Inaugural sailing on the Anthem of the Seas
Anthem of the Seas Cruise Review to Caribbean - Southern
Sail Date: November 10, 2015
Ship: Anthem of the Seas
Cabin Type: Balcony
Cabin Number: 9194
Traveled As: Couple
Reviewed: 1 year ago
This was a special 12 night Caribbean cruise, leaving from Cape Liberty, NJ. The cruise port was a great surprise. The new parking lot is finished and boarding is a snap. We parked the car and were met, in the garage, by a RCI employee who was holding a tablet. He scanned our passports and stamped our boarding pass. We entered the terminal and were sent right to the ship. Wow, only 10 minutes after we parked and we were aboard. The ship is beautiful and extremely easy to navigate. The elevators are plentiful and there are plenty of restrooms available.
The shows were as good as any we have ever seen. Previously, we have sailed on Royal Caribbean (Allure and Oasis), Holland America, Carnival (once was enough) and Norwegian. There are lots of venues open all of the time, with plenty of activities for whatever you enjoy.
The Sea Plex (deck 15) is a multi use facility. A schedule is always posted. They have basketball, football (teens), trapeze lessons, roller skating and bumper cars. Up a flight of stairs overlooking the arena, there are X-Box stations, foosball, ping pong, air hockey and an arcade. Since this was mid-November, there were very few children. We are sailing on the Anthem again in July, with our kids and grandkids and expect lots of kids on that one.
On the top deck, they have the FlowRider, the Northern Star and a rock wall. The I Fly (skydiving) requires reservations.
The 2 Seventy theater is awesome. It is in the aft part of the ship and is always open. There is a Cabaret Show (fantastic) and lots of activities all week. There are trivia contests, cooking demos, meets with the crew among other things. There is a cafe there, as well. Don't miss the roast beef sandwiches or the tuna wraps.
The only "downer" was the dynamic dining, that has been instituted on the Anthem. There are 4 dining rooms, each with a different theme and menu. American ICON was our first meal and a total disappointment, although others we spoke to enjoyed it. It seems that the staff is not fully aware of the menu, yet. The wine steward only takes wine orders and is not there to make recommendations. The CHIC restaurant was wonderful, as were SILK (Asian) and Grande.
The specialty restaurants were awesome, especially Jamie's Italian and Chops. If you eat at Jamie's, you MUST get the black truffle pasta. If you are a foodie and are adventurous, DO NOT miss Wonderland. I won't ruin it for you by telling you the menu. There is also a great British pub, with lots of beers available and a Sushi restaurant. Of course, there is Sorrentos, which is on every RCI ship and a wonderful coffe shop/bakery. The robot bartenders are really fun and there was never a big crowd there.
There seem to be adequate deck chairs available on decks 14 and 15; we never had a problem finding chairs.
The WiFi is expensive, if you need to be online all of the time. In the library, there are 4 computers avaliable and you can use a pay-as-you-go (24 continuous hours from login) as well.
There are lots of places to just "veg out" inside the ship or to get togther with a group and play cards.
We expected more formality, but the passengers were totally laid back and very friendly. The Grande restaurant has sign stating "Gentlemen must wear jackets", but less than half of the men had jackets on.
All-in-all we had a winderful cruise. The Captain, who will be moving to another ship, kept us informed throughout the week.