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8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
We directly booked with Royal Caribbean having identified the cruise as ideal for us. However calling a local phone number from an Australian website and being given a quote in Australian dollars does not stop the bank from charging a ... Read More
We directly booked with Royal Caribbean having identified the cruise as ideal for us. However calling a local phone number from an Australian website and being given a quote in Australian dollars does not stop the bank from charging a foreign transaction fee of 3%. The payment from our credit card was going to a merchant outside Australia! I now know that this is common practice throughout the world and another great example of the banks charging fees for doing nothing. The quote had some fine print about your bank may charge you additional fees and I failed to pay enough attention to that but Royal Caribbean failed to say this will be a foreign transaction as far as your bank is concerned. I strongly believe they have a responsibility to inform their clients fully of this. 3% of $5,000 is $150. Not happy. I find out there are two Australian credit cards that do not charge these fees. I get one. I contact Royal Caribbean and ask them to reverse the transaction and charge the new card. They refuse. They say this is the bank’s fee and nothing to do with us. I send an email requesting onboard credit of $100 pointing out that if I had used a travel agent they would have paid a commission of about 10% ($500) and I would not have been charged by the bank. I get no answer to my email. I think this is very rude. I strongly suggest everyone use a locally based travel agent. I strongly suggest that everyone ask questions of any foreign based company even when they are quoting to you in local currency if their banking is based locally and if not seeking out a means to pay directly to the company in their currency or finding and using a credit card that does not charge foreign currency fees when you are already paying a margin on the currency transaction. The cruise would have been much more enjoyable if I didn’t have this experience prior to leaving. We travelled from Australia to New York for Xmas and New Year as it is our main holiday season from our work. The cruise complemented the cold of New York in winter very well and leaving from New York saved us complications of additional flights and connections. I was very interested in the class of ship and was not disappointed - it is a beautiful near new ship that is well designed. 4,700 guests on board with no big queues or problems. Getting on and off at all ports was easy and smooth. We enjoyed We Will Rock You and Specta's Cabaret. I think these are two very good shows. There was also a very good comedian and one quite good one. We enjoyed Tommy Green Jr in the Music Hall and Michael's Pub. There were also two saxophonists who I enjoyed when they played jazz in Michael's Pub but lost interest when they started playing middle of the road material. The 3 Tenors were not for me so I left after 2 songs. The band that were in the Music Hall multiple times were bad and the one on the Pool deck very ordinary. The Gift didn’t make any sense. We went to see one 3D movie in the Theatre and there were technical difficulties. I was disappointed that there were not more movies on especially given it was a 12 night cruise (with I think only one other kids movie shown in the theatre). I watched an outdoor movie one night but I had already seen one of the others (that played on two nights) and went to bed rather than watch others. The 270 space is amazing but I don’t think they quite have it figured out yet. The virtual symphony and concert did not really work for me. They seemed contrived and soulless. I’d get some live performers and record those. I’d think that some fringe acts from the 80s and 90s could work. Specta’s cabaret works. Add another smaller cabaret maybe with stationary performers, an amazing backdrop and camera projections of the performers on the robotic screens. We missed the fireworks show but heard it is good and sets up a party night. Given that we are talking mass catering, my expectations of the food were low so it was easy to meet them and that’s about what we got most of the time. Dishes could have been warmer. I don’t eat beef or pork so order seafood a lot at restaurants. The seafood was overcooked making it dry and chewy a number of times. The vegetarian dishes were bland. One Ravioli main was too thick and undercooked while another was good. In the main dining room I found myself thinking what is least likely to be terrible. One of the main meals was very good with a salad that had a delicious dressing for appetiser and a well-balanced main. We ate at Jamie’s one night and that was a good quality meal. I also really enjoyed a vegetarian pizza on the boardwalk café and a couple of cooked to order dishes in Windjammer. The Solarium Bistro is a quieter space that is excellent for breakfast. My tastes in food are probably a bit more adventurous than most. Overall my low expectations were met with a couple of nice surprises. I tried a number of wines in the main dining room and they were all terrible. Cheap wine sold at a huge mark up. Take your two bottles of wine on board with you. There is also a bar called Vintages where I got a nice glass of wine and the wine in the Jamie’s Italian was also much better. I noted many people walking into the main dining rooms with glasses of wine probably from Vintages. I wish I had gotten onto that sooner. We booked both Nothstar and iFly on the same day and neither were operating due to swell and wind. I’d be interested in what percentages of people that book them actually get to do them. I suspect it is a very low number. Book well before leaving and on different days. We enjoyed the dodgem cars but roller skating was also cancelled the day we tried to go due to swell. The service was good with most staff being friendly and helpful. I would ban the begging for high ratings that we heard through the PA in the restaurant and Windjammer. We had a balcony stateroom near the forward lifts on deck 9. It was comfortable and clean. We did not book excursions though the ship but found our own. Really enjoyed Topper’s Rhum Tour in St Marteen. Would recommend using local taxis so you get some connection with locals. We met a few really nice drivers who provided interesting insights into local life. We were very lucky with the weather. A couple of mild showers while cruising but no strong storms so fairly smooth sailing. I was wondering how quickly it warmed up as we went south and how quickly it would cool on our return north. It was warm enough to be by the pool in the solarium on days 2 and 12 with temperatures of around 20 degrees Celsius (70 Farenheit). Other days it was 25 to 30C (80 to 90F). Also had a couple of very brief showers on two of the island days but these were cooling. Overall an enjoyable cruise that was tainted by failure to fully inform me of their foreign banking, failure to reply to an email, mostly ordinary food and overpriced cheap wine. Beautiful ship, good service, nice weather, great island destinations and some good entertainment made for a very enjoyable cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2016
