10 Awesome things to do on Royal Caribbean's Anthem of the Seas

In:
02Jan2018

Royal Caribbean's Anthem of the Seas is an incredible cruise ship that offers families the kind of cruise experience that they will likely be talking about for years to come.  Step foot onboard this ship, and it is sometimes hard to believe you are actually on a cruise ship.  

Anthem of the Seas offers so much for families to do onboard, and we present this list of 10 awesome things about Anthem of the Seas.

Live stream from anywhere onboard

In the past, using the internet on a cruise ship could be an expensive and slow ordeal, but Anthem of the Seas offers high speed internet access all over the ship, so you can use Facebook Live, watch Netflix, play Xbox Live or Skype friends and family at home.

Royal Caribbean offers the same kind of high-speed internet service on Anthem of the Seas that you would expect to find on land. It works whether you are docked in port, or somewhere in the Caribbean. Royal Caribbean calls this service, Voom, and it is perfect for (not-so) humbly bragging about how much fun you are having onboard.

The best part is the price to use Anthem's high-speed internet is much cheaper than you might think.Royal Caribbean offers a variety of internet plans that a cost between $10-$20 per day (with online discounts that bring the price down as much as 30%).

Go sky diving

Have you always wanted to feel the exhilaration of sky diving without risking life and limb jumping out of a perfectly good airplane? 

Tepid thrill-seekers can experience what it is like to fall gracefully through the sky without fear of ending up like a Wile E. Coyote cartoon on Anthem of the Seas. Ripcord by iFly offers guests of all ages the thrill of skydiving out on the deep blue ocean.

Ripcord is situated on the aft (rear) of the ship and is a large wind tunnel that is 10 feet in diameter and 23 feet tall.  Guests put on a jumpsuit and goggles and then soar up to 23 feet in the air for a two-minute adrenaline rush. And the best part is Ripcord by iFly is included in your cruise fare!

Hit up bumper cars

On Anthem of the Seas, you can get behind the wheel of a bumper car and get in on the action thanks to custom designed electric cars.

Bumper cars are available in Anthem of the Seas' SeaPlex, the largest indoor active space at sea. Guests can race around the rink in a two-seater bumper car and enjoy running into other guests' cars while trying to avoid being hit themselves.  Whether you employ fancy driving skills to out maneuver everyone, or smash into everyone else head on, this activity is sure to bring back childhood memories.

Challenge yourself in the escape room

If you are looking for something different to do on a cruise, the escape room game on Anthem of the Seas might be the perfect fit.  The "Escape from the Future" game is an activity on Anthem of the Seas, where a team of guests try to solve riddles and puzzles to find the key to "escaping" the room.

The challenge of the Escape room is you have just 60 minutes to figure it all out, which forces you and your teammates to consider all options when trying to figure it all out. There are word searches, patterns and other challenges designed to get you thinking in a lot of different directions.

Enjoy time on the suite sun deck

If you are lucky enough to book a suite, Anthem of the Seas offers a private sun deck exclusively for your use.

The suite sun deck is available only for guests staying in a suite, and offers a private area with sun beds, seating and lounge chairs reserved just for you.  The sun deck is the perfect spot to enjoy a sunny day by the pool and a private escape designed with suite guests in mind.

Take a ride on North Star

The most prominent feature on Anthem of the Seas is the North Star observation pod.

Royal Caribbean's North Star takes guests 300 feet above sea level for amazing views of the area around the ship. You can get an amazing view around Anthem of the Sea, taking in what is sure to become amazing photos of the scenery.

Whether at sea or in port, the views from North Star are stupendous and a one-of-a-kind experience.

See a West End show

Did you know some Royal Caribbean ships offer full Broadway shows? On Anthem of the Seas, guests can enjoy the hit musical, "We Will Rock You."

Written by British-comedian Ben Elton, this hilarious award-winning and record-breaking phenomenon is built around 24 of the greatest hits of British rock legend, Queen. The best part about the show is it is included in your cruise fare!

