Last updated: 10:23 AM ET, Thu August 04 2016

Dizygotic Twin

Anthem of the Seas has some different features from its Quantum sister.

Vacation Agent | Cruise Line & Cruise Ship | Theresa Norton

Dizygotic Twin

PHOTO: Onboard the Anthem of the Seas. {/IMAGECAPTION]

If you sell cruises, you’ve almost certainly heard about Royal Caribbean International’s new Quantum class of ships. It began last November with the Quantum of the Seas, which introduced a smorgasbord of eye-popping features. Just a few:

• The North Star, a glass pod that carries 14 people 300 feet above the sea on a cherry-picker-style arm.

• The RipCord by iFly, which gives people the chance to see what it feels like to skydive, here in a 23-foot-tall vertical wind tunnel.

• The robotic bartenders that automatically mix cocktails in the aptly named Bionic Bar.

• Windowless inside cabins with realistic video projected onto the wall, creating virtual balconies.

• Bumper cars and trapeze lessons in an indoor recreation complex.

And now the same features are found on the virtually identical sister ship, Anthem of the Seas, which was christened in April in Southampton, England, where it will be based until November. Then, the ship will relocate to Cape Liberty Cruise Port in Bayonne, N.J., filling the void left when Quantum of the Seas departed for Shanghai, China, in May.

The third sister ship, Ovation of the Seas, is due out in April 2016 and will head for China as well, operating from Tianjin, a port near Beijing, until it redeploys to Sydney, Australia, in winter 2016-17. Parent company Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. in May ordered a fourth ship in the class, which is scheduled for delivery in 2019.

Like its sisters, the 167,800-ton Anthem of the Seas accommodates 4,180 guests on a double occupancy basis, or 4,905 when all berths are filled, in 2,090 staterooms.

We’ll recap the main features of Anthem of the Seas, but first, let’s look at some of the features that are new to this ship that you won’t find on Quantum of the Seas.

New Entertainment: Anthem of the Seas’ 1,300-seat Royal Theater is home to the new show “We Will Rock You,” which is built around 24 songs by the British rock band Queen. Written by British comedian Ben Elton, the musical tells the story of a group of Bohemians who struggle to restore the free exchange of thought, fashion and live music in a society where musical instruments are forbidden, and rock music is all but unknown. The musical ran for 12 years in London through May 2014 and has been seen in productions around the world ever since. It received rave reviews on Anthem of the Seas.

Two70, a multilevel room with Vistarama — a seamless expanse of video screens on floor-to-ceiling windows spanning 270 degrees at the aft of the ship — is the venue for “Spectra’s Cabaret,” an original production. The multimedia show fuses kaleidoscopic sounds, effervescent colors, robots and six dancing, twisting robotic 100-inch LED TV screens.

Escape the Puzzle Room: The Anthem of the Seas partnered with a Seattle-based company called Puzzle Break to debut the first escape-the-room experience at sea. Guests work in teams to find and solve hidden clues and puzzles that will help them escape a locked room (well, it’s not really locked) in an hour’s time. It’s the seagoing equivalent of a game that is popping up all over the world.

Gigi the Giraffe: Anthem of the Seas has a different art collection than Quantum, and perhaps the most visible reminder of that is Gigi the Giraffe. She’s a 32-foot-tall, four-ton, carbon fiber giraffe wearing a yellow swimsuit and bright pink inner tube. Gigi stands on Deck 15, next to the rock-climbing wall, in the same spot occupied by a big red bear on Quantum of the Seas.


Now here’s an overview of the Anthem of the Seas’ features, which are similar to those of Quantum of the Seas.

Accommodations: Of the 2,090 staterooms and suites, the vast majority — 1,571, in fact — are balcony accommodations. A popular choice is sure to be the deluxe oceanview stateroom with balcony, which measures 177 square feet. These rooms are quite attractive, with nicer appointments and roomy wardrobes. In fact, all the staterooms on Anthem of the Seas are about 9 percent larger on average than those on the Oasis-class ships.

While the ship has massive, imposing two-level Loft Suites, it also offers impressive entry-level accommodations. For example, the 375 inside cabins have “virtual balconies,” which really are 80-inch LED screens that look like a floor-to-ceiling window. A movie-quality video is projected onto the wall, giving occupants the view they’d have if there were a real window or balcony there. The interior staterooms measure 166 square feet in size.

Plus, Anthem has 12 solo-occupancy studios with balconies. They’re not huge at 100 square feet, but the balconies are a nice size.

READ MORE: 7 TIps to Enjoying a Trip on Anthem of the Seas 

Royal Caribbean ships are family-friendly, so it’s worth it to note the family-connected junior suites on Anthem of the Seas. With this type of accommodation, families or groups can connect three different category staterooms through a vestibule to form a layout that provides separate bedrooms and bathrooms.

The ship also has 148 conventional outside staterooms that measure 182 square feet and 34 wheelchair-accessible accommodations.

Dining: With Quantum came Dynamic Dining, which essentially did away with traditional set-dining times and tables in favor of flexibility in four complimentary main restaurants. Passengers could dine where, when and with whom they chose.

But there were some hiccups, and the Dynamic Dining program was refined. The new program on Anthem of the Seas now includes two formats — Dynamic Dining Choice and Dynamic Dining Classic. The original plan, Choice, lets people make reservations for the four complimentary restaurants online in advance, at kiosks on board or through the Royal iQ app.

The new option, Dynamic Dining Classic, lets passengers dine at the same table, with the same companions and wait staff, every night. But, they move among the four free restaurants, and so they still get variety, but they also get the traditional dining preferred by many.

The table number is the same for each restaurant and is in the same spot or nearby in each eatery. The room keycards have codes to show which restaurant is booked for which night. Plus, by the time passengers start repeating restaurants, a new, second menu is in place, so they aren’t selecting from the same choices as before.

Early dining is at 6 p.m. while the late seating is at 8:30 p.m.

The four complimentary main restaurants are American Icon Grill, which serves regional roadtrip comfort foods; Chic, for contemporary cuisine; Silk, a vibrant Pan-Asian dining room; and The Grande, an always-formal room that features timeless dishes found on classic European ocean liners.

Although it was originally a for-fee specialty restaurant, Devinly Decadence has now been opened up as a complimentary venue. It serves healthful dishes less than 500 calories designed by Devin Alexander, a chef on the TV show “The Biggest Loser.”

In all, Anthem has 18 restaurants. Other free options include the Windjammer Marketplace and SeaPlex Dog House.

Specialty restaurants with cover charges or à la carte pricing include Jamie’s Italian, by celebrity chef Jamie Oliver; Michael’s Genuine Pub, by James Beard Award-winning chef Michael Schwartz; and Wonderland Imaginative Cuisine, which features today’s trendy molecular gastronomy. The ship also has Royal Caribbean signature restaurants such as Chops Grille steakhouse and Izumi Japanese Cuisine.

Technology: Royal Caribbean says the Quantum-class vessels are the most technologically advanced cruise ships. They boast what the line says is the fastest Wi-Fi at sea.

Guests who use the online check-in before leaving home can board the ship in 10 minutes, the line says, and that appears the be the case. You can even upload your own photo in advance for the security system and get digital boarding confirmation. Passengers can choose to wear wristbands with Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology that does the same things as the key cards — open the stateroom door and charge expenses. They’re waterproof and can be worn in the pool or on the beach; many find it easier to wear the band than carry the key card.

For more information, call 866-562-7625 or visit or


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Vacation Agent Magazine

A version of this article appears in print in the July 2015 issue of Vacation Agent Magazine.


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