Anthem of the Seas dining: Public Areas

As you remember I had a sailing a few weeks ago on Royal Caribbean’s Anthem of the Seas. I went over the Windjammer buffet and the main dining rooms, now it is time to go over some of the dining options in the other public areas.

First I’ll start with Cafe 270 which was located on deck 5. This is a Cafe/ sandwich spot. They also had fresh salads and hot soups. The star of the show is the roast beef sandwich. They carve the roast beef, put it on a small delicious round roll with some even more delicious horseradish sauce. Together you have one of the best roast beef sandwiches you will ever have. It was absolutely delicious and you will get multiples. They have other sandwiches to choose from. The only other sandwich I got was the Italian, which was also very good. The salads were crisp and fresh and the soups that changed every day were decent. When you get your food walk right into the 270 lounge and grab a seat to enjoy your food.

In the Esplanade on deck 4 you had a few options in the main area. My wife who loves her coffee visited the Starbucks a few times located in their patisserie. They don’t have the full Starbucks menu but they had what she wanted. I never got anything from the bakery but things seemed good. Across the way is Sorrento’s, a pizza place that has varieties of pizza waiting for you. I’m going to say thing, I’m from New Jersey, we have some of best, if not the best pizza in the USA so I may be picky. But this pizza was horrible. Princess cruises has the best pizza at sea, and I have heard MSC has better pizza, but I am not even sure the pizza at Sorrento’s can be described as pizza. The cheese seemed to disintegrate in your mouth, it had a fake/imitation cheese flavored and the crust was so/so. I tried it once, that’s all I needed.

They have a pub also in the Esplanade with food to pay for, usually normal pub food with some usual staples like a burger and chicken wings. Since staying with the theme of keeping the price down we did not eat there.

Upstairs on deck 15 in the SeaPlex you have the Hot Dog truck. I was most excited for this. They had a few different options of hot dogs and toppings, and a smoked bratwurst which was the first thing I tried. Now I will say this,I do not think the brat was popular with most cruisers on board, the hot dogs were flying out so the hot dogs were usually fresh, the brat was tough and lukewarmmdinly because it was sitting on the warmer for a while since no one was ordering it. If gotten fresh I believe it would have been very good and tasty. If you go and want it, check and see how long it’s been out, that was my mistake. The hot dogs though were good, I’d usually get a plain dog with Suaerkrout, mustard and ketchup… it was good. They had macaroni and potato salads as sides which were ok.

There was a Jonny Rockets outside the Windjammer by the outdoor pool which never seems busy. The menu is a la carte with milk shakes, soda, burgers fries onion rings. Again we did not attempt to eat here, and really it didn’t seem like many other did either. Think they need to change that space up a bit, seems it is a waste with few customers. Most of the people eating at the tables there were people taking trays from the Windjammer there to eat.

Really the main areas for dining are the Windjammer and the main dining rooms. Cafe 270 was very good and the hot dog cart was good too. There was another little Cafe in the Esplanade but nothing looked appetizing. There is more than enough to choose from on the Anthem in terms of food so you don’t have to go to anyplace to pay. Out of a 5 star rating I’ll give the Anthema 3.9.

Next up I’ll go over the entertainment and activities on board the Anthem.

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Anthem of the Seas Dining Review: The Windjammer

When I go on a cruise the main thing I look for is the food on board. The Anthem of the Seas definitely did not lack in the amount of choices and variety to choose from. Now since my whole point of this blog is to help you same money on your vacation, I will not be reviewing the for pay Restaurant and eateries on board the Anthem. I will give them a quick description but since I did not eat at any of them I cannot give my opinion on them.

First thing I’ll talk about is the Windjammer, which is the buffet located on deck 14. The decor is a modern one, which is the main theme throughout the ship.  The buffet is enclosed and there is a crew member waiting for you before you walk in urging you to wash your hands before entering. The buffet gets VERY crowded. There are roughly 4700 passengers on this ship, and one thing I didn’t like is the lack of dining space in the Windjammer. I say this but I will admit we were always able to find a table for my party of 6, sometimes we had to find one all the way in the back, but we found one. Now we always went to breakfast early so we didn’t go at peak busy time which is around 9am. Also because you have such a crowded space, you have the Windjammer head chef making announcements every 15 minutes or so basically telling you when you are done please leave. I didn’t like feeling rushed to eat because their dining areas were not big enough for the traffic in the buffet.

Ok to the food. Breakfast had your usual favorites, French toast, pancakes and waffles made fresh. You had bacon, sausage, hash browns, biscuits and gravy, which the biscuits were stiff and crumbly which disappointed me greatly. There were 2 stations where a crew member was making omelets to order which I never tried since I didn’t want to wait. The fruit on the buffet was great. I love pineapple, and they had very good pineapple. There were also yogurts, oatmeal, grits, cereals, and chocolate milk for the kids. The food was good, not spectacular but good.

Lunch in the Windjammer was good, not great but good. Food was always warm and to me it didn’t seem like food was sitting for a long time out. Lunch had hamburgers, hot dogs and fries, but also had other good eats such as roasted chicken, rice, a carving station with either roast beef or Ham. There was a pasta station where pasta dishes were made to order which was very good, and a Pan Asian section which didn’t look very good. Had some very Unique dishes which I had no urge to try. Again there was very good fruit and salad bar area, decent soups that changed every day. There was a lot to choose from and many things I did not attempt to try mainly because I just didn’t feel like waiting in a line to get what you wanted (sensing a theme?).

They had a different theme each night for the dinner buffet. I only went to the dinner buffet 2 nights, Italian night on Halloween because we would have missed trick or treating on the ship if we did the dining room, and Tex Mex night because one of the kids were sick and we had to take turns going to dinner. The Tex Mex night was the best meal I had on board the Anthem, it was amazing. They had tacos, burritos, the usual Tex Mex stuff, chili, beans, etc. Also they had BBQ pork ribs which were decent, BBQ chicken, mashed potatoes which were honestly one of the best items I had all week.  Ok, on the Tex Mex buffet they were making fresh tortilla chips which were the best tortilla chips I have ever had. I got a full plate of them, poured the hot cheese sauce on them, got some chili, refried beans, diced tomatoes, green onions and jalapeños and had some of the best nachos.

The Windjammer experience was good, slightly above average, the layout of the buffet could be better, the ketchup was located no where near the hamburgers, hot dogs and fries were. It’s a small thing but it’s the little things that make a difference. The big issue with the Windjammer is how crowded it was and it not being fully equipped to handle the crowds. On a scale of 1 star which is horrible and 5 stars which is fantastic I give it 3.5 stars. Food and quality were ok/ good but the crowded atmosphere bring it down a half star from a 4 to a 3.5.

My next post will be on the main dining room on board the ship.