Tag Archive | review

Enchantment Of The Seas – A Photo Review

Want to experience enchantment on the seas?  Well, you might wish to consider taking a cruise on Royal Caribbean’s Enchantment of the Seas from Baltimore to Bermuda.  We took a six day cruise from August 3 to August 9, 2012, and found it to be an enchanting ship  with a lot of people of all different ages.  I was quite surprised to see a lot of families with young children, and my pictures can give you a glimpse of just how many people were on this cruise ship, and give you an idea of the age range.  This was definitely the right ship considering I have three kids – they felt completely at home, and Adventure Ocean was definitely not short of kids.  This ship can hold about 2,446 people, and was truly packed!  Here are some of my photos:

Enchantment Of The Seas

The Main Swimming Pool is on Deck 9, and is in close proximity to the kids swimming pool and splash area.  That is a big bonus for families – it takes a lot of thinking to come up with the perfect solution where everyone can be relaxing and enjoying themselves in the same area.

Enchantment Of The Seas

Main Swimming Pool, Enchantment Of The Seas

The kids pool, and guess who loved it?  Chandi had so much fun and the best part of this pool is that the kids pool is right next to the main pool.  So often on ships, the kids pool is at the other end of the deck, but on the Enchantment, the pools are in close proximity, so that the whole family can have fun close by to each other, and the kids pool is very safe.

Kids Swimming Pool, Enchantment Of The Seas

Kids Swimming Pool, Enchantment Of The Seas

Kids Splash Area, Enchantment Of The Seas

Relaxation on the Enchantment Of The Seas

The ship also looks completely enchanting in the evenings.

Deck 9, Enchantment Of The Seas

In this picture, you can see the Rock Climbing Wall

Rock Climbing Wall, Enchantment Of The Seas

Other Areas of the Ship:

Orpheum Theater

Roots Vibrations Band, Enchantment Of The Seas

Captain Gus Andersson

Desserts on the Enchantment Of The Seas, that were served in My Fair Lady, which is the main Dining Room that spans two floors

Key Lime Pie, Enchantment Of The Seas

Sorbet, Enchantment Of The Seas

Ice Cream, Enchantment Of The Seas

Dessert, Enchantment Of The Seas

Tiramisu, Enchantment Of The Seas

My Fair Lady, Enchantment Of The Seas

My Fair Lady, Enchantment Of The Seas

Schooner Bar, Enchantment Of The Seas

Schooner Bar, Enchantment Of The Seas

Chops Grille, Enchantment Of The Seas

Chops Grille, Enchantment Of The Seas

Some of the artwork on the Enchantment Of The Seas, the first two were taken by the staircases, and the last two were taken in the Spa:

       

Now to the Solarium, however, the pool is for adults only.

The Solarium, Enchantment Of The Seas

I was expecting to see the Park Cafe in the Solarium, and was so disappointed, as I just loved going there for breakfast on the Radiance Of The Seas.  However, as the picture above and below show: there were other lunch options, as well as pizza, and snacks

The Solarium, Enchantment Of The Seas

Someone sure liked the ice cream on the ship, and she wasn’t the only one!

Ice cream on the Enchantment Of The Seas

Enchantment Of The Seas in Bermuda

Casino Royale, Enchantment Of The Seas

Casino Royale, Enchantment Of The Seas

Floor near Casino, Enchantment Of The Seas

Boleros Lounge, Enchantment Of The Seas

Chandi often came back with her face painted, but she had so much fun and loved it at Adventure Ocean, the greatest place for kids age 3-11.

Adventure Ocean, Enchantment Of The Seas

Main Swimming Pool, Enchantment Of The Seas

The Shops, Enchantment Of The Seas

The Shops, Enchantment Of The Seas

Midnight Party, Enchantment Of The Seas

Midnight Party, Enchantment Of The Seas

Enchantment Of The Seas

Enchantment Of The Seas

Towel Art, Enchantment Of The Seas

Our Inside Cabin, even though it was a little tight for all four of us, served us really well, and we really enjoyed our cabin.

