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Anthem of the Seas - Review - Bermuda - August 10, 2019 - August 15, 2019

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August 2019 - Anthem of the Seas - 5 Night Bermuda Cruise

 

Who are we?

 

Noreen - 51 years old;  Senior Vice President at an Investment Banking Firm in New York City.  I will be the author of the report.

 

Scott - 50 years old; my husband; Independent Contractor and Co-Owner of Bounce U in NY

 

General Comments

I am doing this from memory and looking through my pictures.  I sent myself some texts throughout the trip to help me remember what we did.

 

I like detailed reviews with a lot of information some people may not care about.  I write these reviews as a travelogue that I can go back and enjoy later and hopefully to help others planning similar trips.

 

We have been on Anthem several times so don’t do all the things most people would do the first time on the ship.  We enjoy the casino and spend time most evenings there.  We pretty much go with the flow and always have a good time, especially on vacation.

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Here is a picture of Scott and I from Anthem in 2018 so you’ll know what we look like before I start adding more pictures.

 

 

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Planning

 

While we usually enjoy longer cruises, in January 2019, Scott mentioned that he thought the 5 night Bermuda cruise we did in 2017 for my niece’s Sweet 16 was fun and he wanted to do another short cruise.

 

After finding a date that worked with our other planned trips, I was on the phone with my friend and travel agent Brenda to get us booked.

 

We wanted to sail in a Junior Suite as it’s a good size and we like the layout and larger balcony on the J1 (Junior Suite with large balcony).  Unfortunately, there weren’t any available.  We were able to book a Spa Junior Suite J4 - cabin # 7640 so we will give that cabin type a try.  

 

Once the Prime Cruises (casino promotion) became available in Mid April, Brenda and I called Casino Royale to apply that discount to this sailing.

 

I received a Royal Up email late May.  I didn’t bid right away.  A week later I received another Royal Up email.  On June 2 I bid just slightly over the minimum bid for a Grand Suite and an Owner’s Suite.  I’m not expecting to get either one since the sailing is sold out, but it’s fun to play.  You never know what cancellations will come and cause a domino effect.

 

I ended up canceling the Royal Up bids on August 6.   It’s a short cruise and we won’t take advantage of the perks of a Grand or Owner’s suite. We also want to try the Spa Junior Suite.

 

 

 

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The Cruise

 

The Anthem itinerary is as follows:

Saturday - Leave from Cape Liberty Cruise Port, Bayonne, New Jersey

Sunday - At Sea

Monday - Bermuda (Overnight)

Tuesday - Bermuda

Wednesday - At Sea

Thursday - Return to Cape Liberty Cruise Port, Bayonne, New Jersey

 

Transportation

We live in Northern New Jersey (Bergen County) so will drive down to Bayonne for the cruise and park at the pier.

 

Dining/Beverage Packages

I purchased the refreshment package for each of us on sale for $20 per day per person on 2/23/19

 

We will probably eat dinner in Coastal Kitchen each night

 

Entertainment

I purchased the Voom Surf & Stream - 2 device package on sale for $20.99 per day on 2/23/19

 

I booked the various shows - We Will Rock You, The Gift, and Spectre’s Cabaret.  We’ve seen them all already so it’s not a priority but I like to have them booked in case we want to go.

 

Excursions

We aren’t fans of organized excursions.  We prefer the flexibility to go at our own pace and do what we want.  

 

We will probably go back to Horseshoe Bay Beach.

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The week before the trip

 

We started pulling out some clothes to do our “fashion show” where we try on clothes we want to bring on vacation and model them for each other.

 

As usual, I ended up ordering a few more things online since it’s always fun to have new things for a trip.

 

The weekend before the trip we were in Staten Island for a going away party for my niece who is going away to college.  Time flies; it seems like she was just a little kid.

