We’ve been quite “Loyal to Royal” for some time with a few “outside” cruises over several decades. Our next cruise is booked for April, but because we had a November business conference in Orlando, we decided to start with a short cruise to the Bahamas from Port Canaveral. What a disappointment...
It wasn’t the size of the ship- we actually prefer smaller, more traditional vessels (ie Navigator) over mega ships (ie Allure). But this was a MESS! From the condition of the ship to the kind staff who simply didn’t seem to understand quality standards, this was by far our worst cruise experience.
We were in a “Superior” Balcony room that was supposed to be a little larger than standard, but it was FAR from “superior.” We’ve had this type cabin before, and they were comfortable enough, but not on Enchantment. Hindsight tells us we should have gone to the hotel director (or whatever they’re called) for assistance, but a) we knew the ship was full and b) we were trying to convince ourselves everything was ok. Not recommended! If you’re miserable, you should let someone know. There were literally chunks missing from the walls, scratches, dings, peeling wallpaper, a drawer that fell out when opened, a sagging bed, rust and mold spots in the bathroom, and burned or dark stains on the sofa fabric. These issues only scratch the surface. We asked our steward for extra bed padding which we recited, and it did help, but it was still miserable. I don’t know why some cabins have the bed placed close to the door vs the balcony, but ours was like this, and we had about 2 feet maximum between the foot of the bed and the wall to navigate around in order to access the sitting area, dressing area and balcony. I’d had a knee procedure a few months ago, and I’m a small person, but wrenching my body around that space wrenched my knee into a state of pain worse than before the procedure.
While not the best or friendliest, he met our needs and was decent enough. Maybe we’ve been spoiled in the past, but he just didn’t meet standards of what we’ve come to expect from RC.
Other than a birthday dinner at Chef’s Table (which was quite nice, with a small, very eclectic group whom we really enjoyed), we had dinner at the same table every night in the MDR. The food was ok, but we don’t expect “outstanding” meals when cruising, even with specialty dining. We had the same mait’re de, head waiter and waiter every night, and they provided reliable and personalized service which was greatly appreciated, and so we “recognized” them our last night. But what a huge disappointment when afterwards they actually “solicited” us by asking for “good reviews with our names mentioned.” If you know RC, or perhaps all cruise lines, you know this is a grande faux pas, “NO NO.” In fact, we didn’t complete the RC post-cruise survey because we were concerned about possibly jeopardizing the jobs of people who sincerely worked very hard, awkward though they were.
A lot of action on this sailing was in the casino, noticed when we passed through on the way to other venues. You expect casinos to be smoky, but this one needs help with ventilation. Had we wanted to gamble, there’s no way we could stay and play. Enchantment’s main entertainment takes place in the multi level, glass balconied Centrum where guests dance and sing the evening away with the performers. Of course the spirit of fun always includes disco 70s night, but these performers soooo over did it (we’re talking MAJOR bump/grind/grab self) that we were creeped out and left. We then tried reliable spots like the Schooner Bar and Bolero’s, but there we encountered some public coupling that was just a little too intimate for our comfort zone, and we’re no “prudes.” We believe we later saw some of these guests in the performance crew?
We usually spend a lot of time on sea days around the pools and enjoy the music and dancing, but the volume or acoustics were just excessive on Enchantment. We went to the solarium pool and found it a little more tolerable, but not quite as clean as what you normally see on RC.
Having been to Nassau several times and loving Pearl Island, we tried a different RC excursion to Blue Lagoon and LOVED it. We chose the VIP version which included a beach section for adults only, a barbecue lunch, welcome drinks and OUTSTANDING service, making us finally feel we were on vacation. We spent $45 extra for a beach bed cabana, and it was DEFINITELY worth it! The water was calm, clear, and truly Bahamian Blue. GORGEOUS! On the other hand, compared to RC’s other private beaches on Labadee, Coco Cay was extremely lackluster and dull. My husband has had a 30 year career in the water park industry, so we weren’t looking for slides, inflatables, zip lines or pools, but the beach itself is just featureless. It’s no wonder RC is choosing to enhance it with a water park. Had it been open, we would still have chosen a beach clamshell rental only, but we did hear others complain about multiple delays on opening the new water park. (Note- park opening delays are standard).
I’m very sorry to say this was the best part of our “Enchanted” cruise. RC has embarkation down to precise science, and departure was organized and stress free. Unfortunately, this was the first, and hopefully ONLY time we were glad to de board!
I wish we weren’t so negative, but we feel compelled to share our experience and perspective. Having sailed with RC many times, we’re certain others will have a much better cruise, and we’re sure our upcoming April cruise will be more similar to what we’ve experienced in the past. Maybe there are just times for some of us when things aren’t quite a match, or the experience just isn’t the same as before.
How sad to save our greatest compliments for embarking and departure.
Clam shell loungers are on a beach receiving full direct sun. You can tilt the shade “shell” front or back to get shade, but blocking the sun means you’re looking at blue fabric and not the ocean. What would be the purpose? We knew the Coco Cay water park wouldn’t be open yet, and that was certainly ok as we wouldn’t have visited it anyway. But the beach, water and vegetation (minimal, small palms) are just not that appealing. There are MUCH better beaches in the Bahamas (Blue Lagoon, Pearl Island), and the other RC private beach, Labadee, puts this one to shame. Yes, that is a personal opinion- we just happen to prefer unique geographical features like hills and full vegetation. Most reviewers love Coco Cay, so it’s “just us” - it doesn’t suit us well or match our taste.View All undefined undefined Reviews