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

We had an amazing time on the Anthem! My husband and I (mid-late-30's), our three daughters (13-11-6), and my parents traveled in three staterooms (two balconies and one interior virtual balcony for the older two children). The ... Read More
We had an amazing time on the Anthem! My husband and I (mid-late-30's), our three daughters (13-11-6), and my parents traveled in three staterooms (two balconies and one interior virtual balcony for the older two children). The activities offered on the ship and ports on this sailing truly made for a perfect cruise vacation! Embarkation in Bayonne was quick and simple. We drove in from the Philly suburbs the morning of the cruise, parked our car in the garage at 10:30am, and were onboard by 11. There were lots of people waiting in the terminal, though, so I can only assume they did not do the online check in. With online check-in, there was absolutely no waiting, so that is a must! Once onboard, we were told that our rooms and key cards would be ready by 1pm and that until then, we could use our set sail pass that we'd printed at home to utilize our deluxe beverage package. We headed to Two70 for drinks and lunch while we waited. It was a pleasant, scenic place to hang out and get into vacation mode! Cabins and luggage were all ready in a timely fashion, so we unpacked and headed to the required muster drill before dinner. We had the early seating in the Grande dining room, which was beautiful (though we miss the enormous 3-story dining rooms of older ships). Our servers (Sachin & Carmi) were top notch and the food was generally very good! With our large group, we opted to dine in the main dining room every night rather than spend hundreds more trying the specialty restaurants. The Anthem is beautifully decorated and impeccably clean. There are So. Many. Activities. onboard for kids and adventurous adults to enjoy: iFly, Flowrider, NorthStar, bumper cars, and the trapeze were all fantastic. (Our tall six year old was too short for Flowrider, even though she has done it before on land, so be sure to check out the height requirements beforehand to avoid disappointment.) One small complaint I have about the ship is that there is not nearly enough space on the pool deck and there is only one very small outdoor pool. There is an indoor pool with a retractable glass roof that was never opened despite 8 out of 9 days of beautiful weather. My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed the Schooner Bar for piano entertainment (the lavender daiquiri was my favorite there!) in the evening, while our older two girls enjoyed the Living Room for teens (Note: it's 12 and up but 11 year olds can hang out there as long as their parents signs off), and our 6 year old was absolutely obsessed with the Adventure Ocean 6-8 year olds club. We loved being able to have a nice evening out while the children were happy and entertained and making friends! We did miss having a Viking Crown Lounge on this ship, which is usually our go-to place for quiet drinks and views. Of the 4 ports of call on this cruise, we had only been to Bermuda previously. We did the Horseshoe Bay Beach transport through Royal Caribbean, and although we arrived early, the beach was FAR more crowded than it was 13 years ago during our last visit. If you walk allllllll the way down to the left past the rocks, it is less crowded but still pretty packed with daredevils jumping off the rocky cliffs and Instagrammers trying to get the perfect shot. Absolutely beautiful, just more crowded than I like. At the next port, Sint Maarten, we did Royal Caribbean's Maho Beach excursion because we really wanted to see the planes taking off from Princess Juliana airport. After getting off the ship, we waited in line for a very long time waiting to get onto a bus to take us to the beach; I didn't love all the waiting so I would probably look into a private tour the next time. Once we arrived, though, we easily found a table at the little outdoor bar/restaurant there, ordered a few CHEAP buckets of Coronas (I think it was $20 for six) and some reasonably priced food, and enjoyed watching the planes land and take off (as well as tourists get blown down the beach). We ventured down into the water to get the full sand-blown experience, which was great! (Be warned that there are pretty aggressive hair-braiding vendors, little to no sand to relax on, lots of litter on the rocks unfortunately, & the sand really does hurt when a big plane takes off). Still, fun for big kids and plane enthusiasts! We had no planned excursions for San Juan, except that we wanted to check out Barrachina, the bar/restaurant that created the pina colada. Old San Juan is a beautiful, charming place for a stroll, and the Barrachina pina coladas (available with or without rum) and the Plaza de las Palomas (a little square with a colonial gate and hundreds of pigeons, plus a guy with pigeon feed and Purell, yay!) were highlights. Our final stop, Labadee, was heaven for us. I HIGHLY recommend booking an over-the-water cabana on Nellie's Beach for the day. Yeah, it's pricey, but having a private area to store your stuff, someone to bring you drinks, and towels & water waiting for you is invaluable if you hate crowds like I do. Maybe not for a couple, but for a group of 7 it's totally worth it. Our cabana, #3, shared access with just one other cabana to a rocky outcropping with a ladder that led right into 6-7ft deep water. Since all three of our girls are swimmers, it was awesome for them to be able to jump in or float on the included floating mats away from the throngs. We also did the Arawak Water Park for an hour, which was too long for me but very fun for the kids! Disembarkation back in Bayonne was as quick and efficient as embarkation. Our number was called early (despite an insane number of self-depart guests queueing up with all their luggage in tow) and we were back in our car within 20 minutes. Unfortunately, breakfast options and crew members were few and far between that last morning. Overall, it was a wonderful cruise! Port days and sea days were equally enjoyable and there was definitely something for everyone. Service was awesome all around and the ship was spotless. Highly recommended! (Sad to see her go in April!) Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We booked a guarantee balcony only a few months before sailing and were very pleased with the cabin we were assigned, under a quiet part of Windjammer buffet. This was my first time on a Quantum class ship and wondered how it would ... Read More
We booked a guarantee balcony only a few months before sailing and were very pleased with the cabin we were assigned, under a quiet part of Windjammer buffet. This was my first time on a Quantum class ship and wondered how it would compare to my favorite Oasis class ships. Here is what I found: Some things I really loved, and a few things I really missed. Typically I spend 90% of my at sea days in the Solarium, but because these ships are designed to sail out of northern climes in the winter, the Solarium is an entirely glassed in space, unlike its Oasis counterparts, where the glass is staggered with open air spaces. I can imagine that if you were embarking in January, it would be lovely to walk into a tropical space right away, but in the middle of summer, I really missed the fresh air. I found the promenade area more crowded as it was much narrower than Oasis class ships. But those are really the only negatives - this is really great ship with some very fun activities! We missed the pre-cruise online booking window when Ifly and NorthStar were offered, but did book all the shows ahead of time. Thanks to Cruise Critic community members, I knew that I could book Ifly and NorthStar as soon as we had checked in and had access to the Royal IQ wifi. We literally boarded the ship, rounded the corner, and stopped and made our bookings! I cannot tell you how much I loved Ifly! We even dropped by towards the end of the cruise and managed to snag a second fly, even though no time slots were being offered in the app. Worth mentioning is the fact that like Harmony, there is a hole in the firewall on Anthem, which allows IPhone users to IMessage throughout the cruise - even photos and videos worked! Bumper Cars, Roller skating and NorthStar were very fun. Get there early to sign up for roller skating, as they assign time slots and the spaces go quickly. Once again, Royal Caribbean outdid itself in the entertainment department. The Gift and We Will Rock You were incredible and the headliners were amazing. Particularly loved the U2 tribute band along with the Tribute Shmibute entertainer. Spectras Cabaret was the only show that I didn’t particularly enjoy, but there are always so many other options. We had great meals, both in the main dining room, the Solarium, and Windjammer. We diid not go to any specialty restaurants this time - Wonderland is such a spectacular venue on Oasis class ships and a must-go for me, but the physical venue on this ship was underwhelming so we didn’t bother. We did have a Chops steak in the main dining room and it was like butter. The staff for the most part were great - and the ports delightful. I also loved sailing in and out of New York harbour as that was a first for me. This is the first time in a few cruises that I didn’t purchase the drink package (which, if you want to buy one, get the Buy One Get one 50% off in the pre-cruise sales). I have to say, I really missed it. At $49 / day plus the insane 18% gratuity, it doesn’t take much to justify. I missed my smoothies, specialty coffees, specialty iced coffees, San Pelligrinos, waters and oh yes, martini’s! Even as a Diamond member, the non-alcoholic drinks can get you to $49 a day pretty easily so in future, that will always be my first choice. You know, there are always problems on any cruise. Life is never perfect and neither is cruising, so set realistic expectations. Overall, I would recommend this ship and itinerary highly to a friend, and would do it all over again! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Believe it or not, but we chose a 9-night cruise for our first Royal Caribbean cruise not knowing if we'd even like it or not. To be honest, we had high expectations considering how amazing many people call the cruise line, so we were ... Read More
