The Royal Esplanade (upper level /shopping and entertainment district) has two boutiques selling Bvlgari (luxury perfumes, jewelry, watches) and Hublot (luxury Swiss watches). Here is located the “Sky Wave” sculpture. This is the first at sea kinetic moving sculpture created by Plebian Design (Boston MA). It consists of handcrafted fiberglass petals with various lengths. The whole structure pivots and curves at different points.
The Via is an oval shaped area (within the Esplanade) with a small seating surrounding a futuristic artwork named “The Red Thread”. The sculpture (made by the Chinese artist Bieli Liu) represents an ancient legend about red threads connecting Chinese kids to their soulmates. The sculpture consists of hundreds of small red discs suspended on threads from the ceiling.
Schooner Bar is the RCI’s signature piano bar for classy cocktails, live music, trivia games. Decor is nautically-themed, rich with dark wood, marble, decorative rope netting. The service bar is piano-shaped. The bar has a grand piano for live performances and sing-alongs in the evenings. Trivia quizzes and Sudoku contests are also part of the evening entertainment.
Vintages Bar is the RCI’s signature wine bar. The menu has appetizers (at US$5 each) and an extensive selection of fine wines and Champagnes (by the glass and bottle). Here are regularly hosted wine education classes and wine tasting events with sommelier service..
Focus (Photo Gallery & Shop) provides photo and video services by the ship’s professional photographers. The Gallery has displayed both guest-made and professional photos (available for purchasing). The Shop sells at duty-free prices photo/video equipment and accessories. There are also computer stations (to view/order photos) and photo kiosks. As the Anthem ship uses face-recognition technologies, when the reader scan a SeaPass/RFID wristband all assigned photos will be displayed.
Shore Excursions Desk has computer stations and tables (no paper brochures). It provides information on Royal Caribbean cruise tours and excursions (sponsored ashore), also planning and tour booking services.
Next Cruise Desk is for Royal Caribbean cruise booking while on the ship. It serves the line’s Crown & Anchor Society (past guest loyalty program). The RCI loyalty program offers to its members exclusive (discount) cruise rates (vary by itinerary and cabin category), balcony/suite discounts, onboard booking bonus (savings transferred to future OBC /shipboard credit), early sales access (a day before the general sale).
Bionic Bar (powered by Makr Shakr “robot bar”) is the world’s first ever bar run by robots working as both mixologists and bartenders. There are 2 robotic arms that prepare and serve cocktails (all bottles hanging from the ceiling) making 2 drinks per minute. Cocktails are delivered in plastic cups via 4 conveyor belts. Orders are made via tablets. The menu offers classic and signature cocktails, plus the option for made-to-order concoctions. A TV display shows the ordered drinks, their ingredients and wait times. You can individually name your order. The name appears on the TV screen so you can track when the robot works on it. Just like at any of the ship bars, payments here are made via SeaPass (boarding cards) or RFID bracelets. Drinks can be ordered only by passengers 21+ years old. The “robot bar” is not a bar per se – it’s a walkway running along the Esplanade.
On level 2 of the shopping arcade there are two retail shops (name-brand boutiques) selling at duty-free prices Bvlgari (luxury perfumes, jewelry, watches) and Hublot (luxury Swiss watches). Port Merchants is a general store selling conveniences and also duty-free liquor and tobaccos.
Wonderland Imaginative Cuisine (open between 6 and 9:30 pm, capacity 62 seats) is a specialty dining room (at surcharge per person). Reservations are required. All menus are blank, and guests have to paint them with water-dipped paintbrushes to be able to read them. The Wonderland restaurant’s decor is also unique – with giant keys hanging from the ceiling, mismatched chairs, blown-glass artistic lighting. The cuisine is truly inventive, with popular recipes being mixed and twisted. The food here (like it or not) is something you most probably have never tried before.
