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155 Bayonne (Cape Liberty) to Caribbean - Eastern Cruise Reviews

A group of 21 family members ranging in ages from 7-69 just got back from a 9 night cruise on the Anthem of the Seas. While the trip was an overall success, we had issues on board throughout the trip. Our group had balcony rooms, most ... Read More
A group of 21 family members ranging in ages from 7-69 just got back from a 9 night cruise on the Anthem of the Seas. While the trip was an overall success, we had issues on board throughout the trip. Our group had balcony rooms, most were connecting, and an inside room across the hall from my room. Next to them were two rooms comprised of college aged boys that were loud, ran through the hall (sometimes in only their underwear), banged on the walls, and slammed their doors. The first night my husband stuck his head out and asked them to quiet down. These behaviors persisted, each night with multiple family members asking the kids to quiet down. We had spoken to customer service who said to just call security the next time. We did, but security took awhile to respond and the kids never took anything seriously. The worst was the last morning, they had left a condom on a plate with some left over food in the hallway. I was horrified when my 7 year daughter saw it before the poor room steward had to clean it up. Another night, one of our rooms had been woken up by what they speculated was a domestic dispute around 2:30 in the morning. They tried to call multiple numbers for security and no one ever answered any of the lines. The food on the boat was great and servers were for the most part friendly, but it seemed like they could really use more staff to provide the attention that we had previously received on cruises. Especially in the dining room, the bar server regularly mixed up and would forget orders. My daughter had a great time in the kids club and doing all the activities on board. All the activity people were awesome. They were encouraging, especially with the rock wall and trapeze. We had rented two over the water cabins in Labardee. There were nice, but for the amount we paid, it would had really be great if we could had have lunch brought to us. The attendant was running around, but at times appeared annoyed that we asked him for drinks. I'm not really sure it is worth the splurge to get the cabin. Overall, we had a great time, but the lack of response from security is concerning. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We booked this cruise on -line then called to make our restaurant choices, but were told we had to do that when we boarded. I also, asked about booking the North Star and was told they are all booked up due to varies groups being on-board ... Read More
We booked this cruise on -line then called to make our restaurant choices, but were told we had to do that when we boarded. I also, asked about booking the North Star and was told they are all booked up due to varies groups being on-board so we would have to do that on-board as well. So first thing as we arrived, I went to Guest Services and was told a different story - as we were suppose to be able to book both when I called, but not the case when talking with foreigners on RC reservation line. Next our room was very well laid out, but not cleaned well - stuff was still in the refrigerator from the people before us that was rotten. Never saw our stateroom attendant till day 2 and by then we were both sniffling and coughing. I do not think our room was sanitized at all. Bed was hard as a rock and when I asked about getting foam or something to soften it up - no one ever came to do as they said they would, and our stateroom attendant said I can use the couple of flattened covers under the bed to help, but that was all he knew of to use? So by the end of the 9 nights, I was very sore glad to be back home. We did enjoy all the shows, especially We Will Rock You!! Dining went ok - loved the specialty restaurants, but our main dining room table got moved when we showed up the second day - so we were place elsewhere, but it worked. Casino was extremely smokey and the slot machines were next to each other for smoking and non-smoking - nothing to block or distribute clean air to non-smokers! Ports of call were enjoyable. Boarding and disembarking was a breeze if you got there early and carried off your luggage. The SeaPlex was full off kids and there was no "adult" time for the Dodge cars so waiting was a issue just to say you did it once. Also there was no one sanitizing hands before you got in your car and with kids picking their noses, and coughing, sneezing, I would think RC could do a better job - like they do when you eat!! Never saw anyone cleaning banisters or elevators to keep germs at bay either. We did like the North Star as something different to experience. All in all, just an average cruise - not really impressed. I would like to highly compliment the wait staff and bartenders who did an exceptional job at keeping us happy and well fed. I didn't find the Anthem to have many activities to do for adults - so we got bored at times. Since it was the holiday weekend/week - there were several kids running around and the pool area was totally packed each day. Thank goodness we had a balcony to escape and relax. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
I am going to present to the best of my ability a fair review based upon my experiences in cruising. This was my 11th or 12th cruise, the second for Royal Carribean. 20 years ago, my husband and I set sail to Bermuda on our honeymoon on ... Read More
I am going to present to the best of my ability a fair review based upon my experiences in cruising. This was my 11th or 12th cruise, the second for Royal Carribean. 20 years ago, my husband and I set sail to Bermuda on our honeymoon on the last ship of the fleet, making the last trip, before the new class of cruise ships were born. It was not a great experience, and being 25 back then, I was sure I wouldn't do it again. Alas, the opportunity came up again several years later, and I fell in love with cruising but hadn't returned to RCCL until now. FOOD: I have been on Carnival, Norwegian, Disney and Royal Carribean. Each line is unique in how they deliver their services, and the cruising experience, but most of the tenements of cruising are the same. To be foolproof, you pretty much have to nail down the dining, because let's face it, you are stuck on this floating hotel for a week, and what better way to occupy your time than eating. That being said, the food on Royal Carribean was the worst out of all of the lines I've cruised. The first 2 days, I just couldn't get a good meal. They served a Salmon En Croute that was so fishy, I had to spit it out. By the third night, I was eating dinner rolls, anticipating the bad food that lied ahead. RCCL did not disappoint. I was served an actual bowl of gristle ( yes you heard correct, gristle) it was at that point that I asked the chef to come out so that I could show him what was being served. He was horrified and asked us to be his special guest the next night, in which we did eat a very nice meal, but still not fantastic. The food stayed at a 2-3 stars the whole trip, but I learned to eat things in their natural form (ie: hard-boiled eggs, grapefruit, etc) so this was a big disappointment. We did eat in 2 of the specialty restaurants, Jaimie Oliver's and Wonderland. The food was very creative in Wonderland and a great experience, but the taste was lacking. Jamie Olivers was better, but the eggplant parm was soaked in oil. Nothing on this cruise "wowed" me as far as food goes. Compared to Norwegian and Carnival, I don't think I would choose to cruise RCCL again based on this alone. ENTERTAINMENT: The ship spends quite a bit of money on their entertainment and it shows. All the shows are technically executed perfectly as well as the sound and lighting. The sets are some of the best I've seen and the performers are super talented. Yet again, I didn't find the shows engaging, and never left feeling invigorated or that I would want to see it again (which has been the opposite on all of the other cruise lines. Norwegian Breakaway had some of the best shows I have ever seen). POPCORN: RCCL puts popcorn makers outside of all of their shows and they CHARGE you for a bag of popcorn. SERVICE: The service was mostly good and served with a smile almost every time. I am always amazed at how hard the staff works to please the guests, and I try to be grateful and humble when dealing with the staff knowing what they endure on a daily basis. SHOPPING: This is where RCCL has failed in a big way. The first thing I would like to bring to your attention is that I have never been on a ship that NICKELS AND DIMES YOU TO DEATH the was RCCL does. They push you to BUY, BUY, BUY and that is the center of focus on the ship. The shopping on the promenade is riddled with overpriced luxuries that have been marked up 3 times and pitched to you as a "deal" because you aren't paying taxes. Also, if you plan on shopping, PLEASE get the internet package and price shop. I bought 3 bags on the boat which I googled and found at half price, in which they had no choice but to price match it (as long as it's a reputable site: no Amazon, sorry). I felt like the entire cruise was a money grab and between the art auctions, jewelry talks and raffles, they just want more of your money. They were selling CHICO's clothing for more than I would pay at CHICOs! Also, they make your setsail card inactive if you punch a hole through it and they sell you the lanyards or the wow bands at double the price, so PLEASE get a lanyard WITH THE PLASTIC INSERT before you go. WARNING: If you like to purchase Art, no one tells you that if you exceed the amount allotted via customs, you will be stopped by customs and have to pay duties on the framing of the art you buy if you exceed your allotment so please ask about this when you buy art. TIPPING: I do not remember if every boat is the same, but we were charged $14.50 per day per person, totaling $60 in tips x 9 days. In addition to this, they tack on an 18% gratuity on every service related purchase. Then you will be given tip envelopes to tip above this. ACTIVITIES: This ship has nothing for kids. No fun slides, no real events by the pool, in fact, unlike Carnival that always delivers a good time poolside, the pool was overcrowded and uneventful. No fun DJ, or Large Screen TV with movies, so my 18-year-old and his girlfriend never wanted to go. They did have the IFLY and the NORTHSTAR for free, and there were a lot of activities in the sports complex, but often it was very crowded and on a ship this size, you spend a lot of time waiting. MOST VALUABLE TIP: Sign up for Escape the Room Puzzle break first day on the ship! This was the most fun we had :) Lastly, as a whole, with the islands and excursions in mind, it was a nice cruise, the weather was good, and so were the seas. Some people are "Loyal to Royal" and I truly wanted to drink that cool-aide, but for now, I will stick with Carnival and Norwegian. Safe travels, and enjoy the cruise! Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
