Byron and Regina Wade
Age: 31 to 40
Number of Cruises: First Cruise
Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean
Ship: Enchantment of the Seas
Sailing Date: September 24th, 2000
Itinerary: Western Caribbean
We made our our air arrangements through our travel agent and left Raleigh, NC for Ft. Lauderdale with a stop in between to change planes in Atlanta, GA ( Yes, we flew Delta!)We chose to fly independent of RCI's air/sea package because we saved a little money and our agent told us the port terminal was very close to the airport. She was right on the money! It was just a 5-minute ride from the airport to port and we arrived there pretty quickly. Our flight landed in Ft. Lauderdale at 10:30 a.m. and we were at port terminal 18 by 11:45 by the time we got our bags, ate, sat around and people-watched, etc.
Once at the terminal, we handed our bags to a porter and entering inside, we were handed a blue card with a number on it (we had #3)and were asked to sit down and fill out a form with our travel information. RCI personnel were roaming the room giving us assistance with our paperwork and asking for the proper documentation (passports, etc.). Then everybody who had the number 3 were called to go into a seperate room where another RCI person gave us further instructions as to the proper documentation and boarding tickets, etc. that we needed for the next phase in which we were going to be officially checked into the ship. We next entered into a huge room with a long line that moved pretty quickly to ship personnel who checked our passports, imprinted your credit card(s), and issued your SuperCharge cards. Then we entered the ship with a Embarkment picture in between. The whole process went quickly and smoothly and we were on the ship by 12:30 p.m. - just in time for lunch at the Windjammer!
Two words - AWESOME AND BEAUTIFUL! If you had not been on a cruise ship before, you would not have never known how beautiful this was! The Centrum was beautiful with glass, brass and marble floors. Quiet jazz music was playing. The furniture and decorum was tastefully appointed with basic colors and patterns. The Enchantment itself was huge with lots of open spaces as well as lounges and rooms. The Solarium and pool areas were nice. I could go on and on, but in short it was very nice.
My wife and I had a category F Oceanview stateroom on the Main deck (4054), mid-ship, on the port side. I read complaints on previous posts about the lack of RCI's cabin sizes but my wife and I thought the room was fine with us. Actually, seeing that you only sleep and change clothes there, it really did not matter what size the room. We had plenty of storage space. The shower was pretty small but it did not bother us. Our cabin steward, John from Trinidad, was excellent! He always seemed to be working and he was very plesant and informative on the ship's programs and activities.
Out of all of the comments I heard, the food was probably given the most concern, especially on RCI fleets. Here is our take on it - for the most part the food was good! I would not say it was 5-star cuisine, but I did not pay for that either, not to mention it is hard to prepare excellent food to suit everyone's palate when you are preparing for 2,400+. We had some really good pasta dishes and the Lobster on Friday evening was delicious!! I did not eat a lot of desserts, but what I had was good. We had first seating and went to the midnight buffet a few nights and the food was good. Our headwaiter Massimo (Italy), waiter Wallop (Thailand) and Assistant waiter Simona (Romania) were excellent as well and I was impressed that they took the time to remember our names as well as our preferences by the second night! We only ate in the Windjammer twice - at lunch - and we thought the food was O.K. We enjoyed the main dining room better.
The Entertainment overall was a 7 on scale of 10. Some of the shows were pretty good - the magicians LaRaf were great! They left everyone saying "How did they do that?" The Farewell show and "Sweet Dreams" shows were good also. A juggler, Jeff Taveggia, was really energetic and had an entertaining show. The other shows were two comedian, David Orion and Dave Heenan and the singing sensation Terri Bryant, formerly of the singing group "The 5th Dimension". No doubt, the best entertainment on the Enchantment were the "Not-So-Newlywed Game" and "Western Quest" - they were hilarious!! Mega 4, a calypso band, played great music at poolside. We do not gamble or drink, so I cannot tell you about these activities. We also did not attend the Disco in the Viking Crown lounge. I will say that the Cruise Director, Kyle Dodson, was great!!
I will not spend a whole lot of time here but here goes:
Regina and I did not get off the ship here. We spent the day in the Beauty Salon getting a manicure and pedicure and checking out the rest of the Enchantment.
We went of the Cozumel Island tour, where we had a real hilarious guide named Tony. He took us to the Mayan Ruins at San Gervasio. It was HOT and the MOSQUITOS were huge! Then we toured Chakanaab Park and Lagoon. We saw the dolphins and iguanas were everywhere!!
We took the Grand Cayman Highlights and Turtle Farm tour. Our guide took us throught downtown Georgetown and we arrived at the Turtle Farm. That was pretty interesting! Then we toured the city of Hell, Grand Cayman. I can now tell people I went to Hell - it was a lot of fun but it was pretty hot!!
We proceeded from there to a few rum cake factories and went shopping in downtown Georgetown and ate at a restaraunt before heading back on a tender to the Enchantment.
OCHO RIOS, JAMAICA
Our best excursion - took the trip to Dunn's River Falls. After touring the town of St. Anne's Bay, we hiked up the falls. I truly recommend this excursion!! If you are wary of persistent vendors, get prepared because you will see them here as you head back to your bus. I had been to Jamaica and other caribbean/developing nations (Haiti; Ghana, West Africa; and Montego Bay in a previous trip)so I was used to it. However, for a first-timer it can be a little nerve-wracking. Then we went to two shopping areas in Ocho Rios, Soni's and Taj Mahal, to purchase some gifts and went back to the Enchantment.
Days at Sea
Our two days at sea were wonderful breaks. The first one was after Cozumel in which my wife and I laid out by the pool area. We had no problem finding chairs because we are not sun-worshippers and there were plenty of chairs underneath the shade areas near the pool. There were many activities to choose from so you would not be bored.
The second day at sea was on Saturday, the day before we arrived back in Ft. Lauderdale. This was a sad day for most people I know due to the fact that the trip was almost over and no one wanted to leave.
Sad day - time to get off. Our bags were packed, tagged, and outside our door by 11 p.m. Saturday night. We awoke, showered, left the room, ate breakfast and sat around in the Fascination Rhythm Lounge waiting for our color tag (Blue) to be called. By the time we were called, found our luggage in a sea of people and luggage and were at the airport by 10:30 a.m. for our 12:30 flight back to Raleigh.
We loved the cruise!! My wife Regina said this was the best vacation she has ever had!! We loved Royal Caribbean for their superior service - whenever we had a problem or question, they had answers. We also met wonderful people from all over the world. We are already planning another cruise next year and we will definitely be going with Royal Caribbean, although we would like at some point to check out Celebrity, Princess, or Norwegian. We were suprised to see so many couples who were our age (we are in our 30's) and overall, the ship had a good mix of people and we also liked the fact that it was NOT a party ship! I would definitely recommend RCI and the Enchantment. You will not be disappointed!! Feel free to email me if you want more information!