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Enchantment 4-night mini review - 10/27-10/30


jerrib
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Let me start by saying that this is the first short cruise we have taken. We were with friends who had never cruised and they were willing to try as long as it was a short cruise. He is subject to sea sickness and was leery, however he made it through great. They both loved it and see longer cruisers in their future.

 

Transportation from port - As there were 4 of us, it was much cheaper to rent a car to get us from the airport in Orlando to our hotel in Cape Canaveral. Budget - $76 plus gas for a Chevy Equinox (had the needed trunk space for 4 persons luggage). Do not hesitate to rent a car, very easy. Most rental car companies are right at the airport, just walk across the street from baggage claim. Exit the garage and get quickly on 528 to A1A. (It's actually the same road, straight shot.) An easy 40 min. drive, two tolls at $1 each. It was great having the car overnight and dropping it off near the hotel in the morning. Budget provided a free shuttle to the ship.

 

Pre-cruise hotel - Country Inn & Suites, 9009 Astronaut Blvd, Cape Canaveral. This is the closest hotel (though there are two more next door) to the port. You can see the ships from the hotel in the distance, about a mile. We chose this based on comments on the board and as usual we were not steered wrong. A very nice hotel, very well kept, clean both in the rooms and the public areas and a very welcoming staff at the desk. Be aware, that other than the included breakfast, there are no other dining or drinking options at this hotel. We brought our bottle of Bailey's down to the pool area to enjoy for our evening nightcap. Breakfast was not elaborate but fine. We ate indoors due to cool weather but imagine that on warmer mornings you could take your food outside to the tables around the pool. 24-hour coffee service in the lobby and warm cookies at the front desk 24/7 was a nice touch.

 

Pre-cruise dinner - Went to the Cove restaurants at the port. There are 6-8 restaurants to choose from, all next to each other. Most if not all have outside deck seating where you can view the ships departing. In our case we arrived in time to see three ships pull out on Sunday between 4:00 and 4:30. The channel is narrow so they are very close to you as you dine/drink. A great place to enjoy the night before your cruise. We spent an additional week at a timeshare in Cocoa Beach following the cruise and returned a couple of times to the Cove. We ate at Rusty's, Grills and Fishlips. We found the menus at all very similar but we definitely preferred Rusty's for the view. The other two faced not so attractive industrial landscapes across the channel and had some obstructions on the restaurant side. Rusty's was a much nicer, clear view.

Wine - Should you be sailing on a Sunday be advised that you cannot purchase wine, liquor & beer in Florida on Sunday until after 12pm. Having a car made it easy for us to buy our wine the night before. We went down A1A a couple of miles south of the port/hotel to the Publix liquor store. We took a bottle of wine to the MDR each night, no corkage fee.

 

Embarkation - We arrived at the port at 10:30 and were aboard within 20 min. Though we went through the suite priority line, our first-time cruiser friends' line was just as short. Windjammer opened at 11:30, Park Café at 12:00. Rooms were ready about 1:15. Our luggage was delivered sometime between 1:30 and 3:00.

 

Ship - Have been on Vision classes previously and enjoyed them. This one was larger due to the lengthening. It was in great shape. I did notice that it had a much lower-key vibe than the Vision and the Legend, which I expected to be just the opposite being a 4-day.

 

Stateroom 8048 - We originally booked a balcony (as we always do), but through two upgrades we ended up in a Grand Suite (our first). Loved, loved, loved this cabin. Very roomy, sofa & 2 chairs, 3 (yes I said 3) full closets and the walk-around bar unit had too many drawers to count. Bathroom had large tub/shower and double sinks....very nice. The balcony had a nice bistro set (2 chairs and high table with a glass top) all in a beautiful dark rattan. There were also two loungers. Can't comment on the suite perks....didn't really use them. As our travel companions were not in a suite we chose to stick with them so didn't take advantage of the nightly Concierge Lounge. We did stop in for espressos when we first boarded to check it out. Not overly impressed. Rather small, the decor nothing special, liked the public lounges better. We did avail ourselves of the priority tender boarding at CocoCay though. This was really nice as we went down and proceeded to the front of the line where the staff member placed us first in line (the line at that point was up the stairs a level or two).

 

Sail-Away - Be forewarned, we were scheduled to sail at 4:30 but the ship actually headed out at 4:00 with no warning. As soon as we realized that we were on the move we ran up to the top deck to wave to Fishlips' webcam. Just looked at the video online today and there we are! Just bookmark this site if you are thinking of doing the same. Plug in your ship & date on top of the page for the replay when you return from your cruise. portcanaveralwebcam dot com / replay.php

Food -

.....MDR- Dined in the MDR all 4 nights, two bad entrees, one okay (Tiger Shrimp), one excellent (Carved Filet of Beef Tenderloin- Saffron Menu). One great meal out of 4 is not my idea of success. By the way the 4 night menus in order: Mojo - Saffron - Pomodoro - Pimiento

 

Dress in the MDR on formal night was very casual as I had expected for this length cruise. Our guys just wore khakis and button-down shirts and found that at least half the men were dressed as such. Jackets and ties were in the minority.

 

.....Windjammer - Breakfast: Not bad. Only complaint is that there was only 1 person manning the egg station. They would take your order, ask your name and give you a time when it would be ready (15 min. in our case). Lunch: awful. Have enjoyed on past cruises, but the Enchantment buffet food left much to be desired. Variety sufficient but quality lacking. Never finished any item I tried (believe it or not I am not typically hard to please). I will say that both at breakfast and lunch we never had trouble finding a table. Did not try the Windjammer for dinner.

