From ice rinks and surf machines to dodgems and 300ft high viewing pods: there is seemingly little Royal Caribbean International has not attempted to get on to its vessels. And, as the innovations have increased across the industry, the family cruise sector is looking increasingly healthy. However, that’s not to say that there isn’t room for massive growth when it comes to British travel agents selling cruises to families.
Having spent some time on board Anthem of the Seas earlier in the year, Cruise Adviser was amazed at the detail of the company’s product offering. When a family comes on board this vessel it is hard to see how they would be able to take a land-based holiday again. West End musicals, robotic barman and Alice in Wonderland dining all mean that the humble summer getaway is being reinvented. No wonder retention rates for the cruise industry are among the highest in the travel industry.
Here we outline just what it is that makes Royal Caribbean’s Anthem of the Seas so special. And why as an agent you should see it as the ideal holiday for your customers.
This is where Royal Caribbean International really comes into its own. The ship is dominated by North Star, which takes passengers more than 300ft above sea level, while installations including RipCord by iFly have also proved adept at grabbing the headlines. However, that’s just the start of the entertainment on board the vessel.
Touted as the largest indoor active space at sea, SeaPlex offers a multitude of entertainment options to passengers on board Anthem of the Seas. The versatile space can host dodgems, rollerskating, high-flying trapeze, basketball and a dance floor – although not at the same time.
Rock wall and Flowrider
The Rock Wall has become a signature feature for Royal Caribbean and goes to show the heights the company has climbed since it launched. On Anthem of the Seas, the wall is right next to the 10metre high Gigi the giraffe, in the same area as RipCord by iFly and the company’s surfing simulator, Flowrider, which looks right out across the ocean.
Theatres and venues
Nowhere is the Royal Caribbean smart ship ethos better demonstrated than in Two70. The space acts as a lounge during the day but is transformed into a state-of-the-art theatre by night, with six remarkable 12K resolution roboscreens seemingly dancing in front of the audience, and complementing the performers on stage. As well as Two70, there is the Royal Theatre that will show productions from Broadway and the West End; the Music Hall, which has live music every night; pubs with pool tables; bars and even a man playing piano in the elevator.
Your average package-holiday hotel may have just one restaurant and a pool-side bar in the way of choice. Anthem of the Seas, by contrast, boasts 18 individual restaurants and ton of separate bars – too many to experience in a single trip (although, in the name of journalistic thoroughness, Cruise Adviser did endeavour to).
As part of Royal’s Dynamic Dining model – where guests have the freedom to choose their restaurants and dining times each day and night – Anthem offers five main complimentary restaurants. These, which range from American comfort food to pan Asian fusion and from smart-casual to formal, are: American Icon Grill, Chic, The Grande Restaurant, Silk and Coastal Kitchen. (The latter is available only to guests staying in junior-suite-level staterooms and above).
For those who prefer a more traditional experience, is Dynamic Dining Classic– new for Anthem – that gives guests the chance to have the same dining time each night, with the same waiting staff and table throughout the cruise.
On top of that are six more, albeit smaller, complimentary dining venues including the SeaPlex Dog House, chef and author Devin Alexander’s Devinly Decadence at Solarium Bistro and the excellent Windjammer Marketplace, which provides one of the most comprehensive buffet experiences at sea.
- Among the six additional-cost restaurants are Jamie’s Italian by Jamie Oliver and
- Michael’s Genuine Pub by chef Michael Schwartz, the James Beard-winning chef.
- For a quick bite, Johnny Rockets, the onboard American fast-food chain, is worth a visit for its famous hamburgers.
Anthem of the Seas has a maximum capacity of 4,905 spread over 16 guest decks with 2,090 staterooms. These include 1,570 balcony rooms, 147 ocean-view staterooms and 373 inside staterooms, which range from the spacious to the downright palatial.
While the inside staterooms do not provide an outside view, they are the same size, and comfortable and nicely designed as the as the ocean-view rooms. They include two twin beds or one Royal king-sized bed and private toilet and shower, as do the balcony rooms, too, which measure the same but offer a generously sized deck to kick back on.
Anthem of the Seas offers three types of suite: the Crown Loft, Sky Loft and Royal Loft. The first features a private balcony and mezzanine level bedroom – with a master bathroom and LCD television.
The Sky Loft suites, perfect for families, are over two decks with a huge living area, two bedrooms and multiple balconies.
The Royal Loft suits, the largest of all, are positively opulent, featuring indoor and outdoor dinning rooms, four twin beds (that can be converted to two king-sized) – as well as an extended balcony with LCD television, entertainment area and Jacuzzi.
This is a sponsored post by Royal Caribbean International