My wife and I wanted to check out Anthem of the Seas on a short cruise to see what it was like and this seemed like a good opportunity. We were considering going on Anthem later in the year with the kids, but wanted to see what it was like first before we brought them along.
The first thing you need to know about the new, bigger RCCL ships is that they do everything different. Reservations for everything. I guess they have to when there are so many guests onboard. Maybe if this was the first way I ever cruised I would be okay with it, but it wasn't how I always cruised. So, if you do not make all your dining and entertainment reservations early... well, you are out of luck.
The ship was woefully understaffed.... especially at the bars. Service in the restaurants was okay; not great. While the Bionic Bar is interesting... that interest fades pretty quick. It takes most people forever to decide on a drink and then it gets put in a queue to be made. Hopefully the cup doesn't fall over and the drink gets poured into the cup. Honestly, the Bionic Bar had a lot of interest the first day and after that... there was hardly anyone there. It is very gimmicky.
For a big ship, it was a very rough cruise. I've been on a lot of small boats and big ships and this ship had a lot of motion. I think that, because it was the cruise to nowhere, the ship went very slow. That probably accentuated the slightly rough trip.
We have definitely been on better cruises than our Anthem of the Seas cruise. That is disappointing to us because we have loved cruising on RCCL in the past. The next time we cruise RCCL, we will go back to the Freedom class ships.
Food and Dining
1 out of 5
Riddle me this. You go on a Freedom class ship and they have a full sit down Johnny Rockets and for $5 you can order anything (except drinks) on the menu. You build this huge ship, and Johnny Rockets is a little outdoor walk-up place where you wait in line for 20 minutes to order food (at ala carte prices akin to an actual Johnny Rockets) and then they hand you a pager and tell you that your food will be ready in about 20 minutes. So, 40 minutes and a lot of money to get a hamburger, milk shake, and fries. Then you need to find a place to sit.
One bit of advice... make all your dining reservations before you get on the ship. The new ships have smaller themed dining rooms so you have more varied dining options.
1 out of 5
The one reservation that we were able to was North Star. As fate would have it, North Star broke down during our reservation time so we did not get a chance to go on it. Being that it was a short cruise, and our reservation was the last day of the cruise, there was no opportunity to go on it during a different time.
We were told the line for the bumper cars was crazy so we did not bother. The people we spoke with who got a chance to go on Rip Cord said it was cool, but you literally get one minute to do it and then you are done.
My wife used one of the hot tubs on board and she said it was more warm than hot.
3 out of 5
1 out of 5
We did not bring kids with us so we did not look at all the kids things on the ship. I did look at the H20 zone; it was small! Smaller than on other RCCL ships. That does not make sense to me when the ship is so much bigger.
Service and Staff
1 out of 5
I hate to give this rating to the entire service and staff, but this cruise was woefully understaffed (and that comment was shared with me from other passengers as well). We were constantly waiting at the bar for service and there was no one coming around asking anyone if they wanted drinks. The side effect of this is when you do feel it is your turn at the bar, someone next to you tells the bartender it was their turn. Basically, slow service = unhappy, impatient people.
3 out of 5
Cabin / Stateroom
5 out of 5
We did like our cabin. We rarely get inside cabins, but since this was a short cruise without the kids, we decided to go the inside cabin route. We did think the virtual window/balcony was kind of neat. No complaints at all about the room.
Book all of your entertainment and dining as early as possible or you will be disappointed with your options.
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