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  1. So when we left off, we were about to head to our suite.( I apologize for the delay in posting, we’re in the process of moving to a new home and things are a wee bit hectic right now. But I promise to get back on it.)


    Back to our story … we found our cabin # 8532 in the front of the ship. Very convenient to the forward elevators.


    We stepped inside and – WOW – now I know what we’ve been missing! Like I said, we’ve been very happy with all our cabins. Both ocean view and balcony. But this much space was a real treat. Tom, Marissa and I ran around like idiots. Tommy spied the iPad on the desk and got busy figuring out what he could … and couldn’t … do on it.


    We had no idea about the iPads in the cabin. It was cool. They had a few preloaded games (which the kids loved) and then pay-per-view movies. I believe you could also visit Royal Caribbean’s website on it without being charged. My husband visited the website a few times without opening an Internet account, and he says we weren’t charged.


    Now about the room. When you walk in, there is a large “bar” area immediately on the right. That’s where the mini-bar is located, plus plenty of drawers. Although it looks like a bar or kitchen island area, it’s really where the drawers are for your clothes. The top of the bar looked like marble or granite. And there was an ice bucket and glasses on top. As well as a welcome fruit plate. Very nice!


    On the wall behind the bar was not one … not two … but three big closets with plenty of hangars. THREE? Are you kidding me?? On our previous cruises, closet space was always tight. Not this time!

    On the other side of the bar was a nice sitting area with the pull-out couch, television, a couple chairs and a coffee table.


    Across from the sitting area was the bed, nightstands and desk. But what I loved most was the heavy curtain that could be pulled for privacy. When it was closed, it completely separated the living and sleeping areas. Great for privacy. With four of us in a cabin, it’s always a bit awkward to be changing clothes and having one of the kids exit the bathroom.


    Speaking of the bathroom, it was incredible. Very spacious with double sinks in the vanity, a separate large counter area AND a tub! A real bathtub. Large enough for an adult to take a relaxing soak.

    This was the first cruise where I didn’t bring my over-the-door shoe hanger. And I definitely didn’t need it!


    Also in the room were our Gold Crown and Anchor coupons. It made us feel very special because this was our first cruise as actual members. We didn’t use most of them. But we did use the ones for arcade games (spend $25, get $25; spend $15, get $10). We also used the ones for BOGO beer or wine. I thought it was funny that the coupons were obvious photocopies even though there was a disclaimer on each offer that photocopies would not be accepted. We didn’t have any problems.


    Back to the sweet suite: The balcony was also impressive. A table and chairs on one side and two loungers on the other. So spacious. I felt totally spoiled.


    Overall, the room completely exceeded my expectations. It was a beautiful cabin and you could see that it had been recently upgraded. No wear and tear at all.


    Our room attendant Sandra stopped by to say hello. She was very nice and kept our cabin in tip-top shape. We honestly didn’t see much of her. But I have zero complaints. She obviously was very good at her job because the room was always spotless.


    Our luggage arrived shortly thereafter, and I got busy unpacking. Once everything was in its place, Tom and I decided to go to the rebooking area to inquire about a New Year’s cruise. The kids elected to watch a movie on TV. I think it was Sherlock Holmes.


    Tom and I got to the cruise rebooking office and spoke to a very nice representative. You could sign up for appointments later in the cruise, but Tom and I just wanted some general information. Later in the cruise, we did fill out the paperwork to get the benefits of rebooking (reduced deposit, account credit) at a later time.


    Tip for new cruisers: Be sure to fill out the form before you disembark! You get the same benefits even if you don’t book on board. We’ve since booked another cruise, but I’ll leave that announcement for the end of the review.


    As we left, I grabbed a cruise itinerary catalog to review later.


    By now, it was definitely time for a drink of the day. So we went to the Schooner Bar and met Noel who ended up being our favorite bartender of the trip. Noel is from Jamaica and is very upbeat, friendly, wickedly funny and a great singer (which we found out later when we back to hear the piano player).


