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Review: 5 night Enchantment Oct 11-16


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We just returned from the 5 night Enchantment sailing and had a blast! Here are some of the highlights:


Embarkation: Arrive at port at 11:20 and checked bags with porter. When we reached the inside of the terminal, the sign said boarding was expected to start at 11:15, which it must have as the waiting area was already cleared. As this is our first cruise as Platinum members, the person checking tickets directed us to the Platinum/Diamond check-in area. There were 2 families in front of us and 3 people checking in people in this area, so we were onboard by 11:45. The only shortcoming of checking in at the Platinum desk is that you skip the boarding photo op.


We were traveling with my MIL and her sister, who we expected to arrive approximately 1:00pm, so we figured we had time for a quick bite in the Windjammer before meeting them. They had several hot dishes, which we skipped and headed to the salad bar and fresh made sandwich bar. Great food! The dessert spread looked great, but we decided to skip it for now and have something once we met the rest of the family. At 1:00, we were supposed to be able to access the cabins, but the door to our hall was still closed, so I waited with our hand luggage and hubby went down to meet his mom. I met him about 10 minutes later and we walked to the taxi drop off area and Mom and Auntie arrived shortly after. Since they are Gold members, we checked them in at the regular check in area. No lines at this time of day and now we got to get a group embarkation photo!


Cabins: We were in a cat D balcony cabin and Mom had a superior inside cabin. Both were as we expected. Lots of storage space. The refridgerator in the balcony cabin seemed HUGE to me. We put a 12 pack of coke in it without a problem. When we met our cabin attendant Leeshell and asked for an extra bucket of ice, she put the extra ice bucket in the fridge with the coke! It was great! The balcony cabin had a full size couch on the wall with the bed and the desk/vanity/TV/fridge on the opposite wall. The closet was on one wall, with a corner shelf unit that was great for t-shirts/shorts etc. I think on other cruises, the cabin attendent sometimes uses this area to store the bedspread and decorator pillows, but it was empty when we got there, so we used it for clothes. Bathroom had the miniscule shower set up, but the floor space seemed bigger than on some of the other ships I've been on. You didn't have to straddle the toilet to brush your teeth! :) The inside cabin had the bed which was set up as 2 twins and a side chair. No fridge. Only complaint on either cabin was why on earth don't they put a clock in these rooms!


Dining: We have previously cruised 8 times and always had main seating which we liked, but on our last cruise, it seemed more of the poolside entertainment and activities were geared for the late seating, so we decided to try it. It took a few days to get used to eating so late and we tended to eat more because I needed an afternoon snack to hold me till dinner, but day 2 made it all worth while... more on that in a bit. We had requested a large table and ended up dining with 2 couples from Scottsdale for a table of 8. Our table was on the upper floor over looking the lower floor. It was a long table with 4 seats across from 4 seats. We sat down first and hubby and I sat across from MIL and Aunt and the 2 new couples sat across from each other. This made it easy to talk to the people we knew, but made it more difficult to get to know our new friends, but we chatted a bit and everyone got on just fine. Ajay was our head waiter and made an appearance and chatted with us a few minutes but I don't really remember it being a huge conversation, but we must have made an impression on him because when we came to dinner on day 2, he kissed my MIL on the cheek and asked if we would do him a favor and switch tables for the night so the Chief operating engineer and his daughter could host our dinner! WOW! What an experience! The other 2 couples (AJ and Denise and Rod and Chris) also joined us at a round table for 10. The "hosting" included our choice of red or white wine, bottle water and even an after dinner shooter! The COE, Harold was from Norway and AJ and Denise had just returned from a trip to Norway so there was a great exchange of Norwegian travel times and folklore. Harold will be overseeing the stretching of the Enchantment next year, so we got to hear details on how that will go. Like I said "WOW". And to think if we had stuck with main seating, we never would have had this opportunity! Besides meeting the COE and his daughter, we really liked the round table, as it made it much easier to talk. We ran into Ajay at the pool the next afternoon and asked him if we would be returning to our original table and he asked where we wanted to sit. We told him we liked the round table and he said no problem he would set it up for 8. So for the rest of the cruise, we sat as 8 at a table for 10. Nice! The food was very good with a nice assortment of choices every night. The only thing lacking was the ice cream. They obviously didn't have an ice cream expert on board. The pistachio was very fluffy and full of air. After ordering the coffee ice cream our waiter came back and said it didn't really chill right and they only had vanilla and chocolate. And NO RUM RAISIN all week! (in case you can't tell, that is my favorite RCCL flavor!) Ajay told me he would buy me some in Belize at the Hagaan Daz to make up for it. We really enjoyed the dining staff this trip. Bimal was our waiter and Yocanda was the asst waiter. Yocanda actually cried the last night when we were saying goodbye!


