1,635 Bayonne (Cape Liberty) Family Cruise Reviews

They will tell you your insect bites are from the area where you dock, give you cream and pills for any allergic reaction but KNOW THE SIGNS OF BEDBUGS BITES (whelps, small bites in a row). Cruise lines are known for bedbugs in fact. If ... Read More
They will tell you your insect bites are from the area where you dock, give you cream and pills for any allergic reaction but KNOW THE SIGNS OF BEDBUGS BITES (whelps, small bites in a row). Cruise lines are known for bedbugs in fact. If you value your health don’t travel on this ship. When we got off, another group on the same day. Hardly enough time to rid the ship of an infestation. The theaters, couch in the room and outside furniture also have bedbugs. I had a suite so I paid a LOT of money to be a meal to their insects for 11 days. They even go so far as inspecting the room to tell you there’s nothing there. This will work for a day or 2 but the bugs are in the room full force again after that and you will have the bug bites to prove it. Do your own bedbug detection and insist they correct the problem because once you’re on the ship you won’t be able to get off for a day or 2 and there’s no sense going to another bedbug-room on the ship. The food was impeccable as usual with any cruise with many varieties of food for everyone. No matter what type of diet, there was food to fit your appetite. Getting of the ship went very quickly, minutes in fact and I wound up waiting for my ride for an hour. This was my 3rd time on this ship and the excursions weren’t attractive since I’d been to most of the ports. I didn’t get off at 2 of the ports as a result and the ship didn’t got to Antigua, St. John as scheduled. I attended stretch and abs classes. The fitness instructor arrived late, ended the classes early and didn’t demonstrate or do the exercises with the class. What a waste of time this was! My onboard experience was poor overall after suffering bedbug bites during my time on board as I was scratching and experiencing pain from the adverse reaction to the insect feasting on my body. Public restrooms were clean as seen by the eye. I didn’t make a habit of using them considering my unfortunate experience with bedbugs, I didn’t want to catch anything else. I went to my room instead for the majority of my time on the ship. I suspect the theater is also riddled with bedbugs too. I felt something crawling on my ankle but couldn’t tell what it was because it was dark. The staff was very courteous and friendly.my stateroom attendant, waiters, greeters and shop personnel were amazing and set the atmosphere of excitement for the times we were at sea. Given the amount of money I paid for this (I had a suite), there weren’t a lot of perks. I was told I’d have a bathrobe to use but the only way I got it was to call housekeeping and expected a tip for bringing it. No matter what the cost, a person’s health is at stake due to the unsanitary presence of bedbugs. With the money they’re charging they can surely afford to provide the guests the peace of mind of being insect free on their luxury liner. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We sailed out of Cape Liberty, NJ on Dec. 28th, 2019, at 3:00 PM for an eight day cruise. We returned on Jan. 5th, 2020 to the same port at 6:00 AM. We had three ports of call; Cape, Nassau, Bahamas and Royals own Island "Perfect ... Read More
We sailed out of Cape Liberty, NJ on Dec. 28th, 2019, at 3:00 PM for an eight day cruise. We returned on Jan. 5th, 2020 to the same port at 6:00 AM. We had three ports of call; Cape, Nassau, Bahamas and Royals own Island "Perfect Day". We are long time fans of this Cruise Line. This was are 8th cruise in the last 15 years. Our last on the line was just three years ago. Historically, we would tell everyone who would listen what a great deal vacationing with Royal Caribbean was. We even carry their VISA awards card. So we have a history to compare this cruise to. First; they have changed their business model and not for the good. They now are pushing the drink packages on you. We discussed this option before leaving and not being big drinkers decided against it. We arrived the day of departure and I ordered a double vodka, with club. The cost for this drink was $19.00, which included an auto applied 18% gratuity. In the past the drinks on board had been priced pretty much the same as any on shore restaurant. So we buy the drink package for the week. The cost of the drink packages amounted to $531.00 per person. Or, as the sell the package, just $66.38 per day. Given that your really on the ship only seven days and eight nights this figure jumps to $75.86 per day. Again invoice states your gratuities for bar, restaurant, etc. are included in your fare, they add 18% to cover your bar bill in your drink package... The only shore excursion was to Cape Canaveral unfortunately it was booked full. We took the bus to Coco Beach. It was a rather windy day and not really a beach day. The food on this trip was not up to the past experiences. We found the portions to be small and the meal was just OK. Perfect Day Island is well done; they charge 12 service fee on any purchases. Our son really enjoyed the water park. We ate at both Chops Steak House and The Italian restaurants.On past cruises Royal gave you a credit for the dining room meal that you were passing on for the different dining experience. A credit is no longer being given. The price of the two restaurants was about what you would pay for an up scale city outing. We thought both restaurants were good but not great. Service was good, waiters were friendly. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
This was our second time on Anthem. I remembered the beds were uncomfortable the first time but this time, I ended up after three nights of sleeping in them, getting horrific back spasms that have continued. When I asked guest services for ... Read More
This was our second time on Anthem. I remembered the beds were uncomfortable the first time but this time, I ended up after three nights of sleeping in them, getting horrific back spasms that have continued. When I asked guest services for some sort of help, they were able to put extra bed comforters on top of the mattresses and that helped a little but not much. I went to the spa, desperate for help. They recommended acupuncture which cost $200! Not sure it made a difference. I called the medical office and they said I should take pain medicine. That wasn't helping, so I called again a couple days later and they said I had just missed the morning clinic and would have to wait 5 hours before the evening clinic started. I just spent the rest of the cruise sitting or in bed. A huge disappointment since we are normally walking all around the ports and/or the ship. We tried the bumper cars but the line was entirely too long. Got us discouraged from trying to do the other events in the sea Plex. Did not want to roller skate with a helmet and knee pads either. The food in the main dining room was okay but the specialty restaurants were much much better. The room attendant was nice but not as detail-oriented by any means as we had experienced in the past. I will say, it's very efficient getting on and off the ship so that is nice. We love the solarium and 270 is really cool. The shows are great as well. We planned this Cruise almost a year in advance. I had been finishing up my doctoral degree and was really looking forward to time with my kids and my husband. Unfortunately, I had to leave them in Nassa because the back spasms were so bad and then spent the rest of the next three days mostly in bed. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Group of 30 friends we were celebrating our 50 Wedding Anniversary ship was very hard to use motor scooter way too many people. Was very hard to go to windjammer had to eat all meals in dinning room. Enjoyed cruise dinning staff was beyond ... Read More
Group of 30 friends we were celebrating our 50 Wedding Anniversary ship was very hard to use motor scooter way too many people. Was very hard to go to windjammer had to eat all meals in dinning room. Enjoyed cruise dinning staff was beyond excellent. Cabin person was excellent. Was quite surprised that our 50th anniversary was recognized by ship. When we traveled last yr on carnival we were given free spa wine and candy. Much mote offers on carnival. The ship was beautiful had a-lot to see as well as do. Took us all of the 12 days to see it all. Enjoyed the solarium was beautiful and serene. Had many pools as well as hot tubs. Shopping was great a-lot of sales. Was decorated beautifully for Christmas. Really enjoyed singing Christmas carols one night as well as recognizing all our first responders and veterans. I was just dissolved in getting around with scooter and the fact that the ship didn’t offer us anything for are special occasion. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
My wife and I went into this cruise with such excitement - our first completely solo cruise without our (now adult) children who have accompanied us on every one of our past cruises. A new class of ship (and just plain a NEW ship) that we ... Read More
My wife and I went into this cruise with such excitement - our first completely solo cruise without our (now adult) children who have accompanied us on every one of our past cruises. A new class of ship (and just plain a NEW ship) that we were looking forward to sailing on. And a visit to a port we hadn't actually been to before and had high expectations of enjoying - CoCoCay. I'll preface this review by saying that in the grand scheme, we did have periods of enjoyment during this particular cruise, however, it was not the overwhelmingly exciting or positive experience that we've experienced with every other cruise we've ever been on, with both RCI and Carnival. We are the last ones to complain while on a cruise (having dealt with others who did so in the past), but now having returned home with the experience complete, I'm compelled to write about the experience as a whole, including it's "Misses", of which on this particular cruise, there were many. This is a long review. It is unabashedly mostly focused on the negatives because, well, there were more of then versus positives for both of us - take of that as you will, but we are not beginner cruisers, and frankly, we would simply *never* book another cruise on Anthem (or any Quantum class ship) ever again. For that matter, the whole experience with this ship, and Royal Caribbeans latest tactics to monetize seemingly everything physically possible has given us pause about even continuing to cruise with them despite being nearly Diamond status. Our check in / embarkation experience was spectacular - the new "pre approval" process (where you can do a lot of the check-in yourself at home) was a massive success, saving us time standing in lines as would otherwise be normal. From the time we walked into the terminal to the time we were headed towards the gangway was literally under 15 minutes, and we were aboard inside 20 minutes after stepping out of our Uber. If they're getting things ready to deal with the huge crowds of Oasis arriving soon, they've nailed it. The ship itself is indeed new(er) and (mostly) in excellent repair. After sailing on Explorer, Grandeur, and Enchantment (all older ships in the RCI fleet) Anthem seemed new and fresh in comparison - we were excited to be aboard! I didn't expect it to live up to our experience of the Oasis class, but being one of RCI's new flagships, I had expected it to be close. We got checked into our stateroom and met our ever-smiling stateroom attendant who was extremely friendly and anxious to help - he turned out to be of the bright spots on our cruise - a shining star - thank you Frederick! Day 1 at sea was soon upon us and we headed for the solarium to enjoy our first day after breakfast in the windjammer. It's design was much better than the typical RCI buffet setup so we were off to a good start, but after actually getting our first breakfast, we were a little underwhelmed - the much touted "new and improved" windjammer seemed understaffed, and a lot of food that should have been served hot...was, quite simply, not. But hey, we're on a cruise, relax...enjoy! It was just a one off I'm sure. Sadly, it was not. More on this later. After breakfast we headed towards our favourite place on all RCI ships - the solarium. My first impression of the solarium was that it was pleasant, if not noisy - unfortunately the makeup of the passenger load on this trip seemed to include a lot of volume challenged individuals and the usual serenity of the Solarium was often