Believe it or not, but we chose a 9-night cruise for our first Royal Caribbean cruise not knowing if we'd even like it or not. To be honest, we had high expectations considering how amazing many people call the cruise line, so we were expecting a lot. Not only were our expectations met, but they were surpassed greatly and we couldn't have asked for a better vacation! To begin, our boarding was really smooth and I felt it was almost too easy! Although the ship was pretty crowded at some times, it never felt too much and you have to expect crowds on such a large ship with such a large person count. I felt the ship's outline was very different than others but there was nothing too dramatic or bad about it. I REALLY enjoyed the food especially at the main dining room, Wonderland, and Chops Grille. The main dining room was outstanding and we wish we went there more, but we wanted to try other restaurants like Wonderland, Chops, and Jamies. The Head Waitress, Maricris was super nice and visited us every night even though she wasn't our actual server and even though she had many things to deal with, so it was outstanding and so kind of her to do this for us. Wonderland had some of the most extraordinary food my whole family has ever tasted and some of the most interesting food my family has ever tasted. We definitely also enjoyed Chops and the layout of the menu that we did it once for dinner and also again for lunch! Yes, Jamies was amazing and had some pretty good food, but we felt that it could have had more Italian theme since it is an Italian restaurant. Moving on from food, me and my family (I traveled with my husband and one 14-year-old boy for further reference) all enjoyed most of the shows. My son and I were in love with Spectra's Cabaret, my husband not that much. We all hated The Gift and thought it was really hard to follow and made no sense even with having full concentration the whole show. The decorations and set designs and singing in The Gift was amazing but none of it made any sense even though we also did some research beforehand. Both the adult and kid-friendly comedy shows were outstanding and we all enjoyed it a lot. We will rock you is great for long Queen fans, so I really liked it but my husband didn't. Overall, entertainment was pretty good and we saw some shows we couldn't ever forget, especially the silent party which was extremely entertaining and enjoyable. Bingo was pretty good despite the same jokes being used each time in each game and the jokes got a bit annoying but we were barely bothered by it. There was so much entertainment that we had to cut some things out and we weren't able to attend everything we wanted to, which is odd considering you'd think everything would be spread out in a 9-night cruise. My son did the flow rider and rock climbing once or twice and enjoyed it, but the whole family really liked North Star and it was unforgettable with the pictures we also got from it. The Sea Plex had so much entertainment and activities that me, my son, and my husband all enjoyed especially bumper cars and my sons first-time roller skating! The ship overall was extremely clean and as I said before, it had a weird outline and I felt that it isn't the same as other ships but it was definitely something I liked and found interesting. The ship was fairly crowded at some times and at some parts including how hard it was to find a deck chair by the pool, but it was fairly empty above the pool deck 1 deck up and is just as enjoyable to sunbathing, listening to the live music, and watching people swim as well. The ship was just amazing and much bigger than we imagined in pictures! Moving onto our cabin, I found it very unique considering there was actually a charging slot on both sides of the bed as well and also a light switch on the side of the bed that turned off most of the lights in the room. I found this amazing since I didn't have to get up (lol!) and turn the lights off then make my way back to the bed. Our only problems with the room was that our comforter/blanket had a weird stain on it that we found really strange, however, it was dealt with swiftly and the same night we noticed it when we told our room stewardess. We also noticed that we only got a towel animal every other night, which was a shock but I guess that's what happens on a 9-night cruise (this was our longest cruise as well, the other longest being 7 nights). We only had a couple of problems that made us have to go to customer service, one being a clogged toilet and lost items, but they dealt with it fast and with no problem at all. The staff onboard are just so nice and it surprised me how much energy they have every single day considering they do this same old thing every week. Moving on from the ship, we REALLY enjoyed all 4 ports that we visited. Starting in order, we really enjoyed Bermuda, Royal Naval Dockyard. This was the tour that we booked with Royal Caribbean where we visited the Aquarium and Zoo for almost all of the day and the tour guides were just so hilarious and we couldn't say anything bad about the experience or tour guides. The map was larger than the place actually was and it was really small but the time they gave us at the place matched how long it takes to go around the place. After the tour, we just went some shopping and got rum cake that was REALLY DELICIOUS and is a must when going to Bermuda. Next up was Saint Maarten or Sint Maartin where we did a circle island tour that visited Maho Beach, Marigot, and some extra places as well. This tour was booked with Bernards Tours, which was off the cruise line and booked by me privately. We felt this tour was outstanding and we really recommend it to everyone! It took most of the day so we just went a little shopping near the port after and then headed back to the ship. The next port was Puerto Rico where we did visited the El Yunque rain forest with another tour, not with the cruise line as we didn't see any tour about the rainforest until after we booked this one. This tour was absolutely outstanding and there was even an extra part at the end where he brought us to an excellent restaurant where we had to get food to go because the tour took almost the entire day and we only had about an hour or so left. Finally, we visited Labadee, Haiti, the private island. Haiti was by far our favorite port and because it was just so beautiful and sooting for the whole family. My child loved the virgin Labadoozie and me and my husband enjoyed the one with rum but it was so delicious and I am currently craving one badly right now. Barefoot Beach was our favorite beach at Labadee and it was so calm. The water was amazing and so clear, it was one of the best we've ever experienced in a very long time. My son did the zipline alone and he said that it was a lot of fun and described it to be the best zipline he's ever done (he has done a LOT). He has never done an over ocean type of zipline so it was a cool experience for him, along with the dragon coaster he also did alone (me and my husband aren't as adventurous as him, lol!). If I had the choice to do it all again, I would definitely. Although it was kind of stressful sometimes rushing to dinner or the Windjammer and doing washy washy every time we entered, I wouldn't have wanted it any other way and the memories we made can never be forgotten. My son didn't go to the teens club despite me telling him to many times. He didn't really make any friends on board but he was fine with that and he just wanted to relax and explore the ship when my husband and I went to the adult-only events like the hilarious comedy show. Disembarkation was super smooth unexpectedly and once we got off the ship, the line to pick up our luggage and go through customs was extremely long, but it went really fast and it was super smooth and I'd say we got out completely in less than 20 minutes (yes, that fast!). Overall, to end this review, this 9-night cruise on Anthem of the Seas was outstanding and surpassed the entire family's expectations fully. We will definitely cruise with Royal Caribbean again and maybe even Anthem! Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
I took this trip with 30 friends and family. I was a little scared to do Royal because I had a bad experience 11 yrs ago with them. The Anthem of the Seas changed me the moment I stepped on the ship. She is big,beautiful and clean. ... Read More
I took this trip with 30 friends and family. I was a little scared to do Royal because I had a bad experience 11 yrs ago with them. The Anthem of the Seas changed me the moment I stepped on the ship. She is big,beautiful and clean. CABIN # 9510---front of the ship with a 6ft window. Cabin was larger than balconies. I had 4 adults in the room with plenty of storage. There was storage over both beds and we had 2 closets. The bathroom was decent size. Umroy --steward took great care of us. He made towel animals almost every night, always greeted us with a smile and asked us how our day was going. FOOD: We had My time Dining. We ate in the Silk dinning room 3 nights, American Icon -once, Solarium Bistro-once, Windjammer- twice, Chops-once and Jamies- once for lunch Service at everyone was top notched. waiters brought out extras for the table. If you wanted something that wasn't on the menu, they got it for you. The seafood tower at Chops is a must. Shawn at Jamies brought us all the appetizers out family style. He also did the same for dessert. Needless to say we did not eat dinner that night ENTERTAINMENT: WE WILL ROCK YOU---so nice I saw it twice THE GIFT--- The story is tough to follow but the singing and special effects are amazing. SPECTRA'S CABERNET: Great singing and acrobatics . Here is my one complainant----Parents with young kids---If you child can not stay quite or sit still for an hour, PLEASE do not bring them to the show. You ruin it for others, SERVICE: EXCELLENT all around. My bartenders at the Sunshine bar( Seon, Gary, Larry, Stephen and Hermit) I will never forget you guys. They were simply the best bartenders I ever had on 10 cruises. PORTS: BERMUDA: took a taxi( $7 per person one way) Horseshoe Bay -- watched friends renew their vows on the beach. ST MARTIN: Took taxi to Maho beach and got drinks at Sunset bar---great experience. At night we did a sunset catamaran cruise on the Golden Eagle--Capt Charlie and crew were the best. A big shout out to My main man Otis who kept the drinks coming even in the thunder storm. SAN JUAN: My sons and I did the ATV ride at Campo Rico--another great time, great staff and drinks. FYI-- bring another shirt because you will get dirty. After that we met friends for a great lunch at Restaurante Mi Tierra--about 2 blocks from ship. Great mojitos and mufungo . LABADEE: was surprised how beautiful this beach was. We did the Dragon coaster( 35 for all day pass) great views from the top . Food at lunch was very good and there were plenty of bars on the island. It is a shame that the ship is moving to Europe next year because I would love to do another 9 days with Captain Hendrik and his crew. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
