The Ships You Want to Cruise…
Anthem of the Seas
Royal Caribbean invited us to come to New York to look at the Anthem of the Seas, the ship we will be sailing for our board gaming cruise in Spring 2020, in person. This was a great opportunity to get to know the ship before the trip, meet some of the crew, and see our Private Gaming Area; so we packed our bags and headed to the Big Apple this past weekend.
Wow, this ship is incredible! It is truly a floating vacation resort. The Anthem is a Quantum-class ship, which is one of the largest classes of cruise ships in the world and offers some unique entertainment options. She is also a very new ship, having launched in 2015.
We spent four hours on a guided tour of the ship. They took us to visit staterooms, restaurants, entertainment spaces, and activities – from Deck 3 to Deck 16 (we saw staterooms on two decks, then skipped the other pure stateroom decks). You can sense that you are on a ship because of how things are designed and optimized, but as you walk through the rooms and public spaces there is nothing that feels like it would be out of place in a luxury hotel (with even more “on-site” entertainment). I have attached a few of the photos (out of the dozens) I took to try to give you some idea of what it is like, but they cannot do it justice.
Our tour started with visits to a few staterooms. These vary in size from the Interior rooms (many of which include a “Virtual Balcony” that provides a window-sized video screen showing a live view from the exterior of the ship – you are actually seeing what you would see from a balcony) to rooms like the “Grand Royal” and “Grand Loft”, which are two-story suites that look out from the stern of the ship (and provide a personal concierge). As a note, our group’s Interior staterooms (in our first batch of rooms) all have the “Virtual Balcony”.
What I found amazing were the open spaces within the interior of the ship. These include a multi-story elevator atrium, the two-story Royal Esplanade mall, the indoor pool, the Solarium, the Two70 theater, the Music Hall, and the Royal Theater. Of course, they also have one of the things that initially drew us to Royal Caribbean – the Conference Center. It is perched on Deck 13, looking out over the stern of the ship. We will have some great ocean views while we game (try to stay focused)! This will give us a great Private Gaming Area (by the way, we were able to block a handful of rooms nearby on the same deck – be sure to grab one while they are available).
The ship is packed with activities for all ages. For the youths and teens, they have active programs for them plus the SeaPlex, which offers an XBox center, bumper cars (on a ship!), and an arcade. The ship offers a casino, a fitness center, a spa, a rock climbing wall, the North Star (which will lift you 300 feet above sea level for magnificent views), RipCord (skydiving), and FlowRider (surfing). Most of these are complimentary. Finally, you can relax by one of the many pools or spread out somewhere along the deck and watch people run by on the track (which follows a circuit along the top deck). Lest I forget, a variety of shows are offered in the theaters and other live entertainment and game shows can be found in various locations throughout the ship.
Eating and Drinking
In addition to all the places to visit and things to do on the ship, there will be plenty to eat and drink. There are the uniquely decorated main dining rooms, which provide complimentary dining (both ordered and buffet), numerous clubs and bars (you can buy a drink package or pay as you go), specialty restaurants (these are an extra charge), and room service for when you want a break. The bars and restaurants are conveniently located throughout the ship.
I know this was a bit lengthy versus my normal posts, but there is so much to see and do on the Anthem of the Seas that I could only compress it so much. This does not even account for the shore excursions. Obviously, we will not lack for fun things to do in between our board gaming sessions!
As a note, we have an invitation to get down to Port Canaveral to tour the Harmony of the Seas in October for our Fall 2020 cruise. That may not happen this year, but we hope to be able to share some details about that ship, too, at some point in the future.
Be sure to join us for this wonderful, 7-night board gaming vacation aboard Royal Caribbean’s Anthem of the Seas.
See you onboard,
Gaming by Sea