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RaggieMom

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About RaggieMom

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Knoxville
  • Interests
    travel, gambling
  1. We stayed right across the hall from a laundry room and never heard a sound from it. Didn't hear machines or people talking.
  2. Nice to know about the table. We weren't aware that it pulled out. Wish we had known. Overall, we thought they did a great job on the rooms.
  3. Entertainment: We thought the entertainment was very good for the most part. None of us liked "The Gift". Music was ok, but most of the play just didn't make sense. Maybe it was for a younger audience, not us oldtimers. Tony Daro did two comedy shows, one a family show, the other adults only. Both were excellent. Next comic was Rondell Sheridan. Again, he did a family show and an adult show. We enjoyed both. These two guys had everyone laughing. Would pay to see either of them. The third comic (and I use that term lightly) was our last night. It was Al Ducharme. He could make wonderful sound effects, but no comedy. He even commented that no one was laughing. It was really sad. Lots of people got up and left after 10 or 15 minutes. He just was not funny at all. The two musical acts, Finis Henderson and Savannah Jack, were our favorites of all the entertainment. Finis talked about all the old singers he and/or his Dad knew. Sang the songs and told lots of stories about growing up around all these people. Savannah Jack did songs starting in about 1958 with Johnny Cash. He did each year up to about 1990. I could have listened to him all night. Not a lot of talking just good music that everyone knew and could sing with. Towards the end he started asking how long people had been married. When he got to either 40 or 45 years, he had them come down front. He sang a song he had written for Lee ********* and had all of them dance to it. Beautiful slow love song. It was very touching. These are two more that I would pay to go to one of their shows. Yes, they were that good. Their big show was We Will Rock You. It was pretty cute. But they did have the music extremely loud. Part of our group left because of that. Spectra's Cabaret was their other big show. It was a little different, but very entertaining. Took us a few minutes to decide we really did like it. We all missed having the big Vegas type song and dance production. I hope they will consider bringing that back. Cruise director was Abe Hughes. He was very good, very friendly. He is going to be leaving soon to go to the Harmony. I'm sure he'll be missed. Things to do on Ship: This was pretty standard. Bingo, trivia, belly flop contest, etc. Their special things were bumper cars, iFly and North Star. We went up in North Star and it was nice. We did it one morning in port. One of our group did the iFly on a sea day. She really enjoyed it a lot. You only get to "fly" for one minute. The whole process of signing in, instructions, getting dressed, waiting on the others to have their turn (they took 10 or 12 at a time up to the flight room) and getting the flight suits off takes almost an hour. But she thought it was worth it. We all wanted to do the bumper cars but they are hardly ever open. Only about 2 hours a day. And the lines were extremely long. You would have been in line at least an hour. Something about the batteries not lasting long and taking a long time to recharge. Whatever. It was a big disappointment. They also had the rock climbing wall and Flow rider. We weren't interested in these, so I can't comment. We played Trivia several times and enjoyed it. Came in second (no prize :() a few times, but never got to win one of those beautiful highlighters or zipper pulls. Ports and excursions: We booked the Duck Boats in Boston through RC. We really enjoyed it. Our guide was really good. Friends did the cemetary trip and they thought it was great. In Bar Harbor we booked theOli's Trolley 2 1/2 hour trip through Acadia National Park. We loved it. Just not enough time at the stops. Our driver was very knowledgeable and educated as well as entertained us. At Halifax we did the HOP ON, HOP OFF bus through RC. What a disaster! We waited in line for over 30 minutes to board. At stops we made, people had been waiting for up to 45 minutes and then couldn't get on because of no room for them. Our guide was very monochrome and dull. This was a total waste of $50 per person. We never got off because we were afraid we would not be able to get back on. Waste of time. Our favorite port was Bar Harbor. Could have stayed there a couple of days. Just a beautiful little port city. Miscellaneous: Shopping on the ship was horrible. It was either very expensive or it looked like Dollar Store junk. Needless to say, all of our shopping was done in the ports. WOW Bands I love these things - usually. I get them mostly for the casino. But, these did not work very well. I had mine redone 2 times, but it didn't help. It worked fine on the cabin door, but on the slot machines, it worked about one out of ten tries. Finally just gave up on it. Another waste of $5. Casino: Casino was nice and open. Slots