Anthem of the Seas passengers can try their luck on the trapeze at the onboard circus school. // © 2015 Royal Caribbean International
Feature image (above): Anthem of the Seas set sail for the first time on April 22. // © 2015 Royal Caribbean International
If you have any doubts about how crucial entertainment is for the cruise industry, Anthem of the Seas should clear them up once and for all.
The ship’s godmother, 27-year-old Emma Wilby, won a singing competition for the role, submitting a video with her application. Wilby is a travel agent for Thomson in Elgin, Scotland. She also sings in Military Wives Choir in Kinloss, where she is based with her husband, a Royal Engineer for the British Army.
At the christening, Wilby mentioned that she took some ribbing for her singing, but that all came to an end when she won the position as godmother of Royal Caribbean International’s newest vessel.
In addition to christening Anthem, Wilby performed Katy Perry’s hit song, “Firework,” at the ship’s naming ceremony in Southampton, England. She was coached by Craig Yates, team captain of the award-winning Welsh boys’ choir Only Boys Aloud, who backed her as well as performing on their own.
After the christening, choosing onboard entertainment required the strategic skills of a chess Grandmaster. First, there are the shows.
Whatever they do, tell your clients that they can miss meals, sleep and drinks — just as long as they don’t miss the signature show “We Will Rock You.” Of Broadway quality, the show includes all the effects and songs of the original blockbuster. The Royal Theatre — where this show and another called “The Gift” are performed — is beautifully designed, from a regal balcony to gorgeous curtains.
There’s also Two70’s “Spectra’s Cabaret,” which combines live performance and gorgeous effects with world music. The huge video screens, pivoted by robot arms, make full use of film and abstract effects.
It really takes some careful planning to divide the later evenings among Latin music (and dancing) at Bolero’s; rock music by a 1980s tribute band in the Music Hall; and late-night dancing to tunes spun by a DJ. And then there’s Igor in the Schooner Bar, a really exceptional pianist. If you’re lucky, he’ll be joined by a few orchestra members to jam high-quality jazz. Additionally, the “stowaway” piano player — a whimsical entertainer who pretends to be hiding on the ship — pops up everywhere, including elevators.
This is all in addition to self-entertainment and adventures onboard, from RipCord by iFly to rock climbing and a FlowRider surf simulator. Guests can also give a trapeze a try in the circus school or ride high in the North Star capsule. The Puzzle Break challenge has been imported from shore, prompting teams of 12 to “escape” from a locked room.
Add in the huge LED movie screen on deck, the roller disco in the SeaPlex, karaoke sessions and two comedians who remind you how good the British are at humor, and you have far more than anyone could cram into a week’s cruise. One can only try.
The 4,180-passenger Anthem of the Seas sails out of Southampton to the Mediterranean through October and then homeports in New York Harbor at Cape Liberty Cruise Port in Bayonne, N.J., to sail the Caribbean and the Bahamas.