This was our first cruise with Royal Caribbean. We previously switched from another cruise line because of recommendations from friends plus we wanted to try it for ourselves. When we arrived to Bayonne, NJ, the entire process to get on ... Read More
This was our first cruise with Royal Caribbean. We previously switched from another cruise line because of recommendations from friends plus we wanted to try it for ourselves. When we arrived to Bayonne, NJ, the entire process to get on the cruise was effortless. Where it took us over an hour the last cruise we went on, it took us roughly 15 minutes with Royal. Our cabin was great. We had the pleasure of getting a balcony this time. The interior is good for first-time cruisers or if you're on a budget. We actually utilized the balcony quite a bit, either during our sea days or when we arrived/departed our ports. Views were spectacular. It was spacious enough to fit all our belongings and had plenty of drawer space for both of our clothes. Food was good. We went to the Windjammer Cafe during breakfast/lunch and did the "My Time" dining at dinnertime. There were plenty of options to choose from outside these two options. Wife and I ate at Jamie Oliver's Italian restaurant for our 3-year anniversary and the service was above and beyond. There was a sushi and steak restaurant I didn't get a chance to try but will keep it in mind for our next cruise. What impressed me was the cleanliness of the entire cruise ship. Prior to eating at the Windjammer Cafe, we were always instructed to wash our hands before serving ourselves. We were always greeted with "Washy Washy" which still stuck to me even after the cruise. Every time I went to the public restroom there was always someone in there either inspecting the restroom or cleaning it. As someone who is slightly germaphobic, I felt at ease the entire cruise. The service between housekeeping and the waiters/waitresses was fantastic. During the cruise our waitor Fuchao (I think that's how you spell it) knew us on a first name basis and catered to our every need. I really hope we run into him again on our next cruise. Our housekeeping could've used a little work but still did a great job. Our ports were the highlights of the entire cruise. Our favorite was probably San Juan, Puerto Rico where we did a Food and Culture tour. The tour guide gave us a taste of Puerto Rican cuisine and gave us a thorough history of San Jaun as well. Our second favorite was Labadee, Haiti. Apparently, Royal Caribbean owns part of the island which made it a great experience. There was anything from snorkeling excursions, a few beaches, floating bars, zipline excursions, and shopping available. Put plenty of sunscreen on because it gets HOT in Haiti. Only con was the price of everything. Drinks, without a drinks package, cost $10+ per drink which is more than the average drinks price in New York City. Be prepared to spend quite a bit on anything extra not included in your cruise package such as excursions, select restaurants, drinks etc. This was the best cruise we've experienced so far. We were considering giving their sister company, Celebrity Cruise, a shot but will be sticking with Royal going forward. If you're contemplating cruise, I highly recommend Royal Caribbean. You won't regret it. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Embarkment: We got there at 10:30 and walked right on the ship. Almost no waiting. We watched from the Windjammer as traffic backed up seemingly Pennsylvania (obviously exaggerating lol) Point is: get there early or you will have a rough ... Read More
Embarkment: We got there at 10:30 and walked right on the ship. Almost no waiting. We watched from the Windjammer as traffic backed up seemingly Pennsylvania (obviously exaggerating lol) Point is: get there early or you will have a rough time. Excursions: Took the ferry to Hamilton in bermuda and shopped their. Then got back to Kings Wharf and went to the Rumcake store. Definitely worth checking out as their rum cake is delicious. You can also watch them make glass figurines and such too. We went on the SXM party boat. It was fantastic. One of the best excursions I've ever done. Tripple decker boat took us from the ship to mayo beach. You don't actually go on the beach. The boat anchors a little ways out and lowers its own dock. They have snorkel gear included in the price and you can just jump in, snorkel, and watch the planes land. If you don't want to swim the boat has plenty of seats and you can grab a drink and enjoy the view. We were worried this might be a bunch of drunks going crazy, but everyone was really chill and we just relaxed the whole time. We paid $7 each for a bus tour of san juan. saw old town and new town. The tour was maybe an hour and a half. after the tour we walked around old town and went to Señor Frog's. Went to Nellie's Beach in Labadee. This beach seemed to be the least crowded. Water was nice and warm. It is worth bringing snorkel gear if you can. A few people there with me found some interesting creatures while snorkeling. If you swim out past the peninsula with the cabanas you get a great view of the ship. Walking distance from the lunch area and the shops. Lots of cool stuff at the shops, but the vendors are a bit pushy. Pools: As with every other cruise, you will not find anywhere to sit due to chair hogs. The Solarium pools and hot tubs were fantastic. I have seen people complain about children being in the solarium, but I never saw one there during my cruise. There are 3 shallow pools that were seldom crowded. and 4 hot tubs. The indoor pool seemed to be much less crowded than the main pool. That is where I swam the most. It also save me from sunburn. Entertainment: We Will Rock You - Phenomenal! For those that don't know this is a musical based on the music of queen. I may be bias, because I saw this in the West End in London a few years ago, but the cast and the music were amazing. Be sure to catch the cast when they sing live at the Schooner bar. The Gift: Story was very hard for me to follow. The music was good. Mostly covers of pop songs. Definitely skip this if you aren't into musicals in general. It was hard to get through all the way. Spectra's Cabaret: Show was very entertaining. Cast worked their butts off. Lots of high energy dancing. Dining: I had no issues with the quality of the food at any restaurant. Went to 3 specialty restaurants. Jamies, Chops, and Wonderland. All fantastic. My time dining is awful as far as wait time. even with a reservation it took 20 minutes to get a table. Norwegian has similar setup for dining and we always just walked right in. If you are able to do traditional dining I believe that is the way to go. Our waiter (Loyale) told us we could talk to the staff and ask to sit at his table every night. This did allow us to beat the system and skip the line the last 3 nights of the cruise. Disembarkation: Honestly it seemed like waiting to get off took forever, but I think they got held up with customs(or so I heard). Not a big deal. We were all cranky anyway, because the cruise was over. To sum it up: Overall experience was great. Only complaint is the my time dining. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
After 10 cruises on the Liberty of the Seas, the Anthem was an AMAZING experience. Starting with our cabin, 8226, it was a spacious balcony. They removed the coffee table that is usually in the cabin but we did not miss it since it gave ... Read More
After 10 cruises on the Liberty of the Seas, the Anthem was an AMAZING experience. Starting with our cabin, 8226, it was a spacious balcony. They removed the coffee table that is usually in the cabin but we did not miss it since it gave us so much more room. They have maximized storage. We had more than enough room for the first time ever. Our only complaint was the lighting. We had a lighted mirror but it was not good enough to put on makeup. As always all the staff was friendly accommodating and hard working. My girlfriend wanted to go to Wonderland, I wasn't so sure. It was a delicious and entertaining meal. I can't wait to go back. We also had lunch and Jamie Olivers. Another hit. The ship itself is beautiful with very much to see and do. Lots of places to sit, sleep and people watch. My only disappointment was that the solarium did not have a pool. It had hot tubs and a wading pool? Not sure what you would call it. I like to swim and I need a pool with stairs due to a disability, I can't use a ladder. We ate our meals in the MDR or TWO 70. TWO 70 was perfect, never a crowd and plenty to choose from. The MDR was good, just like every other ship we've been on. The shows were very good. I would highly recommend this ship. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
This is our third RC cruise - Oasis, Allure and now Anthem! In comparing, I do like the Oasis class ships better for their design and size, but the highlights for me of Anthem are: The Two70 lounge, Seaplex and being able to drive to the ... Read More
