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We took the Royal Caribbean's Anthem of the Seas out of Bayonne, NJ on 23 February 2019. We have cruised on Holland America, Celebrity and Norwegian before. It was a family reunion type trip for us (10 in our party) with about half being their first cruise ever. We had 2 adjoining cabins on deck 11 and 2 separated cabins on deck 8; all the cabins were about midship to prevent seasickness problems. We just kept the spare room key card in the slot so the air conditioning and lights were on whenever we needed them to be. Unlike previous passengers, that was not a problem on this trip. Cabin: Our cabin attendant was friendly and did his job. He only made towel art 3 times during our cruise (whereas our other cruises it was nightly). My cabin had 2 adults and 2 children so it was a little tight at night when the couch was converted into a double sleeping surface but the children didn't complain about it. I asked for extra blankets (the cabin was kept on the cool side for my DH but I get too cold to sleep at that temperature) and that was accommodated with no problem. The bathroom comes with 2 "gentle soaps" to wash your hands/body. In the shower, a 2-in-1 shampoo dispenser is attached to the wall. Our shower door didn't seal completely so we always had to use a used towel to soak up the extra water on the floor (even though there is a drain in the shower as well as next to the toilet). Unfortunately there isn't much of an air vent so the windows definitely fog up after a shower and if anyone stinks up the bathroom, it's going to take a while for the stink to go away. Our room had a balcony with 2 chairs, 2 footstools and a little round table. There isn't much to look at on this trip (Bayonne to Cape Canaveral, FL to Nassau, Bahamas to Cococay and back) but it was still nice to go out on your own balcony to take in the air. Layout: There are 16 decks. Most of the activities we participated on are on decks 14-16 or decks 3-5. I tried to fight the gaining of pounds by walking up and down stairs instead of taking the elevators. But I also took the elevators when I was just too tired (or my feet hurt). I honestly can't decide whether deck 8 or 11 would have been better for all the activities we did since you have to go up and down a lot from either place. Our cabin didn't feel the ups and down of the swells as much as when we were in the front or back of the ship (which was quite noticeable sometimes) but by being in the middle of the ship, you always had to walk a while to get to the elevators or stairs. Dining: First day on board we ate lunch at the Solarium and also had reservations there for dinner. Both were good meals and it's quieter eating here than in the Windjammer. But the Solarium space itself is for adults 18 and older so you do get some looks when you have children around (mine were 11, 12 and 14 on this trip). My immediate family are night owls so we tended to eat breakfast in the Windjammer (has the longest hours) but the early birds said food is good in the TwoSeventy and Solarium and it's MUCH quieter in those locations but selection is less. Breakfast in the Windjammer was my family's favorite meal overall. If you like crepes, there's a crepe station in the furthest back spot of the Windjammer as well as gluten free omelet station (I guess the more special omelet station). Lunch in the Windjammer is hit and miss as to what's good. TwoSeventy has already made sandwiches and Cafe Promenade does that too. Pizza at Sorrento's is wonderful but the sides there are cold (just a warning). Another review said the cookies at Cafe Promenade are awesome but I think the pizza next door was better. I had a voucher for Johnny Rockets so we tried that out. I would not have paid for what they gave us (hamburger had gristle in it; fries at Windjammer are so much better!) If you get a Johnny Rockets voucher, beware that it does not include milkshakes (the only benefit of eating there instead of other places!!) I also had vouchers for 2 for specialty restaurants. Unfortunately it wasn't until after I went to my reservation that I discovered Izumi's (sushi) is not included in the specialty restaurants. But they were good enough to cancel that reservation without any problem. We tried Chops (steakhouse atmosphere, dark wood, dark lighting) and the food was excellent. We also tried Wonderland which is an "experience restaurant". Prepare for a 2 hour meal (but if you're really tight on time, it can be done in about 90 minutes). The food was good there too and it was definitely an experience. The forks and spoons are funky, the food portions will fill you by the end of the meal. The setting is intimate (dark lighting); there are tables for 2 as well as a long rectangular table that sits a lot more. After the first night, we arranged to have a set dining time of 5:30pm at Chic (since it was tough to get 10 people together otherwise). The food was wonderful for the most part; our servers were good (assistant was better than the head waiter). For those who never cruised before, a hint for your selections; if you can't decide between