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123 Royal Caribbean Canary Islands Cruise Reviews

I choose cruises (after more than 40 throughout the years) mainly for the itinerary. I used many lines, some extinct by now, and Royal Caribbean never disappointed me (actually except one line, MSC, truly disappointed me). We departed from ... Read More
I choose cruises (after more than 40 throughout the years) mainly for the itinerary. I used many lines, some extinct by now, and Royal Caribbean never disappointed me (actually except one line, MSC, truly disappointed me). We departed from Southampton, embarkation was easy, with plenty of Staff to make you feel you are a wanted passenger from then on. The ship is large, but has many venues, and the food and service were very good. Wine service at the restaurant prompt, with large variety and prices of wines of the world. Unfinished bottles are kept and if you switch restaurantes the unfinished bottles are readily available for your lunch or dinner. Breakfast has a large variety, I was particularly surprised by a favorite of mine: smoked salmon of the first quality and presented in enormous plates with all the complements side by side. The cabin Staff perfect. The restaurants Staff idem.Japanese restaurant: first quality food and service, can compete with any Japanese gourmet around the world. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
It's been a few years since we were last on an RC ship, onboard the Anthem, which was an amazing ship and experience. It was also one where most folk we spoke to would always say, "it's great, but it's not the ... Read More
It's been a few years since we were last on an RC ship, onboard the Anthem, which was an amazing ship and experience. It was also one where most folk we spoke to would always say, "it's great, but it's not the Indy". When we saw this year that Indy was doing a Canaries cruise, something we had wanted to do for a long time, we jumped at the chance to see if she was all that and more, especially after her recent refit and refurb, and hit or miss reviews here! Driving from Glasgow, thanks to FlyBe's exorbitant prices to fly direct to Southampton, our embarkation process from arriving at AB Parking to getting onto the ship probably took us no more than an hour from about 11am. The RC staff throughout were extremely helpful and ensured everyone was kept moving towards getting onto the ship. It was the same disembarking on our final day. It was all super slick, super efficient, and felt very well managed and controlled. Once onboard we had to wait about three hours for our cabin to be ready thanks to a deep cleanse of the ship due to an outbreak of the norovirus on the previous sailing. Again, on this point, I don't think I've ever seen a ship and her crew be so resolute in making sure everyone washed their hands, used hand sanitiser, or similar, be it getting on and off the ship or coming in or out of any areas with food and drink. Our cabin was starboard side mid-ships in the bow (7330). We weren't sure if it was a refurbed one or not, but it was certainly spacious when the sofa bed was away, with plenty room for my wife and I, along with our 11 year old boy. It also had a decent sized balcony, more than big enough for the three of us to be out on together. Our cabin steward did a decent enough job of keeping the room clean, although we had to put the sofa bed away ourselves after it was continuously left out for the first few days. After that, it was always put away during the day. The service felt perfunctory at best and nothing more compared to some previous experiences we've had. The ship itself, having spent a fortnight with her, isn't quite as grand as others would have us believe. She's a beautiful ship, but not quite in the same class as the Anthem (although I think we were spoiled sailing in her maiden year). The promenade is very nice, but you have absolutely no chance of getting any space or seats in the cafe, bars, or pub if you're on the 8.30pm dinner sitting. It's very disappointing after your meal to come down and see it crammed full with next to no space anywhere. Likewise, while we certainly never had any problems getting sunbeds or space at any time during the cruise, the poolside beds and those around the running track on deck 12 were very cramped and always busy with very little being done by staff to vacate empty loungers (there's supposed to be a maximum 30min limit). We always found space at the back of the ship towards the flowrider and beyond Johnny Rockets. Food wise, the Indy has definitely been one of the best ships for food I think we've been on. Both the Windjammer and Main Dining Room excelled in choice, quantity, and quality of food. Granted, the days at sea saw the Windjammer absolutely packed with very little room to get seats, but you prepare your best for this and try to schedule your eating time around when you feel it wouldn't be as busy. Johnny Rockets was never busy given it's a chargeable eatery ($10 per head for as much as you want), but the food was very tasty and I'm also sure ridiculously high on the calories. We also bought the three night dining package which we used in Giovanni's Table and twice in Chops Grille. Giovanni's is nice, but the food isn't a patch on Jamie's Italian on the Anthem, while our first experience of Chops on the ship wasn't great from a customer service point of view (this was rectified on our second visit and made up for the first one completely, plus the steaks are to die for in there). We used RC for two shore excursions, Lanzarote where we did the camels and timanfaya national park, and Madeira for the toboggan, cable car and wine tasting. While you are paying extra doing these through RC, we always feel it's better for piece of mind should any delays occur and you get left behind (as we saw several did during this cruise too). Both excursions were very enjoyable and professionally managed. We sadly only managed to see a few shows during our cruise; the brilliant Freeze Frame ice skating show, Frankie Valli and the Dreamers, and Grease. All very enjoyable, but you did need to be there about 30mins before to ensure you got a prime viewing seat. All highly recommended. Lastly, a special mention must go to our waiting team in the main dining room. Our sitting at 8.30pm was always brilliant thanks to Radu and Thommy who very quickly picked up on our needs every night. Nothing was too much trouble, any changes or requests were met with a swift response and resolution. Both were an absolute dream and played a huge part in making our holiday as enjoyable as it was. Radu in particular always had information to hand at the end of our meal regarding our next day on the ship. Both continually went above and beyond and were a pleasure from start to finish. We enjoyed our time on the Indy thoroughly, and while she maybe doesn't have the bling or glamour of the Anthem, we'd happily sail with her again in the future! Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Just got back from our first ever cruise and I dont think I could go back to a "normal" holiday. Absolutely amazing! Ship was amazing and staff were so attentive. Bars got very full at night and not enough seats but that's ... Read More
Just got back from our first ever cruise and I dont think I could go back to a "normal" holiday. Absolutely amazing! Ship was amazing and staff were so attentive. Bars got very full at night and not enough seats but that's the only thing I can honestly moan about. Entertainment was excellent and the cocktails!!! We only ate in the main areas so cant comment except Johnny rockets which for the price is a must! Absolutely amazing holiday and highly recommend! Excellent cruise for kids. My daughter loved it (6) Son is 2 so no kids club for him but staff were very accommodating and entertaining. My kids left feeling like royalty! So many different cocktails to choose from. Would definitely recommend buying the deluxe package. We were hesitant but ended up saving a lot of money. Photos were good and a reasonable price! Just waiting for ours to be delivered. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Went to get some sunshine before the winter all the ports were very good always have a good time on RC went on Navigator out of Southhampton traveled with Eavesway coaches which are brilliant your holiday starts as soon as you get on the ... Read More
Went to get some sunshine before the winter all the ports were very good always have a good time on RC went on Navigator out of Southhampton traveled with Eavesway coaches which are brilliant your holiday starts as soon as you get on the coach no worry about getting there on time. If anything the excursions are a bit pricey but the 2 we did were excellent we did a scenic in Maderia and did the lava caves in Tenerife that was really good We only did a couple of the shows but that was just by choice not that there was anything wrong with them. The food in both the main dining room food was excellent as was the few times we went to windjammer we never did any of the speciality restaurants. The cabin was clean and roomy we had a Junior Suite and the stateroom attendant was very good. overall excellent as usual and would recommend Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
Cruised with RCI last year on Explorer and enjoyed it so much we booked to sail on the impressive Independence this year. Great food and plenty of it.AMAZING waiting staff in the Romeo and Juliet dining room. May we mention Pedro and ... Read More
Cruised with RCI last year on Explorer and enjoyed it so much we booked to sail on the impressive Independence this year. Great food and plenty of it.AMAZING waiting staff in the Romeo and Juliet dining room. May we mention Pedro and Nicolae .First class service. Easy boarding and embarkation. Our cabin attendant kept our room spotlessly clean and tidy. Thoroughly enjoyed the shows . The Queen tribute act has us all clapping and singing (Freddie Mercury is a hard act to follow but this guy did him justice ) .West End show Grease was also good ..once again we were all singing along! Very funny comedian. Ice shows very good although we thought they were better last year. pool party under the stars with cocktails and hot sunny weather in the Canaries ..Dolphins swimming alongside our ship. A wonderful sight!..couldn't ask for more . See you next year !!! Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We were a little apprehensive as this was our first cruise and because my dad is paraplegic we were unsure how we would manage. From parking the car to getting on board was easier than an airport and the inside of the ship from our ... Read More
We were a little apprehensive as this was our first cruise and because my dad is paraplegic we were unsure how we would manage. From parking the car to getting on board was easier than an airport and the inside of the ship from our cabin to all communal areas were lovely and spotless clean. We were really looked after by our stateroom attendants Ayi and in accessible room nothing going was too much for Jack. We loved romeo & Juliet restaurant as Maria, Misael and Juan Carlos treated us with such kindness always smiling great service and even found time to talk to us when they were busy they really made our 1st cruise so special We present paid our drinks package and found it easy to get served at most bars and enjoyed the waiter service in the theatre. Our favourite act on stage was Gareth Oliver(not being biased cause he's a Yorkshire man at all) Both ice skating shows were brilliant too. Would we all go again? Without hesitation The ship all the staff........ WOW Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
1st cruise and I was not disappointed! Arrived at the port at around 10am and got parked up and checked in immediately. We only had a 30 minute wait in the terminal before we were called to embark. We were on the ship within an hour of ... Read More
1st cruise and I was not disappointed! Arrived at the port at around 10am and got parked up and checked in immediately. We only had a 30 minute wait in the terminal before we were called to embark. We were on the ship within an hour of parking! The ship is huge! I was so glad we got on early so we had a few hours to explore before the staterooms are available at 1pm. We had a Promenade Stateroom. As you enter, the bathroom was on the left and the wardrobe on the right. In the bathroom there was the toilet, shower and sink. There was a huge mirror with lights either side which was great for doing make up. There was a corner cabinet with 3 shelves. There was also ample room around the sink area for toiletries and a shelf under the sink. In the wardrobe was one high rail and 2 lower rails for hanging clothes and there was 5 shelves, one of which had the safe on. The safe was very easy to use. Outside the wardrobe was 4 drawers and 3 more shelves. The bed was huge, the size of 2 singles together and it had a foam topper which was so comfy! Between the bed and the window was a small sitting area with 2 sofas and a dressing table/desk and chair. There was another huge mirror with lights and 2 small shelving areas either side of the mirror. The window looked out onto the Royal Promenade. We were on deck 8 so the window was at an angle looking down. We had chosen 'My Time Dining' which meant we could have dinner in the Romeo & Juliet dining room on deck 3 whenever we liked between 6pm and 9.30pm. You didn't have to reserve a table but we did on the 3 occasions we ate in there, twice reserving a table at the dining room earlier in the day and once by calling the reservations line. We had a table for 2 each time, but the tables are very close together so it was more like a table for 6! The menus are displayed on interactive monitors around the ship so each morning we took photos of the menus to take away and decide if we wanted to eat in the dining room. The food in the dining room was very nice. I had Beef Tenderloin one night and it just melted in my mouth! The service was good with just one little blip that wasn't worth complaining about. There isn't much of a view in the Romeo & Juliet dining room, there are no large windows like in the Macbeth & King Lear dining rooms on decks 4 & 5. The other nights we ate in the Windjammer Cafe, as we did breakfast and lunch. Buffet style food but very tasty and plenty of variety. The entertainment was excellent. We went to several shows both in the Alhambra Theatre and Studio B Ice Rink. I would particularly recommend Grease and the Ice shows. I would also recommend you go to the game show Quest, that was hilarious! Our cruise direct Jamie was great fun and made the cruise very entertaining. The service we received everywhere on the ship was great, most of the crew were exceptionally friendly and in particular, our stateroom attendant Joseph Anthony. He was such a blessing throughout the cruise. I would absolutely go again and am already planning the next one! Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
My review is from perspective an American who has been on several other Royal Caribbean cruises. I was surprised that only about 5% of the passengers were from the US; my experience with the earlier cruises was that the majority of ... Read More
My review is from perspective an American who has been on several other Royal Caribbean cruises. I was surprised that only about 5% of the passengers were from the US; my experience with the earlier cruises was that the majority of passengers were Americans even for cruises in Europe. In any case, the time on the cruise ship a lot like being in Britain, which certainly was an interesting change of pace. I especially enjoyed the British tea (not Lipton) and Guinness on tap. Embarkation: We took a National Express bus from Heathrow to Southampton after an overnight flight from the US and then spent a night at a B&B before the cruise. Boarding was smooth although we were surprised to receive an email with boarding times based on deck level. The lowest decks were not supposed to board until a little over an hour before the scheduled departure. Fortunately we cruised enough times that we were allowed to board earlier. One difference from cruises from the US is that the ship held our passports for the duration of the cruise. I am not sure what would happen if you missed the boat since air travel to the next cruise port or back to the UK would probably require a passport. I was not interested in personally testing that question, which meant we generally took the Royal Caribbean excursions with guaranteed return to the ship rather than doing a lot of exploring on our own. The passport rule applies to anyone who is not from the European Union, so I guess people from the UK may have to deal with a similar issue in a few years. Vigo, Spain: We took the extended excursion to Santiago de Compostela, which is a Christian pilgrimage site that dates back to the Middle Ages. The countryside between Vigo and Santiago is green and hilly and reminded me of Ireland. After a walking tour of the center of town, we had time for lunch and sampled some local special dishes at restaurant that was a block from the cathedral. The French fries