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7 Night Bahamas Cruise from Bayonne

7 Night Bahamas Cruise from Bayonne (Cape Liberty)

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Anthem of the Seas
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Itinerary

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  • Day 1
    Bayonne (Cape Liberty)
  • Day 2
    Cruising
  • Day 3
    Port Canaveral (Orlando)
  • Day 4
    Nassau
  • Day 5
    Perfect Day at CocoCay
  • Day 6
    Cruising
  • Day 7
    Cruising
  • Day 8
    Bayonne (Cape Liberty)

Anthem of the Seas

Anthem of the Seas - Royal Caribbean International

Pros

Cruisers are spoiled for choice when it comes to activities, restaurants

Cons

For-fee dining, additional activities can come with hefty price tag

Bottom Line

Ship is fun, beautiful and perfect for families and those looking for a resort experience


Cruise Reviews

Sail Date: September 2019
Day of Cruise Philly to Port Liberty Left home at about 7:45 AM and headed up the NJ turnpike to I-95 N towards NY. Following the car's GPS, got off at the Bayonne exit. After a short drive with just a few turns, arrived at ... Read More
Day of Cruise Philly to Port Liberty Left home at about 7:45 AM and headed up the NJ turnpike to I-95 N towards NY. Following the car's GPS, got off at the Bayonne exit. After a short drive with just a few turns, arrived at the terminal at around 10 AM. After dropping off our one large bag, parked inside the main parking garage right next to the terminal. It was just a very short walk to the terminal with our two wheeled carry on bags. Check in was the easiest of all cruises we've ever taken! Check in, from start to finish, took only about 15 minutes. Since it was still rather early, we sat in chairs till it was announced we could board. Boarding started at about 10:45. Everything was so organized! One row of seats was called at a time. Therefore, there was no pushing, shoving, or bumping into others. Naturally, everyone made a bee line towards the Windjammer for a bite to eat so the elevators were rather crowded. That’s just the nature of Day 1. Muster drill was at 3:30 and just as soon as it ended, the lines were cast off and away we went. I have to mention that the skyline of NYC was awesome and seeing the Statue of Liberty was breathtaking. It was way cool passing under the VN Bridge! Lots of applause after we “barely” made it safely through. My wife and I started to explore the ship but it was set up a lot differently than every other Royal ship we've sailed on. The Allure was like that when we first sailed her but we got to be good friends after a few days. As time goes on, we will have seen a great deal of what this ship offers but by then, it will be time to end our vacation. Dinner on Day 1 was at Chops. What else is there to say except that the food was simply the best. Tomorrow night's dinner will be at Jaimie's Italian and we're really looking forward to that. Day 2- sea day After breakfast, hung out at the Solarium for most of the day. It's such a restful and beautiful place. We explored more of the ship and what we saw was amazing. Bumper cars at sea? Who would have thought? Although we didn’t go on them, it was fun watching everyone else really enjoying themselves! Dinner was at Jaimie's Italian. Could it top Chops? A very tough comparison, but they were both really great! We had a meat AND a veggie plank for starters and they were delicious. Our main dishes were crab fettuccini and another equally yummy pasta dish but the name escapes me. The lemon meringue cheesecake, for dessert, was out of this world. Day 3: Arrival at Bermuda. After breakfast, left the ship and grabbed a shuttle to Horseshoe Bay. It was only $7 per person which I thought was very reasonable. It was a very scenic drive of about 25 minutes from the pier. Upon entering the beach area, we took a right turn and stayed at the rock protected area where the water was like glass and only about waist high. Although slathered with sunscreen, the sun, in a cloudless sky, was extremely hot. After about an hour, we decided to leave before being burnt to a crisp. Our shuttle driver said the water temp was 83 degrees which sort of felt like being in a hot tub Tues. Day 4: Bermuda Spent most of the morning exploring the Royal Naval Dockyard. In particular, we concentrated on The Keep, a place steeped in so much of Bermuda's history. The Commissioner's House offered probably the best view of the port. There were old cannons pointing directly at the Anthem which was kind of scary even though they were inoperative. After that, off to the Dolphin Quest. Although we didn't participate, it was awesome to watch these magnificent animals perform for, and with the tourists. The hot sun had been beating down on us for a few hours now and was beginning to take its toll. Naturally, I forgot to put on sun block and didn't think to wear my baseball cap. Before we burnt to a crisp, we headed back towards the ship before noon. First, we