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Let me begin by saying we had a very good time on our cruise and there were may outstanding and memorable experiences on this cruise. The "problems" I will note in this review are most definitely "First World Problems" and even the world "problem" may be too extreme. And yet, for the price paid ($12,769.30 for two people), I feel there was a justifiable expectation of excellence. Our previous cruise in Star Class on Anthem's sister ship Ovation was outstanding and so we ponied up the additional ~$8,000 to move up from a Grand Suite to a Grand Loft and Star Class. Star Class is where you get a Royal Genie and, since there are fewer than 10 Star Class suites on board, get outstanding, exclusive service. (See my review of that cruise, "Cruising with a Genie! - The Star Suite Experience") Turns out that the Star Class experience on Anthem was world's away from the experience we enjoyed on Ovation. It is possible that we simply had a mundane Royal Genie or it is possible that Royal Caribbean has not established a consistent product or communicated the Star Class program effectively across the fleet. Regardless, the experience was very uneven and definitely less than what we expected based on our previous experience. Our Genie did everything we asked for but was really not proactive and we often felt we were bothering him with our requests. After a couple of days we stopped asked for many things. The general ship staff was excellent but many areas of the ship were unaware of and unprepared to provide that next level service one might expect of Star Class. As a small example; on Ovation when we wanted to partake in the bumper cars there was a clearly posted sign at the front of the line for Star Class. All we had to do was walk over and the staff operating the event immediately put as in first. We didn't even have to show our cards as virtually all of the staff knew who the Star Class passengers were (There can typically only be 20 - 30 Star Class on this class ship). On Anthem there was no such sign. When walked over the people who were waiting in line were giving us dirty looks - which I completely understand - because there was no signage to help explain the situation. Furthermore, the staff operating the event gave us a hard time on one occasion - even after we showed them our card. Turns out they were evidently unaware of Star Class. To be fair, there was some truly excellent service on board Anthem. Coastal Kitchen has been a fantastic upgrade for all of Royal Caribbean's suite guests. The staff there, led by the amazing Assistant Maitre D' Jacob Abraham, were beyond first class. They were great for all guests but provided an even greater level of customized meals and service for the Star Class passengers. I also want to shout out to Hemant Kumar, Jr. Sous Chef, who went so far above and beyond to provide amazing customized meals - always showing the greatest attention and customer service. In general, as has been our experience on virtually all of our cruises on Royal Caribbean ships, the staff was very good, very customer focused and very friendly. If we had only been in a regular Grand Suite we would have been VERY happy with the service across the board. Embarkation was great! This was probably the most Star Class like part of the entire cruise. Zero waiting in line. Someone immediately came to us, got our luggage and escorted us to get refreshments while our luggage was scanned and our papers processed. Debarkation was ok. We did get walked past the long lines but the luggage area was a bit chaotic and there was less assistance - but we got through reasonably enough. The entertainment on board was very very good. The Royal Caribbean house performers were great. (The drummer was simply amazing). The shows and headliners were first rate. Our Grand Loft Suite 10724 was a beautiful and very functional room - but it showed a lot of wear and all suites at the back of Anthem have a gremlin.... BEWARE: Anthem of the Seas has a strange vibration issue at the back of the ship and the ship seems to be more sensitive to rough seas than others we have been on! We cruise Anthem's sister ship, Ovation, across the Tasman Sea and back with far less movement than Anthem had going down the Eastern Seaboard. It's possible that we just had really rough seas. What I struggle to understand is the VERY heavy vibration that occurred at the back of the ship during rough weather. This was so bad that it tossed us around in bed. We were told that this had to so with cavitation of the propellers when the waves hit the ship just right. Perhaps, but I have never experienced anything like this before. I wonder if Anthem sustained some damage when it was thrown around so violently during a Nor'easter a few years back? There was also a thunderstorm like growl that often accompanied the vibrations. I will try to upload a video clip of this (it may be too large to attach). We have heard that Anthem is going in for some work and refreshing soon. It needs it. There was torn upholstery, seat cushion, worn carpet and worn away paint all over the place. Royal Caribbean does do a good job of keeping their ships clean and maintained (as opposed to refreshed) and Anthem was no exception. Very clean, very well maintained. Our ports and shore excursions were generally good - with the exception of San Juan. I have no idea why Royal Caribbean insists on going there so often. It is really not a good port, the people are not particularly inviting, it feels unsafe and the excursions are lack luster. Create Your Own Perfume on St. Maarten was surprisingly good! Just a really fun activity and managed really well. Antigua Beach Extravaganza was far to overcrowded and waves were dangerously harsh. Several people were injured while we were there - including a broken ankle. Let's Make Chocolate in St. Lucia was also fun and well done. Sadly our chocolate didn't come our very good - but that's hardly the fault of the excursion. Basseterre by Segway was one of the better Segway tours. They let us run the Segways and not just follow the leader at a slow pace. We will continue to cruise on Royal Caribbean and their sister cruise line, Celebrity, but I doubt we will go the extra mile to book Star Class. Just too much money to risk a repeat of this experience. I would like to end with a general shout out the the Royal Caribbean crew members. I know that every week they have a new set of passengers. No sooner have they finished off a cruise and the experience of closing out a group of passengers when another group comes on board. Yet, they make it feel all brand new every time - like this is just the newest and most exciting day!

Star Class on Anthem of the Seas - A Mixed Bag and a Lot of Vibration!

Anthem of the Seas Cruise Review by Meshf

3 people found this helpful
Trip Details
Let me begin by saying we had a very good time on our cruise and there were may outstanding and memorable experiences on this cruise. The "problems" I will note in this review are most definitely "First World Problems" and even the world "problem" may be too extreme. And yet, for the price paid ($12,769.30 for two people), I feel there was a justifiable expectation of excellence.

