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Found 36 results

  1. It looks like Anthem of the Seas gets back into Southampton the 24th of April 2020, and doesn't sail again until the 15th of May 2020. Is it normal for a ship to take 3 weeks between sailing after a repositioning cruise? Just curious, I'm on the May 15th sailing and can only assume it takes 3 weeks to change over drink menus, crew, native UK supplies, and possibly quick refurb/maintenance/? Anybody have insight or opinion?
  2. Cruising with Greatness – Anthem Group Cruise – July 4-13, 2019 Anthem of the Seas the Reboot (aka Anthem, The Lite Edition). For those of you who have been around for a while, you know that we cruised Anthem back in 2018. For a more in-depth blog of Anthem, check out my blog from March 2018. This is going to be the “Lite Edition” for several reasons. I wasn’t even going to blog this cruise as I am not sure how much more I can add to it that would be different from my previous one or the ones that @twangster, @JLMoran, @SweetPea, or @TheHobbys have done. And…it’s my first Group Cruise! I might be just a tad busier than usual. However, the conclusion that I came to is that it would be irresponsible and inconsiderate of me to not blog it because it was the blogs and scopes from last year’s Royal Caribbean Blog Alaska GC that finally pushed me into booking this one. Again, the best part of live blogs is learning from each other and to pay it forward. Let’s back up the story a bit on how this cruise came about for us. I saw this GC as soon as @Matt announced it back in the Fall of 2017. The itinerary stood out right away for me as it was 9-night sailing that goes to Bermuda (we have never been). To make it even better, the dates for this GC landed on dates that were actually doable for me. However, during that time, I was more focused on securing my Symphony July 2019 booking and with both cruises in July, only weeks apart, I decided it wasn’t going to be possible for Anthem. In March 2018, we sailed Anthem, and I had very mixed feelings on that sailing with the ship itself. I usually enjoy most cruises we go on, but Anthem did not sit well with me. You can see my initial thoughts of Anthem in my previous Anthem blog. Fast forward to June 2018, the RC Blog gang went to Alaska, and it looked like so much fun that I truly wanted to try out a GC myself. Many of you know that I am teacher and my vacation dates are not flexible. To have the Anthem GC fall over our summer break was an opportunity that I felt I could not let pass. Booking this cruise was essentially embracing the true YOLO spirit. As far as our (I mean Hubby’s) bank account goes, booking this one and Symphony to sail in the same month was not wise and made for a very expensive April! On the bright side, this is going to be our shortest dry dock ever between cruises! This is the cruise that we probably should not have booked but could not turn it down for the reasons already listed and the best reason of all…Who can possibly turn down an opportunity to meet “Mr. YOLO Book It!” himself? True Greatness? Our Fearless Leader? Obviously not us! So here it goes…
  3. Hi everyone! First time poster but I've found everyone here so helpful! I have a question regarding the standard balcony cabins on Anthem of the Seas. I booked two connecting 6D balcony rooms on the Anthem for a Nov. sailing this year. We're a family of 4 with two littles under 5 and I got what was a great deal at the time on two rooms for the price of 1. However, with the current WOW sale and KSF, I can save a little over $1,000 if I give up a room and switch us all to just one regular balcony room instead of the two adjoined rooms. So my question is - would you do it if you were in my shoes? I guess I'd love opinions from veteran sailers since this will be our first ever cruise. Is one balcony room with two littles (one who will be in a pack n play) doable? $1000 is a good chunk of change we could save but I don't know how cramped we might all possibly be in just one room. The thought of a double balcony and two bathrooms is amazing but not for $1000 😩 . And apparently KSF doesn't work on two connecting rooms as the TA told me it would only apply to kids who stay with parents in a single room.
