Tom & Mary Milano
Age: Over 70
Number of Cruises: 11
Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean
Ship: Enchantment of the Seas
Sailing Date: October 1st, 2000
Itinerary: Eastern Caribbean
Our recent cruise aboard ‘The Enchantment of the Seas' was our 19th
"Honeymoon." Our first was when we got married thirty-two years ago and the others are our
eighteen cruises. Mary & I began calling our cruises ‘Honeymoons' because we cannot think of a
more romantic, intimate way of spending quality time with the one you love than when on a cruise. We
look forward to each new cruise with as much eagerness and excitement as if it were our first and
with God's grace we look forward to having many more.
Our first six cruises were with the Celebrity cruise line. It is because of their outstanding food and their exceptional service, that we became addicted to cruising. At the time they had a small fleet and we found ourselves booking some ships more than once. Having fallen in love with cruising, and knowing we would cruise frequently, we decided we would try the other cruise lines to see how they compared with Celebrity. Other than our six cruises with Celebrity we have made the following: Carnival (2), Costa (1), NCL (1), Holland American (3), Princess (2), and RCCL (3). We have made these cruises in a little over four years and have three more cruises booked for the next five months. We have booked Celebrity's Millennium for March 25, 2001. This will be our first cruise aboard Celebrity since we decided to try other cruise lines and we are anxious to see if they are still maintaining their high standards. We will let you know when we write our review of the Millennium.
We want to remind you, as we do in all our reviews, that we wrote this review from our perspective which might be very different from yours. The very reasons we book a certain cruise line and a specific ship, might be the very reasons that you would not choose them for your booking. You can tell if we have similar likes and dislikes by reading our opening remarks at the top of our Home Page. While we share our cruise experience with you, remember, we are expressing our opinion, that doesn't make it right or it doesn't make it wrong, it's just our opinion.
This was our second cruise aboard the ‘Enchantment of the Seas.' We were apprehensive because we had such a wonderful cruise the first time, we thought it would be very difficult to equal it. We are happy to tell you our second cruise not only equaled our first, but was even better.
All of RC's ships use the Port of Miami except ‘The Enchantment.' Starting last April, ‘The Enchantment' began sailing from Ft. Lauderdale. We arrived at the port at 11:45, dropped off our luggage and parked our car. The parking garage is close by the terminal. We got in line at the check-in counter at 12:00. We were checked in and walked aboard the ship at 12:30.
Our booking was for an inside cabin ROS (Run Of Ship). We were assigned cabin was 2047. When we began cruising we always booked an outside cabin or a balcony, midship, on an upper deck. After we made six or seven cruises we realized we could enjoy an inside cabin nearly as much if we followed one criteria. Our criteria was that the back wall of the cabin had to be mirrored. We can check to see which cruise lines have inside cabins with a mirrored back wall, by checking the pictures in their brochures. Mirrors make an inside cabin appear larger, brighter, and less confining. Another plus. An inside cabin is better than any black out curtain.
The cabin was on the smallish side but well appointed. The beds were made into a queen. The cabin was lacking a table which made it rather inconvenient when we had room service. Instead of a mini bar they had bottled water and a selection of soda on the desk area. The closet and drawer space was adequate. The bathroom was acceptable except the shower which is on the smallish side. We saw a number of people on the ship who we're sure had to resort to sponge baths, because there was no way they could fit into the shower. They don't supply a hair dryer so remember to bring your own.
The cabin was very quiet. The cabin door was so thick and so well insulated, you could have had a band of 76 trombones parading down the hallway and we wouldn't have heard them. Mary had a struggle to open it. If she was in the cabin by herself and had to leave she'd have to call for help.
We met our cabin attendant Alexis and after only a few minutes of conversation, I felt I could trust him to do the good job the attendants usually do. I asked him how many cabins he had and he said he had 12. I handed him $50 and asked if it was all right with him, if on disembarkation day we could stay in our cabin until our color was called. He smiled and said, "No problem." On disembarkation day we had breakfast and then stayed in our cabin watching CNN on the TV until 10:20 when our color was called. When we left, I gave Alexis another 10 dollars. He was very pleased and so were we. This is something you might want to do.