20+ cruises. 25 minute backup to get into the parking lot. After that, nice speedy embarkation. Beautiful ship, easy to get around. Lots of people, but did not ever feel rushed or crowded. Very disappointed in Shows. Oasis has ... Read More
20+ cruises. 25 minute backup to get into the parking lot. After that, nice speedy embarkation. Beautiful ship, easy to get around. Lots of people, but did not ever feel rushed or crowded. Very disappointed in Shows. Oasis has great Broadway type shows. Anthem elected to go a different way. The shows included Spectra's Cabaret with the lead performer, a man dressed as a woman, slinking around a lights down theatre; The Gift, which was an unclear message to a good part of the audience (later we heard an explanation from a woman at breakfast telling her children about it); The third mostly involved two female singers, fair at best. Service was wonderful at most venues. The Schooner Bar, however, was an exception. Here, the bar provided back-up service for Chops Grill, the Specialty restaurant. On a regular basis, the waiter serving those enjoying the entertainment would vanish. The two waiters servicing the bar area never came over to help out. I asked one of them if we could get service. She told me that the waiter had to go to Chops. I got drinks for my wife and I. This happened on 2 consecutive nights, so I went to the Service desk to complain. They were apologetic and said they had referred to matter to the Entertainment Director. That was the last we heard. The ship seems to have used all the added space for additional cabins or for younger cruisers entertainment. Saw nothing on the ship that was anything better than Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
This ship should really listen to what their customers say!!! Alot of people understand that formal night is not for everyone but dressing in singlet tops and shorts for dinner - dressing like this is totally unacceptable. So Royal ... Read More
This ship should really listen to what their customers say!!! Alot of people understand that formal night is not for everyone but dressing in singlet tops and shorts for dinner - dressing like this is totally unacceptable. So Royal Caribbean listen to what we are saying, a dress code is for everyone not some arrogant people. I found the food ok for dinner, we went in Silk and Wonderland, but wait for the deals it’s well worth it. Food in the windjammer is ok, 1 thing I don’t understand is the boy and the little toaster, poor man is stressed out to hell, give him a bigger toaster!! The entertainment is brilliant, went to the shows not sure I understood The Gift. Our room was lovely and big, nice shower. The guys in the jewellery shop are great we had a good deal - Imran thank you ☺️ Loved the drinks robot Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Getting on the ship was quick, cabins available at 1pm. Booked a group trip with 16 people, 8 cabins on the 6th deck (obstructed view balcony). Arrive in our room to a modern room, great storage, limited outlets, but spacious. Obstructed ... Read More
Getting on the ship was quick, cabins available at 1pm. Booked a group trip with 16 people, 8 cabins on the 6th deck (obstructed view balcony). Arrive in our room to a modern room, great storage, limited outlets, but spacious. Obstructed view was worth the savings for a balcony! luggage delivered timely ( mine held by security due to a small fan) not an issue, my fault, (they let me keep the fan). Notice immediately that the room was not cleaned properly. Razor in our shower from prior guest, hair clogged shower drain, beverage circles on tables, toothpaste on the walls and mirror in the bathroom. Used clorox wipes we had packed and they were black after we wiped everything down. My daughters room had prior guests underwear in their dresser draw. Had called to have my daughters room decorated for her birthday, card was from "Mimi and POP" (dont know who they are??) Reservations made prior to arrival, were not correct when we arrived on the boat and at times the staff was not very accommodating, when trying to figure out our needs, (not good with large groups). As with our last Royal Cruise, Windjammer closes at 9:30pm, so forget about eating if you want to see an early show (pizza only). Most shows happened during dinner hours..very frustrating. Never got on ifly or wave due to overcrowding. Waited 1 hour for bumper cars and rock climbing and only got on north star the day we got on the ship docked in NJ. Poorly designed ship. No real quiet deck on 4 or 5 like other ships, due to the life boat location/situation. Outdoor movie screen mounted on the side of the ship resulting in only one view if you want to watch a movie at night (no cushions, blankets or cookies like princess). You have to walk through Schooners to get to anything on that deck and there is no great room for medium sized shows. Music hall had lounge seating, so you could not stand in front of people to see any show and the view from up top was only good from the front row, resulting in overcrowding and annoyed people. Cruise director was arrogant, and rude at times. Never seen that before! Shows had the most talented people ever seen on a cruise ship, yet the shows were hard to follow (weird). Spectras and the gift (which was cancelled and stopped due to technical difficulties). We will rock you was better than the version i saw in Vegas! Karaoke during dinner and only on two nights, so no chance to participate. No deck parties or even a sail away celebration like on other ships. Food Same food in Windjammer every day but quality was good. Princess kills it, with fresh made dogs and burgers by the pool (only steam table option on this ship). The MDR food and service was the best I have had in years. Food hot and the staff unbelievably attentive. We ate in all the specialty outlets and each was better than the last. Izumi was great, Chops amazing, and Jamie Olivers was perfect. We did Wonderland for my daughters birthday and it food and service was spot on, only issue was with seating arrangements. Itinerary was good except for the short amount of time in San Juan. Lots of sick people on our cruise. two air lifts, one by boat, choking incident in Chops, missing guests (announcements in our stateroom at 2am) and saw vomit in hallways, Chops, on pool deck. Most of us had some kind of intestinal issue as well and half are currently sick with a cold. Carried our luggage off for the first time and its much better to do this. Leaving out of NY/NJ (both of which I lived in for half my life in each state) is very convenient but be ready for the rudeness of the north easterners on a ship of 4000 of them. Wanted to love this cruise, but struggle. I would wait till 4pm to get in my cabin, so it can be cleaned properly. Our room steward was excellent, just not possible to turn the rooms over so quickly from a prior cruise. Poorly designed ship, inconsistent service and lack of attention to detail hurt our experience. As an FYI, the cruise team did everything correct when notified of our issues. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We chose this cruise because we needed a boat that went out of the NY NJ area so we wouldn't have to fly to another destination. We were a group of 7: Myself, my husband, my two sons ages 3 and 6 and my inlaws. Embarkation went ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we needed a boat that went out of the NY NJ area so we wouldn't have to fly to another destination. We were a group of 7: Myself, my husband, my two sons ages 3 and 6 and my inlaws. Embarkation went smoothly because we did everything online before we left, including the pictures for our seapass card. We went directly to the buffet, we were in our rooms by 1:00pm. We sat outside to set sail. Overall the crew was great. We didn't hit it off with any particular waiters which have in the past. Cons: for such a big ship the gift shop was tiny and didn't have any t-shirts for the kids except ones with Shrek. The main promenade where all the shops were was so crowded because they had tables set up in the middle with more merchandise so it left very narrow spaces to walk through especially with a stroller. There was nothing special for the kids outside of the kids club which my older son didn't want to attend and my younger one couldn't. There was no little playground or kids water park, etc. The library didn't have any board games, kids games or anything of the sort. The books I saw in the library were all in foreign languages. And the library was set above Theather two70 where they hold rehearsals during the day and shows at night. How is that quiet? There were 3 main pools. All of them were 5 feet and above. I am not tall nor am I good swimmer so I couldn't even go in the pool with son because I couldn't touch the bottom. One night at dinner my son was served a fruit cup with a moldy raspberry. We sent it back and the next cup came with the same thing. The buffet closed at 9 and did not open for late snacks Cafe Promenade which was open 24 hours had the same exact thing every day. Royal Caribbean boasts that their adventure activities are for everyone but the Ifly, escape room and North Star were all booked. We only got in on the last day to I Fly due to a cancellation. The shows were all during dinner at 6:00 or 6:30 Drinks cost $12.00 apiece Pros: There were lifeguards at all the pools. The ship seemed pretty clean Crew was nice We always found a seat in the buffet even for 7 Pools didn't seem too crowded. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We have enjoyed fantastic cruise adventures in the past but always on other cruise lines. This was our first cruise with Royal Caribbean. Here we list our pros and cons. Pros: * New, beautifully appointed ship * Excellent ... Read More
