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Anthem 1/19/18 9 Night Bahamas


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Departing Cape Liberty (Bayonne, NJ) I have two sea days, Port Canaveral, Miami, Nassau, CocoCay then two sea days back to Cape Liberty.

I haven't booked excursions and plan to work some days.  Some of these ports are places I've visited many times.  As always I'm hoping we make CocoCay but since it's currently a tender port that is always a game day decision for the Captain. Finger's crossed.

I flew in last night and stayed at a hotel near the Newark airport.  On the plane I checked Anthem's position on a ship tracking site and was surprised to see she was beating me into NJ.  Apparently there was a medical incident that precluded helicopter evacuation so they sped up to make port.  

This is my 3rd cruise on Anthem after a back to back in December.  That seems so long ago but then again it was last year.

I'm in a balcony cabin on deck 6 forward this time.  Most deck 6 balconies are obstructed view due to the position of the life boats however I'm far forward enough to be away from them.  

I'm planning to purchase Voom on board as it never went on sale in the cruise planner.  Since we are in port much of today I'll wait until day 2 to buy Voom to save some money since the on board plans are pro-rated based on how many days are remaining.

Yesterday I changed planes in Atlanta.  It was very odd looking out the window of the plane and seeing some snow on the ground.  My favorite airline lounge has an outside deck which was closed yesterday because of the snow.  Where I come from this isn't considered a lot of snow but for this part of the country the recent storm was snowmageddon. 


Here in Newark it is 28° F this morning.  There is something about boarding a ship when it's below freezing that just seems weird.  I think I'll skip the sail away and Verrazano-Narrows Bridge event on deck 15 this time.

With that it's time to finish re-packing my bags and hail a Lyft.

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New personal best:

Arrived at the terminal at 10:12am by Lyft, $16 from my hotel near EWR airport.  Security had a short line mostly due to some guests in front of me who apparently had never seen or heard of a metal detector before. 

Boarding started at 10:30am.  

Specialty dining (BOGO2) reservations booked, reservation for Ripcord by iFly booked and KummelWeck in hand (along with a B&B) by 11am.


For some reason my SetSail pass needed to be re-printed at check in.  I made a "Wines of the World" booking just before the Cruise Planner closed a few days ago.  The check in agent made reference to "a last minute change" making my SetSail pass invalid.  Oh the mysteries of Royal IT.

Jamie's for dinner tonight, Chops on day 2.

No time to take pictures in the terminal, it went that fast.  In the waiting area there are around six rows for Diamond/Diamond Plus guests.  Our one row hadn't filled up yet when boarding commenced.

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Reaction 1: YAY! A new live blog from @twangster! More awesome pictures! More balm for my "wanna cruise NOW" problem.

Reaction 2: DAMMIT! There goes my work productivity, I'll be looking for new posts every 5 minutes!



Seriously, have a great trip! Fingers crossed for glass-smooth seas that will let you tender into Coco Cay.

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Cabin tour!

Standard balcony room, deck 6 forward.  Cabin 6122.




Most deck 6 balconies have an obstructed view due to the position of the life boats.  The exception are the forward cabins that are ahead of the life boats.


At we started our sail away we moved out of our slip and into New Your harbor.  You know its cold when the bouys have ice on one side of them.  


On my previous Anthem cruises we had delayed embarkation which pushed us behind schedule just a bit.  On this cruise we were right on schedule and the Captain informed us we would have a New York city harbor tour to start our cruise.  This amounts to turning North and heading towards the city rather than simply heading South and straight towards the Verrazano-Narrows bridge .


We sailed right past the Statue of Liberty.





We continued North towards the city.




Next we sailed past Ellis Island.


There were many boats in the harbor with tourists enjoying the views but our vessel was the largest.


We then turned 180° and started South.


NorthStar was operating.


We had amazing view of both sides of the Hudson river but most eyes were on lower Manhattan.


