Year Started: 1969
Ships in Fleet: 23
Summary: The largest and most technically impressive cruise ships in the world. Great for kids, families and adventurous adults. A large fleet, but Oasis and Brilliance are often cited as favorites
Good for: Families. Overall Service. Seniors.
Regions:Eastern Caribbean, Western Caribbean, Mediterranean
Good for: Families. Overall Service. Value for Money.
Regions:UK, Caribbean, Bahamas, Bermuda
Good for: Disabled Travelers. Group. Families.
Regions:Caribbean, Canada, Transatlantic
Good for: Seniors. Group. Families.
Regions:Bahamas, Southern Caribbean
Good for: Families. Children`s Programs. Seniors.
Regions:Bermuda, Bahamas, Eastern Caribbean
Good for: Seniors. Group. Families.
Regions:Eastern Caribbean, Western Caribbean
Good for: Group. Families. Value for Money.
Regions:Bermuda, Bahamas, Eastern Caribbean
Good for: Teens. Children`s Programs. Families.
Regions:Western Caribbean, Eastern Caribbean
Good for: Children`s Programs. Group. Families.
Regions:Western Caribbean, Southern Caribbean
Good for: Families. Overall Service. Teens.
Regions:Western Mediterranean, Panama Canal
Good for: Teens. Children`s Programs. Seniors.
Regions:Western Caribbean, Eastbound Transatlantic
Good for: Children`s Programs. Families. Teens.
Good for: Teens. Group. Families.
Regions:Singapore, Malaysia, Phuket & Port Kelang,
Good for: Teens. Children`s Programs. Families.
Regions:Eastern Mediterranean, Caribbean, Eastbound Transatlantic
Good for: Seniors. Families. Overall Service.
Regions:Eastern Caribbean, Western Caribbean
Good for: Families. Value for Money. Teens.
Regions:China (as of May 2015)
Good for: First-time Cruisers. Overall Service. Value for Money.
Regions:Alaska, Hawaii, Tasmania
Good for: Children`s Programs. Seniors. Families.
Regions:Hawaii, Alaska, South Pacific
Good for: Families. Group. Overall Service.
Regions:Western Caribbean, Suez Canal, Bahamas, Dubai
Good for: Children`s Programs. Seniors. Families.
Regions:Brazil, Western Mediterranean, Greek Isles
Good for: Seniors. Families. Singles.
Regions:Norwegian Fjords, British Isles, Scan Russia, Southern Caribbean
Good for: Children`s Programs. Group. Families.
Regions:Toyko To Taipei, Australia, Asia
Good for: Teens. Children`s Programs. Families.
The Journey Begins!
My last cruise on Royal Caribbean was approximately 10 years ago. I had the pleasure of sailing on Serenade of the Seas in an Owners Suite. Prior to the Serenade, I had sailed with the cruise line on two previous occasions.
Like so many families facing budget constraints parenthood and additional family members traveling with us caused us to seek a more affordable cruise line. We were no longer a single couple flying solo.
We set our sights on Carnival. 'The funship' After a few years we made it up to one of the highest levels 'Platinum'. Additionally, we always stayed in a suite on Carnival. After our cruise this past year in August,2015, We begin to compare the perks of staying in a suite on Carnival verses Royal Caribbean.
A few of Carnival Perks are as follows: Dedicated telephone line, one free drink, three bags of laundry,
depending on the cruise length)and priority boarding, a welcome aboard gift. A pin. Last, but not least, fighting in the buffet line to get breakfast every morning.(not a perk) Wishing the novel thought would reach Carnival's corporate office to add suite amenities. Applying greaterperks to suite and Platinum and above guest on the fun ship would be a welcomed gift. A place were suite guest could call home away from the crowd. A dedicated restaurant and lounge.
While sailing with Carnival I enjoyed exquisite food and timely in their dining services. Great evening fun for adults and the kids. The adults comedy shows were fabulous. Guest what? The ship is not dead at 10pm. My only my only complaint was the suite amenities/perks.
Now we come to my present day drama. I left the funship for a familiar place that I had enjoyed in the past. My cruise line from 10 years ago. My expectations were ready to be overwhelmed by excellent food and service as compared to my (old cruise line). Remember! I am paying greater prices. The old saying... 'You get what you pay for' wrong!
My Christmas gift of 'Sleepless of the Seas'. Also Known As 'Serenade of the Seas'
Instead of 'Twelve Days of Christmas', I had twelve sleepless nights in my ghost sounding 596 sq. feet haunted mansion. The sad part of this noisy vacation is the following: the layout of the room is beautiful. It's a well appointed large two bedroom and two bathrooms visual dream with open windows that host a breathtaking view of the ocean. Overshadowed by the echoing loud bone chilling, nerve piecing sounds of loud clatter. The room sounds were the epitome of the perfect storm. 'The noise monster.
The sounds included an array of creeks, pipes knocking, the sound of what sounded like little feet running from every inch of the room. I recorded the sounds on my cell telephone to prove I was not crazy. I played the cell recording for the housekeeping supervisor. (Julia)
The supervisor attempted to act surprised by my recording . As we stood in the noise filled room, we begin walking to the many areas that the sounds were coming from. She are I observed rolls of wood-chips stuck in between the ceiling and the walls(a makeshift solution to fix a poorly structured room). The maintenance supervisor was called into render his professional opinion. He added additional wood-chips. I had to get photos because I was in totally disbelief) additionally, I had an extra bonus of a broken television in the main room. They fixed the broken television for five minutes and it remained broken for the entire twelve days. The sounds were continuous. All day and night. On a brighter side I was provided with earplugs. The earplugs did not drown out the noise. After a few days my ears were raw and irritated. I realize that cruising is big business but truth and choice(the right to know and make an informed decision to stay in a room that will severely impact one's rest and relaxation. Try playing fair. Creating life long loyalty in consumers. A few years ago I selected a last
minute cruise on Carnival during my birthday weekend
(January,15) there were limited rooms left due to the long holiday weekend. The website listed a room called 'the night owl room. I advised that the room I was purchasing was called ' the night owl room' it was located on top of the nightclub. They provided me with 'truth and the greatest gift 'choice'. Cruise in a discounted 'night owl room or select another sailing. When there are issues is it fair and decent to advise customers that the room has issues. I paid for my cruise, this was not a free charity event. I had every right to be advised that the room was structurally defective. The wood-chips were evident that they were aware of the issues and attempted to create a makeshift solution long before I boarded the vessel. I was advised that the issues would be resolved once the ship goes into dry dock in 2017. Thanks.
The next adventure was the poor service in the dining and the disappointing quality of the food in the main dining room and the buffet. The lengthy wait for the food was two hours each night. The food quality was inconsistent . My greatest hope is that this was a rare fluke.
On a positive note: I am a Social Worker who is always hoping for a lesson learned, perhaps the message was the Shining Stars I met along this journey: the kindness of my room attendant Carlos. Mario and Melody in the
Concierge Service and the awesome Adventure Ocean staff. Finally, the warm smile and professional care Mary in guest services showed my family.
Sleepless, but not forgotten
You notice it most when you’re in port. Oasis is big. It commands attention. And it dwarfs every other ship.
But what does big do for the cruiser?
Big means better entertainment. Like its sibling, Allure of the Seas, Oasis of the Seas has top-flight entertainment, starting with the full version of the musical Cats (see tip below). It has a colorful and lively ice show with former championship skaters. An extensive DreamWorks parade. In short, it has shows and events you just won’t see on any other ship. And some productions, like the aqua show with its mesmerizing high divers, you won’t see on land, either.
Big means more activities. Only a ship that’s 1,800 feet long (five football fields!) can have a full-sized carousel (rides are free), wave-making machine for surfing and boogie-boarding, 82-foot long zip line, and two rock-climbing walls with multiple levels of difficulty.
Big means more places to call your own. Of the three “neighborhoods” (Promenade, Boardwalk and Central Park), Central Park was the most underutilized and thus, became our favorite. Nighttime, you pretty much have the place to yourself. A glass of wine at the Trellis Bar, surrounded bythe (real) tropical foliage and sparkling restaurant lights, is a great way to get away from the bustle.
Big means more food choices. There are 25 restaurants%u2014some will cost you, but others will not. The complimentary venues begin with three main dining rooms, where the entrees are adequate (thankfully, lobster tails still grace the menu on the second formal night), desserts are good and the rolls are superb (try the pumpkin seed ones). Along with the usual fare, the Windjammer buffet at night has some interesting Asian dishes, such tandoori chicken and curry specialties; brie; and an occasional surprise or two.
Among the other free options are Park Café for breakfast and lunch (paninis and salads assembled to order); Sorrento’s, where pizzas can also be made to your taste; and the 24-hour Café Promenade with sandwiches and desserts (try the wonderful cheesecake pops).
Big means more space to walk off your meals. The covered jogging track on Deck 5 spans the length of the ship and has one lane dedicated to runners and another to walkers. Be sure to check out the cute sayings overhead. One mile is just 2.4 laps. And aside from the occasional crew member using the track as a short cut, you won’t have much competition for foot space.
Ironically, even with its vast size, Oasis still runs out of room. Comedy is relegated to a small theater, forcing the comedians to do show, after show, after show on a seven-day cruise%u2014a fact they never fail to mention. Our Crown and Anchor event was held on the helipad, in the sun, on a hot day.
When big is not the best. Big doesn’t necessarily mean better food. While the food on Oasis is okay, it doesn’t get the same emphasis that you’ll see on some other cruise lines. Royal Caribbean focuses on activities and entertainment and for that reason, perhaps, the crowd on Oasis was decidedly younger than on other cruise line ships.
And big means more people and longer lines. For the most part, Oasis has crowd control down to a science. Getting back onboard after a port visit always involved some kind of line, but it moved swiftly. Amazingly, disembarkation took significantly less time than it did when we sailed on Celebrity’s Constellation, a ship half of Oasis’ size.
Despite the occasional inconveniences and unremarkable food, what you can count on is that Oasis of the Seas is big on fun.
Musing’s Top Tip: The Oasis production of Cats is fabulous and shouldn’t be missed. However, it’s not as easy to follow as traditional musicals like “Oklahoma” or “West Side Story.” To ensure you enjoy the show, consider doing some homework before you leave home. We did and it made all the difference:
See the movie version. We rented the 1998 version of Cats with Elaine Paige and John Mills for free at our library. You can also check out movie clips on YouTube. Once you get familiar with the music, you’ll really be looking forward to seeing it on the ship.
Read the plot summary. You can find it on catsthemusical.com or read the story line in Wikipedia.
Download the lyrics. Some of the lyrics are quite clever but it can be hard to make them out at times during the singing. You can download the lyrics for free at metrolyrics.com or songlyrics.com.
--Musing About Cruising
We scheduled a cruise on the Freedom of The Sea out of Cape Canaveral Dec. 6, 2015 & were quite happy with the overall trip.
Our staterooms were very adequate & orderly, however no hair conditioner or body lotion were offered in the room, this is different than on other cruises.
The buffet was not all that good for breakfast or lunch (carved meats were tough & poor selection of food) compared to other cruises we've been on. The high light of the experience was the dining room. We took the MyTime dining & were totally happy with the experience. Our waiter was Jovanny Orallo & waitress Maria De Jesus. The two of them made up for any imperfections in the cruise. They are absolutely the best we've encountered in any restaurant we've dined at. The food was superb, tasty & very appealing. Our team of waiter & waitress accommodated our every need & made sure we got a taste of everything they suggested, even if we didn't order it, they made sure we tried it. What a treat to be pampered by such professionals.
The entertainment was superb, very smokey in the casino which was a big turnoffto the 4 of us. I would sale again on the Freedom of the Seas if I knew they were there to serve us. We elected to dine each night at their table to enjoy the very best service could offer.
I'm just coming back home from my three days cruise to the Bahamas. For my surprise, once back I received an e-mail from Royal Caribbean to let me know that they are working with the Center for the Disease Control and Prevention at Atlanta regarding two confirmed and one possible case of Legionnaires' disease (a serious type of pneumonia) associated with travel aboard in July and October 2015. They also informed that in recently water samples the bacteria was present!!
My goodness!! These guys having the information in advance, waited until we finish our cruise to let us know. This was an ABUSE since they put in risk our most valuable possession; our life!!! These guys manipulated the information in favor of their business. They need to inform about this type of situation upfront and let the guest to take the decision if he/she wants to take the risk or not. I'll be consulting my lawyers about this abuse from Royal Caribbean.
Royal Caribbean Is a big ripoff. Just did a New England/Canada cruise and the cruise line canceled one of the ports for a trumped up reason, which I found out later. Then, they did not find another port in its place, there was at least one available. Then, although they told me and my travel agent that the port fees and taxes would be added to our onboard account, that did not happen. The fees and taxes came to somewhere around $96 or more, times 3000 is a nice profit.
The ship we were on was to sail to the Caribbean for its next cruise. All customers were informed, two days prior to departure, that due to the weather they were heading to New England instead. I have seen where, because of the weather, they could not go to ANY port, so they sailed at sea for seven days, then returned to home port. And one instance they sat in port for the cruise.
Royal Caribbean is known for nickel and diming (more like $500 and $1000) you to death. While other cruise lines are starting to offer reduced or freeWiFi, they have one of the highest rates. While other cruise lines offer free or low cost water, juice and soda, Royal Caribbean charges one of the highest rates. And from the look of it, the alcohol packages (I am not a drinker) are also very high. Do not expect a good payout in the casino, from what I read the cruise line is committed to the 85% or better that U.S. casinos are held to. But all land casinos pay out much higher, up to 99%, while RCCI payout is closer to the 85%.
The cruise had plenty to do as long as you had $$$ in your pocket. I counted one day and there were 72 activities, only 27 of which did not have a fee or were an advertisement for one of their paid services. With four of those 27 happened twice or three times that day.
RC was my first cruise where I was unable to see two of the nightly shows because there were no seats left.
I did, however, enjoy most of the food on board with the exception of the powdered eggs.
But if you love Carnival then you probably will not like this cruise experience on Royal Caribbean Navigator of the Seas. It does not matter what I liked or did not like. What matters is you getting the relaxing vacation you have invested. Hope this review helps you plan a great vacation. Navigator of the Seas is not like any Carnival ship. The attitude of Navigator of the Seas is not at all like Carnival. In some ways Navigator of the Seas out performs Carnival Magic which was its competition at the Port of Galveston, Texas.
Navigator of the Seas has better Embarkation procedures that allow passengers to check in fairly quickly. Navigator of the Seas is strict about check in documents and will leave you and your child behind if birth certificates are hospital issued instead of state/county issued. Expired passports or passports that are about to expire are not accepted. If you are divorced, try not to go off on a cruise with your new girlfriend/boyfriend but expect your ex to provide your documents at the last minute. All birth certificates must be notorized at the state/county level. I hopeI helped prevent some situations passengers complained about.
Once on the ship, the safety briefing must be given before the ship can sail. Please don't give the staff grief. Just go. Get there early if you want a seat. Late comers must stand and it gets super crowded - more people crushed against one another on cruises when the ship is full. To their credit - at least this safety briefing is inside and air conditioned.
Cabin 7230 - a balcony was our home for 7 days to Cozumel Mexico, Grand Cayman, and Jamaica. The room was very clean. The attendant always asked about or satisfaction. passing through halls, attendants in general seemed - not friendly. Not meAn. Maybe tired of saying "good morning" to people who would not tip them or tired in general. Some cultures speak a greeting while others do not. My culture speaks a greeting out of politeness, and I always received a polite greeting in return.
Windjammer buffet was always full of great choices. Carnival has a better selection, but the taste was better on Navigator of the Seas for basic buffet items with Indian food available upon request.it is easy to be gluten free, lactose free, and vegetarian or vegan on Navigator of the Seas. Carnival had better omlets and stir frys. The Windjammer seemed small compared to Carnival Magic Lido buffet.
The main dining room called MDR was lovely. The service was very good but the staff seemed stressed compared to Carnival Magic where the wait staff seemed to be truly happy providing wait staff services. Maybe Magic wait staff were better actors. I selected gluten free options and always had excellent choices and foods. Even if a person is not required to eat gluten free, I recommend it for those who experience sea sickness. After my doctor recommended a gluten free diet and dietary supplements, I can now sail without seasickness.
Movement at seas was barely felt. On a previous cruise on Navigator of the Seas we went through a storm and the ship movement was noticeable. On this cruise with mostly calm seas, the was barely any movement in the cabin or other parts of the ship. Most of the movement is felt in the rear aft part of the ship.
