Best For: Adults seeking a relaxed getaway and families who like a sophisticated cruise ship
Not For: Guests who want a ton of onboard whiz-bang features like waterslides or rock-climbing walls
Bottom Line: Enchanted Princess is a beautiful cruise ship that offers a wide range of fun activities and a solid array of dining options
Enchanted Princess is a sophisticated cruise ship that delivers a wide range of activities both outdoors and in. It features a lovely range of public spaces that appeal to a variety of tastes -- no easy task on a ship that carries 3,660 passengers. But it does so effortlessly, with great passenger flow and an environment that is inviting and relaxing.
The heart of the ship is the Piazza, a stunning, multilevel space inspired by the piazzas of Europe. Restaurants and bars surround the central space, which is always buzzing with activity, from music to balloon drops. It's the best space onboard.
Dining on Enchanted Princess is a highlight: The array of options, including reasonable specialty dining, is strong, and the service in all restaurants -- in truth, across the ship -- was excellent. We especially appreciated that crew seemed empowered to solve problems on their own and do whatever it took to ensure guests were happy. (For example, we asked for a paper list of spa services as well as a printout of the Enchanted Princess deckplan. While these aren't typically shared -- these features are available on the app -- crew scrambled to accommodate, even printing off a new deckplan when they discovered they didn't actually carry these.)
At the forefront of the Enchanted Princess experience is the ship's Medallion. While the concept itself seems straightforward -- create fast, accessible internet while providing an uncomplicated, worry-free cruise for all guests -- the technology behind it is anything but simple.
Medallion is Princess Cruises' approach to solving all cruise problems, and its done so thanks to a wearable disk and a super powerful app, plus a ship that is wired to the nines to make sure it all works.
Because Enchanted Princess is one of the few ships in the Princess fleet to debut fully loaded with all the power of the line's Medallion -- it's technically part of the Medallion Class -- we put the technology to the test on our Caribbean sailing.
We've had the opportunity to try it before, but all components of Medallion functioned on our sailing better than we'd experienced before. We streamed live meetings with our home office and watched shows on Netflix, thanks to the strong internet, which worked everywhere. We ordered food and drinks on the app, and servers found us to deliver, even when we moved around after placing our orders. We used the Medallion disk to open our cabin doors every time, with a range of about 15 feet. And we effectively tracked our traveling companions using the app. Best of all, we rarely had to swipe that disk when we bought something; most servers simply handed us our items and thanked us (by name!).
There were a few hiccups: Medallion is designed to make embarkation frictionless, but ours saw some chaos and longer-than-expected lines (the couple behind us in one line grumbled "we've found some seams in 'seamless'”), and we still found we had to swipe that disk in some locations, especially busy bars. And there was that time we tracked our brother to the women's bathroom (turns out, he was sitting at a table on the wall behind the bathroom). But overall, we were impressed with the evolution of Princess' defining feature, which enhanced our cruise.
All passengers 5 and older sailing on Enchanted Princess must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. This applies to all sailings through March 31, 2022. To be fully vaccinated, passengers must have received their final vaccination doses at least two weeks before boarding and show proof of vaccination at the port. Exemptions to the vaccination requirement must be pre-approved and are subject to capacity controls; no exemptions will be granted on embarkation day.
Additionally, guests must show proof of a negative antigen or PCR test, taken no more than two days before boarding. This is done at the passenger's expense. Unvaccinated passengers additionally will need a test at embarkation, for which they'll pay $150.
While booster shots aren't required, Princess "highly recommends" them for all passengers 16 years and older.
Check-in must be completed using Princess' MedallionClass app, which requires passengers to select a preferred port arrival time (so the embarkation process is staggered), complete a health questionnaire and confirm the passenger contract, accept the COVID-19 rules and attest to their vaccination status.
Onboard, most of the regular cruise activities are ongoing, though you can expect capacity controls to be in place. (One feature worth noting: the MedallionClass app allows guests to bookmark activities they want to check out; it also gives insight into how many others have bookmarked that activity, so you know how many people you might expect to show up.) Many group get-togethers take place outdoors.
The pandemic has delayed the opening of one spot onboard: the Experience Center, which is meant to host the ship's Phantom Bridge escape room. This is expected to open when the pandemic abates and restrictions ease.
Protocols and regulations here are up to date as of this writing, but CDC rules, new variants and other factors could affect rules on Enchanted Princess, even after you've booked or potentially mid-sailing.
• Original vaccination card or digital QR code proving you are fully vaccinated at least 14 days prior to sailing
• A negative COVID test -- PCR or antigen -- completed no earlier than two days before embarkation
• Filling out of check-in materials on the MedallionClass app; includes health questionnaire and attestation
• Onsite testing for unvaccinated passengers who have received pre-approved vaccination exemptions
• Masks must be worn by all passengers 2 and older during embarkation at the port
• Arrival is restricted to designated times
• Guests are required to wear masks in all public indoor spaces; nonvaccinated passengers are required to wear masks at all times and further maintain physical distancing of at least 6 feet. Princess recommends surgical masks.
• Mask aren't required in staterooms, outdoors or indoors while seated and actively eating or drinking
• Passengers must carry the Medallion wearable disk so contact tracing can be completed if necessary (Princess provides a lanyard for the disks; fun or fancy accessories like bracelets or pendants can be purchased onboard)
• Children 2 or younger aren't required to wear masks
• Muster drill is completed by watching a long video in your cabin; guests must additionally check in physically at their muster stations on the first day
• Sanitizing stations are set up all over the ship, including outside restaurants and lounges as well as the casino
• Enchanted Princess features an enhanced air filtration system that includes HEPA filters in key areas. The systems replace air in cabins and public spaces every 5 to 6 minutes
• Camp Discovery youth and teen programs operate at reduced capacity
• Self-service meals have been eliminated; crew serve passengers at the World Fresh Marketplace buffet, and may of the items are preportioned and preplated to make grab-and-go easier and eliminate lines
• Menus are available on the MedallionClass app or by scannable QR codes found on tables in restaurants; paper menus are available as well, on request
Off the ship
• Vaccinated guests may explore independently in most ports of call (some ports might have further booster requirements or decline independent exploration, regardless of vaccination status)
• Unvaccinated might be limited to ship-sponsored shore tours or might not be able to visit certain destinations at all
• Masks could be required on tours, especially on shuttle buses and private transport, in some ports and in certain businesses
• Meals in the main dining rooms (Amalfi, Capri and Santorini), the World Fresh Marketplace buffet (including The Pastry Shop, Slice Pizzeria), Gigi's Pizzeria, Swirls ice cream bar, the International Cafe and continental room service breakfast
• All entertainment, including shows in the theater shows
• Much of the Medallion functionality, including stateroom door opening, interactive games, passenger location and food delivery
• Access to the fitness center, though most classes and all personal training are extra
• Movies Under The Stars, with popcorn
• Camp Discovery access for children, though some exceptions apply
• Beverages including tap water, coffee and iced tea (specialty coffee will cost more)
• Soda, alcoholic and upgraded beverages, bottled water
• Automatic gratuities for beverage, mini-bar, spa and salon purchases
• Mini-bar purchases
• Meals at most specialty restaurants
• Spa treatments
• Most fitness classes and all personal training sessions
• Access to the ship's Enclave thermal spa
• Access to the ship's Sanctuary sundeck
• Casino, sports book betting and gaming via Medallion
• Activities such as alcohol tasting and bingo
• Shore excursions
• Photographs and artwork
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