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amamba

Enchantment Review - 2/28 sailing

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I was on the 2/28 sailing of the Enchantment. We did the Key West, Cozumel and Belize itinerary. This was my first cruise, and I learned many things on these boards prior to sailing! All in all, I had an excellent time and will definitely consider an RCI cruise again.

 

The ship: The ship is still looking good despite the fact that she is going into dry dock soon for the STRETCh. All the public areas were in good shape, but our room had some stained furniture (eg chairs, loveseat).

 

The service: Our stateroom attendant, Joseph, was very responsive and attentive. We asked him on the first day to keep our cooler stocked with ice for the 24 pack of beer that we brought in our luggage, and he did! He even took the warm beers and put them in the ice for us :) For those who have been asking about taking alcohol on board, we also brought a plastic handle of cheap rum (in our checked bags) and carried on board a small plastic container of bourbon in our carry on. Our waitor was Inyoman from Indonesia with Lea our Asst. Waiter from India. They were very good, although Inyoman sometimes got our dessert orders confused. This might have been because we kept ordering multiple desserts!

 

Embarkation: We arrived at the terminal via car around 12:15 pm. We were dropped off by my DH's parents, so we didn't have to worry about parking or anything like that. We gave our baggage to the porters and were quickly whisked through the check in process with no lines or waiting. We were on the ship by 12:30 pm. We went up to the Windjammer for a delicious lunch and then headed to our staterooms around 1:15 to unpack.

 

1st Day: We didn't actually get our luggage until 6:30, so we didn't get to unpack as originally planned! Muster drill was painless. We had a great dinner and enjoyed the new cruise director, Marc. The bon voyage dinner was good, although my duck was a little tough. I am from Boston, and while the food was good, it does not compare to a 4 star restaurant in the city.

 

2nd Day: Key West

We arrived in Key West very early (before we woke up), so as soon as we woke up we headed up to the Windjammer to get a quick bite and then were off the ship by 9 am. We docked right in Mallory Square, and then proceeded to walk around the town. We checked out Diamonds International (very overrated) and then proceeded over to the Lighthouse Museum (across the street from the Hemmingway House). We climbed to the top which had a gorgeous view of the island. Tonight was formal night - We got our picture taken with the captain and enjoyed the open bar at the reception before dinner. Not only were they bringing around rum punch and champagne, everyone was able to order whatever they wanted at the bar for free. Dinner was good tonight as well, and the cheesecake was delicious!

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3rd Day: We arrived in Cozumel a little early, and were docked by 9:30 am. We weren't schedule to disembark until 10:30 AM, but they started letting people off around 10. We had breakfast in the dining room which was delicious!!! I highly recommend the Eggs Benedict. I did, however, prefer the assigned seating at dinner to the open seating during the other meals.

 

We spent the day in Cozumel enjoying the sun and the sand. We went shopping briefly in the morning (we were looking for a good deal on jewelery) but didn't like the high pressure sales in the stores. Checked our email at a little internet place for $1 for an hour, which sure beats the $.50/minute on the ship! Then took a cab to Palm Beach, just north of Paradise Beach. We spent some time here enjoying the 2 for 1 margaritas, buckets of beer, and the beautiful, crystal clear water. We got pretty hungry and asked about getting some food from our waiter, but when we discovered that they didn't take credit cards (we were low on cash), picked up our stuff and headed next door to Paradise Beach. We enjoyed our time over there as well - great service and we enjoyed meeting PB Tom. We did not use any of the water toys so I can't comment on that.

 

We got back to the ship just in time to change for dinner. The dining room was pretty empty (I think people spent too much time at Carlos and Charlies!). It was lobster night - I didn't bother to eat one as I live in New England and the lobster we have up here looked much better than what they were serving. Again, the food was good but not excellent. Later that night was the love and marriage show which I thoroughly enjoyed.

 

Day 4: Belize

We were supposed to start the tendering process at 8 am. We grabbed breakfast in the Windjammer at around 7:30, and then headed downstairs to get in line for a tender. We had an excursion booked with belizecruiseexcursions.com for a tour of the Altun Ha Ruins. Because we had not booked an excursion through RCI, we were told by Marc the cruise director that we would have to wait until all the RCI folks got off. We waited in line for a while, and then were put on a smaller tender in between RCI folks. We waited in line until about 8:45. It actually worked out better being on the smaller boat - it went faster and we arrived at the terminal prior to the people who had boarded a much larger boat just before us.

 

Our guide, Capt. Nicholas Sanchez, was great. I wouldn't recommend wandering Belize on your own. He took us and three others (two Belgians and a German woman) in a wonderful air conditioned van to the ruins. Capt. Sanchez was very knowledgable abuot the country and the area and narrated almost our entire trip to the ruins. We passed some larger houses in compounds on the road as well as some very poor houses with small children and dogs in the yard. It is definitely a third world country, so people should be prepared to see poverty. I think its very valuable for everyone to see how 90% of the world lives - it made me much more appreciative of everything I have.

 

We really enjoyed the ruins - they were beautiful! Capt. Sanchez also took us on a short walk into the rainforest, where we saw some wonderful plant and animal life. We got back to the ship by 2 pm - just in time for lunch at the Windjammer. After dinner, we went to the Quest and had an absolute blast!!! Pictures of my DH wearing lipstick and a skirt and a bra at the end were just too funny.

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Day 5 - Sea Day

I'de totally forgotten to mention the Chair hogs until now!! They were out in full force during the duration of the cruise - we spent some time by the pool after coming back to the ship in key west and ended up taking some chairs that had towels on them for over two hours without people.

 

Our sea day was very windy, and it was somehwat cloudy. We got some chairs up on the jogging track on deck 10, and it was just too windy! We went into the solarium eventually because the wind was soo rough. It got rainy and rough a little later in the day as well. Our last dinner was great, and we were sad to leave!!!

 

Overall, we had a great time. I really enjoyed the size and the feel of the ship. There were very few children, which was just what we were looking for. I would say most people were between the ages of 24 - 55.

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Sounds, great! We were on the 4 day trip just prior to yours; we returned the day you embarked. Thanks for your detailed review--brought back happy memories.

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Great Review Amamba !! I will be on her doing the same itenerary this monday, and I can't wait.

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Have fun, Sixthree. I just got off her yesterday and had a great time!!!

 

I also had to deal with the chair hogs! It's terrible! First day at sea I could not get a chair until after 1pm. So the last day at sea I figured I'd reserve a chair early too. If everyone else was doing it why not. I put out 2 towels with a book on each right before breakfast. When I got back to the chairs, someone had taken both towels! Left our books but I thought it was really rude to take our towels. Luckily I knew where to get 2 more but if you don't leave 2 in your room the last day they charge you $20 per towel. Some people amaze me. I wasn't even gone that long.

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Thank you NYCchic . .

 

 

I'm not looking foward to the chair hogs . . but i'm not going to let that ruin my first cruise. Someone told me to slip the bartender some money to watch or hold some chairs, but it's not even that serious. I'll asses the situation once on board and take it from there. I am very excited . .

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