26 Bayonne (Cape Liberty) Fitness Cruise Reviews

I genuinely couldn’t fault out RCI Cruise, the experience was amazing from start to finish, Just a minor glitch when collecting our onboard Photographs which took about 30 Minutes to sort out but got there in the end, Our Room ... Read More
I genuinely couldn’t fault out RCI Cruise, the experience was amazing from start to finish, Just a minor glitch when collecting our onboard Photographs which took about 30 Minutes to sort out but got there in the end, Our Room attendant did a fantastic job his Name was Allison Dublin who left our berth spotlessly clean and greeted us with a pleasant smile and friendly Chat and the Towel Origami was Brilliant our young Daughter couldn’t wait to get back to the Room after his regular visits to see what Animals Allison had created with the Towels The Live Musical entertainment was always very popular with the Passengers with Bands like Royal Swedes and DSB Journey Tribute Band, And the shows SPECRAS CABARET and WE WILL ROCK YOU we’re fantastic, Lot of onboard Karaoke and Quizzes the list was endless, The onboard entertainment information was delivered the night before so you we’re kept up to date what was happening the following day as was the Port location information and if you had concerns there was always a member of the Crew to help you with your queries. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
I just came back from Adventure Of The Seas ... It was my first cruise and it was amazing from the beginning to end ! ... Getting on the ship in Cape liberty was quick ... We got on the ship at 11 by 1 our bags were at the rooms already .. ... Read More
I just came back from Adventure Of The Seas ... It was my first cruise and it was amazing from the beginning to end ! ... Getting on the ship in Cape liberty was quick ... We got on the ship at 11 by 1 our bags were at the rooms already .. I had a balcony room it was a nice size for two people it had a little couch also and a makeup area. The balcony was my favorite I would deff recommend to get one ... The pool area was beautiful plenty of bars the drinks were excellent!! I don’t drink a lot so I only got the refreshment package but I will deff be getting the alcohol next time .. coco cay is so nice there’s everything on it ... chairs everywhere to sit or u can upgrade and spend money on a cabana .. We did the jet ski tour it was well worth !! The boat brings ur lunch on the beach which was cool and that’s Royal Caribbean’s island so all the drinks were free if u had the package there’s all little huts and hair braiding there’s even a bar in the water ... Florida we went went to the beach with the shuttle it brought us right there and right back bet relaxing... Nassau we did the Belmont island and that was gorgeous!!! It rained on an off but it was still insanely nice the only water you can see crystal clear there was two pools optional swim with dolphins ... the only thing is the food and drinks where a little expensive but we got a few drinks and went back to the boat to eat when we were done ...The main dining room was delicious the waiter Ramil and he’s helper Pablo was the best and the room cleaner edy was great to ...The food was great every day and we did the buffet at the windjammer which had everything... I went with a group of people I am 24 and the ages were 24 to 70 andWe all had a great time it’s a family boat , single people will have a good time and a lot for kids everyone there is something for .... the shows and game shows are awesome ... !I already booked my second one !!! I deff reccomend this ship Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
we chose the cruise because we wanted to try a different ship and also wanted a seven day cruise and not a 5 day cruise as that was the only one available on Anthem of the Seas. We loved the ship the food was great. We were especially ... Read More
we chose the cruise because we wanted to try a different ship and also wanted a seven day cruise and not a 5 day cruise as that was the only one available on Anthem of the Seas. We loved the ship the food was great. We were especially impressed with the buffet. It had a great deal of variety and an abundance of food. The main restaurant was also great the food and service was excellent. There was also a great deal of shade available around the pool which is important for us. The entertainment was very good the comedians were great. We liked the promenade on this ship more than on the Anthem of the seas . There was more variety of food available after hours. Our cabin was very spacious for an inside room plenty of storage space, I guess because it was an older ship.The only thing we were not impressed with was the solarium which has a sky opening so when it is cold and the weather is bad you cannot seek refuge there. We love the Solarium on Anthem of the Seas much better. Overall we loved the Adventure of the seas and are taking it again soon heading to Canada and New England. We traveled alone but if you come with children there are many activities available and the pool area has sections specially for children of all ages. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
An enjoyable experience, pleasant crew, great ports, and wonderful food. Would definitely repeat this cruise. The stateroom was spacious and the functionality of the virtual balconies is innovative. However, with a camera being out of ... Read More
An enjoyable experience, pleasant crew, great ports, and wonderful food. Would definitely repeat this cruise. The stateroom was spacious and the functionality of the virtual balconies is innovative. However, with a camera being out of order, it was odd to have a port side stateroom and see out the port side of the ship while looking starboard. This could potentially cause issues with motion sickness. The food was excellent and well prepared. I wish there was more variety in main dining room menus though. Also there was a notable lack of fruit bisques aside from one night. Spent a night eating in the Windjammer just to get some additional variety. Wonderland service was incredible and a very welcome and inventive addition. Would strongly recommend to anyone wanting a very creative meal in a fun atmosphere. There is a lot of food brought out, so come hungry and being a camera. Skydiving and bumper cars at sea were innovative and enjoyable. Never felt rushed to get through either and both were well run and an awesome addition to all of the other Royal Caribbean exclusive onboard experiences. On top of that, the FlowRider experience and staff were knowledgeable and had a vested interest in ensuring the guests learned and got better at surfing. Wish there were more night sessions. Enjoyably, the fitness center is at the top of the ship with a 270° view. Routinely worked out watching sunrise/sunset. North Star (the cantilevered pod that goes up above the ship and occasionally swings out towards the water) was amazing. 