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firebuck

Anthem of the Seas - Port Canaveral, Coco Cay, Nassau. 10/27-11/3

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Hi all!

I'm planning to try my hand at live(ish) blogging my upcoming cruise.  As of right now, I'm just 3 short work days (including today) away from setting sail!

Who's cruising

Myself (Phill), wife (K), Sister-in-law (C) and her husband (G).

We all caught the cruising bug back in 2014 when we enjoyed our first cruise on Explorer of the Seas - a 9 nighter out of Cape Liberty. Since we had such a wonderful time, we pretty much decided that cruising should be an annual event! This will be our 4th cruise (The wife and I didn't cruise in 2017 since we went to Disney & also St. Martin).  It's now just over 2 years since we've set sail, so needless to say, I am ready!

Cabin

Both couples are booked in balcony rooms right next to each other on deck 12 near the mid-ship elevators (12654 and 12656)

Itinerary

We live in Southern New Jersey across the bridge from Philadelphia, so Cape Liberty is about an hour and 45-minute drive for us.  G works in Newark so we will be able to park at his workplace and hail an Uber or Lyft to the port.  We embark Saturday the 27th, (just in time for the huge Nor'easter to roll in!) and will be at Port Canaveral on Monday the 29th, Coco Cay on the 30th, and Nassau on Halloween!

Cruise Planner Bookings

G and I both have the drink package (look out!) and my wife and her sister have the refreshment package.  We also booked the 3-night dining package starting on night 2.  We are thinking Chops, Jamie's Italian for sure, and the other night is up in the air!  I may get brave enough to try Wonderland... we'll see.  We are booked on NorthStar for day 2.  As far as the shows go, we booked The Gift on night 2, Spectra's Cabaret on night 3, and We Will Rock You on night 6. Whether or not we go to all of these shows remains to be seen, but at least we have the option!  We purchased the 2 device plan for Voom Surf and Stream to share between the four of us.

Excursions/Plans

In Port Canaveral, we are planning on hailing an Uber/Lyft and heading to Kennedy Space Center - we also have a friend that lives in the Orlando area who will meet us there.  For Coco Cay, I was able to get a great deal on a bungalow, so we booked that for the four of us - hopefully, we will be able to tender as this will be my first time at Coco Cay!  In Nassau, we will most likely walk around the port area and I will most definitely be hitting up Pirate Republic Brewing Company https://www.piraterepublicbahamas.com/  We visited when we were on our Oasis cruise in 2016 - they had some great brews!

Blogging

Most of my blogging will probably be done in the morning while my wife sleeps in and I'm sipping coffee on my balcony 😄

Let me know if you have any Anthem questions and I'll try to answer them. Thanks for following along!

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1 hour ago, firebuck said:

We’ll be there from noon until 6 on Monday the 29th @Matt

My Anthem cruise on Nov 17 will bego to the same places but we will be at Orlando from 7am-7pm. and the next day we will be at Nassau 10:30 am - 10 pm. Why so much different?

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57 minutes ago, JLMoran said:

Wow, that's a short port day!

Ha - you're right.  I was mixing in the departure time from Nassau... It's actually Noon to 9:30 PM.  I was starting to wonder how those folks that bought the Universal transport were going to fare 😄 

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Just now, Susie said:

My Anthem cruise on Nov 17 will bego to the same places but we will be at Orlando from 7am-7pm. and the next day we will be at Nassau 10:30 am - 10 pm. Why so much different?

I just realized I misspoke on the Orlando time - I'm pasting the info from my Edocs below :

 

           

SAT

27 OCT

CAPE LIBERTY, NJ (NY METRO)

D

 

3:00 PM

SUN

28 OCT

CRUISING

C

   

MON

29 OCT

ORLANDO (PORT CANAVERAL), FL

D

12:00 PM

9:30 PM

TUE

30 OCT

COCOCAY, BAHAMAS

T

9:30 AM

5:00 PM

WED

31 OCT

NASSAU, BAHAMAS

D

7:00 AM

6:00 PM

THU

01 NOV

CRUISING

C

   

FRI

02 NOV

CRUISING

C

   

SAT

03 NOV

CAPE LIBERTY, NJ (NY METRO)

D

6:00 AM

 

 

Even still - your times are definitely different than mine - strange.

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36 minutes ago, firebuck said:

Even still - your times are definitely different than mine - strange.

 

That kind of strange. It is leaving from the same port at the same time and same itinerary but a different time. 

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3 minutes ago, Susie said:

That kind of strange. It is leaving from the same port at the same time and same itinerary but a different time. 

Perhaps they are adjusting due to the fact that the Nassau port day is on Halloween, and they may be planning some activities onboard that occur in the evening?

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Just now, firebuck said:

Perhaps they are adjusting due to the fact that the Nassau port day is on Halloween, and they may be planning some activities onboard that occur in the evening?

