Onboard entertainment is exceptional, highlighted by West End musical, "We Will Rock You," which rivals anything you'd see on Broadway. At night, the ship's innovative Two70 venue blends technology with live performance, including aerialists, singers and dancers.
Art throughout the ship is whimsical, fun and beautiful. It's epitomized by Gigi, a two-deck giraffe wearing an inner tube. We took the time to walk up each set of staircases onboard just to see as much of the art as possible. You can't miss the multi-deck crystal-and-gold cherry blossom piece that begins on the ship's promenade (called the Esplanade) on Deck 4. Another fun piece is an interactive work that allows passengers to place their hands on a podium. Plates on the podium measure your heartbeat, which is then "shown" on a huge chandelier that beats in time. It stores 200 heartbeats, so when someone doesn't have their hands on the podium, the 200 lights blink to reflect each one.
The ship's Esplanade and its adjacent area, called The Via, are the ship's hub of nighttime activity, with bars and restaurants throughout. (The two areas are separated by a stairwell and bank of elevators, and The Via houses high-end shops, as well as bars and restaurants.) In total, the ship features 18 dining venues, including three -- Jamie's Italian, Michael's Genuine Pub and Devinly Decadence -- created in association with celebrity chefs. Also onboard is a restaurant called Wonderland, which is the cruise line's first real foray into molecular gastronomy.
Technology-wise, Anthem raises the bar for the cruise industry. Not only does it offer superfast Internet, but it also uses iPad check-in, RFID bracelets, online bookings for restaurants and activities, and robot bartenders -- and the good news is that it all seems to work.
Anthem is a big, bold, beautiful ship, with more restaurants, bars and entertainment onboard than you can hope to experience in a week. It's entertaining and flashy, and it reminds us of being in a Las Vegas hotel for a week. The atmosphere is equal parts modern sophistication and straight-up fun.