Dave, just read your excellent review. I can't agree more with your feelings on RCL ships and crew. We love the whole experience. We are booked on Vision for the Transatlantic in Sept. and Freedom in Dec. for our 2nd annual New Years cruise. Just can't get enough. We will achieve Diamond Plus on Freedom. Our first cruise was Grandeur in 1998. Our youngest son graduated high school and our oldest beginning his junior year in college. That was the start of our love for cruising. After a couple other cruises (and my wife and I talking it up) we convinced two other couples to "give it a try." Their initial cruise and our 3rd with RCL was on Enchantment in 2000 (we did a short NCL in late 1999). We set the bar very high with our friends as the 6 of us were invited to dine with the Captain! Funny part of the invitation was when the Maitre D' approached us at the first dinner to invite us to dine on day 2 for Formal Night, our response was "but we have a wine package." He stated that we would still have our bottles available and we would get free wine at the Captains table. He added "it is a great honor, you must say yes." Obviously we were elated and honored, as you were. After the invitation we looked stunned at each other and one of our party noted "we just negotiated an invitation to the Captain's table!" What a memorable experience! The Captain was remarkable. We did the second seating and there was the 6 of us, another woman, and the mother of the Captain's Hostess. We realized he liked us as I noticed that the entire dining room was empty and the tables were being converted for the midnight Chocolate Buffet. Except around us. The waiters were all standing at parade rest. I looked at my watch and it was 11:30! We had been there for 3 hours! Finally the Captain excused himself and we left, giving the wait staff only 30 minutes to finish setting up the Chocolate Buffet!
Like you, many firsts. We became good friends with the Captains Hostess and joined in many events. Made the video many, many times. Had a wonderful time with the cruise director and his staff.
Needless to say we are now cruising fools! We have been on many wonderful and fun cruises. But our first cruise on Grandeur was the very best (first cruises always are), and our cruise on Enchantment a close second. I love all RCL ships. I really love Allure and Oasis. But we have since done another cruise on Grandeur in 2007 and Enchantment in 2009. Both are still as majestic as they were in 1998 and 2000. I am so looking forward to 14 days in a Grand Suite on Vision.
We started out in inside cabins and now have grown to Grand Suites! Funny, that first inside cabin in 1999 was almost as expensive as suites are today!
When I read your review, it brought back all the memories of our Enchantment cruise so long ago. As one of the greatest entertainers who ever lived used to say:
"thanks for the memories!"