Inside Cabin on Enchantment Of The Seas

The Lobby (or Centrum as it is referred to on the ship):

Centrum, Enchantment Of The Seas

Centrum, Enchantment Of The Seas

Centrum, Enchantment Of The Seas

The decks are a great place to take a walk or run, and try to keep in shape.

Enchantment Of The Seas

There was a Cake Decorating Challenge on Day 6, and the Captain participated, and I believe he won.

Day At Sea, Enchantment Of The Seas

Two of the singers who are also great dancers from the Orpheum Theater, performed for us in the Centrum on Day 6.

Summer Breeze Music Concert, Centrum

On Day 6, we also had the International Parade of Flags, and this was such a fitting ceremony, especially since the Olympics were taking place during the same time

International Parade of Flags, Centrum

Want to learn how to create towel art?  Well, on the Enchantment Of The Seas, they gave a demonstration of how to create the towel animals (however, I still can’t do it).

Enchantment Of The Seas

Do you like Ben & Jerry’s?  Well, their ice cream is available on this ship (not included in the cruise fare) – you will have to pay for this, as well as for the premium coffees and pastries at Lattetudes, and for alcohol.

Ben & Jerry’s, Enchantment Of The Seas

Lattetudes, Enchantment Of The Seas

Now for some pictures of the Indian food – finally, I found it on Day 6 in the WindJammer Cafe.  However, it was available every day on the menu in My Fair Lady, which was my assigned Dining Room for dinner at 6pm.  There was always something that was Indian, and ranged from Sholay (chick peas curry) with rice and naan, to Aloo Gobi (potatoes and cauliflower) with rice and naan bread.

Indian Food, Windjammer Cafe, Enchantment Of The Seas

These pictures below are a 1) a delicious rice dish 2) Fish Tikka 3) Aloo Muttar 4) Tikka – Butter Chicken 5) Malai Kofta (also shown above in bigger picture)

       

I didn’t always have Indian food, and often opted for other dishes such as the chicken dish shown below

Food on the Enchantment Of The Seas

The waiters on the ship are absolutely fantastic.  Our waiter is the one waving in the picture below.

Enchantment Of The Seas

Bernie Martini at the Schooner Bar – he is a fabulous singer!

Bernie Martini, Schooner Bar, Enchantment of The Seas

Balloons ready for a Farewell Dance Party in the Centrum

Centrum, Enchantment Of The Seas

Centrum, Enchantment Of The Seas

Well, that evening the party got into full swing, and balloons were flying everywhere!  Adults as well as kids were having a great time trying to catch the balloons.

Enchantment Of The Seas

The entertainers who usually entertained us in the Orpheum Theater, were now entertaining us in the Centrum, and there was such a party atmosphere, it was a truly nice way to end the cruise.

Enchantment Of The Seas

Closing thoughts on my cruise experience on the Enchantment Of The Seas.  Well, I think it is a great ship for families, and there is a lot to do. There is bungee jumping, rock climbing, a jogging track, the gym, ping-pong tables, a Spa, and of course the Orpheum Theater for spectacular entertainment.  Also, a really important bonus that is on many other Royal Caribbean ships is Adventure Ocean kids club, which made my family vacation really great, as Chandi absolutely loved being there.

To see some more photos that I put on my Facebook page, please click here: facebook.com/luchaniktravelandcruises

Thank you for reading my post, and I hope you enjoyed my pictures.

Review of the Carnival Splendor

Luchanik Travel & Cruises had so much fun on the Carnival Splendor on the July 17th seven day cruise to the Mexican Riviera.  This cruise definitely was not boring, especially as Hurricane Dora just had to follow us along our journey, and threatened to crash into our path.  However, with the skillful handling of Carnival Cruise Lines, and a little bit of an itinerary change – we stayed safe, and still saw all the ports we were supposed to visit.  Instead of visiting Cabo San Lucas two days in a row, and Puerto Vallarta on the day after, it was determined that Puerto Vallarta should be sandwiched in between Cabo San Lucas to avoid the hurricane as the Captain had word from Miami and knew where the hurricane was headed.

