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ChristyLNDRN

Dynamic Duo on Anthem! 5 night Bermuda 7/27/19 *INCLUDES COMPASSES*

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Greetings fellow cruise critic-ers!  Long time lurker here looking to return the favor of all the wonderful reviews I’ve enjoyed over the years.  Cast of characters for this review is rather short...this is the recap of a long-talked about father/daughter cruise, so on this trip was just myself (Christy) and my father John (aka Pop). 

 

Some background:   We are probably the only 2 cruise nuts in our greater extended family.  My husband tolerates my obsessive love of cruising and usually accompanies me with good humor.  I also have two little cruise-nuts-in training, a 10 yr old daughter and 11 yr old son who were less than thrilled about being left behind this time.  My dad usually travels with his wonderful significant other, but we LEFT THEM ALL BEHIND for a special trip just the two of us this time.  

 

Pop has has previously sailed with Carnival, Celebrity, Royal and Princess and tends to bounce from line to line.  RCCL is my happy place but I have also sailed Princess (1) and Carnival (1).  Previous RCCL cruises for me on Explorer, Oasis, Liberty and Harmony.  

 

Cruise was booked about 4 months out. I originally booked us into two Studio Interior cabins, with the hope of upgrading to a better cabin.  I stalked Royal’s website pretty much daily and eventually came across an available studio balcony cabin and snatched that up.  Poor Pop was stuck with his studio interior, but at least it makes for an interesting review later since it’s not a cabin type I see reviewed often.  I let him visit my balcony every now and then!

 

Being a slightly obsessive planner (cue laughter from Pop who will be reading along at some point) I stalked the cruise planner daily as well looking for deals on beverage& dining packages.  Along the way, I booked:

 Deluxe Beverage package x2 at 48/ day

3 Night dining package at x2 at 89/day

Surf and Stream package for me to keep in touch with my kiddos at 12.99/day

Rising Son Catamaran Adventure excursion x2 for our 2nd day in Bermuda 

 

I made MTD reservations pre-cruise for nights 2&4 (formal night and lobster night), and reserved The Gift, Spectra’s Cabaret, We will Rock You, North Star and Ifly.   Entertainment was quite easy to book ahead of time.  North Star and Ifly only appeared for a VERY short time in the cruise planner and if I hadn’t been checking frequently I probably would have missed them, Ifly especially.  

 

After all that planning, we just had to sit back and count down the days!  Next up, BOARDING DAY!!!!

 

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Day 1:  BOARDING DAY!

 

Best day ever!  Today’s travel would be easy-peasy as no flights were needed for this cruise.  We were traveling only from Wilmington DE to Cape Liberty, a short 2 hour drive.

 

 We left Delaware probably way earlier than necessary, but this was Pop’s first time driving to this port and I am not exactly the best navigator.  As in I get lost 5 mins from home.  Regularly.  Can’t live without GPS.  Anyway, we left DE around 7:15 and arrived in Cape Liberty right around 9:15.  Tons of people disembarking still.  Took awhile to make our way past the terminal to the garage, but got there without too much hassle.  Parking is $22/day.   We dropped our bags with a porter outside the terminal and then walked to the 9/11 memorial for a bit since we were so early.  Love the views of NYC from this port!

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After checking out the 9/11 memorial, we headed into the terminal around 10:00ish.  

No lines for security at this point.   A few workers were checking people in with iPads, and we only had to wait behind one group.  She scanned our set sail passes and our passports with her iPad, and after the obligatory boarding day cheesy pic, we were directed to the seating area to wait.

 

I did see a separate waiting area for Suites/Diamonds (or was it Diamond+) and Key guests, but it seemed like the rest of C&A were lumped together.   Pop was platinum, and I am still gold (29 nights after this cruise, ha!) and we were seated together.  Boarding started right after 11, and we were on by 11:15.

 

Love these boarding day quick guides:

 

 

 

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Fantastic review!!! 

 

Thank you! 

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First order of business upon boarding was to make reservations for our 3 night dining package.  For those who don’t know, you can make all of your reservations at any of the specialty restaurants.  We boarded I believe on deck 5, and Wonderland was right next to us, so we headed there.  Just one group in front of us, and then we were up!  It’s a little stressful to an over-planner like myself to not be able to make reservations until boarding, but it was not a problem at all with just a little flexibility.  I was able to make reservations for the restaurant that I wanted, on the nights I wanted, around our scheduled showtimes.  

