Just returned from RCI's 7 day Enchantment of the Sea's New England/Canada trip. Group included myself, husband, 3 teenage daughters, and in-laws.
Embarcation - We drove to the Phila pier from Westchester County in NY - 3 hour drive - the Phila pier was a one-time Navy base - very interesting, I believe they give tours of the base now. WE drove up to park, paid $70 week long term parking, dropped our bags off and took a short shuttle ride to the ship. Since we booked this trip 3 weeks ago, we had pier pick-up of our tickets. Everything went smoothly, we handed in our paper work, and within 30 minutes, we were in the Windjammer eating lunch. Excellent embarcation process.
Food - Much has been written about the quality of RCI's food taking a nosedive. I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised. We ate lunch and breakfast in the Windjammer most days, and everything was delicious. With the stretching of the ship, RCI redid the Windjammer, setting up separate food stations, improving the flow of traffic. There was always enough seating, and ample selections of food. No complaints at all. WE ate all but two dinners in the My Fair Lady Dining Room, Second seating. Again, the food was very good. The wait staff was outstanding. Our waiter, Gracien from Romania and his assistant were fabulous. Snacks in the Solarium were very tasty. The one negative comment concerning food would be that I did not like the fact that if we wanted ice cream during the day, the only place you could get it was at Lattitudes, the Ben & Jerry, pay as you go ice cream stand. I felt the nominal charge was petty.
Stateroom - since we booked 3 weeks ago, the only cabins available were inside, third floor. We booked 3 inside cabins, hoping for an upgrade, but as this ship was full, we were unable to get one. I have to say, that the rooms were adequate in size, with plenty of storage space. The shower was small, with a shower curtain instead of a circular shower door. This caused water to run out of the shower into the rest of the bathroom. No biggie. Cabin attendants were very good. I thought I would miss not having a balcony cabin, but have to say it wasn't that big of a deal.
Entertainment - CD Matt Baker (Austin Powers Lookalike) is absolutely hilarious. He is funny, and very entertaining. BEsides hosting various events throughout the ship during the week, he can also been seen walking about interacting with the guests. You definitely get the feeling this guy loves his job. He is the best CD I've had on any RCI ship. The RCI stage shows were excellent. The first night they had a comedian, Don Gavin, I believe, he was very funny. Headliner entertainment included The Platters - Excellent, and Bobby Arvon (the guy who sings the opening song from the old Happy Days show. Boy, can this guy sing. He did a great show, including some Bobby Darin tunes. Later in the week, he sang with the RCI band, doing Big Band tunes. Other acts included a magician who was okay, and a mediocre juggler/comedian who did too much off color humor for a family show. His act was inappropriate at times for an audience which included children. My in-laws found him offensive.
The ships look - What can I say - everything sparkled - the stretching added more space to the pool deck with another pool and an interactive splash pool for kids. There was really not a problem getting seats by the pool or Solarium. My kids liked the Rock Wall, and Bungie Trampoline. The ship was immaculate, with staff constantly cleaning. Having been on 3 Voyager class ships, I thought I might be disappointed with a smaller ship, but I wasn't.
Ports of call - First of all, we had great weather. Warmer than I expected, we did not need jackets or sweatshirts.
Martha's Vineyard - my kids rented bicycles, and My husband rented a moped. They explored the Island, while I relaxed, enjoying one of the beaches. Did some shopping. The area is a beautiful part of Mass. The tender ride from the ship is a long one. We needed to get tender tickets for this port.
Portland - We've been here before, so we walked to the Victoria House, a beautifully restored home, owned by the Morris's of hotel wealth. After the tour, we walked the town and did more shopping.
Bar Harbor - Bought tickets ahead of time for Oli's Trolly. This is a 2 1/2 tour of Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park. We booked this tour on our own. They are worth the price of $25pp. (Which is set by the National Park Service).
Halifax - Booked ships tour of Halifax. Overpriced, $39pp. Probably could have done same thing from one of the vendors off ship. This was a 1 1/2 bus tour. Highlight was stop at cemetary where some of Titanic disaster victims were buried. After that we walked to Maratime Museum and saw display they had on Titanic. Riverfront was very nice, reminded me of South St. Seaport in NYC. Although the ship never mentions is, there is a casino within walking distance of the pier. Halifax was a port with plenty to do. We've never been before, and could have spent another day there exploring.
Overall, this was a teriffic trip. The ship was beautiful, and we had no major complaints with any component of the trip. We were plesantly surprised with the itinerary, and would recommend it highly.