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mert461

Enchantment Cruise Review 7/5-7/10 - Long

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We had a family reunion on the Enchantment with 26 family members from both my side and my husband's side of the family. We all had a great time. Here's my review. I'll try to keep it short.

 

On Monday, the 5th we arrived at the port around 12:15 pm. There were four lines of people waiting to sign in. RCL staff kept the lines moving, rotating which ones went through security, etc. We were on the ship in less than 1/2 hour of arriving. Found our stateroom (7110) which was already cleaned although they said not to go there until after 1pm. Dropped off our carryons and went up to the Windjammer for lunch. Food was good, but typical for a buffet.

 

The ship definitely was showing it's age, especially in the carpeting of the stairs. Our sink in our cabin had a big chip out of it, but so does my sink in my kitchen, so I felt right at home! <g> My only complaint with the ship was the reading lights over the bed weren't bright enough when all the other lights were turned off (I like to read in bed). Our cabin steward was Praneet from Thailand. She kept ice in our bucket and also an extra bucket of ice in the fridge. Very quiet, but pleasant person.

 

We had the second seating at dinner (table 95). Waiter was Ronnie from India and Rabina from Turkey. We loved Rabina. She was so refreshing. Always smiling. If we saw her elsewhere on deck or in town, she'd remember our names and ask about our day. Much more pleasant than Ronnie. Food was good. Great presentation. Wonderful desserts! Wish I had the receipe for their low-fat strawberry cheesecake...especially what they used for the crust. Two nights the wait-staff entertained us. It was very enjoyable.

 

Key West was so hot it wasn't an enjoyable visit. We chose to not do an excursion and just walked about the town looking at the architecture. Didn't stay too long because it was 95 degrees with high humidity. That night was formal night. Everyone looked great dressed up. I do think that the RCL staff take too many pictures though. Some outside the dining room, and then they came around and did each table.

 

Next was Cozumel. Note: The ship changed their clocks to Cozumel time (which is the same as Central Daylight Time). We chose to go to Chanakaab Park. Took a taxi (4 of us) which was $10+tip. Twelve dollars each to get into the park. We went there to snorkel, which I didn't think was the greatest. It was hard to get into the water and there weren't that many colorful fish to see. We walked through the gardens, which was pleasant. Also watched the dolphins with the Discovery program. I actually felt sorry for the dolphins being penned up like they were. I hope they have a larger pen for them when they're not entertaining. Taxi'ed back to the ship and shopped at the pier. Had lunch at Senor Frog's. Really good food and margarietas (sp?). Left before it got too crowded. Stood on our balcony and watched people run for the ship before we left. The ship staff say they'll leave you behind!

 

Belize City. Belize is one hour behind Central Daylight Time, so the ship's personnel kept saying to keep your watches on ship time and not Belize time so you didn't miss the ship. Very important! In Belize we signed up with Coral Breezes for their shark/stingray tour. The Coral Breeze staff person met us at the flagpole 1/2 hour prior to our leaving time. We had people scheduled to be with us from a Carnival ship, so had to wait for them to arrive. (Tender port.) It started to rain while we were waiting. We were afraid it would rain the whole time, but it stopped within 1/2 hour. Then we left for our boat ride to Caye Caulker. Saw a lot of stingrays and a few nose sharks. Easy snorkeling. Then we went to the barrier reef to snorkel. I'm not a very strong swimmer and because of the strong current, I had a problem staying up with the group. One of the CB staff stayed with me the whole way. I thought that was great. My husband paid him a nice tip for doing that. Lunch was at the Rainbow Cafe on Caye Caulker, which was okay. Then back to the tender point to go to the ship.

 

Remember how I said the ship will leave without you? Well, we were getting ready to pull anchor and we heard two names being paged from our group. No one had seen them since leaving the ship. A little bit later the Captain announced that two people had been left behind, but were on a speed boat trying to catch up with the ship. The ship slowed down and they finally got on board. Yes, it was my sister-in-law and niece! Needless to say, we will never let them forget it!