APPEARANCE OF SHIP:
We were very impressed the first time we sailed ‘The Enchantment' but even more so the second time around. This ship without a doubt, is the most visually beautiful ship we have sailed on. The designers used wood, brass, stainless steel, mirror and marble in a very artistic, breathtaking way. We will try to describe a few areas for you,
The central area and heart of this ship is the Centrum. It was the focal point of much of the ship's activity. It is a large circular area that extends upward from the 4th deck to the 11th deck, with each deck having a railing that allows you to look down to the base of the Centrum. There is, what is called, a floating stairway, that connects the 5th deck to the Centrum deck. It's a design masterpiece. It drops as a single stairway halfway down then diverts to two separate stairways onto the base deck of the Centrum. Directly opposite is a very wide marble grand stairway that also leads to the base of the centrum. On each side of the stairway are two cylindrical structures that house outside elevators. They are a very modern design, are noiseless and have clear glass exteriors. They are moving upward they looked like space capsules going into orbit. We always found people standing by the rail watching them as they darted up and down. At the top of the stairway between the two columns, was a deck area with a large display of fresh-cut flowers. The attendant that sells these flowers was known as the flower man. It reminded us of a scene you might see in Paris.
The 4th deck, the base of the Centrum, is the location of the very
intimate Champagne Bar. This is a very classy lounge with a unique Fountain as a centerpiece. It has
a number quiet nooks and cozy settings. Rarely will you find furniture of this quality and design.
The settees are absolutely beautiful. The bar is made of a lustrous dark Marble. As you walk around
the ship, be sure to look up at the ceilings. The attention given to details is mind boggling.
The Centrum floor is marble and is done in a beautiful design. Close to the Champagne Bar is the domain of a very accomplished combo, the Guy Meredith Trio. Just below them is a large circular dance floor. The remainder of the Centrum is groupings of settees on both sides of the grand stairway and on both sea walls, interspersed with large Palm Trees and dividers of Bromeliads and other tropical plants. At the bottom of the stairway is a magnificent stainless steel sculpture. The exterior sea walls encasing the centrum are glass from floor to ceiling that affords a breathtaking view of the surrounding ocean. The entire area is a statement of elegance. In our opinion, the Centrum on the Enchantment is one of the most beautiful focal points of any ship we have seen.
I just said to Mary, I bet some of our readers think we probably made a mistake and should have submitted this to the Architectural Digest. If that thought has crossed your mind, let us assure you, we haven't made a mistake. The beauty of a ship plays a very important part in our enjoyment when we cruise. That and friendly, attentive service make for 75% of our enjoyment. We don't subscribe to the many cruise reviews that the author says, "I'm not going to describe the ship because it has been described in other reviews." In our opinion, that's nonsense. We have learned from the numerous e-mails we receive, what cruise review reader's want, is a thorough, comprehensive review that tells them as much as possible, so they can determine if they might like to book that ship. We will continue to write thorough, comprehensive reviews of our cruises until our e-mail suggests differently. Enough said, now for a change of pace. We are going to tell you about the opulent My Fair Lady dining room & the beautiful Windjammer Lunch area.
MY FAIR LADY DINING ROOM:
The phrase that best describes our impression of this room is, it is a picture of understated elegance. It is two levels with a double grand stairway. At the base of the double stairway is a lovely life size bronze sculpture of a lady holding a sun umbrella above her head. She looked like a well-dressed Mary Poppins. The room is done in the old world tradition of rich dark woods against an off-white background. The tables are spaced so the guests have plenty of isle room. We were seated at our usual table for two.
When it comes to commenting about food, because of our background of being former restaurant owners, we sometimes are over critical. We are not going to say a lot about the food except to say, in our opinion, it was very mediocre. We noticed fellow passengers seemed to enjoy every morsel. We think it best we leave it at that.
Our waiter Zad Gandi was from India. No relation to whom your thinking of. He was outstanding, very professional, with just the right degree of friendliness. He always had just the right thing to say and he couldn't do enough for us. Our assistant waiter was Louis from Portugal. A very bright young man who was the perfect match for Zad. They made a great team and added immeasurably to our enjoyment. Our wine steward was Sergio. At first I thought Sergio was one of my Italian compatriots but it turned out he was also from Portugal. Mary enjoys a glass of Chardonnay with her dinner and a bottle of wine usually lasts for the week. Sergio was very attentive and every evening he made a number of visits to our table, though he knew he wasn't going to make another sale. He was an absolute pleasure. Our bar steward was a cute little guy that was personality personified. When I asked him his name, he gave me a big smile and said, "Just call me Dr. booze." He was a delight. He made sure my bottle of O'Douls was on the table when we were seated. Whenever he passed our table he reached out with his hand so we could tap knuckles. He also worked the pool area so we got to see a lot of him. Our Maitre`Di David was from France. David was a working Maitre`Di and did more personal service at our table than they normally do. Early in the cruise I gave each of them a $2 bill as a good luck token. It got a big rise out of them.
One special incident that endeared Louis to Mary occurred on our last evening in the dining room. She asked Louis when his contract was up. Louis said it was completed in December and he was going home to Portugal for Christmas. Mary asked him what he was looking forward to the most. Louis looked at Mary. We could see a tear forming in his eye as he said, "I just want to take my mother in my arms and kiss her over and over again." Isn't that a wonderful expression of a sons love for his mother? As you can well imagine, both of us were teary eyed.
If you have read any of our past reviews, you have probably surmised I am a long time friend of Bill W. This coming December 2nd, during our cruise aboard ‘The Splendour of the Seas,' we are having a double celebration. We will celebrate Mary's birthday and my 35th anniversary. I know you would probably like to know her age, but the only thing I'm willing to tell you is she married a younger man. I think of my Mary's ageing process like that of a very rare, vintage wine. She gets more mellow, softer, silkier, and more velvety with every passing year. We may be in the twilight years of our lives but our relationship deepens and gets better with every passing day. We recently heard someone say, "I don't think love at first sight is so remarkable. It's when people have been looking at each other for years that love becomes remarkable." I tried to get into a conversation with one of the young newly wed couples so I could spring that on them, but I wasn't successful.
Each evening after dinner the waiters put on a little show. One night the lights were dimmed and a drum roll began and all the waiters took off for the kitchen. It looked like they were going on strike. It wasn't long before they came out of the kitchen doing the Caribbean shuffle with every other one balancing a plate of lighted candles on his head. They called it the dance of fire. Everyone stood and applauded. On another night, they retired to the kitchen and then reappeared in colorful Caribbean attire and danced through the isles singing the disco number, Hot, Hot, Hot. Then when everyone stood and applauded they asked the guests to join them in doing the Macarena. It was really a special moment. Can you imagine a dining room of close to a thousand people of all sizes and shapes doing the Macarena. The Cam Corder shots are going to provide many an evening of hilarity. On what they called International Night, they again returned to the kitchen then reappeared waving flags from all the nations of the world while singing "We Are The World." Next to us was a table of eight English people. Zad being the diplomat he was made sure he had a British flag in his hand when he passed their table. They rose in unison standing with their hands over their heart and sang, the British Anthem, "God Save The Queen." I'm sure Zad received a special remuneration for his thoughtfulness. On the final night of the cruise the entire crew, chefs, waiters and servers gathered on the upper level at the head of the stairway. A spokesman thanked everyone for cruising with Royal Caribbean and then asked everyone to join the crew in singing Auld Lang Syne. At the finish there was a thunderous burst of applause and a spontaneous show of affection between the passengers and the crew members. There was a lot of hugging, an occasional kiss and a lot of teary eyes. The dining room staff of the ‘Enchantment' epitomizes what people are seeking when they cruise and what brings them back time and time again. People love to be catered too and pampered. The food may not have been great but we left the dining room each evening with a very warm feeling in our hearts. We thought that was a very good trade off.
Breakfast in the main dining room:
Being Mary enjoys poached eggs and the fact that the Windjammer restaurant didn't serve eggs other than scrambled and omelettes. Therefore, we had breakfast in the main dining room every morning. I can say unequivocally that this is by far the best dining room breakfast we have ever had aboard a ship. Service was exceptional. Everyone had a smile on their face and anticipated our every need. We rarely had to ask for anything. They couldn't have been more pleasant or efficient. Mary loves poached eggs and when she orders them, they are usually too runny or as hard as rocks. Not so on the Enchantment. They were served quickly and they were perfect every time. We decided to try the pancakes, something we rarely do. Whenever we had previously ordered pancakes they have been cold or at best luke warm, not so with this kitchen. The pancakes were sensational. Piping hot, served with warmed syrup on a heated plate. They were so good we had them twice. If our dinner experience was as good as breakfast, we would still be on the ship. If you book the Enchantment, make sure you have breakfast in the main dining room. You'll send us an e-mail to thank us.
THE WINDJAMMER LUNCH ROOM:
I know this is going to sound repetitious, but it is our opinion, that the Windjammer lunch room is the most tastefully appointed lunch area of any of the ships we have cruised on. The Windjammer lunch room has a very unusual setting because The Windjammer is the only ship restaurant we know of that is located at the very forward part of the ship. Usually, on the ships we have been on, the restaurants are aft or in lay terms, at the very back of the ship. In fact, The Windjammer is directly over the bridge.
The Windjammer is laid out in sweeping concentric circles with a huge glass dome at its center. The entire area is enclosed with floor to ceiling glass walls which gives it a very bright, cheerful setting and a spectacular view of the sea. The furnishings in this room are of the highest quality and design. Everything about this room spells class.
In our estimation the food lines could be laid out somewhat better. There is too much confusion with people going from one counter to the other, trying to find the items there looking for. They have an omelette station which does a very good job. The service is surprisingly fast and the omelettes are good. There also is a sandwich station which offers two different sandwiches each day. Some days good and some days not so good. At snack time, from four to five, they also have an ice cream station. Not exactly Haagen Daz. At night the Windjammer is converted into an alternative restaurant, with table clothes and a limited menu. The attentiveness of the help in this room, as it was in every area of the ship was something special. They always had a smile on their face and made us aware they were looking for ways to please us. Now we're going to take you to the showroom.
THE ORPHEUM SHOWROOM:
We may be beginning to sound like a broken record but in our opinion, the Orpheum is one of the most elegant showrooms we have seen. This room is strikingly beautiful. The seating is very comfortable and regardless what time we got to the showroom there were never a problem getting a good seat.
The first thing that attracts your attention as you enter, is the very beautiful and unusual stage curtain. I will try and describe it for you although I know my description will be inadequate. It looks like a large silk patchwork collage, with two serpentine lines of poetry running across the top and bottom of the curtain. It is a series of theatrical emblems and symbols, in beautiful muted colors that tell the story of the poet Orpheus. It is truly a work of art and that is not an exaggeration. We are going to try and find out the origin of this curtain and how much it cost. If we are successful, we will post an article on our Home Page.
The appointments of the room are outstanding. The chairs are upholstered in a very unusual way. Everything about this room is beautiful and spells class in capital letters. We have written about the absence of full drink service and the lack of proper drink holders in many cruise showrooms. Both issues have been resolved by RC. The Orpheum has complete drink service before the show and limited drink service after the show starts. There is a lighted, heavy glass drink holder on the arm rest that can even accommodate the large Caribbean drinks. It was a pleasure to be able to go to the showroom a little early and order after dinner drinks while we waited for the show to begin. Now for a few words about the entertainment.
Sweet Dreams Review & Flash Back Review.
Two main production shows with full cast. Very accomplished group of dancers and singers. Very upbeat, a lot of Rock & Roll, great laser lighting effects. It wasn't our type show or our kind of music but both shows were very well received by the audience and received standing ovations.
Comedian Ralph Achilles:
Funny, not hilarious.