were remarkably tasty; I think it was the combination of new potatoes and olive oil. Lisbon, Portugal: The ship docked right next to the old section of Lisbon. We walked to the cathedral and took a short tour on a tuk-tuk (a small open vehicle) in the morning. In the afternoon we took an excursion to Cascais, which is pleasant coastal town west of Lisbon. The trip out was along the coast with some nice views. Unfortunately the trip was extremely slow because of heavy traffic. It happened to be a national holiday in Portugal and the weather was unusually warm and sunny. Gran Canaria: We took the hidden valley hiking excursion. The hike was a one-way trip with a drop off near a hilltop and pickup at the bottom of a valley. The trip started with hiking along a concrete irrigation channel that had a narrow walkway between the water and a drop off of up to about 15 feet. It also included hiking down a steep rocky slope with switchbacks before finally getting to a wooded valley with a flowing creek. The hike is not for people with any balance problems or with fear of heights. While the excursion is labeled strenuous, the nature of the hike was not very clear from the description. A suggested improvement would be a round trip hike along the valley bottom and up a portion of the hill side, which would allow for people to stop at any point and return with the group. After the hike there was an excellent lunch with a sampling of local wine. Tenerife: We took the volcanoes of Tenerife excursion which explored the mountainous center of the island. I had been concerned about cold temperatures at the higher altitudes (~7000 ft), but the bright sun kept things surprisingly warm. The climate and vegetation of Tenerife and Gran Canaria reminded me of that of southern California, with arid lowlands and forests of pine and eucalyptus on the moist slopes that face the prevailing winds. Funchal (Madeira): We went to mass the cathedral and enjoyed a leisurely seafood lunch at a local restaurant. The island is much greener than the Canaries. Sunset over the ocean as we left Funchal was beautiful. La Coruña: We took the excursion to Betanzos and the tower of Hercules. Betanzos is an interesting medieval town. The guide was excellent. Days at Sea: There were a total of four days at sea, including a day each way between England and Spain. The ocean between England and Spain is notorious stormy conditions, but the ship was surprisingly stable in spite of seas over 10 feet. The return trip to Southampton was especially windy with a 55 mph wind on the deck from the combination of the ship’s speed and a stiff headwind. The trip between the Iberian mainland and the islands had pleasantly warm air temperatures that allowed for pool activities. Entertainment: The entertainment was impressive. We enjoyed three different ice shows, the musical Grease, and a ventriloquist act. We also made several visits to the pub on the promenade to sing along with Stephen Burke, whom we had seen on an earlier cruise in Canada. Food and cabin: We had the 8:30 pm seating for the dining room, which was surprisingly uncrowded. I guess most people preferred either the earlier seating or the buffet. The service was very good and we enjoyed the food, which was similar that of other Royal Caribbean cruises. The cabin was typical of cabins we’ve had on previous cruises with good use of all available space. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
This was my first experience at cruising and I am so pleased I chose Royal Caribbean to go with, I will never go with anyone else as no other company could come close to matching this magical holiday. The ease of boarding surprised us ... Read More
This was my first experience at cruising and I am so pleased I chose Royal Caribbean to go with, I will never go with anyone else as no other company could come close to matching this magical holiday. The ease of boarding surprised us as we expected hours of waiting around, this didn't happen and we were onboard and in our stateroom before 1pm. The stateroom was comfortable and pristinely clean, the beds were so comfy. Our room attendant (Yanne) was lovely and always available if we needed her, the fact that she didn't have a brilliant grasp of our English accents didn't stop her trying to converse with us and we loved her. We ate in the King Lear dining room and we had delicious food every day served to us by our assigned waiters (Timothy and Maureen). Both were attentive and eager to chat to us, we were so impressed that we asked for a soft drink on our first night and they remembered what we had and every night there after, our drinks were there waiting for us when we got there. The dining room manager (Carmen) was equally lovely and always made the time to chat to us, she even got the chef to create us lobster thermodore on our last evening and gave us 40% off. We dined in Giovanne's on my 50th birthday and they made the whole evening so very special for me, made even more magical by some dolphins that decided to swim right by us out in the sea. The food was presented beautifully and was so delicious, we were able to pick several dishes as we couldn't decide what to have as it was all so yummy. The waiters then came out singing happy birthday to me and gave me and cake with a candle in it, such a lovely thought. The food in the Windjammer café was always delicious too and it was so easy to eat too much in there. The staff in there worked so hard to clear tables and make sure you always had a drink. The entertainment was fantastic every night. We went to see Grease twice as it was just so brilliant. The acapella band were awesome as was the comedian Paul Eastwood and the ventriloquist Gareth Oliver. All in all the trip was a total success and if there was anything to find fault with, it would be the trip across the Bay of Biscay which was not pleasant on the way out. The staff did all they could to make me feel abit better. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
First time on Indy have sailed from Southampton before after flying in from Australia. Embankment was fast and easy no wait only 15min from start till on ship. Room was ready by 2pm at time we boarded. Ship was clean and Ready for ... Read More
First time on Indy have sailed from Southampton before after flying in from Australia. Embankment was fast and easy no wait only 15min from start till on ship. Room was ready by 2pm at time we boarded. Ship was clean and Ready for the cruisers. Room 6331 prominade was kept spotless the whole cruise. We ate in buffet breakfast deck 3 and food was ample cereal fruit hot food pastries toast. MyTime dining booked same time and table each night. Food was outstanding and seamed larger serves than previous sailings Wait staff excellent. Lunch was had in dining room but after breakfast only had salad bar freshly made by waiters you could order from menu to. Shows were excellent Grease Commedian The Beatles show. Was lacklustre and singing was mediocre. 70s night in prominade was a blast even though we have seen it on other ships it's still fun. Day trips Madeira, booked tour cable car and wicker basket ride outstanding 5 hrs. Tenerife did our own thing hop on bus Las Palmas did hop on bus Lanzarote booked tour camel ride and fir mountain what a fun day and the mountains are unbelievable. Vigo walk straight off ship into old town plenty to see and restaurants The only thing we would say is due to the wind all outdoor activities were cancelled on sports deck while sailing so not to much to do indoors other than sit in a bar. The days with sun and in port day spa was set up in adults pool area and 15min massage was a treat. We always sail with RC the service is outstanding and clean fresh decor. You must try the flow rider Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
This was our second cruise, the first having been 6 years ago onboard the Independence of the Seas. We booked with great excitement way back at the beginning of the year before the Anthem was even finished being built and then found as ... Read More
