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Anthem of the Seas - March 9-17, 2018


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5 hours ago, Sabrinaklai said:

?: Hubby

Random observation: something I've been wondering is how this activity handles Star Class guests. They made an announcement about 1-2 min prior to starting that SC guests did not have to wait in the line. They all went straight to the front. The dirty looks and comments were unbelievable! I know some of you may disagree with me, but I'm annoyed that people would think that all is equal when obviously not all fares are equal!

Hmm, IMHO this is just not RIGHT!!!:40_rage:

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5 hours ago, Sabrinaklai said:

 The dirty looks and comments were unbelievable! I know some of you may disagree with me, but I'm annoyed that people would think that all is equal when obviously not all fares are equal!

In my experience people from NJ/NY (where the majority of Anthem guests are from) aren't shy when it comes to expressing their feelings, right or wrong.  

I got eye rolls from people in the Aqua Theater on Allure when we slipped into a few remaining seats in the Sky Class reserved section just before they opened it up.  Like somehow we were doing them wrong by using a benefit we paid for.  Oh well, pay for a purple card next time...

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45 minutes ago, twangster said:

In my experience people from NJ/NY (where the majority of Anthem guests are from) aren't shy when it comes to expressing their feelings, right or wrong.  

I got eye rolls from people in the Aqua Theater on Allure when we slipped into a few remaining seats in the Sky Class reserved section just before they opened it up.  Like somehow we were doing them wrong by using a benefit we paid for.  Oh well, pay for a purple card next time...

Reminds me of how much chewing out the poor folks that hold the sign get. 

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8 hours ago, Sabrinaklai said:

Tip: Get here early!!

I did this as soon as we boarded Ovation on the first day. As long as you get on early there doesn’t seem to be any crowds. We got multiple rides in a row.

we also found turning up around 3/4 of the way through a session was good as a lot of people leave. The queue time was pretty short then.

if they hold a session around dinner time, also good as you could have 2-3 turns.

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8 hours ago, Sabrinaklai said:

I'm annoyed that people would think that all is equal when obviously not all fares are equal!

I agree with you and what is ironic is if these people ever got a star class suite they would probably be the most obnoxious arrogant people of all. I can imagine them complaining about the “cheap” wine served in the lounges, making outrageous demands of their genie etc.

When  we are in a suite and the concerirge reserves the lift for us I am often amused by people’s reaction. But that’s the service you are paying for. No different than business or first class on an aeroplane.

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Last day ?

Pretty cold this morning as we move closer back to NJ.

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For my American friends, that's about 55 degrees Fahrenheit.

WJ continues to be a complete zoo. This has probably been my greatest annoyance on this cruise. And it doesn't matter what time you show up either.

Heading to iFly in about 15min. More to follow....

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1 minute ago, Sabrinaklai said:

WJ continues to be a complete zoo. This has probably been my greatest annoyance on this cruise. And it doesn't matter what time you show up either.

I wonder if the ship is at capacity due to spring break?  I'm an early riser and never had an issue on 3 Anthem cruises, maybe 1 or 2 people in the line for an Omelette sort of thing. 

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6 minutes ago, twangster said:

I wonder if the ship is at capacity due to spring break?  I'm an early riser and never had an issue on 3 Anthem cruises, maybe 1 or 2 people in the line for an Omelette sort of thing. 

I've been wondering the same....

The omelette line is at least 10 people deep most times. Hubby hasn't even bothered. 

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13 minutes ago, Sabrinaklai said:

I've been wondering the same....

The omelette line is at least 10 people deep most times. Hubby hasn't even bothered. 

I think it is so cute how you always call him "hubby". I don't recall seeing his actual name during this entire fantastic blog. Did I miss it? Can you share? :1_grinning:

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Just watched Hubby and kids do iFly. If you don't want to do it, there's a nice observation area right outside the tunnel where you can snap pics and videos. 

Everyone gets about 60 sec. Hubby had some problems with his goggles when he was in there so he got some extra time.  They all thought it was awesome! Once again we witnessed people without reservations trying to get a spot and no go. So make sure you make those reservations on your cruise planner!  Especially if you are sailing at a busy time like us.  I'll try to post some pics later. 

 

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4 minutes ago, Sabrinaklai said:

FYI...just finished with Captain's corner.  Someone asked if the rumours are true, that they will be replacing Anthem at Bayonne. The answer by the Captain was a firm, "We don't know."

In January Captain Ban explained he has many years on Quantum class ships.  He went on to explain that cruising in Asia is very stressful because there is so much ship traffic in the waterways including small fishing vessels and its quite nerve racking trying to pilot in congested waters. 

He said he was very happy to be back in Bayonne.  Not long after is when the rumors started that she might be moving.

2 minutes ago, Sabrinaklai said:

She had fun, but couldn't quite get the right form lol

I did much better on my 2nd and 3rd attempts, I understood the dynamics much better and how body position can steer you.    Keeping the legs straight is a big part of that.

