Enchantment of the Seas
CruiseClout score: 20.0
Enchantment of the Seas: A quick splash & dash to the Bahamas
The largest Vision class ship in the Royal Caribbean fleet, Enchantment of the Seas is the ship for a quick splash and dash to the Caribbean, offering three- and four-day round-trip cruises to the Bahamas. With eight bars, plenty of entertainment options, an adults-only Solarium pool, children’s programs, bungee trampolines to spring you sky high, a rock-climbing wall and an interactive Splash Deck, this ship appeals to all types of cruisers.
Enchantment of the Seas boasts plenty of spaces that soothe, like the Vitality Spa and nights filled with Broadway-style shows and salsa moments at the Latin-theme lounge Boleros.
Who will like sailing on Enchantment of the Seas
Adventurers, relaxation seekers, cruisers young and old: Here's the ship for you. During our cruise there were lots of first-time cruisers who were trying out the three-day itinerary. There were also quite a few locals who sail on the ship often and know the staff well. There were a few families, but given the time of year and short duration of the trip, the crowd was more adult-focused than other cruises we;ve been on. Fellow passengers were in an amiable mood and looking to have fun and let loose for a few days.
Because of the variety of activities on board, Enchantment can support many cruise experiences, appealing to active travelers and cruisers who like a variety of dining choices: The ship offers eight dining establishments. Her shorter itineraries make it good for first-time cruise passengers looking for fun in the sun.
Where Enchantment of the Seas sails
Enchantment of the Seas sails in and around the Bahamas out of Port Canaveral, Florida. Most itineraries range from three to four nights.
Top dining options on board
Enchantment of the Seas offers no-frills cruise fare. There is the Windjammer buffet, which we frequented for breakfast and lunch. There is also the casual breakfast and lunch spot, the Park Café, located in the Solarium. Serving breakfast sandwiches, paninis and salads, this overlooked gem was never busy and offered a variety of options for snacks throughout the day.
We ate all three nights in the main My Fair Lady dining room on decks 4 and 5, which served three selections from Royal Caribbean’s standard seven-day rotating menu. Among our favorite dishes were the roasted duck on formal night (night 2) as well as the Tiger Shrimp and the Roasted Turkey dinner on night three.
Alternative restaurant & other choices
For those looking for something extra, the specialty restaurant Chops Grille scores you any menu items, from appetizer to dessert, at a cost of $39 per person.
Other choices include:
- Park Cafe: where you can grab complimentary gourmet sandwiches, salads and more
- Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream serves delicious frozen treats
- Cafe Promenade serves complimentary coffee, pastries and snacks.
Where we went & what we loved
Enchantment of the Seas has a great layout. While the bars were always busy, navigating the ship was seamless. We loved the specialty cocktails at the R Bar (in the Centrum), although we were surprised none of the other bars had signature drinks. The pool deck is designed to maximize deck space, so we never had a problem finding an open deck chair for tanning.
The My Time Dining option was perfect on this short cruise as it allowed us to spend more time on the islands. We were able to get the same table and wait staff all nights, and the waiter and assistant waiter provided top-notch service.
Best bets on shore
Coco Cay (pronounced "key") is Royal's private island, and many of the shore excursions offered are very basic. If you have a drink package, then all of your beverages on the island are covered, so be sure to enjoy the signature frozen cocktail, the Coco Loco. There is also a nice Nature Trail that you can explore on your own.
In Nassau we did an island tour, which gave us a great introduction to the Bahamas. We would suggest getting off the ship as soon as it docks to take advantage of this highly developed port. Many cruisers enjoy Junkanoo Beach, which is within walking distance from the cruise pier. There are lots of options in port, from tours to beaches to Atlantis. You can probably find a better tour by booking through a private independent shore excursion company or connecting with other travelers in Cruiseable's Community section to get a private group tour arranged.
On the first night, we took in your typical Welcome Aboard show, which featured some singers and dancers and the comedy of Al Ducharme. The comedian also did an adult comedy show on the third night which was not too racy and definitely different than most cruise ship comedians. His material was a bit more topical and geared more to 30- and 40-somethings. I found his "Star Wars" references hilarious, but they probably weren’t loved by everyone in the audience.
The guest entertainer on night 2 was Puck the Magician, who had appeared on a previous season of "America’s Got Talent." We found his show to be entertaining as well. Along with the nightly entertainment, there were other “parties” and game shows, including our personal favorite, the Love and Marriage show. As always, the couples here did not disappoint. No matter what time of day, there was never a dull moment during all three days on the ship. All shows are free.
Activities on board
Don’t let the short duration of the trip fool you, Royal Caribbean makes sure to cram all of the typical activities and events found on a seven-day cruise into this three-day trip. There was the belly flop contest, Sexy Man contest, trivia, guest entertainers, musical reviews, rock-a-roke, the '70s dance party, the Quest, the Glow Sail Away party, Bingo, shopping and the list goes on and on.
Some of the venues were busier than others: Lounges like Boleros and the Spotlight Lounge were never busy, whereas the R Bar and Viking Crown Lounge were often packed to capacity. The main theater has some great booth style seats in the back row of the orchestra level. If you get there early, you can enjoy the show in comfort, complete with your own little table for drinks. The Pool Bar and Island Bar were also very crowded, so be prepared to wait for a drink at all times of the day.
