8 Barcelona to Trans-Ocean Royal Caribbean Ovation of the Seas Cruise Reviews

This was our first quantum class ship and we loved it. It is always good to be on a new ship, and Ovation is beautiful, with fantastic modern decor and a great feel. The itinerary which included transiting the Suez Canal, and Aqaba Jordan ... Read More
This was our first quantum class ship and we loved it. It is always good to be on a new ship, and Ovation is beautiful, with fantastic modern decor and a great feel. The itinerary which included transiting the Suez Canal, and Aqaba Jordan to see Petra was the reason we chose this particular cruise. Embarkation and disembarkation went very smoothly, but having priority always helps. The balcony stateroom on Deck 11 was really good, even though it was narrower than on other ships the layout was fine and it felt roomy. The quality of the food in all the different venues ranged from very good to excellent. Dynamic dining took a bit of getting used to, but we finally found someone to sort out the bookings and from then on we enjoyed the different restaurants, as they all had a different feel. The specialty restaurants were all enjoyable, we particularly liked Wonderland, and went there twice. It was a fantastic dining experience, and lots of fun. Windjammer was the best ever, and as we try to avoid the peak times to go there it was not crowded. The hand washing facility at the entrance was appreciated. The entertainment was good, in particular the production shows, which had to be booked, and the Two70 venue. There was a good lecturer on board who's information enhanced our visit to Petra, and going through the Suez. Other daytime events were not so appealing, but going up in the North Star was fun. Overall we found the crew to be very helpful, accomodating and enthusiastic, they all seemed familiar with this new ship and enjoyed working on it. So to sum up, this was a great cruise on a great ship, and we would not hesitate to go on it again. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
Destinations were interesting from Barcelona via Suez canal to Singapore on a back to back cruise. Petra was a good shore excursion which was otherwise difficult to see. Other shore excursions were also well organised and interesting. ... Read More
Destinations were interesting from Barcelona via Suez canal to Singapore on a back to back cruise. Petra was a good shore excursion which was otherwise difficult to see. Other shore excursions were also well organised and interesting. The ship was the newest cruise ship in the world at the time and still had the "new car" look and feel. The staff were excellent and being a new ship, every port had the local officials to welcome us. Sailing was smooth and the cabins good. There were 17 restaurants, most complimentary and the choices were good for a 30 night cruise. We had booked a restricted view balcony cabin and were not sure what that meant. We were pleasantly surprised to find the cabin spacious and the balcony good. The top section of a lifeboat restricted the view directly below to the water, but the distance view was acceptable. It also kept a lot of the wind away from the balcony which was good. On the second leg of the cruise we were moved to an unrestricted view cabin which we appreciated. The ship sailed well and the stabilisers that appeared to work. Well done Ovation of the Seas. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
We embarked the Ovation of the Sea in Barcelona with the smoothest embarking ever. We settled into our cabin in no time and was very impressed with the space balcony furniture and hanging and drawer space. Then we did a tour of the ship ... Read More
We embarked the Ovation of the Sea in Barcelona with the smoothest embarking ever. We settled into our cabin in no time and was very impressed with the space balcony furniture and hanging and drawer space. Then we did a tour of the ship and got the WOW factor. OMG we set of to Italy Naples Greece Through the Seuz to Jordan Red Sea to Dubai Muscat to India Penang to Singapore. All this time from Suez to Muscat we had 6 sharp shooters on board, 5 Navy vessels and the Orion air plane as security with us. The entertainment and fun rides on board were first class. Food fresh and acceptable. We did do 4 specialty restaurants and enjoyed Wonderlands food the best. The overall service was terrific and everyone friendly. Did NOT like the smoking in the Casino NOT acceptable and around the swimming areas where there is a lot of Children. That needs to be addressed. The dress standard was also dropped making dinner time seem like picnic in the park. SAD. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
We chose this cruise for the itinerary and the experience the newest mega-ship. It was everything we hoped for! We traveled by plane and train through Europe for two weeks prior to reaching the ship so we were thankful to rest up on the ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary and the experience the newest mega-ship. It was everything we hoped for! We traveled by plane and train through Europe for two weeks prior to reaching the ship so we were thankful to rest up on the ship. Embarkation went very smooth with the new technology. We booked a balcony but peeked into the "virtual balcony, inside rooms" and could not believe the "view" they had! Our cabin was spacious with SO much storage! The bed was comfortable. We enjoyed our stops, especially Petra! What an incredible experience. Ending in Dubai was very special, as well. We stayed a week after to explore. The ship was incredible. There were places to play family games and relax. The eating venues never seemed crowded even during the busiest times. We usually don't eat in the buffet much, but this one was organized and delicious. We sampled all of the specialty restaurants, including Chef's Table. I'd say that was our only disappointment. The food was not adequately described and the "host" did not seemed to be