difficult to find. Not RCI's fault, but this was indeed a very packed cruise with a noisy group it seemed. It is what it is - enjoy the cruise I kept remembering - little things don't wreck the overall experience. Although my wife loves to sit and relax in a chair, read a book, and stare at the ocean, I often gravitate towards the pool and spas in the solarium. I was soon wondering who made the design choices of both - the spas were so incredibly shallow that when sitting on the seats the water was only 1/3 of the way up my chest - *many* others were commenting the same, especially those who were not first time cruisers like ourselves and had other ships to compare with. The only way I could actually get underwater up to my neck was to lay awkwardly with my knee jammed up against the hand rail to avoid sliding underwater, or to stretch out across the entire spa...and nobody wants someone else's feet that close to them. Sadly, the pool was not much more enjoyable - all 3 segments in the Solarium were only a few feet deep at most, and a new addition of a lifeguard who just stood there and persistently stared at passengers in the pool felt...odd. Others were clearly uncomfortable about it, and many commented that the clear glass at the edge of the different levels of the pools presented highly unflattering views of what few swimmers were actually in the pool to those in the pools below them, as well as other passengers walking by. Accordingly, I noticed that the "pools" (using the term loosely) were under utilized - empty or nearly empty most of the time, for that matter. Add into this whole situation the fact that the spas were so incredibly over chlorinated that it literally burned my noise when I was in them (and others were also commenting), by the end of the cruise I had only "Enjoyed" the spas three times for about 15 minutes each time. Usually I'd spend at least an hour or two a day relaxing in them. Disappointed. However, the solarium became one of our Go-To places (as always) even though the towel-on-chair reservation brigade were in full force (as usual) with seemingly no crew enforcement of the issue. But when we found a chair we enjoyed it there. Elsewhere on the ship I was left wondering about the design choices of various venues and common areas. The "Esplanade" as it's now called (Previously referred to as the Promenade on most other RCI ships with similar setups) was extremely crowded - especially so when the "Junk sales" (as much wife and I jokingly refer to them) were on in the middle of the space...which on Anthem, was basically ALWAYS. These sales have always frustrated me on every ship when they take place in an area of the ship that should be available for passenger enjoyment and free-flow of passengers from one venue to another, but on Anthem it was particularly annoying as it was seemingly non-stop, complete with the loud annoying announcements about "limited edition!!" or "one time sale!" this, that, and everything else. Want to get to the Patisserie for a coffee or a snack? Sorrentos for a slice of pizza? Or just want to actually get through the area from one end of the ship to the other to head to the Music Hall or another venue like the Schooner bar? Get ready to bump and grind shoulder to shoulder with others - I felt bad for anyone who was in a wheelchair or a scooter - it was simply unnavigable almost all waking hours and we soon started avoiding it like the plague, instead of enjoying it as another common area that should have been enjoyable. At least on other ships they pack up the sales during certain hours and the area is quiet, open, and enjoyable to sit and unwind for a few - on Anthem, it was a constant cacophony. Another public area turned into what was effectively a big retail store. The "British pub" that is common aboard RCI ships was at one end of the Esplanade, but again, the design choice of installing "grids" instead of windows meant that sound bled both ways to and from the pub. When there was a crooner or some activity going on it bled annoyingly into the Esplanade and Sorrentos. When you were in the pub trying to enjoy yourself, the annoying junk sale announcements (or just the high-volume crowds) bled over into the pub. You couldn't win in either venue. Speaking of venues, we enjoyed most of them, but unfortunately getting to and from often required running a gamut of photographers that were frankly, by the end of the week, incredibly annoying. On one walk from 270 to the Esplanade we were approached not less than THREE times - once by the "tuba" art installation exiting 270, once more in the area between the elevators (where they had the customary "Fake sunset" photos backgrounds out in full force) and once more on our way down the staircase headed to the Esplanade for a slice of pizza after a show. Honestly, is RCI not able to pay the fuel bill unless they sell enough photos every cruise? That's what it started to feel like. Worse yet, while docked in Bermuda, whilst walking down the pier we were yelled at by another Royal Caribbean photographer after (unknowingly) standing in her shot while trying to get a similar one of our own. I'm usually the last person to get into a verbal altercation with anyone, but I must admit that I had a few polite yet firm words directed at the photographer about the situation about how it was both an accident that were were there to begin with (we genuinely did not see her standing there before apparently walking into her shot), and also reminding her that we are as entitled as anyone else to take a picture with us and the ship in the background even if we weren't paying RCI for the results. This REALLY bothered me for hours afterwards, way more than it should have, but the photographer barking "Sir please move you are in my photo, I'm just doing my job, please move, I need to take this photo, please move, I'm just doing my job" is stuck in my head still as I sit and type this. So, the new "270" venue - RCI does have a hit on their hands with this style of venue close to the waterline on the stern, and with lots of glass - it reminded me of the Centrum on the vision class ships, but far better. The shows hosted there were hit and miss however - "Spectras Cabaret" left us scratching our heads a little as it was, frankly, just weird - no other way to explain it. We stayed up late one night specifically to attend the "Vistarama" which I mistakenly thought would include the use of the robotic television screens, something I had wanted to see in action. We were soon disappointed to learn that it was literally just 4 or 5 "vistas" projected onto the 270 windows, a few of which (IE, the "Waterfalls") that were just cut and paste repeated/duplicated images across the windows. It was cool to see, sure, but after about 15 minutes, particularly when the images started repeating, the venue emptied out, complete with groans from others who also expected more. And why did they want until 10:30PM to start this when 270 had sat empty for hours before? Other shows in 270 were better, but none "blew us away" as has been common on other RCI ships. I did finally get to see the robotics in action during another show - impressive. Lastly, the AV crew on Anthem have to be deaf - I was left with no other explanation on why the volume levels of every single show we attended were set at ear-piercing levels that crossed the line so badly during one show that I had to literally change seats to get further away from the speakers. We're talking eardrum damaging levels, easily. Elderly people sitting near the speakers had their hands over their ears. During downtimes between shows 270 was a serene and enjoyable venue to just sit and relax in one of the many comfortable chairs whilst watching the ships wake behind us. Until once again, as seemed to happen everywhere, the salespeople showed up (Diamonds, art, blah blah blah) and started barking on about their special deals over the PA system - serenity gone. Argh. All the passengers who were sitting and enjoying the amazing views and the quiet serenity packed up and left. Being interested to check out the non-traditional dining venues on Anthem (a result of RCI's failed "Dynamic Dining" legacy that is no longer) we attended dinner in the MDR all but 2 nights of the cruise. Our experience ranged from "What we expected" to "What the heck is going on here". On the high side, after requesting a new table in a new area our last dinner was great, albeit still not at the level we've experienced on other RCI ships. At the lowest spot, we were freshly seated at a table that was only partially set (half our utensils were missing), with no bread basket (which nobody even noticed until we asked for bread 15 minutes after being seated without anyone even acknowledging us up until that point) and the crew in the adjacent prep area seemed oblivious to the fact passengers were sitting nearby trying to enjoy an supposedly upscale dining experience, whilst they clanged and smashed plates, cutlery, and talked loudly. The assistant waiter was great. The main waiter, just passable, but not exceptional honestly. Others experienced cruisers sitting at tables nearby who we chatted up also expressed disappointment in the MDR whole experience thus far. Clearly the legacy dynamic-dining venue is not ideal for the now traditional dining service, and honestly, the small venues themselves left us yearning for the traditional MDR of other more traditional ships. I was not impressed in the whole setup honestly, although I can see how others who were on their first cruise and knew nothing else could find it quasi-upscale. We attended dinner in the Windjammer for 2 nights, and breakfast every morning. The one trend that become evident was universal in short order was that food was NOT being held at appropriate temperatures. At several points I bit into food that was basically lukewarm (after supposedly being a hot item) that I worried about basic food-safety - how much longer would this food be able to sit at this temperature before someone might get sick? Breakfast, lunch, and dinner...it was a constant trend - at least 1 or 2 items that I'd have on my plate were NOT hot when I got to our table a short time later. Food temperatures aside, I was once again reasonably disappointed in the Windjammer despite the "new and improved" promises that the Quantum Class ships boasted - it seemed to be mostly the "same old same old" for most meals short of dinner in which there was some minor rotation of new items. Lunch was equally underwhelming, although we typically ended up eating at other venues for lunch after the first few days aboard. Don't even get me started on the hockey-pucks that RCI tries to pass off as hamburgers across the ship - want an actually good burger? Get ready to shell out some money at Johnny Rockets. Speaking of which, Johnny Rockets seemed like a ghost-town most of the cruise - when will RCI drop the upcharge on this venue and make it a place that passengers can enjoy like Carnival does with "Guys Burgers", one of the more memorable (and ultra tasty!) memories our our past Carnival cruises. It seems silly that they continue to try to upcharge for a good hamburger on a cruise ship. Lobster or a premium steak in a specialty restaurant or upcharge in the MDR? Sure. A hamburger and fries? Honestly? What's next for upcharge restaurants - the hotdog stand in the SeaPlex onboard? I've always felt like being upcharged for a hamburger, despite the fact the surcharge is reasonably small, was nickle and diming passengers. It's a *hamburger*, not a steak. On the topic of food, we were once again mostly disappointed in the coffee aboard. We are admittedly both coffee snobs - a good cup of coffee in the AM is essential, and once again, it seems that RCI can't manage to brew a consistent pot of coffee aboard any of their ships - some carafes had adequate strength coffee with a passable flavour, whilst others had what could only be described as "slightly browned water" with no taste. How it is that on one of the most technologically advanced ships afloat that they can't seem to make a consistent pot of coffee dumbfounds me - we were left wondering once again if this is just another tactic to get people to spend money for the upscale coffee offerings while onboard to get a few more dollars out of our pockets? For us, it worked - the onboard Starbucks was a bastion of actually enjoyable coffee. Another score for our experience with Carnival however - their standard coffee aboard was not only fairly consistently enjoyable, but actually consistent around the entire ship from pot to pot. Our port days were a mix of mediocrity despite our excitement for CocoCay - given as how Labadee