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Discussion in 'Craps Forum' started by Dicenator, May 16, 2016.

  1. Dicenator

    Dicenator New Member

    May 14, 2015

    Anthem of the seas is Royal Caribbean's newest ship having launched about a year ago. It is by far the largest ship that we've ever been on displacing 168,000 tons. Maximum number of passengers is approximately 4,200 with 1,700 crew members. This was a nine night cruise leaving on May 5 and returning on May 14th. The first stop was Bermuda followed by St. Martin, San Juan and last the Royal Caribbean private resort called Labadee located on the north coast of Haiti. During this itinerary there were 4 at sea days, two going down and 2 returning to Bayonne, Cape Liberty, NJ.

    My brother and sister in law plus her sister and husband were all together on this cruise with us. For the six of us the only thing we did together was dinner every evening. Everybody got along great with no arguing or fighting and it was a pleasure. Our stateroom was a D1 balcony which is the highest rated balcony and it had a very large balcony of around 90 to 100 square feet and we were on deck 7. There was only one negative with the location. We just assumed that there were 3 banks of elevators, forward, mid ship and aft. There were no aft elevators and our walk to the elevators was 100 steps. This also meant that most of the days the elevators were crowded and you usually had to wait some minutes for one.

    This ship had some new and unique features:

    1st - Bionic bar - This was 2 robots who mixed your drink order and then placed it on a conveyor belt to bring it to you.

    2nd - Rip Cord - This is a sky diving simulator. You are in a cylinder with air rushing up from below which supports you in the air.

    3rd - North Star - This is a passenger carrying globe on the end of a crane which lifts you 300 feet above sea level and extends out over the ocean.

    4th - Bumper cars - These were located on the sports deck, #15, and were open maybe 4 to 6 hours per day. When not in use the floor was a basketball court. At night a dance floor.

    5th - club Two 70 - This was a dual purpose room on the back of the ship on deck 5. In the daytime it was an all window view of the ocean in comfortable chairs and love seats. In the evening the windows were electronically controlled to be a high definition video screen which they used as a backdrop for some shows.

    Dining on the ship was also different. There were 4 main complimentary restaurants; Grande, American Icon Grill, Chic and Silk. What was different was that you had to make a reservation for the restaurant, the day and the time. We did this over the internet about 8 weeks before the cruise and my wife did all the arrangements linking 6 people from 3 staterooms together.

    We all found the food to be mediocre to good some nights, never excellent. Silk was an Asian restaurant so the menu was different there. For the other three the menus were 95% the same night after night. We ate at Jaime's Italian Restaurant 2 out of the last 3 nights. This was an extra cost restaurant, $30 each I think, but the food here was excellent with all the pasta being made fresh every day. I'm not a foodie but my brother is and he loved this place. Just for information, my brother and his wife bought the ultimate drink package. The cost of each one was close to $500 and it entitled you to as many drinks be it wine, liquor, specialty coffee, soda absolutely anything and unlimited for the whole cruise. Since most of the glasses of wine were $14 each, I'm guessing that they got their money's worth. Our sister in law actually got both myself and my wife drinks using her card. I don't really drink very much and for the 9 days I recall consuming 2 mixed drinks and 1 beer.

    All of us went to some of the shows on the ship. The first one was Spectra Cabaret in the Two 70 room. This show was very weird with singing dancing and some trapeze action. None of us were able to figure out any theme to this show and were somewhat disappointed. The electronic visual displays in the background were amazing. The second show was We will rock you. This was basically 2 hours of Queen songs and it at least had a story line, although somewhat lame it was a story that you could follow. All of the good songs that the whole audience was waiting for such as "we will rock you" and "Bohemian Rhapsody" were performed in the final 20 minutes of the show. Overall this was a good show that the whole audience enjoyed.