300 feet above the water level, extremely smooth, and exciting. No narration but crew was readily available to answer questions. The shows & game shows onboard were pleasantly varied and high quality. The virtual fireworks at the end of the cruise are slightly anti climactic. The Quest, We Will Rock You, & The Gift were very well done! Of note in the Royal Theatre, the reserved balcony section opens to everyone at 5 minutes prior to show time. Spectra's Cabaret was a unique experience at sea and well utilized the functionality of the two70 theatre. Spectra roams the ship routinely and is a delight to speak with without breaking character. After having Spectra host The Quest, I'm not sure anyone else will compare in the future. The ports were well selected but Bermuda in particular felt short. Of note, the alternating cruise with this one includes 32 hours in Bermuda across 2 days, so you could do the 9 and 5 night cruises back to back (recommend 5 night after 9 night so you bookend with Bermuda and use the first visit to scope out what you want to do). For a very tech-heavy ship, there are many features that were partially disabled like multiple disabled interactive information displays, waivers that wouldn't sign properly on the stateroom TV requiring them to be completed multiple times virtually. Also, Wi-Fi handover throughout the ship was hit or miss. Some areas reliably would only stay connected some of the time. (Wi-Fi shows connected but isn't actually connecting you to the internet) When Wi-Fi worked (most of the time), the speed is impressive and much enjoyed. Recommend pre purchasing. Doing an All Access Tour was excellent and is led by Shore Excursions. They're very knowledgeable and the tour is fun and interactive as you visit multiple service areas and the bridge. Of note, long pants and close-toed shoes are required. The ship was at 95% capacity and never felt overly full. The FlowRider line occasionally got a little line, but no more so than on most of the other Royal Caribbean ships. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We've taken Disney World vacations for each of the last few years but decided on a cruise this year based on a deal we found. The kids, ages 6 & 8, actually said that they prefer Anthem of the Seas over going to Disney...a huge ... Read More
We've taken Disney World vacations for each of the last few years but decided on a cruise this year based on a deal we found. The kids, ages 6 & 8, actually said that they prefer Anthem of the Seas over going to Disney...a huge compliment considering that they loved Disney. Pros - - The staff - so friendly & attentive. They made our whole experience. Especially our dining room server - Kanyisa. She was wonderful and will be missed lots. - The activities - I don't like to sit by the pool and read. I want to be doing something all the time and I still didn't get around to half of the things there are to do. Northstar, Flowrider surfing and boogie boarding, iFly, bumper cars, roller skating, basketball, dodgeball, huge jogging track, ping pong, trapeze, family dancing, outdoor movies, indoor 3D movies, huge gym, great arcade. The list goes on and on. Never a lack of really fun things to do. Coco Kay - Just google it. Absolute paradise. We could have stayed here for a week and it wouldn't have been long enough. On that note, I do wish the port stop was more than just a day. - The food - Huge variety of really delicious food. Cons - Port Canaveral - The ship docks pretty far away from anything. I wished we had 2 days at Coco Kay instead of going to this port. Adventure Zone - When I went to pick up my 8 year old they had him watching a puppet show on TV. It was geared toward ages 2 to 4. He refused to go back. Overall the Pros vastly out-weighted the cons. We will definitely be back !!! Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
Nice prise and exiting destinations. Good entertainment, music, restaurants, gym facilities. This was our 1. cruise, and we had transport fram Hilton Hotel New Jersey to the terminal, also bact to the ship after ending the cruise. On ... Read More
Nice prise and exiting destinations. Good entertainment, music, restaurants, gym facilities. This was our 1. cruise, and we had transport fram Hilton Hotel New Jersey to the terminal, also bact to the ship after ending the cruise. On the return we had to wait inside the bus about one hour, and we did not know why! Our cabin with balcony had all that we wanted, and the man ho cleaned the cabin was very nice, and helped us a lot. So satisfied. We used the gym facilities, dansing clases and the pool. The food and restaurantservis we also give top score. On board we did go to three musicals, The Gift and We Will Rock you topped my list. We could not ashore on the island Coco Cay because of strong wind an big waves. Instead we got almost two days in Nassau. In Nassau we shopped, and was on the lovely beach both days. In Hard Rock Cafe Nassau we bought lovely souvenirs. We loved this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
Anthem of the seas provide the best atmosphere .It is such an enormous ship in size.I believe it has 16 deck full of different rooms ,shops,restaurants and activities. It offers spacious luxury rooms,best service and top of the line food ... Read More
Anthem of the seas provide the best atmosphere .It is such an enormous ship in size.I believe it has 16 deck full of different rooms ,shops,restaurants and activities. It offers spacious luxury rooms,best service and top of the line food quality.There were 11 of us at different age group travelling and everybody was very satisfied. They offer a lot of activities in the ship for different age group. Nightly entertainment were very interesting . A lot of bars with different decorations and wonderful live musics were offered.The service was great at every level. staff were very polite and helpful. Nothing unexpected happened during our cruising.Getting on board and off board were handled very smoothly . The level of cleanliness and caring was at most The ship is only a couple of years old.if you are planning to take a cruise soon this is the one ship i highly recommend.. You will not be sorry, Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
My wife and I chose this cruise because we had such a great experience on our last two cruises with Royal Caribbean we had to come back. We have gone three times in the past fifteen months. We find the fares are more than reasonable. ... Read More
My wife and I chose this cruise because we had such a great experience on our last two cruises with Royal Caribbean we had to come back. We have gone three times in the past fifteen months. We find the fares are more than reasonable. Boarding the ship is easy and secure as same as disembarkment. The cabins are spacious very kept up and housekeeping is friendly and very accommodating. The room service is fast and friendly. The ship's crew we have encountered are very friendly and knowledgeable. You cannot ask for a better dining experience, they have it down to a science. We will be back again and again. I have sailed with several cruise lines and I like them all but Royal Caribbean to me is head and shoulders above the rest so far. I have sailed with a group of family members and with my wife. We all feel the same Royal does a great job. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
This is my second Royal Caribbean cruise. Ever since i was on Royal Caribbean I couldn't wait to get back on, and they did not disappoint! It was an unbelievable experience just like the first time. Anthem of the seas was beautiful, ... Read More
This is my second Royal Caribbean cruise. Ever since i was on Royal Caribbean I couldn't wait to get back on, and they did not disappoint! It was an unbelievable experience just like the first time. Anthem of the seas was beautiful, nothing i did not like. I wish Seaplex would have longer times of usage of bumper car and skating. The times were too short. Other than that everything was great. Our favorite is Windjamme buffet, there was never nothing we did not like. Sorrentos was a stop we always made, and dinning was perfect as well, and waiters were great! Our cabin maintenance was so nice, he would say hi to us every time and would be on top of our every need! I cant wait to go back! On the Oasis there was not a show we did not like. On Anthem, we only like Cabaret. The other shows were terrible! I was really looking foward to that. The ports we visited were Boston: we did Boston Scenic, with kids this is great its a bus tour so you can actually see around the city, Then we end up in Boston Market and we walked around and had lunch. That was really nice we were able to actually enjoy Boston with kids and strollers.. They even had different times to return to the ship. Portland: We went to the shipping mall, and then ended up back to the waterfront were we went to Portlands Lobstrer Company! That was amazing, beautiful place, with music, the food was WOW, AMAZING! New Harbor: Once you get off, which is on a tender boat, which sucked because it took hours to get off, we actually missed our tour, but since we booked with Royal they have different times and we got the next tour. But the town is soo nice we were able to walk around, it was so beautiful we loved it! Then we took the tour to Acadia, literally nothing to see i mean its just a park...But at least we can say we saw Acadia Park..Maybe a hike would have been better.. my kids fell asleep it was like 2 hours, St.John,Ca: This town was nothing much, it was preety, but i would not go back. We walked around, went to the market, then to a park, and had a local beer. Nothing much. Halifax: BEAUTIFUL. The waterfront has an endless walkway, we walked all the way to the Museum and saw the Titanic history section, very interesting. The day was beautiful the ocean was beuatiful, we ate a pizza and some icecream near the waterfront. It was suuuuppppeeerr goood! It was a nice day! Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
The food was great...the shows were great...the crew was great....the other guests on the cruise were nice. We will cruise again soon based on this experience. We enjoyed the shows. We Will Rock You was great. Scheduling for the show ... Read More
The food was great...the shows were great...the crew was great....the other guests on the cruise were nice. We will cruise again soon based on this experience. We enjoyed the shows. We Will Rock You was great. Scheduling for the show and seating for the show went very smoothly. We enjoyed the performance so much, we went back another night to see it again. I appreciate being asked to wash my hands immediately before walking into the Windjammer Marketplace. Hand washing provided an extra level of cleanliness that other cruise lines do not have.Kudos for encouraging this to your passengers. Although we did not need wheelchair accommodations or gluten free food options, we were glad to see these options available for others who need them. We liked the flexibility of taking our meals on our schedule and not at a fixed time. It made our dining experience much more enjoyable. Glad to see a talent show offered . Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
We truly enjoyed our experience on RC Anthem of the Seas! This was my kid’s first cruise and they are still chatting about it. Absolutely loved “We Will Rock You” – and had a blast participating in Love and Marriage -- this we ... Read More
We truly enjoyed our experience on RC Anthem of the Seas! This was my kid’s first cruise and they are still chatting about it. Absolutely loved “We Will Rock You” – and had a blast participating in Love and Marriage -- this we will remember forever!. Smiled every time we heard from our Cruise Director “Marc”. Very funny individual. Shopping on board and at ports of call was fun too. We went snorkeling in Bermuda and still had enough time to visit the Pink Beach for 1 1/2 hours! Service and food at all restaurants-superb. We thoroughly enjoyed dining at the American Icon Grill, and PLEASE budget for Wonderland! OMG - What a fun experience! Recommendations – Get in line early for Flow Rider, Roller Skating; Bumper Cars, etc. Though fun to have, need more available times. Voom internet - way too expensive. RipCord - Fantastic! Regarding parking at Cape Liberty: PLAN TO LEAVE EARLIER! We sat in line for 1 hour just to park in the parking deck. Disembarkation at Cape Liberty - Smooth -- if you can take your own luggage off the ship do so! 4,800 folks is a lot of luggage!! All of our shore excursions and restaurants were made on line and we even canceled one specialty restaurant with no consequences. No issues with 4,800 people on board.... the crew ran this ship with expertise! Could use a few more excursion options and a bit more time at each port. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
We thoroughly enjoyed our experience. We were in a Superior Ocean view with a balcony that allowed us to view the water the entire trip. It was very relaxing sitting in the reclining chairs on the deck, while listening to the waves. The ... Read More
We thoroughly enjoyed our experience. We were in a Superior Ocean view with a balcony that allowed us to view the water the entire trip. It was very relaxing sitting in the reclining chairs on the deck, while listening to the waves. The food was full of quality and the chefs knew how to cook steaks well. Our dining experience was exceptional because we had two great servers, Ida and Crissom, who treated our family like their own. Our teenager daughter met a great friend on board and our 5 year son enjoyed the family activities with us. There was a mixture between adult and family friendly entertainment that was very much appreciated. Our stateroom was always cleaned and refreshed, throughout, each day. We didn't choose the shore excursions because we enjoyed venturing out on our own and exploring the sites. We recommend this cruise. Thank You Royal Caribbean Anthem of the Seas. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
Rc is a excellent cruise ship. the staff, the service, food, amenities, entertainment, cabin and activities was absolutely excellent. queen of the seas. . . . this was my first cruise and nothing was left out. From spa time, to late ... Read More
Rc is a excellent cruise ship. the staff, the service, food, amenities, entertainment, cabin and activities was absolutely excellent. queen of the seas. . . . this was my first cruise and nothing was left out. From spa time, to late night movie on the top deck, to dancing till morning, experiencing fine dinning and meeting great staff that felt like friends. It was an excellent experience. I cannot wait to do this again. My stateroom was more spacious then i expected. the bed was so comfortable. The service staff was friendly and met all my needs. I spent a great deal around the pool and the alcoholic drinks were perfect for the day. My daughter loved the windjammer's food was amazing and the my time dinning we absolutely excellent. every night was a new experience. I also loved the art work that adorned the ship. rc you will definitely see me next year! next time, i'm bringing my entire family. i cannot wait!!!!! Read Less
Sail Date June 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
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
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
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
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 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
Just completed our 24th cruise with Celebrity (out of 30 or so - I've lost track). The more you cruise, the more you come to understand the kind of product a cruise line strives to offer and how the product is delivered. One quick ... Read More
Just completed our 24th cruise with Celebrity (out of 30 or so - I've lost track). The more you cruise, the more you come to understand the kind of product a cruise line strives to offer and how the product is delivered. One quick comment on the cruiser''s comment above who neededva gluten free diet due to Celiac Disease. I wonder if this condition was mentioned in advance and the need for a gluten free diet identified to Celebrity Staff? I am confident this would have been addressed if staff had known. Yes, the ship is old - 13y old. Refurbished 4y ago. This is why guests can pay as little as $500 for a 7d cruise, meals included. If you want to sail newer ships, it's easy to book the Solstice class ships. On the food. I believe you will find the negative comments made in this critique to be among a small minority who complain about the food. Remember, this is a cruise ship serving 1600 or so meals at the same time, multiple times during the day. Regular dining is not 5 star dining. Normandy is and I felt like this cruiser got what she what she looking for there. Moving on. I think most of the lines have similarity but each of them (RCL, NCL, MSC, Carnival among the others I have sailed with) do have a niche. I call it their individual cultures. Obviously, Celebrity's appeals to me or I would not have been as loyal as I have been over the 12 years I've been cruising. The point? Cruisers are going to have different tastes. Different things they are looking for in this style of vacation. I'm going to try to describe what I think goes on in that department with Celebrity Cruise Line. Maybe I can provide some insight that will help you select a cruise. In my opinion, what line you choose to cruise with is as important to your overall experience as all the other factors - price, itinerary, timing and so forth. We are, as you might expect, within what I think is one of many target populations for Celebrity. 60s, mostly retired, lots of time to cruise. I have found, however, having talked with couples in their 30s and with kids, that Celebrity has very very good programs for families with children. There were many families and children on this cruise. They seemed to be having as much fun as we were having and all of the kids were well behaved. Which means, the Moms and Dads on this cruise are good parents who have control of their kids. Something you may be looking for if you are cruising as a family. I didn't see any bad actors. So, while this review is indirectly about Summit's 7 day summer itinerary from Bayonne NJ to Bermuda and back, it's more about what you are going to be immersed in if you choose Celebrity Cruise Lines for you vacations from the perspective of the older traveler without kids traveling with us. First know that what part of the world you are cruising in, who the Captain and senior hotel and restaurant staff are, have a lot to do with what the ship you are on feels like, what kind of vibe it gives off. So does the length of the cruise. But fundamentally, Celebrity tries to create a repeatable experience on all of its ships. That is a corporate goal from what I understand about it from senior staff I have spoken to while aboard. That experience is sophisticated, relaxed and full service. You do nothing but show up and enjoy life aboard ship the way you like it. X-ceptional service has to be at the top of the Top 10 list of what corporate wants guests to experience. Celebrity touts it in its advertising. The repeatability, in all of its ships, of this aspect of cruising with Celebrity that I have experienced compared to other lines I have sailed with makes me believe this. Again, from what I hear from all levels of ship's company aboard Celebrity ships, corporate invests in its employees and works hard to train, advance them in a certain career path and retain them. High retention rates of happy employees produces happy, satisfied guests. No smart corporation selling anything doesn't try to do this, it's just that some do it a lot better than others. Celebrity is one of the better ones in doing it. Service doesn't just happen. It happens because of a corporate commitment to it, not just lip service, and when excellent leadership from senior staff is present. So, it seems obvious to me that Celebrity works to develop this important characteristic in its employees from the start. Motivated, intelligent and loyal staff are identified early and advanced. I think that is why so many Eastern Europeans, Phillipinoes, Indonesians and Indians, to name just a few counties where advancement in that business culture is based on who you know and who your family is, want jobs with Celebrity. They can live the American dream. You work hard and with integrity, you will succeed. It is not uncommon to find crew who have been with Celebrity for 15-20 years going back to Celebrity's early beginnings. They retire from Celebrity. We repeatedly renew acquaintances with restaurant staff especially, who we see over and over again but on different cruises and different ships. First knowing them as Assistant Waiters, some years later they are running the dinning rooms. I think corporate embraces that kind if thing and is quite loyal to its employees. These kinds of things produce the kind of welcoming similes,tireless effort on your behalf and uncompromising service you will find from the crew on all Celebrity ships. This is an important ingredient in creating a culture aboard ship, a product, that keeps cruisers returning for more. You know this is coming from corporate headquarters and it filters down. I'm pretty sure, the big boys strive to make that so through the officers it selects and promotes to run its 11 ships, including the 2 Azamara ships. It's working. You will also see a lot of team building going on if you look for it. That's another staple term in business these days. Celebrity gets it while others don't and the end result are these sort of memorable events or experiences from shows to entertainment around the ship to dining to fitness to ports and excursions to what Celebrity brands as its Life programs. Team leaders work to get employees to buy into their particular product whether it is food, fitness or entertainment. They are engaged and therefore what they present is theirs, they own it, and the net result is a terrific cruise experience. On this particular cruise, we met a couple at our table in the main dining room who we dined with in Normandy, Summits single specialty restaurant present before Solticization and now among three after it. I have always had good experiences with Celebrity dining but this Normandy dinner took the prize. Why? Because of one chef, Marijan from Macedonia, who runs the place. He is the product of Celebrity's system of career advancement, reflects the culture of impeccable service Celebrity wants to project and people like this are why we keep returning to this particular cruise line. I was unaware of this hierarchy among restaurant staff until this cruise but those designated as chef, also in various ranks that I cannot recall, are at the top of the restaurant/food services heap. Chef Marrijan started with Celebrity in 1998. He was a utility kitchen cleaner and has risen to the top since starting. All the table service is provided in Normandy by chefs. These are not your usual waiters in the Cosmopolitan, Summit's main dining room, also excellent. You will see these excellent chefs during the day managing other food services on the ship and then finding themselves in the evenings doing what they love. Serving guests with unparalleled, five star fine dining. Same with the wines. Those serving guests in Normandy are the Masters among Sommeliers. I love wines but I'm not into expensive ones finding plenty of very good wine under $15 retail. Of course I have no expectation for that aboard Celebrity ships. You are going to get restaurant prices for those $10-$15 wines and that means $28-$32 is going to be the low end price point per bottle. I rarely buy an expensive wine and that for me is more than $50 while I'm cruising. Well,I paid $65 being charmed into it by the knowledge and savior fare of this particular Cellar Master, Anna ......... Celebrity has to love employees like this. I did not in the least bit feel pressured to buy this wine. It just matched perfectly with the Chateau Briand I was having and the Lobster Tail or Duck others ordered. She knew that, she delivered for the team ably lead by the head Normandy chef, Marijan Maybe it was just the chemistry between ourselves and the Normandy staff and we are very friendly folks but I had more fun in this specialty dining experience than I have had on any ship. Yes, the wine helped. The lobster was prepared table side by Marijan. So was the flamed desert crepes. I can highly recommend The Normandy aboard Summit. Make a special occasion just for the two of you and if you are vacationing aboard ship with kids under 14 or so, who are not likely to appreciate a fine dining experience like this, leave them with the program staff. You can do this as long as they are loving the program, and my information leads me to believe most of them do love it, so, just do it. We also love the production shows on Celebrity. Over the years they have just gotten better from a talent and production standpoint. First rate and definitely a big part of the really exceptional vacation experience on Celebrity ships. I work hard to maintain the same level of fitness cruising as I do while I'm at home. Know that Steiner, a separate fitness and spa company in Europe, runs the fitness and spa facilities on Celebrity ships. Over the years, I've felt like the fitness experience declined under Steiner's management. To my surprise, a lot of the things I disliked - pushing useless products, hyping treatments and fitness that are more show than something with a sound exercise physiology basis, charging a fee for fitness classes that had previously been provided at no cost-that sort of thing, are being de-emphasized and there is a noticeable return to free fitness classes and a real effort to offer useful nutrition and exercise information to cruisers. I think Steiner listened to criticism and possibly under some pressure from Celebrity is working to deliver what cruisers interested in fitness are asking for. The addition of Zumba, this done by the Celebrity Activity staff, not Steiner, is also a welcome addition for those that enjoy this fitness activity. It is very popular aboard and the time spots allocated to it a couple of times a day are packed with Zumba enthusiasts. I don't avail myself of spa services. I think they are over priced and this is not just on Celebrity. This has gotten way too long but it will give you a good idea what Celbrity ships are all about. We have sailed most of them except Azamara Expedition and the two new Solstice class ships. Enjoy. Read Less
Sail Date August 2013
My wife and I just returned from the August 18 sailing to Bermuda on the Celebrity Summit. This was our third cruise and our third time on Celebrity. Each of the previous cruises was wonderful and this one did not disappoint. We could not ... Read More
My wife and I just returned from the August 18 sailing to Bermuda on the Celebrity Summit. This was our third cruise and our third time on Celebrity. Each of the previous cruises was wonderful and this one did not disappoint. We could not have asked for a better experience. EMBARKATION: We selected this cruise because we wanted a relaxing vacation. Our last few trips have included a lot of driving and sightseeing, usually followed by a long drive or flight back home --- after which we always feel like we need another vacation. We live in Staten Island which is only a few minutes from the port at Cape Liberty. On Sunday, the 18th, we took a car service to Bayonne and arrived at about 10:45 AM. The embarkation process was very easy. We dropped our bags off and took the short shuttle ride to the terminal building where, after passing through security, we found the line marked "Aqua Class" and followed it directly to a representative. Within a few minutes, we had our sea passes and were headed to the ship. We stopped briefly to look at the menus for Qsine and Normandie and were on board at 11:30, ready to begin our vacation. It couldn't have been easier. THE SHIP: We sailed on the Infinity a couple of year ago before the refurbishment, so we were interested in seeing what had been done to its sister ship, the Summit. We found that the Summit retained all of the charm that we remembered, but certainly looked a little spiffier. The ship is smaller than the S class ships and other ships like the Breakaway and some of the RCI ships. And that was fine with us. We like the more intimate feel of the ship (if you can call a 2000 passenger ship intimate). I never felt like I was very far from any part of the ship I wanted to get to. And it never felt crowded. There were a lot of children on the trip (someone said there were 400), but the younger ones spent most of their day in the Fun Factory or in the pool. I didn't find the kids annoying and all the ones I saw were pretty well behaved. If there was one minor drawback for me, it was the pool area. There really aren't enough deck chairs for everyone and many people came down before 7 AM to "reserve" chairs. The Pool Butlers did, at times, remove belongings of people who were gone for too long, but this was not done consistently. Still, since we prefer not to sit in the sun, we were eventually able to find places to sit. As I said, this was only a minor annoyance. THE CABIN: On our first cruise (on the Equinox), we had a Concierge cabin. For our cruise on the Infinity, we upgraded to a Celebrity Suite. This time, we decided to try Aqua Class (cabin #9070) --- and we were very pleased with the decision. The cabin was a comfortable size for the two of us. We packed a little more than we probably needed, but there was plenty of room in the closets to hang our clothes. In addition, there were six drawers next to the main closet and two large shelves. The two night tables each had two deep drawers and the vanity had two large storage spaces. Our suitcases fit comfortably under the bed. The bathroom was small but sufficient and I really loved the shower. The balcony was large enough for the two of us to sit and eat breakfast comfortably or read. There is a large overhang so that there was only sun early in the morning or late in the afternoon. Since we prefer shade, it was perfect. The only minor negative was mentioned on some message boards: the water from the shower tends to pour out from under the shower doors and "flood" the floor. This in no way negatively impacted the experience. We simply had to put down a few extra towels to mop up the water. On the third day, my wife figured out that by closing the doors in a certain way, we could minimize the "flooding." Overall, we really enjoyed the cabin and were very comfortable. DINING: As Aqua Class guests, we were assigned to eat in Blu. Initially, we thought we might want to occasionally eat in the MDR or in one of the specialty restaurants. However, the experience in Blu was so good that we dined there every night (and a few mornings). The first three mornings, we ordered room service, but soon we were having breakfast in Blu as well. We thought that the food was very good and loved the fact that the portions were a little smaller --- so we never felt stuffed after dinner. Dinner always began with an interesting appetizer, followed by either soup or salad. I really enjoyed the soups. The main dishes were tasty and, for the most part, light. I really enjoyed one of the roasted chicken dishes, the filet mignon and a rack of lamb (I know, how could that be light? Somehow, it was). The menu was different each night. However, the best thing about the restaurant is that it felt like a real restaurant, not like a huge dining room at a Catskill Mountains resort. Blu was quiet and intimate and quite relaxing. Everyone we spoke to felt the same way about the ambiance of the restaurant. And the staff! Well . . . THE STAFF: We absolutely love the staff on Celebrity ships and this sailing was no different. Every single staff member we passed in the halls stopped to ask how we were, how we were enjoying the cruise, if we had a nice day, etc. Of course, it probably helps that we are friendly, as well, but they went out of their way to make our cruise enjoyable. I have a hard time believing reviews that say that the staff is surly or indifferent. They are warm and friendly and professional. Now some specifics: We couldn't have been happier with our treatment in Blu. It started with Mazy, our Maitre d'. He always greeted us with a smile and welcomed us back. During the meal, he stopped by to make recommendations, to ask if we were enjoying the meal or simply to chat for a few moments. The wait staff was friendly and professional as well --- in particular Rambo, Alvin and Ashvin. They provided us with information about the food that allowed us to make informed choices. They took the time to chat with us and we found out a lot about their backgrounds and the countries they came from. They made us feel like guests in their homes, not customers. At one meal, the woman sitting next to us (from Montreal) was having trouble conveying to Alvin exactly what she wanted to eat (she