A few months ago I traveled to the island of Bermuda, but rather than flying there on a boring airplane I cruised there on the Royal Caribbean cruise ship Anthem of the Seas. This 168,666 ton hunk of metal can travel up to 22 knots and hold a little more than 4,000 passengers not including the crew! The ship is one of Royal Caribbean’s newest members and boasts some of the most spectacular activities. The moment you step onto that ship it feels like a tropical vacation despite the fact that we were still in Jersey. The ship is enormous and can be a little difficult to find your way around when you first get there. I know my knees were hurting the first day from all the walking I did because I was determined to find everything on the ship.
First things first, the room. I staying in an indoor cabin, which means I didn’t have a window or balcony. However, since this ship is newer, one of the most fabulous things they installed are large floor to ceiling monitors that show the real time view that you would have seen if you had a balcony. My “balcony” showed the rear view. The rooms were not suite size hotel rooms, but more like compact version; they were really luxurious for the size. My room had a bottle of champagne waiting for us when we arrived. Curious if it was something I had to pay extra for, I asked the room attendant. He said the couple who stayed in the room before had ordered it, but never opened it, so he left it for the next guests. If that doesn’t speak for the crew’s excellent service, then I have a few more comments on that.
Each night we had dinner at a different “restaurant” with different styles of food, but our waitstaff stayed with us for each night. This was unusual for most of Royal Caribbean’s cruise ships. Our group had an amazing time with the guys who served us because they are so incredible at what they do. Our main server had mentioned he played guitar, so of course we insisted that he bring his guitar to dinner one night so we could hear him play. He was nervous because he had never played for an audience before, but he killed it.
One of the most enticing activities on this particular ship is the indoor skydiving. Its technically called Ripcord by iFly, but that’s just a fancy name for indoor skydiving. Its one of the activities you have to book appointments for and it was absolutely worth it. Located on the back of the ship, there is an unforgettable and unique view from inside the large air tube. The experience was exhilarating and is a definite must for anyone who likes a little adventure, but doesn’t necessarily want to jump out of a plane. Another activity that is a must is the North Star, which is a capsule that takes you way up above the ship and then a little over the side. The view is incredible and I imagine you could see the whole island if you went up while stationed at Bermuda.
Unfortunately, I am not great with motion sickness and felt nauseous most of the time we were sailing, but the convenience store they had on the ship didn’t have the patches that go behind your ear to help. The motion sickness pills were not working. If you get motion sickness I would buy the patches beforehand or just avoid the very front of the ship or the very back (that is where its most choppy). However, there is just about anything you could ever want on the ship including a shopping mall, bars and clubs, special restaurants (which you will have to pay extra for), and so much more.
The only thing that I wasn’t a huge fan of on this ship was the amount of waiting. There were so many people everywhere all the time it meant waiting for everything, waiting for the elevator, waiting for the bathroom, waiting for the sink, waiting for breakfast or lunch, waiting for a chance to get in the outdoor pool or even a chair outside near the pool, waiting to get a drink, etc. Its the smallest thing to be annoyed with, but if you’re not someone with a ton of patience or a people person then I’d suggest going on a cruise when its not exactly “in season” so to speak or just get up really early to claim your chair outside and eat in peace.
One of the most relaxing parts of the cruise was waking up early, getting in a little work out and heading to the cafe for a coffee on the balcony at the back of the ship. It was so peaceful to just sit and enjoy the view of the open sea without any phones or laptops, just the view. The gym is placed at the very front of the ship and going for a run while looking out at the sunrise over the ocean is how I’d like to work out everyday, we can all dream right? There is also a spa located on the ship, where you can get your hair done, get a massage or get a manicure; all of which is extra $$ of course. There are places on the ship where only certain members are allowed. For example, there is the Diamond Lounge, where you can only get in if you’re a Diamond, Diamond Plus or Pinnacle member with Royal Caribbean. They are pretty strict on who gets in there, so don’t even try to sneak in.
Overall, I think Royal Caribbean has this cruise stuff down like nobody’s business. With an impeccable crew, unique activities, high quality rooms and engaging events its no wonder why so many people cruise with them over and over, including me! Diamond member here I come.