 

Matt Baker was the CD. I'd read so much about him on these boards, I was excited to see him in person. He wasn't a disappontment. He was extremely funny and talented. He told us our cruise was his last until September 3rd. He also said his ultimate goal is to get to Hollywood and make movies... comedys of course. Going back to the two who missed the ship in Belize, Matt did a joke about them at the late show on the last night. It was great!

 

If you've been on the Enchantment, you may know Bingo Allie. It was also her last cruise. I don't think she's coming back because they give her gifts at the last Bingo. She was very teary eyed.

 

The entertainment was really good also. The singers and dancers were extremely talented. One night was a comedian who was really good and another were jugglers, who were also good.

 

Disembarkation: We filled out a form saying what time our flights were. The next night we were given color tags for our luggage, which also told us where to wait to disembark. Everything went very smoothly. We were at the airport in plenty of time for our 1pm flight. My only disagreement on this was our taxi driver. We shared a taxi with another couple and he made us both pay full fare, not share it. I believe that was a rip-off.

 

To me five nights is too short for a cruise. Since it was the first one for many in our families, it was just right for them. My husband and I are booked for a 12 night Med cruise in 2005. Can't wait for that one.

 

If you have any questions about the Enchantment or ports, please let me know.

 

Donna

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Thanks for the great review....we leave on Sep 13. You don't mention the "Beatles" show. I've read that they were gone and then back. My DH is so looking forward to seeing them. Do you remember if they performed? Thanks.

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Thanks for the great review....we leave on Sep 13. You don't mention the "Beatles" show. I've read that they were gone and then back. My DH is so looking forward to seeing them. Do you remember if they performed? Thanks.

 

 

Sorry for leaving them out....yes, they performed. They were great! I was sitting in the balcony and when they did Twist and Shout they wanted everyone up and dancing. I was the ONLY one who got up. I told everyone around me to getup and dance. No one did. What bummers!

 

Donna

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Mert, thanks for posting the review. The wait until August 21 is killing me.

 

I just have one question. I e-mailed RCI for the entertainment schedule for the week of my cruise and it appears to be the same as yours ( comedian, juggler, etc), but they didn't mention the Beatles show to which I've been looking very forward.

 

Is the Beatles show in the main theatre or a smaller venue?

 

I'm just trying to figure out if there's a reason why they didn't mention that show. I would be very disappointed if they're no longer playing when we sail.

 

Thanks.

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Garucruz,

 

The Beatlemanics were in the Orpheum Theatre (main theatre). I can't remember if it was the second or third night. I wanted to save all the Compass' but my DH threw them away before packing. :-(

 

I hope they're on your cruise too!

 

Donna

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thanks for the great review....the wait till sept is also killing me!! The time is going by pretty fast, but i wish it would go by even faster...sorry to hear Matt baker wont be on our cruise....phooey..I really wanted to see him....oh well.....thanks for all the info.

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We are leaving on Enchantment with the same iternary on August 2nd.

 

I was wondering about the safety in Belize. My husband is very wary of it and actually wants to stay on the ship. We are taking two children (12 and 9). I have booked an excursion thru the ship -stingray/shark alley. I realize I could have gotten it cheaper thru an independent company...but the only way I could talk my husband into getting of the ship was taking a excurion thru the cruise line.

 

Did you feel "safe" in Belize? We had a terrible experience in St.Lucia on our last cruise...trying to "do our own thing" on that island.

 

 

With second seating at dinner, where they many kids? I choose second seating mostly that is our routine...but I have never taken the kids on a cruise and now am second guessing myself with dinner times. Of course, main seating is now full.

 

The kids are going to try Adventure Ocean, but if they do not/or I do not feel comfortable with the supervision level, they will be sticking with us.

 

Thanks,

 

Katie

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KatieRT,

 

First your question about Belize. I didn't feel unsafe at all. At least not any more than I did in Cozumel or Jamica (different cruise). In Belize the port and port shops are walled-in, or fenced in. If you're on an excursion, you probably won't have any reason to actually go into Belize City proper. The port had the same people trying to get you into their stores and buy, just like anywhere else. Stay with your group and you'll be fine. I believe your kids will be fine too. We did the shark/stingray tour, but through Coral Breeze. Just one note on that...the water is about 5 to 6 feet deep so the kids definitely need life jackets. Maybe even you and hubby if you're not comfortable swimming. I did the stingray tour in Grand Cayman and the water was more shallow. Didn't need life vests for that. Tell your hubby not to worry.

