Overview of Anthem of the Seas - April 2015
Roy & Margaret Jones – 21-04-2015 – Royal Caribbean – Anthem of the Seas
When we approached Southampton Port, there was only one thing that dominated the sky line and that was Royal Caribbean’s latest addition to its fleet the Quantum Class fleet - Anthem of the Seas.
The ship is over 1000ft long, with a width of 136ft and has capacity for 4180 passengers. These are big figures - and you may think too big – which, to be truthful, was probably my first thought. How wrong could I be? There are many superlatives being used to describe this ship (jaw dropping, “wow wow wow”, amazing, fantastic and incredible) and I agree with them all.
The time taken from entering the embarkation area to entering our stateroom took 20 minutes, which is probably the fastest boarding that I have ever had, especially when you take into account this is probably the first time they have used the systems. So it can only get better, maybe 10 minutes next time!
We had a Superior Ocean View Stateroom which boasted a balcony that was big enough for two chairs with foot rests and table. A real plus was that there was no curtain on the shower. Instead, a proper door, which was rounded to maximise the space in the shower. There were also tea and coffee facilities in the room (although this is only applicable when the ship is sailing from the UK).
The ship has 36 different types of stateroom, which cater for all sorts of configurations from large family cabins to interior cabins with Virtual Balconies. The virtual balcony is a live picture streamed from the ship’s cameras to provide a real time view of what is happening outside. A great innovation for those who might feel an inside stateroom could be claustrophobic.
A thing that is closest to my heart is food and I thought I had gone to heaven with what was available on board. There are 18 restaurants, each of which seemed to cater every type of food imaginable and probably a few more - from a humble sandwich to a gourmet delight. All ships now seem to have the celebrity chef and on the Anthem, it’s Jamie Oliver – who has his own restaurant on board.
If you need a pre-dinner cocktail, guess what? A Robot will make you a drink!
If I thought I was in heaven with the variety of foods available, then, if I was a few years younger, (yes I am getting on a bit) the facilities available for those young at heart are amazing. There are all the Royal Caribbean standards: the rock climbing wall and FlowRider; but that’s only the start. Try RipCord by IFLY, which is a skydiving simulator; or the North Star which takes you 90 metres above the sea in a Jewel shaped capsule. You then have the SeaPlex area, which looked to be bigger than a football pitch and was filled with full size dodgem cars. When the dodgems are at rest, the area can be turned into a sports pitch for Basketball etc.
The ship is full of new technology and you get lights dancing to your heart beat. Visit TWO70, which uses high resolution video footage in a completely unique way. Using a high resolution camera to capture original performances and display them on a 105ft television screen (for want of a better description).
The ship offers the full range of children’s clubs and I know I keep mentioning heaven, but if I was only 15 again that’s where I would be on this ship. Royal Caribbean’s Kids to Teens clubs are all available, with all the Royal Caribbean favourites such as the H2O Zone. They haven’t forgotten the babies either; the Royal Babies offers lots of things to for the parents and babies between 6 to 18 months.
Kids can even get involved in making their own food, with the ‘Shake Me’ salad designed especially for them to shake up just the way they like!
I must mention GiGi, a 10 meter high Giraffe that presides over deck 15. This just proves that Royal Caribbean hasn’t lost their sense of fun. The fitness centre is located over two decks and is full of features and amenities to help you work off the calories from the restaurant and bar(s) from the previous night.
The Vitality at Sea Spa and Fitness centre has been designed to ensure all guests are welcome. With a selection of amenities for more experienced exercise gurus - such as the Flywheel indoor cycling studio – the centre also offers introductory fitness courses in the private consultation rooms.
Alongside the workout and fitness rooms, Vitality at Sea also offers comprehensive spa facilities including: the Thermal Suite; Elemis Face and Body Therapy room; and relaxation lounge. This gives the guests a chance to engage in a little TLC whilst on holiday.
As well as the Vitality at Sea, Anthem of the Seas also boasts the Solarium – an adults-only health and wellness centre with a collection of plunge pools and relaxing jet baths. Getting away from the kids and taking a dip is perfect after a long day of keeping the whole family happy.
The Solarium also benefits from Devinly Decadence – a specialist restaurant from Devin Alexander which offers calorie-controlled meals for guests who are conscious of their consumption whilst away. As a complimentary eatery, Devinly Decadence is perfect for the days you wish to cut the calories.
Fancy a jog? Just three times around the jogging track and you will have done a mile.
The ship’s central area revolves around the Royal Esplanade, which I feel is a great improvement from the Royal Promenade on the Freedom Class ships. The Royal Esplanade has everything, from food & drink to a wide range of entertainment and if you forgot the dress or shirt, there is a full range of shops for retail therapy.
I cannot finish without mentioning the entertainment. We were lucky enough too see the dress rehearsal of the new blockbuster show We will Rock You. This show is the best I have ever seen at sea and I would even go as far as to say the cruise was worth it for the show alone.
Anthem of the Seas has a touch of class. Maybe some of the influence is from the Celebrity ships, as there is a definite sophistication about the ship. It’s very hard to put your finger on it, the ship was elegant yet, in places, in your face. Turn the corner and you are back to the sophisticated elegance of a bygone age.
My initial fears about the size of the ship didn’t materialise, as it is so well designed you get the feel of a small ship environment when on board. Having said that, it’s still a long way to go if you are at the wrong end of the ship. Perhaps the next innovation will be moving walkways!