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303 Royal Caribbean Canary Islands Cruise Reviews

This was our fifteenth cruise. We have cruised with Royal Caribbean on five occasions and this was our third trip aboard this ship the others being Brilliance and Adventure of the Seas. We have also cruised with Cunard, Princess and ... Read More
This was our fifteenth cruise. We have cruised with Royal Caribbean on five occasions and this was our third trip aboard this ship the others being Brilliance and Adventure of the Seas. We have also cruised with Cunard, Princess and Celebrity X. We very much enjoy life on board and although Independence of the Seas was visiting ports we have been to a few times before, we are happy just to relax and enjoy what the ship has to offer and hopefully a bit of sunshine. We had a Grand Suite which entitled us to a gold card with some extra privileges such as the concierge lounge and reserved theatre/ice show seats and also permission to use Chops Grille to eat our daytime meals instead of joining the scrum for a table in Windjammer. Together with the extra comfort of the room these little extras make life on board much more enjoyable. Obviously this comes at a cost but we feel it is worth paying the extra. Our room was always cleaned quickly and efficiently by our steward who was delightful as were all the staff. We always find the staff and crew to be smiling and pleasant but as a previous review so rightly states - it really is important to smile and treat them in a friendly and respectful manner rather than some of the surly attitudes that they certainly don't deserve. They are all so hard working in order to make our cruise pleasurable and they spend months away from their families so a little kindness and interest in them goes a long way. So to the actual brief .... We stayed in the Premier Inn in Winchester overnight and made our way to the port around 11am. Embarkation was a breeze and so slick. From parking the car to boarding the ship probably no more than 20 minutes. Absolutely excellent. Also disembarkation was similarly easy. Our stateroom was lovely and spacious with everything we needed. Bed was very comfy and balcony was roomy too. Dwi our room steward was excellent. The ship is still beautiful although looking a little tired in places. One gripe about it though would be that it isn't kept quite as spotless as a Celebrity Ship. Finger marks were apparent on screens and glass that had not been cleaned during the night, whereas on a Celebrity ship everything is absolutely spotlessly clean every morning although we never hear the actual cleaning process so I think it must be the fairies that come during the night!! Another small issue - again regarding tidiness and cleanliness ... we found the toilets in general, weren't up to the standard that we have come to expect when sailing with Celebrity. Brown paper towels (Celebrity provide individual flannel towels and the toilets are inspected very regularly and constantly attended every evening during the busiest periods and each cubicle is mopped between users). On the Independence I visited a cubicle at 6pm and again at 10.30pm. The same debris of cardboard roll holder and bits of tissue were littering the floor showing no cleaning had taken place in over four hours. The bins were overflowing with used brown paper towels and it was generally untidy. I felt this was substandard. We thought the food in general was good. Having read other reviews prior to our cruise we were sceptical as many said the food had really deteriorated. Windjammer always had a good selection although we didn't eat there in the evening. We ate in the Main dining room every evening and sat in the same section of Romeo and Juliet Dining Room. Our waiters were Jonathan and Dewa who were both fantastic and we always enjoyed chatting to them and looked forward to our evening meal. The menu was mostly good with a couple of evenings having less attractive choices but we ate some wonderful beef and we felt in general that the food was very acceptable and enjoyable. I have to say we are quite critical of food as both my husband and I are very capable in the kitchen, so I would go as far as to say that I think some previous reviews have been a bit harsh in their criticism of the food. Entertainment wise we enjoyed the shows. We loved the Queen tribute band "The Bohemians" and the ventriloquist was good although we have seen him before on board this ship but we still laughed a lot and he was very entertaining. The ice shows were brilliant even though they were same shows that we saw many years back. They are incredibly impressive - Freeze Frame is particularly good. The RC Singers and Dancers were putting on the same shows that we have seen too many times before so we did give these a miss this time. Our one grumble about the evening entertainment was the amount of children that were freely running around in the Pyramid lounge and taking over the dance floor. The band would start to play at 9.15pm and parents would not call their children off the dance floor. We wanted to dance but it became dangerous to do so and despite announcements being made and a mention of this in an edition of the Cruise Compass, nothing was done to enforce this. This issue needs to be addressed by Royal Caribbean before there is an injury. Also, adults want to be able to enjoy the live music and use the dance floor once the musicians start to play. The band "Pulse" played some excellent numbers and I think it is disrespectful to such talented musicians if parents allow their children to run riot whilst they are performing. We ended up going into The Labrynth nightclub where Paul made us feel very welcome and played some decent dance music so that we could do a bit of ballroom dancing though the dance floor in there is much smaller than in the Pyramid Lounge. We made the best of the situation anyway and still had a good time. (Thank you Paul !!) We didn't go ashore apart from in Vigo as we have visited all the ports on previous cruises and as previously mentioned we choose to cruise for what we enjoy on board the ship as much as for the destination. So all in all we had a good break although not our best cruise. We prefer Celebrity X as a cruise line but Royal Caribbean still have plenty on offer. Will we book again with RC? They need to sort out what is happening in The Pyramid Lounge with the kids running around and until there is some sort of curfew or rule made about children during the evenings ... No we won't be booking again. But perhaps Royal Caribbean are now trying to encourage a different type of cruiser in looking towards young families which isn't our scene and therefore we will choose a different cruise line in future. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
This was our seventh cruise on the independence, our second this year, and having previously experienced and registered our many complaints about the deterioration in the standard of food in the main dining rooms, we were shocked to find ... Read More
This was our seventh cruise on the independence, our second this year, and having previously experienced and registered our many complaints about the deterioration in the standard of food in the main dining rooms, we were shocked to find nothing had been done to improve this. Other passengers were also very critical. We spoke to the Executive Chef in June and are very disappointed that nothing has changed. Do RCI really care?. We also found the on deck service to be painfully slow, the result of further staff cuts, and it really is time that Royal Caribbean insisted on standards of dress in the dining rooms. On the plus side we found the staff were , as always, extremely courteous and helpful and some,not all, of the entertainment well worth support. Embarking and disembarking from Southampton was slick. In summary, however, the Independence experience continues to slip and invite criticism. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
1st cruise and I was not disappointed! Arrived at the port at around 10am and got parked up and checked in immediately. We only had a 30 minute wait in the terminal before we were called to embark. We were on the ship within an hour of ... Read More
