Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
twangster

Anthem Jan. 5, 2020 11 Nights Southern Caribbean - RECAP

Recommended Posts

I'm writing this in the past tense because, well, the cruise is over.  I knew I would be busy on this one so in fairness I'm going to skip a lot of things about this magnificent ship.  

 

I've always enjoyed Anthem and Quantum class in general as evidenced by this being my fourth time on Anthem.  I wouldn't keep coming back if this wasn't a great ship.

Itinerary:

 

Day 1 - Bayonne embarking

Day 2 - Sea day

Day 3 - Sea day

Day 4 - San Juan

Day 5 - St. Maarten

Day 6 - Antigua

Day 7 - St Lucia

Day 8 - St Kitts

Day 9 - Sea day

Day 10 - Sea day

Day 11 - Sea day

Day 12 -  Bayonne debarking

 

 

 

Spoiler alert - I still love this ship after my latest cruise.

 

Without further adieu, let's get this started.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Day 0 

 

I flew into Newark like I always do.  I had Southwest booked but then they pulled out of Newark so I relied on my tried and true airline who rarely lets me down, Delta.

 

As it turns out that was a blessing.  On this occasion I was able to fly the new A220 aircraft born from the Canadian Bombardier C series.  There is some background to this aircraft but that's a story for another day.  Now it's offered as an Airbus A220.

 

My good ole airline even upgraded me to first class so I was able to "sit up front" on this occasion.  With boarding done early I saw an opportunity to peek into the cockpit and asked permission to take a picture, granted.  It's a very modern and comfortable aircraft.

 

an_day0-1.jpg

 

The A220 didn't disappoint. 

 

Landing in Newark and reaching baggage claim I had a "things that make you go hmmm" moment when I spotted a blue container on the luggage carousel.  At least I'm not the only overpacker when it comes to cruising.

 

an_day0-2.jpg

 

Unfortunately my Hilton hotel booked using points let me down.  The airport shuttle wasn't running so after standing in the cold for a while for a shuttle that was promised but never came I hailed an Uber and reach my Home2 Suites hotel.  No rooms.  Apparently housekeeping walked off the job today, or so they claimed.  They set me up with the Hilton down the road so with another couple also rejected they sent us to the Hilton in a taxi they paid for and off we went. 

 

Finally by 2am I was in my room at the Hilton Airport.   Now there are two Hilton brands I won't stay at.  Marriot - I'm coming back...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Day 1 - Bayonne 

 

IT"S CRUISE DAY!!!

 

I checked both Lyft and Uber and found Uber a bit cheaper.  Uber it is.


an_day1-1.jpgan_day1-2.jpg

 

The Uber app sent my driver all over the place on the way to pick me up.  Even my driver wasn't sure what was going on.  None the less I arrived at Cape Liberty just after 10am.

 

My cabin on this cruise was a Junior Suite so I took advantage of the suite line and waiting area.  Check in was quick and convenient.

 

an_day1-3.jpg

 

The rest of the terminal:

 

an_day1-4.jpg

 

Boarding commenced shortly after 10:35am.  

 

Later I noted the much heavier terminal traffic just before noon:

 

an_day1-5.jpg

 

Cabins ready at 1:30 so I grabbed a Kümmelweck in CafeTwo70 and made reservations at Coastal Kitchen for the duration of the voyage.  

 

Sail away shortly after muster, here is Lady Liberty with a telephoto lens from my port side balcony:

 

an_day1-6.jpg

 

an_day1-7.jpg

 

Lower Manhattan:

 

an_day1-8.jpg

 

I was almost done unpacking when I made a dash for deck 15 to take in the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge.

 

an_day1-9.jpg

 

an_day1-10.jpg

 

Phew, looks like we'll make it one more time.

 

an_day1-11.jpg

 

an_day1-12.jpg

 

an_day1-13.jpg

 

an_day1-14.jpg

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cabin Tour - J4 Junior Suite 6240, Port side

 

an_day1cabin-4.jpg

 

No walk in closet but ample space.

 

an_day1cabin-3.jpg

 

Wow bands included with a JS.

 

an_day1cabin-5.jpg

 

an_day1cabin-6.jpg

 

Ample space in the suite.

 

an_day1cabin-7.jpg

 

an_day1cabin-8.jpg

 

an_day1cabin-9.jpg

 

The bathroom facilities are split with a water closet or toilet on one side:

 

an_day1cabin-1.jpg

 

And the bathtub and shower on the other side. 

 

Bathtub on the left...

 

an_day1cabin-2.jpg

 

Shower on the right.

 

an_day1cabin-10.jpg

 

Rainfall shower head (not pictured) as well as shower head sprayer.

 

an_day1cabin-11.jpg

 

Foot rest/shelf for shower supplies.

