On November 6, 7 & 8th I had a great opportunity to get a first hand experience on the Beautiful Anthem of the Seas, Royal Caribbean’s newest and most innovative ship. What an adventure. Sailing out of her home port of Cape Liberty in Bayonne, NJ.
First let me start by saying that the Cape Liberty Cruise Port was a pleasure. RCCL did a great job of streamlining the check in process. After parking with no issues, we were stopped in the front of the Cruise Terminal by an agent from Royal who greeted us and asked for our online check in documents and ID. Once they scanned the barcode and checked the Passport and or Birth Certificate if you are using a Drivers License you must show both items to board the ship (License & Birth Certificate). We were instructed inside where we went through security boarded the ship. Simple as pie! No lines and no waiting. The entire process took about 20 minutes from the time we arrived.
Our room was not ready so we headed up to the Windjammer for some lunch and a cocktail to start our adventure. We had a fresh buffet with all of the fix-ins. Cooked to order pasta’s, salads, a great carving station and much more. Enjoying the great views of the Manhattan Skyline by day. After lunch we headed down to our Balcony Cabin.
Our Cabin was spacious and inviting. They give you two options to use for your online cruise account. The old fashioned card key or a new (Wowband) wristband. You can use either option. They are both used to access your expenses and room key. Next stop was our Muster Station for our lifeboat drill and instructional video. They actually have a slide or shoot that can slide you from the deck to the lifeboat, in some instances.. pretty cool. We were located in the Aft on deck 7.
Then it was Deck Party time for our Bon Voyage Celebration. As we were only doing a (2) night cruise to nowhere we took a nice leisurely cruise up the hudson river and were able to take in the sights of Manhattan’s Skyline. We had a great view of One World Trade Center, the Empire State Building and Lady Liberty. They gave out American Flags and light up glow glasses and rings to help with the festivities. The NorthStar Bar was hopping along with a few portable bars that were wheeled into different areas of the deck while the DJ was spinning some of the classic NY tunes with America the Beautiful, Frank Sinatra’s New York New York and JZ’s New York State of Mind. Not to mention the weather was phenomenal in the 70’s.. What a great experience.
After the party we headed down for our dinner at The Grande since it was only a (2) night sailing they had the same menu in all (4) main restaurants. They served two appetizers and two entrees from each location, so you could get an idea of what foods each location served. There were no waits and no lines to dine. They did not even give us a buzzer. That did happen once on a different cruise line. Where I felt like I was still in NJ having dinner locally at a nearby restaurant. Dinner was amazing.
After dinner we unpacked and settled in before we set out to explore all this huge ship had to offer. We began on Deck 15 and worked our way down. What an amazing ship. First stop was the Fitness Center and Vitality Spa.. Wow!.. Then we worked our way over to the SeaPlex area. What a fun use of space. Throughout the day you can ride the Bumper Cars and they encourage you to bump your fellow passengers and to get into the spirit of the fact they are not called Bumper Cars for nothing. So we jumped into the cars and had a blast. I had a pink car and my girlfriend had a yellow car. Let me tell you how funny it can be watching people who can not drive, try to drive a bumper car on a cruise ship. During the day they need to charge the batteries during this time the floor becomes a Roller Rink. So you can bust out your 1980’s roller days and test out your skills on the floor. Also in the SeaPlex they have a few great things for the kids and teens. XBox Lounge, Arcade, Table Tennis, Fuel Teen Club and The Living Room for the Teens to hang out in for ages 12-17.
Then one flight up was the highlight of our experience. RipCord by iFLY. They allow you only one minute in the Air Tunnel. First is a brief training class with your instructor who goes over the dos and don’ts and the hand signals that are used once you start flying. After training is complete, it is time to suit up, jumpsuit, earplugs, eye gear and helmet. Then up the stairs for your adventure. Once the instructor goes into the wind tunnel, he has magnetic sneakers on to keep him safely secure to make sure he does not fly up while you’re in the wind tunnel. On the back of the jumpsuit there are two handles that the instructor can use to help guide you and make sure you do not fly up and away. They do offer a program if you are experienced in sky diving and want to learn more advanced tricks. As for the regular guest just trying it out for the first time you will only have the option of flying for One Minute with the help of the instructor. After trying out this experience I highly recommend it for everyone. Check out Fran flying high.
They also have the classic FloRider if you want to test out your Surfing skills. I skipped this adventure. I have one fused ankle and was not looking to fuse the other, as I can imagine my surfing skills would be horrible not being able to bend my ankle. If you are into surfing then Im sure this would be a fun adventure. For adults and kids alike.