This is our third RC cruise - Oasis, Allure and now Anthem! In comparing, I do like the Oasis class ships better for their design and size, but the highlights for me of Anthem are: The Two70 lounge, Seaplex and being able to drive to the port, park and get on the ship. All Staff we came across were very friendly, efficient and went out of their way to make our vacation the best. I was really surprised with how fast the embarkation was - from passing on our bags, to parking, to checking in, we were on the ship in 1/2 hour. Disembarkation was just as easy - sitting in theatre waiting for our luggage tag # to be called, getting off ship, to getting our bag and going through security (facial scan), pay for parking, getting car - all within an hour. The shows on board were great. Got to experience our first silent disco, and I even did iFly. We did excursions in Bermuda and Puerto Rico; St. Maarten, we just took a water taxi to beach. Labadee was a lazy beach day - very enjoyable - the lunch was delicious. I was worried about a 9 night cruise, but when day 7 came around, I was glad we had two more nights. We have a wonderful time. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We sailed from Cape Liberty. The port was driving distance from our home. We had a 1230-1pm boarding time. We drove directly up to the porters and luggage crates albeit a line of cars the luggage drop off went pretty smoothly. The ... Read More
We sailed from Cape Liberty. The port was driving distance from our home. We had a 1230-1pm boarding time. We drove directly up to the porters and luggage crates albeit a line of cars the luggage drop off went pretty smoothly. The parking garage was on the right after the terminal. Parking for 9 days cost $198. The terminal was a bit crowded with a long line of passengers trying to get through security. Once passed the security you had another line for the cruise check in both seemed to take a bit of time. Since we are Emerald, the cruise only had 3 check-in stations, where Gold had at least 10+ stations and Diamond+ levels had 6 or more stations. The only nice part about being delayed in the terminal is that our cabin was ready once we boarded so we could drop off out carry on bags, go explore the ship and grab something to eat. The entertainment staff and CD were good. The production shows were the same as a previous sailing other then a few cast member changes. This is where I wish that Royal Caribbean switched up the shows every six months-12 months. There seemed to be a lot of passengers that have sailed with the Anthem of the Seas multiple times. The Headliner show and the comedian were excellent. The cover band Led Zeppagain was excellent and fun to listen to. Again, I wish there was more than one band that played in the Music Hall. The Music Hall seemed like a lot of wasted space. The 5th floor was very hard to view the main stage located on the 4th floor. There are 3 well worn pool tables located in this areas. The Schooner bar had excellent bar staff. There was nightly music and daily trivia played in this area. The Brass and Brock bar was also filled with excellent bar staff and live Acoustic singers. The Two 70 Lounge is one of its kind. The sound system, electronics and views were outstanding. The show Spectra was a unique experience as well. We had my time dining and had the same wait staff team every night for dinner. Their service was superb they went over and beyond our expectations. Food choices were plentiful. Everything tasted fine. One unique thing that has changed when ordering in the MDR. The waiter takes your appetizer, main course and dessert order and the same time. North Star and I-fly were neat experiences and must tries. Sign up in your cruise planner before you set sail. Bumper cars were hysterical. Watching adults of all ages laughing like they were kids again was fun. Being apart of the bumper car action was even better. Expect a little whiplash. The pool areas were as annoying as they usually are due to the chair hogs. I did not see any deck employees policing the area of this. With the bigger ships it seems like too many people and too little seating around the main outdoor pools. Bermuda was very windy so we just walked around the port on our own. We found a mini golf course overlooking the ocean and played for $15 pp. We booked the Maho Beach excursion in Saint Maarten. That was an experience seeing the planes land and take off so close to the beach. In San Juan we booked the bike excursion in which was a private tour by accident. We were lucky and the Shorex team allowed us to go. We rode around San Juan and the beach area for 8-9 miles. One hidden gem was an umbrella street not in the touristy area. In Labadee we rode Jet skis. I was little bummed my jet ski was not functioning properly. I didn't go as fast as I wanted to. On the last run, a better jet ski was brought out to me. I wish they listened to me on the first run when I told them the engine light was alarming. Disembarkation was very slow. Our deck number was called and then stood in line on the ship for a good 30 minutes. Customs on shore froze the line to lessen to number of passengers onshore going through customs terminal. It seemed a bit disorganized. All in all it was a great cruise and had good times. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We chose RCCL for our vacation this year for the port stops and the number of sea days. To avoid any travel delays, we stayed overnight in Newark the day prior. The embarkation process went very smoothly and we boarded Anthem just before ... Read More
We chose RCCL for our vacation this year for the port stops and the number of sea days. To avoid any travel delays, we stayed overnight in Newark the day prior. The embarkation process went very smoothly and we boarded Anthem just before 11. Our first impression of Anthem is that she is a beautiful ship and very clean. Prior to entering any dining rooms, guests are encouraged to "washy-washy"! Crew were often seen cleaning and kept areas neat. For this cruise, we chose a virtual balcony inside stateroom (10517)and were pleasantly surprised. Although a smaller cabin, it was cozy and the virtual balcony gave you the feel you had an actual window or balcony. Dining: We had dinner in Silk 3 nights. The decor is pleasant, the food is average, service was slow , the waiters were pleasant to talk to and knew the menu well. We enjoyed having dinner at Solarium Bistro. This is a little different dining experience where it is quieter, less crowded, and located in the adults only Solarium. Over the 3 nights we ate there, we were able to get right in with no wait. The menu is such that the apps and desserts are buffet style and entrees are served. The food here was very good, esp the NY Sirloin Strip. I'm not a big steak eater, but this was good! Breakfast in the Windjammer was always good and there are tons of selections. Snacks are a plenty all day and night. Entertainment: imo, I have seen better, but was good. Spectre Cabaret in Two70 was noted for the moving screens, which made this show a hit ( for me anyway), The Gift was ok and We will Rock You was good, then again, any music by Queen is good! Service: As previously mentioned, service in the main dining room was slow, however, our stateroom associate, Karla, was fantastic! Karla came to our cabin soon after we got settled to introduce herself and ask if we needed anything and how to contact her if/when needed. We asked for a couple of things and Karla delivered. She kept our cabin neat and tidy, leaving us with towel animals on several nights. Thank you Karla! Ports: The ports are beautiful and there is a lot to see and do, however, we found the cost of excursions was too expensive and did not book any. While in PR, we did find a 2 hr tour by the locals. This was a shuttle tour we found once off the ship, $15pp and made numerous stops and provided us with a lot of historical info and photo opportunities. I look at it as a good sampling of PR. It was worth the money and the bus had a/c too which was great considering it was in the 90's the day we were there. With this, we would like to visit PR again in the future to see more of this beautiful place. My favorite port was Bermuda as it has a good vibe and the beaches are so beautiful and yes, the sand is pink! St. Maarten was nice. We took a shuttle to Maho Beach so we could experience the planes coming and going overhead. The beach isn't much of a beach and was crowded but the water was beautiful. There is a strong current there, so for little ones, this isn't the beach to go to. The experience of the planes so close overhead is great and photo ops are a must. I grew up right near an airport, but not this close! Labadee is a beautiful place, the beach is pretty, and the water beautiful. RC provides a BBQ lunch which was nice and locals provide some entertainment. Shopping for souvenirs was annoying as the locals in the markets are VERY pushy and don't leave you alone. Not a fun, relaxing experience. Anthem is a beautiful ship and activities and entertainment are plentiful. We had a medical emergency on board, requiring us to divert to Nassau . This diversion delayed us getting back to Bayonne by 1 day. The Captain did a fantastic job of handling this and we were able to get the passenger to a medical facility quickly. Last we heard, the passenger was doing well. With this, we had an extra sea day. Due to the delay, many passengers who had booked flights had to make alternate arrangements and it was announced that internet and phone would be available to all. There was a logistics issue once back in Bayonne due to our delayed arrival, so once we arrived, we were to be off the ship by 9 am as another ship was due in. We did self-disembarkation( as did hundreds of others) and were off the ship by 7am. Even with this, all went smoothly. Overall impression: Having cruised with 2 other cruise lines, I anticipated a more up beat vibe. The vibe on Anthem is great; calm and relaxed. Even with the large number of passengers( over 4k), you wouldn't know it as there is plenty of room to spread out the crowds. It took me a few days, but I managed to get the relaxed vibe and especially enjoyed the adults-only Solarium. A note about children: we didn't see many kids on this cruise and those we did see were well-behaved. There were a large number of retirees , couples, groups and some singles. Chair hogs in the Solarium were plentiful with one going so far as to hang their handicapped parking tag on their lounge chair! Late afternoon and evenings were good times to be in the Solarium and pool decks as most were at dinner or shows so the crowds were less. We had reservations on North Star, but due to what we were told were 'technical issues', it wasn't running at all this cruise. We did have reservation on iFly and had a blast! As mentioned, we had a virtual balcony cabin which we enjoyed and would book again, however, we see where many times, had we had a balcony stateroom, we would have spent more time there, away from the crowded pool decks to relax. We very much enjoyed Anthem and look forward to sailing with her again soon! Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
