20 Bayonne (Cape Liberty) Fitness Cruise Reviews

I read many reviews before this trip. There are couple things I didn't know until I got in the ship. - the ship only provides hair shampoo & conditioner & body soap in the same bottle, and one bar soap. There is no hand ... Read More
I read many reviews before this trip. There are couple things I didn't know until I got in the ship. - the ship only provides hair shampoo & conditioner & body soap in the same bottle, and one bar soap. There is no hand lotion. Since we washed hands many times a day so really need to have hand lotion. - the bed in my cabin wasn't good. My husband and I got back ache when waking up in the morning. We requested the top cover but it wasn't any left so the stateroom attendant had to use a comforter to put on the top of the mattress. It helped a little bit. My sister cabin didn't have this problem. - the last sea day is really rough. I had a tough time even I took a medicine. - Royal app: doesn't allow to do a text inside the ship. I wish the app shows the list of activities of a day same as you saw in the paper. This way is much easier to follow. - Three main shows are just ok because difficult to follow them. - taxi from EWR airport to Bayoone is $41 + $5 (toll fee) + tip - taxi from Bayoone to EWR is $65 + $3.75 (toll fee) + tip I don't know why they are different price. We are 4 pp, 4 carry-on and 1 check in luggage Good things: - my waiter in dining room - Fellington did an outstanding job. Food was great. - cabin is clean. - Fitness center has all good machines and good classes. Instructors are nice. - Casino is nice and has good machines. - come in and out of the ship are very easy. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
So... I actually originally wanted to rate my experience and recommendation as a score of 5/5 stars. However, I asked my husband what we would/should rate our experience as and how likely we are to recommend Anthem of the Seas and Royal ... Read More
So... I actually originally wanted to rate my experience and recommendation as a score of 5/5 stars. However, I asked my husband what we would/should rate our experience as and how likely we are to recommend Anthem of the Seas and Royal Caribbean to our friends and family. I was comparing this vacation from Royal Caribbean to the last vacation I took with Royal Caribbean (incidentally my first Royal Caribbean vacation). The first vacation really was a disaster and would make almost any vacation thereafter better by default. The first cruise on anthem set the bar super low, it would have been hard for them to do any worse than that first cruise. So I wanted to award this most recent vacation a 5. When we thought about it, it really was not a 5. I chose Royal Caribbean aboard Anthem of the seas because I am fascinated with this ship. It is technologically advanced. It is a very "smart ship." I cruised on Anthem February 2017. It was not what I would expect from Royal Caribbean, so I decided to cruise with RCCL on Anthem again, hoping to prove my belief that my first vacation was a one off and not every vacation is absolutley doomed. I LOVE Jamie Oliver's and Wonderland. Wonderland is almost worth this cruise alone. Also, Sepctra's Cabaret is a MUST SEE. The ship has lots of cool features all age groups will enjoy. It has lots of robotics. It has MakrShakr at the bionic bar (robot bar) and robotic arms that move flat screen TV's over the dance floor of 270. The ship also has electronic kiosks and tablets on the main decks to help passengers find their way. It is a large ship and it's fast and it's built to withstand rough weather. The ship also has many simple and smart features that new ships will have as well as ships that are refurbished in the future. I'm sure we will see the tablet kiosks, "virtual balconies" and hand wash stations on more ships. I have stayed in a balcony stateroom and also a "large ocean view" stateroom. I am not sure a balcony stateroom is really worth the money. I personally don't use balconies too much. I am probably enjoying facilities on the ship or out on the town if we're in port. I also find something to be desired when it comes to the view of balcony staterooms. I find their layout and square footage a bit cramped, but that is essentially normal on any cruise ship. The ceiling of the forward large oceanview stateroom slopes for the last 4 feet of the room and has an armchair for looking out the panoramic window. The footprint under the slope adds roughly an extra 16sqf (or about 5sqm) of floor space. It makes a handy and enjoyable nook. I imagine people that know they will want to camp out in their stateroom or people with children will really enjoy that extra space. I put the armchair next to the couch and made myself a nice cozy private spot to have some quiet time and a sense of privacy and personal space. This small area does somehow look and feel separate in some way from the rest of the cabin and floor space. You will hear and feel huge bangs, crashes and reverberations and in rough weather, ocean spray will reach up to the 9 or 10 deck or higher. You may see the ship bowunder big waves. It is startling, the front of the ship is more hollow so you will feel and hear when the ship hits a big wave head on. You will feel some "ocean turbulence" but there is less correction in the bow of the ship. In rough weather, the back of the ship tries to correct and compensate for the front of the ship, so it will apply unnatural forces to the ship and to you and you will feel that "mechanical intervention" on physics. In the back, you do feel a sort of yanking type sensation instead of the smoother (but bigger) motion at the front of the ship. In the front, pitch may also feel significant. I did not mind the crashing noise from waves or the pitch and rolling in the cabin. It was not bad. We hit a storm big enough to require the pools to be drained. We had 16+ foot waves (5 meters) not including the trough. Including the trough, the waves were probably about 24 feet ( 7 meters). Most large oceanview staterooms will have the bed near the door and not near the window. I would love to have the layout with the bed near the window. Anthem has lots of storage space. It has over bed cupboards, a dresser with 4 drawers, a closet with shelves and drawers and hooks and shelving in the bathroom. The layout and thoughtfulness for design and economy The ship was designed to be versatile. In the staterooms, the desk/vanity pulls away from the wall and can be used for dining or other uses. It is supposed to be put in front of the couch, or really any where you desire in the stateroom. Our itinerary visited: San Juan Puerto Rico St Thomas Fort De France Maartinique Bridgetown Barbados St Johns Antigua Basseter St Kitts I scheduled 3 excursions I did not really enjoy any of the Royal Caribbean excursions. On the islands where I walked off the boat and took local tours from small businesses, I had a MUCH better time and a better tour. Martinique was super amazing fun. I splashed in River St Pierre during the rain and saw so much on a minibus tour from locals and they served us beer, soda, rum punch and water. They had a parade to greet us on Martinique and a drumline to wish us Bon voyage when we departed the port. We had a good time on Barbados as well. We took a tour in a van/minibus from locals. There were problems with our excursions and other people's excursions, across the whole ship. Almost everybody I talked to about their excursions experienced a problem with at least 1 excursion. I had a problem with 2 of the 3... maybe even 3 out of 3 but I can't fault Royal Caribbean for the catamaran hitting a large wave and me getting absolutely soaked, like a freak sized wave, which soaked my phone. I bought the vacation insurance that Royal Caribbean offers and have been waiting to hear back from Aon about my claim for my damaged phone. In Puerto Rico, our guide never showed up and there was a lot of disorganization and we stood in the rain for an hour before my husband an I decided to leave and get back on the ship. It took them an hour to offer for us to join a similar tour. We had