Sail Date: December 2018
We chose this cruise to celebrate Christmas with our family of five in a special way. This was the first time not being in our home for Christmas. The high light of this cruise was by far the entertainment. Our favorite show was ... Read More
We chose this cruise to celebrate Christmas with our family of five in a special way. This was the first time not being in our home for Christmas. The high light of this cruise was by far the entertainment. Our favorite show was Spectra's Cabaret, followed by the gift and their special combined Christmas show. Unfortunately, the headlining show, We Will Rock You missed the mark by a long shot. I am normally not picky and enjoy all shows, plays, concerts etc. for what they are but We Will Rock You was too long and did not hold our attention. We also noticed many people walk out of this show and we almost did as well. This has never been our experience in the past. Overall, this ship was too crowded. The staff seemed tired and overwhelmed and no one was giving the guests any of the little extra special treatment you come to expect while on a cruise. I felt sorry for the staff especially in the Windjammer Cafe. It was so overcrowded you often could not find a table to sit at. My entire family took our breakfast back to our cabins to enjoy on our balcony on multiple occasions as we could not find anywhere to sit! One time while going back for some fresh silverware I returned to my table to have another couple sitting there and my food all moved to the corner. I could not believe it! This summed up our experience on this ship the entire week as we encountered constant lines and rude people and a very East coast mentality prevailed throughout the ship. No wonder the staff appeared beat down and exhausted. This is not how I want to spend my VACATION and we will never cruise out of NYC again. The biggest disappointment was when our Christmas day was ruined because our port of call, Coco Cay, was cancelled as a result of rough seas as we had to take small boats to the private island. I think this was very poor planning on the part of RCCL to plan Christmas Day on an Island with a high likelihood of aborting due to weather. The captain did plow full steam ahead to Nassau, but it was too late to really enjoy the day on an excursion by then and the weather was cold, windy and raining. We made the best of it, but our snorkeling adventure and relaxing day planned for Christmas was a memory never to be made. The food was lackluster on this cruise and the menu repeated most of the items in the MDR daily. More adventurous menu planning needs to occur. We started out eating in the MDR Silk with lackluster waiters who rushed us through and never tried to get to know us or provide any exceptional service. Because of this we continued to change waiters every night until we found someone we loved. BTW, the SILK dining room is too dark and dreary in its decorum of dark red crushed velvet and gold. We felt much more at home in the American Icon MDR with its bright and cheery well lit environment. The guests on this ship were so rude and unruly and tons of extra kids due to the Christmas holiday. So many ill-mannered people all laying/sleeping on couches, chairs etc. in common areas with their bare feet, making huge messes that they never even tried to contain. Kids spewing cheerios all over the ship, parents allowing their unruly children to take over stages and jump up and down on furniture when people were performing and the poor staff could not keep up with the masses of mess everywhere. While waiting in a line to visit Santa Claus, one waiter trying to hand out eggnog on a huge tray was knocked into and all of the wine glasses full of egg nog went flying with broken glass everywhere and egg nog all over him and several guests. We booked adjoining balcony cabins with our kids so we had extra space and a larger balcony that way. Our cabin steward was awesome, but the cleaning was somewhat lackluster and our shower drain was clogged! That really grossed me out the first time I showered and this white foamy/black scum surrounded me to the ankles. I and my husband both tried to clean out the drain ourselves to no avail and maintenance finally fixed it the next day. The iFly was amazing, but again the staff seemed only cordial, tired and beat down by the constant crowds of demanding guests with attitudes. The same experience occurred at the North Star where we showed up for our rescheduled time, due to weather cancellation, to discover that we and several other guests were really not rescheduled. An ensuing altercation began with several loud, boisterous and very rude New Yorkers against the staff running the North Star. I couldn't believe the treatment this staff had to endure. I don't know how RCCL keeps staff working on this ship on this route. They need hazard pay! Even staff off the ship the day of disembarkation were rude and yelling at customers to "Move Along...." I don't expect to pay to be treated like that. Never again! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