What a way to recharge our batteries after the Christmas and New Year celebrations. To us this felt like a really large ship and took a little getting use to with over 4500 guests onboard. The ship was spotlessly clean from the ... Read More
What a way to recharge our batteries after the Christmas and New Year celebrations. To us this felt like a really large ship and took a little getting use to with over 4500 guests onboard. The ship was spotlessly clean from the outsides to the main areas and the staterooms. Our stateroom was well maintained, although for part of the cruise there was a problem with the A.C. for which we and other guests received some compensation. Some longer drop hanger storage would have been nice to accommodate my wife long dresses, but in general there was enough storage although some may have proved a little difficult to reach for people with less mobility as it was over the bed. Food onboard was excellent which was matched by the waiting on service. It took us a few days to get into the swing of cruising and to learn about all the activities that were going on around us, next time we will do a bit more research but it was fun learning and we didn't miss much in fact we ran out of time to do all the things we found we wanted to do! The ports we visited along with the excursions we went on were well managed and ran smoothly. These were in some cases an insight into the history of the islands we were visiting, with others being just chilling on a beach of white sand with warm water and a cold beer. Would we go again YES, but we would look to visit some of the other Caribbean islands as its a big world. The only down side to this adventure was getting to the port at Cape Liberty. In particular the last mile from the highway to the terminal building. This was a TOTAL shambles with traffic queuing right back to the highway both when we embarked. and disembarked even taxi's couldn't get in or out. This needs sorting and should have been sorted when the port was first opened. However once we were through the doors it was a simple procedure for embarkation and when we returned again once through the door it was back to the mayhem. Note, There is NO shelter while waiting for a taxi and we waited for an hour and then shared a taxi back to the light rail station, with a very kind lady. We didn't opt for an internet package due to the onboard costs and found we didn't miss it at all, it was a true break from the hassle of e-mail etc. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
This was my dream cruise for 17 years not knowing it was even a luxury cruise. Then, my dream came true as of this past cruise. The double handicap interior stateroom was the most beautiful and largest stateroom in the interior category ... Read More
This was my dream cruise for 17 years not knowing it was even a luxury cruise. Then, my dream came true as of this past cruise. The double handicap interior stateroom was the most beautiful and largest stateroom in the interior category (get it before they do a complete makeover in 2019)...plus, we had our own padded headboards (per bed) unlike many other cruise lines. Thelma, our room stewardess was so wonderful and underrated...she deserves to be a butler someday. she made sure that everything was absolutely perfect. As for the food in the main dining room, the food was so excellent...I just had to get a recipe or two. The spa café was nothing but perfect and the buffet was decent (except for afternoon tea when the food was excellent every single time). The specialty dinning was excellent but Tuscan Grille and a Taste of Film were the best out of all of them. Tuscan Grille made me feel like I was in Italy without having to go there. Taste of Film was spot on...I saw Chef and they made their own twist on dishes from the film. As for the Spa and Fitness center there, I have been to better places than that except for their indoor spa pool but maybe next year when they do the ship over I will fully utilize it. The indoor and outdoor pools were amazing. You just have to see any of their shows but most especially..."Chandelier" where they do a good show within the whole nine yards including aerobatics. Of course, I did plenty of shopping during this past cruise but St Martin is the best place to shop for duty free alcohol and liquor. The Cruise Critic event at the casino was spot on despite not winning anything but I had a great time...the casino on this ship's pay out was decent but not as much as the main land casinos. As for the shore excursions, we did everything from the cruise line. In St Martin, we did the St Martin Beach Rendezvous as our first shore excursion. We had a wonderful tour guide and she showed us the entire Dutch side of the island. After that, we went to Simpson's Bay Beach that had nearly crystal blue waters except for the seaweed. The tour included a tour of the Dutch side of the island, a welcome drink (alcoholic or non-alcoholic) fruit punch, beach chairs (umbrellas were only $4 extra), authentic food with either an alcoholic or non alcoholic drink and an extra tour with transportation back to the ship. I was upset that Kon Tiki boat tour was undersold but at least my roommate was getting a little better. She wanted to do Magen's Bay but if we did it outside of the cruise line, we would had to pay more money and so we did the Magen's Beach Getaway in St Thomas instead. We had a tour and then we went to the beach before going back to the ship. As for the grand finale shore excursion for this cruise in San Juan which also included transportation to the airport, we had a wonderful tour guide named Hugo and he gave us a basic tour of San Juan before our Bacardi Factory Tour. Plus, we had a blast throughout our time in San Juan. Would I recommend this cruise to anyone? Yes. This cruise has great value. You will be well fed. You will be well entertained. You will end up shopping until your drop. You will be well traveled (depending on which shore excursion you pick). But would I go on this cruise again? Maybe. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
I cannot comprehend some of the bad reviews about this ship. The ship is amazing, clean, well maintained and tons of amenities. I’ve sailed twice with RC before and I’ve sailed with celebrity and Norwegian. Anthem of the seas is now ... Read More
I cannot comprehend some of the bad reviews about this ship. The ship is amazing, clean, well maintained and tons of amenities. I’ve sailed twice with RC before and I’ve sailed with celebrity and Norwegian. Anthem of the seas is now my favorite ship. The staff were amazing, goes above and beyond to please guests. We ate in American Icon most nights and the food was pretty good. Did not like wonderland much, windjammer was good also. The surf and zoom service was good, I only had interrupted service once. Our cabin was well maintained and Jensen our stateroom attendant was just awesome. The only downfall for me was the bed was too small, as I’m custom to sleeping on a queen size bed. Maybe if i had a suite cabin( suite cabin was pricey) the bed would have been bigger. We had an ocean view cabin on deck 3. It was so convenient, the casino, the musical hall. two70 and most restaurants were on deck4 and 5. The solarium just beautiful and relaxing. I love this ship, it was a great vacation! Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We attended this cruise with the guest Dance school that preformed on-board twice, which my daughter was part of. Food was excellent. I found windjammers to serve a bit to heavy foods for lunch. but everything was great. Solarium ... Read More
We attended this cruise with the guest Dance school that preformed on-board twice, which my daughter was part of. Food was excellent. I found windjammers to serve a bit to heavy foods for lunch. but everything was great. Solarium Bistro which served Mediterranean food was the best on board. We where in the mytime and classic dinning rooms and food was always great and great staff. a little disappointed in Johnny Rockets was a pay burger place where other cruise lines have higher end burger joints for free. Lots of activities and with 3 teen each with there own interests and physical levels all had fun and where kept busy. App for bookings suck for multi room bookings and dinner reservation system needs work. every morning we booked a mytime dinning with my family spread out into 3 rooms they never had us on the master list that evening and always had issues. even if we where first inline in the morning to book. They need to work out that list. wonder if it is printed the night before before they open up the daily bookings in the morning. makes no sense. BOOK YOUR SHOWS and ACTIVITIES THE MINUTE YOU BOOK YOUR CRUISE!!!! with almost 5000 guest there is not enough space to accommodate everyone for everything. We missed out on the GIFT, and others in our group of 40 missed out on other shows as they where full. Also book IFLY, surf, breakout room and any other activity you can. you will regret it if you don't as you will miss out. Even if you don't make it at least you had the opportunity. If you don't pre book you might not get that opportunity. We missed out on Breakout room and the Gift because of it. Love the Pizza joint being open till late late at night. always stopped in for pizza after drinking and parting 1-2am every night. helped relieve the hang over. lol. Recommend this for families as your teens will be highly entertained. even if they are a recluse like my son is, he actually loved the activities, Teens lounge and all the activities they did. He is a schedule kinda guy so it fit him perfect. Never saw him at all which was a huge surprise to us. Also great for the party type, great fun had in the music hall ever night, alot is kid friendly as well for those girls in our group 11-18 who just want to go and dance with the big kids. lol. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
I genuinely couldn’t fault out RCI Cruise, the experience was amazing from start to finish, Just a minor glitch when collecting our onboard Photographs which took about 30 Minutes to sort out but got there in the end, Our Room ... Read More
