I have previously been on two Quantum of the Seas cruises: Maiden Voyage November 2, 2014 from Southampton and 12 Nt. Southern Caribbean Cruise from Bayonne, January 11, 2015 .
It was my primarily interested to see the difference between Quantum ond Anthem. Interior but also functionality and service. And I was not disappointed. Anthem is certainly delivering as promised - and expected. Ship was nice and staff was very helpful and friendly.
A very nice 3 nights cruise. Compared to the Quantum maiden voyage everything worked very well and service was top notch.
Anthem of the Seas is truly a sister ship to the Quantum of the Seas - it is a true copy. The only immediate difference is the decoration. Therefore, The VIA also is the place, where I have experienced the most visible difference.
Overall it was a high level of attire on this trip compared to my Quantum cruises, and people were also festive dressed for the 'Royal Evening'.
We did have a 12:15pm to 12:45pm arrival appointment - we did arrive close to 12:30pm . Check-in and boarding went very smoothly and efficient, and at 1pm we got access to our cabin.
For this short cruise we did have carry-on luggage only so we did not use luggage tracking. We did not make any dinner or show reservations in advance. Once onboard we did register Royal IQ and made our reservation for dining and shows. Did work very well and much better than for our Quantum cruises. Also possible to make reservation for the time we vanted.
See my special Cabin review of cabin #8282, category D8 Superior Ocean View Stateroom w/ Balcony
We have Dynamic Dining Choice, but as mentioned not booked any restaurants in advance.
At this short 3 nights cruise it is the same 'Taste of Anthem' menu in all four complimentary Dynamic Dining restaurants. The menu card changed every day, and was created two showcase the best dishes from the four venues - at longer cruises they will still have different menu's in the different restaurants.
The 'Taste of Anthem' was OK for this cruise, however I really do not see the reason for not having the dedicated menu's for each restaurant!
Dynamic Dining Classic
Here you eat together with the same group every night but in different restaurants. The group has the same waiters every night. On this trip was the order Chic, American Icon Grille and Grande.
The only change I have seen for restaurants until now is Jamie's Italian is now A la Carte restaurant. We did not eat at Jamie's Italian, but based on individual prices for the dishes it's likely more expensive to eat in the restaurant now.
We were eating at Chops Grille, Chic and Silk. Nice meals and good service.No queuing and we got a table for two.
The concept of Windjammer Marketplace is the same all over the Royal Caribbean fleet. We used Windjammer for breakfast and Lunch.
Wash your hands
In windjammer they have introduced a new routine of washing hands with soap and water instead of the usual dispensers with alcohol disinfection. It gave a small queue at the wash basins at peak times.
We Will Rock You is a great Show. Fantastic singing.
Spectra's Cabaret is an electric multi-dimensional cabaret with a blend of live performance and cinematography together with music, sound and light. Impressive graphics on Robo and Vistarama screens, but the music was not quite my taste and difficult to follow the story line. However a impressive show.
Royal Evening and "Dress Your Best":
From 7:30 pm to 8:30 pm there were Royal reception with a glass of champagne and a short speech by Captain Claus Andersen. The dress code was "Dress Your Best"
I have not the proper definition of "Dress Your Best" but I it is an invitation to attend the 'Royal Evening' at the Royal Esplanade in the 'best dress', albeit not formal because most restaurants is smart casual except Grande.
We did use Vintage and Schooner bars. No difference from equivalent bars at other ships
Shops are very similar to Quantum. Now there is Bobbi Brown & Tom Ford with mainly perfumes instead of Kiehl´s at Quantum. Also Armani Jeans with clothing, accessories and purses instead of Michael Kors.
The only internet challenge was to get the account created and we had to see customer service to get the problem solved. Professional support and then Internet worked fine.
At this cruise we could choose between 3 packets:
Super Cruise Special is for the entire cruise at $20 per day for two devices ($140 for a 7 nt cruise).
Cruise Special is for the entire cruise at $15 per day for one device ($105 for a 7 nt cruise).
Daily Plan $30 for 24 continuous hours.
We arrived into Southampton at 6am. Gangway opened at 7:15 am and the disembarkation process went very smoothly. We did have a coach to Heathrow at 9:45 am and left the ship at 9:00am. No queues and it took less than 15 minutes to get off the ship.
The cabin #8282 is a category D8 Superior Ocean View Stateroom w/ Balcony, and similar to Quantum cabins. The cabin is spacious and the bed is nearest the bathroom, while the sofa nearest the balcony.
There are two spacious closets - one just for hangers. Unfortunately, there are two hanging rails and the bottom is firm and rather short distance between the two rails. The second cabinet is with drawers and long clothes, but limited space. Also includes safety box. In addition, there are two spacious closets over the beds and four drawers in the closet with mini bar.
There is a small work table that can be moved and used as a table in connection with sofa.
Bathroom is also nicely spacious.
Balcony on the nice room for two chairs and a small table.
Over work table, two US power outlets and one European (None UK style). There are also a US style plug by the bed. There are two USB sockets to charge mobile phones and tablets.