April 7th 2018 Sailing Date
Today is our first time cruising with Royal Caribbean on the Anthem of the Seas. We woke up early and brought Fred to stay with Grandma and Grandpa. Hopped back in the car and made our way south to Bayonne, NJ. Anthem of the seas departs out of Cape Liberty Cruise Port which is 4 hours south of Boston. We hit very little traffic and made our way into the car lane to drop off luggage. I was very happy to see that there was a space to unload your luggage before parking. We parked the car and made our way into the terminal. We were hoping to wait for friends who were meeting us but there isn't really anywhere to wait before security. We had upgraded our balcony room to a Grand Suite and so we were able to use the suite line for security (where there was only 1 group ahead of us). After security we went to the suite check in line and only had about a 5 minute wait. A few days before our cruise we filled out online our documentation and uploaded our pictures. This helped our check in to be extremely fast. We walked through the suite entrance but this only brought us down a long hallways to the escalator that everyone else uses.
We swiped our paper upon entering the ship but our pictures needed to be verified so it took an extra minute for that to be figured out. I'm not in love with Royal Caribbean's new check in process. You print off your cruise documentation and that is your key to getting on the ship, drinks, and purchases until 1:30 pm when the rooms are ready. When the rooms are ready you will find one card in envelope outside your stateroom and one card inside the room. While waiting for our friends we decided to head to the Schooner Bar for some kick off vacation cocktails. My John Collins (made with Tito's Vodka) was nice and refreshing even with the unpleasant temperatures outside. Our friends texted us (cell service was awful at this point prior to logging into Voom) that they were boarding so we left the area and met them at the entrance.
The 6 of us (4 adults and 2 toddlers) made our way up to deck 14 for some lunch at Coastal Kitchen which is a dedicated restaurant for suite guests. Coastal Kitchen has a reserved environment, amazing staff, and delicious food! I read reviews from disappointed guests and was worried but we were more than happy at the restaurant all week. With twin toddlers we knew we would be a loud and messy table so we made sure to compensate with extra gratuity to the staff.
Greg and I were in room 8638 a Grand Suite. Upon entering our room we had a small hallway, a living room area with tv, couch, chair, table, coffee/tea, closet, mini fridge, and desk. The bedroom offers a king size bed, two nightstands, a desk, large closet, and a tv. The bathroom offers a shower/tub combo, toilet, and two sinks. The balcony provides two loungers, a table, and chairs. The room was a great size and offers plenty of storage.
Unfortunately, our room was not clean at all! We found crumbs on our floor, red sticky melted something on the walls, tables, and handles. We called the attendant line and didn't get a great response so we pulled out my antibacterial wipes and cleaned ourselves. While heading out to meet up with our friends Greg ran into our room attendant who apologized for the room and explained that he had to clear immigration today and unfortunately had to rush everything. Soccoro assured Greg the room would be clean before the evening was done. We both understood his point of view and didn't let this start ruin our trip. Also not a big deal but we didn't receive our specialty waters for a couple of days.
The 6 of us went to the 12th floor to the Concierge Lounge where we enjoyed some hor d'oeuvres and introduced ourselves to Ricardo (the suite concierge). Ricardo and I had been messaging during the week for our cruise and he was wonderful in helping us reserve a Cabana on CocoCay.
At 5:30 we went to the Coastal Kitchen for dinner. Greg and I don't normally dine this early but when you're with two cute toddlers you do what you have to do. Meal time for the 6 of us usually went like this: Make our way to the restaurant entrance, one kid ready to go, one kid needs to burn off energy. Divide and conquer! Depending on the day some of us go into the restaurant park the strollers, set up the Ipad, and get settled in while the other party would walk one of the kids around and then join us. We were very thankful that the staff set up a particular table for us during the week, always had two highchairs ready, and always treated us as if we weren't loud and messy.
After dinner we decided to get a cocktail at the Schooner Bar. This is where my friends son started to get over his fear of the elevator. Thanks to the pretty green or red lights and the pinging he was happy, excited, and would repeat over and over ....oooohhh, oooohhh up, down! He was pretty well known during the week lol.
Prior to a whale watching trip out of Boston I did not suffer from motion sickness. On the past 3 cruises we've been on I have suffered motion sickness but controlled it with Bonine. I had to switch medications though because of my dairy intolerance. I've been using the CVS brand motion sickness medicine since it's the only that doesn't contain lactose (during this trip I did find that Dramamine naturals and Dramamine for kids both don't contain dairy). On this trip I was in bed early almost every night! The CVS brand pills made me very tired (especially after my 2nd dose). On my next cruise I'm thinking I'll just have to see what happens with the touch lactose in the pills.