In March, I sailed in a grand suite on Anthem of the Seas from Bayonne, New Jersey for spring break. This ship was built for cold weather so it has a retractable roof in the pool area, making it perfect to sail in the colder weather.
Anthem’s home port in Bayonne, New Jersey, is easy to reach by cab, airport or hotel in Jersey City. Since we were traveling in March and a snowstorm or delayed flight could potentially ruin our vacation, we chose to arrive a day early. I loved being able to hop on a train to Manhattan for sightseeing and dinner. New York has some of the best food in the world. (Full disclosure, I spent the first 20 years of my life on Long Island, so I am biased).
The perks of being in a grand suite were well worth the extra money. The Anthem can hold up to 5,000 guests and that means waiting in line. I don’t like lines or crowds and being in a grand suite allows you to avoid all that.
Onboard activities are abundant, from bumper cars, roller skating, trapeze school, iFly indoor skydiving, Flowrider boogie boards and body surfing and the North Star. I don’t know what North Star is…. in short, lots of fun things for a family with kids, even teenagers.
As grand suite guests, we were able to arrange all these activities in advance, including booking our evening entertainment. No lines for us this vacation! We also got our own private, specialty dining room, plus access to the concierge lounge for pre dinner drinks and appetizers. Lastly, Suite Class got us priority embarkation and disembarkation, priority seats for shows and a reserved outdoor area on deck.
The Anthem is a large ship with many specialty dining options. We tried most of them, but our favorite was Wonderland. It’s a journey for all your senses and a very unique culinary experience. If the cutting edge of foodie options isn’t for you, you’ll love Giovanni’s Steak House.
The downside of being on a ship as large as the Anthem is that it’s often impersonal. The only staff we regularly interacted with were those in our dining room and concierge lounge. On the other hand, a large ship like this usually means good entertainment and Anthem did not disappoint. We loved the musical “We Will Rock You” so much we sat through it three times!
They also had an amazing Journey cover band that played in the music hall. We spent time in this(?) playing bingo and going to some show with the cruise director.
We also saw? Spectra’s Cabaret in Cafe Two70. A show with singers and dancers, story to tell, a view of the ocean and tv screens that turn completely around on robotic arms. For more things Robotic…..check out the Bionic Bar. Sounds cooler than it actually is.
Stay tuned for my next adventure – Holland America’s Oosterdam Sailing from Seattle to Alaska and the Hubbard Glacier.