appetizers, main courses or desserts, you can get both or as many of them as you like. I looked like a pig ordering my meals because I would often get 3 appetizers and a couple desserts but I was also getting them to share with my kids (they were first time cruisers). If after you try something and you really like it, you can ask your servers if you can get more of it (sometimes they can get more, sometimes they can't). While I did sign up my youngest for the children's club, he refused to go. Since the whole point was to spend time with family, I let him hang out with the extended family instead. My older two tried a teen activity or two but for the most part, they all just played foosball, ping pong or soccer on their own rather than with the clubs. Entertainment: We saw The Gift. I understand why it gets such split reviews. The females in our group all cried while the males all came away with the remark "what was that all about!?!?" It's a love story but it's told in a very artsy, fartsy way and it doesn't become "clear" until almost the end (apparently only for the females does it become clear). Spectra's Cabaret was more of a spectacle of bizarreness. It was too loud (The Gift was also on the loud side) and strange. It was the cast's last performance (they had the new cast watching) so perhaps you will get a better performance than we did. We had rushed a previous dinner in order to make reservations for the North Star; since other reviews said Bohemian Rhapsody was on the long side and the last half hour was the best, we didn't rush to see it. Unfortunate since that was the best show of the 3. We almost couldn't find seats (we had to find separate seats since we went late). The one-night headliners that they had were very good. Most of the entertainment on the ship was too loud (I don't understand why they blasted it so that those who went into the room would suffer just to possibly draw people in from the outside) Disembarkation: We didn't have any timed excursions so there was no pressure to get off the ship by a certain time for any of the stops. Therefore, we didn't have any trouble getting off (well, except for my one child's card stopped working and we had to go to Guest Services to get a new card; then it didn't work coming back on and we had to get a new card AGAIN) Tips: Sign up for the Escape Room using the iRoyal app (if you have it) on the first day. We tried to sign up on day 3 and it was completely booked already (sigh). Otherwise, you can go to Shore Excursions or Guest Services to sign up on their iPads. Same goes for iFly and North Star. We had a collective brain fart and no one remembered to go to our iFly time slot so we missed out. North Star should be done during the day; we went at night and all you really see is the blue glow of the lights within North Star or you see the pool down below you. We were hoping to see the stars but the lights within are too bright to see out in the night. Rock climbing was fun; there are 3 lines you can climb. It's a first come-first serve. Depending on how many people there are, usually you climb up once (hit the bell at the top or in the middle) and then you have to get back in line to try the other ropes. If you fall off, you have to get back in line too. But if there's no one around (usually close to bad weather conditions) you can go multiple times in a row. The treadmills on the ship are okay but not high end gym level. So I ran on the running track outside (approximately 3 laps equals 1 mile). First time hardly anybody was out there since it was still cold, windy and misty. Once the sun came out, the running track gets filled with sunbathers and walkers. If you really want to run, I can tell you from experience that 12am-2am is a great time for having it to yourself. There is definitely a headwind and tail wind effect, especially at the front of the ship. In fact, the last day I ran up there, the winds were so blustery, the crew had closed off the front section of the ship on the running track. Also, they will close that level if the weather is bad (happened once to DH and once to me). I was surprised that the gym was full but never such that I had to wait to use equipment (I only went a couple times to the gym). I spent a lot of time in the casino. It wasn't as smoky as I feared it would be but it really depended on who was there. There were a couple nights the smokers made it smokier (I am not a smoker) and even though I was in the NS section, it just permeates the room. Most of the dealers are very nice and will help you learn how to play. There's one cash Texas Hold'em table. Get there by 9pm if you want to play or you can add your name to the waitlist. The Park West Art folks were also very friendly and knowledgeable. Champagne is offered at many of their auctions. The first night there were "free" alcohol samples being given and the line was nearly the size of the Esplanade area (too long for me). So go early if you want this one. There were 2 "Formal" nights. But the range of formal really ranged so don't worry too much about having a tux or suit. I even saw a nice shirt with jeans pass for formal.

