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BigHouseFootball

Frugal Husband’s Anthem of the Seas Review

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Saturday, August 4. Embankment Day.

 

Finally time to get on the ship! I have Dial 7 car service picking us up at 9:15 this morning. I took Bob’s advice and went with Dial 7 because I’m still leery of using Uber-I’m getting old I guess. Soon I’ll be yelling at kids to get off my lawn.

 

So we get up and are getting ready. Yotel sends me an email with links to do the checkout process. It was simple and easy and convenient. As soon as we were ready to leave the room there was a link for me to click and that was that. Also got a copy of the final bill in that email.

 

I am also getting texts from Dial 7 saying my driver is on he way...sheesh it’s only 8:45! So we start making our way down. At 9 I get a phone call which was the driver. He simply says “number 9” huh? Am I in a spy movie? What does that mean? He then says “I am car 9” well that sure helps. I walk out to the sidewalk (because it was raining) and I see one black sedan I ask the guy if that’s him he confirms. He helps put our luggage in the trunk and we are off.

 

Car is very clean, smells nice, and the guy is a good driver. Couldn’t ask for more really. He then says that he is taking this tunnel instead of that bridge because of traffic. Whatever dude, I don’t know where we are going just get me to Anthem before all aboard.

 

The one shot we got on our drive. It was really coming down.

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Drive took 35-40 mins so we are at the terminal about 9:40 am. Let me tell you it is not a pretty terminal to drive into. It’s a freight port so you see warehouse after warehouse. Pot holes everywhere, big cargo containers. And then boom! There’s Anthem. Sorry I don’t have that money first view shot. I’ll remember for my next trip report.

 

In all the drive cost $80 which included tolls and tip.

 

Ok here we are let’s get under a roof because of this rain. We make our way to the front of the building and I know we are early. So early I wonder if the building is even open. I remember both times getting off in Florida people were lined up outside the terminal not allowed to enter because it was too early. We see a line near the door and figure that’s what is happening now.

 

Ok, let’s get in line. I ask the people in front of us if they are getting on or if they had just gotten off, they say they are getting on. Great. We are in the right spot. Or are we? My spidy senses are going off and I tell my wife I’m going to go take a look up front. I enter the terminal hmmmm looks like everything is ready but there are no guests. I go up to a worker and ask if we are allowed to enter and check in. She looked at me like I was a stupid tourist, “uh, yes, please do”

 

Hey listen lady I’m not some dumb tourist I post on cruise critic ok! It is crazy outside because of the rain so everyone is crunched under the canopy, maybe you should have someone out there directing boarding guests to come in.

 

So off I go grab the wife and tell the 20 people in line we can go inside. The place is empty. Up to one of the podiums with workers 9220e318d803ed809f93d51c16803102.jpgand ipads. She asks for my set sail pass and I confess that it is on my kitchen table. No problem, she asks if I know my cabin number-heck yeah I do! 9142 baby. With that she’s able to pull the reservation and print off set sail passes for us and tells us our sea pass cards will be outside our cabin and to use the pass for any onboard purchases until then.

 

So simple. Took maybe 7 minutes. Ok off to security and again, no one is in the security line. Breeze right through that and we are directed to have a seat in the cars. We are maybe row 3. We were so early even the photographers with the cheesy backdrops were t up and running yet! cb3c0fc80ac6603b00c40dc988b61234.jpgIt’s 10 am at this point. They till us the expect boarding will begin at 11:30. Pssh, yeah right. This ain’t my first rodeo, and I’ve read all the Anthem trip reports on CC I tell my wife we will probably start boarding at 10:30ish.

 

 

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Let’s pause. Some of you must be thinking “hey he calls himself frugal but he is in a balcony! That poser!” Normally we are inside cruisers. It allows us to cruise more. However, remember that credit card I told you about? Yeah we cashed in the majority of our points which took a massive chunk out of the total for us. Otherwise we would of been inside-ing it up.

 

So we are waiting for boarding to begin and guess what? Everyone was getting zero signal on the cell phones. What is this building made out of?!

 

Also remember me saying I was adopted by extroverts this trip? A gentleman sits next to me and I swear 10 seconds might of passed before I’m his new best friend. Look, I’m not trying to say dont talk to other people, plenty of people go on cruises looking to make friends-it’s one of their favorite parts of cruising. I’m just asking you to read the body language of the other person. I was doing everything to display an image of “I don’t want to chat”. I tried everything. I buried myself in my non-internet working phone, I tried reading the cruise compass, I gave only one word answers! But I have found that true extroverts don’t care at all. They would talk to the wall and be fine. Here, I was said wall. And I’m just too darn polite to straight up tell someone I don’t want to talk. I should have adapted that though as you will find out why later.

