Hey everyone, my wife and I, along with 4 other couples, will all be taking our first cruise Sept. 30th-Oct 5th on Enchantment to Ocho Rios and Grand Cayman. We are all very excited, but we have a few questions. Any help with these would be greatly appreciated.
We are all in our mid 20's and are debating which seating we should take for dinner. We werent sure if either affected the shows at night. I've also been told that people enjoy being on deck as you leave port, I imagine this would interfere with early seating. I would also like to be able to see the sunsets, will either seating affect this?? So any suggestions would be great. Also since this will be a 5 night cruise, when will the formal evening be?? When can you make reservations for Chopps?? Can you do it before you get on the boat??
Do they have a happy hour on the boat?? Also I've read about people carrying around small coolers on the boat, is this allowed?? Is it really as easy as everyone says to bring wine and other stuff in your bags?? Also where can I get one of those countown clocks?? Thanks in advance for any help.
Usually, but not always, they present the big show twice - one for each dinner seating. If the main show is only done once, it is usually after both dinner seatings are over.
Early seating can often interfere with lingering on the deck as the ship leaves port. I like this part of a cruise so we typically go with late seating.
Your formal night should be on the evening of the first at-sea day, which for you will be October 1.
Chops cannot be reserved prior to the cruise. My advice is to go there immediately upon boarding and make your reservation
Cruise ships do not normally have happy hours in the same fashion as a local sports bar. The ship will have daily drink specials for a reduced price. These are called the "drink of the day". I have also seen occasional sales on a particular brand of beer that isn't selling too well. You will also be served complimentary cocktails at the Captain's Welcome Aboard reception.
I don't bring booze with me so I can't comment on the ease in getting it aboard ship. Most say it is not a big problem as long as you do it at the embarkation port.
First lesson, Please do not call a classy beautiful ship a "boat", it's a ship. It's like nails on a chalk board to hear it called a boat. I am surprised your dining arrangements aren't already confirmed or waitlisted if you've booked your cruise. There are pros and cons to doing both dinings. Everyone's taste are different. I can't stand eating at 8pm or 8:30 and not finishing a meal until 10pm. Others like eating late. When do you usually eat dinner at home? If you stay up later and dance off that big meal maybe you wouldn't mind late. If your a big eater and want to take in the midnight buffet the late dining is awfully close. As far as the shows go there is usually two seatings for the main production shows. One for early diners and one for late diners. Occasionally, depending on what port you are in and when you leave that port they might have one big show very late at night. The sunset thing is an issue with early dining. Usually you are getting ready or in the dining room at the time it sets. They post the sunrise and sunset times in the daily bulletin you will recieve in your cabin. It's called "The Compass" on Royal Caribbean. If you are planning to eat one night in "Chops" you could make your reservation a little later so you could see the sunset that night, (that is, if you decide to choose the early sitting). Looking at the port schedule for the 5nt Enchantment, early dining shouldn't interfer too much with your port time since you have to be back on ship a half hour before departure.
You can make reservations for Chops when you get on the ship.
I do not see people carrying around coolers on ships. Some people do bring on small amounts of liquor in their bags. I think the ships are going to start cracking down on that too. It is broadcast way to openly. The ship has a drink special of the day reduced. I have only seen an actual Happy Hour a few times. The formal night will probably be the 2nd night. It will also be announced in the Compass.
Thanks for all of the info. It has been very helpful. I am sorry for reffering to the ship as a boat. I am still a novice at this and I promise I wont do it again. Does early dinner interfere with the Captains reception, or do they have one for each?? Also do you recomend booking excursions through RCL or private companies?? We are planning on going to Dunns River Falls in Ocho Rios and Stingray City in Gerogetown. Once again thanks for all of your help.
Early dining shouldn't interfere with Captain's party. With 10 of you traveling together you probably can negotiate a good rate for a private tour on either of the islands. Depending on what you want to do. Some people like booking on their own and some feel more comfortable using the ship even if it is a little more. Keep in mind, on your own the ship won't wait if your late. So always be aware of the time. When going on your own use common sense security measures. If you are looking at doing the Dunn Falls in Jamaica or Sting Ray City in Grand Cayman you shouldn't have any problems. Have Fun. The Enchantment is a nice ship. I sailed on her Jul 05 right after she was stretched.