Travel

November 13, 2015

The Ultimate Guide To RCL’s Anthem of the Seas – Pre-Inaugural Cruise

Royal-Caribbean_Logo

Our History With Royal Caribbean

Many of my readers know from my past articles, videos and photos that I love to cruise.  RCL happens to be my favorite cruise line because I am not 18 years old and not over the hill either.

Belly FlopBooze cruises and belly flop contests are not what I would call entertainment, although on earlier RCL cruises, this was part of their entertainment or activities offerings, but boy has that changed.

With the latest technology, the changing times, RCL has been able to evolve and offer its guests one of the best total experiences of any cruise line.

For the past 20 years or longer, my wife and I have cruised on a number of ships.

D7K_1820

Photo By: Len Rapoport

RCL seems the one cruise line we keep coming back to.  From the earliest cruises on the Majesty of the Seas in the early 1990’s then the Explorer of the Seas, Navigator of the Seas, Brilliance of the Seas (through the Panama Canal) Freedom of the Seas in 2006, Explorer of the Seas,  Independence of the Seas, and now the latest ship, the Anthem of the Seas. 

Now we have also sailed on a number of Celebrity ships including the Century of the Seas in 2007 so we know a bit about sailing.  My wife owns a small travel agency in New Jersey and we have traveled around the world.  The only continent we haven’t visited was Australia.

The link to the Century of the Seas will take you to a video slide show I did then.  You can see how my videos have improved as did the technology and equipment used to produce them. Technology can be great…

We have been on a number of RCL cruises as well as those of other cruise companies and we continue to enjoy Royal Caribbean over the others.  The ships are elegant, offering the latest in entertainment, activities, technology, accommodations, dining and of course value.

Invitation For Inaugural Cruise

Invitation For Inaugural Cruise


Invitation To Pre-Inaugural Sailing

We were excited to receive our invitation to go on the U.S. pre-inaugural cruise on the Anthem of the Seas.  Although it was a short cruise to somewhere off the Long Island coast line, in international waters, it gave me an opportunity to take gorgeous photos and videos of this magnificent ship.

Now the Anthem of the Seas is a Quantum Class Ship.  The second largest class of passenger ships behind the  Oasis class ships on a gross tonnage basis and larger than the Freedom Class ships.  Here is  a complete chart showing the largest ships on the seas.


The Anchored In America Ceremony

Emma WillbyAnthem of the Seas Godmother is 27 year old UK travel agent Emma Wilby . She was chosen from hundreds of UK travel agents who submitted audition videos to sing at the ships naming ceremony.

In our video, she appears on stage with Richard D. Fain Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., Michael Bayley President and CEO, Royal Caribbean International, Bayonne, New Jersey mayor Jimmy Davis and all the captains of all the RCL ships in our video.

You don’t want to miss the Anchored in America ceremony in the beginning of our video.


The Ultimate Anthem of the Seas Video

Viewing Instructions:  You can watch this in the full 720p HD mode, make sure that option is selected on the lower right corner of the screen.   You can also watch this in Large Screen or Full Screen mode as well.

likePlease share this with your social media and real friends too.  If you enjoyed watching it, we would appreciate your positive comments and of course a thumbs up.


What to Expect – The Royal Esplanade

royal esplanadeI could write volumes about our two nights on this ship and give you all the stats, but you can find this information on RCL’s Anthem of the Seas website.

I spent the entire time on the ship going from deck to deck and attempted to cover most of what guests would be interested in.  The video and photos will take you on an extensive tour of the ship and it is broken down into various sections.

You will visit the beautiful Royal Esplanade with its beautiful shops and some great spots to grab a drink and meet your friends.  Getting hungry after three massive meals? Plenty of snack options here.

You can get some pizza, pastries and other snacks to hold you down while you enjoy their fabulous casino, or other evening activities on the ship.

Remember, you will never be hungry on the Anthem of the Seas!

getting hungry


The Anthem Experience – Activities

Anthem_of_the_Seas___Royal_Caribbean_International

Click image for interactive view on Anthem of the Seas website – © RCCL

I couldn’t describe it any better than they have on their website…

ripcord

RipCord…from 8 to 80 everyone had fun flying.