booked the "walk San Juan and Lunch" tour but because the guide never showed up, it took Royal Caribbean and the excursion company an hour to decide to put us in the "walk San Juan and cooking with beer tour" but after standing for an hour in the rain, taking a walking tour, cooking with beer, and then having a meal paired with beer, then walking back in the rain sounded miserable. They have 50% of their electricity restored and most of the island does not have potable water. The island needs our business and needs to have a strong return to their tourism industry. It really is unlucky for them that they delivered such a bad experience for their excursions. I also took a "hiking" tour that was actually a dangerous mountain climbing tour, with no safety equipment. The excursion was advertised as a "light lunch" which consisted of a cold cut turkey sandwich with lettuce and tomato on white bread. I am in good shape. I exercise for an hour or more 3-5 days a week. I lift weights... I am athletic. I hike. I usually go trail hiking in the Appalachian mountains. The volcano trail itself, on the volcano is about 2 miles and then the trail to the trail to the volcano is about a mile. In total the hike is about 8 miles, according to the pedometer on my phone. Royal Caribbean schedules the excursion for 6 hours, which stresses the tour guides, because they have to be on time. The tour guides will rush you on a treacherous and muddy trail that is often 6 inches wide at places, with huge boulders as well. it is not mountain hiking, it is mountain climbing. The degree grade is about 30% if I had to guess. sometimes, it probably pushes 70% especially the last half mile toward the summit. Making that ascent and descent at that speed on that trail is not safe for amateurs and should only be done by serious mountaineers and not by children. Children can become exhausted and can suddenly experience cardiac or respiratory complications and radical decompensation (shock). This is not a safe excursion during rainy season. Subtract 2 hours for travel, one hour each way. You must complete this 8 mile round trip in 4 hours with minimal breaks. The beginning of the trail is humid and is very taxing to start a mountain climb with few breaks, that last about 30 seconds. The humidity in the beginning makes the rest of the ascent that much more challenging. The trail is not as well groomed as I would expect. It was more overgrown than I would have thought. With such a popular trail, I would hope that they errect some more stable and permanent assistive structures (IE a railing) on the trail, instead of slack and knotted rope. The tour company handed us cold cut turkey sandwiches on white bread for lunch with a 2 oz Dixie cup of lemonade. Not worth $119. G-d bless my guide. I would not have made it to the top without her. St Thomas was so heart-wrenching to experience. I wept during the whole tour of St Thomas. They have less than 10% of their power restored. Their roads are washed away. After the first block away from the dock, there is no power. The big stores, such as Walgreens and Home Depot are closed. Kmart barely has anything. That island is in a state of decimation. It was so sad to see an American people so neglected and suffering. I wish Royal Caribbean had offered more to this island for relief. Royal Caribbean makes millions of dollars from every cruise. Why can't they give a couple hundred thousand more to the islands of Puerto Rico and St Thomas? Then again, money doesn't necessarily solve these problems, they need manpower and goods, but money can buy that. Also, the shore excursion manager was unpleasant and dismissive. When I made some remarks to her about some of my excursion experiences, she had an answer for everything, including, "I have done that hike before." She did not do the hike during the rainy season or on the day that I did. Not to mention, I'm sure tour operators have generally better behavior and are more likely to deliver a better excursion experience when they know a Royal Caribbean staff member is on their tour. The blonde Canadian Shore Excursion staff associate was very professional and pleasant. She should be the shore excursion manager. She was a gem and kind and personable. Specialty dining was on point and main dining room dining was more or less hit or miss I have heard from many people that tried Wonderland when it was brand new and said they didn't like it. I think it may have been too "sciency" but RCCL listened to passengers and made the food more tasty and less far out. Even though there are some neat gimmicks, I really have never had food that tastes the way it does from Wonderland. The staff in charge of hospitality for dining left much to be desired. The "my time dining" was VERY poorly executed. Guests would have to wait in line for almost a half hour to be told they would have to wait 45 minutes to be sat for dining and could not make reservations and should have made reservations in the Royal IQ app prior to boarding. The staff member had advised us we should have made reservations a few days prior to boarding using the Royal IQ app. The Royal IQ app only works when connected to the ships "Royal WiFi" and the mobile device is registered in the app. The dining rooms were a little chaotic. On a side note, I can't blame Royal Caribbean for a guest's behavior, but during the second formal night, there was a group of Russians at the table next to ours. They were older and very loud and very rude to the guests around them. Many people were trying to ignore them and just enjoy dinner. Our waitress was Chinese, one of the men at the table grabbed the Chinese waitress by the hand in a warm and friendly way and said, "you are my friend, the Chinese are good friends. Together, Russia and China are strong and we will [take over] America." I had heard some of this and at this point, my husband dropped his silverware on the table because he was sick of hearing these rude dining room guests. I had fallen down the volcano and sprained my knee and was in pain and I could not imagine moving to another table, so I tried listening to music with earphones to try to have some peace and enjoyability during this fancy dinner with my husband. After that last experience in the dining room, we didn't dare eat in the dining room for dinner again and paid extra to eat at Chops the next night. Also, I wish the photographers could be slightly more accommodating to person's who purchase the $250 "unlimited" photo package. Some of the times they wouldn't take photos seemed arbitrary and effectually made the photo package limited. I needed a picture from the port of Antigua and could not be accommodated and I wanted a picture at each dining room but was told the photographers only take pictures in the dining room on formal nights, which I know is not the case. My picture had been taken plenty of other nights in the other dining rooms. I wanted to be able to remember each night. Also, if people have bought a photo package, I believe they should be allowed to wait in an express line and get preferential photo opportunities over people that will not and have not spent money on the photo package. One night, we were delayed for approximately 30 minutes by a family that insisted that each person in the family take individual and group pictures with the matriarch figure. My husband and I are quick with taking pictures and it was annoying to have a family take probably 50+ pictures in different poses with each couple and child taking their own photos in every pose and configuration of family possible. Also, the medical clinic on board was deplorable. I am concerned regarding the general medical preparedness of Royal Caribbean. A guest suffered a sudden cardiac event on an excursion and died. If Royal Caribbean shelled out a few thousand dollars to their excursion operators, they could increase the odds of survival if a guest on an excursion does experience cardiac arrest for almost any reason. The excursions should be required to have on hand basic first aid and life-saving equipment in the event of an emergency. Chances are, one of the guests on the excursion has