Sail Date: August 2014
Firstly, as this was our first cruising experience please excuse the wide eyed newby take on our cruise. The Summit did a 7 night Bermuda cruise with 3 days in Bermuda and the balance at sea. My spouse my 6 yr old and I cruised in ... Read More
Firstly, as this was our first cruising experience please excuse the wide eyed newby take on our cruise. The Summit did a 7 night Bermuda cruise with 3 days in Bermuda and the balance at sea. My spouse my 6 yr old and I cruised in Concierge class. We booked rather late and so got a fairly good, but not exceptional deal. Our overall impression was that the Celebrity Summit is a very efficient and well run ship. Staff are unfailingly courteous and efficient. Our room was invariably serviced every morning by the time we returned from breakfast (even on our last day) and was turned down every night when we returned from dinner. Marissa, our cabin attendant was a charming and diligent staff member. Embarkation and disembarkation were astonishingly fast and efficient. That was equally true when the ship was docked in Bermuda. Someone else on Cruise Critic once described 'Concierge Class' as a gimmick. That's exactly right. The cabins are the same size as the standard Veranda stateroom. The afternoon canapes are a waste of time since you can get whatever you want from the buffet anyway. The priority boarding and disembarkation add nothing to the experience. Particularly when the cruise ends, the ship wants you to leave as fast as possible and does everything it can to expedite the process. Concierge class did not help us get reservations in the restaurants any faster than would otherwise have been the case either. We only cruised concierge class b/c for some reason the price was lower than a standard veranda. We now know why: if you see Concierge priced less than standard veranda it is because you cannot select your cabin. it is assigned to you and it is theoretically possible to have a cabin with an undesirable location. We got lucky; our cabin was fine, but I wouldn't run the risk again. Food offerings on the ship were of uniformly high quality and variety. Because we had a young child, we tended to avoid the dining room and the restaurants. Our one formal night in the dining room was satisfactory but not noticeably better than our buffet meals. Buffet favourities included the chocolate croissants, the individually portioned items, and the carvery. Our night in the Normandie restaurant was memorable with outstanding service, and a high level of cuisine. The closing cheese course was a knockout. I never even heard of an epoise cheese before. My wife's duck was very good and my venison was very well prepared. For me food defines the vacation experience. If the food is bad I'm not coming back. we also enjoyed the poolside grill and the spa buffet, the latter of which we discovered only on our last full day. Our daughter was a big fan of the ice cream service. I appreciate that it was home made but found it to be only ok. One small quibble; the buffet was often understaffed during peak periods. For e.g., you could spend inordinate amounts of time waiting for someone to show up at the carvery and slice the roast beef. Ok, one other small quibble: the coffee was bad. It was Italian Lavazza brand coffee; I don't know if the brand was the problem or if the problem was in the brewing, but either way, it was always rather weak tasting. The ship amenities left something to be desired and that is why we can't rate our experience higher than a B. Summit was recently renovated and the decor and finishings are first rate. Alas the style masks a lack of substance. Here are the problems: 1. A ridiculous number of lounges that are mostly unused and that offer mediocre entertainment; 2. Only two pools and only one of which was available for children. Oh and that pool was 4 feet deep; too bad so sad for the short kids. Did I mention that the official bather load of the small pool was 11? Perhaps the 200 kids on board could swim in shifts? I hear that the night shift had some vacancies. That said, our daughter loved the pool. Of course she is only six; not sure how much mileage she'll get out of it next time; 3. a paucity of amenities for activities. My wife thought that the gym was very well appointed (I studiously avoided it so I venture no opinion). There was a nice multi-purpose court on the top deck for basketball and soccer, a reasonable casino, and a benignly neglected shuffleboard court on deck 4 (please let me know if you find the missing black disks). There was also a rock climbing wall...not; mini golf...oops also not...skating rink....oops, well you get the idea. if drinking in an empty lounge isn't your idea of fun, bring lots of books and pirated videos or money for the casino. Speaking of books, there was a two level 'library' but there was nothing in it and the books don't circulate anyway. How about dropping a few subscriptions to Time Magazine and Sports Illustrated? When we were in Bermuda, the NCL Breakout was docked ahead of us. We could see the water slides and other amenities that they had. Too bad we couldn't do a shore excursion to the Breakout. 4. although I have some derogatory things to say about the lounge crooners, the one show we saw, an amazing juggler, was outstanding, if a bit short; and 5. The ship does offer a kids club, the "Fun Factory" but it is also short on activities and stimulation for the kids. Our daughter warmed up to it over the week, but its not that spacious or well staffed. The staff who were there appeared competent and responsible. and 6. the world's most boring shopping experience. Ok, so it was not like I was going to buy anything anyway, but why bother with a single half deck filled with stores that walked right out of the airport duty free, but with half the selection? On a related note, the 'upselling' on the cruise is relentless. Everything is included except for everything. You can never tell if the seminar/activity offerings are actual learning opportunities or just selling opportunities...actually you can tell; they are just selling opportunities. I don't mean to single Celebrity out b/c all the cruise lines apparently do it and its an important profit centre, but in the end a cruise is supposed to be a place where you should be able to let your guard down and enjoy yourself without always having to wonder what the angle is for the proposed activity. Its really a question of balance more than anything else. Celebrity offers excursions. We took a quick look at them, found them a bit pricey and saw Bermuda on our own. Its hard to see much value added from an organized excursion when the internet gives you all the access you need. Of course, taking a crazy expensive taxi to the caves kind of proved how wrong I was about that. Rookie mistake. My view might be different if we had multiple stops and shorter windows to do our visiting. . I think we would sail Celebrity again, but not until we've tried some other lines to get a sense of how it compares to them in price and amenities.   Read Less
Sail Date: May 2010
My husband and I, both 50 yrs. old, went on the Explorer to Bermuda for our 25th anniversary. This was our first and we were very excited, but as I read the reviews I was getting more and more nervous that we wouldn't enjoy it. Well - ... Read More
My husband and I, both 50 yrs. old, went on the Explorer to Bermuda for our 25th anniversary. This was our first and we were very excited, but as I read the reviews I was getting more and more nervous that we wouldn't enjoy it. Well - I have only one piece of advice - IGNORE THE NEGATIVE REVIEWS. We had a great cruise. Even though we boarded and left late, the cruise started great - very cold - but great. Boarding was done quickly, we had a balcony room and was very happy with the size and location,and yes, there is plenty of storage. We went to the Windjammer for a quick dinner, went to the top to watch the ship squeeze under the Verazanno and then went to explore the ship. The ship is very clean and it is not "dated". It's really beautiful. Spent the next day exploring the ship and relaxing. First night was the Formal Dinner. Please - dress up for this one night. Again, after reading so many negative reviews, I didn't know what to expect from the dinner. The dinner was great. The appetizers are not large, but we ordered a few so we could share a bit of everything and try things I wouldn't usually order - like escargot - which was delicious. Every night, the food was great. And yes, there is lobster. The last night we had lobster and shrimp and it was delicious. We only saw a couple of shows, that's not really our thing. But we had a great time in the casino, going to have a few drinks and enjoying the night. As for drinks, they are the same price as any restaurant or club, BUT they are so strong, that we actually drank less than normal. Our overall charges at the end of the cruise was much less than I expected. We were not nickeled and dimed. I don't know how other cruises work, so I have nothing to compare it to, but we got more than our money's worth on this cruise. We spent the next day and 1/2 in Bermuda. Bermuda is beautiful. In that amount of time we saw the entire island. From Ft. Catherine to the Naval Yard. Horseshoe Bay is incredible. We went to the Crystal Caves (small but interesting - tho I don't know if it's worth $20 each). Had a great dinner in Hamilton in a restaurant onnected to the Bermuda Expedition Center. Beautiful outdoor (and indoor) dining. I think more locals go there than tourists. The Naval Yard is very touristy but I enjoyed it. The Glassworks Shop is beautiful and the Rum Cakes are very good. That day at 4:30 we left Bermuda to head back to NJ. More time on the ship exploring, eating, drinking, doing whatever. Went to some shows. The Ice Show and the Final Performance. Both were very good. The ship was very, very rocky on the way back - but the best advice I got was to buy Bromine. I took it every morning and never felt seasick. The Explorer of the Seas is a beautiful ship, the crew is great and can't do enough for you. Go, enjoy your trip, and I unless you're searching for negatives, you will have a great time. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
What a wonderful experience we had on the Anthem of the Seas!! Friendly, attentive and knowledgeable staff!! The ship is very clean and beautiful. Check in was a breeze, and leaving on the final day was sad ( didn't want to leave) ... Read More
What a wonderful experience we had on the Anthem of the Seas!! Friendly, attentive and knowledgeable staff!! The ship is very clean and beautiful. Check in was a breeze, and leaving on the final day was sad ( didn't want to leave) easy as well. The food was delicious. We ate mainly at the Windjammer, but also the Grand, Silk, and American Icon. Surprised by the oxtail stew at the Winder, excellent, tender and very tasty! Entertainment was exceptional. Please see Spectra in the 270. What an awesome expierence. Spectra himself was fun and full of charm and mystery. The dancers and singers were phenominal. What fantastic vocal ranges they had. The Giift was touching then you could go rock out with We Will Rock You! A taste of Broadway. Since this was my virgin cruise, all other cruises in the future had better step it up!! I can't wait for 2017 and my next cruise. Don't think I'll do land vacations again for awhile. I'm hooked. Great job Anthem of the Seas staff and Royal Carribean. You rock!! Read Less
