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We are Diamond level cruisers on Royal Caribbean and have been on many of their ships. We had one previous cruise on a Vision Class ship, the Spendour of the Seas, and did not care much for that ship. However, since this cruise was leaving for Norfolk, Va, about 3 hours drive from home in Raleigh, NC, we decided to take the cruise even though we had reservations about the ship. It was a nine day cruise and listed at a good price. It even had a price reduction that we got shortly after the booking. Then I read that the ship had just come out of dry-dock and I figured it would be in good shape. Our drive to the port was quick and easy, a little over 3 hours. I had Googled map directions so I knew exactly how to get to the port and to the parking. Since there will be no more Royal Caribbean cruises from Norfolk there is not much need for a long explanation of the shortcoming of cruising out of that port, i.e., no port side parking, small terminal building, etc. We parked at a lot across the street from the port rather than use the lot the cruise line recommended which was about a mile away and a short shuttle bus ride to the port. It was the same price, $15 a day, and made it a lot easier to get into and out of the port area. Check-in was quick and easy. It actually took us longer to get through the security check point than to check in. That's because we happened to be behind a person in a wheel chair and there were some passengers who apparently had never gone through a security check before. They did not know how to put things from their pockets on the scanner belt. There was a question on the Royal Caribbean Facebook discussion board about bringing bottled water and soft drinks on board. I had a six-pack of each in my carry-on back pack and there was absolutely no problem with this. The only question they asked was whether we had an open bottles. When I got to the cabin I asked the cabin steward to remove stuff from the mini-refrigerator so I could put my water in and he simply said just take the stuff out and put it on a shelf, which we did. Then we put it back on the last day of the cruise. We liked the cruise and really enjoyed having 2 at sea days going and coming back. And the last port stop was at Labadee, Haiti, an all day beach stop. The other port stops were San Juan, Puerto Rico; St Thomas, US VI; and Samara, Dominican Republic. We had been to all of these places before except the Dominican Republic so we did really have a need to do tours. We walked around the Old San Juan area a bit and then went back on the ship. We went to Sapphire Beach in St Thomas. Due to travel alerts from the US State Department about crime in the Dominican Republic we had not planned to even get off the ship there. But after all of the tour and most of the people had left the ship we decided to at least go ashore. There is really not that much to see, just a market area selling the usual trinkets. We had no problems but we did hear that a couple from the ship was taken for a ride in a taxi and robbed at knife point. We heard this from another passenger but got no official confirmation of it. Our cabin on the ship, a junior suite (8090), was really nice. It appeared that the furniture in the cabin (soft, 2 chairs and hassocks) had been replaced or re-upholstered.. The carpet was also in great shape, not showing any wear. The cabin had more than enough room for all of our clothes. The balcony was very large. We were provided a coffee maker and Seattle's Best coffee and a hot pot for making tea, plus mugs, creamer and sweeteners. The cabin bathroom was standard size and had a bathtub. The air conditioning system in the cabin was really good. If you turned down the temperature it got colder pretty quickly. We had no complaints about the cabin at all. Our cabin steward did his job but I wouldn't say he did anything exceptional. We were completely satisfied with his service. NOTE ABOUT CABINS: This ship has some cabins that have a support pole in the middle of the cabin at the foot of the bed. The pole is about 8 inches round. I first found out about this from reading a blog about the ship. Then when we got on the ship we discovered that the cabin next to us, number 8092, was one of the cabins with this pole. Then I also saw the same thing in a cabin down the hall, 8056 if I remember correctly. So beware and ask when booking this ship if it would bother you to have a pole in your cabin. My best description of this cruise and ship is it's the bottom of the line of what Royal Caribbean provides. The ship lacks the many activities available on RC's newer ships. It has a rock climbing wall on the very back of the ship, but there is really no room for people to watch. The ship has a bungie-jump trampolines on the front of the ship but these were closed the entire cruise due to high winds; that's what the closed sign said. My question is what would you expect with that activity on the front of the ship. The only other activities were shuffle board and table tennis. The ship has a gym on the back of the ship, rather than on the front as with RC's newer ships. The gym provides the minimums. Its not that large and while it has elliptical, tread mills, free weights and some weight machines, its very small and crowded. I made just one trip there. The ship has a good walking track but it has a slight hill in the middle on each side where the ship was stretches several years ago. Walking on the promenade deck was good except that you could not circle the ship. The front section of the promenade deck is closed to passengers. The pools and hot tubs were good, including the solarium area. There were plenty of chairs available most of the time. The show room was not large enough to accommodate people for the shows. You had to get there about 30 minutes before the show to get a seat and the few shows we attended there were people standing in the back on both sides of the showroom. We missed a few shows because we couldn't find a seat. In addition, the sight lines are not good because the seats in the back of the showroom are not elevated enough for you to