2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
This was a great vacation for my husband and I! Lots to do delicious food, fabulous entertainment, and a great room. We did do a lot of the upgraded dining, we started with chops and then wonderland the next day because we had the buy one ... Read More
This was a great vacation for my husband and I! Lots to do delicious food, fabulous entertainment, and a great room. We did do a lot of the upgraded dining, we started with chops and then wonderland the next day because we had the buy one get one deal. They were both fantastic. We also did Jamies and Chef's table I would recommend both. The lunches an dinners we had in the Main Dining room were also solid. Really enjoyed the cruise director and director of activities. The shows were just as good as the last time we saw them. We booked Anthem again for next February. They were also very good this cruise of keeping kids out of the solarium. Overall we had a great time and great service. Also very much appreciated that Royal Caribbean had an LGBT mixer every night. Great to meet everyone and enjoy a glass of wine. We even banded together to win Madonna trivia! Would very much recommend this ship. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
I live not so far from Bayonne's port, and I spend a good portion of my Sundays watching the Summit come in and out. I've had the pleasure of cruising with her twice (my third in July of 2019) and i have seen her pre-, ... Read More
I live not so far from Bayonne's port, and I spend a good portion of my Sundays watching the Summit come in and out. I've had the pleasure of cruising with her twice (my third in July of 2019) and i have seen her pre-, post-solstice upgrades and now (excitingly) will see her revolutionized. In all of this i must say for her age, she looks good. First and foremost you will be welcomed in Bayonne by some brilliant people, from the luggage people to the security staff at the pre-boarding area everyone has a friendly smile and no, they dont look like they hate their job. Check-in is so smooth, and believe it or not, we made it the most difficult one possible. We didnt have our E-docs, NO PROBLEM! No passport? NO PROBLEM! the staff was patient and so so helpful even without these documents (although i suggest everyone use edocs and passports it IS easier). Right from there (which we waited all of 5 minutes for security then we were on our way) right onto the ship, and since the first time we went on was a difference. in 2014 they were still using Deck 1 for onboarding THIS TIME we got to use the giant gangways right up. The staff again very kind, very quick, before we knew it our feet were up and our hands full (OF DRINKS!) Right off the bat you can let it all go. Wave to your family and friends standing by the (arguably) beautiful Tear Drop Memorial as the horn blasts and you take the first strides out into open sea. THEN FORGET WHO YOU LEFT BEHIND because enjoyment begins NOW. You'll find your luggage is probably already in your stateroom (it gets there very quickly) just in time to change up and jump into one of 3 pools or 6 hot tubs. Or grab some grub at the oceanview cafe, a buffet style restaurant with just about anything you could desire. With themed days youll try just a little bit of everything over the course of your 7 night cruise, from English breakfasts, to Yes, authentic Portuguese culinary delights. (Im a pork chop myself, so that made me happy) There are several other specialty dining options, such as Blu, an aqua class exclusive, Luminae, Qsine, Sushi on 5, a gelateria, a coffee bar and so much more. The Cosmopolitan, our main dining room, is two floors of beautiful space, great wait-staff and better food. We sat with the same staff the entire time we were there and became good friends. They knew what we liked, how we liked it, and paid great attention to the small details like our anniversary, a birthday, and the fact that i dont like peas, never saw a single pea on anything i ate. Coming off the food- coma-to-be after dinner shows are a must, and if not after, maybe before, or early morning, there is always some kind of show, class, or otherwise going on. And there is something for everyone. Feel like watching a show on Broadway, we got those right here. Want a good laugh that will split your ribs apart, we have a few of those too. Want to sing your heart out cause you've had one too many, we have karaoke for that. It will swing you through tears,laughs, and move you to sing along good or bad, you'll find yourself tempted to join. (No hard feels, no judgment either) Lets talk service for a second, there is no company that can do it better. Our room attendant and I were on a first name basis. We had some embarrassing moments aboard, but he was there, took care of things quietly, made us laugh about it all, and best of all, we left feeling like we were leaving family behind. That goes for all of them. We dont have children, and honestly thats the one thing this ship lacks is really good entertainment for the kiddos, however, this ship/company is geared towards a more adult clientele. Or for kids who are okay with sitting back and relaxing (or too young to complain about being bored) A long winded review, but its so easy to speak highly of a company that truly puts US first. If you have issues, both on land or at sea, trust me, there's someone there for you. I wouldn't just recommend, ill go every year as proof , this is the place to be when you are ready to just let it all go. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2018
We attended this cruise with the guest Dance school that preformed on-board twice, which my daughter was part of. Food was excellent. I found windjammers to serve a bit to heavy foods for lunch. but everything was great. Solarium ... Read More
We attended this cruise with the guest Dance school that preformed on-board twice, which my daughter was part of. Food was excellent. I found windjammers to serve a bit to heavy foods for lunch. but everything was great. Solarium Bistro which served Mediterranean food was the best on board. We where in the mytime and classic dinning rooms and food was always great and great staff. a little disappointed in Johnny Rockets was a pay burger place where other cruise lines have higher end burger joints for free. Lots of activities and with 3 teen each with there own interests and physical levels all had fun and where kept busy. App for bookings suck for multi room bookings and dinner reservation system needs work. every morning we booked a mytime dinning with my family spread out into 3 rooms they never had us on the master list that evening and always had issues. even if we where first inline in the morning to book. They need to work out that list. wonder if it is printed the night before before they open up the daily bookings in the morning. makes no sense. BOOK YOUR SHOWS and ACTIVITIES THE MINUTE YOU BOOK YOUR CRUISE!!!! with almost 5000 guest there is not enough space to accommodate everyone for everything. We missed out on the GIFT, and others in our group of 40 missed out on other shows as they where full. Also book IFLY, surf, breakout room and any other activity you can. you will regret it if you don't as you will miss out. Even if you don't make it at least you had the opportunity. If you don't pre book you might not get that opportunity. We missed out on Breakout room and the Gift because of it. Love the Pizza joint being open till late late at night. always stopped in for pizza after drinking and parting 1-2am every night. helped relieve the hang over. lol. Recommend this for families as your teens will be highly entertained. even if they are a recluse like my son is, he actually loved the activities, Teens lounge and all the activities they did. He is a schedule kinda guy so it fit him perfect. Never saw him at all which was a huge surprise to us. Also great for the party type, great fun had in the music hall ever night, alot is kid friendly as well for those girls in our group 11-18 who just want to go and dance with the big kids. lol. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
Crew was awesome and very attentive to all the guest needs. Shows were great. Shore excursions were also good. Bartenders were awesome. The guest were always informed. The casino was paying out great. We had the beverage package for my son ... Read More
Crew was awesome and very attentive to all the guest needs. Shows were great. Shore excursions were also good. Bartenders were awesome. The guest were always informed. The casino was paying out great. We had the beverage package for my son which paid off and we had the adult beverage package which I think Royal Caribbean lost on. The food in the Windjammer buffet was always fresh and had a large variety of different flavors to pick from. Sometimes it got a little busy all at once and got crowded, but everything seemed to flow just fine. Our rooms were very nice. The cleaning staff was very good and handled any of our request. The customer service area would get busy at times but the staff there could handle anything that came their way. Very well experienced. We asked for a certain frozen drink that the bartender did not know, but he did not hesitate to find out how to make it for us. He was pretty close his first time making it. But got it perfectly the second time. I would recommend this cruise line to anyone wanting a great cruise experience. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
I just came back from Adventure Of The Seas ... It was my first cruise and it was amazing from the beginning to end ! ... Getting on the ship in Cape liberty was quick ... We got on the ship at 11 by 1 our bags were at the rooms already .. ... Read More
