We have taken the opportunity to avoid the Brexit Nonsense and escape on a cruise to New England & Canada. Who knows if Brexit will have occurred when we return. Our cruise is on Anthem of the Seas sailing from Cape Liberty.
Anthem of the Seas has developed a “Marmite” reputation amongst its guests. While there are plenty who rave about the ship, there are also plenty who dislike it. Anthem was not well received in the UK on launch and surprisingly is returning to Southampton in 2020.
First, we had to get to London Heathrow and were transported by a bloke called Andy. After booking our cruise, we realized five people & 5 cases did not fit into my car. Surprisingly hiring Andy was cheaper than hiring a car. Andy got us to Heathrow in plenty of time, which was an excellent job as Mrs. Modernlifeisgood had not been allowed to do online check-in.
Unfortunately, Mrs. Modernlifeisgood has joined the list of people to have SSSS stamped on their boarding card. SSSS means you will undergo increased security scrutiny. Allegedly travelers are chosen at random, but it happens to Gerry Adams quite often. It was the second time in succession for the suspicious Mrs. Modernlifeisgood to be selected.
Once we had arrived at Heathrow, we visited the Number 1 Lounge at Terminal 3. I am not usually a great fan of lounges, but this was very good. The lounge was very comfortable, not crowded, and had a good selection of complimentary food & drink.
Our flight was to Newark with Virgin Atlantic. The Virgin Atlantic experience, as usual, was nothing special. We were sat in economy and food tasted better than it looked. However, they only came round with drinks once, and everything seemed rushed. Also, the restrooms were filthy, something I have never encountered previously.
Our first-night accommodation was at Crowne Plaza at Newark Airport. The hotel was a typical airport hotel but was comfortable, and the free airport shuttle was great. We were checked in by Vincent, who helped with our further reservations. Breakfast was good but did not include a great selection of choices.
We caught an Uber to Cape Liberty, and this time struggled to fit into an Uber XL. Little Miss Modernlifeisgood appropriately ducked as we went past the police car in the clearly over-capacity vehicle.
Anthem of the Seas does not have a Royal Promenade and fails to have the initial “Wow Factor” you get on other big Royal Caribbean ships. However, that is the only negative I have in my initial observations. The facilities throughout the ship are excellent, and lounges are more comfortable than on other ships. It also appears easier to avoid the crowds.
Staterooms are very well designed, and there is plenty of storage space. Showers also appear bigger compared to other ships.
The Anthem of the Seas is a cold-weather ship. There is little open deck, with 2 of the 3 main pools being inside. I assume this is one of the reasons for some of the less favorable reviews elsewhere. However, this isn’t a warm-weather cruise and appears perfect for cruising to New England.
Our cruise started with an extra treat. The captain announced he was able to make a short detour and sail past the Statue of Liberty. Despite being late October, conditions were perfect, and we were able to get a great view.
The ship was reasonably quiet in the evening, presumably due to guests being tired from traveling. We had dinner in the main dining room, which was excellent. The head waiter has arranged exclusive gluten-free choices for Mrs. Modernlifeisgood for tomorrow’s dinner.
Tomorrow we have a day at sea before a rather port intensive couple of days. Onwards we go! We will be blogging daily.