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11 Night Southern Caribbean (1/29-2/9/2024): “Starring” Anthem of the Seas


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Our last star class sailing was on Oasis in October 2023. We found Oasis to be a little crowded, and decided to go back to what we know. We did a similar itinerary on Anthem in 1/2020, and loved it. Our suite will include myself, the husband, and our 12 yr old son (13th birthday on this sailing). 

Today marks 28 days to go. We received our genie survey on 12/22 and genie assignment on 12/30. We have Elizabeth Perez. There doesn’t seem to be much info out there about her. A somewhat new-ish genie. What info that I have found is favorable, so yay! 

Cruise Itinerary: 11 night Southern Caribbean (St. Thomas, St. Maarten, St. Lucia, St. Kitts)  from Cape Liberty, NJ on 1/29/2024

Stateroom: Grand Loft #8724

Shore Excursions: We have booked an excursion for each port day.

Day 5  - St. Thomas: Xmas Cove - Snorkel, Turtles & Rays

Day 6 - St. Maarten: America’s Cup Sailing Regatta

Day 7 - St. Lucia: West Coast Catamaran Cruise

Day 8 - St. Kitts: Caribbean Scenic Railway Tour

We live about 2 1/2 hours from port, and will be planning to stay at Fairfield Inn & Suites Edison-South Plainfield the night before embarkation. We stayed there before our last cruise and found it to be acceptable for the price. There is a free breakfast included, but it wasn’t great. The selling point is that it’s very close to a Target and an easy drive to port.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Dinner at CK last night was excellent. Our waiter is Vivek. We were joking that our son doesn’t drink soda, only water and milkshakes and he seriously went to JR and brought back a vanilla milkshake for him. We did not expect that! 




Filet Mignon




Hazelnut Cake 

The evening welcome show was OK. It was basically a preview of one of the singers from WWRY and the comedian later in the week. Cruise director noted there are only about 100 kids onboard. 

We were on Oasis in October, and by comparison we’ve been enjoying Anthem better thus far. Crowds are less. Much easier to catch an elevator. CK is cozier and quieter without having an attached suite lounge. And I prefer Jamie’s to Giovanni’s. 


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Day 2: Sea Day

Breakfast was at CK this AM.

Lunch at Chops. 

Chicken Caesar Salad


Chocolate Lava Cake


Key Lime Meringue Pie

Bumper cars this afternoon. There were lots of people lined up. Elizabeth led us to the front. We only went once, to be courteous to the others. It’s a long cruise, so we’ll be back on another day.

Dinner at Jamie’s.



Penne Carbonara 

We skipped dessert. It’s way too soon to be feeling the food coma, but sadly it has taken effect.

We skipped the headliner show tonight as it was illusionist Jason Bishop, who we saw on Oasis a few months ago. 


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1 hour ago, WAAAYTOOO said:

@Karannk,wwhat do you think of Elizabeth ?  I don't know her.

My basis for comparison is Yen Lee and Allan Fajardo. Elizabeth is great. She’s been working on Anthem for about 1 1/2 yrs. Very personable and down to earth. Plenty of little personal touches. My favorite genie so far! And this is only day 3. 

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Day 3: Sea Day

While we were planning on CK for breakfast, ultimately we decided to grab a quick fruit cup and pastry from 270 instead. Just didn’t have the room in our stomachs for a full breakfast. Thinking of room service for tomorrow.

The husband and I did iFly at 1030AM. We were able to have 2 goes at it each, which I wasn’t expecting. It was just us and another Star fellow of Elizabeth’s. 

By the time lunch rolled around, we were actually hungry! Elizabeth came to visit us during lunch at Izumi. 

Chicken teriyaki 

IMG_8780.thumb.jpeg.e3b44d44a9d8655fc5116be056e58f97.jpegSpicy crispy shrimp roll


IMG_8782.thumb.jpeg.5c5074ab2922cd3655e4f2ebb9c08127.jpegChampagne lobster roll 

IMG_8783.thumb.jpeg.2da8f6fa8113cf04e528b64b04f990cc.jpegGreen tea ice cream

Our son had another chess meetup with a fellow passenger that we connected with on one of the cruise groups. We met yesterday as well. He is learning, which is great! 

special touches from Elizabeth 

There were surprise snacks in the room this afternoon. 


Later this afternoon we have bumper cars planned again. And dinner in Wonderland. 

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Day 4: Sea Day

Room service breakfast this AM followed by another chess meetup.

The decorations on the door are magically multiplying.

