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lbrooks34

Review of Enchantment of the Seas 4 Night Western Caribbean Cruise

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Enchantment of the Seas

RCL Cruise Review

August 26th – August 30th 2004

 

Weather: Perfect. Calm seas, temps in the high 80s to low 90s, high humidity. Lots of sun!

 

Sailed from Port Everglades, Fort Lauderdale on Thursday. Boarding process was smooth and efficient as before we knew it we were in our Deck 3 cabin unpacking. Then quickly off to the Windjammer for some lunch. The Enchantment is a very nice ship. Very comfortable though the 4-night cruise was full. The cabin was immaculately clean and kept that way by our steward. She was really good. Even taking note of when we were in the cabin snoozing, but forgot to put the Do Not Disturb sign out. But after we had left and came back, the cabin was made up. We never came back to an unmade cabin. Bed was always made, bathroom always cleaned, ice always in the bucket.

 

The food was ok. We did not eat in the My Fair Lady dining room, so I will not speak to that. But the Windjammer food was not spectacular as most of the entrees had little flavor. If you are a chicken lover, there is some type of chicken at every meal. The salad and fruit were reliable and so I looked forward to them at lunch and dinner. Breakfast was probably the Windjammer’s best meal, with just about every type of breakfast food available. The desserts were also overall ok. The cheesecake was not good at all, but the chocolate items were tasty. Pizza, hamburgers, and hot dogs were served in the Solarium daily. The lines here were sometimes long. The pizza was pretty good. My DH had the burgers and did not care for them. Do not know how the hot dogs were, but they seemed to be the most popular. On the Enchantment of the Seas, the Windjammer is in the front of the ship. Beware of people running and moving deck chairs overhead while you eat. This can be quite noisy.

 

Port of Call: Key West, Florida

I have to admit that I did not get a chance to thoroughly enjoy the shopping here as DH and I are divers and barely had time to fit that activity into the schedule. However, from the looks of it, there is plenty of shopping and the atmosphere is very tourist friendly. A spring break mentality! For those of you that dive, the diving here was pretty nice. We actually booked our dive through RCL because of the short schedule. We were the only two divers on the boat. However, there were snorkelers on the boat as well (none from Enchantment). So the dives were very shallow. Snorkel depth to be exact. The tour operator was Sea Breeze, and they did more complaining about their business woes and RCL than they did pointing out the stingrays underwater. For their part, RCL had also told us that the dive trip was sold out. This is what the operator was told as well (according to them). Anyway, the ship ended up leaving several people behind. The cruise docs stated that we were to leave Key West at 3pm, but the Compass said 2pm. So, we left at 2pm. Remember to check the Compass for departure times, not your docs once you are on board!

 

Port of Call: Cozumel, Mexico

Now this is a treat! Especially underwater! DH and I booked a private scuba dive trip with Dive with Martin. The visibility and marine life were incredible as was the service. After our two tank dive, we took a taxi to the shopping district and ate at a Mexican place called La Choza (recommended by our dive outfit who are Mexican). Delicious! Though it cost $30 for two orders of chicken fajitas, two Cokes, and two beers. It was worth it though. After that we wandered the plaza where there are more t-shirt places than tourists. I would save the shopping for Key West, and take a tour of Cozumel as the island and the surrounding water is beautiful at a warm 80 degrees.

 

The final day on this cruise is an At Sea day! You will need it after all the adventures of the previous 48 hours. There are plenty of activities on board, though most people chose to be by the pool. This cruise supported all ages, though I would say there were more 25 – 45 year olds than any other age group. But again, quite a diversity with children and retirees. The kids started getting rowdy toward the end of the cruise with some soccer being played by the elevators, and a lot of running around in general. The cruise had a party atmosphere the whole time and was quite lively. The bar service was wonderful. The drinks were made right on target and not watered down at all. The crew was always nice and helpful. Patient as well. The main entertainer on this cruise was the comedian Carl Strong. We did not see him, but the word was that he was very funny and had to do extra shows to accommodate his popularity. We spoke to a loyalty ambassador to book our next cruise, and she said that most of the passengers on this cruise were first timers with RCL. Very few C & A Gold Members, even fewer Silver and Platinum members. By the way, the C & A gift is the toiletry bag. This is a wonderful short getaway cruise where the time did not just fly by. A full cruise, but not crowded (if that makes any sense). I would recommend this cruise to anyone, no matter what age or cruise experience.

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Thanks for your review. I will be sailing the 4 niter on the enchantment in 2 months. I sailed the 4 niter last Oct as well and enjoyed the cruise tremendously. I was wondering if they had the Beatlemania show on your cruise and also what was the port time in Key West?? 7a to 2p or 7a to 3p ...it find dif port times listed in RCCL'S brochures vs internet cruise sites. Thanks Joyce

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Thank you for the review! Sounds like a great time. I am sailing on the 5 night enchantment on the 13th...we have Belize at the 3rd port of call. Just a question, why did you opt not to use the dining room? Just curious. Again Thanks!

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Thanks for your review. I will be sailing the 4 niter on the enchantment in 2 months. I sailed the 4 niter last Oct as well and enjoyed the cruise tremendously. I was wondering if they had the Beatlemania show on your cruise and also what was the port time in Key West?? 7a to 2p or 7a to 3p ...it find dif port times listed in RCCL'S brochures vs internet cruise sites. Thanks Joyce

49andholding,

 

No Beatlemania show - just Carl Strong, there was another act, but I cannot remember who they were.

 

The official port time in Key West was 7a - 2p. Once again, this was on the cruise compass, not in the docs I received.

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groovybaby76,

 

We did not want to pack the clothes for it (in addition to all the scuba gear we lugged around). Also, did not want to eat at a certain time, but whenever we felt like it. No good reason I guess.

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We, too, were on this cruise! I agree with everything LBrooks had in her review, and I can add a few things, as we chose other adventures as well.

 

Embarkation - We had Suite embarkation, and never once stood in a line. Sweet! :) With a few cruises under my belt, that was the first time ever I didn't wait for some portion of embarkation. (this was at about 12 noon)

 

Our steward, Andre up on 8 was fantastic, and I can't figure out why my bed isn't made here at home upon returning from getting the paper! He spoiled us rotten!

 

Food - We did eat dinners in the My Fair Lady Dining room, and were pleasantly surprised. After reading the reviews here, I didn't expect much from the food, and found it to be above average, but barely. I admit to being spoiled by a career of fine dining, but with that a good idea of what might be a "safe" bet in a dining room of that size at a second seating. I chose fish where I could, because its often made last, and I found it to be good on each occasion. When my daughter chose beef, she found it to be flavorful, but consistently ugly on the plate. No surprise there. She opted for pasta from then on, and found it great. (teenager) The caesar salads were consistently good, as were most of the appetizers. We tried room service three times. Breakfast twice was cold on the hot portions, but really nice for the cold. Suggesting then fruit, juices and yogurts as the breads were so-so. It sure is a great way to get your wake up call. The coffee, as reported in many other posts, was awful. Either start a new ritual or bring along something, you'll be disappointed and there's just no time for that on vacation! :) My bar experience was limited, but can tell you that the Viking Crown Lounge is a don't-miss. Views, views and views. Check it out first thing so you don't forget, as its off the beaten path, and that's why its so great!

 

Have to say here, too, that we lucked into the most fun at a dining table.. My teenagers (2) and I were seated with an extended family of 12 (maybe, as they never all made it to dinner at the same time!) I've never laughed so much with strangers, nor was so exuberantly embraced as one of the nuts as with these folks. Each a gem and so warm and funny! Thanks, Pittsburgh/Delray for all the fun!

 

Key West - We probably saw you, LBrooks, as we wondered why a large boat sailed off with only two people, but we were jealous, too! We didn't book anything, and left it to chance. First stop, early, was the only thing really open yet, the Eckerd Drug store :) Bought bottles of water for the room, some sodapop and a few minor forgotten items (remembered duct tape, forgot hairbrush.. oi!) We brought these back on board as it was a short two blocks, and started again, this time with water! We got a ticket for the 9am Conch Train whose ticket counter opened about 8:30am. If you want to see all of the island and get a good overview, this is a mighty good idea. We'd have never covered it all and when done about 11am, we had a plan for the final two hours. This is not a stop-and-get-off tour, so it covers a ton of ground and information from plants, to economics, to history and shopping. We finished our day shopping Duval street, and peeking in on the still-opening bars and restaurants (Hard Rock opens at 11am, Margaritaville, earlier but empty, The Bull was really hopping by 11:30). We went to the Ripley's Believe it or Not (expensive, in my mind @ $14 for adults, less for kids) and the Aquarium (justified expense, as it seems old and difficult to keep up) but had a great variety (indoor and out) of exhibits (give yourself 30 minutes unless you're a fish freak). That's a lot to accomplish from 7am to 1:30, the time we were instructed to be onboard. We enjoyed a spa treatment in the afternoon, and found it to be a really good destination day.

 

Cozumel - We went to Passion Island, and I put a review up on the Cozumel boards at : http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=55918 The short version of the review is WOW!! :)

 

Day at Sea - nothing to add to LBrooks!

 

Entertainment- We did see Carl Stong and "very funny" is an understatement. We didn't miss any of his other shows, including his "adult" show after midnight which was without a doubt, very adult. I have permanent tear stains from laughing so hard. Its no wonder it was standing room only at his last show. The Motown show by Bellinia was very good but too short, Bellinia's band gigs on the pool deck were as good and likewise too short. The "Can't Stop the Rock" show turned out to be excellent, and if I were director would cut the opening, only because it was so pale in comparison to what was to come. A number of very talented voices and one or two GREAT dancers (some weren't so great) surprised me for a cruise entertainment. "On The Edge" was a comedy-juggling pair who tried very hard to find their audience and just never did. Might have been the time slot, as they were quite good, but they rely so heavily on audience feedback it just went flat for them.

 

This is my first 4 night cruise, and my husband asked me as I got home if I ever could 'get into' the cruise because we're used to the 7 nighters. My answer was, surprisingly, yes! The minute we pushed away I was into it. Part of that is likely that I knew what to expect and what to search out. My kids warmed up to some other kids late into the cruise, and lamented that it was short for that reason.

 

Only one semi-disappointment, and that was that the RCI customer loyalty person I spoke to either failed to or goofed up putting my C&A number on my reservation, and I didn't really catch it until the end of the trip. It wasn't THAT important to me, but the coupons, etc, probably would have gotten some use. To their credit, a shipboard loyalty rep was there to take my question and apologize profusely, look me up, give me the late booklet and give me information as to how to follow up to be sure that the voyage is credited post-cruise.

 

I hope to post about my packing list results, as I definitely over-packed, and found some new uses for things like duct tape. All in all, it was exactly what I'd hoped for in a mini-vacation before school starts, and I am already trying to work out how to fit another cruise in!

 

~Lori

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My friend and I will be on the 4 day Echantment in January. We are each leaving kiddo's behind so we can go for more than the 4 day. We are so looking forward to it. We really want to go to a beautiful beach in Cozumel and we thought about Passion Island. Just don't know if it is worth that much money although you do get fed? Since it is just a couple girls we wanted to be safe and not venture too much off on our own.

 

So if KeyWest do you think if we hit Margaritaville by 11:00 am we will be ok as fare as crowds go??? I want to buy a few things from the store there and maybe have a "Cheesburger in paradise" and a Margarita!!!!

 

Sounds like a great time!!!

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Babyjosie98,

 

It is hard to tell about the crowds. There really is not a lot of space in Key West, so if there is another ship in dock then you would definitely want to get there early.

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We too are sailing on 9/23 for the 4 night cruise. very excited, but a little nervous with so many hurricanes!

Does anyone know when matt baker comes back as cruise director? We were on the EOS last year and he was awesome as a cruise director.

Also, is formal night the key west night?

Thanks for any info! lilli

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We are sailing this trip in December (16th-20th) and we are GETTING MARRIED on the ship! We sailed on Navigator in June and fell in love with RCI..What floor were you on and how was your cabin? You didnt eat in the main dining room at all the whole time you were there? I want to find out how the food on this ship comapres to the NOS.....

 

Thanks again!!!

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Mama2Lexi,

 

We were on Deck 3, inside cabin and loved it! It was so quiet and we even had late night partiers in cabins near us, but heard nothing. However, if you are a person who enjoys the gentle rocking of the ship, you may be disappointed with a deck 3 middle front cabin as there was very little rocking here (however, we did have calm seas too). No, we did not eat at all in the Main Dining room, though the My Fair Lady dining room is very nice and I think anyone would enjoy the experience. No particular reason why we did not eat in there other than we just did not feel like a 'dining experience' but chose instead to just grab a bite and go about our way. I have not been on Navigator so I cannot compare the food. However, I have been on the Brilliance and the food on Brilliance was much better than on the Enchantment. Guess it all depends on the chef.

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Hi

we will be in Cozumel in Nov. have 2 scuba divers in our group. have previously dived with eagle ray...just wondering about your dive op. how to contact? price of dive? quality of equip? etc. Thanks!!!

Chris Mitchell

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Chris,

 

We went with Dive with Martin (http://www.divewithmartin.com/). We booked a two tank private dive. This cost us $200 plus tip. Spent our surface interval on the beach. This is a Mexican op. No frills. But our guide was wonderful and pointed out critters that we would never have found on our own. It is pretty crowded around Chankanaab National Park and our crew took us to beautiful areas that had no other divers around. Plus, going private, we got the dives we wanted without having to worry about the requests of other divers. We took our own gear, and by the looks of theirs, I am glad that we did. We went with Martin based on the recommendations of people on Cruise Critic and Scubaboard, and were not disappointed as we were with the dive op at Key West (Sea Breeze).

 

Lori

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