My Cruise to Bermuda on Royal Caribbean's Anthem of the Seas
Updated: Aug 30, 2019
About 21 years ago (1998), my husband and I took a cruise to Bermuda. The boat was nothing like the grand ships that are sailing today! We had one large restaurant where everyone ate and not nearly as many shops and bar choices. It was the Royal Caribbean line and we had a very nice time.
Fast forward to 2019. We just returned from yet another Royal Caribbean cruise to Bermuda. Quite different then the first. This ship is called Anthem of the Seas and it has much more to offer than the previous ship I mentioned.
Is a cruise right for me?
A cruise is not something we would normally book as a vacation. My husband and I prefer to fly to a resort and stay put...on land! Even my children never wanted to do a cruise. My daughters were more scared to be out on the water in the middle of nowhere knowing the possibility of sharks swimming around below.
So why did we go? A few friends of ours have talked about going away as a group without the kids for years and it never happened. Now that all our children are grown up and in college, what better time then now! Our friends convinced us that a cruise would be the best option financially and also for entertainment purposes. There was a lot of night life to chose from on cruise ships. Still not thrilled with the idea, we agreed to do the 5 day cruise.
Unfortunately, as we were only one month away from our trip, someone in our group had a health issue that needed attention and therefore, they could not go on the cruise. We were too close to get any refund back so we had no choice but to take the trip anyway. Also, at this point we really needed to get away from the every day stresses of life itself!
So, let me get right into our experience and tell you if I felt it was worth the trip. To begin, weeks before we had to go online and purchase any packages or extras that we intended on buying while on the cruise. At first we were not going to get the drink package but after calculating some numbers, decided it was a good idea and worth it. We also booked one night at a restaurant that would cost more money as well. Chop's Grille for $50/person. I also purchased WiFi at approximately $11/day and a pack of bottled water that would be waiting in the room when we arrived. We felt all this deciding with a group became pretty stressful. It's not easy to get everyone on board at the same time. But we managed.
The ship was honestly very nice. I was impressed at how beautiful the room was and the entire ship was clean and updated. We had plenty of storage space for our clothes. Food in the restaurants were good. The portions were perfect in my opinion. The buffet was typical buffet food. I'm not the biggest fan of buffets but before entering the room everyone was forced to wash their hands which was a great idea! The first morning, however, was very stressful. Good luck trying to find a place to sit. Here we are walking around with coffee and a plate. We had no idea until days later that we could have sat in a dining room and get service. Who knew!
The one day on the ship was a lot to figure out. The only outdoor area really was by the pool. The pool where it seemed to have thousands of kids running around and another thousand adults. Very little elbow room and no escape from the sun. I lasted about 5 minutes and decided to go to the room and relax. That part really stressed me out. Also, same thing happened when lunch time came that happened during breakfast. We went back to the crowded buffet still not knowing we could have went to a dining room.
When we stopped at Bermuda, if you wanted to go to the beach you had to book transportation which could have been done on the cruise planner online or you could do what we did which was take a cab ride. The ride was about 45 minutes for $50. We also paid extra to use a resort for the day. Unfortunately, you have to stay in a certain area on the beach which, in our opinion, was not as desirable. We did try to sit in the main area near the bar but were asked to move. We spent a lot of money between the day pass and lunch at the restaurant, this seemed a bit ridiculous only because it was raining on and off and there were not a lot of people on the beach and many unoccupied chairs. Lesson learned.
The next day at Bermuda we went to a different beach, Elbow Beach. That was very crowded and there was a long line if you wanted to purchase an umbrella and chairs. I waited because there was no way I would have lasted in the sun with no cover, even with my SPF of 100! We decided to splurge and get a small tent that we all could sit under along with lounge chairs. More money spent.
That evening we decided to have dinner on Bermuda in Hamilton. We took a ferry for only $4/person. Hamilton was an adorable quaint town with shops and restaurants. It seemed a little quiet though, not much going on. So, after dinner, instead of going to a bar which was our original plan, we just went back to the boat.
There was a show on the cruise, We Will Rock You, which we found pretty good and entertaining. Great talent. You could also head to a couple of the lounges where there was live entertainment. All very good. We didn't have any problem finding seating at any of them.
Now, I am not a morning person at all. But one morning, something told me to get up. It was about 5:30 am. I was so glad I did because I decided to take a look outside on the balcony and just as I opened the curtains I saw the beautiful sun rising. I grabbed my camera and took as many photos as I could and then went right back to bed.
On the last day we returned around 7:00 am back in New Jersey. We decided to bring our luggage down and walk off the ship with it. The line was actually very long. I thought for sure this was going to take over an hour. However, once it moved I couldn't believe how fast it went. Very organized.
Ok, so final thoughts? If I had to do a cruise again I would chose this ship. Again, it was clean, everyone was helpful and nice and there were different options if you wanted as far as food etc. BUT - we most likely will not be going on a cruise any time soon. It's just not the type of vacation we enjoy. We prefer to sit around a big beautiful pool on beautiful grounds with a poolside bar. Or if we want, go to the beach and hang out there. Best part of that is if you needed to go to your room for a rest or to change, you can!
You really need to look into everything also. I think had we known about the dining for breakfast and lunch, it would have made for a better start. I just could not wrap my head around why people would chose to go to the buffet and have a hard time finding a place to sit as opposed to walking into a dining room that is beautiful, sitting down at a table and having a choice from the menu along with a smaller buffet. Those restaurants were not crowded! Thankfully we figured this out the last day and had at least one day's experience with no stress.
If you have little children, there is a lot for them to do and they offer babysitting. I was watching on the tv all about the activities for them and it really did seem fun! If you don't have a problem with buffets and don't stress if you have to wait for an empty table then maybe you will enjoy this. Overall, I can't say we had a bad time. I can, however, say it wasn't the most relaxing vacation. In the end, we spent just over $5,000.00 which I know could have been spent flying to a nice resort instead and having the type of vacation we enjoy. Everyone is different so to each his own. I would just suggest talking to people and really finding out everything that is available to you. I found the website was not helpful at all. I hope this helps you in deciding if a cruise is right for you! My next cruise will probably be an Alaskan cruise or a Viking cruise! Those seem less stressful.
For now, we are going to stick to airplanes and resorts!
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