Royal Caribbean LineEnchantment the Seas ReviewWestern CaribbeanDonna Rowling
Number of Cruises: 3
Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean
Ship: Enchantment of the Seas
Sailing Date: December 5th, 2005
Itinerary: NOT FOUND
Royal Caribbean Cruise Line
Enchantment of the Seas Cruise Review
Our cruise vacation included my husband, four children (11, 9, 5, and 3), my mother-in-law and uncle. Overall we had a wonderful time, and while I have no major complaints about the cruise, there were a few minor annoyances.
We flew into Ft. Lauderdale the day before and that worked out great. We rented a car and were able to pick up some last minute stuff the morning we left. This made for a very stress free start to the vacation. Embarkation was a different story. While trying to hang on to four kids, carry-on items, and all our paperwork, I completely missed the sign that directed us to priority check-in. We had two junior suites and an inside cabin booked, but when we got up to the counter (after waiting in a long line), they did not have our Sea Pass cards (they were upstairs) and it took a long time for the representative to get everything straightened out. This portion of the journey was a little hectic with the confusion and the kids and relatives, but after that it was smooth sailing.
We found our rooms and were very impressed with the size. Even the inside cabin has a nice layout so it does not seem too small. Our luggage arrived with no problem and the cabin steward came right away and introduced himself, very friendly and helpful. We were able to unpack and store the empty suitcases under the beds, there was plenty of room in the cabins to hang and put things away.
We found the Windjammer and decided to eat. It was very crowded but not overwhelming. There were plenty of choices and we all agreed that the food was very good. My favorite was the Pasta Bar. The service in the Windjammer was very good. We had purchased the soda cards for the kids (an excellent investment) and the waiters in the Windjammer were very attentive (and friendly). My recommendation is the soda cards for the kids, but there were plenty of other beverage choices that were complimentary, like juice, iced tea, and lemonade. As the cruise went on, we realized that the best times to go to the Windjammer were when they first opened (for lunch and dinner) and close to closing for breakfast. The lines around the buffet always moved well but the “cook to order” stations lines moved slow during peak times.
We had booked one shore excursion in advance and decided on another one. Unfortunately I missed the deadline to turn the form in, and had to wait in a very long line to book the excursion. My advice is to either book the excursions in advance to avoid waiting in the line. We were on our own in Key West, booked a snorkel trip in Cozumel, and Cave Tubing in Belize. Key West was okay for the adults, but the kids found it boring. We all enjoyed the chocolate covered key lime pie on a stick and found an interesting winery. The snorkel trip in Cozumel was a lot of fun, after snorkeling we went to a beach area and were able to kayak, which was a lot of fun for the kids.
We had booked Reggie’s Cave Tubing in Belize via his website and this was one of the highlights of the trip. I was a little leery of booking something outside the cruise line but worried for nothing. Reggie does a fantastic job and the excursion is WONDERFUL. My uncle, who has some disabilities, really wanted to join us, and it was a little difficult, but the guides were great and made sure that he was able to experience it. I really cannot say enough about what a well-run operation he has and how much fun the excursion was.
We enrolled the kids in the Adventure Ocean Kids Club after attending the opening night program. The program was great and really got the kids enthusiastic about going. My 11 and 9 year old were in the same group and 5 and 3 year old were together. Both programs were great and the kids loved going. I liked the layout of the area where the kids were (you could watch the little ones from the outside through the windows), and they gave us a pager in case there was a problem. All the counselors were great and set my mind at ease about leaving the kids there. I would take the kids to Windjammer for dinner when they first opened, and then the adults could have a nice relaxing meal (we had late seating). I would go back and pick the little ones up and bring them to the dining room for desert, but the older ones always wanted to stay for the “after hours” program, which was $5 per hour. The food and the service were both good, just a little mechanical and hurried.
Overall, the ship was beautiful and we had a great vacation. As far as the entertainment on board, I cannot really comment as we did not see any of the shows. My daughter and I played Bingo just about every day and that was a lot of fun (they made it very entertaining). It was a little pricey, but a lot less than I would have lost in the casino. I used the fitness center in the mornings and it had a nice selection of cardio machines. I attended a wine tasting seminar, which was a lot of fun and informative. My only complaints are minor ones, like the (outrageous) price of video games and internet access, the room service was very slow, the hard sales pitch at the end of a wonderful massage, and the sometimes mechanical and rushed service. The pool area was great (the kids loved the ice cream machine) and the older kids enjoyed the rock climbing wall. We had a great vacation and I highly recommend this ship. The length of the cruise (5 days) was perfect for us.