We have enjoyed fantastic cruise adventures in the past but always on other cruise lines. This was our first cruise with Royal Caribbean. Here we list our pros and cons. Pros: * New, beautifully appointed ship * Excellent staff, particularly Wayne/Xiang (American Icon Restaurant) and Owen and Cindy (our stateroom attendants.) * Excellent ports - Bermuda, St. Maarten, San Juan, Labadee Haiti. * Excellent spa and fitness center * Excellent Sports/activity center * Excellent music/dance experience late night (after midnight) Cons: * The initial drop off at pier was poor; the worst ever experienced with any cruise. It took over 2 hours waiting in line to drop off bags and board ship. This was an absolutely terrible start. * Unlike other cruises, we found the "welcome aboard" was far less enthusiastic. * The food in Chops Grille was disappointing. More shocking and disappointing was the reaction when I called to cancel reservation for following evening. The guest services rep called on my behalf. The Manager/Maitre’D asked to speak to me about the cancellation and she passed the phone to me. When I didn’t offer an explanation for cancelling, he hung up the phone on me. Rude and unprofessional! * Treatment - upper management - arrogance not hidden. When we complained to a manager about an item and compared it to other cruise lines, the manager replied "our staterooms are always full!" * Heavy focus on buying and selling on board (clothing, watches, trinkets). If you want the discount mall feel while on vacation, this will not be a con as it was for us. * No fine dining. * Late night food selection is poor Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
On July 26, 2018 My husband and I cruise On Anthems of the Sea. It’s a large ship that can be very crowded. Let’s first start with the Prositive. Most of the staff was very friendly. Washing hands is encouraged throughout the ship. ... Read More
On July 26, 2018 My husband and I cruise On Anthems of the Sea. It’s a large ship that can be very crowded. Let’s first start with the Prositive. Most of the staff was very friendly. Washing hands is encouraged throughout the ship. There were lots of variety for food choices and for the most part the food was tasty. Port of calls were excellent. Drinks if you didn’t buy the package cost as much as buying them at a club. Now the negative. The boat is overcrowded. Unless you get up 6 o’clock in the morning you will never get a seat near the pool. People come out early and hog the chairs and placing towels on them and never return. The 30 min rule is not enforced. Most activities are boring and the shows were ok Nothing to write home about. Oh and the bed is hard as a brick. Special shoutout to Joseph and Faith two excellent staff on the ship. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We chose this cruise to try out the Quantum class ships and see what they were all about. We have previously been on The Allure, Oasis, and Navigator. We've loved all three. Well, lets start with the good: The service was ... Read More
We chose this cruise to try out the Quantum class ships and see what they were all about. We have previously been on The Allure, Oasis, and Navigator. We've loved all three. Well, lets start with the good: The service was almost universally excellent. We had one bad experience that I won't go into detail about. After we complained (our first time on 4 cruises) they more than made up for it. The ports were universally great. We've been to St. Maarten before so knew our way around the island. and knew what to do. The island is severely damaged still from the hurricane though. It was heartbreaking to see some of our favorite spots so damaged. The Solarium on the ship is the best I've been on (with caveats i'll get into later.) The pools were big and generally not crowded like that can get on the Oasis and Navigator. Having the indoor pool, and Solarium is a great combo. As always, we loved the deli and Sorrentos in the Esplanade. The coffee drinks from The Windjammer and 270 were always great. North Star is a great experience unique to the Quantum Class ships that we thoroughly enjoyed as well. Now the bad. Everything I write is in comparison to other Royal ships we have been on. We haven't done other lines yet. The food was the worst we've ever had. The buffet had only a small selection of food, and most of the time we found it hard to find good quality that would fill us up. The food in Chops was good, but I will never book a specialty restaurant instead of MDR again. Maybe for lunch. The MDR food was almost always good, but again, some days we were disappointed with quality. KIDS EVERYWHERE!!!! okay I don't have kids. When I go on a cruise I don't expect to be around kids so much. I'm sorry I may sound like a curmudgeon, I am 37 years old. I've never been a loud bar kind of person. I prefer to sit and read a book at night. Kids were everywhere including the solarium at night. No workers would be around after 10pm to kick kids out. and I'm talking like 20 of them taking over hot tubs, making noise, and just doing kid things. I've talked with people with kids on board and they said there wasn't much else for teens to do at night. This leads to my final rant. ALL POOL BARS ARE CLOSED BY 10PM! what?!? I've never heard of such a thing. Never in all my cruises has that happened. I like to sit in the hot tubs, and on pool deck every night from 11p-1am. Not cool. Not to mention after 12am the only thing open on pool deck is 2 hot tubs which again leads to 20 teenagers jumping and dancing around. Overall I did enjoy the cruise even though i had more to rant about. You know how it goes bad experiences are easier to chat about. Next time we will stay with Oasis Class. Oops, forgot about the shows The Gift: Skip it. Just plain stupid Spectra's Cabaret: Skip it unless you have nothing better to do We Will Rock You: Entertaining, and cheesy. Really liked it though Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
My family chose this cruise for a sweet 16 alternative. Spent the entire ten days being nickel and dimed for mediocre on board entertainment. Drinks were expensive. Internet was expensive and basically a necessity if you traveled with a ... Read More
My family chose this cruise for a sweet 16 alternative. Spent the entire ten days being nickel and dimed for mediocre on board entertainment. Drinks were expensive. Internet was expensive and basically a necessity if you traveled with a group. All of the good food costed extra. Our shore excursions got cancelled because of weather in Bermuda and we had to hunt down three separate sections on the ship to get a straight answer about a refund. Which ended up being NON REFUNDABLE ON BOARD CREDIT. also getting off the boat was a joke. They lost our luggage. It took me over 45 minutes and 6 employees to find it only to wait on a line where they only had 3 customs agents and they weren't even checking bags. They glanced at your passport and sent you outside. Try a different cruise line, a lot of other guests on board recommended Norwegian!! Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Have been on 6 cruises, 5 with RCC. This being the second departing from the USA. Cape Liberty was expensive to get to by taxi from Manhatten, NCL cruises depart much closer to mid-town. Had two large interior cabins with virtual balcony, ... Read More
Have been on 6 cruises, 5 with RCC. This being the second departing from the USA. Cape Liberty was expensive to get to by taxi from Manhatten, NCL cruises depart much closer to mid-town. Had two large interior cabins with virtual balcony, trading the real balcony for more cabin room, especially with so many days at sea it seemed sensible. Both main dining rooms pretty crowded by 6pm, with tables really close together. American Icon dining room decor much nicer than the Silk restaurant, but there was no difference in the food which was fine overall.The speciality restaurants charged an extra $30/$40 a head extra which is a large increase when you've already paid for a decent restaurant meal in your cruise price. The drink packages are an absolute rip-off. Two drinks packages (which you have to buy as a pair), would have cost just over $1300! RCC, just reduce your bar prices, you'll sell more alcohol and won't appear so ruthless. On a sea day don't bother fighting the hoards at the Windjammer for breakfast after 9am and searching endlessly for a table, its best to go to the Solarium Bistro. There are less people there, more seats, and I noticed senior members of the crew eating there as well. Food in the Windjammer was fine with plenty of variety, its cakes and deserts in the evening were exceptional. We noticed that after people had eaten in the main dining room they would gravitate to the Windjammer to enjoy the deserts laid out there. Ship entertainment was ok. The music hall was always packed so get there early. The 70s night started well with classic disco sounds being played. Then the stage was occupied and the host dancers encouraged a sort of disco line dancing! The Karaoke was hilarious, every screeching amateur was wildly applauded (would have been heckled off in the UK). The Spectres cabaret was over hyped. 