With NYC behind us we sailed past Lady Liberty on our way towards the ocean.



This was a pretty great way to start a cruise.  It was 37° F outside and with the sun going down it was getting colder.  Time to warm up.

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Somewhere around 5:30pm in the lounge I was talking with the couple I had met on Anthem in December.  We had both then promised to forget each other's name and we both held true to our word.  As we were catching up we both stopped when we felt the ship shudder.  It was subtle but we both knew something was up.  We were turning back.  Sure enough the Captain came on to inform us of a medical situation and announcing our return to an anchorage point for one of our guests.  

I had a 6pm reservation for Jamie's so off to dinner I went.  It was fantastic.

Dinner started with some garlic bread.


I wanted to try several items but was concerned about too much food.  My waiter assured me he would adjust the size of the meat plank for one person.  


The Peperonata Bruschetta was incredible.


Tonight I would have the Lamb Chops Scottadito as my main entré with a side of Funky Chips.


It was delicious and my mouth is watering as I write this remembering the flavors. 

I thought about ordering more but knew it would be too much so I opted to move forward and have dessert. A Lemon Meringue Cheesecake.


It was an incredible meal.  Just wow!

On Harmony I was left with a "just okay" experience in Jamie's and based on that I wasn't going to visit Jamie's on Anthem.  I am so glad I did and now am thinking about lunch one day.  Maybe in warmer waters in the outdoor Jamie's area on deck 5.

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After dinner I ventured up to deck 15 to see where we were with the medical diversion.  I caught the end of a helicopter lift.



At this point we were just off Coney Island and Brighton Beach.


After the helicopter departed the Coast Guard stood by just off the starboard side then an NYPD police boat came along side.



Apparently an 80 year old experienced a cardiac condition.  Details on the local news:


I'm guessing the police boat may have taken some family off the ship but that's purely speculation on my part.  While on deck 15 I observed the crew putting fire hoses away.  Some crew were in full firefighting equipment complete with self contained breathing apparatus.  Helicopters generate a lot of static electricity and these kinds of aerial evacuations are complex.  The crew on board were likely prepared for anything that might occur including sparks from a static discharge during the helicopter hoist. 

Very professionally executed.

After this we resumed our departure. 

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15 hours ago, rjac said:

Isn't the Majesty a smaller and older ship than the Anthem? 

Yes, but tendering is still subject to the same sea conditions for all ships.

2 hours ago, twangster said:

On this cruise we were right on schedule and the Captain informed us we would have a New York city harbor tour to start our cruise.

Wow, that's a real treat! Usually they gun it out of the harbor ASAP.

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My Voom strategy of waiting for day 2 worked and I didn't even have to wait until day 2.

When I boarded Voom with C&A Diamond discount was priced at $156.92.  

At 11:30pm they turned on 'Cellular At Sea' which prompted me to look at Voom again.  

The price was now $136.93 with C&A discount.  The day 2 pro-rated whole cruise price for Surf & Stream was offered the evening of day 1.

By waiting a few hours I saved $20 compared to on-board pricing or a savings of $7 compared to the advance cruise planner pricing. I'll put that directly into a BOGO drink coupon in the pub later today.  

In other news my Glass Block was delivered.  Crossing the Crown and Anchor Society 140 point threshold on this cruise made me eligible for one.  


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3 minutes ago, Sabrinaklai said:

What area of the ship is this? 

North Star Bar.  

You can't see it in this picture but on the other side of the white chairs there is a small deck area a few steps down that is part of the Moet and Chandon reserved seating.  However the white chairs are not in that area and they are for any one to use. 

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3 minutes ago, Sabrinaklai said:

Medical emergencies two days in a row....hope both those people are ok.

ABC news wrote that they are in serious condition.  As hospital conditions go that likely is good news.   'Critical' or 'Life-threatening' are worse.  Not a fun way to start a cruise by any stretch though.  

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