I just came back from Adventure Of The Seas ... It was my first cruise and it was amazing from the beginning to end ! ... Getting on the ship in Cape liberty was quick ... We got on the ship at 11 by 1 our bags were at the rooms already .. I had a balcony room it was a nice size for two people it had a little couch also and a makeup area. The balcony was my favorite I would deff recommend to get one ... The pool area was beautiful plenty of bars the drinks were excellent!! I don’t drink a lot so I only got the refreshment package but I will deff be getting the alcohol next time .. coco cay is so nice there’s everything on it ... chairs everywhere to sit or u can upgrade and spend money on a cabana .. We did the jet ski tour it was well worth !! The boat brings ur lunch on the beach which was cool and that’s Royal Caribbean’s island so all the drinks were free if u had the package there’s all little huts and hair braiding there’s even a bar in the water ... Florida we went went to the beach with the shuttle it brought us right there and right back bet relaxing... Nassau we did the Belmont island and that was gorgeous!!! It rained on an off but it was still insanely nice the only water you can see crystal clear there was two pools optional swim with dolphins ... the only thing is the food and drinks where a little expensive but we got a few drinks and went back to the boat to eat when we were done ...The main dining room was delicious the waiter Ramil and he’s helper Pablo was the best and the room cleaner edy was great to ...The food was great every day and we did the buffet at the windjammer which had everything... I went with a group of people I am 24 and the ages were 24 to 70 andWe all had a great time it’s a family boat , single people will have a good time and a lot for kids everyone there is something for .... the shows and game shows are awesome ... !I already booked my second one !!! I deff reccomend this ship Read Less
Sail Date: May 2018
Chosen for port of Embarkation and cost. Unfortunately, with everyone telling me how great cruises are, etc. It set a level of expectation that I didn't feel was met. The soups were too salty, the Omelette station was too slow, ... Read More
Chosen for port of Embarkation and cost. Unfortunately, with everyone telling me how great cruises are, etc. It set a level of expectation that I didn't feel was met. The soups were too salty, the Omelette station was too slow, worse since there were two people preparing them and then oiling the pan AND spraying it. The Cafe Promenade which catered to the out of hours dining rooms featured pizza, tea sandwiches and salads. But Ni's winning smile was worth the trip. The schedule should have been given for the entire length of the cruise instead of daily. It would help you plan your itinerary better when there was an overlap, which forced you to sometimes make the wrong decision if you didn't think you'd get a second opportunity, It seemed kind of silly that the photography gallery was inaccessible when the cash registers weren't open. It's obviously for upselling purposes but if I could have the opportunity to review my images on MY time I might have purchased more, I hate being rushed. The drink and wi-fi sales the last two days were last minute marketing gimmicks which was a waste of time. It might help those of us who don't drink enough to justify a drink package, especially if your partner doesn't drink. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2017
The Windjammer buffet area, food, and table availablilty was not good. The food was always cold. The flow of the buffet does not run smoothly with that many people. Many times there was nowhere to sit. Personnel lacking. The timing of ... Read More
The Windjammer buffet area, food, and table availablilty was not good. The food was always cold. The flow of the buffet does not run smoothly with that many people. Many times there was nowhere to sit. Personnel lacking. The timing of the buffet open is lacking. Not enough other areas to eat for free when the buffet is closed. They only offer one place to get water when the buffet is closed. Store purchases lacking. Too many high end stores not enough normal store areas. The regular store is very small and not a lot of sundaries and gifts for purchase. The specialty restaurants are too expensive. The in room television is lacking, other cruise lines do not charge for movies. Room service on other cruise lines do not charge for room service. The elevators were lacking. One of the elevators was always out of service. The pool bar area did not have menus for drinks. And the drinks were poorly made. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
We choose this cruise to see New England and some of Canada. Anthem of the Seas is a beautiful ship. Ten of the elevators have quirky character photos on the back wall. It was a challenge to get a photo of all ten. The esplanade is ... Read More
We choose this cruise to see New England and some of Canada. Anthem of the Seas is a beautiful ship. Ten of the elevators have quirky character photos on the back wall. It was a challenge to get a photo of all ten. The esplanade is beautiful with a winding staircase and a huge hanging tear drop lights that flash. You can place your hands on a stand near the light and change the pattern of the blinking lights with your pulse. This is also where all the shops and customer service is located. We had a balcony cabin which was so nice to step out for fresh air. I love the glass doors on the showers instead of the old shower curtains which allowed water to soak the floor.The bed is very comfortable and roomy. We had a couch in our cabin and a makeup table with a small chair. There are plenty of activities on the ship. We played a lot of trivia, rode the bumper cars, watched some cruisers surf and fly! We are older so we opted to enjoy watching. The ship has movies out by the pool every day. We got on the North Star in Cape Liberty. I recommend North Star at a port so you can see landmarks. The crew is fantastic. They really seem to love their jobs and enjoy talking to passengers. It's nice to meet new people from different parts of the world and learn a bit about them. Their friendliness made the cruise very comfortable. We booked 3 excursions with the ship but did a few things on our own. With the ship we booked the Peggy's Cove / Hop on Hop off. This is a must! Don't miss Peggy's Cove in Halifax. We also booked the Lobster Bake and Acadia National Park tour. If you are a lobster lover you have to do this one. The Acadia tour was very informative and we had several beautiful stops. The buses were very comfortable. For those who like lobster the lobster bake was great. If you prefer, you can choose steak but keep in mind they do not cook the steak to order. It's all pre cooked. Most of the steak looked fairly rare. I have stopped eating meat so I had the corn on cob and two small potatoes. I would have rather had been offered a vegetarian meal but was never offered that. I did see someone in another group eating a pasta dish and he said he was a vegetarian and they offered it to him. So it was a waste for me. But the good thing is I ate like a pig when we got back on the ship! In Portland we just went out and my friends had lobster rolls. Then a few of us went on a trolley tour on our own. Great info from our tour guide. It was also raining so we stayed dry while seeing the city. In Boston we walked the freedom trail. It is a good way from the ship to get started so you may walk about 3 miles before you hit the trail and follow it around the city. Boston was a walk! In St John I did the photography tour. They have a local photographer as your tour guide and take a small group to about 4 different places to shoot. She gave great tips and even took photos of us using our cameras so we could have a memory! This was a great tour and I would highly recommend it even if you are just using your cell phone camera. Embarkation and Disembarking was so easy. We had a flight out early after the cruise and just carried our bags off at 7:30. Everyone made their flight on time. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
CHOPS GRILL IS EXCELLENT> JAMIES IS TOO MUCH PASTA. Same food for breakfast EVERY DAY. Customer service could not accommodate me, to change my room. my cabin stewart had a bad attitude. He did the bare minimum. never cleaned ... Read More
CHOPS GRILL IS EXCELLENT> JAMIES IS TOO MUCH PASTA. Same food for breakfast EVERY DAY. Customer service could not accommodate me, to change my room. my cabin stewart had a bad attitude. He did the bare minimum. never cleaned around the toilet. Room was dusty. when we advised him, he tried to justify the reason. He never corrected the problem. He never referred to us by name. as we walked the floor, he never spoke, unless we were literally face to face. My only request was to clean and keep ice in the bucket. He only gave ice in the evening. The GIFT was excellent..this was my 2nd time visiting Laberdee. This new experience was sooooo much better than the 1st time. I enjoyed ANTHEM so much better than OASIS. I didn't book a future cruise, however, I'm going on the exact same cruise on my next vacation. I cruised from New York, but it was great to live in NJ, and sail from NJ. I used UBER. boarding and debarking were both a smooth, quick, and hassle free process. THANKS ROYAL CARRIBEAN Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
This Ship was lovely in every way.!!!! Luxury and Fun, Fun, Fun!!! Truly something for everyone, at any age...(I'm a senior with a young attitude!) The activities/amenities were great!!!.... The fantastic Northstar which takes ... Read More
This Ship was lovely in every way.!!!! Luxury and Fun, Fun, Fun!!! Truly something for everyone, at any age...(I'm a senior with a young attitude!) The activities/amenities were great!!!.... The fantastic Northstar which takes you up to a once in a life time trip in the sky... The wall climbing...Then the surf/boogie board Flow rider...Flights in air too...but make reservations early!!! Lots of things for kids...of all ages...like the bumper cars and being in a "Thriller" Michael Jackson dance! This ship was wonderful for families, but had great "spaces" for adults only....Loved, loved the solarium with pool upon wading pool and two hot tubs ...besides of course the other indoor & outdoor pools/hot whirlpool tubs!! A variety of live music also...Shows...all the regular stuff too....Everything I did was delightful...Mmmm except a bit of problem with disembarking...But truly had a great time! I went with friends, but want this to be a family reunion event! Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
