Love this ship! Toured it twice before this sailing.I was part of a small group of 6 cabins. There were 5 weddings onboard during this short 5 night itinerary! The one thing that I was sort of annoyed about was that Two70 was closed most ... Read More
Love this ship! Toured it twice before this sailing.I was part of a small group of 6 cabins. There were 5 weddings onboard during this short 5 night itinerary! The one thing that I was sort of annoyed about was that Two70 was closed most of the sea days due to the private events of the weddings. I was really looking forward to spending some quality time there as that is my favorite view. Otherwise, ship is great, but big. Lots of walking. LOVE Bermuda! But the 2 days there were way too fast. I prefer a longer itinerary to Bermuda, but wanted to experience this ship.I have been there at least 5 times and never get tired of it! The Gift was so bizarrre that we left after 10 minutes. It was very hard to follow. We will Rock You was slow at first, but then it got better and was very good! Spectra's Cabaret was very interesting and it was neat to see Two70 transform into a nightime venue. Terry LaVelle plays Spectra and boy does he have LONG legs! It was excellent! Overall I would sail on Anthem again, but I wish there was a longer Bermuda itinerary like other lines have. Read Less
We had been watching the weather very intensely for our 5-day Anthem of the Seas sailing out of Bayonne. It was, after all, hurricane season and many cruises had been diverted, cancelled or had their itinerary changed as a result of ... Read More
We had been watching the weather very intensely for our 5-day Anthem of the Seas sailing out of Bayonne. It was, after all, hurricane season and many cruises had been diverted, cancelled or had their itinerary changed as a result of Hurricanes Harvey, and Maria etc. We considered ourselves very lucky; and our ship sailed on a balmy East Coast Saturday! The weather the entire cruise was just perfect as well.
I’m a seasoned cruiser (some of you might recognize me as Cruise Critic’s Community Manager) and sailed with my husband and two “new to cruise” friends on this cruise. We love to cruise for our anniversary, and we celebrated on this sailing. I’ve previously sailed on most of Royal Caribbean’s classes of ships – Oasis, Freedom, Radiance & Voyager classes.
Our scheduled time to board was 11:00am; we arrived shortly before that, dropped off our luggage and parked on the ground floor of the parking garage. Before we knew it, we were onboard. This was probably the quickest embarkation I’ve experienced in a long time. Having people walking around with iPads was the key; and I knew to search them out rather than get directly on line.
We booked two Superior Balcony staterooms on Deck 10; our stateroom has one of the larger balconies. Although there was plenty of storage space for all the stuff I over packed; I immediately noticed that this stateroom was – how to put this – thinner than other Royal Caribbean Deluxe Balconies I have experienced in the past. The beds were near the balcony doors and I kept hitting my shoulder against the wall as I scooted around to go outside. Having the amount of storage available made it easier to keep the room neat and tidy. The décor was modern, our room was in great condition and our stateroom attendant was excellent. Ah, but the bed. The bed was very hard, as so many have mentioned in their reviews. And that couch! Hard as well…it was hard to find somewhere comfy to sit to watch TV or read, etc.
I have to comment on the Voom Internet. BEST INTERNET EVER! Fast, no nonsense. Clearly, they’ve stepped up here and made it easy for us “always on” types to be able to keep in touch with family, or work if they have to! I loved the RoyalIQ app for checking and changing reservations, as well as the cruise daily.
The nice folks over at Royal Caribbean held an official Cruise Critic Meet & Mingle on board this sailing. It was held in the Schooner Bar (great venue btw) and was attended by the Activities Manager and Group Coordinator, and of course myself! We had refreshments and a raffle! I hope everyone had a great time – it was super meeting every single one of you who attended!
Since I was bringing two newbies along, I wanted them to experience various types of dining venues, so I booked: Solarium Bistro, Chops and Jamies Italian for dinner. I figured we’d try the Windjammer for dinner another night – my hubby loves buffets – and the traditional dining room on another night. Well, the plans went slightly awry when, after eating at Jamies, we switched from the dining room to a SECOND night there. We obviously enjoyed it very much. Service in all the paid dining venues was excellent to outstanding! I would have to say don’t miss Jaime’s. We found the food in Windjammer good to excellent, (I mean, how bad can giant trays of bacon be???). Another favorite was Chops, which is where we celebrated our anniversary dinner. The waiter was perfect, however, the restaurant manager there chooses to admonish his servers in full view and hearing of patrons. Not professional at all.
