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56 Royal Caribbean Canary Islands Cruise Reviews

We were first time cruisers, family of 5 trip including Gran and daughters 22 & 3. The ship is lovely and cabins are clean and comfortable we were well looked after by our steward. Food in both dining room & buffet restaurant ... Read More
We were first time cruisers, family of 5 trip including Gran and daughters 22 & 3. The ship is lovely and cabins are clean and comfortable we were well looked after by our steward. Food in both dining room & buffet restaurant was very good with a good selection. The ports were all excellent with plenty of time in each. However as with most things on this ship Royal Caribbean only seemed interested in getting you to spend spend spend. Shore excursions were hideously expensive so we arranged our own. Two ports were a good distance from the town and for one RC had a courtesy bus but for Madeira they were charging €19pp!! Given the amount of disabled, elderly and children this was not good customer relations. Most of the staff were friendly apart from customer services who must be so fed up with complaints they barely acknowledge you - very poor! However our main issue was this ship is not conducive to under fives. Yes there is a kids club but it’s inside away from pools etc most of the young kids wouldn’t go in. If they didn’t that was it for entertainment in the evening. There was the occasional family disco at 6pm but this was poor. As for the pools if you have a child still in nappies/diapers they can only use a small area which has a slide with water but nowhere to swim which is beyond strange. If they don’t wear nappies they are not allowed in this area. Therefore if you have children who are in both categories the family cannot be in the pool together. This was a massive issue for many families we spoke to. It must be impossible for single parent families. The sunbeds are comfortable but too many packed together no space in between the veritable sardines! We probably will cruise again but not with Royal Caribbean as one person we spoke to who had cruised with them before told us “the refurbishment has resulted in more cabins therefore more cruisers and less space plus many things that were previously included in the cost were no longer and the subsequent charges were over the top”. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Love Royal Carribean and have travelled with them a couple of times. We travelled with 2 other couples who have never cruised before. Arrival at port and onto boat was very quick. As soon as we got on the ship our friends were amazed. ... Read More
Love Royal Carribean and have travelled with them a couple of times. We travelled with 2 other couples who have never cruised before. Arrival at port and onto boat was very quick. As soon as we got on the ship our friends were amazed. We had a full drinks package and all premium drinks and cocktails included and we definately made rhe most of it. Food was unbelievable as always and thought i was going to have to be rolled off when we arrived home. We picked the Canaries as we thought the weather would have been good at this time but a bit dissapointing (obviously nothing could have been done about that). Arrival at all ports was easy to get off abd back on. The only port that disappointed was Gran Canaria we arrived at port and nothing was opened so couldnt really do much. The only disappointment we had with the ship was the entertainment. We sold it to our friends as top class (as it had been kn previosly ships). I have never been on a cruise were the theatre shows were so poor that people were walking out. Take that tribute band had the place rocking and the Frankie vali and 4 seasons tribute were great but 2 nights out of 10 isnt enough. To put a cruise director on as a main act and a movie which was then shown outside was a joke. The entertainment was more like i would expect to see on a budget holiday not a cruise and a number of people commented on this. All in all however we had a great time and would definately return to Royal Carribean but not on the Explorer of the Seas. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Be careful when going into ports with Royal Caribbean they try and charge you for shuttle service. Ours was $9 per person to go to the edge of city centre. When we got off the ship, the local taxis charge 2.50 euros. The bar prices are ... Read More
Be careful when going into ports with Royal Caribbean they try and charge you for shuttle service. Ours was $9 per person to go to the edge of city centre. When we got off the ship, the local taxis charge 2.50 euros. The bar prices are also so high and sometimes the packages are not worth it. Also Do you research on the ports before you go. 3 of our ports were rubbish, nothing to do and just a normal town, might as well of stopped at home. Also one of the days the entire island was closed. Nothing was open. Yet they still try and push for an excursion to visit the old town where the main shopping centre is open, but the shops inside it weren’t. The entertainment team singers. (Chris & Vanessa) were superb, the best I’ve ever heard on any stage. WOW. The dancers were a little messy, but redeemed by the ballroom couple. The headliner guest acts were awful. The Frankie valli tribute sounded like Orville the Duck. He was also very weak and on occasion out of tune. The take that tribute were not bad. But let down badley by the guy playing Gary Barlow. He was not good. Cringe worthy. The food in the windjammer was excellent. The cabin steward was also excellent. The cruise director (Graeme) was so funny, made the cruise. Just wished he would walk around the ship more. The TV and stations needs looking at. Need to offer more choice. Also some areas around the ship are very cold. I would suggest for everyone to take a cardigan or ask the ship to make it less cold. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Wife and I just got back from a 13 night Canaries cruise on Navigator of the Seas (sailed on 28th October 2016), we are diamond + members and this was our 17th cruise with RCI on numerous ships. Embarkation at Southampton: Very ... Read More
Wife and I just got back from a 13 night Canaries cruise on Navigator of the Seas (sailed on 28th October 2016), we are diamond + members and this was our 17th cruise with RCI on numerous ships. Embarkation at Southampton: Very smooth no problems Dining: We were on a table for 10 but only one other couple ever turned up for the evening meals and they were fantastic company Terry and Audrey, our two waiters were great. The food was not up to the usual standard of RCI in our opinion, on some occasions only warm and not a great selection on the menu. We didn't book any excursions on board and did our own thing in each port, we would recommend doing the cable car and down in the baskets in Madeira this is great fun. Poolside entertainment was limited mainly due to the weather, service on board was good and all staff very helpful and pleasant.. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We chose this cruise because we wanted to visit the Canary Islands. We liked the boat and our disabled cabin was excellent as was our cabin steward. The waiters also gave good service however we found the food disappointing. For example ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted to visit the Canary Islands. We liked the boat and our disabled cabin was excellent as was our cabin steward. The waiters also gave good service however we found the food disappointing. For example on one night there was salmon done three different ways with no salmon for the next few nights. Also a honey and orange glazed chicken was served with ordinary gravy. One day our cabin had a terrible smell in it - people in the corridor were holding their noses. We reported it and came back after an hour but it was just as bad. Fortunately a member of staff was going along the corridor, we asked her to smell it and she said that she would have something done. So after about three hours we were able to go into our cabin which from then on had a chemical smell in it. This was difficult for me as I am disabled and need to lie down every so often. Guest services then delivered a beautiful orchid as an apology which I thought very kind. We assumed that it must be artificial as you are not allowed to take plants into the U.K. However on unwrapping it at home we found it to be living!! We found that there was not a lot to do on 'sea days' if you did not like quizzes or bingo, the air craft talks were interesting but not enough of stimulating things like that. Lastly it would be good if you were able to offer disabled excursions. We had to go everywhere by taxi on the islands and put my fold up scooter in the boot. There were a lot of disabled people on the boat and unless they could climb into a coach there was nothing for them. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
Sailed on 10 night cruise including Madeira, main three Canary Islands and Vigo. Our slot for embarkation was 11.00 am to 12.00 am. Embarkation went very smoothly, very few queues at check in and we were onboard by 11.15. From parking ... Read More
Sailed on 10 night cruise including Madeira, main three Canary Islands and Vigo. Our slot for embarkation was 11.00 am to 12.00 am. Embarkation went very smoothly, very few queues at check in and we were onboard by 11.15. From parking car to getting on took no more than 20 minutes. Whether this was the same for later times I am unsure but certainly looking from our cabin around 2.00 pm there were no queues for the car park we could see. Also heard no complaints from fellow passengers about embarkation. We ate in the MDR all cruise and the standard seemed very much as it was three years ago when we last cruised with Royal Caribbean. We did My Time dining and although there were queues at 8.00 pm when we tended to go for dinner they moved fairly quickly. I suppose one down side there seemed to be mashed potato with everything. Waiting staff were excellent as ever and we never had a problem with drink orders after the first night. Once the waiters understood our preferences they made sure that our wine was topped up and even asked if we needed top ups without us asking. The wine package seems awfully expensive and cost over £1,000 (bad exchange rate). However with a decent bottle of wine $53 including tip and water at $4 it did not take long for to be worthwhile. Basically five drinks a day. (yes I do drink a lot). Cabin was well maintained and the cabin staff, as always, excellent. Always a smile and even a couple of towel animals. Not had those for a few years. The production shows were ones that we had seen before and probably need new ones as I believe they have been the same for the last five years. Early seating was never full whereas the second seating seemed to be always full with problems getting seats. Seen some comments about the Queen act. I must disagree with fellow critics and say it was probably in the top ten best acts that I have seen on 15 cruises. Could have seen it again. The two ice shows were excellent but again they were the same as 3/5 years ago. The ship seemed quite crowded on the first two days but probably due to the weather being too cold to be outside. The ship probably needs to be refitted soon and we did notice that it was not as clean as a Celebrity X ship. However much better than Princess. The street parties were fun as always but very crowded. Ports of call seemed very short and I cannot understand visiting Madeira on a Sunday when everything is closed. Now for the moan and hence the title of the review. My wife and I have fairly specific reasons for going on a cruise. They are good food, live entertainment and dancing. Part of the reason for choosing Royal Caribbean/Independence is that it has a fairly large dance floor in the Pyramid Lounge and a live band where we can dance. Unfortunately on this cruise a small minority of passengers with young children (under 7) decided to turn it into a children's play area which not only made it impossible to dance until around 11.30 pm but was downright dangerous. One evening (9.45) whilst dancing we ended up with a child between our legs which could have been dangerous to the child (stiletto heel through hand) or us falling on them. The parents/grandparents could not have cared a less. Although there were some efforts by the band and a short notice in the Cruise Compass stating that unaccompanied child were not allowed on the dance floor this was not enforced. I also asked one of the parents of two children who persistently were running on the dance floor to control them and was told it was their cruise as well so go poke it. Although there were only a few people who did dance when there was a good attempt to rid the floor of children there was a loud applause. I fully understand that my wife and I have specific ideas on why we want to cruise which need not apply to many people but in our view there should be a curfew in the Pyramid Lounge after 9.30 for children under 10. We certainly will not be cruising with Royal Caribbean again whilst this continues. After speaking to other members of the entertainment staff it would appear that this problem is becoming more prevalent. However if your idea of a fun night out is watching kids doing cartwheels to music and crawling all over the dance floor then this could be the cruise for you. 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
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
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
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
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
My wife and I have done several previous cruises with RCL and other operators. Like so many other people, our favourite RCL ship is "Indy" and we were interested to see how Anthem compared. Embarkation and disembarkation at ... Read More
My wife and I have done several previous cruises with RCL and other operators. Like so many other people, our favourite RCL ship is "Indy" and we were interested to see how Anthem compared. Embarkation and disembarkation at Southampton were quick and easy as we have come to expect from RCL so no complaints there. The ship's appearance is lovely. Indeed, it is very elegant in places and everywhere looks new and is kept spotlessly clean. The passenger/space ratio is generally good and we never felt crowded except on the sun decks on fine days and, sometimes, in the popular show venues and some of the bars. Some have complained that the layout is confusing but, really, it's not that much different from more traditional ships in that the spa, fitness, pools and main buffet restaurant are all on the upper decks; shops, bars cafes, Guest Relations and casino on decks 3, 4 and 5 and staterooms on the other decks with most of the complimentary restaurants being towards the stern on decks 3 and 4. The speciality restaurants are scattered around the ship. Signage is good and we never got lost. The crew and staff were invariably friendly and helpful My wife is disabled so uses a mobility scooter and this caused a problem in our stateroom which was a superior balcony on Deck 13. We have had this type of room on RCL ships before and never had a problem storing the scooter, usually parking it next to the sofa. However, our cabin was configured so that the bed was nearest the door with the sofa and dressing table beyond, nearest the balcony. Unfortunately, the gap between the end of the bed and the wall was too narrow to get the scooter through to our 'normal' parking position next to the sofa and the only place we could put it was just inside the door. This made access into and out of of the room quite difficult and was a considerable inconvenience. We spoke to Guest Relations as soon as we discovered the problem and asked if we could have a more suitable room, paying for an upgrade if necessary but we were told that this was not possible because the ship was full, a statement which we took with a pinch of salt. We were told that if another stateroom became available during the cruise we would be moved immediately but, needless to say, that never happened so we just had to live with the situation. Ironically, we later discovered that some staterooms have the reverse configuration i.e, with the sofa nearest the door so if we'd had one of those there wouldn't have been a problem. I guess we were just unlucky. Incidentally, information regarding facilities for the disabled was sparse (unusual with RCL) and catering for disabled passengers on tour buses and shuttles was very limited. Apart from the above, the room and balcony were fine except that the bed was extremely hard and uncomfortable to each of us and no foam mattress toppers were available to soften it as there are on other RCL ships. Also, there was a shortage of hanging space in the wardrobes for long garments (my wife had to leave a large proportion of her dresses in her suitcase). The Dynamic Dining concept was disliked by almost everyone we spoke to (although I myself didn't mind it) and most people much preferred the traditional way of dinner in a Main Restaurant at set times, at the same table and with the same waiters. The four main complimentary restaurants (Chic, the Grande, American Icon and Silk) were laid out and done up very nicely but the food quality was inconsistent, ranging from (sometimes) good to mediocre and occasionally poor. The main complaints were the repetitive menus which, as far as we could tell, never changed throughout the cruise, tough steaks and food being served cold or lukewarm. In our view, the best of them was the Grande but even in there the dress code (formal) was not enforced so was abused by some. We didn't try any of the speciality restaurants because, to us, there wasn't anything on the menu to warrant paying the supplement which, in some cases, was very steep. And in that regard we knew that RCL had abandoned the singing and dancing wait staff in Johnny Rockets because, they say, people didn't like it (really?) but what is left on Anthem is a draughty burger bar on a par with MacDonalds. And RCL have the nerve to charge a supplement for eating there! Similarly, the equivalent of the very popular Dog & Badger pub on Indy is Michael's Genuine American Pub. It's a gloomy place lacking atmosphere and it never seemed to be very busy. And they charge a supplement for things like fish and chips and cottage pie! It didn't seem to make any difference whether or not you made a restaurant reservation because you still had to queue although usually not for more than ten minutes The other casual eateries (Sorrento's, Cafe Promenade, Cafe 270 etc) were fine. In particular, the notorious Windjammer is a vast inprovement on the Indy. It's more spacious, better laid out and has a good selection of dishes of excellent quality. In fact, for the first time ever, we ate there in the evenings as many times as in the more formal restaurants. Getting a table was never a problem except at peak times and we particularly liked eating al fresco on a fine day or evening in the open area overlooking the stern. Magic! We didn't go to many shows but we enjoyed those that we did, particularly the Spectra Cabaret and We Will Rock You. The rest of the entertainment seemed to be on a par with other ships. The shops were the usual boutiques selling overpriced designer clothes, watches and jewellery. The one general shop was quite small and had only a limited stock range. The North Star was good but the much vaunted Bionic Bar is, in our view, a total gimmick. We watched it in action once and never bothered again. Beware of the shuttle in Lisbon! RCL's mooring used to be next to the suspension bridge which is quite a distance from the city centre so using the shuttle bus was essential. However, Anthem docks much further upstream closer to the city centre and we didn't realise how much closer until we had taken the bus which made a slow and tortuous journey through busy streets to cover a distance of about half a mile as the crow flies. But it was the return journey that was a fiasco. For some reason which was never explained, the bus (which was exclusively for Anthem passengers) dropped us at the Celebrity Eclipse which was moored next to us. We were told that another bus would take us to the Anthem but there was no sign of it and, anyway, we didn't relish the hassle of loading/unloading the scooter on and off a second bus. So we made our own way back. We complained about this and, in fairness, RCL refunded our shuttle fares without argument. The moral of this is don't take the shuttle unless the ship docks next to the bridge because it's quicker, easier and cheaper to walk. Drinks are, as usual, expensive, particularly when the ship is in Spanish waters, because by the time the 18% gratuity and Spanish VAT is added a small glass of mediocre wine cost about £8.50. Fortunately, we didn't have to pay for too many drinks because we are Diamond Members which gave us a number of daily free drinks. It also gave us use of the Diamond Lounge which is a very nice relaxing venue. And the pre-dinner nibbles are very good too. RCL boast that Anthem is highly technologically advanced and so it is, too much so in our opinion and some features either didn't work properly or are a retrogade step. For example, on other ships there's an A4 booklet in your room listing all the available tours in order of the itinerary. You decde which ones you want, book them via your TV and the tickets are delivered to your room. Not so on Anthem because there's no booklet and no facility for booking a tour via