Sail Date: October 2015
This was our first cruise from the very first moments of mass confusion once we boarded the ship set the tone for want was to follow for the next 10 days. There is very little, if any customer service available. The lines at the service ... Read More
This was our first cruise from the very first moments of mass confusion once we boarded the ship set the tone for want was to follow for the next 10 days. There is very little, if any customer service available. The lines at the service desk were very long nearly every single day. The ship is in need of some attention. Some of the seats in the pizza parlor were taped together with duct tape. Most bathrooms throughout the ship, including our room, were dirty and very smelly. I finally cleaned our toilet myself with wet wipes to try to eliminate some of the odor. What was under to rim was disgusting. Staff were all over the ship trying to sell the drink packages, spa packages, photo packages, jewelry, and some of the most awful artwork I have ever seen. Do not expect to be pampered on this cruise, unless you pay, and pay and pay for each and every service. I am surprises we did not have to provide our own bedding and towels. The food in the dining room was mediocre, but little in the way of flavor or seasonings and got so monotonous we had to take a break from the dining room. The staff that we were in contact with such as dinning staff and room stewards were friendly, but stressed over and over again how important it was to give them a positive rating on the end of cruise survey, as their jobs depended on it. There was desperation in their voices. We never received a survey. The staff of the spa were placed all over the common areas selling their services, but the glum look on their faces suggested that this would no be a good experience. Finally, near the end of the cruise we decided to purchase one of the drink packages. The biggest rip off of this cruise line was the charge for the final day of cruise. We had absolutely no hope of using our drink package because we had to leave the ship by 8:45 am, and even if we could have consumed our $57.00 per day charge, there was no one to serve it. I wish there was as way to request a refund for this last day. This was a miserable, expensive experience. The entertainment was just below average - nothing I would ever go to see on land. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2015
We had a very disappointing five days on this ship sailing from New Jersey, US to Bermuda. This was our first cruise, and I will never cruise with Royal Caribbean again. While the staff was always helpful and hard working (especially in ... Read More
We had a very disappointing five days on this ship sailing from New Jersey, US to Bermuda. This was our first cruise, and I will never cruise with Royal Caribbean again. While the staff was always helpful and hard working (especially in the main dining room), the ship was overcrowded. We waited on line for two hours to board the ship at the terminal in New Jersey. And, once we were on the ship, we waited on line for everything from towels, to breakfast, to customer service. There were never enough chairs for the passengers to sit comfortably and relax. It was impossible to find a quiet spot to sit and enjoy the beautiful views. The music from the children's pool area was deafening. The food was average, and the entertainment was mediocre. This was a budget cruise experience with a luxury cruise price tag. The worst part was that there was an ever present smell of sewage in the hallway on our floor. The best part was that the early disembarkation was quick and we could get off the ship soon after we docked. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2015
Here is our review of what Celebrity has painted for us on our first cruise ever. Our guestroom attendants Meredeth and Jonathan were wonderful. That was the only thing about this cruise that stood out on a positive note. Let's ... Read More
Here is our review of what Celebrity has painted for us on our first cruise ever. Our guestroom attendants Meredeth and Jonathan were wonderful. That was the only thing about this cruise that stood out on a positive note. Let's talk about a few issues we had on this ship. Our spa experience was awful. We spent almost $500 on massages for my wife and I and both were cut short about 20 minutes and therapists were not very good at massaging. We know this because for the past 8 years we have been getting massages on a weekly basis. Waste of money spent with the Canyon Ranch Spa! We didn't realize that our massages were cut early until we mentioned it to each other later on that night and so we went to guest relations to let them know and they said that they would have the spa manager call us. We are now off the ship and done with vacation and still have not heard from them. The shows that this ship put on were very cheesy and not entertaining at all. It seemed like these shows were intended for a much older crowd... like retired! Our younger kids had a good time at the Fun Factory and were treated well but were limited in things to do. Our teen was extremely bored at the X-Club. Internet Wi-Fi was HORRIBLE at best, we had complained and were issued a refund but not without a guilt trip from the staff. Our dining experience in the buffet/café was limited at best. We had one night where we made reservations at the dining room (Cosmopolitan) and were in awe about the blandness of food. Had no taste whatsoever. I wasn't interested in even ordering an entrée but felt like I was forced to from our waiter. I didn't eat there again, but my wife and youngest went there to eat and she actually had one item she enjoyed which was the risotto. She asked for a second portion of it and even though the waiter gave her another portion he gave her a dirty look about her ordering a second portion and made her feel like she did something wrong. Absolutely an awful experience. So we were pretty much forced to eat in the café the entire trip and was pretty much settled on having the same variety of limited items served while being bumped and shoved by people wanting the same popular items. 20 minutes standing in line waiting for fried rice was ridiculous, especially with three kids in tow. Most of the time we gave up on fresh cooked food to avoid the line wait and just ate the hotdogs and burgers they were serving on the outdoor pool deck. Not a great eating experience at all! If I knew that it would have been this bad and ruined our family vacation for this year I would have never spent over $8,000 of my only savings on this trip with Celebrity. Now don't get me wrong, my wife and I are not picky people at all, but when you spend this much money on a family vacation you would expect a certain standard from the trip. All of these standards were barely met and some were just downright disappointing. Never again, and I would not recommend Celebrity to anyone! Read Less
Sail Date: March 2015
My husband and I chose a cruise with Royal Caribbean as our honeymoon, and were disappointed beyond all belief. To start off our trip, we boarded at 2:00 and were not able to get into our rooms until 2 hours later, my husbands luggage was ... Read More
My husband and I chose a cruise with Royal Caribbean as our honeymoon, and were disappointed beyond all belief. To start off our trip, we boarded at 2:00 and were not able to get into our rooms until 2 hours later, my husbands luggage was delivered to the wrong room, and mine was not delivered at all which resulted in my husband going to the unattended luggage room and pulling my bag himself at 8:00 at night. Not only that, but despite Royal Caribbean knowing we were a honeymooning couple, our room was positioned in between two families with very small children. The food on board was absolutely horrible, only available at certain times, and despite making reservations at the restaurants on board, we were still subjected to waiting online for half an hour before being able to sit down to a meal that was obviously cooked in bulk, hours before it actually made it to your plate. Service is a word that Royal Caribbean does not understand the meaning of. Time and time again we were met with rude, incompetent wait staff and bar tenders, and the employees working in guest services and shore excursions were completely ignorant of what the ports of call were like, what to expect, and were unable to give any recommendations to us at all in regards to where to eat, what attractions there are, or even what kind of weather to expect. Perhaps the most aggravating aspect of dining are your drinks, with the beverage package, you are forced to carry around a large plastic coca cola cup, without which you cannot use the soda machines which are also inconveniently manned by more incompetent staff, causing lines for drinks to take you anywhere from 5-15 minute waits. Entertainment was obviously geared toward the geriatric crowd and families, which led us to spending the majority of our time on board in the casino. The shops on board were extremely expensive, name brand retailers that we could not afford to even look in their windows. Everything was extremely unorganized, and utterly frustrating. We reached out to both our travel agent and Royal Caribbean themselves, but have yet to receive any sort of response on their part. A truly disappointing experience, and horrendous customer service, the only redeeming quality for Royal Caribbean were the shore excursions, the ship was very clean, and the decor and rooms were very pleasing, but that's not enough to make us ever come back or recommend this line to anyone. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2011
For the price of the cruise per night I could have stayed in a 5 star hotel. .First the ship needs some refurbishing in the staterooms. Furniture was all nicked, the coach was stained. the Balcony was full of rust and paint spots. I found ... Read More
For the price of the cruise per night I could have stayed in a 5 star hotel. .First the ship needs some refurbishing in the staterooms. Furniture was all nicked, the coach was stained. the Balcony was full of rust and paint spots. I found the entertainment to be terrible. Any of the so called pool parties etc. were only 1 hour. Every where you went there was another camera in your face or a ship employee putting arms around you, even when you asked not to be photographed they were insistent. Stateroom was cramped, the bed vibrated the entire cruise and we were on the 10th deck can't imagine what the people below felt. Air conditioning worked when it felt like. Never met my stateroom attendant. Requested an ash tray and waited two days. Called room service and the average wait for an answer was well over 10 minutes. Mixed drinks were awful unless you asked for premium liquor and paid extra for it. Food was not even a step up from cafeteria quality. /All in all the food was awful whether in the dining room or cafe. Sada plan was an absolute joke they made it very inconvenient for you to fill the container they gave you and the container was clumsy to carry around. The pool decks were extremely slippery, pool water cold. I think this should be called a low budget cruise. I will never cruise with them again and a matter of fact this was my first and last cruise with them or anyone else. Sailed for 39 hours to spend 27 hours at Bermuda and sailed another 39 hours what a waste. The port Kings Wharf was a dead port of call. There was nothing open after 4:30pm. I sat on my balcony at a resort location at 8:30pm and saw darkness. You really could not get a beach day and see the island terrible. I could do more at home than on the ship. Worst call was after we sailed out of Cape Liberty late by over a half hour we went to sea for 2 and a half hours to only turn around and go back to drop off a sick patient because the family had no insurance for a chopper lift off and they wanted to go with the patient. Wouldn't it have been cheaper for the cruise line to pick up the tab for the chopper instead of spending thousands more to bring the ship back? Makes you wonder if we pay for that cost. Room service sent free juice every morning except the 4Th day of the cruise they informed me there was a charge. Feel we lost time in Bermuda and the cruise line did nothing to compensate you for it. In ending this cruise was a nightmare! NEVER AGAIN!!!!!! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2015
