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  1. Thank you all for your kind comments. Oasis is probably in our future. 👍 Oh... and I don’t like Queen...must be before my time?! Glad others liked the show.
  2. Interesting info, thanks for your comment. Alarms were sounding and it descending quickly but yes, in a controlled manner in my opinion.
  3. Thank you. I also watched the Viking Sky on YouTube and TV and was horrified to see what was happening! So glad you were safely rescued. We traveled to Quebec City 12 years ago in August. We are returning in three weeks to visit the Christmas Markets. You are welcome and thank you for your kind comments. Safe travels to you too.... I'm not sure if I would get back on a cruise ship after the Viking Sky debacle!
  4. Debarkation Day - Nov 2 We enjoyed our last night on the cruise and for some strange reason I stayed-up with my husband past 1:30am which is not normal. We started rolling-in to the New York harbor a little after 5am and I grabbed my camera. It was cold on the balcony but I got some shots early morning shots of NYC and Lady Liberty. We sailed under the Verrazano bridge and I was surprised at how much traffic there was so early in the morning. Early morning arrival… My husband didn’t want to get out of bed. We had decided to book a ship transfer to the Newark airport for late flights. I believe they charged us $27.50 per person for this transfer. We were moved from luggage tags 39 to 25. Our debarkation time was scheduled for 9:10am. I did not read anywhere in the Cruise Compass where you had to be out of your room at a certain time but I was listening to the announcements of how quick they were emptying the ship and knew we would be off early. My husband was still in the shower at 8:30am. We left our cabin around 8:45am and our neighbors were leaving their cabin at the same time. They told us someone had pounded on their door and told them to leave. This did not happen to us. As we were getting to the elevator, they called our number 25. Number 25, this debarkation, was for all passengers taking a Royal Caribbean transfer to Newark Airport with flights departing after 2pm. We were off the ship at 8:50am. We gathered our luggage (easily enough) and then followed the crowd to the long lines of buses with your airline name in the windshield. There was some cussing and hustle-along going-on by some of the porters but we found our bus fairly easily. We were dropped-off at Newark airport before 10am. We had a late flight as did several others and apparently the airlines will not take your luggage until 4 hours before your flight. This was okay for us today. There are plenty of places to sit with your luggage (as lots of us did) and there are escalators going down to clean bathrooms, lots of restaurants, and some shops. This is all before the security area so you are free to go down the escalators all day. Also, our seats were by the doors where my husband was free to go in and out and smoke. We passed the time by talking to other cruisers waiting – some outside smoking and some inside just relaxing. We were able to check our luggage within two hours and then we passed the rest of the time talking some more. It’s amazing how quickly the day flew by and we were on our flight home. We both agree this was a good cruise. We met some good people. As one elderly lady talking to us said… this was a senior citizens cruise. That’s okay. There were plenty of people younger than us sprinkled-in throughout the ship. We quickly learned the Windjammer is packed 6:30am-7:30am and easygoing thereafter. We quickly learned the dining rooms are packed 5:30pm-7:00pm and for us, Windjammer was a better option. We napped, we enjoyed Bingo, we watched a few movies, and we enjoyed a couple of ports. This cruise was supposed to be about seeing the autumn colors and relaxation for us. We definitely relaxed. As for the fall colors, it was a hit or miss. We liked the ports and I would like to revisit a couple of them again, especially Maine. I loved Maine. After talking to a few loyal RC cruisers, it seems as though I would like the Oasis of the Seas layout better than the Anthem. This is definitely going to be on my radar for the future. One other thing of interesting to note… two ladies on our cruise told us that the next week, when the ship was going to the Bahamas, was also called “Jersey Week” and all the New Jersey schools were closed… the ship had over 1,500 kids scheduled to board the day we got off! Here are some of my opinions of Royal Caribbean Anthem of The Seas… Things Royal Caribbean is doing GREAT… · *Customer Service – bartenders, Windjammer staff, room attendant *Thank You for offering the World Series every night in our rooms · *Warm blankets to watch movies by the pool 😊 · *3D movies are great – offer them more often and clean/sanitize the 3D glasses please *Loved the “map” of Bar Harbor. You should do this for every port. · *Cupcake class was excellent. Maybe offer a second class making a different creation on a long cruise like this? · *Well-ventilated and large smoking areas (though there needs to be an indoor smoking area that is not the casino) · *Allowing guests to “Dress Your Best” on formal nights. This is the wave of the future and you are