Lessons learned

Anthem of the Seas Cruise Review by Honestreview

8 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: February 2019
  • Destination: Bahamas
  • Cabin Type: Ocean View Balcony
We took the Royal Caribbean's Anthem of the Seas out of Bayonne, NJ on 23 February 2019. We have cruised on Holland America, Celebrity and Norwegian before. It was a family reunion type trip for us (10 in our party) with about half being their first cruise ever. We had 2 adjoining cabins on deck 11 and 2 separated cabins on deck 8; all the cabins were about midship to prevent seasickness problems.

We just kept the spare room key card in the slot so the air conditioning and lights were on whenever we needed them to be. Unlike previous passengers, that was not a problem on this trip.

Cabin: Our cabin attendant was friendly and did his job. He only made towel art 3 times during our cruise (whereas our other cruises it was nightly). My cabin had 2 adults and 2 children so it was a little tight at night when the couch was converted into a double sleeping surface but the children didn't complain about it. I asked for extra blankets (the cabin was kept on the cool side for my DH but I get too cold to sleep at that temperature) and that was accommodated with no problem. The bathroom comes with 2 "gentle soaps" to wash your hands/body. In the shower, a 2-in-1 shampoo dispenser is attached to the wall. Our shower door didn't seal completely so we always had to use a used towel to soak up the extra water on the floor (even though there is a drain in the shower as well as next to the toilet). Unfortunately there isn't much of an air vent so the windows definitely fog up after a shower and if anyone stinks up the bathroom, it's going to take a while for the stink to go away. Our room had a balcony with 2 chairs, 2 footstools and a little round table. There isn't much to look at on this trip (Bayonne to Cape Canaveral, FL to Nassau, Bahamas to Cococay and back) but it was still nice to go out on your own balcony to take in the air.

Layout: There are 16 decks. Most of the activities we participated on are on decks 14-16 or decks 3-5. I tried to fight the gaining of pounds by walking up and down stairs instead of taking the elevators. But I also took the elevators when I was just too tired (or my feet hurt). I honestly can't decide whether deck 8 or 11 would have been better for all the activities we did since you have to go up and down a lot from either place. Our cabin didn't feel the ups and down of the swells as much as when we were in the front or back of the ship (which was quite noticeable sometimes) but by being in the middle of the ship, you always had to walk a while to get to the elevators or stairs.

Dining: First day on board we ate lunch at the Solarium and also had reservations there for dinner. Both were good meals and it's quieter eating here than in the Windjammer. But the Solarium space itself is for adults 18 and older so you do get some looks when you have children around (mine were 11, 12 and 14 on this trip). My immediate family are night owls so we tended to eat breakfast in the Windjammer (has the longest hours) but the early birds said food is good in the TwoSeventy and Solarium and it's MUCH quieter in those locations but selection is less. Breakfast in the Windjammer was my family's favorite meal overall. If you like crepes, there's a crepe station in the furthest back spot of the Windjammer as well as gluten free omelet station (I guess the more special omelet station). Lunch in the Windjammer is hit and miss as to what's good. TwoSeventy has already made sandwiches and Cafe Promenade does that too. Pizza at Sorrento's is wonderful but the sides there are cold (just a warning). Another review said the cookies at Cafe Promenade are awesome but I think the pizza next door was better. I had a voucher for Johnny Rockets so we tried that out. I would not have paid for what they gave us (hamburger had gristle in it; fries at Windjammer are so much better!) If you get a Johnny Rockets voucher, beware that it does not include milkshakes (the only benefit of eating there instead of other places!!) I also had vouchers for 2 for specialty restaurants. Unfortunately it wasn't until after I went to my reservation that I discovered Izumi's (sushi) is not included in the specialty restaurants. But they were good enough to cancel that reservation without any problem. We tried Chops (steakhouse atmosphere, dark wood, dark lighting) and the food was excellent. We also tried Wonderland which is an "experience restaurant". Prepare for a 2 hour meal (but if you're really tight on time, it can be done in about 90 minutes). The food was good there too and it was definitely an experience. The forks and spoons are funky, the food portions will fill you by the end of the meal. The setting is intimate (dark lighting); there are tables for 2 as well as a long rectangular table that sits a lot more. After the first night, we arranged to have a set dining time of 5:30pm at Chic (since it was tough to get 10 people together otherwise). The food was wonderful for the most part; our servers were good (assistant was better than the head waiter). For those who never cruised before, a hint for your selections; if you can't decide between appetizers, main courses or desserts, you can get both or as many of them as you like. I looked like a pig ordering my meals because I would often get 3 appetizers and a couple desserts but I was also getting them to share with my kids (they were first time cruisers). If after you try something and you really like it, you can ask your servers if you can get more of it (sometimes they can get more, sometimes they can't).

