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Frugal Husband’s Anthem of the Seas Review

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First, thank you for taking the time to post this entertaining review. (And thank you for being a teacher!) We are looking at Deck 9 on un upcoming Anthem 5-day to Bermuda next year and are curious to hear what your deck recommendation would be after your 5 days. We figured we'd spend most of our time on Deck 5 for the Esplanade and its venues and up on Deck 14 for the pools and Solarium. Like you, we often prefer just to take the stairs, but since 9 is sort of in no man's land, would you suggest trying to get on a deck a little closer to one or the other so that, at least, half the time, it's easier to take the stairs? (Kinda thought we were doing that by picking 9 over 10, but maybe not really....) Enjoy the rest of your trip!

 

Deck 9 was ok for us. We really like heading down for late night pizza/free style coke machines before bed. So for us we would choose to be closer to 6 next time. As it was I think it was 4 flights to the Esplanade and 5 up top. It was manageable but after a long day you just want a floor or two (at least for us)

 

If you don’t mind the stairs 9 is good. Kinda right in the middle and bonus it was a very quiet deck.

 

Hope that helps!

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9/11 museum as a Staten Islander and we lost about 275 souls that day lots of fdny and nypd to me is a cemetery and should not have tourists walking around it. Gettysburg too is a cemetery where plenty of men died and is an attraction as well. The only difference is at Gettysburg the men signed up to fight. At the WTC many were simply going to work. Just my opinion. Don’t want to open a debate

 

 

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As a history teacher I disagree. There is meaning and purpose behind places like the 9/11 museum and Gettysburg, or Arlington national Cemetery. People go to pay their respects, to learn, and people are moved by the experience.

 

If they were selling rides and balloons it would be different. But that museum is a wonderful tribute to those who died that day. It is part of our history and it is away for people to learn and to be educated.

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Loving your review. Hope you get to finish before you’re overwhelmed with papers

 

We’ve sailed on Anthem three times. If you have a balcony, on any deck lower than eight you have a good chance to have your view partially obstructed by the lifeboats or the structures that support them, even in cabins not labeled “partially obstructed.”

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Thanks for the trip report. Looking forward to my Anthem cruise in May :-)

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Let’s talk about beds. Lots has been said about the new beds on Royal Caribbean. The beds were firm on Anthem but it was not like sleeping on a slab of concrete. My wife and I never had any problems sleeping, getting to sleep, staying asleep, or waking up with any sort of pain. Full disclosure we have a firm mattress at home.

 

Sunday, August 5. Day 2

 

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Woke up to a little bit of a rain storm. We love eating breakfast and lunch in MDR. And with this only being a 5 day cruise our options were limited. So off to the MDR we go for breakfast. We are placed at a two top next to another two top and we exchange pleasantries and make little small talk but that’s all. Perfect. This is how dinner will be.

 

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We both got the Eggs Benedict (of course). My wife thought they were a little undercooked but I enjoyed them. We also got the salmon plate to share. SO GOOD!

 

Afterwards we checked out the bumper cars. The line looked long but we got in it anyways. Then I started wondering if we needed to sign a waiver for it since Royal requires that for pretty much any activity. Turns out you don’t. You do need to be 5 years old to even be a passenger in the bumper car and the staff was asking some parents the age of their children.

 

A highlight of the cruise was when King Julian climbed into a car himself!

 

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By the way, the ships use that awful tp because it dissolves quickly. The plumbing is prone to problems when anything goes down the toilet that doesn’t, like regular toilet paper.

 

 

 

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Urban myth that was debunked by the chief engineer.

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Bumper cars were very fun. You get some good speed and we saw some rough hits. Afterwards we walked around Sea Plex some more. I will say this-we didn’t care for the Sea Plex. The activities offered there were cool...but I just felt out of place. It was always over flowing with preteens and teens and we felt out of place. So basically the only time we spent there was to grab hotdogs from the Dog House which are always great. This was the first time I had ever had that out of place feeling on a Royal ship.

 

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Afterwards we headed up to the Solarium to take a look from the wing. It was on the starboard side. It was just us and a mother daughter. So we either caught it at a good time or it was another one of those areas that people didn’t know about.

 

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Then, judging from the time stamp on my phone we headed aft to look at the wake. I could stare at the wake all day if allowed. Especially at night if there is a lot of moonlight and it hits it. Unfortunately we never did get that shot on this cruise.

 

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Then. It was time to eat again. Haha. Lunch back at the MDR they showed us the buffet but nothing stood out. I saw the famous lunch salad bar and thought to myself...I can get salad bar anywhere! **runs and hides from the salad bar fans**

 

For my app I got the strawberry soup. O.M.G. You guys. This might have been my favorite dish of the entire cruise. I love me some strawberry-remember the eclair-and this was like eating a strawberry smoothie directly from the gods. So dang good. The waiter told me what was in it but I couldnt understand fully because of his accent and I was too embarrassed to ask him to repeat himself he was so excited I loved it. I didn’t get a picture but I got it again later and I have a pic then. I think my wife got the soup too.

