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Anthem 11/25/17 - 7+12 B2B


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I happened to be near the Northstar (ok I was at the Northstar bar) and saw they were light on passengers for a ride so I jumped on Northstar standby this afternoon.  I wanted to see what photography is like at sea from Northstar and learned a couple things.  I only had my fisheye lens with NO CPL.

Note the position of the sun.  More on that later.

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Sun from aft causes even greater reflections in the glass that will appear in the photo.  I need to be aware of sun position next booking.

The curved nature of the gondola makes CPL filters less effective.  Especially with ultra wide angle lens.  However I think it would helped at least a little because reflections from inside Northstar onto the glass were pretty bad today.  A CPL filter and picking a time when the sun would be in front of the ship, or on a cloudy day might yield better results.

No problem with the A/C in Northstar, not hot at all.

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I still enjoyed the ride though.  It's a very unique experience.  Alaska 2019 on Ovation ...anyone in?

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Day 4 - San Juan, Scheduled Arrival 3pm  As we approached San Juan our sunny day ended and it became apparent we would have some liquid sunshine, emphasis on liquid, to contend with. We

I don't always live blog my cruises,   But when I do I live blog on RoyalCarribeanBlog.com.  Live from my balcony. Note to @Matt - need a full screen logo 🙂  

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Day 6 dinner last night was a formal night.  There were some formally dressed guests but lots of men without a jacket.

I was seated at the same table as last night but this time it was still daylight outside and I could see the remnants of the sunset.

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Formal night menu with lobster and prime rib.

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I'm still dealing the extra weight I gained on Freedom so I skipped the lobster and just had the prime rib.  Food was on par with other formal night dinners from other ships.

Service was a little off tonight.  On the bright side Wanyi the assistant waitress saw the glass of wine I brought to dinner was getting low and brought me a glass of the Malbec I had with dinner the previous night before I could even ask for the wine list.  However it took a long time to get my prime rib and the couple next to me had finished both their first and then served their second round of lobster which they finished while I waited for my entree.  When it finally did come I requested horseradish with didn't arrive until I was more than halfway through my meal.  I'm getting the impression the wait staff are spread very thin in the My Time MDR.  They were very nice but very busy.

Key Lime pie for dessert.  Yum. 

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Following dinner I returned to Vintages and then the pub to watch some Thursday night football.

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Some random thoughts...

My canceled excursion on Coco Cay was automatically applied as a credit on my account.  I didn't have to call or visit anyone.  The credit appeared on the same day we missed our call on Coco Cay.

Anthem is a high tech ship.  The lights in the cabin hallways dim when no one is present but as you enter each 'zone' they return to full brightness.  This is a smart way to reduce energy consumption and it demonstrates the length that Royal Caribbean goes in their drive towards reducing emissions. 

Like Harmony, Anthem has the hand washing stations upon entering the Windjammer, Solarium Bistro, ice cream station, etc.  For those that haven't sailed the newest ships you are diverted into the hand washing area with a row of sinks as opposed to simply getting some hand sanitizer like on the older ships. 

We are off the Outer Banks of NC this morning and it's cool on the balcony this morning.  Hoping it warms up as day breaks else it may be a long pants day on the pool deck.

An envelope appeared in my cabin for 'Consecutive Cruisers'.  If I want to visit the area I can disembark anytime after 6:30am.  A new SeaPass card will be presented as I leave the ship and this allows me to skip the check in process when I return to the terminal.  Or if I won't be visiting the area I can meet in Boleros at 9:15am when we will be escorted to customs.  Since I am changing cabins I leave my bags in the stateroom and clothes hanging in the wardrobe can remain there.  All will be transferred to my new cabin for me.

Voom Surf and Stream has been pretty solid on this cruise so far.  4Mbps down, 2 Mbps up, ~200ms latency.  That seems to be the new Voom S & S standard being reported across many ships using O3b, except Harmony where I personally got much better speeds.

You really have a different mindset when cruising B2B.  We arrive in Bayonne tomorrow yet I'm feeling none of that 'OMG it's the last of my cruise I must do everything I haven't already done, the cruise is over' feeling.

I'm looking forward to another 12 night cruise on Anthem.  That's a good thing because I have a 9 night on Anthem in January.

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41 minutes ago, twangster said:

Voom Surf and Stream has been pretty solid on this cruise so far.  4Mbps down, 2 Mbps up, ~200ms latency.  That seems to be the new Voom S & S standard being reported across many ships using O3b, except Harmony where I personally got much better speeds.

In my experience, the latency is the most important factor when it comes to doing more than just basic things.  I never would have believed it had I not seen it for myself, but those are about the same speeds Indy had last week.

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16 hours ago, twangster said:

I don't always live blog my cruises,

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But when I do I live blog on RoyalCarribeanBlog.com.  Live from my balcony.

Note to @Matt - need a full screen logo :)  

 

In completely unrelated news, I am going to nominate @twangster for message board user of the year!

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43 minutes ago, Matt said:

In completely unrelated news, I am going to nominate @twangster for message board user of the year!

Woohoo!  See @WAAAYTOOO it pays to be a suck up! 

