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This is our second time on Anthem prior to our first visit just after its maiden voyage in April. We returned some 2 weeks ago from the new P&O Britannia and all I can say is thank god for Royal Caribbean! It was great to be back on Anthem of the Seas again especially this time we were given a FREE soft and alcohol drinks package and £150 onboard spending credit. You can't fault it! Looking at the negative reviews on here I can't help but feel this is way too harsh for such a fantastic ship offering first class entertainment, activities, food and the ship's overall features and worlds first's such as the North Star. People who rate this cruise as 2 stars seriously need to go on Britannia and then they will have real cause for moaning! The second visit on Anthem was equally as impressive despite a few issues we encountered this time of which I will outline shortly. However despite these issues, overall we were very pleased with returning to Anthem and we have booked to return on next year's Ovation of the seas which is the third Quantum class ship to be launched by Royal. We are also looking to book on the new soon to be launched Harmony of the Seas. Embarkation was flawless thanks to Royal's online checkin and guys hanging around with iPads on arrival. Royal immediately has the edge even before you get onboard! Entertainment - Impressive again! We previously saw the fantastic 'We Will Rock You' show in April and loved it. The best entertainment I have seen on a cruise ship which is not surprising as this was the west end cast and production rather than Butlins entertainment we experienced on Britannia. This time we decided to see Spectre's Cabaret and this show was equally as impressive!! The Two270 venue is simply amazing with its projected 270 degree display, animated robotic large screen display's and the whole choreography was simply flawless from beginning to end. Some of the best acrobatics and dancing I have seen! There was also plenty to do throughout the day and adults and kids were making great use of iFly and Flow Rider. This was certainly a ship packed full of entertainment and fun for all ages!! the mood on board was great and everyone was having a great time :-) Ship's Features - The North Star was also something we were unable to do on our first visit to Anthem and despite waiting for over an hour in the queue this time the whole experience on ascending high above the ship was very impressive and again fun!! It would be nice if Royal introduced a booking system for the North Star and I am bemused why this does now show on the RoyalIQ booking app. Other features of the ship were equally impressive. We loved the overall look and feel in general. This ship is made of high quality materials and very careful thought has been given to its interiors. This is a very smart ship indeed! We also loved the ships FREE solarium at the front of the ship which was also quite impressive. What a fantastic environment to chill out in with plenty of pools and hot tubs to use. The solarium bar this time was much more efficient with a good selection of drinks on offer. Other features which were nice to see were the robotic bar; unlimited ultra fast high speed internet for a daily charge; RFID wrist bands instead of having to dig out your sea pass card; the list goes on!! P&O you seriously need to get a grip here and take lessons from Royal on how to WOW your passengers! Food and Dining - Overall the quality of the food was excellent both in the WindJammer cafe and in the two dining restaurants we opted to select - Chic and the American Icon Restaurant. Our reserved timings we quite early on around 6pm to 6:30pm and there was ample availability and room in the restaurants at these times and we just simply walked in. I appreciate some passengers were complaining on having to wait despite them pre-booking and this is something that Royal will seriously need to investigate. Service was also excellent although a little slow at times however we were very pleased with the overall dining experience. Negatives and what needs improving: No cruise experience is perfect and we felt on this occasion we noticed some significant areas are needed for improvement. 1. Breakfast choices and availability of seating - The windjammer cafe for breakfast in peak hours between 9am to 10:15am was simply too chaotic and a nightmare. Completely rammed full of people and hardly any free seating at all. This problem can easily be rectified by extending the opening hours of the main restaurants to 10am as these closed at 9am! Now I can understand on P&O when everyone goes to bed by 9am due to sheer boredom then you are more likely to be up early. However on a Royal ship where people are awake past midnight in the early hours then it is reasonable to assume that people don't want to rush for breakfast by 8am! Simple solution - open the American Icon Grill restaurant later to 10am or even 11am!! 2. The solarium - This needs to be adult only exclusive as often we saw young children especially under the age of 16 using these facilities and sitting in the hot tubs with drinks! When this was questioned on Guest Services I was told these facilities were adult only but it was up to the parents to enforce this policy! Ive never heard of such a pass the buck policy in the past! On Celebrity cruises the adult only solarium is enforced by a pool butler who also checks to see if loungers have been reserved and if so then their contents are removed! So seeing that Celebrity and Royal are the same company then why isn't the same policy enforced on Anthem? This does not make sense! 3. Our cabin - You might be wondering why the rating was very poor? Well you can't fault the cabin's appearance, plush layout and interior; shower was brilliant; TV; cabin steward; cleanliness etc etc However the biggest problem we encountered on this visit to Anthem was its location. DO NOT book on Deck 13 AFT! Our cabin was 13308 and this was located directly one deck beneath the Windjammer cafe and possibly under the kitchen/galley. Other cabins near to us also reported the same problem. We have never ever experienced such a horrendous banging metal noise in all the cruises we have been on. This noise appeared to be amplified through the ships ventilation system funelled into our cablin like a grammar phone!. The noise was soo bad at one point this badly affected our sleep and I had to visit guest services at 4am! The following night and another visit to guest services and we were told that although the windjammer was closed for guests at this time in the night staff were busy preparing food for the next day and nothing could be done due to operational reasons! The noise was definitely crew related - not a problem with the ship itself. 4. Restaurant availability - Prior to boarding Anthem it is highly recommended that you select a time/day you want to dine in a particular restaurant. We tried two weeks prior to our sail date and found very limited availability hence why we had to book certain restaurants and an early booking time. Royal states that 'Dynamic Dining offers freedom and flexibility' Well we found the complete opposite. How can this form of dining offer freedom and flexibility when you can't book a restaurant of your choosing and the time you actually want because fellow passengers have already made their reservations prior to the sail date. My view is that Royal needs to ditch this Dynamic Dining in favour of traditional dining mixed in with the option of guests choosing freedom dining if they wish. Overall closing comments: We were soo glad to be back on Anthem despite the problems we experienced and such a breath of fresh air compared to the stagnant P&O form of cruising. I try to explain to people who are first time cruisers or those who are mostly stuck in the mentality on going with P&O that the difference for us when going with Royal is that you leave the cruise feeling 20 years younger, whilst compare this to P&O where you actually feel more than 20 years older!! Another well enjoyed trip with Royal! We were glad to return to Anthem of the Seas and look forward to future sailings with Royal. We contacted Royal head office to outline our negative points above and we were given compensation as a way of an apology. Thanks Royal! Much appreciated!!

