Want to dine at restaurants helmed by celebrity chefs Jamie Oliver and Michael Schwartz, turn to jelly under the hands of an experienced masseuse or take a TRX class onboard Royal Caribbean's Anthem of the Seas? It'll cost you. Add those onboard upcharges to already inflated prices for the line's newest, hottest ship, and you might start to second-guess the financial sense of your cruise vacation.
What a relief, then, to realize how many of Anthem's industry-leading entertainment options are included in your cruise fare. From high-tech shows to adrenaline-pumping activities, you can experience much of the ship's best attractions without reaching into your wallet.
To whet your appetite, we present 10 of our favorite free activities on Royal Caribbean's Anthem of the Seas.
1. "We Will Rock You"
Many people paid top dollar -- or pounds -- to see this Queen tribute musical in London's West End or in a touring show. On Anthem of the Seas, a ticket costs nothing.
The SeaPlex is Anthem's onboard amusement park, offering bumper cars by day and roller skating at night. Its second floor has pods for table tennis, air hockey and video games. The venue even transforms into a circus school with a trapeze (reservations required). But unlike your typical midway, there are no tickets to buy. The fun is first-come, first-served.
3. Puzzle Break
Who says a cruise vacation can't stimulate your mind? The free Puzzle Break challenge teams up passengers to crack codes and solve puzzles in a brain-draining race against the clock. Only adults can sign up for the free hourlong events, which are supposedly too difficult for younger cruisers to tackle.
4. Sky Diving
The iFly by RipCord is actually an onboard skydiving simulator, and all passengers are entitled to one free 60-second "flight." Sign up early to get your spot. Anyone aged 3 and older can try it out.
Wonder of the Seas Construction Update: Sea Trials
Wonder of the Seas Completes Sea Trials
Here's What It's Like Onboard the First Large Cruise Ship to Alaska in 21 Months
Perfect Day at CocoCay: Here's How We Spent 2 DAYS at Royal Caribbean's Private Island
Freedom of the Seas: What's It Like Onboard a Test Cruise? (Cruise Critic & Royal Caribbean Blog
Live From Adventure of the Seas: What's the Same, What's Different and What's Better?
Here's What We Packed For Our Royal Caribbean Cruise (June 2021)
Celebrity to Restart from U.S. Homeport, PLUS Royal Caribbean Given Green Light for Test Cruises!
Odyssey of the Seas -- From Steel Cutting to Delivery 2021
Video Of Odyssey Of The Seas Conveyance March 2021
Royal Caribbean Group Announces E-muster, Keyless Cabin Check-in And Other App Improvements
Royal Caribbean Odyssey Of The Seas Steel Cutting At Meyer Werft
Shipyard Tour: Royal Caribbean’s Symphony Of The Seas Gets Its Finishing Touches -- Video
Harmony Of The Seas Video Tour – Inside Look At One Of Royal Caribbean’s Most Popular Cruise Ships
Symphony Of The Seas Video Tour
Royal Caribbean’s Spectrum Of The Seas Celebrates Keel Laying
Sea Beyond: An Innovative Cruise Experience By Royal Caribbean
Sneak Peak At Symphony Of The Seas
What’s Your Size? Royal Caribbean's Oasis Class Vs. Majesty Of The Seas - Video
Royal Caribbean's Oasis Of The Seas Photo Tour
Spectrum Of The Seas Steel Cutting At Meyer Werft
Royal Caribbean's Enchantment Of The Seas Highlights
Harvest Caye Cruise Port Video Tour
Photo Tour of Royal Caribbean's Allure Of The Seas
What It Means To Be Loyal To Royal
7 Can’t-Miss Experiences on Allure Of The Seas
Video Tour of Allure Of The Seas' Bars
Harmony Of The Seas Youth Place
Harmony Of The Seas Pool And Sports Zone
Harmony Of The Seas Central Park On Royal Caribbean International
Harmony Of The Seas Boardwalk
Harmony Of The Seas Royal Promenade
Harmony Of The Seas Entertainment Place
Harmony Of The Seas Vitality Spa And Fitness Center
Perfect Storm Water Slides On Harmony Of The Seas
Cruise Critic Tours Harmony Of The Seas
Harmony Of The Seas Cabins - Video Tour - Cruise Critic
Cruise Critic Tours Harmony Of The Seas
Greased Lightnin': Royal Caribbean Brings Another Broadway Hit
Plunging Into Adventure On The Tallest Slide At Sea: Royal Caribbean Reveals 10-Story Ultimate Abyss
Cruise Critic Flowrider On Royal Caribbean's Freedom Of The Seas
Cruise Critic Tours Anthem of the Seas
Anthem Of The Seas Welcomes Gigi The Giraffe
Oasis Of The Seas Flowrider - Cruise Critic Goes Surfing
Oasis Of The Seas Jazz On 4 Performance
Oasis Of The Seas Royal Promenade (2009)
Oasis Of The Seas Royal Promenade Parade (2009)
Oasis Of The Seas Carousel In Action (2009)
Oasis Of The Seas Ship Tour -- Main Dining Room (2009)
A Royal Caribbean favorite is the upper-deck FlowRider, a wave pool that lets you get a feel for surfing and boogie boarding. You don't have to pay to wipe out spectacularly in front of friends and strangers -- only lessons will cost you.
6. North Star
Another no-fee reservations-required attraction is the North Star, a kind of deconstructed London Eye-style ride. Board a glass-enclosed capsule attached to a mechanical arm, which rises up over the ship and swings out over the side. The views and photo ops are priceless.
7. Shows in Two70
If you think the North Star is high-tech, wait 'til you step into Two70, a performance venue featuring two-deck-high HD screens that cover the panoramic windows, TVs mounted on robot arms, and stage space for singers, dancers and acrobats. In addition to the main event evening shows, the venue hosts afternoon tea, complete with a virtual orchestra. Even the food at Two70's cafe is free of charge.
8. Music Hall Tribute Shows
If you're a fan of tribute bands, Anthem's Music Hall showcases a rotating roster of bands paying homage to the likes of Bon Jovi, U2 and the Beatles. It also hosts a variety of other music-focused events, such as live band karaoke, house band performances and theme parties. No cover charge.
9. Poolside Fun
You can get wet and wild onboard with three pools, a poolside movie screen and the H20 Zone splash play area (complete with a baby pool and lazy river). Onboard pool areas are nothing new, but it's worth mentioning that you can spend a lot of time lounging in the sun and playing in the water without moving the needle on your onboard bill.
10. Camp for Kids
Like most cruise ships, Anthem of the Seas offers free daytime drop-off activities for kids, ages 3 to 17. Its youth facilities span the front of the ship on two decks and include a science lab and a teen disco. While drop-off care for babies and late-night programming for kids do cost money, the all-day complimentary activities are an enormous value.