  4. ' I'm doing the Single Digit dance now, baby, and we all know that's when the pregaming starts. 🤣 Hello! And welcome to Dipping our Toes in Royal Waters, Part Deux. Part Deux, you ask? Where is Part Un?! Briefly, Part Un was in August 2008, aboard Mariner of the Seas. We were in a Grand suite. We didn’t know why we booked a suite; there was no priority anything and practically no suite perks because the number of eligible Crown & Anchor members on that sailing who had the same access to the lounges completely overwhelmed the services and offerings as well as the concierge team. Not that I begrudge anyone their loyalty benefits but combining loyalty perks and suite perks into one pool just meant completely watered-down benefits for everyone. Lines were everywhere. Free drink? Wait in line. Want a seat in the lounge to eat your appies? Wait for a seat to open. Need something from the concierge? Carve about an hour out of your day to get help. It took me practically that long to ask the concierge to book us the single thing we wanted (Ice Show tickets). I should’ve just gone to Guest Services or wherever, but I was chatting with people in line. For forking out suite $$, it was completely unremarkable and unimpressive in every other way I won’t bore you further with here. (This is a fan site after all!) However, due to that completely lackluster cruise, we haven’t sailed with Royal since. In the interim, we became Platinum Plus on Norwegian (all Haven or suites), Platinum on Disney (all Concierge), and 3* Mariners on Holland America (all Neptune Suites). I don’t like to say we’re suite snobs, but rather we have “Super FOMO.” Fear of Missing Out. What is not available to us if we don’t book a suite?! What will we be missing out on?! Not that we are “do it all” peeps. But we like to know we can, if we want to. Most of the time we don’t want to, but what if we do? (This makes sense in my head.) Plus, the secret to a happy, successful marriage? Separate bathrooms. We don't share a bathroom at home. If we can help it, we don't like to share while on vacation either; hence our suite life propensity. Fast forward to mid-March 2019 when our original vacation plans fell through while still being locked in to a specific vacation week at work. We scrambled to find a substitute vacay. What to do, where to go? WHAT. TO. DO??! (Heaven forbid we stay home and work on the house. YOLO, baby!) We of course checked the Norwegian Escape Haven first (one of our faves). This ship is approximately the same size as Anthem of the Seas, departs from NYC, and spends 2 overnights in Bermuda. In other words, about as apples-to-apples on paper as you can get. The lowest priced (and rather small in comparison) Haven room was 2K$ more than SC on the Anthem. I’m crazy, but not that crazy. The Anthem for the same week had a single SC room left for the week we needed: one Grand Loft suite. I called my TA who immediately held the suite for me for 24-hours while the hubs and I chatted over our new last-minute vacation plans. Spoiler alert: we did not need 24 hours to decide. Stateroom nerd warning: before jumping any guns, I needed to know if we were going to be stuck with everyone’s last choice room. My crack whip research showed that Anthem 10324 is a great room and has no negative factors. In fact, we thought we were totally lucky to get it (last minute cancellation perhaps?). A quick review of Star Class Service Perks (which was the real game changer), and I was sold. It took the hubs a couple more hours to come around. But come around he did. Mariner OTS, bygones are bygones. We’re ready to come back to Royal! Let’s do this! Juicy Deets: Me (SweetPea) and the Hubs (Batman) sailing on the Anthem of the Seas, 4/27, Grand Loft Suite 10324 (SC), departing Cape Liberty, NJ for an overnight in Bermuda and then up to Boston for a full day before heading back to the armpit of my great state on 5/4. (NJ born & bred here. I’m allowed to say this. My accent only comes out when I’m annoyed, thankfully, though CA born & bred Batman argues differently. However, it’s not an accent; we all know Newark, NJ is pronounced “Nork.” End of. Do not argue this with me. I’m 100% right.) So, if you’ve indulged me this long (and God bless you for that), stick around for my quasi-live review from a born-again Royal to see if it measures up to our usual haunting grounds. Will it? I can hardly wait to see myself! Hopefully, I don’t get frustrated blogging from my phone (I'm not finding uploading and captioning pics here and inserting them between text intuitive at all. Any hints are appreciated. Not having any "preview post" functionality isn't helping me either. 🤪) If i figure it out, be forewarned: there may be an episode or five of PUI. For those unfamiliar with that term, that is Posting Under the Influence [of the drink package] … I should probably test the edit/delete functions of this message board first. After all, #TeamSuperFOMO’s motto is “It seemed like a good idea at the time.” Who knows, at the rate I'm not figuring this out, you may just get random pictures with separate posts of me trying to explain them to you later. Out of order. What fun! Up next: submitting your DNA test results, current blood pressure and cholesterol levels, your Superhero and Soap Opera names, and the last time you cried at a movie to your Genie. And why you should never let Batman submit said Genie survey on your behalf. Stay tuned.
