Fodor’s Expert Review
Best For People Who Want
Plenty of windows for ocean view in the public rooms and dining room.Read More
Should Be Avoided By People Who Prefer
Balcony cabins; mega-ship sports facilities, huge casinos.
All of the ships of the class have public rooms full of large expanses of glass to let in glorious sunshine and sea views. She was hailed in her day as a large ship that still preserved the sense of being at sea. Today, she’s an older ship, and actually considered small, but still elegant and classy enough to attract a younger clientele looking for sea escapes and action at night.
You’ll find the Champagne Terrace at the bottom of the the Centrum, where live palm trees and a string embellish the ambiance of brass, marble & glass. This is also the shopping area, where three large duty-free stores offer plenty of browse time. There are light woods and marble set fountains throughout the ship, which along with the live foliage and open expanses of outside windows, give the entire ship a feeling of aliveness.
High atop the Centrum, on deck 11, is the ever popular Viking Crown Lounge, perfect for watching the scenery go by (a near 360 degree field of vision near the very top of the ship) in Alaska or the Panama Canal. It is also the place to be at night when it becomes the ship’s late-night disco. There’s more dancing in the evening in the Anchor’s Aweigh Lounge, albeit at a less frenetic pace, while another popular bar is the nautically-inclined Schooner’s. Vegas-style floor shows are presented in the That’s Entertainment Theatre with generally good sight lines from all seats. And as if all that is not enough, Casino Royale has all the table games and slots a non-professional gambler could ever need.
There is a library as well as The Crown and Anchor Study, with computer assisted visual aids to show the ship’s position and more information from the bridge. Nearby is a card room and conference center.
The two-story restaurant, amidships, with great views, features a raised platform for pianist or small ensemble. While large enough to handle a thousand people per seating, tables are far enough apart to preclude a feeling of crowdedness. The Windjammer, forward end of Deck 9, also has floor-to-ceiling windows.
The 2012 upgrade added:
The Windjammer Cafe, pizzeria, Seaview Cafe with sandwiches, soups, and snacks, and room service.
Royal Caribbean signature Specialty restaurants Chops Grille steakhouse and Solarium cafe, where for one low cover charge you can choose any items off the menu from appetizer to dessert.
Cafe Latte-tudes, a specialty coffee house.
Complimentary Park Cafe for sandwiches, wraps, soups and carry away desserts like cookies and cannoli.
Chef’s Table intimate dining experience.
In addition to separate play areas for kids aged three to 12, there is also a teen lounge that converts to a disco, making Vision an excellent choice for families with children of many different vintages. The “Adventure Ocean” youth program has age-specific facilities and programs supervised by youth counselors for Aquanauts (age 3-5, must be toilet trained), Explorers (age 6-8), Voyagers (age 9-11), Navigators (age 12-14) and Teens (age 15-17). The program runs year-round in the Caribbean, Bermuda, Bahamas, Mexico, Hawaii and Alaska. Parents can leave their children at Adventure Ocean while they take shore excursions. For this purpose, the facilities open 30 minutes ahead of morning shore excursion departures. Otherwise, organized activities are offered from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., with group babysitting from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. for a fee. Teen centers are now open past 2 a.m. Teens will find their own private coffee house and disco.
A new program for infants and toddlers 6 months to 3 years, in partnership with toy maker Fisher-Price, offers 45-minute playgroups for children accompanied by an adult, involving storytelling, creative arts, music and a variety of Fisher-Price learning toys and games. Aqua Babies are six months to 18 months old while Aqua Tots are 18 months to three years old.
Private babysitting is offered from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m., provided sitters are available, for children from one year old. The rate is usually between $8.00 and $10 per hour depending on the number of children in the family. Cash payment is made directly to the sitter. Arrange through Guest Services at least 24 hours in advance.
Other kids features include:
Complimentary Adventure Ocean Youth Program.
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.
There are two formal nights per cruise. Maybe it’s this ship’s particularly festive reputation that induced most men to don tuxedos for formal nights, even though a dark suit would work fine. In general, though, this ship offers so much to do that you’re likely to see fellow passengers dressed every which way.
An older and smaller ship just upgraded in 2012 with new eateries, lounges & entertainment.
The fourth of what are now called the Vision-class ships, also including Legend, Splendour, Grandeur, Rhapsody, and Vision of the Seas. These ships are all nearly identical with many things in common, the only difference being that each iteration gets a little bigger and carries more passengers. The all have the distinctive Royal Caribbean “Centrum”, seven decks high on these ships, atop of which one finds the Viking Crown Lounge. The decor is light and contemporary, and mostly in good shape because the Royal Caribbean keeps it that way, though it isn’t unusual to see some wear and tear in pockets.
Complimentary Broadway-style entertainment in the Main Theater.
6,843 square foot Vegas-style Casino Royale with 190 slots and 12 tables.
8 bars and lounges that never have a cover, including Boleros Latin-themed lounge and the Champagne Bar.
Duty-free shopping at the Boutiques of Centrum, featuring name brand jewelry, perfumes, apparel and more.
