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We booked this cruise on a whim during the Black Friday sale frenzy. We booked 5d balcony on 13th deck aft. If you are prone to motion sickness and are a light sleeper, DO NOT BOOK THIS CABIN! We felt every movement of the ship and heard every thump and bump from the Windjammer above. Good news is, we are very hard sleepers and didn't get sick from the movement, so, we were fine! I did so much research in the few months leading up to the trip. I knew the cruise was sold out, so, in order to improve our experience, I purchased a number of upgrades: The Key, Deluxe Beverage Package, 5 nights specialty dining package, and I am confident that these upgrades made the trip. EMBARKATION We arrived at Cape Liberty between 10 and 10:30. My mother-in-law dropped us off, so it was seamless...she just whipped around the loop, we hopped out, a porter took our bags, and we were pointed inside the terminal. Once inside, I asked the first staff I saw where to go if we had the Key. They pointed to the special suites/pinnacle security line (and upon further observation, the sign to change to include the Key). We walked through security and were again pointed to the suites/pinnacle/Key line for check-in. We had checked in online, so she just stamped our set-sail pass, double checked that our pictures were good (they were), and gave us a card with Key details. She then had us sit with the suite/pinnacle group. The seating area was already pretty full, so we snagged two open chairs in the front row. We probably sat for about 15 minute (just enough time for me to run to the bathroom) and then they announced that we were about to board! We were literally the FIRST TWO passengers on board! Once on board, there was a small table set up with the Key signage. We went up to staff manning the table and they asked for our name and cabin number. They flipped through a number of envelopes (no more than 100) and handed us ours. It included a welcome letter and information about day 1. We were then pointed to the theater to drop our carry-on. Once at the theater, we dropped our lugged and received another envelop with Key wrist-bands and a schedule of Key only activities (most reserved times were early am or late pm). We didn't do any of the activities (FloRider, rockwall, iFly), but we did do Northstar! We then set off to make our reservations for the 5 night dining plan. I went to Guest Services first and they sent me to "any of the specialty dining" venues. Came upon Wonderland first which had 2 couples ahead of us that were clearly having all sorts of difficulty. Finally, it was our turn. I had written out on a sticky note all the places we wanted to go and when. Sadly, she would only make 3 out of 5 for us because the line was getting long. By this time, deck 5 was getting BUSY, so we headed up to upper decks to explore. We grabbed a couple of drinks at the Pool Bar (used Setsail Pass as we hadn't received SeaPass yet). After exploring pools, Seaplex, etc, we headed down to Chops for our Key lunch. It was AMAZING! Delicious food, great service! After lunch, we asked the Chops hostess if she could make our last two reservations. Sadly, by then, Chops was completely booked on the last night :( We ended up doing: Jamies, Wonderland, Chops, Jamies, Jamies lol We did Izumi for sushi making class one day, so, chose not to eat there for dinner. At exactly 1 pm, our cabin was ready. We weren't finished with lunch yet, so we missed the rush to the cabins. By the time we finished, we hopped right on an elevator. Our room was large, clean, and had beautiful views. Again, the complaint would only be that you feel every movement of the ship and the sound from Windjammer in the early morning. Our luggage had already arrived and our carry-ons were placed in the closet. We unpacked, and went to muster. The rest of the cruise went by in a blur. Our days at sea were spent eating, drinking, trivia, naps, bingo, pub crawl, sushi making class, Northstar, galley tour, etc. SHOWS We enjoyed all of the shows, though we like the Gift the best (despite negative reviews, we found it impressive and entertaining). Definitely took a while to catch on to the story. Spectras was great, but it had technical difficulties during our show. We Will Rock You has FABULOUS music, but a silly story line and is way long for a cruise show. We made reservations ahead of time, and with the Key were permitted to sit in the suite reserved seating. We also LOVED Pandoras Box (Aerosmith cover band). Sadly missed Mosaic and weren't interested in the other acts (adult comedy was way too late for us haha) DINING I did breakfast in Solarium a few mornings which was fantastic. Smaller selection that Windjammer but had everything I wanted and WAY less crowded. We also did Two70 one morning and then I remembered complementary continental breakfast room service, so we did that the rest of the trip bc it was nice having coffee delivered to the room each morning. Lunch in the MDR was horrible, though it was fun to sit with strangers. Johnny Rockets and Windjammer were good, as were the Two70 sandwiches. Dinner in MDR was mediocre. Wondering if we would have liked it more if we hadn't been spoiled by the specialty dining venues? We only ate in MDR twice (2 formal nights). It was pretty and menu was nice, just wasn't up to the caliber I remember pre-specialty dining. Service was hit or miss as the MDR got VERY busy. Room service dinner was GREAT! Sorrentos late night was fantastic! PORTS We only had 3 stops: Orlando, Nassau, Cococay. For Orlando we booked the shuttle to Universal. We docked at 7 or 7:30 and were enroute by 8 am. We were at the parks as soon as it opened and were allowed to stay until 4:30. PLENTY of time to do everything we wanted more than once. We didn't have Express Pass, but utilized single rider lines and never waited. Seriously, might be the best trip we've ever had to Universal. We were there on a random Tuesday in January, so that helped. Nassau was a bit of a mess. With the Key we were supposed to receive priority disembarkment at ports. We received a letter before Orlando telling us how to utilize that at all ports (didn't need it at Orlando as we had an early excursion through the ship). Well, we met at the Music Hall where they had a few other excursions waiting. Well, it took approx. 2 hours for local authorities to clear us. By then, the excursions were running late and other passengers had started crowding the stairs and hallways to get down to the gangway. It was a MOB! We abandoned the wait and headed up to pool deck for some drinks until things calmed down. We heard from our friends with the Key that once they were cleared, they just let everyone off at once and it was chaos. We hopped off the ship at 12:30 no problem and caught a cab to Breezes were we had booked a day pass (AMAZING btw). We were fortunate enough to be able to tender to Cococay and had an amazing day sipping drinks at the floating bar and laying out on the beach. We caught one of the last tenders back and saw first hand why the tender gets cancelled sometimes - crazy waves heading back and very rocky getting back to the ship! Cococay will be quite impressive when all the construction is completed, but I loved the simplicity of the island as it was. All in all, it was a great cruise. Biggest complaint would be the elevator situation, but I knew that going into it. We're fairly easy to please, and quite enjoyed everything the ship had to offer.

