This was our 1st cruise.We were definitely amazed at how beautiful it was.The boarding process went smooth especially with a fully booked criuse.Everyone was very accommodating everyone to our needs,.Our Stateroom was big.I loved the fact ... Read More
This was our 1st cruise.We were definitely amazed at how beautiful it was.The boarding process went smooth especially with a fully booked criuse.Everyone was very accommodating everyone to our needs,.Our Stateroom was big.I loved the fact that there was 2 bathrooms.Our attendant Allen was attentive to our needs,the room was left spotless.Not to mention the amazing dining experiences and the wait staff.Our waiter was just Amazing.He just made our dining experience even that more exceptional.Our 15 yr old son came with us and he thoroughly
Enjoyed the basketball courts and game room.There was so much to do we couldnt decide on some nights.We are already looking to book with Royal.& the suite was up to par..The only disappointment was the very limited time we had in Bermuda
That was very rushed,and definitely wish we hadn't more time to experience the Island more,but our overall 1st experience on a criuse was Amazing and Wonderful.Safe to say.We are now Hooked! Read Less
Got this trip as a casino Comp. The good: the North Star rose was fun ! The bumper cars were fun. The bars were all very nice ! The food in Jamie’s was sub par. The chops grille was good food, but so loud we could hardly hear each ... Read More
Got this trip as a casino Comp. The good: the North Star rose was fun ! The bumper cars were fun. The bars were all very nice ! The food in Jamie’s was sub par. The chops grille was good food, but so loud we could hardly hear each other talk. The food in the MDR was good. All service was a bit slow in all venues. The windjammer dining buffet was always crowded. The solarium cafe was the least crowded and had same selection A the windjammer.
It was cold going from Newark in Dec so everyone was inside.
The casino was so crowded I couldn’t get a table and the slots were so tight I didn’t win any Big jackpots. The casino host didn’t come around ever and never introduced herself. The two times I had interactions with her were short and to the point. She even saw I was trying out her ship and didn’t welcome me or anything.
Loved the shows I saw. Spectra cabaret and the 70’s dance party was fun.
The ship itself is absolutely gorgeous !! We had a balcony toom that was very nice. Showers are glass enclosure and they have lots of shelves in bathroom and room for storage.
Cabin Steward was attentive.
Crusie director was fun and friendly.
Easy port to reach from Newark airport. Uber was less than $20. Read Less
We chose this cruise first for the price, and we wanted time to explore New York for a couple days before Bermuda. The ship is beautiful and has some amazing activities. IFly and Northstar were definitely highlights. The shows were ... Read More
We chose this cruise first for the price, and we wanted time to explore New York for a couple days before Bermuda. The ship is beautiful and has some amazing activities. IFly and Northstar were definitely highlights. The shows were big productions, but after the 3rd one, the themes got a bit heavy and to some degree, a little apocalyptic. The machines are taking over seemed to be a common thread. Don't get me wrong, the technology was impressive and the talent was outstanding. I was just looking for something to feed my vacation escapism a bit more. Bermuda was short, but wonderful. We had a fantastic time and look forward to going back in the future.
Drawbacks were: The beds. They were awful. Of all the cruises we've taken, these were the worst. It felt like you were sleeping on a sheet of plywood.
My Time dining. I know many people like this option, but we didn't. We always enjoyed getting to know our shipmates at dinner and have made many friends we still stay in touch with after many years. Also dinner has become just another Windjammer with all the tshirts, sweatshirts and jeans every evening.
We still enjoyed our trip very much, it's just different now I guess. Read Less
Warning: Long Review
We are a group of 4 sisters (56 - 62) and since the port was two hours away and the cruise only 4 nights it was perfect. Embarkation was easy and quick after waiting in line to drop off luggage and then self park. ... Read More
Warning: Long Review
We are a group of 4 sisters (56 - 62) and since the port was two hours away and the cruise only 4 nights it was perfect. Embarkation was easy and quick after waiting in line to drop off luggage and then self park. Three of us were fully checked in and they just scanned our passport. My one sister had to do the birth certificate route and have her picture taken but it really didn't slow us down. Security moved along fairly well and we were on board before 12. Room keys were outside the stateroom when we got there. Rooms were ready at 1:00 pm as we were told. The ship itself was the biggest we had ever been on, and did take us a bit to find our way around-mostly getting turned around in the Promenade area. There are interactive deck plans but not necessarily right at the elevators and I had trouble finding what I needed. They had a program introducing you to the Anthem but it was when the ship was pulling out (late start-like 45 min.)
Muster drill: we were there for almost an hour. They said they were waiting for people to board? And it was pretty worthless, but at least it was inside and we had seats. Even though it was cold, it was worth heading outside after the drill to see the NYC skyline and the ship going under the Verrazzano Bridge
Cabin: We had a guarantee balcony, which ended up in a really good location (forward port side and not far from the steps). We needed the walk to the eating areas to make up for all the great food we had. And it was straight up to the Solarium/Inside Pool, and straight down to the theater. The room was a nice size although with the sofa bed pulled our it was quite crowded. The room steward left it out, but I suppose we could have requested he put it away each day. I was the only one who slept well on the sofa bed. We took turns each night. There was enough room for us all to store our things, but a longer cruise-I don't know. Would have had to do separate cabins.
Entertainment/Royal IQ App: We had prebooked the shows, but I immediately logged onto the Royal IQ app and made reservations for two of us for iFly and all four of us for North Star. The app was easy enough to use, but certainly could have had more features. No hours for eating area, pools, etc. So you can't really do without the paper Compass. We each had a separate credit card, and while it showed the individual charges there was only one total. It is only wifi enabled for the app, but my iPhone kept trying to access wifi for all my wifi enabled apps which I think drained my battery faster. (Phone set to airplane mode and wifi on). We prepaid for one device internet package, which we thought we would share, as you can log off one device and use another. However, with iPhones, we were able to text message without using the internet package.
Dining: We had early seating and ate in the Grand three out of four nights. We all thought the food was mostly good, occasionally great. Service was great. But no restroom outside 3rd floor dining rooms. Have to go into Casino or up to 4th floor. Windjammer for breakfast--we found the way back less crowded and kept us from returning frequently to the buffet. There is limited outside seating there but it was too cold.There is a not crowded made to order omelet and crepe station for breakfast, gluten free for lunch. Breakfast in the main dining room on disembarkation day was good and fast service. We also ate lunch one day in Cafe 270 and one day in the Solarium. A nice change from the Windjammer. Service was friendly and mostly good. Sometimes they would be around with drinks, cinnamon rolls, etc, and sometimes you wouldn't see anyone. The three shows were mixed for us. Spectra's Caberet the technology and different choreography were great, but the music was repetitious. We Will Rock You was a great production, but we had trouble with the story.. You have to read the screen in the beginning and we were just settling into our seats. The Gift also had great singers and production but we had trouble telling who was who. The theater may be beautiful, but most of the aisles have exits on only one side--and you don't know that until you climb past people and find a plastic wall or other blockage. I have a little claustrophobia and had to leave before The Gift started, and luckily found a seat in the back. Despite being a short cruise, the theater was never full. Maybe because many of the seats are blocked by poles. And maybe because you can't get to many of the seats without climbing over a whole long row of people. We loved the North Star, iFly and the Bumper Cars. North Star and iFly were filled so it is best to book as soon as you get on board if you were not able to prebook. Very easy on the app.Two of my sisters did the dance/exercise classes and I was really surprised how few people were there. We were told there were 4300 people on board (can hold up to 4900) but it rarely felt crowded.
Ports/Excursions: We were in port (Bermuda) from 9-3:30 so three of us elected to tour the Dockyard, while my birding sister had hired a guide. However, we should have gone with her--she got to see the whole island and did little birding but heard lots of history and ecology stuff. (although she was a little late getting back and got yelled at-but she said there had to be a 100 people behind her) Most of the places were not open when we got off the ship (Did open later) and wasn't clear when they would open. And the beach was closed for the season--this was a problem probably only for this cruise as it was December. But cruise staff should have known. There is a courtesy shuttle which takes you around the dockyard so if you have trouble walking--it helped me out.
Disembarkation: We had a 7:30 time, and decided to try the dining room. We were finished right around 7:30 and by the time we went to the bathroom and started for our waiting area our number was called. The line was really long but moved fast. However, our luggage was at the opposite end of the terminal building, we had just waited in one long line, and there was a long customs line we were expected to walk all the way back to. Luckily there are porters there who will take your baggage and expedite your way through customs. Well worth the $20 tip we gave him. So in that respect disembarkation went as well as could be expected with that many people.