were nice and tight! We didn't see anyone really winning. We had small wins, but overall, we all lost. So different from our last cruise on Royal Princess when we all won. But we had fun. They had some good machines. And after all, it is called gambling for a reason. Guest Services: This was the first time I have ever had to use Guest Services on a cruise. But this time, I thought it was going to become my daily stop. Nothing major, just little problems that kept coming up. They were always helpful and settled the problem, just hated having to waste time there so many days. Final Thoughts: Yes, we enjoyed our cruise. Could it have been better - yes, but that's ok, we still had fun and we were cruising! Will we go on the Anthem again? I don't think so. There is just no WOW factor to this ship. Everything just seems ordinary and could be on any ship from 10 years ago. The last ship we were on before this was the Royal Princess. What a difference! That ship is nothing but WOW factor. And the atrium/promenade areas are so different. The Princess was huge, very spacious, high ceilings, lots of tables and chairs all around to sit in, big dance floor in the middle, no shopping tables in that area. Kind of like comparing a Volkswagen Beetle to a Lexus. Plus tables and chairs all around the pool areas. I was really looking forward to being on the "big" ship, but never again. The Princess Royal is big enough for me. The only thing the Anthem did better was the main dining room food. And they did great with that. I'm sure we will cruise on Royal Caribbean again as we have had good experiences on other ships, just not this ship. If you have any questions, let me know and I'll try to answer. Thanks for reading this. Sorry it was so long.
  4. First, I want to say that we had a great time on our cruise. What's the old saying - a bad day on a ship is better than a great day at home. Well, that's true for me. In spite of everything, we kept a good attitude and had fun. Anthem is by far my least favorite ship. First (and lasting) impression was how closed in it felt. We usually love the promenade area on ships and spend time there at the Promenade Cafe on RC or the International Cafe on Princess. Well, not such a good idea on Anthem. Everything about that space was crowded. Not just with people, but with all the sales tables. The space is very small and add all that stuff and it literally stiffles you. Food was OK in the cafe, but many times we went by there and no one was working. They would have only one person and that person would be gone to get food for the place. Once it was unstaffed for over 15 minutes. This happened morning, noon and night. No reason for that to ever happen. A couple of times one of the pizza guys came over to help, but it didn't really help much since there was hardly any food in the cases. Bad management! Cabins: We had connecting balcony cabins. There was no problem once they got our beds separated. Was nice to go from cabin to cabin and balcony to balcony without going into the hall. Rooms were set up nicely. Plenty of storage room. We didn't even use all of ours and we are not light packers. Only thing missing was a coffee table. Also, they had two bedside tables, which in a way was nice. But, when they separated the beds, they left one on one side and the other in the middle to separate the beds. That meant only about eight inches between the beds and with the covers, it was more like 4 inches. Very hard to walk between them. You could almost roll from one bed to the other. Cabin steward was Dewight or Dewayne from Jamaica. Very friendly and did a great job keeping our rooms cleaned. Also made awesome towel animals. He definitely got an extra tip on our last morning. Dining: OK, we were really worried about this since we did not make reservations before we boarded. So many bad reviews. After doing the Casual Dynamic Dining, I am sorry to see it go. Loved the idea of the 4 different dining rooms. We were able to get into the ones we wanted at the times we wanted without reservations. And, the computers kept track of who your servers were so that if you went back, you would have the same ones. All of our servers in the Main dining rooms were average. Not bad, but not what they all gave a little speech about how wonderful they were. Plates were mixed up, glasses weren't refilled very often, dirty dishes weren't removed quickly. Just little things you don't expect at a first class restaurant. The food was the best we have ever had on a ship. We had filet mignon and prime rib several times. It was always cooked perfectly and was juicy and melt in your mouth. It compared to a steak from Morton's or Ruth's Chris. Our favorite venue was the Grande. Close second was Silk. Then American Icon with Chic last. But all were good. Kind of nice having wings and Bar-B-Que ribs one night. Very meaty wings with a very good sauce! That was at American Icon. We also dined one night at Chops (a gift from our TA, as I see no reason to pay extra on a ship. I can always go to a nice place at home). This was a huge disappointment. The service was very sub-standard. A couple at the table beside ours was celebrating an anniversary. We