Hurricane Dora affected our group, as we had the El Morocco Lounge booked on Wednesday afternoon at 4pm for refreshments for our group, as well as a rehearsal for our dance team – UCSD Zor, one of the top Bollywood dance teams in the USA.  Due to the itinerary change, the rehearsal was rescheduled to Thursday.  Luchanik Travel & Cruises cultural division called Bindi Cruises (http://www.bindicruises.com) provided complimentary cultural entertainment for the entire Bindi Group, as well as some lucky people on the Splendor, who got to see the entertainment that really should have been a private event.  Normally, when you book a cruise, you only get the entertainment (public event) provided by the cruise line, and this does not usually include cultural entertainment.  We think it is important for people to be exposed to other cultures and wanted people to enjoy the Bollywood and Bhangra performances by UCSD Zor.  The performances went ahead as scheduled at 2:30 to 4:30 pm on Friday in the El Morocco Lounge and Saturday in the Red Carpet Disco. Video clips of the performances are available on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/luchaniktravel .  More photos will be posted later.

Restaurants

The Splendor is an amazing ship.  The food was plentiful, there were so many options to choose from – The Lido for buffet style dining; the Gold Pearl, or Black Pearl for sit-down service; the Tandoor on Deck 9 for Indian buffet style eating; the Pizzeria; a Rotisserie; and a specialty restaurant – which I believe is a Steak Restaurant – did not visit that one though.  Sometimes we had breakfast in the Lido Dining Room, which is buffet style and sometimes we ate in the Gold Pearl Dining Room where breakfast was available from 8am to 10am.  We had our dinner every evening in the Gold Pearl at 6pm.  During a cruise, you have the choice of early dining – usually at 6pm – or late dining at around 8:15 pm.  This is reserved dining, and the earlier you book, the better…… as you have a higher chance of getting the seating that you request.  If you book too late, and want an earlier seating, you could be subject to being on a wait list.  There is also “Any Time” seating between 6pm to 9:45 pm, however, this is not recommended as you might have to wait for a while for a table to become available, it is just nicer having a reserved table and time.

Food

Our group had Indian food every evening in the Gold Pearl, however, we were free to change it to the regular menu in the event that we saw something we liked – some members of our group did that, and enjoyed salmon, lobster, shrimp, sushi and even snails (Escargot) one night!  What is really nice about the Gold Pearl Dining Room and the staff there, is that you can ask for as many dishes as you like, extra ice-cream for the kids or even for a second or third dessert, and the waiters will bring it for you with a smile on their face.  The same also applied to the meals, if we felt like salmon in addition to Indian food, the staff were very accommodating, and it was no problem.

The desserts were good in the Gold Pearl, especially the Bread and Butter Pudding, the Warm Chocolate Cake (melted chocolate sponge), and the Espresso Cake – this was was my favorite!  On cruise ships, drinks such as soda are not included, so at dinner, we were limited to lemonade, milk or water for the kids.  The lemonade was quite sweet, a little too sweet actually!  We were also able to get Indian tea for our group, which was really nice, and really can make you feel at home.

Cabins

The cabins are quite small, but this is nothing unusual as most cabins on cruises are approximately the same size for Interior cabins, which is what we booked.  Interior cabins probably are sufficient for just two occupants, but we had four in our cabin, so that is probably why they appeared to be even smaller!  Our cabin had a double bed, and two bunk beds on either side.  We regularly bumped our heads into the bunk beds as we forgot they were hanging over on each end of the double bed.  However, the cabins were always clean and tidy, and housekeeping did an outstanding job bringing fresh towels whenever they were needed (without us having to even ask!)