Have a robot make you a drink

Anthem of the Seas features the Bionic Bar, where two robot bartenders create custom crafted beverages, delivered in plastic cups via four conveyor belts.

Built by Makr Shakr, the idea is simple: guests place orders via tablets and then can watch the robot bartenders start mixing the cocktails. Bionic Bar combines two big trends, robotics and mixology.

The single armed robot will get the ice, mints and lemon and then squeeze and shake them to make your drink. Eventually, there wont be a limit on what the drinks the robots can make. The customization is what Royal Caribbean is aiming for.

Shows in Two70

Two70, Royal Caribbean's transformative space onboard Anthem of the Seas fuses highly advanced robotic and projected technology with live performance, creating an unparalleled entertainment experience on land or sea.

As its name implies, Two70 offers a two hundred and seventy degree view from the aft of the ship. An expansive ocean view that is two decks high allows you to see an amazing view during the day. At night, Two70 transforms to offer a seamless video projection, robotics and human artistry.

Get an inside room with a view

Inside rooms on Anthem of the Seas feature a virtual balcony — a full high-definition 80-inch screen that is connected to a live camera with audio outside the ship, so you can enjoy the same sights and sounds as someone with a balcony or oceanview room.

Virtual balcony staterooms transform the experience of an indoor stateroom without the balcony stateroom price and the picture quality is amazing.

In addition to the real-time views, the virtual balcony provides audio as well and unlike a real balcony, you can simply press a button on your remote and turn it on or off at your discretion.

Your thoughts

Have you been on Anthem of the Seas yet? Is there a feature that has caught your eye in your research?  Share what you think is incredibly cool about Anthem of the Seas in the comments!

Everything you need to know about formal night on a Royal Caribbean cruise

In:
01Jan2018

The two words that seem to strike anxiety into so many new cruisers are "formal night".  Something about this dress code generates a lot of questions about what to expect.  

Here is an overview of what you need to know about formal night on your Royal Caribbean cruise.

Basics

Let us be clear: formal night (and other dress codes) apply only to the main dining room.  Whether it is formal or casual dress code, it only applies to what you wear to the main dining room, and not elsewhere onboard the ship.  Other restaurants (like specialty restaurants) have their own dress code, which supersedes the main dining room dress code.

On select nights of your cruise, the main dining room will have formal dress code suggested. These are evenings where Royal Caribbean suggests guests dress up the most.  

Royal Caribbean lists this as formal night suggested dress for formal night: Suits and ties or tuxedos for men (black tie is optional), cocktail dresses or pantsuit for women

How fancy is formal night

Despite the name, formal night is not nearly as fancy as you might think. Formal night is certainly the most dressed up evening attire required on your Royal Caribbean cruise, but it is not as ornate as you might imagine.

Evening wear for formal night will vary, and you will see some guests wearing tuxedoes and gowns. It is our observation that most guests tend to dress a bit less fancy than that, with men wearing suits or sports coats and women wearing cocktail dresses. Essentially, it is clothing that is a bit nicer than you might wear on other nights of the cruise.

If the idea of formal night really bothers you, the good news is you absolutely do not have to get dressed up on your Royal Caribbean cruise. The formal night dress code is only for the main dining room and specialty restaurants, so anywhere else on the ship is fair game for shorts, flip flops and tank tops. The Windjammer and other quick service venues will be open and without any formal wear.

When is formal night and how many will there be on my cruise?

There can be 1-3 formal nights during a sailing and is at the ship’s discretion. 

  • 3/4/5 night cruises - usually on Day 2
  • 6 night cruises - usually on day 2 and 5
  • 7 night cruises - are usually on Day 2 and 6
  • Oasis and Allure use Day 2 and 5 on Western itineraries and Day 2 and 6 on Eastern itineraries.
  • 14-night and longer cruises will have three formal nights.

There are no formal nights on Empress of the Seas sailings.

Royal Caribbean confirms there will be no DreamWorks characters on Symphony of the Seas

In:
31Dec2017

Royal Caribbean's newest cruise ship, Symphony of the Seas will not offer the DreamWorks Experience onboard when it launches in 2018.