Flow rider - I observed people using the flow rider. Because people fell hard, I chose not to try, but those who did seemed to enjoy it.
Skating rink - I cannot skate but for My partner's sake I got on the ice. It was not fun but My partner enjoyed it. The skating area is small but sufficient. No ship movement was felt. I enjoyed watching others skate, remember how to skate, and teach others to skate.
Shows - I only attended one show. Compared to Carnival Magic, Magic serves a younger crowd for sure. A whole lot of fully grey heads, walkers, canes, wheel chairs loved the show. Most young adults would not be impressed. The singing and dancing was elegant but not multigenerational. The previous navigator of the Seas cruise had a young group of A Capella singers that all ages could enjoy.
Free gym was small and busy. A large whirlpool is in the gym and a sauna. Gym faces the ship's bridge with obstructions blocking the view.
I did not uses beauty and spa services.
Adult area - some polite people quietly relaxing. Two hot tubs that were hot. Carnival Magic had more hot tubs on the ship if I remember correctly but some were cold. One swimming pool in the adult area. Here I pause to comment on the attude of the adults in the pool. A few were kinda snobbish with one old lady taking charge of the pool and took the opportunity to speak ugly about another passenger who went to the pool to actually swim. No one was in the pool early that morning when the swimming began. When the over 60 went to do her walking exercise in the pool, she was offended by the swimmer because "she was a heavyset lady and splashed me with water. I thought I was going to drown." Hum. She was in a pool early in the morning and wouldn't let a swimmer do laps then leave? She stayed in the pool all day and whenever someone went to the empty pool, she would go start her walking exercises. I noticed she would start complaining about other passengers to the middle aged Anglo Americans whenever someone she didn't like entered the pool. Then I noticed zero non Anglos in the adult pool. By day 6i understood why. I don't know if this woman lives on Navigator of the Seas or she is elitist or racist but be alert for her if you use the adult pool. Everyone else was nice but by day 6 she had poisoned the minds of those who listened. The men would drink alcohol all day and stay in the adult pool. The top of the pool was soaked with a layer of sunscreen probably from that one lady. The southern ladies have a way of being sugar sweet with their sharp tongues. Be alert. Most passengers were nice but there was plenty of snobbishness and elitism that surprised me. Royal Caribbean cost a couple hundred more than Carnival but there was a pervasive hatred of Carnival on Navigator of the Seas among passengers and some crew. At least Carnival people are down to earth. On Carnival I have sat in the MDR with a physician, dentist, nurse, teacher, and retired police chief. On Navigator of the Seas, they seemed to have trouble seating us among the racist snobs. But that's okay because how thy live is how they will die - angry bitter sad people. I learned that no matter how much education we have - and we have a lot, no matter our socio economic level, racism is alive and well on Navigator. On an upscale ship, I could have understood the elitism - but not on Navigator. Most of the 3000 passengers were nice folks, but the few I met who were racist in that sickly sweet southern way let us know that we did not fit in on Navigator of the Seas and Royal Caribbean in general. My partner told me that whenever he went into the pool, all the Anglo women would leave. So of course, that meant we needed to desegregate the pool on this cruise - and we did though the water was nasty with all that scum floating in it. You decide if I am talking about the people or the sunscreen.
The family pool area had two hot tubs and two large salt water pools. We liked to go floating in the salt water pools. My partner thought the Anglo women would leave when he arrived but they did not. Everyone got along. Everyone gave room for anyone who wanted to float. Just a totally different environment than the racist adult pool. If the people were elitist or racist, they were well-bred enough not to show it openly. No hate. Just people of all ages relaxing. Families teaching their kids how to swim. No overt touching. Carnival Magic being a fun ship had more open romances among all gender identities. Some people did not like the live music at the family pool area but I did. Vybzs 4 I believe was the name of the primary Reggae group but the lead singer could perform any genre. Very good singing that some did not appreciate because all they know is country music. Some people don't want to learn anything beyond their comfort zone.
Children activities. The little children seemed to have fun and so did the young teens. The older teens and young adult teens struggled to connect with their age groups. Passengers were either young or old on this cruise with a sprinkling of middle aged. The young adult 20s and early 30s did not seem to be traveling solo but with very large family groups. By the end of day 5, young people were connecting which was great to see. I encouraged one to try and I guess I made an impression because I was invited to the club. The imitation was an honor,but these old bones were too tired to attend. It was great for the ship to recognize the social needs of the young adults.
Chapel - nice chapel for wedding, religious services, or reflections - or photos. One night a ship wide announcement for Sabbeth services was announced.
Other activities - one night was a picnic in the family pool area with live music and dancing. It was the best all ages event.
Buying aboard the ship - no general store. I guess the cabin attendant can get supplies. Mostly very expensive jewelry and branding items. Those $10 ship deals were few on this cruise. Guess they ran out before the sale.
Other restaurants - there are several restaurants that cost extra. I ate Indian food at the Grille and it was very good. The Indian food at the Windjamer was okay but not as good as at the restaurant. Book early if you want to eat at the restaurant.
24 hour cafe is free but tiny. Carnival Magic had more 24 hour food choices.
Hamburger restaurant had a cover charge. Did not eat there.
Room service free food was surprisingly good.
Cleanliness - very clean ship. Hand sanitation was mostly enforced in the Windjammer buffet entrance which angered some passengers who did not like the taste of alcohol when they ate. Sometimes I wonder how these people would feel if nurses took that attitude before proving their care. One passenger was elitist because she did not believe her hands could possible carry germs, she washed her hands and said she did'nt touch anything - but how would we know?
Ships officers - I only saw them on Elegant night. I am sure they were present. On Carnival Magic, I saw ships officers more often.
Quiet places to rest or read, on this cruise, a few people including a cewmember scoffed because I carried either an iPad or book with me as if that's a big taboo on Navigator of the Seas. This was my second cruise so I knew that I wanted to read. One man in an electric wheelchair interrupted me to joke about me reading the excursion material. Why would he care? Why do these people care? Oh yes, I forgot, people of our type are not supposed to read or use iPads. That's the type of cruise this was. The first cruise was not like this one or I would not have returned to Navigator of the Seas for this particular cruise.
Disembarkation was a bit lengthy. The trick is to be the first or wait til last to disembark quickly.
Side note: these were new officers to the ship and the crew did not have the same joy as those under th previous officers
Overpriced, disappointing experience. This was an economy experience a at luxury cruise price. The ship was not in good condition; not totally clean, sparse, shabby furnishings in the cabin (including a large, worn hole in the seat of a chair). The toilet was loose and had to be reattached to the floor by a plumber. The toilet roll holder had fallen off the wall. There were never any face cloths in the bathroom unless requested.
The service in the dining room was inefficient (no coffee service at the table at breakfast unless one caught the attention of a server and requested coffee, and rarely was a second cup offered). The food was disappointing because a choice of lunch and dinner had to be made at breakfast, and there was a very limited choice for each meal. There were no buffets, and the choice was between a soup and a salad and also a choice between two entrees for each of those two meals.
One of the entrees was usually a pasta, which I rarely eat, which left me no choice at all. One evening we had to choose between a pasta dishand pork bellies. For the first time I did not enjoy the food on the cruise. Since we were cruising the Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard area I had expected a lobster meal to be on at least one menu, but it was not. (A lobster tail was offered on the last evening.) Each time we went ashore I saw lobster for sale at very inexpensive prices, and offered to purchase my own if the cook would prepare it. This was not allowed.
The ship was not equipped with maps or helpful advice on the towns we would visit each day, and the passengers were advised to "find a visitors' center" to obtain maps and helpful advice. The service overall left much to be desired. My husband and I have cruised at least sixteen times: Crystal, Holland America, Princess, The Illyria, the World Explorer, gulettes on the Turkish Coast, and small sailing boats in Alaska and the Virgin Islands (9 to 12 passengers), and have never had cause to complain until now. I would urge travelers to avoid American Cruise Lines.
Anthem of the Seas, 4-20-2015
Pre-inaugural, Port of Southampton London England
Anthem of the Seas is 168,667 Gross tons, 1,141 feet long, with 4,180 guests (double occupancy), 2090 total staterooms.
Out of the 2090 staterooms, 16 family connected, 34 wheell chair accessible, 1,571 balcony, 148 outside, and 375 with
virtual balconies. Cost to build this ship, right around one billion dollars.
Cabins feel well equipped, with your closet and bathroom as you enter, followed by couch and desk, then your bed. You
will need to insert your sign/sail card into a slot by the door, in order to operate your lights. These ships are smart,
and want to save on costs, so you will also notice there are motion detectors in the hallways to dim lights, if there is no
motion, but as soon as you open your door and walk in the hall, the lights go back up. The first time you enter your cabin,
you will have wrist bands waiting for you, simply wear and use them instead of your card. You can open your door, make on board
purchases with them, they are also waterproof.
When you first get tothe pier, you will be greeted by staff with i-pads that will be able to check you in. In case you didn't
already upload your picture, they can do that. Getting checked in and on board just takes a few minutes. After this, you are ready
to board. Your sign/sail cards will be in your mail box, next to your door, and once inside you will find your wrist bands. Just
be sure to put your card into slot to operate your lights.
There are 4 dynamic dinning rooms, all located on decks 3 & 4, Silk, Chic, Americn Icon Grill and The Grande. The specialty
restaurants located on deck 14 are, Coastal Kitchen, Devinly Decadence and on deck 5 you will find Jamie's Italian, Wonderland,
Izumi, and Chops Grill. For these restaurants, allow 2 hours for dinner. The Windjammer Marketplace is up on deck 14, by the pool.
I absolutely love this food option, especially the different sections instead one section, where you wait in line with everyone
else. It is simple and quick, with numerous dishes in one section, both sides have the same dishes. Noticed, that in the morning,
they have a coffee pot on each table, with plenty of hot coffee.
Up on deck 16 you will find the Flowrider, ripcord by "Ifly". Deck 15 is the sports deck, Seaplex Doghouse and Challenger's arcade, fuel,
and the vitality fitness center. The running track and North Star is also on deck 15.
Deck 13, 14 and 15 is home to the Solarium. Pool deck is where you will find the h2ozone, seatrek, Johnny Rockets, and the Windjammer
Marketplace. Adventure Ocean is located on decks 11 and 12.
The conference center is on deck 13 and directly below, on deck 12 is the consierce club. You will find 2 banks of elevators and
stairs onboard, one forward and aft.
Two70 is aft and covers 2 decks, 5 and 6. During the day it is a space used for meetings/talks, etc. and the evening it turns
into a sparkling showcase, with a show that dazzles the eyes and ears, something not to be missed. Deck 5 has the various specialty
restaurants along the art gallery, Vintages, The Via, the shore excursion desk, and the bionic bar.
