1. Home
  2. Cruise Reviews
  3. Anthem of the Seas
My husband and I are both in our 30's and love to travel. We flew into Newark the day before the cruise and stayed at Country Inn & Suites in Elizabeth, NJ. The hotel was recently renovated and within walking distance of a huge mall. The morning of the cruise, we took a Lyft to Cape Liberty. Embarkation was easy and smooth. We each had a bottle of wine in our carry-ons, and security did not bat an eye when they went through the scanners. We were on the ship before 11:30am. It had been over a decade since either of us cruised with RCCL. Our more recent cruises were with NCL, HAL, and Carnival. My feelings for Anthem of the Seas are definitely mixed, so I will divide my thoughts into pros and cons. PROS ~ The Seaplex is wonderful! Since school was in session, there were just 52 kids on the cruise, which gave the adults full access to this area. We did bumper cars and roller skating and played foosball and ping pong. We only had to wait in a line once for an activity. ~ The Royal Swedes are a fantastic band!! We loved going to their shows each night, especially when they were in the Music Hall. They played a good variety of music, and we were able to do lots of dancing. One night, they hosted karaoke by playing for the singers, and it was surprisingly great! ~ We enjoyed watching the morning show with cruise director Dennis and activities director Hanna. They had a fun rapport and always made us laugh. ~ The cabins have lots of storage. After unpacking, we had plenty of extra space. ~ On sea days, there were lots of activities on the schedule. We were never bored. ~ The solarium is a pleasant retreat. Be sure to try the swing at the front of the ship. ~ The itinerary was wonderful! We had good weather and were able to fully enjoy the ports. In depth reviews for each port are located later in the review. ~ Room service breakfast in convenient and easy. If you order breakfast for a port day, be sure to choose an earlier time. They were often running behind on these days. ~ Guest services resolved every issue we encountered. CONS ~ The reservation system makes me groan. When I'm on a cruise, I don't like to be locked into set times. Having read reviews on CC, I knew we would need to make reservations for certain activities and events. On the first day, we found a tablet and reserved the escape room for 10am on one of the sea days. On the chosen day, we showed up 15 minutes early. 10am came and went, but we continued to wait with the other guests who had reserved this activity. After standing around for 30 minutes, I spotted a staff member enter the room. I quickly followed and asked when our session would begin. Evidently, our reservation was not on their schedule. Basically, we wasted half an hour standing around instead of enjoying our vacation. I told Guest Services about this experience, and they sent up a bottle of wine later that day. ~ Dining is an absolute mess! There are four different dining rooms. We had My Time Dining, so we ate in either American Icon or Silk. There is no true waiting area or a nearby bar to lounge at. When you walk up to the host stations, there are 5 lanes. One is for no reservations, and three are for reservations. (Before the cruise, I made us reservations for 7:45 each night, but we quickly discovered you could show up whenever and get a table in the same amount of time.) The fifth lane is for people entering and exiting the dining room, which people did not often use correctly. All the hosts always looked stressed, and passengers were here, there, and everywhere. This is not the way to begin a dining experience. Also, the hosts want to seat you in the same restaurant with the same waiter each night. For us, we like to try out different areas and have different waiters each night. We much prefer NCL's Freestyle Dining. As for the dining room service, it was hit or miss. The waiters were always nice, but they had way too many tables assigned to each section. Usually, we always eat dinner in the MDR. On this trip, however, we grabbed dinner in the Windjammer a couple times and took it back to our room. We just didn't want to deal with the high stress level radiating from the MDR. ~ The MDR menu was lackluster. The majority of the starters and desserts were the same every night. The entrees were also very repetitive. They were usually just a protein with a veggie and starch. The lack of variety got old after just a couple days. ~ There is no atrium on this ship. Instead, there is a mall with junk from the shops spilling out in to the walkway. This area should be the heart of the ship, but we tried to avoid this bottleneck spot as much as possible. ~ We had issues with our first cabin. See cabin review below for more details. ~ There is too much reliance on technology. When we cruise, we lock our cellphones in the safe and forget about them. We do not want to use the RCCL app or book things on tablets. As for disembarkation, it was fast and easy. We did the self carry at 7:40am. The line was minimal, and we were in a Lyft to the airport in no time.

Fantastic ports, but a so-so cruise

Anthem of the Seas Cruise Review by WanderingTheWorld

7 people found this helpful
Trip Details
My husband and I are both in our 30's and love to travel. We flew into Newark the day before the cruise and stayed at Country Inn & Suites in Elizabeth, NJ. The hotel was recently renovated and within walking distance of a huge mall. The morning of the cruise, we took a Lyft to Cape Liberty. Embarkation was easy and smooth. We each had a bottle of wine in our carry-ons, and security did not bat an eye when they went through the scanners. We were on the ship before 11:30am.