stopped at a little pub for some ice cold beer (me) and bottled water for my wife. The A/C on the ship was very welcomed! Tuesday's dinner was probably the best of any cruise we've ever taken! It was prime rib and lobster night! First of all our six tablemates were the greatest and funniest people we've ever sat with! Nothing but jokes, laughs, and good conservation all night. But the best part was that after we began eating our entree, our server brought out a huge plate with three extra lobster tails per person! To say we were in heaven would be an understatement! It's tough to decide which was better- the specialty dining at Chops and Jaimie's or the MDR with the prime rib/ lobster combo. Day 5: Wed. Sea day Calm seas and smooth sailing on the way back to Bayonne. A bittersweet day knowing all this is coming to an end. We had breakfast at the Solarium and have decided that it's much better than fighting the lines at the Windjammer. At about 9:14, the captain came on the PA system and announced if we would all observe a moment of silence to commemorate the 18th anniversary of 9/11. You could hear a pin drop during the minute everyone thought back to that tragic day on a beautiful September morning. When the captain came back on the PA to thank everyone for their cooperation, there was still silence and people were still quiet as they reflected on the darkest day in our history. A very poignant moment aboard the Anthem. Back to our cabin where we saw those dreaded green luggage tags for Thursday’s debarkation. The reality that a great cruise was about to come to an end. We sat at a table for eight with some really great people! I remarked that Royal threw “all the bad apples in the same barrel!” Every night, we laughed so hard while sharing all kinds of stories. On Tuesday night, prime rib and lobster tails were on the menu. We all got the surf and turf. Our waiter, without being asked, brought out a huge plate with three extra lobster tails for each person! To say we left stuffed would be an understatement! All of us had so much fun that we were always the last to leave the 5:30 PM seating. Day 6: Debarkation. We opted for self-carry off since we were parked at the garage next to the terminal. So, at about 8:00 AM, we sadly walked down the gangway to the customs area. There wasn’t much of a line at customs, but we used a porter to save a little time. Customs was such a breeze! They used facial recognition which took all of .001 seconds and we were out of the terminal! I didn’t notice if there were agents or the facial recognition for those waiting in line, but it was sure a pleasant ending for a fantastic cruise. Final Thoughts and Observations: Port Liberty has things down to a science. It was the easiest and fastest boarding process I’ve ever had in my 16 cruises. Everyone who works there deserves a round of applause! All the other ports should use Bayonne’s model. Leaving the ship was just as easy with no stress at all. Most of the people I encountered were from PA (like us), NJ, NY, and other nearby states. Everyone, without exception, was fun, pleasant, helpful, and mannerly. For instance, people held the elevator doors for others, always had a “good morning” or “how are you?” for their fellow cruisers, and on and on. The September 7th sailing of the Anthem wasn’t just a good cruise. It was a GREAT cruise! Can’t wait to leave from Bayonne again! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2019
Lets start with the false advertising...We booked this boat because of how amazing this boat looks on the RC website. Too bad it’s all fake! There’s NO H2O water park, there’s only half the restaurants they claim, no outdoor sports ... Read More
Lets start with the false advertising...We booked this boat because of how amazing this boat looks on the RC website. Too bad it’s all fake! There’s NO H2O water park, there’s only half the restaurants they claim, no outdoor sports courts, no self leveling pool tables, no children’s playgrounds as displayed, only a couple of the shows they claim...it’s basically like they took all the best pictures of their entire fleet and all the best everything and pretend it’s on every boat. Things like the kilbasa, sausage restaurant literally being a tiny HOT DOG food truck in the corner of the arena. The bionic bar was just an afterthought, “slap a couple robots in the middle of a hallway with chairs”...The opposite of what the pictures show. 4 year olds CANT DO ANYTHING despite being 42 inches tall, must be 5 and up. How has no one sued them yet??? We requested twin beds. Only to arrive with a king and couldn’t be separated. No gifts for anniversary and birthdays. Don’t bother telling them your celebrating. WARNING!!!!! - They canceled the royal IQ app last month (yet still advertise it) so if you’ve already booked with family thinking you can text each other, FORGET IT. Seems like a game to make you buy internet. They cancel shows and move shows around just like everyone sais...we had 2 shows booked. One was canceled and one was moved forward which we missed because they didn’t announce it. My 4 year old was in tears because we booked the final showing and they canceled it. Soda machines out, no ice, no waiter getting you drinks during buffet meals, ice cream machine broke, HORRIBLE. If you’re an experienced cruiser, prepare for dissapointment. Awful awful ship. Very misleading and everything’s broken. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