We booked this cruise while on another cruise back in 2015, so we had plenty of time to read reviews, and to plan accordingly. We are fairly frequent cruisers (Diamond Plus with Crown & Anchor Society) so we had a pretty good idea ... Read More
We booked this cruise while on another cruise back in 2015, so we had plenty of time to read reviews, and to plan accordingly. We are fairly frequent cruisers (Diamond Plus with Crown & Anchor Society) so we had a pretty good idea about much of the process, but the Anthem is a bit different in a number of ways. First, you have the option of uploading a self-prepared security photo to the website prior to embarkation. We did this, and of course we did online check-in, so upon reaching the pier we simply walked over to one of the representatives holding a tablet, handed her our printed Set Sail Passes and passports, and literally within 2 minutes we were heading through the security screening. We were then on the ship within 15 minutes of reaching the pier! Prior to the cruise we stayed at the Newark Airport Ramada. They offer a park and cruise special, which included up to 21 days of parking in their fenced lot. We arrived the evening prior to sailing to be safe. The hotel provided a complimentary shuttle to the pier. We had already arranged the time during the hotel reservation process, so we went to the lobby at around 10:15 a.m. as instructed, and although we ended up waiting about 1/2 hour the shuttle process worked very well. Upon reaching the pier a porter grabbed our bags (I always print and laminate the luggage tags provided by Royal Caribbean and then attach them as we head to the pier. So our bags were ready to be delivered to our stateroom) and we headed inside the terminal for check-in (described above). We downloaded the Royal IQ App and paid the $7.95/person fee to use it during the duration of our cruise. I had read numerous complaints about it but frankly my wife and I found it quite useful. It is fairly robust (you can even book excursions using it) and it allowed us to keep in touch when separated on the ship. It supports both "chat" and voice communications. A couple of times we had to disconnect then reconnect to the wifi router, but other than that we found it worth the modest fee. We also purchased a one device surf and stream package prior to sailing. We found the internet service to be far superior to any we had ever experienced at sea before. I actually streamed an entire hockey game at one point and we were able to make wifi phone calls to friends and family. In case anyone is wondering, a one device plan can be shared by multiple users. However, only one device can be connected at any point in time. We had a balcony stateroom on Deck 8. The room had plenty of storage and offered 3 A/C outlets and 2 USB charging ports. We didn't really need any sort of outlet multiplier as was typically necessary on other ships. I had seen complaints about the beds - ours was firm but not uncomfortably so. We slept well! The air conditioning works only when the balcony door is closed AND locked. The lights in the room shut down within a minute or so of removing the Seapass Card from a slot at the main light switch. If desired any card would work in that slot (another old hotel card key, for example) but we didn't find that necessary. The bathroom included a glass encased shower with a curved door. Not only was it roomy but the mirror in the bathroom didn't steam up as it always did on other ships. I had also seen numerous complaints about the movement of the ship. My wife and I agreed that it seemed to roll as much as some of the smaller ships (it was reminiscent of cruises we have taken on the Grandeur of the Seas). Perhaps the somewhat narrow and tall design contributes to this. But it wasn't bad enough to interfere with anything other than on one particularly rough day on the return to Bayonne when many activities were canceled or postponed due to rough seas. The entertainment was very good. We Will Rock You was quite fun. We missed The Gift, but we did see Spectra's Caberet, which we didn't enjoy as much as we had hoped. The headliners were generally good. My wife and I tend to gravitate toward the Schooner Bar in every ship, and on the Anthem we found "A Girl Named Jake" who was a phenomenal performer. I haven't any idea how much longer her contract runs, but if you sail within the next couple of months she'll probably still be there and is well worth a listen. Other venues had various types of music going. There was a Beatles tribute band that played on several nights. They really had the crowd hopping. There are so many venues that you're likely to find something of interest every night. We found the food to be good. Some have complained, but we didn't notice any real difference from other cruises. Windjammer is the usual buffet food. They did seem to have an abundance of fresh fruit, which was great. The MDR was good, and we did enjoy 2 meals at specialty restaurants. Some have complained about the service. We didn't notice any real drop-off in service among the dining venues. All crew members we encountered were friendly and willing to help. Perhaps it's a matter of expectations. We have cruised enough to know what to expect and we weren't disappointed. We did have some trouble getting into sync with our stateroom attendant. We left the room at different times each day, usually affording at least 90 minutes to 2 hours for the room to be serviced, but on 2 occasions he didn't get around to us. I must say that after more than 2 dozen cruises this was the first time we experienced that. The Seaplex was very interesting. It's a great place for kids as well as adults. Bumper cars at sea is a pretty cool thing, indeed. There are a variety of activities there to keep every family member engaged, including Xbox units, table tennis, etc. We did try the NorthStar, which we enjoyed. We tried it at sunset in port, which was a nice experience. While in port they don't extend it beyond the ship, but you'll get views of the port. At sea they do extend it over the water, but of course all you'll see is...well...more water. It's just a matter of preference. We signed up for iFly but didn't make it. Something left for next cruise... 270 is a great venue. Dining during the day and entertainment at night. It can transform to a variety of different purposes. Pools were great. Solarium is beautiful. Good to have a covered area when cruising from New Jersey in January! It was chilly outside on the first full day of cruising and on the last full day of cruising. Other than that it was warm enough to enjoy our balcony. There were 2 formal nights on the cruise. We enjoy dressing for those. I don't get many opportunities to wear my tuxedo. Neither does my wife have much call to wear formal gowns. It's nice to dust those off once in a while. We had thought that there would be 2 smart casual evenings as well but found that all other evenings were casual. I wore my linen suit on one evening anyway...I packed it and had it pressed on board, so I was determined to use it! Disembarkation - WOW! We're still scratching our heads about how easy leaving the ship was. We had a low tag number (4) so by the time we arose, finished packing our remaining items to carry off with us, and got showered and dressed our tag number had been called. So we went down to deck 5 and literally walked off the ship within seconds. Upon entering the terminal we immediately found our bags and off to customs we went. We waited a whole 30 seconds or so for an agent, walked up and were cleared about 15 seconds thereafter. It couldn't have been more than 15 minutes from the time we closed our stateroom door behind us until we were at the curb for our shuttle back to the Ramada to pick up our car. It was without a doubt the smoothest and fastest disembarkation we have ever experienced. So would we recommend the Anthem? Well, since we're booked to cruise on her again later this year we'd have to say, "Yes!" My favorite ships are the Oasis class (I enjoy the variety of activities available on the larger ships) but I'd have to say the Anthem (Quantum class) is a close second. And as for my wife, she has declared the Anthem her favorite ship. Although I was a bit apprehensive given the negative reviews I had read, but I'm glad I gave it a try myself. We had a great experience on a lovely ship with a good crew. Oh yeah...we did actually stop at several ports. But my wife and I visited only a few of them, and those only on our own. We enjoyed the ship on other port days, since it was largely uninhabited while in port. We actually had our pick of Solarium pools one day. And we were able (other than day one) to use pretty much any machine desired in the Fitness Center each day. 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4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 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
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
We are prior RC's Oasis and Freedom class cruisers, as well as Holland, Disney & Princess travelers. In summary, bigger is not always better. This sip is almost too big for its own good. Quality & consistency in service is ... Read More
