A beautiful large ship, but not one for peak season cruising.

Anthem of the Seas Cruise Review to Caribbean - Bahamas

Cruises: 7+ cruises
Reviews: 2
Helpful Votes: 57

Overall rating:

4.7 out of 5
Anthem of the Seas

7 Night Bahamas (Cape Liberty Roundtrip)

Sail date: November 25, 2017

Ship: Anthem of the Seas

Cabin type: Balcony

Cabin number: 7264

Traveled as: Couple

Reviewed: 3 years ago

Review summary

The was our first 5000+ passenger cruise experience. Our previous 18 cruises were in the 900 to 4000 passenger range. It took some adjustment to lines at the beginning of the cruise. That eventually subsided as everyone settled in to their own schedules. I would recommend the Anthem during off-peak cruising periods when the passenger count is lower. The ship is beautiful and well kept and the cabins are exceptional. The food is also excellent.

Embarkation

4 out of 5
I much prefer checking in at a desk, getting the Sea Pass cards there, and just walk onto the ship. The roving employees with iPads in the terminal makes boarding much more unpleasant, then having to wait around in the terminal to be herded on the ship in groups. I suppose it works better for 5,000+ passenger ships, but it must be a nightmare when there are a lot of families with children cruising. This was our 19th cruise, but the first on a ship this large. It took some getting used to.

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

5 out of 5
The food was all good. Our regular late seating dining was in Grande and we eat at specialty venues Chops, Jamie's, and Wonderland. We enjoyed all four dining experiences. We felt the food layout scheme in the Windjammer was chaotic and somewhat confusing. We only used WIndjammer for breakfast occassionally and sometimes for lunch. Windjammer is not our idea of how to have dinner.

Onboard Activities

5 out of 5
We really enjoyed the huge adult-only Solarium with three tiered pools and two hot tubs. It was fully usable even while in the cold climate before sailing south. We did North Star at sea and that was a fun experience not to be missed.

Entertainment

4 out of 5
We enjoyed The Gift, We WIll Rock You, and all of the shows in Two 70. The Anthem of the Seas Orchestra was excellent. Most of the other musical entertainers were just so-so. The magician on our cruise was very good, but the comedian was not.

Service and Staff

5 out of 5
The cabin steward, waiters, and guest services personnel were all friendly and helpful. There were often an inadequate number of guest services staff on duty, so the guest services lines during peak hours were ridiculously long. Late night or early morning is the best time to visit Guest Services, not from breakfast through dinner.

Ship Quality

5 out of 5
The ship is very well designed overall and was very clean and well maintained. At peak times, it was a bit light on elevator capacities and should probably have had a third bank of elevators more mid-ship, with the aft elevators, more aft.

Cabin / Stateroom

5 out of 5
Royal learned a lot about cabin design and applied it to Anthem. The layout uses space very efficiently. The wardrobes and drawers are very spacious. The bathroom has a much roomier curved glass door shower and plenty of toiletry storage. Our layout with the sofa first, then the bed near the balcony was preferable to the reversed layout for mobility in the cabin. The balcony was adequately sized. Having to insert your Sea Pass in a slot to activate the lighting and hvac is energy saving, but makes it easy to forget to grab a Sea Pass when exiting the room. I like that the fridge is now empty instead of stocked.

Ship tip

I would do the Quantum class again, but NEVER during times when kids are out of school and the passenger count is near limits. The lines would probably be intolerable.

Ports of call

Cape Liberty (Bayonne), New Jersey Did not visit port

Just embarkation and disembarkation only

Port Canaveral, Florida Did not visit port

We remained onboard and enjoyed the mostly empty ship amenties that day.

Cococay (Cruise Line's Private Island) Did not visit port

Winds were too high to tender.

Nassau, Bahamas

4 out of 5
Nassau is not our favorite destination. SInce we've been there more than a dozen times we just spent the better part of a day at Blue Lagoon, a private island beach, which was enjoyable.

Disembarkation

5 out of 5
We walked off ourselves with our luggage and the whole process including customs took about 30 minutes. We were on the New Jersey Turnpike by 8:15 AM and home by 9 AM.
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