Anthem of the Seas Cruise Review by bowler15547
- Sail Date: November 2018
- Destination: Bahamas
- Cabin Type: Obstructed Ocean View Balcony
We've left from Bayonne 6 times previously, however this was prior to the new terminal being built. The new terminal is fantastic and allows for a very smooth experience. We arrived around 9:30 and were ushered straight in to drop our luggage. After doing so it was a quick in to the parking garage and we were on our way. A few parking notes. It is $20 per day and you get a ticket and pay upon your return. There are many pay stations which makes it easy. There are only two elevators, so I recommend walking the ramp to save time.
The ship itself was nothing short of awe inspiring. As soon as you walk on the gangway, you see the vastness of this ship. This was the first time for us on the Quantum class of ships. We found it very well designed and laid out. There was a venue for every taste and you could always find a place playing live music. There is two main "gathering areas" I would call them. The Royal Esplanade replaces the promenade on this class, and the Via is an extension of it featuring an open area round Jamies Italian and Vintages. There was usually an acoustic set going on here. We found that despite having these places, the ship lacked sufficient area for a large group gathering. Everything was split up promoting different areas instead of one central gathering point like the Promenade or Centrum on the smaller classes. This design contributed to the fact that despite there are 4,900 of your closest friends on board, you really don't notice crowds that often.
The food overall was fantastic. We had 5:30 seating in the MDR which ended up being The Grande Restaurant. Due to the Dynamic Dining concept going south, the MDR is setup as four restaurants. The Grande and Chic serve for the traditional seatings, American Icon and Silk serve as My Time. I did notice them filling tables in The Grande with My Time Diners as space allowed. The wait staff was extremely efficient and not one of our meals took over an hour. The food was excellent on this ship. Nice sized portions and great flavor. My only slight con is that everything seafood was cooked to death. However, it was still good.
We ate in Wonderland on Thanksgiving and did not regret it. We went on a culinary trip down the rabbit hole and were delighted with all the dishes. The waiter will go over the menu with you and ask preferences but will ultimately pick the dishes to be served. Go with an open mind and do not expect ordinary. We experienced flavor like none other and the entire experience was top notch. This is not a restaurant for a picky eater, and they will explain that to you at the beginning.
I found the activities lacking on this ship. Granted we were never at a loss for something to do, but it lacked planned activities. The compass on sea days were not as packed full as other ships that I have been on. Also, the evening activities were a little difficult to find as they list them in a separate area in the compass and not in the main area like other ships. The bands in the lounges, however, were top notch and a joy to go to.
The shows were absolutely top notch. Spectras Cabaret and We Will Rock You are not to be missed! The actors are stunningly talented, and Spectra owns his role. Five thumbs up for shows offered on this ship. We did not get to see The Gift.
Overall I rank this ship as good to excellent. The ship is well laid out and you never feel crowded despite the sheer number of people on board. The staff members were all very friendly and went out of their way to make sure that everything was great and you were happy. This was a Thanksgiving cruise so there were many families on board, and over 1200 children. It was a test of patience overall on the cruise dealing with that number of children, notably teens that were left to their own devices and terrorizing elevators and lounging in the stairways. We tend to avoid peak children times and will continue to do so in the future for these reasons.
A Crown and Anchor Note: D+ members do not have reserved seating in the theaters. Only certain suites and pinnacles. Keep this in mind when attending shows. I was miffed by this and noted this in the survey as this is one of the benefits. Anthem still has a concierge lounge which welcomes D+ members, and it was a fantastic place to enjoy a drink in the evenings. The loyalty ambassador was a tiny bit more helpful on this cruise compared to others that I have been on and was able to take care of some issues that we had with no problems.
We would definitely try out Anthem again. However, we will most likely attempt it on an off peak time with less children and a longer itinerary.
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