Our previous cruise in Star Class on Anthem's sister ship Ovation was outstanding and so we ponied up the additional ~$8,000 to move up from a Grand Suite to a Grand Loft and Star Class. Star Class is where you get a Royal Genie and, since there are fewer than 10 Star Class suites on board, get outstanding, exclusive service. (See my review of that cruise, "Cruising with a Genie! - The Star Suite Experience")

Turns out that the Star Class experience on Anthem was world's away from the experience we enjoyed on Ovation. It is possible that we simply had a mundane Royal Genie or it is possible that Royal Caribbean has not established a consistent product or communicated the Star Class program effectively across the fleet. Regardless, the experience was very uneven and definitely less than what we expected based on our previous experience. Our Genie did everything we asked for but was really not proactive and we often felt we were bothering him with our requests. After a couple of days we stopped asked for many things. The general ship staff was excellent but many areas of the ship were unaware of and unprepared to provide that next level service one might expect of Star Class. As a small example; on Ovation when we wanted to partake in the bumper cars there was a clearly posted sign at the front of the line for Star Class. All we had to do was walk over and the staff operating the event immediately put as in first. We didn't even have to show our cards as virtually all of the staff knew who the Star Class passengers were (There can typically only be 20 - 30 Star Class on this class ship). On Anthem there was no such sign. When walked over the people who were waiting in line were giving us dirty looks - which I completely understand - because there was no signage to help explain the situation. Furthermore, the staff operating the event gave us a hard time on one occasion - even after we showed them our card. Turns out they were evidently unaware of Star Class.

To be fair, there was some truly excellent service on board Anthem. Coastal Kitchen has been a fantastic upgrade for all of Royal Caribbean's suite guests. The staff there, led by the amazing Assistant Maitre D' Jacob Abraham, were beyond first class. They were great for all guests but provided an even greater level of customized meals and service for the Star Class passengers. I also want to shout out to Hemant Kumar, Jr. Sous Chef, who went so far above and beyond to provide amazing customized meals - always showing the greatest attention and customer service.

In general, as has been our experience on virtually all of our cruises on Royal Caribbean ships, the staff was very good, very customer focused and very friendly. If we had only been in a regular Grand Suite we would have been VERY happy with the service across the board.

Embarkation was great! This was probably the most Star Class like part of the entire cruise. Zero waiting in line. Someone immediately came to us, got our luggage and escorted us to get refreshments while our luggage was scanned and our papers processed. Debarkation was ok. We did get walked past the long lines but the luggage area was a bit chaotic and there was less assistance - but we got through reasonably enough.

The entertainment on board was very very good. The Royal Caribbean house performers were great. (The drummer was simply amazing). The shows and headliners were first rate.

Our Grand Loft Suite 10724 was a beautiful and very functional room - but it showed a lot of wear and all suites at the back of Anthem have a gremlin....

BEWARE: Anthem of the Seas has a strange vibration issue at the back of the ship and the ship seems to be more sensitive to rough seas than others we have been on!

We cruise Anthem's sister ship, Ovation, across the Tasman Sea and back with far less movement than Anthem had going down the Eastern Seaboard. It's possible that we just had really rough seas. What I struggle to understand is the VERY heavy vibration that occurred at the back of the ship during rough weather. This was so bad that it tossed us around in bed. We were told that this had to so with cavitation of the propellers when the waves hit the ship just right. Perhaps, but I have never experienced anything like this before. I wonder if Anthem sustained some damage when it was thrown around so violently during a Nor'easter a few years back? There was also a thunderstorm like growl that often accompanied the vibrations. I will try to upload a video clip of this (it may be too large to attach).

We have heard that Anthem is going in for some work and refreshing soon. It needs it. There was torn upholstery, seat cushion, worn carpet and worn away paint all over the place. Royal Caribbean does do a good job of keeping their ships clean and maintained (as opposed to refreshed) and Anthem was no exception. Very clean, very well maintained.

Our ports and shore excursions were generally good - with the exception of San Juan. I have no idea why Royal Caribbean insists on going there so often. It is really not a good port, the people are not particularly inviting, it feels unsafe and the excursions are lack luster.

Create Your Own Perfume on St. Maarten was surprisingly good! Just a really fun activity and managed really well.

Antigua Beach Extravaganza was far to overcrowded and waves were dangerously harsh. Several people were injured while we were there - including a broken ankle.

Let's Make Chocolate in St. Lucia was also fun and well done. Sadly our chocolate didn't come our very good - but that's hardly the fault of the excursion.

Basseterre by Segway was one of the better Segway tours. They let us run the Segways and not just follow the leader at a slow pace.

We will continue to cruise on Royal Caribbean and their sister cruise line, Celebrity, but I doubt we will go the extra mile to book Star Class. Just too much money to risk a repeat of this experience.

I would like to end with a general shout out the the Royal Caribbean crew members. I know that every week they have a new set of passengers. No sooner have they finished off a cruise and the experience of closing out a group of passengers when another group comes on board. Yet, they make it feel all brand new every time - like this is just the newest and most exciting day!
Meshf’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
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Cabin Review

Grand Loft Suite
Cabin GL
Beautiful room but difficult to sleep in with the incredible, frequent heavy vibration.

Our Grand Loft Suite 10724 was a beautiful and very functional room - but it showed a lot of wear and all suites at the back of Anthem have a gremlin....

BEWARE: Anthem of the Seas has a strange vibration issue at the back of the ship and the ship seems to be more sensitive to rough seas than others we have been on!
Deck 11 Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews