2/15/20 sailing. As many others have said--easiest check in EVER. We arrived at the port at 11:55 AM and was ON the ship by 12:35. That included unloading, parking, walking to terminal, check in. We self disembarked and that was easy as well, will do that always for now on. Just don't pack too much. I carried on 8 sodas and a bottle of wine. DH had a 6 pack of water (we should have brought a 12 pack). Everything goes through an X ray machine, no one did a search of the carry on bags.
The ship is very nice. Biggest one we have been on and first time RCI. I used the gym each day--there are a lot of treadmills, ellypticals, bikes and classes were going on each morning. Also a lot of weight lifting machines.
Hand washing was a big priority and there are wash stations outside Windjammer as well as the employees with hand gel saying, "washy washy"..
Food was good in the Jammer, lots of options and there was always space to sit down.
Main dining...food was very good here too. We had wonderful service, just felt bad for our asst. waiter as his dad passed away and he took one night off. :( The choices on the main menu seemed to be largely the same each night with a couple items swapped out. Not complaining though, I did not cook, or clean, etc. It was all delicious. We did not try a specialty restaurant.
Shows. As per other reviews... Spectras Cabaret was bizarre. It just was. "The Gift"--I had NO IDEA what it was all about. My kids all did theater, I can generally follow a story line. Not so much on this one. We will Rock You--to me was OK... our friends enjoyed it. Certainly go to the shows--the actors are doing a good job ... My husband loved the astronomy speaker they had on this cruise. He did 4 one hour sessions , I went to one and he was very good (Paul Cirillo).
Bands. House bands are excellent. There is a lot of opportunity to listen to music, dance, etc.
Solarium--great place for adults to hang out in. All covered for the cold weather cruise--nice trees, lots of loungers, a pool and hot tubs. Also a bar...
We tried the bumper cars, that was fun... the Sportsplex was always busy with basketball players and other organized activities. The Hot dog place... DH loves Hotdogs, but this place was disappointing to him. He said the dogs in the jammer were better... Sausage looked gross. And he threw it out.
North Star. Be sure to reserve a time before your cruise. We waited until on board, and a couple days in, and times were limited. It was fun, even in rocky seas as we were on the way back to NJ. You did not feel the rocking when you were up there. Nice views of the ship. Not scary at all. Be kind to others and rotate around the ride so you can get a view from different angles...
Pizza shop had tasty pizza. there is a cafe by Two70 that has nice sandwiches and salads. Gift shops on board... the only thing I bought were 2 bottles of Captain Morgan for $24. Total deal. They had a T shirt sale 2/20 bucks on the last days of the cruise.
Ports: Cape Canaveral. My sister picked us up and we spent the day at Cocoa Beach at another friend's condo. Best port stop for all of us we thought. Nice day at the ocean.
Nassau. Been there 3 times now. We had some drinks at a back alley pub somewhere... then found a taxi driver to drive us around the island a bit. We all heard 45 dollars a couple for 1.5 hours. Marvin drove us through residential areas, we saw the college, beaches farther out from the port and also he drove us over into Atlantis area. They did not like that we were there and asked us to leave. (Guests only)... When he dropped us off, price was 45 dollars per PERSON.... (there were 4 of us), so we paid that but could swear he said 45/couple. What are you going to do? We paid.
Coco Cay: Nice time here, we went to Chill beach and got a row of loungers and relaxed. DH and I rode the tram just to see a little more of the Island. Quite the place. I snorkeled--but saw just a few fish and sea grass. Some of the fish were quite big. I did not go too far out from shore. I brought my own mask and snorkel tube. I did not wear a life jacket or flippers. The food on CoCo Cay is very organized and plentiful. There are desserts, ice cream, fruit, burgers, chicken, hotdogs, tacos.. All included. We did NOT do the water park area. We did swim in the pool. Swim up bar was crowded with people. My friends did not want to partake in that, so I didn't either..:(
There are a lot of activities offered throughout the day and evening. It is all in what you want to do. I did a 70's dance class...lots of fun. The "scrapbook" event is just offering packages to buy, which I did, 10 bucks for papers and stickers. I am using them already. She did have paper and crayons and glitter if you wanted to create something ...
Photos. They are there to take as many pictures of you as you will allow. I bought one picture (20 dollars 8 x 10). There are different packages and everything is digital. No more pawing through all sorts of photos looking for yours.
Stateroom: Ours was an interior with a virtual balcony which was cool. Lots of storage space, everything was clean, but I always wipe the place down with Lysol wipes anyway. Room attendant Ferdie was efficient and kept my ice supply up. (I had purchased a bottle of rum for the room and 4 Cokes--all for $45...:0
We did not get the drink package because both people in the room have to buy it and DH does not drink that much. So, it was not worth it. We just paid $9.43 total for each Bud Light (16 oz), and a mixed drink was around 13 dollars. Much cheaper that way for us.
Galley tour: They come around and ask if you want to go on a galley tour. we paid 40 bucks each for that... It is cool to see the galley and see what goes on back there, so we were glad we saw it. It was hard to hear our tour guide. They follow that up with a champagne brunch included in the price.
I would definitely go on the Anthem again. Service was very good, everyone was polite--guests as well as staff. I would also co on Carnival again, having never had a bad experience on that line.
Cabin was interior, but spacious enough for what you need in a cabin. BR was clean, and shower was nice. Ferdie did a good job, I think we had 3 towel animals over the course of the cruise .