This is the second time we have seen him. He is truly one of the best single acts in the country. He has a great voice, plays the trumpet like Doc Severson and has a winning stage presence. He was twice voted entertainer of the year in Australia and very likely will be voted the entertainer of the year of the Las Vegas strip. Whatever you do, do not miss his performance. He is sensational.
LaRaf--Magic & Illusion:
We almost didn't make this show. We have seen David Copperfield in person and we enjoyed his show, but we never enjoyed this type act aboard a ship. We're glad we made it because it was one of the best illusion shows we have seen. The costumes of the four assistants were first class and the intricate props used were far superior to what you would expect to see aboard a cruise ship. We almost had heart attacks toward the end of the show. One moment the principal performer was securely sealed in a box on the stage, then the lights dimmed for a second, and the next moment we heard the roar of a motorcycle behind us and as we turned toward the noise, he came roaring down the isle on a Harley Davidson just inches from us, up a ramp onto the stage. It took at least five minutes to get our hearts back into rhythm. It was a very good show.
Plan on doing something else.
Billy Fellows--Comedy Impressionist:
A really bad act. He must be related to someone in the entertainment booking department.
The Newly Wed & Not So Newly Wed Game Show: Hosted by Kyle Dotson:
This show was exceptionally funny. It had one really hilarious moment that brought the house down. The participants included couples who are newly weds, those who have been married the longest and the third couple somewhere in between. Sue & Everett Hardin from Ohio, was the oldest couple. They were a sweet couple and had been married for 55 years. They first met in kindergarten and neither one had ever dated anyone else. With the wives sequestered off stage, Kyle asked the husbands, "If you had to buy your wife a brassiere what size would you ask for." When Kyle went to Everett, you could see he was very uncomfortable and wished he didn't have to answer and Kyle kept suggesting all sorts of things to help him along. After a lot of hemming and hawing, Everett finally got up enough nerve and blurted out, "B-5." The audience almost fell out of their seats and they didn't settle down for a full five minutes. First time cruisers, make sure you see this show, it's a lot of fun.
The shows covered the full spectrum of possible comments. Some were very good, some were fair and some were terrible.
THE VARIOUS LOUNGES:
The Schooner Bar:
The Schooner Bar is, [here we go again] one of the most beautiful and striking lounges you can imagine. It is located above the My Fair Lady dining room and is an ideal lounge to go for a pre dinner cocktail. What makes this room so special is its configuration. It's a long narrow room approximately 30 x 100. The interior wall is the backdrop for a series of groupings of elegant settees and the exterior wall, the sea wall, is all glass from floor to ceiling. Yes, you read it right. One hundred feet, a third of a football field, of a complete glass wall looking out over the ocean. This wall of glass is on the port side of the ship. If your going to the Eastern Caribbean, you can watch the sunset. On our second night at sea we watched as the suns rays danced across the ocean waves and then sink below the far away horizon. Talk about special moments. This is a glimpse of nature in all its magnificence. It affords a great opportunity to take a picture of your sweetheart with the sunset as a backdrop. Talk about memorable shots.
Chips and a variety of dips are available at 5:30. In the center of the glass wall on a marble base, you will see a white baby Grand Piano Bar, which is the domain of Robert Vaughn. He plays all thse beautiful romantic ballads of yesteryear, such as, ‘The Shadow of Your Smile,' ‘As Time Goes Bye,' ‘Unforgettable.' Very pleasant listening.
The Schooner Bar isle is a walkway to the Carousel Lounge. As you walk toward the Carousel Lounge, look up at the ceiling and you will see the lower portion of the lapped hull of a boat protruding from the ceiling. It is a very attractive and unique ceiling treatment. The wall paneling and the furniture are exquisite.
The Carousel Lounge:
Hold onto your hat...here we go again. In our opinion, the Carousel Lounge is one of the most elegant show lounges we have seen. About now, you must be getting the idea that we think this ship is something special. Well, we do. The wood wall pieces and the three large wood sculptures in the back of the room are works of art. The furnishings are of quality that is rarely seen. There is hardly a column in the room. It has a large dance floor that Mary & I got to use during the Captains Party. The Captains party was held in this room and let us tell you a little bit about it.
