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Honeyroastedmelnut

3 Night Bahamas cruise on Enchanment from PC review

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I was on the 1/18 - 1/21/19 sailing of the Enchantment of the Seas 3 night Bahamas cruise out of Port Canaveral.

Since I know the Enchantment is going to Galveston soon, I’m going to try to split the review between the ship for the folks who care more about reading everything there is about the Enchantment and then for the itenerary for the folks who will be doing the 3 Night Bahamas cruise on the Mariner.

Background, this was my 6th cruise and second on RCI and my DH’s 3rd cruise and 1st on RCI.  We are late 30’s - early 40’s. 

I did this exact itenerary in 2016 with my Red Hats group (I’m a pink hatter) and loved it. DH’s parents are treating us to a cruise in 2020, probably on RCI so I wanted to introduce him to the line.

 

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Emabarkation/Debarkation:

 

Embarkation:

Drove to Port Canaveral the morning of embarkation. Was about a 4.5 hour drive ... doable but makes for an early morning.

 

Parked in the parking garage right at the port terminal. Current prices are $18/day so $68 total ... card only no cash. Or at least when we arrived no cash. There might be cheaper lots but the convenience factor to me was a higher priority than the cost.

 

I did the online check-in beforehand and had our printed out passes. Virtually no line no waiting to get on board or to check in. Definitely worth the time to check in online beforehand. DH did stop at the vendor selling the lanyards to get one ... didn’t use it but that is OK.

 

Debarkation:

Debarkation was behind schedule. They could only set up one gangway so they didn’t even call for self-debarkers until 8am. The morning was very cold (40’s with 25mph winds) and they had the Debarkation line snaking around the outside of the ship on deck 5 for whatever reason.  Odd highlight from the trip ... commenting on the weather a little girl emphatically asked her parents “Why is Florida broken?!?!?”  I about died laughing from that.

 

When we finally made it off the ship the line for customs was HUGE. Paid a porter a few bucks to take our things and skipped a least an hour of standing in line.

 

Oddly enough wasn’t given a customs form to fill out. The Customs agent briefly looked at our passports. Didn’t ask any questions and waived us through.

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Interested in your review.  Never been on Enchantment, but have done a short (4 night) Bahamas cruise on Mariner.

Edited by LuCruise

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5 minutes ago, Honeyroastedmelnut said:

 ... Oddly enough wasn’t given a customs form to fill out.  ...

 

The customs form has disappeared in the last year or so.

 

Thanks for the report.:classic_smile:

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Enchantment review:

 

Booked a window room (3520). Not really in the room much so I didn’t care for anything fancy but did want natural light in the room.  Room was nice. My other RCI cruise was in an inside cabin and it felt small this felt roomier. Not sure if it was the natural light or the small loveseat seating area (don’t recall having that on the Majesty).

 

The staff were lovely. My favorite was Moe from the activities team. He was good and probably very close to being a Cruise Director himself.

 

When I last cruised with RCI, I came back raving about the food to my DH. I LOVE escargot. On Carnival they just serve it on formal night but RCI served it all 3 nights .... a HUGE selling point for me. For whatever reason they didn’t serve it every night, a huge bummer for me.

 

Overall the food wasn’t very good especially in the main dining room. The first night (only time I got escargot and had I known would have ordered multiple) I ordered the steak. It came as I ordered (rare) but had ribbons of fat and gristle through it. Not bad enough to send back but I only ate maybe 1/4 of it. That night for the first time, I met a chocolate cake I not only didn’t like but after 1 bite, stopped eating it. It was gross and almost bitter. Food never really got better. Tried the MDR for breakfast the next day. Ended up going to the Windjammer for second breakfast not because I’m a fat hobbit but because the first breakfast was cold and flavorless (don’t order the eggs Benedict).

 

Since Day 2 the ship was in port until 11:15PM, we missed the formal night as we were still in port.  The last night, the menu in the MDR had nothing on it I wanted which was an absolute first for me. If I didn’t think it would have been rude, I would have left to go to the Windjammer.

