Big ships sail with one major advantage over smaller vessels: the deck space to float a boatload of engaging activities. Anthem of the Seas, Royal Caribbean International's (RCI) latest mega-ship, leads the cruise industry in offering appealing things to do at sea.
Big ships sail with one major advantage over smaller vessels: the deck space to float a boatload of engaging activities. Anthem of the Seas, Royal Caribbean International’s (RCI) latest mega-ship, leads the cruise industry in offering appealing things to do at sea.
Since November, the grande dame, which debuted in April 2015, has been departing from Cape Liberty Cruise Port, Bayonne, NJ, cruising to the Caribbean and Bermuda. At full capacity, the vessel carries 4,905 passengers. That means there’s much competition for tables in the buffet dining area, for deck chairs at the pool, for seats at the signature shows, and for reservations in the no-extra-cost restaurants.
But for cruisers who want to do more than sit and eat, the opportunity to skydive, surf onboard, rock climb, roller skate, fly on a trapeze, and get panoramic views from the North Star pod that rises 300 feet above sea level often outweighs the inconveniences incurred when cruising with 4,500+ others. The Anthem of the Seas is an especially good choice when traveling with children, teens, and twentysomethings. They won’t get bored because the ship offers too many Instagram moments. Best of all: these special activities are free.
Here are my picks of Anthem of the Seas’ best activities. RipCord, bumper cars, and virtual symphony are available, for now, only on Anthem of the Seas.
• RipCord by iFly. Flying is exhilarating. Buoyed by 100 mph winds, you float in mid-air under the supervision of instructors.
• Bumper cars. Crash into your loved ones in bumper cars. Don’t worry; the well-padded cars don’t go too fast. For boomers this activity brings back the nostalgia of beach boardwalk games and for kids and teens, smashing siblings is simply fun. Along with bumper cars, SeaPlex, the indoor sports center, also offers basketball, trapeze, roller skating, and other activities at selected times.
• Virtual Symphony. Take a seat in showroom Two70 to experience a virtual concert projected onto a surface 100 feet wide and 20 feet high. Called “Vistarama,” the technique produces life-like images and clear sound, the result of mixing videos from 18 digital cameras. Close-ups of the musicians also pop on and off six additional video panels. One show featured classical music and another the exuberant jazz and pop tunes of Santa Fe and the Fat City Horns.
• FlowRider. Even though this onboard surfing simulator debuted awhile ago on other RCI ships, hanging 10—or trying to—is the kind of challenge that makes children, teens and adults smile even if they wipeout.
• Rock climbing wall. Kids, trained in the excellent children’s program, seem to have no trouble climbing the 30-foot-tall wall. You feel good even if you claw your way up just a few feet.
What are your favorite cruise experiences? Comment below or connect with me on Twitter, @familyitrips. And check out our video of Anthem of the Seas: