Anthem of the Seas Cruise Review by rhondadcruiser
- Sail Date: July 2019
- Destination: Eastern Caribbean
- Cabin Type: Grand Suite with Large Balcony - 1 Bedroom
I have been on Carnival, Norwegian, Disney and Royal Carribean. Each line is unique in how they deliver their services, and the cruising experience, but most of the tenements of cruising are the same. To be foolproof, you pretty much have to nail down the dining, because let's face it, you are stuck on this floating hotel for a week, and what better way to occupy your time than eating. That being said, the food on Royal Carribean was the worst out of all of the lines I've cruised. The first 2 days, I just couldn't get a good meal. They served a Salmon En Croute that was so fishy, I had to spit it out. By the third night, I was eating dinner rolls, anticipating the bad food that lied ahead. RCCL did not disappoint. I was served an actual bowl of gristle ( yes you heard correct, gristle) it was at that point that I asked the chef to come out so that I could show him what was being served. He was horrified and asked us to be his special guest the next night, in which we did eat a very nice meal, but still not fantastic.
The food stayed at a 2-3 stars the whole trip, but I learned to eat things in their natural form (ie: hard-boiled eggs, grapefruit, etc) so this was a big disappointment. We did eat in 2 of the specialty restaurants, Jaimie Oliver's and Wonderland. The food was very creative in Wonderland and a great experience, but the taste was lacking. Jamie Olivers was better, but the eggplant parm was soaked in oil. Nothing on this cruise "wowed" me as far as food goes. Compared to Norwegian and Carnival, I don't think I would choose to cruise RCCL again based on this alone.
The ship spends quite a bit of money on their entertainment and it shows. All the shows are technically executed perfectly as well as the sound and lighting. The sets are some of the best I've seen and the performers are super talented. Yet again, I didn't find the shows engaging, and never left feeling invigorated or that I would want to see it again (which has been the opposite on all of the other cruise lines. Norwegian Breakaway had some of the best shows I have ever seen).
POPCORN: RCCL puts popcorn makers outside of all of their shows and they CHARGE you for a bag of popcorn.
The service was mostly good and served with a smile almost every time. I am always amazed at how hard the staff works to please the guests, and I try to be grateful and humble when dealing with the staff knowing what they endure on a daily basis.
This is where RCCL has failed in a big way. The first thing I would like to bring to your attention is that I have never been on a ship that NICKELS AND DIMES YOU TO DEATH the was RCCL does. They push you to BUY, BUY, BUY and that is the center of focus on the ship. The shopping on the promenade is riddled with overpriced luxuries that have been marked up 3 times and pitched to you as a "deal" because you aren't paying taxes. Also, if you plan on shopping, PLEASE get the internet package and price shop. I bought 3 bags on the boat which I googled and found at half price, in which they had no choice but to price match it (as long as it's a reputable site: no Amazon, sorry). I felt like the entire cruise was a money grab and between the art auctions, jewelry talks and raffles, they just want more of your money. They were selling CHICO's clothing for more than I would pay at CHICOs! Also, they make your setsail card inactive if you punch a hole through it and they sell you the lanyards or the wow bands at double the price, so PLEASE get a lanyard WITH THE PLASTIC INSERT before you go.
WARNING: If you like to purchase Art, no one tells you that if you exceed the amount allotted via customs, you will be stopped by customs and have to pay duties on the framing of the art you buy if you exceed your allotment so please ask about this when you buy art.
TIPPING: I do not remember if every boat is the same, but we were charged $14.50 per day per person, totaling $60 in tips x 9 days. In addition to this, they tack on an 18% gratuity on every service related purchase. Then you will be given tip envelopes to tip above this.
This ship has nothing for kids. No fun slides, no real events by the pool, in fact, unlike Carnival that always delivers a good time poolside, the pool was overcrowded and uneventful. No fun DJ, or Large Screen TV with movies, so my 18-year-old and his girlfriend never wanted to go.
They did have the IFLY and the NORTHSTAR for free, and there were a lot of activities in the sports complex, but often it was very crowded and on a ship this size, you spend a lot of time waiting.
MOST VALUABLE TIP: Sign up for Escape the Room Puzzle break first day on the ship! This was the most fun we had :)
Lastly, as a whole, with the islands and excursions in mind, it was a nice cruise, the weather was good, and so were the seas. Some people are "Loyal to Royal" and I truly wanted to drink that cool-aide, but for now, I will stick with Carnival and Norwegian. Safe travels, and enjoy the cruise!
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