see well. The casino was satisfactory. It had some multi-line penny machines and well as nickle, quarter and dollar slots and table games. But the slots were not the latest that you'll find in Las Vegas and other on-shore gambling places. As usual we requested a table for two and they put us at a table for 10 or 12. So the first order of business when we boarded was to get that changed. We had no problem getting a table for 2 and even got one by the window. The dining room service was good. The menu's were standard RC fare. But we found the soups very bland and every day there were curried vegetable dishes that was not very good. The Food in the Windjammer was standard RC fare and it was good, but there was not much variety. Breakfasts and lunches had the same things each day. The Windjammer was about the only place to get a cup of coffee, tea, or iced tea and lemonade most of the day. The other eating places had limited open hours. The ship has what are called "automatic doors" that do not open automatically. You must push a button to open them. This caused problems for many guests who didn't know how to get the doors open. The elevators next to the atrium are a problem because they do not all go to all of the floors and they are not on the same call button. So you must puck the bottom for elevators on each side of the hallway. There are two elevators serving the Viking Crown Lounge and they were really hard to get. We went to the Cruise Critic/RC sponsored Meet & Mingle but didn't meet anyone. It appeared that a lot of people had conversed online and met on ships in their groups. There was no effort to have everyone meet everyone else. Very disappointed in this. On our stop in Labadee we heard from another passenger not to buy any of the canes or walking sticks. This was after I had already bought 3 of them. He said there was some type announcement on TV and/or in the Cruise Compass. Although I expected trouble the ship's security people did not raise any questions. I was a little perplexed by the warning as we had been on Labadee on a Celebrity cruise just a couple months ago, bought a cane and had no problems bringing it back home. However, we found out the real story when we got off the ship in Norfolk. We were directed to the APHIS inspectors, initially not told why, and then told because we had the canes. The Aphis person was really helpful in explaining that the problem with the sticks is they can sometimes have bugs. So she inspected them very closely and gave us a go ahead with them. This is a problem that RC, APHIS and the Haitians need to address by first of all explaining the whole issue with a flier that passengers will see, then arrange to have the canes sprayed before they leave Haiti, or tell the Haitians to stop selling them. So my bottom line on this cruise is I know that Royal Caribbean can do better and I will just not go on another Vision class ship.

Never Again a Vision Class Ship

Enchantment of the Seas Cruise Review by tinkertoy9000

3 people found this helpful
Trip Details
We are Diamond level cruisers on Royal Caribbean and have been on many of their ships. We had one previous cruise on a Vision Class ship, the Spendour of the Seas, and did not care much for that ship. However, since this cruise was leaving for Norfolk, Va, about 3 hours drive from home in Raleigh, NC, we decided to take the cruise even though we had reservations about the ship. It was a nine day cruise and listed at a good price. It even had a price reduction that we got shortly after the booking. Then I read that the ship had just come out of dry-dock and I figured it would be in good shape.
Our drive to the port was quick and easy, a little over 3 hours. I had Googled map directions so I knew exactly how to get to the port and to the parking. Since there will be no more Royal Caribbean cruises from Norfolk there is not much need for a long explanation of the shortcoming of cruising out of that port, i.e., no port side parking, small terminal building, etc. We parked at a lot across the street from the port rather than use the lot the cruise line recommended which was about a mile away and a short shuttle bus ride to the port. It was the same price, $15 a day, and made it a lot easier to get into and out of the port area.
Check-in was quick and easy. It actually took us longer to get through the security check point than to check in. That's because we happened to be behind a person in a wheel chair and there were some passengers who apparently had never gone through a security check before. They did not know how to put things from their pockets on the scanner belt.
There was a question on the Royal Caribbean Facebook discussion board about bringing bottled water and soft drinks on board. I had a six-pack of each in my carry-on back pack and there was absolutely no problem with this. The only question they asked was whether we had an open bottles. When I got to the cabin I asked the cabin steward to remove stuff from the mini-refrigerator so I could put my water in and he simply said just take the stuff out and put it on a shelf, which we did. Then we put it back on the last day of the cruise.
We liked the cruise and really enjoyed having 2 at sea days going and coming back. And the last port stop was at Labadee, Haiti, an all day beach stop. The other port stops were San Juan, Puerto Rico; St Thomas, US VI; and Samara, Dominican Republic. We had been to all of these places before except the Dominican Republic so we did really have a need to do tours. We walked around the Old San Juan area a bit and then went back on the ship. We went to Sapphire Beach in St Thomas.
Due to travel alerts from the US State Department about crime in the Dominican Republic we had not planned to even get off the ship there. But after all of the tour and most of the people had left the ship we decided to at least go ashore. There is really not that much to see, just a market area selling the usual trinkets. We had no problems but we did hear that a couple from the ship was taken for a ride in a taxi and robbed at knife point. We heard this from another passenger but got no official confirmation of it.
