This is our review of our September 13, 1998 cruise aboard Royal Caribbean's Enchantment of the Seas. This was our 20-somethingth cruise overall, second on Royal Caribbean, with other cruises having been on such lines as Princess, NCL, Carnival, Dolphin, Regency, Star Clipper, Cunard, Cunard Crown, and Costa. The Enchantment sails alternating Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries. We chose the Western itinerary, to a large extent because Eric's brother, Gerald, sailed with us. He is an experienced scuba diver and enjoyed diving through ship shore excursions in Grand Cayman and Cozumel. There was also a scuba excursion available in Key West, but he did not take that one. If you have any questions about scuba, please direct those to: Gerald Hill.
Our previous cruise on Royal Caribbean had been on the Sovereign of the Seas, and while we enjoyed our cruise on that ship, we thought the Enchantment was a major improvement over the Sovereign class (including Majesty and Monarch), because of the design of the ship, which included so much glass and open space, and also because of the balcony cabins. The Sovereign has no balconies, Majesty and Monarch some, but the Enchantment has many of them, although probably not as many as the Sun Princess class of ships. I think that I remember hearing one of these ships called "The ships of light", and I can certainly see where they get that name. Although some of them have slight differences, sister ships to the Enchantment are the Grandeur, Vision, Rhapsody, Splendour and Legend. Gerald's only previous cruise had been on Carnival's Celebration and he remarked several times over the course of the week how much more he liked the Enchantment than the Celebration because of the openness of the ship, the many windows and the overall higher class of the ship and accommodations.
There have been lots of reviews posted with regard to this class of ships, so I won't describe her in detail. I read a review in either Cruise Travel or Porthole lately, and it described the Enchantment as being the most beautiful of this class of ships and I certainly can attest that the Enchantment is really beautiful--all brass and glass and class and marble. I would say that she and the Sun Princess are fairly well tied in my mind for being the most classically beautiful of ships we have sailed. The public rooms, including the show lounge, the various other lounges, the dining room, the Viking Crown--all were lovely, in muted, classical understated shades. Our favorite room was probably the Schooner Bar, which featured a whole wall of windows, lots of comfy seating, and our favorite bar waiter for the week, an amicable Jamaican fellow whose nickname was "The Doctor". The casino featured a kind of pirate and under-the-sea theme, which was different but really attractive. I enjoyed the artwork tremendously, lovely traditional stuff for the most part. None of that weird, ugly stuff that we saw on the Mercury. Being a dog lover myself, I particularly enjoyed the whimsical almost life-sized statue of a girl taking a picture of a dog which adjoined the atrium on deck 5.
One of the first things that struck me about the ship was that my previous impressions from pictures and descriptions of the ship were correct--this class of ship would be fabulous to do Alaska in. There were huge windows everywhere where one could take in the outside beauty without having to participate so much in the outside (G!!). There are many lounges where there is rarely anything going on where one could sit and admire the view. Plus, of course, the Solarium with it's retractable roof over the swimming pools and hot tubs. The Solarium is really a beautiful room, with lovely tile, spraying fountains into the pool, with kind of a Moorish look to it. As some of you may know, our last cruise was on Sun Princess to Alaska. That was our first cruise to Alaska, and probably our last, at least for some time anyway. We had a lovely time in Alaska, but we're just not cold weather people. When we booked that trip, we might well have booked on Royal Caribbean, to experience this type of ship, but RCI only does (as of 98, anyway) round-trip cruises from Vancouver, as opposed to one way trips. We wanted to be able to actually see more of Alaska. If Royal Caribbean ever decides to start doing one ways in Alaska and we wanted to go back there, it would probably be on this type of ship, as she is perfect for bad weather.