1.We stayed over 2 go in our car cause of traffic which basically was controlled by the crew. 2.All tips are already automatically included ridiculously expensive and stuff is not trying to work hard 3.All my family members got sick ... Read More
1.We stayed over 2 go in our car cause of traffic which basically was controlled by the crew. 2.All tips are already automatically included ridiculously expensive and stuff is not trying to work hard 3.All my family members got sick from this ship 4.Solarium place has so much chlorine that make impossible to breath 5.Food was OK. 6.Entertaiment was decent 7.Not much activities for a teenagers 8.We supposed to have 2 Islands but stopped only on Bahamas 9.The most important safety before sailing nothing was properly explained. All that they say wash your hands 10.Traveled with the kids and they weren’t excited at all said that Norwegian cruise is much better 11.Always issues with towels you can get only a certain amount 12.The ice cream place was a mess I almost flipped over cause it was so slippery .Ice ream itself had a very artificial taste 13.Main dining place one day took about 1.5 hours to get some food 14.Cruise was so expensive including tips that make no sense.It would be much cheaper to stay at the all inclusive 5 star resort Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
This cruise was chosen because of the departure relatively close to where we live in NJ and also because of the itinerary including the Christmas holiday. We has my time dining and on the first night, the evening meal we had in the ... Read More
This cruise was chosen because of the departure relatively close to where we live in NJ and also because of the itinerary including the Christmas holiday. We has my time dining and on the first night, the evening meal we had in the American Icon dining room set up an amazing tenor for the cruise. During the meal service from a nice waiter staff of Franklin and Xia Dhong, the head waiter ALEXANDER TRAVASSO arranged for us to have the same table and wait staff if we wanted it and we did. So every night we had the most amazing level of service like we have not had on all our previous cruises. We are a family of two grandparents, two adult children and tree teen age grandsons. Each meal Alexander made sure w had fresh fruit plates and cheese plates served as we sat down. Then along came the greatest bar server ever UPENDRA PATLEKAR, These two guys absolutely made our cruise spectacular, KUDOS to them! Embarkation and debarkation were smooth. We had a three bedroom family suite of interconnecting cabins with an immense balcony. Weather was windy so some shore activities were canceled, but full refunds promptly provided. Shows were just okay, but the Christmas Eve show was superlative. And the English pub was fun. The promenade was a fun place to sit, relax and people watch. The Sports Complex was like it was custom made for our family. From non-stop basketball for the boys, to the bumping cars for this 80 tear old grandpa, it was a great experience. We would definitely go again. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We chose this cruise because although there were not many places to visit on the cruise itinerary it got us away with our children for most of the end of the year school vacation holiday potential and likely cabin fever if we stayed home; ... Read More
We chose this cruise because although there were not many places to visit on the cruise itinerary it got us away with our children for most of the end of the year school vacation holiday potential and likely cabin fever if we stayed home; we could drive or take a car service to the port closest to our house in NJ e.g. the convenience of not having to fly this expensive and busy time of the year; I had have very good to excellent experience with Royal Caribbean cruises in the past (3 previous) with the best being the Jewel of the Seas we took last Summer leaving from Rome visiting the Greek Islands. We were very lucky to take a car service to and from the Port. Parking would have been just as expensive and with the car service we just drove right up to the entrance at 12 pm while everyone parking was in a huge line waiting to park (everyone ended up getting on board, some close to the Anthem of the Seas (AOTS) leaving time but with a lot of tension on their part. Bayonne looks like a horrible port to drive to and park. It is very industrial. Once we got right outside and into the port area embarkation went extremely well (someone immediately took our bags from Royal Caribbean (RC) at curbside then once inside someone from RC was right there to meet us, log us in, check our documents etc.) and we got right