We are prior RC's Oasis and Freedom class cruisers, as well as Holland, Disney & Princess travelers. In summary, bigger is not always better. This sip is almost too big for its own good. Quality & consistency in service is lacking. There are great things about this cruise ship, but do not feel for an instant, that you are missing out or not getting a great experience, if you do not get to cruise this massive ship, as other smaller RC ships have delivered at the a higher level. Overall it was a GREAT cruise, as a day at sea is better than being any other place, the above comments are for someone to compare and contrast. For the price, this is an EXCELLENT value. We would do it all over again, but would be just as happy cruising a smaller RC ship as well. Pros: 1) New, clean modern ship, with beautiful cabins, great cabin bathroom, flat TV screen, excellent WIFI service (for a very reasonable daily fee). 2) Spectra's Cabaret show was AMAZING, music, dancers, robotics, do not miss. The other shows were so-so... Other RC cruise's entertainment have been as good, if not better. 3) Anthem's Solarium's pool very beautiful and clean, and never crowded, just as other RC cruises. 4) North Star, 300' above the Sea, great experience. This is unique to this ship 5) Our cabin's bathroom over flooded on 3 separate occasions (clean water, valve not shutting off ?), all within 2 days, and on the 2nd day, they moved us to another cabin, and the handling of this situation was A+ 6) Bermuda was an AMAZING port f call, we which instead of 2 days, they has a 3-days Bermuda cruise. This is one of the best Island we have ever cruised to, at the same level of Puerto Rico, Aruba, Barbados and Turks & Caicos, and Hawaii. Cons: 1) Windjammer jammed pack, and food quality is poor. After Day 1, we decided to never return. There are 4 sit down restaurants, they encourage you rotate to try them all...Only CHIC restaurant was worst returning. La Grande (Mediterranean) chaotic, poor service, rushed and disorganized. Silk & Great American rest. were OK. Overall, the "4 sit down restaurants are all "hit-or-miss". CHIC is the most consistent, and ran like a top restaurant every single visit. I prefer other cruise's one large formal dinning room, you get to know the waiters, and the service and quality has always been is FAR superior. 2) Embarking time. We arrived and checked-in at 11:30a.m., but we didn't get inside the ship until 3:00p.m., as they were experiencing an "IT glitch", this is the longest wait we have ever waited to embark. But everyone was calm..... 3) The Promenade is the worst of all the above mentioned cruise ships. Fewer shops, the merchandise was cheap, little souvenirs and they all lacked selection. One of the highlights of my prior cruises had always been the "day-at-sea" gift shop sales, selection and "bargains", Anthem has the worst stores. Yes, there is a fancy Bvlgari jewelry store, and clothes shops which were always empty, they should instead replace them with awesome gift shops with fun/affordable costume jewelry, bags, souvenirs, etc. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2016
The ship and it's features are really it's own saving grace as it is amazing. The rooms are spacious and the interior digital balconies are awesome and most of the crew was friendly and very helpful. This trip was a family ... Read More
The ship and it's features are really it's own saving grace as it is amazing. The rooms are spacious and the interior digital balconies are awesome and most of the crew was friendly and very helpful. This trip was a family gathering for my mother's 60th birthday and we wanted to make it an extra special time for her. We were a group that included my parents, my siblings and their spouses, and kids ranging from 4-8. Our first issue happened before we even arrived on the ship. The website is so bad and not user friendly that we ended up having to call in to book just about everything for our cruise. We were a group of 13 and had about 5 staterooms, so we had to get all the rooms connected when making reservations and that seemed a challenge in itself. It's a hit or miss when you call in to find someone who will actually understand what you want. We ended up booking all our dining, an excursion, a birthday decoration package, some spa treatments, activities like the ripcord and northstar, the character breakfast and an excursion for everyone. We booked all of this months before the cruise as we wanted to make sure everything was set. A week before we were supposed to sail we checked our reservations and just about every one of them was messed up. The excursion, which we booked through an RCI representative who had said it was all set up, was changed so that we were split up into two groups instead of being one. When we tried to fix it they said they couldn't do anything because the location was specific about how many people were allowed in at a time. We did end up being able to get my mom back into the group with everyone else but my dad was not able to go with us. When we got to the excursion there were a ton of strangers with us and people from other groups were added to ours because we were short people and they wanted to fill the ride. We were never given a satisfactory reason for why this excursion was messed up so bad. The character breakfast was a joke. We only met 3 characters but 2 of them came out together. It would be better and cheaper to just wait until the characters appear at various times throughout the trip than pay the money to see just a few of them. Other character breakfasts we attended on other vacations had more characters and was more interactive. This one wasn't worth the money! The worst part of this trip happened at the beginning when my wife and I had to go to security to get our luggage. It had been held up because they thought we had alcohol in our bag. While I have no issues with them checking our bags it was how they treated us when we arrived. We opened our bag and showed them what they were looking for and in our minds that should have been it. But instead the security guard wouldn't accept what was in our bag and kept suggesting we had a dildo and he wanted to see it. We are lesbians but that doesn't mean we carry such items around. We had nothing of the sort in our bag and we ended up having to show him and everyone else in the room (guests getting their bags and other security personnel) everything that was in our suitcase. Some items even ended up falling behind the desk and it took the guy about 15 mins just to help us move things around so we could get the items from behind the security equipment. This was the most humiliating experience I have ever had and it's going to be a huge factor in if my family travels with RCI ever again. As I have mentioned, we were traveling in a group. This seemed to be an issue for RCI in just about everything we booked. First was dining. We booked so we would all be able to sit together but when we showed up we were told that they were unable to sit groups bigger than 10 and that we would have to be on two different tables. This meant that we were never all able to sit together even on my mom's bday. It was very disappointing. Second was when taking pictures. When off the boat it was no problem when it came to their professional photographers taking our group pic. But on the boat, at the areas where they put up special backgrounds for pictures, we were unable to take a group pic because we were told they can only take pictures with groups up to 8 people. So when we were all dressed up for my mom's bday, we were unable to get a professional picture taken and one of our party had to take it as we got yelled at by people who wanted us off the stairs. When we were disembarking they weren't even able to give us all the same number for us to get off the boat at the same time. And again, they screwed up our excursion and never were able to fix it. RCI is horrible when it comes to traveling as a group. Since we had kids we spent a lot of time in the SeaPlex and it is a very nice space. The only issue is that the kids were allowed to do whatever they liked and the crew really didn't do anything about them. In the Xbox area the remotes were never charged so they never worked. Most times it was just one kid playing while the rest watched because it was the only remote that had any charge in it. The ping pong tables were great fun but kids were throwing the balls over the glass wall onto the floor below which is used for roller skating, bumper cars, basketball, etc. The table hockey wasn't complimentary and had to be paid for in order to play which was disappointing. We also spent time boogie boarding but there were a group of kids who would hog the time and splash everyone. They got told not to do what they were doing a few times but it never went beyond that. They were able to stay in line and just kept doing what they were doing regardless what the instructors said. For anyone looking at buying a birthday decoration package for your room I would just bring items onto the ship and decorate the room yourself. Everything is cardboard, even the "special" picture frame. It's all poor quality and stuff you can find at the dollarstore. Don't waste your money on this as you will have pay for most other stuff on the boat. This boat is set up to make money for RCI. Beverage packages are super expensive. Unless you drink over 10 sodas a day the cheapest one isn't worth it. The water, iced tea, lemonade, coffee, tea and some juices are available for no extra cost. For how much they make on beverage packages, you'd think they would let some soda go for free but that is not the case. Half the restaurants you'll have to pay for if you want to go outside the complimentary dining. Even the food place beside the pool that serves hamburgers, milkshakes and onion rings you have to pay for. So when you get hungry while in the pool and don't want to pay money, you will have to go inside to the main buffet to get food instead of having a convenient place right there. Towels are charged $25 if you do not return the towel by the end of the day. While this is not that big of an issue, when traveling with kids it makes it hard because it's common that the parents will get out a towel for the kid but then an aunt or uncle ends up taking the kid to some activity and gives the towel back but since they are in a different stateroom the original room still shows a towel missing so then the parents are charged $25. BE VERY CAREFUL!! It's all set up to make money for RCI, not to make a family vacation special and stress free. Honestly, this trip cause me more stress than was worth it. I have a hard time seeing me traveling with RCI ever again. Read Less
44 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
As I often say, a review means little if you don't know the reviewer's prejudices and personality. So let me say that I'm a frequent cruiser from New York City. I go to the theater frequently, enjoy the NY Phil and dine out ... Read More