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CK Dinner - Day 8

Tonight's CK menu was a repeat of night 1. They run a 7 night menu and after that they just repeat. I did not mind, as night 1 is one of my favourite menus. Who am I kidding?! I love all meals in CK and the waistline is showing it lol.

Anyway, I only took pics of what we did not have the first night. I had the Caesar Salad and pork belly to start, Hubby had the tomato soup, and kids had their usual cherry tomatoes in a martini glass. All pics for that are in previous posts. Entrees were the filet mignon again (love it) great cut of meat again and...

Rigatoni: Hubby and D1 had this. I shared a bit with Hubby. It was cooked just right. Good flavour. Rating: A

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Dessert! 

Again the dessert menu was the same as night 1 so see previous posts. Hubby had the Apple pie and I had the Creme Brûlée. But since it was the last night I had to order at least another for research purposes ?

Hazelnut Cake: I was just going to sample this but it was so light and delicious I ate the whole thing....oops...I never eat like this at home so that's my excuse. Rating: A

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Nothing exciting after dinner tonight. Kids went back to the Seaplex for one last hurrah. Hubby and I decided to skip the Farewell show to pack. Not back, all packed up in less than an hour. It gets easier with each cruise. The packing, not leaving. 

Our current situation: 

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Current mood: ??

Final thoughts coming shortly....

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Final thoughts:

I’ve been trying to gather my thoughts on this cruise for a few days now.  This is probably going to come across as scattered because I haven’t quite figured it all out myself yet.  Going into this cruise, and being biased to Oasis class ships, I already knew that I wouldn’t be comparing apples to apples.  Also, keep in mind that we are all different types of cruisers.  So, read on and take my opinions with a grain of salt, as they are my own, and based on the type of cruiser that I personally am.  To wrap up this cruise, I tried to ask myself, and hubby, several questions:

Did this cruise meet all my/our expectations?

The answer here would be yes.  Everything was excellent.  Food was consistently good, in all venues.  Lots of activities to choose from for the whole family.  Staff across the ship has been excellent.  There have been a few stand out crew members and one not so pleasant one but overall, a good experience.

What did we love?

Our kids loved the SeaPlex.  Hubby enjoyed his share of it too.  I did not lol (too much like work).  The overall consensus from the kids was that Anthem is equivalent to and maybe even slightly better than DCL.  Wonder what they will think of Oasis class next March?

The shows were great on Anthem.  Same level of quality to match Oasis class.  I do miss not having the Aqua Theater and the shows that come with that.

Coastal Kitchen was also consistent with the level of service and quality on Harmony.  The one stand out thing here was the Coastal Kitchen restaurant manager, Bojan.  He was amazing!  And that isn’t even a good enough adjective to describe him.  I have never, in my cruising history, come across a head waiter/manager like him.  Some head waiters are quite “stand-offish”.  Each and every encounter with Bojan was personable and friendly.  Even if he was busy, and he was, he never showed it.  D2 is very soft spoken and each night he would bend down to eye level with her, lean in close, and have a conversation with her about her day.  On top of that, Bojan did everything.  Every single night, we witnessed him chat with each table, bus tables, serve drinks, fill water glasses, set tables, and sweep the floors.  How many of you have seen head waiters and restaurant managers do that??  I don’t even know where he found the time to supervise his crew!

What did we not love so much?

Our biggest dislike of Anthem is that she cannot seem to handle crowds well and traffic does not flow well in public spaces.  I have been trying to figure out all week why that is.  This ship is sailing at full capacity and it feels like it all the time, everywhere!  We’ve sailed Oasis class at full capacity too, in the height of summer, and it never felt as crowded as Anthem.  The conclusion I came to was that perhaps it has to do how Anthem is more narrow, compared to Oasis class?  Or perhaps there are more public venues on Oasis for crowds to disperse to?  I’m not sure I know the answer yet.

The WJ falls victim to poor traffic flow.  There was nothing wrong with the food here but the flow of traffic, the constant bumping into people, made for a very unpleasant dining experience on most days.  I wonder if it’s the way the WJ here is set up?  There are food stations in the middle as well as around the perimeter and maybe that’s why traffic doesn’t flow as smoothly?  I have been thinking the same as @twangster, in that this is a March break cruise, and hence the constant crowds.  But then I think back to all our other cruises, also during peak seasons, and traffic flow was never as bad as it was this time.

D1 also missed being able to see major “theater style” shows (not counting special guests and comedians) more often.  On DCL, there was one almost every night.  On Oasis class, you have 2 theater shows, 2 aqua theater shows, 2 ice shows.  Here, there is only We Will Rock You, The Gift, and Spectra’s Cabaret.  So again, I wonder what the kids will think of Oasis class next March?

Would I/we sail Anthem again?