on the ship. We could not get to our rooms until 1:00 anyway so we went right to the Windjammer for lunch that was open (food was over all very good to excellent on this cruise - as we expect with Royal Caribbean (RC) as was the dining service). We would get our room keys (two inside cabins contacted by inside doors) for our family of four and got ourselves settled in our cabin until 1:45 or so. We could not log onto or do anything from that point on until after the muster drill as we were being herded to the muster area - we went and it was empty so we went to customer service, sat on line for a while only to be told nothing would work until after the muster drill. I had previously signed up for "We will Rock You," and "The Gift" prior to boarding since I knew this would probably be a full ship (it was). So, we went to the muster area, were herded together with people coughing all over us from the sides and behind when there was plenty of space in the theater (at some point I just moved our whole family out of the crowded area to a completely empty area that got the one of the muster guys from RC miffed but someone else from RC said it was ok and we moved to an empty area where more of the older people were (who may have been frail but were not coughing all over us - we have an 8 and 13 year old and them (or us) getting sick on vacation would have been a disaster - luckily we ended up being spared but for a few sniffles here and there). Muster drill finally started at around 3:05 and it ended around 3:30 where after that it was too many people congesting the walkways, everyone trying to sign up for activities at once, huge lines at customer service (hour plus wait), so we just gave up trying to sign up for any activities, got dressed and went to the indoor pool / hot tub that had excellent towel service, great service in general (people picking up empty drink glasses and plates etc.) and hung out for a while. Later we went to sign up for activities and we could barely get any (we wanted to try trapise for our daughter, IFly, Flowrider, bumper cars, going up on North Star etc.) We managed to get IFLY on the last day (8) and North Star the night of getting off at Cape Canaveral. There were a lot of children of all ages on this cruise naturally, so much so I am not sure upper management at RC was ready for the onslaught of activities. When we went to bumper cars we waited 45 minutes to get a 15 minute ride for our family to smash into each other - a lot of fun and luckily they did not really want to do this activity again. Trapise we waited in line two times, with both times getting times two hours after we waited on line to find out how long we would have to wait to go to the activity - with our 5:30 dinner time always getting in the way so we never got to do the trapise (daughter saw other people doing it and decided it would be really easy for her anyway - still I wanted them to go). One time we made it to roller skating for son and father; other time was a more than one hour wait again cutting into our dinner time so we passed. North Star was whippty do (pretty much nothing - no real thrill). IFLY was a terrific experience for our family for the last day Flowrider was fun for us to try but the line was huge pretty much any time it was open. We waited a lot in to go in not the best weather for it. Weather was cool over all getting into the 70's once we got South of the Carolinas or so. High winds at the beginning and end cancelled Flowrider a lot. Flowrider instructors were really nice - in fact all the activity instructors / helpers were really nice, patient and understanding but they were overwhelmed with the amount of people, long lines like the guests were. In retrospect management dropped the ball with activities. They should have had Flowrider open around the clock every day it could have been opened. Trapise should have been opened times other than dinner and much more often. Bumper cars and roller skating should have been more often. My assumption is RC just did not have enough trained sport staff to run the activities available on this cruise or upper management completely dropped the ball on how many children / people would want to participate in activities - Duh - the ports were inconsequential and it pretty much was a cruise to nowhere and back. Oh, bad weather cancelled the Coco Cay stop so we had two days at Nassau, Bahamas (OK, but would have preferred Coco Cay as that should have been the highlight stop of the trip for beachgoers). My time dining again is a mess to start with. You have to sign up for a restaurant - we just picked Grande every night at 5:30 and were glad that we did. Food and service were over all excellent and to RC standards we expected. We also had 'The Gift" cancelled with the rescheduled day and time in conflict with our IFLY so naturally we were happy to do the IFLY. We were not impressed with "We will Rock You," - I was bored out of my mind and fell asleep for bits though a lot of the guests seemed to like it. We did like the Spectra show, really liked the comics. Was impressed with the juggler / comic and did like the entertainment over all. For a cruise ship entertainment was very good. Fitness center was always so packed when I visited it (two occasions) I completely avoided trying to exercise, though the only reason I really walked in was because I was bored, had nothing really to do and got a moment to get a way from kids - so I was happy walking around and really did not want to exercise anyway - though if I was really determined it was crowded to say the least. Pools were over all small for the demand - weather often necessitated going to the indoor pool that was overcrowded. When weather was decent outdoor / indoor pool demand was adequate. Unfortunately, there was way too much hurry up and wait for all activities that I blame upper management miscalculation on so I give fitness and recreation a poor mark. On board experience is again mixed because the room was beautifully kept, comparatively large, worked well and again service was excellent. Main dining room food and service was very good to excellent. Windjammer was a bit better on Jewel of the Seas in Europe last Summer but again was very good to excellent. Ship crew did not seem as smiling and happy as the crew on Jewel of the Seas this past Summer. That may have been due to the onslaught of people / persistent long lines at any activities or perhaps the cooler weather so though not as good as Jewel of the Seas this past Summer still pretty darn good onboard overall experience. We did enjoy Cocoa Beach - just got off the ship and took a cab to Ron John surf shop and hung on the beach until we took a cab back. We were afraid of going to Disney World etc. for that day due to severe congestion at the theme parks for the Christmas week we were warned against. Nassau has good shopping well explained by the RC staff - so they were spot on for that, though we did not buy high end trinkets. Ship did work well, did not seem overly crowded. Not enough nearly customer service representatives as any time I had to deal with them (signing up for activities) the line was huge (our cards did not work initially so had to work with customer service to get them to work after on-boarding). Customer service people were helpful and competent when you finally got to them. So, like the activity / sports people, they were great when you were finally able to work with them over all. We walked up to Fin-castle ourselves on Nassau and spent two days at the local Junkanoo beach that was fine for us. Just swimming at a beach for the three days was all our family really wanted to do given the itinerary (as opposed to the European cruise itineraries where there is a lot more for us to experience). Caribbean ports just do not compare for us in comparison to European ports, though beaches are fine / shopping especially for higher end trinkets (jewelry / watches) probably is better in the Caribbean. So we did not shore excursions but none interested us for this cruise so I rate it as average. We still thoroughly enjoyed the cruise despite occasional hiccups due to again what I would blame on weather and upper management mismanagement. Winter cruises one can not expect ideal weather - so there were a lot of activities, some were for people who tried like us unfortunately just unable to go to, room was excellent, service was very good to excellent, food was plentiful and good to excellent, entertainment comics were really good, over all entertainment was good, staff was at times overwhelmed but good, we are understanding and patient and we had a great over all relaxing fun vacation at the worst time of the year to vacation. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
I want to start by saying that the staff was truly amazing. They could not do enough! I had issues booking activities on board and was concerned because we would not arrive till just before 1:30. I wrote a letter and got assistance from ... Read More
I want to start by saying that the staff was truly amazing. They could not do enough! I had issues booking activities on board and was concerned because we would not arrive till just before 1:30. I wrote a letter and got assistance from the executive office. They were wonderful. We were able to at least experience most activities on the ship. Ifly was fun - but only one minute long. Escape room was okay, but you can only do it once and it took us 35 minutes with 12 people in the group. Northstar was nice as well. So all these activities only took a few hours. What else to fill 4 1/2 days at sea? We tried to keep busy since it was really too cold for the outdoor pool and the indoor pool was packed. I found that there was little entertainment during the day on sea days. I