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jake1004

Anthem Disappointment

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Sitting in Bayonne, waiting to get off Anthem tomorrow (due to weather). Had a few thoughts on this cruise that I wanted to share. I have been on Anthem several years in a row. I have never had an experience like this one. Sure, there was a medical emergency that forced us to turn back to Bayonne, bad weather that made us come home early, odd port stops, but none of that was a bother to me- some of it was life and death!

 

What I'm referencing is overall disorganization of the ship. For instance, at dinner. MTD with reservations was significantly slower than without reservations. Once a seater took your ticket, they took you to your table... well they thought they did. They left you in the middle of the dining room while they went back to figure out where you were actually supposed to be sitting. They had all types of water sitting on tables; if you asked for bread they would pull it off the table next to you- overall just lost and cutting shortcuts left and right. 

 

When it came to communication- nothing! We received all our messages from the whole trip on the last day on our phone. We received our communication about our all access tour AFTER the tour. We were told that they were rescheduling show performances AFTER they were supposed to start and then reschedule something else in 4 minutes from the announcement. It was a mess!

 

It was interesting that some of the crew expressed the same sentiments. When I asked someone how they like the ship, their friend laughed. I asked what does that mean? She said, its just so disorganized compared to other ships! 

 

I haven't experienced anything like it on Anthem or other ships before. Even Johnny Rockets took 35 minutes to get your food (1st person in line) a-la carte! Anyone else had a similar experience lately? The hotel director is interesting... I would have approached if I didn't think he would ridicule me in some way!

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6 minutes ago, jake1004 said:

Sitting in Bayonne, waiting to get off Anthem tomorrow (due to weather). Had a few thoughts on this cruise that I wanted to share. I have been on Anthem several years in a row. I have never had an experience like this one. Sure, there was a medical emergency that forced us to turn back to Bayonne, bad weather that made us come home early, odd port stops, but none of that was a bother to me- some of it was life and death!

 

What I'm referencing is overall disorganization of the ship. For instance, at dinner. MTD with reservations was significantly slower than without reservations. Once a seater took your ticket, they took you to your table... well they thought they did. They left you in the middle of the dining room while they went back to figure out where you were actually supposed to be sitting. They had all types of water sitting on tables; if you asked for bread they would pull it off the table next to you- overall just lost and cutting shortcuts left and right. 

 

When it came to communication- nothing! We received all our messages from the whole trip on the last day on our phone. We received our communication about our all access tour AFTER the tour. We were told that they were rescheduling show performances AFTER they were supposed to start and then reschedule something else in 4 minutes from the announcement. It was a mess!

 

It was interesting that some of the crew expressed the same sentiments. When I asked someone how they like the ship, their friend laughed. I asked what does that mean? She said, its just so disorganized compared to other ships! 

 

I haven't experienced anything like it on Anthem or other ships before. Even Johnny Rockets took 35 minutes to get your food (1st person in line) a-la carte! Anyone else had a similar expe.rience lately? The hotel director is interesting... I would have approached if I didn't think he would ridicule me in some way!

Sorry to hear about that. Obviously not a great trip for you. I'll be interested in hearing other people opinions.

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Well, for their credit I thought they did a good job with Immigration in Boston.  It was way more organized then my experience on Adventure last August in Bar Harbor.  That was a disaster.

Some of your points re: disorganization are valid:

  • I had MTD but had the same table every night.  Often I had to show the crew member bringing us to the table where it actually was.
  • Announcing that formal night changed at 5:22pm was certainly interesting.   I assume the kitchen knew this ahead of time, since they had to start thawing the lobsters earlier that day, would have been nice to tell the passengers.
  • They should really have a backup plan for when they have to cancel your North Star reservation.  That whole standby line thing is a huge mess.

 

Many of the changes were due to weather issues, so I think we should give them a little slack on some of the last minute changes.

 

Overall I really enjoyed the cruise.

 

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54 minutes ago, karl_nj said:

 

Well, for their credit I thought they did a good job with Immigration in Boston.  It was way more organized then my experience on Adventure last August in Bar Harbor.  That was a disaster.

Some of your points re: disorganization are valid:

  • I had MTD but had the same table every night.  Often I had to show the crew member bringing us to the table where it actually was.
  • Announcing that formal night changed at 5:22pm was certainly interesting.   I assume the kitchen knew this ahead of time, since they had to start thawing the lobsters earlier that day, would have been nice to tell the passengers.
  • They should really have a backup plan for when they have to cancel your North Star reservation.  That whole standby line thing is a huge mess.