 

I went to the spa for my manicure and pedicure.  I’m a creature of habit and for cruises pretty much always get the same colors.  I look at the others but keep coming back to my favorites.  A shellac manicure in a sparkly peach that lasts the whole time.  A regular pedicure in a sparkly blue that reminds me of the water in Barbados.  The toe polish is called Viva Antigua by Essie.  When I got to the spa there were no Essie polishes on the wall to choose from. Luckily, the lady that does my manicure/pedicure knew I wanted that color for my trip and saved one and used it for my pedicure.  She’ll keep it hidden away for me.  She mentioned that they aren’t going to use Essie products at the spa anymore.

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The day before the trip - Friday 8/9/19

 

It was a regular Friday.  We both worked.  I worked remotely so it was nice not having to commute on a Friday in the summer from Tribeca (downtown NYC).  Traffic is always a nightmare on Fridays in the summer and I drive to work normally not being a fan of public transportation.

 

We finished packing that night.

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Posted (edited)

Saturday 8/10/19 - Embark - Bayonne NJ

 

It was a regular Saturday morning.  I worked out, took a bath, showered, got dressed and ready to go.  Scott did some work but didn’t use the gym this morning planning to go once we’re on the ship.

 

We skipped breakfast since we planned to have lunch at 270 when we get on the ship.

 

We both overpack but I think we did OK this time.  We each had our rolling carry on bags.  Then we had two big suitcases and one garment bag to check.

 

 

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We left the house just before 11.  There was some traffic on the turnpike.  We got to Bayonne a little after 12.

 

 

 

 

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There wasn’t a huge line to drop the luggage then park in the garage.

 

The garage was crowded.  We were up on the top outside part.  I took a picture of our parking area letter so we won’t forget when we get back at the end of the cruise.

 

 

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Check in was pretty quick.

 

We took our boarding photo.  Then we stopped for the other version of the boarding photo.  Since we always get them it made sense to have more than one to choose from.

 

 

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Edited by Noreen411

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Posted (edited)

Saturday 8/10/19 - Continued

 

Once we were on the ship, we stopped at Coastal Kitchen to make reservations for dinner each night at 7pm.

 

We went down to 270 for lunch.  We both had a roast beef sandwich.  I like them but need to take the roast beef out of the bun and cut the fat off it, then put it back together.  Scott also had a pita sandwich.  We both had pasta salad and soda.  I also had my favorite strawberry scone even though it’s not really like a scone, more like a biscuit with some cream and strawberries.  It has raisins in the biscuit that I pick out.

 

 

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A family was sitting near us and they were arguing the whole time.  I hate to see that.  Spending time with family on vacation is a privilege that not everyone has the opportunity to enjoy so it’s something to treasure.

 

We were done eating by 1:15 or so and hung out in 270 for a bit.

Edited by Noreen411

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Posted (edited)

Saturday 8/10/19 - Continued

 

We went up to our cabin JS 7640 around 1:30.  This is what they used to call a Spa Junior Suite, but now it’s just called a J4 Junior Suite.  It’s very different than the J1 Junior Suite with Large Balcony that we usually get.  

 

The room had most of the items that are supposed to be there when we arrived.  We were missing our WOW Bands and the shelf in the refrigerator was broken; it was a half shelf so would be hard to put anything on it.  The other items were already there such as our Diamond Plus soda and water, our cups for the beverage package and letter that goes with it, our Voom code, compass, etc.

 

The room is a decent size; smaller than the J1 Junior Suite but larger than a regular balcony cabin.  I’m making the comparison to the J1 since that’s the Junior Suite we normally get when we sail in a Junior Suite on Anthem.  There is more drawer space but less closet/shelf space.  The balcony is smaller.  The bathroom has an interesting set up.  There are two little bathrooms.  One has a toilet and sink.  The other has a sink, a bathtub, and a separate stand up shower with both rainhead and hand held shower wand.  There is a little seat in the shower.  I like the little seat, not for sitting on, but to keep our shower stuff on (like shampoo, shower, gel, moisturizer, etc). Those little wire shelves don’t hold much.