stepping it up to start a new base of loyal Royals. Excellent. · *Your drink packages are worth every dime. We would not cruise again without them. It is convenient to not have to worry about a tab and the bartenders, again, are excellent. Things Royal Caribbean Needs to Fix... *Fix your Cruise Compass! These need to be completely restructured. You are repeating yourself a lot, not putting the times of items listed on the front page until the back page, you are wasting a lot of paper and they are inaccurate at times. Get someone who knows what they are doing to put these out and pay attention to what is there – many items listed on our Cruise Compass did not pertain to this cold weather cruise at all – pretty sure there wasn’t a sand problem on this cruise and listing two different “be back onboard by” times could cause some major issues. · *Sell steel straws or travel straws like 4Ocean sells · *No free movies in the rooms ☹ · *Offer more movies by the poolside that relate to the clientele onboard. You showed a teenage dance movie one night at 9:30pm for THIS cruise. Really??? (Poms) · *Sorrento’s Pizza… pepperoni or pineapple & ham were the only offerings most of the time. You need to step it up here - more toppings, thicker crusts, better options. · *According to my husband, you really don’t offer 24/7 food as Café Promenade is a joke · *Why are all the shows so late at night – ESPECIALLY on this cruise?? I am normally asleep before 10pm my time so it would have been before 9pm on this cruise every night. · *Offer bar service before, during, and after Bingo. The line at the bar in Two70 was long and the service there was less than optimal. Well, that’s it folks. We like Royal Caribbean. NONE of the things mentioned would ever keep us from sailing with them again. Overall, it felt as though a lot of items were disorganized or no forethought was given to what was coming next – like waiting in line to leave in Saint John or the costume parade. We respect Royal Caribbean and we do like the clientele in comparison to Carnival (too young and wild for us) and HAL (wayyyy too old for us) so they are probably more our style of cruising overall so my critiques in this review are simply lessons learned by myself and probably some changes RC needs to make on this ship …and as some people tend to forget, this is a Cruise “Critic” website.
  5. Final day (night) continued... Nov 1 - Cruising At Sea All luggage needed to be in the hallways by 10pm tonight. Several people (like us) had theirs out much earlier. We got ours out and then had dinner in the Windjammer. They were walking around giving everyone large slices of this chocolate cake tonight… I thought it was a nice gesture. The taste however… well… you know how cruise ship desserts are. The dessert bar, however, tonight, had full-on cakes – red velvet cake, carrot cake, fudge cake, lots and lots of cakes to choose from tonight. They also had someone scooping real ice cream the previous night and tonight with a full sundae bar attached. Last night they had chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry. Tonight they had pistachio ice cream also! It was yummy! The Windjammer has some amazing guys who are constantly making warm cookies – all day every day. They make oatmeal raisin, sugar cookie, chocolate chip, sometimes peanut butter. It varies a bit. They are always warm and incredibly popular. You will see almost everyone glance over and grab a cookie – or 3 or 5 at times – before leaving the Windjammer. Many times I saw older ladies leaving with a saucer piled full of cookies. As soon as I took this photo, this employee gave me a thumbs up! I’m going to take a moment and say that the Windjammer is not your typical cruise ship buffet. It is nothing short of fabulous. The first day or two I sorta complained to my husband that I am a “plain jane” eater and I was tired of always getting mashed potatoes and the pork steak that was offered…. So then he pointed-out a few things and I never complained about the Windjammer again. You just need to look around and see all the stations available to you. They offer the following items for lunch and dinner every day… pasta station… bread station…. excellent salad station… a full-on hamburger & hot dog station where you have chili and cheese and sauerkraut and you have lettuce, tomato, pickles, etc plus sesame seed buns or no seeds buns, cheese on your burger or no cheese, etc… an area where they have the basics every night like mashed potatoes, gravy, and pork steaks… plus they have specialty nights like Italian night with veal, pork, and chicken parmesan, beef lasagna (it was yummo) plus meatballs and spaghetti that were great… and they had an Indian night (the Indian chicken that was semi-spicy and looked like nuggets was great)…. and and and… the Windjammer café has everything anyone could ever want for lunch or dinner and there are servers walking around at all times offering drinks plus they have full bar service in there. Many times they offer the same items on the dining room menus. I can’t say enough about this being the best buffet I’ve seen on a cruise and I am not a buffet person normally. And now some Kudos to RC for recycling… as these types of trash cans were all over the decks.. One of the things