The ship has been designed to make the passengers spend on everything. The normal restaurant for all the passengers as it used to be, is no longer. Now they have 4 different normal ones and the quality of food is a disgrace. Unless you ... Read More
The ship has been designed to make the passengers spend on everything. The normal restaurant for all the passengers as it used to be, is no longer. Now they have 4 different normal ones and the quality of food is a disgrace. Unless you want to spend $100's for 2 people to eat in one of the many specialist restaurants, such as Jamie's kitchen where the lady chef came out to argue with us for returning the salmon, because it tasted like rubber. On new years eve the party was on the main inside deck, which was 80% taken up with sales carts and consisted on some balloons falling down from a net on the ceiling, not even a drink of water was free. The Champaign was only given out by the bottle and only so long as it was a pre booked table, in the rear of the ship which was used for shows and at a cost of100's of dollars. The main sun deck had no staff or beds to lay on. The entire ship is based on you spending your money for everything. The service was given by a staff who looked as if they would like to be elsewhere and that is an understatement. 30+ years of cursing and being a diamond plus member with this company has come to an end. Don't go on the Anthem you will be truly disappointed if you have either had to pay for it, or been on other ships. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
Waiters This is the third time on this ship. Two from Southampton which was perfect, but not the Caribbean. To begin with no one to meet us at the airport, A representitive from CUNARD was very helpful... The any time dining ... Read More
Waiters This is the third time on this ship. Two from Southampton which was perfect, but not the Caribbean. To begin with no one to meet us at the airport, A representitive from CUNARD was very helpful... The any time dining doesn't,t work. EX over five minutes in the queue to give your cabin no, ten minutes wait to be seated, twenty minutes to place your order, another wait in between each course.. My husband left on two occasions,we thought the first time was a one off.. It seems too many guests for the waiters to cope with... Queues everywhere you went. The only place you didn't,t queue was your own stateroom. We were offered Chic for the last two nights. A lovely restaurant, Completely opposite to any time dining. Only managed the theatre once... The times there are 6.30 & 8.30 but these times are no good for later diners. I feel the last show should be 10.30 pm.. All the ports we visited were good. We are diamond plus members so have noticed the decline in services . Schooners (our favourite bar) especially with the shortage of staff. We weren't,t on the list for disembarkation transfer back to the airport. Had papers to say we clearly should be, it got sorted eventually but taken to airport and had to sit around for over nine hours till our flight time. Never had to do that before.... I will not fly to join the ship again ...Thank you Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
We choose this cruise as it left from New York and sailed to the Sunshine over the Christmas period. We have sailed with Royal Caribbean on Oasis of the Seas and enjoyed the experience. Overall the staff are lovely and work really hard. ... Read More
We choose this cruise as it left from New York and sailed to the Sunshine over the Christmas period. We have sailed with Royal Caribbean on Oasis of the Seas and enjoyed the experience. Overall the staff are lovely and work really hard. There is a lot for you to do and get involved with. The staterooms are comfortable. The Windjammer restaurant serves good food with plenty of choice. Embarkation and disembarkation was smooth. The theatre productions are extremely professional. The entertainment is good: Access to the ports we visited was easy and we could walk from the ship to the towns. However: Drinks Package- If you drink spirits it probably is a great deal. However, as a wine drinker the range of wines available are very poor. The US has some of my favourite wines but sadly none of this was evident on the ship. We tried most of the wines by a glass on the menu (as unlike the old drinks package where you ordered bottles you have to have a glass) and had to settle on an Australian wine as the most drinkable. Unfortunately this wine was not available in many bars. We did buy a bottle of wine but it was a very average over priced bottle.. Wonderland - We decided to treat ourselves as we love to experiment with food and this sounded just the ticket. What a disappointment. It is like someone is pretending to be a fine dining chef and the staff do not appear to be professional waiting staff. Initially our waiter said I will give you this, this and this to share. The idea is you have a little of everything and I asked him to actually do that rather than just deciding not to give us bits of it. The menu turned out to be badly construed with an egg that tasted like it had been rolled in an ash tray, so poorly presented tubes of tomato water followed by some Sushi. The Sushi dish is a sharing dish and we saw that the size of your sharing dish was the same whether there where two people in your party of five. Hence we had to cut the tiniest slither of the dish in order for five people to even get a taste. I did mention to the waiter that I felt we were having supper with Scrooge. Finally the main courses were unworthy of presentation in the WindJammer. The beef was of poor quality, the pork would have been more at home in the freezer section of Iceland and the fish was well just fish. For all the claims of cooked for eight hours and secret recipes it was atrocious and I would strongly recommend you do not waste you money here. In addition the waiter seemed very cocky, making jokes with the chef who was roaming the restaurant. It was very strange as they seemed to be mocking the guests. Internet - My son needed to get internet to do some school work and they charged over twenty five dollars for each day even though the third day the ship was disembarking from 6.30am. This was nothing more than extortion quite frankly. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
Beautifull and luxury ship, very clean, the crew as freedom class ship very nice people, ready to help and very good service everywhere. We were 6 people, family of 4 ( ages 18, 20, 50 and 53) and 2 friends (ages 51 and 58), many thing ... Read More