While I did sign up my youngest for the children's club, he refused to go. Since the whole point was to spend time with family, I let him hang out with the extended family instead. My older two tried a teen activity or two but for the most part, they all just played foosball, ping pong or soccer on their own rather than with the clubs.

Entertainment: We saw The Gift. I understand why it gets such split reviews. The females in our group all cried while the males all came away with the remark "what was that all about!?!?" It's a love story but it's told in a very artsy, fartsy way and it doesn't become "clear" until almost the end (apparently only for the females does it become clear). Spectra's Cabaret was more of a spectacle of bizarreness. It was too loud (The Gift was also on the loud side) and strange. It was the cast's last performance (they had the new cast watching) so perhaps you will get a better performance than we did. We had rushed a previous dinner in order to make reservations for the North Star; since other reviews said Bohemian Rhapsody was on the long side and the last half hour was the best, we didn't rush to see it. Unfortunate since that was the best show of the 3. We almost couldn't find seats (we had to find separate seats since we went late). The one-night headliners that they had were very good. Most of the entertainment on the ship was too loud (I don't understand why they blasted it so that those who went into the room would suffer just to possibly draw people in from the outside)

Disembarkation: We didn't have any timed excursions so there was no pressure to get off the ship by a certain time for any of the stops. Therefore, we didn't have any trouble getting off (well, except for my one child's card stopped working and we had to go to Guest Services to get a new card; then it didn't work coming back on and we had to get a new card AGAIN)

Tips: Sign up for the Escape Room using the iRoyal app (if you have it) on the first day. We tried to sign up on day 3 and it was completely booked already (sigh). Otherwise, you can go to Shore Excursions or Guest Services to sign up on their iPads. Same goes for iFly and North Star. We had a collective brain fart and no one remembered to go to our iFly time slot so we missed out. North Star should be done during the day; we went at night and all you really see is the blue glow of the lights within North Star or you see the pool down below you. We were hoping to see the stars but the lights within are too bright to see out in the night. Rock climbing was fun; there are 3 lines you can climb. It's a first come-first serve. Depending on how many people there are, usually you climb up once (hit the bell at the top or in the middle) and then you have to get back in line to try the other ropes. If you fall off, you have to get back in line too. But if there's no one around (usually close to bad weather conditions) you can go multiple times in a row.

The treadmills on the ship are okay but not high end gym level. So I ran on the running track outside (approximately 3 laps equals 1 mile). First time hardly anybody was out there since it was still cold, windy and misty. Once the sun came out, the running track gets filled with sunbathers and walkers. If you really want to run, I can tell you from experience that 12am-2am is a great time for having it to yourself. There is definitely a headwind and tail wind effect, especially at the front of the ship. In fact, the last day I ran up there, the winds were so blustery, the crew had closed off the front section of the ship on the running track. Also, they will close that level if the weather is bad (happened once to DH and once to me). I was surprised that the gym was full but never such that I had to wait to use equipment (I only went a couple times to the gym).

I spent a lot of time in the casino. It wasn't as smoky as I feared it would be but it really depended on who was there. There were a couple nights the smokers made it smokier (I am not a smoker) and even though I was in the NS section, it just permeates the room. Most of the dealers are very nice and will help you learn how to play. There's one cash Texas Hold'em table. Get there by 9pm if you want to play or you can add your name to the waitlist.

The Park West Art folks were also very friendly and knowledgeable. Champagne is offered at many of their auctions.

The first night there were "free" alcohol samples being given and the line was nearly the size of the Esplanade area (too long for me). So go early if you want this one.

There were 2 "Formal" nights. But the range of formal really ranged so don't worry too much about having a tux or suit. I even saw a nice shirt with jeans pass for formal.
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Cabin Review

Ocean View Balcony
Cabin 1D 11602
We had a bed that was put together and a couch that converted to a double at night. It was roomier than other cabins we've had in the past. I think the bathroom as a little larger too. Room attendant was good but nothing above what we've experienced in the past. Balcony is nice to have to escape from the room.
Deck 13 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins