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

We have sailed on Carnival several times, but were ready to take a chance on a ship that left out of New Jersey where we live. The fact that we did not have to book flights and hotels was awesome. We were a group of 49 family and friends. ... Read More
We have sailed on Carnival several times, but were ready to take a chance on a ship that left out of New Jersey where we live. The fact that we did not have to book flights and hotels was awesome. We were a group of 49 family and friends. Embarkation was very smooth. We were on the ship in less than half an hour even given the fact that I neglected to print my son's boarding pass. We arrived at the port around 11am. My first impression is that it was a beautiful ship. The decor was nice. But it is HUGE! I was so overwhelmed on that first day. Having always sailed Carnival, you get to know the ship layouts as they are all pretty much the same. This was a whole different ball game, and that was all part of the fun. As noted in previous reviews, there are over 4000 passengers so a little crowding is to be expected. We first experienced this once we got on board and headed to Windjammer and had to wait in a long line to "washy washy." But that was the only time we ever really experienced that wait in Windjammer. Some people were frustrated having to wash your hands each time you entered, but with so many people, anything that can help to keep germs at bay is welcomed. The ship had tons of activities. I just think the schedule was badly put together. Who wants to wake up at 8am to join a line for roller skating or bumper cars? And these activities were not offered long enough. An hour or two is just not enough for the amount of passengers. Between my hubby, myself and three kids we able to do iFly, NorthStar, rock climbing, rollerskating, dodgeball, soccer, bumper cars and the escape room. Some we were able to book in advance which was great. SeaPlex is a great place for the kids. I gotta give RC credit for the amount of activities. Definitely a plus. Evenings were a little boring. Karaoke was only for an hour and finished at 8pm. Karaoke is always a hit so why they don't extend the time, I'll never understand. Pools and hot tubs were open late which was definitely great because they were always crowded during the day. I like that RC had life guards on duty. Never seen that on Carnival. We saw Specte's Cabaret and The Gift. Both featured some amazing singers and dancers, but The Gift was just weird and we spent most of the show asking each other what the hell was going on. The story line was not easy to follow. Two70 was an amazing space with great views during the day and awesome use of technology at night. The robot screens were just amazing. I only saw one comedian and he was great during both the adult and the family shows. The juggler guy was ok, but he needs to incorporate more into his act. The cruise director was so boring. You never saw him out and about on the ship talking to passengers or anything like that. Maybe that's just the RC way. The food was ok. Regular cruise food. Windjammer always had a good selection. Service was good. We had nice wait staff in the Chic restaurant. Fnu and Monicia were great, as was Keron, the head waiter. We ate at Jamie Oliver's and the food was awesome. It just kept coming. Same with Wonderland. Very creative and imaginative ways of displaying food. Having the pizzeria and cafe on the 3rd deck to me made no sense. It was not a large enough space. At night time it got crowded with people trying to walk through, get food, find some place to sit. I definitely missed Lido deck in the evenings because even though the buffet was done, you could still get ice cream, juice, hot chocolate, pizza etc. and still have room to sit and relax and talk the night away. Went to guest services three times and man were they miserable! I saw one happy lady who seemed to enjoy what she was doing, but the men I interacted with could barely crack a smile. Dealing with them gave me an instant attitude. We purchased Wow bands which was supposed to be more convenient to use around the ship, but a lot of places, mostly bars, didn't have scanners and so they would still ask for the seapass card, or your room number. That kinda defeated the purpose. Cabin was nice and spacious for four of us. Lots of storage space. Bathroom was roomy, especially the shower. TV sucked. On other ships we were able to get a lot of cable channels. Not so here. Balcony was roomy with a decent amount of furniture. I loved that it was a sliding door and we were able to keep it open and hear the ocean. Our steward Bawa, was awesome. Very clean and thorough. There were a lot of teens on this ship and they were noisy and loud. Running up and down the steps at all hours, hanging out in the hallways and stairwells. Never experienced that before. During the day there seemed to be a lot of security around, but not so at night. And I don't think the 1am curfew for kids was strictly enforced. Did the ziplining in Labadee. Phenomenal experience. Did our own tours on the other islands. Would I sail with Royal Caribbean again? Absolutely. I did miss Carnival for some aspects, but there are a few things both companies could learn from each other. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Cabin #10134 - deck 10 balcony room (just for reference). This is our 3rd trip on Anthem in 7 years. The good on the ship: Waiter in the English Pub was AWESOME! Big happy personality. Nearly all of the staff was very good aboard ... Read More
Cabin #10134 - deck 10 balcony room (just for reference). This is our 3rd trip on Anthem in 7 years. The good on the ship: Waiter in the English Pub was AWESOME! Big happy personality. Nearly all of the staff was very good aboard Anthem. Entertainment (with the exclusion of Spectra) was great. We Will Rock You is a must see. Most of the staff in the shops were very helpful and polite. Bathrooms were always kept clean, food plentiful and mostly good. Loved watching movies on the big outdoor screen... made for relaxing nights by the pool. What needs work on the ship: Went on Anthem 2 years ago - and the same stationary bikes in the gym are either broke or power down by themselves! The gym needs a bit of work in general. Classes are nice but my husband and I like the machines and weights - they have to maintain their equipment better. The Windjammer restaurant - food was good most of the time but by day 5 I was eating cereal for breakfast because the eggs were just awful - food became repetitive. Lastly - clean the balconies and refrigerator in the staterooms before the next guest. Nothing worse than spoiled fruit smell in the fridge. What was bad - attendance in one of the gift shops gave us rude customer service when we wanted to purchase about $80 worth of t-shirts and put it on a credit card rather than seapass. Made us use our seapass because it would be too much trouble to call her manager. Ports: Puerto Rico was wonderful. People, weather, food... just wonderful. Can't wait to return. St. Maarten was very nice just hot as heck. Labadee Haiti - ehh... didn't care for it either of us. Bermuda was nice but would NOT recommend going to the zoo. The alligator was kept in poor condition and plan on reporting the zoo. All in all the cruise was nice - I would recommend.... Don't go to the Zoo for the Bermuda excursion Go to the Frog and the Onion for lunch in Bermuda Tour Old and New San Juan in Puerto Rico - Enrique bus #15 was absolutely lovely! Visit Chesterfields for Lunch in St. Maarten Get a balcony room Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
I have sailed on Norwegian, Carnival and Royal Caribbean. By far RCCL is my favorite. Excellent service, great food, activities and entertainment. On this cruise we booked a balcony (#8572) and was able to book all our meals, activities ... Read More
I have sailed on Norwegian, Carnival and Royal Caribbean. By far RCCL is my favorite. Excellent service, great food, activities and entertainment. On this cruise we booked a balcony (#8572) and was able to book all our meals, activities and shows (The Gift, Spectra, We Will Rock You) ahead of time on the cruise planner. We were also able to book another viewing of We Will Rock You while on board through the app. Entertainment: All the shows were fantastic and started on time. Although I really did not know the story line to The Gift, I really found the performers to be quite talented. Spectra’s Cabaret did not disappoint and we saw We Wil Rock you twice! Schooners Bar also provided great piano/vocals and acoustic guitar. Comedians were very enjoyable and age appropriate. We also had a surprise performance by ReVoiced (acapella group). All in all, we enjoyed live entertainment every day. Food: We enjoyed most our meals in the Windjammer and especially liked all the options! Regional meals were exceptional. We also had dinner in the main dining rooms and found those meals just as good as at the Windjammer. Beverages: We chose the refreshment package and enjoyed frozen mocktails, soft drinks, juices, bottled water and Starbucks coffee and lattes the entire cruise. Not all the refill stations were up and running, so we just went to a nearby bar for refills. Room: We booked an ocean view balcony (#8572) with Josie as our steward. Josie was absolutely wonderful. I requested a contour pillow (which she provided) and she always kept our ice bucket full. She also made sure we had clean wine glasses each day. Our bathroom was immaculate and our room always tidy and clean. She respected our privacy and always seemed to be right there when we needed her. Josie you rock! Activities: We participated in a scheduled wine tasting (5 samples, but I found the samples to be small) and we had scheduled the All Access Tour of the ship, but cancelled a couple days ahead of time due to one of us not having long pants. Make sure you have long pants or at least pants that go past your knees! It was no problem to cancel and we were given a credit. Embarkation/Disembarkation: We traveled from New Haven, Connecticut via Amtrak to Penn Station Newark and then an Uber (Uber XL $17) to port. Embarkation was a breeze. Dropped off our bags, checked in and was on board within 30 minutes. We headed to the Windjammer and had lunch at 11:30. Our room was not ready until 1:30 after lunch we relaxed in Two70’s with a frozen mocktail and got to know the IQ App. Disembarkation was not has short as embarkation. We had the mindset to expect lines so we were not surprised that it took longer. It was about 45 minutes to disembark and go through US Customs. It was another 30 minutes to wait for an Uber (Uber XL $19 due to traffic) and then another 20 minute ride to Penn Station Newark. Fitness: Walked on the outdoor track nearly every morning with the exception of 2 mornings when it was too windy. I also went to the fitness center each day. Very clean facility and no wait on any equipment. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We chose this cruise first because it was to cruise out of Cape Liberty. The second reason we chose it was because it was a 9-day trip. We had cruised on a 7-day and a 9-day before having children. Last year, we cruised on the Adventure ... Read More
