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Enchantment Review Part 1


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Hi everyone! After months of reading advice and thoughts from other cruisers, I have finally completed my first cruise! I have been wanting to cruise for a long time and my dream has finally come true. Myself 40, my husband 43, and daughter 11, son 14, just finished 5 nites on the Enchantment of the Seas. We cruised to Jamaica and Grand Cayman. First I’ll tell you about the pre-stay at the Tropi Rock Resort.


We stayed for three nites pre-cruise at the Tropi Rock Resort in Fort Lauderdale. It is located a little more North of the Yankee Clipper, and right around the corner from the Beach Plaza (I just mention these, because I think they are more well known by cruisers). It was a great location, just a three minute walk to the beach, and a three minute walk to a bus stop on the main road (A1A) I believe is what it is called. The taxi fare from the airport was $17.00, and the taxi fare from the Tropi Rock to Port Everglades was $12.00 (that included the time the taxi waited as I ran into Walgreen’s outside the Port for some cough medicine).


The Tropi Rock was okay. I wouldn’t call it a resort, as it is described. It is rather small, just about 35 to 40 rooms. There is no restaurant. They do have a vending machine with snacks, and free coffee all day long. We walked to Howard Johnson’s for breakfast every morning, just a three minute walk. The hotel was decorated very uniquely, lots of mosaic imprinted in cement. The rooms were all decorated a little differently, sort of eclectic style. It was cute, and very clean. The bathroom was yellow, a little old, but very clean! There was a flowery garden area around pool, and they had some lounge chairs you could freely take to the beach, and supplied beach towels for you also. They had two tennis courts, and shuffleboard and a ping pong table. They had two computers right down in the very small lobby area near the pool, where you could freely use the internet. My 14 year old son was delighted with that. The websites I’ve read mentioned a pool bar, I did see one, but it was never open. You could buy beer and wine inside at the office.


The owner, Mick, was very helpful, and even had a binder of menus from all the different local restaurants to look at, so we could select where we wanted to go. We went to the Cheesecake factory one nite. It was to die for!!! The menu is like a book, with everything imaginable!! The last page consists of about 25 different flavored cheesecakes. We were so full, but got cheesecakes to go, and actually ate them for breakfast the next morning, which was the morning we departed for the ship. We figured we were going to get there for the Windjammer lunch, and were tired of paying about $38 at Howard Johnson’s for breakfast.


Overall I feel we got a good deal at the Tropi Rock, I think it had more of a motel feel than a resort, as advertised. But we paid $95 a nite for three nites, and Mick was so personable when talking to him on the phone, he didn’t charge the extra $ for my son being over 12, and even provided us with a fold up cot at no charge. They had a pretty good sized little refrigerator in the room also. They did have a room with kitchen facilities available also, for something like just another $18.00 per nite. It was a clean place also, and very convenient to the beach and the bus which cost $2.00 to ride all day, or something like $1.00 adult, 50 cents a child each way. One bus took you right down A1A north, or whatever that main road is along the beach, or if you grabbed another bus, it took you down that main road, and right onto Los Olas Blvd (spell that right?) And the bus driver dropped us off right in front of the Cheesecake Factory. We also took the bus to the water taxi and rode the intercoastal waterway, what a beautiful site that is.


We had left the Tropi Rock Resort by Taxi at about 11:30, and were actually onboard and eating in the Windjammer at 12:20!! They say you cannot embark until 2:00 PM, but thanks to my friends on Cruise critic, I knew better! We got right on, with no problem at all, there were no lines, and zipped right through everything, and right onto the boat. The cheesecake wasn’t cutting it, and our first thought was free food upstairs. We headed to the Windjammer, along with everyone else. We were like kids in a candy store. WOW, the food!!! We ran around and eventually met at a table, with “Did you see this, or that?” “Where did u get that!” And my son’s favorite words, “And it’s all free!!” Little does he know how much I really paid for it all! We were told our rooms wouldn’t be ready until 1:00 PM, I think we arrived at 1:15 and it was ready, no luggage yet though. We had left the room to check out the ship and to meet some friends I met here on Cruise critic for 3:00 in the Viking lounge, and when we got back around 4:00, our luggage was there.


We had state room 4557. I must say I was pleasantly surprised at the size of the room. I was prepared for the worst, 2 adults and 11 and 14 year old in the inside cabin. We did get a larger inside cabin, a different of something like 14 sq ft.. There was so much storage space, draws and shelves everywhere. We were able to put all our clothes away, and store 7 suitcases (yes, 7 folks!!) We had some big ones, and I was surprised they fit right under the bed, we kept one smaller one full of shoes at the foot of one bed near the little glass table, and stood one up in the closet. We did need to ask for extra hangers for the closet. I did bring along the shoe hanger for the bathroom door, it took a little work, but got it to hang with two of the metal hangers provided with it. The organizer was about $6.00 at Walmart, and what a great idea, we stored little games and trinkets for the kids, our sea pass cards, sunglasses, lotions, and actually some shoes in it. It helped keep the small desk area clean of clutter! I thought the cabin was very clean and had lots of storage. The only wear and tear I saw was the little club chair, and the desk chair, the fabric showed some wear and wasn’t the cleanest, but I don’t think I ever even sat in either one. It wasn’t often we were all in the cabin. At shower time and trying to dress, I did kick one or two people out so we could have room.


We were in a great location, room 4557, it was just about nine doors down from the open Champagne bar area and the Centrum, when you walked through that area, you were at the elevators, and then the dining room. If we turned left out of our stateroom door and down the hall, about ten doors, we were at the other set of elevators. I was really pleased with our location. Our room attendant Perfecto was magnificent, and was always easy to find!! Only complaints were that on our first morning we discovered the shampoo container was empty! On the last morning, we had no soap left either, so that detail was overlooked by Perfecto. Shampoo created suds, and that was an easy fix. I was a little disappointed, I had told the children about the animals made from the towels everyday, but we only saw three of them. They heard everyday from our tablemates about their animals, even a monkey hanging from the clothesline in the shower. He did do a great job of cleaning our cabin, I must admit. He did wonders with the fiasco we left behind every morning!! Maybe that’s why he didn’t have time for the animals, LOL!!


The rest of the ship was beautiful. The Centrum area near the champagne bar was stunning. I felt like I was in a 8 star hotel, LOL. The gold and glass, the marble staircase. What surprised me was each and every lounge was a little different in its décor, but the seating was nice. There were nice club chairs in every lounge, set up in clusters with small tables, or large tables, love seats and individual chairs, so no matter how many people were in your group, you could find a nice place to sit and suit your needs. They were all so comfy!!


The dining room was impressive, and we had a nice window seat. Lyndon was our waiter, and we were impressed that he remembered our names. I thought the food was great, but I had been on a diet pre-cruise for about 4 weeks, eating salad, salad, salad, and more salad, so I let go, and anything would have tasted great to me, LOL!! Honestly though, we had no issues with the food, it was great! My 14 year old and I got adventurous and tried chilled banana soup and escargot. My children couldn’t get over the ten pieces of silverware set in front of you! They bent over backwards to get everything you needed. I was impressed that everything came in a timely manner, considering we were eating with about 1000 other people!! We sat at a table for eight and met a nice family from Florida with two children, 4 and 8. The 4-year old loved my daughter, and sat next to her every nite. They were great. We ended up hanging out with them near the pool area, and at a couple of the game shows at nite. We enjoyed their company. It was nice having met the other two families also that I had met on Cruise critic boards, they had sons my son’s age, and they went off a couple of times together doing things. We hung out with them at times also. We hadn’t come with another family, as lots of others did. So it was nice to meet these other families and be able to socialize with them.


The Windjammer was nice. We ate breakfast there every morning, they had everything under the sun! They even had strawberries and blueberry sauces and whip cream for your waffles. Just a couple of things were added on different days, one day there was eggs benedict, another there was hash. Every morning, except the last morning, there were two chefs there to prepare eggs any way you wanted, or omelets any way you wanted.


One word of advice in the Windjammer, find a table ahead of time. I learned a couple of things, especially if your table is not very close to the food, I found a table and put a coffee on it, and some personal belongings. This way my hands were free to carry my plate and juice. Also, wait in line for your eggs and omelets ahead of time, before you get the rest of your food. Sometimes there is a wait, and your food will get cold!! I learned this the first morning. I never had a hard time getting food from the buffet, there were four lines, two on either side of the room.


We ate dinner only once in the Windjammer, and it was good, a variety of fried eggplant, chicken marsala, veal parmesan, some kind of steak dish, varied potatoes and veggies. Lots of salad and toppings and dressings. There was also a pasta station with only one chef on this nite. He made pasta to order, two types of pasta to pick from, garlic, butter, olive oil, cream sauce or marinara, and would put anything in it for u, veggies, spices, baby shrimp, chicken. But I was prepared, and stood in this pasta line before I filled up the rest of my plate. I had about a ten minute wait at least. There was only one chef working for some reason.


We only ate lunch a couple of times, in the Windjammer. We had our breakfast pretty late, so weren’t always hungry. In the same station with the chefs, they made sandwiches to order, different flavored wraps, or sub rolls. Sometimes there were some already premade sitting there, cut into pieces. Every time he had a sandwich to order, he would make a really big one, and leave some on the tray for others who are not so picky, to choose from. They had lots of pasta salads, and hot items also. They were always carving some meat at any buffet I went to, whether it was a turkey, ham or roast beef. I thought all of the food was great.


