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This is the fourth cruise with Royal Caribbean, the last was about 10 years ago so the ships have changed. I'm not a fan of dynamic dining though call me old. Booked the cruise in mid-November, went with a friend, Mother and Adult Daughter. I wanted a Balcony so we gambled with a Guarantee Balcony and would let RC pick it. We had a problem splitting the cabin on two credit cards online and had to call Customer Service and I'm real glad we did. We reached a very nice agent who made our reservation, he advised us that the cabin would probably be assigned in 24 / 48 hours. Once it was assigned he would see what class we were given and see if there was a better cabin he could move us into. We ended up mid ship on the 10th deck, not to bad and saved a few bucks by gambling a little. The only issue was the 2nd cabin was on the 9th deck aft and I didn't realize until I walked it how far Aft it was. Since we only live about an hour from Cape Liberty we elected to drive and park at the port. We used Premier Parking which is about 5 min from the ship we could not use the App that was mentioned on the board because their quota was full. The coast ended up being 11.00 / day which still beats a limo service. As others have said the parking lot does not stand out as long term parking, you only see a little sign on the street that says "Cruise Parking" and if you look close enough you see Premiere Parking at the bottom. Since we had 2 bags per person not including backpacks we elected to drop my Mother and Daughter and the Luggage at the ship before we parked the car. That was the best decision we made that day since there was a delay of about 30 min waiting for a van to take us to the ship. They had 3 vans running that carried 10 people plus luggage but the traffic getting to the ship was backed up. If a bus or van is bringing large numbers of passengers, they should have a separate lane / entrance for them to get in and out. Boarding for my daughter and mother went very smooth they said, not so smooth for us we had an issue with a boarding pass and had to wait for an agent. They were having Wi-Fi issues and their tablets were just starting to come back online. We waited for about 45 min to board but we were not in any hurry. They had a large number of agents processing everyone so they moved large groups quickly. First impression of the Ship massive and beautiful, also very clean. I understand it's less than a year old, however it looked like it went is service yesterday. Off to the state room where we dropped our bags and got our room keys / cards again very clean and overall a great week. We met our Stateroom Attendant Alpheus who did a wonderful job with our stateroom and always greeted us with a hello and smile when we saw him. We sailed on Friday night, leaving port was no issue, waking up at about 2am to the ship rising and falling in the ocean, rocking left and right was interesting. We were Mid Ship so I can only image what the people in the Bow were feeling. With the other cabin being in the rear of the ship my Daughter said everything was falling off the table and rolling around the floor. We knew about the potential storm before we left so Dramamine was already in our bags. Had to start taking it Saturday morning, once you stood in a confined hall way more than 5 minutes it had your head swimming and people looking for a garbage can or bag. Royal Caribbean had small bag holders on the rail by each elevator bank / Staircase as well as in your stateroom. They also were providing Dramamine to anyone who needed it I was told at guest services. By 5pm Saturday the storm had passed and things calmed down on the ship. In speaking to a few of the crew they said this was the first storm the ship had seen since being put in service. Once said she came across from Britain on the ship and that was a walk in the park compared to Saturday night. Dining: We actually spent more time in the Wind Jammer for dinner than the restaurants. The food there was ok, there was something for everyone and it wasn't that bad at all. The only complaint, and I also read it here as well, was the Coffee it was horrible. Some days were worse than others but you could barely choke done one cup with Breakfast. Starbucks was a stop on a few mornings but there you were charged for coffee. The restaurants that we did eat at were all very good, our favorite was Silk. The Grand was ok but they had allot of food that I just don't eat. American Icon was very good the short ribs were very good but we liked Silk the best. The Filet with Shrimp was so tender and very well-seasoned also the lamb was the best my Mother has had in a long time.. One comment that I have to make is the Service. My Daughter has a food allergy and she advised the server when we sat down each night. The server told her she would have the Head Waiter come over and speak to her. I found it odd but a few minutes later the Head Waiter did come over, explained to my daughter she would be taking her order and personally speaking to the Chef. This happened every night we went to one of the restaurants and ironically it ended up being the same Head Waiter in most of them since they rotate and we must have hit the same schedule. The biggest Pet Peeve my daughter has is playing 50 questions with restaurant staff (how they make the food, Is there butter in it, explain that lactose intolerance is much different than a dairy allergy etc). She didn't have to say anything other than having a dairy allergy and that was it. Having the same Head Waiter most of the nights made it so much better. She even found deserts that she cannot find at home that were dairy free and very good. The Head Waiter went out of her way to get her those deserts each night. Towards the end of the cruise she would ask where we were planning to eat the following night, bought her the menu and took her order. That way if she was not around the Staff could look up her room number and pull up the order. Having this treatment blew our family away since we have never experienced it before. I will say that I am not a fan of the new Dining plans on Anthem, call me old fashioned but I liked having the same staff in the same place each night. You got to know them and enjoy the trip that much more. I understand you could have "traditional Dining" on Anthem however rotating between 4 restaurants is distracting and the staff has to get re-accumulated each night. Entertainment well the cruise director Abe was a blast, watching his morning and nightly shows on TV was great and his staff were all fun to be around. We went to a few of the shows and they were OK, not knocking on the singers / dancers by any means but I had a hard time understanding what they were doing. We Will Rock you and the Gift were very hard to follow. The songs were good but to be honest I almost walked out of the Gift it wasn't doing it for me. You have to make it to 270 when they do their shows, the technology and layout of the room makes for a very