Five Things to Know About Royal Caribbean International's Anthem of the Seas Cruise Ship
Best for: Adrenaline junkies and families looking for non-stop action
Sails: Bermuda, the Caribbean, and New England and Canada
At a Glance: Launched in 2015, this Quantum-Class ship is packed with over-the-top activities, high-tech gadgets, and roomy suites.
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The Cabins Are Spacious
More than 75 percent of the 2,090 staterooms onboard have balconies. And that doesn’t include the 373 interior cabins with a “virtual balcony,” a floor-to-ceiling screen that creates the illusion of a veranda overlooking the sea. Cabins are laid out to maximize space, and sizes range from 101 square feet for a Studio, or solo cabin, to a 975-square-foot two-deck Owner’s Loft Suite with three balconies. There are also a number of family cabins, some with pullout couches and others with two bedrooms. For bigger families and multigenerational groups, the Family Connected Junior Suites—three different staterooms of different sizes that connect through one vestibule—are ideal.
As if the virtual balconies in the interior cabins weren’t futuristic enough, Anthem of the Seas also has a Bionic Bar where robot bartenders mix up cocktails ordered by customers via tablet. And when it comes time to pay up for your drink, you can opt to charge it a silicone bracelet called a WOWband instead of a conventional SeaPass, if you’d like. The Royal iQ app lets guests book dinner reservations and shore excursions, and helps them keep in touch with other people they know on board. And those who can’t live without their Netflix can sign into Voom, Royal Caribbean’s high-speed Wifi service— so fast that passengers can Skype, stream movies, and even post videos on YouTube, if they choose. There’s even a global gaming suite in SeaPlex, where you can play Xbox Live with players on other ships and all over the world.
The Activities List Is Epic
If you’re looking for amusement-park-level action, Anthem of the Seas may be your ship. The largest indoor activity space at sea, SeaPlex has bumper cars, a roller rink, a basketball court, and even a circus school. (Trapeze lessons, anyone?) If you get hungry, there’s even a food truck slinging hot dogs. Outside, there’s a rock-climbing wall and the FlowRider, a 40-foot-long surf simulator. More intrepid guests will want to book a time slot at RipCord iFly, the ship’s skydiving simulator. For the best views on the ship, try North Star, a glassed-in capsule held up by a mechanical arm that will elevate you 300 feet above the sea.
Children Have Plenty to Do
If you’re kids aren’t old enough to spend their days on the FlowRider, they can hang out at the arcade or at H20 Zone, the kids water park. (Even the deck chairs are pint size.) There’s also a massive kids club called Adventure Ocean, which keeps children 6 months to 11 years old busy all day and late into the night. Teens hang out in the game-packed Living Room by day and dance at Fuel, the teens-only disco, at night. And as part of the Dreamworks Experience, characters like the penguin from Madagascar are on hand for photo-ops.
The Restaurant Selection Is Vast
There are more than 15 dining options onboard, so skip the buffet and try one of the other free options for lunch. New York-style pizzeria Sorrento’s, for example, has slices and gluten-free pies, plus Italian treats like chocolate panna cotta; and the Café at Two70 doles out easy fare like soups, pressed sandwiches, and salads that you can eat in the airy, light-strewn great room. Grand Suite passengers and above can try the Serrano-ham-wrapped dates and fig-and-prosciutto flatbread at Coastal Kitchen, a Mediterranean-California restaurant that emphasizes fresh, healthy ingredients. For dinner, grab a truffle creamy lobster tempura roll at Izumi Japanese Cuisine, a New York strip at Chops Grille steakhouse, or an antipasti “plank” at Jamie’s Italian, helmed by British chef Jamie Oliver. Or snack on deviled eggs and slow-roasted pork sliders at James Beard Award winner Michael Schwartz’s gastropub, Michael’s Genuine Pub. For pure quirkiness, the winner is definitely Alice in Wonderland-inspired Wonderland, which specializes in molecular gastronomy: Think liquid olives and tempura caviar.