  5. Well, it's been almost a week now that we've been back from our B2B Star Class cruises on Anthem so if I'm going to do this blog I'd better do it while I can still remember stuff (#oldbrain).... Some of you may have noticed that I tend to be a bit "wordy" <cough, cough> so I'm going to try and keep my posts short(er). Unfortunately, I am the anti-Twangster so I have NO photos at all. That's just the way I roll....so not only will this blog be on the wordy side, but it will be bereft of photos - hince, the shorter, more readable options, hopefully.
  6. Our first SC experience was in 2017 on the Oasis. I'm working up a small blog about our experience, so more to come on that. Our genie 'Allen' was amazing! Now, in 2019 we are going for our second SC experience on Anthem. This question comes more as to what we can bring as a thank-you gift. We did leave a really nice tip, but want to take it a bit further and bring something unique or cool. I feel bad that we didn't really have anything to give Allen in 2017, especially since on the last day he had gotten all of us a little nice gift. For me, a really nice new wallet - which I'm still using today. What, if anything, have other cruisers in the SC brought as a thank-you gift for their genies? What about thoughts on a price range of the gift?
  7. Is anyone going to be on this cruise? Im super excited. This will be our 9th cruise on RCL, 2nd time on the Anthem and 1st time to Bermuda which leaves May 4,2019. Did anyone win their bids for the Royal Up?
  8. We are going on the Anthem on May 4th. We received our royal upgrade offer to bid. Has anyone bid on an upgraded room? How much did you bid on the junior suite and was your bid accepted? Did you bid on any other rooms and if so, how much did you bid?
  9. We're going to be sailing on Anthem for the first time Nov 16-23, 2019. We are trying to connect with other folks on this same cruise. Anyone have any suggestions on how we can connect with other folks on our specific cruise? On our Dec 2018 cruise on Allure (1st time), we had created a Facebook group for the Allure sailing. We meet hundreds of new folks, we were able to arrange a cabin crawl for a group of people on our FB page, and made some life long friends. We're hoping to do the same on our Anthem cruise. Is anyone on the Anthem November 16, 2019 cruise? If you're on our cruise and want to join our FB group, cabin crawl, etc, our Facebook group name is Anthem of the Seas November 16, 2019 (no hyphen in the name). Hope to meet lots of new folks!
  10. I have been hearing lots of rumors and speculation about this, but wanted to know what you have heard. What are your opinions about which ship will prospectively replace Anthem of the Seas in Bayonne, NJ when she sails to the UK in 2020?
  11. Hi everyone, Just a question about using your sea pass to keep the power on in your stateroom. What is the consensus whether to leave the power on or remove the sea pass when leaving the stateroom? I'm not sure what to do. This is my first cruise with Royal. Thanks for any advise. Stuart
  12. My Cruise will be on November 17 - November 25 with Anthem of the Seas. I booked late so I cannot reserve i-fly and North star and also no dining package available to reserve online because of a holiday sailing. My questions are 1. Does Royal IQ apps work right away once I get onboard? So I can reserve i-fly and North Star. 2. Better to wait in line at Beleros to reserve i-fly and North Star or use Royal IQ apps. 3. Does any dining package offer during a holiday sailing? 4. For anyone that did yoga classes. Do they good and worth the money? I might have more question later but these what I can think of for now. Any suggestion for sailing Anthem OTC welcome because it is the first time I will be on her. TY in advance
  13. Hi everyone. My wife and I are going on the November 25th cruise to the Caribbean on Anthem and she has a question about the pool chairs. She has arthritis and has a hard time getting up from low chairs. Do they have regular sitting chairs rather than the lounge chairs? From any pictures I've seen all I see are lounge chairs. I also have a question about using the towels for shore excursions. I know you can get towels but is there a time limit to return before they charge you the $25.00. Can I keep them for as long as I need them so long as I return them within the same day? Thank you for any advise you can give me. Stuart
  14. Is Luggage Valet available at Cape Liberty to Newark airport? Seems like a great benefit that we have been unable to use so far since we are Florida Residents and drive to Florida ports.