the TV. You have to go to Guest Relations, sign in at one of the iPad stations, scroll through every tour available throughout the fleet (or so it seemed to me) and print your own tickets all of which is very laborious. It may be that it's possible to do this with RCL's IQ App but I want to get away from my phone when on holiday and, moreover, not everyone has a Smartphone or is IT literate. Also,you can no longer have breakfast in the room by ticking boxes on a card and hanging it outside you door. You now have to do it all via your TV which takes much longer, plus the fact that only items such as cereals and rolls are free. Cooked items are chargeable. And you're supposed to receive a printout of your onboard account on the last night of your cruise. We didn't get one. I'm sorry that this review has gone on for much longer than I intended but I wanted to try to give an objective view of as many aspects as possible. In summary we say, "Nice ship but we're looking forward to Indy coming back." Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
I've waited almost a year for this cruise, with very high expectations. After seeing the negative reviews of Quantum, I've lowered them quite a bit. My DH was with me, and a couple of friends - first time cruisers, coming with us ... Read More
I've waited almost a year for this cruise, with very high expectations. After seeing the negative reviews of Quantum, I've lowered them quite a bit. My DH was with me, and a couple of friends - first time cruisers, coming with us based on our recommendation. Our cruise was marred by a very big group (almost a quarter of the total pax), which I'll call "The group". I've waited quite some time to write this review, since I've written first to C&A (being platinum). To make it very short, it told them that I was very disappointed to find out that public spaces like the Solarium and 270 were closed, mainly on sea days, in order to accommodate "The group", that I felt that RC's first priority was the well being of "The group", and that I'll greatly appreciate being advised before hand if such a big group will travel on a specific cruise. RC took their time in replying. In the end, it was along the lines of "we value the privacy of our customers and we cannot advise of them being present in a certain cruise...". It made me laugh. As if I asked names, addresses and SS # .... I wrote again, saying that I'd like the choice of deciding whether or not to join "The group" .... After waiting more than 2 weeks, I decided the write my review anyhow. Besides taking over public spaces, as mentioned above, "The group" has been reserved prime location tables on all the complimentary restaurants, along with a special "direct" line, without having to queue like us, mere mortals. Also, on the only for fee restaurant we decided to try, Jaimie's, there was also a representative for "The group", making sure that every one of them could get in immediately. The "best" part was being in Loro Park (Tenerife), finding no places to sit for a show, but guess what ... the central aisle, with the choice views, was also reserved for "The group" !!! Now to the good part. The ship is beautiful, sparkling clean, the staff very helpful, we enjoyed the North Star (only in port), i-Fly,bumper cars, puzzle room. We could have enjoyed more all the shows which could be reserved before hand (Spectra, the Gift and We will rock you), if the sound was not so loud. We've seen Wicked while in London, and found it also very loud, so may be it is us.... I've spent a lot of time reserving the 4 "complimentary" restaurants and then, when the entertainment could be booked, changing the hours again. BUT, after trying every one of them once, and waiting for a lot time (in Chic - 2 hours!!!) for average food, we cancelled all the remaining reservations, and opted for WJ, which was quiet and had a very nice variety of food. Jaimie's we tried once and were not impressed. One star minus because of "The group", and one star for the average food and service in the 4 "complimentary" restaurants. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
Our cruise out of Southampton was below my expectations. Fortunately, the Canary Islands, Madeira and Azores balanced out a somewhat lackluster Vigo, Spain and Bilbao, Spain. The problem was not the ports however but rather the Explorer ... Read More
Our cruise out of Southampton was below my expectations. Fortunately, the Canary Islands, Madeira and Azores balanced out a somewhat lackluster Vigo, Spain and Bilbao, Spain. The problem was not the ports however but rather the Explorer itself. It was overcrowded with nary a seat to be had during evening hours at any of the lounges. And, because there was such an overcrowding, the Schooner was used for trivia and other games during cocktail time, which eliminated any attempts to have conversation. During the day it was impossible to find a seat at a table on the promenade. Forget about getting a chair on any of the sun decks. Passengers claimed their chair for the day and staked it out with towels or friends saving them. I didn't use Windjammer, but imagine it was a madhouse most days. The main dining room was quite pleasant, although the food selection was boring on some days. As a non-meat eater, selections were limited by my choice, but some of the fish was awful. Very chewy and obviously frozen. The cod was especially horrible. Whoever writes the menus are creative in their descriptions, but not accurate. Luckily, the staff were wonderful and always had vegetables for me. The entertainment was second rate other than the ice show and Livewire. Karaoke was popular and well attended. The smoking in the casino was totally out of control. In order to get to the Palace Theater, one has to go through the casino. For non-smokers, it is so smoky that you can choke. And, instead of adhering to their own rules, the casino workers allowed smoking throughout the casino, instead of a designated area. It was so bad that if you were near the steps on the promenade it wafted up and was annoying. I was in a junior suite and when I came onboard, I didn't have any shampoos or excursions tickets. There was no information greeting me as I expected. I shouldn't have to complain about something so basic. Shopping was lackluster. I have traveled on other cruise lines such as Princess and they have always had local crafts and items available when traveling to a specific port. When we went to St. Petersberg we had icons and nesting dolls, Poland we were able to purchase amber. When traveling though the Greek Islands we were offered packaged local delicacies. The selections were not creative and the same throughout the cruise. HoHum. Boring. Didn't make me want to spend any money, how much perfume or Invicta watches can one person use? The selection of excursions was limited. When an excursion at Vigo was canceled, it was impossible to choose another one. When cruising through the Caribbean one expects to have limited selection beyond the beaches, but not in Europe. There should be more of an effort to offer some variety in every port. The meeting place for all excursions was the ice skating rink. It was miserable cold and we had to wait for sometimes half an hour or more. Why not meet in Palace Theater? It was very disorganized and ill-run. The guides were not able to control some of the groups and some of us didn't even know what to do because of lack of clear direction. My husband and I have never experienced these problems on any other Royal ship. In fact, we sailed Radiance through Alaska in June and had a wonderful experience and have been on other ships through the fleet without this level of complaint. I am returning to Celebrity for the next two cruises. Hopefully they won't disappoint inasmuch as it is the same umbrella fleet. It will take a really interesting itinerary for me to return to Royal any time soon. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
Never thought i would start my reveiw with that title, but theres just something that is not right with the flow of the ship. Getting aboard was brilliant, less than 20 mins and then the selling started. as with all rci ships products are ... Read More
Never thought i would start my reveiw with that title, but theres just something that is not right with the flow of the ship. Getting aboard was brilliant, less than 20 mins and then the selling started. as with all rci ships products are pushed your way, but on the anthem it is relentless. every time you turned a corner somebody wanted your dollars. we parted with seveal hundred dollars for two drink packages, which for us all in all were value for money compared to the sky high pay as you go drink prices. beware as they dont stock large amounts of certain lagers and once its gone they dont stock up until back in southampton. I raised this issue with the beverage manager and quickly realised i was talking to a very arrogant man, who seemed to be trying, simply to belittle me. this he failed to do. And that goes for the rest of the customer service, if your not handing over dollars, there not really that intrested. The dynamic dining feels like they only started it a week ago, quite chaotic at times though food was generally good. winjammer was like a rugby scrum where some people had clearly left their mannors in the previous port of call. Food again was generally good, but luke warm most of the time. We dined in coastal kitchen a few times and the service and food were fantastic. Sunbeds by the pool need to be grabbed on your first hour on board, and you need to lay on them 24hrs a day or you will never get another, people where putting towels out from 5.30 am, and the deck team do nothing about this. if you get a sunbed on deck 15 you have to get on it from the front as there is no space between them, which is slightly off putting, when you wake up with your nose in some strangers armpit. Stateroom was a junior suite and was superb, though the cleaning and attention to detail was not always up to scratch. The bar venues where good, just too many people tring to use them. You cant get to most bars as they have seating around every bar so you need to order your drinks form six feet away. Overall i will use royal caribbean again as i have sailed with them many times in the past, but it will not be on a quantum class ship. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
Let me also state by saying that we do not make a habit of writing reviews, however in this case we felt as if we should make our feelings known. These are our true and honest thoughts. We have done over 15 cruises so are not newbies. ... Read More
