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May 25, 2012 / rafinmd

Day 9, Friday, May 25, Disembark and home

I placed a wakeup call today for 4:30. When I got out on deck about 4:45 we were just passing under the Chesapeake Bay bridge. We passed under the Francis Scott Key bridge just before 6 and put the first lines out about 6:55. I took about 6 laps on deck 10 between the Key Bridge and the port; finishing my walk just as we tied up. I did have a problem with my bill. RCI seems to have a problem with accounting for internet use; for the second time of the cruise I was charged for an internet session, even though I had ample time remaining on my package. A visit to guest relations quickly got the problem resolved.

I had opted for self disembarkation. When I stepped onto the Promenade deck after my walk people were crossing the gangway. I returned to my cabin for my bags, and was at the taxi stand about 7:20. A quick taxi ride took me to Camden yards (our baseball park on a former railroad yard which still serves commuter rail), and a 20 minute ride to the suberbs. After a connecting ride on my local transit system, I was home at 10:15.

Today’s parting shot deals with my relation with Royal Caribbean. I don’t really call myself a fan of the line. To me, it holds somewhat of a niche status with 2 things I see it doing well. First, it handles short getaways (under 7 days) very well. With more upscale lines the crew has a rhythm that works best with longer term relationships with the passengers and short cruises with frequent turnarounds tend to get very poor reviews. RCI handles short cruises very well. The other is that they are my line of choice out of my home port of Baltimore. In fairness, I haven’t sailed their Baltimore competition for many years but my perception is that Royal’s onboard experience is better. Where I know Royal is better is on itineraries. I looked at the competition and they serve a grand total of 5 ports from Baltimore. Despite my limited experience I’ve already done better than that on the Enchantment. Despite the weather, this was the best yet of my 3 RCI cruises. The crew is very good and the condition of the ship is excellent. I will be returning for a 3rd voyage on Enchantment in January and looking forward to an even better ship with the enhancements in drydock. There really is a cruise line (or perhaps cruise line-itinerary combination) for everyone.



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