 
Feel the rush skydiving right on the deck of the ship with the RipCordSM by iFLY® skydiving simulator.
 
Or play at SeaPlexSM, an activities space that’s a real game changer, offering bumper cars, a roller rink, circus school and more.
 
bumper cars

Bumper Cars Now…


vintage bumper cars

Vintage Bumper Cars – Then

Who doesn’t love a ride on the Bumper Cars?

I was born and raised in Coney Island, Brooklyn, New York.  Bumper Cars were always my favorite ride. Unlike those of old, the new version doesn’t have that long rod on the back that goes up to an electrical grid on the top of the track. New technology allows them to use this same space for roller skating, basketball and other activities. Amazing!


 
northstar
If leisurely pursuits are more your speed, enjoy breathtaking island sights from the best seat in any house, the North StarSM.
Read more…
 
© RCL

© RCCL

 
The largest indoor active space at sea is also the most revolutionary. There’s never been a venue like SeaPlexSM before: offering a circus school, full-size basketball court, and the first-ever roller rink and bumper cars at sea. Not to mention delicious bites provided by the first food truck to ever set sail and music from a floating DJ booth suspended overhead. This is going to change the way you play.
Read More…
 

Now lets not forget the Flowrider, surf simulator.  You will see a young woman taking a “plunge” for the first time on the Flowrider in our video.  Looks like loads of fun for young and old…but not too old 🙂

Bionic_Bar

© RCCL


Robotics and Technology

The one thing that stood out more than any other major improvement in this ship is the use of modern-day technology. This ship uses less fuel then many of the older ships so it is more cost efficient then most.  Everything about this ship is state of the art and that means a better cruise and better value for you.  Imagine they never use an anchor to hold this ship in place in the water.  It is all done by computers that adjust the position of the ship.  Truly amazing.
 
Robo_Bar_2The Bionic Bar...is fun to watch in action. Guests lined up just to watch the robots prepare either alcoholic or non alcoholic drinks.  I ordered a Tutti Frutti…O.K. I like these sweet drinks.
 
The average mixed drink took 10 minutes or longer because of the volume of orders and the average time was at least 3-5 minutes per drink with two robots working at full capacity.  So much fun…will they replace a bartender?  Not anytime soon.
 
voom_0From the new lighting fast internet access thanks to Voom.  Voom is the name of their high-speed internet service that assures guests they can still stay in touch with the rest of the world while on board the ship.
 
Costs range from $15 per day compared to the older ships that used to charge by the minute for slow internet services.  Total cost for a 7-night cruise for one device is $105 or $157.50 for two devices.
 
I had no problems anywhere on the ship checking my emails and pulling up this website to show others what we do at IMPress Magazine.

Dynamic Dining

If you want to know where to dine, well there are so many options available now and  have replaced the huge dining room on most ships with their Dynamic Dining program.

Dynamic Dining offers guest two choices…

Dynamic Dining Choice gives you the freedom to pick your restaurants and dining times each day and night. Our unique venues feature menus that change throughout the cruise, with guest favorites and new specialty dishes to ensure everyone at the table will find something they love.

Dynamic Dining Classic is a new option for those who prefer the traditional main dining style with the same dining time each night, with the same wait staff and dining companions throughout the cruise. Dynamic Dining Classic is available on a first come, first serve basis.

No matter what type of food you prefer, the chance of finding it on this ship is pretty good. We like the Windjammer Marketplace, because you have such a wide variety and you can go in day or night and get a fast meal.  We ate at Windjammer for our  breakfast and lunches and were able to dine at Chic one night and the Grande Restaurant on the second night.

Hamburger

Johnny Rockets Burger

Of course we did have an opportunity to have a great burger, fries and a milk shake at Johnny Rockets for lunch one day. Johnny Rockets has a small charge for the items on their menu, but they are nominal,  burgers are only $2.50for a 1/3rd pound freshly cooked burger…no frozen patties at JR. Most of the other fast food choices are free of any additional cost.

