THE HOWARD- Travelogue
Travel Review-Anthem of the Seas
Howard Steven Frydman
A Nine Day Cruise- Leaving from Cape Liberty, New Jersey, on the Anthem of the Seas. Ports of call: Kings Wharf Bermuda, Philipsburg St. Maarten, San Juan Puerto Rico and Labadee, Haiti
A prescription: from prominent cardiologist and friend, the esteemed Dr. Patrick Corcoran- written in “real” Latin- so you know it’s legit-. “et requiem relaxat” – rest and relax!
– as many of my readers know I just went through open heart bypass surgery- and now find myself in the next stage – the healing process-
We are all so programmed to work work work – it’s only been a few weeks since my “H-cut” and folks are already saying- you look great – when are you going back to work?! Or, I saw you limping around the grocery store- Ya look fine Howard- why can’t you go to tonight’s meeting? When did all these folks become heart specialists? I’m still having a-fib, some bleeding, and over-all after surgery discomfort- yes folks are chanting at me “Work, meetings, work”- this is what got me into this situation in the first place ya know!!! Yet Doctor Corcoran- reminds me quite vocally ” DON’T YOU DARE GO BACK TO WORK YET!- not till I tell you! I’m the Doctor not these “nincompoopS”! And that’s with a big fat “S”!!
Now many of us don’t know how to “et requiem relaxat” – But with prescription in hand, I know exactly the right folks to fill this RX- I contact my friends at Royal Caribbean Cruise Line ships- for a true heart healthy cruise!! A cruise- awwwww!! Just the word cruise puts me into a relaxing mood!
SOS- God and the surgeon’s hand – did indeed -“Save Our Soul” but I need help- and it never hurts to ask- so I send out a distress call to the office of my old pal Lyan Sierra Caro and then on to another good friend Megan Barbe – what a great team! I tell Megan my current circumstances- I hear her give out an “Oy”- I add the “Vey” – the criteria, no airports, close to home, and the ability to enjoy the 3R’s recline, rest and totally relax. My friend Megan is a true RCCL magician and selects me the best Royal Caribbean Cruise Line cruise for someone in my circumstance- a nine day cruise out of the deportation port- Bayonne, New Jersey! Oh, and the cabin a beautiful loft suite at the back of the ship, “nice and quite” Megan states “and with panoramic ocean views- you’ll never want to leave”!! Bless you for your kind help Megan!! I love you Megan Barbe!! By the way Michael Bayley – CEO of Royal Caribbean International- how about a nice raise for Megan-huh?!!
The deportation port- New Jersey- perfect- no planes needed- Hunter limo picks up my brother Harvey and me around 6:30am and we sit back and relax. The current Connecticut weather blustery and heavy rain- I fall asleep. Four hours and 15 minutes later our limo is pulling up to the RCCL Cape Liberty cruise passenger terminal. At Zone 6, a porter loads our luggage from limo to transport cart. Easy Peasy. In fact the entire embarkation process was probably the easiest I have ever witnessed. I had already completed the RCCL Online Check-In process at home, so with my Set Sail Pass and Passport in Hand it was literally seconds to do the pre-board registration – those guys (RCCL Agents) with their mobile iPads at the port are lickety split fast – let me tell you!!
Next up I am met by our “Genie” – yep – just like the old TV series “I Dream of Jeanie” starring Barbara Eden. In this case our Genie – Katya, a beautiful young gal “From Russia with Love”. I had received an email from her several days earlier with a questionnaire seeking input about what would constitute a perfect cruise and stating, “I promise to be ‘in my lamp’ and at your service every afternoon”, but here she was right at the pier, and getting us on board the “Anthem of the Seas” by 10:30am, escorting us to our first on board lunch at “Coastal Kitchen” on deck 14 ( more on heart healthy food later) and then returning to direct us to our state room loft situated on deck 8, at the rear of the ship. By the way my friends the RCCL “Genie” is a industry first- passengers in star class suites are provided Genie service, one for approximately three suites, – think of them as your Gal Friday- “Genie” is making sure our time on board is a phenomenal experience- and it is!! So far our Genie has arranged where we dine on ship, setting up our evenings entertainment, preparing special events including a private tea with the Captain of the ship, to making sure my fresh sliced fruit and morning smoothie is waiting for me when I return from the fitness center!! Wow- thank you Genie – and no she does not dress in a Genie outfit!!
The Cabin: wow- if I could only wrap up this ultra exclusive swanky suite and take it home – shush- I’m thinking it over! My home away from home is the Grand Loft Suite with Balcony- a two-deck high – yep two tiers- with aft facing “out of this world” panoramic views- wait till you see the pictures !! On the main level, an open living/dining room with a leather sofa that converts to a kingsized bed, plus a full marble bath with a rain drop shower, a private balcony with lounge chairs and a dining area that seats four comfortably. The second level of the suite includes a huge master bedroom with two twin beds that convert to Royal King bed and another private bath with yet another marble shower, sink and vanity- as they say- fit for a King!! By the way, plenty of space for luggage and there is a stocked refrigerator with water, soda and other beverages.
The Ship: RCCL Anthem of the Seas: Folks this is one massive ship- I have only been here a day now and I’m still learning where things are located- but I know where the fitness center is- and that is one of the reasons I’m here, besides the warm weather and wonderful destinations.
Some quick info on the ship- MS Anthem of the Seas – She, (all ships are shes) is the second ship of the Quantum Class, which surpasses the earlier Freedom-class ships by over 14,000 gross tonnage, becoming the second largest class of passenger ships. Anthem of the Seas, the most technologically advanced cruise ships in the world, has 20 passenger-accessible decks, 8 of which feature balcony staterooms overlooking the ocean. There are a total of 2,090 staterooms: 1,570 balcony staterooms, 147 ocean-view staterooms, and 373 inside staterooms. Of those staterooms, 34 are wheelchair accessible and 28 are studio staterooms for single travelers (including 12 studio staterooms with balconies). All aft-facing staterooms are a 2-story “loft” suites- just like mine!
The “Sports Court” on deck 15 aft features a Wave Loch Flowrider surf simulator and a rock-climbing wall, a “RipCord by iFLY” – skydiving simulator. A special highlight is The “NorthStar” observation tower located at the forward end of the top deck, it uses a 7.1-tonne (7.8-short-ton) glass-walled capsule on the end of a 41-meter-long (135 ft) crane arm to lift groups of up to 14 guests up and over the edge of the ship, reaching heights of up to 300 feet above sea level.
Anthem of the Seas- “My Time” dining venues: The main complimentary restaurants include Chic, Grande, Silk, and American Icon –plus Coastal Kitchen which is for suite guests only. Other culinary spots include: The Cafe @ Two70, SeaPlex Dog House- hot dogs and sausages, Sorrento’s Pizza, and Windjammers Marketplace- buffet style. For an additional fee you can dine at “Wonderland”- imaginative cuisine, “Michael’s Genuine Pub”-fish and chips, “Chop’s Grill”- really great filet mignon, “Johnny Rockets”-burgers and milkshakes, “Izumi”-Japanese Cuisine, and so much more! Believe me folks you won’t go hungry- there are cookies and snacks (ahem- I mean veggies and fresh fruit) every where aboard the beautiful Anthem of the Seas!!
By the way- my dear friend Empress Maria Rosu- yes- I am having Moscato- “a very sweet” wine with my evening dinner!
Next part two–staying heart healthy on board a cruise ship.