Our flight to Ft Lauderdale passed uneventfully and before we knew it we were in sunny Florida where summer has obviously been hiding this year. We had made our own air and hotel arrangements so it was off to find a taxi to take us to the Mariott. A short hop, skip and a jump from the airport to the Mariott Marina and my vacation was truly beginning. Hot, Muggy, Summer Heat, just what I was looking for after spending the entire summer dealing with rain and sometimes temperatures that sunk down into the 50's.
Embarkation was without question the smoothest and fastest we have experienced. We left the Mariott at about 11:45 AM and were at the pier by noon with our bags checked in and we were holding #1 boarding tickets. Signs posted all about were telling us that boarding would begin at 1PM so we settled in, anxiously waiting for the hour to pass. Our friends Linda and Bruce arrived shortly after we did and were given #2 boarding tickets. No sooner than we had said our hellos they were calling for all passengers holding #1 tickets to proceed to the embarkation area. The time was 12:15PM. Within 15 minutes we were on board the Enchantment of the Seas searching for our cabin. I sort of missed the personal touch of having a member of the staff escort us to our cabin, but we found it without a map and didn't even have to ask for directions.
Our cabin was an Outside cabin on Deck 3. The size of the cabin was adequate but I must say storage space was abundant. There was a desk with a mirror, shelves on either side of the mirror enclosed within mirrored doors. On one side of the desk were three large drawers, three smaller ones on the other side of the desk and a small flat drawer in the middle. Three shelves (one taken up by the safe) enclosed by a door above the TV, were to the right of the desk. Of course there were the obligatory night tables with two very small drawers in each. Inside the closet were three additional rather small drawers, but it was extra storage space nevertheless. When I had finally unpacked all of our things, there were actually drawers to spare. We had a couch, more like a loveseat, a small table and a chair for the desk. And still some space to move around. As long as we didn't plan on any involved maneuvering, we were gonna be fine.
I must say however, this was my first cruise without the benefit of a balcony and I sure did miss that feature. It's tough going backwards once you've had a balcony cabin.
Meals aboard Enchantment were generally good and made even better by a great waiter who truly catered to our every whim. Steaks were served as we ordered them, and other than on Caribbean nite, I always found at least one entree to my liking. I was however not impressed with most of the soup offerings and in my humble opinion; the deserts left much to be desired.
Breakfast and lunch onboard the Enchantment was unimaginative and ranged from fair to good depending on the day. Breakfast each day was scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, a different choice of potatoes each day and either pancakes or French Toast. There was fruit, cold cereal, bread, croissants and rolls, juice and coffee or tea. Omelets were also freshly made to order. Lunch each day consisted of rice, a meat dish, a fish dish, and quite bland vegetables. Each day there was a meat choice being carved. In most instances the hot food in the Windjammer was luke warm to cold.
The Entertainment, specifically the Las Vegas type production numbers were the best I have ever seen on a ship. The Sweet Dreams Revue brought the audience to their feet in a standing ovation. Why even Harry stayed awake thru the entire show and stood to show his appreciation at the end.
The magic act of LaRaf on Day Four was one of the highlights of this cruise for me, since I was chosen to be the volunteer from the audience to assist the magicians. I always believed that the people chosen were a plant in the audience, but I guess not. It was truly fun and perhaps I will entertain the idea of being a magician's assistant if I ever decide on a career change. For the rest of the cruise I was known to most of the main seating passengers as "The Magic Lady".
I missed both the juggler, who I heard was just so-so and the singer, who people said was terrific. The Newlywed, Not So Newlywed Game was as usual quite a hoot. I am truly glad I didn't get picked for that game as playing that with Harry would be like committing suicide.
The other highlight of the cruise was Novel Quest, which always amazes me. Some of the things people will do to win a T-shirt is truly crazy. Did I mention that our team won, just goes to show you what maniacal nuts we really are.
I can't report on the Casino since I really don't play cards, don't understand Craps or Roulette and my big nite at the Casino is playing quarter slot machines to the tune of never more than $20 at any one time. The Casino was however always very crowded and at times I couldn't even find a slot machine to put my quarters in.
We found the Staff onboard the Enchantment to be friendly and always willing to do whatever it takes to make the passengers happy. We were greeted each day by smiling faces wherever we went. Our Cabin Steward made pretty little things with the pillows and anything else he could find in the room and kept our little space neat and clean during the week. As I stated before our waiter was excellent and our assistant waiter after a little prompting did finally get the Iced Tea to the correct people at the table each nite. We rarely saw our Head Waiter, but when he did make an appearance he was friendly and helpful.
Our CD Kyle Dodson was very professional and quite good as an MC at all the shows, but was hardly ever visible out and about the ship. I personally prefer a CD that is accessible to the passengers and participates in the activities and other than in a professional way I rarely ever saw him around.
Our Captain, Per Arne Kjonso seemed quite personable and kept us all very well informed about everything that was going on with the ship. He even advised us that we would be passing thru the Bermuda Triangle and could rest assured that we would be saved if anything happened since our ship passed Coast Guard Safety Inspection while we were docked in St. Thomas. We didn't get a chance to meet the Captain personally but I am sure I would have enjoyed his company had we gotten that chance.
I don't believe I heard many Negatives during our cruise, most certainly not from me. The one thing I did notice however was the number of passengers in shorts (even gym shorts) and T-shirts in the dining room at nite for dinner. I do not understand why the ship posts a dress code for dinner and then fails to enforce it. I for one like getting dressed for dinner and it creates an atmosphere I personally like when all my fellow passengers are abiding by the rules of the dress code. I sometimes wonder if these same people would attempt to go into a fancy restaurant that requires Shirt and Tie dressed in jeans or shorts. And I am sure they would be denied admittance if they did. Why not on a ship?
I have to mention how much I enjoyed sitting in the Centrum each nite before and after dinner watching the people go by. This is in my opinion one of the best places aboard the Royal Caribbean Vision Class ships.
Overall, we had a thoroughly enjoyable cruise and would do it again in a heartbeat.