We chose this cruise first because it was to cruise out of Cape Liberty. The second reason we chose it was because it was a 9-day trip. We had cruised on a 7-day and a 9-day before having children. Last year, we cruised on the Adventure of the Seas with the children (for the first time) and they loved it, so we thought a few extra days would be great. We had a really great trip and the children (ages 7 and 9) enjoyed it, too. Their favorite part was going to Adventure Ocean. We did not take advantage of the specialty dining, spa, or similar opportunities, due to our budget. In order for us to travel every year, we have to be conscious of our spending. The only stressful part of our vacation was the pool area. It is a much smaller area than other ships we have been on. It was difficult to find chairs in safe proximity to the children's location, so my husband and I took turns staying at the chairs (that were very far from the pools). The chairs were reserved from early morning with towels and unless we watched the people like hawks, it was hard to find any in the pool areas. Other than that, we can't complain about the trip. The food was great, there were lots of opportunities to attend events on the ship. In regards to the Seaplex, in order to be able to attend the events there, it was important to arrive before the start time. We learned that early on. We thoroughly enjoyed our dining experiences. We went to the Windjammer for breakfast and lunch daily. There were many options, including salads, soups, and desserts. The food was of great quality. We chose the 5:30pm dining option. We would begin each night with an appetizer and our children would eat dinner. At 6:40pm, our children would go to Adventure Ocean and we would complete our meal in the dining room. Our waiters were amazing. They were not only very particular with all their tasks, they were also very friendly! After dinner, we would either see a show or watch a movie by the pool. The shows were all very good, especially the comedy shows. We also attended The Gift and We Will Rock You. The Gift is hard to follow without any background information. We Will Rock You was great. We love anything involving music. We also thoroughly enjoyed the farewell performance. We didn't shop much. The Anthem has a different shopping concept compared to other ships. It felt very crammed and quite frankly many items were not affordable. We tried to purchase some t-shirts; however, there wasn't much of a selection in the sizes we were looking for (Youth Small, Youth Medium, Adult Small, Adult 3X). Overall, we enjoyed our vacation on the Anthem of the Seas. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We choose Royal Caribbean Anthem of the Seas because we were traveling with a multigenerational group three adults in their fifties and two children in their mid twenties This was a perfect itinerary 9 days and it was in driving distance ... Read More
We choose Royal Caribbean Anthem of the Seas because we were traveling with a multigenerational group three adults in their fifties and two children in their mid twenties This was a perfect itinerary 9 days and it was in driving distance to port. This was not our first cruise. We have also sailed on Princess and Celebrity and it's been nearly 20 yrs since we sailed with Royal Caribbean Embarkation was a snap. We arrived at port around 10:00am but didn't check in until 11:00am because we were waiting for the rest of our party to arrive. Had we checked in sooner we would have only been waiting in the waiting area to board. By 11:00 we just check in and walked onto the ship. We avoided Windjammer and headed to the Solarium Bistro. They had a small buffet but it wasn't crowed and there were enough choices for a quick lunch in a relaxed area. After lunch we stopped by Boleros for our first cocktail on the ship and purchased the Royal Caribbean wrist band so that we wouldn't have to always carry our sea pass around. Anthem has a nice selection of eating venues. 270 was my favorite. There they had a nice choice of sandwiches and salads and they also made specialty coffee. I quickly became addicted to the blended mocha creamice and the strawberry scones. We ate breakfast in the MDR anytime it was open. It was quiet and pleasant to enjoy the first meal of the day. We only ate breakfast in the buffet one time because of port time. The food wasn't as good. Eggs were cold unless you ordered an omelet and the pancakes were soggy. The nice thing about the MDR for breakfast is that they also had a small buffet so if you wanted to grab something quick you could. They had good selection of fruits, cereal, waffles made to order with a variety of topping, pre made omelets, danishes, pancakes assorted meats. There really wasn't anything missed by not going to Windjammer. We had dinner My time dining in the MDR 7 of the 9 nights. We made reservations and never had to wait to be seated. The other nights we went to Wonderland and Jamies Italian restaurants which were very good. The food was excellent with the exception of the rubber lobster tail on formal night. I have experienced this on other cruise lines and also ordered the Prime Rib as a back up. Meat was tender and cooked to order. The side vegetables were fresh and crisp. Nothing tasted like it was over salted the way cruise food usually does. As good as the food was I can't say the same about service. Everyone was racing around and getting a beverage was an issue every night. On the second formal night they didn't even take drink orders. Coffee and tea were never offered with dessert. One night I was so aggravated waiting for a refill of wine for my wife and a bottle of water for myself that I just went up to Vintages in the middle of dinner and got my own drinks. I mentioned this to the head waiter that night but nothing changed for the rest of the cruise. On the second formal nigh they just rushed us through. They handed out the menu and before we could read it they were taking our order. To my surprise bar service around the pool, adult solarium, and in the bars and theater were excellent. I figured that since the drink packages were so popular that it would be difficult to get a drink. Waiters were always walking around asking you if you wanted a drink. We enjoyed all of the entertainment from the comedians to We will Rock you and Spectra's Cabaret. Overall I enjoyed the cruise and would book the Anthem again. Although the ship is larger than what I prefer it did have some beautiful public venues with beautiful views like the Adult Solarium and Club 270. The Royal Esplanade was always crowded so we avoided it by walking one deck up in order to get from one end of the ship to the other. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We enjoyed our cruise on Anthem. Keep in mind that a larger ship does not necessarily mean more to offer, just more people in this case (in our opinion). We enjoyed our last RC ship Jewel of the Seas as much as Anthem, maybe even more. We ... Read More
We enjoyed our cruise on Anthem. Keep in mind that a larger ship does not necessarily mean more to offer, just more people in this case (in our opinion). We enjoyed our last RC ship Jewel of the Seas as much as Anthem, maybe even more. We were in a balcony stateroom on deck 8, 582; really a nice room, but the bed was so uncomfortable that we dreaded going to bed and woke up aching every morning. Our steward added several layers of comforters, but the bed was so hard it just didn’t help much. We have been on older ships in lower category staterooms with more comfortable beds. Overall a good cruise though. We probably will not take a cruise with so many sea days again. We did shore excursions in Bermuda and St Marteen. Kayaking in Bermuda was excellent, but didn’t leave time for a trip to Hamilton, so we shopped the cruise port for a bit before returning to the ship. In St Marteen we did the Rhino Rider excursion, which was very fun! Keep on mind that you will have to swim ashore when you get to the beach and will not be able to take anything with you because they tell you that you get soaked from head to toe; not Completely true. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Sailing on this cruise were myself 56, husband 55, son 25 and his fiance 25. This was our second cruise on Anthem. We drove from our home in Northern Virginia to the cruise port in Bayonne on the day of sailing, a Thursday, and traffic was ... Read More
Sailing on this cruise were myself 56, husband 55, son 25 and his fiance 25. This was our second cruise on Anthem. We drove from our home in Northern Virginia to the cruise port in Bayonne on the day of sailing, a Thursday, and traffic was amazingly smooth. And it is so nice to drive to port and not have to worry about the weight of your bags or whether they will get lost! We unloaded our bags and then parked our vehicle in the parking garage, which was $22 per day. When you enter the garage you are given a ticket that you must not lose, because when you return from the cruise, you insert your ticket into the kiosk outside the garage, and make payment, then hand one of two receipts to the attendant when you exit in your vehicle. There are staff members at each point in the parking garage (entry, exit, kiosk) to provide assistance. There is a wait upon returning from the cruise to get into one of two elevators to get back to your vehicle (lots of people and luggage), but other than that, it was a smooth process. Also, there 3 or 4 floors, so don't forget where you parked! The check in process once inside the port was very quick and efficient, and then we were ushered to the waiting area to await boarding, which took place at about 10:45. (Just FYI, if you are in the market for a new lanyard, they had several different styles for sale in the port area, but only a very limited choice once on board. I was considering one of the blingy ones since we were turning diamond unofficially on this cruise, but thought I'd wait and buy it from one of the ship's shops. Buzz, thank you for playing. There were none. Just thought I'd mention it.) Of course like most folks, we headed to the Windjammer for lunch. Food is a very personal thing, so I won't say much about it, but I must comment that Anthem has really upped their game in the Windjammer, as the lunch provided was probably the best tasting one we have ever had on boarding day. For all other meals, we ate in the dining room with anytime dining on level 4, American Icon and Silk. Breakfast is served from 7:30-9:30, and lunch from 11:30-1. For both of those meals you do not need a reservation, you just walk in and can choose to sit alone or with other cruisers. There is also a small buffet to go along with the menu. Our waiter Widia and his assistant Amaliya in the Silk dining room were terrific and very personable. Our first port of call was King's Wharf, Bermuda. We have been to Bermuda on a few occasions prior, so we just decided to take the shuttle ($7pp each way) to Horseshoe Bay Beach. The beach was pretty crowded, but nice when looking out on the water with the large rock formations, but not as pretty as those online photos depict. If you look closely in the sand you can see streaks of pink sand. They have facilities and you can rent 2 chairs and an umbrella for $50, two sand chairs and an umbrella for $45 (I think), and an open tent with 4 chair and a bucket of beers for $150. We thought all that was expensive, so we put our towels down near the rocks in a shady spot, since we had not intended to stay long. Be on the lookout for the pretty Bermuda Longtail seagulls flying overhead. On our way back to the ship we elected to take a taxi because we wanted to stop by the lighthouse. There are such beautiful views of the island from here, whether or not you choose to climb up to the top. I don't like heights, so I stayed in the parking area! You can see the ship in the distance. There is a small gift shop here where I bought two water color prints. However, I found them cheaper back at the cruise port. At port there is a shopping mall with trinkets and souvenirs, plus other nicer clothing stores. Be sure to have your photo taken under the Moon gate near the ship. Our next port of call was St Maarten. We chose to do the Screaming Eagle Beach and Snorkel catamaran, a ship's excursion. The