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Terry G wrote a review Nov 2021
London, United Kingdom85 contributions21 helpful votes
+1
Royal Caribbean asked for my feedback and this is what I sent to them. I have had no response from them at all.

This was our first cruise. It was a last-minute decision as we didn’t want to go abroad with the traffic light system in place and thought this would be a great experience.
We usually book online, but as this was our first cruise, I decided to call and get the information while booking.
We asked to be put in a cabin with the least movement and paid for the privilege – we were put on deck 10, it was only after boarding that we realised this was a high deck and on night three got very little sleep. We should have been on 7 or 8.
We were told we would get a lovely table for two in the restaurant – we were put on a table set for 4 next to the entrance. The manager moved us, but we were cramped next to the staff station in the back corner.
The cabin was lovely, the bed was comfortable and there was so much space for clothes. Why then is the toilet roll and shower gel so cheap? We only ever stay in 4/5 star hotels when we go away of which was believed this would be the same standard, but the toilet paper was so thin it was practically useless and the 2-in-1 shower gel/shampoo was so cheap, it dried out my skin, to the point of it breaking. I’m only 42 and there were a lot of much older people with possibly much more sensitive skin. Moisturiser and conditioner are essential for most people. This should be standard. I don’t want to have to bring all of these things with me when I go on holiday. I shouldn’t have to.
Our room attendant (Adiputra) was fantastic. The room was always clean and tidy and we really enjoyed the towel animals. They were a nice touch, but perhaps that time and money could be spent on more essential items.
We really disliked the first two days of our cruise. Your app really only caters to the people who have been on board before. You leave out the finer details which are important, especially to new customers. When we first boarded, we strolled around the ship for a few hours, taking it all in. When we went back to our room, we decided to book in some experiences – most of them had all been reserved. It would have been good to know to book as soon as we had access to the wifi.
We were sent far too many emails before our trip, most of them adverts. Buy this, book this now, look at this – on repeat. This meant than any information we needed was lost in the din. On the instruction of one of the emails, I was told to download the app and all the information we needed was there. Great! But it wasn’t.
On day two, four gratuity charges were logged at different times on our app. We had no idea why and began to panic. After speaking to Guest Services, the next day, we were told this was because they couldn’t charge us on day one so they were added, for both of us, on day two. I asked where this information was before we boarded and he told us it wasn’t and to mention it here, so I am. No doubt, for frequent passengers, this is expected, but how were we to know?
The shows:
I’m a writer, a former actor and stage/television director, so I do know a few things about live entertainment. We saw We Will Rock You and didn’t enjoy it. That isn’t really your fault; the show is badly written with shoehorned Queen songs in. The problem was that we had were no interval – why not? I needed the toilet half way through, I would have liked another drink and would really have liked to not have seen Act 2. We were sitting in the middle of the row, so didn’t want to disturb people by walking past them. The second problem was that the whole show was leading up to them all singing Bohemian Rapsody – but they didn’t. Tagging it on to the end, outside of the show, made it worse. Why not just incorporate it in? It was a show we didn’t enjoy, but that didn’t even make sense at the end.
We also saw the cabaret show, Spectra. There were elements of this which were excellent, but it wasn’t cohesive. There was nothing linking the segments together and it felt disjointed and jarring. Also, why were the screens the star of the show. There were a cast of live singers and dancers and yet our focus was being pulled towards the robo-screens. Surely, the cast should have been the focus. At times, the dancers were so badly lit, you couldn’t even see them. I know from watching Joff’s presentation of the screens that you spent a lot of money on them, but they are still just screens and can be used better to accompany a show, not dominate.
Food:
Breakfast was a bit of a mess to be honest. It was busy, with no one knowing where to go or what to do. Finding a table was sometimes problematic, finding the food you wanted without crashing into other people was also a challenge, especially so soon after waking up. Getting drinks was slow, getting toast was slower and the offerings were usually dry, overcooked or didn’t taste great. Breakfast wasn’t great – it wasn’t even as good as some of the greasy spoons here in London. We travel (used to travel) in Asia quite a lot and it was nice to see an egg station, but it was far too slow and the eggs were never that great, even though they were cooked fresh.
For lunch, we would wander around and pick things up wherever we found ourselves. We eat lunch later, so it was always a shame that most places closed at 3pm, we did like the offerings at Two70.
We didn’t know there was a Starbucks until a few days in – it was great – would have been even better if we’d known about it!
Dinner – we were seated in The Grande. After the problem with the table on our first night and being moved again on the second night, even though it wasn’t the table we were promised or wanted, we did make friends with the table next to us and really enjoyed the food. Our server Elaisa and assistant Ian were fantastic. They were friendly, helpful and attentive without interrupting. The menu offerings were good with some days shining much brighter than others. Day 3’s menu is terrible and needs changing. This was echoed by everyone we spoke to, including staff!
Drinks. We really enjoyed drinking mocktails, but why isn’t there a mocktails menu? The QR code only shows alcohol. This is not good for anyone who doesn’t want to drink alcohol. And when we asked (everyone) for a mocktails menu, we were told there wasn’t one. We couldn’t even go online to check – even with the Voom as it was either too slow or wouldn’t open Wiki for some reason? My husband doesn’t like alcohol, so he rarely drinks. For this reason, we got the refreshments package as we were told we couldn’t get the alcohol package for just one person in the room. It wasn’t a big problem as I’m not especially a big drinker, I think the most I had was four in one day – but after speaking with other people on the ship, I was told I should have been offered the package for just one of us. In fact, there were a lot of things we were not told which we only found out through making friends on board. The reason I called was to make sure we knew everything and yet I don’t feel I was given the level of service I’d hoped for when I called Royal Caribbean to make this booking.
Voom. WHY???? We know you need to make money, but this service is beyond appalling. Not only are you changing an extraordinary amount for the service, it is terrible. The basic package shouldn’t exist as it doesn’t work and the surf and stream package is still slow and laggy. We spent more in two days on internet charges than we pay a month for 200gb wifi with TV and phone at home. I know we’re at sea, but we’re just off the coast of Britain. It is quite clear you are blocking our phones on board as when we sit by a window on the side facing land, we get reception. THIS actually puts us off sailing with you again more so than anything else!
Points system with Crown and Anchor. We sorted this at Guest Services and were told our cards with double points would be left in our rooms. They weren’t. We have no email and don’t know what happens with our points now.