Upgrades for the win!

Anthem of the Seas Cruise Review by Abr155

1 person found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: January 2019
  • Destination: Bahamas
  • Cabin Type: Ocean View Balcony
We booked this cruise on a whim during the Black Friday sale frenzy. We booked 5d balcony on 13th deck aft. If you are prone to motion sickness and are a light sleeper, DO NOT BOOK THIS CABIN! We felt every movement of the ship and heard every thump and bump from the Windjammer above. Good news is, we are very hard sleepers and didn't get sick from the movement, so, we were fine!

I did so much research in the few months leading up to the trip. I knew the cruise was sold out, so, in order to improve our experience, I purchased a number of upgrades: The Key, Deluxe Beverage Package, 5 nights specialty dining package, and I am confident that these upgrades made the trip.

EMBARKATION

We arrived at Cape Liberty between 10 and 10:30. My mother-in-law dropped us off, so it was seamless...she just whipped around the loop, we hopped out, a porter took our bags, and we were pointed inside the terminal. Once inside, I asked the first staff I saw where to go if we had the Key. They pointed to the special suites/pinnacle security line (and upon further observation, the sign to change to include the Key). We walked through security and were again pointed to the suites/pinnacle/Key line for check-in. We had checked in online, so she just stamped our set-sail pass, double checked that our pictures were good (they were), and gave us a card with Key details. She then had us sit with the suite/pinnacle group. The seating area was already pretty full, so we snagged two open chairs in the front row. We probably sat for about 15 minute (just enough time for me to run to the bathroom) and then they announced that we were about to board! We were literally the FIRST TWO passengers on board!

Once on board, there was a small table set up with the Key signage. We went up to staff manning the table and they asked for our name and cabin number. They flipped through a number of envelopes (no more than 100) and handed us ours. It included a welcome letter and information about day 1. We were then pointed to the theater to drop our carry-on. Once at the theater, we dropped our lugged and received another envelop with Key wrist-bands and a schedule of Key only activities (most reserved times were early am or late pm). We didn't do any of the activities (FloRider, rockwall, iFly), but we did do Northstar!

We then set off to make our reservations for the 5 night dining plan. I went to Guest Services first and they sent me to "any of the specialty dining" venues. Came upon Wonderland first which had 2 couples ahead of us that were clearly having all sorts of difficulty. Finally, it was our turn. I had written out on a sticky note all the places we wanted to go and when. Sadly, she would only make 3 out of 5 for us because the line was getting long. By this time, deck 5 was getting BUSY, so we headed up to upper decks to explore. We grabbed a couple of drinks at the Pool Bar (used Setsail Pass as we hadn't received SeaPass yet).