1st cruise and I was not disappointed! Arrived at the port at around 10am and got parked up and checked in immediately. We only had a 30 minute wait in the terminal before we were called to embark. We were on the ship within an hour of parking! The ship is huge! I was so glad we got on early so we had a few hours to explore before the staterooms are available at 1pm. We had a Promenade Stateroom. As you enter, the bathroom was on the left and the wardrobe on the right. In the bathroom there was the toilet, shower and sink. There was a huge mirror with lights either side which was great for doing make up. There was a corner cabinet with 3 shelves. There was also ample room around the sink area for toiletries and a shelf under the sink. In the wardrobe was one high rail and 2 lower rails for hanging clothes and there was 5 shelves, one of which had the safe on. The safe was very easy to use. Outside the wardrobe was 4 drawers and 3 more shelves. The bed was huge, the size of 2 singles together and it had a foam topper which was so comfy! Between the bed and the window was a small sitting area with 2 sofas and a dressing table/desk and chair. There was another huge mirror with lights and 2 small shelving areas either side of the mirror. The window looked out onto the Royal Promenade. We were on deck 8 so the window was at an angle looking down. We had chosen 'My Time Dining' which meant we could have dinner in the Romeo & Juliet dining room on deck 3 whenever we liked between 6pm and 9.30pm. You didn't have to reserve a table but we did on the 3 occasions we ate in there, twice reserving a table at the dining room earlier in the day and once by calling the reservations line. We had a table for 2 each time, but the tables are very close together so it was more like a table for 6! The menus are displayed on interactive monitors around the ship so each morning we took photos of the menus to take away and decide if we wanted to eat in the dining room. The food in the dining room was very nice. I had Beef Tenderloin one night and it just melted in my mouth! The service was good with just one little blip that wasn't worth complaining about. There isn't much of a view in the Romeo & Juliet dining room, there are no large windows like in the Macbeth & King Lear dining rooms on decks 4 & 5. The other nights we ate in the Windjammer Cafe, as we did breakfast and lunch. Buffet style food but very tasty and plenty of variety. The entertainment was excellent. We went to several shows both in the Alhambra Theatre and Studio B Ice Rink. I would particularly recommend Grease and the Ice shows. I would also recommend you go to the game show Quest, that was hilarious! Our cruise direct Jamie was great fun and made the cruise very entertaining. The service we received everywhere on the ship was great, most of the crew were exceptionally friendly and in particular, our stateroom attendant Joseph Anthony. He was such a blessing throughout the cruise. I would absolutely go again and am already planning the next one! Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
My review is from perspective an American who has been on several other Royal Caribbean cruises. I was surprised that only about 5% of the passengers were from the US; my experience with the earlier cruises was that the majority of ... Read More
My review is from perspective an American who has been on several other Royal Caribbean cruises. I was surprised that only about 5% of the passengers were from the US; my experience with the earlier cruises was that the majority of passengers were Americans even for cruises in Europe. In any case, the time on the cruise ship a lot like being in Britain, which certainly was an interesting change of pace. I especially enjoyed the British tea (not Lipton) and Guinness on tap. Embarkation: We took a National Express bus from Heathrow to Southampton after an overnight flight from the US and then spent a night at a B&B before the cruise. Boarding was smooth although we were surprised to receive an email with boarding times based on deck level. The lowest decks were not supposed to board until a little over an hour before the scheduled departure. Fortunately we cruised enough times that we were allowed to board earlier. One difference from cruises from the US is that the ship held our passports for the duration of the cruise. I am not sure what would happen if you missed the boat since air travel to the next cruise port or back to the UK would probably require a passport. I was not interested in personally testing that question, which meant we generally took the Royal Caribbean excursions with guaranteed return to the ship rather than doing a lot of exploring on our own. The passport rule applies to anyone who is not from the European Union, so I guess people from the UK may have to deal with a similar issue in a few years. Vigo, Spain: We took the extended excursion to Santiago de Compostela, which is a Christian pilgrimage site that dates back to the Middle Ages. The countryside between Vigo and Santiago is green and hilly and reminded me of Ireland. After a walking tour of the center of town, we had time for lunch and sampled some local special dishes at restaurant that was a block from the cathedral. The French fries were remarkably tasty; I think it was the combination of new potatoes and olive oil. Lisbon, Portugal: The ship docked right next to the old section of Lisbon. We walked to the cathedral and took a short tour on a tuk-tuk (a small open vehicle) in the morning. In the afternoon we took an excursion to Cascais, which is pleasant coastal town west of Lisbon. The trip out was along the coast with some nice views. Unfortunately the trip was extremely slow because of heavy traffic. It happened to be a national holiday in Portugal and the weather was unusually warm and sunny. Gran Canaria: We took the hidden valley hiking excursion. The hike was a one-way trip with a drop off near a hilltop and pickup at the bottom of a valley. The trip started with hiking along a concrete irrigation channel that had a narrow walkway between the water and a drop off of up to about 15 feet. It also included hiking down a steep rocky slope with switchbacks before finally getting to a wooded valley with a flowing creek. The hike is not for people with any balance problems or with fear of heights. While the excursion is labeled strenuous, the nature of the hike was not very clear from the description. A suggested improvement would be a round trip hike along the valley bottom and up a portion of the hill side, which would allow for people to stop at any point and return with the group. After the hike there was an excellent lunch with a sampling of local wine. Tenerife: We took the volcanoes of Tenerife excursion which explored the mountainous center of the island. I had been concerned about cold temperatures at the higher altitudes (~7000 ft), but the bright sun kept things surprisingly warm. The climate and vegetation of Tenerife and Gran Canaria reminded me of that of southern California, with arid lowlands and forests of pine and eucalyptus on the moist slopes that face the prevailing winds. Funchal (Madeira): We went to mass the cathedral and enjoyed a leisurely seafood lunch at a local restaurant. The island is much greener than the Canaries. Sunset over the ocean as we left Funchal was beautiful. La Coruña: We took the excursion to Betanzos and the tower of Hercules. Betanzos is an interesting medieval town. The guide was excellent. Days at Sea: There were a total of four days at sea, including a day each way between England and Spain. The ocean between England and Spain is notorious stormy conditions, but the ship was surprisingly stable in spite of seas over 10 feet. The return trip to Southampton was especially windy with a 55 mph wind on the deck from the combination of the ship’s speed and a stiff headwind. The trip between the Iberian mainland and the islands had pleasantly warm air temperatures that allowed for pool activities. Entertainment: The entertainment was impressive. We enjoyed three different ice shows, the musical Grease, and a ventriloquist act. We also made several visits to the pub on the promenade to sing along with Stephen Burke, whom we had seen on an earlier cruise in Canada. Food and cabin: We had the 8:30 pm seating for the dining room, which was surprisingly uncrowded. I guess most people preferred either the earlier seating or the buffet. The service was very good and we enjoyed the food, which was similar that of other Royal Caribbean cruises. The cabin was typical of cabins we’ve had on previous cruises with good use of all available space. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
