While many of the ships in the Royal Caribbean fleet continue to garner headlines for their great size, amenities and range of dining options, other ships in the fleet simply carry on with their own, often unremarked on schedules.
Yet some of these vessels are among the mainstays of the Royal Caribbean portfolio, and perhaps none has been so overlooked, or as persistently passed over as the Enchantment of the Seas.
Originally built as one of the six ship Vision class of siblings, the 74,000 ton ship first entered service in 1997.
However, in 2005 the Enchantment was expanded by the addition of a brand new, purpose built, seventy two foot mid section. The work was carried out at a shipyard in Rotterdam, and it had the effect of raising the ship’s tonnage to it’s current figure of 82, 910 GRT. As it currently stands, the Enchantment of the Seas has a passenger capacity of 2,446, based on double occupancy.
The actual lengthening was regarded as a great success at the time, and it was the company’s intention back then to repeat the process with all five of her siblings, beginning with near twin sister ship, Grandeur of the Seas. However, the prohibitive cost of such a massive, multi vessel project, together with the entry into service of several successive classes of new, purpose built cruise ships at Royal Caribbean, meant that only the Enchantment of the Seas was thus remodelled.
The ship subsequently returned to Florida. Unlike her sisters and fleet mates, there has never been a subsequent deployment of Enchantment of the Seas to Europe, Asia, or even Alaska.
Instead, this beautiful ship currently operates out of Miami, sailing three and four night cruises to the Bahamas each week. The three night, mostly weekend cruises typically visit Nassau, Grand Bahama Island, and the company’s recently remodelled ‘private island’ at Coco Cay.
The four night sailings (and you really do need four nights to get the true feel of such a large, amenity laden ship) typically take in Coco Cay, Nassau, and Key West.
Unless some major policy change dictates otherwise, these cruises will continue on through to 2019.
This still very glamorous, under the radar ship is celebrating her twenty-first year of successful service with Royal Caribbean in 2018. I, for one, have always felt that she deserves somewhat more of a starring role in the company line up than has thus far proved the case.