Breakfast in the Windjammer Lido cafe includes cooked to order omelets, or scrambled eggs at the buffet, but fried eggs are not available. Lunch in the Lido is equally pleasing albeit a simple selection. More interesting is the afternoon tea bread pudding or cobbler along with sandwiches, cakes, cookies and ice cream. Overall, passenger satisfaction ratings for the dining room meals are good, as well as for the Windjammer buffets for lunch and and afternoon teas. The option for a late night snack seems to vary on a nightly basis.
It’s obvious that the multinational staff and crew enjoy watching their passengers enjoy themselves. They’re uniformly cheerful, knowledgeable, and eager to help. The wait staff in every restaurant is noticeably solicitous and conscientious.
Cabin service staff is efficient but unobtrusive. The purser’s desk is notably responsive, especially in view of how much troubleshooting they must have to do on a ship this size. Room service, though, can be pretty slow.
Royal Caribbean suggests a per person per day gratuity of $3.50 for the stateroom attendant ($5.75 if sailing in a suite); $3.50 for the waiter; $2.50 for the Assistant Waiter; .75 Head Waiter. These gratuities may be paid in cash or charged to your onboard account. For children sailing as third or fourth passenger in the stateroom, tipping is at the parents’ discretion.
A 15 percent gratuity is automatically added to all beverage tabs. Gratuities for room service, spa, casino and other staff are at your discretion.
Royal Caribbean is one of the few cruise lines to offer “name” performers, and comedians. Lounge performers are also seasoned and polished.
Enchantment’s cabins are cleverly designed to make them feel larger than they actually are; even the smallest feature a small sitting area, and there’s a lot more storage space than you’d have any right to expect. Inside cabins start at a tiny 135 sq.ft up to 172 sq.ft. while Oceanview staterooms measure 154 sq. ft.. Family Ocean View Staterooms (237 sq.ft.) can accommodate up to six people. Standard amenities include TV with pay-per-view movies, CNN, safe, lighted vanity, individual temperature control, hair dryer; bathrooms have showers and medicine cabinets; minibars and tubs are found in the highest category stateroom.
Superior Oceanview with private balcony are 195 sq. feet plus a 41 sq.ft. balcony. The five categories of suites include the Junior Suite (241 sq. ft. 64 sq.ft. balcony) and the Royal Family Suite, accommodating up to eight people, with two bedrooms and two bathrooms (463 sq. ft., balcony 55 sq. ft.).
The gym’s awfully small for a ship this size. The main pool on Sun Deck is adjacent to the Solarium, a stunning glass- enclosed second pool with whirlpools and comfortable lounge chairs. In the “ShipShape” fitness center, you’ll find a spa operated by Steiner’s of London (they of the notoriously pushy staff). A rock-climbing wall has also been added to Vision.
Introduced in 1997, Enchantment of the Seas received upgrades in 2012 that have proven popular throughout the fleet such as an outdoor movie screen poolside, digital signage, pervasive Wi-Fi, lounges for elite past passengers, and a new nursery.
In 2005 Enchantment of the Seas (originally a Vision-class ship identical to Grandeur of the Seas) was the third Royal Caribbean ship to be lengthened to increase her capacity and facilities. After she was cut in half, a new, 73-foot middle section containing 151 staterooms and suspension bridges that span the pool area and overhang the sea were added. Not only was the pool area expanded by almost 50%, but four bungee trampolines were installed—for real thrills you can soar high above the bow while safely tethered to the trampoline.
For a buzz of a different sort, a pool bar juts out over the water where peekaboo windows set into the deck afford views of the sea below. Nearby floor-mounted water jets create a splash deck for children that transforms into a lighted fountain after dark. Recreational facilities and the spa were also expanded during the renovation. Not to be overlooked, interiors now include the South Beach–style Bolero’s lounge as well as a coffee and ice cream bar, a steak house, and an enlarged Windjammer Café.
Big, bigger, biggest! Royal Caribbean has the largest modern mega cruise liners in the world, as well as some of the most innovative technology on its newest ships, from robot bartenders to the fastest Wi-Fi at sea. Its fleet of 25 and counting are all-around favorites of passengers—arguably the most multigenerational (and Millennial) crowd at sea—who enjoy traditional cruising ambience with a touch of daring and whimsy. Each ship in the fleet has action-packed activities such as surfing pools, rock-climbing walls, and on the newest ships, skydiving simulators, and 10-story slides.
Expansive multideck atriums and promenades, as well as the generous use of brass and floor-to-ceiling glass windows, give each vessel a sense of spaciousness and style. The action is nonstop in casinos and dance clubs after dark, while daytime hours are filled with poolside games and traditional cruise activities. Port talks tend to lean heavily on shopping recommendations and the sale of shore excursions.
- 11 passenger decks
- specialty restaurant
- dining room
- ice cream parlor
- DVD (some)
- 3 pools (1 indoor)
- children’s pool
- fitness classes
- hot tubs
- 6 bars
- dance club
- video game room
- children’s programs
- laundry service
- Internet terminal
- no-smoking cabins