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Anthem of the Seas- Mini TR


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I've just got off Anthem of the Seas and thought I'd post a mini trip report / information which may help others.

 

Background- This was my first time sailing on Anthem and on a Quantum Class ship, it was also my first time sailing from Southampton. We booked the cruise probably 5 or 6 weeks prior to sailing and opted for a Guarantee Balcony Room, we got our room assignment 3 weeks before sailing and got a cabin on deck 12 forward. We were right next to the Adventure kids club which was a worry, however, we did not hear any noise at all from the kids club. We found our cabin to be extremely quiet! We had an un-obstructed view and were really happy. We did receive about 3 e-mails prior to departure for Royal Up to upgrade our cabin which we decided not to do.

 

Covid Testing, Embarkation / Disembarkation.

As UK citizens we had to take a PCR test 72 hours prior to departure (you get an e-mail with all the information about 12-14 days before sailing), we had 1 Eurofins testing site about a 40 minute drive from us. On the day of our test, about 1 hour before leaving we got a call from Eurofins to say the testing site had to close due to covid! Arghhh. They managed to get us into another site just over an hours drive away and we had to leave right then to make it on time. After that bit of drama we made it to the testing place with 15 minutes to spare before the tests got picked up to go to the lab! The test was very easy, a quick nasal swab and we were done. I downloaded the Eurofins App to track our test and within 20 hours we had our negative result. We also got an e-mail to confirm our result. 

We printed our Negative Covid certificate and proof of double vaccination off which the staff at Southampton said was alot easier than going through the mobile apps. The only thing I had on my phone was our set sail pass. 

 

Embarkation was the quickest, easiest one I've ever done. Our boarding slot was 12.30pm, we made it to the port at 11.30am. We never received luggage tags so we got that sorted at the port which was easy. 

After showing all our documents about 3 times, we were through security and on board by 11.50am, rooms opened just before 1pm and our luggage was outside our door before 3pm. 

For the Muster Drill you have to complete the short videos on the Royal App and then go to your Muster Drill Location ours was the Theatre to check in and get a sticker to show you've done it. 

 

Disembarkation again was very easy. We opted to carry our luggage off ourselves and chose the latest kick off the ship time which was 9am. Windjammer and the Main Dining Room were open for breakfast, once you've had breakfast you have to go back to your state room until your number is called to be booted off. 

 

Booking Shows/ Entertainment

Booking shows you had to have the Royal App and connect to the Free Guest Wifi, this could be done in the departure lounge or once onboard. 

We Will Rock You was OUTSTANDING! I 100% recommended going to see it, by far the best show we've seen on a ship! You have to have a reservation to go to any show and the theatre is not at full capacity yet. 

You have to leave 2 seats between travel parties which worked well we never had a problem finding seats. 

We saw all the shows onboard which were;

- Headliner Eastcoast Boys;  Brilliant show.

- Headliner Beatles Celebration; Brilliant show. 

- Spectra's Cabaret; Good, still have no idea what it was about though? 

- Headliner Showtime Jamie Allan; Amazing! He's a magician but got off on Sunday so assume another show will take his place.

- Late Night Adult Comedy; Good. Funny, but have seen better.

- Headliner Showtime Gary Williams; Pays tribute to the legends of Las Vegas, very good show. 

- Headliner Showtime Graffiti Classics- Very good!! A good way to make classical music fun. 

 

You can only see the shows once, but you can change your reservations. I would have happily seen WWRY again if I could. 

There was alot going on around the ship, plenty of quizzes, bingo, auctions etc which was great. 

 

Dining / Food 

The Windjammer was open for dinner on our sailing. In fact I believe all except the Solarium Bistro was open, Izumi was closed for part of the cruise but opened again on the last 2 days.   

We mostly ate in the Main Dining Room where we had fabulous service and delicious food, the menu changed every night and formal nights were on day 2 and 5 for our 6 night sailing. 

The only issue we had with food was trying to eat before our shows. On the Cruise Compass it states My Time Dining didn't open until 6.45pm, but our shows were between 7.15pm - 7.30pm most nights. We opted for the Windjammer one night which opened at 6pm for dinner but found it just a little too busy.

