1. Home
  2. Cruise Reviews
  3. Anthem of the Seas
We chose this cruise because we live close to the port of embarkation and liked the fact that we could save on transportation costs. Getting on the ship was very smooth and we experienced no issues. We had sailed from this port the year before, and the changes they made to embarkation for this year made a significant difference. Last year, we had to wait on line for over an hour. This year, we got on immediately. Many of the reviews I read about the ship prior to sailing complained of the service and food. We were a group of 11 (8 adults and 3 kids ages 12-13) and none of us had any issues with the service or the choice or quality of the food. The wait staff in all restaurants (we ate in all of the complimentary restaurants and 2 of the extra fee restaurants) went out of their way to ensure we had incredible experiences and they succeeded. We never received food that was cold (a complaint in some reviews). The only time we had to send anything back was one time when a steak was undercooked. The situation was immediately fixed and a new meal was brought to our table. The Grande and American Icon were our favorites - amazing food and service in both. Dinner at Chic was probably our least favorite, although we still enjoyed it, and Silk was good as well. We ate breakfast at Chic twice and both times were delicious. The kids loved the Windjammer and they had huge selections at all meals that it was impossible not to find something to meet everyone's needs. The Solarium Bistro was good, but the selection not as good as Windjammer. Entertainment: We all loved "We Will Rock You" - incredible. I agree with other reviews about "The Gift" being difficult to follow, but the production was great. Amazing talent and beautiful sets. We felt the same about "Specter's Cabaret" as well. Great singing/dancing, but just not a show that interested us. The comedians were entertaining. The Aerosmith tribute band was good. We're not county music fans and there was a country music band so that was a bust for us. We really liked the karaoke and wished they had more of that, especially family karaoke. The kids loved the Seaplex and spent most of their time up there. Lots of things for them to do and they could have stayed up there the entire time if we had let them. Ifly and North Star were incredible and I strongly recommend making reservations in advance. If not, you're going to waste time in line trying to get on. The other thing we liked was the Royal IQ app. We were able to text/call each other with little problems (the wifi would occasionally drop but worked most of the time). I think it's ridiculous that Royal Caribbean nickels and dimes you with the charge to use the service, but we did it and were glad we did. I only have a coup of complaints. Royal Caribbean's website and reservation system is terrible. Being a large group, we wanted our dinner reservations made before we sailed because we didn't want to have to worry about it once we were under way. 5 months before our sail date, I made the dinner and show reservations. A couple of months later, I called to confirm everything was set only to learn that the system had dropped 3 of our dinner reservations. The phone representative told me she made new reservations, but when I called a month later to check on something else and confirm the dinner reservations, that rep told me we didn't have dinner reservations. I then had to make new reservations. One month before the cruise, I called to confirm everything again. That rep said, yes, everything was good to go. When I asked her to go into each individual reservation to make sure, she realized that we actually didn't have reservations (it's some weird glitch in their system that makes the reservation summary look like you have reservations until they look at the individual reservations). She told me it was too late to make reservations and everything was full. She also told me I should have had the other representative email me a confirmation of the dinner reservations. How was I supposed to know this? The other rep never offered it and I "assumed" when you make a reservation with Royal Caribbean that they'll honor it. Apparently not. With a company that large, I just don't understand how they can have such a terrible system. Half the time you couldn't check your reservation online because there was a message saying your reservation wasn't accessible at that time. Then you make reservations only to find out the reservation was never actually made. We ended up having to waste an hour on the day we embarked trying to make new reservations. We were able to do it, but the guy on the ship who did it for us told us it was too much to do and he had other guests to see to. We were persistent and were able to get the reservations, but not without a struggle. My other complaint is the fitness center. There's a lot of equipment, but not enough for almost 5000 people. In the mornings, it would be difficult to get a treadmill because of the amount of people in the gym. There are lots of weight machines, if you're into that. I also didn't like having the classes in the middle of the gym. Hard to do yoga with all that noise. They had the same instructor for the yoga classes and they were the same classes everytime - no variation. She did a good job, but after a couple of classes, I was bored. If you're paying extra money for a class you shouldn't be bored. Also, no pilates, which was a huge negative for me. Other than the reservation issues and space issues in the gym, the rest of the experience was great. We would love to do it again next year, but it's the same destinations. After 2 years in a row of going to those ports, we'd like to do something else.

Great Experience!

Anthem of the Seas Cruise Review by slapper

7 people found this helpful
Trip Details
We chose this cruise because we live close to the port of embarkation and liked the fact that we could save on transportation costs. Getting on the ship was very smooth and we experienced no issues. We had sailed from this port the year before, and the changes they made to embarkation for this year made a significant difference. Last year, we had to wait on line for over an hour. This year, we got on immediately.

Many of the reviews I read about the ship prior to sailing complained of the service and food. We were a group of 11 (8 adults and 3 kids ages 12-13) and none of us had any issues with the service or the choice or quality of the food. The wait staff in all restaurants (we ate in all of the complimentary restaurants and 2 of the extra fee restaurants) went out of their way to ensure we had incredible experiences and they succeeded. We never received food that was cold (a complaint in some reviews). The only time we had to send anything back was one time when a steak was undercooked. The situation was immediately fixed and a new meal was brought to our table. The Grande and American Icon were our favorites - amazing food and service in both. Dinner at Chic was probably our least favorite, although we still enjoyed it, and Silk was good as well. We ate breakfast at Chic twice and both times were delicious. The kids loved the Windjammer and they had huge selections at all meals that it was impossible not to find something to meet everyone's needs. The Solarium Bistro was good, but the selection not as good as Windjammer.