 

I probably was overthinking the bathroom setup and what goes in which.  Some stuff is obvious but where do you brush your teeth?  Scott suggested we each take one of the sinks for things like teeth brushing.  He took the sink in the toilet room which had several glass shelves that he liked and a draw under the sink.  I took the sink in the shower room that didn’t have the glass shelves but had a draw under the sink and some counter space.  Since I always overpack anyway, I had multiples of toothpaste, floss, liquid hand soap, etc, so each sink was set up with the stuff we need.

 

Scott wiped everything down with Clorox Wipes.  I know they clean the cabins but it makes us feel better to take this extra step.

 

 

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We always get the refreshment package and have various versions of the mugs. Normally we never use them on the ship and they stay wrapped and we bring them home and they sit in a closet.  These came home wrapped but since we’ve been home we actually use this version of them.

 

 

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Scott is in between the two little bathrooms here.  

 

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I didn’t take a picture of the other bathroom with the toilet and sink in it but it was the same sink as this bathroom had but with glass shelves and a toilet.

 

 

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We unpacked the carry on bags.  

 

I took a walk down the hallway and saw one of our bags.  A lady was standing near it and asked if I am sure it’s mine.  I told her it’s mine and has my name right on the tag if she wants to see it.  That was a bizarre encounter.  I brought that bag to the cabin then walked back down the hall a little further saw our other two bags so brought them back to the cabin.  We started unpacking.

 

Muster drill was in American Icon.

 

 

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Edited by Noreen411

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Posted (edited)

Saturday 8/10/19 - Continued

 

Back at our cabin after the muster drill we met our room steward who told us he just got on the ship today and asked if everything was OK with the room.  I told him about the missing WOW Bands and he said he’ll look into it.  I told him about the broken half shelf in the refrigerator and he said they were out of the other part of the shelf.  I asked if he could remove the coffee maker and tea pot since we won’t use it and he could give it to someone else.  He said it’s only for suites and we should just move it over.

 

Scott went to the gym while I finished unpacking.  Since we overpack it takes some time to get everything unpacked and organized.  This may be a chore for some, but I enjoy it.

 

This was a good use of space in the closet...there is a little shelf underneath that is a great place to keep flat shoes or sneakers.

 

 

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I went out on the balcony while we were sailing away.  I like to watch us go under the Verrazano Bridge.  This was untraditional for us since we usually watch sailaway together.

 

 

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I looked through some of the papers in the cabin and saw a note in the compass that if you want robes to ask your room steward for them.  I’m glad they are doing it this way now.  In the past, they were left for us and we don’t use them and they just take up space or we would ask the room steward to take them away.   Maybe they will start doing that with the coffee maker and tea pot.

 

Scott got back from the gym and took a shower.  Another surprise with the shower room.  From the cabin towards the bathroom where the shower is, part of it is thick frosted glass.  You can’t see through it but you can see the silhouette of the person in the shower if they stand near that side of the shower.

 

 

 

 

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Edited by Noreen411

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Posted (edited)

Saturday 8/10/19 - Continued

 

Some of the documents in the cabin:

 

 

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Edited by Noreen411

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Posted (edited)

Saturday 8/10/19 - Continued

 

We noticed something odd with our Seapass cards.  Scott’s card lists his prime status in the casino and mine doesn’t.  It’s not a big deal and the casino host will put a sticker on my card, similar to what they did last cruise.

 

 

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We put our magnetic door sign on our cabin door.

 

 

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We stopped at Guest Services since the line wasn’t long and asked about the WOW bands.  We were told they are out of bands for our muster station.  The same thing happened in June and they gave us other bands and wrote the correct muster station in marker on them.  They told us they can’t do that anymore or they could get fined.

 

We stopped at the casino to see the host for my sticker.  He put it on no problem.  We were chatting about it and I told him the same thing happened in June and maybe they just don’t like me.

 

We decided to play for a little bit so I went to the cashier to get money for the slot machine and they have a new system now.  You can get slot machine money right at the machine charging it to your room.  That was very easy.  Maybe too easy.

 

Several of the employees in the casino recognized us and came over to say Hi.

 

We went to the casino bar.  I had a mango mojito and Scott had a martini.

 

 

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Edited by Noreen411

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Posted (edited)

Saturday 8/10/19 - Continued

 

We went to dinner in Coastal Kitchen.  

 

We sat in Rajeev’s section.  As soon as he saw us he came over to give us hugs hello.  We have sat in his section the last few years over several Anthem cruises.  He was on vacation during our last trip so we sat in Amar’s Section.  Amar also came over to hug us hello.  He helped Rajeev so the two of them took care of us.  Some of the other Coastal Kitchen team remembered us too and came over to say hello.  The prior manager, Rueben, left recently so there was a new manager.  He has big shoes to fill as Rueben did a great job.

 

 

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There is an always available side to the menu that doesn’t change.  I won’t post this side again during the review as it’s the same each night.

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Then there is the other side that changes daily.

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We received a bread basket.  We had one every night and they always look the same so I won’t post the picture daily.

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For our appetizers I had the Burrata and Scott had a shrimp cocktail.

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For our entree I had the filet mignon.  This was very good.

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Scott had the duck which he also enjoyed.

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Rajeev brought us pasta to share.

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We pretty much always have the same first night dinner in Coastal Kitchen.

 

For dessert I had the strawberry cheesecake and Scott had the chocolate cake.  He said the chocolate cake was better than it was last trip.

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We went to the casino and played until almost 1am.

 

Back in our cabin we sat on the balcony and saw a scary looking moon.  It reminded me of what you might see in a horror movie.

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We had to move our clocks forward an hour tonight.

Edited by Noreen411

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Always enjoy following your reviews. Glad to see another. Hope you had a wonderful cruise.

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Really enjoy your reviews. Weren't you on Anthem not too long ago as well?  We're trying her for the first time in March.  Looks like a great ship.

Looking forward to hearing more.

P S. Love the idea. If sending text messages to yourself to remember things. 

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16 hours ago, HeyJut said:

Always enjoy following your reviews. Glad to see another. Hope you had a wonderful cruise.

Thank you for the kind words.  It was a great trip.

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15 hours ago, LuCruise said:

Really enjoy your reviews. Weren't you on Anthem not too long ago as well?  We're trying her for the first time in March.  Looks like a great ship.

Looking forward to hearing more.

P S. Love the idea. If sending text messages to yourself to remember things. 

Hi

 

Yes - great memory - we were on Anthem twice this year before this trip.  In June and in February.  I wrote reviews for those as well.  With the changes to the way the signature line works now, I haven’t updated my signature to include links but they are here on cruise critic.

 

I started texting myself a few cruises ago.  I rarely took the time to write notes each night on what we did during the day and even when I did, it was hard to remember the whole days worth of activities.  Sometimes a quick text works great to remind me.

 

You will love Anthem - if you have any questions let me know and I’ll do my best to answer.

 

Noreen

Edited by Noreen411

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Day 2 Compass

 

Not sure how it happened but I am missing the evening planner page 

 

 

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Sunday 8/11/19 - At Sea

 

We slept later then normal with the time change.

 

We went to the gym then walked the outside track.  Both the gym and the track were crowded.

 

 

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We stopped at the Patisserie.  The employees working there remembered us and commented that we were here later than usual.  They were out of mocha so I got iced caramel macchiato and water.  Scott got Cappuccino and water.

 

We went back to the cabin to shower and change.

 

We thought we went to the gym round 7:30 but it was really 8:30.  We always get thrown off by the time changes.

 

We went to the Windjammer thinking it was 9:45 but it was 10:45 so we left and will skip breakfast and have an early lunch instead.  Breakfast ends at 11 in the Windjammer.

 

We stopped at the arcade and are making our own SkeeBall tournament.  We’ll play a round a day and see who ends up winning.  I won today’s round.