  15. This thread is intended to be a Thank You to Michelle C. from MEI for her extraordinary work in making a dream come true for us ! If I haven't made it clear before, let me reassert now, that a good Travel Agent can make things happen that you just never thought you would be able to do ! These 2 cruises on Anthem, Feb 15-23 and Feb 23-3 March 2019 began as lowly inside stateroom casino comped rooms. All we would have had to pay was the taxes and gratuities and we could have been on our way for 16 days for nearly -0- cost. But Michelle immediately upgraded these inside rooms to balcony rooms for us for a very nominal amount (less than $100 each). She was able to find us a nice location on deck 12 where we could have the same room on both cruises, which is a nice touch...no need to change rooms. They remained that way for some weeks...until I asked Michelle to check and find out how much an upgrade to a JS would be for the first half of the B2B. She came back with a very reasonable upgrade charge, so we upgraded the first cruise to a JS on deck 13 and remained in the original balcony room for the second half of the B2B. Then one day I noticed that a Grand Loft Suite (GLS) had popped up on the first half of the cruise (there had been no Star Class suites available on either of these cruises when we first booked). Thinking that there was no WAY we could afford to upgrade AGAIN, AGAIN I asked Michelle to just call and ask. At this time I was on a biz trip (I think I was in Reno at the time !) so even with the time difference, she was so helpful. Sure enough, the price was very attractive, so I pulled the trigger and had her upgrade the first cruise from the JS to the GLS. YIPPEE !!! I was now going to be Star Class for the first half of the B2B. I was in heaven ! ...and wouldn't you know it...shortly after that, another GLS became available on the second half of the B2B and she once again worked her magic and we snagged that one, too !! ...both of these B2B Star Class cruises together were about half the cost of 1 SC cruise by itself ! They are different suites, so we will have to move from deck 8 to deck 10 on the turnaround but I'm hoping that we can keep the same Genie. I have no idea how something like that works. It will be our first B2B and now both of them will be in Star Class. Can it get any better than this ? While Michelle was certainly instrumental in getting all of this accomplished for us, I have to also give credit to the Club Royale people with whom she worked. ...but Michelle was dogged in her pursuit of this dream on our behalf. If she didn't like the price that one agent gave her, she would call back again and again until she got the price she thought we should get...until it was all done. I know I wore her out with all of the calling and rebooking that she was doing. But once again, she has come through for us and I am so very grateful. Great job, Michelle. Thank you !
  16. As of a few minutes ago, there is still a remarkable price glitch on the second of our B2B cruises on Anthem in Feb. 2019. The cruise for 23 Feb - 3 March (8 day) is showing the same inside price for inside, OV and OV balcony rooms - $918. Michelle (the miracle worker) managed to get our cruise repriced at this rate for only $40 TOTAL....so we were able to go from an inside room to an OV balcony for $40. This room was already a casino comp so this upgrade was incredible for us ! Even though the first half of the B2B did not have this price glitch, I went ahead and had her upgrade that one too so that we could stay in the same room for both parts of the B2B. Also, since this was a casino comp, we will now get cruise points for both segments. If we had remained in the "free" inside room, we would not have received any cruise points (casino comp rule) but by upgrading, we will. So...if anyone is already on this cruise and wants to upgrade from an inside or OV room to a balcony for next to nothing, I recommend you call or have your TA call immediately. I suspect this price is a glitch and when they catch it, it will be gone forever. Even if you are already in an OV balcony you should be able to have the price adjusted as long as it's showing this low price. See, sometimes Royal Caribbean's IT incompetence pays off !!
