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Jo-Ann Ostien

Age: 52

Occupation:Insurance Agent/Producer

Number of Cruises: 1

Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean

Ship: Enchantment of the Seas

Sailing Date: February 28th, 2005

Itinerary: Western Caribbean

Don’t know what I was waiting for!

My husband, Dennis and I have been together for 33 yrs and have taken many vacations (mini and extended) but never on a cruise. He had mentioned taking a cruise on several occasions and I’d respond…. Out there in that deep water.. no thank-you. Although, I do like the ocean – I am not a swimmer and am not very comfortable around deep water. Well, let me tell you our 5-day cruise on the Enchantment of the Seas was one of the best things that we have ever done.

Last November, 2004 we had made a decision to take a mid winter vacation and head south. The winters here in Vermont can be long. Needless to say, I began spending many hours on the computer viewing the many vacation spots available. As I began to compare pricing, it hit me that a cruise was the best for our money. The Royal Caribbean name came to mind from the TV adds so we decided to “Get out There” with them.

Once I had the cruise line chosen, I began to compare ships, ports of call and the length of each cruise. We had been told by different people that the 3 day is only a tease and so we thought for our first time, let’s try the 5 day with my fear of water. The Enchantment had a 5 day to Western Caribbean that fit into our schedules and it was booked. I was very pleased with the help I received over the phone and on-line from The Royal Caribbean Cruise Line. They answered all my questions about cruising in a very comforting and professional way. It was a long 4 months waiting to set sail on our first cruise.

The process of getting that many people on board and settled was amazing and well planned. Our ports of call were Key West, Cozumel and Belize. All great fun!

Key West: We choose to take an early walk around Key West visiting Duval Street then get back on the ship to enjoy what the ship had to offer because we felt that we could always drive to Key West and visit at another time. At our stop in Cozumel we went snorkeling and visited Playa Mia Grand Beach Park where we experienced a delicious Mexican buffet then soaked up some sun on the beach for a few hours. The tour for this excursion was terrific. Our dive masters were the best. Especially, Tony. He truly made our visit to Cozumel memorable with all the shots of tequila and of course his great personality. The snorkeling was as spectacular as described. The third port of call was Belize. There we took a ferry boat to Belize City and boarded a bus for the excursion to the Mayan Ruins of Altun-Ha. Once again, Royal Caribbean did a superb job of arranging a tour guide (Donald) that was very knowledgeable and passionate about his country. Seeing the Ruins are worth the 30 mile bus ride from Belize City.

The Enchantment offered everything we could have wanted and the staff/crew was truly special. Our stateroom attendant (Carl from Nicaragua) well spoken, polite and the best. He made our inside stateroom a warm and welcoming place to come home to each night. The food, entertainment and all the relaxation was more than we had ever imagined.

To sum it all up! From the time we arrived at the Pier in Ft. Lauderdale until the day we stepped off the Enchantment at the end of our cruise, it was a truly exceptional experience and one that we will never forget. To be honest, there wasn’t one thing I would change, it was all great. It made such an impression that after being home for 1 week, I booked a 3 day cruise on the Majesty of the Seas to the Bahamas for our 19 yr. old daughter and me for June 2005. We will definitely take another Royal Caribbean cruise next year and it will be for 7 days. We are hooked.

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