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Cruised 3/30 to 4/6 from Cape Liberty NJ on the Anthem of the Seas. Ports of call were Port Canaveral Florida, Cocoa Cay and Nassau. Booked a Grand Suite (Cabin #8236) and was very much looking forward to the trip. This was our 9th cruise overall and 4th on Royal Caribbean. Let's start with embarkation at Port Liberty. Organized and efficient but the Teal Sweater Brigade know nothing about cruise status. What I mean by that is when you book a cruise in a Suite or pay to be a Key guest or are just a frequent RC cruiser, there are certain perks... shorter security line, quicker check in, etc. Teal Sweater Brigade continually dumps people in the general line without even asking to see their cabin or cruise status. Not a major inconvenience, but I had to tell them we could go in the shorter security line. Then when we got through security, we were placed in the general check-in line. I pointed out to the Teal Sweater talking to me that we were in a Suite and could go to the Suite check-in line. It seemed like this was new information to her. Again - not a huge inconvenience, just a bit annoying that I had to keep pointing this out. Once on board, we were able to go to Coastal Kitchen for a quick bite of lunch while we waited for our cabin to be ready. Coastal Kitchen was fantastic and the wait staff was just tremendous the entire time we were on board. Shortly after 1pm we went down to our cabin and it was prepared and ready for a week's vacation. The location of this cabin is perfect. Right off the rear elevator stack - convenient to everything. And being on deck 8 was great because you could easily use the stairs to go up or down when the elevators were busy. Let me address the title of my review now. On all of our past cruises we had a fantastic time and were treated like royalty. The staff on the ships couldn't do enough for us and anticipated our needs like they were mind readers. This time out the staff was good. Not great or outstanding but solidly competent and did a really good job of taking care of us. But it just wasn't the usual level of excellence. It could have been the crew, they might have been new to the ship or maybe the cruise line is making cuts that are starting to show. Hard to say. For example... there's always been a language barrier but the crew were always well versed in their specific area of expertise. I may not be able to ask a waiter about the casino, but the waiter knew all of the foods, what allergies were and the different types of liquor that were available. I must have asked a dozen waiters in different restaurants for a Bacardi Oakheart and Coke. The short version is an Oak and Coke. Not one understood what I wanted and delivered some interesting drinks in its place, but none of them were Bacardi Oakheart and Coke. This was somewhat confusing because it was on this same ship three years ago when we sailed to New England and Canada (awesome cruise by the way if you ever get the chance) that they told me I could order it by calling it an Oak and Coke. Not a big deal, but it made ordering drinks a little difficult. My wife wanted a glass of Cabernet by Robert Mondavi. Tried unsuccessfully to order it by name and literally had to point to the wine in the menu. I would think that the language of one's job would be taught to them by the other staff and by RC. Again, it could've been just this crew or maybe RC is cutting corners. Not sure. All of the food was excellent but they did make a small change since we sailed with them last time. On the Anthem of the Seas, you would rotate through the four dining rooms (Grande, Chic, Silk and American Icon) with varied menus. Now they all serve the same food and you can sit wherever you like. We use the MyTime dining, so the only place we couldn't eat was Grande because that was for the fixed meal times. We also made use of the Windjammer Cafe and the food was quite good. I will say the bus staff was a little slow at cleaning tables. Often there were many (9 or 10) tables within eye sight that remained dirty for upwards of 30 minutes. Things didn't work like this in the past. It's possible RC cut back on the bus staff or they just weren't good at their jobs. Everything else was wonderful. Our cabin attendant Agus was great. Took very good care of us and kept our cabin spotless. Only two towel animals during the cruise which disappointed me because I really get a kick out of those. We sailed to Alaska on the Radiance a few years back and our cabin steward did such a good job, we kept all of the towel animals in our room for the whole cruise. We had an entire menagerie by the end of the week. Ports of call were very good. Port Canaveral was excellent because we got to go to Kennedy Space Center. We had done this excursion before when we cruised on the Crown Princess but I would never miss a chance to go to Kennedy. Great tour and always educational. Second port of call was Cocoa Cay, Royal Caribbean's private island. What's not to like. Sun drenched beaches, blue skies, 85 degree weather, alcohol, food and water. We had an awesome time that day. The Suite guests do get to go to a VIP area and enjoy an upscale BBQ. So rather than hamburgers, hotdogs, chicken and ribs, we were able to have lobster tails, steak and corn on the cob. Very nice touch! And our final port of call was Nassau. I'd never been there before and it was every bit as beautiful as I imagined. We had a lovely time walking through town and checking out the shopping and bars. Overall a great time. Then two days at sea to get home.

A Victim of Their Own Excellence...

Anthem of the Seas Cruise Review by MarcJ50

2 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: March 2019
  • Destination: Bahamas
  • Cabin Type: Grand Suite with Large Balcony - 1 Bedroom
Cruised 3/30 to 4/6 from Cape Liberty NJ on the Anthem of the Seas. Ports of call were Port Canaveral Florida, Cocoa Cay and Nassau.

Booked a Grand Suite (Cabin #8236) and was very much looking forward to the trip. This was our 9th cruise overall and 4th on Royal Caribbean.