As I often say, a review means little if you don't know the reviewer's prejudices and personality. So let me say that I'm a frequent cruiser from New York City. I go to the theater frequently, enjoy the NY Phil and dine out way too often. I like being around people, but I spend large chunks of time reading and don't like a whole lot of noise. Your mileage might vary. This was my 18th cruise, all enjoyed over the last 13 years. For the past ten years I've traveled exclusively on Celebrity and Cunard, so the decision to return to RCL was made with some hesitation. I don't have kids by choice, and my tolerance for large groups of them is limited. So sailing during Easter week was asking for trouble. But we were with a group of 12, and this was the best time for the majority, so we took a leap. Here's the very good news: the ship is so large, with so many places to hang out, that you didn't have to be surrounded by kids if you didn't want to be. Actually, with the new dining options, you could make the ship feel almost intimate if you prefer. Our cabin, a balcony stateroom on the sixth floor, was just fine. Nothing extraordinary, but perfectly comfortable for the limited time we spent there. We liked being on six, since you could easily walk down to five for the specialty restaurants, or continue to four for the complimentary ones. Speaking to friends who were located on twelve, our room rocked much less than the higher cabin. Something to think of if you're sensitive to motion. Two-70 was a nice place to hang out when the weather was chilly, as was as the library. They only have 8 upholstered chairs there, but they were usually all empty, as were the four iMacs. The cafe at Two-70 made a great roast beef sandwich for lunch, btw. Our favorite spot was the Solarium, in the bow of the boat on the 14th floor. It's adults only, which makes it a quiet, tranquil spot to spend the day. They even have a small version of the Windjammer Cafe (cafeteria) so you can grab a bite without leaving your spot. They had a series of pools, each small, and two large hot tubs. Add the view directly over the bow and you could spend the day just watching the horizon if you're the contemplative sort. We bought the spa package for around a hundred dollars each. That let us lie on their nicely curved heated lounges, use the scalding hot steam room, the warm infrared room, and the rainfall shower. All nice. For us, the biggest improvement RCL has made over the past years is in the food. We ate at three extra charge restaurants, as well as four complimentary ones. While we were happy at each of the extra charge spots, the complimentary ones were surprisingly good. A real step up from the last time we sailed with RCL. I'd say their complimentary restaurants are easily as good as the dining rooms on the Celebrity and Cunard ships we've been on--maybe better. We're coffee addicts, so we availed ourselves of the Starbucks on board every day. It's located in La Patisserie, where you can also get (and pay for) Ben and Jerry's ice cream and a limited selection of nice pastries. If you don't want to pay, you can walk right across the aisle and have perfectly nice sweet snacks and coffee and not feel like you're missing much. Very nice addition. We took this cruise to relax, and since we've been to the Bahamas quite a few times, we didn't feel the need to go ashore on a cool, windy day. Being on the ship while most of the passengers departed was great for us. It was like having the whole place to ourselves. Highly recommended if you're not itching to go someplace special on land. We didn't avail ourselves of any of the evening entertainment, so I can't comment on it. For me, going to bed early and getting up early is fun. Again, I understand many don't feel that way . As always, our cabin attendant was polite, friendly, and efficient. Actually, every staff member we encountered treated us well. No complaints at all. Before you go, make a reservation aboard the North Star to take a look at the ship or a port from a great height. It was a fun, smooth ride--not thrilling, but very pretty. Same for RipCord. You only have one minute to fly, but it's a lot of fun. We wanted to surf or boogie board, but everyone was 10 years old--and good. I shouldn't worry about looking like an old dope, but I do! The bumper cars were something we could master. They even had a session for 18+, which I appreciated. It was easy as pie to get on and get off--but that might have been because we only had one suitcase each, and carried it on and off ourselves. It's worth it to me to get off quickly. In summary, I think you can have a great time on this ship whether or not you pay for meals and drinks and espresso. But you can also pay a bit more and have access to the very tranquil spa, pretty good internet access, and superior restaurants. I'd say we're pretty picky when it comes to cruising, and Anthem of the Seas met or exceeded our expectations in every area. 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
Sail Date: December 2014
I will not write a super long review, but this was my 36th cruise, 14th on RCCL. I'm 39, male, single, and fun loving and love traveling, and a Diamond member on RCCL. I went on this cruise with my one other friend, male, 32, single. ... Read More
I will not write a super long review, but this was my 36th cruise, 14th on RCCL. I'm 39, male, single, and fun loving and love traveling, and a Diamond member on RCCL. I went on this cruise with my one other friend, male, 32, single. (Note, I had been on this ship in November 2014 on a 2 day Sampler Cruise, as a guest of my travel agent roommate that got it, the booze, and the fastest internet for free for us.) First, the November cruise was great, boarding was super quick and easy, internet worked great, dining went super easy, only problem on that one was that 75% of the passengers were travel agents with free booze packages. It took forever to get drinks at any bars! But it was free... so that was dealt with.) Now for this December cruise reviewed, it was nowhere as smooth as the 2 day cruise. Boarding was a joke. There was a huge line of traffic even getting to the taxi/drop off area. My friend and I got out of our Uber and walked 0.5 miles down the entrance to the boarding area. There they couldn't find my credit card on file and then couldn't get it to take for like 10 minutes, with lots of people waiting around us to use our guy checking us in with his tablet. Finally, he got it to work. But on the last night of the cruise, I got a notice on my door saying that my credit card was declined. The following morning (disembarkation) I had to go to Guest Services and they ran my card and it worked fine. Annoying also as I went to buy a fine jewelry watch on the cruise and my ship card didn't work for that. I had to go get the same credit card from the safe and the fine jewelry store ran my Amex fine. The ship had me on a "cash" account, even though I had entered my CC # month's before online. Dynamic Dining was a joke. They couldn't find our reservation the first night at American Icon Grill. Even though it was showing in our iQ apps. They got us a seat in about 20 minutes though, but sate us in an area that was nearly empty. Why the wait? The service is so slow, we waiting an hour between seating and having a lackluster appetizer and our main course, so we just got up and left. (Note, I had had lunch here on my 2 day November cruise and the food is awful anyhow, thought it would have been better. It was not.) Bar service on this ship was perfect, no long waits to get drinks. We had the Premium Package and it worked just fine. The robot bar makes gross drinks. Fun to watch, not consume. Loved the bar staff at the Schooner Bar, 270 bar and wine bar especially. The Windjammer got so crowded for breakfast from 10-11am there was nowhere to sit. Often had to sit out in the cold to eat at an outside table or at a small coffee bar upfront. NO ONE gets up after they are done it seemed. Food was fine, same old cafeteria food as other RCCL ships. The shows were all good. Though I didn't care for the Mama Mia show, but that could be because I never liked it off the ship either. Starwater was great! And the earth harp was cool too. My friend did the iFly thing and he loved it. Wasn't my thing. We did the North Star once at night while in port, so it didn't swivel, but it was nice enough. Pools were fine, plenty of deck chairs on this ship. Though it was cold a few days going south and the last day. That lead to lots of people in the Windjammer and all over inside. I would say I liked the Allure better for a large ship, but this has great promise once dining situations and their computers are worked out. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2014
This was a fun cruise despite some minor setbacks. As far as the departure and pier procedures, it was typical. The folk at Cape Liberty were on par despite the environment and building which they are refurbishing and expected to complete ... Read More