It had been over a decade since either of us cruised with RCCL. Our more recent cruises were with NCL, HAL, and Carnival. My feelings for Anthem of the Seas are definitely mixed, so I will divide my thoughts into pros and cons.

PROS

~ The Seaplex is wonderful! Since school was in session, there were just 52 kids on the cruise, which gave the adults full access to this area. We did bumper cars and roller skating and played foosball and ping pong. We only had to wait in a line once for an activity.

~ The Royal Swedes are a fantastic band!! We loved going to their shows each night, especially when they were in the Music Hall. They played a good variety of music, and we were able to do lots of dancing. One night, they hosted karaoke by playing for the singers, and it was surprisingly great!

~ We enjoyed watching the morning show with cruise director Dennis and activities director Hanna. They had a fun rapport and always made us laugh.

~ The cabins have lots of storage. After unpacking, we had plenty of extra space.

~ On sea days, there were lots of activities on the schedule. We were never bored.

~ The solarium is a pleasant retreat. Be sure to try the swing at the front of the ship.

~ The itinerary was wonderful! We had good weather and were able to fully enjoy the ports. In depth reviews for each port are located later in the review.

~ Room service breakfast in convenient and easy. If you order breakfast for a port day, be sure to choose an earlier time. They were often running behind on these days.

~ Guest services resolved every issue we encountered.

CONS

~ The reservation system makes me groan. When I'm on a cruise, I don't like to be locked into set times. Having read reviews on CC, I knew we would need to make reservations for certain activities and events. On the first day, we found a tablet and reserved the escape room for 10am on one of the sea days. On the chosen day, we showed up 15 minutes early. 10am came and went, but we continued to wait with the other guests who had reserved this activity. After standing around for 30 minutes, I spotted a staff member enter the room. I quickly followed and asked when our session would begin. Evidently, our reservation was not on their schedule. Basically, we wasted half an hour standing around instead of enjoying our vacation. I told Guest Services about this experience, and they sent up a bottle of wine later that day.

~ Dining is an absolute mess! There are four different dining rooms. We had My Time Dining, so we ate in either American Icon or Silk. There is no true waiting area or a nearby bar to lounge at. When you walk up to the host stations, there are 5 lanes. One is for no reservations, and three are for reservations. (Before the cruise, I made us reservations for 7:45 each night, but we quickly discovered you could show up whenever and get a table in the same amount of time.) The fifth lane is for people entering and exiting the dining room, which people did not often use correctly. All the hosts always looked stressed, and passengers were here, there, and everywhere. This is not the way to begin a dining experience. Also, the hosts want to seat you in the same restaurant with the same waiter each night. For us, we like to try out different areas and have different waiters each night. We much prefer NCL's Freestyle Dining. As for the dining room service, it was hit or miss. The waiters were always nice, but they had way too many tables assigned to each section. Usually, we always eat dinner in the MDR. On this trip, however, we grabbed dinner in the Windjammer a couple times and took it back to our room. We just didn't want to deal with the high stress level radiating from the MDR.

~ The MDR menu was lackluster. The majority of the starters and desserts were the same every night. The entrees were also very repetitive. They were usually just a protein with a veggie and starch. The lack of variety got old after just a couple days.

~ There is no atrium on this ship. Instead, there is a mall with junk from the shops spilling out in to the walkway. This area should be the heart of the ship, but we tried to avoid this bottleneck spot as much as possible.

~ We had issues with our first cabin. See cabin review below for more details.

~ There is too much reliance on technology. When we cruise, we lock our cellphones in the safe and forget about them. We do not want to use the RCCL app or book things on tablets.

As for disembarkation, it was fast and easy. We did the self carry at 7:40am. The line was minimal, and we were in a Lyft to the airport in no time.
WanderingTheWorld’s Full Rating Summary
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Service
Onboard Experience
Free Price Drop Alerts
Get Royal Caribbean Anthem of the Seas price drops
250,000+ people have entered their email

Cabin Review

Ocean View
Cabin 1N 3598
The cabin itself was great. There was lots of storage and a nice seating area by the window. However, we had a major noise issue one night. We constantly heard items being dragged across the floor above us until 4am. We got very little sleep. We spoke with Guest Services, and they said Sorrento's was located about us. That night, a deep cleaning was going on. RCCL did correct this situation by offering us another room, which happened to be a balcony.
Deck 3 Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews