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303 Royal Caribbean Canary Islands Cruise Reviews

We booked the cruise (2 adjoining Cabins 8610 and 8612) almost as soon as the itinerary was released to Iglu who we regularly use as our booking agents. We understood that early booking gives the best choice of cabins and the best ... Read More
We booked the cruise (2 adjoining Cabins 8610 and 8612) almost as soon as the itinerary was released to Iglu who we regularly use as our booking agents. We understood that early booking gives the best choice of cabins and the best prices/offers. We insisted that we must have two adjoining cabins with balconies so that we could open the divider between the cabins, a feature we have used successfully in the past. Upon entry to our cabins we found a steel section between the balconies, no divider to open. At this stage although a disappointment we were obviously unable to do anything to remedy the situation. Having arranged MyTime dining, I was advised that some weeks before the cruise I would be able to reserve the dining arrangements for our party of four for the entire cruise on-line via RC’s website. I managed to reserve for the 1st night but the system would not let me reserve for any of the following nights. I repeated this exercise unsuccessfully until the last few weeks approaching the start of the cruise. I decided to contact RC by telephone to try and complete the dining arrangements. I spoke to a guy who apologised and advised the on-line My Time dining reservations system was not working. I gave him all our reservation information as requested and he assured me that the information was now set up and nothing else would be required. Within minutes of arriving in our cabins I decided to telephone the Dining Room reservations section to ensure our previously arranged dining plan had been acted upon. The person I spoke to had no knowledge of the earlier conversation/arrangements that I had agreed on-shore but having advised him of our dining requests we had no further issues. Daytime Dining: We gave up attempting breakfast in the Windjammer after one try. We didn’t expect the inconvenience of having to walk around the seating area endlessly with tray in hands trying to find an empty table for our party. Many of the 4 person tables were occupied by 1 or 2 people only. This situation was remedied somewhat when we transferred to the Self-Service Breakfast in Deck 3’s dining room. This we did for the remainder of the cruise. This entire debacle in the Windjammer was repeated during lunchtime, but we decided to live with the inconvenience as we didn’t want the service provided in the alternative restaurants. Sun-Deck: The other male member of our party is a keen walker so he was up on the Sun Deck walking the “circuit” very early. When the weather was good (on most mornings) he observed the majority of sun-loungers already covered by “reserved” towels. Some of these loungers would remain unused (but reserved) throughout the day, although feeble attempts were made to deter this practice. There was no space available for any additional sunbeds. The walking/jogging circuit was marked “5 laps = one mile” and although this seemed on the short side, we were advised by chance on the penultimate day of the cruise that after the recent ship upgrade the circuit had been shortened and now 8 laps was equal to 1 mile. (Why wasn’t the info changed when the circuit was shortened ?) The sun loungers often well-encroached the circuit thus causing obstructions for the users. Entertainment: The resident entertainers we found to be very poor, it was perhaps good to complement them with Guest Artists. Bars, Lounges (Evenings) : On our previous RC cruise we had found a comfortable area on one of the top decks at the rear of the boat with seating space, good waiter service and live entertainment throughout every evening. On this recent cruise noting all the lower deck bars/lounges full to overflowing we decided to venture up to the equivalent on the Explorer which was Dizzy’s. Here on most visits we managed to find a table/seats for our party. The downside was NO live entertainment, not even background music, just background conversation until around 11-00 pm when a DJ who was less entertaining than a cardboard cut out would appear, stand totally silent (like he didn’t want to be there) and play the most inappropriate music for the seated audience. The bar service which on the Independence was excellent, was almost totally non-existent in all of the drinking areas and on many occasions drinks could only be obtained by going to the bar oneself. Sometimes the behind the bar area was not even manned. The entertainment/quiz shows provided by the resident entertainment staff always seemed very hurried with little audience interaction and again provided by people who appeared didn’t really want to be there. Drinks Package: We were not offered a free “Drinks Package” when we made our initial booking but were advised we could purchase on-board. Upon consideration,we agreed that, as moderate drinkers, we could not justify purchasing drinks packages at around $50 dollars per person per day. The drinks prices on-board are considerably high. We talked to many people during the cruise who had been offered a “Free” drinks package when their booking was made and felt this to be very unfair when compared to our circumstances and would suggest that early booking provides little or no advantage and probably disadvantage. We were also very disappointed in having to pay an 8% extra tax amount when cruising within Spanish waters and would suggest this could be absorbed by RC. As can be noted from the comments above we were very disappointed with the cruise in its entirety and would not recommend RC to any interested parties based on our cruise. You will note lots of areas/activities/aspects of the cruise I have purposely not mentioned, they were generally ok but at a lower standard than our previous RC cruise. The issues seem to be: Not enough bars/entertainment areas Not enough staff in all areas Too many passengers Concentrating on money making at all costs Lower standards Re-think of the Photograph area where there is much wasted space which could be used to ease overcrowding in other areas. We will think very carefully before deciding on our next cruise holiday. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
Overall I should be giving 4 stars but this would be too may whereas 3 is maybe too little as it was above average. In fact in some departments its absolutely amazing and in others dreadful. The ship is big and impressive but doesnt ... Read More
Overall I should be giving 4 stars but this would be too may whereas 3 is maybe too little as it was above average. In fact in some departments its absolutely amazing and in others dreadful. The ship is big and impressive but doesnt really feel that big once on board. Royal Caribbean had it down to a tee for boarding etc. The cabin was immaculate and very nice and modern. We had an outside balcony. The food takes some getting used too if you've cruised before as its now lots of different restaurants, some where good and some where bad. The best for me was Chops Grille and Wonderland with the worst being Jamie Olivers, I would really recommend you dont eat there as its just a name and the food was bordering on rubbish ! the worst meal we had by far. The big disappointment for me on this cruise was the shows. We go and see each and every show over the cruise but on this cruise we had 2 nights without a show due to the shows being repeated, now 2 nights of no shows was maybe acceptable but we also had 3 shows that would have not got through the early stages of Britains got Talent ! The Hypnotist and Magician where almost embarrassing to watch never mind we saw the exact same hypnotist show lat year :(. The we will rock you show started off slow but did end up being very good, we didnt get t see the The gift as we got held up having a meal in Chops Grille Chefs Table which was also annoying as we where told that would be finished in time to see the show :( I simply cannot really put my finger on why I would not want to go on Anthem Of The Seas again but I wouldn't. I much preferred Independence or Celebrity Eclipse. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
My husband and I wanted to do something different and decided to do the Canary Islands on Royal Caribbean's Anthem of the Seas. The ship is huge, but pretty easy to navigate once you figure out where everything is. Our cabin was a ... Read More
My husband and I wanted to do something different and decided to do the Canary Islands on Royal Caribbean's Anthem of the Seas. The ship is huge, but pretty easy to navigate once you figure out where everything is. Our cabin was a balcony, which had ample storage and a nice layout. The multiple eateries were very good, but it took some getting used to having to make reservations for dinner if you didn't want to do the buffet. The entertainment was exceptional. We went to all three shows, Spectra, We Will Rock You and The Gift. The production, considering the small venue and moving ship, was fabulous! We enjoyed The Gift the most, even though they had a small set issue which caused a delay. Everyone on board went out of their way to make our vacation memorable, and we really appreciated it. I only wish two things... 1) that Royal Caribbean and Celeb would share perks as I have cruised Celebrity in the past and have two additional cruises already scheduled with them. 2) that Royal Caribbean still sold open cruises when you are sailing. I would have purchased a package, but I am already scheduled through February 2017 and I need one after that when my son graduates college, which was not available yet. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
The Anthem of the seas is Royal Caribbean newest Quantum Class Ship. Boarding at Southampton was very quick and easy, on board in approx 20 minutes. First impressions were "wow" amazing ship. Very large and spacious, clean, and ... Read More