knowledgeable on wines. The meal ended with a chocolate martini that was delicious, but dangerous after champagnes and wines. The Italian restaurant and steakhouse were superb. Wonderland was an interesting and special experience. Very unique. We only saw two shows because, though we had reservations for the third, people were allowed in early without reservations and it was full when we arrived a half hour prior. The service was top notch! We spent our vacation sampling bottles of wine in Vintages. The winetenders were amazing! They helped us select some very special wines and pampered us for 16 days. We enjoyed dancing lessons, bumper cars, iFly (skydive simulator), and the NorthStar. We had plenty to do even though we didn't feel like doing much at all.. The ports were amazing! We did excursions in Rome and Petra. Rome because it is so far from the port and Petra to visit the Lost City. We went on our own in Naples and Athens. Once arriving in Dubai, the disembarkation was so easy and smooth, we thought we'd done it wrong. There was no customs. We picked up our luggage and walked out to the taxis. My husband and I consider this our favorite overall cruise by a long shot. We would not hesitate to do it again! Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
We chose this cruise because it was a maiden voyage. The ship smelt new when we embarked. Overall, we found the food to be exceptional. The free restaurants all had excellent quality and variety, and the surcharge restaurants were ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it was a maiden voyage. The ship smelt new when we embarked. Overall, we found the food to be exceptional. The free restaurants all had excellent quality and variety, and the surcharge restaurants were exceptional. Jamie's was far superior to the two that we have experienced on land; Wonderland was most interesting and different, and Izumi was delicious. The crew were happy and energetic and the special shows were well produced and executed. The iFly which simulates skydiving was very well organized and a lot of fun. The North Star, the giant arm that allows you see the ship from a great height, was interesting. It did break down several times, though. People on the Flowrider looked to be having a great time but we did not try it! Dodgem cars were also fun. All of these things are free of charge. The solarium is wonderful, with very large spa baths and cascading pools. One complaint was the smell of cigarette smoke coming from the casino, one of the designated areas. The casino is quite large and the smell permeates the Music Hall at times. Other issues were that public areas often had very loud music - we would prefer lower sound so that conversation is possible! The merchandise was woeful. We were told that there would be more coming on in Singapore( where most disembarked), but what was there was either in short supply or extremely expensive. The artworks, furniture and overall decor is stunning. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
Unable to explore Barcelona as one of our cases was missing and didn't know when we would receive it, plus there was a light rain shower. Embarkation started off as a nightmare as the young girl did not speak good English and I ... Read More
Unable to explore Barcelona as one of our cases was missing and didn't know when we would receive it, plus there was a light rain shower. Embarkation started off as a nightmare as the young girl did not speak good English and I found it hard to understand her,also she told us our room had been moved for no reason so that did not go down well. However RCI gave us a FREE upgrade to a junior Suite maybe because it was our 40th Anniversary (Thank you RCI). The ship is beautiful but as you would expect of a Brand New Ship fresh and clean with loads of space and plenty of cool areas to sit or go up on deck to one of the four pool areas. Dining: my time dining was. Not my Forte however we bought the specialty resteraunt package which I think was good value. Jamie Oliver's Fantastic,Wonderland Fantastic,chops Good had better,American Icon ok,Silk not so great.Windjammer great for a quick meal. Service: overall was good but continually pestered by the writing staff wanting to know if they had achieved that magic 10. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
We boarded the ship in Barcelona & sailed for 45 nights, all the way to Tianjin. Boarding was efficient & took about 15 minutes. We chose this cruise for the itinerary & for the experience of sailing on a new ship. Overall the ... Read More
We boarded the ship in Barcelona & sailed for 45 nights, all the way to Tianjin. Boarding was efficient & took about 15 minutes. We chose this cruise for the itinerary & for the experience of sailing on a new ship. Overall the experience was great, but there were some very big problems. First the good stuff. I found both the ship and the cabins to be lovely. We had a balcony cabin on deck 7. There was more closet space & more storage space than on other ships in the fleet. They moved the closet away from the cabin entrance door (which is a cabin design improvement) & increased the size of the shower. The Solarium & 270 were particularly impressive public spaces. Our cabin steward (thanks Pandy) was excellent. For the most part, our dining staff was good, although one night we waited about 30 minutes before any of the wait staff acknowledged us. Our head waiters stopped at our table most nights, which is something we never experienced on any other RC ship. I think that part of the problem with the wait staff was that they were transitioning to a Chinese crew as we got closer to China & kept replacing experienced staff with newbies. We chose Classic 2 Dining option before we left the States, so we had an 8:30 standing reservation every night. Most nights the 4 free restaurants were half full, so we couldn't understand why people were having such a tough time with dining times. Food was good, but