The Captain as is usual, was at the head of the receiving line and a charming young lady, Jennifer Arellanes, was acting as host. She introduced each guest to the Captain and while a few words of welcome were exchanged, a photographer took pictures. We now have our picture framed and it is sitting on a shelf in our den.
The Hors d`oeuvres and cocktails were plentiful and while we were waiting for the Captain to finish
receiving his guests, the Guy Meredith Combo played for our dancing pleasure. They played the kind
of music we enjoy dancing to and Mary & I tripped the light fantastic. I felt like an older
version of Fred Astaire, with a slight case of arthritis. Mary was wearing a beautiful gown and
looked absolutely gorgeous. I got a kick out of the stares she got from other women, a sure sign
that she looked terrific. I made sure I covered the entire dance floor so everyone could see her. We
still pretty much stick to the old W.W.2 slide and glide with an occasional exaggerated dip tossed
in. Mary likes to get a rise out of me, by calling me her ‘Big Dipper.' As you no doubt can tell,
we had a lot of fun.
Captain Per Arne Kjonso hosted his own party and he did a terrific job. He introduced the ship's officers and had something meaningful and humorous to say about each one. He then told us about RC's new ship, ‘The Explorer of the Seas' and about future plans of the Royal Caribbean Line. The Captain had a great wit. His entire talk was peppered with jokes. He told us that they had 118 "Honeymoon' couples aboard the ship. [And that's without counting Mary & I] He said he was concerned about the stability of the ship and instructed the cabin assignment officer to put 59 couples on the Port side and 59 couples on the starboard side. He said he wanted to make sure they didn't rock the boat. The captain said he also had the stabilizers checked to be certain they were in proper working order, in case the newly weds got too rambunctious. He was really a card. Each morning at 8:00 he would make an announcement from the bridge. If the sun was shining, he would start by singing "You Are My Sunshine." I don't think he realized how funny he sounded singing with his Norwegian accent. He is a very personable, charming man and is a great credit to the Royal Caribbean Line. We are indeed fortunate to be able to call him one of us now that he resides in Pembroke Pines, Florida.
If we haven't lost you by now, don't give up on us, we still have a bit more to tell you. We're going to give you a short description of the other lounges, the pool areas, the casino, the computer center, library, and card room, then a few comments about our ports of call. Here we go. It won't be as painful as it sounds.
The Viking Crown Lounge:
The Viking Crown Lounge is located at the highest point of the ship and is the signature room of the Royal Caribbean Line. This very attractive room. The walls are covered with a blue velvet material and the entire room is enclosed with clear glass walls. It offers a spectacular 360-degree view of the ocean. It is an observatory during the day and a disco at night. During the day when it is the observatory the atmosphere is serene and very calming and then at night it becomes a full- blown disco. The disco atmosphere is not our cup of tea but wanted to see it so we could tell you about it. One night after we had been to the showroom, Mary & I decided to go to the disco and see what was going on. We got on the elevator at the Centrum, pressed the up button and enjoyed a noiseless ride to the highest point on the ship, the Viking Crown lounge. When the doors opened, we found ourselves in another world. We were no more than five feet from a dance floor filled with wildly gyrating couples dancing to a loud, pulsating beat of disco music. What those couples were doing on the dance floor was a long way from our W.W.2 slide and glide. This was a mega dose of culture shock. We stayed but moments, but we did notice everyone appeared to be having a grand time. We knew that our slide and glide style wasn't going to cut it in this environment. We quickly hit the elevator down button and breathe a sigh of relief as we quietly ascended to the Centrum. When the door opened, the sweet voice of Guy Matthews greeted us singing that classic old ballad, ‘It Had to Be You.' We walked to the dance floor, looked at each and bust out laughing. Thank God. We were back in our element. Then holding each other tightly, we danced till it was time to call it a night.
