62 Bayonne (Cape Liberty) Fitness Cruise Reviews

Not sure I'll ever take another cruise...too many gratuities that I was charged for and I didn't use and I don't like the billing system. I have charges that I'm unsure of and as much money that I spent on the cruise I ... Read More
Not sure I'll ever take another cruise...too many gratuities that I was charged for and I didn't use and I don't like the billing system. I have charges that I'm unsure of and as much money that I spent on the cruise I have to pay for all the things to do on the ship. As far as billing...everything just says "Anthem of the Seas"...no details...how do I know that these are really my charges? You should show the store that the charges are incurred at. Also, the water in the room should have had a note that said it wasn't complimentary and should have told the charge per bottle. We would not have drank it had we known it was $12.36 per bottle. Insane!!! I do think we had the best "porter" on the ship. He had a great personality and tended to us like we were the only ones on the ship!!! Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
This Ship was lovely in every way.!!!! Luxury and Fun, Fun, Fun!!! Truly something for everyone, at any age...(I'm a senior with a young attitude!) The activities/amenities were great!!!.... The fantastic Northstar which takes ... Read More
This Ship was lovely in every way.!!!! Luxury and Fun, Fun, Fun!!! Truly something for everyone, at any age...(I'm a senior with a young attitude!) The activities/amenities were great!!!.... The fantastic Northstar which takes you up to a once in a life time trip in the sky... The wall climbing...Then the surf/boogie board Flow rider...Flights in air too...but make reservations early!!! Lots of things for kids...of all ages...like the bumper cars and being in a "Thriller" Michael Jackson dance! This ship was wonderful for families, but had great "spaces" for adults only....Loved, loved the solarium with pool upon wading pool and two hot tubs ...besides of course the other indoor & outdoor pools/hot whirlpool tubs!! A variety of live music also...Shows...all the regular stuff too....Everything I did was delightful...Mmmm except a bit of problem with disembarking...But truly had a great time! I went with friends, but want this to be a family reunion event! Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
We traveled with my wife and 1 year and 6 months old son, we booked a superior ocean view stateroom with balcony, which was beautiful and very comfortable. Anthem of the seas is awesome. sophisticated areas for everybody. the services ... Read More
We traveled with my wife and 1 year and 6 months old son, we booked a superior ocean view stateroom with balcony, which was beautiful and very comfortable. Anthem of the seas is awesome. sophisticated areas for everybody. the services throughout the ships was outstanding, especially staff from our main dinner, waiters, bartender from Boleros bar and our cabin attendant. Activities inside the cruise wonderful, musicians and comedians were great. we took the internet and beverages premium package and was the best. The only negative for us was the food at the main buffet on level 14, was almost the same food every day for 7 days. We did have a great time on this vacation and was very fun and relax. our embarkation and disembarkation was super easy and not complaints, we did have to wait in a line but they kept it moving. Royal Caribbean has done an amazing job with the new online check-in process. Thanks again Royal Caribbean for this amazing vacation. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
The ship is amazing and has something for everyone - this was our 2nd time on this ship we like it so much. The convenience of parking at Cape Liberty (vs. New York City or flying to another port) was tremendous. Boarding and ... Read More
The ship is amazing and has something for everyone - this was our 2nd time on this ship we like it so much. The convenience of parking at Cape Liberty (vs. New York City or flying to another port) was tremendous. Boarding and disembarking was so easy. They treat suite guests very well. The two enclosed pool areas were AWESOME especially when staring at the wintry city outside - you could jump I the pool as soon as you got on board and it was ~20 degrees F outside. No flight = instant vacation. The bar service is great. Casino is fun (if a bit small). Shows were EXCELLENT. Special Suite dining experience was EXCELLENT. Doing Disney from the port is good - though we wish we had another hour or two. Bahamas and Florida were perfect weather in March. We're already thinking of going again next year for a 3rd time on this ship. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
If this is your cup of tea, then please excuse me, but to me, it felt like a vacation at Bloomingdale's with a pool. Too many people, too much "gotta get there at X time and get it before you". It was not very relaxing. ... Read More
If this is your cup of tea, then please excuse me, but to me, it felt like a vacation at Bloomingdale's with a pool. Too many people, too much "gotta get there at X time and get it before you". It was not very relaxing. "Ooh, gotta pay $200 to swim with the caged dolphins" (hellooo Peta?). Everybody slowly waddles and gets in your way, attempts to eat/waste too much food, get in front of you, and generally qualifies as poster children for health issues. Now, that said, the kids had a great time with their friends wandering around in controlled freedom, as they could not get off the boat. Eating whenever they wanted to, and generally staying out of our hair. There were enough things to keep them occupied (as long as they could spend MORE money in the arcade _ i.e, if you’re clueless going on, they give minors credit), and you signed up and paid MONTHS in advance for whatever activity. This kind of trip is definitely for the "must do, do, do" people. Everything was on the clock. On the boat, off the boat, this time, that time, "oh isn't that so gorgeous", here a raffle, there a substandard piece of merchandise you must have – pages of retarded activities. No peace. For all inclusive, the "up-sell" is on the second you get on board. To get even more granular, all the entertainment is meant to "please all" so the shows are confused and erratic – Le Miz meets BMX bikers – Queen, Queen, Queen, rock means Queen and everybody love that right?. The food was good to a little better which did make it more tolerable (and of course the drink package as long as you drink 4 or more drinks a day), but if you want better, pony up (nothing new in all-inclusive tourism, it's just sad). The crew, were very polite, and at times excessively attentive, which is what it is (I would hide or run when our cabin attendant came by). Even though RCCL is supposedly a few steps above Carnival, they still had all the inane "staff parades" and noisy crap which interrupts what you would hope would be a period of peace and relaxation, i.e dinner. At lunch, they constantly made announcements about how great the restaurant was and to thank the staff (which being mostly not American citizens is another issue altogether). Made it seem like I was eating at a strip joint. And I could go on. So, If this is the environment you consider a "holiday", then they do it very well and the boat is well kept and functional for such. So enjoy. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
We booked this cruise while on another cruise back in 2015, so we had plenty of time to read reviews, and to plan accordingly. We are fairly frequent cruisers (Diamond Plus with Crown & Anchor Society) so we had a pretty good idea ... Read More
We booked this cruise while on another cruise back in 2015, so we had plenty of time to read reviews, and to plan accordingly. We are fairly frequent cruisers (Diamond Plus with Crown & Anchor Society) so we had a pretty good idea about much of the process, but the Anthem is a bit different in a number of ways. First, you have the option of uploading a self-prepared security photo to the website prior to embarkation. We did this, and of course we did online check-in, so upon reaching the pier we simply walked over to one of the representatives holding a tablet, handed her our printed Set Sail Passes and passports, and literally within 2 minutes we were heading through the security screening. We were then on the ship within 15 minutes of reaching the pier! Prior to the cruise we stayed at the Newark Airport Ramada. They offer a park and cruise special, which included up to 21 days of parking in their fenced lot. We arrived the evening prior to sailing to be safe. The hotel provided a complimentary shuttle to the pier. We had already arranged the time during the hotel reservation process, so we went to the lobby at around 10:15 a.m. as instructed, and although we ended up waiting about 1/2 hour the shuttle process worked very well. Upon reaching the pier a porter grabbed our bags (I always print and laminate the luggage tags provided by Royal Caribbean and then attach them as we head to the pier. So our bags were ready to be delivered to our stateroom) and we headed inside the terminal for check-in (described above). We downloaded the Royal IQ App and paid the $7.95/person fee to use it during the duration of our cruise. I had read numerous complaints about it but frankly my wife and I found it quite useful. It is fairly robust (you can even book excursions using it) and it allowed us to keep in touch when separated on the ship. It supports both "chat" and voice communications. A couple of times we had to disconnect then reconnect to the wifi router, but other than that we found it worth the modest fee. We also purchased a one device surf and stream package prior to sailing. We found the internet service to be far superior to any we had ever experienced at sea before. I actually streamed an entire hockey game at one point and we were able to make wifi phone calls to friends and family. In case anyone is wondering, a one device plan can be shared by multiple users. However, only one device can be connected at any point in time. We had a balcony stateroom on Deck 8. The room had plenty of storage and offered 3 A/C outlets and 2 USB charging ports. We didn't really need any sort of outlet multiplier as was typically necessary on other ships. I had seen complaints about the beds - ours was firm but not uncomfortably so. We slept well! The air conditioning works only when the balcony door is closed AND locked. The lights in the room shut down within a minute or so of removing the Seapass Card from a slot at the main light switch. If desired any card would work in that slot (another old hotel card key, for example) but we didn't find that necessary. The bathroom included a glass encased shower with a curved door. Not only was it roomy but the mirror in the bathroom didn't steam up as it always did on other ships. I had also seen numerous complaints about the movement of the ship. My wife and I agreed that it seemed to roll as much as some of the smaller ships (it was reminiscent of cruises we have taken on the Grandeur of the Seas). Perhaps the somewhat narrow and tall design contributes to this. But it wasn't bad enough to interfere with anything other than on one particularly rough day on the return to Bayonne when many activities were canceled or postponed due to rough seas. The entertainment was very good. We Will Rock You was quite fun. We missed The Gift, but we did see Spectra's Caberet, which we didn't enjoy as much as we had hoped. The headliners were generally good. My wife and I tend to gravitate toward the Schooner Bar in every ship, and on the Anthem we found "A Girl Named Jake" who was a phenomenal performer. I haven't any idea how much longer her contract runs, but if you sail within the next couple of months she'll probably still be there