I would like to go back to Bermuda and I guess I would like to take my husband to experience the Anthem, but for me, once was enough for all the activities that we did do. Read Less
My overall review of the trip was great. Good was sub par and few bartender didn’t seem like they like there job. Entertainment was good. Adventure ocean for kids was ok, from our 4yr old daughters story. The elevator was pretty slow and ... Read More
My overall review of the trip was great. Good was sub par and few bartender didn’t seem like they like there job. Entertainment was good. Adventure ocean for kids was ok, from our 4yr old daughters story. The elevator was pretty slow and busy. The pool was awesome, well at least the indoor once. The casino was nice and decent size but the slots wasn’t loose enough, but good thing I happened to hit the jackpot on the Quick hit slot machine of $1500... Our overall experience was great. Met some wonderful new friends along the way and did a bar crawl. Buffet restaurant could use more flavor on their food. Dinner at specialty restaurants was good. Our room steward was also very attentive to our needs. I like the robotic bartender. Overall our trip was good and we would recommend the Anthem of the seas to our family and friends! Read Less
NO DRAMA! Travelling by myself I wanted a port close to home for my first cruise, Cape Liberty worked fine. , After seeing the layout I will probably drive there and use the parking garage. For a first trip I used a hire car to and from. ... Read More
NO DRAMA! Travelling by myself I wanted a port close to home for my first cruise, Cape Liberty worked fine. , After seeing the layout I will probably drive there and use the parking garage. For a first trip I used a hire car to and from. Not having to do the driving can be a plus, personally I enjoyed the treat. The timing on the cruise was great, I finished my seasonal job the end of November, boarded Anthem of the Seas on 6 December, returned on 10 December. The only "drama" was leaving my dogs in the kennel (they forgave me). My cabin was 6230, a single studio with a "virtual balcony," which worked fine for me. I was out and about most of the time. Very little noise in that location, except for the occasional opening and closing of the neighboring doors. Cabin attendant for that area was great, cleaned the room twice a day, very pleasant and helpful. All the shows were good, I liked the Cabaret in Two70, a multipurpose theater in the stern of the ship. Music was a bit loud, but the cast is great, high energy. Carrying almost 5,000 passengers some areas get crowded and some groups can be a bit loud. Having said that, there are also numerous quiet areas where you can unwind a bit. I'm not a bar person, they have plenty of bars, and the crowd in them is pretty typical of any bar. They get loud. There is a pretty wide choice for dining, snacks, etc. Casual or dress up, what ever floats your boat. Getting on and off the ship, aside from waiting with almost 6000 other folk, was pretty smooth. For the short trip I got by with a carry-suitcase and a small pack for my electronics, camera and such. Made on and off a bit easier. Decks 4 & 5 tend to be crowded, picture your local "mall" on the weekend. Stores, bars, cafe, pizza,, guest services, etc. Too loud and crowded? Pick another deck, indoor pools, outdoor pools, running track, etc. Fun just to stroll (good exercise if you use the stairs) and explore the features of each deck. Signs in each lobby and throughout the ship to keep you orientated. North Star is the pod that rises up to 300' above the sea. Sign up early you are limited to one trip, I did it "at sea" which was great, however I would have preferred "in port" after we docked in Bermuda. They also had it up once we cleared the Verrazano Bridge, going under the bridge the smoke stacks clear by about 17 feet. The crew? GREAT, knowledgeable, polite, well groomed, helpful, experienced, well trained and those that I had a chance to talk with all liked their job and their ship. Getting off the ship went well, one area that could be better for a newbie like me .. the handout "Three Tips for an Easy Departure" will arrive the day before you dock. (you get all sorts of literature delivered to your door)The instructions for departing the ship was a tad vague ... "proceed to your assigned waiting area on deck 5" Unfortunately they don't tell you where your assigned area is, nor how to find it .. that is where the on-board TV system comes into play, a departure schedule is available by time groups depending on the amount of luggage you decided to lug. It is by luggage tag number if you are using checked luggage, or by two time slots if you can carry it yourself. During the trip you can access a lot of information (including shopping, which they stress in every talk .. sell, sell, sell) but that's typical resort fare. Menus, schedules, show information, etc. can all be found on the TV and "Cruise Compass" which is delivered daily. You initially download your "set sail pass" which gets you on the ship, at your room you will find an envelope with a plastic card, your "Sea Pass" which serves as door key, charge card, and ID to exit and return to the ship. Bermuda, we did pretty good, the sea was calm out and back but most days were overcast, lots of squalls on the horizon. Arrived in Bermuda to bright sunshine (remember sun glasses), lots of shore events, I chose to wander the "museum" which is actually the old fort and commissioners house right next to the cruise docks. Nice way to spend an afternoon, and you can watch the dolphins there too. Overall a great trip, and I've started planning for next year. Almost forgot the "Compulsory Guest Assembly Drill," bring popcorn, the movie is great! Read Less
I found this cruise and thought it would be a good relaxing getaway after a interesting year we had beside it was stopping in Bermuda, which is our "happy place"...We are normally NCL people but decided to see what all the hubbub ... Read More
I found this cruise and thought it would be a good relaxing getaway after a interesting year we had beside it was stopping in Bermuda, which is our "happy place"...We are normally NCL people but decided to see what all the hubbub about this ship was about...Let me tell you we are pretty impressed!!!..
