August 2015 - Enchantment of the Seas to Caribbean - Bahamas
Embarking and debarking went very smoothly. We hand carried luggage and avoided long waits and the drudgery of looking for bags at baggage claim. Parking at the port is expensive in my opinion. $75 ($15 X 5 days) for a 4 night cruise is ridiculous. Look for an off site parking service or find a hotel that lets guests park for free.
Entertainment was stunning! though the comedian's "family show" was far more off color than I would have expected. We attended all of the 9pm and 11pm shows and were completely thrilled.
Stateroom (inside cabin) was adequate. Mattresses were "U" shaped. Should have been replaced a long time ago. Probably were original mattresses from when the ship was christened. Shower stall was small (of course). Banged the liquid soap dispenser with my elbow and broke it. It was replaced in a reasonable period. We used the complimentary bar soap so never missed it. Found several goodies in the room... candy, cookies, water etc. No price sheet but we knew they would be expensive so we just put them out of the way.
Food was adequate. Food service got the job done. Nothing impressive. Buffets were comparable to a well run Golden Corral or similar buffet restaurant. The one midnight buffet was NOT a traditional midnight buffet. Finger food and paper plates. Dining room staff left a lot to be desired (again, compared to the Monarch). None of the food served rated any of the ooohs and aaahs and picture taking that was done for every meal on the Monarch. Service was slow and uncoordinated. Had I known this before hand I would not have prepaid gratuities. It seemed as if the food service budget and staffing was the same as for the Monarch but with double the people to serve. We have had better looking and better tasting food and much better service at Ruby Tuesday, Olive Garden and similar mid-scale restaurants.
The ship is HUGE. But noting fancy like Waterslides or ziplines as on other large ships. Not enough signage showing which direction is forward/aft. Would be especially useful in cabin hallways since you step out of the cabin and there is no indication of which way is which. If you don't have a super sense of direction you will do a lot of extra walking. It also seemed like events were planned to make you walk from one of the ship to the other to be where you wanted to be. This forces you to walk through all the lounges, art galleries, photo shops and other spending opportunities. Nothing is cheap. $12 cocktails plus 18% gratuity (even if service is poor). $8/day if you like Coca Cola products and don't mind lugging a souvenir cup around all the time. Internet access is $20/day. A second device is only $10/day.
Would I recommend the ship? Yes, but a strong warning about the food and service as well as the prices on Coke and internet access.
Would I sail on Royal Caribbean again? Maybe. But first I will try some other cruise lines. Any suggestions for a Panama Canal cruise or Alaskan Glacier cruise?