and is well worth a listen. Other venues had various types of music going. There was a Beatles tribute band that played on several nights. They really had the crowd hopping. There are so many venues that you're likely to find something of interest every night. We found the food to be good. Some have complained, but we didn't notice any real difference from other cruises. Windjammer is the usual buffet food. They did seem to have an abundance of fresh fruit, which was great. The MDR was good, and we did enjoy 2 meals at specialty restaurants. Some have complained about the service. We didn't notice any real drop-off in service among the dining venues. All crew members we encountered were friendly and willing to help. Perhaps it's a matter of expectations. We have cruised enough to know what to expect and we weren't disappointed. We did have some trouble getting into sync with our stateroom attendant. We left the room at different times each day, usually affording at least 90 minutes to 2 hours for the room to be serviced, but on 2 occasions he didn't get around to us. I must say that after more than 2 dozen cruises this was the first time we experienced that. The Seaplex was very interesting. It's a great place for kids as well as adults. Bumper cars at sea is a pretty cool thing, indeed. There are a variety of activities there to keep every family member engaged, including Xbox units, table tennis, etc. We did try the NorthStar, which we enjoyed. We tried it at sunset in port, which was a nice experience. While in port they don't extend it beyond the ship, but you'll get views of the port. At sea they do extend it over the water, but of course all you'll see is...well...more water. It's just a matter of preference. We signed up for iFly but didn't make it. Something left for next cruise... 270 is a great venue. Dining during the day and entertainment at night. It can transform to a variety of different purposes. Pools were great. Solarium is beautiful. Good to have a covered area when cruising from New Jersey in January! It was chilly outside on the first full day of cruising and on the last full day of cruising. Other than that it was warm enough to enjoy our balcony. There were 2 formal nights on the cruise. We enjoy dressing for those. I don't get many opportunities to wear my tuxedo. Neither does my wife have much call to wear formal gowns. It's nice to dust those off once in a while. We had thought that there would be 2 smart casual evenings as well but found that all other evenings were casual. I wore my linen suit on one evening anyway...I packed it and had it pressed on board, so I was determined to use it! Disembarkation - WOW! We're still scratching our heads about how easy leaving the ship was. We had a low tag number (4) so by the time we arose, finished packing our remaining items to carry off with us, and got showered and dressed our tag number had been called. So we went down to deck 5 and literally walked off the ship within seconds. Upon entering the terminal we immediately found our bags and off to customs we went. We waited a whole 30 seconds or so for an agent, walked up and were cleared about 15 seconds thereafter. It couldn't have been more than 15 minutes from the time we closed our stateroom door behind us until we were at the curb for our shuttle back to the Ramada to pick up our car. It was without a doubt the smoothest and fastest disembarkation we have ever experienced. So would we recommend the Anthem? Well, since we're booked to cruise on her again later this year we'd have to say, "Yes!" My favorite ships are the Oasis class (I enjoy the variety of activities available on the larger ships) but I'd have to say the Anthem (Quantum class) is a close second. And as for my wife, she has declared the Anthem her favorite ship. Although I was a bit apprehensive given the negative reviews I had read, but I'm glad I gave it a try myself. We had a great experience on a lovely ship with a good crew. Oh yeah...we did actually stop at several ports. But my wife and I visited only a few of them, and those only on our own. We enjoyed the ship on other port days, since it was largely uninhabited while in port. We actually had our pick of Solarium pools one day. And we were able (other than day one) to use pretty much any machine desired in the Fitness Center each day. 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Sail Date January 2017
This cruis is after New Year . many people came from all over the word. is very happy to met many new friends. we had so much fun dancing and Karaoke,especially the Latin music and the band is really good the singer he got really good ... Read More
This cruis is after New Year . many people came from all over the word. is very happy to met many new friends. we had so much fun dancing and Karaoke,especially the Latin music and the band is really good the singer he got really good voice.Every night we can't miss the band. we like the dancing class ,and stretch class, hope next time they will have more class for yoga, and the schedule will more and some schedule will be around 3:00 to 5:00pm. The main dinning American Icon food is good , service is good too. But Windjammer is not so good , all the soup and most of the food is so salty can't eat. Windjammer those chef is not professional . This ship they don't have good movie , we need to pay for the movie ,But overall is good , We will go back next time . Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
Cruise was amazing. Food, crew members, entertainment shows, cleanliness were outstanding. This was our 1st cruise and we enjoyed it a lot. Fantastic experience with the Royal Caribbean. Minus points are - water charges & ... Read More
Cruise was amazing. Food, crew members, entertainment shows, cleanliness were outstanding. This was our 1st cruise and we enjoyed it a lot. Fantastic experience with the Royal Caribbean. Minus points are - water charges & Internet Charges are very expensive. Availability of the onboard adventure rides, some shows are very very poor. That means if you booked it earlier, you dont have any guarantee that that booked slots are going to be happened as because of weather some rides were cancelled and we dint get any other slots as all slots are booked and guest services dint do anything about it and many people were frustrated with this cancellation. Also dont go for Spa services as its very costly and not satisfied at all. From our cruise experience what we have learned that do not buy any services, any products onboard as they are super expensive. Rest enjoy complimentary services only. And yes one thing I forgot to mention in their feedback that when you board ship for the first time, there should be some orientation about the ship or some crew members to whom you can ask what to do next. When we came in, half of our time gone for understanding whats going on, where to go, where to eat, where to seat, where to see and there were no crew members whom we can ask. Otherwise our experience was very very beautiful. We loved loved it and definitely recommend and will definitely come back again. Cheers Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
This cruise was a complete unplug and re calibrate. It was a 100% success!! I suggest the pre check in option, it saves some time. I also suggest pre booking reservations. First time out of Cape Liberty Bayonne, NJ. IT was very ... Read More
This cruise was a complete unplug and re calibrate. It was a 100% success!! I suggest the pre check in option, it saves some time. I also suggest pre booking reservations. First time out of Cape Liberty Bayonne, NJ. IT was very smooth through screening and every phase was well marked and staffed. We were on the ship within 20 min. It was my first time cruising on Royal Caribbean. Compared to other lines, it was a more upper class feel. Personally greeted and introduced to our stateroom. It was nice balcony room on deck 10 very close to forward elevators. The Anthem is a BIG ship. Only two elevator banks, lots of waiting...but, not a deal killer. We choose the dynamic dinning (since discontinued) it was a nightmare for many. All the "free" restaurants were good. Great service from our regular team. The food was above average. There were some complaints, I found them unwarranted on the whole. The activities on the ship are plentiful and you will enjoy the seaplex! The flow rider and iFLY are fantastic and highly recommended. Kids will be very pleased with everything to do. Adults have the solarium. The North Star The shows were big budget and enjoyable. I found that the on deck entertainment and music was lacking. There were some days with no band or DJ at the pool. I find the Royal Caribbean forces the shopping experience a little too far during the sea days. Its a little forced. Just keep in mind that the shops that are mentioned have paid major money for the marketing. Arriving in San Juan later in the day limits you to activities. Still it is a beautiful city and you will enjoy the forts and shopping. St. Thomas was very nice and the beaches were clean. I visited Megan's beach, very nice and quiet, not much else. Shopping was convenient and a safe enviroment. St. Kitts offered several clean beaches and the port shops had great prices.Frigate bay was quiet and offered great shell hunting. St. Marteen has several options for beaches on the Dutch and French sides. I visited one in each. Dawn beach and Busby's beach bar on the Dutch side was easy to reach but, money for chairs and seaweed. The French side offered a great beach in Galieo (sp) aka Baie D L' Embouchure. Fantastic beach and lagoon a 1/4 mile from breakers. There was a nice bar and a turtle sanctuary. Disembarkation was incredible..as carry off..Get on line at the 270 location before 6:00 and it will be less than 15 min to your car after they open the door at 6:30. Overall , the service and crew were very nice and polite as well as wanting to go above and beyond. The cruise was a bit older on age of the average passenger. There were a lot of scooters and walkers. A decent LGBT group, kids and a few 20-30. If you want the younger crowd, pick a shorter cruise. I will definitely cruise on the Anthem again, the 5 day Bermuda... Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
The cruise was pretty boring due to the fact that the entertainment was for lounge lizards. If you wanted to watch your fellow cruise friends play games it was ok but I think entertainment should come from the ship hiring good ... Read More
The cruise was pretty boring due to the fact that the entertainment was for lounge lizards. If you wanted to watch your fellow cruise friends play games it was ok but I think entertainment should come from the ship hiring good entertainment. One of the singers looked like she came from home and jumped on stage. Seemed not to be dressed for entertainment. Production shows were also not that great. I have seen shows on ships that are like off broadway and these were nothing like that. If you wanted to fly, climb or go on a flow rider that would be good for you but I have not interest at my age to do this. Seems to me money was spent on decor of ship and they cut back for people who booked the cruise. Also food was different and smaller portions most of the time arrived cold. It was unorganized getting on the ship never had this experience before. Usually there is sections for different triers, gold, platinum, emerald, etc. This was just a big mess of people filed in like cattle. As a emerald member moving up to Diamond I was shocked to find out on the "bigger" ships diamond members will not have the opportunity to have reserved areas. I was on the Quantum and did not really like it and now the Anthem. The only reason I sailed on this ship was because it goes from Bayonne. They need to move ships around for a variety. Sad cruiser!!!!!! Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
We chose this cruise because we live close to the port of embarkation and liked the fact that we could save on transportation costs. Getting on the ship was very smooth and we experienced no issues. We had sailed from this port the year ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we live close to the port of embarkation and liked the fact that we could save on transportation costs. Getting on the ship was very smooth and we experienced no issues. We had sailed from this port the year before, and the changes they made to embarkation for this year made a significant difference. Last year, we had to wait on line for over an hour. This year, we got on immediately. Many of the reviews I read about the ship prior to sailing complained of the service and food. We were a group of 11 (8 adults and 3 kids ages 12-13) and none of us had any issues with the service or the choice or quality of the food. The wait staff in all restaurants (we ate in all of the complimentary restaurants and 2 of the extra fee restaurants) went out of their way to ensure we had incredible experiences and they succeeded. We never received food that was cold (a complaint in some reviews). The only time we had to send anything back was one time when a steak was undercooked. The situation was immediately fixed and a new meal was brought to our table. The Grande and American Icon were our favorites - amazing food and service in both. Dinner at Chic was probably our least favorite, although we still enjoyed it, and Silk was good as well. We ate breakfast at Chic twice and both times were delicious. The kids loved the Windjammer and they had huge selections at all meals that it was impossible not to find something to meet everyone's needs. The Solarium Bistro was good, but the selection not as good as Windjammer. Entertainment: We all loved "We Will Rock You" - incredible. I agree with other reviews about "The Gift" being difficult to follow, but the production was great. Amazing talent and beautiful sets. We felt the same about "Specter's Cabaret" as well. Great singing/dancing, but just not a show that interested us. The comedians were entertaining. The Aerosmith tribute band was good. We're not county music fans and there was a country music band so that was a bust for us. We really liked the karaoke and wished they had more of that, especially family karaoke. The kids loved the Seaplex and spent most of their time up there. Lots of things for them to do and they could have stayed up there the entire time if we had let them. Ifly and North Star were incredible and I strongly recommend making reservations in advance. If not, you're going to waste time in line trying to get on. The other thing we liked was the Royal IQ app. We were able to text/call each other with little problems (the wifi would occasionally drop but worked most of the time). I think it's ridiculous that Royal Caribbean nickels and dimes you with the charge to use the service, but we did it and were glad we did. I only have a coup of complaints. Royal Caribbean's website and reservation system is terrible. Being a large group, we wanted our dinner reservations made before we sailed because we didn't want to have to worry about it once we were under way. 5 months before our sail date, I made the dinner and show reservations. A couple of months later, I called to confirm everything was set only to learn that the system had dropped 3 of our dinner reservations. The phone representative told me she made new reservations, but when I called a month later to check on something else and confirm the dinner reservations, that rep told me we didn't have dinner reservations. I then had to make new reservations. One month before the cruise, I called to confirm everything again. That rep said, yes, everything was good to go. When I asked her to go into each individual reservation to make sure, she realized that we actually didn't have reservations (it's some weird glitch in their system that makes the reservation summary look like you have reservations until they look at the individual reservations). She told me it was too late to make reservations and everything was full. She also told me I should have had the other representative email me a confirmation of the dinner reservations. How was I supposed to know this? The other rep never offered it and I "assumed" when you make a reservation with Royal Caribbean that they'll honor it. Apparently not. With a company that large, I just don't understand how they can have such a terrible system. Half the time you couldn't check your reservation online because there was a message saying your reservation wasn't accessible at that time. Then you make reservations only to find out the reservation was never actually made. We ended up having to waste an hour on the day we embarked trying to make new reservations. We were able to do it, but the guy on the ship who did it for us told us it was too much to do and he had other guests to see to. We were persistent and were able to get the reservations, but not without a struggle. My other complaint is the fitness center. There's a lot of equipment, but not enough for almost 5000 people. In the mornings, it would be difficult to get a treadmill because of the amount of people in the gym. There are lots of weight machines, if you're into that. I also didn't like having the classes in the middle of the gym. Hard to do yoga with all that noise. They had the same instructor for the yoga classes and they were the same classes everytime - no variation. She did a good job, but after a couple of classes, I was bored. If you're paying extra money for a class you shouldn't be bored. Also, no pilates, which was a huge negative for me. Other than the reservation issues and space issues in the gym, the rest of the experience was great. We would love to do it again next year, but it's the same destinations. After 2 years in a row of going to those ports, we'd like to do something else. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
We LOVED this ship & are all sad to be back home! First impressions were bad because we'd booked the first time slot to board but ended up sitting in traffic for 1 hour at the port! Check in was easy and well organised, I had ... Read More
We LOVED this ship & are all sad to be back home! First impressions were bad because we'd booked the first time slot to board but ended up sitting in traffic for 1 hour at the port! Check in was easy and well organised, I had done the online checkin and printed our set sail passes already so this helped, although they did ask a few questions that I had already answered online, but never mind. Also once onboard they had advised everybody to go up to the Windjammer for food and drinks so we headed up there as the rooms weren't ready yet, but of course everybody went up there and as big as that restaurant is, it doesn't seat 4,500 people! It felt very claustrophobic and we couldn't get a table. We had to wait about half an hour. Anyway that was the worst part of our trip, from then on it was amazing. The ship is beautiful, attention to detail with the decor is fantastic, it was all spotlessly clean, and the staff were amazing and friendly. We loved our cabin and had an interconnecting room with my parents which was great for us all. We kept the door open most of the time which meant the kids could go back and forth between rooms but we could also close it if we wanted privacy. They also took the balcony screen down in between so that we could share balconies with my parents. The room itself was lovely. It was clean, nicely decorated and had everything we needed. The bathroom is what you would expect on a ship, small, but it was so nice and had all the toiletries you could need. Our stateroom attendant was really nice and made up the sofa bed every day for our girls. He didn't make towel animals every day but he did do it every other day. The whole thing was really well organised. Every evening the Cruise Compass (the daily itinerary) was left on our bed for the following day. It listed all of the restaurant opening times, and all if the activities for the day. Plus any offers that day in the shops, beauty salon etc. There definitely plenty of activities. We did not run out of things to do. We spent the first day just exploring the ship and making a mental note of everything we wanted to do. The children loved the giraffe on the top deck. They also loved the pools. The indoor pool was perfect because the roof was all glass and so even when it was cold outside it was warm enough to sit in there in a swimsuit and watch the children in the pool. There was also 2 hot tubs in there too. It never got overcrowded in this pool even when the outdoor pool was closed due to rough weather. When the weather got warmer as we travelled south we did use the outdoor pool a couple of times. It was a great pool and there were a lot of sun beds, but we could never get a free sunbed out here on a sunny day. There was an ice cream station out here too which you could help yourself to. That was a great perk! We had as many towels as we needed, they never seemed to run out. We are mostly in the Windjammer marketplace because it was always consistently good. The food in there was plentiful and it was always amazing. Breakfast, lunch and dinner was always very good. The staff in there were always happy, friendly, and made an effort with the children. We did eat in other places. We ate in The Grande on the first night, which I had pre-booked months before for 6:30pm. Unfortunately we still had to queue and wait for about 20 minutes which was disappointing. We were also disappointed that they weren't strict on their dress code. It clearly says 'smart' everywhere, even on the itinerary and that jackets were required for men. We were looking forward to dressing up for this occasion especially as we were there for my mum's 60th. But we saw so many people walking in wearing jeans, t-shirts, i even saw a woman wearin a velour tracksuit! The food was good in here, and the service was brilliant. However instead of just 1 waiter introducing himself to us and saying he would be our waiter for the evening, about 6 waiters did it, which of course meant we forgot their names, and didn't know which one to tip! We can't afford to tip all of them! And we felt that was the reason they were all introducing themselves, to get tips. We also are in Jamie's Italian. I had also pre booked & paid for this. Initially I was annoyed when I booked it as they charged me 6 X £19.50 but that included 2 children, and it clearly states on the website that children under 5 eat free and children aged 6-12 eat for less. When I emailed them about this they didn't known what I was talking about and asked where I had seen this! I emailed them a screenshot of the details and they said I would have to sort it out directly with guest relations when I got on board (bearing in mind I had booked this restaurant 6 months in advance!). I did eventually sort this out onboard after an hours wait at guest relations but that will be mentioned below. Once we got to Jamie's it was very good. Service was fantastic, food was very good. They were good with the children. And when we didn't have dessert because the children were so tired and asking to go to bed, they told us we could go back another day and have dessert for free. My husband and I also ate in Silk, the Asian restaurant, which was a complimentary restaurant and was very good. Again service was great and the food was good. We had lunch in Sorrento's one day too, which did do very good pizza. One thing I loved about the ship was the cleanliness. They had hand sanitizer stations outside every single restaurant, shop, bar, room that you go into. They asked you to wash your hands before entering the windjammer, and they played a cute little song about washing your hands on the to which the children loved and would sing along to! We did roller skating one day, which was fun. We tried to go on the bumper cars too, but they wouldn't let my 4 year old on as you have to be over 5. I personally think she would have been fine on them, especially as she wouldn't have been driving and she would have been with me, an adult. My other daughter (6) went on with her dad and had a great time. My youngest was very upset at missing out and I felt bad for her. The fitness centre and the running track were brilliant, and always well used. The Flowrider was fun to watch, as was the ripcord. I would have liked to go on the North Star, but I didn't book this in advance, and when I tried to book this onboard it was all fully booked, so we missed out on this but that was our fault. We didn't do any of the Roal Caribbean excursions for the only reason that I thought they were overpriced. If they had been cheaper we would have done some. As it happened we got off the boat in Puerto Rico and just had a wander around the city for a couple of hours and then returned to the boat. In St Thomas we got a taxi to Magen's Bay, which I was hugely disappointed with. Apparently this is one of the top 10 beaches in the world, but I have spleen to much better. Plus, there were 3 other cruise ships in that day and I think they were all taken to Magen's Bay! Which you had to pay $5 per person to get into! It was packed! The sea was nice, the beach was ok. But after an hour or so it absolutely poured with rain and we git drenched, had to leave the beach & just wanted to get back on board. Unfortunately it took some time to go through the passport check and get back on the ship, we were all freezing and wet and the air con on the ship as we got back on did not help things! But one we had showered and changed we were fine. We also went to St Kitts. We didn't go with the first taxi we saw this time, and instead found a driver we trusted, and went to a different beach to everyone else. This beach wasn't beautiful but it had everything we needed. We did a little shopping in St Kitts before getting back onboard. Our final stop was St Maarten, which was our favourite. We went to Little Bay, which was lovely (& not so little). It was perfect for us. We did some shopping on the way back, and there were much better shops here. With good prices too. The shows onboard were spectacular. We saw We Will Rock You which was amazing. We saw Mo5aic an accapella group, who were brilliant singers and fun too. My Mum went to see The Gift which she said was amazing. We would have gone too but it wasn't on at a convenient time for us. Also Spectre's Cabaret we didn't get to watch as it wasn't on until 10:30pm and that was too late for us. We were also kept very entertained in our room by the tv! Not from watching any programmes, but because the first channel showed the Cruise Director every morning reading information about each day's itinerary plus reading shout outs from the guests, he was very funny! Also the cruise itinerary channel was great, it apshowed a map of the journey, with information such as outside temperature, sea depth, wind speeds etc. It also changed between the journey map and live webcams around the outside of the boat. Other channels showed talks about the port destinations, shopping, future cruises etc. It was very informative. The only issue I have was with the whole issue of tipping. When we booked our cruise we were given the option to pre-book our gratuities. If we chose not to do this we automatically have them charged to our room each day. This really annoyed me because it should be our choice whether to tip or not based on the service we receive at the time. This means we have to tip whether we get good service or not, which I think is very wrong. Plus, these pre paid gratuities do not go to all members of staff, so you still have to tip onboard anyway! They don't make this clear enough from the start. We would have tipped anyway as we did receive great service from everybody but we hated that the choice was taken out of our hands - in advance. I just thought this was rude and very wrong. One more issue I've just remembered was guest services. I needed to go to guest services on the second day to sort out getting a refund for the Jamie's Italian issue, but also to ask why we didn't have water in our fridge. First of all I queued for AN HOUR! They should have had more staff on the desks. When I got there, the man I was dealing with couldn't answer any of my questions and had to phone 2 different crew members! It took over half an hour to sort out, but we got there in the end! Can't comment on the kids clubs as we didn't use them. We did enrol our children to use them, but we had so much to do as a family onboard that in the end we didn't need to use the clubs! But they looked good and seemed well managed with loads of things to do. Disembarking was very easy too. We could choose a time slot to leave and you could leave suitcases out the night before and collect them from the arrivals hall on land the next morning, or you could do what we did, and take your luggage off yourself, then you have to leave between 6:30am and 7:30am. It all went smoothly. To summarise, we loved 99% of everything about this cruise, we were very sad to be leaving, and we all miss being on it. I would love to do it all over again. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
Anthem of the Seas – Feels good to be back with Royal Caribbean. As a Royal Caribbean’s CA - Diamond member and the competitor’s Latitudes - Platinum member, my comments are solely based on my experiences from the past sailings. ... Read More
Anthem of the Seas – Feels good to be back with Royal Caribbean. As a Royal Caribbean’s CA - Diamond member and the competitor’s Latitudes - Platinum member, my comments are solely based on my experiences from the past sailings. Registration – The ability to upload your own pictures and input your credit card info for onboard expenses in advance is great. I have not seen this process on past RCL and the competitor’s sailings. Drop off – For some reason, it was a painful experience to be dropped off at the port. There are two lanes leading to pier but it took about 20-30 minutes sitting in traffic to get to the pier. If I was in a taxi with a meter running, it can lead to a bigger bill. There are also two lanes on Pier 88 in Manhattan as the drop off process was very easy and efficient than at Cape Liberty. Check-in – Dropping off the bags with the porter at the pier was very easy. They issue a bar code receipt that you can use to track your bags. Similar technology used by the airlines. BTW – My bags were delivered before I arrived to the cabin. Upon entering, the terminal, you have to go through a formal check-in even if you had done advanced check-in online. RCL need to better explain the process (I may have missed it) for guests going into the terminal. We were told that I needed to stand “over there” but over there was just a bunch of people standing around. It was a little chaotic and it seemed disorganized. But once we found a RCL staff, he scanned our boarding passes and confirmed that everything was in order. Going through the X-Ray and boarding the ship took about 15 minutes after that. Cruise Food – The food was fine at the Windjammer but the food served at the free dinning venues left a lot to be desired. Chicken Marsala at Chic, was too salty and too much dark brown gravy. I had the American Icon Grill’s specialty, the hamburger (medium), it came out dry. At Silk, for appetizer, I had the salmon sashimi. It was served without wasabi and soy sauce. But I had the duck and it was good. Café @270 has one of my favorite sandwiches, the beef on salted bread. It was delicious! Solarium Bistro was one of the only free dinning venues where the meals were great. I would highly recommend it for everyone. I had also dined at Jamie Oliver, the food was good as expected from specialty restaurants. Crew - The crew was great and very friendly. The stand-out was with Raja Senthurpandi (waiter) and the team at the Solarium Bistro were very attentive. Décor – The overall décor on the ship is a modern and minimize design. All of the admin stations: Loyalty desk, NextCruise, photo studio, and Excursions desk have tablets in which the guests can use. The 270 is a beautiful place to sit and relax. The free dinning venues all have its unique theme. The decorations all meet its primary theme such as Silk is an Asian restaurant and it contained Asian décor. The Chic is an American cuisine with a white layout and chairs with beads. Shows – We saw “We Will Rock You” and “Spectra’s Cabaret. Both were good shows. We missed the “Gift” and will be planning to see it when we return to the Anthem. Sportsplex – The complex is indoors and it allows activities such as bumper cars, roller skating, trapeze, basketball, dodge ball, and etc. to be enjoyed without fear of weather. On the second deck of the Sportsplex is ping pong tables, an XBOX room and fuss ball tables. Elevators - Special mention on elevators as it was double the size of a typical one found on cruise ships. Love it! Pools – There is an indoor and outdoor pools. The indoor pool and pool in the Solarium (Adults only) are perfect for the winter weathers. Additional Activities - Wall climbing with auto belay machines and RCL provides climbing shoes. Ripcord by iFly is flying without a parachute. A large wind tunnels keeps you aloft in an enclosure. RCL provides jump suit, helmet and goggles. Flowrider, a signature ride on RCL for at least ten years is a wave ride with water boards. There is only one on Anthem. North Star, is an observatory that brings the guests 300 feet into the sky. All of the activities were great and are free. Make sure you make reservations in advance. Port Canaveral, Florida - The time at port allowed us to do multiple things in Orlando. Keep in mind that if you are there during peak time, there will be a lot of people doing the same. We went during the child's spring break and we visited Universal Studios. We were only able to attend three rides. There were so many people at this park. Cococay (Cruiseline's Private Island) - I have done jet ski excursions before with the other cruise line and it was also on their private island. This tour with RCL on Coco Cay is better organized and better managed. The training video includes a personal review by the tour lead. He assigned numbers from experience to newcomers. They provided “love handles” to allow the guest to hold onto the side of the driver’s life vest. I felt secured and confidence on this tour. We have done jet ski tours four times prior to this one. Departure – It was easy and we were the fifth group to depart the ship. No issues. Overall, we had a great time on the ship and are planning to return again. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
I will break down my review of the Anthem of the Seas into different sections. Hopefully this will assist readers if they want to skip to different parts. 1. Background – I have been on a good number of cruises, mostly with Royal ... Read More
