Luxurious Magazine embarks on Royal Caribbean’s Anthem of the Seas for its first sailing with passengers from the historic port of Southampton in England.
For this travel feature, Luxurious Magazine founder Paul Godbold and his wife Natasha chose to represent the magazine. Although they have travelled the world and experienced some of the most spectacular holiday destinations available today, they had never accepted an invitation to embark on a cruise. Their experience on the Anthem of the Seas proved to be an eye-opening experience for them into the world of this much-loved form of travel.
As the introduction stated, Natasha and I had never travelled on a cruise ship, the closest general experience I can think of is my time living in Gibraltar and as an exuberant child running up and down the flight-decks of the U.S.S Nimitz and the HMS Ark Royal. I presumed that given the sheer size of the Anthem of the Seas (just under 1200 feet), the feeling would be similar, I was wrong.
The journey down from our rural home in Lancashire was stress-free as we opted to travel in our customised Jaguar XJ, a car so sublimely refined and perfectly set-up so that we were guaranteed to arrive in the same state that we left. Parking was prearranged, located directly opposite the imposing visage of the Anthem of the Seas. The Royal Caribbean Anthem of the Seas was the undoubted star of the City of Southampton that day and from the front seat of our car was so large that it almost blocked the horizon.
Frequently with “first-time” sailings things sometimes do not to work as correctly as they should do, but this is the whole purpose behind these three-day “shake-down’s”, they are designed to iron out all the bugs before embarking on a much longer sailing.
Upon entering the terminal and proceeding through customs, it was immediately obvious there was something wrong. It transpired that the boarding system had stopped working, this resulting in no-one being able board the ship.
Ordinarily I would be happy to wait, however, I had a film crew waiting for me on-board and only 30 minutes before filming was to commence. Once I had quietly mentioned this to one of the ladies responsible for boarding, a rather smart ship’s officer resplendent in his multiple golden arm-bands came down to personally take Natasha and I onto the Anthem of the Seas. Once we were given our smart wrist bands (used to open our cabin doors and order beverages etc) and photographed for security purposes it was business as usual.
As I hurried to meet our film crew I said a quick hello to Jason Bradbury, host of the Gadget Show and was then slowed down to nothing more than a walking pace as I had to admire the tech-laden walls and huge scale of the ship, it was mesmerising to the point of being overwhelming. I had to stop and stare in utter amazement at the cornucopia of dancing lights and digital imagery that seemed to spring forth from multiple places whilst knowing full well that I still had to drop off our carry-on luggage inside our room.
After filming we were able to examine our room in more detail, I’ll admit that although we had an outside stateroom with private balcony, Natasha and I were disappointed by the size of the room afforded to us. It was by no means poorly dressed, being very functional and housing most of the luxuries you would expect but lacked a couple of essential such as bathrobes, slippers and a most importantly for myself, a three-pin plug socket!
The bathroom (best described as bijou) contained a shower, toilet and basin. Being inexperienced “cruisers” this might well be the norm and the compact layout is to ensure that you spend less time in your room and more time enjoying the ship’s entertainment and facilities?
Another thing that we noticed immediately was the loud banging of the cabin doors shutting up and down the long echoing corridors. When you live in the peace and tranquillity of the English countryside and have stayed in some of the most exclusive places in the world, one tends to notice these things.
Personally, I would suggest that Royal Caribbean invest into some ‘soft close’ door technology as anything more than a few days of hearing this, day and night would result in some very disgruntled passengers.
After obtaining a plug adapter, I was able to power up the Macbook and try out the vaunted internet speed. Downloading was very quick, however, the upload speed was disappointing. I wanted to update the many people that enjoy our news on social media with some photographs but due to the time it was taking to upload the images, I had to abort and instead restricted myself to a few Tweets. The slow upload time may just be due to bad timing or perhaps a glitch? I did try on three occasions and the result was the same.
Click the link below for page two of the Anthem of the Seas feature