I don’t like is the paper straws onboard. You get this great plastic cup for the beverage package which has an area for a straw but you get no straw. You can’t even get a plastic straw at the La Patisserie where they sell Starbucks. I asked. I was told there are no plastic straws available onboard. The paper straws get mushy by the time you are done with your cocktail (smoothie in my case) and I just don’t like them. There are A LOT of things in this world I will give-up long before I give-up plastic straws. Anyway, I noticed Royal Caribbean partners with 4Ocean as they were selling their bracelets in the gift shop. I have some 4Ocean items and one of the things I have at work is their steel straw set – 2 straws and a straw cleaner that came in a bag. RC – please start offering these in your gift shop, next to your counters at Starbucks, or just everywhere…. You will make some money for a great cause and make your guests happy because I was not the only person irritated by the straw situation onboard. So back to our final day at sea… Tonight we listened to a band called The Royal Swedes in the Music Hall. They were great. They played songs like “Feel Like Making Love” and “I Can’t Fight This Feeling Anymore.” They played other days according to our Cruise Compass. Listening to them tonight was uplifting and made me want to stay on this boat forever. This has been a relaxing and good cruise for us which was desperately needed. Up next, debarkation and more notes about this cruise…
  6. Nov 1 – Final Cruise Day – Rocking & Rolling At Sea Today was the final cruise day. We woke-up to rolling seas and barf bags attached to all the stairs. People were walking around like they were drunk. We were fine. This type of thing has never bothered us. I only heard one lady say she was feeling a little queasy. We enjoyed the day just as we would any other cruise day. At one point, the rain was pouring into deck 14 so hard because of the winds blowing it in that you could not walk from the outdoor pool area by the outdoor movie screen into the closed area where the Windjammer entrance is located. Royal employees did a great job of getting the water cleaned-up as soon as the rain would slow down or stop. We didn’t do too much today. Enjoyed the day talking to people, packing, and purchasing a few items. They offered Bingo again (3rd time this cruise) at 2:45pm but we saw they were offering Bumper Cars again from 3pm to 5pm in the Seaplex so we chose Bumper Cars over Bingo. This was only the 3rd time bumper cars were offered this cruise. We decided to go to the Seaplex early because (stupidly) we had pre-purchased $20 each in Arcade credits. The arcade is located next to the Seaplex. If you buy the arcade credits online ahead of time, you get a $25 credit per person. However, you have NO WAY of knowing how much you have used. You MUST track this yourself somehow. When you prepurchase, the credit is on your account but you don’t know if you used your $25 or not. We went $8.50 over because we didn’t realize until after we had played for a while that we had no idea how much credit we have. There is a small machine there where you can buy “XX” amount of credit or check the credit on your arcade card but we were not allowed to do that because ours were pre-purchased. I called the phone number that is alllllllll over the arcade on notices - “For arcade assistance dial xx54887” ….or something like that. There is a phone in the hall. I dialed. I waited and waited… and started counting…. 23 rings later and no one answered. Oh Well. At least we stopped at only $8.50 over. So, if you have children, do not pre-buy this. Actually, for anyone, I would not pre-buy this because we almost forgot to use ours. I love Skee ball.. My husband likes the type of games you can “ride” We stopped playing in the arcade to get in line for Bumper Cars around 2:45pm. The Seaplex went from completely dead at 2pm/2:30pm… To completely packed by 3pm… Do you see that line? I am taking the picture from where I am in line. The line wound all the way around the entire Seaplex and then some today!! Clearly, we only rode one time. They are a lot of fun! Kudos to this lady…. She is a British RC employee who is HILARIOUS!! She calls them “Bumpa Cars” and she makes jokes while telling you the rules at the same time. Both times she ran the Bumper Cars when we were there and she is fabulous!! We were in line long enough that my husband walked over to the Seaplex Doghouse and had a hot dog and he said it was alright. He noticed they offered bratwursts and he wished he would have tried one of them too. Bumper Cars are fun and I highly recommend you try them. It seems most people waited until the last day or didn’t realize until later on in the cruise that they are rarely offered. On our cruise, based on the Cruise Compass, they were offered Day 1 11:30am-2:30pm, Day 3 5:30pm-7:30pm and Day 9 3:00pm-5:00pm. Day 1 is when embarkation is happening and our original arrival time wasn’t until 1:30pm, Day 3 they are offered during dinner time, and Day 9 was simply packed. Regardless, I’m really glad they are offered as they are awesome and fun and maybe it was only a total of 30 minutes of fun for us on this cruise but we loved them. This cruise review will continue...