Great to Be Back on Anthem!

Anthem of the Seas Cruise Review by j74656

1 person found this helpful
Trip Details
This is our second time on Anthem prior to our first visit just after its maiden voyage in April.

We returned some 2 weeks ago from the new P&O Britannia and all I can say is thank god for Royal Caribbean! It was great to be back on Anthem of the Seas again especially this time we were given a FREE soft and alcohol drinks package and £150 onboard spending credit. You can't fault it!

Looking at the negative reviews on here I can't help but feel this is way too harsh for such a fantastic ship offering first class entertainment, activities, food and the ship's overall features and worlds first's such as the North Star. People who rate this cruise as 2 stars seriously need to go on Britannia and then they will have real cause for moaning!

The second visit on Anthem was equally as impressive despite a few issues we encountered this time of which I will outline shortly. However despite these issues, overall we were very pleased with returning to Anthem and we have booked to return on next year's Ovation of the seas which is the third Quantum class ship to be launched by Royal. We are also looking to book on the new soon to be launched Harmony of the Seas.

Embarkation was flawless thanks to Royal's online checkin and guys hanging around with iPads on arrival. Royal immediately has the edge even before you get onboard!

Entertainment - Impressive again! We previously saw the fantastic 'We Will Rock You' show in April and loved it. The best entertainment I have seen on a cruise ship which is not surprising as this was the west end cast and production rather than Butlins entertainment we experienced on Britannia. This time we decided to see Spectre's Cabaret and this show was equally as impressive!! The Two270 venue is simply amazing with its projected 270 degree display, animated robotic large screen display's and the whole choreography was simply flawless from beginning to end. Some of the best acrobatics and dancing I have seen! There was also plenty to do throughout the day and adults and kids were making great use of iFly and Flow Rider. This was certainly a ship packed full of entertainment and fun for all ages!! the mood on board was great and everyone was having a great time :-)

Ship's Features - The North Star was also something we were unable to do on our first visit to Anthem and despite waiting for over an hour in the queue this time the whole experience on ascending high above the ship was very impressive and again fun!! It would be nice if Royal introduced a booking system for the North Star and I am bemused why this does now show on the RoyalIQ booking app. Other features of the ship were equally impressive. We loved the overall look and feel in general. This ship is made of high quality materials and very careful thought has been given to its interiors. This is a very smart ship indeed! We also loved the ships FREE solarium at the front of the ship which was also quite impressive. What a fantastic environment to chill out in with plenty of pools and hot tubs to use. The solarium bar this time was much more efficient with a good selection of drinks on offer. Other features which were nice to see were the robotic bar; unlimited ultra fast high speed internet for a daily charge; RFID wrist bands instead of having to dig out your sea pass card; the list goes on!! P&O you seriously need to get a grip here and take lessons from Royal on how to WOW your passengers!