think that more options are necessary. Honestly, there are a lot of spaces that are barely utilized - like Vintages - which was usually empty. Even the Bionic Bar was fairly empty most days. As far as our stop in Cococay - it was canceled due to rough sea conditions. We headed straight to Nassau - but most everything was closed! Not sure why it took so long to get to Florida. I wonder if we couldn't have moved a little faster and arrived when things were open! or perhaps flip the itinerary? Here are some areas needing improvement: Sushi class: It was fine, but the quality of the sushi was not wonderful. I decided after this that I would not try the restaurant. I am not sure, but if the quality of fish is an indication of the quality of the food they serve, I wasn't interested. You would think that they would sample some of their sushi so it entices the people taking the class to come for a meal! After all, the class is $30. They can afford a taste! The Gift: - Terrible. Very difficult story line to follow. We Will Rock You - Better than The Gift, but also not good. Stage scenery is lacking and acting is not the best. Story line is a little cheezy as well. Spectra Cabaret - A decent show. The dancing was really good and Spectra is quite talented. Twas the night before Christmas - I can't rate it because we couldn't find a seat! Imagine one showing on Christmas Eve! Many disappointed guests were unable to attend. Honestly, why would they only have one show?! At least do a 6:30 and 8:30 like other shows! Main dining room restaurants were still pretty good. Appetizer portions were small and quality was not always the best, but the main courses were okay. Christmas dinner was really good. The apple pie dessert is the same one I buy at Trader Joe's! Yikes! Windjammer was okay, but really got tired of seeing the same things every day - especially for breakfast. Waffles were terrible and mostly under-cooked. Not enough omelet stations. lines were really long! BINGO - Well, this could be a fun activity, but if a family of 4 wants to play, the minimum each needs to spend is $39 for 6 cards. You can't rip the cards, so you need to purchase a lot of cards. $160 if 4 want to play....really? Whereas if you buy the iPad option, you get 42 cards for $69, but all electronic so only one can play. We spent a lot and won nothing. Oh well. I don't think I will be taking another cruise out of Bayonne again. I don't think I would go on the Anthem again either. I feel this ship lacks options for entertainment. We docked along side the Mariner of the Seas in Nassau. I could see and hear their entertainment all day long into the late night. I wanted to go over there. Nothing was going on at the Anthem! We did have constant sales in the lobby though! It always amazes me what people will buy! Last, I want to mention Wonderland restaurant. I hesitated because their menu looked really unusual. My daughter is not one to try different things, but even she liked it. We did the 3 restaurant deal. Wonderland was the first one, then Chops - which was decent, but Wonderland was so outstanding that we went back. Our waiter, Peter, was outstanding. If you do decide to go, you MUST try Wonderland. It's not as strange as it seems on the menu. Just excellent! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
An 11 day cruise on Royal Caribbean’s Anthem of the Seas leaving the frigid cold temperatures for the sunny eastern Caribbean, what could be better? Well, while the ship is amazing, the crew friendly and exceptionally hard working ... Read More
An 11 day cruise on Royal Caribbean’s Anthem of the Seas leaving the frigid cold temperatures for the sunny eastern Caribbean, what could be better? Well, while the ship is amazing, the crew friendly and exceptionally hard working (except for one of the bartenders in the Bionic Bar...more on that later) there are definitely some pros and cons to this experience. First the good stuff. As I said before, the ship is beautiful. While not the largest of the fleet, Anthem is big (4,180 passengers) and has some unique features such as the North Star observation ride which takes you up 300 feet for a 360 degree panoramic view, the Rip Cord I-Fly Sky diving simulator, Flow Rider surfing experience, and the Bionic Bar. The food was good, not as good as on past RCI cruises, but overall very tasty. Our waiter and his assistant made sure that every need was met and that our glasses were constantly filled. Our balcony cabin on Deck 10 was small but very functional. Two of us slept in the king sized bed and the third on the pull out couch. There were two built in storage closets, a vanity/desk, and a dresser with five drawers and a small refrigerator. Our cabin steward was amazing...twice a day he cleaned up, made (or turned down) the beds, and replaced any used towels. He even folded our blankets that we brought from home. The entertainment on this ship was good, especially the We Will Rock You show. As a wise fellow cruiser once told me, any morning that you wake up on a cruise ship is a good morning. I wholeheartedly agree with a few exceptions. We are Platinum loyalty members having cruised frequently and almost exclusively on Royal Caribbean. As the years go by however, I feel like I’m getting less for my cruise dollar and that more and more “experiences” are not included in the base or are not a good value. They are really pushing the specialty restaurants which of course cost extra, sometimes LOTS more extra. My thrifty alter ego cannot justify paying for food and then paying again for a “specialty” meal. This was the first time in 8 cruises that my husband (a drinker) did not purchase a beverage package. They insisted that I buy one too. I am not a drinker. I am also diabetic so the “refreshment” package with juices and smoothies that they tried to steer me to was not an option. I offered to provide a note from my doctor but they wouldn’t hear of it. So my husband carried on two bottles of wine and we saved almost $500. There could have been a few more free activities on this ship. For example, we were excited to attend a robot vs. bartender competition at the Bionic Bar. When we got there, a not so friendly employee informed us it will cost $15 for the experience. Very disappointing. We purchased internet packages. Again, I felt that it was pricey ($15-$19 per day) and not a good value. The service was slow and frequently needed to be rebooted. This was also the first time that we did not book any excursions with Royal Caribbean. In my experience, the excursion prices keep increasing in price with fewer options. On this cruise, we overheard a couple saying that they spent $30 for a beach excursion only to get there and have to pay extra for an umbrella and chairs. We took our chances and either walked to the shopping near the pier or too a cheap cab ride to the beach. There was no shortage of locals carrying maps and offering us island tours (despite the company’s warning not to utilize third party vendors). Despite these criticisms, we had a lovely vacation and respite from the winter chill. Will we cruise again?...Definitely. Will we cruise on Royal Caribbean again?...Maybe. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
First time on a ship this size. While onboard we never really felt crowded at any point. Despite the number of guests and staff onboard, there were many times where we wondered where everyone was. The ship is well designed and you can ... Read More
First time on a ship this size. While onboard we never really felt crowded at any point. Despite the number of guests and staff onboard, there were many times where we wondered where everyone was. The ship is well designed and you can around with ease. We had Suite 12634 which was abundant in space and storage. The room was very quite and the sailing was probably the smoothest one we have ever been on. Bermuda was very nice despite that we did no tours. We did walk around for a few hours at the Royal Dockyard. The Commissioner's house is worthy of seeing and it was only a $15 cover charge. We also found a small transportation museum worthy of a look, if that interests you and that was only a $5 cover. I was intrigued by how many repeat Anthem guests were present in the Suites class. Speaking of that. The Royal, Sky & Sea class is a great experience if you can swing it. Early onboard the ship and early getting off the ship is great. If comparing RCL Suite Class to NCL Haven, I'd probably go with the NCL Haven. NCL seemed to include many more things in the purchase price where as RCL had extra add ons or not included, or not even available. We Did the Chef's Table and that was a great experience. We also did the All Access Pass Behind the Scenes tour. It was informative, interesting and worth the cost. It's amazing to see what goes on that most guests never even know about. I can't review that shows we did not partake. We did dine at Jamie Oliver's which was excellent and Chops Grille. Chop's was not the best experience, but it had nothing to do with the food. Unfortunately we were seated too close to a large group that was over the top loud. It was hard for us even to hear what we were saying to each other. I'm glad they were having a good time, but the staff should have not seated us and the table behind us that close. Eventually we asked to be reseated and the complied. Coastal Kitchen and staff were great as meals. Overall a good trip. Anthem is well worth the experience. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
I found this cruise and thought it would be a good relaxing getaway after a interesting year we had beside it was stopping in Bermuda, which is our "happy place"...We are normally NCL people but decided to see what all the hubbub ... Read More
