Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
Sizzlechest

Anthem of the Seas - July 4 - Pluses and minuses

Recommended Posts

Thanks Sizzlechest. 

 

We were on board Anthem in May of this year. They played the same movie. But, you are correct that showing 3D movies (included in the cruise price) is very nice. You actually feel like you are in a movie theater. 

 

We sail again on a B2B August 29th to New England for 9 nights, then 5 nights to Bermuda

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
59 minutes ago, fscool said:

Just had a private excursion opportunity through a family member on the island that could start at 815 if we could make it on time.  I was just surprised that when they say 8-4 in Bermuda it really means 8:30.  I thought doors open to get off at 8am.

They list the time the ship is actually in port, which includes the scheduled time of arrival, until the ship departs.  Unfortunately it can be misleading, as roughly a half hour in the beginning and at the end are needed for customs clearances and to make sure everyone is onboard.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So excited to read this as we board in just over 2 weeks. If I’m reading correctly, with refreshment or deluxe package we can get shakes at JR without the cover charge or any additional purchase?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, Crazydancemom said:

So excited to read this as we board in just over 2 weeks. If I’m reading correctly, with refreshment or deluxe package we can get shakes at JR without the cover charge or any additional purchase?

 

I had the deluxe package and got a shake on two different occasions at JR without any other purchase.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
53 minutes ago, Crazydancemom said:

So excited to read this as we board in just over 2 weeks. If I’m reading correctly, with refreshment or deluxe package we can get shakes at JR without the cover charge or any additional purchase?

I am not sure, but I believe it may only be deluxe??  I would check into this more.....I know you can get smoothies and just about everything, except alcohol, with the refreshment package- just not sure about JR milkshakes though.....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, SuiteLady said:

I am not sure, but I believe it may only be deluxe??  I would check into this more.....I know you can get smoothies and just about everything, except alcohol, with the refreshment package- just not sure about JR milkshakes though.....

 

I will check onboard. My husband and I have the deluxe but my teens/young adult aren’t over 21 so they have the refreshment so they can get their specialty coffee and virgin frozen drinks 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We were on this same cruise and we were docked in Bermuda around 7:30am.  I was off the ship a few minutes after 8

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

BTW, I saw some information on a certain RCL blog that may one day pertain to the Anthem of the Seas:

 

Guests sailing on Royal Caribbean roundtrip sailings from Singapore beginning November 16, 2019 will find fees for some signature attractions onboard.

 

  • Ripcord by iFly: $29 pp USD
  • North Star: $12 adults pp USD / $8 child pp USD (up to 11 years)
  • Bumper Cars: Complimentary (with option to upgrade to Express Lane for $5 pp USD)

I would not pay for any of that. In fact, without those attractions, I simply wouldn't sail on that ship.

Edited by Sizzlechest

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for the comprehensive review.  I was wondering about the "book  ...IFly, North Star, etc when you get on the ship" which is what I have been told on the phone by RCL reps.  I had read on CC boards that these things needed to be booked online, which I tried to do.  I was able to book the NorthStar for the 1st day (we are on Aug 24th cruise), but couldn't book the I FLY, so I called them.  The rep said "Book on the ship".  She also said if I did not pay for the items in my cart, they would be deleted. The only Item I had was the North Star, which was supposed to be free. And when I went online after the call, sure enough, NO NORTH STAR reservation. Now we have no reservations for anything, which DH is not happy about, since most of the hype about the Anthem is for these things.  If you happen to know 1) exactly where/how I would book when I am on the ship, I would love to know that, and 2) are these things worth standing in long lines to book?  We've done over a dozen cruises on other ships and found plenty to do that didn't seem to be so complicated to get to.   I really appreciate your insight.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Don't panic. I was not able to book anything other than the main shows prior to boarding. As soon as you get on, go directly to the Music Hall on deck 3 or 4. They have people there to make whatever reservations you want. The only thing that filled up super fast was the escape room. I was lucky to get it on the LAST day. My first Northstar reservation was a bust due to issues with the mechanics. There were plenty of slots open on the app, but I couldn't reserve it since it only allows one reservation per customer. I had to go to customer service to get another appointment. BTW, Northstar has a standby line, too. You'd be surprised how many times people are no-shows.

Edited by Sizzlechest

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Sizzlechest said:

BTW, I saw some information on a certain RCL blog that may one day pertain to the Anthem of the Seas:

 

Guests sailing on Royal Caribbean roundtrip sailings from Singapore beginning November 16, 2019 will find fees for some signature attractions onboard.

 

  • Ripcord by iFly: $29 pp USD
  • North Star: $12 adults pp USD / $8 child pp USD (up to 11 years)
  • Bumper Cars: Complimentary (with option to upgrade to Express Lane for $5 pp USD)

I would not pay for any of that. In fact, without those attractions, I simply wouldn't sail on that ship.

 

Don't worry.  It's just an Asia thing. The cruise business is different in Asia.