I have to mention seating on board. Now, this is a pet peeve of mine. I’m short. Not teeny tiny, but 5’1”. So was my friend. We found it difficult to find a comfortable chair where, if we were to sit all the way back in the chair, our legs wouldn’t stick out straight in front of us! They must have super tall people as chair testers! I volunteer my services as a short person!
The ship is just beautiful. Most of the artwork compliments the décor. I loved the cherry blossoms with glittering crystal leaves! Some artwork, such as the funky animals in the elevators, didn’t seem to fit the classiness of the ship. But, as they say – art is in the eye of the beholder! Dining venues each had their own definite décor (not cookie-cutter at all) which was nice. I think the prettiest spot was the solarium, with its cascading pools and tropical décor.
Moving about the ship was difficult at times. Even though I’m an early riser (and subsequently my day is skewed earlier for everything), there were lines and crowds – especially on sea days as expected. Once they bring out those “sales” on the Esplanade, you can barely move around. Funny, too, was to watch people line up behind the ropes for the “sale” to open! The elevators seem out of sync, for lack of a better word. We eventually took elevators UP to eventually go down, and vice versa.
Lines were the reason we weren’t able to try the bumper cars. And all the iFly appoints were sold out as well. But, we did get to try Northstar while at sea, and it was fun. Hubbies did play a few games of pool in the Music Hall, as well as ping pong in the SeaPlex. There certainly is a great deal to do, and if you aren’t able to actually do then watching is almost as fun!
We did attend some shows, and I’ll leave reviewing them to others who enjoy these types of entertainment. I don’t, but went along so that our newbies could experience them.
Bermuda! My favorite warm-weather island port. I’ve visited many times before as a cruise passenger. We were lucky in that the weather was perfect – blue, sunny skies with the temps in the low 80’s. Ah! For our first day, we booked a six-hour tour with Byways Tours (Heidi Cowen). She picked us up at Heritage Pier (scheduled for 9am but the ship was a bit late disembarking us). She made many stops along this tour, and we made it all the way to St. Georges! She knows her Island and its history, that’s for sure. The six-hour tour did turn into almost eight hours long; we were all very tired. Thank goodness for the air-conditioned tour van that held 12 passengers but only 9 on this tour.
Our second day we explored the Commissioner’s House at the Royal Dockyard, as well as the various museums at the fort itself.
Some final notes:
Dress Code: you name it, we saw it. That pretty much sums it up. For us, we consulted the suggested dress code for the venue in which we were eating, and we attempted to follow those suggestions. Some venues were designated as formal on the second night of this sailing!
Shopping: I bought my standard ship magnet, plus two t-shirts for those back at home. Oh, and I did start to feel an upper respiratory coming on and was able to buy over the counter cough meds and cough drops on board. There really is a large variety of items offered during their sales – wait until your last sea day would be my tip.
Deck chairs: I have never seen so many available deck chairs on a cruise ship. No, I’m really serious! We had gorgeous weather…even on the way back to Bayonne. And there were plenty of deck chairs in the sunshine. Which is why I don’t understand why people still seem to feel the need to save them. SIGH.
Anthem of the Seas does seem like the perfect ship to be sailing out of the tri-state area. She’s big, busy, entertaining – her personality seems so much like NYC! There’s so much to see and do, there was no way we were able to fit it all in five days. I’ll just have to book another! Read Less
My wife and I chose this cruise because we love Bermuda and figured this would be a good first family vacation with our 7 month old baby. We have been on Anthem once before and enjoyed it so we wanted to try it again. We booked the family ... Read More
My wife and I chose this cruise because we love Bermuda and figured this would be a good first family vacation with our 7 month old baby. We have been on Anthem once before and enjoyed it so we wanted to try it again. We booked the family Jr. suite since it was a decent price and we wanted extra space. The room worked perfectly for our needs. Our cabin steward Tuti was great. Kept the room clean, always knew the right time to make the room up, towel animals, etc.
We arrived to the pier in Bayonne around 1PM. Embarkation was very smooth. We were probably on board in about 45 minutes. We filled out all of information online which helps a lot. I saw bigger lines if you didnt complete the online check in. (by now all cruisers should know this)
This cruise was different for us as we had our 7 month old with us. We were not able to try some of the things we normally would on a cruise. (such as the shows, north star, etc) These were all good though the first time we went on Anthem. Service on Anthem was mostly very good. So many friendly and helpful staff. Can't say enough about these nice folks.
Food was all good to very good. We tried two special restaurants (Chops and Jamie's). We purchased the BOGO special dinner package online prior to sailing. Chops was great, service and quality of food. The filet mignon was so tender and cooked perfectly. I was worrying about Jamie's because of others' reviews on here, but we had a very pleasant experience overall. The lamb, pasta carbornara, and seafood pasta entrees were all delicious and fresh. Our waiter was very good too.
