That’s nice, but it would be nicer if the food also differed

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Royal Caribbean’s mega ship the Anthem of the Seas. (Courtesy of Roy Riley/SBW Photo/Royal Caribbean)

Canada Goose Jackets Waiting in line for our first time on the cruise ship’s bumper car ride, I paused to look at a photo in my phone. The canada goose jacket outlet sale man behind me poked me in the ribs, saying, « You got canada goose outlet price to keep the queue moving. »Cruisers sometimes get testy on a big ship, and Royal Caribbean’s Anthem of the Seas full capacity: 4,905 passengers is among the biggest. There was a fabulous range of things to do on our August voyage from Britain to Spain and the Mediterranean, and a daunting number of shipmates wanting to do them. Even before we set sail, we worried: Would we have to fight crowds not just for rides and entertainment, but also for deck chairs, bar seats and other cruise staples? Canada Goose Jackets

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canadian goose jacket The challenges began soon after we signed up for the 14 night cruise. The first task was to reserve dinner times and seats for canada goose outlet online store the three featured stage shows ahead of boarding. How hard could that be? After all, we were picking meal and theater seats some canada goose outlet ottawa 11 weeks in advance canadian goose jacket

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Canada Goose sale It’s not just that Anthem is big. It’s that the ship, like its sister Quantum of the Seas, has scuttled the main dining room, replacing it with 18 varied eating sites. Those thousands of passengers were all circling for dinner reservations, making sure their meals wouldn’t overlap with their stage shows, spa appointments, onboard surfing lessons or simulated skydiving. Canada Goose sale

buy canada goose jacket So we had to schedule some choices via the Royal Caribbean Web site. buy canada goose jacket

Eighteen eating venues, 14 days. I had a headache. I created a spreadsheet using Royal Caribbean’s online scheduling tool.

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Once we eliminated the pizzeria, patisserie, coffee shop, hot dog stand, sandwich to go canada goose premium outlet place and the big buffet at Windjammer (the Coastal Kitchen is reserved for suite guests, who also get priority restaurant booking), our canada goose outlet michigan dinner options boiled down canada goose outlet los angeles to the four « complimentary » dinner venues plus seven canada goose outlet store montreal « specialty » restaurants that would cost extra.

Canada Goose Parka How much extra? The site was far from clear. Instead of listing per person or per item charges, the site designates canada goose outlet buffalo cost with a range of dollar signs. Wonderland, the ship’s foray into molecular cuisine, was « $$$. » With no canada goose outlet idea how much cash this translated to and having sampled other such kitchens, we passed. Canada Goose Parka

canada goose store We booked Jamie’s Italian, despite being described inscrutably as « 0 to $$$. » (Later this was downgraded to « $$. » Once at sea, we learned our meal would cost $30.) Chops Grille, the steakhouse, was listed as « $$. » Customer service told us it was $39. So beware. The canada goose outlet location ship’s definition of $$ may clash canada goose parka outlet uk with yours. canada goose store

canada goose clearance sale After many hours, we completed our pre sailing grid. Our verdict: This is way too much work for a vacation. canada goose clearance sale

buy canada goose jacket cheap Here’s the irony: Once aboard we almost always dined when we wanted. It turns canada goose outlet paypal out that each venue saves some tables for walk ins. buy canada goose jacket cheap

The pool deck at sunset. (Roy Riley/SBW Photo/Royal Caribbean)

canada goose coats on sale The rock climbing wall with Gigi in the background. (Roy Riley/SBW Photo/Royal Caribbean) canada goose coats on sale

Compounding our food frustration was the so so quality of the meals that were included in our fare. The only reliably good dinners on Anthem required extra cash, buy canada goose uk a situation common to other non luxury cruise lines. The pasta and lamb chops were tasty at Jamie’s. The steaks, delicious at Chops.

canada goose Windjammer, the complimentary buffet, served ample and reasonably good fare. When my husband decried the lack of iced tea and tuna fish at lunch, the solicitous staff prepared both for him. But I wanted a sit down dinner, one where I wouldn’t have to race a little old lady to a four top. canada goose

The decor of the restaurants varied red accents canada goose outlet online in Silk, the Indian Asian restaurant; stalactite like glass canada goose outlet niagara falls chandeliers in contemporary Chic. That’s nice, but it would be nicer if the food also differed substantially. Even though the venues switch menus every four days, the new bills of fare replace just a few appetizers and entrees, many of which we had already encountered.

That duck that was served succulently l’orange in Grande reappeared the next day in Silk, dried out and shellacked canada goose jacket uk in hoisin sauce. Silk’s chicken tikka masala tasted much like the version served at lunch in Windjammer. As we heard one cruiser sum it up: « It doesn’t matter where you go, it’s all the same. »

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Because we had pre booked « Spectra’s Cabaret, » we arrived only 15 minutes prior to showtime. Not a good idea. Doors had opened 45 minutes before and by then a line trailed down the hallway. We ended up canada goose sale uk balancing on bar stools in the last row.