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Hi, Our family will be on the Anthem of the Seas during Thanksgiving week this year. I was wondering if the ship will be decorated for Christmas or is it too soon? This will be our first time on the Anthem. We sailed Harmony this past February and thought it would be a nice change for once to not have to fly out to a cruise port. Any thoughts on getting a Hotel the night before to do some sightseeing in New York?  Any excursion or port advice? We will be stopping at Port Canaveral, Nassau, and Coco Cay. We opted to go with the Ultimate dining since my 10 year old enjoys great food and a little pampering.  Any must do's, tips or what to avoid on the ship would be greatly appreciated.  Thank you in advance. 

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If you have any thrill seekers in your family, I recommend doing the Atlantis Adventure in Nassau! It includes shuttle service, lunch, and access to pretty much all of the resort. You'll have access to the beach, water slides, pools, and aquarium. Theres also a casino and shopping area if that's your thing. We were there from 9am-7pm. Just a word of warning, there will be a LOT of walking involved, and they do not accept cash at the resort. 

Also you should plan to arrive at least a day before you embark if you're able. That way if something happens with your flight, you won't miss your cruise! Flying and getting on the ship all in the same day is a bit intense, IMO. :7_sweat_smile:

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They'll likely be decorating it during the week you're onboard.

Keep in mind that since the cruise departs from New Jersey, you'll need to make arrangements to get to New York and back. I love New York, but I'm not sure I'd go through the bother for just one night.

The Space Center is worth a visit when stopping in Port Canaveral. Atlantis is also fun, but can be a bit pricey. Coco Cay is a great beach day.

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I recommend that you DO NOT visit Universal or Disney for the day.  The cost is enormous and you'll be lucky to get 5 hours there.

Do the bumper cars as soon as you board.  They'll be open at noon on embarkation day.

Schedule you North Star ride and all of the shows. 

Eat breakfast and lunch at Cafe 270º and enjoy the views.  Midday there will be shows by the robo screens.  Cool to watch.

 

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On 9/10/2017 at 8:10 PM, DocLC said:

Keep in mind that since the cruise departs from New Jersey, you'll need to make arrangements to get to New York and back. I love New York, but I'm not sure I'd go through the bother for just one night.

As a native New Jerseyan I can offer a suggestion on this, if you really want to see New York at all. Since the port is in Bayonne, which is close to Newark, I'd think you should be able to book a hotel in Newark that's situated either close to the light rail or the Newark PATH (Port Authority subway system) terminal in Newark. From the Newark terminal, you can take the PATH to 1 World Trade Center, where you can see the World Trade Center memorial. If I remember rightly, you also have a reasonably short walk to 30 Rockefeller Center (where they film shows like Today, NBC Nightly News, and have the small skating rink area in the winter time with the giant Christmas tree). Both areas have a decent number of restaurants to try out, and from the World Trade Center you have about a half-mile walk to Battery Park.

Of course, I also have to recommend Hoboken as a place to check out, especially if you're any kind of foodie. Just take either the light rail or the PATH from Newark to Hoboken, then go up the main road through town that ends at the Hoboken PATH station; in a quarter to half a mile you'll be surrounded by all kinds of fantastic dining options. My favorite place there (if it's still open after all these years) was Bangkok City; amazing Thai food for really reasonable prices.

Both the PATH and light rail are pretty reasonably priced each way, and they run fairly frequently during the day until around 10 PM. I commuted on them for years and the prices haven't changed much at all. But, the drawback of this is that hotel prices in Newark can be high compared to the surrounding area; and you'll also need to make the drive from Newark to Bayonne the morning of your cruise, which could take a while depending on traffic (guaranteed in and around Newark) and any construction going on (almost guaranteed just about anywhere on a major road or highway in NJ).

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