saw them give the waiter a tip when he seated them. Must have been a hefty one, since from that point on, they were the only two people in the place, or so our waiter thought. We were pretty much ignored. Also, the food was not nearly as good as in the Main Dining rooms. So glad I did not pay for that experience. Windjammer was typical ship buffet. A few good things mixed with a lot of average or below dishes. Ate there at breakfast some and lunch or dinner once or twice. Enjoyed the breakfasts in the Grande and Silk much more. Also, lunch in the TWO 70 was very good. Very relaxing. Room service menu was a shock. Almost everything on it (and it's very limited) costs extra. Have only ever paid for pizza in the past and just gave a tip for anything we ordered. They just try to nickle and dime you to death. Could not believe the ice cream place (when it was working) was only open from like 11 am until about 6 pm. I guess it's another of their cost saving ideas. We also ate at the Solarium a couple of times. It was pretty good and a change from the other places. Also had a milkshake at Johnny Rocket's. Wasn't nearly as good as the ones at our local JR. So, food was kind of mixed. Great food in the Main Dining areas, OK in most of the others. Service was not bad (except as I told you about the Cafe Promanade), but not as good as it could have been. None of us went hungry! Oh yeah - one more thing. They had very few tables on the swimming pool decks. We like taking our food out there, but we don't like having to eat with it in our laps or on one of the low coffee tables. Where are the regular table for people to sit and eat at? Bummer! I will post more a little later. Hope this isn't getting too long.
  5. We are driving up from Tennessee the day before. Planned on staying the night somewhere around Allentown, PA. then finishing the drive early the next morning. Cruise is on 9/22, so it's a weekday. This bridge y'all keep talking about closing - should we be worried about it? Anything else we need to be aware of coming in from that direction? Any suggestions for a place to stay? Don't need fancy - just a clean room in a safe area to shower and sleep. Thanks for all the great info.
  6. Thanks for the report. We will be on the Anthem in September in New England and Canada. We have been on the Royal Princess and really enjoyed it. We never felt crowded. Food was OK, though not as good as what we had on the Diamond Princess in Alaska. That was extremly good. Casino, at least the slots, were very good to us on Royal Princess. The four of us all came back winners. Nothing big, but at least we didn't leave any money on the ship! Oh well, the worst day cruising is better than any other day. And I fully believe the trip is what you make it. Just smile, be happy and have fun!
  7. Hi. This is Barbara and Brenda. I've cruised 3 times. This is Brenda's first ever cruise. Both of us are really excited. Hope to get to meet some of you. Getting really close now.
  8. When I booked my current cruise, I wasn't sure who was going with me. I wanted to take advantage of a good deal I had found. They booked it as me and TBD. A couple of weeks later when I gave them the name of my friend that's going with me, there was no charge. Within minutes they had made the update on the trip planner. We are still a couple of months out on our cruise. You shouldn't have any problem. Good luck and have a great cruise. Can't wait to be on the ship!
  9. Hi everyone. We're taking a 10 day cruise on the Royal in November. Can hardly wait. What I want to know is exactly which food venues are free and which charge. Of course I know the buffet, the specialty restaurants and the MDRs are free, but what about the pizza place, the gellato station, the International Cafe, the Bistro and all the other little places. Info on the website is not always very specific. Would appreciate any info you can give me. Thanks much!
  10. Just remember that fragrances change as they get older.
  11. Charming Charlie. They have all kinds of fun things and their prices are really good. All types of jewelry, handbags, hair accessories, shoes, etc. My favorite part is most items come in several colors. Really fun place to shop.
  12. Our airline has changed the times on our flight this Saturday morning. I had it booked with an hour in Anchorage to get to our plane for Fairbanks. Now they have us having only 22 minutes to get from one plane to the other. IF, and I know it's a big if, we land on time, can we make the connection? It's a difference in getting to Fairbanks at 5:34pm or around midnight. Thanks for any thoughts on this.
  13. Sumar, you must be on the same cruise tour we are doing. Get to the hotel Tuesday evening, 5/14. We are going a few days early and renting a car just to sightsee on our own. Can't wait to get up there! Only my second cruise ever and my first on Princess.
  14. Hoping the snow sticks around a little longer. We don't get much in our part of Tennessee. Headed to Fairbanks Saturday. Land tour starts Wednesday and cruise starts on the Diamond Princess Saturday, 5/18. So excited to see your beautiful state.
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