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I have been on several RC cruises, and this has been the first time I left feeling disappointed. Dining Based on my experience, I would say avoid dynamic dining. We warily decided to try it on this cruise. Within two hours of boarding we attempted to book our dining choices using the "iPad" terminals. We were extremely disappointed to find that the only dining time available on all three nights was 9:45pm, and that there was no availability at all for our first choice restaurant (The Grand) on any night. Being a Platinum Crown & Anchor member, I expressed my disappointment to the onboard C&A "Ambassador". Their response was to "note" my complaint, and tell me that they are not able to assist with restaurant queries. As an example of the service on day 1, having no choice but to dine late, we arrived at our restaurant as scheduled at 9:45pm. After another 15 minute wait, we were led to a table. Our waiter gave us a menu and then did not return for some time. I complained to a manager that we had been waiting almost half an hour since sitting down without anyone arriving to take our drink orders. Finally, our order was taken, but I was very surprised when the waiter came back five minutes later to tell us that the restaurant had run out of Diet Coke - a first for me. More generally, the dining experience does not rival the older ships (especially Independence of the Seas) at all. Having multiple main dining rooms on one ship means you lose the sense of scale and uniqueness found in the "signature" dining room on older ships. Little things like the waiter offering a choice of breads have also been removed, lowering the feeling of quality. Instead, we received a basked of plain bread at each meal. The Windjammer also seemed much busier than on older ships. Almost every time we visited, we needed to circle the restaurant for up to half an hour before finding a table. We then had to queue for significant lengths of time at the most popular food stations, and often when getting to the front found that popular options were empty and needed replenishment from the kitchens. Over and over on every day, the manager would keep announcing that as the Windjammer was so busy, customers should leave as soon as they finished their food to make room for others. This just added to the level of stress when dining. Inclusive room service was also a nice feature on earlier cruises - on this ship, extra payment is required for the majority of options. Onboard activities Again we were disappointed in comparison to previous cruises, due to the perceived number of guests relative to the availability of activities. An example - we tried to attend the pub quiz but it was so full we had to leave. Learning from that experience, we arrived half an hour early for the music quiz on another day. Again, no seats were available, so we were forced (along with other guests) to sit on the floor to participate. The "observation pod" was a good experience, but again required us to queue for a long time to experience it. Staff service The staff seemed to be much busier than on earlier cruises, and this was reflected in the service. As an example, on our last RC cruise our waiter would always have brief conversations with us in the evening, and on a couple of occasions when we struggled to decide on a menu choice, surprised us by bringing the alternative option on a small plate as well our first choice. On this cruise, the waiters seemed extremely busy, and only concerned with taking our order as quickly as possible. Another example - on the final night, I needed to visit guest services as an incorrect charge had been added to my bill. I wanted to query this when I got home, but the onboard system states that all queries must be raised before we left the ship. There was a very long queue at guest services (taking almost an hour for me to be served), and only one member of staff working. Other customers were getting extremely angry with the wait and approaching the desk - the only response by the staff member was to tell them they needed to get back in line or come back tomorrow as no other staff were available. Given the early departure, this is impossible for many customers, and I would have expected RC to anticipate multiple account queries on the final night.

Disappointed experienced Royal Caribbean cruiser

Anthem of the Seas Cruise Review by Yorkshire1987

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: August 2015
  • Destination: Europe
I have been on several RC cruises, and this has been the first time I left feeling disappointed.

Dining

Based on my experience, I would say avoid dynamic dining. We warily decided to try it on this cruise. Within two hours of boarding we attempted to book our dining choices using the "iPad" terminals. We were extremely disappointed to find that the only dining time available on all three nights was 9:45pm, and that there was no availability at all for our first choice restaurant (The Grand) on any night. Being a Platinum Crown & Anchor member, I expressed my disappointment to the onboard C&A "Ambassador". Their response was to "note" my complaint, and tell me that they are not able to assist with restaurant queries.

As an example of the service on day 1, having no choice but to dine late, we arrived at our restaurant as scheduled at 9:45pm. After another 15 minute wait, we were led to a table. Our waiter gave us a menu and then did not return for some time. I complained to a manager that we had been waiting almost half an hour since sitting down without anyone arriving to take our drink orders. Finally, our order was taken, but I was very surprised when the waiter came back five minutes later to tell us that the restaurant had run out of Diet Coke - a first for me.

More generally, the dining experience does not rival the older ships (especially Independence of the Seas) at all. Having multiple main dining rooms on one ship means you lose the sense of scale and uniqueness found in the "signature" dining room on older ships. Little things like the waiter offering a choice of breads have also been removed, lowering the feeling of quality. Instead, we received a basked of plain bread at each meal. The Windjammer also seemed much busier than on older ships. Almost every time we visited, we needed to circle the restaurant for up to half an hour before finding a table. We then had to queue for significant lengths of time at the most popular food stations, and often when getting to the front found that popular options were empty and needed replenishment from the kitchens. Over and over on every day, the manager would keep announcing that as the Windjammer was so busy, customers should leave as soon as they finished their food to make room for others. This just added to the level of stress when dining. Inclusive room service was also a nice feature on earlier cruises - on this ship, extra payment is required for the majority of options.

Onboard activities

Again we were disappointed in comparison to previous cruises, due to the perceived number of guests relative to the availability of activities. An example - we tried to attend the pub quiz but it was so full we had to leave. Learning from that experience, we arrived half an hour early for the music quiz on another day. Again, no seats were available, so we were forced (along with other guests) to sit on the floor to participate. The "observation pod" was a good experience, but again required us to queue for a long time to experience it.

Staff service

The staff seemed to be much busier than on earlier cruises, and this was reflected in the service. As an example, on our last RC cruise our waiter would always have brief conversations with us in the evening, and on a couple of occasions when we struggled to decide on a menu choice, surprised us by bringing the alternative option on a small plate as well our first choice. On this cruise, the waiters seemed extremely busy, and only concerned with taking our order as quickly as possible. Another example - on the final night, I needed to visit guest services as an incorrect charge had been added to my bill. I wanted to query this when I got home, but the onboard system states that all queries must be raised before we left the ship. There was a very long queue at guest services (taking almost an hour for me to be served), and only one member of staff working. Other customers were getting extremely angry with the wait and approaching the desk - the only response by the staff member was to tell them they needed to get back in line or come back tomorrow as no other staff were available. Given the early departure, this is impossible for many customers, and I would have expected RC to anticipate multiple account queries on the final night.
Yorkshire1987’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Cabin
The state rooms are an improvement on earlier ships, but this is mainly due to the fact that they are newer, rather than specific extra features. The balcony was a good size.
  Anthem of the Seas Deck Plans

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews