Photos by Royal Caribbean
Anthem of the Seas
Anthem of the Seas is Royal Caribbean's brand new cruise ship that is under construction and a member of the Quantum class of cruise ships. Anthem of the Seas will have her first cruise in spring 2015, with a homeport of Southampton in the summer and Fort Lauderdale in the winter.
Royal Caribbean cancels two sailings on Vision of the Seas & Anthem of the Seas to repatriate crew membersIn:
Royal Caribbean announced two upcoming sailings in June in order to assist with repatriating crew member efforts.
Vision of the Seas’ June 13th, 2020 and Anthem of the Seas’ June 20th, 2020 sailings are the two cancelled sailings that were announced today.
Royal Caribbean is using these ships to ferry crew members home due to local travel restrictions.
Unfortunately, local travel restrictions and commercial flights have made it extremely challenging to get our crew safely home. We’ve been working with our partners at Cruise Lines International Association and the CDC for months to get our crew safely home, and sailing to their home country is the best option.
As a result of the cancellation, Royal Caribbean is providing these guests with the option of a 125% Future Cruise Credit or a 100% refund.
Future Cruise Credits issued on these sailings should be received by Friday, June 5th, 2020.
The Vision of the Seas June 13th sailing was scheduled to be a 12-Night Mediterranean Greek Isles cruise from Barcelona.
The Anthem of the Seas June 20th sailing was scheduled to be an 8 Night Spain & Portugal Cruise from Southampton.
Royal Caribbean's plans to get crew members home was reported in the last 24 hours.
The crux of the matter that prevented crew from getting home sooner was evidently the CDC's rules for disembarking crew that included provisions such as requiring crew go home via chartered or private transportation.
In the letter from Royal Caribbean International CEO Michael Bayley to crew, it explains the legal entanglement that is created by sending crew home now, "The CDC will only allow us to disembark crew members if company executives, myself included, are willing to attest — subject to criminal penalties including imprisonment — that we will not use any public transportation and that each crew member will comply with certain conditions after disembarking the ships. We are happy to do all the things they requested, but the criminal penalties gave us [and our lawyers] pause."
While Bayley said he hopes the threat of criminal prosecution will be removed, he said, “we have decided that the importance of getting you home is so great that we will sign these documents as they are written today to help get you off the ships.”
Thanks to Katina Bradley for alerting us to this announcement.
The global cruise suspension has seemingly put all plans in flux, but Vice President EMEA at Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. Ben Bouldin expects Anthem of the Seas to follow through with her 2020 visit to the UK.
Cruise Trade News quoted Mr. Bouldin from a webinar saying that he expects Anthem of the Seas to come to the UK in 2020 and to have her refurbishment once shipyards are open.
"This is the focus of a lot of my time right now trying to work out when Anthem of the Seas will come back. Nothing’s guaranteed but I do use the word when rather than if because I do expect Anthem to come to the UK."
"I do expect it to have a marine dry dock in Europe although we are of course at mercy of when they open up currently. When that’s done, we can evaluate what’s left in the season and the opportunities we have in terms of sailings."
The refurbishment work scheduled for Anthem of the Seas is not part of the Royal Amplified program. Instead, it is related to the continuous maintenance all Royal Caribbean ships undergo about every five years.
Anthem of the Seas was scheduled to sail from Southampton beginning in May 2020, and offer cruises to destinations in Europe through October 2020.
In addition, Anthem of the Seas is scheduled to sail from Southampton again in the summer of 2021.
Mr. Bouldin also touched on the fact he thinks Odyssey of the Seas and Wonder of the Seas are both still on schedule for delivery.
"Odyssey will happen for sure. We are still seeing what her delivery date will be with the slow down in the shipyards, but she’s on her way for sure and we look forward to her being in Rome next summer."
"The same is true for Wonder of the Seas, which has plans to go to China and significant work is underway on that. Projects are in various degrees of process, but we hope to stay on course for the huge and exciting pre-development that we had."
Mr. Bouldin's comments echo comments made by Royal Caribbean earlier this week that also indicated Odyssey is on target.
Port of Galveston meeting this week to discuss delay in new port construction and Anthem of the Seas homeportingIn:
The Port of Galveston will meet on Tuesday with the Board of Trustees to discuss a variety of topics, including Royal Caribbean's proposed construction delay of Terminal 3.
The Port Director's Report has been posted in advance of the meeting, and it includes a few interesting talking points that will be covered in the meeting.
Galveston is working with Royal Caribbean on the possibility of receiving Anthem of the Seas at the current Cruise Terminal 2. There is no dates associated with this plan, just the posting of the idea.
A decision will need to be made during the meeting on approving Royal Caribbean's request to delay the new Terminal 3 by one year. In late March, Royal Caribbean asked the Port of Galveston to delay the start of the new cruise terminal by one year.
If approved, the target completion date would now be September 1, 2022.
The conceptual plan for the East End Cruise Corridor (shown below) includes not only the new Royal Caribbean Terminal 3, but an additional 4th cruise terminal at the current Del Monte terminal.
Terminal 3 will be built on 10 acres of land at Pier 10, and will be used by Royal Caribbean.
Royal Caribbean has reiterated that Galveston is an integral part of Royal's strategic plan.
The plan for Terminal Three was announced in December 2019, with the added bonus of Allure of the Seas moving to Galveston to begin sailings shortly after the terminal opened in November 2021.
Many thanks to RoyalCaribbeanBlog reader Galveston Steve for alerting us to this news.