 

So this guy is telling me his life story of the past 48 hours. Which I will now tell you because it was pretty entertaining. They had a group of like 8 and everyone planned to fly in Friday. Well with all those crazy storms I guess the airports in and around NYC shut down. His one buddy left Dallas and was forced to land in philly and he had to rent a car and was now driving to the port. The person who planned the entire trip for everyone got rerouted to Cleveland and was told she would be on the first flight out. As of 10:15 she was still in Cleveland with an estimated departure of 3:00! Sadly, she didnt make the cruise.

 

This fellow had his flight from Dallas to NY canceled so he boarded a flight to LA (!!!) and then got on a plane from LA to NY. Holy cow. All in all about half of the group missed the cruise because of the weather...and c2927ed5efb30b669a26e125866ebca8.jpgthey all traveled the day before cruise day!

 

So the boarding area is now packed as it’s 11:00 and still no boarding. We started boarding at 11:25 so much for my 10:30 prediction. But here we go!

 

 

 

 

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Thursday, August 2

 

 

My wife and I both got the Cuban sandwich. Oh my god you guys. I am not one for hyperbole. I hate it when people say things like “it was the best pizza I have ever had!” Or “the food was literally inedible.” But this sandwich. This Cuban sandwich was the best I have ever had. Full disclosure I have not been to Miami but I have searched many a places for a good Cuban and this place delivered. The meat was so moist and juicy and the bread was perfectly toasted. And then the black beans and rice. I could of just had that and I would of been happy. So good. Check them out. They are right off Times Square.

 

The best part? It was part of a lunch special so I think it was $11.99 each. That makes frugal husband very happy.

 

 

 

I just gotta point out that I have had the cuban at Havana Central, twice. I work a coupl of blocks away. I think that is actually pretty bad. If you go across the street, there is a little cuban coffee shop called 'MARGON' that is universally acknowled as the best Cuban in NYC.

 

I saw a couple of food items I wouldnt agree with, but it is a very entertaining review. Glad you had a good time.

 

If you come back to NY, I would recommend checking out the website 'Free Tours by Foot' - it is definetly fits your frugality. We usually tip the tour guide $10/person at the end. I would recommend food tours of the lower east side, chinatown and the village. With the free tours, you pay for the food at the stops. There are many other great tours.

 

Joe

Edited by Firethorn

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We’re in northern Virginia and sailing on Anthem in the Spring. This will be our 4th sailing from Cape Liberty. We’ve never even considered taking the train (although we used to take the AutoTrain to Disney with the kids).

 

Probably because the thought of getting to Union Station in DC is not good. So we drive up the day before. We both enjoy a good road trip (driving up to RI in October with daughter and grandsons and drove solo to Connecticut last October) once in a while.

 

Looking forward to the rest of your trip! And seeing your photos!!

 

 

 

 

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DH and I are also in NoVA and we always take the train from Union Station. We rent a car at Dulles airport and drop it at Union Station and do the reverse when we return. Much easier than driving. We're on Anthem in Oct and will be taking the Acela to Newark, car service to Cape Liberty for cruise, on our return car service to Times Square, then spending 6 days in Manhattan at the Marriott Marquis before returning from NY Penn to Union station. We've done that trip everytime we've gone out of Bayonne, so something like 6 times for cruises, plus a couple of others to just spend time in NY. The train is so convenient. Of course, DH and I grew up in So MD, and have been driving in and out of DC since we were 16 (58 and 61 now) so no big deal to drive to Union Station which is easy to get to.

 

We don't always take Acela. We sometimes take the regional train which is cheaper. Love train travel. And, as the OP said the wifi is intermittent and isn't really for streaming, although I've been able to a couple of times.

 

We also always eat at Havana Central one night and have our favorite, go to restaurants in NYC. Have to go to Jr's at least once for an egg cream at the very least.

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Hello BigHouseFootball

I was pleased to read that you and your wife enjoyed your visit to NYC !

You certainly did pack in some good experiences in the three days.

As I wrote in a previous post, it is a great city.

So glad that you,came to the idea that you could possibly live there !

As the other poster from LI wrote about 9/11, most native New Yorkers have ties and memories of that day.I have yet to visit the museum or the Freedom tower. Maybe still too emotiional.

One of my former students was late for work that day due to a traffic issue and,fortunately, was spared.

She was so affected though,she left her job in finance in the City and owns a miniature golf place at the end of Long Island where my DH and I have lived for the past thirty four years.

We often go into the City as “tourists” and always enjoy visiting our familiar places and discovering new ones.

I will continue to read your posts about the cruise.