interesting show. I wish they had done more shows up there. Live Entertainment by far the best of the week was the DSB band, if you were not looking and only listening you would have thought Journey was on stage. Overall I have nothing bad to say about any of the Entertainers that were throughout the ship. Piano players in the Schooner lounge were all exceptional. Activities you would be hard pressed not to find something to do on this ship, they were all over the place and for every age group. Hats off to the staff. I did have a massage using one of the Spa specials, it was very nice except it was the day we hit the storm going down. I would think that the ship would have made cabinets with drawers that stayed closed in rough weather. All you heard for the entire massage was the drawers open, the drawers close, if the masseuse wasn't using the rolling chair in the room that would roll from one side of the room to the other. Kind of took the relaxing factor out with all the noise. Downside: We made reservations for North Star and I-Fly but because of the rough seas they were not in service when we reserved the times. I tried to book I-Fly at a later day on the cruise and it blocked me saying I already had a reservation. I just got fed up at that point and didn't pursue it. Wi-Fi worked well on most of the ship, we purchased a 2 connection package it was buy one for regular price and get the 2nd for 50% off. It worked out to be about 15 bucks a day. The App Royal IQ that can be downloaded to your phone worked well but it did take a long time to download the daily schedule etc. One additional feature it has is "text" and "voice" the problem is it's $14.95 per person to activate the feature. So if you have a family of 4 and you want to use the texting feature or voice it would cost you an additional 60 bucks. Why not just give it for free for the price of what you’re paying for the cruise? I did purchase it only to have a phone near me in case my Mother or Daughter needed to reach me. A few days she wasn’t feeling to well so I could call her using my phone rather than hunt down a cruise phone. But I did feel like I was being nickel and dimed every time I turned around to be honest. My Mother got a beer / wine package and at the pool a glass of wine was covered under her card, when she went to dinner the same wine now was 2 bucks more and she was only covered up to $7.00 on her card so they wanted to charge her the 2 additional dollars. Speaking of Drink plans: I purchased the Premiere package which I made full use of, the drinks on average were $11.00 / $16.00 each you also get a soda thermal cup with the package and also water was included so it wasn't only alcohol that you needed to drink to cover the daily cost. If you elect to try without it for a few days to see what you will be drinking you can always add it for the remaining days. Shore Excursions: We only did one RC excursion; the others we did on our own. Yes, there is the issue of getting back to the ship on time if you’re not on once of their excursions they would leave. In San Juan we met up with a rep on the pier that took us and about 15 others in a small bus on a tour of San Juan cost 1/2 the price of RC. The tour guide was wonderful ended up at one of the forts in San Juan. Some of those on the bus were elderly and could not walk up the steep hills to the castle so he gave us a time to be back and he contiued around showing them other areas of San Juan. My Mother stayed on the bus and said it was very nice. Saint Thomas was just a shopping day for us and then we took the Sky Ride up the mountain for a few cocktails and pictures. Saint Martin we booked the excursion through RC, went to beach and had a wonderful day. Reserved beach chair, all the Rum Punch / or Plain you could drink. They also had a bar / restaurant selling food which was not included. Kind of pricey however the food was very good. Saint Kitts we went to the tour area / taxi stand and went to the beach, ironically it was the same beach as the RC excursion. We left an hour before the excursion so we had an additional hour in the sun. We figured it out and the 4 of us would have paid about $160 for the excursion but paying for the taxi, chair rental and umbrella rental individually we saved 1/2. Typically, I try to stay with a cruise sanctioned excursion especially if it's more than 4 hours since a delay (traffic, breakdown, etc.) could potentially delay you. If you’re on their excursion they will hold the ship, if you’re on your own better have a credit card to pay for the air fare to get to the next stop because they will leave. Disembarkation, well what can you say about that other than controlled chaos. You have the option of keeping your luggage and leaving at 6:30am if don't want to use this option and have them take the luggage off then tags are provided based on time you want to leave. They then tell you to put the luggage outside your stateroom door by 10pm the night before. That's fine but when I opened my cabin door at 7am to get breakfast I hit a suitcase. I looked down the hall and they were still collecting bags well after 8am. They do tell you not to get off before your schedule time because your bag will not be there, the way they were collecting them their right. So the double whammy for the cruise was the Blizzard that hit the NE. We were scheduled back in Cape Liberty on Monday. We left St. Kitts Friday night and did a very slow sail back towards San Juan. On Saturday after a few calls with the Miami Office the Captain announced they were extending the cruise another day due to the storm. If we had sailed right up through it at a slower speed we still would not have made it home until Tuesday. So they sailed close to the coast and then came up behind the storm. Another slightly rough day at sea (not as bad as the week before) and then a nice trip up. Overall the trip was a blast even with the few days of horrible weather and with adding an additional day. Once they announced the delayed arrival Royal Caribbean opened up Internet access and calling to everyone on the ship on Saturday for the duration of the cruise at no cost. For those who paid for the internet package they received a credit for the 3 days. Once thing I noticed as well, I paid for the beverage package based on the 10 nights so they also extended that to 11 at no additional cost. Since I had parked at Premiere parking on a ground lot I was having chest pain thinking about trying to dig out the car when I got back. We were all very surprised to find that not only was the lot relatively cleared but they also cleared off all the cars for us we as well. Good Job Premiere. To all of those negative reviews I read before I got on the ship I am truly glad I take them with a grain of salt. If you do choose to cruise on any ship remember you’re on vacation and the ship isn’t going to leave without you. Don’t let all the little things get under your skin. Make sure you complete everything online prior to boarding and just relax when you get there.