I genuinely couldn’t fault out RCI Cruise, the experience was amazing from start to finish, Just a minor glitch when collecting our onboard Photographs which took about 30 Minutes to sort out but got there in the end, Our Room attendant did a fantastic job his Name was Allison Dublin who left our berth spotlessly clean and greeted us with a pleasant smile and friendly Chat and the Towel Origami was Brilliant our young Daughter couldn’t wait to get back to the Room after his regular visits to see what Animals Allison had created with the Towels The Live Musical entertainment was always very popular with the Passengers with Bands like Royal Swedes and DSB Journey Tribute Band, And the shows SPECRAS CABARET and WE WILL ROCK YOU we’re fantastic, Lot of onboard Karaoke and Quizzes the list was endless, The onboard entertainment information was delivered the night before so you we’re kept up to date what was happening the following day as was the Port location information and if you had concerns there was always a member of the Crew to help you with your queries. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Always cruise Royal Caribbean, they are a big company, great crews with a good reputation and with a big American service, big ships with lots to do on them. People who think you get sea sick on cruises do not realise, on a big ship you do ... Read More
Always cruise Royal Caribbean, they are a big company, great crews with a good reputation and with a big American service, big ships with lots to do on them. People who think you get sea sick on cruises do not realise, on a big ship you do not feel the sea, the ship hardly moves or rocks. Entertainment is great on board with lots to do , variety for all. Ports of call are usually early in the mornings. That gives you all day to enjoy the islands and giving you time for breakfast before you dis-enbark. ecuse my spelling, i am not a robot so you know this is a real rating. The crew are all over you, always asking if you want anything, espesially medicin, aka a drink. Some might say they ask to often, but its more fustrating enjoying a show and cant find a waiter to get your drink. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We just returned from a 9-night cruise aboard Anthem and found it to be my perfect vacation! I have so many memories to process and pictures to sort, so I am going to organize my review by category. Feel free to jump around or skip what ... Read More
We just returned from a 9-night cruise aboard Anthem and found it to be my perfect vacation! I have so many memories to process and pictures to sort, so I am going to organize my review by category. Feel free to jump around or skip what you are not interested in. I won’t be offended – heck, I won’t even know! I hope some of you will find it useful or even just enjoy re-living your own Anthem memories. Warning: this is lengthy. This was a much-anticipated trip for us. My Dad had suffered an illness through much of the fall and winter, and my husband had both a knee replacement and a spinal fusion within the past year. Now that they both seem to be on the road to recovery, we thought we would celebrate our family with a cruise. My sister’s family (sis, husband, teenage son and daughter), my family (me, husband, teenage sons), and my parents shared a wonderful week of pampering, partying, fine dining, and fun aboard Anthem. This was my 9th cruise with Royal Caribbean, but my first on Quantum class. The Anthem is one beautiful, well-appointed ship, although it is hard not to make comparisons to the other classes. The biggest challenge for me was that there were certain times and places when the ship just felt too crowded. In particular, the outdoor pool area and Windjammer just did not seem to have the best layouts to accommodate the crowds. On the other hand, I loved the artwork around the ship, the quirky posters in the elevators, and most of the public spaces around the ship. Café 270 and the Solarium were two of my favorite places; both were beautiful, well-designed, and took great advantage of their location to achieve gorgeous views of the sea. We opted out of the Voom package, as we all wanted to disconnect for a while. (Well, maybe not so much the kids, but they adapted quickly). It was so freeing to not be tied to screens through our vacation. Dining: As a large group, we decided to eat all of our dinners together. We had MTD, but reserved a 6:15 mealtime for every night, on-line, through the cruise planner. We figured we could adjust the reservation if we chose to, but we so enjoyed our service team through dinner that we decided to keep the same reservation for the whole trip. We ate in the Silk dining room every night, which was quite lovely, if a bit on the small side. We missed the grandeur of the old-style main dining rooms, but I heard others say that it felt more intimate. I suppose it’s a matter of preference. Our head waiter was Alan, who was a delight. He stopped by our table multiple times each night, and along with checking on our satisfaction, regaled us with stories and jokes. Melwin was our assistant waiter; he was a bit shy, but quite sweet. He remembered the wines we liked and our preferences for coffee/tea/cappuccino. Our waiter was Edi. What a treat he was! Attentive without being solicitous, funny, responsive, and so great with the kids. Upon seeing that the kids didn’t care for the appetizers offered, he routinely made up his own to bring them. They got chicken fingers, French fries, grilled cheese – and that was just for appetizers! Edi always brought out whatever he wanted us to try; of course he always brought out what we ordered, but often that was accompanied by 2 or 3 other entrees, if he thought we would enjoy them. After dinner, Edi always had a puzzle to show the kids, asking them to return the next night with a solution. I know there has been much discussion about MDR food. We all found most of our meals to be excellent. Many of the appetizers were creative, and all were delicious. From the entrée menu, I ordered what was new and fresh, and enjoyed most everything. Every night, about ½ of the appetizer and dessert menu and about 1/4 of the entrée menu remained the same. For my group, this was ideal because there was always a choice for them to fall back on if they didn’t care for the day’s new choices. Even for me, there were so many things I wanted to try that it was nice to see some options repeated. For breakfast and lunch, we all did our own thing. I ordered coffee from room service every day early, and drank it on my balcony. After a workout in the gym, I usually headed to the windjammer. I can’t really comment on the quality of the breakfast food. I ate a yogurt and fresh fruit every morning. My boys did report that they felt the Windjammer’s pastries were stale(ish) but the waffles were good. I got in the habit of grabbing a latte from La Patisserie after breakfast, and sipping it at the back of Café 270. What a great way to relax and take in the view. This was probably my favorite place on the ship. I ate most of my lunches in the Solarium Bistro or Café 270. I found the selections good, the food tasty, and the lack of crowds inviting. Café 270 especially served some very nice sandwiches, wraps, salads, and desserts. Bars: My sister, her husband, and I had the Deluxe Beverage Package. We took full advantage of it. The bar service was a bit lackluster around the pools, but exceptional in the bars we went to. The bartenders in the main bar at Café 270 were great! They were competing to see who could make us the best Cosmo, and WE were the winners!! We especially loved the team in the Brass and Bock. Susana was a hoot. Tell her hello from “the curly haired sisters” if you sit by her bar! This deluxe package was perfect for us, and I can honestly say that we all got our money’s worth. Entertainment: We saw the three production shows, as well as the house band, and a Journey tribute band. The Gift was disappointing, to say the least. So much hype, and so little payoff. I thought the talent of the performers was wasted on such a poorly executed story-line. Spectra’s Cabaret was a bit Avant-garde. The “Spectra” we saw was, herself, not a very strong performer, but the rest of the cast were power house performers, both vocally and physically. The acrobatics they performed obviously required great strength and discipline, and were very impressive. It was a fun show. We Will Rock You was fun. All of the Queen music we loved wrapped into a production. The plot was a bit cheesy, but the audience was on its feet at the end. It was a feel-good show with some strong vocal performances, especially by the ladies. We also saw DSB, a Journey tribute band. They were great fun, and the lead singer certainly has that Steve Perry voice. Probably our favorite entertainment was the band The Royal Swedes. They performed almost every night, in different venues. They played a variety of contemporary music, and played it well. They played very few repeats, so it was a fresh, fun show every night. Activities: We did not participate in a lot of evening activities. A few we tried to participate in were held in The Music Hall, which is a great space reminiscent of some of the old-style halls in NYC. However, for participation activities, or even viewing such activities, the Music Hall did not work well if you were seated on the upper level. After trying a few times, we just gave up and did not attend activities (other than music) in this space. We did do some daytime activities though, and found that there were so many options that we couldn’t get to them all! My favorite activity was Trapeze school. Who would have ever thought that I would swing upside down on a trapeze? And like it?!?! We also did family bumper cars (it got vicious), iFLY, and NorthStar. All were great fun with great staffing. My sons played soccer, basketball, ping pong, air hockey, and shuffle board, and loved the variety of options to keep busy. Pool: I am definitely a pool person, while some in my party were not. I am also an early riser. After an early workout and breakfast, I usually got to the outdoor pool on sea days before 8 am. By that time, most of the chairs immediately around the pool in the sun had been snagged, as had the lounger/couches. Luckily, most in my family prefer the shade, and there were always shade chairs to be found at that time. I usually wound up in the