Anthem of the Seas Cruise Review by lattelady
- Sail Date: September 2016
- Destination: Canada & New England
We arrived a day early into Newark. We had considered going to NYC but gave up on the idea when it appeared to be a little complicated with the public transportation. So we ended up getting an Uber and going to a movie in Newark. The hotel (Best Western Airport Plus) had a cruise and stay package. We didn't need the parking but did use their airport shuttle and port shuttle. Almost the entire hotel was filled with cruise passengers, so the evening had a lot of pre-cruise excitement going on down in the bar.
Embarkation was quick and efficient. No problem bringing a case of water. Our check in time was 10:30-11:00. I think we arrived around 11:00 and quickly found a Royal person to do the check-in. We were done and told to sit because the ship wasn't open for boarding yet. I think we only waited about 10 minutes. Then we walked up the ramps to the most beautiful ship I've stepped foot on so far.
Surprisingly, there was no elevator wait. We didn't need one anyway as we had walked onto 5 and we chose to wait in Two70 rather than the Windjammer. We hung out in the wonderful lounge, got a bit of lunch and looked at the NYC cityscape until a but after one when the cabins opened. After unpacking, we went up to the pool deck area to watch sail away. The captain took us on a sail-by of the Statue of Liberty! Thank you, Captain! And wonderful view of the lower Manhattan and the Freedom Tower. It was a fabulous way to start the trip.
Ok, now to the essentials of the review:
Ship - Just incredible. Beautiful in so many different ways. Loved the artwork everywhere. Loved the techno flavor. Simply put, this ship was just FUN and HAPPY. I honestly believe this was the best crew I've ever encountered. I saw no unhappy crew members. Everyone was eager to help. Another thing is that the ship never seemed crowded. We seldom had to wait long for an elevator or squish ourselves inside one.
Diamond Club - overflowed into the Music Hall which was very nice. The lounge was great. Coffee machine always working. Servers happy and helpful. Concierge friendly and helpful. Nice conversation during happy hour.
Cabin - we had a D1 balcony cabin (11162). The location could not be beat for ease of getting around. We usually get aft balconies, but that wasn't possible and I must say that I had forgotten how easy it is to be near an elevator (like a hump cabin). We had a larger balcony but the chilly weather and busy port schedule kept us from enjoying it too much. I usually spend hours on the balcony but only really spent one afternoon this time.
Dining - we had no problem with the Dynamic Dining but since that is going away, I won't talk much about it. However, our best meal was at Chops.
Entertainment - LOVED the shows! We Will Rock You! Spectra's Cabaret! The Gift! All well done with great talent. Best CD so far (Abe Hughes). Don't miss his Late Night/Early Morning show on RCTV. We missed the Love and Marriage Show live and tried to catch it on TV but never saw it. Not sure if they played it. Heard great things about the music in the Music Hall. Enjoyed the first comedian. Missed the second. So many things to chose from! The Escape Room was fun. The North Star was great. Lots of things we didn't do that we will have to do next time.
Loved all the ports: Boston, Portland, Bar Harbor, Halifax, and Saint John. Would be happy to visit all of them again. Might include whale watching next time and a photography tour in Boston. Loved the lighthouses. Here is what we did:
Boston - Duck Tour and Freedom Trail walk (we did both on our own)
Portland - Scenic Maine Tour of the town and to an iconic lighthouse and a Discovery harbor lighthouse tour (both booked on our own)
Bar Harbor - Oli's Trolley tour of Acadia National Park (on our own)
Halifax - Peggy's Cove and Titanic cemetery tour (booked through RCI)
Sain John - rented a car from Avis and drove the Fundy Trail Parkway and went to Sussex to see some covered bridges (on our own).
Now that I've been on the Anthem, I'm not sure I can go back down to another ship! I'm booked on the Harmony next year and I'm worried that it won't even compare! That's how much I loved this ship.
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The cabin was sleek and modern. USB outlets! A blow dryer that isn't connected to a drawer! A refrigerator that is empty to begin with! The room seemed skinnier than on other ships, but still plenty of storage. The bathroom was nice and had amenities provided!
The a/c will not run if the balcony door is not closed and locked. That can be an issue if one of your is outside and the other one wants the a/c on. I got locked out! :)
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