Beautifull and luxury ship, very clean, the crew as freedom class ship very nice people, ready to help and very good service everywhere. We were 6 people, family of 4 ( ages 18, 20, 50 and 53) and 2 friends (ages 51 and 58), many thing to do for all of us. Pros: Pool area called the "Solarium", amazing place. Food wonderfull, many choices included or to pay for. Entertainment: shows as We will Rock You and Spectra's, both vegas style, wonderfull shows, more than spected. The Gift it is OK but we dont like it too much. Technology in the ship is so gooooood!!!, TWO70 cafe, with Vistarama and Roboshow the best place in the sea, you can bet that!.. Music Hall good shows, music, dancing and entertainment!. Pay restaurants Izumi, Wonderland and Jamie's Oliver, is something you can't miss, Really good. Wonderland is something diferent form to eat, verygood and crazy food, Jamie's Oliver maybe the best food and best service in our lifes, our waiter RIM from Tunicia, we love her!, and Izumi expensive but good and fresh!. SEAPLEX, many, many many thing to do there, for Teens and Young Adults and parents too, try the hot dogs .... guao!!! what a hot dogs.... At Windjammer all days to enter to the restaurant you have to clean your hands before eat, very good the work they do with this matter. Cons: Disorganized upon entering, many people sitting in the hallways and starways waiting for cabins to be ready. To get out off the ship in the ports, crew needs more training, disorganized too. Interior public areas, we all preffer the "promenade" area from Freedom Class ships with more room space, high celing, better restaurants and stores there, in Anthem of the Seas they call that area "esplanade" but looks like "main hallway", beautifull area but could be bigger and spacious. Very hard to find drinking water stations, at night, long lines to fill one glass of water. Not access to the front of the ship to make great pictures and have that beautifull view in the stern. This ship moves very much, but very much!!! compare with other ships, Windjammer restaurant close too early. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2016
The workers were all very unhappy and mad. The service was awful and the food was even worst. There was very little for Children and teens to do and there were long lines for everything. The bars could have had events but they did not ... Read More
The workers were all very unhappy and mad. The service was awful and the food was even worst. There was very little for Children and teens to do and there were long lines for everything. The bars could have had events but they did not even try. Unless you plan on eating at the buffet everyday and sit in your room doing nothing than you will be very sorry you took this cruise. RC use to have the best cream of garlic soup in the World. It taste like it came out of a can. Most of the food we were served seemed processed not freshly cooked. The chinese restaurant was the worst food that I have ever had and had the worst service. Unless you get up at the butt crack of dawn and grab a few towels and save a seat you will not get a lounge chair at the pool. How does a ship run out of pool towels but they did by 3 pm on several days. And their towels. OMG. 28 dollars if you do not return it but my bath towels at home are better than their pathetic towels. How would want to steal them. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
Cruise was enjoyable except Guest Services and lack of communication between what information was provided and not noted on their file. Lack of communication between ride programs. Ship was very clean. Cabin was clean except for towels ... Read More
Cruise was enjoyable except Guest Services and lack of communication between what information was provided and not noted on their file. Lack of communication between ride programs. Ship was very clean. Cabin was clean except for towels being changed on daily basis until I put them on the floor of the cabin. Windjammer was the best dining on board. Comedy shows were horrid but the other shows were excellent. Art show was disastrous being told if we came for the free champagne and were not bidding on any art pieces then we should leave. Activities were prebooked on line but they did not have my information. Dates had to be changed through Guest Services and they still did not have my information from them until I showed the receipt from Guest Services telling them to call and confirm changes. I was alone in my cabin and brought my son and wife with me in another cabin. Port excursion was excellent booked online through independent booking which was cheaper then booking through the ship. Disappointed in the final port timing. Not enough time to enjoy the island. Shops on board were very expensive. Much better deals in ports. Smoking area was not large enough and no smoking at the bar in smoking area. Movies were not new and they were old and boring. Only show that was good was Finding Dory. Movies were repeated in the evening on most. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
chose this cruise with friends I have cruised 20 or mjore times most have been on carnival which is the fun ship....I have tried rc a few time and every time I am disappointed with RC just horrible, the ship is nice and beautiful, but I ... Read More
chose this cruise with friends I have cruised 20 or mjore times most have been on carnival which is the fun ship....I have tried rc a few time and every time I am disappointed with RC just horrible, the ship is nice and beautiful, but I don't come on vacation to make reservations to dine or go to shows, no out door entertainment, to many pools on the top deck, no music senior cruise to me a bunch of old people in wheel chairs and kids in strollers just to much and to many kids running through the ship, same old food in the windjammer just horrible, I have been on many cruises but this was the worst cruise I have ever been on in all of my cruising days, please don't go on this ship you will be very disappointed, guest service was horrible it took 30mintues to an hour to stand in the guest service lines....SAVE YOUR MONEY Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