vessel is in great shape and the staff are very nice. However there were many young children, one of which cried for half of the sailing. I think they need to reconsider raising the age limit on this excursion, as it was a bit scary for preschoolers to have to don the life vests, plus alcohol is served on board. One set of parents chose to snorkel, leaving their child on board crying with another member of their party. Other folks were tipsy, and it just doesn't seem like an appropriate environment for small children. That's just my opinion. The snorkeling wasn't that great, and the waters were a little rough at the beach where we stopped on that day. There were plenty of life vests, snorkeling equipment and pool noodles. The lunch served was very skimpy, just half of a sandwich with a few extra halves if some wanted seconds. Our next port was San Juan, Puerto Rico. We just walked around and happened to stumble upon the 'umbrella street', which is at the far end of Calle Fortaleza. I'm one of those folks who researches our ports, but for some reason I was unaware of this, so it was such a happy surprise to find. We stopped nearby at one of many bars that offered Pina Coladas 2 for $10. The last stop was Labadee. We hung out at Nellie's beach. Lunch is served in one of 3 areas, so you won't have to go back to the ship unless you choose to do so. They serve burgers, chicken, sides, fruit, drinks etc. There are also bars close to the beaches and a shuttle system for getting around. You use your cruise card for bar purchases but will need cash if you choose to go over to the craft market for souvenirs. We have avoided this area in past years after encountering overly aggressive local sales folk. We tried it again this time because my son's fiance wanted to look for gifts for her family. We did not feel badgered or pressured at all while looking around this time. Not sure if they were busy with other cruisers, or if there has been a change in the way they are interacting with potential customers. The ship is in beautiful condition, and we never felt particularly crowded except for the usual times, such as embarkation lunch in the Windjammer, or when a show lets out. There are the typical elevator crowding issues, especially on disembarkation day. This sailing had a lot of young children, and many elderly individuals with mobility issues. There were a lot of scooters and wheelchairs, and many cruisers who were not making it any easier for them to get around. I can understand the frustration on both sides, though. We enjoyed Spectra's Cabaret in Two70 (best seats are in the center, get there early) and We Will Rock You. The singers are outstanding. It was hard to sit thru the entire almost 2 hour production of We Will Rock You, as there was no intermission. I have heard that folks leave during intermissions and don't return, so perhaps that is why they performed the production all the way thru without a break. We did not make it to The Gift on this sailing. The day after we left Labadee and headed north for home, there was a medical emergency on board. The Captain said that someone walked into the medical treatment area with a serious condition. It was determined that it would be contraindicated for the patient to be flown off the ship, so we set course west to Nassau. The patient was off loaded at about 1am, and then we headed back out to sea. That following morning the Captain announced that instead of getting back to Bayonne on Saturday morning as scheduled, we would not arrive until about midnight, and passengers would depart Sunday morning when customs agents and port workers would be on duty. When the announcement was made about our delayed return, internet was made available to all passengers, and RC said they would pay up to $200pp for domestic flight change penalties, and $400pp for international flight change penalties. A letter was sent to all cabins outlining all the details. Also, when we paid to retrieve our car on Sunday from the garage, we were not charged for the extra day. Royal Caribbean handled the situation very well. So, that's how our 9 day trip became 10. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
An 11 day cruise on Royal Caribbean’s Anthem of the Seas leaving the frigid cold temperatures for the sunny eastern Caribbean, what could be better? Well, while the ship is amazing, the crew friendly and exceptionally hard working ... Read More
An 11 day cruise on Royal Caribbean’s Anthem of the Seas leaving the frigid cold temperatures for the sunny eastern Caribbean, what could be better? Well, while the ship is amazing, the crew friendly and exceptionally hard working (except for one of the bartenders in the Bionic Bar...more on that later) there are definitely some pros and cons to this experience. First the good stuff. As I said before, the ship is beautiful. While not the largest of the fleet, Anthem is big (4,180 passengers) and has some unique features such as the North Star observation ride which takes you up 300 feet for a 360 degree panoramic view, the Rip Cord I-Fly Sky diving simulator, Flow Rider surfing experience, and the Bionic Bar. The food was good, not as good as on past RCI cruises, but overall very tasty. Our waiter and his assistant made sure that every need was met and that our glasses were constantly filled. Our balcony cabin on Deck 10 was small but very functional. Two of us slept in the king sized bed and the third on the pull out couch. There were two built in storage closets, a vanity/desk, and a dresser with five drawers and a small refrigerator. Our cabin steward was amazing...twice a day he cleaned up, made (or turned down) the beds, and replaced any used towels. He even folded our blankets that we brought from home. The entertainment on this ship was good, especially the We Will Rock You show. As a wise fellow cruiser once told me, any morning that you wake up on a cruise ship is a good morning. I wholeheartedly agree with a few exceptions. We are Platinum loyalty members having cruised frequently and almost exclusively on Royal Caribbean. As the years go by however, I feel like I’m getting less for my cruise dollar and that more and more “experiences” are not included in the base or are not a good value. They are really pushing the specialty restaurants which of course cost extra, sometimes LOTS more extra. My thrifty alter ego cannot justify paying for food and then paying again for a “specialty” meal. This was the first time in 8 cruises that my husband (a drinker) did not purchase a beverage package. They insisted that I buy one too. I am not a drinker. I am also diabetic so the “refreshment” package with juices and smoothies that they tried to steer me to was not an option. I offered to provide a note from my doctor but they wouldn’t hear of it. So my husband carried on two bottles of wine and we saved almost $500. There could have been a few more free activities on this ship. For example, we were excited to attend a robot vs. bartender competition at the Bionic Bar. When we got there, a not so friendly employee informed us it will cost $15 for the experience. Very disappointing. We purchased internet packages. Again, I felt that it was pricey ($15-$19 per day) and not a good value. The service was slow and frequently needed to be rebooted. This was also the first time that we did not book any excursions with Royal Caribbean. In my experience, the excursion prices keep increasing in price with fewer options. On this cruise, we overheard a couple saying that they spent $30 for a beach excursion only to get there and have to pay extra for an umbrella and chairs. We took our chances and either walked to the shopping near the pier or too a cheap cab ride to the beach. There was no shortage of locals carrying maps and offering us island tours (despite the company’s warning not to utilize third party vendors). Despite these criticisms, we had a lovely vacation and respite from the winter chill. Will we cruise again?...Definitely. Will we cruise on Royal Caribbean again?...Maybe. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
I chose this cruise because of the deal on free gratuities. I hate that I have to pay double as a solo traveler, however. I decided to splurge on a balcony cabin, and in that I was not disappointed. I was in 6520, and except for hearing ... Read More
I chose this cruise because of the deal on free gratuities. I hate that I have to pay double as a solo traveler, however. I decided to splurge on a balcony cabin, and in that I was not disappointed. I was in 6520, and except for hearing rehearsals in the theater, it was generally quiet. My cabin attendant Estefie was excellent, as she couldn't do enough for me. I liked the size of the cabin, but not as happy with the small shower. It was great having a balcony, even though I would have liked to have one with a lounge chair. i was very happy with the dining on board. I ate in the American Icon most of the time and requested Kazi, who took special care of me. I found the food to be excellent. I only ate in one specialty restaurant, Chops Grille. It was fabulous. For breakfast and lunch I usually ate in the Windjammer, and I was very pleased with the food and the service there. I also saw and chatted with Kazi. I ate in the Icon for breakfast once, but the service was very slow. There were many activities in which I could have been involved. Mostly I found some good table tennis players who were very challenging and I had a great time. I did the bumper cars, North Star, and I Fly Ripcord, all of which I thoroughly enjoyed. Maybe next time I'll try the trapeze, if I can face my fear of heights. There were plenty of trivias in which I could have participated, but decided to relax and not rush to join in the fun. As far as the entertainment went, I was disappointed in the shows for which I had made reservations. The music and vocalists were so loud that they drowned out the words of the songs, and since I couldn't understand the words, it made the shows a waste of time. By the time I sat through 40 minutes of We Will Rock You, I got up and left. It was more fun to participate in the tree lighting ceremony in the main area, singing Christmas carols and enjoying the playing of the small group of instrumentalists. One ridiculous event was the timing of the party for the return RCCL cruisers. 10 a.m.? To drink that early in the day in just stupid. My brother and sister-in-law are currently on the same cruise and they said there was just rot gut champagne. I've been on many NCL cruises and the parties have always been later in the day and have an open bar. Now that's a real perk! I was very pleased with the service all over the ship. Everyone was very friendly and anxious to please. The ship was clean. I would love to cruise on this ship again. I liked the itinerary and the ship was beautiful. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
This is the third time on this ship. We love the shows and entertainment first and foremost. This years cast were outstanding. Embarkation and disembarkation were very smooth. The cabin was a good standard. Ship is very clean. ... Read More