“Jamie’s Italian” restaurant (capacity 132 seats) serves simple but tasty Italian food. This is a trattoria-type specialty restaurant (at surcharge per person) by the UK’s celebrity chef Jamie Oliver. The restaurant has indoor and outdoor seating (on The Via, for alfresco dining). Jamie’s Italian is open for Lunch (12 – 1:30 pm) and Dinner (6 – 9:30 pm). The decor features simple furniture and large TVs on the walls (also showing how the namesake chef cooks his food). Waiters are dressed in white shirts and jeans. Jamie’s menu offers traditional Italian cuisine dishes – spaghetti, pizzas, antipasti, lasagna, bruschetta, eggplant parmigana, garlic bread. Hand-made pasta is prepared here each day. The menu also has 2 wooden “antipasti planks” – with either cured meats and cheeses, or seasonal chargrilled vegetables. There are also seafood dishes, burgers and terrific desserts. On request, guests can enjoy the old-fashion “View Finder” (usually given to kids dining here) to see their food in 3D pics.
Sorrento’s Pizzeria (open between 11:30 am – 3 am) is a complimentary restaurant with plenty of seating (both indoor and outdoor / on the Esplanade). It offers fresh, oven-baked pizzas (3 slices at a time) and pies for lunch, dinner and late-night. The decor features brick walls and an wood-fired oven. The pizzeria’s menu has traditional items (with meat, cheese, vegetables, gluten-free, incl Hawaiian, Florentine, pepperoni, barbeque chicken, four-cheese), custom-made pizza/pie, daily specialties, antipasti (olives, mozzarella, grilled vegetables), desserts (biscotti, gelato ice cream, raspberry mousse, amaretti, chocolate panna cotta). Drinks are at extra charge.
Chops Grille (130 seats) is a premium steakhouse-seafood restaurant open for Dinner-only (between 5:30 – 9:30 pm). This is a specialty restaurant (at US$39 surcharge per person) with an open kitchen allowing guests to watch the food preparation. Reservations are recommended. Included in the surcharge are bread with butter (first-served), 2 appetizers, 1 entree and desserts. At extra charge from the menu can be ordered soups, salads, prime meat (beef, veal, pork, lamb, poultry) and seafood specialties. Among those are New York strip steak (12 oz), filet mignon (6 oz, 9 oz), veal chop parmesan, short ribs, lamb chops, roasted chicken, crusted tuna, snapper Veracruz, grilled branzino, lobster, shrimp, scallops. Steaks are served with a choice of 3 sauces (bearnaise, peppercorn, bordelaise). Among the upsell dishes are dry-aged steaks (16 oz), porterhouse (20 oz), Maine Lobster. Chops Grille menu also has sides/sharables (mashed potatoes, creamed spinach, truffled creamed corn, roasted mushrooms, grilled vegetables) and desserts (chocolate pie, chocolate lava cake, red velvet cake, cheesecake, warm cookie plate, ice cream, specialty coffees).
Chef’s Table is a private dining room (capacity 16 seats) surcharged at US$85 per person. Reservations are required, and dress code is formal. The room is part of the Chops Grille restaurant and hosts every night an exclusive, 3-hours long gourmet dinner event with a 6-course menu. Each course is paired with premium wine. The event starts with a Champagne “meet & greet” with the fellow diners and the assigned sommelier (knowledgeable wine steward). Each wine is reviewed by the sommelier. All meals are prepared and reviewed by one of the ship’s top chefs. Menus are different each evening depending on the Chef’s personal choice. If reservations are under 12, Chef’s Table could be canceled.
Izumi Japanese Cuisine is the RCI’s signature pan-Asian cuisine specialty restaurant with mostly traditional Japanese dishes (sushi-teppanyaki-hibachi, tableside cooking). The restaurant is a la carte priced and open for Lunch (seadays only, between 12 – 1:30 pm) and Dinner (between 6 – 9:30 pm). Reservations are required. The restaurant is comprised of a sushi bar (sushi/sashimi) and another section with 2 hibachi stations. The menu includes sushi rolls, signature rolls, sashimi (2- or 5-piece, also combo platter), sukiyaki, yakimeshi, ishiyaki (grill / chicken, beef), wakame salad (seaweed), pan-fried gyoza dumplings, hot/cold appetizers, premium seafood (tuna, shrimp, lobster, eel, crab), desserts (ice cream, pancake, caramel flan, dessert sampler) and specialty drinks (cocktails, beer, sake selection). Edamame soybeans and miso soup are complimentary. Izumi has Teppanyaki menu (for iron griddle-cooked food) and Omakase menu (Chef’s choice).
Izumi Express is the Royal Caribbean’s new “sushi to go” option available fleetwide since July 2016. The “take-out sushi” is fresh-made and of premium quality. The new option is a great choice for families with kids (avoiding the formal sit-down meal) and for all passengers willing to enjoy this popular Japanese food somewhere else on the cruise ship (incl in their cabins). Izumi Express sushi ordering is via phone (any one on the ship, incl the cabin’s) and also by going to the Izumi restaurant and placing your order there. Guests can order any item from the Izumi’s sushi menu during the restaurant’s operational hours. The staff takes the order and provides a time window to pick it up (usually within 10-15 min). Meals are in to-go containers (plastic, transparent) and conveniently bagged up. Quick and easy takeaway service is provided by the new Izumi Express carts (colored in black) offering up to 8 pre-packaged sushi rolls.
Two70° Lounge is a 3-decks high relaxation-observation-show lounge (also known as “living room”). During the day, this place offers 270-degree panoramic seaviews from its floor-ceiling windows (glass walls with an automatic shading system, overlooking the stern). The lounge’s ground level has stage and an ice bar, and is served with drinks and snacks by its own full-service cafe bar. The upper levels are for the overlooking balconies. Nightly, Two70 transforms into a show lounge with live entertainment. The evening show program has an original RCI stage production named “Spectra’s Cabaret”. This is an exclusive multidimensional cabaret show produced by Moment Factory (multimedia studio). What makes this show unconventional is the use of Vistarama and Roboscreen (both trademarked multimedia technologies) implemented within the lounge. There are a total of 18 projectors for the Vistaramas (12K resolution / ultra-HD video backgrounds that cover the windows at night). RoboShows are performed by a total of 6 Roboscreens (computerized large LED screens controlled via a mapping system) descend from the room’s ceiling. They display real-time views, graphics, animations (incl virtual dancers), and at times – dance to the music (twist, spin and move around by the use of powerful robotic arms) and even interact with guests. Live music and dance acts are performed on the stage. Starwater (a signature live show in the evenings) combines singing, dancing and aerial acrobatics with the ultra-HD digital imagery. Other themed shows are the virtual concerts and symphonies – real performances pre-recorded in ultra-HD and broadcasted on the Roboscreens. Two70 Lounge also hosts the RCI’s traditional Captain’s Corner event. This is a Q&A session with the ship’s Captain, Cruise Director, Chief Engineer, head of dining operations (food and drinks) and other staff representatives. During the day, at the lounge are held educational seminars, classes and workshops, including dance classes (also ballroom dancing), culinary classes, jewelry making. In the evenings, Two70 turns into adults-only nightclub with ample seating and a large dance floor.
Cafe Two70° (open between 7:30 am – 7:30 pm) is the lounge bar (food is complimentary). It offers light-food (hot-pressed sandwiches, wraps, custom-made salads, home-made soups), also gourmet desserts (bagels, pastries, muffins, cakes, fruits) and drinks (including specialty coffees). Here is also served Continental Breakfast (between 7:30 – 10:30 am).
The Ovation cruise ship has a total of 18 service boats, including 16 lifeboats (which double as ship-to-shore tenders) and 2 rescue boats (rowboats). The yellow-painted tender boats are with a futuristic design. Each of them has capacity 370 people, length 41 ft (12,5 m) and width 17,7 ft (5,4 m). For cases of emergency evacuation, the ship is also equipped with evacuation chutes (called “Viking Dual Evacuation Chute”). These chutes are connected to canisters, which after opening become life-rafts (inflate automatically when fall in the water).