Sailed through 2 North Easters, and had an extra day on the ship.

Anthem of the Seas Cruise Review by bpk003

1 person found this helpful
Trip Details
This is the fourth cruise with Royal Caribbean, the last was about 10 years ago so the ships have changed. I'm not a fan of dynamic dining though call me old.

Booked the cruise in mid-November, went with a friend, Mother and Adult Daughter. I wanted a Balcony so we gambled with a Guarantee Balcony and would let RC pick it. We had a problem splitting the cabin on two credit cards online and had to call Customer Service and I'm real glad we did. We reached a very nice agent who made our reservation, he advised us that the cabin would probably be assigned in 24 / 48 hours. Once it was assigned he would see what class we were given and see if there was a better cabin he could move us into. We ended up mid ship on the 10th deck, not to bad and saved a few bucks by gambling a little. The only issue was the 2nd cabin was on the 9th deck aft and I didn't realize until I walked it how far Aft it was.

Since we only live about an hour from Cape Liberty we elected to drive and park at the port. We used Premier Parking which is about 5 min from the ship we could not use the App that was mentioned on the board because their quota was full. The coast ended up being 11.00 / day which still beats a limo service. As others have said the parking lot does not stand out as long term parking, you only see a little sign on the street that says "Cruise Parking" and if you look close enough you see Premiere Parking at the bottom.

Since we had 2 bags per person not including backpacks we elected to drop my Mother and Daughter and the Luggage at the ship before we parked the car. That was the best decision we made that day since there was a delay of about 30 min waiting for a van to take us to the ship. They had 3 vans running that carried 10 people plus luggage but the traffic getting to the ship was backed up. If a bus or van is bringing large numbers of passengers, they should have a separate lane / entrance for them to get in and out.

Boarding for my daughter and mother went very smooth they said, not so smooth for us we had an issue with a boarding pass and had to wait for an agent. They were having Wi-Fi issues and their tablets were just starting to come back online. We waited for about 45 min to board but we were not in any hurry. They had a large number of agents processing everyone so they moved large groups quickly.

First impression of the Ship massive and beautiful, also very clean. I understand it's less than a year old, however it looked like it went is service yesterday.

Off to the state room where we dropped our bags and got our room keys / cards again very clean and overall a great week. We met our Stateroom Attendant Alpheus who did a wonderful job with our stateroom and always greeted us with a hello and smile when we saw him.

