Got off the Enchantment of the Seas a few hours ago and we wanted to give our review while it was fresh, so here is the GOOD and the BAD. We are first time cruisers and we were told to keep our expectations very low, which we did, and it did help a lot.
The GOOD = The Ship itself - Yes, it is small and old, but it is well maintained. The Enchantment of the Seas was fine, plenty big enough, plenty of things to do. We could find a little rust here and there on exposed decks if we really looked, but it served us just fine on this short cruise.
Cabin #3526 - Outside stateroom with no balcony, but had a larger than expected, very clean, clear window. Cabin was very nice and was also larger than expected. Plenty of room in the drawers for storage, lots of hangers in the closet. A very clean, quiet room and was free of any bad odors throughout the entire cruise.
Activities Staff - Very positive attitudes and high energy levels were maintained throughout the entire cruise. Thank you to all for all of the fun.
Service staff - Our first night we ate in Chops and we really enjoyed Clinton. (Food here was outstanding) On the other two nights we chose the MY TIME DINING and enjoyed eating at our same little "two top" table being served by Joao and Rosette who were very nice and very accommodating. I am in sales and am not great with names, but these two always called us by our names, Rosette even remembered our names when we saw her daily at the entrance to the Windjammer dining room.
Sandra our cabin steward was awesome, thank you to her for keeping our room spotless.
Coco Cay - We were on the first tender over and we hiked the Nature Trail to the other end of the island, enjoying the scenery at the different remote lookouts. We also hiked a smidge further than the end of the trail to a great rocky outcropping and enjoyed watching the waves splash up, like it was Hawaii.
We brought our own snorkels and masks and rented vest and fins and did a lot of snorkeling off of Snorkel Beach. Enjoyed the sea life (so many fish, big and small) and the planted wrecks were very fun to explore.
Embarkation and Disembarkation were fairly fast and painless.
Food for the most part was good to excellent, especially excellent at Chops.
Large buffets in the Windjammer had lots of choices. If we did not like something, we just did not eat it and got something else. We are very early risers and we were ready to eat when the doors flew open.
Nassau - We self- booked a private 3 hour taxi tour with Cheryl's Taxi Service and drinks were included. We hit all the main spots we wanted to and went around a good portion of the island, had a blast. Thank you to our local guide Kamuel (Cameo) Delancey.
Now ~ THE BAD - In our eyes. Your experience and perception may be quite different. If you are squeamish or very thin skinned, please stop here, because I am going to lay some bad on you and I do not want to upset you, or hurt your feelings, or even stop you from future RCI cruising. Even with the bad, we would probably sail with RCI again.
Food temps - Major problem here, a couple times on the Windjammer buffets (even at the doors first opening), some of the food temps were very sub par and a little scary. Maybe the staff was hoping that the steam tables would get the temps up into a safe range as time passed, we were not sure. But, when the doors open and people flood in, the food should have been hot, or at least in the safe range to eat. It just was not the case. We would not eat that item, and would just go back up for something else that was hot enough to eat. Lasagna was served to me in the My Fair Lady, barely warm. Scary.
Coco Cay - Same thing, food that was to be served hot, was probably brought off the ship and laid out by 3-4 people (a very time consuming process) and by the time they opened the lines for serving, the food was ice cold.
RCI really needs to look at these food serving processes, and we will certainly be mentioning it to them. Quality of the food served to keep their cruise costs down is one thing, but temperature of the food being served is a whole different thing.
Bar Staff - We had about 200 college kids on this sailing as a fraternity was having their semi annual gathering, so we did not spend a ton of time in the bar areas, but we did go dancing and had a few drinks in different areas.
Had a trouble getting a Whiskey Sour made correctly. It is a super easy drink to make - usually just sour mix and Canadian whiskey, which was baffling when we sent so many back, made with the wrong mixer, made with the wrong whiskey, etc., etc.
We asked for a copy of our drink receipts at the bars to keep for our records, so we could reconcile our ship's bill at the end, some were gladly given to us, we were denied receipts in the Viking Crown Lounge. Not sure why, but the bar tender went with the language barrier problem and he could not understand what we wanted, and would not give us receipts. Even after signing the receipt and holding it up and asking for a copy of this. Strange? We did not opt for the full drink package, just the Royal Replenish, which was great for us, as we did bring one bottle of wine and one bottle of champagne. We opted for prepaid gratuities and still tipped the staff with dollars who were helpful and pleasant. Our bill was correct at the end, so no issue with charges we did not know about.
In the Viking Crown lounge, the guys dressed in white jackets who we assume were servers, but would not pay a bit of attention to us. This will sound bitter, but sorry, it is the truth. However, the female college students did get all of their attention. We always had to go wait in line at the bar to get a drink. Some of these younger female patrons, whom were obviously very inebriated, got the deluxe royal treatment including several deliveries of FREE drinks that they did not even order, never signed a receipt for, never even showed a Sea Pass for. When the servers delivered them, he had to explain to them what type of drink he was serving them and that it was on him ~ or probably more likely, the RCI house. Was all a lot of fun to watch until one started throwing up in the corner on the carpet and then the server's master plan turned into a necessary evacuation of the group out of the lounge plan.
Uncovered coughing and sneezing by staff members. Several times we witnessed different types of staff members coughing or sneezing (sometimes several in a row) without covering their mouths, at all. This was done by restaurant staff as well as general cleaning staff, even guys whom appeared to have some authority with their nice uniforms while walking around. Nothing like walking into a cloud of freshly released mist. RCI really needs to train better on this procedure. RCI does have convenient sanitizing stations all around, it would have been nice to see these sneezers properly cover their mouths and sanitize, or go wash up and then come back to their jobs. Not the case.
Hope you liked our review.
Cabin was very quiet (I sleep very, very lightly) and we had no problems with ship noise or noise from our neighbors, which we never heard at all.
Cabin was kept very clean for us by our cabin steward Sandra, who was a really sweet person and did make us some cool towel critters at bed turn down on a couple nights.
Excellent. We are glad we did rent scooters or UTV's to do a self tour, crazy drivers and we did see cruisers have wrecks.
Over early on first tender, walked the nature trail past the end.
Snorkeled - a bunch. Beautiful.
We were told on the ship by RCI staff to not take towels, that they would be provided on shore - NOT TRUE! Take a towel and bring it back. Wendall at the Coco cay private cabanas was very kind to loan us two that we returned to him.
Food was served cold, even though the signs on the serving stations said "Hot off the Grill", they meant four hours ago.
Ez-Pz parking and embarkation.