Enchantment of the Seas Cruise Review by Jan Nelson
- Sail Date: April 2005
- Destination: Western Caribbean
Just hours after leaving the Ft. Lauderdale docks, April 16th, on Royal Caribbean's Enchantment of the Seas, the captain announced that we would be arriving late into Jamaica due to a cruising speed of less than 25 knots caused by a "head wind" — when in fact, a Nor'easter was blowing. Our late Jamaican arrival caused a late departure in order to insure completion of land tours, and when we finally left the dock, the captain announced that due to engine problems we would not continue the second half of the cruise to Grand Cayman, but instead must immediately retrace our route back to Ft. Lauderdale because it would take 2 1/2 days at our slower pace to do so, and that he regretted any inconvenience ......and then insulated himself from further questions or explanations to the couple meeting their family & friends for their wedding that didn't happen in Grand Cayman.... to the couple who had been saving for years for a combined 50th wedding anniversary and 70th birthday celebration in Grand Cayman.... to the couple who can no longer fly and hoped to see their daughter and their grandchild for the first time in the Caymans, and may not live long enough for another chance.... to the award winning choir who raised their own passage, stayed to sing for the crew until noon, and never even got the chance to buy an island souvenir, let alone see Stingray City...
to all the families who will be paying for "the vacation of their dreams" that didn't happen, for months to come — in addition to the cost incurred just trying to keep everyone busy and happy while captive on a ship whose very prices for a simple bottle of water are outrageous…. etc., etc., etc.,…
Our captain, who "regrets any inconvenience"……sent a letter giving a paltry and insulting "gesture of goodwill" — i.e., an onboard credit of $37.50 for a $1200 ticket — a cost easily covered many times over by the Royal Caribbean, simply by the fuel they saved, while they made thousands in their casino and shops from the same captive audience they had already exploited, who now had nowhere else to purchase souvenirs or anything else.
It goes on and on — the equipment that did not function properly, if at all, in the spa, work out room, etc., the uncomfortable 15+ year old 3 inch box springs — no mattress — "bed" in suites, docking in Ft Lauderdale near midnight which meant closing the casino early giving nothing else to do but go back to one's cubicle and listen to/feel alternately, the engines roar for twenty minutes and then silence for twenty minutes all night long while the mechanic finally worked on them, in order to have them running properly — at our expense once again — for the next scheduled cruise...etc., etc., etc… Unfortunately, the hopes of over two thousand passengers who left for this "dream" cruise of April 16th were callously "aborted" even as we left the original dock ….. because, obviously, having left the dock, the fine print states, the company can change ports of call for any reason — regardless of their promises to us, their clients. So, rather than incur the expense of canceling, or of flying a mechanic and part to Jamaica — and there was time to do this — we, our money, and our dreams became the sacrificial lambs. Well, as the saying goes, "Once fooled, shame on you, twice fooled, shame on me"…
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