On May 5th 2016, it was time to set sail on Royal Caribbean’s ship The Anthem of the Seas. This beautiful ship is currently docked in Bayonne, New Jersey right outside of New York City. Living in the Philadelphia area, it is very easy to hop on the turnpike for about 2 hours and end up at the Cape Liberty Port. They have an onsite parking garage for the cruisers who can drive to the port for $20 a night and plenty of drop off areas for those who flew in, or took a taxi. From 11am to 2:30pm the passengers are able to start boarding. We got there as close to 11 as possible so we can start enjoying the ship immediately. They have bumper cars, rock climbing, iFly, the North Star, trapeze school, pools, hot tubs, and so much more.
After we did bumper cars multiple times and the North Star, we wanted to watch the ship embark on our 9 night journey. We left Cape Liberty at 4pm. The ship has to go under the Verrazano bridge, and a 1.5 hour trek through the canal to get to open waters. Watching the ship clear the bridge is an amazing site, and I highly suggest finding a spot on the top deck to watch it. Even with doing all of these activities, we still had time before our 8:30pm dinner reservation, so we decided to hit the pools.
Our stateroom opened up at 1pm, but our luggage did not show up to our rooms right away. From cruising a good amount, we have learned to bring swimsuits, flip flops and cover-ups in our carry-on bags so if our luggage took a bit to show up, we could still enjoy the pools and hot tubs. This ship is an all weather ship which means they have both indoor and outdoor pools. Being in New Jersey, it was chilly, windy and rainy so we went to the indoor solarium to spend some time in the pools and hot tubs.
Having the 8:30pm dinner reservations gave us so much more time during the day to enjoy the ship, pools, and activities onboard the ship. There are two different ways to schedule your dining on the ship. The first choice you have is Dynamic Dining, which is scheduling each restaurant you want to eat in at different times each night. The second choice that we ended up using was Classic Dining. This rotates you through 4 of the complementary restaurants (Chic, Grande, Silk, and American Icon) on board at the same time each night with the same wait staff. One of the best parts about dining on cruises is that you can order as much or as little as you want. This is my personal favorite way to try new foods I wouldn’t normally consider. Cruising can give you the opportunity to try many new things outside of your comfort zone.
After this amazing first day, I couldn’t wait to see what the next day on board had in store for us.