 

an_day1cabin-12.jpg

 

L'Occitane toiletries: 

 

an_day1cabin-13.jpg

 

I waited until we were under nicer skies to photograph the balcony.  It's a nice cabin with large windows and views to the sea.

 

an_day1cabin-14.jpg

 

an_day1cabin-15.jpg

 

an_day1cabin-16.jpg

 

The view down.  That's the deck 5 port side public sitting area below the cabin.  No impact to the balcony, smoking side is starboard.

 

an_day1cabin-17.jpg

 

The view aft.

 

an_day1cabin-18.jpg

 

The view forward.

 

an_day1cabin-19.jpg

Edited by twangster

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Night 1 Dinner - Coastal Kitchen

 

an_day1dinner-3.jpg

 

Those who have eaten at CK know the drill.  Classics that never change on one side...

 

an_day1dinner-1.jpg

 

Daily items on the other side

 

an_day1dinner-2.jpg

 

Caesar Salad

 

Interesting presentation and very tasty.

 

an_day1dinner-4.jpg

 

Fillet Mignon - Yum.

 

an_day1dinner-5.jpg

 

The fillet remains to be one of the best steaks in the fleet. 

 

Dessert menu

 

an_day1dinner-6.jpg

 

Chocolate Praline Tart

 

an_day1dinner-7.jpg

 

Coastal Kitchen remains a fantastic experience.

 

Back to my cabin my Crown and Anchor amenities have arrived.  Loyalty pays.  Who needs a drink package?

 

an_day1dinner-8.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Night 1 continued...

 

After dinner I wandered and found DSB in the Music Hall.  They are a Journey tribute band and very good.

 

an_day1night-1.jpg

 

I've seen these guys before on Anthem and was pleased they would be back.

 

an_day1night-2.jpg

 

an_day1night-3.jpg

 

It wasn't long before the audience was on the dance floor.

 

an_day1night-4.jpg

 

an_day1night-5.jpg

 

an_day1night-6.jpg

 

an_day1night-7.jpg

 

Meanwhile in Boleros The Royal Swedes were also rocking it out.

 

an_day1night-8.jpg

 

Getting late The VIA was empty.

 

an_day1night-9.jpg

 

Aft or midship elevator bank. 

 

an_day1night-10.jpg

 

Anthem really is a pretty ship.

 

Enough for day 1, more to come...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Day 2 - Sea Day

 

Departing from Bayonne in the winter means the first and last day of the cruise are what I call "long pant days".  Fortunately Anthem is a perfect ship for cold weather and there is a lot going on around the ship.

 

The adult only solarium is 16+.

 

an_day2-1.jpg

 

In this cabin the TV is mounted against the wall and it doesn't hinge like some other ships or cabins.  There is no way to access the HDMI inputs and with a border surrounding the TV you really can't do anything with this TV but watch the Royal channel lineup.

 

an_day2-2.jpg

 

Dinner in Coastal Kitchen.

 

an_day2-3.jpg

 

Maine Lobster Salad.

 

an_day2-4.jpg

 

Roasted Veal Tenderloin.

 

an_day2-5.jpg

 

an_day2-6.jpg

 

Valrhona Chocolate Bar.

 

an_day2-7.jpg

 

On this cruise there were high numbers of upper top tier Crown and Anchor so the Concierge Lounge was off limits to D+.  The expanded Diamond Lounge using the upper floor of the Music Hall works quite well for this purpose and I met many new friends on this cruise.  Here is a wide angle picture to aid in obscuring individuals for privacy purposes.  This is the Music Hall upstairs bar area during Diamond happy hour,

 

an_day2-8.jpg

 

Tonight was a performance of The Gift.  I decided to leave the cameras in my cabin and take in this show with my eyes.  Luckily I scored a front row seat.  Just a quick smartphone pic before the show begins.

 

an_day2-9.jpg

 

Pay attention for the first 30 seconds of the show since the storyline is revealed.  If you are talking or distracted it will be hard to figure out the plot of the show if you miss that brief introduction.

Edited by twangster

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, Twangster. I appreciate the room pictures. One of these days I’m going to get us booked on a Quantum class ship. I think we would like it. 😀

 

I have have to say, though, that I really don’t like the split bathrooms. We first encountered the concept on Disney ships. It always seemed that no matter what section of bathroom I was in, there was something I needed in the other section. I’d rather see one regular full bath and one half bath with sink and toilet, or just one larger full bath with double sinks. That’s just me, though. A lot of cruisers seem to love the split bath concept. 😐 

 

I’ll think twice before booking a JS on a Quantum class ship even though I love the rest of the room.

