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Cruise Ship Review
Commodore Cruise Line

Enchanted Isle

by Cathy Wall

Enchanted Isle

Commodore Cruise Line currently has two ships sailing from New Orleans: the Enchanted Isle, and the Enchanted Capri. The Enchanted Capri is a joint venture between Commodore and the Isle of Capri Casinos, and sails a two-night cruise to nowhere, and a five-night cruise to Playa Del Carmen, Cozumel, and Progreso every week.

The Enchanted Isle was built in 1958 for Moore-McCormack lines at Ingalls Shipyard in Pascagoula, Mississippi. Her former names are Argentina, Veendam, Brasil, Monarch Star, Bermuda Star and Hotel Commodore.

This was our third cruise in so many years from the Julia Street Cruise Terminal in New Orleans, but we still managed to miss an exit downtown. Over an hour later, and after a slow trip through the middle of the French Quarter, we arrived at the pier to find the parking area full. He dropped me off at the terminal with all of the luggage and proceeded to the Hertz parking garage as the skycap directed him. All onboard was 3:00pm, and the shuttle dropped him off at 2:45. We were in our cabin before 3:00 -- much too close for comfort for me!

Our Cabin

Category 6 Outside CabinOur cabin, 404, on Upper Deck is all the way forward, and quite comfortable. A Category 6, the cabin has a double bed, dresser, small chest of drawers and two closets. The TV channels consist of two movie channels and a news channel that also had reminders of the days' events scrolling across the bottom of the screen. Everything stowed away nicely in the two closets, leaving us plenty of room.

The main public areas on the ship are the Riviera Dining Room, (forward Main Deck), the Grand Lounge, Monte Carlo Casino, and the Bistro (all Promenade Deck). We felt that the Upper Deck is an excellent choice for a cabin, since it is one down for dining at night, and one up for most other activities.

The ship's itinerary

Saturday Board in New Orleans
Sunday At Sea
Monday Cozumel
Tuesday Grand Cayman
Wednesday Jamaica
Thursday At Sea
Friday At Sea
Saturday Arrive New Orleans

The Ports

Cozumel
We docked at the International Pier after a go-around. Our assistant Cruise Director, Rusty Wilson had previously explained that ships such as the Enchanted Isle are very stable in rough water, but have a bit of trouble with currents. This was our third time to this port, and we dearly love it. We shopped and bar-hopped. Fat Tuesday's has been relocated to the square in San Miguel, as well as Palmeras, and Hog's Breath. We also walked back toward the International Pier and found a quaint bar that we hope to return to again. It's a secret!

Grand Cayman
We took the Emerald Eyes Stingray City trip and were glad we did, but we wouldn't do it again. There were too many people, and we didn't get in the water. We did, however get a lot of nice pictures of the other people. Grand Cayman is very clean, and the CD informed us it takes a million dollars for a minimum deposit into one of Grand Cayman's many banks. We found the Tortuga Rum Cake store after many wrong turns, and our rum was delivered to our cabin as promised early Friday night.

 

Jamaica
Beautiful -- our favorite of the islands. Rose Hall is incredible, and the tour we took in a private taxi was a memory for a lifetime. If you can afford it, I would suggest Half Moon Cay; when I'm rich, I'll go there for an extended vacation.

Dining

The BistroService and meals in the Riviera Dining Room rated from good to excellent. The Bistro served breakfast and lunch every day for us while on board, and that food was very good. Omelets to order by the bistro bar were a treat while our waiters brought our breakfast to our tables adjacent to the pool area. No inside breakfast for us the entire trip!

On Tuesday afternoon, the staff served rib eye steaks by the pool. With baked potatoes and the works, it was a wonderful steak dinner, cooked to order.

Crew & Staff

Grand LoungeThe captain of the ship, David Ryan, is very entertaining, both at the captain's party and the past passengers' party. The Cruise Director is Jacomo Valenti. They are both from Canada. Entertainment on board was excellent - don't miss the Ray Kennedy Entertainers - and also, Cameron the magician.

Allan Lee serves up piano music in the Spyglass Lounge, a beautiful lounge forward above Navigation Deck. We didn't much use the lounge during the evening, but it's an awesome place to see arrivals in port, and especially going back into the Mississippi on Friday night around 8:00 pm. Use it to see the arrivals in the Caymans and Jamaica, too.

Final Thoughts

The cruise was not without problems. The printing press broke down on the third day of the cruise, and we were without our daily What's Up bulletin. We learned quickly to go to the nearest hallway, however half-dressed, and read the bulletin that we would all share for the day. I would bring a pen and paper, and write down what we would like to do for the day (sea days). Commodore Cruise Lines continues with their great hospitality; you realize when you see the big Carnival ships, with all their passenger decks, that you are on a special ship, with a special history. Let's keep this line our own special, southern secret!

Photos courtesy of Commodore Cruise Line.

Line

Cathy Wall may be reached at: ssd@centurytel.net.


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