Firstly, I'd like to thank all my fellow cruisers for many traveling so easy. I love reading everyone's take on ships, dining experiences and ports. It is extremely helpful and this is the primary reason why I'm writing ... Read More
Firstly, I'd like to thank all my fellow cruisers for many traveling so easy. I love reading everyone's take on ships, dining experiences and ports. It is extremely helpful and this is the primary reason why I'm writing this review.
Yes, we were on the now infamous February 6, 2016, cruise to nowhere. I do not have to fill you in on all the gory details since I am sure you've all seen the news. So, here I go!
This was my yearly cruise with my 94 year old mother, her good friend, my 55 year old sister and myself, mid 60's. My mom loves to cruise and we love taking her! We are all foodies, we love tasting foods from different countries and collectively have traveled around the world. So, needless to say, food is important to us. More about this later. The ship in and of itself is magnificent! Smartly laid out with surprises at every corner. Muted colors, beautiful, modern chandeliers, quaint seating areas, some with rocking chairs and a multitude of activities, shows, performers and restaurants. We all really loved the ship!
I'm not sure why RCCL chose to get rid of the counters upon arrival. In my opinion, counters make more sense. You get on a line, you wait your turn, you're in! In this case, you walk into the hall where you may or may not see RCCL agents with an iPad attached to the forearms (painful)? Once you've seen the agent, you are then free to go through security and you're done. Sounds easy, right? Wrong! Agents are scattered throughout the hall and have lines of their own. So, one might get lucky and find an agent quickly or not. My advice would be to go back to the counters, easier, and more efficient.
Our mom had a handicap cabin on Deck 3, around the corner from the Music Hall. Happy to say, we never heard a sound or were bothered by any loud noises from this venue which, by the way, if you like rock, country, soul or Caribbean music, this is the place to be! My sister and I shared a balcony on deck 7 mid-ship, roomy, lots of closet space and Francisco was an excellent attendant.
So many places to sit, relax and have an ice cream, coffee, a glass or wine or a cocktail. Whatever your mood was on that day (and believe me there were many moods on this cruise), there was a place for you to sit and relax. We especially loved Vintages for a wonderful selection of fine wines, Sorrentos for that late night slice of pizza, and La Patisserie for an afternoon latte and scone. Michael's Pub is just like being in a pub in Ireland or the UK. Although I never went in, I passed by it daily and there was always someone singing or people just having a good time. Their was also always a Trivia game going on in the Schooner Bar and you could hear laughter and people having a good time. Bionic Bar to me was a waste of space but, I guess it goes along with the theme of “Quantum," and robotics which I have yet to understand. Boleros was by far our favorite. This is where we would go at night for the Salsa show and our mojito right before going to bed.
Here's where it gets interesting! As you can tell by my CC signature, my family and I are equal opportunity cruisers. We are not loyal to any particular company, hence, we do not get to dine in the specialty restaurants unless we pay for them. That being said, we have sailed with many, many cruise lines for many, many years. We visited CHIC, American Icon, Solarium Bistro and the Windjammer respectively each night for dinner. Now sit tight for this one, drum roll please.......the Winner is
THE WINDJAMMER! Fresh ingredients, cooked to order. On our last night we all either had steak, (cooked medium perfectly), fish, (hand picked and cooked in front of us), pasta (with a myriad special sauces and ingredients to select from) and chicken. We paired all of the above with fresh veggies, soup to start, bread and wine!
So what happened? Where did RCCL go so wrong? It is my opinion they do not have a handle on Dynamic Dining. (They need to take lessons from NCL and Celebrity where it works like a charm!)
I also strongly feel the servers and waitstaff are inexperienced and I have no words for whoever the chef is! Sadly, the food in the restaurants we visited was in one word, terrible. The food was more often than not, room temperature or downright cold, over or undercooked, had no taste whatsoever and to add insult to injury the noise level was similar to a Junior High School cafeteria reducing the “dining” experience to a shouting match. Even the waitstaff was yelling and the sound of dishes clanking was almost intolerable. Perhaps I'm exaggerating a bit, but you get the picture, no bueno!
CAFE TWO 70!
Spectacular! However, here again ANTHEM missed the mark. Don't get me wrong, CAFE TWO 70 is a magnificent space that has weird shows, robots, moving screens and really beautiful use of cameras on the window panes. It misses the mark because the shows are not really relevant unless you're a techie! I found the shows to be uninspiring and honestly a waste of my precious time. Call me old fashioned but I prefer Broadway productions with beautiful guys and gals singing and dancing. Don't particularly care for rock so I missed We Will Rock You. Heard both positive and negative reviews, one being the show is way to long.
5 Stars for a unique relaxation area. You have to see this one, really beautiful!
All in all our trip to nowhere was memorable. Would I sail ANTHEM again, my quick answer is no. There are so many other ships to choose from on RC as well as others. Was this the trip we planned? Of course not but we chose to make lemonade out of lemons and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves sipping wine, dancing at Boleros and reminding ourselves that tomorrow is promised to no one!
Happy Cruising fellow Cruisers Read Less