This is the third time on this ship. We love the shows and entertainment first and foremost. This years cast were outstanding. Embarkation and disembarkation were very smooth. The cabin was a good standard. Ship is very clean. Formal nights are included and we are amazed that people still, and are not turned away, go into a main dining room in shorts and flip flops. They could eat in the Windjammer. We did speak to the staff there and they informed us they would,also like a change in this but their hands are tied and asked us to complain. While the buffet food is plentiful with amazing choice selection, the main dining rooms have deteriorated considerably The service we have found, in the main, has been very good. We tend to find a great waiter and ask to sit with them every night. The menu choices are pretty samey with few changes each night. I am not sure what has changed in the kitchens but the fish cookery was worse than dire. I enjoy fish but it didn’t matter what I selected, it was not good. Sole - meant to be pan fried - was ‘gluey’ with no signs of a pan fry ie it was white as if been poached without seasoning. This was inedible. Barramundi - a very meaty and delicious fish - was completely destroyed by over cooking. I had a piece of rubber served to me The battered cod was tasteless The salmon was grey and chewy. I switched to meat when I realised the fish chef needed lessons. The only good meals I had were the rack of lamb and beef short rib. Then there was the menu and it’s choices versus what you actually received. Pan fried chicken breast was actually roast chicken leg Mashed parsnip,was mashed potato Roasted squash was grilled courgette Cilantro coleslaw - cilantro was green pepper - no cilantro in sight Duck in orange - absolutely no orange flavour Roasted tomato soup tasted and gloopy texture was similar to packet soups from my school days Coconut crispy shrimps - not a trace of coconut but the same as Asian crispy shrimp that was on menu two days before On a couple of days the watermelon tasted of onion - knives need major cleaning On one evening we heard, over the tannoy, that the Anthem had been voted best ship for food for 2018 - in what poll? We love cruising and have so many choices out there which is why we feel RCL need to look at every one of their ships on a regular basis, as a passenger. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
About once a year, my coworker and I take a cruise on whatever RC ship is in Cape Liberty, since we live locally. The stops are pretty much the same very year. We mainly go to the beaches when we are on an island. We usually get 4 -5 ... Read More
About once a year, my coworker and I take a cruise on whatever RC ship is in Cape Liberty, since we live locally. The stops are pretty much the same very year. We mainly go to the beaches when we are on an island. We usually get 4 -5 sea days. There is plenty to do onboard, if the weather is good. My favorite activity was the Escape Room, which you sign up for when you get on the ship. Second favorite was We Will Rock You, the play based on the songs of Queen. We had assigned seating, second at 8:00. I was looking forward to experiencing gourmet meals. Meh. Perhaps many people have expressed a desire for bland food, so that is what the menu reflected.I was a little disappointed that my favorite dessert was not served until the very last night. I had been asking for it most nights. Only after the cruise did I realize an outstanding waiter would have made my desire known to the chefs and arranged for my dessert to appear at least oncce before it's actual scheduled appearance. Not a big issue since I was trying not to overeat while on board. The dinner menu made that possible. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We did not explore Bayonne before our cruise, (we hate cities)... LOL. Our embarkation and disembarkations went very well. We had an accessible room which was large enough for our son to maneuver in his wheelchair. We dined each ... Read More
We did not explore Bayonne before our cruise, (we hate cities)... LOL. Our embarkation and disembarkations went very well. We had an accessible room which was large enough for our son to maneuver in his wheelchair. We dined each evening in The Grande, the waiters we had were awesome! We eat a vegan diet so we were very pampered there. We had special meals each night, but our son does not eat vegan, so he got what he likes... he got shrimp cocktails every night (2 in fact). The people were very kind and friendly even to him (we often find that not to be the case). The Windjammer was where we took our breakfast and lunch most of the time. At breakfast time, a chef there (Sonika) tried to recreate one of our favorite breakfast dishes, although she gave a good try, it just never came out the same. But we were able to pick from a number of choices there. We would like to see RC be a bit more accommodating to the difference diet choices, there wasn't much for vegetarians and vegans. It should be considered as this group is growing and we would like to have more than 1 or 2 choices at any meal. The ship is huge, so it was not crowded in any area as although there were over 4,100 passengers, they weren't in the same place at the same time! Our stateroom attendant was awesome. She kept our room clean and supplied throughout the cruise. We were not that impressed with the shows we saw. They left us a bit confused as to what they were all about, actually! Having said that, the production's appearances was nice... their stage settings etc. We might have been more apt to go on more excursions, but because of our son being in a wheelchair, it was difficult, we booked one in St. Thomas and that was pleasant. The rest of the islands, we just went shopping. The bad part about most of the islands was that you got approached by anywhere from 10 to 30 people wanting to take you on tours. St. Maarten was the best island as far as that was concerned, we were not approached by more than one or two. CONS: First we bought Travel Insurance, "just in case" but were never told, until we needed it" that it's not accepted on the ship. You have to pay up front (it's charged to your credit card on file) then TRY to get reimbursed. We are in that process now, as I did have to visit the Medical Center on board on our last sailing day. We took the "Bottomless Champagne Brunch" Tour. We were expecting it to be all inclusive. We were with the understanding that we would get to tour all 4 of the galleys of the main dining rooms and then have brunch. Well, the whole tour took approximately 15 minutes, we saw The Grande and Chic galleys and there was really nothing to see there but empty stainless tables. Staff were pushing carts around making a lot of noise, so unless you were close to the chef who was walking you through the tour, you might not have heard anything he said (we were in front so we did hear him). Then we were brought into the Chic for our "brunch". Our's, being vegan was good, except the dessert, we were simply offered a plate of fruit! We are not drinkers, so we felt we paid for those who were. (PRO: After going to Customer Service, we were reimbursed for the tour.) I had put money on my son's account for the arcade, which I thought he'd love. It turned out to be a bust. Most of the games he tried to play, took his money but did not work for him. He got discouraged and did not want to go back. (Again we were reimbursed for that). The arcade was truly nothing, it didn't really have games that my son would normally play, some he couldn't do at all as he would have had to move out of his wheelchair and into the seat which was much higher, so he couldn't. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
I chose this itinerary because it worked with my schedule and it was better priced than most others b/c it was a repositioning cruise. I have traveled on all the major lines and I knew I wanted to try Celebrity again. My goal was to relax ... Read More
I chose this itinerary because it worked with my schedule and it was better priced than most others b/c it was a repositioning cruise. I have traveled on all the major lines and I knew I wanted to try Celebrity again. My goal was to relax the ports of call were not very important to me. I was hesitant choosing Summit because of her age. I read both good and poor reviews. I also didn't want a mega ship - navigating on those ships is frustrating and I don't care about the "rockwall" type features. Ship: I was pleasantly surprised at how well the ship itself looked. As other reviews said, you saw some wear but nothing terrible (that i saw). Its not a very large ship and usually I adapt to ship surroundings very easily but I had some navigating challenges at times. All the windows and glass surfaces were dirty (expected on a ship but seemed excessive). I did not care for the "Smell" of the cafe where all the buffets were - it smelled dirty. There was also a foul smell at all toilets (in cabin and in public spaces). But i am nitpicking. Stateroom: I chose a Sky Suite and because I was last minute there were limited options - I ended up in stateroom 6119 which is S2. Location was good being between midship and aft elevators. The room overall was also in good shape. Some surfaces and upholstery showed wear but not extensive. A- on how clean it was! There is an incredible about of storage not just in the large closet but lots of drawers and cabinets all over stateroom. There was something up with floor near the sofa it is uneven and made weird noise. I also did not really like the view of lifeboats outside my balcany - but it was nice to just relax out there. All in all I was very happy with room. Butler: As a suite you have a butler. Mine was very good - attentive and helpful. A nice perk to have but I am not convinced it was really worth upgrading for. What they outline online was not completely my experience. Entertainment: House band played throughout ship they were very good. The shows in the theater were very good as well - impressive for cruise ship entertainment. Lots of events going on if you wanted to partake. Food: As a suite guest we have our own dining room called Luminae. The service was excellent. The cuisine was excellent. It's a smaller restaurant so the food didn't seem so "cookie cutter" and this is where I ate most my meals. I tried Blu one night and Cosmopolitan one day for lunch and they both were good. As suite guest also had access to Michael's Club - a quiet room where you can chill and have a drink. Packages: UGH! Beverage: I miss the days when everything but alcohol was included. Unless you drink excessively (alcohol or other) I don't think the drink package is worth it. Internet: Seriously reconsider this. Unless you need to remain connected don't do it! I would say for over 50% of the voyage the wifi did not work and I had to keep logging back in to reboot it. Major pain. When spending that much on wifi you would think it would work flawlessly and it didn't Embarkation / Disembarkation: Incredible perk as a suite guest. Was on the ship with in 15 minutes after arriving at terminal and it literally took 5 minutes to leave ship. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We are frequent cruisers with Royal Caribbean. After this cruise, we are Diamond in their loyalty program. This was our second time on the Anthem. We chose this cruise because love sailing out of NJ (less than a 1.5 hour drive for us) ... Read More
We are frequent cruisers with Royal Caribbean. After this cruise, we are Diamond in their loyalty program. This was our second time on the Anthem. We chose this cruise because love sailing out of NJ (less than a 1.5 hour drive for us) and like the longer cruises. We had two connecting cabins - one for my husband and I and one for our 3 kids (11, 9, 9). Overall, we had a great time. We were able to book the shows and experiences we wanted beforehand. Our room was clean and well maintained and our room steward was wonderful. There were many activities. We particularly liked some of the non-standard trivia - word play games and such. Some island/excursion highlights included the trip we did on the Restless Native catamaran in Bermuda. It was a beautiful sail out to the cove and we loved swimming around, snorkeling, and cliff diving/jumping. We rented a bungalow in Labadee on Columbus Cove. That was money very well spent as it provided shade and a comfortable place for our family and kids to hang out. My only complaint is the timing of some of the night-time activities. We were at the late seating for dinner and had to miss many of the shows because they started during dinner or about a half hour before dinner. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We wanted a Caribbean cruise from NYC were we planned to spend 5 nights in advance of the cruise. Although he had visited all the islands before with the exception of Bermuda we had never been on Anthem. The ship is very easy to ... Read More