Let me also state by saying that we do not make a habit of writing reviews, however in this case we felt as if we should make our feelings known. These are our true and honest thoughts. We have done over 15 cruises so are not newbies. We embarked the Explorer of the Seas at Southampton for our 12 night trip to the Canary Islands. We had a balcony cabin on deck 6 - this proved to be very quite and no problems arose. When we purchased the cruise we were given a select drinks package, which as I am not allowed to drink was really of no use, however once on board we had it changed to the Royal Replenish package. The first real thing that we noticed was that the food in the MDR was over the 12 nights somewhat limited. Several of the same things appeared every night and I am not talking about the classic section. No real steak or lobster unless you paid extra. These items used to be on the menu all the time. However what was on offer was cooked and presented very well. The Windjammer was a real turn off, the same food every day. 4 types of potatoes and no vegatables (well one lot) that was cooked. You could have raw carrots, broccoli, cauliflower etc. All the deserts were the same, called something different the next day. Even the rolls and sandwiches in the Promande Café were always the same. On to the entertainment most of the outside entertainers were pretty good apart from Darren Day, he should stick to singing. The in house singers and dancers however were a different matter - they put on 3 shows and if you hadn't of known you would haver said that they just repeated one show 3 times, they were almost identical. Same era 30's, 40's music no get up and go at all. No real special customs or scenery. As I have mobility issues we did a number of the ships excursions, these were all organised very well. They were however all very expensive compared to what could have been obtained if we were more able. On the whole we were satisfied. There were a number of very good quizzes and of course bingo that one could take part in. But there were no really good lectures on the places we visited. or anything else for that matter. Usual Captains Q & A session. Shopping on board as usual was a joke, expensive shops selling expensive tat. More and more watches. But you can't buy a bar of chocolate or a packet of sweets. The only sweets available were those in the mini bar which cost $3.75 approx. £2.25 - they cost 89p in the shops normally. The shop assistances appeared to be very bored all the time. The price we paid for the cruise was probably the highest we have ever paid, but what we got back has not gone up to match, the cut backs are becoming very obvious. The gap between what was on offer 2/3 years ago and what you get now has widened quite considerably. Oil is cheap at the moment so we should be getting more, but we are not. However one thing has not decreased and that is the service we received from the staff, all of them that we had dealings with without exception were excellent and in same cases went further than they had to. If RCCI continue to increase their prices, which they probably will if the oil prices start to go up, but decrease what is on offer than perhaps my husband and I will be sailing with someone different next year. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
To start with the positive,embarkment and disembarkment excellent,no delays,very well managed,our promenade cabin great space and well maintained by our attendant,food was of a very good standard in main restaurant,service was ... Read More
To start with the positive,embarkment and disembarkment excellent,no delays,very well managed,our promenade cabin great space and well maintained by our attendant,food was of a very good standard in main restaurant,service was excellent,booking our table before sailing was a huge advantage with mytime dining,enjoyed the shows in theatre espcially the ventriloquist and violinist,all the staff worked very hard as usual and were very pleasant at all times.Now the negatives,overcrowding,not good enough that we had to sit on stairs at the price we paid,drink prices outrageous,had to go for a drinks package which was the cheapest option but still expensive,entertainment in the promenade had in my view health and safety issues,it was impossible to move up or down an area which i considered a lovely area to stroll after an evening meal however not on this cruise,no shop stocking normal everyday toiletries,shops with a lot of overpriced stock,the resident band horizon left a lot to be desired,did not play suitable dance music for the age bracket of the audience,on every night .no variety,a definate lack of music at pool,the large screen what a joke ,you couldnt even see it just supplied background noise,we didnt do tours but i object to having to pay for shuttle buses,the one to agadir was a joke,a complete ripoff and led us to believe that we would be dropped in middle,left at taxi rank and a taxi was required to get to markets,some people got money back but we didnt when we complained, our major problem was being left at heathrow 8 hours before departure of our flight,what a disgace and spoiled an otherwise enjoyable holiday,was in contact with airsupport but got no satisfactory explanation,was supposed to be free flights which might explain it 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
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
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
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
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
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