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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
Warning: Long Review We are a group of 4 sisters (56 - 62) and since the port was two hours away and the cruise only 4 nights it was perfect. Embarkation was easy and quick after waiting in line to drop off luggage and then self park. ... Read More
Warning: Long Review We are a group of 4 sisters (56 - 62) and since the port was two hours away and the cruise only 4 nights it was perfect. Embarkation was easy and quick after waiting in line to drop off luggage and then self park. Three of us were fully checked in and they just scanned our passport. My one sister had to do the birth certificate route and have her picture taken but it really didn't slow us down. Security moved along fairly well and we were on board before 12. Room keys were outside the stateroom when we got there. Rooms were ready at 1:00 pm as we were told. The ship itself was the biggest we had ever been on, and did take us a bit to find our way around-mostly getting turned around in the Promenade area. There are interactive deck plans but not necessarily right at the elevators and I had trouble finding what I needed. They had a program introducing you to the Anthem but it was when the ship was pulling out (late start-like 45 min.) Muster drill: we were there for almost an hour. They said they were waiting for people to board? And it was pretty worthless, but at least it was inside and we had seats. Even though it was cold, it was worth heading outside after the drill to see the NYC skyline and the ship going under the Verrazzano Bridge Cabin: We had a guarantee balcony, which ended up in a really good location (forward port side and not far from the steps). We needed the walk to the eating areas to make up for all the great food we had. And it was straight up to the Solarium/Inside Pool, and straight down to the theater. The room was a nice size although with the sofa bed pulled our it was quite crowded. The room steward left it out, but I suppose we could have requested he put it away each day. I was the only one who slept well on the sofa bed. We took turns each night. There was enough room for us all to store our things, but a longer cruise-I don't know. Would have had to do separate cabins. Entertainment/Royal IQ App: We had prebooked the shows, but I immediately logged onto the Royal IQ app and made reservations for two of us for iFly and all four of us for North Star. The app was easy enough to use, but certainly could have had more features. No hours for eating area, pools, etc. So you can't really do without the paper Compass. We each had a separate credit card, and while it showed the individual charges there was only one total. It is only wifi enabled for the app, but my iPhone kept trying to access wifi for all my wifi enabled apps which I think drained my battery faster. (Phone set to airplane mode and wifi on). We prepaid for one device internet package, which we thought we would share, as you can log off one device and use another. However, with iPhones, we were able to text message without using the internet package. Dining: We had early seating and ate in the Grand three out of four nights. We all thought the food was mostly good, occasionally great. Service was great. But no restroom outside 3rd floor dining rooms. Have to go into Casino or up to 4th floor. Windjammer for breakfast--we found the way back less crowded and kept us from returning frequently to the buffet. There is limited outside seating there but it was too cold.There is a not crowded made to order omelet and crepe station for breakfast, gluten free for lunch. Breakfast in the main dining room on disembarkation day was good and fast service. We also ate lunch one day in Cafe 270 and one day in the Solarium. A nice change from the Windjammer. Service was friendly and mostly good. Sometimes they would be around with drinks, cinnamon rolls, etc, and sometimes you wouldn't see anyone. The three shows were mixed for us. Spectra's Caberet the technology and different choreography were great, but the music was repetitious. We Will Rock You was a great production, but we had trouble with the story.. You have to read the screen in the beginning and we were just settling into our seats. The Gift also had great singers and production but we had trouble telling who was who. The theater may be beautiful, but most of the aisles have exits on only one side--and you don't know that until you climb past people and find a plastic wall or other blockage. I have a little claustrophobia and had to leave before The Gift started, and luckily found a seat in the back. Despite being a short cruise, the theater was never full. Maybe because many of the seats are blocked by poles. And maybe because you can't get to many of the seats without climbing over a whole long row of people. We loved the North Star, iFly and the Bumper Cars. North Star and iFly were filled so it is best to book as soon as you get on board if you were not able to prebook. Very easy on the app.Two of my sisters did the dance/exercise classes and I was really surprised how few people were there. We were told there were 4300 people on board (can hold up to 4900) but it rarely felt crowded. Ports/Excursions: We were in port (Bermuda) from 9-3:30 so three of us elected to tour the Dockyard, while my birding sister had hired a guide. However, we should have gone with her--she got to see the whole island and did little birding but heard lots of history and ecology stuff. (although she was a little late getting back and got yelled at-but she said there had to be a 100 people behind her) Most of the places