has always been one of our hands-down past favourites, we were both excited to see what CocoCay was all about. Port Canaveral is far from a particularly desired port for us, especially when it's a truncated day to begin with since we didn't arrive until lunch. I opted to do the Kennedy Space Centre excursion which was actually fairly priced and well run. The excursion was excellent aside from the reality that we were only given basically 4-ish hours at KSU itself before the busses were departing back to the ship - not even remotely close to adequate, but I did manage to squeeze in a ton of things in that time window. Nassau was, well....Nassau. It seems like the city has really cleaned itself up to some extent after the hurricane. We walked to and from the Queens Staircase from the ship, stopped in at McDonalds to have a drink and use the WiFi for a bit, and then returned to the ship. We had considered not even getting off the ship as we sometimes do in Nassau, but we wanted some exercise and amazingly enough hadn't actually seen the Queens Staircase during one of our many previous visits to the island, so it gave us something new to do. CocoCay, well....I wanted so badly to enjoy it. The actual island is incredible - for anyone who's been to Labadee, it was similar, yet different - the inland beaches and fresh water pool was great, albeit COLD, which probably explained why there wasn't that many people in it. TONS of beach chairs and umbrellas setup when we arrived, and big cozy comfy hammocks squirrelled away here and there. We got off the ship, found the nearest beach, got a hammock and a chair, and started relaxing. It was awesome! Until it wasn't - about an hour later the winds shifted and the exhaust from the ship started to blow down onto the beach area - for anyone who's ever smelled the exhaust from a ships engine, it's rather acrid because of the heavy bunker oil the engines burn, coupled with it's sulphur content. I roused my wife and said we had to move as the smell was giving me a headache and irritating my throat and sinuses - she agreed it wasn't exactly pleasant either. We moved to a different part of the island outside the area the exhaust was fouling, found two idyllic hammocks under some palm trees, climbed in, and promptly went back to relaxing again. Until the winds shifted again an hour or two later, and you guessed it....ship exhaust blowing back at us again. My wife was sleeping, but I got up and boarded the tram and toured the entire facility hoping to find another place to escape the fumes, but had no luck. I returned to my wife, said that the stink was really bothering me again, and about an hour later (after grabbing some food) we were headed back to the ship, having spent maybe a total of 4 or 5 hours ashore. I'm left wondering if our experience was one of two things - an unfortunate day during which the prevailing winds were abnormal, resulting in the exhaust blowing a direction it wouldn't normally go...or an epic lack of planning on behalf of RCI not taking prevailing winds into consideration. But it would certainly weigh heavily on any willingness to visit CocoCay again. I was so incredibly bummed after this being the one port I was so excited to visit - our previous trips to Labadee have been amongst the most amazing times we've had on cruises. Back on the topic of the ship. Out stateroom was excellent - we really enjoyed the new look of the Quantum class ships, and the bathroom and shower setup were both nice. As we had a "Guarantee" balcony stateroom we ended up being directly below the pool deck, however either the engineering of this modern ship, or the layout of the deck above meant that we heard virtually nothing at all above us, which was great, and rather unexpected - I had packaged earplugs just in case, but never needed them. Some noise was evident from the overhang above our balcony, but it wasn't terrible. As mentioned earlier, our stateroom attendant was most excellent - the *only* crew member we ended up tipping extra to. On the downside, RCI decided to not clean the balconies until well into our cruise (in the latter half of our second port day) meaning that almost every hour we were actually able to enjoy sitting on our balcony (which wasn't many as the temperatures weren't exactly spectacular for much of the cruise) left us staring through a thick crust of salt. I was glad we ended up only paying $100 over and above our previously booked interior for our balcony guarantee, as otherwise I would have struggled to feel like we would have got our moneys worth, but no complaints in the grand scheme. On the topic of the crew, we were again underwhelmed. Most food venues seemed chronically understaffed, particularly the windjammer - food stations were left unattended for periods of time (my wife was left standing for 4-5 minutes waiting for someone to cut some chicken for her at the carving table in the Windjammer during dinner one evening before eventually giving up), during some meal services food trays were empty in some areas (Breakfast was problematic in that regard), and tables were left dirty for extended periods of time - to the point where many passengers ended up stacking other peoples dirty dishes and such simply to get a place to sit. Many food venues had only 1 or 2 crew staffing large areas, leading to lineups. Again, we are not new cruisers, and this was *not* our experience on any other cruise with both RCI and Carnival - there was something seriously wrong on this particular cruise. The crew themselves also seemed tired and disengaged. I get it, working on a cruise ship is far from easy. Passengers can be, and often are, jerks at worst, or sometimes needy and cantankerous at their best. The hours are long. But once again, we are not new cruisers, and the crew on Anthem in particular seemed just indifferent in many areas. It wasn't the rule (many were friendly, smiling, and enjoyable to engage with), but many others were, well...not so much. We both try exceedingly hard while cruising to be the "non jerk" type of passengers when we vacation anywhere, cruising included - we go out of our way to be polite and pleasant to crew, staying patient and friendly, smiling, saying thanks whenever it's even slightly due, saying "Hello!" with a smile in the stateroom corridors and public places, and generally trying to avoid being a pain in the bum that the crew so often deals with, so honestly, it wasn't anything we were doing. But is this crew just burned out? Or is there poor management? Who knows. It did not live up to ANY of our previous experiences with Royal Caribbean, not even close. Entertainment? Mixed feelings. My wife loved 2 of the broadway shows she attended. Spectras Cabaret was just bizarre however - some cool effects and such, but the whole underlying premise was tough to digest. The new "Crazy Quest" (replacing "The Quest" as it was called previously) was pretty much standard fare for RCI, nothing particularly new and exciting for anyone who's attended it 4 or 5 (or a million) times, aside from a new name. I was left wondering what the heck was going on with the scheduling of many activities however, with long gaps in the evenings with little doing, only to have several activities squished so close together that passengers were left feeling that they could attend one or the other, but probably not both...if the wanted to get seats, anyways. Unlike many other ships were shows and such would be setup so that both early and late dining room seatings would have an opportunity to attend different shows at different times, on Anthem many shows were one time only, or worse yet, nearly overlapping. Drink pricing? It's a good thing neither my wife nor I are big drinkers - the unlimited alcohol package has zero appeal to us, but on the one evening during a show in 270 when we each decided to enjoy a beverage, one beer for myself and a strawberry daiquiri for my wife was $27!? The Daquiri was of course little more than the standard fare premix blended with ice and the rum just poured over the top of it in a big pool. No effort to blend or mix it. Not even a tiny piece of fruit or anything to dress it up. The bartender seemed put out that he was being asked to even make it. Had to ask for a straw. I got back to my chair only to find out that the beer was mostly warm...but the show had started and I wasn't about to make 20 people in our aisle move twice for me to trudge back and exchange it. Again, just more disappointment. And lastly, the monetization has reached insane levels it seems. Photographers...everywhere, and not all would take "No thanks" for an answer. Junk constantly on sale in the promenade plugging up foot traffic with it's customary loud annoying announcements. The broad selection of desert and snack items that you used to be able to enjoy as complementary in various venues across the ship are now gone, replaced by either cookies (oh, yay), or a small selection of slices of what were very clearly previously frozen cakes and such. But you can still buy some of the premium desert options at the Patisserie in the Promenade if you want, but be prepared to stand in a long line, and pay up for the privilege. We were hassled to book up-sell dining options during dinner in the Windjammer. The galley tour that was often free in the past on many other RCI ships was now an additional cost item for which we were also hassled to book during another meal. It just seemed to go on and on. We tired of it. Seriously. It was ANNOYING. On a positive note, the new Royal Caribbean app is excellent - we found it a useful tool for everything we could possibly need whilst on the ship, from booking dinner reservations to seeing the lineup of activities and such on the ship that day. It seemingly completely replaced the need for the printed "Cruise Compass" that is customarily delivered to you stateroom every night, but that still arrived regardless - it seemed like a waste of paper as we just tossed it most nights. I just wish that RCI would institute a messaging option through the app so that people could stay in touch with each other - I'd gladly have paid a few dollars for the privilege. The disembarkation process at the conclusion of our cruise was quick and fast - we opted for the 7AM self-disembark which helped I'm sure. Lets not get started on the disaster that was our Uber trip back to our hotel (to retrieve our car), but that's another story, and certainly not RCI's fault. I'm seriously losing faith in Uber here. ;) In the end, as my title suggests, we were quite frankly left completely underwhelmed with our cruise. I sit back now and ask myself if our expectations were just too high, or perhaps we were just so excited that even an average cruise would have seemed mediocre, but I genuinely feel that neither of those things came into play - it really just WAS an underwhelming cruise. Our excitement about the Quantum class ships is gone, and frankly, if this experience of ultra-monetization of everything possible points towards the future of what RCI is going to offer across their fleet, they will be seeing less of us, or we will simply go elsewhere completely - we are not the sort of cruisers who feel obligated to any sort of brand loyalty, and no, even the perks of our increasing Crown and Anchor status don't mater that much to us - Being able to sit in the Diamond Lounge or having reserved seats at a show in a special aisle doesn't cut it for us if - we are looking for an enjoyable overall experience. Sadly, Anthem did not deliver. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Avid cruiser in my 40's with a teen child. We have been on 10+ cruises, this a first on Anthem. Was worried after reading a few of the last reviews, however, we were thrilled with the experience. We were fortunate to be in a suite ... Read More
Avid cruiser in my 40's with a teen child. We have been on 10+ cruises, this a first on Anthem. Was worried after reading a few of the last reviews, however, we were thrilled with the experience. We were fortunate to be in a suite which provided some add'l perks that were well worth it. The higher pricing gave us the following: All meals in Coastal Kitchen (way better than pushing around the Windjammer and trying to find a seat). Concierge lounge VIP seating for shows Cocktail hours I can't say we ate at the main DR, but, everyone we spoke to love the food. Add'l info on specialty dining: Wunderland- eh, experience was interesting, but our 14 yo was not adventurous and meal took 3 hours. Chops- We loved every meal there and staff was excellent Izumi- fantastic sushi and great staff Jamie's- ate there once, decent, but a little bland. Vintages- we were there everday and Z (manager) was great and fantastic wines Coastal Kitchen (suite dining)- great food and service Excursions- FL- Did Cocoa beach and Ron Jon shopping Nassua- on ship Coco Cay- Wow, really impressed and plenty of seating to lounge by pools or beach. Our daughter did the water park and loved it. Entertainment: Spectra Cabaret- Fantastic show and entertainment We will rock you- Great singing, a bit too long though Lou Gazzarra- Wow, he was an amazing singer with a humbling story to fame. Lastly, we will definitely go back. Best cruise we've had in years! Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Absolutely LOVED this ship!! it was sold out for thanksgiving week - we had 2 connecting balconies but the rooms were on the 6th deck, right above the smoking area on deck 5 =( Booooo... we would often get a waft of smoke up to our room, ... Read More