We wanted a Caribbean cruise from NYC were we planned to spend 5 nights in advance of the cruise. Although he had visited all the islands before with the exception of Bermuda we had never been on Anthem. The ship is very easy to navigate. It’s also fairly new and fresh. The staff at the dining room, bar etc were all excellent. Food is standard as per the other ships we have been on. Drink service in dining hall was poor. It felt like their wasn’t enough staff in the main dining room and the waiters etc spent a lot of timing running around. They worked very hard but maybe needed an extra pair of hands. Entertainment- the ‘everynight’ performers / musicians weren’t great on this ship. Not even in tune a fair amount of the time! DSB- Journey tribute was very good. Productions like - we will rock you etc were excellent Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
First off, there were a lot of good things, but my wife and I both feel the Royal Caribbean PR Team deserves a standing ovation, for they "sold" this to be a lot better than what was actually experienced. Realize that what you ... Read More
First off, there were a lot of good things, but my wife and I both feel the Royal Caribbean PR Team deserves a standing ovation, for they "sold" this to be a lot better than what was actually experienced. Realize that what you see in brochures and on TV/online advertisements paint a picture that just doesn't live up. (Yes, most of what they show IS possible, but a lot of sacrifices - time and financial - will have to be made.) I'm going to hit briefly on a lot of things... I hope you find the information to be helpful. Months/Weeks prior to your trip: Make sure to reserve shows and dining as soon as you are able on the RC Cruise Planner. Royal IQ App: Useful, but not always reliable. Make sure to download this onto your phone/device before boarding. Plan to arrive at the terminal at least 30 minutes prior to your boarding window... traffic is pretty bad at Cape Liberty due to the sheer volume of people involved in this process. Once in the terminal, check-in and embarkation went quite smoothly, mainly because we did everything we could prior to arrival at the terminal. Check as much luggage as you can so you can move around the ship without the extra baggage. We boarded at 10:30am, carrying only a small bag, knowing our luggage wouldn't show up in our cabin until 1-4pm. Once onboard, we grabbed a quick lunch at Cafe270 (Deck 5 aft)... I will speak more to this hidden gem later. After a good lunch, we walked decks 4 and 5 to get our bearings before the ship got crowded, then headed up to decks 14, 15, and 16 where you find the pool, activities area, NorthStar, climbing wall, Solarium & Solarium Bistro, and Fitness Center among other things. The line at the North Star was really short, so we took advantage and got a great view of the NYC Skyline. (**North Star - What you see in all the pictures is the "pod" extended far off to the SIDE of the ship. They don't do that anymore. It will go up to the vertical limit, turn a few degrees to port, a few degrees to starboard, return to center, then descend. The entire experience is about 10 minutes. Worth it, but RC did not deliver completely on what was/is advertised.) Staterooms were accessible starting at 1pm, and our bags were delivered at 2pm and 3:45pm. Muster drill at 4pm went smoothly, albeit kinda a joke because people just don't shut up and the crew does not want to bother people as soon as they are onboard for their vacations, I assume. The ship is huge, obviously, and quite well-maintained. My wife is an a high school art teacher and found the decor and art displays to be quite interesting and appealing. We like having a larger balcony, so we selected a Deck 7 cabin that was more of a square shape then the thin/long tradition cabin style. It was awesome. No problems with the cabin or position of the ship. Port side of the ship had better views than the starboard side in NYC, Bermuda and San Juan. Starboard enjoyed better views in St. Maarten and Labadee. Milton, our room attendant, was wonderful. The onboard TV options are very limited, so we went 95% of the cruise without it turned on. And really, if you think about it, you're on a cruise ship with plenty to do... why waste it watching TV? Onboard activities are plentiful, from games to trivia, challenges to shows. Entertainment is kinda all over the place. The large-scale productions - The Gift, Spectra's Cabaret, and We Will Rock You - feature some pretty great talent. The performers in the main productions are super-talented. (I'm the head of our school's music department and have quite a bit of experience directing musicals. Honestly, I'm not easily impressed, but I was after watching the shows.) Make sure to not only make advanced reservations, but be sure to arrive in the performance venues 20-30 minutes early if you want to get good seats. The Gift was confusing unless you knew the storyline ahead of time. A quick behind-the-scenes on your cabin TV will give you a good look at this program. Spectra's Cabaret is a mix of visual and audio astonishments... but as stated in the original Jurassic Park, "We were so focused on whether or not we COULD, that we didn't stop and think whether or not we SHOULD." Spectra's is kinda like that; perhaps a bit too much to be good. We Will Rock You was phenomenal, especially given the physical limitations of the hull of a ship. Too bad "We Will Rock You" ran only a couple times the whole trip and more guests couldn't witness it. Special appearances... Mo5aic, an A Capella group who appeared on America's Got Talent, was fantastic. There was a magician, whose name I can't remember, but he did a really nice job. We generally LOVE the comedy shows on cruises, but compared to Carnival, the comedians weren't that great. RC's comedians were just "ok"... Carnival definitely owns RC in that aspect. Shops/sales/Art Gallery: Meh. Been there, seen that all. Casino: Aside from the $5 freebie credit the give you on Day 7, we didn't gamble at all. Photos: What we got was good; two pictures at $20 each. We couldn't see spending $200 on the "get 'em all" package. We do wish there would have been more locations throughout the ship to get pictures done. Smaller ships we've cruised had just as many locations/backgrounds for far fewer people. Spa: We didn't partake in any of their offerings. Fitness Center: We did appreciate how expansive it was. The only suggestion I would make would be to add one or two more "upright" stationary bikes. There were only four or five compared to the rows upon rows of treadmills. :-/ Recreation: Sea Plex... a lot of cool offerings, but they were so limited in how many people could do it, it almost seemed like offering fewer activities would allow more people to get involved. Also, it almost seemed like more time was spent "changing over" the main floor from one activity to another that time actually DOING activities was very little in total. North Star: Did that pretty soon after boarding on Day 1, and got to enjoy it again (because we reserved it prior to the cruise) at sea on Day 9. Cool experience. iFly: If you haven't done anything like this, be prepared for a very unique experience. I've been skydiving, and while it did feel familiar, the fact that you're in a tube and have to worry about staying "centered", makes you realize exactly how much the movement of even ONE FINGER can effect your overall position/balance. Enjoy it and try to relax! It's also good to have someone to take pictures/video of you while you fly... but they can't be signed up in the same time reservation for iFly. Rock Climbing & Flow Rider... It would be nice if you could sign-up for those like you do for North Star and iFly. Sitting and watching the passengers partake in both (and wipe-out on the Flow Rider) was quite fun, though. Running Track... it's so thin and along a crowded route, unless you go before sunrise or after sunset, it's actually dangerous for runners and sunbathers alike. The real runners know to go to the treadmills. Pool areas... always busy, always packed, chairs are reserved with people's towels despite signs being posted that saving deck loungers is not permitted. Oh well. The Solarium (16+ area at the front of the ship) itself was fantastic, much calmer and the Solarium workers were great. The hot tubs are pretty empty at night... 10pm and after. Enjoy! Off-hours access to food and ice/water... this needs to be addressed. There weren't enough options, and because the ship is so huge, it can be a looming way from your cabin, depending on where you are. Dining: We looked at Windjammer the first morning for breakfast, but ended up going elsewhere every morning after. Again, looked at Windjammer once for lunch, but left once we saw how crowded/hectic it was. There are other/better options. For dinner, we chose late (8pm) dining, which we don't regret. Shawn and Divina, our waiter and assistant waitress in Chic, were ABSOLUTELY WONDERFUL! They both deserve to be higher-up on the food chain. Cafe 270... we were constantly wondering why more people don't take advantage of this place for breakfast and lunch. FAR less crowded and much more relaxed than the Windjammer. A good variety of food options... definitely try the Kummel Weck, their signature Roast Beef Sandwich. (I feel like a drooling Homer Simpson just thinking about it. So good.) Solarium Bistro is another "hidden gem" on the ship. Great food in a relaxed atmosphere. Definitely do dinner there (no charge) a night or two. They have food that is not available anywhere else on the ship. Premium Dining: Again, and if you haven't noticed the trend, we chose not to partake in any of the four options offered because they all cost additional. We paid a good price for the cruise, which has all of our dining covered. I'm sure they're good and everything, but we would rather save our money for other things. Excursions: We would have done more, but (again) they cost quite a bit. If you do your research ahead of time, you can do much more for far less in each port. Case in point, we rented a car at St. Maarten. It cost us $62 and we were free for seven hours. Your three-hour van/bus transfer to Maho Beach (Plane Watching) was something like $50-55 per person. They priced themselves out of the conversation in that and MANY other situations. Ports: Kings Wharf, Bermuda - We had onboard credit to burn, so we chose the Catamaran Sail. It takes you to a little cove where you can swim, snorkel, kayak and paddle board (two of each per 60-passenger catamaran), sunbathe, and cliff jump. We swam along the coast to some pretty cool caves and went exploring. Free rum swizzles on the return sail... they charge on the sail out to the cove, so we waited for the return trip. The catamaran crew was great! After our sail, you can walk to/through the market/shops in the vicinity. St. Maarten - My wife and I have been there a couple of times, both pre-2017 Hurricane, so we knew what to expect when we got there and where best to go and spend our time. Just off the pier, keep left to get to the car rental place and get a car. Drive to the west end of the island to Simpson Bay or to Maho Beach. Maho Beach is still rebuilding, but sits at the end of the runway if you wanna see planes land