August 2016 - Anthem of the Seas to Caribbean - Eastern
Our 9-day cruise on Anthem of the Seas was our fourth Royal Caribbean cruise. If it had been our first, it woudl have been our last.
The customer service on board was awful - - from the Guest Services desk to the Starbucks barista - - we were continually disappointed.
The food was mediocre at best if you weren't in one of the speciality restaurants with an upcharge. In addition, getting reservations for even the "complimentary" dining rooms was difficult.
Royal Caribbean has certainly started having a "class system" on this ship. Suite guests have a separate dining room (where lobster, escargot, etc. is offered), in addition to their own private sundeck and lounge. My husband and I spent over $6,000 for our balcony room, and felt as if we were treated like lower class citizens.
The Solarium (adult only area) was very disappointing. While it is beautiful, it is all glass and heats up like a sauna. The pools in this area are far too warm, and therefore, if you want to cool down, you have to go to the family pool and deal with the screaming kids.
The hot tubs in the main areas were always crowded with children. Certainly not a relaxing experience.
As a recovering alcoholic, I upgraded my drink package to get Starbucks. Unfortunately, the only Starbucks on the ship is located on the 4th deck, and the pool is on the 14th deck. I asked on several occasions if I couldn't PLEASE get two iced coffees so as not to have to spend so much time traveling between decks (especially given the fact that TWO elevators were out of service our entire cruise), and they would not give me the coffees.
Likewise, while on Haiti, soda was the last thing brought to the island (alcohol was everywhere), and even then, I couldn't get a can of soda or a bottle of water. I had to drink it out of plastic cups. Keep in mind, my husband had no problem getting cans or bottles of beer.
Seating for the evening shows that don't require reservations is almost impossible to find unless you get to the venue an hour in advance. Even the shows which require reservations have limited seating with a decent view if you don't get there at least an hour in advance. Just what we all want to do - - sit around for hours waiting for shows to start on our vacation so that we can actually see the performance.
The shore excursion in Bermuda was a waste of money. We chose the shuttle to Horseshoe Bay. The excursion only gave you four hours on the beach, and our shuttle was over 30 minutes delayed in leaving because ONE guest showed up late. Thus, our time on the beach was cut short. When we arrived at the destination, we found out that an airconditioned taxi ride to and from the beach was only $7 per person. That's all our shore excursion included and it was approximately $40 per person - - and if we'd gone on our own, we wouldn't have been tied to the timeframe of the excursion.
The cleanliness of the public areas leaves a lot to be desired. The hallways were always cluttered with room service dishes, and the bathrooms near the pools were at times downright disgusting.
The glass on our balcony wasn't cleaned once while we were on board, and I don't think it was cleaned before we left. We couldn't even see out of it. In addition, with the new "smart technology" on board the ship, if we wanted our balcony door open, the air conditioning in our cabin wouldn't work. In the past, we enjoyed sleeping at night with the breeze from the balcony. This wasn't an option on Anthem.
I could go on and on with the disappointing experience we had on Anthem of the Seas, but I think what I've said above will give you a good idea of what our experience was. The common theme among guests we met who had cruised in the past (one woman had taken 38 cruises) was that they would NEVER sail on Anthem of the Seas again, and if Royal Caribbean's customer service on this ship is what it's like on their other ships, we won't be sailing on Royal again.