Our cabin on the ship, a junior suite (8090), was really nice. It appeared that the furniture in the cabin (soft, 2 chairs and hassocks) had been replaced or re-upholstered.. The carpet was also in great shape, not showing any wear. The cabin had more than enough room for all of our clothes. The balcony was very large. We were provided a coffee maker and Seattle's Best coffee and a hot pot for making tea, plus mugs, creamer and sweeteners. The cabin bathroom was standard size and had a bathtub. The air conditioning system in the cabin was really good. If you turned down the temperature it got colder pretty quickly. We had no complaints about the cabin at all. Our cabin steward did his job but I wouldn't say he did anything exceptional. We were completely satisfied with his service.
NOTE ABOUT CABINS:
This ship has some cabins that have a support pole in the middle of the cabin at the foot of the bed. The pole is about 8 inches round. I first found out about this from reading a blog about the ship. Then when we got on the ship we discovered that the cabin next to us, number 8092, was one of the cabins with this pole. Then I also saw the same thing in a cabin down the hall, 8056 if I remember correctly. So beware and ask when booking this ship if it would bother you to have a pole in your cabin.
My best description of this cruise and ship is it's the bottom of the line of what Royal Caribbean provides. The ship lacks the many activities available on RC's newer ships. It has a rock climbing wall on the very back of the ship, but there is really no room for people to watch. The ship has a bungie-jump trampolines on the front of the ship but these were closed the entire cruise due to high winds; that's what the closed sign said. My question is what would you expect with that activity on the front of the ship. The only other activities were shuffle board and table tennis.
The ship has a gym on the back of the ship, rather than on the front as with RC's newer ships. The gym provides the minimums. Its not that large and while it has elliptical, tread mills, free weights and some weight machines, its very small and crowded. I made just one trip there. The ship has a good walking track but it has a slight hill in the middle on each side where the ship was stretches several years ago. Walking on the promenade deck was good except that you could not circle the ship. The front section of the promenade deck is closed to passengers. The pools and hot tubs were good, including the solarium area. There were plenty of chairs available most of the time.
The show room was not large enough to accommodate people for the shows. You had to get there about 30 minutes before the show to get a seat and the few shows we attended there were people standing in the back on both sides of the showroom. We missed a few shows because we couldn't find a seat. In addition, the sight lines are not good because the seats in the back of the showroom are not elevated enough for you to see well.
The casino was satisfactory. It had some multi-line penny machines and well as nickle, quarter and dollar slots and table games. But the slots were not the latest that you'll find in Las Vegas and other on-shore gambling places.
As usual we requested a table for two and they put us at a table for 10 or 12. So the first order of business when we boarded was to get that changed. We had no problem getting a table for 2 and even got one by the window. The dining room service was good. The menu's were standard RC fare. But we found the soups very bland and every day there were curried vegetable dishes that was not very good. The Food in the Windjammer was standard RC fare and it was good, but there was not much variety. Breakfasts and lunches had the same things each day. The Windjammer was about the only place to get a cup of coffee, tea, or iced tea and lemonade most of the day. The other eating places had limited open hours.
The ship has what are called "automatic doors" that do not open automatically. You must push a button to open them. This caused problems for many guests who didn't know how to get the doors open. The elevators next to the atrium are a problem because they do not all go to all of the floors and they are not on the same call button. So you must puck the bottom for elevators on each side of the hallway. There are two elevators serving the Viking Crown Lounge and they were really hard to get.
We went to the Cruise Critic/RC sponsored Meet & Mingle but didn't meet anyone. It appeared that a lot of people had conversed online and met on ships in their groups. There was no effort to have everyone meet everyone else. Very disappointed in this.
On our stop in Labadee we heard from another passenger not to buy any of the canes or walking sticks. This was after I had already bought 3 of them. He said there was some type announcement on TV and/or in the Cruise Compass. Although I expected trouble the ship's security people did not raise any questions. I was a little perplexed by the warning as we had been on Labadee on a Celebrity cruise just a couple months ago, bought a cane and had no problems bringing it back home. However, we found out the real story when we got off the ship in Norfolk. We were directed to the APHIS inspectors, initially not told why, and then told because we had the canes. The Aphis person was really helpful in explaining that the problem with the sticks is they can sometimes have bugs. So she inspected them very closely and gave us a go ahead with them. This is a problem that RC, APHIS and the Haitians need to address by first of all explaining the whole issue with a flier that passengers will see, then arrange to have the canes sprayed before they leave Haiti, or tell the Haitians to stop selling them.
So my bottom line on this cruise is I know that Royal Caribbean can do better and I will just not go on another Vision class ship.
tinkertoy9000’s Full Rating Summary
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