We sailed on Friday night, leaving port was no issue, waking up at about 2am to the ship rising and falling in the ocean, rocking left and right was interesting. We were Mid Ship so I can only image what the people in the Bow were feeling. With the other cabin being in the rear of the ship my Daughter said everything was falling off the table and rolling around the floor. We knew about the potential storm before we left so Dramamine was already in our bags. Had to start taking it Saturday morning, once you stood in a confined hall way more than 5 minutes it had your head swimming and people looking for a garbage can or bag. Royal Caribbean had small bag holders on the rail by each elevator bank / Staircase as well as in your stateroom. They also were providing Dramamine to anyone who needed it I was told at guest services. By 5pm Saturday the storm had passed and things calmed down on the ship. In speaking to a few of the crew they said this was the first storm the ship had seen since being put in service. Once said she came across from Britain on the ship and that was a walk in the park compared to Saturday night.

Dining:

We actually spent more time in the Wind Jammer for dinner than the restaurants. The food there was ok, there was something for everyone and it wasn't that bad at all. The only complaint, and I also read it here as well, was the Coffee it was horrible. Some days were worse than others but you could barely choke done one cup with Breakfast. Starbucks was a stop on a few mornings but there you were charged for coffee.

The restaurants that we did eat at were all very good, our favorite was Silk. The Grand was ok but they had allot of food that I just don't eat. American Icon was very good the short ribs were very good but we liked Silk the best. The Filet with Shrimp was so tender and very well-seasoned also the lamb was the best my Mother has had in a long time..

One comment that I have to make is the Service. My Daughter has a food allergy and she advised the server when we sat down each night. The server told her she would have the Head Waiter come over and speak to her. I found it odd but a few minutes later the Head Waiter did come over, explained to my daughter she would be taking her order and personally speaking to the Chef. This happened every night we went to one of the restaurants and ironically it ended up being the same Head Waiter in most of them since they rotate and we must have hit the same schedule. The biggest Pet Peeve my daughter has is playing 50 questions with restaurant staff (how they make the food, Is there butter in it, explain that lactose intolerance is much different than a dairy allergy etc). She didn't have to say anything other than having a dairy allergy and that was it. Having the same Head Waiter most of the nights made it so much better. She even found deserts that she cannot find at home that were dairy free and very good. The Head Waiter went out of her way to get her those deserts each night. Towards the end of the cruise she would ask where we were planning to eat the following night, bought her the menu and took her order. That way if she was not around the Staff could look up her room number and pull up the order. Having this treatment blew our family away since we have never experienced it before.

I will say that I am not a fan of the new Dining plans on Anthem, call me old fashioned but I liked having the same staff in the same place each night. You got to know them and enjoy the trip that much more. I understand you could have "traditional Dining" on Anthem however rotating between 4 restaurants is distracting and the staff has to get re-accumulated each night.

Entertainment well the cruise director Abe was a blast, watching his morning and nightly shows on TV was great and his staff were all fun to be around. We went to a few of the shows and they were OK, not knocking on the singers / dancers by any means but I had a hard time understanding what they were doing. We Will Rock you and the Gift were very hard to follow. The songs were good but to be honest I almost walked out of the Gift it wasn't doing it for me. You have to make it to 270 when they do their shows, the technology and layout of the room makes for a very interesting show. I wish they had done more shows up there.

Live Entertainment by far the best of the week was the DSB band, if you were not looking and only listening you would have thought Journey was on stage. Overall I have nothing bad to say about any of the Entertainers that were throughout the ship. Piano players in the Schooner lounge were all exceptional.

Activities you would be hard pressed not to find something to do on this ship, they were all over the place and for every age group. Hats off to the staff.

I did have a massage using one of the Spa specials, it was very nice except it was the day we hit the storm going down. I would think that the ship would have made cabinets with drawers that stayed closed in rough weather. All you heard for the entire massage was the drawers open, the drawers close, if the masseuse wasn't using the rolling chair in the room that would roll from one side of the room to the other. Kind of took the relaxing factor out with all the noise.

Downside: We made reservations for North Star and I-Fly but because of the rough seas they were not in service when we reserved the times. I tried to book I-Fly at a later day on the cruise and it blocked me saying I already had a reservation. I just got fed up at that point and didn't pursue it.