    The next to last night on the ship we went to 2 different comedy shows. The first one was a standup act in Two 70. The comedian, a woman who has been on Comedy Central and is appearing in a Robert DiNero film later this year was just OK. A few laughs but nothing great. The second show was a Chinese comedian performing singing, piano playing and audience participation. A half hour of this show was all my wife and I could take.

    Now I'll discuss our island stops. The first stop was Bermuda on day #3. This was a disaster. It was pouring rain with 40 to 50 mph winds the whole day. Eva, myself and my brother and his wife all ventured off the ship to wander around some of the shops in the dock area. Well one hour was all we could take and went back to the ship soaking wet and miserable despite having rain gear on.

    Two days later we were in St. Martin. The 4 of us went to Orient beach and went to Kakao resort. $20 was the rental of 2 beach loungers and an umbrella for the day. The weather was beautiful, sunny warm with a slight breeze. The water temperature had to be somewhere in the low 80's because you could just walk right into it with no hesitation. We stayed on the beach for 3 1/2 hours and then went to the capital city Philipsburg and did some shopping. After that it was the water taxi back to the cruise dock. Overall a great day

    Next day was San Juan from 7 am until 1 pm. We wandered around Old San Juan for a few hours and then went to Senor Frogs which is right near the cruise dock. I remember having a frozen margherita which was delicious after the heat in San Juan. We were then back on the ship around noon.

    The final stop was Labadee, a private resort owned by Royal Caribbean on a peninsula on the north coast of Haiti. I was there 9 years ago and the improvements are spectacular. For example they have a zip line with a run of at least a half mile over the ocean. On the ocean side of the peninsula the beach and the water have a ton of rocks and is not that great. We were here until after lunch when we shipped over to the harbor side which was totally clear of all rocks. The day was sunny warm and the water was warm enough to go in. St. Martin was at 18 degrees north latitude and Labadee was at 20 degrees north latitude which is why the ocean water temperature was 2 to 3 degrees colder than in St. Martin.

    Now for casino time. The casino was fairly large as befitting a ship this size. There were maybe 16 table games including 1 craps table, 3 roulette, 2 ultimate texas hold em, 2 three card poker, 1 let it ride and maybe 6 blackjack. I have no idea as to how many machines there were but I would venture a guess that it was at least 250. The biggest disappointment was the $10 minimum bet at every game including craps. Now this was my 40th cruise and I've never seen this kind of minimum. Every ship I've been on I could play craps with a $5 minimum. I questioned one of the pit bosses about this and he said because it's a new ship. Despite the high minimums most of the table games had action all week long except for the $100 minimum blackjack where there was nobody all 9 days.

    The craps table was 12 feet long with a textured micro fiber layout. The straight wall section was very wide and the table bounce was excellent. I rate the bounce on this table as 10 out of 10. I questioned one of the pit bosses about their dice change policy. His response was that they never use a set of dice more than 2 days before they are destroyed. I believe him because in 9 days I didn't see anything resembling marbles like I have seen on Carnival ships. What was weird was that on the last night they brought out a used set of dice which was first used on 12/22/15, almost 6 months ago.

    Now their dice change policy appeared to be perfectly acceptable but I did find a problem with their dice. They had 2 different types of dice and one type performed great for us and the other type were horrible. All the dice sets were a dark blue color. For days 1 - 4 and day 9 the dice had standard filled in circle pips and we won money every day with these dice. For days 5 - 8 the dice had the two concentric circle style pips and they were horrible. Later when I compile the throwing results you will see a significant difference between the different types on the different days.

    Both my wife and myself each had a bankroll of $900 or $100 per day each for gambling. It should have been more than this but the cruise was very expensive costing us somewhere around $3500. This is more than twice what we usually pay for a cruise. Eva tried some roulette, Texas hold em, blackjack and the poker table. With the $10 minimums if you didn't get a good hand quickly your money disappeared too fast. She did not really play any of these other games much at all and concentrated on craps. Because of the $10 minimums we came up with a plan to share our bankroll. We would each buy in with $100 and split the cost of any bets we were making. I let her handle the betting particularly when I was throwing the dice. This allowed me to concentrate on the throw itself. Due to this we were OK at the $10 minimum.