  7. No. Not true. There was never any smoke in the haunted house. We asked one of the staff in the haunted house after we walked through the haunted house. This may have been the rumor floating around but nope. Also, the haunted house was on the 4th floor and we were standing by the gangway on the 5th floor above the haunted house (at the Bionic Bar) when this happened and there was no smoke. The gangway was 5th floor.
  8. Well, this is funny to me. I just realized the picture of the couple inside the Brass and Bock is a couple we met the last day in the gift shop. He talked to my husband for a long time while I waited to pay and his wife shopped. He was a veteran of Vietnam and said every year RC does something to memorialize the veterans and he didn't see anything in the Cruise Compass about it this year so he was upset. I told him I had read something and I believed it was on the 4th floor around 7pm and to recheck his Cruise Compass. Again, the Cruise Compass needs reworked for sure...
  9. Yes, some new friends of ours told us they were somehow able to see it on their own so we found that interesting. Maybe the trolley, the hop-on hop-off, and the shore excursions all had to cut it out but doing it on your own must be available so your information is nice.
  10. Continued... My favorite professional pic of the night.. We walked all the way back to Two70 because the Cruise Compass said there would be a Costume Parade. We didn't know if this was a staff or a guest costume parade. There were no specific details in the Cruise Compass, of course. We hoped there might be a costume contest. We arrived at Two70 and it was packed with people standing but around but no RC staff. I finally found a staff member and asked if there was a costume contest and he said no. We stood around until about 9:15pm or so and decided we had no idea what was about to happen but Two70 was packed and we were hot. We were never approached to be in a parade. We walked to the outer deck and sat and cooled-off. Later, we would walk through deck four and someone said to us "you two should have been in the parade!" ?????? The next day we would see on the RC TV show that the parade looked like guests and staff. They announced costumed individuals in Two70 and they would come out on the floor and dance and then leave. We were never invited to be a part of any type of parade and there was no information on this in the Cruise Compass and we were clearly visible there for a good 20 minutes. Deck 4 was (as always) packed with people sitting around watching those in costumes sorta "parading" around and Deck 5 upper chairs were packed too as people watched from above. Royal should consider having a costume parade through this area. Royal should also have some sort of specific instructions in the Cruise Compass about what is or isn't going to happen, where to meet, how to sign-up, etc. and they should have a costume competition. My husband was a bit disappointed as he's the one that loves Halloween. We decided to check-out the pub tonight. It was late and we just wanted a bit to eat. The bartenders in this pub are working like crazy and friendly the entire time. We ordered their beer cheese and pretzels (eh, just breadsticks really) and their BBQ nachos (hubby loved them). There was an older gentleman singing some fantastic songs in here tonight. Him, a mic, and a guitar I believe is all it was. Lovely. The picture below was taken at another time. The Brass & Bock was packed tonight. We left Halifax tonight with 50mph winds and the boat was rocking and rolling... Up next... our final day at sea...