The Anthem of the seas is Royal Caribbean newest Quantum Class Ship. Boarding at Southampton was very quick and easy, on board in approx 20 minutes. First impressions were "wow" amazing ship. Very large and spacious, clean, and the art work on board is amazing from heartbeat chandeliers to moving pictures, Robot bar tenders and huge Giraffe? The staff/crew in General were very helpful showing us where to go as we constantly got lost. This ship has the new dining system Dynamic Dining, it was very confusing, were booked different resteraunts on line before traveling, but it makes no difference as you have to eat somewhere so booked or not they let you in, the menus are nothing like we read online before the cruise and we found them rather dissapointing. In One of the resteraunts there was a long black hair in my starter, I complained and they gave me another, in another restraint I ordered rolled fish stuffed with crab, as I took my first forkful I bit into the very hard end of a crab claw and broke my bottom tooth, I complained and they took it away and the Cheif came out and apologised, then the next night in The Grand resteraunts which you had to wear formal attire for, there was a large paper ticket in my jacket potato? Again I sent it back and they gave us a free glass of champagne, as I was with my elderly parents and handicapped daughter they didn't drink this. When you enter these cramped busy resteraunts they follow a table plan and ask the waiter/waitress to take you in to the table , We were constantly walked across the resteraunts looking for the table and back again amongst guests trying to eat, it was like Piccadilly station very frustrating for us let alone the waiting staff who had no clue where they were going, very unprofessional. I complained to Guset Services and was seen by the Matrede who offered us a meal in a VIP resteraunts and said he would drop by to see how it was going, he never did. Also the next day after the chipped tooth saga I went to guest services and said what do I do about insurance who pays Royal Caribbean or me as It was their fault and quite honestly no one had a clue, I was sentdown to deck 2 to medical, they sent me back to guest services and they sent me back again, and gave me a copy letter? so unprofessional for such a huge company, the situation was never resolved so I have to deal with it this week. I filled out a mid cruise customer survey form and gave it to guest services and said I would like some sort of feedback please before I leave the ship, this never happened. This ship has too many passengers and not enough sun loungers for sea days and results in scrapping around early to secure a sunbed while 2go to breakfast and the other 2save the beds. Reminding me of a cheap Hotel, .they are also far too close to each other resulting in having to stand on them to get on/off. The shows are very good but if you don't pre book be prepared not to get in, this did not apply to Spectres cabaret as we had previously pre booked and when arrived found there was nowhere to sit (2 x 80 year olds and a handicapped daughter) there was a whole area empty and when we approached it were told this area is for gold members I said "I have a gold card " I was looked up and down and told Solid Gold " hence no where to sit, inthe end he let us in. But it was very uncomfortable for us. The Royal Promonard on this ship just a short parade of high end desighner shops Watches, Diamonds, clothing. Not enough for such a hugh ship resulting in a very busy area inthe evenings. All in all there were a lot of problems and I felt very disappointed, I have since been sent a feedback email from Royal Caribbean and have sent my comments, asking them to please read them and email me back out of curtesy, so far nothing. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
Unfortunately, this ship didn't really work for me. I tried my best to like it but there were just too many things wrong with it for me to totally enjoy it, although I still had a great holiday. The main problem for me is that it ... Read More
Unfortunately, this ship didn't really work for me. I tried my best to like it but there were just too many things wrong with it for me to totally enjoy it, although I still had a great holiday. The main problem for me is that it has hardly any outside space and certainly nowhere outside where you can get a bit of peace and quiet. Deck 15 is the only outdoor sunbathing area and this is shared with the 2 lane so called jogging track - which isn't really a jogging track as its the only place people can walk around the deck so its only suitable for jogging after about 8 at night or before 7 in the morning. The sunbeds are packed so close together that they are actually touching each other with no room for bags or drinks by the side and they are tied down so that they cannot be moved. The back of the bed is up against the side rail and the end of the bed is right up against the border of the jogging track - consequently there are hundreds of people passing and bumping into the end of the bed all day long. Because of the indoor solarium at the front of the ship there's no room for anything other than the jogging/walking track around the front of Deck 15 from about two thirds of the way down. There's music blaring out either from the pool in the middle or from the climbing wall and flowrider at the back. Its so loud that you cannot listen to your own music through your headphones. Its all just really awful and stressful. You can normally walk or sit around the whole of the outside of cruise ships on deck 4 or 5. Not on the Anthem though. You can go out on Deck 5 but you can only walk about 1/2 way down each side before its blocked off to passengers - you cannot get to the front or the back. There are also lifeboats all down the side of Deck 5 so you cannot really see the sea. There are 6 sun chairs down each side. All the outside space that there would normally be is taken up by the massive indoor solarium - which is beautifully done but is indoors with a constant humid atmosphere. Everyone in there appears comatose! Or by the Seaplex - again a great space but caters for only about a fifth of the passengers - hosting basketball, football, trapeze and dodgems. The 270 entertainment space at the back of the ship is impressive, everything else is standard RCI cruise ship stuff. Sorry to sound so negative - I did have a great holiday but the ship just didn't work for me. I'm sure its fantastic for those that like lots of adrenaline type activities on the one hand, or those that like to sit indoors for hours on end falling asleep on the other, but its not for me. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
This was my 8th cruise and my 5th with RCL. The ship is amazing but it is by far the worst one I have been on for stability. Admittedly going through the Bay of Biscay it had 12 foot waves but even when it was only a slight swell it ... Read More
This was my 8th cruise and my 5th with RCL. The ship is amazing but it is by far the worst one I have been on for stability. Admittedly going through the Bay of Biscay it had 12 foot waves but even when it was only a slight swell it rocked ! It didn't help when friends went for sea sickness pills that the shop had run out ! Anyway, onto the positives: - The cabin was larger than usual and well laid out. The virtual balcony also worked well. - The 270 lounge is amazing and the screens/backdrops have to be seen to be believed - The ifly machine was so good we went on it twice - The north star, although good was a one-trip wonder and constantly had a 30 min wait - The food quality was constantly high although the waiters still needed a map to find the tables - All the headliner shows were excellent - The 'We will rock you' show was excellent, Spector had great special effects The not so positives: - The central promenade of independence has gone the central shopping area doesn't flow as well - the shops are very expensive - Hublot, Cartier, Tag etc etc so unless you've got several thousand pound to spend don't look - The Gift show was obviously an extravagant production but most people we spoke to came out and said 'what was that all about' - this ship is obviously aiming for the 30-60 age bracket so if your over 60 its maybe not for you (unless you like surfing, sky diving, rock climbing etc etc) Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
Background - This is only the second cruise for my wife and I ( first was 2 years ago on norweigan epic) - this time we travelled with my wifes parents. We are in our 40's and they are in their 70's (but young at heart!!). I ... Read More
Background - This is only the second cruise for my wife and I ( first was 2 years ago on norweigan epic) - this time we travelled with my wifes parents. We are in our 40's and they are in their 70's (but young at heart!!). I booked this cruise about a year ago and have been following the progress of anthem until her launch and since she started cruising with interest. The ports (canary islands , madeira ,lisbon , la coruna and vigo ) appealed to us and the lure of a brand new ship sealed the deal! Embarkation - We flew from Belfast the morning of the cruise (this was flights arranged with royal as a package - normally I would prefer to fly the day before to allow for any delays ) and all was on time. Waited about 3/4 of an hour for the coach to the docks and finally arrived at the pier at about 10.45am. Embarkation was super easy - checked in by lady with an ipad in 2 minutes. My credit card information which I had registered prior to going had not shown up so I had to go to a desk to get that registered but only took an additional 5 minutes and then it was straight on board! Probably about 15 minutes from entering the terminal to onboard and would have been 10 mins had the credit card info been ok. First Impressions - We entered on deck 5 and were greeted with a glass of champagne and canapes - my first impression was how beautiful and classy the ship felt and this was reinforced every day as we explored her more. Had the feel of a 5 star hotel. We went to the windjammer for lunch and cabins were ready just before 1pm and luggage was already there. We had a fun experience when one of the glass elevators stuck between floors when we were in it - felt like animals in a zoo! Took about 15mins for engineers to fix the elevator and release us! Cabin - we had cabin 10954 - a D7 balcony. Cabin was well designed with plenty of storage and cases fitted under the bed. The bed felt hard when I first sat on it but actually proved to be very comfortable and we slept well the entire cruise. The balcony was a decent size. Must give a mention to our room steward Marlow. He came to introduce himself to us the first day and was absolutely brilliant - nothing too much trouble. Note that this ncabin is directly outside a staff service door but we were not disturbed in any way by noise from this except on the last night when cases were being collected. Dining - I had booked several restaurants in advance. We tried american icon , chic and the grande. The food was good quality and the service very good but my wife and her parents like plain food and felt that their choices were limited (whereas I would have been happy to try everything on the menu ) so we cancelled some future bookings and used windjammer instead where I was surprised at the quality and choice available. Definietly recommend afternoon tea in windjammer - the scones with clotted cream are a must and don't miss the fresh baked cookies all day - several varieties. We ate in chops grille twice - the filet mignon was as good as any I have had - we all felt it was well worth the cover charge. I tried Jamies Italian for lunch (back to a cover charge - $20 for lunch , $30 for dinner) it was excellent. Sorrentos pizza was quite good for what it is and definitely recommend cafe at 270 for lunch - the roast beef sandwiches are very good. On a sepatate note I found dynamic dining easy to work with - reservations were easily changed and it was possible to just walk up to restaurants with no reservations and get seated without too much of a wait. I spoke to some people who were not keen on it and preferred the traditional main dining room but it worked for me and I prefer it. I had to change both our chops grille bookings for various reasons and this was easily accomplished. Public areas - I liked the general feel and layout of anthem. The esplanade is where most of the bars etc are located and flows well. Our favourite nitetime haunt after shows was music hall or schooner bar both of which had some good music on most nights. 270 was a fantastic space - very versatile - great for chilling out with a book or listen to a lecture or see a show or have lunch - love it. For such a big ship with so many passengers it was always easy to find a quiet spot to get away from it all -some nice quirky seating scattered about! The pool areas are well laid out - the indoor pool with a retractable roof is great - works for both cool and hot days and we could always find a bed without any trouble -worth noting that on hot days a bed around the main outdoor pool is hard to come by - wasnt what we wanted anyway so no hassle for us! The solarium is fantastic - just beautiful. Shops were a bit of a disappointment - very high end. I heard a lot of guests complaining about this - rarely saw anyone in some of them except when there was a sale event on. They would benefit from some more reasonably priced outlets with more mainstream clothes , jewellery ,gifts etc (although I did manage to pick up a very nice Guess wristwatch for a good price). Entertainment - one word - fantastic! On a 12 night cruise we saw a different show every night and on some nights 2 ! With a couple of exceptions (matter of personal taste) all were brilliant and the music in bars etc afterwards was fab - rock the boat are a brilliant band! Special note for we will rock you - west end quality show. Service - we found service to be of a very high standard. All crew we encountered (with the usual couple of exceptions you find everywhere!) were happy and eager to please. Music hall could have done with a few more waiters to take orders but the ones who were there worked their socks off. As mentioned our room steward was superb. Guest services were efficient - staff with ipads walked the queue if there was one and tried to reslove minor issues . Activities - I think it depends what you like as to your opinion of the activites on anthem. We did not get enough time to do everything we wanted but I spoke to some people who thought their was nothing to do? Did ifly , bumper cars , north star etc etc and wanted to do some of them more than once but not enough time. Their seemed to be lots of quizzes and trivia going on and I know quest was done at least once in seaplex. Seaplex is great for kids (young and old!) - always lots going on. Internet cost $270 for 12 days for 2 devices unlimited and was very fast except for a couple of occasions when coming out of port for some reason. I spent hours just strolling around the ship and always found something I hadn't spotted before. Ports - We did private tours in Lisbon (spain day tours - highly recommend) and madeira (danielmadeira taxis - again very good) both of which were great and a ship tour on Lanzarote which was ok but not great. Just did our own thing in the other ports . Madeira was our favourite but Vigo was a pleasant surprise. Wasn't that impressed with las palmas (did hoho bus). Summary - You can probably tell we loved anthem! Having said that I heard a good number of guests saying they preferred independence of the seas ( a british favourite) - I think its personal taste. Anthem has much to recommend it but I do recognise that it is different from what has gone before and may not be for everyone. There are quite a few things which incur an extra charge but the key to Anthem is to do your homework on her and know in advance what to budget for - that way there are no surprises. A lot of people who werent happy with their cruise expected her to be like any other RC ship and she is not. In my opinion she is a fantastic ship with a great crew and some amazing innovations and I hope I get a chance to sail on her or another quantum class ship in the future - please dont send them all to China! I am ROYAL CARIBBEAN convert! Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
This was my 11th cruise on Royal since 2008 and sixth in last three years so clearly loyal to royal.I would make the following comments made by our family party of four including one vegetarian. 1.vegetarian choices limited as always or ... Read More
This was my 11th cruise on Royal since 2008 and sixth in last three years so clearly loyal to royal.I would make the following comments made by our family party of four including one vegetarian. 1.vegetarian choices limited as always or none existent.Tofu or quorn protein supplement not available or a mystery in most restaurants on board.Promised that extra menu available for vegis by chefs but dining room including maître de not aware of this .Clearly a communication breakdown or someone's telling porkys. 2.Public areas claustrophobic.No space between sunbeds.If you want one near the pool make sure you bag one at 5am they've shifted to first come first served with no towel check out or in.Imagine the ensuing chaos any arguments that ensue.I pointed this out to pool staff but they shrugged their shoulders in resignation 3.Clearly this was not your usual happy crew but as usual they remain so professional. This is the reason I remain loyal to royal but for how long if technology and gimmicks result in staff cuts .No im not atechnophobe or over sixty but royal is its people not its multi million pound robots and gimmicks. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
Before going on our holiday on Anthem of The Seas I had read some very negative reports however I can only describe our cruise as fantastic from beginning to end. This is our 6th cruise with Royal Caribbean and whilst we have always ... Read More
Before going on our holiday on Anthem of The Seas I had read some very negative reports however I can only describe our cruise as fantastic from beginning to end. This is our 6th cruise with Royal Caribbean and whilst we have always enjoyed our holidays with them and the previous ships such as The Independence of The Seas myself and my husband felt this cruise was in a different class. The minute you step on board you cannot be anything other than impressed by the beautiful surroundings and the amazing facilities . We dined in all four of the complimentary restaurants our favourite was Chic but I have to say all 4 of these restaurants were of a very high standard and the service was excellent. We also dined in Chops Grill and Wonderland .Wonderland was a good experience but if you choose to do only 1 of the paying restaurants we would recommend Chops Grill the steaks were one of the best we have ever had. There have been many negative comments by previous cruisers around getting suitable dining times. We had booked all our restaurants prior to the cruise, however some of these did not fit in with our plans on our holiday and it could not have been simpler to change these times and indeed some of the restaurants. The restaurant staff did this for us and they were very helpful. The entertainment is fantastic especially We will Rock You, also the headliner acts were excellent. On an evening there was just so much to do sometimes it was a struggle to decide which show or venue to chose and I say this as a positive comment not negative. To,summarise I would say for those people who are booked or plan to book this ship this is a different style of Cruise mainly because you don't have the same dining room or waiter night on night. However you have more choice of the style of food you want to eat and it is a great experience to go to different restaurants each night. In order to enjoy this cruise to the max you need to embrace the change and try not to compare it to the previous style of cruising. This ship is a real treat to cruise on and I am certain we will do so again. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