The Music Hall on deck 3 and 4 is also a great multi use space. On the other side of a bank of elevators/stairs, you will find
Diamond club and The Royal Theater which covers two decks, 3 and 4. The show, "We will Rock you" is performed here and very
hi-tech, with use of sound and lights. The naming ceremony was held here and, to me, really special. Upon entering and sitting
in your seat, was another wrist band, had no idea what it was for, but during the ceremony they magically starting lighting up,
in different colors to the music. It also depended on where you sat, to determine the color your band flashed. This theater is your
typical Royal Caribbean venue, not a bad seat in the house.
The Godmother of the ship is, a lovely lady, Emma Wilby. She can sing, OMG, what a voice. After the ceremony in the Royal Theater,
a cocktail party afterwards, was in the Music Hall.
I also signed up for a bridge tour, where the captain, Claus Andersen, was answering questions, etc.
Casino Royale is down on deck 3. Unfortunately, for this cruise, it was not open, nor were they able to sell liquor or tobacco
products, some London law?
I was only able to see two shows, Spectra's Cabaret in Two70, and the production of "We Will Rock You", held in the Royal Theater.
Both were outstanding, and not to be missed. Be sure to stop up and see the Bionic Bar, amazing to say the least. There will
also be Vistarama, a Virtual Concert Series, along with a Virtual Symphony, and something called, The Gift, which sounds very
interesting. The High C'S Horns is another show to see. While there is no just "Disco", they will have Groovy Town, where a DJ
and a live band will keep you entertained, held in the Music Hall. This is the place to show off your dance moves,
even a dance competition will be held there. If you love Rock and Roll, the show Anthem Rocks is another production where
you will hear boogie, jam and rock. You can also see a free form jam in the Music Hall, with the players from all the bands
on board. A tribute band will also preform in the Music Hall and will play music from every era. Something unique to Anthem, there
a stowaway piano player who will show up all over the ship, even in an elevator. I think he was still stowed away somewhere when
we were there, I did keep an eye out for him, but no dice. While this class of ship does not have the Dreamworks characters, there
seems to be many forms of entertainment for the whole family. Also missing from this class, is the huge boardwalk you see on the
Oasis/Allure of the Seas ship, but there is ample space for the shops/bars, etc. on deck 4, Royal Esplanade, next to Guest Services.
You will also be able to keep your schedule on your smart phone, so you will not miss anything. The Royal Wi-Fi is totally amazing
and will be added to other ships in the near future. It is supposed to be 3 times faster than anything at sea prior to Anthem of the
Seas. Truthfully, I would of been lost without it, you can get the app. when you board and be able to keep in touch
with everyone in your party.
This is always a touchy subject, but overall, the food was better than expected. Had one dinner in Jamie Olivers, which is one
of the specialty options on board Anthem of the Seas. Food and service were top notch. They now serve it ala cart, so it's cost can
add up quickly, but if you already booked this restaurant with just a service charge, they will honor it. Most of the time, we
ate in the Windjammer Marketplace and there was a huge selection of dishes, all served hot and or cold. There seemed to be ample
tables to eat at, with plenty of drink options. They offer an amazing array of breads/rolls, baked fresh and daily. I think most passengers
will find the food and selections to be better than the past. Staff and service is an A plus. Just be sure to save room for
desserts, they have an amazing selection.
I can see Anthem of the Seas to be hugely popular, for the typical Royal Caribbean cruiser, and a first timer. You will get all the
things you are used to when on board on of their ships, plus it is turned up a notch, with their production shows and all around
entertainment. Then throw in, the I-fly and the NorthStar and even bumper cars in Seaplex. While this class of ship, caters
to families/kids, I feel it is geared for families with older kids, but still plenty to keep the younger ones active.
Again, this ship is a good fit for just about anyone, still a big ship, but not overly huge. Easy to navigate between decks,
and from front to back. I only was lost once or twice before getting my bearings. Royal Caribbean has always been a head above
others with their hi-tech and Anthem will not disappoint in that respect. They lead the way with their availability of their high speed
I just wish I had, more time to see the ship and all the different shows they offer, guess I will just have to book a longer cruise
in the future.
There are two picture galleries here at Cruisemates, one of Anthem of the Seas, and another taken while touring around London for
Anthem of the Seas photos:
I had been planning for months to surprise my wife for our 25th anniversary with a cruise, telling her to take vacation and telling her nothing else. Plans made for a relaxing cruise to celebrate and Thursday before we departed (Saturday) I let her know what we were doing. Being married 25 years it also meant I knew enough to give her time to properly pack and not showing up at the port and her going, "OMG, I'm not packed for a cruise." One of the secrets being married 25 years for my male friends reading this. All the planning and preparation as well as expectations could not have prepared us for the real surprise, finding out Royal Caribbean had allowed through a third party the booking for 2,200 college kids on spring break to be on the cruise.
We arrive at the ship and check in went fairly smooth, even though if you were not Gold the lines appeared to be quite long. Looking at the guests in line it did appear to be a lot of younger generation people. It wasn't until we were on the ship andmy wife and I in line to get drink packages that we discovered the ship was 2/3rd's college kids on spring break. There were drunk kids falling down in the Windjammer even before we departed the port. Not a good sign! The ship departs and we get our luggage and my wife decided to get a glass of wine. I said I would wait and 45 minutes later she comes back. The lines to get a drink were crazy. We went to the casino and could not even get on the Blackjack table at first, and forget trying to get a drink at the bar while waiting. Both the first and second day you could not even get close to the hot tub and pool on the top deck, littered with intoxicated kids having a good time. Sleeping the first night was a luxury with all the school chants up and down the corridors, drunk kids bouncing off the doors, and music being played. I went to Guest Relations on the second day to tell them how extremely upset I was over Royal Caribbean not telling us it was a "spring break cruise," to be told "we'll file a report.