We chose this cruise as it worked well with a trip to NY. Give yourself plenty time getting out to NJ. Not all yellow cabs will take you there or even have a clue where it is. And look at 140 dollars plus depending upon traffic. Anthem ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it worked well with a trip to NY. Give yourself plenty time getting out to NJ. Not all yellow cabs will take you there or even have a clue where it is. And look at 140 dollars plus depending upon traffic. Anthem is a lovely ship. But as a quantum class vesel, in comparison to the oasis class, it just didn't work as well for us. We really missed the large central ' Street'. And no putting course !!. Have to confess, dodgems great fun though. The itinerary out of NY at first glance looked OK if unspectacular. Haiti, Honduras, Grand Cayman and Mexico. If we could have worked around other dates we would have. My only comment on these stops is that the Honduras one should be stopped. The level of harassment even short distances from the berth area was unacceptable. It felt dangerous at times. Surprisingly for RCI, the best element for us was the restaurants. The food across the board was pretty good, and the service attentive. Two areas drove me to distraction. Firstly Guest Relations. You just have to hope you have no problems. I raised an issue with one gentleman, and I jest not when I say mid conversation he started sniggering. It may be a cultural/language issue but I ended up far more annoyed than when I originally went to raise my concern. They are simply not interested. I also highlighted drinks raised on my account. Having a drinks package, no charge's were raised but every day I had between 2-5 extra drinks added. All guest relations highlighted was that no costs had been raised. They weren't bothered that they were there in the first place or what happened to those drinks ?? But my main issue was tipping. Specifically in the bars. Again this may be a cultural thing, but in my opinion it's gotten completely out of hand. To put into context I had prepaid my tips. I'd also paid extra to cover the tips on the drinks package. But the level of service you received at a bar or in the lounges was at best average. The level of enthusiasm was negligible. Where I did see it perk up was when I saw people handing over cash. Hold on, I thought. I've prepaid all this in order to supposedly get amazing service. Fat chance. I waited at bars. I got glum service. It was very disappointing. Impossible to get any worse I hear you ask ? Step forward the Diamond Club. This was the first year we had been eligible. For those individuals that had survived years of mixed guest services behaviour and used RCI. Let's start by saying, in the 7/12 nights we put up with it all, we never once received a welcome. The first night we sat for 5 minutes waiting for service before I went to the bar. Talk about the Glums. Next few nights we waited but the only way you could get service was to achieve eye contact and flag them down. Again, no one asked us if we wished assistance. There was one exception. The captain came into the lounge one night. We had empty glasses in front of us. Immediately a waitress came over. In a way I was disappointed as asking the captain what we had to do to get a drink in the place was top of my questions. By night 6, we were pretty miffed. Tips were being handed out all over. I refused to pay more especially for lousy service. Plus I'd already prepaid. What finished it for us was the 7nth night. We sat for 15 minutes with empty glasses. I wanted to see how long this would go on. Table's next to us with half empty glasses were being asked re fresh drinks. We walked out at that point but not before I explained to the hostess How lousy we had found the whole experience. RCI allow each diamond member 3 drinks outside the lounge. A great idea. I also suggest they employ more robotic arms. We tried this and got amazing service and no hand wavering for the obligatory cash handover. You can also help yourself to wine with a swipe of your card. We didn't have this issue with P and O or Cunard. It's really put us off RCI. What on earth is tipping about ? If it's about any service, then prepaying is a complete and utter waste of time as the service you get is lousy. In the UK, we just wouldn't use any establishment with such unfriendly, mediocre service. So for the diamond lounge I suggest 1. Give these server's a kick up the backside and get them serving all and not focusing on stuffing cash in their pocket's for the few 2. Have managers in the lounge who watch what's going on. It's so obvious 3. Leave optics , beer etc to allow people to serve themselves. Did this no problem in BA lounge and perfectly fab. Wouldn't recommend this particular trip unless like us it works well for your dates. Really disappointed with RCI off the back of this trip. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
I wanted to go on the Anthem of the Seas. It was a great ship but we did not like the dining. However as of November 27th they are changing their dining experience. They have decided that Dynamic dining is not enjoyed by most of the ... Read More
I wanted to go on the Anthem of the Seas. It was a great ship but we did not like the dining. However as of November 27th they are changing their dining experience. They have decided that Dynamic dining is not enjoyed by most of the cruisers. Also the Diamond lounge did not always have the essentials for breakfast such as butter, orange juice and milk. The attendant got it for us but we had to wait quite awhile. They also ran out of hand sanitizers in the Diamond lounge and in the promenade where you get sandwiches, pastries and pizza. I also don't remember hand sanitizers before you board the ship coming back in from the ports. There were a lot of good things also. We like the I Fly and the North Star especially. Although there were over 4000 passengers it did not feel crowded after the first day. The talent of the performers were excellent. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
RCCL, the ship was nice. the staff wasn't so nice. if i cruise again it will be with norwegin cruise line not RCCL. there are too many complaints for me to go thru. Remember if they promise you something please get it in writing. ... Read More
RCCL, the ship was nice. the staff wasn't so nice. if i cruise again it will be with norwegin cruise line not RCCL. there are too many complaints for me to go thru. Remember if they promise you something please get it in writing. The worst vacation i ever went on. there were many disaster that RCCL did not correct. it was a family vacation over 83 guest and the majority of my group had a disappointing time, 2 flew home when we arrived in port. the food was average nothing to rave about, the specialty restaurants that you have to pay for were little better but definitely not worth the extra money. the bionic bar was broke the whole trip. there was no food after 1am. watch your room charges as the bartenders were billing people even with the drink package. so my advise double check your bill constantly. better yet don't bruise with them. need more info feel free to contact me via email at us2550@aol.com Read Less
Sail Date: September 2016
We were disappointed in our experience with this ship and the employees. The pool bartenders were the exception, they provided a fun environment with a great attitude but beside that the staff seem tired, overworked, and over it. Our room ... Read More