 

At dinner we didn't see a lot of small children; although my neice is 5 y/o. Mostly it was adults and teens. But that doesn't mean your kids aren't welcomed. It might have been the demographics of the ship the week we went. Also we were on the upper level of the dining room. There could have been more younger people on the lower floor and I didn't see them. Again, I think you'll be fine with second seating.

 

My neice was in Adventure Ocean. She loved it. Otherwise I don't know too much about it. My sister-in-law must have felt comfortable with her there, otherwise she definitely wouldn't have let her stay. One night at dinner the AO kids came through the dining room dressed as pirates. They were singing something about the captain walking the plank. It was really cute. They got a huge round of applause.

 

When arriving on the ship, anyone under a certain age (don't know the age...anyone know?) they put a wrist band on the child. They have to wear the band the whole cruise. Not sure why. Should have asked my in-law.

 

Giggles1972: Matt Baker said he'd be back on September 3rd. So if you're going after that date, you should have him as your CD. He also said he doesn't know what ship he'll be going to when the Enchantment goes to dry dock.

 

Donna

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oh wow....great....i must have read wrong....thank you for correcting me....i cant wait to see him....I have heard sooo many great things about him....cant wait for more reviews.

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KatieRT,

 

 

 

Giggles1972: Matt Baker said he'd be back on September 3rd. So if you're going after that date, you should have him as your CD. He also said he doesn't know what ship he'll be going to when the Enchantment goes to dry dock.

 

Donna

 

 

Donna when does Enchantment go into dry dock? Do you know? Just curious.

 

Thanks for the great review!

 

Kimberlie

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Hi Donna,

 

We will be going ont the Enchantment in August--can't wait. We will be going with three kids 10, 9, 8, Did you use the Adventure Ocean program-how was it? Do you have a copy of the compass you could pass on? I'd love to see what there is and do a little planning. Thank you in advance!!

Kaycee

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Hi Donna, Thanks for your review. It was very helpful. I am going on the Enchantment August 21. I'm so excited.

I was wondering if you noticed what times the pools and hot tubs were opened until?

Also, any specific suggestions for dining room attire on this particular ship. The phrase smart casual has really thrown me for a loop lol. Do you remember the order the nights went with regards to clothing?

We also have the second seating. Were your shows before or after dinner? Did you find the second seating to be better for port days especially? Or did it seem too late on sea days?

 

Thank you so much for all of your help. I am glad you had a great cruise!

 

Lauren

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Thanks for the great review! We are sailing on the enchantment on August 30th and can't wait!

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Hi Donna,

 

We will be going ont the Enchantment in August--can't wait. We will be going with three kids 10, 9, 8, Did you use the Adventure Ocean program-how was it? Do you have a copy of the compass you could pass on? I'd love to see what there is and do a little planning. Thank you in advance!!

Kaycee

 

Unfortunately I don't have any copies of the Compass. I was keeping them, but my DH threw them away while packing. :mad: I did take a yellow highlighter to mark what we wanted to see each day. As for the Adventure Ocean, I don't have small children, but my neice (5 y/o) was in it. She loved it. They did a lot of cute things including a pj party.

 

Have a great cruise!

Donna

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Hi Donna, Thanks for your review. It was very helpful. I am going on the Enchantment August 21. I'm so excited.

I was wondering if you noticed what times the pools and hot tubs were opened until?

Also, any specific suggestions for dining room attire on this particular ship. The phrase smart casual has really thrown me for a loop lol. Do you remember the order the nights went with regards to clothing?

We also have the second seating. Were your shows before or after dinner? Did you find the second seating to be better for port days especially? Or did it seem too late on sea days?

 

Thank you so much for all of your help. I am glad you had a great cruise!

 

Lauren

 

You know Laren, I was so busy doing other things that I didn't go to the pools until the Friday day at sea. I sat for about 20 minutes in the sun and remembered they were having a slots tournment and left for that. So I don't know how long the pools/hot tubs were open. I'm thinking 10pm maybe??? Anyone???