 

Many of the changes were due to weather issues, so I think we should give them a little slack on some of the last minute changes.

 

Overall I really enjoyed the cruise.

 

I agree! Anthem is one of my favorite ships but this was an odd experience! Agree on the Boston immigration! So smooth and even better getting off this morning!

Our North Star reservation was cancelled? Well not sure if I can call it cancelled because there was no one there to tell us! We just assumed when we couldn’t get up. No one standing there to tell us. We didn’t even try to rebook. 

What did you think about getting off ship? There was never anyone to direct us! We didn’t really know what stairs to go down and when we finally got down them in Bermuda, there was no one to direct us off ship! The return line security were yelling at us to go around and we had no idea where it was.

We tried to use RoyalIQ. That was a mess. Apparently you book things that don’t exist. Like my all access tour. They should just kill it all ready. 

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10 minutes ago, jake1004 said:

I agree! Anthem is one of my favorite ships but this was an odd experience! Agree on the Boston immigration! So smooth and even better getting off this morning!

Our North Star reservation was cancelled? Well not sure if I can call it cancelled because there was no one there to tell us! We just assumed when we couldn’t get up. No one standing there to tell us. We didn’t even try to rebook. 

What did you think about getting off ship? There was never anyone to direct us! We didn’t really know what stairs to go down and when we finally got down them in Bermuda, there was no one to direct us off ship! The return line security were yelling at us to go around and we had no idea where it was.

We tried to use RoyalIQ. That was a mess. Apparently you book things that don’t exist. Like my all access tour. They should just kill it all ready. 

Disembarkation this AM was amazing.  I was home by 8:30AM, and I even had breakfast in the MDR this AM and used the traditional process where I had to pick up my luggage in the terminal.

I didn't run into any issues with getting off the ship in ports, but I think I just randomly lucked out in finding the right way out.  50-50 chance.  I did hear people getting yelled at by security down the hall, so it seemed like it was happening to many people.

When we tried to do North Star, there was someone there to tell us that it was closed, but I did see them abandon their post later.  You would think they would put up a sign or something.

We were not able to rebook North Star, there were no slots left.  We were told to try standby.  Standby was a mess, since everyone else was trying to use standby too.  I did go down to complain in Guest Services.  I ended up talking to someone on the phone, and he claimed that they take 2 standby people on each trip up.  But that is certainly not how the people operating the attraction were handing things when we tried standby.  Standby was not moving at all.

I agree, that old app is worse then useless.  I'm hoping the newer one is better.  I guess I will see this summer when we sail on Symphony.

 

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The show scheduled rearrangement on the last day was certainly do quite quickly.  We were on the back stage tour at noon and the "we will rock you crew" was still saying they were doing the 2:30 show.  When we are dinner our Genie was confirming for us that we still wanted to go to the 8:30 farewell show and I said "That was cancelled, the 2:30 Rock show was moved to 9 so I assume the farewell show is bumped"....she got a look like "WTF are you talking about" pulled out her phone made a call....and then apologized profusely that I was right and the show was cancelled.  Didn't really bother us....but it seemed to bother her.  Only reason I even knew is I just so happened to be walking out of 270 when the Cruise Director gave the schedule update.

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18 hours ago, jake1004 said:

What I'm referencing is overall disorganization of the ship. For instance, at dinner. MTD with reservations was significantly slower than without reservations. Once a seater took your ticket, they took you to your table... well they thought they did. They left you in the middle of the dining room while they went back to figure out where you were actually supposed to be sitting. They had all types of water sitting on tables; if you asked for bread they would pull it off the table next to you- overall just lost and cutting shortcuts left and right.

My wife & I sailed Anthem; for us, we had no issues as far as service is concern. However, concerning MTD, we did witness an older couple with their Daughter & two grandkids, in the reservation line face the confusion in seating as you describe...walking them to the semi-middle of the dining room, and leave them, trying to determine where to seat them. The grandmother expressed her frustration as the attendant desperately scrambled trying to seat them.

By the time we were to be seated, one of the escorts commented to the attendant, she was sorry for putting the attendant in that situation, that she's just tired & loss focus essentially. The attendant said she understood, she was tired as well. So I ask, how much personal time do you all get? She stated not much in the last month or so. So, it may just simply be, at that time of your dining, you may have experience possibly, some exhausted workers.

