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Just home from 5-DAY W. CARIBBEAN ENCHANTMENT cruise

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I'm tired but I'll do my best to summarize...please ask questions and I'll be glad to answer.


This was our first cruise. We flew from Atlanta to Ft. Lauderdale, Monday, Oct. 25th. Our flight left Atlanta at 8:27 AM (or thereabouts) and arrived in Ft. Lauderdale less than two hours later. From reading this board, I convinced my travel group (my husband, his best friend and wife) to go directly to the the pier and attempt to board...it worked. We were aboard by noon (probably earlier) and enjoying lunch in the Windjammer.


Now...although we were among the first to board, we did not get our luggage in our cabins until atleast 5 PM...it would have been annoying except I had read this board and was prepared with toiletries and a change of clothing in my carry-on! (thanks to all for the tips).


We sunned on the 10th deck most of the first day, went to dinner that night and enjoyed excellent service from Archie and Rossina (unfortunately for all of you, Rossina flew back to her homeland of Peru this morning and said she did not think she would return to cruise life!). We hit the disco in the Viking Lounge that evening and danced until we were ready to drop!


Tuesday dawned and lo and behold...there we were in Key West! Our general plan had been to either take the Conch Train or Trolley to tour the island, but since we had approximately 4 hours there, we didn't want to waste a moment! We lit out on foot and explored the streets near the pier...shopped and bought many wonderful items, and had a cheeseburger in paradise at Margaritaville (side note: do NOT miss St. Paul's cathedral...the stained glass is so beautiful and awe-inspiring!). Another NOT TO BE MISSED is the chocolate dipped key lime pie on a stick, preferrably at "Key Lime and More" on Green St. It is a very small shop but the cutie pie blonde lady that runs it is extremely charming and the frozen treat is to DIE for!


We re-boarded, hit the sundeck again, then enjoyed another nice dinner in the My Fairy Lady dining room.


Wednesday brought us to Cozumel. We opted for a taxi ride to Paradise Beach where we TRULY enjoyed ourselves. The nachos are indeed what everyone has raved about. The beach is gorgeous - this was one of our favorite parts of the cruise. We then taxied back into Cozumel around 3 pm, shopped, then hit THE MISSION for a late lunch (which is NOT to be missed if you are in Cozumel and hungry..the restaurant is awesome and VERY authentic!) We shopped and bit more, including some David Yurman indulgences, then boarded. We were not hungry so we skipped dinner Wed., thinking we would hit the first of two midnight buffets...but all four of us fell asleep WAY before midnight!


Thursday, we were in Belize. We had booked the Shark Ray Alley/Caye Caulker snorkeling tour. Well, honestly, we were disappointed. We met our guide at the designated area at the designated time only to be ASKED if we would mind accommodating some Carnival cruisers who were on a much more limited time schedule that we were. We had booked the 5.5 hour excursion, including lunch, at $69 per person. The guide asked us if we would forego lunch and only pay a $59 per person fee. That sounded okay to us ... except... we waited, and waited and waited and waited for the Carnival folks to arrive. When all was said and done, we had about a 3 hour excursion (which included 45 minute boat ride to the first snorkel sight, a 40 minute layover in Caye Caulker, then a 45 minute ride BACK to the pier...you do the math - we didn't snorkel very long at all! What a BUMMER!) But it was an experience so...I would never do it again (I had never snorkeled nor had my husband's best friend...so we were not so disappointed. However, my husband HAS snorkeled, and so has his best friend's wife, and they were BOTH VERY disappointed). The staff was certainly nice enough, but I truly believe I could have found a better way to spend my day in Belize...


We boarded an early tender and ate late lunch at Windjammer, then retired to "rest"...which meant we did NOT make dinner on Thursday night.


Friday morning we hit the sundeck early, ordered buckets and buckets upon beer, and ENDURED the "Heat Wave" band that played increasingly annoying reggae music ALL DAY! But the company was good, the beer was cold and we enjoyed our day at sea. We did manage to make it to dinner that night, then to the casino for some wins at the slot machines, then to bed.


I'm very tired and I'm certain I'm missing something...so if you have specific questions, please ask.