Royal Caribbean confirmed via Twitter that its fourth Oasis class ship will not have the DreamWorks characters or events onboard, which is a departure from the other three Oasis class ships.

The partnership with DreamWorks Entertainment allows Royal Caribbean to offer character meet and greets, parades, shows, television programming and more. 

Symphony of the Seas will be the first newly constructed Royal Caribbean ship since Allure of the Seas not to offer the DreamWorks Experience.

Best of 2017 Friday Photos

In:
29Dec2017

Happy Friday! This is the last Friday of 2017, and for this edition of Friday Photos, we decided to go back through all of this year's Friday Photos posts and find our favorite photos to share once again.

Photo by Ken "CookingYo" Licwinko

Photo by Mike Dinsmore

Photo by David Berenbaum

Photo by Pascal Everard

Photo by Keith Davis

Photo by Jill Snyder

Photo by Andy

Photo by Jan

Photo by Austin Harris

Photo by twangster

Photo by Krisztina Benko

Photo by Kelli Staack

Thank you to everyone that sent in their photos this year, and if you have Royal Caribbean photos that you want to share, well, we want to see them!  You can use this form to send us your photos and we will feature them on an upcoming Friday Photos blog post!

Top 10 Royal Caribbean stories of 2017

In:
28Dec2017

With 2017 nearly complete, it's time to look back on the year and see which news stories generated the most interest.  There's no doubt that 2017 was a busy year for Royal Caribbean and so it is interesting to see which stories rose to the top of people's interest.

This year's top ten list is based on the Royal Caribbean stories we feel generated the most buzz and interest.  There are some stories that made the top ten list that surprised me and others I'm more surprises did not make the list.  Let's dive in!

Royal Caribbean brought underwater adventures to Snapchat

In a first-of-its-kind social media innovation, Royal Caribbean hosted underwater Snapchat experience thanks to its Snapchat Spectacles, known as SeaSeekers.

The mask was custom engineered by the cruise line for use with Snapchat Spectacles. It allows the wearer to snap while underwater and will give those above the surface a unique perspective into the intriguing underwater world of marine life.

Three dives took place in June that showed off this new innovation, in places like Cozumel and Belize.

Royal Caribbean celebrated the Great American solar eclipse

On August 21, 2017, millions witnessed a total solar ecliplse, and Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas provided the perfect viewing celebration.

Dubbed the, "Total Eclipse Cruise," Oasis of the Seas offered a 7-night Caribbean sailing, which cruised to the optimal spot at sea for guests to witness the total solar eclipse. 

In addition to viewing the eclipse, there were dance parties, lectures, and a special performance by Bonnie Tyler and DNCE onboard.

Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria

A series of powerful hurricanes wreacked havoc on Royal Caribbean's cruise ship plans, in addition to inflicting horrific damage on certain islands in the storm's path.

The storms impacted a variety of sailings, with delays and even cancellations of some sailings.  In fact, Royal Caribbean opted to cancel a few sailings and then use the cruise ships to act as floating hotels and supply delivery mechanisms.  

The result was Royal Caribbean providing an incredible amount of relief and support to the peoples of Puerto Rico, St. Thomas and St. Maarten.  The relief efforts lasted a number of weeks, and brought much needed help in the early days of recovery.

Royal Caribbean announced expansion of CocoCay

In March 2017, Royal Caribbean International CEO Michael Bayley announced plans for the cruise line to make major enhancements to the cruise line's private destination in the Bahamas, CocoCay.

The expansion will include construction of a pier, additional guest features and amenities, and new opportunities for vendors and craftsmen to promote the culture of The Bahamas to visitors. The pier will be able to handle Oasis class cruise ships.

Bayley described the new additions coming to CocoCay as, "innovative" and "entertaining". He also indicated the construction will take a multi-phased approach, with some elements of the new construction ready in 2018, and construction complete sometime in 2019. In the meantime, Bayley said ships will continue to stop at CocoCay without any disruption.

Royal Caribbean announced new fleetwide technology roll out

Royal Caribbean was forward leaning when the company held a big reveal event in Brooklyn to announce an array of technological innovations that aim to make things simpler and easier for guests going on a cruise.