    I was surprised when he gave us our drinks in actual glasses that we could keep. He explained that if you buy the drinks by the pool, you get a plastic glass. But if you order at the indoor bars, you’ll get an actual glass. I announced then and there that I wanted a complete set by the end of cruise. Tom said, “I don’t think that’s going to be a problem!” Heehee.


    I started to look through the cruise itinerary catalog, and Tom asked if I was supposed to take that from the rebooking office. I said, “I think so. They had a bunch of them.” Tom pointed to a huge label on the cover. “DO NOT REMOVE.” Oops. We dropped it back off before getting the kids for the muster.





    A view of the closets and "bar."




    The desk by the bed. You can see the in-room iPad.




    The sleeping area. You can see all four of us in this shot!

  2. Looking forward to your review as we are sailing on Enchantment after a week on Oasis - same sort of concerns as you:will there be enough for our teen and tween? We're spending a few days in Universal, not WDW, before our cruises.


    Hopefully, you can give some insights as to how your kids coped with the difference of sailing on the smaller ship ;).


    I really hope you manage to get to Europe some day; it will be a wonderful experience for your children :).


    Wow. You're sailing the Enchantment right after Oasis? My best advice would be to prep your kids about the differences so they won't be disappointed. The Enchantment is a lovely ship, but I was glad there were several months between our two RCI cruises because there are so many more activities and areas to explore -- especially for teens -- on the mega-ships.


    That's not to say they won't have a great time! The teen club on the Enchantment looked like a lot of fun. Tommy enjoyed the arcade. And he watched a couple movies in the theater. Mostly, he enjoyed his freedom and being able to get sodas and munchies whenever he liked.


    If all else fails, remind them that cruising any ship is a lot more fun than being in school. ;)


    We will definitely get the kids to Europe. Tom and I have been a couple times. And I actually went to high school in Germany. So it's on our list. Just not this year.


    Thanks so much for checking out the review! :)




    OP I can't wait to read more of the review. Thanks for sharing!


    Glad you're enjoying the review! Thanks so much for taking the time to comment! :)


    Glad you liked BLT- we went in Feb ( not members, and we couldn't rent points because DFIL was ill and had to be able to cancel - cringe, cringe:o)

    I cant believe you hadn't seen the water pageant! It's one of our fav things to do since I've been seeing it since the 70s! It's so hokey, it's great! There's so little at WDW that hasn't been updated to death- ( remember the iago Tiki room fiasco:rolleyes:) this is still so old school!


    I completely agree with you about the pool, we had one warm day and everyone was trying to wedge chairs into the shade of the towers! I also agree about he Chef Mickey food- except for the desserts; we pretty much loved the desserts!


    Thanks for your review- takes me back, a great vacation - except for the night DD1 had Noro:eek: (see can happen anywhere!)

    Can we get on the ship soon? Huh? uh? Are we almost there yet? ;-)


    We loved Bay Lake, but it definitely had a couple drawbacks. The pool, which is so disappointing compared to many other Disney pools. The pools at the Polynesian, Boardwalk Villas, even Saratoga Springs are so much more inventive. And the lack of a restaurant was a bit of a drawback. But we would stay there again based on the view alone. :)


    Thanks for checking out the review!!

  4. Ding ding ding ding ding!


    We have a winner!




    It's funny because it's true! :D Thanks so much for checking out the review!


    Also looking forward to your review -


    We leave on Aug. 12 - my DS (13) also moody and 12 other family members, their first cruise. I also worry about the size of the ship. My DS has been on Disney, Oasis and Liberty. All he wants is the pizza. This is also the smallest ship DH & I have been on.


    My kids never did eat pizza. But Tommy definitely took advantage of the food in the Windjammer and the sweets in the Seattle's Best specialty coffee shop. (The eats are free; the coffees aren't.) And Marissa loved the free soft-serve ice cream by the pool.


    Don't worry -- you're going to have a wonderful time!