THE POOL AREAS:
Main Pool area:
The main pool area consists of two large pools with a six-foot return area beyond the coping. This allows you to lie in six inches of water while resting your back against the wooden bench surrounding the pool. This is a very pleasant feature and it also increases the overall size of the pools. Lounges cover the deck area on both sides of the pools. A very good Calypso combo called Mega 4, supplies the music. The entertainment staff scheduled the usual pool activities. The mens most hairy chest and best legs contest, the International belly flop championship, the popular horse racing and etc. We spent very little time at this pool because we fell in love with the Solarium Pool area. We will try to describe this very beautiful and different area.
The Solarium Pool:
If someone led you blindfolded into the Solarium pool area and then removed the blindfold, you very well might think you were in a Roman Garden in ancient times. The focal point of the Solarium is a rectangle pool situated between two Gazebo like structures that house two large Jacuzzi. The Gazebo like structures have four marble columns supporting a concrete roof with brass cupolas. The outer pool area is also lined with a row of marble columns connected by a large circular concrete beam that was a trademark of Roman Architecture. Three brass tiger heads, a foot above the water level on both side walls of the Gazebos, spew a continuous stream of water from their mouths. The entire back wall is covered with foliage, with a planter of colorful tropical plants at its base. Live garden plants are everywhere. Hedges in planters. Ficus trees in abundance. All very colorful, very pretty. The roof is moveable so it can be closed in inclement weather.
This area was very quiet and serene and we went there every day. If we were there by 10:30 to 11:00, we could usually find a lounge. If not, lounges were always available under the shaded overhang. This was also the location of a short order restaurant called, you guessed it, the Solarium Cafe. They served Hamburgers, Hot Dogs and Pizza and it was open from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. The designer team did an excellent job of creating a very realistic replica of what a Roman Garden might have looked like in ancient times. If you like quiet pool time, the Solarium is for you.
BITS AND PIECES:
Cruise Director: Kyle Dotson,
He did a very competent job.
The Card Room and the Library: Deck #7
Two very attractive areas, reeking of old world charm. Make sure you see them.
Explorers Club Computer Room: Deck #8
It looks like the conference room of a prominent law firm. It has 16 computer stations that will allow you to send e-mail and etc. A top notch set-up.
Crown & Anchor Study: Deck #8
Great place to just sit and relax
This is a very large room with beautiful appointments. The attractive surroundings are meant to dull your senses and lessen the pain of losing. I think they call that ‘Painless Extraction.'
Spa & Ship Shape Center:
The exercise room is above the Spa. It has all the standard equipment and aerobic classes are scheduled for each day. Its glass walls provide a spectacular view of the ocean.
On the last day the Jackpot reached $4000.
The patrons never worry about getting sea sick. They wind up with other concerns.
They did a very nice job but the small boarding photo and the port photos are 6 x 8 prints instead of the usual 5 x 7. It is almost impossible to find a 6 x 8 frame. Have to crop the pictures.
RC has an extensive program for youth of all ages.
PORTS OF CALL:
We have been to St. Marten nine times in the last four and ½ years. During that time we have been trying to find an alternative beach to Orient Point, with no luck. It is our opinion, Orient Beach is nothing special. The beach is not that bad but the surf is often rough and there is a very strong undertow. The fact that it's clothing optional doesn't trouble us, if anything it has given us with a few laughs. It never ceases to amaze us that 90% of those who we have seen parading down the beach ala nat-ural have the worst figures imaginable. Why they want to show what they have to the world is beyond us.
The island vegetation, what there is of it, is straggly and sparse. We saw horses grazing in what looked like a field of rocks, with a few weeds growing between them. The Chamber of Commerce is not going to like this, but we think St. Martens is an ugly island. If anyone knows of a beach you think we would like, please let us know. If we don't hear from anyone, the next time St. Martens is on our itinerary, we'll stay on the ship and spend a quiet day at the pool.
In the late sixties we had a condo in Puerto Rico and made trips to St. Thomas by hydroplane. During one of these trips I was almost asphyxiated by the fumes from the engines. When we docked, I flagged a cab and told the driver I wanted to hire him for the afternoon. I told him to take us to a quiet beach where we could breathe some fresh air and relax. That was our introduction to Megans Bay. This may be hard to believe, but that day in 1968 when we swam in Megans Bay for the first time, we were the only ones on the entire beach. We fell in love with the serene setting and crystal clear waters and have frequented it for many years.
In one of our reviews, I mentioned that Megans Bay was getting very crowded and we wished we could find an alternative beach that similar setting. A very sweet couple, Bev & George Little read our review and send us an e-mail suggesting we try the Caneel Bay Resort on St. Johns Island. This magnificent location was originally part of the Rockerfeller estate. Bev said it was a highly- rated resort and she didn't know if they would allow us use their facilities. I e-mailed the reservation's clerk and asked if we could pay the resort a fee to use their beach, pool and restaurant. In a matter of minutes I received an e-mail reply, saying they would be happy to have us use their beach and restaurant, but not their pool. I read on and it said, "When you see our beach you won't want to use our pool." We went to Caneel Bay Resort on St. Johns on our recent visit to St. Thomas. The beach is a duplicate of Megans Bay without the crowds of people. It's shaped like a crescent moon and the waters are sparkling clear with hardly a ripple. It is a magnificent pristine paradise. When we walked down the beach on our way to the beautiful patio restaurant, there was not one person on the beach. It was like having our own private beach. The restaurant was charming and the buffet was out of this world. I asked the manager if cruise ships' passengers were welcome. He said they would welcome them with open arms. I asked him if I could mention that in our review and he said, "Please tell everyone, we would love to have them visit us." If you haven't visited St. Johns, put it on your Must Do List. It is one of the prettiest islands we have seen. Here are instructions to get there from St. Thomas.
We recommend you take a taxi to Red Hook, cost $5, ( very little traffic) and will take 20 minutes. Then it's a 20 minute ferry ride to St. Johns which cost $5. When you get to the dock in St. Johns there are plenty of taxi drivers. The cab fare to Cancel Bay is $4.The ferry leaves for Red Hook every hour on the hour. You won't have any problem getting back to the ship in time. The next time we go to St. Johns, we are going to visit Trunk Bay and Cinnamon Bay. Bev & George told us the beaches are just as pristine and beautiful as Caneel.
What you just read is a good example how we can help each other. If it
wasn't for Bev & George's thoughtfulness in taking the time to answer our question about finding
an alternative beach, we would never have known about the magnificence of the Caneel Bay Resort.
Again, we want to express our sincere thanks to Bev & George Little.
Conclusion: Our short story is almost at its end. We can detect a sigh of relief.
Although we have spent many arduous hours writing this review, we enjoyed every minute. Mary & I get a two-fold pleasure when we write a review. We feel good that we might have helped someone and it gives us a chance to relive our cruise experience. The atmosphere and the service aboard the ‘Enchantment was as fine as we have experienced. We had a wonderful time and enjoyed ever minute of our cruise. Since our retirement in 1973, we have vacationed all over the world but it wasn't until we took our first cruise, just a little over four years ago, that we realized what we were missing. It is our opinion, there isn't any vacation that can compare to a cruise vacation.
It's hard for us to believe that only 11% of our population has been on a cruise. Our wish is that we might have encouraged someone who has never cruised before, to try it for the first time. If you do try your first cruise, we are willing to wager there is a good possibility you will become addicted just as we have. If you think you might be too old to start cruising, Mary & I are going to let you in on a secret of ours. It has often been said that the romantic fire dwindles as you enter the twilight years. We are the age they speak of and we can tell you, that's a myth. Despite one's age, romanticism never dies. It's true, some of our physical aspects might lessen, but then it's a matter of finding new ways to stoke the fire. We find that cruising is one way that works for us. Try it. It might work for you. Remember, "You're never too old for a Honeymoon."
This is our favorite definition of a successful marriage. "A successful marriage is one in which you fall in love many times....always with the same person."
We Thought You Would Like To Know:
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May your next cruise be your best,
Tom & Mary Milano
There have been future Enchantment cruisers to read this review.