I just wanted to share my thoughts on our June 28th 5 night cruise on the Enchantment of the Seas. I've posted this as a review and I'm posting here so I can answer any questions.
Ship - As many have pointed out, the Enchantment of the Seas needs some serious maintenance. So much so, that it's not really maintenance anymore. The ship just needs a major dry dock for new paint and varnish. This did not in any way affect our cruise. In fact I really like this ship and its layout. I really hate seeing it so unloved by Royal, but a small ship like the Enchantment isn't the focus of the company. I wouldn't hesitate to book this ship again, but I would hesitate to bring first time cruisers that I was trying to convert to cruising.
During our cruise, there were some issues with air conditioning. We were in 7168, an aft junior suite on the port side. The cabin was very warm when we got on the ship. I reported the problem and someone looked at it while we were out. The cabin then got cool enough to be comfortable, but the only time it was really cool was when it was cooler outside and raining. The hallway to our room remained very warm all cruise. Our room steward had just returned to the ship and was commenting on how warm it was. Most of the public areas were very warm when we boarded the ship. I wonder if some of the air conditioning had been turned off during turnaround. By the time we finished dinner, the public areas had cooled off.
I really enjoy a full promenade deck on a ship and thought that EOTS had one. Unfortunately the bow portion of the promenade was blocked off. It obviously had been closed off for some time. But that left at least a 3/4 promenade until the 2nd day when the aft portion was blocked off, and then most of the port side was blocked. I was quite disappointed. I know that for most people this wouldn't be a problem, but then I wouldn't care if they closed the casino.
Cabin - We were in 7168, an aft mini suite. I booked this cabin because we really like watching the wake and the more expansive views. We liked this cabin, but it is not for everyone. There was a lot of motion and vibration. DH said it was like being rocked to sleep, but I think many people would have problems getting to sleep in this cabin. The cabin is right over the Spotlight Lounge. I was concerned before the cruise that this might be a problem. It might be if the Spotlight was busy, but it's so rarely used that this wasn't a problem.
Food - Our last cruise was on Carnival and we were not impressed. The food on the EOTS was much better. I though the food in the MDR was better than in the Windjammer. The service in the Windjammer was the best I've had in a buffet. We had lunch in the MDR on day because I wanted the Tutti Salad. It wasn't as good as I remember from the Mariner of the Seas. They were having problems running out of items. We had dinner in Chops which was good, but not fabulous, except for the Key Lime Pie which was just awful. The best dessert is actually a drink - the Red Velvet Cake, which tastes like a chocolate covered strawberry.
We had the same problem on this cruise as we had on our previous Royal Caribbean cruise - the dining hours just don't work for us. Having dinner at 9:00 pm is not unusual for us, especially on vacation. We had one night where we ran up to the Windjammer at 8:55pm to make sure that we had dinner. I think the MDR should be open until 9:30 and the Windjammer until 11:00pm. Also I don't understand why the Windjammer is closed for so long in the afternoon. On port days we often come back hungry, and since Royal Caribbean doesn't have many choices for food at 4:30pm, they are easily overwhelmed by the crowds at that time.
Entertainment - We enjoyed the shows and bands. We really liked the EOTS orchestra which did a couple of jazz sets in the atrium on the last day. We missed the first comedian and wished we had missed the second one. We loved the parade of flags on the last night. I just wish that we had gotten there earlier to get a better spot. I liked the way the atrium was used, but the other venues were often the wrong ones for the event. For example, Karaoke should be in the Spotlight lounge and trivia should be Boleros. You often need to get to activities early, because the space is too small for the activity. I did enjoy the trivia and won a highlighter.
Ports - We were scheduled to stop at Costa Maya and Cozumel. We missed Costa Maya due to high winds. I've missed two ports on my 10 cruises - both times it was Costa Maya. I was really disappointed because I was looking forward to trying Maya Chan. However I was pleasantly surprised that as a consolation prize, we docked at 7:00pm in Cozumel. This meant that the shops and casino were closed that night, so I really appreciate that RC chose passenger satisfaction over profits. I really expected that we would just spend the extra time floating in the Caribbean until morning.
Fellow Cruisers - There were a lot of large family groups on this cruise, including a wedding which added a nice touch.
All in all, it was a good cruise. Our most recent cruise before this one was a 5 night cruise out of Galveston on Carnival, so this was a chance to compare the two. It really comes down to personal preference. For us Royal Caribbean is a better fit than Carnival.