  11. Halifax, continued... We walked back on board in Halifax and my husband crawled in bed. I milled around and waited for the movie in the Royal Theatre this afternoon - Aquaman. The movie was scheduled for 1pm (?) and they didn't come to open the doors until about 10 minutes prior. No popcorn or anything today. Surprisingly, the movie was well attended. It was a 3D movie. You pick-up your own glasses from a rack. These 3D glasses are total crap. One lady said "the glasses don't work" as she left. I tried two different pair. They are just too flimsy. I love-love that they offer 3D movies, just wish maybe they would upgrade or clean the glasses. The man in front of me cleaned his and his wife's with a handkerchief. Several people were looking for ways to clean their glasses or would go back and get a different pair. Kinda gross when you think about it but the movie was good. Tonight was Halloween on the ship. We had brought costumes. We took a bit to get ready. I was a witch... He was a vampire.. We walked to deck five to have our pictures taken. It was a festive atmosphere throughout the ship - lots of people semi-dressed in costume and others dressed-up in full costumes. I saw some ladies in Halloween sweatshirts that said "Ghouls Night Out" and another lady in a light-up candycorn tiara, several couples in Halloween tops or sweaters, and of course.. lots of people in costume. We had our photos made by several professional photographers on the ship, hoping for a shot we would really like. Just after we had this shot made near the Bionic Bar, and alarm went off on the ship... The gangway was on Deck 5 just across the way from the Bionic Bar. All aboard time tonight was either 7:30pm or 8:30pm, I don't know for sure because both times were in the Cruise Compass. Either way, there were still people slowly returning to the ship. We have no idea what happened but as someone came back on the ship and put their items through the x-ray/scanners... an alarm was setoff and a 3-story metal "door" came down and completely closed off the gangway area from the rest of the ship. We couldn't believe it. Several of the staff members seemed surprised. I asked one if she had ever seen this happen before and she said no. I walked around and took a picture of it because it was so strange... Of course, it was also a bit scary. Eventually, the steel door was raised and we never knew what happened. We were standing in line for the haunted house when the door was finally raised. There was a long line for the haunted house all night. It was located just past the La Patisserie on Deck 4. I'm glad Royal Caribbean recognized Halloween in such a way and attempted a haunted house but this haunted house took maybe 5 minutes and it was probably entertaining or scary to 10 year olds? There were adults, many much older than us, in line for the haunted house. Maybe do something a little different for Halloween on a cruise like this in the future? The haunted house was supposed to close at 9pm but the line was so long they must have left it open longer. This kid was hilarious... running around the ship (mom was nearby all the time)... She welcomed us to the haunted house... More on Halloween night coming...
  12. October 31 - Halifax, Novia Scotia (Canada) Today we cruised in to Halifax in the rain. My husband didn't even want to get out of bed let alone get off the ship. The ship was quiet and later we learned two of our new friends didn't bother getting off the ship either. There are probably some excellent activities or places to see in Halifax however, we just weren't up to getting around in another rainy day and we didn't know about anything happening or going-on in Halifax today. I persisted and we got off and walked around in the shops which are connected to the terminal/port. There are some great little places to shop. We walked around the shops for maybe an hour. We started walking out of the terminal. To the right we could see some shops, a craft store, a bar or two, some cafes that offer outdoor eating (not today) and etc. We stopped walking about 10 minutes in and decided we were done with the rain. We were back on the ship in no time at all. Note: I wanted to visit the Titanic museum or the cemetery and a kind older gentleman in line for the hop-on, hop-off said there is no such thing as a Titanic museum in Halifax. He said there is a small museum about a 15-minute walk away that has one small exhibit with some Titanic information. He basically said it wasn't worth our time. There were large printed notices on all the tour boxes that said "Due to a sinkhole, the Titanic cemetery is currently not accessible." So, that option was out. We goofed around in the terminal/port shops... We found several fun gifts/souvenirs.. There is a memorial there to the 900 Jewish lives on the oceanliner St. Louis. The ship left Germany and the Jewish people attempted to land in the United States, Cuba, and Canada and were turned away by all three countries. The boat was forced to return to Germany where many of them did not survive. We visited Auschwitz two years ago and now I have so much more respect for anything related to this terrible time in history. It was rainy and gloomy and he was Mister Grumpy This day will be continued in more posts to come...
