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twangster

Anthem Jan. 5, 2020 11 Nights Southern Caribbean - RECAP

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As morning turned to afternoon the sea conditions improved and there was less motion in the ocean.  The wind was still up and sea spray was still coating my balcony but it looked like a nice enough day out there.

By early evening it was even better and we slowed down to a more economical cruising speed.

For reference the temperature was 23°C or 73°F.  Not hot but also not humid, quit pleasant. 

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After a happy hour drink in the Music Hall overflow for the Diamond Lounge my new friend and I went to Coastal Kitchen for dinner.  Earlier I had asked the CK manager if it would be okay to bring someone who isn't eligible and since I was occupying a table for two by myself he had no problem allowing it.  The CK on Anthem is a much friendlier experience for JS guests compared to Oasis class CK as a JS guest.

 No dinner pictures when dining with friends.

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Day 10 - Sea Day

Morning finds us in much the same conditions as last night albeit down one degree in temperature.  We are roughly parallel with the central Florida area (Orlando).

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Last night my cabin attendant washed down my balcony so it was useable again.

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I saw another display from the food and beverage team on Anthem in the Esplanade.

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When I first saw the Bionic bar being replenished I thought... "they are making the robots so lifelike these days"

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Yes, even Bionic Bar drinks are subject to 18% gratuity.  I guess this is why.  🙂 

Don't shoot the messenger.

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Day 11 - Sea Day

Our final day is upon us.

Curious.  Anthem goes into dry dock in April yet they are replacing the Windjammer carpet on this sailing.  Over several nights they've been tackling various sections of the WJ and now it appears complete.  Their stash of carpet in a corner of the SeaPlex has been dwindling night after night.

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For reference the temperature is down to 61°F.  Out here away from land a big influencer on air temperature is the sea.  Absent of any land mass to heat up and change temperatures, the temperature of the sea is the most significant factor in the air temperature. 

Many people always ask what will weather be like when sailing from Bayonne?  Absent of a weather system the temperature of the sea will likely determine how it feels on board.  Search for ocean temperatures and you'll get a baseline of what to expect.   

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Beautiful conditions again today.

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Captain's Corner in two70° to a full house.

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Several guests made comments related to Captain Srecko and his presence around the ship.  He frequently walked through Coastal Kitchen during dinner and apparently did the same in the MDR.  Not only is he a great mariner but he is also a great host around the ship.

The topic of his Flowrider and iFly skills came up and Mitch our CD noted the Captain doesn't simply use the Flowrider or iFly, he must inspect them from time to time.

One guest made the mistake of calling Anthem "a boat".  The Captain stopped Mitch from answering the question.  "If there was just one person on a ship who would that be?" he asked - The Captain.  "If there was just one person on a boat?" he then asked - A frustrated husband.   It was all in good fun.  

At any rate Captain Srecko is well liked by the guests.   

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Where has the time gone?

As I get ready for my last visit to the Music Hall Diamond overflow happy hour, it's hard to pull myself away from this stunning final sunset.

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Just loving this deck 6 balcony.  Close to the water, stunning sunsets.  Should have booked a B2B.  I'm not ready to go home.

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Day 11 - Dinner

You know it... Coastal Kitchen

The day 1 menu was back and with it the Grilled Filet Mignon.  

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Dinner with a friend so no pictures.  

Gotta say this filet let me down a bit.  The flavor was good, it was cooked perfectly but the cut of meat wasn't that great and it was hard to cut through the sinew.  However the ambiance, the company and the wine went a long way to overcome it.  

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Day 12 - Bayonne

Up early to grab some breakfast in the WJ we were backing into the slip at Cape Liberty.

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I joined the self assist line early because I was up and had nothing better to do.   Time 5:53am.

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Comparing prices it looks like Lyft has gone crazy so Uber it will be.

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Ahead of schedule they started letting us off and I was through the facial recognition and outside by 6:51am.

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By 7:35am I was checked in, through security and in the Delta Sky Club.

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For some reason my Uber driver went South through NY to reach Newark claiming traffic was backed up.  Imagine my surprise when my fare went from under $20 to $67!

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I submitted a fare review through Uber and within hours had my rate adjusted back to what I signed up for. 

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Don't let your rideshare driver go the Southern route to Newark through New York.  They are really proud of their bridges on this route.  

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Cruise Summary

When ever I sail a Quantum class ship I'm reminded about how much I love this class of ship.  I was just on the newly amped Oasis and that is a great class of ship but there is something about Anthem and Ovation that is really appealing.  I prefer both the balcony and junior suites on these ships more than Oasis class.  The balcony cabin layout and bathroom is just about perfect on this class. 

As it has happened to work out 80% of my 2020 cruises are on Quantum class and I'm okay with that. 

On this trip I hardly used the pool deck and for the first time I didn't use North Star or iFly.  I don't know where the time went but other than walking through the Solarium a couple times I lived on the lower decks this cruise.   I'm not a sun worshiper so that plays into equation.   I may dig through some of my older Anthem picture galleries to post some pictures because the Solarium is one of the nicest in the fleet and the indoor pool area for families is perfect for this ship.  I wouldn't be doing her justice to not show them off.  

I did walk through the SeaPlex with the goal of visioning how Playmakers will work on Odyssey when she arrives later this year.  I'm really looking forward to sailing on that ship with the evolution that has come with operating these ships for a number of years now.  I was disappointed when Spectrum went straight to Asia but was thrilled when Odyssey was placed in Florida for the end of this year.