were not open when we got off the ship (Did open later) and wasn't clear when they would open. And the beach was closed for the season--this was a problem probably only for this cruise as it was December. But cruise staff should have known. There is a courtesy shuttle which takes you around the dockyard so if you have trouble walking--it helped me out. Disembarkation: We had a 7:30 time, and decided to try the dining room. We were finished right around 7:30 and by the time we went to the bathroom and started for our waiting area our number was called. The line was really long but moved fast. However, our luggage was at the opposite end of the terminal building, we had just waited in one long line, and there was a long customs line we were expected to walk all the way back to. Luckily there are porters there who will take your baggage and expedite your way through customs. Well worth the $20 tip we gave him. So in that respect disembarkation went as well as could be expected with that many people. I would like to go back to Bermuda and I guess I would like to take my husband to experience the Anthem, but for me, once was enough for all the activities that we did do. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
We chose this cruise first for the price, and we wanted time to explore New York for a couple days before Bermuda. The ship is beautiful and has some amazing activities. IFly and Northstar were definitely highlights. The shows were ... Read More
We chose this cruise first for the price, and we wanted time to explore New York for a couple days before Bermuda. The ship is beautiful and has some amazing activities. IFly and Northstar were definitely highlights. The shows were big productions, but after the 3rd one, the themes got a bit heavy and to some degree, a little apocalyptic. The machines are taking over seemed to be a common thread. Don't get me wrong, the technology was impressive and the talent was outstanding. I was just looking for something to feed my vacation escapism a bit more. Bermuda was short, but wonderful. We had a fantastic time and look forward to going back in the future. Drawbacks were: The beds. They were awful. Of all the cruises we've taken, these were the worst. It felt like you were sleeping on a sheet of plywood. My Time dining. I know many people like this option, but we didn't. We always enjoyed getting to know our shipmates at dinner and have made many friends we still stay in touch with after many years. Also dinner has become just another Windjammer with all the tshirts, sweatshirts and jeans every evening. We still enjoyed our trip very much, it's just different now I guess. Read Less
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Sail Date: December 2018
My overall review of the trip was great. Good was sub par and few bartender didn’t seem like they like there job. Entertainment was good. Adventure ocean for kids was ok, from our 4yr old daughters story. The elevator was pretty slow and ... Read More
My overall review of the trip was great. Good was sub par and few bartender didn’t seem like they like there job. Entertainment was good. Adventure ocean for kids was ok, from our 4yr old daughters story. The elevator was pretty slow and busy. The pool was awesome, well at least the indoor once. The casino was nice and decent size but the slots wasn’t loose enough, but good thing I happened to hit the jackpot on the Quick hit slot machine of $1500... Our overall experience was great. Met some wonderful new friends along the way and did a bar crawl. Buffet restaurant could use more flavor on their food. Dinner at specialty restaurants was good. Our room steward was also very attentive to our needs. I like the robotic bartender. Overall our trip was good and we would recommend the Anthem of the seas to our family and friends! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
This was an exciting cruise for us. First time leaving from a northern port, Cape Liberty, NJ. First time on Anthem of the Seas. First time going to Bermuda. We cruised November 10th thru November 17th. I picked this week due to ... Read More
This was an exciting cruise for us. First time leaving from a northern port, Cape Liberty, NJ. First time on Anthem of the Seas. First time going to Bermuda. We cruised November 10th thru November 17th. I picked this week due to wanting 2.5 days in Bermuda. I knew going in the weather might be a little questionable. We drove into port. Pretty nice easy drive other that 8 hours of rain. Parking at port was quick and easy. We entered Terminal and walked right up to someone holding a tablet and checked in. Nice and easy. They used the pics we had uploaded from home. We went and sat in holding area. Right around 11 AM they started the boarding process. We were on the ship by 11:15. Right away we went to one of the Kiosk and made reservations for IFly and North Star. Then it was time to head to the buffet. The buffet was very hectic, which is the normal for embarkation day. I just grabbed first thing I came to and was happy with it. They started making announcements that the cabins were ready at 12:45. The doors to the halls were not open yet. I think this was a ploy to get people to leave the Windjammer to clear tables for other passengers needing a place to sit. Rooms did open up at 1. Our cabin was 6270. Some of these rooms on deck 6 are marked as obstructed. Was not sure how much our view would be obstructed. Was not bad. Will post some pics. Was nuisance having Jamie's outdoor seating below us. We did have to make sure drapes closed good when dressing. Our cabin was very nice. Plenty of storage. Loved the decor. Shower awesome. Floors did need a good cleaning. Not sure was vacuumed before we boarded. Our room steward had also just boarded the ship so not his fault. Leaving NJ/NY was very windy and pretty cold. We stayed out just until we went under the bridge then hurried back inside. The 2nd day was pretty cold and windy as well. Plenty of pool chairs available. Solarium was the busy spot and hard to find a seat. We really enjoyed the ship. Lots of neat things to do. We rode bumper cars several times. (There were only little over 500 Kids on our sailing, I could see there needing to be reservation times if full. Hate to spend so much of your time waiting in lines). We did North Star twice. I loved the IFly. Great experience. Loved the Shows, The Gift and We will Rock you. The Cabarret was little different. Our show was cut short do to rough seas. The guest entertainment was all wonderful and loved the house band, Switched On. Amazing talent. The parties were in too small of a venue. Also thought the Beatlemanics needed to be in bigger venue. The ship showed a couple 3D movies, but mainly on port days in the afternoon. I wish on day 2 and day 6 and 7 that these would have been offered. Would have been a little something extra to do since not great days to be out by the pool. Bermuda was stunning. Loved our days there. We rented mopeds and toured on our own. So many beautiful spots. Will definitely plan another trip, but probably go just a few weeks earlier in season when just a tad bit warmer. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
We had a wonderful time on the Gem! We’ve met new friends along the way also the ship has a friendly crew. The Gem seemed like it was lacking crewmen. Service was somewhat subpar in some cases. Service at Cagneys on our second specialty ... Read More
We had a wonderful time on the Gem! We’ve met new friends along the way also the ship has a friendly crew. The Gem seemed like it was lacking crewmen. Service was somewhat subpar in some cases. Service at Cagneys on our second specialty reservation was awful. Any ways we had a great time on her. I was not impressed with the casino staff, I had requested my points to be transferred from the other ships but only one was forwarded. Gem is a beautiful ship! I’m not sure if I wanna sail on her again. It’s a maybe or maybe not... Gem had a great refurbishment. I love Osheehans it’s my go to bar lol! I’m not sure why the bar stops serving alcoholic beverages at 2am. Osheehans service could can be on a slow side during lunchtime, and around the wee hours. I would suggest the Gem to my friends and family... Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
This is my fourth cruise on this lady, Carnival Ecstasy, she is in good shape for an old gal! EMBARKMENT: My wife and I drove down from North Carolina and utilized the new cruise port parking arrangement. We used to park in an old ... Read More
This is my fourth cruise on this lady, Carnival Ecstasy, she is in good shape for an old gal! EMBARKMENT: My wife and I drove down from North Carolina and utilized the new cruise port parking arrangement. We used to park in an old warehouse and take buses after you dropped off the luggage at the parking lot. Now you drive in, they take your luggage and your park in the open air parking lot and take the shuttle to the cruise terminal. It appeared to be a little faster. The bottleneck at the terminal remained the same, long lines that are slow. You do get onto the ship in about an hour or so. ON BOARD: Your room key is now at your cabin's mail slot next to the cabin door, so when you get on board if you want a drink you have to show your boarding pass and give your cabin/stateroom number, the new system is a little faster, but not much. You head to the buffet on deck 10 and have the "standard" buffet food, good but not great. You get into your cabin by 1:30pm, you room key card and onboard charge card is in the mail slot next to the cabin door. INTERIOR: Rivera (4th deck) R63 is an interior cabin, with a queen bed, two twins pushed together. as my wife and I are CPAPer's we had the stateroom steward, Wayan, split the beds for us. He provided excellent service through out our cruise. Standard interior cabin, a little dated but functional. ENTERTAINMENT: On the ship, the entertainment is by cruise staff, all production shows, a couple were good, the cruise director, Deon, is a high energy and very personable. The Punchliner Comedy Club had a very good comedian, Jody White, we only saw her PG show and it was an entertaining 45 minutes. COST of DRINKS: They are getting expensive $6.50 for bottled beer and $9 and up for cocktails, similar to RCCL. PORTS OF CALL: My wife had not been to Bermuda in about 25 years, back in "those days" we did the snorkeling, glass bottom boat, the pink sand beaches and explored the island, now we sort of just walk around the port area. I will comment later about Bermuda it is a beautiful island to visit. MAIN DINING ROOM: We were "your time dining" from 5:45 pm to 9:30 pm, and there are long lines to get into the restaurant and your are given the buzzer that goes off when your table is ready, no matter what time we went, early or about 7:30 pm, there was about a half hour wait time. We dining in the Wind Star main dining room and fortunately got the same section at our request, with the team head waiter Iman and the team waiter Sentana, with a third rotating team assistant waiter at tables 138 to 146. They provided excellent service throughout the cruise. THE MENU: Standard fare, we had prime rib, two nights, beef tenderloin one night, and the menu varied on the beef and pork, with spare ribs, beef short ribs, along with the pasta, vegetarian, and