medical or other basic life-saving skills such as CPR. It seems that Royal Caribbean is putting a risk on their guests' lives all for the sake of a dollar. The profits in one excursion group from one cruise easily pay for an AED. It seems like a no-brainer that all excursions should have a backboard available, C-spine collar, tourniquets, glucose and an AED. For about $5,000 a basic life-saving and first aid kit could be kept and could drastically increase odds of survival from any accident or cardiac arrest. One doctor and 1 or 2 triage nurses is not enough for a ship of 4900 souls, maximum occupancy, and 1,500+ crew. It really is a mass casualty disaster waiting to happen. Ships are floating towns. One night, the clinic locked its door early because it had a 2-hour line of patients waiting to be seen. They shut the clinic when the rough weather was expected so injured or very seasick patients could not be seen or treated. The ship does have an ample supply of meclizine (non-drowsy Dramamine), but meclizine may not relieve some cases of seasickness. when I went to the clinic after falling down the volcano and having been stung by a volcano bee, it took them an hour to triage me and my vital signs did indicate a medical emergency, but they had me wait for another hour after taking my vital signs. I know if those vitals were seen in an American ER, I would probably have been treated simultaneously by 2 or more doctors and probably 2 or 3 nurses (speaking from personal experience). My blood pressure was about 90/60 and my pulse was 110. They knew I had possibly had a bug bite/sting and did not address my injury with any urgency. In fact, I iced the sting and it went away in the 2 hours I was waiting for treatment. To keep the clinic open 24 hours, as it should be on a ship of this size, they should ideally have 3 or 4 doctors on board and in the clinic so the doctors can have rest and rotate and have to time off. Perhaps, Royal Caribbean should also consider "telemedicine" for triage using roving medical machines that are able to visit a guest's stateroom and administer basic care under the guidance of a doctor, such as ice packs and meclizine. I would estimate they need a minimum of 8 triage and medical treatment nurses and not simply dialysis nurses. I know, I know, robots are expensive, but telemedicine could really alleviate the strain on the clinic of the ship and increase the safety of the passengers. Telemedicine aboard the ship could help triage patients and schedule them for time frames in the clinic to reduce waiting time in the waiting room and also reduce the likelihood of the spread of disease from sick passengers in the clinic waiting room. The housekeeping staff did great, Fritz was so friendly and attentive and really made sure to make everything about our stateroom great. The stateroom attendants made sure to greet us in the halls and were friendly. The housekeeping staff had a complete 180 turn from how discourteous and mismanaged they were on our first cruise. The dining room waiters and waitresses (not the 'hosts' and 'hospitality' staff at the dining check-in desks) also stood out for their job well done. Irina in at American Icon was exceptional. The head waiters for the dining rooms also were commendable. The staff at the specialty dining were perfect and what all the wait staff should aspire to be. We had Amir at Wonderland and Michaela at Jamie's. They both need to be restaurant managers. They are 100% what Royal Caribbean needs to use as a paragon of good service. We completely loved Dennis and Enzo on the morning show. I really loved how much they joked and how informative and warm they were. I really missed Kathie Lee and Hoda and the rest of the today show crew from NBC, but Dennis and Enzo really are the best morning show on any cruise ship. They are just so funny and they really add to the whole cruise experience. I love that on the Today Show on NBC eating, jokes and booze are the norm. It's a good formula and Dennis and Enzo seem to have found it and I loved it. Seeing them have such a good time made me have an even better cruise! All the entertainment was amazing. I love Sepctra's Cabaret, there is nothing like it and The Gift is special. Both shows use aerial acrobatics weather and seas permitting. I did not get to see "We will Rock You" or Mo5aic, I would have loved to see those. Also, because of my knee injury, I did not get to try the FlowRider or rock climbing wall or roller skating. I will have to cruise again to do those activities. I did do iFly, the simulated skydiving, and also Puzzle Break, escape from the future. Escape from the future was ok. I think it depends on the people you do the escape room with. There was an older lady holding the clipboard that did not understand the hints to the crossword puzzle and she absolutely would not let go of it until my husband basically took it, thank goodness. The activities staff in charge of the challenge made it last longer because she would not give us the necessary hint. My husband and our friends were ready for the last clue in about 15 minutes, but she waited so the other passengers could have more time and fun completing their tasks. This cruise was pretty good, much better than the last, but not entirely perfect. I don't think there is such a thing as a "perfect cruise." Most vacations are like life and they just don't go according to plan. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
I only like to cruise from late fall to late spring as to avoid hurricanes and rough waters, and because I live just 20 minutes from Cape Liberty and can avoid flying to FL at additional cost it's a no brainer. Nothing like the ... Read More
I only like to cruise from late fall to late spring as to avoid hurricanes and rough waters, and because I live just 20 minutes from Cape Liberty and can avoid flying to FL at additional cost it's a no brainer. Nothing like the convenience of just walking onto your ship with your luggage and not worrying about connections or flight delays. This was our first time on Anthem of the Seas and the ship is enormous. I generally always request a room far from the elevator banks as to avoid late night noise, but it's not necessary on this ship. Our room was so far from everything, we felt as if we were walking miles a day, and the elevator banks are pretty separate from the room corridors so if there will be a next cruise on the Anthem, I will not request my room be so far from the center of the ship. Things I loved about the ship are that is has so much to do and so many different venues to do them at. The open air deck pools and hot tubs could only really be used for 4 days due to cold weather on the way down and the way back. But the covered pool and whirlpools are great for still being in the sun but out of the wind, and the Solarium pools complex for ages 16 and over is really warm and the smoky glass has protection from the sun without slathering on the sunscreen. No screaming children or splashing in the Solarium. Between basketball, dodge ball, rollerskating, bumper cars, and the gym, fitness and fun can be had all day long. Not by me, but by anyone who's into that :) The NorthStar that has you hanging high above the ship is really neat, but if you're afraid of heights, don't do it. This ship has a lot of families with young children, so there are lots of strollers and crying kids at times. But there is so much for little ones on this ship, a baby pool, splash pool, you can see why it would be a draw for families with very young children. Shows are very professional and the technology in the Two70 lounge is awesome. Saw a virtual reality fireworks show and the Spectra's Cabaret show there and both were spectacular. Two Broadway type shows in the Royal Theater were also very good. Food is plentiful and dinners are very high quality. Breakfast and lunch buffets have lots of choices and are very good. I can't see spending my money on specialty restaurants when I've paid a good bit for a staggering selection of very good free food, but if you want a specialty restaurant, they've got quite a few. There are so many ADA accessible public bathrooms and ADA accessible staterooms on this ship, that it is really an inclusive place for those with disabilities. I saw many Jazzy's and other motorized mobility devices, and staff is always helpful in getting the disabled through lines quickly. Personally, I like a smaller ship better. There were over 4,900 passengers on this cruise, plus all the crew and staff, and it feels like a big city floating on the water. A little impersonal. Elevator banks are sometimes very crowded and waits for the elevator can be long. But the friendliness of the staff and the relative comfort of the cabins I find the same on all Royal cruises. The disembarkation process was very well organized and much better than I expected with how many people were on the ship. Do yourself a favor and after you get your luggage in the terminal, get a porter who will take you right to the head of the customs line for a small tip. It's definitely worth it. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