CK for lunch. I was surprised the Caesar salad didn’t have the encircled crouton thing. Porchetta was delicious!

IMG_8804.thumb.jpeg.48efbf315bd3000751302d451ece1347.jpegCaesar salad

IMG_8805.thumb.jpeg.5e22709afc920afc3e99f916ec48a5dd.jpegMargherita flatbread 

IMG_8806.thumb.jpeg.d561bf3cc2441fec72b571de4dcdb6a1.jpegRoasted fennel & chili porchetta

IMG_8807.thumb.jpeg.d559ea7c06abae53f3ae8bd1d93e3c42.jpegRas el Hanout seasoned swordfish 

Seafood linguini alfredo

Rum cake

Bumper cars again after lunch, then spent some time relaxing on the balcony. 

Tonight is Chops dinner and The Gift show. Supposedly, the show has changed a bit from pre-Covid times as there is now a shortage of riggers. 

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Dinner at Chops

IMG_8815.thumb.jpeg.c52d9fdb6049af1dd4dbbfcbc4af0d63.jpegCrispy goat cheese salad 

IMG_8816.thumb.jpeg.b7cb31c32d5d477ea8e51c4e0d42a9c3.jpegCrab cake

IMG_8817.thumb.jpeg.300346744aae1d67aee833759d5c9c4d.jpegLobster bisque 

IMG_8818.thumb.jpeg.483429ca36e065581a54e89b0e78d2a4.jpegSpicy jumbo shrimp 


IMG_8821.thumb.jpeg.c8994e9e5b62817507afbbc0866d3271.jpegApple pie 



The Gift was not the best. When we saw this before, there were more visual effects. With the rigger shortage, the show has been altered and it is now definitely lacking. Also, the sound was not balanced causing a few singers to overwhelm the rest of the cast. 

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Day 5: St Thomas


Our excursion today was Xmas Cove - Snorkel, Turtles & Rays. Indeed we saw turtles - two types: loggerhead and green sea turtles. And rays. There were also starfish, cuttlefish, dusky squirrelfish, and a shipwreck. One of the crew members led an optional snorkel tour in the water, highlighting important facts about the area and sea creatures. He dove down to the bottom and brought up several starfish for us to pass around for up close inspection. So cool! The guys who run the tour had a great sense of humor. We had a great time. 

IMG_8841.thumb.jpeg.755fdeb4718a2c582075d5d7dc2a9ff1.jpegSnorkel boat  🤿 




Afternoon room snacks

By the time we made it back to the ship, most options for lunch were closed. We braved the Windjammer for a late lunch. The Indian choices - potato bhaji and fish curry - were a win. Overall, not bad. 

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Izumi dinner was much of the same as previous, aside from the Futomaki roll. This time, they brought the She’s a Geisha drink for my husband in a large cup. Supersized! 

IMG_8855.thumb.jpeg.7f90de56be92ba319940ffcd4543f50f.jpegFutomaki roll 

After dinner, we had to stop by Excursion desk to pick a new something for the next day. The America’s Cup Regatta excursion was cancelled due to lack of wind. We settled on the Golden Eagle Catamaran snorkel trip. They gave us a 15% discount.


This evening we saw Spectra’s Cabaret. We were delighted that Terry Lavell has recently returned to reprise the role of Spectra. 

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Day 6: St Maarten 



Today was an early morning. Our excursion had us meet at 815AM in the Royal Theater before heading out to the dock as a group. We booked Golden Eagle Catamaran Sail & Snorkel. There were maybe 20 of us total. Loved that! The catamaran itself was roomy. There several groups of tables. We stopped at a snorkel site first. There was a downed helicopter, a cannon, some walkways, and a statue underwater where the fish could hide. Crew fed the fish to attract them. There were soo many. Clouds of itty bitty fish, needlefish, snapper, and some others. Then we stopped at Simpson beach for some swimming. They served ham and cheese sandwiches on freshly baked baguettes on the return to the ship. Drinks were plentiful as well. Would definitely recommend. 


IMG_8887.thumb.jpeg.8a5e67d75591577a19e392b7e50f41cc.jpegnow even more - genie magic

Windjammer lunch and Johnny Rockets dinner. We completely slummed it today, but that’s OK. It was a busy day, and we’re tired. We are planning to see tonight’s headliner show - a juggler. Tomorrow brings a full day catamaran cruise to the pitons in St Lucia. 


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2 hours ago, Karannk said:

Terry Lavell has recently returned to reprise the role of Spectra. 