OK, so let's talk about the cruise itself. Since the Enchantment sails on Sunday, we decided to start our vacation a day early and we went down to Florida on Saturday. Since it was $50 a person cheaper to fly into Ft. Lauderdale, we flew in there and rented a car for the short trip to Miami. Alamo Car Rental is off the airport in FLL, which is a little bit of a bother, since the rest of the car rental desks are right there in the airport, but not a big problem. We got our car, which was full sized Oldsmobile and turned out to be a great deal, since it was a last minute special of the internet at about $30 a day. We had reservations at a Days Inn, which had two, and only two, redeeming characteristics--it was cheap, at $54 a night and it was right next to Haulover Beach. It was OK for one night but I am not at all sure I would stay there again.
Saturday night for dinner we went to a great bar and restaurant called Gusto's, which served huge portions of food, along with fun times. We also purchased our liquid supplies for the week and the party we planned on throwing onboard, and packed them in our little roll-on carry-on bag that we had brought along for that purpose. Cokes and beer and mixers and wine and champagne get pretty heavy if you have to actually carry them, you know! G!!
We were able to get late check-out from our hotel Sunday without any problem. The fact that this hotel wasn't full, even at $54 a night, despite being right on the beach, gives you a clue about the quality of this hotel. We headed on down to Miami, and Eric dropped Gerald and I and the bags off at the pier around 1:30. Here was one of the truly f'ed up things for the whole week--having to stand in line in the full sun for 30 minutes waiting to get inside the building, because of the line getting through the metal detectors. The least they should have done was put a canopy over that area, so the sun wasn't beating down on us. Once inside, the line moved OK, and we were finally onboard a few minutes before 3. No one assisted us to our cabin.
Somehow, we missed the person sitting outside the elevators who was handing out door keys. On recent cruises on Celebrity and Princess, the ship charge card also opened the cabin door, which is nice because you only have to carry one card. After about three attempts to put our charge card in the door, the cabin stewardess came by and told us that the charge card did not open the door. We then found the lady sitting in front of the elevators who had our door keys. One mystery solved. Validation of credit cards for the ship charge was done onboard the ship that first day and the line was a very short line. However, I still don't understand why all ships don't do the validation of charge cards with the one line at embarkation, as Princess does.
We had booked a category D balcony cabin for the three of us, and fortunately for us, we ended up with a handicapped cabin, which is close to twice the size of the regular category D cabins. The regular Category D's were kind of cramped for two people and would have been fairly uncomfortable for three. Our cabin was lovely and afforded an excellent amount of room, even for three people. The regular Category D's are probably still a little bigger than the comparable standard balcony cabins on the Sun Princess, or on Mercury, for example, as even the standard category D cabins had a full sized couch in them. Sun Princess has only a little tub chair and Mercury has a mini-loveseat, in roughly the same type of accommodations. On the Enchantment, while the Category D's have a full sized couch in them, the C's have a full couch plus a couple of chairs. Also, on the C's, the balcony is much bigger, with a chaise lounge type chair plus two other chairs (as opposed to two small chairs on the D's), and the C's have a marble bathroom--very nice. I'm not sure about cabins less than category D's, but our cabin had a safe--unfortunately the kind that requires a credit card to use it. Therefore, you have to carry around a credit card with you, or hide it in the room somewhere. Stupid design. Category D's and above have a refrigerator, which came stocked with a few sodas, beers, liquors, that we dumped out as soon as we arrived, to replace with our own supplies. There are NO hair dryers in the Category D's.
After inspecting our cabin, we headed up for embarkation buffet. Nothing too exciting here, especially since nothing was marked and some of it was unrecognizable. Eric and I had some passable lemon chicken and a dessert and left it at that. Then it was back to the cabin to enjoy the bottle of champagne our travel agent had sent us and to toast our sailing from our balcony. Then it was time for the obligatory lifeboat drill. By this time, all our ice was either gone or melted and we tried to find our cabin stewardess to get some more. Since we could not find her in the hallway anywhere, we had to call room service. By the way, on the Enchantment, there is no way you can call your cabin steward or stewardess--you have to call room service. It took them 35 minutes to bring ice.