In light of the global health crisis, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. has altered the loans it took out to finance Anthem of the Seas and Spectrum of the Seas in order to take advantage of a 12-month debt holiday.
The deal was made between Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd and Euler Hermes Aktiengesellschaft on April 8, and it essentially means Royal Caribbean to skip a few payments without accruing additional interest. Moreover, it provides the cruise line with $200 million of incremental liquidity through April 2021.
The deferral period is between April 1, 2020 and March 31, 2021. The deferred money will be repayable in eight equal semi-annual installments between April 2021 and October 2024.
In addition, Royal Caribbean amended the export-credit backed loan facility incurred to finance Celebrity Reflection in order to incorporate the benefits of the Debt Holiday. Across these three facilities, the Debt Holiday initiative will generate $200 million of incremental liquidity through April 2021.
Royal Caribbean is also looking into taking advantage of the debt holiday initiative across the remainder of their Hermes-backed facilities.
The loan amendment has a few stipulations, including Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. may not take certain actions including:
- Payment of dividends
- Repurchase of stock
- Issuance of debt or equity other than for liquidity
A few weeks ago, Anthem of the Seas was delayed multiple days due to a false report of guests on the ship infected with Coronavirus. The attention it caused forced a number of delays, as well as a shortened sailing.
One guest who was onboard talks about what the experience was like, and shares tips for anyone who might be on a sailing impacted by similar circumstances.
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Royal Caribbean has delayed the next sailing of Anthem of the Seas by one day due to widespread reporting of Chinese passengers on the previous sailing who were feared to be infected with the coronavirus.
Local media reported on the ship's return to Cape Liberty in Bayonne, New Jersey as cause for concern that a coronavirus outbreak could have been onboard. In the hours since the ship returned to port, personnel from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) boarded the ship and conducted screenings, concluding no presence of coronavirus.
The hospital is following proper infection control protocols while evaluating these individuals. New Jersey currently has no confirmed cases of novel coronavirus and the risk to residents remains low.
— Governor Phil Murphy (@GovMurphy) February 7, 2020
While the ship has been cleared by local authorities, Royal Caribbean has decided to delay Anthem of the Seas' departure until February 8, 2020 in order to "reassure concerned guests" that the ship is indeed cleared by the CDC.
Letters courtesy of Emily Hufnal
Royal Caribbean is offering guests a 1-day refund in the form of onboard credit for the missed day onboard, as well as credits for any pre-purchased internet, drink or dining packages.
Royal Caribbean reiterated it is working with medical experts, public health authorities, and local governments to ensure its screening and boarding protocols are working to protect guests and crew.
Royal Caribbean also has taken numerous proactive steps to maintain high health standards. This includes:
- Thoroughly sanitizing the cruise ship terminal before and after every sailing,
- Special sanitizing of high traffic areas onboard multiple times a day,
- Adding extra medical staff on each sailing,
- Providing complimentary consultations with medical experts for all guests & crew,
- Plus, the Captain will make two daily announcements during your cruise reminding everyone of how to stay healthy onboard.
As part of the new digital entertainment coming to the Royal app on select ships, Royal Caribbean has introduced an interactive game called Expedition Two70 for Anthem of the Seas.
The game is free to play, and simply requires guests have the Royal Caribbean app installed on their mobile device.
Once on board the ship guests can visit the Two70° venue to begin the augmented reality adventure.
The game proceeds in a scavenger hunt fashion looking for masks with the beautiful Two70° venue on deck 5 aft.
Once a mask is found players scan the mask in the app to launch one of four augmented reality games.
Each game session explain the objectives before launching into the augmented reality game using the camera and motion sensors of your device.
At this mask station a virtual mountain appears with light directed through a series of gems by moving your device and yourself around to focus the light on an object, destroying it and moving to the next level.
Once you complete all levels in the challenge that mask is unlocked.
Masks are found in different areas around the Two70° venue. Each offers a unique and challenging augmented reality experience.
As you progress through the adventure each mask is unlocked until you have unlocked all of the masks.
It’s a lot of fun for kids of all ages and part of the digital entertainment experience that Royal is bringing to guests through the Royal app.
Royal Caribbean has expanded its new app to include support for Anthem of the Seas.
Anthem now appears in the list of supported ships that can be found from within the app.
The new app is being actively developed, which means not all features area available on the app yet. Moreover, the cruise line is slowly rolling out support for more ships.
After months of rumors, it now appears Royal Caribbean will move Anthem of the Seas in 2020 from the New York market, and send her over to the Southampton, England.
Royal Caribbean UK and Ireland managing director Ben Bouldin confirmed the news to TravelWeekly.
"Not only that, I'm delighted to announce that the UK will see Anthem of the Seas returned to Southampton, and that will go on sale on the 20th of November. We're thrilled to have her back."
Word of a Quantum Class ship coming back to the UK first arose after Royal Caribbean International CEO Michael Bayley confirmed one of the ships in the class would sail from Southampton in 2020. Bayley did not mention which Quantum Class ship it would be, but cruise fans quickly narrowed down the choices by process of elimination to Quantum or Anthem.
If you are wondering when Anthem of the Seas sailings will go on sale, Royal Caribbean has indicated that Europe Phase I sailings will go on sale the week of November 19, and Europe Phase II will go on sale the week of December 17. Bouldin indicated ex-UK and Europe departures in 2020 will be available to book from November 20.
It remains to be seen which ship will replace Anthem of the Seas in Bayonne, New Jersey. The nature of new ship deployment announcements is there are many moving pieces that comprise a deployment schedule.
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.
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!