Absolutely LOVED this ship!! it was sold out for thanksgiving week - we had 2 connecting balconies but the rooms were on the 6th deck, right above the smoking area on deck 5 =( Booooo... we would often get a waft of smoke up to our room, so we really didn't use the balconies too much. it was weird cause we weren't looking straight down into the water like previous balcony rooms but all good. we did my time dining and it was amazing. the service was impeccable, food was obviously made by skilled chefs who love their job. we know the hustle involved and even with those long days, the staff went out of their way for us - at every turn. even giving us indian food at dinner without being asked, and telling us the night they had indian food in WJ - - and that was some legit indian food for real. never had a bad meal. Jamies italian was equally impressive and Wonderland was incredible. What a great experience. our room steward was Duvall who was awesome to deal with. service-minded and just a fun guy, caring, genuine. we totally LOVED the entertainment - all the shows were amazing. these cast members are so talented and work so hard - i just wish that the crowd gave them more noise for their efforts. WE WILL ROCK YOU was better than i expected, THE GIFT had some great covers of music tunes, and SPECTRA's cabaret was very very weird but the cast is amazing. Two70 room is simply incredible. the best use of space on the ship! Went there and chilled out a few times between shows, nice cafe attached, the sound in that room is sick!! the robotic-arm TV's were so cool, with all of the back screens in use.. sound quality was better than a movie theater. I would definitely recommend using this space. it took us 25minutes to get on the ship once we walked into the port - AMAZING!! it took us 20 minutes to get off the boat at the end!! So hassle-free !! Perfect Day was incredible. we had a cabana and access to waterpark and that was such a fun day. they need to spend more time in port at Perfect Day for sure...8-9hrs was not enough! Ifly was so incredible as well. but it's only one minute in the chamber =( .. what an exhilarating ride! Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Hi everyone. We (2) have cruised Anthem 5x now, and this week we were joined by family and friends for a total of 8 of us—5 adults, two 10 year olds and one 13 year old. We arrived at the port around 10:45am. Short line to ... Read More
Hi everyone. We (2) have cruised Anthem 5x now, and this week we were joined by family and friends for a total of 8 of us—5 adults, two 10 year olds and one 13 year old. We arrived at the port around 10:45am. Short line to drop our luggage and then parked in the deck. Take your ticket with you and pay as soon as the ship gets back; you need the paid receipt to exit the parking deck. Inside the port upon arrival it was different from our last time there (2018) as now the check-in people are beyond the Security area only. If you had checked in on the Royal app, you could go to the very short expedited line for security. Found a check-in person after security and the people in front of us had not printed their boarding pass and there were some wifi issues, so their check-in was delayed as a paper boarding pass had to be printed. We had paper copies as a backup and it worked fine. Keep it handy as you will be asked to show it several times before you’re on the ship. Still, it is a quick and painless process at this port for the most part. Headed to the Windjammer and it wasn’t too crowded yet. Found a nice spot at the back of the room and all of us found food we enjoyed. Wandered around the ship to wait for our cabins to be ready. Some signed up for iFly. Cabins were ready around 1:15 I think and we dropped our bags off. Love the balcony cabin design and its ample storage space. We had the larger, angled balcony which was very nice although a bit tunnel-like. I didn’t like that there was a crew door across from us and it was quite noisy in the mornings with room service deliveries all coming through that door, and luggage the last night. Cabin is still in good condition and everything worked well. Love that the one light in the bathroom stays on to act as a nightlight. We did sailaway from the bar area in Two70 since it was cold outside. We love this spot on this ship, in fact, Two70 is so beautiful. Note there is a library on the top level. CC M&M was in Music Hall at 10am first sea day. There was a raffle for a few RC items and I brought a few donated CC items I handed out upon arrival, and also two CC tote bags to raffle off but it seems the host gave both to one person. Then bingo was setting up before our 30 min M&M was over so there wasn’t any time left for us to mingle. I believe a slot pull was done after this. We ate at the WJ for breakfast, lunch and dinner several times, a few times in the MDR with mytime dining although we had reservations for 2 of the 3 nights we ate there. Lobster night was on day 7, and our request for an oval or round table for our group of 8 was not honored and we ended up again at two 4-tops which is not the most sociable way to enjoy eating together. That was disappointing, even though I recognized that it was a request that may not be honored. Our dinner for eight that night took way too long—we were there for over two hours. We watched other people arrive, eat and leave in that amount of time. Not sure what took so long but even when we sat down it had to be 10 minutes till servers came over to us. Was not a great impression for those with us who were new to RC. And the talk about the survey. . .I wish DR staff would stop telling us how to rate them. This seems to happen every RC cruise. The last night we all ate at the Solarium Bistro which is much faster since appy and side dishes are buffet style with your main course off a menu. We all enjoyed the food for the most part. I think if you don’t find something you like onboard, you are too picky! When my bro and SIL tried to use one of their drink BOGO in the dining room it seemed to cause a tremendous amount of confusion to the point where they said forget it. One server said they had used it, another said they had not. I told them to go to GS to straighten out, but the next day when they ordered wine in the Solarium, the server brought the 2 wines and told them he used their BOGO. So clearly it was there but DR staff could not figure that out. Shows we went to were We Will Rock You which is excellent, although a bit too long in our opinion. Performers and musicians are fabulous. Spectra’s Cabaret I see every time on Anthem, if not twice. Just a great show and I love the songs. We skipped the Gift. There is a new kind of show called Red in Two70 which is dancers and a dj, and guest dancing as well. Resurrection, the Journey tribute band, was onboard and they were great. The guitarist Alex is excellent too. There were people performing in Bolero’s when we walked by a few times and they seemed very good for the short time we heard them. Speaking of Bolero’s, no 2for1 drink happy hour was offered on this cruise as we’ve enjoyed on past Anthem cruises. Booked NorthStar onboard and even went up a second time the second to last day since there was hardly anyone for the next trip up. This is why I tell people on CC not to panic if you can't make a reservation before you board. We always get to go on NorthStar without a reservation. We did use the Royal app onboard w/o paying for internet. Came in handy to see what was going on and also what our balance $ was. The kids all enjoyed spending time in the SeaPlex which is such a wonderful area of the ship. They didn’t go to the kids club at all. Games, bumper cars, skating, soccer, and basketball were all held there at scheduled times. Yes, the out pool areas are very crowded on sunny, warm days. Wish this ship had water slides. Fitness center is great. Lots of nice machines. One of us did the Thermal spa: Not once did another person enter the smallish dry sauna during the many visits (at least once each day, usually 8 AM & 8 PM) with temperatures ranging from 104 in the AM to 140 in the PM. The wet sauna was preferred by the guests and the tropical/cooling mist shower was also very nice but watch the tropical setting as it overheats slightly shortly after startup before settling into a more manageable temperature. The heated loungers are nice; the room is on the cool side, so bring a robe/towel. No one uses the laughably oversized complimentary men’s shorts. Plenty of towels available in the locker rooms and sauna area and plain and fruited cold water in a gathering area on the right before the locker rooms. Bring footwear as well as the wet sauna floor is hot, hot, hot. No Captains/Officer Q&A this cruise. Went to scarf tying class in Bvlgari which was cool—learned a new way to tie an oblong scarf. We went to the Top Tier party—in the theater this time—but same old boring drinks being passed—cheap sparkling wine, red wine, chardonnay or rum punch. I remember when I could get a cocktail made easily. Alex the guitarist was playing on the stage. We adults enjoyed some of the trivia (name that tune) and won some of the RC keychains. Always fun to participate, but it seems RC is really getting cheap with the prizes. I liked the NorthStar bag in a bag as that’s useful. Or some variety. Seemed keychains were given out for everything. Host of the 70s disco tunes trivia guy, Raz, was entertaining, but among his “rules” was his song names were right. While I realize he probably was not yet born when disco was out, if you’re going to say we have to play by your rules, at least have the song titles accurately. We also noticed that some of the games we watched were not fair to all players—some ended up getting more than one chance and some were not given that chance. So don't take the games too seriously. The prizes are surely not worth it! Karaoke is always fun to watch and some singers are so good—even little kids surprised us with songs they knew. In PORT CANAVERAL we rented a car and went to Kennedy Space Center. In NASSAU we went to the beach at Atlantis. Bought the beach pass online from Atlantis ahead of time and took a taxi there for $4pp each way. COCO CAY. Was our first visit there and we like it better than Labadee. It really was a perfect day. There were some areas of sea grass and a stingray was swimming near us. The food they served was a better variety than other cruiselines do at their private islands. Even had ice cream there! Enjoyed swimming out to the docks. There are some vendors selling local wares too. We look forward to going there again sometime. The family did the waterpark passes and had a fun time. Why do they scan our bags when we come back onboard from CocoCay—it is THEIR island! We had 2 sea days to FL and 2 back and we always found fun things to do. It was disappointing that no one but us showed for the Martini clinic so they wouldn’t do it. Later in the week we went to a Mojito “demonstration” at Bolero’s that did not show a “$” next to it as other events with additional cost do, and when the hostess told the maybe 12 who had shown up for it that it was $25, most left. They won’t do the sampling unless they have 5 people, and 5 did not stay so I had a mojito anyway. But it was disappointing that they made that error in the Compass as to cost causing them to have insufficient attendance. We did the Wines From Around the World which we had pre-purchased, and it was good and fun. Tried out our 3 free (Emerald C&A) spins in the casino but didn’t win. Sadly the return home day arrived. Ship was along the dock with lines tied by 6:30. We were in line to leave at 6:50, and in our car to head home at 7:10am. Everyone went through the facial recognition screening at customs/immigration and it was super quick. Cape Liberty has their act together which is great. Other random thoughts: I heard people complaining about the mattresses but we slept just fine. Carpet is coming up in various places and that will need attention so people don’t trip. When you arrive at CocoCay, wait about 30 minutes until the rush is over and walk right off the ship. Plenty of space from which to choose to sit on the island. Get to Two70 early for any event there if you want good seat. Please speak quietly on your balcony especially at night and early in the morning. And please—no yelling and fighting! Was a fun trip on a fabulous ship! Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Took this cruise with my best friend who was my cabin mate, and my husband and young adult daughter who were cabin mates. We chose the cruise because we wanted to sail on one of the larger ships in the Royal Caribbean fleet and Bayonne is ... Read More
