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11 Night Southern Caribbean Cruise from Bayonne

11 Night Southern Caribbean 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
    Cruising
  • Day 4
    San Juan
  • Day 5
    St. Maarten
  • Day 6
    Antigua
  • Day 7
    St. Lucia
  • Day 8
    St. Kitts (Port Zante)
  • Day 9
    Cruising
  • Day 10
    Cruising
  • Day 11
    Cruising
  • Day 12
    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: 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. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
We had an amazing time on the Anthem! My husband and I (mid-late-30's), our three daughters (13-11-6), and my parents traveled in three staterooms (two balconies and one interior virtual balcony for the older two children). The ... Read More
We had an amazing time on the Anthem! My husband and I (mid-late-30's), our three daughters (13-11-6), and my parents traveled in three staterooms (two balconies and one interior virtual balcony for the older two children). The activities offered on the ship and ports on this sailing truly made for a perfect cruise vacation! Embarkation in Bayonne was quick and simple. We drove in from the Philly suburbs the morning of the cruise, parked our car in the garage at 10:30am, and were onboard by 11. There were lots of people waiting in the terminal, though, so I can only assume they did not do the online check in. With online check-in, there was absolutely no waiting, so that is a must! Once onboard, we were told that our rooms and key cards would be ready by 1pm and that until then, we could use our set sail pass that we'd printed at home to utilize our deluxe beverage package. We headed to Two70 for drinks and lunch while we waited. It was a pleasant, scenic place to hang out and get into vacation mode! Cabins and luggage were all ready in a timely fashion, so we unpacked and headed to the required muster drill before dinner. We had the early seating in the Grande dining room, which was beautiful (though we miss the enormous 3-story dining rooms of older ships). Our servers (Sachin & Carmi) were top notch and the food was generally very good! With our large group, we opted to dine in the main dining room every night rather than spend hundreds more trying the specialty restaurants. The Anthem is beautifully decorated and impeccably clean. There are So. Many. Activities. onboard for kids and adventurous adults to enjoy: iFly, Flowrider, NorthStar, bumper cars, and the trapeze were all fantastic. (Our tall six year old was too short for Flowrider, even though she has done it before on land, so be sure to check out the height requirements beforehand to avoid disappointment.) One small complaint I have about the ship is that there is not nearly enough space on the pool deck and there is only one very small outdoor pool. There is an indoor pool with a retractable glass roof that was never opened despite 8 out of 9 days of beautiful weather. My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed the Schooner Bar for piano entertainment (the lavender daiquiri was my favorite there!) in the evening, while our older two girls enjoyed the Living Room for teens (Note: it's 12 and up but 11 year olds can hang out there as long as their parents signs off), and our 6 year old was absolutely obsessed with the Adventure Ocean 6-8 year olds club. We loved being able to have a nice evening out while the children were happy and entertained and making friends! We did miss having a Viking Crown Lounge on this ship, which is usually our go-to place for quiet drinks and views. Of the 4 ports of call on this cruise, we had only been to Bermuda previously. We did the Horseshoe Bay Beach transport through Royal Caribbean, and although we arrived early, the beach was FAR more crowded than it was 13 years ago during our last visit. If you walk allllllll the way down to the left past the rocks, it is less crowded but still pretty packed with daredevils jumping off the rocky cliffs and Instagrammers trying to get the perfect shot. Absolutely beautiful, just more crowded than I like. At the next port, Sint Maarten, we did Royal Caribbean's Maho Beach excursion because we really wanted to see the planes taking off from Princess Juliana airport. After getting off the ship, we waited in line for a very long time waiting to get onto a bus to take us to the beach; I didn't love all the waiting so I would probably look into a private tour the next time. Once we arrived, though, we easily found a table at the little outdoor bar/restaurant there, ordered a few CHEAP buckets of Coronas (I think it was $20 for six) and some reasonably priced food, and enjoyed watching the planes land and take off (as well as tourists get blown down the beach). We ventured down into the water to get the full sand-blown experience, which was great! (Be warned that there are pretty aggressive hair-braiding vendors, little to no sand to relax on, lots of litter on the rocks unfortunately, & the sand really does hurt when a big plane takes off). Still, fun for big kids and plane enthusiasts! We had no planned excursions for San Juan, except that we wanted to check out Barrachina, the bar/restaurant that created the pina colada. Old San Juan is a beautiful, charming place for a stroll, and the Barrachina pina coladas (available with or without rum) and the Plaza de las Palomas (a little square with a colonial gate and hundreds of pigeons, plus a guy with pigeon feed and Purell, yay!) were highlights. Our final stop, Labadee, was heaven for us. I HIGHLY recommend booking an over-the-water cabana on Nellie's Beach for the day. Yeah, it's pricey, but having a private area to store your stuff, someone to bring you drinks, and towels & water waiting for you is invaluable if you hate crowds like I do. Maybe not for a couple, but for a group of 7 it's totally worth it. Our cabana, #3, shared access with just one other cabana to a rocky outcropping with a ladder that led right into 6-7ft deep water. Since all three of our girls are swimmers, it was awesome for them to be able to jump in or float on the included floating mats away from the throngs. We also did the Arawak Water Park for an hour, which was too long for me but very fun for the kids! Disembarkation back in Bayonne was as quick and efficient as embarkation. Our number was called early (despite an insane number of self-depart guests queueing up with all their luggage in tow) and we were back in our car within 20 minutes. Unfortunately, breakfast options and crew members were few and far between that last morning. Overall, it was a wonderful cruise! Port days and sea days were equally enjoyable and there was definitely something for everyone. Service was awesome all around and the ship was spotless. Highly recommended! (Sad to see her go in April!) Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
Cabin #10134 - deck 10 balcony room (just for reference). This is our 3rd trip on Anthem in 7 years. The good on the ship: Waiter in the English Pub was AWESOME! Big happy personality. Nearly all of the staff was very good aboard ... Read More
Cabin #10134 - deck 10 balcony room (just for reference). This is our 3rd trip on Anthem in 7 years. The good on the ship: Waiter in the English Pub was AWESOME! Big happy personality. Nearly all of the staff was very good aboard Anthem. Entertainment (with the exclusion of Spectra) was great. We Will Rock You is a must see. Most of the staff in the shops were very helpful and polite. Bathrooms were always kept clean, food plentiful and mostly good. Loved watching movies on the big outdoor screen... made for relaxing nights by the pool. What needs work on the ship: Went on Anthem 2 years ago - and the same stationary bikes in the gym are either broke or power down by themselves! The gym needs a bit of work in general. Classes are nice but my husband and I like the machines and weights - they have to maintain their equipment better. The Windjammer restaurant - food was good most of the time but by day 5 I was eating cereal for breakfast because the eggs were just awful - food became repetitive. Lastly - clean the balconies and refrigerator in the staterooms before the next guest. Nothing worse than spoiled fruit smell in the fridge. What was bad - attendance in one of the gift shops gave us rude customer service when we wanted to purchase about $80 worth of t-shirts and put it on a credit card rather than seapass. Made us use our seapass because it would be too much trouble to call her manager. Ports: Puerto Rico was wonderful. People, weather, food... just wonderful. Can't wait to return. St. Maarten was very nice just hot as heck. Labadee Haiti - ehh... didn't care for it either of us. Bermuda was nice but would NOT recommend going to the zoo. The alligator was kept in poor condition and plan on reporting the zoo. All in all the cruise was nice - I would recommend.... Don't go to the Zoo for the Bermuda excursion Go to the Frog and the Onion for lunch in Bermuda Tour Old and New San Juan in Puerto Rico - Enrique bus #15 was absolutely lovely! Visit Chesterfields for Lunch in St. Maarten Get a balcony room Read Less
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