I just returned from my very first cruise with my husband of 3 years and another couple. We went on Enchantment of the Seas by RCCL for a five day cruise to Key West and Cozumel and I have to say I am more than impressed! Here is an ... Read More
I just returned from my very first cruise with my husband of 3 years and another couple. We went on Enchantment of the Seas by RCCL for a five day cruise to Key West and Cozumel and I have to say I am more than impressed! Here is an overview of each part of our cruise: Port Lauderdale, Florida: The port was very efficient and clean. There was a man waiting to take our luggage and we arrived at 11:15 so we were some of the first to go through the lines. Passport checks were quick, sea pass registration took all of 15 minutes including getting our picture taken. The only unnerving part was the metal detector because one in our group kept buzzing and the officer there was very rude. Turns out it was just her sunglasses. We were welcomed on board, ate lunch and looked at our compass, then were able to check into our room at 1:00pm. Room: Our room was on deck seven, about midway down the hall on the interior side. The suites were also on this level. It is cozy to say the least, plenty big enough for two people. Our beds were already pushed together per our request and stocked with towels and ice. The vanity was big enough for all of my hair and makeup things and we had a big enough closet with plenty of hangers to hang up our clothes. I especially liked all of the drawers available in the closet for clothes. The bathroom was small, shower even smaller with very little hot water out to sea. We always had more than enough towels and toliet paper. Our room also had a chair and side table and small TV with CNN,FOX news, and ESPN international as well as some movie channels though many were not available unless we were in port. Decor is calm, with a few paintings on the wall. Food: Food was wonderful anywhere we went. Breakfast and lunch was always in the Windjammer, which is a very laid back atmosphere. I saw many in beach coverups at various times of the day there. Buffet style for breakfast, with eggs, grits, oatmeal, waffles, etc as well as a fruit and cereal bar and an omlet station, though the line was always very long. Lunch was also buffet style, with salads, pastas, a carving station with some type of meat, hamburgers, hotdogs, and dessert. There was also a sandwich making bar as well. We did eat supper at the Windjammer one night as well and it was asian themed with sushi and stir fry. There was also a wide variety of chicken, hamburgers, and sides that night as well as a dessert bar, which was different each day. My Fair Lady dining room was visited on the first and third night. Our table only sat four, my husband, myself, and the other couple that went with us so there was no awkwardness during dinner. We did link our reservations for dining. The food was well prepared, some portions small so I would recommend ordering two portions if you eat more than one serving. Some of the best food I had was: the vidalia tart, beef shoulder filet, and the cheddar soup. We also ate at the CHOPS Grille our last night and I highly recommend it. Service was wonderful and recommendations were made regarding our food selection. I had: portabella mushrooms and the shrimp/crab cake for app, filet mignon(well)with peppercorn sauce and baked potato for entree, and the mississippi mud cake for dessert all very well prepared. I wish we would have ate there more during our cruise. It is well worth the extra money. I never partaked of the late night snack buffet but I did order room service twice. Once was dessert which was wonderful and the other was breakfast (Note: one portion equals one plate!). Activities: We did participate in a good many of the activities on the ship, circled on our compass every day. Bingo was fun but slightly expensive especially if you want to play more than once. They had Wii tennis tournments every day with prizes, the art auction( I did not do this), dance lessions, shopping bargains on board(we got $10 watches and great deals on alcohol), towel folding demos, ice and food carving demos. We did not go to any of the seminars. We did go to two theater performances, one a broadway style production with singing and dancing and the other being a magician that was not that great. The newlywed show is hilarious and highly recommended. Adult Karoke was fun but not a wide song selection and the adult gameshows are very fun and team oriented. It is a fun way to let loose and really get to know some of your fellow cruise members. Poolside games and the belly flop contest was also very entertaining. Overall, our cruise director and activity staff were wonderful and very entergetic and entertaining. Fun for the late 20, 30ish crowd though we had many 80+ year olds participating too! Facilities: The cruise ship itself was very clean and well run by the staff. There was always someone from the cruise staff available to answer questions or direct you. The elevators were slow at times, which is expected, so we took the open stairs a good bit. The pool deck was always clean and the bar staff was always walking around picking up empty bottles, cups, etc. or taking orders. all of the eating areas were clean as well including the bars and lounges. The only issue I had was the last night of the cruise the pool deck was pretty much off limits because they were cleaning. It closed at 9pm, and you couldn't even enjoy the nice night at sea because of the sound of pressure washers. I wish they would have waited until atleast midnight to start. The casino was laid out nicely with a variety of slot machines in various amounts. They did hold tournaments as well though the line and cashier tended to be long at times and though it was very smoky in the room, they did hold a smoke free night.
Overall, this cruise was wonderful and very entertaining with great food and great atmosphere. Our check in went smoothly and we decided on express departure, where you carry off your luggage so we did not have to sit out our luggage the night before. We got in line at 7:30am, which was already extended outside on up one level. If you have a lot of luggage, small kids, or are unable to stand for periods of time, I do not recommend express. We were held up by customs so we actually didn't start disembarking until 8:00am and had to go down a flight of stairs to get off of the ship. The good thing was that they had staff assisting with luggage down the stairs and had the elevators available if you could catch one. Once we got moving, the whole process took about 15 minutes granted we didn't get randomingly selected to get our bags checked. Read Less