Cruise ship review: Anthem of the Seas
Date Posted: 20/04/2015
Group Leisure got a sneak preview of Anthem of the Seas before its inaugural cruise in April. Here’s what we thought…
Royal Caribbean’s new Anthem of the Seas is best described as a pie-in-the-sky ship. Its designers, Meyer Werft, were briefed with creating ‘the most advanced cruise ship in the world’. And that’s what they’ve done. The science behind this vessel blinds. But it’s not just the facts that make this ship special, it’s doused in fantasy too.
Let’s start with the art on-board. You’ll find both wall art and installations on every deck. The most talked about piece to date has been the towering Gigi giraffe sculpture by French artist Jean-Francois Fourtou, which is on deck 15.
But there are even more mind-bending pieces elsewhere on the ship. There’s a wall installation that looks like giant bubbles from afar, but when you get up close you can see video footage of women swimming inside. There’s also a wall of switches that lets you turn psychedelic coloured lights on and off to change the look of the piece.
Imagination has run rife in several of the restaurants, too. There are 19 places to eat on-board, falling into three categories of Dynamic Dining, Casual Dining and Speciality Dining venues. Wonderland, in the Speciality Dining category, is one of the most striking. Optical illusions and opulent furnishings are all part of the restaurant’s design. There’s even a ‘dreams’ section on the menu, which features the likes of Key Lime lollipops and Boston cream pie mazes.
And, of course, you can’t mention the ways in which the Anthem of the Seas blurs the lines between reality and illusion without talking about the bionic bar. To use this, passengers input their drinks order into an iPad, then a huge crane-like robotic arm starts making the drink. It collects the spirit from a cloud of optics above it, adds a mixer by pouring it out of a bottle, shakes the mixture, then pours it out into a glass for the customer.
Pictured: The first ever at-sea dodgems
In fact, there’s something to make your jaw hit the floor on every deck of the ship. On deck 16 there’s the Vitality at Sea Spa, where the therapists offer the latest in cutting edge treatments, such as Ionithermie Cellulite Reduction alongside classics like a seaweed massage and hot stone treatments.
On deck 15, you’ll find North Star – a viewing capsule that gradually ascends 300 feet above sea level on a huge lever so passengers can get panoramic views of the ocean. This is also the place where you’ll find the first ever at-sea dodgems.
On decks 13 and 14 it’s the adults-only solarium that has the wow-factor, with its cascading lagoons and indoor pool.
Even the staterooms are a little bit different. For example, those that don’t have a balcony come with a ‘virtual’ alternative inside with an LED screen that projects images of the sea, eliminating a degree of potential claustrophobia.
The ship’s nine bars and lounges deserve a mention. In Vintages, for example, passengers can help themselves to samples of around two-dozen different wines by taking their glass to a wine dispenser and choosing the size portion they want to try. In Boleros, meanwhile, there’s a long list of whimsical Latin-inspired cocktails on the menu, including a triple coconut mojito.
Finally, I have to mention the lifts. These are attractions in themselves on Anthem of the Seas. There are huge modern art works on the walls that show things like greyhounds in biker jackets. Plus each one has a floor plate that revolves to show you what day it is.
To be honest, by the time I’d finished looking around, I needed that little floor plate. Because I’d seen so many innovative and ground-breaking things, that I needed a little help remembering that it was in fact Saturday.
Pictured: North Star viewing platform.
Guest capacity: 4,180
Length: 1,141 feet
Class: Quantum class – the second of its kind for Royal Caribbean.
Choose your cruise
Anthem of the Seas sails from Southampton on short cruises, northern European cruises, Mediterranean cruises and Canary Island cruises.
Durations currently last from three to 16 nights and ports of call include Gibraltar, Barcelona, Madeira, Lanzarote and Lisbon.
For more information about the Anthem of the Seas visit www.royalcaribbean.co.uk.