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10 Total Must-Dos on Royal Caribbean’s Anthem of the Seas
Taking a cruise vacation on Royal Caribbean’s Anthem of the Seas? We have put together an ultimate list of must-dos while you are on board!
I am back with another installment of cruise-related travel tips! We recently returned from an absolutely incredible 8-night voyage on Royal Caribbean’s gorgeous ship, Anthem of the Seas. We traveled from Bayonne, NJ down to Florida and the Bahamas. It was truly the perfect mid-winter escape that we needed! We got some sun and enjoyed a lot of great family time. As I sit going through the many pictures and videos that I took on board, I tried to come up with a fun way to share them with you. A couple of years ago my friend Jen wrote an EXCELLENT Anthem of the Seas review for our site, so I knew that writing one of my own would be redundant and unnecessary. That is when I started to think about the highlights of our trip and then I began to jot down our absolute favorite activities that we would recommend to other families.
Before you hop on board, make sure you check out two of our favorite cruise related posts (and then of course you can check out our entire archive of Disney Cruise related posts) –
We had 4 days at sea during our sailing, plus we stayed on board in Nassau (as we usually do), so we had ample time to try many of the fun things on board the Anthem.
Video of our adventure aboard Anthem of the Seas:
In no particular order, here are our suggestions for the top 10 things to do on this ship!
Hop into a glass bubble that sits on the end of a hydraulic arm. The doors close and you are elevated high above the ship for some breathtaking panoramic views. If you do not enjoy heights, this might be one to skip. We loved the chance to get a bird’s eye view of the entire ship! Sign up for this experience before you board, spots go quick. This experience is free, but reservations are limited.
Ripcord by iFly
We have an iFly location close to home and have not made it there yet, so we were really hoping to get a shot at this unique indoor skydiving attraction on board. As soon as we boarded the ship, we went to the Box Office and booked a time slot for iFly. You will want to allot about an hour for the iFly experience. After you arrive and check-in for your iFly reservation, you watch a short instructional video that gives you a good overview of what to expect.
Next you suit up in a jumpsuit, helmet, goggles and ear plugs. Head up to the flight deck with your instructor and enjoy your 1 minute long flight. I know, I know, 1 minute isn’t super long. But for me, it was plenty of time to get in the tube, try it out, get out before I got too windblown. LOL The rest of my fam LOVED it and wished it was longer.
We spent a LOT of time in the Seaplex enjoying all kinds of different activities! Seaplex is a large recreational space with a sports court in the center. Around the court you will find ping pong tables, air hockey, cornhole, an Xbox lounge, even a Coney Island hot dog snack stand.
Various activities are offered in the Seaplex throughout your cruise. The daily schedule lists these activities and I highly recommend arriving 15-30 early for any that you want to try as space is limited and they fill quickly.
We enjoyed bumper cars several times, Lily had a blast with trapeze school. The kids wanted to try the roller skating, but we weren’t able to fit that into our week (I guess we’ll just have to plan a return trip! HA!).
Anthem of the Seas has several specialty restaurants that you can eat at if you’d like. These restaurants are not included in your cruise fair and cost extra. The price varies by restaurant.
Prior to boarding the ship, we did not make any reservations for any of the specialty restaurants. We were new to the ship and wanted to eat the majority of our dinners in the main dining room (where we experienced great food and service!). Towards the end of the trip, we decided to try out a couple of the restaurants.
Dinner at Wonderland
We enjoyed dinner at Wonderland on night #7 of our cruise. The kids ate off the kid menu which saved us substantially. Adult meals at the time of our sailing were $54.99/person plus 18% gratuity. Lily’s (age 10) meal was $10, while Landon (age 5) was free.
Wonderland was REALLY REALLY neat and also very hard to describe. The dishes are creative, ambitious and at their essence, works of edible art. We enjoyed the presentation and thought everything tasted delicious. Instead of ordering off of the menu, our server brought Bob and I sampling of 90% of the menu. The appetizers were small dishes, small portions, just a taste for each of us. The dinner entrees, however, were much heartier, family style portions. Dessert was also shareable (and delicious!).
Lunch at Jamie’s Italian
We ate lunch at Jamie’s Italian on the last full day of our cruise. We paid $24.99/adult plus 18% gratuity. The kids again ordered off the kids’ menu and Lily’s meal cost $10 and Landon’s meal was free. (I believe that kids 5 and under are free at specialty restaurants when they order off the kid menu.)