 

My entree was the lasagna. Holy cow. This then so so creamy and delicious it may have been my second favorite thing!

 

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I honestly have forgotten what my wife ordered but here it is. I was busy over in food nirvana to care much about anything else.

 

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After exploring Central Park for just a little bit we headed over to The Plaza. My wife was very excited to check this out. So we looked around the lobby and then made our way down stairs to the restaurants and shops at The Plaza. We didn’t eat or buy anything but there were some bathrooms we used.

 

Making our way back towards Times Square we passed Carnage Hall

 

I'm sorry, I was just dying with "Carnage" Hall! :'):')

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Hahahaha! Thank you autocorrect

 

I figured that was it. Really loving your review, and the tips are so helpful. This will be our first RCI cruise and every little bit helps.

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Urban myth that was debunked by the chief engineer.

 

 

 

If Chengkp75 said it, I believe it and will take my own from now on.

 

 

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Edited by jagsfan

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I am throughly stuffed at this point. There was not a whole lot of time between breakfast and lunch. We are off to North Star for our scheduled ride which I reserved months before on cruise planner. Also happening about this time was the belly flop contest, and we got to see a portion of it from up there.

 

My overall impressions of North Star? Meh. I was underwhelmed because I was really excited about it. But going up 300 feet above the ocean on a sea day...well all you see is water. You do get some good views of the ship. I really would have loved to have gotten on it in Bermuda but we were on excursions.

 

So Denis Charles comes out-at least he says his name this time-still no “if we haven’t met yet I’m your cruise director blah blah blah” which Casey Pelter and Drew Pavlov did such an amazing big job with on Freedom and Allure...I mean I didn’t think anything of introducing yourself like that...until this guy never did (if you haven’t picked up on it we were not a fan of Denis Charles and I let him have it on the post cruise review).

 

Ok up we go. And here are some pics to prove it.

 

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After North Star we got our suits on and headed for the Solarium. We were able to find a chair and there were several available. Not prime spots but still inside the Solarium.

 

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We jump in the hot tub for a while. We were getting hot so we tried to get in one of the cascading pools. That was too cold. But then I found one of those green body lounges and that was juuuuust right.

 

It is here where I did something I have never done while on a cruise ship. I napped. I think I’m officially old. I sat down, lowered my hat over my eyes and I drifted off. I did not intend to nap but I think the days prior had finally caught up with me. I napped for like 45 minutes. It was bliss. When I had drifted off my wife was sitting next to me. When I woke up and turned she was gone, I turned thinking she had switched sides. Haha nope! Some other woman was there. I was still in the groggy post nap phase so it startled me a bit.

 

These are the chairs I was talking about. So nice.

 

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Maybe this is the time to talk about the wow bands. I think they were $7 but don’t quote me on it. I hate these things. Not the bands or the idea of the bands, the fact that Royal has the nerve to charge for them! Heck even Mickey Mouse includes them in your vacation. Needless to say we did not buy them. I just put our sea passes in my bathing suit pocket which velcros shut.

 

The bands open your room and can be used for on board purchases. BUT, and this is huge to me, you STILL need your sea pass card to get off and on the ship. The band will do you no good. Huh?! That takes a huge convenience away. So even if I shell out $7 I still have to carry my sea pass card on port days...how does that make sense?

 

Let’s talk deck chairs. We could always find one. Were they always by the pool? No. Chair hogs are not high on my list of cruising pst peeves but that is because we don’t spend a whole lot of time in/by the pool. If we were they would be higher on my list.

 

 

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The toilet in the North Star is interesting information! I haven’t heard that before.

 

Waiting for the post where you go to dinner and have the other two at the table with you. ;)

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Anthem is so different from the other ships, I don’t believe the CDs act the same way. They just seem to come out at the end of a show; then you never see them again. I have to say we sailed and met Dennis (he was going by his actual last name then) in 2008 on our Panama Canal cruise, and he became one of our favorites. Maybe he’s been cruising so long, he expects everyone to know him? But CDs are like cruise food, it’s all subjective. There are some I don’t care for that other people love, but I remember all of them from our Royal cruises. None from our other cruises!

 

 

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Time to head back to the cabin, shower, and get ready for dinner. It’s formal night and the captain is doing his little speech and meet and greet. I’ve never gotten a picture with the captain, just never had the urge. But I do like putting a face with the voice and hearing his little speech.

 

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I grab my free glass of champagne and we grab a spot near the stairs.

 

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Forgive me but I’ve already forgotten his name. He says the cruise is sold out and only 1200( I think, if not I’m close) are returning Crown and Anchor members. Sheesh that’s not a good ratio in my mind.

 

Anyways he is talking and I feel bad for the guy. The crowd is way smaller than on Freedom and Allure and those that were there weren’t paying attention as it was hard to hear with everyone else talking. It is finally confirmed that Denis Charles is indeed our cruise director when the captain introduces him as such. It took the captain of the ship to finally introduce the cruise director.