This is my 75th cruise, and my children's 22nd cruise. We are Emerald members on Royal Caribbean and Gold members on Disney. I do not recall the statuses on Norwegian or Carnival. We went on the Anthem of The Seas for a New ... Read More
This is my 75th cruise, and my children's 22nd cruise. We are Emerald members on Royal Caribbean and Gold members on Disney. I do not recall the statuses on Norwegian or Carnival. We went on the Anthem of The Seas for a New Year's cruise. We had been on the Quantum of the Seas last Christmas and booked the Anthem of the seas for this New Years while on board. Check in was fast and efficient. We were met with people with ipads who checked us in without having to wait on a line. Our rooms were ready when promised and a tremendous plus, all of our luggage was at our room, Room was immaculate and in great condition. My husband met the room attendant whom he described as unhappy. I did not meet her until day 4 of the cruiser and she could barely grumble a hello. She did her job well cabin was clean but her mood was best described as cranky. The Anthem of the seas as well as the Quantum are designed to be technologically advanced. This being said, it is my assumption that more time is spent training the staff on the technical aspect of doing their job rather than customer service. All over the ship, in every department, the staff was not friendly. Efficient at their jobs, but not friendly. When we finally encountered staff who were friendly, we immediately asked what ship had they been on previously, and the friendly staff had come from the Freedom, Adventurer, Allure or Oasis. Better staff training is needed on the Anthem. Staff members who were very friendly were Lemuel, Piedro and Rosa. All from the American Icon dining room. Colin from the IFLY department was responsive to passengers needs and friendly. Most cruisers chose this ship becasue of the attractions onboard the ship. However having stated that, on this cruise there were only enough slots for 60% of the guests to go on the Ifly. My children had their time slots so we were happy. The bumper cars had tremendous wait times. My son waited 44 minutes to get on the bumper cars, this is not relaxing for anyone. The trapeze was broken for the first 5 days of the cruise and on the 6th day there were not enough time slots for my daughter to get on the trapeze. On the 7th day, I waited 1 hour and 15 minutes to get a wrist band so that my daughter could then get a turn on the trapeze, which she did and loved. However, me waiting on line for a wrist band is not part of my dream vacation. On the flow rider, there was over a 1 hour wait, each time. For those who have seen the other ships flow riders, it is easy to accommodate 2 people at a time but this was understaffed so only 1 person at a time could be on the flow rider. The time spent waiting for the attractions and the time spent waiting for the wrist bands for the POSSIBILITY of using the attractions was like being at Disney World during Christmas week, not fun and not always productive. As for the show We will Rock You, the singers and actors were fantastic, however the show seemed to have been written by a 4th grader. The plot was silly as were the lines. We are used to better shows on Royal Caribbean. We saw Mamma Mia, on the Quantum last year and it was truly Broadway quality. We have seen Chicago on another ship and that was Broadway quality as well. For the second production show, The Gift, the ship stated that there were technical difficulties and the show could not go on. The actors then did a singing show which was fine. The cruise at the last minute flew in another act to subsiitute for The Gift, which were the 50 Shades of Buble. While this was not terrible, this act was more suited towards the crowds on Celebrity Cruises. The comedian and the ventriloquist, and the Journey Cover band were all acts worthy of Royal Caribbean and enjoyed by everyone. The food in all of the dining rooms was OK, not great, There is a tremendous push to dine in the specialty restaurants. We have eaten in Chops Grille on the Freedom 2 times, did not find it spectacular so we chose to stay in the dining rooms that were included in the price. New Years Eve was a standard New Years Eve on a cruise ship and they did it well. The only thing that was offensive was that they were selling glow in the dark toys. I find that offensive because other cruise lines give that out for free, and when you are paying for a New Years cruise, which is top price, you really do not want to be nickeled and dimed for light up toys. The shore excursion on Coco Cay to swim with the sting rays was fantastic. We had done it on Disney where we pet the sting rays, but this has you swimming with them, and the staff was fantastic. Overall, all I can say is that we did not get what we paid for. We had booked the Anthem for next year (prior to sailing) and cancelled the booking. We are looking forward to being on the Oasis in February and the Freedom in April. The staff needs to be trained in customer service, the activities need to be stream lined so that all passengers can make use of the activities. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2015
I am a totally inexperienced cruiser, I had never stepped foot on a vessel of this size before Nov 22nd. I learned one thing right away, never sail on a new ship with new technology...needless to say, maybe automation isn't the way ... Read More
I am a totally inexperienced cruiser, I had never stepped foot on a vessel of this size before Nov 22nd. I learned one thing right away, never sail on a new ship with new technology...needless to say, maybe automation isn't the way to go right now. Check-In: the system crashed..need I say more.. WOW bands: should really be called underwow bracelets, lets just say they worked only occasionally at best, I had to go to guest services numerous times to have my band "reset." Royal IQ app: pay 14.95 per device and have it tell you more times that not, unable to deliver text message..I got my money back for the one, since the feature was terrible. This WOW experience is a great concept, but hasn't come together yet. Guest Relations: I was going to start tell wait staff that my room was in guest services, since I spent more time there, then anywhere else on the boat. Due to the fact that I was so displeased with my experience on this boat, I went to guest relations (after being stuck in the elevator) and demanded my prepaid gratuities back, yea not going to happen for 7-10 business days. So for anyone 1st time cruisers reading this...do not pay your gratuities up front (12.95 per person per day) for our 4 people for 8 days totally $414.40. Next time I will tip as I go...give it to services that deserve it. Service: I will be nice here.... Positives: IFLY-H2O (yes his name) was AWESOME!! the highlight of my boat experience. I will say, being forced to be disconnected from the stressers of work and real life I enjoyed tremendously, and I would do it again....This experience is not going to deter me from cruising again. I see the potential of how awesome it can be. I recommend doing the classic dining, dynamic dining isn't fixed yet...they messed up so many reservation, I can't even begin to go into detail with that one. Staterooms: (we had a balcony fl 13) we had 4 people 2 adults 1 14yr old 1 6 yr old, and it was tight I have to be honest, the balcony was awesome, when going out to the balcony and you looked you the "H" from anthem was directly over your head, which I found cool...Our cabin stew..not the best, actually not great at all..my bathroom was always dirtier then when he got there, he never wiped down the counter, and there was filth behind the toilet by the toilet brush...yea I wasn't happy Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
I was not pleased with the entertainment when comparing it with other cruises. It appeared because it was a 14 nt. & older group, which was constantly mentioned , that we didn't get the caliber of other cruises I've been ... Read More
I was not pleased with the entertainment when comparing it with other cruises. It appeared because it was a 14 nt. & older group, which was constantly mentioned , that we didn't get the caliber of other cruises I've been on. Also the food was not exceptional. I really felt we should have had lobster two nights on a 14 nt. cruise & especially a New England & Canada one. Some nights the food was excellent but others not so good. Also there were not enough activities . I'm also not in favor of the alchol package as it makes people feel they should over-indulge to get their money's worth. By dinner many guests were drunk. We enjoyed the ports and our rooms were adequate. We'll really shop around for our next cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2015
We booked our cruise a year in advance and was very excited but it was short lived. We were suppose to board the ship at 12:15 but due to a virus outbreak on the cruise before us it was delayed. That was understandable and I was glad ... Read More