A few tips: I did take the $5 shoe organizer (over the door) and I found it invaluable. I did sneak booze on board, as well...no problem at all. If you want specifics, let me know, but I will say this - we only mixed drinks in our room once or twice...we enjoyed bar service to the max.

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yankeegirllost- Welcome back! Sorry I didn't see the e-mail about meeting on Monday night! Once my brother & his girlfriend flew into town on Friday the party had begun.


We too had a blast but as we drove from Tampa we didn't get to the ship till about 1:00. We were on in a second and were told all the rooms were ready so we started at my brothers room which was an Inside on deck 3, then went to our friends room which was a Junior Suite on deck 7, aft and then to our room-the Royal Suite on deck 8. Let me tell you our room became the party room for the rest of the cruise! Our cabin steward Delroy was awesome the first hour we had ordered a case of beer and 2 bottles of wine. We already had 4 bottles of liquor, soda, and water as that comes with that particular room. It was great! We have been in the RS on Adventure and although this RS is a little smaller it actually had way more storage space it was everywhere. Great room.


We did just walked around in Key West- went to the Hogs breath saloon and Sloppy Joes and walked and shopped all the way to the "Southernmost point" buoy for a picture. That is a lllooonnnggg walk! Had to taxi it back! In Cozumel we did the Discover Scuba. What an experience!!! If you have ever wanted to try scuba this is really great. Then we went to Carols -n- Charlies for lunch and drinks and then shopped. In Belize we went Cave tubing. Which granted was alot of fun but because the weather was so overcast and cool and that water is already cold we were FREEZING! I was blue by the time we were finished. But we still had a good time. On Friday I think we gambled all day and of course drank. I'll tell you I don't quite remember partying so hard in 5 days in a very long time. But it was great. I will say something else for RCCL this time it was the frist time I have ever gotten so much attention from a Head Waiter as well as the normal wait staff. Cecilia was excellent. She even went out of her way to get my brother's grilfriend 2 bowls of the Tomato soup she just loved from the first night dinner menu on Italian night. We had such a great time we booked another for April 2004 on Adventure which I was on in January but the Exotic itineriary! Can't wait!


If anyone has any questions for me too I'll be glad to answer them. This is a really fun "shorter" cruise!

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Thanks for the information. We're sailing in December & wondered about the following:


1) Was the entertainment good?

2) Is the ship in good condition?

3) Average age of passengers?

4) Did they have good prices in the lounges (happy hour specials, etc.)?

5) Was alcohol purchased on-board available in cabin with a surcharge?

6) Was the solarium pool filled with children?


Thanks for the info!

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I,too,loved the Enchantment..............just dont understand how you find the reggae music annoying......................thats all part of the cruising atmosphere!!! Nothing like a little Red,Red Wine!!!!!!!!:)

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Sorry we missed you guys the first night. By the time we got to the disco - it was wall to wall people and we were fighting to keep our eyes open. We did get to see the Village People and of course, Matt Baker who was just a scream! If you went to the comedy show the first night and remember the "trick" Matt did with the four guys from the audience - DH was one of them! I was dying - too funny!


Boarding was a breeze - got there about 11:30 and were drinking rum drinks by the pool by 12. The priority check in was worth the price of the suite right there! We were lucky and had all our luggage by around 2:00.


I don't know if it was the rocking of the boat, the running around or the rum drinks (probably a combo :D ) but we were tired come midnight most nights. The love and marriage game and the quest were a blast! We had our cheeseburger in paradise at JB in Key West and did the Conch Ride as well. We had an emergency though on the ride werein an elderly man had fainted in the back of the train and at first we thought someone fell off. Anyway, he seemed to come around after he was carried off and on to the grass but the ambulance was there in a matter of minutes and he was off - don't know what ever happened after that but I hoped he was OK.


Spent the day at Paradise Beach and met PB Tom who put DH at ease as he was a little paranoid at first - just paranoid by nature and being in Mexico and all... But Tom was very nice and checked on us a couple times. The beach was just beautiful and service was great! We too endulged in the famous "PB Nachos" YUMMY!!! We could have lived there - this was our favorite part of the cruise.