I joined friends who happened to choose this sailing. I was happy to spend time with them, see Bermuda for the first time, and check out a different ship. I was very, very impressed with the Spectra's Cabaret show. Fantastic ... Read More
I joined friends who happened to choose this sailing. I was happy to spend time with them, see Bermuda for the first time, and check out a different ship. I was very, very impressed with the Spectra's Cabaret show. Fantastic dancing and great music. I highly recommend sitting right down in front. You'll have to crane around a bit to see all the action, but it was a ton of fun to be right in the action. The Rock of Ages show was very good. It was a bit hit and miss through much of it, but finished really well. It helps a great deal if you love Queen's music as I do. I found The Gift confusing and the music only sometimes interesting, but I was also falling asleep and left after 15 minutes. The skydiving was great. A really interesting experience. The training was good and it was a very well organized event that felt very safe. Everyone was very supportive -- both staff and other cruisers. The North Star provided a mildly interesting new vantage point, but wasn't overly interesting. I enjoyed the food and was generally pleased with the variety and quality in both the main dining room and the Windjammer, with one, minor exception: My wife and I have come to enjoy the cold fruit soups -- a different one at every dinner on past cruises. This cruise had only one on board that was offered only at lunch in the main dining room. The Windjammer got unpleasantly crowded at peak times, particularly around 9:30ish and Noon. The organization of the Mytime dining was sometimes painfully poor. We waited nearly 45 minutes to be seated one night, despite having reservations. The worst problem was the really very surprising to me habit of playing very loud music for a song or two in the main dining room while announcements were made. I was very, very surprised by how loud it was. And I'm not that much of a stick in the mud. We ate in only one high-end restaurant: Izumi. The food was great, but not better than one could get in many sushi restaurants. I was pleased that the Pub had a cider option and at least a couple of interesting beers. The $14 Rye flight may be the best alcohol deal on the ship -- or maybe we just got lucky with some very heavy pours. The casino was using 6:5 payouts for blackjacks at the tables with low ($10) minimums, which I find pretty annoying. The $25 and $50 tables used the standard 3:2 payout. The shuffling is done by hand rather than using the automatic shufflers commonly found in Las Vegas, which is nice if you want to try your hand at card counting. In Bermuda I went on a non-RCI tour run by Heidi Cowen, which I greatly enjoyed. http://www.bermudafootsteps.com/ She is an animal lover and a local with a lot of love for her Island, but also willing to share the unvarnished truths -- positive and negative. Embarking was easy, my Emerald status got us into a line at 11:30 with no waiting. Disembarking was surprisingly slow. We were using self-carry, but still got stuck in very long lines to walk off the ship. In the past I've been able to just walk off whenever I like. I think if I'd timed the departure earlier, that wouldn't have been the case. The fitness center was very well stocked. The faux window in our interior cabin was fantastic. I was surprised how well it worked -- allowing in the morning light beautifully. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
We did the New England and Canada cruise on the Royal Caribbean Anthem of the seas, Beautiful ship and balcony stateroom. Lots of things to do with a wonderful sky diving simulator on board. loved all the ports. don't waste the $22.00 ... Read More
We did the New England and Canada cruise on the Royal Caribbean Anthem of the seas, Beautiful ship and balcony stateroom. Lots of things to do with a wonderful sky diving simulator on board. loved all the ports. don't waste the $22.00 a day for soda, water, juice, coffee, tea they market as if you need these but there are not enough people working the coffee bar and the juicer was not open in a few spots.you spend a lot of time walking to and from these spots. after totaling the 31 times we visited these we ended up spending $12.90 per drink. that is too expensive for water coffee and soda. learned a lesson, greed has set in this did not use to be an extra fee when we used to travel. Has been a few years so i will check to see if this pricing for liquids could be normal for Royal Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
We never went on a 5 days bermuda cruise from bayonne port and were nervous a little how would we park the car, how far the parking is, how much time is needed, etc.we drove from pittsburgh, pa and it couldn't be easier. So well ... Read More
We never went on a 5 days bermuda cruise from bayonne port and were nervous a little how would we park the car, how far the parking is, how much time is needed, etc.we drove from pittsburgh, pa and it couldn't be easier. So well organized! We had our carry-ons and it took us 20 min the most to get to our room, which was ready by 1 p.m!!!! Our room was on deck 6, with balcony and obstructed view . It didn't bother us at all. The room was very spacious, with an extra closet!! It is so convenient. 1 is for me and 1 is for my husband. A lot of drawers also. Very comfortable.worked for us. People always can find something. But we try to see good things. Yes, it's a very small space between the bed and the balcony door, but we've got an extra closet! There are a lot of food on the ship for any taste! Everybody, absolutely everybody can find food, which will satisfy their tastes. They are trying very, very hard to accommodate you. Yes, sometimes we didn't like what we ordered, to be precise,what we expected, but either we ordered another dish, or later went to the buffet and always found something to satisfy cravings. People who are so picky about their food shouldn't go on cruise at all, be flexible, enjoy. The wonderland restaurant deserves standing ovation. What a concept! What an experience! Traveled a lot, saw a lot, ate in many places, nothing similar. Try it. Shows on the ship are amazing. Book in advance all 3 of them: the gift, spectre's we will rock you. We didn't take excursions, just hired a private driver with a taxi and saw what we wanted. This amazing ship is for everybody, for any taste, for any age, for any level of physical shape. Of course, there is always a space for improvement. But it's a good thing. We always can ask nicely, the waiter or customer service person is only a human. But we had a great experience overall!!!!! Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
First, the good. The crew, ship, food and specialty restaurants, were amazing. Easiest on and off at each destination we have ever experienced. The ship did a great job with providing information through interactive TV. Our portrait ... Read More