This was our second cruise, the first having been 6 years ago onboard the Independence of the Seas. We booked with great excitement way back at the beginning of the year before the Anthem was even finished being built and then found as the months went by all the negative whingey reviews posted about this ship gradually eroded our excitement and happiness until early this summer we were on the point of cancelling! Well what I can say is that I am so very glad we didn't listen and instead decided to follow our first instincts and judge for ourselves. I can safely say the 2 weeks on Anthem of the Seas to the Canaries, Spain and Portugal has been the best holiday I've ever had. The ship is wonderful, beautifully fitted out, a great selection of bars and restaurants, awe inspiring areas such as 270 which had to be seen to be believed and was one of my favourite parts of the ship. spacious extremely comfortable staterooms, a great friendly, helpful and attentive crew. First class service with a smile all the way from the cleaning crew (they are clearly very proud of the new ship and are constantly cleaning, hovering, dusting, washing the Windows (inside and out) all to keep it sparkling and new and looking as vibrant and attractive, through to them stateroom attendants, bar staff, waiting staff, entertainment staff and cruise director, the ships officers and everyone else onboard.. Truly a gorgeous place to be. Unlike some reviewers we didn't have any problems getting a drink a in bar or finding a sunny sheltered corner to sit and enjoy the views with a book or simply soak up the sunshine. On most ports we took advantage of the shuttle bus service which was a very cost effective and convienent way to explore the destinations on your own which is our preference over organised excursions. We tried most of the wide selection of restaurants on board (including the Windjammer) and enjoyed a varied selection of food all of which was cooked well, arrived hot and was very enjoyable. We especially enjoyed eating breakfast in the outside area at the back of the Windjammer and never had a difficulty finding a table. The entertainment was first class, we especially enjoyed We will Rock You and Spectra's Cabaret which really showcased the flexibility of 270. Also we liked the small almost ad hoc shows out on by the bar Staff and kitchen staff too great fun. All in all I would say please don't only listen to the negative reviews, don't let them put you off taking a chance of exploring and enjoying the beautiful Anthem of the Seas. Go with a positive attitude, be friendly and polite to the crew and your fellow passengers, enjoy all the amenities and joy of the spaces that the ship offers, don't worry about being 'squashed' as even on sea days we found it to feel mush less crowded than certainly the Independance was as its a bigger ship and they've designed so you really don't feel hemmed in or as if you're at sea with 4000 other people. Please just go and enjoy all it has to offer and you'll have a fabulous time! Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
After reading several mixed reviews about the Anthem of the Seas, we didn't know what to expect. However, everything about this new ship is spot on. Boarding was very quick (about 10 minutes). Our balcony stateroom was on deck 12 had ... Read More
After reading several mixed reviews about the Anthem of the Seas, we didn't know what to expect. However, everything about this new ship is spot on. Boarding was very quick (about 10 minutes). Our balcony stateroom was on deck 12 had plenty of room for the two of us and the balcony was also quite large, too. The entertainment was first class throughout the cruise with the highlight being the 'We will rock you' show which was delivered to a West End standard. The two 70 area at the back of the ship delivers stunning views of the sea during the day and then at night transforms into an amazing technology entertainment area. We went on the ships 'North Star' which delivers panoramic views of both the ship and the sea. We opted for the dynamic dining having pre-booked restaurants and times and everything worked liked clockwork. The food in all of our four chosen restaurants was of exceptional quality with a large choice daily menu. The service of every member of staff on board was excellent at all times and nothing was ever too much trouble. Would we travel on this ship and with Royal Caribbean again? Yes, without a doubt! We had fantastic weather throughout our cruise with very calm sea conditions. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
We've just returned from a 13 night Canary Island Cruise on Anthem Of the Seas. Our favourite cruise line is Celebrity but we have also sailed on Royal Caribbean on The Independence and Adventure and several times with the British ... Read More
We've just returned from a 13 night Canary Island Cruise on Anthem Of the Seas. Our favourite cruise line is Celebrity but we have also sailed on Royal Caribbean on The Independence and Adventure and several times with the British cruise line P&O.. We wanted to try Anthem on her maiden Southampton season before she becomes based year round in New Jersey. Embarkation We reserved a check in slot of 11.15 to 11.45 but arrived early at 10.30. We walked straight up to a person with a tablet, they scanned our seapass papers and checked our passports and that was it, we were onboard within 5 minutes of arrival. Superbly smooth and hassle free. Cabin The cabins were released at 1pm with the doors to the corridors kept shut until then. We had a standard balcony on Deck 6 (Obstructed). The cabin is probably the best designed of any we have stayed in. It had a feeling of space and has plenty of room to move around. There are two separate wardrobes, 1 each side of each bed with storage above the bed. There is a desk with a large light up mirror above and the desk is freestanding and can be moved say in front of the couch if you want to eat meals from the (mostly chargeable) room service menu. Then there is a unit with 6 drawers and the mini fridge, the top drawer containing the hairdryer. The couch is a good size if somewhat firm. Above the desk area are three sockets plus two USB outlets for charging devices which is a nice touch. We liked the lighting options including lights above the curtains and a large table lamp on the drawer unit however the bedside lights are a touch too bright. There is a 40” flat screen TV neatly sat against the wall which can be pulled out at an angle. The bathroom is very similar to those on Celebrity S class ships but with open shelves rather than cabinets. The shower has a glass screen and is a good size. Like Celebrity, there is a courtesy light in the bathroom making it easy to find and see at night without waking others in the room. The cabin was kept spotless by our attendant. The air con worked very well and is quiet and unobtrusive as its outlet is built into the cupboards over the bed. The cabin probably surpassed the design of Celebrity's S class cabins which we thought could not be beaten and the midships location on Deck 6 was really convenient to access the decks below by stairs. Food We were on dynamic dining choice. We pre-booked all our evenings across the 4 free main dining rooms. We did check out Devinly Decadence on embarkation which is great if you like salad but has limited main meals at lunch and very little for vegetarians (OH is a veggie) as none of the cheese used is suitable for vegetarians (animal rennet). Their evening menu offered no mains for vegetarians so it wasn't an option for us. We thought that there were much better dining options elsewhere and don't cruise to count our calories but I'm sure many will enjoy the relative peace of this venue. Out of the other 4 main dining rooms we rated them in this order: 1) The Grande 2) American Icon/Chic (neck and neck) 3) Silk We loved The Grande. The ambience and decor are superb and we enjoyed the food options the most here. We wore blazers without ties and it was nice to see the majority adhering to the dress code with very few having to be given a jacket to walk in with. There was little to choose between American Icon and Chic and we thought the options quite similarly good.. We tried Silk on one menu and we both left during our mains. We thought the food was quite poor. It all sounded nice but the execution wasn't good, onion bhaji was cold and soggy and stir fry broccoli and beef was gloopy. We decided to try it on the alternate menu and this confirmed it wasn't the place for us (Shrimp Korma was insipid and not creamy, just gravy like). Others liked Silk but we’ve eaten better Asian food from local takeaways. The menus in the 4 restaurants switched every 4 days and the choice of options was superb. The food was well prepared and presented and the portions were large. Service in all restaurants was excellent without exception. Just a note about the reservation system for Dynamic Dining Choice. Our reservations made from home were all transferred to the ship and appeared on the Cabin TV and the Royal IQ App. When you turn up for dinner, if there is a queue in front of you there appears to be no