 

With that bit of business taken care of, we decided to get lunch before the masses descended.  I tend to avoid the buffet like the plague on boarding day, but it’s tradition for Pop to go there, so off we went.  For the record, Cafe 270 was completely empty and would be a great spot for lunch on boarding day.  Since we were so early, it was still fine in the buffet and we quickly got our food and found a nice table by the windows. By the time we finished eating, it was starting to get crowded so we went off to explore for a bit.  Took a few pics of the indoor pool and then the seaplex area that I thought my kids would like to see, then it was off to the Solarium, which is one of my favorite places on a royal ship!

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Rooms were ready just before 1:30, so this is probably a good time to review our cabins.  

 

Pop: Studio interior with virtual balcony 7630

Me:  Studio Oceanview balcony 7248

 

Dad thought his cabin was quite small (I warned him) but fine for just him.  Obviously not a ton of storage space.  He thought the virtual balcony was weird but cool.  His bathroom was huge for the size of his room. His shower actually was a rectangle with a door that swung out rather than one of the usual torpedo tubes. His bathroom was definitely bigger then mine. 

 

I LOVED my cabin, probably in part because of the enormous balcony.  No idea how a single cabin has a balcony this size.  Bigger than my Harmony and Oasis balconies (and I think my oasis balcony was on the hump!).  This balcony was on the angle of the hump if that makes sense. I swear I could have shared this cabin happily with my hubby although drawer space might have been an issue. 

 

1st two pics are his cabin, next 3 are mine, last one is deck plan showing where we were in relation to each other and showing the size of my balcony on the deck plan.

 

 

 

 

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Edited by ChristyLNDRN

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Thanks so much for doing this, Christy! Looking forward to the rest. We're leaving on the Anthem 5 day cruise this weekend. 

 

Quick question - lobster night in the MDR was night 4? So not on formal night? 

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16 minutes ago, spacepotatoes said:

Thanks so much for doing this, Christy! Looking forward to the rest. We're leaving on the Anthem 5 day cruise this weekend. 

 

Quick question - lobster night in the MDR was night 4? So not on formal night? 

Thanks for reading along!  Lobster was definitely night 4 in the MDR, not on formal night which was night 2.  It was quite yummy!  Enjoy your cruise!!

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Continuing on with day 1....

After we checked out our cabins we changed into swimsuits...thankfully we had one in our carryons because luggage had not been delivered yet.  At some point we checked to see if North Star was running, because I thought I had read in past reviews that it had been possibly to ride it standby on boarding day.  Thought it would be a good view of NYC.  Anyway, it was not running before we left port.   It also shut down on and off a few times during the cruise, more on that later.  We headed back to the solarium for a bit, and then it was time for muster and sail away.  Although our cabins were fairly close, we had different muster stations....Silk for me, American Icon for Pop.  Right across from each other on deck 4 so easy to meet after.  His luggage came before muster, I got mine after sail away but before dinner.  Hard to get an elevator after muster so we took ALOT of stairs up to the top deck for sail away.   This was Pop’s 1st NYC sailaway so I wanted to get a good spot...so cool going under the Verrazano. 

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Last few sailaway pics...last one is after the pilot boat pulled away at 5:30ish....surprised how long the pilot was on!

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We had reservations for Jamie’s this night at 7:30.   Disclaimer:  I don’t take a lot of food pics as I’m too busy eating and enjoying...for awhile my nickname was Chewbacca because I’m always hungry (insert Wookiee sound here). 

 

I swear the specialty restaurants take pleasure in stuffing you silly.  We had:

Meat Plank

Bruschetta

I had a chicken entree and the truffle pasta

Pop had 2 different pastas 

Whole dessert plank that our waiter brought without us without us ordering anything specific, we just said we were ready for dessert.  And I think I forgot one appetizer😂

 

Everything was delicious!

 

Day one wrapped up with The Gift at 10:00.   We both enjoyed it, singers and dancers were great!  Show was definitely a little weird overall.  Pic of dessert plank below, Day 1 compasses next post. 

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Enjoying your review! Thanks for taking the time to do it. We’ve been on the Anthem twice & are going on another 5 nt. Anthem cruise in October.

We loved Jamie’s too. I was so full, I couldn’t eat a bite of dessert.

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9 hours ago, sandebeach said:

Enjoying your review, and your great pictures. What a lovely "Dynamic Duo"!

Thank you!

 

8 hours ago, Dina7 said:

Enjoying your review! Thanks for taking the time to do it. We’ve been on the Anthem twice & are going on another 5 nt. Anthem cruise in October.

We loved Jamie’s too. I was so full, I couldn’t eat a bite of dessert.

 

I managed a few bites of dessert😬.  Enjoy your next trip on Anthem!

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Day 2

I can’t sleep in on cruises... too much to see and do!  Love catching sunrise on the balcony though.   I usually wake up early and pop down to Cafe Promenade for a caffeine fix and a few croissants to hold me over until actual breakfast. 