seafood selection. There are two formal nights on the seven day cruise in which there are table cloths on the tables. The appetizers are standard, and they only have escargot (my favorite) one night of the cruise. Overall, the food was very good but not great. Now the "salt shakers" in the main dining room are the little cylinder ceramic shakers with three little holes onto and THEY ALWAYS CLOG!!! Five of the seven nights we had to have our waiter bring us salt shakers that were not clogged. Carnival get new salt shakers! If that was my main complaint, what am I complaining about. MEET and MINGLE gathering: I would have to rate it a poor compared to the Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines. There were about 25 Cruise Critic M and M folks, and they coffee, juice, water and danish. On RCCL's meet and mingle, they had bottles of wine and champagne, hats, a backpack and the coveted pens and markers. THE CASINO: My wife and I were here on the Carnival Players Club "bounce back" casino offer, it you gamble "enough", and I do, you get a offer of an interior cabin for $100 per person, plus port charges and on board credit of $100 each, so essentially, its a "free cruise" excluding the port charges and taxes. Unfortunately the casino is small, and as I play three card poker (only two tables) and WPT heads up hold 'em (only one) I had limited table time as this cruise was also a Carnival players club "Premier" players club cruise and people were sitting at the table to play before the casino opened. There was a mix of old and new slot machines, mostly older vintage, and I did not hear of any really big slot machine wins announced. DEBARKMENT: Under an hour we went from the gathering place, Sapphire Lounge to pick up our luggage, through customs onto the shuttle bus and to our car in under one hour. Amazingly fast. OVERALL IMPRESSION: It was a nice cruise on an older ship, with standard accommodations, very good but not great food in the MDR that provided excellent service,that visited the beautiful island of Bermuda. There few kids on board as it is the school season, a good age group mix. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
Best time of year for my time off. Embarking ship in Cape Liberty was very efficient and took very little time. Bermuda is an excellent island and safe to get around. Transportation on the island is very user friendly. Would have ... Read More
Best time of year for my time off. Embarking ship in Cape Liberty was very efficient and took very little time. Bermuda is an excellent island and safe to get around. Transportation on the island is very user friendly. Would have preferred Caribbean islands but were not available for the time I needed. Music on the ship was excellent along with the headliner shows. All the main dining room meals were great. Disembarkation in Boston was poor to put it mildly. It appeared that customs had extra officers onboard which caused a delay. Always put safety first but some communication would have helped. Boston is a nice city but the short amount of time allocated doesn't do it justice. I would have preferred more time in Bermuda and not gone to Boston. Disembarkation in Cape Liberty ran pretty smoothly as the lines kept moving. Traffic leaving the port area was a breeze. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2018
Went on this cruise with a friend and found it to be a better cruise than some others I had been on. Entertainment - especially "Choir of Men" was fantastic. Food available in quiet settings which was a good alternative to ... Read More
Went on this cruise with a friend and found it to be a better cruise than some others I had been on. Entertainment - especially "Choir of Men" was fantastic. Food available in quiet settings which was a good alternative to waiting in line. Pedicure was good but sales pitch for weight loss product throughout pedicure was horrible experience. (Found out later I could have requested she didn't do that, but shoudn't have to ask). Cabin very spacious and Casino had great lively staff. Stay in Bermuda was cut short, but wasn't much we missed out on except possibly a day trip to Hamilton. Went on RUM cruise and had a blast - beautiful sunset, delicious rum! Highly recommend that as a side trip. Did a "Cruise Critic" tour of rooms and LOVED the Haven suites! Definitely recommend the Haven for those who can swing them! Our family ocean view room was more than ample though! This vessel much larger than last Norwegian vessel which tells you how long it's been since I went on Norwegian! Read Less
Sail Date: October 2018
Overall fantastic. The stateroom was spacious and clean. Great balcony view. Housekeeping was always efficient and very accommodating. Food great in all the restaurants and buffet. Friendly, attentive staff. Very knowledgeable about ... Read More
Overall fantastic. The stateroom was spacious and clean. Great balcony view. Housekeeping was always efficient and very accommodating. Food great in all the restaurants and buffet. Friendly, attentive staff. Very knowledgeable about gluten allergy and precautions needed to ensure safe dining. We at at Moderno, Bayamo, Cagney's, Teppanyaki, Le Bistro, O'Sheehans, Food Republic, Tappas Bar, Manhatten Room, Taste and Savor, as well as the Garden Cafe. Had drinks in most of the bars and lounges. The various activities in the atrium we're fun and we'll attended. Our bartendrs at the Mojito tasting we're knowledgeable and entertaining. Choir of Men show was phenomenal. We loved that so much we saw it twice. Our only disappointment was the Brat Pack show. It was raunchy and offensive and we had to leave. Sadly, good talent wasted with disgusting material. The 80s movies and songs could have been crafted into an entertaining show without people stripping disn to their underwear and making crude references to religions. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2018
