Anthem of the seas has 2,090 cabins, and a whopping 1,570 of them have balconies. All of the ship's 373 interior staterooms boast surprisingly cool "virtual balconies" -- essentially floor-to-ceiling flat-screen HDTVs that give passengers real-time views of what those with genuine balconies see. The remaining 147 rooms are ocean-view cabins. Those who use wheelchairs can pick from 34 cabins across a variety of room categories, and passengers traveling solo can pick from 28 studio cabins, a number of which have balconies.
Cabins onboard Anthem of the Seas are well thought out, keeping in mind the modern traveler, who wants to vacation but might not want to be completely cut off from the rest of the world. Most cabins include the basics: twin beds that can be combined to create European kings, small sofas (many of which can be pulled out for additional sleeping space), desks/vanities with chairs, lighted mirrors, deep closets, dressers with deep drawers, flat-screen TVs, over-bed storage and small nightstands. But what stand out are little things that have a big impact, such as the inclusion of more outlets than are standard on most ships. Passengers will find three outlets (two U.S., one European) over each desk, as well as one bedside -- a touch we love because it makes for easy overnight charging for those who use their cell phones as alarm clocks. Also, passengers will love two USB ports for additional charging; this is still rare in the cruise industry, even as travelers grow more attached to their devices.
All cabins include refrigerated mini-bars, small digital safes and hair dryers. (They're fairly low voltage and require the user to hold down a button continuously while drying.) The ship was designed with environmental efficiency in mind, so all cabins have digital thermostats and rely on energy-saving electricity; lights and power are activated by inserting your cabin keycard into a slot by the door. If you remove it, lights and power -- but not the air-conditioning -- shut off.
We also love how spacious all cabins are. Most are larger than the industry average, and balconies are plenty comfortable, with room to easily accommodate two people. Storage is ample, and suitcases fit easily under the beds.
Decor across the ship is modern, and most cabins feature blue and brown color palettes with bold -- but not overwhelming -- geometric patterns.
Bathrooms, too, are comfortable and include sinks, vanities and small glass shelves for storing toiletries. Showers are encased in glass and offer foot rests for leg shaving. Most cabins don't feature tubs. There are lots of hooks for hanging wet clothing or towels, which smartly feature loops for easier hanging. Tubes of shampoo, conditioner, lotion and shower gel, as well as bars of soap, are standard for all cabins. Each bathroom also includes a nightlight. You don't no need to turn it on; it's part of the main bathroom lighting system and is activated automatically when the light switch is turned off.
Interior: Passengers in interior cabins will feel like they're in balcony rooms on Anthem of the Seas. That's because the 80-inch high-definition screens that serve as virtual balconies are surprisingly believable. The screens reflect what is fed in by cameras mounted externally throughout the ship, so if it's raining, you'll see rain, and if it's night, it will be dark. They also include sound (which can be turned off), so passengers can enjoy the sounds of the waves. Interior cabins are 166 square feet, and 18 of them are interconnected cabins.
Ocean-view: Ocean-view cabins feature windows, though they can't be opened. Sizes vary widely depending on which type you book. The smallest, at 182 square feet, are found on the lower decks of the ship. The largest (302 square feet), called Superior Ocean View cabins, are the eight corner cabins located on decks 8 through 11. In between, Anthem has 36 front-facing Large Ocean View cabins, located on decks 8 through 10. These cabins are 256 square feet. Be aware that cabins in the Superior and Large category have great views and locations but might feature some oddities in layout as a result. Don't be surprised if you have a support pole close to the end of your bed, for example.
Balcony: Balcony cabins come in two varieties: Deluxe Ocean View Stateroom with Balcony (177 square feet with an 82-square-foot balcony) and Superior Ocean View Stateroom with Balcony (198 square feet with balconies ranging from 55 to 119 square feet). In either category, balconies are spacious and comfortable. Standard furniture on each includes two mesh chairs, two foot rests and small, stool-sized tables that are large enough to hold a couple of cocktails.
Mini-suite: Junior Suites with Balconies are available as part of 16 Family Connected Suites (see below) or on their own. They come in at a spacious 276 square feet, which includes extremely generously sized 161-square-foot balconies (which should be commended in this age of ever-shrinking verandas).
The bathrooms are a good size, though lacking in storage space. They are decorated in marble and feature a tub and shower combo, with the same generic products you'll find in the non-suites.