I will break down my review of the Anthem of the Seas into different sections. Hopefully this will assist readers if they want to skip to different parts. 1. Background – I have been on a good number of cruises, mostly with Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, and Princess. On this cruise I sailed with my wife, sister and mother. My wife and I had a superior balcony cabin on deck 12 mid-ship. My mother and sister had a superior balcony cabin on deck 6 forward. Our sailing date was January 15, 2016 from Bayonne NJ to the Eastern Caribbean. We were to return on the 25th but due to the Noreaster Jonas we returned a day late, on the 26th. 2. Embarkation – We had completed our online check-in about two weeks before boarding Anthem. We also reserved the main shows, restaurants and North Star before. (Some we reserved weeks before, some we reserved months before) I highly recommend for everyone to take the time prior to boarding to complete these items and to get familiar with the ship/cruise. All of our reservations worked out perfectly and it does not take long to set them up. However, I will say that anything can be reserved and scheduled on the ship itself. We made changes to our schedule on-board and we had no issues at all. As for the actual boarding process, it must have taken about 30 minutes to get on the ship after being dropped off curbside. The process went smoothly for the most part. The only delay was the actual drive up to the pier, due to many passengers arriving the same time. 3. Cabin – Once we boarded, we were able to proceed to our cabin since it was already after 1pm and the rooms were ready by that time. One key was left at the door so we can get in, and the other was already in the room. Different concept, as we were always provided with the key during check-in. Not a huge deal, but I would be annoyed if I got to my cabin and the key was missing. Hopefully this will not occur with this new procedure. We did notice some people having issues with their key not working, but those were resolved very quickly it seemed. As for the actual room, we were very impressed. It was more spacious than let’s say Oasis. There were nice touches all over the stateroom. It was kept tidy and clean by our cabin steward Yudi. He always knew the right time to make the room and some nights left towel animals for us. Although we did not have monumental conversations with him, he was very nice and we were extremely happy with him. 4. At Sea Days – On this cruise we ended up having 7 sea days. This is when we were able to experience Anthem and all of its glory. Although we wished there were more days at ports, we did enjoy the ship itself very much. The ship is very technologically advanced and she is a beautiful ship. There is nothing better than sailing on a brand new ship. (8 months in to me is still brand new) There were so many new and improved features on this ship, some have been covered in other reviews but I prefer to leave them as surprises for other passengers. During our first Sea Day after our muster station drill, the Captain announced we will have some rough seas that night into the next morning and early afternoon. As other reviewers already mentioned, it was rougher than expected. The turbulent seas started around midnight on the first night and did not improve until noon the next day. It was a little difficult to sleep at times due to things rolling off counters and the creaking of the ship. The seas were probably some of the roughest we have experienced in quite a while but still, I don’t think it compared to what the more recent 2/6/16 sailing had. I am glad everyone was okay during that sailing even though the cruise was cut short. It is good to see some positive reviews coming out from those passengers. The crew and captain do an awesome job on this ship to make people happy and comfortable. 5. Dining – Overall our dining experience was very pleasant. As mentioned earlier, we reserved some of the complimentary restaurants beforehand. We booked one night for each complimentary restaurant on the internet. (Chic, Grande, American Icon, and Silk) We also purchased the 3 night specialty dining package which will provide for some savings. Once you board you are able to make the times and choose your restaurants for that specialty package. (we chose Jamie’s Italian, Chops, and Wonderland) For the remaining nights, we wanted to see which restaurants we liked most and would book those again. That is exactly what we did and it worked out. The food at all of the complimentary restaurants was relatively good. My wife and I are foodies however we do have a clear mind and picture of what to expect. There WERE a few dishes that may have been just lukewarm, or over-cooked, or sometimes a little bland. However everything was still good and definitely edible, contrary to what some reviewers post here on Cruise Critic. I suggest for those passengers to reserve an extra luxury cruise such as Crystal or Regent if they would like above 5-star dining for every meal on every night. I will add a note here that service was 5-star at all the restaurants. Antonio from Chic stands out. The specialty dining waiters were all noteworthy as well. Our favorite restaurants ended up being Chic, Grand, Chops and Jamie’s. Wonderland was a great experience and food was pretty good however we were happy dining there just once. It was not something we wanted a second time on the cruise. Windjammer was decent to very good, despite what some others have described here. We did choose this option for dinner once or twice, and we were very happy with our decision. There are many made-to-order stations on different nights. Crepes and pasta station stood out. They can also cook a steak and other choices of protein right there if you prefer that offering. Other dining areas we enjoyed were Sorrento’s pizza and Café 270. Pizza was good and Café 270 offered some nice and tasty choices, although limited. We did not get to try the Solarium, Izumi, Coastal, and Johnny Rockets but they sounded/looked good. 6. Entertainment – We feel Royal Caribbean has some of the best entertainment of all the cruise lines. We Will Rock You and The Gift were very good. I noticed some people complain about The Gift on here. These reviewers must have come late to the show or simply do not understand anything that has a little more meaning involved. The Gift might have actually been our favorite show out of all. Skipping gear, we thought Spectra’s Cabaret was an interesting show, definitely worth seeing but our 3rd favorite. It is interesting to hear some people and their complaints. For example, one morning we overheard a group in the windjammer discussing Spectra’s CABERNET and how they didn’t understand it. I really wonder what is going on in some passenger’s minds and how much of the negative reviews are actually accurate. To actually think it is Cabernet instead of Cabaret, no wonder they did not understand the show. Perhaps too much wine on their minds? Besides those main shows, there were other Headliners and guest entertainment that was quite good. Our cruise director Abe was a form of entertainment for us. His morning show and easy personality grew on us very quickly. Some shows needed to be rescheduled during the last few days of the cruise due to the winter storm, however they DID successfully and fully completed every show at some point in the remaining days. Everyone was happy about their efforts. 7. Ports – Eastern Caribbean for us involved St. Martin, St. Thomas, Puerto Rico, and St. Kitts. Our only complaint here was that we wished we arrived earlier in Puerto Rico, which was our first port stop. We arrived at 3pm, which did not provide enough time to do much. We love the beach, so that is what we did in the other three islands, along with some shopping and sightseeing. 8. Other Public Rooms/Areas – I did go to the casino which was adequate but seemed a little smaller than it should have been. I feel like it should have been similar to Oasis’ casino size. The Music Hall was a nice venue with different things going on each day. 270 was a beautiful room, wish we could have spent more time there. The Fitness Center and Spa were both good, but some gym machines could have been better quality I felt. Michael’s Pub, Royal Theater, Solarium, Vintages, were all great areas as well. There were many other nice spots as well. The Bionic Bar was fun to take part of. If you want to get a stiff drink, change the parts ratio and the robot will take care of the rest. 9. Extra Sea Day/Winter Storm – This section ties in with the earlier one. As the Noreaster Jonas intensified off the east coast of the U.S., it obviously prompted some kind of action by our captain Anders and Royal Caribbean. We would have sailed into 30 feet waves and near 100 mph winds which would have been similar to what the ship experienced two weeks later on the 2/6/16 sailing. Thankfully, the captain and Royal changed course, basically sticking around an extra day near the Bahamas. This helped avoid most of the terrible weather we would have faced. When this decision was made, the captain announced it immediately to let everyone know. Most people were thrilled but there were some sour faces and comments. In an effort to help every passenger, they provided free Wifi and long distance calling to help with the schedule change for the remainder of the cruise which was 3 full days. Since we live in NJ, this was no worry for us. We would just drive back home whenever we arrived in Bayonne. Another bonus, if you had the beverage package, this was included free on the extra day. That is a $40-70 savings, depending on which package you had. If you purchased the internet package, you were credited for the remaining 3 days. I feel like Royal was very reasonable and accommodating once they changed the itinerary. This seems to be the story with the 2/6 sailing as well. I also heard they helped compensate on an individual basis for flight changes, however I cannot verify this. One last comment about the extra day, they did notify everyone through the loudspeaker, TV, during shows, and finally in a formal paper letter on the next day. I bring this up because another review mentioned they only found out by overhearing other guests. These are the type of complaints people come up with. This is simply not the truth. 10. Gratuities – When we booked our cruise, the only option available was to have our gratuities pre-billed once we boarded. We had forgotten about this and so each day if we checked our folio on the TV, it would add the standard tip for my wife and me. I noticed another reviewer mention this and was very upset about it. I totally agree that tips should never be automatically charged and therefore we chose the simple solution of going to Guest Relations and request for the charges to be removed. The gentleman gladly took care of it and the charges were off our bill within a day. Instead we opted for the standard envelopes on the last two days and tipped accordingly. There are simple ways to address some things. I don’t feel there is a need to give a 1-star rating because you didn’t think to go to Guest Relations. 11. Fellow Passengers – This is one of the driving factors for me writing a review about our cruising experience on Anthem. Combined with the other negative reviews posted here, I feel compelled to write this review. To see that only 46% of cruisers loved their experience really shocks me. That is not how it appeared when I was on the Anthem. Most people were enjoying their vacation from what I saw… With that being said, there were some passengers that I could not tolerate at all. At some point of the cruise I felt like it was my duty to stand up for the crew and ship overall. I have seen some of the most rudest, disrespectful, and messiest passengers on this cruise. Please keep in mind this made up a smaller percentage than those who were good on the cruise, but still I would estimate it to be around 20% of all passengers acting in this way. (which is very high compared to other cruises I have been on) I will provide just a few examples of this behavior. I feel it is necessary to bring all of this up in a review because I see a strong correlation between the bad reviews on cruise critic with these unruly passengers that we experienced on the actual cruise. Folks, I have come to realize the bigger problem is not with the crew or the ship, but rather with these types of passengers. I will admit some reviews here address legitimate concerns, but so many are plain out ridiculous, which is what we encountered firsthand. Examples: A. I ordered over-medium eggs each morning in the Windjammer from the same gentleman. As each day passed, he was friendlier and friendlier and always took care of my order perfectly. One morning we were late to Windjammer and I had to go on a different “egg line”. Another woman soon came behind me and started a conversation with me. She begins to explain how the other “egg guy” was completely rude and disrespectful, that she never seen anything like it. She went on to say she tried to order and the chef said “no way, you have to go over there, I am done here”. Meanwhile, this is the gentleman I ordered from every morning and he was always professional and courteous. It did not make sense at all that he would behave like this all of a sudden. I explained this to the woman and she pretended not to hear it. She just kept going and again I repeated how my experience was with him. She eventually turned around and started complaining to the guy behind her, which enjoyed tagging along her complaints. This is just one terrible example of poor behavior of a passenger. First, for probably making up a story about the crew member. Second, for looking to anyone and everyone to complain about this and trying to slander someone for no reason. I find it very unnecessary to act like this. If something is not up to par or someone treats you poorly, go to Guest Relations and report them. Don’t gossip to anyone who will join in on your make-believe issues. B. At Sorrentos one day for lunch, my wife and I encountered a very disrespectful passenger. This one sticks out like a sore thumb to me because we actually ran into him and his wife a few times before this incident, from leaving big messes in the windjammer, (I am talking about food and crumbs all over the table, how does this happen?) to bumping our chairs multiple times for no reason, to making faces, staring and complaining about everything. On this one occasion the guy orders gluten free pizza which is made separately from the rest. He takes a seat in Sorrentos, next to us unfortunately, and sits there looking around, maybe for trouble I can safely assume now. We enjoy our lunch when all of a sudden, he gets up and makes a big scene. He walks up to the pizza counter and says, “I was sitting over there, you couldn’t just bring this pizza over to me? Or at least tell me it’s ready?” The pizza chef apologizes and says he didn’t know where he went. The man continues to repeat himself and this time says, “what can I expect from this ship, the service is garbage here.” He starts walking back with his pizza using profanity cursing off the worker and the ship in general. This was very loud and in front of many people, including kids. This is very despicable to me, especially after witnessing different issues multiple times from the same couple. You are in a pizza parlor with 2 crew members making pizza for hundreds of people. You really think you are so special that you deserve to be handed the pizza at some random spot you chose in the midst of 50-75 other passengers? Get real… C. Windjammer is always known to be very busy, and at times tough to maneuver. This is the first time though that I saw some passengers cutting each other, bumping and almost pushing to get food. The etiquette here of some people is just astonishing. There is plenty of food for everyone, so no need for this type of behavior. There were so many other stories like this, but it has been a month now since our cruise, so I don’t want to re-hash. However, I hope that this helps people see the truth about Anthem. If you like to complain about anything, and only look negatively on things, then you will fit right in with this 20% of passengers that I estimated. This is probably the majority of the people writing reviews here for Anthem. Some of the complaints on cruise critic are so wild and absurd, they fit right in with the 20% passengers we have encountered. Be respectful and nice to the crew, and they will surely take care of you. The rest will fall right into place. 12. Final Thoughts – Please do not let my comments about the passengers scare you. There were many great people we met on board too and we did have an awesome time. The ship is gorgeous with so many options for everyone. The food and drinks are plenty and very good. As others say, if you normally have a good time on vacation, you will not be disappointed. If you usually complain and bicker, this is not the vacation for you. It is probably best you stay home. Make the best of your vacation. With this ship and crew, doing so should not be a problem at all. I would sail again on Anthem without a doubt and I highly recommend it to anyone. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
Pros: 1. Beautiful ship 2. Fast internet Cons: 1. You may be misinformed throughout the trip as one question can get several conflicting answers, depending on whom you ask. Just returned from the Serenade of the Seas in Nov. ... Read More
Pros: 1. Beautiful ship 2. Fast internet Cons: 1. You may be misinformed throughout the trip as one question can get several conflicting answers, depending on whom you ask. Just returned from the Serenade of the Seas in Nov. 2015. We were told as diamond members we can get 2 free bottles of water per person per day from 5:00 to 8:00 pm, so we did every day for 14 days throughout the ship. Before I wend to collect the water first day on the Anthem, I called the customer service and was confirmed that's the case. Then, when I went to the bar that was next to the Diamond Lounge, the bar attendant told me "You don't deserve it". Later, the concierge told me the Serenade got it wrong. It's one thing you got it wrong one time; it hard to dispute that every bar attendant on the Serenade was wrong for 14 days. 2. Chaos in the Windjammer Usually when you enter the Windjammer, you can see the food from far away. This was not the case in the Anthem; all you saw was people, droves of people. There's no direction, thus there's no beginning or end of the line. People cut in right in front of you or bumped into you w/o even an "excuse me". 3. Food Seemed everyday was the same food in the Windjammer for breakfast and lunch. For 4 days straight, I had nothing but chips w/ salsa and same vegetables. Moreover, everywhere seemed to be out of supplies throughout the week, such as Windjammer had no maple syrup one morning, and Promenade had no Camomile tea the last night. 4. Technology Technology is great only if it works. For our cabin door, unless you slammed really hard, most of the time, it's ajar. I wish someone could have taught us how to flush for the first time b/c there's no button to touch. You just stood there & tried to figure out every way you can to make the toilette to flush. If there's a toilette seat holder on the wall, you would expect to see the cover sheets, but I saw none throughout the public restroom during the entire stay. The robotic drink mixer looked great on TV, but it didn't work when I ordered my drink, and the bar attendant was so frantic and frustrated that there never a smile on her face. 5. Fitness place You would expect there are plenty of mats in the fitness room for a ship that holds 4900 passengers. In reality, there had less than 15. The 1st morning when I went to work out at 7:15, there was no mat left. I had to request a special one to be reserved for me, and I did feel obligated to get up early every morning to do work out. The worst part was I could never find the fitness staff onsite to learn how to use certain equipment. So, here you go, folks. Enjoy! Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
Overall, it was a great experience. The ship was huge and clean and even the layout was great. There's a promenade that's set up like a street and that was really a lot of fun. Full of bars (like old fashioned pubs) and store ... Read More
Overall, it was a great experience. The ship was huge and clean and even the layout was great. There's a promenade that's set up like a street and that was really a lot of fun. Full of bars (like old fashioned pubs) and store and food. Loved it. The food was a huge disappointment. The buffet was the exact same ever=y day for breakfast and lunch - not one difference. I had a terrible time finding something to eat that was gluten free and vegetarian. Dinner was just not cruise worthy. We had one dining room to eat in, or a choice of two restaurants that we could pay for. Didn't have any overall desire to spend more money for food that I assumed would be the same.... The quality and quantity in the dining room was below average. The wait staff was extremely friendly and accommodating so there was no issue ordering several items. But finding something for me was also a chore. I ended up eating vegetables and a baked potato most nights. Which I will say were very god and a large variety. One night I decided to try the gluten free pizza on the promenade, and sure enough they ran out of the dough on the 2nd night! That's insane. A wonderful food manager overhead me telling me someone that I had no dinner that night because there was nothing for me and he found me at a bar and brought me a HUGE plate of vegetables and baked potato which I thought was above and beyond. And he made sure I had options (although not many) in my dining room every night. The 3 other people I was with were not impressed with the food, so it's not just my crazy eating habits! Bermuda was awesome. GREAT people and a beautiful place to visit. Make sure you see Horseshoe Bay Beach. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
So... went there with my mama and my papa. 10 days cruise from Cape Liberty. It was great. I believe we booked the last room available on the ship for that cruise, because I kept looking after booking the cruise and they kept saying all ... Read More
So... went there with my mama and my papa. 10 days cruise from Cape Liberty. It was great. I believe we booked the last room available on the ship for that cruise, because I kept looking after booking the cruise and they kept saying all the rooms were sold out. We booked a little bit late and had to take what was left, but we don't regret it since we don't have much time to travel otherwise. Embarkation was really fast and easy, took less than half an hour, toilet excursion included (it's free too). First thing to do when you get onboard - Windjammer baby! Buffet was great the first 7 days. Got tired of all the food after that. Don't think it's RC's fault. Shouldn't have eaten 3 plates at every meal... again, toilet excursions are free onboard! The boat was really nice. Much nicer than our previous cruise boat (Majesty of the seas). Among my favorite places on the boat : Royal Promenade, Spa in the adult section, Fitness center, Ping pong center, Flowrider, Ice cream station, Toilet center. The ship was clean. You can tell that those people are working hard to keep it clean. They even take the time to say Hi most of the time. But does that worth 400 canadian dollars of gratuities? I guess so. The places we visited were amazing (Bermuda, St-Monokini (St-Marteen), San Juan, Labadee). If you do your homework before the cruise, you can absolutely plan your own excursion and profit from what the locals have to offer. Buses tour were 7 $ each way per person everywhere... That's really cheap to me... Just plan where you really want to go and it'll be great. The most beautiful place we've been to is Horseshoe Bay Beach, in Bermuda. If you never been to the Bermuda, I believe it's the first place to go. This is also were I saw the most beautiful girl I've ever seeen!!! She even smiled at me and set herself just in front of me on the beach. It was the most beautiful day of my life. Back on the boat, I realized she was cruising on the same boat... with a crew member... almost ruined the rest of my cruise... just kidding... plenty of fishes in the royal caribbean seas. Service was better on the Majesty of the seas since I believe people are more happy on cheaper cruises... that's just my opinion... Average age on the boat was, maybe... 83 years old... Haha! There were many old people. I believe we were 6 people under 30 yo. But, every cruiser were really nice on that boat anyway. So, the cruise was really nice. Nothing to complain about, since there's much bigger problems in life than cruising on one of the biggest ship on Earth. If you can't enjoy a cruise, I believe you have to get yourself a different set of value... Only regret... should have taken a shot on that girl... Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
