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We booked this cruise because due to a job move, our summer cruise had to be postponed. We usually can only vacation during July/August, but this time we had a window of time open around Thanksgiving that we don't normally have so this cruise fit in perfectly. We're a family of 5 with three children between the ages of 10 and 14. Lucky for us, there were connecting balcony cabins available, so we took advantage of this since we work much better in two rooms than crammed into one (extra bathroom alone is worth it). We also purchased the Deluxe drink package for my husband and I and the Refreshment package for the kids. Anthem is a gorgeous ship. From the first look driving into port to the interior, it is a sight to behold. Everything was kept sparkling clean, there were handwashing/sanitizing stations aplenty and the staff was wonderful. Everyone was quick to serve and seemed happy. Another wonderful thing is how the Casino smoke doesn't affect much around the Casino itself due to its design. The shows on this ship were amazing. We saw all three - The Gift, We Will Rock You, and Spectra's Cabaret. Each one was fantastic - the singers, the dancers, the overall production. Huge kudos to all involved with these. We had a wonderful MDR experience during this cruise. We didn't even intend on eating in the MDR every night, but we ended up there anyway because we didn't want to miss out. Our waitstaff was probably the best I've ever had in any restaurant anywhere and I am not kidding. Even the manager was fantastic. Everything from knowing our names and preferred drinks by the second day to bringing our table extra things "just to try" to playing around with our kids teaching napkin folding, dancing, etc. Our MDR experience was by far the best part of our cruise. The ports we visited were nice - we went to Kennedy Space Center at Port Canaveral, booked an all inclusive pass at Melia in Nassau and did the waterpark at Coco Cay. I highly recommend the water park if you have kids that enjoy this type of activity. I'm not as big of a thrill seeker as my kids and husband are, but I had a great time at the wave pool while they tackled the biggest slides. Now for the not so great for us: The indoor pool is next to a smoking section door so every time the door opens a huge waft of smoke rolls in. Gross. Bar service was bad. The bartenders themselves weren't terrible people, but I swear no one knows how to make any of their drinks. You can order one drink and every single bartender will make it differently. Drinks that stated they had certain ingredients clearly did not or they were substituted. The complimentary food options other than the MDR were lackluster. I was very turned off by the Windjammer due to the crowd alone. It is very difficult to find a place to sit down and many times we gave up and just took our plates back to our rooms. Very disappointing. Also, somehow the eggs on the buffet were always disgusting. Didn't matter if they were scrambled, in an omelet, etc they all tasted nasty. How?? The Coke Freestyle machines were constantly out of service or simply out of most of the drinks. This is unacceptable when it is part of the appeal of the Refreshment package. There also needs to be more machines spread around the ship. The Piano Bar was a total snoozefest. We enjoy a lively party in the piano bar with a more adult atmosphere in the evening and this just did not come close. The kids clubs were boring and unorganized. They had a few scheduled activities at the Sea Plex, but they couldn't keep up with all the kids onboard and there wasn't enough to keep the kids busy for the length of the cruise. And most of the things on the schedule were sports related - mostly dodgeball and the like. What about kids that aren't into sports? By the end, my kids were hanging out in their room on their phones. There were way too many people - particularly children - on this cruise. This is part of our learning experience. I don't think we will ever cruise over a holiday again. I believe we were told there were around 1500 kids on this cruise. I had three of my own, yes, but when there are that many onboard, they are not all in a "kids club" or in the Sea Plex (which didn't even offer all the activities and many times the lines were insane)- they are everywhere! All hours of the day infants were crawling on the music hall floor, people brought their kids to the ADULT comedy show, the "adults only" silent disco, and they were just running rampant everywhere all hours of the day and night. Also, forget the Solarium being "adults only" - kids there too. Especially since Royal somehow considers a 16 year old an adult. Maybe it's just me, but there's something wildly inappropriate and uncomfortable with a 16 year old being in a hot tub *topless* (yeah, that happened) with adults. My husband and I felt there was no place or time on this cruise to "be an adult" without having to worry about other peoples kids. We generally felt like we were 10 years too young and 10 years too old for the demographic of this cruise. It was bizarre. There were just too many people in general. And some say summer is crowded? Oh no, nothing compared to Thanksgiving week. People regularly packed the Royal Esplenade and you seriously had to fight your way through to get anywhere. If you are lucky enough to get to your destination on time and find a seat (haha), don't you dare get up from that seat because there are so many people in a small space, you're not coming back to that spot. Like I said - learning experience. The other chunk of learning for us is the time of year/location. We all agreed that we won't sail out of the north again unless it is summer. We had beautiful balconies, but could not use them for the first few days and last few days of the cruise. It was just too cold. The days we could use them were port days so our use then was limited anyway. Same goes for the pools, or any other outside deck activity. We're just not a fan of that. We love sea days and spending time outside. We knew November would be a roll of the dice and the odds just weren't in our favor of nice weather. I know a lot of this sounds negative, but we did have a nice time. Like I said, Anthem is great, the shows, the main dining, the trip to Coco Cay... we had a wonderful holiday. But, cold weather cruising on a huge ship packed with kids on holiday break is not for us.

Beautiful Ship, but definitely a learning experience for us

Anthem of the Seas Cruise Review by Herissica

3 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: November 2019
  • Destination: Bahamas
  • Cabin Type: Ocean View Balcony
We booked this cruise because due to a job move, our summer cruise had to be postponed. We usually can only vacation during July/August, but this time we had a window of time open around Thanksgiving that we don't normally have so this cruise fit in perfectly. We're a family of 5 with three children between the ages of 10 and 14. Lucky for us, there were connecting balcony cabins available, so we took advantage of this since we work much better in two rooms than crammed into one (extra bathroom alone is worth it). We also purchased the Deluxe drink package for my husband and I and the Refreshment package for the kids.

Anthem is a gorgeous ship. From the first look driving into port to the interior, it is a sight to behold. Everything was kept sparkling clean, there were handwashing/sanitizing stations aplenty and the staff was wonderful. Everyone was quick to serve and seemed happy. Another wonderful thing is how the Casino smoke doesn't affect much around the Casino itself due to its design.

The shows on this ship were amazing. We saw all three - The Gift, We Will Rock You, and Spectra's Cabaret. Each one was fantastic - the singers, the dancers, the overall production. Huge kudos to all involved with these.

We had a wonderful MDR experience during this cruise. We didn't even intend on eating in the MDR every night, but we ended up there anyway because we didn't want to miss out. Our waitstaff was probably the best I've ever had in any restaurant anywhere and I am not kidding. Even the manager was fantastic. Everything from knowing our names and preferred drinks by the second day to bringing our table extra things "just to try" to playing around with our kids teaching napkin folding, dancing, etc. Our MDR experience was by far the best part of our cruise.

The ports we visited were nice - we went to Kennedy Space Center at Port Canaveral, booked an all inclusive pass at Melia in Nassau and did the waterpark at Coco Cay. I highly recommend the water park if you have kids that enjoy this type of activity. I'm not as big of a thrill seeker as my kids and husband are, but I had a great time at the wave pool while they tackled the biggest slides.

Now for the not so great for us:

The indoor pool is next to a smoking section door so every time the door opens a huge waft of smoke rolls in. Gross.

Bar service was bad. The bartenders themselves weren't terrible people, but I swear no one knows how to make any of their drinks. You can order one drink and every single bartender will make it differently. Drinks that stated they had certain ingredients clearly did not or they were substituted.

The complimentary food options other than the MDR were lackluster. I was very turned off by the Windjammer due to the crowd alone. It is very difficult to find a place to sit down and many times we gave up and just took our plates back to our rooms. Very disappointing. Also, somehow the eggs on the buffet were always disgusting. Didn't matter if they were scrambled, in an omelet, etc they all tasted nasty. How??

The Coke Freestyle machines were constantly out of service or simply out of most of the drinks. This is unacceptable when it is part of the appeal of the Refreshment package. There also needs to be more machines spread around the ship.

The Piano Bar was a total snoozefest. We enjoy a lively party in the piano bar with a more adult atmosphere in the evening and this just did not come close.

The kids clubs were boring and unorganized. They had a few scheduled activities at the Sea Plex, but they couldn't keep up with all the kids onboard and there wasn't enough to keep the kids busy for the length of the cruise. And most of the things on the schedule were sports related - mostly dodgeball and the like. What about kids that aren't into sports? By the end, my kids were hanging out in their room on their phones.

There were way too many people - particularly children - on this cruise. This is part of our learning experience. I don't think we will ever cruise over a holiday again. I believe we were told there were around 1500 kids on this cruise. I had three of my own, yes, but when there are that many onboard, they are not all in a "kids club" or in the Sea Plex (which didn't even offer all the activities and many times the lines were insane)- they are everywhere! All hours of the day infants were crawling on the music hall floor, people brought their kids to the ADULT comedy show, the "adults only" silent disco, and they were just running rampant everywhere all hours of the day and night. Also, forget the Solarium being "adults only" - kids there too. Especially since Royal somehow considers a 16 year old an adult. Maybe it's just me, but there's something wildly inappropriate and uncomfortable with a 16 year old being in a hot tub *topless* (yeah, that happened) with adults. My husband and I felt there was no place or time on this cruise to "be an adult" without having to worry about other peoples kids. We generally felt like we were 10 years too young and 10 years too old for the demographic of this cruise. It was bizarre.

There were just too many people in general. And some say summer is crowded? Oh no, nothing compared to Thanksgiving week. People regularly packed the Royal Esplenade and you seriously had to fight your way through to get anywhere. If you are lucky enough to get to your destination on time and find a seat (haha), don't you dare get up from that seat because there are so many people in a small space, you're not coming back to that spot.

Like I said - learning experience. The other chunk of learning for us is the time of year/location. We all agreed that we won't sail out of the north again unless it is summer. We had beautiful balconies, but could not use them for the first few days and last few days of the cruise. It was just too cold. The days we could use them were port days so our use then was limited anyway. Same goes for the pools, or any other outside deck activity. We're just not a fan of that. We love sea days and spending time outside. We knew November would be a roll of the dice and the odds just weren't in our favor of nice weather.

I know a lot of this sounds negative, but we did have a nice time. Like I said, Anthem is great, the shows, the main dining, the trip to Coco Cay... we had a wonderful holiday. But, cold weather cruising on a huge ship packed with kids on holiday break is not for us.
Herissica’s Full Rating Summary
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Ages 10 to 12
Ages 13 to 15
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Cabin Review

Ocean View Balcony
Cabin 6D
Our rooms were on Deck 13 (274 and 276). I know some people have an issue with the "overhang" on Deck 13 balconies, but I didn't find it obtrusive at all. Maybe that's because I didn't get to enjoy my balcony as much as I'd like, but that plays into the learning experience. In general these rooms were larger than I expected, well appointed, and taken care of very well by our steward. I have no complaints at all about the cabins.
Deck 13 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews