Anthem of the Seas Cruise Review by tlam_
- Sail Date: April 2019
- Destination: Bermuda
- Cabin Type: Ocean View Balcony
GETTING TO BAYONNE:
We missed how easily accessible the port on Norwegian was compared to Bayonne for Royal Caribbean. We took the greyhound bus from Toronto to the Port Authority terminal in Manhattan. Instead of taking a cab to Bayonne, as we got to Manhattan at 5am, we decided on taking local transit. LESSON LEARNED, TAKE A CAB OR AN UBER. It'll cost about $80+ with tolls. For local transit, we got off at the Port Authority Terminal and walked over to 33rd Street where we took the PATH Rapid Transit System train to Newport station. It was about $2.75. From there we walked over to the Newport Light rail transit which was another $2.75 I believe and got off at 34th Street. We read from an earlier post that the 2 mile is walkable from 34th Station to the port of Bayonne. IT IS NOT. There is construction there and sidewalks were closed off/ Some stretches were not walkable, so, therefore, we took an uber for $25.
We got there at about 9:30 am, even though it said our check-in appointment was at 1:30-2pm. COME EARLY! There were barely any cars in the line, however after 12pm, the line was very long. We dropped our luggage off with the porters who will then load them onto the carts for you. We did our self-check in online, so we brought our set sail pass tickets and were guided to the seated area. OOPS. Even though you did your self-check in online, still go to one of the check-in stations as they have to stamp and check you in. Coffee, tea and water was provided while we waited which was nice. We didn't sit for too long as around 11am, everyone was allowed to board the ship. TIP: book your activities (North Star, Ripcord by iFLY) as soon as you get on the ship on the 5th floor using the Royal IQ ipads as the activities get filled up FAST!
Bermuda was beautiful! We were thankful to have warm, clear skies on both days. On the first day we took a ferry to GORGEOUS Tobacco Bay. We each purchased a two-day pass for 31.50 each from the booth, which was a 2 min walk from the ship. Using this pass you can take ferries and buses around Bermuda without having to carry tokens or exact change. The ferry was very nice to St. George, which was about 40 min from the naval dockyard. Tobacco Bay was about a 20 min walk from the ferry dock. If you love to snorkel and swim with beautiful fish, with calm, cool waves, Tobacco Bay is for you! It's a small, less crowded beach, with facilities including an indoor rinse off station. Perfect for families with small children as well.
We stayed overnight in Bermuda, however there was not much to do during the night as many shops were closed in the naval dockyard. The next day we took a local bus to downtown Hamilton. The locals on the bus and in Bermuda were super friendly. The bus took about an hour to reach Hamilton, but it was a great experience. Hamilton is beautiful, and a good place to visit if you do not want to go to the beach.
It was a wet, rainy and cold one. We didn't really plan on doing much, so we just explored Quincy market and tried their famous clam chowder. Really good! A lot of our fellow guests also agreed that we would have rathered stayed an extra night in Bermuda than to go to Boston.
We ate at the Windjammer buffet for breakfast and lunch and dined in the main dining rooms for dinner. The Windjammer had a great selection for everyone. I wished the buffet closed a bit later than 9PM. There was an indian cuisine themed night, as well as a seafood night, which had clams, bay scallops and shrimp which we enjoyed. We did my time dining and dined in all 4 of the main dining rooms, however Silk was our favourite. Special thanks to Ygnacio (Yggy), for the most memorable dining experience ever. He was very friendly and full of energy which we loved! On the last night there was a moment of appreciation for the staff where they danced, and Yggy put on a show with his dance moves. The food in the main dining room was great. We enjoyed their beef courses each night, prime rib, beef tenderloin, striploin, etc, as although was not cooked to perfection each night, was still tender and delicious. There was a lobster tail night, as well as a Royal Caribbean 50th anniversary night which they serve a special personalized cake that was delicious!
My parents stayed in an inside stateroom with a virtual balcony on deck 8 and my siblings and I stayed in a balcony stateroom on Deck 7. Our stateroom attendant Claudia was very friendly and did an amazing job ensuring everything was clean and ready. Our room was very spacious even for 3 adults, and there was plenty of space to store your luggage.
Entertainment and Activities:
We had 3 days at Sea so we did a lot of activities including the Ripcord by iFly and Northstar. the Ripcord by iFLY was ok, my sister loved it. The instructors go through a mini-course to teach you the positions and hand signals they use while you are flying. I am afraid of heights but the Northstar was not too bad! We were able to do both iFly and Northstar twice as we walked in and asked if there were any no-shows for reservations. Bumper cars were super fun as well as the mini competitions they had throughout our cruise. The sports staff were fun and very friendly. Spectra's Cabaret was our favourite! Be sure to reserve the shows too! The Gift was a bit confusing, however the dancers and the production team was amazing. Especially on sea days, don't even bother going into the Solarium as it will be occupied with towels on chairs, not people on chairs. The indoor pool was nice on cold days. We used the gym a few times and thought it was great. Plenty of machines, smith machine, rowing machine, elipticals and treadmills as well as free weights.
I would love to thank all the staff on the Anthem of the Seas. There were some that made our experience incredible, but overall, everyone was super friendly and we had a wonderful time. There were some guests who were very rude to the staff members, but they still maintained their professionalism. They work very hard to make our cruise trip enjoyable and I want to thank each and every one of them for that!
It was a smooth process as you got to choose whether you wanted to carry your own luggage off with you or have it taken down to the night before for you. A cab back into the city cost $90 including tolls for us, although there were some asking for $120+.
My family and I had a great time! This is our first time cruising with Royal Caribbean and we noticed how spacious the entire ship was including staterooms, etc compared to the ships we've been on the Norwegian (Spirit, Jewel, Getaway). We loved the Seaplex as it was indoors and had plenty of activities to do. I'm glad we decided to try out Royal Caribbean, rather than always sticking with Norwegian. Be careful however, that some things require a fee especially when they ask you for your stateroom # or seapass card. We were on our way to watch The Gift and they had a popcorn stand. Thinking it was complimentary we asked for some, in which they asked for our stateroom # and realized it cost $2.75. Overall it was an enjoyable vacation and would definitely cruise with RCL again!
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