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BigBrust

Anthem Bahamas Review

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Just got off the Anthem of the Seas from our 11/2-11/9 trip for my daughter's Sweet 16 and our 20th Anniversary cruise.  It was a great cruise, lots of fun, and a lot to discuss.  i will start from the beginning.

Embarkation Day- EASIEST embarkation we have had in 16 cruises.  We got to the port around 10:00 am.  By the time we got our bags out of the car, we were in the terminal at 10:15.  We got right up to an agent who checked our set sail passes and passports.  They had to retake my wife's picture, as well as my daughter's friends picture.  The whole process took about 5 minutes.  We were ushered to a seating area and told boarding would begin between 11-11:30.  At 10:35, they made an announcement that boarding will begin, and we were on the ship by 11am.  I went right to customer service to get an extra key made for our room and my daughter's room.  That took about 5 minutes.  I met the other 3 up in the Windjammer for lunch, and then we went off to explore the ship.  It is HUGE!  Well laid out and easy to navigate though.  Our luggage was at our room at 1pm, so we went an unpacked and got ready for the Muster station meetings at 2:30.  Our room, 11586, was a great room and great location mid ship.  Our group met at Chops Steakhouse.  The muster drill took all of about 20 minutes, very easy.  We then went and booked the IFly for Friday afternoon.  We took a nap and woke up in time to get ready for our 8pm dinner in Chic.  We did classic dining time so that the 4 of us could have a meeting place every night and sit and enjoy dinner together.  

Sea Day-  Our day at sea started out uneventful- the weather was starting to warm up as we got down toward the Carolina's.  Then, we had to make a U-Turn for a Coast Guard Helicopter evacuation.  We went an hour and half northwest toward shore to meet up with the helicopter.  Apparently, someone fell from the 16th floor of the seaplex to the 15th floor and was in critical condition.  The captain was pushing 25 knots, and the boat was rocking.  The whole process took a couple of hours, but the rescue was successful.  We started back south toward Port Canaveral and all was well.  We enjoyed the day by the pool, walked through the promenade shops, etc.  The kids spent most of the day at the teen club and wandering around the ship.  

I will continue later or tomorrow when I get more time!

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Looking forward to reading this. My sons (will be 12/14) and I will be on Anthem next Dec while my husband stays back and works, lol. 

Did your 8pm dining create any conflicts with evening entertainment? We’re currently traditional with late seating and this is my one big concern and therefore have been toying with getting unlimited dining to offer a bit more flexibility (I’m not a MTD person... if I’m going to eat in the dining room, it’s going to be old school). 

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12 hours ago, BunnyHutt said:

Did your 8pm dining create any conflicts with evening entertainment? We’re currently traditional with late seating and this is my one big concern and therefore have been toying with getting unlimited dining to offer a bit more flexibility (I’m not a MTD person... if I’m going to eat in the dining room, it’s going to be old school). 

I sailed Anthem last month, and the only real conflict we had was when we saw We Will Rock You for the 6:30 showing on the final sea day. That 100% conflicts with the 8 PM dining time, as the show is slightly over 2 hours long. But for that or any other show that will make you late, you can let your wait staff know you'll be arriving late that particular night and, as long as it's not more than about 30 minutes, they can accommodate you.

Apart from that, all of the shows on our sailings were typically shown twice so that you could catch it no matter your dining slot.

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Port Canaveral- Didn't plan any excursions here, thank goodness, because we were delayed getting into port because of the emergency evacuation the day before.  We took an Uber to Ron Jon's, had lunch by the beach at Captain Jacks (Avoid this place) and then my wife and the girls went to Cocoa Beach for a while, but the weather was crappy.  We talked to people that did excursions, namely Disney, and they said they got there, had time for a ride or two, and had to get back on the shuttle to the ship.  Id be annoyed if I spent the money on that.

Perfect Day at Cocoa Cay- I booked the water park for the girls, and my wife and I found a spot on the beach by the swim up bar.  That place was so crowded it looked like it was going to sink!  The girls said the water slides were cool, but with another ship in port, the lines were long and each slide was only worth going on once.  I went back to the ship around 1, and the girls made their way back around 3.  The beach was nice, getting drinks at the bar was SLOW, and it seemed people from the other ship were very rude and cutting into lines ahead of us that were sitting there waiting.  I did not eat at the food venues on the island, so i don't have a report on that.

