Crossing the Atlantic on world’s newest cruise ship

virtual balcony

Wow, our first full day at sea, on board Royal Caribbean’s Anthem of the Seas en route from the UK to USA. Launched earlier this year, Anthem is the newest and third largest cruise ship in the world It has been a hectic couple of days, even more so for my wife Lisa, as on Monday we moved out of our apartment in Wales and then yesterday we had to journey for more than seven hours to Southampton docks.

Actually, the journey was remarkably easy as, this time, we had chosen to go with Eavesway Travel, a company that has a service dedicated to cruise passengers. Once you join the coach, you can forget your luggage as the next time you will see it will be at your cabin door.

Lisa and I were the only passengers from North Wales and so were picked up by driver Paul at 6am and taken to meet up with a coach that had started in Blackpool. All went so smoothly, our second driver Peter (hmm, Peter, Paul but no Mary?) was friendly and chatty as he stashed away my wheelchair and we sat in the accessible seat area because the steps up to the main passenger compartment were too much for me.

Anyway, we enjoyed a good journey arriving very much as Peter had forecast. We arrived at Southampton at 1.32pm which was pretty good as he had earlier estimated a time of 1.30pm.

Boarding procedures were simple, straightforward and speedy. We were soon in our cabin, an accessible stateroom on deck 10. On this cruise we chose an inside cabin with a great view of the sea. Yeh, I know that sounds unlikely but it is just what we got. On the far side of our room from entrance is a floor to ceiling ‘virtual balcony’, see picture above. This a simply a superb idea; it gives the appearance of a balcony, complete with floor and rail, with live pictures from cameras mounted on the ship. Each stateroom’s virtual balcony is programmed to show a view that means that what you see and hear matches what you feel.

It is a tremendous innovation and makes life in an inside cabin really different and more pleasurable – and there is a remote control to change the sound volume or turn off the feature altogether.

We are trying various restaurants, using the Dynamic Dining options, and I will be blogging about those later in the week. A good start was made last night in Silk that specialises in Asian cuisine while Windjammer Market Place buffet did not disappoint at breakfast time.

Weatherwise, so far so good, we enjoyed some sun this morning with so far comfortable sea conditions; gentle movement but no more.

More soon from aboard Anthem of the Seas.


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