Anthem of the Seas
Royal Caribbean’s Anthem of the Seas is full of impressive innovations, many of which center around technology. Its online check-in system allows you to go right to the gangway at embarkation, and the high-speed Internet access on board is faster (and cheaper) than anything else on the high seas.
The ship is also known as the home of a variety of new and innovative entertainment options, including bumper cars, skydiving simulators, and a sleek music lounge that shows the best cover bands we’ve seen at sea.
What We Love
Michael’s Genuine Pub: This gastropub, helmed by Miami chef Michael Schwartz, is cool enough and well-executed enough to be at home in any large city. The pub stays open late, offers some room service, and dishes up great deviled eggs, pork sliders, chicken liver crostini, and charcuterie plates, with plenty of regional beer to wash it down. Tip: Order the fried pig's ears, a spicy off-menu secret of the chef and his friends.
Wonderland: This molecular gastronomy restaurant serves fun dishes in a playful setting. Look for “olives” that burst in your mouth and "noodles" that melt into your soup, all in a Alice in Wonderland-inspired dining room that's decked out with playful oversized arm chairs.
Online Check-In: Not only is the online check-in super-fast, it also allows you to upload a photo from home — rather than having a bedraggled one taken at the port — and to track your luggage from the curb to your cabin using Royal Caribbean's cool app.
That Super-Fast Wi-Fi: Consider this the first class of ship that allows passengers to be fully connected while on their cruise — whether that’s staying on top of emails and texts, uploading photos to social media sites such as Instagram and Facebook, or streaming video of their favorite TV shows and movies. You just can't do those things on most ships, where the Internet is too slow and too expensive, which can be a frustrating combination for those who don't want to unplug.
Best Known For
Robotic Bartenders: In the Bionic Bar, two robots pull bottles from the ceiling to whip up cocktails you order from an iPad menu. It’s as much fun as it sounds and worth the wait, and the occasional cocktail miss by the robotic mixologists.
Lounge 360: This dramatic show lounge is the most expensive space on a cruise ship and easily the most stunning at sea. Expect floor-to-ceiling multi-story windows that look out over the wake, fun seating choices with watery views, and a stage that’s designed to allow trapeze artists to descend from the ceiling and dancers to rise from the floor. There are also robotic screens that the productions use to modernize the shows.
Jamie's Italian: British chef and TV personality Jamie Oliver has international appeal, and his Italian restaurant serves up tasty trattoria fare, including house-made pastas. Our advice: Ask for an outside table.
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Who It's Best For
Families with Kids of All Ages: This ship, like others in the line, does a great job of bringing the fun. The line’s signature surfing simulators and rock-climbing walls are here, and the bumper car area has a food “truck” that serves hot dogs. At night, that space morphs into an all-ages roller-skating party.
Don't Say We Didn't Warn You
It’s Big: Even with all the innovations, Royal Caribbean can’t change the fact that this ship carries thousands of passengers at a time. Expect lines in some areas, tables to fill up at coveted restaurants (such as Jamie Oliver’s Italian trattoria), and a rush for the most coveted deck chairs. Still, Royal Caribbean has worked hard to minimize wait times — you even get a beeper at the buffet in the morning to tell you when your omelette is ready.
Sherri Eisenberg is the New York City-based editorial director of ShermansCruise.com.
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Anthem of the Seas at a Glance
- Line: Royal Caribbean
- Class: Quantum
- Number of Passengers: 4180
- Ship Size: Mega
- Launch Date: 2015