Anyway, after our 2nd night we discovered you could get to My Time before 6.45pm, and we started going at around 6pm when we had earlier shows and then later if we had later shows, no idea why the Cruise Compass stated 6.45pm. 

 

We went to the Windjammer one morning for breakfast, the queue was outside onto the pool deck but it did only take about 5-10 minutes to get through and seated. I honestly felt like it was packed out though! I've been on a full capacity Harmony Sailing and never found the Windjammer as busy as I did on this cruise. 

After this we went with Room Service for breakfast and enjoyed it while sat on the balcony.  

Overall the food on this cruise was excellent, not one bad meal!! 

 

Pool Deck /Capacity. 

Well, on a 6 night cruise around the British Isles I didn't think pool hogging would be a thing. Boy I was wrong!!! Signs did go up about reserving loungers and not using them and the staff were taking towels off, but this didn't stop people. So many loungers only occupied by a towel for the day, I just don't get it. 

The Pools used a 1 in 1 out method, you could have up to 6 people in a hot tub and I think it was 14 in the pools. Queues were about 10-20 minutes to get in the pool then you'd roughly get about 10-15 minutes in the pool. 

 

We had the biggest capacity yet on the ship and this meant we were used to test things out. I believe there were roughly 2,500ish passengers with 800ish being kids. So the queues for the pools were mostly children, once schools go back I don't see this being a problem. 

Our sailing had the most they've allowed in the theatre yet and most they've allowed in the North Star at one go etc. 

I have to admit the ship did feel busy at times, I thought it would be great sailing at a half capacity but as I've mentioned before I've been on a full Harmony sailing and that didn't feel as busy as what this cruise did at times. RCI did say on they won't be upping the capacity until later on in the year so for the next few weeks/ months it will stay at half capacity. 

 

North Star & iFly

These were open on our sailing. Complimentary bookings were taking place on Port Days, this can be booked via the App and they will randomly add times throughout the cruise for Complimentary bookings. 

We went up on Day 1 there were 6 in the pod at one time. You can still pay to do the extended North Star or the iFly, however, complimentary are running too. 

 

Covid Rules

Hand Sanitiser was everywhere which you'd expect anyway on a cruise. Wearing masks we had to wear them whenever you were indoors, this included in the theatre watching a show, however many people took them off. From what I gather RCI are looking at these procedures regularly and want to get cruising back to normal but it will take time.

As mentioned the shows are not full capacity but they are allowing more people in than previous sailings. It does make me laugh how there are certain procedures and you have to keep a distance yet go to the pool deck and everyone is crammed in next to each other, or in the Music Hall one night all the seats were taken so we had people not wearing masks hovering over us.

 

Ports of Call

We stopped at Liverpool and Belfast. On our sailing we could get off the ship on our own if you were double vaccinated. If you have children who are not vaccinated you have to do a RCI tour to get off.... 

Liverpool we docked right in the city centre and it was a 10 minute walk into town, we did our own walking tour of the Beatles and had a great time exploring.

Belfast we docked about a 15 minute car ride into the centre. RCI offered a shuttle bus of $15pp, however we paid £17 total return for a cab which worked out alot cheaper!! The Taxi rank is located right outside the ship next to the shuttle buses RCI overcharge you for. 

In Belfast we had a wonder round and went to the Titanic Museum, we paid £19.50pp for the museum whereas RCI were charging around £70 for the museum and bus tour. 

 

Overall we had a great cruise and were so lucky with the sunny weather!! I'd definitely get back on a cruise ship in a heartbeat and thought RCI have done a great job in getting their cruises back up and running which seems to be going smoothly, or it does from a passenger point of view. 

As for the children and queues I think once they are back to school that won't be a problem! 

Hopefully before long cruising will be completely back to normal!! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Thanks for the review.  Was there a show called The Gift or have they finally gotten rid of that?  It was a Royal Caribbean produced show that was not very popular.  We are We Will Rock You fans too especially if Joyce Kuo is the featured guitarist.

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Thank you for the review.  We have Anthem booked in December (out of NJ) so it's great to hear of the procedures and what is open, etc. Sounds like you had a great cruise. Will be interesting to see if they open up more by Dec .  Sounds like the pool situation may get a bit frustrating (we're travelling right at xmas time so guessing many kids including ours)...so we'll just put on our patience hat.  Just can't wait to get on a cruise again.