You may be right about that. Have fun. Definitely will follow your blog. 

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All packed up and ready to get to the port bright and early tomorrow!  I think Annie knows that we're going on vacation without her... annie.thumb.jpg.947184c543a7a96def6f10e0fddd9d5f.jpg

 

Last minute change of logistics: G's work does some business with the cruise port and through some of his work connections, he's netted us free parking at the port -now we won't need to Uber over!  

Also, I've read that captain Henrik has decided to bring the Anthem into port early due to the nasty weather coming in tonight/tomorrow morning... hopefully it won't be so terrible getting there.  Either way, next time I post, I'll be onboard!  Soooo excited!!

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1 hour ago, firebuck said:

Our contact really hooked us up and Moved us straight through security and sat us in the suite area. We’ll also get a personal escort onboard when it’s time. It pays to know people! 

Wait?!  What did I miss?  How did this happen?  Do tell....

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We got right on the ship as they opened the doors at around 11:15ish.  Since we have the 3 night dinging package, we went directly to wonderland and changed our dining reservation tomorrow to Chops from the default assigned restaurant.  Then we hit up the shockingly empty Windjammer for a bite to eat.D0489F30-301F-488F-B7BC-1B9CEC9E0058.thumb.jpeg.c2a7e35bca15c8d151ccf6504b8dcf44.jpeg

I was immediately offered a rum punch when we walked in, so who am I to say no?  They bartenders kept cruising by and offered me another.  Why not? I’m on vacation now.  

We then explored the pool deck and solarium for a bit and right at 1:00 they announced that the rooms were ready.

I’ll  update more and add more pictures later when I’m not in my phone.

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Embarkation day continued

Apparently there was a lot of logistical issues today which made me glad that we were able to get to port so early.  Muster drill was delayed until 3, and folks were still getting onboard at that point. We heard stories of the line of cars waiting to drop off just not moving at all. The weather was just nasty, so I know that wasn't helping.

It was a suuuuper crowded day one, owing largely to the weather I'm sure.  The elevators were a logistical nightmare, but as expected, that got better as the day progressed.  I'm sure once we get into some warmer weather it will be even better.

Our muster station was in Vintages, and after the drill we made our way to 270 and heard a reggae band setting up. We sat there for awhile and enjoyed some Bob Marley songs and sipped on some adult beverages.

band.thumb.jpg.ec0d66ff467e4122b70cec4b161e061d.jpg

We all had a My Time reservation for 5:30 in the MDR, so we decided to explore a little more of decks 4 and 5, which means I needed to sample a drink from each bar along the way :D.  The place to get your Wow bands, at least before the shops open, was Boleros.  We all purchased wow bands - they're pretty darn convenient!  No need to go rooting around for a sea pass card, and its much more convenient to open doors.

Before we knew it, it was time for dinner.  As we were getting ready to head out, we saw the Pilot boat coming in from our balcony... it was really struggling out there.

pilot.thumb.jpg.36899d4761624eaea9f94c8ceda29695.jpg

We were sat at a table for 4 in Silk.  Here's a horrible picture of the menu (lighting was tough in there!)

1497534629_dayonemenu.thumb.jpg.91134daf6a3100afe675c7570e73977e.jpg

I had the mushroom soup which was good, and steak which was... meh at best.  My wife had the french onion soup chicken marsala, and I was a bit jealous, so she shared! G had the mushroom soup and fish of the day (I can't recall what it was - something tilapia-like) and C had french onion soup and the spaghetti which was pretty darn good.  The head waiter asked if we wanted after dinner shots. Sure!  I'm not sure what it was, but it was citrusy and pretty good.

Here's a pic of my definitely not Chops steak.

steak.thumb.jpg.0d3c8231dc118bcee36613873b323b41.jpg

After dinner we decided to explore the ship a bit more and become a bit more familiar (most likely grabbing a drink along the way if my hand was empty).

The ship was really rocking last night - it was getting harder and harder to walk a straight line... and it wasn't even due to the drinks that I had!  I always enjoy that feeling though - sometimes you forget that you're actually on a ship, and what better to remind you?

Here's a view of the conditions yesterday afternoon from our balcony - we were passing a cargo ship.

weather.thumb.jpg.48acda01d040df0f9f285341d4a1e4a3.jpg

My wife and I decided to try the hot tub in the solarium as it was pretty empty - it was definitely nice and relaxing.

After the hot tub, we showered up and headed to bed.

I'm not going to do this for every day, but to give you an idea of how beneficial the drink package is for me, here's a breakdown of day one:

Rum punch x 2, Captain and diet x 5, a "What's Kraken" x1, a Kraken Lava Flow x 1, Some sort of citrusy shot x 1 Goslings and diet x 1, an IPA at the pub.

I'm conservatively estimating a total of $110 for day 1 - about a third of the way for breaking even for the entire cruise. 😮

 

 

 

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