At the heart of the new technology overhaul is a new smartphone app that will be rolled out to every Royal Caribbean ship over the next two years. The app promises to eliminate check-in lines at ports, equip crew members to anticipate guests’ needs, and enable giant cruise ships to sail through the water on a fuel-saving curtain of air.

The new tech will spread across the fleet by the end of 2019.

Royal Caribbean requiring all adults in same stateroom to purchase unlimited alcohol package

Royal Caribbean decided to change the rules regarding its unlimited alcohol package, and begin requiring all adults in a stateroom to purchase a drink package if one adult in that room elects to purchase one.

The change begins in 2018, but the rule change came out in October 2017.  The change occured following an earlier announcement it was going to test the change first on select Harmony of the Seas sailings.

Royal Caribbean introduced non-refundable deposit program

Royal Caribbean announced in May 2017 a new non-refundable deposit program, which is an addition to the traditional refundable deposit model.

When making a cruise reservation at least 6-months prior to sailing, guests who opt to take advantage of nonrefundable deposit fares will automatically qualify to earn up to $100 per stateroom to spend at sea. Early booking credit is combinable with the existing promotional offer available at time of booking.

In an effort to deter continual or late ship/sail date adjustments, a change fee of $100 per guest will be imposed to all reservations booked under a nonrefundable deposit fare that opts to change either the ship and/or sail date originally selected.

Symphony of the Seas reveal

Throughout 2017, Royal Caribbean announced details surrounding its fourth Oasis class cruise ship, Symphony of the Seas. Symphony of the Seas will claim the title of the largest cruise ship in the world when she debuts in April 2018 for her inaugural season in Europe.

In March 2017, Royal Caribbean formally announced Symphony of the Seas, along with some details surrounding the ship. This included some preliminary deployment details, along with the announcement it will be homeported in PortMiami.

In October, Royal Caribbean announced activities, restaurants and entertainment coming to Symphony of the Seas. New dining concepts and family activities, awe-inspiring theater, aerial, ice and aqua entertainment, and the most dynamic suite in family travel will join the lineup of Royal Caribbean exclusives on Symphony.

Spectrum of the Seas reveal

Speaking of cruise ship reveals, Royal Caribbean also shed some light onto another upcoming new ship, Spectrum of the Seas.

The first Quantum Ultra Class cruise ship will be based in the Asia-Pacific region and will join sister ships Quantum of the Seas and Ovation of the Seas. She had the first piece of steel cut in August and her keel laid in November.

Spectrum of the Seas is set to debut in 2019 and will be the first Quantum Ultra ship that will specifically be designed for guests in China and the Asia-Pacific region, and will feature cutting-edge and unprecedented experiences and amenities.

Royal Caribbean made its inaugural visit to Cuba

Royal Caribbean made history with the cruise line's inaugural visit to Cuba with Empress of the Seas in April 2017.

Empress has since followed up with a number of visits to Havana, Cuba, and Royal Caribbean unveiled new plans to expand Cuban sailings in the years to come.

Your thoughts

What did you think was the biggest Royal Caribbean news of 2017? Did we miss one? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Royal Caribbean offering bonus instant savings in final days of 2017

In:
28Dec2017

Royal Caribbean is offering bonus instant savings during its Sail Into 2018 sale.

In addition to its current December offer, guests can save up to $100 instantly when they book during the Sail Into 2018 Sale, plus up to $50 extra on winter sailings.

The Sail Into 2018 Sale is valid on cruises booked December 28, 2017 through January 3, 2018 on sailings departing on or after January 28, 2018. Offer excludes China departures. Up to $50 additional savings for Caribbean and Bahamas sailings 6 nights or longer departing January 28, 2018 – April 30, 2018.

