We sailed the Enchantment Sept 11, 2003 for a 4 day cruise to Key West and Cozumel. This was our 7th cruise, 5 with RCCL. I sailed the sister ship, the Grandeur, in 1997. This is by far the nicest short cruise offered. The ship was in great condition and was cleaned constantly during the cruise.
Embarkation was swift, no lines. We arrived at 12:15 and were on the ship 15 minutes later, having registered online. The Windjammer was open for lunch and the pool chairs were filling up. One new addition to the Windjammer was a station for wraps and specialty sandwiches. They also make omelets for breakfast at this area. They had Egg Beaters available, too. My only complaint was that they did not put salsa out for eggs; it was brought upon request, though.
We booked an inside cabin, which is always fine for us as we never stay in it. It was small, but adequate and clean. Carl was our steward and his cheerful smile and great service were appreciated. There was a hairdryer and a safe in the room. It works on one card only- this can be a problem if you separate and your mate has the credit card!
The ship is beautiful with it's earth tones, brass trim, marble atrium and interesting artwork. We never felt the infamous "vibration" that we've read about. It's the crew and staff that made this cruise so special. We had the pleasure of seeing Matt Baker for the second time; this time he is the Cruise Director. This job is well suited for this musically talented man who also does magic tricks and dances well. His personality is contagious- he clearly enjoys this position and is as good or better than any I've seen. He made the Quest game an absolute riot (which we WON, by the way!) He does a crazy Austin Powers without having to change his accent.
The food was good, some things were very good. Service in the dining room was excellent. We had waiter Erdum Ertugrul and assistant Norbert Kiss (pronounced "Keesh") as an assistant. They were both excellent! Norbert had the most beautiful smile and huge dimples- he even enjoyed singing and the parade! I hope to see him as a head waiter in the future. We had 4 friendly tablemates which made for a pleasant dining experience.
Entertainment was so-so to excellent, depending on the venue. Our favorites were the Serenade Trio who played in the Atrium. Jean Pierre, Vincent and Steve are French Canadians who are great musicians, showmen and really super guys. We had the pleasure of talking to them often. (Thanks guys for letting me sit in at the piano! ) The group we were with really enjoyed that. We also liked the Tango Connection- mellower music, very pretty. Moses and the Highbrows provided selections in the Carousel Lounge, and provided a great set for "Under the Stars" dancing.
We saw all of the entertainers at the clubs and saw almost all of the shows and really enjoyed the RCCL production of "Can't Stop the Rock", a tribute to movie music. One dancer, a tall blonde Australian named James was so awesome it was hard to take your eyes off of him. I met him in the gym and he was very nice as well. One production "The Beatle Maniacs" was quite entertaining. Fun to hear them, they had an authentic sound instrumentally and vocally. We missed the "Love and Marriage" game, but caught it on TV later. The Quest game was wild. 22 teams of 6. We were "adopted" on the first day of the cruise by a fun group from Alexandria, and they had my husband working for them. They already had bras in hand, plus makeup, etc. Serious players, but my husband found the first set of false teeth which boosted our score. We won a RCCL hat, which I wore daily. If you are easily offended, don't attend. There was a bit of flashing going on and some women showed tattoos that were meant to not be viewed in public.
We do not enjoy smoky casinos, so I can't comment on that or the Bingo. Pool games were crazy, again, thanks to Matt. The gym was okay- a bit too hot. One day they had music just blasting, the other two days there was no music, no TVs, pretty hard to do aerobic activities. There were 10 treadmills, several were loose and making noise. There were 2 Lifestyle elliptical trainers, 6 bikes- only one with straps and a couple stairsteppers. Only 5 or 6 Cybex machines, one rack of free weights. A pretty small area and a bit cramped. The rock climbing wall has been installed outside of the workout room and seemed to be a huge hit. The internet cafe always had empty terminals, but using AOL was frustratingly slow and expensive.
In Key West, we returned to Fast Buck Freddie's. This store has a selection of Tommy Bahama and other tropical clothing, as well as nice home furnishings, children's items, etc. After shopping, we strolled down to the famous Rick's bar for some shirts and stayed for a drink and some fun live music. Everyone on this island wears a smile, I swear!
Cozumel is a favorite stop for us. We returned to beautiful Chankanaab Park to snorkel in crystal clear, calm waters and enjoy the company of beautiful fish. I had a refreshing one mile swim before having a yummy snack and returning to the ship to shower. Why did we shower? After that we returned to Carlos and Charlie's for the drunkfest. A lot of laughing, people-watching and dance, dance dance! We were soaking wet! Saw many of our new friends from the ship and had a ball.
Our sea day was relaxing and fun- strolling on the deck, watching pool games, ice carving, etc. and saying sad good-byes to the great people we had met. There was a diverse group on this ship- mainly late 20's to 60 with a few extremes. There were few teenagers( who had been quite rowdy on past cruises.)
We had blue tags (the second group) and were off the ship at about 10. We sailed through customs and luggage area in 10 minutes. Best yet.
We feel that RCCL fits our personalities. We've been a bit disappointed on past short cruises, as they just didn't seem up to par. This one greatly exceeded our expectations and I would recommend it to anyone. If anyone wants more information feel free to write me at LLindaC@aol.com