We booked our cruise a year in advance and was very excited but it was short lived. We were suppose to board the ship at 12:15 but due to a virus outbreak on the cruise before us it was delayed. That was understandable and I was glad that they took extra time to sanitize the ship before we boarded. We didn't board the ship until around 2 p.m. and from that moment on it was a total nightmare. We had to drag our carry on around most of the day as we were not allowed in our cabin until after 7 o'clock in the evening. Then our luggage didn't make it to our room until after 8. We went on this cruise with our son and daughter in law to spend time with them as we live many miles apart and we don't get to see them as much as we would like. Our cruise planner made reservations for us to have all of our dinners together however we were only able to have dinner together twice... The cruise line changed our reservations. I know this because when we docked in Florida I called her and asked her why she changed the reservations. She explained that she did not and that she would call the cruise line and try to straighten it out. When we got back on board we saw where they did change our reservation so that we could enjoy two dinners with our children. Everything was already booked and that was the best they could do. My husband ordered us robes, slippers, champagne and rose petals to surprise me however it was not a surprise when he had to ask for them in front of me. After much confusion on day five of our cruise they finally arrived. The surprise was blown and my husband was very upset. There was no supervision of the kids/teenagers on this ship. They were actually taking over the ship and running around all hours of the night being very loud and rude. The rules were not enforced and they were taking over the adult area, we couldn't even go into the adult pool as there was no room. Now don't get me wrong, I don't mind children or teenagers, I have children and grandchildren but there was NO supervision whatsoever. Granted that this was not the Quantum's fault, it was the fault of the parents however again, the rules were not enforced. The kids were all supposed to be in their cabins by 1 a.m. ( which in my opinion was way to late for kids) but they were out running around way beyond the curfew. I do have to say that our room steward was excellent!!! She went beyond the call of duty for her guests and the rooms were spotless. We was in room 9252 and her name was Marcia. Anyone who is lucky enough to have her as their room attendant will be very satisfied. The shore excursions were excellent as well, we did have a fantastic time while we were at port. The quantum is a beautiful ship but it has a lot of bugs that need worked out. There are way to many passengers to be able to enjoy the on board activities in the allotted times that they are operating. It was impossible to be able to enjoy the bumper cars, the ifly and the flow rider as the hours of operation can not possibly fit all of the passengers into the schedule. We are planning on another cruise next year but we have decided to try another cruise line. We were very disappointed with this cruise for the price. One last thing, if you get the soda package it is very hard to get something to drink other than water after 11:00 unless you carry your drink cup with you at all times. The soda machine will only work with your drink cup and if you ask someone in the windjammer to get you a soda from behind the drink station they will not do it, they simply will tell you that it is closed even if someone is standing behind the station. It would kill them to put some soda in a glass for you. I mean my goodness it takes all of 5 seconds. Do not leave your soda cup in your room if you want something to drink. You must carry that big glass everywhere you go or be thirsty. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2014
I just came back from the inaugural cruise (Nov 23, 2014-Dec 1, 2014) and it was the worst vacation I have ever had. This ship and the crew were NOT ready to sail. Although there are problems with the technology, my biggest complaint was ... Read More
I just came back from the inaugural cruise (Nov 23, 2014-Dec 1, 2014) and it was the worst vacation I have ever had. This ship and the crew were NOT ready to sail. Although there are problems with the technology, my biggest complaint was the absolutely horrible service! I know what you are thinking, I am too picky. No I am not. Everyone had the same complaints and I am not exaggerating. Non-existent wait service on the pool deck or in the Solarium, out of the 8 days and 24 meals I can honestly say only 4 servers were high quality and professional. We never got a proper breakfast served to us. Something was always missing or they ran out. Dynamic Dining was a painful experience. I was tethered to my the calendar on my smart phone all week in order to keep track of my dinner and show reservations. If I had wanted to be a slave to my schedule I would have stayed at my office. The beds are hard as a rock. I requested a foam egg carton for my bed (they have them for other ships) but was told they were not available for this ship. The ship and shows are spectacular and the food (when served properly) was excellent, however, by the 5th day I was ready to get off the ship. Perhaps once this ship and its crew work out the kinks, it will be a better experience for others. Sadly, I saved for two years to take my Mother on this ship and it's criminal that RCCL allowed us to sail knowing they weren't staffed or trained properly. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2014
I have taken a cruise on Explorer of the Seas before. This ship has gone down hill big time. Me and my boyfriend went on this cruise for his Birthday. I had ordered Celebration Items prior to the cruise. Only 1 out of the 3 items were in ... Read More
I have taken a cruise on Explorer of the Seas before. This ship has gone down hill big time. Me and my boyfriend went on this cruise for his Birthday. I had ordered Celebration Items prior to the cruise. Only 1 out of the 3 items were in the room when we arrived. I decided to wait till the end of the night (that being midnight) to see if the items would arrive at a later time in the day. Nothing came. We went to the front desk and were asked if we wanted the items now. We decided to wait in the room. The guest service person also stated that he would send a bottle of wine for the troubles. The other 2 items came and No Wine. I didn't even bother going back down to ask where the wine was. We decided to go to the main dinning room for our assigned late seating. The service was lacking any personality or friendliness. I wasn't impressed at all compared to the prior cruises I have been on (including Oasis of the Seas - 2 weeks prior). The waiter didn't get our order correct, the food took forever to come out, the food was okay. When we tried to order a drink, it was like mission impossible in the dinning room. I went the following day to ask if we could be put on My Time Dinning and was told that wasn't available. No accommodations were attempted to resolve the dinning issues I brought up. The last time I was on this ship the service was Great. As for the Shooters of the Day --- WHAT Shooters??? Normally in prior cruises I have been on they came to the dinner table each night offering the shot of the day in the nice shot glasses that you collect. No one ever came. I was very disappointed. It was the ships loss too, considering my boyfriend and I would have gotten one each night and they run about 8 bucks a piece. I will say this much the ship did have a Great Variety of Drink Selections at the Variety of Bars around the ship. I didn't like the fact that when we first came on the ship and had the Premium Drink Package and the Pool Bar Server Charged my Boyfriend for his Beer. I brought it to his attention and he told me that he fixed it. Upon looking at my charges the last night of the cruise, it was still a charged item. I went to the font desk about the error and asked if it would be possible to get accommodated for earlier luggage tags. The women at the Guest Services desk told me that she would correct the billing issue and that i would have to come the following day about luggage tags. I told her that I was trying to avoid the line situation and she told me that she would try her best. Mind you it was Midnight again when I asked. Nothing was ever asked for me for early luggage tags, I had asked my room attendant if she could help and was very accommodating and gave me Luggage Tag 1 for me to get off right away even though I wasn't a Diamond Plus member. The Room Attendant was Awesome. Always there to help and to see if everything was going okay. When we got our final Bill once again i see that the issue for the Pool Bar charge was never taken care off. At this point, I wasn't even going to attempt to go to the front desk about the issue AGAIN. There really isn't a great selection of places to eat on this ship. I felt that the lunch hours were short and always wanted a snack and there wasn't much of a selection. The sushi that was avaliable was blah. I have better sushi at our Chinese Buffets and that isn't even that great of quality. The last two nights on the ship had really rough seas. I know that nothing can really be done for that, but you would think the ship would be accommodating for there guests. I had a spa reservation but wasn't feeling good, due to the rough seas. I tried to cancel my appointment but was told that I would get a 50% cancelation fee. I explained that i wasn't feel good due to the seas. They still wouldn't make any exceptions. I will never take a cruise again on this ship unless they make some drastic corrections in the Service Department and Food Situation. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
Having read all the January roll calls and reviews of Anthem Of The Seas cruises and the cruise from Hell (January Hurricane cruise), I hoped our cruise would have better. Let me start with Embarkation. I have read many reviews that stated ... Read More
Having read all the January roll calls and reviews of Anthem Of The Seas cruises and the cruise from Hell (January Hurricane cruise), I hoped our cruise would have better. Let me start with Embarkation. I have read many reviews that stated once the passengers entered Bayonne Pier Terminal, they went to the ushers with iPads and in a few minutes were ushered up the escalator to enter the ship. It only took 5 minutes. Not so for us. We entered around 9:30AM and were told to stand behind the people already sitting in blue chairs. There was another full section of people sitting in white chairs. At the back of the huge hall, were about 30 elderly people standing. Not enough seats for all of us. As the streams of the people kept coming in, they gathered in the front. We were not allowed to board the ship. We were told that the computer system was down that tabulated our faces and names as we boarded. With this down, no one could board. After being there an hour and standing, they started to let us board. However the people who just entered the building were in the front and went on the first line. They were calling people by rows from the front. Chaos was starting right away. All the people standing started to move to the right and walk along the wall to where the first row was starting to move from their seats. The people standing, plus the people coming into the building and other people sitting in chairs began to move as well. Suddenly the escalators were not functioning so the line was halted. We later were told that the people leaving the ship from the last cruise experienced problems with the same escalators, so we were asked to leave space between passengers to balance out the weight. Finally we boarded the ship after waiting 2 hours. Many people were still sitting in their chairs waiting to get the word to board. Passengers were unable to go to their cabins so onto the buffet went the 4500. The Marketplace was not as large as I have seen on other ships, so tables were unavailable. With no place to go, people ate and sat. New arrivals were screwed, since space was at a premium. We asked some people sitting on a table for 8 if we could use two of the unused seats, which was great. We could see the utter frustration on the passengers with wheelchairs and walkers searching for a place to sit, many with plates in hand. We decided to go downstairs to our cabin and see if it was ready. The access door to the cabins from the elevator banks was closed. People were sitting on the floor and the steps waiting. I decided to try the door handle and it was not locked, so everyone followed and went to the room. Our room was done and was beautiful. Plenty of