It's a nice ship....but not my favorite. A few things that bug me..... The Fitness Center has no locker room, no sauna, no steam room. Instead you need to go to the Spa and purchase a "spa package". Unfortunately, the ... Read More
It's a nice ship....but not my favorite. A few things that bug me..... The Fitness Center has no locker room, no sauna, no steam room. Instead you need to go to the Spa and purchase a "spa package". Unfortunately, the "Spa Package" is very limited and is sold out for my TransAtlantic Cruise. Since the weather is cold, we've spent a lot of time inside our cabin reading and watching TV. The TV Channel selection is AWFUL and most of the stations aren't working as we cross the Atlantic. I don't know why they don't have a library of pre-taped TV shows they can just replay? Instead, they have Dreamworks cartoons replaying over and over again and TCM black and white movies....NO CNN, BBC, Bloomberg, Fox? Reservation system is a total cluster. Some restaurants are over-booked, sometimes it's difficult to get the times you want, some places we are unable to book at all....and the biggest annoyance is the Windjammer Buffett is so crowded for breakfast and lunch, it is very difficult to find a CLEAN TABLE.....This is a new, mostly Chinese crew and does not hustle to clean tables like other RCL Ships! Cabins are ok...nothing special...smallest closets of any ship I have ever been on....and the Diamond Lounge is packed ....I heard that there are over 1100 Diamond members on board? My favorite part so far is talking to crew members and telling them anything..there response is "I'm sorry sir".... never, never, never, offering to help or do anything about my concern. Finally, I was in the Windjammer tonight for dinner. The staff was getting ready to close and had already started clearing away food and cleaning. I wanted to see if I could get something so I went up to manager that was standing and talking to another staff member. His response was, "sorry sir, we're closing". I wanted to say, hey a-hole, I know you are closing, but you are just standing there! A better response for "Excellent" customer service could have been, 'Sorry sir, we're closing, but what would you like and let me see if I could help you'? As opposed to my other RCL experiences, it seems like no one is willing to go an extra inch to help you? It might be because a large portion of the crew is leaving the ship before it goes to China, but they seem to forget it's my vacation experience, and I am not a happy camper!!! Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
We were supposed to go to Bermuda on Explorer on 18 October. We were not notified by RCI or our travel agent at all that the itinerary had changed due to Hurricane Gonzalo which hit Bermuda a day prior to our set arrival. Thank goodness we ... Read More
We were supposed to go to Bermuda on Explorer on 18 October. We were not notified by RCI or our travel agent at all that the itinerary had changed due to Hurricane Gonzalo which hit Bermuda a day prior to our set arrival. Thank goodness we called our travel agent at 10pm the night before to confirm that we were good to go because otherwise we would not have known about he change! We were able to completely change our attire/packing to accomodate the tundra that was Canada. (brrrrr) There were people on the cruise who had not gotten notification at all and they were not happy OR prepared for chilly temps. RC's compensation was unfair, if you ask me. We were given a $250 room credit if we chose to sail. If we chose NOT to sail, we would only be given 25% of our paid price to apply to a future cruise. We would have gladly accepted 100% OR even 75% of our paid price to apply to a future cruise with RC. Bottom line was that the boat still needed to sail. We were disappointed (as was EVERYONE onboard), but we decided that the compensation was not good enough to stay home. Our friends had purchased trip insurance, but it did not cover this situation. So, Bermuda remains on our bucket list. Off to Canada we went.... I knew going into port in Bayonne to expect construction, traffic and congestion. The process was pretty smooth overall and pretty well organized. No complaints. At the end of the cruise we chose to express check out which means we carried our own luggage of the ship. This allowed up to leave earlier. The lines were long and people were angry. But somehow we made it through in under an hour. All that said, Overall, our experience on the boat was great! The food (in the main dining room) was great and the staff was pretty great too. There were a few grumps in the group, but no one worth complaining about. Hey, I figure THEY were just as disappointed as we were that we were heading to Canada. The waitstaff and the bar tenders were great and everyone seemed very friendly social. Food in the WindJammer wasn't awful, but but it seemed (to me) like the same selection day after day, so after the 2nd day I was looking for other options. We chose MyTime Dining which was great because we could eat when we wanted to and were lucky enough to have the same waiters each night. Our assistant waiter was the Washy Washy guy (Nestor) and we enjoyed him very much. The selection on the menu each night was good and the portions sizes were small, so I never felt guilty ordering 2. Also, the food came out rather quickly which we were please about. Our cabin steward was rarely seen. He kept our room clean and followed through with all requests. The room showed a few signs of wear, but nothing that was worth complaining about- especially knowing that Explorer will be dry docking in the spring for a complete overhaul. The common areas were very nice and always clean and the Promenade actually looked the more up to date than the rest of the ship. I used the fitness center daily, and I think it was a great space. It was never too crowded and there was plenty of equipment. And finally the entertainment.... it was AWESOME! The shows were really outstanding. The singers and the dancers were great! We got to see the Bon Jovi tribute band Blaze of Glory and they were awesome too! The finale comedy show with Steve Shafer at the end was really great too. The Quest game show was hysterical and not to be missed. For me, the entertainment was really the best experience of the entire trip. Are we still disappointed that we didn't make it to Bermuda? Yes. Do we feel like RC's compensation was fair? Not really. But we did have a good time regardless and we made the best of the situation. We will definitely continue to sail with RC and we are already looking into booking Liberty or Freedom this Spring- never during hurricane season EVER again!   Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
DH and I went out of Cape Liberty on 7/6/14 on the Summit. Embarkation was the easiest ever. We drove down on Sunday morning, parked the car and were on the boat by 11am. Once on the ship we were escorted to BLU for a nice brunch. As ... Read More
DH and I went out of Cape Liberty on 7/6/14 on the Summit. Embarkation was the easiest ever. We drove down on Sunday morning, parked the car and were on the boat by 11am. Once on the ship we were escorted to BLU for a nice brunch. As always the food did not disappoint. This was the case during the entire cruise. We were in an Aqua Class cabin on Deck 9. Our Cabin Steward, Michael was the best. He was available and helped when asked. Our cabin was kept very clean throughout the cruise. We did not use room service at all during this cruise. The ship is small compared to some of the other ships we have been on but it was a very intimate setting and easy to get around. No lines at the elevators. All the staff that we met during the week went above and beyond to say "hello", "how are you today" , and "have a nice day". My mantra is everyone you come across appreciates a "hello" said with a smile. Ken Mills was the Cruise Director on this sailing. We did not see him much around the ship but we spent our days by the pool in the Solarium. He seemed to enjoy his job and the shows were very well done. The weather the entire week was fabulous. The Captain remarked at one point that if it was any better it " would be illegal". He had a great sense of humor. Bermuda is a beautiful place and the beaches were amazing. The first day we took the ferry to St. George's and got on " The Fun Bus" with Reggie, the tour operator who took us out to Clearwater Beach. It was 10.00 dollars round trip and so worth it. There were only four people on the beach. There was also a place there to get food and drinks run by Marlin who was great to talk to. I would highly recommend this over Horseshoe Bay where their were about 3000 people. The next day we took the bus out to Daniel's Head Beach to do a paddle board tour that I booked with Larry, from SurfSup. This was so much fun. The beach was small but the area was beautiful. We saw sea turtles and rays. There was also a great place to get drinks and lunch there as well called SUDS. Dayle runs this and he is a chef. Food was amazing as was the Swizzle drink. We also did the obligatory trip to Front Street in Hamilton and walked around and did some shopping at the Harbor Nights Festival. They had many local arts and crafts which were reasonably priced. We had great weather the entire three days. We ate at BLU every night and the food and service was over the top. Such a relaxing atmosphere. All of the waitstaff, Andres, Rambo, Alex, Jon, Collins, Edguardo, Juan, Albert, Luis and others who I have missed were amazing. The Maître D whose name I have forgotten was always available as well and assisted his waitstaff which I liked. In the afternoons we would sit and read in Cafe Bacio with a cup of tea and a pastry. I think I tried most of them during the week. We did use the gym which was packed on sea days but if you went in the afternoon it was not crowded. Disembarkation was also the easiest ever. We walked off the ship at 8:00 am went through customs and where in the car by 8:30 am. This was a great cruise and one we would do again in a heartbeat. Celebrity you WOWED us again.   Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
We traveled with six people to celebrate daughter's HS graduation. We booked three cabins, one of which was balcony, all on deck 6 aft. This was our 5th RCI cruise and our 9th cruise as a family. The positive for this cruise was the ... Read More