Swimming Pools

There were plenty of swimming pools, with the main pool being on the Lido Deck which is Deck 9, same as the Tandoor Deck. There is also a huge outdoor TV screen on the Lido Deck, so you could be in the pool, and watch the TV at the same time.  In the evening, the Lido Deck looked spectacular when all the little lights were on.  There was also an adults only pool, a kid’s pool, a Splash Area for the kids, a Twister Water Slide and various jacuzzi’s that were scattered around.

Gym and Spa

The gym and Spa are both on Deck 11.  There are plenty of treadmills, bikes, and other machines to work of all those calories.  Carnival also provides classes such as yoga, and nutrition classes, at a cost of $12 each session.  The Spa was a luxury that I did not take advantage of unfortunately, but I did see the Member’s Area, where you could pay something like $268 and soak in a giant hot-tub.

Suggestions for Carnival

Three suggestions – the first suggestion is that Carnival really needs to provide vegetable samosas for Indian people who travel with them.  The Tandoor on Deck 9 (Lido Deck) provided only beef samosas and beef is against the religion of many Indian people.  Also, needless to say – if you provide an appetizer that is an Indian appetizer – you should not offend the people of that region and insult them by putting something in the food that they love, and that they will not be able to eat!  The second suggestion is that Carnival really needs to put changing tables in the public bathrooms and make the cruise more family friendly by doing so.  It was a struggle once or twice changing my two year old in the bathrooms.  The third suggestion is that they really need to provide more beverages for kids, and the lemonade needs to have less sugar!

Summary

We had a great time on the cruise, and I would definitely recommend the Splendor to anyone wishing to take a cruise.  Carnival is very family oriented, and the Splendor is a beautiful cruise ship.  I would not hesitate to go on this ship again.

If you would like to book the Carnival Splendor, please contact me and I would be happy to assist you.

Carnival Splendor

Carnival Splendor lobby

Balcony Cabin on Carnival Splendor

Lobby of the Carnival Splendor

The main swimming pool of the Carnival Splendor

More photographs can be viewed at https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.248969871794696.70400.182290738462610&type=3

My ship inspection video of Carnival Splendor made prior to the cruise can be found here: Carnival Splendor Ship Inspection

Radiance Of The Seas – An Overview

“Welcome to the first day of the most amazing cruise vacation of your life”  – these words are taken from the Cruise Compass that you will find in your cabin each day, that lists all the important things to know from the safety drill, to the dining, entertainment and activities.  I really enjoyed the May 11, 2012,  cruise from Vancouver to Alaska.  This is the perfect ship to take in the sights of Alaska as the views are magnificent and can be seen from within the ship due to the floor to ceiling windows.

Here are some more details of  my May 11th, 2012 cruise, including pictures of my cabin, restaurants, swimming pool, entertainment, theatre, coffee shop, and other public areas.  This is not a big ship, such as the Oasis of The Seas which can hold up to 5,200 people or so.  The Radiance Of The Seas (a Royal Caribbean International cruise ship) holds about 2,200 people approximately, and is easier to get around.  If you don’t want to get “lost” in a ship, then this may be the one for you, it is easy to get the feel of it, and to get your bearings compared to some of the larger ships.

As far as entertainment, what can I say?  Spectacular!  The entertainment was different every day, and could be viewed in the Aurora Theatre either before dinner or after dinner.  Then were was also entertainment that was brought to you all around the ship, including the lobby area – named the Centrum – or to the swimming pool by DJ Terry, and the Cruise Director and his staff such as the 70’s Disco Inferno one evening in the Centrum, as well as the highly entertaining Sail Away Party at the Poolside on the first day of the cruise.  There’s a movie theatre, a casino, shops, a gym, solarium, spa, kids clubs and activities.