In summary, I’ve taken the time to write this rather long answer because on the whole, we really enjoyed our time on the cruise and would like to go back, but there are some things that need to change before we do. The shower gel in the room needs to have moisturiser. We’re British, we don’t have air-con, so staying in a room with air-con is going to dry our skin and then washing with cheap soap is only making it worse.
Stop blocking our phones and make the internet packages cheaper. I have never had to pay for WiFi in any hotel I’ve ever stayed in. I understand we’re in the sea and don’t mind paying for that service, but you’re charging far too much. You will push more younger people away if you continue this. We’re of the age when most people start to go on cruises, but we will remember how bad it is for internet use – something which is essential for modern life.
Toilet paper. Why would you make this so thin? We had to use far too much of it just to protect our hands.
We didn’t know we could put our cases under the bed because no where told us there was space there.
We didn’t know there were tissues in the drawer until day 5.
Why wasn’t there an iron in the room or a trouser press other than you wanting to make more money from laundry service? Given that there were 2 formal-themed nights during our stay, denying this basic service seemed like it was taking advantage of the situation.
Why was the alcohol package so expensive compared to other cruises? Not all Brits are alcoholics. We all heard about the chav with the neck tattoo who drank 36 Pornstar Martini’s on his first night and was called into the office, but that’s not all of us and in fact, with it costing so much, people will always need to get their money’s worth. You won’t put off the alcoholics but you will discriminate everyone else, like me.
Why were the crew drills done in the morning on Day 4? We work late every day, so our wake-up times are also later. At home, we don’t eat dinner until 9pm and go to bed at 3am. Being abruptly woken up at 7:30am after only 4 hours sleep does not make our holiday a special one. This also goes for check out. Every single hotel in the world has check out at 11am – midday. Yours? 6-8am. We understand you have to turn around the ship for the oncoming guests, but we are still guests on board. Have the checkout at 11am and start bringing the new people on board at 1pm. There is no need to kick us out so early!
Except for the Casino and the abrupt and rather grumpy bar server in the Music Hall (we won’t go there again!), the staff were brilliant. Always smiling, always helpful and excellent service. Some went above and beyond and we actually gave extra gratuity to a few people.
The ship is clean and well presented, but it wasn’t always easy to find a free space to sit in the bars or breakfast hall and we worry how much worse it would be at full capacity.
The photographs are a nice touch, but like everything on board, cost too much and aren’t stamped with Royal Caribbean to show where it was taken. We bought the one we liked for $25.
The solarium is lovely in the hot tubs, but the “pools” are just shallow seating areas with water. It is not possible to swim in them and the main pool is full of families and actually isn’t that big.
Having the LGBT meet-ups is fantastic and thank you for providing those. We met two great couples and a solo-traveller who we spent every night with and have all added each other to Whatsapp. We feel we’ve made some great friends. But why oh why do we have to pay simply to message people on board? We can’t use the internet and now if we want to get in touch with someone we’ve met, we have to pay another $2 a day just to do that. STOP PUSHING PEOPLE AWAY! Do you want returning customers? The internet is a huge part of my generation and even more so for every generation after me. You get this wrong now and you will not have people booking cruises with you in the future. It might not be a problem for the older crowd, but it very much is for everyone else.
Water – is the tap water in the room drinkable? Nowhere told us and the staff didn’t know – so throughout the night, we had to get dressed and go down to Sorento’s just to fill up our water bottles. We need more and better information!
I’m glad we did this cruise. We met some great people and experienced life on board a ship, even though we were just off the coast of the UK. It felt like a good introduction. Would we do it again? We’re not sure. It’s almost there, but the negatives are a big problem and something we shouldn’t even have to raise for a company with such prestige and high prices. It feels like you’re so focused on your returning customers, you’re forgetting the first timers. The little details aren’t there, the finer touches have been forgotten and the modern bare essentials are a disgrace. You have an ever-aging clientele, you should be mindful of that and be much more welcoming to the younger generations.
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Sail Date: September 2021
Cabin Type: Balcony
Type of Trip:
Destination: Europe
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This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Royal Caribbean Anthem of the Seas

166 reviews
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Traveller (1,502)
Common Areas (2,070)
Dining and Bars (1,024)
Itineraries for this ship
Itinerary

Overview

About
Passengers: 4,180   |   Crew: 1,500
Passengers to crew: 2.79:1
Passengers to space: 40.3:1
Launched: 2015   

Decks

  • Deck 3
  • Deck 4
  • Deck 5
  • Deck 6
  • Deck 7
  • Deck 8
Additional decks
Deck 3 layout
Cabins
  Ocean View (2N)  
  Ocean View (1N)  
  Spacious Ocean View (1M)  
  Interior with Virtual Balcony (2U)  
 
Amenities
The Grande
Casino Royale
Chic
Music Hall

Cabins

Balcony
Cabin size: 119 - 272 sq. ft.
Connected rooms: 378
Accessible rooms: 12
Maximum passengers: 4
Number of cabins: 1436
Traveller rating
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Alan S wrote a review 18 May
1 contribution
First time on Royal Caribbean, we have been on over20 cruises but none as bad as anthem,getting drinks almost impossible, getting seats almost as bad, cancellation of there premium show,then trapped as we tried to depart and having to wait for over 3 hours while they corrected there bank connection with hundreds of fellow passengers, many more issues to long to list.not worth the money.but there are some great cruise lines out there.
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JGW wrote a review 16 May
1 contribution
First cruise in two years, staff were very efficient and friendly. First night lack of choice most off the wine on the menu was unavailable, and the bar had no draught beer. Entertainment was good. Went to bed the mattress was so uncomfortable and lumpy we could not sleep. Next morning spoke to the steward who fixed the problem. Second night draught Miller Lite was the only beer on tap. We were really looking forward to the main entertainment "We Will Rock You" and arrived at the theatre at 1:30 only to be told the show was cancelled 20 minutes before it was due to start. We have been on several cruises with large and small companies the standard of food was the worst we have ever tasted.
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D L wrote a review 16 May
2 contributions
This was a two night cruise on the Anthem, I’ve been cruising before but my daughter who accompanied me was a first timer so I wanted it to be fab for her. Unfortunately it was only fab on the evening we boarded. The ship is really nice, our room was great , lots of space to move around, and plenty of storage space too. The staff were polite and helpful, although is you asked them a question re drinks packages, timings, etc you often didn’t get told the right answer, there seemed to be a breakdown in communication, not because of language but because this was the first cruise of the season sailing from the UK so it was a bit of a guessing game. There was a kettle and sugar/sweeteners in the cabin but no tea and coffee, this seemed to be the same throughout the ships cabins, we asked for the tea and coffee sachets to be put in our cabin but were told they hadn’t arrived before we sailed, well it was a bit pointless giving us kettles and sugar then. I’m coeliac so require gluten free food, I had filled out a form prior to sailing to inform them of this. However, the gluten free station was only open the day we sailed and closed thereafter. There was little choice of food and no offerings of gluten free cakes or pastries except for a yuk sugar free cake on the last day. I was charged the same cruise cost as other passengers, those who are lucky enough to be able to eat anything, yet my food choice was extremely limited. I feel royal Caribbean could have made more effort for us who for a medical reason have to follow a strict gluten free diet. It’s health roulette for coeliacs in the buffet restaurant guessing what was or wasn't gluten free, even things like meat, mash, veg etc that are naturally gluten free, but were they prepared in a gluten free environment? OMG the queuing for customer relations was diabolical, they kept stopping peoples cruise cards, you wouldn’t know anything until you went to order something, it would be denied and you’d get told you’d have to go to customer relations, but you would have to join an hour long queue joining all the other guests with the same problem. It was a nightmare, the queue was getting longer and longer each time we had to go back to customer relations (three times). It didn’t matter what time of the day or night it was, there was constantly a huge slow queue 24/7. On the final day, unaware there was a problem, we and hundreds of other passengers went to disembark, got as far as scanning our cruise card, only to be told to return to customer relations. The queue when we joined it was then an hour and a half long but by the time we had been served the queue was a around three hours long full of fed up passengers wanting to get off the ship but told to go to customer relations. The ship seemed to have a problem contacting the banks to get payments, I checked with my bank that my cards weren’t blocked and they weren’t so why the ship was having so many problems is a mystery. When I reached the desk the payment went through fine so I didn't need to go to the desk at all. I think what was happening was they tried to take payments, had a problem and immediately blocked peoples cruise cards without trying a second time. The evening entertainment In the theatre Frankie and the Dreamers on the first night was fantastic! The whole audience was enjoying it, they really got everyone going we loved it. However on the second night the big theatre show ‘we will rock you’ which we were excited about seeing was cancelled due to technical reasons, so that really was the icing on the “non existent gluten free” cake' It’s such a shame, because for my daughter it was her first cruise and she doesn’t fancy going on another now because of the payment and customer relations fiasco, we spent over three hours of our our two night cruise queuing for customer relations when it was them causing the problem not us. Royal Caribbean need to sort themselves out quickly with The Anthem Of The Seas sailing from Southampton this year there will be a lot more complaints and bad reviews from fed up passengers. We won’t be booking with them in future and many fellow passengers were saying the same.
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Sarah wrote a review 15 May
1 contribution1 helpful vote
as a coeliac i completed a form before boarding and was assured GF options would be available. Using the windjammer buffet, i was very disappointed that the designated GF area had very little options (toast and beans, fresh fruit) and at dinner was completely shut, leaving me not knowing what i could safely eat. However, chef staff were helpful to plate up fresh GF food from the kitchen after talking through my options from the main buffet and staff in the Solarium bistro were also helpful. I find it very disappointing that having paid the fare the same and everyone else, that my extremely limited food options ruined my experience, as i have a medical condition and felt like i was not catered for as promised. Excursion to Paris was also a bit disappointing as it was a very long day (as we were aware) but only had a few hours there (due to late leaving and misunderstanding about timings with other passengers) and the guide was not communicative at all. I am not sure about cruising with Royal Caribbean again at this point.
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Lola wrote a review 15 May
Cornwall, United Kingdom12 contributions7 helpful votes
Just back from a weekend cruise from Southampton to France with friends, and have travelled with RC before. At the port we were refused entry although we were all fully vaccinated, had submitted proof of vaccinations and had done LFT’s. We had to dash off to a private provider to get urgent tests done (we were not the only ones), luckily the company (Regenerative well-being) were excellent and gave us our results really quickly. Had we had to wait 4 hours (the usual testing time and a more expensive option as the results were quicker) we all would have missed our holiday. Then back at the port the WiFi was down and there was no signal so none of us could get our e-mail results, and staff refused to telephone the company. My partner had to walk back outside some distance to be able to get a signal to get the e-mail. Having re-read all the e-mails from RY, the instructions aren’t clear as the supervised testing requirement is effectively in the “unvaccinated” paragraphs- it does not mention this in the vaccinated instructions, and simply says we needed to complete an LFT. I have travelled several times in Europe recently and have had no issue with the covid requirements and paperwork but I felt that the RC instructions were not clear at all. Staff said they had already sent 20 people to the testing site after trying to board, and the testing company were rapidly selling out of available slots so I think quite a few people would have missed their cruise. We have been sent dozens of marketing emails from RC but not one e-mail that made it clear that fully vaccinated travellers needed to pay for a private LFT test as well. The food and staff are great and we did enjoy the weekend…..however the boat seemed really full. We struggled to get a lounger on deck as all of them had towels on…..but not all of them were being used. Most of the bars were full all the time and we struggled to get seats in the evenings. A minor niggle to add was that we had paid in full (about a year ago) for the drinks package. This was cancelled days before the cruise as RC said it was an error on their part and should not have been available. They did give us some on board credit to apologise which was a nice gesture, but we only got refunded the money after we had left the ship. This could have put some people in a difficult financial situation if they didn’t have a credit card to cover what had already been paid for.
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