interesting but way too crowded. The sidewalks were overflowing with tourists. We did our homework ahead of time and knew we wanted to check out a cigar store called La Casa del Habano. (They have 92 franchise locations around the world but none in the US.) It was a miracle we found it. It is located on the waterfront in the center of the two cruise ship piers. The narrow entrance is set back off the street by about 20 off of the sidewalk. The shop is very small but very nice. The people are knowledgeable and its the real deal if you are a cigar snob (like my husband). Youll want to be sure to get their contact information for future purchases. We were careful to catch an early tender back to the ship. Later we learned of at least three passengers who were injured that day in the tendering process. Even though it looked to be a calm day, once you got on the stairs to the tender you could see that it was bouncing up and down, and on and off of the ship. All could see that it can be challenging to navigate, especially for elderly, infants, overweight or handicapped (including wheelchair bound) passengers. And yet it didnt cross the minds of some of these people that this could be dangerous. Although the ship appeared to be allowing all passengers to board the tenders, they didnt offer much in the way of adequate help. Its probably hard to sue a cruise line, but does that mean they dont have to make a good faith effort safeguard their passengers? (A good start would be providing more than one staff member to help people on and off the tender.) That evening was lobster night. The lobster tails were small so we ordered a second. We heard of someone who once ordered 14! We enjoyed the Big Band dance music with the Enchantment of the Seas Orchestra in Boleros lounge from 10:00 to midnight. Too bad it was just the one evening. CRUISE DAY FIVE  At Sea -- Caught the first half of the Polar Express movie in the Spotlight lounge and then attempted a Salsa dance lesson in the Boleros lounge. Unfortunately it was way too crowded on the dance floor. The person providing the lesson was a dancer, not an instructor, so it became more frustrating than informative. Tipping  If you elect to charge your tips to your account, they will be charged at the recommended rate. If you wish, you can tip with cash in the designated envelopes. We were pleased with our service and did both by electing to charge the recommended rate to our account and added a little extra cash to the designated envelopes for those who provided exceptional service. DAY 6  Disembarkation We requested the Travel Lite option for disembarkation. If you are willing and able to carry all of your own bags without assistance, you qualify. We were told this alternative is limited to a certain number of passengers so you will need to turn in your form indicating your preference as soon as possible. We needed to be out of our room by 8:30 a.m., so by rising early we still had time to have one more breakfast in the dining room. After breakfast we returned to our stateroom, gathered our luggage and went to a common area to wait to be called. Passengers with white tags were called first. Then they announced Travel Lite passengers. We proceeded to the designated area and got in line to leave the ship (remember to have your sea pass handy so it can we swiped on your way out). Once in the port, things moved pretty quickly. We showed our passports to an Immigrations officer and then breezed through Customs. People offering cab rides were plentiful. We shared a mini van with other people from our ship and the cost was $7 per person. We were at the airport in no time. OVERALL IMPRESSIONS Our general impression of the ship is very good. No obvious signs of wear and tear. The layout is easy to navigate. Our room, while small, was comfortable. Having an Ocean view cabin helped. We were close to the middle of the ship but did not get one of the rooms in the new section. Our bed was not lumpy, as I had read in some other reviews. It was quiet, too. We never heard our neighbors. We did not experience motion sickness. We took Bonine the first day and realized we really didnt need it. While on the ship we didnt use the casino or attend shows. We did catch parts of the Love and Marriage Game Show on the TV in our room. We had no interest in the art auctions. We watched a little rock climbing but never saw the bungee trampoline open. Not many children on board this trip. Didnt use the gym  too cramped and crowded, or the spa (but would try it next time). As you can tell, we really didnt push ourselves :o) but we got what we came for: a taste of what cruising has to offer and a lot of relaxation. Royal Caribbean has been in the news this past year or so regarding their security practices. We noticed the absence of a peephole in our cabin door. We could not detect surveillance cameras in hallways or other common areas (except perhaps in the casino). We brought on board with us all the makings for martinis along with a 6 pack of bottled water, but once on board we found the drink prices to be reasonable. (Wed still bring the water though.) We ate most breakfasts and dinners in the My Fair Lady dining room because the quality of the food was better than in the Windjammer (where the quality ranged from great on some items to poor on others). We were surprised that food availability in general had limits. Youll want to know that on days out at sea you cannot get breakfast until 7:30 in the Windjammer and 8:00 in the dining