Overall, we ordered room service three times--on Sunday for ice, one morning just for coffee (which also took 30 minutes) and on Friday for lunch in Grand Cayman. I was NOT impressed with room service on any of those occasions. You could order room service through the TV, but we always called the old fashioned way, and the phone often rang 15 or 20 times before they answered. Despite having a balcony, we did not have breakfast delivered to the cabin that week, as we normally do. By the way, the Enchantment also has room service for lunch and dinner, that you can have the full lunch or dinner menu served to you in your cabin. But, since you don't know what they're having there, you have to either call to see what they're having or go by the dining room to look at the menu.
At that point, it was time to go down to dinner to meet our table mates for the week. We had asked for a large table and ended up with a table for 8 on the balcony of the dining room. We had figured, correctly, that there would be an empty chair at the table, as we were seated with two other couples, for a total of 7 people at a table for 8. Well, the last chair would not remain empty for long!! (More about that as we get to Monday!!) The two other couples consisted of a couple around our age from New York and a younger couple from Puerto Rico. We were a very congenial table. We met our waiter and busboy for the week--Sean (who introduced himself as 0010) and Tamer (who we called TAMEr all week until the last night, when Sean told us it was pronounced taMEER). Oh well. Sean seemed very uncomfortable with our rabble-rousing group over the week, and generally seemed to try to do his job as quickly as possible and get away from our table. We really had no particular complaints with Sean, but he just seemed to be uncomfortable all the time. Tamer was much more at ease with us, and we had a good time joking and talking with him all week. He was comfortable with us by Monday and Eric joked that we had "turned Tamer to the Dark Side" by Monday. Our head waiter was Dominick, who paid quite a bit of attention to our table over the week, since we were generally causing some type of trouble. After a short session in the casino on Sunday night, going somewhat sideways, it was time to retire.
Monday was Key West. According to the brochure and printed itinerary on our tickets, the stop in Key West is from 8 to 3 P.M. However, information onboard ship indicated that we would be sailing at 1:30. We didn't arise very early in Key West, as we had no plans there. Gerald and Eric both left the ship to make a couple of phone calls. I stayed onboard and lazed about. It's a tough life. We sailed smack on time at 1:30, leaving behind on the dock a couple of very disgruntled passengers. I don't really know if those folks had just been cutting it too close, or if they had been looking at the information in the brochure. At any rate, according to our source in the casino, the Enchantment has been sailing from Key West at 1:30 instead of 3:00 for at least the last three months. That, along with the almost continual vibration AND an incident that took place on Saturday, led us to believe that the Enchantment is still possibly suffering from some engine problems.
Ever since having sailed on the Celebration with me a couple of years ago, Gerald had wanted to take part in a slot machine tournament, so on Monday afternoon, he signed up for that. $20 for five minutes of punching that button like crazy, but he got a t-shirt and he had fun!
Monday night was the first formal night of the cruise. Eric has a couple of tuxes, but Gerald does not own one, so Gerald elected to rent one from the cruise line. The Enchantment had them available for rent onboard for the same price as they are available on the internet--$75 for the tux and $10 for the shoes. I would think this works just fine, so long as the person is not unusually short or tall or fat or skinny.
On the arms of two handsome men in tuxes, it was time for me to go the Captain's Cocktail party! The Captain shook only my hand, not those of the men (who wants to shake their hands, anyway?? G!!) and we were finally in the land of free booze! Of course the only real way to get much in the way of free booze is to sit at the bar, which is what we did, scarfing down several glasses of champagne.
Off to dinner, along with our new table mate, The Fish. We had decided that we didn't want to have that empty chair facing us all week. So we bought one of those little stuffed dolphins that they sell in the gift shop on the ship and took it to dinner with us for the first time on Monday night.. For this night, the Fish didn't have a name but she did come to dinner in formal dress, sporting one of Eric's extra bow ties. She looked quite festive. We had a nice time at dinner, partaking of French dinner, including coqovan, French onion soup, and snails. We found out at dinner that Brian, one of our table mates, was also a scuba diver, which meant that he and Gerald would have a lot in common and lots to talk about over the course of the week. After another somewhat sideways night in the casino, it was time to trundle off to bed.