  13. 270 is great. If it were closer to our room, we would have ate there more often. It would be busy before or after Bingo or movies but at other times, it would be empty. Great little place that is under-utilized it seems. Café Promenade is a joke. I didn't like ANY of their odd sandwich or sandwich-type offerings. Their cookies are hard. I was unimpressed. My husband was looking for food around 3-4am one night and there was one option - a small croissant sandwich thing. He didn't like it. I will write more about the Windjammer Marketplace (great) and LaPatisserie (so-so) as I finish this review.
  14. My review is not finished. I still have 3 days of the cruise left to review and I'm going to write a list of pros and cons of Royal Caribbean. I will have my review finished sometime this weekend.
  15. The seas were calm. I had a slice of pizza at Sorrento’s. Sorrento’s pizza could really use an upgrade. Carnival’s pizza is much better and has way more options. Royal should at least have out a margherita pizza at all times and I never saw that option. Do you see the line of people below? This is the 2pm line for people to make the big show today in the Royal Theatre -– We Will Rock You. We had reservations and I didn’t even bother because with a line like that, how would they ever know who did or did not have reservations? This line started at the Royal Theatre and wound all the way back to Brass & Bock pub. This area is the very front of Two70… all the way across there are these big, comfy chairs where you can sit and watch the water all day. Today we saw dolphins playing around the side of the boat and in the waters behind the boat before we played Bingo. A man I met from North Carolina was using a professional camera and a tripod taking pictures all over the ship. When I saw him, he would show me his beauties from the day. He was able to catch a photo of a whale with the dolphins. We played Bingo in Two70 at around 2:30pm, I think? Apparently, there was Bingo another day but I didn’t see it in the Cruise Compass. It was sorta like pulling teeth but we finally got bar service in Two70. I had a strawberry daquiri with mango mixed smoothie (basically a strawberry daquiri & mango mixed with no rum). I’m not the only person that talked about the Cruise Compass needing reworked. It is a jumbled mess and they list activities like this: “We Will Rock You – theatrical show” or “1000 draw game – Casino” instead of like it should be… “Casino – xxx enterCasinogame name hereX“ and “Gameshow – Xxenter name of gameshow here” and “Musical – Xxenter name of musical here” because really, we don’t necessarily care what the name of the musical or the gameshow or the casino game is today, we just know what we are interested in seeing – some of us like Bingo, others like the casino, others want to see a gameshow, etc. When we showed-up for the movie to Spiderman the other night, they had just ended a gameshow! We couldn’t believe we had missed a gameshow. We didn’t win at Bingo. Lowest entry fee is $29. I think it goes up in $10 increments to $69. We did the $39 entry and won $5 on our Click-it. We took naps this afternoon. We had dinner in the dining room around 7:30pm tonight. Tonight was lobster night so there was a short wait to be seated (a first on this cruise if you eat past 7pm). We were anytime dining but they walked us to our “normal” seat and there was someone else eating there so we were placed elsewhere. No biggie to me but they all seemed perplexed by the situation. I thought the idea of My Time Dining was to eat whenever you want and meet new people every night but I suppose it’s just the former. The menu… He had the prime rib and two lobster tails. I had the New York strip. I realize this cruise is probably not like the typical Royal cruise because they were always slammed by 5:30pm for dinner so when we arrive at 7:30pm, the rush was *normally* over but the dining room always seemed like they had just been beaten to a pulp so they were barely able to get through our "late" service. For this crowd and this type of cruise.. if you show-up at 8pm, you are walking straight to a table with no wait. However… you will wait FOREVER for your food. It always seemed like they must have had to hurry-up and make new food for the late shift because the first shift ordered so much. Many times we heard waiters exclaim of how busy it had just been. Food service was extra slow tonight because of it being lobster night. I did hear Angelo (the dining room manager) say there was a wait for lobsters. We left at 8:55pm promptly and took our desserts with us and we had to push to make that happen. I thought the World Series started at 9pm so I wanted out of that dining room before 9pm. We watched the Nationals win the World Series tonight. I am not a Nationals fan but I definitely did not want the Astros winning so the outcome was as I had hoped. The game and ceremonies were long so I did not go to sleep until after 1:30am. Today was a good cruising day.
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