Swimming Pools & Whirlpools/Hotubs. We loved the way they have the pool deck setup. The pools are huge for cruise ship standards. On other ships you think the pools are the hot tubs they are so small. There were (3) different pool areas.. One Outdoor pool next to the H20 Zone kiddie pool area. A few whirlpools and the SkyBar. Then you keep walking into the enclosed pool area. There are two different locations with enclosed pools. This is a fantastic option to have on a ship that will be home based in NJ as you can enjoy the pools year round. Then you move into the second enclosed large pool area with another bar. This was a nice quiet area with a less crowded bar, so we stopped to have a cocktail before heading into the Solarium. The Solarium was my favorite pool area on this ship. It is located in the Aft of the ship with a great view of the back of the ship. This is also adult only it is enclosed with a great cascading level pools and whirlpools. Very relaxing and inviting. We were told that during inclement weather they may open this area to kids as long as they are supervised by an adult. This is the go to place to hang out during the day to relax have a cocktail or read a good book. They also have a Healthy Dining location called Divinely Decadence with a Juice Bar. Below are photos from the center pool which is also enclosed like the Solarium Pool. You start at the Outdoor Pool walking to the Aft of the ship to the pool below, then into the Solarium with great ocean views.
Overall Dining Experience. There are (4) Main Dining rooms that are included in the price of your cruise. Silk, The American Icon Grill, The Grande & Chic. The food was amazing both nights we did order two appetizers and two main courses each so we could try stuff out. Nothing at all was bad so if you are thinking about paying out-of-pocket for one of the specialty dining locations you really do not need to. As for specialty dining they had Izumi (Japanese) this was a very small location. Wonderland if you are looking for the over the top dining experience. With the presentation of the foods and the decor. Then Jamie’s Italian (Chef Jaime Oliver’s restaurant). Then last but not least Chops Grill this is also the location for the Chef’s Table. So if I had to choose one this would be my go to location. Wonderland seemed nice, but the menu was over the top for me. As far as the selections. I a meat and potatoes kind of girl. Keep me away from all the crazy stuff. They also had a few quick grab and go ala carte places to grab a bite too.
Bar Scene. The main go to location is The Music Hall this is a two-story bar where the heart of the nightlife takes place. Throughout the night they have live bands playing Rock and Roll and Disco Cover Bands. I preferred the upstairs area, as they had seats along the glass to look down onto the dance floor and the bar area was large with (3) pool tables. It was dark but everyone was dancing and mingling and having a fantastic time. The lower level also leads you into the Casino which is a plus.. For a little Roulette. There are two other quieter bar locations called the Schooner Bar and Vintages, if you are looking to have some drinks without the loud music..so you can hear one another speak. Then there is Michael’s Genuine Pub, this is a typical pub with pub fare. They offered us samples of all the food on the Menu which was nice. The wings were AMAZING! did I say AMAZING yes I did, Coming from someone who is not a fan of wings.. I just think they are too messy and then you can’t really appreciate them. Boy did I love the wings. They were tasty and crispy with a great flavor. Well needless to say order the wings. They also offered falafel on toothpicks which were a hit. Then there is Two70.. This is in the Aft of the ship two floors, kind of a lounge, theater set up with an inviting bar. During the day the windows face out to the ocean in the rear of the ship for great views. During the evening it transforms into a vision. It is a large space it was pretty empty during the day a little busier in the evenings during the shows. They have 6 Robotic Screens along and the windows transform into large projector’s which makes for a fun viewing experience. Overall it was nice, but I really missed not having a dedicated Piano Bar. They also had a night spot called Boleros with the sounds of latin bands playing live.
If you want to try something new check out the Bionic Bar.. I Ordered a Woo Woo and I have to say for $10.00 it was my best tasting Woo Woo on the ship. Check out the video below on the robots in action. You order your drinks from an iPad then you scan your wow band and the drink comes to you. If this bar is empty go there. The wait times can be at least 10 minutes during busier times.
Overall my experience on the Anthem of the Seas will be one to remember. I highly recommend this ship to everyone. Adults, Families and Singles.. There is something for everyone on board. This ship was so large you do not even realize you are on a boat. Also being on the seas in November you had no clue the ship was even moving. I will be back on the Anthem in March so I hope to take many more photo’s and look for a new blog to follow.
If you are looking to book your next Adventure on the Anthem of the Seas or any other cruise or adventure, make sure to contact me for pricing and availability. Plus freebies you can only get if you book with me. If you are currently booked on another cruise or the Anthem and do a Transfer the Freebies are yours too. So why not take advantage of FREE stuff or On Board Credits.. Contact me!
Written by Dawn Caitano