We had a ruins tour planned for Belize but DH was ill from something he ate at the Windjammer and I was not feeling well from something else (ladies will understand ;) ) and it was pouring when we woke up so we basically stayed in bed most of the day. We did venture out later (around 3:30) and picked up some really nice authentic souveniers.


Day at sea was nice - we sunned on the top deck for a few hours but during the sexy legs contest it started getting REALLY windy (blew over my pina coloda :mad: ) and started to spritz a little so we went to lunch at the Windjammer and hit the bar.


We saw and took pics of the midnight buffet - beautiful! But didn't eat since we had late seating dinner, we weren't hungry. We ate in the dining room 4 of 5 nights and had really cool table mates. Our JS was great - lots of room and we also brought along the over the door shoe holder and found it to be VERY helpful. We also brought alcohol on board w/ us - no problem. Our anniversary was the last night and when we returned from dinner there was a bottle of champagne in an ice bucket, two champagne glasses and a card from our cabin steward, Candice. Awww!


All in all - very little to complain about BUT if you want some complaints: No cold water to shower or brush teeth with, food in Windjammer was just ok and no robes in suite but we did ask for them and got them. We hardly saw any kids and the ones we did see were well behaved - big plus! Didn't see any in the Solarium except to get food. Entertainment was faily good for the shows we went to, the Schooner Bar had happy hour pickies so if you were tired of Solarium dogs and burgers you could go there, ship is in very good condition although you can tell it is older, we didn't order any alcohol in the room so don't know about surcharge and it was hard to tell the average age since there really was a variety.


So we look forward to doing this very cruise again since we would have liked more time in Key West, we want to go back to PB and we missed our ruins tour in Belize. DH has asked about checking other cruise lines when we first got on but by the end of the trip he saw no reason to go else where - Thanks RC!

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Hi guys - well DH and I sat in the bar for an after dinner drink at 10:00 - no one showed so went back to the casino and lost some more $$ - DH was second in the belly flop if anyone was there "Big Daddy" and I sat beside "Elvis" taking pictures if anyone bought the video.


We had a blast. The ship I think could use a polish as it was showing her age a little. And no cold water...that was a pain...brushing your teeth with hot, not warm, but hot water! Ouch! We also thoroughly enjoyed Cozumel (again) at Paradise Beach. Also, I loved touring around Key West. We had sloppy joes at gee "Sloppy Joe's!" Belize, no thanks, although the snorkeling was enjoyable. The food and service was excellent. I thought Matt Baker was excellent and the casino quite profitable by week's end!!;)


I would like to try her again when she is stretched....but in the meantime AOS next! :D

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I can't believe we were all at Paradise Beach that day!!!! Argggh! So close yet so far!


We were in the Solarium a couple of times and saw very few children. It was very quiet and we visited there for drinks and conversation (and to escape the MUSIC!)


Glad everyone had a great time! (And yes, I remember BIG DADDY!)

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Hey everyone! We were also at Paradise Beach! We were at the Viking Crown on the first night as well. Oh well.


This was our 8th cruise and our 4th with RCCL. I liked this ship as much as any of them (including Disney). The staff was the best we have had. The people were a great mix. Everyone we saw was well behaved. The ship is due for a rehab and you can see some wear, but nothing that takes away from her beauty. The only true complaint I had was with the public baths. I was only in a couple, but they were not kept up very well. My husband said the men's rooms were awful!


We stayed at the Embassy Suites the first night. It was well worth the $74 we paid. Free drinks from 5:30 to 7:30 and a good breakfast buffet. The hotel was nice. The rooms were old, but okay for one or two nights. We went across the street to a supermarket and bought water and soda to bring on the ship.


Took an 11:20 shuttle from the hotel. Check-in was a breeze, we were on deck by 12. Luggage came around 2:30. Room (3052) was fine. A little tired, but for the amount of time we spent there, it was okay. We too had no cold water. We did have a rolling cooler and kept it full of ice water and soda. The room steward kept it filled with ice for us. He was great. I tipped him $20 at the onset, because we had a couple of special requests (extra towels, ice) I think this helps.


We had Daniel as our head waiter. He was very good. I thought the food was pretty good. Better than I had remembered. The dining room is beautiful.


We only went to a couple of shows. They were okay. Beatlemania (?) was good. We had to leave early to go to the Welcome Back party. This was poor planning.


Key West was fun. We walked down to the southern most tip and back. A long walk, but it was fairly early and not too hot. We walked down Duvall and back down Catherine. Catherine was beautiful.


Cozumel - we went to Paradise Beach. Loved this!! We also shopped. I know people love to shop in the Caribbean. I just don't get it. I keep trying though.


Belize - the only good thing is I can say I was in Central America. We had planned on doing the cave tubing, but the weather was gray. Someone told us it would be very cold. So, we skipped that. We had not tendered in a long time. From the ship to Belize was fine. On the way back, we got on a large tender, we waited over 40 minutes, sucking in exhaust, while they filled the tender. Not happy.


Happy Hours - there are some good ones. We headed up to Viking Crown before dinner most nights, for a cosmo (3.95), not bad. Look carefully at the Cruise Compass. They are listed there.


Matt Baker was everything everyone says. He was fun, without being over the top. We have had cruise director who you never heard from and others that you swear if you hear their voice one more time you will jump overboard. Matt fell right in the middle. Great Job!!


Any questions?

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We did buy a bottle from the ship's store. We bought it the first night and they were charging a $9 per bottle surcharge. We bought a bottle of rum in Cozumel and walked right on with it in our backpack. We also checked a cooler full of water and soda at the pier. No problems.

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Do NOT miss the Captain's Reception. It, too, will be listed on the Daily Compass. It's held in the Carousel and it was great to get our photo taken with the captain. Free cocktails and food. We truly enjoyed the atmosphere - like an old "rat pack" movie - low lights, comfortable seating, and wonderful dance music.


I have read people's disgruntled comments about lack of outlets - we even considered packing the powerstrip and I'm glad we did not. The dressing table/desk had two outlets and there was one in the bathroom for an electric razor. It was plenty for us!


We utilized room service every morning except departure day. At precisely 7 AM (as we requested), we would receive a phone call telling us our room service was on its way and it would, indeed, arrive within 5 minutes. It was wonderful to have a pot of coffee and cereal and croissants in the morning. We especially enjoyed it on our Key West morning - since disembarkment was at 10 AM (and since we had stayed WAY too late at the disco the night before) we had our nice little breakfast nibbles at 7 AM, went back to sleep for another hour and a half, then got up and went to Key West! It was soooo luxurious to do that! Breakfast in bed! Woo hooo!


We also used room service one night (I think the third night of the cruise) when we didn't go to dinner. We ordered cheeseburgers and fries at 1 AM and ate them while watching television! Again...such fun to have someone else cook!


We ate in the My Fair Lady dining room three nights (the first two nights and the last night). The food was not at all what I expected. Okay, it was good...but we truly expected much more elegant selections. Service was great but the entrees did leave something to be desired. The first night I had shrimp ravioli (so-so), the second night beef tenderloin (very good) and the last night New York strip. DO NOT MISS the creamed wild mushroom appetizers (if you like mushrooms). It was unusual and delicious.


Windjammer - I think someone else already covered this. The food is plentiful - but it's nothing to write home about. Breakfast I found to be VERY boring (same thing over and over). The "best" day was the first day when we boarded and went for lunch. We enjoyed the sandwiches and the roast beef and the desserts. Our other trips there (we ate there after Belize snorkeling and most every morning we'd stop by for very light breakfast after having room service) were not impressive.


Drinks, however, were excellent. They do not scrimp on the alcohol.


Now lest I sound negative, let me say I'd go again in a heartbeat. The staff truly takes care of you and I like the age of the passengers. I never spent anytime at the pool in my bathing suit feeling overrun with 20-year-olds in thongs for which I am grateful and my husband is probably NOT grateful! LOL


Sorry we missed the folks who showed up the first night at 10 PM. We got there a bit late and it was way too crowded to go around asking "are you jerzgirl? are you canucks?" - LOL

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Julma - we too were at the Embassy for prenight and enjoyed the free drinks. Sounds like we were all at Paradise Beach at the same - may have even chatted with each other! You guys might even be in our pictures! I remember the belly flop contest but don't remember Big Daddy :( All in all sounds like everyone had a great time - I'm ready to go back!!!!!!!!

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