small bug icon  Anthem of the Seas - February 2020

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2 specators watchiing a water game
  1. Sailing away
  2. Port Canaveral & Kennedy Space Center
  3. Coco Cay -- Perfect Day
  4. Nassau & snorkel excursion
  5. Return & days at sea

Sailing away

While we had the usual anticipation for our cruise, we became concerned when, two weeks before our cruise, the Anthem of the Seas returned to Bayonne and was held in port for several days while authorities confirmed that four passengers only had the flu and not corona virus. Our cruise was not affected by the delay. From a health perspective, our cruise was uneventful, but fellow passengers were more diligent with the hand washing and Purell advisories.

Once again, by choosing to sail out of Bayonne we were able to skip the ‘fly to get to where your ship departs’ routine. We drove up the morning of our departure and were processed thru the Bayonne Cruise terminal in an amazingly fast 20 minutes!

We had sailed on the Anthem back in 2018. It was a nice feeling to walk onto the ship and already know your way around. The Anthem is a 'big' ship with about 5,000 passengers. There are plenty of activities to choose from. My favorite, just sit and relax. We sailed for a day and a half to get to our first port of call, which was Port Canaveral.

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Port Canaveral & Kennedy Space Center

One year when the kids were young we visited Disney and took a day trip to see Cape Canaveral. For this cruise, we decided that the Kennedy Space Center looked like the most interesting of the cruise excursions. We only had the afternoon, so opted for a self guided tour. We both thoroughly enjoyed our brief visit and wished that we had had more time to spend there. I had done some research on what to see and do, and that was very helpful. As one of the YouTube videos I watch commented, KSC is a science center on steroids. We heartily agree! Seeing all the technology reminded me of the saying we used to have back when I worked for NASA - "You can tell the men from the boys by the cost of their toys!"

We started with the internal bus tour which included a drive by of the SpaceX launch complex and the Space Shuttle launch complex and a stop at the Apollo/Saturn V Center. We also made a quick visit to the Space Shuttle Atlantis and Rocket Garden exhibits. And last but not least, a stop at one of the many gift shops, then a fast walk back to the bus and return to the ship. It was a thoroughly enjoyable excursion, complete with a beautiful sunset on the ride back.

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Coco Cay -- Perfect Day

Our next port was Coco Cay, Bahama - Royal Caribbean's private island that they brand as "Perfect Day". On another Royal Caribbean cuise, we had stopped at their other private island - Labadee. At Coco Cay, the Navigator of the Seas was also in port, so there were plenty of 'island goers' from the two ships. Coco Cay is bigger than Labadee and seemed to absorb the crowd better. We definitely were not interested in the extra cost water park, happy instead to just get some lounge chairs on the snorkel beach.

Lunch set up, food selection, and seating were also better at Coco Cay. There was even a live three piece musical group providing entertainment. The snorkeling was not the best, but it was a good opportunity to test out our gear before our snorkel excursion in Nassau the next day.

The temperature was comfortable. We had read about some extreme temperaturs at other times of the year. All in all, maybe not a "Perfect Day", but still very relaxing and worth the visit.

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Nassau & snorkel excursion

This was our 3rd visit to Nassau, so we felt comfortable about walking around the cruise port without getting lost. From home we had explored the possibility of another beach day, but all of the nearby beach [within an hour] had no public facilities. We opted instead for a snorkel cruise and also opted to do it independent of Royal Caribbean. This proved to be a wise choice. We ended up booking with the same company that provides a snorkel cruise for Royal Caribbean. The day we were in Nassau, Royal Caribbean had two ships in port. The arrangement Royal Caribbean has with the snorkel company is that they cannot mix customers booked thru Royal Caribbean with those who booked independently. So for $10 less per person, we enjoyed a less crowded boat and a little more watered down rum punch! Although it was misty and wet when we docked, the sun came out brightly for our snorkel adventure.

We came back to the Anthem after our morning snorkel to dump our gear and have lunch. We then went back out for a walk around town, in what was now an overcast sky. I accompanied Sonia on part of her walk, but passed on her extended 'trinket' collecting. By the time we left port, the weather was already turning cooler and stayed that way all the way back Bayonne.

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Return & days at sea

After three consecutive port days, I was more than ready for 2 days at sea, sailing back to Bayonne. Time for just relaxing, finishing the book I was reading, one more theater show, one more "Wear Your Best" night [formerly 'formal' night], and of course a few more meals!

The morning we arrive back in Bayonne, there was ice on the top deck -- welcoming us back to reality!

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Copyright © 2020 Michael Botos. revised: 03/26/2010

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