'We Will Rock You' ...was it really written by political satirist Ben Elton, it seemed a little over simplified in terms of the storyline? 'The Police Experience' was excellent if you are of that period. We enjoyed StMaarten which had a cheap water taxi and great beach. Didn't go to the airport experience as the amount of large jets during the week has declined due the aftermath of the hurricane, there were only two small jets due that afternoon, so saved cash not going.Make sure to load up on decently priced rum cocktails at the Mojito Lemon stand before reboarding, amazing flavours and measures, we were sorted for that evening! Next stop, old San Juan was enchanting, found the original Pina Colada bar, excellent.Labadee was great and the lunch ashore was fine. Had one trip on the Rip Cord skydiving simulator which was one minute of real fun.Flow rider seemed quite empty, on Med cruises it seemed busier. Big queues to get on the bumper cars, not helped by 'concierge' assisted passengers being allowed to cut the queue.....still it was fun targeting them to take revenge! To sum up,it was a crowded ship by design. According to staff the numbers drop onboard later into the hurricane season.As a passenger you have to be a bit savvy or your final bill will catch you out. RCC have become too greedy and are at risk of alienating their core customers. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Overall, Anthem is a good ship. The itinerary was good. Embarkation was smooth and efficient. We were impressed that our luggage was waiting for us when we arrived at our cabin on Day 1. However, Oasis is better than Anthem in 3 ways: ... Read More
Overall, Anthem is a good ship. The itinerary was good. Embarkation was smooth and efficient. We were impressed that our luggage was waiting for us when we arrived at our cabin on Day 1. However, Oasis is better than Anthem in 3 ways: 1) Food in Windjammers - Oasis had a theme every day, whereas Anthem had pretty much the same food for 9 days. On one of the sea days, the meat was not cooked thoroughly. In general, food was bland. 2) Internet Service - connectivity was spotty and not reliable. One night, the Internet was completely down for 12 hours. 3) Guest Service - We asked for help twice over the phone and twice at the physical location on Deck 4. The staff were not very helpful. Cabin attendant did the bear minimum. We only got towel animal on our beds on the first night. (On other cruises, and Oasis, we got a different towel animal every single night.) Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
I chose this cruise because my partner wanted to travel with Royal Caribbean. I have only travelled with P&O and Princess before. I was disappointed with Royal Caribbean in that their quality of food in the main restaurant was not up ... Read More
I chose this cruise because my partner wanted to travel with Royal Caribbean. I have only travelled with P&O and Princess before. I was disappointed with Royal Caribbean in that their quality of food in the main restaurant was not up to the standard of the other two cruise lines that I had cruised with. Also formal evenings were not formal at all - in fact I felt out of place in my long dress with my partner in his DJ as most other people turned up in their shorts, T-shirts, flip-flops, jeans and bandanas. Was not really acceptable for a formal evening. Their staff were mostly unfriendly and under pressure and although the ship was really lovely, the overall ambience was not as it should have been on a relaxing cruise. A little disappointing, but have learnt that maybe I should stick with P&O and Princess. Shame - will probably not choose Royal Caribbean again ! Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
Sailed on 9 night cruise in two balcony cabins with DH, DS-15, DD-9 and mother who uses a combination transport wheelchair/walker to get around. I will start with the great things about this cruise. Perfect vacation for my diabled ... Read More
Sailed on 9 night cruise in two balcony cabins with DH, DS-15, DD-9 and mother who uses a combination transport wheelchair/walker to get around. I will start with the great things about this cruise. Perfect vacation for my diabled mother. Wheelchair accessible balcony cabin the perfect size and ammenities to address her mobility issues. Bathroom/curbless shower big enough to accomodate her walker. The wheelchair acomodations throughout the ship are also great (all doors open automatically, wide public spaces). Some limited wheelchair seating at shows and Windjammer but could almost always find a space to accomodate her if I spent the time to do so and planned ahead. Great activities for the whole family. The kids and I did everything on this boat but advanced planning both before we left on the website and on the IQ app on board is a must. Without advanced planning there is no way to book all the activities. The kids and I did the trapeze school and bumper cars in the Sportsplex immediately on the afternoon of boarding. No lines before everyone else finds it. Had other opportunities to do them again later but with lines (which were not really that bad). We pre-booked I-Fly andNorthstar on the website. Both were great unique opportunities. We also did the rock wall and rollerskating by getting there early when it opened. Booked a group lesson on the Flowrider for my teenager on the App about mid cruise. What a good idea that was. Scheduled for the evening of the last day. Only two teens signed up so he had almost a private lesson for a hour with two great instructors. Was unable to book the Escape Room for myself before we left or on board on the App but kept checking it and was able to book the second to last day. It was well worth the extra effort if you're a puzzle person. Before I sailed I read other reviews here of folks that did everything on the ship and I agree with them, the key is to be a hyper-planner and use the tools RCCL gives. If you do not pre-book and use the IQ App you will not be able to do everything. That type of planning is not everyone's idea of a vacation so to each his own. It worked for us. There were a ton of people on line for the activities customer service on the first day who had not booked anything ahead of time Watched and listened to them complain about not being able to book what they wanted to do on the ship while we ate lunch in the lounge. Some very loud and angry folks yelling at cruise staff. Security even had to get involved with one passenger who was causing quite a disruption in expressing his anger. The food and the staff in the MDR was great. I don't see the point of paying for upgraded dining when you have already paid for your meals in the price of the crusie. We were not disappointed even once in the MDR. Did a set dinner time of 5:30pm every night so we had the same waitstaff. The staff was excellent and we are not picky eaters so it fit our needs, might not be to everyone's standards if you are going on the cruise for the dining alone. Now for the bad. The children's program was horrible. Now, I will admit, I am comparing to the Disney cruise we took last Summer and that may be unfair to RCCL as Disney has quite an advantage, but it was just bad. My DD was in the 9-11 age range. The dedicated space was a very small room with basically nothing in it but coloring pages and puzzles. The programing consisted of 8-10 different games where the kids threw a ball at one another. That was all there was in the programming guide day after day. The staff was not trained at all to work with kids, only to sign them in and out. My daughter went the first night and said she never wanted to go back. The boys in the program just threw the ball very hard and most of the girls just sat down and colored. She did go back two more times saying she wanted to see a friend who she met in the pool who was supposed to go but came back saying the same thing about the bad programing each time. RCCL could do so much more. Bigger space. Some actual programing. I cannot comment on the program for the younger kids. The room for the pre-schoolers looked like it had some very nice ammentities for the kids to play with. The ship has a lovely science room in the kids area. Not one program for the kids in the science room unless it was for a family program where the kids stayed with the parents in the room. What a waste of a nice space that could make their program for the kids in the evening so much better. The teen program for 15-17 was non existent. No dedicated space. Limited programing. Basically no program at all. The shows were also horrible. We saw the Gift. While waiting on line to get in a man walked by and commented to his wife that the show was "no gift". He was right. No plot. No way to follow anything that was going on. The special effects and performances were actually very good but wasted on this production. Rock of Ages was the same. No plot that could be follow but good preformers doing their best with the mess of a show. We skipped Spectra's Cabinet after seeing the first two shows. The comedians and game shows were entertaining. Bingo was way overpriced and poorly run. They kept saying they were going to stop selling cards to start the game on time but keep selling and started very late. Family Karaoke was well run and fun if you arrived early to get a space. Overall, a good value for the money with lost of activties for the whole family. But a disappointment in kids programs. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
The Anthem of the Seas has to be the most poorly designed cruise ship in The a Royal Caribbean Fleet. It has one outdoor pool the size of a large postage stamp for over 4,000 guest. The indoor pool was okay but small. The ceiling does ... Read More