  5. We woke up early on Monday morning and had breakfast at the quick serve restaurant in the Contemporary. (Another negative about Bay Lake Tower … no restaurant. But it’s a short walk across the bridge to the Contemporary which has several options.)


    We headed to Port Canaveral around 9:30 a.m. The drive from Disney World to the port is approximately 55 miles. Our plan was to stop at a Walgreens or CVS for some toiletries as we got closer to the port. But as we approached, I caught a glimpse of the Enchantment. I told Tom, “Forget it. We’ll get anything we need on the ship.” Suddenly, I was too excited for a pit stop.


    Tom looked at me and grinned. I could tell he was thinking the same thing. We were like two kids on Christmas morning.


    We pulled into the parking lot around 10:30. There was plenty of parking close to the drop-off area. Tom dropped us off and pulled into a space. We found a porter and gave him our bags. We then headed inside to security.


    Tom saw a sign for a separate security area for suite guests and top-level Crown and Anchor members. What a nice benefit. No one was there so we breezed through. We brought our two bottles of wine and four large bottled waters in our carry-ons. No problem whatsoever. We then went to the check-in counter which was pretty empty.


    Within 10 minutes, we were corralled into a hallway with a group of other passengers and were waiting to board the ship. They were letting about 50 people on at a time.


    Then it was our turn! But first a quick stop to get Marissa’s wristband which would tell the crew which muster station to take her to if we were separated. For new cruisers: The wristbands are color-coded. So if your children are in the kids’ club, for example, the staff knows which group they belong to based on the wristband if there’s an emergency.


    We were group 1. Which made me very happy. Because after all, shouldn’t suite guests be the first to get off the ship if there’s trouble? (Of course, I’m totally, completely joking! And I would never, ever want suite guests to get that perk. But I couldn’t resist after the recent hoopla on these boards. Heehee.)


    We followed the crowd across the gangway and stepped on board the Enchantment. We entered on the fifth deck on the jogging/walking track. There was no one there to greet us or to point us in the right direction. So we walked through the first doors we came to … near the central elevators. It was a little anticlimactic after the grand entrance on the Allure. I almost felt like we entered through the wrong door.


    We shuffled around a bit and finally found where they were selling soda packages and ponied up the cash for Tommy and Marissa. We never let them have soda packages on the cruises. But I wanted them to be able to use the cool new freestyle coke machines on board.


    What they didn’t tell us while we were buying the packages was that the machines were out of order. And they were out of order throughout the cruise. I did see one working briefly, but the next time I passed by, it had an “out of order” sign on it. Not sure what that was about, but it was disappointing. I wouldn’t have purchased the package if I knew the machines weren’t working. I will say, however, that the cups were really nice. And they made a nice souvenir for the kids.


    We then headed to Park Café to get lunch. We LOVED Park Café on the Allure and ate there almost every day. We located the Solarium and went over to the restaurant which was … closed. It was only 11:30 so that’s probably why it wasn’t open yet. But again , we were slightly disappointed.


    We didn’t realize Park Café was actually inside the Solarium and not in a separate area with air conditioning. Seasoned RCI cruisers would totally know this. But we’ve only sailed on the Allure so we were envisioning something similar.


    Throughout the cruise, whenever we walked through the Solarium, it was pretty darn toasty. So we never did eat at Park Café on the Enchantment.


    [SIDENOTE: I know you must be thinking I’m a negative Nelly right now. Seriously, I’m not! I’m actually a “glass half full” kinda gal. But our first hour or so on board the Enchantment wasn’t awesome. Some of it my fault for not researching enough. I thought I had but obviously I could have done more. This is particularly evident in an embarrassing event I describe below.]


    So we headed to the Windjammer for lunch. It was busy but still plenty of tables. I had a delicious curry. Then, when I took Marissa up to get some fruit, I passed the pasta station couldn’t resist some seriously yummy penne Bolognese.


    Vegetable curry and pasta with meat sauce? Not your typical lunch. But that’s the fun of a buffet! I thought the food at the Windjammer was pretty darn good. Even better than on the Allure.