I found this cruise and thought it would be a good relaxing getaway after a interesting year we had beside it was stopping in Bermuda, which is our "happy place"...We are normally NCL people but decided to see what all the hubbub about this ship was about...Let me tell you we are pretty impressed!!!.. The embarkation process was the fast I have ever seen...before you know it we were on the ship...we picked up our sea pass at our cabin door...the décor was amazing and the flow to get from one place to another was excellent...being use to the cabins on NCL ships, we were surprised by the roominess of our balcony cabin and the balcony itself ...there was ample storage space... The food was good...service excellent...we had anytime dining but opted to reserve the same table every night...our waiter Aaron and his assistant Oscar were very attentive.. We saw We will Rock you...a juggler comedian...and Spectra... all were good... We relaxed in the solarium most of the time... Disembarkation was smooth...HINT: it is worth $5.00 to get a porter in the terminal so you dont have to wait on a long line for immigration... All in all we had a wonderful time and would definitely go back on this ship again..RCCL you have won us over Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
Warning: Long Review We are a group of 4 sisters (56 - 62) and since the port was two hours away and the cruise only 4 nights it was perfect. Embarkation was easy and quick after waiting in line to drop off luggage and then self park. ... Read More
Warning: Long Review We are a group of 4 sisters (56 - 62) and since the port was two hours away and the cruise only 4 nights it was perfect. Embarkation was easy and quick after waiting in line to drop off luggage and then self park. Three of us were fully checked in and they just scanned our passport. My one sister had to do the birth certificate route and have her picture taken but it really didn't slow us down. Security moved along fairly well and we were on board before 12. Room keys were outside the stateroom when we got there. Rooms were ready at 1:00 pm as we were told. The ship itself was the biggest we had ever been on, and did take us a bit to find our way around-mostly getting turned around in the Promenade area. There are interactive deck plans but not necessarily right at the elevators and I had trouble finding what I needed. They had a program introducing you to the Anthem but it was when the ship was pulling out (late start-like 45 min.) Muster drill: we were there for almost an hour. They said they were waiting for people to board? And it was pretty worthless, but at least it was inside and we had seats. Even though it was cold, it was worth heading outside after the drill to see the NYC skyline and the ship going under the Verrazzano Bridge Cabin: We had a guarantee balcony, which ended up in a really good location (forward port side and not far from the steps). We needed the walk to the eating areas to make up for all the great food we had. And it was straight up to the Solarium/Inside Pool, and straight down to the theater. The room was a nice size although with the sofa bed pulled our it was quite crowded. The room steward left it out, but I suppose we could have requested he put it away each day. I was the only one who slept well on the sofa bed. We took turns each night. There was enough room for us all to store our things, but a longer cruise-I don't know. Would have had to do separate cabins. Entertainment/Royal IQ App: We had prebooked the shows, but I immediately logged onto the Royal IQ app and made reservations for two of us for iFly and all four of us for North Star. The app was easy enough to use, but certainly could have had more features. No hours for eating area, pools, etc. So you can't really do without the paper Compass. We each had a separate credit card, and while it showed the individual charges there was only one total. It is only wifi enabled for the app, but my iPhone kept trying to access wifi for all my wifi enabled apps which I think drained my battery faster. (Phone set to airplane mode and wifi on). We prepaid for one device internet package, which we thought we would share, as you can log off one device and use another. However, with iPhones, we were able to text message without using the internet package. Dining: We had early seating and ate in the Grand three out of four nights. We all thought the food was mostly good, occasionally great. Service was great. But no restroom outside 3rd floor dining rooms. Have to go into Casino or up to 4th floor. Windjammer for breakfast--we found the way back less crowded and kept us from returning frequently to the buffet. There is limited outside seating there but it was too cold.There is a not crowded made to order omelet and crepe station for breakfast, gluten free for lunch. Breakfast in the main dining room on disembarkation day was good and fast