After our cruises with the Celebrity Silhouette in the western Caribbean and with the Legend of the Seas in Asia, our kids have become big fans. Unpack the suitcase, explore the ship and wake up in a different town every morning without having just spent hours in the car. Add a drinks package and some wi-fi, and you have their ideal holiday.
When our youngest son heard in 2015 that Royal Caribbean was launching a new ship, bigger than all previous (although even bigger ones were launched since), he was wildly enthusiastic. If we were travelling by ourselves, we would prefer a smaller cruise ship, but an enormous ship filled with entertainment is very interesting when you're travelling with kids. We don't really need all the hustle and bustle, but previous experience taught us that all is quiet once you close the door to your cabin. And the Anthem of the Seas followed an interesting route through the eastern Caribbean exactly during our Easter holidays.
Anthem of the Seas fact
- 348 meters long and 41 meters wide
- Launched: 21 February 2015
- Number of passengers: Maximum amount 4905
- Crew: 1300
Cabins on Anthem of the Seas
There are cabins in all price categories. If you don't want to spend too much, choose an inner cabin. If you've just won the lotto, book a suite. However, we always choose a cabin with balcony.
The balcony cabin during our cruise with the Anthem of the Seas is over 18m2 big. Your terrace is nearly 6m2, just enough for a table and 2 chairs. If you close the door, there is absolute silence and you enjoy a restful view of the ocean from your terrace. The kids know their way around the ship in the meantime (although I'm still lost) and can do their own thing. Fantastic!
Entertainment on board Anthem of the Seas
The Anthem of the Seas has a lot of novel types of entertainment. The kids will not be bored for a second as there is always something to do.
Some special activities:
- Trapeze school: There is a true trapeze school for the dare devils. Under professional supervision you are taught how to fly like a pro.
- Bumper cars: After the trapeze lesson, the space is reshuffled and becomes a bumper car circuit. You immediately feel like you're on a Flemish fairground. Great fun!
- Skydiving: Anthem of the Seas was the first to offer the opportunity to do skydiving at sea. There is a large glass cylinder on deck, and after a few short instructions you jump into the tunnel with an instructor. My kids and husband thought it was great. I thought it was a nightmare, but I'm happy I tried it without having to pay a fortune (an indoor skydive quickly costs 75 to 100 euro pp).
- Flow rider: The back of the deck features a swimming pool with a surf simulator. Everyone one flies off the first few times, but after a few tries it is perfectly possible to stand up for a while. If you don't want to queue, you can pay for some private sessions.
- Climbing wall: There is also a climbing wall on deck. You are safely strapped in and when you reach the top, you can enjoy a spectacular view.
- North Star: You want to see that view without the climb? Book a ride on the North Star. You step into a glass capsule that hangs off an enormous arm. First you go all the way up, and then the arm extends outward so that you dangle nearly 100 meters above sea level. You enjoy fantastic views and you see the ship from a different angle.
For many activities you need to make a reservation or queue. So be sure to think about what you want to do at the start of the cruise and make reservations for the rest your time on board, so that you don't miss anything. All activities are free.
And then I forget the top attraction: beside the pool is a soft-ice machine where you can get as many ice-creams as you want! Whenever we were looking for our youngest son, this was the first place we'd check.
Food on board of Anthem of the Seas
The food is an important element during a cruise. Besides the buffet, there are numerous other options. How about Jamie's Italian by Jamie Oliver, an oven-fresh pizza, a wonderful authentic American hotdog or delicious sushi from Izumi? And nearly every deck has a bar. From the pool bar to a cozy lounge with live music, it's all here. The Bionic Bar is something new - You order by iPad and two robots start mixing the perfect cocktail for you.
Because your cruise ship does not wait if you're late, it is best to arrive the day before in the city from where you're departing. In our case it was New York. And a day in New York is no hardship, and we enjoyed it.
We chose the Hotel Dream Downtown in the Meatpacking district. This hip hotel has modern rooms, a rooftop pool and one of the most popular rooftop bars of the city. That means the place is packed in the evening as everyone wants to be here. Luckily you don't notice it too much in your room. h
The hotel is situated across the road from Chelsea Market, which you will simply have to visit for a quick bite. They serve the best lobster rolls (ever!), and the tacos are also very good. You buy a Fat Witch brownie mix to make at home. Deeeeeelicious! You can go for a walk in the High Line park or sample the delights of SOHO. Ground Zero is also not far from here.
And then it is time to take the taxi to New Jersey from where the cruise will depart.
TIP: Check in early so you have time to acclimatise. If you want to use the pool straight away, be sure to take your swimming gear in your hand luggage. It takes a long time (read a number of hours) for all your luggage to arrive in your cabin.
If you want to read about the ports we visited and what you can do there, you can read more soon.
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