room. Room service would be an option but the earliest you can get that is it 7:00. Lunch is not available until noon. On days in port they move breakfast up by thirty minutes (7:00 in the Windjammer and 7:30 in the dining room). Again, no lunch till noon. People were always standing in line for the doors to open whether it be for breakfast, lunch or afternoon snacks at 3:30. Dining attire in general was casual, but more upscale main dinning room, was much more casual than we expected. There was a sign affixed to the doors to the dining room stating the dress code (no hats, shorts, etc), but it was hard to read and was obviously ignored by many. With other options available to passengers, it was hard to understand why some people felt compelled to disregard this polite request. Based on past reviews, Service was consistently rated highest over all other categories, so our expectations were relatively high. Overall service was very good. Our cabin steward made a point to call us by name. We felt let down by our service the first night in the dining room. Afterwards, when our waiter asked if we liked our dinner, we were silent for a moment and looked at each other. Then we shared with him that we felt they had dropped the ball on the service. We had expected hovering and we felt more like an afterthought. Subsequent dining room experiences were vastly improved. The wait staff re-doubled their efforts and we shared with them how much we appreciated it. My husband is taking on-line college courses and required Internet access. He has a wireless card in his laptop, which saved him $10/day. It wont work in your room but the ship has six hot spot areas, one of which is in the Library where he did a lot of his work. The nominal charge for Royal Caribbean Online was 50 cents a minute. He ended up buying a $50 and another $25 block of time and I think it broke down to 33 cents/minute. He reported that the access is SLOW and added that if they cant increase the speed they should decrease the price. There is also a frequent problem logging off. If this happens to you, notify guest relations right away so they can credit your account. Demographics  We seemed to be in the middle. Some people were younger and some were older. It was predominately couples. (One family was celebrating their parents 60th wedding anniversary.) Very few children onboard. We saw both active types taking advantage of the activities and excursions (just as portrayed in the RCCL ads), as well as heavyset people loading up multiple plates in the Windjammer. Economically speaking the group was middle class. Mostly Americans. Again, a very casual group. In summary, we loved our experience. The good outweighed the not so good. We liked being able to do as much or as little as we wanted, depending on our mood that day. Our experience was enriched by many of the people we met. In the future we might look for something with a little less party atmosphere and just a few more amenities. The ship was a good size (2400 passengers) and the length of the cruise (5 night) fit our schedules. We are looking forward to booking our next cruise. Read Less
Sail Date December 2005
Good food, great service, good entertainment, ship very clean, and i did not find embarking and disembarking lines to be too long at all. Tips: try not to get sucked into the frequent bingo games on board unless you've brought a ... Read More
Good food, great service, good entertainment, ship very clean, and i did not find embarking and disembarking lines to be too long at all. Tips: try not to get sucked into the frequent bingo games on board unless you've brought a lot of extra money or are incredibly lucky. while fun, these games can quickly become addictive and lose you 100 bucks or so. if you visit Cozumel, do not attempt any serious shopping unless you are prepared to be heckled by hair-braiders and jewelry sellers. If you visit the store Los Cinco Soles, i would advise you to employ the buddy system at all times. While it is a good store to find souvenirs, its 2 million employees follow you constantly, with big "please-buy-our-merchandise" smiles on their faces. a bit like something out of the "Twilight Zone". chanaakab beach in cozumel is an excellent place to snorkel and helmet dive. the helmet diver guys were very friendly and helpful and the water was incredibly clear, and you get to see a lot of coral and fish. key west may be one of the MOST AWESOME PLACES IN THE WORLD, however, it seemed that very few stores and attractions open before 9 am or so. this town is almost deserted during early-morning hours, which i found pretty cool but you might not agree. trolley tour = good way to see key west if you only have a few hours to spend there. i also visited the shipwreck museum, which was very interesting and offers probably the best view of key west from it's tower. if u have kids, i recommend checking out the store Del Sol, which is on both key west and cozumel. they specialize in selling everything from t-shirts to nail polish and frisbees, all of which change color once exposed to the sun. A+!! Read Less
Sail Date February 2004
Enchantment of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.0
Dining 4.5 4.0
Entertainment 3.0 3.9
Public Rooms 4.0 4.2
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.8
Family 4.0 3.8
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.9
Enrichment 3.0 3.6
Service 4.0 4.4
Value For Money 4.0 4.0
Rates 4.0 4.2

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