Offer includes:

  • 30% off cruise fare for all guests' in the same stateroom.
  • Kids Sail Free
    • Guests 12 & under sail free on 4 nights or longer Europe, Bahamas, Canada, Bermuda, Hawaii, Coastal and Caribbean sailings departing January 9, 2018- December 15, 2018. Excludes Symphony of the Seas sailings and sailings departing 2/15/18-2/20/18, 3/10/18-4/1/18, 5/15/18- 9/1/18 and 11/17/18-11/22/18.
  • Instant savings determined by category booked and sailing length:
    • 5 Nights or Less
      • Interior / Ocean View: $25
      • Balcony: $50
      • Suite: $75
    • 6 Nights or Longer
      • Interior / Ocean View: $75
      • Balcony: $125
      • Suite: $150
  • Summer Northeast Upgrade
    • Guests can purchase a Balcony at the price of an Ocean View stateroom on Adventure of the Seas and Anthem of the Seas on sailings from May 1, 2018 - September 30, 2018.
    • Guests can purchase an Ocean View at the price of an Interior stateroom on Grandeur of the Seas on sailings from May 1, 2018 - September 30, 2018.

30% off is combinable with NRDB OBC, Kids Sail Free, Free Upgrades, promotional OBCs and instant savings, NextCruise offers, restricted discounts (for example, Senior, Resident, Military), Crown and Anchor discounts and Shareholder Benefits. Sail into 2018 is combinable with NextCruise offers, NRDB OBC, and restricted discounts (for example, Senior, Resident, Military) but is not combinable with Shareholder benefits and Crown and Anchor discounts. 30% off bookings made for China departures are combinable with NextCruise offers and Crown and Anchor balcony/suites discounts only. All offers are not combinable with any other offer or promotion, including, but not limited to, Standard Group, Interline, Travel Agent, Travel Agent Friends and Family, Weekly Sales Events, Net Rates.

Offer available to residents of United States and Canada.

Voyager and Freedom class ships on Royal Caribbean Blog Podcast

In:
27Dec2017

Our newest podcast episode is out to help give you a quick "audio escape" to a Royal Caribbean cruise!

Episode 230 is available for downloading, where Matt talks about the Voyager and Freedom class ships in detail.

Matt shares what these ships offer guests in terms of onboard activities, what distinguishes them from other ships in the fleet, and why you might want to sail on them.

Here’s the podcast page for Episode 230. And don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast via RSS, Stitcher or on iTunes!

Take a listen and as always, let us know what you think! Please rate and review the podcast on iTunes and leave your comments below!

Royal Caribbean expands new smartphone app to Serenade of the Seas

In:
27Dec2017

Royal Caribbean's new smart phone app has been updated to include support for Serenade of the Seas.

Version 1.3.0 of the Royal Caribbean App was released, which expands functionality and makes it work on Serenade of the Seas, in addition to Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas.

The app is available on the iTunes App Store and Google Play Store.

Six big changes coming to Royal Caribbean in 2018

In:
26Dec2017

With 2018 right around the corner, a new year of Royal Caribbean cruising is nearly upon us.  With the new year comes new changes to Royal Caribbean, and we picked out six of the most noticeable changes that guests will undoubtedly encounter.

Major tech rollout

In November 2017, Royal Caribbean announced an array of technological innovations coming to the fleet that have the goal of making things simpler and easier for guests.  In 2018, we will see roughly half the fleet enjoy the fruits of this new push.

It will take until the end of 2019 for the entire breadth of this new tech push to be deployed across the entire fleet, but 2018 should see a number of ships benefit from the new innovations.

There are many components to this tech push, but a new smartphone app and frictionless check-in are at the heart of this initiative.

Ship refurbishments

Three Royal Caribbean cruise ships will have noticeable work done to them in 2018. These ships jump out as worthy of paying close attention to, because they introduce something new onboard.

In the case of Allure of the Seas, the work being done is to repair the propulsion problem it has been hampered with since summer 2017.

Unlimited alcohol package rule change

Beginning in 2018, guests who want to purchase an unlimited alcohol package will be required to purchase an unlimited alcohol package for all adults in the same stateroom.

In an effort to thwart sharing of drink package benefits (which is strictly against the rules of the package), Royal Caribbean is adding this rule.  Similar rules exist among other cruise lines that offer an unlimited alcohol package.