service. We also ate lunch one day in Cafe 270 and one day in the Solarium. A nice change from the Windjammer. Service was friendly and mostly good. Sometimes they would be around with drinks, cinnamon rolls, etc, and sometimes you wouldn't see anyone. The three shows were mixed for us. Spectra's Caberet the technology and different choreography were great, but the music was repetitious. We Will Rock You was a great production, but we had trouble with the story.. You have to read the screen in the beginning and we were just settling into our seats. The Gift also had great singers and production but we had trouble telling who was who. The theater may be beautiful, but most of the aisles have exits on only one side--and you don't know that until you climb past people and find a plastic wall or other blockage. I have a little claustrophobia and had to leave before The Gift started, and luckily found a seat in the back. Despite being a short cruise, the theater was never full. Maybe because many of the seats are blocked by poles. And maybe because you can't get to many of the seats without climbing over a whole long row of people. We loved the North Star, iFly and the Bumper Cars. North Star and iFly were filled so it is best to book as soon as you get on board if you were not able to prebook. Very easy on the app.Two of my sisters did the dance/exercise classes and I was really surprised how few people were there. We were told there were 4300 people on board (can hold up to 4900) but it rarely felt crowded. Ports/Excursions: We were in port (Bermuda) from 9-3:30 so three of us elected to tour the Dockyard, while my birding sister had hired a guide. However, we should have gone with her--she got to see the whole island and did little birding but heard lots of history and ecology stuff. (although she was a little late getting back and got yelled at-but she said there had to be a 100 people behind her) Most of the places were not open when we got off the ship (Did open later) and wasn't clear when they would open. And the beach was closed for the season--this was a problem probably only for this cruise as it was December. But cruise staff should have known. There is a courtesy shuttle which takes you around the dockyard so if you have trouble walking--it helped me out. Disembarkation: We had a 7:30 time, and decided to try the dining room. We were finished right around 7:30 and by the time we went to the bathroom and started for our waiting area our number was called. The line was really long but moved fast. However, our luggage was at the opposite end of the terminal building, we had just waited in one long line, and there was a long customs line we were expected to walk all the way back to. Luckily there are porters there who will take your baggage and expedite your way through customs. Well worth the $20 tip we gave him. So in that respect disembarkation went as well as could be expected with that many people. I would like to go back to Bermuda and I guess I would like to take my husband to experience the Anthem, but for me, once was enough for all the activities that we did do. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Got this trip as a casino Comp. The good: the North Star rose was fun ! The bumper cars were fun. The bars were all very nice ! The food in Jamie’s was sub par. The chops grille was good food, but so loud we could hardly hear each ... Read More
Got this trip as a casino Comp. The good: the North Star rose was fun ! The bumper cars were fun. The bars were all very nice ! The food in Jamie’s was sub par. The chops grille was good food, but so loud we could hardly hear each other talk. The food in the MDR was good. All service was a bit slow in all venues. The windjammer dining buffet was always crowded. The solarium cafe was the least crowded and had same selection A the windjammer. It was cold going from Newark in Dec so everyone was inside. The casino was so crowded I couldn’t get a table and the slots were so tight I didn’t win any Big jackpots. The casino host didn’t come around ever and never introduced herself. The two times I had interactions with her were short and to the point. She even saw I was trying out her ship and didn’t welcome me or anything. Loved the shows I saw. Spectra cabaret and the 70’s dance party was fun. The ship itself is absolutely gorgeous !! We had a balcony toom that was very nice. Showers are glass enclosure and they have lots of shelves in bathroom and room for storage. Cabin Steward was attentive. Crusie director was fun and friendly. Easy port to reach from Newark airport. Uber was less than $20. Read Less
Anthem of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.5
Dining 4.0 3.7
Entertainment 5.0 3.8
Public Rooms 5.0 4.1
Fitness Recreation 4.0 4.0
Family 5.0 4.0
Enrichment 3.0 3.5
Service 5.0 4.0
Value For Money 3.0 3.5

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