Anthem of the Seas Live Blog - Day 1 - Embarkation Day

In:
19Mar2017
By: 
Matt Hochberg

Our next Royal Caribbean cruise is here and we are set for a 7-night Bahamas cruise aboard Anthem of the Seas. It is our oldest daughter’s Spring Break from school, and that is the perfect excuse for a family cruise vacation!

Ordinarily we get to the port quite early, but on this cruise we are sailing with my parents who prefer to take things a bit slower. Plus, they brought my kids from their house, because my wife and I got to spend some time in New York City prior to the cruise.

We grabbed some amazing New York bagels for breakfast, and then took the subway downtown to the World Trade Center to pick up the PATH train to New Jersey. From there we took a Lyft car to Cape Liberty. It was quite a celebration of public transportation options, and worked well.

We arrived at Cape Liberty around noon and check-in was quite quick and easy. We are suite guests, so we had a dedicated security line and check-in line. I think we went from curb to ship in about 10 minutes.

Onboard the ship, we grabbed lunch at the Windjammer and then signed the children up for Adventure Ocean. I have to say, the Adventure Ocean space on Anthem of the Seas is rather large and impressive. As per normal, we were limited to 15 hours of reserved time in the nursery until day 4. This is done to ensure all families have an equal chance at making reservations.

For this cruise, we are staying in a Grand Suite on deck 11. It provides a lot of space for us and the kids. Plus, it is on the same deck as Adventure Ocean and close to the pool deck.

In addition, we wanted to try out how the Royal Suite Class offerings stack up. The Royal Suite Class is Royal Caribbean’s suite program available on Quantum and Oasis class ships. Yes, the struggle of "research" is real.

Our sailaway was scheduled for 3pm, which is earlier than most Caribbean cruises. The advantage of an earlier sailaway is we get to enjoy the afternoon sun when leaving the port. With it being March, the air temperature was still brisk, but nice when standing in the sun.

The great thing about sailing out of New York is the view around New York Harbor, including sailing under the Verazzano Bridge.

With the earlier sailaway time than I am used to, we had more time post-sailaway so I took my oldest daughter for a quick swim in the indoor pool. I can confirm the lifeguards are doing their jobs, because I was instructed not to let me daughter do any canon balls into the pool.


 

We took it easy the rest of the afternoon and got the kids ready for their evening in Adventure Ocean, by feeding them in the Windjammer.

On the first day, Adventure Ocean hours are always odd, and tonight they opened at 8pm. With our 8:15pm dinner time, this worked out quite well.

After dropping the kids off at Adventure Ocean, my wife and I did some exploring. We checked out Two70 briefly, and also the Diamond Lounge.

Dinner was in The Grande, where we got to try the new main dining room menu. Here is a copy of it, and I can tell you the wild mushroom soup was great and the spaghetti Bolognese was very, very good. I also really liked the turkey. Equally important, the service in The Grande was excellent.

To cap off our evening, we enjoyed some piano music in the Schooner Bar. Evidently the normal person was off today, and the We Will Rock You musical coordinator was filling in instead. I am definitely a fan of the live music onboard.

Tomorrow is a sea day, and we have lots to explore still.

Stray Observations

  • The elevators have these signs posted. Guessing Spring Break is in full swing.
  • One of the crew members in the Windjammer for dinner was serving tea in this outfit. Neat!
  • Prior to boarding, we explored the 9/11 memorial at Cape Liberty. It is a beautiful spot that honors the memory of those that died on that fateful day, and is open to anyone to see. Plus, it is a great spot near the ship for photos.
  • Voom performs quite well, but strangely takes a long time to get to the login screen to initially sign in.
  • As I mentioned earlier, there are lifeguards at the pools on Anthem of the Seas.