Tuesday was Cozumel, with an earlier drop-off at Playa del Carmen, for the ship excursions to Tulum. We arrived in Cozumel around noon. Gerald had signed up for a dive here and he was off to meet up with his dive buddies. We planned to rent a car, as we have done the past several times in Cozumel. As we were walking down the gangplank, it started the rain. The idiot passengers immediately in front of us just stopped dead, right in the middle of the gangplank. After a somewhat rude comment from me, they realized they couldn't just stand there or we would mow them down and they definitely couldn't go back, so they proceeded the rest of the way down the gangplank. We sat in the bar there by the pier (Fat Tuesday's) and had a drink or so and waited for the monsoon to subside, which it did after about 15 minutes. We rented a VW beetle with a somewhat obnoxious red striped convertible top ($40 for the day, plus $4 gas) and were on our way!! Unfortunately, the rain decided to follow us. As we were about 3/4 of the way to Mezcalito's, on the other side of the island, all hell broke loose. We had, stupidly, apparently, unsnapped the top, so had to pull over to the side of the road in a big hurry and snap it back on. Well, guess what? A canvas top VW beetle is not entirely waterproof, OK?? Due to the "liquidity" of our ride, we decided it would be better to go to Mezcalito's (a bar, of course!!--and the only building within about 5 miles of where we were) to try to ride out the storm. It was kind of like a VW beetle convention, as there ended up being about 10 or so beetles come straggling in from all parts, people getting soaked on the run just from the car to the bar, if they weren't already soaked from the car ride. Fortunately, the roof at Mezcalito's didn't leak, although UNfortunately, the bathrooms were out back and after a few drinks, one had to wait for a lull in the storm to relieve oneself of those drinks. Some of the other patrons of the bar were a lot more adventurous than we were, partaking of some food from the place. I saw into the kitchen and decided I didn't want to have anything to do with any food that went anywhere near that kitchen. After about an hour of absolute pouring rain, it finally started to clear off a little and we set back out in our VW boat over the rapidly draining road. By the time we drove down a few miles to a deserted stretch of beach, the sun was shining brightly. We enjoyed our snack of wine and cheese and grapes in lovely solitude to the sound of the crashing waves, with bright blue sky overhead. My definition of a perfect day--even if somewhat delayed.
By this time it was about 5 PM and time to head back to town to pick up Gerald from his scuba adventure and do a dab of shopping. As most people know who have visited there, Cozumel is the mecca of junk souvenir shopping. We decided that The Fish needed a Mexican sombrero to wear to dinner tonight, and we found one without any problem. After some poking through the various silver shops, we bought a couple of items of junk silver jewelry for presents and headed back to the ship. It was approaching dark as we left port, and we enjoyed watching the lights of Cozumel disappear from our balcony. As we celebrated a fairly successful day in Cozumel, we came up with a name for the Fish--Wanda (A Fish Called Wanda!!), and picked up a Corona at the bar onboard to complete Wanda's ensemble and were ready to go to dinner! Our head waiter Dominick immediately picked up on the name Wanda, and laughed heartily.
Wednesday was a day at sea, but the weather was not terrific. It was windy, cloudy and rainy in the morning. I attempted to read in the library and Eric and Gerald kind of just hung out in the room for a while. I say that I attempted to read in the library, because I discovered a fairly stupid design defect in the ship--the library is just off the atrium, which is fine, except for the fact that, during the days at sea at any rate, that there was fairly constant music in the atrium, which could be very plainly heard in the library. The library was pretty well stocked with recent books and it appeared that there were not specific hours when one had to appear to check out books. Nice touch. Now, if they could just figure out how to sound insulate the library, we'd be in business.