Want to work out or up for some recreational activities? Enchantment sports a rock climbing wall as well as bungee trampolines. There is a small gym, too, but the one time I attempted to work out, it was very crowded. There is also a running track on deck 10 that did get some use during the cruise — just not by us!
Kids & families
There is a kids-only section that was part of the expansion of the ship a decade ago, including the line’s Adventure Ocean program, as well as a teens-only area and a video game arcade. There was also a small wading pool for young children and a larger family pool. Much of the entertainment is family friendly as well. Rest assured that the kids will never run out of things to do on this ship.
Here's a rundown of kid-friendly programs:
- Royal Babies and Tots Nursery with specially designed Fisher-Price activities
- Complimentary Adventure Ocean Youth Program
- Royal Babies and Royal Tots programming,featuring specially designed Fisher Price activities
- Expanded teen-only hangout areas
- Splash Deck with interactive play fountain
- Bungee trampoline area for kids of all ages
- Family-friendly activities including games, contests, enrichment classes and lectures
We stayed in an Ocean View stateroom on deck 2. We were originally worried about being on such a low deck, but our mid-ship location was near the elevators, and we were only a few flights down from the Centrum and other popular inside venues. The room did look a bit dated and worn down, especially when compared to our recent trip on the brand new Quantum of the Seas. That said, the room was still perfectly fine for sleeping and getting ready.
All staterooms have closed-circuit TV, a radio, hairdryer, vanity area and a bathroom with a shower. All lower beds are convertible to a queen. Suites have a large sitting area, private balcony, and a full bathroom with a tub.
- Timing: Get to the ship early as boarding starts around 11 am. If you can swing just a carry-on for the three nights, bring it with you and you'll be all set to get your vacation started as soon as you board.
- Drink packages: We recommend getting a drink package. Many fellow travelers on our cruise purchased one, as did we, and we found it to be convenient and cost-saving.
- Game show: If you have never sailed on Royal Caribbean before, make sure to save time on the last night to participate in the adult game show “The Quest.”
There was one formal night, but it did seem like the dress code was a bit relaxed on Enchantment. There were not too many people in tuxedos or gowns, as you will sometimes find on longer cruises. The general feeling on this ship was relaxed, maybe even slightly rowdy. Plenty of people stuck with the buffet and casual eating establishments for dinner and probably spent the entire three days in their bathing suits!
You only live once!
If you want to see Atlantis, the mega-resort in Nassau, you’re better off getting a taxi to go directly there. The costs for passes are about the same as buying them from the cruise line, and you can leave the resort whenever you want. The resort is large and tough to get done in one day. If you want full access, you do need to purchase passes, otherwise the offerings are limited to a few options, such as the casino.
Enchantment of the Seas is great for those who are new to cruising or have never sailed on Royal Caribbean. If you like to have a good time, then you cannot go wrong with these bargain priced short cruises. This ship seemed to be a bit of a party ship with many bachelor/bachelorette parties enjoying the long weekend. Of all the first time cruisers we spoke to on the ship, they all indicated they were having a good time. No corners were cut when it came to the cruise staff, food, or entertainment, so even if you have cruised on Royal Caribbean before, you will thoroughly enjoy this cruise.
Tips & gratuities
Gratuities were $12.95 per person per day, and we prepaid them because we had My Time Dining. We provided both our stateroom attendant and wait staff with additional gratuities, but we seemed to be one of the few who did so.
Short cruises do tend to have more cruisers who are there to indulge in food and drinks. We never experienced any issues with fellow travelers, but there were plenty of people who joined the cruise to have a good time.
For a ship of her size and age -- she is over 18 years young -- Enchantment of the Seas holds up pretty well, but there were some signs of wear and aging in some of the venues and décor of the ship.
Oh, and the biggest reality check is that three days goes by way too quickly!
Other amenities include:
- Outdoor poolside movie screen
- Vitality Spa with an extensive treatment menu
- State-of-the-art fitness center, with classes ranging from aerobics to kickboxing to yoga
- Two pools including the Solarium, an adults-only retreat
- Six whirlpools
- Concierge Club, reserved for Diamond Plus and Pinnacle Crown and Anchor Society members, as well as select suite guests
- R Bar, a retro-inspired bar with a personable mixologist
- 6,843-square-foot Vegas-style Casino Royale with 190 slots and 12 tables
- Duty-free shopping at the Boutiques of Centrum, featuring name-brand jewelry, perfumes, apparel and more
For travelers interested in learning more about the entertainment and onboard options, you can access our copies of the Cruise Compass, the daily activities magazine provided to travelers on each day of their cruise.
How about you? Have you sailed on Enchantment of the Seas? What was it like for you?
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Top highlights on this ship
- For a short sailing, Enchantment offered plenty to do during the day and excellent evening shows in the main theater.
- My Time Dining is a great option for travelers who want to dine at different times each night of the cruise to allow for more time in ports of call.
- On the second night, the sail away party from Nassau on the Pool Deck is not to be missed and includes a “midnight buffet” complete with a DJ and plenty of cocktails.
- Other highlights include the kids pools, rock climbing wall, spa treatments in Vitality Spa and gaming in the Vegas-style Casino Royale.