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We booked this cruise in Feb 2014 so had a long time to wait for the Anthem experience but we loved it. We had previously done 2 Royal Caribbean cruises from Barcelona on Serenade of the Seas and enjoyed them but we were excited about trying a brand new ship with innovative features. We were not disappointed. I had done lots of research and read reviews of the first cruises on the Anthem so I would be prepared for everything so I was dismayed to discover just before we left home that somehow we had 2 copies of my husband's Set Sail pass but not one for me! However, there was no problem checking-in at Southampton as mine was printed out by very friendly, helpful staff. We arrived before 10.00, the whole embarkation process was very simple and we were soon on the ship enjoying some champagne. The Anthem is a great ship with lots to explore. We went to look at Seaplex soon after boarding and were pleased to see the Bumper Cars were already in action! Lots of fun but as indicated by the name, the idea is to bump into other cars, not dodge them! We drove the Bumper cars most days and were pleased to see there were lots of older people entering into the spirit of bumping! We liked Dynamic Dining. We'd done My Time Dining on previous cruises and it wasn't a problem to me to book restaurants in advance. We usually chose to eat between 6.45 -7.30 and never had to wait for a table even if we turned up early. We alternated American Icon, Chic and Silk, giving The Grand a miss because we don't like all that dressing up. We enjoyed all the meals and the service was generally very good. Meals never took the 2 hours you're advised to allow. We spoke to some people who didn't fancy Silk but we thought the staff there were the most attentive and we had good meals. One evening my husband ordered lamb curry. The meat was still on the bone but it was so tender it came off easily with no gristle or fat. At the end of the meal there was only a clean bone left on the plate - the Head waiter was so impressed, he took it to show the chef, who appreciated the compliment to his food. As for entertainment, there seemed to be things to cater for all tastes. We Will Rock You was brilliant and in a different way, so were The Gift and Spectra's Cabaret. I know some people have said they didn't 'get them' but rather than dwelling on the confusing story lines, they should be admired for their high production values, great singers and energetic dancers. We aren't sun worshippers so didn't get frustrated by the scramble for sunbeds around the pool. There were plenty of places around upper decks or inside to sit reading - 270 was a great lounge with drinks and snacks available. The robotic screens are great, as are the fantastic changing backdrops used in the evenings. I know the shore excursions are often over-priced but we like the convenience and booked them in advance to stagger the holiday costs. We bought the 5 excursion package (cheaper than buying individually) of scenic/panoramic tours of Lanzarote, Gran Canaria, Tenerife, Madeira and Vigo. We thought they all gave us good insight into the history and culture of the places as well as interesting stops. Of course, to appreciate the spectacular views, the coach takes some narrow twisting roads up steep hills so be prepared if you're not keen on sheer drops! We went on the North Star twice while in ports Lisbon and La Coruna. We queued for around 30 minutes, which I don't think is bad considering the pod only holds 14 people at a time. On sea days the wait can be longer so we avoided them. There are notices saying maximum weight of an individual passenger mustn't exceed 300lbs. There are scales and certain large people were being asked to step onto them, which seemed rather embarrassing, but we noticed on our second visit, everyone was being told to step onto the scales regardless of their size. Not a problem as the attendant hardly glances at the scales but it feels less discriminatory. There's lots more I could say about the ship and how much we enjoyed it, but this is probably enough to give you an impression. People have raved about the Independence Of the Seas so we have booked that ship for 2016 but I sincerely hope the Anthem returns to the UK in 2017 - we'll definitely be on her again!

Anthem exceeded expectations.

Anthem of the Seas Cruise Review by Zabba5

Trip Details
We booked this cruise in Feb 2014 so had a long time to wait for the Anthem experience but we loved it. We had previously done 2 Royal Caribbean cruises from Barcelona on Serenade of the Seas and enjoyed them but we were excited about trying a brand new ship with innovative features. We were not disappointed.

I had done lots of research and read reviews of the first cruises on the Anthem so I would be prepared for everything so I was dismayed to discover just before we left home that somehow we had 2 copies of my husband's Set Sail pass but not one for me! However, there was no problem checking-in at Southampton as mine was printed out by very friendly, helpful staff. We arrived before 10.00, the whole embarkation process was very simple and we were soon on the ship enjoying some champagne.

The Anthem is a great ship with lots to explore. We went to look at Seaplex soon after boarding and were pleased to see the Bumper Cars were already in action! Lots of fun but as indicated by the name, the idea is to bump into other cars, not dodge them! We drove the Bumper cars most days and were pleased to see there were lots of older people entering into the spirit of bumping!

We liked Dynamic Dining. We'd done My Time Dining on previous cruises and it wasn't a problem to me to book restaurants in advance. We usually chose to eat between 6.45 -7.30 and never had to wait for a table even if we turned up early. We alternated American Icon, Chic and Silk, giving The Grand a miss because we don't like all that dressing up. We enjoyed all the meals and the service was generally very good. Meals never took the 2 hours you're advised to allow. We spoke to some people who didn't fancy Silk but we thought the staff there were the most attentive and we had good meals. One evening my husband ordered lamb curry. The meat was still on the bone but it was so tender it came off easily with no gristle or fat. At the end of the meal there was only a clean bone left on the plate - the Head waiter was so impressed, he took it to show the chef, who appreciated the compliment to his food.

As for entertainment, there seemed to be things to cater for all tastes. We Will Rock You was brilliant and in a different way, so were The Gift and Spectra's Cabaret. I know some people have said they didn't 'get them' but rather than dwelling on the confusing story lines, they should be admired for their high production values, great singers and energetic dancers.

We aren't sun worshippers so didn't get frustrated by the scramble for sunbeds around the pool. There were plenty of places around upper decks or inside to sit reading - 270 was a great lounge with drinks and snacks available. The robotic screens are great, as are the fantastic changing backdrops used in the evenings.

I know the shore excursions are often over-priced but we like the convenience and booked them in advance to stagger the holiday costs. We bought the 5 excursion package (cheaper than buying individually) of scenic/panoramic tours of Lanzarote, Gran Canaria, Tenerife, Madeira and Vigo. We thought they all gave us good insight into the history and culture of the places as well as interesting stops. Of course, to appreciate the spectacular views, the coach takes some narrow twisting roads up steep hills so be prepared if you're not keen on sheer drops!

We went on the North Star twice while in ports Lisbon and La Coruna. We queued for around 30 minutes, which I don't think is bad considering the pod only holds 14 people at a time. On sea days the wait can be longer so we avoided them. There are notices saying maximum weight of an individual passenger mustn't exceed 300lbs. There are scales and certain large people were being asked to step onto them, which seemed rather embarrassing, but we noticed on our second visit, everyone was being told to step onto the scales regardless of their size. Not a problem as the attendant hardly glances at the scales but it feels less discriminatory.

There's lots more I could say about the ship and how much we enjoyed it, but this is probably enough to give you an impression. People have raved about the Independence Of the Seas so we have booked that ship for 2016 but I sincerely hope the Anthem returns to the UK in 2017 - we'll definitely be on her again!
Zabba5’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Cabin 8252
Although the cabin appeared long and narrow, it was well designed with plenty of storage. The bed was very comfortable and we slept very well. There was no noise coming from the corridor or lift area which was nearby. The bathroom was modern with a good shower. The balcony looked down onto the top of the lifeboats which I preferred rather than seeing a sheer drop into the sea.
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Port & Shore Excursion Reviews