In Pictures: Royal Caribbean's Anthem Of The Seas

17 April 2015

Anthem of the Seas, the third largest cruise ship in the world, launches next week. Royal Caribbean's newest behemoth features state-of-the-art technology and a complete redesign of its staterooms.

That's not all. Whet your cruising appetite with our collection of images and fun facts from the Anthem of the Seas.
.........................................................................................................................................................

1. Vital Statistics

.........................................................................................................................................................

 The Anthem of the Seas cuts through the water

At 1,142 feet (348 metres), Anthem is longer than both The Shard and New York's Chrysler Building. Her 18 decks can hold up to 4,905 guests and 1,500 crew. Of the 2,090 cabins, 1,571 have a balcony and 375 come with a 'virtual' balcony.

Her combined bow thrusters have 4,694 horsepower giving the ship a top cruising speed of 22 knots. She weighs in at 168,666 GRT.

.........................................................................................................................................................

2. Inches To Spare

.........................................................................................................................................................

 The Anthem heads out to sea. Picture: EPA

Anthem was built at Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany. The Quantum Class ships are the largest cruise ships to leave Meyer Werft, via the Ems River, with only a few centimetres clearance on either side of the ship.

On its journey from the shipyard to the North Sea, Anthem travelled at approximately two to three knots – the same walking pace as a 40-year-old man. Bridges had to be raised by cranes to allow Anthem to complete the 10-hour journey. The ship had to manoeuvre backwards down the river to ensure maximum control, and to protect her propellers.

.........................................................................................................................................................

3. 120 Drinks

.........................................................................................................................................................

 Drinks galore in the Bionic Bar

120 drinks is what the Bionic Bar can turn out, per hour. This being a 'smart ship', passengers order drinks via smartphones or tablets, with orders displayed on screens around the bar to encourage others to try different drink concoctions.

The Makr Shakr uses a number of robotic arms that can perform four actions: muddle, stir, shake and strain. Drinkers design their own cocktails on the ordering app and save them for others to try. We like the sound of the Intellectual – a blend of Bulleit bourbon, Hennessy cognac and ginger soda.

.........................................................................................................................................................

4. 375 Virtual Balconies

.........................................................................................................................................................

 Enjoy a virtual experience from your cabin. Picture: RCI

So what exactly is a virtual balcony? Essentially it will bring the outside in. 203-centimetre 4K (ultra high-definition) screens are installed in the inside cabins to provide them with the same experience as those with a balcony.

This technology was first piloted on Navigator of the Seas where 81 rooms were converted. High-speed HD cameras are positioned around the ship to provide real-time viewing while at sea and in port. The video is overlayed with graphics such as a railing, floor and glass. Speakers bring high-quality sound to the experience.

.........................................................................................................................................................

5. I Believe I Can Fly...

.........................................................................................................................................................

 One passenger gets hang time over the ocean. Picture: RCI

Anthem of the Seas has RipCord by iFly, a simulated 'flying' experience located near the ship's FlowRider surfing attraction. Guests are fitted with goggles, a jumpsuit and a helmet and are briefed on flight positions and hand signals.

Once ready, flyers jump into a seven-metre-tall glass flight chamber, roughly 2.5 metres in diameter, and begin flying. There are two one-minute flights, the first is a test flight with an instructor and the second is a freestyle session. Watching people hanging inside the drum from the viewing platform is almost as much fun.

.........................................................................................................................................................

6. One Giant Viewing Pod

.........................................................................................................................................................

 You won't find better views on the ship. Picture: RCI

Not an attraction for those with acrophobia (an extreme fear of heights) North Star is a London Eye-style glass pod that sweeps passengers 91 metres above the already tall 18-deck ship.

The robotic arm lifts and turns the pod 360 degrees on each 15-minute journey, affording dramatic views over the ship and of the ocean and/or shore (if docked). Sunsets are likely to be peak hour - the pod can be pre-booked for a special occasion.

.........................................................................................................................................................

7. Hey Mr DJ

.........................................................................................................................................................