The ports:

Key West: We were only here until 2:00pm, which I think is really a waste, I mean... why bother! We went to Mel Fisher's museum last time, so this time just shopped and walked around Duval street. As we were sailing away, however, the Rhapsody was arriving in port and it was really cool. The captains tooted horns to each other as the ships pasted each other.


Cozumel: Hubby and I went to Chaakanaab park and MIL and Aunt took a folklore and shopping excursion. Everyone enjoyed their selections. The fish were very aggressive while snorkeling at Chaakanaab. They were actually swarming us.


Belize: Now this is an interesting port. I think you either hate it or love it, with nothing in between. And you feeling have everything to do with what excursion you take. We took the Shark Ray Alley snorkel tour and we LOVED it. We snorkeled lots of places and this was among the best of the best. Some places have great fish/wildlife, some have great corral, Shark Ray Alley had both. Before we got in the water, the chummed the water to attract the sharks. Several came up to the boat. They even stuck they snouts out of the water to get fed. I was amazed. The tour operators told us they would swim away once we got in the water so don't be scared. And that is exactly what happened. There were about 6 or so sting rays too. We swam over and under them. It was amazing. And LOTS and LOTS of all sorts of different fishes of all colors shapes and sizes. The guide then took us on a tour thru the coral, which was average in some spots and fabulous in other spots. It was VERY shallow in some areas however and a couple of people in our group got panicky. The guides directed them where to go to get to deeper water though and everyone made it back to the ship. They were chumming the water again to draw the fish to the ship so we could swim thru them on our way out of the water. The bad part of this excursion was the boat. We had 30 people on our tour and only about 10 of us could be in the sun and open air. The other 20 we in an enclosed part of the boat which was a little stuffy.


Overall this was a great trip. Probably one of the best we've done, which is surprising as it was only 5 days. Now it's back to work tomorrow. Who's going to make my bed in the morning and serve my meals????

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They are going to put the ship in dry dock, cut it in half and a 73 FT. section will be added with 151 new staterooms including 2 family suites. This will make it too long for some of the Panama Canal locks, so they are putting a hinge on the bow so it can lift up and fit into the locks. They are going to do this in 48 days. Would love to see pictures. Looks like a good documentary for the discovery channel.

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According to our dinner companion, the build-out will begin in January in Norway. They will build the new middle section between January and May. Mid-May. During this time, the existing Enchantment will continue her scheduled sailings. At the end of May, she will go into dry dock, be split apart down the middle the the new mid-section will be added. She will return to sailings in July as a Radiance class ship. Harold gave us the exact dates, but I don't remember them so don't want to quote anything.

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I appreciate your taking the time to write such an imformed review. It was fun to read. I am sailing on the Enchantment in less than 2 weeks. I am so looking forward to this cruise.


I am always pleasantly surprised that the Enchantment receives such positive reviews.


Thanks again!:D

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Thank you for the review. We are going soon in January and are looking forward to it. Glad you had a great time.




We met a couple at the airport yesterday that had just gotten off The Enchantment. They told us the refurbishment would take place in February. Do you have any info on this?

this is from another thread on this board.


Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (ticker: RCL, exchange: New York Stock Exchange) News Release - 28-Sep-2004




Royal Caribbean International Goes to New Lengths to Offer Innovative, Unexpected Experiences for Guests


Enchantment of the Seas Lengthening to Include Suspension Bridges, Bungee Trampolines, Additional Dining Options

MIAMI, Sep 28, 2004 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX/ -- Royal Caribbean International will go to new lengths in 2005 to offer guests unforgettable new ways to experience the sea -- and sky -- aboard its Vision-class ship, Enchantment of the Seas. The ship, which is slated to be stretched in spring 2005 with a new 73-foot midsection, will feature suspension bridges, an overhanging bar offering spectacular panoramic views, and bungee trampolines that send guests soaring into the air high above the ocean.


Built in 1997, Enchantment of the Seas will be the third ship in the company's history to be lengthened, the first in 25 years. The new midsection will add 151 staterooms, for a total of 1,126, and give the company space to introduce a wide range of new features for guests to enjoy.


"When we began talking about stretching a ship, we knew the goal had to be more than just adding staterooms," said Richard Fain, chairman and CEO of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. "We wanted to create a new opportunity to offer innovative and unexpected activities and amenities to our guests. We also wanted to increase the dining options available on Enchantment by including a specialty restaurant and additional venues that will be announced in coming months."


One of the most striking additions to Enchantment of the Seas will be two suspension bridges on Deck 10, spanning more than 75 feet on either side of the Pool Deck below. Supported by dramatic arches, the bridges will cross over two new areas of the Pool Deck, which will jut out past lower decks to overhang the water. Each of these deck areas will be edged with 14-foot-high sheets of glass, offering outstanding views. They also will feature peek-a-boo windows in the floor that give glimpses down to the ocean. The overhanging space on the port side will feature a new island bar, while the starboard side will house a stage for poolside musical entertainment.


In total, the main pool area will expand by nearly 50 percent, with two pools, four whirlpools and a new interactive Splash Deck for kids. The circular Splash Deck will feature 64 water jets on the floor, along the perimeter and on a central dome.


Forty of the jets are connected to an interactive touchpad system, letting kids spray each other or create their own fountain effects. At night, the area closes to become a decorative fountain with a fiber-optic light show.


Guests looking for an active vacation and a little adventure will appreciate Enchantment's new Sports Deck. The company is offering guests another way to reach new heights: In addition to the line's signature rock- climbing wall, Enchantment of the Seas will feature four bungee trampolines. Guests strap into a harness connected to two bungee cords that will help them head skyward, while keeping them safely centered when they come in for a landing on the trampolines. Located at the front of Deck 10, the bungee trampolines will reward the adventurous with unparalleled views of the sea, ship and sky.


The jogging track will offer a new challenge as well, with a new vitality course, including four fitness stops. In between laps on the quarter-mile track, runners can pause to jump rope; work their arms, back and stomach at the sit-up/press-up bars; strengthen their legs at a step-up station; and cool down with a series of suggested stretches.


Toward the aft of the ship, sports fans will find two "ball zones," each with three basketball hoops of different heights to accommodate youth, teen and adult shooters. Shooting lanes will be marked before each hoop. At the far back of the ship, guests can test their skills on Enchantment's rock wall, or visit the ship's fitness center, which will be expanded during the renovations. The Enchantment Day Spa, one deck below, also will be expanded with five additional treatment rooms, including a couples massage room.


Renovations Extend Throughout the Ship


Belowdecks, guests on the renovated Enchantment will find additional entertainment and shopping options. The line's popular Boleros bar concept will appear on Deck 5, with a Latin American flair, including a glass dome ceiling reminiscent of a Mayan sunburst. Guests will enjoy live Latin jazz in the evenings along with regional drinks such as mojitos and caipirinhas.


Next door, Enchantment's Casino Royale will be expanded with additional slot machines, while up on Deck 6, the shopping area will be enhanced with new boutiques, including a Fossil® watch store, a fine jewelry store and a photo electronics retail shop. Also on Deck 6, guests will be invited to browse through the extended art auction gallery and photo gallery, complete with new digital photo kiosks from which they can choose their souvenir cruise photos.


Guests looking for a pick-me-up will be able to swing by the new Latte'tudes coffee and ice cream shop. In addition to offering specialty espresso drinks from Seattle's Best Coffee® and Ben & Jerry's® ice cream, this new area will feature computer terminals for Internet access.


Additional renovations will include a new Loyalty Ambassador lounge for guests who wish to book future cruises while onboard, as well as a refurbished, 100-seat conference center. New accessibility features will be added throughout the ship, including improved thresholds and ramps, as well as pool and Jacuzzi lifts, access to the Splash Deck and a lift to the bungee trampoline area. In addition, the new staterooms will include two family staterooms that will sleep six.


Enchantment's main dining room and Windjammer Cafe will be expanded to accommodate the new ship capacity. Additional dining options, including a specialty restaurant, are in development and will be announced in future months.


Special Sailings from the Northeast


The new midsection for Enchantment of the Seas currently is under construction at the Kvaerner Masa-Yards in Turku, Finland, while the actual lengthening and overall refurbishment will take place at the Keppel Verolme Shipyards in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, in spring 2005.


Enchantment will return to service in July 2005 with a series of sailings from the Northeast before returning to Fort Lauderdale in October to resume her regular short Caribbean itineraries. On July 7, she will offer a four- night cruise from Cape Liberty Cruise Port in Bayonne, N.J., to Halifax, Nova Scotia, followed by a six-night cruise on July 11 to Boston, Bar Harbor and Halifax.


From July 19 to Aug. 21, she will sail from Philadelphia, offering one five-night cruise to Bar Harbor and Halifax, followed by five seven-night sailings to Martha's Vineyard, Bar Harbor, Portland and Halifax. On Sept. 4, Enchantment begins a series of three seven-night cruises from Boston to Martha's Vineyard, Bar Harbor, Portland, Halifax and Saint John, New Brunswick.


Royal Caribbean International is a global cruise vacation company with 19 ships in service and two more under construction. The company also offers unique cruisetour vacations in Alaska, Canada and Europe. Additional information can be found on the company's web site at www.royalcaribbean.com or by calling 800-327-6700.


SOURCE Royal Caribbean International


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:D Murphy - Ajay was my head waiter when I was on the Enchantment and we all loved him. He also put a special guest at our table. We has the Chief Engineer with us and it was very interesting talking to him about the ins and outs of the ship. Glad to here that Ajay is still there and doing well.



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Yes, Ajay made our day... actually our cruise! He was a blast and very attentive to our table. Still can't figure out why we got the special attention, but I'm sure not complaining. Today, the first day back to work was really hard. No one brought me any fruity drinks to my desk chair and I came home to a sink full of dishes! And now Hubby and I are looking at each other wondering who will bring our dinner to the table tonight!

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Thanks for the review..I am scheduled to sail on the enchantment in 16 days...nov 4 the 4 night cruise. How was the entertainment?? Did the Beatles band perform? Were there large groups onboard?? There has been no one on these boards on my sailing and I am a little worried that some huge obnoxoius group will be onboard. On my last 2 RCCL cruises also in the fall there were quite a few smaller groups ( window fashion industry group, realtors grroup, etc) but they didn't overpower the ship. TIA

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There were several large groups on our sailing. 200 fire fighters from Atlanta and a business group from Whirlpool were seen often, but except for a few tables set up and some of the smaller rooms reserved for meetings, the groups didn't really impact our cruise at all. The CD said there were several large groups on board during the first show, but he didn't name them at all.


No unfortunately the Beatlemaniacs were not onboard. Matt Baker was the CD and I thought he was great. We went to most production shows. The comedian was fabulous. Peter something. He did a headliner show one night and an adult late night show the next night. I loved his humor. The song and dance shows were fine (I'm a little overloaded by these now, so we skipped one of them). There was also a woman impressionist, Judy Downs I think was her name. I thought she was very mediocre, but our table mates liked her.


Overall, the staff and service was as good as I've ever had on a cruise. If everything remains the same, you should have a great time.

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