The Windjammer’s hours are stated in your compass each day, for breakfast 7:30 to 11:30, lunch was only open till about 2:30 or 3:00. They reopened around 3:30 until 5:00 for snack. Dinner was from about 6:30 to 9:00. We went twice for snack, one day it was nachos, with every kind of topping imaginable!! It was buffet style, and you made your own, there were still lots of desserts and goodies, and soft serve ice-cream! The other time we attended, it was make your own tacos, with basically the same toppings and the soft serve ice-cream! There was a Ben and Jerry’s stand, outside the Windjammer, I believe there was an additional charge.


Concerning seating for dinner, we had the early seating, which I thought was originally 6:30, but when we got our docs, it was 6:00. We were generally out of there by about 8:00 PM, and attended to show of the night which started around 9:00. We were a little rushed to get there, at least two of us, sometimes three showered before dinner, (I think my daughter saw the shower only once…??? Yes, this was confirmed by her when I inquired at the end of the trip) LOL. Oh well, gave the rest of us open access to it!! Too much to do, and so little time to shower, I suppose. The day we were on Grand Cayman, we came back around 3:30, and decided no rushing, hung out at the pool, took a nap, and did the Windjammer. I don’t know if the second seating would have been better or not, you still needed to be ready if you wanted to see the shows. The second seating sat at 8:30, but the show for them to watch was at 7:00 pm. They were strolling out of the dining room around 10:15 to 10:30 PM. Maybe open seating would be better. I would have better enjoyed dinner a little later, maybe 7:00 to 7:30 so we wouldn’t have been so rushed.


Most of the shows every nite were great. We attended four out of five. My 11 and 14 year old also enjoyed them, and wanted to go. The Orpheum is a large theater, rather impressive, with even an upper deck for viewing the stage.


The juggling and comedy of Steven Carte was wonderful. My 14 year old is a juggler himself, and will probably be trying some new things after that show! He was a comedian also, and had us laughing!


Another nite, The Royal Caribbean dancers did a show, “Can’t stop the Rock”, and that was really good. I was really impressed with their coordination with each other. They worked hard, and one of the singers had a wonderful voice, and got lots of applause during her act.


One night we saw the magicians David and Kathie Haines, who perform a lot in Las Vegas also, they were a number one act, and were impressive!!


Another nite we saw Billy Fellows who is a comedian and singer impressionist. He was celebrating 50 years in show biz, and that seemed to be his highlight of this show. Sorry, but I never heard of the guy. We were a little disappointed, we were hoping for a comedy act. He did very little stand up comedy. He only did one or two impersonations. He sang his own composed songs, somewhat funny, but his whole act was about being and getting old. I think he was going through an old-age crisis. One whole song consisted about his drooping butt, and another about an old person’s medicine cabinet. There was a screen show of clips of his whole life in show biz, once again celebrating his 50th year. (Once again, who the heck are u?)


The cruise Director was Dan-O. At first I thought he was pretty corny, but I really started to like him, he grew on you! He was about 35 years old and full of energy. He was a very funny guy! He had me in stitches at time, on the last nite he presented a segment on “Then ten most stupid questions asked on a cruise ship”. He had us in stitches, and we were glad we didn’t miss it!!! We also saw a review of our cruise, as there is a camera guy around the ship the whole cruise, and they put clips and highlights of the whole week to music. It was great! Dan-O announced on the last nite that this was his last cruise on the Enchantment, he was taking a little vacation and then would be cruise director of the Jewel of the Sea.


I was really impressed with everything having to do with these shows at nite, to the game shows we attended, The Quest, Battle of the Sexes, and the Love/Marriage game show. The sound effects technician, to the lighting, the experience of the entertainment staff on the ship, they were full of energy and very humorous!! My children attended all of these game shows except for the Quest. The Quest was quite humorous, it is sort of an adult scavenger hunt, with only minutes to get to the stage with the requested item. My hubby was tired and didn’t attend, I hung around with the folks from New York I met. My son loves game shows, and I initially told him that it was for adults. I wish he came, he would have enjoyed it! I think it would have been Okay for a mature 14 year old to see.


We played Bingo a coupe of times. It was quite expensive. The Cheapest set of cards was $35, the next set was $65. You couldn’t rip the paper cards apart either, because of the barcode on the bottom of the sheet, so sharing $35 cards between three or four of us, was quite hard, but I wasn’t ready to dish out $65. They played about 3 times a day. There was a jackpot game for coverall, that wasn’t won, and it carried over to the last day, it was about $5 to 6 thousand. There was also one special game of bingo one night before the Quest Game, It was $20 and it was for a free cruise for two of your choice!! Well, way over 100 people played, and they collected over $2000, so guess who paid for the cruise!!