I enjoyed the ports of Call....new to us & would enjoy if my travels caused me to repeat them..I would not go out of my way to do a repeat of this specific cruise. the only poor excursion was the one booked thru RCI in Morrocco. I ... Read More
I enjoyed the ports of Call....new to us & would enjoy if my travels caused me to repeat them..I would not go out of my way to do a repeat of this specific cruise. the only poor excursion was the one booked thru RCI in Morrocco. I was told no one else had complained..so my take away was if one person says something..it didn't happen! It was suggested that my expectations were too high? I replied I expected to get what I paid for! I like Southampton, pleasant town to stroll..Friday night is not a beehive of activity & that might have surprised some. Entertainment was first class and varied..food was decent..all cruise lines have reduced their culaniary experience for the regular dining room..Anytime dining, whatever they call it..sucked..almost everyone made reservations for a specific time..so 3 nights we sat at a table of 6 or 8 alone..no one to share..this has not happened on any other cruise line..but we Americans were in the minority..it might be a cultural difference. Cabin was fine, our toilet "leaked" from the vent in the wall at 5AM..we mopped it with towels, told the room steward but we had no note from maintenance... Our guy was very non-pulsed with the news..apparently these things happen..another pax had it happen at 11PM ..maintanance came right away and blah blah .... Yes, they nickel dime you and it seemed everyday they had the same one day sale with nothing to buy..leftover & picked over.. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
Like other reviews for this cruise mixed feelings by us and our two friends. We have enjoyed many cruises with most of the cruise company's including previous cruises with R C. Having sailed on Independence and Radiance our ... Read More
Like other reviews for this cruise mixed feelings by us and our two friends. We have enjoyed many cruises with most of the cruise company's including previous cruises with R C. Having sailed on Independence and Radiance our expectations were high. Embarkation at Southampton was swift and efficient, we were on board by 11.30am. Balcony Cabin was great, clean, roomy we asked for and got robes, and we had tea and coffee making facilities. Our dining arrangements were for 8.30pm and we had a table for four as asked for right in front of the bronze ballerina. Waiter was charming, and did a good service. Assistant waiter was rushed of his feet and seemed to be covering some not so enthusiastic servers. Our Wine waiter was neither here or there, he just always seemed to be hovering, and that meant our waiter was also doing our drinks. We didn't have drinks package as couldn't justify the cost as we are not big drinkers. It's a shame that the evening Wine Package of 6, 10 or12 bottles of wine has stopped. The wine on board by the bottle is very very expensive especially when adding18% gratuity. Food was Ok not exceptional and there was no wow factor, didn't expect to have Sheppard pie, and Sunday lunch served on a cruise ship. The desserts were bland, and the cheesecakes and mouse were rubbery. The Creme Brulee was gorgeous but not when you are eating it four 2 weeks. The ports of call were good, Maderia being really lovely. We had been many places already, but still managed to dock in areas not previously visited. As with another guest we too had complaints with Agadir, so information given him was not true. We booked the shuttle bus to town centre and was then dropped at a taxi where we had to run the gauntlet of taxi drivers wanting to take us to either the market, or the beach. Most people on our Shuttle bus complained and got their money back. The whole experience was very intimidating and very scary for the more vulnerable on the bus. Entertainment. The highliners were good, especially the magician/juggler. The ice show magnificent. The ship's entertainment was spoiled by a really poor sound system/or operator. There was obviously talent in the cast, but the music/chosen songs were obscure and not popular. There seemed no story or theme and no scenery. Such a shame after the Broadway shows put onboard the Indi. Finally dress code standards have been relaxed to our great disappointment, with people entering the Main Dining Room even on formal night's in T/shirts, Jeans and one person in shorts, and no one seemed willing to question this. Not the sort of example to have displayed for our American and Australian guests, or those who want that special cruise experience as opposed to a Butlins on water. Many commenting to us that it was typical of a British cruise. All these 'little' changes were disappointing, but didn't detract from the overall good cruise experience. And we would still cruise with R.C if the itinery was right, but would drop our expectations sadly. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We have cruised RC several times. Little things make the difference and this time the little things were missing. My Time dining was fantastic, especially the service. (table 241).The stateroom attendant was equally professional. However, ... Read More
We have cruised RC several times. Little things make the difference and this time the little things were missing. My Time dining was fantastic, especially the service. (table 241).The stateroom attendant was equally professional. However, the price of beer and wine was outrageous-8.00/ beer and 13.00 for a wine. I really resent the 18% charge on the booze, especially when your already charged 13.50/ day/per person for mandatory tips.The booze package was 58.00/ day/per person. Who can drink that much. Schooners used to have bar snacks to enjoy - no more. A $ was applied to riding a bike in the gym as well as numerous other charges for special venues on the ship. It seems more and more that the dollar is the ultimate goal instead of fair value for the customer. We were on RC cruise about 2 years ago and the difference was mind boggleing. I will rethink our next cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
This was my first experience at cruising and I am so pleased I chose Royal Caribbean to go with, I will never go with anyone else as no other company could come close to matching this magical holiday. The ease of boarding surprised us ... Read More
This was my first experience at cruising and I am so pleased I chose Royal Caribbean to go with, I will never go with anyone else as no other company could come close to matching this magical holiday. The ease of boarding surprised us as we expected hours of waiting around, this didn't happen and we were onboard and in our stateroom before 1pm. The stateroom was comfortable and pristinely clean, the beds were so comfy. Our room attendant (Yanne) was lovely and always available if we needed her, the fact that she didn't have a brilliant grasp of our English accents didn't stop her trying to converse with us and we loved her. We ate in the King Lear dining room and we had delicious food every day served to us by our assigned waiters (Timothy and Maureen). Both were attentive and eager to chat to us, we were so impressed that we asked for a soft drink on our first night and they remembered what we had and every night there after, our drinks were there waiting for us when we got there. The dining room manager (Carmen) was equally lovely and always made the time to chat to us, she even got the chef to create us lobster thermodore on our last evening and gave us 40% off. We dined in Giovanne's on my 50th birthday and they made the whole evening so very special for me, made even more magical by some dolphins that decided to swim right by us out in the sea. The food was presented beautifully and was so delicious, we were able to pick several dishes as we couldn't decide what to have as it was all so yummy. The waiters then came out singing happy birthday to me and gave me and cake with a candle in it, such a lovely thought. The food in the Windjammer café was always delicious too and it was so easy to eat too much in there. The staff in there worked so hard to clear tables and make sure you always had a drink. The entertainment was fantastic every night. We went to see Grease twice as it was just so brilliant. The acapella band were awesome as was the comedian Paul Eastwood and the ventriloquist Gareth Oliver. All in all the trip was a total success and if there was anything to find fault with, it would be the trip across the Bay of Biscay which was not pleasant on the way out. The staff did all they could to make me feel abit better. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
A review of Independence through the eyes of our 3½ year old granddaughter Jessica. Very excited sleep countdown to our departure on 9th September 2016, travelling with my Nanna and Granfer. After quick hugs with mummy who we were ... Read More
A review of Independence through the eyes of our 3½ year old granddaughter Jessica. Very excited sleep countdown to our departure on 9th September 2016, travelling with my Nanna and Granfer. After quick hugs with mummy who we were leaving behind to “look after the cats”, we boarded and it only took 15 minutes before we were on and my fun started. All of the crew and staff made me feel very special. Lots of the guests talked to me too. OK so there were a few who seemed to think I shouldn’t go on holiday on a cruise ship, but my Granfer said we were best off ignoring them. Deck 11 ......the water facilities. It wasn’t warm enough for me to get stuck in until we arrived in the Canaries, but I still pestered on the cooler windy days through the BoB. The H2O area was a bit of a waste of time and space and wasn’t really used much. Much better is the main pool and hot tub area, which was surrounded by sun loungers with all sorts of people laying on them changing colour by the hour. Some of the sun loungers only had towels on them, but we only shared one for the 3 of us, so I think that was OK. By the towel stand, they let you borrow a buoyancy jacket, which comes in lots of children’s sizes, to keep us kids safe. The self serve ice cream stand was used lots on this deck .....I could just about reach up to pull the leaver myself, when I hadn’t had enough to eat everywhere else on the ship that is. Deck 3 .....My Time Dining, where we ate between 6 and 6.30 each night. I was treated like a princess every single night of the cruise, from the second I walked into the room. Our waiters had our table ready, with a booster seat in place for me, and folded up paper animals. I could choose from the kids menu or the adults one, and if I didn’t like it, they went off and found me something else. Deck 12.....Aquanauts (kids club for 3-5 year olds). Brilliant place to visit and spend some time with lots of new friends that I made. I could go there anytime between 9-12, 2-5, 6.45-10, or for all of it. I could even go from 10pm to 1am, but I was too busy dancing. On port days I could have stayed to lunch too, but I didn’t need to. They do lots of activities and I made some things that Nanna had to pack to bring home for mummy. Our stateroom....we had an inside one, which Nanna said we had to try and keep tidy cos there wasn’t a lot of room. When I woke up I didn’t know if it was night or day, so most of the time I just went back to sleep and had to be woken up. I missed lots of breakfasts, but Nanna had cereal ready for me anyway and said thank you to me for giving her a lay-in. I slept in a Pullman bed over the top of Granfer....he said I should have been at least 6 years old to be up there, but I thought it was cool climbing the ladder each night, and it had a bed guard so I couldn't fall out (and he said he didn’t want to sleep up there himself anyway). Entertainment: The Ice Shows were amazing. 2 shows each lasting about an hour. Make sure you get your mummies or daddies to collect your tickets from Guest Relations and get there half an hour before the show starts, so you can get a front row seat. Deck 5.... The Pyramid Lounge is a great place to let loose and have a run around, a dance and generally let off steam (as long as the sad folks that don't think you should be on the ship, are not there). I was a good girl though and made people laugh with my dancing, and Granfer got me special lemonade with a cherry in it every night, like Nanna's, though I only had one, she had more!! The Main Shows in the Theatre.....some were a bit late for me, but I tried hard to sit still. Lots of music and dancing, but very loud for my little ears. Getting dressed up.....I had lots of pretty dresses to wear each evening and lots of people wanted to take my photo, though Granfer said that would cost him lots of money. Mummy packed me far too many clothes for 10 days, so I had to make sure I got changed at least 3 times a day, some times more. Excursions: Madeira was the best. Nanna and Granfer took me up the cable car and then we came down the hill in the 'basket' taboggan. In Gran Canaria we visited the beach which is only about 10 minutes walk away. Nanna said it wasn't as calm and safe as she hoped it would be, but I still enjoyed myself eating the sand, having a shower on the beach, then eating chips watching the waves crash in. In Tenerife Nanna said we HAD to go shopping, so I'm glad they brought a buggy for me to relax in....it would have been very tiring if I hadn't and not very nice for Granfer to have had to carry me. If you want to ask my Nanna any more questions, then that’s OK. She might remember more than I did about all the fun things I did and places I visited. So, if Nanna and Granfer ask me if I want to go on a crusing holiday again, I think I would have to say yes, but I think I might need some new pretty dresses, cos the ones I came home with are now a little tight xxx Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
First time on Indy have sailed from Southampton before after flying in from Australia. Embankment was fast and easy no wait only 15min from start till on ship. Room was ready by 2pm at time we boarded. Ship was clean and Ready for ... Read More
First time on Indy have sailed from Southampton before after flying in from Australia. Embankment was fast and easy no wait only 15min from start till on ship. Room was ready by 2pm at time we boarded. Ship was clean and Ready for the cruisers. Room 6331 prominade was kept spotless the whole cruise. We ate in buffet breakfast deck 3 and food was ample cereal fruit hot food pastries toast. MyTime dining booked same time and table each night. Food was outstanding and seamed larger serves than previous sailings Wait staff excellent. Lunch was had in dining room but after breakfast only had salad bar freshly made by waiters you could order from menu to. Shows were excellent Grease Commedian The Beatles show. Was lacklustre and singing was mediocre. 70s night in prominade was a blast even though we have seen it on other ships it's still fun. Day trips Madeira, booked tour cable car and wicker basket ride outstanding 5 hrs. Tenerife did our own thing hop on bus Las Palmas did hop on bus Lanzarote booked tour camel ride and fir mountain what a fun day and the mountains are unbelievable. Vigo walk straight off ship into old town plenty to see and restaurants The only thing we would say is due to the wind all outdoor activities were cancelled on sports deck while sailing so not to much to do indoors other than sit in a bar. The days with sun and in port day spa was set up in adults pool area and 15min massage was a treat. We always sail with RC the service is outstanding and clean fresh decor. You must try the flow rider Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Sorry Royals but cant give you a good review this time went with my Brother and his wife to the cannaries on the Independence realy looked forward to it my husband and myself go every 2yrs this was the 3rd time on this ship and we were ... Read More