  17. OK, this is bugging me. I've been watching the winter "Southern" (c'mon Royal, no ABC islands = Eastern) Caribbean trips on Anthem since early last year, and I noticed something very small but odd: For 2018, all the offerings were 12 nights, 6 port stops For 2019, all the offerings are still 12 nights, 6 port stops But in 2020, this cruise is suddenly 11 nights and only 5 port stops Seems they took a day in Barbados off the itinerary for 2020. Anyone have any ideas why? I'm still seriously eyeing this trip as a 2020 50th birthday option (mainly because I have to seriously scale back the budget for that trip, and this is the only real option that will fit that bill), but why on earth would they randomly take Barbados off the port list? Especially when it was a solid two years until sailing at the time these were announced? I did a search and confirmed that Barbados completely escaped all of last year's hurricanes, so there's no damage to the island to recover from. I can't imagine the port there has changed as far as being able to accommodate Anthem; was it a tender port, and Anthem is no longer doing tenders? Web searches aren't showing anything, either as far as other news or announcements around Royal Caribbean and Barbados. I'm totally stumped over this, seems utterly random and I've never heard of Barbados being a bad place to visit by any measure. Why would Royal do this? Having that extra island in the list would have meant that taking this cruise would give me 3 new islands (Antigua, St. Lucia, and Barbados) plus 3 repeats (San Juan, St. Maarten, St. Kitts), which would be really nice. Now it'll be 3 repeats (only two of which I actually want) and only 2 new places.
  18. Hi everyone! My husband and I are trying to decide which cruise to take this summer (July) and would love any help in the decision. The three choices: 1) Anthem OTS- 9 night Bermuda- only 1 day in Bermuda, then off to San Juan, St. Marteen, and Labadee. 2) Grandeur OTS- 9 night Bermuda- overnight in Bermuda, then off to Nassau and Cococay 3) Freedom OTS- 7 night Southern Caribbean- St. Marteen, St. Kitts, St. Lucia, St. Johns, and Barbados. Other information: * We love Anthem, but will be doing the Bahamas itinerary in just a few weeks in April. *We haven't been to Bermuda or St. Lucia and both are appealing to us to visit. *I am not sure if we would regret not having more time in Bermuda on Grandeur if we went on Anthem. *I'm not sure if the Southern Caribbean itinerary will be unbearable weatherwise. We did Greece last year and Italy the year before and survived :) The Freedom itinerary has the most adventure of them all. *We are diamond members, but would likely be staying in a balcony for anthem and possible grandeur and a suite for Freedom. As you can see, I am quite conflicted! Any recommendations or feedback would be great. THANK YOU IN ADVANCE! :)
  19. Going on the Anthem out if NJ March 2019. Never cruised with RC. Hope to learn and talk with others going!
  20. I am reading a live blog that mentions the Captain took them by the Statue of Liberty and lower Manhattan and then turned around to head out to sea. I thought this was one of the neat experiences of sailing out of Bayonne but others mentioned that they couldn't believe the Captain did that- that it's not usually the case. Veteran Anthem travelers - what was your experience?
  21. We leave for our first RCI cruise in 25 days!! Yay!!! But I'm having some anxiety around dress codes. My boys are...casual at best. They are 15 and 12 and to have them wear khaki pants on a vacation is tantamount to torture. I would like to have dinner with them and my dad each evening, and I know dad will want to check out the MDR at least once or twice. My question is, we have late seating and I wonder how casual can my kids be? They live in athletic wear. We are shopping this weekend for clothes (another torture for them) and I want to make sure I get what they need. We also have reservations for Chops one night. Thanks everyone!!! Love the blog and the podcast!!
