Royal Caribbean International’s Anthem of the Seas has made Cape Liberty Cruise Port, just outside of New York City, its permanent year-round home. From there, the ship sails to The Bahamas, Jamaica, Haiti, Grand Cayman, Mexico, Honduras, Puerto Rico, St. Kitts, Barbados, Martinique, and St. Maarten. But, no matter the destination, getting there will be a blast with all the free fun offered on the ship’s 18 decks!
Disclosure: The writer was hosted on this trip.
Booking a cruise can be confusing for the uninitiated. It’s often difficult to tell what is included in the price and which activities will cost extra once onboard. If you’re considering a cruise on Royal Caribbean International’s newest ship in the Quantum class, Anthem of the Seas, here are 13 things passengers aboard this huge, floating entertainment complex can enjoy for free!
1. Sail Away Party
Start your journey with an epic outdoor party, on the 15th deck of Anthem of the Seas, where passengers are invited to wave farewell to New York City, and set out to sea. Music will be pumping and passengers will be all smiles as they sail past the vibrant Manhattan skyline and Lady Liberty herself.
2. North Star
For an even more amazing look at The Big Apple, the ship’s North Star, a glass observation capsule attached to a mechanical arm, elevates guests to enjoy panoramic views of the city lights from 300 feet above sea level.
3. Indoor and Outdoor Pools
The ship boasts two huge outdoor pools, two indoor pools, and four whirlpools. Some guests don’t even wait for the Anthem to leave the port before jumping in the water!
Billed as the largest indoor active space at sea, Anthem’s SeaPlex boasts bumper cars, roller skating, foosball, ping pong, a video arcade, and more. Kids, teens, and adults alike could spend hours playing Xbox or basketball in this fun two-story amusement center.
5. Puzzle Break
Jumping on the worldwide craze of room escape challenges, Royal Caribbean has partnered with Puzzle Break to debut “Escape from the Future,” a timed experience where teams have one hour to find clues, solve puzzles, and try not to pull their hair out while working together to escape from a locked room. The clock counts down, the puzzles are complex, and team members must cooperate to decipher confusing clues if they hope to escape in time. Teens and adults will love the challenge.
Anthem boasts 18 restaurant concepts, five of which are complimentary main dining restaurants. Enjoy eating your way through the many different types of cuisine!
7. RipCord by iFly
Skydiving on the deck of a cruise ship, out in the middle of the ocean, is a pretty unique vacation experience! Kids as young as three can try a 60-second flight in the iFly wind tunnel, which simulates free fall from 18,000 feet.
When you take a break from pool-hopping, there’s also a 40-foot long surf simulator onboard! Give surfing a try without leaving the ship. It’s harder than it looks!
9. Interactive Artwork
From oversized sculptures to unique three-dimensional portraits made from painted screws, the artwork displayed throughout Anthem of the Seas is exceptional. An installation by artist Rafael Lozano Hemmer, Pulse Spiral, displays a chandelier with 200 bulbs that flash in time to the heartbeats of those who have recently touched its sensors. Another interactive piece features a wall of wooden squares that imitate the movement of passers-by. The colorful work pictured above displays different words when various squares are touched. While on the ship, take the stairs at every opportunity, because impressive artwork adorns each new level of the stairwell, too!
Stop by a small library of shelves filled with brand new books that guests can borrow for free. Take a book, read it, return it at your leisure. There are books for all ages, as well as playing cards and board games. In The Living Room, a teen-only lounge, there are even more books for older kids to enjoy.
The Broadway-quality performance of the Queen tribute musical We Will Rock You will have you singing “I want to ride my bicycle” for days! The Music Hall production is phenomenal, and free. Other shows onboard include a comedy show and an impressive high-tech cabaret, complete with circus acts, in the multi-dimensional venue Two70. Reservations for shows are not required, but they are highly recommended. Use the cruise planner online to snag your seats so you don’t miss out!
12. Rock Climbing
A 30-foot high rock climbing wall overlooking the ocean is just one more reason for families to love this nautical entertainment destination!
13. Youth and Teen Program
Anthem of the Seas‘ Ocean Adventure Youth and Teen Program provides activities all over the ship for babies (accompanied by a caregiver) on up through tween and teens. Drop-off care for children as young as three is free.