We were disappointed in our experience with this ship and the employees. The pool bartenders were the exception, they provided a fun environment with a great attitude but beside that the staff seem tired, overworked, and over it. Our room attendant was pleasant but other travelers in other parts of the ship with us had a very different room attendant experience. Customer service was a zero rating and actually upsetting at moments on the trip. My sister got married on the ship and the staff couldn’t have cared less. It seemed the staff was pre-occupied and not interested in making this a special event and they really didn’t acknowledge the wedding couple before, during, or after the ceremony when other arrangements were promised. The staff and wedding coordinators didn’t follow with multiple wedding arrangements made months in advanced and poorly communicated with the wedding couple about the one-sided changes (seemed like because they knew the couple couldn’t do anything about it then because they had already booked the ship and were set to sail in less than week). DBS (the entertainment band) was great and the best part of the whole vacation. Food and meals were less than mediocre. I do not recommend this trip/ship. We actually went through a tropical storm/hurricane and you would think that would be the most troubling part of the trip but actually the customer service was worse. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
My daughter wanted a cruise for her birthday but since her birthday is in December around Christmas, we decided to do a summer cruise instead. We liked the itinerary for the Anthem of Seas, the convenience of leaving from New Jersey ... Read More
My daughter wanted a cruise for her birthday but since her birthday is in December around Christmas, we decided to do a summer cruise instead. We liked the itinerary for the Anthem of Seas, the convenience of leaving from New Jersey (since we live in Philadelphia), and the fact that this was a new ship with so much to do on board. We invited our friends whose daughter is my daughter's BFF, and we reserved three cabins for three families in August of 2015. With a whole year ahead of us, I read a lot of negative reviews, and then of course, all the mishaps with this ship (storm, norovirus, and the tragic drowning of the little boy that happened about three weeks before we left). Needless to say, I was a little nervous, not for myself, but for my friends who had never cruised before. I am happy to report that our fears were unfounded. This ship is absolutely beautiful. The art work is amazing (although it was sad to see that some disgraceful people had carved their initials into the posters in the elevators), the open spaces beautifully decorated and spacious, and for the most part, the staff was attentive, courteous and friendly. Was everything perfect? Of course not, but I also think that when some people are on vacation, they leave their manners behind and expect that staff is there to treat them like royalty and at times act like spoiled brats. Fortunately, I didn't witness any of that, although another passenger told me while we were waiting to disembark that there had been a fight in the Windjammer the night before when one passenger called another a nasty, horrible name that I will not repeat. Interestingly, we did hear calls for an emergency medical situation while we were in Chic that night, so it may have been related. Embarkation was a breeze. We got there around 10:30 am and there were employees with iPads waiting to greet you and sign you in. I don't think we took more than 5 minutes to check in. We waited about a half hour before they let us get on board and headed straight for Cafe 270 for a lovely lunch. A bit of a line, but I'm sure it was easier than the Windjammer, which I never actually stepped foot in. Not that I don't like buffets, but I prefer the sit down restaurants or cafe-style where portions are more controlled. I took the girls to the SeaPlex where they were able to get on the bumper cars twice. It was a good thing we did because the lines later in the cruise were ridiculous! I found the restaurants on board to be, for the most part, very good. Our favorites were Grande, Chic and the Solarium Bistro both for service and food. We did not do any of the paid restaurants. I wanted to do Jaime's for lunch, but there were no openings. We found the service and food in American Icon and Silk to be OK. They do change the menus, so maybe, just like any other restaurant, we may have liked it the next time, but we actually cancelled our reservation at AI and rebooked the Solarium Bistro. I think the SB is an little known gem. The food and the service were fabulous. You order an entree, but appetizers and dessert are buffet-style. It was all Greek and Mediterranean fare and it was amazing! I ended up going to breakfast there a few times and it was equally wonderful. Entertainment for us was mixed. I honestly did not get the Gift, Spectra's Cabaret was interesting, but We Will Rock You was excellent! We did a lot of trivia and spent a lot of time at Schooner's Bar. We tried to go to Billy Joel night at the Music Hall, but it was standing room only. Our girls loved the Kids Club (which they loved) so we had some time to ourselves. I found the pool situation too small for the size of this ship. The outdoor pool was always packed, but you would get breaks in the indoor pool which luckily, our girls preferred. They also loved the Current Pool and the Kids H2O Zone. Overall, this is a ship where you can do nothing or be busy all the time. We were in cabin 7176 (D3 Superior Balcony). The cabin was very comfortable and the bathroom larger than I had pictured. There was plenty of storage space and my only complaint (if any) is that when the pull out bed is open, there really is not much space to move out to the balcony (which was also very comfortable). The other thing I was confused about was the complaint I read about the Fitness Center being small. I don't understand this because the space was huge and there were plenty of machines. We did a Yoga class which was just OK. I've never done yoga before, but my friend does it frequently and she said that the instructor was not very detailed. Our ports were Bermuda, St. Maarten, San Juan and Labadee. Bermuda was beautiful, but St. Maarten was our favorite. We booked the Glassbottom Ship tour and it was very nice. You sit upstairs on the way to the reef and then go downstairs when you reach the reef. The reef is not very colorful, but it was very nice. The two young men who ran the tour were 8th Generation Bermudians and very knowledgeable about the island. After we got back from the tour, we paid $5 pp each way to go to Hamilton via water taxi. We just walked around and had a very nice lunch at the Pickled Onion. We did not book a tour in St. Maarten and just paid $8 pp each way to take us to Maho Beach where it was very cool to see the planes flying in. Cabs are very reasonable there and you can get them right on the pier. Unless you are an early bird, there really isn't enough time to do anything in San Juan, so only my husband got off to get his requisite magnet and Christmas ornament. Labadee was nice, but the beaches weren't that great and I hate