We booked this cruise in Feb 2014 so had a long time to wait for the Anthem experience but we loved it. We had previously done 2 Royal Caribbean cruises from Barcelona on Serenade of the Seas and enjoyed them but we were excited about ... Read More
We booked this cruise in Feb 2014 so had a long time to wait for the Anthem experience but we loved it. We had previously done 2 Royal Caribbean cruises from Barcelona on Serenade of the Seas and enjoyed them but we were excited about trying a brand new ship with innovative features. We were not disappointed. I had done lots of research and read reviews of the first cruises on the Anthem so I would be prepared for everything so I was dismayed to discover just before we left home that somehow we had 2 copies of my husband's Set Sail pass but not one for me! However, there was no problem checking-in at Southampton as mine was printed out by very friendly, helpful staff. We arrived before 10.00, the whole embarkation process was very simple and we were soon on the ship enjoying some champagne. The Anthem is a great ship with lots to explore. We went to look at Seaplex soon after boarding and were pleased to see the Bumper Cars were already in action! Lots of fun but as indicated by the name, the idea is to bump into other cars, not dodge them! We drove the Bumper cars most days and were pleased to see there were lots of older people entering into the spirit of bumping! We liked Dynamic Dining. We'd done My Time Dining on previous cruises and it wasn't a problem to me to book restaurants in advance. We usually chose to eat between 6.45 -7.30 and never had to wait for a table even if we turned up early. We alternated American Icon, Chic and Silk, giving The Grand a miss because we don't like all that dressing up. We enjoyed all the meals and the service was generally very good. Meals never took the 2 hours you're advised to allow. We spoke to some people who didn't fancy Silk but we thought the staff there were the most attentive and we had good meals. One evening my husband ordered lamb curry. The meat was still on the bone but it was so tender it came off easily with no gristle or fat. At the end of the meal there was only a clean bone left on the plate - the Head waiter was so impressed, he took it to show the chef, who appreciated the compliment to his food. As for entertainment, there seemed to be things to cater for all tastes. We Will Rock You was brilliant and in a different way, so were The Gift and Spectra's Cabaret. I know some people have said they didn't 'get them' but rather than dwelling on the confusing story lines, they should be admired for their high production values, great singers and energetic dancers. We aren't sun worshippers so didn't get frustrated by the scramble for sunbeds around the pool. There were plenty of places around upper decks or inside to sit reading - 270 was a great lounge with drinks and snacks available. The robotic screens are great, as are the fantastic changing backdrops used in the evenings. I know the shore excursions are often over-priced but we like the convenience and booked them in advance to stagger the holiday costs. We bought the 5 excursion package (cheaper than buying individually) of scenic/panoramic tours of Lanzarote, Gran Canaria, Tenerife, Madeira and Vigo. We thought they all gave us good insight into the history and culture of the places as well as interesting stops. Of course, to appreciate the spectacular views, the coach takes some narrow twisting roads up steep hills so be prepared if you're not keen on sheer drops! We went on the North Star twice while in ports Lisbon and La Coruna. We queued for around 30 minutes, which I don't think is bad considering the pod only holds 14 people at a time. On sea days the wait can be longer so we avoided them. There are notices saying maximum weight of an individual passenger mustn't exceed 300lbs. There are scales and certain large people were being asked to step onto them, which seemed rather embarrassing, but we noticed on our second visit, everyone was being told to step onto the scales regardless of their size. Not a problem as the attendant hardly glances at the scales but it feels less discriminatory. There's lots more I could say about the ship and how much we enjoyed it, but this is probably enough to give you an impression. People have raved about the Independence Of the Seas so we have booked that ship for 2016 but I sincerely hope the Anthem returns to the UK in 2017 - we'll definitely be on her again! Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
Food Since you've already paid for the food on board this is important to both passengers and crew. On this ship's first cruise, people who like to eat alone complained about the system that Royal Caribbean had instituted ... Read More
Food Since you've already paid for the food on board this is important to both passengers and crew. On this ship's first cruise, people who like to eat alone complained about the system that Royal Caribbean had instituted and they changed the dining arrangement to respond - forgetting that there are a large group of passengers who DO like to meet and talk to other people, but who hadn't complained because they were content. On entering one of the restaurants no one asked if you would like to dine alone or mix with others - even when I made the point that it was a small thing for the staff to ask and achieve and would benefit the passengers. The only change that was made was that we were noted as wanting to mix. Instead of the common, one large restaurant used by other cruise ships, Royal Caribbean has 4 restaurants with different styles. The Grande, posh dress - American icon, US styled food - Chic, unusual combos - Silk, Eastern. There are speciality restaurants for passengers at extra cost per head. The Anthem of the Seas is a connected ship. Heavy on tech. But apparently low on software implementation. Their web page instructs passengers to use the on-line system to book their meals, but mentions that once on board you can vary or book meals by phone. So wanting to put down a marker for the restaurants that we preferred, I went on-line. There were NO bookings available in any of the complimentary restaurants at any time. It seemed unlikely that all the tables in all the restaurants were full, so I logged off and waited 3 days, then tried again. And Lo tables seemed to be available, hmm software bug or program error? The system was tiresome and hard work. It failed to refresh and you needed to log off and on again to see any changes. Many of our fellow passengers that we dined with also tried to do it on-line with the same results. Initial feel of the Anthem of the Seas This ship is seriously large. It's got stuff to keep most people happy. To keep the kids interested there's a 10 m tall giraffe called Gigi secured by a large life preserver, a food truck embedded in a wall and lots of play areas and kids games. To keep teens interested there's a teen only area, swimming pools, amusement arcade and the Internet. To keep the near middle aged happy, there's a gym, a pod viewing platform on an extendible arm, a wind tunnel that simulates sky diving, a dodgem/basketball court, rock climbing wall, 3 table tennis tables and a surf rider. To keep the retired happy, there's shows in 2 theatres, there's plenty of sun loungers and crosswords with sudoku for the logically minded. A music hall for rock and roll. Note: There's odd inclusions in the main theatre. It's got at least 10 columns that can block the view. Other ships don't. Also the stage is not viewable from all seats! If you have a VIP card you can get a good seat, right up to the start time. This is enforced by sweet looking Royal Caribbean staff. They basically inform you that you're not Important enough, not a VIP, not even an IP; just a P then. Conclusions Royal Caribbean seems to believe that large is better [probably in terms of cost effectiveness] and hasn't got a well integrated software system for the passengers. Oh yes and the cost of getting on-line is steep and in-line with business charges at expensive hotels. The Cruise June 1. Uneventful departure from Southampton, but there are gale warnings for the English Channel. June 2. A severe gale in the English Channel, force 9 Beaufort. The ships passenger information showed an apparent wind of hurricane force. Hmm another software error? The wind slackened during the night as we crossed the Bay of Biscay. June 3. Vigo, Spain. A longish slow climb to Vigo's original settlement, where there are a few re-created straw roofed huts. June 4. Arrived a Lisbon. We had pre-booked a hire car to drive to Sintra, Cascais and the Estoril Coast. We drove North, away from our destination to miss the infamous Lisbon traffic. What a result! The opposite lanes were at a standstill and we turned North East for a traffic free ride to Sintra. A walk around Sintra, which was submerged with other tourist buses and tourists and we left for Cabo da Roca. The most Eastern point of continental Europe. [Ireland does have more easterly points] June 5. Cruising to Lanzarote June 6. Ship's organised trip to Jameos del Agua and Mirador del Rio. Jameos del Agua and Mirador are both picturesque and well worth the trip. Jameos is a collapsed lava tunnel. June 7. Gran Canaria on a Sunday. As you expect most of it was shut, but we did find a place to buy a missing piece of electronics in a Chinese bargain store and enjoy a Spanish coffee con leche. June 8. For the second and last time we hired a car. The office was a pain to find but after we did all went well with the very picturesque journey to Mt Teide. Spain's