closet space, and the balcony was huge. We had no complaints at all. Food has always been a problem for Anthem reading the past reviews. I was really prepared for the worst. I had emailed the Restaurant Department at Royal, since the reservations available were all at 9PM. We cannot eat that late and said so in my emails. They responded an said that we could eat at 5:15 every night and to tell them which restaurant to book. I responded by only selecting Silk once, which was a good thing, since it was really the only restaurant we did not like. We loved the food in The Grande and had the same waitress, Elizabeth, who was a gem. We had early reservations to two shows and she was able to bring us our food, hot and quick and with a smile. Service by the waitstaff was excellent. I do not know where the other reviewers were eating, but I do not think they were on the same ship. Everyone we came in contact with had a smile, and more than happy to satisfy our needs. The Maitre D, David, was so great as was his assistant. I was impressed that they had inside ping pong tables, so the ball would not be subjected to the wind outside. I loved the bumper cars and The Northstar. I did not see any mention of the Puzzle Room, which was disappointing. I had read that the Puzzle Room was affected by the hurricane. My cabin stewart, Jeffrey, was amazing. He was always there to give us extra blankets and pillows and brought us ice everyday. I did end up with a chronic cough two days before we docked in Bayonne. Prior to that, after the captain announced that our trip would be shortened by two days (due to a storm on its way from the West), Anthem staff were busy to wash walls, railings, elevators, tables, chairs, casino and casino chips, bagging books in the Library, taking pamphlets and advertisements that were in the room, etc. It probably was the cause for my chronic cough. I decided not to go the doctor, for fear of contamination with other passengers suffering with Norovirus. The end result was I suffered with the cough and did not sleep for 2 days. On the morning of departure, at around 2:30 AM, I went out of the room so my wife would not hear my coughing, and went to 4th floor where they had coffee available. Might I say that on every ship prior, the buffet was open late and early in the morning to serve their guests. Not on our ship. They closed at 9PM. Anyway, after getting coffee on the 4th, I went upstairs to the 5th floor to Two70s, where they would be serving early breakfast for those just walking with their bags off the ship to their cars. Once I got upstairs, I walked into Two70s and saw a man in a rebreather mask fumigating the chairs and table and carpets with a thick mist. I left right away to avoid breathing any toxic fumes. They closed the sliding doors after me. At 5:30 we were supposed to go that same room for breakfast. How dumb is that. They did open at 5:45 but my cough got worse. I did not stay to eat and went upstairs to our room instead. Leaving the ship was easy. Once we got to the garage, there were people who took down our names and the last four digits of our credit card, in order to give us the credit for the two days parking. Overall we liked the ship and with our 50% discount given by RCI, we book Anthem for next year. All we did was move to room midships, so save some walking. Whatever part of the ship you are on, get ready to do some walking. We know it is healthy, but the elevator banks are in midships and so are the stairs. Be prepared with comfortable shoes. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
I feel like the ship is not as bad as everyone makes it out to be. We have been on Adventure, Rhapsody, Oasis, and Liberty before Anthem, choosing it as it was the new ship. The ship itself is beautiful. Our stateroom was awesome along ... Read More
I feel like the ship is not as bad as everyone makes it out to be. We have been on Adventure, Rhapsody, Oasis, and Liberty before Anthem, choosing it as it was the new ship. The ship itself is beautiful. Our stateroom was awesome along with our steward. Loved the extra closet space and layout of the room. We enjoyed all the public rooms, Northstar, bumper cars, etc. The theater was the first Royal theater we have encountered where the balcony was not great, it was as if there was not enough pitch, seats on Deck 4 were much better for sightlines than the balcony. We enjoyed We will Rock you, Spectra is a bit just showing off the capabilities of 270 more than a cohesive show, and The Gift was just odd. The staff throughout was extremely friendly and we did not have service issues in the restaurants. As always the crux that Anthem seems to have is the food. We enjoyed not having the menus that we have seen at the other main restaurants on the traditional ships. A quick recap of where we ate: American Icon: Good, out of the 4 probably our favorite Chic: Split Personality-one evening was great but the second was meh Grande: Good-no complaints and same quality as formal night in the mains of the traditionals Silk-Panda express is better which is sad Chops:If this was my first chops experience I would never go again-very chewy meat-everything was Garlicky which I don't remember from previous visits. Jamies Italian: Fantastic-loved the boards and the Pasta was perfect Wonderland: AMAZING (better be for the price though) it was great-do not be scared of the menu and just let the waiter take you through their choices. Solarium Bistro:Baklava was great and the Kefta (which you get from the buffett). The mains were not memorable. Windjammer-only breakfast and lunch but loved the variety and breads. Also loved the hand washing stations which I think was a saving grace on us being able to still use utensils/tongs when there was a noro problem on board In the end I really debated between Very Good and Average and decided to compare it with other Royal cruises I have taken and say average due to the food quality, loved the variety, but quality was off. I am not considering the coming back early as that is out of control and we got a credit, and the norovirus problem was handled well and didn't feel limited (where as a case we had on Princess they shut down the buffet/wouldn't allow you to get drinks, etc). Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2015
This was our 20th Celebrity cruise, we are Elite Plus Captain's Club members and this was probably one of our most disappointing Celebrity cruises. Overall the food and service was not nearly as good as in the past and also the ... Read More
This was our 20th Celebrity cruise, we are Elite Plus Captain's Club members and this was probably one of our most disappointing Celebrity cruises. Overall the food and service was not nearly as good as in the past and also the lack of enforcement of dress code in the Main Dining Room as well as Captain Club events really put a sour taste in our mouths. My husband and I like the traditional way of cruising. We always select Traditional Late (Second) Seating in the Main Dining Room. We were assigned a table for 8 which is what we asked but on night 1 and 2 there were only 4 of us. During dinner on night 2 the other couple said "we have bought a specialty dining package for 3 nights". Well there's only 5 nights left so that means my husband and I would be sitting alone, which is just not what we wanted. We went to the Maitre'd and asked to change tables so we could sit with others. He told us that it would be a table for 9 now that we were there. We said great. We got to the new table and there were only 2 other couples that were cruising together there. That's fine, at least we had a table for 6 on nights 3 and 4. On nights 5 & 6 a couple we met during the cruised joined us for dinner and we finally had our table for 8. Unfortunately on night 6 - the second formal night we did not get our entrée until 10:10 PM. The waiter and Maitre'd came over and apologized but what good did that do. My husband and I wanted to go to the Liar's Club show which was at 10:30 PM, so we got up and left before they even took the entrée dishes away. On night 7 the final night of the cruise my husband and I were all alone at a table that seated 10 people. Not to mention that the first waiter and assistant waiter we had were very good and when we changed tables our new assistant waiter must have been new because he was not that good and our waiter was okay but needed to compensate for the assistant so service lagged. This sailing had a much younger crowd than we have sailed with previously. I think it's because of the drink packages they are attracting younger people, which is fine, but these people are no use to traditional style of cruising and just want to dress and do what they want when they want. People were not sticking to the dress code and also they were drinking in the pools, hot tubs, etc., which I thought you were not allowed to, especially bottles of beer which can break. The food in the MDR was overall good, the buffet for lunch was just okay nothing great. Unfortunately and this is nothing to do with Celebrity, the weather in Bermuda for the 3 days we were there was terrible. It was so windy that they canceled the ferries to St. Georges day 2 and 3 and you could barely even walk. The beaches were so windy people were getting sand in their eyes, ears, etc. and all these dead jellyfish were washing up on shore. Even our stateroom attendant was just adequate. I asked for an extra towel every day and never got one. I resorted to bringing a clean pool towel (they have new ones which are really nice) down to the cabin with me. Another thing Celebrity has really cut out, especially on the Bermuda cruises is the guest lecturers. My husband and I really enjoyed these. We had a gentleman, Stan the Pan Man, who one day gave a lecture on steel drums and also gave classes on them as well as played around the ship. He was fine, but we like the historians and lecturers they use to get from their partnership with the Smithsonian. I believe this ended in 2013 sometime. With the raising of prices on drinks, gratuities, etc. we are very disappointed in the direction Celebrity is going in since food, service and overall ambience for those of us that just book regular cabins is going downhill. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2015
I just came back from this cruise. It was my first cruise and I was frustrated. Bermuda was beautiful and the ship staff was great! The ship itself is very clean but needs a little updating. The dining room food was good and while ... Read More
I just came back from this cruise. It was my first cruise and I was frustrated. Bermuda was beautiful and the ship staff was great! The ship itself is very clean but needs a little updating. The dining room food was good and while portions were small you could get as many dinners as you wanted. The Ocean View Cafe where we ate the rest of the meals was okay at best! Long lines and food was always barely warm. Trays were hard to negotiate and tables hard to find. The most frustrating was never being able to get a chair by the pool people saved chairs with a book or towel at 7 am and never showed till 12 pm The staff did not enforce the 30 minute rule posted in the ship info. so many chairs empty and people couldn't sit. It was the same in the lounges! Every activity at night was in this very small lounge and there was no where to sit! Again people saving chairs. I did assert myself a few times quoting the rule but who wants confrontation to be able to enjoy what you paid for! If staff enforced the rule at the pool it would have helped greatly! The pool was also way too small for the amount of guests! Thank God it was not summer because I do not now where they would fit the children. I will not cruise this ship again! I will also try another cruise line in the future. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2015