The rest of the cruise we ate dinners at Coastal Kitchen, since we were Suite guests and had access. Great food, service, everything. The last night our awersome waiter gave us filet mignon, scallops and lobster. Can't beat that. He was also very helpful with our son. Got us whatever we needed. Not sure how the regular dining rooms were, but Coastal was a real treat. Almost everything was very good. Shrimp cocktail was very good.
Windjammer for breakfast was the same like our first cruise. Plenty of food and mostly good. Fresh doughnuts were quite good, try to get some while they are still warm. Lines could get long on the first lunch day and breakfast morning. Tables can be tough to find but keep going, something opens up. Even with a baby and stroller we were able to make things work.
Bermuda was beautiful as always. We were lucky and had no hurricanes nearby, unlike the Bermuda sailing before us which was re-routed to the northeast.
Overall, the cruise worked perfectly as we hoped for. No major disappointments at all. Our debarkation was so smooth since we were suite guests, however regular guest line looked a bit terrible. Not so sure what happened there but they did make an announcement that there was a slight delay. The line went from midship all the way aft to the 270.
Definitely would book anthem again in the future, along with a suite room, with our Crown & Anchor benefits. Makes things much more enjoyable and comfortable. Read Less
The cruise exceeded my expectations! It was a great ship with even better staff. The servers in the American Icon Grill made us feel like family. The staff made you feel like their guest and not someone that they have to take care of as ... Read More
The cruise exceeded my expectations! It was a great ship with even better staff. The servers in the American Icon Grill made us feel like family. The staff made you feel like their guest and not someone that they have to take care of as part of their job. The iFly and FloRider were a lot of fun and are a terrific addition to all the ship has to offer. We would definitely cruise again with Royal Caribbean and recommend them to anyone looking to take a cruise. Bermuda was fun and a good destination. The time we were at port was just about right to get a feel for what the island has to offer. Everything flowed smoothly from start to finish and I know that doesn't happen by accident. If you're looking for a cruse line for your next vacation then you need to consider Royal Caribbean. Thanks for a great trip!! Read Less
I was always wondering what an obstructed view meant. This room was on the 6th floor. I travelled with my wife and 2 children ages 9 and 7. The king sized bed was excellent. The bed for the kids was a sofa that had a trundle feature. You ... Read More
I was always wondering what an obstructed view meant. This room was on the 6th floor. I travelled with my wife and 2 children ages 9 and 7. The king sized bed was excellent. The bed for the kids was a sofa that had a trundle feature. You pull the bottom mattress out from under the sofa. It was even and comfortable. They had plenty of room. The bathroom was small(as usual) but clean and modern. The balcony was spacious and the sliding doors opened wide.
The obstruction was that this floor is directly above the life boats. So, the balcony looks out fine. You can look for and aft perfectly. When you look down, you see the tops of the orange life boats. So, when in port, you can't see the walkway on the pier, but you can look out and see everything else. To me, it was a non factor the entire cruise. Read Less
We traveled with 2 other couples who are in their early 50s. The boat is very nice and well maintained. The food in Chops's and Wonderland is not to be missed. Wonderland is super but not for kids, I suggest late teans, at the youngest. We ... Read More
We traveled with 2 other couples who are in their early 50s. The boat is very nice and well maintained. The food in Chops's and Wonderland is not to be missed. Wonderland is super but not for kids, I suggest late teans, at the youngest. We are very frequent high end travelers so we are looking for top notch service.
The food and service in Jamie's was ok but not great. The waitress did not know how to pour good wine which is not acceptable. I would still try the restaurant as there are limited other pay venues.
The spa is not what it use be, the lack of a separate men's and women's steam rooms is not acceptable. Also, the men's room did not have any personal care products and since they charge for use of the spa the lack of these items, which they used to provide, is grossly unacceptable and shows just how much the line has cut back on the little things that can elevate a line and cruise experience.
The other major problem is the lack of bar tenders and service in the bars. They are clearly understaffed and the strict measuring of the liquor resulted in half fillled glasses at full prices. On a number of occasions we refused the drinks until they were properly topped off. This severe cut back smacks of cheapness and permeated the whole cruise. RC has to let the bar tenders pour full sized drinks and the lack of nuts and basic snacks at the bars, that used to be provided, again shows how much too cost cutting effects the little things that make a difference.
While I like RC and will cruise with them again mangegment has to review what they have cut back on and realize that cost cutting and cutting corners does not go unnoticed by the experienced traveler.