The restaurants in addition to Johnny Rockets that offer additional menu’s for a charge are:   Wonderland, Michael’s Genuine Pub, Chops Grill, Jamie’s Italian, Devinly Decadence, Prime Table and Izumi Japanese Cuisine.

In most cases the charge is quite reasonable and worth the extra cost for the exceptional food and dining experience.  When we cruise we always dine at the for charge restaurants a few nights on each cruise.

wonderland

Wonderland Restaurant

I promise you, you will never go hungry at any time day or night on this ship.  Be prepared to go on your diet a few weeks before the cruise, you will pack on a few extra pounds, unless you decide to take advantage of their sensational health club facilities and many sport activities to help burn off those extra calories.


Entertainment

In our video and photos you can see that you won’t bet bored on the Anthem of the Seas.  You no longer have a muster drill wearing life jackets on the deck of a ship, it is now done around the ship in a number of areas including the Two70 theater where the instructions on health and safety is presented on their huge robotic operated screens.

Huge Projections System Changes The Scenes

Huge Projections System – Vistarama

In the Two70 theater during the day you can have some liquid refreshments, relax and enjoy the seamless video projections presented by Vistarama.  This process transforms Two70’s floor-to-ceiling sea view into any scene, real or imagined. Picture it: 18 projectors combine to create an ambient surface over 100 feet wide and over 20 feet tall. Across this vast expanse, impromptu digital shows come to life in stunning 12K resolution, a pixel-perfect industry first…Read more about this and RoboShow another technological achievement.

In Two70 we saw a remarkable show.  State of the art technology with robots controlling the massive screens in sync to the music and the show.  Their Spectra’s Cabaret Show was simply fantastic.  A show like this, if even possible would cost at least $200 a ticket at any venue…on the Anthem of the Seas it is free.

Spectra’s Cabaret

Spectra’s Cabaret the Maestro and his Agents of Rhythm invite you to an electric multi-dimensional cabaret where you will be transported into invisible realms. Each night, the portal opens for a limited period of time and the audience can immerse themselves in a multi-media show brimming with kaleidoscopic sounds, effervescent colors, and dazzling movement. Spectra’s Cabaret blends live performance and experiential cinema along with music from popular culture. It creates a world seen through the lens of music and technology.
Read more…

Spectras Cabaret

We Will Rock You

The spectacular Olivier Award-winning musical phenomenon that rocked over 6.5 million people in a record-breaking 12 years at London’s Dominion Theatre. Written by legendary comedian and author Ben Elton and with a score of killer Queen tunes such as “Radio Ga Ga”, “I Want to Break Free”, “Bohemian Rhapsody” and of course “We Will Rock You”, it’s the champion of all musicals!
Read more...

We Will Rock You © Len Rapoport

After Hours
If you still want more…go back and watch one of their talented comedians or other entertainers that will continue to entertain you.
tom cotter2On our short cruise, we were fortunate to see the funniest guy on America’s Got Talent, Tom Cotter.  I laughed so hard that I knew I had to get Tom to do a short bit to close our video production.

Watch our video right to the end and you will see why he was the runner-up of season 7 on America’s Got Talent 2012.  Tom performs at many other venues and you can expect to pay $40 or more per person…FREE on the Anthem of the Seas.

Cartoon Character

Gloria from Madagascar

There is so much more you can do after hours, so many lounges, coffee shops and places to visit if you are a night owl. Remember, they also offer room service too.  Check out the Schooner Lounge, the Music Hall when you board the ship.

Lets not forget the children, no matter what age…lots to do, all the arcade games and activities in their Adventure Ocean and now they have your favorite characters from Shrek, Madagascar and Kung Fu Panda onboard the Anthem of the Seas.  More on entertainment..


Cabins and Staterooms (Suites)

stateroom suite
Again, they have achieved excellence in their accommodation choices.  Only a select few can enjoy some of their magnificent staterooms, but for the rest of us, their cabins are beautiful and comfortable and most of course with a balcony.

