Royal Caribbean InternationalEnchantment the Seas ReviewWestern CaribbeanGlenn
Number of Cruises: 2
Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean
Ship: Enchantment of the Seas
Sailing Date: August 25th, 2007
Itinerary: NOT FOUND
Royal Caribbean International
Enchantment of the Seas Cruise Review
Debarkation: We flew
into Ft Lauderdale Airport without a problem. We decided to forego the ship’s
transfer ($17/per each way) and opt for a cab. The ride took 10 minutes and
cost $17 with tip for 3 of us. The terminal is not as fancy as the one at Port
Canaveral, but was clean and efficient. We registered online and were on the
ship in less than 20 minutes. Boy were we excited to be on our second cruise!
Day 1: We decided to wait 40 minutes until 1pm to drop off our bags at the room before going to lunch at the Windjammer. It was so much easier than dragging our bags with us. We attended the “Sail Away Party” on the pool deck and I won a spa treatment for my dancing abilities. The only catch was that it had to be used during port times. The rest of the day was spent getting acquainted with the ship. My Dad gave us a great tip to tape a colored balloon from home to the door of your stateroom. That way, regardless of which elevator/stairs you come down all you have to do is look down the hall for the balloon. There was many a lost soul looking for their staterooms throughout the cruise. Other people even used our balloon as a landmark to find their rooms.
Day 2: Key West: The boat docks very early and we were some of the first to get off of the boat. Not much is open, so we spent the time exploring the Sculpture Park off of Mallory Square and chasing the chickens. My daughter has at least 20 pictures of those rats with wings. We took the Conch Trolley and had a great tour. The tour zig-zags all over the island and it is hard to keep your bearings if you want to walk back to see something. Taking pictures of the historical buildings is tough because there is so much vegetation growing in front of the homes. I would suggest going early on the tour. We had only a dozen people on the trolley. After we returned, there were at least a hundred people lined up in a queue and each trolley was packed. After, we wandered the streets and did a few things on our life’s list, like eat Key Lime Pie at the Blonde Giraffe and have a margarita at Jimmy Buffets. Before returning to the ship we stopped at the CVS to get some bottled water for our room. Key Lime Juice was $2 a bottle, whereas it was $5 in the other “gift shops.” Returning to the ship for the early departure, we met very long lines to get back on the ship. It took almost 45 minutes in line to get through security. WAIT TO GO UPSTAIRS FOR LUNCH UNTIL ABOUT 3pm. Everybody gets back at the same time and wants to eat. We searched for a table for 15 minutes with plates in hand. I finally gave up and went back to the room. The girls went to a scrap booking class. There is also a BBQ on the pool deck, but that was packed as well. By 3pm the Windjammer was less congested and we made a dynamite plate of nachos.
Day 3: Cozumel: We booked a Jeep Tour/Beach Break Excursion through www.cozumelcruiseexcursions.com. It was significantly cheaper than booking on the ship. Once we got to the meeting spot, we learned that we had a private tour with a retired architect from Houston. It was awesome even though it rained lightly most of the day. He took us all over the island, we ate with the locals, and did some snorkeling just down from Chakkannab. The guide made a special effort to make the tour exciting for our daughter and we looked for shells on one of the beaches for over an hour. The best compliment came from my daughter at dinner that night when she told our tablemates that the guide felt like we were visiting family. I would definitely recommend this excursion service.
Day 4 Belize: We booked a Zoo and City Tour through the ship because we were not comfortable with going it on our own after reading other reviews on this site. The tour was excellent and the zoo was the best we’ve ever seen. All of the animals were active and close. The sound of howler monkeys roaring in the forest is something I’ll never forget. It was very memorable for our daughter since the rainforest was an exit project for past year’s class. I would highly recommend this tour as well. We were dropped off outside of the Tourism Village at the Smoky Mermaid Bar. We had to walk a few blocks back down an alley. We did feel uneasy as the locals seemed very seedy. We did stop at the Wet Lizard in the Village for some Lobster Ceviche. It was excellent.
Day 5: At Sea: The last day at sea we enjoyed the ship’s activities. My daughter spent quite a bit of time at he Adventure Ocean Program and loved every minute of it. RCI really caters to everyone. Food in the dining room was top notch and the service was impeccable. The selections seem to be the same on every ship and I could see you getting bored of the same things if you cruise often. I did ask the head waiter about the dress code because so many people interpreted it so liberally and nothing was done about it. He told me that their hands are tied because so much of the wait staff’s salary is based on tips. If they were to become more strict, they tips would likely decrease. He did inform me that RCI is seriously thinking of moving to a “freestyle dining” experience like other ships use. If that occurs, dress code will be enforced more strictly. The Grand Buffet was a work or art.
All in all I can say that a cruise is the best value for the money. If you are patient, have an open mind and do your homework these can be the best vacations around. For a short time, I can escape from our busy lives and feel like royalty. Thank you to all of the RCI staff aboard the Enchantment from the officers to the housekeeping staff. You have allowed us some precious family memories.