    And now I’m going to admit something embarrassing. Something really embarrassing. Something so ridiculous I really contemplated whether I would share with the group. But we’re all friends, right?


    After lunch, I was determined to locate the Promenade. In my head, the Promenade on the Enchantment would be a mini-version of the Allure. So I kept looking … and looking … and looking ... Until I finally realized I had walked through it several times. DUH! Please feel free to laugh … with me or at me.


    Obviously, I’m not the sharpest tool in the chandelier.


    So then I went off to see the wizard to ask for a brain. Kidding! Instead, we headed to Adventure Ocean to register our little one. Marissa was in the 9-11 group.


    After a walk on deck, we went to the Viking Lounge to wait for our room to be ready. This is an awesome spot to wait for your room. In my opinion, the best on the ship. The bar isn’t open so it’s okay for kids. It’s air conditioned with great views and super comfy chairs. Highly recommend.


    At 1 p.m., I went to check to see if the rooms were ready. They were! So we gathered up our kids and carry-ons and went to locate our room. Our first suite ever on a cruise ship. And I was getting that Christmas morning feeling all over again.




    Marissa relaxes on the stairs with her soda-package cup.




    Like on the Allure, there were these helpful touchscreens located by every elevator.




    Using the touchscreen, you can see all the activities that are happening. Or it can give you directions to the various venues around the ship.




    All the artwork on our deck (8th) had a sun theme.




    Another Venetian sun mask.




  6. Yeah, a ksawyer review:D and even better, on a ship I ll be sailing!

    Def subscribing!:D:D


    I have a fan??!!?? That's awesome! :D Made my day! Thanks for reading the review, and let me know if you have any questions about the beautiful Enchantment.




    I am eagerly awaiting the rest of your review. What a beautiful family you have! My DH and I are thinking of booking this ship in the near future. Our son is currently serving in Afghanistan and we miss him so much and want to spend some quality time together as a family when he comes home in a few months. We hope the Enchantment can deliver. Tell us more please!




    Thank you so so much! :) I know you will have a wonderful time on the Enchantment. And as an Army brat, I'd like to thank your son from the bottom of my heart for his service.



  7. I can't wait to hear about the rest of the trip. We (myself, husband of 20 years, daughter 16 and son 14) leave in 18 days for an 8 day Disney trip and 4 night Enchantment cruise.


    That's awesome! :D You're going to have a great time. We actually liked not doing a Disney cruise this trip. Gave us a chance to get away from the Mickey madness. Although we LOVE Disney, it was nice to break it up with an RCI cruise.




    Thank you for the review! 25 days left! Can't wait!


    25 days?!? Lucky duck!!! :) Thanks for checking out the review!




    Sent using the Cruise Critic forums app

  8. I am in!


    We are doing a 4 night Enchantment for Thanksgiving - and there are rarely Enchantment reviews. We are also Disney fans - and used to Freedom class ships. So looking forward to the rest of your review!


    You are going to love the Enchantment! Thanks so much for checking out the review. Let me know if I can answer any questions for you about the cruise or Disney! :)


    Great start!! Looking forward to the rest of your review!!:):)


    Glad to have you along for the ride! I really appreciate you taking the time to comment! :)

  9. Since these are not the Disney boards, I’m going to keep the first couple days of our trip limited to one post. But I also know a lot of folks do visit Disney before or after Port Canaveral cruises. So hopefully this will be interesting to some of my fellow cruisers.


    We made the 3+ hour drive to Orlando. We’re Disney Vacation Club members so we had booked the newest DVC resort, Bay Lake Tower. Bay Lake is located next to the Contemporary hotel. The two properties are connected by a bridge. Bay Lake is within walking distance of Magic Kingdom. 5 to 10 minutes.


    We got to the resort and checked in. Our room was absolutely stunning. But what was even more impressive was our view. We were on the 14th floor overlooking the lake. From our balcony, we could see Epcot, Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom. It was gorgeous.