Wi-Fi worked well on most of the ship, we purchased a 2 connection package it was buy one for regular price and get the 2nd for 50% off. It worked out to be about 15 bucks a day. The App Royal IQ that can be downloaded to your phone worked well but it did take a long time to download the daily schedule etc. One additional feature it has is "text" and "voice" the problem is it's $14.95 per person to activate the feature. So if you have a family of 4 and you want to use the texting feature or voice it would cost you an additional 60 bucks. Why not just give it for free for the price of what you’re paying for the cruise? I did purchase it only to have a phone near me in case my Mother or Daughter needed to reach me. A few days she wasn’t feeling to well so I could call her using my phone rather than hunt down a cruise phone. But I did feel like I was being nickel and dimed every time I turned around to be honest. My Mother got a beer / wine package and at the pool a glass of wine was covered under her card, when she went to dinner the same wine now was 2 bucks more and she was only covered up to $7.00 on her card so they wanted to charge her the 2 additional dollars.

Speaking of Drink plans: I purchased the Premiere package which I made full use of, the drinks on average were $11.00 / $16.00 each you also get a soda thermal cup with the package and also water was included so it wasn't only alcohol that you needed to drink to cover the daily cost. If you elect to try without it for a few days to see what you will be drinking you can always add it for the remaining days.

Shore Excursions:

We only did one RC excursion; the others we did on our own. Yes, there is the issue of getting back to the ship on time if you’re not on once of their excursions they would leave. In San Juan we met up with a rep on the pier that took us and about 15 others in a small bus on a tour of San Juan cost 1/2 the price of RC. The tour guide was wonderful ended up at one of the forts in San Juan. Some of those on the bus were elderly and could not walk up the steep hills to the castle so he gave us a time to be back and he contiued around showing them other areas of San Juan. My Mother stayed on the bus and said it was very nice.

Saint Thomas was just a shopping day for us and then we took the Sky Ride up the mountain for a few cocktails and pictures.

Saint Martin we booked the excursion through RC, went to beach and had a wonderful day. Reserved beach chair, all the Rum Punch / or Plain you could drink. They also had a bar / restaurant selling food which was not included. Kind of pricey however the food was very good.

Saint Kitts we went to the tour area / taxi stand and went to the beach, ironically it was the same beach as the RC excursion. We left an hour before the excursion so we had an additional hour in the sun. We figured it out and the 4 of us would have paid about $160 for the excursion but paying for the taxi, chair rental and umbrella rental individually we saved 1/2.

Typically, I try to stay with a cruise sanctioned excursion especially if it's more than 4 hours since a delay (traffic, breakdown, etc.) could potentially delay you. If you’re on their excursion they will hold the ship, if you’re on your own better have a credit card to pay for the air fare to get to the next stop because they will leave.

Disembarkation, well what can you say about that other than controlled chaos. You have the option of keeping your luggage and leaving at 6:30am if don't want to use this option and have them take the luggage off then tags are provided based on time you want to leave. They then tell you to put the luggage outside your stateroom door by 10pm the night before. That's fine but when I opened my cabin door at 7am to get breakfast I hit a suitcase. I looked down the hall and they were still collecting bags well after 8am. They do tell you not to get off before your schedule time because your bag will not be there, the way they were collecting them their right.

So the double whammy for the cruise was the Blizzard that hit the NE. We were scheduled back in Cape Liberty on Monday. We left St. Kitts Friday night and did a very slow sail back towards San Juan. On Saturday after a few calls with the Miami Office the Captain announced they were extending the cruise another day due to the storm. If we had sailed right up through it at a slower speed we still would not have made it home until Tuesday. So they sailed close to the coast and then came up behind the storm. Another slightly rough day at sea (not as bad as the week before) and then a nice trip up.

Overall the trip was a blast even with the few days of horrible weather and with adding an additional day. Once they announced the delayed arrival Royal Caribbean opened up Internet access and calling to everyone on the ship on Saturday for the duration of the cruise at no cost. For those who paid for the internet package they received a credit for the 3 days. Once thing I noticed as well, I paid for the beverage package based on the 10 nights so they also extended that to 11 at no additional cost.

Since I had parked at Premiere parking on a ground lot I was having chest pain thinking about trying to dig out the car when I got back. We were all very surprised to find that not only was the lot relatively cleared but they also cleared off all the cars for us we as well. Good Job Premiere.

To all of those negative reviews I read before I got on the ship I am truly glad I take them with a grain of salt. If you do choose to cruise on any ship remember you’re on vacation and the ship isn’t going to leave without you. Don’t let all the little things get under your skin. Make sure you complete everything online prior to boarding and just relax when you get there.
bpk003’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Cabin 10196
We had two different layouts the one I prefer is the cabin that has the bed just inside the cabin door with the couch next to the Balcony door. It felt like you had more room and you could go in and out of the balcony door without squeezing between the bed.
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