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34 minutes ago, reallyitsmema said:

Thanks for the review.  Was there a show called The Gift or have they finally gotten rid of that?  It was a Royal Caribbean produced show that was not very popular.  We are We Will Rock You fans too especially if Joyce Kuo is the featured guitarist.

AGREE. We have seen We Will Rock You nine out of our ten cruises!  We missed one because the hip replacement kept me resting a lot.😳

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Thank you for the review, we are on 2nd Oct sailing so it's good to see an Anthem review. Nice to hear they won't be upping the capacity too. Can't wait until it's our turn😀

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1 hour ago, Biker19 said:

But, did you enjoy it? What kind of limits were there in 270?

Yes I did enjoy it, I can't decided if I would want to see it again though. I think as there were technical difficulties with the sound it isn't fair for me to judge so I would see it again to be able to give a fair review. 

 

Limits for 270, not many. The shows in there nearly all the seats were taken... Some tables and chairs would have 'reserved for physical distancing' on them but people would sit at them anyway and were never told to move. The upstairs section had the 2 seats between parties rule which was in affect. 

 

 

 

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54 minutes ago, kernow said:

Thank you for the review, we are on 2nd Oct sailing so it's good to see an Anthem review. Nice to hear they won't be upping the capacity too. Can't wait until it's our turn😀

A few tips

- Reserve the shows on Day 1. But don't panic as you can change your reservation there was only 1 show which was the beatles which I couldn't reschedule. 

 

- North Star & iFly are complimentary but slots go fast. You can only do the complimentary slots once throughout the cruise so think about which day you'd want to do it and go from there. They do add more complimentary slots, one batch go out in the morning and another in the afternoon. 

 

- Bumper Cars was really easy to book whenever, can book more than once. 

 

As far as capacity we were told they are allowed to sail up to 70% but they've chosen to cap it at 50% for the rest of the year. They are testing out rule changes onboard slowly so you may not need face masks come October. I think it's trial and error for them to see what works and what doesn't at the moment before they up capacity. 

 

 

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2 hours ago, smokey01 said:

Do you know if the Thermal Suite was open and if so how much is it for the week for one person?

Yes the whole spa was open, I'm sorry I can't remember the price however on boarding day they had alot of offers on! 

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thanks for the review. we're on anthem for same itinerary in 4 weeks. Can you tell me if they do two show times in the theatre for the shows? we tend to eat around 7ish and i saw on your review you mentioned shows at 7.30?

thanks

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57 minutes ago, cbowls30 said:

thanks for the review. we're on anthem for same itinerary in 4 weeks. Can you tell me if they do two show times in the theatre for the shows? we tend to eat around 7ish and i saw on your review you mentioned shows at 7.30?

thanks

The shows were at the following times on our cruise.

 

WWRY: Day 2 at 2.30pm + 7.30pm.  Day 3 at 2.15pm

Spectra's Cabaret: Day 1 at 7.30pm + 10.00pm, Day 3 at 7.30pm + 10pm. Day 5 7.30pm + 10.00pm

Beatles: Day 2 at 7.30pm + 10.00pm. Day 6 at 7.30pm + 10.00pm

Adult Comedy: Day 2 at 10.45pm. Day 5 at 10.30pm 

Graffiti Classics: Day 3 at 7.45pm + 10.15pm. Day 6 at 2.30pm. 

Headliner Gary Williams: Day 4 at 7.30pm + 10pm

Headliner Jamie Allan: Day 4 at 7.45pm  + 10.15pm. Day 5 8.00pm

Eastcoast Boys: Day 1 at 8.45pm. Day 6 at 7.30pm + 10.00pm

 

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5 hours ago, DaniDanielle said:

Spectras is meant to showcase 270.  So many interesting things they can do in there.  

It was 270 that made the show. Without the screens etc. the show would just be normal

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3 hours ago, EmilyJay said:

The shows were at the following times on our cruise.