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We had an great time on our cruise on Anthem but there were several things that were a bit disorganized, and I also have to say that I have NEVER been asked more times during a cruise to upgrade our dining package, I understand that they are trying to sell a product and that they may also be trying to make money but, we have never been asked more times.  I would provide a polite "no thank you" and on several occasions it still was not good enough.  They rescheduled our shows, because they said that they had cancelled several showings only to find that the shows that they moved were going at the times I had booked them for prior to boarding.  For us it was small annoyances and would not allow that small stuff to keep us from sailing on her again! We had a great time but we did notice some disorganization on the cases mentioned as well as a few more that we had to deal with.  

 

 

 

 

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28 minutes ago, bhageerah said:

We had an great time on our cruise on Anthem but there were several things that were a bit disorganized, and I also have to say that I have NEVER been asked more times during a cruise to upgrade our dining package, I understand that they are trying to sell a product and that they may also be trying to make money but, we have never been asked more times.  I would provide a polite "no thank you" and on several occasions it still was not good enough.  They rescheduled our shows, because they said that they had cancelled several showings only to find that the shows that they moved were going at the times I had booked them for prior to boarding.  For us it was small annoyances and would not allow that small stuff to keep us from sailing on her again! We had a great time but we did notice some disorganization on the cases mentioned as well as a few more that we had to deal with.  

 

 

 

 

I agree with you. The last time (2 years ago) we were on Anthem we were asked repeatedly to sign up for the dining package, a simple “no thank you” was not enough. They were almost begging us, I felt like I was in the straw market. 

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The only time I felt the hard sale regarding the dining package was in the a.m. when we were in the WJ.  Again, said no, and they moved on.  My true problem with Anthem was formal night.  The constant sell a portrait.  If I want one, I will line up with other passengers at the multiple areas, otherwise, please leave me alone.

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Sorry to hear you ran into these issues.

If I could provide constructive feedback to make your next sailing better, here's what I'd recommend:

  • Pick traditional dining instead of My Time Dining.  The simplicity of Traditional Dining outweighs the flexibility (real or perceived) of MTD, in my opinion.
  • In terms of communication, that's a tough one to handle. I'm not sure how I'd handle it, other than to say if you're expecting a confirmation or message at a certain point and it doesn't occur, be sure to seek out an answer sooner than later. Not blaming you or anything, just advice for next time.

Hope this helps.

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I agree with @Matt.  We did traditional late seating on Anthem, went with a group of 8, 1st time not doing MTD with RCCL so we were hesitant to say the least.  We literally walked straight in, no wait.  We had the same wait staff every night.  They were A-MAZING.  ! in our group due to medical issues can only eat fish.  The waitstaff knew this after night 1.  They even asked him that 1st night,  what type of fish they liked.  His reply was any.  We laughed every night... they brought out off the menu items for appetizers in multiples.  We basically had family style seafood appetizers.  They would ask him his fish preference. Again, off the menu, branzino, salmon, no sauces, etc.   

He became the joke of the table, and he loved every moment.  This is a guy we had to drag his butt onto the ship.  He owns a beach house,.  Out of our group he was the only one to book with Next Cruise, another Anthem.  

He is in charge of doing the AK cruise in 2020.   I am still trying to get them to agree to do Oasis out of Bayonne since Anthem is leaving.  Failing. but still trying.  I lived in AK.  

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Hmm, I was on that sailing.  The weather was blah for sure and made for a rough sailing. But we had no problems with MTD, found out about formal night from waitstaff earlier that day. No issues with immigration in Boston or any debarkations. We are noob cruisers, been on Anthem twice. Boston was rather uninspiring but I was so cold so my brain may have been frozen. Our Northstart got cancelled but we went standby on day 6 0r 7 IIRC, waited less than 5 minutes and went on.

We had a great cruise.

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On 4/19/2019 at 11:22 PM, jake1004 said:

Sitting in Bayonne, waiting to get off Anthem tomorrow (due to weather). Had a few thoughts on this cruise that I wanted to share. I have been on Anthem several years in a row. I have never had an experience like this one. Sure, there was a medical emergency that forced us to turn back to Bayonne, bad weather that made us come home early, odd port stops, but none of that was a bother to me- some of it was life and death!

 

What I'm referencing is overall disorganization of the ship. For instance, at dinner. MTD with reservations was significantly slower than without reservations. Once a seater took your ticket, they took you to your table... well they thought they did. They left you in the middle of the dining room while they went back to figure out where you were actually supposed to be sitting. They had all types of water sitting on tables; if you asked for bread they would pull it off the table next to you- overall just lost and cutting shortcuts left and right. 

 

When it came to communication- nothing! We received all our messages from the whole trip on the last day on our phone. We received our communication about our all access tour AFTER the tour. We were told that they were rescheduling show performances AFTER they were supposed to start and then reschedule something else in 4 minutes from the announcement. It was a mess!

 

It was interesting that some of the crew expressed the same sentiments. When I asked someone how they like the ship, their friend laughed. I asked what does that mean? She said, its just so disorganized compared to other ships! 

 

I haven't experienced anything like it on Anthem or other ships before. Even Johnny Rockets took 35 minutes to get your food (1st person in line) a-la carte! Anyone else had a similar experience lately? The hotel director is interesting... I would have approached if I didn't think he would ridicule me in some way!

On the ship right now and I agree with you 100%. This is the most disorganized cruise ship I’ve been on. We had our stop at Kings Wharf today. The staff last night at dinner told us that the ship would depart at 6:30. The real time was actually 3:30. The cruise director had everyone change their times last night back an hour but in Bermuda they were actually one hour ahead and the ships departure time was based on local time. Wtf?

Food is ok. Service is good. Entertainment is non existent. Doubt that I’ll be rebooking with RCCL again.

 

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42 minutes ago, Kish said:

Entertainment is non existent.

Huh?  I mean I am not a fan of The Gift, and would never waste my time again, but every night we were doing something and we are not gamblers, so it was shows which we did the late night booking.  We saw: The Gift, We Will Rock You, Love and Marriage, Spectra, Quest, plus 2 comedians.  We also did the 70s party and Silent disco.  

We also did Trivia every afternoon/early evening in Schooners.  I would say that to this day the Sail Away party had to be the absolute best bc obviously you are up close to the Verrazano Bridge.  

In essence, we were basically being entertained from early evening (6 pm) to 11 pm.  

The only place we avoided, was the pub bc we sailed over the weekend in late Sept., and it was packed with people watching Football games on both Sat. and Sunday.  

During the day there were the bumper cars, rock climbing. IFly, NortStar, Flowrider, Belly Flop and sexiest man competition.  More trivia contests in Schooners.  If I recall correctly only the bridge/galley tour and Bingo were extra costs.  Of course the amazing Solarium to relax in away from young ones in the other 2 pools.  

I am not trying to be antagonistic, just trying to understand what level you are at for a cruise when you state entertainment is non-existent.

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One more vote for Anthem.  A few things we like:

  • "Best" Dance floor in a Schooner Bar (right by the Piano, but only good for one couple.  This does not bother us as long as we are the couple). 😉
  • iFLY is a blast ... we go every time we are on the ship.
  • Two70 is an amazing space ... it will be copied.  Spectra was great (each time we saw it, it was slightly different).
  • The Gift needs a lot of help, but having a real Broadway show at sea is a treat.  The entire show (no "review") is much, much better.  If you are lucky you can catch the cast do a Cabaret (usually in the Schooner Bar).  Great talents in a very intimate setting (they do not heavily advertise this).
  • Diamond Lounge actually has a sea view (even though it is limited).  Too many Diamond Lounges are now in "caves".
  • Sail Away and the return are spectacular from and to NY NY.

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19 hours ago, Kish said:

Entertainment is non existent.

Duuuuuude. If there's one complaint that's just simply not true it's that there's no entertainment. Perhaps it's not the kind of entertainment you prefer/like, but one thing RC does extremely well is offer entertainment, especially live music and performances.

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Guest toodle68

We just got off Anthem and the entertainment was top notch. The Gift was nice singing and my wife had to explain the story to me, but it was still ok. That was probably the low point of all them. We will rock you & Spectra was amazing. The singer was awesome. The only reason we did not see more is that they crammed a 5 day cruise into 3 nights and we were exhausted.

My only complaint is the same I have for most ships, they seem to put some awesome events into the Schooner bar and it is a struggle to find seats. I wish they had put them into the music hall on Anthem since that place was empty most of the time.

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We are frequent travelers on Anthem. LOVE the ship and the service is always top notch. We will keep returning. One thing we did notice recently on a May 4th sailing to Bermuda is something that was mentioned previously. Getting of the ship at Kings Warf was certainly confusing.  There were no signs and we were not exactly sure where to get off the ship. Signs on the stairways or near the elevators would have been helpful. We did find it eventually but there really was no one to tell us where to go. Total time lost was like 10 minutes. Not really a problem at all it just would have made things easier. 

 

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