If you like shiny, new things...have to have the newest, released today tech, or car, or whatever...Enchantment might not be for you. That said, it still can be.
Enchantment has been in the water for a little over 20 years. Yes, there are some rust spots. Yes, the decor is of that time. But this ship has a certain character that is not available on many of today's ships - never once did it feel crowded, despite being a fully booked cruise. Never a fight over deck chairs, whether in the main pool area or Solarium. Never a long wait at Windjammer. Never a struggle to get served at any of the bars. In fact, the longest line we encountered was for the early "self-assist" disembarkation, and that didn't take more than 10-15 minutes!
Embarkation at Galveston: Easy. We arrived around 12:00, parked at the Falstaff garage based on reviews here, and were walking through the security line by 12:15-12:30. We had a JS, so we did get to use the shorter line, but either way it was moving smoothly. Once onboard, the signs said our rooms would be ready around 1:30; so, obviously, we headed to the Viking Crown to watch the activities and relax - why not start using the Deluxe Drink Package to welcome ourselves on the ship!
Cabin: JS8650 - roomy, full bath, big closet, lots of drawers, sitting area, nice balcony. Only draw back, likely due to being built in 1997, only a few electrical outlets. We made due, however. This was our first time in a JS, and, this will have to be the standard from now on! The extra room, and the full bath were well worth it. Our cabin steward, Zury, was perfect. Friendly, without being phony, and any time we needed anything he made sure it was taken care of immediately. He was never intrusive, and always made sure we had a beautiful cabin to return to - whether in the middle of the day or in for the evening.
Itinerary: We set sail Friday and the Muster was typical. Friday evening and Saturday were at sea. While Enchantment doesn't have an amusement park onboard like the new ships, as I said above the pools were not overcrowded, the common areas were likewise freely movable and enjoyable, and the entertainment was talented. The band that played in the Centrum was great. Sunday was Costa Maya. We had a reservation at Jamie's Blue Reef. A quick $8 cab ride over, and within minutes we were under our personal palapa, with drinks in hand and food on the way. They were most hospitable. Within a few minutes we were brought a sampler tray of fish tacos, quesadillas, fresh made pico de gallo and guacamole with chips, and some really good onion rings! There were lots of folks coming through the beach wanting to sell various things (typical for any Caribbean beach day) but none were forceful. A simple no thank you, and they moved on. When anyone was interested, they made their sale, and moved on. Jaime's is clean, incredibly accommodating, and I would recommend. I read reviews of Maya Chan, and it sounds amazing as well, but they were booked, and Jaime's was not. We were not disappointed. If we do this trip again, we might try Maya Chan just to see the difference, but I would return to Jaime's easily. Monday was Cozumel. We did the 3-reef snorkel through Royal excursions. It was great. A small boat - I think there were about 10-12 of us - and a crew consisting of the captain, the main guide (Gil) and 2 assistants that aided with equipment and also went into the water to ensure safety. And safety was paramount. No alcohol, no games. Just snorkeling. We went to 3 different areas, and at each, Gil would explain the differences in the reef, the types of sea life we would hopefully encounter, and would get in the water and point out special sightings as he would find them. I would definitely do this excursion again. Tuesday at sea, and Wednesday was return to Galveston for disembarkation.
Main Dining: We had MyTime dinner. On the first night we were seated at a window table with Ludy and Lyssa as our waiter and assistant. They were exceptional. The food was really good. I have read varying comments on food and it seems from ship to ship it varies. We found Enchantment MDR to be a very nice dining experience. As we left dinner the first night we asked the Maitre D' if we could have a standing reservation for each night at the same table with Ludy and Lyssa and he quickly accomodated our request. The braised lamb shank was "fall off the bone" tender; the onion soup was terrific, the sea food vol-au-vent was really special; on one evening I tried the pasta carbonara and it was not up to par so Ludy quickly replaced it with the entree my wife had and it was delicious. On another night the same thing happened in reverse but I can't remember what my wife ordered - again, Ludy quickly replaced and all was perfect. On the first night, we asked for a cheese plate app to share as a starter with our wine as we looked over the menu options. Each night thereafter, as soon as we arrived, a cheese plate was brought out and Lyssa brought our wine order without having to ask. Service!
Snacks: We had a couple of breakfasts in Windjammer and several snacks at Park Cafe in the Solarium. Everything was well prepared and tasty. And, again, the longest line we encountered was maybe 6-8 people waiting for the Park Cafe to open and start serving pizza.
Fitness/Exercise: The fitness room is small, but well stocked with machines for most tastes. We did morning stretch and abs workout class with Gary from 7:00-8:00 each morning, and he also led yoga on 2 days from 8:00-8:30. He was friendly, supportive as a coach, and it was a great way to start the day.
Entertainment: We did not attend any shows. Just not our thing for this cruise. We both just wanted down time. The music in the Centrum was very enjoyable, and on a couple of occasions we sat listening to music or enjoying some of the crew led games/activities and it was always enjoyable.
Overall: We are not "big ship" types. I think the most modern ship we have sailed is Adventure. Again, if your thing is having tons of amusement park opportunities, there are plenty of ships available. If you are more into relaxation, with more than enough opportunity for some fun, Enchantment still provides a great get away in a beautiful environment.
Roomy, sitting area, full bath (yes, not the coffin shower, but a bathtub shower combo), nice sized balcony for sitting and having wine or a cocktail in the evenings. Only one electrical outlet in the bathroom, and on the main vanity there were three outlets (one for European plugs - so if you have a converter, bring it to have three working outlets). There was some normal wear, but overall it was clean, comfortable and we will definitely try to stick with JS from now on.