After exploring pools, Seaplex, etc, we headed down to Chops for our Key lunch. It was AMAZING! Delicious food, great service! After lunch, we asked the Chops hostess if she could make our last two reservations. Sadly, by then, Chops was completely booked on the last night :( We ended up doing: Jamies, Wonderland, Chops, Jamies, Jamies lol We did Izumi for sushi making class one day, so, chose not to eat there for dinner.

At exactly 1 pm, our cabin was ready. We weren't finished with lunch yet, so we missed the rush to the cabins. By the time we finished, we hopped right on an elevator. Our room was large, clean, and had beautiful views. Again, the complaint would only be that you feel every movement of the ship and the sound from Windjammer in the early morning. Our luggage had already arrived and our carry-ons were placed in the closet. We unpacked, and went to muster.

The rest of the cruise went by in a blur. Our days at sea were spent eating, drinking, trivia, naps, bingo, pub crawl, sushi making class, Northstar, galley tour, etc.

SHOWS

We enjoyed all of the shows, though we like the Gift the best (despite negative reviews, we found it impressive and entertaining). Definitely took a while to catch on to the story. Spectras was great, but it had technical difficulties during our show. We Will Rock You has FABULOUS music, but a silly story line and is way long for a cruise show. We made reservations ahead of time, and with the Key were permitted to sit in the suite reserved seating.

We also LOVED Pandoras Box (Aerosmith cover band). Sadly missed Mosaic and weren't interested in the other acts (adult comedy was way too late for us haha)

DINING

I did breakfast in Solarium a few mornings which was fantastic. Smaller selection that Windjammer but had everything I wanted and WAY less crowded. We also did Two70 one morning and then I remembered complementary continental breakfast room service, so we did that the rest of the trip bc it was nice having coffee delivered to the room each morning.

Lunch in the MDR was horrible, though it was fun to sit with strangers. Johnny Rockets and Windjammer were good, as were the Two70 sandwiches.

Dinner in MDR was mediocre. Wondering if we would have liked it more if we hadn't been spoiled by the specialty dining venues? We only ate in MDR twice (2 formal nights). It was pretty and menu was nice, just wasn't up to the caliber I remember pre-specialty dining. Service was hit or miss as the MDR got VERY busy.

Room service dinner was GREAT!

Sorrentos late night was fantastic!

PORTS

We only had 3 stops: Orlando, Nassau, Cococay. For Orlando we booked the shuttle to Universal. We docked at 7 or 7:30 and were enroute by 8 am. We were at the parks as soon as it opened and were allowed to stay until 4:30. PLENTY of time to do everything we wanted more than once. We didn't have Express Pass, but utilized single rider lines and never waited. Seriously, might be the best trip we've ever had to Universal. We were there on a random Tuesday in January, so that helped.

Nassau was a bit of a mess. With the Key we were supposed to receive priority disembarkment at ports. We received a letter before Orlando telling us how to utilize that at all ports (didn't need it at Orlando as we had an early excursion through the ship). Well, we met at the Music Hall where they had a few other excursions waiting. Well, it took approx. 2 hours for local authorities to clear us. By then, the excursions were running late and other passengers had started crowding the stairs and hallways to get down to the gangway. It was a MOB! We abandoned the wait and headed up to pool deck for some drinks until things calmed down. We heard from our friends with the Key that once they were cleared, they just let everyone off at once and it was chaos. We hopped off the ship at 12:30 no problem and caught a cab to Breezes were we had booked a day pass (AMAZING btw).

We were fortunate enough to be able to tender to Cococay and had an amazing day sipping drinks at the floating bar and laying out on the beach. We caught one of the last tenders back and saw first hand why the tender gets cancelled sometimes - crazy waves heading back and very rocky getting back to the ship! Cococay will be quite impressive when all the construction is completed, but I loved the simplicity of the island as it was.

All in all, it was a great cruise. Biggest complaint would be the elevator situation, but I knew that going into it. We're fairly easy to please, and quite enjoyed everything the ship had to offer.
Abr155’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Ocean View Balcony
Cabin 5D 13298
Be warned - 13 deck aft feels every movement of the ship. Our towels and hangers in the closet were literally swinging back and forth. There is also a decent amount of thumping and bumping from Windjammer. That said, the location is pretty great - we were able to just run up to the stairs to all the fun Dec 14-16 had to offer!
Deck 13 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins