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Anthem of the Seas Review

4.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating
2775 reviews
6 Awards

Massive Disappointment

Review for Anthem of the Seas to the Bahamas
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shawngun
6-10 Cruises • Age 40s

Rating by category

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Family
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Fitness & Recreation

Additional details

Sail Date: Apr 2022
Cabin:
Traveled with children

To be clear, I'm a Royal Caribbean loyalist. I have been on 6 different ships for a total of 7 different Royal Caribbean cruises over the past 15 years. I'd been on the Anthem of the Seas previously over the holidays at the end of 2019. I had moderate expectations as the world emerges from COVID, and I understand that industries are struggling to get back to normal. All that said, I am so disappointed with Royal Caribbean at nearly every step of the way, from booking through embarkation and debarkation, that I will never sail with them again. The bottom line is that they are a publicly traded company, and even though I am happy to give plenty of grace as we return to normal, the fact is that the product was so significantly below standard (at a higher price than I originally paid 3 years ago), that I simply will never give them my business again.

Booking: It could not have been worse. I had originally booked a trip for April 2020, which was obviously cancelled because of COVID. Royal Caribbean issued Future Cruise Credits (FCCs) to be used when the world was ready and able to cruise again. A few months ago, I received an email that all FCCs must be booked by April 2022, with all cruises completed by December 2022. At the time, I felt that this was a bit early to force people to get back on a ship, but not wanting to lose out on my ~$6,000 of FCCs (and to take my kids and nephews on a much-anticipated trip), I booked for the April 2022 sailing out of Cape Liberty. I rebooked everything back in September and thought I was good to go. In early March I spoke with an agent for nearly an hour to make sure everything was good to go, to make sure all balances were paid, to confirm that my four rooms were linked, and that all our extras had been applied correctly. I was assured were were good to go. At exactly 30 days before the trip (and only about 10 days after I had spoken to an agent), I woke up to a cancellation notice. Apparently, there was an outstanding balance and my cruise was cancelled immediately. I called Royal Caribbean (who did not answer the phone for 2 hours within their posted times on their website, which says they open at 7 am for calls) and finally spoke to an agent a bit after 9 am. They told me they could rebook me, but that I would have to pay the current rates to get back on the exact same ship and rooms that I had just hours before. It came out to over $2,000. It was a 90-minute debacle. Having what I felt was no choice, I booked it, because there were 5 teenagers going with us on the cruise and I didn't want to disappoint them. Otherwise, I would have bailed right then. Fast forward a few weeks...I get another email saying that my rooms were not booked correctly, and that the 3 adults and 5 children could not be configured the way they were. I wrote back saying that they themselves booked this, and that I'm confused. I also let them know about the debacle from a few weeks before. To their credit, the agent this time was fantastic (via email) and refunded me the $2,000 or so, stating that there should have been a 24-hour price lock. However, they moved the rooms around (splitting up me and my wife) so that we could meet the requirements of adult/child in rooms. The strange thing was that this really accomplished nothing. Even after their correction, it still left one room with two 14-year old children as the only occupants. It was completely odd. Fast forward to the day of the cruise...

Embarkation: This was very good and efficient. Zero complaints here. Minor issues with their iPads not working, but I was impressed with the automation of the entire process. Totally good to go, and kudos to Cape Liberty for running a tight operation.

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