the nickel-and-diming where you have to pay for chairs (tip to the guy who pulls it out for you although you can do it yourself), zip lining, water park, etc. There was a nice water park on land for the kids so they had a good time. Was everything perfect? No, as I noted with the restaurants and Labadee, but these are not deal breakers. My only other "complaint" is that I thought the Character Breakfast was rather lame. They only had two characters (King Julien and Skipper) even though Princess Fiona, Puss in Boots, Po, Gloria were also on board. Quite honestly, I was shocked when they said thanks for coming because I was sure there were more characters to come. I think the problem for some people is that if you want a traditional cruise, this is not it. The technology on board is not perfect, especially if everyone is on Royal IQ at the same time, but it beats having to stand in line at Customer Service to get them to print your bill. Would I do this cruise again? Absolutely! And so would the first time cruisers who went with us. Read Less
20 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
think twice before you book ! I would rather go on the Oasis of the seas ( been on it twice) but this was suppose to be better and newer ! Huh ! Might be newer but it is over crowded with rooms and people and less places to go . and ... Read More
think twice before you book ! I would rather go on the Oasis of the seas ( been on it twice) but this was suppose to be better and newer ! Huh ! Might be newer but it is over crowded with rooms and people and less places to go . and if you do go on one of those fun things like bumper cars or rock climbing or I fly or the over viewer Forget it !! They are always booked in advance and long lines to do some of them Totally not worth your time or money ! They have some issues with this cruise line. for instance when you wait in a line to ride bumper cars with your kids people a head of you are saving for all of there Friends and family so not the line just keeps getting longer . They say there is nothing they can do about it . "I fly" is not what it appears they use little air for you but lots of air fir the instructor . So you will not fly by your self for long because the air is not strong enough and the instructor will keep a hold of most of the time . and it is a very short ride maybe 2 minutes . All of the restaurants are OK if you have never seen better. Save your money for another ship skip this one you have been warned . James and Family Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
Kids running free on board... no control while parents hang out at the casinos or off to dinner.. parents please watch your KIDS from 5yr - 20 yrs old. we watched too many young girls hook up for casual sex on the ship for casual ... Read More
Kids running free on board... no control while parents hang out at the casinos or off to dinner.. parents please watch your KIDS from 5yr - 20 yrs old. we watched too many young girls hook up for casual sex on the ship for casual fun,,, Two70 - such a wasted space ,,, no entertainment - empty space couple events a week,, but that's it...... no party in the center of the ship - don't look for it either ,,, The Best place is Windjamer if your on budget,, if you can afford the specialty restaurants - it's worth the money,,,, People Service is awesome,, But Corporate management has NO clue what they are doing - Just one huge disappointment.... expect to be board while on board ... basketball courts are great !! Bumper Cars Great ! Flowrider is a lot of fun and learn about the Rip cord.. many great pools and hot tubs to hang out in.... if you do the north star - Do NOT bring the kids!! several times there was a near accident - with kids inside RUNNING AROUND inside a 12X12 fishbowl on top of a crane ! seriously people,,... do not bring young children who will not benefit from it until over the age of 12.. several complaints about kids almost tilting the top,,,! It's a Crane with a glass bowl attached at the top,, great romantic place to see everything at every port and while at sea,,, - don't let your children ruin it for the others by shaking it while it's fully extended with people inside. if your single or gay - good luck there's - nothing to do... they do not take care of you ! At this rate save the $500 - 800 per person and book - I hate to say it - but "Carnival" They did it to themselves......... Corporate ! it's not the staff or crew - they take their orders and policies from you ! Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
I read over 100 reviews before deciding to go on this ship. My family has been on many cruises, and always the latest Royal Caribbean ship. But this was the first one that I wasn't over the top about a few things. This is an honest ... Read More
I read over 100 reviews before deciding to go on this ship. My family has been on many cruises, and always the latest Royal Caribbean ship. But this was the first one that I wasn't over the top about a few things. This is an honest review--trying not to be too critical, and realize that no trip is 100 percent perfect. The Pros and Cons: Pros: The ship is immaculate from top to bottom. The housekeeping was over the top--both in the room and all over the ship. No detail was left to be unclean. Even when you go through a buffet or ice cream machine at the pool--they have sinks to wash hands and everything is kept top notch. We never had issues with having our housekeeper there whenever we needed anything. Our room was spotless the whole time--it was heaven. The sheets, towels and furniture in the room was just perfect. We had a room in front of the ship and the view was breathtaking--from the 9th floor. I recommend that room because you have extra cabin space and you see everything going on. You will read that the Windjammer is excellent food--from everyone--and it's true. It's honestly the only place that consistently had delicious food. The ports are amazing--especially Haiti. I seriously could have lived there. Everyone and everything was so well laid out and detailed--it's the stop you don't want to miss. All of the ports were easy to get off and on--they make it so easy to board the ship. Even at the port when you first get there, it is a breeze. People are friendly and the whole experience is nice. I really loved all of our excursions--totally happy with the money that we spent especially at Haiti--we did the Amigo Island. It was PARADISE!! If that's the only excursion you do--find the money. The snorkeling is amazing and you can bring home huge shells that are gorgeous. I was in heaven! Cons: The honest truth is the wait staff is the biggest con. You go to all these gorgeously decorated restaurants--I mean serious eye candy. But the staff don't have a clue what they are doing. You go to the hostess stand and they look like they have no idea why you are there. The waiters just don't attend to you--food comes out ice cold or you are out of your drink, and there