The dining options are magnificent!  I ate in the Cascades Restaurant with my CruiseOne colleagues, and we had the late dining at 8:30 pm every night.  There are also a handful of specialty restaurants that are available if you wish to try something different – such as Giovanni’s Table – I tried it, and I liked it!  There is also the Chef’s Table, Chops Grille, Izumi’s,  Samba Grill, Rita’s Cantina and these all range in price and can go up to $30 per person, which is very reasonable.  If you don’t want to spend extra money, you don’t have to….Cascade’s, and Windjammer Cafe have more than enough food for you to feast on, and the food in these two restaurants is very good quality and varies from day to day.  If you are looking for specialty coffees, there’s Cafe Latte-tudes (but you will have to pay for these – they’re not included).  My recommendation to you for breakfast is the Park Cafe, this place was a fantastic discovery, because first of all, I thought it was a specialty snack shop/cafe, but the food here is included in your cruise fare, and you must try it.  The paninis were so delicous, I can’t even begin to describe them accurately – my favorite was the breakfast panini with eggs, cheese, spinach and salmon!  It was so good, I ordered a second one!  The yoghurt parfaits are tasty – there were two kinds: strawberry or mango-banana, and there were also quesadillas, as well as other types of paninis, sandwiches and fresh fruit.  Close to the Park Cafe, was another counter where you could get pastries, and a coffee bar (with complimentary American coffee) and complimentary juice machine were also close by.  On other cruises, I have always opted for the breakfast buffet, but this time I could not wait for my paninis at Park Cafe.  Also, don’t forget to try the Boardwalk Dog House, this place serves delicious hot dogs – I tried one that was spicy turkey.

Even though the cruise was not scheduled to sail until 4:30 pm, it is important to get to the cruise terminal as early as possible.   I got there at around 1:00 pm, and was actually on the ship at around 3pm (that was two hours spent in the line even though I had done my online check-in, sometimes it’s not just the cruise line, but the immigration process that could slow things down).  Now for some photos that will show you around the ship, and give you some insight into my seven days of cruising enjoyment.

Radiance Of The Seas

Firstly, we have my cabin – an Inside Cabin with no windows unfortunately, but I still loved it, it was spacious and comfortable.  There was a safety video playing on the tv, and we did have our muster drill within the first few hours of getting on the ship.

Cabin 3549 – Inside Cabin on the Radiance Of The Seas

The lobby of the Radiance Of The Seas is ever so spectacular, colorful, modern and one of the nicest lobbies I’ve seen on a cruise ship.

Lobby known as Centrum on the Radiance Of The Seas

The lobby (Centrum) of the Radiance Of The Seas

The stunning Centrum of the Radiance Of The Seas

The Centrum, Radiance Of The Seas

I headed to the Windjammer Cafe to take advantage of a buffet lunch that did not fail to please.  What a nice welcome!

Windjammer Cafe, Radiance Of The Seas

I just had to take a picture of this waiter who had some colorful drinks:

Windjammer Cafe, Radiance Of The Seas

Too full now to get anything from Cafe Latte-tudes

Cafe Latte-tudes, Radiance of The Seas

Went to take a look around the ship, and we were still in Vancouver – not sailing yet.

Vancouver in the background of the Radiance Of The Seas

The skies are still a brilliant blue, while we are in Vancouver.

Main Swimming Pool, Radiance Of The Seas

Our first taste of some terrific entertainment – poolside!

Entertainment on the Radiance Of The Seas

And the audience joined in, every one got into vacation mode, that’s the spirit!

Beautiful Vancouver from the Radiance Of The Seas

Vancouver from the Radiance Of The Seas

Vancouver from Radiance Of The Seas

View of Vancouver from Radiance Of The Seas

We were not the only ship leaving from Canada Place, so was Royal Caribbean’s Rhapsody Of The Seas

View of Vancouver and the Rhapsody Of The Seas from the Radiance of The Seas

I then walked around the ship and took these pictures, some on the first day because I was so excited to see the ship, and some pictures I took on other days:

Samba Grill, Radiance Of The Seas

The Fitness Center, Radiance Of The Seas

Best place to relax, and read a book, be warm and feel like you are in paradise.  The birds are chirping, and you don’t need a jacket here.  This is also where the Park Cafe is.