 

As for the dining room, I found second seating to work really well, especially on port days. We had plenty of time to get back and shower. On the last three nights our show was at 7:00pm or 7:15pm so we had to dress for dinner early, although my husband went to the shows in shorts and changed for dinner afterwards. My definition of smart casual is like business casual. Meaning nice slacks and possibly a golf shirt for the men; sundress or nice slacks for the women. Casual would be dockers etc. BUT, no one really differiented much between the two. I wouldn't worry about it as long as you don't have shorts or "play" clothes on. The dressing was actually pretty casual. We did wear shorts the embarkation night since the luggage was still being taken to the staterooms. Most in the dining room were in shorts.

 

Hope this helps!

Donna

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Kimberlie,

 

No one actually said when the ship would be in dry dock. Matt Baker made it sound like sometime in 2005. I check RCL's website to see if they don't show dates to book in 2005, but they do. So I don't have the answer to that question.

 

Donna

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Hi Donna, Thanks for your review. It was very helpful. I am going on the Enchantment August 21. I'm so excited.

I was wondering if you noticed what times the pools and hot tubs were opened until?

Also, any specific suggestions for dining room attire on this particular ship. The phrase smart casual has really thrown me for a loop lol. Do you remember the order the nights went with regards to clothing?

We also have the second seating. Were your shows before or after dinner? Did you find the second seating to be better for port days especially? Or did it seem too late on sea days?

 

Thank you so much for all of your help. I am glad you had a great cruise!

 

Lauren

Lauren, I see we're on the same cruise. We have late seating as well.

 

I just received my docs today so we're doing the doc dance. icon10.gif

 

I'm curious to hear reviews regarding the new cruise director since Matt Baker is on a break until early September. Although I'm sure we'll enjoy the cruise no matter who's running the show.

 

It can't come fast enough. icon7.gif

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Lauren, I see we're on the same cruise. We have late seating as well.

 

I just received my docs today so we're doing the doc dance. icon10.gif

 

I'm curious to hear reviews regarding the new cruise director since Matt Baker is on a break until early September. Although I'm sure we'll enjoy the cruise no matter who's running the show.

 

It can't come fast enough. icon7.gif

 

Garycruz, good to hear that we are on the same cruise! We are so excited. This is my first cruise since I went on a Mickey Mouse Cruise at age 4. I was excited at the thought of having Matt Baker as the cruise director, and I am crossing my fingers that the new cruise director is going to be fun as well.

I can't wait to hop on the plane for our sunny getaway!

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The mandatory wrist band for kids under a certain age is so that they can be brought to their muster station by a crew member to be reunited with their parents/guardian in the event of an emergency. I don't know what the age is. If there is an emergency, they want everyone going to their station instead of wandering around the ship trying to find their kids.

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Donna - Do you know if they had a C&A Party for Platinum & Diamond members?

 

Sorry, I don't really remember seeing a party for the C&A Platinum & Diamond members. I'm thinking there might have been because I remember seeing something in the Cruise Compass that I knew I wasn't eligible to go to.

 

Donna

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When we were on the Enchantment in April the pools were closed when we finished late seating dinner around 10 PM. But it could be much earlier. We left the pool area usually by 7 each evening.

 

The late seating dinner usually doesn't have many kids; more teenagers and adults. But as some one else said, they won't deny your kids entrance.

 

There were quite a few dressed-to-the-nines people around us on the main floor of the dining room, late seating. Perhaps the casual dressers go to early seating? Anyway, smart resort wear is acceptable (to the dismay of those who would really like formal night to be formal!).

 

Safety should not be a concern on a ship-arranged shore excursion. We took an excursion in Belize with a local company (not ship-arranged) and it was fine although I did worry a bit about the tires on the van! We also passed through several police checkpoints along the highway where we had to show our picture IDs, and when I asked what they were looking for the driver said "drugs and guns". Oh, well, just another day in Belize! It was quite beautiful, once we got away from the coast which is rather flat and unattractive.

 

If you are at all nervous about safety stick with the ship-arranged excursions.

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Did you need to take your passports or drivers license with you on the excursion?

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