This was a fun cruise despite some minor setbacks. As far as the departure and pier procedures, it was typical. The folk at Cape Liberty were on par despite the environment and building which they are refurbishing and expected to complete by 2016. It is basically a construction zone. Safety and staff were optimum and well-delivered nonetheless. Explorer of the Seas was nice despite its age and we were aware that it is going into rehab in March 2015. It's an old ship, but the common areas are clean and the art/ decor remains glamorous and does not appear dated at all. The wooden and steel features of the ship are chipped and over-painted, but the old girl is rock steady. As far as the line's offerings: this was my partner's first cruise ever so he had no expectations. I on the other hand thought that the activities and the food were substandard and from those I spoke to who were veteran cruisers of this line stated the same, adding that the cruise traditions overall have degenerated. These in-your-face, LOUD, crowded, floating cities are the new genre and yet hopefully the tradition of a peaceful but fun adventure of a classic cruise is not all but lost. Our stateroom was OK. The bath sink water pressure lacked, but the shower was great. Bring your own toiletries, those given are cheap crap. The rest of the cabin is somewhat dated. Plenty of storage for clothing, the closet is huge (we had a superior balcony room). The balcony is sufficient, but the chairs are old, stained, burn-marked. The little plastic table is just stupid. The bed(s) were comfy, the linens and pillows soft. Old TV, who cares. The stateroom attendant was marvelous and personable. The mini bar is ridiculously over-priced and I would advise anyone who cares to hydrate themselves atop all the booze and salted food find a reasonable water source because getting bottled water on board is costly and laborious, and there is only the main buffet or the Promenade Coffee-house venue for "free" water other than bathroom sink taps. Their Refreshment stations (with free cup if you purchase the beverage packages) do not give water but only sugary marketed Coca-Cola products. Windjammer Cafe is a clustered mess no matter how you slice it. The hand-washing with Purell liquid is annoying ("Washy-washy" -- POW!) -- as someone who has studied infectious disease, Purell is not a substitute for soap and water. I would use it more on my way OUT than in, frankly. Finding a seat in there was impossible, and the food was not worthy of marks more than any Country Buffet. They had everything you could hope for for a common breakfast or lunch and it was fresh (or at best carefully recycled), but the fare was a repeat of the same horse chow everyday, industrial processed and kicked up in presentation -- and I would say the same for dinner but less so in the main DRs. It was a hit or miss there. The last 2 nights were best, but we did experience tough or dry poultry and dried up fish. The shrimp is thawed pre-cleaned blech. The breads were good. The dining staff are stupendous and truly gracious and hard-working. These international heroes work 14 hour days, 7 days a week and deserve every over-tipping you can give them. The nightly menus were themed around a spice, but the offerings were essentially bleak. Again, presentation seemed to override quality (yeh, yeh, we eat first with our eyes, I get it --,but I'm hungry and want more creative flavor -- it was mostly devoid of that). And portions were so delicate: the prime rib cut was less than a princess if there is such a thing. The pool area is so crowded and loud, and the pools are small and generally overrun by kids or blobs. The adults-only Solarium (lovely and breezier than the main pool) isn't always enforced. The kids are jump-and splash-happy -- many with absentee/ aloof parents -- and some of them are lucky not have been drowned by some annoyed adults. Why they play loud rap and dance music on the pool deck in the early morning confounds me when the hungover and sleepless just want a peaceful cup of java and an ocean view. The silly sexist events are so loud (the microphones), you can't converse with someone sitting right next to you. If you smoke, you are a pariah on this ship. They make it purposely inconvenient. It is therefore not a "health" issue when the smoking areas are where the children gather, whereas the adult areas are smoke free, PLUS they sell cigarettes on board! Figure that. The cement-based ashtrays are unreachable unless you are right next to one and smokers who are also drinking or eating have to rely on the deck floor to place their glasses/ plates because there are only 2 tables in the entire area. To that I say FU. The pool bars are poorly organized. I feel sorry for those tenders who have to make 10 steps back and forth across the bar three times to make one drink. And every drink needs a receipt, guest-check book? They need to start incorporating a bracelet scanning method and the bar managers need to get creative with better expedition of service. We waited sometimes up to 15+ minutes to get served. The attendees around the pool? Hit or miss. A $5 tip on one drink tip is obviously not enough to get a return trip to your seat or table for a drink. I also need to say the "beach" drinks are cloyingly sweet. Did I order a cocktail (margarita) or cartoned flavored sugar syrup, sour mix over ice? Unless you prepay the beverage/ booze packages, you are clearly being sent into pre-diabetic sugar comas at a very big cost. I made the best of a $45/ day (!) package and ordered top shelf, neat or on the rocks. The lounge servers were more attentive (except the Casino where the boys chatted to each other constantly in their native tongue and basically ignored you). Albeit, if not for the cruise director Keith, Explorer would be sunk. This man brings to life the most worn out, lame, over-the-hill entertainment forms for which after not cruising for 10+ years until now, I am amazed the same shtick is still all that they can come up with. The singers and dancers are always superb and too talented actually to be wasting their lives giving their all to unappreciative audiences. Jordan and Robin are specifically Broadway-bound and I hope they don't miss their ship. I was fortunate to tell Jordan in person what an incredible talent he is. The Love and Marriage game was a lot of laughs. We missed the ice show as it was scheduled midday for us and the last nights shows were a mere half hour post our seating time. Thanks for that. I heard the ice show was another cluster-slam anyway. Unless you want to play bingo or trivia games or sing karaoke, there is not much else to do. The night club venues are loud and crowded and the music spins invariably suck. Bermuda. I was in Bermuda years ago and it has lost some of its color and peaceful simplicity. Despite warnings left and right from other reviewers and the ship itself -- ya see, the cruise lines get commissioned from every little sale of souvenir or food bought at the newly renovated and overly-priced tourist trap venues at the Royal Dockyard -- , we rented scooters to see the island at our leisure. It was not a pleasant experience as it had been in the past: 35mph is BS -- people drive aggressively and well over the mph. Oleander bike rentals, although kind, I fear are treading water as their cycles are PsOS and are not designed to physically handle the roads there anymore. I was hoping to be a safe roadster and was envious of other better-built vehicles/ riders I saw. You do take a chance doing this and injuries do/ did occur. We were lucky not to get killed or maimed but were equally lucky to see the northern parishes and the GIbbs Lighthouse --- and don't miss the Zoo, best place ever -- before scootering became too stressful to bear with the traffic and speed. We took the ferry back from Hamilton, bikes in tow We also heard of terrifying bus rides around the island. Take the ferries and take taxis is your best bet...or walk-- which this week it was too god-awful hot and humid, impeding further travels about the island. The views of the sea remain breath-taking. St. George upholds its historical charm -- please don't miss out on the culture of Bermuda. It is fascinating. Forego just shopping and treat yourself to some history. The cost of touring Bermuda -- that hasn't changed obviously. It's an expensive place to let go in. If you have it, go for it. We lucked out on self-assist disembarkation and made our way from the stateroom just as they announced for you to go to your assigned area, --- try to avoid the Central elevators and walk to fore or aft of ship lifts. Don't go early or you will be stuck in the back of the line when they call for exiting the ship. Everyone needs patience during this. Customs was a breeze thanks to expediters at the port. Sailing is a dream. Sailing out of NJ is great not having to fly to a port. Best moments are moonlit late nights on the bow or sky deck or off your balcony and being mesmerized by the water and waves. We saw wonderful lightning storms over the sea. Having convenient food is helpful even if it isn't gourmet. Cruising is still a great value and this 5-nighter slowed down time enough to make me not grouse about the money we spent. It isn't what it used to be, but despite having an okay experience, next time I will be more selective. 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: August 2013
Let me start with Cape Liberty. We live in Baltimore, so we decided to drive up the night before and stay in Jersey City at The Hyatt. So, on the day of our cruise, we planned to meet friends at a shopping center adjacent to the port. The ... Read More
Let me start with Cape Liberty. We live in Baltimore, so we decided to drive up the night before and stay in Jersey City at The Hyatt. So, on the day of our cruise, we planned to meet friends at a shopping center adjacent to the port. The drive from our Jersey City hotel took 15 minutes or less. I had no idea what to expect from the port, so perhaps my expectations were low. In any case, this was probably the smoothest embarkation day I ever had. Arrival at Cape Liberty involves a few steps. First is luggage drop off. At the drop-off center, if you arrive before 11:30AM, you drive all the way to the end, as passengers from the previous cruise will still (unbelievably) be collecting their belongings. There's plenty of room to park and drop your luggage, and plenty of very helpful porters to get your bags handled. The second step is to park your car. The lot is mere steps from the check in facility. It's around $150 for the week, which we noted was about the same as our home port of Baltimore. The third step is to head back to the place where we dropped our luggage after having parked the car. There, plenty of helpful staff directed us to check in lanes. The check-in process was easy, and we were divided into priority groups for boarding. That was something new to us, having not sailed since January, out of Miami. We did find that, while we were given a very convenient "group 4" for boarding, our Captain's Club Elite status would have put us in group 1. We could have swapped, but it wasn't a big deal. I just note that for others who may not have been to this port. They started calling for boarding at 11:05AM, which I thought was impressive. Here, we took the final step - a shuttle bus ride from the check in facility to the ship. You board on level 1 on this ship, where many ports are decks 4 or higher. It was easy getting an elevator and getting on our way. Cape Liberty made the embarkation process more pleasant because they had an abundance of very helpful and efficient staff. I'd sail out of that port any time! Our