I recently returned from this summer’s vacation to the stunning island of Bermuda via RCCL’s Anthem of the Seas. This post has been weeks in the making so I hope you enjoy and can better decide if a cruise vacation is right for you!
Anthem is the second largest cruise ship in the world and one of the most luxurious. This floating city includes nearly a dozen restaurants and bars, a grande theatre, casino, skydiving simulation tube, and even a full indoor sports arena for roller skating, bumper cars and a circus school. The huge deck has multiple pools and jacuzzis, along with an indoor solarium, a natatorium which is always available despite the weather. Here I will answer your FAQs on cruising and the Anthem experience.
What did you do all day while at sea?
Most activities onboard are included in your set price so we took advantage of all the ship has to offer including:
- Ripcord by iFly skydiving simulation tube
- Surfing wave pool
- North Star observation vessel which raises passengers 300 ft above top deck for 360 degree views of the Atlantic
- Outdoor jacuzzi and pools and indoor solarium
- Full spa for massages, hair, nails and makeup
- Indoor sports center with elevated track, arcade/Xbox lounge and multipurpose space
- Social events like jewelry classes, art auctions and wine tastings
What is the food like?
The ship has many restaurants. No main dining room is offered as the ship offers a dynamic dining program. The Windjammer marketplace is a station style buffet open nearly 24/7. Along with regular self-serve buffet options, there are made-to-order stations. There, a chef could make you a customized quesadilla, stir-fry, panini or omelette. There were also themed stations on different days. One day featured an Italian speciality station of meats and cheeses, another a chocolate fountain with all the fixings (yum!).
Along with the Windjammer is a pizza parlour and two cafes, along with the dinner specific restaurants. No main dining room is offered as the ship offers a dynamic dining program.This means all guests have four complimentary restaurants to choose from each evening. Each restaurant has its own unique theme, decor and menu:
- Silk: Features dishes from various Asian countries
- Favorite dishes: Pulled pork tacos, mochi (a scoop of fruit ice cream inside a gummy shell)
- American Icon: Traditional fare
- Favorite dishes: Sirloin burger, mahi mahi
- Chic: Modern fare alla a NYC lounge
- I can’t say I had a favorite here 😦
- Grande: French
- Favorite dishes: filet mignon, lobster tails, nougat pastry, escargot (if you’re adventurous)
- Special note: Grande is the only semi-formal restaurant of those mentioned. Men need to bring a suit jacket and women cocktail attire for this restaurant only.
At night, check out various venues for parties and live music:
- Music Hall has live cover bands in the evening and a DJ for the younger crowd after midnight
- Bolero’s tequila bar offers the sounds of salsa
- The 270 Room’s RED nightclub experience includes live action performances by the ship’s entertainers along with Latin music and special effects for the crowd to join in on
- Music Hall’s silent party was the coolest event of the trip! Every party goer receives a pair of headphones playing two different DJs’ music so you can listen to different musical styles but still dance as one.
- Poolside movies include new releases and favorites
- There are currently three shows on rotation:
- We Will Rock You, a high energy broadway show inspired by the music of Queen
- The Gift, a short whimsical musical piece with special effects
- Spectra’s Cabaret, featuring singing and dancing acts by RCCL’s incredibly talented entertainers
Overall, this ship has more to do than you can imagine. The service was top-notch and the staff were truly diverse. So what are my tips now that I’m officially a cruiser?
- Return your towels! You are charged for towels you borrow by the pool and don’t return.
- Buy a WOW band. These can be purchased at any time and work as an alternative to your SeaPass. That means this little Armstrong-style bracelet can be your room key, your ID and your payment for food and drinks. It’s super convenient not to need a wallet in the pool or nightclub.
- Travel locally. We were able to board our ship an hour away from home in NJ. From the moment we stepped onboard there was champagne flowing. The party started an hour away from home and continued for 8 full days. We wouldn’t have had that experience if we had to fly to Florida, Texas, etc. so if a cruise line leaves from within driving distance of your home SERIOUSLY consider it.
- Mind when you book. We booked on Black Friday and were able to earn extra perks such as free wifi and onboard credit.
- Make friends with your crew. On our ship, there were less than 50 people between the ages of 18 and 28. But almost the entire crew was our age! They were our closest comrades and showed us places on the island we never would have experienced otherwise.
But if there is one tip you have to know it is this one: plan, plan, plan. Reserve your restaurants, activities and excursions in advance! These open up online 90 days before sailing so get on and get the itinerary you want. You don’t want to be that person stuck on standby at the wave pool hoping someone cancels.
If you do, I promise you’ll have the time of your life! Comment with questions or to share your RCCL experience.