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Our first cruise was a 7 night in '09 on Freedom of the Seas out of Port Canaveral. This ship was a bit of a "step down" but thoroughly enjoyable. Embarkation: we were within a day's drive of the Norfolk cruise terminal so we opted to drive this time. The terminal is in downtown Norfolk within close proximity to large downtown hotels. We did not spend the night in a hotel as we're retired military and had access to the much less expensive option of staying at the navy base 10 minutes away. The buses from the off-site parking lot began running at 10 a.m. Porters took care of the bags and we were off to the terminal several blocks away. We were the first bus to arrive but were held in the terminal for a couple of hours along with all the other later arrivals due to technical difficulties at the terminal. Since we were early we had comfortable places to sit. Others were not so lucky - they were lined out the door. We boarded the ship and headed to Windjammer for some lunch and another place to wait as our rooms would not be ready 'til 1:30. The rooms were ready when promised so we took our carry-ons to the room. Always bring your essentials (including bathing suit and gear) in your carry-on! Our luggage didn't make it to the room until 6 p.m. We retrieved it from a cart that had just arrived on the deck. Had to do that on our previous cruise as well - - again, it's small stuff. We had a balcony stateroom on deck seven. The room was very comfortable. The ship was just out of dry dock and was very clean, just like new. Only the balcony showed signs of age: a little rust, etc. Food: We reserved two nights at Chops Grill - well worth $25 (gratuity included) for the superior food. Otherwise we had dinner three nights at Windjammer as on our last cruise we were disappointed in the main dining room fare. We had breakfast and lunch in either the main dining room or Windjammer. On this cruise the buffet meats were a little overcooked so we made good use of sauces or the made-to-order stations: omelets, carving station, mongolian bbq, etc. Buffet desserts left much to be desired. Only a couple of times did we find a dessert that we wanted more than a few bites of. Service: no complaints about dining service or stateroom service. Our attendant, Samantha, was very cheerful, sweet and attentive. Always kept ice in the bucket and the room spotless. We only attended a couple of the shows but enjoyed what we did see. Disembarkation: does that ever really go right? We opted for express since we had a car nearby. At some point, a rumor spread quickly that they had called for express departure guests to go ahead and gather at 4th deck. However customs was not ready for passengers so we had a glut of people on 4th and 5th deck all gathered waiting to leave. The staff, including cruise directors, jumped in to help with luggage and try to smooth out that little bump in the road.

2nd wonderful trip on RC

Enchantment of the Seas Cruise Review by drbtka

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: May 2010
  • Destination: Bermuda
Our first cruise was a 7 night in '09 on Freedom of the Seas out of Port Canaveral. This ship was a bit of a "step down" but thoroughly enjoyable.
Embarkation: we were within a day's drive of the Norfolk cruise terminal so we opted to drive this time. The terminal is in downtown Norfolk within close proximity to large downtown hotels. We did not spend the night in a hotel as we're retired military and had access to the much less expensive option of staying at the navy base 10 minutes away.
The buses from the off-site parking lot began running at 10 a.m. Porters took care of the bags and we were off to the terminal several blocks away. We were the first bus to arrive but were held in the terminal for a couple of hours along with all the other later arrivals due to technical difficulties at the terminal. Since we were early we had comfortable places to sit. Others were not so lucky - they were lined out the door.
We boarded the ship and headed to Windjammer for some lunch and another place to wait as our rooms would not be ready 'til 1:30. The rooms were ready when promised so we took our carry-ons to the room. Always bring your essentials (including bathing suit and gear) in your carry-on! Our luggage didn't make it to the room until 6 p.m. We retrieved it from a cart that had just arrived on the deck. Had to do that on our previous cruise as well - - again, it's small stuff.
We had a balcony stateroom on deck seven. The room was very comfortable. The ship was just out of dry dock and was very clean, just like new. Only the balcony showed signs of age: a little rust, etc.
Food: We reserved two nights at Chops Grill - well worth $25 (gratuity included) for the superior food. Otherwise we had dinner three nights at Windjammer as on our last cruise we were disappointed in the main dining room fare. We had breakfast and lunch in either the main dining room or Windjammer. On this cruise the buffet meats were a little overcooked so we made good use of sauces or the made-to-order stations: omelets, carving station, mongolian bbq, etc. Buffet desserts left much to be desired. Only a couple of times did we find a dessert that we wanted more than a few bites of.
Service: no complaints about dining service or stateroom service. Our attendant, Samantha, was very cheerful, sweet and attentive. Always kept ice in the bucket and the room spotless.
We only attended a couple of the shows but enjoyed what we did see.
Disembarkation: does that ever really go right? We opted for express since we had a car nearby. At some point, a rumor spread quickly that they had called for express departure guests to go ahead and gather at 4th deck. However customs was not ready for passengers so we had a glut of people on 4th and 5th deck all gathered waiting to leave. The staff, including cruise directors, jumped in to help with luggage and try to smooth out that little bump in the road.
drbtka’s Full Rating Summary
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Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • King's Wharf
    Bermuda!
    We didn't book any excursions just bought two day bus and ferry passes from Guest Relations on board and planned one destination: Horseshoe Bay. We wanted to let the rest of the day unfold as we went. We walked off the ship, onto the bus and were on the road in five minutes. The beach was a beautiful sight! There were a lot of people there but it was relatively early so wasn't too bad. Even as more people arrived it never seemed crowded. There are several other beaches within walking distance of that beach so the crowd dispersed. There's a snack bar at the beach but we wouldn't call it a place for lunch. Good restroom and changing facilities for a beach location.
    We took the bus from the bay to Hamilton and had a very nice late lunch at La Tratorria downtown. After shopping for a while, we took the ferry back to the Dockyard. On day two we spent our time in Kings Wharf. There's lots of shopping, crafts, activities and history there.
    Summary: this is a cruise I would take again. If we had it to do over, we would have taken the bus to St Georges and Hamilton the first day and Horseshoe Bay on day two as we ended up without the time to see St Georges. I guess we have to go back!!
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