spoke English well, but didn't quite have the words to convey her exact meaning). Alvin brought got Ashvin, who spoke French, and together they were able to figure out what she wanted to order. Pleasing their guests was important. I also have to mention Jom, the sommelier, and Agus, who brought us other drinks. They were so delightful and helpful and really helped make the experience in Blu a wonderful one. And, after the first night, everyone on staff knew our names and, by the third night, knew our dining and drinking preferences. In addition, I want to mention Steve Gayda, the Cruise Director, and his staff who went out of their way to make sure that everyone had a great time. By the time the cruise ended he knew the names of many of the passengers. ENTERTAINMENT: My wife and I are regular theater-goers in NY and I like to go to the shows on the ship. The entertainers were all excellent. Guitarist/vocalists Brandi Paige and Jefferson Eng are quite good. Jordan Peterson, the pianist, is very talented and I wished I could have seen him and the others more often. When the aerialists, Lulu and Dima, had to drop out of the final performance because of rough seas, Jordan took their place and did a wonderful set. The major performances by the Celebrity singers and dancers were enjoyable. The shows themselves were not very strong. "Sirens" suffered from a weak script and awful dialogue and the revues, "iHollywood" and "Stars in Their Eyes," had, in my opinion, some odd song choices. However, the singers and dancers were so good that we didn't care. The singers, particularly Glenn, Diana, Drew and Hannah had strong, beautiful voices and the dancers, especially Ben, Sacha, Jason, Jason and Ashley, were superb. Some of the dance numbers were absolutely exhilarating. As my wife remarked to one of the performers at the end of the first show, "Whatever they're paying you guys . . . it's not enough!" Jason Bishop, the illusionist, was absolutely amazing. We've all seen these "tricks" before, but his unique take on these illusions was phenomenal. While I didn't see comedian Kevin Flynn in his adults only late show (past my bedtime), I enjoyed him when he appeared in the final night's show. He was hilarious. The highlight of the week (entertainment-wise) was the appearance of Telly Leung in the 54 Below show. Telly is a Broadway veteran (I've seen him in several shows) and his set, along with accompanist, Gary Adler, was fabulous. The theme of the show was about the songs that were important to him growing up. They included Broadway songs, pop music and traditional songs. He has a beautiful voice, passion and lots of personality. He even stuck around and appeared with the Celebrity singers in their final performance. OTHER STUFF: - We don't usually book our excursions through Celebrity, but my wife decided that she wanted to do a glass bottom boat tour. It was pleasant and informative, but nothing special. Still, we enjoyed being on the water and met some nice people on board. - I like to take part in Trivia competitions and there were several each day. I met another couple and we formed a team that lasted the entire trip. The whole point of the games is to have fun and we had a blast. And won a few times, too. - While on the ship, we ate lunch in the Aqua Spa Cafe. Lunch was mostly salads and this was fine with us. - The only time we ate at the buffet was the day we first boarded. Nothing else was open. It was OK. We did occasionally stop in for ice cream or coffee and tea. - There was a minor error on our bill. When I checked my charges on Saturday morning, I noticed a charge for two glasses of Chardonnay from the previous evening. My wife had a Rose wine and I had a gin and tonic --- no Chardonnay. I went to the guest services desk and Angelina, the rep, reviewed our charges and said she would check on them. By that evening, the charges had been removed and I even received a call from Angelina informing me that my bill was now correct. My wife and I are not drinkers. She likes a glass of wine with dinner and I will sometimes have a soda or a gin and tonic. As a result, we didn't but any beverage packages. On past cruises, we didn't drink enough to warrant a package. However, people who like to drink more on a cruise benefit greatly from a drink package. - The weather in Bermuda was great and we had nice weather for three of the four days at sea. The last sea day was a little rocky, but not too bad. OVERALL: Overall, we had a great cruise. We arrived on board determined to relax and have a wonderful time and we did.   Read Less
Sail Date August 2013
We sailed the Explorer on 7/7/11 and had a pretty good cruise experience. We stayed in the Royal Suite and it was a lovely room with lots of space. The Explorer looked good for her age but I think she's got to be close to getting her ... Read More
We sailed the Explorer on 7/7/11 and had a pretty good cruise experience. We stayed in the Royal Suite and it was a lovely room with lots of space. The Explorer looked good for her age but I think she's got to be close to getting her dry dock update, which is good because she is probably due for some new furniture in places, etc. The food was good and the menus were similar those of our last RCI cruise. The dining room service was just okay. Our waiter was good but his back up cast fell short at times. I think they could have used more bar staff in the dining room and the assistant waiters seemed to be spread thin with more tables to handle than the head waiter. We were thankful to have a wonderful table location with a beautiful ocean view every night so we couldn't complain too much. We ate in Portofinos one evening and had a wonderful dining experience with great food and service. We hit Johnny Rockets and the pizza place on deck 5 and they were good as well. We didn't eat in the Windjammer too much but when we did I found the selection and quality of food good for a buffet. The on board entertainment was varied and very enjoyable. The comedians were very funny and the Unexpected Boys ( Jersey Boys take off) were my favorite. The ice skating show was good but there were a couple of mishaps during our show. The area in which the skaters have to skate/execute jumps is very small though so I am actually surprised they don't have more falls. The Quest game show is definitely a highlight as well, not to be missed. Jimmy, the cruise director was hilarious and the Explorer is lucky to have him. The ship concierge Carlos was also exceptional, going above and beyond, the best concierge we have had on a RCI ship. The Adventure Ocean staff also deserves special mention, they do a wonderful job with the little ones, as did the on board