 Discos, dodgems and so much more at the SeaPlex. Picture: RCI

Billed as the largest indoor activity space at sea, SeaPlex is also one of the only places you can play dodgems whilst sailing. The space can be used for basketball games, roller skating, trapeze lessons or even a dance party.

At night it is transformed into a disco with a 'floating' DJ booth above. The SeaPlex is surrounded by four sea pods which hold a table tennis area, a fussball table and Xboxes.


Life on board. Below Deck: Tales From Holland America Line Crew

MKR gets involved: Primetime Wine & Dine with My Kitchen Rules and Royal Caribbean Cruises


.........................................................................................................................................................

8. Circus School

.........................................................................................................................................................

 Getting dizzy and having a great time doing it. Picture: RCI

Take to the first flying trapeze at sea and learn how to somersault, flip and perform impressive tricks at circus school. There's no age barrier – an 87-year-old passenger tried it whilst on board sister ship Quantum of the Seas recently.

Other lessons include learning juggling skills or lyra hoop skills. The Circus School is unique to Quantum-class ships.

.........................................................................................................................................................

9. Two70

.........................................................................................................................................................

 Entertaining aerial performances await at the Two70. Picture: RCI

Two70, so named for its 270-degree panoramic view of the ocean, is a performance space that combines technology with dancers, singers, musicians and high-flying aerialists.

At night the view is replaced with digital projection mapping using up to 15 projectors and two robotic arms carrying ‘roboscreens’ to give live shows an extra dimension.

.........................................................................................................................................................

10. 18 Dining Venues

.........................................................................................................................................................

 Taste the culinary magic of celebrity chefs while on board. Picture: RCI

Joining the crew are three celebrity chefs: Jamie Oliver, Michael Schwartz and Devin Alexander. One of the more interesting dining restaurants is the eccentric Wonderland, where chefs will twist culinary dishes and categorise the food by theme rather than course.

Try the gazpacho cones or the liquid lobster, tempura salmon caviar and the truffled eggs.

.........................................................................................................................................................

11. 133 Metres

.........................................................................................................................................................

 The adults-only solarium and spa. Picture: RCI

133 metres is the length of the two-lane jogging track on deck 15. There is a small incline on the track at the front of the ship.

Also on board is an adults-only solarium and spa with more than 20 treatment rooms, shaded cabanas, a Jacuzzi and an adjoining bistro. The spa also has a menu of treatments just for teenagers. Day passes to the spa's thermal suite are on an allocation-only basis.

.........................................................................................................................................................

12. A Lofty 142 Square Metres

.........................................................................................................................................................

 Embrace the extreme opulence in one of the ship's lofts. Picture: RCI

These fun loft suites, including the Sky Loft suite (above) are the business. But the Royal Loft Suite (measuring 142 square metres; balcony 78 square metres), is the largest of all the lofts on board the Oasis and Qunatum-class ships.

At your disposal is a Baby Grand piano; indoor and outdoor dining rooms (seating eight); a private bar and library; an extended balcony with LCD television, entertainment area and Jacuzzi; a master bedroom and bathroom on loft level (with tub, shower and two sinks); and four twin beds. The suite sleeps six but can connect to a Crown Loft Suite to accommodate 10.

.........................................................................................................................................................

13. One Giant Giraffe; 15 Carbon Fibre Pieces

.........................................................................................................................................................

 Gigi the giraffe is loaded onto the ship. Picture: RCI

Anthem's art collection is expected to number around 3,000 pieces with several OTT inclusions. Spotted last week was a multi-coloured giraffe - wearing a swimsuit and a pink rubber ring - being hoisted on board.

Sister ship Quantum lays claim to a signature nine-metre, eight-ton magenta-pink polar bear installation entitled “From Afar.” Gigi the giraffe weighs four tons (the equivalent of three Mini Coopers) and is taller than Lady Liberty. Find her on deck 15. Go Gigi...

.........................................................................................................................................................

Visit your local Flight Centre store or call 131 600 for more travel advice and the latest travel deals.

.........................................................................................................................................................

This article was from The Daily Telegraph and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.