The ship also offers 46 Spa Junior Suites with Balconies, which bizarrely have no link up (via discounts or exclusive access, for example) to the ship's spa. They are the least expensive cabins in the junior suite category, probably because they are slightly smaller at 267 square feet; balconies are significantly smaller at 81 square feet.
The main difference apart from size -- and probably why these suites have the "spa" moniker -- is in the bathrooms, which have rain showerheads and separate tubs. They also have split-bath arrangement: A water closet with toilet and sink is separate from the shower and bath areas. While bathrooms don't include upgraded toiletries, balconies feature the faux wicker furniture you'll find in top-tier suites. All Junior Suite passengers have access to the Coastal Kitchen restaurant for dinner.
Suite: There are seven categories of suites on Anthem, excluding family suites. All have living rooms with sofa beds. All suites come with access to the Concierge Lounge on Deck 12; exclusive access to the Coastal Kitchen restaurant for breakfast, lunch and dinner; priority check-in; reserved seating in the main theater for shows; priority tender tickets; spa bathrobes for onboard use; free pressing service on formal nights; and priority departure in each port.
There are 12 Grand Suites, which are the smallest suites at 351 square feet. Each features a living room with sofa bed, a small writing desk, a large wardrobe, a cabinet with mini-bar, a glass coffee table and a large flat-screen TV. The room is separated from the bedroom by a half wall and a pull-back curtain, which is great for privacy or watching TV while someone else sleeps in the other room. The downside with this layout is that the living room feels a bit cramped.
The bedroom has a large double bed (convertible to twins), plenty of storage space and floor-to-ceiling windows that provide lots of light. There is a separate dressing area with its own entrance to the bathroom.
The bathroom is all marble, with a tub and two sinks, and it has two entrances -- one from the bedroom and one from the living room. It features upgraded Gilchrist & Soames or L'Occitane bath amenities.
The large balcony (109 square feet) has room for two loungers and a small table with chairs for dining.
Identical, save for balcony size, is the Superior Grand Suite. The balconies in these suites are each an impressive 259 square feet.
The Owner's Suite is a whopping 541 square feet, and it features a master bedroom, a living room and a huge amount of storage space (in the form of closets, drawers and cubbyholes) -- more than you'll be able to fill. The master bathroom has a tub with water jets and two sinks.
There are six Sky Loft Suites at the rear of the ship on decks 9, 10 and 11. They are either 673 or 740 square feet and feature 183-square-foot balconies. The Sky Loft Suites are split level, with the living area on the lower floor and the master bedroom on the upper.
The living area has a dining table and chairs, a sofa bed, a sideboard, double-height windows and a shower room on one side, and a water closet with a toilet on the other. The balcony has enough space for two loungers and a dining table with four chairs.
Stairs lead up to the master bedroom, which is on a gallery looking down onto the living area. You can draw a curtain to give the bedroom privacy from the living area below, but in doing so, you lose the stunning vista through the floor-to-ceiling windows. The master bedroom has a flat-screen remote-controlled dropdown TV over the bed, as well as a walk-in closet. The upstairs bathroom has a large rain shower and twin sinks but, oddly, no bathtub.
Next up are the six Grand Loft Suites, all varying by size and number of balconies. All are two decks high, with the master bedroom, a sitting desk area and a walk-in closet on the upper level. The lower level features a living room with sofa, a dining area and a shower room.
The two Grand Loft Suites on Deck 8 (795 square feet) each have one balcony (216 square feet), while those on Deck 10 are either 696 square feet with three balconies totaling 361 square feet or 840 square feet with one 216-square-foot balcony.
The two Grand Loft Suites with three balconies each have a large veranda at the back (236 square feet) with space for two sun loungers and a small dining table; a smaller one on the side at 72 square feet; and a third 53-square-foot balcony off the bedroom area, complete with hanging chair (a wicker one-person porch swing with a rounded back). There is a large bed with a retractable TV and a shower room with two showerheads -- but again, no bathtub.
There is just one Owner's Loft Suite. It comes in at a vast 975 square feet, and, like all loft suites, it's two decks, with the master bedroom (king-sized bed) on the upper level. Also on the upper level is a writing desk, an enlarged walk-in closet and a master bathroom with two sinks and a shower with two showerheads.
On the lower level, you'll find a large living room, separate dining area and split bath setup -- one with toilet and sink and another with shower and sink.
There's 501 square feet of balcony space spread over three balconies (one on the upper level), including one with a large table for dining alfresco.
The largest suite (there's only one) is the Royal Loft Suite, situated at the back of Deck 8. At 1,640 square feet (with 613 square feet of balcony space across three balconies), it's twice the size of its nearest rival and is breathtaking in both scale and design.
On the lower level is a living room with a large L-shaped sofa, a bright red chair in the shape of a budding flower and a vast flat-screen TV. There is also a dining table that can fit eight people. The living area leads out onto a 415-square-foot balcony that boasts a full-size hot tub and wet bar.
There's also a separate second bedroom off the main room with an attached shower room and a side balcony (109 square feet).
The master bedroom is on the upper level, looking down on the living room. As with other loft suites, you can close a curtain to conceal the master bedroom from the living area below. The master bathroom is simply separated from the bedroom with a partition; there is no door, but the setup still offers privacy. The master bathroom includes an oval bathtub, dual sinks (one on each side of the tub) and a dressing table, complete with a mirror that's ideal for applying makeup. Beyond that, there's an oversized walk-in closet that's beyond belief. There's also a separate shower with dual showerheads and a porthole looking out to sea. Next to the shower, a door leads out to a third balcony, which includes a small hot tub and faux wicker hammock chair.
Family: Royal Caribbean has a good instinct for what families need -- suites that allow for family time, as well as some privacy.
Anthem of the Seas offers a multitude of family cabin options, including cabins with multiple rooms, interconnecting cabins and rooms that cater to larger families or extended family groups.
There are 28 Family Junior Suites with Balconies, which are 301 square feet with 81-square-foot-balconies. Slightly larger than the standard Junior Suite, these cabins can sleep up to five people (two adults and three wee ones). In addition to the bed, there's a sofa that can be pulled out to create either a double bed or, if the kids don't get along, a two-tier sleeping arrangement with a trundle bed below the main bed. The third child would use a porta-crib or a rollaway bed, which you can request from reception. Each Family Junior Suite includes a full bathroom with a tub, as well as a separate half bath -- all with basic toiletries.
Each of the ship's four Royal Family Suites with Balconies comprises two bedrooms and two full bathrooms, and can sleep eight people. (A minimum of six is required for a booking.) Each master bedroom has a king bed, a marble bathroom with tub and a separate dressing area. Floor-to-ceiling windows look out onto the balconies, but there are no separate entrances. Royal Family Suite bathrooms feature upgraded bath amenities.
The second bedroom in each has two twin beds, two beds that drop down from the ceiling and, opposite, a second bathroom with shower. However, despite being inside, there's no virtual balcony -- just a small frosted window that looks out onto the living room.
The living area has a coffee table and chairs and an L-shaped sofa that converts to a double bed. There's an impressive marble entrance hall and a fancy entertainment center. These 543-square-foot suites each come with a 259-square-foot wraparound private balcony with seating area and private outdoor dining.
Perhaps the most innovative cabins are the Family Connected Junior Suites with Balconies, which are actually three cabins combined: a Junior Suite, a Studio cabin and an ocean-view with balcony. There are 16 of these, each of which is 575 square feet (combined) with a 216-square-foot balcony (also combined). The cabins share a vestibule, thus making the whole area one big family suite; it's also suited for a large group of friends and can sleep up to 10 people. The balconies are interconnecting.
The studio cabin is on the small side (101 square feet) but is ideal for kids, with a full-size bed (so it can technically sleep two), small desk, wardrobe and a virtual balcony; it even has its own en suite shower room. A door opposite leads to the ocean-view cabin, and a corridor leads onto the living area and bedroom of the Junior Suite.
The Junior Suite (which incorporates the interior studio cabin), and the ocean-view can be booked separately or as a combination of two.
Studio: Industry-wide, passengers traveling alone long have had to pay a fee, called a "single supplement," which can nearly double the cruise fare. To make cruising less expensive and more comfortable for solo travelers, Anthem of the Seas includes 28 studio cabins, and 12 have balconies -- a rarity in the industry. Cabins are compact but comfortable, ranging from 101 square feet to 119 square feet. The smallest are interior cabins, featuring virtual balconies and full-size beds. They include small desk/vanity combos and wardrobes for hanging clothing. The bathrooms are smaller than standard; each has a tight shower, toilet, small sink and shelving for toiletries. The largest rooms (Super Studio Ocean View with Balcony) include 55-square-foot balconies. These also feature full beds, sofa seating areas, desks/vanities, dressers and wardrobes. Bathrooms for the larger studio cabins are identical to those in other standard cabins; they include glass-door showers, toilets, vanities, glass shelving and no tubs.