is no one checking on you. I've been on so many RC cruises, and they always have amazing staff. Not here. I don't know what is going on. We paid for the nicest restaurants every night, and night after night--they struggled. It was upsetting. The second problem was that the ship seemed cursed, literally. Every place we went was closed or having technical difficulties. The first night a child drowned in the pool, so they turned the whole ship around and took the family back. There was no communication on the ship about what was going on until we got back to port. Then, obviously the pool was closed for some time and we were all VERY stressed out about what happened to the child--what could have happened? No one updated us. We went to the bionic bar--it was broken. We went to the sky diving, what do you know, they couldn't take us at our scheduled time. We went to a 3D movie, sat almost an hour and then they finally said the projector was broken. We went to the Music Hall, and someone passed out and they had to rush back to port. I could go on and on. It was frustrating when you pay so much for all the goodies that the ship has to offer and yet they are constantly having issues. The shows are the worst! One of the shows we literally got up and left--which I never leave any show! All the RC shows I have ever seen were so amazing--we would see them several times. Not this ship--they are way too modern and the music just didn't make sense. Many people talked about how disappointed they were in the shows--perhaps just way too modern for someone in their 40's. The bottom line is--Knowing what I know about the ship now, I would never go on it again. Not because of all the problems, but because of the service. It just happened in all the restaurants, and made the much anticipated dinner date, a nightmare. The food is wonderful, and definitely met my expectations. But the service managers need to figure out how to get back to the way that RC has always provided--top notch service. So if you don't care about the service, and just want an amazing ship with great ports--this is the one for you. But I promise you every other RC ship has such great service AND beautiful boats. Pick an Allure of the Seas, or one of the other newer ships--you won't be disappointed. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2016
We flew to New York from Australia for a holiday in June and booked a 9 night Carribean cruise out of New York. We were traveling as a couple only. We arrived at the cruise terminal 30 minutes early and were on-board the ship within one ... Read More
We flew to New York from Australia for a holiday in June and booked a 9 night Carribean cruise out of New York. We were traveling as a couple only. We arrived at the cruise terminal 30 minutes early and were on-board the ship within one hour. Embarkation went very smoothly. This was our 3rd cruise with RCL and we booked another while on-board. The dining was terrific. We tried all the restaurants on-board. The only one we didn't enjoy was Wonderland as we had a bad experience with a staff member, but the other restaurants more than made up for it. Jamie's Italian was very good as was the Japanese restaurant and we ate at both of those places twice. Our cabin was a Junior Suite and it was very nice with a big spacious balcony. We didn't spend a lot of time in the room but when we were there we enjoyed it. Our cabin attendant was very good and helped out whenever we called on him. We got off the boat at each port and did a shore excursion in all, except for the Bahamas where we went off shopping on our own. The food and culture walking tour in Puerto Rico was a standout. The guide really knew her stuff and everyone on the tour was raving about it afterwards. There was so much entertainment on board the boat that we didn't get a chance to see all the shows. The Queen show was great, my husband is still talking about it months afterwards. Overall we had a wonderful time and would love to go on the Freedom of the Seas again in the future. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2016
Been using Royal Caribbean for years. Always had a better experience with them over any other cruise line. The food is always better on Royal Caribbean cruise lines so I was highly impressed with the food quality. The gourmet ... Read More
Been using Royal Caribbean for years. Always had a better experience with them over any other cruise line. The food is always better on Royal Caribbean cruise lines so I was highly impressed with the food quality. The gourmet restaurants were AMAZING as well. well worth the money. Out of all the cruises I have been on, this cruise had some of the best tour options while docked. We went scuba diving twice, rode atvs through mud, had a beach day with unlimited alcoholic beverages and even got to take part in the Longest Zipline Over Water in Labadee, Haiti Here I even posted a video of it: https://youtu.be/haX9NplnXAk The crew on these cruises is also very friendly in comparison to some other cruise lines. Entertainment and live musicians were also great. I would highly recommend this cruise to anyone looking to get away for a good period of time. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2016
The ship was nice, but the ship had to return to Port Liberty in NJ two days early because of severe storm. The captain made a fool of himself two cruises ago by sailing into a Cape Hatteras storm that got out of hand. He was not about ... Read More
The ship was nice, but the ship had to return to Port Liberty in NJ two days early because of severe storm. The captain made a fool of himself two cruises ago by sailing into a Cape Hatteras storm that got out of hand. He was not about to make a fool of himself again so he aborted the last two islands for safety's sake. I did not like dining in four different themed restaurants. The waiters were the same, and the food was basically the same with different vegetables and condiments to suit each themed restaurant. I had a hard time looking up which restaurant I was supposed to be in each night. One restaurant required men to have a coat and tie. They gave me a sport coat which was not close to my size, and told me to carry it over my arm. Really, what for! The high volume of the music everywhere was annoying to the point of leaving the venue. My next Royal Caribbean Cruise will be January 23, 2017 partially paid for by a rebate from Royal Caribbean. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2015
We thought this was going to be a grand voyage and luxurious. I read the critics from the European sails. I should have listened. I did not follow through because it was convenient due to my elderly parents. Everything the European ... Read More