Let's start with embarkation at Port Liberty. Organized and efficient but the Teal Sweater Brigade know nothing about cruise status. What I mean by that is when you book a cruise in a Suite or pay to be a Key guest or are just a frequent RC cruiser, there are certain perks... shorter security line, quicker check in, etc. Teal Sweater Brigade continually dumps people in the general line without even asking to see their cabin or cruise status. Not a major inconvenience, but I had to tell them we could go in the shorter security line. Then when we got through security, we were placed in the general check-in line. I pointed out to the Teal Sweater talking to me that we were in a Suite and could go to the Suite check-in line. It seemed like this was new information to her. Again - not a huge inconvenience, just a bit annoying that I had to keep pointing this out.

Once on board, we were able to go to Coastal Kitchen for a quick bite of lunch while we waited for our cabin to be ready. Coastal Kitchen was fantastic and the wait staff was just tremendous the entire time we were on board.

Shortly after 1pm we went down to our cabin and it was prepared and ready for a week's vacation. The location of this cabin is perfect. Right off the rear elevator stack - convenient to everything. And being on deck 8 was great because you could easily use the stairs to go up or down when the elevators were busy.

Let me address the title of my review now. On all of our past cruises we had a fantastic time and were treated like royalty. The staff on the ships couldn't do enough for us and anticipated our needs like they were mind readers. This time out the staff was good. Not great or outstanding but solidly competent and did a really good job of taking care of us. But it just wasn't the usual level of excellence. It could have been the crew, they might have been new to the ship or maybe the cruise line is making cuts that are starting to show. Hard to say. For example... there's always been a language barrier but the crew were always well versed in their specific area of expertise. I may not be able to ask a waiter about the casino, but the waiter knew all of the foods, what allergies were and the different types of liquor that were available. I must have asked a dozen waiters in different restaurants for a Bacardi Oakheart and Coke. The short version is an Oak and Coke. Not one understood what I wanted and delivered some interesting drinks in its place, but none of them were Bacardi Oakheart and Coke. This was somewhat confusing because it was on this same ship three years ago when we sailed to New England and Canada (awesome cruise by the way if you ever get the chance) that they told me I could order it by calling it an Oak and Coke. Not a big deal, but it made ordering drinks a little difficult. My wife wanted a glass of Cabernet by Robert Mondavi. Tried unsuccessfully to order it by name and literally had to point to the wine in the menu. I would think that the language of one's job would be taught to them by the other staff and by RC. Again, it could've been just this crew or maybe RC is cutting corners. Not sure.

All of the food was excellent but they did make a small change since we sailed with them last time. On the Anthem of the Seas, you would rotate through the four dining rooms (Grande, Chic, Silk and American Icon) with varied menus. Now they all serve the same food and you can sit wherever you like. We use the MyTime dining, so the only place we couldn't eat was Grande because that was for the fixed meal times. We also made use of the Windjammer Cafe and the food was quite good. I will say the bus staff was a little slow at cleaning tables. Often there were many (9 or 10) tables within eye sight that remained dirty for upwards of 30 minutes. Things didn't work like this in the past. It's possible RC cut back on the bus staff or they just weren't good at their jobs.

Everything else was wonderful. Our cabin attendant Agus was great. Took very good care of us and kept our cabin spotless. Only two towel animals during the cruise which disappointed me because I really get a kick out of those. We sailed to Alaska on the Radiance a few years back and our cabin steward did such a good job, we kept all of the towel animals in our room for the whole cruise. We had an entire menagerie by the end of the week.

Ports of call were very good. Port Canaveral was excellent because we got to go to Kennedy Space Center. We had done this excursion before when we cruised on the Crown Princess but I would never miss a chance to go to Kennedy. Great tour and always educational. Second port of call was Cocoa Cay, Royal Caribbean's private island. What's not to like. Sun drenched beaches, blue skies, 85 degree weather, alcohol, food and water. We had an awesome time that day. The Suite guests do get to go to a VIP area and enjoy an upscale BBQ. So rather than hamburgers, hotdogs, chicken and ribs, we were able to have lobster tails, steak and corn on the cob. Very nice touch! And our final port of call was Nassau. I'd never been there before and it was every bit as beautiful as I imagined. We had a lovely time walking through town and checking out the shopping and bars. Overall a great time. Then two days at sea to get home.
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Cabin Review

Grand Suite with Large Balcony - 1 Bedroom
Cabin GB 8236
The cabin is great. Right off the rear elevators on the port side so super convenient to everything on the ship. Nothing was ever too far from our cabin. Up or down were easy even if the elevators were busy because we were half way between the bottom and top. And front to back we were a little rear of mid ship. This also made for a very calm voyage - not too much rocking.

The cabin itself is very roomy and well laid out. A full bathroom with two sinks and an actual tub and shower. The bathroom has two doors... one on the living room side and one from the bedroom. There was a nice sized couch and some club chairs with a TV in the living room area. And the bedroom had a king size bed (two twins pushed together) and a makeup area. Plenty of closet and drawer space for all of our stuff. And the balcony was a good size. A small table with some chairs and two chaise lounges for soaking in the sun and just watching the ocean go by. Would definitely get this cabin again.
Deck 13 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

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