First, the good. The crew, ship, food and specialty restaurants, were amazing. Easiest on and off at each destination we have ever experienced. The ship did a great job with providing information through interactive TV. Our portrait experience was amazing and the pictures were great. Also, Bermuda is a wonderful place to visit. The one show we were able to get into was very good. Now the bad. There are so many passengers on board - 4900+ at capacity - that it is physically impossible for everyone, or even a majority, to have an opportunity to participate in the unique activities that enticed you to choose that ship. We were able to only see 1 show. The common areas, sports areas and pools were so crowded and the elevators were almost always packed. And we felt we were nickeled and dimed too much - even room service now has a delivery charge. Read Less
Sail Date June 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
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
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
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 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
I am 59. My wife is 51. This was our 1st cruise on Royal Caribbean though we have cruised 4 other times; once on Carnival and 3 times on NCL. We are polite and not picky. We do not drink much on cruises. We spend the money on excursions. I ... Read More
I am 59. My wife is 51. This was our 1st cruise on Royal Caribbean though we have cruised 4 other times; once on Carnival and 3 times on NCL. We are polite and not picky. We do not drink much on cruises. We spend the money on excursions. I am a scuba diver so a lot of this review includes those experiences. Because my wife is a sunrise/sunset junky and because many excursions leave early, we were on an early schedule for almost the whole cruise. I liked this cruise. I thought it was a great value for the money. The only thing I hated on the cruise was the coffee. Everything else varied between ok and great! If you live within driving distance buy a GPS. The address of the Cape liberty port is: 14 Port Terminal Boulevard, Bayonne, New Jersey 07002. The RC phone number for questions is 800-256-6649. The website for the port is www.cruiseliberty.com The website has a Mapquest link so you can also print a map. Day 1 Sunday We left Allentown, Pa at 10:30. We arrived at the port at noon (1/2 hour faster than normal due to light Sunday traffic and my speed-demon daughter/chauffer). Traffic in the port moves decently. There are many pull-in spots to unload luggage. There are baggage handlers and the luggage bins are within 30 feet of the drop-off. The line to get your Sea Pass is 30 more feet. The bus ride from the terminal to the ship takes less than a minute. We were on the ship by 12:45. We were in our stateroom 8289 by 1:30 PM. The Terminal is not heated but there is a restroom. We spent our 1st few minutes onboard in the WindJammer buffet restaurant. It's on deck 11 aft. Except for the cafe Promenade on deck 5, all the food is in the back of the ship. The Windjammer is understandably busy during boarding, but you can find a seat. If you sit at the very back, or on the port side, you can see the Statue of Liberty. The lifeboat drill was at 3:15. You no longer have to bring your cabin lifejacket, but drill attendance is mandatory. Ship departure was smooth and scenic. Passing just beneath the huge bridge is always fun. We had booked 1st dinner seating but were given 2nd seating. So our 1st order of business was to change back to 1st seating or get My Time Dining. This occurs in the Columbus Dining room on decks 3 & 4. Good luck on getting The My Time Dining if you did not book early or have pull. We have neither and the wait list was 50 long. It can even be hard to get 1st seating. However, partially due to luck and partially because my wife and I did not treat the staff rudely (the staff member told us he often gets threatened by guests) we managed to get our seat changed back to 1st seating. And that turned out to be super! Not only did we get a table near the windows, but we were also seated at a table for 8. The other 6 seats were occupied by 3 sisters and their spouses. They had driven down from Canada to take this cruise. They opened their lives and conversation to us and we had a great week. Though we did not do excursions with them, we often met in the course of our day and ended up chatting in one of the many gathering spots. Their friendship was the icing on the cake of great cruise. Our cabin 8289 is a Promenade Room. Most ships have interior rooms or some view of /access to the ocean. But the Explorer has rooms that overlook an interior mall (The Promenade) on deck 5 too. The mall is maybe 30 feet wide with stores, bars, eateries along its city block length. There are Promenade facing rooms on decks 6,7,8. You enter the room via normal ships hallway, but you have a big picture window on the other side of the room overlooking the Promenade. You can hear the few louder Promenade events but the noise is not an issue on deck 8. Our table mates, who had Promenade rooms on deck 6, noted that the noise was more bothersome. But, no one thought it was a major issue. My view is that it is great for people watching and feeling like you are more involved with the ship's happenings. Our cabin size was fine. There is more than enough storage for 2 people. The bed is comfy. Our cabin attendant Anand (from India) did an admirable job; as did almost all the ships staff. I also think my fellow cruisers were a civil lot. The ship's crew is multi-national and so were the guests. You might think a ship leaving from Bayonne would be almost all US Citizens but there were also many from Canada, The Ukraine, and Germany. Of course the guest age was mostly older, but it wasn't wall-to-wall walkers and scooters. There were probably less than 100 kids on the ship. All were well-behaved as far as I could see. Our waiters for table 576 were Imdat and Adem from Turkey. They were super! If you get them you will be happy. The appetizers and mains range from ok to good. The Indian dishes are surprisingly bland. Many of the appetizers and mains are too. I thought the food was of good quality, but I missed the exquisitely seasoned dishes I have eaten on other cruise lines. We still ate a lot though. The desserts were great. Many of those were a taste sensation! The breads are good too. If I had my way I would promote the dessert/bread chefs and send the rest for remedial seasoning training. Lemonade is the best included beverage. They water down the coffee in the dining room which actually makes it a little better than the strong, sour brew they have in the Windjammer and Cafe Promenade. But the Cafe Promenade has hot chocolate- a tastier selection if you want a hot beverage. I do not tolerate tea very well, but they do have it in all food areas. The 1st seating show is at 9PM in the Palace Theater on decks 3 & 4 forward. There we met our cruise director Jimmy and enjoyed the comedy of Rick Star (who was funny but not hysterical). We turned in early because it had been a long day. Day 2 Monday At Sea We tried breakfast in the main dining room. It was nice but there weren't any great menu items so we used the Windjammer for the rest of the cruise. The open decks were still too cold to spend much time on, so we focused on ship acclimation and excursion decisions. We also did a Cruise Critic "Meet and Greet". This may have been nice for repeat cruisers but was a non-event for newbies like us. The RC singers & dancers entertained us with hits from the 50's through the 80's at the 9PM show. Everyone was great. Day 3 Tuesday At Sea It was warm enough to go swimming today. So we migrated to the pools & hot tubs on deck 11. We also saw the 1st of 2 ice shows at 3PM in studio B. We had picked up tickets on day 1 outside Studio B from 5:30 to 7:30. There was a looong line for the tickets, but all show times still had tickets by the time we got to the front of the line. If you miss the ticket distribution, they also keep them at the courtesy desk on deck 5 and at the show. We loved the ice shows. Everyone did. The rink is not cold, so you don't have to worry about dressing up warm. The show for the evening was Dominique, a violinist. She gave us a warm, funny, musical evening. We took ballroom dancing lessons for a month before our cruise. We thought RC would have a lot of that. They don't. We did dance at various times throughout the week and tonight was no exception. But the ship's music is not geared towards ballroom dancing. It is much more in the salsa, Caribbean/reggae, and easy listening categories. We loved Roman Dembitski who played classical guitar, but he didn't play dance music. I did however; buy his cd because he was so good. In any event, we managed almost no ballroom dancing due to availability and the fact that we retired early to save energy for sunrises and excursions. Day 4 Wednesday Labadee, Haiti We were both in the early morning swing of things by today. We did the 5 lap mile walk on deck 12 as we did most mornings when it wasn't too cold. We disembarked for our 9:15 Dragons Breath Zip Line excursion at $79 per person on Labadee. They have a shorter practice line you do 1st to give you the feel for it. Then they take you by truck to the hilly top of one side of the bay and you zip 2600 feet to the lower other side of the bay. Very neat! I am mildly afraid of heights, but it was ok. Everyone did well. It may sound and look a bit scary, but it was more cool and fun. After the zip we shopped a bit at the craft stands. Most of the stands have the same stuff. The vendors are very pushy- not mean or nasty- but very insistent. They make it a little hard to disengage. It's the same for Samana. But that is not as much the case for the other islands. The residents on ST Thomas, St Kitts, Antigua (pronounced Antiga), and St Maarten all value politeness. We managed to squeeze in a 2nd excursion and tried snorkeling at $42 per person. There must have been 30 people in the water following one guide. It was way too many people for one guide and lots of us got bumped into or accidentally finned (kicked) by other snorkelers. The water depth ranged from 5-30 feet with most of the excursion in the 6-10 feet range. We saw coral, fish, sea urchins, and some small flamingo tong shells. After the dive we did just a little more shopping and headed back to the ship. It had been a busy excursion day and we never got on the beach. The entertainment compound on Labadee is owned by RC and is very clean. They are constantly enhancing it. People refer to it as RC's private island, but I do not think it is totally surrounded by water. The show for the evening was Jordan Bennett who is married to Dominique. But while Dominque had a good feel for what audiences wanted to hear, Jordan didn't. He sang a lot of slow, talky show tunes that I really didn't like. I kept wishing I could change the channel or gong him (remember the Gong Show?). But, he did sing, The Bright Side of Life, which I hummed for the rest of the week. His show was followed by the disco show in the Promenade. We watched that entire event from the comfort of our couch in the Promenade Room. Day 5 Thursday Samana, Dominican Republic we met in the Palace at 8:15 for our Sea Lion encounter. From there we were escorted to our tender to motor to Cayo Levantado, an island in Samana Bay. Note- if you elect to go to Cayo Levantado in the morning, they do not start return trips to the ship until 1pm. There is no way to get back until then, so prepare. This is not RC owned real estate, but there are restrooms and vendors. You can buy souvenirs, food, rent snorkel gear, scuba dive, get a massage, lie on the beach, swim, get your photo taken with a giant iguana, etc. Our Sea Lion Encounter was short (1/2 hour) and expensive at $139 per person. And you can't video or take pictures. They take pictures but they do not video. The photos were expensive and we did not buy any. Tip- if you don't mind not having you in the picture you can video the next group's ocean part of the encounter from just down the beach. The 1st part of the encounter took place in a small, shaded sandy compound. They bring out an 8 year old sea lion that personally interacts with everyone. We hugged her, touched her flipper, and fed her a fish. You kiss her on the cheek and she kisses you—think big, fishy, doggy-like face with whiskers. After about 15 minutes you walk 100 feet to the beach and stand in chest deep water. Once you are lined up, an 8 year old male comes out and swims amongst you. Everybody gets to hug him. Then you go back to the lockers in the compound and get all the stuff you didn't want to get wet. Note- we all worried about leaving our stuff in an unlocked area. They have a bank of small lockers but no locks. Theft does seem to be an issue on tours. I am sure the resulting theft complaint would shut down an excursion pronto. After the encounter we lay on the beach and took some photos. I had swim goggles which I made due as snorkel gear. I found a couple of large starfish (1 foot in diameter) and some shells. Don't try to keep the starfish. They will stink badly in short order. Just look at them and put them back down. The water around the beach is mostly sand with some sea grass. At 1pm we headed back to the ship. This is the 2nd time we have been to Samana and still not technically been ashore. The 1st time we whale watched (February Cruise on NCL) and this time we went to an island. I don't have too many other notes on this day. The evening show in the Palace Theater was the RC singers and dancers doing show tunes. The sets were great, the songs were not. For some reason they focused on slow show tunes or 2nd rate songs from different musicals. Once again I kept wishing for a gong or a magic that would make them sing the good stuff. My wife is more practical. She just went to sleep. Day 6 Friday ST Thomas, US Virgin Islands We always docked in the 7-8AM range and we always got off the ship on deck 1 soon after. I had to meet for a scuba dive at 12:15 so we did a bit of shopping at the Havensight shopping mall near the ship. We mailed postcards at the post office and Marty (the ship's shopping director) helped us buy a Phillip Stein watch at Diamonds International. The Underwater Safari Dive Shop is located in the mall near the ship, a 5 minute walk. We collected our gear and made a short walk to the marina to catch our dive boat. The dive boat then made a 10 minute trip out to Buck Island for 2 dives. We spent half the time near the wreck of the Cartanser Senior and the other half on Wye Reef. The wreck is currently in 50 feet of water and pretty broken up at this point. Beside the wreck the highpoints of the dives were seeing banded coral shrimp, large hermit crabs, a field of garden eels, a spotted drum, and a lot of pretty soft and hard coral. The significant thing about this dive for me was that I also dived on this wreck in 1982. So it was fun coming back to a wreck I haven't seen in 28 years. My wife didn't dive with me. She went shopping for gift liquor and a table cloth. Day 7 Saturday St Kitts, British West Indies Leeward Islands I wanted to do more diving, but Royal Caribbean does not offer a dive excursion on ST Kitts. I think this is because there is no decompression chamber on the island. A couple of days ago, I had talked with another diver in ST Thomas who recommended Kenneth Divers. The dive shop turned out to be a 5 minute walk from the pier. We got there soon after docking and found that Kenneth doesn't work on Saturdays for religious reasons. But he did set me up with Pro Divers: www.prodiversstkitts.com/ which is run by Auston and Margot Macleod. I arranged a dive with them for 12:15 PM. Since it was only about 9AM we spent the intervening time shopping. I met Margot Macleod at the pier. She walked me to the dive boat which took us to their shop. I paid for my 2 dives ($111) and waited while a number of other divers showed up for the dives. We went out with over 15 people including 2 other dive masters, several locals, and several guests staying on island hotels. Our 1st dive was on Dewars Reef which is about 20 minutes from the dive shop. The 2nd dive was on cable Reef which is about 10 minutes from Dewars Reef. The 1st dive took us as deep as 98 feet; the 2nd to about 58 feet. Visibility was a bit off that day according