    We headed to Chef Mickey’s at the Contemporary for dinner. It’s a buffet where the characters come by your table to sign autographs and take photos. It was a fun, silly way to start our vacation. Even our jaded 15-year-old had a pretty good time.

    Tommy loves a buffet, and his plates overflowed with every kind of meat available.


    I thought the food was pretty average. Chef Mickey’s is better for breakfast. But we all had a good time.


    For anyone visiting Disney before or after a cruise, my number one tip is to make dining reservations. You can make them at the Disney World website up to six months in advance. You will save so much time if you already know where you’re going to eat and know you have a table.


    After dinner, we walked around and then headed to Bay Lake’s Top of the World lounge to see the Disney fireworks. Besides being within walking distance of Magic Kingdom, this is the best reason to stay at this resort. (To clarify, you don’t have to be a vacation club member to stay at this resort. But the rooms are pretty pricey.)


    Top of the World lounge has a perfect view of the Magic Kingdom and the fireworks. Plus, they pipe in the music so you don’t miss anything. It was awesome being able to go up to the lounge 15 minutes before the fireworks and having a perfect view.


    Day 2

    Marissa, Tom and I spent half a day at Magic Kingdom. (Tommy opted to stay behind at the resort.) We explored the new Fantasyland and went on the Little Mermaid ride which was very cute. We then had a lefou's brew at Gaston’s tavern and rode a bunch of rides. By mid-afternoon we were ready to head to the resort pool.


    If there’s one negative to Bay Lake, it’s the pool. Nothing special and very few shady areas. But Marissa did have fun on the waterslide.


    Day 3

    One of our favorite Disney activities is to explore the resorts. We love to take the monorail, boats etc. to all the different properties. We went to the Grand Floridian, the Polynesian and the Wilderness Lodge. Super fun and an inexpensive way to spend the day.


    That night, we watched the electric boat parade from our balcony. I’ve been to Disney World dozens of times, but I didn’t even know this parade existed. Apparently, this is the oldest Disney World parade. If you’re staying at any of the resorts around the lake, be sure to check it out. It was very cute.


    Then it was off to bed because we needed to get up early to head to the port!


    I know I breezed through the Disney portion of our trip. But I want to get to the cruise. Because that’s the best part, right?




    Marissa in Gaston's Tavern in the new Disney Fantasyland. Try the cinnamon rolls ... HUGE, warm and delicious.




    View from our room. From the boat ramp, you can go to Fort Wilderness and the Wilderness Lodge.




    The Contemporary Hotel. The monorail stops inside the hotel and will take you to the Polynesian Hotel, the Grand Floridian Hotel and Magic Kingdom.




    Dinner at Chef Mickey's inside the Contemporary.




    Marissa enjoys the spa tub in our hotel room.




  10. Welcome to my review of our 4-night cruise on the Enchantment! This was an interesting trip for us. It was a cruise:


    ... that would determine if my family could have as much fun on a smaller ship as a mega-ship


    ... that was a consolation prize to the trip of a lifetime


    ... where I believe I met a celebrity but I still have no idea who she is


    But I’m getting way ahead of myself.



    First, allow myself to introduce myself. :D I’m Kim. I live in Fort Lauderdale with my beautiful family, including:

    • My wonderful DH of 20 years, Tom
    • DS Tommy, 15 … my handsome and moody teen who is very hard to please these days
    • DD Marissa, 9 … our beautiful happy-go-lucky princess

    This was our fifth cruise. I guess you can say we’re officially addicted. We’ve previously cruised on the Disney Wonder (twice), the Celebrity Millennium and the beautiful Allure.


    I had a few concerns about this cruise. First, we weren’t supposed to be on this ship. Or this itinerary. Or even in this country. We had originally planned to go on a European cruise on the Navigator. But due to some unforeseen family issues, we sadly had to cancel. I was upset. But my husband was absolutely devastated.