 

On another thread (which I can't find) someone said that they were on a cruise in Asia and the staff told her that before they instituted fees, the passengers (locals) would reserve for multiple slots.  They would push and shove and fight in the waiting lines, and there was general  chaos.  Staff said that fees basically solved those problems. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Merion_Mom said:

 

Don't worry.  It's just an Asia thing. The cruise business is different in Asia.

 

On another thread (which I can't find) someone said that they were on a cruise in Asia and the staff told her that before they instituted fees, the passengers (locals) would reserve for multiple slots.  They would push and shove and fight in the waiting lines, and there was general  chaos.  Staff said that fees basically solved those problems. 

 

Makes sense. Check out Shanghai Disney...or not: https://www.elitereaders.com/disney-dwayne-exposes-rude-nature-chinese-tourists-shanghai-disneyland-photos/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Room

 

I stayed in a “Category 7D - Ocean View Stateroom with Balcony” at the front of the ship near the elevators. I LOVED this room. There was ample space and storage. The balcony was big enough to actually enjoy sitting there. I strongly recommend getting a room near the front bank of elevators on the Anthem. Decks 4 and 5 at that location are where most of the action takes place. Main Theater, Casino (deck 3), Schooner’s Bar (Trivia), Music Hall, Starbucks, Sorrento’s, the 24-hour pastry and sandwich shop, the stores, and guest services are conveniently located near there. The glass elevators are split into two sets, which means longer wait times. Also, they were often hot in there. I would try to avoid them if I could.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/16/2019 at 9:28 AM, fscool said:

Just had a private excursion opportunity through a family member on the island that could start at 815 if we could make it on time.  I was just surprised that when they say 8-4 in Bermuda it really means 8:30.  I thought doors open to get off at 8am.

There will be a time posted in the compass, but this is variable. Sometimes you will be able to get off earlier; sometimes you may be delayed. My advice is to be ready to go a half hour before the posted time. Relax in a public area that has easy access to the gangway area. If they announce the gangway is open, you will be ready to go. (they may prioritze RC excursions but ime if they open early and no one is there you can just get off). 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/15/2019 at 7:26 PM, Sizzlechest said:

Comedy Shows

 

 

 

Carnival and NCL do comedy better, hands down. There is no dedicated location for comedy shows on the Anthem. We had only two comedians on this cruise and they were only available in the main theater. Carnival has the “Punchliner” and rotate comedians on and off after each port.

 

 

 

Photos

 

 

 

The Anthem has the worst photo system of any cruise I’ve been on. You cannot review your pictures when the photo place isn’t open, which is very often. Carnival allows you to see your phones from their phone app. The Royal IQ app has no feature. The watermarking on the photos are really aggressive. I couldn’t make out facial expressions because they were covered with white text. I get it. They don’t want people to take pictures of their pictures with their phone. But it made it too difficult. Also, there wasn’t as many locations to take pictures that showed off the inherent beauty of the ship. Other than the chair outside of Wonderland and a relatively unimpressive staircase, all of the other photos were in front of stock roll-down screens. No props or chairs. All those photos were with you standing up in front of a generic background. I didn’t purchase a single photo this cruise.

 

 

You can move the watermark to see the faces better, directions are on the screen telling you how to do it.  The pictures taken on the white background will use props if you want one.  They also take pictures in the Via either standing or sitting in front of the big shiny art installation.  Not sure where else you would have wanted them to set up.  We just take pictures around the ship ourselves and ask someone to take one of us and then we do the same for them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
48 minutes ago, reallyitsmema said:

 

You can move the watermark to see the faces better, directions are on the screen telling you how to do it.  The pictures taken on the white background will use props if you want one.  They also take pictures in the Via either standing or sitting in front of the big shiny art installation.  Not sure where else you would have wanted them to set up.  We just take pictures around the ship ourselves and ask someone to take one of us and then we do the same for them.

 

I am aware of how the watermarks work. It's SO aggressive that it makes little difference when selecting the alternate watermark placement.

 

If they can't figure out better spots to take pictures on the ship, then they're admitting the ship just isn't photogenic, which I do not believe is true.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, Sizzlechest said:

 

I am aware of how the watermarks work. It's SO aggressive that it makes little difference when selecting the alternate watermark placement.

 

If they can't figure out better spots to take pictures on the ship, then they're admitting the ship just isn't photogenic, which I do not believe is true.

