We chose to take this cruise because it left from New Jersey (a port we could drive to) and visited Coco Cay. Embarkation was simple as long as you arrived at your allotted time and NOT EARLY. Otherwise you had to wait in line. We got right in and quickly through the boarding process. The expedite children under 12 so that made it even easier for us.
Anthem is a great cool weather ship. The indoor Adult only solarium and indoor pools along with a fully enclosed gym made for lots of indoor space in bad or cold weather. There was also plenty of deck space for warm/hot day lounging. This cruise was only about 80% full so there was tons of space and if never felt crowded anywhere.
The Anthem had tons of activities to keep every age group in our party busy and happy. We especially liked the Ifly and bumper cars. Many people reviewed that they could not get free Ifly times but we learned that they drop the free times at 8 am only on port days. Every one of our 5 family members got to do the experience. We actually enjoyed the sea days o Anthem as much as the port days! My husband and teenage son used the gym every morning. It is well equipped. I ran on the track each morning. It is a great length 3 laps is aprx. a mile.
Cabin 8703 and 8305 (same hallway in the aft) Loved location because if felt like our own private hall with only 4 cabins. Size felt huge. We always go economy and book inside cabins. The Virtual balcony was a great way to feel less constrained and see real time views of where we were ported. Beds were atrociously hard!
Easy embarkation with a beautiful view of NYC. But it is industrial.
Lots of free things to do: shopping, Junkanoo Beach walkable, Walking to historical sites. But the pier is under construction so it's a bit rough right now. Every cruise ship seems to go here, so it could get monotonous if you don't book an excursion.
Food is great (and Free!) You can even use your internet and drinks package on the island. Lots of free things to do and also upgrade options to customize your experience.