and take off within just a few feet of you. Just around the airport/runway, there's a little place we love - Karakter restaurant, which is right on the water of Simpson Bay, butted-up against the runway. Super cool place to enjoy a meal, some drinks and swimming. San Juan, Puerto Rico - If you are lucky enough to dock on the "good" side of the port, you'll get off the ship and be in Old San Juan right away... no need for taxi. Make sure to wear your walking shoes so you can explore the forts and Old Town. It's definitely worth it to walk, since you can pass through the markets and shops. The forts are run by the National Park Service, and don't cost nearly as much as the cruise line wants to charge you for an excursion. Again, do your research. Labadee, Haiti - It's worth it to get off the ship early and find a good spot on the beach. We brought our own snorkels and masks on the cruise, and although there wasn't a ton of things to see, it was still exciting to explore. Super relaxing day, and complimentary lunch is served in multiple locations in port. Enjoy the day... head back to a nearly empty ship to do stuff there if you want... no worries! Speaking of, while the ships are in port, most people go ashore, making the activities basically a free-for-all. Rather than to the $14.50 per day auto-tip on your bill, we opted to have Customer Service remove the charges completely, so we could put cash in envelopes for the crew members who waited on us directly. (We didn't want a cut of our money going to workers in the Spa or the Windjammer, where we spent no time. This way, our room attendant, our waiters, etc. get their due.) Not to beat a dead horse or anything, but, in our humble opinion the MAJOR downfall of RC is the unending uncharging for EV-ER-Y-THING!!! ... and I know many will think/reply, "If you've been cruising before, or know anything about how businesses work, you should have expected this. Stop whining." Ok, fine, part of that is true. We have cruised before, and we learned a lot about what other companies charge for their services. Disney Cruises cost more, but their service is above-and-beyond and they cover every little detail except alcohol. Carnival is cheaper and far less pushy. For what RC charged for this cruise, I was expecting more, quite frankly. I guess one could say we did get "more"... more/higher price tag for everything. A bottle of wine you charged $32 for is a $6 bottle at our local liquor store... I know because I drink that kind. Uncharging for profit is one thing, but 533% is ridiculous. $13 for A bar drink... plus gratuity on top of that? I mean, let's be honest here... they charge gratuity at the Bionic Bar where a ROBOT makes the drink. Really?!?!?!? No wonder I had no problem buying a few bottle of alcohol and some rumrunner flasks and sneaking a lot of stuff onboard in our luggage. ;-) Bottom line, we enjoyed it, but it wasn't the right "fit" for us. We may try another RC cruise in the future, but if a comparable experience can be had on a different carrier, we will be going elsewhere. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Pros: Food was very good.Service was outstanding !!!! There were plenty of things to do, great ports, relaxing, staterooms. Cons: Adult beverages a bit too high. It would be nice if the tipping on drinks were optional. Seating with 5000 ... Read More
Pros: Food was very good.Service was outstanding !!!! There were plenty of things to do, great ports, relaxing, staterooms. Cons: Adult beverages a bit too high. It would be nice if the tipping on drinks were optional. Seating with 5000 people sometimes difficult but workable. Casino "house rake" too high at the hold em table. Actually, I would suggest adding a second table as well. Frankly, I thought the entertainment was average especially The Gift. The comedian Mr. Harris was very good. The ports of call were very nice. I thought Labadee and St. Maarten were very enjoyable. The guys in the morning and afternoon at the entrance of the Windjammer were great singing "Wash your hands" and "washy washy". Mainly because they were happy. Every service person seems happy and excited to serve you. A big plus in my opinion. Overall, it was a very good experience and would sail RCL again but would like my comments considered for change. Thanks for a very good vacation. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
A very good afternoon to you, fellow cruise aficionados! We wanted to share with you a few thoughts, observations, things we liked and occasional disliked about our recent 9-night cruise onboard Royal Caribbean Anthem of the Seas with ... Read More
A very good afternoon to you, fellow cruise aficionados! We wanted to share with you a few thoughts, observations, things we liked and occasional disliked about our recent 9-night cruise onboard Royal Caribbean Anthem of the Seas with the following ports of call: • Cape Liberty, New Jersey; • Royal Navy Dockyards, Bermuda; • Philipsburg, Sin Maarten; • San Juan, Puerto Rico; and • Labadee, Haiti. First, let's take a look around this beautiful ship. Anthem of the Seas was built in 2015 and as of today she is among top 10 largest cruise ships in the world. On this journey she carried over 5000 passengers and about 1500 crew members. At the heart of the ship is an area they call The Royal Esplanade. Cannot miss it. It is a two story somewhat open space surrounded by shops, bars and a few premium and otherwise restaurants. It is located on Decks 4 and 5 right around the center of the ship. As we walk towards the front of the ship, we pass an Irish pub which has a decent selection of craft beers and some creative cocktails. Next there are more shops and a venue called Music Hall. It is a 2-story open lounge where they have concerts, gathering and, of course, dancing at night. Sitting is cozy, but a bit confusing: during a performance there is only a handful of seats from which one can see the stage. On the lower level Music Hall connects to a rather sizable casino that failed to win us any money, but we always consider casino losses whether here or in Vegas as a Air Conditioning Surcharge. At the very front of the ship, on decks 4 and 5 is a typical theater with 1300 seating capacity, which seems a bit tight considering 5,000 passengers we had on board, but more about entertainment later. From the theater we walk to the back of the ship and we are back at the Esplanade, the upper level where they have couple of premium restaurants and the Bionic Bar. This robotic bar is very cool to observe. You can order drinks from a tablet and watch them being mixed shaken or stirred by two robotic arms. Selection of spirits is rather impressive, but I have to say, it is a one-time experience to me. It is much more pleasant to have a drink at a real bar. So, for those who are thirsty or ready to party, there is Boleros just one deck down where we spent just about every night enjoying a fantastic live Latino music, crazy dancing and refreshing drinks from very attentive bartenders and waiters If we keep on moving towards the back of the ship on deck 5, there are several contemporary art pieces, some of them interactive and fun to mess with. One may think (and that was our initial impression as well) that all the cool stuff is centered around The Royal Esplanade but to me area “south” from it on deck 5 is way more interesting! As we pass through couple more art installation, few boutiques and few food venues, we arrive to our favorite part of the ship: The TWO70. Part theater, part lounge, part cozy space, this two-story place at the very back of the ship gives you gorgeous views of ship’s wake during the day and fantastic shows at night when the venue converts to high-tech theater with multiple stages, moving screens, panoramic projection setup and much more. As many have said, during the day it works as a sort of living room. And it works really well: even if they have dancing lessons or kid’s activities, there is still more than enough room to lounge around, have a drink, enjoy the view or people watch. Even though we had a gorgeous balcony stateroom that we will share in a bit, TOW70 was our hangout place for most of the days. Time to move up. Since decks 6 through 13 are mainly staterooms, we jump straight to the deck 14 through 16 and work our way forward. There are several adrenaline inducing activities at the very top: Ripcord and Flowrider. Both look very cool and challenging, but not something we dared to try even though basics of these two things are free (I believe couple minutes each). I guess they decided that the ship would be too classy without a giraffe, so there is that thing. Next stop is a Seaplex – a very roomy area that can be converted from a bumper car arena to basketball or volleyball courts or even a trapeze school. They also have an arcade, foosball, computer games, and even a food truck. Crazy, right? Anything to keep youngsters separated from elderlies! Moving on, the main pool. Well, they have it. It is on a smaller size in my opinion, but then again, we never really got any interest in swimming or lounging next to it. Most of the time it seemed and felt rather crowded. What was interesting though is the North Star – a mast that lifts a gondola to about 300 ft above the sea level or about twice the height of the ship. Looks and sounds a bit gimmicky, but it is very-very cool to see a birds-eye view of the ship as it cruises along! Puts things in a whole new perspective! NorthStar is free, but reservations need to be made in advance. There is a standby as well for those who feel lucky. NorthStar operates both in ports and while ship is cruising, but they do not launch it if the wind is above certain level. A bit closer to the front part of the ship is another pool. This one is covered. A deck above there is a jogging path and a reasonably equipped gym. It did not look too crowded on the couple occasions we were there. And finally, our favorite place to hang out when we felt like just soaking: The Solarium. Supposedly adults only (well, not really enforced), this is an enclosed area at the front of the ship with several cascading cool lounging pools and four hot tubs. The best place to chill, have a drink, read, enjoy the vistas! And, if one gets hungry, head out to the Solarium Bistro. Which takes us straight to the next section. *** Food and beverage *** Solarium Bistro is the best kept (yet obvious) secret on the ship! By far it has the tastiest food, ambiance and service (out of all non-premium dining venues).This is where we had majority of our meals. For dinner there is a buffet style set of delicious Mediterranean appetizers that we often had as a meal, there are several choices for the main course and, again, buffet style selection for deserts. We also enjoyed Café Two70 where they have rather decent selection of soups and paninis if one happens to be all the way at the back of the ship. Windjammer buffet was quite adequate for the ship of this size, the only complain we had, it closed at 9:00 PM. What do we do when we party late? Pizza place at the Esplanade just did not seem appealing to us (although very popular judging by how many folks were in line late at night). And finally. Main dining rooms. We are generally easy to please and never had an issue on any of the cruises before, but this time the bar was set particularly low with the wait staff just not caring and food being… well, mediocre, worth than the buffet (even though they cook all of it in the same kitchen, don’t they?). Tried twice, just to be sure, same experience: slow service and very much subpar food once would expect from a chain one-star diner on the mainland. Enough of a negative vibe! Switch to beverages! As if to make up for food, bars for the most part were fantastic. We had a beverage package, so