 

I know you said you sail NCL and Carnival.  Other than Royal Caribbean, I have only sailed NCL and they did the same thing, backgrounds set up in various locations and one staircase used.  Does Carnival do something different?  NCL had limited hours for their photo area too but the discount they gave higher level loyalty members worked out really nicely for our family as we had tons of pictures taken since it was an 80th birthday celebration for my Mom.  Guess it comes down to what you are used to, just wondering what I might be missing on another cruise line.  🙂 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 minutes ago, reallyitsmema said:

 

I know you said you sail NCL and Carnival.  Other than Royal Caribbean, I have only sailed NCL and they did the same thing, backgrounds set up in various locations and one staircase used.  Does Carnival do something different?  NCL had limited hours for their photo area too but the discount they gave higher level loyalty members worked out really nicely for our family as we had tons of pictures taken since it was an 80th birthday celebration for my Mom.  Guess it comes down to what you are used to, just wondering what I might be missing on another cruise line.  🙂 

 

Like everything...it depends more on the ship than the cruise line. On the NCL Breakaway, there are lots of places the staff takes photos that do not involve backgrounds. There is a curved wall with a rocky finish that made for some really nice pictures. The level above the casino is a perfect area by the railing for a shot with the multicolor chandelier directly in the background. Also, they don't just use a background. There will be seating, or a set piece, too. The Carnival Horizon cruise I took, for example, had not just a background of the water, but a railing in the front you can lean on. They set up a ship's wheel for some pictures. One area had a piano you can sit by.

 

RCL has a photographer for the Ripcord/iFly, but nothing for Northstar or the bumper cars. The pictures I saw of the people are the zipline look terrible and unflattering.

 

I don't mean to be overly critical. I really loved this cruise and I know it may seem I write more on the negatives than the positives. I do this because the negatives can be fixed REALLY easily with a little bit of creativity or a minor policy change. They're more frustrating than devastating.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/15/2019 at 8:52 PM, SuiteLady said:

It’s the cafe on the Promenade, across from Sorrento’s.  They use Starbuck’s beans and the coffee is served in Cups with Starbuck’s logo.... got my specialty coffee there every morning!  And I just got milkshakes at JR’s, so I can attest the this is accurate info!  Enjoy, I loved the Anthem!!

 

La Patisserie on the Esplanade has specialty coffee.  There is also a Cafe Promenade, beside Sorrentos, that has brewed coffee and tea, along with the typical cookies, desserts and small sandwiches that Cafe Promenade has on other ships all of which is "free".  I like having the specialty coffee at a different venue.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, reallyitsmema said:

 

La Patisserie on the Esplanade has specialty coffee.  There is also a Cafe Promenade, beside Sorrentos, that has brewed coffee and tea, along with the typical cookies, desserts and small sandwiches that Cafe Promenade has on other ships all of which is "free".  I like having the specialty coffee at a different venue.

Yes!  Couldn't think of the name of the café! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cleanliness

 

Every part of this ship was clean. Used glasses and plates were never left hanging around for long. Public bathrooms were kept immaculate. I’ve seen problems on older ships where a public toilet got clogged and was out of commission far too often. I never saw any issues on the Anthem. I applaud their aggressive hand washing at the Windjammer and hand sanitizer at the MDRs. Even if only 1% of passengers have poor hygiene, that means there are about 50 people every cruise who can potentially spread germs each day.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎7‎/‎16‎/‎2019 at 9:22 PM, Sizzlechest said:

Don't panic. I was not able to book anything other than the main shows prior to boarding. As soon as you get on, go directly to the Music Hall on deck 3 or 4. They have people there to make whatever reservations you want. The only thing that filled up super fast was the escape room. I was lucky to get it on the LAST day. My first Northstar reservation was a bust due to issues with the mechanics. There were plenty of slots open on the app, but I couldn't reserve it since it only allows one reservation per customer. I had to go to customer service to get another appointment. BTW, Northstar has a standby line, too. You'd be surprised how many times people are no-shows.

Also, on my Aug. '18 sail, there's many Kiosks by 2X70 and live folks that you can make reserves for activities and SR.  As the Op mentioned, it is recommended that you do this as soon as you board.

 

Inn addition, do you know if they had signage/documentation of financial penalties if you do not show up for your reserve for I-Fly and North Star.

 

By the way was Tony Tillman one of the entertainers.  Been on the Anthem 3 times and he's been on all of them--simply repetitive.  One of the disadvantage in sailing on Anthem is the lack of diverse entertainment from sail to sail.  I no longer make any entertainment reserve when I sail, and substitute the Casino and the Kareoke in the Music Hall 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, nelblu said:

By the way was Tony Tillman one of the entertainers.  Been on the Anthem 3 times and he's been on all of them--simply repetitive.  One of the disadvantage in sailing on Anthem is the lack of diverse entertainment from sail to sail.  I no longer make any entertainment reserve when I sail, and substitute the Casino and the Kareoke in the Music Hall 

 

RCL should do what Carnival does with comedians and singers: rotate them off the ship when it docks in port in the middle of the trip. That way you get lots of different entertainment on every cruise.

 

I was looking for transatlantic cruises and noticed a 14 day one in 2020. It was on the Anthem. I can't imagine a 14 day cruise on the Anthem. An Oasis class ship, sure. There's just not that many things to do on the Anthem that you'd want to do more than 2-3 times.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, Sizzlechest said:

 

RCL should do what Carnival does with comedians and singers: rotate them off the ship when it docks in port in the middle of the trip. ...

 

That used to be fairly common on RC cruises.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Holiday Exchange - Jingle and Mingle 2019
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...