Getting Away From The Cold Cruising
February 2024


We are blessed in having the where with all to go off on another annual  "Getting Away From The Cold" cruise!  This years GAFTC cruise was basically a repeat of the 2023 cruise in that we sailed aboard our favorite ship, "Anthem of the Seas".     Like last year, we sailed out of Cape Liberty in New Jersey which we like  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 this time of year.

A- The Cabin 6590
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.  As expected, our view was partially obstructed by a lifeboat.

B- Cruising Under The Bridge
We’ve cruised under the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge many times and captured video in the process.  But this time, we captured a video from the comfort of Anthem’s “Solarium”.  Not as dramatic when viewed/captured from an open deck but it’ll do…


C- Bumper Cars
One nice thing about Anthem of the Seas are all of the indoor spaces for out of the weather activity.  The ship has an area called “Seaplex” which can be setup for different activities.  Volleyball, soccer, pickleball, roller skating, and yes, Bumper Cars.  This is one activity that a couple oysters can handle.
The video was captured with a wrist mounted GoPro Max 360 camera.  I edited the video twice.  Once to provide our view and again to provide the selfie perspective.

D- Coco Cay Beach Club
We visited Coco Cay while cruising aboard Royal’s “Anthem of the Seas” in February 2024.  “Coco Cay Beach Club” was on today’s agenda.  We booked a couple day passes during a Black Friday sale and were looking forward to checking this part of the island.  A day at the beach club included a chair and umbrella on the beach, access to a heated infinity pool and an upscale lunch.  More importantly, a relaxing atmosphere devoid of loud music and crowds.
There are a lot of reviews on YouTube so I decided to try something different.  It’s been awhile since I captured some INFRARED images so I brought the camera along on this cruise.  This video shows some of the images I captured.  I suspect no one has ever taken infrared images at Coco Cay.
I use an Infrared Modified Nikon Coolpix P7000 P&S camera that I had someone modify a few years ago.  720nm filtering is what was installed.  These images are a littler “bluer” than I typically get because the “color balance” has to be manually adjusted and, for technical reasons, I wasn’t able to do correctly.

E- Nassau Bahamas
Our mission was twofold.  We bought Cariloha Bamboo sheets several years ago and wanted to replace one set that has seen better days.  The cruise ship “Shopping Consultant” gave us some coupons so off we went.  Mission accomplished, we bought a set of sheets and, while we were at it, some bath towels.  All was shipped to our home.
The next thing we wanted to do was visit the Starbucks up the street for a couple lattes.  This particular store has seating on the second floor which provided a great vantage point for capturing some time lapse video with my Insta360 GO 3 camera.
It should be noted that Nassau recently went through a multi-million dollar update.  Gone are the old Straw Market Shanties.  They've all been replaced with colorful structures.

F- Door Art
We cruised aboard Royal Caribbean’s “Anthem of the Seas” in February 2024.  There are always birthdays and anniversaries being celebrated but this cruise also coincided with a couple more events.  Super Bowl LVIII, Valentines Day and Mardi Gras.  And of course, there are always those who are simply happy to be on a cruise.
Doors are decorated to celebrate these occasions, some of which are quite imaginative.  I’m usually up around 6AM walking the halls and decided to photograph some of the door art.

G- An Overview Video
The cruise made three stops….  Port Canaveral, Coco Cay, and Nassau with a couple sea days on either end.  This video offers some hi lights from the cruise but longer versions of some segments can be found in our YouTube Channel.

The Final Day Aboard...

Most of us were monitoring the weather as we cruised up the coast on our last sea day.  We all anticipated everything to be snow covered for the trip home.  I, for one, spent most of the night thinking about what to do.  We were able to park the car in the garage so at least it would be clean when starting out.  Much to our surprise the NJ and PA turnpikes were clear but wet.  We made it home without issue.
Back on the ship, the decks were snow covered and some of the crew were out looking at this stuff they've never seen before.

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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