Anthem Of The Seas: A Truly Smart Ship
From dining to entertainment & art, RCI is at the top of their game

by Vanessa Lee

Anthem of the Seas Royal Esplanade

Wonderland on Anthem of the Seas

Wonderland Imaginative Cuisine serves “molecular gastronomy”

Elevator art on Anthem of the Seas

Deck art

Anthem’s revolutionary Two70 lounge with aerial show

I recently sailed on a short voyage of Royal Caribbean’s absolutely splendid new, Anthem of the Seas. I knew what to expect as she is almost a virtual twin to Quantum of the Seas which made her debut in November 2014 before heading to China. The good news on Anthem, according to a great Royal tag line, is that she is “Anchored in America” and, for the foreseeable future, will cruise out of Cape Liberty on various Caribbean itineraries.

I have waxed lyrically about the Quantum Class ships and seeing Anthem brought me back to just how spectacular and amazing they are. And because I knew my way around, I was able to get a better sense of the ship even though the 2 day inaugural provides such a narrow time frame to really immerse yourself in all it has to offer. I feel I was able to experience Anthem the way your prospective clients will on a full length voyage. And once you book your guests on this ship, I can assure you they will be more than thrilled with their experience. It will blow them away.

I have been on so many ships and lines that I have lost count. I know I am around 175 + actual cruises and of course way more ships re inspections or inaugurals or just going aboard for a dinner event. I can cover this industry from top to bottom, small to large, ocean ship to river ship to motor yacht and anything in between. In fact, there are very few cruise lines upon which I have not sailed and there is that bucket list too – I do want to try and sail every brand…

So when I think about the remarkable achievement that is Quantum Class it is with pride and satisfaction that I see how far this industry has come in just a few short decades. And I am pleased to see that Royal Caribbean continues to lead the pack in the most outstanding and innovative ways. The concept of these ships is sheer brilliance – I would even go as far as to say it is a force majeure.

This is a new generation of cruise ship with such creative acumen, a true smart ship in every way with the dining, entertainment and all the other bells and whistles including VOOM the fastest internet at sea. Royal Caribbean is at the top of their game and  are steaming ahead with yet more great ships to come and more ideas and concepts that truly are practically mind-blowing. When Michael Bayley, President of RCI said that the fabulous 270 Lounge cost more to build with all of its magical Roboscreens and concepts, than their entire 1 st ship, the Song of Norway. That brought home the truth of this brand’s trajectory of success.

This experience at sea is one of the most remarkable things to hit the hospitality industry in years. This is the best of every great hotel, combined with Vegas and all of its offerings along with the sex appeal of a major city like New York, rolled into one with a total sense of harmony. It is fun and decadent and charming and engaging all at once.

I wandered my way through the ship, checking out new spaces, figuring out ones I knew from last time and absorbing more small delightful moments. I also dined for the 1 st time in Wonderland with my long-standing friend and colleague, Adam Goldstein who is President of the over-arching brand of RCCL. The food in Wonderland was totally different, a sharing concept with fabulous ingredients creatively delivered from kitchen to table. The whole experience was like a quirky Lewis Carroll novel and a delight in every way.  

The staterooms are beautifully designed  and every inch has been thought through. I love the 2 matching closets on either side of the bed so that each person has their own space. The large mirror, the spacious sitting area, ample storage in many spots – it all works and very well. Also the bar in the shower for a lady to be able to shave her legs (a pick up from sister brand Celebrity). 

And the onboard art makes it for me – all of the fabulous, beautiful and intriguing installations – more than 3,000 of them and many totally breathtaking. Described as “the singular and eclectic art collection” it has been curated to celebrate the timeless question, “What Makes Life Worth Living”.  The whimsical and vibrant elevator art, the surprises around almost every corner, the art you “read” along the corridors, the striking stairwells, the jewels in the ceilings  – it is all just remarkably effective and exquisite.

 Many have likened Quantum Class to a Celebrity ship mixed in with the best of Royal;  I thought that myself on Quantum last year. But now, having spent more time on  Anthem, I see that Royal Caribbean has just taken all of this one step further. They have reached for the moon and the stars and they have almost overshot their destination. This ship is larger than life but in the best possible way. As they roll out their new marketing slogan “Come Seek” – The ROYAL Caribbean, they are building on their brand success to such a degree that it is truly a stellar moment for the cruise industry. 

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