Edited by perfect match

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, perfect match said:

Thanks, Twangster. I appreciate the room pictures. One of these days I’m going to get us booked on a Quantum class ship. I think we would like it. 😀

 

I have have to say, though, that I really don’t like the split bathrooms. We first encountered the concept on Disney ships. It always seemed that no matter what section of bathroom I was in, there was something I needed in the other section. I’d rather see one regular full bath and one half bath with sink and toilet, or just one larger full bath with double sinks. That’s just me, though. A lot of cruisers seem to love the split bath concept. 😐 

 

I’ll think twice before booking a JS on a Quantum class ship even though I love the rest of the room.

 

Only some of the JS cabins on Anthem have the split bathroom.

 

I believe (and it's only an educated guess, since the ship hasn't been launched yet) that Odyssey's JS will not have it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, perfect match said:

I have have to say, though, that I really don’t like the split bathrooms.

 

That's why I specified the J4 cabin type.  Seek another JS cabin type.

 

Personally I like this approach so that the toilet is available when someone else is showering or taking a bath.  To each their own.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Day 3 - Sea Day

 

I'll use this lazy sea day to show the Esplanade.  As an early riser it's nice to find the Esplanade mostly empty of guests.  The Esplanade is similar in concept to the Promenade found on many previous Royal ships in the fleet as the heart of the ship.

 

an_esplanade-3.jpg

 

an_esplanade-4.jpg

 

an_esplanade-6.jpg

 

The Loyalty Ambassador's desk is beside guest services.

 

an_esplanade-5.jpg

 

The pub.  More on that later.

 

an_esplanade-11.jpg

 

an_esplanade-2.jpg

 

an_esplanade-7.jpg

 

The Esplanade has a dog leg around the pub heading forward to additional shops and the Music Hall.

 

an_esplanade-1.jpg

 

an_esplanade-8.jpg

 

an_esplanade-9.jpg

 

an_esplanade-10.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Calm seas today and a nice day to enjoy a balcony with no humidity.


an_day3-1.jpg

 

We changed time last night.

 

an_day3-2.jpg

 

Top tier event in the main theater starts with guitar music from a band member in the Royal orchestra.

 

an_day3-3.jpg

 

@ryanbarckley posted these numbers in the roll call that he found in another post:

 

2782 C&A total

988 Gold, 352 moving to Platinum
520 Platinum, 175 moving to Emerald
272 Emerald, 86 moving to Diamond
598 Diamond, 35 moving to Diamond Plus
354 Diamond Plus, 5 moving to Pinnacle
50 Pinnacle

 

A feature I really enjoy is the outdoor seating for the Windjammer.  I eat many meals out here.

 

an_day3-4.jpg

 

an_day3-5.jpg

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dinner back in Coastal Kitchen

 

an_day3dinner-2.jpg


an_day3dinner-1.jpg

 

I haven't showed the breads that start dinner service every night so here they are.

 

an_day3dinner-3.jpg

 

Braised Beef Gnocchi

 

an_day3dinner-4.jpg

 

Veal Cannelloni

 

an_day3dinner-5.jpg

 

an_day3dinner-6.jpg

 

Chocolate Napoleon

 

an_day3dinner-7.jpg

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, perfect match said:

I have have to say, though, that I really don’t like the split bathrooms. We first encountered the concept on Disney ships. It always seemed that no matter what section of bathroom I was in, there was something I needed in the other section. I’d rather see one regular full bath and one half bath with sink and toilet, or just one larger full bath with double sinks. That’s just me, though. A lot of cruisers seem to love the split bath concept. 😐 

 

1 hour ago, twangster said:

 

That's why I specified the J4 cabin type.  Seek another JS cabin type.

 

Personally I like this approach so that the toilet is available when someone else is showering or taking a bath.  To each their own.  

First, thanks for the review and great pictures.

With regards to the split bathrooms, we travel as a family of four, and the split bathrooms on DCL saved a lot of time for us - one kid in the shower, one brushing teeth, etc. then reverse. Our upcoming cruise has just the one bathroom (grand suite) and I almost moved to the Crown Loft just to get the extra bathroom but decided not to because of the location of the room.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Journey tribute band DSB was back rocking it out in Two70° to a full house.

 

an_day3dsb-1.jpg

 

an_day3dsb-2.jpg

 

an_day3dsb-3.jpg

 

an_day3dsb-4.jpg

 

an_day3dsb-5.jpg

 

an_day3dsb-6.jpg

 

an_day3dsb-8.jpg

 

an_day3dsb-7.jpg

 

Edited by twangster

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Day 4 - San Juan

 

With a 3pm arrival day 4 starts like any other sea day.  The SeaPlex is a great way to pass some time on such a day.

 

an_seaplex-1.jpg

 

an_seaplex-2.jpg

 

an_seaplex-3.jpg

 

I like to take a picture of the SeaPlex schedule displayed on the monitors so I can plan my days accordingly.  On this sailing these were the SeaPlex activities for the cruise.