For lunch, I decided that I wanted pizza, which turned out to be a somewhat unfortunate choice. Pizza on the Enchantment was squares of somewhat unrecognizable stuff, barely warmed over. A sad let-down from recent cooked-to-order pizzas on Princess, and most excellent pizzas on Celebrity. Also, pizza, hamburgers, hot dogs and fries are served in the Solarium, which is a double whammy--first, if someone in your party doesn't want pizza, burgers or hotdogs, one or the other of you has to traipse a long distance with your food. The Solarium is at one end of the pool deck, the Windjammer Buffet at the other end. Second--the only thing to drink in the Solarium for which there is no charge is coffee--no water, iced tea, lemonaide, etc. So, even if both parties want the same food, either you must pay for a coke or haul a drink from the other end of the pool deck. I see no reason why the hamburgers and hotdogs needed to be in the Solarium area at all, other than as a potential source of income. I didn't have a hotdog, but I did have a hamburger there one day (mystery meat) and the above-mentioned terrible pizza. The fries were similarly horrible. Altogether, an infinitely missable experience. As many of you may know, Princess' pizza is generally served in their pizzarias, which are also a long way from any free drinks. However, their made to order pizzas are worth paying for a drink to go with them. Celebrity has pizza available on the pool deck--not made to order but quite tasty nonetheless--AND has pizza available from room service, a first as far as I know.
The weather cleared up a little in the afternoon, so we were able to get some sun, then it was time for the Repeaters Party. There were hot and cold hors douvres, which were set up on a help yourself buffet table, so one could actually get more than one measley plate of hors douvres between three people. We had to ask specially for it, but we were able to get a couple of glasses of champagne apiece. Apparently, our Captain had joined the ship when we did, having just returned from vacation--3 months, I think he said!! The Captain gave a little talk outlining some of the features of the Voyager of the Seas--including those infamous INside balconies--and took questions from the assembled crowd, which I don't remember seeing in any prior such get-togethers. Most of the questions had to do with the Voyager. It will be doing Western Caribbean only, but no Grand Cayman, due to time involved in tendering such a large amount of people.
Time to go to dinner, which was to be special occasion this evening--Wanda's birthday! Wanda (The Fish) had spent the day sunning (fishes don't need quite so much sun as people--G!!), so she brought to dinner her beach towel, her bag and her liquid party supplies we had purchased for her at the onboard shops. Gerald had snatched a bran muffin from the breakfast buffet that morning, which we brought to dinner to be her birthday cake. The cake was complete with a candle provided by Tamer (although he didn't know what it was being requested for initially). The head waiter and waiter and busboys sang Happy Birthday to Wanda.
Thursday was Ocho Rios, Jamaica. Since Gerald had not been to Jamaica before, we had decided that we wanted to climb Dunn's River Falls with him, especially since we had not done it ourselves in quite some time. We don't do ship's tours, so set out on our own. We had problems trying to get one of the cab drivers to do a one way trip to Dunn's River, so basically ended up with what they wanted us to do to begin with--a round-trip for $22 for the 3 of us. Admission to Dunn's River is $6 per person, water shoes $5 each, locker was $5 net ($8 less a refundable $3 deposit for the lock). We gave $10 for the 3 of us for tip for our individual guide that helped us climb the falls, but many people just gave $1 per person. The climb itself took about 1 hours altogether. Water shoes are a necessity, as is climbing with a group, to be able to know where to step and where the hidden rocks, etc., are. After a few fairly steep places at the beginning, the climb was not bad and was very enjoyable. Our guide took our (waterproof!!) camera and took a couple of pretty neat pictures. After retrieving our shoes and drying off some, we had a drink apiece--two Red Stripes for the fellows and a rum and coke for me, at $8 total. We then "ran the gamut" of the storekeepers there, and ended up with a Rasta hat for Wanda, and a couple of those coffee bead necklaces for me. Big spenders. G!!
After the climb, we wanted some Jamaican food, so had our cab driver drop us off at the Jamaican Jerk Center, which was just a couple of miles from Dunn's River and a short walk from the Taj Mahal shopping center. We got 1/2 pound chicken and 1/2 pound pork, and two orders of french fries, for $17. Drinks were $2 each. After a satisfying lunch, we started walking back to the Taj Mahal, which was just a short distance. Our taxi driver from the morning saw us walking and gave us a (free) ride the rest of the way. There are several junk souvenir shops at Taj Mahal, and it's a short walk from there to the cruise pier. I normally collect teddy bears and was disappointed when there were none in the ship's shops onboard. However, we picked up a really cute Jamaican Rasta Bear there at the Taj Mahal, which was to be Wanda's "date" for dinner tonight.
