Physically, Royal Caribbean International’s new Anthem of the Seas is a near-identical sister to Quantum of the Seas, but she carries a message that is all her own.
The blockbuster show on Anthem is “We Will Rock You,” so astonishingly well done that the dress rehearsal I just saw left Londoners gasping that it was as good as anything at the West End theaters. Guests stood, shouted, clapped and danced, and left raving about it. I even heard some calculating what the cost of tickets to such a production, complete with all the effects of the original on land, would be.
For the uninitiated, “We Will Rock You,” revolves around the music of rock band Queen, and it’s the longest-running show at London’s giant Dominion Theatre. The musical is a celebration of live music, love and individuality, and that theme is carried throughout Anthem.
The ship’s performances are backed with light displays that evoke the late 1960s and early ‘70s, and messages of peace, love and forgiveness are dotted along Anthem’s walls and corridors. Meditative videos in public spaces feature water lapping and blossoms slowly drifting from trees, and a chandelier matches its pulsating rhythm to the beat of the human heart as guests stand beneath it.
In a somewhat cynical world, does it all play out? If our inaugural cruise was any indication, Anthem will be winning the hearts of many to come.