Written by Todd Thrun.
It was like bumping into an old friend on the street. It was like catching your favorite movie on the late show while channel surfing. Or a little like finding $20.00 in an old pair of jeans. That is how my son Scott and I felt when we saw our “old friend”, The Enchantment of the Seas docked in Ft. Lauderdale. Two years ago we sailed on this beautiful ship to the Western Caribbean. We loved it so much that when our summer vacation came along we decided to sail with her again. This particular cruise was a 5-night jaunt stopping in Ocho Rios, Jamaica and Georgetown, Grand Cayman. Our first day was at sea which gave us the perfect chance to get re-acquainted with the ship. She is not the largest ship in Royal Caribbean’s fleet, but still holds almost 2500 passengers. We noticed a couple of changes since we last sailed. The dining room had new décor, and they also installed a Royal Caribbean trademark, a rock-climbing wall.
Our first stop was Ocho Rios, Jamaica. Having lived there for 3 years as a child and many return trips after that, I was anxious for Scott to see my favorite island in the Caribbean. When we cruise we normally don’t take the organized shore excursions, but rather explore on our own. True to form, we arraigned a boat trip with a couple of “locals” to take us to Dunn’s River Falls. This is a must see for anyone going to Jamaica. Climbing the falls in the cool water, and trying to manage the slippery rocks can be a challenge. The scenery is spectacular and the falls almost look like a movie set. As Scott climbed ahead of me, I almost felt like Tarzan chasing after “boy”. On our way back to the ship we stopped for some snorkeling, and then rented some jet skis. It was a perfect day in this island paradise. We then sailed to Georgetown, Grand Cayman which has some of the best snorkeling/diving in all the Caribbean. We snorkeled at the famous “Cheeseburger Reef” visiting a shipwreck and seeing hundreds of tropical fish. Scott spotted a school of squid, and had a close encounter with a barracuda… ”fangs and all”.
We also enjoyed our days at sea. This is usually when the ship comes alive with music, food, and various pool games. The highlight was the belly-flop competition. And no, I did not enter! We both felt this cruise was meant to be, as all along our itinerary we stayed 24 hours ahead of hurricane Charley.
Before we knew it, we were pulling back into Ft. Lauderdale. We had a great time. Next year we will probably sail on a different ship, however we know that someday we will see our “old friend” again.