On the upside our state room attendant Orlin was particularly good and made a huge difference, he unlike a lot of the staff was upbeat and always graeated us with a warm smile.
Skip the cabaret show, it makes no sense and has no plot or theme. Read Less
I would not cruise Royal Caribbean again. Compared to 7 other cruises I have taken on other lines this one did not measure up. Staff was not accommodating nor friendly. Acted mechanical. The food is not the quality I expected although the ... Read More
I would not cruise Royal Caribbean again. Compared to 7 other cruises I have taken on other lines this one did not measure up. Staff was not accommodating nor friendly. Acted mechanical. The food is not the quality I expected although the Windjammer buffet dining room served great food the main dining room was lacking both food quality and service quality. very slow. Purchased the beverage package and was disappointed. the specialty coffee shops were always very busy with a line and only 1 barista. And from what I saw only 2 shops served specialty coffee The soda machines providing refreshments were sparsely located and I had to hunt for them. Bottled water IS available everywhere because alcohol is everywhere. The disembarkation was a mess, people cutting in line was a huge disappointment. They offer "complimentary breakfast" but label the room service charge in such a way it is deceiving. Many other passengers that I spoke to were under the impression all was free and complimentary when in fact all room service has a $7.95 charge per order. Food availability was poor after 10 p there is 1 pizza shop that serves hot pizza nowhere else can you get hot food on the ship unless you order room service. And after a show, half the ship is trying to get a piece of pizza. Very poorly thought out.
all in all would not cruise RC again. I felt much more special and relaxed on a Carnival Cruise, funny because they are considered the party ships but yet I was more relaxed....Availability of restrooms is a mystery as well if you had any type of physical issue good luck! Read Less
Embarkation was so smooth, we were on the ship in less then 15 minutes, disembarkation is only smooth with a porter, if not, the lines are enormous (not enough Custom Officers). This ship is Awesome, very clean and so much to do. All the ... Read More
Embarkation was so smooth, we were on the ship in less then 15 minutes, disembarkation is only smooth with a porter, if not, the lines are enormous (not enough Custom Officers). This ship is Awesome, very clean and so much to do. All the Staff was always very friendly and helpful. We usually ate at the buffet which has something for everyone! They have onboard Entertainment and Activities for all ages. The Shows are great, all pools are very clean, and life guard at all times. All public and private areas were very well kept . The unique thing about this ship is the artwork, pictures in the elevators and hallway, Flow Rider, Rip Cord, bumper cars, roller skating, circus. Two70, was very relaxing during they day, you can have a quiet breakfast or lunch there, sit and relax, and at night enjoy the shows there.
Looking forward to cruising next year.. Read Less
I am a loyal cruiser with Royal Caribbean and my new husband and I took this cruise as our honeymoon. The room was great, but the air conditioning was poor, it was always hot in the stateroom. The man taking care of our room, Joel, was ... Read More
I am a loyal cruiser with Royal Caribbean and my new husband and I took this cruise as our honeymoon. The room was great, but the air conditioning was poor, it was always hot in the stateroom. The man taking care of our room, Joel, was wonderful and a delight to talk to. The food in the main dining areas was poor, the meat was terrible, and the selection didn't change much from day to day. The ship was extremely crowded, the promenade was much smaller than other ships which made it worse. The bar service was slow and unfriendly, except for the solarium bar. The crew there was wonderful, especially Jenree and Joseph. We tried to play bingo, we were a few minutes late, but it hadn't started yet and they hadn't gone over the rules yet, and the staff refused us a chance to play.
I would not recommed this ship. Read Less
Ships layout is very congested in the main areas . Broken elevators causing wait time of no less then 20 minutes. To many passengers for this cruise causing very congested areas. Embarkation was set up poorly no direction given by crew ... Read More
Ships layout is very congested in the main areas . Broken elevators causing wait time of no less then 20 minutes. To many passengers for this cruise causing very congested areas. Embarkation was set up poorly no direction given by crew members as to where to find elevators, staterooms, just wanted to sell you the extras. To many extra costs on board some expected but way to many. Having to make reservations to see free shows unacceptable. No announced activities by cruise director or staff. Internet service way to costly for daily use. Other cruise lines offer as good of service for far less. Dining room service and housekeeping staff were the hardest working and most appreciative of the guest. No sports bar to watch sporting events and bars had one or two televisions, Debarkation was complete mess with no direction except get in this line that ran the entire length of the 5000 passanger ship and wait. Not going on this cruise line any time to soon. Read Less
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