  22. IT'S CRUISE DAY!!! Departing Cape Liberty (Bayonne, NJ) I have two sea days, Port Canaveral, Miami, Nassau, CocoCay then two sea days back to Cape Liberty. I haven't booked excursions and plan to work some days. Some of these ports are places I've visited many times. As always I'm hoping we make CocoCay but since it's currently a tender port that is always a game day decision for the Captain. Finger's crossed. I flew in last night and stayed at a hotel near the Newark airport. On the plane I checked Anthem's position on a ship tracking site and was surprised to see she was beating me into NJ. Apparently there was a medical incident that precluded helicopter evacuation so they sped up to make port. This is my 3rd cruise on Anthem after a back to back in December. That seems so long ago but then again it was last year. I'm in a balcony cabin on deck 6 forward this time. Most deck 6 balconies are obstructed view due to the position of the life boats however I'm far forward enough to be away from them. I'm planning to purchase Voom on board as it never went on sale in the cruise planner. Since we are in port much of today I'll wait until day 2 to buy Voom to save some money since the on board plans are pro-rated based on how many days are remaining. Yesterday I changed planes in Atlanta. It was very odd looking out the window of the plane and seeing some snow on the ground. My favorite airline lounge has an outside deck which was closed yesterday because of the snow. Where I come from this isn't considered a lot of snow but for this part of the country the recent storm was snowmageddon. Here in Newark it is 28° F this morning. There is something about boarding a ship when it's below freezing that just seems weird. I think I'll skip the sail away and Verrazano-Narrows Bridge event on deck 15 this time. With that it's time to finish re-packing my bags and hail a Lyft.
  23. I'm on board Anthem and watched the NFL Playoffs Sunday on ESPN. Yesterday I went to tune my cabin TV to ESPN as I got ready for bed and oddly it wasn't on the same channel it was on Sunday. I've noted that the overall channel line up has changed mid-cruise losing some channels while gaining others. I went back to my Anthem cruise photos from December 2017 and looked at the channel line up: Here on my current cruise in January 2018 the line up has become: I looked again today just to see if this was a one day change so far the new line up remains. Has anyone else noticed a different channel line up on any other ship?
  24. I woke up early like a kid on Christmas morning... IT'S CRUISE DAY! This will be a special cruise for me in more ways than one. First it is a back-to-back, 7 nights followed by 12 nights. This will be the longest I've stayed on one ship. Second it will mark my transition from Emerald to Diamond. Third I finally return to San Juan and St. Thomas on the 2nd leg of this cruise. This is my first return since the hurricanes earlier this year closed many ports in the Eastern Caribbean. Fourth it is my first time on a Quantum class ship and my first time departing from the general NYC area. Cruise 1, seven nights - Depart Cape Liberty then a sea day, Port Canaveral, Coco Cay, Nassau and two sea days back to Bayonne. My ocean view guarantee has netted me a cabin with a small balcony on deck 11 aft. Cruise 2, twelve nights - Depart Cape Liberty followed by two sea days, San Juan, St. Thomas, Martinique, Barbados, Antigua, St. Kitts and three sea days back to Bayonne. My inside guarantee has netted me a virtual balcony on deck 9 aft. I booked these cruises solo less than 45 days out and don't mind switching cabins as it was expected booking on short notice. This will be my first virtual balcony experience and being the geek that I am, I'm eager to try it! I've booked a virtual balcony for the Royal Caribbean Blog Alaska group cruise in June. This will be a good test run to see if that is going to work for me. I flew into Newark yesterday. Spending a night in an airport hotel reminds me what great value cruising is. A simple dinner with a few drinks plus gratuity was $53 and I've still got to find breakfast in the morning. That's on top of the cost for the hotel room. Having said that I always fly in the day before. The cost of the hotel and meals are a form of insurance to ensure one way or another I'm going to be on that ship! I'm tracking Anthem of the Seas using marinetraffic.com. She is in New York's lower bay and just sailed under the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge as she makes her way towards Bayonne. Time to re-pack my bags and get ready.
  25. Someone had mentioned that they heard Anthem will no longer be leaving from NJ sometime in 2019 and will be replaced by two smaller ships.....has anyone else heard this rumor? I hope it isn't true!
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