differentiation between those who have reserved and those who have not. Everyone is dealt with in turn. Therefore after around night 3 we ignored our reservations and just turned up at our restaurant of choice. They don't keep a table open for those who have reserved so the suggestion to reserve restaurants is probably more to do with Royal trying to spread the load across restaurants and times. We ate usually between 7-7.30 and never encountered a queue or wait time. Meals were served briskly but you could ask to take it slower if you preferred. We've previously said the the food on Celebrity was the best included food we've had. However, the food on Anthem in the main dining rooms topped it. We also preferred the smaller dining rooms to a large single dining room which can get quite noisy and bustling and it was nice to eat in different venues. Quality, portions, presentation and choice all tipped the balance from Celebrity to Anthem. I should point out that the Anthem food was way ahead of the food served on Adventure 2 years ago. The only speciality dining we tried was Jamie’s Italian. We got a 30% discount by asking onboard. The service was superb and the food was extremely good. Make sure you are hungry as the portions are very large. It was great value with the discount and highly recommended. For breakfast we ate in either American Icon or the Windjammer. American Icon was very good. Good service and a nice choice of food. We asked for and always got a table for 2. The eggs benedict was excellent and my OH enjoyed the Beignet. The Windjammer has a great selection but is of course busier. Interestingly American Icon is a la carte for breakfast with not help yourself options but next door in Silk they offer a buffet selection which is a good option if you want to help yourself in a quieter location than the Windjammer. Lunch was usually the Windjammer too but a couple of times we ate in Two70 where the roast beef sandwiches are superb. They also have paninis, sandwiches and cakes and a large gluten free selection. The salads are a 'point and select' type and though the ingredients are limited they are very nice. We snacked on pizza at Sorrentos a couple of times and this was always busy (beware the cheese is not Vegetarian but after a discussion they obtained some veggie cheese for my OH). I tried a hot dog from the Seaplex Doghouse and it was very good. We didn't try Johnny Rockets as we did not feel the need to pay for fast food with all the other free options. We had snacks from Cafe Promenade a few times. Opposite is a chargeable Patisserie. We didn't see a single person buy food from there and the space as a result is wasted. We had the free included Select drinks packages but I upgraded to the Premium Package and my OH downgraded (doesn't drink alcohol) to the Royal Replenish Package to access the sparkling waters and Mocktails. We both had lots of choice and had no issue getting a drink and the choice was excellent. We liked that every bar had its own unique cocktail menu in addition to any other cocktail you might choose. Entertainment Of course the big show is We Will Rock You. We booked in advance and they scan your card or Wow band on entry to ensure you have booked. 10 minutes before the start they allow people who haven't booked to fill any empty seats. The theatre has some obstructed views so it's best to arrive early. Doors open 45 mins before the show. It was great fun, very professional with good sets and of course all those well known Queen songs. For UK cruisers it was interesting to see Kevin Kennedy, aka Curly Watts from Coronation Street, in one of the main roles and he was good. It got a great reaction and standing ovation at the end. Another show to book was Spectra's Cabaret in Two70. Whilst mentioning Two70 I have to say it's possibly the best single venue on any ship we have been on. The design of it allows it to switch from library to cafe seating, to bar to general lounging area and at night it becomes a showbar. The surrounding 50ft high windows become projection screens at night and the roboscreens are amazing and superbly flexible. We loved Spectra's Cabaret. The singing and dancing were superb and the show had amazing energy. The final bookable show was The Gift. We missed our booked performance as I was under the weather however almost universally everyone we met said it was technically impressive but they had no idea what it was about. The next night we popped in and watched for 5 mins and we could see that a lot of design had gone into the production but we didn't stay given the feedback from others. Onboard Activities Of course you have the rock wall and the flowrider. But on Quantum Class the headline activities are the Ripcord by I-Fly and the Seaplex. We prebooked the skydiving simulation in advance and took part on day 3. All I Can say is it was superb. Exhilarating and exciting. After day 7 you could book another go one day at a time. We did it 5 times in total and loved every one. We saw a 3 year old and a 70 year old take part and most we talked to thought it was excellent too. If you have done it previously you can skip the video instruction at the start but still have to wait for the rest of your group to see the video. The seaplex is multipurpose and hosts roller skating, trapeze, basketball and of course the bumper cars. The latter looked a little tame but after we gave it a go we loved it and took part about 8 times. It was great fun and well organised and by the end of the 2 weeks there were some seriously competitive bumper car drivers. The daily compass was full of activities, lots of quizzes, fitness, Zumba, port talks etc. We didn't care for the cruise director (Luke Aerosmith) whose specialist ability seemed to be reading out the activities in the daily compass both on the TV channel and on the tannoy announcements. The Ship in general. The decor is very smart and modern certainly more Celebrity than Royal. Classy and with some modern high tech touches. The Bionic Bar is interesting briefly but had several mishaps and was pretty quiet mostly. Vintages is a lovely large wine bar with a lot of options within the premium package price point. The other bars are a touch small for the amount of passengers (Beleros and Schooner) and Michael's Genuine Pub is like no UK pub I've frequented, dark and a tad depressing with barmen wearing braces and flat caps. However they had a wide beer selection and it proved popular though we thought the food options a little on the expensive side. So did most others as we never saw anyone eating in there. Music Hall is a superb area. Two floors, each with a bar and the top level has pool tables. There is always something going on here and in the evening it was always busy. Rock The Boat were the house band and were excellent. On deck the outside pool areas are smaller than Independence however she has the indoor pool plus the Solarium area for cooler/wetter days. Both of the latter two are lovely areas. We've been on Independance on cool and wet days out of Southampton and there is nowhere to go apart from inside a packed ship with limited seating so it was nice to have other options on the first and last cooler days. A lot of the UK cruisers had previously been on the Independance as she has been based in Southampton most summers since her launch. Many made the comparison between her and Anthem. Some missed the 3 level MDR and some missed the larger Royal Promenade. Not sure why they chose Anthem knowing she had neither but we like that the venues on Anthem were more spread out as it made it feel less busy and the separate dining rooms kept that division of passengers possible such that you never thought you were on a ship with this volume of passengers. Ok, so overall. We loved Anthem. If she was going to be based in Southampton each summer she would be our Go To cruise ship of choice but that's not to be unfortunately. We loved the cabins, food, entertainment, decor and service. We liked the flexibility, and quality, of the dining options and interestingly there were a lot of new cruisers onboard so Royal must be doing something right in their marketing to entice people to try cruising for the first time. Clearly she is designed for mixed climate cruising and would not work in a solely caribbean itinerary but for her Southampton maiden season and her New Jersey home I'm sure she is expertly suited. Overall, a 9 out of 10 for us. Interestingly we have sailed on 3 ships out of Southampton this year, the new P&O Britannia, Celebrity Eclipse and Anthem Of The Seas. Anthem was the best of the 3 in our opinion. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
Like so many others we were very apprehensive about this cruise following so many negative reviews here on CC and other review sites. However we are so pleased that we resisted the urge to cancel and re-book on a different ship. Anthem ... Read More
Like so many others we were very apprehensive about this cruise following so many negative reviews here on CC and other review sites. However we are so pleased that we resisted the urge to cancel and re-book on a different ship. Anthem was a fantastic experience from start to finish! This was our 8th cruise, all with RCI on Vision, Radiance, Voyager classes and our first at Diamond level. Just the two of us travelling without family or children. The ship was fully booked with over 4200 passengers. Embarkation at Southampton was fine but not really any quicker than the conventional queuing system. We had completed all the pre cruise on line check-in requirements, photos, charge cards etc but still found ourselves waiting while the roving (and slightly random) check-in person took photos and entered charge card details of the family ahead of us that had not gone to the trouble of doing it all in advance. This is about the only niggle we had for the entire cruise and we were still "car to Promenade Café" in about 20 mins. The ship was pretty jaw-dropping. At first, the promenade area seemed more like a high end shopping mall but we soon realised what a sociable area this was with numerous bar, café, snack area options both day and night. Yes there were the usual on-board shopping special functions set up here most days but there was plenty of room and none of the crowding problems we'd read about. As you walk aft on deck 4, the ship seems to stretch further and further with some incredible open spaces before you then enter the amazing Two70 space. The Two70 area at the rear of the ship spans 3 deck levels (4,5 and 6) and is a brilliant space with a glass wall spanning floor to ceiling across the stern and around the stern quarters. It's a vast light, airy space with lots of seating options and the glass windows can be transformed into a huge projection area for some great special effects. The ship has almost endless food and bar options, we had no chance of trying them all. The main theatre also doubled as a 3D cinema complete with 3D specs. We wanted to try one of the "Virtual Balcony" inside cabins (8185). The cabin itself was spacious, well laid out (but different to our previous ships so had to find new places for things), full length hanging space was a bit limited but not an issue. The bathroom was excellent with a large GLASS door shower with proper (not aerated) shower flow. The virtual balcony screen was fantastic, so realistic that both of us bumped our heads trying to "see around the corner" as you would with a real window. No more trying to guess the weather before leaving the cabin. A kettle/coffee maker was provided (but we never used it). There seemed to be plenty of entertainment options, we had nowhere near enough time to try them all. The We Will Rock You stage show was excellent, I had expected a shortened version of the stage show, but it was the full length show and really well done. Spectre's Cabaret was entertaining and spectacular but not really our thing, the same goes for The Gift. However, these represent just a fraction of the entertainment on offer, I'd be amazed if there wasn't something for everyone. The Dynamic Dining (DD) worked just fine and was in fact quite flexible. We were more than fashionably late for our (pre cruise booked) reservation several times without a problem and often with impromptu dining partners from the Diamond lounge which the restaurant took in their stride. They coped with my wife's gluten free requirement just fine, passing the information from venue to venue very smoothly throughout the cruise. The menus in each complimentary restaurant changed every 4 days but there was plenty of choice anyway. True, they were sometimes the same core ingredients prepared in different ways but we found plenty of variety and loved it. Tip: American Icon's surf and turf is to die for. Think filet mignon with skewered giant prawns........! Dress Code for the Grande (formal restaurant) was sensibly enforced with jacket and collared shirt the minimum standard, but many male diners wore black tie every night in the Grande. The mix of dining (and drinking) venues gave rise to plenty of varied apparel but rest assured those that like to "dress up" would never feel out of place on any evening A few very minor negatives such as the main outdoor pool area was small without enough surrounding sun lounger space (there were plenty of other areas away from the pool), the gym/fitness suite no longer includes a free sauna/ steam room (you now have to pay for these as part of the spa). These were minor things and were far outweighed by the many positives. It was really something to sail on an almost new ship (Anthem's 16th voyage). The ship was immaculate, little things like the perfectly smooth high gloss handrails around the outer decks I loved. I'm no computer geek, but even I loved the technology, so many great features. I went on the iFly free fall simulator, great experience. We rode the North Star capsule shortly after sunrise on our anniversary, brilliant, 300ft high and about 100ft to the side of the ship while underway at about 20knots, great photo opportunity. Bumper cars, Flowrider, we had a blast! Disembarkation went very smoothly, we were going to self-carry but in the end thought why struggle? So left it to the crew and after a very civilised coffee and pastries we sauntered ashore to collect our luggage and were away no problem. She is a very different ship to the others we've sailed on. The layout does not suit everyone and does not really lend itself to having that central area where everyone gathers for the party type events that we were used to. As a result of this, plus having different table waiters most evenings, you do not quite develop the same sense of "belonging" as on previous ships, however all the crew were fantastic and there are many really great features that we absolutely loved. None of the above is to say that we would, for a second, abandon the other classes of ships that we have loved so much, but we would not hesitate to book a Quantum class again if the price and itinerary were right. It has to be said, there were only about 100 children on our cruise, there had been 1000+ on the previous cruises that received such poor reviews and a couple of the crew we spoke to confirmed that the high numbers of children had put the ship under a strain. So avoid school vacation periods if you can. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
This was one of the best cruises we have ever been on and we have done quite a few. The embarkation process was slick and first class. Some of this was due to the fact that we had completed all the necessary information online before we ... Read More
This was one of the best cruises we have ever been on and we have done quite a few. The embarkation process was slick and first class. Some of this was due to the fact that we had completed all the necessary information online before we sailed. From the minute we arrived at the port, we were on the ship in less than 15 minutes. The North Star experience was excellent but sometimes there was a bit of a queue to this attraction. We experienced Ripcord iFly, what a fantastic experience. The seaplex complex was fantastic too especially the dodgems. All bars were easily accessible with great service. The entertainment on board was first class. We found Luke the cruise director to be very helpful and informative. Booking all the shows and restaurants online before we sailed was definitely the thing to do as some people were complaining they couldn't get into some of the shows and restaurants. We tried all the restaurants with a cover charge. Wonderland and Jamie's Italian were our favourites. We also had the drinks package which offered a great selection of beer, wine, spirits and cocktails. Some people complained about the Windjammer being very busy. This was the biggest self serve buffet we have ever encountered and we never struggled to get a seat. The selection and variety of food was excellent probably too much choice. The food was always fresh and hot. We had been previously to most of the ports of call. We booked this cruise mainly for the ship experience and we were not disappointed. The staff throughout the ship were fantastic and nothing was too much of a problem for them. The WOW wristbands did tend to come off quite easily so we referred back to the sea pass. Overall the ship was first class, very clean with plenty of things to do during the day and at night but the one thing that was missing was things like barbecues on the deck, ice carving etc. We would definitely go on this ship again. It did have the WOW factor. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