I certainly think that you had an enjoyable time on the ship !

Good wishes to you for the beginning of the school year.

As a retired elementary teacher, I fondly remember those first days of school !

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Great review. I was on the 9 day sailing right after yours. Looking forward to the rest of the review!

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Ok it’s 2:15 and I’m getting antsy. Time to line up for Stephen!

 

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Great story about the Colbert show! Some people don't like non -cruise stuff in a review, but if we do Athem, we will come early and do something like this. Very reminiscent of our day getting on THE PRIC IS RIGHT for one of Bob Barker's last shows. It would get easier to be picked now that Drew Carey is host and loves all things Ohio State! Speaking of which, I'm way behind in the review, so I hope my small jabs about the Big House and that team up North are taken in the only slightly serious sense! Great job, catching up slowly.

Edited by BillOh

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Up we go and onto the ship. Sorry for no pics but in one hand I had the set sail pass which everyone kept telling us to raise it high for everyone to see and the other hand was dragging my luggage.

 

Ok onto the ship and my first stop is Wonderland. We got one free specialty dinning with our trip and I knew it was going to be Wonderland. And how lucky it is right there as you board. Better yet the line is short only 2 people ahead of us. Sweet! The First Lady is taken care of which means we are next. Oh, how stupid was I. This family decides this is the time and place to book ALL their specialty dinners for the week...for two families and they have NO idea of their choices or when they want to eat. They ask for a menu explanation of all the places. Are you flipping kidding me right now?! I hear comedian Jon Pinette in my head “GET OUT OF LINE”

 

Luckily after 10 minutes another worker comes to the desk and helps me. I’m done in 2 minutes. Come to find out you can book any specialty dinning reservation at any of the specialty restaurants. So if the line is long at the one you want maybe check the others for a shorter line and book what you want.

 

Next we head up to Windjammer. I know it’s not for everybody but it’s our little tradition. I love that they have hand washing stations before you enter. Sorry no pics of lunch...I’m new at this. But I do have dinner pics so fear not. We grab the first table we see which gives us a lovely view of the city. I had a strange collection of a cheeseburger, fries, and a curry dish.

 

Tip: head straight to the back of Windjammer. There is an outdoor eating space at the very back. We didnt discover it till the end of day 1 and it seemed like the rest of the ship never really found it.

 

ed2e601e594d859d8004e15ab28b9013.jpg

 

So because we boarded so late, coupled with the clueless people at Wonderland plus lunch it was nearly 1:00 so we just decided to head over to the cabin.

 

Here’s what I don’t understand. They made made several announcements that cabins will be ready at 1. The doors are closed leading to the halls. And there are signs on the doors telling you about 1pm again. Several people are waiting for the announcement that cabins are ready. Then one family comes along looks at all of us just standing and just opens the door and heads off to their cabin. I have seen this on another cruise as well.

 

At 1 the announcement is made we can head to our cabins. Great. Down the hallway we go and our cabin steward is still making up our room. Of course. Ok so we just heard back to the hall. 10 minutes later we were good to go.

 

 

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Here’s what I don’t understand. They made made several announcements that cabins will be ready at 1. The doors are closed leading to the halls. And there are signs on the doors telling you about 1pm again. Several people are waiting for the announcement that cabins are ready. Then one family comes along looks at all of us just standing and just opens the door and heads off to their cabin. I have seen this on another cruise as well.

 

At 1 the announcement is made we can head to our cabins. Great. Down the hallway we go and our cabin steward is still making up our room. Of course. Ok so we just heard back to the hall. 10 minutes later we were good to go.

 

 

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The family could have been on a b2b which means they have access to their cabin even when those just boarding don't. We were on a b2b on Oasis this past fall and we just walked right back to our cabin a couple of times before the doors were opened. b2b cabins are cleaned first as they don't require the level of cleaning that the other cabins do so we left to go to breakfast and came back to our cabin til we had to go meet up with the other b2bers and it was already cleaned (before 9 am).

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The family could have been on a b2b which means they have access to their cabin even when those just boarding don't. We were on a b2b on Oasis this past fall and we just walked right back to our cabin a couple of times before the doors were opened. b2b cabins are cleaned first as they don't require the level of cleaning that the other cabins do so we left to go to breakfast and came back to our cabin til we had to go meet up with the other b2bers and it was already cleaned (before 9 am).

 

This definitely wasn’t the case as the family was dragging a million suitcases behind them.

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Love this review. First clicked on it because I, too, am frugal. And it's not easy to travel and be frugal. A bonus was that you are on the Anthem, which we sailed last year. Finally, we're cruising to Bermuda this week, and I figured maybe you might have a tip or two for us before we leave. Thanks for taking the time to post and add pics, too! You and your wife are adorable!