 

Overall the Windjammer and Park Cafe on deck 9 had the better food. DH enjoyed the roast beef sandwhich from the Park Cafe a lot. Go there on embarkation day ... it is in the Solarium and soooo much calmer than the madness that is the Windjammer on the first day of any cruise. DH didn’t mind the pizza but I love Carnival’s goat cheese pizza so that still wins out over Royal’s OKish pepperoni.

 

Didnt catch any of the big production shows but did enjoy the comedian, the Love/Marriage game and hubby got a perfect score in one of the trivia games so those were fun.

 

If the Enchantment was my first cruise or my first one with RCI, I wouldn’t be as into cruising as I am. Unless the ship sinks, no cruise is a bad cruise ... this just wasn’t the best one ever. Hubby still likes cruising but so far he isn’t swayed that Royal is better than or a step-up from Carnival.

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We were also on this sailing as Monday was a holiday and we didn't have to worry about getting to work.  Instead of getting in line to immediately disembark, we to the MDR for a nice breakfast instead.  This was a BIG MISTAKE!  

 

It was after 8 when we finished breakfast and went to disembark.  Just as the OP said, there was a huge line outside from the door near the Orpheim Theatre to the door by the Centrum.  It took almost 40 minutes to get to the gangway.  I dinged out but my DH's card bonged and he was told to go to Guest Services.  Ugh!  I dinged back in and we stood in the 30+ minute Guest Services line.  For the first time in 70+ cruises, my husband did not get linked to my credit card.  I don't know if it was because of the new Setsail Pass format or if we were somehow unlinked when we did the Expedited Check-In.  Lesson learned!  From now on, I will be sure to check and confirm we are linked when onboard.

 

Luckily, when we left Guest Services, a staff member noticed us and led us directly to the gangway so we avoided standing in the long line again that still snaked around the ship.

 

When we got into the terminal,  the line to Customs was longer than I'd ever seen it.  As the line seemed to be moving, we were OK standing in it for the first 30 minutes, then it began to get annoying.  As we got closer to the front, I saw there were only two regular Customs Agent lines that were open and checking passengers through.  When we were roughly 30 people from an Agent, one of the Agents went on break, leaving just one line.  It was very frustrating for everyone standing in line and I'm sure the Agents were (are) very frustrated to be working with no pay.

 

We finally got home (which is only 10 minutes away) just before 10:30.  Wow!

 

ps - before anyone says it, I know we could have gotten a Porter.  We weren't being cheap, we just thought the line would move faster.  Once we realized it wasn't going to, we were stuck in the middle of the "Disney" style line configuration. As we really weren't in a hurry, we just sucked it up and stayed in line.  

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Itenerary:

 

This was to have 2 stops. 1 in Nassau and then on to Coco Cay. We just made it to Nassau.

 

In Nassau, I planned our own excursion. We walked to the Straw Market so DH could see the carver’s section and since Nassau is known for it.

 

We then hailed a taxi to drive us to Ardastra Zoo. The taxi ride with a nice tip was $13. Yes the distance was walkable but since we were going to be walking all day and walking our way back to the ship we decided to save time/energy by taking a cab. 

 

For the 2 of us, the entrance price to Ardastra was $37.50.  It is not a large zoo by any means but worth going there for the Lory feeding and the March of the Flamingos. It might sound like this is kiddie stuff but as adults we had fun. 

For the lory feeding they bring you into the enclosure and hand everyone bits of apples. The birds then fly to you and eat out of your hand. Very fun ... more than it sounds.

The flamingos are why we went to Ardastra. I LOVE flamingos. I always have some plastic ones in the backyard and for various holidays I put out themed flamingos in the front yard. The house is even painted flamingo pink (I didn’t pick that color, I swear). They are walking around the grounds freely and let you get fairly close to them. Then during set times of the day their handler has them do a choreographed show. Very cool. Fun for all ages. Kids would love and the adults did too.

 

After the Zoo, we walked to Fort Charlotte. It was OK ... DH is a history buff so he was more into than me. But since I just got to hang out with flamingos I was going to humor him for a bit. I think it was $11 for the 2 of us to get in. We walked ourselves around. As we were leaving there was a lady giving a history tour to a small group ... not sure if they hired a guide.

 

From there we walked to the John Watlings distillery. The tour is free. I did it in 2016 and brought back DH a bottle of rum as a consolation price since he wasn’t on that girls only trip. The tour is neat but short at maybe 10 minutes long. They do give you a small shot sized sample of a pina coloda made with their rum. After the tour you can order drinks from their bar. They have a $10 tasting of 3 of ther rums (various aging/darkness levels) and a $15 tasting that also includes their single barrel aged rum. DH did the full flight and really enjoyed the single barrel rum. I tried their rum punch which was really good as well (I think $10????).

 

From their our original plan was to do the Pirates Museum but it was getting close to the sunset as the ship didn’t dock until noon. So we hit some touristy shops for cheap souvenirs.

 

Outside of Senior Frogs there was a food truck selling corn dogs. They had a conchy conch dog on the menu so we split one as a late snack. It was sooo good and very fresh. We watched the guy put the batter and then drop fresh conch into it in his corn dog press/cooker thingy. Definitely worth the $6.

 

We then walked back to the shop to unload the booze and briefly stop back at our room to drop off stuff. Then we heading back out into town. I think Nassau rolls up their streets around 6pm. There was almost nobody out and most shops closed. 

 

Knowing that it is touristy but not caring as it was open and close to the boat we went to Sharkeeez for dinner. Surprisingly we had the best food/drinks of the entire trip there!  Ordered conch fritters as an appetizer. They were some of the best conch fritters I had ever eaten. DH ordered some local beer. He said it was just OK but he can be a beer snob. I ordered the Goombay Smash .... this is now my new favorite adult bevorage.  DH ordered a jerk burger which was good. I ordered a half order of Cracked Conch. This was something I hadn’t heard of before but it is basically conch fried like you would fry calamari. OMG! It was amazingly delicious. Who knew the little tourist-trap restaurant would be so good. Maybe they are always good? Maybe because it was after dark and the kitchen wasn’t slammed or they didn’t think they were feeding drunk college kids? I don’t know and don’t care why/how but that cook knew what they were doing with conch!

 

After that we headed back to the ship.

 

For Day 3 we were scheduled for Coco Cay. Before packing I had been obsessively checking the weather. The forecast for Sunday (Coco Cay) got worse the closer to the trip so I packed hoping for a miracle that we would be able to tender in but mentally prepared for missing the island. Sadly, my intuition was right, weather was very bad. The Captain tried but they couldn’t position the ship to where it was safe to tender and that was when the skies were still blue. So Coco Cay was skipped and the ship slowly made its way back to Port Canaveral. I heard some grumbling among passengers as the skies were blue. But a few hours later when we hit weather/seas so bad they had to close outside decks, folks understood that it was probably for the best that we missed the stop.

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Some Enchantment of the Seas pictures.

 

Room 3520, window view ... starboard side forward

 

A lifebouy ... I think I take a photo of these every cruise

 

Looking down over the water in the stretched part of the ship. Very neat but a little unnerving

 

Looking down the centrum from the top near the glass elevators

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Oh I somehow left this part out of my ship review. The Voom Surf and Stream internet package was a complete waste of money. I could never pull up Facebook/Instagram let alone dare to stream anything. As we were sharing a one device package, my hubby didn’t have much luck either.

I didn’t complain to customer service but probably should have. Instead, I went to the Voom desk to ask what the internet speed was since maybe I’m just spoiled with my home WiFi. All the agent could tell me is the Surf package is KB and the Stream package is MB. Nothing else. Well there is a huge difference in service between 1MB, 10 MB, 100 MB, etc. I just wanted to know the ballpark to see if my expectations were reasonable or not.  Never again. I ordered the stream package for the ability for DH to stream YouTube so the fact that I couldn’t even launch less resource heavy social media made trying that pointless. I saw others glued to their devices so maybe I just always tried to use it when everyone else had already sucked up all the bandwidth.

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