It wasn't until we pulled into Cozumel that things quieted down as all the kids went ashore to indulge in adult beverages. Cozumel was the first port I personally witnessed some of the kids with bags packed being escorted off the ship. Good for RC, but not good enough as the cruise was helpless with addressing all the problems. By the way we were told they ran out of Tequila and Vodka the first night. How does a cruise ship on a five day cruise run out of anything the first night?
Every night was a sleep challenge. Every day was a challenge to use the amenities on the ship. I realize the ship was going into dry dock, and definitely showed it was in lack of repair. It was also not well maintained from a cleanliness standpoint with the crew not able to keep up with the intoxicated kids and their antics, but also wonder if they were understaffed with the upcoming dry dock. Plumbing made noises in the mens room out side of Magellan. Parts of the ship were being damaged by the kids, and no one seemed to care. We even heard reports of furniture being thrown overboard and kids attempting to go from balcony suite to balcony suite on the outside of the ship. Luckily we didn't have a man overboard.
The food was not up to the usual Royal Caribbean standards as we are Crown and Anchor members and cruised with several times and were starting to become our favorite cruise line...until this. Day before we returned home the coke machines were empty. Attempted to get a cherry Coke, it was out. Went to another machine and it was out. Ok, we'll try something else and it was out as well. They run out of booze then out of soft drinks, now I'm angry. Shows were not to usual high standards, and overall very disappointed.
Overall this ended up being the cruise from H***. Guest relations didn't seem to care and in fact one crew member told me, "Sorry but there is nothing we can do. This kids have the right to be on here as well." No argument about their rights, but what about the obligation of Royal Caribbean to let regular cruise members that springbreakpartycruises dot com had book through RC to do a spring break party cruise out of the trip. The image of Royal Caribbean in my opinion has been tarnished. My anniversary surprise cruise for my wife was a total disaster and waste of money and time we took off from work. Royal Caribbean hasn't responded to my cruise review response request they sent me, and they probably are basking in their checking account with filling the ship to capacity (we heard oversold), sold an inordinate amount of drink packages, and wasn't concerned about the damage we saw because of the status of the ship going into dry dock. Shame on you Royal Caribbean! You ruined the trip I planned for with my wife, and apparently do not care. Less
It has been several weeks now since contacting Royal Caribbean and even though their web site states a customer service representative will contact me "Usually within 2 days," there has been no response.
We had the pleasure of cruising on Liberty of the Seas 5 night itinerary to Belize in Cozumel in mid February. Despite the cold front that moved across Florida during mid February (whoa...brrrr), the trip was beautiful and the ship- awe-inspiring! We filmed most of the ship, and two categories of staterooms, and will post those videos at the end of this review.
A bit about us- we have been on close to 20 cruises, however this was our first on one of RCI's large ships. We have cruised extensively with Princess and Carnival, and several times on Holland America. We've also been on two NCL cruises. I'm 41, my husband 51, and we sailed with our 6 year old son and my 74 year old mother. We were with a large group that occupied about one third of the ship as part of a corporate incentive trip. We flew from California to Fort Lauderdale take this cruise, but we normally stick to West Coast cruises to avoid air travel and save money. Filming cruise ships is a fun hobby for us, and wow, there was a LOT of squarefootage to cover on this ship!
The Ship-overall impressions:
This was, by far, the largest and most high-tech ship we've ever experienced. The promenade was beautiful and the shops lining it were so innovative. I loved how you could grab a snack or drink mid day while shopping or strolling here- the little sandwiches in the promenade cafe were a tasty mid afternoon snack for us, especially on sea days. The selection in the promenade was great, and much better than any other shopping options we have ever seen on the high seas.
We appreciated the touch screen ship maps all over the ship as we easily got lost. As with every cruise, we were JUST learning our way around the ship on the last day...then it was time to go home.
We tried to order room service from our TV once, but it was too slow and didn't function. We heard this from others as well – the system is very unreliable, so we gave up on that fast.
Oddly, this ship felt more crowded to us than any we've ever been on. Likely because people tend to congregate in the same places, and also, because of the unusually cold weather, people were forced indoors on the sea days (think flying deck chairs...very cold and windy).
How we spent our days:
Day 1- Embarkation- boarding at the port of Fort Lauderdale was smooth and quick. We arrived at the port at around noon, and were onboard no more than 45 minutes later. As we always do, we used this day to film the great majority of the ship while most public rooms were still vacant (everyone heads to the buffet and pool). After a wonderful buffet lunch at the windjammer, a pain-free muster and unpacking, we enjoyed our first night of anytime dining and sat as a family to discuss how big and interesting this ship was.
Day 2- At Sea- The weather was beautiful and the pool was the main attraction on this gorgeous day at sea. The belly-flop contest and poolside fun drew huge crowds, and we had a terrific time getting to know the ship, soaking up the sun, and tasting my first mojito onboard.
Day 3- Belize- We'll share more about our day below when covering the ports, but in short, after an annoying wait to tender off the ship, we made it to the pier, located our privately booked Goff's Caye representative, and headed into the tourist village/shopping area to wait for our departure. I wouldn't recommend just “walking around” in Belize- there's little to do, and you need to leave the area, by boat or on land, to see Belize's beauty. Plan ahead and spend a little money to get away from the port.
Day 4- Cozumel- After a leisurely morning, we walked off the ship and took our taxi to Nachi Cocom- the perfect day...more details to come. After a lovely day ashore, we splurged at the steakhouse, Chops and settled in for a relaxing evening. Everything at Chops was exceptional- from the prawn cocktail to the filet mignon with bernaise to the dessert and service- top notch.