This is a brand new, very sophisticated ship. Some things work really well and some don't. Unsurprisingly the most impressive bright spots I recall involve crew members doing a particularly good job. The technology never really shined ... Read More
This is a brand new, very sophisticated ship. Some things work really well and some don't. Unsurprisingly the most impressive bright spots I recall involve crew members doing a particularly good job. The technology never really shined and it never felt like it was making my life better (I am a tech guy from Silicon Valley, btw) but was acutely tuned to making more money for RC. Bright spots: -The cabin was great. Intelligently designed, comfortable and a pleasure to be in. -The outside dinning area on the fantail was rarely crowded and offered wonderful views. -The adults-mostly Solarium was a favorite hang out. -Watching "the Hobbit" on the giant screen, bundled up from the cold with the swimming pool water crashing from a light roll was remarkably fun and totally memorable. -Having a multitude of things I could do and almost none I had to do. -A proactive approach to encouraging everyone to wash their hands - the single most effective action to prevent spread of norovirus or other illnesses. -Hot Spice!, the Caribbean and reggae band. These guys were seriously good performers. Dark spots: -The drink package options were confusing on the website and confusing to bartenders. There were different interpretations in different places. -The supposed 'high-speed" internet wasn't but was expensive, slow and the source of the most complaints I heard. -The app they want you to use for everything is worthless. -The difference in food quality between the Windjammer cafeteria and the complementary restaurants was minimal. Service at those restaurants was very uneven and it was nearly impossible to get a second glass of wine before your entree appears. We didn't try any of the for fee places because, frankly, I live in San Francisco and can walk 3 blocks for better restaurants than they have. I'm not going on a cruise for the food. Total ripoffs: Beware the cell phone service that magically appears when you are at sea. Without giving you the option to decline you are connected to an ATT plan and if someone happens to call you it's billed @ $6/min. I wanted to take this cruise because it was a way to sail across the Atlantic for the start of a long trip in Spain. For that it was great and memorable. I discovered I'm an outlier in the cruise community though. For most people I talked with the cruise itself is the destination. I found RC obtuse to deal with prior to boarding and never felt like I got good information or advice about decisions like the drink packages. Most folks I encountered on board were veteran cruisers and more familiar with the ins and outs of the game. I was not which left me unaware of much more I could have taken advantage of and at a loss to even know what to look for. Finally, I wish we could have spent more than a few hours at each of the ports we visited. I'm not much impressed with Royal Caribbean even though I hear they are one of the best in the business. They seem to severely limit the authority of their on-board officers and managers to actually manage the operation and to be highly concerned with maximizing the per-passenger revenue. The fact I keep coming back to that point illustrates it's persistent presence. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2014
Cabin – We had a deluxe balcony 6624 on the hump. The room was large with a small sitting area and desk. The bed is two twins either separated or apart with comfortable linens. The bathroom is the typical small room with sink, toilet and ... Read More
Cabin – We had a deluxe balcony 6624 on the hump. The room was large with a small sitting area and desk. The bed is two twins either separated or apart with comfortable linens. The bathroom is the typical small room with sink, toilet and shower, but the shower had a nice door closure instead of just a shower curtain. The shower pressure could have been a little more powerful. The balcony was a cove style and you not able to open up adjoining balconies. Also, you can purchase WIFI, but it does not work in the rooms. Our AC was not working properly the first night so it was 1000 degrees in the cabin so we had to sleep with the balcony door open to get any air. Luckily, it was cool out so it helped, but it was a rough first night. They fixed the issue immediately the next day. Service – The service as a whole was dismal. The staff really makes it seem like you are putting them out when it comes to everything. However, wait staff in the dining room at night were the best, especially the main server who brought us specialty items and really took care of us, but the bar server seemed annoyed with us for ordering so much. Again, we felt like we were putting him out. Our cabin steward was very aggressive and not the most friendly. She just seemed demanding to the point where we were afraid to ask her for anything. At one point she kicked us out the room because we were taking too long and she needed to clean it and I was forced to shower in my friend’s cabin next door. Then when I went back to the room to get the rest of my clothes she seemed very annoyed. She said we needed to work on her schedule. The bar staff was just okay, except Marlon in the Schooner lounge who was very friendly and knew my orders just as I arrived. Overall it just felt like we were not very welcome and the service were extremely lacking. Food – The menu I found lacking, but the food was very good in the main dining room. Everything cooked very well and tasty. We started to order the special vegetarian Indian meals since they took them off the menu and it was amazing. Even one of our friends who had lobster indulged and ended up eating a whole other Indian entrée it was that good. It was a mix of masala with naan bread and either beans and cheese. You need to order it the night before though so we would glance over the menu that night and then order it for the day evening. We went to Portofino one night and that was a great experience. The food was incredible, especially the risotto. I strongly suggest doing this one night because the food and service were far superior. The buffet area is small and crowded with lines with typical buffet fare. After hours there is only one place to get sandwiches, pizza and snacks. I did like the idea that it was more than just pizza and the sandwiches were really tasty. The pizza reminded me of frozen recooked, but satiated my late night cravings. Also, the coke/soda machines were awesome! If you get the drink package you can just fill up your own soda and ice in cups they provide. Casino – The casino is a really good size and can be a little smoky. They had a really good selection of slot machines and tables. We had a good time there, but the dealers were not very personable and just there to do their job. I like a more fun atmosphere in the casino. Entertainment and Activities – Activities are lacking and the ones that do go on are very crowded with people. I wish they would do some more games, scavenger hunts, trivia and other things. They only had one activity a day it seemed and they were packed. We heard from a lot of people that things like the ice skating rink, slides and rock wall were closed a lot and even when not it was very limited. The one late night comedian was just terrible. Not funny in the slightest bit. Our whole group of 10 left since it was that bad and we saw many others doing the same. As for shows, I heard they were good. They had various bands and a piano bar, but they did not seem so happening. The one night of karaoke was packed and most people were really good. Still, sometimes I like more a fun time karaoke time. The night club did have a silent night, which sounded stupid, but was a lot of fun. You wear headphones with two types of music and can dance. People looked silly dancing to nothing and so it was fun for the participants and voyeur. So, that turned out to be a lot of fun and great idea. Port Days – We had a two full days and overnight in Bermuda. We opted for a private sail boat excursion, which was only $75 PP and we got 3 hours to sail around Bermuda and then swim and snorkel in a private area. The sailing was really relaxing and fun and then swimming in the water was amazing. The ocean was crystal clear and 84 degrees. We saw lots of coral and fish. The next day some of us went to St. George, which was far to get to, but very nice historic city. Some did Hamilton, which was described as similar to most Caribbean port cities. We went to snorkel beach where there were tons of fish and coral to see. Beware if you go at peak hours because they charge you to get in and for snorkel gear, chairs, and umbrellas. We then did a cab ride to Horseshoe bay just to see it. The ride there was very scenic and our driver gave us a little tour speech about the island. Horseshoe Bay was very crowded, but the water was amazingly clear and warm. They also had some cliffs to climb nearly. On our ride various hotels were pointed out and there was one that looked so beautiful I would love to come back and stay there. Embarkation/Disembarkation – I do not like port liberty. We got there and stood there for 15 minutes trying to figure out if we needed to load up our bags ourselves to the crate holders or have someone else do it. I had priority check-in and asked three different Royal Caribbean representatives where to go and was waved off and told to go into the mass line. I finally got to a friendly counter person and they informed me that the priority check-in was useless now. Then we had to get loaded onto a bus to get to the ship and stand in more lines to get on board. My friends from NJ said it would have been easier to fly down to Florida and go out of one of their ports. As for leaving the ship, that was another terrible experience. We had to do self-assist because we had an early flight at 11:30AM. We started to leave at 7:45AM and it seemed everything was blocked and no real instruction where to go. People were wandering around aimlessly lost. We finally got down to the right area and tried to find a crew member to explain our situation, but were waved off and thrown into another line that went on forever. We had to drag out luggage around for 45 minutes, down 2 flights of stairs, then finally off the ship to board the bus and get to the main port. It was pretty rough. They are rebuilding the port to streamline the boarding issues, which is due to launch in November so that might make a huge difference. Conclusion - The ship was very crowded wherever you went and the service was very lacking. I think this is a great way to see Bermuda, but you need to expect such madness on board during the non-port times. The promenade was really nice and when not crowded was a nice place to hang out. I spoke to other people and many felt the same way, but also some had done the itinerary before and had a much different experience so it could have been timing. Would I do it again, probably not, but I will be trying other Royal Caribbean ships to see what they have to offer.   Read Less