Took this cruise with my best friend who was my cabin mate, and my husband and young adult daughter who were cabin mates. We chose the cruise because we wanted to sail on one of the larger ships in the Royal Caribbean fleet and Bayonne is just a bit over three hours drive for us. We had expedited arrival and embarkation was quick and smooth. From parking the car to being on the ship was about 10 minutes! THE SHIP ~ the ship is really nice, but I was disappointed in the Royal Esplanade and this was a personal thing. I was comparing to the Royal Promenade on the Voyager class ships which in my opinion has a much bigger WOW factor. That being said, it was the hub of activity and the variety of shops and venues was nice. We especially liked the Music Hall. CABIN ~ we had two balcony cabins; one forward and one aft which made for a lot of good exercise walking the corridor. Our aft cabin steward, Imade, was absolutely fabulous. Our two simple requests of ice each day, and extra bath towels were met and he was always friendly. Hubby's cabin steward was efficient as well, but just not as friendly. DINING ~ We enjoyed breakfast and lunch at the Windjammer Buffet on most days and there was a nice variety of items to choose from. Everything was very tasty, but all cruise lines need to do something about rolls for burgers and dogs ~ they always seem so dry! Maybe steamers would be a good solution for that. A personal favorite is the Coconut Ranger Cookies ~ they are so addictive. We had my-time dining and ate in the dining room six of the seven nights. The food there was also very tasty. I did have issue one night with a steak not being done to my liking, and my husband thought the turkey/stuffing/gravy was better at the Windjammer. After our first night, we requested Karim as our waiter. He and his assistant were very friendly and provided great service. One downside was the head waiter coming by the last night and asking that we give top ratings because it is beneficial to "our wait staff." Our party had nothing bad to say about our service, but this should not be something that is pushed. Another issue we hate is having the photographers come while we are eating dinner. We will just decline. Sorrento's Pizza is the bomb! Especially the Caribbean Pizza. ENTERTAINMENT AND ACTIVITIES ~ We enjoyed bumper cars, iFly, and North Star. iFly is such a cool experience but I can tell you for sure that I will NEVER skydive after that experience!!! The Solarium area was really beautiful and a nice place for the adults. Karaoke is not for us either by participation or listening, but to each his own. There was a BonJovi cover band who were spot on. We did really enjoy The Royal Swedes Band and went to see them numerous times throughout our trip. The final night they were joined by some of the members of the We Will Rock You ensemble and let's just say that Zak was too "over the top" and really didn't do the band any justice. "The Gift" was a different type of show than we are used to seeing on cruise ships, but the music selections pulled the story line together nicely and the ensemble was terrific. "We Will Rock You" did exactly that!!! The plot of the show was fun and the ensemble was just FABULOUS! Such talented singers and dancers throughout. "Spectra's Cabaret" ~ well, all we can say is WT????? Absolutely confusing and NOT entertaining at all. Wouldn't be surprised if that show doesn't last long. My husband and I spent a tiny bit of time in the casino ~ it is just too smoky. Another thing cruise ships need to work on. We are non-smokers and spend a decent amount of time in our local NON-SMOKING casino. Having a non-smoking section is just totally useless when there is absolutely NO separation between the two areas. In our opinion, it's just like it used to be in restaurants before smoking was banned. Really, if people want to gamble they will do it whether they can smoke or not, the same as when they go out to eat and have to go outside to a designated area to smoke. I don't need to get sick because of your addiction. Yes, I know we have a choice and so we choose to extremely limit our time ~ it's the cruise line's loss. PORTS AND SHORE EXCURSIONS ~ Our itinerary was changed twice due to weather issues. We didn't let that bother us because mother nature is the culprit. We figure we are not cooking and cleaning, but are having great meals and entertainment and activities, and our cabins is being taken care of so we still had a great time. We enjoyed our beach day at Coco Cay. All adults so we didn't do the water park. The barbeque lunch was good and plentiful, as were the island drinks. The CocoLoco is YUM!!! SERVICE ~ I saved this for last because this was the NOT SO ROYAL part of our trip. Due to the fact that we were docked in Bayonne for 2.5 days and the fact that we have unlimited service on our phones, the VOOM package that our daughter purchased was not necessary for those days. She requested that those days be refunded and was flat out refused. On top of that, the internet was very sketchy for the entire cruise and there were many times when she did not have service. Nothing like paying for a service and it doesn't work most of the time. The biggest fiasco, however, was the "ship's IT services" which seemed to always be down. We had to visit guest services 5+ times to get things credited properly when they weren't being applied to the proper person in our cabins, for when our daughter got charged three times for one drink when the bionic bar malfunctioned, and when they credited our NASA port excursion incorrectly. AND, they still aren't correct when reviewing our final statements!!!!! We don't understand how difficult it is when you have names and credit card numbers for each cabin. If they could just get this right from the beginning they would probably have 75% less people standing in line at guest services. They can build a $30 million dollar technologically outfitted show area ~ Two70 ~ but they can't properly charge a cabin account. One thing that frustrated MANY including us was all of the confusion for Sunday football and where the games would be shown. Come on people, we've watched football on every cruise we've ever been on. They started the game late in the Music Hall and we had to watch without sound on the upper level, because we were being tortured by karaoke on the lower level. Sorry, but that's just poor planning!!!!! Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
I just want to warn anyone traveling on Anthem of the Seas, please learn how to look for bed bugs before you suffer the stress of being exposed to them. I am in constant fear that my home will be impacted. I experienced the horror of ... Read More
I just want to warn anyone traveling on Anthem of the Seas, please learn how to look for bed bugs before you suffer the stress of being exposed to them. I am in constant fear that my home will be impacted. I experienced the horror of finding bed bugs crawling on the sheet of my bed. I killed one and scooped up another and took it to guest services in a plastic bag. We were exposed for days and it is absolutely unacceptable! We were moved to another cabin and our clothes were washed. I have reached out to Royal Caribbean to find out how my luggage was treated but they have not responded. My luggage is outside and will remain there until I decontaminate it myself or dispose of it. In addition to the bed bugs, the cabin sink drain and shower drain were full of mold. It makes me wonder if any cleaning took place at all. A far as the other aspects of the cruise, dining was okay. Some of the entertainment was good. Some was not so good. We did not like Spectra's Cabaret but The Gift was okay and We Will Rock You was good. My kids enjoyed the indoor skydiving as well as the activities in the Sea Plex. Getting on and off the ship was quick and easy. Service overall was fine but we did have difficulty making a reservation for specialty dining. We had a voucher that they would not honor. I had to go to guest services and have them intervene in order to make the reservation. I thought many of the excursions were on the expensive side and I also thought Co Co Cay was crowded when were there as two ships were in port. I took a while for us to find empty lounge chairs. I am not crazy about the fact that the ship visited Nassau as there is currently a travel warning about violent crime in Nassau. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
My wife and i sailed on the anthem for the second time on a cruise to new england and canada. We were both disappointed this time with most everything on the ship especially the food. The food quality in both the specialty restaurants and ... Read More
My wife and i sailed on the anthem for the second time on a cruise to new england and canada. We were both disappointed this time with most everything on the ship especially the food. The food quality in both the specialty restaurants and the dining room were less than average. We ate in chops 3 times and once in jamies and were for the most part disappointed. We had a balcony room in what i thought should have been a very quiet location room 10572, slightly forward of mid ships, however it was quite noisy, possibly just noisy neighbors but quite annoying. I must comment on embarkation and disembarkation which was outstanding, and parking right next to the pier was also a pleasure. Overall will not be sailing on the anthem anytime soon. As for the excursions we did kennebunkport and scenic cruise in a rainstorm, the scenic cruise was cancelled and we were refunded that portion of the excursion, however we were left in town for approximately 2+ hours and not allowed back on the bus which proved to be a mess with the heavy rain. The other excursions acadia national park, st andrews by the sea and peggy's cove were all good, our tour guide for st andrews lynn adams was hysterical, very entertaining. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Picked the Anthem to experience a big ship and visit Bermuda which I had not seen in 30 years. The Pros: Cabin 3652 was larger than expected. Quiet too! The crowd was not a problem. Service was spectacular everywhere. The Cons: Food was ... Read More
Picked the Anthem to experience a big ship and visit Bermuda which I had not seen in 30 years. The Pros: Cabin 3652 was larger than expected. Quiet too! The crowd was not a problem. Service was spectacular everywhere. The Cons: Food was just ok. Seems like everything was overcooked. We only ate at the main dining room once. There were two tables behind us that were part of a group. They constantly shouted to each other. We could not here our table's conversation. Drinks in the dining room were tiny. All drinks were very expensive. $12 -$16 for a bourbon. Best Bar was in the Solarium. Bartenders remembered our drink and the pour was better. That being said, we do not drink enough to make the packages worth it. On other ships, we were able to buy a bottle and mixers or carafs. Options not offered on the Anthem. Entertainment: While most people seem to complain, I thought the shows were very good. Talent was superior. On the other hand, thought the one comedian we saw was boring. Make the reservations and show up 20-30 minutes for best seats. Nothing was overly crowded. Bermuda: well can't stop progress. Thought the Hamilton has lost it's charm. Ate at the popular Hog Penny. Food was just ok. But atmosphere worth going for drinks. Horseshoe Beach: Absolutely worth going. We opted for ship's excursion thinking. What a mistake. Left 15 minutes late. Told us we would leave the beach 15 minutes later than previously scheduled. Also told wait at the same spot where we were dropped off. Wrong. Left us stranded. Took the $7 shuttle. Great experience. Driver funny and informative. Absolutely avoid the ship's excursion. If you get to the beach by 10am, plenty of spots available and chairs and umbrellas to rent. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Getting on the ship in Bayonne was a breeze, this was my 7th cruise and by far the easiest and quickest check in. Average age on this cruise had to be in the 70's but that was expected considering the destination and the time of ... Read More