This meal was INCREDIBLE. We started our lunch by sharing several appetizers – calamari, bruschetta and fried risotto mozzarella balls. We also enjoyed their famous “meat plank” which was a nice Antipasto spread with meats, cheese and olives.
Bob and I both ordered the mushroom fettuccine and we both agreed that it was one of the best pasta dishes we have ever had. Jamie’s Italian makes their pasta fresh every day and the taste was just incredible.
For dessert, we received another plank – this one shared cheesecake, a brownie, tiramisu, and a meringue-type treat filled with a mousse-like filling. All were fantastic!
We loved this meal and pretty much rolled ourselves out of the restaurant, totally full and satisfied. YUM!!
Have you ever ordered a drink and then watched it being made by a robot?? Head to Bionic Bar on Deck 5 of Anthem of the Seas for this unique experience! Your first day or two on the ship might find this area super crowded and popular, so you might want to circle back and try it out towards the end of the cruise when the wait time is lower. We got a drink from Bionic Bar on the last day of our cruise and there was no wait at all. It was a lot of fun!
Catch a wave on this awesome activity located on the very back of the ship, behind Seaplex. Different types of activities are offered, so check the daily schedule for listings and make sure you pay attention to minimum height restrictions. Everyone needs a bracelet to participate in Flow Rider, so check in at the desk which is located a deck below the Flow Rider (same check-in desk as iFly). After you have your bracelet, head to get in line.
Lily tried out the boogie boarding and had a lot of fun!
Whether you have tried climbing a rock wall before or you are trying it for the first time, Anthem of the Seas offers a large climbing space on the back of the ship (right next to the giant giraffe!). Our first Royal Caribbean cruise (10+ years ago!) had a rock wall on the back and the one on Anthem is significantly bigger. There are three sections for climbing so the line moves fairly quick, allowing 3 climbers to climb at once.
Lily and Bob gave the rock wall their best shot – Lily made it about 2/3 of the way to the top, while Bob made it to the top.
Explore the Ports
One of the coolest things about a cruise vacation has to be the different ports of call that your ship visits. We love boarding the ship, unpacking once, and relaxing while the ship sails us to our various destinations.
On this itinerary, we had three ports of call: Port Canaveral, FL, Nassau, Bahamas, and CocoCay, Bahamas.
In Florida, we took a guided tour of NASA’s Kennedy Space Center and had a total blast. (Separate post to come on that one.)
Nassau – we stayed on the ship. It’s rare for us to skip a port of call, but we almost always stay on the ship in Nassau. In a word: it’s a hole. Lots of crime and other seedy activity all over the place in Nassau. Been there, done that. Instead, we treat Nassau as another At Sea day, and take advantage of a much emptier ship with few, if any, lines to do on board activities.
CocoCay – This is Royal Caribbean’s private island! I advise getting off the ship as early as possible the day you dock at CocoCay if you want the best shot at a front row lounger on the beach. We were on the first tender boat off the ship and had first pick of seats. We spent the entire day on the island, enjoying sun and sand, and lots of ocean time. Lunch is served on the island and offers a typical summer BBQ fare with burgers, hot dogs, barbecue ribs and chicken, fresh fruit and more.
Food on the island is included in your cruise fare. Alcohol is available for purchase using your ship card. A small straw market area offers t-shirts, bags, hats and other souvenir merchandise. Note: these items require cash or credit card to purchase.
Beach tip: You need to bring your own towel off the ship with you onto CocoCay. We were so used to Disney Cruises where you get your beach towel on the island, that we didn’t even think to take towels off the ship with us. And apparently crew hands towels out as you board the tender boat, but because we got on the first tender of the day, the towels hadn’t arrived yet. Bob had to jump right back on the tender boat and go back to the ship for towels for us, wasting over an hour of beach time. So learn from our mistake – take your towel with you!
You’re on a cruise ship with built-in, complimentary child care. Take advantage of it and enjoy some couple time! Our kids had a blast in the youth club on board and Bob and I had several nights to grab a drink, drop a few bucks at the casino, etc. It was great! We spent the majority of the trip exploring and adventuring as a family, but it was so nice to have some adult time as well.
No matter how you decide to spend your vacation on Anthem of the Seas, we think that you will have a fantastic time! It is a great ship with lots of fun things to do and many cozy areas to relax. Bon voyage!
Cruise Surprise – Here is how we surprised the kids with this cruise!