The U.K. has enjoyed two giant ship launches in the space of just over six weeks: P&O Cruises’ Britannia and Royal Caribbean’s Anthem of the Seas.
Together the ships have increased passenger capacity out of Southampton by almost 8,000.
That’s a lot of cabins to fill.
While Britannia will be based here permanently, Anthem will be with us for just the summer. But while they are here, they’ll be going head to head in a bid to attract that most elusive of traveler onboard — the new cruiser.
The big question is: Who will succeed? We weigh up the two new ships on the dock.
Cruise lines spend countless hours making sure their passengers have the best cruise vacation out there. But sometimes cruisers know what cruisers want. In our new series “If It Were Up to Me,” we ask ourselves — and the Cruise Critic community — what we would do differently if we were in charge.
This week, a topic courtesy of Cruise Critic member bangzoom6877: What specialty restaurant venue would you like to see onboard?
Bangzoom6877’s suggestions for new cuisine on Norwegian Cruise Line included Belgian – “pots of mussels, Belgian beer, waffles for dessert” – German (sauerbraten, various schnitzels, German sausages, apple strudel, German beer), and Greek (moussaka, souvlaki, spinach pie, baklava, Greek wine and ouzo).
Other members quickly chimed in.
We don’t know why, but Carnival’s FAQ on “Are there restrictions on what we can bring aboard?” tends to spark either controversy or hilarity. Five years ago, an attempt to ban high-wattage hair dryers had female cruisers up in arms. A more recent perusal of the list shows that the Beards at Carnival, as the line’s own blogger John Heald calls them, have left no stone unturned when it comes to being clear about what you cannot bring onto a Fun Ship.
Here are some of our favorites:
Electrical and household appliances, i.e. coffee makers, hot plates, toasters, etc. (See Exceptions)
Nope, sorry, toasters and hot plates are not an exception to this rule. If you balk at room service’s continental breakfast options, you cannot cook toast or fry up an egg in your cabin. Remember, you came on this cruise so someone else would do the cooking.
When smokers refuse to pack light, Carnival will step in. Not sure whether this applies to souvenirs purchased at Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar.
Clingy curtains aside — and happily they are now becoming a thing of the past — nothing beats a nice shower after a long day’s sightseeing.
However, it seems high-pressured soaks aren’t what they used to be and a number of Carnival cruisers are no longer singing in the shower. They have taken to the Cruise Critic forums with a touch of the bathroom blues to report that showers have become sprinkles due to the installation of water-saving shower heads.
The thread was started by member crazyfrazee who writes: “On our last cruise I had the worst shower I’ve ever had in my life… The shower head wasn’t the metal one they normally had, it was a Walmart looking el cheapo plastic one with a plastic hose. I checked our other two rooms and they had the same. One had the water-saver washer removed so it was a great shower. I’ve always loved their abundance of water in their showers until now. Anyone else notice the change?”
In the My First Cruise series, Cruise Critic reaches out to first-time cruisers who recently returned from their very first cruise to find out why they chose a cruise, how they liked it and how it compared to what they expected and where they want to cruise to next.
Want to be featured? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Name: Heidi Jones
Cruised with: Husband and two other couples
Ship & itinerary: Six-night Western Caribbean itinerary on Royal Caribbean’s Independence of the Seas
Q: Why did you decide to take a cruise?
A: It was an economical option to see a number of different places. So rather than going to an all-inclusive and only being in one place, it was a way to see multiple places and then not having to worry about traveling all around.
Coming just six months after Quantum of the Seas debuted, Anthem is a near twin to its fleetmate, with only a few changes made either in design or philosophy. If you’ve cruised Quantum before, the experience will feel a bit like deja vu.
But look closely, and you’ll notice some subtle and not-so-subtle changes: art is completely different and totally fun, and there are 200 more seats among the four main dining rooms (Chic, American Icon, The Grande and Silk). But that’s not all.
Here are five awesome things you’ll find on Anthem of the Seas — and no other cruise ship (at least for now).
Cruise Ship: Celebrity Summit
Itinerary: Southern Caribbean
Background: Two weeks of pampering, two different cabins and endless Caribbean sun were a few of the many highlights on Jupiter567 and her husband’s back-to-back Celebrity cruise. While she enjoyed hours in the spa and downtime with a good book in the Persian Garden, her husband kept busy playing trivia. Read on for her favorite experiences on and off the ship.
Onboard Highlight: The Persian Garden, spa and pools — in particular the Thalassotherapy pool for cruisers 16 and older, which made for a nice escape.
Port Highlight: Dominica, where a snorkeling trip to Champagne Reef turned out to be the best excursion they ever purchased.
Don’t Miss: Trying out salt scrubs in the Turkish bath — one of Jupiter567’s favorite features in the spa.
Watch Out For: The distance between the new Aqua Class cabins and Persian Garden. Jupiter567 warns it’s a far walk.
More: Read Jupiter567’s full review for a full recap of the two-week sailing.
Each week, we choose five cruise reviews written by our members, and showcase one as the Member Review of the Week.
Read more reviews or write your own cruise review.« go back — keep looking »