Getting on the ship in Bayonne was a breeze, this was my 7th cruise and by far the easiest and quickest check in. Average age on this cruise had to be in the 70's but that was expected considering the destination and the time of year. The shows and other entertainment was excellent, We Will Rock You was the best, if you like Queen you will really enjoy it. Spectres Cabaret was OK it had its highs and lows. The Gift is not worth the time, still trying to figure out what was going on. The service on Anthem was excellent, our cabin steward Anak on deck 8 was great, anything we needed we received in a timely manner. He always had a smile and asked if we were having a good time and if there was anything he could do for us. Our waiter Vijay in the MDR was also very good. The food in the Windjammer buffet was very good especially dinner and there was also a nice variety. Now for the tweeks, the menu in the MDR did not have much variety. Maybe it's my own likes and dislikes but other RCCL menus I've experienced had a better variety, still the food we ordered was prepared nicely and was very tasty. I was under the impression from past cruises that the drink of the day was the same at all bars and lounges for that day, not on Anthem, it seemed every bar and lounge had a different drink of the day on the same day. Maybe if the drink of the day was posted on the cruise compass it would help because the bartenders were looking at it searching for whatever the drink of the day was. It would also be nice if the drinks made had the same consistency, I ordered the same drink at 3 different places and I received it in 3 different colors. We had a balcony cabin which was your basic cabin enough room for a couple. Getting off the ship was also quick and painless, we were off the ship and in our car in about 15 minutes. Overall a good time was had by all and I would sail on Anthem again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
The ship was great. It is a beautiful ship but starting to show wear and tear. All the public area sitting areas are in need of upgrades. This turned out to be one of my favorite ships. To start, we had to wait 12 hours before leaving ... Read More
The ship was great. It is a beautiful ship but starting to show wear and tear. All the public area sitting areas are in need of upgrades. This turned out to be one of my favorite ships. To start, we had to wait 12 hours before leaving Bayonne, due to the weather. The next day when we did leave, we were pretty much in a Nor'easter. One family member had a 3rd deck window cabin and the waves were over the window. But the Cabin held the ship steady and was constantly in contact with the passengers with announcements. Dining was very good. we had the Chops Grille for lunch when we boarded. I advise for $22.00 it was a fantastic lunch and did not have to fight the crowd. The food in the main dinning Silk was good, but the service was ok. I would say the buffet was one of the best. The managers, Murat, Hilton and Imokang were the best of the best. Always making sure we had everything or whatever we needed. Sorrentos for pizza is the best, and Café Promenade was perfect for med day or late night snack and coffee. One of the best surprise was Two70. Breakfast or lunch was a nice hideaway. Shows- We Will Rock You was the best of the three shows. Staff - was very good and friendly. Casino - was on the smaller side. I did not do well in the casino, but someone won $20,000 on this cruise. Bingo - we are bingo players and we loved Lars. He is very personable. Did not see much of the Cruise Director Mitch and I couldn't tell you who the AD was. I do have to say that this ship had the slowest elevators of the 15 cruises I have taken. But we got use to that or took the stairs. Ports - Boston - we took an Uber into Boston and walked around. It was fun. Portland - We walked the area. They had craft tents along the main road. It was ok, we just walked around. Bar Harbor - We did an excursion thru the ship to Arcadia National Park, it was beautiful. We walked the town and then had a lobster roll sandwich. It was ok, but the blueberry pie was better. Halifax - We booked this thru the ship. We went to Peggy's Cove, it was beautiful and the bus ride out there was gorgeous because of the fall foliage. However, we also went to the Titanic cemetery. It was never told to us that because of construction we had to park further The hills up and down were tough. It said it would be dusk when we got there, lol. It was dark! Car headlights on etc. The guide actually borrowed my phone for the flashlight to show some of the headstones. I did complain about this when we got back, but they would not do a thing. St. Johns - did not get off, 40 mph winds and rain. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Embarkation was simple and fast once you got past the traffic at the port but we absolutely hated the emergency drill. It was a very bad start to the cruise as we were piled into an area that couldn't cope with the volume of people. ... Read More
Embarkation was simple and fast once you got past the traffic at the port but we absolutely hated the emergency drill. It was a very bad start to the cruise as we were piled into an area that couldn't cope with the volume of people. About half the people had to stand for 30+ mins depending on the time of arrival at the drill and next time I absolutely won't be arriving early for it. You were then made to suffer an awful video that really didn't highlight the safety features in case of an emergency. As that was done, the Captain then came on and droned on for another 10 minutes about how he hoped we have a great cruise, what the barometric pressure was and all sorts of crap while we were penned in, hot and wanting to get on with life. Basically it was 45 mins of torture and while we appreciate safety is important, other ships can do this in 10 mins by outlining the important things instead of making it last an insufferable length of time. The other annoying factor about embarkation procedures was being told by check in staff that cabins would be available at 1pm. We waited until 1.15pm to go to our room and then discovered a sign on the fire door stating 1.30pm. Quite why no-one can make an announcement on the ship to this effect is beyond us? Everyone understands delays can happen and in the grand scheme of things it's a small detail, but communication goes a long way and RCCL could easily have prevented hundreds of people being annoyed if only they had made an announcement on board. After the poor start, we then had a treat as the Captain got permission to sail past the Statue of Liberty and take a good look at Manhattan. So that put us back in a good mood and we then went on to have a very enjoyable cruise. Lots of choice for entertainment options but do agree with other reviews about the planning. Not a lot seemed to make sense. As an example, the silent disco ran one night at 11pm and that's utterly absurd given the age group of most travelers and how long after dinner it was. The second time it ran was the last night at a more reasonable 9pn and it seemed lots of people enjoyed it. Not really sure why it was given only two nights on a 9 night sailing. Enjoyed "We Will Rock You" and "The Gift" but wasn't wowed as other folks seem to have been by "Spectre's Cabaret." There were some negatives such as the food being a little disappointing and we never really felt like we wanted to get off a ship before as we were so bored with the food being offered. I will say that we didn't do any of the specialty restaurants as something of a protest over the way pricing has gone on RCCL. In the past it used to be a cover charge of $20 to $25 for specialty restaurants and that was reasonable, so instead, we took great delight in saving our money for the ports of call and keeping our on ship charges as low as we could. I know the cruise-lines all have targets of trying to wring $1000 to $2000 out of each passenger on a 7 day cruise but the nickeling and diming is now out of proportion to the actual experience enjoyed. Further, we made one trip to guest services to ask a couple of questions but they weren't particularly helpful when asked a question so we just didn't bother going there again. The ship itself is generally well thought out and space used wisely. We did miss not having the Viking Crown lounge or a forward facing lounge area but quite understand why the ship doesn't have these features. We also missed being able to walk around the entire ship on a lower deck and having a forward view. The ports of call were the reason we chose this sailing and we really enjoyed each and every one of them. Disembarkation was a breeze. Literally seconds stood in front of a camera and away you went. Easiest ever and a very nice surprise when you are expecting to line up for a while. Finally, to our fellow passengers, we met some lovely people and we met some very rude people who only had thoughts about themselves. I suppose that's usual in all walks of life but we've never experienced such blatant disregard for other humans as we did on this cruise and perhaps that's because of where we sailed from? At the end of the day, happy to be home and to cherish the good memories we made. I'm still hoping for that perfect cruise that the glossy brochures promise and the quest will go on! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Overall, loved this ship! The staff was amazing (compared to that of Adventure of the Seas)! Our room steward, Putu, was so personal and really made us feel at home. The ship was very clean and fairly classy looking. The bionic bar broke ... Read More
Overall, loved this ship! The staff was amazing (compared to that of Adventure of the Seas)! Our room steward, Putu, was so personal and really made us feel at home. The ship was very clean and fairly classy looking. The bionic bar broke down a couple times, but staff was on top of it and got it fixed as quickly as possible. I enjoyed all 3 main shows, though, We Will Rock You could have been better (it was a little weird). Spectre's Cabaret was my absolute favorite! It was so much fun...almost like one big dance party! Loved Two70. It was nice to go in during the vistarama and just enjoy the atmosphere. Only two complaints: 1)the guest services staff could've been more accommodating...they seemed very put off by any passenger that had and issue 2)the port of Halifax was a waste of time, in my honest opinion...pretty dirty place and not much to do there. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Lets start with the false advertising...We booked this boat because of how amazing this boat looks on the RC website. Too bad it’s all fake! There’s NO H2O water park, there’s only half the restaurants they claim, no outdoor sports ... Read More
Lets start with the false advertising...We booked this boat because of how amazing this boat looks on the RC website. Too bad it’s all fake! There’s NO H2O water park, there’s only half the restaurants they claim, no outdoor sports courts, no self leveling pool tables, no children’s playgrounds as displayed, only a couple of the shows they claim...it’s basically like they took all the best pictures of their entire fleet and all the best everything and pretend it’s on every boat. Things like the kilbasa, sausage restaurant literally being a tiny HOT DOG food truck in the corner of the arena. The bionic bar was just an afterthought, “slap a couple robots in the middle of a hallway with chairs”...The opposite of what the pictures show. 4 year olds CANT DO ANYTHING despite being 42 inches tall, must be 5 and up. How has no one sued them yet??? We requested twin beds. Only to arrive with a king and couldn’t be separated. No gifts for anniversary and birthdays. Don’t bother telling them your celebrating. WARNING!!!!! - They canceled the royal IQ app last month (yet still advertise it) so if you’ve already booked with family thinking you can text each other, FORGET IT. Seems like a game to make you buy internet. They cancel shows and move shows around just like everyone sais...we had 2 shows booked. One was canceled and one was moved forward which we missed because they didn’t announce it. My 4 year old was in tears because we booked the final showing and they canceled it. Soda machines out, no ice, no waiter getting you drinks during buffet meals, ice cream machine broke, HORRIBLE. If you’re an experienced cruiser, prepare for dissapointment. Awful awful ship. Very misleading and everything’s broken. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We have cruised a lot, like 24 times, with different lines, but the majority with Disney usually on the Magic. We do long cruises, so nine days was quite short for us. It didn't start well, as once booked I contacted RCL to see if ... Read More