I have just returned from a 13 night voyage on the Anthem Of The Seas and I feel that I must express my views having read so many negative reviews. I don't confess to being what some may call an experienced cruiser but I have ... Read More
I have just returned from a 13 night voyage on the Anthem Of The Seas and I feel that I must express my views having read so many negative reviews. I don't confess to being what some may call an experienced cruiser but I have completed 12+ cruises on different cruise liners including Royal Caribbean, Princess, Cunard, Celebrity and P&O. I have travelled on the same cruise liner on more than one occasion but never the same ship twice. I like to try different cruise liners to see how each of them compare. They each have plus and negative points but it's the overall feeling at the end of the cruise which I base my opinion on. I am neither young or old and I do have a walking disability and therefore I can review different aspects of the ship from a mobility point of view. Lets start with the ship itself. There is no denying the fact that this is a huge ship with over 5,000 passengers and crew. At no time did I feel that the ship was over crowded because there are so many different public areas to visit. Breakfast time at Windjammer's was very busy and patience was required when trying to find a seat but this is no different to any other ship i've been on at peak times. Plus I didn't feel the need 'to eat my monies worth' so most of the time I opted for room service which was delivered on time every time even though some jam or butter was missing on a couple of occasions. EMBARKATION: Embarkation I wasn't overly keen on. Checking in with a rep at the entrance to the terminal on a hand held device with no desk to rest on wasn't personal enough for my liking but having said that all went well and we embarked within our allotted time on time. I have rated embarkation 4 stars. CABIN: Our stateroom had the WOW factor for me. Having tried mini suites and balcony cabins in the past we opted for the large interior stateroom with the virtual balcony which was brilliant. Having realised that we spend very little time sat on a balcony we decided to try the alternative and we were not disappointed. Everything was obviously new (15 previous cruises) so everything worked as it should with no issues. Large TV, bed, sofa, vanity table and chair and of course a large glass shower cubicle. It felt more than a hotel room than a cabin. I had no issues with the stateroom and therefore rated it 5 stars. DINING We tried all the dining options expect the Costal Kitchen (suite guests only). The dining options does away with the traditional 2 sittings and opts for a more smart casual approach. The only dining area which required any type of formal dress was the Grande dining room which required a jacket only. When I say a jacket only that was the only stipulation. I was disappointed to see open neck shirts, jumpers and sandals. The Grande should insist on complete formal dress code for those guests who like to dress up, as it is the only formal type restaurant. I'm not a jacket and tie type person myself but I will do it on a couple of occasions when needs must and I was disappointed with the dress code for the restaurant. I was disappointed with some of the meals, wrong order, chipped plates, missing food, dirty glasses and 1/2 hr wait for a starter was not the best of experiences when compared to other cruise liners. I felt at times there were too many staff serving each table and serving staff not knowing what the other one has or has not done. Don't get me wrong all the dining staff were very pleasant and well mannered but inexperience did show at times. The best dining experience was Chops Grill by far with one experienced waiter. Fantastic food. Some of the restaurants had supplements attached to them so it was a personal choice. Jamies restaurant was the most expensive but my least favourite for food and service. The Windjammer had some excellent self service choices. Insisting guests wash their hands prior to dining was good to see. I gave dining 3 1/2 stars due to my experience but in time i'm sure it will raise to 4 stars after a couple more cruises. ENRICHMENT ACTIVITIES: Unable to comment as I didn't use the Spa treatments. ENTERTAINMENT: We saw the show Spectre Cabaret in Two/70 - excellent performance with a great backdrop. The Gift (Theatre)- very good but I lost the plot (father, son and daughter in a tug boat), We Will Rock you (Theatre)- West End show - Queens musical - brilliant and Soul Boys (Theatre) - fantastic. All the visual effects were sensational especially in the Two/70 area at the back of the boat with the rotating TV screens and huge virtual screens. My favourite was the Rock The Boat rock band who played most nights in the large music hall. They played many songs from different eras to an audience of 17 - 85 year olds. Great live band. There were other smaller bands in a couple of other bars who were also good if you liked that type of music. There were other shows but we opted out due to personal choice. Entertainment scores 5 stars. FITNESS & RECREATION: Superb gym with plenty of machines and free weights. Full size 5 a side / basketball court. Flow rider, indoor sky diving, trapeze training and a climbing wall for the more adventurous. Table tennis / xbox 360 area and even dodgems which was very entertaining and a good laugh with no queues. These were the obvious activities with even more organised activities on the daily planner for the more sedate passengers. Fitness and recreation score a strong 5 stars. PUBLIC ROOMS: Excellent - clean, bright and on the whole spotless. Plenty of seating although at busy times (adverse weather or peak times) you may struggle for good seats but no different to any other ship in my opinion. All areas accessible for wheel chairs / motor scooters. Toilets - spotless with automatic doors for cleanliness / prevent germs from spreading. I rate public rooms a 5 star. SERVICE: First class customer services. All staff senior and junior were very pleasant, chatty and highly visible. I never experienced one bad mannered or disgruntled staff member. My only gripe was with some of the service I experienced in the dining rooms but I honestly believe that was due to lack of experience in that field because most of the serving staff work in both the restaurants and the bar areas. For service I rate 4 star only because of my dining experience. SHORE EXCURSIONS: Will never score high in my books because it's either good or very poor but once again it's no different to any other cruise liner. Some shore excursions are a waste of money because the hype in the brochure rarely lives up to expectations. Sometimes there is nothing to see on so called scenic tours. I suppose it all depends on what you expect from a tour. They were mainly well organised apart from the usual passengers wanting to sit on the front of the coach because "i'm more disabled than you" attitude; pathetic really. This is an area where the cruise liners make their money because they are so expensive for what you get in return but at the end of the day it's your choice whether to go on a shore excursion or not. Shore Excursions score a 3 star. VALUE FOR MONEY: Difficult this one. If the price you pay at the time is all you have to pay then very good value for money but there is always add ons ie. Speciality restaurants, drinks packages, shuttle bus and various other bits and bobs. What I don't like is the way all the cruise liners leave gratuity envelopes in your stateroom to reward individuals for the extra WOW treatment you may have received from them during your cruise. This is all well and good but surely not after you have already paid your gratuities at the time of booking. What will they think of next; the WOW WOW factor envelope. I would much rather not pay gratuities and reward individuals because at the end of the day you never know whether gratuities are used to pay staff their basic wage and therefore save the company even more money. Value for money score 3 1/2 - 4 stars for me. CONCLUSION: What I found irritating on the ship was the number of passengers complaining that it wasn't like the Independence of the Seas. No they are right that is why it is called Anthem of the Seas and is a total different class of ship. The only advantage the Independence has over the Anthem is the Royal Promenade which I must admit is a great feature but other than that the Anthem wins hands down. If you don't like big ships then the Anthem is not for you - simples. If you are expecting a promenade like the Independence then you will be disappointed. I have been on both ships and the Anthem is the winner in my book. It is the best ship I have been on to date and even though I have downgraded several areas of my rating I will still give it an overall 5 star rating. It is one ship I will return to. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