You will see some of the cabins and staterooms in our video and more on their website.


Destinations From Cape Liberty, New Jersey

Anchored in America is the theme of the Anthem of the Seas.  For those of us on the East Coast, this means we can now enjoy cruising from Cape Liberty, New Jersey.  No longer do we need to spend the money or time fly to Florida to cruise to the Caribbean and the Bahamas.  The Anthem of the Seas offers a number of itineraries to the Caribbean, Bermuda, Canada and New England.  More on their website…

Destinations___Anthem_of_the_Seas___Royal_Caribbean

© RCCL


Public Health and Safety

I briefly mentioned their attention to their passengers health and safety, but I was so impressed with the care and attention they have taken to keep us all healthy on board the ship, I thought it was worth mentioning again.

sinksSomething that I have never seen before were the sinks situated on the front entrance of the Windjammer.  This is a buffet restaurant where the dangers of spreading germs and viruses is greatest.

Just touching a serving spoon can spread viruses that can create havoc on a ship like this one.  As guests enter the restaurant they are directed public healthto the sinks so they can wash their hands properly.  Hand sanitizer’s used in the past simply don’t do the job but are also available throughout the ship and in the front of every restaurant.

There are also signs to remind you to take a fresh plate, glass and silver wear when going back for refills.

They stress health and safety, because they truly care.  As they said in their welcome announcements “We take the safety of our passengers very seriously”.

adam goldstein

Adam Goldstein President & COO of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd

Meet Adam Goldstein

I was privileged to meet Adam Goldstein President & COO of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. in the Windjammer and he was gracious enough to let me take this photo.  For me it was paramount to taking a photo of a rock star.

In a Press conference with Michael Bayley, President and CEO of Royal Caribbean International and Captain Claus Andersen, Master of Anthem of the Seas, I had the opportunity to get answers to many questions I had about the future of RCL, which of course is bright.

Watch for my video on that meeting.  I hope you enjoyed this guided tour of the ship and the photos and video that I shot.  Remember to tell your friends about this great ship and of course this article.  Happy sailings to all…no matter what RCL ship you choose, they simply won’t let you down.

Want to get the best prices and personal service for your next cruise? Email Gladys Rapoport (yes she is my wife) at: [email protected] – Travel Pavilion, Cruise and Travel Consultants

The_Ultimate_Guide_To_Royal_Caribbean’s_Independence_of_the_Seas___IMPress_Magazine

Independence of the Seas

Want to see more?  Click here to see our comprehensive article with photos and full 30 minute video of the Independence of the Seas.  If you enjoyed this article and are thinking of cruising on one of the Freedom Class ships you will want to see this first.

Photo Gallery Azamara Journey

Azamara Journey Photo Gallery Photos © 2016 Len Rapoport  
Album 1 • 151 Photos

Ships_Tour

Azamara Ships Tour

Album 2 • 115 Photos

Dining

Dining Choices
Album 3 • 77 Photos

Buffet On Deck

White Night
Album 4 • 52 Photos

First_Day

First Day
Album 5 • 53 Photos

Entertainment

Entertainment
Album 6 • 52 Photos

Azamazing

AzAmazing Night, Croatia
Album 7 • 150 Photos

Trogir

Trogir & Split Croatia
Album 8 • 172 Photos

Havar

Hvar, Croatia
Album 9 • 260 Photos

Venice

Venice, Italy
Album 10 • 23 Photos

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Venice HDR Images

 

 

 

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About the Author

Len Rapoport
Len Rapoport
IPA Editor-In-Chief, ID: 1000 • I am an internationally published photographer and the founder of International Press Association. As president and editor-in-chief, my duties at IPA are extensive. For over 40 years I have written articles, had my photos published in millions of publications, record album covers, books, and in the digital media. I was senior marketing and sales executive for major corporations, including my own and as a corporate communications consultant. I have taught photography and formed IPA 20 years ago. I currently work from my home office and continue to actively cover media events in addition to all of my other IPA and IMPress responsibilities.




 
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