tallest mountain/volcano is in the middle of Tenerife and on the day we didn't see any snow on the summit. We used a pre-purchased Cable Car round-trip ticket that took us up to 3,500 metres. Wow what thin air! June 9. Leaving Spanish territory, we sailed to Madeira (Funchal), Portugal. The stop here was short, so we decided to take the cable car to Monte. It's a mountain behind Funchal. I wrongly took advice that we could walk back to town and by the time we got off the 1 in 6 minimum gradient our legs were hurting badly. Although the only other way of descending [apart from the cable car] was on a hair raising toboggan guided by 2 muscular guys. Tonight we had a non-alcoholic dinner - not out of choice, but because the staff were so busy that they forgot to offer us any! What we didn't lack for was the usual suave manager who sliding passed gave us the customary comment "Everything Fine tonight?". He was mortified when he found my answer was "No, not really!" It is well known that while I will take a beer or glass of wine with my meal, I don't often buy a bottle of wine [the Holland America fiasco being the exception]. However it was after hearing my dismissive comments about 'not worrying about it' etc, that our 'host' returned with a free bottle of the house Chardonnay {to be delivered to our cabin} and the offer of a meal at the 'Coastal Kitchen' - a venue reserved for those with suites and gold cards. Oh how the rich and famous live! June 10. Cruising to {L}A Coruña June 11. This was a day for shopping and post-shopping chill out. We decided not to visit another lighthouse, albeit a Roman beauty. We've done our share. We entered a bar for a Caña of beer or two and some cokes. There we met some fellow cruisers who agreed with our assessment of the Anthem and recommended the Independence of the Seas. It's the third such recommendation. June 11. Cruising to Southampton. June 12. Successful shopping in Southampton and smooth drive home. Down sides The ship tries to be all things to passengers of all ages. It's a trick they didn't manage. Like all cruise lines, they set the price of the cruise to attract people and then use hard sell techniques on the captive audience. Most people expect to relax and spend a little more when on vacation, but what this cruise line does is to take that little and try to make it a lot. The share holders of the cruise lines must be trying to get more returns from their investment by pressing guests to increase their overall spend at the end of the cruise, hoping they'll forget the build-in gratuities and all the massive profit that is inherent with the shore trips and buying on a cruise ship. People eventually do make comparisons. For instance, which is the better deal - a 5-star hotel with a variety of attractions nearby and take it or leave it choices OR a 5-star room with limited attractions, high cost alcohol and a montage of quickly passing islands. Some inside cabins now sport a virtual window that shows the 'real world' outside; how long will it take before they virtually lose the plot regarding passenger satisfaction in the round? The staff were very keen to be well reported by customers to management. In our view, this is a sign of stress brought on by management and we believed that the staff felt that their jobs depended on good passenger's reports. The number of waiters and the speed that they were clearing tables at breakfast in the Windjammer buffet was well below our previous experiences. This caused constant table jams and moving queues of food laden guests trying to find clean tables. In our 4 other cruises there have been occasions where the staff have cleaned away new freshly loaded plates. This seems excessive zeal, but while temporarily annoying, it does guarantee clean tables for all. The Windjammer was table jammed! Staff tasked with seating guests in the dining room seemed very distant and reserved. Furthermore since our requests for seating hardly ever achieved what we'd asked for, we can only assume they are either incompetent or never intended to do what we'd asked of them. We were isolated on several occasions despite requests made to reception staff to be seated with other diners. As mentioned The Grande, was supposed to be for those that met 'formal dress' standards. It didn't enforce those criteria. Often we saw the supposed dress code completely flouted. That wouldn't please those who made an effort to dress well. Up sides We don't want you all thinking that we didn't enjoy ourselves on this cruise. That's not true, we did enjoy ourselves! We found in the Anthem of the Seas, more than enough to keep us happy. Royal Caribbean is the first cruise ship {that we have heard of} that allows guests to bring on board 2 bottles of wine per state room at the start of the cruise. We could always find a quiet corner to play Scrabble, do Crosswords and Suduko. Kay enjoyed ever increasing circuits of Deck 15. There was a quality show, 'We Will Rock You' straight from the West End with the original West End stars! There was the Rock and Roll band 'Rock The Boat' in the music hall who [once they stopped talking and starting rocking] were great! The techno cabaret 'Spectra's Cabaret' was interesting and visually spectacular. We played table tennis to our heart's content because there were 3 tables and little waiting time. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
This was our 4th cruise with RCL having been on Freedom, Oasis and Mariner before plus we have also done a couple of NCL cruises too as we liked the food choices on there hence why the Anthem appealed so much to us. Hubby was desperate to ... Read More
This was our 4th cruise with RCL having been on Freedom, Oasis and Mariner before plus we have also done a couple of NCL cruises too as we liked the food choices on there hence why the Anthem appealed so much to us. Hubby was desperate to get on this ship so our party of 4 adults booked up. Positives- Embarkation was brilliant- southampton is the best port we have sailed out of, service brilliant and we were through, on board with drink in our hand within 30 mins. The ship is amazing and the technology mind blowing with the lighting, robot bar etc- for techno guys, you will love it. Cabin was lovely and the best we have ever had- always having a balcony stateroom. Almost all off the complimentary resturants gave excellent service and the food was very good. We had one not so good experience and when asked for feedback we were very honest and to the staffs credit, they were very apologetic and did everything they could to correct the bad experience that we had. There was loads to do, as expected being on RC- flow rider, 2 of us went on the i-fly which they said was brilliant and were able to go on again in the second week. Entertainment was excellent as ever and We will Rock you was better on the ship than the show we saw in the west end- spot on- don't miss it. Negitives- Our biggest disappointment was the outside pool area- there just weren't enough sunbeds or big enough pool for the amount of people on the ship and you had to fight to get a sunbed and then throw yourself on it as they were so close together, tied up so they could not be moved- not really the most relaxing way to start your day outside when one is a sun lover. We have previously enjoyed watching a movie around the pool under the stars on previous RC cruises but showing films in the middle of the day right on top of the pool- sometimes kids films and really loud was not always enjoyable- this I am guessing was done as no cinema elsewhere onboard?? The buffet restaurant served good quality food with good choices but again you had to fight for a table for 15 mins first most mornings at breakfast- again not the best way to start the day. Room service choices were not as good on this ship as others and carried charges??? On the web site when the ship was first launched it said that American Icon would be serving steak and lobster ever night- wow this was a hook for us as we love steak and lobster, however this was not the case and we were gutted when not on the menu- we did get lobster but only when we told the head waiter of our disappointment and frustration. In summary, the ship is fab if you are not sun lovers and want to enjoy the outdoor pool areas. All the public areas- The pub, the music hall, the 260 degree etc were all lovely BUT everywhere just felt too packed with people compared with the other ships - maybe the Oasis of the seas has spoilt us. We preferred other ships because of this but would sail on Anthem again if the price was right but it would need to be a great deal. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
After a 2 hour journey from home, we arrived at the ship. First impressions were good as the ship was large and looked very nice. We were on the ship in no less than 20 minutes, thanks to doing most of it at home, and went straight to ... Read More
After a 2 hour journey from home, we arrived at the ship. First impressions were good as the ship was large and looked very nice. We were on the ship in no less than 20 minutes, thanks to doing most of it at home, and went straight to our cabin (a Grand Suite), which was very impressive, large and luxurious. As we were in a suite we went to the costal kitchen for our first meal and it was amazing. All our meals were amazing along with the service, we only had a few times where are food was a bit off, but they soon fixed it which was good. And I must say this is a definite improvement from p and o- who didn't even know our name. Our cabin stewart Raymond was amazing, and every crew member was amazing! The cruise staff and director (must give a shout out to Joff and Amy) who entertained us throughout the holiday, we did alot of quizzes which were very enjoyable. The shows were very good- especially we will rock you. Our son (12) didn't use the teen club as it was very aimed at 14-18 year olds he said. But now it's time to moan. First thing I must say- and I'm sure others will agree- is that it was pricey. If you didn't have a drinks package then a coke would cost you $2.50- and other activities were very expensive. We didn't do any excursion. The ships rooms and facilities were very impressive and (as it was only on its 5th cruise) were very clean. All in all we enjoyed our cruise and will happily cruise with them again. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
Embarkation was the speediest I've ever experienced, so full marks for thatThe cabin was pleasant, but although I cannot back up my impression with measurements, it felt smaller than any previous ones. The dynamic dining was ... Read More
Embarkation was the speediest I've ever experienced, so full marks for thatThe cabin was pleasant, but although I cannot back up my impression with measurements, it felt smaller than any previous ones. The dynamic dining was success , we felt, as the food quality was excellent, and service very good.You have to be aware , though that , in spite of the long list of restaurants there are just 4 which provide a full formal meal...The Grande, American Icon Grill, Silk and Chic.The rest are paid or snack venues.Also, on 2 of our 11 nights we were given the same menu in all of these restaurants, called "A Taste of Anthem"with samples from each of the venues, to " give us an experience of them all"We thought this should have been renamed " A taste of 20 dishes we prepared instead of 80, because we thought you would not notice".We ate at 3 paid restaurants, Wonderland, great fun, fab venue, and deliicious food, Jamie's (twice),absolutely great and fab service, but be aware the single cover chatge has now changed to a la carte, which makes it expensive, and finally, our once favourite Chops Grille, which was a disappointment because of a reduced menu,dismal interior, and probably the worst position on the ship, with a miserable view of lifeboats.We wondered if this great venue was being phased out? The entetainment was profesional, but musically undiverse.We expected a spread from pop, rock , through to some classical, as the ship's name suggests, but found the constant loud performances, and piped musak grating for our taste.It was also difficult to plan our entertainment choices around our meal bookings.As the dining is more fluid than usual, it would be more sensible to present the full entertainment times at the start of the cruise rather than daily, so that meal bookings don't have to be constantly changed.The computer generated show in 2.70is amazing, but is not easy to view for the whole audience due to the informal seating. This report might sound negative, but we did have a great time, even though our cabin had a few bangs and creaks....lovely ship with some interesting art..but improvements can only be made if problems are aired. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
OK, so it is a cruise and most of you will know what to expect. That's why we cruise right? So I won't go down the road of saying about everything, how the crew were happy to see us, the bars were good etc, just the bits that ... Read More
OK, so it is a cruise and most of you will know what to expect. That's why we cruise right? So I won't go down the road of saying about everything, how the crew were happy to see us, the bars were good etc, just the bits that were better than any ship we have been on and those where I think RCCI can improve. Getting on board. Simple and quick, just do the online check in. We arrived early but were still allowed to board right away. Cabin (9130). The best one we have had. Obviously everything is new but simple things like soft close drawers to stop noise were just spot on. Plenty of storage space to the extent we did not use the over the bed storage. Men just need to leave some of their shirts folded. Great bathroom and shower. Activities. IFly was just amazing. The North Star experience was great with just a 20 minute wait. 270 lounge is fantastic for just relaxing or catching some entertainment. The adult only solarium is great too but gets busy on sea days. Excursions were well organised with bus groups separated in the theatre to make life easier. Main shows. We Will Rock You was superb. Spectres Cabaret made full use of 270. The Gift was a lovely show, well produced and performed but we were left wondering what the story was all about! Children's entertainment. We no longer have young ones to entertain but from what I saw the choice and quality of things to do for them was ace. We carried off our own luggage at the end of the cruise as we had to be away prompt. It was as smooth as silk. Dynamic Dining I am still not sure about. We pre booked all of our dining well in advance after studying the menus so I don't understand why there was a 'taster' type menu on the 9th night giving you an idea of what each restaurant could deliver. OK may be some like this on the first night (they do it then too) but by night nine you know what to expect. The food was good but Devinly Decadence was average to say the best. However that venue was the best laid out with nice views out over the solarium. Service there was hit and miss with one great night and another not so good. The other complimentary or included restaurants were poorly laid out and cramped with the waiters struggling to serve the food without leaning across the table and pushing past chairs. the other problem with DD is when you book you do not know what time the Headliner Shows and acts (ie not The Gift, We Will Rock You and Spectres Cabaret) are on so we seemed to clash and not get to see them. To be fair I was not worried about some of these acts as I have seen more that one on other RCCI ships and was less than impressed. Perhaps it is something we need to get used to or perhaps RCCI should not have tried to reinvent the wheel and fix what is not broken. Bar service was poor. Very few waiting staff to take your order from your seat or on deck which meant bad queues at the bars. This could be to do with the introduction of WOW bands that supplement your Sea Pass. How are waiting staff meant to know which one is which when they return with everyone's drinks? Windjammer buffet was a bit hit and miss. It could be crowded on occasions so therefore explore other eateries like American Icon for breakfast or 270 for lunch. The food was sometimes great and other times it was just the same old thing repeated from the day before but to be fair there was quite a selection. I did like the cooked for you Pasta section (like Celebrity) but the bread and pastries were often dry unlike any other ship I have been on. Finally Joff Eaton. Joff was on an IOS cruise we did at Christmas a few years ago and was fantastic. He has to be the best cruise director out there. If the itinerary and dates suit us we will come back but I still prefer Celebrity Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
Parking Brilliant!Ship , Geared towards very unruly kids sometimes drunk and fighting,3 families were turned off the ship! restaurants not as good as Independence, No Wow factor! We had a romance package and our breakfast in bed was ... Read More
Parking Brilliant!Ship , Geared towards very unruly kids sometimes drunk and fighting,3 families were turned off the ship! restaurants not as good as Independence, No Wow factor! We had a romance package and our breakfast in bed was totally forgotten and we finally got it at10.00am, of course we had been up ages by then! HARDLY ROMANTIC WHEN YOU HAVE TO PHONE SEVERAL TIMES! As the trip was very windy it was a job to get any seats under cover, not enough staff for so many people,We only got 1/2 DAY TRIPS WHICH MEANT NOT ENOUGH TIME TO GET ANYWHERE WORTH SEEING! Two very good shows in evening out of ten days, The Mall was very disappointing, too small for such a big ship and the few shops were empty with only staff having a good natter, not very inviting ,best thing was the coffee shop! The NorthStar was fantastic and the two 70 was good too! Our rooms were very nice! The staff to the rooms were very good and so were our restaurant staff,they followed us to which was the restaurant of the evening.Everyone we spoke to said like us they would not be booking on this ship again, we spoke to one young couple queuing to get back on board, who said it was there 1st and last cruise ,we said that they must try the Independence, As that is a well thought out ship which is luxury cruising before saying No to cruising. we were very disappointed ourselves, we chose this one as we had never been to the Canaries before, but wish we had gone on the independence even though we would have gone somewhere we had been before! SORRY Anthem, but not a good review for you. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
The anthem of the seas is royal caribeans latest ship The technology is outstanding, still a few glitches but overall excellent The restaurants are fantastic, different than other ships where you have same table same waiter. I ... Read More
The anthem of the seas is royal caribeans latest ship The technology is outstanding, still a few glitches but overall excellent The restaurants are fantastic, different than other ships where you have same table same waiter. I think I prefer the old concept but perhaps given time this will become the norm. This ship still has issues, the royal escalade and the main pool are way to small for the number of guests. The sun beds are to close to each other because of this. The queues at windjammer for breakfast are long, because people prefer to eat there rather than the other 4 places that are available. The bar service is slow, mainly because of the technology swiping cards. I'm not sure that the robotic bar is needed, a novelty that wears of quickly, be better turned into another cafe. Having said all this this cruise was outstanding, sometimes you have to embrace the new things royal caribean are trying to achieve, for me still one of the best cruise lines out there. Hopefully some of these issues will get sorted, knowing RCI I'm sure they will. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
We have cruised many times and have been on a number of RCI ships (Indie being our fav). Anthem is a great ship, but as with any ship it has good and bad points. Good points: - fabulous embarkation process, cabins ready at 1pm and ... Read More
We have cruised many times and have been on a number of RCI ships (Indie being our fav). Anthem is a great ship, but as with any ship it has good and bad points. Good points: - fabulous embarkation process, cabins ready at 1pm and our cases were waiting for us - wide variety of restaurants (half complementary, half supplementary) - indoor pool areas (both adults only and family) in case weather isn't great - pool tables in Music Hall - bionic bar was good fun (once or twice). Nice that virgin cocktails were included in the package - dodgems and xBox great for kids - efficient guest relations (smallest queues I've ever seen as they also have 'wandering' staff who walk up the queue to resolve the small queries without waiting) - debark process was swift and hassle free Bad points: -- wow bands.... what's the point? You wear them for the first day (and by the way, they are incredibly difficult to do up on your wrist!) and then everytime you want a drink you have to take it off and hand it over........... just like you would with your usual sea pass card. Novelty value only. We took ours off after day 1 and used the sea pass cards which was much easier - dynamic dining - whilst the variety of restaurants is good then need to book in advance (when you don't know the times of the shows or parties etc) is a nuisance. We booked when dining became available but then had to change times once the show times were published (approx. two months later). - dynamic dining again - beware the 'Taste of Anthem' menu. This menu is offered across all of complementary restaurants at the same time. So even though you might have spent hours working out that you want eat Chinese food in Silk restaurant, if that happens to be the night that the ship is offering the 'Taste of Anthem' menu you will in fact only be able to select from a restricted menu of 2 or 3 dishes from Silk, 2 or 3 from Chic, 2 or 3 from Grande and 2 or 3 from American Icon. I can forgive this (perhaps) on day one when RCI might want to give everyone a flavour of what is available, but it's completely unacceptable on day 8. - no golf (we love the little putting courses on other ships!) - reduced number of Crown & Anchor parties (we are emerald level), and the one party that did take place had very limited drinks and no canapés at all - my husband was most unhappy about the quality of the steak (I don't eat steak). My 8 year old son loved it though! - Seaplex is a nice idea but is inside we missed the outdoor volleyball/football space - no venue for the fabulous 'Quest' game. Joff Eaton tried in Seaplex due to popular request. We didn't go but heard it was a huge failure Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
Before going into the negatives it's worth saying that we would go on the ship again once some changes have been put in place. Dropping cases was chaotic because, although you have printed and attached tags, you have to find a ... Read More
Before going into the negatives it's worth saying that we would go on the ship again once some changes have been put in place. Dropping cases was chaotic because, although you have printed and attached tags, you have to find a member of staff to put more tags with bar codes on for tracking before they are loaded onto trollies for loading. Boarding though busy was quick and efficient and we were on board within 15 mins of dropping the bags. Our bags arrived by 2pm in the cabin but others in our party got theirs several hours later. Our stateroom with balcony on deck 8 had a fair amount of storage and was well designed with a sizeable shower for a cruise ship. Staff in general were polite, conscientious and made every effort to accommodate our requests. We liked the layout of the ship and enjoyed the range of activities and quizzes. Flash sales on board were like a feeding frenzy and best avoided. "We will Rock You" was fabulous although only shown under licence for 3 performances on a 10 day cruise. Spectra's Cabaret was interesting and original and made good use of the space in the 270. The Gift was well produced but the storyline seemed cobbled together and confusing with tenuous links to known hits. Once was enough! Other entertainment such as films and comedy show had problems with their content. Films around the pool during the day were thought not to be age appropriate with children poolside and children attending the late night comedy show meant that content had to be toned down. Perhaps parents should be advised about the content of late night shows? Negatives The Bionic bar was interesting for 5 minutes. Elderly family members were severely disturbed by noise from here migrating to the room above. Beware if you have a room on deck 6 above this area! Wonderland This was totally ruined by noise from the Bionic bar, disco, people talking while walking past on the walkway and someone calling out raffle numbers on the deck below. Did the designer create this unique experience and intend for this restaurant to have no walls or doors? We paid a premium for an experience we didn't get and although restaurant staff were excellent but even the apology from customer was half-hearted. Sunbeds These were occupied by books and hats for hours on end and no attempt to remove them was made by the staff. The Grande The dress code required a jacket which was handed out at the door for those who needed them. However, there was no requirement for a collared shirt to be worn underneath or for the jacket to remain on ( fine if there is a shirt underneath) We had a good Royal Caribbean photo ruined because the man behind us was wearing a bright red soccer shirt and no jacket! Photos Watermarks across the photographs are too pronounced to allow you to see expressions on faces so we didn't buy as many as we wanted to. We were expected to collect our disc at 10pm on the night before departure although information regarding this was dependant on who gave the information. Our photos, despite face recognition and seapass info were spread among our family members even though they weren't in them. Yet they could not be moved to another account unless we were actually in them. Menu Despite the hassle and time spent on choosing restaurants for Dynamic Dining, a fixed menu was set for all dining rooms on 2 nights. We had adjusted our bookings to return to our favourite, only to find, with very little notice, that the menu was the same everywhere. Food was a fair and sometimes excellent quality although standards and presentation for the same dish varied from day to day. Although staff were at their best Chic did not reach the standards of the other restaurants. If you have special dietary needs it is worth notifying them well in advance and ordering food the day before. Our coeliac relative had issues with repetitive dishes and limited choice even though we had informed them ahead of boarding. Billing We upgraded the drinks package yet had to go to Guest Services on 3 consecutive days to have charges removed. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
Just returned from 10 days around the canaries . Ship nice looking and everything was crisp as you would expect from a new ship. Have cruised with royal Caribbean many times and could not fault them. UNTIL NOW. As far as I am concerned and ... Read More
Just returned from 10 days around the canaries . Ship nice looking and everything was crisp as you would expect from a new ship. Have cruised with royal Caribbean many times and could not fault them. UNTIL NOW. As far as I am concerned and was the general consensus aboard the ship was they have upgraded the gimmicks and down graded the service . It was appalling . Service was slow or non existent . Sat on the deck on many occasions sometimes for up to 1.5 hrs and did not see one waiter so had to go to the bar and queue for15 minutes!. Booked excursions and they left late and returned early and when I complained all I got was sorry it wasn't our fault it was the port authorities . Well guess what it wasn't my fault either but I was still charged full price and told I would not received a refund , partial or otherwise.. Also do not supply ANY COFFEE in the stateroom only tea. Like it or leave it.. This ship was not customer orientated and being a seasoned cruiser I would have to think very very long and hard before I booked with them again. This is just a few of the issues we had do deal with and I have made an official complaint to Royal Caribbean and await their response . I am not a furnickity serial complainer but I do not want to come home stressed and in need of a holiday !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
Our family of 6 had to endure the most awful and disorganised cruise that we have ever been on. I have outlined the issues we encountered point by point below: - One of the suitcases in our party arrived so late it left 15mins to get ... Read More
