The 4,180-passsenger Anthem of the Seas is the second vessel in Royal Caribbean's Quantum Class. It is a bold, beautiful ship, with more restaurants, bars and entertainment onboard than you can hope to experience in a week. It's entertaining and flashy, and it reminds us of being in a Las Vegas hotel. The atmosphere is equal parts modern sophistication and straight-up fun.
Royal Caribbean Anthem of the Seas is a big ship. It features 2,090 cabins – which include several cabin categories that debuted on sister Quantum of the Seas – 18 restaurants, and tons of fun things for passengers of all ages, including numerous pools, a splash zone, a gym, a spa, kids’ and teens’ clubs, a casino, and an indoor sports and entertainment center. While the ship’s high-passenger capacity means you’ll be sharing public spaces with tons of other people, the adult-only Anthem of the Seas Solarium is a great respite from the crowds and the kids, complete with a pool, a couple of whirlpools, sun loungers, and a bistro.
Anthem of the Seas deck plans are well thought out. There are eight cabin-only decks, six of which are sandwiched between other cabin-only decks, which makes for quiet nights for a large percentage of passengers. Decks 7 through 10 are the best for light sleepers. The Anthem of the Seas deck 11 isn’t bad either, but it’s shared with the Adventure Ocean kids’ club – if a mid-afternoon nap is high on your priority list, you’re better off picking a room on a lower level.
Having launched in 2015, many may wonder, what was the Anthem of the Seas last refurbishment? Well, it hasn’t had one yet. The ship was scheduled to receive some upgrades in 2020, but they were cancelled due to the COVID-19 global pandemic and the ship only underwent dry dock maintenance that year. Anthem is still in good shape, however, and with its great amenities, few will find it dated. In fact, technology-wise, this vessel raises the bar for the cruise industry. Not only does it offer superfast Internet, but it also uses iPad check-in, RFID bracelets, online bookings for restaurants and activities, and robot bartenders – and the good news is that it all seems to work.
Art throughout the ship is whimsical, fun and beautiful. It's epitomized by Gigi, a two-deck giraffe wearing an inner tube. Another fun piece on the Anthem of the Seas cruise ship is an interactive work that allows passengers to place their hands on a podium. Plates on the podium measure your heartbeat, which is then "shown" on a huge chandelier that beats in time. It stores 200 heartbeats, so when someone doesn't have their hands on the podium, the 200 lights blink to reflect each one.
In general, our one gripe about Royal Caribbean Anthem of the Seas is that you could spend a lot of money onboard, and the cruise fares are already pretty expensive. But if you're looking to have a blast on your cruise, and you like a choice of dining, bars and mind-blowing entertainment, this is the ship for you.
Anthem of the Seas is great option for solo travelers, couples and families alike. Some of the coolest innovations aboard the ship are the RipCord by iFly, a skydiving simulator; North Star, a jewel-shaped glass capsule that rises 300 feet above sea level, providing 360-degree views from high above the ship; and the SeaPlex, the largest indoor sports and entertainment complex at sea, with attractions ranging from bumper cars, roller skating and video gaming to a circus school, complete with flying trapeze classes. Daily activities on Anthem of the Seas include salsa lessons, workshops, trivia games, and table tennis competitions, among many others.
The ship's Esplanade and its adjacent area, called The Via, are the ship's hub of nighttime activity, with bars and restaurants throughout. (The two areas are separated by a stairwell and bank of elevators, and The Via houses high-end shops, as well as bars and restaurants.)
Onboard entertainment is exceptional, highlighted by West End musical "We Will Rock You." At night, the ship's innovative Two70 venue blends technology with live performance, including aerialists, singers and dancers.
In total, the ship features 18 dining venues, including one -- Jamie's Italian -- created in association with a celebrity chef. Also onboard is a restaurant called Wonderland, which is the cruise line's first real foray into molecular gastronomy. You'll pay for a number of the restaurants, but the extra-fee venues by far offer the best food onboard.
Cruisers often struggle to decide between Allure and the Seas and Anthem of the Seas. While European itineraries are available on both, each ship has its own vibe and unique offerings that cater to different demographics.
If non-stop fun and entertainment is what you’re after, Allure might be a better option for you. It is a bigger ship and features a few great amenities that are not available on Anthem of the Seas, including ice skating, water slides, a zipline, an Aqua Theater, and an escape room. The Anthem, however, offers bigger and better kids’ and teens’ clubs, as well as indoor areas, including family and adult-only pools, and the SeaPlex — which is a huge perk for those visiting colder regions.
Allure also has more restaurants than Anthem, more entertainment options, and an Oasis-class favorite: the neighborhood concept. This means that, unfortunately, Anthem of the Seas has no Central Park, which is one of our favorite sports on Allure.
Both ships, however, have Broadway-class shows: ‘We Will Rock You’ on Anthem; ‘Mamma Mia’ on Allure.
Meals in three main dining rooms, Windjammer Marketplace buffet; Cafe @Two70, Solarium Bistro, SeaPlex Dog House, Sorrento’s Pizzeria, Cafe Promenade, and Coastal Kitchen for Grand Suite Guests and above, plus Pinnacle members, only
Shows in the main theater
Most daily activities and entertainment events
Use of the fitness center (excluding fitness classes)
Use of the sports center, Flowriders, mini-golf, Ripcord by iFly and rock-climbing wall
North Star rides (except in Alaska and on China sailings)
Activities in the SeaPlex, including bumper cars
The Adventure Ocean Kids Program (ages 6 months to 17 years) until 10 p.m.
Gratuities, only if you booked your cruise in Australia and New Zealand in AU and NZ dollars
Gratuities (amounts vary depending on cabin type)
Auto-gratuities of 18 percent on dining, beverage, salon and spa purchases
Drinks excluding water, tea (including iced tea), coffee and select juices from the Windjammer Marketplace buffet
Room Service (except continental breakfast, which is free of charge)
Spa and salon services and treatments
Fitness classes, training sessions
Activities including bingo, Arcade games, arts and crafts classes, alcohol tastings and shopping events
Kids programs after 10 p.m. in Adventure Ocean
Wi-Fi packages; internet on Anthem of the Seas is fast and stable
Photos and artwork
With an abundance of amusement park-type activities and variety of cabins, Anthem of the Seas draws families, fun-loving couples and groups of friends of all ages. It primarily draws passengers from North America and the U.K.
Daytime: During the day, virtually anything goes: Swimsuits and shorts poolside are perfect, though shirts for men and cover-ups for women are required for dining indoors.
Evening: At night, casual resort wear is required; for men. That means slacks or khakis and collared shirts, and for women, sundresses, or capris, nice slacks or skirts with blouses. Anthem of the Seas formal nights (there will generally be two during a one-week cruise) are a little bit dressier. Acceptable formalwear includes evening or cocktail gowns or dressy slacks and blouses for women, and tuxes, suits or slacks with sports coats, dress shirts and ties (optional) for men.
Not permitted: Shoes are required in all dining venues any time of day, tank tops are off limits for dinner except in the buffet, and shorts are discouraged at dinner time in the main dining room and most specialty restaurants.
For more information, visit Cruise Line Dress Codes: Royal Caribbean.