Sail Date: November 2013
This is only our second cruise, so by no means are we an expert. My expectations on RCI were set a little high as it was going to be a good size ship and sailing for 9 days. Plenty of time to be pampered. Over all it was OK to good. We ... Read More
This is only our second cruise, so by no means are we an expert. My expectations on RCI were set a little high as it was going to be a good size ship and sailing for 9 days. Plenty of time to be pampered. Over all it was OK to good. We had a good time. Our steward (Danny) was great. He kept our room clean, kept my ice bucket filled and even taught us how to make the little towel animals. Most of the other staff were good too. From a staff point of view the problems were minor. The hall ways in the sleeping areas always were partially blocked with cleaning supplies at just about all hours of the day. Carts, trash, vacuums etc were always in the hallways. I saw them occasionally on Carnival, but not all day long. The other issue was that the dining room staff had little regards to the passengers. Constantly cutting us off as we walked to and from the dining tables. Several times I almost dumped my food or drink because of it. I will say there was no pushiness on the sales staff and they were always willing to help. Food was a big disappointment, both in the main dining area and the buffet. When you talk to most people the first thing they talk about is the FOOD. In this case it is also the FOOD that was at the top of my mind. But not because it was so good, but the fact that is was so mediocre. In the dining room the food was about what I would expect in a diner, but more limited in selections. The quality was also nothing to write home about. In the nine days of dining, I cannot think of one meal that was exceptional. Deserts were disappointing and on several nights, I skipped the deserts as nothing was appealing to me. Breakfast was probably the best of the meals and menus. Lots of fruits and a good selection of cereals and breakfast foods. Quality was good as well. HOWEVER, coffee sucked! I haven't had coffee this bad since I was in the service. It was STRONG, Bitter and lacked flavor. I did find that if I added whipped cream to it from the fruit bar, that it was OK. Lunch was nothing to write home about. The menu was limited and mainly consisted of pasta and other low cost items. Water, Ice Tea and Lemonade were the only free drinks available. Sodas were extra or required a purchase of a drink package. For some reason teaspoons were not readily available and had to be asked for when needed. Splenda was in short supply. Entertainment was good. The acts were worth while seeing. Some of them were scheduled late (10 PM or later) so we didn't see them all. They did have a sailing away party one night but it was way too late for us with the arrival in port the next morning. There was a problem at one port with getting everyone off in time. Something to do with docking of the tender boats. We missed our scheduled excursion. Since we hadn't prepaid for it, there wasn't any lost. In fact the highlight of the trip was an excursion with "Tour Samana with Terry". They provided a private tour for us that we would have never been able to match with RCI sponsored tours. It will be the 'talk' of our cruise for years to come. We stopped at San Juan for about 5 hours on a late Sunday afternoon. Shops were closed and our tour was pretty much a joke. The stop at the fort being the only worthwhile stop. Next we stopped at St Thomas. Pretty nice trip. We did our own thing here. Found lots of tour options once you get off the ship and saved some money as well. Samana was our third stop. No dock here so you take shuttle boats to the island. That was where the problem was delaying us from getting off the boat so we missed out scheduled tour. Again Terry and his crew saved the day. Our final stop was on a RCI owned resort. Basically a big ripoff. You pay for just about everything. Water at $4.50 a bottle, no soda, all the shops are keyed to selling you as much as possible. Got to the point we walked in the middle of the street and didn't pay any attention to the calls to come in and shop. Lunch was about par for what was on the ship. Drinks in the bars are not our think, however, I do occasionally like to have a Kalula and Cream. We went to one of the bars to listen to some music on our second night at sea. I ordered my drink and before it even made it to the table I saw there was a problem. Turns out it was made with skim milk. The waiter remade the drink and again I knew it wasn't right. The second time the waiter said he made it with half and half. I asked the bartender what they used and he also said half and half, so I asked to see the container. He pulled up a bottle of whole milk. Apparently they didn't know what half and half or light cream was. At $7 a drink, I wasn't happy with it and had them remove it from the bill. That was my last drink. Pictures of the cruise were a big rip off as well. $21 a shot regardless of the size of the picture. But since we don't cruise that often we did purchase a couple of them. Last item was the motion of the ship. Explorer of the Seas is not a small ship, but you felt every wave. Seas most of the time were 2-5 feet and it was like being a drunken sailor most of the time. The only time it didn't rock and roll was when she was stopped or going dead slow. Not sure why, but was very noticeable. So our hats off to Danny for taking care of us and Terry and his crew for showing us a great tour. As for the rest, better luck next time. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2010
This was our first ever cruise. I had no problems with the ship - it was clean although definitely due for its overhaul. The food was pretty average though. The Waterfall Cafe had cafeteria-style food (pasta, so-so pizza, lots of ... Read More
This was our first ever cruise. I had no problems with the ship - it was clean although definitely due for its overhaul. The food was pretty average though. The Waterfall Cafe had cafeteria-style food (pasta, so-so pizza, lots of casserole type dishes) although the sushi bar was absolutely excellent (why wasn't this available at lunch time?). The kids enjoyed the food but my husband and I ate our lunches at the Spa - tiny serves but at least it was fresh and tasty. The Cosmopolitan food was very ordinary. Our waiter was hysterical - gave us very detailed descriptions each night (I actually do know what a 'jus' is!) but pronounced all the French words phonetically. I didn't have the heart to correct him but perhaps waiter training could include pronunciation? Here's a hint too - if you order breakfast room service in Concierge class, freshly squeezed orange juice is free but you have to pay $2.50 on deck! We ordered orange juice in our cabins and then took it to breakfast with us! We had dinner at the Normandie one night - nice food but not good enough to justify an extra $35 a head. The ports were great (except Portland - boring!!) and we really enjoyed ourselves on port days. But where were all the activities during the 'at sea' days? I was expecting lectures on the history of the places we were going (there was one very boring lectures on lighthouses and that was it!) and lots of free, educational stuff. Instead, we were offered the chance to pay lots of money for whiskey tastings - sorry, not interested. The shows varied a lot. One comedian should have been put out to pasture years ago - i cringed at his show and even his target audience (ladies of 80+) didn't enjoy it. Troy was very funny though. The sing and dance shows were terrible but the cappella group was very good. Overall - my kids (aged 19 and 15) had a ball hanging out with the other kids on the cruise and would do it again but my husband and I wouldn't bother again with a cruise unless it was down a river and there was a port day EVERY day. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2010
As a first-time cruiser, I went with Royal Caribbean's Explorer of the Seas from Feb. 5, 2010 to Feb. 14, 2010 to the Eastern Caribbean (San Juan, PR; St. Thomas, VI; Samana, Dominican Republic; Labadee, Haiti). There were some good ... Read More
As a first-time cruiser, I went with Royal Caribbean's Explorer of the Seas from Feb. 5, 2010 to Feb. 14, 2010 to the Eastern Caribbean (San Juan, PR; St. Thomas, VI; Samana, Dominican Republic; Labadee, Haiti). There were some good things and some bad things and, frankly, I'm not sure I'd cruise again at all, or if I did, cruise again with RCCL. Some things were under RCCL's control, others weren't, to be fair. For example, while the East Coast was being battered by two major snowstorms, we felt the effects at sea. We travelled through a category 2 hurricane with winds around 120 MPH. The ship, she was a-rocking side to side and front to back! Obviously, this isn't the cruise line's fault and the captain did what he could, I assume, to minimize this. But it wasn't fun and we hit it coming and going. The decks were closed, which left cruisers to fend for themselves for things to do, unless you liked the activities. Here are some random thoughts: Activities: Most kicked in toward the later part of the day or in the late evening. Given that the decks (and therefore the pools) were necessarily closed, having more activities during the day would have been good. Frankly, I wasn't interested in the art auction and thought it was a strange place to have one. I would have liked more participatory activities--a mid-day dance, crafts lessons, organized card or Scrabble tournament.(And none of these should incur additional cost.) Most activities were only a half hour. Then you waited around for another one to take place. Skip the seminars and such--people are looking for fun, not to learn financial strategies. Don't get me wrong. Jimmy and his Cruise Director crew did well with the events they did--dance classes, trivia sessions, etc. But there was s much downtime in between these half-hour sessions that it seemed like there was little to do. Great hugs, though, Jimmy! And Sonia and Theresa did a great job in teaching the dance classes I took. Wine Package: Okay, this was bad. "Due to logistical problems, your wine package was cancelled." The reason? We were told the pallet with the wine for the package (which apparently is different than that sold at dinner) never made it to the ship. So, that meant we were no longer entitled to the 25% discount for ordering the wine in advance. Hint to RCCL: Extend the discount to affected cruisers to the OTHER wine--the wine you can order at dinner. Saying, "oh well, too bad" just was a bad bit of PR. And while the bottle of wine you sent to the cabin was a nice apology, the fact that it was the cheapest bottle of wine you sold made the apology seem insincere. I would rather have had the 25% discount and you know what? You would have made more money in the longer run. I only ordered two bottles of wine during the entire trip--not the cheapest but definitely not too far from the bottom of the price list. Itinerary: Maybe the point of a cruise is to spend time relaxing as you travel to the first destination, but I was bored. And you know what? That meant I ate...and ate...and ate. Luckily, I only gained five pounds, but being bored isn't good. We didn't have enough time on the islands and way too much time on the ship. As for the destinations, overall, there should be some way to get people off of the ship and not have to encounter people hawking their wares onshore. The onslaught of taxi drivers, tour guides and so on was offputting and many were rude and pushing and shoving people who were saying no to get to ones who might say yes. Given that there were a number of senior citizens in my group, this was indeed a dangerous thing. Ports: Too little time and the only focus seemed to be shopping. Providing information about things to do in port--places to see, how to get there, etc..