Having been lucky enough to be invited on a 2-night pre-launch cruise on the brand new Anthem of the Seas, I thought I would share my experience with others.
This beautiful super-liner really has many WOW factors about it!
Firstly, from arriving at Southampton Central Station to being in my well-appointed Superior Stateroom with Veranda took just 45 minutes. The check-in time has to be an all-time record!
I had completed a pre-cruise check-in at least 7 days before departure and printed off my SeaPass beforehand. This included registering my credit/debit card and uploading a photo. On arrival at the City Cruise Terminal building, passengers were met by Royal Caribbean representatives with tablet computers who were able to scan my SeaPass. This allowed me to proceed through security and straight to embarkation.
Cruise cards and WOWbands were then waiting in the stateroom. WOWbands are the size of a wrist-watch and allow you to make any onboard purchases and access your stateroom at the swipe of a wrist! And they’re waterproof too, so no fear of leaving them by the pool!
First stop – lunch! With a choice of 18 restaurants (not all open for lunch) I knew that I wouldn’t get hungry on this cruise. All are open for dinner, with the usual extensive buffet in Windjammer; Speciality restaurants; and four restaurants included in the new Dynamic dining option. There is no massive main dining room on this ship. Instead, I found there to be a more intimate feel after enjoying dining experiences in The Grande (which has a traditional and formal atmosphere) and the Silk (an Asian fusion restaurant).
So many firsts on board! With activities including: dodgems; the North Star viewing pod; RipCord by IFLY experience; and a roller-disco. Not to mention the Royal Caribbean signature activities such as the FlowRider and climbing wall.
I love going to the shows put on by the production team on board, so on the first evening I opted to see Spectra’s Cabaret in Two 70, an electric multi-dimensional act which blew my mind! Two70 is an extensive venue at the aft with a 270 degree panoramic view past the ship’s wake. This window is screened off at night, allowing all kinds of state-of-the-art projections.
Then, on the second night, I opted to see the dress rehearsal of We Will Rock You (although I would never have known this was a rehearsal!) This is undoubtedly the best show I have seen at sea and worthy of West End acclaim, but without the price ticket!
I was able to view most of the stateroom categories and, although I was blown away by the appointment of the suites (some of which are on two levels), I found all categories of stateroom to be spacious and well-planned.
The sea-view staterooms provide large windows and the interior staterooms have virtual verandas. These showed real-time views of the ocean with sound effects (and a mute button, if you’d prefer not!), so no problem about seeing the daylight/moonlight and the weather (in case you need to know what to wear!)
What an exceptional experience I had! I will be certain to take a longer cruise on the amazing Anthem of the Seas again!
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