we get to enjoy adult life without feeling too guilty. A lot of interesting cocktails and very creative improvisations. More than enough to satisfy taste buds no matter what deck you end up at any given part of the day or night, right? Speaking of days and nights, it is probably a good time to talk about Entertainment. Swear, the last complaint the we are filing today are the main shows, I promise, we will be back to positive vibes in a second, but have to say this is the first time in our cruising experience the shows were... well, just not there.... Between technical glitches, very poor sound engineering and overall flow, we did not find any of the shows interesting. We never have done that, but this time we walked away from all three main shows… On the flip side, comedians and magicians and all the other entertainers onboard were great: fresh, engaging, absolutely fantastic! Latino quartet in Boleros was phenomenal, I have no idea how they maintain that level of energy every night, but they were sensational. Onboard entertainment was even more important with so many days at sea and, overall, I would say we enjoyed it despite occasional glitches and disappointments, however the cruise to us is always about destinations and, of course there were a few very exciting ones this time. *** Ports of call *** We sailed away from the Cape Liberty New Jersey. Check-in and embarkation were immaculate. Fast, efficient, overall very pleasant. As we set sail we get to enjoy absolutely phenomenal view of Manhattan. View from the ship beats just about any Manhattan panorama we can think of, especially if one gets lucky with the weather, the light and overall ambience. Surprisingly fast we passed under Verrazano-Narrows Bridge with just 15 feet clearance and then we said "good bye" to the mainland for 9 nights. Our first stop was Bermuda. First time on this island for us and this was one of the reasons we picked this particular cruise. We were dreaming about visiting Bermuda for quite some time. With only one day here we wanted to make sure we get a feel for an island and get to see the historical St George (the old capital). Since tourists can not rent a car on Bermuda and scooters are not exactly our idea of fun, we opted for an excursion from Royal Caribbean that took us all the way around the island with a few short stops at Hamilton, St George, beach and the lighthouse. The tour was very informative, probably the best way to learn about the island in a short period of time we had. We loved how clean and civilized Bermuda is! Definitely sets it apart from many other islands we have been to. Hamilton was an OK place to visit, but we could not find anything special about it and surprisingly same goes for St George. We strolled through town, had a little lunch, explored a bit and yet could not figure out what is all the hype is about. Cannot say that we did not enjoy Bermuda, we did, but somehow we were expecting something special and extraordinary and that was just not the case. Maybe it is one of those places that you have to visit and explore on your own for a few days before you start truly enjoying and understanding it. I guess we may need to file it under "a follow up is required". After another day at sea we arrived to Sin Maarten. This is where we decided to stay on the ship since island is still recovering from the last year devastating hurricane and as much as we wanted to help with our tourist dollars, we could not find anything we wanted to do here especially since we have been here a few years back and the highlight of that trip: watching landing of Boeing 747 over Maho beach is hard to beat! Unfortunately, KLM no longer fly that beauty to Sin Martin, so we decided to take it easy and hang out on the ship. Next was Puerto Rico. Without a doubt our favorite destination on this trip. We docked at San Juan Cruise Port which put us straight in the old San Juan. We docked at 7:00 in the morning, the best part of the day, when stores are still closed, there is hardly anyone out and we have the entire town to ourselves. Very cool to walk these old streets, take in beautiful colorful Spanish houses and courtyards, make our way to the phenomenal Castillo San Felipe del Morro, explore this gorgeous old Spanish fort which is immaculately restored and preserved by the National Park Service. So many things to see, take pictures of and simply enjoy despite of the hot and humid tropical weather. Then make our way back to town via Passeo del Morro right by the straight that our ship followed. And get back to the city to taste Passion Fruit mojitos and mofongos for lunch at Raices, a nice little local place recommended to us by our new friends. Can this day get better? It absolutely can: the view from our stateroom as we sailed away speaks for itself. And that was one of the reasons we picked a stateroom on the right side of the ship, so that we can see this beautiful historical fort in all its glory as we sailed away. Our final stop was Labadee Haiti. It is Royal Caribbean private resort that is completely isolated from the rest of the country. They do a great job providing barbecue-style food and drinks from the ship (and yes, our premium drink package worked just fine there). Beach was a bit busy, but if one gets up early enough and makes way all the way to the end of the property (for the best view of the ship), it is possible to grab a spot under the tree and enjoy a peaceful and relaxing day. And after a hot day on the beach it is so nice to come back to your stateroom to enjoy your personal island of civilization. And what a beautiful island it is. *** The Stateroom *** We were overall very impressed with the stateroom, so we wanted to do a quick walk through to show what it looked like. As you enter the room, there is a thermostat that seemed to do a decent job maintaining cabin temperature as long as the balcony door stayed shut. On the left there is a bathroom that seemed better and larger than typical to us: Certainly, a nice touch to have a glass door rather than a flimsy curtain that still exists on some ships. Plenty of storage space around the vanity and a few useful hooks on the wall. Overall a very nice and contemporary feel... not only of the bathroom, but of the entire room. Aside from decor, a very important point is storage and surprisingly we had enough room to nicely distribute the content of our 4 suitcases. Crazy for two, right? Either way, there is a taller wardrobe on one side of the sofa and a shorter on the other side. But it does have couple of drawers underneath. This shorter wardrobe has a few shelves and a safe, which is not large enough for a laptop or even a decent size camera, then again, we were not entirely certain why we would need a safe on a ship anyway. There are couple of tiny night tables, one on either side of the bed. Unfortunately only one side has an outlet, but that's OK, we cut cord on this cruise and stayed disconnected, hence no need to recharge phones as often. There is additional storage above the bed. Handy for hats and bulky items such as snorkeling gear and what not. Opposite to the bed is a flat Samsung TV of a reasonable size. Not that we ever really watched it. Next we have another storage space with several shelves and a minifridge. Definitely better than a MiniBar! So that one can store bottled water or those two bottles of bubbly that they allow you to bring onboard. Seems that with the Drink Package came these souvenir mugs, but can't say we found them terribly useful, but to each his own. There is a table that can be moved around to have a room service breakfast or mess with the computer. Have to mention a very nice selection of outlets: two American, one European for which we brought an adapter just in case and two USB ports. All our cameras and gizmos that we had with us were well fed and super happy throughout the entire trip. One thing worth mentioning: Royal Caribbean will NOT let you bring an extension cord onboard. Probably a smart move considering that cheap ones can be a fire hazard. They also do not allow and do not provide Irons or even Steamers. Which, to be frank, is not a big deal at all considering that in this humidity everything de-wrinkle itself in no time. So, this room on Deck 11 cabin 604 was our home for nine magnificent nights this past summer. All good things eventually come to an end, so it is time for us to say good bye and toss a few coins into the ocean. Don't judge coins are completely biodegradable! More importantly, it has been our traditions for over 10 years of cruising: as long as you manage to hit the ocean with your coins on the last night of your sailing, you will be back. And I know that we will!! See you very soon Caribbean, take care and until next time… Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Our extended family took this celebratory family cruise for graduations & birthdays. We were thrilled to be able to depart right from NJ (much $$$ saved). Embarkation was smooth and easy which ended with an epic lunch at the ... Read More
Our extended family took this celebratory family cruise for graduations & birthdays. We were thrilled to be able to depart right from NJ (much $$$ saved). Embarkation was smooth and easy which ended with an epic lunch at the Windjammer. I love that they make everyone wash their hans before coming into the Windjammer as it is a massive ALL YOU CAN EAT buffet-style restaurant. Food is unending, everywhere, and nonstop. Dining in the more formal restaurants is defininely an experience not to be missed. Casual dining is also a wonderful option. RCCL's Anthem of the Seas is a BEAUTIFULLY DESIGNED young ship, massive in size, with cabins well-thought out design perfectly effecient for the longer tme spent on vacation. There are activities to be enjoyed by all age groups. Service is excellent by the cruise staff across the board. Port excursions are pricey if purchashed through RC, so look to buy well in advance of your departure date as they tend to be a bit less that purchasing them once of board (this also includes drink packages as purchasing drinks individually, EVEN WATER, and become very costly very quickly). You can also save more if you want to purchase excursions right from the locals who will greet you as you enter each port. Unfortunely, in Labadee, all excursions need to be purchesed through RCCL. All purchases made on board are done using your sign and sail card (the casino does NOT use the sign and sail card, but you can "withdraw" money from the card that you've registered with your sign and sail account plus a 5% proccessing fee). Also bring enough clothing for the length of your trip as there as no washers or dryer on board, but laundry service and ironing is offered for a fee, much like so many other services on RCCL. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
The ship is very pretty and modern, but much narrower than Oasis class ships so therefore felt much more crowded. Impossible to get seats in the Solarium on sea days unless you were there by 7 am. Food in the Windjammer was sub par and ... Read More
The ship is very pretty and modern, but much narrower than Oasis class ships so therefore felt much more crowded. Impossible to get seats in the Solarium on sea days unless you were there by 7 am. Food in the Windjammer was sub par and also very crowded. I was unable to get turkey burgers like on Oasis and had to ask for chicken sausage, which were not on the buffet as on Oasis. As a Diamond member, I was unable to utilize the Diamond Lounge because I was not allowed a guest. I was traveling with my sister, who is a Platinum member, and did not want to go alone. I feel 1 guest should be allowed in with a member. On Labadee we went to Columbus Cove beach, which was a mistake. You have to pass by very pushy vendors wanting you to come shop at their kiosks. They were very annoying and a little frightening. The bumper cars, I fly, and Northstar were all fun. Food in the main dining room was very good as well. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