Food and Dining - Overall the quality of the food was excellent both in the WindJammer cafe and in the two dining restaurants we opted to select - Chic and the American Icon Restaurant. Our reserved timings we quite early on around 6pm to 6:30pm and there was ample availability and room in the restaurants at these times and we just simply walked in. I appreciate some passengers were complaining on having to wait despite them pre-booking and this is something that Royal will seriously need to investigate. Service was also excellent although a little slow at times however we were very pleased with the overall dining experience.

Negatives and what needs improving:

No cruise experience is perfect and we felt on this occasion we noticed some significant areas are needed for improvement.

1. Breakfast choices and availability of seating - The windjammer cafe for breakfast in peak hours between 9am to 10:15am was simply too chaotic and a nightmare. Completely rammed full of people and hardly any free seating at all. This problem can easily be rectified by extending the opening hours of the main restaurants to 10am as these closed at 9am! Now I can understand on P&O when everyone goes to bed by 9am due to sheer boredom then you are more likely to be up early. However on a Royal ship where people are awake past midnight in the early hours then it is reasonable to assume that people don't want to rush for breakfast by 8am! Simple solution - open the American Icon Grill restaurant later to 10am or even 11am!!

2. The solarium - This needs to be adult only exclusive as often we saw young children especially under the age of 16 using these facilities and sitting in the hot tubs with drinks! When this was questioned on Guest Services I was told these facilities were adult only but it was up to the parents to enforce this policy! Ive never heard of such a pass the buck policy in the past! On Celebrity cruises the adult only solarium is enforced by a pool butler who also checks to see if loungers have been reserved and if so then their contents are removed! So seeing that Celebrity and Royal are the same company then why isn't the same policy enforced on Anthem? This does not make sense!

3. Our cabin - You might be wondering why the rating was very poor? Well you can't fault the cabin's appearance, plush layout and interior; shower was brilliant; TV; cabin steward; cleanliness etc etc However the biggest problem we encountered on this visit to Anthem was its location. DO NOT book on Deck 13 AFT! Our cabin was 13308 and this was located directly one deck beneath the Windjammer cafe and possibly under the kitchen/galley. Other cabins near to us also reported the same problem. We have never ever experienced such a horrendous banging metal noise in all the cruises we have been on. This noise appeared to be amplified through the ships ventilation system funelled into our cablin like a grammar phone!. The noise was soo bad at one point this badly affected our sleep and I had to visit guest services at 4am! The following night and another visit to guest services and we were told that although the windjammer was closed for guests at this time in the night staff were busy preparing food for the next day and nothing could be done due to operational reasons! The noise was definitely crew related - not a problem with the ship itself.

4. Restaurant availability - Prior to boarding Anthem it is highly recommended that you select a time/day you want to dine in a particular restaurant. We tried two weeks prior to our sail date and found very limited availability hence why we had to book certain restaurants and an early booking time. Royal states that 'Dynamic Dining offers freedom and flexibility' Well we found the complete opposite. How can this form of dining offer freedom and flexibility when you can't book a restaurant of your choosing and the time you actually want because fellow passengers have already made their reservations prior to the sail date. My view is that Royal needs to ditch this Dynamic Dining in favour of traditional dining mixed in with the option of guests choosing freedom dining if they wish.

Overall closing comments:

We were soo glad to be back on Anthem despite the problems we experienced and such a breath of fresh air compared to the stagnant P&O form of cruising. I try to explain to people who are first time cruisers or those who are mostly stuck in the mentality on going with P&O that the difference for us when going with Royal is that you leave the cruise feeling 20 years younger, whilst compare this to P&O where you actually feel more than 20 years older!!

Another well enjoyed trip with Royal! We were glad to return to Anthem of the Seas and look forward to future sailings with Royal. We contacted Royal head office to outline our negative points above and we were given compensation as a way of an apology. Thanks Royal! Much appreciated!!
j74656’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Cabin 13308
Very smart and plush throughout. Ample wardrobe and storage space.
Nice size balcony. Cabin is very clean and well maintained by the cabin steward. Bathroom is a good size and the walk in shower is equally a nice size.

On the downside!!

Avoid this cabin! the noise made it impossible to sleep at night due to it being located directly beneath the windjammer's kitchen where crews worked throughout the night. We were told to use ear plugs! it was that bad!

AVOID AVOID AVOID this cabin for its location!!
  Anthem of the Seas Deck Plans