to Auston; easily 30-40 feet but not the crystal clear we all love. We saw several rays, a puffer, a turtle, at least 2 lobsters, a brown spotted moray, garden eels, and a small octopus. There was, of course, lots of pretty soft and hard coral. Great dives! I found Pro Divers to be a friendly professional shop. They had great concern for safety and getting cruise ship people back to their ship in a timely fashion. According to Margot the shop is approved by RC for snorkel tours. But since the island has no decompression chamber none of the dive shops can be approved for diving. However, Auston did mention that there was a chamber on a nearby island. Another thing I liked about Pro Divers is that they have a dive computer as part of their gear. Though I have been a diver for 35 years, I only manage a couple of dives a years since my children (and grandchildren) were born. As a result I have no experience with dive computers and normally rely on the dive master's computer. So it was a treat for me to get a few minutes of instruction and be able to rely on my own dive computer for the 1st time. I want to add general comments about cruise ships and scuba diving. If a dive excursion doesn't reach a break-even number of divers the dive is often cancelled. This didn't happen to me with RC but it has happened to me 3 times with NCL. Because of this tendency to cancel (usually at the last minute), because cruise excursions tend to be a little more expensive, and because the cruise ships don't usually offer dive excursions at all ports, a number of divers I have talked to have decided to book on the internet directly with a dive shop. Booking on the net has its drawbacks too, and the more that book on the net, the greater the chance the cruise ship dive excursion won't reach break-even. It is a dilemma that I don't have a perfect answer for. In the future I will continue to book dives through the ship because they guarantee waiting for you if you have a problem. They also check out their excursion vendors carefully. But I will also research a list of possible other dive shop options just in case. I think I got back to the ship a bit after 4PM. My wife was done with shopping so we prepared for the evening. The show was an Elton John Tribute. I am not a big fan of Elton john, so I would have gladly skipped the show, but my wife wanted us both there. It turned out to be one of the better shows of the week. Like him or not, Elton John has a lot of good songs . I do not know the name of performer who did the tribute show but he was very good and very funny. Day 8 Sunday Antigua West Indies Leeward Islands I promised my wife I would not dive in Antigua. So we walked to the taxi/tourist stand near the pier and the stand attendant found us a tour guide for a 2-3 hour tour. Our tour guide was named Merchant. The fee for the tour is $25 per person paid to the guide (Merchant ) at the end o f the tour. We learned at lot about the island and make a number of stops that included Nelson Harbor, a small beach, and a craft stand. We stopped at an historic site which required a $7 entrance fee. Merchant told us the site would take about 45 minutes to tour. 4 people of our group of 6 could not walk very well, so we elected to skip the site. It was a nice tour. When we got back we shopped a little and then went back to the ship. One of the things that bugged my wife and I about the shops here and most stops is that almost none of the goods are made by the sellers. They are just selling clothes, jewelry, crafts, & souvenirs that are probably made in India, China, or the U.S. So, one can get pretty bored seeing the same goods in stand after stand after stand. There are probably a number of local craftsman, but we only found a couple during the entire trip. Labadee and Samana were the only 2 ports where we did not see another ship in port. Otherwise we shared dock space with the Azamara and Celebrity Cruise lines. Day 9 Monday St Maarten Leeward Islands I had 2 dives booked with RC on this island. We met on the pier in front of the ship at 8:15. My wife took an island tour which met at the same time and place. My dive cost was $137. Hers was $56 I think. The Scuba Fun dive shop is about a 5 minute walk from the pier. Andy, our dive master, set us up with our gear. Our 1st dive site was Cable Reef and the 2nd site was Shark Hotel. Our 1st dive took us to 68 feet and the 2nd to 55 feet. We saw puffer, octopus, lobster, and barracuda. I saw almost no sea urchins. On the 1st dive I also saw the 1st shark I have seen diving since the 1970's when I dived in Subic Bay, Philippines. Our 2nd dive took us to the spot where they do shark feedings in the afternoon. Our dive was not a shark feeding dive, we just went to the spot where they do the feedings. The feedings occur in a sandy spot marked with a bait box and a semi-circle of concrete blocks. Andy motioned the dive group to the blocks while he reached inside the box. There was no food in the bait box, but the action of opening it drew several 6 foot reef sharks who circled us for several minutes. This may sound foolhardy or frightening, but it was not. Reef sharks are not a particularly aggressive species and sharks only attack divers in Hollywood. So everyone in our group enjoyed the view of sharks swimming nearby. We had a cameraman with us who got pictures of the sharks in close proximity to us. It was my last dive on the cruise and it was very cool! After the dive I met up with my wife for more ---- shopping. We did this in the area near the ship. We talked about taking a water Taxi to Philipsburg to shop, but my wife's tour had taken her there. She said the town looked like it consists of one jewelry store after another. We were a bit tired of jewelry stores by this point in the cruise so we elected not to go. Our entertainment that night was 2 juggling comedians who excelled in both categories. Funny show! The ship also had a pool side Mexican Buffet in the 10-12PM range. There were 2 pool side buffets during our cruise, but neither one included beverages. So you had to visit the bar, go without, or shuffle off to deck 5 to get your own. I think they should have had water, ice tea, and lemonade. Days 10 and 11 Tuesday and Wednesday At Sea. On day 10 you can still enjoy the pool. We packed a bit over these 2 days. They had a comedian one night and a Motown show the other. Both were ok. Neither was memorable. On day 11 we camped out at a bar on deck 5, The Promenade, and enjoyed a lunch buffet. There was a parade just before dinner in the same location. You need to have your luggage in the hallway by midnight. In the early evening they give you any liquor you bought on the islands. Day 12 Friday Bayonne, New Jersey We had too much luggage so we could not manage express departure. We also did not want our daughter to have to get up crazy early, so we stuck with our 9:15-9:30 departure. We spent most of the time in the Windjammer which closes at 9AM. It is busy, but like departure day, you can find a seat. At 9:15 we headed for Studio B. They ran about 20-30 minutes behind, but it was a smooth event. You board a bus for the minute ride to the terminal. There are luggage attendants, so use one if you have a lot of luggage. Your bags are grouped by numbers which are clearly marked on your bag tags and on sign posts in the terminal. Customs took about 10 seconds. After that it is just a matter of looking for your ride to pull in and load up the luggage. I think RC runs departures and arrivals very well. We had a really nice cruise. I would definitely cruise Royal Caribbean again. Read Less
Sail Date November 2010
Ah, Our 1st cruise on RCCL . Celebrating our 25th anniversary and Bermuda was our choice. Arrived at Port Liberty 1:30 PM and was onboard and in our Balcony Cabin at 2:15. We were on deck 6 in the Forward section on the port side. Very ... Read More
