It was a great cruise on a fantastic class of ship. So much to do on board, so many great memories made. The New England / Canada cruise is a great cruise for those cruises that originate in the US, second only to Alaska. But doing it on the Anthem is such a perk, such a wonderful experience. It is a "gotta do eventually" type of cruise whether you like small class ships or warmer weather. For those of yo who actually read my entire write up, thank you and sorry for the typos. Its been a long day, there is no spell check and my computer is not cooperating these days - - - time for another cruise.
3 out of 5
If I could brake out the terminal personnel seperately from the experinece, they would get 5 stars. This high rating is for their engaged effort and positive attitude to provide the best possible embark under "not the best" of conditions. From baggage handlers to those guiding you along the path to embark, they are doing the best possible to get you in and out. New Jersey's Cruise Port/ Terminal is a diamond in the rough (really rough) or "the port that wants to be". Lots and lots of construction at the port and plenty of potholes. It looks more like a cargo port recently converted to a cruise port. I was told that a lot of the facilities were destroyed in recent storms, thus, lots of rebuilding and reniovation. The embark process is effective, but you need to keep that smile on and remember that you are just passing through the terminal and will soon be on your dream cruise. The terminal is a bit overwhelmed with the number of passengers getting off and on in a short time. Although passengers are given times to arrive at the port to spread the arrivals out and lessen the crowding, it seem like it is ignored. Renovation is starting to gear up but it will be awhile any relief is felt. In any case, it is a breath of fresh air when compared to THAT RIDE to the port's cruise terminal. The roadways are horrible; packed with cars, congestion, road repair and plenty of aggressive driving. If you have a choice, get a shuttle and let the local guy get through the freeway madness. Enough said on that.
Food and Dining
5 out of 5
Anthem is a whole new experience in every venue. Take what you experienced on the best cruise you ever sailed and then know it is going to be better. I recognize that this is dependent on the attitude of your table staff and any other passengers assigned to your table. On our cruise, could not have asked for better. The service was first rate and the food was wonderful. Had plenty of great choices on the dining room menu every night. I did not hear any reasonable complaints on restaurants, food service or selection. I take that back - - - Johnny Rockets had a number of thumbs down. Seems it has been changed to a pay as you go restaurant with no table service. The question there is, why pay for a hamburger or shake when you can get free dogs and sausages and soft serve ice cream a minute away.
5 out of 5
What can I say - - - there are even bumper cars, plenty of them. The Anthem has it all and if you are smart and schedule your time wisely and book ahead on those activities that ask yo to rsvp for free, you will get to do it all and then some. Book ahead for I FLY, WAVE RUNNER, NORTH STAR and any other that interests you. Bumper car lines look long but it moves quickly. The pools are so spread out that crowds seem not to exists. And the solarium is a wonder in itself. You must be 16 or over to enter and it offers that ideal place for those that can enter to just relaxxxxxx.
5 out of 5
Unbelievable!!! We Will Rock You has at least 21 performers and a musical production that ended with the best of the best of Freddy Mercury. The standing ovation lasted the longest I have every witness on a cruise. The beginning of the show is slow, but it is worth waiting it out. Spectrum is hard to explain - - - the theatre cost over 36 million to make and includes 6 robots at 125 thousand a piece that rotate 6 very large screens around. Google SPECTRUM on Anthem of the Seas Video and enjoy some shorts on what this theatre can do. There are venues for anyone and everyone on the Anthem - - - YOU WILL BE ENTERTAINED. But, be sure you rsvp early for those productions that require you to do so. There are over 4,100 passengers sharing the shows and venues with you. The standby line for those that wait for the last minute is not a pretty place to be 15 minutes before a show.
Service and Staff
5 out of 5
I could ramble on and on about the staff and crew. Let me just simple say that they were the best - - - focused on first rate customer service and presentation.
5 out of 5
In Royal Caribbean fashion, the ship was easy to navigate around by the second day and very few facilities interfered with another, even at the loudest of times. Plenty of space and crowds were rare, except when the $10.00 sales started up along the area where the stores where. No surprise to most and a place that was fun to watch form an upper level. The crew kept the ship very clean, no matter how hard some passengers tried to keep it otherwise.
Cabin / Stateroom
5 out of 5
This was a unique experience for my wife and me. We usually get a balcony, sometimes a window. Out of 20 plus cruises, only one interior room. Our room on this cruise was a VIRTUAL BALCONY. Wow, neat!!! The room was large, queen bed, two stand-up wardrobes, two end tables, a twin bed / couch and a shower that two of me could stand in andnot touch the enclosure door. The virtual balcony showed a real time video of whatever was passing us by on our side of the ship. When we passed the Statue of Liberty it was lioke looking out a sliding glass door onto our balcony. Its a nice touch for an interior room experience. And when yo no longer wanted to see what was out there, click the remote and it was off (black screen). They even had slide curtains to close over the screen which took up the entire wall.
(1) Book onboard shows and events before embarking, especially the free ones being offered. (2) Downloard and get use to learning how to navigate the Royal Application on your cell. (3) If you can avoid doing so, do not take the last cruise of the year in September for New England and Canada. I got tired of hearing from our excusions guides that it was on the last excursion for that area and many of the shops and activities have closed up for the winter - - - and that had. Even a coupel of our guides seemed to have already shut down on this, their last excursion for the season.
Faster than I thought and as I mentioned in the embark write-up, really crowded. The personnel working the terminal, baggage and shuttle area get 5 stars for keeping the masses moving in the right direction and getting us loaded into transprots. Collecting our baggage was a breeze as a huge open warehose they have and there was plenty of room to space out the piles waiting to be claimed.
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