St Maarten was disappointing. A lot of damage from storms.Labadee was awesome. Zip line was great. And beaches as soon as you get off boat we’re great. Puerto Rico is nice. Just shopped. Love horseshoe bay in Bermuda. My best beach ever. ... Read More
St Maarten was disappointing. A lot of damage from storms.Labadee was awesome. Zip line was great. And beaches as soon as you get off boat we’re great. Puerto Rico is nice. Just shopped. Love horseshoe bay in Bermuda. My best beach ever. Ships promenade was ok, thought it could be nicer. Food was same as any other ship. Casino is above average. Plus I won so that helps. Haha.Solarium was awesome in front of ship, 4 hot tubs and I think 4 little pools. Very cool. Bayonne is an absolute awesome terminal. Easy on and off. Had same waiter and table throughout cruise. Kept our drinks coming and gave us extra servings of food no problem. Always would give us his recommendations. Shopping on ship I don’t recommend. Saw nice sturhling watch for 1195, haha, on sale for 250. Found it online for 225. Also booking another cruise on ship was more expensive by 400 bucks. They try to catch you in the moment, be careful. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We were celebrating my 70th and our 40th anniversary. I upgraded to a Grand Suite, 1 bedroom, for this cruise ( the upsell price was right $$). The amenities that came with the suite were exactly what I wanted. My husband and I were ... Read More
We were celebrating my 70th and our 40th anniversary. I upgraded to a Grand Suite, 1 bedroom, for this cruise ( the upsell price was right $$). The amenities that came with the suite were exactly what I wanted. My husband and I were very happy and well taken care of. Priority Embarkation and Disembarkation MUSTER DRILL: ours was in Silk on 4th deck; roll call then watched video which was hard to see and hear if you were not near screen. FORGET trying to get elevator after muster; we went up steps to 12th deck. FOOD: very good: we ate almost all meals in COASTAL KITCHEN (one of the amenities). (menu could use some changes; the same lunch and dinner every day). There were some changes each day, but always the same changes. I am picky eater and wanted more variety instead of chicken. i.e., pork loin or stir fry, etc. The personal service made us feel like royalty. We did eat one lunch in CHIC, and were disappointed. We ate twice in Windjammer (off peak times) and liked the food there. DESSERTS were very good. SPECIALTY Dining For my Birthday we ate at Wonderland. Highly recommend (even though I am picky eater) there were several non fishy dishes for me to eat. It was truly a very special treat. ROOM SERVICE: almost every day for breakfast ,very good: (free, one of the amenities). Room Steward was outstanding, It was like magic, room was always made up, breakfast dishes always removed in timely manner. He, Emanuel, was always friendly and accommodating always with a smile. Never had to ask twice. SHIP'S EXCURSIONS lame, I did bus tours on St. Maarten and San Juan rain forest. My husband loved the zip line on St. Maarten (his first). We both went on rain forest drive. Most of the forest is closed due to hurricane damage. Rocky, our driver, was the only thing that made the long drive to get there interesting. Labadee, Barefoot Beach (one of the amenities) was nice but personal service is what made it relaxing and special. BIG CON: Ship's announcements are not heard in cabins or balconies (only in emergency, like ABANDON SHIP). One of us had to run to open cabin door to hear announcements in hallway. CABIN 12246 has an extra deep balcony, fantastic; this is why I book a cruise, for the balcony. The location could not have been better. SHOWS: we did not care for The Gift (husband slept through it); Spectra's Cabaret. We did enjoy We Will Rock You. All shows have great singers and dancers. My husband went to the GYM almost every day and no complaints. I would go again only if had same type of cabin with huge balcony and amenities (for $$ I paid). Would like longer and different itinerary on another ship. I am sorry that I don't know how to get pics from my phone to here. Take my word for it, Balcony was AWESOME. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We were looking for a relaxing cruise with plenty to do on the ship. In that respect, this cruise was perfect. The port stops were very short, but we were happy on this trip with exploring on our own for a few hours. The entertainment ... Read More
We were looking for a relaxing cruise with plenty to do on the ship. In that respect, this cruise was perfect. The port stops were very short, but we were happy on this trip with exploring on our own for a few hours. The entertainment on the ship was very good. The We will Rock you show was among the best I have ever seen on a cruise. It could be on Broadway without any changes as it was also longer than most cruise productions. The major issue with this ship is that lots of things were very crowded. On nice days, the pool area was packed. The main theater was always completely filled, and one needed to get there well before a show to get a decent seat. The Two70 lounge area is great, but when shows were held there you had to arrive even earlier than at the Royal Theater to get a good seat. The Music Hall was even worse in this regard, and in my opinion should not be used for anything that is expected to draw a crowd. The food was fine. One plus is the number of venues with complimentary food, and the availability of healthy choices on the ship. We had My Time dining, but were encouraged to make a standing early reservation so that we could keep the same table and waiters all week. That worked well for us, but seemed to be contrary to the flexibility that my time dining was suppose to provide. We never had to wait for a table, but were told if we wanted to eat at more popular it was likely we would have to wait. Getting off the ship was among the worst run events. They were about an hour behind the published schedule, and then after getting our luggage, there was a long wait to go through customs. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Anthem of the Seas July 12 2018 I am a Diamond member on Royal and am writing this review as a long time cruiser. The ship is absolutely gorgeous the crew keep her spotless and she really has unique charm. That being said the ship ... Read More
Anthem of the Seas July 12 2018 I am a Diamond member on Royal and am writing this review as a long time cruiser. The ship is absolutely gorgeous the crew keep her spotless and she really has unique charm. That being said the ship IS CROWDED. Keep in mind we were sailing during peak summer vacation time. I was shocked because the Oasis class never felt remotely crowded compared to this. The windjammer was an absolute nightmare during breakfast and lunch however the great news is they offer a great breakfast in cafe 270 as well as a full buffet in the Solarium Bistro for breakfast and lunch. We thoroughly enjoyed it there and it was never crowded. The food in the main dining room for dinner was excellent. We were at my time dining and traveling with three other cabins so on the first night we asked to have a table for ten every night at 730. They were very accommodating and had top notch service every night. Table 701 in American Icon Ricardo was our waiter and Remzi was our head waiter. Ricardo brought out as much as you wanted and often brought things we never ordered just to try. Cannot say enough about the staff... excellent all around. We ate at Chops and Jaimie’s Italian as well both meals were excellent and very memorable. I highly recommend Jaimie’s for the homemade pastas and pear prosciutto and arugula salad. The cabins... I had balcony cabin 8264 and honestly it may have been the best balcony cabin I ever had. Loved the layout it was huge. Tons of storage, large tv and refrigerator. The best part was you could shower leave the bathroom door open and have a full view of the ocean from the glass enclosed shower. The entertainment was great really enjoyed “The Gift” and “Spectra’s Cabaret”. My favorite was the “Police Experience” who were amazing. If you are a music fan definitely check them out. Our cruise stopped at Bermuda, St Maarten, San Juan, and Labadee. Bermuda was great have been several times we wandered around town and did some shopping. St. Maarten was wonderful as we took a van to Divi Little Bay resort which was only $5pp and spent the day at the beautiful beach. Beach chairs were $5. It’s amazing the money we saved by doing our own excursion. San Juan I stayed onboard to use the pools as I have been numerous times and rather be on the Anthem. Labadee was great but extremely crowded 4500 people fighting for a spot at the various beaches. Fellow passengers were often downright rude to the point we witnessed many arguments throughout the sailing. It’s pretty sad when people have to fight and push over buffet food, pool chairs, and seats in the theater. When the elevators open let the people off before barging in. In general I loved the ship but it was WAY too crowded for me. I also didn’t like the pool towel policy. It became quite a pain especially waiting twenty minutes for towels as you were getting off to Labadee. NCL does this right they provide you towels in your stateroom and replace them daily and have a desk by the pool. Hopefully RC changes this policy in the future. Overall a great trip and made many memories with our traveling companions. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Our daughter was invited to perform on the ship with her dance company. I felt the design of the ship could use some revamping. Quite a few of the music venues were right next to each other and you could hear 3 or 4 different songs mixed ... Read More
Our daughter was invited to perform on the ship with her dance company. I felt the design of the ship could use some revamping. Quite a few of the music venues were right next to each other and you could hear 3 or 4 different songs mixed together when you were shopping in the promenade. Also, it was very congested at the promenade shopping area which made it hard to get to the theater and other locations. The nearest restroom to the dining room was in the casino which was not ideal for our 13 year olds to have to walk through. We had one person at our table who needed a gluten free menu and for whatever reason, they never received their meal at the same time as the rest of the table so everyone was left waiting for it before starting to eat, thus resulting in cold food. The Music Hall location was where quite a few family entertainment activities took place after dinner. It was too small for such a large amount of people resulting in us sitting on the floor most nights. The shows all had to be booked ahead of time if we wanted out group of 9 to be together. When you have to schedule every activity and be somewhere at a certain time everyday, that is not much of a vacation. We booked our own tour on the island of St Maarten through Bernard's Tours and I would highly recommend it! Our driver was "Mailman" and he is wonderful! This was my second time visiting the island and the second time I requested he be our driver. He is very personable and will make your tour exactly what you want it to be! We all agreed this was our best day of the cruise along with Labadee! I will sail on Royal Caribbean again however I think a smaller ship is more my style! Read Less
Sail Date July 2018

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