Sorry Royals but cant give you a good review this time went with my Brother and his wife to the cannaries on the Independence realy looked forward to it my husband and myself go every 2yrs this was the 3rd time on this ship and we were very disapointed.To start with 5 days at sea we felt that we had been robbed of our holiday as it was only ten days to start with .That was rediculous and all the entertainmant was all the same as we had seen the past 2 times we had sailed we were very disapointed with the staff there atitudes were terrible was like they did not want to be there the only person that was great and always polite and happy was the girl at the windjammer called Janet but i must say that the food and the staff there were always great Janet she was a lovely person and greated everybody with a smile . We did hope to have something different on the ship as we thought it had been given a revamp.The cabin was always clean 6365 nothing changed there .The ports that we stopped at were always at the back of the sights but that was our exsperience.We are hopping to go back 2018 september and want to take all my family and grandchildren we always go in september so we will have to do our home work first as it will be a lot of money and dont want to waste it . i Idont want to sound all negative as the past 2 times on this ship to the spanish med was Fantastic and this has not put us off going back on the independence we are just putting it as a bad exspereince and hope next time will be better. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
The Ship: The major problem was that there were far too many passengers for some of the facilities on board. Getting a sunbed anywhere was sometimes impossible (and always if the sun was out!). There are the usual signs about not reserving ... Read More
The Ship: The major problem was that there were far too many passengers for some of the facilities on board. Getting a sunbed anywhere was sometimes impossible (and always if the sun was out!). There are the usual signs about not reserving sunbeds that most passengers totally ignored, there were often more towels than passengers on sunbeds. I complained without result. The bars were often so crowded that people stood to consume their drinks. Cabin: we had the basic inside cabin which was minute, I would definitely recommend getting a larger cabin. Our steward was very helpful and friendly and the cabin was always clean and tidy. Dining: Fairly good quality and reasonable quantities with a reasonable mix of choices in the main dining rooms for dinner - service was good. Breakfasts in the dining rooms (one served and one buffet) were excellent. The Windjammer buffet was so big that finding particular items was a challenge and it was difficult to find seats at the most popular times. If you want a steak you will pay $20 extra! This is the first holiday when I have not had a steak - I sometimes have one every day. It was irritating that waiting staff tried to upsell the specialist restaurants (involving extra costs) while we were eating. Drinks: Were expensive with very small spirit measures and a massive 18% service charge was added even if you queued at the bar to get a drink - there were very few waiting staff around. We sometimes waited 10-20 minutes to get a drink. As most passengers seemed to have bought a 'drinks package', the company has a vested interest in slowing down the sales of drinks and serving small measures. Smoking is apparently not hazardous in the casino as it seems to be treated almost everywhere else - a cynical move by the company who don't want smokers moving away from the tables frequently. Entertainment: We missed the Ice Show which everyone seems to agree is first class. The other two shows we saw were in one case reasonably entertaining (a hypnotist) and in the other case very amusing (a juggling comedian). There were plenty of seats available at the shows we attended. We did attend a talk that was supposed to be information about our ports of call. This comprised a blatant excursion selling exercise and the speaker (a Nigerian lady) seemed to know little to nothing about the ports or much else (telling us that Columbus visited Gran Canaria in 1942 and that Madeira is in Funchal!) Ports and excursions: A couple of the stops were shorter than advertised and some were so short and with so many passengers queuing to get off that some people just gave up and stayed on board. It was very disappointing to be constantly checking your watch when visiting an interesting port or deciding to stay on board to avoid having to do so. It was an experience that was not altogether bad but one that I have no wish to repeat. We have only been on a cruise once before with P&O on Azura in 2013 which was a better experience altogether. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
This was our ninth cruise but our first cruise with Royal Carribbean and it was certainly not "cheap". Although we bought an All inclusive cruise it certainly was not as we found out it was for only house wine and beer. Also we ... Read More
This was our ninth cruise but our first cruise with Royal Carribbean and it was certainly not "cheap". Although we bought an All inclusive cruise it certainly was not as we found out it was for only house wine and beer. Also we understood that if we paid gratuities before sailing we would be able to have My time dining. i was just told "oh you have to do that before boarding .You have to stick with the 6 pm. meal now(much too early)8.30 much too late.On boarding we were sent to have lunch in the Windjammer and while i was getting my lunch my husband ordered a white and a red wine. On my return the waiter and the restaurant manager were at the table telling my husband he had to pay.My husband told them that i had the final invoice in my hand luggage showing i had the wine and beer package.I had my lunch on the table and they wanted to see the invoice which i found unacceptable. After seeing it but still insisted we sign for the drinks as apparently we were not on the system 25 dollars (£17).I found this extremely embarrassing.We went and queued at customer service and i demanded a void slip. This came but the young man said that we could only have wine up to 8 dollars on our package. This proves to me that if you ask for just a wine without a package you get sold the expensive one. Drinks without a package are extremely expensive. eg.A bottle of Bud is £4. The ship itself was glamorous and clean. The food in The Windjammer was fine.We ventured once into the Saphire dining room but I personally could not put up with the waiter who kept bending down and talking into my ear asking me why i had not been at the table before etc. etc. He positively oosed over me . We didn't go back. If you like fried eggs go to the Windjammer where they cook to order.The restaurant eggs are terrible. For 3 days at sea there was not enough going on to keep us entertained. On other ships we have Ice carving and fruit carving demonstrations. Also how to make an animal out of a towel.The only things going on were payable extras or things to make you part with your money. Trying to find a seat around the ship in the evening was a nightmare..When we arrived at Madeira 3 days in we only had 3hrs there, P&O ship was there when we arrived and there when we left. Lanzarote‎ was pretty much the same. The good things on board were the ICE SHOW, the hypnotist the juggler and the violinist. which we both enjoyed. I personally thoroughly enjoyed the Flow rider and the lads could no have looked after me better. Where were the traditional cruising ice/fruit carvings.? No Barbie on deck.Sorry we wont be "luxury" cruising again Back to P&O or Thomson for us where what you pay for you get. Smaller but friendly.I really missed my cocktails but not willing to pay through the nose for one thank you. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
Having cruised before with RCI I was so looking forward to this cruise as it was only a short flight to Southhampton and the short journey to port. I was looking forward to the good service I received before. Not going into everything as ... Read More