babysitters. I used the spa services twice, once for an up-do on formal night and again for a facial and massage. The hair was great, but the massage and facial were costly and just okay for me. We didn't use RCI for any of our shore excursions so I can't comment on the excursion desk. I will say that the stop in Puerto Rico was really a waste. We were only there for a few short hours so you have to stay fairly close to the ship and there is not much to do except shop or go to Senior Frogs. It would have been nice to instead dock overnight in St. Maarten or St. Thomas and cut out Old San Juan all together. Leaving out of Jersey the ship draws most of it's passengers out of New York, New Jersey, PA, etc. and they are definitely a lively and fun crowd to be on board with. During summer I would also consider this a family cruise. Our sailing had over 900 kids on it, mostly teens. The staff did a good job though enforcing curfew, etc. so we didn't see too many issues arise. All in all, we had a memorable and fun cruise, one I would recommend to others. Read Less
Sail Date July 2011
After reading the poor reviews for the Celebrity Summit, my fiancE and I were skeptical about what we were about to experience. We had both already been to Bermuda the prior year with Royal Caribbean, and did not think that anything would ... Read More
After reading the poor reviews for the Celebrity Summit, my fiancE and I were skeptical about what we were about to experience. We had both already been to Bermuda the prior year with Royal Caribbean, and did not think that anything would be up to par. However, we were pleasantly surprised from the beginning of our arrival at Cape Liberty, Bayonne, New Jersey. We arrived slightly early, but were able to quickly go through security, get our SeaPasses, and take our first pictures. From there, we jumped right on the shuttle to the ship and walked right aboard, welcomed with Mimosas. We then got lunch from the buffet and explored the ship and our stateroom was ready by 1:30 PM. What we did not expect but were happy to find in our room were bathrobes and even two umbrellas should rain have met us in Bermuda (luckily we did not need them), as well as a free beach bag. The crew throughout the entire ship was always friendly and welcoming, ready to entertain and chat with all guests and passengers. Definitely very impressive so far. Throughout the course of the cruise, we were very impressed with the food in all places (minus the Normandie Restaurant-we did not eat here as it was not free). The Waterfall Cafe (the buffet) went on for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and the options were phenomenal. Even when we were hungry for a small snack, we were able to visit the coffee cafe for free mini sandwiches and small salads (the coffee/espresso/liquor drinks were not free-but if you'd like coffee throughout the day, my suggestion is that you head to the Waterfall Cafe for free coffee). The room service was also always available, and FREE!!! The main dining room called the Cosmopolitan Restaurant always had plenty of options and the food was exceptional, along with the entertaining servers. Best of all, the drink server remembered our names and drink orders from the very first day and from another bar, I might add. Although drinks were a bit pricey, we quickly understood why-they were neither stingy with the quality, nor the amount of alcohol in each drink. I have to say that we were also very impressed with how the cruise line apparently matched up our table-mates with us; we were all close in age and had very much in common with the other couples at our table- we even hung out with them throughout the cruise AND when we docked in Bermuda. My word of advice: take the time to answer the questions about yourself when booking your cruise-they ask those questions for a reason! The activities offered also kept us entertained. On our previous cruise with Royal Caribbean to Bermuda a year earlier, we didn't get involved with the onboard activities too much. On Celebrity Summit, we did karaoke and hung out and partied until late into the night in the lounges and bars with our table mates. Although I can't remember his name, the comedian was very funny and entertaining along with the singer/musician that followed his act. Although we personally weren't into his particular "style", he was nonetheless a pretty good entertainer. We saw one other show with the other singers and dancers and were generally happy with it. I do have to say that it is not really a show for younger audiences, for the female dancers/singers costumes for this particular show were a bit... revealing (I am by no means prude when it comes to things like this, I just thought it would be something to note). The dancing was quite impressive, though. There are two main pools- one in the "Aquaspa" mainly for adults with jets and warm jets as well as a hot tub. Note: Security does not permit children under 16 to enter the hot tub; they WILL make your children leave the Jacuzzi. The other pool was welcome to families and was also a wave pool. Another note: be sure to reserve your seat at the pool as they fill up very quickly. But, this is common throughout any cruise ship. The fitness center was also impressively large and well-equipped with many machines, mats, free-weights/equipment, etc., and knowledgeable personal trainers. Although I would have liked to join in the yoga and Pilates sessions (which apply a small fee of $8 I believe), I wound up not doing them for other reasons. Nonetheless, I heard from other passengers that they were great programs. The spa was a bit out of my price range, but look out for specials throughout the trip if the treatments they offer interest you. Of course, Bermuda was beautiful as usual and very safe. I do recommend that you eat on board the ship before going out in town since the restaurants can get a bit expensive (some are quite worth the price, but why spend the extra money when you can eat on board any time for free?!). One last thing I can note is that the times they give you when leaving the ship are accurate-we were given an 8:20 AM disembarkation time. We reached our designated room to wait in with our items we were carrying off at 8:10AM, were called at 8:15AM and walked down to the gangway and right onto the shuttle back to Cape Liberty customs. We were in our car by 8:35AM and ready to leave the port! Very, very smooth. I can genuinely say that we have absolutely no objections or negative things to say about this cruise. Celebrity Cruises is most certainly the way to go when traveling to Bermuda. Enjoy!! Read Less
Sail Date June 2011

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