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Our family cruises annually and we've criss-crossed several lines (RCL, NCL, Disney, Celebrity). RCL Anthem of the Seas was this year's pick since the NJ departure point cut out two days of expensive airplane travel during a pretty short school break. Ship is lovely, clean & fresh. Cabins are more than sufficient. Stateroom staff exceptional. Speciality restaurant food yummy. Regular dining rooms tasty. Buffet a cattle call. But now here comes the real rub... The bigger the ship the more family friendly diversions HOWEVER the more likely you will wait for access to them. To speed that up, Anthem of the Seas to be best enjoyed, requires a fair amount of upfront planning such as booking restaurants, on board shows, some activities and any excursions. I will miss the days of on-board spontaneity but given the size of these Beasts of the Seas, I do understand. What was irritating was their on-line system malfunctioned on more than three occasions, and I had to call the 800# for help -- granted help was super duper friendly but an annoyance. There was one example of technological goof up that plagued us onboard and reflects the frustrating insight of a huge ship (and seriously -- we really enjoyed ourselves overall, but a heads-up here for anyone reading), is the passenger to staff ratio is very very low meaning that anything that requires tweaking on-board may demand interaction with an electronic tablet (meaning slow or no to get fixed) OR waiting in a very very long line for a friendly human touch. Case in point was THE one (expensive) excursion we planned before the cruise -- a visit to Atlantis to swim and ride down their supposedly spectacular slides. The reason I write "supposedly" was once aboard Anthem, inside our stateroom was a letter advising we cancel our excursion. The reason was -- given the time of our boat's arrival in Nassau, Atlantis' pools and beaches would be open for only 90 (yes! ninety) minutes after our scheduled bus ride to the hotel. First off, the boat arrived and departed according to the schedule provided when I booked our cruise -- so its surprising to me that no one calculated just how much time cruisers would have if they took the excursion before we booked and paid in advance for the excursion. Now here comes the addition irritation... The letter advises I go to the Excursions Desk promptly to cancel where can you guess?? A HUGE line of passengers waiting to cancel or book shore trips and ONE very lovely but very lonely, young man taking care of these changes! There were electronic tablets but not everything was functioning, and given our pre-booked excursion was $190 per person, I certainly wasn't going to leave cancellation to an iPad! BTW -- in case you were wondering abound a refund? Nah... I got my money as a credit against charges were would incur on the boat for tips, drinks, photographs. We used it all up and then some....

Nice Time, but a Few Malfunctions

Anthem of the Seas Cruise Review by Brandeisian

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Trip Details
Our family cruises annually and we've criss-crossed several lines (RCL, NCL, Disney, Celebrity). RCL Anthem of the Seas was this year's pick since the NJ departure point cut out two days of expensive airplane travel during a pretty short school break.

Ship is lovely, clean & fresh. Cabins are more than sufficient. Stateroom staff exceptional. Speciality restaurant food yummy. Regular dining rooms tasty. Buffet a cattle call. But now here comes the real rub...

The bigger the ship the more family friendly diversions HOWEVER the more likely you will wait for access to them. To speed that up, Anthem of the Seas to be best enjoyed, requires a fair amount of upfront planning such as booking restaurants, on board shows, some activities and any excursions.

I will miss the days of on-board spontaneity but given the size of these Beasts of the Seas, I do understand. What was irritating was their on-line system malfunctioned on more than three occasions, and I had to call the 800# for help -- granted help was super duper friendly but an annoyance.

There was one example of technological goof up that plagued us onboard and reflects the frustrating insight of a huge ship (and seriously -- we really enjoyed ourselves overall, but a heads-up here for anyone reading), is the passenger to staff ratio is very very low meaning that anything that requires tweaking on-board may demand interaction with an electronic tablet (meaning slow or no to get fixed) OR waiting in a very very long line for a friendly human touch.

Case in point was THE one (expensive) excursion we planned before the cruise -- a visit to Atlantis to swim and ride down their supposedly spectacular slides. The reason I write "supposedly" was once aboard Anthem, inside our stateroom was a letter advising we cancel our excursion. The reason was -- given the time of our boat's arrival in Nassau, Atlantis' pools and beaches would be open for only 90 (yes! ninety) minutes after our scheduled bus ride to the hotel.

First off, the boat arrived and departed according to the schedule provided when I booked our cruise -- so its surprising to me that no one calculated just how much time cruisers would have if they took the excursion before we booked and paid in advance for the excursion.

Now here comes the addition irritation... The letter advises I go to the Excursions Desk promptly to cancel where can you guess?? A HUGE line of passengers waiting to cancel or book shore trips and ONE very lovely but very lonely, young man taking care of these changes! There were electronic tablets but not everything was functioning, and given our pre-booked excursion was $190 per person, I certainly wasn't going to leave cancellation to an iPad!

BTW -- in case you were wondering abound a refund? Nah... I got my money as a credit against charges were would incur on the boat for tips, drinks, photographs. We used it all up and then some....
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