THE HOWARD– Travelogue
Travel Review–Anthem of the Seas
Howard Steven Frydman
The seas be calm, all is well- my Travelogue so far – three days at sea on the majestic RCCL “Anthem Of The Seas” – our ultimate destination – the exotic, aqua marine watered, radiant, eastern Caribbean.
Welcome back- as I write these words it is currently Tuesday, November 27th, yes we are still at sea and the weather much warmer than when we left New Jersey. Current position 28*09*70 N, 069*09*25 W, speed 20.5 kts, course 165. Present air temperature 77 degrees. We have traveled 794 nautical miles, currently passing near Miami, Florida and heading toward our first port of call San Juan, Puerto Rico.
* Annotated – my mother, Lillian Martha Greene was born on this very date 101 years ago.
Since we are still at sea, this is a perfect time for me to make introductions- myself – your travel scribe hails from the beautiful New England State of Connecticut, where I manage a Television Station full time and write theater, culinary and of course travel reviews. However by real introductions, I want to acquaint you to our host ship, the Anthem of The Seas, my home away from home, my suite, the RCCL Genie- Miss Yen, and of course the myriad of food options. Food glorious food! As stated, my wonderful cardiologist, Dr. Patrick Corcoran will not be pleased with me, yes I have gained weight – but I have been visiting the ship’s gym and later today I have a visit with the ship’s master chef, and then the Captain.
The ship- 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!
My Suite – as stated in “part one” of my Travelogue, Megan Barbe has selected me a “Owner’s Loft Suite” with not one, not two, but three balconies and on two tiers- it is simply BREATHTAKING!! I Wish my own home looked as ultra sophisticated as this “home away from home” apartment. Megan, as stated- I am so appreciative of your kindness – as I am of everyone at RCCL. Yes in deedee- my accommodations are two-decks high with one aft facing “out of this world” balcony offering panoramic views- (wait till you see the pictures) – and two smaller additional balconies on each tier. 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 The Howard!! By the way, plenty of space for luggage and there is a stocked refrigerator with water, soda and other beverages. And snacks- they keep bringing them – oh the pain!
…and additional photos of my beautiful suite ~ as they say “Life is Good on a Sea Cruise”!
Additional ship amenities – The “Sports Court” on deck 15 aft features a Wave Loch Flowrider surf simulator, a rock-climbing wall, and 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. Additional exciting offerings include; learning how to scuba dive, dashing and dodging about in bumper cars, roller skating, basketball, soccer, volleyball, and lastly even a Circus school where guests can learn how to fly on the high trapeze- all these activities taking place on a cruise ship!
And for those parents and grandparents who bring their children aboard – Anthem offers the DreamWorks Experience – which includes; a DreamWorks Character breakfast in the main dining room, a ‘Meet and greet’ with various characters throughout the cruise day and of course, when you spot them- photos with the characters from DreamWorks animated films such as “Madagascar”, “Shrek”, “Kung Fu Panda” and “Puss in Boots”.
Next up I am pleased to introduce you to our “Genie” – yep – just like the old TV series “I Dream of Jeanie” starring Barbara Eden. In this case our Genie – is Miss Yen, a beautiful young woman from Malaysia. 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 meeting with the Captain of the Ship, Captain Srecko Ban, one on one interviews with Cruise Director Dennis Charles, Executive Chef Garry Smith, and she has even planned an extraordinary birthday surprise for my brother Harvey Leon Frydman. Thank you Miss Yen and of course RCCL !
Next follow me to part three of this Travelogue — food glorious food – all about the on board restaurants, introductions to new friends and yes staying heart healthy. By the way Dr. Corcoran, each day so far – 20 minutes on the ship’s treadmill and stationary bicycle. To all – yes you can do it all but in moderation. See you in part three!