 

.....Nassau Midnight Delights Buffet on the pool deck - quite the disappointment. A few mini sandwiches (pretty awful) and a small selection of their not-so-hot desserts.

 

Entertainment - Cruise Director was Marc Walker. He is terrific, the best we've ever had. He does a daily morning show (comedy skits) on the TV that are quite funny, shows his sense of humor. Went to the first night's production show and enjoyed it. It starred Comedian Rodney Johnson and he was very good. I had hoped to make his late-night adult show later in the cruise but missed it. The Love & Marriage Game Show was hilarious (can sometimes be a bust depending on the participants but the oldest couple were a real hoot and had the audience going crazy). Did a couple of the Trivia sessions, always enjoy those.

 

CocoCay- Our first time there and we loved it. So much natural shade and loungers and hammocks were plentiful. The water was beautiful, clear and a comfortable temperature. We found 4 loungers under a tree at Coconut Willie's Beach, very nice. The Grandeur was there with us, but in no way were the beaches crowded. The same cannot be said for the BBQ lunch however. They opened up a 2nd location due to 2 ships being there. The lines went quickly but seating was a real problem, not enough.

 

Nassau - Festival Place at the pier is still closed for renovations. Vendors have been moved outside in little wooden huts. We walked through the port area and past the Straw Market to catch the jitney to Cable Beach.

.....Melia Resort - We had decided to spend a few hours at the Melia Resort on Cable Beach. $30 pp to use the facilities (loungers & towels provided). However, this turned out to be a bust. They were in the middle of major renovations outside on the pool/beach area. The largest pool was surrounded by 6' high chain link fence. Workers were busy within doing whatever, so much noise that we could not hear each other talk from our lounge chairs on the beach. We quickly decided that this was not for us and packed up and headed to the Check-In desk where we had originally purchased our passes. We expressed our disappointment and requested refunds for the four of us. They were extremely gracious and immediately issued our credits. Kudos for them and I would try them again in the future. The grounds were very nice, however, a warning for those who wish to stay out of the sun. Of their 3 pools, all surrounding loungers were in full sun, no umbrellas. On the beach there were several umbrellas. We arrived about 9:30 and had our choice

.....Conch Salad lovers - if you love conch salad and don't plan to go past the port/downtown area, try Casablanca. Very unpretentious, eat on small open-air front porch. It is diagonally across from Senor Frogs. They will make it fresh for you as you watch. $12 for a very large bowl, two of us shared one and didn't quite finish it.

 

Dis-embarking - A breeze. We were scheduled for 9am, off on time and out to the street within 20 min. This was our first time experiencing a luggage carousel, worked great. Our bags were making the rounds as we arrived. This was so much better than entering a large cavernous building with hundreds of pieces of luggage lined up.

 

Final Thoughts- Enjoyed most everything about the ship and had a good time. But when I look back I fear I may only remember the horrible food. I can't imagine sailing for 10-14 days and having to deal with this Enchantment food quality throughout. Would I do the Enchantment again? Probably not. A cruise this short is definitely not for us. This would however be a good choice for a first-time cruiser (our friends loved it). We love Royal and have had great experiences on all of our past cruises and have four lined up for the future.

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barcoviajero, we just did the three day cruise. We booked the first night at Chops for the discounted price and it was wonderful. I have no clue why people are complaining. I loved the goat cheese salad, the crab cake and the Tuna. My husband had the filet, spinach and mashed potatoes. We ate other meals at Windjammer. Loved the antipasto bar. I ate so much eggplant and asparagus. Great pretzel rolls in the am for breakfast. I am not a big breakfast eater but those were good. I did like the salad at park café, not crazy about the beef but took a wick roll and went and got a hamburger on the pool deck. Our cococay day was cancelled. I did the royal replenish and loved going to Starbucks three times a day. Say hello to Antoinette for me. She works 24/7 as a barista. All those desserts in the glass case there are free and much better than some of the others. The flan in the windjammer was good. Have fun. Three days is all I can do. I don't get sea sick until I get off and then I move for days!

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Thanks for the review, we are sailing the day after Thanksgiving for a 3 day. I hope we have better luck with food, but any food I do not have to cook or clean up after is good food to me!

 

 

I will also be there. Looking forward to it.

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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  • 2 weeks later...
Thank you for a great, detailed review! Just a couple more questions; did you pay for your upgrades or did Royal a Caribbean comp them? If they were comped, what level Crown & Anchor are you?

 

 

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No, sorry to say they were not free upgrades. Originally booked a regular balcony, hubby decided to surprise me with a Jr. Suite upgrade ($200). Then just before we sailed we upgraded to the Grand Suite for addt'l $100

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Thank you! Still $300 is a small price for a Grand Suite. How far ahead did you do your Jr. Suite upgrade? We sail Dec. 15. Also, wifi on ship? Do iPads work in hot zones?

WiFi is everywhere on Enchantment.

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Thank you! Still $300 is a small price for a Grand Suite. How far ahead did you do your Jr. Suite upgrade? We sail Dec. 15. Also, wifi on ship? Do iPads work in hot zones?

 

 

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We took advantage of a sale several months out to upgrade to the Jr. Suite. Another sale just a few weeks out got us the Grand Suite.

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