20th Anniversary Adventure Sparked an Addiction: Enchantment of the Seas Cruise Review by GoddessofJava

Enchantment of the Seas 5
Member Since 2010
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20th Anniversary Adventure Sparked an Addiction

Sail Date: September 2010
Destination: Bahamas
Embarkation: Baltimore
When I was fifteen, I'd been on the NCL Skyward and it was one of the most fun vacations of my life. I've talked about it off and on for years. Put me on the water and I'm happy.

My husband, who has heard me discuss that cruise since we started dating, remembered and decided to surprise me with a cruise for our 20th anniversary. So, I was excited and prepped to enjoy myself no matter what happened.

What happened was an itinerary change, thanks to Igor. While we had been looking forward to going to Bermuda, a substantial onboard credit for the change to the Nassau port seemed more to us like an anniversary present than any real disappointment. If we'd been to Nassau a million times, it might have been different, but we were perfectly content at the unexpected change.

We live in New England and had arranged for our own travel to the Port of Baltimore. It went perfectly smoothly, and we were onboard the ship shortly after noon. Even though we were not More experienced cruisers, there was no real confusion about anything and if we had a question, staff was perfectly helpful.

Yes, the seas were rough on Sunday courtesy of Igor, and the ubiquitous white bags hung on many a rail. We were highly amused to hear people worrying about the ship creaking (you WANT that, really do you... materials that don't creak are brittle and BREAK), and somewhat surprised that we did not suffer the slightest seasickness. We'd both experienced it before either on small crafts or in my case, the Skyward, back when dinosaurs roamed the Earth. However, I knew The Horizon Trick (pick a comfy spot to stand and stare at the horizon to orient yourself), and was up before dawn the first day to watch the sun rise. Lovely...

We had a blast that whole cruise. The service was fantastic, the food delicious, the waiters attentive, the performers professionally competent, and there was lots to do. (The Belly Flop Contest and the 70s disco party were hysterical). I don't think we did half of what we could have, but we'd spent a tense few months leading up to the cruise in terms of jobs and things, so we spent a LOT of time just enjoying the ocean air and unwinding -- which is exactly what we'd wanted in the first place.

We took the express departure as we were worried about being hung up in customs and missing a flight. Shouldn't have worried! I think it may have taken half an hour for the entire process. We had a great time beginning to end. Less

Published 10/08/10

Cabin review: N4509 Inside Stateroom

Our cabin was fine. Yes, it was small, but we don't go on cruises to live in our stateroom. The beds were comfortable and we had enough storage space. The only thing I didn't like was that we could not check our onboard balance via the TVs, as I'd heard one can on many ships.

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Port and Shore Excursions

We decided that we couldn't miss the opportunity to go snorkeling. It was great. We sailed out on a catamaran out to a reef and played with the fishies for about an hour — seeing the most amazing variety of tropical fish and coral reef with brain coral, delicately-colored blue, or zebra fish (among MANY others) and enjoying the tropical sea. We sailed back drinking rum punch, though and I limited ourselves to a cup each even though considerably more was being urged on us. Oh we were being sooo smart, weren't we?

Yeah, right.

I was 15 the last time I'd been in the Caribbean, and had been with my parents who are pretty experienced travelers. So, while I knew that people who make their living from tourists can be pretty aggressive salesmen, I'd forgotten how much so!

After we got off the catamaran, we wandered briefly around an open air market. I wanted to buy a sarong, and did, from a woman who gave me $5 off because I was such a sexy lady . Yes, I probably could have bargained her down, but considered the price I paid plenty fair for a sarong.

Then this woman wandering around the market came right up to and put a necklace around my neck and said, "Now you a Bahama Mama, honey." then turned to , putting another necklace around his neck, pronouncing him a Bahama Papa. She asked for a donation "for the children" for the necklaces. Yeah, we're suckers. We gave her a ten spot.

Did that put us on our guard enough?


I got a lot of offers to get my hair braided. Now, I've always rather wanted to try some of the more elaborate cornrow styles and figured this was a good chance to do so. So I asked how much it would cost, and the woman charged $7.00 a braid. I don't even go to the beauty salon to get my hair colored, so I don't know how much this type of thing is worth in real life, mind you, nor did I realize how MANY braids my hip-length and very thick hair would take. I was figuring she'd do maybe ten or twelve cornrows, not a series of microbraids in the back and cornrows in the front.

I have nearly fifty braids in my hair. Yes, I have a hairstyle that I paid over $300 for. I could have argued, but I didn't. Why? I haven't the faintest idea what the going rate really is, and I didn't want to cheat her out of pique. However, it took her about two hours to do it, and I'm not really sure that most hairdressers charge $150/hr to work in an open-air market.

I will say that if you have long, thick hair, the style IS incredibly convenient for a cruise, especially in high winds.

We spent the fourth morning touring Nassau. This is where I really wish I'd had a chance to do my research. My knowledge of Nassau (or more correctly, New Providence) begins with about 1716 and ends in 1720. Yes, the end of the Golden Age of Piracy, Ned Teach, Anne Bonny, Jack Rackham, Mary Reade and Woodes Rogers. An interesting time, but a whole country can hardly be defined by a bunch of murdering thieves, no matter how romantically they're painted.

So, I was quite excited to get to see some of Nassau and learn some history. Obviously, in a three hour tour, you're not going to learn too much, but we saw some forts and got an idea of how Bahamians feel about their home, how proud they are of being a young and independent country, and found myself a bit concerned at how depenedent they are on tourism. (Though, what can one expect from an island 7 miles wide? The fact that it's beautiful is their resource!)

The areas I saw were more well to do than I'd expected. One of my strongest memories of a Caribbean island was Puerta Plata in the Dominican Republic back when I was fifteen and cruise ships were still going there. We didn't see any tin can roofs -just homes appropriate to the climate, narrow streets that would have scared me to drive on, but were fine for the people who did it every day, and lots of government buildings and banks.

We toured Paradise Island, saw the Atlantis resort and some homes of the wealthy ex-pats. I felt kind of weird about how that was emphasized in the tour. However, the driver left a local talk show on, which was awesome, as I got to hear what people who lived there were thinking about, at least a gloss over of the politics of the place.

The driver had not been told that we needed to be back to the ship by 11, so we were late getting back. I didn't realize that if you book a tour through the cruise line, you won't be left if you're late and was getting pretty anxious made a somewhat unnecessary run down the docks :)

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