It was then time to hop back onboard the ship, pick up around the cabin and get ready for our party! We had had a little problem with arranging a party in our cabin, as when I went to the purser's desk on Wednesday to inquire about it, they originally told me that they only did full parties that they catered, providing liquor also, which would of course be very expensive. Eventually I was able to convince them to just fix me a tray of hot canapes and do nothing else. Cost was $30 (plus a 15% tip, which we didn't realize till after we tipped the fellow who brought it. Oh well.) Anyway, we had a lovely party with our tablemates, drinking and talking and enjoying the huge tray of appetizers, till I saw it was 8:20 and time for everyone to get dressed for dinner, as we were all still in our shorts.
We heard while still on the ship that there were three people arrested in Jamaica, trying to smuggle drugs onboard the ship. After we returned home, we heard that the drug in question was cocaine and that the street value of the drugs was something like $500,000--nothing like the casual marijuana smuggling that we had assumed when we heard that someone had been caught with drugs.
Dinner Thursday evening was Caribbean and toga night--a strange combination, I thought. Some people did participate in the toga festivities, but I would say it was less than 20%. This evening was the first evening that we actually had fast service in the dining room, as the waiters were scheduled to do their Caribbean dance after dinner. Other nights the service seemed very slow to us, although we were having a good time talking and laughing. If we had not been having such a good time, the slow service would have been a major irritant. The waiters took Wanda the Fish and the Rasta Bear, whom we named Sidney Portier ("Guess Who's Coming to Dinner??") with them as they danced around the room, and succeeded in losing Wanda's rasta hat, which had to retrieved later.
Friday was Grand Cayman. Gerald had to be in the show lounge at 8:15 to meet for his scuba excursion. Eric got up with him and had some coffee, as I stayed sacked out in the room. Eventually, Eric and I had a bite of breakfast, then wandered around taking our obligatory pictures and making notes for the web page. Tender tickets were not required by 9:30, but we had decided we wouldn't go ashore until noon or so. We were somewhat stunned to discover at noon-time there was no food available except in the dining room, until 1 P.M. The Windjammer did not open till 1 and the Solarium (which was usually open from 11 A.M. on) also did not open till 1. Our only choice then was room service. As usual, room service was exceedingly slow--taking 35 minutes to bring a chef salad and a club sandwich.
We took the tender ride in and just as we arrived at the pier, Gerald's dive boat arrived. We made arrangements to meet him in about an hour or so. He headed back to the ship for a shower and we went to do some light shopping. Eventually, we met up at the bar which is just down from Eden Rock. Can't remember the name of it now, but it's something like Paradise Rock or something. We had a couple of Stingray Beers and took a couple of pictures of the ship at anchor. It was time then for the short tender ride back to the ship. We sacked out for an hour or so, and then availed ourselves of the free chicken wings before dinner at the Schooner Bar. Each night, there were generally some type of hot snacks available before dinner. Most nights there were hot snacks of various kinds in the Champagne Bar, which was right by the dining room. The night in Jamaica there were chips and salsa in the Viking Crown. We love having that option, as we always opt for late seating and sometimes one gets hungry before 8:30!
We got dressed for dinner and checked out the casino for a few minutes before dinner, continuing our by now losing ways for the week. This was the second formal evening of the week. This evening, Wanda's date was a stuffed turtle we had picked up in Cayman, named Raphael, of course. Dinner this evening featured a crab appetizer, gazpacho, Caesar salad, filet mignon, and cherries jubilee. Wanda's pack of goodies at the table this night included a Stingray beer, and a "Soon Come, Cayman Condom". Our busboy, Tamer, when he read the condom cover, said "Oh Sh__!" All of us at the table about fell out of our chairs laughing. The ship's photographer came by and took a most excellent picture of Wanda and Raphael.
Unfortunately at the end of the meal, our waiter then proceeded to beg us for excellent marks on the comment forms. I thought that Royal Caribbean had stopped that practice a while ago?? I resent that whole procedure, but since we liked Sean OK, we were at least polite.