Cruises from New Orleans

If you are one of the many cruise fans that have been clamoring for a return to New Orleans, 2018 is your year.  

After a three-year hiatus, Royal Caribbean will return to offering cruises from New Orleans, Louisiana with Vision of the Seas in the winter of 2018-2019. Beginning on December 15, 2018, Vision of the Seas will offer 7-night itineraries to the Bahamas and Yucatan Peninsula.

New cruise terminal in Miami

Taking a Royal Caribbean cruise from PortMiami is about to become a whole lot better in 2018 with the opening of its new cruise terminal in late 2018.

Terminal A will be completed in October 2018 and is anticipated that Royal Caribbean will generate at least 1.8 million travelers at PortMiami – representing no less than 30 percent of the port’s projected passenger traffic.

Terminal A at PortMiami will be the new home of the just announced Symphony of the Seas, as well as sister ship Allure of the Seas.

Symphony of the Seas launch

The biggest change in 2018 is the addition of the world's largest cruise ship, Symphony of the Seas.

Symphony will arrive in March 2018, and begin service by sailing the Mediterranean in Spring and Summer 2018. Symphony of the Seas will make stops at ports in Barcelona, Palma de Mallorca, Provence, Florence, Rome and Naples.

In Fall 2018, Symphony of the Seas will cross the Atlantic to her new home in at PortMiami in Miami, Florida. From Miami, she will sail from Royal Caribbean's brand new cruise terminal that it broke ground on this morning. Symphony of the Seas will offer seven-night eastern and western Caribbean itineraries.

Symphony of the Seas will be the largest cruise ship ever, coming in at 230,000 GRT. She will have 28 more staterooms than her sister ship, Harmony of the Seas, and be 215.5 feet wide and 1,188 feet long. This will make Symphony of the Seas just slightly larger than Harmony of the Seas.

Which Royal Caribbean change are you most excited about for 2018? Tell us in the comments!

Royal Caribbean Post Round-Up: December 24, 2017

In:
24Dec2017

Merry Christmas! The holidays are here, and so is our weekly round up of this week's Royal Caribbean news.

There was a lot of Royal Caribbean news this week, but a majority of the headlines surrounded a shore excursion accident in Mexico for some guests from Serenade of the Seas.

At least 12 tourists died in the crash. Royal Caribbean has confirmed 27 cruise ship passengers were on the bus that suffered the accident, which were sailing on Serenade of the Seas and Celebrity Equinox.

The crash occurred as the bus was on its way to the ruins at Chacchoben, about 110 miles south of Tulum.

Royal Caribbean News

Royal Caribbean Blog Podcast

The 229th episode of the Royal Caribbean Blog Podcast is now available and this week, we are sharing three wishes for Royal Caribbean.

On this episode, Matt and Billy make wishes for changes we would make if we had access to a genie (and opted not to wish for wealth and a long life).

Please feel free to subscribe via iTunes or RSS, and head over to rate and review the podcast on iTunes if you can! We’d appreciate it.

How you can support Royal Caribbean Blog

So many of our readers have reached out to us to ask how they can help the blog and we are introducing the Royal Caribbean Blog Insiders for just that reason.

The Insiders group is a way readers can contribute to Royal Caribbean Blog and help fuel some of the really amazing ideas, projects and new content that we have lined up.

As a way of saying thank you for your contribution, there are some fun rewards for being a member of the Royal Caribbean Blog Insiders.

Becoming a member of the Royal Caribbean Blog Insiders is completely up to you and you can cancel at any time. No questions asked! 

As always, thank you for visiting Royal Caribbean Blog and being a part of our community!

Royal Caribbean Around the Internet

Daily Post is reporting Holyhead, England is considering building a new cruise berth to accomodate large cruise ships.

Skift is reporting on how cruise lines will keep trying to get your attention in 2018.

Eat Sleep Cruise shared 20 top family cruise tips.

Cruise Critic reported on Royal Caribbean's return to St. Maarten.

Shooting the Sea Breeze shared the different sanitation levels Royal Caribbean employs.

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