We have cruised a lot, like 24 times, with different lines, but the majority with Disney usually on the Magic. We do long cruises, so nine days was quite short for us. It didn't start well, as once booked I contacted RCL to see if they had my Crown and Anchor number, as I couldn't find the details. Although it was back in 2000, they had no record of us cruising with them. I sent them a photo of my old dated Compass copies, they couldn't accept these. I gave up, they did however have our Celebrity cruises listed! We stayed four nights in New York before the cruise. When we got on board, I found our drinks package wasn't showing. I went to guest services, waiting for 20 minutes and was told it wasn't there. I had purchased it, because it had gone up $40 within a few days on the website and I was worried it would go up again. At the time when it went up over night, I thought this was a bit unfair. Even more unfair was that the transaction hadn't gone through and once the cruise date comes, the information on your web log in, is wiped! We had to purchase the package on board, which cost us even more - an extra $12 per day per person! So now, I'm thinking this all seems a bit 'nickle and diming' and it doesn't feel a good way to start a cruise. The cabin was great, a standard balcony room. Very clean, good air con. However the cabin stewardess told us off for leaving the door open at night, we love the sound of the waves, 'as the flies come in'!! The ship is large, but inside doesn't appear as large as some of the other ships we have been on. However, the spaces are all a bit strange for their uses. The visibility in the theatre was rubbish from upstairs with perspex screens and bars in the way, even in the front row balcony you had to lean forward. The schooner bar was what should have been a lovely piano lounge had people walking through and lifts at the end. It also seemed to have lots of quizzes, which kind of spoiled the ambiance a little. The Music Hall was enormous and always empty. The bands that played were good, but it was dark and not somewhere I wanted to hang out in. The pub was just basic, no comfort, very plain, very small, nothing like a real pub although the service and attention we had here was the best on the whole ship. It was extremely uncomfortable and basic. There was Solero lounge, which was more of what we like, but always had a dance band in, with people doing ballroom and we felt that was the crowd that was in there,the music was always the same, a sort of swing waltzy type of music. The large area at the back, wasn't really a lounge bar, more of an area to eat from the sandwich shop, or to see the show on the big screen. Again, not somewhere to really sit and be comfortable, the seats are hard leather and the layout to get through to one area to another isn't easy. I felt a bit like I was in a maze! We had My TIme dining, which we tried to book a time for. However, we ended up having to queue for 15 minutes or more each night, it was bedlam! We were in Silk, which was again, dark and very cheaply decorated. The tables were so close and cramped we could hear every word our neighbours said. The service was shocking, cold food, water not refilled and waiting for wine to come, we were on mains, before it turned up. We ate in Silk twice and then ate up in the buffet after that. We love leisurely meals in lovely surroundings on our cruises, but the buffet was quieter and a much nicer environment to sit in. If you ever told me I wouldn't eat in a dining room on a cruise, I would not have believed it! We had breakfast in Silk, once, the experience was so awful, we didn't again. We ate at Chops, which was okay, although my sea bass was over cooked. The service was a little better. We ate at Wonderland, which was fun, but the service was poor. We had to ask each time for water to be refilled and waiting for wine. In fact my other half nearly went off to the bar to get it himself. The shows were okay. We will Rock You is great. The Gift has great costumes, staging and design, but was a little hard to follow the story - just a bit weird. Spectra was not at all impressive. The comedian was good, if a little 'near the mark', but that was it! Nine nights and we found ourselves wandering around, not knowing where to go, we don't do Bingo, we don't do quizzes, we don't do ballroom, so we went back to the cabin a lot of the time. It needs a nice quiet relaxing, comfortable piano bar, something a little more classy than a pub or music hall. The bionic bar was good and do the best cocktails ever, because the quantities are standard. Sadly the bar staff all make cocktails differently, thinking they are doing you a favour by putting an extra slug in for you, but it upsets the balance. I don't think one Sangria we had was the same as another. Other half drinks brown beer, but the only one they had was Newcastle Brown, which is the UK is a pretty cheap beer. The stuff that winos on the street drink, or 'lads on the lash'. This was only available in the pub, so wherever we were, he had to go and get one himself.. A few times we were up in the North Star bar, but he had to go down and get a beer. None of the staff offered to go for him, when he asked for it, which is unheard of on most ships. There were some good activities Ifly, Surfing and climbing. Dodgems had a huge queue and you only got about five minutes. Our teen said the kids clubs were disappointing and very plain and unexciting, with only a few X boxes, but she enjoyed going. The language of some of the children around the ship was shocking. I don't expect to hear the F word used as a matter of course and perhaps the counselors could have reiterated a code of conduct. My daughter said it was the same in the club! We only did one excursion, which was to Peggy's Cove and Hop on Hop off bus. However, once you get back from Peggy's Cove, there isn't really time to do the bus, so was a bit of a waste really. The excursions are certainly cheaper than those on other ships we have been on, although the guy selling them had no idea what they encompassed and told us that the bus went to the Titantic Cemetery too, which was next to the museum. I didn't think this was the case, as the museum was by the ship, but he insisted we could do the cemetery and museum - we couldn't! Getting on and getting off was fantastic, a well oiled machine and the best on any ship we have been on. The food was good in the buffet and probably some of the best we have seen, the layout in there was excellent. Othe rhalf wasn't happy seeing people go into dinner in the restaurant in skimpy shorts and vest tops, there should be a standard for dinner at least. Would we cruise RCL again? Probably not. It was very disappointing. As new cruisers after a long break to RCL it was their chance to 'get us in', they failed. As my grandmother would say, it was all 'fur coat and no knickers' Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We sailed on the Celebrity Summit from Bayonne NJ in the summer of 2018 and had such a great time we booked onboard for the summer of 2019. On both sailings the crew were attentive and entertaining. The ship had a refurbishment at the ... Read More
We sailed on the Celebrity Summit from Bayonne NJ in the summer of 2018 and had such a great time we booked onboard for the summer of 2019. On both sailings the crew were attentive and entertaining. The ship had a refurbishment at the beginning of 2019 and the cabins are spectacular. They have been given a clean, contemporary look which is pleasing to the eye. This has brought the Summit cabins to a similar feel and quality of Celebrity’s newer vessels. The thing that Celebrity is known for is their food quality. The abundance and quality on this cruise was outstanding whether in the Oceanview Café (daily buffet) or in the Cosmopolitan (main dining room). Both of these venues have been refurbished and are absolutely beautiful. All areas are kept immaculately clean and food presentation is a spectacle. If you like shopping on board, you have many choices of high end shops and boutiques, all offering tax free goods. As a family we enjoy general knowledge trivia and found the entertainment staff excellent, especially Rhuss and Dominick. Stateroom attendant Ian and our waiter and asst. waiter Donovan and Darshena deserve a special mention, always giving service with a smile. Nothing was too much trouble for any of them. I had an issue with noise from crew members so I talked with the Hotel Manager Danuta and the Front Desk Manager Miguel. They both listened to my concerns and were not dismissive, rectifying the problem and checking in with me daily to make sure that I was happy! Now that’s service! Celebrity are an amazing company who truly value their guests. I use the word guests, as that is how you are made to feel. An outstanding experience. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
This was my 10 year old's first cruise, and it was amazing for her! I have been on multiple cruise lines, but have always enjoyed RCL most of all. The ship, though approaching 20 years old, is still in amazing shape. Our cabin, ... Read More
This was my 10 year old's first cruise, and it was amazing for her! I have been on multiple cruise lines, but have always enjoyed RCL most of all. The ship, though approaching 20 years old, is still in amazing shape. Our cabin, 8522, was great, and the only problem we had was that the couch was dirty, rock hard and broken, and really unusable. Everything else on the cruise was amazing. One point of info for anyone choosing this ship: In each room is what they call a refrigerator, but the label on the front states that it is only a cooler, and it does not keep anything cold. We just had our amazing cabin steward provide ice each day, and problem solved! The main dining room food was very good, and the staff granted every request within their power (Amal and Valary were amazing). Our only complaint was that despite booking a table for 2 in advance, and visiting the maitre d' the first day, they would not give us the requested table. We were seated by mistake with a traveling gambling group, and moved to another large table the next day, stating that they made a mistake. I really wish they would create more space for parties of 2 who wish for privacy. Overall, the rest of the cruise was amazing! Plenty to keep my daughter busy, and it was fun just exploring. Coco Cay was absolutely amazing, and renting a beach bed was totally worth every penny! We were the last ship to leave the island before they evacuated for Hurricane Dorian, but the staff did not pass along any of the anxiety or concern they must have felt to their passengers. Nassau leaves a lot to be desired, but our excursion to Blue Lagoon to swim with the dolphins was a dream come true! I would highly recommend this ship/cruise line to anyone looking for a fun, relaxing, exciting cruise. Port Liberty is a breeze for embarkation, and opens a whole new world of cruising to anyone hesitant to fly. Additionally, I think the humanitarian efforts RCL put into aiding the Bahamas post-Dorian is outstanding, and just makes me more of an RCL loyal fan! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Even a mediocre cruise is great when compared to being at work, that said we have had better times the last two summers on NCL. Overall we had a good time, but I dont think anything stood out as much better than NCL. Unfortunately a few ... Read More