The Anthem of the Seas has to be the most poorly designed cruise ship in The a Royal Caribbean Fleet. It has one outdoor pool the size of a large postage stamp for over 4,000 guest. The indoor pool was okay but small. The ceiling does not open so there is no air movement at all. The Solarium does not allow children and we were traveling with a group that included teens. The Seaplex was nice but somewhat anticlimactic. We did it while in Labadee. I wished I had done it in San Juan. I think that might have been more interesting. I did not get to do I.fly. It was booked except some times that I could not go. Silk Restaurant was dark and depressing but had great wait staff. Some of the other restaurants were a little brighter and nicer looking. Chic restaurant was pretty nice. Choos Restaurant was very nice and worth the extra cost. Service was outstanding. We had a balcony Stateroom that was nice size (for a cruise ship) but poorly lit. Speaking of lighting in order to turn on and keep the lights in your Stateroom on you had to put and leave your sea card in a slot. What a pain in the butt that was. See how many times you leave your sea card in the room with this rediculous set up. The food was very good as was our waitstaff and Stateroom attendant. They were the only bright spot of this cruise. We had a total of 5 rooms and 11 people. My daughter purchased a drink package for herself and two premium soda packages for our granddaughters. They made FIVE trips to Guest (lack of) Services because evertime they tried to get a drink their cards were blocked. Apparently, they were not the only guest with that problem since others were there with the same complaint. This was extremely frustrating for All if us. The entertainment for the most part was mediocre. We Will a Rock You was exceptional and should not be missed. The Gift Was okay and Spectra Show could have been good but unless you have the right seat (still not sure Where that is) You cannot see the show. This fits in with the poor design issues. The 270 Theater experience is poorly designed. It may be okay if you are in about the lucky 100 or so people that get the only seats that allow you to see pretty much everything. Most of the staff including guest services were poorly trained and many were rude. Because I have had many other great cruises on Royal Caribbean I will continue to use them. I will NEVER EVER SET FOOT ON THE ANTHEM OF THE SEAS AGAIN nor would I recommend them to my friends or enemies. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
My husband and I first cruised on Celebrity then took our family on two Norwegian cruises. This was our first Royal Caribbean experience. Let me start out and say that a vacation is mostly what you make from it. We always thought that ... Read More
My husband and I first cruised on Celebrity then took our family on two Norwegian cruises. This was our first Royal Caribbean experience. Let me start out and say that a vacation is mostly what you make from it. We always thought that Royal Caribbean would be a step above Norwegian from the reviews we read and friends we spoke with that had been on Royal Caribbean cruises. Maybe we set our expectations too high. When we arrived, everyone was helpful and courteous – from the porters, to the security and at check-in - was VERY fast!!! We walked on to the ship and wanted to eat right away since we really didn’t eat all day. Very disappointing - not many options on the first day. On Norwegian, we had the option to sit down at the main dining room and have a nice lunch to avoid the craziness of the buffet. On the Anthem, we were directed to the buffet which, as we expected, was a nightmare! So many people. No plates. Food picked over. We gave up and left to try to find something else. Tried The Café at 270. Were not impressed. But excited for dinner later, we ventured back to our room. Our room was available when we first arrived on the ship at 1pm and by 2:30, our luggage had arrived. On-board Activities: Here is when it went all downhill. NOT happy about the inconvenient policies of Royal Caribbean. NOT happy that my husband or I had to interrupt our relaxing time to "supervise" our 9 and 12 year old. Waivers were signed, but we had to wake up early "supervise" roller skating, rock climbing, flo-rider, bumper cars, trapeze or any of the activities that we signed waivers. We could not sit by the pool because our 9 year old wanted to rock climb. On other cruise lines such as Norwegian, they could enjoy activities without us constantly supervising them. My husband and I did not enjoy our cruising experience because of this!!! Having to watch your kid rock climb is absolutely ridiculous. This is our biggest deterrent from sailing on Royal again. On Norwegian, our second youngest could be left to rock climb and enjoy other activities all afternoon. Our older kids are 12, 14 and 15. I was excited that the 12 year old could participate in the teen program. What I did not realize is that they break the teens up in groups 12yr-14yr and 15-17yr. They could not hang out together in the teen club. They weren’t too disappointed because they said there were not really any organized activities or things to do. SO they had to leave the teen area and hang out elsewhere to stay together. I like how Norwegian’s teen program is 13-17. The 12 year old birthday was in 2 weeks and he could have been in their teen program if we sailed after his birthday, not separated from his cousin and sister. The nursery was amazing for our youngest (21 months). We did not put her in that often because Grandma sailed with us, but when we needed to, it was clean and inviting. They even had a room to take the baby to play without having to leave her with someone. Internet: We purchased 2 unlimited internet packages to share among the 8 of us. They give you the login and password in your room. This was fast and enabled us all to stay connected in some way. While I prefer to not use my phone, I need to check my messages for work and make phone calls etc. Bars: All of the bartenders were quick and made amazing drinks for us! Main Dining Room: After a couple nights eating at American Icon Grill, we decided to try something new and went to Silk. There, we were so happy with our server and table that we kept coming back to the same table every night. Our main dining experience was amazing because of our waiter, Marcelino and Assistant Waiter, Michael (table 605). Not only did they go out of their way to make our dinner enjoyable, but they surpassed our expectations on service. If you asked for something, they would give you that and more! They made our vacation enjoyable! Could not have been happier! Windjammer Café: Not the best place to go the first day on the ship because everyone is there. They need to have more options to dine on the first day. We liked the Omelet Station at breakfast. They needed to have fruit loops available for kids though which is a pretty common breakfast staple. We did not eat there on other meals except for breakfast. Jaime’s Italian: THE BEST!!! Service and food were phenomenal. Johnny Rockets: Worth paying a few dollars to have a good burger in the afternoon. Wish this was included in the price and not extra though. Bermuda: We got off and took the ferry to Hamilton where we shopped and enjoyed the town there. We had to catch the ferry back by 1:40 since that was the last one offered that day. When we got on the boat, we did the NorthStar which was perfect to do in Bermuda!!! We could see so much of the island. Happy we decided to do this then and not while at sea! St. Maartin: Lots of shopping off the boat. We did a private boat charter here at this port and walked there. The island is devastated by the recent hurricanes. We did Billy Bones Boatcharters where we had a half day boat charter. Our family of 8 has ages ranged of 21 months, 9, 12, 14,15 year old kids! They had a blast! It was a bit of a walk for all of us from the port but wasn't too bad! It was maybe a 15-20 minute walk. We arrived and signed our waivers and were on our way. Captain Al was beyond amazing and did a great job driving the boat and talking about St. Maartin. We were concerned about the conditions due to the wind and the water being choppy and the comfort level. The captain took his time and made sure everyone was in the most comfortable seats. We first went to a place to do some snorkeling, but with my mother in law on the boat with the baby, I suggested we go to a beach somewhere. There, he took us to the most gorgeous beach with the most incredible sand and views. Captain Al kept the beer, rum punch and soda coming along with chips to snack on. Our 12 year old son wanted to fish as well - they were so accommodating that they purchased a rod for him to use!!! Extra kudos to them for going out of their way!! He caught two fish, a jack and a mackerel, as we trolled back to the dock. This was the best experience!!! We highly recommend to anyone visiting St. Maartin. Puerto Rico: Not our most favorite port. We did an excursion booked thru Costco. It was informative, and we were able to see the city via a bus tour. After our tour, we stopped at Mojito’s for lunch. The food was perfect and delicious – a quick walk back to the ship too! Labadee, Haiti: What a surprise – this was our favorite port!!! We did a day bed, so the baby and grandma would have a place to relax. It included 2 mats for the water and also liters of Evian water. Adrenaline Beach was a perfect location too for our day bed! Our attendant brought us beer and frozen Labradoozie’s which were so yummy! Even the kids could get virgin ones! We wish we would have known how wonderful this port was ahead of time - we would have left the ship right away. My husband and I did the Aqua Park with the big kids which was SO fun! The buffet food was so good too – I am not a fan of buffet’s, but the burgers and sides were so great! The worst part of the day was when it ended, and we had to get back on the ship. Entertainment: The cruise director was nonexistent to say the least. In previous cruises, the cruise director set the mood of the ship. We wish there was a sail away party, a themed party, or something eventful. I did not even know who he was until one of the last days on the boat. Wish the nightlife was livelier too. Dis-embarking the last day: This was smooth. We were number 25 and were called by 9:45am. The Gangway would jam up but quickly cleared. Our bags were very easy to find as well. To Summarize, if Royal Caribbean had a better policy for the kids not being supervised during certain activities, and the teen program been better, we would be more likely to book on Royal Caribbean again. While this may seem minor, we were not able to enjoy our cruise like we did on Norwegian. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