Saturday was our last day and another day at sea. Again, the weather was less than optimal, so we weren't able to get a lot of sun in. We were able to take care of all those last day disagreeable tasks, like making sure you have the correct change for tips, packing suitcases, etc. Royal Caribbean's Majesty of the Seas sailed alongside us for most of the day as we steamed toward Miami. Saturday afternoon provided one bit of excitement, however, as we were in our cabin about 5:30, using up the last of our liquid supplies for the week (one can't take them home with you, you know!). Eric noticed that we were stopping, in the middle of nowhere. As we slowed to maybe 5 knots, then became totally dead in the water, we heard what surely sounded like a chain saw. This is a sound I don't believe I have ever heard while at sea. As we slowed and ultimately lay dead in the water, we observed the Majesty drastically cut it's speed also and get much closer to us. As we discussed among ourselves and our next door neighbors from their balcony, our situation, after roughly 30 minutes dead in the water, we eventually started back up and steamed toward Miami. We never did find out what the problem had been.
At dinner the last night, we had begged a blank luggage tag from our tablemate Brian and wrote on the luggage tag Wanda's name and her cabin assignment for the next week--the Royal Suite. Wanda was going back onboard the Enchantment the next week as a guest of the Captain! G!! We had also begged our favorite bar waiter, The Doctor, to procure an empty bottle of (really expensive) champagne to take to the table to show Wanda had been celebrating with the Captain. That night the table gave Tamer, our busboy, the picture of Wanda and Raphael which was taken by the ship's photographer, which had been signed by all of us at the table. I believe he was genuinely touched, as Tamer told us as we left that this was the first week that he had had fun for the whole week.
People and service--Overall, we enjoyed lovely service from our cabin stewardess, from most all the bar staff, and dining room personnel. Our cabin stewardess deserves a few words of praise for keeping our cabin clean for the three of us and for assisting with setting up our party and for putting up with our tricks. One day in particular, we fixed up Gerald's bed like there was a person in it, with pillows covered up by a blanket, a hat sticking out the top and shoes sticking out the bottom. We then put out the "Make Up Room Now" sign. We saw her later and she laughed and said "you are bad people--you TRICKED me!". She was a lovely person and a good egg.
Food--Merely OK. It's a good thing this is such a lovely ship. Otherwise, I would be quite miffed with the food, which I considered to be even worse than Princess' food, if that is possible. I was very disappointed in the quality and variety of the menus offered in the dining room. Generally onboard a ship, I have a hard time deciding between several good looking alternatives. On the Enchantment, I often found nothing that even looked interesting. Appetizers were generally bland and uninteresting, with even old favorites like fried mozzarella missing from the menu. Salads generally consisted of ONE selection only. Pastas sounded unimaginative and ordering same was roundly discouraged by Sean, apparently with good reason, based on my one experience with ordering pasta. Soups were missing such traditional favorites as Cream of Broccoli and Jamaican Pepper Pot and what I call the melted ice cream soups--the cream of strawberry, cream of orange, etc., totally missing. I already outlined the horrible hamburgers and pizza. The Windjammer buffet did a good job for breakfast, including made to order omelettes, either french toast or pancakes every day, bacon and sausage, fried potatoes, oatmeal, fruits, croissants, cereal, toast, etc. Luncheons in the Windjammer generally included some type of carved ham or roast beef or turkey, in addition to a "themed" lunch, like Mexican or Chinese, etc.
Entertainment--gee, I don't know. We didn't go to any shows, like normal. I was somewhat surprised that there was not any " big name" entertainment like on the Sovereign. We did watch one late night comedy act on Saturday night, which was pretty well attended. Otherwise, we watched the steel band up on deck a couple of times and the top 40's band a time or two. As usual, our entertainment generally consisted of the casino, which was not particularly "entertaining", as we lost more than our share for the week.
SUMMARY--She's a beautiful ship with an accommodating crew, and food that could stand
Carol & Eric
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