Entertainment: We all loved "We Will Rock You" - incredible. I agree with other reviews about "The Gift" being difficult to follow, but the production was great. Amazing talent and beautiful sets. We felt the same about "Specter's Cabaret" as well. Great singing/dancing, but just not a show that interested us. The comedians were entertaining. The Aerosmith tribute band was good. We're not county music fans and there was a country music band so that was a bust for us. We really liked the karaoke and wished they had more of that, especially family karaoke.

The kids loved the Seaplex and spent most of their time up there. Lots of things for them to do and they could have stayed up there the entire time if we had let them.

Ifly and North Star were incredible and I strongly recommend making reservations in advance. If not, you're going to waste time in line trying to get on.

The other thing we liked was the Royal IQ app. We were able to text/call each other with little problems (the wifi would occasionally drop but worked most of the time). I think it's ridiculous that Royal Caribbean nickels and dimes you with the charge to use the service, but we did it and were glad we did.

I only have a coup of complaints. Royal Caribbean's website and reservation system is terrible. Being a large group, we wanted our dinner reservations made before we sailed because we didn't want to have to worry about it once we were under way. 5 months before our sail date, I made the dinner and show reservations. A couple of months later, I called to confirm everything was set only to learn that the system had dropped 3 of our dinner reservations. The phone representative told me she made new reservations, but when I called a month later to check on something else and confirm the dinner reservations, that rep told me we didn't have dinner reservations. I then had to make new reservations. One month before the cruise, I called to confirm everything again. That rep said, yes, everything was good to go. When I asked her to go into each individual reservation to make sure, she realized that we actually didn't have reservations (it's some weird glitch in their system that makes the reservation summary look like you have reservations until they look at the individual reservations). She told me it was too late to make reservations and everything was full. She also told me I should have had the other representative email me a confirmation of the dinner reservations. How was I supposed to know this? The other rep never offered it and I "assumed" when you make a reservation with Royal Caribbean that they'll honor it. Apparently not. With a company that large, I just don't understand how they can have such a terrible system. Half the time you couldn't check your reservation online because there was a message saying your reservation wasn't accessible at that time. Then you make reservations only to find out the reservation was never actually made. We ended up having to waste an hour on the day we embarked trying to make new reservations. We were able to do it, but the guy on the ship who did it for us told us it was too much to do and he had other guests to see to. We were persistent and were able to get the reservations, but not without a struggle.

My other complaint is the fitness center. There's a lot of equipment, but not enough for almost 5000 people. In the mornings, it would be difficult to get a treadmill because of the amount of people in the gym. There are lots of weight machines, if you're into that. I also didn't like having the classes in the middle of the gym. Hard to do yoga with all that noise. They had the same instructor for the yoga classes and they were the same classes everytime - no variation. She did a good job, but after a couple of classes, I was bored. If you're paying extra money for a class you shouldn't be bored. Also, no pilates, which was a huge negative for me.

Other than the reservation issues and space issues in the gym, the rest of the experience was great. We would love to do it again next year, but it's the same destinations. After 2 years in a row of going to those ports, we'd like to do something else.
slapper’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Ages 10 to 12
Ages 13 to 15
Service
Free Price Drop Alerts
Get Royal Caribbean Anthem of the Seas price drops
250,000+ people have entered their email

Cabin Review

Cabin
Our cabin layout was great - sofa near the entrance with the bed farther away and closer to the balcony. The rest of our group had their bed near the door and the sofa/sitting area closer to the balcony. In the rooms with the bed near the door, the room felt small and crowded. Having the bed farther from the door created the illusion of more space (the rooms were all the same size) and I would definitely suggest getting a room with the bed father away if you have a choice. Pillows were terrible but bed was comfortable. Cabin attendant did a great job of straightening up and keeping us supplied with toiletries. They only have the small hairdryers, so bring your own if you use one.
  Anthem of the Seas Deck Plans

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Parasailing
    Loved the parasailing. Only issue was my 12 year old was scheduled to parasail with her 20 year old cousin. I made the reservations on the ship through their iPad reservation system. The system let me purchase the experience. When we showed up to check the girls in they told me my daughter couldn't go without a parent because she's under 16. I understand that, but the system should NOT have allowed me to spend $90/person knowing she's under 16. This forced me to buy another ticket for myself or disappoint my daughter.
    View All 28 Parasailing Reviews
  • San Juan
    We did a walking tour on our own of the fort and had a great time. Otherwise, nothing interesting about San Juan.
    View All 3,803 San Juan Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's San Juan Cruise Port Review
  • Dolphin Encounter
    The dolphin swim was great - we all loved it. When you take the boat to Anguilla for the swim, sit up top. When you board the boat, there's air conditioning in the bottom. They don't tell you that they turn the air off for the 1 hour boat trip to Anguilla. Half the cabin got sick. Sitting upstairs is hot and it's in the sun, but no one up top got sick and things cooled down once the boat got moving. Don't sit on the back of the boat because you'll be sucking in exhaust fumes the entire ride.
    View All 25 Dolphin Encounter Reviews