Enchantment of the Seas

Enchantment of the Seas makes first visit to Maine of the year


Royal Caribbean's Enchantment of the Seas is making her visit visit to Maine of the year on Saturday and she's also the first large cruise ship of the season to visit Portland.

Carrying about 2,250 passengers, Enchantment will leave on Sunday afternoon and head to Bar Harbor, Maine next.  The cruise is part of a New England and Canada itinerary.

Officials in Portland, Maine are expecting about 86,000 cruise passengers this year spread across 59 ships.

Transportation fiasco strikes Bermuda and impacts Royal Caribbean guests


Guests aboard Royal Caribbean's Enchantment of the Seas ran into a major transportation problem on the island of Bermuda during a recent stop.  Guests arrived off the ship to King's Wharf, Dockyard, when they ran into a very crowded situation thanks in part to Bermuda's timetable cuts.

Tourists complained many times to officials in an effort to figure out how to get to their destinations after encountering rude staff and a lack of organization.

The problem seemed to be a lack of enough transportation options after the Ministry of Transport introduced plans for a dispatcher to “control tourist numbers” in a bid to save seats for locals. Locals have long complained that tourists were given priority as full buses were driving past them on the way to Hamilton.

In an effort to remedy the situation, Bermuda's Tourism Minister Patrice Minors and Transport Minister Terry Lister met earlier this week to discuss how to address growing concerns about timetable cuts.  No word yet on what, if any, solution has been reached.

Shadow Transport Minister Kim Swan said he hoped the meeting would pave the way for an improved public transport system which “meets the needs of the whole Island.”

Photo of the Day: New gangway in Baltimore christened by Enchantment of the Seas


Photo by Baltimore Sun

Royal Caribbean announces new 2012 cruises to Bermuda and North East USA


Royal Caribbean announced new itineraries for 2012 that will sail from Baltimore, Maryland to Bermuda aboard Enchantment of the Seas.

The announcement adds a new set of six-night cruises to Bermuda as well as eight-night Bermuda and Northeast United States cruises that will sail out of Baltimore in the spring and summer of 2012.  Enchantment's new six-night itinerary will make 3-day calls to Kings Wharf, Bermuda

In addition, Royal Caribbean is also planning to send Explorer of the Seas, which is based out of Bayonne, NJ, on a new seven-night round trip cruise in September and October of 2012 that will feature three days in Bermuda.  The new itineraries will include five and nine-night Bermuda & Caribbean itineraries through the spring and summer of 2012.

Adding to the news, Jewel of the Seas will continue its ninth season of sailings out of Boston, MA of roundtrip seven-night Canadian cruises.

Baltimore sets new cruise passenger record


The port of Balitmore, Maryland set a new record for number of cruise passengers in 2010.  Thanks in part to Royal Caribbean offering year-round cruises from the port, 210,549 people sailed on 91 cruises from the Cruise Maryland Terminal. The 2010 cruise record beat the previous record set a year earlier in 2009 of 167,235 passengers on 81 cruises.

According to the Maryland Port Administration, the cruises in 2010 generated about $90 million for the state's economy in 2010, an increase of about $10 million from the previous year.

Royal Caribbean's Enchantment of the Seas will return in 2011 and offer cruises to Bahamas, Bermuda and the Caribbean.

Police find drugs on Royal Caribbean ship


Customs and Border Patrol agents found a stash of $100,000 in drugs hidden in a cruise ship equipment locker.  Drug sniffing dogs discovered the stash on Royal Caribbean's Enchantment of the Seas as it returned to Baltimore harbor this past Saturday.

The agents discovered two packages of heroin that weighed a total of one pound, eight ounces, and a 14-ounce package of cocaine on the ship.

CBP spokesman Steve Sapp said authorities don't know whom the drugs belonged to and no one has been arrested. The drugs were found in an area off-limits to passengers, he said.

Enchantment of the Seas was being targeted by Customs and Border Patrol agents because of it's history of drugs being discovered onboard the ship.  Officials are working with Royal Caribbean to find out who these drugs belonged to.

Port of Bermuda to close Friday through Tuesday


Royal Caribbean has announced that the Port of Bermuda will be closed Friday through Tuesday due to Hurricane Igor.  This means Enchantment of the Seas, which leaves Baltimore on Saturday will instead sail to Nassau, Bahamas where it will arrive on Monday and stay overnight until Tuesday.

Royal Caribbean is anticipating some cruisers not being happy with the change and giving an onboard credit to each stateroom. If a guest decides they do not want to sail at all on that itinerary, a letter of credit to be used on a future Royal Caribbean cruise. No other Royal Caribbean cruise is being affected by the hurricane at this time.

Hurricane Earl affecting Royal Caribbean ships


Hurricane Earl is starting to affect some Royal Caribbean ships due to weather in the regions that have scheduled port of call stops.

Enchantment of the Seas is skipping St. Thomas today and instead will stop in Samana, Dominican Republic.  Then on Tuesday, Enchanted of the Seas will stop at Labadee, Haiti. followed by sea days on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday before she returns to Baltimore on Saturday as scheduled.

Oasis of the Seas had a schedule that called for stops in St. Thomas and St Maarten in the Eastern Caribbean but will instead change to a Western Caribbean itinerary and stop in Costa Maya on Wednesday and Cozumel on Thursday.

Photo of the Day: Enchantment of the Seas visits St. John


Photo by Shawn Rouse

Cruisers to Dominican Republic will no longer pay $15 fee


President Leonel Fernandez of the Dominican Republic signed into law a decree that will exclude cruise ship passengers in transit from paying the $15 airport fee.  The fee had been generating around US$7.4 million in revenues for the government of the island nation.

The country earns around US$80 million per year from the 400 cruise ships which currently dock in Dominican ports, where each one leaves around US$200,000.A 5% growth in cruise ship arrivals is expected this year, with more than 350,000 tourists visiting in the first four months.

Royal Caribbean has two ships that stop at Samana in the Dominican Republic, Explorer of the Seas and Enchantment of the Seas.