Solarium by afternoon. It was, except for the first sea day when we had some unsettled skies, mostly uncrowded and very pleasant. I love the layout and peaceful flow of the Solarium design. And I loved the multi-level pools. As a large ship, Anthem should have a better outdoor pool layout. Yes, I expected crowds, but the pool was simply too small to accommodate that volume of people. It was actually a bit unpleasant on two of the sea days. I was very thankful to be able to escape to the Solarium, and equally thankful that my kids did not care that they could not use that pool area! Ports: We did not do anything ambitious in any of the ports. Horseshoe Bay in Bermuda; shopping and exploring in St. Maartin; walking to and exploring the forts in San Juan; Columbus Cove beach in Labadee. (I will say that I noticed a profound difference in many of the locals in St. Maartin: they were much more aggressive than I have ever experienced here. I know that this was a result of the hurricane, and that these people are still hurting for business. It made me quite sad). I enjoyed each stop, and enjoyed returning to a less crowded ship on a few of those days. Overall: It had been a few years since my last cruise, so I especially enjoyed Anthem! While I experienced a few drawbacks, they did not lessen my overall experience. Anthem is a beautiful ship with a friendly and overall efficient staff. My nine-night cruise sailed by so quickly, and I am so grateful to have experienced it with my family. I welcome any questions about specifics, or perhaps any area I didn’t cover, but it looks to me like I covered a lot! I wish you all a cruise experience as pleasant as mine was! Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Anthem is a big ship with lots to do. Our family of 4 + my sister and her family of 6 had a blast. There was lots of pool space (big splash pad, main pool, indoor pool, and adults only pool). I do wish they had poolside food like a french ... Read More
Anthem is a big ship with lots to do. Our family of 4 + my sister and her family of 6 had a blast. There was lots of pool space (big splash pad, main pool, indoor pool, and adults only pool). I do wish they had poolside food like a french fry or nacho station. They have a Johnny Rockets outside next to the pool but you have to pay for it. In the sports play area, they had bumper cars, roller skating, a rock wall, boogie boarding, iFly, basketball etc - tons for kids and adults. The show We Will Rock You is so good, Broadway quality and such great music (Queen songs). Ports were great, we LOVED our Haiti excursion (swimming in Paradise Cove and Haitian village tour). The beach where we swam was private and gorgeous. Walking tour of Puerto Rico that ended with kite flying was also really nice. Snorkeling in Bermuda was really fun - not a ton of fish to see but the boat and experience were high quality. Brass and Brock British pub had a great live guitar player at night and the staff was awesome - they knew my husband and brother-in-law’s names. There is a huge 2 story music hall that has an awesome band - we were there almost every night enjoying the music until 11/12 midnight. Overall I highly recommend this ship!!! Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
5 days of cruising and four port of calls was great, the way it was done was great I would do the same trip again each and every port of call was clean easy on and off and everything was close by the ship. In my option I would skip the ... Read More
5 days of cruising and four port of calls was great, the way it was done was great I would do the same trip again each and every port of call was clean easy on and off and everything was close by the ship. In my option I would skip the buccaneer beach is was not a nice setting everything this ship offered was great but this beach was not a good one. all others were good the best of the best was Labadee this by far was the best port of call was our best day on any island all the people were great super great service Island was very clean and you used your sea pass card on the whole island which made it all very easy This island was first class all the way and was my and my wife's best part of the trip Great Beaches Great food and great service This was the best vacation I every had everything was great and the people were great only bad part of the trip was the Voom Internet service I paid 300 for the use of it for nine days and it did not work good at all when you did get a online it was very slow and most all the time lost connection. So other than the web-service this trip was Amazing do it you wont be sorry Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We chose this cruise because it was over a week long 9 nights and was in a local port. Although I have a long list of complaints, I think overall the cruise was very good. Pros: Crew was excellent and made sure you were taken care ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it was over a week long 9 nights and was in a local port. Although I have a long list of complaints, I think overall the cruise was very good. Pros: Crew was excellent and made sure you were taken care of. Ports and the excursions I took were good. I enjoyed the Dining very much and the Waiters made the dining experience very fun. Shows were also good. We got to see a Journey Cover band on our cruise. Cons: The first 2 days there was a lot of upselling to get us to buy dining packages and drink packages. I did not like this at all. There was a lot of people, but this was to be expected on such a big ship. Some things to watch and do: Must pay close attention to your account as I had to correct the charges a lot as others in my group had drink plans but I did not and I usually got the charges instead of them. Also pay close attention to the different activities on the on board Compass paper as I missed a few things I wanted to do and see. We missed the Magician that we were hoping to see but we didn't pay close attention to show times. Definitely go to the Shows, they are great. I saw Spectra and We will Rock you. Both are worth it if you take this cruise. As always schedule everything early, I had a hard time scheduling the show because I booked late and was unable to see "The Gift". Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Previously sailed on Anthem to the same ports, when she first arrived in NJ. Not a very good experience. Poor service, long lines for elevators, mediocre food and generally not a happy ship. This trip was just the opposite. ... Read More
Previously sailed on Anthem to the same ports, when she first arrived in NJ. Not a very good experience. Poor service, long lines for elevators, mediocre food and generally not a happy ship. This trip was just the opposite. Embarkation was seamless for all 7 of us. Cape Liberty Cruise Port is well organized as far as helping you drop off your luggage and park. Very smooth operation. Took about 15 minutes from entering the terminal to boarding the ship. Service throughout the ship was excellent. Our cabin steward keep track of the whole family and did so with a smile. Never bothered us when we were in the cabin and kept everything spotless. We had the partitions opened between our 3 Jr. Suites which allowed us to sit on the balconies together and access each others cabins. Cabins were spacious and well organized. Only issue was a slippery bathtub. We were a late addition to this cruise as we switched from another cruise last minute (3 days before sailing) at RC's request so we had no assigned dining. The head waiter in MTD arranged for us to have the same table and waitstaff every night because we had several people with special food needs. They allowed us to arrive anytime within an hour of our reservation. Food was very good in all venues but sometimes a little boring in the Windjammer. Entertainment and Activities are the strong points of this ship. All of us(ages 6 - 70) had plenty to do and had a great time. The shows have been modified since my last cruise on the Anthem. "We will Rock You" is still my favorite RC show. Since there were 7 of us we did various things at the ports(Bermuda, San Juan, St. Martin and Labadee. Weather was perfect so the beach and snorkeling were popular as well as El Morro in San Juan. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
I choose this cruise because it was supported by the staff of Autism on the Seas for my daughter. Their volunteer staff are "Angels of the Seas" ( yes copied from another review.....love the phrase) The ability to travel with a ... Read More
I choose this cruise because it was supported by the staff of Autism on the Seas for my daughter. Their volunteer staff are "Angels of the Seas" ( yes copied from another review.....love the phrase) The ability to travel with a disabled adult "child" is a challenge. Autism on the Seas provides the assistance from start to finish and for the entire family., One needs to look beyond the title of the Organization as it is not just for folks with Autism, but a wide range of disabilities. Support for the individual and the entire family traveling is included. This was our second cruise with them. My daughter ( 31) PRESENTED HERSELF QUITE DIFFERENT THIS SECOND CRUISE. i did not expect her to be more of a challenge and needy this time. The ATOS staff were able to read through how we presented with different struggles and jumped into action with a plan of action,. They went above and beyond what I ever expected. Life with a special needs child has peaks and valleys and no two days are often alike, as I discovered no two cruises were alike. But the dynamics of our trip were not dampened, they were different and the ATOS staff were my angels to bring joys and happiness to days that were a slight struggle and different. I said on my second day to myself............never again......but by the end of the cruise.........I knew I would and will cruise again...................but only with TEAM ORANGE and Autism on the Seas......because only with them would I find some joy in each and every day on the cruise, despite the various challenges and moods of my beautiful daughter, peaks and valleys throughout life. Next time I bring more folks from my immediate family to share the whole experience with though. Thank you Royal Caribbean and Michael Shobbell for working as a team and supporting this population. Thank you for educating the general population as to our needs as well...... right down to the Cruise director mentioning ATOS in his morning shows !! The world is a more welcoming place when others support and understand! Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