We chose this particular cruise for the proximity to our home and the itinerary. The ship barely came into play in considering the trip. Embarkation was super smooth and took about 20 minutes from the moment I pulled into the drop-off zone ... Read More
We chose this particular cruise for the proximity to our home and the itinerary. The ship barely came into play in considering the trip. Embarkation was super smooth and took about 20 minutes from the moment I pulled into the drop-off zone until my car was parked, checked in, and on the ship. First, the good: The staff overall was super friendly. Our wait staff and the food in the main dining room was excellent, and as usual, RCCL came through with special requests, hold the ____'s, "Can we get extra ____" and all that kind of stuff. The bad: For a ship that leaves within eye-shot of the "City that never sleeps", they love to roll up the decks awfully early. The ice cream machine on the pool deck closes at 6:30. The buffet closes at 9:30 or 10:00. If you want something more than burnt pizza, you're going to pay for something at the pub or the little pastry shop. Oh, and if you want a soda on your soda package, you have to go all the way down to the pizza joint to get something other than coke/diet coke or sprite at the bar. It would make sense to put a freestyle machine on each floor or at least in the heavily traversed areas like the pool. Speaking of... Fancy a late night swim? Not in the solarium, that closes at 7:00 so, you're going to be put into Kid-gen-pop in the central pool, which closes at 9, then the main pool, that closes at 10:00. Everything, and I mean EVERYTHING requires a reservation. We ended up not taking advantage of many of the "cool" features like the bumper cars (line went around and out of the seaplex each time we tried), iFly (admittedly, I am too big, but the kinds weren't and there were never times available and they couldn't be booked online), Flowrider (2+ hour waits), and the escape room? That ship became my escape room. Forget the NorthStar, only time we could do it is during our dinner or stand in a standby line for 1 hour plus. Again, none of these had reservations available online except for the flowrider, if I wanted to pay an obnoxious amount of money for the private sessions. We missed the adult comedy show because each time we showed up 30 minutes early to a packed house. Guess we need to try an hour next time. The bionic bar was pretty neat, but nobody could explain why I had to give an 18% gratuity to a machine. It's stupid, minor annoyances that could easily be fixed that caused problems. Other than that, we had a great time. We did the Horseshoe Bay beach transfer and it was beautiful, although the water was a tad bit cold. The beach chairs and umbrellas were $45 for the day - so be warned. We also did the Beach Rendezvous in St. Martin, which was nice, the people were super friendly, the local vendors were out but were respectful of the phrase "no thank you", and the lunch provided was delicious and generous. Drinks were cheap, too! We took the Club Vivo beach day and although we got rained out at the very end, it was absolutely delightful. Best beach day of the bunch for sure - the water was crystal clear and the staff was super helpful and kind. The drinks were priced appropriately, and the lunch was delicious. We wandered around Labadee, it was hot, but still a great time. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
We chose this cruise because we wanted to go after the school year ended, as our 4 children range in ages from 9-16. Embarkation was a breeze, since our group consisted mostly of pinnacle members and suite guests. We were walking onto the ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted to go after the school year ended, as our 4 children range in ages from 9-16. Embarkation was a breeze, since our group consisted mostly of pinnacle members and suite guests. We were walking onto the ship within 20 minutes of arriving at the port, which was awesome. Of course everyone who boards the shop is anxious to have that first meal in the windjammer, so be prepared to get lost in a literal sea of hungry people looking for a table. It is insane. There is a gluten free station at the very back of the windjammer and there’s almost always empty tables in that area even on embarkation day. The food in the windjammer is very good and you can find almost anything you might be in the mood for. Just don’t expect to have an easy time especially at breakfast and lunch and especially if you have a family that needs a decent size table. The place is enormous but even so, it gets crazy in there. On day 1 I checked out the diamond lounge since I am a diamond plus member. I was helping myself to a cappuccino when the under counter fridge door fell on my leg, and the jagged rusty metal scraped my thigh. I brought it to the attention of a lounge server and she told me I must have been kicking the door for it to fall on me. She was very rude and clearly was afraid of being in trouble because the door was not attached, in fact it was leaning on the side of the counter and it tipped over, falling on me. Maybe they are trained to not take responsibility for occurrences like this? Adventure Ocean- my 9 year old wanted to attend some of the activities in adventure ocean. They have a room for 9-11 year olds. She loved the activities. However, my husband and I both noticed that the staff that runs this room were not friendly AT ALL. I undertand people maybe have a bad day or maybe working with kids all day might be stressful but not one smile came from any of the staff, not even eye contact. The room was usually staffed by a couple younger women and they always looked miserable. I’ve been cruising with royal since I was young enough to attend the kids program (now I’m 39) and I always remember the staff being extremely friendly, very fun and upbeat, full of energy. These girls clearly hate this job and probably shouldn’t be working with kids if you can’t make eye contact or smile at the parents. Our daughter said they were never unkind and she seemed to want to go back so hopefully they’re a little nicer to the kids than they are to the parents. Coastal Kitchen- as suite guests we had the privilege of eating in coastal kitchen. It was the highlight of the cruise. The service is top notch. And the food is fantastic. They manage to keep the atmosphere non-stuffy but dignified. We ate almost every meal in coastal kitchen and loved every minute. The ports of call were all awesome. Puerto Rico feels a little unsafe and so does St Maarten. So be cautious with belongings and bags etc. There is a sniffing dog when you get back on the ship in Puerto Rico. That should tell you something. The water taxi in St Maarten takes you to a nice beach for swimming. Bermuda is always an amazing place to visit. Our fave is Horseshoe Bay but dear god there were a million people there and crowded beaches are the pits. When you want to swim there are so many people in the water it feels claustrophobic. Labadee is of course absolutely beautiful. We had access to barefoot beach which made the visit a thousand times more enjoyable. They transport you from the ship to the entrance of the barefoot beach and they have a separate lunch buffet with a little better selection. If you do the wave runners be prepared to be approached by locals on row boats trying to sell their hand made items. They do even try to grab onto your wave runner at times and they are very persistent. It’s annoying and honestly a little concerning with all the civil unrest in Haiti. And after you pay 130 for that experience they could at least find a way to keep them away. On board there were many things for the kids to stay busy. Arcade, bumper cars, trapeze school, escape room, flow rider, i fly, 3D movies in the royal theater on sea days, North Star, just to name a few. The sea plex is great for the kids and kids at heart. One thing however that I can’t for the life of me understand is the pool area. They have this tiny outdoor pool with a limit of 29 bodies. There are over 4000 passengers. The outdoor pool area is kind of a joke. There are maybe 50 seats (at the most) to be had if you want to be anywhere near the pool and in the sun. People literally FIGHT to get these seats, and you have to get up at like 5 am to go and grab up a seat or seats if you’re lucky. Fighting over pool chairs is stressful. But if you’re like most cruisers you want to sit in the sun, near the pool. For the life of me I will never understand why they make a tiny pool with relatively few chairs for a ship of 4000+ passengers. People literally just pack into the pool like sardines and stand there. And if you can’t find a spot to stand then the edges /steps fill up with sitters hoping to keep cool at the edge. Kinda gross when you think about it. No thanks. My biggest issue on this trip though, was about halfway through we were awoken by an extremely offensive odor in the middle of the night. It woke me up around midnight. We were up until about 2:30 am airing out our cabin by propping open the cabin door and balcony door at the same time. I can’t even imagine the smell in a room without a balcony it must have been horrendous. The smell was a combination of burnt onion/garlic mixed with rubber and skunk. It was coming out of the a/c vent in our room. We made call after call just to make sure there was not something wrong on the ship. It was extremely strong. We were given 5 different answers by different staff members about what the smell was. It only affected one side of the ship and about 4 of the decks. The smell lingered for days in the rooms and hallways. At times you could smell the air fresheners they must have sprayed to try and cover it up. We had concerns that it was something serious not only by the way it smelled but also the way it was blamed on many various things by different crew members we talked to. Some said Johnny Rockets. Some said windjammer. Some said it was an issue in the a.c. ventilation. Some said it was a human error. Some said it was burnt onions. Some said it was burnt rubber. Some said they never smelled anything (yeah right) even though they worked on that deck and it was so strong it was nauseating. We never got answers about what we inhaled that night. But two of my kids ended up with sore throats from it. This trip was a much needed family getaway and overall we enjoyed our 9 days and didn’t want to see it end, in spite of the issues. The anthem is a beautifully done ship and there’s much fun to be had. I’ll most likely go again for the simple fact that I live relatively close to Bayonne and don’t have to fly. If I could go back on the Oasis without flying I’d prefer that. It felt less crowded and more to do without waiting in a stinking line or fighting through crowds for every. single. thing. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary and not many lines do the Caribbean in May. We did enjoy our cruise but will not be choosing to do any with Royal Caribbean again. We found the Main Restaurant Menu very repetitive every ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary and not many lines do the Caribbean in May. We did enjoy our cruise but will not be choosing to do any with Royal Caribbean again. We found the Main Restaurant Menu very repetitive every night - you may get one change each night ! Not very exciting. The entertainment was awful to say the least, there was one band ‘The Royal Swedes’ they were excellent and a comedian one night. If you go onboard don’t take cabin 10596 because you won’t get any sleep with the balcony door continuously rattling while at sea, we reported the problem but didn’t get very far! the cabin itself was beautiful. Also don’t bring your travel iron because they take it off you when your case gets scanned and then expect them to do your ironing at a charge per item! They do not have a laundromat on any floor. This cruise line is not for us, drink packages are encouraging too much drinking on board and lots of noise in some bars at night, which was annoying when your trying to listen to the entertainment. Bermuda excursion to Hamilton on the boat was very good, also Porto Reico highlights and shopping excursion - a beautiful mall but got very little time 1 Hr 15 mins there which was disappointing, next time I would take a taxi there it’s 25 mins max away from port, Also Manhattan Highlights with airport transfer was very good. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
This was our second cruise on this ship. The first was over a year ago over the Christmas/New Year holidays which was fun! We drove the day before from Western NY to Newark which was "not so fun." Newark was horrible to ... Read More
This was our second cruise on this ship. The first was over a year ago over the Christmas/New Year holidays which was fun! We drove the day before from Western NY to Newark which was "not so fun." Newark was horrible to drive through even as directed by our GPS. We stayed at the Best Western Plus located near the port on International Way. This was our third stay at this hotel where we left our car for $8/day. They were most accommodating, courteous and offered shuttle service to/from the ship. The embarkation went smoothly. The ship is huge, beautiful, easy to get around and clean. The staff was courteous, friendly, helpful and cheerful. Our cabin 8712, balcony, located near the back of the ship was quite a "hike" from anything - even the elevators. Not to mention very small. We looked for life preservers but couldn't find any and asked where they were. This is scary: they were in a locked rooms in some of the public areas. How dangerous is that??? Also, the interactive TV had some good stations, but no music stations which would be nice. We are Diamond members and took little advantage of the Diamond Club located on Deck 4. As compared to our first cruise on this ship, the club was very crowded and some of the liquors offered were substandard. Although we were able to get three (3) drinks free at any bar (without dining) from 4:30 pm to 8:00 pm each day off a menu with some "cheap" liquors offered. A downgrade for sure! Also, as Diamond members, we would sometimes find RCCL notebooks, slippers, flowers, fruit, lotions, creams, and other amenities on different days - small gifts of appreciation. I didn't pack a plastic beach bag because we always found a RCCL bag in our room for incidentals. Had to purchase something from the gift shop to get one. This time we got cookies, choc. covered strawberries and 4 bottles of water. That's it! Our room steward, Basil, was wonderful - hard working and eager to please. We had My-Time dining. Thought we would give this another chance. Well it was the same as last time: crowded, rushed, very generic, service was harried and not personalized and very "robotic." I think the theme in the dining rooms is: Seat'em, feed'em, and get'em out!!! The food was so-so. For sure, they are understaffed....Not a good dining experience. We landed up eating at the Windjammer for most of this cruise. The staff there was wonderful and attentive. The food was pretty good, but too much ethnic foods. They had grilled steaks and chicken breasts, both of which were small and thin and were grilled ahead of time and left to dry out on a heated pan. I asked for a freshly grilled steak and was directed to pick one of the dried out steaks.... There were quite a few activities on board - if you like bingo and trivia and trivia and more trivia. The pools were crowded and a bit scummy. The boutique(s) were expensive and void of shoppers, whereas most of the cruisers were frugal. They would do much better with more reasonable items in their shops. However, I must give kudos to RCCL for having a priest on board to say Mass - four times on that cruise. That Sunday, we had at least 200 people for Mass and all were grateful. Thank you, thank you, thank you! Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Sailed with my husband and 2 other couples. We wanted to try a cruise from a port we didn't have to fly to. Have done several cruises out of Baltimore (closest to us), so New Jersey was next closest. Anthem of the Seas was the ... Read More
Sailed with my husband and 2 other couples. We wanted to try a cruise from a port we didn't have to fly to. Have done several cruises out of Baltimore (closest to us), so New Jersey was next closest. Anthem of the Seas was the biggest ship we've sailed on so far and was definitely not our cup of tea. Just too crowded. We spent a total of 4 days at sea and they were miserable. The deck chairs are packed together so tight you can barely get in and out of them. There is no peace and quiet, even in the Solarium. If you've heard people say you can't feel the ship rock on these huge ships, absolutely not true. If you think the venues are bigger on these huge ships, absolutely not true - just more of them. The shops were no better than on RC's smaller ships, same junk just more of it. The casino was twice as big and twice as stinky. They should not allow smoking ANYWHERE inside the ship and that includes the casino. Just couldn't enjoy it in there. The quality of two of the shows was supposedly outstanding, but we wouldn't know because we waited too long to make reservations and couldn't get in. This was our 10th cruise and we have never had to make a reservation before. The shows that didn't require a reservation were so-so. The Windjammer was huge and there was ample seating but the variety did not change much from day to day. Food was good but not great. There was actually lettuce that was turning brown and wilted at the salad bar one day. The staterooms (we had a balcony room with a partially obstructed view) are nice and big and have plenty of room for storing your clothes and luggage. Bathrooms are nice and shower was actually spacious. Beds, however, were miserably uncomfortable. All six of us had trouble sleeping because of the mattresses and skimpy pillows. Note to RC: Princess has you beat here. All in all, I was disappointed because I had imagined that this bigger class of ship would be a little more luxurious. The only difference however was it was crowded. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We have been sailing on Anthem since it started sailing in 2015. It's a nice, modern ship with plenty of bells and whistles and our first couple of sailings were extraordinary! We enjoy sailing out of Cape Liberty for the convenience ... Read More
