Sites & Sights — 23 November 2015
Sail like a royal on the Anthem of the Seas with Royal Caribbean Cruises.

By Renée S. Gordon

The Anthem of the Seas is the newest of Royal Caribbean’s ships, the second of three ships in the Quantum Class to be placed into service. The Anthem sets the bar for a totally new cruise experience while providing a “tech-tonic” for cruisers.

Anthem of the SeasAnthem of the Seas

A Brief History of Cruising…

Cruising has provided a popular escape for thousands of years, but historians tend to trace the history of passenger ocean-cruising for personal enjoyment to an imaginative article penned in the early 1830s by Arthur Anderson. Almost concurrent with its publication steamships were introduced and ocean cruising took on an aura of the ultimate in glamour and wealth. Cunard, the most famous of the early cruise lines, established a reputation for sophistication that lasted until its allure was surpassed by the ability to take a transatlantic flight. World Wars I and II made cruising difficult for obvious reasons and because many of the ships were conscripted for the war effort. It was not until the late 1960s that the popularity of passenger cruising surged, spurred by the growing number of activities offered onboard and, some believe, the fun and frolic depicted on the popular 1970s TV series “The Love Boat.”

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. was founded in Norway in 1968 and launched its first passenger ship, The Song of Norway, in 1970. With this launch the company changed the nature of pleasure cruising forever and as a result was one of the first cruise ships ever expanded. Royal Caribbean now has 23 ships afloat each showcasing unique features offered for the first time at sea. royalcaribbean.com

Cruising on the Anthem of the Seas…

Anthem of the SeasThe 1,150-ft. Anthem of the Seas—more than twice the size of the Great Pyramid of Giza, with 16 passenger decks, 2,090 staterooms and a capacity of over 4,000 guests!—somehow manages never to feel crowded. There are 18 restaurants, bars and lounges, a Vitality Spa and Fitness center, Casino Royale, solarium, indoor and outdoor pools, climbing wall, library and the theatrical West End musical “We Will Rock You,” all geared to make your getaway memorable. To help you share your experiences with folks at home the ship is equipped with VOOM- Royal Wifi, the fastest Internet on the seas.

Anthem of the Seas, in keeping with Royal Caribbean’s spirit of innovation and creativity, has initiated a series of onboard and in-port “Come Seek” adventures. Each experience is designed to be immersive, experiential, unique and appealing to the explorer in us all; Anthem has  specifically selected five Caribbean destinations to invite you to seek the extraordinary.

Your shipboard adventure begins with pre-registration from home and on shore iPad check-in that makes long lines obsolete. Locate your cabin using Digital Wayfinders, interactive screens that help you find your way as well as provide updated information on activities. RFID-enabled WOWbands are available for a nominal fee and function as a credit card, cabin key, and allow you to check-in for activities. There are several cabin classes, but currently the 375 rooms with virtual balconies, equipped with wall-sized HD screens that show real-time ocean and destination views, are making the most waves.

Anthem of the SeasHighlighted activities on the Anthem of the Seas include a dazzling level of technology. The North StarSM capsule allows you to climb 303-ft. and extend out over the ocean for a 360-degree view while mounted on a 135-ft. arm. This is soft adventure that feels death defying. RipCord by iFLY is a skydiving simulator that lets you soar inside a wind tunnel; FlowRider, a 40-foot-long surf simulator, lets you soar along the water; and SeaPlex, the largest indoor sports and entertainment complex at sea, hosts a wide variety of activities from bumper cars to trapeze classes.

Entertainment has gone equally high tech with the $27-million, triple-deck, Two70 Lounge. The lounge provides 270-degree views and converts into Spectra’s Cabaret, a state-of-the-art theater with live and robotic dancers, singers and aerialists.

Anthem of the SeasA regal way to top off your adventures is with a drink at the Bionic Bar where you order your drink, and one of two robots makes it for you. Up to two drinks can be served per minute. Order from a smart pad and track the progress of your drink. Currently this is the only robotic bar in the world.

Voted Travel Weekly Readers Choice Awards’ “Best Cruise Line Overall” for 12 consecutive years, Royal Caribbean continues to provide unparalleled fun and adventure at an affordable price.

See you on the sea!

More Information…

Royal Caribbean

Anthem of the Seas

– Photos by Renée S. Gordon

Featured products, services and/or travel arrangements may have been complimentary in part or in full; this affords the research opportunity but does not sway opinion.

Renee GordonRenée S. Gordon has written a weekly travel column for the Philadelphia Sun for the past 14 years and has published travel articles in numerous publications. Her columns focus on cultural, historic and heritage tourism and she specializes in sites and attractions related to African American and African Diaspora history. Renée serves as a consultant for educational trips and history-related tourist destinations. She considers herself a “missionary journalist” and as such she continues to promote heritage and sustainable tourism. She has been honored with several awards including the 2013 Recipient of African Diaspora World Tourism and Flame Keeper in Media Award for Travel Writing.

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