Our Enchantment of the Seas five day, four night cruise to Nassau, Coco Cay & Key West was the perfect crew, perfect ship, perfect itinerary and perfect cruise line for first-timers. The Enchantment's crew is a joyful, friendly group who seem to love their passengers, the ship herself is big enough but not overwhelming, with lots to do but space if you don't want to do anything, the ports of call are different and unique with lots of options and RCCL does a great job putting it all together. We can't wait to come back!
5 out of 5
Having never cruised before my wife and I were nervous but we got to the terminal early - about 11:00 am - and everything went very smoothly. We gave our luggage to a porter at the curb using our preprinted luggage tags, got through security and checked in, received our SeaPasses and got on board pretty quickly - it only took about 30 minutes altogether. Before noon we were sipping our drinks and exploring the ship!
Tip: They sell lanyards and plastic pouches to hold your SeaPass cards for about $7 at the gate, but you can bring your own and save a few bucks. We bought ours but rarely used them - who wants to walk around with a tag hanging around your neck all the time?
Food and Dining
5 out of 5
The food was good to excellent overall. There were a wide variety of breakfast items at the buffet and everything I tried was good. We only ate lunch on board the first day and had the ship's lunch buffet on Coco Cay on day 3, and both were good, with lots of variety and good quality. Dinner for us was in the My Fair Lady dining room. We started with "My Time Dining", meaning we could choose our own time, but we came to realize that it's more fun to get to know your servers by eating at the same time and requesting the same table. Next time we'll choose a set time to eat so we can enjoy our servers more. We did have one meal in Chops, the premium dining option, and it was good but only slightly better than My Fair Lady, IMO.
Tip: Don't sweat the dinner dress code unless you want to. Even though the dress code is made clear with announcements, the Cruise Compass (daily newsletter), YouTube videos and in your pre-board materials, many people still showed up to dinner wearing shorts, flip-flops and hats in the dining rooms and even in the premium restaurants and the staff doesn't say a word to them. My wife and I were looking for the classic cruise experience so we got dressed, but we weren't going to let it bother us that many did not.
Regarding drinks, we did buy the deluxe drink package and I must admit I probably drank more than I would have if we hadn't. The bartenders were always friendly and usually not far away, and cocktail service was good in the bigger areas. The selection was excellent, and any spirit or cocktail I wanted they could make. And even though an 18% gratuity is added to the cost of your drink package, you can tip your servers or bartenders additional if you feel they deserve it, and I found myself doing that several times, especially to the ones who remembered my name - who doesn't love that?
5 out of 5
We didn't really take advantage of the activities on board, except for a trivia contest and a several of the "game shows", which were all fun and/or hilarious. Next time we intend to do more.
5 out of 5
As I mentioned above, the "game shows" were fun and clever and very entertaining as couples and teams from the audience were very amusing to watch. Next time maybe my wife and I will participate in one or two.
We missed the "headliners" and regretted it a little, but there were so many choices it was difficult to find the time for it all. Next time...
Tip: There are touch screens on each floor of the central stairway that will give you an up-to-date schedule of what is happening, and copies of the Cruise Compass newsletter with daily schedules are available on Deck 5, IIRC, near the internet cafe.
Service and Staff
5 out of 5
The service is what will bring us back. It was awesome to meet so many friendly servers from so many different countries like China, India, Myanmar, the Phillippines, South Africa, Trinidad & Tobago, and on and on. With almost no exception they tried to help when I was confused and gave more personal attention than I have ever had the pleasure to receive. And the way they learned and remembered and used our names was, honestly, amazing. If they don't actually love their jobs, they sure seem to. It was a real come-down to go to our first restaurant meal in Miami after returning and realize we were back to dealing with servers who hate their jobs.
Tip: The servers seem to read you. The friendlier you are to them, the friendlier they'll be to you. Use their nametags, ask them about their home countries and pronounce their names properly and watch them open up!
5 out of 5
OK, Enchantment's decor is a little dated, but overall I found the ship to be nicely laid-out, clean and well-maintained. The cushy central stairwell made it easy and quick to get from our cabin to wherever we were going. We liked the option of a quieter Solarium area to lounge poolside instead of the bigger, noisier outdoor pool area. If I saw any litter or messes on board I don't remember it; they kept it nice and neat.
Cabin / Stateroom
5 out of 5
We loved our cabin. We chose a balcony stateroom at the end of the ship, and we're so glad we did. It was amazing having the extra room to lay out, sit at the table or even just watch the world fall away behind us.
The bed was nice, seemed a queen, just fine for us. There was plenty of room for my wife and me, and if we would have had the occasion we would have easily been able to accommodate a couple guests. And even though we overpacked for our four-day trip, we didn't come close to using all the storage space. The room started clean and stayed clean during our voyage, as the attendant seemed bent on keeping it that way for us. Tip: Good quality shampoo, conditioner and body wash are provided, no need to bring them. I wish I had known that.
Take your Cruise Compass daily newsletter with you wherever you go in case you change your mind about something and want to find out what your options are.
Loved it. We took a bus tour and we're so glad we did. Our tour guide was an amazing man named Marvin and he really brought the history of the island alive for us. It took an hour longer than expected but we loved every minute. After it was over we walked back to one of our stops - a place called Fish Fry, about a mile away from the downtown area, to have some amazing fresh seafood. I highly recommend the bus tour, and don't pass up the opportunity to have some "skywater" if you get the chance - make sure and tell them you want it "leaded" for maximum benefit!
We waited till the night before to choose our excursion and were bummed we had to get up early for the 9 o'clock kayaking excursion since the 11 o'clock was booked, but we ended up being glad it turned out that way, as we enjoyed seeing Coco Cay before most of the others arrived. The kayaking was a lot of fun - my wife especially loved it, as guide Jay from South Africa was a funny, patient shepherd for our group. We ended up doing a bit of snorkeling out to an old plane wreck not far from shore and then heading back to Enchantment after the buffet lunch to enjoy the ship.
Another awesome port of call. The ship was only docked at Key West for a few hours, so we didn't book any excursions. Instead, we just did a little shopping and then walked the mile or so to the Hemingway home and museum, which is one of the more unusual and interesting museums of its type that I've visited. We also did a little shopping and had lunch at Sloppy Joe's, which was very good. Tip: Unless your ship is staying longer than ours did, don't bother renting bikes or scooters - you just have to take care of them and find places to park them and you can easily walk to most of the fun stuff.
4 out of 5
We missed our call because they didn't actually call us, they just updated the touch screens, so it took us a little longer to depart than it should have. No worries, though, it was still a pretty quick and smooth process.
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