Nassau- I booked the girls to do the Dolphin Swim at Blue Lagoon Island, and my wife and I went to Blue Lagoon as well for a beach day.  The ferry ride to the island was about 40 minutes, but it was very scenic and the captain gave us information about who's houses we were passing.  Blue Lagoon Island was nice, but the beach was an inlet.  if you booked a VIP tour, you got to go to the actual beach.  The girls loved the dolphin swim.  The girls ate at the food venue, and said it was pretty good.  I took an early ferry back to do some shopping in port, and the girls took a later ferry.  

More later!

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Last 2 sea days- The first sea day back was beautiful- we laid out by the pool for most of the day.  Last sea day was cold and the water was a bit rough- it doesn't bother me at all, but the girls all took motion sickness meds and were fine.  We had another medical emergency the last night around 11pm.  They needed someone with type O- blood with a donor card to go to guest services immediately.  Not sure what happened that someone needed a blood transfusion at sea, but I am guessing thats what was happening.

Debarkation- again, the fastest debarkation from a ship we have ever had.  We met for breakfast at 7, and were off the ship by 8.  No lines in the customs area at all.  I was home by 9:30.

I will review the food, casino, and other services next

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Food- I found the food to be good.  The windjammer got a little stale for breakfast by the 7th day, but that is to be expected.  The fresh squeezed OJ was great!  We ate lunch in the windjammer most days, except the last sea day we ate in the main dining room (American icon) and found the menu to be a nice change from the windjammer.  They also had a smaller buffet set up in the MDR at lunch.  MDR for dinner was great.  They had the staples of chicken, steak, etc every night, accompanied by a few different items every night.  The turkey dinner was very good, as was the prime rib.  the lobster was ok, not sure why people go ga ga over small lobster tails that are generally overcooked.  Our server, Lina was awesome!  Always gave us hints about the menu and the fish of the day.  The girls liked plain dinner rolls, so Lina always had a plate of rolls for them to start dinner.  My wife got a cheese plate before dinner every night after she ordered one the first night.  These are the touches I like about traditional dining times

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1 hour ago, BigBrust said:

 These are the touches I like about traditional dining times

I agree.  My husband and I now only do traditional over MTD.  Shows are created around the traditional dining and on a ship like Anthem you pre-book the shows anyway.  We always now do late seating for MDR.  When we do specialty we usually do earlier.

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Casino- AVOID the craps table!  The table is dead, you can only play 1x odds, and I saw nobody win all week.  The slot machines are old, none of the new fun machines, but that is to be expected on a cruise ship.  Wasn't a bad week, but def not a winning one.

My daughter and her friend made friends at the teen club, but said the teen club staff never did any of the activities that were listed.  It was kind of an i don't care what you guys do attitude.  I also didn't like that there was no way to contact the kids without purchasing the internet package.  i didn't purchase it because I didn't want them on their phones on vacation.  On Carnival, you can purchase a texting package for $5 a day per person so that you can message people in your group.  Royal Caribbean needs to do something like that.  There is no texting option on the app, as people told us there was.

The cruise director was not seen out and about much all week.  I have been on cruises where you see the CD out everyday, meeting people, getting people involved in games and trivia, etc.  The only time we saw this guy was on TV or at a show.  Not that it makes or breaks your cruise, but it would be nice to see the CD engaged in activities.

The girls did the IFly, and they said it was great!  They also did the bumper cars and said it was fun.

Other than that, if you have specific questions, I will be happy to answer them!

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On 11/11/2019 at 8:10 PM, BunnyHutt said:

Looking forward to reading this. My sons (will be 12/14) and I will be on Anthem next Dec while my husband stays back and works, lol. 

Did your 8pm dining create any conflicts with evening entertainment? We’re currently traditional with late seating and this is my one big concern and therefore have been toying with getting unlimited dining to offer a bit more flexibility (I’m not a MTD person... if I’m going to eat in the dining room, it’s going to be old school). 

Hi- I am not really a show person, so the late dining didn't affect me.  i know some people arrived late one night after We Will Rock You let out at about 8:15, so it didn't seem like a big deal.

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18 minutes ago, BigBrust said:

Casino- AVOID the craps table!  The table is dead, you can only play 1x odds, and I saw nobody win all week.

Huh, usually that only happens when I'm on board and step up to the table. Right up until then it's on fire.

I must have left some residual bad juju after my last visit. Sorry about that.

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