 

WWRY: Day 2 at 2.30pm + 7.30pm.  Day 3 at 2.15pm

Spectra's Cabaret: Day 1 at 7.30pm + 10.00pm, Day 3 at 7.30pm + 10pm. Day 5 7.30pm + 10.00pm

Beatles: Day 2 at 7.30pm + 10.00pm. Day 6 at 7.30pm + 10.00pm

Adult Comedy: Day 2 at 10.45pm. Day 5 at 10.30pm 

Graffiti Classics: Day 3 at 7.45pm + 10.15pm. Day 6 at 2.30pm. 

Headliner Gary Williams: Day 4 at 7.30pm + 10pm

Headliner Jamie Allan: Day 4 at 7.45pm  + 10.15pm. Day 5 8.00pm

Eastcoast Boys: Day 1 at 8.45pm. Day 6 at 7.30pm + 10.00pm

 

I always find it challenging....once bookings open up...figuring out how to book the shows so that you can see them all, and with times that work.  Typically I have a spreadsheet and can then look at the options.  So seems challenging to have to figure this all out when you board on the spot.  Thanks for posting to give us an idea.

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9 hours ago, LuCruise said:

I always find it challenging....once bookings open up...figuring out how to book the shows so that you can see them all, and with times that work.  Typically I have a spreadsheet and can then look at the options.  So seems challenging to have to figure this all out when you board on the spot.  Thanks for posting to give us an idea.

That was probably the hardest thing to figure out, which shows when, fitting it all around dinner and booking it all on boarding day. 

The only thing I wish I did was to book Eastcoast boys + Beatles toward the beginning of the cruise and saved Spectra's until the last night. On our last night we had Eastcoast boys at 7.30pm + Beatles at 10pm I tried changing it but The Beatles show sold out quickly. Some other shows I was able to change which showing we saw on the app. 

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Approx how long were the Eastcoast Boys/Beatles shows and what time was second seating dinner? Wondering if we could do the 7.30 show and then dinner. Thanks.

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1 hour ago, kernow said:

Approx how long were the Eastcoast Boys/Beatles shows and what time was second seating dinner? Wondering if we could do the 7.30 show and then dinner. Thanks.

They were both 45 minute shows. 

Early dinner was 5.30pm and late dinner 8.00pm. My Time Dining stated it opened at 6.45pm, we went down at 6pm and got seated, they always ask if you have a show and if you do they prioritise you to get you through dinner in time for the show. 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

many thanks for the TR. We were considering a UK cruise in October but a co traveller wasn't keen if the experience was too sanitised by COVID rules. Can you give me a feel for how it was on your trip, things like whether you were allowed to sit at the bar or not? And does anyone else have nay information about the likely arrangements for late October sailings such as whether masks are still mandatory for when walking indoors? Thanks

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24 minutes ago, JJWW said:

And does anyone else have any information about the likely arrangements for late October sailings such as whether masks are still mandatory for when walking indoors?

Welcome to CC.

 

If you read through some of the threads, you quickly realize that rules change could change with every sailing. If you are hesitant at all, perhaps skip booking this year.

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On 8/30/2021 at 12:16 PM, EmilyJay said:

 

 

Limits for 270, not many. The shows in there nearly all the seats were taken... Some tables and chairs would have 'reserved for physical distancing' on them but people would sit at them anyway and were never told to move.

 

 

 

 

😲😲😲

 

And I thought that Brits were rule-followers!
 

(and I am surprised that crew were not enforcing rules)

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3 hours ago, JJWW said:

many thanks for the TR. We were considering a UK cruise in October but a co traveller wasn't keen if the experience was too sanitised by COVID rules. Can you give me a feel for how it was on your trip, things like whether you were allowed to sit at the bar or not? And does anyone else have nay information about the likely arrangements for late October sailings such as whether masks are still mandatory for when walking indoors? Thanks

On our sailing you couldn't sit at the bar. You could however stand near by it in big groups ... 

RCI have slowly been decreasing the rules and they plan to get cruising back to normal but it's all trial and error. It was mentioned on our cruise that there is a plan to not have masks indoors soon but I think it depends how things go. 

 

I felt the majority of the time really safe onboard. It was just trying to get my head around acting normal if that makes sense, this was the first time I've been around so many other people or on a holiday since pre-covid times. By day 2 life felt normal on the ship to be honest and it was really nice to have some normality. 

 

 

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