We flew into Newark 2 days prior to departure and stayed in New York City both nights. The morning of the cruise, we took an Uber XL (lots of luggage) from Manhattan to the port around 11:00 am arriving about 12:15 pm. Delayed about 30 ... Read More
We flew into Newark 2 days prior to departure and stayed in New York City both nights. The morning of the cruise, we took an Uber XL (lots of luggage) from Manhattan to the port around 11:00 am arriving about 12:15 pm. Delayed about 30 minutes with backup at port. We had 4 in our group and paid $125 with tip. Once we dropped bags off with the porter, we were inside in just a few minutes. Cabins were not available until 1:30 pm (Doors were actually closed not allowing access to cabin hallways. Things seemed a bit overwhelming for the cabin steward in our section the first day to the extent we gathered up our own luggage from the hallway in a different section of the boat. Overall the steward in our area wasn’t around much or “Happy Happy” like we are used to. One day he totally missed cleaning our travel companions’ cabin and we were without wash cloths and bath mat a day. We wondered if he had more cabins to take care of than he could handle. We carried on a 6 pack of coke and a dozen small waters with no problem. Also bought 2 bottles of wine (each couple) while in NY and carried those on. If you pack wine separately in a couple of carry-on bags, I think 4 would be easy to bring on. The wines were taken to the Main Dining Room and we were NOT charged a corkage fee nor were our travel partners charged. The Dining Room saved our wine for the next day’s dinner like other ships. We had an inside cabin on deck 9 cabin 9139. We hadn’t had an inside cabin for a long time and wanted to see if we were satisfied as the cost is well below the balcony. The inside cabins on the Anthem are different than most ships; there is an interior hallway between the balcony cabins with inside cabins either side. The cabin was very tight along the bed and walls, maybe 12” or less clearance. On one side you have to step around the dresser making it very tight. The virtual portal screen is ok but more of a gimmick than a clear view however it was nice to see if you were docked at port without looking it up on the TV. The cabin had plenty of storage (always need more hangers) and the bathroom with a curved shower door was fine. The phone was on night stand on the tight side of the bed making answering it a chore. There are 2 outlets and 2 USB ports at the desk and an outlet at each nightstand light. There is only one chair to sit (no sofa) and one small desk chair thus one of us had to always be on the bed. The TV is on a side wall and you can only watch from one side of the bed and at that you are at an angle. Found out on day 8 that the TV swung out on one side some which made it a little better. Layout of room isn’t optimal. If you use a walker or a CPAP machine or need a large night stand this room will not work for you. We purchased the BOGO dining package and ate at Jamie Oliver’s on Day 1. Had a good dinner with everyone ordering the lamb which was excellent. We had a number of appetizers (the meat board was to die for) and some pasta side dishes. Had dinner at Chops as our 2nd BOGO dinner. Food was very good and service was good, but maybe a little slow. We spent a little over 2 hours and were close time wise getting to show. Most at our table had bone-in ribeye which was tasty, several around us had filets and said they were good as well. Would not recommend the salmon. Sides were good and portions were reasonable. As appetizers we had crab cake and shrimp cocktail both of which were tasty. For dessert recommend the key lime pie or red velvet cake. As a bit of a negative my wife and I both had cramps during the night. We paid $50.00 each for the BOGO dinners and felt it was a great price, for us paying full price would have felt like too big of an up charge. The only drawback was your dinners had to be on Day 1 and Day 2 – no exceptions. The main dining room menu was a bit limited, but food was well cooked and tasty for the most part. Not many long lines at our times which was mostly at 7:15. We ate breakfast at the main dining room most days where you have a lot of buffet items plus menu service. We ate breakfast and lunch at Two70 and the Solarium Café. Both were ok with limited menu. Pizza at Sorrento's was good and the hotdogs at the Sportsplex were tasty. Would not recommend Two70 for breakfast unless you want a bagel not toasted and very limited toppings. On the “At Sea” days we mainly spent out time in the Solarium which was an adult only area with pool, hot tubs, café, tables and chairs all enclosed behind glass. Since it was cooler weather when we went it was nice being in there but I would imagine it gets pretty hot on a hot summer day. My wife and her cousin used one of the Solarium area tables to play Mah Jongg. There seemed to be a good number of people playing card games, etc. Actually, they could use more tables for this activity. We got a Scrabble game from Guest Services one day to play at an “at sea” day. If the Library doesn’t have any games left to use, you can get more from Guest Services. The entertainment on the ship was in my opinion “fair”. Some nights there just wasn’t anything to do except an activity in the Music Hall which didn’t have enough seats for very many passengers. We really enjoyed “We Will Rock You” – it is a must see. The show The Gift was just hard to understand but the singing was good. Everyone seemed to be confused about this production. The Spectrum Show at Two70 was very high energy and interesting. Those were the three shows you had to make reservations. They had a couple of comedians that were pretty good The old dress codes have been changed on the Anthem. “Formal” nights are now ”dress your best” which equates to smart casual. The rest of the nights everything from blue jeans up is acceptable. They say no shorts, but we saw many diners in shorts. It would be nice if the Anthem let you know this ahead of time as their itinerary still shows “Formal” night. We knew someone that was on the ship the week prior and she clued us in on this. Some people still dress up formally but most not. Nice not having to pack a sports coat. We noticed that “Star” guests are given preferential treatment on the ship with reserved seats in the theatre, special time for the North Star Ride, etc. I don’t know how much of an up charge they pay, but in the old days it was first come first serve basis. There were plenty of chairs on the open decks, not exactly at the pool but close enough. Our early September cruise had cooler weather and we had an older population on the ship so the pools were not overly crowded. The ship has lots of things to do at the Sportsplex on Deck 15 with bumper cars, roller skating, ping pong, X-box, basketball, rock wall and Rip Cord I-Fly. On the other end of the ship is the North Star which is a glass enclosed viewing boom. It seems that 10-16 year olds or so could have a good time on the deck 15 area, our cruise had very few young adults. All these activities are at no additional cost. Reservations are required for the I-Fly and the North Star. The two ladies in our group did the Rip Cord I-Fly that last day of the cruise. They really enjoyed it and the instructor is inside to make sure you are safe. In Boston and Portland ports we had friends who showed us around. We did rent a car at Portland from Enterprise who picked us up at the pier just like their ad stated and returned us to the port after we returned the car. Walked the Freedom Trail in Boston as well as other area and drove to Kennebunkport (45 minutes) when we were at Portland. In Bar Harbor we did a 2 1/2 hour tour of Arcadia Park with Olies Trolleys. This was a great tour with our driver (Dennis) who gave a lot of historical information. Afterward we had a lobster roll at Side Street Cafe, was good but pricey at $30.00 for the lobster roll and a cup of chowder. In St. John, NB we rented an Avis car and drove to St. Andrews for the Jolly Breeze whale watching Tall Ship 3.5 hour tour. Avis was a 2 minute walk from the ship followed by a 1 hour drive to St. Andrews. The rental car was $55 US and the Jolly Breeze about $55 US. We had a good trip on the tall ship and did see 3 or 4 different whales along with porpoises, bald eagles and other wild life. The crew was very informative and worked hard throughout the cruise. The ride on the boat was very smooth and comfortable. The downside was we lost an hour due to time change and then had to be up early to get rental car and drive to St. Andrews, so we were from 8:00 am till about 3:30 pm to catch 8 or 10 glimpses of whales. Whales were not breaching. At Halifax, NS we did a tour with Aberdeen Charter Tours that included a tour of Halifax and Peggy’s Cove. The tour guide, Jonathan, did a wonderful job. The tour lasted almost 5 hours and was very interesting. Cost was $55.00 Canadian about $42.00 US plus tip. Departure was reasonably easy, we had luggage tag in the last group and were called at 9:15 am. Getting luggage was easy and we were outside by about 9:30. No Uber XL available, so we got a Lyft XL ride by 9:55 am and were at Newark airport by 10:15 am. Cost was $38.00 including tip. We don’t know if the area outside the terminal would have been more hectic if we had disembarked earlier or not. But when we got outside it was crowded but not overly congested and easy to spot your Lyft/Uber driver. 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