Having cruised before with RCI I was so looking forward to this cruise as it was only a short flight to Southhampton and the short journey to port. I was looking forward to the good service I received before. Not going into everything as I am making a formal complaint to them in writing. I am a disabled person but discovered on board that their definition of this only related to those In wheelchairs and motor scooters. I did not receive the service I was used to on their others ships. In fact I felt they were very short staffed and a lot of the time in was organised chaos. In the Windjammer tables not cleared for a very long time and I'm not talking one or two tables here, staff in short supply. Making announcements for people to vacate their tables to make room for others when tables not cleared total joke. Our room attendant was brilliant as were the staff that served us in the Sapphire Dining room but apart from this I'm truly unhappy. Feel really sorry for those people who were unable to get off on Maderia due the 'hours' it took to organise disembarkation. Ship was not clear until 4 pm too late for people as due back by 6.30 pm. Shore excursions were good once you got to your coach and RCI staff no longer in charge. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
My wife and I really looked forward to this cruise, new ship and new ideas, well we don't think they have got it quite right yet. If you put 4,000 people on a ship then arrive in port after 7am and decide to leave before 5pm, what ... Read More
My wife and I really looked forward to this cruise, new ship and new ideas, well we don't think they have got it quite right yet. If you put 4,000 people on a ship then arrive in port after 7am and decide to leave before 5pm, what are you going to get? everyone trying to eat and its chaos. You can make a ship as big as you like but you must organise to suit large numbers of people all trying to eat at the same time. All ships now have their time in port reduced to save money, so the days of arrive at 6am and leave 7pm are disappearing, ok not all of the cruise was like this, but add on say at least 5/6 sea days and its chaos in the restaurants and self service dining as well. Dining, We liked the rotation dining but you can get rid of that my time dining when ever you like. Done it once and it's the same messing around booking a time and if not waiting in a queue when you turn up, no way thanks. So rotation dining what's it like, well fun same table number same waiters but different location, though after rotating round twice one does know what one's getting to eat before you get the menu. One fault they put shows on at 9.30 as well so its a mad rush to eat on normal dining and you can find yourself eating alone if the others on your table all go to a show at 9.30. They still have shows at 7 and 10.15 but the special ones are at 9.30. Well never mine cannot have it all right all the time. Overall not the best, ship a bit rocky up top and surprising noisy in places. Décor wonderful and no one seems to want to go to bed (and all over 50 plus) just so much going on in the bars. Will say night life the best of all cruises (14). Drink package all I can say is well you got to have money to burn or be a sponge to get you monies worth, well you are on holiday go for it. Would I go on this ship again, no the Radiant class still we feel is the best. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
When we arrived at Southampton the Embarkment process was brilliant , very fast and efficient especially if you had printed off e ticket. We were on the ship within 10-15 minutes. Once on ship could get drinks and food straight away. ... Read More
When we arrived at Southampton the Embarkment process was brilliant , very fast and efficient especially if you had printed off e ticket. We were on the ship within 10-15 minutes. Once on ship could get drinks and food straight away. Balcony room was great and wow bands and sea pass cards on bed ready for use. We choose classic dining at 6 pm and started in the American Diner where we were greeting with the waitress and barman who would follow us round the ship, this was great as the were full of useful information about goings on on the ship.then Chic, The grande which is where you dressed up (formal) then Silk. All restaurants were great. Food wonderful and if you have any special requests they dealt with it. I'm vegetarian and they sorted me out. Ask for the daily shot they come in a Royal Car shot glass that you can buy for 3 dollars. Poolside was good but sun beds were cramped up and was awkward to get on and off due to small space. Also sun beds were saved in the morning and left most of the day with towels on as guests off ship on trips. I did approach the towel man as Royal Caribean have a policy that if beds left for 30 mins unattended the towels would be removed. This didn't happen and towel man said management didn't enforce this. Very unfair as on sea days people searching for beds to sit on. We Will Rock You was amazing. Make sure you pre book these tickets as its ticket only. The comedians were both very entertaining. The only problem was that not many bar staff walking round to order drinks, which was disappointing. The North Star was amazing we did it at sea at it went over the ship and views were brill. long queues between 3/4 - 1 hour wait but well worth it. I-fly great fun. The shops are very expensive. The ports that we went to- most had a shuttle service rangeing from 8 dollars to 10 dollars. Lanzarote or as we named it Lanzagrotty not much there and shops were shut when we got there. Madeira brilliant lovely place to visit we used the shuttle bus that drops you in the town and then did a taxi tour which was great as he took us all around and waited for us at each stop. a must is the baskets that speed down roads. Als t he cable cars. Gran Canaria was mostly shut and sleepy so not much to do. Lisbon was great good shops and bars. Bilbao was the best port. Beautiful place and do the open top bus as you get to see the sights. Staff on ship very helpful, didn't see many officers walking around. My husband wanted to send me flowers so went to guest relations to be told they don't do them Health and Safety. Perhaps they should buy artificial ones as its very romantic to have flowers. The staff who looked after us were the best Ruchal the waitress and Dorata the Maitre Dee and Ellisson the barman and Brian Hamilton who attended the state room. The ship is very impressive but it did have a lot of movement but the weather was against us. The ship is very busy due to lots of guest. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
We had a very positive embarkation experience. Pretty seamless and well organised. On board in less than 20 minutes, as a result of online check-in. Highly recommend this method. Very pleased with our cabin....until stepping out on the ... Read More
We had a very positive embarkation experience. Pretty seamless and well organised. On board in less than 20 minutes, as a result of online check-in. Highly recommend this method. Very pleased with our cabin....until stepping out on the balcony on deck 6 to find we were overlooking the smoking area. Having taken a lot of time and trouble looking at the deck plans before booking, nowhere was this shown on the deck plan, and there is no way we would have chosen this particular cabin. However, we spoke to Jose in guest services immediately and he asked if we would be patient and wait till Monday morning when he could speak to the booking agents of no show passengers. True to his word at 10 am the following morning he secured us a comparable cabin on deck 9 with no extra cost incurred. So,thank you RC your service was exemplary, and we had no further problems. We like the dynamic dining experience, choosing to dine in a different restaurant each evening, sometimes booking, sometimes just turning up at a time to suit us, depending on what we chose to do each evening.The food was good and we found the choices very adequate. Service was sometimes a bit hit and miss but we were never kept waiting long. On the whole no real complaints. We enjoyed the shows, Spectras Cabaret was excellent and we managed to see it twice. We Will Rock You was okay, just not our taste. The Gift was very well performed and the scene changes were amazing. With the exception of comedian Steve Womack, who was appalling, all the evening headliner entertainment was most enjoyable. The IFlY experience was excellent and we also managed that twice. The solarium is a lovely place to relax and we enjoyed that facility on cruising days. There were a variety of activities on board so so something for everyone. We are social ballroom/Latin dancers and we had some really good classes taken by Sunny and David. Lovely people, instructive, lively and fun. There was also social dancing from 6-7.30 each evening, but the music was dictated by RC and was not entirely easy tempos to dance to. RC should really consult ballroom instructors in order to ensure a good selection of music. Several times the relevant people were approached but it was only on the last evening did we actually have a good selection of music which was downloaded from a laptop. I appreciate us dancers were in the minority but we're sure future dancing cruisers would benefit. We were disappointed with Tenerife, docking in Santa Cruz and having our beach transfer cancelled due to adverse weather conditions we decided to go walkabout on our own. Open top bus trip was pretty boring and took forever as this is a big city. It rained heavily in Madeira but it did not stop us enjoying the basket toboggan and the cable car. However not enough free time to enjoy Funchal itself. We loved Gran Canaria and did an organised trip to Puerto Mogan and return along the coastal road calling in at Maspalomas to see the sand dunes. Plenty of free time in Las Plamas upon our return. Very enjoyable, lovely beach, cafes, bars and restaurants etc...Lanzarote not to our taster either , very touristy beach resorts. However our stops in Vigo, Lisbon and Bilbao were super. Lovely to just find your own way around and explore all the amazing sights, stopping for wine or coffee breaks in the numerous cafes and bars. Overall we really enjoyed our cruise. The Anthem is a lovely ship and you can fill your days admirably with all the activities, eateries, shows etc..... It is after all your cruising experience and you just have to embrace it. People keep comparing the Anthem to the Independence. if you want that same experience then choose the same ship each time. Each one should be taken on its own merits and the Anthem has that in abundance. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
Recently returned from canary cruise, this was our 8th cruise with royal caribbean but first on anthem of the seas. The embarkation was excellent, fast and stress free. This is quite a new ship and is very big but easy to navigate ... Read More
Recently returned from canary cruise, this was our 8th cruise with royal caribbean but first on anthem of the seas. The embarkation was excellent, fast and stress free. This is quite a new ship and is very big but easy to navigate your way around. The big plus about this ship (and every other royal caribbean ship we've been on) is the staff, all staff from bar staff, stateroom attendants, waiters & waitresses, entertainment staff, cleaners, customer sevices and the especially man who assists with internet & technology issues are very polite, helpful and will do everything they can to help. The quality of the food in the restaurants is very good,- we ate in the grande, devinly decadence, silk & chic.- (the windjammer was the best buffet food we've had on a royal caribbean ship) The cabin was spacious, clean and had all you would need, including a kettle. The public areas were very clean and well maintained The entertainment was excellent. All R.C. shows are well choreographed and entertainig, the comedians and comedian/juggler were brilliant, and guest singers were very good. Our favourite place was the music hall with the excellent live bands. The only negatives were- deckchairs - packed very tight together & all full, this was an issue especially as the best places were taken early the different drinks packages could confuse as prices weren't always available, but the staff would always help you if you asked. The excursions we done were- Madeira where we went on the cable car & toboggan, Gran Canaria - camel ride in maspalomas Lisbon by land and water all these excursions i would recommend as all tour guides are helpful, informative, professional and good fun Overall this is an excellent ship with brilliant staff and very good entertainment I would have rated this ship 5 stars if not for the deckchairs Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
This was our second cruise, the first having been 6 years ago onboard the Independence of the Seas. We booked with great excitement way back at the beginning of the year before the Anthem was even finished being built and then found as ... Read More
This was our second cruise, the first having been 6 years ago onboard the Independence of the Seas. We booked with great excitement way back at the beginning of the year before the Anthem was even finished being built and then found as the months went by all the negative whingey reviews posted about this ship gradually eroded our excitement and happiness until early this summer we were on the point of cancelling! Well what I can say is that I am so very glad we didn't listen and instead decided to follow our first instincts and judge for ourselves. I can safely say the 2 weeks on Anthem of the Seas to the Canaries, Spain and Portugal has been the best holiday I've ever had. The ship is wonderful, beautifully fitted out, a great selection of bars and restaurants, awe inspiring areas such as 270 which had to be seen to be believed and was one of my favourite parts of the ship. spacious extremely comfortable staterooms, a great friendly, helpful and attentive crew. First class service with a smile all the way from the cleaning crew (they are clearly very proud of the new ship and are constantly cleaning, hovering, dusting, washing the Windows (inside and out) all to keep it sparkling and new and looking as vibrant and attractive, through to them stateroom attendants, bar staff, waiting staff, entertainment staff and cruise director, the ships officers and everyone else onboard.. Truly a gorgeous place to be. Unlike some reviewers we didn't have any problems getting a drink a in bar or finding a sunny sheltered corner to sit and enjoy the views with a book or simply soak up the sunshine. On most ports we took advantage of the shuttle bus service which was a very cost effective and convienent way to explore the destinations on your own which is our preference over organised excursions. We tried most of the wide selection of restaurants on board (including the Windjammer) and enjoyed a varied selection of food all of which was cooked well, arrived hot and was very enjoyable. We especially enjoyed eating breakfast in the outside area at the back of the Windjammer and never had a difficulty finding a table. The entertainment was first class, we especially enjoyed We will Rock You and Spectra's Cabaret which really showcased the flexibility of 270. Also we liked the small almost ad hoc shows out on by the bar Staff and kitchen staff too great fun. All in all I would say please don't only listen to the negative reviews, don't let them put you off taking a chance of exploring and enjoying the beautiful Anthem of the Seas. Go with a positive attitude, be friendly and polite to the crew and your fellow passengers, enjoy all the amenities and joy of the spaces that the ship offers, don't worry about being 'squashed' as even on sea days we found it to feel mush less crowded than certainly the Independance was as its a bigger ship and they've designed so you really don't feel hemmed in or as if you're at sea with 4000 other people. Please just go and enjoy all it has to offer and you'll have a fabulous time! Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
This was the second time on the Anthem this year. We were on the ship for the maiden voyage in April and couldn't fault anything. We had a great cruise just perfect. Our holiday in October was a bit different. Embarkation was ... Read More
