Last weekend I spent a few days on a press preview of Royal Caribbean’s newest ship, the Anthem of the Seas, which is now in the states after sailing its inaugural summer in the UK. It is now based year around at the Cape Liberty Cruise Port in Bayonne, NJ, quite near the Newark airport and will be sailing to the Bahamas, Caribbean, Bermuda and Canada/New England.
Quite simply, this second Quantum-class ship is remarkable. There are so many aspects to talk about that it is going to take me several postings to cover them.
So let’s begin with overall impressions:
Technology: This ship is a wonder of technology…way beyond anything I have ever experienced on a ship before. You begin to realize this right at embarkation. They have you check-in online in advance and even upload your photo to your profile. So when you arrive at the curb in Bayonne, NJ, a swarm of folks in bright turquoise sweaters with tablets in hand are waiting for you. There are virtually no lines.
They simply scan the bar code on your Sea Pass (which you printed at home and brought with you) and then they stamp it and you go right to the security line. If there is no suitable photo on file, they take one right there with the tablet. Whiz, bang, and you are on board. (You also printed your bag tags in advance so they disappear magically, too).
There is lots more technology on the ship but we will discuss that later
Stateroom: I had what I call an average stateroom, a standard veranda. It was narrow, but long and extremely well appointed. The balcony was not big but had two really comfy chairs with footrests and a small table.
There are two large closets, a set of roomy drawers plus drawers in the side tables. There is a mini-fridge, a sofa that converts to a bed and a desk/makeup table with a small chair and good lighting. The bathroom is good size and has an excellent shower. The bed had lovely linens and was very comfortable. A+ for the cabin.
My only issue is that this stateroom comes in two configurations. In one the bed is next to the window/sliding doors and in the other the bed is back near the bathroom. I vastly prefer the configuration where the bed is back and the sofa is near the windows. (I did not have that configuration so I am even more definite on this.)
Décor: I would describe this ship as “edgy.” The main colors are cool and calming, very sophisticated. Beiges, grays, lots of stainless steel. And there is no “ordinary” art or furnishings….everything is a bit “out there.” I loved it! It gives the ship a very rich feel throughout. And there was so much attention to detail!
Fun stuff: So many funky things to do. Always wanted to try sky-diving? Then check out iFly…a cool simulator that offers an experience you won’t soon forget. If this is a bit dicey for you, you might want to board the North Star, a capsule which takes groups of 12 high above the ship for dramatic photos. There is also a Flow Rider where I watched adult men makes fools of themselves and love it as they tried to surf. (The spectators in the stands could watch both them and the flyers so there is a lot to see.) There are also bumper cars, roller skating, a rock-climbing wall and numerous other adventures to try.
And did I mention the robotic bartender? Next story.
An instructor shows how to surf on the FlowRider
(Video Courtesy of Royal Caribbean International)
Photos and Video by Cynthia Boal Janssens