The Return To
Getting Away From The Cold Cruising
February 2023


Finally after a 3 year hiatus, we were back on a "Getting Away From The Cold" cruise!  This used to be an annual thing until the shutdown.  We decided to sail aboard our favorite ship, Anthem of the Seas, sailing out of Cape Liberty in New Jersey.  This was the simplest way to go because we're only a 2-1/2 hour drive to the port.  No air travel, no hotels, no shuttles, etc.  We like Anthem because of all the indoor spaces which was especially nice on embarkation day because air temperatures were below 32F.  We booked "The Key" this time around and enjoyed the early access, the embarkation day lunch, and each of us having a wifi account.

A- The Cabin 6684
For this cruise aboard Royal’s “Anthem of the Seas”, we initially booked an “Inside GTY”.  GTY stands for “Guaranteed Type” meaning the cruise line will give you a lower price but they will decide which cabin you will be placed in.  We’ve done this several times over the years and have been satisfied with where we’re placed on the ship.

In recent years, the cruise lines have adopted a new approach to the cabin upgrade process.  The current approach involves opening up any available higher level cabins to a bidding process.  I went ahead and placed a little above minimum bids on three types of cabins…  Ocean View, Obstructed Balcony, and Balcony cabins.  Results aren’t announced until sometime during the week before embarkation.

As luck would have it, I won the bid on an “Obstructed Ocean View Balcony” cabin.  We fully expected to get in our cabin to find the view obstructed by a life boat.  Imagine our surprise when we saw what you’ll see in this video!

Note:  We did NOT detect any smells from the smokers lounge.  We did, however, hear some late night laughter coming from there a couple times during the cruise.  Overall, the lounge was NOT an issue for us

B- Kennedy Space Center
My interest in all of this goes back to my college days.  At the time, we were on our way to the moon so I minored in “Aerospace Technology”.  My wife and I were a month away from our wedding and were in the process of painting our first apartment as Apollo 11 touched down on the moon.  In fact, I was so intently watching on TV that I inadvertently stepped into the roller pan full of paint.

Another part of the story goes back to a cruise we were on a bunch of years ago.  I met an individual on that cruise who worked for NASA back in the day and was involved in some of the computer programming.  He spotted my interest and invited us to go on a 7-8 hour tour of all the original launch sites.  I jumped at the opportunity but Kathy stayed behind.  She knew that the whole thing would bore her to death.

Anyway, I went off on the tour with the individual and his wife.  We were in 7th heaven at every stop talking about what went on during those launches as we walked around each launch site.  His wife, however, lasted about 1-1/2 hours and wouldn’t even get off the bus.  The "Apollo/Saturn V Center” was the final stop.  I was AMAZED at the sight of the Saturn V sitting there BUT we only had 45 minutes or so to look around.  Going back has been on my bucket list ever since.

February 2023 was my chance….

The ship arrived in port around noon so time was limited.  Once at KSC, I made my way over to the “Apollo/Saturn V Center” first thing.  The bus ride over to the center took us by several pieces of equipment such as “The Crawler”.  Amazing how some of the equipment and handling techniques developed for the Apollo program were still in use today.  The Saturn V was everything I remembered but this time I had time to watch exhibits that explained how things worked.  I also looked at all that was on exhibit about the Apollo space craft and moon lander itself. 

Afterwards, I made my way back to the main portion of the KSC museum.  I had some time so I decided to check out the “Space Shuttle Atlantis” exhibit.  WOW, what an impressive site!  So glad I had the time to check it out.  Sadly, there wasn’t enough time for the “Shuttle Launch Experience”.

C- Falcon 9 Launch
I was back aboard Anthem around 5:30pm, about the time a Falcon 9 was scheduled to launch.  Fortunately, the launch was re-scheduled to 8:32pm so we got to witness it.  An amazing day all the way around for this space nut…

D- Pearl Island
We’ve been to Nassau a bunch of times but never took an excursion to one of the nearby smaller islands.  We elected to spend the day on Pearl Island.  A half hour boat ride is what it took to get there.  Our excursion was referred to as a “Beach Escape” so we found a couple loungers in a shady spot and settled in.  The excursion also included a Bahamian lunch of Chicken, Fish, and Rice.  All was good.  The island included a lighthouse which was open for exploration.

E- Coco Cay
One port of call on our “Anthem of the Seas” cruise was Royal’s private island resort in the Bahamas called “Coco Cay”.  For the record, “Cay” is pronounced “Key”.  Anyway, we’ve been to the island several times before and decided to try something different this time around.  We sprang for one of those Beach Beds and this one was located in the South Beach area of the island.  Besides providing a comfortable place to kick back and relax, the bed also came with a couple beach chairs, an umbrella, a couple foam mats, and an ice chest with 4 bottles of water.  It was great being on a quiet part of the island.  In a nutshell, we loved it and will reserve one of these again.

F- Door Art
One thing I enjoy doing during a cruise is walking the hallways at around 6am then going for a coffee and some Kindle reading before Kathy begins to stir.  On this cruise, I decided to capture images of the “Art” people adorn their doors with. As you can see, some are pretty imaginative.

The Final Day Aboard...
A not so pleasant final day to the cruise...
Early morning on the final sea day, I had diarrhea and vomiting. As suggested, I called medical and got an appointment. They tested me and I was NEGATIVE so they gave me some meds coupled with some sleep and I was good to go on Sunday morning for the drive home. I'm an oldster and my wife felt I just plain ate way to much of the wrong things (as I always tend do on cruises). A side note, I showed up for my appointment and they couldn't take me. I was told to go back to my cabin and wait for a call. I suspected I was not the only one with the same problem.
BTW, Royal was great. There was no charge. Customer service called several times to check on me and made room service and movies complementary.

These videos and more can be found on our YouTube Channel.  Take a look... 
YouTube Channel

In the meantime, stay safe….

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 New February 2023