Day 5- At Sea- since the cold, stormy weather was back in effect, we took advantage of all the ship has to offer. We got lucky enough to score tickets to ice skate (yay, they even had tiny skates for my 6 year old son!). The evening was dedicated to our company awards ceremony, which was held in studio B, aka the ice rink. It was interesting to see how well they covered the ice with a stage, and how high tech this room was, with televisions on all sides of the arena to view the media presented at our award show. It rivaled any land resort we've held these events at and somehow held our very large group with room to spare.
Ah, we loved Belize and Cozumel. Bear in mind, we're from the West coast, so any port with turquoise blue, warm water is a treat for us. We are not picky. In Belize, we took an excursion to Goff's Caye, a tiny island 30 minutes off shore. Picture something you see in a cartoon- a tiny white strip of beach lined with a few palm trees plopped in the middle of the ocean. This place was so picture perfect, we were pinching ourselves all day. The trip was too short, but can't recommend it enough. Others in our group snorkeled, but we opted to relax on the beach, swim, and take photos to maximize the time on the island.
In Cozumel, we pre reserved a day at Nachi Cocom, a private, quiet beach club. 15 minutes from the port by cab, this place was relaxing and poured all you could drink, all day, for something like $55 per person. The food was 4 course, all inclusive too, and was so delicious. There was no way we could eat all that was given to us, especially on top of the pina coladas, tequila shots and margaritas. We swam in the sea, explored the tiny gift shop and spent hours jumping off the end of the dock and swimming back to shore. After the cab ride back, we shopped at the pier (great shopping!) and boarded our ship. We can't wait to return to Cozumel.
We enjoyed a junior suite, a treat we normally wouldn't splurge on on this sailing. The stateroom was huge, well laid out, had a bathtub and coffee pot, two things we LOVE while cruising. I've never seen so much storage space, including a walk in closet, on any ship.
My Mom was in an interior stateroom, across the hall from us. The room was a little bigger than most, and had a privacy curtain that divided the room- again, something I've never seen in an inside room. It even had a couch- so cozy.
**Video tours of both rooms are at the end**
We took advantage of my time dining, and were fortunate enough to get the same servers every night, by request, at a table for 4. Our severs were so attentive and did a great job of making us feel like were were in a fixed dining situation, meaning, they remembered our preferences and welcomed us back each night by remembering our names. We were rarely offered drinks other than water, but we spoke up and got what we needed. I think $12 is a ridiculously high price for a mojito, but then again, a LOT of people on this ship bought the drink package, so it seems that is the direction this ship is taking.
We enjoyed the buffet only a few times on this cruise, and it was well laid out and offered great selection.
Chops, the steakhouse, was awesome. The only funny thing that happened here is they gave my son my husbands filet mignon, and my husband the “kids steak”. We didn't figure it out until they'd eaten half of the steaks, and it ended up being something to laugh about, and a compliment to the quality of the meat served.
The Experience overall. . .
What we loved:
Embarkation...so smooth, so friendly. Great job RCL.
The room service options....very nice selection and high quality food, including eggs at breakfast & fast service. Loved the turkey panini, mediterranean chicken salad and spinach dip. Yum.
Entertainment: the one show we had time to see was excellent- a cut above other lines- more modern and very high production value.
Very few ship wide announcements -very nice. You really have to rely on your Cruise Compass to know what is going on, but the lack of interruption is peaceful.
The Ship condition: Liberty is well maintained and has so many cutting edge, clever touches compared to other lines we've experienced. It's modern in so many ways, but not so huge that you can't enjoy the magic of being on the high seas (in fact, we felt quite a bit of motion on the final sea day).
What we'd change:
Okay, I know this is never fun. But, keep in mind, there was a cold front in Florida folks. We had to stand at the entrance to the ship, and along a FREEZING cold wind tunnel for about an hour, underdressed (everyone was- this is Florida, who brings their parka) before we could get into the building that houses immigration and the luggage. It was hard to watch SO many miserable people, many with fussy kids and elderly folks that were having a hard time standing for so long.
More ice skating times please.
Seriously, it was hard enough just to FIND the ice rink folks. But, really, they need to offer more times to choose from! The skate sizes were very inconsistent and when you went back to fix that, it was too late...no more skates, sorry.- no more skates And the cranky staff that hands out the skates made us feel like we were at boot camp. Please, smile, it's an ice rink for goodness sake...
The same lack of open times applied at the flow rider and rock wall.
RCL's beverage policy is stricter than other lines. i.e.- you're not allowed to bring your own soda and water. This really bothered me as I really enjoy my own water and a mere 12 pack of diet coke in my room. I don't get it.
Okay, the soft serve should be available 24/7, somewhere...the little ice cream machine on the pool deck would just disappear. This made my son and hubby sad as most lines offer soft serve pretty much 24/7.
It seems they could easily have a small section of the buffet area open 24/7, or just between main meal times. The hours seemed unusually odd to me, for a cruise line. Example: the buffet doesn't open for dinner until 6:30pm. That is late, and not the norm compared to other lines we've tried. Thankfully, room service saved us during some odd afternoon hungry hours after a long tour ashore.Thanks for reading, and happy cruising.
All in all, we had a lovely trip. Dollar for dollar, I'm not sure I would choose RCI again, but it all depends on departure port, price and ports for us. Right now RCI doesn't have much of a presence in Southern CA, where we tend to depart.
Thanks for reading, and happy cruising!!
Full ship video tour:
Junior Suite: https://youtu.be/u0eXVuPhPg8
Interior Stateroom: https://youtu.be/d1ryWy5-aDU