--that didn't mean you *had* to buy an excursion would have been nice. And reduce the focus on shopping. Not all of us actually enjoy it. Recommendation: Do your homework before you leave on vacation. If you take information about what else there is to do other than shop or buy a cruise line excursion, you'll be in good shape to explore and not have to depend on the cruise line for info. Food: Chef Craig, you seemed nice and very competent. However, use some spices! The food was beautifully arranged, plentiful and the selection quite nice (although more Chinese and Japanese and maybe some Mexican and less Indian), but often was quite bland! I realize that you can't over-spice things as people having differing tastebuds, but *some* spice is better than none. And if you don't want to spice things while cooking, how about setting out a spice counter where you can help yourself? E.g., I would have killed to find some oregano (fresh or dried) and garlic powder to sprinkle on the pizza and give it some taste. Salt and pepper (which also seemed to be missing from most food) only goes so far... Buy/Don't Buy: Don't bother with the Port and Shopping Book ($25) unless you know you're shopping and spending until you drop. Most vendors gave you the "extras" even without the book. Basically, you're spending $25 for them to advertise to you. Needless expense. Many times, I felt that I was a walking wallet and all RCCL was trying to do was get money from me. I told them on my suggestion form to lower the price of drinks, for example, or have a happy hour each day--they'd earn more money. I know that I certainly didn't drink what I would have if the drinks had been cheaper. Overall: I'd say it was okay. I don't know that I'd rush to do it again. We went to Samana, in the Dominican Republic, which is not listed in the port selections. This was the only island on which I did an excursion. It was well worth the money ($65) and it was a biking, hiking, kayaking trip for five hours. For what it's worth, it was run by CS Adventures and our guide, Haji (from Pakistan originally) was awesome. He was fun, knowledgeable and obviously proud of his home of 21 years. Now for the bad parts: The "bus" was an open air jalopy with bench seats--with very little suspension. Given that the "highway" is an unpaved road with potholes big enough to swallow a dump truck, it was a tad uncomfortable. It will be nice to see the DR in about five or 10 years when tourist money has helped to better the lives of those who live there. The part of the island we were on had no running water or electricity. (So, how *does* a toilet flush without running water? The answer--there pretty much are no toilets!) We drove about 35 kilometers (about 21 miles) to where the bikes were. The bikes were in poor condition. Chains needed lubing, brakes were not working great, one bike had only a front brake (luckily no downhills) and tires were not adequately inflated. The bike I was on was like riding a blender... The road surface was rough, although these were "comfort" bikes with mountain bike tires. (The saddles were utilitarian.) The scenery was pretty--a bit wild and unrefined--but what I most will recall is the awful conditions of the "homes" and animals we passed along the way. The poverty was prevalent. The people were nice enough, although somewhat shellshocked it appeared to see so many tourists. The animals (horses, goats, pigs, etc.) were often tied up on the side of the fire road we were on and most, if not all, completely underfed. A British woman in our group got so upset that I thought she was going to go find the owner of a horse that had his bones sticking out under his skin and open sores on him and beat the pulp out of him! We then got to the end of the fire road and it became a path/trail, which meant our hiking portion began. After being given cold water, we walked maybe a mile to the edge of the ocean to see a blowhole. It would have been a little more majestic if the tide had been coming in. So, basically, we saw a hole that had a force of wind coming out of it and nothing else. Then we waited around for the truck to return and pick us up. There was, of course, the obligatory local selling handicrafts. No one bought anything that I was aware of. The truck then bounced us to another location, maybe 10 miles away where we got to a "shopping district." We were able to use the bathroom (again, no running water) and then left and were taken to Las Galeras, a beach, for the kayaking portion. The beach was beautiful. There were tandem kayaks, which wasn't great for me as I was on the excursion by myself. Luckily, there was one other person on the excursion also by himself, so we paired up. Most of our group didn't bother to kayak. We were given one hour to paddle around in circles in one cove. It was somewhat boring. The others all just swam or sat on the beach. Then we left, took the 45-minute drive back to the ship and called it a day. My suggestion to the tour company is to up the price a bit and include lunch. We left the ship at 8:30 a.m. and got back at 2 p.m. While the shopping district had places it appeared you could buy food, the beach had a restaurant on it and it would have been easy enough to arrange for a buffet lunch along with the kayaking/swimming. If the price is still the same, I would suggest doing this tour. I disagree with the "strenuous" rating. It wasn't that hard but you do have to have some kind of active lifestyle. I'm overweight (quite a bit) and had no problems whatsoever. Labadee, Haiti. I didn't like this at all. It was a private beach owned by RCCL and surrounded by a wall. It was like being in an enclosed theme park. We ate lunch, wandered around a bit and, of course, were targeted to buy things. The few local vendors who were there were not necessarily the most pleasant. I had one vendor who tried to sell me something that I had briefly admired. When I politely said no, his tone of voice changed and he said something I believe to be derogatory in his native language to another local behind him. Lovely, huh? We bought a few things from the marketplace vendors then went back on the ship. I would have tried the one activity they had there--a sort of wire slide from the top of a hill to the beach--but it was $85 per person. Had it been more reasonably price--or free, since we were, after all, on a private beach owned by the cruise line--I would have done it. I didn't go to the beach, but heard from others that it was rocky as was the water. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
Hello, we enjoyed our cruise on Anthem of the Seas. It was a nice escape from a relatively dreary winter where I am from. I am from the mid-west. I work as a tech at a auto-body shop. We drove to new York, but didn’t go into the city ... Read More
Hello, we enjoyed our cruise on Anthem of the Seas. It was a nice escape from a relatively dreary winter where I am from. I am from the mid-west. I work as a tech at a auto-body shop. We drove to new York, but didn’t go into the city before our cruise. We chose Anthem because it is so big and beautiful. It also has lots of options for food and shows and stuff. We don’t have a lot of money so we got a cabin with no windows, which was ok because we spend lots of time at the bar and near the pool anyway. The TV screen that looks like a window is pretty cool. When we got to the ship it was a site to see. We have not been on a cruise before, and it was really big. I was jelous of those people that I could see on their balcony. The ship sailed out of new York and seemed to be on the ocean forever. We went to some beautiful places on our cruise, but we mostly stayed on board to go to the buffet and pool when no one else was around. We got off the ship at Laberee, but not in Puerto Rico. We liked the food. There was lots of it. We liked the shows. The cost of drinks at the bars was a surprise. I thought there would be more included. Because the ship spent a lot of time on the ocean we spent time and money in the casino. We didn’t bring our kids so we don’t know how the kids programs are. There weren’t that many kids on our ship, many kids would be in school. Our ship came back to New York early. We got a refund back for some amount, and a discount that I don’t think we’ll ever be able to use. I’m glad we went on this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2015
I was part of a select group of people who had an opportunity to take a 2 day cruise to nowhere to preview the ship. I've never taken a cruise before but was very impressed with the experience. Here's my thoughts: 1) The ship: ... Read More
I was part of a select group of people who had an opportunity to take a 2 day cruise to nowhere to preview the ship. I've never taken a cruise before but was very impressed with the experience. Here's my thoughts: 1) The ship: it was beautifully decorated and easy to understand the layout. It's huge, so there's a lot of walking. The water was pretty choppy so we could feel a little movement below us. There was a few times we turned green. 2) Food: there's a lot of specialty restaurants and a huge buffet called the Windjammer. The windjammer was great for breakfast and offered a great variety so everyone could find something the liked. 3) Shows: we saw We Will Rock you and although the plot is cheesy, the singing was fantastic. We're talking better than Broadway. Very talented cast. We also saw Spectra's Cabaret which had great singers too. The show was interesting... Definitely more edgy and an acquired taste. 4) Activities: everything was awesome! I recommend doing the North Star sightseeing bubble while near a port. We did it in the middle of the ocean and so we just looked at clouds. Also, the bumper cars were much rougher than I expected. Plenty for kids to do though, including a room for teenagers to watch TV and lots of X-boxes, ping pong tables, roller skating, etc. 5) Rooms: the room was nice and pretty spacious as far as cruises go, I'm told. The bathroom and shower were pretty tight/claustrophobic. Plenty of storage though and great closets. We had a deck which was great too. We had a king size bed and there was also a couch which you could sleep on if necessary. 6) The Staff: Amazing. They could not have been any nicer! Every time I turned around someone asked if they could help me. They were beyond attentive! 7) Getting There: I took a car service (Carmel) to get to Port Liberty in Bayonne, NJ from Manhattan/NYC. The price was $49 + tolls and tip. Be warned: Tolls were $18! As far as timing, I got there with no traffic in 50 minutes. Once I arrived, the boarding process was very quick. Have your 'Set Sail' ready and it will go even faster. Overall, we had an awesome time and I would recommend this ship! Read Less

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