-This whole ship is a work of art with spectacular venues fore and aft. The only time you are aware of the number of people on board is at the mandatory muster drill to find your lifeboat. At all other times there are so many different ... Read More
-This whole ship is a work of art with spectacular venues fore and aft. The only time you are aware of the number of people on board is at the mandatory muster drill to find your lifeboat. At all other times there are so many different venues there is more than enough space to spare for everybody. -The crew without exception were customer focused on you being comfortable/having fun/ enjoying yourself and having an amazing time. The ship has a multiplicity of restaurants to choose from with excellent food. The sports hall, solarium, gym and show venues exceed comparable facilities on shore. Where else can you have trapeze lessons, jazz and tap, join a choir, drive dodgem cars, relax in the superb solarium or on deck or in one of the pools watching a film or the football on screen listen to a concert pianist and classical violinist or a rock band or go to truly amazing shows which were so good there are no words to describe them, top class is the least you can say. -You will enjoy the fun quiz's and the cruise director's early/late shows on the television and also the dear captain's daily updates to his guests and crew. There is always something going on if you don't want to simply relax.There were so many high spots on this cruise it is hard to pick out any in particular. We dined in divinely decadent with Alina, Romulus, Marigold, Velinka and all the waiters making the front of house so welcoming it was more like being invited into their home than just getting a meal. Special mention must go to Fortune and the sous chef Sadeki Edwards who prepared such succulent food ,again with smiles. Who could have thought healthy food could be so filling and enjoyable- a true artist. Just all totally wonderful. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
My wife and I travelled to Southampton from Essex with our daughter and husband and their little girl aged 2 1/2 on The Explorer of the Seas. We arrived about 11.30 and were pointed in the direction of the car park. Our bags were collected ... Read More
My wife and I travelled to Southampton from Essex with our daughter and husband and their little girl aged 2 1/2 on The Explorer of the Seas. We arrived about 11.30 and were pointed in the direction of the car park. Our bags were collected off us and put into a van and we had a couple of minutes walk to the terminal. We were through check-in and on board by 12.15, really easy and no real queuing. The Explorer is a large ship and was fully booked for the trip to the Canary Islands this included about 960 children. After reading various bad reviews about the Explorer I must say I had some concerns but I am of the opinion that these people must have been on a different cruise ship! Overall you could not have told that this was a 15 year old ship.There were new carpets throughout the ship and everywhere was kept clean. Our first day out across the Bay of Biscay was fairly rough and windy so not many people on deck (plenty of room round the pool!] so was pretty busy inside so if you have bad weather you must expect this. After the first day weather changed and became calmer and warmer and that's when it becomes really crowded around the pool, not easy to get a lounger and although they say about removing towels it is not a practical operation. Having said that there are plenty of places to find a lounger, on top of where the new cabins were put is a large area and also a lot quieter than round the pool and on deck 4 where you can walk right round the ship. We ate most of our meals in the Windjammer because with a toddler it is easier than the MDR. Found the selection of foods well varied and probably aimed more toward U.K voyagers but still an interesting mix. Seating which seems to have been a big problem for some people according to reviews is no hassle if you time it right. If you are there for breakfast around 8 am plenty of space, same with lunch go a little bit earlier and also evening meal. We used to go in about 6.45 and hardly anyone there.Cannot really comment on MDR as we only ate there once but menus varied. The entertainment on the ship is varied and what appeals to some will not to others you just have to pick and choose. The Headliner acts, we saw two, the Queen tribute band and the ventriloquist were both excellent and whatever you do do not miss the ice show as that is brilliant. For the kids they have a club for 3 year olds and above which must have been well used for despite there being so many children on board you would not have realised it. For children under 3 there is a playroom in the Conference centre which is not supervised, so you must be with your children, which has a varied selection of toys for the kids to play with. Kept our granddaughter amused anyway. We were slightly disappointed that they took the pool away at the back of the ship to make way for the Flowrider but we were still able to take her in the hot tubs at the main pool [they must be potty trained] A lot of kids at the pools and in the hottubs as you would expect but they do keep one tub for adults and also there are two in the Solarium and one in the gym for adults as well as the pool in the Solarium. Service on the ship was excellent, very friendly from all staff. washy washy's at Windjammer a blast always funny. waiters in Windjammer very good always making a fuss of our granddaughter, I think they miss their own children. They work hard and give them respect and they will return it, unfortunately some people treated them not as people but as servants which I didn't think was very nice. The other venues on the ship do get crowded at night and seating is limited but it is no different to a busy pub or club but nobody had to wait long for a drink. don't know where these queues for drinks came from. Excursions. Madeira we just had shuttle into town, o.k nothing special although the excursions looked alright. Tenerife. We had transfer to the beach which was fantastic, lovely sand crystal clear water and beautiful scenery. Gran Canaria. Loved it. Walk of the ship into town,lots of shops and 10 minute walk through town to fantastic beach and promenade. Lanzarote. Went on trip to Aloe Vera farm and and underground volcanic pool, very good. Vigo. Our trip had to be cancelled so walked into town 2 minutes. Loads of shops really nice place. Most of the excursions were expensive, not sure that you would get value for money on some, so need to pick and choose. Lastly our room steward Chris was great, been away from home for seven months and has two children, looked after us and my daughter and grandchild. Should only have towel animal every other day but he and one of the other stewards were leaving them once or twice a day for my granddaughter which was very nice. Always friendly and smiling,not easy sometimes I would imagine. Arrival back at Southampton. Left cases out night before. Told to be in our designated waiting area by 7.30[we chose 8-9 am disembarkation] and were called straight away and off the ship and through customs by 7.50, a breeze. Hope I've covered most things but will happily answer any questions.We had a great time, some things were not to our taste but then we are all different but I cannot fault RCI for there efforts and would recommend. Read Less
Sail Date August 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
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
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
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
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 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
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