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Actual breakfast was in the Windjammer this morning.  Since I’m always up early, crowds were not a problem.  One of my favorite things at the buffet is the omelet station...Never had to wait more than a few minutes.  Today we found the outdoor seating area at the back of the windjammer...great views of the wake.  Sailing to Bermuda, clocks are set forward the first night an hour and then back an hour the night you leave Bermuda.  So by ship time we were eating around 8:30...I think most people hadn’t adjusted to the time change yet because the windjammer was pretty empty still.  Also, a few other mornings the outdoor seating area was roped off when we came earlier....but still lots of tables with great views by the windows!

 

We headed straight to the Solarium after breakfast.  Tons of empty seats at 9:00 (again, think the time change helped a bit).  There were several of the round couch beds, and I snagged one of those with a lounger next to it.   

 

Notes on pool chairs...seemed to be more of an issue at the main pool.  Chairs definitely went very quickly out there.   Solarium filled up by 10:00 both sea days.  There was a worker walking around tagging chairs earlier in the morning if they had been reserved but unoccupied for longer than 30 mins.  To me, it seemed like most chairs were being used, not hogged...but your mileage may vary!

 

I only saw one child in the solarium (a few occasionally passed through to the solarium bistro) and that was on boarding day for a short period of time.  A few teens occasionally who may or may not have been 16 but it’s hard to tell.

 

We had such a good spot that we stayed in the Solarium all day!   We took turns going to the Solarium bistro for lunch and bringing a plate out to our chairs.  Buffet was much smaller in there but food was good.   Bar servers constantly passed by taking drink orders.   Lines at the bar not too bad.   

 

Next up:  Ifly!

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1 hour ago, DancerMama25 said:

Loving your pics!!

 

Thank you!  All taken with my iPhone...hardly ever carry my camera anymore!

 

47 minutes ago, CruiseBride926 said:

Great review so far! My husband and I will be doing this itinerary in 2 months.

 

Love having the overnight in Bermuda.  It’s such a beautiful island!  Enjoy!

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Just finished back to school shopping....ugh!   I’m going to ignore that reality for now and relive vacation!   Left off about to head to Ifly!

 

I mentioned before that Ifly reservations only appeared very briefly in the cruise planner, and with a very limited selection of spots.  The earliest time I could get was 5 pm!  Not a problem as we didn’t have a show scheduled again until night 4 & 5.   Note for iFly...you need close toed shoes, but if you forget to pack them (oops) they will loan you a pair of the rock wall climbing shoes but you MUST bring socks.   

 

We headed aft to iFly around 4:40ish, as i had popped in earlier to ask about shoes and they recommended we come about 10-15 minutes before our slot.  Pop was signed up, but he has a bad shoulder and after watching some people earlier he decided not to risk it.   Bonus for me...I would now have a photographer since you can’t bring a camera...the waiting area where you sit with your group is still within the tube.  You really need someone on the outside.  There was a ship photographer taking pics earlier in the day, but not at my session. 

 

As I walked in, they asked me if I wanted to join a group that was just heading into the safety briefing.  Perfect!   There was about 10 of us. We first watched the short video, and then our instructor who would be in the tube with us went over hand signals and body position. I think the best tip he gave was to just remember to breathe!  It really helps you to relax into the correct position and enjoy your flight.  

 

After the video it was time to gear up!  Jumpsuit, helmet, goggles and earplugs.  Before you knew it, we were headed up the stairs and inside the tube to two benches.  I purposely tried to sit in the middle as I wanted to watch a few people before my turn....well, THAT backfired!   The instructor scanned up and down the benches and pointed right to me first and beckoned me over.  Well, crap!  No time to get nervous though I guess.  My theory is that he kinda sent us from smallest to largest...I’m all of    5-2 and 120 lbs so that may be why I was up first.  The biggest guys definitely went last.

 

So you basically approach the door, arms overhead and basically fall over into the air stream.  You get one minute of flight time, but it feels much longer!   With just a few adjustments of my hands and arms, I was flying! I definitely felt like he let go of me pretty quick and I was able to fly a bit without him holding me the whole time.  He did adjust me a few times, and I remember him spinning me around at the end so I could see on the countdown clock that my minute was almost up.  

 

All in all, it was an AWESOME experience. BC20B341-58F7-4AD1-B401-197C4534FA4F.thumb.jpeg.6184bf85ab8526562976cce11e9d7e87.jpeg

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Edited by ChristyLNDRN

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Finishing up with iFly...after your group is done the instructor shows off and does a demo full of tricks...fun to watch!

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