3 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
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 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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