 

 

 

 

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Edited by Noreen411

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Sunday 8/11/19 - Continued

 

We went to the Fitness Center for a detox seminar at 11:15.  We met a nice lady with a child in a wheelchair also waiting for the seminar.  They couldn’t go down the steps to the area the seminar would be held (where they do the stretch classes).  The employee offered to carry the wheelchair down but the mother declined since it was a heavy motorized one.  Scott had a good suggestion and found an area for them to watch from just above it.  We called it the “Balcony”.  

 

We learned some interesting things at the seminar but at the end they wanted to sell you a body scan and some detox medicine. We didn’t buy any.

 

 

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We went to lunch in the dining room.  We both ordered the turkey club sandwich without mayonnaise from the menu.  We don’t like mayo.  I got a salad to start from the salad bar area.  I asked for a small salad but they still put a lot on the plate.  Scott got a little salmon and maybe pork from the buffet area.  We both enjoyed our lunch.

 

 

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After lunch we walked around the ship some.

 

We looked in the shop to see if there was anything we wanted to buy.  We also looked at our boarding photos.  We took a few pictures here and there.

 

 

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We picked up beach towels for tomorrow.  The person manning the towel checkout wouldn’t give the teenagers ahead of me more towels since they didn’t have their seapass card.  When it was my turn I held my card to the reader and asked for towels.  He told me I don’t need to scan since I’m in a suite.  I was surprised that applied to Junior Suites.  I know Grand Suite and higher you could just get towels on the suite sun deck and they don’t scan there, but this was a surprise to me.  

 

We brought our towels to the cabin and got the beach bag packed for tomorrow.

 

I’m guessing we wandered around the ship a bit more. 

 

We went to the casino in the afternoon.

Edited by Noreen411

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Sunday 8/11/19 - Continued

 

Back in the cabin we showered and changed for the evening.  It’s formal night (Or “Wear Your Best”) but it’s not formal like it used to be.  We dressed nicely but not formally.  We wore what we may wear to dinner at a restaurant at home.

 

We took some pictures - one of the backgrounds the professional photographer was taking.

 

 

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A nice lady was taking pictures for another couple and having them pose all sorts of ways.  When they finished I asked if she would take some for us too.  She didn’t want any pictures of her or her husband; we offered to take some as did the other couple she took pictures for.

 

 

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We had drinks at the casino bar.  I had a strawberry mojito and Scott had a mango mojito.

 

 

 

 

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Edited by Noreen411

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Sunday 8/11/19 - Continued

 

We had dinner in Coastal Kitchen

 

 

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For appetizers we both had the lobster salad but with no sauce.  Scott also had a shrimp cocktail.

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For entrees we both had the crab and shrimp crusted pollock and shared the pasta.

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There was a pretty sunset so I took a picture through the windows at Coastal Kitchen.

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For dessert we both had carrot cake from the dining room.  It was very good and the little carrot decoration is made out of chocolate. Below is the dessert menu from Coastal Kitchen.  We saw the dining room dinner menu on the TV in the cabin so knew they had carrot cake.

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Edited by Noreen411

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Sunday 8/11/19 - Continued

 

We skipped the Gift after dinner since we’ve seen it before and Scott wasn’t interested in seeing it tonight.

 

We walked around outside a bit.

 

 

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We went to see Family Feud at 9:15 in the Music Hall and it was crowded.  We watched some of it.

 

We went back to the casino until a little after midnight.

 

Back in our cabin we had a towel animal, but I’m not sure what it is.  It’s cute and I usually put them on the couch so they don’t get crushed.

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We started watching a movie on the laptop - Race to Witch Mountain.  We both fell asleep during the movie.

Edited by Noreen411

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1 hour ago, Noreen411 said:

Back in our cabin we had a towel animal, but I’m not sure what it is. 

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It's a bunny.

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2 hours ago, maddycat said:

It's a bunny.

I thought that at first too - a floppy eared bunny, but later in the trip we had another towel animal with pointy ears that I thought was a Bunny so I started second guessing what the floppy eared one was.  See pointy eared animal below.

 

I’m happy to go with having received both a floppy ear and pointy ear bunny.

 

Noreen

 

 

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Edited by Noreen411

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