 

an_seaplex-5.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

San Juan Arrival

 

I spy the funnels of a familiar ship in the distance.


an_day4sanjuan-1.jpg

 

an_day4sanjuan-2.jpg

 

El Morro

 

an_day4sanjuan-3.jpg

 

I always love sailing into San Juan on a beautiful day.

 

an_day4sanjuan-4.jpg

 

an_day4sanjuan-5.jpg

 

an_day4sanjuan-6.jpg

 

A gate to the old walled city.

 

an_day4sanjuan-7.jpg

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Coming around the corner we see a familiar sight.  Today we are joining Oasis of the Seas in port.

 

an_day4sanjuan-8.jpg

 

an_day4sanjuan-9.jpg

 

an_day4sanjuan-10.jpg

 

The recently added Ultimate Abyss dry slide.

 

an_day4sanjuan-11.jpg

 

an_day4sanjuan-12.jpg

 

an_day4sanjuan-13.jpg

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

With no distinct plan I wandered off to see what  I could see.

 

an_day4sanjuan-14.jpg

 

an_day4sanjuan-15.jpg

 

an_day4sanjuan-16.jpg

 

an_day4sanjuan-17.jpg

 

an_day4sanjuan-18.jpg

 

an_day4sanjuan-19.jpg

 

an_day4sanjuan-20.jpg

 

an_day4sanjuan-21.jpg

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Back to the ship for a break.  With a 3pm arrival we have an 11pm departure so lots of time to come back out later.

 

Dinner in Coastal Kitchen.


an_day4dinner-1.jpg

 

I like the Caesar Salad so I decided to enjoy this classic again.

 

an_day4dinner-2.jpg

 

Cheese Tortellini.  Great flavors.

 

an_day4dinner-3.jpg

 

an_day4dinner-4.jpg

 

I decided to skip dessert tonight so I wouldn't be too full.

 

Edited by twangster

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I really need to give Quantum Class a try (hopefully the Ovation TP after its 2021 Alaska season if they would just post it!).  How different is your JS from the other JSs on the ship?  Just the split bathroom or are there other differences?  BTW...we also greatly enjoyed the split bathroom concept on Disney when we had 2 kids in the room with us.  Brilliant idea for families.

 

Great pictures, as always.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We were on this trip with you in a different version of a JS without the second washroom and we missed it. On the plus side the room was more s For our next Anthem trip we are going to try to move to a J4.

 

Wonderful pictures, especially of the food in Costal Kitchen which we loved.  Our waiter was Rajeev who was very good but very rushed.

 

I'm amazed you got so many pictures without people in them.  Excellent job.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, twangster said:

I'm writing this in the past tense because, well, the cruise is over.  I knew I would be busy on this one so in fairness I'm going to skip a lot of things about this magnificent ship.  

 

I've always enjoyed Anthem and Quantum class in general as evidenced by this being my fourth time on Anthem.  I wouldn't keep coming back if this wasn't a great ship.

Itinerary:

 

Day 1 - Bayonne embarking

Day 2 - Sea day

Day 3 - Sea day

Day 4 - San Juan

Day 5 - St. Maarten

Day 6 - Antigua

Day 7 - St Lucia

Day 8 - St Kitts

Day 9 - Sea day

Day 10 - Sea day

Day 11 - Sea day

Day 12 -  Bayonne debarking

 

 

 

Spoiler alert - I still love this ship after my latest cruise.

 

Without further adieu, let's get this started.

 

 

Thank you for your wonderful review.  We are regular cruisers but first time on Anthem in March.   Silly really as we live in NJ.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

After dinner I ventured back out to try my hand at some night photography.  I also ran to the CVS to pickup up supplies I neglected to pack. 


an_day4eve-1.jpg

 

an_day4eve-2.jpg

 

Paseo de la Princesa was still lit up in Christmas colors.

 

an_day4eve-3.jpg

 

an_day4eve-4.jpg

 

an_day4eve-5.jpg

 

an_day4eve-6.jpg

 

an_day4eve-7.jpg

 

an_day4eve-8.jpg

 

an_day4eve-9.jpg

 

an_day4eve-13.jpg

 

an_day4eve-14.jpg

 

an_day4eve-10.jpg

 

Oasis started the Aqua show but her aft was out too far to get a good view of it from Anthem.  Not long later she started away from the pier.

 

an_day4eve-11.jpg

 

an_day4eve-12.jpg

 

Then it was our turn.

 

an_day4eve-15.jpg

 

Once out at sea Oasis was off our port side but too far for a decent picture.  We share St. Maarten tomorrow she we'll sail together through the night.

Edited by twangster

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • SAIL-AWAY GIVEAWAY - Enter Now for a Chance to Win a 7-day Cruise for Two
      • Q&A with InsureMyTrip
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...