We sailed on Carnival Conquest from the 27th of October to the 4th of November. Even though my mother and I have been traveling together ever since I was born (22 years ago), all around the world - it’s only recently we started cruising. ... Read More
We sailed on Carnival Conquest from the 27th of October to the 4th of November. Even though my mother and I have been traveling together ever since I was born (22 years ago), all around the world - it’s only recently we started cruising. This was our fourth cruise and the first Carnival Cruiseline. Stateroom 2214: It was a very cozy, little cabin. Nothing extremely exciting, but what to expect from a standard cabin. The cabin-stewards were always very quick with cleaning the cabin, so it always looked nice. The cabin stewards were very sweet and always made sweet towel animals - so many that we had a zoo on the last day! The beds were outstanding! Never have we slept in better beds - not in hotels or other cruises - the madras was so soft and the pillows were fluffy and big. Dining: There were quite a lot different places to eat - but if it is doing the busy hours, not enough room to sit. We eat mostly on the Lido Deck with the buffets, Blue Iguana and the Pizza place. The food, in general, was good, but the variety isn’t the biggest. We liked the fact that we were able to get pizza almost any hour of the day and the frozen yogurt was available 24/7. The frozen yogurt/soft ice was very tasty and even though there weren’t more than three flavors to choose from - you never got tired of them. Breakfast: the croissants and most of the bread wasn’t fresh - which were quite a big bummer. The pasties such as cinnamon rolls were fresher and tasted great - but you expect to eat fresh bread every day when you are on an 8-nights cruise - actually no matter how many days you are onboard. Lunch: we loved the burritos and tacos - in general the lunch was great with a better variety. Dinner: the variety wasn’t the biggest, but it had a good taste. It could have been a plus if the Blue Iguana were open doing dinner-time. Desserts: Most of the cakes lacked taste and texture. Many were almost uneatable due to the huge amount of gelatin, so they became rubbery. Crew: We had the great honor of having Leigh as our cruise director - who is absolutely the star of the ship (if not the company). Leigh is energetic and shows a lot of passion and enthusiasm about his work. He cares a lot about the passengers, always allow himself time to chat with them and knows everyone onboard. He is without a doubt the greatest gift to this company and will with guarantee make your vacation even more unforgettable. He became a great friend of my mother and me, and we will always be thankful for everything he did. You will differently be missing him when you get back home. We hope to cruise with him again!!! Captain Claudio is - just like Leigh - a star of the ship. He is a very sweet, outgoing, charming man, that cares about his passengers, his crew and his ship. He likes to chat with people - not only doing events but also outside of the ship. My mother told him, I want to be a captain myself, and he immediately courage me to do so. The officers: all of the officers we came across were very smiling, sweet and caring. They always said hi and wanted to chat. Not only onboard but also when they saw you outside. The waiters: our experience with the waiters on the lido deck wasn't the best. They did not clean the tables very quickly and did not speak very much with the passengers. They did not seem to be very happy about their job and did not really want to get in contact with anyone - this was a shame, many want to talk with all kinds from the crew, and every other ship we have been to, the waiters were much more talkable and made you feel special. Entertainment: You will never be bored on carnival. If so, it’s your own fault. They have so many different activities during the day and night - so the only problem there is is the time-limit you have. Everything with Leigh is a must. He can make every event laughable. The game shows are a great fun - especially the love & marriage show. The shows with the dancers and singers have a beautiful, creative scenery, the performers and music are great - but the shows are quite the same concept except from a different theme (Motown, the 70’s & the 80’s). so it lacks a bit of variety. We were so lucky to be on Conquest on Halloween night. It was great to see that so many had a costume and Carnival for sure did a lot to put up special drinks and decoration for the night. The only minus was that it wasn’t the guests who chose the winner of the costume competition. It was a shame. Many talked about this afterward and they wished they had a saying in who should have won. The Wi-Fi was terrible. You have to log out and reconnect all the time, and you aren’t able to make a call over Messenger. The Hub-app, Carnival have is a great way to see what’s happening during the day and even get a reminder for the events. You are also able to see a map over the ship, which can come in handy for the first few days. Unfortunately, the app wasn’t able to download after leaving the port due to the Carnivals weak internet. Overall our first experience with Carnival was a success and we look forward to joining the fleet again in April on Carnival Splendor. Read Less

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