The Solarium, Radiance Of The Seas

The Crown & Anchor Lounge – go here to sign up for an account so that you start getting acknowledgement each time you cruise with Royal Caribbean – you will accumulate points and/or rewards.  This is not automatic membership, you have to sign up for it, so you might as well do it while you are on your cruise.

Crown & Anchor Lounge, Radiance Of The Seas

Children’s Area – Adventure Ocean

Bring your babies along, and your other kids too!

Royal Babies & Royal Tots, Radiance Of The Seas

Sports time, stay fit on this ship with plenty to do!

Basketball Court, Radiance Of The Seas

Play mini-golf on Deck 13

Mini Golf on the Radiance Of The Seas

Rock-climbing

Rock Climbing on the Radiance Of The Seas

StarQuest Nightclub, Radiance Of The Seas

You can’t go wrong with this interactive device, find out what to do, where you are, and where to go.  It is truly your compass.

Cruise Compass – Radiance Of The Seas

Read a book in the library on one of the decks, or play board games on the deck one level up

Leisure Time, Radiance Of The Seas

Lounge & Relax Time, Radiance Of The Seas

Club Royale Casino – Radiance Of The Seas

Hair Salon, Radiance Of The Seas

This is where spectacular entertainment was delivered every evening – The Aurora Theatre

Aurora Theatre – Radiance Of The Seas

A few pictures of the entertainment, as good as any Broadway show in the Aurora Theatre

The entertainment in the Aurora Theatre, Radiance Of The Seas

Entertainment, Aurora Theatre, Radiance Of The Seas

Captain Sindre Borsheim at the Captain’s Welcome Aboard Reception in the Colony Club

Cascades Restaurant – Radiance Of The Seas

Forgot what the dessert was called, but it was delicious!

Dessert in Cascades

The staff of the Cascades all get together at least two or three times, and say a few things about their team, they do a terrific job!

Cascades Staff – Radiance Of The Seas

Dinner at Giovanni’s Table was a nice change, and for $20 – there was plenty to eat.   Bring your appetite!

Giovanni’s Table Restaurant, Radiance Of The Seas

The most tasty and succulent chicken dish was devoured at Giovanni’s Table

Entree at Giovanni’s Table

Dessert Selection – Giovanni’s Table

The most scrumptious breakfast ever – breakfast panini – is to be had at Park Cafe in the Solarium area

Park Cafe – Radiance Of The Seas

Park Cafe – Radiance Of The Seas

Park Cafe, Radiance Of The Seas

I love to eat Indian food, and every day the Radiance Of The Seas had Indian items in their buffet at the Windjammer Cafe, but on this day – this Andhra Pakora Curry was undoubtedly the best!

Indian Food in Windjammer Cafe, Radiance Of The Seas

The changing landscape – Alaska in the background

The Radiance Of The Seas – Alaska

Radiance Of The Seas – Alaska

Staircase Artwork of the Radiance Of The Seas

Outdoor movie time – Radiance Of The Seas

Every day there was a new towel animal design, the staff are so clever and talented

Towel Animal

They’re hard at work in the kitchen feeding so many people; I got a look at the hard workers when I took a tour of the kitchen:

Kitchen of the Radiance Of The Seas

Shopping Choices on the Radiance Of The Seas

Actually, I saw long lines today (I think this picture may have been from Day 2 or 3)

Sales and Bargains on the Radiance of The Seas

As you can see, there is a lot to do and see on the Radiance Of The Seas.  I have so many more pictures, and will also be including some in a video that I will produce soon.  I hope you enjoyed my overviewof the cruise that I took.  Actually, this could be considered a review if I give you my recommendation – and I do – I definitely recommend taking this cruise.  You will love it, you won’t be bored – in fact, you’ll have way too much to do!  Thank you for reading.