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I always hope TTUN is undefeated right up to the last game of the season. Makes the OSU win more impressive. :D

 

Great review so far!

 

 

I totally understand that sentiment. I really do root for TTUN when they get to a bowl game and all B1G10 teams. And yes, terrific review!

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I once priced Amtrak instead of flying from ATL to FLL, and it was outrageous. It's not a "non-stop" trip and goes through DC, costs more than flying, and takes 2 days each way.

No, thank you.

 

I priced Amtrak from Houston to Atlanta earlier this summer and I’m pretty sure an Uber would have been both cheaper and quicker!

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Ok, I'm caught up! One of the best pre-cruise part of a review I have seen. I love lots of details including your Disney history. If I didn't like it, I would skip over, but great job for far.

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Enjoying your trip. I grew up outside NYC- looking at taking the train from Florida to NY next year since I can't get DH on a plane- long and expenisve trip (want sleeper car)

 

We did a sleeper roundtrip from NY to Fort Lauderdale a few years ago. Comfortable and relaxing. Food was edible, with breakfast being the best.

 

One problem we had was an engine breakdown on the return trip while in a small town in Florida. It took several hours before they could get a new engine and the train tied up two crossings in the town for hours. Once we got going the train had to be reworked into the rail schedules and we got home about 10 hours later than expected..

 

bosco

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I’m getting ready to book Anthem for February so I’m hanging on your every word!

 

 

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DH and I are also in NoVA and we always take the train from Union Station. We rent a car at Dulles airport and drop it at Union Station and do the reverse when we return. Much easier than driving. We're on Anthem in Oct and will be taking the Acela to Newark, car service to Cape Liberty for cruise....

 

 

How do you get to Dulles? Do you park your car there for the week? Do you travel up the day of the cruise?

 

We’re intrigued and will investigate further.

 

Thanks, BND! Sorry to hijack your thread, Bighouse!

 

 

 

 

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How do you get to Dulles? Do you park your car there for the week? Do you travel up the day of the cruise?

 

We’re intrigued and will investigate further.

 

Thanks, BND! Sorry to hijack your thread, Bighouse!

 

 

 

 

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We live 15 min (at most) from Dulles so I drive DH over to the terminal and he catches the shuttle to the rental car co. He then drives the car back to our house. We pick the car up the night before so we can load it and head out the next morning to DC. We always go the day before the cruise (except when we go out of Baltimore). So, in Newark we stay in the Hilton Newark Penn which is right across the street from the Newark Penn train station and use a car service the next morning to the port. We have the hotel call a local car service because they don't jump on the interstate and instead use surface roads which actually turns out to be quicker. We then use Dial 7 to get from Newark to NYC.

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This definitely wasn’t the case as the family was dragging a million suitcases behind them.

 

That little piece of info would have helped. So, they are probably people who ignore most rules. They possibly found out that their cabin wasn't ready yet and they couldn't leave their bags unless they wanted them in the room with the door still open.

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I am really enjoying this review! I took the train from Lynchburg, VA to NYC a few years back. My school had won a national award and several of us traveled there to receive it. Loved every minute of the ride.

Our next cruise isn’t until December on Oasis so I am excitedly reading everything I can about other people’s cruises!!

 

 

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That little piece of info would have helped. So, they are probably people who ignore most rules. They possibly found out that their cabin wasn't ready yet and they couldn't leave their bags unless they wanted them in the room with the door still open.

 

Yeah sorry about that. As I’m replaying the scene in my mind I see the luggage but forgot to type it. I’m more just bothered by it because I know on the other side of the wall the room stewards are running around like crazy and don’t need us in their way!

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Great story about the Colbert show! Some people don't like non -cruise stuff in a review, but if we do Athem, we will come early and do something like this. Very reminiscent of our day getting on THE PRIC IS RIGHT for one of Bob Barker's last shows. It would get easier to be picked now that Drew Carey is host and loves all things Ohio State! Speaking of which, I'm way behind in the review, so I hope my small jabs about the Big House and that team up North are taken in the only slightly serious sense! Great job, catching up slowly.

 

No worries! I am all for fun easy natured ribbing. That’s why it’s a rivalry. I just wish we would win The Game soon! I graduated in 08, Carr’s last season in my 5 years at Michigan we went ton3 Rose Bowls. Plus growing up 20 minutes from Ann Arbor I’ve been a Michigan fan my whole life so the past decade has been a black hole of despair.

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Thanks, BND! Sorry to hijack your thread, Bighouse!

 

 

 

 

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No worries. My favorite reviewer is Harryfat1 and he always says a review is like a party, everyone brings something different.

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