    My hubby is a pretty great guy. And he likes to make everyone happy. So when I saw how miserable he was about missing the cruise of a lifetime, I came up with an alternative. Sure we couldn’t spend two weeks in Europe. So what if we went to Disney for a few days and then took a short cruise? If there’s one thing my husband loves as much as cruising, it’s Disney.


    He halfheartedly agreed. It just wasn’t the trip he had envisioned. He had planned the original cruise and was really looking to taking our kids to Europe. But it was still nice to have a cruise to look forward to – even if it wasn’t our first choice.


    But hey, we could still visit Italy and France at Epcot, right? That’s sort of the same thing. ;)


    The other concern I had was the ship. I heard great things about the Enchantment, but after being on the Allure, I was worried that it would be underwhelming for the kids – and for me (if I’m going to be honest). We had sailed on smaller ships before and really enjoyed it. But we LOVED the Allure … and Central Park … and the restaurant choices … and the activities … and the shows. Bottom line: I thought the Allure might have spoiled us.


    I called Royal Caribbean to make the itinerary change. That’s when I realized exactly how much we had already paid on the European sailing. So I threw caution to the wind and decided to put the fundage toward a Grand Suite. That had to cheer up Tom, right? It ended up being almost the same amount of money after we pre-paid our gratuities. (This was before RCI implemented the new policy.)


    We had never sailed in a suite before. We’ve had balconies and ocean views, and I’ve loved them all. But with a teenager and an almost tween who would easily win the gold if bickering were an Olympic sport, I knew the extra space would be nice. And I was excited to be allowed to set foot in the elusive Concierge Lounge.


    So our final itinerary was a couple nights at Disney’s Baylake Tower, the four-night Bahamas cruise out of Port Canaveral on June 3, and then two more nights at Disney Boardwalk Villas. This would be a great way to end the school year and start the summer off with some family fun.


    Now for the disclaimers. What?!? Why would I need those? Anyone who has been on these boards for a while knows exactly why. Some of our fellow cruisers can get pretty bent out of shape with negative RCI comments. And I get it … we all love RCI but that doesn’t mean everything is always sunny.


    This trip report is going to be completely honest. Please understand this is only my opinion. Everyone’s cruise is different. That’s not to say we didn’t have a great time, because we did! But what good is a review if you don’t give a balanced perspective?


    And I will do my best to give the most accurate information possible. But I’m not perfect, and I’m becoming increasingly forgetful these days. (I commonly enter a room and then look around blankly because I’ve forgotten why I walked in there. Please tell me I’m not alone.)


    If I give out incorrect information, please feel free to correct me. But do it nicely. No need for flames. This is a happy review!


    Enough of that. Okay? Okay! Let’s gooooooooooooooooooooooooo!


    Here’s a pic of me and my family. This was taken on formal night on the Enchantment. I will try to keep family pics to a minimum but no promises. They’re just so darn cute!





  11. The Prohibition Party was one of our favorite events on the Allure. It has a gangster/speakeasy theme to go along with the Chicago show.


    You receive free drinks included with the fee (some in coffee mugs in accordance with the Prohibition theme), and most of the guests dress up in 20s costumes. All of the staff are in character. And there's live big-band type music.


    You need a password to get in, and you enter through a "secret" back entrance. There are other surprises ... but I don't want to give it all away.


    Don't let the custumes deter you. You can easily get away with a black dress, pearls and a boa. Guys can wear dark suits with a fedora. They even have them for sale on the ship.


    We dressed up and had great fun. I highly recommend. :D


    Hope that helps!

  12. If you can handle another superfan ...


    Such an amazing review! I loved your Med one, and I think I'm enjoying this one even more. I'm a sucker for the mom-daughter trip. I have a 9-year-old and would love to do something similar when she's older. (BTW, you have a beautiful family.)


    I'm currently doing a review of our Allure sailing. So I know how darn time consuming it is. You do such a great job ... your level of detail is so impressive. I feel like I'm on the trip with you.


    Thank you so much for sharing!!! :D



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