Yes.  But…not under the same conditions.  One of our biggest disappointments this cruise was the weather.  This has nothing to do with RCI at all.  I already had reservations about this aspect prior to booking, and sailing this week, in mid-March, confirmed it.  We are not “sail out of cold weather” cruisers, even on a cold weather ship like Anthem.  Lesson learned.  We found that we did very little swimming this cruise compared to our other ones and we did not utilized our balcony as much as we normally do.  If we were to sail anything out of Cape Liberty again, it would be in the summer.

Am I still an Oasis class girl?

A definite yes here!  They say that your first cruise ship is always your first love.  This is not the case for Hubby and I.  Oasis ships are what we love most and that continues.  Anthem is great for families and a beautiful ship but there were things missing here that just could not be replaced.  For example, the stunning, panoramic views in the Suite Lounge/Coastal Kitchen area on Oasis class, Central Park (270 and La Patisserie while great venues in themselves cannot replace Central Park), and the smoothie bar in the Vitality spa isn’t here.

Should everyone give Anthem a try? 

Most definitely yes!  But know what you are signing up for and then you won’t be disappointed.  Do your research, book things ahead of time, especially if you are sailing at peak seasons.

In closing this out, I want to thank all of you for taking this journey with me.  It was so much fun to do a live blog and part of the fun was sharing it with you!  Thank you for that.  I also have to put a big shout here to Hubby and kids (because they are following this lol) and thank them for taking pics and putting up with my constant “stopping to update the live blog”.  That’s all, feel free to ask more questions, I’ll try to answer what I can.  Closing out now…Next live blog…Harmony March 2019…first time in Star Class!

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5 minutes ago, David Maryland said:

Sorry your trip is almost over.

I know the weather might be completely different when we sail on the 24th but I am starting to think about the packing process.  Of the days you traveled, how many of the days would you say were shorts and t-shirt type weather?

Well, it did not get warm until halfway through the second sea day.  Coming back...we could get away with shorts until mid day yesterday and today was cold!  So we got maybe a good 4.5 days of nice shorts and t-shirt weather.

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Great summary and live blog @Sabrinaklai. Felt the same way with the crowd situation as well on Anthem. Never really ran in to any Windjammer flow/crowd issues. Then again that might have been a timing thing. One thing that never helps the crowd situation are the darn sales booths right on the Esplanade.

One major plus I see with Coastal Kitchen on Anthem is you don't have to "beg" to get in if staying in a Junior Suite. Nice not having the host behind a locked door.

Only thing that I do regret is missing out watching are the short robot shows in 270. Don't think I ever made it to one.

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4 minutes ago, CGTLH said:

One thing that never helps the crowd situation are the darn sales booths right on the Esplanade.

One major plus I see with Coastal Kitchen on Anthem is you don't have to "beg" to get in if staying in a Junior Suite. Nice not having the host behind a locked door.

Only thing that I do regret is missing out watching are the short robot shows in 270. Don't think I ever made it to one.

Other than the WJ, the area I disliked the most was the Esplanade. Zero flow there!

I did forget to mention that we never had any issues getting into CK as some have reported on CC (especially on Oasis class ships). 

The 270 was a very creative/techy venue but I personally still prefer the boardwalk/aqua theater more. 

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Loved reading your blog and sorry it's over for you!!!  I took my first cruise years ago out of there in June. As much as I loved the convenience (I'm on Long Island - about an hour and change from port) I'm not a fan of leaving from the Northeast. I would do it for cost reasons again to avoid flights and hotel but it's not my favorite. It's the only time I've ever been sea sick - and I grew up on the water.

 

Just a heads up, it's really cold this morning. It'll get to mid forties (7c?) later today.

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Did you get a chance to try the robot bar? We found it to be a cool experience but the quality of the drinks were poor imo (really syrupy). Also, we weren’t happy with the pool area for the kids. Not much to do for them so we didn’t do much swimming either. Great blog, I really enjoyed following 

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2 hours ago, melski94 said:

Did Hubby set up the travel router? Work ok?  Did you set it up at home first or do it all on the ship?  Any tips on what to name your network?  Setting this up is my DH's job today.

Great job on the blog.  I really enjoyed reading it and you've inspired me to try my own next week.  Have a safe trip home!

Travel router worked great!  Thanks to @twangster.  Royal wifi network is named "royal-wifi" or something like that and then there's royal-crew so we called ours something similar to blend in ?

Edit- we set it up at home first and then just connected after we got on board. If you need details, I'll have to ask Hubby cause he did it all. But we used @twangster's instructions in the other thread. 

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1 hour ago, Ogalthorpe Haywood said:

Did you get a chance to try the robot bar? We found it to be a cool experience but the quality of the drinks were poor imo (really syrupy). Also, we weren’t happy with the pool area for the kids. Not much to do for them so we didn’t do much swimming either. Great blog, I really enjoyed following 

We tried the bionic bar on Harmony so we did not bother with it this time. Our kids seem to enjoy the pool. But they just about like any pool lol.

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