I was a little disappointed with the pool area. It wasn’t that pretty. My first thought was that it was really small!! Well that didn’t matter much, as I learned that the water is quite cold, and hardly anyone used it!!! I never went in, very few adults did. My 11-year old fish only went in once, as it was cold. Maybe if it had been hotter on the pool deck more people would have used it. We didn’t hang around the pool on the first sea day, I don’t remember what the heck we were doing. The second sea day, it was fairly warm, bathing suit weather, although I didn’t feel the sun too much, I did get some color. Maybe because there was no “heat” nobody really used the pool. The inside Solarium pool was beautiful! I never used it though, my 11 year old would not have been happy, because children under 16 weren’t allowed in there. That is a shame, because the outside pool was too cold.


They had some poolside games, which we participated in. My hubby actually surprised us all, and participated in the Men’s sexy legs contest! I couldn’t believe he actually did it, and strutted his stuff in front of four women judges!! Of 15 guys, four winners were picked. He was actually one of them!! He won for “Tourist looking legs”. I got lots of pics, as nobody back home would believe my quiet husband would do such a thing!!


We had a good sea day poolside with the games, and ice sculpture demonstration. It didn’t start so well though…..THE CHAIR HOGS!!!! I’ve heard of them, I’ve read of them, and now I’ve experienced them first hand!! We woke up at 9:30 AM, and I rushed out of that cabin to get a pool chair, by 10:00 AM. All the chairs on the first level were taken, I went to the upper deck that over looks the pool. The wind was enough to send a small child overboard!!! I could barely get my towel to stay down and had to jump spread eagle onto it to keep it on the chair!!! After a couple of items actually flew out of my pocketbook and hit the guy lying next to me, I decided this wasn’t going to be the way I spent my day. I sat there and eyed all the chairs down at poolside, and was determined that one would be mine!!! There were lounge chairs actually tied together through the arms with towels!! Sandals, books and another item reserved a chair. Finally after 45 minutes I approached a deck attendant. I asked if he could move some items off of two chairs I watched unoccupied for 45 minutes. He said there is a rule, but they don’t enforce it, and can’t move personal items of others. “WELL, I CAN!!” I placed a towel and book, and sandals on the floor and helped myself to two beautiful lounge chairs in a highly desired location. I asked the gentlemen lounging beside them if he had seen these people. He said they came down at 9:00 and placed their stuff, and left, never to even occupy the spaces. It was now almost 11:00 AM!! Well around 11:30 AM , two ladies come by and quietly pick up their stuff and occupy the next two lounge chairs. One says to the other, “Well at least we still have two chairs”. These “ladies” were reserving four chairs poolside!!!! I commented to them that the chairs were empty way too long, and I decided to occupy them. They smiled and were pleasant, and said “No problem”. Imagine!!! Oh, it only gets better. Hubby and I have been in these chairs for just over an hour now, it is now 12:00 PM. My hubby got up to use the restroom, and a “gentleman” comes by, must have been one of the husbands of the two “ladies” and points to my hubby’s empty chair, and says “Do you mind if I take my chair back, I had my stuff lying here.” Can u imagine the nerve!!! At 9:00 AM either him or the wife place stuff there, never even sit their *%$ down, and it’s now 12:00 and he wants his chair back!!!!!!! The nerve of some people. When I informed him that my hubby was now the proud owner of that chair, he questioned me as to where he was!! I assured him that he would be right back, and not three hours later as he was!


Wow, now I’ve got myself all worked up thinking about these folks again. Nobody better walk into this room right now, LOL.


Overall, I was really impressed with the ship and staff. I know this was my first cruise, and I have nothing to compare it to. I had concerns with the upkeep of the ship, since it’s going in for refurbishment, but that was not the case at all. The ship was clean and beautiful. The staff was unbelievable and always around for you. I truly enjoyed my time on the ship. Even the disembarkment was easy!! We had a flight leaving at 11:30. We had filled out our tags the night before, and were the second group to be called. They actually called the first and second group together. We were called down about 8:45, took only a few minutes to get our luggage, pass through customs, it was so quick. We were at airport ($12.00 fare), with our luggage checked, at 9:50!!


I’ll write more tomorrow about the ports of Jamaica and Grand Cayman and our excursions, I’m getting typist's cramps right about now.


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You will love the Enchantment. Like I said, this was my first cruise and I have nothing to compare it to, but I was truly impressed with the cleanliness and beauty of the ship. I don't know who the new cruise director will be, but I hope he has at least half the energy of Dan-O, He was great, as well as the rest of the entertainment staff, they really made you laugh. I'm at work, can't really continue my review until tomorrow, glad you enjoyed it.

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