not excellent. The activities were plentiful. I took a zumba class every sea day, went to the shows in the evening, which were good & tried the I-Fly & bumpers cars. I also went to the port lectures, conducted by very knowledgeable professors. All in all, a good time. Now for the bad: We purchased the internet package prior to boarding & the log-in procedure was horrible. At one point I tried to log-in LITERALLY 100 times before going to the Help Desk, only to be told that there was no internet service for the entire ship, even the RC staff. But perhaps the biggest problem was lack of organization of RC tours. One of the benefits of booking an RC tour is that you are supposed to be 1st off the ship. This was not the case. On a number of occasions, getting off the ship & to the tour bus took more than 1 hour. South Korea & Singapore were worse, because of local immigration requirements. But the worst was in Tianjin. We purchased a RC tour taking us to The Great Wall & airport drop-off. Because of RC disorganization, Our tour bus left 2 hours late, our lunch stop was cut to 30 minutes & we stopped at The Great Wall fro 12 minutes, before having to leave for the airport. That's right, 12 minutes. It wasn't the tour company's fault. In fact, they had a rep board our bus at the Beijing airport to help us through the airport, because they were worried we would miss our flight (which we made by RUNNING ALL THE WAY TO THE GATE). i have taken many RC tours before & never experienced this level of chaos. Very stressful & disappointing. But all in all, a great adventure, visiting some places on my bucket list!! Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
B2B Cruises : Barcelona-Dubai, Dubai-Singapore. ROOM : Twin Inside Cabin...Quite spacious and adequate wardrobes/drawers. Good sized flat screen TV and the virtual window is an excellent innovation. However able to hear conversations in ... Read More
B2B Cruises : Barcelona-Dubai, Dubai-Singapore. ROOM : Twin Inside Cabin...Quite spacious and adequate wardrobes/drawers. Good sized flat screen TV and the virtual window is an excellent innovation. However able to hear conversations in next cabin and when toilets were flushed in nearby cabins it sounded like rolling thunder which made it impossible to get a good nights sleep. GUESTS SERVICES : Woefully under staffed for a ship of this size which always meant long waiting queues. Incredibly non of the staff spoke English as a first language even though the vast majority of the passengers were from English speaking countries. ENTERTAINMENT : A number of venues and bars etc but I will limit my review to the two main auditoriums The Royal Theatre and the 270degrees Lounge:- Royal Theatre: 1200 seats. The worst designed main auditorium of all my cruises (about a dozen, three previously on RCI). Seating arrangements and viewing is poor and one end of each row is blocked off so expect moans and groans getting to a seat at the end of row. The most annoying thing however are people using screen based devices (of which there were many) to record the show even though a recorded announcement pre show asked the audience not to. Making it impossible to enjoy the performance. I raised this problem with the Cruise Director and his response was "Tell me about it. It's the bane of my life. But what can you do about it"....Obviously NOTHING because that's exactly what he did. 270 degrees Lounge : Very high tech but in my opinion too clever by half. If you want a good seat (of which there are few and a whole row of these are reserved for diamond and diamond plus passengers) get there very early. There are about 6 or 7 very large lamp shades spread across the lounge which blocks the view of people stuck behind them. DINING: The Windjammer buffet lounge was better than the other RCI ships that I have been on but the seating and food was ok but varied little from day to day. Four complimentary restaurants which have to be booked which can be a problem. The food was ok but once again the menu varied little. The Grande is formal dress code which RCI define formal as "women cocktail dress and men suit and tie or tuxedo" Incredibly men were allowed in dressed in tee shirts, jeans and runners. POOLS: There are two glass covered pools/splash pools and one outside pool. The covered pools are quite good. The outside pool/pool area is very small for a ship of this size. And considering the cruise was in subtropical and tropical climate incredibly the pool was used for crew v passengers water volley ball. Which meant only 6 out of 4000 plus passengers were able to use the pool at this time. Quite ridiculous. PORT DISEMBARKACTION: Muscat was a complete disaster. There were no staff on the quay organising queues for the limited number of small shuttle buses to take passengers to main gate. As a result people were pushing and shoving to get on these buses and there were arguments and one that I saw led to two men to having a fist fight. VISA'S : I went to the Indian Visa office personally and was asked if I intended to get off the ship in Cochin. I said no and was told in that case I do not need a visa. I rang the RCI help desk three times and was told RCI that I do require an Indian Visa even if I do not get off the ship. I accepted what they said but I was very annoyed once I got on the ship to find out some people did not have a visa. SUMMARY : Disappointed with the ships design and annoyed with RCI failing to accept their responsibilities resulting in numerous arguments with passengers. I will definitely not cruise on the Ovation again. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
Ovation of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.4
Dining 4.0 3.4
Entertainment 5.0 3.7
Public Rooms 5.0 3.9
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.8
Family 5.0 3.8
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.1
Enrichment 3.0 3.3
Service 4.0 3.8
Value For Money 4.0 3.3

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