 

On our way to dinner we stop and grab some info on Quantum of the Seas going to Alaska...definitely on my bucket list. We enter the MDR and the other couple is there with their new table placement and it is near us but with space between just like Anderson promised. We say hello and pick up the menu. And then it begins. The start of the non-stop talking. She wants to tell us all about their day, tell us all about their family, all about their past cruises, all about their friends back home. They did NOT respect the space. Heck they might as well had been at our table! They talked the ENTIRE meal! And mostly about themselves! The kind of people who could of talked to the wall.

 

I’m not kidding when I say I may have gotten 15-20 words in to my wife that night. I was in disbelief. There was nothing I could do. I was trapped. An unwilling hostage to the verbal assault taking place next to me. It was as if she hadn’t talked to another human being in 3 years and didn’t know when she would meet another. As I said my wife and I like to recount our day. Talk about our night. And talk about our food. This was never an option. We were absolutely steamrolled. It ruined dinner. They would not stop talking. Ever.

 

So some are you are thinking “why didn’t you ask to be moved?” Well remember the cruise was sold out so that was going to be difficult and this-this was night 2 of 5. We only had 3 more diners left. The next night we would be at Wonderland. And they told us the following night they would be at Chops. So that means I would only have to suffer through one more meal with them. I can suck it up and deal with one more.

 

We both got the lobster bisque. It was phenomenal.

 

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I got the beef tenderloin and it was melt in your mouth good.

 

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My wife went with the seafood pasta-also very good.

 

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Sorry no pics of dessert I probably forgot because blabber mouths were going full throttle. I got the carrot cake which rocked. And my wife got the apple pie. She said it was tasty, I’m not a big apple pie guy myself.

 

Mercifully dinner was over and we RAN from the MDR. It was the first time in an hour my wife and I were able to talk to one another. We were both ticked but hey, only one more meal with them.

 

We were off to 270 for Sprctra’s Cabaret. It was awful. Haha and I’m not hard to please but this? Sheesh. It was the first time I actually considered walking out of a Royal show but we stuck with it thinking maybe it would get better? It was weird and boring and way too long.

 

After that snooze fest we needed a pick me up so we went to the adult comedy show. Oy. This guy was not funny. Now the woman in front of us thought he was hysterical...I wonder how many drinks it took to make this guy funny. His name was Angelo Tsarouchas. Now I admit comedy is subjective but he wasn’t for me. We stayed the whole time thinking he had to get better?

 

That’s it this night was a bust. Haha I think we walked along the top deck recounting and laughing at the follies of our night. Then back to cabin for sleep. We are in Bermuda tomorrow!

 

Look who was waiting for us :-)

 

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Anthem is so different from the other ships, I don’t believe the CDs act the same way. They just seem to come out at the end of a show; then you never see them again. I have to say we sailed and met Dennis (he was going by his actual last name then) in 2008 on our Panama Canal cruise, and he became one of our favorites. Maybe he’s been cruising so long, he expects everyone to know him? But CDs are like cruise food, it’s all subjective. There are some I don’t care for that other people love, but I remember all of them from our Royal cruises. None from our other cruises!

 

 

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Yeah we really didn’t see him much. We were used to seeing Casey and Drew everywhere. I’m glad you liked him, he just didn’t measure up for us. We LOVE Drew.

 

Now the activities manager? Tornado Tanya? We loved her. We both made the comment that we wished she was the cruise director. She was so funny and charming.

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Enjoying your review very much!

The one thing I didn't like about our cruise on the Anthem was how close the tables for two are in the MDR & for the reason you are describing with your way too chatty "friends", ugh!

 

Also agree with you about Spectra's Cabaret, though I think we are in the minority here. We kept waiting for it to get better too :) I know shows are subjective, but to us it was a bore & just not good at all. I always say people should see all three main reservation shows because different people like different things though.

 

Thank you for posting your review and great photos!

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If Chengkp75 said it, I believe it and will take my own from now on.

 

 

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Someone asked if they could bring their own tp at the Captains Corner and Captain Felix said bring all you want.

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Maybe this is the time to talk about the wow bands. I think they were $7 but don’t quote me on it. I hate these things. Not the bands or the idea of the bands, the fact that Royal has the nerve to charge for them! Heck even Mickey Mouse includes them in your vacation. Needless to say we did not buy them. I just put our sea passes in my bathing suit pocket which velcros shut.

 

 

The Disney bands are an example of Disney's (many) brilliant marketing moves. They give you the bands for free, but then sell the little charms that you can insert in the empty band holes. You find yourself wanting to give them your money.

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The bands open your room and can be used for on board purchases. BUT, and this is huge to me, you STILL need your sea pass card to get off and on the ship. The band will do you no good. Huh?! That takes a huge convenience away. So even if I shell out $5 I still have to carry my sea pass card on port days...how does that make sense?

How are the port security folks supposed to identify you with just a WOW band when you are going back to the ship?

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