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Cruise World Getting New Anthem

The newest cruise ship coming to America is, in reality, more than six months old. Among other things, that means Anthem of the Seas will have any little glitches eliminated by the time it heads off on its first Caribbean cruise a week from today.

Royal Caribbean’s newest Quantum Class ship arrives in New York (actually, across the river in New Jersey) this week to be introduced to media, travel agents and assorted VIPs on this side of the Atlantic. Our colleague Phil Reimer is among the invited guests and will be delivering his impression of the ship at Ports and Bows.

Screen Shot 2015-11-02 at 8.23.11 PMHow is Anthem of the Seas different from her sister, Quantum of the Seas, which turned a year old yesterday?

For starters, Anthem’s accessible. She will sail permanently from Bayonne’s Cape Liberty port, and Quantum is stationed — also permanently — in Singapore. And while Quantum’s Godmother is the gifted and effervescent Kristin Chenoweth, Anthem was christened by Emma Wilby, who is widely known on the other side of the Atlantic as an author and historian (and singer) but who could likely walk through Central Park without anybody knowing her.

Other than that, according to all reports, there’s not a lot to choose between the two ships except that Anthem of the Seas has the benefit of being tweaked, technologically and otherwise, following Quantum’s year of service.

Both have the North Star to take passengers out over the water in a pod. Both have RipCord and SeaPlex for passengers who want the sensation of sky diving and the grit of bumper cars, respectively. Both have virtual balconies, robots who pour drinks in a bar, a 270-degree view from the trendy multi-level entertainment room called Two70, and four dining rooms from which to choose. The dining difference is that Quantum’s rooms were all — to steal a word from Norwegian — freestyle with no set dining times, seating arrangements or formalities, while Anthem of the Seas’ dining rooms will also have the traditional options.

The new ship will carry almost 5,000 passengers, making it No. 3 in that department between big sisters Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas. That and all its similarities to Quantum of the Seas will be more or less immaterial when it makes cruise headlines this week.

In the news…

• Crystal Cruises orders five yachts for 2016 launch into river cruise market
• Norwegian's Freestyle Choice offers back for November, December bookings
• Fathom to visit six U.S., two Canadian cities to market Dominican, Cuba cruises

Today at portsandbows.com: Holland America's new partners


Carnival Fascination
5 nights
November 16, 2015
Jacksonville (return): Nassau, Freeport
Inside: $249
Cost per day: $49
www.carnival.com

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