This is long – If you are in a hurry you should probably skip this one Family and Friends Cruise – Anthem of the Seas July 12, 2018 We are a group of sixteen – Ten adults and six children ages 5 – 15. We are all seasoned ... Read More
This is long – If you are in a hurry you should probably skip this one Family and Friends Cruise – Anthem of the Seas July 12, 2018 We are a group of sixteen – Ten adults and six children ages 5 – 15. We are all seasoned cruisers but this was our first RCCL cruise. We planned for eight months and I was the organizer. I booked everything I could ahead of time – dinners both MTD and Specialty. We had reservations for the three shows, I-fly and North Star. Most of the adults chose the Ultimate Drink package – but not all. The kids had either the soda or refreshment package. Only one excursion was booked (for my husband and I) – Golden Eagle Catamaran in St. Maarten. I have never had a bad vacation or a bad cruise – some have been better than others but the worst day on vacation is better than being home. The following are my impressions and opinions – some are positive and some less so. Port Liberty was a pleasure compared to other ports such as Miami or Ft. Lauderdale. I arrived at 11:15 and literally walked right on board. The Anthem is beautiful! I loved the décor throughout the ship. Although it is huge, it was easy to navigate and quite quickly we all got our sea legs. Cabins – Some of us were on deck 6 aft and our steward Kevin was fantastic! We were four in each cabin and he had our rooms cleaned twice a day every day so fast it seemed he was around a corner waiting for us to leave the room. We never wanted for towels, ice and we had lots of towel animals. Sadly, we all had door decorations and someone took my daughter’s. Dining Upon arrival we ate in Café 270 – the first of many visits during the cruise. Everything was very good. Immediately after I went to the Dining room to confirm our seating for 16. We were very happy to have the same two tables and wait staff throughout the cruise. We were asked to arrive at 5PM – we wanted to eat at 6PM and we compromised with 5:30 PM. Our meals were delicious! And the wait staff fabulous! Always smiles for the kids – and always second helpings without even asking! Aleat and I Gusti were the best waiters ever! Chefs Table – Six of us enjoyed this. My only comment is be careful of all that wine! There are six courses all paired with wine – it sneaks up on you! Great experience. (At least what I remember!) Chops Grille – The steak was delicious! Service excellent. Jamies Italian - Entrees are generous in size and very authentic. Solarium Bistro – Nice dinner – many Greek inspired dishes. Windjammer – Always seemed crowded, but not difficult to find a seat or two. Food always hot and tasty. Bars My favorite night spot was the Schooner Bar – I loved listening to the piano player. The Brass and Bock had the best bartenders – shout out to Xavier and Marshall! Entertainment The Tribute Band was the Police –Excellent!!! If you closed your eyes you would swear you were listening to Sting. The Music Hall is set up like a nightclub. Nice, but not always easy to get a seat – more on this later. The Gift – I have no idea what the story line was about, but the singing was great and I enjoyed it for that. Rock of Ages – Starts out a bit slow but the last 30 minutes are spectacular. Spectra Cabaret – Unfortunately I did not like this at all. It is very reminiscent of Cirque de Soleil – not my thing. Activities I-Fly, Northstar, Bumper Cars, and The Arcade- the kids loved all of these. We did not do Flow Rider. We also did not play Bingo. Pools – Chair hogs were out in force! One sea day we went to pool deck at 7:30AM – no chairs near the kiddie pool! We took two further outside but a pool attendant came by at 8 AM and removed towels from six chairs near where we really wanted to sit! We scrambled over and grabbed two of them! At 10 AM a family came by looking for their “stuff” – and were very annoyed that we were in their chairs. We sent them to the attendant, but they were grumbling all the way. Three hours later!! Solarium – Nice looking area but almost impossible to find a chair in the main area after lunch. Spa This was a huge disappointment. Three of us booked massages at the same time. The treatments were great – no complaints. However, we all paid for a day pass to use the facilities which include a steam room, sauna and the thermal suite – all of which are co-ed! Within the thermal suite is a lovely rain shower – we stood guard for each other! While we laid on the thermal loungers, we had three men enjoying the room with us! Also lacking in the ladies changing area were any grooming products – no lotions, q-tips, combs etc. and although there were robes, there were no spa shoes. Without a doubt the worst Spa experience at sea for me. Kids Clubs The four younger kids in our group were able to stay together and this was a great plus. The counselors took the kids to dinner between 5 – 7 PM which was a great help for the nights we ate in the Specialty Restaurants. The drop off and pick up seemed off to us. Once designated, anyone could pick up the kids – but only the parents could drop them off. The two older girls (12 – 15) did not go to the Teen Club because they were not able to stay together. Overall, the younger kids liked being in the kids club and enjoyed the activities there. PORTS Bermuda was a washout – but we walked around the Dockyard (mostly in the rain) and had a very expensive lunch at The Frog and Onion – I had to have a Rum Swizzle! St. Maarten – Some of our group took the water taxi to the beach. My husband and I did the Golden Eagle Catamaran – I highly recommend this! We had a great time. The crew was terrific and we enjoyed the snorkeling and the beach. There were endless rum punches and beer as well as soda and water. Sandwiches were served on the way back. San Juan – This port was my least favorite – There simply wasn’t enough time to really do much. Having been to Puerto Rico many times, we just walked around for a while. I stopped by my favorite ‘knock off’ purse stand on the way back to the ship. Labadee – This was our favorite stop!!! We had purchased a Beach Bungalow. Although they say it fits 6 people – all of us used it without any issues. We had extra loungers set up in front of the bungalow and the kids were either in the water or on the sand. We had a great waiter who we tipped as soon as we got there who kept us happy with fresh drinks all day! Labadoozies! The lunch was good – lots of food. We all enjoyed it. Observations: The Anthem is a beautiful ship with great amenities. The trade-off for this is you must plan every minute of every day. In order to get a decent seat at a show you have to go 45 minutes in advance. You must reserve the rides in advance. To enjoy the pool, you have to go at the crack of dawn. Lots of time was spent waiting for something to happen. I did not find this ship to be relaxing. For the most part, it did not bother me, but I think my preference is a smaller environment. As for RCCL – The Royal IQ did not work more than it did. The WOW band needs to be fixed. Removing it to pay for something defeated the purpose. They seemed a bit flimsy. My grandson’s broke 2 hours after he got it. One of the adult’s fell off in the water twice. Also, you still needed your card to get on and off the ship. The communication on board was not very good. It seemed we spent a lot of time at guest services. On a positive note, I left a jacket in the Music Hall and it was in Lost and Found! It was a great vacation and I would not hesitate to cruise on RCCL again, but probably on a smaller vessel. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Cruise was great, exceptionally high standards of cleanliness, lots of things to do in day and night. Food was varied and plentiful. The staff were friendly, always happy to have a chat and help with whatever you need. Boarding was easy ... Read More
Cruise was great, exceptionally high standards of cleanliness, lots of things to do in day and night. Food was varied and plentiful. The staff were friendly, always happy to have a chat and help with whatever you need. Boarding was easy and very fast, we booked to board at 11.30am so we could make the most of it. Disembarkment was a different story. Long queues, may be better to take your luggage off with you rather than have them take it off for you. Don't book any trips through the cruise as much cheaper to get off the ship and take private taxis and pay for excursions yourself. Look at excursions then contact the company direct to make a booking, we saved a fortune doing this. Cruise stops were great, would have loved to do longer at each port but there wasn't much time. Highly recommend this cruise, it was my first so was very pleasantly surprised by everything. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
This is our 25th cruise. Everything is always wonderful, never a disappointment. My daughter is diabled and our cabin steward took great efforts to make sure she was comfortable and safe. The windjammer staff is always so cheerful and ... Read More
This is our 25th cruise. Everything is always wonderful, never a disappointment. My daughter is diabled and our cabin steward took great efforts to make sure she was comfortable and safe. The windjammer staff is always so cheerful and helpful, they were very helpful in finding a table for me and my daughter with a wheelchair. We got off the ship at all the ports of call. We have visited San Juan and St. Maarten many times but never Bermud or Labadee, Haiti. I was a little disappointed in the variety of excursions offered for wheelchair bound passengers. We typically just walked around close to the dock. I LOVE the Ripcord IFly!!!!!!! It was EXHILARATING!!!! Can’t wait to experience this again as well as the North Star. Overall I find cruising the best “bang for your buck”, all you need do is board the ship and everything else is taken care of. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018

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