    Here are our throwing results:

    5/5 DAY 1


    EVA 6 2

    BOB 9

    EVA 6 1

    BOB 45 5 1

    5/6 DAY 2

    BOB 10

    EVA 6 1

    BOB 7 3

    EVA 27 3 4

    EVA 10

    BOB 2 PSO

    EVA 11 1 2

    5/7 DAY 3

    BOB 8 1 3

    EVA 2 PSO

    BOB 11 2

    EVA 15 1 1

    BOB 10 1

    5/8 DAY 4

    EVA 32 5

    BOB 7 1

    EVA 37 5

    BOB 12 1 2

    EVA 6 1

    EVA 6 3

    BOB 25 2 4

    5/9 DAY 5

    EVA 12 2

    BOB 9 1

    EVA 5 2

    BOB 12 2 2

    EVA 3

    BOB 14

    BOB 14 1 2

    5/10 DAY 6

    EVA 5 1

    BOB 6

    EVA 4 1

    BOB 12 1

    BOB 12 1

    EVA 9 1 1

    BOB 4 1

    EVA 4 1

    BOB 6

    5/11 DAY 7

    EVA 8 1

    BOB 30 3 3

    EVA 6 1

    BOB 8 1

    5/12 DAY 8

    BOB 14 2

    EVA 5

    BOB 9

    EVA 6

    BOB 6 1

    EVA 10 1

    BOB 9 1

    BOB 13 1 3

    5/13 DAY 9

    EVA 7

    BOB 34 5 1

    EVA 15 1 2

    BOB 9 1

    BOB 8 1

    EVA 23 2 2

    BOB 3

    EVA 9 1

    BOB 11 1 3

    Between both of us we played a total of 60 hands and we made 59 points for a average of .983 points per hand. In addition we made 55 come out wins for an average of .917 per hand.

    Back to my analysis of what I consider good dice vs questionable dice. For days 1 - 4 plus 9 we made 429 throws in 32 hands for an average roll length of 13.41 throws per hand. We also made 40 out of our total of 59 points during these same 32 hands.

    With the double concentric circle pips on the dice we made 255 throws in 28 hands for an average roll length of 9.11 throws per hand. With these dice we made 19 points in 28 hands. A significant decrease in performance compared to the 40 points in 32 hands with the good dice.

    We were up for the cruise winning approximately $650 at the craps table. 90% of this was accomplished on days 1-4 and 9. On days 5 - 8 we lost on 3 out of the 4 days. When we noticed the dice change on day 5 we played cautiously and minimized our losses. If you look at the numbers above you will see that day 6 was a disaster and the next day 7 we only played 4 hands between us.

    Bob had the following great hands during the cruise: 45 throws, 25 throws, 30 throws and 34 throws.

    Eva was no slouch in the good hands having the following: 27 throws, 32 throws, 37 throws and 23 throws. On the days with good dice our performance was pretty equivalent but with the questionable dice my throwing was much better.

    The playing conditions were pretty good. On the at sea days the craps table would open at 1 pm in the afternoon and then in the evening around 7:30 to 8:00. On port days the casino would open 30 minutes after departure and craps would open around 7:30. We were always there when the table opened and most of the time we could get in a few hands each before other players showed up. I'm guessing that there were no more than 6 regular players every day. There were two players who would only buy in and play if Eva and I were there. The dealers were very good but it took maybe 4 or 5 days for them to warm up to the regulars at the table.

    So would we ever sail on this ship again. I would have to say no due to the negatives outweighing the positives significantly. The major negatives were #1, the mediocre food, #2, everywhere you went the ship just seemed crowded with hordes of people everywhere, #3, the $10 minimum bet levels in the casino and #4, the use of questionable dice at the craps table.


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