This was the second time on the Anthem this year. We were on the ship for the maiden voyage in April and couldn't fault anything. We had a great cruise just perfect. Our holiday in October was a bit different. Embarkation was quick, and the cabin was clean. I noticed that the ship looked scruffy and dirty in some areas. Windjammer restaurant, tables were dirty and food on floor. One day when we went for our dinner there was no cutlery. We also had a drinks package, but you were charged for water. We were also charged for a couple of drinks and when we pointed it out the waiter was very rude. Entertainment was good, We will Rock You, The Gift and Spectres Cabaret being excellent but the house band Rock the boat, good first time we saw them but this time they looked like they couldn't be bothered. Luke Arrowsmith the cruise director, dull and boring. I wouldn't have believed the negative reviews about the Anthem but now I have experienced some of them. Disembarkation was fine. Royal Carribean needs to get their act together. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
The Anthem of the seas is a beautiful modern ship its spotlessly clean and has the wow factor the dinning options are brilliant and you eat in a different restaurant every night, don't bother with the supplement restaurants, ... Read More
The Anthem of the seas is a beautiful modern ship its spotlessly clean and has the wow factor the dinning options are brilliant and you eat in a different restaurant every night, don't bother with the supplement restaurants, Wonderland is lovely to look at but its a rather expensive gimmick chops grille very nice but no better than the complimentary restaurants. Also why has rci decided to put Johnny rockets outside? with no singing or dancing very disappointed. The bars and entertainment are good especially 270 the windjammer has the right name jammer it is like feeding time at the zoo crowded with not enough seats. Overall had a good holiday went with friends and met some really nice people who enhanced our experience, BUT found the staff in the Bolaros bar very rude with no manners at all tried couple of times same treatment so was put off, staff in Michaels pub rude didn't make any eye contact when we ordered our drinks the lady in the perfume shop rude, and a few of the staff serving in the many many sales all rude, also went up to hairdressers to buy some hairspray they looked at me as if they'd never heard of it said they didn't sell it and stared at me, this ship is geared up for you to spend money at every turn, sales of rubbish and watches after watches sales bingo at %0 dollars plus most things are at an extra cost. I feel this ship hasn't enough staff queuing and waiting is the norm also the rooms are narrow very nice but small. I've been on lots of cruises and wouldn't go back on this ship if you like crowded decks no where to sit on top deck if the sun comes out and enjoy jostling and queuing this ship is for you Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
Wife and I (in our sixties) just got back from canaries cruise on Anthem of the Seas had a midship balcony stateroom on deck 10 which was lovely inside BUT had constant noise outside our door from toilets flushing from what I think were ... Read More
Wife and I (in our sixties) just got back from canaries cruise on Anthem of the Seas had a midship balcony stateroom on deck 10 which was lovely inside BUT had constant noise outside our door from toilets flushing from what I think were toilets on deck 11, this was through daytime and very annoying during all hours of the night. Bars were ok, we thought Boleros the best, Michaels pub was usually practically empty and you couldn't get a seat in the Music Hall downstairs unless you were in there for 7.30pm 'ish!! We are Diamond members and found a lack of waiters serving drinks especially on the upper pool decks and generally found that the staff were not as accommodating as on other RCI ships. Dining in restaurants didn't suit us, we prefer the traditional dining in the main dining rooms as opposed to different restaurant venues. Although loyal RCI cruisers we wouldn't go on this ship again too much technology not always a good thing and we think the technology has resulted in less staff on board, we prefer the Oasis class and smaller ships. Anyway try it see what you think. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
After reading several mixed reviews about the Anthem of the Seas, we didn't know what to expect. However, everything about this new ship is spot on. Boarding was very quick (about 10 minutes). Our balcony stateroom was on deck 12 had ... Read More
After reading several mixed reviews about the Anthem of the Seas, we didn't know what to expect. However, everything about this new ship is spot on. Boarding was very quick (about 10 minutes). Our balcony stateroom was on deck 12 had plenty of room for the two of us and the balcony was also quite large, too. The entertainment was first class throughout the cruise with the highlight being the 'We will rock you' show which was delivered to a West End standard. The two 70 area at the back of the ship delivers stunning views of the sea during the day and then at night transforms into an amazing technology entertainment area. We went on the ships 'North Star' which delivers panoramic views of both the ship and the sea. We opted for the dynamic dining having pre-booked restaurants and times and everything worked liked clockwork. The food in all of our four chosen restaurants was of exceptional quality with a large choice daily menu. The service of every member of staff on board was excellent at all times and nothing was ever too much trouble. Would we travel on this ship and with Royal Caribbean again? Yes, without a doubt! We had fantastic weather throughout our cruise with very calm sea conditions. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
This was my third cruise with Royal Caribbean so my holiday on this new ship came with high expectations. Cabins are greatly improved better décor with much more space and storage. Service as always with RCCL was excellent although staff ... Read More
This was my third cruise with Royal Caribbean so my holiday on this new ship came with high expectations. Cabins are greatly improved better décor with much more space and storage. Service as always with RCCL was excellent although staff shortages were noticed by myself and others, Entertainment on the ship was exceptional and the 270 theatre was out of this world and highly recommended. Staff around the ship are very pleasant and extremely helpful. All the swimming pools are now heated so no more ice cold salt water pools. Outdoor Sunbeds are as usual first come first serve so be quick. Be advised there is a $25 dollar charge to your sea pass account should you not return any of the pool towels. Dining is very good although remember to book early due to high demand. Shopping on the ship is varied although a lot of the shops seem to cater to the more wealthier passengers. The port merchant did not seem to stock as much as they have on other ships I have been on. Also noticeable among the passengers was the lack of parades or theme nights have been on offer in the promenade areas on other ships. On the Anthem it is non existent. The Seaplex centre offers a variety of activities such as roller skating and dodgem cars which are very good. if travelling with youngsters or teens this ship is ideal. The North Star viewing pod is a definite must for all passengers. Smoking areas are reduced to a small section by the jumbo screen on deck 14 and a glass shelter outside on deck 5, Wi-Fi is available with good speed and coverage but at nearly $200 for the duration of the cruise its a little overpriced, changes are noticeable from other ships for example café promenade is no longer open 24 hours and Breakfast delivered to your stateroom is no longer free nor are most of the items on the rooms service menu plus the additional charge that is added if you order is now after 11pm not midnight as on previous ships, it is also worth noting that prices for all shore excursions are considerably more expensive than advertised in RCCLs online brochure. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
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