We traveled with six people to celebrate daughter's HS graduation. We booked three cabins, one of which was balcony, all on deck 6 aft. This was our 5th RCI cruise and our 9th cruise as a family. The positive for this cruise was the embarkation point. Being from Denver, we spent four extra days in NYC before the cruise. The port was nice and accommodating, but construction is being done in preparation for Quantum. Boarding ship went smoothly, as was our luggage delivery. Our room attendant and main dining room staff were very good, we dined in the Columbus every night but one, we dined in the Windjammer for breakfast, lunch and one dinner. The Windjammer was disappointing in the evening, only the station in the back was open and the seating was limited each night. The food selection was the same from day to day, and a bit of variety at lunch would have been nice. Also, would have been nice to have a special American menu on July 4th, as we have experienced on other RCI cruises previously. The ports were great, especially Bermuda, but the time in port at St. Maarten was very limited, (1:00 arrival) and San Juan (9-3:30 essentially). Hard to do multiple activities in such limited time periods. Labadee was fabulous as always, although there were many foods that were running out on the lunch BBQ. The ship is ready to be dry docked. Our room had an old TV, though the rooms next to us had flat screens, and the rooms were in need of refurbishing and repair. The availability of TV programming and movies is lacking compared to every other cruise we have been on. The first day at sea one of the pools was being repaired, that made for crowded pool. The activities were very sparse on the pool deck, and often there were activities listed in compass that didn't happen. One day the "pool games" were greatly lacking in enthusiasm from the cruise director staff. The entertainment was good, but some of dancing/singing shows were a bit disappointing. The ballroom couple was fabulous, but we have a family of dancers and found the shows a bit lacking. Hard to follow Broadway shows in NYC. Karaoke was overrun by the teenage crowd every night, I think the participation should be limited to one song per person/ or duo. Very few people could participate compared to hearing the same teenagers over and over again. Leaving the ship was a DISASTER. For some reason the luggage was not available as early as it should have been. There was one elevator that was not working, and the crew was blocking the stairs so people could not get off ship. Communication between the port and the ship was poor. IT was 11:30 before all had gotten off the ship. One of the men running the shuttle was short-tempered and there was very little explanation given to passengers who were waiting. We love Royal, but this trip didn't live up to the usual standard. I wonder if the new method of dividing tips has affected the superb service we have come to expect. The captain was great, however, very friendly and highly visible. I would love to go back to Bermuda and spend more time there, beautiful island. I will add we had to see ship doctor on last day for an ear infection, she was wonderful, capable and the price was reasonable for treatment and prescriptions (around $130 for office visit). Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
Port of Bayonne: Lousy signage caused us to make several U-turns on the way to the Port. Facilities were very crowded and slow going through security and getting on the ship. Arriving on ship: Don't know why they insist on forcing ... Read More
Port of Bayonne: Lousy signage caused us to make several U-turns on the way to the Port. Facilities were very crowded and slow going through security and getting on the ship. Arriving on ship: Don't know why they insist on forcing everyone into the Buffet line! Buffet restaurant is very confusing and too small for that many people. Food was terrible and the service attendance were worse. Not a good way to start off the vacation. Luggage: arrived in a reasonable time Cabin: Small but clean and adequate with plenty of storage and hangers in the closet. Cabin attendant was wonderful (Sarah). She always provided ice and was very responsive with requests. Quickly cleaned the room and surprised us with a few towel animals. Entertainment: The best entertainment of any cruise I have been on ( I have only been on 3) Mr. Carnell was not my favorite (a bit too Broadway for me) The ship should highlight the "cirque" style performers more as they were excellent! Food: I will open that I hate buffet style dining so my opinion in this area is very harsh with the exception of the Burgers and Fries served poolside. Sit down restaurant food was fine but I have had better in "fine dining" restaurants. Some items were not as advertised, example was the seared scallopes that were really broiled. Our server, Ballan, was wonderful and very friendly. Activities: Too many events that are really just ploys to get you to buy stuff. Several events happen at the same time so we missed some of the things we wanted to do. Not enough dance lessons and trivia games etc. Health Club: A bit crowded but I never had to wait long for an available machine. Need cups for getting water. Bermuda: What can you say except that it is a lovely destination that is clean and friendly. Turquoise water, pink sand, rum swizzle's and coral reefs, in short, paradise. Don't love that they dock at the Dockyards as it is on the far end of the Island a bit far Hamilton and St. George, but the ferry service is fine enough. We rented a moped for one day through Oleander which is the only way to get around the Island by yourself. Fun but a bit uncomfortable and not for the faint of heart! We did the Catamaran Snorkel excursion and it was the highlight of our trip. Very reasonably priced and our ships Captain was very hospitable and provided a free round of Rum Swizzle's after we snorkeled. Highly recommend snorkeling in Bermuda as they have some of the healthiest and most beautiful coral reefs in the world. Not to be missed! Atmosphere on ship: Most of the crew was very friendly. This ship leaves from New Jersey so be prepared to spend time around loud and often rude people who are very hard to please. We did meet many very friendly folks from Pennsylvania and Europe. Overall it was a good trip. My husband I determined that we are a bit too young to be regular cruisers. We are active and fit enough to go to many destinations around the world and we enjoy more time exploring than cruising allows . We are novice foodies and were a bit disappointed by the food. Cruising is for people who don't want to walk too much and care more about quantity of food than quality. Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
We were on the Explorer from 11/3 - 11/14/2013. Overall we found the trip to be excellent. We drove from Buffalo to Bayonne and stayed overnight in Stroudsburg, PA. WE parked at PREMIER PARKING about 1 mile away from the port. Our ... Read More
We were on the Explorer from 11/3 - 11/14/2013. Overall we found the trip to be excellent. We drove from Buffalo to Bayonne and stayed overnight in Stroudsburg, PA. WE parked at PREMIER PARKING about 1 mile away from the port. Our experience with this company was excellent. Embarkation: Smooth and quick until it was time to actually board the ship. We got a card with number 22 for our order to get on the bus to the ship. The process was very slow. It took over an hour for our number to be called. Part of the reason for the delay is that all handicapped pax or those needing assitance were allowed to board first. Cabin: We had an inside cabin on deck 9 which was conveniently located near the forward lifts. Our steward was excellent. Dining was in the Megellan MDR . Food was excellent. Service was too. Entertainment: Not the best that we have seen but good-very good. On exception was Norm Crosby, the veteran comedian who is now 86 years old. He put on a great show. I heard many people rave about the show afterwards, however, I did hear some younger pax who didn't know who he was and didn't appreciate the show. I guess it was a generational thing. Ports: Great variety of ports. WE got off the boat at every port and did a couple of excursions. Our favorite was our day resort stay at the Marriot in Antigua. Disembarkation was good. We did the express and took our own bags. there was a bit of delay at the elevators. After waiting at the Center Ice for 10 minutes, they allowed us to go to the first deck to exit but there were too many people for the elevators. We dragged our bags down the two floors and were off the ship in five minutes. Customs was fast and we got our van to Premier parking within 10 minutes. We were on the road to Buffalo by 9:00 AM. overall experience: Excellent Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
Having previously travelled only on one cruise (Disney Magic, 2012) we decided to choose RC as we heard from a variety of other more experienced cruisers that it was equally family friendly. After 9 nights we can honestly say that the ... Read More
Having previously travelled only on one cruise (Disney Magic, 2012) we decided to choose RC as we heard from a variety of other more experienced cruisers that it was equally family friendly. After 9 nights we can honestly say that the staff ARE very friendly, but there are issues. Childrens programs: a bit second rate. The staff are very nice and helpful, but almost everything takes place inside. Teen program is good but anything younger and its more of a low cost daycare than anything Else. Food: Main dining room food is very good and staff are as well. Windjammer food also good, though a bit repetative after a few days. Dismayed to learn there was only one specialty restaurant on ship as it appeared originally that we would have a few to choose from. All in all, people were definitely trying hard to please you but the ship has had its day. Needs an upgrade. It IS family friendly but seems like the family friendliness is recent, that they are used to the typical chubby food oriented Americans and not people with kids, young people who dont drink and smoke and gamble all that much and kids. Smoking was VERY surprising to be found all over the place. Being Canadian we arent used to this. It was good, but not great. We wont be on RC again except maybe one of the newer bigger ships. Pools: Smaller, sloshy in bad weather, small hot tubs closed for maintenance whole trip. Clean. Room: it was a suite so larger than we had previously, though a bit weird in its layout.. Why do we store clothing in "kitchenette" area? Otherwise good enough. Needs upgrade. General ship appearance: Good, needs upgrade. Ship issues: A water bottle filling station would be nice as you cannot use pop machines and taps in bathrooms do not get cold. Sporting gear and gym is showing wear and tear. Not much to do if you dont wish to gamble or drink. Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
My husband and I have been cruising many years with many lines. We stayed away from Celebrity as many of our friends had gotten sick onboard with the Noro Virus. We finally broke down when a friend asked us to cruise with them on the ... Read More
My husband and I have been cruising many years with many lines. We stayed away from Celebrity as many of our friends had gotten sick onboard with the Noro Virus. We finally broke down when a friend asked us to cruise with them on the Celebrity Summit. What a mistake. We have never had a bad experience on a cruise, fortunately until now. Even if we hadn't gotten the Norovirus, as everyone on board eventually was sick with it, and worse, it was by far the filthiest and poorly run cruise we ever experienced. Everything from dirty cutlery, glasses, paper coffee cups, to not wiping down tables in the buffet or dining room. Staff hygiene is suspect and nasty attitude by every staff member on board. We were led to believe this would be a higher level of service than any other cruise line we traveled with, what a lie! They didn't even have hand sanitizer to use the first few days of our trip, and the wait staff handled everything with dirty hands. We also noticed members of the dining room picking their nose, teeth, etc then handle the cups, forks, etc. We called the cruise line to complain about this and were told there was nothing they could do. Well how about cleaning up and teaching their staff how to have good hygiene? If want to enjoy your cruise, go on another line but do not take Celebrity. OUr Cabin was nice as our steward, but there were many others on board who complained of their rooms not being clean and the steward not cooperative.   Read Less
Sail Date September 2013

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