We have been sailing on Anthem since it started sailing in 2015. It's a nice, modern ship with plenty of bells and whistles and our first couple of sailings were extraordinary! We enjoy sailing out of Cape Liberty for the convenience and quite honestly, embarkation AND disembarkation couldn't be smoother. They get high marks for that. RC lets passengers know up front the recommended arrival time is between 12-1PM, but fellow cruisers show up as early as 9AM to be the first ones on board and then have to wait 3 hours in what terminal staff call "the bull pen." Even after they're on the ship, the rooms usually aren't ready at least for another 90 minutes. Fun times, however with this most recent sailing in May 2018, we noticed things started going noticeably downhill. First, the negative reviews on this site are, unfortunately, mostly all true. Travel irons are confiscated at the security check-in when they previously were not for other cruises, forcing one to be creative or use the on-board laundry valet service for a fee. The muster drill has become a joke as it is nothing more than roll call and videos about washing hands. They didn't even show us how to put on the life jackets! Even before entering the buffet they have a station with about four sinks where you MUST wash your hands and I find it incredulous that the sinks are filthy and yet somehow RC believes human hands are dirtier than the sinks they provide. Not that I have a problem washing my hands, it's just there's SO MANY announcements about doing it obviously to cut down on the norovirus which also happens to be an AIRBORNE illness. Chew on that for a minute. There were noticeably many more children on this cruise than on some others we have taken on Anthem around the same time every year. The reason is, in an effort to cram as many people on board as possible, RC solicits a "kids sail free" promotion every so often and unfortunately there is no way to determine on which cruises this promotion is offered. One thing IS for sure - it IS offered on Anthem. I don't have anything against traveling with the young ones, but there were a lot of them. Sitting in the stairwells, playing on elevators and such and it's because there really isn't much for them to do. One minute in iFly if they are old enough, one time on the North Star, bumper cars and skating really isn't much to do on a 10 day cruise. The video arcade is a joke, the XBOX wasn't working and how many games of ping pong can two people play? I would be disappointed as a pre-teen/teen because the ship really wasn't designed with children in mind. An Oasis class ship would be more suitable for families with young ones. Dining has gone way downhill, and I think the reason is because there isn't one main dining room. When Anthem was new, RC rolled out "Dynamic Dining" to mixed reviews. There were a number of specialty restaurants, a few you had to pay for and then a few (four, I think), that were free. They were called Chic, Silk, American Icon and The Grande, and the food was spectacular! There was nice variety every night, but the problem was the reservation system. Passengers had to reserve seatings in advance of the cruise only to show up and there not be any record. The system was very flawed and instead of fixing the system, RC simply discontinued the Dynamic Dining program, only to have relics of these four restaurants on the ship now serving as one main dining room. As a result, the food is all the same poor quality and unimaginative unless you want to PAY for a Chops Grille experience without the cover charge. While nice, the Windjammer Buffet was a circus, mainly because of the number of children. It is set up in such a way that it's impossible not to bump into anyone, which is fine but with kids running around and pushing, it's a disaster waiting to happen. You literally have to dance in circles to get from the serving stations back to your table. Food overall was much more spectacular than the offerings at dinnertime in the dining rooms. The revamped room service was incredible! - when it was new. Everything was excellent quality, in fact, many nights on the maiden voyage, we opted for room service even with the fee - it was just that good. On this cruise, the food made me very sick. Perhaps it was a poor quality of beef. Maybe it was because they ran out of honey mustard (!) and substituted mayo instead for the chicken tenders. In any case, it needs some work. Like fresh food. So I complained and they sent champagne and fresh fruit to my room to compensate for the bad experience, and my stateroom attendant threw it out, claiming I could have put it in the refrigerator. Well guess what? Full size dishes do not fit in the refrigerator! It's also amazing to me that they allow 2 bottles of wine per passenger to be brought onboard, but refuse to allow you to bring on bottles of water. I'm not talking a case, but maybe 3 or 4 liters. The provided Evian isn't for everybody, and if they made it possible to get water around the ship I wouldn't mind the water restriction. Our Activities Director - "Hello Clo" - was abominable. Lifeless and a bit of a windbag. We all look forward to the comedian being corny if not providing just a few laughs, but this comedian Steve White was horrible. Offensive in every way. AND they gave him two shows, one in the main auditorium and the other in 270 which is odd because of the sheer amount of people. 3500 people can't fit in 270, so you can imagine the madhouse it was. The second comedian was much better but they gave him ONLY one adult show at 8:30, which coincided with our dinner time, so we actually had to choose either dinner or seeing the show. Events were so poorly planned that Clo actually said during the cruise that she was being transferred to another ship! I thought the crew usually finds out their next assignment AFTER the cruise.... Hmm.... I've noticed some concerns from reviewers asking about the weight restriction on North Star. Basically, and I'm saying this as nicely as I can because I also had concerns about the weight restrictions: if you don't "look" like you're over 300 pounds, there won't be a problem. Interestingly, the reason they do have the restriction is because if the ride stalls, the harness they use has the restriction. NOT the North Star. My concern about the tipping process is this: after we have paid our fare to enjoy this vacation, RC then takes another $300 for the 10 day gratuity, which is fine since the crew is working for it. I have no problem with that. But then they say that if you want to reward someone for going above and beyond, then feel free to recognize them with an ADDITIONAL gratuity! Excuse me?? See, and this is related to the "nickel-and-diming" some reviewers are talking about. If RC worked the gratuity into the cruise fare and made the price "all-inclusive", there really wouldn't be a problem. But all over the ship are signs offering things like wine tastings, saying $50 PLUS 18% gratuity! Why not just say $59 including tax and gratuity? To me, it softens the blow. Overall, the ship is magnificent and we enjoy it very much. We do, however miss the Voyager class ships which offer a "Promenade" the length of the ship and it comes in handy because while there were a lot of people onboard, it didn't feel overwhelming like Anthem does. RC didn't seem to put a lot of thought into the public areas, and their main promenade-type hallway always seemed overcrowded. In addition, at the end of the day Voyager class ships (Explorer, Adventure), were just more "fun" than Anthem in some way. Maybe it was the excellent "bon voyage" parades... In addition, they had libraries and bars and intimate settings where one could have a drink or two and enjoy a good book or conversation. During this last cruise experience, we were grateful to have a balcony room so as to escape from the crowds. Other people looking for respite (and there were a lot of them), eventually found their way to 270 so there really isn't a "quiet" spot on the ship. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We wanted to visit the eastern Caribbean and 3 of the ports of call were new to us. Another plus: We live in northern NJ and this ship sails from Bayonne. We had sailed before on Royal, and guests with balconies used to receive expedited ... Read More
We wanted to visit the eastern Caribbean and 3 of the ports of call were new to us. Another plus: We live in northern NJ and this ship sails from Bayonne. We had sailed before on Royal, and guests with balconies used to receive expedited embarkation. No more; we had to wait in line for over 40 minutes -- worse than the security wait at Newark airport. The service onboard was excellent (housekeeper Vince, waitress Rochelle). The cabin was clean and the balcony generous in size. We stayed on deck 11. Kudos to Royal for the vast number of onboard activities: simulated skydiving, surfing in a wave pool, bumper cars, rock climbing, outdoor family movies, etc. Entertainment was also very good ("We're Gonna Rock You", the comedian-juggler, the 3 tenors, etc.) The big disappointment is the food in the 4 dining rooms: It's truly lackluster and disappointing. For example, I've eaten better steaks at the Outback Steakhouse. Pasta dishes were bland and in desperate need of seasoning. Out of 9 dinners, only one entrée was outstanding (a pork shank). The other meals, though edible, were little better than diner food. The problem? Too many passengers. Over 4,000 people pass thru the 4 dining rooms each evening between 5 and 8, requiring Royal to resort to mass-produced, "institutional" food. [BTW, after paying $1700 for my cruise, I simply refuse to pay extra for specialty restaurants.] One positive note: Disembarkation was smooth, fast and easy since we carried our luggage ourselves from the cabins. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
I like the large ships and I want to go to Bermuda and I like more than7 days. I love the food. Just need more. Entertainment. Everyone treat you so nice .l would love to go to Cuba. I notice in the meeting Cuba was not mention so I was ... Read More
I like the large ships and I want to go to Bermuda and I like more than7 days. I love the food. Just need more. Entertainment. Everyone treat you so nice .l would love to go to Cuba. I notice in the meeting Cuba was not mention so I was thinking there was no ship going to Cuba. The ship is beautiful I just need to'get some good music on there or. I will do a follow up on the entertainment. The music is the highlight of the cruises. I am book on the harmony in November 2018 I am hoping to have a good time and plan to book again on the harmony. Love the ships and the food.l wish the prices were a little lower then I can cruise more each year. I am looking for discount cruise. I can say Royal has some nice big ship when you get the entertainment together you will have everything under control. Thank you Read Less
Sail Date May 2018

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