We thought this was going to be a grand voyage and luxurious. I read the critics from the European sails. I should have listened. I did not follow through because it was convenient due to my elderly parents. Everything the European complaint about was true and Royal Caribbean never improve. We thought we had a upgrade they put us on the top floor. It turn out the cleaning starts at 5 am in the morning and we did not get much sleep in. This was complaint to the front desk and it took 3 times before they finally stopped. On the first day the luggage was delayed until almost midnight before they were delivered to our rooms. The reservation systems does not work for the restaurant. Even if you booked, you have to wait long time on line. With the ship this size, you would have thought they would have sort that out. It leaves my elderly father standing for a long time and he has no place to rest his weaken feet. The staff in the complementary restaurant were helpful but they are very short staff. Normally the drink waiter fix the drinks and the food waiter does the food. In our case, the poor fellow has to do both and running around like a headless chicken. In other words, poor service. The service and good food comes with a premium. You have to pay for it. Royal Caribbean charges for everything that is normal for other cruise line. The technology that we have to pay on board that was suppose to be revolutionary does not work properly. Every time you tried to book or make a call, it stuff up the iPhone and have to be rebooted. The ultimate package that was suppose to be any drinks is misleading. You can only order wine up to $14 a glass and the balance you have to pay extra. Each restaurant has it owns rules. Some $12 some $14 and some don't even know what to do. The entertainment was targeted to rockers. The shows were limited appeal to the customers on board. the cruise director is never around, The host for the Bingo was boring and cant even do it right. There was no music during sailing and the bands were so limited, if you blink you missed them. Royal Caribbean have no idea on handling a big ship like Anthem. Every other passenger we spoke to complaints of the bad service, bad food and and bad entertainment. The cruise that we thought was good turn to be a sub standard fare. Very disappointing. As a royal customer, RC did provide some credit towards future cruise. However when we tried to use it, it took me considerable effort to get them and endless emails confirming the amount provided and amount applied. its still not confirm what I'm given. I am scared of this cruise line. It will be a long long time before I will attempt another Royal Caribbean offer. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2015
We had a very bad experience on this ship. What is BAD: 1. When we arrived at the port, they had us stand in line for > 1hr, even though we did an online checkin. There were also no sign at the port, no one knew where to go. 2. ... Read More
We had a very bad experience on this ship. What is BAD: 1. When we arrived at the port, they had us stand in line for > 1hr, even though we did an online checkin. There were also no sign at the port, no one knew where to go. 2. We tried to make several entertainment reservations on the ship using their app, which just failed completely. It was totally irresponsive until the 3rd or 4th day of the cruise. We then went to their on-deck services to make reservations, which also failed. We then went to the actual people working at those entertainment places and they said "it's all booked". On day of the reservation (which was the last day of the cruise), we were told "there is nothing in the computer". They were also very rude and told us that since we had no reservations (on the computer), we should just give us the iFly we reserved. This was the most important thing of this cruise! 3. While cruising, the ship was very rocky (more so at the top floors) and we had motion sickness. My wife and I were on the Oasis cruises before and they were much better. 4. The bionic bartender is terrible. You order on their tablet, and wait... There are 16 lines, and there is nothing which tells your which line your drink is coming from. You actually have to wait for the waitress to come in and deliver the drink to you. What's the point of the machine bartender then??? Also if you know which line your drink is at, but are not fast enough, the drink actually slides back, with full liquor still in the cup! 5. The entertainment was meh. I was very disappointed at the big shows. We waited for them for so long.. and the show and story just sucks. 6. We also reserved 3 speciality restaurants, 1 chef table and the normal complimentary ones. The complimentary one is OK, but I was expecting something much better for the paid ones, since we are essentially paying on top of the expected excellent meal. Jamie Italian was good, Wonderland was good (but no matter what, don't let them pick food for you!!). For the rest of my life, I will never understand why Wonderland restaurant has a grey theme! It's so freaking depressing! 7. It's always super hard to find sitting for food during breakfast and lunch... We went during Thanksgiving day, and we had to wait 2 hours for our dinner even though we had reservation... Couldn't they tell that people would take a little bit more time during this day?? What is GOOD: 1. It's clean. 2. It's new ship... (meh) and "cool" technology. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2015
We have cruised RCL for many years with fantastic results. It appears that RCL is cutting costs in every way imaginable. We are not complainers, know that things happen and are generally quiet people. We booked a Suite for this ... Read More
We have cruised RCL for many years with fantastic results. It appears that RCL is cutting costs in every way imaginable. We are not complainers, know that things happen and are generally quiet people. We booked a Suite for this cruise. The room was dirty beyond belief and much to my dismay, the bed was hard as a brick. This had never been the case in the past. We called to see if there was something that could be done with the bed, and was told all we can do is bring up some eggcrate, which they did, enough for half the bed! I had to sleep on the sofa in a suite because of this! The food was disgusting in the main dining roon, most nights cold, ended up eating in the windjammer from the 4th night on. The waistaff and bartender on this trip were inept at best, long waits for anything, including the so called bartender to come over and take our order DESPITE tipping handsomely at the start of the trip! I always preferred a after dinner cocktail, usually a chocolate liquor with my coffee, but guess what?? This trip, no way not available! We were never asked nor ever acknowledge by our name in the dining room, staff was always harried and hurried, it appears that RDL has cut staff to the point that service has become inferior. For the money, I recommend moving on to one of the premium lines, RCL has diminished in every way possible, suitable for bargain hunters only that are willing to accept sub par service and food... Read Less
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