We've sailed on Princess five times and we wanted to give Royal Caribbean (RC) a try. This was a 4-night cruise out of genteel Galveston to Cozumel only. Before the cruise we stayed one night at the charming Tremont House Hotel and parked the car at their luxurious sister hotel, The Galvez. Parking was only $18 total for all five nights, garage parking. The Galvez provided a free shuttle between hotels and to and from the port.
Embarkation on the Enchantment was fast and efficient and we were on-board in half an hour at 11 a.m. We had an ocean view room on Deck 3. Room is about the same size as on Princess, but the bed was lumpy and uncomfortable. Also, unlike Princess, the 'king size' bed is actually two metal framed cots just pushed together. The metal legs underneath will not allow you to slide your suitcase under the bed.
Food in the Windjammer buffet was pretty good, with a large variety of items. However, the offerings didn't change much from day to day; Princess seems to offer new selections daily. The 'Asian Food' section had only Indian dishes which did not change day after day. RC should really call this the 'Indian Food' section, as there was never any Thai or Chinese food items. The Windjammer was always crowded and finding a good seat was sometimes difficult. But the waiters and waitresses were all terrific and always ready to refill your glass with lemonade or a fresh coffee with a smile. They seemed much happier to help than some of the staff on our Princess cruises. Late night snacks at the Park Cafe were limited in choices and there were often 20 or 30 people waiting in line. Some of the tables around the solarium were filled with dirty dishes. We do not fault the overworked staff; this is a RC management problem.
The fitness center was first rate with new equipment. The singer in the relaxing Schooner Bar was pretty good. The comedians were just ok. The seats in the main theater were wide and comfortable with a nice drink holder -- very classy. But the live musical "Can't Stop The Rock" is dated and boring. The talented singers and dancers are forced to perform movie tunes that you have never heard of while jumping around what appears to be some old construction scaffolding. Come on RC, after 10 years it's time to update your shows! Disembarkation was slow. One of the three elevators was always out of order and everyone was forced to walk down a flight of stairs and wind around one side of the ship and out to the other side in order to leave.
Enchantment was launched in 1997 when Bill Clinton was president. Despite some updates the ship is showing its age. Apparently RC considers Galveston a secondary market and so they have positioned the smaller, rust-stained Enchantment in that lesser port. We plan on a couple of long cruises next year, and wanted to see how Royal Caribbean ("RC") compared to Princess. With a much more comfortable bed, greater food variety, more venues and things to do, we will probably go with Princess.
We enjoyed being on a lower deck. Very quiet, very smooth. Average size cabin. As noted above, most suitcases will not fit under the bed because of the metal legs blocking access. The bed was lumpy and old and inferior to the new mattresses on Princess ships. Who knows? Maybe on the newer RC ships they come with better beds. If so, RC should shell out a few bucks from their $1.5 Billion in profits and get some new beds for Enchantment. Also, the room safe requires a credit card to open and close, and Not a four-digit code. So you cannot keep the credit card in the safe, which defeats the whole purpose of having a safe.
We drove over to the free ferry and took the ferry boat across to Bolivar Peninsula. We walked on the beach and had great food and beers at the HardHats Icehouse and Grill.View All undefined undefined Reviews