cabins were made available at 1PM. That's where our fun began. We were in Aqua Class, cabin 9082, with friends just up the hall. Our location was fantastic - just down from the mid-ship elevators and stairs. Though we were directly below the pool deck and Oceanview Cafe, and could hear some movement above, it was NOT a noisy experience. The deck was comfortable and was quiet at night. On arrival at our cabin, we found the previous occupants' pillows, without covers, still on our bed. It was at that point when we began to notice some missing amenities. Of the list of Aqua Class amenities provided, nearly none was in the cabin. In fact, we spent the next two days trying to get Summit to provide us with the things that we bought with an Aqua Class room. If you're familiar with the "Solsticizing" of the Millennium Class ships, you know about Aqua Class, the addition of other specialty restaurants, etc. Celebrity takes a lot of pride in marketing Concierge and Aqua Class. On this ship, however, it's as though Aqua Class doesn't exist. There are no placards on the cabin doors, or anywhere in the hallways, noting "Aqua Class". Many of the doors still have a "Concierge Class" sign on them, while many doors have no placard at all, other than a cabin number. I found this to be odd. On deck 11, where they installed new Aqua Class cabins, it was a bit of a different look. But in the largest section of Aqua Class rooms, it's as though the specific class didn't exist. By Monday, we found out that they hadn't ordered the Aqua Class slippers, and that there were no Aqua Class robes on board. They did a mix of Celebrity and Concierge Class robes, which are different. The "pillow menu" never made an appearance either, though we were able to get whatever we wanted in pillows by asking our cabin attendant. The young lady caring for our cabin was highly experienced, but was clearly "in the weeds" when we arrived. It took until late Sunday evening for our cabin to be completed (with things like towels). Our sliding door was so difficult to open, we thought it was locked. It took two of us to open and close it. We reported this, along with a "not totally clean" look to the cabin. Our Captain's Club materials weren't delivered until Monday. It took a trip to Customer Relations to find the location of the lounges, etc. When we did get them, they were the offers for Select members, which are a bit different from Elite. It took another day to get the correct ones. We mentioned our disappointment with Aqua Class to customer relations. While the desk staff was helpful, things weren't being fixed. Finally on Tuesday, we were contacted by Cristian, the Customer Relations Manager, who took it upon himself to listen and address our concerns. When he got involved, things were fixed within two hours. The cruise itself: The weather was pure heaven. PERFECT, with the exception of the last day at sea. Service, with the exception of The Martini Bar, was outstanding. The bartenders in the Martini Bar were friendly with each other, but were a bit standoffish with guests, and were slow. Aqua Class comes with the restaurant "Blu". We hated it on Solstice, but loved it here on Summit. The Maitre D's, waiters, assistants, bar personnel - everything - was OUTSTANDING. The atmosphere was fantastic. Entertainment was pretty good. Shows were along the line of what you'd expect with Celebrity. Good comedians; a great aerialist team. Singers and Dancers were cheesy, but very good. For shipboard entertainment, I thought they did a really nice job. The guest entertainer was Broadway's Telly Leung who was very good. Bermuda: I wish I'd gotten to cruise to Bermuda when you docked in Hamilton. Going anywhere on the island from Royal Naval Dockyard is a giant pain - especially to the beach. It's not difficult at all - and the ferries and buses are affordable and frequent. It just takes so LONG to get everywhere. It's certainly not Celebrity's problem - just something worth noting. Captain's Club: The hostess was nice but mostly invisible. If you've ever been on a cruse with the Captains Club hostess Ti Ann, she sets the bar very, very high for activities, visibility, and communication. The young lady on this cruise was pleasant, but I'm coming to believe that Ti Ann might be the exception rather than the rule. The elite lounges were both above expectations. A lot of that might have been the staff working them...friendly and hard-working. Summit looks good. Cabins are generally in good shape. Public areas were spotless. Most guests seemed happy, but again - the weather was picture-postcard-perfect 6 out of 7 days, and that helps. Food was good and consistent in all the public places, and exceptional in Blu, Qsine, and Normandie. I would recommend NOT booking Aqua Class on this ship. For those who really want BLU, it's available with Suites, and a Concierge Class stateroom will get you an easy table with a minimum surcharge. Everything else offered by Aqua Class on this ship is plainly not worth it. They shouldn't be marketing it and selling it here anyway, as the ship hasn't yet been outfitted for it. Disembarkation at Cape Liberty: Let me put it this way. At 8:40AM, I was sitting in Normandie waiting to be called. At 8:45, we were called. By 9AM, I'd taken a shuttle bus, claimed our luggage, gone through customs, made it to our car, and were driving to the Turnpike. SO EASY!! Ignoring our Aqua Class snafus, we had a great time and would easily book this itinerary again. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2010
About Us: We are a couple in our 30s from Brooklyn, NY. This is our first time on Celebrity and to Bermuda. We have sailed Royal Caribbean, Princess, and Carnival in the past. We booked on the "sweet sixteen" cabins after hearing ... Read More
About Us: We are a couple in our 30s from Brooklyn, NY. This is our first time on Celebrity and to Bermuda. We have sailed Royal Caribbean, Princess, and Carnival in the past. We booked on the "sweet sixteen" cabins after hearing about them in the Cruise Critic forum. Embarkation: The Port Liberty cruise port is really odd, but it seemed to work well once you were there. I live in Brooklyn, so we took a car service to New Jersey and it cost about $75 each way including tolls. It took about 25 minutes from door to door. We arrived close to 11:00 am. The staff was very friendly in the terminal. We went through security very quickly and waiting 10-15 minutes to get our documents and keycards. Once we were in the waiting area, we took a seat and waiting to get called to the bus to take us to the ship. They had tables set up were you could purchase wine and drink packages, along with staff giving out water and fruit punch. There weren't a lot of people waiting with us, but I could imagine the terminal could get warm and loud. In fact, the wedding party that was boarding was both sweaty and loud (but that's another story). We were on the ship before noon. Ship: I read a lot about the age of the ship prior to cruising and I was a bit worried. I'm a pretty tough customer, but the ship looked pretty great. Sure there are things that look a little worn or dated, but nothing that made me enjoy the cruise any less. The layout of the ship was easy to navigate with all the food in the back and entertainment in the front. The public rooms had an elegance to them that I didn't expect from the pictures that I saw before had. The main staircase with the silk pillars is very nice. All the lounges seemed well maintained, with the Martini Bar being the best in my opinion. The bartender was particularly great with a bunch of drink pouring tricks. We particularly liked the Solarium and the t-pool. This area could use some sprucing up, but it's a great feature. Cabin: Our cabin was #6024 - 2C Veranda. The room dEcor is a bit old. The bedspread seemed a little past it's prime (but who touches those anyway?). And the orange fabric motif on the curtain and headboard thing isn't my style. I still don't understand the headboard fabric panels with bar...oh well. The room was very clean. Our stateroom attendant, Rafael, was the best we ever had. He really went out of our way to anticipate our needs. The real selling feature of this room is the balcony. Being twice as deep as a standard balcony is really nice. We asked for two additional chairs so we could prop our feet up and invite friends over for wine before dinner. Rafael got us two great chairs with wooden backs and pads. We used the balcony every morning for coffee and croissants before getting ready. We didn't hear any noise from the theater below or from the cabins below. I would not hesitate to book this cabin again or recommend it to a friend. Food: The food on Celebrity was by far the best I've had on a cruise. The main courses seemed to be their strong suit. The Coq-au-Vin was delicious! The veal and prime rib were great. The soups and salads were fine if a little generic. The desserts were hit or miss, but I'm not big on chocolate and ordered the cheeses twice. The food at the buffet was good. I especially like the sushi, pasta station, and the poached eggs for breakfast. The only issue I found was that most stations were closed. I'm sure that I could have gotten more choices if I planned better. The Aqua Spa Cafe was a favorite for lunch. But again, the limited hours was a drawback. The coffee was better than the other cruise lines we've sailed, but still not good. We took the advice from the message boards and brought along a French press and some coffee from home. We ordered tea each morning and used the hot water for the coffee - perfect. It was difficult to get hot water in a carafe from room service, so the tea trick worked. Other: The casino was a fun diversion, but they should really pay more attention to the guests. There was only one blackjack table with a minimum under $10 and 20 people standing around trying to get a spot. After waiting for 30 minutes and noticing that the $10 table remained empty the entire time, I asked the guy getting money behind the dealer if they could opening another lower minimum table. He said that there was nothing he could do. I went over and asked the dealer that was sitting alone. He said that he couldn't change the minimum. The