Our family of 6 had to endure the most awful and disorganised cruise that we have ever been on. I have outlined the issues we encountered point by point below: - One of the suitcases in our party arrived so late it left 15mins to get changed and get to the most formal restaurant onboard, The Grande. This was just not possible so we were unable to eat in that restaurant that evening. - Numerous times we found lipstick marks on the water glasses next to the water machines. - Plates in the Windjammer(self service) were sometimes so hot we could feel them burning our hands and had to place them on the counter to cool down. - During our first reservation in Silk, it was near on impossible to get someone to take our drinks order. We were constantly trying to get someones attention. It shouldn't be this way, we should be asked if we want more drinks when the waiter notices our glasses are empty. Also the vietnamese rolls were served as 2 rolls, not as the 3 rolls that is in your on board imagery of the restaurant. - The food in the American Grill during dinner service was appalling. Luke warm food. Dry meat. - The restaurants that offered us a side of chips always presented cold chips. - In the American Grill for breakfast, we ordered 2 fried eggs. The waiter firstly forgot to put the order through, we had to remind him, then once he had, it took 15 minutes for them to be served. - Also in the American Grill for breakfast, we asked for brown sauce, the waiter then proceeded to pour the brown sauce onto the plate of the person that asked for it. This is ridiculous. Then he placed the bottle down on the table. - The worst by far was the timing issue in The Grande. It was a birthday celebration and we sat down to have our meal. The waiter filled the water glasses. Then gave our menus out. He returned to the table a few minutes later to take our food order. Where was the drink order?! We had to prompt him to take our drink order first. Then our starters turned up. Still no drinks. We are now out of water too by this point. When the starters were served we noticed a trolley next to our table with food on. The waiter starts clearing our starter plates when one of our party was still eating. Then proceeds to get the plates off of the trolley and serve are mains when we still have one person eating their starter and still NO drinks. 2 of the mains that were pasta dishes had 3 prawns and 4 mussels in, and the pasta was dry. By this point 2 of our party got up and demanded to speak with management. - The service over the whole ship was not up to standard. There was a lack of servers around the pool, in the bars and the restaurants. - Towels around the pool were another issue. There should have been a system where you have to use your sea pass card to check one out and check it back in. People weren't removing them so it caused an issue. - The chlorine level in the pools was extremely high. One of the party has been a swimming instructor for 11 years and has never experienced a high level like that. Our eyes were stinging, and one of the parties bikini tops discoloured and had to queue at guest services to get reimbursed. - In one of our rooms the sugar was never replenished and so tea could not be had in the morning. - In another of our rooms, the sanitary bags were not replenished and when asked why, we were told they had run out. - The lift to the North Star was out of service, when asked when it would be back working, we were told it wouldn't. - The TV was showing extremely old programs (proved by the TV being widescreen, yet the programs still being set for 4:3 sizing) and everyday would be the same programs. - We were constantly asked in the restaurant for feedback. "Feedback helps us improve and fix things" We felt like guinea pigs. We are aware that this ship is going to America, and Americans simply won't have this service. We felt like we were 'trialing' the ship. We don't expect to pay what we paid to be on a ship that is not the finished article. This is simply not good enough. We have sent a complaint email, and have received a response offering £157.50 x 4 gift vouchers for our next cruise. For starters there was 6 of us in the party, not 4. This is not good enough. We do not want to cruise with Royal Caribbean again, and we want to be properly compensated for this. It completely ruined our holiday. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
We travelled as a family of 3,2 adults and 1 child (10). Once on board my daughter and I went to lunch and my partner went to look around, when I finally caught up with him he told me he had been locked in the cabin for 30 minutes and ... Read More
We travelled as a family of 3,2 adults and 1 child (10). Once on board my daughter and I went to lunch and my partner went to look around, when I finally caught up with him he told me he had been locked in the cabin for 30 minutes and had to call housekeeping to let him out. They kept him waiting and had to get some tools to force the lock off the door. I was obviously very concerned and had sleepless nights (especially over the Bay of Biscay) worried that if anything happened we would not be able to get out! The ship itself has got all the modern facilities, iPads all over the ship, bionic bar, dodgems, North Star which are all great but I would prefer some old fashioned touches like employing enough staff instead of them having to run around like headless chickens to serve you. The waiting times to be served at the pool bars were approx. 15/20 minutes and unlike other ships there were no waiters walking about to take drinks orders. I actually mentioned to the Beverages Manager that there weren't enough staff and he replied that they were not prepared for the British as we apparently drink more than the Americans!! The ship sailed from Southampton and do they not do any research springs to mind. My daughter went in the Kid's Club which was good and all the staff seemed friendly enough, although she did tell me that two of them were speaking Russian to each other in front of the kids.. The entertainment was good and indeed had the wow factor, we saw We Will Rock You, the Spectre's Cabaret and the virtual band. Overall, we were disappointed with the ship as we have always had a great experience with Royal Caribbean before and are not sure whether we will holiday with them again. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
We chose this cruise because of the ship firstly then the destination. Can't rate this ship highly enough. Futuristic and modern, absolutely loved the adult only solarium. Cabin was excellent, shower room unbelievable like a ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the ship firstly then the destination. Can't rate this ship highly enough. Futuristic and modern, absolutely loved the adult only solarium. Cabin was excellent, shower room unbelievable like a hotel not module. Flatscreen TV in room given plenty of information on your cruise and your location etc but movies did come at an additional cost. Dining superb, anytime dining through the onboard app is awesome. Good choice of restaurants good choice of food and even the buffet is superb and well ran with everyone being made to wash hands properly. The entertainment is excellent and the theatres amazing. Onboard activities are plentiful and of high quality. Surf simulator, skydiving wind tunnel, climbing wall and the north star all easy to book via the app. Service excellent, only criticism was you didn't seem to get that long at each port. I wish this ship was in Southampton every year as I would definitely like to cruise on her again. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
Upon arrival at the cruise terminal, we were greeted by a security officer with a bad attitude, so a great start! Once through security and into the check in area;the computer systems crashed and we had to wait for the systems to be ... Read More
Upon arrival at the cruise terminal, we were greeted by a security officer with a bad attitude, so a great start! Once through security and into the check in area;the computer systems crashed and we had to wait for the systems to be re-booted. This was the longest check in we have ever had at Southampton. We were stood at the desk for approximately 30mins (at least). Once on board we headed for our cabin. The cabin was full of dust and the toilet bowl black. There were no sign of our usual welcome letter, bath robe or glasses for our soft drinks package. We headed up to deck 11 to check out pool area, to be greeted by filthy decks, dirty pools, hanging wires near the hot tub and all metal filings over the floor! I reported all this to guest relations to get a "we are very sorry this has happened" the food onboard the ship is barely warm. This includes the main restaurant and the windjammer cafe. Breakfast yesterday in the windjammer was apawling; there was no bacon, no beans and everything was labeled incorrectly. When I asked where the bacon was the crew member pointed to an area on the counter with empty servers. I told him that there was nothing In there and his reply was "well I'm sure they will bring out more" again breakfast was just warm. The soft drinks vending machines..when they actually have soda in them are dispensing warm and flat drinks. This has been reported 3 times over the last 2 days and still not working! This is our 8th cruise with royal caribbean and my 13th cruise-it's by far the worst ship I have ever been on! Let's hope things get better! Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
First cruise after refit and the passengers were guinea pigs for new crew and organisation with ongoing maintenance. Check in was very efficient but the first 3/4 days on board was disorganised with long queues to get seated for meals, ... Read More
First cruise after refit and the passengers were guinea pigs for new crew and organisation with ongoing maintenance. Check in was very efficient but the first 3/4 days on board was disorganised with long queues to get seated for meals, not enough seating (as weather not good enough to sit outside) and nearly an hour wait to get back onboard at Maderia. There was limited activities available for the days at sea which were free, most required a payment and connections to the Internet/wifi was very expensive. There was also very little communication as to access to the towns at the ports of call (ie at Lanzorate no mention that it was an hour to walk in but there was a free schuttle bus) and the emphasis was on shore excursions. The food however was very good and the staff efficient and friendly in the main. Entertainment was hit and miss, some good with a great ice show but the comic juggler terrible. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
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