The embarkation process was the fast I have ever seen...before you know it we were on the ship...we picked up our sea pass at our cabin door...the décor was amazing and the flow to get from one place to another was excellent...being use to the cabins on NCL ships, we were surprised by the roominess of our balcony cabin and the balcony itself ...there was ample storage space...
The food was good...service excellent...we had anytime dining but opted to reserve the same table every night...our waiter Aaron and his assistant Oscar were very attentive..
We saw We will Rock you...a juggler comedian...and Spectra... all were good...
We relaxed in the solarium most of the time...
Disembarkation was smooth...HINT: it is worth $5.00 to get a porter in the terminal so you dont have to wait on a long line for immigration...
All in all we had a wonderful time and would definitely go back on this ship again..RCCL you have won us over Read Less
First time on a ship this size. While onboard we never really felt crowded at any point. Despite the number of guests and staff onboard, there were many times where we wondered where everyone was. The ship is well designed and you can ... Read More
First time on a ship this size. While onboard we never really felt crowded at any point. Despite the number of guests and staff onboard, there were many times where we wondered where everyone was. The ship is well designed and you can around with ease. We had Suite 12634 which was abundant in space and storage. The room was very quite and the sailing was probably the smoothest one we have ever been on.
Bermuda was very nice despite that we did no tours. We did walk around for a few hours at the Royal Dockyard. The Commissioner's house is worthy of seeing and it was only a $15 cover charge. We also found a small transportation museum worthy of a look, if that interests you and that was only a $5 cover.
I was intrigued by how many repeat Anthem guests were present in the Suites class. Speaking of that. The Royal, Sky & Sea class is a great experience if you can swing it. Early onboard the ship and early getting off the ship is great. If comparing RCL Suite Class to NCL Haven, I'd probably go with the NCL Haven. NCL seemed to include many more things in the purchase price where as RCL had extra add ons or not included, or not even available.
We Did the Chef's Table and that was a great experience. We also did the All Access Pass Behind the Scenes tour. It was informative, interesting and worth the cost. It's amazing to see what goes on that most guests never even know about. I can't review that shows we did not partake. We did dine at Jamie Oliver's which was excellent and Chops Grille. Chop's was not the best experience, but it had nothing to do with the food. Unfortunately we were seated too close to a large group that was over the top loud. It was hard for us even to hear what we were saying to each other. I'm glad they were having a good time, but the staff should have not seated us and the table behind us that close. Eventually we asked to be reseated and the complied. Coastal Kitchen and staff were great as meals. Overall a good trip. Anthem is well worth the experience. Read Less
This was an exciting cruise for us. First time leaving from a northern port, Cape Liberty, NJ. First time on Anthem of the Seas. First time going to Bermuda.
We cruised November 10th thru November 17th. I picked this week due to ... Read More
This was an exciting cruise for us. First time leaving from a northern port, Cape Liberty, NJ. First time on Anthem of the Seas. First time going to Bermuda.
We cruised November 10th thru November 17th. I picked this week due to wanting 2.5 days in Bermuda. I knew going in the weather might be a little questionable.
We drove into port. Pretty nice easy drive other that 8 hours of rain. Parking at port was quick and easy. We entered Terminal and walked right up to someone holding a tablet and checked in. Nice and easy. They used the pics we had uploaded from home. We went and sat in holding area. Right around 11 AM they started the boarding process. We were on the ship by 11:15. Right away we went to one of the Kiosk and made reservations for IFly and North Star. Then it was time to head to the buffet.
The buffet was very hectic, which is the normal for embarkation day. I just grabbed first thing I came to and was happy with it.
They started making announcements that the cabins were ready at 12:45. The doors to the halls were not open yet. I think this was a ploy to get people to leave the Windjammer to clear tables for other passengers needing a place to sit. Rooms did open up at 1.
Our cabin was 6270. Some of these rooms on deck 6 are marked as obstructed. Was not sure how much our view would be obstructed. Was not bad. Will post some pics. Was nuisance having Jamie's outdoor seating below us. We did have to make sure drapes closed good when dressing.
Our cabin was very nice. Plenty of storage. Loved the decor. Shower awesome. Floors did need a good cleaning. Not sure was vacuumed before we boarded. Our room steward had also just boarded the ship so not his fault.