manager, Stephanie, saw the conversation and asked if she could help. I explained that everyone wanted to play blackjack, but no one wanted the higher minimum. She thanked me, lowered the minimum, and bought me a drink. The table remained full the rest of the night. I'm not sure why they didn't just do this without being asked. The production shows were the low point of the cruise for us. The performers couldn't really be faulted. I guess our feelings were cemented with The Wiz section of the Encore show. The performer did a great rendition of Home. However, the video projections started behind her and it was a montage of all white people in cornfields and having picnics. Not one minority was represented. It was offensive. This wasn't the only issue I had, but it really took the cake. I wish the performers had the opportunity to sing with nothing else going on. Destination: Bermuda was spectacular! The people were very warm and friendly. The public transportation available was reliable and affordable. We snorkeled in St. George, which had some really great fish. The Crystal Caves were very interesting to see. We did both the Crystal and Fantasy caves. Our group thought that we could have only done Crystal and would have been fine. The beach at Horseshoe Bay was perfect for us. It had soft, fine sand and pretty gentle surf. The only negative as the Portuguese man-of-wars. The lifeguard caught three while we were there. As long as you look, before you jump in, you should be fine. I definitely want to return to Bermuda and try more beaches. Overall: We had a fabulous time with some great people on our first Celebrity cruise. The service, food, and atmosphere were a cut above the other cruises. Mostly my negative comments are me being picky. I probably won't go back to a production show, but the other shows were lots of fun - cooking show, talent show, the band. We are already looking into another Celebrity cruise! Read Less
Sail Date: May 2010
Embarkation: My partner, my father and myself were traveling with a group about 75. Leaving out of Cape Liberty was good for us no plane and could take the golf clubs at no extra cost. It did take about an hour to get on the ship but it ... Read More
Embarkation: My partner, my father and myself were traveling with a group about 75. Leaving out of Cape Liberty was good for us no plane and could take the golf clubs at no extra cost. It did take about an hour to get on the ship but it moved steady. Accommodations: We were very impressed with our cabin the bathroom was roomy and the room was very comfortable. Our only complaint to the room was that we requested the bed be together and it wasn't. Stateroom attendant: We were not happy with our attendant he didn't like that we asked for the bed to be together he questioned why. After that he just avoided us all the time. After filling out a complaint form he started to be nicer but still very awkward. Dining: Buffet offered a wide variety of foods and was good. Casual dining area: we ate one night and it was wonderful would have paid more than $2 a person. Main dining was OK not really as good and entertaining like we are used to. Normandie: was not what we thought a little different needed some music. Not worth the $35 a person would rather have eaten at casual dining seating more. Sea days: not as bad as some of the other cruises the ship offered a lot of things to do Wii for adults, tours, dancing and other things. Didn't really have to fight for a chair on the deck. Crowd on ship: We really didn't expect to have so many older people on the ship, and everything ended so early in the night. It felt like we were at a senior citizen retreat. Entertainment: the shows were great and the band on the deck was very good I listened to them many of nights. The majority of the crew were very nice and we did enjoy ourselves we will give Celebrity another go. We would have liked more things after 1:00am to do for the under 40 group. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2010
I took this cruise with my spouse Terrance, my mother and my aunt. I'll start with embarkation day. It was flawless. We drove up from southern New Jersey and arrived at Cape Liberty about 11:45am. We had planned to arrive a little ... Read More
I took this cruise with my spouse Terrance, my mother and my aunt. I'll start with embarkation day. It was flawless. We drove up from southern New Jersey and arrived at Cape Liberty about 11:45am. We had planned to arrive a little later, but there were no problems on our drive up. AT the port we did NOT encounter the lines of traffic that so many people have talked about. We drove into the luggage drop off area where a porter helped unload our luggage and I went to park the car. When I got back in the terminal my aunt was already in a wheelchair (she sprained her ankle earlier in the week) and a Royal Caribbean employee took us through the check in process. It was a breeze. The short bus ride to the ship was no big deal either. I would say the whole process took about 30-45 minutes. The Explorer is a beautiful ship and it is in excellent condition. The halls, dining rooms, lounges, stairways are extremely clean and well maintained. STATEROOM: We were on deck seven in a promenade stateroom and WOW what a great idea to have the bay window onto the promenade, it was fun watching our fellow cruisers and we felt like part of the excitement even when we where lounging in the room. Storage was not a problem for us, there was plenty of room for our clothes, and our five empty suitcases all fit under the bed. Yes, we packed too much. The bathroom is small, but it is laid out very well and the lighting is excellent. The shower is small too, but I'm 6'6" tall and 235lbs and had no problem maneuvering in either the room itself or the bathroom. The beds are very comfortable and the comforters and pillows have a luxurious hotel look to them. Nice as it was, Royal has nothing on Carnival. The stateroom and public areas on Conquest were every bit as nice and well maintained. DINING/FOOD: First let me tell you about the good. Roomservice was superb. They were fast, efficient, AWESOME! The Promenade cafe was EXCELLENT!. It was open 24 hours a day and served the tastiest sandwiches, pizza and desserts. The staff there were the most friendly and efficient on the entire ship. The Windjammer cafe served excellent food. I couldn't complain about anything. The sushi was a nice surprise and I didn't expect to see that at the buffet. The staff here were wonderful, We wouldn't be seated for a minute and a server would be there asking if I wanted a drink or to clear the table when we were finished. The main dining room was another story. Suffice it to say that service was dreadful. The food wasn't bad, but it was never quite hot enough. The wait staff just couldn't get it together. If you forgot to ask for a drink, forget it you would wait 30 minutes for a beverage. Same for cocktails and wine - they really push it everywhere else on the ship, but if you forget to order something right away too bad, you wait. Even after we spoke to the head waiter, it didn't make much difference. I was really disappointed and we ended up eating in the main dining room 3 out of 9 nights. I saved the worst for last. Portofino was a major disappointment. I felt duped because I paid extra for a meal that wasn't nearly as good as the food at the Windjammer buffet. I'm not exaggerating either. My spouse and I both ordered the seafood skewers and they were overcooked and dried out. We also had soup which was just okay and I couldn't believe that this "fine dining experience" included bottled caesar salad dressing. Mind you, I don't live in the lap of luxury, but I expected more since friends and some cruise critic members say how superior service and food is on Royal compared to Carnival. Guess what folks? It's not true... I'm not saying Royal isn't good. It's just not as good as Carnival. The specialty restaurant on Carnival Conquest was nothing short of luxurious. Great lighting and they didn't try to cram in as many tables as possible like they did at Portofino on the Explorer. Also, they had a real sommelier at Conquests specialty restaurant, who took extra time to help pick just the right wine to go with the different courses you had selected. The Conquest also gave you a choice of menus. You could choose a french menu or an Italian menu. During the meal on Conquest the chef would send out small bites from the kitchen for you to try that weren't even part of the meal, it was so special. I also have to say that on Conquest, in the main dining room we asked for a pitcher of ice water to be placed on the table the first night, and every night as soon as we arrived at the table that water was there. Same for our iced teas, every night, there before we could ask. Food? always hot. The wait staff seemed to always be right there for you. All you had to do was look up and they were asking if you needed anything. I am dumbfounded by the lack of service in the Explorers main dining room. We did speak to the head waiter, but he can't be everywhere and it didn't really didn't help. Service everywhere else on Explorer was excellent, but no better than service on Carnival Conquest. ENTERTAINMENT: Entertainment on the explorer was by far better than Carnival Conquest. The ice skating show was terrific. Who would guess that there would be skaters with that much talent on a cruise ship? We saw singing, dancing...etc. and all were very good. Caribbean force played outside at the pool and they were wonderful. Again, I had a great cruise and although I feel the food/service was not good in the dining room and Portofino, that was a very small part of our cruise. I also realize that service can vary from ship to ship and even different sailing dates on the same ship can be quite different experiences. So, We already put a deposit on our next cruise. RCCL 12 night mediterranean cruise on Brilliance of the Seas. Almost forgot... Pay attention to the artwork. The Explorer is full of original paintings, sculpture, and photos and we enjoyed them immensely. Disembarkation: A long process, but went very well with no problems. Read Less

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