Even a mediocre cruise is great when compared to being at work, that said we have had better times the last two summers on NCL. Overall we had a good time, but I dont think anything stood out as much better than NCL. Unfortunately a few areas did seem noticeably worse. Room steward did his job, but there was almost no engagement. He didnt even say hello until the second day. On NCL we were constantly greeted, and from the very first moment asked our preferences or requests. Much preferred the buffet on NCL to RCCL, but I would give a slight nod to RCCL on the main dining room food..especially of course lobster night. Johnny Rockets was a total waste of time and money... I actually requested a refund. Food was OK, but waiter was rude. We took my son there to experience the singing and dancing and the waiter laughed at us when I asked about it...then ignored us. There was also a "Frozen Yogurt" machine.... Ingreidients: water,corn syrup, hydrogenated palm oil, non fat milk solids... Not yogurt, not even close. Activities on board were good for kids. We missed the ropes courses from NCL, but they had the Flow Rider, and the ice skating rink. Ice skating was a really nice feature althought the sign up process is unnecessarily painful. Shows were just plain horrid. I commented to my wife how weird it was that the graphics were so bad on the screens during the show. A guy standing by us said that he was on the ship 15 years earlier and it was because it was the SAME EXACT SHOW... nothing was updated. Finally, the worst part of the experience for me was the kids club. It was nowhere near as nice as NCL. It functioned more like a baby sitting area, than a club that kids would want to go to. At least during the evening hours, staff-kid ratio was really bad. I felt bad for the girl working, and for the kids. All said and done, if I ever sail RCCL again it would likely be for the opportunity to go back to CoCo Cay. Coco Cay was exceptional and really lived up to the hype. Next time I just wouldnt pay the price for the water park. I literally spent less to get a season pass at the local six flags when we got back home. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
My family and I embarked on this ship on August 17th, 2019 for a 6 night Canada/New England cruise. This was our 5th cruise overall, but our 2nd with Royal. Our first cruise with Royal was back in 2005 on the Voyager of the Seas for our ... Read More
My family and I embarked on this ship on August 17th, 2019 for a 6 night Canada/New England cruise. This was our 5th cruise overall, but our 2nd with Royal. Our first cruise with Royal was back in 2005 on the Voyager of the Seas for our honeymoon. Since then, we have tried a couple of other cruise lines, and we must say it was fantastic to return to Royal this time around and find out for ourselves that we still enjoyed the Royal experience as much as the other lines we have tried in the past few years. The service was impeccable, beginning with our room steward, as well as with the main dining room staff. We are a family of 4, my husband and I and our 2 children sailed with us, ages 9 and 11. Our stateroom was #1690, which was an aft balcony. We spent much of our time here, in between busy mornings either out on an excursion on a port day, or participating in onboard activities. The balcony was spacious, and the previous reviews I had read about soot from smokestacks leaving residue on the aft balcony did not bother us one bit. Mid way through the cruise on a port day the crew actually notified us they would be cleaning the balcony, of which they did. The sail away views from each port were breathtaking on our balcony and made the experience in having booked this stateroom worth it. Based on reviews we had read about complaints that the main dining room quality of food had gone down, my husband and I disagree. We have sailed 2 other lines in the past 5-7 years and we feel that all the lines are moving towards the same changes, but we do not feel quality of food has gone down in the main dining rooms. In fact, we were quite satisfied with both quality of food, amount of food choices, and quality of service in the complimentary dining venues onboard this ship. Ports of call included Bar Harbor, St. John New Brunswick and Halifax, Nova Scotia. We did 2 shore excursions through the cruise line on this sailing and neither disappointed. We did the Acadia National Park and Lobster Bake in Bar Harbor. This was a fantastic taste of the area being it was our first time here. A beautiful port. We did the hop on/hop off pink bus tour in St. John, as our time in port was a bit shorter than what we had hoped for. We left port by 3pm and so had to be onboard for 2:30 that day. Regardless, the hop on and hop off bus gave us a nice taste of the major highlights of the area. We did end up visiting the reversing rapids and paid extra to experience the SkyWalk which was neat.Overall, we were satisfied with this entire cruise, the ports, and the service. Again, despite certain signs of the ship showing its age, and despite the fact this ship is a bit smaller than the megaships we have sailed in the last 5 years, we felt we enjoyed this cruise very much. Even our kids agreed. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We just came back from our first cruise ever and Adventure of the Seas met our expectations. We had the spacious balcony Stateroom deck 8. It is very convenient if we wanted to walk up 3 levels to deck 11 for the buffet- Windjammer or walk ... Read More
We just came back from our first cruise ever and Adventure of the Seas met our expectations. We had the spacious balcony Stateroom deck 8. It is very convenient if we wanted to walk up 3 levels to deck 11 for the buffet- Windjammer or walk down 3 levels- deck 5 for the Royal Promenade. The ship is beautifully and well maintained. We ate at the Main Dining Room early every night and went up to the buffet later for deserts. We decided to have early dinner 5:30 pm so we could do any shows, activities at night. It worked out perfectly. The food at the Main dining room and the buffet is good. I am a picky eater but I always find something that I enjoyed. We didn’t buy the drink package because we don’t drink enough to justify the price. My husband had a beer and my son had a mock tail every dinner. With the onboard credit $100, I ended up paying $5 for the drink on this trip. The entertainment is good. We like the comedy shows and the ice show. We did one trivia at the Imperial Lounge one night about Superhero & Villains. It was fun. My son likes the rock climbing wall, Flowrider. We saw so many amazing sunset on this trip. The staffs were friendly and dedicated. We tipped them a little extra for our room attendant and the two waiters in the Main Dining room. We bought the Key program and it did enhanced our experience. We will absolutely pay extra for the Key program on our next cruise. We like our first cruise experience and plan to do another in 2021. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
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
We had an amazing time on the Anthem! My husband and I (mid-late-30's), our three daughters (13-11-6), and my parents traveled in three staterooms (two balconies and one interior virtual balcony for the older two children). The ... Read More
We had an amazing time on the Anthem! My husband and I (mid-late-30's), our three daughters (13-11-6), and my parents traveled in three staterooms (two balconies and one interior virtual balcony for the older two children). The activities offered on the ship and ports on this sailing truly made for a perfect cruise vacation! Embarkation in Bayonne was quick and simple. We drove in from the Philly suburbs the morning of the cruise, parked our car in the garage at 10:30am, and were onboard by 11. There were lots of people waiting in the terminal, though, so I can only assume they did not do the online check in. With online check-in, there was absolutely no waiting, so that is a must! Once onboard, we were told that our rooms and key cards would be ready by 1pm and that until then, we could use our set sail pass that we'd printed at home to utilize our deluxe beverage package. We headed to Two70 for drinks and lunch while we waited. It was a pleasant, scenic place to hang out and get into vacation mode! Cabins and luggage were all ready in a timely fashion, so we unpacked and headed to the required muster drill before dinner. We had the early seating in the Grande dining room, which was beautiful (though we miss the enormous 3-story dining rooms of older ships). Our servers (Sachin & Carmi) were top notch and the food was generally very good! With our large group, we opted to dine in the main dining room every night rather than spend hundreds more trying the specialty restaurants. The Anthem is beautifully decorated and impeccably clean. There are So. Many. Activities. onboard for kids and adventurous adults to enjoy: iFly, Flowrider, NorthStar, bumper cars, and the trapeze were all fantastic. (Our tall six year old was too short for Flowrider, even though she has done it before on land, so be sure to check out the height requirements beforehand to avoid disappointment.) One small complaint I have about the ship is that there is not nearly enough space on the pool deck and there is only one very small outdoor pool. There is an indoor pool with a retractable glass roof that was never opened despite 8 out of 9 days of beautiful weather. My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed the Schooner Bar for piano entertainment (the lavender daiquiri was my favorite there!) in the evening, while our older two girls enjoyed the Living Room for teens (Note: it's 12 and up but 11 year olds can hang out there as long as their parents signs off), and our 6 year old was absolutely obsessed with the Adventure Ocean 6-8 year olds club. We loved being able to have a nice evening out while the children were happy and entertained and making friends! We did miss having a Viking Crown Lounge on this ship, which is usually our go-to place for quiet drinks and views. Of the 4 ports of call on this cruise, we had only been to Bermuda previously. We did the Horseshoe Bay Beach transport through Royal Caribbean, and although we arrived early, the beach was FAR more crowded than it was 13 years ago during our last visit. If you walk allllllll the way down to the left past the rocks, it is less crowded but still pretty packed with daredevils jumping off the rocky cliffs and Instagrammers trying to get the perfect shot. Absolutely beautiful, just more crowded than I like. At the next port, Sint Maarten, we did Royal Caribbean's Maho Beach excursion because we really wanted to see the planes taking off from Princess Juliana airport. After getting off the ship, we waited in line for a very long time waiting to get onto a bus to take us to the beach; I didn't love all the waiting so I would probably look into a private tour the next time. Once we arrived, though, we easily found a table at the little outdoor bar/restaurant there, ordered a few CHEAP buckets of Coronas (I think it was $20 for six) and some reasonably priced food, and enjoyed watching the planes land and take off (as well as tourists get blown down the beach). We ventured down into the water to get the full sand-blown experience, which was great! (Be warned that there are pretty aggressive hair-braiding vendors, little to no sand to relax on, lots of litter on the rocks unfortunately, & the sand really does hurt when a big plane takes off). Still, fun for big kids and plane enthusiasts! We had no planned excursions for San Juan, except that we wanted to check out Barrachina, the bar/restaurant that created the pina colada. Old San Juan is a beautiful, charming place for a stroll, and the Barrachina pina coladas (available with or without rum) and the Plaza de las Palomas (a little square with a colonial gate and hundreds of pigeons, plus a guy with pigeon feed and Purell, yay!) were highlights. Our final stop, Labadee, was heaven for us. I HIGHLY recommend booking an over-the-water cabana on Nellie's Beach for the day. Yeah, it's pricey, but having a private area to store your stuff, someone to bring you drinks, and towels & water waiting for you is invaluable if you hate crowds like I do. Maybe not for a couple, but for a group of 7 it's totally worth it. Our cabana, #3, shared access with just one other cabana to a rocky outcropping with a ladder that led right into 6-7ft deep water. Since all three of our girls are swimmers, it was awesome for them to be able to jump in or float on the included floating mats away from the throngs. We also did the Arawak Water Park for an hour, which was too long for me but very fun for the kids! Disembarkation back in Bayonne was as quick and efficient as embarkation. Our number was called early (despite an insane number of self-depart guests queueing up with all their luggage in tow) and we were back in our car within 20 minutes. Unfortunately, breakfast options and crew members were few and far between that last morning. Overall, it was a wonderful cruise! Port days and sea days were equally enjoyable and there was definitely something for everyone. Service was awesome all around and the ship was spotless. Highly recommended! (Sad to see her go in April!) Read Less
Sail Date August 2019

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