A lot has been said about Diamond Plus being restricted from the Concierge Lounge.  I seem to pick my sail dates with increased number of top elite so that is something I've experienced a number of times on both Anthem and Ovation.  I've got to say the expanded Diamond Lounge has always worked really well for me on both ships.  I met some new friends and saw a many of them night after night.  As a solo cruiser I love that the Music Hall bar is available for happy hour.  It's much easier to meet and talk with new friends at the bar seating compared to a table somewhere by myself.  For me losing access to the CL is a non-event.  

The crew were amazing once again on Anthem.  I've sailed with Captain Srecko before and will always look forward to sailing with him again.   

Coastal Kitchen once again was a star and a highlight of the cruise for me.  The night one filet is one of the best steaks in the fleet.

I am really glad they occasionally do these longer itineraries on Anthem.  It's such a nice ship a 7 or 8 night is too short and the ports are more interesting on these longer runs.  Having to wear long pants on the first and last day in the middle of winter is trivial.

Bayonne or Cape Liberty is a great home port.  With sub $20 rideshare transfers it's second only to Fort Lauderdale for fly-in convenience.  Facial recognition is a welcome update since my last Bayonne departure that makes the debarking process so easy.

I'll post the specialty dining menus I have soon and I may go through some of my older Anthem pictures to find the best one to show off a few areas I missed this time around.

Until then I hope you enjoyed following along and I thank you for viewing.  

Cheers!

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20 minutes ago, AshleyDillo said:

Sounds like that's a pretty common occurrence, eh @CGTLH?

Under breath grumblings...

8 hours ago, twangster said:

For some reason my Uber driver went South through NY to reach Newark claiming traffic was backed up.  Imagine my surprise when my fare went from under $20 to $67!

I personally think the drivers know of a glitch on how Uber calculates the tolls. From what I understand/read if a toll was going to be applied it should only been applied leaving New Jersey, Bayonne Bridge.

Plus I'm not exactly sure how Uber does reimbursement to the drivers, toll is max $16. So I'm sure the drivers can pocket a bit if they get reimbursed the cash rate and only get charged the pass rate or plan rate.

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Thanks @Twangster for posting trip details and great pics.  Your pictures are outstanding and capture a lot of the great features the Quantum class ships offer.    That junior suite looks impressive. 

Our first trip on Anthem was just a couple of weeks ago and she really is a great ship.   I asked my wife if she would be willing to go on Anthem again and it was an enthusiastic "yes."   Now let's see what she thinks about Empress when we sail her next month. 

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This blog is probably one of my favorites of yours to date.  I enjoyed seeing the pictures of the ship and am glad it has fewer pages (thank you to those who didn't repost your photos when replying to one of your posts).  You went home??  I didn't know you ever went home-thought you basically lived on a cruise ship lately.  At any rate, keep enjoying those cruises.  I cannot wait to try a Quantum class ship sometime.

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Thank you so very much Twangster for another great blog.  Your blogs are so wonderful like a good book you don't ever want to put down!

I love the Anthem too!  We were on a second 9 night which I wish was longer like yours last May in a Jr. Suite and that Coastal Kitchen was a definite favorite of ours!

All your beautiful pictures I feel should be in books too!

Michelle

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3 hours ago, twangster said:

The night one filet is one of the best steaks in the fleet.

keiran lee yes GIF

 

1 hour ago, CruisinUpinLife said:

(thank you to those who didn't repost your photos when replying to one of your posts). 

^^^This.  lol

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19 hours ago, twangster said:

an_day11-10.jpg

This has to be one of my favorites of all the... hundreds? More likely thousands of photos you've taken. I don't care that it's only January 21, this one has got to (a) get into Friday Photos at some point, and (b) be a finalist for Best Cruise Photo of 2020.

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14 hours ago, twangster said:

Cruise Summary

 the Solarium is one of the nicest in the fleet and the indoor pool area for families is perfect for this ship.  I wouldn't be doing her justice to not show them off.  
 

Having recently disembarked from Quantum OTS I can attest to this comment. ^^

The Solarium is simply gorgeous, while the indoor pool was where my family found itself gathering on a regular basis. The AC was not too cold, just the right temp to provide relief from the harsh south-east Asian sun, but still warm enough to want to hop in the pool.

I loved the 270* theatre as a space to relax and dreamily watch the wake of the ship. The Music Hall was also an excellent venue.

On the downside, I did not enjoy the Esplanade. It lacked a certain vibe that is present with the Promenade and Centrum from other classes of ships. I also didn't feel much of a connection to the ocean, which is ample when on Radiance class for instance. It seems that you do not necessarily share this view Twangster? It's all a question of personal preference, after all.

Love reading your blogs!

 

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On 1/18/2020 at 9:34 PM, twangster said:

I was almost done unpacking when I made a dash for deck 15 to take in the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge.

 

 

 

Loving this thread! 
 

About that time did you reach the Verrazano Bridge? I’m curious because our Genie is delivering food to our room for sail away, right after Muster.... but we were wanting to go up top for the passing under the bridge. It seems like we may feel super rushed, and now wondering if we should cancel the food/ drink order. 
 

from my understanding we should be back to our room by 3:30 following muster. Does this seem right? 

sailing Monday, can’t wait! 
 

Thanks!

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