Terry Lavell is the best playing Spectra.  Also on the 2 Christmas cruise I took on Anthem he did a solo in the Christmas show and he was phenomenal.

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On 1/30/2024 at 9:38 AM, Karannk said:

We were on Oasis in October, and by comparison we’ve been enjoying Anthem better thus far.

I know that's blasphemy here, but I'm quietly raising my hand in agreement 🤝✌️ 

I could honestly not care less about Symphony in May and would rather just do Odyssey in January. 

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On 1/31/2024 at 7:31 AM, Karannk said:

We skipped the headliner show tonight as it was illusionist Jason Bishop, who we saw on Oasis a few months ago. 

Sorry I'm just catching up. But another +1. He was fine once, but i wouldn't feel the need to see him again. 

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Day 7: St Lucia 


Another early day with room service breakfast followed by excursion. 

Interestingly, Freewinds was in port with us this AM. It’s a Scientology retreat ship  for high level folks. I don’t know about you, but I’ve watched my share of Leah Remini TV shows exposing Scientology and this was pretty neat to see. 


Our excursion was West Coast Catamaran Cruise. There were soo many people shoved on to this double decker catamaran. First we headed to Pigeon Point, then turned around towards Soufriere and the Pitons. The first swim/snorkel stop was plagued with aggressive locals trying to sell us refrigerator magnets, wood carvings, and coconut milk. They did not allow us to jump off the catamaran to swim. Everyone had to use the forward fold down stairs. That was a huge mess and so slow. We continued to the Pitons.


Our second swim stop at the base of the Pitons was a bit more relaxing. Lunch was served onboard. It was tasty. There was enough left over for folks to have seconds if they wanted. 



Ultimately, it was probably the best way to see the pitons. I’ve heard that driving there in a bus is kinda unpleasant and not as great a view. 

Jamie’s for dinner tonight. 

Risotto Rosso

IMG_8958.thumb.jpeg.d7082a2b9d738bade32f6aaf887f0ec7.jpegPenne vodka arrabbiata

IMG_8959.thumb.jpeg.99f61b34c1ab9558e9caef1ac6565865.jpegChicken Parmesan 

Followed by sweets at the Patisserie.

IMG_8960.thumb.jpeg.f99f90ee117945f22f827c5125f293af.jpegCookies & Cream cupcake

IMG_8961.thumb.jpeg.3a0ceaf866cf8f8b2427bc02d7eb7ac1.jpegCarrot Cake 

No show or evening entertainment tonight. We were tired. Another excursion tomorrow at St Kitts. 

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Day 8: St Kitts



Room service breakfast followed by St Kitts Scenic Railway excursion. Elizabeth walked us down to the pier and arranged for us to be first on the shuttle bus to the train. We were able to hop off the shuttle quickly and secure an air conditioned seat inside the lower part of the rail car rather than the open air upper deck. After the last few days in the sun, it was a treat for our sunburned skin. This was a nice relaxing ride around the perimeter of the island with a bit of historical narration. Plus drinks and a sampling of coconut ginger cakes. Would recommend. 





Lunch at the pub today. Which was OK. And mostly consisted of appetizers. Yes it was good, but would I want to pay extra for this? Nah, not really. 

IMG_9006.thumb.jpeg.db3d8762f5e6966ade9b463a1025f986.jpegBBQ pulled pork nachos 

IMG_9007.thumb.jpeg.f923e4701cf0d089aea7b3b907685314.jpegRoyal pub burger

IMG_9008.thumb.jpeg.3f0db4c1636ba6547d247769df6b9b57.jpegGerman soft pretzel sticks 

IMG_9009.thumb.jpeg.1038236d56225099bb272cece111b457.jpeg Lobster mac & cheese wedges 


We went to the concierge lounge before dinner and our son filled up on chicken wings and shrimp. Dinner is a bit later today, so we figured why not?

Had a chance to speak with Captain Toni while at the lounge. Port time was shortened today from 5pm to 2:30pm to accommodate expected delays. The next few days will have increasingly rough seas, and he is worried about making it back to Bayonne on time. We’re looking forward to “a bit less than 25 feet waves” - maybe 18-20? I’ll keep you posted. 

Dinner dragged on seemingly forever tonight at Chops. They were temporarily out of the Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc. And also ran out of onion rolls. We had much of the same dishes as before. This was the only new thing: 


New towel animal tonight.  Not sure what it’s supposed to be, but kinda looks like a baby yoda. 


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