Leaving NJ/NY was very windy and pretty cold. We stayed out just until we went under the bridge then hurried back inside. The 2nd day was pretty cold and windy as well. Plenty of pool chairs available. Solarium was the busy spot and hard to find a seat.
We really enjoyed the ship. Lots of neat things to do. We rode bumper cars several times. (There were only little over 500 Kids on our sailing, I could see there needing to be reservation times if full. Hate to spend so much of your time waiting in lines). We did North Star twice. I loved the IFly. Great experience.
Loved the Shows, The Gift and We will Rock you. The Cabarret was little different. Our show was cut short do to rough seas. The guest entertainment was all wonderful and loved the house band, Switched On. Amazing talent.
The parties were in too small of a venue. Also thought the Beatlemanics needed to be in bigger venue.
The ship showed a couple 3D movies, but mainly on port days in the afternoon. I wish on day 2 and day 6 and 7 that these would have been offered. Would have been a little something extra to do since not great days to be out by the pool.
Bermuda was stunning. Loved our days there. We rented mopeds and toured on our own. So many beautiful spots. Will definitely plan another trip, but probably go just a few weeks earlier in season when just a tad bit warmer. Read Less
The ship is beautiful and clearly designed for cruises in less than perfect weather. The Solarium is enormous and there is also a large, covered family pool area. Of course the Seaplex area with bumper cars, basketball, foosball, video ... Read More
The ship is beautiful and clearly designed for cruises in less than perfect weather. The Solarium is enormous and there is also a large, covered family pool area. Of course the Seaplex area with bumper cars, basketball, foosball, video games, etc is all indoors. We went to the NorthStar right after boarding - no reservations needed - for magnificent views of the NYC skyline. We didn't know about the Escape Room, but learned if you don't make reservations on line ahead of time it's important to go as soon as you board; I was disappointed that we couldn't get in. I heard you could do iFly without reservations on boarding day but we didn't try since I had made reservations on-line. Again, if you don't have reservations and are interested, make them as soon as you board. There were crew members in Two70 to make show reservations during boarding.
Random comments / thoughts:
1. Virtually no visible presence of the ship’s officers which was a disappointment. Did not see the Cruise Director or Staff very much, either.
2. Life jackets are NOT is your cabin. They are at the muster stations.
3. Major chokepoints / crowds when exiting Two70 and the Theater. Everyone is funneling through the same doorways.
4. Two70 apparently has changing displays in the evenings (Vistagrams). We missed all but the final evenings "Fireworks". I wish we had known when the others were up.
My Time Dining - it really doesn’t seem to matter if you have reservations or not (we did). The reception area pulled people from the no reservation line ahead of us; disorganized at the checkin area every night. Service was very good in American Icon and Silk; very slow in Grande, but in all fairness, they dropped us in at about 6:15, during the Early MDR Dinner service. We waited to place our orders until all of the regular tables were served. In general, service was polite but not overly friendly, likely because we had a different crew each evening. Unfortunately, with the floor layout of the dining rooms, events like the parade of chefs and servers really don’t work very well. We heard the greetings over the speakers but only had a glimpse of people as they didn’t come into the back of the room. Food was, as expected, very good.
Specialty Dining - Jamie’s Italian was great. The food and service were outstanding. We will visit Jamie's again. Wonderland was interesting. The food and presentation were, as advertised, unique. It was supposed to be more about the “show” or experience, but there really wasn’t much of that; only two dishes had a real “wow” factor. The service was okay, very slow to refill water and clear dishes. I'm glad we did Wonderland once, but would not do again.
Other dining - Solarium Bistro is a quiet area for a nice light dinner. Buffet for appetizers and desserts; table service for entrees. Sorrento’s and Cafe Promenade had a good variety of pizza, sandwiches and desserts. Staff was not at all friendly; I think they were overworked. Could use lemonade or punch, in addition to the cold water, hot tea and coffee available. The Bionic Bar is a fun, expensive ($15 / drink) gimmick but frequently breaks down.
Production Shows - The Gift, We Will Rock You and Three Tenors were outstanding. Comedians were very good. Only disappointment was Spectra’s Closet. It was cut short because of the rough seas but what we saw wasn’t very good. I believe the blonde actress portraying Spectra was an understudy and unfortunately could not carry the show.
Ship Entertainment - Excellent variety. Really enjoyed Beatlemaniacs, Matt Li and Michael Greene. The only thing missing (or maybe we just never found it) was easy listening / slow dance music. A schedule for the Music Hall for the week would help in planning. Read Less