Will we enjoy the Enchantment over the Explorer? Would like to keep the cost down, so would we enjoy Enchantment?
This is a first cruise for the kids, ages 21 - 11. And probably only cruise as a family. I like the sound of the courts, rock climbing wall etc. on the Explorer, but will they miss them if we sail on the Enchantment?
Is the size very noticable? Rough seas etc.
In March 2003 - which itenary would be better - Western/Eastern
If you are taking kids I would go with the explorer. I've done both the enchantment first time and voyager after that. both are great but voyager is really something beyond the realm and I think your kids would like the extra activities a lot.
I have been on both. My wife and I really enjoyed the Enchantment and will be cruising on the smaller ships (yes you can tell a tremendous difference in the size) when it is just us. My kids, 14 and 16, LOVED the Explorer. They are ruined for life as far as vacations go. It was a great ship and cruise, but the small ship just has a better feel for us.
We are going on the Explorer for our next cruise and have sailed on the Enchantment. She is a VERY NICE ship. Since this is your very first cruise, and there is a LOT of "learning the ropes" of cruising to be done on your first cruise, I think you should really consider the Enchantment. Believe me, since you have never cruised before you will LOVE it and there will plenty of things to occupy your kids' time. Sometimes money IS an issue. And so is time. The bigger the ship and the more ammenities it has, the more TIME you will spend figuring everything out. If you think you will never, ever get another chance to cruise, then go ahead & go on the Explorer for a once in a lifetime cruise. Otherwise, you will not miss a thing since it's your first time. You can always do the biggest ship in the world another time! If you did it vice versa, then yes, you just might be a little disappointed.