Ah, Our 1st cruise on RCCL . Celebrating our 25th anniversary and Bermuda was our choice. Arrived at Port Liberty 1:30 PM and was onboard and in our Balcony Cabin at 2:15. We were on deck 6 in the Forward section on the port side. Very quick and painless process. The staff at the Port is very friendly and welcoming. WindJammer was open and enjoyed a quick lunch and then began exploring the ship. The gymnasium is well equipped and the Solarium whirlpool is very quiet (most of the time). Our room steward was courteous and efficient,,,ice every day but admittedly very noisy in the hallway in the morning. She was so friendly that she woke us a few mornings with her greetings to other guests. Not really a problem. Day 2 Very very windy Sea day. Gale force winds at 8. Made for an enjoyable day in the Pool as the rocking caused the Solarium pool to become a "wave pool". Pretty cool. The other pools were closed. I tried to start a pool for when the first chaise lounge would blow off deck 12 but no takers. Dining Room The food is comparable to other cruise lines and I found our waiter Michael Edic to be very very friendly and helpful and efficient. He made our dining experience very enjoyable. We also made friends with several tablemates and had loads of fun during the cruise with them. Make sure you take advantage of Cafe Promenade on deck 5. The pizza and sandwiches and cookies are a quick fix during the day. Right on The Promenade. Nice that for some food you don't have to go up to Windjammer. Bermuda The previous poster mentioned that there is work being done at the pier in Kings Wharf. The pile driving is very very disturbing as is the 2 huge cranes completely blocking the view of The Dockyards. This was unacceptable but as long as you turned your head and closed one eye,, and put on sound blocking headphones the view of Bermuda was gorgeous. The beaches are fantastic. Make some friends and go to the beach by taxi. 4 people in taxi and it cost 25 dollars plus tip. One way. Airconditioned with a friendly and knowledgeable driver who will usually give you a guided tour as he speeds you to the Beach Nightlife The Chamber is the hangout spot for late night fun. The disco plays great music and it has cozy nooks for canoodling on the 2nd flloor. The last nite,,I think half the ships entertainers were partying on the 2nd floor and a guest provided a "popping" Michael Jackson rendition,,moonwalking and grooving.. Fun Fun Fun The Casino is ok,,,a bit small compared to other ships I have been on,,but its fine for the slot players. Nice poker tourney and a good 1-2 no limit game. Disembarking Did not hear any announcements to disembark but we did the usual Breakfast in the dining room and went back to retrieve our carry on bags. The disembarking is a bit cumbersome with a short bus ride after leaving the ship,,but all in all pretty quick and painless. Only recommendations I would make is that there is not enough information or announcements to spread the word on the various shows. I attended the Ice Show which was gorgeous but most other shows went unattended mostly because we could not find the information. One nite they had a 7 pm show for the late diners and a 9pm show for the early diners. Thats exactly opposite the reason I choose 8:30 dining. I want to have to time to enjoy my day without worrying about seeing a show at 7 pm. The Internet service is ok but be sure to use the same card that is used to originally purchase the "package". I signed up for the package with my card and then a few times my wife used the internet with her sea pass card and we received several charges over and above the package charge. This is not explained in the RCCL pamphlet but the courteous Guest service did remove the additional charges when I brought it to their attention. Overall An excellent cruise but make sure your balcony cabin is on the starboard side. Read Less
Sail Date September 2009
We are a retired couple, usually traveling with another couple. We have sailed with NCL, Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Holland America and Celebrity. Embarkation at Cape Liberty, Bayonne, NJ was fantastic. We arrived slightly after 11 ... Read More
We are a retired couple, usually traveling with another couple. We have sailed with NCL, Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Holland America and Celebrity. Embarkation at Cape Liberty, Bayonne, NJ was fantastic. We arrived slightly after 11 am and after a short wait, we were welcomed aboard w/ champagne and looking for lunch in the Seaside Cafe. Selection and service were good and we were soon checking out our stateroom. Luggage arrived throughout the afternoon and we were pleasantly surprised when the mandatory lifeboat drill did NOT require life jackets!Cabin 7114 is situated mid-ship, not too near elevators, with no cabins across from it; in other words, quiet w/ easy access to everything. The balcony is equipped with 2 chairs and is 2 floors above the life boats which we looked down on. Storage is adequate, but I missed a drawer in the desk because that is usually my make-up area. Hint: we use suction cup hooks on mirrors for hats, storage bags, etc. This is our first cruise to try 1st seating for dinner, but after dinners that finished at 10:30 on our last (Holland America) cruise, we made the switch. So, 6pm found us in the San Marco Dining Room where we were delighted to find our table for 8 and two delightful couples from NJ. Our Waiter, Jorge, and Assistant Waiter, Andres, began right away to learn our preferences and try to keep us happy. They were good at their jobs; we were impressed that Andres remembered drink choices and did not have to ask again. Food: We ate in the San Marco every night except 2 and in the Seaside Cafe for all breakfasts and lunches unless we were ashore or there was a brunch in the San Marco (these were GREAT). Overall, the food was good, but some of our group and others we talked to agreed that the nightly offerings had an unusual (some said European) flair. Thankfully there is a "classic" menu from which one could order any night and we chose items from this menu frequently. When I did stray to the other menu, I was quite often disappointed; items like Shrimp Scampi which had 3 very tough shrimp, rice not done and pureed vegetable were not to my taste. My husband, a beef eater, had several beef dishes that were tough or not cooked to order. It is our opinion that the quality of beef in the main dining room has suffered since the specialty restaurants appeared. We have eaten in a specialty restaurant and it was wonderful, but we are not willing to spend extra every night and don't believe we should have to. Seaside Cafe had great choices for breakfast and lunch. Any type of breakfast food could be found, cooked to order or quick pick up. The only sad note here was the coffee which was (to our taste) not drinkable as it came from the urn. We found that a mix of 1/3 decaf, 1/3 regular, and 1/3 hot water gave us something we could drink. We saw many others adding water and even saw waiters adding water to the coffee they were serving through the dining room. Our complaints seemed to fall on deaf ears. Lunch choices ran from hot foods to a great deli whose chicken salad, egg salad and hot soups were great lunch fare. The only burger we ate from the grill was cold; a disappointment because we usually love the grill items. The 'Casual Dining by Reservation' did not live up to it's billing. We found that they have one menu for the entire cruise! Also, the 'classic menu' from the dining room was not available as we had understood (we were told this was a recent change). Entertainment: Something for everyone! The Celebrity Theater brought us some very enjoyable shows. The productions were well done, costumes great, and our only complaint here is that the volume was way to high! There were the usual orchestra, a classical guitarist, a pianist, comedians, and some combinations. Acts that stood out were Alex & Sally, an Adage Duo, and an A Capella group, The Voice Males. The party band, Sipra was especially good. We attended several enrichment talks and enjoyed them. We are not fans of the art auctions and usually prefer to find a quiet spot for reading when there is time to relax. All employees of the cruise line were efficient, friendly and always trying to please. Read Less
Sail Date September 2009

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