Since I've still got nearly two weeks on board Anthem I've been thinking how to blog this out.  I think I'm going to focus on various venues making each one the highlight of post.  Windjammer one day, Solarium another day, SeaPlex, Two70, Vintages, pool deck, etc.  They say a picture speaks a thousand words so I'll try to let the photos do the talking. 

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33 minutes ago, twangster said:

I think I'm going to focus on various venues making each one the highlight of post.  Windjammer one day, Solarium another day, SeaPlex, Two70, Vintages, pool deck, etc.  They say a picture speaks a thousand words so I'll try to let the photos do the talking. 

That sounds like a great approach, @twangster! I'll definitely be looking forward to it!

EDIT -- Since you have plenty of sea days for this second leg, you can even document the changes over the day in areas like the SeaPlex, where it's bumper cars at one time, trapeze class at another, and full-court roller rink on yet another (if they still do the roller skating thing...) Deleted as I realize I'm hijacking your vacation time form you and turning you into our personal photojournalist on assignment.

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4 hours ago, twangster said:

 

Woohoo!  See @WAAAYTOOO it pays to be a suck up! 

Since I've still got nearly two weeks on board Anthem I've been thinking how to blog this out.  I think I'm going to focus on various venues making each one the highlight of post.  Windjammer one day, Solarium another day, SeaPlex, Two70, Vintages, pool deck, etc.  They say a picture speaks a thousand words so I'll try to let the photos do the talking. 

Fine.  But no steenking pictures of a gym or any other workout area!!!

 

I'm pretty sure I've gained about 10 pounds just reading your blogs!!!!

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16 hours ago, twangster said:

Some random thoughts...

My canceled excursion on Coco Cay was automatically applied as a credit on my account.  I didn't have to call or visit anyone.  The credit appeared on the same day we missed our call on Coco Cay.

Anthem is a high tech ship.  The lights in the cabin hallways dim when no one is present but as you enter each 'zone' they return to full brightness.  This is a smart way to reduce energy consumption and it demonstrates the length that Royal Caribbean goes in their drive towards reducing emissions. 

Like Harmony, Anthem has the hand washing stations upon entering the Windjammer, Solarium Bistro, ice cream station, etc.  For those that haven't sailed the newest ships you are diverted into the hand washing area with a row of sinks as opposed to simply getting some hand sanitizer like on the older ships. 

We are off the Outer Banks of NC this morning and it's cool on the balcony this morning.  Hoping it warms up as day breaks else it may be a long pants day on the pool deck.

An envelope appeared in my cabin for 'Consecutive Cruisers'.  If I want to visit the area I can disembark anytime after 6:30am.  A new SeaPass card will be presented as I leave the ship and this allows me to skip the check in process when I return to the terminal.  Or if I won't be visiting the area I can meet in Boleros at 9:15am when we will be escorted to customs.  Since I am changing cabins I leave my bags in the stateroom and clothes hanging in the wardrobe can remain there.  All will be transferred to my new cabin for me.

Voom Surf and Stream has been pretty solid on this cruise so far.  4Mbps down, 2 Mbps up, ~200ms latency.  That seems to be the new Voom S & S standard being reported across many ships using O3b, except Harmony where I personally got much better speeds.

You really have a different mindset when cruising B2B.  We arrive in Bayonne tomorrow yet I'm feeling none of that 'OMG it's the last of my cruise I must do everything I haven't already done, the cruise is over' feeling.

I'm looking forward to another 12 night cruise on Anthem.  That's a good thing because I have a 9 night on Anthem in January.

Love B2B.

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On 11/30/2017 at 9:52 AM, Matt said:

I had the same experience.  At first, I thought "I have no idea what's going on, but this is incredibly weird" but once Britney Spears came out, it started to make sense for me and then I really got into the show!

Britney's in it?!  I'm there!  Glad I'm not her only fan on here.

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After dinner I roamed the ship and visited a few different venues for a variety of activities. 

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There was a magician in the main theater, a game show in the Music Hall and Karaoke in Two70.

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Joyce the guitarist from 'We Will Rock You" was back in The VIA.  For those that have done Oasis class and enjoyed Central Park at night, there is sort of a similar ambiance to The VIA at night.  Joyce helped to set the mood which i enjoyed from Vintages.

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Joyce mentioned that the cast of 'We Will Rock You' would be dropping by shortly and it's amazing to hear them sing individually and up close.

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Next I headed to the pub and came across @Big Dawg Ron who I solicited assistance from to show another cool tech feature of Anthem.  There is a chandelier that is driven by the heart beats of guests.  It stores imprints of each guest and rotates through them, sort of living art.

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At 11pm it was virtual fireworks in Two70.

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Back to the pub!

That's 'Halee With a Flair' and her husband 'Jeff With a Flair' (it's a Periscope thing).  You should follow them.

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Ron was getting ready to periscope the entertainment in the Pub so if you caught his scope last night, this was taken moments before.

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Last night (or early this morning) I commited a PUI.  Packing Under the Influence. At some point last night I lost the lens cap for my fisheye.  Might have been the whisky, might have been the gin.  Could have been the 2, 4 or 6 pack.  I woke when we started backing into our slip in Bayonne.  

I'm sitting in Boleros waiting to do the B2B customs process.  There are roughly 30 to 40  of us here.  My battery is dead on my laptop but I have some NYC sunrise photos I'll share once I'm back on board.  

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